Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  Why is it that everytime it is a short week, my days get all mixed up?  Having Monday off really threw me for a loop!  We made it to the end of the week, though so that's always a good thing.

1.  I am still in search of The Pioneer Woman magazine.  Obviously that part isn't a favorite, but the fact that one of my friends remembered to check for me when she was at her Walmart is a favorite for sure!  Unfortunately they didn't have it either, but it still was so nice of her!  The fact that she remembered just was really thoughtful.  Gotta love good friends like that!

2.  If you checked out my post yesterday, you saw that I had a dentist appointment.  The last few appointments I have had, my normal hygenist has not been in.  Come to find out that is because she has been on maternity leave!  She's just the nicest person and I was so glad to have her back.  Not to mention she said that my teeth were looking good!  I have had issues before, so you can only imagine how nice that is to hear.

3.  I got almost all my cleaning done last night!  Things were looking a little rough after being at my parents', so I decided to tackle cleaning a little earlier than normal.  I have to say I am pretty darn pumped that I can go into the weekend with a clean apartment.  Just knowing that is one thing I do not have to do over the weekend is nice!  More time for reading, or hanging out at the pool!

4.  I shared one of my favorite summertime dips, Bachelorette Party Dip, on Wednesday.  I totally forgot to add it to my 'Recipes' page, but it is there now.  You can find all the other recipes I have shared on the blog there!



5.  I wore my favorite ruffle sleeve top at home last weekend, and my mom loved it so much, she wanted to order herself one.  Unfortunately they only have limited sizes and colors, but they have a very similar shirt that ties in the front.  She picked one up for herself and for me!!  I went with the gray and white striped, and got it in the mail earlier this week.  The fabric seems a bit different than the one without a tie, but it's still really soft and so cute on!  I can't wait to wear it - hopefully this weekend.  

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Linking up with AndreaApril, and Katie.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Confessions

It's been a long while since I have done a confessions post and thought it was high time to do another one, especially since I have an embarrassing / funny story to share from yesterday.

First up, my story.  I had to reschedule a dentist appointment from a few months ago and it is actually today.  But all Tuesday I thought it was Wednesday...even though it is right there on my calendar as Thursday.  I was complaining a bit because I have been slacking on flossing and just know that it isn't going to be the best visit...all the while thinking it was Wednesday.  Come Wednesday, I get side tracked at work and think oh, no!  I am going to be late for my dentist appointment! - so I hurry out of work to make it to my appointment.  Only to realize en route...my appointment was the next day.  How embarrassing?!  I rush out of work, only to realize two minutes later that I have no where to be going.  I lost my decent parking spot, and am just at a loss because, how could I make such a mistake, when again, it is there on my calendar listed under things 'tomorrow.'  Oh my word...I just thank goodness that I didn't make it to the office before I remembered, because that REALLY would have been embarrassing.  And luckily my coworker and boss were both out of the office, so I didn't have to explain my abrupt departure and then quick return to them.  So wish me luck today, because I for real have a dentist appointment!

I shared how I blog plan here, but this month I have not kept to my schedule.  Either things have come up, or I haven't put in the work to get them done well, so then they get pushed.  The positive thing is that I have those things to use next time I am struggling for ideas!

One of my June goals was to go through my work out clothes.  I am happy to say I have done that, however, they have yet to go back in where they belong.  So for the past week and a half, I have had piles of clothes just laying there in my room.  I don't spend much time in my room except in the morning when I get ready for work and then at night right before bed, so it's one of those out of sight out of mind things.  I really need to get on that, though!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is still a month away, but I have been thinking about it for awhile now!  I have been keeping a list on my phone of things I want to look for during the sale and it just keeps getting longer and longer.  To prepare for the gobs of money I will potentially spend at the sale (and because I am just trying to save money in general), I have been trying not to buy anything that isn't really necessary - side note: Bath & Body Works sale purchases were totally a necessity!  However, when my mom mentioned she was going to getting a top from Charmed, I totally had her get me one, too.  Luckily, I had some money at the consignment shop in town which will cover it, but still, the struggle is real.  Also, another side note - when typing Nordstrom into Blogger, it comes up with the spell check line under it.  You would think with the many, many bloggers who talk about Nordstrom, it would be in their dictionary!

I'd love to hear a confession of your own!

Linking up with Danielle & Annie.







Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bachlorette Party Dip

Hi all!  Today I am sharing one of my favorite dips.  I call it Bachelorette Party Dip because I had it for the first time at a bachelorette party...and because I don't know the actual name.  It's super easy to make, and super delicious.  It has a nice crunch with the red pepper, jalapeno and corn, but is still creamy and spreadable - it scoops up nicely on a cracker!  I serve this with Wheat Thins, but I think it would be good with veggies, or really, any type of chip or cracker.



Bachelorette Party Dip
1 red pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 can of corn, drained
16 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix

Seed and chop red pepper and jalapenos.  Drain can of corn.  In a large bowl combine red pepper, jalapenos, corn, cream cheese and ranch packet.  Stir together.  Enjoy!

I made this the night before my book club and just stirred it well before serving.  It was just as good as I remembered and everyone really loved it!  If you are worried about it having a kick from the jalapenos, it really doesn't at all.  Between seeding the jalapeno and mixing it with the other ingredients, any kick is really diminished.

Linking up with Jenn and Jessi.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Three Things Survey

Today you are going to get to know a bit more about me!  Erica @ Whimsical September shared this 'three things' survey she had come across on a friend's blog and when I read it, I knew it was something I wanted to partake in as well.

Three things I'd never give up
Carbs
Books
Mascara

Three favorite vegetables
Red peppers
Cucumbers
Brussels sprouts

Three shows I watched faithfully from beginning to end
Pretty Little Liars
Fixer Upper
Teen Mom (both OG and 2...all since 16 & Pregnant)
I know these are all shows still going, but I haven't missed an episode!  I am sure there are others that are no longer, but for the life of me I couldn't think of any.  

Three place I want to visit inside the US
Boston
DC
New Orleans
The list goes on, but those were the ones I thought of off the top of my head!

Three place I want to visit outside the US

Italy
Ireland
France
Again - the list goes on and on!

Three things I always have with me
Chapstick
Sunglasses (my eyes are super sensitive!)
My phone
I type all these things with a grain of salt, because I am super forgetful, and odds are I forget one or all of these things at different times.

Three things that are always in my car
Sunglasses
Water
Blanket

Three most recent calls were from / to

My best friend
My brother
My sister in law

Three most often used makeup products
Mascara
Eyebrow gel / powder
Chapstick

Three things that make me laugh
My nephew - he is such a ham!
Corny jokes - the cheesier the better!
When someone else is cracking up at themselves - it makes me laugh at them just as hard!

Three things that make me cry

Let's be real - everything makes me cry!  I was very stoic until after I graduated college and then I feel like since I have cried at the drop of a dime.  Whether it be a sweet, happy story or a sad, tradegic story, they all get me!

Linking up with Erika, AshleyLindsay and Whitney.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Weekend Recap: Father's Day Weekend

Happy Monday!  Thankfully the Sunday blues didn't hit me this weekend, because I am still off today!  I am sure they will be in full force this evening, though.

I headed back to my parents Friday after a slow morning.  It was so nice to wake up to no alarm!  When I got home, I helped my dad with some of the 'to do' list to prepare for the weekend.  My mom was getting home from a girls trip in Nashville later that night, so Dad and I were flying solo for the day.  Lunch was Arby's and dinner was hot dogs...we did have green beans though!

Lilybird giving me the stank eye, like why are you taking my picture?

Saturday morning came bright and early.  My dad's car club was hosting a road trip that day, so I tagged along with my parents.  It was super fun and I took a lot of pictures - that in itself will be a full post, because otherwise this one would be wayyy too long!  My brother and family were headed home Saturday afternoon, so when we got back from the road trip they were already home.  An extra surprise was my brother's two best friends from high school were over, too.  I hadn't seen them forever, so it was super fun to see them and their kids!  Oh, how times have changed!  We headed downtown later on for the cruise night going on, which was cut short by the storms heading our way.

We had a yummy breakfast Sunday morning and celebrated my two favorite dads - my dad and my brother!  I headed out to my dad's shop with my dad, Matt and Jack to check out the progress on my dad's car.  I hadn't been out there in forever, and it was fun to check things out, and have Jack out there, too.  My grandma and aunt came down for a visit, and we spent the day visiting, eating and enjoying the gorgeous weather!  Right before my brother, sister in law and Jack left, we headed to the park that we grew up playing at.  It was super fun to experience it through Jack's eyes and have a little fun ourselves.  




I love my parents' yard!


My mom has all these little vignettes on the deck outside and I think they are just so dang cute. 




Today I am heading back to St. Louis, and out to lunch with my best gal pal.  Then it is back to reality and getting ready for the thankfully, short, work week.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Linking up with Biana.
  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  Let's get right to my favorite, shall we?



1.  Lately I have been absolutely obsessed with Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter.  My mom introduced me to this awhile ago.  She had it at my brother and sister in law's house one day and knew she had to get some for herself!  When I first got it, I mostly ate it with apples, or had a spoonful here and there when I needed something.  In the past few weeks, though, I have been using it on waffles in the morning and oh my word - it's delicious.  It melts a bit from the hot waffles and just tastes so, so yummy.  If you haven't given almond butter a try, I would definitely go for this one.  And make sure you get the vanilla - I have been told you can definitely tell the difference! 

2.  I mentioned on Monday that this past weekend I stopped at Bath & Body Works for their sale.  It seems like it is still going on, so if you are a fan, definitely check it out!  I picked up 3 $3 foaming hand soaps (the foaming ones are my favorite!) and then 2 new candles for $10 a piece.  The candles came in a pretty coral glass container, which goes perfectly with my apartment, and the scent, Sugared Citrus Sorbet, is so good! 

3.  One of my March goals was to make a dermatologist appointment for a skin check.  I made the appointment in March, but didn't actually have it until this week.  I always get nervous going to a new doctor, but there was no reason to be, because she was awesome!  I got all checked out, and while there was one spot they wanted to look into a bit further, overall the appointment went well!  The doctor and the staff were so nice, especially for having to deal with the air breaking that morning!  I feel like a weight has been lifted since the initial visit has been done and now I can get into the routine of going and getting checked out every year.

4.  Kelsey, over at The Peacock Roost, just announced the launch of her new business, Peacock Paper & Gifts.  I can only imagine the labor of love this has been for her and it's exciting to see things come together!  I know she is anxiously awaiting the release of her products and I have to say, I am, too! 

5.  I am giving myself a 4-day weekend!  I am off today, then again on Monday.  It's going to be a busy weekend, and then Monday I have plans to catch up with my best friend for lunch.  I am excited to get away from work a bit.  I feel like it was go go go for awhile, and even though things have slowed down, I am ready for an actual, full on break, for a few days!  

top row - men / bottom row - women


6.  An extra favorite for this Friday.  If you are in need for a last minute Father's Day present, I suggest you check out Sock Fancy.  It's a sock subscription service and they have really fun socks!  While this isn't really something up my dad's alley, I think my brother would really enjoy it, as well as other guys who like to rock the fun socks for work or play.  The quality is really nice and this will be my third time saying it, but they are just so fun!  And while I am mentioning it for Father's Day, it's not just for guys - they have women's socks, too!  (Disclaimer: I received a complimentary box of socks from SockFancy in exchange for a review on the blog.  As always, all thoughts and opinion are my own!)    

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with AndreaApril, and Katie.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Recipe Round Up: May 2017

I made a few new to me recipes last month and wanted to share!


Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini Noodles from The Pioneer Woman.  I didn't actually make this recipe as shown, but rather used it to make my zucchini noodles.  I just heated up some olive oil, minced garlic and then threw my zoodles in until warm.  I just needed a bit of guidance!  But this recipe as a whole sounds super good.

If you are like me and just coming in on the zoodle craze and wanted to learn more about zoodles (and check out some delicious sounding recipes), make sure to check out this article from Nutrition Advance.  It's a good one!


Granola Parfaits
Granola Parfaits from Trisha Yearwood.  Again, not something I made as a whole, but made the instructions work for what I was making.  I wanted to make homemade granola, but wasn't sure how.  I got on a yogurt parfait kick when I was in New York and wanted to be able to make my own.  I combined the honey and vegetable per the instructions and then toasted in my oats.  The recipe said to bake them for up to 20 minutes.  Since I didn't let it full preheat, I went for the full 20 minutes, but that left them a little browner than I would have ideally liked.  It makes a ton, so I was set for awhile - definitely a win! 

What new recipes have you made lately?  I would love to hear!

Linking up with Annie.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Work Wear for the Week Vol. 6

Here is a look at what I am wearing this week.  

Monday:  This top is super old, but I still love the mint and white polka dots.  
Cardigan: Loft (similar 3/4 length) | Top (old): Macy's | Cropped Pants: Loft (similar) | Heels: Calvin Klein | Earrings: Kendra Scott (Dani Earrings)

Tuesday: I keep going more and more for thin sweaters tucked in - it's my new favorite look!
Sweater: The Limited | Cropped Pants: Loft (similar) | Heels: Calvin Klein | Earrings: Kendra Scott (Dani Earrings) | Belt (old): Express

Wednesday:  A dress is always my go-to when I don't want to think too much about putting together a whole outfit.
Dress: Tahari | Heels: Calvin Klein | Earrings: Kendra Scott (Dani Earrings)| Necklace: Kendra Scott (Rayne Necklace)

Thursday:  Can't beat that classic combo of red and blue - especially in the summer.
Top: The Limited | Pants: The Limited | Heels: Calvin Klein | Earrings: Kendra Scott (Dani Earrings) | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Zuly Necklace)

Friday:  It's a short week for me, so no 'work' outfit for Friday!


For more of my work wear looks:

Linking up with Jenn and Jessi.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Review: May 2017


First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  I thought this book was an easy read.  It's a mix of romance and mystery.  A former football player is being followed by girl trying to start her own detective company, or rather carry on her father's business.  It turns out he actually needs to hire her for his business, and will eventually need her for some personal work, as well.  Of course, they fall in love, but it's not easy in the least bit.  I will say you kind of know what is coming at the end with the two of them, but it's a fun read on the way to get there.  I think it makes the perfect beach/pool book.

Eyes On You by Kate White.  I picked this up purely because the jacket reminded me of a few other suspense / thrillers I have read lately and wanted something in that genre again.  I really liked it this one - a TV host lost it all, but after a few years made her way back to TV.  Her current show is doing well, but then weird things start happening.  The book had some good twists and turns throughout, making you kind of question everyone she comes in contact with.  If you are a fan of suspense, I say read it! 

What The Nanny Saw by Fiona Neill.  This was the book chosen for my book club.  The premise sounded very interesting to me since it deals with the financial crisis.  The book is about a very wealthy family and their nanny.  They experience some extreme highs and then things fall out the bottom when it turns out the husband has been doing some shady business dealings.  It wasn't a stand out to me, but I didn't dislike it, either.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  I had heard so many things about Outlander and decided I need to read it and see what the hype was all about!  I really, really liked it.  If you aren't familiar with Outlander, it is about a woman that travels back into time (on accident) and spends part of the time falling in love with where she is, while at the same time trying to get back to her present.  I feel like if I say more than that, it will ruin some parts, but I really felt it was good.  There are some graphic portions, so I would be aware of that.  Overall, I would definitely recommend it!

June started off a bit slow in the reading department for me, but this past weekend I read a really good book and can't wait to share in next month's review!

You can see what else I have been reading this year below.


Linking up with StephLindsay and Whitney.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Weekend Recap: Lazy Days

Another weekend, gone by wayyy too fast.

It started out on the right foot with ice cream, from my recent favorite, Sheridan's.  I always go for the butterfinger concrete - it never disappoints!

Saturday start with cleaning and Panera.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day, perfect for the pool.  The breeze kept it from being too warm and I was able to sit out reading for quite some time.  I headed to the library later than afternoon, and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to check out a few books on my to read list.  Normally I have to request them, because they are either checked out, on hold, or at another branch.  It really worked out well!



I had another productive morning between the gym and knocking out errands.  Lunch was out at one of my favorites, Llywelen's, then a few more stops I needed to make for the day.  I was on the hunt for The Pioneer Woman Magazine and struck out at ALL the places I was looking.  I actually went to Target and Barnes & Noble, before I realized the magazine is exclusively at Wal Mart.  So I head that way and still couldn't find it!  Talk about frustrating.  I did, however score some great deals at Bath & Body Works.  Soaps were $3 and they had a great variety of $10 3-wick candles.

Back to work today - I am already ready for this coming weekend to be here!

Linking up with Biana.
  

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Favorites: Orlando, Florida

Yay for Friday!  This week seemed like it was super long, but also like it flew by if that makes sense?  I can't believe the Rooster Crawl was already last weekend, because it seems so far away!  I had mentioned that Sunday was pretty eventful as well, and that is because I headed to Orlando for a work conference.

Instead of breaking down my Friday favorites into five, like normal, I am just going to recap my trip, because the whole thing was definitely a favorite!

I was up reasonably early on Sunday to get ready to go to the airport.  I felt really prepared this time, because I had packed the majority of things Saturday morning, then finished up with my clothes Saturday evening.  I had all my lists, (in my handy dandy notebook I mentioned last Friday) ready, so it made packing a breeze.  What I really need to do is make one on the computer so I can just print off and check off each trip.  The flight was pretty uneventful, which is always a good thing!  We even seemed to get in a bit earlier, which was nice.  I had big hopes to hang out at the pool when I got there, but I needed to attend a sessions, so that did not happen.  There being the JW Marriott.  This has by far been my very favorite place I have stayed.  Everyone was just so dang nice and it was a beautiful hotel with great paths for walking.  After the conference sessions and receptions for the day, I did finally make it outside.  I took a stroll to find the fitness center and then worked out a bit.  

Monday was a FULL day.  The first session started at 7:15.  This conference was really so good.  It's always hit or miss with these things, because you aren't ever sure how the sessions are going to go and if they will be applicable to you and your company, but this one was super good.  I signed up to attend a special lunch session and thank goodness I did, because I met some fabulous ladies.  We had our little 'group' the rest of the conference which made it twenty times better.  The last session of the day we had a comedian, Loretta Laroche, and she was hilarious.  According to her website, she is a stress expert, and she has a way of making you crack up laughing, while talking about handling stress!  She had us throwing our hands in the air and the end, singing and swaying to 'That's Amore.'  So fun!  I had signed up for an event in the evening, but instead went with one of the ladies I met to the one she signed up for.  It was a 4 course meal at NORMAN'S.  The chef there is a James Beard award winner!  If you know me, you know I LOVE food, so this sounded perfect.  It was so delicious.  We had a yummy salad, a shrimp appetizer which was crunchy and a little spicy, then the steak was out of this world.  It was cooked to perfection!  The waiter called is the 'rock star' of the menu and he was not lying.  The dessert a little off - I think I ordered wrong, but I was so stuffed from the dinner, it didn't even matter!  We connected with a few others and ended up heading down to another event, this one included a DJ.  It was the best time - we had a drink, danced and even played shuffleboard.  I didn't get home until way too late, but it was well worth it!

The next day was another long one, but again very good.  By the end of the day, a few of us were tired of being 'on' all the time and speaking with vendors, so we wandered off the property, walked around a bit and ate at Maggiano's.  Not specific to Orlando, I know, but a lot of places around the area were having closed events for other conferences and really, Italian just sounded good!  I had never been before and it was delicious!  It was the relaxing dinner that I think we all needed.  

Wednesday was the last day of the conference.  I headed straight to the airport with some of the other ladies so I could just get there, read and relax.  Unfortunately the flight was delayed a bit, but only an hour, so I was back in St. Louis just a little after 6:00!

The conference was good - I feel like I have a lot of helpful takeaways for my job AND I met the best people.  That really made the conference that much better.  The weather wasn't real great - lots of rain and oh my word, the humidity - so I didn't get to enjoy Florida as much as I was hoping, but honestly there was zero time, so in a way it worked out!








 


I will be spending the weekend relaxing after what has felt like a whirlwind of a few months.  I feel like I say that often, but time is just flying!       

Linking up with AndreaApril, and Katie.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Girl Chat: Summer Staples

Hey all - it's time for another round of Girl Chat!  If you are new the link up, check out the past posts below to see what we have been chatting about.



This month is all about summer essentials / staples.  The warmer weather has hit areas of the Midwest in full force, St. Louis included, and it is already feeling like summer!



My go-to summer outfits include lots and lots of sundresses.  The flowier, the better.  I break out into a sweat so easily in the summer (seriously is so ridiculous and so gross), so I am all about those loose sun dresses when I am out and about.  I stocked up on some really cute dresses earlier this year during the Lilly sale, so I am pretty set on fun sundresses.  Don't forget, too, that Nordstrom now has some Lilly items (and J.Crew) if you want to take advantage of their free shipping / free returns.  I also love a good white/ivory dress for a summer - this one from Madewell is super cute!  A little pricier, but the quality is really good (it's lined), so I feel like it is worth the cost.  I got a similar one two summers ago, and still reach for it all the time.

Wedges are perfect to dress things up in the summer - I received this Sole Society pair as an Easter present, and I really like these UGG wedges as well.  I bet they would be so comfortable, too!  I love my Birkenstocks for running errands.  I also reach for my Sperry's quite often.  They are just so dang comfy and I think they look super cute paired with a dress.  Mine are older and a bit worn, so I may be needing a new pair before the end of the season.  I love the idea of a navy leather pair, but the brown leather is classic, too!   The Sam Edelman sandals that have been popular for the last couple years are still one of my favorites, too.  I have the silver pair and feel like they just go with anything and everything.  I absolutely LOVE the Tory Burch Miller sandals, but have yet to pull the trigger on those.  Maybe one day.

Some type of dress, with any of the above mentioned shoes is pretty much my 'summer uniform' outside of work.

Other summer staples for me include lots and lots of sunscreen (I burn so easily!), a good book (I highly recommend anything by Mary Kay Andrews - she has perfect light, summer reads), and a big jug of water.  You can count on me having all three of these items in my pool bag.

I am anxious to read your summer staples!


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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