2016 take-aways.

Hi friends!!
How was your Christmas weekend?!
Ours was full of family, food and lots of fun.
Man, Christmas is so awesome with littles.
Also tiring- but oh so good.
Yesterday we spent the day resting, relaxing and reflecting on Liam's first holiday.
Mama even snuck off for a little solo time and got a pedicure and cracked open my new book, Magnolia Story.
All you Fixer Upper fans know what book I'm talking about!
So so good!!

And with all that down time, and the new year quickly approaching I started to think about this past year-
highs, lows, trials, lessons and blessings.
It was such an unbelievable year.
I think Zak and I agree it's been the best year of our lives so far.
Welcoming Liam just opened a whole new chapter for us, and parenthood has been wonderful.
Upon reflecting, I love collecting lessons from the year.
What the heck am I taking away, other than the sweet sweet memories?!
I'm a firm believer that you can learn something from anything.
So I got to thinking, and man 2016 was a great teacher.

I really learned to set goals, and conquer them!
Just really go for what I want.
After having Liam, I was determined to lose my baby weight.
Welp, almost 50lbs later- I've not only done that, but I'm stronger than ever.
I made a plan, got my support {thanks babe} and went to work.
Another goal: growing this blog.
Yep! That was one of them.
Again after having Liam, my goal was to find happiness outside of motherhood.
Being a mama makes you cry happy tears because it's so wonderful, but you also need something other than that little bundle of joy that makes you smile- something that's just for you.
And one day, it just kinda hit me and again thanks babe for helping me sit down, write out my goals and start putting more time and energy into this little corner on the internet.
I've been blogging for five years now, and hello! Why not put more love into it?!
It's what I've always loved doing- so it was kinda perfect.
And since that little epiphany, almost seven months later my blog has grown tremendously.
I've gotten to work with incredible brands, travel to some awesome places and I've been given some really great opportunities as well.
So long story short-
making goals and killing them!

This year has also taught me grace.
To be easy on myself, be patient and love my body.
As long as I'm doing my best, and trying my hardest-
I'm a full believer in giving yourself grace.
You cannot do everything, but you can do anything.
Meaning, don't spread yourself too thin.
Take on what you can, and leave the rest.
It's okay to say no, or take a break.
It's that simple!

Comparison is the thief of joy!
Everyone is in different seasons of life.
Your hectic/stressful schedule right now, might be someones else's paid time off.
Therefore- don't compare your life to someone else's.
Instead, if that's something you want- make that your motivation or inspiration.
But, her success isn't your failure.
So keep making those goals, giving yourself grace and just keep your eyes on the prize.
As cheesy as that sounds- it's so true!

Collecting take-aways is so important.
I believe it's how we grow!
Step by step and day by day we learn from our mistakes, accomplishments and growth.
I'm retracing my 2016 steps in these pretty Viscata heels I wanted to share with you!
These sandals are made in Spain, designed in Barcelona with love.
They're my new favorite sandals because, A. I'm obsessed with the straps- they make me feel like the ballerina I've always wanted to become and B. because they're so comfortable. I can walk around in these puppies all day, carrying around my 25 lb babe without a hitch. 

Pretty and functional are my two must-haves and these do it for me.
I'm ready to take on 2017 with them!
Liam will turn one, Zak will become a doctor and we'll be moving to San Diego!!
Holy Moly.
Our lives are going to change big time, and I can't wait.
Thank you 2016 for your lessons, they're ones I'll keep with me forever!

Dress: ASOS (on sale)

Have you been reflecting on the year?!
I'd love to hear anything you've learned!!
Hope you have a lovely day!


christmas card 2016.


I just got all of our Christmas cards addressed- and crossing my fingers they get in the post today!
But if you don't get one before the 25th, dear friends and fam you'll have something in your mailbox next week!
Or, better yet here's a virtual card for everyone!!
Hahah I'm usually so on top of sending out Christmas cards- but time just flew by this year!
We had our photos taken in Old Town Scottsdale by one of our favorite restaurants, The Sugar Bowl-
and then went across the street to the pretty Papago Park to take some in the desert pictures.
I LOVE how they came out!
And I love even more that we have a new addition to our cards.
They may be a little tardy this year, but it's a our tradition and I'm going to stick to it no matter what!
It's going to be so much fun to look back at them in 20 years and think about this wonderful time in our life.
It's really the greatest!!
Today Liam met Santa, Zak is hanging lights all over the inside of our apartment to prep for Christmas dinner {it's going to be magical!!}, I'm baking sugar cookies and we're wrapping gifts and watching some classic movies the rest of the afternoon.
We're truly blessed and can't thank the Lord enough for all that we have.
We hope you have a beautiful holiday with the ones you love!!!




desert dweller.

Hello sweets!
Only four more sleeps till CHRISTMAS!!!
Can you believe it!?
Because I sure can't.
Zak and I just bought all of our presents hashtag procrastinators-
and we might be working on our Christmas card right now..
hashtag super procrastinators.
But hey, better late than never, right?!
I like to showcase things I love on this little corner of the internet and today I'm excited to show you some super cute cactus print wrapping paper from the amazingly talented Eleni Paper Co.!
 I'm kinda obsessed with her Etsy shop, it's beyond beautiful.

When it comes to wrapping gifts I try and stick to an overall theme-
similar colors, patterns, prints, etc.
I usually stick with traditional/classic-
but this year I wanted to change things up!
And since it's our last holiday in Arizona, I thought it'd be fun to bid farewell to the desert by having our theme be cacti!
And I mean, when I found this pink paper I was kinda in love.
So this year we're mixing and matching and throwing in touches of mod and I'm totally digging it.

This paper was all created from hand-painted original watercolor illustrations by Eleni herself!
How cool is that?!
I love incorporating where we live in our presents!
And I wanted to share with yah how to make Christmas unique to your home!  

1. Wrapping paper! Pick your theme and go with it! Mine are cacti-  but you could do taxis and apples for NYC, retro surfboards and beach umbrellas for Cali, woodland animals for forested areas, cute little peaches for Georgia- the list could go on and on!

2. Baked Goods! I just found the cutest cacti shaped cookies from a local bakery that I can't wait to share with everyone on Christmas! And if you can't find what you're looking for- make it! There's tons of cheap custom cookie cutters online. Everyone at your dinner table will love them!

3. Take Christmas cards locally! Show off where yah live! I'm really not the biggest desert fan, but this year I've fallen in love with the pretty mountains and green cacti- so that's where we took our family photos.

After reading this Zak also added that we should've just bought a cactus instead of a Christmas tree to really be gung hoe AZ locals.

We're planning on wrapping gifts for Liam all Christmas Eve and I can't wait!!
It's going to be a party!!
Goodness isn't this time of the year just the best!?

Have a lovely day all!

WEARING: dress on sale!! 
And when linking it I just realized it says it's maternity lol! Oh well- at least I know with the next baby I can wear it! So if you like it- size down! I'm wearing XS.
WRAPPING PAPER: Pink Cacti, Green Cacti 


tip tuesday: healthy holidays.

Hi all!
How's your week been going?!
We're about to head out the door to meet SANTA!!!
Then we're getting gifts for loved ones.
It should be a pretty awesome day!
Today I wanted to quickly share a few tips that I use to stay healthy throughout the holidays.
Because we all know those gingerbread house candies and Christmas cookies are calling my name!
On Saturday I attended a super fun Orange Theory class that was sponsored by Jamba Juice!

I love a good workout and I've been wanting to try out OTF for a while so it was the perfect break in between all the holiday parties!
Also big thanks to me sweet friend, and OTF expert Mikayla for coming with me!
She's been raving about these classes, and it was a blast doing it together!
We also got to try some of the "better blended' smoothies and man were they delish.
They were so good that today I'm sharing a little 'buy one get one free' coupon so you can try one too!!
We're totally planning on using that puppy today while were out and about running errands.
I'm all about healthy choices on the go!

1. DRINK WATER!! I can't say it enough. I try and drink one bottle before each meal, and then one after to A. ensure I'm getting enough fluids and B. it prevents me from over eating.

2. TREAT YO SELF! But in moderation. I'm a firm believer in balance. If you're going to a party where there's bound to be cards galore- fill your plate with as much veggies and proteins and then save one or two cookies for your dessert! You don't have to restrict yourself completely- having a cookie isn't going to hurt. Just make sure it's not a dozen;)

3. STAY ACTIVE. Try and plan out holiday events that keep you moving. Go stroll around Zoo Lights, instead of driving to see Christmas lights, stop and walk the neighborhood. Take that dreaded last parking spot in the middle of nowhere to get in some extra steps. Plan a family hike (well that is if you're in sunny AZ like us), or take a break and have a snowball fight! It's all about the little things. If you can't make it to the gym every single day this week- that's okay! You can still stay active.

Hope these little tips help!
They're just simple and easy and totally my go-to's this week.
Just remember you're amazing and doing the best you can!

Click here to get the BOGO coupon!
Make sure and read all the details before using:)

Hope you enjoy!


zak is going to be a pediatrician!

Hello everyone!!
Oh my goodness do I have some AMAZING news to share with you!
We'll be trading in desert sand for sandy beaches this spring/summer!!
It might not seem like a big deal to people outside of the medical world, but it's like successfully checking off the biggest med school accomplishment EVER!!
It means Zak's going to be a PEDIATRICIAN!!!!
Like, it's really really really happening!!!!!
This has been almost four years in the making and we're so thrilled to be heading to San Diego for residency!

The whole match process is kinda confusing so I wanted to quickly explain how it works.
Fourth year medical students have to go through a mutual selection process in order to continue their training and get accepted into a residency program.
Students apply, interview and rank their top programs and then the programs do the same back.
It's a lot more complicated than that lol but that's the simple explanation!
We loved all of the different Naval pediatric programs, and would've been so happy at any of the locations!
However, San Diego was our top choice because-
A. Closer to family and B. the weather!!
So we're pretty pumped to be moving to the beach!!

Zak has worked his tail off doing research, extra curricular activities, honoring his rotations and STUDYING FOREVER to get to this point and I couldn't be more proud.
He is amazing and continues to blow my mind each and every day.
He's the smartest man I know, and has a heart of gold-
he's going to be such a phenomenal doctor and truly make a difference for so many children.
I believe with my whole heart that this is his calling in life, and I'm forever thankful to the Lord for guiding us down this path.
Gosh how did I get so lucky?!

I remember wayyyy back in college-
before Zak had decided to even go to medical school that we were on a little road trip talking about our future.
Medicine was kinda an idea he had been playing around with, and said if he went into that field he'd want to make a difference and work with kids.
That whole drive we started brainstorming fun ideas of what his pediatric office would look like, what themes each room would be- yah know really day dreaming about the details not knowing what all we'd have to do to get there lol!
Well fast forward to getting into medical school- woot woot!
Zak was still interested in peds, did some extra rotations and always kept the idea in the back of his mind.
A couple years later we thought some other specialties would be really cool..
but then baby Liam came along-
and pediatrics just made sense.
The idea clicked and I can't imagine Zak doing anything else!
It's come full circle, and I know Dr. Zak is just going to be the best pediatrician.
Babe you did it!!!!!!
We matched!!!!!
I love you so much and you make me sooooo proud!
Now lets go celebrate!


tip tuesday: throw a wrapping paper party.

Hello loves!
Today I wanted to share some fun tips on how to throw the perfect wrapping paper party!
Each holiday season I LOVE getting my girlfriends together for a little Christmas shin dig to,
A. Eat sweets {duh!!}
B. Catch up before the holiday craziness
C. Finish wrapping all of my presents!
Because I'm allllll about the whole killing two birds with one stone idea!
Am I right?!
So today I wanted to share a few tips that will make yah the hostest with the mostest when it comes to a wrapping paper partayyy!

1. BYOP! Bring your own paper! After inviting all your besties, have everyone bring their favorite wrapping paper, a pair of scissors, tape and any favorite accessories like twine, ribbon or bows! Once everyone arrives you can lie out all of the items and people can swap and switch paper all night long! This is perfect because when you have to wrap presents at home, odds are you're wrapping them for loved ones who are at home- so being able to do this with friends is perfect!
You can get your tasks done all the while being with your bffs!

2. Set the mood! Have Christmas cookies out for everyone to enjoy, and set up a little hot coco bar for guests to sip on while they're wrapping! Having little sweet treats is the cherry on top of a perfect night! And also- having classic Christmas music on in the background is a must!
The good thing is, your halls will already be decked with lights sooo you don't even have to decorate for the party!
Woot woot!

3. DIY paper station! I love changing things up, and creating my own wrapping paper designs. Have a few black and white pens, along with some rolls of white paper and Kraft paper out so guests can write fun messages or their loved ones name in pretty writing so that the packages are customized!

I love throwing these parties- with the holidays I feel like you have tons going on, and so many to-do's to cross off your list so having this little get together is a perfect way to have fun, savor the holiday season and get your presents all dolled up and ready to go for unwrapping!

These traditional prints I used this year are some of my FAVORITES!
I'm all about details and this "love"twine from CMWrapNShipSupply is too cute!
I'm also a little obsessed with their red reindeer and snowflake print, too.
I came across their Easy shop and was in love with everything!
Classic staples like the red ribbon and Kraft paper boxes are perfect for mixing and matching different designs and can be incorporated in all kinds of paper themes.



Hopefully these tips lower your stress and get yah excited for the holidays!!
Have a wonderful day!