2014 word of the year

Happy 2014 everyone. As you may have noticed, I took a little break from this blog at the end of 2013. It wasn’t planned, but I think it was needed. As I had mentioned before, the October/November/December months are pretty crazy at the Byrd house and I really wanted to focus on enjoying all aspects of this birthday/anniversary/holiday season since it is our last as a two-some!

Like most people seem to do, I spend a lot of time self-reflecting at the end of each year — What did I do right? What did I do wrong? How do I want to improve myself? I’m usually very internal with these thoughts and I tend to make general mental notes to myself rather than hard resolutions.

But this year is a little different. 2014 is going to one of the biggest years ever for me, so it seems fitting that I would try something new to get myself ready.

I saw this workbook posted on Joelle’s Facebook page knew it was going to be exactly what I needed to get my year off to a great start. I printed it off and spent some time with it as I waited to go to dinner on NYE. The workbook took me through this last year and provided a lot of space for reflection. Getting these thoughts out of my head and onto the paper was a great way for me to clearly see what I wanted to work on for 2014.

Towards the end of the workbook, you are prompted to choose a word of the year – something that will guide and inspire you throughout 2014.

2014 word of the year

My word of the year is devote. When thinking about things I wanted to work on for this year, I had something in mind for almost every part of my life – my marriage, family, work, home. Overall, I want to find the perfect balance that I crave. And without going into too much detail about all the things I want to work on here, I’ll say that the word “devote” fits my goals perfectly.

So, cheers to the new year! I wish nothing but great things on all of you and your families in 2014.

oscar wilde quote

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a post about love

|| Warning: this post is mushy ||

Today marks our two year wedding anniversary.

Two years ago we stood in front of our family and friends {in the rain} and were joined together as husband and wife.


I know it’s so cliche of me to say, but it was seriously my favorite day ever…

…until today.

That’s a really hard thing to admit – both publicly and to myself. I almost feel guilty for feeling as though my wedding day is not my favorite day ever.

I think we (especially women) are conditioned to think that your wedding day is the single most important day in our relationships — or even our lives. We spend countless hours planning the “perfect” day and when all goes well, we believe that no day should ever be better.

Two years ago, I had that “perfect” day. Our wedding was everything I imagined it would be. It was simple, beautiful and very fitting for the two of us – if I had the chance to re-do it, I wouldn’t change a thing.


So how could today top that?

Today, I was overwhelmed by love.

It was a pretty normal day for us. Our morning started with homemade waffles. After breakfast, we both had projects to work on so we did. I went to a class I had registered for a few weeks back, and Alex took care of some stuff around the house. We picked up Taco Bell for dinner and watched the newest episode of “The Amazing Race”.

Pretty romantic stuff right?

Call me crazy but the simple fact that we spent our anniversary really not doing anything “special” is what made today so amazing for me. And as we sat on the couch figuring out what we were going to do for dinner I started to cry the happiest tears.

Now, if you know me, you know I am a crier. But this wasn’t a “normal” cry. Tonight I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of love that I felt for my husband and once the tears started flowing, I honestly felt like I would burst if I tried to suppress them. Never have I felt an emotion as strong as this.

I cried because I love that we are “boring” and don’t need to spend tons of money to be happy. I cried because I love the fact that we celebrate “us” on a daily basis – and that our anniversary isn’t something we go crazy over. I cried because I love our love.


Obviously, I loved Alex on {and before} our wedding day. But that love has continued to grow and evolve in the past few years and today it reached out and slapped me in the face. It’s really hard to explain, but that overwhelming “I’m-going-to-burst-if-I-don’t-let-it-out-NOW” feeling of love is something seriously special and I hope that everyone reading {if you are still reading these rambles} gets to experience it at some point in their lives. And because I got to experience that today, is why today has been my favorite day ever.

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fall garland

Fall is now in full swing and it seems like my Bloglovin’ feed is constantly flooded with images of seriously enviable fall mantels.

Here in Hawaii, we don’t have a fireplace which is probably a good thing since from the beginning of this pregnancy I have been ridiculously warm all the time. I try to park myself in front of a fan whenever possible BUT if we had a fireplace that was fully decked out with all of my favorite fall decor items, I don’t think I would be able to resist lighting a fire and roasting relaxing there with a good book.

Since we don’t have a fireplace, we don’t have a traditional mantel to decorate — but that doesn’t mean we can’t decorate! This dresser (lovingly referred to as the “shoe and shit shelf”) was thrown out by one of our neighbors a few weeks after we moved into our house. Addie and I rescued it and gave it a home near our front door. We had/have grand plans for the refinishing of this dresser but until we get moving on those plans it will serve as my makeshift mantel.

For fall, I kept the decorations clean and simple: a few mini pumpkins, a couple of decorative gourds, a delicious smelling candle and a DIY garland. The display was very easy to throw together and brought the right amount of “fall” to our home.

We are currently hosting a giveaway on Facebook so head on over for your chance to win a fall garland of your own!

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be you, bravely

Sometimes I struggle creating content for this blog. Not because I am short on ideas, it’s actually quite the opposite. My thoughts are constantly flooded with ideas for how I can expand my brand. I’m always dreaming up recipe ideas, composing blog posts in my head, and imagining what will be inside NBE’s next celebration box. You will always find a journal in my purse, filled with notes I jot down to remind myself of these fun ideas. Once I get home, I step into the office full of confidence and excitement…

…and then I hit a wall.

All of those awesome creative and productive thoughts almost instantly turn into feelings of doubt. I don’t lose excitement over my ideas, but I wrestle with myself wondering what other people will think.

I am very blessed to have a great number of talented, creative and successful people in my life. Many of my friends and family have taken their passions and turned them into profitable ventures and I honestly couldn’t be happier for them. Their journeys are inspiration to me and I turn to them for advice when needed. And while it’s a blessing to have these wonderful examples of success at my fingertips, it sometimes becomes my biggest roadblock.

Be You Bravely

See, a lot of times friends and family share similar interests right? That’s usually a good thing, as that is what brings you together. But, when you start to build a business around your personal talents and interests, and you are surrounded by family and friends who have done the same you start to feel a little un-original. And really, when you are pouring your heart and soul into developing your brand, the last thing you want to feel is un-original.

I try to remind myself that I am not the first person to feel this way. Almost every small business owner has had to overcome the fact that they aren’t the first. But just because they aren’t the first, doesn’t mean that they are un-original. Every successful business has something special that sets themselves apart from the others which, in turn, makes them original.

I am actively working on breaking down this wall of apprehensiveness. Trying to get past the thoughts of “sure, I would love to add that to my repertoire but “so and so” already does that” that I encounter on a regular basis. Because really, “so and so” wasn’t the first to do it and I definitely will not be the last. All I can do is be true to myself, follow my passion and see where it leads me. If I do what I love, and do it to the best of my ability I will be happy.

There will always be people who compare me to other like-minded business owners. Comparisons are a part of daily life – from department stores to Italian restaurants. Just because Olive Garden and Buca Di Beppo both serve eggplant parmesan doesn’t mean that one restaurant is mimicking the other, right?

Of course, getting to the point of having complete confidence in what I do will take some time. But I truly feel that getting these thoughts written down and sharing them with you all has helped me come to a peace about moving forward with things that I want to do. So thanks for reading, and cheers (non-alcoholic for baby, of course) to living bravely.

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oh baby

Pregnancy Announcement

There are no words to describe how excited I am to announce that Alex and I are expecting our first child in May. I already feel overwhelmingly blessed to be the momma to this sweet little Byrd and can’t wait to meet him/her (or find out if it is a him/her for that matter!)

Of course, so many of my thoughts are now consumed with all things baby so you can expect to see some tons of baby-friendly posts soon!

“For this child I prayed, and the Lord answered my prayer” 1 Samuel 1:27

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