Image

Motivational Monday

wp3

 

 

This past week I have seen some of the greatest examples of love and kindness. Our small town of Rexburg, Idaho was flooded through some crazy flash flood and some unfortunate souls got the blunt end of the stick. For some reason many apartments have their first floor apartments under ground level, go figure. Anyways, the flood came through and swallowed so many first floor apartments that it was kind of extremely devastating. So many students lost everything they owned and came out with nothing. After the storm and flood had ended, there were students out in knee deep water with buckets in their hands and the longest bucket line you ever had seen in order to scoop all the water out of the flooded apartments. What was even sweeter was that they were singing hymns and uniting together to help one another out. It sounds really cheesy, sure, but the thing was that everyone had no hard feelings about what happened, it was an accident but they were all willing to come together to solve the issue. Usually people begin to blame acts like this on something, which is ridiculous in my opinion and there is only so much unity. Kindness, love and understanding can go extremely far and if you have the choice to complain or see the bright side of things, I would hope you choose the latter. Kindness is free and it is something we all are capable of. We all can follow the pure love and charity of Christ as an example as to how we should treat others. I’m so blessed to have such wonderful positive examples in my life to show me how much kindness can really have an impact on others lives. So live to be kind, live to love and remember that it costs you nothing.🙂

XOXO

-Charlie

Image

Pin it Friday: Twix Salad

twixMy pregnancy cravings really kick in when it comes to food. Too often I’m like oh my goodness that looks delish! or I need this so bad right now, or even do you think this will give me heartburn?! Lucky for you, I get to make you feel the same way through this pin of the week! Twix Apple salad. When I saw this I immediately knew that I had to pin it to my recipe board but when I clicked on the link, it was dead. I even tried to Google the recipe but there was no positive vibes there either. *sobs* Which means that we are going to have to rely on the photos for the ingredients and steps.

Ingredients:

1 pckg Twix bites

2 apples

1 pckg vanilla instant pudding

Caramel for topping

1/2 Container of Cool-Whip

(By the way, I’m pretty much going off what I would do to make mandarin cookie salad)

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together the dry pudding mixes and milk

Fold in the Cool-Whip

Core and cut your apples into bite-sized pieces

Stir in the apple pieces until incorporated to your liking

Add Twix bites into the bowl and gently fold into “salad” mixture

If you would like caramel, add as a topping

Serve immediately (because who can wait to eat something so yummy!!!)🙂

Easy Photo Editing

I am one of those people that likes to take portraits for everything. Engagements, Wedding, One-Year anniversary, Two-Year anniversary and now Maternity! And to be quite honest, I’m in love with how my maternity photos came out. Originally I was going to have a good friend snap some to add to her portfolio but finding time in my schedule was getting pretty tough between doctor appointments, settling in our new baby stuff and going to school.  I have been working on a video project for my Advanced Media class and while in the area, my husband took a few shots of me since he knew that I wanted some proof that I had been pregnant. Just a heads up, my husband has probably never taken any photos aside from using his phone so I was impressed with the gorgeous shots we got. He let me know that really it’s all in the editing so there couldn’t have been an opportunity for him to mess up. I thank him tremendously for that. Anyways, I wanted to go for a creamy vintage look and decided to add a b+w option for each (since I am so indecisive) and below are the results! There were a lot more to edit, but I had to get back to working on my project. I also extended the background using content-aware fill for the first image to add a little inspiring quote. Check them out! You can also check out The Coffee Shop Blog here for a step by step tutorial on how to achieve the same look + you can find my pin here!

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!!!

IMG_8110

bw-edit1

edit1

bw-edit2

IMG_809

IMG_809bw

IMG_8097

IMG_8097bw

And I even got a little creative with the first image and used some of the photoshop skills I already had and expanded the background while adding a little inspiring quote.

IMG_8110quote

CoffeeShop Hazy Afternoon Action Tutorial:

After the action finishes running you will have to adjust the white color fill layer’s mask to customize the haze for  each image.

Click on the Layer Mask of Color Fill 2 (the white layer) to select it.

Click G for the gradient tool (make sure you are using the gradient and not the paint bucket) and select a black to white gradient.

Click on the darkest part of your image and drag your mouse to the lightest area (toward the light). You can continue to drag the gradient on the layer’s mask until you are happy with the light placement.  You can also adjust the layer’s opacity.

 

Image

Motivational Monday

wp2

 

How hard is it to be optimistic. For me it can be the hardest thing in the world. I have had the toughest week and still I am trying to find the positive in all the madness that goes on around me. Since my pregnancy due date is only a week away, not only has my body been completely worn down but my mind has been racing all over the place making sure that everything I planned to have done has been done. You are probably thinking what in the world am I doing at 39 weeks pregnant?! Well, I’m working on graduating this semester (not including an internship that I have to do) and so there just seems to be a lot of stress on me to make sure all my projects are completed along with finding and establishing an internship for the next semester. With everything that is going on, my blood pressure has gotten pretty high and my doctor has ordered me to bed rest with a possible induction before graduation. Now how am I supposed to get things done when I am stuck unmotivated on a bed for numerous hours?! I’ll go ahead and share some of the details with you so that you don’t get confused with anything that I mention. When you are having a baby you can never be too sure about any timing or schedule that you have. It just so happens that my due date slides four days past my graduation date so trying to make everything work out in the long run doesn’t seem so easy. I was hoping to make it past if not on my due date so that I would be sure to finish all my classes, finals and walk across the stage to get my diploma. Some people say that graduation is overrated but after working my butt off for four years, I think that I deserve the honor of participating in all the activities, pregnant or not. Well, that didn’t seem to play out too well with my blood pressure and so here I am sitting in a hospital hoping that it goes down so that I could avoid being induced, missing my last class and making it across that stage. Sure all those reasons sound selfish, but they are personal goals I have set for myself so that I could be 100% prepared for the baby before she comes. Well, baby comes first and my doctor told me that I would have to stay in the hospital to be monitored for 24 hours to see if my blood pressure went down if I wanted to avoid having an induction and set free to go about doing the things that I had originally planned. Although it seems like things are crazy I have to have faith that it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to. I need to choose to see the good stuff no matter what happens. If I miss graduation does that mean that I will not be graduated? No. If I am induced early will I probably be devastated? Yes, but in the end I will have my little girl and from there on nothing as petty as walking across the stage will matter. So choose to see the good in life. No matter if you feel like everything is going in the wrong direction, no matter if you feel like you could have changed something. We have to put our trust in God’s timing and trust that he knows what is best for us, we must always strive to see the good in everything, otherwise we end up nowhere.

 

XOXO

-Charlie

Pin it Friday: Newborn Essentials

nbess

You can thank the Babylist Blog for this cute little infographic. Becoming a parent comes with a lot of responsibilities, especially when it comes to preparing for everything that baby needs. Like many first time parents, I honestly had no idea what I should be buying. So I do what any normal person would, I go to Pinterest and try to find something that would help me out. Luckily, Babylist put this together to give me a rough idea. I actually signed up for my baby registry using Babylist and if you ever come to that point, you definitely should too. Their thing is that you can add items to your registry from any store, that way you aren’t stuck with selecting from what the store has in stock. It really is a great tool if you have many different things you want to add to your list. Anyways, since we are moving soon, I didn’t want to go on an overload buying spree so I still don’t have all the things listed here as the essentials. Most of the things I do have came from family and friends as gifts from my baby shower and we have only purchased a few items here and there. Another great thing is that since we live in an apartment complex, our laundry is free and we don’t have to worry about an overload of dirty clothes in our home. So just in case you needed information on what to purchase for newborn essentials, remember to always check Pinterest, the people on there will never steer you wrong…unless they say that tye-dyeing your nails is easy. Don’t trust them.

Hospital Bag Preparation

You would think that with all the feminine drive on Pinterest that there would be plenty more advice on what to prep your hospital bag with. Luckily I found a mommy on Floraspeed that would bear all the harsh realities of what was needed to bring with you. Most of the pins and posts that I found seemed a little unrealistic and superficial. So this post definitely made me feel a little more prepared with what I needed. Below was what I started, I definitely did not include my tech bag or my going home clothes so that’s not included.

The first link mainly covers things I would need as a new mommy in the hospital while the second is for dads. If you follow through the second pin to the babyzone website. Floraspeed.me has a great blog post covering the basics of what she packs, to keep you from going all over the place, I’ll just shorten it on here. You can find my pins here + here

– matching, comfy robe and pj top/bottoms.  the top has a loose elastic neckline for easy feeding access when baby arrives.  the bottoms are extra loose with a drawstring in case I end up with a c-section or episiotomy.
– going home clothes
– extra set of pj top/bottoms and nursing cami
– nursing bras
– three pairs of dark colored boy short undies  to hold the post-delivery thunder pads.  I’m trying to avoid the disposable mesh undies from the hospital that I hear come in thousand-count boxes with acme stamped on the side.
– comfy socks
– pair of slippers  for doing hotlaps around the halls during labor.
– toiletry bag  because I’ve done so much travel for work, I always have this stocked and ready to go.  It has all the typical toiletries, and I made extra sure that i have headbands & hair ties in case of a c-section.
– tech bag which includes all your chargers, laptops, cameras and goodies that require a plug to function and keep you from boredom.
– extra duty, super heavy, overnight pads because who wants to bleed on themselves?

tech bag:
– point and shoot camera

– notepad and pen 
 for, duh, notes.
– cell phone
– charger plug and cables.

– camera battery charger.

mommy after-delivery kit:  the really sexy stuff.
– disposable nursing pads
– gum
– anti-bacterial hand gel
– lip balm
– tums
– stool softener

1

20140717_145457

Image

Motivational Monday

wp4

Did I ever mention that I was a swimmer? Well, I swam throughout all four years of high school and life-guarded for about two of those years. I couldn’t seem to swim other strokes perfectly because my foot turned sideways a lot so I would have gotten disqualified, so I only swam freestyle and backstroke. I hate to brag, but I like to think that I was pretty awesome in the pool. My life seemed to revolve around water. I would be in the pool for early morning practice at 5 a.m. Monday through Friday and then once the bell rang, I would go in for a few more laps before my shift started at the local YMCA. I lived for summers, the bright burning sun reflected off the water at the pool and always gave the perfect tan to any skin. Everyday was spent at the pool, even if I wasn’t on the schedule. The pool had become my happy place where I could share what I loved with others and teach them how to swim. Sometimes when I was feeling crummy I would swim laps to relieve the stress. You’d be surprised how it actually works. Some people advise getting involved in an activity to distract you from your stressors, when really swimming helped me figure out how to handle the situation. There was a line I followed on the bottom which helped me become more in tune with my thoughts instead of trying to focus on staying in my lane All the noise was blocked out and all I could hear was the sound of my own voice swishing with the water around me.  Breathing was a piece of cake, every four strokes the head goes up and you take a breath, blowing the water out your nose as your face submerges back into the chlorine tub. The pool was very therapeutic for me and helped me see the light at the end of each dark tunnel that I faced. When I look at this quote, I see that time again in my life and I see that each time I got into the pool whether it was for a meet, swim lesson or casual swim, it was a new start to something I had already thought could not be eventful. Each time I was blessed with the opportunity to learn something new from myself or others and each time I grew more and more in love with what the water could do for me. So when you see this quote, I hope you think about the new chances you get and how there never really is a dead end. No matter if you feel like you have done something a million times over, there is always another chance to try again and make it your next best. Days start over and with each, we are all gifted with a new start. Don’t be afraid to keep trying and keep figuring out what it is that makes you happy to move forward. I was once told that Ben Franklin attempted to invent the light bulb over 150 times and yet that didn’t stop him from finally figuring it out. Be a Ben Franklin because everyday is a new beginning. Take a deep breath and start again. 

XOXO

-Charlie