Think Outside “The Office” – Leading People to Become Innovative 

Working within 4 walls, mainly sitting, can deplete your productivity! Whether you’re in sales, business administration, or management etc. you know your creative mind kind of disappears within that environment. This can kill the growth of your company! There is nothing more deadly to an organization than complacency, and nothing more powerful than intreprenuership (entrepreneur within an organization). Being creative is a great asset to any company, because with the lightning fast speeds of technology, you either adapt or die! According to Business.com there is no room for complacency. The ability to be innovative in today’s world is crucial, but how can we stay inspired and creative? The majority of our day is spent in an atmosphere that kills creativity. Think about it. Blank walls, cubicles, &  dark offices make up that majority of office buildings. 

I get it. We have to have offices, and cubicles. We can’t get around that. They are efficient, inexpensive, and practical. So how do we make sure to maintain a good balance of creative energy as well as productive energy? Some companies that have a larger budget are going to a more modern design with new architecture of bright colors and natural light . For example; GOOGLE. A company leading in innovation and as you can see in this photo their offices in Dublin are far from boring! This is proven to help increase company morale, productivity, and business growth.

So what do you do if you don’t have a fancy remodel, or a google size company? One of the easiest ways to bring creativity out in employees is by spending time outside (weather permitted) . It’s pretty simple! There are several opportunities to make this happen in any given 9-5. 

  1.  Any meeting that is non-confidential can be held outside. This creates a more casual atmosphere, breaks down barriers, and lowers stress levels. All of this helps your team think more clear and make better decisions. It also makes brainstorming ideas more effective by being in a natural setting as oppose to typical conference rooms. 
  2. Team building exercises are better outside. Our department did a half day Zip Lining tour at a local lodge in town & it built a morale between us that wasn’t there before. Plus, there is nothing more hilarious than seeing your colleagues flying down a steel rope in funny helmets screaming at the top of their lungs! Talk about bonding at its finest, with a little bit of black mail material to use later. Just kidding! 
  3. Break rooms can be designated in an outdoor setting. More architects are designing break rooms to incorporate natural lighting, courtyards, gardens and even walking trails with water sources. Hilti has an amazing outdoor courtyard that is an employee favorite! 

Putting these into practice will help develop a more innovative team and company. Don’t ever get stuck in the same ole routine day in and day out. Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying some new styles of managing can be scary but it’s worth it! Others may not understand it and call it weird, but that’s okay. Your job is to create an environment that allows your team to thrive, and that will help the entire organization. Some of the greatest things come out of simple ideas! Start today. Go outside and see what new ideas lead to a better team and a better company. 
-Caitie

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    “Good Boy Mo” 


    Caidon rode his first horse this weekend! His name…. Mo. Mo is a good horse from Missouri. 12 years old and an expert trail horse. Caidon LOVED him! It’s funny how you go into situations expecting one thing but get something totally different. I was just wanting some fresh air and a day out of the house, however I got so much more than that. 

    The average horse weighs 1400 pounds and can run up to 30 mph! That’s amazing. I was also very aware that this was the only form of transportation for 6000 years, and we’ve only had cars for a little over 100 years. They were used for warfar,  medical transportation, and food carriages. Horses were essential in families for generations. Now you just see them used for recreational purposes. 


    Seeing caidon’s face when he met “Mo” was priceless. His childlike innocence was perfection! He respected his horse, and did everything he could to make sure Mo was safe. My prayer for Caidon has always been that he respects nature and animals. God blesses you beyond measure when he allows you to witness your prayer come to pass in your child.  Seeing his little hands pet the horses’ mane and hear him say ” Good Boy Mo” is enough to make my heart burst with joy! 

    Life moved slower on the horses. We were in no rush to go anywhere. With cars going an average of 60 miles per hour, we get used to going no where really fast. It’s becoming more clear as I get older the slower we go somewhere the more accurate our destination becomes! I hope with all of these adventures we become more aware of time & understand just how fleeting it is. 

    I know it won’t always be like this

    Life can change as quick as a kiss

    It’s not over yet and I already miss

    Today 

    – Brad Paisley 

    How to be Adventurous on a Budget


    I know, I know, it’s the worst word in the world. BUDGET! However, I’ve become quite fond of the budget, because it gives me permission to spend money and still be on a game plan for financial success. In my previous Blog Post, How we paid off $35k of debt & still had fun, it contained some ways we still had fun while paying $3,000-$4,000 a month on Debt. This mainly consisted of exploring the outdoors.

    With any activity or hobby, you will need to purchase some essential items in order to get started. It doesn’t have to break the $bank$ though! Being adventurous is great because whether you spend $1000 or $100, you can still have a fantastic time. You can determine what kind of adventure you want to go on and it can be at any level you see fit. You probably think where you live is lacking in the excitement factor, but I can assure you, you can find an experience of a lifetime right in your backyard. Spending hundreds in travel costs doesn’t have to be the case.  God has blessed us with an abundance of natural wonders that we have to preserve and respect. In order to do that you MUST go out and find them. Adventure awaits, enjoy the ride!

    Essentials- Necessity Items

    You will need a few essentials when you are started out and can easily be found around your house.

    1.Good Backpack or overnight bag. You can snoop around the house and find an old backpack from college, or some carry on luggage you can reuse to pack your day trip essentials. You can even find some really good bags at thrift stores and Goodwill that will last a long time. Never underestimate the ability to find a hidden gem at a garage sale this spring. If you cant find a used one around the house you can purchase an all-in-one bag for less than $40 on Amazon or eBay. I recently purchased the Huwaijianfeng Backpack for about $35. It’s suitable for 2-3 day backpacking trips and comes with a rain proof cover to protect all of your gear. I’ve only used mine a couple of times, and so far its been GREAT!

    2. Reliable Footwear. To start out you may get by with some decent tennis shoes that have some good support, but I would recommend a shoe specifically for rough terrain surfaces such as hiking, running, mountain climbing etc. A good pair of hiking boots could run you a pretty high bill. There are some alternatives to consider before dropping a car payment on them. Gear Trade is a fantastic place for all things adventure! They have some great used options. You can also shop the clearance sections at Bass Pro and REI during off season and find some steals!

    3. Emergency First AID  Kit. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy or elaborate just something basic and lightweight that doesn’t cost you much or take up much space. Having an emergency kit is definitely essential on any adventure! Cuts and scrapes are going to happen so you want to be sure you have Band-Aids, Gauze, some rubbing alcohol, antibiotic ointment etc. You can either make your own or buy a pre-packed one. I found one for less than $10 at Amazon.com.

    4. Clothing. Unless you are going to be in 0 degree weather, clothing can be basic. You can find a lightweight jacket, jeans, and t-shirts that you don’t care to get tore up or stained. If not you can pick up some great inexpensive items at Wal-Mart or Target and not drain your wallet.

    Some other great ways to save on outdoor excursions is RENTING! Renting is a great way to save hundreds and still have some fun. Some equipment you can easily rent include, Mountain Bikes, Kayaks, Stand Up Paddles, Jet Skis, and repelling gear to name just a few. SUP OKLAHOMA Is a great resource in finding gear to rent.

    Image result for Standup Paddle

    Being adventurous is about feeling free! You can’t feel freedom when you’re worried about paying for your adventure.  Be SMART. Start Small.

    – Caitie

    Top 10 reasons to Cut State funding for Parks and Recreation 

    Oklahomans recently found out that more than 15 state parks possibly face closing in light of new budgets cuts. Here is my top 10 reasons this “should” happen. 

    10. State parks provide people a place to relax and de-stress. Everybody needs to be uptight and irritable 

    9. People will go to Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas for Tourism. Oklahoma is way to crowded with visitors!

    8. Thousands of people use the state parks every year, and their opinions don’t matter. 

    7. Oklahoma doesn’t have enough housing additions, so we desperately need development to take over. 

    6. State parks provide wildlife refuge, and there is entirely to much wildlife. Such savages.

    5. Nature parks can cause major allergy outbreaks. If we defund them our allergy symptoms will decrease. 

    4. State parks provide families with affordable vacation options, affordable vacations are way overated. 

    3. Going to state parks may require physical activity. Oklahoma is 11th in obesity, we really need to reach the top 10! 

    2. State parks can cause families to make memories & no family should ever be subjected to such trauma. 

    1. If we cut funding there will be more money to allocate elsewhere. The government known for their ability to handle money. 

    Please help our voice be heard by signing the Petition to stop the defunding of our great state parks! Our citizens deserve a chance at experiencing some of the best things about Oklahoma. 


    Natural Falls State Park 

    -Caitie 

    Think  Outside Your Marriage & Make it Great! 

    Marriage is not for the weak at heart, nor the type A/OCD . In fact, most people who identify with type A can find it extremely difficult to stay married! The majority of all unhappy marriages have one common denominator: unmet expectations. I know because I was one of them. 


    Think about it; your previous fight with your significant other probably escalated do to the fact that an event you had mapped out in your mind, didn’t go according to the playbook leading to “unmet expectations”. You start to argue, stress builds and boom you do/say something STUPID! This toxic cycle will often lead to an unhealthy relationship or divorce and we, as a society, have lost the art of self awareness to understand “WHY” we do this. 
    WHAT CAUSES BAD REACTIONS? 

    The key thing that I have recently learned from experience is my ability to make good decisions when I am faced with conflict in my marriage.  
    Let’s face it, you’re married, you WILL HAVE CONFLICT, not maybe, YOU WILL. It’s important to have a gameplan when you do! 
    The very thing that prevents me from making these good decisions is stress. Stress is a chemical reaction as a result of how you perceive and interpret a situation based on the meaning in which you allocate it. For example, you come home, and find your spouse has done something you don’t agree with and you immediately go “oh my gosh, this is bad!” Your body feels stress releasing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol magically makes you stupid by lowering your IQ by up to 40%!  Then you react under the cortisol spell making a reactive decision in which you would not have made if the cortisol spell was lifted. If you don’t believe me, let me ask a question. Have you ever broke something or shouted in anger while being stressed? 


    Just think about your last visit to Target during Christmas season! We do this in our marriages as well, & it’s essential to understand how to handle this. 

    CAN WE COMBAT THIS? 

    Absolutley! Praise the Lord! The only thing that can  biochemically lower cortisol is DHEA. DHEA is produced when a human feels gratitude for something by meditation or deep breathing. If you are constantly in a state of discontentment, whether you hate your job, financially stretched, over-worked, feel like crap, etc. your cortisol levels will be elevated and your DHEA levels will be depleted. This causes great strain on your ability to handle conflict, and can damage your marriage. 

    3 Ways to fight the cycle

    1. Before interacting with your spouse, be sure you have a mindset of gratitude. Be thankful for them. Go destress by giving yourself a breather. Keep a journal of all the ways they bless you. Keep it handy so you can be reminded easily. A heart full of gratitude will leave no room for discontentment! 
    2. Do more of what makes you happy as a couple. Think about what you did while dating. Go do more of that and allow yourself to go have fun. Brandon & I were constantly outside the first year we knew each other! We went camping, drove to the ocean, floated the river, and HECK we got engaged on the beach! Getting back to this has been awesome for our marriage. We’ve both been reminded of how much we love it. There is something so naturally romantic by nature. The stars, camp fires, a river flowing nearby… perfection! And the best part, it’s Free. 
    3. Do more of what makes you happy as an individual. Being happy with who you are  & what you’re doing is essential to a GREAT MARRIAGE. This will lower your stress levels allowing you to make better decisions when faced with conflict. 

    Think Outside your marriage and make it great! How does my this happen? By recognizing if your heart is full of gratitude or discontentment. I pray everyone approaches their relationships with a heart full of gratitude. 


    -Caitie

    Reaching the World!


    In 48 hours my blog has been visited by over 35 countries! To me it’s pretty unreal how sharing your story can touch so many people. Making positivity louder is so important to me, and by the rapid fire spread of my last blog post it shows that the rest of the world is craving positivity too. It’s my hope that I can continue to make positivity louder. I will continue this journey and document all the positive outcomes as well as the negative ones, because I’m determined to create happiness even out of the negative. It’s crucial that we make the most of every moment. If you were lucky enough to be a human, you seriously have nothing to be pissed off about! Follow me as I take the Road Less Traveled. 

     #makepositivitylouder

    -Caitie

    How we paid off $35k of debt & still had fun

    When we got married in July 2009 it was hard to be in wedding bliss for long. At age 21 & 26 we were instantly suffocated by over $50,000 in consumer debt! One of the greatest blessings of being self aware is knowing what makes you happy. Brandon and I weren’t very happy being slaves to monthly payments. After 2 years of some job changes and finding our niche, we got a game plan together. After a surprise pregnancy and only paying off $15,000 in those 2 years we had to pause. We paused so I could finish school and be a stay-at-home mom. Once we had 2 good incomes we would tackle the $35k, and that’s exactly what we did. Click here to find out more.


    You always hear the stories of people getting out of debt. They usually consist of people selling off all of their stuff, working 3 jobs, and eating ramen noodles for 3 years right? WRONG! I could not do that! I needed to find a balance of paying off debt without wanting to kill myself. Being self aware is crucial in this journey. Finding out what makes you truly happy will allow you to give up the things that are not only draining your pocket book but your time & energy. For example, if you love to fish and golf figure out which one makes you come alive. Which one brings you the most happiness? If you love both, but can’t afford both because you’re getting out of debt, you have to choose between the two. If you can’t give one or the other up than your passion for getting out of debt isn’t greater than your passion for golf or fishing. 

    This is the part that stings and usually keeps people in debt, because they are afraid of giving up the fun now and being miserable. It’s simply not true! Yes you do have to give up a lot, but you don’t have to give up the thing that provides you the most joy. Having that happiness will give you the fuel you need to pay off the debt as fast as possible. For me that thing that brought me the most joy was my love for the outdoors. Which worked out because it happens to be a very inexpensive passion & I will go into detail on that in another post. I could live without new nails, my hair getting done, gym memberships, and going out with friends. I didn’t love those things like I loved hiking, camping, etc. As I said before being self aware is huge in getting out of debt. Once you figure out what makes you thrive, you will want more of that  and less of all the crap that has kept you from doing what you love!

    So in the middle of dropping $2K to $3K a month on debt and eating cheap homemade meals, we’d load a picnic basket up ($20 worth of snacks & food), and head to the great outdoors. We would have a blast! It recharged our batteries, and made the huge sacrifices worth it. Caidon may not have got to go to Incredible Pizza or MAIN EVENT , however he did get to see some awesome waterfalls and go fishing!


    Paying off debt is a difficult road not many people take. I encourage everyone to become debt free and experience a freedom that the majority of people will never experience. You find out that all the crap you’re holding onto is actually what’s holding you back from true happiness.  How do you pay off $35K in 18 months and not go crazy? Get your butt on a budget, become self aware of what you love the most and give up all the other crap you don’t, & never be above any job! Now we get to do all the things we gave up for 18 months for the rest of our lives. Check out our full interview with Dave Ramsey.

    -Caitie

    It’s just a dog, right? 

    “Dogs teach us a very important lesson in life: The mail man is not to be trusted”    -Sian Ford

    For as long as I can remember, I have hated running! I was never athletic, nor had the desire to run a marathon or even do track & field. However, now I LOVE running! Its not the only thing I have grown fond of lately. In October 2016, we adopted our ADDA!


    She is beagle/Australian Cattle dog, and LOVES TO RUN. So a few days a week after work I put on some running shoes and head outside. At first I was only doing it for this puppy who would otherwise go crazy without a good energy burn. I didn’t know what it was doing for me.


    There are so many benefits to exercising outside, and even more benefits exercising with your dogs.

    According to Whole Dog Journal, running with your dog improves your health as well as your puppy’s health. It can increase your bond, and you also get an accountability partner. Dogs will keep you motivated while running, and act as a distraction from discomfort allowing you to run for a longer period of time. Sometimes proper training and practice will need to take place before getting a good rhythm, but all the hard work is worth it! Your dog will thank you for it. I recommend a Hands free leash, which makes running easy.

    We had no idea what this dog would do for our family dynamic! She’s brought us so much excitement, energy and joy to our lives. She has influenced all of us to love and embrace the great outdoors!

    Road Less Traveled

    Going back to Tulsa we always take the Turnpike. Someone always told us, “it’s the safe way, it’s the fastest way, & it’s the most convenient.” Today however, we decided to take the Road Less Traveled. 

    We went to Rollercoaster Road in wewoka, ok, which wasn’t quite the “rollercoaster” we had in mind, but we went and saw some amazing things by taking the road everyone else avoids. Oklahoma is truly beautiful. Open fields, one of a kind sunsets & the heart of the Bible Belt are just a few reasons why I LOVE  OKLAHOMA! 

    By taking the long way home we saw parts of Oklahoma that we had never seen before. In fact, we got a little taste of Scotland, right here in Castle, Oklahoma! 



    These cows are called Highland Cattle. Usually found in Scotland & they are known for their long hair and long horns. They were quite vocal and yelled at us as we stopped to snap a few photos! Hehe 

    Such a great experience that would have slipped by us if we were to take the the road that’s comfortable to us. It reminds me of the season of life we are in now. It’s definitely the slow way and may be a little less convenient, however, it’s much sweeter! 

    Oklahoma Red Dirt 

    “That pigment is a reflection of who we are, a representation of who we are as native people,” he explained.
    “It’s our blood. The red earth takes care of us and protects our identity as native people, but it also secures and reminds us of our wound, where we come from. And we were made from earth, and we shall return to earth.” – Gordon Yellowman


    Today I was reminded about how amazing Oklahoma Red Dirt is! It’s just a city lake. Not much to do there, and it’s not very scenic; however it’s home. Where no one buys a white swim suit or swim trunks because it will come out brown. It’s so influential an entire music genre was named after it. My little boy discovered just how fun OKLAHOMA RED DIRT can be.


    All day I watched him play in the red clay dreading the stained pants, and brown bath tub. At the same time I saw him making memories. Memories that will turn into roots, and those roots run deep in the Oklahoma Red Dirt! 

    “It’s where I drank my first beer. It’s where I found Jesus

    Where I wrecked my first car, I tore it all to pieces. I learned the path to heaven. Is full of sinners and believers.

    Learned that happiness on earth. Ain’t just for high achievers

    I’ve learned,

    I’ve come to know.There’s life at both ends. Of that red dirt road”-Brooks and Dunn 

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