Category Archives: Uncategorized

2014 Year In Review

I was absent a lot from the blog world in 2014. Life just got busy and by the end of the day, the last thing I wanted to do, was sit down and write a blog post. I’m hoping that things change for 2015.

In February I took a new position at work, that has me doing two different jobs. In some ways it’s lessened the stress that I had before and in other ways, I have more stress because I have less time do get things done. End the end it’s all working out and I’m enjoying it.

2014 was the year of job changes for both the hubby and I. In March he switched jobs, moving to a local, family owned company closer to home. The job requires less travel to and from work each day and gives him more responsibility and leadership than he’s ever had before. It’s a job that he’s much happier at and requires less physical stress on him. I think I had the most difficult time with his job change, as our benefits have always been through his employer. We went three months without health insurance, which stressed me out and required a lot of planning on my part to get enough prescriptions in advance and to make sure we both stayed healthy. In the end, it was the best career decision for our family.

My 2014 can be wrapped up with one word, travel. I did tons of traveling throughout the year with friends and family. Due to the hubby’s career change, that left him with no vacation time for the first year. I did a lot of jet setting without him.

In April, I was blessed to be able to travel back to Iowa to spend Easter with my family.


I had lunch with my friend Esther when I arrived in Iowa.


I got to spend time with my brother for the first time in twelve years.


I enjoyed catching up with my sister and nieces over Easter dinner.


My main reason for the trip was to spend time with my 88 year old grandmother. I got to spend time with her going through pictures and recipes and just enjoying her company. My grandparents are very near and dear to me and helped raise me. I miss them more than anything.

FlatStan1 I had Flat Stan along for the trip {for my nephew}. So of course I had to show him the views from the plane.


At the end of May, one of my best friends, her daughters, her mom and I went to Myrtle Beach. The girls were so excited to go to the beach and wanted to go with me because, “Amber goes to the beach all the time.” LOL.

Contest7 Contest8IMG_1289IMG_1470 

I also got to celebrate my 30th Birthday on our girls trip.


And spent quality time with my amazing in-laws.


My final trip of the year was in October. I flew to Las Vegas for the first time, to meet up with my mom, aunt and cousin for another girls trip. I’d never been to Vegas before. I’m not the gambling type, but I was super excited to see all of the tourist stuff.

1 2 The photographer in me loved all the beautiful, breath taking views that Vegas had to offer. I can’t wait to go back again with the hubby.


It’s always great to get to spend time with my mom, since we live 700 miles apart.


{ Over the last few years I’ve lost around 70 pounds, so I had to flaunt it ;o) }

 Beligio Flemingo PawnShop We checked out a lot of places that film in Las Vegas including Pawn Stars, American Restoration and Counting Cars.

There were a lot of ups and downs in 2014. But in the end, I’m a stronger person and definitely not the person that I was when 2014 began. 2014 brought a spiritual change to me and brought me closer to our creator and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Here’s to an even better 2015.

And more updates to follow.

Happy New Year!!


I know it’s been for.ever since I’ve dropped in, but I wanted to say Happy 12.13.14.



One of these day’s I’ll get around to writing some posts that I’ve got idea’s for.

Life has just taken over and been so busy this past year between work, traveling, and personal issues. I’ll be back shortly to recap our year.

Package Pals



I participated in Package Pals from C.R.A.F.T. & Stars & Sunshine this year. I’ve never done something like this before and I had so much fun getting to know Megan, whom I was matched with and putting together a package for her.

I was super excited to receive my package in the mail today from Megan. We both share a love of all things pink!


I just loved all of the cute goodies she sent!


I haven’t mentioned here on the blog yet, but I have a new obsession with all things anchors. I’m currently in the process of re-doing our master bedroom, which will be blue with an anchor theme. So this cute wall hanging will go perfectly!


Oh My Gosh! I’m in love with these flower accessories! The pink flower on the bottom, is actually a ring! How cute is it?! There’s a matching bobby pin too! Along with a gold and while flower hair clip! I’m not a hair accessories girl, but these might make me change my mind!


Megan and I also shared a love of our dogs and these scrapbook stickers are perfect for that scrapbook I need to start of the never ending pictures of Diesel.


And this letter “A” made out of buttons is too adorable! I can’t wait to frame it and hang it in my craft room. The funny thing is, I sent her a pink letter “N” for her last name.


She included a cute little note as well.

This was my first time participating in Package Pals and I loved it so much! I really enjoyed coming up with ideas for the other person. Plus it was so much fun getting to know another crafty person and looking forward to emails the first week or so of getting to know each other’s likes.

Megan doesn’t have a blog, so I thought I would share a few pictures of the package I sent her.


Megan had mentioned that one crafting tool she’d love to have was a rotary cutter, so of course I was super excited when I found one in pink! Through a little Facebook stalking {okay, not really}, I found out that she was interested in learning more about cake decorating. So how could I pass up these cute cupcake liners? And what do you need while baking cupcakes? A cute little apron that I sewed up. I also included a framed craft print, cutting mat and the letter N for her last name. 


Everything was sent in this cute photo box.

Thanks Megan! It’s been a blast getting to know you!


#Blogger Problems

I know that I haven’t posted in a while, but there is a very good reason for that…

You see, our computer has been acting funny for a while. I finally figured out that it doesn’t have enough RAM to do the things that I need it to do. It’s also been freezing frequently and not letting me do anything.

Normally I use Window’s Live Writer to compose my posts, but lately it’s not been letting me add pictures to the posts and will run slow when trying to do so. Today, I had the fabulous idea {I know, shoulda thought about this sooner} to write my post using WordPress. Guess what? It wouldn’t let me upload the pictures that I wanted to either. And what is a great blog post without pictures? I know that I don’t like reading posts that are all word heavy with nothing to look at.

So here I am, writing to tell you that until I either have more RAM added to our current computer or decide to get a new computer, my posts will be lacking.

But don’t worry, you can keep up with me on my Facebook page. I also have a new Facebook page for all the pictures I love to take, mainly landscape photograph, Luv & Laughter Photography.

I hope to be back soon with some new posts, including:

Recipes for Italian Sausage Subs, Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites. Our Valentine’s Dinner, thrift store finds/antique hunting and adorable new pictures of our newest fur baby.

Until next time….

Introducing Our Newest Family Member

On January 10th, we welcomed our newest member to our family….


A seventy-seven pound Chow-Sheppard mix, named Diesel. Who is two-three years old.

When we lost our beloved Jake last February, we struggled with the decision of getting another dog. Life was so much easier with just Daisy. It was easier to take off for the weekend or to be gone longer during the days with just one dog. The last few months I have ‘liked’ a few rescue pages on Facebook and started searching Petfinder. I wanted a smaller dog {our house is small and I wondered if God were to bless us with a child, where in the world would we put a child and two big dogs}, while the hubby wanted a bigger dog.

Then things got to the point where I couldn’t even look at these sites anymore. I had to hide them from my newsfeed because I wanted to save each & every one of them. I would send pictures to my husband of cute dogs who needed homes & he began to feel the same way I did. One day I would want another dog so that Daisy would have a playmate {she always gets depressed after we’ve been home for a period of time and then go back to work}; The next day I would decide I didn’t want one because life was easier with just one.

But I think these feelings happen for a reason. It just so happened that Wednesday night a friend had posted a picture of a Westie on Facebook that needed to be rehomed. I had planned on talking to the hubby about this the next day. And then my friend/co-worker called me Thursday and wanted to know if I was still looking for a dog. I said, weellll… It depends {I was hesitant}. Someone that both of us knew had a dog show up at their house in the country and had been there for three days. No one had been around looking for him and the mail lady who knows everyone in the area had never seen the dog before.


So when I went to see him that afternoon, I had a hard time with the decision. How could I say no to this face? But if I didn’t take him he’d in up in the dog shelter. He seemed like a very smart dog, already knowing ‘down’ and ‘shake’. I sent pictures to the hubby, who was busy at work and didn’t respond. I made the decision to take him and called the hubby at work to tell him, we had a new member of the family.


We decided on naming him Diesel. Who made himself right at home. He was on his best behavior the first night. He climbed the baby gate to sleep in our room and seems to be very protective of me already.


By the second night, he must have decided ‘these humans are going to keep me, so I’m going to show my true self.’ He learned to jump on the furniture and found the toys.


Check out those paws!


I’m cute! How in the world could someone say no to this face?!


Diesel had his first visit with the vet yesterday, where he swooned all of the vet techs and the doctor with his good looks. We found out that he wasn’t micro chipped and is healthy, other than having some problems with his ‘boys’ and needing to be neutered right away.


Daisy is still unsure of Diesel, mainly when he steals her toys and he gets aggressive with her when she tries to get them back. I’m also pretty sure that this big boy has forgot everything that he knew the moment he realized we were keeping him lol. This is what I found a few minutes ago. They are best friends when they are barking at golfers!

Welcome to the family Diesel!


{Giveaway Winner} A Simple Christmas


I had a last minute opportunity to giveaway a copy for Crystal Paine’s new eBook, Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas.

I always love the advice that Crystal shares in her books and this one is no different!

Due to the last minute opportunity, I wasn’t able to get a blog post up first thing this morning, so I announced this giveaway on Facebook early this morning.

And the winner is…..Capture

# 3- Pam Summerlin

Congratulations Pam! I have sent you a message.

{The legal mumbo jumbo… links in the post are affiliate links, meaning I will receive a percentage of the sales made through these links. I was also given a copy of A Simple Christmas to review.}

Heart & Home Clean Sweep- Day 2


Today is Day 2 of Esther’s Heart & Home Clean Sweep and we’re working in the kitchen and dining room!

In our home, the kitchen and dining room become the dumping ground of everything because we don’t have a formal entry way or mud room. 99 percent of the time, the kitchen table is covered in clutter that’s been dumped at the end of the day.



I’m not a big fan of our galley kitchen because there is no storage space. The closest thing to a pantry that I have is, a cabinet that we put in between the two rooms to have extra storage space when we lost a base cabinet in order to install a dishwasher {a sacrifice I was willing to make!}


We got a new office desk in February and for two months the old desk sat in the corner of the dining room. Thankfully I found a new home for it!


These next two cabinets drive my batty! The medicine is never put back in place, taking up more shelves than needed and drink cups are always falling out or knocking things over!


This is the after! I was able to part with a few dishes and make room for drink bottles on the top shelf and got the medications better organized!


The spice/plastic storage container cabinet is the other cabinet that makes me crazy! See all those lids up there? Yep, most of them are missing their mate because the hubby will just take a bowl to work and then never return it! Plus they are always falling out when you open the door!


I tossed the lids that didn’t go to anything I was keeping and reorganized my spices on the lazy susan.



I love this crock that my sweet mother-in-law bought me to store the utensils.


I washed down all the shelves, soaked the never used wine glasses for days trying to get all the grease off them and wiped down the walls.


The desk found a new home back in the office. I can’t wait until we are able to put in a new floor, countertops, back splash and repaint the cabinets!


I love nothing more than having fresh flowers in the house! I was more than excited when I was able to score two packages of mini carnations at Wal Mart over a week ago for $2 each! I got a package of white and pink and created this arrangements. I love walking by and smelling them!


Almost two weeks later and they still look this good!