Thursday, January 29, 2015

Things You Love More Than You Should

Happy Thursday Friends! How has your week been so far? I hope well! Mine has been all over the place - not necessarily good and not necessarily bad. 

Over the weekend, I hung out with my girlfriends and we spent some time making paintings and I have to say I'm rather happy with how it turned out! Plus, it was a huge hit on FaceBook and I have had several people ask me if I would be willing to make them one and I have kind of fallen into a random skill that I love to do and people are interested in.

I have been toying around with the idea of making this with other states/symbols for people.  What do you all think? I'm interested in tips from other painters and interested in the feedback from you all.
 I'm selling this one for $15 + $3.50 shipping. 

Okay! Speaking of things that I love - I was reading PB Fingers blog and she was talking about random things that she loves more than she really should and I thought it was a great topic to cover today.  

For Example: 

My Erin Condren Planner. Yes it is super cute, yes it is functional, but do I really need to love my planner as much as I do? Probably not.  But I really love having a place to keep track of my life with a pretty planner filled with fun and bright colors

More Things I Love More Than I Should:  
  • Towels fresh out of the dryer
  • A nice cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream on top
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Lemon Drop EOS Lip Balm
  • Driving the car with the windows down
  • Crafting
  • The Bachelor/ette and Pretty Little Liars
  • Freshly painted nails - especially when someone else does them
  • Singing obnoxiously loud to music
  • Plucking my eyebrows (weird one but it's totally true haha)

Of course, there are some things that I love that actually deserve the love and excitement I give to them: Justin, my family, my best friends, my kitties Frye and Leilah, Justin's laugh, reading, Christmas-time, baking cookies and my mom's homemade meals.

Kind of a random post for the day, but it seemed fun with PB Fingers shared her list, so I thought I might play along too!

Questions of the Day:
1. What are some things you love more than you should?
2. What things actually deserve your love and excitement?

read more "Things You Love More Than You Should"

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What #NoExcuses Means to Me

Happy Tuesday Friends! Gosh every time I post I feel like I am giving another excuse as to where the heck I've been the past few weeks.  Well not anymore! 

If you can remember, a few weeks ago I talked about my becoming a #SweatPink Ambassador and how I joined the New Year, New You, No Excuses challenge.  Over the past few weeks I have been doing the challenges and sharing all of the pictures on Instagram.  On top of the daily challenges, they also give us a little weekly challenge to partake in and this week's challenge is to talk about what #NoExcuses really means to each one of us. 

It is rather ironic that I would be talking about this subject today since last night was filled with excuses for why I could not get to the gym: I'm tired - I don't feel well - I would rather sit at home and catch up on TV ( I mean who doesn't love The Bachelor) - I think my husband would prefer I didn't go to the gym... and the list goes on.

If I am being honest with myself, the plain and simple fact of me not going to the gym is because I am lazy and just did not want to.  However, when I woke up this morning, I knew I made a mistake and should have gone and spent the 30 or so minutes to get even a quick workout in.  

So what does #NoExcuses mean to me? 

I means keeping a commitment to myself, to actively working toward my goal and to living with no regrets

I do not want to live my life with the feeling that I failed myself by not following through at the gym or in other areas of my life.  It is time that I stop making excuses for myself and move forward to becoming the best and most exciting version of myself that I can be.  

Question of the Day: What excuses will you be throwing out the window?

Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored by Sweat Pink or any affiliates.  The views and opinions expressed are my own and I have not received any compensation for this post

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Simplify Your Life Series: Decluttering Your Inbox

Happy Tuesday Friends! I hope your week has been going well so far and you've not had too hard of a time getting back into the swing of things after the weekend. 

Today I wanted to start a sort of mini series called: Simplify Your Life.  One of my biggest stressors in my life is the fact that I can never seem to find things when I need them and the resulting feeling of disorganization and chaos.  I consider myself a very organized person, but for some reason when the work/life balance gets out of whack, everything else seems to fall to pieces.   Thus my goal for 2015: go through every part of my life and simplify it.

For today's Simplify Your Life post, I am going to talk about decluttering your inbox.

How many of you have several hundred emails that come into your inbox daily that you honestly do not have time to even begin to look over? Do you collect them in your inbox until your inbox has thousands of unread emails (ahem Justin) or do you start mass deleting your emails without giving them a second glance?  

I myself am a mass deleter and on more than one occasion I have deleted an email that was important and realized when it was too late that I missed out on a great opportunity (either with a good coupon or an email from a friend).  So I began to search for ways to organize my inbox and make that one part of my life a bit more simple. 

Organizing Your Inbox

If you are a GMail user, you may have already noticed the neat "tabs" function that they provide for users.  As you can see below, I have mine divided up into Primary, Social, Promotions, and Updates. 
  1. Primary: Holds emails from actual people - information, updates and the occasional order confirmation
  2. Social: Anything that comes from FaceBook, Twitter, or when I get comments on blog posts
  3. Promotions: This is exactly what you would expect it to be: promotions.  Coupons, updates, sales, deals, etc.  
  4. Updates: This tab holds any updates; i.e. Order Conformations, Shipping Updates, Bank Information, Online Account updates

By having these four tabs, I have already made my email reading experience a bit more enjoyable as I can quickly search for a tab that has the email that I need without sifting through the "junk" emails.  However, sometimes GMail does not get it right and an email gets lost or thrown into the wrong category.   It rarely happens, but it has, so GMail has given you the opportunity to define which emails go into which box.  That way, if you notice an email not going where you would like, you can assign it to the proper category. 

All you need to do is right clink on the email and move it to the correct folder, and from then on, any email from that person/company will be delivered to that box.  Pretty neat huh? 

Getting Rid of the Junk

Have you ever received an email and thought, "Did I really sign up to receive this?" Trust me, it happens often and majority of the time you did not sign up for that particular company's emails, but signed up for their affiliate and they sent your information on to their partner.  In some cases, the emails are great and you can really enjoy reading them, but most of the time it is not something you want to waste your time reading and end up deleting.

Enter the unsubscribe function or as I call it, the get out of my email button.

I use this button when I receive emails from a company that I either a) know I did not sign up for emails from or b) feel their emails are no longer relevant to my needs. 

On the bottom of most emails, you can find a button that says "unsubscribe".  If that button is not present, you will see something along the lines of the image above.  Take a minute to click the link and remove yourself from their mailing list.  It really is that. simple. 

By doing this, you are removing your name from their list which means you will no longer receive that unnecessary email in your inbox.  Which in turn means you will have to waste less time sifting through your emails.

Let's Get Started

This is an easy 15 minute way for you to declutter your inbox without too much angst or too much stress and in the long run you will be saving time.  Think this is something you can do? 

Question of the Day:
What ways have you minimized clutter in your life? 

I'd love to hear from you!

read more "Simplify Your Life Series: Decluttering Your Inbox"

Monday, January 12, 2015

My 2015 Reading List

This post main contain affiliate links.  Read my full disclosure policy here.

Hi there everyone! I hope your week has been going well and you are getting ready for some exciting plans this upcoming weekend! 

In my January: Month @ a Glance post I mentioned that I would like to set up my 2015 reading plan and I found an hour or so to sit down and decide exactly how many books I want to read try to read in 2015.  In 2014 I was only able to finish 8 of the 12 books that I had officially put on my reading list.  I am disappointed that I was not able to read the one book a month goal I had for myself, so I have upped the ante and gave myself a goal of 30 books for 2015.

The difference between this year and last year is the fact that I have implemented a 30 minute reading time before bed.  This means that every night I will take 30 minutes before bed to read a few chapters of a book and unwind.  I'm hoping it will help me hit my goal of 30 books.

30 books in 30 minutes a day.

Seems doable right?

My 2015 Reading List




    So in all reality, I have more than 30 books on my reading list for 2015.  I am not 100% sure I will be able to get through all of the books but I am going to try with all of my might to get through them all.  

    I am already through one book and have made my way a good chunk into the second one! Be looking for a review to come shortly.

    Question of the Day: 
    What books are you most looking forward to reading this year? 

    I'd love to hear from you!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

    read more "My 2015 Reading List"

    Friday, January 9, 2015

    New Year. New You. #NoExcuses

    Happy Friday Friends! I hope your week has been going well and you have some fun and exciting things planned for this coming weekend.  With Justin's birthday around the corner, we will be celebrating his birthday with our friends at our apartment with a game night, pizza and ice cream cake.  Nothing too exciting, but low key is how we do everything.

    Have any of you noticed this little badge floating on the side of my blog?

    I am proud to say that I am a member of the Sweat Pink Ambassador team.  What is Sweat Pink do you ask? 

    About the #SweatPink Team
    #SweatPink, also known by its parent company, Fit Approach, is a movement founded and run by two fabulous, ambitious cousins, Jamie and Alyse. Its main purpose? To build a sisterhood of women, dedicated to perpetuating fitness and health as legitimate tools and vehicles for female empowerment. In the words of the founders, "#SweatPink ambassadors believe that kicking rear is best done in pretty shoes, and that assertiveness, strength and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick."

    Sounds pretty awesome right? I am awful excited to be part of this team and begin working on finding out what makes me tick in the gym alongside with some rather awesome ladies.

    New Year. New You. #NoExcuses

    How has your first nine days of the year gone? Have you kept up with your resolutions? Or are you like me and are just getting started preparing for them? Well, if you have a fitness goal for 2015, this is a great opportunity for you to get some extra motivation and join the #NoExcuses challenge.

    About the Challenge:

    We had so much fun holiday sweat’ing it up with y’all during the holiday season and hope you did too (long live #holidaysweat). But now that its January (OMG!) and we’re all back to work and daily routines, we realize we need more encouragement, motivation and support than ever before to arm ourselves to have the best year yet

    Just because the holidays are OVER doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Soooo, let’s keep the the motivation, inspiration, social sharing fun going and going and going. We invite you to join us for the #SweatPink #NoExcuses Challenge.  
    Here’s what you can expect:
    • Each Sunday we’ll send you an email with weekly prompts (workouts, healthy snack ideas and more)
    • We ask that you share your answer or interpretation of those prompts daily via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, your blog, etc using #NoExcuses #SweatPink for a chance to win fun weekly prizes from brands like Augusta Active, ShowerPill, Beaming with Health….etc etc…
    • Each day, we’ll all share what we’re doing and how we’re doing it on our social channels and help each other stay accountable, motivated and on top of our goals.
    • Every Friday, we’ll send around an email with winners, prizes and our favorite Tweets, IG posts and blog posts from the week (hello, link love and social sharing!)

    So what do you think? I'm hoping you will join the challenge with me and we can all have a year of #NoExcuses!

    If you want to participate: join here

    Question of the Day:
    What are your fitness goals for 2015?
    read more "New Year. New You. #NoExcuses"

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

    January: Month @ a Glance

    Happy January Friends! 

    I know that it is already January 7th and I apologize for taking my time on getting back to you all, but I have finally settled into the new year and felt it to be just about time I start getting back into the swing of things.

    January is always a busy month for us between the New Year and Justin's birthday but I love having it that way because we are still feeling festive from the holidays and I get to celebrate my person.  So what's up this month?

    In Chronological Order:
    • Downton Abbey and Pretty Little Liars Premieres with my girls
    • Celebrate Justin's birthday with Friends (I'm so excited for the decorations I picked)
    • Birthday party for an adorable 3 year old 
    • Justin's Birthday 
    • Celebrate Justin's birthday with my Family
    • Nestie Post Holiday Event
    • Celebrate Justin's birthday with his Family
    • Lazy Sunday with my girlfriends 

    Other Happenings in January

    As you have probably noticed, I have not had a chance to set up my resolutions for 2015.  With the chaos at the end of 2014, I have not given too much thought to what exactly I would like to accomplish this year.  So in January, my goal is to:
    • Set up my 2015 Reading Plan.  I would realllllly like to read 30+ books this year, but this goal is a bit hefty so we will see where I end up landing
    • Make an exercise plan for the year - it is about time I get my butt in gear
    • Post a Winter Crafting Tutorial 
    • Begin the #jackabeedaily2015 Challenge
    As the next few weeks go on, I will be sure to share some of my ideas with you all.  It should be noted that there is no #photoadayRWJ photo challenge this month.  I have already begun working on the February 2015 challenge for everyone and I hope you will all participate.  I really love seeing all of the pictures that everyone shares!

    Question of the Day:
    What does your January look like?

    read more "January: Month @ a Glance"

    Friday, January 2, 2015

    Happy New Year!

    Happy New Years friends! I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and New Years and were able to spend some time with loved ones and get some probably much needed rest.

    Our year will start unlike any of the New Years I have started - with one less and rather important person.  It is with a sad heart that I share with you that my grandma passed away on Saturday December 27th early in the morning. 

    Instead of sitting here detailing everything that has happened the past few weeks, I wanted to share a quote that my cousin shared on her Facebook page that I felt fit very well with everything that is going on.

    "So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them."
     - The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    To the most beautiful woman who is dancing in Heaven with the love of her life, thank you for being an inspiration and I am proud to call you my Grandma.
    Sunrise: December 30, 1934
    Sunrise: December 27, 2014

    read more "Happy New Year! "

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    It's National Bake Cookies Day!

    Happy National Bake Cookies Day Everyone! I hope your week has been going well and you are done almost done shopping for your Christmas gifts. 

    Did you know that today is National Bake Cookies Day? I fully intend on taking some time this evening to celebrate this national day by baking a few dozen peanut butter cookies. 

    In honor of this holiday, I wanted to share 10 Holiday Inspired cookie recipes with you! 


    Aren't these all so fun?! I am going to pin all of the recipes to Pinterest for safe keeping and will hopefully make some soon!

    Question of the Day: What is your favorite cookie to bake?

    read more "It's National Bake Cookies Day! "