Daily Rebecca - dishing up a little bit of everything.

Things I’m Loving Lately

August 29th, 2014

Oh hi.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Yeah.  This summer has been….interesting.

Lots of thinking and introspection and also lots of apathy about the blog.  My most beloved hobby has become the last thing I want to work on.  I’ve been bummed about not checking in here more often this summer, but maybe I just needed a breather.

Maybe the breather isn’t really even over yet, but I thought I should at least check in :)

So, here I am.

With a list of things I’ve been loving lately.  I’ve posted these lists before (here, here, here, here and here) and I love when other bloggers share their favorites.  I always stumble upon awesome new things, so hopefully you will too!

First up has been a GAME CHANGER.

Like, this may be my favorite favorite of all time!

SECHE VITE TOP COAT

Sech Vite

This top coat has literally changed my life. LOL

But seriously, I love to paint my nails and have fun with all the great colors available these days, but as a busy mom who spends lots of time washing dishes, cleaning up, and wiping bottoms, it’s usually not worth it for me to spend time giving myself a manicure that’s just going to chip in a couple of days.

Enter Seche Vite.

This top coat goes on smooth, gives a great shine, dries SUPER FAST, and literally keeps my nails in tip top shape for upwards of a week every time.  Last time I got 8 days out of my manicure!  The only reason I really had to re-do my nails was the amount of new growth by the cuticle.  Not because of any other chips!

Try it.

You’ll love it.

It’s worth every cent and can be found at CVS, Target, Walmart, online, etc.

GOOD NEWS FOR WEARY WOMEN

good news for weary women

This book’s arrival could not have been more well timed.

I’ve been struggling with frustration, restlessness, and boredom this summer.  Not as in “I don’t have enough to do” boredom, but more a longing for some excitement in my very predictable life.  I’ve been frustrated and restless thinking that there’s something more I should be doing.  That I’m somehow squandering my time.  Missing out on some great purpose I’m supposed to be living out.

I’ve been making mental to-do lists, trying to come up with steps that will get me “somewhere,” and giving myself all kinds of bad advice about what I could be doing better or more than what I’m currently doing.

This book was a refreshing relief to the mental gymnastics I’ve been putting myself through.

Chock full of God’s truth, verse after verse about how I’m already loved, welcomed, accepted, and enough.  Over and over again I saw lists of things we as women hear and believe about what we should be doing and how we should be living.  And then over and over again, I read biblical TRUTH that dispelled all those lies.

I cannot tell you what an encouragement it was to me.

I wouldn’t have described myself as weary, but this book revitalized my spirit in ways I didn’t even realize I needed it.  I highly encourage you to check it out.  Elyse and her daughter Jessica have their fingers on the pulse of the gospel and have such a wonderfully authentic way of sharing it in the pages of their books.  My other favorite is Give Them Grace, a book they co-wrote about parenting.

I’ve been reading a lot this summer and this book has to be mentioned as another favorite…

LOVING OUR KIDS ON PURPOSE

loving our kids on purpose

Along with Give Them Grace, this book, more than any other, has changed the way I parent.  I’ve had a total paradigm shift in my approach to raising my girls.

My default method, usually due to frustration, exhaustion, and the way I was raised, has been fear and punishment.

When I’m not on my game, I tend to threaten punishment in a stern way to incite fear in order to get good behavior and/or obedience.

And it works.  The threat of a privilege being revoked, or a timeout being had, will usually get my kids to do what I’m asking them to do.  But is this really the best way?

Is this teaching my girls?  Is this giving them practice making good choices?  Is this compelling them to obey out of love for me and for God?

No.

It’s just not.

It’s behavior modification and really isn’t doing anything for their insides.  Their hearts.

And that’s what I’m after.  Their hearts.

I want them to learn how to respond to the freedom that they will face throughout their lives.  Freedom to make any choices they want to make.  Freedom to chose God or turn away from Him.  Freedom to make wise choices or foolish ones.

That kind of wisdom comes from teaching not from fear and punishment.  I’ve been encouraged to make every moment a teaching moment rather than a power struggle and it’s made such a difference.

Molding little ones lives is no easy task, and I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but I’ve seen such a cool shift in how things play out since implementing some of the things from this book.

Check it out.

This last favorite has also been a total game changer.

JOCKEY SKIMMIES SLIPSHORT

Jockey Skimmies

If you are like the majority of women in the world, your thighs touch.

If your thighs don’t touch, I don’t think we can be friends.

Just kidding ;)

But seriously, women of average weight or higher tend to have thighs that see far too much of each other if not safely quarantined to pant legs.

You know the scenario…you buy a cute dress or skirt, slip it on and feel so cute and feminine.

UNTIL you have to walk any distance or it’s over 70* or you are sitting for an extended period of time.

Then, you have to deal with the enemy: CHAFE.

It’s no fun and for a long time I’ve just sucked it up because I couldn’t figure out a discreet way to avoid it.

I tried wearing a pair of workout spandex shorts under my dresses and skirts, but they’d always grab the fabric and end up looking bunchy.  Or they’d be too thick and show through whatever I was wearing.

That’s where the Skimmies come in!  They are super light weight and silky so they don’t show through or cause any bunchiness!  I swear it could be 90* outside and I actually feel COOLER after I put the skimmies on with my dresses!

Thigh chafe be gone!

That’s it for this round of faves…do you have anything you’re especially loving lately?? I’d LOVE to get your recommendations!

Things I'm Loving


2014 County Fair

July 29th, 2014

I love to turn just about anything into a tradition…

Make peaches and cream pancakes on Thanksgiving one year?  Let’s do it every year and call it a tradition!

Have biscuits and gravy one Christmas morning?  Let’s do it every year and call it a tradition!

I guess I’m especially into food traditions. Lol

The Lenawee County Fair has become one of my favorite traditions the past couple of years.  It’s in a small-town, rural area which makes it so sweet.  You’ve never seen such GORGEOUS animals in your life!  The pigs are fresh pink, the cows are the whitest white and the blackest black and even the chickens are stunningly clean and well kept.  The $1 giant ice cream cones from the local dairy are incredibly creamy and delicious and so is all of the deep fried fair fare.

See what I did there? Fair fare.

I crack myself up.

Anyway, this was our 3rd year going and in typical fashion, it was a scorcher!  We were hot and sweaty the whole time but we still had so much fun.  Here are about a million and one pictures of our day.

grace with turkey

crazy chicken hair

This chicken had the craziest “hair do” I’ve ever seen on a bird! LOL

avery feeding goats 2

We bought a cup of carrot sticks and the girls (well, mostly Avery) fed the goats.  She was SO BRAVE!  We couldn’t even believe how well she handled them grabbing the carrots right out of her little fist.

avery feeding goats

At one point they were so much in her personal space that she shouted, ” OH BY GOSSSSHHH!”  We absolutely cracked up.

avery o face with goats

girls looking at cows 2

How unbelievably beautiful are those cows?!?

girls looking at cows

grace milking

Grace milking the pretend cow.

avery milking

Avery getting in on the milking action.

grace petting pig

piggy

Sleepy piggy. Zzzzzzz.

grace with pigs

me and mom

SOOOOO hot and sweaty, but still smiling :)

girls looking at bunnies

I cannot even handle how cute they are.  Especially when they match!

grace with bunny

Waving at a bunny.

sisters

The best sister photo we ended up with.  They are such characters!

girls with grandma

The best grandma shot of the bunch.  It was hopeless at this point.

face in hole

This one makes me laugh so hard!  Avery’s little teeth and Grace as a goat! LOL

avery fence

Chillin’ by the fence while the big girls took a potty break.

pony ride side view

The highlight of Grace’s day.  A pony ride!

pony ride

By the way, the red tulle sash was Grace’s addition to her outfit.  She’s been wearing it almost every day since she salvaged it from one of my wrapped birthday gifts.

carosel

Another highlight was the carousel.  They loved it!

Well, Avery loved it, then cried, then loved it again.

To see photos from our first year, look here.  Last year’s adventures were apparently only documented on Instagram.


The Summer So Far

July 21st, 2014

Obviously blogging hasn’t been a very big part of my summer and I still can’t figure out if I’m disappointed or relieved.

Maybe both.

I’m in a season of quiet waiting and I don’t even know what I’m waiting for.  I tend to hope that I’m waiting for God to do something BIG and IMPORTANT and EXCITING but I’m starting to think He wants me to rest and trust in Him even when nothing seems to be happening.

I’ll admit, that’s been tough.

I keep feeling like I’m missing something I’m supposed to be doing.  Hearing this verse at church a couple weeks ago really encouraged my heart:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

If He prepared good works in advance for little old me, and I’m open to Him, I really don’t think He’s going to let me miss them.  Now if only my brain would start to really believe that ;)

In all of the quiet ordinary-ness, I’ve been trying to be grateful.  Content.  At peace.

There has been lots of time outside, playing on the grass and in the sand.  Lots of play dates filled with splashing and struggles to share.  Grilled dinners, quiet evenings.  Walks around the block.  Trips to the zoo, quiet times in the afternoon so I can get a taste of silence.  BBQs, pancakes for breakfast, birthday festivities and plain old nothing at all.

The girls have played beautifully together and they’ve fought like gladiators.  I’ve calmly resolved issues and I’ve lost my cool.

I’ve spent the better part of many afternoons laying on the couch and I’ve tried to feel accomplished by tackling little projects.

The little DIY project that I’ve been enjoying most lately are the no-sew garage curtains I whipped up a couple weeks ago.  I bought 2 yards of fabric at Joann’s along with some stitch-witchery and a couple of tension rods and now our grubby garage windows are a little more appealing :)

garage front curtain

garage side curtain

And I had a little fabric leftover to make a placemat to tie the curtain pattern over to the patio which has throw pillows in a similar colored stripe.

patio placemat

They are certainly nothing fancy and the one on the side of the garage isn’t even, so I hung the rod crooked to compensate, but I like them.  They spruced things up just a little and it’s been a fun change.  If you endeavor to do this yourself, I do recommend using a measuring tape and taking your time.

But as I like to joke, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Photo Jul 11, 10 09 11 AM

This silly selfie is from about a week ago when I drove Grace out to meet my mom for a solo sleepover visit.  She had a wonderful time with grandma and I had a delightfully quiet weekend! Lol

Avery and I had a lunch date at Cracker Barrel on the way home and it was so sweet.  She loved having me and the wooden peg game all to herself :)

Photo Jul 11, 11 41 22 AM

The mac and cheese got all over, but she LOVED it.  Totally worth the mess :)

Photo Jul 11, 12 11 13 PM

We took Avery to Ikea while Grace was with Grandma.  She sat in her stroller the whole time, nursing a snack bag of goldfish.  Andy and I sat on probably every couch in every display and we drooled over the gorgeous custom kitchens too.

Photo Jul 11, 6 39 42 PM

For only $25 we bought some under cabinet lighting and Andy installed it at midnight that night.  What a difference it makes to the dark corner of our kitchen!  I’ve gotta keep my mixer clean now that it’s in the spotlight ;)

Photo Jul 12, 12 31 05 AM

I had a lovely birthday that started at the Original Pancake House with a Big Apple and cup of delicious black coffee.  I followed that up with an afternoon of sunbathing at the pool with my sister and then dinner at Ronin Sushi in Royal Oak with my main squeeze.

Photo Jul 12, 7 25 28 PM

Grainy selfie before dinner.  We had to wait a while but really enjoyed the cozy bar on the second level of the restaurant.  I’m becoming quiet the connoisseur of nonalcoholic beers. Lol

Photo Jul 12, 7 33 03 PM

I somehow convinced Grace to let me try this dutch braid in her hair the other day and here’s the evidence that it existed for that short hour.

Photo Jul 19, 12 53 33 PM

I got a post-birthday manicure and pedicure last week followed by a DELICIOUS Thai dinner with a dear friend.  I’ll tell you I straight up crave these drunken noodles with chicken and veggies.  SOOO GOOOD.

Photo Jul 14, 6 52 59 PM

Then, just the other day, we had an extended play date with another dear friend and she served up this INCREDIBLE taco soup that she had just “thrown together” the night before.  I wish she had a recipe because it was AMAZING.  The garden tomato, ripe avocado, tortilla strips and lime juice put it over the top.

Photo Jul 18, 12 45 01 PM

I’ve been more concerned with comfort than fashion these days.  My belly is not so much “baby” as it is “ice cream” so I’m trying to draw attention away from it whenever I can.  A little bout of cooler weather this week allowed me to pair a loose-fitting chambray shirt (that I scored for $5 from Old Navy!) with my coral shorts.  It was SO COMFY and I felt put together.  Win/win.

Photo Jul 17, 2 10 13 PM

But the most exciting detail of summer so far is….

Photo Jul 18, 8 44 44 PM

MY SISTER’S ENGAGEMENT!!!!!

Her boyfriend proposed on Friday night and I don’t think I could be any more excited if I tried!  I’m straight up OBSESSED with how sweet they are together, how gorgeous her ring is, and how excited I am to have such a stellar guy as a brother-in-law.

Tomorrow we’re headed to my mom’s for our annual trip to the county fair and next week I’m taking the girls up to my friends cottage overnight, so I’m thinking I’ll probably have some more picture-heavy blog posts coming up.

How has your summer been?  Anything exciting happening?  Any trips planned?

I’d love to hear what you’ve all been up to :)

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