CURRENTLY LOVING

4.24.2017

Happy Monday y'all! It's been a while since I did a currently loving post, so I figured I'd share a few things that I've been really into lately.

Decorating
We've been in our house a little over 2 months, but I am truly taking my time pulling it together around here. I mean, we're obviously unpacked.. but this house is a little bigger than our previous homes, and the layout is a little quirky (at least in the living area), so it's taking some time. We've had to purchase a few different pieces of furniture, rugs, etc.. and we're definitely not in a hurry to get it all at once. I also have 1000 designs in my head for furniture for my hubby to build. New farmhouse table, benches, hutch, beds.. the list goes on. I'm so thankful that he loves woodworking as much as he does and that he also really wants to fill our home with custom pieces. I'm a lucky girl, for sure. ;)

 (Windmill and cotton garland: Hobby Lobby // Gray Shiplap: Home Depot)


 (Chairs & table: Wayfair // Rug: Target // Ladder: Amazon // Pillows & curtains: Walmart)

Tabby Ann's Boutique
If you follow me on social media, you know my love for all things Tabby Ann's Boutique - my best friend's small business. She specializes in boutique and personalized apparel, home decor and more. I have been a tad bit obsessed with seeing her be successful! I'm so impressed by the work that she puts in. I've been helping her out with her social media here and there but nothing compares to the one-woman-show that she is when it comes to designing and making her clothes/flags/towels/you name it. If you're looking for a trendy graphic tee, a Lilly Pulitzer inspired monogrammed tee, or family vacation shirts for Disney.. you have to check out Tabby Ann's. She ships all over, is super quick and affordable. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and check out her website! ♥ 



Rae Dunn
At first, I thought this should fall in with the decorating category mentioned above, but then I realized it's more collecting than decorating. I've never collected anything in my life.. until now. I've opened myself up to the world of Rae Dunn pottery and I am in love. Her pieces are typically only sold at TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Marshalls (unless you're buying from an upseller on eBay or somewhere..) and they are super cheap! The frustrating fun part is that most stores are always sold out of items and there are always different items in rotation, so it's literally like a scavenger hunt to find your favorite pieces. Add to that the fact that I only have Marshalls near me - like within hundreds of miles - my chances of scoring big aren't that great, but it's all good. Building a collection doesn't happen over night. My hubby is also super happy about this newfound interest, because forget flowers, jewelry, etc.. for only $3.99 he can make me the happiest girl in the world with a cute mug. Win-win!

(Rae Dunn: Marshalls // Shelf: Hobby Lobby // Wooden Pig: Fry's Grocery // Clock: Dollar General // Family Board: Target)


What are you currently loving? 
Let me know.. and find me on Instagram @chanitydawn -- help a sister out with rebuilding after a personal/blog split of accounts! ♥

LIFE LATELY

4.17.2017



In my last post, I mentioned catching y'all up on all of the changes that have happened over the course of the year that I was away from blogland, so here's the short and sweet version..








We Moved.


Not by choice, but because the Army said so. We moved from Tampa, FL to Yuma, AZ. The move wasn't easy, but then again I don't think they ever are. We were happier in Tampa than we've ever been. I had an amazing job, we had an amazing church family, and amazing friends.. like - the best friends.. but such is military life. It was time for our 'see you later'. Of course, as long as we're together, it always works out.


We've been here almost 3 months now and it's finally starting to feel like home. A friend that was born and raised in AZ told me when we got here that we were in God's Country now. Of course, initially I thought... yeah right! We're in the middle of nowhere! But, I swear this place gets more and more beautiful each day. So, shoutout to you KP! You just may be right afterall. ;)


Accounting → Marketing


I changed my major from Business Admin./Accounting to Business Admin./Marketing. I had a come to Jesus moment with myself when I realized that the thought of having a job in the accounting world, post degree, sounded miserable to me. I'm not naive to the fact that many people in the world have jobs that they find miserable, but I'm realistic in realizing that if that's what I'm going for, I don't need to spend a ridiculous amount of time and energy away from my family going to school to get a job I hate. I can do that without a degree. So, if I'm going to continue to go to school, it's going to be for something that I want.


Anyway, I spend lots of my free time running social media accounts, whether my own personal accounts, blogging accounts, or helping out my girl with her boutique business accounts/website - so clearly, it's something that interests me. It's also the way of the world. Advertising is digital these days. There will never not be a job for something like digital marketing. So, again, another shoutout to my ride-or-die for putting all of that into perspective for me and helping me realize where my strengths lie when I'm having days of 'I still don't know what I want to do'.


Random.


Other than that, things are pretty much the same. I am still into all things DIY, home decor, organizing, etc.. and have been enjoying taking my time decorating this AZ-style home little by little.


It's not my dream home, but it's definitely the nicest house we've lived in on a military base, so for that I am super grateful. One day I'll have my little farmhouse in small town USA, but until then.. I'll be over here farmhouse frontin', ha!





That's all folks. Thanks for catching up with me!

xo

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY

4.03.2017

what.a.blogging.hiatus.

It's been almost a year since my last post, y'all. I can't pinpoint exactly what happened, but somewhere around the holidays in 2015 I started to feel uninspired. Every time I thought about blogging I felt defeated. 



If you have followed my journey, you probably saw the nearly-year long hiatus coming when I wrote --this post--. I mentioned how so-called blogging mentors/coaches are always preaching about writing for Pinterest. If you're not a blogger and haven't thought about it from this point of view, it's actually intriguing. When you're on Pinterest and you click on a pin that opens up into a new page, chances are extremely high that post is directing you to someone's blog or website. Any blog post on my page can be pinned to Pinterest. Same goes for anyone else's blog posts. So, in essence, blog posts are a major contributor to the world of Pinterest. (Fun fact: In the almost-year I've been away from blogging, my stats continue to say that I get daily traffic even without me promoting a single post. Guess where from... yep. Pinterest.)  

But enough about Pinterest. It's an example I use, but really it includes any method of sharing your posts. The idea is that you're supposed to give people something they need. A recipe. A DIY post. A list of life hacks. SOMEthing that makes people want to share it with others. No one wants to share your post about what you did over the weekend or how you're overwhelmed with life. I get it. It makes sense. But that way of thinking had driven me to a place where I over analyzed every single post I drafted, and eventually never posted.

So long story short, I started feeling pressure to change my writing and, as a result, I pushed it away altogether. Something wouldn't let me let this space go, though. I renewed my .com, I checked my stats, I kept making sure my links were working and I tried to stay active on social media as much as I could. My little corner of the web draws me in, even though I don't know what direction I want to go with it. I guess that's the beauty in writing. I don't need to have a game plan. I just need to do it because it's what makes me happy.

SO much has happened while I was MIA, but that's another post for another day. For now, thank you for hanging in there with me and I can't wait to get back on the blogging train. 

xo

LIFE LATELY

4.27.2016



Man, did I ever miss this blank space on my little corner of the internet. So many things have been going on, but I haven't been able to sit down and put it all in words.

It's a little ironic that in my last post, I mentioned that blogging more was a goal of mine this year. That post was written on my birthday, (March 3) and I have been totally MIA since. Really Chanity? *eye roll*

Soooo, to catch up..

THE GOOD

My baby girl turned 3 years old on 3/12! Where did the time go?!



Mama got a new car. My Altima finally bit the dust after 10 years, right after we paid off Houston's truck. The timing was crazy, but I'm thankful it worked out that way.



We took a week-long trip to North Carolina to visit our families. It was much-needed and we really had a good time. 





My ride-or-die got her hubby back! (And Ella got her buddy back!) After a long 6 months of deployment, our good friends were a complete family again. You wouldn't believe everything she went through in that period of time even if I told you, it was crazy. I'm glad her other half is home now. There's nothing better than a homecoming.♥


THE NOT-SO-GOOD

We have been on an emotional roller coaster since our trip back to NC. One of our grandparents isn't doing too well at all, so we have that in the back of our minds along with figuring out the best way to explain death to our children when the time comes. While we hope for many more years with this person, we don't know God's plan. All we can do is pray for comfort.

---

I registered for classes (start date, NEXT MONDAY. AHH!) and received my books in the mail. This is really happening. And while going to school to get my degree is a GOOD thing, I'm throwing this one in the not-so-good category for now because let's be real, I'm not looking forward to it.

---

My anxiety has been on a whole other level lately. It's not something I speak of often. I don't like to feel like a burden to others, or to come across as wanting attention. I am the QUEEN of acting like I'm ok and everything is fine for days, sometimes weeks until I explode. And in my case, 'exploding' means uncontrollably crying alone with what seems like an elephant on my chest for a while and then dusting myself off like nothing happened. Luckily, I seem to have enough control over the situation to make sure I fall apart (for lack of better words) when I'm alone and not in the middle of hands-on mama duties, teaching one of my classes at church, etc. 

After discussing these episodes more in detail with my doctor, I was informed that I am actually experiencing panic attacks. I see her biweekly and she has been helping to educate me and help me gain more control over my symptoms. More often than not, I have a drowning feeling all day. I do my best to keep my head above water. I have a lot going on, but refuse to complain because somewhere, someone has it harder. I try to stay mindful of the fact that there are people who would kill for my 'bad days'. 

---

Whew. So that's it. That's basically my life for the past 2 months. It definitely felt good to get it all out. I've missed my creative space. Here's hoping I can find time to break away more often and get a little more blog therapy in. ;)

What's something you find therapeutic?


28 GOALS FOR 28

3.03.2016

"So your birthday is tomorrow. What is your goal for this year?" -- My sweet friend asked me this question yesterday and it really made me think! She is a very goal-driven person, which is something I really admire.. but I've never thought to set goals for myself for each year. With her question as motivation, I decided set 28 goals for my 28th year of life. Here we go!



1. Be more present with my kids. (Translation: PUT THE PHONE DOWN.)

2. Be better with time management.

3. Go to the beach more.. it's probably our last year in Florida!

4. Watch all bajillion seasons of Grey's Anatomy.

5. Wash my makeup off, every.single.night.

6. Cook more.

7. Make photo albums, with real photos.. not a printed book. 

8. Keep up with my hair/highlights. No more going 3 years in between haircuts!

9. Pray with more specific intent.

10. Upcycle more free/cheap furniture to work on my painting skills.

11. Blog more. (Storyofmylife)

12. Say NO more often to things that stress me out. 

13. Read at least a few books, other than my text books. 

14. Build my subscriber list. Wanna help? Sign up on the sidebar below my photo for weekly emails. ;)

15. Christmas shop early. 

16. Window shop for a new Mommy-mobile. It's almost time for an upgrade!

17. Have more family game nights.

18. Go to the doctor. Get a physical. Ugh. The grownup stuff I hate.

19. Start the Couch to 5K program. 

20. Make family dinners at the table more of a priority. 

21. Write more 'thank you' cards.

22. Drink way more water.

23. Read to my kids more.

24. Plan date nights - in or out of the house - for Houston & I.

25. Complete school assignments before the day they are due!

26. Learn everything about the stupid expensive camera that I rarely use. And then USE it. 

27. Hang out with my friends (let's be honest, friend. singular. haha!) more often. She's pretty amazing.

28. Keep growing my social platforms to benefit my blog. I mean, you could help there too if you really wanna ;) Social links are above my photo on the sidebar.



So that's it! Here's to being 28 and goal oriented!

YOU'RE ALREADY A GOOD MOM

2.24.2016


This quote gets me through more days than I would like to admit. Parenting doesn't come with a handbook and no one has all of the right answers. Some days I think I have it together, but then I think to myself, 'Am I really a good mom? Am I doing everything I can to raise good human beings?

My kids are good kids, but I want to make sure they become good teenagers, good adults. I want them to be loving, understanding and compassionate. I want them to be strong, confident and independent. What mom doesn't want that for her kids, right? 

Not only do I want to raise good kids, I want to raise responsible kids. One of my favorite podcasts, Focus On The Family, recently aired an episode on this topic and it really spoke to me. 



They talked about how society has made it the norm that you should pave the path for your kid instead of your kid for the path, which breeds a sense of entitlement. We give them everything and more, and while there is nothing wrong with wanting to give your kids the world, I believe that should also come with a level of responsibility

Responsibility is something I am starting to take more seriously around here. My kids have never really had a list of chores, but I do expect them to clean up after themselves. I am now upping the ante with Ayden, (7). He is beyond capable of cleaning up the toilet that he pees all over, taking out the trash, helping with his laundry, etc. I want him to know how to do basic, everyday chores - life skills! We are even going to break it down for Ella on a 2 year old level somehow. She loves to clean right now, so I'm taking full advantage! ;)

I want them to know that while I don't mind spoiling them to an extent, (because let's be honest.. they are spoiled), I expect them to take care of their responsibilities around the house and be good people. That's not too much to ask, I don't think!

I really find peace in the 'you're already a good mom' quote above. I'm not perfect. I don't have it all together. My kids are not perfect. But we are all trying. I've started to really think twice about if what I am teaching my kids is paving them for the path, and not paving the path for them.

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