Thursday, January 31, 2019

What A 'No Spend Month' Means To Me

Hey all!  Happy Thursday!  Or Friday Eve, if you like to think of it that way.  

I mentioned in my post on Tuesday (post here), that I would be doing a no spend month in February.  I try to have one of these 'no spend' months once or twice a year.  I know others do this as well, and since it means different things to different people, I thought I would share what a no spend month specifically means to me.
Basically, it just means thinking more about each and every purchase I make.  Making better use of what I do have, as well as getting more creative with those things I already own, rather than going out and making a purchase.

I will still be buying necessities, as well as other more planned purchases.  Obviously groceries are a must because I gotta eat, but with a fully stocked freezer, I need to meal plan from what is in there, instead of making recipes where I need to purchase every single ingredient.  It won't work for the entire month, but I should be able to make quite a few good meals, based off what I already have.  For more planned purchases, I am referring to some house items.  Currently, I am looking for a new bed and mattress.  That is something I already have money set aside for, so if I find one during the month of February, I am going to go for it.  

What I am going to try to refrain from is making clothing purchases (unless they are a must - i.e. if I wear out something from my work wardrobe that is a staple, then that needs to be replaced), buying coffee, eating out, making frivolous purchases from Target (I am already pretty good about this, but there is always room for improvement), and other things like that.  I will caveat eating out - I don't think it is realistic to say that I won't go out to eat the whole month, but my plan is to limit lunches out during the work week to once a week, and then once during the weekend if a friend wants to meet for brunch / lunch / dinner.  Bonus if we eat at a place I have a gift card for.  I always try to utilize those during a no spend month!  

If I do see things I really like, they will just be added to a list, probably in the Notes app on my phone, and then I can revisit again in March. 

My hope each time I do this is to save a little extra money, as well as adjust my thought process around spending.  Coming off the holidays, which can be a time of constantly spending (not complaining - I LOVE buying gifts, hence the spending, haha!), it's nice to get refocused and on track with my financial goals.  

And you may be wondering why I didn't start the year off by doing this in January.  The answer is two fold - 1. I feel like I always go a little crazy in January buying ALL the healthy foods and then with the motivation to do some organizing and freshening up, it just makes sense to let it run its course a bit.  2. The Lilly Pulitzer After-Party Sale is in January.  I know that might seem silly to some, but I absolutely love their dresses.  What I don't love is their full prices, so when I can get them for a fraction of the price, and be set with a few new things going into the spring / summer season, you bet I will take advantage of that.  On top of those two things, it seems like February is just a slower month in general, which makes it a bit easier to spend less!
    

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Valentine's Day Gift Guide - Under $20

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

Growing up, my mom always made the holidays special.  Not just the big ones, but the smaller ones like Valentine's Day and Halloween.  Heck, we still get little care packages / gifts today!

I have pulled together a few gift options, all under $20, that I think would have you covered for whomever your valentine may be.  Pulling inspiration from my mom, I thought the $20 price limit would be fitting.  The things she gets us are always great presents, but nothing super big or extravagant.  You don't have to spend a boatload of money to make a holiday special!

For the Ladies

essie Gel Couture Nail Polish - image 1 of 3MAC Pink Lipstick, Main, color, ANGEL (F)
1.  A fun nail polish color.  In keeping with the colors of the holiday, I think a pretty pink would be perfect!  I personally like the Essie Gel Couture line, but I have been also wanting to try the Sally Hansen Insta Dri polish, too.  Anything that makes the process a bit quicker, and in turn, makes me less likely to smudge a nail!

2.  A pretty lipstick.  My sister in law (a self proclaimed MAC lover) has me convinced I need to try a MAC lipstick.

3.  A mug.  I got a plaid initial mug from Pottery Barn at Christmas, and was obsessed.  It's just so nice - I didn't even realize there could be that much of a difference in a mug, but trust me, after using this one, there really is.  They have their regular initial mugs (cream with black letters), and then also this super cute love mug.  Both under $10 - and the initial mugs are even priced at $5.50 as I am typing this post!

For the Guys

productNoah - Blue (Solid Rings)Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark [Blu-ray]
1.  A pair of socks.  I feel like socks are something that everybody needs, and guys socks can be so fun!  My mom grabbed a few pairs from Banana Republic for stocking stuffers at Christmas, and they were very well received.  Banana has a ton of colorful options that would be great for Valentine's Day (these polka dot ones are cute!), or if the pinks and reds are a little too much for your guy, they some tamer options, too.

2.  A fidget.  These are just really neat.  If you watch Shark Tank, you may be familiar with Fidgetland, but it's supposed to help with excess energy, anxiety, and maintaining focus.  

3.  A movie.  I know streaming services are the thing now, but I still like to buy movies, especially ones that have meaning.  Maybe it is the first movie you saw together, or an old favorite of his - I think it's a really fun and potentially sweet gift!

For the Kids

1.  Indy Cars, Little Planes, Monster Trucks.  My nephew loves all three of these things.  I like to get him a little something for Valentine's Day, and you can bet that one of these things will be part of his gift!

2.  A Valentine's Day book.  There are just so many cute holiday books, you can't go wrong!  And I feel like this is an option that works for kids of all ages.

3.  A Dress-Up Wooden Doll.  My mom has one of these from her teaching days, and it was a real hit with my nephew over Christmas.  There are lots of different options, although my personal favorite has to be Cinderella...or the ballerina.

Just a few Valentine's Day gift ideas for under $20!    

Linking up with Lindsay and Jessi.      

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What's Up Wednesday (on a Tuesday): January 2019

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.

The first What's Up Wednesday (on a Tuesday) post of 2019...does anyone feel like this has been the longest month, yet that it also has flown by?  When I look back, it seems like New Year's Day was soooo long ago, yet I also am sitting here, not believing that we are almost done with the first month of 2019.

What I'm eating this week...

 Honestly, this week is a bit of a free for all, haha!  I have a fridge full of produce, a freezer full of meats, and I am just assuming that a decent dinner will come together each night.  After eating a bunch of junk at trivia night (isn't that part of the fun?), and not feeling well on Sunday, I want to get in lots of veggies this week to hopefully fight off any lingering 'stuff'.

What I'm reminiscing about...
Really, just the month.  These posts are a great way to look back!

What I'm loving...
I finally picked out my bedding, and am excited to get going on my bedroom.  Way back when I first got my condo, I talked about how the master bedroom was towards the top of the list of rooms I wanted to decorate first (post here).  Well, half a year in, and it has not been touched, haha!  I finally decided on bedding - that took me the longest.  I love Pottery Barn's bedding, but the price for all I wanted to do was just way too much, and then the bedding I loved from Bed Bath and Beyond got some really bad reviews which turned me off from it.  My mom found this really pretty bedding on super sale at Macy's, and I was sold!  The price was great, and I love the blues in it.  I did end up getting a few things from PB - a quilt and euro sham covers - and while those items are still expensive, I had some rewards from my chair purchases, and there was a sale, so it made it much more cost effective.  Now I just need to find some sheets, get new pillows, get a new bed, furniture...ya know, pretty much everything else.  But it's a start!  

What I've been up to...
To kick off the start of the year, I revisited my 2018 resolutions (post here), and set ones for 2019 (post here).

My parents came to visit (post here), and my mom helped me decoration for winter (post here)!  


I finally tried out my instant pot (post here), and it did not explode.  Yay!

I survived my 2 1/2 + hour drive home one night due to snow (post here)...still cannot believe that happened!

the view from my garage once I got home!

I got sucked into Netflix, first watching Ozark, then The Blacklist, which I am still going strong with.  So many episodes!

St. Louis got some more snow (post here)...albeit nothing compared to the crazy amount we had earlier in the month.  

I shared a day in the life post (post here).  One of my favorite types of posts to read!

And I attended a Pampered Chef party and a trivia night for my church (post here) - both great times!

Only a few days left in January, but I am sure they will be filled with working out, work, eating, and watching Netflix.  

What I'm dreading...
Not much!  Work has been pretty busy, but come this afternoon, things should slow down some!  Of course, should is the operative word, haha, so hopefully that is actually true!

What I'm working on...

I am slowly working on organizing and simplifying.  I still have some clothes to go through, but I have made it through my coat closet (post here), my laundry closet, the pantry, the spice drawer, and the refrigerator.  The fridge isn't perfectly organized, but it got a good cleaning out, so it's a start!

What I'm excited about...
Next month, I am planning on doing a no spend month.  I don't go super hardcore with this, but it helps me focus on using more of what I have, and cuts down on my more frivolous spending.  The hope is to save a bit more money, which is always a good thing!

What I'm watching...

The Blacklist.  The obsession is real.   

What I'm reading...
I haven't been reading as much, mostly due to the above mentioned show!  But, when I have been reading, it's been Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts, and It's Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst.  Both are so, so great!


What I'm listening to...
Still on the oldies train - I just love that music.  And country at home.  I turn on the ol' intercom when I am in the kitchen, and that's what station it is usually turned to.

What I'm wearing...
This is pretty similar to last month, but I am still loving my Free People turtleneck.  So much so, I bought the teal color.  Which, online it looks like a dusty blue, but in fact, it is teal.  I was a tad bit surprised when I got it, but it's still a beautiful color.  And so warm!


Which, speaking of things being warm, even all these years later, I still absolutely love my UGGs.  I got my first pair in college, and I have been wearing them ever since.  My collection has grown quite a bit since then, but they are still a staple.  And the slippers, too!

For work wear, I shared some of my outfits last week (post here).  I have kind of been pulling whatever together, because I noticed that many of my blouses have some kind of build up from my deodorant.  I am not sure how that happens - I do wash them after every wear, but it doesn't seem like that is enough to get rid of it.  I did see you can soak them in vinegar, then wash them, but that makes me a tad bit nervous.  Anyone else have this issue?  And if you did, have you found a deodorant that doesn't leave a residue? 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
I may have a new nephew in February!  Obviously that is top.  He isn't due until March, but there is a chance he could make an early appearance in February, so we shall see! Other than that, my cousin's bridal shower is in February, which should be a lot of fun.  I am also looking forward a Bible study I am going to be participating in at church, as well some 'routine' weeks at work, and just in general. 

Linking up with Shay.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Weekend Recap: Pampered Chef Party & A Trivia Night

Hey all!  I hope everyone had a good weekend.  Mine was two parts good, and one part eh.

Friday was a pretty busy one at work.  One thing I love about busy days is that they just fly on by...and that was definitely the case for this one!  I worked a little bit later than normal - it was such a great feeling when I sent that last email and shut down for the night.  I caught an episode of A Million Little Things, and then headed out to a Pampered Chef party.  One of the ladies in my Sunday school class was throwing one, and in turn I discovered that she lived just a few streets down from me - pretty neat!  I pretty much love all kitchen things - gadgets, cookware, tips and tricks - so I was looking forward to seeing what they had to offer.  The consultant was super awesome - she made up both dinner and dessert, and it was cool seeing all the items she used in action.  My favorite was the slow cooker combo.  The insert can basically be used for anything - on the stove top, in the oven, in the mircowave, and then of course, in the slow cooker base.  How handy is that?  It was a bit out of my price range, but such a clever idea.  I basically loved everything I saw.  I grabbed a spice mix, and then some prep bowls that came with lids, and checked out before I could add more to my cart...because I could have just kept adding and adding, haha!

I was up early on Saturday, and after a quick breakfast, got some errands in.  I stopped by Sherwin Williams to check out some paint color options for my bedroom.  I just purchased some bedding, and am excited to nail down a color.  I grabbed like 20 swatches, haha, it's just so hard to decide!  When I got home, I made some puppy chow for the trivia night I was attending that night, and cut up some veggies for a veggie tray - also for the trivia night.  All about that balance!  

I also continued on with my organizing / purging, and cleaned out my spice drawer.  I had quite a few expired items in there, as well as some things that I just never used.  I kept a pad of paper on hand while I did this, that way I could note the items I needed to replenish.  It's amazing how cleaning out a single drawer can bring so much joy!  I headed out to the trivia night later in the day - which seemed like a great success.  My team didn't get last, which was awesome, and I even got one question that no one else knew (that doesn't usually happen).  The answer was carpaccio.  Not to mention we raised money to help feed those in need!  

I had my alarm set for early Sunday, to get a few things done before church, but when I woke up, I didn't feel well at all.  I thought maybe it was just due to all the different foods I had at trivia night, but it didn't seem to be getting better.  I ended up staying home from church, and basically spend the entire day in bed, or on the couch.  Not exactly how I had imagined the last day of the weekend would go, but what can do you do!

Here's to hoping you all had a great weekend!

Linking up with Biana anLindsay.       

Friday, January 25, 2019

A Day in the Life: January 2018

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Hey all!  As I mentioned last week, I am switching things up for my Friday Favorites.  Instead of five favorites, I am sharing A Day in the Life - my favorite kind of post.  I absolutely love reading these and find them so very interesting.  And I feel like everyone I talk to feels the same way, too.  No matter if it's just a regular, old day (which this is), peeking into someone's 'everyday' is just so fascinating to me.

I documented Tuesday, January 15th.  

Time to wake up!  Or close enough.  This is a few minutes after I actually woke up, at 4:45.  I am a morning person, and love having extra time in the morning to read a devotional, work out, enjoy breakfast, and get ready for work.  I get up anywhere between 4:25-5:00, depending on how long I plan to work out that morning.  

Once I get moving, it's downstairs to fill up a glass of water, and read Jesus Calling, and It's Not Supposed to Be This Way.  Previously I would read the One-Year Bible with my devotional, and when I finally finished that (took me way longer than a year), I started including various other faith books in my morning routine.  I am absolutely loving It's Not Supposed to Be This Way!


This passage really struck me this particular morning - I feel like the 'formula' she references is very spot on.

After I read, I get a quick work out in.  This morning was super quick, as in 10 minutes.  While I was reading Jesus Calling, my phone died.  That totally threw me for a loop because I charge it over night, so I didn't even know what was happening at first.  I thought maybe my phone was done for.  So that flustered me some and since I messed with that for a bit, I only got 10 minutes before I needed to get going on breakfast.

On to breakfast - protein waffles, and blog reading.  This morning I didn't have any greens to make one of my favorite breakfasts, and I didn't have any hard boiled eggs, so easy, frozen protein waffles were on the menu.

After I ate, and read a blog or two, I quickly made my lunch, then headed to get ready for work.  

My little phone snafu kind of messed up my normal morning (usually it runs pretty smoothly) so I was a bit behind, and elected to not try to snap picture of everything in lieu of making it out the door in plenty of time.  I did, though, make sure I made the bed.  I have always been pretty regular with making my bed, but my mom told me once that people who make their beds are happier.  And I totally think that is true, because I feel so much better when my bed is made.  The room may be a mess, but at least the bed looks nice!

I did snap a picture loading my car.  I swear, sometimes I feel like I am moving into work.  I have my purse, my work bag, gym bag, and lunch bag.  

I work til about 11:45, then have a quick lunch at my desk.  Lately I have been eating deli turkey, a slice of deli cheese, veggies (usually baby carrots and cucumbers), nut thins (I love the hint of seat salt, cheddar, and pepperjack cheese flavors), and blueberries.

My plan was to work out at my work gym, but I really wasn't feeling it.  So I decided I would do a Beachbody on Demand workout at home.  I head out of work about 4:15, stopping by the library on my way home.  I had a few books to drop off, and ended up taking some time to peruse the stacks.  It was only once I got home that I remembered I was trying to document my day - whoops!  I snapped a picture of the books I picked up from the library, then changed into my work out clothes and got my workout in before I could talk myself out of it.  I did one of the Country Heat Elite workouts - it's a dance one, which makes it so much more fun.  Of course, it also reminds me of how uncoordinated I have become...but it's still fun! 


I snapped a picture of my front door for my DIY Winter Door Hanger post, and worked on my blog for a bit.  Once I got what I wanted done, I headed to the kitchen to make some hard boiled eggs in my instant pot.  I still haven't made anything else, but I am loving it for hard boiled eggs.  I do want to try some 'real' recipes, but I just haven't gotten there yet.  Hopefully when work slows down a bit and I don't feel as worn out!



I again zoned out, and totally forgot about snapping pictures, but dinner was leftover Chicken a la King (picture from when I made it over the weekend), and then the rest of the night was spent watching some shows.

After I washed up, I wrote in my gratitude journal, and read a little bit in Of Blood and Bone.  Lights out right around 10:00!


I feel like this was one of those days that just was a little 'off' due to various things, and I didn't do as well documenting as I would have liked.  But hey, that is a typical day - things come up, things are forgotten, so I'd say this is a pretty good representation of 'day in the life'!    

You can see my other Day in the Life posts 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!)

February 2017


Linking up with Whitney, Erika and Andrea.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Work Wear for the Week: January 2019

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

This post is a peek into my work wardrobe for the week...which you probably gathered from the title of this post!

A little background - I work in an office where the attire is business - business casual, Monday through Thursday, and then casual (still nice, but can wear jeans) on Friday.

I always look forward to these posts for two seasons.  First, it requires me to plan my outfits out for the whole week (which I should do always, but just don't!), and second, it helps me switch things up, because I try to come up with some new combinations I might not normally do.

I had Monday off, so I have only four outfits for you today.

Tuesday
Earrings - Kendra Scott | Cardigan (old) - Loft | Utility Shirt (old) - Loft | Pants - Loft | Shoes - Calvin Klein

Wednesday
Dress (old) - Loft | Tights | Booties (old) - Macy's

Thursday
Cardigan (old) - Loft | Blouse (old) - The Limited | Skirt - Loft (on sale!) | Tights | Booties (old) - Macy's

Friday - Normally this would be a jeans day, but I have a few meetings I want to look a little nicer for, hence the dress pants.
Necklace - Kendra Scott | Top (on sale!)- Loft | Pants (on sale!) - Loft | Heels - Calvin Klein


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Look Inside My Bag

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It's been awhile since I did a 'what's inside my bag' post, and I thought it would be fitting to do one this week, since I just shared my top 8 amazon purchases of 2018, which includes this handy dandy purse organizer.

Previously, I just used different pouches to 'organize' my purse, but organize is in quotes for a reason...it never actually stayed organized.  The upside of a tote, is that is fits so much, but the downside is that things can shift and move every which way.  I still use my pouches, but keep them contained in this organizer.  It may seem a bit redundant to use pouches and an organizer, but I swear it has made a huge difference.

First up, what is in my bag.

1. Gigi New York Clutch.  I absolutely LOVE this clutch.  I keep it in my purse for everyday use, stocking it with necessities like medicines, extra contacts, Kleenex, BandAids, etc., but it's also just a great clutch to have for special occasions, or anytime I want to use a simple clutch.  And, if you wait, they have some really good sales, too!

2. LV Pouch.  This came in my Neverfull, and houses my check book and a few other random things, like my voter registration, etc.

3. Gift Cards.  My goal this year is to use the majority of my gift cards (if not all of them!). 

4. Coupons.

5. Cosmetics.  This little guy is an old Clinque freebie which is perfect for lip glosses, hair ties, and bobby pins. 

6. Business cards.  I keep a couple of mine, as well as those of various contacts and businesses.

7. My planner & pens.  I really simplified this year, going with a monthly planner, but so far so good, and it fits perfectly in my bag without adding any weight.  Because let's be real...my bag is already heavy enough!  And of course, something to write in my planner with, another Amazon favorite, gel pens (plus a regular pen).

8. LV Wallet.  Over the years I have discovered that a zip up wallet is the best wallet for me.  It is larger, which I need (I have a lot of stuff!), and the zip allows everything to stay contained!

9. Sunglasses & a small notepad.  Gotta have sunglasses - my eyes are so sensitive, and something to jot down things in!

Not pictured - Phone, charger, keys.  Obvious essentials!

Now, for how it all fits in my organizer (I cannot emphasize how handy this thing has been!)...
It was hard to get a good picture of this, but coupons go in the big pocket in the back.  My notepad goes in one pocket, while my business cards go in the other.  I didn't use the divider it came with, because the size of my items didn't really work with it.  But they fit perfectly within the large middle - my Gigi New York clutch, LV pouch, wallet, cosmetics, and sunglasses.  On the outside I have my gift cards, and pens.  

And then everything actually in my bag...
It fits in so well, with room to spare.  I slide my planner behind it, then fit my phone / charger on the side (you can kind of see the charger on the side).

Now I am curious...is there anything you keep in your bag that I am missing?  

Linking up with Lindsay and Jessi. 
    

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Weekend Recap: Organizing + More Snow

Hello!  I hope every had a good weekend...and for those of us that had yesterday off, I hope everyone made the most of it!

My weekend was pretty low key.  The past week was pretty busy, so I was looking forward to taking it easy over the weekend.  And I did just that!

Friday I ended up working a little bit later.  I was super excited when I got home, though, because one of my Lilly After-Party Sale packages had arrived.  That was definitely a pleasant surprise.  I spent most of the night relaxing - enjoying pizza and Netflix.

Saturday morning I dealt with Amazon.  A few things I ordered were 'undeliverable'.  That was the first time that had ever happened to me, and I was having a bit of an issue with the refund.  The options to get a refund or replacement said that they would do so, after the original items were sent back.  Well, since I never got the items, I had nothing to return.  Finally I searched for the online chat option, and things were taken care of in no time.  I had a bit of trouble even finding that option, but I just searched within Amazon (where you normally would input what item you are looking for) and was able to find the place to talk to someone through that.  I reordered the items and have my fingers crossed that they will be delivered as promised!

We were supposed to get a storm on Saturday, so I already had plans to stay inside.  Of course, the storm they predicted never came, at least to the extreme they were saying.  But, the weather did bring wind, and goodness gracious did it get COLD!  Next time my dad heads down this way, I am going to have to have him look at some of my windows.  Between the wind and the cold, you could tell a few windows weren't quite as sealed as they could be!

I was excited for Sunday - I hadn't made it to church in a month due to travel, sickness, and then the weather last weekend, so it was really nice to be back!  The afternoon was filled with laundry.  I feel like for one person, I really do dirty a lot of clothes!  I also cleaned out my coat closet.  I had let it get a little out of control, knowing that was one thing I wanted to tackle in my organizing / purging of 2019, and boy does it feel good to have that done.  I took everything out, cleaned the floors, got rid of two coats and a pair of gloves, found new homes for a few things, and reorganized the remaining items.  It looks SO much better and I think it is more functional, too.  And something that will be easy to keep up.  I still have two little things I want to do in that space, maybe three.  I want to get a boot tray for the shelf, possibly some hooks on the wall for my hats, and then I want to reorganize my little blue bin.  This houses batteries, 3M hooks...just a bunch of random things.  I think it might be best to get a little tower of plastic drawers so I can separate things, but for now this works!  





In other news, on Sunday we got these snow showers that came out of nowhere!  The picture below is probably 15 minutes after it started - it accumulated quickly and continued to do so for a few hours.  Very unexpected.

Since I spent most of the weekend relaxing, I knew that Monday would be a good day to get things done.  And it was.  I did a bit of a deeper clean than my usual, which felt good to get done.  I still have a bit to do, but I made some good progress!

This time of year, between work and weather, I often feel like hibernating...and that is exactly what I did this weekend, haha!  Lots of time at home, full of relaxing, and also getting some things done, too.  Now, if only every weekend could be a three day weekend!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Favorites: Two Blogs, A Book, Netflix & Working Ahead!

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

Happy Friday!  This week has felt both long and short, which is a total contradiction (but also totally true for this week), but either way, I am glad the weekend is here.

1.  A few years ago I shared a post called 'the blogs that started it all' (post here).  In it, I listed the first blogs I ever discovered.  Ultimately, they were the blogs that inspired me to start my own blog!  The very first blog of the bunch was IHeart Organizing.  Goodness gracious, when I found Jen's blog I would spend hours perusing her site, taking in her organization tips and tricks and all the pretty before and after pictures.  Her blog posts have been few and far between here of late.  But, it sounds like she is back and planning on more regular posting!  Already she has shared a super cute gift caddy (post here) that has me wanting to refresh the way I store all my gift wrapping items.  I can't wait to see what other content she has coming this year!

2.  Another one of my favorite bloggers (and close friend!) is Lindsay at Lindsay's Sweet World.  As I was pulling this post together, I realized how much Lindsay reminds me of Jen.  They both share a love of bright colors, crisp images, and all things organizing.  Anyways.  

This week Lindsay shared the most detailed post about how she organizes her life, using lists and her planner (post here).  And you guys...I feel like this is what my organization dreams are made of, haha!  For the past year or so, I have really wanted to set up more routines / schedules to keep me on top of things, and also just to remember one off things that don't happen very often (like replacing the air filter, or rotating the couch ).  The problem is that I have never actually taken the time to sit down and pull something together.  And honestly, I think that is because the whole idea of it all just overwhelmed me.  However, after reading Lindsay's post, I feel like I have the tools to become as organized as I have wanted.  She outlines everything very clearly, from the supplies she uses, to the lists she makes, and then how she actually maintains said lists.  While the whole process still is a bit overwhelming (the initial creating of lists will take some thought and time), seeing how it works for Lindsay is really motivating, and shows that it is doable, and in turn, very worthwhile.

3.  I ordered It's Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst last week, and while I was supposed to get it last week, the snow hindered that a bit (having Amazon Prime sure makes me impatient, haha!).  But it was at my house on Monday, and I was super excited to dig into it.  I was listening to Jamie Ivey's podcast, and her guest was Lysa, when I first heard about this book.  It really caught my attention, simply because of the title - it's not supposed to be this way.  I know that I have said that to myself once or twice (or many times), because let's face it, life is hard.  And let me caveat that - life can be super awesome and amazing and great, too!  But, it is also hard.  And sometimes when you do go through hard times, and life is so different from your expectations, your faith can be questioned or falter (fyi, if you aren't familiar with this author, this is a Christian book).

As I started to look the book up (while still listening to the podcast), I found out that Lysa wrote this book while she was going through one of the hardest times of her life, which stood out to me even more than the title.  It wasn't written after she had gotten through it, and was on the other side.  It was written while she was in the throes.  I thought that was really neat.  Often times it seems like people provide information on a topic when they have gotten to the other side of it.  Which makes sense, but I think in this case, I think it adds extra depth because she was feeling things in real time, rather than after.  I am only a few chapters in - I have been reading it in the morning in addition to my devotional - but so far, I have been really enjoying it.  Below is one of my favorite excerpts I have read so far...
Before I move on to my next favorite, I did want to say that I don't think you have to be going through something to appreciate this book.  I think it has the ability to touch everyone.

4.  I have been really into Netflix lately, and my most recent binge is The Blacklist.  I seriously could watch this show all day.  And I literally could, because there are so many episodes to a season.  It's kind of hard to explain what it is about because there is so much going on, but if you like FBI / criminal type shows, then it is right up your alley.  

5.  I had some time to kill between work and a dinner this week, so I put that to good use and got ahead on my blog planning for the year.  Guys - it feels SO good to have a rough outline for the whole year!  Previously I planned by month, but I think looking forward to the whole year will be even better.  

Here's what is on deck for next week:

  • Weekend Recap - a weekly staple!
  • A Look Inside My Bag - This past Tuesday I shared my top 8 Amazon purchases for 2018 (post here).  It was really fun to look back at my past purchases, and think about which ones were good, and how they are holding up today.  The items are all over the place, from leggings to an air mattress.  And, of course, included in the top 8 was my purse organizer.  Which inspired me to do this upcoming post - a look at 'what's inside my bag'.  And more specifically, how what is all in there fits in my purse organizer.
  • Work Wear for the Week - a look at what I am wearing to work for the whole week!
  • Day in the Life - I am switching things up from my usual five Friday favorites, and instead sharing just one favorite - a day in the life.  As a blog reading, this type of post is my absolute favorite.  While my days aren't anything too crazy, I find that reading about the normal, 'everydays' of others are so interesting, so hopefully you will, too!
I hope you all have a great weekend.  We are supposed to get another round of winter weather, so plans for the weekend are to stay in and get organized!  And watch Netflix.  A mix of both productivity and relaxation, I hope!

Linking up with Whitney and Andrea.