new cruiser

I'm pretty sure I've had the same bike since the 90s. My parents bought it for me when we lived in California and I have never wanted to spend lots of money to replace it. While it has lasted me well over the years, Brian found me lusting after the new cruiser bikes on more than one occasion. To my disbelief he surprised me this year with this little beauty.

I've always dreamed of having a classic mint blue bike with a little white basket. So excited to accessorize it!!

Just wanted to jump back into the blogging world with a quick little hello. It's been a whirlwind of a summer, lets home things are settling down again so I can spend more time here. Up next, an update on our busy summer! Hope yours has been wonderful too!!


project cleanse: clean foods

clean out our fridge & bodies, replacing them with clean foods

Over the past few weeks my hubby & I have been trying to detoxify our bodies. We have both been doing our research and really looking at the food we put in our bodies. We made a step into the organic world this month with purchasing a "1/2 farmers bundle" from a local farm.

Here is what our bundle included:
1 whole free range chicken
3 lb boston pork roast
1 lb pork sausage
1/2 lb pork links
4 pork chops
1 lb bacon
3 lb beef roast
5 lbs ground beef
4 steaks
18 brown eggs from free range hens

This is the Sunshine Harvest Farm's website if you are interested.

We have also been striving to make better dairy & produce chooses. When it comes to dairy we have been purchasing a container of greek yogurt along with a container of vanilla yogurt {that has no fake sugar} and mixing them together with fruit. With produce we are trying to bye organic if the fruit/veggie doesn't have a outer skin {ex. apples, peppers, carrots} since there is no barrier against the pesticides. These are just a few of the 1st steps we are making to lead a healthier lifestyle.

We are certainly learning when it comes to clean foods, but are loving fueling our bodies with good sources of energy. I'm thinking about making this into some sort of series on my blog. What do you think?


one word wednesday: today

Today I caught my first fish, well the first fish that I can ever remember catching. Of course in true "Emily fashion" I started squealing & screaming as I reeled it in. It flopped it's way off the hook right into our boat and again the squealing started. My hubby finally got a hold of it and I managed to snap a shot.

And here she is. Or maybe he, not so sure about that.

You will notice those aren't my hands holding that cute little fish.

Growing up I wasn't raised around lakes where people learned to fish when they were 3. I think I had a plastic Elmo fishing rod when I was little, but never caught anything. Even when I was a counselor at came I went on the fishing trips with the kids. Kids all around me would be catching sunnies left and right, but me...nope. Not a one.

I won't bate my hooks with leaches or worms because to be completely honest, it grosses me out. My husband will never understand how I can deal with cleaning people's infected wounds at work but I can't deal with touching a fish. Maybe the reason is because working in the medical field is my job. I do not have to grab the slimy fish or skewer worms on a hook.

That's what my husband is for, right? I'm sure I will get the hang of it eventually. Maybe

P.S. After the fish was happily back in the water I looked around to see if anyone else was catching fish only to see 3 middle aged men laughing at my girly tendencies. I guess I did scream a little loud, oops!!

Join in next week on one-word-wednesday with the theme word: reflection.


flowers & herbs

We {my hubby + myself} took a trip to a local greenhouse and after spending some time walking through the warm isles, we settles on 9 new plants to take home. Even though we don't have our own backyard/garden for planting my hubby and I have been obsessing about picking out some yummy herbs.We are taking full advantage of our little porch and enjoying our little slice of heaven with some new potted plants.

These are the herbs we picked out:

We also picked out a hanging basket of little periwinkle flowers. I'm not the best at remembering the names, unlike my mom & grandma who never cease to amaze me with their knowledge of flowers.

I never got a chance to post this as a follow up from the one-word-wednesday from last week. Project certainly was a perfect word considering the task we took on that weekend!!


project cleanse: bedroom closet

organize & clean our bedroom closet

We enjoyed a crazy weekend that made it impossible to progress on my project cleanse, but I'm back again with a cleaner bedroom closet. For the past few weeks {more like months if I'm being perfectly honest} I have been wanting to switch out my thick cozy sweaters & warm boots for floral skirts & bright flip-flops. The weather has not been cooperating how we would like it to be. This time of year we are supposed to have blue skies, warm sunshine beating down with us, and our boats in the water. This spring has been a different story, but we are finally getting some warmer temperatures. We certainly did break the record books this year, and not in a good way.

I am somewhat on the tall side, but I'm not quite tall enough for the shelves in our bedroom closet. To prevent me from just throwing various items on the top shelf, I used two clear containers to I could still see that was in them. It makes organization much better when there really is no excuse to make a mess of my closet anymore. On the second shelf I got 2 more linen baskets {same as the ones for the hall closet}and labeled them with jeans & sweats.

Finally there are some spring clothes in my closet. I did the whole switch-a-roo and put away my winter clothes to make room for my summer ones. I don't care that it might dip back down in temp a little, but I am determined to start wearing florals and bright colors again.


one word wednesday: growth

Welcome back to another wednesday. There is certainly some growth around here in regards to our boat docks. Even though our docks went in a little late, people around here aren't wasting any time adding their boat to the newly set docks.

The lovely ladies Jenna & Briana featured my OWW picture from last week on their creative blogs. Join in on the fun next week....the word for next wednesday is "today".


marriage update: 7 months

In so many ways, as newlyweds, we are immensely rich.

We are rich in our new growing love for each other.
We are rich with the Lord at the center of our marriage.
We are rich with such a caring family around us.

In one other way we aren't as rich, but in reality that is the least important way we can be rich. Even though our bank accounts aren't overflowing, it makes us appreciate all that we really do have. It also helps us to budget and make the most of what the Lord has given us. Here are our 7 tips for a household that may be a little strapped for extra spending money.

Check-over before you check-out
I learned this trick from a girlfriend a few years ago: before you check out, look over what you are about to purchase and take out at least 1 item that you can live without. I am a total culprit of being an impulse buyer. I see something cute, add it to my purchases and before I know it, I'm spending $35 dollars on home decor that I can create myself with a little time on pintrest and the right supplies.

A budget app
My husband and I tried out quite a few different apps to help keep our budget on track. Keeping track on paper just wasn't practical for us since we are on the go so much. We also needed an app that we could both use on our separate phones and after lots of looking we found HomeBudget. The first month or so is free so you can try it out to see if it works for you, but unfortunately it’s a $5.99 charge to buy it. For us {who never buy apps} it was an investment that was well worth the $6 buckaroos. For some of the budget apps we found you had to link it up with your bank account and we didn't feel comfortable with that. With HomeBudget you can just punch in what your accounts have in them instead of giving out your bank access. The app really makes us pause and think about what we are purchasing since we have to record each expense.

Talk about everything
We have made a rule to talk about all big expenses. Anything over $100 we check with the other, This prevents us from splurging on items that aren't really necessary.

Play off credit cards & debt asap
Credit cards are terrible for accruing interest. That is where they really get you. Even though paying them off can take a chunk of your savings, in the long run it will save you money since you won't have to pay all the extra interest on top of your payments. Besides I would much rather use the money we were spending from interest on something fun that my hubby and I can both enjoy!

Buy in bulk
Whether it’s garbage bags or baking supplies, I love to buy in bulk. This is somewhat of a new concept for my hubby considering before we got married he would run to the store about every other day and get a few groceries here and there. I am much more of a make-one-trip-a-week, and make-it-count type of shopper. In the long run it saves more money because you don’t make as many impulse buys, and {as I said before} that is a weakness for B & I.

There are so many resources out there for doing-it-yourself projects. There is everything from recipes for making your own laundry soap & cleaning supplies to countless ways for recycling everyday items. It can be a time consumer, but I can't even count how many times I have heard "Oh, I found this idea on pintrest." You can check out my page here.

Find good deals at the grocery store
We love our trips to ALDI, now don’t judge if you have never been cuz you can find some great deals. I might not get raw meats there, and I’m a little picky when looking at the product but for the most part it’s such a good deal. The popsicles, frozen fish, veggie chips, and pastas are just a few of our faves from there. Another staple store for us is target. I love looking through the Sunday adds and clipping coupons, but I sometimes get annoyed with the hassle of making sure they don't expire and keeping track of which ones I even have. This is why I love target with it's consistently low prices. We still love hitting the grocery stores for their good deals, but don't more frequently make our trips to target & ALDI, and an occasional Trader Joes run.

So there are a few ways we have kept our spending in check. It's a good strengthener for our marriage, and even a fun opportunity to reward ourselves when we come in under budget.


one word wednesday: project

PROJECT certainly was the perfect word for this weekend. We had a splendid time picking out our new plants for our porch. We decided to expand our herb garden this year, and add a few more. Today I'm just sharing a snap shop of our project, but soon I will share all that we planted. There is nothing like fresh herbs from your own garden.

So excited to see our plants grow & thrive. Next week's word is GROWTH!!


project cleanse: apartment clutter

clear out our apartment of clutter

Spring is finally here, for good this time fingers crossed. I have felt that 'spring fever' for the past few weeks well lets face it months, but it’s hard to act on it with this winter weather we have been experiencing. Finally we are getting some consistent spring temps, and even summer temps tomorrow with the temperature in the 80s. It seems like a life time ago that the 80s were in our weather forecast.

With this spring weather I have been in a mood to clean out our place and rid it of extra clutter. I see some trip to goodwill in our not so distant future. There is nothing better then a clean house that smells fresh with new spring air.

Even if the temps are still a little low and you can’t open the windows to let in the fresh air, you can still have that fresh spring-breeze smell. I have always been a fan of candles, but after a whole winter season of burning them I am in the mood for something a little more fresh.

Before the temps started to rise I took a trip to B&B Works and made a few purchases that instantly made our apartment feel fresh, and not like we've been breathing the same stale air for the past 6 months. I got a few of their wallflower air fresheners for our bedroom & family room in scents like, fresh cotton, blooming lilac, green grass, peach bellini and first bloom.

Another reason for having a small place when you first get married: it only takes 2 good air fresheners to make our place smell like spring has blossomed.

So if you are still waiting for those spring temps to find you, you can make your home feel like spring has blossomed.

Next week...it's spring time for our bedroom closet.


one word wednesday: pink

If you haven't already seen this new photo adventure taking place, it's called one word wednesday. It's all about finding the wonderful inspirational moments of a normal day. This was created by the lovely Leslie over at my happily ever after along with 5 other lovely ladies. They have invited us to join along, so I am inviting you as well. Even if you don't have a blog, instagram it, tweet it, post it and join in on this inspiration.

This week the theme word is pink.

PINK. There aren't too many jobs that you can wear hot pink pants with a pink floral top and not get funny looks. Working in the medical field certainly has is't bonuses. I certainly tend to embrace color when it comes to my scub outfits, and why not?

Spring is here after all, lets celebrate it!!

Next week's word: project


project cleanse: hall closet

organize our hall closet

Organization makes me a happy girl. I feel more relaxed and way more on top of my game when the 
things around me are organized. Ever since I moved in with my hubby 6 months ago, we have been filling up our hall closets, and even though they span the length of our hallway, we still have managed to fill them full. I spend too much time jumping up and down to try to get a better look at what’s really on them, and I end up pulling down a whole shelf’s content to see what is all up there. This had to end.

I first emptied the entire content onto our family room floor. I decided on what type of storage would work best for us and I measured the shelves, estimating how many storage baskets we would need. I don’t know about you, but when I can make something both organized & cute, I am all for it. I sped off to one of my favorite stores {The Container Store} and was instantly in ‘organization heaven’. I picked out these gems and labeled then to match the content of our closet. What do you think?!

There is just something so satisfying about opening up our closets, seeing everything organized in it's own place, and enjoying the benefit of it being cute while also being functional.

Next week, I rid our apartment of clutter.


project cleanse: bathroom cabinet

minimize the products in my bathroom cabinet

If you didn't see the introduction/game plan for my new 'project cleanse', check it out here.

It’s no secret that I love trying new products, make-up trends, and enjoy testing out new finds. With that, I also have sensitive skin so not every product will work well with my skin type. Over the past few years I have accumulated quite a cabinet of make-up, skin care, and body products, but I hadn't really noticed until I moved from an expansive bathroom to a more modest room with ½ the amount of storage. In all honesty, it was the best thing to help my growing product collection.

On November 26th, I decided to take a stand and not allow myself to purchase any new products until I used up at least 20 products from my cabinet. This would include everything from body lotion & face wash to nail polish & hair products…. It really made me focus on what I have and clean out what I don’t use.

I utilized an app called Wunderlist to keep track of everything. I could have kept track on a piece of paper, but paper lists always seem to get lost in my life.

In the end, it took me almost 4 months to complete my 20+ list of emptied products and I have to say it really makes me think when I want to purchase a new nail polish or face cream. I ask myself: first, do I really need this, second, do I have any other products similar to it {making it unnecessary} and third, how long will it take me to use it up. These steps have really helped me to minimize the products in my bathroom cabinet, and also helped with my budget.

Now I have room for more right? Just kidding

Next week...I attack our hall closet.


our wedding: part 2

After our photo opt at the apple orchard the wedding party headed off to the church. We had a little time to relax and refresh before the big event.

Surprisingly I didn't get too weepy on our wedding, but in this moment {pictured below} I couldn't hold it in. As I stood there looking at the wide empty church where I would be entering in an hour to be joined together with B, I lost it. I welled up with tears knowing what would be coming next: me & my dad taking the final walk before I became a wife. Oh, boy I still get teary just thinking about that...hold it together Emily!

If a picture says a thousand words, then these 2 pictures say about four thousand words. I loved that our photographer managed to catch this lovely moment of my dad taking a few minutes out of the crazy day to soak it all up.

There must be a dozen pictures of me & my sister making this pose. From age 2 till 22, we still do the same pose.

I just love the smirk on Brian's face here. When walking up the isle on the arm of my dad, all I could see was Brian. I knew I wouldn't be able to look away from him or I would loose it. And sure enough I took one quick glace at his mom who {who was right behind B} and my eyes instantly filled with tears.

It was also such a wonderful addition to have the pastor who baptized me as a baby, be the pastor at our wedding.

There is something magical about this picture that seems to transport me right back into that moment. We felt so overwhelmed with love from everyone around us. 

Coming up next: the reception...


project cleanse

{just including a picture from last year's spring season. maybe this will inspire us to keep looking ahead,
seeing as though we haven't seen a hint of spring yet}

I have too many things for a 1 bedroom apartment. I think know my husband would agree with that statement, so I have decided to do something about it. A few months ago I set a goal for myself to clean out my life. It seems that our society is a little too focused on material things and we sometimes get too caught up in having the latest technology, or a closet filled to the brim with clothes that hardly see the daylight {just speaking for myself there}.

I decided that instead of just talking the talk, I would walk the walk, do the work and enjoy the benefits. Here is what I will be doing to cleanse my life and do some major spring cleaning:

This is a 6 part series {I might not go in this order} but you will see me go through them all, one each week
1. minimize the products in my bathroom cabinet
2. clear out our apartment of clutter
3. organize our hall closet
4. clean out our fridge & bodies, replacing them with clean foods
5. organize & clean our bedroom closet
6. go as el natural as possible

Can you tell that I am one of those total 'spring cleaning' sorts of people. There's nothing better that opening up the windows, clearing out the stale winter air, and cleaning out the cobwebs from our lives.

So every week I will share one cleansing project with you! Hope you hop on for the ride!

Are you a spring cleaner? Let me know what you do to cleanse your life.


Blessed Easter

He is risen from the grave and we are now free.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter celebration with your families.


our wedding: part 1

It only took a few weeks for us to realize that we were the perfect fit. In each other we found a best friend, someone to lean on when things get challenging, a supply of constant laughs, a loving partner,  and ultimately a spouse.

After a whirlwind romance of dating, Brian popped the question and I started planning our wedding. The planning process of our wedding was a labor of love. I spent countless hours getting ideas, planning out projects, shopping for materials, and many days creating our day of bliss. I can't say enough that I loved every minute of it. Well, there might have been a little stress involved {wink-wink}, but it was what I always dreamed of doing. I enjoyed living out my fantasies of having a sparkler send off and walking down the isle to a song that I heard in the 9th grade and instantly knew that would be the song.

On October 19 2012, my husband and I were joined together to become husband & wife. We had a magical day filled with unforgettable moments & emotional tears. I am so excited to be sharing some of our captured moments with you.

For today I am going to share some of our pre-wedding pictures. B & I were blessed enough to have an amazing photographer Rebecca, on our special day. It was so nice to previously know our photographer and be so comfortalbe with her. Another tip: make sure you and your photographer are on the same page, it will make the day go by without a hitch!

We decided to forgo many of the formal wedding traditions. There was no way we would be able to wait till the ceremony to see each other, and besides I wanted to take some pictures in a beautiful setting. Me and my girls got ready at my parents house. I slipped into my dress with the help of my mom & sister {and trust me I needed the help}, and all together the girls got to see me for the first time.

Brian & his boys joined the scene mid-morning and my mom slipped a blindfold over his eyes so he could sneak a peak. Near my parent's house there is a beautiful field where we decided to have our first look pictures. It was a magical moment that I would suggest to any bride!! Take the time to have a special moment with just you 2 {and your photographer of course} because that may be the only uninterrupted time you get all day.

The wedding party ventured out to a local apple orchard where our lovely photographer snapped some breathtaking shots. Even though it was a little on the chilly side, the girls were troopers and we had a blast. We even heard a few funny 'Brian as a little boy' stories from his sister.

I got to live out the fantasy not only of a dream wedding, but the man of my dreams. Cheesy I know, but I never thought such a fairy tale like this could exist.

Coming up next: the ceremony & reception....
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