We Grow As One

I am super excited to share with you a series of posts covering some of my favorite local Omaha Metro businesses as part of the #WeGrowAsOne campaign.  Growing our economy starts with supporting our own local businesses and Omaha has quite a lot to be proud of!

Having lived in Omaha for 11 years, I find myself more and more attracted to the small, self-supported and locally grown operations and businesses.   It’s no small task to build a business.  I have seen the highs and lows that it involves having married an entrepreneur myself.

On this journey, I will be posting highlights of a few of my favorite local businesses.  I hope that at the end of this series you have grown in knowledge on the incredible entrepreneurs we have in the city of Omaha and find yourself visiting them, using their products, or at the very least seeking out local businesses in your area.

Cheers to this next adventure!

First National Bank of Omaha is sponsoring this post, but all thoughts are mine.

Chatbooks | The MVP of Instagram

Chatbooks: Saving each Instagram account, 60 photos at a time.

I was introduced to Chatbooks by a friend last Christmas and was instantly intrigued.

  1. IG photo preservation that isn’t virtual
  2. Two options of books to preserve IG photos
  3. Automatic shipping
  4. CHEAP
  5. Easy options to change/manipulate an order before its shipped

The question I asked myself was: Do I find my Instagram photos to be worth saving outside of the Instagram app?

The answer was a definite, YES.


When sharing on Social Media I only share the photos that are most important to me and that (most often) have a story behind them.  Gone are my younger years when I shared every last photo I ever took of an occasion.  Nope. Not interested in that, at all.  I find it to be less authentic and feel a point can be made and a bigger impact felt by sharing a few meaningful photos, or photos that capture the eye, or photos that are telling of yourself and your own personal story, or of others, in a positive, heartfelt way.   The photos (and I take a lot) that aren’t shared on Social Media platforms are uploaded on a monthly basis to Snapfish for storage, print and photo album creation, for my own personal use.

But, Instagram?   That’s where I like to post my favorite photos.  The ones that encompass who I am, what I believe in, the friendships I cherish, the family moments, the vacations, the scenery.   My IG photos tell a story.  With Chatbooks I get to preserve that story in the form of a book, forever.

About Chatbooks

Chatbooks started in 2014 by a husband and wife duo looking to preserve memories with little time investment.   The company has grown to employ over 85 individuals across the country but remain “small” in nature to provide a foundation built on people and individuals.   Their motto:

“Chatbooks exists to help people hold on to what matters.”

What Options Are There?

With Chatbooks you have two options.  The Chatbook Series Option and the Custom Chatbooks option.

I use the Chatbook Series option.


Series books are ongoing and linked to Instagram, Facebook or even your own camera roll favorites.  For every 60 photos uploaded, Chatbooks will create a new album, (or in their words, Volume) and send it to you for $8 Automatically.  Three days before shipment you get an email where you can manipulate some of the photos/captions by removing anything unnecessary.



 Chatbooks also includes the accompanying caption and the date uploaded.



Chatbooks has an awesome support center where all your questions can be answered at the click of a button:


I love my Chatbooks collection and I know I will love them even more as the years go by, their purpose evolves and the documentation becomes even more significant.


Life is big and beautiful and I ❤ to live it.

Ready to connect your IG, FB or personal photos for your own set?

Click here for quick access! (This link is tied to my account for referrals, but in no way is this post sponsored.  I love this product enough to shout it from the rooftops!)



Wine and Junk Run | October 24th, 2015

October 24th marked my friend Sara’s first Wine and Junk Run hosted by her shop SW Iowa Primitives, Antiques and Furniture.


What exactly is a Wine and Junk run you ask?  Similar to a Poker Run where you pay an entry fee, receive a flyer of participating stops where you either draw a card or receive a stamp to mark your attendance and slowly make your way back to Stop 1 where there is typically food, drink and prizes.   They are a great way to fund-raise money typically for a great cause and always a guaranteed good times with friends and new friends you make along the way.   This particular run consisted of vehicles and stops at various Primitive and Antique shops/boutiques and a few wineries.

Jessica and I made our way down from Omaha at 10am to catch the 11am signup and were well on our way by 11:30am.  Oh what a day we had.



Stop #1 Wabash Wine Co. Shenandoah


This location has been open for 10 years and now includes a restaurant.   We stayed for wine sampling of 5 different wines, all of which were either sweet red or whites.   No dry for me!  Jess bought a bottle of sweet red, we signed the guest book and made our way out to Stop #2!



Stop #2 Ray ‘s Shabby Cottage, Shenandoah, IA

A lot of neat furniture pieces and many other goodies can be found at Ray’s.  Definitely check out their facebook page (linked above) or stop in if you are near Shenandoah!



Stop #2.5 Emerald Isle and a random school house.

Because we wanted a beer and a bite to eat.   As for the school house stop, don’t ask.  Does there need to be a reason other then we are just a bunch of kids at heart with random ideas for entertainment?


Plus, Hunter is Jessica’s niece. We thought it was fitting.




Legit study sesh


Stop #3 Sugar Clay Winery & Vineyards, Thurman, IA

We definitely had the most fun at Sugar Clay Winery in Thurman, IA.   Beautiful location, friendly and accommodating owners, fairy-tale like setting.  The perfect package for an afternoon with girlfriends.



Because who doesn’t love a good tree huggin’?


We sat around an imaginary camp fire and enjoyed everyone’s company, despite the looks of pure un-enthusiasm from this crew. 😉  They were having a great time, I promise.


Ms. Sara, Jess and I.

Janice, Erin and Ardie (Three Generations)


We spent a solid amount of time here, proof in the off the wall photos.



And then it was time to move on to Stop #4.

but not before we paused briefly for some senior photos. 

Again, don’t ask.  We do what we do and that’s reason enough for us.

Perhaps wine had something to do with it as well…


Stop #4 Mitzi Mo’s Boutique, Glenwood, IA


She has TONS of cute stuff in her store.  From chalk paint, to jewelry, to baked goodies and a little of everything in between.  Definitely worth your time to swing into this quaint little store off the town square in Glenwood, IA

Stop #5 Vine Street Cellars, Glenwood, IA

Vine Street Cellars in Glenwood is located right on the town square and is a very clean, fresh and sophisticated winery.  We liked our visit, as did Janice, Erin and Ardie. 🙂



Stop #6 SW Iowa Primitives. Emerson, IA

The last stop took everyone back to Emerson for some delicious food cooked by Troy and Sara as well as prizes and fun for all involved.   Jessica and I were unfortunately unable to make the stop due to a Halloween party and costume change I had on my agenda, however, the entire day was a success!

Rumor has it Sara is making next years run even bigger and better with more stops at shops and wineries.   Make sure to join in on the fun next year!



Life Hacks

There seems to be a lot of pins, posts, blogs out there about organizing your life and home.   Some of them are genius… while others require so much ground work it isn’t even worth the time.    I thought I would share just a few things that I do in my home that work for me!  Maybe you already do something similar (because they really aren’t that ingenious) or maybe you have something better!  I’d love to hear, so share any tips you have that seem to work for you!

1. Towel rack for my hair dryer, curling iron and flat iron.

Easy to store, easily accessible and I don’t have to wait for the irons to cool down before putting them away.  Score!


2. Container for hair products.

I hate having hair products all over the counter.  The only one I tend to leave out is my hairspray, otherwise, they all go in a tub under the sink.   I can easily pull them all out at once, use what I need and put it all back.


3. Technology Basket

Who doesn’t lose their chargers, earphones, extra cords, etc on the regular?   I have kept all my extra tech gadgets, chargers and cords in this basket for years!  Haven’t lost any of it yet!


4. Dress pant hanger for tanks and cami’s.

I HATE digging through drawers for stuff like this.  Let’s be honest – most of the time the garments never make it back in the drawers once they are out.  Nope!  This pant hanger works great and it hangs right alongside my shirts in the closet.


5. Jewelry organizer

I found this on Etsy a few years back and just LOVE it.   Holds my necklaces and earrings.  I have a bracelet stand too, I just didn’t take a pic of it.  Ladies, don’t use those old school jewelry boxes.  Hello tangled mess!


6. Over the door hanger

All of my workout tank tops go on the back of my bedroom door.  For as often as I teach and hit up the gym, I like to have these tanks as easily accessible as possible.  I’d say I achieved it!


Simple Life Hacks that make my day to day so much easier.


Test Drive for “Fun”

Do you ever go test drive a car for fun?


I think quotes are necessary.

Because, in my case, it is never JUST for fun.  It always leads to a purchase.

Every. Single. Stinking. Time.


Wait, timeout.   I am being rude.

Hi!  I’ve missed you.   December 10th is the last time I logged into this little ol blog. LIFE has been crazy awesome.  Haven’t taken the time to sit and write at night, nor have I had any time to really bake, cook, watch a movie, watch TV.  Whew!  It’s been a whirlwind December so far, and I’ve loved every second of it.  Now, it’s time to get back to a little nonsense writing for my silly little blog.

So, back to today.

My good looking hubs and I took off around 7:30 this morning to head up to Blair for some business purposes.   10 hours later, a trip back to Omaha, lunch, a trip back to Blair, one “fun” test drive, one “for real” test drive, some serious negotiating and I am now the incredibly PROUD owner of this little black beauty.




Yep… so long little white Jeep Grand Cherokee.   I know we’ve only been friends for 14 months, but I just never really liked you.   You were too boring for me.   Such a wonderful vehicle you were, and such a wonderful vehicle you will make for someone else… but THIS girl wanted something a little more edgy.  A little more badass.

I think I nailed it.



Jeep Wrangler Sahara.   Blacked out.  And just OH… SO… COOL!    I can’t wait for summer time when I can remove the roof of this gem.

Car shopping with the husband – always equals a new car.  I should have known better.  But, I have been eyeing Jeep Wrangler’s for quite a few months now.  Didn’t think I’d get one so soon, but when you get a screaming deal, you can’t let it pass you by.   And trust me when I say, we got a helluva deal.  No way would this have been coming home with me without it.


Merry Christmas to me!

Until that payment starts in two months….

Now, to just figure out how to keep a black vehicle clean.   I’ve only had white vehicles since 2006.   This could get interesting.


Cheers!  ❤