What's Up Wednesday: February 2018

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What I'm eating this week...

Monday - leftover Egg Roll in a Bowl
Tuesday - Chipotle!
Wednesday - Lindsay's One Dish Beef and Parmesan Pasta with Zucchini
Thursday - Jalapeno Chicken Sausage & Southwestern Salad
Friday -  Leftovers

What I'm reminiscing about...my 30th birthday last year - 31 in right around the corner!

What I'm loving...this is kind of funny, because it was almost the same as last month's but I am still loving Loft!  You can see some of my favorite items in this post.  

What I've been up to...February was pretty low key, excluding the Spirit of Provident Gala.  That was my BIG event this month and it was such a great time.  Other than that, it's been a lot of relaxing and tackling some home projects, like cleaning out my closet and my freezer.  Monday night I even did a little pantry clean out, which really only was me throwing away two things, but hey, that's a good thing right?  

What I'm dreading...I am definitely not dreading my birthday, but the whole turning 31 thing is giving me a little pause.  I think maybe the fact that the next 'big' birthday is 40 is like whoa.  I still think of my parents as in their 40's a lot of the time and really, before I know it, that will be me!  Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to be turning another year older, especially with the reminder that many lives have and continue to be ended way too soon, but it's just hitting me a bit more than other birthdays have.    

What I'm working on...I feel like I keep repeating my responses from last month, but not much has changed.  I am still working on purging and organizing.  I made huge headway this month, as I mentioned earlier.  I cleaned out my closet one snowy morning and have tackled a few other areas.  I still have some things to do - sweater, work out clothes, books and more, but knocking out the closet was huge!  And it has helped keep me motivated to continue the purging, organizing and cleaning out of other areas.

What I'm excited about...the month of March in general!  I have a work trip coming up, my parents are coming to visit for my birthday, my birthday (!!!), and then a few other things that are a cause for celebration.  Not to mention Easter weekend at the end of the month!  This is the first year we will be off on Good Friday and an additional holiday is always something to be excited about! 

What I'm watching...Hallmark movies, The Office (one of my favorite shows, and it has been on repeatedly on Comedy Central - just discovered it last weekend when I was searching for things to watch), Revenge Body...as always, the list could go on.  I do love TV!  I know many people are sad the Olympics are over, but honestly, I am excited to have my shows back on their normal schedules.

What I'm reading...Body Love by Kelly Leveque.  

What I'm listening to...confession - I still buy CDs.  I bought Kelsea Ballerini's CD awhile ago and I have been listening to it non-stop in the car.  At work, I have been listening to Ray LaMontagne Radio on Pandora.  I was in need of something new to listen to and I remember Lindsay mentioning him at some point in time on her blog and I finally looked him up - SO GOOD!     

What I'm wearing...My Hunter rain boots came in handy this past weekend!  Other than that, nothing really new or exciting.  I did pick up some new work out items at Target last weekend.  I always check out their clearance section, because you can find some really good deals on sports bras and leggings.  I picked up a sports bra for just under $10 and then leggings for just under $13 (they are both showing up pricier online, so I would suggest checking your local store).  The leggings are super high waisted, which I loved.   

What I'm doing this weekend...nothing as of yet!

What I'm looking forward to next month...well shoot, I totally answered this in 'what I am excited about'.  See above!

Linking up with ShayLindsayJenn and Jessi.

Flavorful Turkey Burgers

I love a good burger.  They are just so delicious!  To try and be a bit healthier, I add turkey burgers into the mix, in additon to regular burgers.  Sometimes, though, I think it can be hard to make a really good turkey burger, since turkey meat isn't quite as flavorful as regular burgers.  However, this one definitely gives beef burgers a run for their money.  So good!

Turkey Burger
1lb ground turkey
1 Tablespoon minced onion (dried) or 1/3 cup onion, chopped
1 egg
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients.  Portion into 3-4 patties.  Refrigerate for at least a half hour before grilling.  When you are ready to cook, grill about 8 minutes each side, or until done.  Enjoy!

You can also make these as meatballs.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Form mixture into meatballs, bake for 30 minutes.

You can see that I ate mine without a bun, and then with tomatoes and gauc.  These burgers are also really good with a little bit of BBQ sauce.  And just regular burger toppings, too!

Linking up with The Blended Blog.

Weekend Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Friday morning started off pretty good - I had my coffee, which is always a little treat to myself to kick off the weekend.  I am rationing my Pumpkin Spice Latte K-Cups and trying to mix in other flavors, but decided to indulge in the PSL, which is my very favorite.  I got to work a little early, which is always a good feeling.  I am definitely one of those 'if you're on time, then you are almost late' type people, so I like to get in and have a little time to settle.  All good, right?  Well then, as I am logging onto my computer, one of my co-workers comes up to ask a question and lets me know that the network is down.  No email, no access to files - nothing.  For the first hour of work.  On a Friday.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  They slowly got it up and going, but it just kind of set the tone for the day and was crazy.  Celebrating national margarita day a day late seemed like the perfect way to shake off the day and kick off the weekend.  

The next few weekends are going to be a bit busy, so I planned on keeping things low key this weekend.  Breakfast was Panera, which was a little bit disappointing, because they had no cream cheese!  Apparently they pulled it all because of some health scare?  I had no idea!  A Hallmark movie, Love on the Slopes, accompanied breakfast and it was so cute!  Those movies are so unrealistic and cheesy, but I love them.  If only we lived in Hallmark world.  I had some errands to run in the afternoon and it was a dreary and blah day.  I actually get excited for rainy weekend days (when I don't have anything special to do) because it gives me an excuse to break out my rainboots when I am out and about.  I am pretty sure I have said this before, but when I bought my Hunter boots, I thought they were such an impractical purchase.  But honestly, I have gotten so much use out of them and they still look like brand new, 4 years later!  I wandered the aisles of Home Goods for awhile and picked up some bins for my freezer and a few little gifts for my nephew.  Next it was to Target, where I of course forgot something - I swear that always happens!  Granted, I didn't have a list, but even when I do, I usually forget to add something to the list.  I rounded out the afternoon with a trip to the library - one of my very favorite places!  I checked out a few books from Reese Witherspoon's book club and I am excited to get into them.  I spent the evening reading and cleaning.  Sometimes, when I have awhile to get things clean, I do a little bit, then set a timer and read or what TV and get back to it.  I realize this prolongs the cleaning, but sometimes it is nice to have a little break in between.  

I was up early on Sunday and made it to the gym before church.  Sunday school was really good this week.  We went through 1 John 2:12-17, and it was super helpful to discuss it with others to gain understanding.  I am a literal person and that doesn't always mesh well with understanding the Bible.  After I got home, I sat with a cup of coffee and some cinnamon almonds (SO GOOD!) before I cleaned out my freezer.  I was disappointed - the bins I had gotten didn't work.  I think I need just two big containers with high sides to put things in.  What I got, I could only fit very few items in if I wanted to stack them and even then, they didn't stack well.  Oh well - it got cleaned out and while it's not 'pretty' it is definitely much better and more organized!  The rest of the day held some laundry, cooking and relaxing.  There was a marathon on of The Office, and I just love that show.  I caught the last few episodes and it made me sad all over again that the show is no longer.  I actually read something recently that they are considering a reboot, not sure if there is any truth to that, but I sure hope they do it!

Here's to hoping our Mondays go smoothly!

Linking up with Lindsay and Biana.


Friday Favorites: LipSense, Trader Joe's, Plates, Wedges & Deodorant

We made it to Friday!  For some reason, short work weeks always seem the longest.

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1.  I jumped back on the LipSense train this week.  My best friend from college started selling it (you can find her at Hello Beautiful Boutique on Facebook), so I asked her to hook me up with a good neutral color.  I ended up purchasing First Love, and got it in this week!  I have actually been wearing it mixed with the color I already had, Caramel Apple.  I do one coat of Caramel Apple, one coat of First Love, and top it off with the Glossy Gloss.  I feel like together, they make the perfect everyday color for me!  If you interested in my thoughts on LipSense, I did a post on it last year, which you can click to see here!

2.  My love for Trader Joe's is still going strong.  I posted a few Friday's ago about my leisurely trip to Trader Joe's one week after work.  Well, I did it again this week, and picked up some more new things to try.  I stocked up on my favorites - Light String Cheese, Cocoa Glazed Almonds, wine (of course) and some hopefully new favorites!  I grabbed the Cinnamon Almonds to try, as well as Spicy Italian Chicken Sausages, Southwestern Salad Mix, and then two freezer section items - Shrimp Stir Fry and Asian Vegetables.  My plan?  Pair the Italian chicken sausages with marinara, add some chicken to the southwestern salad, eat the shrimp stir fry on a night when I don't want to mess with putting a meal together, and then adding a protein to the Asian veggies.  

This trip made me realize I need to do a little freezer/pantry clean out (as I stuffed items in the freezer and ended up just leaving stuff out on the counter since my pantry bins are full), so that is on tap for this weekend.  I always hate cleaning out my freezer, because I feel like there is no good way to organize things.  I can put them in nicely, but then when I take out one thing, or add in something else, it doesn't work.  I'm contemplating going to Home Goods this weekend to see what they have in terms of containers, but I am not sure if this is the route I want to go.  If you have any freezer organization tips and tricks, please send them my way!

3.  Many of you know I have a love for festive plates.  My mother knows this very well, and on Wednesday, she sent me a text and asked me if I had seen the bunny plates at Pottery Barn.  I hadn't, so I grabbed the catalog I had conveniently just gotten and starting flipping through it.  And found way more than just plates I wanted, but back to the main point, the bunny plates.  PB actually has two bunny plates, the pasture bunny plates and then floral bunny plates.  I love the simplicity of the pasture bunny plates, because I think they would be so cute layered with something fun underneath.  And of course, PB just happens to have the cutest gingham plates and floral plates, which would be perfect under these guys.  Added bonus?  They are all on sale right now.  So, needless to say, my mom found something new for me to add to my birthday list.  And has me itching to put away my winter stuff and decorate for spring!

4.  I have been giving myself a pep talk about how I want to really focus on saving money in the next few months and therefore will need to cut back on my 'fun' spending (clothes, coffee, new products, etc.).  I was even thinking of making March a 'no spend' month, which is something I have done in the past where it is just kind of a reset for my spending and makes me more aware of what I am purchasing.  These types of months include no 'fun' purchases and making sure I utilize what I have as far as products and even food goes - as I mentioned above, my freezer is packed and I am sure I can do a lot with the food I do have in there and the refrigerator without having to buy a bunch of new groceries.  So keeping this back story in mind - what did I do yesterday?  Why, I bought a new pair of wedges.  I saw them earlier this week and then again yesterday and I just decided to go for it.  AND I had Nordstrom notes to use.  It made it seem like they were kind of sale some.  So, do I need them right now?  Definitely not.  Are they cute, though?  Yes, SO cute.  Obviously they could not fit right and I could have to return them, but I am assuming they will work.  I am just going to chalk this up to a last hurrah before I lock it up. 

Main Image - Treasure & Bond Sannibel Platform Wedge Sandal (Women)

5.  This one is random, but it's really one of my favorite things right now.  Dove Invisible Spray - Clear Finish.  This stuff is so good!  I can't get enough of the scent.  Sometimes I will be at work, wondering what smells so good when I realize that it is me and my deodorant!  Not that it's too fragrant, but it's just a little hint that is very refreshing.  For the most part, I would say it is invisible, too.  If you are wanting to try a new deodorant out, I definitely suggest this one.  Just put it on before you put on lotion...otherwise it is a bit difficult to hold and spray with lotion-y hands, haha, speaking from experience!  

And as a recap, on the blog this week...
Weekend Recap - President's Day 2018...such a productive weekend!  
LOFT Loves...as the title says it, some items I am loving from LOFT right now!
What I'm Eating: This Week's Meal Plan...I always love reading what others are eating, so I am sharing what I meal planned for the week!      

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie. 

What I'm Eating: This Week's Meal Plan

I love to read posts about meal planning and what people eat, so I thought that I would share you my meal plan for the week.  

Breakfast during the week is almost always the same for me - Oikos Triple Zero Mixed Berry yogurt.  Last week, I would add in some turkey bacon to go with it for extra protein, but honestly, it just took more time than I would like to make it so I am back to just yogurt.

I usually go for a protein and salad.  This week I am doing Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic chicken sausages with a salad made up of cucumber, broccoli, mixed greens and green olives.  I grilled the sausages on Monday, cut them up and stored them in little individual tupperware containers that I just grab each morning.  My salads I make the night before.  I usually cut up a big bunch of broccoli at the beginning of the week, so that is already taken care of and I just get a handful or so each night for my salad.  And Kristen gave me the great idea to prep my lunch while making dinner, so that is what I have been doing lately and it's been working out well!  

M: turkey burgers, topped with an individual serving of gauc from TJ's and 4 cut up cherry tomotoes, with a side of roasted brussels sprouts
T: shredded buffalo chicken lettuce wraps, topped with a little avocado and shredded cheddar cheese
W:  ranch pork chops, green beans
R:  egg roll in a bowl (super excited to give this a try, after hearing so many people rave about it!)
F: leftovers / out - it's rare for me to want to cook on Fridays, so usually I grab something out, or heat up leftovers

Since I wasn't sure of my weekend plans when I made the meal plan, I made sure to plan for an extra dinner or lunch, which in this case is Lindsay's One Dish Beef and Parmesan Pasta with Zucchini.  I am still trying to do the whole no carb thing (potatoes, pasta, bread - it's not going as well as when I first started the challenge, I will be honest!), so I bought extra zucchini to use instead of pasta, but depending on how well I have stuck to my eating by the time Saturday rolls around, I may follow the recipe as written and add in some whole wheat pasta!  And if for some reason I don't need to make this meal, it will roll on over to next week!

I make sure to have some snacks on hand for the week, especially at work since that is when I tend to get my hungriest.  I like lightly salted almonds, as well as cocoa glazed almonds from Trader Joe's for something sweet.  I picked up some light string cheese during my last TJ's trip and like that as a snack, too.  That's usually my go to when I get home from work and need something to tide me over until dinner.

And now I ask you all, what are you eating the week?

Linking up with Owen.

LOFT Loves

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.

My birthday is fast approaching, and my mom reminded me that I needed to decide and let her know what I wanted as a present.  She suggested a Fitbit, which I am still considering (does anyone have the Alta - if so please let me know how you like it!), but I also was thinking some new work clothes.  It got really warm last week, so I was able to break out my favorite crop pants from LOFT, only to notice they were looking a little worn.  I started looking online for replacements to send to my mom and fell down the online shopping black hole.  Below are a few of the items that caught my eye!

Skinny Ankle Pant.  These pants are just classic!    

Puff Sleeve Shift Dress.  I actually saw this in the shirt form first, but I love it even more as a dress!

Poppy Bloom Shift Skirt.  This skirt is a little too impractical for me, because I really don't know if I would have enough to wear with it, but how gorgeous is it?! 

Pull On Flippy Skirt.  I have a flippy skirt from here in a black twead and wear it all. the. time.  All the time!  It's one of my favorites - so very comfortable and flattery.  A plain black option is high on my list of items to buy!

Wildflower Mixed Media Shell.  I have a few mixed media tops and just love them.  The print on this top is what really drew me to it.  How very springy and colorful is it?!

Ruffle Shell.  I love the details on this top with the little buttons and ruffles.  So very femine!  The have a long sleeve version which I just love - it's only sale, too!  They don't have it in my size though, which stinks.

Mixed Stripe Sweater.  I love stripes, especially navy and white/cream.  I think this would be the perfect transition sweater for spring!  

Blouson Cardigan.  The sleeves on this cardigan caught me eye, as well as the styling.  I really love tucking sweaters in for work, but I have never thought of doing so with a cardigan.  It looks so cute!  This cardigan also comes in a bunch of different colors.  Something lighter would be great for winter to spring and summer.  Just a very classic piece!

I really could go on - I feel like with some places things can be hit or miss.  You don't find very much you love, and other times you find all the things to love.  This was definitely the latter!  

Linking up with LindsayJenn and Jessi.

Weekend Recap: President's Day 2018

Happy Tuesday!  I hope all of you that had the day off yesterday enjoyed it and for those of you that had to work...hopefully it went by fast!

The weekend started off with a happy hour at one of our favorite places.  It was a great way to start the long weekend.  I came home to the gorgeous sky below and couldn't resist a picture.  The rest of the evening was mainly spent reading.  

Saturday I woke up to snow!  I do remember them mentioning it in the forecast, but it was more of a passing note, rather than something that was actually going to accumulate.  I had plans to run errands, but instead decided to stay inside and tackle my closet.  I shared some of my morning on instagram stories - I am trying to remember to do that more!  I went through my clothes and reorganized things to make better use of my closet space.  I am so pumped about how it turned out!  Definitely a day well spent.  I took a little break in the afternoon for some coffee, then after a quick chat with my grandma, I headed to the library.  It was jumpin' - I guess everyone was trying to stock up for the long weekend.  I headed out for the evening and spent the night eating wings and playing cards with friends.  It was a ton of fun and I love getting to see all their kiddos.  They are too cute - the little girl came over to us with a fireman hat on, and so of course, we were like ohhh are you a fireman?  And she was like no, I am a princess fireman.  I loved it!  We played What Do You Meme?, and then ended the night with 'Pass the Trash'.  Both so fun - I swear you don't even need the pictures, you could just read the cards and crack up laughing.

I headed to Sunday school and church the next morning.  I hadn't been in a few weeks, so it was nice to be back.  We actually had one of the past pastors do the sermon, which was really neat.  After, it was out to a late lunch for some drinks and apps, then a quiet night in.  

As I mentioned on Friday, I didn't have to work yesterday, which was really nice.  We got President's Day as a holiday a few years ago, and I am so glad!  It was a dreary and rainy morning, which made it perfect to just stay inside.  I did a few things to prep for the week ahead and laundry that I had put off the rest of the weekend.  Since the weather was crappy, it was also a great day to go see a movie (although in my mind the weather can be awesome and I would still think it's a great day to see a movie!).  We saw Black Panther and thought it was super good.  I highly recommend going to see it!

Linking up with Erika and Ashley.

Friday Favorites: 2.16.18

Happy Friday!  This week started off on the wrong foot, but I have to say as the days went by it got better and better.  Here's to hoping that means it'll be a great weekend ahead!

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1.  Charmed eCommerce website!  I have talked about Charmed multiple times on my blog.  It is the cutest boutique in my hometown.  I always find great items there, and they are constantly getting in new merchandise.  I am super excited, because Charmed will now be online.  Normally when I want something, I ask for it to be held and then my mom stops in to pick it up for me and I pay my mom back.  Or I think I might have even given them my payment information over the phone before.  So while still easy enough for me, having an eCommerce site will be even better, because I can just go online to browse and then purchase as I would like any other online shopping site.  Super excited about this, although I think my wallet is going to be hurting a bit.  You can find a great mix of styles and price points at Charmed, so if you feel like doing a little online shopping, I highly suggest checking out www.charmedboutiquepontiac.com!

2.  Passing a test at work!  I have mentioned before that my company offers associates the opportunity to take exams that further our knowledge on our industry.  They are not required, just a little extra something that is available to us.  I opt to do the online exams, since I can go through them at my leisure, and I finished one this week.  Once you sign up for an exam, you have 6 months to complete it and if you don't complete it in that time, you are charged for the test.  Well, I was pretty darn close to my 6 month mark, with it ending at the end of this week!  In my head, I had planned to do the exam around Christmas, since things are slower, but that did not happen and before I knew it, I needed to get it done ASAP.  I started last week, and then had planned to finish it this past weekend on Sunday, but it totally slipped my mind.  I was a bit frantic when I realized that I still needed to complete 3/4 of it by the weeks end.  I finished it Wednesday, and not only do I have that exam under my belt, I also earned a designation!  Now, I don't get a raise or anything like that, but if I so chose to, I could add these letters after my name - ALMI (Associate, Life Management Institute), which I think is pretty neat.  And I do get a little one time cash payment for completing the test and earning a designation.  Pretty exciting!     

3.  I made this simple and delicious strawberry, whipped cream, dark chocolate covered pretzel crumble dessert for Valentine's Day and wanted to reshare it with you all again, because it is so darn good!  It's such a light dessert, that feels so indulgent at the same time.  Yum, yum, yum! 

4.  I cleaned out my purse yesterday and it feels so much lighter now.  It's amazing how many receipts and just little slips of paper and coupons can weigh things down.  And I just feel so much better about my life in general when I have a cleaned out purse - it's one of those little things that makes me feel like I have got it together.  Definitely one of those things I want to add to my weekly schedule so that I can stay on top if it!

5.  As I mentioned on Monday, I took a total of ONE picture at the gala last weekend, but luckily one of my good friends sent me some of hers.  It was such a great night!

Don't mind me...just having a little solo dance party! 

And if you missed it, on the blog this week...
Weekend Recap - gala weekend!
February 2018 Book Review - one of my favorite posts of the month!
Home Hack - a little trick that has made my life so much easier
Girl Chat: How I Stay Organized - I seriously love writing and reading about organization - it is so motivating!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Mine is a long one since we get President's Day off (hopefully you do, too!), so I will see you back here on Tuesday.

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie. 

Girl Chat: How I Stay Organized

Happy Friday Eve!  It's time for another around of Girl Chat with some of my favorite ladies.  Last month, we did a little reintroduction to familiarize everyone, and this month, we are sharing how we stay organized.  I love reading about organization, and writing about it, so I was really excited for this topic.  Even more so this week, because while I do pride myself on being organized and staying on top if things, I did not start Monday off on the right foot, and felt like I was playing catch up the first half of the week.

Lists upon lists upon lists.  I am a list person.  I love to write down lists of things to do - not matter how big or small they may be.  Any time I go to the store, I HAVE to write it down, even if it is just two things, because to be honest, if I don't, I will end up leaving the store forgetting something.  I feel like making lists also helps take things back a step and calm you.  When I think of all the things I need/want to do, it can get overwhelming.  Putting them on paper helps me actually see them, and prioritize.  Making a list makes things become more manageable in my mind.

Email myself.  As I mentioned, if I don't write something down, I will forget.  That isn't always convenient, so I have been known to email myself as a reminder.  This is especially helpful with me for work.  There may be something I need to do first thing, that I remember right before bed.  I shoot myself a quick email as a reminder, and then when I go into work I see that item in my inbox.

Paper planner AND online calendar.  The past few years I have had a paper planner.  This year I have been using the Essential Planner from Peacock Paper & Gifts (BIG fan!).  At the beginning of the year, I set it up with birthdays, appointments I had scheduled, those types of things, and continue to do so as things get scheduled.  I also input those important dates on my online calendar so that I have two reminders.  It may seem like overkill, but I find it really handy to do.  In my planner, there is also a to do list section which I utilize a lot, a meal planning section, grocery shopping list, and so on.  It's really handy!

Meal planning / prepping.  This is key for me.  I plan out my meals for the week, then head grocery shopping, then do whatever prepping I can to make the week ahead easier.  There are some weeks where I don't do this, and I can tell you from experience, that it makes a huge difference when you take the time to prep and plan.  One thing I have found helpful to do, too, is make a crockpot meal on Monday.  For me, the start of the week means back to work, and it's just not usually a 'fun' day.  The weekend is over and it's back to the grind.  I know some people enjoy Monday since it is a fresh start to the week, which is something I can appreciate, but some Mondays can be rough, and when I get home I am tired and don't want to cook.  Having a meal in the crockpot, already going, helps to eliminate the stress of putting a full meal together and also keeps me from throwing my planning out the window and picking up food instead.  I usually meal prep on Sunday, and it really takes an hour at most to set my self up for a successful week.

Something that I have not started yet, but hope to (it's one of my New Year's Resolutions!) is create a weekly routine.  I have been pondering this for awhile, and I am still not exactly sure what this will look like.  But I do know that there are certain things I can be doing weekly to help myself stay more organized.  Whether this be dealing with my receipts / updating my budget, meal planning, or even doing a face mask.  Some of which I already do weekly, whereas others I could step it up.  Creating an actual list I think would help me put together a schedule of sorts to ensure that these items get done on a weekly basis, allowing me to stay on top of things and even more organized.  I feel like this may sound very rigid and extreme, which isn't how I am thinking of it at all, but more of an outline to keep myself on track.  Like I said - I can be super forgetful and not having things written down often leads me putting some things off.

As far as keeping my home organized, I have been trying to stay on top of putting things back in their place right away, or doing a little pick up before bed.  Sometimes just putting the pillows back on the couch nicely and folding the blanket on the couch can make a world of difference.  I am also trying to really clean things out and organize them in a workable fashion.  I say workable fashion, because you really have to consider how the space / items are used to make it truly organized.  I found a great system for my bathroom a few years ago that still continues to work well for me, but my tupperware cabinet literally took me almost four years to get right.  As in I just got it together how I like it this last time my mom was in town.  

I honestly could go on and on and on - can you tell I love this topic?!  Can't wait to check everyone's post out!

To link up - just grab our graphic, link up and let's get to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others linked up for an extra bit of girl chat! 

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

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Home Hack - Keeping a Utility Tote in the Car

Hey all!  Happy Wednesday - we made it to mid week!  The week started off a bit rough for me.  It was definitely a Monday, for sure.  However, it was the day that did give me a little inspiration for this post.  Before I get to it, though, I wanted to remind you all about tomorrow's Girl Chat link up.  We are sharing how we stay organized, which I am super excited about.  I have a few ways that I keep myself organized, and am excited to learn more tips and tricks!

Back to the actual topic of this post.  Carrying in groceries, or items from Target into my apartment is one of the banes of my existence.  (A bit dramatic, but also very true.)  I load up my arms as much as I can so that I am able to bring everything inside in one trip.  It's ridiculous and I am always about to lose some things by the time I get to my doorway, not to mention actually being able to get my keys into the door to unlock is a feat in itself.  Enter in my utility tote.  My mom got me one of those big Thirty-One utility bags years back.  Mine is actually a Christmas bag, and over the years, I have loved to use it around the holidays to haul presents back and forth.  After the holidays this year, a light bulb went off in my head, and I realized that if I kept my tote in my car, I could just put all my bags in there and use it to carry everything in without the big hassle of loading up my arms and overloading myself just to try and get it all in at once.  I unload the tote inside, then just put right by the door to grab and put back in the car next time I leave.  I have done this a few times and it's been so handy!  While there are some days I can't fit everything in there (think those trips that I stock up on both paper towels and toliet paper), for the most part it all fits and in turn I have a sturdy bag that I can put on my shoulder to carry in.  Now it doesn't have to be a Thirty-One bag, that is just what I have so I use it, but I am sure there are other really good options out there as well.  Whatever you may use, I am telling you - using something is SO handy, especially for those people like me who live in an apartment, or have a detached garage.

It's made my life easier and I thought I would share in case it would make yours easier, as well!

Linking up with LindsayJenn and Jessi.

February 2018 Book Review

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The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley.  This is my second home book of the year, and I have to say I liked this one a whole lot better than the first!  It breaks things up, and at the end of each chapter has checklists for you to do to help get organized.  Now some of it still was common sense, and some of it was a little out of touch (like most people I know don't have a 'baking station' in their kitchen - I mean I have most of my baking supplies grouped together for convenience, but it's nothing I would consider a baking station - for some reason that particular comment just stood out to me, haha!), but overall it was a good read and I definitely would suggest it if you are wanting some structure and help getting your home organized.

Deadline by Sandra Brown.  I am usually a fan of Sandra Brown and this was no different.  I liked this story and how it unfolded - it was a bit different and there was definitely a huge twist at the end that I did not expect at all.  If you like mystery and suspense - and some romance - this is a good book to read!

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins.  This was my book club book, and while I had to miss attending club, I still read the book.  I was curious about this one, because I remember it being a popular book.  I wasn't a fan.  I thought it was a little confusing and slow and just odd.  And I felt like I didn't get all my answers by the end of the book.  Turns out, not many that actually made it to book club read it, and those that did, were not fans either.  So in my opinion (and some others!), this is one to skip.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman.  This is my second time checking out this book, because I didn't get to read it before I needed to return it.  I thought it was a really good book.  Very topical, too, with all that is being talked about in the world these days.  My only issue was I feel like the ending wasn't as clear as I had hoped - I want things spelled out for me so I get good closure, but that is my only qualm with the book.  I know it's a popular one, as well, but if you haven't read it yet, I would suggest it!

Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel.  I needed something a little more light hearted after Bear Town, and this fit the bill.  It's about a girl who gets a job in admissions at a private school in New York.  There are quite a few characters, which keeps things interesting.  A few of them are annoying, but isn't it rare to find a book where you like every single thing about every single character?  It was cute and one that I would recommend.

Every Breath You Take by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke.  I have been a fan of Mary Higgins Clark for a long time now, and I feel like her books are always ones I can count on for being good.  In this book, they have a show that revisits cold cases to share the story, and hopefully help to solve the crime.  This one was about a woman who was thrown to her death at a Met Ball.  It was interesting, and I feel like, while you have an idea of who did it, you are between a few until the end and aren't sure how it will all play out.  Another good one!

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle.  This book hooked me.  I was so confused at what was going on, and what the end result would be.  After being married for 7 years, a woman realizes that her husband isn't who she thought he was.  It's very interesting with good twists and turns throughout.  I would recommend this one for sure!

Linking up with Steph.