May 2014 archive

NCL Ensemble



This weekend I attended the National Charity League Senior Presentation at the Hilton Southlake Townsquare.  I had a blast and loved seeing all the girls in their beautiful white dresses!  They were stunning!  I decided to put together a fun but chic outfit for the show.  Last weekend, I bought the fun Yumi dress on sale at Anthropologie.  If you look closely, you will see that it’s speckled with lots of colors-red, yellow, blue, and green.  I wanted to find a fun pair of shoes to go with, so I ran into see what TJ Maxx had…and I hit the jackpot!  I found these adorable, sassy pair of sandals by Tabita, an eclectic Brazilian brand.  They are comfortable, durable and a serious eye-catcher!  I love the fun black and white striped design on the heels.  Although still $69.99, on the expensive end for TJ Maxx, I couldn’t leave without them.  I love a good statement piece!

Party dress shoes

I added my new pair of Warby Parker glasses and a coat of Essie’s “One of a kind” to my fingers and toes to spice up the look.  I had a great time and enjoyed seeing my sweet senior, Devaney, be presented.  Isn’t she gorgeous?


Dress: Yumi from Anthropologie //Shoes: Tabita from TJ Maxx //Glasses: Ames in Whiskey Tortoise from Warby Parker //Polish: Essie “One of a kind” from Ulta

Top 10 Healthy Stress Relievers


stress quote

Stress is something that we all encounter in our lives. Some of us are more prone to it than others depending on our personalities. I tend to stress quite a bit, so I’ve got my favorite go-to’s for when I start to feel overwhelmed:

  1. Lavender bubble bath. Hop in the tub and soak up the relaxation that a hot bath and calming lavender can offer you. Let the stress melt away!
  2. Dance. I love a good Zumba class, the kind where I leave looking like I stepped out of a shower. However, sometimes my stress doesn’t coincide with my class so I’ve been known to turn up the music and break it down in my family room!
  3. Hot tea. My favorite is Tazo Zen with a little honey. Although the green tea does have caffeine, something about it calms me immediately. Maybe it’s the name?
  4. Bubble wrap. I know it sounds weird, but there is just something therapeutic about snapping those plastic bubbles. Pop it with your fingers or your toes to release the tension!
  5. Meditation. I like to meditate on my favorite scriptures that talk of peace and hope. Some references are: Isaiah 54:10, Matthew 11:28-30, John 16:33, Romans 15:3, and Philippians 4:6-7.
  6. Calming music. There’s just something about Mazzy Star and Norah Jones that immediately calms me down. Find a song or album that soothes you, turn it on, and mellow out.
  7. Stretching. When you stress out, your muscles start to tighten up. It helps to lengthen them with simple stretches or yoga postures.
  8. Deep breathing. This is one that we know, but we rarely engage in. If you feel the stress coming on and don’t have much time to do anything about it, take a few seconds to breathe deeply, in through the nose, out through the mouth 3 times.
  9. Positive self-talk. Sometimes it helps to just remind yourself that you will make it through this and you can handle it. Remind yourself of other stressful things that you have overcome. Remember, “This too shall pass.”
  10. Playdough. Who doesn’t love this stuff? I love playing with Playdough when I’m stressed out. It has an immediate calming effect. It’s something I use with my clients as well. They tend to open up more when given some Playdough to work with.

These are just a few, cheap ways I conquer stress in my life. Of course, massages are my number one, but unfortunately they’re too expensive to get every time I stress! What are your favorite ways to handle the stress in your life?

Pura Vida


CR beach

Costa Rica was an amazing trip with fun friends!  We loved the kindness of the locals, the diverse landscape and, of course, the beautiful beaches!  We stayed at a Hilton on the Papagayo Gulf but had a car so that we could travel to nearby towns and attractions.  Here’s a little peek into our vacation! (pictured above is the beach at Tamarindo)

CR dog

This little dog became our friend while eating lunch in Tamarindo.  It was almost 100 degrees during the day, so he needed a little dip.

CR treeThe trees are incredible and have these gigantic buttress roots that protect them.

CR hot springs


Here is one of the many natural hot springs that you find in Rincon de la Vieja.

CR country

This was a beautiful shot of the countryside and the most magnificent tree I’ve ever seen on our way to the rainforest at the Tenorio Volcano.  By the way, on this drive, we saw two sloth and experienced the bumpiest road of our lives!

hanging bridge

Me on the hanging bridges in the Tenorio rainforest.  You can’t tell by the photo, but I was 200 feet up and the bridges move quite a bit!

hanging bridges

Another pic of the hanging bridges looking down.

CR monkeys

If you look closely, you will see some of the many monkeys we experienced in CR!  The last night, a crazy, little monkey put on quite the show for us at the beach! We were so sad we didn’t have our cameras!

CR hotel pool

A shot of the pool and cabana bar at night at the Hilton Papagayo.

CR bay at night

The view from our balcony of the Papagayo Bay at sunset.

CR sunset

A beautiful sunset on the beach.

If you get a chance, book a trip to Costa Rica and enjoy the Pura Vida!  The adventures you can experience there are endless and the hospitality is incredible.  We look forward to returning one day!


Love Languages


Chapman quote Marriage is difficult.  It is rewarding.  It is unpredictable.  At times it seems like an uphill battle and at other times, it the best thing that has ever happened in my life.  I know that it is constantly refining me, teaching me, and making me a better person through the tears of joy and pain, and I am honored to experience this earthly representation of Christ’s love for his church.

A couple books by Gary Chapman that have helped our marriage and that I always recommend to my clients are The 5 Love Languages and The 5 Languages of Apology.  If you and your spouse are not speaking each other’s language, you will not feel loved and appreciated.  We typically speak in the language that we like to hear, but most likely, you and your spouse don’t speak the same language (metaphorically that is!)

The 5 languages of love are listed below.  You can go online to take a quiz that will help you figure out your language if you are unsure.  Sometimes you might feel that you speak two languages equally—that’s okay!  In fact, it just allows your spouse to have more options.

Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation

We all need encouragement, but if this is your love language, you need it in order to feel loved by your spouse.  For some, affirmation comes easily.  For others, it’s a real struggle.  If this is your spouse’ language, here are some examples to help get you started:

  • Write little notes of encouragement at night on the bathroom mirror for your spouse to see when they get ready in the morning.
  • Make it a habit to tell your spouse one thing you admire about them daily—maybe over dinner each night or right before bed.
  • When you pray together at night, thank God for all the characteristics that you love about your spouse.

Love Language #2: Quality Time

It’s the quality of the time together, not the quantity.  If this is your love language, you want your spouse to spend meaningful time with you.  Your time together means the world to you.  Sitting in bed every night watching your favorite shows together probably isn’t enough.  Here are some more purposeful options:

  • “Couch time” Many couples have couch time together each day.  It’s the first 10-15 minutes after the last spouse gets home from work.  Even if you have kids, it’s “mommy and daddy time.”  You are setting an example for them that your spouse is the most important person in your life.  During this time, you discuss anything from how your days were to concerns you have that might need further discussion that night.
  • “Date night” This might seem like a no brainer, but many couples forget to continue dating once married.  My parents always went out on Friday nights.  They made sure they did this for their marriage.  They had a babysitter reserved and saved the cash to pay her. By the way, my babysitter became like an older sister to me and I adored her and my time with her!  Your kids might need a break from you as much as you do from them!
  • “Be intentional” It’s easy to say that you hang out with your spouse all the time because you are in the same vicinity.  That’s not going to cut it for the spouse that needs quality time.  So try to be more intentional.  Make out a list of things that you can ask your spouse when you are together.  This can be anything from “If we could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?” to “If we could work more on one aspect of our marriage, what would it be and how will we do that?”

Love Language #3: Receiving Gifts

A thoughtful gift goes a long way if this is your spouse’s language.  This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a pair of Kendra Scott earrings every week or the newest electronics.  Although these things are always nice, it’s not the amount of money you spend, but the thought that counts.  Here are some less expensive ideas:

  • A letter or card.  I keep all the letters and cards that Patrick gives me and he does the same.  I love looking back and reading them to remind me of our love for each other.
  • Make a CD or song list of all the songs that remind you of your spouse and your relationship.  Or if you’re artsy, you could create a painting or picture collage that they could take to their office at work.
  • Buy your spouse a gift card to their favorite store and go with them there to help pick out what they want.  This way you are also spending quality time with them doing something they love.

Love Language #4: Acts of Service

For some, it’s words; for others, it’s actions.  Doing something out of the kindness of your heart speaks volumes for those whose language is acts of service.  Some examples for you to do for your spouse:

  • Ask your spouse at the beginning of the week what they would like you to do around the house by the end of the week and make a list so you don’t forget.
  • If your spouse has had a tough or busy day, make dinner and clean up after dinner without being asked.
  • If you and your spouse have designated daily chores, do theirs for a week, in addition to your own.

Love Language #5:  Physical Touch

So this one is probably the most obvious.  We all need physical touch but if this is your language, it’s super important that you get it to feel loved and appreciated by your spouse.  Here are some ideas:

  • Hug more often.  First thing you do in the morning and last thing you do at night is hug your spouse.  Always start the day off and end the day by letting them know you love them and they come first in your life.
  • Hold hands more often.  Do it when walking down the street, driving in the car, watching a show or while praying.  It something that is so simple but can make you feel closer to your spouse.
  • Make time for each other.  It’s so easy to say that you’re tired and had a long day.  Pick a night each week that you will reserve for your spouse and put some effort into the occasion—massage, bubble bath, mood music and candles?  Whatever will let your spouse know that you went the extra mile for them!

I hope you find this as helpful as Patrick and I did.  We would definitely recommend buying the book for you and your spouse to read together.  You will be amazed at how your spouse responds once you start speaking their language!