How To Make The Most Of A Rainy Day

I went to bed last night to an awesome summer thunderstorm that I figured would blow over by morning, but when I woke up this morning, thunder was still rumbling and it was so dark I needed to turn on all of the lights like it was 8pm.  Not an ideal way to start the day, but at least it inspired a blog post. I’m all about taking the little wins lately, so let’s roll with it. 

It’s dark and gross outside, which completely destroys my motivation to do much of anything except sit on my couch and binge watch Netflix.  I have to leave home to go to the gym (and I hate driving in rain..that’s a story for another day), and I truly believe that I run on sunshine and coffee, and there is zero sunshine to speak of, which means my battery is flashing on low.  So, what’s a gal (or guy) to do?  Now, I have the rare lifestyle where I don’t actually have to get up and go to work since my occupation is “housewife” followed closely by “blogger,” which means I have the option of not leaving the house.  While I know many of you don’t have that lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself with a gloom and doom day at home at some point this summer.  Here are a few ways you can make the most of it. 

Spa Day

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Dagne Dover Classic Tote: Is It Worth It?

 

Dagne Dover first popped onto my radar when I started to see Facebook ads for them. Because Facebook is clever and very scary, it knew that I was a prime target to be converted into a Dagne Dover customer. Not only has my handbag obsession been around for years, but I also deal with the struggle of having too much stuff floating around in my bag, and at the same time not having nearly enough room for everything I wanted to put in there.  After being convinced that this bag was perfect for me, I decided to boldly reach out to the company and tell them why I was the perfect person to write a review for them. Amazingly, they responded and agreed to send me their classic tote.  While I was sent the bag, the following opinions are 100% honest.  Remember, I reached out to them…and let’s be real here, if they didn’t agree to send me one to review, pure curiosity would have caused me to drop the money on it anyway because I already decided I had to have it.  I just want to be fully transparent here.  Ok, now we can get started. 

While 95% of the time I’m working it’s in the comfort of my own office (and sometimes my couch), there have been plenty of occasions where I have wanted to take my blog’s HQ to a different location.  Okay, usually that location is Starbucks and occasionally a meeting, but still, it requires me to pack up my things and go somewhere else.  When this happens, it’s pretty typical that I’m carrying my big purse as well as a laptop bag and a water bottle.  I’m clunky, clumsy, and take up far too much space.  If only there was a way to solve my traveling dilemma.

Enter: The Dagne Dover Classic Tote

When I first laid eyes on that targeted Facebook Ad I was instantly smitten with this tote bag. It had all of the features of any bag I could possibly want, and even a few features I didn’t know I needed.  Here’s some info on the features of this bag (we’ll get more in-depth in a second):

  • Drop Zipper Opening
  • L 13” x H 8” x W ¾” Padded Laptop Sleeve with Hidden Magnetic Closure
  • L 10 ½” x H 7 ½” Padded Tablet / Notebook Sleeve
  • Phone Pocket with ID / MetroCard Compartment
  • 3 Pen / Lipgloss Loops
  • Large Interior Zipper Pocket
  • 2 Slip Pockets (L 5 ½” x H 6”)
  • Additional Side Slip Pocket (L 4” x H 4 ½”)
  • 4” Diameter Neoprene Bottle Holder
  • Detachable Leather Key Leash with 2 interior D-Rings
  • 2 External Aesthetic D-Rings
  • Pyramid Hardware Feet

 

The Classic Tote fits everything you could possibly need to get you through a work day all the and take you all way to a night out with friends.  The coated canvas looks super chic but is also water-resistant and easy to clean with a damp cloth, making it ideal for the woman on the go. 

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April 2017 Goals

Oh my gosh, I feel like world’s most terrible blogger.  Lately, I’ve been lucky if I can get one post up every few weeks, and I have no one to blame but myself.  It’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s that I don’t make the time, and that’s on me and me alone.  This month is the start of the second quarter of 2017 (already??) and I feel like this year so far has been a bit of a bust, but it’s time for me to get things turned around and working in my favor, and that starts with some new goals. 

Start doing the Miracle Morning daily.  I’ve started to reread Hal Elrod’s best seller “The Miracle Morning,” and I am loving it.  I’ve read it once before, but I failed horribly at actually implementing all of the great things that this book has to offer.  This time around I’m in a little Facebook book club that will serve as an accountability group to ensure each of us is not only reading, but doing what the book tells us.  For fun, even though I’m only 1/3 of the way done with the book, I decided to try doing a “Miracle Morning” this morning, and it worked!  I feel great, I’ve been productive, gotten a workout in, read, journaled, prayed, ate a healthy breakfast, and even did some blog work, and it isn’t even 11 am yet!  My goal is to finish the book and to start doing this miracle morning routine every day, and my hope is I’ll get some very positive changes out of it.  You can check out the book on Amazon.  For only $15 it’s definitely worth picking up.  Read more

April 2017 Wish List

Air Fryer | Benefit Boxed Blush | Ole Henriksen Kit | Village Candle Coffee Bean | Beauty and the Beast Journal | Iconic Protein Drink

Here are a few of the awesome products that have caught my eye and made it onto my wish list for the new month.  We’ve got a little bit of everything this month.  Check it out!

Air Fryer ($150)- My biggest wishlist item of the month is an air fryer.  After seeing all of the awesome creations people are coming up with in their fryers, I’m having some severe envy about not having one of my own.  Air Fryers help you achieve the crisp cook of fried food while using little to no oil in the preparation.  This sounds like a dream come true.  I’m longing to get my hands on one of these so I can try out different veggies in there to make my own sweet potato fries, butternut squash bites, and I’m really dying to try the Green Giant cauliflower tots in there.  I was obsessed with them when I had them at my parent’s house, and I imagine tossing them in an air fryer rather than the oven will make them even more amazing. This appliance actually surpassed a new coffee maker on my wishlist. That’s just crazy talk!

Benefit Galifornia($29)- I’ve always enjoyed Benefit’s cult classic boxed blushes. Coralista has always been one of my favorites, and GALifornia looks like it might be a slightly brighter, but still completely wearable version of my all time favorite.   Read more

February 2017 Wish List

Every month (okay, every month that I actually take the time to do it..) I  like to compile a list of the things I’ve got my eyes on.  This month we’re looking at a few different kinds of sweet treats and even a new kind of crayon.  Read on!

 

Wicked Good Cupcakes:  If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for all things sweet, and cake/cupcakes are at the very top of my list.  With Valentine’s Day around the corner, all of the best sweet treats are coming out with limited editions for V-day.  I’ve been dying to try these Wicked Good Cupcakes.. I mean, Wicked is in the title! How could I not want to try these?? Has anyone ever tried them? Are they as good as they look?

 

Too Faced Sweet Peach Collection:  I know this collection is SO hyped up, but I’ve also heard it’s as awesome as it looks.  Too Faced is the company that really got me into high-end cosmetics (with the purchase of an eyeshadow duo called “bon-bon”) years ago, and I love trying all of their products, but I just haven’t been willing to purchase anything from sweet peach yet. Now they have more than the eyeshadow palette (which I’ve wanted for months).  There are lip glosses, a highlighter palette, and a blush that looks amazing.  If I do cave, I’ll be sure to give you a full review of whatever I get.  What do you recommend?

Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites: Did I mention I love cake?? Now I’m looking at a more Weight Watchers friendly version of cake with these protein cake bites from Optimum Nutrition.  They come in 3 flavors: Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, and Chocolate Dipped Cherry.  How does one choose?? Each serving packs 20g protein, giving your cake fix a bit of a nutrition fix as well.  I’m dying to get my hands on these. As per usual, if I find them, you’ll hear about them.

Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks:  The latest lip product line from Clinique, a company I adore, is a set of Chubby Sticks inspired by Crayola crayons. How cute is that?? They even look like giant crayons.  I saw them swatched on social media, and every shade is one that I would wear in a sheer, hydrating stick, so it is definitely a collection I’d like to get my hands on. You can get the full set of 8 for $49.50. Read more

2017 Goals

I know I’m a little behind, it being almost the end of January and all, but better late than never, right? As I’ve mentioned in vlogs over on my YouTube channel, 2016 was a year of me failing to reach my goals.  I just wasn’t motivated, and was easily distracted and discouraged so not much got done. This year, I have some goals (some old, some new) that I’m hoping to achieve. Along with the new goals comes a fresh new dose of motivation.  I’m hoping to buckle down and really make 2017 the best year yet.  

Health Goals

My number one goal is to get back down to my goal weight. The only thing is..I don’t know what my new goal weight is yet.  Last time I hit goal, I weighed 135lbs, but it turns out that was a little too thin for my body, and certain parts of me looked too bony. That being said, I clearly overcompensated with fixing that problem. This time around, I plan on starting the journey back down (because no change really happened in 2016), but I’ll lose at least 15 lbs and then I’ll play it by ear. 

I want to focus more on being healthy and fit rather than just losing weight, so who knows what my body will look like, but I do know I want to fit back into my goal jeans (aka my pair of clearance jeans from American Eagle I had as my goal jeans last time). I love those jeans.  We’ll just have to see what the final number ends up being, but I’m hoping to reach it in 2017. 

Blog Goals

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My 2017 Word of the Year

The new year is upon us, and many people (myself included) use the new year to reevaluate, reset, and set some stellar goals for the year.  A trend that I’m seeing in many goal setting workbooks and tools nowadays involves choosing a word of the year.  This word is the word you use to inspire and remind yourself of your primary focus for the next 365 days.  There are so many words to choose from that I’ve often found it difficult to narrow it down to just one word for the year in years past, but this year I’ve managed to do it.  This year’s word of the year is: flourish.

The definition of flourish is:

  1. to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
  2. develop rapidly and successfully
  3. to be working at the height of one’s career during a specific period.

Basically, this word completely sums up what I hope to do in 2017. 2016 was a year where, while some awesome things happened, I didn’t do a very good job of working to achieve any of my goals except for one (getting back on stage), and I find that very disappointing. I have nothing or no one to blame but myself. I have since forgiven myself for my failure that was 2016 and am ready to move on and embrace this new year with some new goals (and some of the same goals), a new game plan, and a fresh dose of motivation.   Read more

“Wicked Fun” with Erin Condren

wicked-fun-with-ec

While I don’t have enough space, cash, or desire to throw a giant Halloween bash, I love celebrating seasons and holidays, and Halloween is no exception.  I have a few decorations out, some spooky treats in the kitchen, and some of the latest Halloween goodies from Erin Condren in my office.  Only EC could make Halloween fun and functional. 

For those of you that don’t know, my all time favorite musical is Wicked. Wicked centers around Elphaba (more commonly known as the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda from the Wizard of Oz starting before the events that we know from the movie.  It’s brilliantly written, the music is incredible, and I’ve been hooked for years. To say I’m obsessed is putting it lightly. When I lived at my parent’s house, I color matched my bedroom to the musical’s poster.  My college senior recital was titled “Defying Gravity,” and I even got a lime green Ford Fiesta before it was cool (ok..it might not ever be cool, but there are definitely a lot more of them around now) because it was the perfect shade of “Elphaba green.”  See? Obsessed!

wicked-planners

When I saw one of the Halloween releases from Erin Condren had Wicked written on it, I knew I had to have the collection, so I picked up a few (okay..all) of the “Wicked Fun” items EC offered to give my office a little bit of a Halloween flair.  

My Life Planners both got makeovers to stay current with the holiday, and while my blog planner is sporting last year’s October cover, my personal planner is sporting the new “Wicked Fun” cover in my favorite wicked colors: Elphaba green (aka to the rest of the world as lime green) and good old black. 

journal

I have been obsessed with the bound journals that EC released this year, so when I saw “Wicked fun” was offered as a journal cover as well, it went into the cart in the same custom colors as my ECLP cover.  This journal proudly bears a quote from my favorite song in the musical, “Defying Gravity.”  Not only does the journal make me smile, but it’s great for writing down my ideas for various Halloween festivities.  

While my planners and notebooks rarely leave the office, the EC Halloween offerings can be used in other parts of the holiday too.  

cupcakes

For some baked goods to serve at a party (or just to myself and the Mister), I had my sister (who is the baker at Deanna’s Delights) make and frost some yummy, festive cupcakes for my acrylic tray. While many people don’t necessarily think of purple as a Halloween color, I find it goes perfectly with my “Wicked Fun” acrylic tray insert from EC. I customized the colors so they felt a little more “Wicked the musical” and less wicked witch with the giant wart on her nose, and the purple and orange treats matched perfectly.  

wicked-tray

Holiday Tip: Add a few drops of food dye to your frosting or cake batter for an extra festive feel.  You can give something as simple as boxed cake and canned frosting that extra special flare. 

cookies

EC also has a gift label for every occasion, and Halloween is no exception. I decided on some with the bats to complete my Halloween collection, and they’re perfect for labeling the cookies I’d love to give to friends for the holiday. All you need is a clear plastic bag and delicious treats to put in them. Ta da! A cute, personal Halloween treat.  

As with most EC products, the personalization and customization of their products is practically limitless, and Halloween is no exception.  If you want to get your hands on these wicked fun goodies before they fly away, you should head to the site and order soon.  First-time customers can rel=”nofollow” sign up using this link and get a coupon for $10 off their order.  

What are some of your Halloween party or home decor tips? 

*I was sent these products in collaboration with Erin Condren, but all opinions are my own. Using my referral link also grants me $10 credit to EC.  Thanks for supporting my obsession and my blog*

October 2016 Goals

October Goals

It’s October!  There’s a chill in the air, it’s officially acceptable to enjoy pumpkin spice everything, and sweaters are a wardrobe staple again.  It’s my favorite time of year (except for the non-stop clouds and rain that we’ve had for a week now..that really needs to go away). 

I’ll be honest: September was a really rough month.  Out of all of the September goals I set for myself, I managed to achieve a whopping 1..ONE!! The goal I managed to achieve was to get my CMT story out there for the world to hear, and I did.  The video is on my YouTube channel and has gotten a great response, so I’m thrilled about that.  Everything else on that September goals list…well, I’d rather not talk about that..

But alas, it is a new month, which means it’s time for new goals (or if I’m honest, repeat goals with the intention of achieving them), so here we go! Read more

August 2016 Goals

August Goals

Hello, Happy Monday, and Happy August!  I can’t believe that 2016 is already in a rapid downward spiral into pumpkin spice everything season.  While I’m kind of ready for fall (I love pumpkin flavors and sweaters), I’m also not ready for summer to end at all. 

I know I haven’t done a goals post in a few months, but I wanted to start them up again to keep myself accountable for all of the things I want to get done.  With all of the chaos and disorder that’s been in my life the past few months, I am calling August the “All About Me” month.  With no major events on my calendar and nothing too crazy on the to do list, it is time for me to focus exclusively on myself and the things I want to get done. Don’t worry, my Mister will get my focus too, but he’s gone half of the time anyway.  That being said, here are my goals for August. Read more