Wednesday, June 3, 2015

So much new has happened in our life in a year since my last post was written. We are new parents of a almost 3 month old new baby! This has been completely life changing, wonderful, and hard. In the midst of unfinished projects, a mess of my house, sleep deprivation, and all that comes with being pregnant and then having a baby within a year, it is always really great to focus on a few things that help you feel grounded and "normal".  My friend has a great blog  ( and is also about to enter parenthood!!!!) and gave me this idea to start back up with my blog after a year being away.

Reading. . . .  Trim Healthy Mama. Pretty sure that's self explanatory.

Watching. . .  Wayward Pines, The Voice, Call of the Midwife

Listening. . . my hubby and I recently decided to watch less tv and start listening to books on iTunes. We are listening to a hard sic fi book called Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. It is taking me a bit to get used to listening to a book and slowing down enough to let my brain process it and enjoy it. This book was my hubby's pic. ;)

Trying . . . To figure out my son's sleep cycle and also to be more active during the day to get back up to harder workouts.

Eating. . .  Bark Thins. I get them at Costco and eat the whole large bag WAY to fast. I only eat the Gluten free options with the nuts, no pretzels. 

Pinning. . .  ideas for our dining room that we are turning into a baby/kid playroom.

Loving. . . wow, there are so many things! Most of them are baby related and things that make life with a newborn easier and fun; online shopping, drop cam, Nest (you can turn your air up or down via your phone), Instax Mini 8 by Fuji (so fun with a baby),  Hoover Linx vacuum, anything Aden + Anais but specifically their swaddle blankets that can be used for EVERYTHING, Baby Bjorn bouncer- WORTH IT,  my new purse by Thirty-one gifts that fits easily in my diaper bags (yes I have 2), Nose Frida to suck my son's boogies out because it will drive you crazy that you can't get your fingers up their little noses to get stuff out!

Discovering. . . how to be a mommy, care for my husband, son, self, relationships, and home. It's exhausting. 

Enjoying. . . being a mom!

Thinking. . . about anything organization/ minimizing/ anything that can make simple.

Feeling. . .  tired and yet motivated.

Hoping. . . to I will get to sleep through night sooner or later. 

Thanking . . . God for ALL his many wonderful gifts he's giving me!

Starting. . . to research sleep training.

Health Journey: The Begining

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Paris, 2012

It all began with a baby, a gluten baby. Do you know what I am talking about? When your belly gets kinda fat, firm, you feel bloated and all around disgusting. Well that was me, pretty much nonstop throughout my college years. Sexy, RIGHT?! 

 As a kid, I was a muscular, lean, and loved being active. When I hit puberty and my desire to be active didn't change but my body did. I got the "cute" prepubescent  pot-belly. I continued to grow into a teenager and was overall, pretty "average", though I had always seen myself as so much bigger than the other girls my age because I was so tall early in life. 

 I did Weight Watchers at the age of 17 (not really sure why) and I lost 25lbs, weighted the least I ever had, but still had a lot of belly fat. I began having lots of artificial sugars, processed food, eating low fat, and of course, drinking loads of diet coke. I continue my diet coke obsession through college and ate a mixture of low fat and college cafeteria food that my body just overall hated. Once I gained the initial 15-30 lbs in the first few years of college, I maintained that weight and lifestyle for a good 5 + years. 

At the time,  I had befriended a local family who chose to eat organic, read ingredient labels, work a little harder to make their food from scratch, they used all natural skin care and toothpaste, and they had chosen that lifestyle because their mother was fighting breast cancer. I was so curious, encouraged, impressed, and intrigued but the way they were choosing to treat her cancer through diet and lifestyle. I ate many delicious meals with them and, at that time ate whole wheat pasta, I became more aware of myself and my gut issues. I always ran to the bathroom after eating or in  the most inopportune places. I had terrible heart burn and crazy, painful, gas (ie. gluten baby).  This is when I first became truly aware of my health, or lack there of.

Pairs 2012

So that is the logistics of what I call "the beginning". The logistics don't portray the heart behind where I was at this time of my life. I basically spent a lot of time thinking about what I thought I SHOULD look like instead of appreciating and growing myself. You know in movies when they show a child and then that child grown up, they always use a woman that mildly looks like the little girl, but not completely? Well, that's what I always pictured growing up, that I would look completely different than I did as a child. That breaks my heart.

Paris 2012
*to be continued. . .

*the mother I spoke about beat her cancer through both western and alternative medicine!

Favorite Things Garden Edition

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This picture from Crate and Barrel (one of my guilty pleasures) is totally cute and has a few of my favorite garden tools. Matthew also plans on making me an area to keep my garden supplies similar to this one. You can get small garden tools from many different places but 
C & B has some really cute ones that I plan on getting. 

Another must have is garden gloves. The pair shown in the picture is the pair I use and they are thin, have great grip, and you barely feel like you are wearing gloves. In the Houston heat, you need thin. 

This gathering apron featured on one of my favorite blogs, is a fun project to make as well as a great accessory to gardening. I am working with my neighbor and friend who is teaching me how to sew and we are working on my custom made gathering apron which will be featured on my blog later on.

What would gardening be without a furry friend?! Moonshine, our 6 year black lab/golden retriever mix is one of our 2 large pups who loves to be wherever we are and that includes the garden.

These two pictures of our garden from  last week are displaying our new favorite way to trellis beans and cucumbers; a cattle panel (I am not sure if that is it's technical name but that's what I call it)!  We got this idea from my neighbor and friend I sew with who also has an incredible garden and we love gleaning all the wisdom we can from her. We went to Tractor Supply Company and bought 1  panel and had it cut in 3 different pieces. We used zip ties to tie them onto the green stakes we also got at TSC.  It is really sturdy, cheap, but will also last for years.

In the pictures above, you also see the green fencing that is surrounding our garden. This stuff is AWESOME and you can find it at your local Home Depot, Lowes, hardware or feed store or here. IT is easy toe set up on stakes, inexpensive, and we stapled it to the garden box. How simple is that?!

And, I honestly feel you can't enjoy gardening as much without the proper footwear! I mainly say this because I hate tracking in mud and who knows what else into the house on multiple shoes. I tend to ruin good shoes when I wear them in places they don't belong. Or, I go barefoot and get eaten alive by the biting ants that reside in Houston. I HATE THEM. SO, pretty much anytime you are outside for an extended period of time, you must wear shoes so not to get eaten alive. Thus, I bought some great boots, also from TSC, for $20 that I enjoy every time I get the chance to wear them.
It's the little things . . .

And lastly, for now, this "tool" for gardening is WONDERFUL! It is a garden book about our specific area. It has everything there is to know about gardening in the Houston and surrounding areas. I got it at a local nursery, but you can also find it here.

I sure do love spring, and gardening, and watching things grow, and hoping they don't die. . . 

History of Our Gardens

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In light of our rainy, cold, Texas spring, this post is very fitting. We planted our first garden at our new home this past weekend. But before I show you pictures from that little adventure. I think you need to see where it all started.

My parents have always gardened (or at least every other year), my grandmother gardened annually, and my neighbors gardened, my sister and brother-in-law have gardened, many of our close friends garden presently. I have seen different ways of  handling produce, different garden sizes, different landscapes and climates. Two things are certain, every gardener and garden is different!

When you go to start your own garden the process can seem a bit overwhelming. Even after being surrounded by seasoned gardeners my whole life, I was still unsure of what to do, where to start, and the maintenance required. 

Sure, there is science, timing, and just all around miracles involved, but I think that the most important thing in backyard gardening is to be patient and have FUN!

We have had 3 different garden plots in 4 years. The process of building the beds, planting, and caring for the gardens have been some great times together. After the first 2 years of moving our raised beds to two different locations, we realized that the soil takes time to really get rich and moving it stops that process. We are excited this year to be planting in a place where we know our garden will remain.

This year, we also modeled our garden after this style; Back to Eden Gardening. I would recommend buying the video. We shall see how we do! So, now, here are pictures from the history of our gardens! We have gotten some produce in the years past but not enough to not have to supplement. We are hoping that we will really see some great produce this year and in the years to come as the soil gets richer.

Here are pictures from our gardens!

Year 1, 2010. Bed was a little too deep and it drained really quick so it dried up halfway through the hot summer.


2nd, garden, 2011. We both were very proud of this garden. The beds were perfect and we had some crop this year, but we ended up moving in December of 2012. I am sure the soil is nice and rich now.

Start of garden 2014!

Our Great Dane, Zeus, loves the new garden!

My dad came in for the weekend and helped us!

One of my favorite things about putting in a garden is the time we have spent doing it with great friends and family. Each year we have had help one way or another building, planting, and fencing. This year, we even got some veggies from already existing gardens belonging to our neighbors!

Sure, these pictures look like we just whipped up a 400 square foot garden in a weekend, but this garden took the whole month of March to put in! We started with the soil, then we built the box, then added more soil, the plants and fencing. Lessoned learned, ENJOY THE PROCESS! My next post will be some of our favorite gardening tools and resources to help you enjoy the process more.

Gwynnie Bee

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I truly enjoy fashion. I love to decorate my home. I even love to keep up with the latest fashion trends in clothing, hair, and makeup. I have a tendency, due to lack of time, other financial priorities  and a job where I work from home and wear workout clothes, to not shop for myself or dress up much on a daily basis.

Average day: t-shirt, dirty hair, mascara, earrings?, and cooking some form of food in between clients.

Two things happened since January that were motivational to me. 
1. My sister went to NYC this past January and upon her return emailed me and told me to pick one of the 4 dresses she had for me to choose from. Talk about an incredible sister! I felt loved and excited to receive the dress I picked and I of course have worn it everywhere. ..  

Dress from Asos. Thank you sister!
Out and about visiting a friend and her new BABY!
           2. In my "spare" time doing my daily chores around the house, I started watching "What Not To Wear" again and quickly    realized I had fallen into the trap that so many women fall into of comfort and apathy in my clothing choices. As an attractive, 30 year old, business owning woman, I realized this had to change. 

Now, I feel it is important to note that I am not trying to be someone I am not. I am not a woman who will put on a  full face of makeup everyday and I wash my hair about twice a week. I am however, a woman who needs an efficient makeup routine and clothes that I can slip on quickly (and them not be wrinkled), know they look good on ME, and go! Confession: I may even wear one outfit twice for short periods of time while I am out if it smells good and is stain free! In a day, I can wear multiple outfits because the clothes I wear out and the clothes I wear for work (massage therapy) are different. Also, my style is casual, comfortable, and especially in Houston, Tx in the summer, BREATHABLE!
All of this helped me decide to try something new.

This little company looks like it will be a fun way to try on clothes without having to go to the store! Who has time for that?!  I found it through a favorite blogger of mine. This company is specifically geared toward fuller figured woman (which I a proud to be). There are other companies out there too, but chose this one. I just started my free trial today and am keeping it to once item at a time to keep the budget/husband happy. I will write a review after the first month. If you are interested in checking it out and starting a free trial month too, go here! Here goes nothing!

Homestead Adventure

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yes folks, that is me circa 1993, the tall one in the pic with the beach hat on pretending it's a farmer's hat. The middle cutie is my sister,  Madeline. We were playing "Little House on the Prairie" with some neighbor friends of ours.

My love for all things "country" began very early in my life. I don't know if it really started with dreaming of a farm so much as pretending I had a horse, lived in the 1700-1800's, and basically had an identity crisis believing I WAS Laura Inglalls Wilder. . .  but that's neither here nor there.

As time went on, I left my childhood home on 4 acres and headed for college in the hills of Tennessee. (Um, has anyone seen or read the "Christy" series? ) My childhood dreams and imagination dimmed and I moved through college and thereafter with the idea that as an adult I must focus on a career, family, and live in acre-less suburbia with dead dreams and a fake smile.

Me at my childhood home in Franklin, TN. 

I then met and married a man who is an encourager by nature and pretty much great at anything he puts his hand to. He has supported and allowed me to discover, develop, and pursue my hobbies and deep seated passions which has lead us to the home we have now. Thank the Lord, he shares many of my passions and his hobbies compliment them nicely (furniture making and yard gadgets)!

                                    Our Homestead in Texas

Moonshine (right) and Zeus (left) are our pups who roam the yard and keep watch.
We have many plans for our home to add some personal touches and more landscape.
Matthew on his toy.

As you can see, we have LAND! We have about 3/4 of an acre and plan to use as much as possible for entertaining, gardening, and overall aesthetics to add to the value of the place.  
As I dream of all the things we could do, grow, and fun to have on our property, I feel overwhelmed about all that could be done. One resource that is a favorite of mine that has helped me realize that you can be in an apartment in the city, on less than an acre, or be on a true farm and still have the BEST homestead you can create with what you have! You can find the ebook and her blog here

I am still slowly working my way through this little book, but having a great time dreaming. Pretty sure this homestead adventure will only grow with time!

Our Wild Communion

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Some of Matthew's beautiful photography. 
Many months have passed since I last wrote a post. Heck, many months have passed where I haven't felt creative, motivated, or my life "quiet" enough to sit and type. 

As I sit now and type, it's almost out of necessity for my soul. I need to journal, vent, and have a way of remembering this life of mine that seems to be passing so quickly. I think I was found my motivation again on Valentines day. My husband and I tried to remember our previous Valentines celebrations and couldn't. I want this blog to be a way for me to remember our life and the sweet memories and seasons we have go through.

 All the change, growth, and vision my husband and I have developed as we have grown together in marriage and also within ourselves has lead back to my little ole blog. God is doing a great work in us as we move through this simple, yet beautiful life of ours and I was to share it, document it, and remember it.

I began this blog when I moved to Texas (Houston/Sugar Land) 4 years ago this past January. I have kept it up periodically when inspired. I originally named the blog "In the Land of Sugar" because I had moved to Sugar Land, Tx and of course, was feeling creative with the naming of my blog. . .

I have decided to change the name; 1. We moved. We are still near Sugar Land, but in a new city. 2. As we am changing, so are aspects of our life. I now work from home, cook a LOT at home, and are in the process of creating a homestead here. As I was thinking of names for the blog, I kept thinking of the things that were important to me and my husband, are our priorities now.

This is what I came up with:

"We love a great story. Not only did our story begin great, but we are continually seeking to live a life that IS a great story! This blog is an account of that story as it unfolds. Life can feel reckless, and WILD. As a family, we are striving to live an intentional, relational, and thankful life with each other, our friends, family, and with God. Though it's never perfect and rarely pretty, this is OUR life, our Wild Communion!"

It's going to be a lot of the same stuff I had before on the blog, our gardening/ homesteading attempts and adventures, travels, celebrations, favorite things, hobbies, and FOOOOOODDDD! All mixed with  lots of misspelled words and improper grammar.

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