Thursday, January 14, 2016

Valentine's Day for Him...

February 14th. A day when women expect the absolute best out of a holiday created by Hallmark. (Ok, I realize there is a history to it all, but still.) Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t want to be spoiled? But this post is focused on how to spoil your man! Unless you have a holiday in your state called Sweetest Day (which I didn’t know existed until I moved to Ohio) then you should probably do something nice for your significant other.

A typical Valentine’s wishlist for a woman usually includes: flowers, chocolates, a hot stone massage, a fancy get the point. None of the above (except maybe the massage) is on a man’s wish list. I have compiled a list of gifts, ranging in price, that your man might be interested in. If you have something to add, please comment with more ideas! I would love to update the list.

Get him a Netflix account.
I feel like most everyone I know has Netflix, but if you are one of the few that do not...this is perfect! We all love to binge watch the new Netflix series’, guys included. Why not get him a Netflix account for under $10 a month? For a one year subscription it will cost you right around $100, depending on how fancy your HD is. If he doesn’t like it, you cancel! No questions asked.
Cost: $100/year
Tickets to his favorite sporting event
This is an obvious one. But we often forget some of the most obvious ideas. This time of year they could include basketball or baseball. StubHub is a great place to buy sporting tickets at wonderful prices! Check them out here. If you plan on buying tickets to a sporting event, make sure it’s a day that he can take off work and more importantly make sure they are for a team he enjoys watching.
Cost: $50+ depending on the sport
Yeti Tumbler
If you are not familiar with the Yeti company, please check them out! Being a Florida native, I’m very familiar with Yeti coolers and their amazing ability to keep contents cold for like EVER. They recently introduced a Tumbler and it’s been sold out almost everywhere. Now that the Christmas rush is over, you should be able to track one down. The bigger size is great for any man! (I know J has been wanting one for awhile.)
Cost: $40
Weekender Satchel
I am in love with the monogrammed weekender bag that my girlfriend sent me for Christmas this year. Anything Tucker Nuck is high quality and always classically in style. This satchel is definitely unisex and this particular one is perfect for the gents. It is big enough to hold everything they would need for a week long trip, but small enough to take as a carry on.
Cost: $120
Upgrade his Wallet
Most of the guys my age have either invested in a "big boy" wallet or need a serious wallet makeover. Be a doll and purchase something leather and sleek for your man. No offense if your wallet still velcros, but at some point we all have to grow up. This gorgeous vertical wallet by Jack Spade is slim and 100% full grain leather. Don't wait too long! It is half off right now! Originally $88.
Cost: $39
Let's be honest...most of our men would love a nice bottle of _______________<<<< insert his favorite liquor here. I love to find the "gift sets" around Christmas or at Costco that have engraved glasses with them. It always makes the gift seem like a little bit more than just a bottle of booze. Have fun with it! Maybe try a new distillery or label. Most Kentucky men love a good bottle of Blanton's.
Cost: $40+
Undivided Attention
Sometimes this is all he wants. Between careers, cell phones, emails, text messages, calls, tweets, posts, grams, family, friends, blogging, church...where does he fit in? I mean really. If you have kids on top of all of that...bless you. Give some undivided attention to the love of your life. I cannot claim that I give this often, because I do not. We all have to make a serious effort to be present. Not just to be. Be as present as you were the day you said your vows.(Cheesy picture of this moment above) Give him one day, one meal or just one hour of YOU! Laugh, talk, share, reminisce and enjoy each other. We are all going through something. Some of us are approaching the storm, some of us are in it and the rest of us are just getting out of it. Whatever position you are around the storm, giving your undivided attention would be a gift like no other. Just try it! Let me know how it goes. Who knows, you might avoid the storm altogether.
Cost: Priceless

Now that I have finished this post, I should actually go order something for my Valentine. I look forward to hearing about y'alls Valentines! Please let me know if you think of something else to add to this list. Guys are always harder to buy for on holidays like this; we can use all the help we can get!

Don't forget to be present.

mrs. r

Friday, January 8, 2016


Disclaimer: I will start this post by saying, I am not yet a parent. (unless you count our furbaby, Jasper) So this is solely coming from my background in child development and the daily interactions with my students. As well as from a daughter’s point of view.

Whether we want to admit it or not, to the shrink or to ourselves, our childhood molds us into the adults we are today. Our parents are artists really. Artists that can change the way we are built depending on whether they build us up or break us down. As I study my students and get to know their families, I quickly realize that my parents are godsend. The Lord truly chose the best people in the world to raise such a strong, sassy, rebellious daughter. Seriously, if there were limits I pushed them...and still do.

There are times in our life, mostly the ages of 13-21, when we fight with our parents. We think they are lame for setting curfews or silly for making us wear matching sweaters for Christmas cards. Our ridiculous teenage brains tell us that they are here to ruin our crazy little worlds. But in reality, all of the above are ways they show they care. I have come to realize over the years that every situation I have ever come across my parents had a lesson for me. They always helped me through it, but they taught me something. The experience taught me something.

Moving? They were there. New routine? They helped me practice. Spelling test? Studying with me. Boyfriend problems? Always there to talk. Prom dress? Pros and cons list for every dress. Car wreck? On the scene. Simply having a bad day? Full of jokes to cheer me up. Wedding planning? Every meeting. Wedding day? Hugs and smiles. As I see it, my parents have been there for me for EVERYTHING. I am so thankful and blessed to call them parents, mentors, counselors and friends. Best friends. Without them, I do not know where I would be.

Many of you are thinking I must have the perfect nuclear family, but I do not. My parents got divorced when I was 12. My mom and I moved into a condo across town from my Dad. My childhood was not easy by any means, but I can honestly say without the guidance and love of my parents I would not be the successful woman I am today.

So then what is a parent? By definition a parent is a caretaker of the offspring in their own species. But I think we all form our own definition based on our experiences. My heart breaks for my students that have rough home lives. (Some of them you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.) It’s very difficult to build up a child’s confidence when all they have ever experienced is verbal abuse telling them how inadequate they are. Sometimes all they need to hear is that they are special. That someone cares. That they are loved. After all, isn’t that what we all need?

This post isn’t meant to brag on my amazing life or parade the benefits of having both parents around. I have many friends that are very successful and grew up with only one parent. Some of y’all raised yourself with no parents. The point of this post is to recognize that it takes something special to be parent. A person who is going to love and care for you. Who will celebrate, mourn and rejoice with you. Parents are special. If you have them in your life, tell them how much you love and appreciate them.

To my Mom and Dad: Thank you. Thank you for loving me, even when I know it was hard to. Thank you for caring about me enough to set boundaries. Thank you for always encouraging me to go after my dreams. Y’all are my rock and I love you both very much.

mrs. r

p.s.- a post about my stepfather is coming soon

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cheers to 2016!

I have always been a goal setter. I think we all need something to work towards. I will admittingly tell you that most of my goals are typically fitness related. But I’m trying to change that. I strongly believe there comes a time (or times) in our life when we need change. Something to shake it up a bit, if you will. So, my goal this year is to be happy. I know, I know I’m unique. But seriously, I plan to intentionally do things to make myself happier.

Often times what keeps us from truly being happy are habits we don't realized we have formed. That is until we actually start to examine our emotions. With an overall goal of being happy, I clearly need specific things to work on. These goals are very honest, with both myself and y’all. Happiness is defined as a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Finding what is preventing you from being full of “pleasant emotions” can be a rough road to travel. But it is necessary. If you are offended by them, oh well. If you think I’m being harsh, walk a mile in my shoes. If you wanna talk about them, call me. This is not to say that these goals are by any means groundbreaking or outlandish, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Stop Overreaching for People
Yikes! That headline sounds crazy, right? But it is true. One of the silliest things that upsets me the most on a daily basis is constantly reaching out to people and not getting a response back. Or the only time we communicate is when I initiate it. This does not mean I am going to stop calling everyone I know and love just because they aren’t texters, callers or emailers; but it does mean that I am going to try my very best to let it go. This may sound harsh to some of you, but many of you know exactly what that feels like. This year I will stop overreaching for people. When they want to catch up, they will call. Or text. Or email. Or facebook. Or whatever form of communication people want to try these days. (Insert clip of Drew Barrymore in He’s Just Not That Into You walking down the drugstore aisle.) Whatever this ends up looking like, I have to remember my ultimate goal for 2016: Be Happy. If I have something to tell someone, I will call them. Otherwise, I cannot continue reaching out to find no response. This is something that takes away from my happiness. Although it may seem little, we all know the little things add up.

Take Time for Nothing
Dolce Far Niente- the sweetness of doing nothing. As the offspring of two event planners and the colored sharpie queen of Kentucky, I can honestly say that I have to fill out five calendars every month. These include desk calendars at two schools, the joint calendar on our refrigerator, an online calendar for family and most importantly my personal Lilly Pulitzer agenda. The fact that there are that many to enter, with color coordinating entries, isn’t the issue. It’s the ridiculous amount of plans we have every week/weekend. Now let me be clear; I completely understand that EVERYONE is busy. But I tend to plan something for every waking moment, just because I can. We love to travel, our families both live out of town and in reality I just love planning things. I enjoy every aspect of planning dinners, trips, girls nights, etc. The problem arises when I have (and really my husband too) no time for ourselves. It ends up stressing me out. We have no time to clean. No time to relax. No time to do nothing. Which brings me back to my favorite line from one of my favorite movies, Dolce Far Niente- the sweetness of doing nothing. It’s Italian so we all know I’m already obsessed. It talks about the pure joy of doing nothing and how we don’t know how to do this. It is true, it takes effort for me to actually unplug and relax my brain. So this year I am intentionally planning time to do nothing. I intend to fall in love with dolce far niente.

Visit Three New Places
I love to travel. I love experiencing new places, food, people, culture, all of it. I married a sweet country boy that didn’t have the most extensive passport when we met. One of the coolest things about being with him is experiencing and discovering new places together. Traveling makes me happy and adventures to new places with my husband make me really happy. I chose three because one of our joint goals is paying off some things and I want to make sure that I have a realistic goal for traveling. I also just mentioned that I would plan less and I will be working on a balance between the two. (The first new place is a trip we are taking for his birthday, this weekend! More to come.)

Explore Mammoth Cave
Although this could go under the previous goal, I have actually been to Mammoth Cave. If you are not familiar, this cave is located here in Kentucky and has over 3,000 miles of underground passageways. Mammoth Cave is the longest recorded cave system in the world and right in our backyard! When I was a kid, my mom and I flew into Louisville and toured the cave as part of a fun summer getaway. It was interesting then, but I think I would appreciate the beauty of it more now. Although I am not usually one for an adrenaline rush, I always feel accomplished after experiencing something so exciting. Who knows, we might even camp while we are there! (Gasp! Crazy.)

Junior League
Saving this for last was intentional, mostly because this will be the most accomplished goal when I reach it. If you are unfamiliar with Junior League, please take the time to read about what a wonderful organization it is. I researched the league in my area when I first moved to Kentucky but I was too far from the Lexington chapter. Then I started my provisional year in January of 2014, but couldn’t complete it because of time constraints with our wedding. 2016 is finally going to be my provisional year! (Happy dance) I am anxiously awaiting my fireside chat on January 17th where I will meet all of the other new provisional members. This will be an amazing opportunity to surround myself with other strong, successful, poised women. The volunteering opportunities with Junior League are endless, which is one of the biggest draws for me. Giving back to a community that has helped mold me into the woman I am today would be a very heartwarming experience. I look forward to the events already planned for 2016 and my future with the league. This is a goal for 2016 because I want to truly absorb everything it has to offer, as well as utilize my talents and strengths to enrich our community of women. My Junior League goal is to give back, soak it all in and learn as much as I can from the plethora of leaders within the organization.

That about covers it. Cheers to 2016 and all that it has to offer! May we all be happy and healthy. Here’s to doing nothing, to traveling, to being content, to new adventures and most of all to relationships. Our relationship with God, family and friends.

Cheers to you!

mrs. r