Friday Favorites: Best Friends & Mexican, Target, PSL, Organization & Fall Favorite Link Up

Hey all, happy Friday!  I am so excited for the holiday weekend ahead.  I have some fun plans, but also I just love the fact that we get three days.  If only every weekend were that way!

1.  I had the best dinner out Monday night.  My best friend from college was in town with her crew, and it was so darn good to see them all.  Her little boys are just as cute as buttons, and it was really good to catch up with her and her husband.  I need to find my way down to Louisiana soon to visit them!  Obviously the highlight was seeing them, but the place we ate was new to me and is probably my new favorite Mexican place!  Rosalita's is the restaurant, and they have a location down in the city, which I always heard was really good - I just never made it down there to try out.  What I didn't know, is they opened a second location closer to me.  The place is awesome - it's absolutely huge inside, they have what looks to be an amazing covered patio space.  And the food was delicious.  All in all it was just a darn good night.

2.  I made my way to Target earlier this week to grab a few essentials.  I was in need of new hand soap and my favorite is the Mrs. Meyer's brand.  I was so excited to see that one of their fall scents - Apple Cider - is now on the shelves.  Kind of a funny story with it.  My store has the soap in three different areas, so I wandered around looking for that specific scent, because my app told me that it was in stock at my store.  Well, I couldn't find it, so I asked a store worker about it.  This is pretty out of character for me, because I usually never ask for help at stores, even when I most need it.  But I wanted that dang soap, haha!  He was able to find some in the back, and brought them out to me.  I grabbed two bottles to stock up.  He probably thought I was so silly, because there were oodles of scents to choose from, but I wanted that specific one.  Anyways, I got it!  And he was so nice about it, too.  Gotta love people who are both helpful and cheerful about it!  I also grabbed a box of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte K Cups.  They got a fancy new design this year, and I almost missed them.  I will be thoroughly enjoying a cup this morning, and throughout the weekend.  'Tis the season! 

3.  And speaking of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I had my first one of the season this week.  It was soooo yummy.  The mornings have been a bit cooler, too, in the high 60's, low 70's to start out with.  I sure hope this stays!      

4.  My pantry was beginning to look a little rough and I did a quick clean out the other day.  It looks SO much better.  And it hardly took any time.  I somehow had an unopened box of noodles in there that expired 2016.  I am not sure how those got put in there during the move, other than maybe I just saw they were unopened and didn't even check the date?  But goodness, that is bad!  I also tackled my freezer.  These quick little clean ups take hardly no time at all, and are so very rewarding to see everything straightened up each time I open the pantry door, or pull open the freezer drawer.  It makes me wonder why I let them get messy in the first place!  Although I guess then, I wouldn't have the satisfaction of a good clean out.  Maybe this will provide a bit of motivation to tackle my junk drawer.  It's the one drawer I have yet to touch and it's in need!  

5.  I mentioned this before, but I wanted to again, since the start is already next week!  The Fall Favorites link up with Sarah starts on Thursday, September 5th.  I pulled the below text on the topics from my first announcement to give a little bit more info.  We sure hope you'll join us! 

Fall bucket lists always give me some great ideas on what activities I might want to add to my own list.  I truly love dressing for fall.  Although sometimes it takes a bit for actual fall weather to get here, I always love looking ahead to the cozy sweaters and the booties.  I said fall home tours are my 'favorite favorite' and that is no lie.  Granted I love all home tours, but there is something extra special about seeing homes dressed up for the season.  And for our new topic this year - the perfect fall day.  When Sarah brought up this idea, the first thing I thought of was how I would start my 'perfect' fall day and that would be with a cup of coffee, preferably while sitting out on my desk.  Or on the couch with a fall candle going, and an episode of The Pioneer Woman on.  There is still time to figure out where the day will lead, but I know sure it will start with coffee (preferably a pumpkin spice latte)!  And with this it can be a real day, like a day in the life post, or an imaginary day...or a little bit of both.  Whatever you like.  Just link back to us in your post, then join the link up at the end of our posts on that day.  

6.  On the blog this week...
Weekend Recap: Indycar & Antique Malls 
Home Hack: Budget-Friendly Frame Fillers 
What's Up Wednesday: August 2019 
Recipe Round Up: A Review of the Recipes I Tried in August 2019 

That's it for today - keeping it relatively short and sweet.  Which is what I hope the work day will be.  An early start to the holiday weekend would be the perfect way to kick things off.

Have a good one!

Linking up with WhitneyErika and Andrea.

Recipe Round Up: A Review of the Recipes I Tried in August 2019

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

Lemon Parmesan Shrimp with Broccoli and Cauliflower from Skinnytaste One & Done.  I was looking for a shrimp recipe and came across this one in the One & Done cookbook.  I happened to have a head of broccoli on hand, so I added the recipe to the menu.  It was a winner!  It's pretty simple to put together, and you gotta love something that only dirties one pan.  I used all broccoli because that is what I had on hand, as well as lemon juice from a bottle instead of a fresh lemon.  All in all it was a great, easy, and healthy recipe!

Oven Roasted Zucchini from Domestically Creative.  I had a zucchini that needed to be eaten, and was looking for a side option.  I turned to Pinterest, and found this one.  It was easy enough to pull together, with minimal ingredients, but it wasn't my favorite.  It states in the recipe that if you over cook, the zucchini will be mushy.  Taking that into consideration, I cut a little bit off the roasting time, but it still was pretty mushy.  The flavor was really good, but the texture was not great.  It was a nice try, and got me to use up my zucchini, but I won't be making again (unless someone has a trick to make it less mushy!).

Easy Healthier Crockpot Butter Chicken from Half Baked Harvest.  I have admired this blog for a long time, and finally made my first Half Baked Harvest recipe!  I wasn't sure about some of the ingredients, but I was able to find them all at my local grocery store.  I threw it together, and hoped for the best!  It smelled amazing, and was so delicious.  I did cut down the amount of cayenne pepper, just because I was nervous about the heat, and that was definitely the right decision for me.  It still had a little bit of a kick, but it wasn't too much at all.  I paired it with rice (perfect for soaking up all the sauce), and green beans.  Just so, so good.  Highlight recommend!
Easy Healthier Crockpot Butter Chicken - I've never tried butter chicken but this looks & sounds amazing! Gonna have to try it.

Please let me know if you have any recipes that are a must try - I seriously could sit and talk recipes fro days!

What's Up Wednesday: August 2019

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

We are days away from September, released their Pumpkin Spice Latte even earlier than normal, and I am all set to pull out my fall decorations this week.  Heck, let's be honest, a few of them have already made their appearance.  It's a good day!

Before we get to September though, it's time to take a look back at August.  It was a really busy month, and as time does these days, it just flew on by.  

What I'm eating this week... 

Monday: Out! 
Tuesday: Spaghetti 
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Leftovers 

What I'm reminiscing about...
The last few weeks - just getting to see everyone was so nice.  And these next four months of the past.  It's my favorite time of the year!

What I'm loving...
All things fall!  I know it isn't officially fall until later in September, but I have been on the fall mood since we got to August.  And I am lovin' it!

What I've been up to...
ALL the travel.

The first weekend in August, I headed back home for a weekend visit.  It had been awhile since I was just home, and we made the most of it.  Eating outside, a convertible ride, meeting my grandma at the flea market, and enjoying a Lou Malnati's pizza.  It was awesome! (post here)

I shared a little trick that kicks up my productivity when the last thing I was to do is be productive - I used it a lot this month (post here), a new, at-home workout from Youtube, and a few new purchases. (post here)

After enjoying a really fun afternoon in town, I hit the road again, or rather the air this time, and flew on up to Chicago.  The trip was for work, but since we were flying up on Sunday, I grabbed the earlier flight and spend the day with my family.  It was the best - both seeing the fam, and the work! (post here)



The work travel had me all confused on days, and before I knew it, it was time to make the trip to Indy to celebrate my nephew's birthday.  It was a treacherous drive with the weather, but seeing my two favorite little guys made it all worth it! (post here

What I'm dreading...
Nothing!

What I'm working on...

Last month I said eating better, which is still true, but I also am trying to take my fitness up a notch.  I took the plunge and purchased a few personal training sessions.  I am lucky to have a gym at work, and I am hoping that these sessions will help me utilize it better, as well as give me a good base to be able to set up my fitness on my own, too.

What I'm excited about...
The next four months - they are the best!

What I'm watching...
Still Indycar, haha!  But also Gilmore Girls and Breaking Bad on Netflix, summer Hallmark movies, Southern Charm, DCC: Making the Team, Racing Wives.

If you are in need of shows to watch, I shared my top 10 binge-worth shows this month! (post here)

What I'm reading...
The First Mistake by Sandie Jones


What I'm listening to...
Still the Chicago station on Pandora, as well as all the various radio stations in the car.

What I'm wearing...
I grabbed some new work wear from LOFT this month.  They have so many cute tops right now!

Ruffle V-Neck Shell.  
Ruffle V-Neck Shell

Floral Tile Mixed Media Henley.  
Floral Tile Mixed Media Henley Shell

Buttoned Petal Sleeve Top
Buttoned Petal Sleeve Top

Striped Ruffle Henley Shell.  

Striped Ruffle Henley Shell

I also broke out the open toe booties last Friday.  I have two pairs (tan and gray) and they are both going to be worn on repeat until it gets too cold for bare toes. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
The start of fall (and my favorite months of the year), which speaking of fall, Sarah (at Meet the Shaneyfelts) and I will be hosting our annual Fall Favorites link up. (original announcement here)

We will be hosting every Thursday in September (dates are in the graphic below).  Just link back to us in your post, then join the link up at the end of our posts on that day.  

Linking up with ShayLindsay and Jessi.

Home Hack: Budget-Friendly Frame Fillers

For my third home hack installment, I am sharing some of my favorite, budget-friendly frame fillers.

I think adding frames to the walls, shelves, or tables is a great way to make a home feel homier.  When I moved into my condo, the first frames on the walls were some that I had previously hung in my apartment.  And adding those first frames really made a difference.  I just remember having this feeling of ok, it's really becoming a home now.  

That said, filling those frames throughout a home isn't always cheap!  

Here are some of the inexpensive 'hacks' I use when trying to stay on a budget, while still making a big impact.

Scrapbook paper.  Goodness, I cannot tell you how often I have used scrapbook paper in a frame over the last 10 years or so.  This suggestion came from my mom (of course, she has the best ideas), and it's been a go-to since.  It's so easy, and so inexpensive.  Scrapbook paper comes in all different kinds of patterns and colors.  Right now, in my bedroom, I have varying blue patterns in my frames until I decide on what pictures to use.  Scrapbook paper also can work great as a backing / mat.  In my living room grouping, I have a few old keys in a frame, which are set on scrapbook paper.


Printables.  There are so many free printables online!  You can find a ton on Pinterest, or even just googling free printables.  From seasonal printables, to kitchen printables (which I used in my apartment kitchen!), you are bound to find something!  All you need is a printer, and some paper, preferably cardstock.  I have used a printable in my fall decor, and also grabbed one for my winter decor.  While I didn't actually put these in a frame, they would work perfectly in one.


Printed Quotes.  I am a big fan of framing quotes.  And they don't need to be anything fancy - just pick a favorite font, type it up, and then print on cardstock!  If you checked out my Home Tour post from last week, you can see that I have a frame right by my front door that reads 'in everything, give thanks'.  That is just something my mom put together for me (I still haven't gotten my own printer up and running!), and printed out.  Moving the alignment and vertical spacing can change the whole look, too.

Recipes.  I have always loved the idea of having handwritten recipes cards framed in my kitchen.  I had both my mom and my grandma write down two of our family's favorites, glued them on scrapbook paper, and popped them in a frame.

Cross stitch.  This is definitely a total DIY option, but I think it's so neat.  Growing up, my mom would cross stitch.  She has various samplers all over the house, and when I was trying to think of things for my condo, I asked if she would cross stitch a pattern for me to frame in my bathroom.  It turned out so great!  This is based off a pattern she already had, but you can find free options online.  In fact, Country Living offers a new free pattern every month. 

Fabric.  From dish towels to scraps of fabric, there are so many options!  In college, I framed dish towels that had different fruit / vegetables on them.  I thought they were so cute, and perfect for the kitchen.  Unfortunately, I don't know where a picture of those would be, but I did also use it in my apartment in both a frame on my little dining room shelf, and in the collage over the couch.  Use scraps of fabric is just like scrapbook paper - there are oodles of options.  I will say that the only downfall to fabric is that sometimes it can be thick and you have to be really careful that it doesn't wrinkle.  But it's still a great, and inexpensive option. 

Online sites.  Art.com is the website I used when I bought my large David Knowlton print.  They have a huge variety of art, as well as different sizes, and I found them to be pretty reasonable.  You can also look at places like Minted.com, or Esty.com.  

Architectural / Landscape Pictures.  Obviously pictures are a given.  These days we take so many pictures, there are oodles of options to print and use.  And while I love having pictures of my family up, when looking for pieces that serve more as decor, I think of architectural shots or landscapes.  The frames I mentioned in the first part of this post, the ones that really made me feel like my place was becoming a home, were shots my mom took of my hometown, and shots from my family's annual vacation - my two favorite places.  My hometown has swinging bridges, and a beautiful courthouse.  My mom got the perfect shots of them, and now it's just another piece of home that I have in my own home.  Over the years we have taken oodles of pictures in Michigan, which is my other favorite place in the world.  We printed all four off in black and white to make them a bit more cohesive, and viola! 

Empty frames.  This is the opposite of a 'filler', but I still wanted to share.  Using just the frame is another option.  I did this in my bedroom with gold frames, and layered them.  I have also seen where people put empty frames inside of another empty frame, which is also neat.  Or even three just hung by themselves in a row can look nice.  

If you have any 'hacks' to share, please leave a comment!   

Weekend Recap: Indycar & Antique Malls

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Mine was somewhat of a bust, but hey, it was still the weekend!

Friday night was a nice indulgence with wine, bacon mac n cheese and Indycar qualifiers.  The race was in the St. Louis area this weekend, and I am so mad at myself that I didn't end up going.  I had originally planned to be out of town, and then when I decided I was actually going to stay home this weekend, it was a little too late.

Saturday I attempted a run.  It had been awhile since I actually ran and it was a little on and off with walking, but still felt good to do!  I had originally planned to go to a local farmer's market Saturday morning, and I was so excited to check it out, but I found out on Friday that was cancelled this weekend.  So that was a bit of a bummer, although on the bright side, at least I didn't drive all the way there to find out it was cancelled!  Another big plan I had for Saturday was finally hitting up my neighborhood pool.  Well, wouldn't you know, they were having some mechanical problems, and the pool was closed.  Two strikes for the day!  I had already gotten suited and sunscreened up, so I spent a little time on my back deck, before a monster bee scared me off.  I figured what was I to do, other than head to two of my happy places - the antique mall and the library!  I found some really great stuff - new blue and white plates, as well as new Shiney Brites.  I went to a mall I don't go to regularly, and they were having a sale so it really worked out.  I had gotten in some books I was really looking forward to at the library, so that was a successful trip, too.  I am in the market for some new blinds in my kitchen, so I headed over to The Home Depot to see what they had to offer.  I found a really nice option, and did a walk through of the garden area.  They already have their mums and other 'fall' flowers and plants out.  The colors were just so pretty!  That evening I was back and forth between watching the Indycar race, and reading.  





Sunday I was excited to get to church, although a few weeks off due to traveling really got me off my game and before I knew it, I was running late!  The lights were in my favor, though, and even though I felt way behind and rushed, I did make it with four minutes to spare.  The rest of the day held a lunch out, laundry, then catching up on some TV.

While it wasn't quite the weekend I had planned for, it did manage to turn itself around.

Linking up with Lindsay.
  

Friday Favorites: Fall Drinks, Morning Routine, Garage Sale Finds, Transitioning to Fall Nail Polish & Thoughts on LOFT Purchases

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

Hey all, happy Friday!  As always, it is great to see the weekend.

A few favorites from the week...

I had my first taste of fall this week!  I tried out Dunkin' Donuts Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Latte (ordered hot with no whip and skim milk), and it was delicious!  And I broke open my Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea.  I was craving it about a week ago, but told myself I needed to finish my Wild Sweet Orange tea first.  I drank my last cup on Tuesday, so then it was go time.  In other fall related news, Starbucks is set to release their Pumpkin Spice Latte on Tuesday.  I cannot wait!

I added in something new to my morning routine, and while it's only been a few days, I can see it sticking.  The last two years, a gratitude journal has been on my Christmas list.  Last year I did pretty good with it for about half the year (give or take), filling it out before bed each night, and then this year, I started slacking off wayyyy sooner.  I tried to get back on board, but that didn't last too long.  I still really loved the idea of it, but doing it before bed was just not working for me.  Often I would not be able to think of things at the end of the day from being tired and just ready for bed.  It became a chore and kind of a down spot of the day, which is the exact opposite of what it is supposed to be - something positive that lets you reflect on the good things.  Once I stopped doing it, then each time I would think to get back to it, I would tell myself I was too tired, or tomorrow would be a good day to start back up.  Well, I finally decided that now is the time to do it (honestly the whole mess of the drive to Indy kind of gave me the kick in the butt, because goodness was I grateful that we made it through in one piece!).  I thought I would give it a try in the mornings, after my devotional.  I first do my devotional, then take a few minutes to think back to the day before and write down the good / what I was thankful for.  And while I just started, I really think this is something that is going to stick and make each day a little better!  

I can never said no to a good garage sale find.  When my mom and dad text me a picture of this little rack / shelf and chair yesterday, I couldn't help but say yes.  I am thinking the hooks will be great for the guest room, or even the office area with a basket and wreath.  The chair has such neat detailing, I think cleaned up a bit it would be so cute in a corner somewhere.  And for $16 total, you can't really beat that!



Back to the fall talk, I broke out my more 'fall' nail polish this week.  Matter of Fiction has been my go to for awhile now, and while I still love that color (super light pink), I felt like it was time for something a bit more subtle and neutral.  Grabbed an oldie but goodie, At the Barre, and it's exactly what I was going for.  The color of the bottle online is a bit misleading - it looks kind of peachy to me, but it's definitely more of a tan color.  And for my toes, I opted for my go to transitional color, Eternal Optimist.  This is kind of a dusty rose color and I feel like it is one I reach for  when it starts to get close to spring and fall!

I shared some recent LOFT purchases on Wednesday's post.  I got everything in this week, and here are my thoughts.

Keeping:

Ruffle V-Neck Shell.  This was one of the tops I was most excited about and it did not disappoint.  Such a pretty green color and the fit is great! 

Ruffle V-Neck Shell

Floral Tile Mixed Media Henley.  After I ordered this, I kind of regretted it.  I just didn't think I would love it.  And even felt the same when I got it out of the bag.  But, as soon as I put it on I was sold.  It fits so very well, and it just look so good on!


Floral Tile Mixed Media Henley Shell

Buttoned Petal Sleeve Top.  This was the other top I was so very excited to get.  I grabbed it in cream, but it only seems to be available in mustard and red.  Such a pretty top!


Buttoned Petal Sleeve Top

Returning:

Leopard Print Tie Waist Midi Skirt.  This skirt was a little out of my comfort zone, and while it was super pretty, I just don't know if I would get the wear out of it.  Also, I liked some other piece better, so back it goes.  One thing to note on the sizing - I am about 5'3" and ordered the petite, which I would recommend to anyone my height or shorter.  

Leopard Print Tie Waist Midi Skirt


Cheetah Print Short Sleeve Sweater.  This top was a big, fat no - it did me no favors whatsoever.  I honestly can't pinpoint what exactly made it so unflattering - I tried it untucked, tucked, and it just didn't look great on.  A bit of disappointment, because I thought it would be such a fun add to my wardrobe!  

Cheetah Print Short Sleeve Sweater

Still Deciding:

Swingy Open Cardigan.  The fit and look of this is really nice, but the fabric is a bit different than I had anticipated.  It's a little dressier, which would be good for work, but I don't know if it will wash well.  Still up in the air on whether or not this is a keeper!


Swingy Open Cardigan

Mixed Media Ruffle Shell.  The color of this shirt is really pretty - it actually kind of reminds me of the nail polish I mentioned above.  I just can't decide if I should keep this, or the blue and white striped.  Decisions, decisions!

Mixed Media Ruffle Shell

Striped Ruffle Henley Shell.  As I mentioned, I am trying to decide between this top and the one above.  It's super cute, but I do have two other shirts this exact same style, so I am not sure another one is necessary, even though it is blue striped.  

Striped Ruffle Henley Shell

That's all I have for today.  If you missed any posts this week and want to catch up, here are the links:

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with WhitneyErika and Andrea.
    

Work Wear Wishlist: LOFT

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

I have been in quite a rut with my work wear lately.  I feel like I wear the same things over and over again.  It doesn't help that we have hit that transition phase where most of us are dreaming of fall, but mother nature is still in summer mode with the temps.  

Also, most of what I have been buying lately is for the home, not really appropriate for work, or not appropriate for the weather (looking at you, NSale).

LOFT is my go to place for work clothes, and I did a little browsing last week.  

Here's what has caught my eye here of late!

Ruffle V-Neck Shell.  I just think this is so pretty and feminine.  It would be perfect under a blazer or cardigan.  

Ruffle V-Neck Shell

Leopard Print Tie Waist Midi Skirt.  How darn cute is this?  I don't know how a midi length would look on me, but I could see this paired with a button down, a plain t shirt, a chambray shirt if you want to go a little more casual.  So darn cute!


Leopard Print Tie Waist Midi Skirt

Mixed Media Ruffle Shell.  While very simple, I love these types of tops paired with both dress pants, skirts, and even jeans for casual Fridays.


Mixed Media Ruffle Shell

Swingy Open Cardigan.  I bought an open cardigan from Loft last year, and loved it.  Especially love the look with dresses.


Swingy Open Cardigan

Cheetah Print Short Sleeve Sweater.  If you can't tell from above, I was feeling the animal print at LOFT.


Cheetah Print Short Sleeve Sweater

Floral Tile Mixed Media Henley.  I like this as a transition piece - it's the darker fall colors, but cool enough for now.


Floral Tile Mixed Media Henley Shell

Buttoned Petal Sleeve Top.  Another top that I think is just so pretty and feminine!


Buttoned Petal Sleeve Top

Striped Ruffle Henley Shell.  This style of top is one of my favorites, and I love the blue and white stripe.  They also have a black and white version - not sure which one I like more!


Striped Ruffle Henley Shell

Now it's time for a confession...when I started writing this post, my intent was to just window shop.  Hence the title 'wishlist'.  But, I ended up just purchasing the items.  It's hard to turn down a good sale, and I had a gift card waiting to be used, too!  I am hopeful that some of the items will work out, although I am equally hopeful that some won't to make it a little easier to decide what will go back.


They all finally just shipped yesterday, so I will report back on what works and what does!

Linking up with Lindsay.   

Home Tour: Entry + 1/2 Bath


Hey there!  Welcome back to my home.  Last month I shared the outside, and today I am sharing a look at the entry and half bath.

My house is a condo, but it's more like a townhouse, given it has it's own entries from the outside.  When you walk in, it seems really open, with the two story entry, and a hallway on the side of the stairs.  I was beyond excited to have hardwood floors, too!


Right off the entry, there is a really nice sized front closet.  Not only does it serve as a coat closet, but it also holds my vacuum, my tools, brown paper bags I use for recycling, my workout shoes...it really handles a lot!

The pictures in the hallway are ones that I had previously used in my bedroom at my apartment.  My mom took a few pictures around my hometown, and I paired them with vacation pictures.  I have a little bit of Pontiac, and a little bit of Michigan represented - two of my favorite places!  I had printed them in black and white to make the look a little more cohesive, and I love that I was able to find a place for them in my new home.

And then, there is a half bath.  When I had the downstairs painted, I had them do the bathroom, as well, but in a different color.  If you have been reading for awhile, you know I love blue, and I thought this half bath would be a great place to add in a nice, deep blue.  The accessories are minimal - I am still looking for something to go on the wall across from the toilet, but I think it makes for a cute half bath.  Perfect for when guests are over.


Can't wait to share more!

Linking up with Erika.