Friday, February 26, 2016

5 Things I Can't Get Enough Of

I've been a blogger failure this week. I haven't blogged since last week. It's just been one of those weeks I guess. My motivation level has been at an all-time low. I didn't feel well at the beginning of this week & my body is still tired from all of it. But let's be honest, I've watched A LOT of TV & done some online shopping. So out of my sheer laziness, here are 5 things I can't get enough of.

5_Things_I_Can't_Get_Enough_Of

1. This video
I know that everyone saw it on Monday, but it's just made my week a little brighter. No matter what your political stance is, this video is great & it makes me happy.


2. Coconut Oil
Apparently I'm a little late jumping on the coconut oil train, but guys, it's amazing. The other day I had a dry patch of skin. I threw some coconut oil on it that night & the next morning, BAM, it was gone.

3. Old Navy
Guys... Who knew Old Navy had so much cute stuff for cheap?? Seriously, I bought like 8 things there yesterday because the whole store was 40% off. Online right now they have everything 30% off. SO MUCH CUTE SPRING STUFF.

4. Salt Water Sandals
I said it last year, I'll say it again this year... Salt Water Sandals are my favorite. I'm about to order my "red" pair this year. You have to break them in at first, but once you do, they're awesome. Trust me.

5. Fuller House
So I haven't started it yet, but I'm super excited to watch it since it released TODAY on Netflix. Talk about all the feels. Reminds me of my childhood. Here's a video to get you pumped.



So, sorry I've slacked this week, y'all. But I hope you guys have a great weekend! What are some things you can't get enough of right now?




Friday, February 19, 2016

20 Ways To Encourage Your Husband

20_Ways_To_Encourage_Your_Husband

1. Tell him, "I love you" multiple times throughout the day.
Whether it's in the morning, in a text or email, when he gets home, or before you go to sleep-- your husband NEEDS to know you love him, even just through words.

2. Give him a "good morning kiss."
I still get so concerned about Andrew smelling my morning dragon breath, but who cares. Hold your breath & give him a kiss when he wakes up & when he's about to leave.

3. Get his lunch together for him (whether it's the night before or the morning of).
I try to get Andrew's lunch together for him the night before (I'm not that good to do it the morning of!). He usually takes a lot of leftovers throughout the week, so I usually put his food in a container & set it on "his side of the fridge" to take to work the next day.

4. Tell him "thank you"-- like a lot.
One of Andrew's primary love languages is words of affirmation. Anytime he does something for me, I always try to tell him "thank you," even if it's something little. I also try to tell him "thank you" for everything he does that's providing for us-- especially when it comes to all things work.

5. Lay out his towel & washcloth for him.
I like to do this when Andrew is gone on Monday nights to play basketball, & he comes home all hot & smelly :). It's something little, but I think he always appreciates it.

6. Praise him in front of people.
When we were engaged, I heard & read this a lot. It's so true. Try to tell your family or friends something great your husband has done this past week.

7. Hold his hand in public.
Most guys love PDA. Don't be shy, hold his hand & let the world know you're in love.

8. Run an errand for him.
Andrew's other (& I think #1) love language is acts of service. Sometimes I'll ask him if he needs anything & I'll go grab it for him. It's so simple, but it's one less thing he has to do or worry about after he gets off work.

9. Text him encouraging things throughout the day.
Tell him you're thinking about him, miss him, etc. It's the little things that count.

10. Always greet him when he comes home.
Andrew is a big fan of this one, I found this out a long time ago. Hug him tight & kiss him when he comes home. Drop what you're doing & go greet him.

11. Ask for his opinion on something.
Even if you don't take his advice (like on what shoes to wear), make him feel special by asking him what he thinks.

12. Make him laugh.
Andrew & I love to laugh together. We're best friends & there's nothing better than to make your husband cry because he's laughing so hard.

13. Write him a sweet note.
I love writing Andrew notes & putting them on his mirror or in his Bible. It's a sweet way to remind him how much he means to you.

14. Talk to him.
Seriously. You can't have a successful marriage if you don't communicate with him. Tell him you're upset that your having a bad hair day. Whatever it is, big or small, tell him everything.

15. Be his biggest fan.
When he gets a raise, CELEBRATE! Take him out to dinner. Always try to be his biggest cheerleader.

16. Do a "chore" he normally does.
Even though you hate it, take out the trash one night for him so he doesn't have to.

17. Watch a show he wants to watch.
I mean, if he wants to watch it, we can watch "West Wing" every now & then.

18. Think before you speak.
*Preaching to myself on this one.* Try to keep your sarcastic remarks to yourself. Use the filter God gave you & make sure what you're about to say is encouraging, not discouraging to him.

19. Remind him about how you fell in love with him.
I try to tell Andrew this one often. It makes us both smile & remember how we got to where we are today. I love reminiscing about how we fell in love!

20. Be playful & have fun together.
Tickle each other. Have inside jokes. Play rock-paper-scissors while you're waiting for your fries to heat up in the oven ;). Whatever it is, remember that God blessed you with this wonderful man who's your best friend & enjoy each other's company!


How do you encourage your husband (or significant other) on a daily basis?!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Stop & Live

Stop_and_live

My mind is constantly making a to do list of everything I need to get done-- today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, & so on. I'm a [hardcore] planner. I like to have things set in stone & write them down on my calendar. But sometimes I forget just to live.

We are all so distracted by everything in our world-- technology, social media, the news. While those things aren't necessarily bad in & of itself, sometimes we forget to just stop & live.

Breathe. Take it all in. You aren't promised tomorrow. You aren't even promised your next breathe. We forget that life is a gift. It's a precious thing that flies by. 

So stop wishing your life away. Stop waiting to get that perfect job. Stop waiting for the perfect person. Stop waiting for your kids to get out of diapers. Stop waiting for retirement.

Make today count. Because you'll never have another one like it.





Saturday, February 13, 2016

Blog Takeover: Writings & Worship!

Happy Saturday, y'all-- & Happy (almost) Valentine's Day! 
Today, my friend Hilary from the blog Writings & Worship is taking over Cunningham Love Story. If you guys read my "Things You Should Do This February" post, you should know that I said to follow a new blog this month! So here you guys go!
Writings_and_Worship_blog

Hey friends of Cunningham Love Story! My name is Hilary Parr and I am the author and creator of Writings and Worship. I have known Sarah for many years and am excited we have both entered the blogging world. Today we are guest posting on each other’s blog! I just wanted to share a few little facts about me and my blog with ya’ll. 
  • First off, I am an Oklahoma Baptist University graduate looking for a job in Public Relations or Social Media Writing. Until I find that job, I’m also freelance writing. 
  • Writings and Worship is a place to find all kinds of different posts: fiction writing, lifestyle posts, thoughts on worship and my relationship with Christ. 
  • I am a complete book nerd and hot tea lover. You can usually find me in a nook bundled up with a blanket, a good book, and a nice cup of tea. 
  • A few words that describe me: worship leader, creative, writer, and makeup fanatic. 
  • W&W has a few theme days you might be interested in: Sunday Special, Makeup Monday, Worship Wednesday, and Fiction Friday. 
  • I spend way to much watching Netflix and YouTube vloggers. 
  • My favorite color is pink and recently all things gold. (typical girly girl answer, I know)
I hope ya’ll enjoyed getting to know me just a little bit. I would love for you to check out my blog and what W&W is all about. Also, head to writingsandworship.com to see what Sarah had to say today! 
Follow me on social media:     IG- @writingsandworship     TWITTER- @hilary_parr 
Message me for collabs or freelance inquiries- hilaryparr2015@gmail.com 

XOXO, Hilary 


Thursday, February 11, 2016

11 Things You Should Be Doing Everyday

Experts say that you should do certain things everyday to have a successful, healthy life. I'm definitely not an expert, but this is my list-- And I think they're all (usually) doable.

11_Things_You_Should_Be_Doing_Everyday

1. Eating breakfast.

2. Drinking lots of water.

3. Walking.

4. Taking time for yourself (bath, pedicure, 10 minutes alone, etc.).

5. Reading.

6. Praying/meditating.

7. Eating a healthy meal with fruits &/or veggies.

8. Drinking coffee (my personal fav).

9. Writing (in a journal, on a blog, etc.).

10. Spending time with the people you love.

11. Enjoying every single moment of your life.


What do you do everyday that helps improve your life?




Monday, February 8, 2016

6 Valentine's Day Ideas-- That Won't Break The Bank!

It's really no secret that I love Valentine's Day. I know a lot of people "roll their eyes" at the thought of the holiday, but I don't. I get giddy & do some of the cheesiest things. Last year I found some sticky hearts in the Target dollar section to decorate my husband, Andrew's, mirror in our bathroom. I just love celebrating a day that reminds you to tell the people around you how much you love them!

Maybe you're a sceptic-- I don't blame you. Valentine's Day can come with a lot of expectations that intimidate you. It can also be super expensive. Or maybe you're on the other side of things & love Valentine's Day like myself, but don't want to spend a ton of money to celebrate the holiday. Either way, today I'm going to share with you how to have the best Valentine's Day with your love in a cost-friendly way! Because who wants to spend $100 for roses? Not me.

Valentine's_Day_Ideas_That_Won't_Break_The_Bank

1. Write a sweet, sappy love letter.
Tell your love how much they mean to you. Writing something down has so much more meaning than just saying it in passing. It's also something that your special someone can hold onto forever. Andrew & I write each other love notes randomly & I've kept them all. There's no better way to tell someone you care than by expressing it with words on a sheet of paper.

2. Cook a romantic dinner at home-- mood-lighting & all!
Get dressed up, light some candles, play some music, & cook up a "fancy" dinner at home. Who says you have to go out to a restaurant & spend $50 a plate? If you're looking for some nice, easy meals, the Pioneer Woman is my current go-to favorite on recipes. And guys, in case you're wondering, pasta is cheap & usually super easy to make! :)

3. Musically talented? Sing him/her a song.
Cheesy? Maybe. But I'll tell you, the moment I knew I loved Andrew was the first time he sang to me. Pick a song that tells your love how you feel & sing it out loud to them.

4. Go on a picnic.
Now, I know some of you are saying, "Okay, but it's like -10 degrees outside, how am I supposed to do that?" It's okay... Create an indoor picnic! Get a blanket, bring a basket with food & cuddle up in front of the fireplace. Some of the best dates are the ones you have at home.

5. Buy flowers and chocolate.
"Whoa, Sarah. I thought we were talking about things that WON'T break the bank." Hold on tight & let me explain. I love getting flowers. They're one of my "little joys" in life. And hint-hint, wink-wink to Andrew, I always want flowers for Valentine's day. But the classic Valentine's Day flower, roses, definitely aren't cheap during this time of year. So here's what you do: Go to the flower market or even a place like Sam's or Costco & you'll find flowers that are a lot cheaper than buying them at a flower shop. Make sure to buy flowers that are in season, they're always cheaper. And while you're at it, get your love some chocolate. Maybe make your own chocolate covered strawberries at home, or find a recipe for your love's favorite dessert. Andrew always loves when I make him no-bake cookies for a present!

6. Go on a driving date.
Start off the date by driving to the place you first met each other. Then drive to the place you asked him/her out. Keep going to all of the places where you had your "firsts" & then end the night with going someplace you've never been before. It doesn't have to be a place that's fancy or expensive, it can even be just a place where you hold hands & walk around... Just make it meaningful & memorable. It will be a night that you two will never forget!


Do you have some financial questions this Valentine's Day? Check out Personal Capital to see if they can help! What are your plans for the holiday??




Friday, February 5, 2016

What I Learned From My Dad

A lot has happened in my life over the past four years. Tomorrow is a day that I will always remember-- February 6, 2012, my dad passed away unexpectedly. I woke up that morning to the sound of my mom yelling at me that my dad wasn't breathing. She called 911 as we did CPR on him. The ambulance came & took my dad to the hospital. Somehow, my mom & I managed to drive ourselves to the hospital in what I remember as a big blur. We got there & a few minutes later, they pronounced him dead.

But I'm not writing this for you to feel sorry for me. I'm writing this so you can understand what a great God I serve & how blessed I am to call Elvin Long my father.

What_I_Learned_From_My_Dad

My dad taught me how to love-- love the Lord & love other people. He taught me how to share that love with others. He taught me that love is selfless-- and he showed that to my mom & I every day.

My dad taught me how to serve. My dad's spiritual gift was hands down, service. He was always doing something for someone else. Anytime someone would need their yard mowed or something moved, dad was always there. He was probably the most selfless person I've ever known. He taught me that I can always help someone.

My dad taught me how to pray. When I was little, dad would tuck me in & pray with me every night before I went to sleep. He taught me that prayer is important & essential in my life. I would often hear dad praying in the mornings before reading his Bible & hear him praying at night before he went to sleep. Before dad died, I would hear him late at night talking to God. I'm convinced dad knew he was about to go to heaven & I think God was preparing him for it.

My dad taught me how to communicate. I remember having long, meaningful talks with my dad even when I was very little. He would take me home from school & we'd talk about everything. We continued it as I got older. Some of my best memories with my dad consist of talks we would have when I got home every night. When something big or exciting happened, he was usually the first one I called. And I remember a time when I was hurt by some friends, all I thought was, "I really just want to talk to my dad." He taught me how to talk to others.

My dad taught me how to follow my dreams. Dad always told me how proud he was of me. He told me countless times to chase after what I wanted to do in life. He encouraged me to go to college and get my degree, unlike him. He told me, "If God calls you somewhere else around the world, it will be hard for me, but I'll always support you & stand behind you no matter what."

My dad taught me how to surrender. He taught me the most important thing of all-- I was a sinner in need of a Savior, & Jesus Christ was the only one who could do that for me. Dad taught me about grace & forgiveness. He showed me the love of my heavenly Father by loving me as my earthly father. Any questions I had about my walk with God, he was always there to help me find the answer. Dad encouraged me to surrender my life to the Lord and follow Him wherever I go.

How many dads teach their children what my dad taught me?.. I'm not sure. But I'm forever grateful for the impact my father made in my life. And I'm so blessed to have a Heavenly Father who constantly covers me with His unfailing grace.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If My Dog Could Talk...

I'm absolutely obsessed with my dog. He's the cutest. He's the best. And he's my kid (because why can't dogs be considered kids too?). I hate to admit it, but Murphy is pretty sassy. I think he gets it from me. I mean, my name IS "Sassy Sar." But I often wonder what he would say if he could speak. I imagine it would go something like this...

If_My_Dog_Could_Talk_

Mornings:

"MOM & DAD! It's time to wake up! Get me out of this crazy crate thing that you put me in every night! It's so crowded in here. Why do you guys feel the need to stick so much junk in here to make me 'cozy?' Will someone get up & feed me now?? I'm so sick of using my dog-voice (aka barking). I mean really, it's not good on the vocal cords. How will I ever be a professional singer? Basically you guys are hindering me from living out my dreams."

"Ugh, bout time, Dad. Really? Why did leave me in here to 'cry it out' for an hour? I don't care if it's 4:00 in the morning. Clearly I wanted out of this thing & you guys wouldn't get over your 'sleeping schedule' to come & let me out."

"Alright, Dad is letting me out of this crate thing & I'm heading to the back door. NEED TO GO PEE!"

*Goes outside*

"Wooh! That was a close one. Is it time to eat now? Um, Dad? Why are you getting back into bed? Don't you realize it's time for me to eat? I'm a starving pup over here!"

"FINALLY! His alarm went off. Time to eat, time to eat! Wait. Why isn't he feeding me yet, Mom? And why are you still sleeping? Why can't YOU feed me? Can't you see I'm eager?"

"Okay. Dad is finally done showering. It's about time! I'm ready to e-a-t! YESSSS. He's feeding me! 

*Scarfs down food*

"Alright, need to go outside again, Dad or else I'll go poop on the rug-- & you won't like that!"

*Goes outside*

"Okie dokie. Back to bed with Mom! Mom is the best. Oh yeah & thanks for the food, Dad. You're alright too!"

*Sleeps the rest of the morning*

Afternoons:

"Mom, you're soooo boring. You keep doing stuff around the house & it's no fun. I guess I'll just have to nap. And then when I get bored with that, I'll come chew on your shoe until you play with me. Sound ok?"

Evenings:

"DAD IS HOME! DAD IS HOME! DAAAAAAAD!"

*Super excited*

"Dad, Mom was super boring today! I'm so glad you're finally home to pay attention to only me! Wait, why are you hugging & kissing Mom? What did she do to deserve THAT? She's seriously paid like zero attention to me today & you're rewarding HER & not me? I don't understand. Why are you ignoring me now? I'm going to chew on your shoe until you pay attention to ME!"

"And by the way, now that Dad is home, doesn't that mean it's dinner time?! DINNER TIME! DINNER TIME! Woot woot! Feed me!"

*Scarfs down food*

"Someone better let me out or I'm going to explode!"

*Goes outside*

*Plays with toys*

*Sleeps the rest of the evening*

Bedtime:

*We break the news to Murphy that it's bedtime*

"Do you guys hate me or something? Why do I have to go to bed? Or better yet, can't I just sleep with you guys? I mean come on, y'all DO have a kingsize bed. You guys could let me sleep up there. I won't be a problem, I promise. I'll just casually take up most of the bed. It's really not that big of a deal."

*Put him in his crate*

"Okay, so.. you guys didn't like my idea did you? Oh just wait, you'll get annoyed with me crying eventually & then I'll get to sleep in your bed."

*Cries for 10 minutes*

"Ugh. I give up. I'm going to sleep."



Monday, February 1, 2016

Things You Should Do This February

Happy first day of February, y'all! 

February is always a fun month (especially if you love Valentine's Day like I do!). I was thinking about all of the many things I want to do this month & thought to myself, "Well why don't you just write about it & give some of your readers ideas too?!" Sometimes "myself" is so smart.

Things_You_Should_Do_This_February

-Cook dinner & have a date night at home.

-Clean out your closet. And donate what you're getting rid of!

-Have a Gal-entine's Day party with your gal pals!

-Binge watch with your love one night.

-YouTube yoga workout videos-- It's so much fun when it's cold outside!

-Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers (of course, make sure they're Instagram worthy).

-Go on Pinterest & find the best Valentine's Day crafts.

-Take a mini-road trip for the day.

-Get dressed up & go out.

-Make heart-shaped cookies.

-Find a new recipe to cook. My favorite cookbook currently is The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper!

-Watch an old, cheesy romantic comedy.

-Work on your budget (or make one!).

-Reflect on your goals for this year. How are they going & what should you do to make them better?

-Find a book to read. A ton of people are doing bookclubs right now.. See what they're reading!

-Download the app, "A Color Story."

-Write a love letter to your significant other.

-Try a new restaurant.

-Start a journal-- write down your thoughts, goals, dreams, etc.

-Follow a new blog. Hey, if you don't already, follow me! :)

-Make it a goal to drink more water.

-Watch Fuller House on Netflix... Ahh!


What are your plans for this February?


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