Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Reminder: Girl Chat Link Up Tomorrow!

Hey all!  Just popping in for a quick reminder about the Girl Chat link up tomorrow.  We will be sharing our favorite hair products and would love for you to join!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Closing Time...

I am officially a homeowner!

Yesterday, I closed on my condo.  I am BEYOND excited, although to be honest, it really hasn't hit me yet.  I don't know if it will until I start moving in.  Or look at my bank account.  One of the two!  

Everyone jokes about how you are signing your life away, but I feel like it wasn't that bad.  I guess maybe you go in with these expectations that you will be having a hand cramp mid-signing, but I think it just gets exaggerated, haha!

After closing, I went to Sears to look at appliances and out for a celebratory lunch.  Then, I headed over to see my new home!!

I hauled my cleaning stuff in, and got to work.  I tackled the bathrooms, most of the windows, and the kitchen counters.  I need to go back with a vacuum, and after that, I should have some pictures to share.  I just wanted to get that initial clean done before I start snapping any pictures.  So far my thoughts - if possible, hire a cleaning crew to do a deep clean, haha!  Honestly, I think I was just missing my cleaning partner - my mom.  I was definitely petering out by the end of the afternoon, and she always provides extra motivation and makes that type of cleaning more enjoyable.  But not to worry, because I made sure to save some cleaning for when she visits!

I have a bit of time before I need to be out of my apartment, so I am taking that time to get things done at the condo prior to moving in.

Up first is tackling the backyard area with the help of my parents.  We have ambitious plans for their visit this weekend, and hopefully the weather will cooperate for us!

Next week I have both painting and carpet cleaning scheduled.  I am having my main floor painted, as well as the entry and hallway upstairs.  I couldn't quite decide what color I want to do in the bedrooms / bathrooms so those aren't being done yet.  While it is an added expense to have it done, I know it will be done in a few days, and will expedite things so much.  And the carpet cleaning is a must.  Just having those two things done will make such a difference - I am so excited!  After that, I will be ready to start moving things in!

Before I go, I would be remiss if I didn't say a big thanks so much for your well wishes yesterday - they were so very sweet!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Weekend Recap: Blissfully Relaxing Weekend

Hey all!  Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Mine started off with a little shopping.  I headed to a local antique mall to look for some blue and white plates.  I am planning to do a plate wall in my dining room area, and decided that Friday would be a great time to start looking.  I found quite a few, and ended up getting all five of these for $25...not too bad!  

I checked out Goodwill, too, but they didn't have anything like what I was looking for.  I spent the rest of the weekend relaxing.  Nothing sounded good on my DVR or TV, so I opted to check out the movies on demand.  I saw that Meet Me In St. Louis was one of the free movies, and I had yet to see it.  I figured it was a must living in the St. Louis area.  I have to say, it wasn't necessarily my cup of tea.  I just didn't fully understand the point of it.  But at least now I know.

I was up early on Saturday, picking up and cleaning.  I was terrible when I got back from my last trip and hadn't fully unpacked yet!  I did some laundry and then had to get ready.  I was heading over to the condo for the final walk through!  Everything seemed as it should, thankfully.  I decided to try my luck with finding some more plates and went to check out another antique mall, and Goodwill.  I found a few, but definitely hit more of a jackpot at the first place.  It was the perfect day for the pool, so after I got home, I headed there with a friend.  It was soooo nice.  I was worried it would be too hot, but there was a nice breeze and we ended up hanging out in the water the majority of the time anyways.  It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon!  I decided to try a new recipe for dinner - salmon and cauliflower rice, and was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out.  I painted my nails, and that was about all the excitment my evening held, haha!

I wanted to get a walk in before church (and it was crazy hot), so I was up early again.  I don't know how much of a difference it made, because even at just after 6:00, it was already muggy and humid! 

I got ready for church and managed a quick Trader Joe's run before I ate and headed out.  I was trying my best to not have to get in my hot car that afternoon.  Church was good - it's almost been a year since I started attending, which kind of blows my mind.  In some ways it feels like it hasn't been that long, and in others it seems like it's been longer!  I had a few errands to run, so I made my way to Nordstrom for a return and Pottery Barn for some pillows.  I have plaid pillows from there that I just love, and I wanted to bring out the more blue color it in, rather than the coral / orange I currently have.  I grabbed a few new covers that I think are going to look great.  I can't wait to switch them out and see once I move!  The mall where PB is at, is my absolute favorite.  They have an underground parking garage which is perfect when it's so hot out.  The pool was calling my name, so I made my way there for a little bit.  It definitely wasn't as nice as the day before, and since I am super prone to burning, I didn't stay out very long.  But it still was nice to get out and relax.  And then relax again at home after...I don't think I did anything productive afterwards!

This weekend was much needed after a busy few weeks.  Months, really.  It seems like the first of the year always flies by - even more so as I get older!

Today I am off to my closing!!!!!  I can't believe it is finally here.

And just a quick reminder before I go - Thursday is the Girl Chat link up, where we will be chatting about hair products.  I hope you will join in!  

Linking up with Biana and Lindsay.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Favorites: Home Sweet Home

Yay for Friday!  Always glad to see the weekend!  I was a bit of a mess yesterday - realized as I got to work that I forgot to put on any jewelry (which makes me feel off all day), am going into the office with chipped nails (totally meant to take that off before I left for work), and grabbed the wrong tupperware from the fridge for lunch (luckily it was still something that made sense for lunch, but darn it, I wanted my salad!).  And that is just a small sampling of things that happened - granted it was nothing big, but all those little things together add up and just make you feel off.  So needless to say, I am ready for a reset today AND ready for the weekend.
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1.  My first favorite for today is being home.  Goodness, I am ready to get back into a routine!  While I do like to travel, and am grateful for the travel opportunities I have from my job, this back to back stuff is no joke.  I can't wait to get back to 'normal' this weekend, although it won't be normal for too long - it'll be time to move before I know it!  But for the time being, I will be able to at least get back into a semblance of a routine.  

I pretty much jumped right in when I got home Wednesday night.  I showered, slapped on a face mask, poured myself a glass of wine, and got to making one of my favorite dishes - Ina Garten's Crispy Mustard-Roasted Chicken paired with roasted broccoli.  It was SO nice to be home to be able to do those 'regular' things.  There really is no place like home!

2.  I have been catching up blogging reading a bit (still WAYYY behind) and thought I would share a few favorites.  You all know my love for Trader Joe's and Andrea @ Momfessionals shared more of her favorites in this post.  I really like how she set it up, showing things she pairs for full meals.  I think I have a Trader Joe's trip in my future!  Also, Andrea @ Living on Cloud Nine shared a post titled 'I'm Not Everyone's Pretzel Thin', which I think is just a great reminder for everyone.  And timely for me, as I was just munching on Pretzel Thins (technically Crisps) the other day at the airport!  Her last comment in the post had me cracking up, too!  Gotta love a post that is heartfelt and funny at the same time.  Natalie @ Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers did a 'What I Eat | Meal Ideas' post this week - I love ALL her meal posts, and especially ones like this that rounds up a bunch of ideas in one post.  Her salads always look spectacular and for the most part, everything seems pretty darn healthy!

3.  After work yesterday, I ran a few errands and after the last one I noticed the sky was darking and a storm was rolling in.  I absolutely love the color blue the sky gets before a storm.  The blue-gray is just soooo pretty.  I was happy to make it inside before anything happened, but after awhile it finally started to rain and stormed on and off through the night.  While I obviously don't want severe storms, there is something so cozy about a rainy night spent at home.  

4.  This is super random, but when I was holed up in my hotel room this past week, She's the Man was on - the movie with Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum.  I forgot all about that movie.  It's so ridiculous, but heartwarming at the same time.  I really liked her as an actress.  Another random Amanda Bynes movie, Sydney White, was one of my favorites in college.  For months I would fall asleep to that movie - not sure why, it was just always what I would put on when going to bed.  I feel like they don't make those kind of movies anymore - not sure why.  I obviously was a fan, haha!

5.  If you missed my posts this week, I recapped New York, shared my June Book Review and recapped Vegas...and shared my feelings on being sick and traveling back to back for work!  The monthly book link up is always one of my favorites - my hold list at the library becomes a mile long after checking out all the posts.  And even though my work trips didn't quite pan out as I thought they would, it's always nice to have them down to look back on.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  I will be here, trying to stay cool, doing a final walk through my soon to be condo, and hopefully spending a bit of time at the pool!

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Viva Las Vegas!

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent the last few days in Vegas for a work conference.  I headed out first thing on Sunday morning, and then got back yesterday evening.

I started feeling kind of crappy on Saturday, but I thought it would just pass with a good night's sleep.  Unfortunately, that was not the case and by the time I got to Vegas, I wasn't feeling the best.  I got in around lunch time, and once in my room I indulged in some room service.  My original plans for the day were to attend a few sessions of the conference, then enjoy some of the evening activities which included a few cocktail receptions and the La Reve show.  I made it to the sessions, but then started feeling even worse so decided to call it any early night and rest.  I was super bummed, because out of everything going on at the conference, the show was the thing I was most looking forward to!  I will say, the conference was at The Wynn and I loved the rooms - they were so fancy and just so comfortable.  While I didn't really like being stuck inside the hotel room, at least it was a nice place to be!  It's been awhile since I have traveled west and that two hour time difference kind of threw me for a loop.  I made myself stay away until 8:00, Vegas time, but I still was thrown off in the morning waking up wayyyy to early.

Picutres from The Wynn...

I did feel better, especially after a shower, so I spent the day in and out of sessions.  I had signed up for a dinner that night, but I knew I wouldn't be the best of company, and definitely didn't feel like being 'on' and social, so I headed back to my room for a bit and then made my way outside to see the fountains - that was the one thing I really wanted to make sure I saw on my trip.  I got out and snapped a few pictures on my way down to check them out.

The next day was more of the same - sessions and feeling blah, so another early night and then the next day it was time to leave!

The trip to the airport, I rode with my coworker and his wife, and we had the most colorful taxi driver.  He had a deep love for BBQ, specifically St. Louis cut ribs, so that was interesting to hear about.  And his plans for opening a BBQ restaurant in Vegas.  But when we first got in, he pretty much went right into how the last customer he had was a big B, and were all kind of like whoaaa, haha, not expecting that!  

Once we got to the airport, there was this HUGE line outside the doors.  The power went out in the terminal we were flying out of, and it caused all sorts of problems.  We lined up wayyyy in the back (and outside) until they finally came around, saying that those who already checked in and were just doing carry on could go inside.  Luckilly that was me, so I was able to get out of the heat and into the airport, through security and to the gate.  It was definitely an experience walking around an airport with no power.  The TSA machines still worked, so I was able to get through security, and then as I was walking down the hall, some of the lights started to come on.  Everyone was thrilled!  Unfortunately, everything got a little messed up by that and my flight ended up being about 2 hours delayed.  Between that mess and then the time difference, I didn't make it back to St. Louis until about 5:00.  I got home, showered (I felt like I could still smell the smoke on me from Vegas), cooked and then relaxed with some wine and Real Housewives.  It feels SO GOOD to be home!

All in all, my trip wasn't exactly what I had expected.  Last year was so much fun, and I was hoping for the same experience this year, but it definitely wasn't so much.  I didn't feel great, which stunk, and then another thing that literally stunk was the smoke throughout the casino.  I don't do well around smoke - it hurts my eyes and I cannot stand the smell of it, and I feel like it was just alllll over the place.  While I can totally see the appeal of Vegas, I just don't think it is for me.  Although, I may have to give it another trip, because I know the food there is supposed to be amazing (and we know how much I love food!), and I would love to see a bunch of the shows!  We will have to see!  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

You Can Find Me In St. Louis...

Hey guys!  As you read this, I am either in transit, or back in St. Louis from another work trip.  Two work trips back to back is no joke!  Last week was New York, this week Las Vegas.  While I do appreciate the opportunities I have to travel for work, I don't know if I am someone who could travel weekly - major props to those who do!

I caught some type of cold last weekend and it hung with me all throughout my trip.  Definitely not ideal, but I am trying to be thankful because it could have been a lot worse (like the stomach flu).  

I am so excited to be headed home.  One of the things I am most looking forward to is having a home cooked meal.  Since I was home for such a short time from New York before it was time to leave again, I resorted to take out and whatever was in the fridge, like sandwich meat and cheese.  And I don't know about you, but having to eat out for an extended period of time just makes me want to cook something myself.  So tonight, you can find me in St. Louis (well in technically in St. Louis County), cooking something yummy and probably enjoying a glass of wine.  

Tomorrow I will be sharing more about my trip, so I will catch back up with you all then!  

Linking up with LindsayJenn and Jessi

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 2018 Book Review

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Low Pressure by Sandra Brown.  As you will see throughout this review, I was definitely on a Sandra Brown kick this month!  I liked this one - I felt like there was something 'off' about one of the characters in the beginning which made me feel like they were the killer, but there are so many good twists and turns throughout the book that really had me wondering 'who dun it'.  

Friction by Sandra Brown.  Another Sandra Brown.  This one was good, but I don't think I liked it quite as much as some of the others I read.

Fool Me Twice by Robert B. Parker.  I picked this up on a whim, and I would say that it was just ok.  It passed the time just fine, but it wasn't great, and I don't know that I would pick up any other books by this author, at least right now.  I think I wanted a different ending, which turned me off just a bit.

Mirror Image by Sandra Brown.  I really liked this one.  I thought the premise was very interesting - a woman gets mistaken for another in a plane crash and ends up with the dead woman's life.  But there are circumstances that don't allow her to explain who she really is, and by the time she is able, other things have come into play.  Again, very interesting and I was very happy with how it ended, although very surprised with who the 'bad' person was!

The Crush by Sandra Brown.  Another interesting premise, where a doctor was on a jury duty, unable to find this person guilty of murder and in turn this person feels that they have a connection and he develops a bit of a crush on her - the doctor - (hence the name), and then tries to prove his feelings for her by doing some terrible things.   

A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer.  Definitely a good read for summer and one that has me wishing for a summer home on an island somewhere.  You get a little bit of everything in this, and while I wish some parts had ended differently than others, I think all in all it was a good book.

The Woman In The Window by A. J. Finn.  This book was straight up messed up.  I felt it was a bit confusing to follow at some parts, and while the story did keep me on edge trying to figure out who the bad person was, I just didn't think it was all that great.  I think this was hyped up a bit too much for me, and I personally didn't think it lived up to the hype.  

The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews.  I was SO excited to read this book as Mary Kay Andrews is one of my favorite authors, and it did not disappoint.  I loved how the story line brought all these characters together.  I feel like there were enough twists to keep me guessing, and then leave me full satisfied with the ending.  

White Hot by Sandra Brown.  As I wrote before - I was definitely on a Sandra Brown kick the past few weeks!  I really like the twists in this one - I was confused as to why people were doing certain things, and had the wrong person as the killer.  The ending was very interesting, too, because of all the twists and turns.  Definitely a good read!

Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts.  With her being one of my favorite authors, I had to make sure I got a Nora Roberts book in here!  It has it all in here - love, mystery and murder.  A girl goes back to her hometown to deal with all the memories there, while trying to start a new life.  All the 'old' people in her life make an appearance and I like how she had two unlikely people become friends.  I think my favorite character ended up being Faith, even though she wasn't the main, main character, she changes throughout the book and becomes someone I really liked.

Another great few weeks of reading!

Linking up with Steph.