Fave Photo Friday: Edition No. 24

Edition 24: October 16, 2015

It’s Fri-day, it’s Fri-day! < insert happy dance >

Well it’s been way too long since I last had a Fave Photo Friday post! But I just had to share this one from a shoot I had earlier this month. I will have more to share of sweet, happy Mila, but that will come later when she turns the big 1 year old! But this picture. Y’all I absolutely adore black and white pictures. And this was a picture that accidentally got taken during an outfit change and camera adjustments! But cute kids make taking pictures real easy :)

Mila's 1st Birthday

Happy Friday and BTHO bama!

Fave Photo Friday: Edition No. 28

Edition 28: November 20, 2015 Railroad Tracks

Next to my fondness of black and white photos would be my feelings toward picture of railroads. Don’t ask me why, but I have always thought those photographs of railroads to invoke a special feeling.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to photograph a couple’s engagement pictures out on our place. One of my favorite spots to take pictures is on these tracks. We had been trying for weeks to get these pictures taken, but Mother Nature had continually been blessing us with rain. Thankfully, however, she held off for a couple of hours for us to sneak these in! This happened to be the very first picture I took checking my camera’s settings out and what not. After I had moved the files over to my computer, there was something about this picture that stuck in my noggin.

Simple, but timeless.

Edition 28: November 20, 2015 Railroad Tracks

Fave Photo Friday: Edition No. 3

Edition: 3 August 15, 2014

Yay! It’s Friday people!
And time for my Fave Photo Friday post.

Mindy & TylerThis is one of the very first pictures I took with a real purpose in mind. In the picture are my cousin Mindy and her fiancé and now husband, Tyler. Of course, it’s not very difficult to take good pictures when you have such a beautiful, in-love couple like them. I mean come on look at them looking at each other, right?!?
And, you have no idea how happy and rewarding it was when I saw that they used this picture for their Save-the-Dates! After my wonderful experience working with them, I knew this was a hobby I wanted to continue moving forward. And now four-ish years later, I am still taking pictures :))

As always feel free to contact me, if you are interested in any sort of photography services!

2019 Resolutions: Yea or Nay?

2019 Resolutions

Twenty-nineteen is here, ready or not! Never have I been one to set intense resolutions for myself, at least on paper. I guess this is in part because of a fear of disappointing myself. On the other hand, I’ve never needed a specific calendar date to want to make changes.

However, this time of year does make my mind spin around the various things I’d like to focus on, improve, stop doing, and so on.
Do you make it a point to make New Year’s Resolutions?

After much deliberation, I came up with a loose list of what could be considered my resolutions. First and foremost, I expect this list to be ever-changing throughout the next twelve months. I’m sure within two weeks, I will realize I left something off. While at the same time, one of these items will be escalated to the very tip top. But like they always say, “you’ve got to start somewhere.”

So here is my starting somewhere.

My 2019 Resolutions

Delete negativity, when possible.

This is what I want to focus on the most. The other week, when I was mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed, there were things that made me literally laugh out loud, and then there were others that had a negative effect on me. Then I thought, “Why don’t I unfollow anyone or anything that takes away from the good in my life?” If someone is constantly spreading negativity, unfollowed. If a news outlet is continuously posting stories without outlandishly negative headlines just to get clicks, unfollowed. If an account spreads hate instead of love, unfollowed.

I don’t need anyone or anything to remind me of our world’s shortcomings. I need accounts that verify that there is still more good than bad, more love than evil, more care than neglect.

Now I don’t want to stick my head in the sand. But, if I want to read the news, I can grab a newspaper or look it up myself. I don’t need social media to get the news.

Highlight of my day.

On December 31st, I took a small lined notebook paper and wrote 1-31 down the side of it, giving each day a line. Then over the last eight days, I have filled in the “highlight of my day”. My goal is to have twelve pieces of paper by the end of the year with each day filled in.

As simple as this is, I envision it being a great resource to look back on when days get tough. Some of my highlights thus far, “felt accomplished when I left work,” “sweet text from mother-in-law,” and “car ride with Elliott to check on a job.”

Nothing ground-breaking, but all just reminders of how simple happiness can be.

Use my words, correctly.

Oh boy, a journalism major reminding herself of this. Palm directly to face. I am embarrassed of how many times I use the word literally incorrectly. Although, I did use it correctly above. Immediately after saying it in a story, I feel the need to edit and exclaim FIGURATIVELY to the hills.

But beyond the trivial, literally versus figuratively, obsessed, who vs. whom, and so on; the most important words I want to use correctly are love and hate.

Yes, I hate littering. I think it’s awful and can’t imagine why anyone would do it. However, do I hate the person that littered? No. Do I strongly dislike litterers? Mostly, yes. But hate is too strong of a word to associate with something like this. Maybe their toddler did it because they didn’t know better. Perhaps, it flew out when they were opening their window to get air after a long day of work. The reasons, although some highly unlikely, go on and on.

Either way, I don’t want to invite the feeling of hate into my heart if I can avoid it.

Declutter, both physically and mentally.

If you know me a little, you know Elliott and I live in a very small, very old house. Our six hundred-some odd square foot house is far from efficient, but it is great all the same. With that being said, I could definitely use a cutthroat declutter.

From my closet to our housewares we can replace with wedding gifts, it has to be done. Thankfully, there is a donation bin for the local women’s shelter up the road for me. Since most of our stuff hasn’t been used too hard, I’m glad it won’t just go to waste.

On top of that, I think the decluttering of my social media follows will be a good effort as well. Do I really need to follow brands of clothing, cosmetics, dog food, subscription boxes, and so on? HECK NO.

And something really tough to think about: Amazon. Should I delete my Prime account? Would I shop less on Amazon, if I didn’t have the convenience of Prime? Have any of y’all taken this step?

Improve my skills.

The dear Lord blessed me with a handful of skills, and others I have picked up over the years. It’s about time, I quit trying to learn new skills and focus on developing the passions I already have. Stay tuned.

Brainstorm ways to strengthen my faith.

Beyond reading more books, listening to podcasts, following different religious accounts, what can I do? I don’t know the answer to this, hence the word, brainstorm. :)

Read 47 books.

I completed my goal of 45 books in 2018. It was tough. I was finishing up my last book on NYE, but I do enjoy the feeling of a challenge. In 2015, I set my first reading challenge of 30 books. That was hard. But once I completed it, I decided 35 for the following year. Then for 2017, I set it at 40, and last year 45. Each year has been hard and a push to get them all in. However, I know I still have more to give. Rather than continue to go up by increments of five every year, I want to randomize it to a certain extent. Therefore, this year, my Goodreads Reading Challenge is 47. I have already finished one book, so take that procrastination!!

Be more active.

That is beyond running around with the cows. It’s time for me to take my fitness and overall health seriously. I have been blessed with good health and a fairly decent metabolism, but my thirties, and forties, and fifties, and so on are fast approaching…

Lastly…

Print pictures.

Last year, my baby sister graduated high school, my niece was born, I got married and my other younger sister got engaged, and our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.

Our First Christmas

Do I have printed pictures of any of that? Well I did print pictures from my wedding already and a photo album, but zero otherwise. There are so many good things about being able to take pictures with our phones an digital cameras, but this is the most glaring downside. But here’s to printing pictures in 2019!

Whew, ok so what are you working on? Is it necessarily a resolution you set on January 1st, or rather like me, something that has always been nagging your brain?

Did you catch my last post, Thoughts and Favorites: Christmas Edition?
As always looking forward to hearing  from y’all!
To keep up with all the goings, be sure to like sheerheart.org on Facebook and @alyxsheerheart on Instagram as well as the ole Twitter.

Catching Up

Fall-calvers Back Pasture Cows - sheerheart.org

It’s been months since I’ve blogged, made biscuits or listened to Max Stalling, but it’s about dang time to I get back to all three of those glorious things.

Ok, to be fair, it has been almost 19 weeks since I last blogged, but about a month ago I finally started making biscuits and listening to good ole Max again. I’m weird, I’ll admit that. I attach memories to objects or activities and if I don’t want to think about something, I’ll shy away from those things that will get my brain ticking the wrong way! But man, I was missing my Saturday morning biscuits, and have you ever listened to a Max Stalling CD on a road trip? You need to. It makes the world feel right. And speaking of the world feeling right, me not blogging, felt so wrong! Nonetheless, each time I sat down to draft a post, it just didn’t feel right either. My heart wasn’t in it. After soaking up the outdoors, some sunshine, rainwater and other comings and goings, I’m going to try and get back at it. Your feedback, post ideas, questions, etc. are greatly appreciated as always!

In fact, I have ran into several people in the last two months that have complimented my blog and been so supportive. Y’all are the best, and I truly want to thank you for taking the time to read my posts. :)

Part of the difficulty in getting back to blogging, is the awkward feeling of what to write after such a hiatus. Setting aside discouragement, I got the idea of sharing some of my most favorite posts from the last three years or so. It was a fun exercise to venture back into the depths of sheerheart.org to find these. I found them to be inspiring and embarrassing all at the same time. I noticed how different my voice was in 2015 compared to earlier. Even though I found my posts to be more professional so to speak in 2015, I liked my random/off-the-wall posts from 2013 and 2014. They were fun and unique. So maybe I’ll try and take this a little less serious and mix in a few of those every now and then!

Alrighty, so I’m taking the approach of listing my most favorite posts that I would want someone new to my blog to read. My favorites, may not be your favorites, so comment below with yours from sheerheart.org!

BEST of SHEERHEART.ORG

That should be a good start! I’ve got to head home to cook supper up for my sister and cousin. The rest of the family is out of town registering another sister up for her freshman year at Texas A&M, how exciting?!?! More on that later.

Happy Wednesday all you wonderful people!

Down to the Last Minute

2015 Reading Challenge Update

Prior to my recent Fave Photo Friday: Edition No. 30 post, it had been a little while since I had last posted. But I do have some pretty valid reasons for my absence.

For one, this time of year had me plenty busy helping my company with Adopt-A-Family, a Family Services Association event. For a tiny office of only 15 employees, we were able to help 3 families, 15 individuals, of which a whopping 10 were children under the age 11.

I couldn’t be more proud of a group of people. We were able to outfit all 10 of the kids with at least one pair of jeans, several new shirts and for many of them, jackets too! Along with new clothes, we were able to gift them with several different toys from their wish list. I learned that Hot Wheels are still a big deal!

So other than shopping for Adopt-A-Family and my family, I was busy trying to make good on a resolution I had set at the beginning of 2015. That would be my Reading Challenge, of course. Procrastinators will procrastinate!

With a measly 3 days left in the year, I have left myself with just enough time to finish up two more books to complete my goal of reading 30 this year. Earlier in the month, I had updated y’all and luckily I have done lots of reading since.

2015 Reading Challenge UpdateTo be honest, it’s a good thing I went to drafting up this post. I had it in my head that I only had one more book to read, but after double- and triple-checking my reading list, I have read 28 books, not 29! Yikes. But it’s a darn good thing that I was already well into both an audiobook and a paperback, so I still feel good about completing the challenge.

On the “currently-reading” list:

Reading two books at a time has always worked out for me. The only rule I follow is not to read two westerns at once. My brain is not advanced enough for that! And it just wouldn’t be right rounding out the year with anything other than an ole cowboy western and Murder, She Wrote. I guess I’m just a strange nut or something!

Been there, done that. Books I finished up since my last post:

Notice a trend?? Ok, ok. I admit it. Westerns are, for me, quick reads. And when you’re down 8+ books and you’ve got way to much pride to fail at something so easy, you do what you’ve got to do! Next year, I “promise” I won’t procrastinate so much.

To spare you the trouble of reading through all of my recommendations, my favorites from this month are The Pumpkin Rollers, Playing for Pizza, Trouble Shooter and Modern Romance. See only two westerns made the list, progress. But I must credit Mary Hollon for her superb recommendations. I would have never picked up a Elmer Kelton book if not for her and it would have been a darn shame to both my imagination and stomach if I had never read Playing for Pizza!

Alrighty, wish me luck, I’ve got Have you got any recommendations for my 2016 reading list? I’ve already got some books in the queue, but I’m always looking for more!

Happy Tuesday peeps!

Goodreads 2015 Reading ChallengeGoodreads 2015 Reading Challenge

 

Happy Birthday Mila!

Mila's 1st Birthday

Earlier this month, I photographed, perhaps the cutest shoot and subject to-date. Mila, her family and I met at the park early one Saturday morning to take some pictures for her upcoming 1st birthday. And Monday she turned 1! A couple of weeks ago I shared a Fave Photo Friday post with y’all of sweet Mila, but I didn’t want to share too many pictures until after her birthday. Well I can’t bear to wait any longer!

Mila's 1st Birthday

Mila's 1st Birthday

What a doll! Her expressions throughout the shoot were just “Awww” worthy. It turns out that 9 AM on a Saturday may just be the best time to photograph a 1-year-old! Looking forward to future photo ops with this sweet girl!

Happy Birthday Mila! And many more :)

Twelve Things Tuesday: 06/09/2015

Twelve Things Tuesday feat image

Happy, happy Tuesday! Last week I was convinced it would be a long week after coming off of a wonderfully productive weekend at home with the family. However, it felt like right after I posted, it was Friday before I knew it! Earlier today I posted a May Favorites post of sorts. Since everyone is doing them these days, I figured I would participate as well!

But on to my weekly, for the most part, post:

Twelve Things Tuesday

ONE Oh Aggies. Why do I look so tired today? Maybe it had something to do with staying up well past 1 AM last night watching my Aggies play 16 innings of tough baseball only to lose 4-5 versus tcu. It was a tough series, especially after finishing so strong in Regionals. However, it takes little away from the accomplishments of the Aggies this season. It really has been a great one to watch. Hopefully we can build on this and have an even more successful 2016.

TWOThe Home T As proud as I am on being a Fightin’ Texas Aggie, I’m just about as proud to be from Texas. So much so that in the past I have purchased shirts with the outline of my beloved state on them. These are some of the softest shirts I have ever owned and I get countless compliments from girls and guys alike. Highly recommend purchasing one from The Home T in your life time. And it doesn’t hurt that a portion of their profits is donated to multiple sclerosis research!

THREE Sticking with that Texas theme, you like Shiner beer right? It’s a pretty darn delicious beer that is consistently at most bars, restaurants, HEBs and convenient stores near me.  And now after seeing their new commercials on YouTube, I think I need to go buy a 6-pack after work tomorrow!

FOUR OK, one more Texas thing.Traces of Texas If you find historical things interesting specifically regarding the state of Texas, you should “Like” Traces of Texas on Facebook. Multiple times a day, they post pictures and details regarding different happenings in the past. Like this one (click the picture for the details).

FIVE Like I posted last week, Friday was National Doughnut Day! So yes I treated myself to Haby’s :) But anyhow did you know that there are countless sites and apps to keep you well-informed on all of the National _____ Days of the Year?

Yes these are pretty silly most of the time, but amusing things are good to look at sometimes! I took the liberty of providing you with a few you may want that fall during this week:
June 8th   — National Best Friend’s Day
June 9th   — National Donald Duck Day
June 10th — National Black Cow Day
June 11th — National Corn on the Cob Day
June 12th — National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
June 13th — National Weed Your Garden Day
June 14th — National Bourbon Day

SIX On to slightly more important things. I finally finished the biography of Elon Musk that I have been working on for the past few weeks. To be completely honest, it seemed like it was going to be a tough read at first and I was worried that most of the stuff may be over my head, however, I was pleasantly surprised. By the end of it not only did I thoroughly enjoy it, I also was able to retain and regurgitate the information in conversation. Now on to the next challenge: “Twenty Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne.

SEVEN Something that I find also interesting has to do with the kitchen. This past weekend I was able to catch an episode of America’s Test Kitchen on PBS. I have missed watching this show so much! This time I remembered to set the DVR to record future episodes but it reminded me how this show along with Good Eats gets me thinking differently and using new approaches when I cook. Before I started watching these shows, I relied heavily on Mom, Granny, Aunt Diane and whoever else I was getting recipes from to give me confidence when making a recipe. I still do this to a large extent, however, now once I have the recipe from someone, I am less inclined to want to call at ever step to get reassurance I am doing it right. On these particular shows, in my opinion, they are teaching your technique more so than particular recipes.

EIGHT Jurassic World hits theaters this Friday! Not really sure how old I was when I first watched Jurassic Park, but I remember watching it with Mom, Dad and Sydney. It was kind of like the times when we would watch X-Files with them. This was back when we had a console tv with no capabilities to pause. Therefore, when they knew a bad part would be coming they would tell us to close our eyes or we would run to the hallway. Looking back I’m sure that was part of the fun! Jurassic WorldBut anyhow I’ll be curious to see how technological advances in the film making community will affect the watching experience. So far on IMDb, it has a pretty good rating so I remain hopeful this will be worth the $20 I spend at the theater!

However there is at least one person concerned with a major flaw in Jurassic World. Click here for more on this.

NINE Looks like I need to invest in a grill. Bloomin' OnionIt’s summertime and there are recipes everywhere. Here are a few that sparked my interest:

TEN Crop Top on CatHave you noticed girls/women lately are really embracing the idea of crop tops? Personally I’m not a fan nor do I think I could pull them off, but you do you girl.
However, a mom from Houston seems to share my sentiments and I find it absolutely hilarious! Click here .for more on this!

ELEVEN Live music is awesome for the most part. Beginning in college, going to Texas Country music concerts or variations of the genre became a regular occurrence. Sometimes they were big names at the time, while the other times there could have only been a handful of people at the show. Fun is always to be had though. And summertime seems to bring out the best in these shows and the venues. During the summer, The County Line BBQ off of I-10 has a FREE Music Series! Yep that’s right. FREE. Here’s their schedule. Definitely going to try to make a couple of shows during the summer. Went to the Tejas Brothers last month there and had a great time!

Also a venue with a great music line up is Cora’s out in between Castroville and Rio Medina. Here’s their lineup. Again mostly the shows are no cover except for a handful. Make sure to keep up with them on Facebook as this is one of the most fun, laid back places to listen to good music in the area!

TWELVE It’s learning time! Recently, I have been googling how to do things a lot, when all of a sudden I remember using a website in college to watch tutorials. After digging back a couple of years in my brain, I finally remembered it was lynda.com. This site has video training on a good number of general topics as well as countless programs. Anyhow, I thought it would be a good idea to start up on the free trial, and go ahead and cancel any of my pointless other subscriptions so I could continue with a monthly subscription to the site. It’s $24 from month to month. We’ll see how the trial goes and I’ll report to y’all next Tuesday whether or not I think it may be worth the money!

Well I can’t believe it but I’m getting this posted well before dark on a Tuesday!
Hope everyone has had a splendid day and can’t wait to get more content on here for y’all to enjoy! As always comment if you want to hear more about something or have an idea for me!

Good evening and nighty, night!

 

Random Facts About Yours Truly

Selfie with Ellie

I got the idea of this post from one of my favorite Aggie bloggers, shout out to Mary for such a sweet and fun blog!

So here goes my list of 35 random facts about myself. Some of these things have been posted about before, so I’ve gone ahead and linked them to those posts for you!

Catholic ♦ ♦
I’m a Leo, but I don’t really follow horoscopes and what not ♦ ♦
A proud 5′ 2 ½”.. don’t forget the ½, it’s important ♦ ♦
Eldest of 4 girls ♦ ♦
I love being from a big family ♦ ♦
Have traveled to 9 states plus the District of Columbia, but never of the country ♦ ♦
I’ll probably never live out-of-state ♦ ♦
Majored in Agricultural Communications & Journalism from Texas A&M University ♦ ♦
My pet peeve is bad grammar on Facebook ♦ ♦
Sometime in my life I want to write a book ♦ ♦
Would have been named Leland, if I was born a boy ♦ ♦
Still have my love letters from high school ♦ ♦
I have no musical talent, other than being able to put together a good playlist ♦ ♦
Dislike most reality TV with a passion, especially The Bachelor (I get too embarrassed for them!) ♦ ♦
Rarely do I go to the movies ♦ ♦
I always order water with a lemon at restaurants, guess I’m a cheap date ;) ♦ ♦
I like sushi ♦ ♦
Pizza is one of the few things I crave ♦ ♦
I drink my coffee black ♦ ♦
I love listening to older people tell stories ♦ ♦
I would rather it be 100°F outside than 50°F ♦ ♦
Have never been to a tanning salon ♦ ♦
Wish I could speak another language ♦ ♦
I often enjoy driving home in silence ♦ ♦
I don’t know what my dream job is yet ♦ ♦
Can no longer watch Law & Order: SVU alone ♦ ♦
Have never smoked cigarettes or tried any drugs ♦ ♦
My first celebrity crush that I can remember was Clay Walker ♦ ♦
I dislike all mint/chocolate combinations ♦ ♦
I don’t know how to change a tire (should be a New Year’s resolution!) ♦ ♦
My favorite kind of shopping is doing it with my sister Sydney ♦ ♦
My best work comes at the last-minute ♦ ♦
I adopted Ellie, my dog ♦ ♦
I have put more thought into my next dog’s name, rather than the name of my future kids ♦ ♦
I’m a firm believer in continuing to learn new things, no matter how old I get ♦ ♦

Well that is my list! Coming up I will have a post about all of my favorite things! This post would have just been too long if I would have included them.

Happy Tuesday people!

I Love My Dog, But…

IMG_7890Howdy folks! Happy Tuesday. Hope everyone is having a splendid week. Here in San Antonio, Texas, we are enjoying Texas weather like none other, lows in the 50s, highs in the 80s. You really couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day than what its shaping out to be.

As busy as work has been, I have found some time here and there to keep track, from a distance, of the Ebola-situation going on in Dallas. Crazy. Just crazy to think that the United States and Texas of all places is at the forefront of this.Yes we are a medically-advanced nation that could deal with this; however, I sincerely hope this would bring the attention of the people of this great nation back into focus on priorities.

There are things that are more dangerous to our health than Ebola at this moment, but do you hear people crying out over un-vaccinated children spreading Measles? Or how about the 100 American children that died from the influenza last year?

And what really set me off, is people being more upset about the condition of the newest Ebola patient’s dog rather than the patient herself! Seriously, after Spain had put down the dog of the nurse who had become infected recently, people of our country and around the world were outraged. On top of that, since the US’s second patient with Ebola had a dog, it would only be obvious that it would move to front page news.

Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs and pretty much all animals for that matter, but there are a few common sense things to remember.

Dogs are animals. And humans are animals. But that doesn’t make dogs human.

I love my Ellie-girl to pieces. She’s been a gift from God. So many times I go home from a stressful day at work to her smiling face, yes she smiles! It makes my evening to take her for walks or to the park. Never fails to make me laugh or forget about any struggles I may be having. Shoot, she’s made being single rather easy! Who needs a boyfriend when you have a dog that never disagrees that I am right about everything, will cuddle on command, and doesn’t mind my family?!? And if you measured love for a dog on a scale based upon how many selfies have been taken with her, well, let’s just say we’ve got plenty :)

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But as much as I love my pal and my companion, if I became ill with a disease such as Ebola, and officials were even only slightly concerned that she may have contracted it and would therefore be a danger of spreading the disease, I would agree that euthanizing her would be the best thing. In 2005, there was a French study concluding that transmission of Ebola from humans to dogs was possible.

I love my dog so much I even spent $20/month on a BarkBox subscription just so she’d have new toys and treats every month!

So with that possibility in mind, it would make the decision not very difficult for me. This is not because I don’t love her, because if you know me, you would know that couldn’t be further from the truth. But it’s because I love my family, my country and this world more than just one dog. And at the end of the day, what kind of guilt would I carry, if somehow, one of the employees taking care of her while I was in the hospital contracted the disease?

At the end of the day, I just simply do not believe a dog’s life is not worth the risk of another human’s.

This was a pretty heavy blog post, which I don’t do very often. I tend to prefer my light-hearted posts about music like my last one, or my photography. However, the media surrounding this topic has just about driven me nuts. All in all, I love life and this world, I would hate to lose it because we are worried about what is and is not fair to a dog.