Friday Favorites: Fall Decorating, Productivity Tip, Impromptu Dinner, Fall Favorites & Adoption Fundraiser!

Yay for Friday!  Thought I would switch it up from my usual 'happy Friday', haha!  I hope everyone had a great week!

1.  I am super excited for the holiday weekend ahead.  My mom is coming to visit, and we have lots of fun plans.  Up first?  Fall decorating!  Our plan is to pull out the decorations Friday, see what else I may need to add, then hit the stores early on Saturday.  We will also be doing a little crafting for a church lunch I have coming up next month.  One of the best things about the weekend is of course the fact that it is a long weekend.  While I don't have any real plans after my mom leaves, having that extra day is just so nice.  If only all weekends were 3 days!

2.  I think I found a trick to make myself productive after work.  I kind of slacked off Sunday night when I got home from a weekend away, and I had a meeting Monday night that I wasn't sure how long would last.  I knew I needed to get things done, so I set the timer on my phone when I got home from work and just went for it.  I had about 25 minutes to do things, and it was amazing how much I was able to get done in that time.  Thinking about this more, it was kind of like that rush you can sometimes be in right before someone comes over and you need to pick up.  It's like a race to the finish!  I find the same thing with setting a timer when I do a whole house clean.  I usually do a chore, then set my phone for a few minutes of reading, then back to the chores.  When I have the time to break it up, it just makes it a little more enjoyable.  Or I do the same with TV shows and commercials.  Watch, then work during the commercials, or pause it and give myself a specific task to finish.  But back to Monday...after my timer went off, I sat down to eat, watched an episode of The Pioneer Woman and then finished up a few things before I needed to head out.  I feel like I was able to pack so many things in that short amount of time, but still was able to relax.

3.  As I mentioned on Wednesday's post, I had an impromptu dinner date this week!  One of my best friends from college was going to be in town for a very short amount of time.  So when she sent me a text about lunch one night, I was SO disappointed, because I had a church meeting.  Well, she was able to meet the night before, so we did that instead.  It had been forever since I had seen her, and I was able to meet her little guy, too!  Unfortunate circumstances brought her to town, but I am so thankful for the time spent together.  We went to The Cheesecake Factory, which was a nice treat.  I had the Steak Medallion meal off the skinny menu, which was super delicious and didn't feel 'skinny' at all, then grabbed some cheesecake to take home.  I have been eating a little bit of that each night as dessert - the salted caramel is my favorite!

4.  Next week kicks off the Fall Favorites link up with Sarah from Meet the Shaneyfelts!  As a reminder, the topics are as follows - Sept. 5 - favorite crock pot recipes, Sept. 12 - fall fashion, and Sept. 19 - fall home tour!  I can't wait to get some new recipe ideas, lust over fall fashion (even though St. Louis doesn't know what 'fall' weather means right now), and take a peek into homes all gussied up for fall.  We hope you will join us!   

5.  And speaking of Sarah...she and Dustin (her husband) started embarking on their adoption journey this summer.  Anyone who knows people that have adopted, or have read anything about adoption know that it is BIG bucks.  To help with some of the costs, they are doing a t-shirt fundraiser.  The shirts are super cute (see below), and you can head on over to her blog to see how to get one for yourself.  

I can't even tell you how much this adoption means to Sarah and Dustin.  At the end of this past Monday's post, Sarah shared about something as simple as washing baby clothes...but how it means so much more to her.  It made me tear up a bit - it really is the little things that can mean so much!  

That wraps it up for the day!  I hope you all have a great weekend.  I feel like Labor Day Weekend really signifies the end of summer, and you know this weekend I will be fall speed ahead.  Sorry, I couldn't help myself with that play on words!

Linking up with AndreaErikaAndreaand Katie.


What's Up Wednesday: August 2018

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Usually it's a little bittersweet to see another month go by.  This time I am beyond excited it's the end of the month.  Bring on my 4 favorite months of the year!

What I'm eating this week...

Monday: Leftovers from the weekend - angel hair pasta and salad.  Yum, yum, yum!
Tuesday:  The original plan was enchiladas, but I ended up going out to dinner with one of my best friends from college.  I hadn't seen her in AGES, so it was the BEST last minute plans.
Wednesday:  Enchiladas
Thursday:  Leftover enchiladas
Friday:  Salad from Panera - My mom is coming to visit, and we are going to be busy decorating Friday night, so she is going to pick up some salads from Panera on her way for us to have a quick and easy dinner.

What I'm reminiscing about...nothing, really.  Excited about the present!

What I'm loving...all things fall!  This is going to be a broken record kind of post, but again, I am SO excited for these next few months.

What I've been up to...August has been busy!  I started off the month with a wedding, then my parents came down for another work weekend.  On deck that weekend?  Decorating and the board and batten wall, which turned out awesome!  I had a weekend at home, which I thought would be low key and ended up not as much as I was hoping, then it was off to my parents for a weekend of birthday celebrations - both my nephew and my grandma!  And my cousin, too!  In between all that, I found out the most exciting news...I am going to have another little nephew!  While busy, it's been a good month.  

What I'm dreading...getting my address changed on my license...I didn't even put two and two together that with an address change, a new license would be needed.  Something reminded me of it a few weeks ago, and that is first up on the to do list for September.

What I'm working condo (still).  My next purchase is going to be rugs for my kitchen and entryway.  And then I need to figure out what else, haha.  The list is forever long!

What I'm excited about...this weekend through December, haha.  My favorite time of year, my favorite holidays, and everything that goes with them!

What I'm watching...I feel like I haven't gotten in my normal quantity of TV lately, but one thing I always like to relax with is The Pioneer Woman.  Her latest episodes have really been on point!  Other than that, it's been Shooter, Shahs, Very Cavallari, and Kardashians.  Oh, and Chesapeake Shores.  I guess I have been watching more TV than I thought!     

What I'm reading...All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin.  I just got to a really interesting part of the book, and am curious how it will end!

What I'm listening varies - standards, oldies, country, hip hop...all over the place!

What I'm wearing...the AG Farrah jeans I got from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale...I love them!  I also picked up this top from Loft a few weekends ago.  I mentioned this before, but I am just at that point where I am kind of over my clothes.  I feel like I keep wearing the same things over and over again.  It's gotten so miserably hot here again - just so humid and blah.  I am ready to break out my fall apparel!

What I'm looking forward to next month...having NO plans!  As of now, I have zero plans to head out of town in September, which I am super pumped about.  I haven't been in my condo for two 'normal' consecutive weekends, and I am truly looking forward to getting completely settled, and just enjoy the time of year.  I don't always do bucket lists for the season, but I plan to this year.  I feel like actually writing things down will help bring them to fruition, rather than me just say, oh I want to do this....and then nothing happens.  

Linking up with ShayLindsayJenn and Jessi.

Recipe Round Up: July & August 2018

I made a few new, healthier recipes this month, and here are my thoughts on them.

Naked Persian Turkey Burgers from Skinnytaste.  This recipe came from her first cookbook, and it was a winner.  I pulled together the patties on a Sunday, then cooked them on Monday.  They were juicy and flavorful.  I especially loved the topping that goes with them.  Yum, yum!

Chicken Sausage, Peppers and Onions from Skinnytaste.  So I went into this thinking I had never made this recipe before, but realized that, in fact, I had.  It was good, but I don't necessarily like how the peppers and onions are cooked.  They are more steamed, and I much rather them grilled or sauted.  I just ended up throwing them on my grill pan with the sausages and cooked them that way.  Good for a quick and easy meal!

Eggs baked with sweet Italian chicken sausage, broccoli, roasted peppers and mozzarella cheese. I love the convenience of making a large breakfast casserole when I have friends and family over for breakfast or brunch. I also set out some fruit, a yogurt bar, coffee and juice. You can use any combination of vegetables to make this casserole, but I love how the broccoli and roasted peppers mimic the festive Christmas colors.
Sausage, Cheese and Veggie Egg Bake from Skinnytaste.  Can you tell I am trying to eat healthier, with all these Skinnytaste recipes?  This isn't my favorite thing, but it could be because I altered the recipe.  I decided to use bacon instead of the chicken sausage.  And I also interchanged mushrooms with zucchini.  It's not bad, but I do think it needs more seasoning.  The one thing I really like about it, though, is you are getting veggies first thing in the morning.  And on top of that, the portion size is pretty good (you get 8 pieces from a 9 x 13 pan).  For me, that is two work weeks worth of breakfast, since I usually 'treat' myself to a waffle on Friday mornings, which is really nice.

Erika's Pizza Joes from Mix and Match Mama.  I was craving sloppy joes, and knew that Shay had a bunch of different versions.  These were a winner!  I ended up using ground turkey and turkey pepperoni to make it a little healthier, and thought it turned out really well.  I made them through, then transferred to my crock pot for a few hours on warm.  We were going to see a movie and I wanted them ready right away to avoid any of that temptation to pick up something on the way home.  The only change I would make next time is just to add a bit more seasoning than the recipe calls for.  I think I just like lots of seasoning!

Chicken Zucchini Casserole.  This is a recipe I made in July, but I didn't have anymore to share, so I saved it for another post...this one.  I had such high hopes for this.  It had all things I liked in it, the smell while it was baking was absolutely amazing, but I did not like the taste one bit.  I don't know what it was, but I ended up throwing it away.  I feel like the amazing smells didn't transition into amazing taste at all...if anything it was a bit bland.  Such a bummer.

I have been pinning recipes like crazy (you can see my recipe board here) - trying to find healthy ones and new ones this fall.  When summer ends, I get an itch to cook and make new things, so hopefully I will have more to share in the months to come!   

Weekend Recap: Birthday Celebrations

This weekend was one full of birthday celebrations!  It was so fun.

First, to start off with, Friday.  Friday ended up being a little busier than anticipated at work.  Seems like that tends to happen a lot!  After work, things were pretty low key - a little happy hour at home, then catching up on DVR.  I also did laundry - I was heading to my parents the next morning so I needed some things washed, but as I type this (Sunday night), I have to tell you...those things that got washed on Friday, then folded Saturday morning are still sitting on my bed, waiting to be put away.  Whoops!

I was up before my alarm on Saturday, but still moved a bit slow.  I got a later start than I had wanted, but still got back home around 10:00...probably a little later.  I helped my mom finish off mostacholli for Sunday, and then hung out a bit before my brother and his family got to town.  My dad got home shortly after they did, then it was time to celebrate my nephew's birthday!  His birthday was earlier this month - he turned 3!  I got him shoes, and a helmet to go with his new bike my parents got him.  The best part was probably him opening his Indy cars...he LOVES racing and it's amazing how he knows all of the racers.  As he pulled the cars out of the bag, he would say their name.  I have to say - since he has started in on these, I find myself way more interested in Indy car races, and I can name a few myself!  It's kind of fun!  The rest of the day was a bit of a blur.  After lunch, my sister in law and I headed up to Charmed, our favorite boutique.  We played, ate dinner (pizza and my favorite cupcakes), then later on, my mom and I went for a bike ride.  After some amazing weather the past few days, this past weekend was just sooooo hot and humid.  I thought the bike ride would be better, but it was still so gross.  Nice to get the exercise in, though.

Sunday we were up early, thanks to my nephew.  I heard him yelling what I thought was ouch - my mom thought out, and either way, he was awake, haha!  I had a minor panic attack, though, thinking something was wrong.  I ended up falling back to sleep for a little bit, and then it was time for breakfast and us to get ready to go to my grandma's to celebrate her birthday!  It was a big birthday for her - she turned 85!  We gathered at her house for an Italian feast.  The food was ridiculous - so much and so very good.  After stuffing ourselves, we sang happy birthday (to my nephew, grandma AND cousin), then stuffed ourselves a bit more.  I headed out with my parents, and then made my way back to St. Louis.

The weekend just flew by.  I have no idea where the time went!  So glad we were all able to get together and celebrate.  Family time is the best time!

Linking up with Biana and Lindsay.  

Friday Favorites

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It's Friday!!!!  Always a good day to see!

1.  Instead of starting off the week the normal way (low key at home), Monday night brought a night out!  On tap?  A new-ish restaurant, and ice cream!  After I graduated SIUE, some cute new places popped up in the area, one of them being Peel Pizza.  I went with a girlfriend one time and remember thinking how delicious it was.  Fast forward many years, and Peel opened a new place in the Clayton area, which is a whole a lot closer than good old Edwardsville.  Let me tell you, it was as good as I remembered, if not better!  The drinks were strong - I had a Moscow Mule with dinner and whoa, that first sip was a lot, but after some of the ice melted (or I just got used to it, haha), it was really delicious.  The fire wings were good, the cheesy garlic bread was good, and so was the wood oven pizza.  It had me wanting to try and figure out how to add a wood fire oven to my backyard!  The fun didn't stop there, because next up was ice cream.  I have mentioned plenty of times that Blue Moon ice cream is my very favorite ice cream.  But it's not sold around here.  Which, while it's probably a good thing, is also a big bummer.  I had gotten a STL Magazine email awhile back, that mentioned Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery, and one of the highlights was that they had a new flavor - blue moon.  Well, of course, I had to check it out.  Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the flavor I was look for - still very good, but just not 'my' blue moon.  The place was adorable, though, had a bunch of other really neat flavors, and I am sure I will be back to try some others out.  My uncle has a really good recipe (which my cousin taunted me with recently - he sent me a picture of a whole container of my uncle's homemade ice cream, saying how good it was), so I think I just need to get his recipe and make it myself to get a little fix.  The whole night was really fun - makes me want to be more spontaneous more often!

2.  I recently got a Yeti rambler, and I really love it.  I use it at work for water, and it is so much better than what I previously had (an old freebie from work).  It keeps it so cold, and I think it gets me to drink more.  Since the ice doesn't melt much, I have to keep getting up to refill with water!  What's just as awesome as how well it keeps things cold, is the durability.  I don't even know if I had it for a week, when I dropped it in my garage, on the concrete.  I had a minor freakout, because I could not believe I did that, but it's like it never even happened, it held up so well.  No scratches on the actual up, no cracks on the lid, and the little mouth piece just popped off, because it is magnetic.  Gotta love something that can withstand my clumsiness!  I opted for the dark gray.  Of course, not a week later, they came out with navy (which is my favorite!), so I think I may need another one...possible a coffee mug for my pumpkin spice lattes?

3.  Speaking of can find me this morning, sipping on a pumpkin spice latte.  I mentioned this yesterday, but I ordered some boxes of K Cups from Amazon and they were delivered last night.  Gotta love that Amazon Prime!  The weather has been pretty darn good for St. Louis in August (it was almost chilly a few nights ago!), and it has me allll ready for fall.  Bring it on!

4.  Megan @ Honey We're Home is doing another Fitness Challenge!  I participated last time and while I kind of fell off the wagon (let's be real, I totally fell off the wagon), I really enjoyed the workouts she posted.  It sounds like this time she is going to have an actual meal plan, and a better way for people to log their activity, which will put you in the running for a giveaway.  Megan's going to be share meal plans, too, which she has put together with the help of a personal trainer / fitness expert.  I don't think I will stick to the meal plans, but I will still look at them for ideas.  One thing I really liked about this last time, was the accountability aspect.  Like I said, I didn't stick with it due to various reasons (work travel, being sick, etc.), but when I was doing it, it was always in the back of my mind, like ok, it's just 30 days, you can do this, it's only 20 minutes of activity - you can surely spare that...all these little pep talks in my head.  The challenge starts after Labor Day.  I think that's the perfect timing - I feel like Labor Day weekend is kind of the last 'hoorah' for summer.  Just a great time to get into a good routine!  

5.  Just a few random things:  evening walks in amazing temps especially for St. Louis in August (!!!), amazing smelling candles - Midnight Blue Citrus, pretty and good smelling hand soap and lotion combos - William Sonoma Fleur de Sel, trips to the library - currently reading All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin, leftover cheesecake - Salted Caramel to be specific...all these little things from this week were all favorites!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!   

Linking up with AndreaErikaAndreaand Katie. 


Time for a few confessions today!

1.  My memory is going.  If I don't write something down, then it WILL be forgotten 99% of the time.  As an example - I have a ton of blog ideas running through my head.  However, I forgot to write them down and it seriously took me days to remember what I was even thinking.  And another - my book club rescheduled the night we were going to meet, which was awesome, because I couldn't make the original date, but I forgot to write down the new date and totally missed it.

2.  One of my good friends has a friend that works at Starbucks.  She told my friend that the Pumpkin Spice Lattes are going to be launched August in next Tuesday!  A few years ago, my love of coffee was rekindled with a pumpkin spiced latte.  I tried one just to see what the hype was all about, after years of seeing people obsess over it.  I was so ready to hate it, because at that time, even the smell of coffee was not my favorite, but now I am one of those obsessed people, too!  It's just so good.  I've actually been stalking the aisles of Target and the grocery stores to see if they have gotten the K Cups in yet, or not.  They haven't, but you can get them online.  So I ordered myself 4 boxes.  Which should be delivered SOON.  With any luck, I will be sipping a PSL tomorrow morning.

3.  On Tuesday I shared my go to packed lunches.  I love reading that type of stuff, but honestly, I was a bit worried it might be boring because I don't do anything fancy.  I love seeing pretty pictures of food, especially fully loaded salads, bowls, or sandwiches, but I do not have the desire to take the time to put something like that together.  My mom is one of those people where that is like second nature - she always makes it seem so effortless to chop up all these things for a salad, etc.  And I hope that one of these days, it'll be like that for me.  But now is not that time, haha! 

4.  One of the ways I lost weight earlier this year, was doing a low carb diet.  I was pretty strict with it until I had my gala (way back in February), and while I still tried to eat low carb here and there, I never really stuck with it like I did before.  However, there was just something on the news that people who eat carbs actually live longer!  And funny enough - that night my cousin sent me an article about it, too.  So bring on alllll the bread!  Kidding, but kind of not!  I actually think I have finally gotten the moderation thing down (for the most part), but I still felt a little guilt, like maybe I shouldn't have a bun with that.  No more of that!  Obviously too many carbs is a bad thing, but it seems like they aren't as bad are touted to be! 

5.  The other day I hit my garbage can with my car.  And by hit, I mean lightly's the story.  I put the garbage can out at the end of the drive way, and I had parked close to that side in the garage...I had never had an issue before so I didn't think twice about it.  Well I back out, and as I am getting closer I realize I am going to hit it.  So I pull up and try to turn my wheel 4 times.  I have a hard time figuring out which way to turn the wheel, even though I have a back up cam.  All the while I am doing this, one of my neighbors leaves, and I realize the garbage truck is right down the was just embarrassing.  They were probably wondering what in the world was going on, and thinking I cannot drive, haha!  And of course, during this, I never thought to open my garage door again so I could pull in the middle and just back out normally.

And with that shameful story, I think it's a good time to end this post, haha!

Hope you all have a great day - it's almost Friday!


Wish List Wednesday

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I am going through one of those phases where I feel like I have nothing to wear.  I think because this time of year I am tired of my summer clothes and ready for fall fashion, but mother nature is still saying its definitely summer with 90+ temps.

I am trying not to spend money on clothes, because I have oodles of house items I would like to buy.  I did treat myself this past weekend to this tank, which I already wore on Monday.  And while I was at the store, I found loads of other items that I loved, too!

Golden Floral Flare Dress.  I don't wear a whole lot of yellow, but I love the print of this dress.  It'd be easy to throw on a cardigan or blazer while at work, then take it off leaving the building.

Smocked Flare Sleeve Dress.  I didn't actually see this one in the store, but came across is browsing online and love it!  The cut from the sleeves to the flare of the skirt is just so pretty.  And I love the color.

Button Back Top.  I tried this top on in the same floral print as the tank I got, and had such a hard time deciding which to get between the two.  I saw it came in this beautiful blue color and I was almost sold on getting both the tank and this shirt.  It's just a super flattering top!

Floral Ruffle Flutter Top.  This top is soooo pretty.  Very feminine and delicate.

Striped Crossover Back Utility Blouse.  Blue and white stripes are one of my favorites - just a very crisp and clean look.  The back has a bit of interest with the crossover, and I really like the taller cuffs.  I have shirt from Loft that has the same kind of cuffs - one of the reasons I actually bought the other shirt in the first place!

Striped Tweed Pocket Flippy Skirt.  This skirt really caught my eye.  Tweed is so timeless and the blue color is so pretty!  I like the little button detail on the pockets - I like how they covered it in the same fabric so that it blends in a bit, although I am pretty sure in person is does stand out more than what you see here, but it's still subtle.

Ponte Flippy Skirt.  I love the ponte material, and this skirt is just classic, with a little bit of fun from the ruffle.

I feel like I could just go on and many cute things!

Linking up with LindsayJenn and Jessi.

Easy 'Take Your Lunch To Work' Ideas

For whatever reason, I love seeing what other people eat.  Maybe because I like food, maybe it's because I am nosey about people's 'everydays', or really, it's probably a combination of both those things.  With that, I thought I would share what I eat...especially what I pack when I take my lunch to work.  

I try to pack my lunch most days, usually allowing for one day out a week.  It's cheaper, and usually healthier that way.  Some weeks it works out like that, some weeks I bring a lunch everyday, and some weeks it's like a free for all.  

Lately, my go to has been a salad, meat and cheese roll ups, blueberries, and a Lara bar.  In my salad, I like to keep it simple - lettuce (usually a mixed greens container from the store), zucchini or broccoli, cucumber and green olives.  I love ham, so I use ham and some kind of cheese to make three roll ups.  For the cheese, I use half a slice per slice of deli meat.  Then, to get some fruit in, I just have a little baggie of blueberries.  And a Lara Bar is usually my dessert - I usually eat this a while after I finish my lunch as more of an afternoon snack.  

Another favorite is taco salad.  Ground turkey with Chi Chi's taco seasoning, lettuce, cheese and pico.  I will eat that alone, or add some plantain chips to eat on the side, too.  I brown the turkey, then divide it into 4 containers for the week.  I prefer romaine lettuce for my taco salad, and then usually use monterey jack cheese.  Premade pico (my favorite is the mild from Trader Joe's) makes it easy peasy!  When I pack it, I do keep things in separate containers.  This way I can heat the meat, then combine it all together.  

And another - rotisserie chicken and salad.  I think this was the year that I really began to appreciate rotisserie chicken.  It was a little intimidating to me, even though all you need to do is take it off the bone!  But that whole part seemed kind of hard.  Reality?  It's not hard at all.  And makes like so simple!  It's especially great when you don't want to heat up your chicken meal prepping.

Trader Joe's chicken sausages have been another lunch staple.  I pair them with a salad, or raw veggies.  My favorite flavor is Jalapeno.  It's not really spicy - just has really good flavor.  And it takes no time to cook up!  I usually brown them on the grill, cut up and divide into containers.  That way when I heat them up in the microwave, they still have the nice grilled flavor.

One things I have learned in all the years of bringing my lunch to work is that I need things separated.  I think it tricks me into thinking I am eating more.  Like if I were to just have one of my regular salads with chicken in it, it doesn't seem like enough.  But having a salad and a protein separately works.  And while they need to be separate, they can't be too much work.  Especially on those days when I was too lazy the night before to make my lunch.

If you have any easy lunch ideas, I would love to hear them!

Linking up with Erika and Ashley

Weekend Recap

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Hey all!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Mine wasn't quite as low key as I was hoping - in my mind I had zero plans and could laze around at home, but the reality was I needed to run some errands and do some projects that were a little more time consuming that I had initially thought.  Whoops!

Friday was a pretty good day.  To start with, Friday was my nephew's birthday.  It's hard to believe that he is 3!  And to top it off...I AM GOING TO BE AN AUNT AGAIN!  My family found out while we were on vacation, and I am so excited to be able to talk about it now!  They told us using the shirt in the announcement picture.  My brother and nephew came walking down the hall from the back of the cottage and I noticed the shirt right away because it was a completely different color than what he was originally wearing.  I freaked out, and since the rest of the family was out on the porch, they went out there and I swear it took FOREVER for people to notice (in reality it was like 5 seconds but since I had seen it first and knew, I was like ok, come on, catch up, haha).  Just SO exciting. 

I think I have mentioned this before, but I head up my company's United Way silent auction.  We have a company United Way fundraising campaign, and with that, we have an online silent auction.  One thing we do every year with the auction, is get sports memorabilia items - they come at a cost, we mark them up, and whatever we get over the cost goes to the United Way.  If they don't get bid on, then they just stay with the company, and we aren't out any money.  We've used the same person since I have been involved, and this past Friday I headed over to pick out the goods.  Usually I have a little crew that helps me pick out things (people that actually know sports), but this time was just me.  I picked out 16 items, and I am hopeful that the majority of them are winners!  If you are ever involved in an auction event, I highly suggest looking for a company like this.  It's been so easy to work with them and really adds some great items to the auction.

Since I was out, and it was lunch time, I decided to check out the Dollar Tree.  I am helping put together some table decorations for a church lunch, and Dollar Store has lots of great basics - chargers, vases.  I grabbed a few things, but ended up having to back later for more stuff, haha.  I think I was flustered since I was on a time limit and I couldn't quite get my thoughts in order at that time. 

I also heard a really good joke on Friday (it was national joke day, I later found out) - well read it, anyways.  What's a potato's least favorite day?  FRY-day!  Just typing this has my laughing about it again.  I love little jokes like that.

Friday after work, I relaxed a bit then ran out for some more decor items for my church lunch.  I decided to treat myself, too, with a new top.  Lately I have been looking at my clothes and feel like I have nothing to wear (so ready for fall clothes).  Loft was having one of their 40% off sales, so I picked up this tank.  The coloring is soooo pretty.  I love the print and not only will it be a great transition to fall, I think it'll also be really nice come spring, too!

Saturday I slept in!  Granted, that was partly due to the fact I stayed up late to read the night before, but also I think I was just tired from the week.  It's so nice to not have to set an alarm.  I got in a quick walk, then headed to Hobby Lobby.  While I was there, my mom called with some new ideas for the church lunch decor and I ended up totally switching things up from my original plan.  This whole thing has been a little bit stressful - I don't want to disappoint anyone, and I really want to make this nice, so I think I have been putting all this pressure on myself.  I am so glad (with the help of my mom) I finally have a good plan in place!

If you follow me on instagram, I shared some of my afternoon in stories.  Once I got back home, I relaxed with some coffee and an episode of The Pioneer Woman.  Then I did some things around the condo before it was time to enjoy the night with a Hallmark movie and cheesecake.  

Sunday went by way too fast, as it always seems to.  Church, grocery shopping, meal prepping, and then a movie.  We saw Mission Impossible, which was pretty good.  It amazes me how Tom Cruise does not seem to age...and all the stunts he does!  I made a new recipe for dinner, which thankfully turned out, and then after a few shows and writing this blog, it was time for bed.

While it wasn't as low key of a weekend as I was hoping, it still was pretty good.  Now for the work week ahead!

Linking up with Biana and Lindsay. 

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I so excited for this weekend.  While I haven't been at my condo long (it'll be a month on Monday!), this is the first weekend I feel like I can really relax there.  Moving weekend was a lot, then I was actually home the following weekend, but it seems like I was recovering from being super busy at work (while having just moved), then I was on the road for a wedding, and this past weekend my parents were in town.  Which all weekends have been great, but I am looking forward to something a little more low-key!

1.  First up for my favorites, is the board and batten wall in my kitchen.  I shared some in progress pictures on Monday, but here is one of the finished product.  I LOVE it.  I plan on getting a little wooden bench to go under the hooks - I think it would be cute and useful as a place to put on shoes.  My mom and I are also going to try to spray paint the intercom box to hopefully have it blend in a little bit.  I still have a bit to do in the kitchen (rugs, decor pieces), but overall I think it is really coming together!

2.  On Tuesday, I posted my monthly book review.  It seems like I was in reading rut not too long ago, and now it seems like there are soooo many good books, I just can't keep up!  I am pretty sure I am going to have to pay my first fines at the library...whoops!  Right now I am reading When Life Gives You Lululemons, and while there is one part of the story line that I am not necessarily crazy about, overall it really is good.  And the book I read before that was good, and the one before that...just lots of good books!

And speaking of books, I had a question.  Does anyone have good fall related books they would recommend?  I feel like there are oodles of Christmas books out there, but I don't really see many Halloween / Thanksgiving books, or even just like a 'fall' book, although I don't know exactly how that would work, haha.  But if you know of any type of Thanksgiving or Halloween book (or fall - again not sure how that would even qualify, haha), please let me know!  I realize fall is still a bit away, but this way if I have titles I can request them from the library ahead of time!

3.  Thursday was our monthly Girl Chat, and the topic was quotes to live by.  I really enjoyed reading the posts, and in doing so I came across one that I couldn't believe I didn't include myself.  

Wall Quotes for the Home Recycled By:  Texas Butter 

This one really spoke to me a few years ago.  The story behind it really is sad, so that is obviously not a 'favorite', but I wanted to share why I like this quote so much.  Someone I occasionally hung around with passed away.  I would call us acquaintances, because we ran around in the same circle, but I wasn't really that close to him - he was more just a friend of friends that we saw out.  He was someone so full of life, and when I heard that he passed away, I didn't believe it.  I mean we literally just saw just could not be real.  Sadly it was.  That specific incident had a really big impact on me, and made this quote a whole lot more meaningful.

I suggest checking out some of those posts if you haven't already, because I feel like we could always use a reminder of certain things.  I know through a lot of them I was nodding my head, or thinking 'that's such a good one!' as I read along.  And there are some funny ones in there, too!

4.  I have been needing a new lunch bag for a longgg time now.  It's kind of embarrassing how long I went with having a rip in mine.  I finally decided to get one, and initially looked at the neoprene ones.  I had heard good things about them, but I didn't realize like the style of them.  As I was checking Amazon, I came across this one.  I just got it in the mail last night, and it's soooo nice.  It seems to be the perfect side - I take multiple tupperware containers, and usually a bottle of salad dressing, plus a few other things, and this seems plenty big for all that, while not being too extremely big. 
BALORAY Lunch Bag Tote Bag Lunch Organizer Lunch Bag Women Perfect Work Women(Upgraded Version) 

5.  My fifth favorite is one I am SO excited about.  In years past, Sarah @ Meet the Shaneyfelts and I have hosted a fall link up in September, and I am happy to say that this year is no different!  We both share a love for all things fall, and what better way to kick of the season than fall posts?  This year's Fall Favorites link up will be every Wednesday for 3 weeks.  First up, we have favorite crock pot recipes (yum!), then it's all about fall fashion (I am soooo ready for the cooler weather!), and we will end up the fun few weeks with sharing our fall decor (cannot wait to add fall touches to my condo!).  We'd love for you to join us!

Linking up with AndreaErikaAndreaand Katie. 

Girl Chat: Quotes To Live By

Honestly, this month's Girl Chat snuck up on me.  Thank goodness Danielle posted a reminder for it on Monday, because I totally thought I had another week.  I swear my mind will just not keep up with me this year...I am so forgetful!  But anyways, it's time for Girl Chat, and this month we are chatting about our favorite quotes.

To see what else we have chatted about this year - check out the links below.

I love a good quote.  It's amazing how just a few words can really touch you and make an impact.  Even if it is things you already know, or are feeling, sometimes seeing it in word form really hits home.  I love browsing different quotes on Pinterest - I even have a whole board dedicated to them!  And way back when I would occasionally post some of my favorites.

My very favorite quote has got to be from my dad.  I don't know whose quote this actually is, but I first heard it from my dad, and that is who I always associate it with.  

I think I first remember him saying this when I was in college... probably while he was hanging something in my dorm/apartment/townhouse during that time.  Basically it just boils down to always do your best.  And it really applies to everything!  I repeat it to myself all the time, especially those times when I may don't want to do something, or feel like slacking.  It's also turned into a bit of a joke in our family, too.  Like if someone says, oh it's fine, then the reply is usually something along the lines of 'are you autographing your work with excellence?'.  It's definitely my very favorite quote.

Another is one I really like is one that my mom shared with me from The Lettered Cottage blog (quote by Jay Danzie).

It's really interesting to think of things in that manner.  It makes me pause for a minute and think about how I am and if that is how I wanted to be thought of, if that makes sense...if I am proud of myself in a sense.  Just allows me to reassess myself a bit.

I have a few quotes that I turn to, if you will, when I am worried or going through hard times.  

One quote I have been trying to abide by is...

Let go and let God. :) Would you like it framed? Click on this link to purchase: ----------------------------------------------- Interested in a different quote on this background? Click here: Each print is professionally printed on bright white 67 lb. high-quality archival acid-free spec...

I am a worrier by nature.  Like really bad.  I get anxiety about so many things, it's a bit ridiculous.  So when I get too in my head about things, like something big at work, I just pray and repeat that over and over again.  I am definitely not as good about this as I should be, but slowly, at least in some situations, it's really been helping me.

And then when things really get hard in life, I turn to this quote...

God will never give you more than you can handle

I never know what the exact wording of the quote is when I try to tell someone, but the thought is something I turn to often.  I actually debated on including this, because when I googled it, I came across a lot of negative articles regarding this saying.  Not that alone would keep me from sharing, but I did read a few and can see people's points.  However, I still find comfort in these words.  To me, this is just an affirmation that you are stronger than you might think - that you can get through this, whatever it may be, and even more so, to have faith. 

Now for the link up - can't wait to discover new quotes!     

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! 

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