July 2018 - Della Devoted

Monthly Favorites: July Edition

How is July already almost over? It's like I blinked and Summer is almost over. That means that school is getting ready to begin for my little guy, and this momma is definitely not ready for that. If you haven't noticed, I began a new monthly favorites series last month. It's mostly a way for me to reflect back on all the fun things that we have done during each month and blogging  it is kind of like a keepsake for me. Here are some of my favorites from July!

  • Watching the 4th of July Fireworks with my little family and watching Raylan's face light up when he sees the fireworks is always priceless. 
  • Getting to spend time with my lifelong bestie and her son, whom I only get to see maybe twice a year. 
  • Playdates to the park and to feed the fish with Raylan and his friend Eliza.
  • Going on the Ark Encounter is by far my favorite thing that we have done all summer long. It was such a great experience and I would love to go back.
  • School Shopping with my little guy.
  • Attending Birthday Parties.
  • Justin and I celebrating our 9th Wedding Anniversary
  • Watching Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. 
  • Ice Cream & Park dates with Raylan.
  • Taking a Painting Class with my friend Melissa. We painted our first Canvas and it was so much fun!

Thanks for stopping by! What are your favorites from July?

High Five For Friday

Welcome to the weekly High Five For Friday link-up hosted by Tif @ Bright On A Budget, Katie @ Cup of TeaBecky @ BYBMG   and myself. We're glad you're here! High Five for Friday is where we come together to share five highlights or five favorite things from the past week each Friday.

1) Justin, Raylan and I enjoyed having dinner at Giovanni's Pizza and watching Jurassic World:Fallen Kingdom over the weekend. It was such a good movie, but I believe I like the first movie the best. I look forward to weekend family time with my favorite guys.

2) Raylan had his first dental checkup this week and he did awesome. He is a proud member of the no cavity club. The tooth fairy paid him a visit for doing such a great job at the dentist.

3) We finally finished the remainder of school shopping this week. Now , Raylan is all set to go to school in a few weeks.

4) My post of 9 Favorite Photos from 9 years of marriage was featured on The Blended Blog's Friday Loves last Friday.  That was so exciting and very much appreciated!

5) We have been having cool mornings and evenings here in Kentucky. It's been bad for my allergies but the weather makes my heart so glad. It feels just like Fall weather and y'all know Fall is my absolute favorite. I'm already getting excited for Fall. I've been burning my pumpkin scented candles lately.

1) 15 Statement Shoes to Step It Up In by Nicole from What Nicole Wore

2) 3 Fresh Peach Recipes for Summer by Whitney from Polka Dotty Place

3) What to Wear with a Leopard Print Dress by Cheryl from Cheryl Shops.

* Don't forget you can drop links for up to 3 of your posts each week and you can still drop your link for a Friday 5 post!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to link-up below. Have a blessed and safe weekend!

Ocean Water Punch

Raylan and I have had such a fun summer swimming in our new pool! We've also had a trip to the lake beach closest to us. We've had playdates with friends  feeding the fish at the lake.  In fact, almost everything that we have done this summer has been water related. I love making fun themed foods and drinks for Raylan, so I thought that an Ocean Water Punch Drink would be the perfect treat to represent our fun Summer and for a pool party day!

If you would like to make this same Ocean Water Punch, all you need is these 3 ingredients plus some ice...

 A 2 liter or a small bottle of Sprite. I used the cheap Lemon-Lime Crisp Brand from Save-a-Lot.
1- 20 oz bottle of Gatorade Frost Glacier Freeze
Sweedish Fish in any color

First add ice, then add a few Sweedish fish on top of ice. Next, fill half of the glass up with gatorade. Then, fill the remaining half of your glass up with Sprite. I prefer to actually use more gatorade than sprite. The combination between the two gives it a sweet and tangy punch like taste. Last, add a few more Sweedish fish on top of the punch to make the drink stand out. The whole point of the drink is to make it appear as if the fish are swimming through the Ocean.

Raylan and his friend loved this Punch at their Pool Party. They drank every bit of it and asked for seconds. Their favorite was the Sweedish fish. They kept trying to catch the fish with their straws long before they ever finished their drink. This is the perfect drink for Beach or Pool Parties and it represents Summer so well. It will certainly be a hit with all the young children at any party. It's also a great way to brighten up a gloomy rainy day and It's super easy to make. Just be warned that once you make it, your kids will ask for it every day! 

High Five For Friday

Welcome to the weekly High Five For Friday link-up hosted by Tif @ Bright On A Budget, Katie @ Cup of TeaBecky @ BYBMG   and myself. We're glad you're here! High Five for Friday is where we come together to share five highlights or five favorite things from the past week each Friday.

1) Justin and I celebrated our 9th Wedding Anniversary this week. It's hard to believe that we have already been married for 9 years. I guess time flies when you're with the one you love and you're having fun! 

2) Our little family took a trip to the Ark Encounter over the weekend and it was such a wonderful experience. I highly recommend everyone go at least once. There is so much to see and do and so much history. You really learn a lot more about God too.  A blog post is coming up soon about it.

3) The whole weekend was busy with the ark trip, birthday's and birthday parties. We celebrated my father-in-laws birthday on Sunday and also had to go to a birthday party for Raylan's cousin. Raylan had a blast at the party. He loves birthday parties but what kid doesn't?

4) This week has been much more relaxing than what the weekend was.  We haven't left the house except once but we have still had fun with play dates at the house, smores, painting rocks and swimming. Am I the only one who actually enjoys staying home these days? I love being home!

5) I snagged some great deals online at JC Penney this week and was able to finish almost all of Raylan's school shopping. It is hitting me too fast that my little guy will be starting school very soon. I wish time would slow down so I could keep him little forever. 

1) Summer Outfits by Whitney from Polka Dotty Place

* Don't forget you can drop links for up to 3 of your posts each week and you can still drop your link for a Friday 5 post!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to link-up below. Have a blessed and safe weekend!

9 Favorite Photos from 9 Years of Marriage

Today Justin and I celebrate 9 years of Marriage. We've actually been together for 14 years but married for 9. It hasn't always been easy but it has been worth it. There is no one else that I would rather spend this life with than him. Who would have thought that these high school sweethearts would have gotten married and lasted all of these years?  I'm so thankful for the life that we share together and our precious son that the Lord has blessed us with. God is so good! So in honor of our anniversary, I want to share 9 favorite photos from 9 years of marriage. We have changed so much and so has my hair over the years, but our love hasn't. I'm so thankful God gave me you!

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

"I have found the one whom my soul loves." Song of Solomon 3:4

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Depression

This is a topic that I have been hesitant to write about for quite some time. When you talk about Anxiety & Depression, a lot of  people don't believe you and some may even think that you're just plain crazy.  It's most certainly a touchy subject. Most people prefer to keep it hid and not let anyone know that they suffer from Anxiety & Depression. However, mental health is very very important and it is necessary to seek ways to get help and get it under control.

There is no one reason why depression or anxiety happens. In fact, all sorts of things affect mental health. Anything from major life events to ongoing challenges to genetics. For myself, my issues stem from several past experiences including some of the following: I lost my mom to ovarian cancer when I was only 18. I was in a car wreck at 19 which broke my neck in 3 different places. I had to undergo physical therapy for months after that. During that same year, our home burned and I lost everything including all of the things that I had of my mom. I now only have a few pictures of my mom. Justin and I also miscarried twins before having Raylan. Once I was blessed to have Raylan, I suffered from Postpartum Depression. Also, my dad's health has not been good at all and he is currently on Kidney Dialysis. I'm not telling you all of this for you to feel sorry for me, I'm just simply stating some of and not all of the obvious reasons for my Anxiety and Depression Some people may not have any past or current issues at all that would cause them to be depressed, but still suffer from it anyway due to chemical imbalances. We are all different, but we all need to take care of ourselves because like I said, Mental Health is so very important. Here are some natural ways that have helped me deal with my Anxiety & Depression and they may help you too. They may or may not work for you, but I feel like I need to share them with you.

1) God- My relationship with God and my faith in him is my main source of help. Going to Church and Praying to God gets me through my toughest Days. If I didn't have God in my life, I couldn't have made it through all that I have went through.

2) Magnesium Supplements- I researched and researched this before giving them a try. They have been a tremendous help. I feel like a completely different and happier person. Magnesium is great for many things

3) Exercise- I don't exercise a lot, but walking once or twice a day has been great for me. I instantly feel better after a long walk. It boosts my mood!  We also bought a pool this Summer, so swimming has also been a great method of exercise and relaxation.

4) Getting Out in Nature- Fresh air and beautiful scenery helps clear my mind after a long and stressful day. For me, a hike or just a visit to the lake to take in all of the beautiful scenery is a necessity at least twice a month.

5) Self-Care- I can't stress this one enough. No matter how busy you are, you must take time for yourself. I know moms never seem to have enough hours in the day to get everything done, but taking time for yourself is so important. Make time for yourself even if it is for 10-15 minutes a day. Drink a hot cup of coffee, listen to music, take a hot bubble bath, read a few chapters from a book, work on a hobby that you enjoy and etc.  Just do something that you enjoy and do more of what you love. My friend and I took a paint class, and it was very therapeutic. It was nice to have some girl time with my friend.

6) Get some sleep- Sometimes sleep is all we need to feel better, but don't allow yourself to sleep too much or you will be depressed even more. You know you're depressed when you want to sleep all day long all the time.

7) Wake up at the same time every morning- I know this sounds silly, but If I sleep late I feel worse throughout the day. If I wake up at the same time every morning, I feel much better. So, I tend to set my alarm for the same time everyday even on weekends.

8) Take a break from Social Media- It seems in this day and time that Social Media is one of the main sources for anxiety and depression. There are so many things on there that can cause someone to get upset. There is always someone on there complaining, arguing or trying to outdo someone else. It's just mostly drama. When we get on social media it seems like time slips away and we don't get anything productive done. It's okay to unplug for a day or two from social media. Trust me, you will feel much better when you take a break from it.

9) Invest in Yourself- This one goes along with Self-Care, but you have to take time to invest in yourself. Get up, get dressed and begin your day. I always feel much better after I shower and get myself ready for the day. Even if it's putting on the bare minimum of makeup, I feel 100% better after I take time to make myself look presentable. If I lay around in pajamas all day and don't even bother to comb my hair, I feel terrible by the end of the day.

10) Be Productive- Begin each day by making your bed. It's a proven fact that If you make your bed in the morning, you are more likely to be productive throughout the day. Begin a task and stick with it. Accomplish a small task everyday.

Like I said, these tips may not be for everyone but they work well for me and it's worth giving them a try. Just take the time to take care of yourself! You can't pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first. You and your health are important! God created us all with a purpose and he wants us to take care of ourselves so that we can fulfill his plan and purpose for our lives.

Don't be afraid to talk to someone or get some help. Anxiety and Depression is nothing to be ashamed of.  Also please know that I'm praying for you!

National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-6264
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

High Five For Friday

Welcome to the weekly High Five For Friday link-up hosted by Tif @ Bright On A Budget, Katie @ Cup of TeaBecky @ BYBMG   and myself. We're glad you're here! High Five for Friday is where we come together to share five highlights or five favorite things from the past week each Friday.

1) My friend Melissa and I had the best time at our first paint class last Friday. I've always wanted to take a painting class, so now that is checked off of my bucket list. I'd love to take some more classes especially around the holidays. After the class, we treated ourselves to Mexican for dinner. It was so good getting to have a girls day. Those rarely happen anymore.

2) My dad got me a gas grill as an early early birthday present. I absolutely love it! We have used it all week long. Summer is so much better when you can cookout.

3) Raylan and I have had so much fun in the pool this week. He is improving so much with his swimming. Hopefully next Summer he will be able to swim without his puddle jumper. 

4) This week we enjoyed lunch on the lake. It's always nice to enjoy lunch out in nature and see all of the beautiful scenery. 

5) This has been a lazy week which has been much needed. Sometimes a person just needs to relax and not do much of anything.

1) Pin Worthy Recipes by Shelly from The Queen in Between

2) 8 Easy Ways to Save Money on Vacation by Whitney from Polka Dotty Place

* Don't forget you can drop links for up to 3 of your posts each week and you can still drop your link for a Friday 5 post!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to link-up below. Have a blessed and safe weekend!

Striped Summer Dress + Learning to Love Myself

If you would have asked me last Summer to wear this dress, I would have told you no! In fact, last Summer is when my mother-in-law bought this dress for me. I tried it on, but that is as far as I got to wearing it. I hung it up in my closet and that was the end of that. However, this year things have changed for the better with me. I have stepped out of my comfort zone a lot. I am now much more comfortable in my own skin. I wouldn't have worn this dress because I didn't like my wide shoulders. I have always felt that my shoulders and arms were just too big for me to wear many sleeveless shirts or dresses. I also wouldn't have worn a criss cross front top or dress for fear of someone thinking that it might be too low cut and someone judging me. I wouldn't want someone to think that I wasn't being modest. With that being said, I have learned to love myself more within the last year. I've realized that I will never be a small person.  I've always been big boned and there is nothing that I can do about that. I am who God made me to be. God loves me for who I am. Afterall, he created me in his own image. So, I certainly need to love myself because God doesn't make mistakes!

Sure I could stand to lose a few pounds, but that won't change the fact that I will still have bigger shoulders and arms than I would like. It's just who I am. I will also probably never have an entirely flat stomach and that's okay too. Afterall, I am a mom! I have many stretch marks, but they are just proof that I received the greatest blessing that I could ever receive which is my precious son. Also for the criss cross front part of the dress, there will always be someone judging you even if you wear a turtleneck. It doesn't matter what size you are or what you wear, people are still going to judge. I've learned in the last year that someone will always have something to say no matter what you do or what you wear. It's just people who are miserable and unhappy with themselves. Wear what you want, be who you want and live your best life.  As long as it's nothing vulgar and too revealing, I don't see an issue with what anyone wears. Modest is always much more attractive anyway! This striped dress really isn't very revealing at all. I don't know why I ever thought it was. As a Christian, I would never wear something too revealing. This dress is too pretty of a dress to let it sit in the closet and not be worn. Plus it certainly is perfect for this miserable heat wave that we've been having this Summer.  Step out of your comfort zone and wear what you want. Don't ever think you can't wear something because of what size you are or what someone else might think. Clothes are made in your size to be worn, not hung up in a closet and forgotten. Be yourself and love yourself! I'm so glad I decided to wear this Striped Dress this Summer because it certainly is a confidence booster. A special thanks to my husband who encourages me to wear dresses like this and never makes me feel bad about my shape or size. He always makes me feel beautiful no matter how I look or what size I am.

Striped Summer Dress// J.C Penney (Similar) & (Similar)
Necklace//Rue 21 (Similar
Sandals//Target (Similar)

Perfect Summer Pasta Salad

Do you have a go to favorite Summer food that you like to fix for most meals? Mine would be Pasta Salad. It's great for Cookouts, Family Picnics, Church Dinners and etc.  My husband could seriously eat it for dinner on a daily basis. I have grown tired of the same old boring pasta salad over the years, so I've learned to perfect the recipe. My husband says that he will never return to the basic bland Pasta Salad and I don't blame him. This recipe is far from boring. You may have even tried it yourself before, but this is my spin on the Perfect Summer Pasta Salad. Keep in mind that this recipe is enough for a double batch. I always make extra so that I can give some to my dad and brother as well.

2- 12 ounce boxes of Tri-Color Rotini (You can also use spaghetti noodles instead of Rotini)
1- 16 ounce bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing
5 cucumbers , cubed and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped or diced
1/2 cup of Green Olives stuffed with minced pimentos
About 15-20 Slices of Pepperoni cut up in small pieces
1 small onion chopped in small pieces

* You can also add bacon bits and shredded or parmesan cheese. I also like Green peppers in my pasta salad as well. The more ingredients, the better!

Cook Rotini for 11 minutes according to directions. Gradually add half of the Italian dressing. Toss in the rest of the ingredients. Pour the remaining dressing over the salad.  Chill for at least an hour. Serve and Enjoy!

High Five For Friday

Welcome to the weekly High Five For Friday link-up hosted by Tif @ Bright On A Budget, Katie @ Cup of TeaBecky @ BYBMG   and myself. We're glad you're here! High Five for Friday is where we come together to share five highlights or five favorite things from the past week each Friday.

1) Raylan and his friend Eliza had a fun-filled day feeding the fishes, playing at the park and enjoying yummy grilled food. I don't know who gets more excited over playdates, Raylan or me. I get excited to have some adult interaction and join in on all the fun with the kids.

2) I had such a proud mommy moment Saturday. Raylan finally let go of me in the pool and started swimming all on his own. He had his puddle jumper on of course! He's been afraid of the pool all summer and I would have to hold him the whole time I was in the pool. He just decided he was going to be brave Saturday and it made this momma so proud. 

3) I finally got to spend some time with my childhood best friend and her baby on Sunday. I only get to see her about twice a year, so it was so good to get to catch up with her and enjoy the baby.

4) Our little community had their fireworks celebration on Sunday night. It's always such a good event with a parade, delicious food and beautiful fireworks. Raylan and his friends sure enjoyed the fireworks and festivities. 

5) This week has been a week of delicious food and fun fourth of July Celebrations. I love celebrating the holidays with my family and friends. I especially love making memories with my favorite little guy Raylan.

1) 4th of July Crepe Paper Flag Table Decor by Brenda from Chatting Over Chocolate

2) Red, White & Blue Dessert by Lisa from Coast to Coast

3) Cobalt & Coral by Mariah from Like Honey Blog

* Don't forget you can drop links for up to 3 of your posts each week and you can still drop your link for a Friday 5 post!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to link-up below. Have a blessed and safe weekend!

Classic Patriotic Look

    Happy 4th of July Everyone! I hope you all have a great and safe Independence Day. I love what the holiday stands for and I have always loved celebrating it. However, it is also extra special to me because it's the day that Justin and I had our first date 14 years ago. Yes, we started dating July 4th, 2004! We were high school sweethearts.  I love getting all dressed up in my festive looks year after year to celebrate both occasions. 

    As for this outfit, I have had this dress for a few years. It has always been a go to favorite of mine. It's one of those classic dresses that you can wear time and time again. We all have one of those fashion staples in our closet. Keeping it simple is best with this type of dress, so I chose to add a few pops of red with my accessories. I didn't want to go overboard for this look. It's also a great nautical look too for summer. The possibilities are endless with this dress.

Dress// Dress Barn (Similar)
Shoes// Walmart (Similar)

Do you love getting dressed up for the holidays? What are you plans for Independence Day?

Summer Vacation Edition: TBB Asks

Happy July Everyone! I hope everyone has had a great start to July already. Our little community had our fireworks celebration last night and it is always such a fun event. I love attending it and making memories with my little family. July is also the time we usually take a vacation if we take one, so with that being said I'm linking up with my friends from The Blended Blog to bring you a Vacation Themed Q & A. Let's get right to it!

1) Will you go on a Summer Vacation this year? We won't get to go on a full vacation since my husband was so sick in May and had to use most of his days. However, we do plan on taking a few weekend trips before Summer ends.

2) Do nothing but relax or pack it all in vacation? We like to pack everything in on our vacations because it's the only time of year we get to see different scenery and do different things. We can always catch up on our sleep at home.

3) What month do you like to vacation? We always prefer July because it is our anniversary month, so it's kind of like a anniversary celebration too.

4) Cruise: Yes or No? I've never been on a cruise but I would love to one day.

5) Favorite Vacation Tradition? Going to Gatlinburg Tennessee or the Beach.

6) Most Memorable Vacation? Taking my mom on her last vacation to Gatlinburg before she passed away. We made so many wonderful memories that I will always cherish.

7) Pack light or Pack it all? Pack it all. You never know what you will need or what you will want to wear.

8) Hotel. Condo or House? I've only vacationed in Hotels and Cabins, so I would say Hotel. I love the pools and free breakfasts.

9) Favorite Things to eat on Vacation? Anything! I'm not picky at all. I love trying out new restaurants.

10) Warm or Cold Destinations? Warm. There is so much more you can do outside and see when it's warm.

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear your answers!

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