Thursday, April 19, 2018

Girl Chat: Guilty Pleasures

Since it's the third Thursday of the month, that means it is time for our Girl Chat link up!  In the past few months, we have done introductions, shared how we stay organized, and chatted about Easter Baskets.  For this month's Girl Chat, we are spilling on our guilty pleasures.

I have shared a few of my guilty pleasures before - reality TV, certain foods, and cheesy romance novels (you can read that post here).  I feel like those are the main ones, so I had to do a little thinking to come up with some new ones...which actually turned out a bit easier than I anticipated!  

Holiday plates.  Well, if you have read around here long, you know this isn't new, per say, but I have a thing for holiday plates.  I love a pretty table setting, and what makes it even better in my mind, are festive plates.  I have four different holiday sets - spring, fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I love them ALL and am so excited when I get to break them out.  It makes me so happy!

Coffee.  I used to HATE coffee with a passion, but now I love it.  Unfortunately, I don't like just regular coffee, and drink the lattes, they aren't necessarily the best for you so I keep my indulging to the weekends.  My mom gave me a Keurig awhile ago and there is nothing better than having it on the weekends.  Sometimes I even have two in a day, because why not?!  My favorite is to enjoy a cup while watching one of the many Pioneer Woman episodes I have saved on my DVR.

Library books.  I LOAD up at the library, which usually results in me renewing books like crazy, and ending up having to return things before I actually get a chance to read them.  But I just cannot not get extras when I step in that place.  It sucks me in.

Designer bags.  This started way back in high school with Dooney & Burke and Coach, and it has only increased as the years have gone by.  For my 30th birthday, I pooled my birthday money with my own money and bought a Louis Vuitton purse.  I have my eye on a few other purses...maybe for my next big birthday, haha!

Fountain soda.  Is there anything better than a fountain soda?  Sometimes I just crave pop, especially when I don't feel good.  And it has to be the older machines - not the touch screen ones, for some reason it doesn't taste as good out of there.  I don't drink pop regularly, so it's a treat anytime, but even more so when it's a big old fountain soda.  And yes, I call it both pop and soda, although usually only soda when saying 'fountain soda'.  

Now to the link up!

To link up - just grab our graphic, link up and let's get to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others linked up for an extra bit of girl chat! 

And if you aren't already, make sure to follow your hosts via the links below!

Danielle - Bloglovin' | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter 

Emily - Bloglovin' | Instagram | Pinterest 

Lindsay - Bloglovin' | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest 

Lizzie - Bloglovin' | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest 

Sierra - Bloglovin' | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Simple & Classic Work Wear

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I wore this outfit to work on Monday and really liked it.  It's very simple and classic, but that is what I love about it.  I just paired some staples together and came up with what I think is a great work wear look.

I have mentioned multiple times on the blog, but I picked up a bunch of Loft's blouson cardigans during a sale earlier this month.  I feel like in an office environment, you can never have too many cardigans.  The gray color is really light, more like an oat color, which is really pretty and great for transitioning.  The blouson style is great - I feel like it gives the cardigan more interest, and makes it look great layered or it's own, like in this outfit.  I wore the cardigan buttoned, and tucked in.  For some reason, tucking in a sweater just instantly makes me feel more put together and professional.

I can't say enough good things about Loft's skinny ankle pants.  I bought these black pants last year, and wear them at least once a week.  The cut is really nice, and I love the higher waist for tucking things in, which it what I did with this outfit.

These leopard heels were a Christmas gift, and I love how they give simple outfits a pop.  Most importantly, they are comfy!

In keeping with the simple and classic them, I picked a pair of Loren Hope stud earrings to complete the outfit.  I got them from my favorite hometown boutique, Charmed, which you can now shop online here!  I opted for the grayish earrings because I thought they would go with everything, and they are even better than I thought.  They add the perfect amount of sparkle to any outfit.

That's it - simple and classic.  Definitely an outfit I will be repeating over and over again!  

A quick reminder - tomorrow is our Girl Chat link up.  We would love for you to join us and share your guilty pleasures!

Linking up with LindsayJenn and Jessi.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ten Favorite Trader Joe's Purchases

I have spoken time and time again about how much I love Trader Joe's.  I am lucky to live super close to one, and lately I have been doing more and more of my shopping there.  I don't buy everything, but there are some items I have been stocking up on each time I go.  I love reading about what others purchase, so I thought I would share my current top ten favorites.  (Sorry in advance for some of the pictures - they are a bit blurry!)
1.  Organic Roasted Vegetable Pizza.  I initially picked this up on a whim, but I love it.  I love the mix of vegetables they use for this pizza - it's different than what I normally think of when I am picturing veggie pizza, but in a good way.  

Image result for trader joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups
2.  Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.  I cannot get enough of these.  Dark chocolate is my favorite, and the peanut butter inside is more of a whipped peanut butter, so it's a little smoother.  Just really, really good.  I have these almost everyday!  

Image result for trader joe's cinnamon roasted almonds
3.  Cinnamon Roasted Almonds.  These make a great snack.  I usually portion them out in baggies and keep them at work to have mid morning or mid afternoon.  You get a little sweetness with the cinnamon and a really good crunch.  The only downfall is that sometimes the coating comes off, but I think that is to be expected.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find them in my store the past few trips, so I don't know if they are seasonal or not.  If you can find them, though, I highly suggest trying them out!  

4.  Chicken Sausages.  So far, I have tried the Roasted Garlic, Jalapeno, and Spicy Italian sausages and have loved them all.  They are so good to keep on hand.  I have made them for lunches and paired with salad, for dinner with a veggie and potato, and even have thrown some leftovers in eggs for breakfast.

5.  Pepper Turkey Bacon.  I loveee bacon and this is my absolute favorite turkey bacon.  The pepper gives good flavor without being too peppery.  I like my bacon crispy, and usually have a hard time getting turkey bacon that way, but this one can get there.

Image result for trader joe's everything but the bagel seasoning
6.  Everything but the Bagel Seasoning.  This one seems to be on everyone's favorites list, and with good reason.  It is gooood!  I like this with eggs and avocado toast.  I know some people have used it with roasted veggies, which I tried, but didn't feel like I got much flavor using it.  Not sure if it wasn't enough or what, but I can't say enough good things about pairing it with eggs and avocados.  

Image result for trader joe's brown rice pasta
7.  Brown Rice Pasta.  I have been trying to cut down on my pasta intake, but I love it so much, so I decided to try brown rice pasta as a healthier option.  I wasn't sure what it would taste like, but to me, it's basically just like wheat pasta.  One of these days, I plan on using this with the chicken sausages and some type of pasta sauce for a super easy meal.

8.  Ground Turkey.  Obviously you can find ground turkey anywhere, but Trader Joe's has the cheapest I can find.  I think it's almost a dollar cheaper, than at the other grocery store I go to.  Can't beat that!

Image result for trader joe's light string cheese
9.  Light String Cheese.  I can't believe I didn't think about this one sooner, because I pretty much eat one of these things every single day.  It's my go-to after work when I need a little something before dinner.  I have also thrown it into my lunch, too, when I am scraping things together.  It's not very many calories, so I don't feel bad about eating it, and it feels a little indulgent since it is cheese, which one of my favorite things to eat.

10.  WINE!  The selection and prices of wine at Trader Joe's is the best.  Sometimes I look for a specific type of wine and then just pick the label / price I like best.  Anymore, I have been going for their 3 buck chuck.  You can't beat the price, and all the reds pair wonderfully with the roasted vegetable pizza.  And dark chocolate peanut butter cups.  I tried the Nouveau a trip or two ago, and really liked that one.  If I remember what the worker told me correctly, that one used to be a limited time one, but now they order it year round.  I am glad, because it is pretty darn good.  

If you are a Trader Joe's shopper, please share any must-have items I should try!

Linking up with Erika and Ashley.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekend Recap: A Weekend Full of Kleenex, Church and House Hunting

Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a great weekend.

The past week I got sick and it progressed on and on throughout the week.  Which of course was terrible timing with busy time at work.  So I stocked up on some medicine and powered through.  Friday was really bad, though, so my boss told me to head on home to work.  I did just that after a meeting, and spent the last bit of the work day at home.  Just me, my computer, and Kleenex, haha!  It was a rough afternoon.  It was one of those times when you have been sick for a few days and you just think back to the good old days when you could breath normally and weren't constantly congested and coughing.

Luckily, I slept really well and woke up feeling pretty good!  Which was a good thing, because I was up and at 'em early to head over to church.  My church was holding an event, Feed the 5000, and I helped with the set up.  It was really cool what they did.  The church worked with The Pack Shack and packed over 30,000 meals for local organizations that help those in need.  It even made the local news!  Such a really cool event and really made me proud to be a member of the church.  

Feed the 5000 set up was a success!! Such a great family to be part of at Green Trails Methodist Church!! #lookingood #feedthe5000 #greentrails
Part of the set up crew!

We got done with set up super early, so I decided to head over to Trader Joe's to pick up a few things while it was still early.  I seriously cannot get enough of that store, haha.  So many neat things!  

I haven't shared this on the blog yet, but I have some exciting news...I am house hunting!  This is something I have been wanting for awhile, and I have finally started the process.  I met up with my realtor and her business partner to see a few houses.  One was a hard no, and the other was really nice, but unfortunately, a bit out of my price range.  I was starting to feel crappy again, so the rest of the day was spent on the couch.   

Since I wasn't feeling that well the night before, I decided to forego Sunday school and take it easy before church.  I actually made good use of my time and got a a few things done before I got ready to go to church.  It's my church's 50th anniversary, and as part of that, they had a guest pastor in for the sermon.  The guest pastor was someone who actually grew up in the church, and attended it when it was just starting and held in the local school's gym.  Pretty neat!  I made a quick grocery run after church, then did some meal prepping before heading out to some open houses.  One house was interesting...they had a garbage compactor, haha.  Needless to say, that house is a bit more work than I want to take on at this time.  None of them really drew me in, but it's always good to go out and see because it's amazing how different they are in person compared to the pictures.  The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up on shows and relaxing before the work week.

It's another busy one for me this week, and while I am still on the mend, I feel so much better than at the beginning of the week, so I would say that is a win for sure.

Hope you all have a great Monday! 

Linking up with Biana and Lindsay.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday Favorites: 3 Years of Blogging

Happy Friday the 13th!  Fun fact: I was born on Friday the 13th.  My mom did NOT want me to be born on Friday the 13th, but since I was, she said it was a good luck day, not a bad luck day.  So, for obvious reasons, I have always liked when a Friday falls on the 13th.

This Friday is also special, because it marks 3 years of blogging.  It's weird, because it feels like I have been doing this for awhile, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like it's been 3 whole years!  In the spirit of it, I thought I would share some of my favorite things about blogging.

A little bit of Emily

1.  The friendships that come out of blogging.  It's amazing how you can connect to people all over the place.  And the depth of the connection.  Some of my closest friends are those I met via blogging.  It's amazing.  Truly thankful for each and every one of the friendships formed through blogging.  Not sure what I would do without you guys!

2.  Having an online scrapbook.  While I do follow a lot of bloggers with highly curated content, my favorites are the more 'real' blogs - the ones that give you a peek into their day to day.  And that is what I like to share on my blog.  It's what I have been up to, what I am loving, reading, cooking...all that.  And it's really nice to have that to look back on.  Especially the recipes.  I can't tell you how many times I have been able to refer to my blog when shopping for a ingredients for a specific recipe, or check to see if I have read a book or not.  Oh, and decorating, too.  It's helpful to look back when I am wondering, where the heck did I put this last year, or now that I have a few years under my belt, show how I have changed things up and provide a little inspiration.  It's going to be funny looking back at the items I loved, fashion-wise, in a few years to see what I think of my taste!  And see what products I am still using and loving!

3.  Having a wide-spread network.  While anyone who reads blogs can have this, I didn't really understand it until I started blogging myself.  I mean I didn't even comment on other blogs (although I read them) until I started blogging!  I just didn't get it, haha.  So starting a blog introduced me to that and allowed me to feel comfortable to comment on other blogs and develop those connections.  Now, it's super helpful if I have a question about blogging, or am planning a trip and I know another blogger has been, or even about have this whole network at your fingertips.  Again, it doesn't happen just for bloggers, if you are reader this is totally something that comes out of reading blogs, but for me specifically, it only happened after the fact.

4.  Motivation and accountability.  Blogging helps me get certain things done.  I like to do monthly goals, and if you have read here for awhile, you will know that sometimes they just don't happen.  But putting them out here online usually does provide an extra bit of motivation and accountability to actually get them done.  Same thing with pictures.  I will be honest, I just don't like the way I look most the time in pictures, so they don't get shared, but blogging has helped me take more pictures, even if they are just of 'things' or what I see when I am out, more so than if I didn't blog.  Again with recipes.  There may be a recipe of my family's that I haven't made in years, but I dust off that card so I can make it to share on the blog.  It's a win, win!  

5.  Link ups!  This coincides with a reminder for our Girl Chat link up next Thursday (topic is guilty pleasures), but it's another thing I have really enjoyed about blogging.  You get some great post ideas, and an opportunity to find new to you bloggers.  It's a great way to connect and expand your circle...and your post topics!

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Friday the 13th!

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie.