Monthly Archives: July 2013

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New Prints + A Giveaway

etsy poster print etsy poster print etsy poster print etsy poster print

Some recent additions to the MereLynnConcepts shop over on Etsy.  Plus, I have a shop credit giveaway going on over at Living In Yellow with some other great offers.  Check it out!

Cheers!

Spilling the Beans

spilling the beans

At the beginning of this week I talked about some changes coming and now I can finally spill the beans…

Drumroll please….J and I are moving! We are leaving Southwest Missouri and heading 3 hours away. J took a new job and we had 2 weeks to make the big move. GULP! 2 weeks to pack our whole place … This past weekend we went up, found a place that we love and then asked all of our friends to help. I have to admit I have been a packing fool and have made huge progress in getting ready. I think J is a little impressed with my organization skills this time around.

spilling the beans

I do have to admit, I am a bit nervous about moving. I’ve lived in Southwest Missouri for the past 7 years and before that I had never lived anywhere but my hometown. The new city is much, much bigger – more highways to navigate around, less friends nearby, and a whole new experience. I get butterflies in my stomach when I think that it’s actually happening. I just cannot believe it.

Want to know the best part? I will be less than 2 hours away from my folks, my sister and less than 15 minutes from J’s family. Plus, my grandma will be about 45 minutes away. It’s going to be so nice to have family so close… I mean, I could drive home for the day and it not be a 6 hour car ride, roundtrip. Yes!

Here’s to the next chapter in our lives!

Cheers!

photo by DColeman Photography

A Life Update in Pictures

Alright, I’ve been a little absent this past week and so I am going to share a life update in pictures.

My absence has been for good reason, I promise.  I will update once the storm has calmed down and life gets a bit more settled.  I will tell you that it will all turn out great and I am so pumped up about all the changes coming our way.  The next week is going to be a wee bit bumpy, stressful and tiring; however, in the end it will all be worth it.

Until I can go way into detail – here are a few snap shots and a life update without words.
life update life update life update life update

Here’s to change!  Whether it’s expected or unexpected – it happens.

Cheers!

Inspirational Quote: Zig Ziglar

zig ziglar quote

Sometimes you do not need many words in a post to sum up your feelings.  This quote hits perfectly for the day and the moment.  Glad someone like Zig Ziglar came around with such a perfect quote.  

I appreciate it!

Cheers!

What I’ve learned from blogging

blogging

Today’s workspace

Blogging.

It’s fun, it’s creative and it helps me meet people across the country.

I’m still new at this whole blogging thing, well not really new new because I’ve been blogging on and off for about 4+ years now.  But I’m new to consistently blogging.

Here’s what I’ve learned from blogging and I’m sure I have much more to learn:

1) post often – the more you post the more your blog will be indexed with Google

2) comment on the blogs you read – I don’t get a lot of comments and that’s okay.  Someday though.  But I comment on the blogs I read and think it’s important to comment.  Commenting gets you involved and helps others to see your name and perhaps click on your link to your site.

3) pictures are key – I remember years ago reading about how you should never have a post without a picture and I try to follow that with every post.  If anything, pictures make your posts more appealing.

4)  learn the basics of social media.  I love social media, I’m kind of a social media junkie so I lucked out on this one.  I use HootSuite and schedule posts to my twitter and my facebook page once I write a post.  Now I don’t have to take time out of my day to send a tweet or a facebook status update.  It does it for me.

5) be true to yourself – my first blog was a lot about DIY projects.  I love DIY projects, but I don’t have time to do 3-4 projects a week to keep my blog updated.  Props to the people that can complete 4 DIY projects a week, I do not know how you do it!  I simply do not have it in me.  This blog is so much more me… I can talk about my real life, post some DIY projects, and share what inspires me.  I am influenced by so many different things and the idea of creating pigeon hole was not working.

Remember a blog is for you and only for you.  If you create something with this idea of making all this money or becoming an internet celebrity then it simply will not work.  I write for me.  I journal my thoughts and projects that work for me.  That is what is important to me and that is all that matters.

Happy blogging!

Cheers!

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Why am I obsessed with my dogs?

Alright, it’s not news to anyone that I treat my dogs like actual children.

I know I am not alone in this epidemic, but I might be one of the biggest offenders.  Last week Tiny had a little lady surgery performed and I took off the following day to be with her… and let’s be honest to have a day off work is always a bonus!  My poor, poor puppy was just not feeling good at all and it was breaking my heart.

dogs

Post-surgery

Look at this little face!

While Tiny was getting snipped, Maggie was at the spa for a full day of pampering.

dogs

So fresh and so clean

Less hair is always better for Maggie.

I spent the day holding Tiny and making sure that she knew she was loved.  Oh I felt so bad taking her to the Vet and somewhat embarrassed when I had to carry her back because she was thrashing against the wall to get away from the Vet Tech.  Oh these dogs!

These dogs are too spoiled!

Cheers!

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My Day: wedding planning

Wedding Planning – less than 4 months away from the big day.  EEK!

I love paid days off of work, they are my favorite.  I get to sit in my PJ’s most of the day watching trashy reality TV while getting paid.  What’s better than that?  I woke up, made myself some cheesy pasta because that’s normal, right?  Then I plopped down in the big comfy recliner with Tiny in my lap to watch my favorite TV show – Dog the Bounty Hunter.  I will pause while you laugh…. done? okay.

As you may know, I have been working on my wedding planning for awhile now:
I said yes / wedding budget tips / Ranking What Is Important / A few Engagement photos /6 months to go

wedding planning

wedding planning tips for budgeting

I have some wedding planning details to work on today, mostly dealing with money.  Think it’s time, like every bride would do … re-evaluate the wedding budget.  It’s important to take a look at the budget from time to time to know if you are still on target and don’t have any surprise expenses popping up.

For J and I we were originally under the impression that our friend’s Uncle would be our officiant and that would be our friend’s wedding gift to us; however, that was months ago and we have yet to hear anything about it.  So, now enter my panic mode and have decided that we need a backup officiant.  I talked to our wedding planner and that’s going to cost about $150.

That’s $150 that we were not planning on spending for that… we had other ideas for that money.  You know, like favors or programs.  Now, I have to re-evaluate so that we can afford it all.

Oh wedding planning!  It’s fun, but also stressful.  Don’t get too overwhelmed with it, that’s what I have to keep telling myself or that’s what J keeps telling me.

Wedding planning helps you get an idea of the big picture.  Know what parts will cost the most, for us it was the venue, photography and alcohol – you know, the important parts – the booze and the part that will capture those moments!

I will be sitting in this big, comfy chair for most of today working on some wedding planning – crunching numbers, stressing out, and thinking that I’m wanting to do too much; however, in the end it will all work out and I will get to marry my best friend.

Cheers!

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27 things to do while 27: My goals for the coming year

goals

So lovely for the big 2-7

I turned 27 last week and I thought what better way to celebrate than to come up with goals for the coming year; 27 to do while 27.

Let’s face it, I am no longer in my mid-twenties.  I have crossed over to my late-twenties.  AHHH!

I came up with 27 goals  while I’m 27 (get it? ha).

  1. Get hitched!

  2. Continue to work and build up this little blog of mine

  3. Add more and more designs to my Etsy shop, MereLynneConcepts

  4. Take a trip out of Missouri with J

  5. Get heavily involved in Crossfit, because I love it and need it in my life

  6. Move to a home with a basement.  If you live anywhere near Southwest Missouri then you understand the crazy amount of tornadoes we get around here.  Plus, J really would like a man-cave.

  7. Do 27 DIY projects

  8. Pay off some bills.  Not the fun exciting thing you would expect to see on a birthday wish list, but hey! I’m 27 now and I need to be a responsible adult.

  9. Teach Tiny a few new tricks, like play dead, roll over, or perhaps just not to jump on me when I get home.  I’m pretty easy to please.

  10. Go to a concert (or 2 or 3…)

  11. Take a drive down to the local drive-in for a date night with J

  12. Become an avid amatuer photographer

  13. Do an overhaul on the site’s design

  14. Setup work space at home

  15. Have a mother/daughters trip

  16. Have a family Christmas photoshoot

  17. Host a ‘family’ dinner with my closest friends

  18. Start a small garden… and keep the plants a live

  19. Control my road rage.  It’s bad people, real bad.

  20. Create a journal of our engagement

  21. Learn to successful do a fishtail braid

  22. Be more adventurous in my cooking

  23. Eat out less

  24. Maggie and Tiny photoshoot

  25. Create a blogging routine

  26. Make a t-shirt quilt from my college Tees

  27. Go camping

There is my 27 goals to do while I’m 27. Wish me luck!  I’ll keep ya updated throughout 27 on how I’m doing with these goals.

Cheers!

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Easy-peasy Healthy Breakfast Bar Recipe

Healthy Breakfast Bar Recipe

Looking for a healthy breakfast bar recipe?  Want a recipe for a delicious chocolate peanut butter banana oatmeal bar for breakfast?  Well then you have come to the right place.

J asked for breakfast food the other day and  suggested granola bars.  The pre-packaged ones are good don’t get me wrong, but I just have a problem with filling our bellies with junk.  I looked up a healthy breakfast bar recipe and found one that caught my eye.  I did a little edit to some ingredients to make it a little healthier.  And I ended up with a tasty, healthy breakfast bar recipe.

Healthy Breakfast Bar Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
1 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. sugar substitute
5 t. baking powder (you can use 2 t. baking powder and 1 t. baking soda, but I was out of baking soda)
1/4 c. milk chocolate chips
1/8 c. Peanut Butter
1 large egg
2 large egg-whites
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. milk, fat free
1 c. mashed bananas (approximately 2 full bananas)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease 24 muffin cups

Stir flour, oats, sugar, baking powder (and baking soda) and chocolate chips in a large bowl.

Whisk egg and egg whites together; mix in applesauce, milk, peanut butter and banana.

Create well in middle of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients.  Stir until moisten.

Fill muffin cups until about 1/2 full.

Bake for about 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool before serving.

Healthy Breakfast Bar Recipe

There ya have it a healthy breakfast bar recipe that was super easy to make.  Oh and the best part one of these little bad boys is only 2 weight watchers point plus value.  Sweet!

Looking for other uses for Oatmeal around the house? Check out how I gave my dog a homemade oatmeal bath to soothe her itchy skin.

Cheers!

I adapted from this recipe from allrecipes.com. 

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Homemade Oatmeal Bath for dogs

homemade oatmeal bath

A homemade oatmeal bath for dogs can soothe itchy, dry skin from allergies.

homemade oatmeal bath

My poor pup, Maggie has been suffering from itchy skin for way too long.  I even resorted to covering her skin with an old Halloween t-shirt so that she couldn’t scratch.  How embarrassing for her!  I could just imagine her at the dog park with another dog giving her a funny look like, “girl, don’t you know it ain’t halloween?” and then Maggie sheepishly going, “ya, my mom hates me for some reason.”   Then all the other dogs would gather around her laughing.. I’m picturing Rudolph not being picked for any reindeer games here.  Ya, I don’t know why I’m on a holiday theme today.

Anyway… That wasn’t going to happen.  No dog was going to make fun of my Maggie!

I did research and found a homemade oatmeal bath that I could use the oats I bought for the Healthy Breakfast Bar Recipe.  So to me that was win-win.  I didn’t have to go buy anything.

homemade oatmeal bath

All you need is 1 cup of oats (quick or regular) blended in a food processor or blender.  Mix the oat powder in a luke warm bath.

homemade oatmeal bath

I took a plastic cup and poured the mixture over Maggie for about 10-12 minutes.

That’s it.  No rinsing.  A simple homemade oatmeal bath.

I noticed an immediate difference; however, she was amazed by her smell for awhile.  Maybe it was too close to food… I don’t know.  Overall it worked and that’s all that matters.

Oh and just a fair warning this homemade oatmeal bath is a pain to clean up out of the tub if you don’t process the oats to a fine enough powder.  Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

Need another use for the large oatmeal that you bought?  I adapted a great, super easy recipe for an oatmeal breakfast bar.

Cheers!

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