Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Favorites

Yay for Friday!  I realize I have been saying this a lot lately, but it's so true.  The weeks have been long lately and I am glad for the weekend.  So I am just going to start off my favorites with that!


1.  Friday.  Enough said.  

2.  Andrea's Pulled Pork.  This is such a great crockpot meal!  Perfect for those days when you are busy and want something that can be ready in a snap when you get home.  Also, the great thing about this is you can use whatever sauce you like, or even have it without the sauce if you prefer.  It makes great leftovers, too.  I know what I will be eating on this weekend!


3.  Work anniversary.  I celebrated 7 years at my company this month.  I think that is pretty neat.  If you think back 7 years, you will remember it wasn't a great time for graduates / new hires.  I had a summer internship after college, which was project based, so I knew that a full time job wasn't in the works.  Fortunately, I was able to get on with an agency that did temp-to-hire programs.  So I actually started at my current company as a temp and then was hired on in April of 2010.  Some days are really great and some days just really stink, but either way I am definitely thankful for the job I have and the company I work for!  

4.  Girl Chat.  I am getting ahead of myself here, but our Girl Chat link up for next month (May 11th) is all about favorite make up / beauty products.  For some reason this has me really excited and I can't wait to share my favorites, and read about all yours.  I hope there are a few mask recommendations thrown in there, because I would love a new one to alternate with my go-to, Kiehl's Deep Pore Cleansing Masque.  Seriously, this is my favorite - so much so that my very second blog post was on it!


5.  FaceTime.  I know this has been a favorite before, but it is going to be one again.  Wednesday was one of those blah days.  Long day, work was tough - just one of those days.  I had just gotten home, catching up on some insta stories, when my phone starts ringing and it's my brother FaceTiming me.  It was like he knew that I needed a little pick me up right then.  I got to catch up with him and see Jack - both great things!  Usually if we FaceTime it is on the weekend, so this was a really nice, unexpected surprise and I am just thankful that he thinks to do that!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Linking up with AndreaApril, and Katie.    

Thursday, April 27, 2017

My Hello Fresh Experience

If you are like me, you have always wondered about the meal deliver services out there, like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron to name a few...honestly the list goes on and on!  I finally tried a meal deliver service and wanted to share my thoughts.

Back in February, Rachel had posted on instagram that she had a free Hello Fresh box code.  On the off chance that no one else had asked about it, I sent her a message and lucky for me, it was mine!  I actually forgot about it for a time, and then realized it was close to expiration, so I made sure to order my first box for the next week.

With the free code, I was able to get 3 meals for 2 people off the classic plan.  There were other options you could go for, such as more meals for 2 people and the various number of meals for 4 people.  There were two alternate plans, a veggie plan and a family plan, but I thought the classic was best for my needs.  I did appreciate the options, though!  

Sign up was painless, and then after you placed your order, you could go in and pick your meals from the different options - I think there were 7 all together.  (Just to note, you will be assigned 3 meals when you first submit your order, but after submitting you then have the ability to go in and choose.)  All the options sounded good, so it was hard for me to pick which ones to go with!  One thing I found helpful was when you go to pick the meals, you can click on them to get the details about that specific dish.  If you make any changes to your pre-selected options, you will get an email confirmation and then you are set!  All you have to do is wait for your box to arrive.


What you see when you first open the box...

These boxes hold the ingredients.  Ice packs are below these boxes and then any meat is under those ice packs to ensure those are kept cold!

Everything for my first recipe - the instructions, ingredient box and meat.

How the ingredients come inside the box...

The recipe / instructions.

End product - SO good!

Overall, I had a great experience trying Hello Fresh.  All the ingredients were fresh and seems that they were as they should be - i.e. the meat was nice and cold, and everything else was ready to use without being overly ripe.  The instructions were very clear and specific.  I do suggest reading them once or twice prior to making things, just to familiarize yourself with the recipe.  I thought the portion sizes were really good.  I had heard that some meal delivery services are that generous, and there was definitely enough food for two people, and one recipe I even had for 3 meals.

So for pros, the convenience is nice.  If you know you aren't going to have time to run to the grocery store, then this is a great options.  The meals are delicious, and it's always fun to try a new recipe that you might not otherwise give a try.  Also, say you try it out and it's not for you, or you would like to skip a week or two before your next box.  Unsubscribing is super easy and painless.  Reactivation is also really easy and painless.

My only con would be the price.  Obviously, I was able to snag someone's free code, and then when you sign up, you receive a discount code (mine is EMILYANND) to provide your friends and family to get $40 off their first box, which can make 3 meals for 2 people only $20 - not too shabby.  Also, if someone uses this discount code, then you get $20 in credit for yourself, which again makes the cost more viable.

One thing to be aware of though, is the nutritional value.  One of the meals I got was really high in calories.  I didn't really pay attention to that when I was ordering, so that's probably one thing I would be conscious of next time.  I am not saying this as a con, because to each their own, but if you are watching what you eat, it's just something you should check out when making your meal choices.

I would definitely suggest giving it a try if you have been thinking about it.  It's one of those things that while it wouldn't be financially smart for me to do on the regular, it will be something I do go back to every once in awhile to switch things up and try something new!

Have you tried Hello Fresh, or another meal delivery service.  I'd love to hear your experience!

Linking up with Annie.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: April 2017


I am linking up with my usual Wednesday girls - Jessi and Jenn for What's Hap-pinning Wednesday and Shay for What's Up Wednesday.

What I'm eating this week...

Monday: Brats & Salad
Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner - Eggs & Avocado Toast
Wednesday: Andrea's Pulled Pork (so delicious and ridiculously easy)
Thursday: Cheat meal - thinking Chinese?
Friday: Leftover pulled pork - probably use it for a BBQ Quesadilla

What I'm reminiscing about...baby showers and birthday parties.  Yesterday was Show & Tell Tuesday, and the topic was on 'adult' parties.  It made me go back to those party days - so fun!  Also, college / sorority life.  I read a few early posts from Southern Curls & Pearls, and it just reminded me of being back in college.  At the time, life seemed very busy and stressful, but now being removed from it for awhile (8 years next month!), you realize how carefree those days were!

What I'm loving...I received these wedges as an Easter present and I am obsessed.  How cute are they?!  They are super light and seem very comfortable.  Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to wear them because of this crazy up and down weather, but I am hoping to soon!  I am still loving my new work out gear - these tanks are the best.  They are long, flowy and super soft.  I also thing the higher neckline is really nice.  The lilac and orange go perfect with my new capris, which are also insanely comfortable.  Makes working out a little bit better!


What I've been up to...this month was a good one with Easter and spring cleaning.  Other than that, it's been a lot of work, work, work, work, work!


What I'm dreading...again with the work talk this month.  Same deal - not dreading so much as nervous / anxious.  Things have been and will continue to be a little crazy until the latter part of May and I am just hoping and praying that things stay on track and are successful!


What I'm working on...still trying to work on losing weight.  You can see my mid-challenge update here.  Wish me luck - the weekly weigh in is today and I made the unfortunate decision to weigh myself yesterday before my after work workout.  Let's hope that scale was wrong, because it had me gaining a bit of weight instead of losing!


What I'm excited about...honestly nothing is coming to mind.  Not that I don't have anything to be excited about, but I just can't think of anything!


What I'm watching...not nearly enough of my DVR - it's almost full!  My guilty pleasure is Swamp People - I don't know why, but I just love that show.  I am actually watching it as I type this now!  I really am loving Home Town, too.  It just gets better and better with each episode!


What I'm listening to...right now - Swamp People.  I haven't been in the car a whole lot lately to listen to any really good music.  


What I'm wearing...all the navy, green and white last week!  I had a little color scheme going on in last week's work wear post.


What I'm doing this weekend...going to see The Lion King!  A little night out is just what I need - dinner and a show.  I keep seeing commercials and it has me really looking forward to seeing it in person. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...things settling down at work, and my first Indy 500!  While my brother and dad have been going together for awhile now, this will be my first.



Bonus Question: What is your favorite spring / summer shoe...I have way too many!  I have a feeling the wedges I shared earlier will be a favorite.  My go to's are definitely my Sperry's - I wear them with everything!  I may have to get a new pair though, because after a few years of wear, they are starting to show it a bit!  Birkenstock's are another pair of sandals that I constantly pulling out to wear, as are my Sam Edelman sandals.  For work, I often trade in my pumps for strappy heels (these are almost the same as what I have - mine have a skinnier heel).  I have both nude and black, if that tells you how much I love them!


   

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Show & Tell Tuesday: Party Time!

Happy Tuesday, specifically, Show & Tell Tuesday!  Today's topic is parties.  When I thought about it, three parties came to mind, my sister in law's baby shower, my dad's 60th birthday and then my cousin's baby shower this past winter.  I share specific details about them all before, so here are just a few pictures from each, along with the link to that specific post.

Jen's Baby Shower: Part 1 & Part 2








You can check my 2017...


...and 2016 Show & Tell Tuesday posts below.


Linking up with Andrea, Lindsay and Whitney.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend Recap: Spring Cleaning Edition

Happy Monday!  The weekend was way too fast as always - here's a little recap.

My mom came Friday afternoon and was kind enough to do some grocery shopping for me while I was finishing up work.  We headed out for some drinks and apps a little bit later, then made a few stops - one to Dick's Sporting Goods to see if the sales were as good as last weekend, and then to Lowe's to pick up flowers and plants for my balcony pots.  Dick's was a bit of a disappointment for me, but we both found some things and got good deals on those.  Lowe's was an adventure, because it had started raining a bit - no too heavy, but more than spitting - so we shopped for plants in the rain.  We thought we were the only crazy ones that would be out, but there were actually quite a few people and more coming as we left.  Guess we weren't the only ones not afraid of a little rain.

We were up early the next morning, ready to tackle my spring cleaning list.  The weather was pretty crappy in the morning - cold and rainy, but luckily for us it stopped and then totally cleared up and became gorgeous!  The cleaning was nonstop, with only a trip to Target to pick up a few more cleaning supplies...and Starbucks.  I tell you, that cinnamon almond milk macchiato is addicting.  We finished up, took a quick walk before dinner and then just kind of crashed.  I am so thankful she was able to come help me, because we got so much done.  The place just seems refreshed!  We even managed to do a bit of decorating, too.  



Sunday morning was another early start to the day, and we headed out for a walk.  I love these days where it is cooler in the morning and then warms up throughout the day.  Perfect for morning walks.  I introduced my mom to my love of Kodiak Cakes, and she helped me do some food prep before heading back home.  I spent the rest of the day doing laundry and getting ahead on some blog posts.  

It was such a productive weekend, here's to hoping the week follows suit!

Linking up with Biana.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Favorites

Boy, am I glad it's Friday!  This week has been a long one, and I am glad to see the weekend.  I have big plans to do some serious cleaning with my mom's help and I am excited to tackle my long to-do list.  It's supposed to be rainy and gross, so the perfect weather for spending time in indoors, getting things done.


Since today is supposed to be gross and rainy, I thought I would start off the post with a picture from last weekend was it was just absolutely gorgeous!

1.  Easter.  Easter was fabulous - I am still thinking about it!  The food was so good and I am still dreaming about all the desserts.  I really regret not bringing back leftovers, especially of the lamb cake.  Such a sweet treat!  And of course, the company was even better.  Although I feel like I have been going through this week like a chicken with its head cut off - I have got to prepare better next time I decide to drive back on Monday morning, rather than Sunday - it was worth it to be able to spend time with my family.

2.  Speaking of Easter, I received Essie's Sage You Love Me polish in my basket.  I painted my nails the other night and am loving the color.  It's a pretty color that kind of looks green, kind of looks blue, kind of looks gray, depending on the lighting.  I just think it is so pretty!

3.  Chick fil A app.  If you are are like me, you love Chick fil A.  I may be late to the party on this one, but they have an app!  A coworker shared this with me yesterday.  From the sounds of it, you just download the app, swipe it whenever you go to Chick fil A and start earning rewards!  Seems easy peasy to me!

4.  Navy, green and white.  I was really feeling this color combo this week when it came to work clothes.  To see what I mean, check out my work wear for the week post from Wednesday!

5.  Running.  I got away from running for awhile and am trying to get back into the groove.  This week I was able to run a mile without stopping - twice!  While it may not be a huge distance for many people, it was a definite win for me! 

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Linking up with AndreaApril, and Katie.    
      

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Weight Loss Challenge Update

Hey all!  I am four weeks into a weight loss challenge at work, and wanted to give a little mid-challenge update.

A little back story to start off the post, though.  One of my New Year's Resolutions was to continue to improve on my health.  I jumped on the 21 Day Fix bandwagon last year, and really love the work outs.  I did a full review after my first go around here, if you want to check it out.  I love the workouts and learned a lot about diet via the program, which I shared when Sarah and I did a little blog switch earlier in the year.  You can see my post on Sarah's blog here, and her post about her healthy tips and tricks on my blog here.  I always love reading posts like that - helps to get me motivated!

My motivation here of late has been the weight loss challenge I am participating in at work.  The challenge is company-wide, and there is a group of 9 of us that are split between two teams, which makes it a little more fun and competitive.  I like that it is on teams, because you don't want to let the others down, and it gives you a good support system, too.  The fitness center provided us with a work out, suggested diet, and we receive a weekly healthy recipe to help set us up for success.  

So far, I have lost a little under 4 pounds.  I feel pretty good about that number, as they say a healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.  4 weeks down, almost 4 pounds lost.

Here's the two main things I have been doing to achieve that loss.  

1.  Working out twice a day during the week.  In the morning, I do a 21 Day Fix work out.  I consider this more my 'weights' work out.  For my second round of the day, I head to the gym after work and do a half hour or 45 minutes of cardio.  One day I will walk on the treadmill for a half hour plus 10 minutes on the stair master, and the next day I will elliptical for 30 minutes.  I do the morning work outs Monday through Friday, and try to get to the gym after work 3-4 times a week.  On the weekends, I usually try to get out for a walk on Saturday and have Sunday for rest, or just another, more leisurely walk.  Since I have been doing this, I have started to see higher losses during weigh in week.  Doing this for the long haul does not seem like a viable option, so my hope is that once I hit my target, I can go back to once a day working out to maintain.

2.  Watching what I eat.  Captain obvious speaking because we all know this is key to losing weight and being healthy.  My sister in law has had some really great success lowering her carb intake, so I have been trying to be cognizant of that, as well.  For example, I picked up a spaghetti squash to get my pasta fix, instead of using actual noodles.  I am having more salads, sometimes for both lunch and dinner, and pairing them with a protein or making them a little different to keep myself from getting burnt out.  I am also still letting myself eat what I want...to a degree.  At big meals, like Easter, in the past I tended to take a bit of everything.  This year, I just focused on the things I really liked.  I may have had 3-4 desserts, as well, but that isn't my everyday.  And I split a few with my mom so that I could get that taste, but didn't over do it too much.  I also allow myself a cheat meal/day.  Otherwise, I am the type that if I don't allow myself things here and there, then it all bottles up and I just go crazy with eating all the bad things.  

That's what has been working for me!  Hopefully I will be back in 4 weeks with twice as much weight lost (if not more!)!  

Linking up with Annie.      

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Work Wear for the Week Vol. 4

My work wear this week has a bit of a color scheme going on...I am obviously a fan of navy, green and white!  I say that with the exception of Friday.  You'll notice that there is no Friday outfit.  Confession - I pulled Monday through Thursday outfits together and forgot all about Friday!  Obviously I would be all about that 4 day work week - my brain is already on track for that!  I was going to come up with something to add it, but honestly I just stood in my closet trying to come up with something and having no inspiration, so I am leaving it at just Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday:  Something easy and comfy for the early morning drive into work, yet still put together.



Shirt (old): Banana Republic (similar in stripes) | Pants (old): Loft (similar) | Heels: Calvin Klein | Necklace: Kendra Scott

Tuesday:  I touted this as my new favorite work outfit last What's Up Wednesday.  I just love it!



Sweater: Banana Republic | Skirt (old): The Limited | Heels: Calvin Klein | Necklace: Kendra Scott

Wednesday:  This was actually the first outfit that came to my mind when planning the week.



Cardigan (old): Loft (short sleeve version) | Tank (old): Loft | Skirt (old): The Limited | Heels: Calvin Klein | Necklace: Kendra Scott

Thursday: Once I realized everything else was navy, white and green, I had to keep going with it.



Cardigan (old): Loft (short sleeve version) | Tank: Express | Pants (old): The Limited | Heels: Calvin Klein | Necklace: Kendra Scott


For more of my work wear looks:


Linking up with The Pleated PoppyJenn and Jessi.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Weekend Recap: Easter 2017

Hey all!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I am a day behind, recovering from too much Easter fun!  Before I get to that, let's start back with Friday.

I didn't do anything of note Friday evening, other than picking up my apartment and packing for a trip back home.  

I was up early to head to my parents'.  The drive was uneventful, although some people are just crazy drivers.  I am always so thankful when I drive longer distances at how close I am to things on an everyday basis because like I said - people are just nuts on the roads!  We took a walk around the neighborhood and then had a quick lunch before heading out to run errands.  We all had a few things to return, at various places, so it worked out well.  Unfortunately, that Loft skirt I had been lusting over turned out to not be a good fit for me.  The length was wrong, but even hemmed it just didn't fit me quite right.  Always hate when that happens!  On the other hand, I have been in desperate need of some new work out clothes, and was able to pick some up on sale at Dick's.  Tank tops for $10, a few sports bras - one $12 and $15, and then capris were buy one get one half off, so my mom picked some up for herself and gave me her half off pair!  I was excited to work out yesterday, just so I could wear some of my new purchases.  The rest of the night consisted of us (my mom) conquering the lamb cake, having burgers and watch The Ten Commandments.  I totally forgot to include that in my Easter traditions post, but that is definitely one of them!  Such an amazing movie, especially when you think about how old it is!

Easter morning started off with a hunt for my Easter basket (bag).  I actually had a little harder time finding it this year, because my parents' didn't tell me which room it was in.  Inside was an Arch Apparel t shirt (I had been wanting one!), socks, a Scrub Daddy, new nail polish, and some Easter candy.  We headed to my grandma's for church, FaceTimed with my brother & family, then my aunt and uncle's for Easter lunch.  My aunt and uncle moved into a new condo less than a year, ago, so it's always fun when we get to go over there and see all the little changes they have made since last time.  The food was ridiculously good.  Ham, shrimp, kidney bean salad, two potato salads, rolls, baked beans, carrots, green beans...I mean the list just goes on.  And everything was amazing.  My uncle made homemade vanilla ice cream, my aunt made triple chocolate brownies, and of course we had the lamb cake...along with a bunch of other Easter candy.  It was all SO GOOD.  It was fun catching up with everyone and enjoying what turned out to be a beautiful day.  I was so worn out after the fact, hence no post yesterday.

I decided to avoid the long drive home Sunday night, and got up early Monday to drive back.  It was back to work and back to the grind.







Linking up with Ashley, Erika, Lindsay and Whitney.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Favorites: Happy Easter!

Happy almost Easter!  And happy Friday!


Image result for happy friday

1.  It's two weeks into my weight loss challenge at work and I am happy to report that I have lost about 2 pounds!  Now, if I can only keep it up!

2.  Wednesday's post was about spring cleaning.  In it, I mentioned how in the past I have been lucky enough to have my mom come help me tackle the deep cleaning.  I didn't think it was possible for this year, but I was wrong!  She emailed me right after she read it and we set a weekend for her to come visit.  I guess the post ended up being an unintentional hint, and I am super glad it worked out that way.

3.  Again on the topic of spring cleaning - I was able to pull a lot of great to do's from others' posts.  I have been keeping a running list on my computer that I can add to whenever I think of anything, or read something that sparks a thought.  This way I can refer back to it when it's time for another deep clean.

4.  The Girl Chat link up was yesterday (thanks to everyone that linked up with us!) and it was all about Easter.  I really loved reading about everyone's Easter traditions.  It was fun to see how similar our Easter traditions are and then new and different ones that I hadn't heard of before.  Easter hasn't always been my favorite holiday, but this year I am really looking forward to it.

5.  A BIG thank you to Lizzie!  Yesterday somehow my settings got all messed up and reverted me back to a no reply blogger.  She was kind enough to let me know this and I was able to fix it.  When I first started blogging, I had never even heard of the term no reply blogger.  Basically, it means that your email is not linked to your account/comments you may leave on blog posts, so then the blogger who you comment on cannot reply back to you via email.  Some people choose to be a no reply blogger, but I like having my email linked up because I feel like that's how you create those connection in the blogging world.  I respond to comments via email (and occasionally directly on the post if someone has a question), so it's always a little disappointing when commenters don't have their email linked up.  If you are a no reply blogger and want to change it, I would suggest googling it, because there are some really great tutorials out there that can help you fix it!  Anyways, that got off a little bit, so again, thanks, Lizzie!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  

Linking up with AndreaApril, and Katie.    


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Girl Chat: Easter Traditions

The topic for this month's Girl Chat is Easter traditions.  I am having a hard time believing that Easter is just days away!  How did that happen?  It really snuck up on me this year.

When I think of Easter, I think of two things - lamb cake and Easter baskets.

My mom has the neatest old lamb cake mold that always comes out at Easter.  It is one of my favorite things, and I always love when she makes it.  I just think it is so darn cute, not to mention delicious.  She always really does it up, with the 'grass' frosting, eyes and nose and even a little bow for the neck.  Last year there was a little mishap with the cake and it turned into a 'bunny' cake instead of a lamb, but it was still super cute and made for a really good story. 



 

Not only does my mom make a lamb cake at Easter, she also puts together awesome Easter baskets for us all.  Her and my dad hide them around the house for us to find.  So like an egg hunt, but for baskets.  Even the years I am unable to make it home for Easter, I will get a basket in the mail.  I hope I never get too old for Easter baskets! (I say basket, but anymore they are bags/boxes, but I still think of them as Easter baskets.)


All this Easter talk has me reminiscing about last Easter.  My parents have been going with my grandma to church on Easter morning and since I was in town, I went with them, too.  What neither my parents nor my grandma knew, was that my brother, sister in law and Jack would be joining us there as a surprise.  Not only that, but my cousin who now lives in Arizona was in town, too, so all the grandkids were around for Easter last year.  It was really special, since it had been awhile since we were all able to be together, and I know it is one we all will remember.  While we won't all be together again this Easter, hopefully it will be another good one!



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!


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