Life As Rachel: December 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year in Review

2014 is almost over. This year has been as much a roller coaster as the last one was. Life is never simple and if it was it would be boring. I have had a good year and I am very lucky to have the life I do. My husband is amazing and this past year our marriage has just grown even more. We will be going on 5 years of marriage in May and I can not wait for the next 40 with him. 

Over the past year I have grown as an adult and learned to face challenges that I never had to deal with before. I am still grieving and sad over the loss of my nephew last year but I am also growing and learning to cope with it. I will never be over it or okay with it but I can live my life and still grieve in my own way. I want to forgive the boy that did it but that is a hard task to do.

We also decided this past year to have a child. I did not know how awesome, upsetting and agonizing that journey could be. I am super excited that we are doing this but I am also tired of trying. We have been trying since August with no luck yet. I know my birth control took awhile to leave my system and I am staying hopeful that it will happen. That is all I can do at this point. I have to leave it up to God and just enjoy life. I have experienced happiness with trying to do this, I have experienced extreme sadness as each month passes. I need to stop stressing over it and have fun, but that is easier said than done.

My store, Country Couture, has grown. My sales has double at least and each day it is getting better. I was almost at the point of closing it until it took back off again. I am glad I did not give up on it. I am very blessed to be able to run my store and work full time. I can not wait to the day when it takes off and I can only run the store! I never thought fashion would be something I wanted to do but it is. I love being able to provide reasonable prices for super cute and stunning clothes! 

This past year has been fun, amazing and so many other things. I have a good family around me as well as friends. I would be nothing without the support system that I have. I have an amazing job full time and I get to run my store as well. I have a wonderful husband, who I adore. I have 2 wonderful furbabies who want nothing but love from me. I have a good life and it is not the material things that make it that way. 

Last year when I wrote my post like this, I was sad. I had lost Dax and the holidays were extremely hard. This year..I have some positive. I have more to look forward to and I know how to cope with things better than I ever had. I am stronger that I was and I will continue to be that way. 

I hope everyone has a good New Year and cheers to 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Recap

Well Christmas is gone for another year. I had an amazing holiday with my family. I was off work for most of the time and enjoyed every bit of it. I had Christmas with my in-laws and husband and relaxed for most of it. I got to enjoy time with my wonderful niece, and I am pretty sure she tops all other nieces. She is pretty awesome. I may be a bit biased on that part though. 

I binged watched American Horror Story on Netflix with Chris. I shopped online some more and did a ton of work for the store.  I did all of the laundry which is a miracle for me. I got everything I wanted to do done, except for clean my house. I only work 2 days this week so fingers crossed I can get more stuff done at home. 

Christmas was a good time this year. I was not sad and mourning. I got to enjoy it more and I am so grateful and lucky to have everything and everyone in my life. I am very blessed to have the life I have even though I have had struggles, trouble and sadness in it. 

I am not ready to be back at work but alas I am here. I get to work and everyone else gets off work. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekend Recap!!

As much fun as I had over the weekend, I am glad it is over. I love when the weekends come but I hate how busy they can be!! I love when I can relax and not stress over time. Unfortunately this past weekend was a busy, stress packed weekend.

All day Saturday I baked, baked and baked some more. My husband owns his own car garage so we had to make a ton of cookies and treats for his customers as well as make them for my colleagues. I spent $75.00+ in cookie stuff and baked all day long on Saturday. I am still not done and did not make everything that I wanted to. I never made it to the fudge or peanut butter balls and I burned my finger pretty good on the oven. I can never manage to not do that at least once when cooking/baking.

We did deliver what we had made Saturday evening and went out to dinner, but did I take pictures? NOPE! I was just enjoying the evening and time with my husband. 

Sunday was my nieces birthday party. She turned 11 last week and is growing up way to fast! My sister had it at the local skating rink. That made me feel so old. I use to go there every Friday night and have fun with my friends. Now my niece is going there and I am starting to realize how much time is passing with her growing up.

This week is a short week at work. I only work 2 days and then I am off the rest of the week so hands in the air for that!

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Do you know Chelsee?

Have you met Chelsee? She blogs over at Southern Beauty Guide. She is on of the first bloggers I ever became friends. She has helped me with my blog so many times that I don't know how I can repay her. We text and chat almost every day and snap chat all the time. She even helped raise funds for my nephew when he was killed. 

Her blog is about beauty stuff and make up and she is starting on YouTube videos. If I ever have a question about makeup, and lets face it..I always do, I ask Chelsee. She knows just about everything with makeup and can always help you with finding something new or different. 

Now...Chelsee is super sweet. She sent me a Christmas gift in the mail. It was so sweet and kind of her and its the 2nd time she has done it. I am one of those slacker friends that sends gifts last minute, so of course she hasn't received it from yet..but she will!!! 

Check out what she sent me!

Now go check out her blog and say Hello to her! She is pretty awesome and a great friend to have! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hair Update

So I have been growing my hair out for a good while. I do have to confess that I did get a trim about a month ago. I couldn't help myself. My hair was looking rough and the body of it was horrible. I ended up getting high lights as well and I am loving the color of my hair now and how it looks. This all started 2 years ago when I chopped my hair off and colored it brown. I went from long blonde to short and brown. I loved it then and still love that cut but I am wanting long hair again. 

One of the biggest things that has helped my hair is I no longer straighten it with a flat iron. I cut that out first. My hair had a lot of damage and is still in recovery mode. I blow dry it straight now and use more products that will help my hair. 

These 3 things:
 1) It's a 10 Lite
 2) Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Protection and
 3) Not Your Mothers Way To Grow,
They have saved my hair. I feel like it is growing longer and looks healthier than it use to! are my pictures of the progression. Remember this is more than a years worth of growth. 

I am happy with how it is growing out and looking. I can not wait to have long hair again!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Best Buy Canon Holiday!

*The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free*

With the holidays approaching, I know myself, that I am still getting a few last minute items. Now..for the blogger and boutique owner in me...I would love a new camera for the holidays. I have one but it is not a DSLR and definitely not as good as the DSLR. Now Canon makes amazing cameras and if I can snag this one up for a great deal, well Merry Christmas to me! 

I love how amazing these cameras work. If you are a know how great they are. Most bloggers have these and use them to record youtube videos, A TON of pictures for their blogs and so much more. The quality of pictures is clear and they look amazing. 


Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories. The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of the best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.
•      Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video  
•      Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
•      Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
•      The 3" vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Now you can save $150.00 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i if you are planning on purchasing one! Details below! 

Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more.
*offer valid 12/7-12/20

Do you love twitter parties? Best Buy is hosting an LG OLED Twitter Party on Thursday December 4th at 7PM CST and a Canon Twitter Party on Thursday December 18th at 7pm CST. Feel free to join this party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy.


TTC...a list of letters that mean something...normally you would not know what they are unless you are TTC. We are TTC. Trying. To. Conceive. Lucky us. It has been 7 months now and no baby yet. My doctor told me wait until a year to come in and do testing. The biggest annoyance in this is everyone that wants to give me advice. i.e. Stay patient, relax, don't stress out over it, etc. How am I supposed to stay patient, relax and not stress out when we are trying to make a child together and it is not happening. It can be so frustrating when you are trying so hard and you have no outcome. Now..don't get me wrong..the sex is great but the struggle is real. I love my husband and could not imagine going through this with anyone else. 

At this point, I am going to just let it go. I know I am putting my self and my body under pressure. I am hoping that if I do RELAX like people say and not worry about it so much that it will help. Up until now I was tracking my ovulation with a ovulation kit, I was using an app to track it as well as my period. I was/am OCD about it and bother Chris so much when it says I am ovulating that it takes the fun of out the process. I have deleted the app from my phone and will no longer be buying the ovulating kits. 

I want to look at it as if God allows me to have a child, that it will happen. I am not super religious but in this instance I have to be. I have to put my faith in God and just go with the flow. I can't worry anymore or get upset every time I see a new pregnancy announcement (which is almost 2 a day at this point). I am happy for everyone that is and can conceive children and I understand that some may go through longer periods of TTC than I am right now. It is hard though when you want something so bad and there is nothing you can do about it until mother nature gets her shit together.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend Lazy-ness

We had a very relaxed weekend this past weekend. We literally did nothing. We were lazy,  the world was lucky I even got my butt out of bed. Each day we got up to go do something and then we just didn't. Even our dogs were lazy. Itsy was such a ham. The minute Chris started petting her she fell asleep sitting up. 

Also...I feel very dumb but I have never had popcorn made from the stove. I usually buy the bag stuff and just make it in the microwave. was fun but it did not taste as good as the bag stuff. It was fun to make but our dogs got more of that popcorn then we did and I am pretty sure they enjoyed it! 

This week is the last full week of work before the holidays. I only have to work Monday and Tuesday of each week until January starting next week. You will not hear me complain about it. I still have to finish my Christmas shopping and wrap all of the gifts still. I am so excited to give my husband his gifts that I have almost done it 3-4 times already. Whoops. I am horrible at keeping a secret and when it is something he really wants, I want to go ahead and give it to him!

Today we have our office lunch at a local inn and I love eating there each year. I am going to eat way to much and I don't care! I am going to be one of those New Years resolution people that will say I am gonna lose weight! Fingers crossed I keep up with it!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Week Recap

This has been a super long week. I am exhausted...drained and so many other things. I am so happy that it is Friday. I have never looked forwarded to the weekend so much as I am this one. It is nothing about plans or is so that I can sleep in tomorrow and not have to get up at the crack of dawn.

The view from my office.

Even though I am tired, I have enjoyed some things this week. We had a holiday lunch at work and I ate way to much food. I made crock pot mac n cheese, stay tuned for that recipe, as it is super easy! There was none left for me to take home so I take that as a good sign. 

This weekend I am decorating a ton of cookies and candies for Chris' business. He owns his own garage and we are taking stuff to his regular customers just so they know how much we appreciate them. I suspect I will be baking all day Saturday. Luckily I have made a few things beforehand and froze them so I am not in the kitchen all weekend.

We are also planning on going to look at Christmas lights. It is one of my favorite things that we ever do. We just drive around and check out lights. Luckily around us some people go all out so we are never left disappointed by it. I know we are not the only ones who do this! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cookie Icing

Ever year my mother in law makes amazing Christmas Cookies and homemade icing. I have never tried to make the icing until this year. I was shocked at how simple it is and how yummy it is.  It is only 5 ingredients and super easy. 

What you need:

1 lb powdered sugar
1 c. Crisco
1/4 c. water
1 tsp. clear vanilla
1/2 tsp almost extract
Food coloring if desired.

Beat the crisco until it is fluffy. Add sugar, water and flavorings. Beat this for 5 minutes. It is enough for about 1 cake or a 2 dozen cookies. I keep mine in the refrigerator and make them as I want them. If it gets to thick I add milk to help with it as well. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blog Hop

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!
A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,
What a day to celebrate! This is the 95th week of the Let's Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week!

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!
The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!
There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! :)

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news!
***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop.
Meet your hosts:
The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'
Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin'

Meet this week's co-hosts:
PicMonkey Collage
Tiffany from The Mommy Glow
Rachel from Life as Rachel

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:
It's Chelsee today. I loved everything that you all linked up! It was so fantastic and I hope you all know that you are giving me so make recipe inspirations!

Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner!
Is there anything we can do differently or better? Please share in the comments!
... onto the winner!

So let's be honest, we all have people that drive us purely nuts and cause stress. At least I do. Have work with someone in particular that makes me want to just pull my hair out some days. I have been through the "nice has worn off" stage already so I am now continuously looking for ways to deal with this situation without completely chewing all my nails off and pulling my hair out. This is exactly why this post stood out to me.

I admit that I read and re-read Whitney's post on ways to deal with this. I went through checking things off and building my own game plan, since biting my tongue has not been working well. Anyways I do want to thank her for this post, because it has boosted my spirits in that there is a way to work around the stress that others can cause. For those that work with other that are rather difficult to work with I feel your pain. 

Enough of that. Go follow her blog. And thank you all again for another amazing week!

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit!
*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ky Liquibeads

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheMoodStrikes #CollectiveBias

I have to say normally I don't post stuff like this but for once, I am not afraid to. We are adults here so no need to be shy.  Thanks for #CollectiveBias, I can post abut #TheMoodStrikes and this product. 

Now I have used Ky products before and really I have had to rely on these for my intimate life with my husband. I am not saying things are not working down there but sometimes it takes a little more to help us out. Thank goodness for K-Y ®  Liquibeads. I do suffer from vaginal dryness and honestly, it can suck. When you are in the mood and that is going is depressing. 

I got the product at Walmart here where we live. I was so thankful that most major retailers carry this and that I do not have to go searching for it.  I know this product may be more $ than you are willingly to pay. I love that you can get a coupon for it to bring the price down. Just go here!

We have not had kids yet and to suffer from this can suck. My husband would get upset thinking I am not into it or that I am not into him. It is completely the opposite though. To suffer from this sucks beyond measure. 

Now this product is super easy to use. It comes with the applicators and the beads. 
So...this is how easy it is.

1. Take one of the beads out of the packing. 

2. Insert it into the Ovule insert which is provided.
3. Insert the applicator inside as far as it can go or what you are comfortable with (like inserting a tampon)
4. Throw away the applicator. No need to reuse.
5. Have fun! 

Now to be honest, I was skeptical about this and even Chris was wondering if it would really work. Thankfully it does. We have been trying to get pregnant for 6 months and this product may help with that. I am not saying we will but if I can stay going and not get dry and hurt than hey...I am all thumbs up for that. 

One thing is that if you are pregnant or nursing, you do need to consult your doctor before using this product. Just to be careful! 

K-Y® Liquibeads are inserted once every few days so that when the mood strikes, your body is ready to go without needing extra, messy lubricants. After children, as we age, or as the action becomes intense, sometimes we dry up a little bit. It's OK and it's normal, but it can be painful and embarrassing. No woman wants to make her man feel like he isn't doing it for her, especially when he IS. It's just that sometimes our bodies can't keep up with our hearts, which is where K-Y® Liquibeads come in. They ensure that when the mood hits, you're ready, and your body is willing. I know Chris has felt that way and I am so glad that there is a solution for us! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Purina ONE Smartblend Dog Food

*This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.*

I am so happy to be able to write a post on this. Have you tried Purina One dog food? I switched my dogs to this food months ago and they love it. Our dog Itsy Bitsy has a sensitive belly. She was getting hot spots,throwing up after eating, burping alot and choking on her food. We called the Vet and told them what was going on and he recommend this food. We tried it out and it works amazing. The only thing she still does is choke on her food but that is because she is goofy and eats way to fast!!

Now the one thing I love about this food is that they have the 28 Day Challenge and believe it is great!Now you may ask what is the 28 Day Challenge?

  • What is the 28 Day Challenge? Purina ONE,  believes in proof, not promises. They’re asking dog lovers all over the country to switch to Purina ONE dry dog food, and step up to the 28 Day Challenge.  They believe people will see:
Day 1+: Taste: When your dog loves the taste of his food, it can make all the difference
Day 7+: Energy: An optimal blend of ingredients provides the energy your dog needs
Day 14+: Digestibility: Highly digestible food helps more nutrients go to work inside your dog
Day 21+: Skin & Coat: Balanced nutrition supports a beautiful coat and healthy skin
Day 21+: Bright Eyes: Your dog’s eyes are a window to his health
Day 28+: Dental Healthy: Great nutrition and crunchy kibble support strong teeth and healthy gums

Another thing I love about this is that it is so healthy for our dogs. 

Real poultry, meat, or fish as the #1 ingredient
Omega 6 helps give your dog a radiant coat and healthy skin
Dual-defense antioxidant blend helps support immune system
Glucosamine helps support healthy joints
They don't add coloring and stuff to it and that was a big no no for us. We love how natural it is. I have noticed they have shiny coats year round. Even when they need baths...people think they are clean!

Now you can order this food at Amazon. How awesome is that. You never have to leave your house to order the food! Click here to go get yours today! It is so simple and easy. I love that I do not have to go to the store to buy this product. To show how easy it is, I let Zoey order it for us. Thanks to #CollectiveBias I was able to participate in something I truly do back!

Now go take the 28 Day Challenge and let me know how you like it! It is great and my dogs love it! My dogs love the #OneSmartDifference. I hope yours do to!

My girls loved it so much that we have already had to purchase a second bag!! They eat it up and always want more!!

My dogs really love this product..they love it so much..they run backwards!