Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween 2017

Happy Halloween from Guy Diamond, Princess Poppy and Branch from the movie Trolls!

Candy is zero calories today, and today only!

...that's how it works, right?

Only kidding.

Edited to add some pictures from our night:

Monday, October 30, 2017

Long Weekend Recap

Monday's aren't so bad, right? These past couple weeks, Monday has been a welcomed day in our home. Our weekends have been fast and fun lately and I don't see that trend stopping anytime soon. Monday is that time for me to take a deep breath and get back to business.

Today, I am going to share with you our long weekend recap.

While Wednesday is not really considered part of our weekend, I did want to share that Piper went to a dance class on Wednesday night and she had so much fun! We didn't sign Piper up for dance classes yet; it was a one-time thing for now {Piper's already signed up to start Tumbling and Music Class this week} but, it was fun nonetheless!

Our weekend really began on Thursday, when Nick's mom watched Piper in the evening. Sometimes, Nick will have guitar practice with the worship crew at church on Thursday evenings but, he has had the past two Thursdays off and we've been taking full advantage of those nights together.

This past Thursday, Nick and I went out to dinner. It wasn't exactly planned, it just kind of happened and, nights like this are a big part of the reason why we haven't been losing any weight lately.  {Sorry not sorry.} Anyway, after we dropped Piper off at Nina's, Nick and I went over to my friend, Cait's, house so Nick could check out her furnace. By the time we were finished, we decided to skip the shopping trip we had in mind for the evening and went out to dinner, instead.

On Friday night, we went out to dinner again. {See what I mean, we've been eating out a lot lately.} We met our friends, Steve and Mindy, out for dinner to celebrate Steve's birthday. We had so much fun with them! I ordered a steak salad and Nick ordered ribs. We all got cheesecake to take home, too. We regret nothing. {Haha}

On Saturday, we got together at my mom's house in the morning for our first Life Group. A Life Group is basically like a Bible study and then some. There are 6 of us in our Life Group right now and, it went great! 

On Saturday afternoon, Nick stayed home with Piper while I went grocery shopping. I stocked us up on a lot of good food for the week ahead so, I'm planning on making this the week when I finally start losing weight on the scale, again. Nick is going back to guitar practice on Thursday and he's going out with his guy friends on Friday. So, I have no excuse to be eating out this week. {Let's just ignore the fact that tomorrow night is Halloween, okay?}

Sunday was a much needed, low-key day for our family. We did go to church for our Core class but, Piper didn't. My mom took her to her house, instead. Piper got really sick on Thursday night and on Friday, we took her to the doctor to find out that she has Croup. While she is mostly fine during the day, she gets really sick at night. It's been a rough 5 days for us, going on little sleep over here, but Piper is handling it all pretty well. She has been resting a lot each day and it's been helping! {Along with that steroid shot she got at the doctor's office on Friday. Ouch!}

On Sunday morning, Piper got to rest at Gigi's while Nick and I were at church and then we spent the rest of the day at home, where Piper watched all the seasons of Curious George. I'm kind of not exaggerating, either. Around 7 p.m. our Firestick gave us a high-heat warning because it was running all day long. Sunday was a much-needed lazy day for us all.

Today is Monday and we're spending another low-key day inside but, it's not going to be a lazy one for me. I am catching up on laundry {it's about 11 a.m. and I'm already 4 loads in for the day} and getting to work on my Anything Rustic orders and other household chores.

Readers, how was your weekend? Are you ready for this Monday?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

This Never Happens Anymore

Hey guys! Here I am, writing and sharing a blog post on the weekend. This never happens anymore but, as I was making my meal plan and grocery list, I figured, I might as well share it with you all here. 

So, here's what I'm thinking for the week ahead:

Meal Plan for Dinners:

Sunday - Leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup

Monday - Fish + Broccoli

Tuesday - {Halloween!} Take-out Pizza

Wednesday - Spaghetti Squash + Meatballs

Thursday - Melt in Your Mouth Chicken + Vegetables

Friday - Burrito Bowls

Meal Plan's Grocery List:

{Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients}
2 (10 1/2 ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup
2 (10 1/2 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
2 (10 1/2 ounce) cans cream of celery soup
2 (10 1/2 ounce) cans cheddar cheese soup
2 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa (chunky)
1 (4 1/2 ounce) can diced green chilies
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Sauce

{Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Ingredients}
12 oz. Greek Yogurt, plain 
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan and Romano 
4 - 4 oz. Chicken Breasts 
2 tbsp. Hidden Valley Dry Ranch Mix
Sour Cream
Cheddar Cheese
Black Beans, canned

It's a cold, rainy Fall day here. I am looking forward to getting groceries shopped for and soup heated up on the stove. We have a sick, cuddly toddler on our hands this weekend and we are planning on a cozy Saturday night in! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Focus Word: Authenticity

Authenticity. This is the first word I am going to further explore in my new Focus Word series

As you may recall, at the very beginning of this year I shared this post: 7 Focus Words for 2017. Each of the focus words on my list has a special meaning to me, that of which I would like to further explore in a series of posts.
"Living an authentic life opens up our daring and creative sides and finally releases us to pursue and live our dreams." -The Resilience Journey
This year, I have practiced being more authentic not only to others but, more importantly to myself. I've been working on being more authentic to myself this year by not letting what other people think of me affect the way I do life.

This is a hard one for me because I'm a people-pleaser by nature but, it is necessary to stop trying to please others so much. If I start letting go of what others think about my decisions then, my decisions will be more influenced by what I truly want rather than what others think is acceptable for me.

While letting go of what other people think of me is hard, reaffirming myself in my faith has made it so much easier. I am free to be authentic in this life because, I am loved by God. I don't need to strive to please people, I need to strive to please Him. I take a sigh of relief just in writing those sentences.

In a lot of ways, before I came up with this focus word for 2017, I had already been living life by my own design. I started my own business in 2015 and I have stayed true to my vision, despite adversity. There were times where I felt like I should throw in the towel but, I didn't. 

I actually had a friend tell me, in a round-about way, that what I was doing with my business at Anything Rustic wasn't really considered "work" at all. Well, then why was I working so hard? Why was this taking up so much of my time? Why was I paying taxes? That simple opinion from my friend spurred many questions for me; the root of which was, "is what I'm doing enough?" Then I came to realize, that just because it wasn't enough to them, doesn't mean that it's not enough. More importantly, just because I enjoy my work and I'm doing something I love each day, by my own design, doesn't make my work any less "work". I am being authentic by chasing my dream of owning my own business by my own design. This is my truth though and I respect that they have their own truth, too.

Another way I'm choosing to be more authentic this year is by using my actual name here on the blog. This blog use to be authored by "Kay @ GoalOfLosing", because I thought it was easier to remember, but my name is Kalyn. And while you're all welcome to call me Kay, you're going to see a lot more from Kalyn.

In some ways, being authentic has always come quite naturally to me. I have always been authentic in all of my relationships. I am incredibly open and real {obviously, since I write a blog sharing my life with you all}. I won't commit to doing anything I don't think I can handle. I admit when I'm overwhelmed. I live a fairly shameless life; I'll admit all of my faults. I have always striven to be true to myself and this year, I have come a long way in being authentic in all of my interactions with others, too.

Here's a list of actionable items you can do {and that I've done this year} to live a more authentic life right now.
1. Dive into your faith.
2. Take a break from people who don't appreciate you when you're being authentic.
3. Build stronger relationships with people that do appreciate your authenticity.
4. Unfollow people or pages on social media that make you feel like you aren't enough.
5. Spend a little time each day doing something that makes you happy.
6. Share your truth, and share it often.
I'll end this post on authenticity with a quote from Steve Jobs:

"There is no reason not to follow your heart. Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Everything else is secondary."

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Joined a Gym and Gained 5 Pounds

Last week, I joined a gym; I worked out the most I have in a while, and; I gained about 5 pounds. I wasn't at all impressed with that series of events.

During my first week at the gym, I worked out on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday. That is honestly the most I've worked out in... I don't know how long. Waking up on Friday with a 5 pound gain on the scale was a little disheartening but, I didn't let it stop me. I woke up the next morning on Saturday and went to the gym, again.

This week, my plan has been to work out on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It's Wednesday now and the weight is coming back off.

I've been drinking 120 ounces of water faithfully and keeping track of my calorie intake. If anything, this is just another reminder that when it comes to the importance of diet and exercise, diet is more important, always.


You definitely can't out-exercise a bad diet.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My Getting to the Gym with a Toddler Routine

If you've been reading here lately, then you already know that I recently joined the YMCA. If you're fresh to the news, let me fill you in real quick. 
We joined our local YMCA {last week} because my husband, Nick, and I wanted a place to work out during these colder months of Fall and Winter. It was a huge bonus to our family that our local Y offers Child Watch during our work outs for our daughter, Piper. They also offer many different free programs for Piper to participate in, such as tumbling and music class, too.
Now that I've been a member of the YMCA for a week, I have some things I want to process with you all. Today, I want to discuss my getting-to-the-gym routine.

Since I'm totally new to this whole going to the gym with a toddler thing, it took a couple occasions of trial and error before I felt comfortable with my new routine.

Before I share my routine, I think it helps to know that we have about a 15 minute drive each way to and from our Y and, we usually go in the mornings vs. evenings. So, I'll give you the routine for our morning trips.

1. Pack my gym bag night before.
Packing my gym bag the night before has helped me in many ways. Not only does it save time but, it gives me less of an excuse not to go in the gym in the morning. More like a "well, my bag is already packed so I might as well go" kind of thing.
In my gym bag, I make sure to pack my water, a change of clothes, my robe, a towel and my shoes. I keep certain toiletries in my gym bag on a regular basis so it's less for me to remember to add to the bag each time. Toiletries such as, travel-sized shampoo, deodorant, make up remover facial wipes, etc. Our gym has a shower room so, I usually take advantage of their shower room after my workouts.
2. Eat breakfast before we leave or pack it for ride in.
Child watch at our gym starts as early as 9 a.m. If we make it that early {which only happened once so far}, we usually take our breakfast on the road. So, planning ahead meals like breakfast burritos or something easily eaten in the car helps a lot.
3. Pack toddler essentials.
Piper's toddler essentials include a stuffed animal of her choice; the Kindle {so she can watch a show on the way in}, and; snacks/lunch for her to eat on the trip home. 
Depending on what time we're leaving the Y and, how much Piper ate for breakfast, her snack on the way home can actually end up being a full on lunch. I always pack her water and often pack a to-go applesauce pouch, granola bars, string cheese, and/or a ham and cheese wrap.
Once we get to the Y, we usually spend about an hour there. As I get into a more firm routine at the Y, I will share that with you all, as well.

Readers, are you or have you ever been a member of the YMCA? What's your favorite gym or place to work out?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Weekend Wrap-Up

Hi, everyone! How was your weekend? Our weekend was pretty good over here.

On Thursday, my husband and I got to have a date night. We tried out a new restaurant and it turned out to be a great find for us!

On Friday, after Nick got home from work, we headed over to the last home-game for our high school's football team. Nick's mom was working the concessions this season and so, we volunteered to help her out at the last game! I was in charge of the cold and hot drinks section and Nick was in the back helping with meatball subs, pretzels and popcorn.

I am smiling thinking back to how much fun we had that night. The entire concession stand was filled with our family and so, despite us being non-stop busy most of the time, it didn't seem like work at all. We found out later that we had a record-breaking night for concession sales!

On Saturday, our little family woke up early and went to the gym. Piper played with the kids in child watch, while Nick and I worked out together. What a luxury for us and such a fun time for Piper! She always needs some convincing to leave child watch because she enjoys playing with their toys and the other kids there so much!

After the gym, we went grocery shopping. I felt really accomplished by noon on Saturday, having groceries for the week ahead shopped for and my workout in for the day. I love to do my grocery shopping on Saturday for the week ahead. It leaves no errands to run on Sunday.

Here's the meal plan we're working with for dinner this week:

M - Tilapia + Broccoli

T - Chicken Stir Fry + Vegetables

W - Burrito Bowls

T - Spaghetti Squash + Meatballs

F - Naan Pizzas

When we got back home, and all of our groceries were put away, Piper went down for a nap. Nick and I joined her for a quick nap of our own and then we started getting busy with housework.

We had some beautiful weather this weekend! My husband painted some of the shutters on the house on Saturday evening while Piper and I played outside, "painting" the sidewalk with chalk. I made turkey chili for dinner, which we all gobbled right up and then before long, it was time for bedtime routine.

On Sunday, we woke up early again. I woke up a little earlier than everyone else so I could get started writing this post for today. Then, shortly after, Nick and Piper joined me downstairs. We got ready for church, the early service, at 9 a.m. because my husband and I are starting a series of classes with the church that run during the second, later service. We are both excited to start these CORE classes at church, which will bring us one step closer to becoming official members of Grace!

After church and our CORE class, we came home to eat the rest of the chili that I had made the night before. Then, it was time for Piper's nap and, since Piper hasn't been sleeping well through the night for well over a week, Nick and I joined her for a little nap of our own, again. 
{Side note: it's kind of been like we have a newborn over here again. Piper, our almost-3-year old wakes up literally every 45 minutes to an hour all throughout the night. She doesn't need anything except for reassurance that we are still there, then she falls back asleep. Any tips or suggestions to help us get back to a decent sleep schedule are more than welcome!}
After Piper woke up from her Sunday nap, we went over to Nick's mom's house to carve pumpkins with the family!

This has been an annual tradition on their side of the family well before I came around 14 years ago. It's always been fun but, now that Piper's joining in, it's the most fun it's ever been!

Since the weather was so great this past weekend, we were able to carve pumpkins outside! It was such a beautiful night with the sunset and the beautiful Fall foliage all around. I'd have to say that after last night, the smell of pumpkin and leaves is one of my favorites right now.

After our great weekend, I am feeling very refreshed. I am ready to make this week count for something!

Make it a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Just this week, my husband and I made the decision to join our local YMCA. We have never been Y members before this week and honestly, I wish I would have joined sooner.

Our local YMCA has so many benefits for our family! Not only does the Y provide multiple locations for us to work out with their gym equipment, but, they also provide "child watch" while we work out, too! Piper, my two year old, has already gone to child watch twice this week, each for an hour at a time, and both times she didn't want to leave when it was time to go -- she enjoyed it that much! This mama was so relieved.

Aside from gaining access to workout equipment and their child watch services, we also have the opportunity to sign Piper up for various classes and programs, which is included in our monthly membership fee!

I just signed Piper up for two Fall programs this week! The cost for non-members is $50 per program and since we are members, Piper gets to attended these classes for free!
Tiny Tumblers Class: Sing, dance, tumble and giggle. Games and songs will teach your preschooler new ways to move. All activities geared for parents and preschoolers to do together.
Y Music Fun: A time to march, beat the drums and sing. A fun program with parent/child interaction. Exposure to a variety of instruments and styles of music. Let's learn the beat and we might even sing.
Becoming a member of our local YMCA is opening the door to a whole new community for our family. We couldn't be more excited about our new YMCA membership and all the fun things ahead for us there!

This isn't a sponsored post or anything like that, I am just sharing all of this today because I wished I would have looked into all of this sooner. It is really affordable and so worth looking into!

Readers, are you or have you ever been a member of a YMCA?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Video Update

It's another one of those weeks where things aren't quite the norm over here. We are incorporating some new routines into our life at the moment and just flying by the seat of our pants. Which, is quite typical when you have a toddler anyway, am I right?

Since things are a little off this week, I didn't have anything planned to share with you today. I do, however, have a new video up on YouTube so if you haven't checked that out yet, you can watch it here, now.

I recorded this video last Friday, October 13th. I hope you enjoyed my little video update and should have some more to share with you all, soon!

Have a great day!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Whirlwind of Goodness and Fun

Wow! It's Monday already. I can't believe it. This weekend was a whirlwind of goodness and fun. 

On Friday, my husband and I had an amazing date night at the beach... in October. It was about 75 degrees and beautiful. I couldn't believe we were at the beach, in that kind of weather, at this time of the year. Our date night truly felt like a vacation.

On Saturday, Nick, Piper and I went on a little road trip out of state to go to the Fall Fest at Peek n Peak in Clymer, New York. We got there around 11 a.m. and stayed until about 3 p.m. 

We had so much fun! Piper got ride-a-rama which gave her full access to a bounce-house obstacle course, pony rides and this cute little train ride that she rode about 12 times without exaggeration. 

We all got to feed some animals, check out some really cute vendors, and eat lunch together under a beautiful sky with some beautiful views of the resort. It was the perfect day for Fall Fest.

Piper took a nap on the ride home from New York, which worked out perfectly for us. When we got home, it was still around 75 degrees outside with no chance of rain, so we decided to take advantage of the weather yet again and go to Zoo Boo at our local Zoo!

Piper dressed up as Princess Poppy from the movie Trolls, which was her first pick for Halloween! 

Side note: I got this Halloween costume on Amazon way back in August because I figured it would be a hard one to get this year and, I'm happy that I shopped that early. There were only 6 of these outfits left on Amazon when I went to buy it back in August and they were sold out nearly everywhere else online, including Walmart, which seemed to be the main carrier of this particular costume. Amazon to the rescue for this Halloween!

I called up my mom to see if my little 7 year old brother wanted to go to Zoo Boo with Piper and so, she drove us all in to the Zoo. Evan recently broke his arm and so, to help disguise his cast, his costume of choice this year was a knight. I loved seeing the two of them dressed up together and enjoying Zoo Boo!

Piper's favorite part of Zoo Boo was this little kid dance party in the center of the zoo. It was the absolute cutest thing to watch her dancing with all of those other little kids in their Halloween outfits. I am so glad that I got a video of it because I never want to forget that sight.

As for Sunday, Nick got up early and left before Piper and I were even awake so he could get ready to play electric guitar with the worship crew at church. We met him at church for the 10:30 service, where Piper goes to her 2-year old class with Miss. Becky, whom she absolutely adores.

After church, Nick, Piper and I went out to lunch at a local Italian restaurant. Which was mainly Piper's idea and we just rolled with it. Nick and I love going out to eat with out little toddler foodie. She is usually {I try not to say always, even though it's mostly true} so well behaved when going out to eat.

After lunch, we decided to opt out of a nap for Piper so we could visit some family that we hadn't seen in a while. We visited with them until later in the afternoon. Then, it was time for me to figure out a meal plan and grocery list for the week. I went grocery shopping before dinner and then it was typical end-the-night routine, with a bath time for Piper, bedtime stories and bed.

So, like I said, this weekend was a whirlwind of goodness and fun! We are really excited to get started on the week ahead. I hope you all are ready for it, too!