I travel the world and am truly amazed with the sights, cultures, and people but in my eyes there is no place like home.

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30 December 2014

Best Moments of 2014


 
 
Looking back 2014 was an interesting year. Without a doubt full of a few very very memorable adventures.  I figured I would highlight my favorite memory of the year for a fun little recap and reminder that life is great and I am blessed. However, I couldn’t pick just one as two adventures stood out so I’ll highlight my top two.







 

 
Mission Trip to Mali. I’ve always dreamed of traveling to Africa. I will admit I always claimed I would travel to Africa for my honeymoon – well that obviously isn’t happening anytime soon. Instead I was able to do something event better. I traveled to Africa with a team from my church on a mission trip. We went to Mali to inoculate animals and spread God’s love and gospel. What an amazing trip full of adventure, love, new friendships, and spiritual enrichment. I for sure fell in love with Africa and it’s people and can’t wait to return again one day soon.
 

 

Buying a home in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Another dream of mine was to own a home on the beach somewhere tropic. I always used to think Mexico but then feel crazy in love with this funky little gorgeous island of Vieques. I can say with much excitement that dream of island home ownership was made possible this past year when my parents and I bought a little shack. Ok it’s certainly not a shack it’s a cute little tow bedroom home nestled in a jungle of sorts. It’s not a sprawling mansion on the ocean but its only a few blocks away and perfect. I without a doubt feel blessed and love knowing  I can escape whenever I fancy to this laid back island of beauty warmth and endless turquoise waters.













 

Of course these are only two of the many many amazing things that happened this last year. I am surrounded by a strong loving family and a great group of friends and colleagues. There are so many everyday life moments that deserve celebrating. Plus I took several more amazing trips such as New York City, Las Vegas, and Canada. But if I start listing every great moment of 2014 I’ll be here for days and you will be bored. So instead you get the top two. I also won’t pretend life is perfect, 2014 had it’s fair share of bumps in the road, but I choose to look on the bright side and only focus on the positive. Here’s to hoping 2015 is just as great if not better!

 
 

24 December 2014

Wishing you a VERY Merry Christmas

 
 
Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas. I hope you take time to reflect this Christmas season on the joy and true meaning of the holiday. I can't wait to kick off the celebrations tonight with a White Christmas themed Christmas Eve service at Christ Community. I feel so very blessed to be surrounded by ones I love this holiday season and will never take this for granted. To those of you who aren't able to spend Christams with your family my thoughts will be with you.
 




22 December 2014

Adding a Little Christmas Cheer to the Country Shack


 
My dad and brothers actually built this adorable country shack years ago as a “playhouse” of sorts. Now that it’s all fixed up and habitable we thought it would be fun to spend Christmas eve cozied up inside by the fire watching movies.
 
I decided this warranted a few decorations to make the shack more festive. Luckily there are an abundance of cedar trees growing wild that I was able to snip some branches off, plenty of pines to gather cones from, and discounted poinsettias at the store.

I might still add a tree or string of lights but we are close to ready for a snuggly Christmas Eve movie night after the Christmas Service.

21 December 2014

Feliz Navidad from Vieques


The local nursery was full of poinsettias which was a fun surprise. So I of course added a few to our house for the time we were on the island. A touch of Christmas in the tropics.
 


One house stood out as without a doubt the best dressed holiday island house.


And I decided to be super cheesy and do a holiday photo shoot of sorts on the beach. My mom made this awesome Santa hat so figured why not have a little fun with it.



 

20 December 2014

Las Iguanas Before Rennovations



I spent about six hours cleaning our new Beach shack like a crazy person before my parents arrived. It is amazing what a lot of elbow grease and Clorox can do to spruce a place up. The few fun new bright clean accessories I brought along helped as well.



Fresh flowers and fun new furniture help as well. I made several trips to the local plant store and smuggled a piece of Ikea furniture over in my luggage


 


I also ditched some very dirty dingy rugs and heavy curtains.




Towards the end of the week we got our new Woodstock coffee table. It adds a fun pop of color plus was made locally which I like.



We have a LONG ways to go but it already looks brighter and felt cleaner than our last visit. Can't wait to show after photos and entice many of you to rent our little island gem for a week.

Next on the list is new windows, new paint, a whole new bathroom, new covers for the couch/chairs, new pillows, curtains, and some unfun improvements such as roof fixing and a parking area.

05 December 2014

Welcoming December with a Holiday Porch

 


I have all kinds of outdoor d├ęcor but decided to mix it up this year and go simple with burlap and a few splashes of red. I never do red but loved the fun Merry Christmas burlap I stumbled upon during a quick Wal-mart shopping excursion. Next thing I knew I had material to whip together a few pillows, red ornaments, and burlap for the greens. My resourceful brother grabbed me all the fresh greens for free from the place he bought my tree for indoor.



I still need to finish the front urns, add some garland, sweep the dirt off the porch (keeping it real), and a holiday door mat but it feels festive and fun when I come home so overall I would call it a win. Now I just need the sun to shine so I can capture the indoor festiveness.




I am on a bit of a pillow making kick lately. It’s such an easy, fast, inexpensive way to spruce up a space. I made three pillows in less than an hour for under $12 total. Granted they are less than perfect, but if I took a smidge more time they could look even better.


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