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List of Gratitude: 2015

With the speed that life seems to move at lately, it's sometimes hard to take the time out to reflect on blessings. Especially when those blessings cause stress along with bringing joy a.k.a. the holiday season. 

I want to start a yearly tradition where I take some time to reflect back on my blessings, whether big or small, and what I'm thankful for currently. Thanksgiving seems to be the logical time of year to begin this tradition. Without further ado, and in no particular order...

My 2015 List of Gratitude
  1. A new home, although I love our current house and will miss it dearly, I can't believe how beautiful our future new home is. I can't wait to put our finishing touches on it and really make it "ours". 
  2. Health, because everyone around me is relatively healthy. As in, no one is critically or life threateningly ill. Sadly I take this one for granted too often.
  3. Bean, I always dreamed of being the mom to a little girl. Although she wasn't the easiest baby/toddler, the older she gets the more it feels like I really am living that dream.
  4. My husband's laid back personality, sometimes I get pretty wound up over things (ahem, buying and selling a house?) and he helps keep me in perspective.
  5. All around, being married to my husband, he is the best life partner, co-parent, best friend I could have ever dreamed of spending my life with. I'm not the mushy-gushy type, so when I say that you know I mean it.
  6. Job stability, my husband and I spent so much of our dating/newlywed life with uncertainty over jobs , unpredictable paychecks, and lay-offs. I feel incredibly lucky that we now both have jobs where we feel comfortable about the future.
  7. My Mom, I can't begin to list the amount of times she has put me or my extended family's needs before hers. I'm pretty sure if you Googled "selfless" her photo would be the first search result. I literally do not know what I would do without her.
  8. My Dad, in that same vein of thought, my Dad is the handiest person I know. Whenever I've had a car issue, house issue, any sort of issue that needed fixing, I knew I could count on him.
  9. Bean's goofy personality, even as a baby she was so expressive and to this day she constantly has us in stitches. I can't wait to see what type of kid she grows into.
  10. KitchenAid mixers, french silk pies are exhausting to make unless you've got a KitchenAid. I might have just spent the last hour making three from scratch.
  11. Working with my sister, I love how close my sister and I have become since working with each other running the dance studio. Time spent doing the thing we both love together is priceless!
  12. My brother, being just 2 years apart we were always close growing up. As adults, it's funny how similar our personalities are. He lives in Texas now so we don't see much of each other, but fingers crossed that changes soon!
  13. A sister-in-law (who wants to move to MN), my brother moved to Texas because of his job (air traffic control). It's tough to find positions exactly where you want when you are relatively new to the job, but now my brother will have some experience under his belt. Luckily, his new wife (they married this past summer) who is from the south wants to get up to Minnesota as soon as possible! Fingers crossed that happens in the next few years...
  14. Blogging, I am so happy that I got into this whole thing back in 2010. I have documented so many events that would probably have been forgotten if it weren't for Bre Pea.
  15. Showcase Dance, I still can't believe that I can list one of my professions as "Dance Teacher/Studio Co-Director". Despite my lifelong love of dance, I never thought I would end up here. Dream Job.
  16. Family by marriage, my "family by marriage" (as we coined it) is awesome. They welcomed me into their family with open arms, and I couldn't be more happy to have such a down to earth mother, father, and sister-by-marriage.
  17. Bean's preschool, I credit Bean's preschool teachers and the loving, warm atmosphere that they created at her school to Bean's incredible improvements in social skills. 
  18. Friends since junior high, my closest girlfriends are the friends that I had since we were itty bitty junior high schoolers. It's a lot of fun growing and having babies together!
  19. The Office reruns on Netflix, it's probably my favorite show of all time. Watching it reminds me to chill out and have a laugh. I need those reminders often.
  20. My DSLR, I LOVE photography and I love having the technology to take quality photos. I always dreamed as a high school kid in photography class of having a DSLR. 
  21. Our new mattress from Brooklyn Bedding, I have slept on worn-out mattresses pretty much since I was a kid. After waking up sore every single day and multiple chiropractor visits, my husband and I decided it was time to invest. I have yet to wake up with aches and pains since we got our new bed.
  22. Thrift stores, I've always been a thrift store aficionado, so when the popularity of them began to rise I wasn't sure how to feel about it (I thought there would be more people out there taking all of the "treasures"). I've found out, though, that there are more thrift stores and more treasures to be found now because of the increase in popularity. Also, I think it's much more socially acceptable to admit your clothes came from Goodwill, which is a plus ;)
  23. Florida family vacations, Florida is my favorite family vacation destination by far. We went to New Smyrna last December with my whole family (Mom/Dad/Sister/Brother-In-Law/Brother/Sister-In-Law/Myself/Husband/Bean) and it was SO MUCH FUN. We're going back this December with just myself, husband, and Bean and I can't wait!
  24. Coffee, always there for me when I need it most.
  25. Reese's, because they are by far the most delicious chocolate candy ever invented. Not to mention their even more delicious tree/heart/egg/pumpkin holiday shapes. And they really come in handy when I'm PMSing.
  26. Naps, having a thyroid condition such as I do, there are times when I am just completely zonked and nothing will cure me like a nap will. I never used to be that way until I was pregnant with Bean, and it's tough for me to give in to a nap. I'm grateful that I mostly have the time to do so when I need it the worst.
  27. Faith, there are many times when I wonder how people without faith get through the toughest times of life. I am thankful that I have a belief to fall back on and keep me pushing through life's ups and downs. 
  28. Minnesota weather, I love the change of seasons. Fall is gorgeous (and probably my favorite season), winter is long but I do love snow activities and having a white Christmas is a must, spring is exciting and unpredictable (it could still snow in May here), and summer is just plain awesome with all of the lakes around. Minnesota rocks.
What are you most thankful for this year? Let's chat in the comments below!


Merry And Bright Glitter Christmas Banner [FREE PRINTABLE]

This glitter Christmas banner free printable is brought to you by Core'dinations and Blueprint Social. All opinions are my own.

Use this free Merry and Bright Christmas banner printable with Core'dinations Glitter Prints for your chic Christmas decor

You may have heard, WE'RE MOVING! December 18th, to be exact. This means little to no Christmas decorations around our current house, which makes me so, so sad.

That's why I decided to create something quick and easy to bring a little Christmas cheer to our almost empty house. "Merry and Bright" is one of my favorite Christmas colloquialisms, so I knew exactly what I wanted my banner to say. I used Core'dinations Glitter Prints to make them extra shiny and festive.

Use this free Merry and Bright Christmas banner printable with Core'dinations Glitter Prints for your chic Christmas decor


Use this free Merry and Bright Christmas banner printable with Core'dinations Glitter Prints for your chic Christmas decor

STEP ONE | Using my free printable, print out the letters using an inkjet printer. I alternated between the silver and white papers for the letters, but you could go with one color for all. I love this glitter paper because you get the sparkles without the mess! It was so easy to use and printed out nice and smooth.

STEP TWO | Cut out the letters along the borders and apply double-sided tape to the back.

Use this free Merry and Bright Christmas banner printable with Core'dinations Glitter Prints for your chic Christmas decor

STEP THREE | Stick the letters to the black cardstock with the double-sided tape. Cut along the outside leaving about a 1/4" border of black cardstock.

Use this free Merry and Bright Christmas banner printable with Core'dinations Glitter Prints for your chic Christmas decor

STEP FOUR | Using the mini hole punch, punch a hole in both the top right and left corners of each letter.

Use this free Merry and Bright Christmas banner printable with Core'dinations Glitter Prints for your chic Christmas decor

STEP FIVE | Lay out your letters in order. Starting from the last letter, string the baker's twine from behind through the right hole and then through the front of the left hole. Repeat this process leaving a little space between each letter. Leave excess twine on either end for hanging.

Use this free Merry and Bright Christmas banner printable with Core'dinations Glitter Prints for your chic Christmas decor

Core’dinations Glitter Prints are now available at Hobby Lobby and Michaels + coming to Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Stores and A.C. Moore in early 2016!



Selling Our House in 6 Days

This story about how we sold our house in less than a week was sponsored by Massage Envy as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

The story of how we sold our house in just 6 days on the market!

Now this is a story all about how our life got flipped-turned upside down... ;) It all started on Halloween. Wait, actually it all started when the "Yellow House" went up for sale this summer. Let me back track...

The "Yellow House" was a house that I had my eye on since I was a kid. Out of curiosity, I mentioned to our realtor that it had a FOR SALE sign in front of it. She ran the numbers and gave us an estimate of what our mortgage payment would be. Turns out it would be $400 more per month than what we pay now, which I thought was TOTALLY out of our price range (me being the frugal person that I am). It wasn't.

After taking some time to discuss, we decided that maybe we should take a look and "see what's out there". We wanted to move before interest rates go up, and we knew we didn't want Bean to go to school in the district that we live in. With her approaching Kindergarten, now seemed like a good time to start to get things rolling. But, we were going to take things slowly, not rush into anything... yeah, right.

Halloween day we had nine houses to tour (one of which was the "Yellow House"). Each house had things about it we weren't totally keen on, and to my dismay this included the "Yellow House". For one, it had no basement (which is odd for Minnesota, when it's not by any water) and the layout was a little odd for our tastes. But, there was a shining gem out of the nine. The house that my realtor told us was our house before we even realized it. The "Denver House". We fell in love, and made an offer the very next day (Sunday). But there was a catch: we had a house to sell that was totally unprepared for being on the market (we were "just looking", remember?) Sunday evening began the massive task of gutting our house to prepare for selling.

We spent a few hours Sunday night taking out excess furniture, packing up any personal photos (goodbye, gallery wall), taking half of our stuff out of our closets, and moving everything into my parent's basement to store. My husband took work off on Monday to continue taking extra "stuff" out of the house (including Bean's ungodly amount of toys) and started getting the house clean. Tuesday continued the cleaning, wall hole patching/painting, and packing process (you don't know how much crap you have until you have to hide it). I had an appointment for Wednesday morning to get the carpet's professionally cleaned, and then our realtor was coming over to take photos for the listing. By golly I got it all done, minus a few things we had to scoot out of the pictures. The listing went up the very next day (Thursday).

The story of how we sold our house in just 6 days on the market!

After 4 days of intense physical activity and staying up way too late trying to get everything done, I mistakenly thought that I could maybe take a few minutes to rest my exhausted body after dropping Bean off at pre-school. Nope. Up popped an appointment for a showing for that afternoon. I knew they would start coming in, but I had no idea how fast. There were still final touches to be done! Caulking that needed to be redone! Windows that needed to be washed! Rabbit mess that needed to get gone! I had no choice; I sucked it up, wiped away the tears, and got that house ready for a showing in an hour and a half. I lost clumps of hair because of it, but I did it. And then the people decided they didn't like the neighborhood and never went inside (GAHHHHH!!!!)

After that fateful day, we had at least one showing each day following and about a dozen more disappointments. And then... a miracle happened. We received an offer just 6 days after listing our house. It was low, but we negotiated it back to our ideal agreement, and we're now waiting upon an inspection to finalize everything. Say what?! The perfectionist in me thought it would sell in the first three showings (hah, seriously I did) but 6 days on the market ain't bad!

This two week long whirlwind has definitely taken it's toll on my body and my mind. Although I am relieved that things seem to be wrapping up, I am completely physically and mentally exhausted. This is why I NEED to get in to Massage Envy.  We're only halfway through this intense process and my body needs a recharge before we actually start moving! Being a former hairstylist who used to be able to get a free massage whenever I needed, I know the benefit that massage has on your body and mind. In my opinion, it's not a luxury it's something everyone should take the time for. 

If you need me, I'll be getting a little tune-up from Massage Envy before we start phase two of this crazy moving process...
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