GRIEVING THE LIVING

Grieving is a tough thing when you lose someone in the finality of it but it’s also tough when you have someone who is still alive, yet no longer in your life. Have you dealt with this? It can happen in many relationships whether romantic, friendships, neighbors, or even family members.

It hurts when you realize you are not as important to someone as you thought you were. The sadness is consuming and manifests itself at strange times. You will soon realize that life is peppered with reminders of that person. You hear a joke or make a new recipe with that person’s favorite foods and your first instinct will be “So and So will love this!”, and then you quickly remember that you are no longer speaking. Cleaning out your closet you will find a scarf or other item that person bought you for one of those holidays or just because moments, as you always knew what the other loved, and for a second, you will be overcome with a sense of loss. 
Got some good news to share? A secret to spill? An inside joke that you’re dying to laugh at? You turn and are left with the gaping doorway now, a giant hole. Instead of the familiar you are left with… nothing. You also quickly realize how many of your greatest memories now feel tainted and cause you pain. We trust that person with our secrets and share with them our silliest of memories, so when they leave, they seem to take those with them. Losing someone, who at one time, a very long time, was a constant in your life is difficult. It’s lonely. It’s cold and it’s dark. 


Several months back, I found myself trying to cope with such a loss. I found myself crying at odd times and in odd places, my stomach was a mess and I realized, I was in disbelief, I was grieving and I wondered how I could mourn someone who is still alive? The ache of missing someone who is very much alive, or the realization that you must retrain your brain and rid yourself of the memory reflex that tries to constantly direct you to where your loved one once was is real. 


Drifting apart and sudden loss are two different things. Drifting apart can happen for many reasons, is gradual and you both kind of get it. But sudden abrupt loss when you're unsure exactly of the “why” stings to your core!! Misunderstandings, miscommunications, regrets or anger over a change in a situation can cause the relationship to come to an abrupt halt. At least when you know why, you can gain understanding, grow from it, deal with it and move on. This often happens in romantic relationships when there’s a break up and whether you agree with it or not, you get it. However, sometimes it cuts even deeper to grieve that person when there’s just big question marks in the way.



I don't want to go into too much detail personally on this as I am a very private person but I know many of you can relate so I thought it was important to tell you that you're not alone. When a relationship is lost, a bit of magic is lost, and the cold and lonely reality of what’s left – and what’s gone – demands acceptance, healing, and grief. Let yourself grieve, Let yourself cry. The ache in your heart and soul is real, is true and is understandable. Please remember this, if you find yourself grieving over the loss of a relationship or friendship that meant the world to you, just like any painful experience, it will get better. You’ll live, you’ll laugh, you’ll still find times where you miss them fiercely, but you’ll make new relationships, new friends, it may strengthen older relationships and you’ll find yourself appreciating the little things even more than you thought you already did. 

HUGS to you all, and an extra one if you have been through what I mentioned here. Have a great week my friends! 


LINKING-UP with Biana // Totally Terrific Tuesday // Inspire Me Monday // Inspire Me Tuesday // Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party // Creative Monday's // Creative Muster Party // Wow Us Wednesdays // Wonderful Wednesday's Blog Hop // Feathered Nest Friday // Metamorphosis Monday // The Scoop // Cooking & Crafting with J&J // Friday Favorites Link Party // Clever Chicks Blog Hop // Share Your Style Link Party
xoxo

FRIDAY FAVORITES...WELCOME WINTER

This was quite the uneventful week. However, a snowstorm and bitter cold are hitting this weekend and the good news is we have few plans so it’s going to be quite snuggly. Let's get to it so you can get on what the most Fabulous Friday!

1. Road Trip in a Snow Storm
As many of you know from my Insta stories, we went down to Purdue where one of our sons goes to college to celebrate with him on his actual birthday. It was important to us to spend the boy’s birthdays with them on their actual day if possible so we braved a snowstorm to see this boy! 80’s tunes helped and Yes, there are several times we wish we would have turned around and came home, but in the long run we are so happy we were able to see him and have dinner at how appropriate, Nine Irish Brothers pub.






2. Birthday Girl
This girl! This sweet friend of mine happens to have a birthday on Sunday! I’ve said it many times on the blog, but Laura is the real deal! How blessed was I to finally meet this amazing friend in person in 2018! While she’s been blogging for longer than a decade, it was soon after I started that Laura and I became fast friends. She commented on a post of mine and when I hopped over and saw how precious she was and what her Blog was about, I just knew we would be fast friends and we sure have! Whether it’s discussing our beloved football teams, Alabama and Notre Dame respectively, talking leopard, cute styles, little boutiques, decor, health, our kids, food, our wonderful husband’s or even a TV show, we know that we will forever have each others back! no topic is off-limits and I cannot thank Laura enough for her compassion, her understanding, her support and her grace. She absolutely is the best girlfriend you’ll ever have and I am forever grateful she is in my life! If you’ve not met Laura yet or even just to wish her happy birthday, hop over to the The Horton Family Blog and toast to her awesomeness!




3. Week's Attire
And speaking of Laura, did you see her POST on Wednesday about coral being the color of the year? This top looks a little lighter here but it actually is closer to a coral color which as she knows me, is one of my favorite colors so I’m tickled pink coral about it! 
Top, TJ MAXX // Earrings a gift from my sweet Kellyann


Monogrammed Sherpa Pullover HERE



4. Pink and Cream Pullover
So, This Pullover is pretty much everywhere. The originals started floating around on Instagram or from Abercrombie but Amazon quickly stepped up to the plate and the three I own are from there. See my Navy One HERE and the Black one HERE. They are so soft, so comfortable and so perfect to throw on with a pair jeans and boots for a quick run out the door. I was so thankful I ended up wearing this outfit down to Purdue last weekend because it was warm and toasty and my Sorel boots are waterproof.
BUY PULLOVER HERE

More inspo



5. Misc. Fun
Welcome Sign
Above the kitchen nook window, I had a believe wood sign for the holidays. I loved something there so much that I wanted to replace it with a welcome sign. I found this One on one of my favorite Etsy shops, got it unfinished and spray painted it a slate blue which is the accent color in my kitchen and living room. BUY HERE

Crave Earrings
Won’t these white earrings be perfect for Summer. And How cute is her packaging!! Love shop owner Erin!
BUY HERE


Gymnast..with a Perfect 10
Have you seen this video of UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi? She has quite a story and her perfect 10 is magnificent, she will make you smile!!


Posts from the Week
In case you missed it, my posts this week were Sharing My 2109 Goals and ONE WORD HERE, A Great Sausage and Potato Cheddar Ale Soup Recipe HERE and My Cute Work Out gear HERE
 

TBB Friday Features Link-Up
I am hosting Friday Features over at The Blended Blog  today. Check the lovely posts that slid into our featured spots and a few things I’m loving over there today! 


Make sure you come back Monday, I have a very special heartfelt post. Have a Super weekend!

Linking up with  Amanda // Friday Favorites  // High 5 For Friday  // Fashion Friday

xoxo

WORK IT OUT

I could title this Fuzzy Wuzzy works out! Remember my Teddy Coat from last week? Anyway, after I found these adorable Capri leggings by my new favorite brand of leggings, creation evolution. I remembered that I had seen this fuzzy Sherpa Jacket at Target from their new Joy Lab athletic wear line. I knew that it would not only match the leggings but my favorite retro Nike tennis shoes I got a few months ago.

I talked about my workout routine HERE and my beloved Stepper, although I’ve added some more in. I have always been and forever will be a walker. These pics were taken outside what we call “THE OLD MALL!” It is a mall 3 minutes from my house that back in the day was “The” place to shop, I literally worked at 3 stores there in high school and college summers. My mom and I would go shopping there once a week. Sadly, few stores remain but it is anchored by a Hobby Lobby and Penny’s that I frequent. However, the main buzz here now are the morning walkers. LOL. It is so cold here that outside walks are a no go. So, my mom and I went bright and early last week and yesterday and walked for an hour. It was great and I plan to use this venue more. Plus, free beats the price of a gym or treadmill, lol! And super funny….I think I was the youngest of all the walkers, lol. Yeah, us speedsters we had to lap a few! 


Yeah, I pushed a few reps in the athletic gear department. lol 


Just love the color and the softness and the sunshiny feel to the whole outfit. 




SHERPA JACKET HERE // BRALETTE HERE // NIKES HERE // TANK HERE // 
Leggings TJ Maxx

Today, our work out, shape it up, fashion prompt is led by my friend Shelly! Link up your fashion as well as all the sweet shape up goodness at The Blended Blog.

Lana. Vanessa. Whitney. Abbie. Shelly


Yeah, Get it Friends, Jump & Move that Bod!! Even of it is Horizontal Running! Oh Amy!!!


Linking Up With Oh Hey Girl  // Visible Monday // Style Me Wednesday // THT  //Fashion Moda/Thoughts for Thursday  // Fashion Friday // Lizzie in Lace // Shoe and Tell // Trend Spin // Fab Favorites //A Labour of Life // Confident Twosday //I will wear what I like // Jersey Girl Texan Heart// Fancy Friday  // Fashion Frenzy // Straight A Style // Metamorphosis Monday

xoxo

SAUSAGE & POTATO CHEDDAR ALE SOUP

What in the world with chilly January be without a yummy soup recipe! I just love sausage and it’s perfectly fine with me if it’s a healthier turkey sausage. You will absolutely love this recipe with its cheddar goodness and the great flavor that a can of beer gives to this recipe. It’s tasty, it’s hearty and it’s warm; what more could you ask for on a January day?



What You'll Need

Sausage and Potato Cheddar Ale Soup.
INGREDIENTS 
1/2-pound turkey sausage
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
12 ounce can of any beer
2 to 3 medium potatoes chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS 
In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the turkey sausage and brown crumbling as it cooks through. Drain grease from the sausage and set aside. In the same large pot, heat butter over medium high heat add the onion carrots celery and a large pinch of salt and pepper and cook stream frequently for about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the heat to medium and add the garlic and oregano and cook for another minute. Next, add the flour and stir to coat all the veggies. Cook for about two more minutes during often. Poor in the chicken broth beer and diced potatoes along with a little more salt and pepper. Cover the pot, turn heat up to medium high and bring it to a simmer. Once the soup begins to simmer, turn the heat to low and cook for another 10 to 12 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and shredded cheese. Stir until the cheese is just melted, serve and garnish with chopped parsley or some more shredded cheese.

The Perfect One Pot Soup! 


HAPPY TASTY TUESDAY!

2019 GOALS...WELL, SORT OF & ONE WORD

I don’t really make resolutions and I don’t always have goals but what I do make is lists, and this list is the things I want to make happen in 2019 and focus on. Of course, there is a list of projects a mile long that I want to complete especially some organizing and new features in the house as well as a blog make-over but this list with explanations is more from the heart. 
“9” of them of course with a Bonus being my WORD of the year. 
Crazy how that got to be such a thing. 

1. Not to let distractions steal precious moments
I want to be more present, not let things distract me from the little things I love. 

2. Take my husband’s breath away
I know he will say this happens a lot, but what I mean by this is you must nurture your marriage and continue to keep it happy and strong. Sometimes I just wanna walk in a room, and see on his face that I’m taking his breath away. 

3. When we eat out, try new restaurants 
We tend to eat at the same places over and over yet on vacation we make a pact to eat somewhere new and no chain restaurants. I want to continue that the whole year through!

4. Not to dwell on things we simply cannot change 
Face it, they’re going to be situations we can’t change. Sometimes, the way people feel about us or judge us are not going to change no matter what we do. Let’s not worry about what things we cannot change but rather just continue to keep on being ourselves.

5. Continue to compliment others daily
I pride myself in complimenting people and mean it from the heart. I know how proud it makes me when someone compliments me on something and I just want others to feel that same way!

6. Hugs, more hugs for my friends and family
Let’s face it, everyone needs hugs!

7. Walk an extra lap at the track, do an extra few crunches, 5 more minutes on the stepper
I’m not going to go crazy and say I want to lose X number of pounds or list out my fitness goals. I just simply want to work a little harder whether that means an extra lap or a few more crutches or those extra minutes on the stepper, just push myself a little bit. 

8. Eat less Sugar! However still enjoy a favorite treat from time to time
Ok, let’s get real about a couple things. One, I absolutely ate too much sugar over the holidays. Two, sugar is terrible for you and should definitely be eaten in moderation, if at all. Three, lets’ be realistic, I cannot completely cut sugar out of my diet and if I want to have a sweet treat, I will have a sweet treat just not 10 sweet treats. However, I will use my willpower not to over indulge because I want my body to feel good with the things I’m putting into it.

9. Be Genuine in all I say and do. I don’t want to say I like something if I truly don’t. 
I like to interact and comment with a lot of people. I thrive on it. But I’m not gonna lie to people, I’m not gonna make a comment about something I love if I don’t really love it. But with every human being, we can find something nice to say, we just have to be genuine and from the heart.


BONUS: My word of the year.....ready for it? 

INTENTIONAL    
I want to be intentional in all I do and not settle for anything. When I’m in the moment, I want to be intentionally in the moment and not let distractions take me away from the joys of life! I want to be intentional when I make plans for things, only say yes to things that make me happy. I want to be intentional in the food I buy and prepare healthier meals for my family with less fats & sugar. I want to be intentional about the things I put into my body and how I exercise to make me feel at my best. No aimless living life, but intentional each and every day with gusto!

AND I want to be intentional my purchases, clothing, home and for my family. If I don't love it or the price....it's a definite no go! But this new top ($15.99) I had to share, It is another Amazon goodie and can be dressed up or down. One thing I know I love in clothing is details and the details on this top are precious! And of course I am wearing the heck out of the tulip hem jeans.


BUY TOP HERE // BUY Tulip Hem Jeans HERE and HERE // Earrings HERE

AND last but not least, I want to continue to support my Sisters in Blogging. So today won't you please hop over and check out some other ladies sharing their WORD of 2019! My precious Laura shared her word of the Year HERE! Chrissy from Granola snd Grace has a great post today incorporating her WORD. Sweet Kellyann shared hers quote "gracefully." And Heather from My Glittery Heart had a great word HERE! Our amazing Shelly is #Shelabrating her awesome word HERE! And from the ever hilarious Katie...Her Word and take on it cannot be beat!

GOT GET THIS DAY GIRLS 
and make it GRAND!!!

LINKING-UP with Biana // Totally Terrific Tuesday // Inspire Me Monday // Inspire Me Tuesday // Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party // Creative Monday's // Creative Muster Party // Wow Us Wednesdays // Wonderful Wednesday's Blog Hop // Feathered Nest Friday // Metamorphosis Monday // The Scoop // Cooking & Crafting with J&J // Friday Favorites Link Party // Clever Chicks Blog Hop // Share Your Style Link Party // Tuesday Talk with Erika and Ashley // The Blended Blog
xoxo



FRIDAY FAVORITES....GET IT IN GEAR

January is swinging right along and we finally got a little bit of snow this week! That weatherman was so so off as he was predicting a much harsher winter and so far, I consider most of it being more like late Fall! I know I’m crazy but I love a harsh snowy winter! I want to wear the Teddy Coat I showed you on Wednesday more too. Hope you have had a great week. I am kind of finding it hard to come up with Friday Favorites now that the holidays are done, the holidays always bring a bevy a favorite ideas. I’ve been decluttering and purging most of the week and working out a lot. Tomorrow we’re buzzing down for a day trip to Purdue to have lunch with our next birthday boy! I hope this January weekend is as sweet as can be for you!

1. Family Dinner
I know I shared some of these pictures on Instagram but I just had to share our last little family dinner before the two oldest headed back to college last weekend. Missing our youngest here but Ruth Chris never disappoints and it’s the only time a year I ever eat a steak and that filet was so worth it!

We get lots of sides but the shoestring fries are always a must and the Pomegranate Martinis were sensational!



2. Daisy
I’ve neglected to share much lately about our other family member, our precious Daisy Mae. She turns 14 years old this month. Boy was this girl happy we got some snow this week. I took this picture on yesterday after she came in. She literally has snow all over her. She just loves rolling around in it. When the boys were little I would make them hot chocolate after they came in but Daisy just got a special treat instead.


3. Week's Attire
 Violet Hunter Boots HERE // Patagonia Vest HERE // Similar Sweater HERE

 Leopard Scarf (my fav, under $20) HERE // Peplum T-Shirt HERE

 Violet Hunter Boots HERE // Scarf HERE

4. Black Swiss Dot Dress
Nothing like a sweet little black DRESS and boy did I get a deal on this one at the Loft when they have their 50% off! It was only $35. I love Swiss dots and you may not be able to tell in this picture but matte dots are so stinking cute as are the little flutter ruffle sleeves. As you can see, I wore it for last Friday's dinner.
BUY DRESS HERE

More Inspo




5. Misc. Fun
Anthropologie Candle
While I love B&B candles, Anthropologie ones are some of my favorites. My sweet sister-in-law, Beth got me one of my favorites for Christmas which is the Whipped Cream & Pear!. It smells so good when you walk in that store or our house, lol! The Jars are so pretty too. Did you know these are named after French Desserts?
BUY Candle HERE

Mini Tobacco Basket 
Just love this little tobacco basket ornament that my sweet friend LISA got me. I transitioned it from a Christmas basket as seen in the bottom picture to an everyday sweet little tobacco basket that I made a homemade spring wreath for and it is setting on my tiered tray. I’ll show you more in an upcoming post on how I decorated the tray for every day. I thought I may only use it at the holidays but it’s so much fun that I’m going to have to keep it out all year long.

My ornament originally says Noel but I failed to take a picture of it before I transitioned it. All I did was placed a piece of white card stock on top of it and added the wreath and ribbon. 

Book Update....Verity
5/5 stars!
On Monday I talked about the things I recently got from Amazon and this book, Verity, was one of them. Well, I read it this week and let me tell ya, hold on tight, such a good read. Read it asap, best book I have read in a long time!
BUY Book HERE

Feeling Ageless
And Finally, I put this on my Insta stories this week but I just love it because I know we are all trying to tackle the year as healthy as we can be and inside I still feel like a young girl and I hope you all do too! 

HAVE THE BEST WEEKEND SWEET FRIENDS
AND HOPE YOU'RE GETTING IT IN GEAR!

Linking up with  Amanda // Friday Favorites  // High 5 For Friday  // Fashion Friday

xoxo

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