Friday Favorites...A Day Early

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With this week being a short one at work, I thought I would make it the same on the blog, too!  I am sharing my Friday Favorites...a day early.

1.  Really, I am just super excited for the long weekend.  This is the first year that my company has given us Good Friday off.  Getting an additional holiday added to the year is never a bad thing!  I am making it extra long by taking off Monday.  I don't think I have taken a day off since the start of the year, so it is definitely a treat!  I don't have any major plans for my day off - probably do the things I would normally do on Sunday, but it still is going to be super nice!  A nice way to ease into the craziness that comes with quarter end in April.

2.  A week or two ago, someone commented about my nail polish color.  It's my very favorite color to wear on my finger nails these days.  I am pretty sure this has been a favorite a time or two before, but it still rings turn, hence the resharing.  I actually need to paint my nails soon, before Sunday, and the plan is to do At the Barre on my fingers, and then the perfect spring color, Eternal Optimist, on my toes.  Maybe if I will spring with polish and outfit choices, then it will actually start to feel like it?  Wishful thinking, I know, haha!

3.  Pamela at Sequins and Sea Breezes posted an Amazon purchases post this week, which you can read here.  I love reading these types of posts (same goes for Trader Joe's posts), because I feel like there is just so much out there, it's nice to have people share what they have purchased and their thoughts on it.  I have repeatedly seen the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides on blogs, and I think I will finally be pulling the trigger on those next month.  Same with the primer and the glasses.  When work starts to get busy, I start to notice more of a strain with my eyes, especially when you add in the time spent looking at my phone and my laptop for blogging.  If these glasses can help negate that at all, I would say they are worth it!      

Vital Proteins Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides (20 oz) - Paleo, Keto, Whole30, Gluten-FreeImage result for no pore problemImage result for leopard blue light filter glasses

4.  My love for TV is not something I hide, and I was really excited about some of the new shows that have started this week.  I watched Splitting Up Together, which I think will turn out to be really cute.  And you can't beat Roseanne revival - they hit it hard with the first few episodes.  Lots of laughs, and some real topics.  Another one I have really liked so far is For the People.  It started a few weeks ago, so it's not new this week, but it is recent.  Next week Jersey Shore will be on, Southern Charm will be back, Trading Spaces - so many shows!  Thankfully other shows have gone on haitus, because I need to make some room on my DVR.

5.  I made a yummy and super easy dinner the other night.  I had leftover roasted asparagus (tossed with olive oil, Kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder) and Jalapeno chicken sausage from Trader Joe's.  I didn't want to just have that together plain, so I decided to make a scramble.  I heated up the asparagus in the pan, add in two eggs that I had whisked, seasoned it all with Everything But The Bagel seasoning, and then added in the chicken sausage that had been heated in the microwave and cut up.  It was really delicious and very filling.  And a great way to switch things up!  I actually was going to take a picture to share, but it wasn't a very pretty dish, so I thought I would forego making you all see that.  But trust me, it was good!

That's it for this week.  Hope you all have a wonderful Easter!

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie.   

What's Up Wednesday: March 2018

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What I'm eating this week...

This week is a short one for me, since we have Friday off of work, so my meal plan plan of attack is to make do with what I have...and start the weekend on a high note with a meal out!

What I'm reminiscing about...Easters of the past.  And being able to wear a pretty sundress for Easter - not sure that is in the cards this year!

What I'm Hunter rain boots.  It has been raining and blah the last few weeks, and that weather doesn't seem to be goin gany.  I say this all the time, but I really thought these boots were such a frivolous, impractical purchase.  But I tell you what - I have gotten such wear out of them in the past 4 years, and they look as good as new!  

What I've been up to...March was a big month for me, since it was my 31st birthday!  I celebrated it for over a week it seems, and had lots of fun.  In honor of my birthday, I shared 31 things about me, which you can read here!  Backing up a bit, the week before my birthday I went on a quick work trip to Naples.  The weather was absolutely perfect!  When my parents came down for my birthday, my mom and I did a little bit of spring decorating.  I absolutely love decorating for fall and Christmas, but there is something about the freshness that spring brings!  Not just with the weather, but decor, too!  I documented a day in the life, which is always one of my favorite posts to do.  I don't know what it is about getting a peek into the 'everydays' that is so interesting, but it really is!

What I'm dreading...nothing, really.  Work for the first half the year is always crazy it seems, and it's about to amp up even more in the next few weeks.  But I am focusing on the positive, which is the fact that it makes the days go by a lot faster!      

What I'm working on...being more efficient with my time.  I have talked about this probably three times already now, but a few weeks ago, my mom told me about handling things with one touch.  As in, you deal with it right then and there.  Specifically, she was discussing mail, but it can be applied to so much in life, and is something that I need to get better on.  It was one of my New Year's Resolutions a few years ago, and while I did improve a ton, I have plenty of room for growth!  The struggle to get my email account under control is never ending, and one thing I really want to focus on.  Especially at work, so that nothing drops through the cracks!  

What I'm excited about...I am really excited about Easter!  It's become one of those holidays I appreciate even more as I get older.  Also, I am hoping that the nicer weather finally sticks around, although as I look at the forecast through the next week, I see snow one day.  What in the world?!

What I'm watching...normal shows, plus a few new ones.  I have really been liking For the People, and there are a few others ones that I want to check out.  Also, some of my favorites are coming back on, next week, one being Southern Charm!

What I'm reading...Body Love by Kelly Leveque.  This was my answer last month, and it's still true.  I put it down and a bunch of books later, I need to pick it back up.  I also am in the middle of reading Opening Belle and Captain Gaines.  Not sure why I have three books going on at once, but that's where I am at!

What I'm listening to...I haven't been listening to much lately.  I do have a question though - does anyone have noise cancelling headphones?  I might have asked this before (and forgot), but if you do, I could use some recommendations.  There are sometimes at work when I just need to block out the noise to really focus.  However, I don't know anyone that actually has them, so I don't know what is good, if they work, how they work - all that.  So please let me know! 

What I'm wearing...I mentioned last week that I finally got some navy Kendra Scott earrings.  I wear a ton of navy and have already worn these earrings at least a handful of times since receiving them last week.  For my birthday, I received these pants and this top from my family and I love them, especially together!  I finally exchanged this Madewell top for the right size this past weekend, and am ready for the weather to cooperate so I can wear it.  Same with these wedges.  I have seen them on so many people lately and they just have been sitting in my closet, waiting to be worn.  I was hoping for Easter, but it doesn't seem like that is going to be an option with this weather! 

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

What I'm doing this weekend...enjoying the long weekend and Easter!

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

What is my favorite Easter tradition...It's a toss up between Easter baskets and my mom's lamb cake.  My parents hide our Easter baskets, so instead of an egg hunt, we do more of a basket hunt.  It's always fun to see what my mom comes up with gift-wise, and as I said in this month's Girl Chat post, still doing baskets for us even though we are now in our 30's helps to keep the magic alive from our childhood.  But I do love the lamb cake my mom makes.  She uses an old lamb cake mold and the cake itself is pound cake with buttercream frosting.  It's so delicious, and so darn CUTE!  My mom will decorate it to look like the frosting is fur and add a little bow, eyes and a nose and even some 'grass' using frosting at the bottom.  I just love it so much - it's one of my favorite things!

Linking up with ShayLindsayJenn and Jessi.

This Was Supposed To Be A New Recipe Post...

Hey all!  So, I originally had planned on sharing a recipe with you today.  It's one of my favorite dips, and I was going to make it for book club last night, so my plan was to make it, take pictures, then finish up the blog post.  Well, I started to feel not so great after lunch and decided not to go to book club.  And since I wasn't going, the dip wasn't going to be made.  

I had a back up, or so I thought, because I have been wanting to share my aunt's kidney bean salad recipe for a long time, but kept forgetting.  I tracked down the pictures I had taken, and then went to my inbox to find the recipe, because I know she sent it to me...and I could not find it anywhere!  I looked everywhere - all the folders it could have been in, searched by my aunt's name, by the recipe name, in my deleted mail, sent mail...the list goes on.  And still no recipe!

Two recipes - one I have pictures for, but no recipe to go along with it, and one I have the recipe for, but no pictures.  Goodness gracious!  Due to my lack of planning and execution, you are getting this post instead, with a promise that tomorrow's will be better!

Weekend Recap

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Happy Monday!  I hope everyone is having a great start to the week.  This weekend went by way to fast, but with this being a short week, the next one will be here before we know it.

I was pretty tired on Friday because I stayed up reading a thriller, and then had to stay up later to get it out of my head so I could sleep.  Whoops!  Work was busy, busy, so needless to say, I was happy to see 4:00.  The weather was crappy all day, but I had a few errands I wanted to run before I settled in for the night so I got those out of the way before heading home.  I poured myself a glass of wine, turned on a movie and relaxed.  Before I headed to bed, I decided to do a face mask, so I put that on and promptly fell asleep on the couch.  It was a bit humorous to wake up with a white/gray face.  I knew I had it on, but I still did a double take when I looked myself in the mirror when washing up.  

I had a leisurely morning on Saturday, then got ready to run another errand.  I had gotten this striped shirt from Madewell awhile ago, but ended up needing a different size (I would suggest sizing up!).  Luckily the store had one left, in the exact size I needed.  Guess it was meant to be!  Then, since I was at my favorite mall, I checked out two of my favorite stores, Pottery Barn and William Sonoma.  I picked up a new pillow cover at PB, to replace my fur covered pillow on my couch.  Obviously my no spend month isn't going as well as I had hoped, but it was on sale and something I did actually need.  I spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing, before heading out again to check out Half Priced Books.  There is a store by me and I had never gone before - kind of crazy considering how much I love to read.  I don't even know how long I spent in there looking around, but I will definitely be back.  I didn't grab anything since I still have a pile of library books to get through, but there were a few books I had my eye one and will probably end up back there getting.  

Since I wasn't super productive the day before, I took Sunday to get some of the household items I put off done, and then headed out to lunch with one of my good friends.  We went to Katie's Pizza and Pasta Osteria, a place that I had been wanting to go to for awhile now, and goodness gracious, was it delicious!  We had out ordered figured out in like 5 minutes (we were on a mission) and then spent the lunch catching up and enjoying some really yummy food.  Definitely plan on going back, and if you are ever in the area, I highly, highly suggest checking it out.  I should have taken a picture, but we all know pictures aren't my strong suit!  I spent the rest of Sunday reading, and getting a few things done, which isn't too bad of a way to end the weekend.  

Hope you all had a great one!

Linking up with Biana and Lindsay.  

Friday Favorites: Randoms

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Happy Friday!  I got my days all mixed up again this week (seems to be a trend lately) so I am glad that it is actually Friday!

1.  I had really been wanting some navy earrings from Kendra Scott.  I saw them awhile back, I can't remember how long it's been, but they were out of stock at the time, and were not included in the color bar, where you can design your own items.  Well, I checking out my emails and instead of deleting it like normal, I decided to take a look and see if they had the navy.  And guess what - they did!  I was able to create them using the color bar and I received them this week.  I am in love!  I wear so much blue, these were just what I needed!  Since I am trying to do a no spend month, I rationalized that it was ok to buy them since I received money for my birthday.  Honestly, though, I would have gotten them regardless, just because I know I will wear them all the time!

2.  It was a good mail week for me, because I received the Old Navy dress I shared last week.  I had tried it on in store, but in a small, and it just looked like a tent.  It's supposed to be like that, but it was a little toooo much.  At the time, I hadn't tried on the xsmall because I did not want to have to wait in line to try on again (it was so busy that day!), but when Old Navy was offering free shipping, I decided to give the xsmall a try.  I am glad I did, because it fit!  Definitely a dress to size down one size in. 

product photo

3.  Keeping on the topic of clothes, I wore what is probably my new favorite outfit.  For my birthday, my family got me this blush top and these navy pants from Loft.  I paired them together, added my new navy earrings, and then topped it with a blazer.  It was so darn cute and just one of those outfits I felt really good in.  The blush with the navy was so pretty, the top is so feminine and pretty and paired with the sleek pants is just the perfect combo. 

4.  Thursday morning I got this craving for turkey tacos.  And not just any turkey tacos, but ones my mom made recently.  Growing up (and now) she used Chi Chi's taco seasoning, and I am pretty sure when I was younger, I wasn't ever a huge fan.  I probably wanted her to use Taco Bell seasoning, haha, but one of the last times she was here, she brought tacos for us to eat, and goodness, did they hit the spot.  And that was exactly what I was craving yesterday.  I stopped at the store after work, and grabbed the last two packets of seasoning they had.  I would have been so sad had they not had it!  I made it last night, topped it with all the yummy toppings and it was delicious.  If you haven't ever tried this seasoning, I highly suggest it.  SO GOOD!    

5.  I shared this in my Day in the Lift post on Wednesday, but I wanted to share it again.  My mom told me about this tip when dealing with mail - touch it once.  She heard or read this somewhere that Daymond Johns (from Shark Tank), said this was one of those things that successful / productive people do.  I started doing this recently and it's really been great!  I usually would let it pile up - I mostly would go through it, and then put the things I needed to tend to on the side with the plan to handle them over the week.  Well, that didn't always happen so in the end I would just have a big pile that would take my awhile to get through.  It seemed like it was always there weighing on me.  This totally elminates that feeling (and the unslightly pile of papers on my counter).  I definitely suggest giving this a try yourself.  From the comments I received, it sounds like quite a few people do this already and are big believers in it, too!  

And before I go, my recap of what was on the blog this week...
Monday - Weekend Recap
Tuesday - Spring Home Tour
Wednesday - Day in the Life
Thursday - The Cutest Carry On

Hope you all have the best weekend!

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie. 

The Cutest Carry On Suitcase

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I lusted after this suitcase (Delsey Chatelet) for awhile and received it as a present at Christmas.  I was able to use it for the first time on my trip to Naples for work, and thought I would share my thoughts.  There are a few pros and cons to it, but overall I love it!

Up first, the cons.  Obviously the price tag.  Goodness, it is expensive.  It's often on sale at Macy's, which is definitely the way to go - do not pay full price!  Another con is that it will get scratched up from use.  I already noticed a little scrape on mine.  So while it is super cute and pretty, it's not going to stay in perfect condition.  I have heard that you can wipe it down, which I plan on doing to see if that helps.  Also, I kind of missed having the two front pockets that you normally see on traditional suitcases.  I find those handy to slip things into when you are at the airport.  Those are the only downsides I have seen since I received mine.

Now, onto the good stuff - the pros.  Obviously, the style.  I think it is so darn cute, hence the name of this blog post.  I love that it is a hard case, and the brown and tan accents.  I opted to go with the brown because I thought the look was super classic, and for the cleanliness factor - I figure the white would get dirty a lot easier!  The carry on size is actually a little smaller than my normal carry on, but I was able to fit just as much into this one as my previous bag.  It really utilizes ALL the space.  I also feel like the way it is set up, with the two main areas on either side, you are able to keep things a bit neater.  The wheels that go every which way are so handy.  I didn't have this before, and it's a game changer.  I loved it!  With the suitcase, you get two drawstring bags, as well as a hanger that folds down.  I love little extras, so this was a positive for me.  Another added bonus?  The ability to lock your zippers.  You can set a 3-digit combination which ensures you that your suitcase will stay closed during your travels.  To top that, you also have the ability to track your suitcase.  You can register your bag online, and then if something happens to it, you can track it using your code.  It really gives me peace of mind in case anything does ever happen.

My thoughts are, if you are in the market for a new suitecase and don't mind spending a bit more money, then this one is definitely worth a look!

Linking up with Owen.

Day in the Life: 3.19.18

Day in the life posts are my very favorite to read - something about the mundane, 'normal' day to day things being shared is just so very interesting!  I think they are fun to document, too!  My days aren't too crazy and exciting, but I think it will be fun to look back on as the years go by.  I am hoping to do one each quarter, to see how things change (or don't change) with the seasons.  So here is a look at this past Monday, March 19th.

My alarm went off bright and early at 4:25, and then, after I had my contacts in (so I could actually see!), I snapped this first picture.  Good morning!

I started my mornings off with Jesus Calling and The One Year Bible.  The One Year Bible has turned into the Two Year Bible for me, because I didn't stick with it consistently last year, but I am been trucking my way through it this year and am nearing the end of September.  Slowly, but surely I am going to get through it! 

After reading, I get ready to work out.  For the past 5 months, or so, I have been using the Femme Fit app and really like it.  The workouts usually take me 40-45 minutes to get through, and then it is time to eat and read blogs.

About 6:10-6:15, I start to get ready for the day.  Between then and the time I leave for work, I get ready, make my bed, get my lunch together (usually it's already ready in the fridge and I just have to pack everything into my bag)...all those things.  I had quite the load heading out to my car in the morning.  I swear, some days I feel like a pack mule!  

It was a dreary day which always is a reminder how happy I am we have a parking garage at work.  My work hours are normally 7:30-4:00, but I always to try get in a little bit earlier.  For some reason, I always feel that if I am right on time, then I am actually late.  Right when I got in, one of my coworkers came over and gave me a belated birthday gift!  So very sweet and thoughtful!  I kept in my routine this morning and had hot cinnamon sunset tea as a little pick me up (usually paired with some almonds, but I ran out and forgot to pack more!), and then before I knew it, it was time to head out to lunch.

Lunch was the Tostada Salad with chicken at Crazy Bowls, but I totally forgot to take a picture.  It was my first time trying this salad, and it was good!  

Work, work, work for the rest of the afternoon.  I ended up staying about 15 minutes later, so I could finish something real quick.  Then it was finally time to head home!

I made a stop at the library on my way to return some books and pick up others.  I saw that one of Nora Roberts' trilogies had all the books in at the same time, so I snagged them all.  Right now I have way too many books checked out of the library, but I wasn't going to pass that up.  I feel like that never happens and I like to read them back to back if possible!  After a quick stop at my mailbox, I was home.

I changed into my sweats (always one of the things I look forward to doing when I get home) and took a few minutes to relax and scroll through instagram.  Stories are always my favorite and this is when I usually watch what has been posted while I was at work.  I decided to be productive this evening (sometimes I just plop on the couch with a book and don't move except to get something to eat) and threw in a load of laundry, snapped my spring home tour pictures, and then grabbed some cinnamon almonds as a snack to help me tackle the mess on my floor.  My mom told me how she read or heard somewhere that Daymond John said one of his tips for productivity and success is having a one touch rule with your mail.  You either throw it away, or you handle it right at that moment, which is something I am trying to do, because I am normally in the 'let it pile up before I handle it' camp.  That actually went pretty well and I was happy to get that area all cleaned up.

Before I knew it, it was time for dinner.  I had made Beef Fasolia the day before, so I made the rice to go with it while it heated up.  I have found that having something easy on Monday nights, whether it be something already going in the crockpot, or leftovers to heat up makes the start of the work week so much better.  The fasolia was soooo good, and perfect for the kind of weather we had been having.

After dinner, I started on my blog post.  I have been getting so frustrated lately, because it takes forever for my computer to recognize my phone being plugged in to download my pictures.  I messed with that for a bit and was finally able to import the pictures to my computer.  I typed up the blog post and scheduled it to publish the following day.  Then it was time to switch out the laundry, make up the bed and then relax.  I knew my March Madness bracket had blown up, but I wanted to write in the correct teams just to see how bad it was, so I did that before heading to bed with a book.  I think it was lights out by 10:00, or close to it!   

Other Day in the Life posts...
August 2017 
(apparently when I posted in August I totally forgot I did one in February because I said it was my first one! whoops!)

Linking up with LindsayJenn and Jessi.

Spring Home Tour

Happy Spring!  We made it through winter, and while Mother Nature may not be cooperating (at least here in the St. Louis area), it is officially spring!  Keeping in theme with the day, I thought I would do a quick spring home tour.  While I absolutely love decorating for fall and Christmas, it's always fun to bring out my spring items for a much lighter and fresher feel that suits the season.

Sorry for the darkness in some of these pictures.  The weather here just has been gray and dreary, so natural light has just been non existant.  

Hope you enjoyed a little peek in my apartment, all dressed for spring!

Linking up with Erika and Ashley.