Tuesday, August 14, 2012

HBD Aaron!

Happy 32nd to my wonderful hubs (a day late)!  There are oh-so-many reasons that I love him.  Yesterday, like most days, I got to add one to the list when he brought me a sweater when I was freezing in a staff development.  So considerate!  And now I seem like the world's neediest wife, but I swear it was that cold.  We got to have a fun and fancy date and went out to the Ritz to eat at Fearings.  Luckily, it's Restaurant Week, so the price was right.  Unluckily, I forgot to take a picture, so this one will have to do.

Love you bubs!  Here's to many more!

Friday, August 10, 2012

5 smiles

Five things that are making me smile on this Friday afternoon...

Margarita cupcakes...delicious! We used these to celebrate Marlowe with a happy hour bridal shower!

 New shoes from Target that are oh-so-cute and perfect for back to school!

Book I am reading right now in a women's Bible study...I would recommend to ANY woman who struggles with worry, anxiety, self-worth, and/or contentment.  This book is a true gift from above for me!

New orange Stella and Dot necklace I am obsessing over and finding Fall outfits to wear it with!
Finally printing a few wedding photos and having this one sitting at my desk at home right where I can see it.

:) Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

July in a nutshell

We've been busy this month!  Our big news this month is that we both found out that we are changing jobs!  Aaron recently started a new job and he will be working from HOME!  He will be traveling a lot more, but he doesn't have to drive to Arlington every day anymore, and I will get to see him more when he is here.  I found out that I will be a reading specialist for Thurgood Marshall Elementary next year - right down the road from Skyview!  I am really excited to get started!  Here is the rest of the month in a nutshell...

We celebrated Brinley's upcoming arrival with Kim's Dr. Seuss baby shower!

We went to Galveston for the 4th of July with the Martins, McAdams, and Westbrooks.  We got an awesome condo, and had a blast!

We spent 8 hours at Northpark waiting in line and seeing the new Batman movie at midnight.  We are getting a little old to be able to stay up that late (ha!), but it was actually a really fun night!

We went to Gruene for the weekend to celebrate Carter's 30th birthday! We had a blast floating the river, eating at the Gristmill, and taking another road trip with the McAdams!

I got to go to Houston for Sarah's bachelorette party!  We had a blast staying at Hotel Icon and going out in midtown.  Always so happy to see my 707b girls - we missed you Adi!

And we have cheered on the Rangers each chance we get - we get to watch pretty much every game and even though they are going through somewhat of a slump, we are super hopeful for October!

I have tried to keep busy with other things too - I took a week to completely clean and decorate our house while Aaron was in Colorado for training.  It was a huge project, but so nice to keep me busy while he was away.  I try to get to Camp Gladiator every weekday - that has been a huge blessing to me this summer.  I haven't lost any weight (still need to get the eating part of dieting down), but I feel like I am in much better shape than I started in this summer, and I know it is always easier for me to eat better when I am on a set schedule (school year).  And a side note - I plan on bringing back the Biggest Loser blogging recaps when the new season starts in January.  That was always motivating for me!  Thanks for reading, friends!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kim's baby shower

Well, it's been exactly a month since I have updated this blog.  You'd think I would have time since it's summer, and the truth is I do, but I was being pretty lazy about it.  I'm back now.

On July 1, we threw a baby shower for Aaron's sister Kim.  She is due in August - and we are so excited to be meeting our first niece so soon!  We are very blessed to have our first nephew and niece born in the same summer - it's been really fun.  The shower's theme was Dr. Seuss, which luckily has tons of ideas on Pinterest, Etsy, and blogs that it was really pretty easy to put together.  The idea was that we would think of foods to match books and set up the books on the food table.  It really turned out cute, and we were so happy to celebrate Brinley Elizabeth's upcoming arrival. 

Disclaimer:  I really can't take credit for any of the ideas on here - I copied basically everything, so it's really only half creative. ha!  And let me just say that Etsy is the BEST for those of us who know nothing about graphic design.  The invitations came in PDF format, with all these extra printables that we could use.  Easy!

Oh, The Places You'll Go cookies (really easy to make - and fun!)

Popcorn for Hop on Pop (was trying to tie pink into the shower somehow)

Not a great pic, but "Thing 1 and Thing 2" cupcakes and "Truffula Tree" punch (totally made that up to incorporate The Lorax)
Green Eggs and Ham
Ribbon topiaries for the table decor
And there it is!  I have no people pictures because Aaron was taking pictures with Kim's camera, and I thought it was mine, so these are just the details.  It was a great shower, and now we are just waiting on that little girl to arrive!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pinterest Recap 1 - Recipe Edition

Since I have this extra time this summer, I have been cooking up a storm.  And I love it.  My mom always laughs because she is an awesome cook, but when I was growing up, I never took the time to try to learn from her.  When I went to college, I literally didn't know how to "brown the meat" or "boil water". Well maybe I knew how to do that, but still I probably had never done it before.  I always laugh so hard at Friends when Rachel is making the trifle, and she says "What? Cooking is easy! If it says to boil two cups of salt, you just boil two cups of salt!" For the longest time, I didn't even get why that was funny!  But things have changed since I have grown up in these 11 years since starting college, and now I love to cook!  Here are three of the recipes I have tried this week from Pinterest, all are very healthy and turned out to be delicious.

Grilled Corn and Bean Salad
This is from "Cooking Light" Magazine, and it actually is called "Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado" but I shortened the name up a bit for obvious reasons.  This salad is just so good - it doesn't take too long to make, and it is really fresh and healthy.  It also keeps in the fridge for about 3-4 days which is awesome.  It makes a big batch, and you can eat it as a salad for lunch, side at dinner, wrapped up in a piece of iceberg lettuce, etc.  I made it for a BBQ, and then have made it twice since just for Aaron and I to eat during the week.  The grilled corn makes it delicious!

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps
These are from Skinny Taste and they could not have been any easier to make.  And we loved them!  Instead of all the spices (there are 6), I just used a packet of taco seasoning, and it worked great.  But, I am sure it might taste a bit better if you use all the ingredients too.  Sorry I had to use the website pic because I forgot.  Two of these wraps (without cheese and sour cream) are only 4 weight watchers points total.

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Um. Amazing. Skinny Taste is great!  I loved these...they are so good and I can't believe they are healthy!  I made the low-fat blue cheese dressing with these too, and it was really tasty!  I used Frank's for the hot sauce, like she suggests, and it was perfect.  Not too spicy, but definitely has a kick.  I will for sure be making these again.  It makes 6 wraps that are only 3 weight watchers points each (not that I am counting right now), plus a few more if you add cheese and the dressing.  Plus, this is a really easy recipe to make.
Hope you enjoy as much as we did!!  Let me know if you ever try any and tell me how it goes!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

reflecting on the last six months...marriage style

We have been married a little over 6 months now!  In some ways that time has flown by, and in others it feels like we have been married longer than that.  I wanted to reflect a bit on what I have learned these past 6 months of being married.  They have been the happiest 6 months of my life, no doubt, but not the easiest.  And that is OK.  I struggle to post this, because I don't necessarily want to be so transparent, but I have had found courage knowing that maybe others will understand this.  I obviously have thousands of lessons still to learn, but this is what I've got so far.

Looking back on our premarital class, we spent a long time talking about our expectations for each other and how dangerous those can be when they are left unfulfilled and not talked about ahead of time.  And I think we both did a pretty good job of laying out our expectations and limiting the disappointments that can come with those.  My biggest surprise so far in marriage has not been the expectations that Aaron and I have for each other, but the expectations that I put on myself

I guess when I dreamed of being married, I thought I would be this cute, little housewife (with a full-time job).  That I would get all of the cleaning, cooking, exercising, teaching, family-time, church, and social-life done with no problem...because let's face it, I wanted to be the best wife I could possibly be.  And do I look cute when Aaron gets home?  Nope - not after a day full of 3rd graders! I think I was hit with a huge reality check around Christmas when I realized that I let our house get messy, shopping was done at the last minute, and I hadn't had the time to do all of the cooking and entertaining that I wanted to, I didn't look cute all the time, and our life just didn't look like I expected it to.  I didn't want to disappoint myself, and I really didn't want to disappoint Aaron, but it was hard to juggle everything I thought I could be, along with teaching.  But for some reason, being a good wife to me meant having a home-cooked, healthy meal on the table in my perfectly clean home every night and that was not my reality.

One night, I just fell apart, exhausted and disappointed in myself and how much of a failure I was.  If I couldn't handle it all now, how would I ever be able to be a mother and add kids into the mix?  Where was all of this energy supposed to come from?  Let me tell you how blessed I am to have my husband, who God designed so perfectly for me.  I found out Aaron and I didn't share the same expectations for me.  He didn't think I would take everything on when we both work.  He is my perfect balance for my type-A, have to worry about everything personality.  And he doesn't compare me to other wives, which I struggle with myself.  In fact, if you asked him about the last 6 months, he would honestly not have even noticed a problem (minus my fall apart episode).  He honestly thinks I am the best wife ever and tells me so daily.  And I believe that he thinks that.

And God tells me the same thing.  His Word says that "He created my inmost being; knitted me together in my mother's womb."  He knows my weaknesses and strengths - he knows me inside and out.  Lord, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.  I know that full well." The Lord created me with my faults, and with my strengths.  I think C.S. Lewis' mentor, George MacDonald, sums it up best:

"I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking."

With the freedom that summer brings, I am doing my best to be the wife I thought I would be when I got married. I will go back to normal Becky come August.  And I will rest in contentment, knowing God and Aaron have approved of me unconditionally.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Pinterest To Do List

With just 6 days left in the school year, I am finding myself pinterest-addicted again.  I may need an intervention soon.  There are just so many good ideas, and so little time to do them all...until now!  My summer has been filled with a long pinterest-inspired to-do list.  Here are a few things that I am hoping to work on this summer:

Something with a pallet - this one is so cute

Burlap Wreath (confession: bought the supplies a month ago, but have yet to start)

Liven up our mantle - this one is cute!

Make a menu board and stick to it

Have some FUN! Raspberry Beer Cocktail

There are countless other recipes, drinks, crafts, printables, organization, and decorating advice that I would love to do as well.  I'll be updating my progress as a creative and crafty housewife this summer!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Today, I am linking up with Kelly's Korner blog to tell you about my business selling jewelry for Stella and Dot!  I started this fabulous new adventure in February as a way to earn some extra cash, but it has turned into so much more than that.  I love my full-time job as a 3rd grade teacher (hopefully turned assistant principal someday soon), but this is a completely different avenue for me.  Stella and Dot is a home-based business, where you sell jewelry mostly out of trunk shows in people's homes.  I never in a million years thought I would enjoy sales, but I really do.  I am having a blast working for Stella and Dot!

Here are my top 10 reasons I love Stella and Dot:

1. The jewelry is ADORABLE!  I love it all and am enjoying wearing my samples everyday.  My favorites are shown throughout this post.
Zahara Bib Necklace $248

2. It wasn't expensive to buy in (only $199) and I earned that back in my first show!  Right now, they are having an amazing deal for sign-up, and you get over $500 worth of jewelry for samples with your $199 starter kit.
Capri Chandelier Earrings $49

3. I have earned over $2,000 in free jewelry so far and more to come!  I own about 70 items now and I reinvested some of my earnings into that, but so much of it has been free through their amazing jumpstart program and hostess rewards from my first trunk show.
Harmony Band Rings $69

4. I get to help other people earn free jewelry through hosting trunk shows!  The average trunk show hostess earns $250 in free jewelry of their choice plus 4 items at 50% off.
Interlock Cross Necklace $59

5. The training is great - there are a plethora of videos and things to read.  I am kept busy watching videos every night, but I love doing it and it makes me excited to sell.
Campari Necklace $128

6. I get to be around fun people every day and I have made some good friends through this.
Serenity Stone Drops $49

7. I feel more confident and successful - I have built a team of 4 people and I love leading and encouraging them.  I am also so inspired to work out and eat healthy lately.  I have lost 5 pounds this week alone on the South Beach diet and I think it has to do with me feeling more confident.
Serenity Stone Necklace $198

8. You get to make other women feel good about themselves by giving them beautiful jewelry to make their outfits complete.  This jewelry gets tons of compliments!
Stella and Dot is in a ton of magazines and worn by celebrities!

9. Tons of celebrities wear the brand and it is featured in magazines all the time.  I opened my US Weekly yesterday to find Olivia Munn wearing the Campari necklace to the US Hot Hollywood party!
Renegade cluster bracelet $59

10. My husband LOVES this!  He enjoys talking with me about it, giving me sales advice, and seeing me succeed.  He was definitely skeptical at first, but supportive and we thought it was worth a shot.  Now, he is so interested in it and is a huge Stella and Dot fan himself!  It is taking us on a trip to San Fran in July!

Let me know if you are ever interested in ordering, hostessing a trunk show, or becoming a stylist!  I promise it is so fun, and so worth it!  beckystevens1126@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wedding Details - Part 1

Our wedding was absolutely everything I hoped it would be, and Aaron would say the same.  I know everyone says that, but I really REALLY loved our wedding.  There were not super original details, and though it was perfect and beautiful, you probably won't be seeing it featured in a wedding magazine or Style Me Pretty, but I envisioned a classic, winter wedding and that is just what we got.  Throughout the whole process, I tried really hard not to stress about everything, and I think I did a pretty good job of that.  Since we got engaged in April, I had the summer to do a lot of the big stuff which was SO nice.  Aaron was amazing throughout the whole process too - never let me get overstressed at all.  But probably the part that made wedding planning the easiest was my mom.  She is just the most ideal mom to work with on planning a wedding.  She let me make all my own decisions, gave input when I really needed her to, and stayed so calm and unstressed the entire time.  She is just the most supportive mom ever, and she and my dad threw us the best party of our lives and we are forever thankful for that.

I wanted to write some blog entries on my wedding details and vendors, mostly so I could remember them, but also for anyone who is planning a wedding in Dallas.  I was so happy with every single vendor and would recommend any of them.  I'll be doing this sporadically...just as I have time and can't think of anything else to write about. I got the idea from my friend Abby and I loved reading about her wedding, so I thought I would do this myself.  

I'm going to start with my photographer - Carter Rose from F8 studio.  He is a good friend of my friend Jenn Wilson and I cannot tell you how happy I am that she recommended him.  When my mom and I went to meet him at his studio in Addison, we both just knew immediately that he had to be our photographer.  He is so genuinely nice, and cares deeply about taking good pictures.  You can just tell how passionate he is about it when you meet him.  He was always there with us during the wedding, but we didn't even notice - he likes to capture the moment and people's true emotions in the pictures and he did!  We absolutely love our engagement and wedding pictures and would recommend Carter to anyone!  Here are some of my favorite pics...