I’m Moving!

Hello Blogland!

Today is an exciting day! I have been blogging here for over a year (not very consistently) and I have been wanting to take this a little more seriously so I have been researching like crazy and have finally purchased a domain name and have moved all my content over to the new WordPress.org location. So this will be my last post at ryanswife20.wordpress.com and I will continue blogging but from my new spot.

So if you have liked what you’ve read and experienced here at Earning an MRS degree, I really hope you’ll follow the link below to my new address.

And THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH to all of you that have already followed this blog and visit here regularly. There are not many of you yet but I appreciate you all.

Happy Moving Day!

NEW BLOG: Earning my MRS degree

NEW DOMAIN: mymrsdegree.com

Love, Steph

Tuesday Creativity

So I’m going to brag for a minute and tell you that I come from a family of super creative and uber talented people. My older sister is one of the very best [[now retired]] wedding photographers that I have ever seen. Yes, of course I am biased. But seriously….go check out her work at Brandy and Beau Photography. Brandy was the Matron of Honor in my wedding and also shot our engagement photos, bridal portraits, and oversaw our wedding day photo shenanigans as well. However, I mentioned above that she recently has retired and moved on to a new adventure. And [[this is where I got sooooo blessed]] when she closed down her studio, she gifted Ryan and I with a gorgeous canvas of our wedding day. It was so pretty, I couldn’t just hang it. I had to paint my living room first, then collect some other art/pictures from around my home to accent it. This is what I came up with. I’m in love. I’m so proud to be featuring such a gorgeous photo in my living room. And I feel even more blessed that we are in it. I don’t mean to sound vain, but I’m obsessed with her work and creativity in photography. She found this sweet little corner of the garden we were married in where there was a mini forest of bamboo shoots that created such a beautiful canvas. I feel so blessed. Enough words. Check it out.

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Breakfast Fail

I like to dabble in lots of things. I enjoy crafting, decorating, organizing, baking, couponing, playing sports with my man, and since I’ve been married I have desperately been trying to dabble in cooking. Some days it’s great and others…eh…not so much. I have learned so far that cooking doesn’t come naturally for me and I must plan ahead for things to work well in the kitchen. Now over the last 2 years of marriage, I have succeeded on several occasions to prepare a noteworthy meal. And then, God chooses to teach me humility. One time I somehow put 2 cups of sugar and butter into white rice and served it with dinner. I also tried to make calzones once, and used twice as mush dough as I should have and ended up with a meal served 2 hours late and still raw. I have other stories, but I’ll spare you.

This week I tried to make a simple Avocado Bacon and Eggs breakfast dish I had pinned here. Below is the pretty picture from the recipe and my sad attempt.

PINTEREST FAIL.

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I’m very confident that this disaster was my own fault for not following the directions close enough. I am also here to admit that I failed at this breakfast attempt. I sure hope you appreciate my honesty. Ryan and I got a good laugh about this before I scratched it and made just bacon and eggs. If you attempt this one, I recommend carving a good amount of the avocado out of the shell BEFORE cracking an egg in it. 🙂

Happy cooking.

Love, Steph

 

Lets do this 2013

Last month I shared with you my 2013 resolutions. Well, I’m not sure if I mentioned that my husband and I did this together. We set some individual goals and some joint/family goals and in an effort to keep these goals in the forefront of our minds, I created a Resolution Board for our home. Now we have a constant reminder and accountability system to help us reach our goals this year!

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To make this board, I bought a thin sheet of plywood-like material from Lowe’s and painted it with black chalkboard paint. Then I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the board title, “Lets do this 2013” and I used a chalk paint pen and chalk to write each goal. As you can see, some of them are more detailed and “trackable” while others are just words to remind of us each goal. When I was finished my stud husband drilled some holes and hung it for me.

We’re both pretty pumped to have this daily reminder in our home.

Craft win. 🙂

Love, Steph

DIY Dining Room Table

Hi Friends!

I have wanted a beautiful dining room table for our apartment since the day we moved in…so I built one.

Inspired by Pottery Barn’s Keaton Dining Table for $1599.00, I sought some how-to help from blogger Diana at Our Vintage Home Love and spent $40 for the Craigslist find below.

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And three weeks later…this table emerged…

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20130304-234759.jpgI’m so excited for this new addition to our home. Hubby and I had dinner on it for the first time tonight and it was so neat to enjoy all my hard work.

Now if only I had chairs for my pretty table… haha…

Love, Steph

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day Blogosphere! I hope that if you are single or attached, you enjoy this day and celebrate the ones you love. This could be a spouse, a child, a best friend, or another person. Show some LOVE today!

Below is a sneak peak into our home today. I snuck out of bed after hubby was asleep last night to do just a little decorating.

Our bathroom

Our frig

Our entrance

On a side note, I had an epiphany at about 1am this morning while I was decorating. I’m pretty confident the best motivator for me to clean my home, is the potential to decorate and improve it. And the worst part about decorating is that I have to clean to make room and to show it off. I don’t like cleaning but I put up with it to achieve the beauty and peacefulness I find in a new project and fresh clean decor. Haha….whatever motivates you works right?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love, Steph

2013 New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year from the Arnold’s.
Better late than never!

I told you yesterday that I set some outrageous resolutions last year that I knew wouldn’t be easy and I really loved the challenge, the entire year I worked with intentionality toward (some of) those goals. Now, don’t get impressed, I only completed 1 1/2 of my 4 goals but I still felt such accomplishment because each goal was pretty massive. With this in mind, I wanted to set even more goals/measurable resolutions for 2013. First I set up some categories (that I completely stole from my husband’s leadership team at work) then put an outrageous goal in each category. Here we go!

Social: Have dinner with friends once a month. Don’t let a busy schedule keep us from investing in our relationships.

Spiritual: Find a church that we are excited to invite people to, join a small group, serve on a ministry team once a month. We’ve been here for a year, and still haven’t gotten plugged in and we both hate that.

Physical: Run a half-marathon. Training for this will help get me in better shape in general.

Professional: Increase my income to $3500/month. Perhaps a new job, keep waiting table on the side, and build a business.

Intellectual: Read 12 books. Leadership, entrepreneurship, spiritual type books, not the Game of Thrones series.

Family: Have more sex. 3-4x/week. Don’t judge me, I’m being honest. Our schedules are opposite most days and I really want to be intentional with this.

Financial: $25,000 in Emergency Fund & $5,000 in checking account. We’re Dave Ramsey disciples and we are on Baby Step 3.

So, these are my goals/resolutions for 2013. I know it’s already February, this is just a late post. I decided on these in January and have already begun working on them. I’m reading three books right now, we had dinner with Steven and Mallory and their new baby Andrea in January, we fell in love with Fairfax Community Church and committed to a small group that starts next week, and I called Gold’s Gym to inquire about membership. Haha Ok you caught me, I still haven’t actually worked out yet this year but I am making progress. Baby steps. I’ll do my best to keep you posted on my progress throughout the year.

What kinds of goals/resolutions have you set for 2013?

Love, Steph

2012 Resolution Recap

I set four lofty goals for myself last year (Read the whole blog post here). Here they are below with a recap of how they played out.

1. Read more. My goal is to read 12 books this year.

I didn’t quite finish this goal but this is a list of books I read in 2012. I included links to purchase these on Amazon as I recommend every one of them! The Language of Sex: Experiencing the Beauty of Sexual Intimacy by Gary Smalley, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey, A Woman and Her God by Beth Moore and friends, and The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire. If you can count, then you understand that this is only eight books, not twelve. However, most years of my life, I have completed 1-2 books/year. So this is a HUGE victory for me and I am so proud of myself. I set this goal of twelve books again for 2013 too.

2. Eat healthy and lose weight. My goal is to lose 17 pounds. 

I tried Weight Watchers in the beginning of the year, but didn’t put enough effort into it to see any real results. I also ran in my very first 5k. But other than that, I didn’t loose much weight and didn’t really exercise much at all. I definitely did not form any new positive habits in this area.

3. Pay off debt. My goal is to eliminate my student loan debts.

FREEEEEEEEEEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Using Dave Ramsey’s Debt snowball and Financial plan we buckled down and completely paid off all our debts (except for our home) this year. This is the best feeling in the world and I highly recommend every person who ever reads this to invest in your future and legeacy by enrolling in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

4. Start a business. My goal is to build a shop on Etsy.com to sell handmade crafts and the like.

Yeah…..sooooo……..this one….I opened a shop,  but I have still not posted any crafts. For this goal, I cut myself some slack. I wanted very badly to start this last year, however, I was working the equivalent to two full-time jobs and whatever free time I could muster up, I wanted to dedicate it to my husband and family. This is not the case this year so my umbrella of “slack” has been removed in 2013.  Keep on the look out for my Etsy shop this year!!!!

For the recap, by setting lofty goals, I ended up achieving way more than I would expect of myself normally. I am really excited to make even more crazy goals this year. I’ve already set several of them and have already begun working toward them. I’ll share those with you tomorrow.

One lesson I learned last year regarding resolutions/goal setting: Make your goals specific and measurable. Avoid vagueness and take time to determine exactly what you want to accomplish in order to achieve the most success.

How did you do on your 2012 resolutions?

Love, Steph

I Have a Dream

No, I am not going to quote Dr. Martin Luther King…I just liked the title. I really do have a dream. My dream is to build a successful at-home business so I can be home with our kids more often than not (We don’t have kids yet, but I want to get started on this dream now, knowing that my future kids will benefit from this). I have sat around trying to decide what God is calling me to do from home for long enough and the only answer He’s given me is “DO IT.” So this year, I am going to start a business. I’m not even sure what it will look like yet, but it is going to start with custom made crafts sold on Etsy (maybe?). And it is going to include me and this blog developing a much more consistent relationship. I’m so excited what God is going to teach me in this process of trial and error that will be my own business. I know it’s not going to be easy, and I will not quit my day job to pursue this. As a matter of fact, I will continue working hard at being awesome at my day job as I pursue this on my own time.

I’ve gotten much of my motivation from a book I’m reading called “Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job” by Jon Acuff. I am only about half-way through it right now but I have learned so much already. I definitely recommend this book to everyone chasing a dream. Here are just a few of my favorite excerpts:

Discipline begets discipline…Discipline and focus are contagious and they tend to spread their benefits all around.

We often demonize our day jobs when we dream. We make them enemies of what we really want to do. But if you dream the right way and learn how to quit the right way, your day job can actually be your dream job’s greatest ally.

Anyone can dream; it’s the doing that is such a hassle.

We have to murder perfectionism…90 percent perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100 percent perfect and stuck in your head…If your goal is to change the world, you have to step out and share your work. Sometimes that means getting comfortable with A-minus work.

The business that is open will always outsell the business that is closed.

I am so pumped to finish this book and keep this momentum going. I bought my book in the iBooks application on my iPad. Get a copy for yourself on Amazon.

I have a dream and I am ready to hustle to make it happen. Get ready blogosphere ’cause HERE I COME!

Love, Steph