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My How Times Flies

1 Dec

Today is December 1st…wow!  In 24 days we will be celebrating Christmas, and in 30 days New Years Eve.  This year has been a whirlwind of events, travel, friends, family, and blessings.  I’m sad to see this  so quickly, but I’m definitely looking forward to 2012.  In a few weeks Dr. B and I will sit down and review our goals that we made during the beginning of the year.  We knocked a few out of the park, and others we fell somewhat short.  Which I can live with because the real lesson comes from the actual planning, and the process of striving towards the goal.

Screenshot of our 2011 goal spreadsheet

One milestone I’m happy to say that I’ve completed is starting my business, NataMari Designs.  I’ve been busy working on my designs, adding content to my new blog, and getting my online store setup.  It’s required tons of hard work but I love every minute of it.  So please when you get a chance check out my new blog and shop and tell me what you think!



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This Weekend, A Wedding, and A New Blog

19 Aug

I’m so glad it’s Friday!  Granted, I don’t work in the traditional sense, but I structure my week as if it were.  So, by the time Friday rolls around, I’m ready to relax with Dr. B.  As I type, I’m sitting under the hairdryer, which I absolutely cannot stand!  Do you know how long it takes locs to dry.  I normally let them air dry throughout the day, but I have a lot of things to get done today, and the last thing I want to think about is a head full of damp hair.   It want it look really nice for my brother-in-laws wedding!

He and his fiance are Buddhist, so the wedding will be a traditional Buddhist ceremony.  I’m expecting it to be visually picturesque, hopefully something like this

and this

Lastly, I started a new blog called The UpTown Atelier!  I wanted a home where I could share my off-the-grid home decorating ideas, inspiration, and DIY.  Atelier is pronounced At-Ti-Ya…it kinds rhymes with ALL Day 🙂  An Atelier is a French term for an artist’s studio or workshop. We live uptown of Downtown Orlando…hence the name The UpTown Atelier.  I was reaching huh? 🙂  Anyhoo, stop over and say hi!  Today I posted some before and after pics of my Dorothy Draper inspired entertainment center.

How are you going to enjoy this weekend?

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Newlywed’s 2011 Goal Planning

24 Jan

I took a week off from blogging so I could focus on my coursework. While I have been on my blogging

Screenshot of our 2011 goal spreadsheet

sabbatical a few notable things have occurred. The biggest being, Dr. B and I sat down and planned out 2011. We Built a spreadsheet which displays every month of the year across the top, and down the side we have major areas in our life: health/fitness, financial, travel/leisure, career/education, relationship. For each month we set goals that we wanted to achieve as they pertain to each area. For instance a health/fitness goal for me is to go to our family doctor and have a physical exam and blood work. Not that I have been sick lately, but, it’s important for women to have regular physical exams besides the yearly obgyn visit.

It took us about two hours to complete the spreadsheet and talk through some of our goals. We planned out every trip were going to take, such as the one next month for my birthday, were going skiing in Utah 🙂 The biggest thing for me wasn’t the end result, but the process of talking through what we wanted to accomplish as a couple and as individuals, being open, willing, and unafraid to voice our concerns, feeling, and opinions of the ideas that the other shared.

Have you and your SO done anything like setting goals and planning out the year together,  what did you use to record those goals?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

Here is a link to the spreadsheet we created.


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Georgia on My Mind

10 Jan

This weekend Dr. B and I drove up to Savannah, GA for my sister-in-law’s surprise 40th bash. It was such a wonderful event, she had absolutely no clue what was going on.  It was something short of a miracle that no one gave away the surprise.

My sister-in-law is like a my blood sister to me.  I admire her, and I’m motivated by her.  She is a very beautiful person inside and out.  Over 100 friends and family came out to celebrate of birthday, but also to celebrate the wonderful, loving, and caring person that she is!

She has weathered many storms with grace, faith, and no complaints, while at the same time helping and encouraging others. She is a great person and wonderful friend!

When she first walked into the banquet hall, look how surprised she is!

Me and my sister-in-law, with her sister and best friend behind us.


The birthday girl on the dancefloor!

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Five iTunes Podcasts For Married Couples

5 Jan
The icon used by Apple to represent Podcasting.
Image via Wikipedia

I recently subscribed to a few marriage podcasts that I though I would share with you.  I have included a link to the podcast on iTunes and to the website (for those who do not have an iTunes account…tsk tsk).

Marriage Talk Building Healthy Relationships:  This podcast is hosted by the Marriage Resource Center.  It focuses on a variety of topics from finances, sex, fighting, and many of marriage-related topics.  There are currently 59 episodes posted on iTunes.

Sexual Intimacy in Marriage:  This podcast currently has 10 episodes available on iTunes.  It is hosted by Dr. Liz Hale and author Laura Brotherson a Certified Family Life Educator. In their podcast  they discuss the delicate subject of sexual intimacy with candor and reverance. Laura has a website,, which lists several different marriage resources.

The Michelle Hughes Show: This is an interactive talk radio show, that airs on WQHV every Sunday at 9:00 P.M.  Michelle is a lifestyles and relationship expert.  She focuses on the issues of life and exploring the soultions to your individual uniqueness as a person as it pertain to your marriage. This show is also listed on BlogTalk Radio, and currently has over 200 episodes on iTunes.

Stay Happily Married:Is a marriage and relationship resource for couples seeking marriage counseling and growth.  There are 140 Episodes on iTuns that range in topic such as: “To the In-Laws House We Go”, and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” The website is

Marriage Uncensored With Dave and Christie: Dr. Dave Currie and Christie Rayburn, along with their guests, deal with the real issues that face marriages today.  Marriage Uncensored has 55 episodes listed on iTunes.  This podcast is affiliated with the Family Life website.

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Lessons Learned From My First Thanksgiving as a Wife

29 Nov

Dr. B frying the turkey

I survived my first Thanksgiving as Mrs. Williams 🙂  Seriously, I had a great, stress-free Thanksgiving with no major shenanigans to report.  But I did takeaway a few lessons, that I will heed for years to come:

1. Let the men cook the meat 🙂  For whatever reason cooking a turkey, ham, or steak amounts to bragging rights for men.  And for that, I say, have t it.  Fry it, bake, broil it, grill it -I don’t care.  That’s one less item I have to prepare.

2. Plan a menu first, then let everyone pick and choose what they want to bring from that menu.  If not, you will end up with more green bean casseroles that you can count, or worse than that….not enough meat.  This worked out perfectly for my family.  We had leftovers of course, but just enough for everyone to take a plate home.

3. Have alcohol on hand.  Yes, I said it – alcohol. A few bottles of wine or champagne, will put everyone is a cheerful mood, thus avoiding any heated “discussions.”  Plus it’s always fun to hear your uncle’s stories after he has had a couple of glasses of wine  🙂

4. In an effort to avoid awkward silences, advise your in-laws of your Christmas plans, before Thanksgiving…especially if your plans do not include them.

5. Make sure your feeling are encased in iron, especially if you make dinner rolls and they don’t rise.  My rolls came out flat like cookies, so my brother-in-laws affectionately named them cookie biscuits. LOL!  Everyone is fair game in our family, if you cook something and it doesn’t turn out right, they will let you everyone know!

6.  The Monday after Thanksgiving…make it a Meatless Monday, you digestive system will thank you.  I’m cooking vegetarian black bean burgers for dinner tonight, they’re my favorite vegetarian dish (unfortunately for my carnivore husband).

How was your Thanksgiving?  What lessons did you learn?

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Newlywed’s Christmas Shopping for Family and Friends

10 Nov

Image via Wikipedia

There are 45 more days until Christmas and I’m already feeling the pressure of buying Christmas Gifts.  Dr. B and I both come from large families, he has four brothers and I have three sisters and one brother, for a total of 8 siblings that we have to buy presents for.  Not to mention parents, nieces, nephews and cousins. 😦  This is our first Christmas as a married couple, and we want to give everyone something special, without breaking our budget.  Like most newlyweds, were working on building our nest egg, and our emergency savings.

Whatever we decide has to fit into our holiday budget that I setup.  Each week we put money into a savings account solely designated for buying Christmas presents.  I believe this is the only way we will be able to buy “a little something” for everyone on our lists.  And because we are traveling during the holidays (I blogged about that here) , the Xmas present budget is smaller than we would like it – but we figure, it’s better than nothing.

And, since we are traveling during the holidays, I’m contemplating not buying a Christmas tree.  Last year we brought a live tree.  This year I think it might be a waste of money since we won’t be here, and were not hosting either Thanksgiving or Christmas at our house…..So, the tree is probably out.  I’ll  see how Dr. B feels about it.

Oh, and one last thing…Dr. B’s Christmas gift.  I told him the other day that he didn’t have to buy me a gift.  As I mentioned above were going to be traveling a lot during the holidays, and that is gift enough for me.  But, knowing him..he will still buy me a little something.  So, I’m going to buy him a little something too 😉

Are you and your husband (or significant other) exchanging gifts this Christmas?  How do you going to handle buying gifts for your families?  I need a few suggestions for inexpensive gifts for our siblings, any ideas?

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