Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Time Catch-Up

Dear Blog,

You used to be my outlet and something I truly enjoyed keeping up with. Lately, I wouldn't say that I don't enjoy keeping up with you...I simply have run out of hours in the day. I occasionally still find myself writing blog post in my head (it's interesting up there), but time is simply not my friend!

However here are things that are currently on my mind and worth sharing:
Nashville- the tv show, the pandora station, everything...consider me obsessed. I mean Connie Britton literally can do no wrong in my eyes and if my husband wasn't so opposed I would be watching re-runs ALL. SUMMER. LONG

Burgers- We are trying to branch out in the kitchen (read eat something other than Mexican...) and these Spicy Hawaiian burgers were "lick your plate clean" amazing. We've made them with both ground turkey and chicken (chicken better) but both were so good. I would say you have to season a bit more if you use turkey. 

Perspective- This quote just has been speaking to me lately. I'm not really doing any life-overhauling, just trying to keep things in perspective.

Freshly-Ground Honey Roasted Peanut Butter- literally I could put you on everything...and probably have tried recently. I cannot get enough of this and have to limit the amount of times I "pop by Fresh Market" to get a refill. Side-note popping by Fresh Market, really shouldn't be a regular thing in my life...it's a foodie money pit if I've ever seen one!

Black Maxi-Dress- If you see me this summer and I'm not wearing this, please pat me on the back because it had become my uniform...and no B does not think this is awesome.

Blue Apron- Love everything about the concept and the service, except for the serving sizes. The delivery was smooth and something about not grocery shopping for the week really works for me. Additionally the meals were creative and because it was all pre-measured, clean-up was easier (win-win). The recipes and instructions were helpful and they were manageable for even a novice cook like me. However, I don't know that we will be signing up for round two because like I said the serving sizes don't exactly work for B. We could have gone up to 3 meals or even 4 but then from a pricing perspective this wouldn't have made since. So because no-leftovers means no lunch for Meg, we are probably out, I think our run with Blue Apron might be short lived...back to the grocery store for me!

Waterlogged- In my attempt to make drinking 8 glasses of water a more regular habit (see my birthday post for more information about goals I'm trying to accomplish) I downloaded the app waterlogged. It is super simply to use and has really helped with tracking my 8 glasses. I am not terrible about drinking water but if I'm not paying attention during the day, I often find myself just assuming that I got through all 8 glasses....perhaps I've been giving myself more credit than I deserve! They have standard a 8oz glass and a 12oz bottle buttons  as easy tracking options, but I love that I could take a picture of my 20oz Tervis Tumbler and have that added since I typically drink from that during the day! So far that goal is off to a great start. 

So while I might not be so regular around these parts, I haven't quit and I do have ideas...just not a lot of time!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

30th Birthday Planning

Dear 30th Birthday,

You are 5 months away (woops...meant to speak to you before now). Years ago this age seemed really old, and well if I were being really honest it does sound old... kinda on a new level of "I should know what I'm doing with my life old". I'm not dreading turning 30, I'm looking forward to it, but I guess it's not really a birthday I have ever seen approached with as much excitement as say 16, 21 or maybe even 50. Either way September 8th is coming and I will turn 30.

Sometime during my unemployment (hello 6 months of entertaining myself for free and trying to convince someone to hire me), I stumbled across tons of 101 in 1001 lists in the blog world. The idea being that you accomplish 101 things in 1001 days. Most bloggers started this leading up to their 30th birthday or some even for their 25th (cough, cough, overachievers). I thought this sounded like a great idea and I made a list. It took some time because I tried to be intentional and approach this list from the perspective of bettering my life or making changes/doing things in areas that were important to me.

My areas of focus were:

1. Faithfulness
2. Daring and Adventurous
3. Financial Peace/Getting my Life Together
4. Developing Talents
5. Health
6. Showing Love to Myself and Others

While math has never been my strong point, hello English major, even I am not challenged enough to believe that 5 months translates to 1001 days. So with just over 150 days until my 30th birthday I thought I would share some of the things on my list that I have achieved and the top 10 (seems achievable) that I would like to check-off before turning 30.

Items that have been Accomplished:

1. Pay off all Credit Card Debt
2. Meet with Financial Advisors/Planner
3. Consolidate Savings Accounts (Meg and B)
4. Fully Fund Emergency Fund
5. Research and Buy a Vacuum Cleaner
6. Put together a Family Yearbook of Pictures (this has only happened for 2013...I got a few more to do)
7. Take advantage of free classes offered by UR each semester (Fall 2013 check plus)
8. Meet regularly with a trainer to mix-up my workouts
9. See my grandparents once a month (started this)
10. Find a charity around the holidays and give back (Feedmore during Thanksgiving and Angel Tree during Christmas...but not removing this because we can do more)
11. Get tested to see if I'm a bone marrow match for a family friend
12. Visit the Spy Museum in DC

Items to Accomplish before September 8:

1. Plan trip to Napa/Sonoma for 30th birthday/wedding anniversary (it's happpppening and anyone that has tips we are very interested in hearing those).
2. Become a member of a church (been shopping around but we want to commit sooner rather than later)
3. Sign Up for Stitch Fix and give it a shot
4. Make drinking 8 glasses a water a day a habit (I'm okay, I just want to commit) 
5. Go to the dermatologist
6. Learn to cook 3 dishes that my grandmother makes that I love
7. Take Brendan to the Washington DC Zoo
8. Send handwritten notes to someone new once a month for a year (clearly I would be starting this and not finishing it before September)
9. Start saving for a down payment on a house (kinda doing that...but time to get serious)
10. Have a social media free weekend with Brendan 

So now my plan and my ideas are out there....30th Birthday prep, let's do this!



Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Favorites: Spring Fever

Dear Friday,

I think it really has become a major refrain around here but...thank goodness you are here!

Here are the top 5 things on my mind:
  1. Thankful for a husband who knows just when to bring home cupcakes...because clearly we all know that they fix everything!
  2. Richmond has just been nuts from a weather perspective...pretty on the weekends and snow during the week. Looking forward to some sun this coming weekend!
  3. MARCH MADNESS is HEEEEEEEEEERE! I love basketball and I'm super competitive so this is like Christmas. Too bad all my smack talking is going to come back and bit me in the butt...I'm currently dead last in both my family pool and the one with my students. Regardless I'm excited to watch some major hoops action this weekend!
  4. Last night we made Basil Smashes to celebrate the First Day of Spring! Looking forward to many more of those in my future.
  5. Spring to me means layering with fun light-weight jackets and I've got my eye on this blue nautical number and this green military inspired jacket from Old Navy!

Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rent the Runway Review

Dear Rent the Runway,

So while this is not my first time meeting you...it has been a while since we hung out. I was incredibly skeptical the first time around and since that went so well I had been meaning to use you again...I guess my invitations to lots of fancy events have just gone missing...

Several weekends ago I attended an event for work and needed something fancy and well buying something for said event just wasn't in the cards. So I came to visit you and once again the experience was great.

This is the dress I picked based on what was available for the date I was looking for and my mailing zip code. Please note planning ahead is helpful, but I did place the order on Monday for a Thursday delivery.  Not only did I get the dress on time, but this cost me $40 instead of $450. Additionally you can chose to have them send you two sizes (the second one either being a size up or a size down) free of charge. Both times I have relied heavily on reviews to help me decide what additional size to get. 

 The reviews are really good and the nice part is once you fill out your profile they highlight for you reviews from women who are similar to you (height, weight, bust size, body shape and sometimes event age). I'm an hourglass and so I find reading those reviews for dresses REALLY helpful.

Perfect example of a good review...tells what sizes she got, which ones worked and why (and yes let's all pretend I'm 25 and weigh 112 pounds...ha)

So while I didn't quite look like the model (or the 25 year old) I did have another great experience. Dress arrived on time, it was good quality and didn't look like it had been worn, it was clean and fit like a charm. 

I'm a pretty notorious "friend closet shopper" and while I do typically go that route it's nice to mix it up every once in a while!

Until next time Rent the Runway...now about all those invites to fancy events...


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I Need a Garage

Dear Garages,

This morning as I scraped pounds of ice off my windshield for the ump-teen-millionth time this winter, I dreamed about you. The ease you would provide to my mornings, the warmth, the additional sleep and really just everything about you sounds grand. 

I've decided that you are a "must" on my list of things that I need when buying a house. I should probably plan to buy a house in the winter, so that my resolve doesn't wane during the warmer months. 

Here are a few pretty pictures of you to brighten up the frozen tundra that is Richmond:


Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Favorites: Lounge Wear

Lounge Wear by Loft

Lounge Wear by Loft 

Dear Loft, 

As a former employee and life-long shopper, (can I say life-long at 29...maybe not, but still you understand), I must say that I'm loving the new Lou and Grey partnership. I'm not sure if it's the recent weather (hellllo snow day) or the fact that instead of spending the winter months getting in shape all I want to do is eat Oreos/Girl Scout cookies...either way the recent partnership has resulted in a line of super comfy lounge wear that I want to own. 

I'm hoping in person that it lives up to the hype that I've created in my mind but seriously get on a sale would you?!!?


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Post Office Blues

Dear US Post Office,

I love mail and so with that in mind, I typically fall in the category of your biggest fan. HOWEVER I've been trying to track down a lost package for several days and today I made it as far as getting in the "virtual line" to talk someone, which really did feel like a victory. Well the victory was short lived as I ended up on hold for 45 minutes and never saw an end in sight.....

I'm officially over you and your lack of customer service.