Monday, June 24, 2019

Weekend Recap: Billions, Church Project & A Bridal Shower

Another weekend has come and gone!

Friday was for Billions.  I have been bingeing that show, and it's so good!

I had a relatively busy Saturday - a few hours at church working on a service project, and then a bridal shower.  I have mentioned before that my church's women's group is making hygiene kits for an organization called Days of Girls, that provides these kits to girls in Africa.  It's such a neat project.  If you haven't watched the short documentary Period.  End of Sentence. on Netflix, I highly recommend it.  It's really eye opening!  I had a few hours at home, then it was time to head out to the bridal shower.  One of the girls at church is getting married soon, and is moving, too, so it was the perfect way to celebrate her, her upcoming wedding, and say good bye.  Her name is Abbi, so as a play on 'Dear Abby', we all wrote notes to her, with our advice.  It was fun to read what everyone wrote.  We had the church's signature sugar cookies (the recipe we use for the holiday cookie walk), and they were just too cute.  And delicious.  So very delicious.  I think that sometimes the beautifully decorated sugar cookies are a lot prettier than they taste, but not these!  I caught up with my mom on the way home from the shower, then gave my grandma a call.  I am not a big phone talker, but I love phone calls with my grandma.  We got on the topic of books, which finally helped me get out of my rut.  I had 3 books I was attempting to read, but just could not get into them.  She said she was on a WWII kick, which funnily enough I had just picked a book based on that time period from the library.  It also reminded me of my sister in law's father's book - The Norden Affiar!  I picked it up, and did not put it down the rest of the night.  It was really good!



We have been having so much rain lately, and I took advantage of a break in it Sunday morning to get in a quick walk.  I honestly don't mind rainy days (unless I have to drive much in the rain, or I need my hair to look good, haha), but this is too dang much.  Church was good - a bit bittersweet since it was Abbi's last Sunday, but overall good.  I ate a quick lunch, and started doing house things - nothing very exciting.  I remembered there was an Indycar race on TV, so I turned that on.  Honestly, between my nephew's love for it, and having attended the last few Indy 500's, I am turning into a real fan!  I started in on another WWII book - the one I picked up from the library recently - Resistance Women.  I am still early into it, but I think it's going to be a good one!

Here's to hoping this Monday is a good one!

Linking up with Lindsay.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Friday Favorites: Hair, Home, Billions & A New Favorite Candle

Happy Friday!  I am ready for the weekend.  This week started off a bit slow, but picked up half way through - thank goodness for that!

Here are my favorites for the week.

Well, after blow drying my hair the same way for years and years, I discovered a new way that gives me smoother hair and more volume - can't beat that!  I am struggle to figure out how to explain it - I want to say that you blow dry it with the grain of your hair, which doesn't really make sense, but I can't think of any other words.  You flip your head over, and then dry your hair with the hair dryer pointing at the hair closest to your scalp and then move it down towards the ends of your hair.  Ashley McClellan (my Beachbody coach) did an IGTV to show how she does hers, and she always has lots and lots of volume.  I don't use any products like she does in her video - I simply switched the way I positioned my blow dryer, and it has made my hair smoother, with more volume.

Something I do not take for granted is living close to work.  After driving an hour, sometimes more, one way, I don't think I will ever not appreciate being close.  It's been 5+ years and I am still grateful for it!  Yesterday during lunch I was able to run home, pull together a crock pot meal for dinner, unload / reload the dishwasher and eat a quick lunch.  I don't always think to do things like that at lunch, because sometimes I feel like if I go home, it will be hard to leave to go back to work.  That said, I definitely need to take advantage of it more often, whether it be making more crock pot meals, or even cleaning.  

I've been hearing about the show Billions for awhile.  The other night, I was in one of those moods when my regular shows / books didn't sound great.  I looked up Billions on demand, and it's safe to say I am hooked!  It's such a neat show - really different from what is out there, and I love the fact that it's about an investment firm.

I have finally jumped on the Capri Blue Volacano candle bandwagon.  I got one in my Easter basket this year, and have been burning it the last few weeks.  It really does smell so very good!  It's a little one, so I am rationing it, but I think I might have to get another when this is done to mix in with my other favorite candles.

That's all for this week.  If you missed any of my other posts this week, here's a look at what I shared:
Weekend Recap 
Closing Time...One Year Later (This week marked one year since I closed on my condo!)
Patriotic Decorating for Less Than $10! (Gotta love that Target dollar spot!)
Summer Bucket List (Summer isn't necessarily my favorite, but I am hoping to turn that around some with a fun bucket list.)

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with WhitneyErika and Andrea.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Summer Bucket List

To be honest, summer is probably my least favorite season.  I think most of that feeling stems from not having a summer break, but also because it's usually just so dang hot and humid.  That being said, I think because of those reasons, I don't really make the most of it.  Which probably makes me not like it even more!  

To try and remedy that, I thought I would make a summer bucket list to ensure that I do take advantage of the season and in turn, enjoy it a bit more.

Walks Outside.  After work walks during the week, and early morning walks on the weekend.  While I curse the heat and humidity the majority of the time, there are other times when getting out and breaking a good sweat just feels nice.  Especially after a long day of work in a freezing office.  On the weekends, I like getting in early morning walks.  While that doesn't always beat the heat, it's usually a great way to start off the day.  And it's the perfect opportunity to admire all the pretty flowers people have out in the neighborhood.

Visit the Pool.  I didn't make it to my neighborhood pool last year, but this year I will!  

Visit Forest Park.  St. Louis has one of the biggest, most beautiful parks.  I'd love to get a walk or two there this summer, maybe even a picnic if it isn't sweltering outside.

Get Frozen Custard / Ice Cream.  There are two places I want to hit this summer - Ted Drewes and Clementine's.  Ted Drewes is a St. Louis staple, and Clementine's is such a neat little place with delicious ice cream.

Concert in Faust Park.  On Tuesdays, there are free concerts at a local park.  I went to the first one because my church helped to sponsor it and handed out water, but I'd like to go to another as just an attendee.  

Attend a Baseball Game.  It's been awhile since I have attended a baseball game.  I love the atmosphere of all live sporting events, and baseball is really the quintessential summer sport!

Visit a Museum.  St. Louis has so many great museums.  I am partial to the History Museum, but there are a ton others.  I'd love to make it to any of them - perfect way to beat the heat, too!

Visit the Botanical Gardens.  I don't know that I have ever visited the Botanical Gardens during the summer!  I can just imagine how lovely the grounds are this time of year.  They offer free admittance to St. Louis City / County residents on Wednesdays and Saturdays before noon.  Definitely have to take advantage of that!  

Walk to Starbucks.  There is a Starbucks about a mile away from my place.  It's close enough, yet far enough to help work off that yummy coffee treat!

Make S'mores.  I LOVE S'mores.  So much so, that I perfected making them in the microwave years ago.  Now that I have a grill though, it's time to go back to making them outside.  Although not quite the same as roasting them around a fire, I think they will toast up pretty nicely for a summer treat.

Here's to making it a great summer!

Linking up with Penny.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Patriotic Decorating for Less Than $10!

Hey all!  Today I am sharing super simple ways to add a little patriotic decor to your home, for under ten dollars.  

While I love to decorate for the seasons, I am also starting to decorate for holidays like Easter and the 4th of July.  Just a few touches here and there can add a lot!

This year, for 4th of July, I am all about the flags.  Specifically the packs of 3 in the Target dollar spot.  They are perfect to stick all around your house, and you cannot beat the price!  I ended up grabbing 4 packs.  My mom had the idea to display flags in a glass frog.  She mentioned her friend, Joan (the one whose recipes I have shared!), does this and it's super cute.  We found a glass frog at the local antique mall for $3.50.  I already had some flags I had used in pots outside, but even if you add in another dollar pack from Target, the total still only comes out to $8.50 (plus tax).  

I put the frog of flags on my mantle, then stuck some flags throughout the house.  I put the 3 flags that had already been used outside last year in my two front door pots, and the pot by my back door.  I love how simple the decorations are, how inexpensive it was to do, and how they just add a nice little pop of color and festiveness. 






Do you decorate for the 4th?  Or are you more of a seasonal decorator?

Linking up with Jessi and Lindsay.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Closing Time...One Year Later


This time last year I officially became a homeowner (post here)!  It's hard to believe that a year has passed.  Sometimes it seems like it hasn't been that long, and other times, it seems like I have been in my condo for much longer!

I think owning your own home is both super exciting and super scary.

Exciting, because it is something I consider a huge accomplishment.  I love homes in general, and having my very own place to put my very own stamp on is something I have always wanted.  I love making this house (condo) a home.  

At the same time, it's scary as heck.  I do have certain things covered by my HOA, but there is still a lot that I am responsible for.  And I am definitely one of those worst case scenario people, so I am always worried that this or that will go wrong, and I don't know exactly what to do if that happens - other than call my dad, of course.  The unknowns of everything is what can definitely be scary!

While my place is still a work in progress and there is a lot I would still like to do, I plan to share a home tour over the next few months as well as some 'home hacks'.  Even though my place isn't finished, I thought having it documented at this point in time will be super neat to have to look back on.  It'll show how much I was able to do in the last year...and how much still needs to be done, haha!  As far as the 'home hacks' go, I'll be sharing some of the inexpensive (and relatively easy) ways I have made changes to my home. 

The first home hack will be up next Tuesday, June 25th.  It's very fitting to be sharing this one with you on the 25th, as it's my dad's birthday and he is the one who brought this home hack to life! 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Weekend Recap: A Mix of Productivity, Fun & Relaxation

Happy Monday!  Last Sunday I was hit with the end of the weekend blues, but as I write this on Sunday, I am feeling pretty good.  Let's hope that feelings continues to today.  

This weekend was a great mix of productivity, fun and relaxation (hence the title of this post).  Work was super quiet on Friday, which was pretty nice.  Sometimes that means the day drags on, and while it did at times, it also was nice to get through some things with no distractions.  Dinner was quick and easy - leftover tuna salad from when my mom was in town and a glass (or two) of wine.  I watched a few shows and pretty much did nothing.  

Saturday I was up and at 'em.  Last year, one of my new year's resolutions was to have Sunday be a day of rest.  Instead, Saturday would be the new day to get things done.  I never quite accomplished that, but I am still trying to get there.  I have been doing some laundry on Saturday, which is a start!  It was storming all morning, and looked like it would be throughout the whole day.  I had a friend's birthday and we moved our plans inside to a restaurant, rather than the Wine & Jazz festival we had planned on attending.  The weather actually cleared up, and after a long (and delicious) lunch, we decided to hit up the festival.  We weren't able to stay long, but it was really neat.  The musicians were just amazing, and the weather turned out to be beautiful (albeit a little warm for how I had dressed for inside plans).  I pretty much parked it on the couch for the night when I got home.

Sunday started off in one of my favorite ways - a cup of coffee and The Pioneer Woman.  I talked to my dad to wish him a Happy Father's Day, and headed off to church.  The craziest thing happened - someone broke into the church overnight!  Can you even believe that?  It makes me so mad - I mean it's a church of all places!  Luckily it seems like they got away with only a few things, and it could have been a lot worse, but still.  Just unbelievable!  I had a quick lunch when I got home and worked on finishing some more laundry.  I worked on getting ready for the week, picking up little things here and there, cleaning out my purse, and going through a stack of papers that had been sitting wayyyyy too long.  It felt so good to get through them and it always makes me wonder why I let them pile up in the first place!  I also made another house purchase - a bookcase for my living room!  I have had my eye on it for a little while, and they are having a sale 20% off everything / 25% off indoor furniture through the end of the day.    
Morgan Tall Bookcase
On deck for the rest of the night is attempting to make some homemade pizza - hopefully it goes well!

Linking up with Lindsay.
    

Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday Favorites: A Mid-Week Visit From My Mom

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

Happy Friday!  I am going into Friday with a little bit of a Monday feeling.  I was off the last two days, hanging out with my mom.  She came for a mid-week visit and we had the best time.

My mom got to town on Tuesday.  I was anxiously awaiting the end of the workday so I could head home to see her and start our few days together.  On deck for the evening was a concert at a local park.  My church was handing out free waters, and my mom was willing to pitch in so that I could volunteer.  It was my first time attending one of these, and oh my goodness, was it neat!  The area was packed.  And the set ups were awesome.  Lots of snacks, drinks - you name it.  There was even a group of ladies that topped off their set up with a vase of flowers on the table.  Now that is a group of ladies I would want to hang with!  I felt like I was getting eaten up by the bugs, so we headed out early, but I am definitely going to try to get some friends to go back for one of the remaining concerts.  Once we got home, ended up heading out to Walmart and Target to check some things out, and did a little grocery shopping.  

My mom is even more of an early bird than I am, so we were up and ready to go first thing in the morning.  After relaxing a bit, we got in a walk / run (well at least for me - my mom ran the whole way - her endurance far exceeds mine!) before moving onto one of the projects that we were hoping to accomplish...carpet cleaning!

My parents have a really nice carpet cleaner, and they brought it down awhile back for me to use.  Well, we never got to it on previous visits, and this was the time, since they needed it back.  We started in the living room and after a little trial and error, we got it going!  I had my carpets cleaned before I moved in, so they weren't too dirty, I just thought it would be something good to do!

After we got cleaned up from that, we headed out for some shopping.  We hit up our usual favorites, and ended up making a few unexpected purchases from Pottery Barn.  For my guest bedroom, I had envisioned some type of floral, and I was looking for something that had blush, hunter green, dark blue, and other rich tones in it.  In the sale section, PB had a duvet cover and two euro shams on super sale and they fit exactly what I was looking for.  And when I say super sale - the shams were originally $60 each, and I got them for $10.  Can't beat that!  I also got these shams (also on sale) to go with the bedding.  They match my current guest bedroom comforter, so it worked out really well, because I still plan to use that as an extra blanket at the bottom of the bed.  

We had a few more places to check out before heading home for lunch.  Then it was back out for more shopping.  We had quite a trip to Macy's - lots of goodies to be found.  My mom found a swimsuit that she liked, and she was planning on ordering online since they didn't have her size, but realized it wasn't on sale online, like it was in store.  She ended up getting a great deal on it, by ordering in the store - definitely something I need to keep in mind when online shopping!  I got some new Nike shorts since I am attempting to get back into running a bit.  I had ordered a rocking chair for pick up from Walmart the night before (the black is $20 cheaper online than in the store and $67 it's a steal!), so we stopped by there (pick up was super handy - I just went into the store, scanned the barcode from my email in the kiosk, entered the last few digits and within 10 minutes, they had the chair brought out front to me!), then moved on to Kirkland's.  I had another unexpected purchase there - an outside lantern.  I love lanterns (I have multiple in the house), and I have always loved the look of those oversized lanterns outside.  The prices have never seemed like something I wanted to spend, but Kirkland's had 30% off all lanterns, so I went ahead and got this neat black one.  I set it outside next to a pot of flowers, and love the way it looks!

We tried a new Skinnytaste recipe for dinner, then it was time to watch the Blues win the Stanley Cup!  Such an exciting game - the Blues played awesome, especially the goalie.  He only let one goal go by him, and he had plenty of great saves.  The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup, so it's huge deal for St. Louis.  Just so very exciting!

After a late night of watching coverage, we were up again early.  This time we did more of a leisurely walk outside.  The weather was pretty darn close to perfect the entire day!  We did some more projects - carpet cleaning in the dining room, putting together the rocking chair, yard work, etc. - before we got cleaned up and ready for a lunch out.  We had a few things to pick up at the mall (we did lots of shopping these past few days, haha!), then it was over to Brio for lunch.  Because the weather was so perfect, we sat outside on the patio, which was just lovely.  A glass of wine, salad, and pasta made a delicious meal, and the company of course was just the icing on the cake.

The next stop was the local antique mall.  Of course I picked up some goodies - I feel like I rarely leave there empty handed these days.  

After another trip to Target (FYI, their Essie polish is buy 2, get a $5 gift card), it was home for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  I mixed up some cocktails, which we enjoyed outside because the weather was just too darn nice not to be outside.  We caught up on some Bravo, got a few others things going, like making banana muffin tops, carpet cleaning the stairs, and reorganizing my makeup.  I purchased a new makeup case from Amazon, which I think I am really going to like.  It doesn't have as much give as my other one did, and it is a bit smaller, but I was able to fit almost all of my makeup in there, with the exception of a few eye shadows I rarely wear, and some lipstick that again is rarely worn.  We were both worn out for the past few days, so it was off to bed!

It really was a great visit.  My mom said it best today - we had a little bit of productivity, a little bit (ok, a lot bit) of shopping, and a little bit of relaxing - all things that equal up to great days!

So glad that it worked out to get together like this.  Not only was it great seeing her, it was also nice to have a little break from work.  Now just one more day of work to get through until it's officially the weekend!

Before I go, a look at the blog this week:
Weekend Recap - a low key weekend after some of the busiest times at work.
June 2019 Book Review - includes the perfect summer read!
My Thoughts on These At-Home Workouts: BBG, Beachbody on Demand & Get Fit Done.


Linking up with WhitneyErika and Andrea.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

My Thoughts on These At-Home Workouts: BBG, Beachbody on Demand & Get Fit Done

Working out has become a necessity for me.  It makes me feel better, both physically and mentally.  I prefer to work out in the mornings.  After work there is only a 50/50 chance (or let's be real, maybe more like a 30/70 chance) that a workout will actually get done.  Because of this, I opt to do my workouts at home.  Otherwise I would need to get up even earlier to allow for the commute back and forth to the gym, and I already get up pretty early!

I tend to get bored if I do the same thing over and over again, and have accumulated a little library of at-home workouts.  Today, I am sharing my thoughts on the three main programs I have - Bikini Body Guide (BBG), Beachbody on Demand, and Get Fit Done.



I first heard about this workout program through blogs.  One of my friends shared this program with me, and it sat in a drawer with my other at-home workout programs for what seemed like months (if not longer) before I decided to actually give it a try.  At first, I really loved it, but as the weeks went on, I ended up not finishing it completely.

Pros:
Time.  Workouts are 28 minutes, which is broken down into 4-7 minute increments.  Anything under 30 min is a win in my book, and I liked the fact that it was broken up.  7 minutes at a time doesn't seem too bad!

Number of days.  The program works in a way that you are to do 3 days of the exercises, and 3 days of cardio.  I liked the break between the days of exercise and the fact that you could mix it up with the cardio.

Exercises were clear.  The pictures provided a clear example of how to do each exercise.    

It's a GOOD workout.  It is a tough workout, but I felt like I was getting in a really good workout, which I liked.

Cons:
Equipment needed.  At the beginning all you really need a set of weights, but as the program goes on I found it a little harder to make due with things I had at home.  And while I do hope to have somewhat of home gym now, it's not what I want to be spending money on right now.

It's a GOOD workout.  This was a pro, but also a con at times.  Since I workout in the morning, I would feel BEAT afterwards.  Instead of that burst of energy, I would feel like I was moving in slow motion, which isn't necessarily what I wanted while getting ready for work in the morning. 

Beachbody on Demand (website access / app)
Cost: $99/year (According to their website, they are offering a 14 day free trial if anyone is looking to give it a try!)

A couple years ago, I did the 21 Day Fix (you can read my review on that specific program here).  That was my first Beachbody program, and had me wanting to try others.  But I didn't want to spend the money buying each program separately - that just seemed really expensive, and what if I didn't like it?  I didn't want to waste my money.  Fast forward to me being tired of pretty much ALL workouts, I decided to give it a go.  I froze my gym membership, which helped to offset some of the cost and got started.

Pros:
Variety.  You get access to a ton of different programs.  You are bound to find a program that you enjoy and works for you.

Access.  It's on demand, so any time you want, you can pull up the app, and do a workout.  I haven't done this myself, but I believe you can download workouts to do 'offline' in case you are planning to work on somewhere you don't have internet access.  

Program material is all together.  You don't have to keep track of all the separate pieces (the workouts, the program sheets, the nutrition plans, etc.) - it's all in one place.

Beachbody coaches.  I don't think I utilize my coach as much as I could, but if you want to, the opportunity is there to really have someone as an accountability partner.

Cons:
Variety.  While this is a definite pro, it's also a con for me, because it is a bit overwhelming.  How do you know which program to start with?  You may try to filter on time of workout, but for whatever reason, for me at least, it still pulls up workouts that are longer than the specified time.  It's just a lot.  Which is good, of course, that is what you are paying for to have lots of programs, but I think it can be bad, too.

Cost of all the extras.  Beachbody seems to constantly be adding new programs, which is great.  But you sometimes have to wait for them to be included in your On Demand subscription.  For example, I was so excited when I started hearing about Transform 20.  A great workout in 20 minutes?  Sign me up!  But, for a period of time, you had to pay extra for access.  I understand the business behind this - gotta make money, but at the same time I think it's kind of crappy for those that are already members. 

Online access.  I think I mentioned above that you can download workouts to do offline, but when I workout, I do it online, through the app.  I have had it not work a few times, or freeze up.  I am sure this has more to do with my internet than anything, but it's something to be aware of.  Nothing like going hard in a workout for it to just stop!

Get Fit Done (e-book)
Cost: $79.00 (I paid $65.00, as I received weekend emails from Honey We're Home and she was offering special pricing through that)

I am a big fan of Megan from Honey We're Home.  She has always been into fitness, and has even competed in competitions.  When she said she was coming out with an e-book, I was super excited.  She is someone who I consider to be very fit, and so getting tips and tricks from her, and a fitness expert seemed like it would be great!  Unfortunately, this was not the program for me.  

Pros:
Time.  Most of the workouts could be done in a half hour or less.

Includes a meal plan.  I find that I don't stick to meal plans very well.  But I did like that there were recipes included, in case I wanted to give any a try.

Variety.  The workouts are varied, which helps to keep you from getting bored.

Responsiveness.  I had a question on which app she uses for the tabata workouts, and she responded to me that day.

Cons:
Cost.  I thought it was a bit pricey when compared to the other programs.

Confusing directions for exercises.  This could just be me, but I felt that some of the instructions were a bit hard to follow.  While there are pictures, I didn't think things were as clear as I needed them to be.

Enjoyability (I don't know if this is a word, but we are going with it).  Honestly, I didn't enjoy these workouts.  I know this is a personal preference, so others may love it, but most days it felt like a chore.  In fact, I didn't stick with the program long at all, because of that.

Overall, if you asked me for a recommendation out of these three, I would suggest Beachbody on Demand.  While there are pros and cons to all the programs I have tried, this one is by far my favorite.

Now I am curious - have you tried any of these programs?  If so, which is your favorite?  Or do you have any pros / cons that I missed?

Linking up with Lindsay.    

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June 2019 Book Review

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


Tough Customer by Sandra Brown.  Your classic Sandra Brown.  This one I liked because it seemed like everything came to a head, but there was wayyyy too many pages left.  I had an inkling of what was to come, and was not disappointed.

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb.  J.D. Robb is the name Nora Roberts writes under for her 'in Death' series.  I had zero idea what to expect, so I was surprised that this book had a futuristic setting, but it's a really neat idea.  And interestingly enough, even though these books were first written 20 years ago, some of the things they talk about in regards to antiquated laws are topical for today!  The main character is a female cop, and of course, there is a love interest, along with murder and mystery.  I plan on making my way through this series as I can.   

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews.  I was super excited to read the newest Mary Kay Andrews book last month!  I have to say - it didn't wow me.  It was a little darker than I was expecting, given some of her other books, and it just seemed like there was SO much going on with it.  You have some family issues, an injury, missing people, murder, spying, love, attempted murder...like I said, it seemed like a lot and I don't think all of the storylines added to the book.  And the main character wasn't necessarily my favorite either.  It wasn't bad by any means, but it wasn't my favorite at the same time, either.     

The Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing.  It seems like it's been awhile since I have read a good thriller.  And this one is truly messed up!  You have a seemingly normal couple that have very abnormal extracurricular activities.  There is a pretty big plot twist towards the end, but I think there are clues that it is coming...at least part of it.  Again, it's just really messed up.  But in a very interesting way.  I will say, I thought things ended quickly - and the dialogue towards the end didn't seem like it was enough to end on, in my opinion.  Overall, it was good, though, and it has me back on the thriller bandwagon!   

Glory in Death by J.D. Robb.  As I mentioned above, I plan to make my way through the 'in Death' series.  This was the second book in the series.  I still really liked the fact that it was set in the future - just adds an extra bit of interest and differentiates itself from other books / stories.  The love story advances a bit in this one, which I always like.  The third book is requested from the library - hopefully it's another good one!

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.  This book had quite a bit of buzz around it, and with good reason.  It's great chick lit - a perfect summer read.  At the beginning of the book, they are getting ready for a wedding, and mid reception, everyone starts getting sick.  Except the two that requested meals separate from the buffet.  They are then sent on the honeymoon, since the bride and groom are busy being sick, and of course, they don't get along in the least bit.  You can kind of imagine the rest.  Just a very enjoyable book.  And one that I think would make a fabulous movie.  I feel like there hasn't been a ton of good chick flicks out, and this would be the perfect book to turn into one to bring them back.

My library pile is finally dwindling, so I am excited to check out the posts today for some new book to add to the list!

Linking up with Erika and Steph.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Weekend Recap

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

It seemed like the weekend was over in a flash, and I definitely had the Sunday blahs to go with it.

Friday was pretty low key - I was able to get out of work a bit early which is always nice.  I was tired, and in bed before 9:00, and got a good solid 8 hours of sleep.  

Because I went to bed so early, I was up early the next morning.  I knocked out a walk / run first thing.  It was kind of crazy - some parts of the neighbor hood looked dark, like rain, and other parts were clear blue skies.  Lucky for me, there was no rain and the little bit they were calling for got taken completely out of the forecast for the day.  The rest of the morning was slow - breakfast, coffee, and an old Christmas Hallmark movie were all on deck.

I had a few things I wanted to get done for the day, and while I didn't end up doing everything, I did check cleaning out my shoes off the list.  I was a bit overwhelmed after I had taken all my shoes out of my closet, but I went through them all and ended up getting rid of 9 pairs.  I started cleaning the house, but then got sucked into The Unhoneymooners.  The rest of the day was spent reading that and an old favorite, Happy Ever After.


I was excited to head back to church on Sunday after missing the last few weekends.  I made the mistake of not checking my email the last week or so and totally forgot about the pancake breakfast the youth was putting on - whoops!

I wasn't feeling 100% the rest of the day, so there isn't a ton else to report.

Linking up with Lindsay.

   

Friday, June 7, 2019

Friday Favorites: New York + Weight Loss Challenge

Hey all!  Today's post is going to be short and sweet.  I just got back from a work trip to New York and I am tuckered out!

My first favorite was my work trip in New York!  The trip was for something that we had been working so very hard on for over the last month.  To see it all to come to fruition is just so rewarding, and also a relief, haha.  The trip was mostly work, so there wasn't really any time to go and explore at all.  I usually like to get in a walk down 5th Avenue to Central Park, but that wasn't in the cards this year.  I did however, enjoy the view from my room.  In years past, I haven't always had a view, but my room this year was so awesome!  I could even see the river!






Thursday morning - a little cloudy, but I love how it shows the clouds and the water in the distance!

A closer look.

The first night in, a few of us got reservations at Davio's.  It was really delicious, and I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a good Italian dish or steak.  The second night we went to The Capital Grille - one of my favorites!  They have the best steak tartare. 

The flight home was smooth, and goodness does it feel good to be home.  

Although, I honestly thought I would feel like a weight had been lifted off, once the day was over, but I think come Saturday, that will fully hit me.  At least, that is what I am hoping!

My second favorite also has to do with work.  If you will recall, I mentioned participating in a weight loss challenge at work.  While I didn't do as well as I had hoped, I did lost 4 pounds over the course of the challenge.  And, we just found out yesterday that our team actually won the challenge!  That was a definite surprise, but pretty darn neat.  Every member of the team gets a little trophy, which will sit proudly on my desk.  And hopefully having that on my desk will serve as a reminder to keep on keeping on so that I can get to the point I am wanting.

That's all I got for today - hope everyone has a great weekend! 

Linking up with WhitneyErika and Andrea.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

June 2019 Goals & Habits

Honestly, I wasn't really excited to look at my goals from last month.  The month was kind of busy and really seemed like a blur looking back - I didn't think I got all that much done.  But, I did do more than I thought.  Here's a look.

May Goals

1.  Wash my makeup brushes.  Done!  

2.  End each night with a clean kitchen.  I would say I did this for the most part.  Not 100%, but I would say at least 70% of the time.  It truly amazes me the difference it makes in my mindset when I do this.

3.  Clean out my shoes.  I didn't even think about this goal!  I still need to do it, though.  

Monthly Habits

1.  Drink more water.  Again, another one I did about 70% of the time.  It just was one of those things that fell to the wayside when things got busy.  It was like I would look up and half the day would be gone.   

2.  Make my lunch the night before.  I did pretty good with this one - about 90% of the time.  It's definitely becoming more of a habit, which is the whole point! 

3.  Wash up earlier in the evening.  I didn't really do this too much this month.  It's hard for me in the summer, because it stays light so long, my internal clock is totally messed up!  But I want to get back to it.   

All in all, May wasn't too bad of a month.  Hopefully June is the same, or at least a little better.  

Here are my goals and habits for the month.

June Goals

1.  Clean out my shoes (take two).  Hopefully second time is the charm with this one!  

2.  Reorganize my bathroom.  I meant to do this awhile ago, but wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do.  And I still don't 100%, but, it's getting out of control.  Knowing I wanted to reorganize / clean out things has made me super lax about putting things back nicely.  Which makes the whole thing worse, haha. 

3.  Clean out my gift wrapping tote.  I moved a chest I used to have in the guest room down to the basement.  It didn't fit in the room anymore, but I think it would be great for gift wrap storage.  Right now I have everything in one of those long totes. but it really isn't great for accessing everything.  Time to give it a try and see if my chest idea works!

Monthly Habits

1.  Drink more water.    

2.  Make my lunch the night before.  


3.  Wash up earlier in the evening.  

4.  End the night with a clean kitchen.

5.  Wash my make up brushes twice a month.

What are you hoping to accomplish this month? 

Linking up with Kristen & Penny.