Growing Pains

I’m just going to come right out and say it – most of my life, I thought of myself as “the perfect child.” I gave my parents very little grief, I got good grades in school, I didn’t drink or smoke or hang out with “the wrong crowd.” I had university paid for by my scholarships. I dated and married a boy they loved, from a family “like ours.” (brag brag brag)
So my life should go pretty smoothly right? Didn’t I, precious little me, deserve it all? Life has a cruel funny way of showing you that you still have a long way to go. 
God likes to take those A-type, perfection-complex, stubborn girls and show them they aren’t in control (He also likes to do this with their stubborn husbands). It always seems like your glass house is a lovely way to see the sky until those cracks start letting the rain in. 

 

For a really long time, I thought I had full control of most of the things around me. My career, my home, my husband. Yeah, I just said that out loud. Ask him, it isn’t so fun having a wife who is the youngest of three and used to getting her way. And then pouts when she doesn’t. 

 

So I have been getting changed. That uncomfortable word – change. I like to embrace change – when I am the one to initiate it. When change is thrust upon me, I get overwhelmed really quick. What’s that God? I’m not in control? You are? YEAH RIGHT! WATCH ME! 
Crap.  

 

So the last few years have been a season of change. Some of it hurt. Some of it opened doors I never expected. Some of it made me take a step…scratch that, a GIANT LEAP back and reevaluate who I am and how I act and how do I want to move forward? What kind of woman do I want to be? What kind of wife, daughter, friend? I have had to relax into the knowledge that I am not in control. And thank God for that – because I can kind of suck at being in control. 

 

 
And you know what, I am pretty proud of who I am becoming. Less judgemental (still pretty sarcastic), more patient, less demanding. I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. But I am growing.
 
Aubrey Lively 
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Yay for Freebies! (Love the Home You Have)

My copy of “Love the Home You Have” by Melissa Michaels arrived today!  

 

I am beyond excited and I can’t wait to curl up with a cup of coffee and a highlighter! This book is beautifully laid out and full of little gems like this: 

 

The back of the book even has a list of challenges to help you implement the tips in the book. 

As much as Colin and I want to move and be in a larger home, I have really done my best to love the one I am in. To decorate with things I love; to put our own mark on it; to make it a welcoming and warm place to have friends and family. I still often find myself tripping over what I see as problems. Apologizing for those dishes in the sink, wishing I had the Pinterest features I drooled over. But unless you are Martha Stewart, you likely don’t have 3 houses and the opportunity to make them all “just so.” That is why I am eager to read Melissa’s book – she really wants to guide us all to a place of embracing where we are. 

Stay tuned, once I have read through this book cover-to-cover, I’ll give you the full deal on what I think. In the meantime, here is another quote for you! 

 

Have a great week!

XOXO Aubrey

Friday Free for All – April 3 2014

Happy Good Friday! Easter is only days away. Did it sneak up on you this year? Usually my version of Easter decor is a vase of tulips, but this year I took the time and made these simple Easter eggs!  

In case you haven’t made your eggs yet, here are my favourites from some other bloggers. Enjoy!

1. These gorgeous black and white eggs

 

 2. These eggs from Vintage with Laces are so antique and cute. Even the egg carton got decorated! 

 

3. I love these two blue options. The simplicity of the graduated colour and the Dutch blue inspiration of the other eggs. Gorgeous! 

   

4. These beauties from LRF are covered in napkins. NAPKINS. Who knew paper napkins could turn out so well?  

5.  These glitter eggs from girl.inspired. I love how some of the eggs have their natural colour and texture showing through.  

 

So have some fun and use these simple and gorgeous tutorials to craft up some eggs!

Happy Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

XOXO Aubrey

Easter for the Lazy Girl – and a book launch!

I love Easter. The chocolate, the eggs, the songs at church that I have sung all my life.

This year I did a little Easter shopping with my sister-in-law for some new Easter decor. I found these plastic eggs at Walmart. So much easier than using real eggs – and they can be packed away and used for next year! And only $2! 

My first thought was to modge podge some pretty paper on them, but I didn’t want the mess. The I thought about writing Easter verses around the egg. Two eggs later and I knew my penmanship was NOT up to par. Hence the two missing eggs in the carton.

And then it came to me – Sharpies. Clean, easy, and I could scribble while I watched Grey’s Anatomy. I did a different design on each one using my gold Sharpie pen. I left one white because I ran out of ideas…erm…it looked so clean and fresh. 

 

Those two wasted eggs really bothered my OCD, so I used my Martha Stewart Metallic Gold Acrylic craft paint and covered up my mess. 

I put the eggs in my decorative bird cage – so pretty and festive! 

  

In other exciting news – one of my favourite bloggers from The Inspired Home has published a lovely book, and it launched today!   

 

This book has the fabulous message of loving the home you have, no matter how small, no matter where it is, no matter what your budget. I am blessed enough to have been asked to join the promotional team! A copy of the book is on its way – once I get it I will be sure to let you all know my thoughts. If you want your own copy, find it on Amazon:

Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Love-Home-You-Have-Organized/dp/0736963073

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Home-You-Have-Organized/dp/0736963073

Friday Free for All: March 27

Easter is coming. I am preparing by eating an unrealistic amount of Cadbury Mini Eggs, and putting up some Easter decor in the house. Kiely is preparing by desperately trying to convince me to buy her a cream egg. Last year, she found three in a bag I left on the floor after a road trip. She ate two, spread tinfoil wrapper everywhere, and took the third upstairs. She then proceeded to bite off the top, lick out some cream egg filling, and then decide she had had enough. Yes, I know chocolate is toxic for dogs. I also know my dog is sometimes bad when I am not home.

Anyway, in return to regular Friday programming, here are some of my favourites this week!

1. This Instagram account (jg_artstudio). She will paint your pet for you! I am tempted…perhaps a close up of Kiely eating chocolate!  

  

2.  These chalkboard pens. They clean up much easier than other brands I have used, and come in lots of fabulous colours! I find a quick swipe of the Magic Eraser cleans them right off of my chalkboards, as opposed to the fight I have getting some other brands cleaned. 

 3. This tint by Benefit. It can be used as cheek tint or lip tint. I love the natural blush and the fact I can have rosy lips without layers of gloss or lipstick. The story is this was originally developed by a “dancer” who wanted pinker nipples. Who knew. I won’t judge you if you decide to get fancy tonight with your husband.  

 4. I am eager to try out these natural scent bars! Made with essential oils and natural waxes, it can be used with your wax warmer. I love my Scentsy warmers but I do find it can give me headaches. I am hoping this helps, plus I love using my essential oils!  

What are you loving this week? Have a fabulous weekend!

XOXO Aubrey

Wiener Dog Wednesday! Kiely Takes Over (March 25)

I snuck on Mom’s blog again! She isn’t sick, but I have a bone to pick with her! (see what I did there?! Heehee!) 

Mom has an Instagram account (@lusciousandlively), and she posts lots of pictures of me! She even gave me a special hashtag, #kielythewienerdog. I usually love it – like this one she posted today. I just love Mean Girls! 

 

But sometimes she posts pictures like this: 

Not cool Mom. She doesn’t think it is a big deal; she says I still get more likes than her selfies. But that isn’t the point. I get likes cuz people are laughing at me. I mean, she hash tagged this one #derpface. Not cool. 

 

And then there is this one. I had just woken up. How would she like me to post a photo of her half asleep in bed? I would be cut off from my treat supply for days.

And this! This was a deliberate attempt to make me feel guilty for eating leftover butter. She should feel bad for just leaving butter out. Does she get how much work it is to keep my physique?!?! I can’t ignore a plate of butter…  

So help me out here – stop liking all the Instagram photos where I was seriously caught off guard. Instead, click like on the ones like this, where I show my strength and power: 

Or this, where she gave me a chance to pose:  

 No more of this. GOT IT?!?!  

Follow us on Instagram! XOXO, Kiely 

  

My Favourite Organization Apps

After all of the major organization, home purging and desperate attempts to keep the house clean, I have come to rely on some apps to keep it all together and organized.
Between full time work, part time blog, home, friends, and trying to find time to exercise, my brain can’t keep track of it all! So I have found some fabulous apps on my iPhone that make a world of a difference for keeping it all together! 

Wunderlist:  

Wunderlist is like this gigantic step up from the iPhones Notes screen. You can organize items into lists, move lists into folders, and even invite others to work on your lists with you. I live it because I organize my grocery shopping into areas of the store (trust me, it is faster and causes way less backtracking for items you missed!). With Wunderlist I keep all my grocery lists in one folder and add items in the days leading to grocery day, and I am all set!

I have Colin added to certain lists so he can add items and I don’t even have to ask him what he wants me to buy! Win-win!

I also really love the “tick box” method in Wunderlist. Rather than deleting items, simply check them off. Even better, checked off items are stored and can be re-added to the list again. I love this for saving time adding  my usual items onto next week’s list.  

Evernote:

Evernote takes everything up a notch. It is an OCD, DIY dream!!! Remember that photo you took of a refinished dresser, and then you looked up how to refinish it, and then checked who carried the chalk paint? Ok, or whatever your DIY list entails…ANYWAY, make a note, add in the photo, the links to the websites, any extra notes you want to make, and now it is stored in one place! I like to cram a bunch of website screen shots with needed information into one note and save myself having to dig around the website again.

Evernote is addictive, people.

   

Calendar by Readdle:

I used to love my usual calendar. This one is so much better!!! I can see my schedule by day, week, or month. I can see I as a list of things for the day, or how it looks hour by hour. It links conveniently to my iPhone calendar and has the same shared calendars already set up. It was so easy to switch, and so much more user friendly.  

Alarmed

Alarmed is my brain. It is literally my end-all-be-all app. It owns my life. It reminds me to give the dog her pill (Kiely has epilepsy and missing these is a big deal), it reminds me to mail stuff, drop off items to a friend’s house, start prep on that supper item. I also use it to keep my house in order. Tuesdays and Thursdays it reminds me to clean the bathrooms. Monday and Wednesday I clean the floors. It is just a gentle reminder for me to get off my butt. A gentle reminder that consists of a song that seems to never SHUT.UP. 

I hate having all these items cluttering up my calendar, and Alarmed keeps them all in check! This app is a game changer.

 

BrightNest:

BrightNest I will throw in as a “nice to have,” not a “need to have.” It asks you questions that often feel like TMI (Did you wash your pillows this year? Do you worry about bed bugs? Have you disposed of a body?) ok, not that last one, but I feel like it WILL ask. It then gives you little home, personal care, and DIY suggestions based on your answers. Really, BrightNest is the OCD Pinterest of home keeping.

 

Best of all, these are all FREE! Most have extras you can buy, if you are high maintenance or need more options.

What apps control your life? I love your comments! 

XOXO

Aubrey