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Lemon Drop Reads: January

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  • February 2, 2016

Happy February, friends! I honestly can’t believe it’s February because it has been practically tropical around these parts – mid 50’s, y’all. It’s amazingly awesome!

One of my goals this year is to read 50 books. I got off to a slow start in January (I only read 2 books), but we’ll be on vacation for almost two weeks in February, so I’m anticipating making up some time then!

I thought it might be fun to share a recap monthly with you all of what I read, along with my reviews. So here goes for January:

First up was How To Win Friends & Influence People In The Digital Age by Dale Carnegie.

Lemon Drop Reads: January

I loved this one. I wouldn’t say the information was particularly new or groundbreaking for me, but it was just a good overall reminder of how you should be dealing with people in your everyday life in order to make the best impression and really just be the best version of yourself. If you’re in a business that requires you to be in contact with other humans, you should get this 😉

The second book I read was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Lemon Drop Reads: January

This wasn’t particularly high on my ‘to-be-read’ list, but it was on sale for 0.99 and I can’t pass up the opportunity to read a classic. Overall, I wouldn’t say this was a page turner, although the extended monologue from Frankenstein’s monster was pretty captivating to me. Going into it, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what the story was, but I really didn’t so it was interesting to see it unfold. It’s not one I’ll probably ever read again, but I’m still glad I did.

What have you been reading lately? Do you try to read a certain amount of books in a year?

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Life Uncategorized

2016 Word Of The Year

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  • January 8, 2016

Last year was my first year choosing a word for myself that would be my focus of the year. My word last year was ‘disciplined.’ I made really good strides in the area of my health – as some of you know, I started incorporating essential oils into our daily lives and I have loved the result! I also was more aware of the things I put in my body and that’s something I’m planning to continue even more in 2016. I want to eat healthy and be healthy! I also eventually got the hang of the whole two kiddos circus I’m living in ;). There are still tough days, but I would say I can handle it a lot better now!

In no way would I say that I mastered the art of discipline, but I did make a conscious effort to be more intentional with my actions and having that word in the back of my mind definitely helped!

So, I’ve chosen a new word for 2016: ‘willing.’

It may seem like an odd choice, but I thought about this for a few days, and this is the word that kept echoing in my heart. Willing.

For those who know me, you probably know that I’m an introvert. And, when I say that, I don’t mean that I can’t handle social situations or hate being around people. I simply mean that what recharges my batteries is, often, time alone – or, at the very least, time spent in a smaller group, like 1 or 2 people. I think introverts are often seen as laid back, go-with-the-flow type of people. And I think I am…for the most part.

See, the thing is, I may be an introvert, but when I do decide to do something, I want it to be well planned. I don’t like unknowns; I don’t like flying by the seat of my pants. I doubt I’ll ever be accused of being spontaneous. So, when I’m involved with something – an event, a trip, a project – I tend to want to take control and plan it. And if that can’t happen, it makes me a little grumpy.

But I want to do things a little differently this year. I want to approach my life with a willing attitude. I want to go against my introverted nature and say ‘yes’ a little more often and without hesitation of the consequences. Now, I don’t mean that I’m going to be careless or reckless – I’m a wife and mother of two small children, which is plenty reckless enough for me – but I want to challenge myself to embrace things that I normally wouldn’t. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit.

So here’s a few areas I want to work on:

  • Health. As I mentioned before, my family’s health is still something I want to get a better grip on this year. And I want to be willing to go the extra mile to ensure I’m doing the best I can for them. That means doing more research, spending more time in the kitchen, and investing more time in exercise.
  • Relationships. Being an introvert, I sometimes have a hard time forming and maintaining friendships. I tend to assume that everyone’s friend card is already full, and as a result, I have probably missed out on what could have been great friendships. I want to be willing to put myself out there more often and take chances that would normally seem intimidating.
  • Time. I tend to be kind of stingy with “my” time, and I balk at the idea of doing unscheduled things. But, again, I’m sure I’ve missed out on what could’ve been fabulous memories just because I wasn’t willing to make the time for it. I want to be a little more relaxed about my time schedule and willing to put my ‘yes’ on the table more often.
  • Faith. One of the areas of my life that I’m most convicted over is my Christian walk. Guys, let me just be honest: there is SO much more that I could be and need to be doing to further my relationship with Jesus. I want to be willing to die out to myself more so that I can be used for His purpose, rather than my own.

I love the start of a new year because it brings so much promise and hope. Honestly, I’ve felt more energized with that start of this year than any year I can remember in the past – I’m so excited to see what the coming months bring!

What’s the word you’re focusing on this year? I would love to hear it!

 

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Life Uncategorized

Spa Water: My New Obsession

I have a new obsession, guys: infused water. They started offering at work about a month ago and I have been guzzling it like it’s going out of style ever since. At work they call it ‘spa water’…ooooh, fancy. Not only is it super yummy, but it has great health benefits. Here a few benefits of commonly used ingredients:

-Lemons are the workhorses of infused water (in my opinion) – they contain antioxidants, vitamin C, and citric acid. This trio boosts immune health and increases collagen production for healthy, hydrated looking skin! It also aids in digestion and can be a natural way to fight off hunger. Plus, the smell of lemons is an instant energizer!
-Cucumber is hydrating and flushes out toxins
-Cinnamon is one of the most efficient boosters of metabolism
-Strawberries are jam-packed full of antioxidants
-Limes are an anti-aging secret weapon due to its powerful effect on hair, skin, and nails.
-Pineapple is an anti-inflammatory that helps relieve joint pain and arthritis
-Mint aids in digestion

Pretty awesome, right?! A few of my favorite go-to recipes are: lemon + basil, cucumber + lemon, lime + mint, and strawberry +blueberry. Any citrus + herb combo is pretty much foolproof for me. I have found that the taste is best if you refresh with new fruit each day, so I make a pitcher first thing in the morning (we use one like this) and between my hubby and I, it’s not hard for us to go through a pitcher – we occasionally have to refill with water once or twice a day!

Spa Water | Lemon Drop Life

I can’t believe how much this has upped by water intake. I find myself reaching for this stuff all day long, which is a big deal because a large Coke with extra ice from McDonald’s is one of my guilty pleasures! As in, I would find myself drinking one a day. But since I’ve started drinking my ‘spa water,’ I have been able to cut out the soda almost completely! So, grab yourself a pitcher and some fruit and get started today – it’s seriously a game changer!

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Life Uncategorized

In My Head

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  • March 27, 2015

boss-fight-stock-images-photos-free-photography-heart-cutout

I’m going to confess something up front to you guys today: this post is WAY outside of my comfort zone and I’ve waffled back and forth on whether or not to post it. In general, I avoid highly public discussions regarding politics and social issues.  But I just feel so prompted to write this (Lord, help me) and I can’t get these thoughts out of my head – so I’m following my gut. If for no other reason than to put my thoughts into writing because we all know how cathartic that can be.

In other words, if you have no interest in reading my current stream of consciousness, please come back next week and I promise I’ll be back to my normal topics!

Recently, Indiana has passed legislation that gives business owners the right to deny services to individuals based on religious freedom. I don’t proclaim to understand all the ins and outs of this bill but as one can imagine, this has caused quite an uproar and EVERYONE has an opinion – including me. But I’m not writing this post to share my two cents on the issue. No, this is more about the heartbreak I feel every time I see someone else share THEIR two cents.

In my opinion, social media is one of the most dangerous, divisive tools at our disposal today. In one instant, you can share a piece of yourself that could be seen by hundreds – even thousands – of people, and you can NEVER take it back. Sure, you can “delete” it later, but in all reality, it’s out there forever. Nothing you put on the Internet is ever private. As a Christian, this is definitely a cause for hesitation before I hit that “Post” button.

You see, I don’t want to say anything on social media that might divide me from someone else. I don’t want to post something that might offend someone else. That’s not to say I’m a walk-all-over-me-doormat without opinions. I have them. I just don’t feel like Facebook is the best forum for sharing them. It’s too easy for someone to misconstrue my words and intentions. I feel like those kinds of discussions are much better suited to one-on-one conversations. Because, then, even if that person still ends up disagreeing with me, at least I feel like I was able to thoroughly explain my view and hear theirs as well. THAT’S the problem with Facebook/Twitter/Reddit, etc. The conversation is one sided. You put your opinion out there and it’s done. On occasion, you might get some push back from a lively debater, but for the most part, people that have a differing view point are going to scroll on past and write you off as crazy/ignorant/too liberal/too conservative…whatever the case may be. Social outlets allow us to forget that there is a PERSON on the other side of that comment. A person with thoughts and emotions and, more importantly, a SOUL.

I never want my words to turn someone away from Christ – not before I have the chance to tell them about his unending grace, powerful mercy, and amazing love. Why don’t I post about that? My Facebook page is the only part of me that a lot of people see. Why am I not using it to exalt Jesus at every opportunity? I would much rather have someone say “There goes Dacia, posting another scripture,” than “ There goes Dacia, ranting about {insert rant-worthy cause here} again.” Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (NKJV). Again, this doesn’t mean that you should throw your beliefs out the window to get along with someone else. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t express your beliefs, even defend them if needed.  But do it in an appropriate, loving way that’s representative of Jesus. More often than not, that is NOT going to include posting something to Facebook.

Yes, you have the right to express your opinion. But just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t make it a right thing to do. Pick your battles, people. And, even better, pick the appropriate forum for them. Please, Christians, let’s use our words to point to our Savior instead of what’s going on in this world.

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Life Uncategorized

Word of the Year

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  • January 6, 2015

Warning: this is a long, wordy post that has nothing to do with DIY or home decor. Just sharing a bit of my heart today 🙂

I know a lot of people that choose a word at the beginning of a year that they want to focus their life around. Something they want to be conscious of throughout the coming months. Personally, I’ve never chosen one before because there was never a word that I felt strongly about. But this year is different. Let me explain.

A lot of people say that when it comes to kids, the toughest transition is with the first one. And then any additional children aren’t as big of an adjustment. But I would have to disagree. We had an exceptionally easy time with Roarke. He was (and still is) such an easy-going, happy guy. I’m sure some of you other moms are going to hate me a little for saying this, but I can’t remember ever being really stressed out with him (except for one terrifying medical scare). Sure, there have been moments of frustration, but overall my first pancake turned out pretty awesome. Props if you get the Gilmore Girls reference.

But adding another tiny person to the mix has not been so easy. And it has nothing to do with Everly. She is seriously an angel baby and I have to pinch myself every time I think about how lucky I am to have gotten two wonderfully amazing children. (And it makes me worry that if/when we have third, it is destined to be a holy terror.) But things have definitely been more stressful and chaotic the second time around. First off, the week Everly was due (which was the week of Thanksgiving), my husband got strep and bronchitis, and my son had a cold and double pink-eye. And we had a bunch of family come up to stay with us for Thanksgiving/Everly’s arrival and basically all of them ended up contracting one of the aforementioned diseases. Our house was like the triage tent during the Black Plague – everyone that entered came out worse than when they went in. Not exactly the environment you want to bring a newborn into, right? Eventually, we got everyone healthy and neither Everly nor myself ever got sick (I’m convinced God had a hedge of protection around both of us). And then it was time for Christmas and all the hullabaloo that comes along with it. Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, hands down, and I wouldn’t trade our time with our families for anything, but it’s still tiring and stressful with all the traveling we do.

So, at this point, you’re probably thinking my word is going to be something like ‘relax’ or ‘peaceful’. Guess again. My word for 2015 is:

 

word.001

Disciplined.

One thing I’m finding out for sure is that when you have two kids under the age of two, it’s essential to think ahead and be as prepared as possible. For example, if we’re going to have any hope of making it to church on time on Sunday morning, I have to make sure the diaper bag is packed and both of their outfits (and mine) are ready to go the night before. If I have to run an errand, I have to plan it around nap times. So, being disciplined and organized is completely necessary if I want to do anything involving the kids.

But beyond them, there are things I need to be more disciplined about for my own sake.

  • My health. I want to be more aware of the things I’m putting inside my body. I don’t plan on going on any extreme diets or cutting out certain things entirely, but overall I want to make an effort to eat better. I’m starting this year off by participating in a 30-day green smoothie challenge. It’s not hard – you just drink one green smoothie a day. That’s it.  I’ve been drinking mine for breakfast, and I’m loving it! The texture was weird at first, but I’ve gotten past that now. And I love knowing that I’m getting a big dose of fruits, veggies, and protein to start off my day.
  • My relationship with God. I need to have better discipline in prayer, fasting, and reading God’s word. Plain and simple.
  • Extracurriculars. Even the things I do for fun could use a little more discipline. This blog, for example. I really slacked off after I got pregnant and rarely posted. That doesn’t mean I’m going to put pressure on myself to post daily or do projects just to have something to post about, but I enjoy doing creative things and writing so I want to be disciplined in making time for those things I enjoy.

I’m a procrastinator at heart. I know that, I’ve accepted it. But this year, I want to challenge myself to be more intentional with my time and actions.

Do any of you choose a word to keep in mind throughout the year? I’d love to hear what yours is!

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Life Uncategorized

Vacation Recap

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  • September 8, 2014
Another week has gone and a new one is beginning and today I’m finding myself reminiscing about our vacation.

A few weeks ago, we joined my parents and siblings for a getaway in Gulf Shores, AL. We all chipped in to rent a beach house, and it was a fantastic week of sun, rest, and relaxation. It was glorious!

By far, one of my favorite things about this vacation was that they house we stayed at had a private pool..Roarke LOVES the water. Like, seriously, he pitches a huge fit every time I get him out of the bathtub. So, naturally, he loved being in the pool.

Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life
The pool was completely shaded, so it was definitely chilly, but that didn’t deter him one bit.

Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life

We attempted to do the beach thing with him, but that lasted all of five minutes. The stretch of beach where we were was incredibly shell-y, which made it very unfriendly for baby tootsies. And there was a pretty steep incline once you got to the edge of the water, which again made it difficult for him to walk. Plus, he wanted to run head first into the ocean with no abandon, which gives this mom heart palpitations.

AND it happened to be Shark Week on Discovery so I was already a bit tense.

I really wanted to get some cute pictures of him on the beach, but there was no way I was letting go of his hand and leaving him to his own devices (see above statement about running head first into the ocean). So, alas, this is the only picture I got to document his first walk on the beach.

Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life
I’m calling it ‘artsy’.

My brother and his fiancee were with us so we went to the beach and attempted to get some photos for their Save the Date card. Beach photos are hard, y’all. Sun, wind, sand..all elements that are working against you. We managed to get a couple cute ones though.

Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life
Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life
JP and I’s 4th wedding anniversary also happened to fall during that week, so we got to celebrate with the whole family. JP treated himself to oysters, and I buried my face in fried fish.

Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life
Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life
Another great feature of the house was the large back porch that overlooked the ocean. We watched a pod of dolphins come in about the same time every morning to feed, it was awesome! And the little dude loved making kiss faces on the sliding glass doors and rearranging all the patio furniture.
Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life
Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life
Getting all of us together in one place is a task these days since we’re all scattered, so of course we had to take the opportunity to get a large family photo. I had forgotten to bring my tripod, so I just set the timer on my camera and put it on top of the trash cans in front of the house. That’s what I call working with what you’ve got.

Vacation Recap | Lemon Drop Life

Anyone else squeezing in a last minute summer vacay?

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Baby/Kids Life Uncategorized

Y’all Ready For This?

Our house is soon to be covered in bows and lace…we found out yesterday that The Bump is a GIRL!!

JP and I were both caught off guard..this pregnancy has been virtually identical to my pregnancy with Roarke, so I was assuming it was a boy. But what a nice surprise!

Of  course, Roarke cycled through your typical 16-month-old emotions when we broke the news to him. Confusion. Sadness. Acceptance. Excitement.

PicMonkey Collage_Blog

 

Luckily, he settled on excitement 🙂

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Baby/Kids Life Uncategorized

Curve Ball

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  • April 30, 2014

Hi, my name is Dacia and I “run” this blog.

I totally feel like I need to reintroduce myself to you guys after such a long absence. Please accept my apologies! I basically haven’t posted since Roarke’s birthday (a month ago!) and since then we’ve had a wedding, Easter (a particularly hectic time for a pastor’s family), and a vacation.

Oh, and we’re having another baby.

 I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

……….

Caught your breath yet? I know I haven’t.  To say this pregnancy took us by surprise would be an understatement, but now that we’ve had some time to process of course we’re over the moon excited! Roarke has brought an unbelievable amount of joy to our lives and I know the second bebe will only bring more! And the thought of seeing Roarke as a big brother to a sweet little infant? #fuhgeddaboutit

So, sometime around Thanksgiving we will officially become a family of FOUR. Absolutely bananas.

I just want to take a second and thank you guys for being loyal readers and also being so patient and understanding when I take  little bloggy breaks! I promise to have some projects to share with you guys soon. Spring is here and I’m dying to get outside and get some things done!

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Life Uncategorized

Review: Cardstore

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  • November 22, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Cardstore and offered a chance for some free cards in exchange for a review. And with the holidays coming up, I decided to make a little Thanksgiving themed card to send out to all the grandparents. So, if you’re one of Roarke’s grandparents, stop reading now. Your card is in the mail 🙂

There were tons of cute designs to choose from, but I landed on this super on trend aztec-ish/feather-y (that term is going to catch on, I feel it) Thanksgiving one.

Review: Cardstore | Lemon Drop Life

 

As you can see, their user interface is adorable and simple to use. It took me all of two minutes to design my card.

Review: Cardstore | Lemon Drop Life

Ta-da! Of course, you’ll need to provide your own cutie patootie to fill the picture slots 😉

And because I love picking out holiday cards, I put together a few of my other favorites for you!

Review: Cardstore | Lemon Drop Life

 

So check them out and get your Christmas cards checked off your to-do list early this year!

 

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Life Uncategorized

Moving Forward

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  • October 18, 2013

Today’s post is more on the personal side, and is basically just an opportunity for me to gush about my guy…so if that doesn’t interest you, feel free to skip it and come back next week for our regularly scheduled programming 😉

Tonight marks a very important time for JP and I, as he will be installed as the new pastor of our church. If you’re new around here, let me fill you in. My husband works full time in ministry and has for the past 6 years. Sometimes when I say that to people, I can tell on their face that they think, “Oh, so he just comes up with a sermon a couple times a week and that’s it? Easy peasy.” As someone who gets to see behind the scenes, let me say this: it is SO much more than that. He doesn’t get to leave his work at the office.  Ministry doesn’t have business hours. He can get called any time, day or night. It’s hard work, and you don’t always see the results right away. But he loves it; he has a heart for it. And, even though I never in a million years imagined myself as a pastor’s wife, I can now say I share in his calling.  

So, to my wonderful husband: I am so very proud of you. With your intelligence, humility, and passion I know you will be an amazing pastor. And even when things are discouraging, just know that I am by your side every step of the way and I share your vision. I’m so excited for this new chapter in our lives and can’t wait to move forward into God’s will for us and our church!

And for those of you who stuck around through that sap-fest, I do have a little before and after for you! We just finished up a complete renovation of our sanctuary, so take a look!

Church renovation

Church Renovation

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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