Weekend Highlights and a Snickers Crunch Bar Recipe

Wait, hold up.  You say something about a Snickers?   

…I’ll get to that, kitten. 

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I hope you are coming out of a happy weekend spent doing what you wanted to do!  We had a graduation party for our friend Tracy’s son on Friday evening.  Check out her cupcakes for the party.  Fits her (and her kids) humor, 100%.

Post-graduation party led to an impromptu late dinner and cocktails with our friends Jess, Luke, Tyree & Cole in the Old Market.  Lot’s of laughter was had at that back corner table.  Saturday brought some work out at the shop.  Clint always works Saturday’s but I am hit and miss on when I go out since most of the paperwork I handle is done in my home office.  This weekend I spent over three hours cleaning out the office at the shop.  It. Was. Hideous!  Clint ended up working from 6:30am – 11pm that day, so the homemade enchiladas I had waiting for him at home ended up in the fridge.  I’ve gone from snow widow to a mulch widow, y’all.  That’s ok though.   He is dedicated, focused and determined!  He makes me want to do more and be better, that’s for sure.  And just when I was starting to back off of the billion things I do/did!  😉

Mother’s day we went our separate ways for the day, but not before I took an obligatory mom’s day photo with my kittos!

Grimmy just wanted treats and wouldn’t sit still.  Harley was traumatized I was holding her, per usual.  Lil Princess and Lil Devil.   They are the best!

I spent the day in Clarinda with my mom, grams, Gabe and Dave.  The boys grilled burgers and they were amazing!  An afternoon of great conversations and I headed out around 3, with a brief pitstop at the daddio’s.  Clint spent the afternoon at his mom’s with his siblings and we both found ourselves back at home together around 8!

So, about those Snickers Crunch Bars.

It has become an official tradition to have a “Sweet of the Week” at Walkup Wood Products.  The crew, customers, and contractors appreciate the gesture and everyone deserves a sweet treat, especially those hard laborers!  And so, each week, new treat’s are created and served!  This week I picked out Snickers Crunch Bars from Mom On TimeOut.  The only additions I made were an extra cup of Krispies for the bottom layer and an extra half bag of caramels for the caramel layer.  Otherwise, I kept it as is!

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They are sinful!  And heavenly!   The best of both worlds. 😉

Pop on over to her website (click here) to recreate them for yourselves!  The recipe is lengthy and I am JUST lazy enough to not copy and paste it over.  I’m sure she’d enjoy the extra traffic to her webpage anyway.

Cheers!

 

 

Magic Happened Last Night

It only took about an hour of prep work, grease on my jeans and a few beads of sweat, but it happened.  The happiest day of my Spring 2018 life, h.a.p.p.e.n.e.d.

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We hugged, we laughed and we became a little misty-eyed.  It was a beautiful reunion caught on camera via SnapChat selfie.  Because nothing counts unless it’s on Snap, ya?

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Ya, that’d be a no.

But, we did reunite and all the wrongs in the world are now right.  So so SO right.

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Of course, she was tucked nicely away in the back of the garage, so it took a little motorcycle maneuvering, battery tinder removing, seat finding and reattaching, motorcycle jack rearrangement, air pressure gauge scavenging, motorcycle trailer rolling, air bubble requiring and about 10 additional PSI’s in that front tire (recall September 2017 tire incident… still haven’t fixed that yet) and

…WE WERE ALIVE!

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And she was DISGUSTING!

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¹First order of business: Car Wash.

²Second order of business: WIND!  Sweet, sweet WIND!

She and I cruised for about an hour or so before making our way home around 7:45pm.  Low and behold the hubs had also just gotten home and seeing his bike out in the driveway decided it was a perfect opportunity to reattach his seat as well and so off we went for a late dinner at The Cabin across town.

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What a perfectly spontaneous MUCH NEEDED night of wind therapy for the both of us.

Hello, Spring 2018.

I’ve been waiting for you.

 

Cheers!

🙂

 

A GalPal In Need | Brittany, the Artist Behind Saoi Photography

My favorite photographer and someone I’d consider a solid acquaintance as we’ve stayed connected over a period of 8 years is currently in need of support.  Brit of Saoi Photography, has in the past week been diagnosed with a brain tumor in her left frontal lobe.  In a matter of days she underwent surgery for removal, tests for the tumor were sent in (benign) and now she begins the many weeks of recovery.

brittany

As many small, private business owners know, it isn’t an option to miss work “unplanned”.  As Brit’s sole income is based on her artistry and vision, it comes without saying that her work is currently sidelined during recovery.  And without work, no income.  Without an income, finances become a struggle and medical bills pile.  Brit is not only a photographer but also a mom of two handsome little dudes.

brits boys

Brit is surrounded by folks from all walks of life thanks to her work but also her hobbies and interests.  She is a free-spirit, music-loving, hipster without being hipster because she is cool without the trendy classifications kind of chick.  Her vibe attracts her tribe, truly, and she has a kick-ass one.

Some of which have set up a Go Fund Me account for her to help with the costs associated.  If you are so inclined, please help by clicking HERE.

Her guy has a pretty sweet lineup of well-wishers as well and if you want to chime in, send something fun his way, or just follow along, on IG by clicking HERE.

Any and all can help this gal.What drew me to Brittany so many years ago is how relatable she is.   She’s someone that I knew would fit in with my crew and our personalities and I just KNEW I had to have her for our wedding.   And so began our history.

What drew me to Brittany so many years ago is how relatable she is.   She’s someone that I knew would fit in with my crew and our personalities and I just had to have her for our wedding.   And so began our history.

First our engagement photos:
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Then our Wedding.  This gang is full of nuts and I knew she’d fit right into our non-traditional vibe, and she did!  And she survived!  That is a true testament to her character, especially with those bad influence boys.

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And Family Photos in 2013

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Brit’s photography style has evolved so much over the years and it has been incredible to watch her artistic eye develop and change as she became more aware of her own styles and ideas of art.  I can’t WAIT to be in front of her lens again soon.

PLEASE, do yourself a favor and check out her webpage, Facebook and Instagram (<-all live links) for her work.  Give her a follow.  GIve her support.  She’s incredible.

And again, if you feel so inclined to give this galpal a helpful hand, please visit her GoFundMe account.

 

Cheers!

 

 

The Power of Music

Music is a universal language connecting moments in time.  Music takes people back and brings people to the present. Every song played connects you to a person, a raw emotion, a memory or time.

Music is therapy.

Music is power.

If there is one piece of advice I could pass on generation after generation it would be to learn how to truly appreciate music.  Music goes beyond emotions and is powerful enough to develop the mind and body.  Once upon a time, I wrote a dissertation on the scientific benefits of music and the effects it has on your brain and health.  Music is something that can be enjoyed and experienced in all stages of life.  A study done in 2015 lists not knowing how to read music or playing an instrument as the most common regret amongst adults.  It also landed as one of the Top 20 biggest life regrets amongst a study done in the United Kingdom.

Music is universal.  It is also never too late to learn how to read music or to take on a deeper knowledge and respect of all genres.   Challenge yourself.

It isn’t a secret that music has always been a large part of my life.  Thanks to my mama, a true love and appreciation of music began at quite the young age, singing with her at church functions and attending Christian artist concerts like Amy Grant.  In middle school, she FORCED me (yes, it’s true) to take up an instrument and am I ever glad she did.  Playing an instrument came naturally to me.  As an 11th grader from southwest rural Iowa, I auditioned and was accepted into the Omaha Youth Orchestra and traveled to Omaha weekly (thanks, mom) for rehearsals.  It was my first experience playing with high caliber musicians and set me up for my experiences playing at a collegiate level.   Playing an instrument is what I was good at… but not something I ever took terribly seriously.  It was fun for me.  An outlet.  With that said, had I maybe practiced a little more I wouldn’t have botched a few of my solo’s during my college senior recital.  Yeesh.  Nightmares.  Y’all, I LOVE to play, but I don’t like being the ONLY person in the middle of a massive stage, with a ballgown on, under hot ass lights, playing for an hour to a very, VERY large crowd.  You’d think those solo recitals that we had to play each semester for four years would have prepped me for that big moment.  It wasn’t a disaster, but it wasn’t something I ever want to repeat.

Anyway, I digress.

It’s not about being the best performer.  It’s not about even playing an instrument.  It’s about learning to appreciate and understand music at its core.  Feel the emotions, put yourself into the composer or writers thoughts and mind, feel the raw emotion embedded in the harmony.

After leaving the world of music teaching in 2011 I found myself yearning to get back to playing music again in 2017 and found myself at the door of the Nebraska Wind Symphony.  My first concert with them last Fall felt right.  The music repertoire isn’t near the caliber I had in college, but that’s ok.  It’s not about the challenge anymore.  It’s about feeling the music, having fun and feeling connected to something I deeply love, again.  I have a lot of hobbies under my name, but this is one that I left behind.   It’s nice to see it again.

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Our last concert for the 2017-18 concert season is Sunday, April 15th at the Omaha Conservatory of Music.  Our music selection is surrounded by the sounds of spring and will leave you feeling light, happy and ready for sunshine and warmth.

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The NWS is comprised of a broad spectrum of individuals.  From recent-ish college grads to retired lawyers, we make up the meaning of “music is universal”.

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Hope to see you there!

Cheers!

2018 Motto | Are You Living Yours?

Oh hey there kiddies!  Welcome to March 2018 AND my first post in the New Year!

So, what gives?

Life.   

Sweet Life.

 

The last word vomit I left you with surrounded the resolution trap and goal shift mentality.   Let me wrap up my long list of goals I set out for myself into what has become my 2018 motto:

 

Let Go Of The Bullshit.

Focus On The Real Shit.

 

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Authenticity: Real Life application.

What is considered B.S. is going to differ from person to person.  Only you can decide and only you can act on it.  Each day provides an opportunity where you can learn from yourself and others and grow as a person.  As an INDIVIDUAL.  Evolve your authenticity.  Gut check, friends.   How authentic are you in what you put out to the world?

So, what are some things I have done to shift my mindset and focus on what is real to me?  I’ll give you a little insight and provide a few suggested takeaways, but not all.  Afterall, 2018 goals were to be a little less of a book and a little more of a mystery.  A bestie lives her life like this and I admire her for it.  My previous life REQUIRED me to be an open book.  And it was completely fine for that time.  Now, I think a little differently about what I share and how much.  I still share via social media (mainly my cats cuz I’m all about that #catmomlife) and I will certainly be sharing blog-worthy stuff once summer rolls around (hello… HARLEY LIFE) but shifting my focus of MUST SHARE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE to, will share what feels right to me OR others.   Again, life of authenticity.

 

Friend Dates.  Each month of 2018 I have set dates (or vice versa) with friends.  In January I had 3 meaningful “dates” with different gals and in February I tallied up 4, whether it was an hour lunch during the week in the Old Market, a weekend brunch, a Jeep road trip or an adventure to a small neighboring town to watch the ever popular duck races, etc.

  1. I haven’t social media plastered all of it… with the exception of the duck race on Snap, because woah.  Y’all need to experience that redneckery.
  2. Instead, we used our time to focus on connecting about the positives in life, the truths of life, the HARD STUFF of life.
  3. One reconnection was merely about listening, reflecting, apologizing, understanding.  It was good for our souls.
  4. Most connections were just friends taking a REAL time-out for each other.  Not just social media shout-outs and tags (which are appropriate too, as long as it’s not the only means of connecting).
  5. I will continue to make these dates as the months continue on.  I truly have a lot of friends who I value for different reasons and want to continue making these meaningful connections.
    • Your Take Away:  Set up some friend dates.  Make it happen.  Even if just an hour of face to face time to reconnect.  Trust me, they will fill your cup up so full. ❤

Avoca, NE Duck Race Beer Tent: AKA the entire town.

Listening Skills

  1. The hubs work is demanding.  I don’t think anyone can truly understand what it means to be a business owner that is high profile and high demand with employees, partners and the like.  Add to that TWO businesses and I have an overworked, tired guy on my hands.  Literally never has a day off at home.  I promise you that.
  2. I am working really hard at listening and understanding but not providing as much commentary unless needed.  Being his outlet to vent.
  3. And Vice Versa… cuz LAWD knows my career (currently) is a wee bit high stress and he listens to it too.
    • Your Take Away: Talk less, listen more.  Truly HEAR what your spouse/Significant other is saying and be careful of what you say in return.  Maybe they aren’t seeking feedback.  Maybe you are a safe place for them to just talk.   So, listen.

Career

  1. It’s challenging.  But, it’s a good challenge as long as I shift my mentality to focus on how the challenge is making me a better leader.   Each day I set small attainable goals to achieve that will assist in keeping my focus on the here and now.
  2. Working on trying to worry less about the stuff/people I can’t control and are life suckers.
  3. Don’t be one of those work-life suckers…
  4. Flowers on desk are a total bonus
    • Your Take Away: Career changing LEADERSHIP advice: 

Before you assume, learn the facts. 

Before you judge, understand why. 

Before you speak, think. 

Before you hurt, feel.   

 

Selfish PERSONAL changes

  • I decreased the number of fitness classes I teach.  Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE the formats.  I don’t ever NOT want to teach these people I ADORE: 
  • But…
    • I have also found another gym that I love for ME and provides challenges beyond what I have been able to do for myself the last couple of years
    • I feel like a total Effin Bad Ass
    • I need to continue down this path because it has been mind changing, body changing, confidence changing.  And I have met some seriously incredible people that I get to connect with through sweat, tears, smiles, laughs and major milestones.  No one knows the pain exhilaration of a partner workout consisting of battle rope jacks, tire flips, dead-hangs, hollow-holds, etc then your partner who is side by side with you… and probably the one making you hold that damn hollow hold so long because they are still working on their required number of battle rope jacks.  Growing stronger together.  Physically & Mentally.   THAT is my happy place. 🙂
      • Your Take Away:  REMOVE anything from your life that is causing an unnecessary level of stress or nuisance to your CURRENT situation.  FIND something that challenges you and KEEP DOING IT!   Doesn’t have to be a new gym.  It doesn’t have to be a physical challenge.  Make it a mental challenge.  Doesn’t matter.   

GROWTH will never happen if you keep doing the same shiz.

 

I am going to leave you with that.   Make decisions each day that catapult you to who you are, what you stand for and what you want to be remembered by.   Be YOU, whoever that is.   And live authentically.

 

And for goodness sakes:

Let Go Of The Bullshit.

Focus On The Real Shit.

 

Cheers!