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Mugs with Meaning: What Would Elle Woods Do?

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I’m a huge fan of coffee mugs. Every morning when I stumble blindly to the kitchen to grab something to pour my coffee into, I carefully think through what mug I want to use. What vibes with my day, encourages my heart or reminds me of someone I love?

Really I only have access to like 2 rows of mugs because I am not about to climb on a step ladder and reach for the other ones at this point.

This morning I woke up and looked at my Poshmark balance. You know, my income.

Let me be really real with you. This is how my summer has looked, income-wise:

It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.

Remember how one of my goals was to save $1,000? At this rate, I won’t even profit $1,000 this month. I thought last July was my worst Poshmark month of all time, but August 2019 is shaping up to hold that prize.

This morning I waddled out of bed, feeling really discouraged. I walked to the kitchen, opened the mug cabinet and started scanning the options of mugs I can reach. and there, tucked behind another mug, I saw the perfect mug for today.

What would Elle Woods do?

Elle Woods, my bad-a fictional hero, is no stranger to obstacles and making a way when there seems to be none.

Very pleased with my decision, I found my glasses and got to work channelling my inner-Elle Woods on a day I’d honestly rather lay in bed and feel sorry for myself. This is what would Elle Woods do looks like for me today:

  • Tithe
    Last week it occurred to me that we’ve only been tithing on Justen’s income. Yesterday I deposited a $219 check from Poshmark, so even though money feels tight and my income non-existent, I made my first tithe on that little check. If I can build the habit of weekly tithing on my income while my income is small, how much easier will it be when it resumes normal operation?

    I also feel like tithing is an investment in God’s creativity. Who better to invest in when I’m feeling tired, worn out, burned out and stuck?

  • Think outside of the box
    I have a second Poshmark closet for higher priced items, and I recently became a Poshmark Ambassador on that closet (it basically says you’re an active Poshmark user who has had great sales and made purchases) and with that, I have the opportunity to participate in Poshmark campaigns that make $10 each. I linked a random Instagram account I never use, and I’m planning on running those campaigns to make an extra $20.
  • Work
    Right now, there’s just so much I can do with my Poshmark closet. I have literally run out of room to store clothing. I have bags of clothes in our apartment and in my car that are listed but haven’t sold. There’s a part of me that’s like “well, what else can I do?” but after thinking outside of the box, I see that there is SO MUCH I can do. I just need to think creatively and keep showing up.
  • Clean up
    Last night I made cookies, and the dishes are still in the sink. We did laundry, which is still on the couch. I have way too many unused beauty products in the cabinet. There are little things that suck my energy, make me feel like a failure, and overall just weigh me down. After pouring my coffee, I went through some of my beauty products and gathered a small pile of things to sell on the internet. I got a little distracted with blogging and such, but after I hit “publish” on this post, I’m tackling all the cleaning.
  • Chin up
    That in-bed pity party I was tempted by earlier won’t make me any money. It won’t give me purpose, it won’t lay the foundation for me to crawl into bed tonight and feel like I was a good steward of my time. There’s only so much I can control, and it all starts with my attitude. So here I am, one homemade lavender vanilla almond milk mocha later, grateful for the challenge and creativity to pave my own way. Listening to upbeat music on Spotify, feeling grateful that the struggle and stress of being self employed far outweighs the anxiety I felt every day working for a limited, hourly paycheck.
  • Get dressed
    This one is about to happen, but I had this massive surge of energy that resulted in me at the table with my coffee while still in my pajamas. But waking up and getting dressed, even if I’m the only person that sees, helps my productivity, the direction of my chin, and feeling like a productive member of society, even when sales are slow and I’m feeling lost/confused with my purpose.

It’s just a little coffee mug, but man it really can steer the direction of my day. Anyone else feel a connection to coffee mugs like this?

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Baby Spanx bump

Here’s something crazy: right now, I’m creeping up on being HALFWAY THROUGH my pregnancy. There are a lot of feelings to dive into with that, but let me start by sharing this:

Being overweight and pregnant is a super weird experience. 

After years of struggling with my weight, I found myself at my highest weight when I got married. Then I went ahead and topped that and hit my highest weight when I found out that I was pregnant.

When I was younger and I imagined getting married and starting a family and such, I would imagine that by then I’d have my life together. I’d eat so many vegetables every day and like exercising. I’d love being in pictures with my person and then people and my hair would most likely always be brushed.

LOL.

SO ANYWAY, now that I’ve set the stage.

I’m a part of all of these pregnancy forums and I started noticing that people were posting about their growing little baby bumps. In high school, there was an old lady at my church who would come up to me EVERY SUNDAY and touch my stomach and ask if I was pregnant. I’d laugh and say “no, these are oreos,” but man. So I know that I’ve got me a round little midsection.

Y’all I’m over here on PHYSICAL PROOF OF PREGNANCY watch 24/7. Thanks to a smaller appetite, I’ve actually been LOSING weight. My pants fit the same. Everything is basically the same except I can’t have runny egg yolks or ride on rides at Disneyland.

On Easter, I woke up to Justen saying “if you wore that one pink dress today, we’d match.” Usually if I try to match him, he changes his clothes. You can imagine how excited I was to wear that pink dress.

The last time I’d worn it was on our 1 year anniversary in October.

I put on my trusty Spanx, the pink dress, and set off on my day.

ps I actually have a full set of fingers on my left hand, inc are you were concerned. 

and then.

y’all.

Then came the “oh my gosh, you’re starting to show!” comments. Wearing a dress that fit and looked no different than it did in October, under the watchful eye of someone dying to see or experience any actual signs of being pregnant.

Like someone actually came up and touched my Spanx controlled stomach and said it.

Bless her.

So on Easter, my Spanx – which I often identify with smoothing and holding in and hiding lines and such – my Spanx betrayed me. For whatever reason, probably because the pregnant women on Instagram all look like they have firm, stretched out stomachs, the smoothness of my round stomach suddenly triggered the baby bump exclamation.

Bless all y’all. 

and bless you Spanx for the huge letdown for the first time in my whole entire life. You really betrayed me on this one.

 

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Thank you, Spring.

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Never in my life have I been more willing to wish winter a fond get the f*** out of my life farewell. Our winter was a whirlwind of quick downsizing, making ourselves at home living in a studio, finding out I was pregnant, finding out we had 4 days to move back to our old apartment (praise hands for the timing of that), feeling like “okay, this is finally back to normal”… just in time for Justen to find out his job was being terminated.

In the midst of all of that comes things like the unexpected days of crippling grief, a constant fear that our baby had died but my body hadn’t done anything about it, and honestly the off and on feeling of being a complete monster because I daily wished I wasn’t pregnant at this moment.

Finally it all broke when we were sitting in the car outside of the parking lot and Justen asked me a question that I’ve been asking myself for years, but man it stings coming from someone who loves you: Why can’t we just be happy? Why can’t this just be happy?

Through the chapped lips of winter, I responded that I didn’t know. I’ve watched other people excitedly announce their pregnancies while I wonder what’s so broken about me that I literally have started referring to it as a “medical condition.” To be fair, the app from my medical provider has a list of “Ongoing Health Conditions” and mine are as follows:

  • Gallbladder disease
  • Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent Episode, in Partial Remission
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Supervision High Risk Pregnancy

It IS a medical condition I’ve found myself in, along other things that have caused me severe pain, crippling emotions and a fear of the most irrational things. It’s a neat combination.

But winter is literally the picture representation of what my life with depression feels like. It’s cold, often to the bone. Walking outside often requires so much more work: SOCKS AND shoes, not just flip flops or flats. Gloves. A jacket. Maybe a scarf.

Then going places requires so much work. Snow tires. Warming the car. Scraping the ice. Driving slow and cautiously.

It’s easier to stay inside. Alone. Secluded. Short, darker days.

So trust me when I say Spring is the most welcomed season of my year. It’s not my favorite, that’s summer for sure. But by the time I start going “wow, it’s 7 pm and still light out!” or “it’s so nice I won’t wear a sweater” or the first day of the smell of turning on the A/C in my car, I am living for it.

Spring reminds me of this:

  • Darkness eventually fades.
  • Spring is a season of transition, so the chill of winter doesn’t completely dissipate, but it’s more frequently accompanied by blue skies than a sheet of gray.
  • Rainy days help me appreciate breaks in the cloud.
  • Lots of things are burrowed into the ground during winter; they don’t die, they’re just waiting to bloom again.
  • The sight of the first tiny flower of spring can often bring more joy than a field full of flowers once you’ve started seeing them everywhere.
  • Spring keeps winter in check, the fall keeps summer in check, and life really is just a back and forth between both the predictable cold chill of winter and the blistering heat of summer.
  • Anticipation works best if we’re constantly appreciating and noticing what’s around us, otherwise we go from jackets and scarves to shorts and flip flops without even noticing that nothing has changed.

One day I believe I’ll be able to embrace the cold dark winter with open arms and a heart ready to learn from it. The past few years I’ve merely tread its icy waters waiting to get out, but the sun through the windows, the birds chirping in the trees and the plants coming up from the ground makes it a lot easier to feel hopeful about what will inevitably come.

But for now, let me say that I am so grateful for spring.

 

ps I’m pregnant. I’ve shared it on Facebook and Instagram but not officially on my blog. So there you have it.

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Super easy Whole 30 compliant cinnamon apples

We’re not on Whole 30 and we haven’t been on Whole 30 for… like two years. But whenever we’re looking for a new recipe, we tend to search “Whole 30” and then the thing we’re looking for. Whole 30 chicken recipes, Whole 30 taco recipes, etc. If we discover something that is 1. easy and 2. Whole 30 compliant, then we know we can make it a part of our lives on the regular and not feel bad about it. Enter these Whole 30 compliant cinnamon apples.

Honestly, I found this recipe years ago when I was babysitting a little boy who ate a LOT. I wanted to make him something easy and tasty. Since then, this has been a staple in our house AND is often requested by kids I babysit for.

Get ready because it’s the simplest.

Three ingredients for these Whole 30 compliant cinnamon apples:

1 apple, diced.
Coconut oil
cinnamon

Optional, non-whole 30 ingredient:
Coconut milk vanilla ice cream

Whole 30 compliant cinnamon apples

Whole 30 Compliant Cinnamon apples

STEP ONE: Put a scoop of coconut oil in a skillet and heat on medium.
STEP TWO: While that’s heating, dice the apple(s), preferably with two super funny, cute kids to keep you company.

STEP THREE: pour diced apples into the skillet. Move around occasionally.

STEP FOUR: When the apples start getting a little mushy, sprinkle cinnamon all over them. Cook for another minute or so.. or really however long you want.

STEP FIVE: Dish up! They’re so delicious on their own OR you can add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream (that part is not Whole 30 compliant!).

Enjoy 🙂

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My five favorite podcasts // Friday Five

It’s been a year since I started listening to podcasts, and my podcast interests have changed a LOT. In the beginning, my favorite podcasts were just the 4 podcasts I listen to. Now that I’ve started and stopped a bunch of different podcasts, here’s a list of my five favorite podcasts (for right now, we’ll see how it stands in a year)!

My Five Favorite Podcasts // stephanieorefice.net

My 5 favorite podcasts // This Podcast Will Kill You

ONE // THIS PODCAST WILL KILL YOU

Never in my life did I imagine that I’d love listening about infectious disease. The other day I told Justen “now I’m going to know about disease AND murder, so I’m going to be great at a party!” 🙂 It’s run by two epidemiologists (say that outloud, it’s REALLY SATISFYING). So far they’ve covered influenza, rabies, yellow fever, smallpox, polio… it is crazy to hear about the history of these infectious diseases and how they’ve affected our world. They are a delight to listen to and present the information in a way that is really easy to understand.

My 5 favorite podcasts // Dirty John and Dr. Death

TWO // DR. DEATH and DIRTY JOHN

I’m listing these two together because they’re both finished (for the most part, Dr. Death has some updates). They’re stories of two really crappy human beings and the people they affected. Dr. Death is the story of a completely unqualified monster of a human being who operated on people with LITERALLY NO REASON to ever hold a scalpel. Dirty John is another monster of a human being who was a con artist who wreaked havoc on a family and the story came to a really surprising end.

image via Kait Lately 

THREE // MY FAVORITE MURDER

I just love true crime and I really love this podcast. Every week they have a smaller “minisode” where they share listener e-mails and stories, and then on Thursdays each of the hosts shares a true crime story. There’s a lot of f bombs and foul words, so just beware if that’s not your thing.

FOUR // THE INFLUENCER PODCAST

I wanted to include some sort of blogger/influencer podcast for any of y’all interested in that sort of thing.  I had a hard time deciding. Not because they’re all great but because so many of them are so-so. People who can’t pronounce the word especially, who have terrible audio, respond “I love that,” to every single answer given to a question. I chose this one because while it’s popular, I’m not completely annoyed with the host… as of now.

If you listen to any blogging/influencer/social media podcasts, do me a favor and recommend some to me!

FIVE // BROS BEFORE ROSE

Of COURSE there’s going to be a Bachelor podcast. A Bachelor podcast is what started my love of podcasts, after all! I’m still trying to find my most favorite Bachelor recap podcast, but I REALLY like Bros before Rose. It’s two men and their wives recapping the Bachelor. I apparently have no pride and am totally fine giving more than just 2 hours of my week to the dumpster fire that is The Bachelor. If you’re like me in that,  I’d recommend giving them a listen!

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Belated Christmas Studio Apartment Tour :]

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After our sudden move out of our apartment, we un-decorated for Christmas and got the opportunity to re-decorate our new one! Since we’ve only experienced one married Christmas, our decor was all for our original apartment… that has a living room, kitchen, bathroom… oh, and bedroom. Now we live in a small studio where the living room, bedroom and kitchen are all one big room.

I’ve shared that I regretted how little I shared of our beloved 202 1 bedroom apartment, so I’m trying to take more photos in our new one. That said, a few days after we moved in, I took some photos of the little glimpses of Christmas we put up. I’ll try to post an actual, proper tour of our apartment, but for now, enjoy these belated Christmas Studio Apartment decor photos!

Not actually Christmas related but y’all our bed just is so cozy looking in this apartment!

One day we were driving on the freeway and I saw a car with an Instagram handle decal, so I went to the instagram handle and it was an adorable Instagram store, The Sweetie Bee! I began following and this year we went to a holiday bazaar and bought this beautiful hand painted silent night sign.

We had this entryway cabinet in the other apartment and I knew I wanted to recreate it as best as possible! My friend Heidi sent us this it is well sign for our wedding and our friends gave us the cartoon drawing of us! OK funny story about the fa la la la la sign! Sometimes antique vendors find stuff at like Target and will include it in their booths. Last year we were in the antique store we live above and I saw this adorable sign and freaked out. It was like $12 but I just loved it. The next week, we were in Target and I saw it… in the bullseye playground area… for like $7. UGH! But whatever, I love it enough 😀

The glass spray bottle (it’s just an old Kombucha bottle) is a spray we used to make our fake tree smell a little more… tree-ey. It’s dōterra’s Holiday Peace with a bunch of witch hazel. Also note the adorable Kate Spade wood + gold polka dot frame. I just can’t with it, I love it so much.


Last year we bought $1 stockings and said we’d buy better ones this year. When I saw these plaid with gold polka dots stockings at Home Goods, I knew they were perfect! Justen’s a little plaid and I’m a little gold polka dot, so it worked out well. I really wanted garland for the desk our TV is one to kind of turn it into a mantle, and I couldn’t find anything I liked so I just made it myself! Pretty proud of how it turned out, not gonna lie!

This year I’ve developed quite a love of ornaments! Not matchy ones, but cute symbolic ones that have meaning and I want to keep forever! The top one was given to us by my mom – it’s Lauren Conrad! Last year, Justen’s mom got him the camera one.

Curly Girl Design is ADORABLE. Years ago I’d found this Curly Girl Ornament and I love it. Justen’s mom found this old computer ornament of Justen’s, we’re always looking for Starbucks ornaments at thrift stores (bc duh) and then this year at Goodwill, I’d found these Young Living diffuser ornaments! I don’t use their oils, but heck YES I’ll use this adorable diffuser! I bought 3 of them and gave one to my sister in law.

The snowman ornament thing? When I placed my December order, a “Snowman Bottle Topper” mysteriously appeared and I was so excited to see what it was!… well… literally a snowman bottle topper! I died laughing.

Last year we bought this Liberty Theater ornament from Camas Gallery – we live next door to the Liberty Theater here in downtown Camas, so having this hand painted ornament is definitely sentimental. I love it so so so much. Can you tell I love a lot of things so much? 😀

Sorry for the overblown photo, but how do you like our tree topper? Yes, those would be my Christmas sequins mouse ears from Disneyland! It was sparkly and seemed fitting. I tucked my other sequins mouse ears all over the tree to give it a little more sparkle. The circle ornament is a dōterra diffuser ornament from last year 🙂

The full Christmas scene. See the hidden Mickey ears?! Also, there’s a Nutcracker ornament because while we were dating, Justen took me to see The Nutcracker for the first time. There’s also a Yoda Ornament and a silver Packy The Elephant (RIP) ornament! 

I spent awhile picking out our wrapping paper this year. We got this cute pink paper with a crocodile that says “Master wrapper.” It was premium wrap (aka REALLY THICK) and came in sheets on a roll. It left glitter freaking EVERYWHERE! The pretty blue wrap was ALSO premium wrap. Premium wrap is hard to deal with.

Last year we were walking by the Antique store and I saw this Jingle all the way dish towel; I knew we had to have it (similar here)! The pot holder set is from Kate Spade and it’s seriously my favorite Christmas design!

I even have it in an apron and a tumbler. It’s just the cutest.

Excuse the mess, but we added a little Christmas to the wall of the kitchen, too.

Not Christmas related, but this is our little nightstand setup for now. We went from two nightstands to one, so we’re both having to share this. 

This is our storage closet. AKA stuff I really need to use up/go through/get rid of.

Side note: this is the view from our window!

and this gives you an idea of the smallness of our space and how cozy the tree is so close to our bed!

So there you have it! Look for a full on Studio Apartment tour coming to this space soon, but I’m so glad I captured a few shots of how Christmas 2018 looked for us.

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