Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Favorites: A Random Mess of Things

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a few cents of commission at no additional cost to you.

Happy, happy Friday!  Today I have quite the mix of favorites to share with you.

1.  Ever since the royal wedding (really, even from the royal engagement) I have been obsessing a bit over Meghan Markle.  Or rather, I guess I should say, the Duchess of Sussex.  Or Her Royal Highness, Princess Henry of Wales (that one just doesn't seem to roll off the tongue as easily).  Let's be real, we are all going to probably call her Meghan Markle for the long haul.  Anyways, I very vaguely knew that she had a lifestyle blog for a few years, but I never thought to look around it, which is kind of sad, because it is now defunct.  But it goes to show you that rarely is anything actually gone forever from the internet, because you are still able to access some of the posts.  I read a few articles this week which gave a little insight on her daily routine (read here), provided a few recipes from her blog (read here), and then another one which includes wellness tips, as well as a recipe for her go-to smoothie (read here).  

2.  I know that Lara Bars have been popular for awhile, but I never gave one a try until this week.  I was needing something I could snack on while at work (or home), since Trader Joe's discontinued my beloved cinnamon almonds.  Still so sad about that.  I still like Trader Joe's cocoa glazed almonds, but they can be a little messy to eat and more than once have I dropped one on myself while at work, and sat through the rest of the day with a nice little dusting of cocoa on my pants that just wouldn't wipe away.  Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World recommended the banana chocolate chip flavor, so I thought I would give that a try.  It literally tastes just like banana bread!  So good!  I also grabbed the peanut butter cookie flavor that sounded really good (weird because peanut butter cookies are never my first choice), and that wasn't bad either.  I definitely would say out of the two, though, the banana chocolate chip is better.  I think I was scared, because a lot of the bars I have tried lately are protein bars and I just can't get past the protein taste.  Even the Quest S'mores bars I used to really like were tasting bad to me.  And while I know a Lara Bar isn't a protein bar, I was still concerned that it would taste too 'healthy'.  I just wanted something good that wasn't terrible for me.  And now I have found it!  

3.  I saw this NYX Matte Setting Spray in one of Caitlin @ Southern Curls and Pearls' posts, and thought it would be great to try.  I had kept it in mind for the future, but when I was at Target this past week, it was on one of the end aisles.  Figured that was a sign, so I threw it into my cart.  I am so glad I did!  I need something matte, because my face gets pretty oily when it's warm outside.  I could really tell a difference in how my face felt at the end of the day.  While I still was shiny, it was definitely less shiny than normal and I could just feel there was a difference, if that makes sense.

4.  With the warmer weather, my favorite tea (Hot Cinnamon Sunset) was seeming a bit too fallish.  I grabbed a few leftover bags of tea from a meeting to try them out, and while I have had a few misses, I did find a good one.  Tazo Wild Sweet Orange.  It's so good!  The taste is very light and refreshing, which is just what I was looking for.  Sweet, but not overly sweet.  I was so pleasantly surprised when I tried it, and even though I have tried a handful of others since, nothing has measured up.  And while this isn't my favorite, I did want to share in case anyone else was thinking of trying it - I grabbed Blueberry Green to try and while it smells SO good, it tastes like plain, old green tea (which I am not a huge fan of).  I was really hoping for a good mix of blueberry flavor in there, but I feel like it's only a tiny hint, if that.  Basically the blueberry makes it smell delicious (kind of reminds me of the scented markers!), but the taste is, like I mentioned, just the taste of green tea.  So if you have been thinking of giving it a go in the hopes that it tastes more like blueberry, I personally would pass and look for something else.  If you have any 'warm weather' tea flavors you'd recommend, please share!  I know I am WAY ahead, but I am pretty sure a tea sampler is going to be on my Christmas list this year, that way I can try a bunch of different ones without having to buy a whole tin!     
Tazo Wild Sweet Orange Herbal Tea Filterbags (20 count)

5.  Once again, I have fallen into the trap of looking at blog posts sharing sales, when I know I need to be saving my money for house expenses.  I was better this time, and didn't actually buy anything, but I am sure loving a few things.  First, a quick review of the black dress I did buy last week.  I got it in this week and already wore it.  I love it.  The fit is great (I got my normal size), and it's very comfortable.  I wouldn't mind it in a few different colors - just seems like such a great basic to have one hand. 

 Now, onto the new items I am lusting after.  This Nordy Girl sweatshirt is adorable - I really like the navy and pink combo.  Really, I just love this whole entire outfit on the model

I think this tank (not on sale, but I saw it someplace this week) would be great for work, and then paired with jeans.  The pleating on the shoulders/sleeves is different enough to add interest, but it's still a classic look.  

Another cute top is this peplum top.  The navy and white striped is my favorite (that color combo will always be one of my favorites).  I think the cut looks super flattering, like the ruffles at the top, paired with the peplum at the bottom would give you a nipped in waist, even on those days you might not feel that 'nipped' in.  
I've seen this ruffle sweater multiple places and I love it more and more each time!  I am going to stop myself there - I feel like I could keep going on - so many cute things out these days!

I hope you all have a great long weekend.  I am going to be enjoying it to the fullest, and will be back on Tuesday with a recap of the weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

May Confessions

Time for some confessions...

I confess...I had a scare in one of our elevators at work this week, and now I am jumpy every time I get in one.  I was in there with a co-worker, and we were both headed to the same floor.  We get there, and then all of a sudden the elevator kind of shakes, feels like it almost drops a bit and makes some pretty scary, loud noises.  Then it just stops.  My co-worker hits the 'open door' button and while the doors don't open, the elevator starts to head down.  It stops a few floors lower, but again the doors don't open.  My co-worker hits our floor again and we are taken there, and the doors open with no problem.  But I still you what, I was shaking about an hour later.  Getting stuck in an elevator is one of my fears, and I am so thankful that I wasn't in there alone!  I am not sure I will be getting on the elevator alone for awhile.

I confess...Sunday night I went to bed while it was still light outside.  It felt so weird, but I woke up feeling well rested the following day!  I didn't have anything going on Monday night either, so I thought I would get in some extra sleep then, too.  Guess I must have gotten too much on Sunday, because I was wide awake for what seems like forever.  I had the best of intentions, too!

I confess...I really want to get a pedicure.  That is so out of character for me - I always prefer to do my nails myself.  I think I can count one one hand the number of times I have had my nails done, and I never felt like those times were anything special.  It's just not my thing.  But for some reason the thought of someone else doing all the work, and having my feet soaked and scrubbed sounds really, really nice.

I confess...everytime I read of someone doing Whole30, I want to try it myself.  It's sounds like a neat thing to do, and part of me just wants to test myself to see if I actually have the restraint and willpower to stick with it.  And then I start thinking more about it, and it seems like less and less of a good and realistic idea.  I feel like a lot of what I eat on a regular basis, even when I am eating well, would not be compliant and making that big of a change seems like a big hassle.  But then at the same time, I would love to see what kind of results I would have - would I have more energy, would my skin be more glowy, would I feel better as a whole?  It's an internal argument I have with myself on the regular.  

I confess...instead of confess, it's more like, oops, I did it again (please tell me you thought of Britney Spears when you read that, because I totally had it in my head as I wrote this).  I mentioned in my last confessions post that it never fails - when I got to Target, I almost always have to go the next day because I forgot something.  And I thought it was too timely that I had to mention it again, because it literally happened to me Tuesday/Wednesday.  I had a Target trip planned for Tuesday, had my list already and when I got home, I realized I didn't grab tea.  And since I usually drink tea at work, I wanted to make sure I got it sooner than later.  So Wednesday after work, I was back at Target.  It worked out, because I ended up picking up a few other things, including an awesome Father's Day card for my dad.  Pretty happy with myself that I am ahead of the game on that!  Very rarely does that happen when it comes to cards.

I feel like I could go on and on, but I will leave it at that!

Linking up with Owen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Food for Thought...Saying Yes

I had something else planned for today, but I thought I would instead share what was on my mind last night.

I feel like more and more you hear people talking about saying no.  Saying no to taking more on when you are already overwhelmed, saying no to whatever may add to your already full plate, etc.  And I fully concur with this.  Sometimes it is important to say no to relieve yourself of some unnecessary stress.  I have done that plenty of times myself.  It is important to be able to say no.

But as much as we hear that it is ok to say no, I think we need to be careful not to get into a pattern of always saying no.  As ok as 'no' is, so is saying yes.  If we keep saying no under the assumption that we are clearing our plate, so to speak, then eventually our 'plate' is going to be empty.  We have to make sure that it's a balance.  

Yesterday was just a long day for me.  It started off poorly and little things here and there just kept happening that continued to put a sour taste in my mouth.  Usually on days like that, I would get home and just want to hole up in my comfy clothes, with a glass of wine and a good book or TV show.  I had dinner plans, though, with my church circle.  When it came time to RSVP for the dinner, I hesitated about responding yes.  I know things would be kind of crazy at work and that I probably would be stressed and tired, but it sounded fun, and it was at Olive Garden - my fave.  So I said yes.  And even though it was a bit of a crappy day, that dinner was a highlight, and if I would have said no, I would have missed out on a really good time.

That is something I am noticing with my involvement in church as a whole.  I keep saying yes to things, and I know I am better for it.

I guess my point of this ramble is that in this day and age when saying 'no' is so highly touted, don't forget to say yes sometimes, too.  It's all about balance, and you have to balance all those 'no's with some 'yes's. 

Yesterday was just a reminder of that to me, and I thought typing it out and having it on the blog would be a permanant reminder to myself (and maybe you, too).     

Linking up with LindsayJenn and Jessi.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

5 Favorite Salads

Like most people, warmer weather has me wanting to eat lighter.  That includes more salads.  I tend to get tired of eating the same thing over and over again, so it's nice to have a few different salad options to rotate.  Below are five of my favorites, in no particular order.

1.  Everyday Salad.  I usually have a salad for lunches, and if it's not taco salad (see number 5) it's most likely this salad, hence the name 'everyday salad'.  It's nothing fancy, only 3-4 things depending on what I have on hand, but I really enjoy it.  A mixture of chopped hearts of romaine lettuce and 50/50 salad mix, cut up cucumber and sliced green olives.  I top it with an Italian dressing, and it is so good.  I love cucumbers, so I always add in a lot, and then the olives give it a good, salty taste.

2.  Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad from Creme de la Crumb.  I am sure I have shared this before, but it's delicious!  I LOVE pasta, so any place I can add it, while still feeling like I am eating healthy is a win for me.  The oranges and cranberries add great flavor, as do the cilantro leaves.  It's just very fresh, but still filling.  I will say that the dressing in this recipe did not turn out for me, so instead I use balsamic dressing.  Tastes delicious!
Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Dressing |

3. Copy-cat Portillo's Chopped Salad.  My mom and grandma make this salad a lot, and it's always a treat.  I thing all salads should be chopped salads.  There is just something so nice about being able to get a little bit of everything into one bit.  Not to mention, it's a whole lot easier to eat them!  And again with the addition of pasta to salad.  That will always be a good idea in my mind!

4.  Chopped Salad with Roasted Vegetables from Dinner at Tiffani's.  This is another that my mom makes a lot, which I love.  I discovered roasted vegetables a few years ago and I cannot get enough of them.  The flavor meld so well together, and you still get the crispness from the lettuce.  The chickpeas add extra protien, and the cheese is just the icing on the cake.  When my mom makes this to bring over, she usually puts the stuff in individual containers - roasted veggies together, lettuce separate, chickpeas separate, and then it gets all tossed together right before we eat.  There is always some leftover, which does last me a few days, even mixed together.  Just to note - we don't add in the salami (usually this is paired with a protein for our meal), and then dress it with an Italian dressing.

5.  Turkey Taco Salad.  I am still stuck on this turkey taco salad for lunch.  I have been alternating it every other week, so I don't over do it, because I sometimes have a tendency to do that!  One thing I love about this, is the ingredients are minimal.  Hearts of romaine for the lettuce, ground turkey with Chi Chi's seasoning, pico de gallo, and monterey jack cheese.

If you have a favorite salad, I'd love to hear about it!   


Monday, May 21, 2018

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Friday seemed like a longggg day.  It was a struggle to get out of bed (I blame the rain), and the day just seemed long at work.  We actually had what they call 'Spring Fling' here at work, where we get a gift, free lunch and have some fun little activities, like a photo booth and then other things, like games.  It was also sign up time for Pedal the Cause, which is a cancer fighting, fundraising, biking event.  As part of their booth, they had a bike with a blender on the back of it - so you could pedal and create your own smoothie.  I did it (in heels I might add), and got so out of breathe!  I kept going and going, because no one told me I was done (and I couldn't see the blender since it was on the back), and was really feeling it.  Kind of embarassing, haha, but fun at the same time!  Definitely helped break up the day and lighten the mood.  Which was much needed after seeing that there was another school shooting.  It's amazing how desensitized we are to these things.  Just a few years ago, it would be all everyone would talk about, and things would almost come to a standstill at this type of tragedies.  Nowadays, that doesn't seem to be the case.  Everything about the whole situation is just very sad.  Things have got to change!

Well...I don't know how to transition from that, so I am not even going to try to make it smooth, because it wouldn't be.

The whole day it was rainy and dreary, which made things perfect for a happy hour at home, rather than out.  One of the highlights of the evening was FaceTiming with my brother and nephew, who was in such a good little mood.  I get to see them soon and I cannot wait!

Saturday, of course, was the royal wedding.  I didn't get up early for it, but I had two different stations recording, and once I got up, I watched one of them from the beginning.  It was just lovely!  I took a break in the afternoon for lunch, and a trip to the movies to see Deadpool 2.  It was good - definitely worth a see!  Just so many great one liners.  The ending left is pretty open for another one, so I am curious what they do next.  I got home and turned on the royal wedding...again.  I read most of the night, but had it on in the background.

Sunday was Sunday school and church.  One of the girls in my small group has a little baby who is just the cutest thing and for whatever reason, she has decided to take a liking to me.  I got to hold her for a bit which was such a treat!  I was living on the edge yesterday, and went to the grocery store sans list after church.  That's never a good idea for me, but surprisingly, I only forgot a few items, all of which I can just pick up today or later this week.  I spent the rest of the day getting ready for the week.        

Linking up with Biana and Lindsay

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday Favorites: Books, Wish List Items, Baked Beans, A Dress & A Day in the Life

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a few cents of commission at no additional cost to you.

Happy Friday!

1.  The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews.  Mary Kay Andrews is one of my favorite authors, and I was SO excited to see that she had a new book out.  I don't 'follow' authors so to speak, so I rarely know when my favorite authors have new books coming out.  I was at the library picking up a book I had requested, when i decided to take a look at the 'New Books' section - I always like to see what is out.  You can imagine my surprise and excitement when I saw her name pop out at me on the book spine.  SO excited.  If you haven't checked out one of her books before, now is the time.  They are good reads anytime, but I feel like even more so when it's summer.  (I know it's technically spring, but it sure feels like summer around here).  Speaking of summer reads, I started A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer earlier this week and it seems like it would be another great book to read this time of year.  It sounds super familiar, like I have read it before, but when I checked, I hadn't so who knows what I am thinking.  But, the first bit reeled me in and I am interested to see how the story unfolds.

2.  Lately, instagram has been pulling me in with their ads, two in particular.  Ann Taylor has this super cute dress with a knotted / twist detail in front.  I feel like this could be dressed up or down, and would be really flattering.  It initially caught my attention for work wear, but throw on some sandals and I think you'd be good to go.  The second ad that had me clicking on it was for wooden signs (Smallwood Home).  I really want a sign for my new place, and love the look of all these.  I feel like they are normally really expensive, so what had me clicking on it was that they were on sale!  Quite on sale, too.  Unfortunately, I have to save my money for the not so pretty things right now (aka washer, dryer, refrigerator, electrician, etc.) and those unexpected costs that I know will come up, so I will just admire these items from afar.  But well done, instagram, well done.  You had me clicking!

3.  Growing up, we would occasionally have breakfast for dinner some nights.  One of the things that was always served on the side of our eggs was baked beans.  I absolutely love that combination, and was beyond excited when I went to make breakfast for dinner this week and found a can of baked beans to add to the meal.  I don't know if it is because it's somewhat of a comfort meal that reminds me of home, or that it is just breakfast for dinner which is a treat anyways, or what, but it was gooooood!  Writing this just has me hungry for it all over again!  I wanted to share because it was a favorite of this week, and because if you haven't had those two together before, you need to!  

4.  Well, I am contradicting myself.  I started on this post earlier in the week, and in my second favorite, I mentioned not spending money...and then I went and bought a new dress.  Not the one I referenced above, but a different one.  I fell into the blogging trap, because a few of my favorite bloggers (Honey We're Home & Fancy Ashley) kept mentioning how their favorite racer back tank dress was on sale for $30.  I feel like this dress has been around for years and seems like such a great staple.  I actually think I bought one a few years ago, but ended up with the wrong size and just never exchanged it and got a new one.  But anyways, I bought it in black, and it came in exactly at $30.64 for me.  Pretty good deal, I think!  I think it would be great for work with a blazer or cardigan, paired with heels.  I also think it would be equally great dressed down with some flat sandals.  I can't wait to get it in and see how it fits - hopefully it's a keeper!       

5.  I am pretty sure that Day in the Life posts are EVERYONE'S favorite.  And if not everyone, at least the large majority of bloggers and blog readers.  Yesterday's Girl Chat link up topic was just that - a day in the life post.  I shared my Friday from a week ago, and really enjoyed reading those posts from the ladies that linked up.  You can click here to check out my post, and then as you scroll on down, you can click on everyone else's to see what their days look like.  And on the topic of Girl Chat, the next one coming up is June 21st, and the we will be chatting about hair products.  I have a few tried and true items to share, but I am really hoping to read about what others use, especially ones that fight humidity and add volume!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Girl Chat: A Day in the Life 5.11.12

Hey all!  SOOO excited about today's link up.  Can't wait to read all about your days.

I documented last Friday, May 11th.  So let's get to it, shall we?

4:25 - Alarm goes off.  It used to be 4:30, but somehow those extra 5 minutes make a difference!  I know this is early, and yes, it does suck some days.  But I have things I want to get done in the morning.  I am definitely an early bird, and while this is a bit extreme, I can be so unproductive after work, depending on how that day goes, so to get what I want done, I do it first thing.  This day I definitely wanted to stay in bed, but the promise of coffee and waffles after my workout got me going.

4:34 - Bible and devotional time.  This is something I started doing last year, and it really helps start the day on the right foot.  I am still making my way through my one year bible...which I started at the beginning of last year, but I am into November now, so I should make it through before the end of the least I would hope so!  As I read my devotional, I like to make note of specific verses I like.  I have a running list of them in my 'Notes' app and every once in awhile I refer back to them.  Ideally I would like to learn some of these by heart, but right now I am just listing them out.

4:47 - Instragram.  Sometimes I give myself 5-10 minutes before my workout to peruse Instagram.  Kind of work myself to actually working out.  I snapped a screenshot of a snack idea from Taylor @ The Sarcastic Blonde.

4:51 - Work out.  Today was hard.  Pretty much all workout days are hard, but this seemed even more so.  I was feeling like jelly at the end.  Even though I dread it at the beginning, I am always glad to do it!  

5:41 - Eat and blog.  Friday = coffee and waffles for breakfast, which is always such a treat.  I use this time to link up, and read a few blogs if I have time.  This would also be the time I get my lunch together, if I haven't the night before.  But I did, so more time for blog reading!

6:38 - I think I headed to shower and get ready at around 6:10-6:15.  I was moving a little slow this morning, so it's a bit later than my normal.  I was picking out my clothes for the day and knew I wanted to wear my wedges, so I settled for a dress from Loft and a cardigan to go with it to ward off chilly office temps.  I always get warm from getting ready, so I head into work sans cardigan, but by about 9:00, I have gotten cold enough where I need it.

No pictures from work, but this is how the day went.  I headed out about 7:10ish, got to work shortly after, worked until lunch, ate lunch (taco salad) in our cafetorium (cafeteria + auditorium - cafetorium) with some coworkers, worked some more, and then it was finally time to head out and start the weekend! 

4:08 - Happy hour!  After having a few good runs at this place, this experience wasn't the best.  The apps were messed up, and I decided to try a new drink that looks super good on the little table stand, but in reality was not good at all.  It was super strong, so that could have been it, but I probably had a total of 5 sips.

4:54 - After HH was a bit of a disappointment, it only seemed right to get some sweets to offset it.  Sarah's Cake Shop is so delicious.  The glitter balls are my absolute favorite.  I am not sure how to describe them, other than they have frosting and cake in the middle, but are a lot less dense than cake pops - it's more like true fluffy cake with a little bit of icing piped in there.  However they are made, they are good!  We also did a cookie dough truffle and a cake pop, as well as a petite four.  I had a taste of each to try, but they just didn't match up to the glitter balls!

5:58 - I settled in for an evening of reading.  Sandra Brown has been one of my favorite authors lately, and I really liked this one.  Usually her twists come out of nowhere for me, but this one I actually had a tiny inkling of 'who dun it'.  It didn't make the book any less enjoyable, though!

7:22 -  I took a little break from reading, and checked out what was on TV.  Nothing was really calling my name, that is until I saw Coyote Ugly was on!  I am pretty sure I still know all the words to those songs - I don't know if I had the soundtrack, or just had those songs on a mixed CD or what, but I was singing right along at certain parts.

10:00 - I didn't grab a picture, but I think I went to bed around this time.  It was kind of a weird night because I had all this nervous energy about my inspection the following day.  I had a hard time falling asleep, which isn't usually the norm for me, but it happens!

While it wasn't the most exciting day, I feel like the mundane days are the ones I enjoy reading about, so hopefully you will feel the same.

If you want to check out any other of my Day in the Life posts, click on the links below.

August 2017 
(apparently when I posted in August I totally forgot I did one in February because I said it was my first one! whoops!)

Now for 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, May 16, 2018

Home Inspiration: Kitchen

While I am not in my condo yet, I am continually planning what to do with things in my head...and via Pinterest.  I shared some master bedroom ideas last week, and this week, it's all about the kitchen.  While I had the painter there last weekend, I got a quote on how much it would be to paint the cabinets.  It's definitely more than I will be able to handle from the get go, so I am trying to focus on little things that will hopefully make a big impact.  To give you an idea, the cabinets are a medium dark color (they really aren't bad, but the style is a bit older and they could probably use a good cleaning), the counter tops are an off-white plain formica, the floors are a lighter color...not exactly my 'dream' kitchen, but really not bad and it does have a lot of good things going for it - a window over the sink, a good layout, room for an island, and a pantry!  I cannot tell you how excited I am to have an actual pantry! 

Board & Batten.  Once I was under contract, this literally one of the first things I sent my mom.  There is a wall separating the kitchen / dining area, and I think it would be absolutely perfect for board and batten.  My mom ran it by my dad and he said it was doable, and honestly, wouldn't be too costly.  Gotta love that!  It'll add some interest, and with a few hooks, it'll be functional, too!

Board and batten adds so much visual interest and impact to an otherwise plain hallway.

Island.  I mentioned that the kitchen is big enough for an island.  It's actually an eat in kitchen, but I like the idea of an island better.  And honestly, I eat dinner on the couch, in front of the TV.  So I would much rather have something that could be used as additional counter space and storage, rather than a table at this time.  I absolutely love the first picture, which is one from Hometown, but it's too big and it's big bucks.  Something a little smaller would be better, and I would want to paint the bottom to add a bit of color.  My mom and I actually found this super cute work old work table when we were shopping on Saturday, kind of similar in size to the third picture shown. 

Good news, fellow Good Bones fans: The show will return for a second season! Let us count the ways we love Mina, Karen and their colorful fixer uppers.

DIY Mobile Kitchen Island! Love the rustic look! FREE plans & tutorial at (scheduled via

Rustic Kitchen Island. Perfect size for a small kitchen, and the towel hooks are a good idea

New Hardware.  It's amazing how a change in hardware can make a huge difference in a kitchen.  My thinking right now, is that I will either go with silver (brushed nickel), or black.  Silver is a pretty safe choice, but I kind of like the idea of black - if it works with the specific wood tone.

Gorgeous white pine cabinets and dark stone farmhouse sink in this cottage-style kitchen on

Rugs.  I love the idea of a runner and a few smaller rugs that look vintage and worn.  A runner to go along with board and batten wall, then a matching smaller one in front of the sink, and if there is room, on in front of the oven.  I feel like everything I have been liking lately is blue, so this one would fit right in with everything else.

Six months into 2017, we're breaking down the top kitchen trends of 2017. Find out how you can upgrade your own space.

Shelf coverings.  This isn't something that people will see often, but I think it's such a great hack.  You take foam board, cover it in contact paper and slip it on top of the wire shelves in the pantry.  It makes it look so much nicer as a whole, and provide a solid surface for things to sit on, rather than wobble on the shelves, or fall through.    

How to change up wire shelves for less than $10

Linking up with LindsayJenn and Jessi.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May Flowers

One thing I look forward to every spring is putting together a pot of flowers.  This is something my mom and I have been doing together for awhile (although one time I did this while my mom was away or maybe she was just busy, and my dad helped me pull it together).  I don't have mine set for this year yet, and honestly, it probably won't happen until after I move (assuming everything goes well with closing!!).  The idea of moving some full (and heavy) flower pots just seems like adding unnecessary work on my part.  But, since I feel like it's tradition for me to post about flower in May, I thought I would share my posts from years before as a little recap.

Planting My Flower Pot (2015 - I seriously need to work on my post titles!)  This post actually shares step by step how to plant the below flower pot, which a few tips and tricks added in there from my mom.  She has the greenest thumb!

May Flowers (2016)  This is the first year I had two pots, and I loved having the extra pop of color.  The little white table is from Ikea - it's been kept outside the entire time and has held up pretty good over the past few years.  Perfect way to add in a little height!

April Showers Bring May Flowers (2017)  Each year I think they are my favorite, but I really loved the purple and greens.  

I seriously cannot wait to fix up my condo with some new landscaping out back, and of course, some flower pots!

Linking up with Ashley and Erika.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Weekend Recap: Inspection Complete!

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Mine started off a good note, but I plan to recap that fully on Thursday for the Girl Chat link up Day in the Life post, so I won't go into the details for today.

Saturday I was up bright and early.  I was super excited and nervous about my condo inspection.  My parents were en route, so I had my coffee, read some, and got ready for the day.  I headed over to the condo and met with inspector.  I cannot say enough good things about the company that did my inspection.  First, when I got there, he talked me through what he would be doing, he had two chairs set up for us, snacks, water, a tape measure, and graph paper for measurements.  My parents arrived shortly after I did, and I was super excited for them to check the place out.  I feel like the time we were there just flew by, and when it was all said and done, the inspection went pretty smoothly overall, with only a few major items, and some not so major items being found.  While there is work to do, I think in my mind I was building it up to be a whole lot worse. 

Afterwards, my mom and I ran to pick up her Mother's Day gift.  She has been wanting a corbel for awhile, and we ended up with matching corbel's!  My dad stayed back at the apartment while we shopped, and afterwards we went and got him for lunch.  We opted for Bar Louie, which I think has normally good drinks / food, but it always seems like the service just isn't the best.  We weren't in a hurry, so it didn't matter all that much, but it just kind of reiterated why I don't go there normally.  Stops were made at Home Deport and Lowe's after dinner to look at appliances.  I need to get a refrigerator and a washer and dryer, so any recommendations would be welcome.  Also, if anyone has strong feelings about where to buy appliances (big box store, or an actual appliance store), please let me know.  I am all ears!  My parents left shortly after our window shopping, and then I just hung out the rest of the afternoon/evening.  I think I was all hyped up the inspection and showing my parents the condo for the first time, that I was just worn out.

I had another relatively prodcutive Sunday, which is always good.  I was up early, so I threw in some laundry and relaxed until it was time for Sunday school and church.  It was a really pretty out, but a bit warm, so it was a perfect day for a drive later in the afternoon.  There are some roads around that make you feel like you are out in the country, even though you are really just minutes away from everything.  Very relaxing.  I kept things simple for dinner, just grilling burgers and roasting potatoes and broccoli.  I haven't done broccoli like that in awhile and it's really my favorite way to eat it.  My DVR is slowly emptying, so it seemed like a great time to start on the Kennedy's series I had recorded awhile ago.  I missed the first episode, but was able to catch it on demand.  I just find their family so very interesting and it's amazing the tragedy they have endured.  I will admit I fell asleep a little during the second episode, so it was an early to bed for me in preparation for the week ahead.

Hope everyone has a marvelous Monday! 

Linking up with Biana and Lindsay

Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  As always, I am glad to see the weekend!

1.  Tomorrow is the inspection for my condo, and I am SO excited and SO nervous.  I am excited to be back in it.  I just can't wait to see it again, and now that we are under contract, then I feel like I can really focus on determining what I would like to do right away.  It's more real, than just at a showing.  On the flip side, I am also nervous because I want the inspection to go well, but also because I want that reassurance I made a good decision from the people whose opinions matter a lot to me.  And they will be seeing it for the first time.  Of course, I know that ultimately I need to be the one happy with my decision, but it sure won't hurt to hear that they like it, too.  A painter and a flooring person is coming to look - my parents are A+ painters, but there are some parts that I will definitely need a professional for, so I am hoping that he isn't too pricey and I would absolutely love to refinish the hardwood floors, so I am curious to see what the price is on that.

2.  My candle supply is low, and I have just been waiting for Bath & Body Works to have a sale.  It seems like they have been doing sales on a Sunday, but I don't see them email until Monday and miss out.  And with all the sales I know they have, I wasn't going to pay full price.  Luckily on Thursday, they were Buy Two Get Two, plus $10 off $30.  I stocked up!  I got one Endless Summer, one Midnight Citrus, and two Champagne Toast.  I looked at the emaily further and it looks like this deal is going on for a few days, if you are in need of candles.  And honestly, I am pretty sure I will be making a stop there before the end of the week to grab some more.

3.  I have been in a bit of a reading rut lately.  I have been sticking to my Kindle and reading Unlimted books, and my picks just have not been great.  I decided I needed to go back to the library and look for some new books because the ones I already have checked out for some reason or the other were not enticing me to read them.  I grabbed a few Sandra Brown books I haven't read, one Nancy Thayer, and then a random book I saw.  That did it!  I just love the library...I don't know how I lived without a card for so long, and I will never make that mistake again!

4.  Fridays are usually always good days, but one thing I look forward to every morning is having coffee and waffles.  For awhile now, I have been only drinking coffee on the weekends, with a few indulgences here and there, so come Friday, I am excited to fire up my Keurig.  There is just something so relaxing about enjoying a cup of coffee.  As for my waffles, I used to eat Eggos ALL the time for breakfast.  Literally for years.  And a few years ago, I decided I should try to be healthy and not eat waffles for breakfast every morning.  Well, I didn't decide necessarily, but my body decided it wasn't going to metabolize like it used to.  I pretty much cut frozen ones out competely, until I discovered Van's Lite waffles.  Life coffee, I save them for a weekend treat.  I think they are a little denser than my beloved Eggos, but I do feel a whole lot better about eat them.

5.  Day in the Life posts seem to be everyone's favorite posts.  I know they are mine.  Which you probably already know because I say it every time.  But this is just another reminder that next week's Girl Chat link up is a Day in the Life.  I will actually be documenting today, so tune on back in next week to see how today went.  *update: would have been helpful to include the actual date of the link up - Thursday, May 17th*

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie.