Simply Honest: Jumping on the Erin Condren LP Bandwagon

If you know my mom... you know she's a crafter.  If you ever need a handmade card for any occasion, she could help you make one.  You need cardstock? She's got them in endless patterns, colors, and finishes.  Stamps? Decorative scissors? Googly eyes? You catch my drift right =]  Anywhoo... crafting is in my blood.

I also recently found out that I share a love for school supplies and planners with my mother and sisters.  One day we were talking about planners (we're all in a Viber chat so we can easily communicate with each other) and I sent them a link to the Erin Condren Life Planners.  I told them this was my dream planner.  You can google Erin Condren Life Planner and read all the reviews.  But once you check the price tag out... you can see why I was a bit hesitant about getting one.  So like a lot of things that used to catch my interest... I stopped checking it out and told myself I didn't need it.  Until I got my mom them hooked on it too. ^_^

2014 started and one of my goals for this year is to well... set goals and actually strive to meet (and even surpass) them.

Did I also mention that I've always wanted to be a journaler.  Even more so now with my little family, I want to be able to record and document (not just the big milestones) but even some of the everyday tasks that we all sometimes take for granted.

Now what do crafts, planners, and journaling have to do with each other?

Well, after sharing the planner in our group chat... My sister, Shannon, showed us this review.  I was totally sold after seeing it.  Up until this point, I couldn't convince myself to cough up $50+ on a planner.  But after seeing what Amanda Rose was doing with her planner, it was exactly what I was looking for!  A place to keep track of everything (including setting goals for myself and documenting my steps towards meeting them), while also documenting our lives.  The way she is incorporates photos is perfect for all the pictures I take.  I love documenting all the little precious moments with Thomas and Chloe, but I could never figure out a good way to put those pictures to use.

Needless to say, I bit the bullet and I placed my order this week.  I already received an email saying my planner has been shipped so now it's just a waiting game! I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning!  I'll definitely update on how the planner is working out for me.

 Enjoy some of the pictures from this week!

[ps] Sorry for such an all over the place post! I'm just really looking forward to where this could go!!

I think this may have been the first time she ever turned this toy on completely by herself.  I'm so glad I was able to catch her eyes lighting up!

She's so cute and dainty!

Chloe with Aunty Lauren & Nana.


Daily Dose of Chloe Week of 03.29.2014

 Always planking.

 Welp!  We found something that Chloe doesn't like to eat (and I'm kinda sad since I LOVE them)... Avocados.  Thomas doesn't like them either... more for me I guess.  Maybe she'll like them later on. =]

 Lil Miss Independent.  She loves being able to sit on her own now!

 Thomas was listening to music while bathing Chloe.  He started sort of humming the beat of the song and before he knew it he hear a little echo.  He looked down and Chloe was imitating him!  He was drying her off as I was posting this video and she was still "bum bum bumming" totally on her own without any cues from Daddy.


Friday's Food for Thought

Act like you're blessed, talk like you're blessed, and think like you're blessed.  Put actions behind your faith, and one day you'll see it become a reality.

-Joel Osteen


Compilation of This Week's Daily Dose of Chloe

I can't say it enough... Chloe loves food.  She looks at her bowl after every bite... and when she realized I had nothing left to give her she started crying.

Taking selfies with daddy on his GoPro Hero3+ (hoo... say that three times fast...)

Someone just woke up from her beauty sleep. =]


Simply Real: A Bumpy Week -- Sorry for the Late Post

I'm sorry this post is going up 2 days late... and is lacking on content. >.<

So... last week was a bit of a bumpy one for us.  It was Spring Break which meant that Thomas had to work later than normal (coming home after midnight on sometimes), Chloe just went through a growth spurt... and we're 99.9% sure that Chloe is teething.  Our schedules got thrown off... Chloe was fussier than normal (she's normally a very well-behaved baby)... and she went back to waking up multiple times at night due to the growth spurt and teething.  One night she just cried for two hours straight and nothing would soothe her... finally Thomas came and took her and he got her to calm down and go back to sleep.

On a positive note... I did get to use my camera a few times last week on a few walks and outtings.

Anyway... this is going to be short post.  I'm currently trying to get Chloe down for a morning nap and then I have a ginormous pile laundry (you have NO idea how behind we were....)  that I have to fold and put away and a few bottles to wash.  Oh, and the toilet overflowed this morning.  Yipee! Have a great week everyone!

Like I said... she was fussier than normal.

But just like bath time... walks eventually calm her down.  Whenever Thomas works at night, I try to make it a point to take Chloe walking/running to get out of the house.  She loves looking at all the animals and plants around our neighborhood.


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.16-17.2014


Her haaaaair!! Lol... she was mad because she was ready to eat but I wanted to take a picture of her.


I love baby giggles! Especially when it's my own baby ^_^


Simply Real: Mommy Got a New Toy!

Two Christmases ago, Thomas got me a Nikon DSLR.  I kinda consider myself to be a casual photographer.  I was the girl on campus who would stop in her tracks, walk back ten feet, and take a picture of a pretty flower, or the two birds sitting under a bench.  But I always just used my cellphone!  I had always wanted to get into photography... and Thomas gave me what I needed to start.

Over the next year I played with my camera... never venturing out of the preset modes.  I began to read a lot of photography blogs, and I tried out techniques I had found on Pinterest (I'm obsessed... go ask my sisters and mom >.<).  No matter what I read... they all said the same thing.  "You have to brave the open waters... and get into Manual mode."  Now of course there's nothing wrong with the preset modes on a camera... in fact they're very helpful for when you might want to take a quick photo and you don't have the time to determine the perfect settings.  They're also what really helped me to get a handle on the basics of photography and they helped me to understand the settings on my camera.  Eventually, I built up the courage to start shooting in Manual mode.

Half the fun of photography is experimenting and learning! As imperfect as this picture is, I don't have the heart to delete it because of the moment I was able to capture.

One of the things that makes Thomas such a great husband is his ability to read me.  He can tell when something makes me upset... When I'm uncomfortable... and most of all what makes me happy and light up inside.   Thomas said he'd known that I had a love for photography for as long as he's known me.  He said he could just tell that it was something I really enjoyed.  He could also tell that I absolutely loved my camera... but that I felt limited with what I could do with the lens I had (I had the 18-55mm kit lens).  Don't get me wrong... I've taken a bunch of photos that I absolutely love with the lens.  But I felt that my pictures were missing something.  I began to look at a lot of photos on Pinterest (...again) and I took mental note of the styles of photography that I gravitated towards.  I tried to remember any tips that these photographers would share.  I started to notice that many of them were using a 50mm prime lens.  I began to research more about this lens and I had learned that it's actually a great lens for beginner photographers who are looking to take their photography to a different level.  It's versatile, yet provides a challenge to the photographer.  This also happens to be the lens that my sister-in-law, Roxanne, recommended that I get as my next lens.

Thomas had been trying to convince me that it was time for me to get a lens... but I just couldn't ever bring myself to do it!  I guess he got tired of telling me to do it... because for our one year wedding anniversary he got me a 50mm Nikkor lens.

One of the first (and one of my favorite) pictures I took with my new toy!

I don't know how he even pulled it off.  We just got home from running errands and I was with him the whole time so I don't know how he hid the package from me.  The second he handed it to me I opened it up and we went for a walk around the neighborhood!

If you follow me on Instagram or if you've known me for a while you know how much I love to stop and capture a shot of nature.  So far I am totally in LOVE with what this lens has allowed me to do!  I also feel like this lens has forced me to really think about my shots before I take them.  I find myself thinking more about what I want the focus to be on and how I can add depth to a picture or how I can capture something different.
It was quite an experience trying to keep up with Brayden! My sister, Lauren, and I went on a walk one afternoon with our kids... So, we decided to bring our cameras along.
I really look forward to all the beautiful memories we get to capture as a family!

Since I've already been doing Daily Dose of Chloe (almost all of the photos were taken with my cell phones... iPhones or Samsung Galaxies), I'm making it a point to use my DSLR at least a few times a week as well.  That means we can (hopefully) expect better pictures (and probably some whoopsies like the first pic)!  I am so grateful for everything that I have in my life.  I couldn't ask for more!  I hope everyone has an awesome week!  Here's a few more pictures from this week's shenanigans.

I don't think it's possible to describe to anyone how much Thomas loves his daughter... but this picture does a pretty good job at showing it. <3

Our little koala bear.


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.13-15.2014

Here's that past few days' Daily Dose of Chloe!  I got a new toy (more details coming in tomorrow's blog) so I've been playing with it >.<  My baaaad...


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.12.2014

Chloe's new thing is waking up at 6 am... eating... playing with her toys and watching Baby Einstein for a few hours... eating again... and then going back to sleep.

Morning Kisses!!

Baby Selfie Number Two!! 


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.11.2014

Chloe's outfit for the day! 

Chloe's pretty good at sitting up now... but she's so tiny that her legs don't hang comfortably out of the cart and she can't reach the toys that are on her cart cover. So... Daddy thought she needed a pillow. Daddy's little princess <3


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.10.2014

I think it's safe to say that pillows are no longer a challenge for this little crawler...

Dancing with Daddy Part Two!
Dancing With Daddy Part One.  Chloe was almost 2 months old at this time.


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.09.2014

Our own little Who!!

Yep... that's our baby!  Always sporting a crazy hair-do! =]

I love these two so much...

Simply Real: Anniversary Dinner, Baby Milestones, New Hair Cuts -- Oh My!

Well this past week was quite an eventful one!  Let's start at the beginning shall we...

Tuesday, 03.04.2014 -- Anniversary Dinner @ Mac 24/7
If you know Thomas, you know that he LOVES breakfast.  He could eat breakfast at practically anytime of the day, and he will never pass it up.  SO, that is why we decided to have our wedding reception at Mac 24/7 in Waikiki.  This restaurant may sound familiar because it was featured on Man v. Food for its Mac Daddy Pancake Challenge (eat (3) 14" pancakes in 60 minutes by yourself).  Well, one of the options is the Elvis Presley Pancakes which are pancakes with bananas, bacon, and a peanut butter drizzle.  We served mini versions of these pancakes at our reception and Thomas wanted to try them again.

So we did...

Thomas: Phew! Well at least we ate a quarter of it! *proud look on his face*
Me: No we didn't... We took a quarter off that plate, put it on our plate, and there's still an eighth of it sitting here. *defeated look on my face*

It's safe to say that we needed a box... or three.

It was nice to be out with just Thomas... especially since he is back at work I cherish every minute we get to spend with him.

Taking advantage of having extra people around to take a quick family portrait.  Brayden was doing an awesome job of capturing Chloe's attention! Too bad he's too short and was busy running all around the yard. <3

Wednesday, 03.05.2014 -- Chloe is 6 Months Old!

2013 was a whirlwind and just flew by... and it doesn't seem like 2014 is going to go by any slower!  Chloe is just growing up too fast!  Chloe's been mobile for quite a while but she's still mastering the art of crawling on all fours without face planting.  She also likes to sit and stand but she's still working on her balance so we always keep a hand on her.  It seems like every month since she was introduced to solids, I end up mentioning how much this girl loves food!  But it's true!!  It seems like the more she tries, the more she wants.  Yet despite all she eats she's still as skinny as ever, but growing taller and taller!  It seems like every week she's able to balance more, or more easily grab/pick up things, drinking from a straw, recognizing her name, the list just goes on and on and on!  We'd say stop growing so fast but we know the sky's the limit for you and we want you to grow and never stop learning... Mommy & Daddy love you. <3

Thursday, 03.06.2014 -- Major Hair Cut & Baby Milestone
Since we're already on the subject of Chloe... this girl just does not stop surprising us!  Check out this video...

Our daughter never ceases to amaze us... everyday she's constantly reminding us of all the blessings we have to be grateful for in our lives.

Thrusda was also kind of a big day for me as well.  I always have long hair... I never really cut my hair shorter than my shoulders.  Now... while I was pregnant I totally forgot how much my hair used to fall out because of how long it was.  On top of that... I'm a mommy now... that means my hair is in a mommy bun 24/7.  In high school I decided to try something different.  I donated my hair to Locks of Love.   I have straight thick hair and it was a shame that it was in a bun all day... so after two weeks of much discussion with Thomas (plus an additional 20 minutes in front of the salon to make sure we really did want to go through with it), I decided it was time for another change.  

I went from this...

To this...
Twelve inches lighter (the curls were done with a flat iron... I didn't perm my hair!).  I decided to get long layers for a little added dimension.  It's always so traumatizing to go from having such long hair to knowing you're probably going to be chopping off over a foot of hair!  But knowing the hair will be going to a good cause eases some of the anxiety.


Life just keeps passing by... and so many changes are going on!  This year looks like it's going to be about a lot of growth and change... I'm excited!  Have a great week everyone.


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.08.2014

She was mad because I put the iPad where she couldn't reach it anymore...

March Photo a Day:


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.07.2014

Growing so faaast! Daddy has been teaching Chloe how to drink from a straw, and hold her own cups/bottles.

March Photo a Day:



Friday's Food for Thought 03.07.2014

One of the resolutions that Thomas and I made this New Year's was to try not to get involved in anyone's problem if it didn't involve us or affect us.  With this we've taken a lot of time to really look at our own lives and what happened was beautiful and amazing.  We started to really focus on all the blessings (no matter how big or small) God has given us.  In turn... we feel like God has blessed us even more!  But when I stop to think about it... I think it's just that we're really taking the time to really notice all that we have to be thankful for.  It's amazing how much more positive our outlook on everything is now.  You just always have to have faith.



Random Things We're Into 03.05.2014

Hubby found this video and thought it was funny. =] Apparently they made another one and released it this week? Haven't seen that one yet though.

Daily Dose of Chloe 03.05.2014

Baby Selfie!!

March Photo a Day:
Day 5: Something I LOVE ... my family.  I can't imagine my life without these two...

Daily Dose of Chloe 03.04.2014

Chloe got to test out one of her new jacket today! It's so warm, comfy and soft! Tell me not... aren't they ADORABLE?! They even have ears on em ^.^

March Photo a Day:

Day 4: Trees... No matter where I go I'll always remember my roots <3


Random Things We're Into 03.03.2014

So... a current fashion trend are leggings.  Leggings of all different colors, textures, etc.  One thing that kills Thomas and I are how many girls go out without checking to make sure you can't see nothin'! I mean come on... we don't need to see it ALL X.X

Anyway... here's a HILARIOUS video about leggings.

Daily Dose of Chloe 03.03.2014

Happy Girl's Day!

We found these absolutely ADORABLE and oooooober soft jackets on sale at Target! They're winter jackets but we go to Ice Palace a lot and Chloe has to stay warm! I had to get 2... one that fits her now and one that she can kinda grow in to. I'm sure you'll see a picture of them in an upcoming Daily Dose of Chloe. ^.^

March Photo a Day:

Day 3: Black and White.  I'm always trying to focus on the many blessings God has given me.


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.02.2014

March Photo a Day:
Day 2: Water - What can I say... Chloe loves the water.

Simply Real: Happy One Year Anniversary, My Love!

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary.  It meant that 365 days had passed since Thomas and I became husband and wife... I don't think that it was a coincidence that this past Monday I happened to stumble upon some old emails that Thomas had sent me back in July of 2005.  He's probably going to kill me for sharing some of it, but I have to admit I cried when I read one particular email... keep in mind Thomas was only 16 when he wrote this to me.  We had only known each other for one year and we had a pretty rocky first year together as a couple:
"I really miss you... I don't know if I could live without you.  It's like I was meant to be with you and I love you... I feel like I could say that to you for my whole life.  I really want to see you... I can't wait to get married to you so we can live our own lives.  I always have dreams about you... I love you."
After looking back and reading our emails from practically a decade ago... I know for a fact that I don't give Thomas enough credit for everything he's done for me.  He was so patient with me... even when I was an insecure thirteen year old with an attitude (of course don't get me wrong... anyone who knows Thomas knows how much of a "handful" he can be ;]).  I would ask him how he knew I was the one.  And he always told me he just had a feeling.

This has to be one of the very first pictures we took with each other. Look how awkward and uncomfortable we look >.< This was Easter 2005?

Thomas was always the one who would keep me going even when I felt like I couldn't go on anymore... He taught me what love is.  I never realized it, but I had a wall up.  I never let anyone really get close to me... I didn't know how to truly love someone.  I only relied on one person and that was myself.  I was Miss Independent who thought she knew everything.  Thomas patiently and gently broke down that wall.  He showed me that life doesn't always have to be so complicated... that sometimes things are easier when you have someone along side you helping you through it.

Having Thomas by my side through every single one of my teen years means that he is a very big part of who I am today.  He helped me to feel confident with who I was during a time when most kids were just trying to figure out who they were.  I had to learn that my life would never feel complete until I loved myself and started following what was in my heart.  I needed to let go of the fear I had... and I had to trust Thomas and our relationship.

My how we've grown... Oct. 2012.

And that's exactly what we've been doing since we got married a year ago.  Starting our own family has taught us to be confident in the decisions that we make not only as individuals but also as a couple.  We've learned to support each other in all the (sometimes crazy) endeavors we embark on.  We've seen our share of hardships and failures but we've learned that having faith and lots of love is what gets us through them all.  I thank God everyday for blessing me with you... thank you for never losing faith in me or our relationship.  I love you so much, Thomas.  Happy anniversary.  <3


Daily Dose of Chloe 03.01.2014

Chloe absolutely loves the water... as upset as she may be, just put her in her tub for a bath and she's all smiles by the end of it.

March Photo a Day:
So... my sisters, mother, and I decided to attempt to do another Photo a Day Challenge on Instagram... the one we're following is by The Maternal Lens and can be found here:

Day 1: Something that makes me smile - My beautiful family.