Proudest Moment

Day 11 of the 31-day blog challenge. Tonight, my baby sister was laying on my couch and I was feeling her belly cause she’s got twins in there. I am all about feeling baby bellies. Some people love this attention and I have spent many moments touching my friends and families bellies to feel the babies. Seriously. My sister in law and I have sat side by side for what seemed like hours just so I could feel my nephew move. I am so completely amazed at how we as women can grow a little person in our bodies. Like, from scratch. What? My sister is growing two. Double wow. Just amazing. I was only able to feel ‘righty’ move. Lefty was playing hard to get. Anyway, the purpose of my belly rant brings me to my proudest moment. Being pregnant was seriously amazing. It’s hard work on the body but it is such a miracle and guess what? I did that!  Twice. The moment I felt my boys move in my belly, I was so aware of the little life growing inside me. The moment each of them was born were the proudest moments of my life. I am a little kinder to myself after carrying and delivering my two boys. They made me feel like a rockstar, a warrior, a hero. They made me feel alive. Now I get to watch them grow. Nothing makes me prouder than being a mom.

Piercings and Tattoos

Did I catch your attention? Sorry, you might be a bit disappointed by this post 😉 Blog challenge day 9 asks if I have tattoos or piercings. My ears are pierced once. I think I have actually had them done twice. Once when I was younger and then they closed up and I had them redone. I don’t have a huge memory of this other than being scared of the piercing gun and it not being too bad. I do not have tattoos although I have contemplated them over the years. Now at the age of 42, I am over the idea of it. Once upon a time I considered getting a small flower on my foot and then many moons later, I considered have the word breathe done on my inner wrist to remind me to do just that, breathe. These days, I’d rather have a new pair of shoes or a nice dinner out with my husband over spending the money on tattoos.

10 Favorite Foods

Day 7 of the 31 days blog challenge asks me to share my 10 favorite foods. Oh man, I do love food. Mmmm mmmm mmmm. Get in my belly is kinda my motto. Ha ha. I’d say appetizers are one of my favorite ‘meals’. I do enjoy sweets but if you were to ask me what my favorite sweet is, I say something more like tiramisu or cheesecake. I don’t gravitate towards cake or ice cream although I think Coldstone is delish.

MY TOP 10 FAVORITE FOODS

 

  • chips and salsa
  • cheese and crackers
  • avocado
  • shrimp
  • cherry tomatoes
  • my friend Lisa’s Nicoise salad
  • edamame
  • apples
  • eggs — any kind of eggs really
  • movie theater popcorn

Can we be besties? Do you like any of my top 10 foods? Do tell 🙂 I also enjoy wine and a good G&T alongside some of my favorite foods.

3 Personality Traits I Am Proud Of

Day #6 of the 31 day blog challenge asks what 3 personality traits I am proud of. Well being a highly emotional person also gives me a lot of compassion. So I’d say compassion is #1, followed by honesty and being thoughtful. I have strong opinions but I really try and be objective and give people grace. Hurting feelings is something I really try to avoid as it makes me sad to see someone sad. I want to build people up.

Do you have a personality trait that you feel extra awesome about?

My Guilty Pleasure

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Day #5 of the 31 day blog challenge asks what my guilty pleasure is. Hmmmm, I mean really I could go in so many directions but I will keep it simple. I jump start every day with an iced coffee. I used to drink iced coffee with 1/2 whole milk but now I have made the switch to 1/2 almond milk with a teeny splash of half and half. I also have to have vanilla although I am trying to cut back on the amount of vanilla that I add. Sometimes I make these at home with my Keurig and other times I pick one up at Starbucks, Peet’s or Nugget. I really love visiting random coffee shops while on vacation and doing a comparison. My favorite iced coffee is from a little place in Amador City called Andrae’s. They make their own vanilla milk. Say what? Yeah, it’s worth the drive every now and again for the splurge.

Do you have a guilty splurge?

Earliest Childhood Memory

Day #4 of the 31 day blog challenge asks what my earliest childhood memory is. If you know me, then you know that my memory is kinda awful. I’d say I have vague memories of various things.

  • My dad brushing my hair before school.
  • Hanging around with the boys in my neighborhood and playing with tractors in the dirt.
  • Playing Barbies with my sister and fighting about what they would do 🙂
  • Running around my grandparents ranch during the day and sitting on the porch with everyone at night.
  • Helping out at my grandparents restaurant.
  • Late night talks with my grandma.
  • Choreographing a dance routine to Glory Days with my cousin.

What are your earliest memories?

 

How The Local Honey Got It’s Name

Day #3 of the 31 day blog challenge asks the meaning of my business name.

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It was around 5 years ago that my brother and I brainstormed on a possible stay at home business. He’s an entrepreneur and always loves a good business venture. At the time when we were talking about this blog, we were focusing on activities in and around the area and things that would draw in local families. I paid to have a logo made and the blog set up how I’d like it to be seen. Later on that year, I went back to work part time which turned into full time during tax season. That became ‘enough’ of a time filler for me and I didn’t blog much. I am still part time but I really do love and miss writing, sharing, projects, organizing and cooking. I am looking to revamp this blog and share the parts of it that my readers seem to love. So local was obviously geared towards my audience and honey was a sweet way to pull people in. Hence, ‘The Local Honey’.

The Local Honey was born because of my focus on my local community. Now I feel that the name is still inviting but I’d like to focus on a larger demographic and not just stay focused on local activities and events {although I do love this little community of mine!}.

 

20 Things and Challenges

Well hello and Happy New Year! New year, new goals – right? I know that for some people the fresh year means a clean slate. Time to start anew. Others are just looking to change their holiday habits {reintroducing exercise and sugar detox mostly}. Others aren’t looking for quick fixes but lifestyle overhauls. I think the key to success is baby steps but I also think that some challenges thrown in are fun.

 

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The Daily Quotes

I’m currently doing a couple of different challenges.

  • A 7 day healthy eating challenge with my sister in law. If you know how much sugar I’ve inhaled over the past month, then you know how much my body needs a reset. #imissmyicedcoffeewithvanilla #whatsthatgreenstuff
  • A 31 day challenge with Rachel Hollis over at The Chic Site. I signed up for this one a few days ago and I am getting daily email updates. It’s a lot of the basics – eat better, drink more water, move your body and I love that she added in journaling 10 things you are grateful for at the end of every the day.
  • A 31 day blog challenge. This just popped up on my Pinterest feed today so I am a day behind but you have to start somewhere, am I right? So each day has a topic. Follow along, it’ll be fun 🙂 Click here for the full 31 day list.

20 things about me:

  1. My full name is Gabrielle Erin, I went by Erin up until I was 15 years old. I changed towns and schools so I figured I would just make the switch. I was always correcting Gabriel {the boy version} to Gabrielle and then asking teachers to call me Erin. Of course it was immediately shortened to Gabby.
  2. I am the mom to two boys – ages 11 and almost 14.
  3. I love Instagram {click to follow me}. It’s my favorite form of social media.
  4. I love home decor.
  5. I work part time for a tax office that also does financial planning.
  6. HGTV is on in my house a lot. Fixer Upper is my favorite.
  7. My husband is a firefighter.
  8. I am super emotional.
  9. Sometimes I wish I was less emotional. It’s draining.
  10. I am taking a class on anxiety and depression this month because of my intense emotions.
  11. I think taking care of yourself is HUGE.
  12. I love walking and I try my best to get out for 2-4 miles a day. I love my FitBit and aim for 10k steps a day.
  13. I always walk with my pit bull rescue, Ollie.
  14. I couldn’t survive every day life without my village of girlfriends. They are instrumental in my sanity. Seriously.
  15. I am a big sister to two sisters and one brother.
  16. I have 2 adorable nephews and a set of twin nieces on the way. I love being an auntie.
  17. My house is home base for the holidays. I love it.
  18. I love organizing. It makes me feel so accomplished.
  19. Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places and it’s only 1.5 hours from my house.
  20. Fall is my favorite season {if you already know me, then you are well aware of this}.

Thank you for stopping by! I wish you a goal kicking 2017.

How I Organize Christmas Decor

Hopefully everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Mine was nice although it went by SO FAST. We have a couple of different Christmas celebrations between my husband’s family and then of course our own Christmas Day dinner which we host every year. I think with it falling on the weekend, it felt like we didn’t really get in ‘extra’ time to enjoy the events and the people. Is anyone else feeling that way? My brother, sis in law and nephews travel here from So Ca but it seems I blinked and they were gone. Sigh. Still, it was so fun having the little ones in the house for Christmas. They are coming up on 2 and 5. Such fun ages. My oldest nephew loves to snuggle which is pretty awesome. He also gives the best hugs. Seriously. He could win contests. My youngest nephew is just silly. He loves to play hide and seek and follow the kitty around. Next Christmas I will have twin nieces as well so it will be an extra merry Christmas.

I captured this sweet photo of my youngest with his two cousins.

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Every year, I tend to start the Christmas clean out on the 26th. Yep. I am one of those people. I know there are lots of people like me and there are lots of people that like to wait until the new year. Personally, I am always feeling a little blah when it’s all over. Seeing the empty tree and feeling a little sad cause it’s all over so quickly makes me need a project. A diversion. My version of therapy is organizing. I know. Weird. Also kinda brilliant though, right? I work out my sadness while getting my house in order. Win-win I guess.

I have a method to my madness. Honestly, from September on, it’s all about the storage bins {which my son whose name is Ben says I can’t call them anymore. He says I should refer to them as boxes. I can’t quite get on board with that but I am trying}. Starting September 1st, I start the decorating craze. First comes fall, then up goes Halloween, then back to fall but with a Thanksgiving twist and then comes Christmas. My everyday decor goes into whatever seasonal bin box I am currently unloading. Once a holiday passes, I reorganize the bin box, purge anything that I don’t truly love anymore and put it away for next year. That way, whatever I pull out next season, has been packed away neatly.

I also suggest taking photos of your decor once you’ve set in all up if you love how something looks. That way, you will have a reference for years to come. I tend to change things up every year but I like to see what I have done. This year I was pretty happy with everything and would likely do it again. It’ll be nice to have photos so I can quickly set it all up next year {setting up holiday decor is a whole other blog post – you’re gonna need a glass of wine or a coffee for that one}.

A couple of my must haves while putting away and organizing holiday decor:

  • storage  – boxes, wreaths holders, ornament containers, gift wrap containers, etc.
  • tissue or bubble wrap to protect your fragile items – old plastic bags work as well
  • label maker – these can cost around $30 but they are so handy for labeling the outside of containers

My tips for organizing Christmas {or any holiday} decor:

  1. I start by moving all of my decor to my large dining table. I have stuff tucked everywhere from the kitchen to the bathroom. By moving it all to one area, it gives me a large working space.
  2. Get out your storage containers. I love Rubbermaid but use what works best for your space.
  3. Pull out items left in the containers that you might not have used and decide if it’s love. If not, put it in a donate or sell pile.
  4. Decide how to pack things. For me, I like to separate things by space or type of decor. For example, I have a variety of trees that I use in my decor. I was able to fit all of these in one box and I labeled it, ‘Christmas Trees’. In another box I have my wood signs and my bathroom decor and in another box I have various garland and the lights that go with it and then of course I have one large box that is dedicated to my tree. It includes the tree skirt and tree topper as well as the lights and timer that we use on the tree.
  5. Label it! This will make it so much easier to get to next year. I swear by this because I have a lot of holidays bins and they all look the same. Instead of digging through them, I know exactly what is in each one because I have labeled them. You could also tape a list to the outside. My Type A personality likes the clean look of the labels though.
  6. Put it away. We have space in our garage but I also keep a few things, like my wreaths, in the attic. I also keep my wrapping paper & supplies inside my closet.

Before you know it, everything will be packed away and your house will feel fresh and new. I actually go into the new year wanting a lot less color. I need a break from the busy and bright and really enjoy the fresh clean slate.

Do you have a method to putting away the Christmas decor?

 

Ramblings

Turning 40 was kinda big for me. Now I am 42 but seriously – 40 was pivotal. In a weird kinda way. I’ve always joked that if I live till I’m 80 and die in my sleep, then I have lived a good life. BUT then 40 became that 1/2 to 80 mark and it felt like I didn’t have enough time. Silly right? Because there are no guarantees and anything could happen to any of us at anytime and we really don’t get the final say so in when, where and how we leave this world. Still. It kinda felt like this change took over me. All of a sudden, life became more fragile. I have always been a bit of an old soul and felt that I could relate to people of all ages. I had this realization that no matter our age, we are still who we are.

Losing friends around my age to sudden heart attacks and seeing my dad pass away – these things changed me. Losing a parent is a deep, deep loss. All morning I have had a song in my head that my dad loved. It’s kinda strange. I heard it last week on the radio but I woke up with it on repeat in my head. What does that mean? Does it mean anything? I am not a religious girl but I’d like to believe that my dad is somewhere good surrounded by his loved ones. I’d like to think that he shows up in my life in silly ways such as music or the random squirrel appearances {my dad had a thing about feeding squirrels so now when I see them, I think of him}.

Sometimes life just feels heavy. The world feels heavy. Human kindness is sometimes lacking. But sometimes, it’s beautiful. Sometimes the news shares stories that literally crush me. Awful, violent stories of people hurting people. The stories of children being harmed completely crush my soul. Some of these things are just beyond comprehension. Why? How can people be so hateful and mean? It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s so easy to feel consumed by these stories and find fear in them happening to those you love the most. Having conversations with my kids about kidnappers and what to do should someone ever try and grab them. These are the conversations that break my heart. But it’s a part of our big scary world.

And the hate – don’t even get me started on that one. We are in an election year and boy are the haters out there. I have a rule, I don’t talk politics or religion with people Those conversations often get heated and ugly. I am not gonna change your mind and you aren’t gonna change mine. It’s a scary time though. I do feel that we need someone with kindness and compassion to rule this country – and maybe some humor. I think I’ll vote for Jimmy Fallon. Isn’t that an option? 😉 Kidding {sorta}.

As my grandpa would say, “Always keep your guard up”. He always said it as he waved both his arms in the air, I can still visualize it. I miss that man. See? Loss. It’s a tough one. Here come those tears that show up almost daily. The “I miss you” tears. They come and go at the most random times. They might show up for a second when I hear a certain song and then they are gone. I have pretty much resigned myself to wearing waterproof mascara. I have always been a crier. I wear my emotions – good, bad and ugly. So with that being said, I am not an Eeyore. I laugh. A lot. Life is full of good. It really is. I just feel every.single.emotion very deeply. If you know me then you are very aware of this. I cry, I laugh, I use sarcasm and cuss words to express myself. Sometimes I just have to have an emotional outburst {not in public – usually on the phone with a friend – thank you Stacie and Lisa}, to clear my mental space of whatever is consuming it. It’s like an emotional purge.

So my brain is often on emotional overload and I am always talking myself off the ledge. What I mean by this is that I am always trying to push away the worrying of the ‘what if’s’ in life. I am really an optimistic, glass half full kind of girl but people – there are clowns terrorizing our world! They are threatening schools and making children afraid. These are the issues that we could use a lot less of. Seriously, clowns. This has been a big topic with schools even sending home emails to parents about it. Sigh. Can’t we all just be nice and get along and not scare the crap out of people? I guess diversity is what makes the world go round but at this moment, I am burned out on the negative diversity. How about you?

I know that I haven’t been here in awhile and I always vow to write more. This post is obviously a bit raw and real but I just kinda needed to put it out there. Don’t worry, I will be back to decor and recipes soon enough! Thanks for listening.