Monday, February 19, 2018

Travel Favorites: Orlando, FL

I am trying to attack the weeks with a more positive mindset by being so prepared going into Monday and I think I've really done it this week!

I was super productive most of the weekend: knocked out meal planning, shopping and prepping (see how I do this in this post), lots of laundry and cleaning for our Minimalist Game (details on this coming soon)! On top of all that, I still got in a few dog walks, a yummy Mexican date night with my man, started and finished an entire book and had brunch with Whitney and some friends Sunday morning! So all in all, pretty successful weekend. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I spent 5 days in Orlando earlier this month with Maggie and Derek and we had a BLAST. I'm probably going to write a few posts on planning and my tips for traveling as adults, but today I just wanted to share a few of my favorite moments! 

WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER. 

Honestly, I should just stop right here because this was, of course, my favorite part of the whole trip and my main motivation for going in the first place. Yes, there will be an entire post dedicated solely to Harry Potter. Every second of being in Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts and riding the Hogwarts Express had me smiling so much it hurt and close to tears a few times. Thankfully, there was no judgement from Christian, Maggie or Derek because they were loving it just as much! 

Animal Kingdom. 

Animal Kingdom was my favorite of all the Disney parks. So much so, that we went twice! Everything we did there was so fun  - The Lion King show, the Everest ride, the African Safari and just walking around the entire park and seeing all the wildlife! I think it would be really fun to stay at one of the hotels closer to Animal Kingdom next time. 

Eating around the world. 

Most people drink around the world at Epcot and we definitely had those intentions (that the husbands followed through with), but Maggie and I ended up doing way more eating around the world which I enjoyed so much more. From guacamole in Mexico to gelato in Italy, I was in heaven! I also really loved how immersive each country was! 
Our travel buddies! 

We truly picked the best couple to go on this vacation with. Maggie and I learned we married each other. Derek and I would be randomly bursting out into random noises while she and Christian would be looking for beer. It was the perfect match. We also can all be super introverted so it was nice to come home from the parks and everyone being perfectly comfortable crawling in bed to read or unwind before getting up for another early morning. We honestly just vacation so similarly that we were all on the same page all week! Hence why we'll be doing it again with kids in 10-15 years LOL.

 Have you been to Orlando recently? Did you have a favorite event/park?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Current Reads: A Link Up

I've had this post sitting in my drafts for weeks getting ready for today because I've been reading so much and wanted to share. But then, we spent 5 days in Orlando and had a 4:30 AM wake-up call yesterday, a travel morning from hell, and a surprise visit from my mom which lead to me in bed at 9 PM last night not writing this post.

So afternoon post it is. Part of my Thrive in 2018 is reading more because I LOVE to read and am trying to do some things to really take care of myself. Without further fluff, the books I've read in 2018 thus far.

January 

All the Missing Girls / Megan Miranda
Rating: 3.5/5

First things first, if you like books written in logical, chronological order, this is not your book. It is told backwards while also telling a story from current day and from 10 years prior. There are a few times I had to stop and refresh where I was at in the timeline and put things in order in my head.

I enjoy books that make you think, so I was a fan. I also did not expect the ending which is always a win in my book. My one issue was that I didn't really love the narrator. She wasn't always very likable, but it made sense by the end. All in all, would recommend if you like mysteries.

Nookietown / V.C. Chickering
Rating: 2/5

Honestly, 2 out of 5 might be pushing it. I thought this was going to be a little more humorous than it was based on the description. This book honestly made me pretty annoyed by the end because the author clearly hates the institution of marriage. There is a constant stream of anti marriage drivel and the ending was too tidy after all the drama of the book. So, don't read this if you like marriage and monogamy.

The Twilight Wife / A.J. Banner
Rating: 3/5 

Oh look, another twisty suspense novel. This is my preferred genre most of the time with a little fantasy and biography thrown in occasionally. Anyways, this one was pretty good. I definitely did not figure out the ending until right before the reveal but the entire book had me constantly worried about the main character which  made it hard to put down because I wanted to know she was going to be okay. Definitely a faster read, but worth it in my opinion.

The Woman in the Window / A. J. Finn
Rating: 4/5 

I joined Book of the Month club in January and was dying to get my hands on this book based on the premise and I'm so glad it finally came (it took way longer than expected to be honest) because I really enjoyed it. Yet again, a thriller, but dealing with mental illness as well. I also was super surprised by the ending in this one and did not guess it at all. A little bit longer of a read with some slow parts in the middle, but definitely recommend this one! I haven't read Woman in Cabin 10, but I think they have similar vibes based on what I've heard about it because you can't figure out if the narrator is trustworthy for most of the book.

February 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / J.K Rowling
Rating: 10/5 

Honestly, I only put this year because I technically reread it right before we left for Universal to get in the spirit of "I just turned 11 and found out I'm a wizard and this is the best day of my life". It had been quite a few years since I had reread the first one so I'm glad I did. I'll probably reread the rest of the series since I started... for the 100th time in my life.

Since She Went Away / David Bell
Rating: 3/5 

I'm waffling back and forth on the rating a little bit because I genuinely enjoyed the book and the two narrators were very likable and easy to relate to. But, I felt that not everything was "solved" at the end and the ending was pretty abrupt. I wanted a little more wrap up after such dramatic and traumatizing events within the book. All of a sudden, it was just over. So, definitely like the book, but would change the last chapter if I could.

I've got quite a few library books on the nightstand right now as well as a few books I purchased at Christmas and a new Book of the Month book that just arrived so I have a feeling I'll have more to share for the next link up!

Linking up with Steph and Jana

Sunday, January 28, 2018

My Honest Experience with the 21 Day Fix

A few weeks ago, I embarked on the 21 Day Fix which I mentioned a little more about in this post. I'm sharing my results with full transparency how well I followed the plan and without any pictures LOL. I'm just not ready for pictures of my body on the internet... maybe one day.

So first up, why did I decide to do this? 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How I Meal Plan in Less than 30 Minutes

On January 8th, I started the 21 Day Fix (just the portion control part) and I very quickly learned (on Day 2) that I had to be super diligent about meal planning and prep to be successful.

On Day 2, I thought I had done a great job of meal prepping and being prepared but had a left a few things to do in the morning. On this particular Tuesday, I had to get to the office early, drop of materials for a stewardship event, pick up two new hires and drive all the way across town in rush hour for a facilities tour. Needless to say, I was running late and didn't get all my morning prep done. Then I was stuck in the facilities from 9:15 to after noon... with what food I did have stuck in my car. By the time I was able to eat, it was 1pm, my prepped food had gotten hot (there were eggs involved - it wasn't pretty). Needless to say I was a hangry beast driving through that Chick Fil A line...

After that, I got my ish together and week two was a breeze because of it so I thought I would share what I'm doing!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Thrive.

Last week, I posted a 2017 recap of my "Try More" motto for 2017. Yes, last week. The third week of January. But, it's fine. I'm here now so that's what counts, right?

For 2018, I wanted to pick a word again. I guess I technically went with a phrase last year, but it was the same concept. It took me a little while to figure out my word for this year after all the insanity of last year (see the bottom of last week's post for details), I had some things I needed to do for my personal well being that I wanted to work into my word. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Five on Friday

Whew. We made it. What a weird week it's been. Most of you were probably off on Monday and if you're in the South, had a snow day on Wednesday (and maybe Thursday, too). But, alas, I work in transportation and how do you think all the bread and milk gets to you when a snowflake appears int he forecast? Though I'm in HR/training, we follow the company guidelines (clearly, since we have to enforce them) so we work when our operations teams work! Thankfully, I at least got to leave early both days and was lucky to work from home yesterday.

Onward to the five...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Try More 2017 Recap

I've decided that being an adult is just constantly talking about how tired you are or saying "WOW can you believe it's already *insert month here*? This year has flown by!"

And since we're all thinking it, I don't need to say it today, right? ;)

And yes, I started this post WEEKS ago while it was still 2017 and it's just now getting posted. Life has been more insane than normal, but I'm sitting at home, watching the snow fall after working most of the day and decided I should finish this post up because I have some ideas of other posts I want to share! 

Last year I embarked on my "Try More" journey (read about that here). And I'm pleased to say that I did pretty well and tried a lot of new things. To end the year, I thought I'd do a final recap. If you want to read about my 6 month check in, click here, but I'll be talking about a few of these things here, too! 

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