Wreaths and star gazing

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I love when we all open up about things that aren’t discussed in the “blog world” a lot. Woo hoo!


Last weekend, I did two things I’ve never done before: I made a wreath, and I star gazed. Yay for trying new things :)

In May, Jimmy’s brother and I each pitched in money and bought Jimmy a telescope for his birthday. He brought his telescope over to my house on Friday night, and Hannah joined us while we looked at the moon and stars.



We (and by “we” I mean Jimmy..) set up the telescope on my family’s pool deck because it’s about ten feet off the ground.


I don’t know how Hannah wore a t-shirt! It was in the 40s… brrr.


It was pretty crazy to be so far away from the moon, and then look inside the lens of the telescope and see moon craters in vivid detail. God is amazing.


On Saturday, my mom and I created autumn wreaths!


My mom took the picture of us together, and I soo wasn’t ready for it haha.



I told her to smile, and she stuck out her tongue instead.



It was a lot of fun to celebrate fall by making wreaths, and it was even more fun to spend time with my mom. I found the craft/instructions here. I highly recommend it–my mom and I aren’t super crafty, and we both agreed that it was pretty simple!

How do you celebrate the fall season?

So much creation!

I think the “theme” of my life lately is creation. I feel like I have 571 million pictures to share, but I’m going to stick with my creation theme, and share six recent creations!

1. Jimmy and I attended Fort Ligonier Days on October 12th, and I was “on assignment” for the newspaper, so I created a news report on the fun festival.


2. Jimmy created this outdoor fire pit as a birthday gift for my brother. He has got some serious welding skills.


3. Knowing my brothers affinity for spicy sauces, I created some jalapeno sauce for his birthday.



4. Hannah, Jimmy, and I created a mess trying to carve pumpkins. I’m the only one out of the three of us that actually carved a pumpkin! They both didn’t know what to carve, so they didn’t carve anything, haha. By the way, my carving is supposed to be a flower…

PicMonkey Collage

5. My mom and I created fall wreaths together! I might post more about this another time, but it was so much fun. We each made a wreath so she can have one for our house, and I can have one for my house next year.

PicMonkey Collage2

6. While buying wreath supplies at the craft store, I picked up a sketchbook, and created some silly drawings instead of doing homework. Drawing turned out to be way more fun than doing homework!


PicMonkey Collage3

What have you created lately?

A day in the life of my mom

Hello! I usually write a “day in the life” post once a semester, and I’m going to do one soon, but I thought it would be fun to give everyone a peek into a typical Wednesday for my mom.

Here’s some background info on my mom: She’s a mother of three, works from home as the CEO of our family’s real estate business, and she’s awesome. That pretty much sums it up.

Let’s welcome my mom (Lisa) to the blog! 


5:45 a.m.- I have my alarm set every weekday morning during the school year for 5:45 a.m., and 4x out of the 5 day week, I wake up before my alarm even goes off. I let the dogs out, and pay a bit of attention to the cats–Felix and Lily. I get up, and the first thing I do is make coffee–coffee is a BIG part of my morning.

6:00 a.m.- I sit next to Lola and Brandy and watch out local news. Then I hear Hannah’s alarm go off, and my day truly begins :)).


I pack Hannah’s lunch for school, and find something for her breakfast (usually very random non-breakfast foods). I usually eat breakfast with Hannah, watching the Today show :) I really enjoy hot cereals, and sometimes Allie makes me delicious overnight oatmeal.


7:14 a.m.- Hannah’s bus comes, and she’s off. I then make my bed, and change into workout clothes. I am currently attempting Shaun T’s T-25 DVD program. It’s awesome thus far.


7:30 a.m.- I workout until around 8:30. When that’s completed, I will shower and get ready for work. I then throw in a load (or 2, or 3) of laundry and fold and put away as much as I can before I begin work.

9:00 a.m.- Usually from the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. I work in our home office on various projects and bill writing/quickbooks.


I’m extremely blessed to be able to work from home, as we own a real estate/property management/investment company (Southbound Enterprises, LLC). My husband is a broker, and I and my son are both PA licensed real estate agents. I also do all of the quickbooks and administrative work for our company.

At the same time, I ensure laundry is continually rotated, and the dogs are fed and let out (that’s been a bit of a struggle with out little Brandy).

1:00 p.m.- I usually eat lunch, and then have errands to run for our business–bank and post office, or sometimes I need to stop into our local grocery store–where I truly spend too much time and money.

On days that Allie is not in school or not doing homework (uh–never? lol), we will try to go to Target/lunch or the mall together. It’s been super difficult lately as her senior year is kicking her bootie.

3:35 p.m.- On days Hannah has cross country (M, W & F), I leave our home to pick her up at school. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I leave to pick her up at 2:20 p.m., and we head to the chiropractor (this has changed my life!!–no more migraines!).


5:00 p.m.- When we arrive home, I begin preparing dinner. We eat fairly early, and I’m typically done cleaning up by 6:15 p.m. A perk at Allie’s campus is she gets free newspapers (yes, the old fashioned style), so I try to sit for a bit and catch up on the local and national news.

7:10 p.m.- On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Han and I have been in the habit of going to our local YMCA to get a bit of a workout in (I usually just lift). On Wednesday evenings, we attend Bible study at our church.

9:00 p.m.- We get back from Bible study. Some nights I help Hannah study for tests, or just finish up cleaning/laundry duties. Hannah and I are obsessed with a few shows–The Voice, Dancing With The Stars, and 19 Kids and Counting… so we DVR these shows and watch them in the evening, usually between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

10:00 p.m.- Between 10-10:30 p.m. I wash up, let the dogs out for the millionth time, and head to bed. My sleep is usually interrupted by a dog whining, itching, or my wonderful husband snoring. I just can’t sleep through sounds–I guess it’s a mother’s instinct.

So, that’s my typical day–although not all are the same, that’s it! Kinda unexciting and basic, but I wouldn’t trade my simple little life for ANYTHING or any title in a big company–I’m perfectly happy right where God has placed me.


Thanks for agreeing to share a day in your life, mom!

Isn’t she basically Superwoman?! I love her so much :)

Party Snacks


My mom hosted a 31 party at our house on Saturday, and I thought it would be fun to share some pictures of the food we made for our guests! 

I was in charge of the desserts (surprise.. ha) and Hannah and my mom made the appetizers.


I made:
-Mini pumpkin cupcakes with buttercream frosting
-Candied walnuts
-Fall snack mix

Hannah and my mom made:
-Fruit salad
-Veggie platter with dip
-Sausage dip (this was a hit and has only three ingredients!)
-7 layer dip


Mini pumpkin cupcakes with buttercream frosting


Candied walnuts

2a3 46

Spending time baking and cooking with my mom and sister was a lot of fun. I love them so much. The party itself was a blast, too. Our house was filled with women smiling, talking, and laughing. I enjoyed hanging out with friends and just having a nice time.  It reminded me not to take life too seriously–something I tend to do ;)

What’s your favorite party snack?

On Stress

I spent Saturday morning crying. Actually, I think sobbing is a better word. You know that kind of cry where you can’t even form a sentence, and you have an instant headache afterwards? Yep, that was me.

I’m currently dealing with some mega school stress right now. I’m not going to go into detail (probably because I’ll start crying again. Ugh.), but the point is that I’m feeling overwhelmed. My classes are hard, and I have a lot of responsibilities on campus–the typical college life stress.


(My mom and I working at a real estate event together after my meltdown…)

Though I’m (clearly) a work in progress on stress management, I want to share four things I do to handle stress.

1. Seek God first.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I know it’s time to spend extra time reading my Bible and praying. I’m usually tempted to feel like I have so much going on that I just can’t make time for more Bible reading, but I have come to realize that reading the word of God is one of the best things I can do in stressful situations. I also like to pray more–really pouring out my worries, and leaving them with God. The hard part is leaving the worries to God, but I’m always working on it!Bibletime

2. Prioritize.
Spending a few minutes figuring out what needs to be done first can be so helpful. Something may not need to be done for a couple of weeks, whereas something else may need to be done in a few days. Knowing what I have to do today relieves a bit of anxiety, because it helps me realize that I’m probably stressing out over something that isn’t even due for a few weeks. I try to take life one day at a time!

3. Try to achieve balance.
This is one of the hardest things for me. When I know I have something to do, I tend to have “tunnel vision” until it’s done. I try to remember that it’s super important to pay attention to all aspects of my life. I should spend (fairly) equal amounts of time doing homework, working, and playing. When I have balance in my life, I’m a better student, daughter, Christian, athlete, etc.

4. Take care.
I’ve blogged about this before, but it’s always good to remember to take care of myself. I have to know my limits, and realize that it’s absolutely necessary to take care of myself. By taking care, I mean doing things I love, getting enough sleep, saying no sometimes, asking for help, and enjoying the little things in life.

The other thing I do to handle stress? Drink a lot of coffee.


How do you deal with stress?


I’m happy to report that Jimmy thoroughly enjoyed his Oreo cake.


His brother and I bought him a telescope for his birthday. He’s already obsessed with it and I think it’s cute. Not the telescope, but his love of it haha.


After church on Sunday, Jimmy and I celebrated his birthday by visiting Ohiopyle State Park.




I spent Memorial Day with my family and Lola! My brother, who now lives 20 minutes away from my family(!!), came over and we had a cookout.


We also had barbecue chicken, scallops, cheeseburgers, avocado salsa, baked beans, and watermelon.


I watched my dad braid my mom’s hair. So adorable.


Lola was walked and made a trip to the gas station with me, as usual.


Now, about the title of this post, “Decisions.”

I have some exciting news. My brother and his fiance asked me to bake cookies for their wedding in July! Right now, we’re in the process of brainstorming which types of cookies they want me to bake. All I know for sure is that I’ll be baking 500 cookies. That’s about 42 dozen!

What cookies should I bake for Bill and Racquel’s wedding?




Time for more vacation photos! I love looking back on these pictures because I feel happy all over again remembering the many laughs, smiles, and conversations that my mom and I enjoyed together while in Florida.

Without further ado… more pictures!

johnspassIn the jaws of a shark at John’s Pass, which is a tourist fishing village with shopping and restaurants in Pinellas County.

paddleboating2Paddle boating early in the morning in 50 degree weather around the resort. This was the thing that my mom and I did that she was most excited about. She’s so goofy!

pelicansPelicans at the St. Petersburg Pier.

resortThe front of the resort and the lobby. I loved seeing the fake palm trees every time I walked through the lobby. I think I need a fake palm tree in my bedroom.

manicuresBecause the weather wasn’t so great for swimming in the ocean, we got manicures together instead! The woman who did my nails guessed I was 15-years-old. She was only five years off, lol.

12We took some “selfies” together.

viewThe view from our balcony.

CollagePhotos from around the resort and exploring the local area.

alligatorI got bit by a gator!

momMom at the Flying Bridge restaurant.

Speaking of food… we ate so many seriously delicious meals together. I’ll share some vacation food pictures in my next post!