What's Up Wednesday: January 2018

It's been awhile since I did a blog post the morning of!  I had gotten into the routine of completing them beforehand, or at least the night before.  It just was not happening last night, I didn't want to miss out on the What's Up Wednesday link up, as it is one of my favorites, so this is coming a bit later than normal.

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What I'm eating this week...when my mom was over this past weekend, she made us Chicken Poliverde for dinner, so I have been eating on that all week, as well as 
Slow Cooker Italian Turkey and Zucchini Meatballs from Skinnytaste that I made on Sunday.  I have been pairing both those things with roasted broccoli and salads.  Lunch was brought in from P.F. Chang's yesterday at work, and I got the lettuce wraps, so I had those for both lunch and dinner - yum!  Not the healthiest thing ever, but it kept me away from the rice! 

What I'm reminiscing about...nothing!

What I'm loving...I shared some Valentine's Day gift ideas yesterday, and you could say that I have been loving Loft lately.  

What I've been up to...honestly, working.  My mom came to visit this past weekend, which was the best.  But otherwise, I honestly can't think of anything, because work really has been consuming.
What I'm dreading...nothing, really.    

What I'm working on...getting organized and purging!  'Tis the season for this, and I am slowly doing small things to get everything organized, and lessen the amount of stuff I have.  This hasn't gone as fast as I was hoping, but I am hoping now that work isn't quite as busy, I will have more energy to knock out of a few things.  

What I'm excited about...Spirit of Provident Gala!  It is coming up in the next few weekends, and I cannot wait to get all dolled up for it.

What I'm watching...I have been catching up on a lot of my reality shows, like Teen Mom OG, Sister Wives, Keeping Up With The Kardashians.  I have a DVR full of Hallmark movies, so I am thinking I might be making a dent in those this weekend.

What I'm reading...Small Admissions.

What I'm listening to...not a whole lot, usually the TV on in the background.  I did have a question for you all - does any use noise cancelling headphones that they really like?  I have been thinking about getting some for work.  Sometimes I have trouble blocking out the conversations around me while I am trying to concentrate on something at work, and I have been thinking about trying noise cancelling headphones to see if that helps.  Please let me know if you have anything you would recommend (or not recommend).  

What I'm wearing...This has not changed much at all since I last did this post.  I am still loving these finds from Loft: a great pair of black dress ankle pants, a super soft mock neck sweater and a shimmery sweater.  I also am wearing my leopard heels all the time!  I just love them and they work perfectly with almost any outfit!  

What I'm doing this weekend...I am going to pick up my gala dress from alterations (cannot wait!), and then of course, on Sunday, watch the Super Bowl.  Other than that, I am hopeful I can do a lot of relaxing, with a little bit of purging and organizing in there, too.

What I'm looking forward to next month...Super Bowl, specifically the food.  This is going to be one of my 'cheat' meals so I cannot wait - give me all the wings and pizza!  Then the gala, as I mentioned before, and Valentine's Day.

What's my favorite soup recipe...this will be no surprise from some of you, but definitely my mom's homemade chicken noodle soup.

Linking up with Shay, Lindsay, Jenn and Jessi.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Everyone

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, so I thought I would share some fun gift ideas.

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Growing up, my brother and I would get cards plus a little money from my grandparents and my aunt and uncle.  It was always such a fun treat, so I wanted to continue that with my nephew by getting him a little something for the 'other' holidays.  Nothing too, big, but this weekend I picked him up a few little treats.  First up, a book.  I feel like a book is always a great gift idea for little ones, especially since they have super cute ones out around the holidays.  I went with Llama Llama I Love You - I actually got him the Halloween one last year (or another holiday?), and he seemed to really like it, so I thought I would stick to the same series.  He loves stickers, so I found a sheet of construction stickers that were Valentine's Day themed, that I picked up as well.  To finish off his little gift, I got another little Cars car to add to his collection.  Just a few small things to tell him Happy Valentine's Day from me!  I feel like something similar would work for almost any kid!

My friend got this necklace off Amazon, that I just loved.  She wore it once and then never again, so she gave it to me.  I think it would be a great little gift for a friend for Galentine's Day.  It's inexpensive, but the quality is actually really nice!

I feel like most guys are super hard to buy for, so if you want to do something little, fun socks would be a great gift, or a gift card to their favorite lunch time restaurant.  Bigger gift ideas like a shirt/sweater, watch, or tickets to an event are pretty much fail proof ideas, too!

My grandpa has been gone for awhile now, and one thing I like to do for my grandma is get her a card for Valentine's Day.  Nothing fancy - just a simple card to send her some love.  A lady at work makes cards and sells them for Valentine's Day as a way to raise a little bit of money for MS.  I have been getting her one of these cards for the last two years, I think, and they are always a hit, not to mention my money is being put to good use, too!  Or doing a homemade card yourself would be great, too!  It doesn't matter if you are crafty or not - it's the though and effort that counts!

Of course, you cannot forget yourself on Valentine's Day!  When my mom and I were at Loft, I saw some really cute tops that would be perfect for wear on / around Valentine's Day.  A simple pink and ivory striped shirt, this Love or L'Amour sweater (SO SOFT), or for something more structured, this red top that has really cute sleeves and key hole back.  I have also been eyeing a Fitbit or Fossil Hybrid watch.  I can't decide if I want a bigger Fitbit and use it in place of my watch, get a smaller Fitbit to wear in addition to my watch, or get the Fossil watch which still looks like a normal watch, while recording steps and whatnot.  And I think Valentine's Day is going to be perfect for a 'cheat' meal - bring on the bread!

Giving gifts is one of my favorite things, and I love that Valentine's Day gives us the opportunity to show some love, whether it be to a niece / nephew, a grandparent, special someone, or just myself!

I'd love to hear - what are some of your favorite Valentine's Day gifts to give or receive?    

Weekend Recap: The Best Quick Visit From Mom

This weekend was really great.  My mom came to visit and we had the best shopping trip we have had in ages!  It just was such a fun day!

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Work ended a little later than normal, but the one thing about leaving work later is getting to see some absolutely stunning sunsets.  Of course, I never have my phone handy to snap a picture, not that a picture would ever do it justice, but pretty much every night I have left work, the sky is lit up.  This is going to sound so cheesy, but it has just made me take a minute and be grateful to be alive and be able to experience such beauty admist the craziness of life.  The rest of the evening was really low key.  I got a Lettucewich from Which Wich (a life saver since I am trying to not eat bread), read, and then did my weekly face mask.  I was so dang tired, I almost fell asleep while I was waiting for my face mask to dry.  

My mom was coming on Saturday, so I got up early to pick up and clean since I had been too tired / lazy the night before.  I finished and was ready just as she knocked on the door - perfect timing!  We visited for a minute, then headed out to shop!  Our first stop was Nordstrom and we hit the jackpot there!  If you are in the area and in need of a dress, go see Justin at West County.  He was so very helpful and ended up bringing me some options, one of which ended up being my dress!  I actually didn't see any of the exact dresses I posted about last week, but they did have the bow dress in a different color.  I tried on a bunch of dresses, but ended up with this Ted Baker dress that is on major sale.  It was so very flattering, super versatile, and just classic.  And the name of the dress is Emalise, so how perfect is that?!  There is a rose gold zipper on the back, so I picked up some Kate Spade jewelry to compliment it - these earrings and this bangle.  We both did a little more shopping at Nordstrom, and I got a Zella jacket (can't find online, but they had a ton in store) on super sale, too!  My winter coat has seen some better days, so I think this will be the perfect replacement.  I opted to go for a size larger than my normal, to allow for extra room for heavier layers.  My mom and I also checked out Loft, and got some major deals.  Their camis were 60% off, so my mom got two, and then she also treated me to this red utility shirt that was on sale (it was half off the sale price, and then my mom had another coupon, so the shirt ended up being only $14!).  We had lunch at Nordstrom Cafe, which was delicious.  If you haven't ever ate there, you need to.  One of my best friends introduced me to it and I cannot say enough good things about the food.  After we got back home, we realized they forgot to take the security tag off my coat, so we headed that way again, then ran some more errands, like Target, Ulta and the grocery store.  We were both tired when we got back and it was on with the pajamas while my mom cooked dinner, Chicken Poliverde.  We had picked up some Halo Top for a dessert, because I was CRAVING something, but the Chocolate Almond Crunch flavor was just not for us.  Way too almond-y and not enough chocolate.  My mom helped me reorganized my tupperware cabinet, and I think we finally figured out a way to set it up so it's not all falling down on me when I try to get something out!  It was so nice to have my mom here and we really just had the best day together.

Main Image - kate spade new york front/back bauble studs
Image result for zella beyond hooded puffer jacket

My mom left first thing on Sunday, and then I headed to Sunday school and church.  I headed to Target afterwards, because it never fails when I go to pick up things, I always forget something and have to go back again.  The rest of the day was pretty low key.  As I am writing this, I am watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and have turkey zucchini meatballs going in the crockpot.  It's a new to me recipe from the Skinnytaste Fast & Slow cookbook, and I will report back on how they turn out.  Hopefully good, since I am planning on eating on them for a good portion of this week!

Hope you all had a great weekend!  

Linking up with Biana and Lindsay.    

Friday Favorites: A Little Bit of Everything

Hey all, happy Friday!  It has been a WEEK!  And, if you are reading this Friday morning, we still have one more work day to get through.  Let's hope it is a good one!  

1.  Lindsay (from Lindsay's Sweet World)'s Guide to Organizing and Backing Up Digital and Non-Digital Photos, Videos, Music, and Other Files - Part One and Part Two.  If you have been following for awhile, you know that it has been a goal to get my pictures organized on my computer.  Like a goal multiple times a year, for multiple years, because it is one I never seem to fully accomplished.  Lindsay posted about how she got ALL her files organized, and how she keeps them that way.  I really struggle with this and feel like her posts were just what I needed to help motivate me to get to organizing!  

2.  My reading rut is no more!  I mentioned a last week that I was in a bit of a reading rut.  I just wasn't in the mood to read and what I was reading was slow going.  I snapped out of that this week and have been getting in a little bit of reading each night!  One of my favorite ways to relax after a long day.  Currently I am reading Beartown, and I have a stack of books just waiting to be dug into.  Next month's book review will definitely be more than 2 books!

3.  Sticking to my meal / workout plan!  As I mentioned on Monday, I signed up for a 6 week transformation challenge through the workout app I use, Femme Fit.  One of the guidelines is no carbs, like bread, pasta and potatoes, all of which are some of my favorite things.  Other than having a chip and one small bite of a sandwich (with bread), I have stuck to it.  And I feel like those things are minuscule, so I am saying it is a win.  I will be honest with you all and say it hasn't been fun - I am dreaming of Olive Garden breadsticks - but even with some big work / life stressers this week (apparently stressers is not a word, but you know what I mean, those things that stress you our and make you carve comfort meals), I have stuck to it.  Granted, as I write this it has only been 3.5 days since I started on Monday, but I have no intentions of getting off track now, so I am saying good job to myself.  I don't know what as of yet I see any big changes - it has only been 3.5 days - but I do feel better, so that is a win.  

4.  Provident Gala!  You guys were super nice on Wednesday's post, offering your congrats when I shared about attending the gala this year, and some potential dress options - thank you!  Everyone had differing opinions on which dresses they liked, so I am curious if I am going to end up with a 'favorite' or something completely different.  I just really hope I find something that works!  Another great thing about the gala, is having this event really is giving me something to work towards in terms of fitness.  I want to feel good at the gala, so any time I start dreaming about those breadsticks, or thinking about having 'just one' sweet, I remember what I am working towards and I stay strong.  If you are like me and sometimes have trouble consistently eating healthy, then I would suggest setting an end point.  Whether it be a specific event, or just a night out with friends where you want to wear a particular outfit, a vacation - just something to work towards, I really think having that 'thing', whatever it may be, can do wonders in keeping you on track.  

5.  My mom is coming!  I mentioned that my mom and I are going dress shopping together this weekend.  Originally, I was going to go home and we were going to go shopping up north to our normal spots, but she suggested coming down to me since there is a slight chance I might have to do a little work this weekend.  I was kind of against it when she suggested it at first, because I won't get to see my dad or my grandma, and I think some of the stores up there have a better selection, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was for the best.  I can work remotely, but sometimes it is easier just to come into work if something needs to be done, not to mention that is about 7 hours I get back since I won't be driving.  That means more time to get ready for the week ahead, and do some relaxing.  Moral of the story - mom knows best...at least most of the time. ☺

And before I go, a little recap of what was on the blog this week:

Weekend Recap: Low Key Weekend - as the title says, it was a low key weekend!

Easy & Delicious Make Ahead Lasagna - if you love lasagna, this is my go to recipe!

Gala Dress Shopping + A Taste of Spring - I shared some exciting news, gala dress options, and one super cute spring dress.

Recipe Round Up - my thoughts on recent recipes I have tired.   

Hope you all have a great weekend!       
Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie.   

Recipe Round Up

It's been awhile since I have done a Recipe Round Up, but I tried a really good new recipe this week, so I thought it would be a good time to share this post! 

Crock Pot Enchilada Tacos from Mix & Match Mama.  I was looking for an easy crockpot recipe, and this one totally fit the bill.  I tried to make it a little healthier by using ground turkey, instead of beef.  Overall it was really good.  I first ate it on a tortilla with Greek yogurt (substitute for sour cream) and avocado and it was delicious!  I definitely will make these again, but with a few changes.  I will add taco seasoning or chili powder to the meat when browning, and then use regular beans (probably pinto), rinsed.  I feel like the chili beans still had that weird kind of smell that canned beans can have when not rinsed, but if the meat is seasoned, and the beans are rinsed, I think the flavor will still be there, without that smell.  As I said before, they were delicious, but I think making those little changes will make them even more so to me!  The ease factor with these hooked me, and they really were too easy to throw together.  I also feel like it is one of those that you can throw in before work, and now worry about it drying out or being in too long.  To make it even easier on myself, I think I will also brown the meat the night before, and rinse the beans.  That way the next morning all I have to do is throw everything in the crockpot with zero prep!

Slow Cooker Cajun Corn and Shrimp Chowder from Slow Cooker Gourmet.  I was in the mood for soup and something that could be done in the slow cooker, so I went over to Pinterest and found this Cajun Corn and Shrimp Chowder.  I had most of the ingredients on hand, and just had to run to the store for a few things.  I will be honest - it wasn't my favorite thing ever.  It may have been because I left out the cream to thicken and richen it (I instead used flour / water to make a slurry to thicken it a bit).  And I think I have realized that I like my potatoes to be peeled in soups / stews, not to mention the shrimp was kind of eh.  Not sure if I overcooked it our what.  Overall, for whatever the reason, it just wasn't for me.

Don’t these Jalapeño Turkey Burgers look amazing?! Top them with guacamole, pico de gallo and poached egg and serve with a side of sweet potato fries for an amazing Paleo dinner! #whole30 #paleo

Jalapeno Turkey Burgers from The Organic Kitchen.  I came across this on one of DIY Playbook's Whole 30 posts.  The thing that drew me in was the fact that it was a turkey burger and it had jalapeno in it.  They were so good!  I made the patties Sunday, then just refrigerated them until I actually grilled them on Monday.  They are super juicy, and even though there is jalapeno in there, there isn't much heat at all.  If I made any type of changes, I would probably add in a little more jalalpeno.  I ate this with cut up tomatoes and avocado as my toppings - it was delicious!

Have you made any good, new to you recipes?

Linking up with Owen and Annie.

Gala Dress Shopping + A Taste of Spring

In a couple of weeks, I will be attending Spirit of Provident Gala.  Provident is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to help people to a brighter future through counseling, suicide prevention and intervention, and community support programs.  As many of you know, I am part of the Provident's Young Professionals Board, which is basically a group of young professionals working together to raise awareness and funds for Provident.

This year for the gala, I won't be attending just as a volunteer, but instead an award recipient.  My fellow co-chair and I were nominated for a volunteer award and to say I am excited about it is an understatement!  And nervous - very nervous to have to walk on stage!  Luckily, we just have to smile for a picture, but still, I much more prefer to be behind the scenes when it comes to being front and center.  Anyways, with that being said, a new dress is definitely in order!  My mom and I are going shopping together this weekend, but I have been doing a bit of online browsing to see what is out there.  The dress is cocktail attire, and these are some of my favorites that have caught my eye so far.

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Lace Midi Dress.  I am on the fence about this, because I am not sure if it is dressy enough, or if it looks too spring / summery?  Also, I have this funny little dip in my chest, so sometimes this neckline doesn't look right on me.  Anyways, I still would like try it on to see how it looks in person!

Main Image - ASTR the Label Lace Midi Dress

Lace Sheath Dress.  I like this one a lot, but am also worried that it might have a little TOO much going on.  But it's very pretty and of course, I love anything navy!

Main Image - Bardot Lace Sheath Dress

Cara Sheath Dress.  This dress is GORGEOUS!  However, I am so very pale, and am a little worried that the color would wash me out.  I love the contrast of the high neckline and the slit, not to mention the fun back, though!  It's just so pretty!

Main Image - Bardot Cara Sheath Dress

Bow Front A-Line Dress.  I love this dress!  It's navy, it has pockets, and it seems like it would be super flattering with the fit!  I could see it paired with nude sandals, a simple updo and big diamond or pearl earrings to finish the look.

Main Image - Tahari Bow Front A-Line Dress

Ruffled Floral Print Dress.  So this isn't a gala dress option, but I came across it while looking at dresses online and I just love it!  The colors are so pretty and I really like the floral pattern.  I feel like the price point is pretty reasonable, compared to other dresses that I have looked since it could be worn for both work and play.  I don't really need anything right now, but I am definitely keep this dress in mind for a little spring wardrobe refresh!

This post has gotten me even more excited to shop with my mom!  While we always seem to do a bit of shopping when we are together, this shopping trip will be specifically to find a dress.  Something we haven't done since my sorority formals!  Hopefully I will be able to find these options in store to try on, or if not, we find something even better.  Fingers crossed!

Linking up with The Blended BlogLindsay, Jenn and Jessi

Easy & Delicious Make Ahead Lasagna

I was trying to think of how to start this post and all I can really come up with, is this lasagna is good.  SO good.  A sorority sister shared this recipe with me years ago, and it has been my go to since.  It's a Kraft recipe that I have tweaked a bit.  

Complete side note - if you haven't ever scoped out the Kraft website for recipes, I would highly suggest it.  I used this a lot when I first started really cooking, and it's super handy because you can filter on if you want a healthy recipe, what ingredients you have, all that.  I haven't checked it out in years now, but it was my go to for awhile.  Like I said, just super handy!  

Back to the lasagna.  I always had this thought that lasagna was super hard to make, and very time intensive.  One of the more 'annoying' things I think you have to do with lasagna is cook the noodles.  However, with this recipe, you make it the night before and that totally knocks out the step of cooking the noodles!  See below.

1 lb extra lean beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
24 oz spaghetti sauce
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 egg
16 oz cottage cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
16 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

Brown meat with garlic and oregano.  Stir in spaghetti sauce, simmering for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in tomatoes.  In a bowl, combine egg, cottage cheese and parmesan cheese.  In a 9x13 pan, spread a thin layer of the meat suace on the bottom.  Top with three noodles, half of the cottage cheese mixture, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1 cup of the meat suace.  Repeat.  Top with remaining noodles, sauce and cheese.  Refrigerate overnight.  The next day, take the lasagna out, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

I made this for Christmas Eve and EVERYONE loved it.  Even my nephew, who isn't too keen on noodles and cheese right now, ate it up and just keep eating and eating it.  It's great for feeding a crowd, and I cannot stress how nice to be able to make this ahead of time and just pop it in the oven to cook.  

Weekend Recap: Low Key Weekend

How does the weekend go by so fast?

I ended up working later than normal on Friday, which made my night pretty uneventful.  I watched some TV, reheated leftovers and enjoyed a glass of wine.  That's about it!

Saturday was a bit more exciting, albeit not by much!  I got some things done around the apartment, which was really nice.  I cleaned out some clothes I had piled up to go through, as well as cleaned out my bathroom drawer / cabinets.  I was actually really proud of myself, because I really didn't have all that much to get rid of!  It was more just straightening up.  And I cleaned out my purse.  It's amazing how much lighter it is now - those little scraps of paper and receipts really can add up!  I hit up the library and grocery store mid afternoon.  It was 64 degrees!!!  We were 0 degrees a week ago, and hit mid 60's both days this past weekend.  What in the world!  I had a great find at the grocery store this weekend!  I was over in the make up section, which I never go to, but Target was out of my eye liner and I thought I would check the grocery store since I was already there and they have a small make up section.  Well, they didn't have it, but while I was over there, I saw they had a small clearance section, where they had 2 boxes of the PSL k-cups half off!  Those are by far my favorite and I ran out of them awhile ago, so I was beyond excited to find some since they don't carry them in store anymore.  I realize as I am typing this, it sounds a bit lame, but I was really excited.  

Church was Sunday, which was kind of different, because worship is being held in the multi purpose room due to remodeling.  It's kind of fun, though, because people aren't in their 'normal' spots, so you it mixes up who you might sit next to you and greet.  I chatted with my mom on the way home, then got down to business meal prepping.  I signed up for a 6 week transformation challenge, and it starts today.  As I was doing this, I started thinking about growing up - my mom never meal prepped.  I feel like meal prepping wasn't even a thing, or at least a thing I was aware of.  Does anyone else feel the same way?  As I get older, I really appreciate more and more of what my parents did for us, especially my mom, because things just seemed so effortless.  And I realize now that I am doing those things myself, they aren't quite so effortless!  For the majority of the day, I had The Real Housewives of Atlanta on in the background.  Bravo was playing the very first season.  It's amazing how different the early seasons of these shows are.  The quality, and goodness, the outfits and make up - it's kind of funny.

Today, of course, it's back to work!  Hope you all had a great weekend!

Linking up with Biana and Lindsay.

Friday Favorites

It's Friday!  I felt like yesterday should have been Friday, so the fact that it actually is Friday is a great thing.

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This week has been a long one at work.  It just wore me out!  Last night, I came home, reheated some pizza, poured a glass of wine, and watched Real Housewives of New Jersey on my DVR.  I also did a face mask.  Usually Friday is my face mask night, but I could feel my skin needed a little something, something, so I did it last night instead.  And I have to tell you, this Kiehl's mask does not disappoint.  I have been using it for the past 3 years, and I love it so much.  I do really want to try the Philosophy face mask that Chelsea recommended, but even then, I will always keep this mask in rotation.

Since my mind is a bit blank, I don't have a traditional Friday Favorites post for you.  Instead I am going to highlight my posts from this week.  Tuesday, I shared my January book review, which was a whooping two books.  Both so very different, and one, not so good, at least for me.  Wednesday, I covered some of my favorite things to wear right nowMy Reebok joggers made the list, and I am actually wearing them as I type this post.  They are so comfortable and warm, which is exactly what I have needed this week with our frigid temps.  Although we were in the 40s yesterday.  I do not understand how it goes from below zero to almost 50 in the same dang week!  Honestly, though, yesterday's post was my very favorite of the week.  It was the first Girl Chat link up, and we did a little reintroduction.  It's been so fun to read these posts, and I just want to say thank you so much for all who linked up with us.  I haven't quite made it through all of them, but I do plan to!   

Well that's all I have today.  I am hoping to relax this weekend and get to some of the things I have been putting off this week.  Happy Friday!

 Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie.   

Girl Chat: Reintroductions

Hey all!  This post kicks off the start of the Girl Chat link up for 2018.  The third Thursday of every month, the girls and I will be linking up on a specific topic.  You can see those at the end of this post.  We'd love for you to join us!

Today I am reintroducing myself to you all.  While I have shared things about myself on and off these past few years, I have never done a proper introduction of myself.  So here we go!

Hi!  I'm Emily!  I am a 30-year old living in the St. Louis area.  Even though I live in the city (well, technically in one of the counties, but close enough!), I am very much a small-town girl at heart.  Give me the slower pace of my hometown and you have one happy girl!

My family means the world to me.  I am a daddy's girl through and through, and my mom is my best decorating / shopping / crafting buddy.  My brother and sister in law are two people I know I can always depend on, and they have brought all of us one of our family's greatest joys - my sweet little nephew.  We are scattered between a few states, so it's always my favorite when we are able to be together.

To give you a sense of who I am as a person, I am bubbly, yet a bit reserved.  I am shy around people I don't know very well, but once we get to know each other, I'm a lot more open.  I am always trying to look on the bright side for others and be very optimistic and encouraging, but for myself, I tend be a bit a worrywart, which is something I am trying to work on, but you know, easier said than done!  

I work in corporate America, which was always my dream.  The reason why?  I wanted to dress up and wear heels to work everyday (priorities).  Thankfully, I do also enjoy business, and not just business attire, so it worked out!  I work for a successful company, have a great job, great boss, and some truly great co-workers.  Although there are some days I wish I were my own boss (or you know, could just stay home and read all day), I know I am lucky to have what I do!

My favorite things include: decorating, shopping, cooking / baking, reading, crafting and movies.  A love for decorating is something I got from my mom.  Aside from regular decorating, everyday decorating, getting my home spiffed up for the seasons / holidays is one of my favorite things to do!  This year's fall and Christmas decor were, in my opinion, the best yet!  I can shop with the best of them, although I much more prefer to do my shopping online.  I love to cook and bake and have developed an obsession with cookbooks since discovering that love.  I am game to try new recipes, but I also love tried and trues - most of them passed along from my mom or other family members.  Reading will forever be one of my favorite past times.  When I was a little girl, my mom used to tell me to get my nose out of a book, I read so much!  I hit up the library every week or two, and it's always such a treat to pick up new books.  I swear I could spend hours in there, just looking at all the books!  I like to do crafts, especially around the holidays.  I think it runs in the family - both my grandmas were always making things, and my mom, too!  It's just so rewarding to come up with an idea and execute on it.  One of my friends once said this about me - if you ever need to make Emily happy, just take her to the movies and get her a big bag of buttery, salty popcorn.  I absolutely love movies, especially going to the movies.  And you better believe I always have to get popcorn to go with it!

A few of my other favorite things include purses, shoes and wine - especially Pinot Noir and Riesling.  Although, let's be real, when it comes to wine, I am not all that choosey!  Bags and shoes on the other hand - I am picky, picky, picky!  And unfortunately, that usually means mo' money, mo' money. 

To keep this post from being too long, I will leave you with some prior posts I have done where you can learn even more about me are below - just click on the title.  And if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments! 

Twenty Questions ...since this post, though, I have begun to love coffee.  My favorite drink is a Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato.

Versatile Blogger ...another change since this post, the hot salsa at Chipotle has made me appreciate spicy food - I still can't handle anything TOO hot, but a little bit of spice I am a big fan of!

Twenty-Nine ...twenty-nine facts for my twenty-ninth birthday!

16 Questions About Me ...while some of my favorite candle scents have changed, everything else in this post still holds true!

Lucky ...all about my family!

Now for the link up!  

And if you aren't already, make sure to follow your hosts via the links below!

Danielle - Bloglovin' | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter 

Emily - Bloglovin' | Instagram | Pinterest 

Lindsay - Bloglovin' | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest 

Lizzie - Bloglovin' | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest 

Sierra - Bloglovin' | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

What I'm Wearing: January 2018

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Hey all, happy Wednesday!  I thought today I would share a few things I am wearing over and over again.  

I mentioned this before, but I picked up some sweaters in December from Loft.  I got the mock neck bell sleeve (but not too much of a bell!) sweater (currently on sale!) in both the light blue and hunter green, with the intentions of returning one color.  However, I ended up keeping both because I could not choose which color I liked better.  They are so soft, super warm, and very comfy.  I have been in one of these almost every week since.  

Another sweater I picked up at Loft that I have been wearing is this crew neck sweater (currently on sale!) that has a little sparkle to it.  Like the others, this sweater is so soft, super warm and very comfy.  I would say it's even a bit heavier than the mock neck sweaters, which makes it perfect for this crazy cold weather it seems like everyone is having!

For Christmas, I got another pair of NYDJ jeans.  I first picked them up during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and then when I saw they were on sale around Thanksgiving, they went on my Christmas list.  I went with the regular this time, and they are the perfect length.  The shorts, which I first bought, are great for a ankle / cropped look, but the regular come perfectly down on my ankle, if that makes sense (fyi, I am around 5'3").  They stretch and are high waisted - two of my favorite things in jeans these days.  I really need to get rid of my other pairs, because I am always reaching for these!

While these shoes don't constitute as something I am wearing over and over again, since I have only worn them once and for the first time last Friday, I absolutely love them.  I have wanted leopard heels for years now, but I never found ones I really liked, or when I did, I just never wanted to spend the money.  Onto my Christmas list they went, and I was lucky enough to get them as one of my presents.  I wore them all day at work and even out after (so in total about 12 hours) and they were so very comfortable!  I feel like they are neutral enough that they can be worn with a lot, but they also give outfits a little pop, or something extra.

Another Christmas present, were these Reebok joggers.  I had a pair of their joggers before, and loved them, so I knew I wanted another pair for Christmas.  These have a neat little side detail, and on me at least, they are more of a slimmer fitting jogger, and they so very comfortable.  You'll pretty much find me in these with an old sweatshirt every evening after work.  

Now that I have written this post, I think I have my Friday outfit for work - one of my mock neck sweaters (I wore the other sweater style last Friday), my jeans and leopard heels.  And of course my joggers to relax in after work!

Don't forget - tomorrow is this year's first Girl Chat link up!  We'd love for you to join us!

Linking up with Lindsay, Jenn and Jessi