Monday, September 30, 2013

Something Special

Monday, September 30: Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it's special.

My something special was used on my wedding day...actually TWO something specials. The first item, my mom loaned me. It was her mom's ring, a birthstone ring with my Grandpa, my Grandma, my mom and my uncle's birthstones. I wore it on my right hand at the wedding. The second item, mom gave me on behalf of my Grandma. It was one of her old lace handkerchiefs. My sister stitched our wedding date on it in blue. I carried the hankie in my hand around my flower bouquet. Those items made up my something old, something borrowed, something blue. ;)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pumpkin Show

Gotta love fall in small town Indiana - I think Indiana is home to a million little festivals! ha

One of the longest standing festivals in my area is the Versailles Pumpkin Show. It has been around for over 100 years! It's about 10-15 minutes from our home and since Eric & the girls had never been...we thought we'd go. I hadn't been in about 7 years and before that it had been 3 years since I'd gone every year. :p

I was a bit saddened that it wasn't quite as great as days of old, but it is still a nice little festival with rides and fair food!

After filling our bellies (and emptying Eric's wallet), Jordan rode a few rides and then we hit up Dairy Queen for a treat before heading home. :)

Jordy & dad riding spinning dragons

Eric with his nephew Clayton (anyone else see a scary resemblance? ha Eric is C's hero!)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Welcome, Sadie!

We have added a new addition to our family this week...a puppy!!

Everyone please welcome Sadie! Yes, hubby and oldest step-daughter both separately came up with the name based on Duck Dynasty. ha

She is oh so cute...and we're smitten. :) Don't ask what breed...cause we don't know! Her momma was dropped off pregnant at a friend's house and they had 9 puppies to get rid of. Her 8 brothers and sisters are still looking for homes, but we've done our best to spread the word via Facebook.


Sadie meeting Lucky for the 1st time

I iz sleepy! Quit taking pics mom & dad.

my car is her fave daytime hiding/sleeping spot

Dear Facebook

Friday, September 27: An anonymous letter to your Facebook friends. Be as snarky as you'd like. (but don't include people's real names.) 

Dear Facebook users - 

I do love Facebook. I was one of the first users back in the day. Yes, I realize that makes me seem OLD. Fact is, my first Facebook account was created back in the early college years when a friend at a "test school" for FB sent several of us Boilermakers an invite. We joined, had absolutely no clue what the purpose was (I mean...Myspace anyone? ha) and promptly lost our passwords to gain access so later on created new accounts. 

Facebook has changed...practically weekly sometimes. While it is great for some things, such as reconnecting with old friends, networking with colleagues, or just having your own little space on the interwebs, it is also NOT so great for other things. Those not so great things would be: sharing EVERY single step you've made through the day and repeating it EVERY day, posting 10 million fishy face selfies, posting pictures of you kissing on "the love of your life" who happens to change every couple of months, commenting on how horrible your life is because you had to work today (while others who would be 10x more grateful can't find a job), or sending me links for the latest health craze (I'm sorry but pills and shakes don't work long have to learn how to eat healthy and then vitamin supplements are great) because I'm obviously the fat girl that needs to lose weight!

I'm sorry if you see my personal business posts and get annoyed. I have MANY customers as friends and lots of them order repeatedly because of my FB posts. I do try to keep a good mix between life happenings, pictures and business posts so you will stay my friend. ha ;)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

30 Miles in 30 Days: Week 4 Update

Adventures of Manda and Mr Howie

Jeez...can anyone else believe that it is the end of September already?? This month has FLOWN by! Yikes.

Sept 1 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 2 - none
Sept 3 - none
Sept 4 - walked 2 miles outside
Sept 5 - walked 2 miles outside
Week 1 Total = 5 miles

Sept 6 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 7 - none (was at a Scentsy event all day)
Sept 8 - none
Sept 9 - none
Sept 10 - walked 2 miles outside
Sept 11 - walked 2 miles treadmill
Sept 12 - walked 2 miles treadmill
Week 2 Total = 7 miles

Sept 13 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 14 - none
Sept 15 - none
Sept 16 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 17 - walked 2 miles outside
Sept 18 - walked 1 mile treadmill
Sept 19 - walked 1 mile treadmill
Week 3 Total = 6 miles

Sept 20 - none
Sept 21 - none
Sept 22 - .5 miles outside
Sept 23 - none
Sept 24 - walked 3.5 miles outside
Sept 25 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 26 - walked 4 miles inside with Leslie Sansone dvd
Week 4 Total = 9 miles

Total so far - 27 miles

It's a beautiful day out, but after getting a little too much sun the other day on my 3.5 mile walk outside (my shoulders and chest are still pink (oops!) and the fact that my ankle hurts so much while walking on the road, I decided that I would dust off one of my workout dvds and give it a go. I wore my ankle brace during the dvd walking since there are a lot of side steps. My ankle is definitely feeling it, but I think it was a good rehab workout. I am going to try to use that dvd a few times a week to mix it up and hopefully help my ankle finish healing (I was supposed to be going to physical therapy, but I lost my insurance and it's like $600 a visit before insurance adjustments where I was, no.)

I should be able to get my last 3 miles in before the end of the month. We don't have a very busy weekend planned as of right now, so with any luck, weather will still be nice (it's been in the mid to high 70's all week) and I can go outside and maybe get the hubs to go for a few walks with me.

Check back next week for the final September recap and kicking off October! :)

Happy Happy Happy

Thursday, September 26: Go to a coffee shop. Order a favorite drink. Write about what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Or write about anything you'd like! Bonus points for including a photo from the coffee shop. (I recommend downloading Ommwriter and bringing headphones along!) *if you can't make it to a coffee shop, at least leave your usual space and write someplace new.

Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of visiting a coffee shop...a) we don't have one anywhere close by and b) I wouldn't have the money to go even if we did. ha

Today I walked 3.5 miles outside in the beautiful sunshine, so in a way that was my "new place" to work up a post in my mind.

Things that make me happy:
-my husband
-my family
-Dairy Queen treats
-fall weather

And as Phil Robertson would say (come on people, tell me you're watching Duck Dynasty!!) - life is making me "happy happy happy." ;)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nobody is Perfect

Wednesday, September 25: Write about a time you screwed up - a mistake you made. 

Ugh. Really? I have so many choices to pick from that it should be illegal to make that many mistakes! ha

I don't think that I can easily pick one mistake, so I will talk about something that gets me in trouble all the time - my mouth. Yes, you read that right. I often makes verbal mistakes. As a stubborn, opinionated  first-born child (yeah, let's face it - us 1st borns are pretty much all that way!), my outspoken and loud mouth often causes problems for me. I'm not one to always think before I speak. Heck, I opened my mouth yesterday in frustration and anger...and it caused grief for me the entire day. It is often hard to remember to think first and speak last, but instead ugliness comes spewing forth. Not puke folks...hurtful words that I can't take back. 

I have been doing better lately, but it's a work in progress. The moral of the story is that I'm not perfect and never will be, no one can claim that. We all learn from our mistakes (hopefully) and do our best to not make them in the future.

One day I'll learn. Right??

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: Skin Care

Tuesday, September 24: Review a book, place, or product.

One of my all time favorite beauty finds was while roaming the shelves at Ulta, looking for a new skin care system to try. I had tried SOOOOOOOOO many brands, expensive and inexpensive, with no luck. I have been plagued with lifelong acne, even as an adult. I was jealous of all my friends with their clear skin and non-oily appearance!

I happened upon these gems...

These 2 magnificent items have kept my skin breakout-free for over a year! I have had maybe 2 pimples in the entire time I've been using these items and when I had the blemishes - it was because I hadn't washed my face twice the day before! Yes...all you ladies better be washing your face morning and night!! And NEVER sleep in makeup! :)

The Philosophy brand is not the cheapest, but also is not the most pricey I've ever purchased. Your skin is a great investment and you won't go wrong with these!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life Lately

Monday, September 23: A "life lately" post. What you're up to, how you're feeling, how you're doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!

Well....lately, life has been a bit stressful. Losing my job 1 day after being released back to work (after all my leg issues) and losing your job is not my idea of a good time. And it doesn't help when your husband is looking for work as well. Ugh. Luckily, my unemployment was approved. It's less than half of what I made a week in my job, but something is better than nothing until we can find work. 

Our Scentsy businesses (Scentsy, Velata, Grace Adele) have been keeping us busy. THANK GOODNESS. I would be going nuts sitting at home with nothing to do. At least we're able to make a little extra money, although that used to be "fun" money or money to pay for unexpected it's our livelihood. So if you have EVER thought about having a catalog/online party (essentially showing a catalog and collecting orders from friends/family and getting the host rewards without having to clean your house!), we are not to proud to BEG! ;) Every order helps right now....especially since we're back in qualification for another FREE trip from Scentsy! I have earned it my first 2 years and hoping for a 3rd time! This year the trip we want to earn is to the Atlantis in the Bahamas for a week!! 

We've also been busy with Jordan's cheerleading. I had no clue that youth football/cheerleading could be so demanding! Yikes. Not sure I'm cut out to be a sports mom, even though I loved doing the same things as a kid. haha

Beyond that....I am super pumped about the fall weather we've been having! And lusting after some boots (which I've never had before).

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Crafts: Wreath

I have pinned soooooo many DIY projects on Pinterest that it really should be a crime...especially considering that I've accomplished so few.

The other day I was in Hobby Lobby territory (closest one is 45 minutes away from me) and had to make a pit stop. Supplies were purchased to complete a few craft projects, one which is a gift and cannot be revealed until a later date (in case she happens upon my blog!).

First item up to bat was a wreath for the fall season. It could really be used year round as I tried to pick colors that go with lots of our stuff. The main colors are green and gold which I thought looked like fall and winter time!

ribbon & foam wreath

glue gun heating up

mid-way through the project (note: it is harder to wrap the ribbon than expected & keep it from bunching on the backside)

how it looked as soon as I finished tying the bow

it's final place (for now) hanging on the wall behind the couch

Friday, September 20, 2013


Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort. 

To me, comfort means your "spot," your place in life and place that you most feel like yourself. For me...nothing speaks more of comfort than being at home, in my pajamas, curled up on the couch, reading a book or watching a movie with my husband. And while that is my MOST comfortable place and time, I also feel completely at ease being in front of a crowd giving a speech or leading a group in some sort of activity. So many things provide comfort - a hug, a bowl of coffee ice cream (yum!), blogging about a bad day, a text from a friend to celebrate an accomplishment, etc. 

Things that cause me to step out of my comfort zone (calling people on the phone) also provides me with relief and comfort AFTER the fact because I lived through it! ha ;)

Hope you all get to enjoy the comforts of your life today!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

30 Miles in 30 Days: Week 3 Update

Adventures of Manda and Mr Howie

Week 3 is over and I still feel good about getting my 30 miles in, possibly more! My ankle is really sore today. I enjoy walking outside so much (glutton for punishment), but am slowly coming to the realization that it's going to have to be more for leisure outside rather than exercise. The pavement is just too unsteady and although I've been extremely careful...the pain is almost immediate when I walk outside vs the treadmill.

Sept 1 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 2 - none
Sept 3 - none
Sept 4 - walked 2 miles outside
Sept 5 - walked 2 miles outside
Week 1 Total = 5 miles

Sept 6 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 7 - none (was at a Scentsy event all day)
Sept 8 - none
Sept 9 - none
Sept 10 - walked 2 miles outside
Sept 11 - walked 2 miles treadmill
Sept 12 - walked 2 miles treadmill
Week 2 Total = 7 miles

Sept 13 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 14 - none
Sept 15 - none
Sept 16 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 17 - walked 2 miles outside
Sept 18 - walked 1 mile treadmill
Sept 19 - walked 1 mile treadmill
Week 3 Total = 6 miles

Total so far - 18 miles

Today is a rainy gray day...hoping the weekend is nice because the girls have already asked to go for a walk! Jordan also has another football game to shake her pom poms at, so we have a full weekend ahead.

A Story

Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: "To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century."

Sorry folks! I am sooooooo not a creative writer, nor did I have time for this one. And since I woke up to a thunderstorm this morning (LOVE), I just really didn't feel like it! ha

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Wednesday, September 18: Only photos

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Repeat History

Tuesday, September 17: A memory you would love to relive.

Whew...this is a good one! The funny thing is, I've had LOTS of great memories (really, more than most my age would normally consider) and after looking back, I'm surprised at myself that I picked ONE memory so quickly. 

I would love to relive ziplining at the Super Bowl festivities in Indianapolis in 2012. Why??? Well.....that was my first ever zipline adventure and I was terrified. I remember being so excited leading up to it. My sister had bought the tickets for us as something to do together and as a way to truly live it up while the Super Bowl was in our city! We weaved our way through the line - getting weighed, getting rigged in the harnesses, climbing up the flights of stairs and finally getting to the platform. I had watched people going flying over the street for a few hours that evening and they all looked like they were having soooooo much fun! The thought of stepping off the few itty bitty steps over the street and zooming across to the other platform was nearly the end of me. Seriously. It's the closest to a panic attack that I've ever had. We stood waiting our turn at the top...and then...the workers were hooking our harness up to the main zipline and telling us we were good to go. I think my heart about jumped out of my chest! Luckily, the guy working my line was from Australia and he got me talking about my trip down under a few years before...and before I knew it...Jenna had gone zooming across the street and it was do or die time. I pretty much let him push me off the ledge and away I went! The crowd below was cheering, I was trying to take it all in while keeping myself from spinning on the line (that was too much for someone who doesn't like to spin fast) and prepare myself for getting onto the other platform successfully! ha

It was exciting to land at the other platform and feel the rush of adrenaline! I don't think Jenna or I stopped smiling the entire night. Jenna was good enough on the line that she got video of her ride. Our friends, Reid & Nicole, took pictures from below as we went across. 

I am pleased to say that I lived through it, but I wish I could have ENJOYED it that much more!?! 5 months after that experience, I got to do a zipline course in the Dominican Republic, which I was again a little nervous BUT loved every second after stepping off the first platform! I definitely didn't have the anxiety with that set of ziplines like the 1 simple one in Indy.

Waiting to step off the platform

Won a $100 gift card to my fave brewery/eatery in Indy for wearing their gear on the zipline!

at the base of the zipline platform (sorry, not sure why pic rotated itself!)

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Letter

Monday, September 16: Write a public love letter to someone in your life. (It doesn't necessarily need to be romantic.)

My dearest husband, What a crazy ride we have been on. 135 days ago was one of the happiest days of my life thus far - our wedding day. Little did we know that after returning home from our honeymoon a little over a week later, it wouldn't take long for us to be tested as a couple. After breaking my leg, I know I have been a pain in the ass. Truly. You spent the entire summer (June-Aug) taking care of me, dealing with my depression at times over not  being active like I was used to, carting me back and forth to doctor appointments, taking care of the girls without any help and so much more... It was quite difficult to be "newlyweds" with your wife laid up for the entire first 3 months of our married life. A broken leg, 3 hospital stays due to blood clots (from the broken leg) and many mood swings later...we are starting to get to live life as newlyweds. I love you so much that there are no words to explain it. I am so thankful that you are a strong man who doesn't give up. Life has certainly not been easy at any time for you, but you haven't given up and for that I am so proud of you! I love you and I can't wait to see where life takes us next.

With all my love, Erin

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Selfie

Friday, September 13: A self portrait

Me - most days

Me - how I wish my hair would fix every day ;)

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Thursday, September 12: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.

It's funny how if this question had been asked of me 9 years ago when I was leaving answer would have been VERY different. Wow has technology changed!

There are days that I am blown away by the fact that my step-daughters have rarely known a day of their lives without cell phones and texting, while texting wasn't even popular when I was in college. I didn't add the texting plan to my cell phone until I was living in Indy (nearly 1-2 years after graduating college). CRAZY.

I would have to say that blogging has probably changed me the most. Sure I use social media to all it's advantages...rarely go a day without checking Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. But it's blogging that brings it all home for me. Maybe that's it...blogging does feel like a "home." We become a community, a family. Bloggers encourage each other and share their lives quite openly. Most of us will never meet in person. I have good IRL (in real life) friends who are bloggers and I love being able to keep up with them and their growing families. I have other blogger buddies whom I've never met (and some of you would love to one day meet if fate allows!), but who have been there for me on my joyous days and even more so on my bad days.

Who knew this little slice of the internet would be so much fun?!?

30 Miles in 30 Days: Week 2 Update

Adventures of Manda and Mr Howie

Here we go for the 2nd week of the challenge...I was actually able to stay on track! I switched over to the treadmill yesterday and my ankle didn't bother me at all, so will keep at it for a little while (at least while it is so darn hot out!). I really prefer walking outside because I love looking at nature while I walk, but being able to pace myself better and not have any pain from my leg issues is the more important cause for now.

Sept 1 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 2 - none
Sept 3 - none
Sept 4 - walked 2 miles outside
Sept 5 - walked 2 miles outside
Week 1 Total = 5 miles

Sept 6 - walked 1 mile outside
Sept 7 - none (was at a Scentsy event all day)
Sept 8 - none
Sept 9 - none
Sept 10 - walked 2 miles outside
Sept 11 - walked 2 miles treadmill
Sept 12 - walked 2 miles treadmill

Total so far - 12 miles

My *HAPPY* moment for the week is that I "think" my leg swelling has gone down a little...and Eric agrees. My knee and toes are still bigger, but it looks like my calf and shin area are smaller. Hoping that the walking will continue to create a stronger blood flow through my entire leg and that I'll get back to a normal sized leg! At least now when I go places, it isn't quite as noticeable as before...unless you're looking! ha

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shopping: My Nightmare

Wednesday, September 11: Share links to your favorite online shops, preferably with a few photos of your favorite items in each shop.

So is a nightmare for me. I HATE it. That is, I hate having to shop for myself. Now it's a different story when it comes to others...I love to shop for friends and family. 

I was trying to decide how in the world I was going to pick some online shops that I enjoy when all of a sudden it hit me! Three places I really enjoy shopping are with home business is my favorite go to place for gifts, for my own accessories, and for decorating our home. :)

Savor The Scent (Scentsy)

Bags, Baubles 'n More (Grace Adele)

Easy Breezy Fondue (Velata)


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