A Little Life & House Update!!

Happy Monday, y’all!

I hope you have one huge iced latte and are all kinds of pumped for The Bachelorette tonight!!

Woot!!

On a different note…I’m not sure about you guys, but I’m exhausted.

Have I been working out? Nada. Doing physical labor? Not unless carrying four bottles of wine counts. Doing a cleanse? Nope, just eating like shit per the usual!

Life has just been mentally draining lately! This past week, I had finals and came scary close to getting my first B at Indiana Tech!

*sobs even thought the crisis was averted*

This week I start Project Management 1 and my capstone course, and while I don’t publicly want to say when I’m done incase something goes wrong, having my capstone now means I’m pretty freaking close. As in, 110%-way-before-our-January-wedding close.

So, like, school has been mentally draining me for sure! Also, I have the opportunity to go to grad school for basically free. To me, it seems silly not to be all over that. But I don’t like school and I’ve never enjoyed college. It makes me miserable – more at PFW than Indiana Tech – and my mental health is leaps and bounds happier when I don’t have school. So, I’ve been having a hard time deciding if I want to jump right into grad school or ever go at all…

I used to think that would make me more successful, but is that even true? For some, of course it would! But, this past year I have seen what I enjoy in jobs and no dream job I have would ever require a Master’s Degree. Why would I put myself through that when I have no intent for it? A year and a half ago I was sobbing, choking on a McChicken wondering if I could even get my Associate’s. Now, being so close to being done with my Bachelor’s, I’m wondering why I’d put myself through 1-2 more years of something that makes my life so much more stressful. Just because you have an opportunity doesn’t mean you need to take it – just be grateful either way!

I feel so worn down and spread too thin. Thank goodness we have so much wedding stuff done, or I think I’d forget where I’m at!! I’ve been forgetting everything lately and been getting so frustrated that I can’t keep up! It sounds like I may need to drink more coffee to stay energized – do you agree?? Do I need more Five Lakes???? Yes?????

So, all of that has been weighing heavily on my mind, lol! Then, work, the wedding coming up, the house, and the several families I’m dogsitting for have me feeling like I have a little much going on. Don’t get me wrong – I am so grateful for everything! Truly. But that doesn’t mean I can’t want to sleep for 10,000 years, haha!

With the life update out of the way, please know that I apologize if I am spottier on blogs! Life has been chaotic lately.

Lol, thanks for letting me ramble!

Now, to what you’ve been waiting for – the house update!

Living Room

The couch from Article is in! We are going to order wood-framed canvases after the wedding for behind the sofa! A beautiful Studio McGee plant will arrive this week for the second nightstand! And, we will be ordering a matching ottoman later this summer!

(Could I use any more exclamation points??)

Later in the fall, my dad is building a cement fireplace for under the TV!

All my Hallmark Christmas movie fantasies will come true!!

The electric fireplace will be 60 inches, which will be just 1.5 inches shorter than the TV. The fireplace will extend longer than the TV, ending under the TV (not to the ceiling.) I think it’ll look very sharp, and I’m crazy excited!

Our yellow recliners are looking good! We [aka I] want to get two floating wine racks to hang on the wall on the right side! Under them, I want to put a walnut dresser (Dawson was shocked when I said ‘dresser’ and ‘living room’ in the same sentence) for all Dawson’s DVDs!

The actual dresser and wine racks! I will stain the wine rack shelves to match!

On the left side, I want to put a plant from – wait for it…Studio McGee! It’s a 75inch olive tree. Let me tell you: it is beauty; it is grace!

Does the dog toy wicker basket shaped like a bone not melt your heart??????

After that, the living room will be complete!

Bedroom

*Drumroll*

We have a black wall! Against it, I want a beautiful walnut bedframe from Article! Dawson and I want a King that comes with attached nightstands! Then, we’d like a Purple mattress!

That’ll take up a majority of the black wall, but we’d also like to hang our “Sweetest Friend” sign above the bed and put my body mirror against the wall/corner!

For whatever reason, the black wall wouldn’t upload! Here is the inspo though! I just wanted something fun and modern in our bedroom! This is all the furniture that we want, too! 🙂

Another thing that I chose to do, which was out of my comfort zone, was to paint the closet and bathroom door the same color as the wall but in a semi-gloss. I wanted to do this, so the room still felt big, and the TV didn’t look suffocated since the other doors are such a contrast.

I love this choice and am excited to add the black hardware this week!

All that is left in this room is touching up the doors, finishing the outlets/light switches, adding crown molding, and laying the flooring! We are hoping to have all of that done sometime in July! I originally was going to change all the flooring, but we will try to match the flooring in the living room and lay that in all the bedrooms.

The Rest

After the bedroom, I am unsure if I want to tackle both bathrooms (as they will be similar) or go for the dining room! In the bathrooms, I will have to sledgehammer out the tile (LOL, a sight) and lay some new flooring! I want to build a board & batten wall in the dining room and [have my dad] make a booth! Both are great projects, and I’m sure whichever is next will look great.

I also have a very fun idea for the laundry room that I cannot wait to execute!
There will be more to come for sure!

Thanks for checking in, friends!

Have a fantastic [Bachelor] Monday & week! ❤

A tribute to my buddy, Cody!!

I went back and forth on writing this blog, fully expecting myself to bawl the entire time I wrote it.
At the end of my back and forth, I decided that it may be therapeutic for me. So, excuse my errors throughout this blog. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to revise it. This is more about being human and expressing my emotions than being a correct writer.
Last Saturday morning, my sweet Cody Allen passed away. ☹
I’m still not sure that I’ve comprehended that he is never coming home.
I thought I’d tell you about his life.

October 5th, 2008

On October 5th, 2008, I was in third grade, having my tonsils removed. Both my parents were in the hospital with me and told me if my dad left, we could maybe get another husky! (As our previous husky, Cagney, had died, and we only had our mix, Lacey).

There was one husky male left, and no one wanted him because he had two different-colored eyes – something strangers later gushed about.

There was my dad and one other man who were going to try to get there first. My parents were looking at me, asking if I was okay with my dad leaving.

Of course, I was! Another dog? Yes, yes, yes!

They asked what I wanted to name him. I immediately exclaimed, “Zack, Cody, Cole, or Dylan.” Can anyone guess what show I was obsessed with?

My dad hustled to the dog and later brought back two-month-old Cody.

I was in love.

I had some time off from school for my tonsils and decided to make Cody love me the most. My birthday had been a few weeks prior, so I gave Cody a pillow I had. It was pink and lit up.

He loved it.

After that, Cody and I were always buds! I could give you the details of his life – like when he was hit by a car, ate the front of the couch, or protected his ‘Funky Money’ at all costs – but honestly, I am having a very, very hard time with his passing still.

Cody and Funky Monkey

I felt so silly. He was my dog. Why am I having such a difficult time processing it and mourning?

But, he was part of my childhood. Part of my whole life. He had so much of my heart. It doesn’t have to make sense to others, but for me (and those who get it) it’s been more days than not of crying.

Every morning when I wake up, I struggle to open the curtains. Cody loved my big window and would rush in every morning to stare out of it, which is usually what pulled me out of bed – I couldn’t get them opened fast enough!

In the days before he passed, he’d begun going in the bathroom with me while I got ready. He’d climb into the cabinet under the sink………I think he was looking for stashed candy, or he was just weird per the usual! ❤

I struggled to get a Starbucks drink, ha! As it reminds me of the time, I was driving him to our new house, and he jumped the barrier from the backseat and into my lap while I was on a country road. Causing me to swerve and almost kill me and the three pups! When he finally sat down next to the gas peddle (AHHHHH, the anxiety!!) I went to take a drink from my full latte; however, Cody’s hair was all up in it, lmao.

Cody was the best dog anyone could have ever asked for. It was literally impossible not to love him – he was everyone’s favorite! He’d steal your candy, run through your legs (even if you’re going down the stairs!), he’d drool on you for dairy, and he’d lay his head on you in the most beautiful way.

When he passed unexpectedly, I bawled for hours and hours. Truthfully, I’m sitting here 10 hours before this is posted (I couldn’t stop putting it off) trying to finish this, and I’m just bawling.

But I keep remembering him – even if it hurts! Because all my memories, all my comforts of home, all my childhood, is filled with the love of my big buddy, Cody!

I know that God taking him unexpectedly is such a gift. No one could handle seeing him age, as he was in great shape for being nearly 13!

I know I’ll see him again in Heaven, and I can absolutely not wait! But for now, I know he will be watching over me, doing his silly pounce on all the clouds.

I might night be able to look at a vanilla Oreo without crying, open my curtains without feeling sad, or hear “buddy” again without my hopes flying then crushing. But, I am able to smile at the millions of memories that I have with Cody.

Cody and his fav – vanilla Oreo’s

Cody, I miss you, I love you, I’ll be thinking about you, and I’ll see you again someday soon! ❤

Side note: If you do not believe that dogs go to Heaven, please keep that to yourself! 😊 I have read scripture and explanations on it and believe that they do! ❤ Even if you think that is incorrect, we can agree to disagree. Plus, it brings me comfort – why try to argue that and take away some of my peace? Thank you!

Some House Gossip!

Welcome back, friends!

Today’s blog will be brief-ish, as the past couple of weeks have been hectic!
Two weeks ago, I had nine assignments during final weeks (I don’t have much longer to go with school – done in the fall!), was finishing house paperwork, had a lot of stuff to do at work, etc. I was exhausted, LOL. Dawson’s also been pretty beat with preparing for graduation (his last week of being a student is this week!) and wrapping up student teaching.

Life has been exhausting, wild, and a blast. We are just so thankful!

All I want to share today is some house info. Basically, I am just going to answer a couple of questions that we keep getting!

When is the open-house/house-warming party?

I had no idea that this was a thing, which continually shocks people! I guess it totally makes sense though!

After getting asked about the four-hundredth time, Dawson and I decided we’d like to have one around Halloween. How fun!

Plus, we will hopefully have at least one couch by then, so more people could sit! (We have two recliners in the living room, want to add 2 couches we picked from Article, and maybe a bench. The living room will sit about 10-12 people).

But if you want to stop by beforehand, just shoot me a message and we can set up a time!

When are you moving in?

I am writing this blog beforehand, but hopefully, Dawson moved in yesterday! The game plan was to scrub the house down Wednesday and Thursday night. I took Friday off to finish cleaning the house, get Mediacom installed, begin taping, and start priming. Friday night we wanted to get some priming done then wrap up on Saturday. The whole house is tinted yellow and reeks of smoke, so we had to use a special (expensive!!) primer. Sunday, we wanted to start moving boxes in. Then, Dawson and I want to unpack everything throughout this week.

I will move in once we are married! So, on January 9th, you can catch me at our new place permanently!

What do you want for gifts?

This has made me and Dawson feel kinda awkward, honestly! We had no idea that people got gifts for you when you bought a house. We knew that we’d likely get bridal shower and wedding presents from some, but we didn’t know some people also wanted to give house presents.

It’s so kind and generous. We really don’t expect it, and you don’t have to do that at all!! BUT, we know that some people are insistent (and we super appreciate it), so here is what we’d really appreciate…

More than anything, we want to finish the living room first. We’d really appreciate gift cards to any of the following places. I will link the website to the store name, and say what the gift card would go toward!! We want two (ridiculously pricey) couches from Article that we fell in love with – trust me, Dawson can be just as extra as me. There is a limited release shag rug about to launch from Ruggable that we adore. For Christmas, we just need a fireplace that we’d like to build with materials from Lowes and a fireplace insert from Amazon. For décor, we want to build floating shelves with materials from Lowes, too. And of course, throw pillows from Target!!

I know some people don’t like gift cards, so we’d always love anything from our Walmart or Zola registries. (Zola includes our Wayfair registry!)

Again, we really don’t need or expect anything. However, we really appreciate everyone’s thoughtfulness and kindness for everything – our wedding, our house, graduation, etc. It feels like too much, and we know we are blessed.

Thank you times a million.

So many people have asked what our plans for the house are, and well, everythingeventually!

We want to cosmetically redo the entire house over time. Here are some more details.

All interior walls will be a light gray that we picked out, the light fixtures will all be black, the trim and baseboards will be off-white. Eventually, we want the doors to be dark gray (white will be too messy with kids) and black fixtures. In the spring, we want to replace all flooring with a grayish vinyl wood that we picked from Lowes. This surprises many people, but the carpets in the house are ruined and there are three different floors. We want to do the same wood floor throughout the home (and maybe an accent floor in the bathrooms) to transform the look of the house. Plus, kids are messy. They spill things. Life happens! That’s why we want to put Ruggable’s in their rooms so we can just throw them in the washer and it’s not the end of the world.

Additionally, the house will need residing. We want the house to be sage green with dark green accents.

That’s everything we know for sure. The order we want to go is:
– Finish the living room
– Make a booth in the dining room
– Paint all rooms
– Replace the flooring and baseboards (we are hoping next spring!)
– Finish the master and guest bedroom
– Flip the kitchen with new cabinets, new appliances, and backsplash. (We want to try to redo the counter but shall see!)
– Reside
– Get a new fence, as the current one is 25 years old (we will just tighten and re-stain it for now!)
– Totally renovate the backyard as it screams potential
– At some point, replace the furnace

That plan is over the course of a few years. Then, we would like to meet with an architect and talk about adding on. Dawson and I think it’s a better investment to pay principle on the house every month and eventually look into adding a room in the back, rather than moving as our family expands. This opinion may be controversial, but it is what we hope to do!

What’re your favorite parts about the home?

Dawson adores the front porch! I am very excited about the living room, as I feel it is the heart of the home.

Additionally, we both love being outside at home. We are very excited about all the yard we have to create areas for our family to enjoy.

Yayyyyy!

We want to thank you all for your support – we really appreciate it! ❤ 

I’ve Got Some News!!

Well, you’re here, and you know that I have some top-secret news.

So, Like, Now What!?

Obviously, I have to have some type of suspense or drum roll! I can’t just blurt it out! I’ve had this secret for 39 days – the longest secret I’ve ever kept. I think I could keep it a few more seconds, don’t you think??
After years of hard work to grow a savings account, a month of anxiety and excitement, a shit ton of paperwork, and a whole bottle of champagne,

I’m proud to announce that –

I mean, do I need to announce it?? Haven’t you figured it out by now!? It must be pretty clear by some of the things I’m saying. Or, you already know because:

1. You stalk my Pinterest and see I’ve been a madwoman the past month!

2. You live in Garrett, where news spreads like wildfire!

3. You picked up on hints throughout my blogs!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, here we gooooo:

*cue “Closing Time”*

Are you ready???
Let’s do it!!!

We bought a house!!!!!!!!

Currently, I’m closing on a house and giving away the biggest check I’ve seen in real life. What do you think I’m doing? My money is on crying, laughing because I took a few shots beforehand, or having the diarrhea sweats. Trust me – it’s got to be one of those things, as I don’t have enough money to bet!!

Haha, I’m pretty excited [as I write this blog days before this is happening] but I have no idea how I’ve felt all day today.

I’ll tell you that I’ve been stressed! Our house went up at 12 on a Friday, we requested a time that afternoon, and had an offer in by 8 pm. By 7 am, there were multiple offers on the table and all offers had to be in by 3 pm on Saturday.

Longest. Day. Ever.

Shout out to Grace for splitting a bottle of wine and pizza with me, while we waited on the news!

Clearly, we got the house! Here are some of my fav parts:

The porch of Dawson’s dreams!! Think it can fit a Christmas tree? JK JK I can make a tree fit anywhere LOL! But this porch is stamped cement!:)
Our master suite! No, the green isn’t staying LOL! There is a huge bathroom and walk in closet!
Our backyard! Yes, the patio runs the full length of the house! Hello all my Pinterest dreams! We maybe want to make that shed into a cute lil beer/wine place?? Um, YES! There is land behind the fence (which needs fixed) for the garden of our dreams!
Goodbye flag pole, hello tree that I can decorate for Christmas! Eventually we need to reside the house – it’ll be sage green! The roof has been redone since this pic! (As of yesterday!)

Closing was scheduled for today, April 27. The owner was planning on moving before Memorial Day weekend, so we’d get the house May 27.

This past Friday, I was told the keys were mine at closing.

WOAH!

I had to call and transfer all the utilities – damn who knew that ALSO cost money. But, of course right!

(But can we talk about how you save a crap ton for a down payment, only for closing to cost more!? Like $500 just for underwriting?? Are you sure?? I could probs just Google it, plagiarize, and toss it into my premium Grammarly subscription! Wouldn’t that be acceptable??? No??)

Monday, the roof had a teardown and was replaced. Thank you to the owner for doing that – saves me over 6K!!!!

So, here we are now.

I’m currently closing, and you’re checking out this blog. Soon, I’ll drive up to

MINE AND DAWSON’S HOUSE

to snap some pics and chug champagne!!

I’m thankful to have gotten a house for a great price in this bananas market. I’m thankful to be starting this adventure. I cannot wait to move in after we get married in January. Until then, Dawson will be living his best life while I DIY, renovate, and decorate!

Friday, I’ll be scrubbing the walls to prepare for priming this weekend. I cannot wait to redo all cosmetic aspects of this house overtime and make it our home.

To follow along, follow @chloefurnish on Instagram!

Thanks for joining in on my secret! Let’s pray I am not a hot mess right now. (The odds aren’t in my favor!)

Want A Relationship With God, But SLNW!?

Hey, friends!

First, welcome back! If you haven’t heard the jaw-dropping story behind this painting, read about it here!

I want today’s blog to be impactful, and I feel that I can best achieve that by being brief. That way, there is no wandering off during the blog, but processing and time to consider my thoughts.

However, you know me – so, we will see how brief this truly ends up being.
Being open about my relationship with God and my love for Him has brought me many things, including questions.

Sometimes, these questions are from people who genuinely want to learn or understand. Other times, these questions are from people who want to challenge and pick apart everything Christ followers believe.

Before getting into a discussion about religion and faith, I urge you to ask yourself why you’re curious: do you want to learn, or do you want to challenge?

If you want to learn, perfect! Still, ask all the question’s and do your own research!

If you want to challenge, be honest with yourself and others about that. If everyone is cool with that type of debate, go for it.

Me, I don’t like challenge or conflict. I like accepting everyone’s opinions for what they are, silently agreeing or disagreeing, and carrying on with life.

So, like, I’ll be straightforward and tell you that I’ve never doubted God. I am not sure why I haven’t, or if I ever will. I remember hearing other believers claim that everyone will think there is no God at one point in their life, and I was so. stinkin. shocked. This doubt is never something I have personally experienced, but I have to assume it comes during very dark times – especially if the doubter was already a Christ-follower.

I believe that we all have intense struggles that not many people are aware of. Sometimes, it may feel like God isn’t there, He doesn’t care, or He’s trying to break you. That’s when I find myself needing the reminder that God never gives you more than you can handle.

For example, when I was fourteen/fifteen, I really felt like Dawson was who I was meant to be with. I bawled and felt heartbroken for months because we weren’t together. I know that God broke me then because I wouldn’t have handled Dawson’s cancer well at that age. It wasn’t something I was mature enough to go through, strong enough to support him, etc. As dramatic as me being crushed sounds, God was telling me no then to protect me and tell me yes later.

I’ve even seen it occur throughout the past year. God has told me no, my heart has shattered, and then I was given a yes later – to something better.

So much better!

It’s hard to remember, and sometimes it can be months and months of darkness, but God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.

“God will carry you through the storm.” – Isaiah 43:2

Maybe you’re not feeling like God is hurting you, but you’re hurting Him.

You’ve sinned, you’re sinning, and you’ll sin.

How could He ever love a sinner?

God is all-knowing. He knows that we sin. Also, He knows what’s in our hearts. Does sinning make you a bad person? No – learn from it. Does sinning mean you spite God? No – you messed up.

God loves you endlessly and eternally. You just have to accept His love, listen for His guidance, and grow as a person.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

Maybe you also doubt His word or The Bible. So many people, typically challengers, ask,

“Why does The Bible say this or that?”

I could tell you all-day-long that it’s just a metaphor. But, that has to be a concept you are open to accepting. 

When you read The Bible, don’t take it word for word, trying to find errors. Take it word for word, trying to apply it to different situations where it fits.

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” – 1 John 4:12

I could go on and on. I barely touched the surface here.

What it comes down to is: are you truly ready and committed to establishing or rebuilding your relationship with God?

If you are, take time to learn and grow – that doesn’t just mean reading The Bible or attending church. For me, I feel the most on fire for Jesus when I blast worship music. For others, it’s watching movies or documentaries, listening to podcasts, reading books, or having conversations about it.

How do you learn best? What’s your favorite way to learn?

Growing your relationship with God shouldn’t feel like trying to learn calculus. It should be fun and exciting – those emotions are all influenced by the way we choose to learn. Maybe reading isn’t giving you the feeling or relationship you need, so venture out to other mediums and platforms.

God is here for us in every way. What way works best for you? Do you need someone to be present? Know that He is. Do you know someone to guide you? Pray to Him. Do you need someone to mentor you? Look to His Word.

Whatever works best for you, and whatever you need, start there. God is bigger than us all; God is everywhere; God is in all of us.

If you’re a fifty-seven-year-old life-long sinner and non-believer, He’s rooting for you just as much as He’s rooting for me. He loves you eternally, and He’s ready for you when you’re ready for Him.

Look within your own heart and follow that. Odds are, it’ll lead to Him. How can it not when He’s everywhere (when you want to see Him)?

Have a great week!

It’s My Dogs 2nd Gotcha Day!! SLNW!?

Friends! It’s Monday!

Even better – it’s Beasley’s, Beezer’s, B’s, Beezy’s, Beezy Babe’s, Girlfriends 2nd Gotcha Day! (and unofficial 4th Birthday!)

Here’s to getting twelve hours of sleep every night, snoring like a trucker, having more energy than a pup, and being one heck of a fighter!

You go, girl – I love you!

Beasley brings me so much joy, and I truly adore her. Maybe you’d want to label it as the furmom relationship, and I initially wanted to, too. But I’m not her mom anymore – just her biggest fan!

Here’s this super pup’s story from being in a ditch to being crowned queen of the Hinkle house.

When Miss Beez was brought into this world, she was located in Texas. It truly explains a lot – she only goes big.

Unfortunately, she had a difficult life – but we suspect it wasn’t always bad. She had some mad snuggling skills right off the bat. There was no question about it – Beezy knew how to love and wrap humans around her little paw.

We aren’t sure if the poor babe ran away or was bought. Regardless of whatever happened, she found her way into the wild.

At some point, we believe she had some puppies – imagine how cute those babies were!

At another time, Beezy was shot in the head and one of her legs. Honestly, disgusting. I hope an owner or trusted human didn’t do this to her, but there are signs later on that point to her facing some abuse and having trust issues. We won’t ever know, but let’s pray that twisted person never sees a furry friend again.

Then, Beezer was hit by a car. This incident left her with a permanent head tilt. Luckily, this head tilt does not cause her any pain! All it creates is room for everyone to imitate her and give her a crooked look. Truthfully, it’s pretty cute to witness! ❤

She was left in a ditch to die, which shatters my heart. It’s unsure how long she was lying there, but eventually, someone found her…only to put her on the Texas kill list. 😦

However, this is when the good guy swoops in and saves her life!!!!

*cue applause*

Project Animal Hope Rescue is based in Michigan, and they are a humane shelter that is dedicated to saving and fostering dogs on the Texas kill list.

So, like, while Beezy was being given eye drops and being hand-fed by these angels, I was begging my parents to let me get my own furbaby.

Bowser and Cody are the best, but neither of them was my dog. I have so much love to give to a dog, and I wanted to have my own little babe!

After Dawson and my dad read her badass story, they couldn’t say no to those buggy eyes, head tilt, and cuddly tendencies!

We’ve had her for two years, and while I’d do anything for Beez, I can’t be her mom.

It’s not because I don’t adore her. It’s not because I wouldn’t give her pets for forty hours. It’s not because I don’t want her or because my parents want her more.

It’s simple: it’s because she is finally home.

She does not leave Bowser. When we took him to the vet, she cried, shook, and shed. Her cry rips your soul out. It’s the saddest cry that I’ve ever heard – seriously!

When she sees my dad come home from work, she runs in three circles and jumps on him. This is how you know she is ready to be showered in adoration!

When my mom cuddles up in a throw blanket on the couch, Beezy wedges her way in there.

When Cody gets a little too close to her when she has a treat, she get’s a little snippy and expects a “Beezy! Be nice!

My parents’ yard is her yard to protect. Their couch is her kingdom. Bowser is her person.

This life is the life that she wants.

I’d take her in an instant, but I cannot take her from this life that finally makes her feel comfortable, safe, and happy. She has already went through too much in her short life.

Undeniably, Beezy and I have a strong relationship. For whatever reason, we make each other feel safe and loved. I just get her – even if she is a furbabe.

She is my bestie, which is why I have to leave her where she is. She has had a rough life, and I want her to spend the rest of her days being filled with joy.

Hopefully, I will move out when we get married and be something like 1.4 miles away from her. That’s not far – I will see her all the time. I just cannot take her with me.

I’ve known for about a year, and it’s a really challenging thing to confront and accept. Thinking about leaving any of my dogs makes me break down. Cody is my brother. Bowser is my mom’s sassy bestie – 20/10 a Barb! Beezy is my girl, who I should protect, care for, and love.

Leaving her where she is feels like the right decision. Some people may not agree with it, but I’d feel like I’m rehoming her. For no reason but to have her with me, which isn’t what she’d pick. It sucks and makes me sad, but she’s still my girl!

It’s hard to accept and difficult to imagine. I just love her so much!!

But, we will be close by. I’ll always pet her, share my chicken fries, wrap her in a blanket, and try to contribute good things to her life.

Beasley, thanks for coming into our life! Happy 4th Birthday and 2nd Gotcha Day, girlfriend!

I’ve Had A Rough Time!! SLNW!?

Happy Monday, friends!!

More importantly, happy Bachelor finale night! I don’t know about you, but I have some FlatTop Grill and Jolly Juice calling my name tonight!!

Lately, life has been challenging. Death, illness, and pain were involved in the last 3.5 weeks of my life. Everything else that could go wrong has.

My 12.5-year-old husky, who we’ve had since he was 8 weeks, had surgery on a fatty tumor. Easy enough, right? Well, it ended up being 4lb, and he couldn’t come home for the night. He has never not been home for a night. It was so hard. $21-worth-of-carrot-cake-ordered hard. When he came back, he wouldn’t eat and was peeing in the house. It was rough there for a while, but now he is ornery and fun as ever. Thank God because Cody literally feels like a brother!

Besides Cody and the death and illness going on around me, minor inconveniences occurred 24/7. Life was going out to dinner, and the waitress charging your card for your meal + another couples. Going to get your nails done and them messing them up. Heading to Olive Garden to get your leg stuck to the table by someone’s fresh gum. Getting a free coffee and them forgetting to put almond milk in it. Ordering bathing suits and accidentally ordering the low-rise, only to realize when the high-rise is gone. Then, finals.

Then, we put an offer on a house. They countered us at 2:50, and Dawson got out of student teaching at 4:30. I had to wait, but I was so excited and finally let my hopes fly wild. Then, by 3:50, they had a new offer (we believe it was 10k over what they were asking), and they withdrew. The realtor said it was the second time in seventeen-years that it had ever happened, and the bank and our relator were shocked. Dawson and I are/were pretty bummed, but we know our house is out there somewhere! Hopefully, the market will pop and boom these next few months, or maybe we will wait until next year!

This was the house!

Regardless, it’s been a tough couple of weeks! I want to thank everyone who Venmoed me for coffee or wine, prayed for my family and me, or just let me vent to them. It all has helped me so. much.

Last week, I couldn’t get something to print, so we ordered it at Office Depot. It was supposed to be ready, so we headed over. They were closed temporarily and unexpectedly, and no one would answer the phone. That was my final breaking point, and I just cried and cried.

I felt so silly that, that was the thing in my life that made me break. It was definitely a Daisy and the t-shirts situation. When I was feeling wrong about being down, my go-to sad girl song came on the radio. A song that I haven’t heard in ages. It felt like God was telling me it was okay to cry and to be sad.

Now, after three weeks, I finally feel better. I mean, damnit, I have a cold now, but emotionally, I feel in a much better place! I’m not sure if it was my overwhelming support system, all the worship music (specifically “Battle Belongs” by Phil Wickham), or that cry session – but I am back feeling happy as ever!

After breaking, I wondered,

So, Like, Now What!?

Well, it was time to get grooving back into life. I mean, look at this weather – phenomenal! Look at Dawson and me, getting ready to get married, maybe looking to become homeowners, and both are wrapping up school (him in the spring and me in early fall!)

I feel good, so I started doing things that felt good.

Which, if you know me at all, you know that the things that I’ve done these past couple of days are 1. listen to true crime 2. do charcuterie 3. wedding plan 4. spend time with the ones I adore.

So, I will tell you that I listened to the Crime Junkie on Elizabeth Smart last week. POWERFUL doesn’t even describe it. Take a listen (click here)! If you’re into more detail, I 20/10 recommend Morbid. They are basically my coworkers as we continue to work remotely.

I could tell you what I threw on that charcuterie board, or I could show you!

Anyways, I pretty much have nothing to do for the wedding for months. So, I added notes on all our gifts on our registry. We are registered at Walmart, Wayfair, and Zola. The Zola registry has items from all different stores and is directly connected to the Wayfair registry (meaning Wayfair items are on both registries). All our things, except for Walmart one’s, now have a fun note attached to them. If you want to check out my [not very funny] sarcasm, check out this registry (click here). If you want to be nosy (I’d want to), here is our Walmart registry, too (click here)!

Lastly, the people I loved – well, that’s everyone. But I thought it was officially time to name my bride tribe!

There are so many wonderful women in my life who could have been included! Ultimately, Dawson and I wanted to keep our wedding party small and as close to family as possible.

Maid of Honor

My Maid of Honor, Reese Furnish, is Dawson’s sister. I knew Reese long before I knew Dawson. She was a year younger than me and played in the same softball league as me. When we were on All-Star’s together, I remember thinking she was so fun, outgoing, and spunky – like the rest of the Furnish fam. I am thrilled to have someone so compassionate and fun as a future sister! ❤ I also know that she is going to be the coolest aunt whenever Dawson and I have kids – they will love their Aunt Roo!

Bridesmaid

My bridesmaid, Brooke Bishop, is my cousin that I grew up with. Everywhere we went, we swore we were twins, and 110% thought everyone believed us. We knew we’d build a house together and live there forever – there was one room we wanted to be made entirely of mattresses. Brooke and I are basically the same person – from screaming the lyrics to Good Charlotte, to bingeing Hallmark Christmas movies, to being gullible. I am so excited to go from dressing up as the Cheetah Girls for their final movie to dressing up in a brides’ gown and a bridesmaid dress!

Bridesmaid

My bridesmaid, Makinnah Grigsby, is the equivalent of a sister. Growing up, I was called Makinnah by my peers more than I was called Chloe. Being new to the school, I had no idea who that was (I had no idea that it was such an honor to be confused as her – she is a top tier person). After meeting her, I wrote her down as “most likely to be president” at the end of my first school year. Fast forward through our seven years of softball together, co-planning events, and our Thomas Rhett obsession – she was voted class president, and I got to serve as her vice president. Makinnah and I have a relationship where I know we don’t have to talk all the time, but she always has my heart no matter what. She is truly like a sister, and I am so excited to scream some T. Rhett with her on our wedding day!

Ashtyn wrote a blog about our friendship! Click here to check it out!

Bridesmaid

My bridesmaid, Ashtyn Custer, is one that you will 20/10 hear on our wedding day – her laughter shakes the earth. When I moved to Garrett in fourth grade, Ashtyn scared the crap out of me. Not because she’s mean, but maybe because her calves were ripped? I’m not entirely sure why I was so frightened by her, but she startled me. Flash forward to seventh grade, and we became inseparable. We shared our one true love – Harry Potter. Throughout high school, we remained incredibly close – especially our senior year (we even won “Best Best Friends”)! I have gone through some of the most challenging times of my life with Ashtyn by my side. When we grew apart freshman year of college, I was crushed. Now, we talk every day, and there’s no one I’d trust more with food recommendations. Ashtyn is one of those people who I know was meant to be my soul friend. I cannot wait for everyone to be startled by her laugh on our big day!

Well, I guess this blog has ran kind of long. It felt pretty therapeutic, so thanks for listening – if you got this far!

I hope this week is filled with what your soul needs – whatever that may be — $ 21 of carrot cake, 12 Venti’s, a good cry, or some furbabe snuggles.

It’ll get better. It always does!

I Know ED and Dieting Culture Basics! SLNW!?

First, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone! The last two weeks were kind of sucky, and I really appreciate everyone’s kindness, patience with the blog delay, and prayers!

Now, back to the blog!

Two weeks ago, I posted about causes, treatment, warning signs, and an overall look at eating disorders for NEDAwareness Week. There is so much that I couldn’t get to, as this is a blog and not a novel. However, if there is one thing I could go on and on about, rant about, or hop on a soapbox for – it is my passion for diet culture and eating disorder awareness.

After reading all the facts, with a little bias, you’re probably wondering,

So, Like, Now What?

Now, we talk about my opinions – which are about as controversial as I’ll ever get for my blog.

Here are two things that I think need addressing with my unfiltered opinion. There is a laundry-sized list, but I narrowed it down for the sake of Monday morning concentration…especially if the coffee hasn’t hit your bloodstream quite yet.

Language

Why is it okay to comment on people’s weight unsolicited?

All these people sliding in Instagram DM’s like, “Want to lose 15-20 pounds!? I’ve got the product for you! <3”

First of all, I’ve never met these people. Second, why do they automatically assume that I want to lose weight?! I used to take these constant DM’s so personally. Does it look like I need to lose weight? I’d wonder, while feeling horrible about myself. Not a good sales strategy, girlfriend.

Why don’t we market products as things to help you feel healthier rather than capitalizing on weight loss? I’d rather be able to run a mini-marathon than shed a couple of pounds. So, why isn’t it about feeling healthy as opposed to always losing weight?

In addition to asking if someone wants to lose weight, which is wrong on several levels, it isn’t okay to comment on someone’s food intake.

I posted a picture of my favorite lemonade, and someone told me to be careful of my calorie intake and claimed they’d be interested to see how many calories I consume a day. Now, why is this an acceptable thing to say?????? It’s a lemonade? Which, by the way, I can have. I could have two if I want, three if I’m feeling frisky, and thirty-eight just to spite your remark.

This goes for food, too.

No one but me can dictate how hungry I am. If I eat twenty pounds of popcorn, so what! What does it matter to you? Do you know how hungry I am? If I eat more than a man, it’s okay. You don’t need to judge me or tell me to watch out and not gain weight for the wedding.

Hunger levels shift. Wow. What a crazy concept. It isn’t necessary to point out that I ate an entire appetizer, meal, and three desserts by myself. I like carrot cake, okay!?

All these things that are the norm to say – to ask someone if they want to lose weight, to judge someone’s plate or cup, to comment on someone’s “problem areas” (hate that verbiage), to compare someone’s body to their old body or someone else, etc. Why is this acceptable?? Why do we stand for this?

Is it because of social media? Where there are apps, poses, camera lenses, and more that help alter the way someone’s body looks?

I don’t see a point to it. In fact, I see destruction, I see hurting someone’s confidence, and I see gross judgment.

You know yourself. You know your thoughts. You know how negative and disheartening your thoughts can be. So, like, why would you plant seeds of doubt or worry in the mind of others?

You know what else we hear a lot, and I have 110% said it, too? “I need to work out to lose some weight.”

Girl, no!

Workout to honor your body, have fun, and feel good! If you hate running, don’t do it. If you love doing a ten-minute dance routine, do that! Working out should not be about punishing your body but celebrating all its abilities!

God did a fantastic job creating you. Have fun and celebrate you! Dance to Hannah Montana, jump rope to NSYNC, bike to a makeup vlogger, or run to a true crime podcast.

Do what makes you happy.

As a wise woman once said, “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” Just shake it off!

No one wants to have a bad character, and no one wants to be viewed as a Barb. Don’t be a Barb. Mind your business. Know that weight fluxgates. Know that bodies are different. Know that if someone is comfortable in their skin, that is all that matters. Period.

Diet Culture

This area is gray, and it is different for everyone.

Some people can participate in diet culture and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I, along with many, am not one of those people.

The diet industry is a million-dollar industry with many participants weighing more than before in following years.

There are various different diet techniques – counting calories, macro, Keto, etc.

Honestly, I see health benefits to these. I know someone who is rocking counting calories, like you go, girl! But if I were the one counting calories, I’d obsess. Once, I had to count calories for a nutrition class, and it altered the way I ate all week, the way I felt, and my security in my body. This just isn’t something that is right for me. Instead, I choose to abide by intuitive eating. To learn more, check out this amazing 10-step blog on intuitive eating.

Basically, intuitive eating goes against diet culture and encourages individuals to honor their hunger and leave restrictive behavior behind.

Keto and macro have benefits, but I don’t encourage them for me. And, I probably wouldn’t encourage them for you.

There are some people who can balance it well; however, more people obsess and spiral. If you’re a person who can handle dieting, then go for it (if you absolutely must). If you are someone whose self-conscious, then do not do it. Just be comfortable with the way you look and feel, and you’re gold!

Honestly, I could go on and on and on and on! About how we shouldn’t push unhealthy clothing trends, Tik Tok trends, normalize body-shaming language, judge people’s plates, etc. There’s just so. much. to unpack.

Give me a book, and it’ll be filled with statistics, resources, opinions, etc. But what it boils down to is that I strongly believe diet culture is toxic and harmful 95% of the time, and people are way too judgmental about people’s bodies and food choices.

Are you one of those people? If you are, why? Look into yourself and ask why it matters – maybe do some digging or research.

There is so much that is impacting America – language, norms, advertisements, menus, etc. You’d be shocked to see what can be triggering. Look into it, though. You know someone whose struggled with ED – even if you don’t realize it.

Eating disorders are so real. Body dysmorphia is so real. Food fear is so real.

Someone in your life struggling. That is so real.

Be kind, be compassionate, be unjudging.

If you’re struggling, don’t pay attention to your BMI, do not step on a scale, and live a life that makes you comfortable.

To learn even more about intuitive eating, which is highly recommended for ED survivors, read: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/what-does-intuitive-eating-mean

To learn how to break-up with diet culture, read: https://www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com/breaking-up-with-diet-culture/

To learn more about body-shaming (both subtle and aggressive), read: https://www.magnolia-creek.com/eating-disorder-recovery-blog/what-is-body-shaming/

To learn more about unhealthy food obsession, please read: https://nudenutritionrd.com/how-to-stop-food-obsession/

On Instagram, follow dieticians: @no.food.rules + @loandlemons + @thenutritiontea

Eating Disorder Overview, Symptoms, Support, and Treatment.

Today starts National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, NEDA, lasting until 3/2/21.

Eating disorders, eating habits, social media trends, and diet culture are all things that I feel incredibly passionate about. To be upfront, I am entirely biased toward these topics; therefore, there will be two blogs throughout NEDA Week! This post will breakdown eating disorders, while the second post will be more biased.

I considered throwing a third blog in about OCD and eating disorders, considering about ½ of people with an ED struggle with OCD, but a lot of men were very interested in learning about OCD overall. In the next few weeks, I will post a blog about OCD basics before getting into all the details. I think many will be shocked to learn that OCD isn’t only an image of Emma Pillsbury with a toothbrush on Glee.

Just like OCD isn’t an image of someone frantically picking lint from a carpet, an eating disorder isn’t one singular image. Many people have said things like, “he/she is so skinny, there is no way they have an eating disorder or body dysmorphia.” It’s as if most people assume that eating disorders are uncommon except 9% of Americans experience an ED.

There are two commonly known eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa is the most widely recognized ED. This disorder consists of extremely restrictive eating habits, an obsession to maintain an ideal weight, an intense fear of weight gain, and body dysmorphia. Meaning, an anorexic individual typically views their body as something it isn’t – much larger, unhealthy, or endlessly flawed. A common misconception about Anorexia is that the one suffering has to be underweight, but only 6% of people with ED’s are classified as underweight (Eating Disorder Statistics). Plenty of average-sized and plus-sized men and women suffer from Anorexia Nervosa – a disorder that, on average, lasts eight-years.

Bulimia Nervosa, or Binge Eating Disorder, is a commonly known eating disorder, especially portrayed in the media. For example, Blair from Gossip Girl and Hanna from Pretty Little Liars displayed signs of struggling with this ED. Bulimia consists of binge eating habits, purging, an intense fear of weight gain, and body dysmorphia. Like Anorexia, Bulimia has restrictive, unhealthy food habits; however, Bulimia victims tend to struggle with losing control and binge eating. After they binge, they experience aggressive fear and puke/purge to avoid digesting the food. Several people struggle with Bulimia – a disorder that, on average, lasts five-years.

While both of these disorders have typical lengths, many victims tend to struggle with these disorders throughout their lifetime. It is merely impossible for these thoughts or habits to not cross the minds of ED survivors.

Among these two disorders, there are several other eating disorders. Making ED the second deadliest mental illness – following opioid overdoes. According to “Eating Disorder Statistics,” 26% of ED victims attempt suicide, and one ED victim dies every hour. That’s 10,200 deaths in the U.S. from ED (ANAD).

Among the nearly 30 million Americans who struggle with an ED are millions of children under 12. Dr. Kathleen Smith (PSY, 2019) reported that the population of adolescents struggling with ED continues to increase.

As a country, as a society, and as an evolving, improving generation, we must acknowledge mental illness.

Furthermore, we should not only recognize mental illness, but learn about it, teach about it, and do everything in our damn power to help these struggling individuals.

While all mental illnesses are challenging and require support, this blog is aimed at shining light on eating disorders. If you are compelled to learn about what causes ED, detecting symptoms, learning appropriate methods of reaching out, and treatment – I encourage you to keep reading.

Causes

Dr. Kathleen Smith published an article (PSY) dedicated to ED in adolescents, revealing that children with family members with an ED are 7-10 times more likely to struggle with an ED. “Eating Disorder Statistics” claimed (ANAD) that 28-74% of individuals with ED had a genetic history of someone/several with ED.

Very Well Mind explains (Environmental Factors, 2021) that psychologists cannot determine all ED causes, but environmental factors are incredibly prevalent. Parental or peer language can cause negative body confidence – like encouraging dieting or weight loss, commenting on how someone should try to alter/thin a part of their body, or comparing one’s body to someone else’s. To avoid talking this way and to diffuse this as a third-party, stop comparing bodies, don’t encourage weight loss (unless openly approved by a doctor), and do not suggest lessening food portions.

In addition to harmful language, media has an impact. Of course, magazines and TV contribute to unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards, but social media is the most prevalent as it is the most consumed media type.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, social media users on Instagram and Facebook tend to develop unhealthy habits and beliefs. The pages and people that these individuals follow start shifting their perception of beauty, health standards, and self-image. Unfortunately, several social media users tend to develop symptoms mirroring Anorexia (Magnolia Creek, 2019).

While I will not get (that) biased in this blog, I will suggest looking up a former model who struggled with ED – @danaemercer on Instagram. She shows how influencers and models angle and edit their bodies, contributing to unachievable expectations for bodies. Additionally, I urge you to avoid Tik Tok trends, like wrapping your headphones around your waist, because that is literally useless and contributes to negative body perceptions.

Detecting Symptoms

Several symptoms are tied to eating disorders like hair loss, a halt in hair growth, finger discoloration, fatigue and dizziness, restrictive dietary habits, and signs of depression or anxiety.

Individuals struggling with Anorexia tend to wear baggy clothes, lose coloration in their skin and seem uninterested in life.

Those struggling with Bulimia often binge large amounts, rushing to the bathroom within 30-minutes. They are consumed by fear of weight gain and experience high irritation when struggling.

Approaching Someone With ED

Four doctors collaborated to publish a study on approaching those with an ED (Help Guide, 2020).

The article encourages concerned individuals to pick a private time to discuss any concern and attempt to understand and be gentle – do not accuse. Explain the reasoning for your concern – list specific behavior and even reference statistics. Be ready for denial – they might not even know what they are struggling with. Ask if they are willing to reach out to a hotline or professional.

Finally, be supportive, understanding, and persistent.

Even if the first time doesn’t go well, keep showing them your support and unconditional love. Check-in with them, asking how they are feeling and how their mental health is doing. Ensure that they don’t feel alone and show that you’re available whenever they are ready to reach out. Sadly, eating disorders are common – nearly 1 in 10 have them – do not make them feel alienated.

Remember, these individuals are experiencing the lowest self-esteem, and they may be afraid of rejection or not deserving assistance.

Be patient. Be persistent.

Additionally, the article urges you to not: issue an ultimatum, comment on their weight/appearance (instead focus on their eating habits, moods, emotions, etc.), don’t shame or guilt them, don’t make this struggle about your feelings of sadness/disappointment/hardship (it isn’t about you), don’t accuse them of doing this for attention, and don’t suggest a simple solution – encourage treatment, not “just eating!”

Read this additional article from mental health services, explaining additional do’s and don’ts of reaching out and supporting an individual with an ED.

Treatment

There is treatment available for those struggling with ED. There are hotlines, licensed professionals, and support groups dedicated to getting those struggling help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone with ED, ask for help if you’re experiencing symptoms, or advocate for ED research.

No cost is too high to get you help.

Eating disorders are very real, and recovery requires support, assistance, and treatment.

If you are an ED survivor or struggle with similar symptoms, health officials in all my resources encourage establishing healthy surroundings. Be aware of who is on your social media feed, set boundaries with negative family/peers, throw away scales, and journal + avoid your triggers.

Remember: your health comes first, regardless of who or what you have to disconnect from.

Please speak out if you are struggling – there are so many of us here for you. We aren’t angry or disappointed; we want to help you feel better.

Please reach out (after doing research) to someone who you fear is struggling. Be patient and be kind.

For my personal feelings and beliefs, come back Monday, 3/1/21 at 7 am for another blog.

Resources

If you are looking for help for yourself or someone you know who is struggling with ED symptoms, text NEDA to 741741.

If you are struggling with Anorexia, text 494949.

If you are contemplating suicide, call 800-273-8255 or text LEV to 741741.

If you are looking for additional resources, click here: https://edrcsv.org/about-us/

 

Resources (linked not properly cited!)

6 Common Types of Eating Disorders 

Different Causes of ED

Eating Disorders in 12 and Under

Eating Disorder Statistics

Helping Someone With an ED

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Social Media’s Impact on Eating Disorders

What Not to Say to Someone With an ED

 

Make A Wedding Registry!! SLNW!?

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

I hope your day was filled with love – self-love, dog love, family love, or romantic love. You deserve to fill your face with chocolate and not feel bad about it. Enjoy a lovely rom-com, cuddling your favorite furbabies. You deserve to rock it out to Taylor Swift’s re-recording of “Love Story” with a bottle of wine as your microphone. You deserve love, and you deserve to have a bomb ass day – every day!

So many girls have asked me what I’d put on my wedding registry – ugh, as if(!) I haven’t had a working registry since the summer of 2017. I was born to answer this question. My excited, calculated mind was like, “ope, I’m seventeen and have been dating my boyfriend a WHOLE year. Time to pick the throw pillows for four years down the road!!”

So, like, I did.

I immediately knew what theme and color scheme I wanted. I ran it by Dawson, and when he gave me the green light, I worked harder than Taylor Swift has the past two years.

Well, maybe not that hard. She’s released three albums and re-releasing one! An icon.

So, I worked harder than Crime Junkies’ Ashley Flowers does in the morning. You know, the girl who walks on the treadmill for over an hour, answering over one-hundred emails and conducting research?

Well, not quite that hard either.

Okay, okay, I worked almost as hard as Schmidt works at being a dad.

I probably could’ve picked a better gif to demonstrate what I’m trying to relay, lmao. But you get the point: I worked hard.

My camera roll was filled, and I dreamed about making a registry. Now, I eagerly await to share my tips and ideas with you all!

So, like, if you’re preparing to create a registry and wondering,

So, Like, Now What!?

Just know, I got you covered. I’m basically the Taylor Swift, Ashley Flowers, or Winston Schmidt of registry-ing. 👌

Picking a Platform

I highly recommend Zola.com. I have not actually picked products from Zola; however, I have been able to link my other registries to Zola. Additionally, there is an option to link products and gift cards from various stores!

When considering which stores I wanted to use, I picked Walmart and Wayfair as my two registry websites. I felt that they gave both in-store shoppers and online shoppers a great route to go. However, I know that some people prefer particular shops or are super last-minute, so I put some work into picking other stores that appear on my Zola page. These stores do not have us registered through their sites like Walmart or Wayfair, but they have one or two options available for gift-givers.

Those additional stores are Bed Bath & Beyond (people have cards), Kohls (cause Kohls Cash), Target (gives people an excuse to go), Amazon (two-day shipping), Macy’s, and places where we would appreciate Gift Cards/eGift Cards to.

This route provides various options for shoppers and allows you to choose your all-time favorite item from anywhere!

Gift Cards

I love a good gift card. It feels like free money. Whenever I buy something with a gift card, I immediately exclaim, “It’s free!” So, I added various options on Zola with a new email just for eGift Cards. I thought that would be convenient for ideas!

$100: Carnival Cruise! We are going on a cruise the summer following our wedding, and we can use gift cards for additional food or drink packages on the cruise. The minimum is $100, which stinks. But, what a great idea!

$60.93: Hello Fresh! Dawson and I want to learn new recipes by starting off with Hello Fresh. These gift cards pay for a 3-meal box for Dawson and me!

$25-$50: Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, Chewy, Thrive Market, and Ruggable.

Girlfriend, add some restaurant or date eGift Cards, too!

Expensive Gifts

For most of our gifts, I tried to keep around $10-$50, with most of the gifts being around $25/$30. However, I put some more expensive gifts (about $80+) on our registries. I would recommend making those ‘group gifts,’ where available (not available on Walmart). This way, people can buy the gift as a group or purchase it entirely.

Additionally, I use these registries as my wish lists for Christmas and my birthday or remember something I wanted.

Here are some great products that I would highly recommend adding to your registry:

$213: Pots and Pans. People suggested having stainless steel and a few nonstick. Ours is from Cuisinart and is an 11-piece set on Wayfair.

$150: Vacuum. Dawson’s parents got me a Shark Navigator Lift-Away from Walmart – my dream sweeper!

$149: A DeWalt Hammer Drill

$134: A Miter Saw if you want to DIY. @HouseandHens on Instagram suggested this and the Hammer Drill!

$110: A nice knife set – so many people recommended this. Ours is a 15pc Cuisinart from Walmart!

$100: A Ring Doorbell I never would have thought to add this by product to Zola, but Dawson’s band teacher suggested it. How smart!

$93: Luggage

$80: A Crock-Pot. We actually got ours for free from throwing a Pampered Chef party – something I can’t praise enough.

Lastly, this is totally a preference thing, but I want to sit a jaw-dropping Dutch Oven out on our counter. This $104 Martha Stewart yellow Dutch Oven is what dreams are made of!

Kitchen Gifts

So, I have some of these already, but I’ll put everything I recommend. I have done so much research on this, and I do not like clutter. Therefore, I tried to make sure it would only be things I need.

This past summer, Dawson and I threw a Pampered Chef party where we got almost $1000 of product for $240. We just really wanted the Air Fryer but ended up having such generous people in our lives (not shocked!) and made out like champs.

$70-$80: Cast Iron Dutch Oven (for the fire)

$60-70: Dinnerware for 4 (I’d register for two sets)

$50-$60: Air Fryer

$40-$50: Flatware (Walmart has great deals), Hand-Mixer, 3pc 13×9 inch Glass Pans. Optional: Cake Batter Bowl (ridiculous but obsessed)

$30-40: KitchenAid Utensil Set, Electric Wine Opener, Food Processor, Large Glass Serving Bowl w/ Lid. Optional: Food Storage Containers, Canisters (pantry)

$20-$30: Tupperware, Toaster, Blender, Mixing Bowls, Oven Mitts, Wood Cutting Board, Electric Meat Thermometer, Large Measuring Cup, 12-inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. Optional: Charcuterie Board, Reusable Shopping Bags, Oil & Vinegar Container Set

$10-$20: Dish Towels, Hand Towels, Potholders, 2pk Cookie Sheet, 6 Glassware Cups or Mugs, Rolling Pin, Wood Serving Bowl, Salt & Pepper Shakers, Stemless/Stem Wine Glasses, 8-inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. Optional: Pub Glasses, Shelf Liner, Can Strainer, Spice Rack/Shelves, Coasters, Ice Cream Mugs

$1-$10: Silicone Brush, Pizza Cutter, Ice Cream Scoop.

Other Gifts

These products are some that I find to be important! I browsed all registry blogs, home essential lists, etc. Also, I took notes on my phone when someone highly recommended having something or if I’ve ever needed it.

$70-$80: Brad Nailer

$50-$60: 2pc Dog Food Container

$40-$50: Bath Towels, Collapsible Laundry Basket

$30-$40: Dog Toy Container (shaped like a bone!), Lawn Chairs. Optional: Wrapping Paper Holder

$20-$30: Dog Treat Container (because I know you’ll have a dog), Essential Oil Diffuser, Matching Hangers. Optional: Sander

$10-$20: Optional: Cleaning Supplies Caddy, Spray Bottles, Flashlight

$1-$10: File Storage

I hope that this helped some! When picking items, try to make sure it’s things you’ll both enjoy. Also, add décor and fun gifts! You can never have too many throw pillows, blankets, or succulents. Put some spa products, some of your favorite alcohol or restaurants, Thirty-One bags, or games on the registry. Make it your own!

It only happens once. Make the most of it and make sure it’s what you two want.

I’m obsessed with mine and you should be, too! Start early! Be the Robin of registry-ing. (Seriously, let me have this!!! #BatChloe)

Congratulations and Happy Homeownership!