Friday, September 28, 2012

Motivation and a Bit of Doubt

I did it!!!!  I registered for my first 5K this morning.  Since I like to keep it real, I will tell you that I am pretty scared.  I have been training using the Couch Potato to 5K program.  I completed Week 8 last night and am now 3 workouts away from completion.  I will also tell you that in this instance, third time is a charm.  The first two times, I didn't make it through Week 3.  The third time around, I slowed down and it has made all the difference.  I won't be setting any speed records, but as has been pointed out to me "if you aren't walking, you are running".


There are two ways to work the program - either timed or distance.  I decided on the timed since that was much easier to do on the phone app.  So with only a week to go before completion, I am up to just about two miles.  Don't get me wrong, I am beyond proud of what I have accomplished. A little over a month ago I was struggling to go even half a mile.  My first 5K is a month from tomorrow and in that time, I have to increase my distance by a little over a mile.  I feel determined, but a little overwhelmed at the same time. 

I am sore today, but need to (and will) get back out there again tomorrow.   Although, I am more determined than ever, there is that little voice asking me if I can really do this.  Can I really run three plus miles without stopping?  Am I setting myself up for disappointment and embarrassment?  I have friends coming to run with and support me.  Not to mention a couple that is driving all the way from Plano to take photos so that I will be able to to preserve the memory.  I don't want to disappoint anyone - most of all myself.  I have worked hard for this!

Source: via Julie on Pinteres

Stay tuned...I will do my best to post a couple of updates on my progress over the next month. And please, if you have suggestions or words of wisdom, feel free to leave them as a comment. I would love to hear from you! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Three Amazing Ladies

Often times when one thing comes to end (sadly, in this case SUNDAY SNAPS), something really wonderful takes its place. A Beautiful Day is going to be rockin' some new faces and I could not be more excited.  I have been reading blogs for more than two years and I am definitely drawn to certain types of blogs.  I love DIY blogs!  I am not going to fib and say that is because I love to DIY, but I do have aspirations.  I don't want to be a "wanna be" forever.  I am a sucker for a good scrapping blog.  I am passionate about scrapbooking - this is something that I can actually do, but speedy I am not.  I think a more accurate description would be "binge scrapper".  I am determined to change that.  And finally, blogs with great photography suck me in every time.  I am addicted to pictures, but I am rarely the one behind the lens.  I long for a good DSLR and the ability to make it work - free of an Auto setting.
Now, for the good stuff.  Each of the ladies below inspires me each and every time I visit their blogs and now they have agreed to share a bit of themselves with my readers each and every month.  How lucky are we???? 
Megan is one of my dearest friends.  We met through work almost ten years ago.  She is truly talented and if I had just one tenth of her sense of style and design I would be a happy camper.  I am secretly (ok, maybe not so secretly) hoping that she will give my readers a little glimpse inside her home that she and her husband completely is truly beautiful!  Megan will be posting on the first Monday of every month - First Mondays With Megan.
I am not sure how I found Katie's blog, but I am so glad that I did. Katie is the kind of scrapper that I aspire to be - she ALWAYS has something going.  Whereas I always have a million things going, but normally only in my mind and not spread all over my craft table (also known as my dining table).  She scraps the big stuff as well as the everyday - through Project Life.  Katie and I have never met in real life, but maybe next year when she and her fiance make the move to Baton Rouge, we can change that.  She will be posting on the third Thursday of each month - Third Thursday Scrapbook Stories.
Kaeley was a regular on the short lived SUNDAY SNAPS link up.  Although she claims to be an amateur photographer, girlfriend has mad skills behind a camera.  I was in awe week after week as she linked up with post after post of fabulous photos.  I believe that you have to have an eye to capture truly great photographs, as well as a passion for it.  I think that you will soon agree that Kaeley has both and I truly believe that she is only going to get better.   She will be posting on the last Friday of the month - In Focus Friday w/ My Mind's Lens.
I am going to let each of these amazing ladies tell you a little about themselves.  I hope that you will take the time to get to know them and their blogs.  Please make sure to check back next month for their posts.
Hi, I’m Megan!  I’m a color-obsessed, DIY-loving, graphic designer. I spend my “free time” transforming our little home into an inspiring space, craft all kinds of projects, and also blog about healthy eating, eco-conscious living, random life tidbits, and all the many things I am passionate about. I care more about loving on animals rather than eating them, especially doting on our two pooches, Pancho and Bella. Married life keeps me pretty busy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Catch me over at The House of Martinez


Hi! I'm Katie, from Katie Stories. I'm a high school science teacher who loves to scrapbook everything from life's big events to the every day - and all of the other memories in between!
Recently, I began using the Project Life system. It has been amazing way to capture all of those little moments I sometimes forget about (but so want to remember!)

Last year, my fiance and I embarked a wonderful adventure that has taken us from the east coast to the mid west. And in a few short months, we will be moving down south! Of course, I'm scrapbooking the entire thing!

Come join me as I explore scrapping, Project Life and just exactly how to get a decent slice of pizza outside of New York!
The exciting life of Mrs. Mull (Kaeley) began . . . well okay, exciting may be exaggerating a bit.  For the past 3 1/2 years I have prepared taxes for a living, which most people would probably say is the polar opposite of exciting.  This is why I strive to make the most out of other aspects of life.  I married my best friend last spring and try to have as much fun with him as possible.  I love to travel - near or far - especially to places I've never been before (my trips include 3 months in China and a honeymoon in Jamaica!).  Anytime I can experience somewhere new is an adventure to me, especially when I get to bring my husband along.

My most recent love, though, is my camera.  Even as a little girl who didn't have her own camera, I would come home from a week at summer camp with multiple disposable ones.  I received a Nikon D3000 for Christmas a couple of years ago, but it hasn't been until this year that I have really made an effort to learn more about this hobby I enjoy so much.  It's been a blast to push myself to try new techniques and photographing subjects I wouldn't normally think of.  I am fairly new to the blogging world, but so excited to share some of that adventure!   You can find me over at My Mind's Lens.

I hope that you are all as excited to get to know these talented ladies, as I am to have them here once a month.  I am truly humbled that they have agreed to be a part of my little slice of the blog world as valued contributors.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Final SUNDAY SNAPS Link Up: Week 8

It is with a heavy heart that Sarah and I have decided that this will be our last SUNDAY SNAPS link up.  We had a great run, but quite honestly I think both of us are wanting to take our blogs in a different direction.  For any of you that currently do a link party or have in the past, you know that it is a big commitment.  Our link up numbers are holding steady at about 8 per week.  We are grateful to each and every one of you that has taken the time to link up, comment and visit some of your fellow bloggers sites as well...especially our regulars - you guys are truly the bomb!  Just because this is the last link does not mean that I am not going to post some of my favorites.  If you are featured, please feel free to grab a FEATURED button from my sidebar and rock it proudly somewhere on your blog.   Even though the party is ending you still earned it and should be proud!  So here they are, in no paticular order....

Love evrything about this one! Meg @ Borrowed Heaven

How cute is this....the location is kind of near ad dear to my heart...
pretty sure I stood right there watching the green river on
St. Paddy's Day 2012 - Katie @ Katie Stories
How cool is this!!!! Kimberly @ My Pinterest Reality
Great photos, ladies!  Thank you to each and every one of you - especially our regulars!  Please join us one last time for the SUNDAY SNAPS Link Up: Week 8.  Let's usher this linky party out on a high note!  There WILL be one more "featured" post sometime this next weekend, so stay tuned.  Have a great week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

SUNDAY SNAPS Week 8 - Salt Lake City

I had a seriously busy weekend.  I worked the True Value Fall Market for my was Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. 

Booth at the True Value Fall Market
But wait, there is a plus side - it was in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Another one of the many places in the good ole US of A that I have never visited.  Since the purpose of the visit was to work, I didn't spend a lot of time outside the convention center, but Saturday after the show was closed for the day and the men folk had moved on to college football (what else would they have been doing late Saturday afternoon / evening) I was bound and determined to check out Temple Sqaure. 

The beautiful temple
Luckily, it was only about four blocks from our hotel.  I did not spend a lot of time there, but the temple is beautiful and the grounds are immaculate....beautiful flowers throughout. 

Lovely flowers on the grounds
All of the buildings are accessible with the exception of the actual Temple and there are a wealth of knowledgable guides throughout in case of questions.  The Assembly Hall is beautiful as well and if you are lucky you can catch an organ concert or a Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal....which I heard was absolutely amazing.

Assembly Hall with some pretty cool lighting
Close up....the materials used to build Assembly Hall were leftover from construction of the Temple

Another view of Assembly Hall

If you are ever in Salt Lake City, don't miss it.  It is free to tour and amazing to see!  Don't forget to link up with SUNDAY have through Friday!  Have a great week!

A Beautiful Day
Also linking up with:
 then, she {snapped}

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Link Up: SUNDAY SNAPS Week 7

Even though this isn't posting until midnight, I would like to make it known that it is only 1:45 PM on SATURDAY and I am already getting it ready to go up at midnight + .01.   Yes, I am giving myself a little pat on the back...especially since last week it was Monday evening.

Here we go....SUNDAY SNAPS - a weekly photography link up week 7.  Our link up following is still really small, but boy do we have some talented regulars!!!  Yes, I am sure that you have seen a couple of these ladies before, but they do rock my socks.  Here are my features from week 6 of SUNDAY SNAPS:

Jennifer @ Finding My Way In Texas
How gorgeous is this????
Lauren @ The Crazy Life of LT
Love that she captured a pic of the presh cupcakes that my co-host Sarah
whipped up for our blogger event
Kaeley @ My Mind's Lens
I frequently long to live by the ocean....I don't get there nearly enough....
these "snaps" make me happy!

Sarah and I would love to see some newcomers this week - we would truly be thrilled to have you!  So what are you waiting up and ENJOY!  We do have just a few rules:

  • Please follow both of your hosts! (Myself and Sarah)
  • You MUST provide the party button somewhere in your post in order to link back to this party (available to the right on my sidebar). Failure to do so may result in your link-up being removed.
  • Link up to specific posts, not just your blog.
  • HAVE FUN! And follow some of your fellow link-up bloggers while you're at it!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


For once I am a little ahead of the game on my link up for SUNDAY SNAPS...and yes, I am liking it!! 

A Beautiful Day

Anyway, even though I haven't been talking about it much on the blog....because for some reason when I do, it usually throws me off - at least where fitness is concerned, I am currently obsessed with completing a 5K (running the entire way).  I am sure to many of you that is a walk in the park but for me it is a huge milestone.  I am was the true epitome of the "couch potato" in the Couch Potato to 5K training program.  In the early weeks, I was doubting myself at every turn.  This morning I completed week 7 and only have 2 weeks to go!   I have been using the timed version as opposed to the distance version, so I will still have some work to do after the 9 weeks are complete, but people I AM DOING IT!!!!!  My first 5K is scheduled for October 27th. 

Got some bright new running duds ...and best of all they were on the cheap!!!!

After Week 7, Day 2....I managed a smile!
So far I have only attempted one outdoor workout (I think in week 4)....
usually I hit the treadmill, but I did an outdoor run this morning and managed to survive,
humidity and all.
I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend!  Don't forget to link up tomorrow...the link will go live just after midnight on Sunday morning.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DFW Blogger Event 09.08.12 (Finally!)

To some of you this is stale news....I think I am the last of the group to get my post up.  But as I always say "better late than never".  I thought about not posting it since so many others have already done such a great job documenting our wonderful evening, but then I really wanted it on my own blog so here goes......

Earlier this summer I joined a Facebook group for "Texas Bloggers" started by Jennifer from Finding My Way In Texas.  I have been know to be a little shy until I get to know people, but I was determined to jump in with both feet.  I jumped at the first opportunity to meet Jennifer at a craft show she was participating in over in Fort Worth.  She was an absolute delight and from then on I had the bug to meet other members of the group.  Enter the first DFW Blogger Event.  I co-hosted with two other ladies from the group:  Sarah from City Girl Gone Country and Taylor from Goings On In Texas.  It was held at A Piece of Work where you can socialize, indulge in some wine and create a painting - which may or may not be suitable for display in your home.  Anyway, I will not dwell on my lack of artistic ability cuz let me tell was a blast!!!!

Row 1 - The hostesses: Sarah, Taylor and I
Row 2 - Part of the group, the entire group with our finished projects
Row 3 - Jill @ Nokoikonomia,, Nicole @ Three 31, Cynthia @ Oh So Pinteresting
I could not have asked for a more wonderful group of ladies.  They were fun, beautiful, engaging and quite a few of them were pretty darn funny!  We all had blogging in common but were unique in what we brought to the table based on the focus of our blogs.  It was great to finally meet ladies whose blogs I have been following regualry for months.  They were all genuine and were just as they portrayed themselves on their blogs and I LOVED that!

Row 1 - Jill and Kristen @ Few of My Favorite Things, Becky @ The Java Mama and I
Row 2 - Holli @ Holli's Hoots and Hollers, April @ Red Dirt Mama and Kristen
To sum it all up...there was good food, good wine, fabulous fellowship and some painting.  The ladies at A Piece of Work were wonderful.  Our instructor was very informative, patient and supportive...all necessary qualities when dealing with ladies  ok ME, who can only pretend that they know what they are doing.  I would recommend them to anyone interested in a fun night out.

I can't close this post without sending a shout out to Kristen at Little Laws Prints.  If you are ever in the market for party accessories, stationery or invitations she is your gal!!!!  Her customer service is second to about speedy turnaround...WOW!!!  I told her what I had in mind for the event and she had proofs ready for me to look at in less than a was like she was reading my mind.  She also went above and beyond for me when I had trouble with my Paypal account and made sure that everything arrived on time. She provided the banner, tent cards for the food and the little button rounds for the favor boxes - which I thought were the perfect final touch for the boxes.

Thank you so much to all the ladies that joined us for this fun evening....I am already looking forward to the next time that we can all get together.  And a special thanks to Sarah, April, and Becky for allowing me to grab some of your photos.....there were so many talented photographers that I didn't see much point in getting out my camera and fighting the more often than not, non-operating flash.

I am sorry that I didn't grab pics of everyone, but this post is getting crazy long and I am fading quickly.  Please know that I feel blessed to have met each and every one of the words of Nicole you are all the "bee's knees"!!!!!

Fellow TEXAS BLOGGERS Series: September Edition

Ten is a nice round number...don't you think?  And ten is where I am going to stop - at least for now.  I have been fortunate enough to be able to share with you ten amazing ladies from the TEXAS BLOGGERS Facebook group.  I have loved getting to know them through their blogs and have been lucky enough to meet a good number of them through our blogger meet up - the post is coming, I promise!  Anyway, I have something new on the horizon that I am so excited about.  I can't wait to share it with you all later in the month.

To round out my series I have Amanda from Princess of the Panhandle.  Amanda was one of the bloggers that I was fortunate enough to meet this past Saturday.  She is an absolute hoot and truly lights up a room when she walks in!  And now, I think I will turn it over to her......

Hey there! I'm Amanda from Princess of the Panhandle and I am taking over Julie's blog today.

I recently met Julie this past weekend at a blogger meet up and let me tell you she is just as sweet in person as she is here on her blog.

I will tell you a little about myself and my blog. I am a new Mama to a special little preemie princess named Teale, pronounced as teal, like the color. I am also newly married to a Cowboy, not from the Dallas Cowboys, but a real Cowboy who takes care of cattle, rides horses, trains horses, and lives on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. I graduate nursing school this coming Friday and then I will be moving out there with him to the ranch. When I have free time I like to work on my scrapbooks, decorate our home, blog, try new recipes, ride horses, go fishing, turn junk into treasures for our home, hang out at the lake, visit my family, and drink a glass of wine or two.

This is from our first family pictures we had made after baby Teale was out of the hospital.

Meet Jay, my favorite horse that we own.

These are our fur kids. The one in the middle is Dollar, our diva child. Callie is on the left and Buddy on the right. Our house is overrun with women, sorry Mr. H and Buddy.

This is Nicole and I at the blogger meet up this past weekend.

Please stop by and show Amanda some blog love....I know she would be thrilled that you dropped in!

Amanda, thank you so much for the guest was my pleasure to have you.  Congratulations on your graduation tomorrow - that is quite an accomplishment!  And finally, I am so glad that we were able to meet before you relocated and I hope that we will meet again!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Link Up: SUNDAY SNAPS Week 6 (On Monday)

The weekend got away from me.....I co-hosted an awesome blogger meet up on Saturday (that was wonderful and I will blog about it later in the week) and after that I just vegged.  Not an excuse, just stating the facts.  Anyway, I slacked this Sunday but luckily Sarah was on ball - we seem to compliment each other like that.  She is one of the fabulous ladies that I got meet on Saturday and she could not be sweeter!

OK...on to Week 6 of SUNDAY SNAPS - a weekly photography link up.  Thank you to each of you that have linked up and especially those of you that are consistently linking up with us every week...we love to see you week after week!  Here are a few of my favorites from last week's link up - it is all about sweet little girls and apparently a little flower sniffing!

Cyn @ The Chunky Goddess - I adore hydrangeas and well Skylar,
I just want to give her a squueze
Kelley @ The Grant Life - Ryley apparently likes to swing.
How fun does that look?
Kaeley @ My Mind's Lens - Miss Taryn stopped to truly
smell the roses flowers

Would you like to get in on the action?  It's simple, just follow these few rules:

  • Please follow both of your hosts! (Myself and Sarah)
  • You MUST provide the party button somewhere in your post in order to link back to this party (available to the right on my sidebar). Failure to do so may result in your link-up being removed.
  • Link up to specific posts, not just your blog.
  • HAVE FUN! And follow some of your fellow link-up bloggers while you're at it!

I apologize again for my was just one of those weekends.  You have until midnight Friday to link up.  I can't wait to see what you have for us this week!


Better late than never with my contribution for Week 6 of Sunday Snaps.  I have been longing for the beach lately so I thought that I would once again reach back to in my picture archives and share a bit more of Cabo San Lucas, MX with you.  This was a vacation of a lifetime for me...ocean, beach, beautiful resort, margaritas, great friends and a dear friend's wedding.  Honestly, could it have gotten any better?

The breathtaking view from the entrance to the resort

Looking out over the infinity pool

The happy couple
Have a wonderful week and don't forget to link know you want to!!  The link is open until midnight on Friday and will feature my three favorites from last week's SUNDAY SNAPS. 

A Beautiful Day

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guest Poster: Katie from Katie Stories

I wish that I could tell you how I stumbled across Katie's blog, but I can't.  I think that it was one of those things that was just meant to be.  She is a scrapping machine.  Between traditional scrapbooking, Project Life and projects for around her and her fiance's apartment, Katie always has something in the works.  In short, the girl INSPIRES me!!!  Katie is the first person I ever reached out to personally to guest post on my blog and I was thrilled when she agreed.  So, I am turning it over to her....ENJOY!

Hi A Beautiful Day readers!

I'm Katie from Katie Stories. I'm a New York girl living in the mid west with my fiance and way too many scrapbook supplies for my apartment!

Jules has been such a wonderful blogger to get to know. When she asked me to be part of her September guest poster series, I was honored! There was happy dancing in my very small apartment - which may have led to some falling down over the myriad of scrapbook supplies on the floor ;)

As a science teacher, I love when fall rolls around and school is back in session. Even though this actually happens in August throughout most of the country (including here in Chicago), September will always mean back to school for this east coast girl.

So what could be more perfect for a September scrapbook layout than Back to School?

Since I am already stepping out of my blogging comfort zone with my first ever guest post, I figured, let's keep the trend going and step out of my scrapbook box with a one page layout!

I love the look of washi tape, but I just didn't have any school themed tape. Fortunately, I had just purchased the Die Cuts with a View Edumacation Stack. There was an awesome page with borders I was able to cut up to get the look I wanted.

This blue strip is my favorite. Its just so fabulously science-y!

I cut the title letters out with my Sizzix lollipop alphabet. Its one of my favorite fonts for school related layouts. Then I covered them in white glitter, just to add a  bit of sparkle, because who doesn't love a bit of sparkle?!

Well, that is all for me today! Stop by Katie Stories and say hi, I love to meet new people and check out new-to-me blogs!

Thank you for letting me take over your blog for a day Jules! It was truly an honor to be here.

I hope that you enjoyed Katie's post....I have a sneeky feeling that you haven't seen the last of her around these parts!  Don't forget to drop by Katie's little slice of the blog world and say "hello"....she would love to have you!

Thank you, Katie for sharing your back to school layout with my readers.  It is a great layout and I love the way you gave the paper the washi tape look!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Link Up: SUNDAY SNAPS Week 5

It is already that time again!  I can't believe that we have already been at this for 5 weeks.  Without further delay here is Week 5 of SUNDAY SNAPS - a weekly photography link up.

Thank you to each and every one of you that linked up for Week 4 of SUNDAY SNAPS.  Sarah and I are thrilled that you took time from your blogging world as well as your life to link up with little old us!  Here are my three favorites from last week:
Heather @ Our Life In A Click

Debbie @ Painted Therapy
Jeanette @ Crafty in Crosby
I enjoy seeing beautiful scenery as well as just everyday fun photos that could be a great addition to a Project Life layout.  Keep the photos coming ladies, we love to see what you have been up to...past or present.  If you have been featured, please grab a "FEATURED" button from my right sidebar and display it on your blog...LOUD AND deserve it!
For those of you that are new, here are just a few rules:
  • Please follow both of your hosts! (Myself and Sarah)
  • You MUST provide the party button somewhere in your post in order to link back to this party (available to the right on my sidebar). Failure to do so may result in your link-up being removed.
  • Link up to specific posts, not just your blog.
  • HAVE FUN! And follow some of your fellow link-up bloggers while you're at it!

Sarah and I hope to see you next week!  Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


SUNDAY SNAPS is right around the corner and look at me being all proactive!  My co-host, Sarah, is vacationing in Michigan and she is depending on me to have my act together...I am not going to let her down!  This linky party is happening ON TIME this excuses!

Today is my daddy's 63rd birthday.  We celebrated last night with a nice dinner out.  After we got our drinks, my mom said "We have to have a toast."  Dad's choice of toasts was "Here's to being alive."  It was classic Chuck, trust me.  My dad prefers to keep things pretty private, so I won't go into a bunch of detail, but the last few years have been truly rough health wise...he is climbing a lot of hurdles.  Based on events about 13 months ago, we are beyond blessed to have him with us today.  Always remember that a few minutes can be all that it takes to alter the course of your life....never take those that you love for granted.  Tomorrow is never promised!  I love you, Daddy and look forward to many more years of birthdays!

Here is the lone photo that I snapped from last night.  It was monumental because it was the first and only take.  My mom has a really nasty habit of closing her eyes during pictures....take after take.  So, the fact that this was the first and only picture snapped was pretty awesome in my book!

My parents celebrating my dad's 63rd
Hope you are all enjoying your long Labor Day Weekend!  Don't forget to link have until Friday!  The link up will be open Sunday at 12:01 AM and will include my featured pics from last week's SUNDAY SNAPS.

A Beautiful Day