We Have Aars http://wehaveaars.com You have your blog, we have Aars. Sun, 01 Mar 2015 02:21:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Meet Lucille (Our Vintage Camper) http://wehaveaars.com/meet-lucille-vintage-camper/ http://wehaveaars.com/meet-lucille-vintage-camper/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:08:30 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5676 I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to introduce you to our newest family member. Everyone…meet Lucille. In case you didn’t know (or you don’t follow me on Pinterest)…I’ve had a love for vintage campers ever since I can … Continued

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I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to introduce you to our newest family member.

Everyone…meet Lucille.

Lucille7

In case you didn’t know (or you don’t follow me on Pinterest)…I’ve had a love for vintage campers ever since I can remember. Heck, I have a love of all things vintage. Period.

But I’m pretty sure I can trace my camper obsession back to this little gem. Tell me you’ve seen it…

The_Long,_Long_Trailer_poster

If you haven’t seen The Long, Long Trailer with Lucille Ball…let me tell you, you’re missing out. From the moment I saw it, I just knew I was meant to travel the country in my very own camper, collecting memories. And rocks. (Watch it, and you’ll get it.)

Then I met my adventurous husband. He, too, has a love for travel. And all things vintage. But most importantly…campers.

It was a match made in heaven.

We always knew we wanted to buy one, to renovate and call our own. And when we found this one on our recent trip to Colorado, it was too good to turn down.

We spotted Lucille from the side of the road in New Mexico, and promptly pulled over to inquire about her. We met Leroy, her owner, who gave us a tour and told us all about her.

We drove away that day, vowing to “think about it.” And when we couldn’t get her off our mind, we made the return trip to bring her home.

We’ve got big plans for little Lucille. I can’t wait to fix her up, and style her out. But most importantly, we have big plans for our little family. Adventures we can’t wait to share with our boys. Camping. Traveling the country. Seeing sights that they’d never see flying from here to there.

It’s a lifelong dream, come to fruition.

I just can’t wait for the memories to begin.

A few details for those who are interested:

She’s a 1958 Play-mor. She sleeps 2 adults and 2 kids (one full bed, and one fold out). She’s got a complete kitchen with a dining nook. No bathroom (which we don’t mind–less to clean).

Here are a few “before” pictures. She’s got a long way to go, but we’re confident we can handle it. Projects like this feed our souls.

Lucille3

Lucille5

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Lucille1

Lucille2

Lucille6

The biggest challenge? Definitely the water damage. It’s practically impossible to find a vintage trailer without water damage these days. So when we poked around and realized her’s was contained and fixable, we decided to take it on. Everything else is strictly cosmetic. The electrical is intact. The gas stove is intact. The ice box (yes, icebox!) is intact. We’ve got original hardware and lighting (be still my heart).

I mean…she makes my giddy, y’all.

Now, if only I could fast forward to the design stage. I’ve known what I want her to look like from the moment I saw her. But patience…I hear patience is a virtue (just one I don’t have).

Can’t wait to keep you updated as we go!

 

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To The Stay At Home Mom http://wehaveaars.com/to-the-stay-home-mom/ http://wehaveaars.com/to-the-stay-home-mom/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 03:31:34 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5300 I’ve been wanting to write you for quite some time, now. To apologize. You see, I used to be a working Mom. Working day in and day out. Trying to make ends meet. Trying to stay afloat. Trying to do … Continued

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To The Stay At Home Mom

I’ve been wanting to write you for quite some time, now. To apologize.

You see, I used to be a working Mom. Working day in and day out. Trying to make ends meet. Trying to stay afloat. Trying to do it all, with grace, style and sophistication–all the while feeling like I was falling short.

I was exhausted. Worn thin. And while I loved what I did, my spirit was breaking with every day that passed.

And I’m ashamed to admit it…but I would roll my eyes when I saw you coming.

I’d watch you drop your kids off at school, wearing your workout clothes. Headed to the gym, I would imagine. Probably Yoga or Pilates, with a shopping date to follow.

I’d see you standing in the school hallways, talking up a storm, as I rushed to my office to tackle weeks’ worth of work.

I’d watch you walk to your car with Starbucks in hand, jealous that you had time for a coffee run. I barely had enough time to take a bathroom break.

But I didn’t know…

I didn’t know you wore workout clothes, but never had time to workout.

I didn’t know that you rarely had any time for yourself at all.

I didn’t know that yoga pants were your uniform of choice, simply because they couldn’t be ruined by spit up, spills, or the occasional projectile vomit. I also didn’t know that you often stared longingly into your closet, wondering if you’d ever wear your “nice clothes” again.

I didn’t know that you lingered in the school hallways because you were lonely. Because you had no one to talk to, other than Elmo or DJ Lance.

And that Starbucks Mocha in your hand? I didn’t know that it was crucial to your existence–because you were running on little-to-no sleep. Up all night with two sick kids, with weeks worth of chores still waiting for you to tackle. And no sick days in sight.

Oh…and I didn’t know you didn’t have bathroom breaks, either.

I’m so sorry.

I didn’t know. But now I do.

Because I’m a Stay At Home Mom, two years in. Working day in and day out. Trying to make ends meet. Trying to stay afloat. Trying to do it all with grace, style, and sophistication–all the while feeling like I’m falling short.

I’m exhausted. Worn thin. And while I love what I do, my spirit breaks a little with every day that passes.

I didn’t know that, all this time, we were really just one and the same. That both of our paths are a rewarding, but difficult, existence.

We’re so often put into categories, aren’t we? Working or Non-Working.

But might I suggest that there’s only one?

We’re Moms–no matter the situation, no matter the place. And we’re doing the best that we can for ourselves, our children, and our families.

And maybe, just maybe, we’d all rest a little easier if we really believed it.

Maybe we’d stop comparing our workloads.

Maybe we’d judge a little less, and love a little more.

I didn’t know. But now I do.

There is no greener grass. There is no easier path. And there is no right or wrong.

There’s just us–working day in and day out. Trying to make ends meet. Trying to stay afloat.

And even though we all feel like we are falling short, we’re showing up anyway…and doing our very BEST.

Because we’re Moms.

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Indoor Beach Ball Games http://wehaveaars.com/indoor-beach-ball-games/ http://wehaveaars.com/indoor-beach-ball-games/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 01:54:54 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5658 Isaiah and Samuel were busy showing their mad beach ball skills over at Modern Parents Messy Kids this weekend. We came up with several indoor beach ball games to play on those dreaded days when you’re stuck inside. And I … Continued

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Isaiah and Samuel were busy showing their mad beach ball skills over at Modern Parents Messy Kids this weekend.

We came up with several indoor beach ball games to play on those dreaded days when you’re stuck inside. And I have to say, we had such a BLAST doing this post. Much more fun than I ever expected, really. We laughed for hours playing these silly, simple games. And pretty much every day since, Isaiah’s asked to play them again.

Bounce on over and check it out. Especially “blanket ball.” That was boys’ favorite, by far.

Hope your week is off to a fantastic start!

aars-indoor-beach-ball-games

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Happy Valentine’s Day: DIY Tablecloth http://wehaveaars.com/happy-valentines-day-diy-tablecloth/ http://wehaveaars.com/happy-valentines-day-diy-tablecloth/#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:27:44 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5644 Happy Valentine’s Day to you! I successfully surprised the boys this morning with a Valentine’s breakfast. (Fist Bump) Michael and I are going out this evening, so I thought a morning fiesta would be the perfect way to celebrate this … Continued

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Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Valentines Day: DIY Tablecloth

I successfully surprised the boys this morning with a Valentine’s breakfast. (Fist Bump)

Michael and I are going out this evening, so I thought a morning fiesta would be the perfect way to celebrate this day as a family.

I love making holidays special. It’s kinda my thing. There’s been years I’ve tried to “skip” the magic, when we’ve had a lot going on. And I’ve always regretted it.

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Tablecloth4

This year, I knew exactly how I wanted to decorate. And when I started looking for the tablecloth, I couldn’t find it anywhere.

So I set out to make my own.

This DIY tablecloth could NOT have turned out any better. It was everything I imagined, and more. And SO STINKIN’ easy.

I just bought a white cotton fabric (enough to cover our round family table) along with a medium point black fabric marker.

Valentines Day: DIY Tablecloth

Then late last night, I started to write. I honestly didn’t even measure the spaces. I just did my best to write in a horizontal line, and made my way up the fabric. The whole project took about 45 minutes, but it was a mindless 45 minutes. In fact, I did it while watching a movie with my love.

I just love the pattern so much. And I still can’t figure out why this fabric doesn’t exist already?!?!

Tablecloth5

We had such a wonderful morning. My favorite part was the donuts and milk.

As for the boys? I think the balloons won out, by far.

Tablecloth6

I hope you are having a lovely Valentine’s Day, wherever you are. I’ve got a new dress I can’t wait to debut. I’ll be posting pics on Instagram*, because getting all dolled up deserves a picture, right?!? Especially when you’re day job means living in sweatpants.

 

*Do you follow us on Instagram? Oh, please do. It’s my favorite place to connect with you all. I’m losing interest in Facebook so quickly. Just search for @alliaars and meet me there! XOXO

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Popsicle Valentines http://wehaveaars.com/popsicle-valentines/ http://wehaveaars.com/popsicle-valentines/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 02:34:08 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5627 Every now and then, you have an idea that you just HAVE to bring to life. Even if you don’t have much use for it. We already made Isaiah’s classroom valentines when this idea popped into my head the other … Continued

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Popsicle Valentines

Every now and then, you have an idea that you just HAVE to bring to life. Even if you don’t have much use for it.

We already made Isaiah’s classroom valentines when this idea popped into my head the other day. But I just had to make them anyway.

I’ve been loving the watercolor trend lately. It’s made me want to return to my roots in painting…if only I had the time.

But after daydreaming about these popsicle valentines, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to pull out my paintbrush.

Popsicle Valentine

First of all, these are so easy to make. Even if you’ve never painted before, don’t be afraid. If you can draw a straight line, you can paint lines in watercolor.

To make you’ll need:

  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paints
  • paintbrush
  • popsicle sticks
  • hot glue gun
  • stamp letters (or a pen to hand write)

To start, just take your watercolor paper and begin to choose your colors. I wanted to keep mine in the warm family, because they remind me of Spring (and oh, how I’m longing for Spring.) You can keep your colors in the same family, or even make a rainbow. It’s your choice. Just have fun with it.

Popsicle Valentines(Can you tell Isaiah’s been here? Definitely had to give them a good cleaning.)

When you’re ready to paint, just wet your brush and create long strokes horizontally on the page. Use the water to lighten the colors where you wish, and slowly fade them into other colors. Do this across the entire page (or several pages if you are making more than a few of these valentines). Then set aside to dry.

Popsicle Valentines

Once your painting is dry, it may need some flattening. If so, just place it under some sturdy books for a few hours, then come back later to cut.

Make yourself a popsicle pattern out of regular paper (I just free-handed, doesn’t have to be perfect) and use it to cut out your popsicles.

I chose to cut my bite marks after cutting the shapes, so each bite would be a bit different.

Then you’re ready to stamp. I have a letter stamping set by Martha Stewart that I adore. I’ve used it for so many things. But if you don’t have stamps, you can just as easily hand write.

Popsicle Valentines

Popsicle Valentines

After you stamp/write, just glue the popsicle sticks onto the back and you’re done.

I wound up using mine for Valentine’s Day teacher gifts. We just attached ice cream gift certificates to make them extra special.

Popsicle Valentines

As for the rest of the batch? I think I might hang them in my office just so I can stare at them. I love them THAT MUCH.

Ooooh, or make a pretty garland! Someone has to stop my brain. I don’t have time for all these ideas…

I hope you’re having as much fun this Valentine’s week as I am. :)

LOVE to you all!

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Valentine Mug http://wehaveaars.com/valentine-mug/ http://wehaveaars.com/valentine-mug/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 15:51:33 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5599 Y’all. I haven’t posted consistently in weeks. But there’s just something about holidays! It’s like my mind awakens. I keep thinking of ideas, dangit.* And then I just have to make them happen–or else they sit in my head and … Continued

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Bon Jovi Valentine Mug

Y’all. I haven’t posted consistently in weeks.

But there’s just something about holidays! It’s like my mind awakens. I keep thinking of ideas, dangit.* And then I just have to make them happen–or else they sit in my head and make me crazy (and that’s the part where I sound insane).

My husband loves Bon Jovi, always has. So when I had this idea in the shower the other day, I knew it was a winner.

We’ve all heard of Sharpie mugs. I did this sweet little one for Modern Parents Messy Kids a while back, and it’s still one of my favorites.

I decided to try a different method this time, though. Just for kicks.

The last one held up pretty well, but it did start to fade after several washes.

So this time, I tried using glass paint markers. You can get them at any craft store and they come in all colors. (Which is already a step up from a Sharpie mug, since the Sharpie colors fade when you bake them.)

BonJoviMug

Just a note: the markers say “translucent” but they aren’t if you are using them on white ceramic. I actually can’t wait to test them out on some glass projects as well.

As for the process? Just like any other mug project, simply sketch out your design before-hand, then you’re ready to start.

And don’t fret. You can erase as you go if you aren’t happy with the result. Just use a wet paper towel to clean your mistakes and try again.

I didn’t focus too hard on the writing, because I wanted it to look more casual. Same goes for the arrows, and especially the red coloring. I wanted it to look hand-drawn, so imperfection was key.

Bon Jovi Valentine Mug

Then when you’re done, just bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and let cool.

I gave it to Michael a few days early, well, because I couldn’t resist.

He’s been singing Bon Jovi every morning since. Coincidence?

I think not.

 

*Believe it or not, but I have two more Valentines projects coming up this week. TWO!!! I’m a crafting fool, I tell you!

 

 

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Cracker Jack Valentines (With Printable!) http://wehaveaars.com/cracker-jack-valentine-printable/ http://wehaveaars.com/cracker-jack-valentine-printable/#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2015 21:50:11 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5581 Isaiah had quite a few Cracker Jacks left over from his baseball party a few weeks back. So I just had to make good use of them, somehow. :) And as much as this kid loves baseball, I knew he’d … Continued

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Cracker Jack Valentines

Isaiah had quite a few Cracker Jacks left over from his baseball party a few weeks back. So I just had to make good use of them, somehow. :)

And as much as this kid loves baseball, I knew he’d be thrilled with Cracker Jack Valentines.

I also loved the idea of handing out a snack, instead of candy. Plus, a prize in every pack??? Two-fer!

I’d been brainstorming about what to do for the actual “valentine” when I came across this vintage one.

free-vintage-valentine-card-popcorn-and-red-heart

I collect vintage valentines. Did you know that? I try to add a few to my collection every year.

So when I found this one, it was LOVE at first sight. I mean c’mon, isn’t it adorable? They just don’t make valentines like they used to.

And it also didn’t hurt that is was free to download here.

If you want to print multiple at a time, just use my handy-dandy PDF: free-vintage-valentine-card-popcorn-and-red-heart-print-template-aars

free-vintage-valentine-card-popcorn-and-red-heart-print-template-aars1

I just attached them with red and white bakers twine, then added aluminum key rings for name tags (available at any hardware store).

Tip: I always keep these key rings on hand. They are super cheap, and make the cutest gift tags any time of year.

Cracker Jack Valentines

Isaiah about died when he saw the finished product. “I’ll have the coolest Valentines in class.” he said.

And that right there, is the best Valentines gift I could ask for.

Love my boy. Love his happy heart.

Happy Valentine’s week!

Cracker Jack Valentines

 

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Blackberry Crumble http://wehaveaars.com/blackberry-crumble/ http://wehaveaars.com/blackberry-crumble/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 05:26:04 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5567 Quick post alert! And sorry for the photo quality. It’s the only way to get a post done around here these days… I made this Blackberry Crumble at my son’s request a few weeks ago, and it’s been on my … Continued

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Blackberry Crumble

Quick post alert! And sorry for the photo quality. It’s the only way to get a post done around here these days…

I made this Blackberry Crumble at my son’s request a few weeks ago, and it’s been on my mind ever since. It is literally the EASIEST recipe, using ingredients most of us already have on hand. I made it again tonight but halved the recipe, so we’d have just enough for dessert.

I mean, it’s so easy…you could even make a single batch in a mug. Just sayin’. Now I’m wishing I had thought of that earlier. Sigh. There’s always tomorrow.

Anyway, here you go. Enjoy!

BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE: serves 6 (unless you live with me, and then it serves 4)

You need:

  • 1 quart fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter (and I’m not gonna lie, I add a little extra)

Mix the blackberries with the sugar and set aside for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter until crumbly.

Pour the blackberries in a buttered baking dish (9×9) and top with the crumble mixture. And if you want to make it extra savory, top it off with a little extra butter.

Then bake at 350 ’til brown and bubbly! (Steel Magnolias, anyone?). It’s really about 30 minutes.

Seriously. So good. So goo-ey. So easy. And mmmmm…blackberries.

Happy February!

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Order in the Ordinary http://wehaveaars.com/order-ordinary/ http://wehaveaars.com/order-ordinary/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 03:24:55 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5549 Goodness gracious, I’m behind. The first month of the year has been a whirlwind. Isn’t it always, though? Every year, it feels like we snap our fingers and already it’s March. This year, I resolved to take things slower. And … Continued

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Goodness gracious, I’m behind.

The first month of the year has been a whirlwind. Isn’t it always, though?

Every year, it feels like we snap our fingers and already it’s March. This year, I resolved to take things slower.

And it’s working. Kind of.

I’ve been an organizing fool these past few weeks. There’s just something about the beginning of a new year. It makes me want to dig through every drawer in the house.

Seriously. It’s worse than nesting. I’m even looking at new paint colors.

I’ve always been that way (sorry, Michael). But it’s definitely getting worse as the years go by.

And I think I figured out why.

Order.

Organization is my desperate attempt at order. In an order-less world.

Have you ever attempted to find order in a house with little children? It’s humbling in every way.

And if you like order, like I do, then living with little ones will challenge every ounce of your being.

The thing is: I know it’s an illusion. I know order doesn’t really exist. It’s the same thing as control, really.

We spend our whole lives trying to hold the reins, when really, they aren’t ours to hold to begin with.

It’s a tough truth to swallow, isn’t it? And I’m not sure we ever really get it.

But you know what helps?

Utensil drawers. And sorting through underwear and socks.

Organizing shelves. Cleaning out junk drawers.

And baskets. Baskets for days. Baskets for everything!

Maybe I’m just kidding myself. Maybe it’s how I “cope.”

But I’ve been working through every room–organizing, child-proofing, purging, even re-decorating.

Because I figure, if I can’t have order…I can at least look at it. Right?

Nod with me. Riiiiiiiight.

So I guess you could say, I’ve been looking for order in the ordinary. And you know what?

It works. It really does.

Because when you find it in the ordinary, you stop chasing it in your life.

Which is truly how it should be.

I hope your January has been simply delightful. I have lots of projects in the works that I’m excited to share. And I haven’t even introduced you to Lucille, yet!

So many posts, so little time.

Here’s hoping you find a little order in your ordinary this week…

Order

 

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2015: New Years Resolutions http://wehaveaars.com/new-years-resolutions/ http://wehaveaars.com/new-years-resolutions/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:40:15 +0000 http://wehaveaars.com/?p=5515 I know, I know. I’m a little late to the party. But, to be fair, I’m just following through with my resolutions. And let me start off by saying, I used to hate resolutions. I just couldn’t stand the idea … Continued

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Do more of what makes you happy

I know, I know. I’m a little late to the party.

But, to be fair, I’m just following through with my resolutions.

And let me start off by saying, I used to hate resolutions.

I just couldn’t stand the idea of setting a hard and fast rule for myself that would surely be broken by week two. Because who wants to start their year feeling like a failure?

But a few years back I started lowering the stakes.  And then things finally started to make sense.

I started to change my resolutions into dreams, goals, and “things to work on.”

I think we all want to be better in life–better wives, better moms, better sisters, daughters, or friends.

Better people.

And I see resolutions as a road map to help us get there.

So every year, I set two or three of them.

And the key is this: There is no end goal. No failing. No measurement to say whether I “succeeded” or not…

Just me. Day in and day out. Trying to be better at this thing we call life.

And becoming a better person by trying.

So here goes, my resolutions for 2015:

 

1. Do more of what makes you happy

And let me emphasize the YOU.

Moms tend to put everyone else’s needs before our own–sometimes without even realizing it. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve forgotten to eat a meal because I was too busy feeding my kids. But to be a good parent, we have to put ourselves first. Totally opposite of what our Mommy DNA tells us to do.  This past year, I lost my “happy” for the sake of my families’.

Spoiler alert: It didn’t work out so well.

So I’ve spent the last few weeks studying myself. Watching. Thinking. Noticing.

What are the things, outside of my family, that make me happy? It was hard at first. Because I’ve wrapped up so much of my happiness into my kids. But the harder I looked the more I found. I got to know myself again.

Musicals. Hot baths. Magazines. Vintage Trailers. And peanut butter-chocolate shakes. It’s a quirky list, but it’s mine. ALL MINE.

I’m slowly learning what makes ME happy. And by golly, those are the things I’ll do more of this year.

 

2. Be present

Sometimes I curse the very existence of smart phones. But I can’t just blame technology…

I spent this past year somewhere else entirely. I was either dwelling in the past, or worrying about the future. And in that very process, I missed the “todays.”

This year, I’ve committed to stop time traveling. I’ve committed to be present, with my thoughts and my actions. To see every moment before me, and stay there.

Two weeks in, and it’s already paying dividends.

 

3. Do your best

Notice I didn’t say “do your perfect.” 

Hi. My name is Allison. And I’m a perfection-a-holic. (That’s one step further than a perfectionist)

It’s funny. I’m well aware that life isn’t perfect, and that I can’t be either. But when it comes to the things I do? My responsibilities and tasks at hand? Good just isn’t good enough.

Except for the fact that IT IS. And thinking that “it’s not” has taken it’s toll–making me miss precious moments while trying to attain the impossible.

So this year I’m letting myself off the hook.

If the blog post isn’t perfect? I’m posting it.

If the party isn’t done? I’m having it.

And if things don’t work out just how I planned? I’m enjoying it anyways.

Because that’s life, folks.

And I refuse to miss it because I’m busy trying to make it something else.

 

Happy New Year, friends. I hope your 2015 is off to a fantastic start. Here’s to a year full of love, light, and dreams come true.

 

 

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