Don’t Be Afraid to Start Over

“Don’t be afraid to start over.” I’m not writing this blog post with someone else in mind or to inspire anyone. This isn’t a blog post aimed at encouraging other people, but solely encouraging myself. That title is for me. This blog post is for me.

I’m not afraid of the hard work or making the effort to alter my thinking. What I’m really afraid of is how I think people will see me or how they already see me.

“Oh, here she goes again, talking a big game and ‘starting over for the last time.'”

“Let’s see if these ‘new changes’ or this ‘new program’ sticks this time and she doesn’t gain it all back.”

“Again? Seriously? I’ve heard this from her before. She failed. I don’t believe she’ll do it or be different.”

“I give her one month before she quits and is stuffing her face with a cheeseburger and fries”

Now, no one has ever said anything like that to me and I’m very thankful for that, but it’s hard not to dream up these negative thoughts.

All right you got me. Those thoughts are how I’m feeling about myself. Those thoughts are my inner critic telling me that I can’t do it and I’ve been believing those thoughts for a long time.

It’s hard not to intertwine what’s going on spiritually into my relationship with food and fitness. I think it’s supposed to be like that, though, all blended together. A couple of weeks ago our lead pastor, Philip, gave a message on the weight of negative self-talk and it’s just now hitting me.  If you have a spare 25 minutes, go watch it.

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I don’t want to be afraid of my own thoughts about myself. I’m asking God to change my thinking, to keep me in my own lane focused on one thing at a time. Focused on getting through one day at a time.

With that long introduction, I’m happy to announce that I’m starting something new! TODAY I started a Beachbody Challenge Group with my girl, Rachel Cox of Whole and Free. This is a month long challenge group and I’m banking that it will catapult me into another month of good decisions.

Let the pounds and mental weights roll away! I’m ready to work. – JJ


Creating Routines


The idea of creating a routine is something new to me. In the past I’ve just fallen into a routine, never really thinking through it or working to create one.

How do you create a routine? First, figure out the purpose of the routine? Is it to start the day in a healthy way? Is it to set healthy boundaries and guidelines? For me, it’s both! The first routine I want to set is “relaxed weekend morning.” Has a nice ring to it right?

Because Luke and I both work at our church, we have the same schedule. We’re off on Fridays as well as Saturdays and we religiously guard our weekend downtime. We go through busy seasons, but sometimes there are weekends where we have absolutely nothing planned. Those are the days that I want to focus on.

I’m thinking my Relaxed Weekend Morning routine will include coffee with Luke, a light breakfast, and extra Bible reading / journaling time. Maybe spending an hour and a half or 2 hours reading, writing, sipping coffee, making lists, etc. I want my routines to set me up for success, even if that success means resting and relaxing well.

I’d also like to include a breakfast date out once a month. I think that would be just lovely! Some of my favorite breakfast spots are the Gathering at Livingston, Broadstreet Bakery and Cafe, and Chick-fil-a. 946275_10200489912352171_426901272_n

Waffles always win.

My next routine to set will be Weekday Working Mornings. Do you have any routines you’d like to create?

Cake Decorating Inspiration

I’m always looking for a new project or crafty skill to work on. I’ve picked up modern scrapbooking, weaving, and most recently, cake decorating. Now, I’m no professional baker, but over the past few months I’ve really enjoyed the process of baking cakes, making icing, and decorating cakes!

The cake decorating style I’m interested in is the Drip Cake style. I’m not so interested in the fondant look.

The baking / cake decorating world is limitless! So many flavor combinations, colors, and textures. It’s been a fun world to explore. Here are some cakes that are beautiful and are making me drool! I thought I’d share them with you!


How fun are these! I’m ready to experiment with colors and over the top embellishments. Now, I just need some reasons to make these pretty cakes. If you’re in need of a fun cake for a party or just for yourself (no shame!) and would like to work with me, let me know!

Attribution: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Dining Before Pics and Plans!


We’ve been in our house for a little over half of a year. There’s so many things I want to do decor wise, but we’re taking it one room at a time and saving for specific things. We’ve started working on our dining room! Over the past few months I’ve been collecting pieces one at a time and almost have everything together!

Before we moved in last fall I spent a little time figuring out and defining my style.


I snapped this before we started moving furniture in. It’s a fantastic space! It’s a rectangle shaped room with 3 big windows that look out to the front yard and let in the golden late afternoon light. I knew I wanted a big dining room table that could hold a lot of people. I also knew that I wanted a china cabinet and that I wanted to fill the empty spaces with plants. This house doesn’t have a foyer so the front door opens right into this room.

Our friend Josh built our table and the current large cabinet that’s being used as a China Cabinet. Earlier this spring I bought the most perfect original Mid Century Modern credenza and China Cabinet set from an estate sale in my home town. I’m still ecstatic over how little I paid for the pair. The credenza is already in the dining room, but we haven’t gotten the matching China Cabinet up here just yet. Our plan is to move the cabinet into another room to use for storage.

Our dining room chairs are from a previous set. I’m thankful to have good chairs, but they don’t really match the style we’re going for.  Getting new chairs will be one of the last pieces of the puzzle for this room to be complete.

Here is what my Dining Room previously looked like.


As you can see in the first photo, I already have some of the items in the my plans set up, but I’m shifting things around.

Other than the chairs, we already have everything in the collage above and our living room will be complete! I can’t wait to style it. Now, we’ll have to throw a dinner party.

1. Set of 3 Wall Hanging Baskets  2. Area Rug  3. Wicker Mirror 4. Josh built this table  5. These chairs in the darker color 6. Vintage find from an Estate Sale 7. Gold Bar Cart 8. Vintage find from an Estate Sale