Monday, February 27, 2017

Time for Me!

It's easy in this world we live in to believe giving of yourself is the most important while forgetting you too have limits.  When I was younger taking time away from my family left me feeling so guilty. Even though I knew 100% that my soul needed some time away I would still worry about the "consequences".  In truth it is still my nature to complete everyone's laundry before I head out for a weekend away and or leaving a homemade dinner on the stove for my man if I'm headed for a girls night out.  I'd like to believe it's out of love but I'm almost positive it's the guilt that leads me to do it.

The difference today is I know how far having some me time goes to refuel my heart and it makes me a better wife and mom.  While I'm always so exited to see my family when I return home, I make sure to leave my wife and mom role at the door when I leave and work on remembering who I really am because, darn it, that still matters so much to my well being as well as theirs.   

Now, taking time for yourself doesn't necessarily just mean being by yourself. There are many hours I may be alone but I have not taken care to be sure it is truly "me time".  It's easy to get caught up doing laundry or picking up the house during instead of refueling.  To really fill myself up it's necessary to remove the distractions  Here are some of my favorite ways to have "me time".  

  • Find a special spot to enjoy your quiet time.  I love sitting in my big chair in the quiet hours of morning reading.   Typically I reserve this reading for something inspirational.  Right now this is reserved for the early hours of morning snuggled in bed but when the weather is nice I love to be outside.   
  • Exercise is like a drug for me.  Taking the time to hit the gym or go for a long walk gives me time to clear my head.  
  • Take a few days off.  Being a mom is hard work and sometimes you deserve a few days off! Maybe you head out of town for a weekend of relaxation and girl talk with some friends or maybe you ship off the kids to grandmas when your husband is off hunting.  Regardless the purpose is to set aside those daily task that can weigh you down and focus on remembering the things you love and cherish.  
  • Book a massage or a facial and soak it up.  
  • Attend a women's retreat and be inspired by the stories others have to share.  I spent the past weekend at the Thrive Creative Conference and was exhausted by the end of the day with a head full of inspiration.  So many women with incredible stories!  Let their stories influence you and inspire you to be more and dream more in your every day life.  
  • Make a date with yourself!  In 2016 I started the year scheduling a date night with myself.  One day a week for two hours I left my house and did whatever I wanted to do.  Sometimes it meant browsing the aisles at Target and other times I just sat at Starbucks and enjoyed a coffee while dumping all my thoughts into a notebook.  Knowing I had that "me time" scheduled was something to look forward to each week.  
  • Have a girls night out with your besties when you can truly feel free to "dump" the mess and be yourself.  
We all have those different stages in life when this is harder!  Sometimes you may have to walk away with laundry overflowing and dishes piled in the sink. Some nights you have to stay up after every one else is in bed and watch This is Us and cry your eyes out because darn it you will be filled back up!! (Seriously though with this show!!)

When I was a young wife and mom I did not take time for myself and in all honesty I think I forgot who I really was.  Don't let that happen!  You want to know who you really are; what you love and long for and the dreams you still have. Knowing who you are makes you more capable of showing love to others and being able to be fully present when you are with others.   

So what are your favorite ways to have me time?! 

Thanks to The Blended Blog for hosting these little Nuggets for the New Year!  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!  It has been such a beautiful week here in Texas and the light is lasting just a little longer each day.  There is just something about this time of year that makes me feel just a little more youthful.

So far 2017 has been busy with lots of work and play.  I shared a little random roundup on Tuesday with some highlights including our Vegas trip.  Also a big shout out to Karli who blogs over at September Farm but also has a sweet little branding business.  She designed my new header which I'm really hoping will be live soon on my blog!  I have been having so much fun using it in other designs like this graphic below.  Here are a few other favorites from my week!

Favorite Read

My favorite read this week was by Lindsay of Pinch of Yum.  While I initially followed her blog to find yummy recipes, I was captivated by her latest post documenting her feelings after the first 40 days without her son.  I have never felt her loss and can only begin to imagine the pain she and her husband have endured but this read just gave me chills and it completely reinforced the love a mother has for their child regardless of how long they are physically with them.   It was a beautiful read.  

Favorite Recipes


Speaking of yummy recipes, my favorite this week has been finally using my Instant Pot.  Santa brought me one for Christmas and thus far I have been totally intimidated by it.  This week I was determined to figure it out.  I cooked yummy pork chops similar to what I typically cook in the crockpot but used this smothered pork chops recipe without the mushrooms. Thursday night I made these chicken carnitas and, y'all, it took me like 20 minutes start to finish. No, that is not just the prep time that was the pot to plate time!  Granted, I was starving and skipped the last step to make them "crispy" but they were still so darn good topped with cilantro and avocado.  What I've found so far besides how fast it is to whip something up is that the meat has been super juicy and so flavorful. Even after cooking all day in my crock pot so many times the pork and chicken was dry.

Favorite Purchases


Not the greatest picture (hello, only fashion blogger who cannot create a flatlay!) but these items were definitely my favorite Presidents Day purchases!  I ordered this sleeveless ruffled top on the off chance that it would work and it is so darn adorable!  The medium was perfect and I am typically in between sizes so I would say if you are borderline order down. Hard to tell here but these white cropped jeans have a raw edge and I'm loving that trend.  Of course the shoes, oh the shoes!  I'm not sure why I've gotten so insanely crazy about this style of shoes but I kind of need to stop!  These Vince Camuto booties have been in my cart forever so when they were marked down I knew I had to have them.  Thinking this will be one of the outfits I will wear at the blogger conference I'm heading to this weekend layered with a light jacket.

Favorite New Linkup


My favorite new link up will be each Wednesday which I will be co-hosting with my besties, Holly and Katy!  We have a few prompts to get you thinking so feel free to use them all or come up with some of your own.  Be creative and come join the fun.

Favorite Product


In my What's Up Wednesday post this week I shared the special Rodan + Fields currently has going on for Lash Boost and I added a picture which included my lashes with mascara.  I was able to take a picture this week and finally got a shot of my lashes without mascara to compare to the before shot. My lashes are definitely longer!  If you are interested in trying out Lash Boost please email me @sjanac69@gmail.com.

I'm linking today for Friday favorites with ErikaAndrea & NarciOh Hey FridayHigh Five for FridayFriday FavoritesAwesome Life Friday.  See all the places I love to link each week by clicking the graphic below.  


The links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link(s) and purchase an item (at no additional cost to you), I may earn a small commission.  Thank you for helping to support The Queen in Between blog
 Click the image for all my fave linkups! 

Let's Get Social

    

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What's Up Wednesday {February} + Royally Waiting Linkup

Today I'm linking up with ShayMel & Sheaffer for this months What's Up Wednesday!  The questions are in green so check it out and join the fun.  Also joining Jessi and Jenn for What's Hap- "Pinning" Wednesday.   AND....make sure to make it through to see the news of a new weekly linkup, Royally Waiting!  

What we're eating this week....

A super easy weeknight dinner for us entails lots of veggies tossed in seasoning and EVOO, add a link of deer sausage and roast at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.  It's delicious and hearty enough to please Keith. Typically we make enough to have lunch leftovers.  
We have finally embraced the zoodles.  I love spaghetti squash but the zoodles are so much easier to make and hold their firmness much more like real noodles. The bonus; Keith actually ate these and he would not even try the spaghetti squash.  I like to mix 1/2 Italian sausage with 1/2 ground beef (90/20) to give a little added flavor.  I do use store bought sauce but always make sure to grab one with real tomatoes in the ingredients instead of pureed or tomato paste.  
I didn't take a picture but this week I actually made extra Italian sausage and ground beef with the intention of combining with pizza sauce and turkey pepperoni to eat over a baked potato which I saw in the Fed and Fit cookbook. Instead I baked a sweet potato, added the meat and then topped with my new favorite hot sauce.  Like seriously y'all, I have been eating this stuff like crazy! Best part is it is not bad for you  I found it cheapest at Sams and am certain I will always need to buy in bulk.  

What I'm Reminiscing About....

Y'all, one of the projects I've had on my list forever was to have all of our VHS home videos sent off to be converted to digital media.  After some research I decided to use Legacy Box.  I found a great discount package on Groupon and a short time after purchasing I received my box with instructions as to how to process. I hope to do a full review once I receive our finished product but let me tell you, looking through some of the tapes briefly was so much fun.  I mean look at my sweet Jordan!  There were tons of videos of her basically just doing nothing but being her cute self.  I will say, if the way I lost it when I heard my Meme laugh in the background is any indication, I believe there will be a watch party complete with kleenex when they make it back. 

What I'm loving....

Signs of Spring!  The grass is turning green, the trees are full of buds and there are wildflowers popping up in my yard.  I'm sure there is a chance for one more front to cool us down but the temps have been amazing.  

What we've been up to....

I'm super proud of myself for taking some time to be in the moment a little more which means I've already been to the movies twice, taken a trip to Dallas and to Las Vegas, read 6 books and managed to almost finish getting rid of the things we purged from Carly's room.  Being in the moment is awesome but also means I have didn't do as great of a job taking pictures of our happenings.  Hoping to do better in March!  You can read our latest Queen's Chronicles with a random roundup of happenings including our Las Vegas trip.  

What I'm dreading....

Notta thing!  

What I'm working on....

Creating a list of projects for our house along with a timeline.  Since moving in we have repainted pretty much the entire house.  Sadly, this was done in stages so it seems every time I complete one space there is another which has not been painted in 8 years!  I want to find a way to live in the house but also have a professional come in and paint the entire house and I know that is not simple. My biggest goal is to find the best arrangement to make our house the most livable.  

What I'm excited about....

This special from Rodan + Fields!  Have you been wanting to try Rodan + Fields skin care?  What about Lash Boost? Well, right now through March 9th you can purchase together and receive a 20% discount.  Obviously I'm a fan of R+F or I wouldn't feel confident about selling the products. I have seen so much improvement in my skin with the Reverse line taking care to reduce the dark spots from years of too much sun.  My teeny bitty lashes are also on top of the world and now my biggest problem is letting the mascara dry long enough so they do not touch my upper eye.  I would love to help you improve your skin so please contact me if you are interested!  You can find out your perfect solution by answering the questions here.  As always there is a 60 day empty bottle guarantee!  
My face after the first time I used Reverse for two months.  While the dark spots are not completely gone you can see there was definitely improvement to the discoloration.  My favorite thing is it was very mild and I never had any peeling.  

Agree to take pictures of your before, 8 and 12 week Lash Boost results and I will ship you your first tube at the PC Perks price of 10% off + free shipping.  
My personal results: top picture no mascara, middle picture with mascara prior to Lash Boost and bottom picture taken after using a full treatment of 12 weeks. 

What I'm watching/reading....

I'm only about 5 chapters into Truly Madly Guilty and in complete suspense waiting to see what is going to happen!!  
I am halfway through Breaking Up with Perfect and let me just say I have cried multiple times as it has been somewhat convicting but there has also been lots of head nodding.  For a good girl longing for perfection turned to a bad girl who really didn't feel I could ever earn the love of God, this book has been perfectly perfect (no pun intended).  

I watched Bridget Jones' Baby on the plane ride home from Vegas and laughed so hard!  The first will probably always be my favorite but you can't help but love a movie with Patrick Dempsey in it! 

What I'm listening to....

I have loved listening to iHeart radio while I'm at work and via Alexa at home. Around Valentines day I found this station which I have been loving.  Oddly enough it plays lots of the music we dance to in my Cardio Jam class and it just makes me feel happy and prodcutive!  

What I'm wearing....

I have worn the leopard booties I picked up on sale in Vegas at least twice a week!  They are super comfy and of course as a neutral go with EVERYTHING. I'm still loving being able to layer my favorite jacket and vest over fun tops too.  These are some of the outfits I wore over the past week.  I'm not sure I can pick a favorite!! 
Working this J. Crew Factory skirt!
 Taking a risk wearing animal print and stripes with this fun Gray Monroe Kimono.
Maybe even riskier in this date night look but I loved it! 

What I'm doing this weekend....

Y'all, I'm going to my first ever blogger conference!  I saw the Thrive Creative Conference was being held a short hour drive from me and after much debate (with myself) I decided to sign up.  I come across as being somewhat of an extrovert but I can retreat somewhat quickly to my inner introvert when I am in a new situation with people I do not know.  I tried so hard to invite some of my blogging friends to join me but had zero luck.  Please pray I can be confident and open myself up to learn more about blogging but also to make some new friends.    

What I'm looking forward to next month....

A little weekend away with these 3!  When your besties and your moms are also besties it only makes sense to opt for some exploring instead of a birthday party.  We will be heading off to celebrate Holly's daughter, Holden's birthday at the end of Spring Break and I cannot wait! Last March we celebrated in Fort Worth and then headed to the JW Marriott in San Antonio in August for Carly's birthday.  

What else is new....


Drumroll please......A new linkup you ALL need to add to your list!  Holly, Katy and I have teamed up to host a link up each Wednesday!  Royally Waiting will be a place you can come share and meet other bloggers along the way.  We've created a few prompts to help get you on you started!  Whether you choose a few, use them all or add some of your own, just join us each Wednesday.  

Be sure and grab out graphic and link back to us.  Oh, and since this is a new link-up, please share away!


Get Social with Holly! 
    
Get Social with Katy!
    
Get Social with Shelly!
     

The links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link(s) and purchase an item (at no additional cost to you), I may earn a small commission.  Thank you for helping to support  The Queen in Between blog




Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Queen's Chronicles - Random Roundup

One of the main reasons I keep up this little space is to have a diary to show a little of what we are doing around here.  Somehow I've gotten out of the habit of sharing our weekly happenings or maybe, just maybe things have been a little more boring than usual.  Here's a little bit of catching up with life lately!  
Dillon and I volunteered with this crew at The Bridge Ministries to wrap up his volunteer hours for the Young Mens Service League year. I have so enjoyed spending a little one on one time with him while doing something to give back.  
Carly grabbed her friend Emma for a movie date to see A Dog's Purpose.  Yes, lots of tears for all 3 of us but this movie is so good.  I mean lots of puppies and Dennis Quaid...you can't go wrong. Going to the movies is not always my thing but seeing a movie in a recliner may just be a game changer!  
My kids never cease to crack me up.  Carly has been on a kick lately telling us how awesome she is. For whatever reason she felt compelled to write it on a sticky note and place on the fridge so when Riley made it home he added in his part as well as the question marks.  So I've got these two who love to talk about themselves and how amazing they are and then I've got these two who I'm absolutely positive rolled their eyes at this note and confidently walked away.  It's alway so funny to me that even though they do not share a dad #1 & #3 are so much alike as are #2 and #4.  
This girl loves being in the kitchen with me and it makes me so happy.  Give her some fun tool to work with and she is even happier.  I pulled out the mandolin I have had for probably 10 years from a Pampered Chef party and we have been using it alot to grate things like sweet potatoes.  
Keith and I headed of to Vegas earlier this month to hang with my sister-in-law for her birthday and this was my travel outfit.  
 Our first morning the weather was perfect and we headed to brunch as soon as we got dressed.
We sat on the patio at Hexx Kitchen and enjoyed yummy breakfast, I had the sweet potato hash with the hollandaise on the side, and bottomless mimosas. Hexx is just outside the Paris hotel and has a great outdoor patio across from the Bellagio perfect for people watching.   
Keith headed back to the casino and the girls headed shopping.  I bumped into these booties at the Sam Edelman store and knew they had to be mine.  So long I've wanted a pair of leopard booties and these were marked down plus and extra 20% off that day so I couldn't resist!
 After lots of walking we grabbed In N Out burger for a quick lunch before heading back to the hotel.
 We headed downtown to the Plaza hotel for dinner at Oscars.
The food really was amazing but I had to crack up on the asparagus.  Look how huge it is compared to the rest of our food!  
The rocking sign (letters rock back and forth) was on the list of things to see and it wasn't hard to find right across from our dinner.  
 Talk about people watching, the three of us were cracking up at all we saw down Fremont Street.
And then I rode my first zipline!  Slotzilla has two options and I chose the lower zipline and thought it was fun and it wasn't super fast.  
Morning number two I did some walking down the strip and then headed to Bobby Flays Mesa Grill to have a mimosa while waiting to join everyone for brunch.
 This basket of goodies was seriously delish!
This picture does not do this breakfast tostada justice but trust me it was so good.  It was served with grits which also contained hominy and there was nothing left.  
We went back downtown and, after touring the Mob museum, strolled back down Fremont where I saw these guys.  For whatever reason Carly has been obsessed with Kiss lately.  I promise there is nothing people will not do to make some tips in Vegas.  These were pretty much the most dressed people out there.  
We had early dinner reservations at Batistas Hole in the Wall and I was excited to see this guy was still there playing the accordion.  If you are looking for some good Italian off the strip a bit I recommend this place but you definitely need reservations.
The highlight of my trip was seeing Brittany.  She was amazing and I think she must have changed her costume at least 10 times.  I always know when I go somewhere with Amy she is going to make sure we have great seats! 
Every time I posted anything about our trip at least one person told me we must go to Hash House so of course we did.  We arrived at probably a prime time for brunch and the wait was really long but we were up for it. 
Seriously y'all, so much food!  The chicken and waffles were amazing and so was the corned beef hash.  The waffles were also made with bacon inside.  We definitely could have shared a plate! 
We strolled the strip and of course stopped to see the fountains.  Seriously the best picture I could get since Keith failed to bring sunglasses.   I was terrible with the camera on this trip!
I headed for a little more shopping and I'm thinking shopping with a margarita is the way to go.  Not sure it would always work in my favor.  Dry Bar is something I've always wanted to try so I was killing time before my appointment.  I successfully made it our entire trip and never had to wash and dry my own hair!  
 Our last night and we headed out for dinner and some super bowl watching.
I have heard about this joint from a friend at work but the strip location is fairly new.  They had buy one get one beers so it was a win.  They cautioned us against the extra spicy but I'm guessing I should have stressed we were from Texas because it definitely wasn't too spicy for me.  
Headed home!  My sweet mother-in-law upgraded our tickets to first class as part of our Christmas gift and it was a win after we were on the runway delayed for an hour.  In first class this meant I was able to enjoy a mimosa while we waited! And y'all, I totally am glad I did because the short flight over to LA was probably the worst turbulence I've ever experienced.  
Back home and back to real life and my favorite season has started!  So far the boys have just been scrimmaging but I'm loving seeing this one on the mound.  Excited to see the season get rolling.  
We have also been praying for sweet baby Charis.  A teacher from Carly's elementary school has been at Texas Children's hospital for 65 days with her sweet baby.  Charis was born in October and has Downs Syndrome so when she developed RSV just before Christmas it became very serious and the goal was getting her strong enough to move up her heart surgery.  Last week the doctors successfully repaired her teeny little heart.  This family is so precious and I cannot imagine how hard it's been for this mom and dad to take turns at the hospital while also trying to manage the 4 other children they have at home.  Baby Charis is doing really well...God is amazing! 
I had sushi not once but twice last week!  It has been so long and it was incredible.  I had such a great date night with my oldest and got all caught up on everything going on in her life!  
I also had happy hour with Riley and got all caught up on what is going on in his world.  Maybe next time I will actually get pictures of my kids and not just our food and beverages!  
Yesterday the kids were out of school and I was so grateful to have my friend Holly's husband so willing to pick up my kidos and take them to do something fun.  These girls love hanging out together and when they are not together they are usually facetiming.  

Whew...so that's it, we are all caught up!  Here's to trying to keep up a little better in the weeks to come.  

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