life updates | april 2014

Welp, April? You've come and gone. Yet again. And what a bizarre month you've been! Doctors appointments, friends and family visiting from out of town, one wedding, the conclusion of my spring internship, getting a terribly annoying lingering cold... April has thrown me off my normal routine. Time to recalibrate.

Next month is going to be a wedding whirlwind of sorts. I have THREE couples getting married. One of which is my darling brother-in-law and his fiancé of a billion years, Jenn! (Drew and I will both be IN their wedding, in addition to me directing it from my vantage point.) On top of that? Drew & I get to be wedding plain ol' ATTENDEES this upcoming weekend for one of his dear fraternity brothers' big day. I am so immensely excited to get to dress up, watch a sweet couple get married (rather than hustling around behind the scenes during the actual ceremony), and get to dance and play during the reception! Can't wait!

Besides all of the nuptial madness, my best friend is having a BABY (fingers crossed - she could hold off until June) this month. Drew will take another portion of the CPA exam after Memorial Day, and we may just take a mini jaunt to celebrate the wrap-up of May weddings and exam insanity that last week.

Taken from the photo booth at Lauren & David's affair Apr. 12!

Taken from the photo booth at Lauren & David's affair Apr. 12!

self care  |  I've successfully been drinking less coffee. However, I still need to cut back even more. I need more water, more yoga, and more vegetables, but besides that, I'm good on sleep and taking adequate breaks. I'm ready to get over this stupid spring cold! Coughing is my least favorite thing to do.

home environment  |  I've been going crazy on clutter here. I've taken so many bags of things to Goodwill -- paring down clothes, kitchen goods, everything. Time to keep on trimming down the excess. How did we accumulate so much clutter?!!?

relationship  |   Drew is working out of town a lot lately, so I'm trying to use my time while he's gone for seeing people who are in town, tidying/organizing the house/recuperating from being sick (BOO), and going to yoga.

friends & fam  |   We've seen a good deal of family this past month, with out-of-towners visiting middle Tennessee, and a couple of friendly gatherings. 

career  |  BUSY.

fun & rec  |  I feel fine in this department. I've taken off a good amount of time to see people the past couple of weeks and feel off my game and out of my routine. Wanting a bit of stability to get me going now.

cause or purpose  |   My intention the past couple of days has been "Recover." In the past it has been things like "Survive" -- sometimes you just have to keep on going, keep on moving, make it through this little life drizzle. My never-ending coughing bouts have been an annoying drizzle over the past week, so I'm ready to recover fully and be back ready to swing at May.

Got the sweetest thank-you note + homemade cookies from past October bride, Ginger!

Got the sweetest thank-you note + homemade cookies from past October bride, Ginger!


Oh, May. I hope you don't fly by too fast. I want to be friends. Let's be cordial, eh? No major storms ahead? Just some smooth sailing, ease of foot. A tidy and inspiring home with little to knock me off my path? Some organized time to be in the office at maximum productivity? Dedicated times to practice yoga, live in peace, learn to meditate fully. Five minutes a day for now, ten minutes later. Maybe a couple of daily session of Tracey Anderson's arm sculpting workout so I feel extra-confident in Jenn's wedding (and my strapless bridesmaid dress) at the end of the month? Lots of water drinking, healthy food eating. Less ice cream and cookies, more salad and smoothies. (I know it doesn't sound fun, but it's so important about increasing quality of life.) I really do want to live in a way that is high-quality. High standard of living. Finding peace and joy in the everyday, the simple, the lovely. Low stress, just taking charge of my responsibilities and doing them with grace and poise. That's what I want for May. And then perhaps a well-deserved tiny break, perhaps to see some body of water. Or even a couple of pool afternoons. This is my vision. Now, onto crafting a reality that makes it so...

living my ideal life:: september updates

Somehow I managed to go on a three month hiatus from giving my ideal life updates. Boo to that! Here's what you missed, essentially... Drew traveling. Me yoga-ing. A fabulous Schermerhorn wedding. Traveling to our favorite city and swooning hardcore (and trying to figure out how to stay there and never come back). A lot of exercise, a little healthy eating, a lot of outdoorsing, some QT with the huz, and a mostly clean house. Here's the deets...

Di-vine  shrimp and grits  from last week! The perfect illustration of my culinary skillz as well as our healthy endeavors -- see that side salad?!?!

Di-vine shrimp and grits from last week! The perfect illustration of my culinary skillz as well as our healthy endeavors -- see that side salad?!?!

  • Exercise:  Confessional:  I have slacked in this department. After three months of doing 7 - 11 hot yoga classes a week, as soon as I finished my yoga school my activity level dropped significantly. I plan on picking it back up now that I've almost finished teaching my community classes (they're free to the public! Come take them!), but it has been nice to just chill a little. Everything has seasons. I'm wrapping up my season of rest. :) (I did, however, get the chance to go on a brisk hike with a dear friend this morning! Yay for doing things out of the ordinary!)
  • Tidy Home:  Our apartment complex is repainting the exterior of our building, so we had to completely dissemble our balcony setup two weeks ago. The result? A catastrophic living room that has exploded with excess furniture (and palm trees and planters, etc.). Sad day. As soon as they finish painting the ONE wall they somehow FORGOT, we are going to be back in business and back to tidy home. Everything was perfect while we were away in Charleston! (Does anyone else love to have a super-tidy house to greet them upon their arrival home from traveling? It's so therapeutic.)
  • Beautiful Workspace:  My workspace has been varying between bars at Starbucks, our kitchen table, and our patio picnic table (which is displaced in front of our fireplace for the time being -- see above). I've been looking into possibly renting an actual office sometime in the near future (EXCITING!); unsure as to what the outcome of that will be, but we shall see.
  • Looking Presentable:  I have been wearing real people clothes, makeup, and jewelry on a daily basis. YAY! It seriously does impact my efficiency, motivation, and productivity.
  • Eating Healthy:  Drew and I have been eating a lot more salad and SLIGHTLY less ice cream as of late. Granted, I had two cupcakes yesterday... but besides that, we're doing much better. I have stocked the fridge with fresh cheese, greens, tomatoes, strawberries, planted two full herb planters in the living room windows, and have been perusing Pinterest for the past week or three for delicious and healthy soup recipes galore. Go fall!
  • Faith Building:  God is so good. I've been having amazing conversations with others, learning so much about myself and his path for me through yoga, seeing doors open and close in business... it's just been an incredible journey. I'm seeing more and more the value in memorizing scripture. Craving connection with Him. Always a good sign!
  • Going Outside:  It has been GLORIOUS outside lately! I've kept the windows open for the past two weeks. I worked outside for the majority of August and this month (temporarily delayed by the paint process) but plan to get out there ASAP once they're done. Wishing I could go on more walks -- Drew's CPA study schedule is putting a damper on my style!
  • Undivided Husband Attention:  As I mentioned above, Drew is in full force CPA study mode. He's been pacing the house with his flashcards, listening to and watching videos on his laptop, and reading those thick books like crazy. His first exam is November 2 (EVERYONE PRAY, PLEASE!)! CPA studying has taken the place of quality time... but not completely. I still get to see him (for which I am SO grateful) and I would much rather have him be in my presence studying than working four hours away.
  • Preparing for Success:  This has been getting better! I've slowly but surely been improving my package presentations, business operation files, and planning for success for 2014. I am planning to be very intentional and strategic about this new year, and planning out and implementing my fall internship has been a great learning experience (both for Abby and myself!). Streamlining my operations so someone could replace me if God forbid anything happen to me. This is totally the Girl Scout year of my life!
  • Making Time to Dream:  My dreams have been more on the side of practicality than creative lately, but I'm content with that. I halfheartedly attempted to start making plans for a mid-September inspiration shoot, but just didn't have the time or passion to make it happen this year. Perhaps once the winter gets slow (will that even happen? I have two weddings back-to-back in January!) I will feel more inclined to make styled shoots a priority. As for now, I'd prefer to take on Tara Guerard's policy of making every wedding look like a photo shoot!
  • Cooking/Learning Domesticity:  I made a HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL rendition of shrimp & grits last week! After eating so much scrumptious food in Charleston, this dish was beckoning for me to try it. Martha did not fail me! I'm making some shrimp and polenta tonight, and then it may be full-force fall soup time in the Dellinger casa. We shall see! Drew's CPA study schedule has meant that I'm a lot more culinarily responsible, so opportunities are limitless.
Our sweet Italian herb planter -- rosemary and basil! Right beside it (not pictured) is our cilantro and mint planter. They smell divine. Whisky likes to rest her little furry face on the side of them, too. She and George take a couple of nibbles here and there, I do believe. #healthycats

Our sweet Italian herb planter -- rosemary and basil! Right beside it (not pictured) is our cilantro and mint planter. They smell divine. Whisky likes to rest her little furry face on the side of them, too. She and George take a couple of nibbles here and there, I do believe. #healthycats

As far as living my legitimately "ideal life"  is concerned, I stumbled across this gem of a questionnaire by life coach Tami Briggs last week. I think it is PERFECT for defining your actual ideal day-to-day and overall life -- as well as showing you how you can legitimately make it a reality. Why wait until retirement to enjoy your life? That's such a waste. As I always say, "I don't know if I'm even going to be ALIVE by then." Life TODAY is meant to enjoy that fancy bottle of champagne. Or wear that special sequined dress. Or eat that chocolate espresso torte. Or go on that romantic vacation. 

I may be tweaking my "ideal life" categories next month to accommodate my answers to Tami's questionnaire! 

Until then -- wishing you fresh basil and so much time outside enjoying the fall weather! Everyone have a glorious time until it gets too cold!!!! 

june life updates

Time has gotten so elusive I almost titled this post "July life updates." That's bad, y'all!

Once again, it's mid-month. It's been hotter, busier, and more transitional than the other months. No? I say that every month? Ok, fine. 

Let's get down to business. 

 

daily dose of vitamin D, courtesy of my apartment pool last week! 

daily dose of vitamin D, courtesy of my apartment pool last week! 

  • Exercise:  Due to a recent personal endeavor, I'm now required to attend 7 - 11 hot yoga classes a week. No excuses. Once this weekend's wedding is over (Woo hoo Dawn & Jeff!!!), you can expect to find me sweating in spandex every waking moment of life. In between working on my August/October weddings, of course.
  • Tidy Home:  Major embarrassment over here. I got caught red-handed with a horrific looking car today. I can't even get into it, it's so bad. However, I'm choosing to look at it as a positive, as a learning experience for me to realize how appearances matter, how cleanliness and tidiness is NECESSARY (in personal and professional matters), and how you can never know what all life is going to throw at you, so BE PREPARED. Maybe I shouldn't have dropped out of girl scouts as a Brownie...
  • Beautiful Workspace:  Again. Horrific. I need a lifespace makeover. "We must get our own lives in order before we can best serve others." <-- Words of wisdom from my own two lips. Putting that into practice? I may need more help.
  • Looking Presentable:  As someone who has been out in public significantly more in the warmer months (hello, busy season!), I've been good on this front. Minus the scantily-clad yoga outfits I live in at home. It's too hot for real clothes. Ain't nobody got time for that.
  • Eating Healthy:  I blame my husband for leaving on work travel. Yoga is going to fix me, I'm telling you.
  • Faith Building:  Still in progress to become members at our church. I'm still on "needs improvement," but several things have been enlightening over the past month. One of my six-month goals is Consistency. Time to get to work.
  • Going Outside:  I practically live outside. Or in my car, since I've traveled more this past month than ever before. (Oh wait, I did the same thing pre-marriage...) But there are windows in my car and I have to roll them down when I drive Drew's Jeep. So there's extra "Outside" time.
  • Undivided Husband Attention:  I live for this. Sadly, Saturdays are pretty much it. He's my favorite person. I wish he was home more.
  • Preparing for Success:  Needs improvement. Major improvement. Some things are improved, but some things... not so much.
  • Making Time to Dream:  I really love dreaming with clients. I love hearing their thoughts, ideas, looking at inspiration pictures, and then collaborating on real life projects and end results. Reason #134332523 I love my job.
  • Cooking/Learning Domesticity:  I don't think I've cooked since April. YIKES. Oh wait, I did make some really terrible shrimp and grits. Because my cooking efforts decrease substantially whilst cooking for one.
  •  

    Things on tap for the future: 

    • Serious delving into summer/fall 2013 weddings! Let's go!
    • Living & breathing yoga. Becoming a better person all-around. 
    • Home improvement. Delegating days to tackle projects. No more excuses. 
    • Learning how to live as a party of one for a while. Being more intentional with time as a party of two.
    • Our first anniversary!!! One month + two days! 
    • My best friend from California coming to stay with us next month!  She will totally judge me if my house is looking shabby, so let that be my goal to keep this place in shape.
    • Learning consistency. What happened to that word of the year I was supposed to be working on? Where's my focus?
    • Cooking. Something. Anything. At least making one helluva smoothie. 
    • BE PREPARED. Become an adult girl scout. Hypothetically, of course. 

    If I had my ideal situation, I would write back to you in one month and say I have been weaning myself from black hole distractions, purposeful and intentional with my actions, appreciating my husband more and serving him better, serving my clients to the best of my abilities 100% of the time (going above and beyond consistently), increasing my knowledge, compassion, and awareness, building my faith, and an awesome cat-mom. 

    Challenge, anyone? 

    this week's progress {ideal life}

    A bad habit of mine is to write about self-improvement plans I hope to implement... and then forget about them. WHOOPS! I have so many good intentions but oftentimes lack the memory-space or FOCUS (there's that word again!) to really ACT on my goals/plans.

    So here's a gauge of progress... lists of the things I've aimed to do, and how I did this week!

    fresh produce = life-giving foods!

    fresh produce = life-giving foods!

    • Exercise:  Major progress!!! I went to hot yoga classes Monday - Thursday. I decided this morning to take a day off and go tomorrow morning (since I usually take off weekends) instead. Major highlight of the week was finding out I'd won three months of unlimited yoga at my favorite studio near our home, Fahrenheit Yoga! WOO HOO! There was some definite screaming with glee and happy dancing when I found that out:)
    • Tidy Home:  I did manage to purchase some necessary large plastic tubs, lined baskets, and a few household things to help us keep a happy and organized home. I'm spending the rest of the afternoon today vacuuming, tidying, and working on "the system" so maintenance takes far less time than doing everything all over again (which is what we've been doing the past six months... yikes!).
    • Beautiful Workspace:  This project has kind of been on the backburner lately, since we really need to install some shelves above my desk before I can get everything settled. Hoping to have some drilling days ahead of us this weekend!
    • Looking Presentable:  Unfortunately, with all the hot yoga I've been doing, this has NOT been a priority for me this week. One day I will master the ultimate balance of working out and working hard while looking attractive. Fortunately, most everything I had to do this week was phone-related!!!! ;)
    • Eating Healthy:  I had over my fair share of green smoothies this week. I went to the grocery at the end of last week and stocked up on fresh produce and nuts. Fortunately nothing's gone to waste, but I've sadly been supplementing my healthy diet with a couple of trips to Sonic and a hefty dose of Blue Bell ice cream...
    • Faith Building:  This has been great!!! I've been listening to sermons with Drew every night, our small group met up for the first time of the year last night, and I started a SheReadsTruth bible-reading plan on Tuesday! Score for prioritizing the spirit!
    • Going Outside:  Whomp whomp whomp... this has been limited to walking to my car or mailbox. Such a shame, considering the beautiful weather!
    • Undivided Husband Attention:  Needs improvement. I need to wean myself from my iPhone. I'm earnestly trying to do a Social Media-free weekend starting tonight, so crossing my fingers for success!
    • Preparing for Success:  This was pretty good! I started getting things ready in advance for future potential client meetings, my business cards came in, and slowly but surely I'm making plans to get things rolling smoothly:)
    • Making Time to Dream:  I haven't really prioritized this, this week, but I'm thinking my Social Media-free weekend should help with this:)
    • Cooking/Learning Domesticity:  Something's gotta give. This week, it was cooking!

    How are your ideal days going?! Anyone else participating in a social media-free weekend like me? Comment below! :) 

    musings on my ideal day

    I've struggled a bit with thinking up and living my ideal day. It's hard for me to put to words exactly how I'd like to spend my days, and things rarely ever seem to go exactly how I'd want them to. Especially with my event planner schedule (SPORADIC!), two days are never identical. I could be writing blog posts for the week ahead, running errands for styled shoots, emailing vendors about events, tweaking elements of my website, planning for the future, going through business finances or legal documents, executing events, or meeting with potential clients. Even my workday can vary -- my set office hours are Monday - Thursday 9AM - 4PM (weekends reserved for event dates or precious family time), but rarely do I completely adhere to these.

    Some days I would say things were as ideal as I could have them -- productive work hours, getting important things done, running vital errands, having difficult but necessary conversations. There are certain elements that definitely characterize a day as "ideal" (exercising -- particularly through hot yoga, eating healthy meals, taking walks, staying on task and focused, not sleeping in, etc). But defining a specific blueprint is HARD for me.

    Sparkly things, pretty fabrics, gorgeous colors and textures, fresh flowers, emotional moments, animals, glamour, windows open, and candlelight are a few things that bring me joy. I can always wear a sparkly necklace, work on a lovely project that requires some sewing and construction, keep fresh flowers in the house, admire my pets, open windows, dress up and light candles... those are easy ways to make my life more "fired up" in the moment. 

    Other things I might incorporate in my "ideal" day (while I'm trying to define exactly what it is)....

    • exercise, feeling ALIVE {hot yoga, dance class, going for walks, yoga with Drew, running, etc}
    • keeping a tidy home {cleaning up after my messes, staying more attuned to how things ACTUALLY are -- since I tend to live in my head and miss what's actually in front of me!}
    • maintaining a beautiful workspace {organizing things to functional usage, keeping inspirational photos or books or whatever at hand, taking care to surround myself with pretty things & collateral}
    • dressing up & looking presentable even when I'm home alone {swiping on some mascara and blush can do wonders for my motivation, and donning a pretty, professional-looking outfit not only looks good for video blogging, but makes me more productive!}
    • eating healthy, life-giving foods {natural, fresh, delicious foods give me more energy than sloppy, carb-rich junk}
    • reading books about faith {relationship, self-improvement, or just general informative spiritual books always lighten my load and remind me how to live!}
    • praying!!!!!!!!! {God is so good and faithful -- but we have to ask for the desires of our hearts and stay in tune with His vision!}
    • going outside for fresh air {does so much for the spirit!}
    • cuddling my cats {little pick-me-ups}
    • giving my husband my undivided attention when he's home {does so much for our relationship!}
    • making time for home-tending {ultimately, my first priority is to be a good and Godly wife, as well as the manager and "tender" of our household. I'm not as satisfied or happy when our house looks like a disaster and there's a mile-long to do list hovering over Drew & me. ...Not to mention he's not happy either.}
    • preparing for success {so much of action is in the groundwork laid before you take the action. I'm more likely to go work out if my clothes are laid out, my water bottle is filled, and my yoga mat or tennis shoes are by the door. Drew's more likely to get to work on time if we've ironed his shirt the night before, set out food for lunch, and gotten his things together in advance. I do better in client consultations when I've got everything I could possibly need with me, at the ready.}
    • making time to dream, to visualize, to think up amazing things {I LOVE working on creative projects, exercising my skill sets and honing new ones, and dreaming -- it fuels my creativity like none other, gives me something to work towards, challenges me to bring things to life, and makes my work better!}
    • cooking & learning new domestic skills {this goes hand-in-hand with home-tending, but creativity is ALSO fueled when I'm learning new things, exercising my imagination in new realms, and both Drew and I get to benefit from the end result in these endeavors! Be it learning how to sew Euro shams (something I've needed to tackle for months!), hang shelves, or roast a whole chicken (which I mastered for the second time last night -- woot woot!)... these things also challenge me and make me a better person all-around!}

    I feel like that's a pretty good groundwork. It may not be a set schedule, detailed down to the very minute... but it does give me some ways to measure how my days are on the ideal-o-meter!!! What things do you want to incorporate into your life to make it ideal? Post in the comments below! :)