What I Gave Up for Lent

I don't typically give up anything for Lent mainly because I have a hard time sticking to it and it ends up being all I can think about lol. The point isn't to torture yourself, it's to give up something and focus that energy on God.

So, sticking with the focus being on Him, I chose to give up social media in the morning. I know, I know, it doesn't sound like a big deal but I end up getting sucked in first thing in the morning and a. I waste a ton of time and b. don't end up doing my morning devotional. Both of these start my day off on the wrong foot.

So I decided that I will do my devotional right when I wake up and then use the rest of the time for prayer. So far, I've done pretty well and have stayed off of social media. I've been using the She Reads Truth app for my daily devotionals, along with Jesus Calling. I know some of you are thinking, well why didn't you give up social media in general? Well, I use it for my business haha and I don't want that to suffer. I just think it's important to be conscious of when/ how long I go on social media and not let it suck me in for an hour lol.

Has this been life changing? Not exactly, but do I feel like it has helped start my day in a more purposeful way. I can connect with the Lord first thing instead of being sucked into the social media tunnel. Which we all know how it can totally consume us lol.

Did you give up anything for Lent this year? I would love to hear about it and how it's going!


It's been a long week so I'm going to keep this short today. I thought I would share some things I've been reading, watching, etc. I love to get a peak into people's lives and what they are interested in at the moment. Here goes!


So far, it's pretty interesting but I'm not sucked in yet. That's mostly because I just finished Behind Closed Doors and HOLY MOLY that was good. I'm trying not to compare the two but it's hard to avoid that. 

Listening to: The Handmaid's Tale
I didn't think this book was up my alley but it came highly recommended, so I decided to give it a try. I am definitely interested though. I find myself listening to it even when I'm not in my car, so that's a good sign. I will keep you guys updated on my final review.

Watching: The Crown
I just started watching this Netflix eries and so far it's super good. I'm only two episodes in, so I will let you know how I like it after I watch more. 

Eating: Mexican food
I have been on such a Mexican food kick. I want all the chips & salsa I can get lol!

Drinking: Dasani Black Cherry Sparkling Water

Wearing: Old Navy tanks, plaid shirts, jeans, and flip flops have been my jam lately. These flip flops are the best and only $12. 

Loving: Tulips

I hope you all have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend. I will be back on Monday with my weekend recap. :)

30 Things that I Love

Last month, I celebrated my 30th birthday and I seriously can't believe it. I don't feel like 30 is old, I just don't understand how I got here so fast lol! Didn't I just turn 24?? Well in honor of my birthday, (last month lol) I thought I would share 30 things that I love. Last year, I shared 29 things that you might now know about me and you can read it here.

1. My hubby. This is pretty obvious but I really do just love him so stinking much. :)

2. Sunsets. I have a thing about sunsets, I love them. It makes me incredibly happy to go on a sunset walk, especially when it's at Sunset Cliffs.

3. Bookstores. There is something so calming and comforting about being in a bookstore. I could stay there for hours just exploring new books and drinking a big coffee. One of my favorite things to do is explore local bookstores when we are on vacation. I know, nerd alert.

4. Coffee. More specifically vanilla lattes. YUM! I'm thankful for Steph and her participation with my coffee addiction lol.

5. Walking on the beach. Yes, I am that cliche of, "loves long walks on the beach," but seriously, I do lol. It's relaxing and I am able to clear my head.

6. My family. I have such a supportive and loving family. I'm so so thankful for them!

7. Handwritten cards. I love getting cards in the mail! I mean, who doesn't?? It's so much better than getting just bills lol! When people take the time to write out cards, I think it's so sweet and very much appreciated. I try to send handwritten cards whenever possible.

8. My puppies. They are just the cutest, best pups in the world... in my humble opinion lol. I also just love all dogs in general.

9. Disneyland. I don't know where this obsession came from but it's gotten pretty bad in the last few years. I just LOVE living so close to the park and also having friends that indulge my obsession lol. Mark also goes with me so I'm thankful for him too :) I just feel like Disneyland is such a magical place. I never have a bad day there and get to be a kid for the day. I'm itching for another trip soon!

10. Quiet mornings. Mark is probably laughing at this one because I do not like mornings during the work week. This is because I get up at 5:30 and will never get used to that early wake up call. On the weekends, or during the summer when I wake up without an alarm and don't have a million things planned, it's perfect. I love to have my coffee in bed with my devotion during those mornings.

11. Happy Hour. This was our Friday night tradition when I lived in Vegas, but sadly none of my SD friends get off work early enough lol. I love having a few inexpensive appetizers and a drink, then calling it an early night on a Friday.  I miss doing this with Katie, Breyen, and my parents.

12. Dessert places.  As I have gotten older, I love to find cute places for dessert. I don't eat dessert every night and I guess that's because we didn't eat dessert as a family when I was a kid. We always had ice cream in the fridge but that's more of an essential lol. Now, it's something that makes me so happy and excited... every once in awhile. I especially love macaroons and of course ice cream!

13. Pickles. By themselves, on sandwiches, in salads, on a burger... I'll take them anyway I can get them. Minus the bread and butter pickles... YUCK!

14. Shopping. It's pretty much my go-to when I'm feeling sad, happy, bored, or in need of some inspiration. There's no bad day that can't be conquered by a great new outfit.

15. Planners. Organization is totally my jam. I feel my best when life is organized and I know what I'm doing. I'm also super old school in the fact that I love to write everything down. I really don't like planning on my phone or on my computer. There's something about pen to paper that is just better.

16. Books, books, and more books. I've been obsessed with reading since I was little. One of my favorite things to do during the summer was go to the library and get tons of books. I would finish them quickly and load up again. I love reading books about places I've never been to and time periods that have long since passed. I also love really suspenseful books, but this is a new obsession. I think it just makes reading even more exciting.

17. Orange Theory Fitness. I have tried lots of different workouts but this is my fave. I like that the class is never the same and you are constantly rotating from the weight room, the treadmills (or bike in my case), and the rower. I feel great when I leave but I'm also exhausted.

18. Traveling. I have a serious travel bug right now. I love going somewhere new and exploring, especially with my hubby. We are going to Nashville next month and I am so excited! Then, we are hoping to head to Europe (sometime). We will see though :)

19. Ice cubes. I love a good ice cold drink, especially in San Diego because the ice melts so dang fast. Mark told me to write this one because he's constantly getting me a big glass of water with tons of ice haha. Oh and iced tea is also a must!

20. Going to the movies. I grew up going to the movies pretty often and we have continued that tradition. I love the whole movie theater experience... the previews, movie theater popcorn, the giant screen. There's just something so great about watching a movie on the big screen. We are HUGE fans of the Lot movie theater because of the reclining seats and the fact that they bring you drinks and food right to your chair. Is there anything better lol?

21. Rodan+ Fields. I LOVE this company so much. It has transformed my skin and I get to work with the best people. So thankful to Sara for introducing me to this biz.

22. Mascara. Now that I feel more confident in my bare skin (on my face lol), I don't wear as much makeup. I still love how fun makeup can be but I don't feel like I have to where it everyday. One makeup item that I really love though is mascara. The tips of my lashes are blond so mascara just makes my long lashes (thanks to Lash Boost) much more visible. My current fave is Lancome Grandiose mascara.

23. Wilbur. In case you are wondering who Wilbur is, it's my Jeep. :)  I got it 4 years ago and I'm obsessed. I've always wanted a Jeep but never thought I would actually get one. My husband spoiled me though and we purchased it right when I came to San Diego. It's not the most gas efficient vehicle but I'm hoping my commute won't be this long forever.

24. Cookbooks. I love getting new cookbooks and trying out the recipes. Cooking is so relaxing to me, especially when the meal turns out exactly as planned. There's something so satisfying about the chopping and preparing of the food. So fun!

25. Teaching. As draining as this profession is, and oh it can be SO draining, I love working with the kids. They have such quirky personalities and are just exactly who they are. One of the best parts of the job is helping them learn something that they never thought they would get. It's the best!

26. Chips & Salsa. This is my favorite snack and always a go-to as an appetizer. The chips need to be super fresh though!

27. My friends. I love how much fun we have together and even the more serious times. I know that I always have someone to talk to when I'm feeling sad, excited, happy, lonely, tearful, or anxious. I'm soooo thankful for these women and what they have done for me. Some friends have been there for years and others are new, but they all hold a special place in my heart. I love you all!

28. Pizza. I could eat pizza for every meal and be a happy camper. YUM!

29. Spending the day by the pool. I live by the ocean and I prefer the pool. I know, I know... I'm crazy haha. I grew up in Vegas so pools are what we had. To be honest, I just really like the no creatures aspect of the pool. :) Just spending the day outside, with a good book, and the sunshine is alright with me.

30. Jesus. So thankful for my Lord and savior.

5 Things I'm Loving

Happy Friday everyone! Today could not come fast enough. It's been a rough week for me but I'm trying to stay positive and rise above :) Plus it's St. Patty's day and who doesn't love the Irish??

I'm sharing some of my favorite things at the moment. Let's dive in...

1- Warmer days/ nights

Now that it's staying lighter much later, I can once again workout outside. Hallelujah! Things have been so crazy lately and my workouts have been put on the back burner, especially since certain parts of the past few months I wasn't allowed to work out. Now, I'm enjoying going to the cliffs again and taking long walks. How beautiful is it there??

2- Tarte Blush in Paaarty

I received this Tarte blush in the Sephora birthday freebie and I'm obsessed! I've worn it every day since I got it. I love that it's natural rosy color and also super pigmented. I just tap my brush in it a few times and apply it to the apples of my cheeks, sweeping backwards. Go and get it asap!

3- Spring Dress Kick

Embroidered shift dress   |   Orange shift dress  |  Floral boho dress

I have been loving all of the spring clothing coming out, especially the dresses. I recently stopped by Old Navy and fell in love with so many of them. I purchased the first dress on the left and the middle orange dress. LOVE them! Now I just need to apply some sunless tanner this weekend so my legs don't look so pasty haha!

4- Designated Survivor

Mark and I recently discovered the show Designated Survivor and holy moly it's good! I know we are way behind but we've been watching episodes every night, so we should catch up quickly. I need something to fill my evenings since I finally finished Parenthood. I balled my eyes out like a crazy person on the last episode. I know it's just a tv show but I became so attached to the characters lol! 

5- Girl Meets Change by Kristen Strong

image via

I just finished this book and it was so good. I found myself highlighting so many things and bookmarking parts that I want to go back to. If you're experiencing any kind of change in your life, whether it's good or bad, unexpected or planned, you need this book. It was so encouraging and uplifting to read. Plus she's a military spouse, so it was cool to read it from her perspective. :)

Have a great day! I hope you gets to drink a green beer or two :)

On this Week's Meal Plan

Good morning everyone! I thought it would be fun to share what we have on the menu for this week. I love reading other people's meal plans, especially when they are realistic to how crazy busy the work week can get. I always start the week off with a "plan" of sorts but try to give myself a few "outs" for when I'm too exhausted lol. Those outs include using leftovers for lunches, instead of making something completely different, and also having emergency meal items that don't take hours to prepare.

Monday: Chicken Milanese

This recipe is pretty easy and always a favorite with Mark. There's something so yummy about the arugula, lemon, parmesan, and lightly breaded chicken. We also had some sweet potato tater tots because why not, right?? :)

Tuesday: Black Bean Flautas

This is my go-to meal for when we have friends over, or I just want something satisfying. It's pretty easy to make but tastes like it took way more effort.  Plus nothing is better than Mexican food! YUM!

Wednesday: Pulled Pork Tacos

Another Mexican dish because I'm obsessed lol. This one is great because you throw it in the crockpot in the morning and you come home to the most delicious pork. Also, I normally make a large amount and use it for other dishes throughout the week. 

Basically, you sear (all sides of) the pork shoulder or pork butt in a pan with olive oil. Then place it in the crockpot and generously cover with garlic salt, cumin, and pepper. Add a diced onion and place enough chicken broth in the crockpot to almost cover the pork. Cook on high for 8 hours. Remove the broth and shred the pork. Add in raisins, sliced almonds, and blackened peppers. Serve in tacos or as a pork salad with salsa as the dressing. 

Thursday: Egg Drop Soup with Shredded Pork

The first time I tried Nom Nom Paleo's recipe for egg drop soup, I was amazed with how easy and delicious it was. This is a staple of mine for a quick and easy meal that is also pretty healthy. I add the shredded pork for some extra protein and more flavor. 

Friday: Steak and roasted veggies or Eating out :)

image via

Here is an example of giving myself grace for those long work days. I would love to grill some steaks and roast up a big batch of veggies but if I'm too tired to even think about cooking, we will most likely get sushi. Some days, the thought of cooking and then cleaning it all up, is just too much lol! :)

I would love to hear about what is on your menu for the week :) 

Weekend Recap {Mt. Laguna}

Happy Monday everyone! This is going up a little late today because I was up late last night working on my devotional for work. Oh man, it really stresses me out every year and then it ends up being fine. I don't know why I let it get to me so much lol. Anyways, let's jump into this weekend recap!

Mark in the garage with our pups :)

On Friday night we went to the Lot with some friends to see Kong. I wasn't super excited to see that particular movie but I never turn down an invite to the movie theater lol. I ended up LOVING the movie. If you're a skeptic at all, just go see it in theaters. I was super impressed with the entire thing. Plus, we had a great time hanging out with these new friends after the movie was over.

On Saturday, we went to a friend's house for a BBQ. It was very low key and just good girlfriend time. Just what I needed :) Plus I got to hold the cutest little bear in the whole world. Every baby needs one of these outfits!

They were jealous that their Dad smelled like another dog lol 

Sunday, came way too quickly with the time change. I had a horrible night's sleep so I was a disaster in the morning. Whoops lol. We ended up missing church and went up to Mt. Laguna to hike instead. This is something Mark has wanted to take me to do for quite some time. I'm so glad that we got to head up there! Although, I am suuuuuper sore today lol.

We finished our day with running errands and eating an early dinner at Fire+ Fly in Coronado. Pizza is the perfect way to finish any weekend, in my opinion lol :)

I hope you have a great week ahead of you!

Weekend Recap {Wedding fun}

Happy Tuesday everyone! I had a little bit of an extended weekend since we had a wedding up the coast on Sunday night. It was nice to not have to go into work after being out late. :) Plus my weekend was super busy, so I had an extra day to get things done.

On Friday, I helped a friend move into her new condo. I didn't do much but I was glad I could be there for moral support haha! Mark and I watched a movie that night and went to bed early. I was exhausted!

On Saturday, I helped a new business partner launch her business. It was so fun to meet her friends and family and to talk about some R+F goodies. I love sharing what we do!

We also got to meet our friends newest addition to their fam... Goose! He's seriously the cutest and such a puppy! We got him a dragon because it's Bentley's favorite toy.

We met up with Mark's cousins at Moonshine Flats and then went to Meze for dinner. It was a greek fusion place and wow it was good. I always have fun when we see Tracy and Michael and I'm glad we FINALLY got to go on a double date!

On Sunday, Mark and I road our bikes to Better Buzz and then got ready to head up to the hotel. We had quite the adventure during our drive and ended up off-roading for awhile. My jeep looked like a disaster afterwards but I guess that's what jeeps are for! We got up to the hotel with enough time to relax a little before we needed to great ready.

The wedding was absolutely beautiful but sadly I only took one picture the whole night. I didn't even get any of the bride and groom. UGH, I can't believe it! We had a great time though and pretty much danced our faces off lol. So fun!

On Monday morning, we got up early and headed out for breakfast. We found a random place on the way home and shared the most delicious crepe. YUM! The rest of the day was spent running a million errands, getting our cars washed, etc. I feel ready to tackle the week after the extra day off!

Have a great day!

On My Reading List

As you have probably guessed by now, I love to read. I am constantly on the lookout for new books to add to my list and I love getting recommendations from friends and other blogs. Here is what's currently on my must-read list. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Currently Reading:

I am still reading Rules of Civility and I just can't get into it. There are parts that I like and then I lose track of the characters and how we jumped from one time to the next. I have to go back and re-listen because it's on an audiobook. I do like the time period that it's set in and the fact that it's in New York is appealing as well. This book was recommended by several people but I just haven't loved it. I am almost done, so I will finish it. Does it get better at the end??

For the Love:
Since, I can't ever just read one book at a time lol, I am also reading this book. So far it's pretty good. Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

Best-selling author Jen Hatmaker is convinced life can be lovely and fun and courageous and kind. She reveals with humor and style how Jesus’ embarrassing grace is the key to dealing with life's biggest challenge: people. The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, go to church with, don’t like, don’t understand, fear, compare ourselves to, and judge. Jen knows how the squeeze of this life can make us competitive and judgmental, how we can lose love for others and then for ourselves. She reveals how to:
  • Break free of guilt and shame by dismantling the unattainable Pinterest life.
  • Learn to engage our culture’s controversial issues with a grace-first approach.
  • Be liberated to love and release the burden of always being right. 
  • Identify the tools you already have to develop real-life, all-in, know-my-junk-but-love-me-anyway friendships.
  • Escape our impossible standards for parenting and marriage by accepting the standard of “mostly good.”
  • Laugh your butt off.
In this raucous ride to freedom for modern women, Jen Hatmaker bares the refreshing wisdom, wry humor, no-nonsense faith, liberating insight, and fearless honesty that have made her beloved by women worldwide.

On My List:

This look so intriguing! I've heard that it's a page-turner, which I love. 

Here's the synopsis from Amazon:
Winifred Allen needs a vacation.

Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.

What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare: A freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.

With intimately observed characters, visceral prose, and pacing as ruthless as the river itself, The River at Night is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won’t soon forget.

Behind Closed Doors: 
This is another psychological thriller, shocker, I know!

The synopsis from Amazon:

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.
Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.
Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.

I follow Emily Ley on Instagram and I love her organization tips and tricks. Everything she posts is so calming and streamlined. My friend, Ashley, is reading this now and said that it's great. I can't wait to read it. 
The synopsis from Amazon:
 As a busy wife, new mother, business owner, and designer, Emily Ley came to a point when she suddenly realized she couldn’t do it all. She needed to simplify her life, organize her days, and prioritize the priorities. She decided to hold herself to a standard of grace rather than perfection. This mantra led to the creation of her bestselling Simplified Planner®, a favorite among busy women everywhere—from mamas to executives and everywhere in between.
Grace, Not Perfection takes this message from a daily planner to an inspirational book that encourages women to simplify and prioritize. Designed with Emily Ley’s signature aesthetic, this book gives women tangible ways to simplify their lives to give space to what matters most. With a focus on faith, Emily reminds readers that God abundantly pours out grace on us—and that surely we can extend grace to ourselves.
Have you been told you can have it all, only to end up exhausted and occasionally out of sorts with the people you love? Are you ready for a new way of seeing your time? Learn to live a little more simply. Hold yourself and those you love to a more life-giving standard in Grace Not Perfection,and allow that grace to seep into your days, your family, and your heart.

Season of Waiting

I truly feel that this season in our life is about waiting. My word for the year should have been patience lol but I also don't want to be patient any more. It's like the childish side of myself comes out and I just want to stomp my feet and throw a tantrum. Anyone else been there?? It's not helpful to react in that way or to react at all. I know this, but I still find those moments where I want to scream.

There are other times when I am so grateful for what we have. I am so grateful for the time spent together as husband and wife without kiddos around. I'm so thankful for the flexibility that allows for last minute plans and random nights out with friends. I look at my life and think, I am so blessed. I have incredible people around me, a husband who is literally the best, a job I love, a business that I am so passionate about, and I live in San Diego. How can I complain right?? But then, this feeling of something missing comes over me. I feel like there is a part of my life that hasn't started, even though I've wanted it to for so long. I wonder if that part will ever be filled or maybe it's just not in the cards for us. That feeling is so hard. It like a wave of hurt that just breaks my heart and it's painful to even type those words.

There are moments in prayer when I get so frustrated and just want to know why. Why is this our path? Why couldn't it just be easy like it is for so many? Or why couldn't things have worked when we found what the issue was/is and fixed it?? At the same time, I know that every single person has some struggle, whether they admit it or not. It may not be with trying to conceive, it may be with their marriage, job, family, lack of joy, etc. We all have something and I think it helps us connect to others to be able to relate.

I've actually reconnected with some many old friends and even met new friends by sharing this struggle. I've talked about this before, but bringing light to this darkness in my life, has been a good thing. People are so kind and just want you to know that they love you and are constantly thinking of you. The kindness and generosity makes me cry and thank the Lord for their compassionate hearts.

So, do we still desire to have a baby? Yes, more than anything. Do I still have hope that it will happen? Yes, every single day, even when I have those moments of hopelessness. We will just continue to wait and follow the path that the Lord has set before us. If you're also in this season, just know that there are people who are in the trenches with you. We get you, we pray for you, and we want things to change for you as well.