Category Archives: From The Heart

Promises…Promises… Life Update

Yeah, remember how I said I was going to start posting a whole lot of awesomeness…cough cough….

Here we are!!!

So, I just turned 36.  That means I passed the 30 marker and am headed straight towards the 40’s freeway.  I’m feeling it too.  When people tell you things will start to fail you when you get older and you laugh it off at 25 years old….you just wait!  Terence also just turned 36, he’s two weeks older than me.  Ha ha!

One of those being “Why is weight sticking to me like literal butter?”

I used to eat LESS than I do now and it wouldn’t even phase me.  What’s happening???

Anyway, I decided to join the dark side again…hair color that is.

So far I’m really loving it.  It seems to grow faster and be all around healthier when I go back to my “roots”.  Although I love being blonde as well.

We’ve been swimming a whole lot and Connor started summer camp.  I love our confetti YAY ball!  Anything that sparkles or has confetti is alright in my book.

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Connor and I are heading to Arkansas tomorrow bright and early.  This has been a super busy season in life and I keep telling myself to knock things off my list….and I’m going to.  The question is when?  In the meantime I’ll still keep on trucking along and drinking all the coffee- because it makes life so much more in focus right?

My Nannie is turning 80 and we are so excited to celebrate this milestone birthday with her.  I wish Ter-Bear could come, but alas he took a new job and doesn’t get vacay until December.

Any good books on Kindle I can listen to on my trip???

Speaking of trips a couple of months ago we got to drive this 2017 Mazda CX-3.  You remember I told you then whenever we have the joy of driving a new car for the week we always name it?  This one we named “SMURF“.

All the bells and whistles and display screen with backup camera, bluetooth, and navigation. 

This would be the PERFECT car if you are a commuter (gets great gas mileage) or have someone in your family about to start college.  

Plenty of trunk space too!  This Mazda CX-3 was super fun to drive and we can’t wait to review and show off more cars in the future.  Connor gets so excited when we get to try new cars and so do I.  I definitely get a better understanding of what to look for in a car for the future, and I get to show y’all what each vehicle is all about.  

Hope you all are having a great start to the summer!

Remember to keep up with us on the daily over at INSTAGRAM!

xo- Becky

 


Mind Dump With Becky

If you know me, then you know that I am probably one of the most random people ever.  I want to get back to the basics and why I started blogging and that was to journal my life.  Even if I post the most basic blah blah blah stuff….I still feel like that resonates better than a crap load of sponsored posts.

ANYWAY!  So I am going to try to do a “Mind Dump” post at least once a week so I can talk about my real life.

  • The bluebonnets here in Texas are insane right now.  They are more purple looking to me…but gorgeous.  I want to run through this field like Maria from “The Sound of Music” and twirl around 🙂

  • There are 3 types of videos that draw me into a straight up trance while watching.  Whether it’s Instagram or Facebook:
  1.  Icing cookies/baking videos
  2. Making slime videos
  3. Calligraphy or handlettering

I cannot look away y’all…I could sit for hours watching these things!

  • Target shoppers anywhere?

The struggle is real.  I don’t really do this anymore, but isn’t it so easy to drop things into your cart and when you get to the checkout you about croak at the total?  I leave the store thinking “What did I buy?”  As my husband likes to tell me “Becky you are death by $10.00!”  And he’s so right because I don’t really buy anything expensive, but I do buy a lot of crap! LOL!

  • Coffee Anyone?

I posted about this coffee on my Instagram and got a lot of questions.  It’s by a company called Dripjoy.  Not only are the pods ridiculously cute, it tastes delicious too!  I’m constantly ordering K-cups from random places and Dripjoy makes it easier because it’s great coffee, delivered monthly and priced right!  You get to choose what flavor coffee you want, how much, and when you want it delivered to your doorstep= WINNING!

Peace y’all and happy FRI-YAY!!!  Don’t forget to check out my Snapchat: @thejavamama & Instagram for weeklies 🙂

 

 


Seven in 2017…

I feel like I haven’t written from the heart in a while.  I have loved blogging and writing my little daily (or weekly) ramblings.  I honestly can’t believe my little part of the Internet has survived 11 years. Never in a million years did I think anyone but me would read this website.  I’ve made countless friendships, been given a ton of opportunities I would have never had outside of blogging, and it forces me to move outside of my comfort zone.

I love to read and often times you’ll find me with my head stuck in my Kindle enjoying a good romance novel.   I also enjoy drama and mystery books.  A book is a magical escape and I love watching a good story unfold.  I’m trying to teach Connor the joy of reading and how it can open up your imagination, but so far first grade has been a pretty rough year.   I get it…he’s a boy and they are downright figgity and can’t sit still.  We are working on containing our voices and body from touching others! LOL!

Speaking of reading: LOVE THIS SERIES!  If you are looking for something great to add to your Kindle check out Pepper Winter’s series Crown of Lies.  Sooooooo good!  She’s absolutely one of my favorite Authors and she can whisk you away in her books… her writing is above and beyond- an emotional journey.  Start with “Crown of Lies” & finish with the sequel “Throne of Truth”.  

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My Mom and Dad came to visit this past weekend and we celebrated Connor’s 7th birthday.

I haven’t done a party, but I did tell him we could have a sleepover or something soon.  I’m sure he won’t let me forget!  I get homesick a lot, but on the other hand I don’t think I would be who I am now unless I had “flown the nest” if you will and spread my wings.  Growing up a twin it’s especially hard to break out into your own person, it’s also the best thing ever having a constant friend.

We’ve finally started really settling in our new home and had a brand new dining table delivered yesterday.  I’m so excited about it!  Almost 16 years of marriage and we finally have a legit dining table!  Holla!  I love our house….it’s not brand spanking new and there seems to be something that always needs fixing, but it’s very “homey” and I love that about it.

Here is the new table and chairs:  (For more information check out my Instagram)

Anyway….what are your plans for spring break next week?  I’m not sure what Connor and I will be doing…but right now I am just trying to soak in every sweet second.

Catcha Later 😉 xo- Becky


Let’s Rewind Now Shall WE???….Christmas 2016

You know how they say time get’s away from you?  Well, it truly does.  I have yet to recap Christmas and I would normally be way past that point.  All I have to say for myself is this has been a busy season in life.  You know…you think once those kiddos get in school you’ll get a “break”, nope, not really.  It’s actually a lot more to do!

Anyway, I’m glad to hop back on the blog bandwagon and let’s play catch up shall we?  I won’t go into anything political on my blog because y’all I just can’t handle it anymore and the one thing I DO KNOW is God’s got this!

Queue lots of pictures ahead and a bunch of fun recaps over the last month that I’ve been lagging on.  We are loving our new home and being in it for Christmas was wonderful!  Terence likes newer homes, but I have to say I am really enjoying all the “quirks” this house has to offer, we love our neighborhood, and we are right where we want to be.

Christmas Family Photo 2016

The Branch Family 2016- Yes those are all our nieces and nephews and they are the sweetest and cutest evah!

Connor and I headed to Arkansas for Christmas break just the two of us.  Terence stayed behind due to work and we missed him, but we were back in time to celebrate Christmas day together.  We had fun visiting with my family in Arkansas and my twin sister Bonnie.  Jarrett and Connor always have the best time.  We drove a Mazda CX-9 to Arkansas and the trip in that car was AMAZING!  That’s my next car y’all…I have already decided this.

Here we are jammed in the car with all our Christmas aftermath.  I found some great deals on furniture at Restoration Hardware, and thanks to the extra room in the Mazda CX-9 I was able to bring a beautiful bench and some bar stools home 🙂

Isn’t she pretty?  We literally went home to Razorback nation in a Razorback red SUV and we loved it!

Plenty of storage in the back for all the presents.  This car was such a dream for our trip home for the holidays.

Connor is always complaining about the sun being in his eyes.  There were built-in sun visors in the back seat and they were literally a lifesaver for him and myself because there was less whining! LOL!

One thing I know I can’t live without in my next car is a backup camera.  I don’t have one in my car now…but I feel so much safer having that feature in a car.  Also, the heads up display is one of my favorite features.  It shows the speed limit on your windshield.  

Thank you Mazda for a wonderful RED Merry Christmas in this beautiful CX-9 it truly was a dream to drive and a great family car!

We celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on the farm.  It wouldn’t be Christmas in my heart unless I was here to celebrate with all the people I love.  Isn’t it so pretty?

My Mom and Nannie outdid themselves and now I’m currently trying to work off all the food I ate over the holidays.  I miiiiigggghhhtttt have had one too many eggnog lattes as well…oops!

Nannie’s tree

The stockings were all hung with care…

The boys are reunited at last.  These two are Minecraft crazy right now.  I don’t really understand Minecraft, but they sure are into it! 

Bonnie and I had the great pleasure of meeting Tracy, she’s one of the very first friends I made blogging and we’ve been friends ever since.  It’s so funny because she was in Texas and now she’s back in Arkansas and lives close to my sister.  This lady is a JOY JOY JOY down in my heart and it was so wonderful to finally get to visit with her.

Me and Bon getting our Starbucks fix 🙂

Connor and Nannie Sue enjoying lunch

Downtown Conway at the Christmas tree

The boys playing….what else….MINECRAFT!!!

The boys just love their POPPY.  I wonder if they are related to Santa???

Nannie got us all matching shirts that said “I really really like love ______”  And filled them in with something we all loved.  Mine was blogging.

The boys opening their stockings on Christmas day

Road tripping with my best buddy.  He’s a great kiddo to take a trip with 🙂

Prancer and Dancer…ahem…I mean Becky & Bonnie

Our Christmas Mantle

Our Christmas tree…can you spot all the coffee ornaments???

BRANCH FAMILY CHRISTMAS

We also had a great family Christmas with Terence’s family.  We celebrated the birth of Jesus with a birthday cake and told the story of how Jesus came into the world.  We had a yummy dinner and a delicious ham courtesy of Petit Jean Meats.  MY ALL TIME FAVORITE PLACE TO GET HOLIDAY MEAT!!!  It’s sooooo good!

Petit Jean Meats also has some great Dallas Cowboys Party Packs if you are planning on watching the Super Bowl!

CHEERS TO A HAPPY NEW YEAR AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS IN 2017!!!

XO- Becky

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10 Years of Blogging: Then vs. Now

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My blog is a little over 10 years old this year.  That blows my mind!  When I first started my blog I remember people asking “What is a BLOG?”  I remember my first post, it was basically nothing.  I started blogging about my favorite books, or shows I watched, things I did randomly during the day.  It was real and authentic and exactly why I started to blog because it was more of a journal than anything else.

I got comments (yes actual COMMENTS) on posts that I wrote.  Over the years comments have trickled off and people would rather communicate via Instagram,Twitter, or Facebook.  Some of my very favorite bloggers have quit and I understand life changes and we go through seasons.  I miss the interaction I first had as a blogger – that authentic communication.  I met some of my best friends through blogging.

I know at times I’m goofy.  I’m not the best writer by any means.  Does anyone remember the Starbucks wall of shame that used to be on my site?  Ha!  I know not everything I write about is Earth shattering…but it’s real.

I’ve tried to stick with it.  I know a lot of my post have become “sponsored” or I get items for free to review.  Let’s face it…it’s hard to turn down free stuff right?  Especially when some of the things are really cool things you couldn’t afford on your own.  There is some judgement behind that…but I still try to remain true to myself, while I’m not going to lie the income really helps my family.  Especially when you are going through a house remodel that seems to be bleeding you dry right now!  Eeeek!

There is a fine balance between having all sponsored content and remaining true to your audience.  I’m not sure I’ve found my perfect middle yet, but I’m working on it.  I miss the kinship I found with other bloggers.  I’m not saying I’m going to stop doing sponsored content because I really do enjoy it, I just want to find the right middle ground.

Ten years ago it wasn’t about “look what opportunity I got!” or “I made this much $$$ on this post” or “I got to go to a special event because obviously…I’m special!”  Uhm…no.

Nobody wants to hear that stuff and it doesn’t create authentic and real relationships.  We should support each other, comment on actual content – not just a photo, don’t rub things in other bloggers faces.  Support-Connect-SHARE-Love one another!!!

Be PROUD that you have what you have and OWN IT.  Don’t sit there wishing you were someone else because you are YOU and that’s what matters.

As you all probably noticed on my Instagram account I did get a great opportunity as a brand rep at Megaphone Conference.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

BUT- every.single.time I tried to authentically get to know a blogger they went into stats, opportunities, analytics, they won’t share sources because heaven forbid they have any competition or SHARE something.  It came off as a bunch of content hungry and opportunity driven women that will only write a post if the price is right.  It’s a pure and utter mind suck.  When someone thinks your only value is as good as how many followers you have.  I’m here to tell you ladies and gentlemen you CAN write content that is well written and wonderful without a price tag attached.

EXCUSE ME?

We are bloggers and we are extremely blessed to get to do what we do.  At the same time we must realize that it’s not all about the MONEY.  Most of my favorite posts are learning about someone’s family or an event that happened in their lives.

Let’s try to not step on everyone’s toes now shall we?  Support one another like the good old days.  I know I’m being very blunt in this post, but it’s something that has been on my heart for a while.

I miss all my blogger friends from years ago and secretly hope they will come back into the blogosphere.  I know it’s not the same…but hopefully we can try to uplift and support & not be so greedy at times.  If a new blogger asks you for help, please for the love of coffee…don’t sit there like you just ate a sour lemon.  Share with them, open up and connect.  Don’t feed them lines and give them ZERO actual sources or information because you are trying to hoard the legit information for yourself.   That’s crazy selfish of you!  Let’s put the heart and soul back into blogging.  It’s not all about follows and likes…everyone knows those can be bought at a price.

In the end all you really have are the memories and not the money.

Meanwhile……

RED CUP SEASON IS ONLY A COUPLE MONTHS AWAY!!!  WOOHOO!!!

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