Liz Jo’s Guest Post!

Hi I’m Liz Jo!  I blog over at sundays with sophie.  Wife to Kyle, and mama to Sophie.  I blog and bake in the very little spare time I have.  I started blogging back when I became pregnant with Sophie and it became so much more, a place where I talk about marriage and parenthood.

I love meeting new people, so here are some things about me 🙂 I hope to learn more about you


The biggest way to my heart is food.  It’s the truth, food will most certainly get me to love you more.  I, more often than not, get hangry.  So food is a must.

I got a tattoo 5 months ago, but half the time I don’t even remember that I have it and am surprised when people notice it.

I’ve never broken a bone ever just for reference I’m 24.  However, a piece of my bone has broken off and is now resting to the side of  the fibula?  I’m horrible with bones, (just hear Dr. Brennan dying on the inside).  So essentially on the right side of my leg towards the shin, you can feel the “extra” bone just hanging out.  Kyle can feel it.

I actually decorated our house for fall this year, for once.  I hope to continue decorating it throughout the year with different wreaths.

I am a horrible enforcer….When it comes to parenting, Kyle is the bad cop, and I’m well not a cop haha.  Let’s take this picture for example, she wanted to play with a dirty bucket, she wanted to put rocks in it, and attempt to bring the bucket into the house (it didn’t make it in) but I totally would have let her until Kyle said no.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading some new things about the people that make sundays with sophie so don’t be shy, and come over and say hi!


Thank you so much for letting me take over your blog for a day, Julie!  Good luck to your unpacking 🙂 and can’t wait to see your new home and how the new life is in Seattle.

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Kathleen’s Guest Post!

Kathleen is one of my good friends from high school. She and I have kept in touch even though we no longer live in the same state. She currently lives in Colorado and I now live in Washington state. We played tennis together in high school and she’s been such a great friend ever since. We’ve traveled all over the US together and have visited each other in Colorado and California. Maybe someday she will move to Seattle 😉

She was my first interview on the blog that you can check out here. I’m so happy she’s guest blogging today. You can learn more about her tiny living journey which is so inspiring!


Julie and I go way back to high school. Back then, we’d exchange notes in our classes, which is a little like blogging, right?

Moving to Colorado

Julie and I grew up in neighboring hometowns. We both stayed in the Midwest for college, but after we graduated, I ended up moving from Chicago out west to Colorado. I packed everything that would fit in my Toyota Camry and drove by myself the 16 hours to the state with 300 days of sunshine.

I remember when I reached the Colorado border, I let out a little yelp (which was quite weird honestly, because no one was in the car with me). All of my daydreaming about living near the Rocky Mountains was finally coming to life.


Credit: BAMPhoto

Meeting Greg

After three years living in Colorado, I was feeling lonely after recent breakup from a long relationship. A friend joked about a dating app called Tinder. We played around with it one day, and I thought the whole thing was strange. How could I possibly find a date on this thing? Did people really take this seriously?

I was not at a point to take anything seriously, so I decided to have some fun with it, so I messaged some guys and scheduled some dates on the app.

Greg was my first Tinder date and he stuck. At dinner during our first date, I listened wide-eyed to ideas he had about permaculture and local foods. He had stories of backpacking in New Zealand and living out of a van.


We moved into my 1,000-square-foot apartment with my roommate, Stacey, after a few months of dating. When our lease ran out, Greg and I began to talk about what our next living options were.


Living Tiny

It seemed like everyone was telling us we should get an apartment or house in the city, but that’s exactly what Greg and I didn’t want to do. Every place we looked was expensive and lacked the backyard and garden we dreamed about.


Credit: BAMPhoto

Greg started bringing up living in a van during his travels but I wasn’t convinced. It was one thing to travel and live in a van, but how was I going to do that and go to work everyday?

In relationships, you have to compromise, and so, our compromise was buying a 1969 camper trailer (140 square feet).


Credit: BAMPhoto

We found our tiny home on Craigslist and immediately started looking for places to park it. We ended up messaging a few people in the area we wanted to live and found a backyard in the foothills.

In the past year, we’ve lived with limited access to electricity and Wi-Fi, but do not connect to their hose for running water. Instead, we fill galloon jugs with water at our local grocery store.


Credit: BAMPhoto

Our dog, Blaize, loves running around in her big backyard.


What I’ve Learned

Living small has taught me how to adapt to hardships. I know I could be self-sufficient living off the grid if I needed to be and that is a freeing feeling.

mapMy bags are always packed for adventures, and I take them as often as I can.


backpackI’m not the only one who has chosen this lifestyle. Others my age have also challenged themselves to live small or on the road. Every week, I feature a new tiny dweller on my blog. I would love for you to check it and leave comments.


Credit: BAMPhoto

Follow me on Instagram as well for photos of my camper trailer and lifestyle.


Credit: BAMPhoto

I am so beyond happy and proud of Kathleen and Greg for embarking on such a great journey. We all could learn a thing or two from them! I know I definitely have a lot of stuff I don’t need but hold on to for sentimental reasons or others. But it’s so refreshing to see them living tiny and getting outdoors as much as possible. Thanks again Kathleen for sharing more of your story with us!

Jessica’s Guest Post!

I thought I’d have my sh*t together by now, but of course I do not. My place is still a mess. We don’t have internet in our house yet or any groceries still. #firstworldproblems
So I hope you’ll bear with me some more while we get organized and I will slow get back to blogging regularly and commenting. I’ve read and appreciate all of your comment and well wishes during our move!  Thanks girls! 🙂 For the next few days I have a few more guest bloggers.
I found Jessica’s blog through a link up month ago and we found out we were both from Chicago! She’s been a fun blogger friend to follow and chat with. She blogs over at Semi Sweet Tooth be sure to check her out and say hello!
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5 Tricks to Get Better Sleep
When I signed on to write a guest post on Say Yes to Happy due to the move to Sacramento, I instantly thought back to my cross-country move just a couple of days over a year ago.  And what I thought of was… stress.  And a personal issue for me is that when I’m stressed, I’m the type that loses sleep while thinking over a large multitude of situations.
In currently working what is essentially two full-time jobs (Project Management and Blogging, #obviously), having an hour+ commute each way for my 9-to-5, and planning a wedding (with the help of my fiancé), I’ve sporadically had sleeping issues across the year.  If you’re like me, trying to fit what is logically too much on your metaphorical plate, then here are my top 5 tricks for getting better sleep!
Deep, Controlled Breathing
Whenever my mind is racing, my first trick is to try to redirect my thoughts to my breathing.  Breathe in for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, and slowly breathe out for a count of 8.  This pattern of breathing will leave you feeling relaxed and settled in for a night of great sleep.
Settling your thoughts on a specific intention will allow you to kind of “zone out” on that area of focus.  I’d suggest a thought such as “hope” or “happiness” to leave you on the track for great dreams and a next day of positive thoughts.
Chamomile or “Sleepy Time” Tea
Sometimes I like to start my evenings with some relaxing chamomile tea.  This is potentially, completely a placebo, but I find the warmth to be incredibly soothing.  If you want to get fancy, rumor has it that adding a little lavender will add an extra kick of relaxation.
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Keep a Notepad Next to Your Bed
This habit is likely incredibly annoying to my wonderful fiancé, Raymond… wonderful because he deals with my crazy sleeping habits.  When my mind is racing, it’s typically because I’m thinking through a full list of things I have to do.  Keeping a notepad next to our bed allows me to write the full list of tasks running through my mind so that I can tackle them the next day.
When my sleeping issues become a persistent issue (typically the week before my cycle, TMI?), I am willing to take one natural, supplemental melatonin.  Your brain naturally produces melatonin as a way to regulate your sleep/wake cycle.  Natural melatonin supplements have been deemed safe for short-term use.  If you decide to take this route, always listen to the manufacturer’s instructions and stop use if you wake up exhausted the next day.  Aka, use with discretion and consider talking to your doctor before use.
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What tricks do you use when you’re having difficulty sleeping?  If you’ve tried any of the tricks above, let us know how they’ve worked for you!
Create a great day!
Thanks again so much for filling in for me Jessica! Lately I’ve been so exhausted from all the moving I’ve had no trouble falling asleep hah, but I would like to try to get into meditating.

Rachel’s Guest Post

I found Rachel’s blog from a link up and was so excited when I found out she is originally from Chicago! You all know how much I love my Chi town so it’s so fun to find other Midwest bloggers, even if they don’t live there anymore. I love reading her blog and seeing her adorable little boys! But I’ll let Rachel take it from here:
Hello “Say Yes to Happy” readers! I’m Rachel from Floral and Fudge. I was so flattered when Julie asked me if I would guest post this week! She and I are having fun getting to know each other, and we’re bonding over our Chicago roots 🙂
Today, I’m sharing my bucket list with you all.
First off, let me just say that I’m extremely blessed to have some of my biggest dreams already crossed off. In all seriousness, being married with two babies is all I could ever ask for in this life. I’m not a huge risk-taker, so there’s no interest in sky diving or mountain climbing or swimming with sharks.
But these are still pretty good. Here goes!
1. Visit all 50 states. I’m currently at 28. I would love to see California and Hawaii!
2. Buy our first house.
3. Sing a duet in public with my husband, Steve.
4. Attend high school and college reunions. (I missed my 10-year high school reunion this summer, but I hope to go to future ones!)
5. Read the whole Bible.
6. Plant a tree, hopefully like an apple tree or a peach tree.
7. Go on a cruise to some Caribbean island like St. Lucia.
8. Try blonde.
9. Learn how to sail.
10. Have coffee with someone famous. I’m thinking Amy Grant, Candace Cameron Bure, or Lauren Graham.
11. Eat a delicious pizza in Italy.
12. Swim under a waterfall.
13. Get something published.
14. See the hospital where Steve was born in Fairbanks, Alaska.
15. Take a pottery class with my mom.
16. Shop at IKEA in Stockholm.
17. Eat my weight in chocolate.
18. Take Nolan and Ephraim to a certain theme park in Orlando.
19. Throw an over-the-top party, just for fun.
20. Do everything for these boys.
What’s on your bucket list??
Come visit me at Floral and Fudge!Thanks so much, Julie, for letting me fill in for you today! 🙂

How sweet is her family?! Thanks again so much Rachel! It was so fun to have you on my blog today. I love hearing about other people’s bucket lists, they are always so interesting! Eating chocolate, pizza in Italy, learning to sail? Yes please!!

Ailee Guest Post!

Today’s guest blogger is one of my favorite bloggers out there. Ailee blogs at Snapshot and My Thoughts. She is a talented photographer and has the most beautiful photos and her family is picture perfect. Her toddler, Isla, is beyond precious. I am so honored that she is guest blogging for me today. She makes me realize I need to step up my photography and blogging game.


Why I Love Blogging

by Ailee Petrovic of Snapshots & My Thoughts

My history with blogging dates back six years (oh my gosh, slow down time!), and there has been quite an evolution. To start, let me take you back to the very beginning.


  • May 2009: I started my first blog, Ailee Marie à Paris, to document my summer abroad working in Paris. I still read those posts from time to time! I definitely got bit by the blog bug that summer.
  • January 2010: I began writing Semplistic Thoughts (my maiden name was Semple) as a senior at The University of Texas at Austin. I thought it was a novel way to share thoughts and create a dialog on topics important to me (namely my faith).
  • January 2010: During my final semester at school, I had to write a blog as a requirement for a Media course I enrolled in. I called it Me, Myself & Media, and it mainly focused on advertising campaigns.
  • May 2010: On a trip to Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, I wrote a short travel blog – Down Under Diary to chronicle my activities.
  • May 2011: At my first job out of college, I was working with a large team of Management Consulting analysts (most of whom I still keep in touch with!), so we wrote a collaborative blog called Dino Debates to keep us entertained while living in Oklahoma City every Monday through Thursday. If I need a laugh, I revisit some of those posts.
  • August 2011: During a trip to the Philippines, I wrote a short blog – Musings in Manila. It was a life-changing trip, and I’m glad I have it well documented.
  • January 2012: My best friends, McKenzie, and I started a blog called Hello Houston, to share some of our favorite restaurants in the city. We sadly decided to make it private after we stopped writing it.
  • June 2012: Voilà – my eighth (and final for now!) blog, Snapshots & My Thoughts was born in 2012. It began as a space for me to document favorite styles and interior designs, then after we got engaged, it turned into a wedding-ish blog, and now, it definitely reflects our current stage of life: new parents.


People often ask how I got into blogging, and I like to think it was just inevitable from the advent of weblogs (do you even remember when they were called that?) that I would one day write one. I have always loved expressing myself through writing, and I enjoy photography, curating pretty graphics, sharing (and finding) design inspiration, etc. – all essentials in the world of blogging. It just kind of made sense to have my own (or multiples!).

Blogging is cathartic… inspiring… community-building… creative… capturing… and should be fun to write. I love writing posts and most especially hearing feedback (makes blogging feel less one-sided). I have met some of my closest friends through the blogging and creative circle (some ‘real life friends,’ others modern day pen pals). Finding like-minded individuals isn’t always easy, but you can definitely do it in the blog world!

As you can tell from my history, I absolutely love blogging. With this said, there are days when I feel uninspired and Snapshots & My Thoughts gets neglected. Lately, my calendar has been booked with photo shoots (I am a photographer too!), and coming up with creative content to share has been the last thing on my mind. I recently considered quitting altogether, but quickly snapped out of it. Blogging should never be a forced thing. Instead of focusing on having five posts a week, I have decided to let the process be more natural. Are there home renovation photos I want to share? Great. Then I’ll do it. Do I have Halloween outfit inspiration ideas? Perfect, I’ll blog about it. But blogging should never feel like pulling teeth.

One of my 2015 resolutions was to ‘get more personal’ with my readers. Last year, I began writing a ‘Week in Review’ post on Mondays that highlighted the past week and my favorite memories. At first, it felt a big braggadocious – like “here are all of the cool things I did!”; however, I hope my readers know me well enough to know that I’m not like that. Blogs are like online diaries, so why not share happy memories? It’s my favorite post to write every week, as it makes me feel incredibly grateful for all of the joyful things in our lives.

If you need some convincing why you should write a blog, read this article. I agree wholeheartedly with the arguments!

Now it’s your turn. How do you document your favorite memories? Photos? Do you rely solely on social media, like Facebook and Instagram, or do you keep a diary? Perhaps even a blog?

Blog | Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Email

You guys have to check out her blog, you won’t be sorry! If you’re anything like me, you’ll be really inspired and impressed. Thank you again SO much Ailee!

Kelley’s Guest Post!

Today’s guest blogger is Kelley, who has become a blogger friend of mine, and I’m so happy she’s taking over for me today. She lives across the pond in London with her family and I love following their adventures. I’ll let Kelley take it from here:
Allow me to introduce myself… 
Hello, I’m Kelley! I am a Colorado native currently living in London with my husband of almost 10(!) years, Davis, our daughter, Madeline (3), and our rescue doggie, Hyde. Prior to relocating to London in 2014, we called Los Angeles home. And prior to being a stay-at-home mommy to Madeline, I was an elementary school teacher.
I started my blog Madeline in the City last year just after we moved to London as a way to keep family and friends updated on our lives and to have a family journal of all of our adventures. I blog about our adventures in and around London and use it as a travel diary when we take a holiday. I also write about the every day boring stuff of just being a normal mom living in a new city.
I love blogging because…
Blogging helps me process and express my thoughts. In the first few months after moving, I had some really hard days missing everything from back in the states (like a normal trip to Target). I used my blog as a journal to write several posts to help me process this huge life change we had experienced- moving to another country. Of course, I never hit publish as they felt too personal to put out there for the world to read! I also thought my blog would be a great way for Madeline to see her life over here and I’ve loved looking back to see all that we’ve done in the last year and a half of living in London.
I also love blogging because it puts me in contact with people around the world that I would normally never be in contact with (and comments just make my day!). I met one of my good friends in London because of a California friend’s blog. I am so glad Erin followed Erin’s blog so that our paths crossed! 
My favorite vacation was…
Before Davis and I were going to start our family, we took what we thought to be our last trip before I got pregnant. (Africa actually turned out to be the second to last trip as we also squeezed in Panama before I could get pregnant due to needing to wait for the Malaria medication we had to take to fully exit my system.) We spent 3 weeks on the continent- began in Cape Town, did safaris in different parts of Tanzania seeing the Great Migration, spent some time on the island of Zanzibar and finished in Cairo, Egypt. It was the most incredible experience and I hope to one day be able to visit again once Madeline is old enough to truly experience a trip like that.
We loved Cape Town and one of the highlights was being at the top of Table Mountain. The other highlight was visiting Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held as a prisoner for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. Oh and Davis went cage diving with great white sharks which was probably the worst experience of my life. It was so cold (it was winter in that part of the world), the water was SO turbulent and I was so very sea sick despite beginning my Dramamine regimen 24 hours before we even set foot on the boat. But hey, the things we do for love, right?
On the Safari part of our trip in Tanzania we flew or drove around the country spending time at the Ngorongoro CraterLake ManyaraTarangire National Park and the Serengeti. We went in August to see the Great Migration– the incredible amount of wildebeest (1.5 million!) and all of the animals that go along with them- is absolutely breathtaking. It’s hard to put into words the absolute beauty of seeing wild animals in their natural habitat. You can just sit there for hours. Waiting. Watching. We had a few unbelievable experiences that I caught on video- one with an elephant and another with a mother rhino and her baby.
Our 3 weeks ended with a few days in Cairo, Egypt during the holy month of Ramadan. It was incredibly hot but visiting the pyramids, riding a camel and seeing the (smaller than you think it’d be) Sphinx was pretty amazing. If getting to Africa is on your bucket list, it’s not going to disappoint one bit!
The best part of our summer…
Madeline and I spent a month in the states (and Davis 2 weeks). It was so wonderful to spend an extended time with family and friends in Denver and Los Angeles doing things and visiting places we’ve missed living abroad. It was also especially nice as we did not have much of a summer in London so spending time in the states gave us some good hot weather.
Blogging has taught me…
It takes me a long time to write a post! And being a tiny bit of a perfectionist, it probably takes me longer than most. I am always so impressed by the bloggers (Julie!) who post multiple times weekly. If I get one done a week, I feel accomplished.
Also it takes commenting on other blogger’s blogs to develop a following and to get your blog out there. I am feeling more confident about my blog a little over a year into it and I am trying to link-up more and take the time to comment more on the blogs I read. I often read my favorite blogs on the train or while I’m waiting to pick up Madeline from nursery and then don’t get around to commenting. I need to get better at commenting since I love reading comments from others on my blog. 
A few bucket list items or life goals would be… 
(and in no particular order)
1. Add to our family with another baby and rescue another dog
2. Get certified to be a yoga instructor to teach children
3. Visit New Zealand/Australia and Iceland (and pretty much anywhere else in the world)
4. Have you seen this video? I would absolutely LOVE to have an experience with whales in the wild.
5. Own a horse so I guess that would mean someday living in the country.
Thanks for having me Julie! I hope you are having a nice trip to North Carolina!
And thanks for reading my post. Please stop by my blog Madeline in the City to say hello too!
How sweet is her family? Love all these pictures! A lion, the Sphinx, a safari, AND Cape Town? WOW!  Thank you again so much for sharing this and your family with us Kelley! Now you all know why I love her blog so much!