Monday, April 30, 2012

A Letter...and a Winner!



Dear You,
I've been meaning to write you this...and now I think is the best time to do it, don'tcha think? 
I am so proud of who you've become.  
You've been through a lot in your thirty-eight years - but you made it through with flying colors!  You are writing now, not just talking about what you want to write.  You're just doing it!  Can you believe it?!  You have people who like to read your blog.  I know you don't really think they do, but um...hello?! Have you seen the comments you get?  No, people aren't that nice unless they want to be, okay?  You are awesome.  You were made to withstand all types of things and you do so well at the end.  I'm proud of you.  Look at what you have - your husband, your beautiful children...and everything in between {smiles} - and you deserve it.  Don't you forget it.  I mean it.  You tend to be a worry wart and have very low self-esteem, but you know what?  Enough is enough.  Just stop and look around.  See all those blessings He's given you?  Don't take them for granted.  Love your life and smile about it.  More.
Now stop worrying about routines or when you're going to have time to do it all...just do it in your time.  When you get to what you are supposed to be doing instead of wondering when you're going to do it - you always do great.  So stop doubting yourself.  You are wonderful - yes, you are.

Happy Birthday, My Dear You.  
I love you...
...Always,
Me
ps: Now tell your readers who won the giveaway!



Hi there loveys,
Are you as excited as I am!  I love giving someone something to smile about.  And winning something always makes people smile right? So I'm going to get on with it...
{drumroll please!!}
The winner is...
Comment #15!!
{I did the random.org thingy, but I can't figure out how to put the widget with the winning #}

Congratulations, Alyson @Eisley Rae!
Her comment:
"What an awesome prize and how generous of you! My hubby and I were JUST talking today about needing to get away, alone, just the two of us! We never even got to go on a honeymoon and have almost been married 10 years! hahaha. Vegas is such a short drive for us too, we'd love to win! I hope you have the Happiest of Birthdays and a wonderful year ahead!"
You have 48 hours to email me {soriano.renee{at}gmail.com, by the way} and then I can send you all the details on your Las Vegas Getaway!

xoxo
~Nay~

Saturday, April 28, 2012

This Month's Favorite Post Link-Up!


It's the sixth month of the favorite post link-up! Be sure to check out all of our hosts and their blogs to find out their favorite posts this month + find some new blogs to read in the link-up!

This month's hosts include:

My favorite post of the month is:
JOIN US BELOW!


If you're interested in hosting, please send Ashley an email at afterninetofive@gmail.com and she'll get in contact with you when we have an opening!

null

Friday, April 27, 2012

A little late for coffee...

Oh. My. Goodness.
I am so late today for our coffee date!!!

Please please please don't hate me, okay?
Lunch turned into a working lunch - then I had an unexpected walk-in - you know, then one thing lead to another...and now I'm finally able to sneak in a little "hey!"
It's been such a weird week!
I've been posting late, my routine is off...
I am not good with change.
How do I change that?
Please give me some pointers.

So...
How are you?
How's your week been?
Other than the ugly routine change in my life, I'm pretty happy.
I've been reading "Everyday a Friday" every night and it's so very eye-opening and mood-lifting {is that a word?}.  I'm actively working on being happy and positive and not letting anything get me down.  It is slowly working - but it's a process.

Um, what else?
Oh! I'm a little excited about this...
{who am I kidding? I'm thrilled!}
I'm co-hosting with Ashley from After Nine to Five on Sunday for one of her monthly link-ups.  So come back on Sunday to see what it's all about and to check it out!
Oh and on Monday, I'll announce the winner of the Birthday Getaway Giveaway...!!!!

What else, what else???
Just stuff...
I have a lot of stuff I have questions about lately regarding blogging:  When is a blog considered a place that other bloggers would want to pay to sponsor it?  Should I start asking for paid sponsorship?  Would they just laugh? Oy!
Is it okay not to have a niche on a blog?
Are there bigger plans in the future for Cover to Cover?  Do I even know what they are?
lol
I don't know the answers but you know me...I'll figure them out {and, then of course I'll share them with you!}

So my plan is to write a whole bucket load of posts tonight and get organized!
Wish me luck:)

See you Sunday:)
null
Want a "not so rushed and just normal" cup of coffee or tea?
Go see Alissa!
She has way more cups to share with way more interesting bloggers!
:}

Hey Beautiful:)

Source: weheartit.com via Renee on Pinterest

I only have 10 minutes before my next meeting, but I was thinking about you.
Have a wonderful morning, my awesome friend!
Smile!
Doesn't that feel good?!
I'll be back on my lunch break and we can have a cup of coffee or tea then, k?
I had to say Good Morning to you...just had to:)
My weekday mornings would be weird if I didn't!
{insert big huge hug here}
null

Thursday, April 26, 2012

going old school - snail mail anyone?

Source: eqcomics.com via Gaelle on Pinterest

This week I have been sending birthday cards in the mail and other little notes...and it's been nice.
Snail mail is cool.
I can just imagine the look of surprise on the receiving end.
Actual paper mail that says something nice.
Not a bill.
Not grocery store promotions.
Not paper junk mail.
Just a little love in an envelope especially mailed out to you.
Yes, I love emails.  The instant gratification and answers within minutes
(sometimes seconds from you fast typers out there...)
But a handwritten note always makes my heart smile a little.


With social networking like Facebook and Twitter - and the easiness of computers and email...
What do you miss from
"back in the day"?
null
ps:
Don't forget to enter my bday giveaway! Ends Sunday, 4/29:)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Choose

It's funny {not "funny ha ha" - just "funny, that's weird"} that I can't put words to this post.  Well, I will.  But, you know what I mean.  It should be pretty simple, really...
I've decided to try to make the right choices.
There.  I said it.
Last night I started reading "Everyday a Friday" by Joel Osteen.  It is very uplifting and pretty much makes me think,
"Duh!  Of course I should be doing this!"

Why should I always {well, almost always - always is such a strong word...} start the day with a
Ugh! or Grrrr!
when I could just start it with a smile or happy thought?
Don't "they" {who are these people anyway? ha} say that it takes more energy to be angry or negative than it takes to be happy or positive?  Well, I need to keep my energy levels in the higher end.  With this hectic (for me) life of being wifey, mommy, employee, blogger - I need all the energy I can get!  So if being happy and embracing that happy positive mood helps in the energy cause...why not, right?

Just because there are people (not at home, on here, in my family - wonder where? hmmmm...) who don't like me (what?!) or want to bring me down...I don't have to let them steal my joy.
Want to talk behind my back and make up lies?
You like being nice to me and then minutes later say something mean about me?
You'd rather think you are so much better than me?
Go ahead - do what you gotta do.
But you know what?
I'm going to be extra nice, extra smiley...pretty much extra annoyingly sweet and happy.
I'm going to put extra joy out there for all to see.
So There!



Do you know why I've decided this all of a sudden?
{Okay, this has been said before.  I just have to keep reminding myself is all...}
Someone up there wants the best for me.  He has given me a good, loving, faithful, funny, pretty darn cute husband.  He's given me two precious children who adore me and think I'm just great.  He's helped me overcome many trials & tribulations.  He has opened doors I never thought I could walk through, let alone open.
I am blessed.
He loves me.
Me!
My hubby loves me.  My kids love me.
I think you guys like me a little, too.

So after all this, I think I've remade a good decision.
What are you going to choose?
{Yes, I'm taking you with me on this.  You didn't think I'd want to do this alone, right? Duh!!! lol}
null




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Off Routine...


This is what I've been telling myself since I woke up this morning.
But...
I'm drowning a little, loveys.
I've been multi-tasking {always a bad idea} and trying to keep my head above water all morning and the effects are wearing me out!
I'm trying to adjust to a new work schedule which is killing my home life and blog life schedule.
Aaaaaaahhhh!
{Okay that didn't make me feel any better...}
Um...
Have I told you I'm not my normal self when my routine gets disrupted?
So please pardon me while I get used to this new routine and all.
I'll blog at ya later!
xoxo - Nay

Hey!
Did you enter my "Birthday Get Away" Giveaway?
{smiles}

Monday, April 23, 2012

"Birthday Get Away" Giveaway!!!!


It's my birthday very soon
and I want to celebrate by giving
You
a chance at getting away from it all.
We all need that once in a while, right?
So,
Would you like to go to
Las Vegas?

On April 30th, I'll be picking one of you to win
Two Free Midweek Nights*
 at
 
{*all details will be given out to winner, but passes are valid to use until September 27, 2012.}

All you have to do is comment on this post!
Yes, that's all.  Really.
{Please make sure you follow my blog someway, though, k?}

Giveaway will close on Sunday, April 29th and
the winner will be announced on Monday, April 30th.

I appreciate you all and I hope to see a lot of comments on this!
{one comment per person, please}
Can’t wait to see who wins!
null
ps:  I am in no way associated with Planet Hollywood Las Vegas.  I have free passes to this hotel - so why not share, right?

{#31} "Check Her Bloggy Out!!" {The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife}

Hi!
It's Monday, Loveys!
Aren't you happy?!
{Okay, pretend you are...lol}
It's time for
which means it's time to meet another blogger-ette:)
Introducing
Melissa
from
She has been a doll!  When she contacted me about my little feature, I was so happy to have her come over to talk with you all.
She is very wonderful and I loved reading about the love she has for her hubby and her life.
So refreshing!
I don't want you to wait any longer, so here she is!
Enjoy...
Hello. I’m Melissa, I’m 26 and have been married to my husband for 7 years in April. We bought our first house this year and things are starting to go our way! I have a crazy personality which can go both ways loud and fun to quiet and boring. My life has ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m ALWAYS busy, which gives me a lot to blog about. I am very crafty and have many hobbies, but I am also very tech-y and design websites, and do a lot of print design. I am in love with God, he is my strength and my refuge! I am a pastor’s kid, but my parents aren’t your ordinary old school pastors. I LOVE life, and if you would like to know more about me, just read my posts!

 I started my blog back in 2011 just writing a couple posts that year and not telling a single soul because I was nervous about what other’s would think. It wasn’t until this year when I told my family about it that they encouraged me to get the word out there. I got so many compliments on my writing, which was weird, because I never though I could “write”. So I put the blog out there and it has been coming along, but It’s hard work to get followers lol.
My blog is about my life. I am just a girl in love with many things including God, My husband, crafts, baking, sewing, couponing, books, and that’s exactly what I write about in my posts! My CRAZY, FUN, BUSY life.

I grew up in a home that rarely cooked. We were always eating our meals together and don’t get me wrong I had the best of childhoods but to get a home cooked meal at my house was rare. We were always on the go and therefore we ate meals that were fast. So when I got married I didn’t know any better and did the same thing my parents did to me, didn’t cook. It wasn’t until I got to work for my dad at his church where I started spending more time at home then at work that I really got into baking and cooking. I learned that I could make a mean apple pie and my husband LOVED it which totally shocked me to say the least lol. I started cooking and baking more and being a good housewife, which I found out I totally LOVE. I’ve had so much time to explore so many hobbies that I was missing in my life.

What makes me happy? That would be my husband! He is truly my best friend, I laugh the hardest when I’m with him. We sing in the car and go on date nights every week. God designed him specifically for me and he definitely keeps me sane in this crazy thing we call life.
Isn't she the sweetest? 
Please go give her some love, k?! 
Have an awesomest day, loveys!
null

Thursday, April 19, 2012

a little reminder....

xoxo
Nay

I'm a Bully...


Hello, my name is Nay and I'm a bully.
To myself.
I keep putting myself down just because
I don't look like everyone else,
dress like everyone else,
act like everyone else.
I'm not trying to make this a pity party, believe me.  I'm so over the "woe is me, I'm not like everyone else" bit. 
I just want to be pleased with who I am. 
When does that happen, people?
Anyone have a clue?
I will be 38 at the end of the month. {Thirty-eight! That's really close to 40...really close!} 
I know I'm really good at making my friends feel like they are worth it and that they can climb mountains and get through those valleys...but, um...how about me?
I can't even take a compliment very well. 
Maybe it's because I don't think I deserve it. 
Maybe it's because I felt, throughout my childhood, that I wasn't good enough.  I didn't have healthy female role models and that makes a difference to a girl.
Well, that's about to change right here and now...not for me.
For my daughter. 
I have to show her what a woman is supposed to be like. 
If I can't feel it all the time, I can pretend, right?
I'm really good at pretending...
The female role models I did have were definitely good at teaching me that.

Sorry about the rant...didn't know that was in me.  It's nice to be able to do that though and to have you be there.
null
linking up with Manda Jane at

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

just wanting to lay there....

I'm feeling a little out of sorts today...
It may have to do with a certain monthly visitor coming by soon...
Or maybe not.
It may be because there's more traffic at work.  The summer session will be starting soon, so I have a bunch of new hire paperwork coming in.  I feel like I'm drowning...just a tad.  I have to get back into the flow of "I have a lot of work right now" , you know what I mean?  I always get there eventually - I just feel a little slow today.
Or maybe it was the lack of enough cups of coffee....
Yeah, maybe that's it:)
You know what I'd rather be doing right now?
I'd love to be laying on a blanket, looking up at this...


and finishing up "The Lucky One" by Nicholas Sparks - I hate having to put it down 'cause it's getting so good right now! - with a mason jar full of ice-cold lemonade right next to me.
Relaxing and soaking up the spring air...alone. 
Just for an hour...that's not too long to be away from responsibilities, right?

When you're "off", where would you rather be?
null
Linking up with Ms. Nat at

I really like this link-up because you can link up anything!

I wordle...do you? :)

Good Morning
For now, that speaks for itself...
I'll write later when the coffee and thoughts are in agreement:)
Have a Blessed Day!
xoxo ~ Nay
{Make your own on http://www.wordle.net/}

ps:
Have you submitted your "Dear Nay" questions?
Email me with that subject line at
soriano.renee(at)gmail.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

and BAM! It hit me...


Half the time I have no idea what I'm talking about...
Okay, who am I kidding?  Most.Of.The.Time.
To tell you the truth, I just write stuff that I would want to read.  I put a lot of effort into writing posts that say,
"I can do anything, be anything, try anything."
What comes out every morning on this blog is a mystery to me on a daily basis.  It just comes out of me and I hope it's good.
I'm not an expert, by any means, in regards to inspiration or empowerment.
I think that people should just hear and read things that make them feel better about themselves. They should also feel comfortable enough to read things that aren't always pretty, but that they should be thinking about.
You know, now that think about it,
I sometimes feel like a columnist.
No, better yet, because that sounds a little pretentious, I feel like "that friend you can count on to make you feel good or who keeps it real."
I'm no big time blogger (at all!) because I decided not to worry about the numbers {the #s were stressing me out!}and pray the readers will come.  I've become comfortable not having a niche.  I write blog posts, enter linky parties...
If I don't succeed every time, that's okay. I try and that makes all the difference.
Right?
So...
since I don't really know what I'm talking about most of the time, I had an idea.
I'd like to try it out at least once...
I was writing down {or trying to think of} ideas for this little blog of mine and it hit me

Bam!
What if I wrote a "Dear Nay" column?
{You know, like "Dear Abby"?}
It wouldn't even have to be blog-related questions {but it could be, too} - the questions could be serious or funny or whatever you'd want to know {you know, about life...and everything in between}.
I'd give everyone a cool little moniker - so if you wanted to be anonymous that would be perfectly acceptable.
What do you think?
Are you game?
null
Update:
If you'd like to submit a question,
shoot me an email with "Dear Nay" in the Subject Line
at
soriano(dot)renee(at)gmail(dot)com
Look forward to hearing from you!
xo

Monday, April 16, 2012

"It's a date..." {#2}

Hi loveys,
I'm a part of a little something wonderful this month.  "It's a Date..." by Brooke @ A New View 365!  I love it.  
Maybe you'll wanna join us next month?
xoxo - Nay
Sometimes in life it is really easy to get so caught up in the day to day that you don't stop to appreciate what you have. I asked each of the participants to talk about what they were thankful for today. 

Take the time to check out each of these lovely ladies. Comment and let them know what you're most thankful for as well! It's amazing how gratitude can brighten a day. 

Meet EMILY  She happens to be one of my very fave bloggers and we have a b-late (aka blog date) planned on a patio very soon. Take a few minutes to see how grateful she is for her man. 
Do you know Alisha?  You really should! She and Emily tie for my fave blogger title :) She's a wonderful photographer and Hunger Games freak! She too is very grateful for her role as wife. Stop by and say hi to her! 
Pippa yup like the Middleton but she doesn't require body guards :) She's a ballroom dancer and sailor extraordinaire! Check out the her story of her unintentional leap into sailing that has changed her life. 
Lena and I were partnered up WAY back when for a friendship bracelet exchange. We have been blog buddies ever since. I was honoured when she asked if I'd help with her blog design :)  You really must check out what she has to say about the support she has received through blogging!  

Let me introduce you to Becky. She is a crafty lady who loves her furbaby! She and I are in the middle of a blog redesign for her which is pretty darn exciting! Check out her post about the joys of a full DVR on a rainy day with plenty of popcorn and diet coke to accompany it! :) 
Next up! Christine she is the DIY Dreamer. Like Becky she is a crafty lady! Find out the things that she is thankful for today. 
Now Laura seems to be taking the blogging world by storm. She has weekly link ups of all sorts and is big on promoting others! She recently found herself called to help organize a VERY successful food drive. Read her story, you may find yourself inspired too! 

Nay, what can I say about the lovely Nay.  She has got to be one of the most thoughtful ladies I have met through blogging. Funny enough that her thankful post is about taking a break from her blog. But based on all the posts I've read lately about bloggers feeling overwhelmed I think she has the right idea!! 

I recently "met" Lauren. Happens we live in the same town! OK you know in blog land that doesn't happen often! She's newly married and about to go on her honeymoon. She's working on becoming a nurse and is sharing with us all she's thankful for her in family. 

Me? I'm Brooke and without second thought, what I'm most thankful for today is my Sister. She's a pretty amazing girl. I don't know how she does all that she does (working on her masters and working full time).  If you read my post you'll know that I had a recent disagreement with a VERY sharp kitchen knife and she and my mom came to my rescue! Trust me, as I type this I look at a finger who's nail is getting ready to fall off any minute (too gross? )

If you would like to participate in next month's It's a date ... post pop over to my page and check out the details.

Don't forget to let each of us know what you're most thankful for today. Challenge yourself to leave a different thing you're thankful for on each page. You'll be surprised how much you really have! 


{#30} "Check Her Bloggy Out!!" {Brown Sparrow Studio}


Happy Monday!
It's start of the week
and I'm really thrilled about it today!
About a month ago, I had featured one of my dear bloggy girlfriends. She always makes me smile with her comments.  I got a comment on her CHBO post from a close friend of hers who had just started blogging.  She asked to be featured as well and that is when my newest bloggy friendship began!
She is someone I would want to sit at a kitchen table with and chat it up all morning with dozen of cups of coffee.
She is that sweet and wonderful:)
And here she is for you to get to know! 

please give a warm welcome to
beth
from
hi friends! my name is beth~but i go by many other nicknames-like elizabeth, em, emmers, ellen, pooh, little bit, bertha and onie-each one hilarious and dear to me for different reasons.
  i saw this saying once  "a child well loved has many names". i love nicknames- i do. to me they are terms of endearment. if you hang around me very long-i guarantee i will find one for you!
i'm excited to be a guest on Nay's blog today and hope as a fairly new blogger (since oct. of '11) to find a few new readers and also find a bunch of new blogger friends!

 i married my junior high boyfriend and i have 3 kids i'm caaa-razy about. they are all young adults. (2 boys and a girl) but no one is married yet so we have all that to look forward to.
i have done a ton of different jobs in my life, including working as a floral designer, doing art fairs for many years, cleaning houses, owning my very own home decor store- (that's going to be fun to tell you about sometime) and now i work part time for a photographer. this job is a dream come true for me! my boss has become one of my best friends and she and i have so much fun together you can hardly call it work. i am passionate about photography, so my job brings me endless joy! i am blessed enough to work just 3 days a week and so have lots of free time to do the myriad of other things i love to do-like:

 1.
make handmade things, (my shop on etsy is on a break right now)
 
2.
garden- i've never met a flower i didn't love!
 3.
write-thus the blog...and i'd LOVE to read about your life too : )
 4.
arrange flowers for special occasions, when i have time

5.
photography~ have camera, will travel. my big sweetie   bought me photoshop CS5 for christmas and girlfriend is busy trying to learn how to use it- it's haaaaard!
6.
go junkin. stop at yard sales. thrift shop shop.
  
my blog is a mix of what i've been up to, updates on the land we recently bought that's going to be our families recreational haven for generations to come (we hope) and the plans i have for turning a pole barn into our cabin, what's makin me happy on any given day and tons of photographs. i really hope you'll find it worthwhile to take a look!
xo, beth
So, whatcha think? Isn't she grand?!
Go show her some newbie blog love for me, k?
You can find her at
null