My sisters and the things I love about them

About 23 years ago, two little rascals entered my world, destroying my hopes as an only child. I was the center of attention until they, Savannah & Paige, came along. Sure, I thought they were cute, but I didn’t fully understand the concept of them coming home with Mom and us having to keep them. That was 23 years ago, and now I love my sisters more than ever.

Paige, Savannah, and I never really got along growing up. We fought like cats and dogs all the time. Still, to this day, I wonder how our parents survived us. We were, as they called us, heathens. If it wasn’t them against me, I would end up picking one of them to come to my side. Constantly bickering, physical altercations, and pranks.

There are a few times in particular that I remember and will share with you today. Like most kids, boxes became the perfect play toy and let the imagination wander. We were no different. Mom and Dad just got a massive piece for our television and it came in a just as massive box. It was AWESOME. I used that as my hair salon for the twins. If you can guess what happened next, I was in danger and grounded for a long time.

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Later down the road, my sisters had a friend over. I am not sure what lead to this, but all of a sudden I was challenged. “I bet you can’t fit in this tub!” someone yelled at me about the plastic storage bin. I was stupid enough to say, “I can too!” and climbed right in. As soon as I laid all the way down, the lid snaps on. They continue to carry me in this bin when I hear, “Let’s throw her down the stairs,” so I screamed bloody murder. Luckily, no one was harmed.

These are special memories in my heart that I hold dear. Mainly because I love telling their current friends. But, I love them because it shows where we came from. Now I want to share all the reasons why I love them so dearly today.

Reason 1:

They are my go-tos when it comes to anything fashion related. I had a terrible sense of style and still just like my plain basic staples. One of my favorite things is when they go through their closets wanting to get rid of things. It’s almost like my birthday all over again, but with the things I don’t really have to worry about is in style or not.

Reason 2:

I have some of the best friends. I can call when I need someone to talk to. I always have an ear to listen to me. I am always one to them.

Reason 3:

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They will always be honest with me. I know that friends are supposed to be honest, but sisters are ones who won’t be afraid to tell you how it is. Especially mine. They aren’t afraid to hurt my feelings or tell me if I am being mean or in the wrong.

Reason 4:

I have two future party planners. Whenever the day comes that I will be wed, my sisters are going to be right by my side and helping me plan the whole thing. Like I mentioned earlier, they are very honest. But they also see things from all points of view. Which is going to be super helpful when I get “shiny object syndrome.”

Reason 5:

They are my sisters. It’s crazy how when we go out, people mistake us for triplets or even that I am twins with one of them. When we are having conversations, it’s like we almost don’t have to say every single word or sentence and we understand each other. We vibe off each other very well. We are all protective of one another. I can’t help but be so proud to be one of their sisters.

Even though they may have stolen my spotlight, I am so happy I get to call these girls MY sisters. They are everything I could have asked for in a sister and they always amaze me every day with their determination and strong will. These ladies are going places. Savannah & Paige, I love you both and thank you for being the best sisters I could ask for.

Things I love about my dad

Do you ever have a time where you just look at your dad and realize that he is just really awesome? I know I do all the time. Sure I may be a little biased, but I really do believe that I got very lucky with mine. He has taught me so many things and really raised me to be a strong person. So in celebration of father’s day, I wanted to tell you all the things I love about my dad.

1: He taught me to “never need a man”.

He taught me how to build, he taught me how to take care of myself, how to fix problems. I still like to rely on him sometimes, but he never has to worry about me.

From the time I could really hold up a screwdriver without causing harm, I was building something. He showed me how to put things together, how to make something from scratch and how to do a really big project. There are some really lovely pictures of me helping build our back porch. I have a pick in my hand as I am violently swinging at the ground to dig up the dirt. My faces would have given you a good laugh.

2: He survived three daughters.

I technically qualify as his “son” since I was the one he taught all the boy things you teach your sons, but my sisters and I gave him run for his money. We were not the easiest of children to say the least, but he had good practice being the youngest boy of six kids, four being girls.

Sometimes I still wonder how he made it through all of us growing up, because I am sure we could have done a lot of damage to him. I know we mentally exhausted him all the time and created a lot of problems. But he did it. He survived.

3: He loves food just as much as me.

We can always bounce recipes off one another and he even taught me to not be afraid of the grill. He was actually the one to tell me to always try the food before I say I don’t like it. He was the one who introduced me to the world of amazing food. He really loves when I come home so he can show what he has made recently.

4: His dad jokes are on point.

Sure they are totally embarrassing, but he has stepped his game up in the last few years. And I am pretty sure some of them have rubbed off on me.

5: He always puts his kids first, but he isn’t afraid to give us a good dose of reality.

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This one always hurt growing up because he would end up being “the bad cop” of the two parents, but now looking back, we really needed his kick in the ass. His mentality was “you got yourself into this mess, you now have to get yourself out of it.” I would moan and complain when I was growing up, but it was probably the best thing he ever did for my sisters and I.

6: He is always there for business advice.

He worked as a small business loan officer for 15 years and has been the CFO of a small business for 4 years so anytime I need assistance or advice with what to do with my business he is there to give it to me. It’s very helpful when I feel like I am failing and he can just look at me and say “this is a very common thing for small business owners. Keep your head up.”



My dad taught me A LOT growing up and I am so thankful that he is my dad. So Happy Father’s Day Dad! You deserve everything in the world and am happy I get to be your daughter.

If you would like some great Father’s Day gift ideas, check out my free guide here!

Things I love about my mom

Can I just say how important Mom’s are? There is nothing more demanding than being a mom. So many times in my life when I just look at my mom and feel so bad for all the crap I drug her through. I was by no means and easy child. I really have no idea how she didn’t pull her hair out or send me away.

So with Mother’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to take the time to brag on my mom a little bit and give you some of the things about my mom (this list is a shortened version, otherwise you would be reading for an eternity).

1: She gives the world’s best back scratches.

Fight me on this one. If you have never had a back scratch from my mom, you are MISSING OUT! I can tell you that even when I am 60 years old and she is (well I won’t say) but I will still ask her for the back scratches.

2: She is always there to talk to. Whether that be a quick chit chat to someone who can listen to me vent for hours.

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Aren’t all moms? But this is something I have always needed. I know growing up, I never thought I would have a close relationship with her because I never saw her in that light. Now, we talk weekly if not twice a week. She is the person who is always on my side and will always tell me “it will be okay” even when it probably won’t be.

3: She will always find a way to put her kids first.

Without giving specific examples, she will constantly put us first over her own needs or wants. She will make sure we are taken care of before her. She will even give up her own things for us. And for that, I am forever thankful.

4: She taught me that no one’s home will be as clean as hers.

My mom is probably the cleanest of “clean freaks” there is. She is very specific on how things are and what the definition of “clean“ is. We would have to close our doors growing up because she couldn’t stand the sight of them not being up to her standards.

5: She makes THE BEST party food.

Growing up, she would have all of the hostess parties you could think of and she would make THE GREATEST food for them. This is no bias, this is the truth. My dad would always take us out for dinner during these parties and then we would come back and devour anything she had left over. It was THAT good.

6: She’s my mom.

It’s my mom. She will always have a big portion of my heart. She is the person who raised me to who I am today and taught me so many things to prepare me for adulthood. She did a pretty good job at that.


Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I hope your day is amazing and filled with love!

To get some awesome Mother’s Day ideas, check out this guide I made up!

10 things I LOVE

With Valentine’s Day now over I just want to keep spreading the love for the rest of the month and give you some more insight into my life. Anyone who knows me, understands that I use the word “love” a lot. I say, “I love that movie,” or “This song!! Oh, I love it,” or maybe even “I love this food so much I could eat it everyday for the rest of my life.” I just love LOVE. It is a pretty magical thing. I’m not talking just about romantic love, but loving as in being happy and present with life.

Without further ado, here are (some of) the things I love in no particular order.

1. My dog

You have heard this one many of times from me, but I can’t help it! She is so cute and pretty much always on my mind. She mainly is now because she is sitting right next to me, chewing on her plastic teething toy (even though she isn’t teething) as I write this post. My favorite part of her? Every morning, she HAS to get her cuddle time. I typically have two alarms in the mornings and she knows that once the first alarm has gone off, it’s her cuddle time. She will come up right behind me and try to big spoon me with her face right on top of mine. She won’t whine or cause a fuss, but she will just lay there, smothering my face. As annoying as that sounds, it’s actually the best part of my morning and sets it up really nicely for me.

2. Food

I would definitely like to consider myself a foodie. I watch the Food Network, I enjoy reading food magazines and I like to pretend I am a sous chef when I make food. The best part? Eating food. I really enjoy eating. I like all kinds of foods from sweet to salty, healthy to indulgent, and even the crazy international food. Want to know a secret? I used to be EXTREMELY picky. To a point where my parents were concerned that I wasn’t eating enough. Until one day that all changed.

My family and I were vacationing in the woods and we were pretty much MILES from any town. The nearest one was 30 minutes away. In this town there was ONE restaurant. Another 30 minutes and we would hit the Walmart. It was a Cajun restaurant and I had never tried that before. It seems like a big pile of “yuck!” My dad got so fed up with me when I said that nothing sounded good and I wanted something else. (Obviously this couldn’t happen since I have no idea where the next restaurant would be). He sternly said to me, “You can’t say you don’t like it until you try it.” I ate a bite of his jambalaya and oh my world had changed forever.

Since then, I have been trying all the foods. Literally, all of them. Some don’t agree with me and others I try to keep control of and everything in the middle I enjoy every single bite.

3. Creativity

There is something about the way that people are when they are creating. It’s absolutely breathtaking. Some get frustrated, others show such joy. It gives me happiness knowing all the people in the world can create. Whether you think you are creative or not, you can create and be creative in something. This doesn’t have to be art. It can be technology, speech, architecture, math, science, what you are having for dinner tonight, literally whatever. I love being able to share my creative outlet, photography, with the world. I love that I can also be creative in so many different ways. Making food to how to organize my office to how to put away my laundry.

I remember growing up and being in elementary school and just believing that art class was where you used your creativity. And let me tell you, I sucked at it all. I can’t draw to save my life, I can paint, but it probably looks more abstract. I didn’t believe that I was creative because of this. It wasn’t until I heard the phrase, “Figure it out, be creative, think outside the box” when I realized that it doesn’t have to be art, it just means to think of different ways to do something and not just the way that everyone else is doing it.

4. Taking care of myself

This is something new that I have started implementing the past year. I got so fed up with how much I stopped caring. I felt miserable and I really didn’t take care of myself. I had to do something about it.

Once I finally put to mind that I needed to get in check I was so determined nothing could stop me. I knew I was terrible at sticking to a workout program but I was pretty creative when it came to making food. So I knew of a program through Beachbody called 80 Day Obsession. I thought if I can do this program 80 days through, then I think I can really set myself up. And boy, did it. I did the 80 days of workouts and kept my diet pretty healthy with indulgences. I had kicked my soda habit and was so proud of myself for doing it. I had bought the online On Demand package so I had access to ALL of the programs. I chose the next one because it would be perfect right before I left for Europe. Then started a brand new program Liift4 when I got back and I cannot stop. It’s probably my favorite to date.

Throughout this whole time I have learned how to eat healthy while on a budget. You just have to learn to not be super picky and be imaginative. I go through the ads every Wednesday/Thursday and play a game of what can I make with the items I have in my pantry and with whats on sale this week. I meal prep EVERYTHING, snacks, breakfast, dinner and lunches. Now I eat the same thing every day throughout the week. So you do have to have some discipline and just suck it up when it’s the same thing every day for 5 days. But, the results have spoken as I am 20 and counting pounds down from the start of my journey.

I will say, nothing really beats this when it comes to feeling good in my clothes again and just feeling confident again.

5. My boyfriend - Zech

Allow me to get a little sentimental on this one. I cannot believe how wonderful this man is. When I was growing up, I always thought I knew what love was just based off the movies I had watched. I believed something that RARELY even happens. Nothing in life is that easy. I would search and search for someone to love me that way and I what I was searching for was something non realistic.

When Zech came into my life, he was just a coworker. Matter of a fact, he was dating someone else. Then he dated someone else right after that. I was just a friend. We were in the same friend group from my coworkers and it was like a fun get together after work every weekend.

I left Bloomington and about two years later, my junior year of college during spring break, I came back down to visit. I just had a couple of days to come down and see my friends since I had to work the rest of the week. It was during that time when Zech looked at me from across the pool table. We were at a local bar playing pool with our friends when our eyes met and he gave me the look that sent my heart racing. It was the “I see you” look. That look made it very hard to breathe.

We hit it off and now almost 5 years later, I could not be happier. He lets me be my own person and supports all of my crazy dreams. Zech helps bring me back to reality. I could go on with everything but to sum it up he is my other half. He gets me. If I were Phoebe off of Friends I would say, “He’s my lobster.”

6. My loving family

I don’t even know where to begin with them. For those of you that don’t know, I have my mom, my dad and my two younger twin sisters, Savannah & Paige. Growing up, you could say was very much a war zone. Being the oldest, I was distraught when my sisters decided to come into this world and take all of my attention. And there were TWO of them, so more attention could be given to them. Since then, we hated each other and were constantly fighting for attention.

Take a few years away from home and plus some and you would never guess that until we all got together and we told you ALL of the stories from our childhood. Like the time my sisters tricked me into getting into a storage container “because there is no way you can actually fit in it” and I had to prove them wrong. So they snapped the lid on and started carrying me to the stairs to through me down them as I was screaming bloody murder in the container. Or the time I thought I would play hairdresser in a large box that was very dark and cut my sisters long, bleach blonde , curly hair in so many different directions. And my mother proceeded to take them out in public like that. Let’s just say we were pretty cruel towards one another. And as a kid, you don’t ever want to be seen with your parents and they made the rules so they were the enemy.

Fast forward to today and I will tell you I call one of my sisters and my mom at least once a week just to chit chat. I always go to my dad for advice and we even have our annual Covered Bridge Festival trip we take together. When we all get together, we act like we were never against each other, but family. I could never be more thankful and grateful for that.

7. Optimism

Seeing the positive in life is kind of my life motto. I choose to see the good in people and choose to be happy because I don’t see the point in life to just be mad or upset or “woe is me” all the time. I do like to play devil’s advocate and see both sides, don’t get me wrong, but I prefer the optimistic side. I have a quote on my desk that I really believe in and that is “You will be exactly as happy as you decide to be.” I fully and whole-heartedly believe this.

8. Traveling and exploring

I put both of these in the same category because you don’t need to travel to explore and you can explore by traveling. They are one in the same to me. I LOVE to get out and see new places whether that be near or far, domestic or international, I want to see the world. From everyone’s perspective. As a photographer, I want to show people the world. Especially the ones that don’t have that luxury to see it for themselves. (I highly recommend trying though because it is SO thrilling, adrenaline rushing and breathtaking).

Ever since I went on my trip to Europe by myself, I caught the traveling bug. I knew I had always wanted to see the world. I was just so terrified of all the things that could happen. (I may be a Positive Polly, but I am also a Nervous Nelly just as much if not more). It was so liberating to go out all on my own into the world. I did that. Me. I gave my fears a kick in the behind and said good riddance.

I cannot wait for my next adventure. Suggestions, please leave in the comments.

9. Continuous learning

Learning will always be a part of my life. I honestly really loved school, to a point where I wanted to go to grad school since I loved it so much. I didn’t. But I really considered it. Instead I have been reading books, taking classes and constantly trying to find ways to learn more. Just because I am not in school doesn’t mean that I can’t keep learning.

I try to read a book, listen to podcasts and even take free classes through Edx.org. It’s something I really have been enjoying. This is one of those things I highly recommend because it’s at your own pace and completely free unless you want to add a certificate once you have finished the course.

10. Organization

If you know me, you know I like things to have order. Things have a purpose and a place. I like to color code almost everything. If something doesn’t match, I get a little uneasy about it.

If you were to walk into my office today, you would see binders for each and every aspect of my business with tabs for each new section/new paper source (i.e. blog posts printed out, emails from business tips, etc.). You would also find three different filing cabinets. One is for office supplies, another is for personal things and extra paper and the third is for everything for my business. I even have a binder just for my taxes and have been doing so ever since I started filing them.

Somethings that would make me super happy to receive as a gift would be organizational and office supplies. Literally. Maybe even a Staples/Target/Office Depot gift card and I will use it all on organizational items. I even have color coded my calendar so I know what’s going on.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me. Let me know the things you love in the comments below.

Cute Valentine's Day ideas that won't break the bank

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Cue the stores being filled with chocolate in heart shape boxes, teddy bears with red bows and buckets and buckets of red roses. You know what I see with all of those things? Dollar signs. It seems like anytime there is a holiday associated with gifts, the prices just are right up there with the luxury items of life.

I am hoping to help you out this year. I have a few Valentine’s Day ideas that won’t break the bank or your budget.

Get a little creative

Make something. Draw it, write it, sing it, dance it. Use your creative talents to make a gift for your loved one. I honestly like these a lot more, plus you can add your personal twist to it. Some examples I have done include a picture frame with the matte border saying all the reasons why I love him and our picture in the middle, a box of letters to tell him when to open it, a coupon book filled with date ideas and nice things for each other (i.e. back rubs, doing laundry for them, bringing home dinner, etc.).

Dine in

Dinner really doesn’t have to be that fancy. I honestly just love when my boyfriend makes me food and it’s typically more top notch than some restaurants. You don’t need to be a chef to do this. You can even order one of those home delivery cooking boxes and do it together. Some other ideas is each of you make two things you absolutely love and share it with one another. You can even try to do what I do and just make something based off of what is on sale at the store that week.

Netflix and chill

This may sound crazy, but sometimes couples don’t really have time for each other everyday. We all have side projects we are working on, actual work that keeps us busy, chores around the house, friends to hang out with, children to take care of and the list goes on and on. Sometimes just something as simple as watching a movie or a tv show together can be a nice change. Just grab a popcorn and relax.

Play a game together

Whether it’s a deck of cards, a board game, or an interactive game, doing something together can be so much fun and can bring a lot of laughter. If you want to get more intimate, play 20 questions. When was the last time you did that? Whether you’re a new couple or have been together for as long as you can remember, you can ALWAYS continue to learn about someone. It can be fun and silly questions like “Do you believe that pineapples belong on pizza?” to the more serious and thought provoking questions like “When was the first moment you knew that you loved me?”

Share things you love with your love

I love taking photographs, trying and making new food, dancing, and traveling. I could take my boyfriend to a photography, cooking or dancing class, plan a trip with him, or even try a new place in town together. If I didn’t want to pay the money to take these classes I could watch some tutorials on YouTube. Maybe I could even teach him how to take photographs. This can be for both parties. Find something you love to do and share it with your significant other.

Write letters

This one is probably my favorite. Have you ever had some perfect speech written out in your head and as soon as you need to say it all of that content goes away and your mind is blank? Writing your thoughts down is the perfect way to say everything you want to say. So try it in a letter format and share it with them. Tell them how much you love them, what you love about them, compliment them, and share yourself with them. Even though it’s simple, it’s thoughtful.

Be present

Today’s world has been overtaken with technology and addiction to it is on the rise. I can’t tell you how many times I go somewhere and see a couple together not talking to each other but just scrolling on their phones. It’s really sad to me. So this one is to just put your phone away and BE PRESENT. Talk to the human being you are with. They are in person and not behind a screen. Have a conversation. I have actually started to make that more of a rule when my boyfriend and I are out. The only time we will bring our phones even out is to show each other something that we saw or to look something up if we need to find an answer to something real fast. Try this. You will be surprised what you can talk about.

Sure, maybe I didn’t exactly do all cute ones, but they are ideas that are unique. They aren’t the typical date ideas and they sure aren’t expensive. If you even take away one of these ideas I would be thrilled. Tell me below in the comments which one is your favorite and if you plan on trying any? Which ones? Feel free to even tell me ones that you have thought of. I am always looking for ideas for myself.