Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 in the Books

Yes, the last post I published was also about books. But, I read a lot so here we are again. Although the last week before Christmas I really stalled in the reading department and I'm STILL working my way through China Rich Girlfriend that I started almost 2 weeks ago. It's also like 4 days overdue at the library but I'm not returning it until it's finished! I should be finishing it tonight or tomorrow morning while sitting at the tire shop... and because Goodreads and I got into a fight, it's already listed as completed. 

As of right now, I have read 51 books in 2018. My goal was 36 so I'm pretty darn proud of this. I LOVE to read and I read pretty fast compared to people in my life (though the internet assures me there are many people reading a lot faster!) But, I had really gotten into the habit of watching TV or movies or scrolling through my phone instead of reading. 

In January, I set a goal to start reading again and low balled my goal in order to nudge myself back into it. I hit that goal right before we moved in September! The move definitely slowed me down but now that the holidays are over, I'm back in the groove and plan to set a higher goal for 2019. I haven't decided exactly what yet, but I'm thinking at least 60. 

Here's a screenshot of everything I've read from Goodreads: 




I tried to narrow down my top recommendation to 1 but...HAHAHAHA no way. So here' s a few. 

Best "if you haven't read this yet you are insane" book: All the Harry Potter books. This will always be my recommendation for this type of category. 

Best thriller: Final Girls - Riley Stanger. I'm actually surprised I'm putting this because it was kind of gory but I realize it truly had me on the edge of my seat and SHOCKED the absolutely heck out of me at the end. I would even read it again knowing the twist because I want to look for clues. 

Best lovey dovey story: The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory. I'm not even a romance/love story kind of book gal but this one was super cute! I am looking forward to reading her second book. 

Book that stopped me in my tracks: An American Marriage - Tayari Jones. I mentioned in my last post that this book hits really close to home for me so I was pretty emotional during it but I think everyone should read this book. 

Book that made me cry the most: The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas. Not only did I cry, I yelled, I moaned, I got angry and a plethora of other emotions were evoked. Read it. 

Worst book of the year: Nookietown - VC Chickering. I honestly don't even know why I picked this book up. I think I was trying to us up the last of a gift card last year after Christmas. 

Definitely worth a read: Everything I Never Told You - Celeste Ng. I read this after Little Fires Everywhere and liked this one a lot more! 

Still to be finish before 2019 if I can: China Rich Girlfriend, I Found You and The Third Wife. Wish me luck! 

Linking up (a day late) with Steph and Jana!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Recent Reads

I haven't linked up in a few months, so I won't do a full breakdown of every book I've read since August, but I will highlight a few that need explaining :)

After Anna // Lisa Scottoline
Rating: 3.5/5

Crazy Rich Asians // Kevin Kwan
Rating: 4/5

Of course I jumped on this train! And as always, the book was better than the  movie but the movie is still worth seeing - just read this first. I just picked up the second book from the library so I'm excited to see where the story goes.

Ghosted // Rosie Walsh
Rating: 4/5

Lie To Me // J.T. Ellison
Rating: 4/5

This is a SOLID mystery/thriller. I never saw the ending coming!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo // Taylor Jenkins Reid
Rating: 4/5

Gosh, I really liked this book. There was an overlying mystery in the book but it's not a mystery book like I normally read but I was so taken in with Reid's storytelling that I've already got another book of hers on my nightstand now to read!

Cross Her Heart // Sarah Pinborough
Rating: 3/5

Meh. This one was fine but a traditional thriller. I read it quickly, but it was easily digestible.

Pretty Girls // Karin Slaughter
Rating: 3.5/5

I read another book by Karin Slaughter earlier this year and enjoyed it ( The Good Daughter) but this one was much more violent than the last one. I was drawn in because it took place in Atlanta/Athens/Watkinsville, GA. I was born in Athens and grew up there/in Watkinsville (they're basically the same place) so it was cool to read about landmarks and things I know but then the violence and gore was tough to stomach for that same reason.

The mystery/thriller aspect was great, but be prepared for some seriously messed up violence.

The Last Mrs. Parrish // Liv Constantine
Rating: 3/5

Truth be told, I originally had this book as 4/5 but once I thought about it some more, I don't love the ending. The book was a great read and kept me guessing but I just didn't love the "gotcha" at the end once I stepped away.

Tear Me Apart // JT Ellison
Rating: 3.5/5

I liked this one in that it had a mystery element but it wasn't scary, per se. The characters were well written and believable which is always a plus when you're dealing with sometimes out of the ordinary situations.

An American Marriage // Tayari Jones
Rating: 4/5

Everyone should read this book immediately. What an amazing, heartbreaking story. This one hit really close to home for me in ways I don't think it will for the vast majority of readers... But, regardless it's an amazing story about our "justice" system and how it tears families apart even as hard as the families try to stay together. I was so empty at the end.. in a good way? If that even makes sense. Just read it!

The Perfect Mother // Aimee Molloy
Rating: 3/5

I felt that the "twist" in this book was just too out of left field. I never guessed it because it just didn't make a lot of sense.

The Last Time I Lied // Riley Sager
Rating: 4/5

Oooo this was twisty but also believable. I really loved that it took place at a summer camp because I always wanted to go to a camp but never did. The author did a great job of immersing you in the camp and also keeping your second guessing literally everyone.

The Widow // Fiona Barton
Rating: 4/5

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets // JK Rowling
Rating: 5/5

I'm currently listening to the audiobooks with my husband. He's never read them so it's so fun!

My Oxford Year // Julia Whelan
Rating: 3/5

When can I go to Europe?

Linking up with Steph and Jana!

Friday, October 26, 2018

A Little Bit of Life

It's been a hot minute around here, but hopefully you saw this post and you can understand how crazy life has been over the last couple of months! We have officially been Virginia residents for almost two months! It has been such a whirlwind.

 As I mentioned in my moving post, we had a week between moving up and starting work. I had grand plans of reading and laying by the pool buuuuuut that's not what happened at all. Let me give you a quick recap and then I've got a post full of useful advice coming soon, too! 

On moving day, we thought we had everything needed in boxes and the we needed a couple last hours to put the finishing touches on the boxes before the movers arrived to pack the U-Haul. But, in a shocking turn of events, they showed up early and started packing it before we were really ready which led to a mess.
My mother in law and I headed up with the animals and expected Christian and my father in law would be shortly behind with the U-Haul. Well, HA. That did not happen. Somehow, it took them about 6 more hours and they didn't get to Charlottesville until about 10 pm. Which meant we spent our first night in our teeny tiny apartment on our friends' air mattress and all the animals trying to sleep on it with us. 

Sunday, we scheduled movers to come unload... on possibly the hottest day of the year in Charlottesville. We quickly got the stuff into the tiny (have I mentioned our apartment is tiny?!) apartment and everything was literally just thrown in with barely any room to walk so we could run across town and put the rest in storage. 

OR SO WE THOUGHT. We had directed the loaders to put the storage unit items in the back of the truck and the apartment stuff in the front. I had overly labelled everything and put them in different piles and talked them through the entire thing. Still didn't happen. 

So here we are pouring sweat, chugging down water bottles and thinking we're almost done - only to find we still have another load that needs to go to the apartment and no more time with the movers...

And on top of that, our U-Haul was too big to navigate around the storage facility and we ended up having to BACK DOWN A HILL and into oncoming traffic on the highway. It was the most terrifying experience we've ever had in a car but the sheer relief and excitement we felt was hilarious. There was a full on cheer session and high fives once we were safely driving forward again. 

I've never been so hot, sweaty, exhausted, smelly and gross in my whole life while also feeling so happy and excited. We spent the next couple of days unpacking and getting settled before making a 26 hour trip to Charlotte to retrieve a few last things that needed to go to storage and some to the dump. We left at 5 on Wednesday night and drove back up at 4 AM on Friday. 

By the weekend, we were finally able to sit on the couch, sleep on our bed, and pull clothes out of the closet while also getting some time to out in Charlottesville with our friends! I definitely could have spent some time at the pool but it was so hot the first week we were here, I opted for a nap in the AC once the boxes were unpacked.
My father in law labelled this box and it really made me giggle!

In full disclosure, we just unpacked the very last box the first week of October, but that was only my wedding dress and we had no where to store it until Christian cleaned out his part of the closet and made some room for it! Now we are officially box free and moved in. Granted, half our kitchen stuff is stored on top of the cabinets or in the coat closet, our "pantry" is actually the cabinet above our desk, our dresser is our living room entertainment center and the "entryway" houses Christian's bike. 

I plan to do an apartment tour in Instagram once in a couple of weeks when we have one more piece of furniture moved in so it's finished. Although now I'm kind of considering not even getting it until we move into the house so I may just do the apartment tour next week!

If you made it to the end of that long ramble, thank you. I promise to come back here with actual useful information about moving, the books I've read recently (don't worry, I'm still reading!), starting a new job, and more! 


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Podcast Update

Earlier this year, I got into podcasts pretty heavily and as the year has gone on, I've only become more obsessed and found so many more I love. I have so many podcasts downloaded that I don't know how I will ever "catch up".

I wanted to share some more that I'm loving if the ones I posted before aren't really your jam! 
News/Current Events 

Up First

This is an NPR podcast that goes live every day around 6 am (sometimes Stitcher doesn't update when it should, though). They run down 3-6 of the top headlines and what has happened over the last day. I listen to it as I get ready in the morning. I like that its quick because the news can be VERY depressing these days and I needed a way to limit my intake but still be knowledgeable about current events.

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Wellness

Almost 30 

I had this saved for a while and hadn't started listening until recently and I've really liked the ones I've heard. The co-hosts are super real and focus on beauty, wellness and development for those of us trying to transition from our 20s to our 30s and beyond! There are some long ads, but I've already found a few products I want to try from it so I guess they're working? A few I've liked so far: Dave Asprey (founder of Bulletproof Coffee), Hormone Expert Candace Burch Answers Your Questions on Hormones, and the interview with Kelly Leveque and Simone De La Rue.

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The Fitnessista Podcast: Healthy in Real in Real Life 

This is exactly what it sounds like - realistic ways you can be healthy in the midst of your crazy life! I liked the episode on Acupuncture, stress, and burnout (ep 10). This is a newer podcast so I'm happy I found it in the beginning stages!

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Ali on the Run Show 

I am not a runner, but I saw this recommended and saw a few I wanted to listen to. She interviewed Kayla Itsines (of BBG/Sweat) and I just really LOVED that interview and have been listening to some of the non-running focused episodes! 

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Development 

RISE Podcast and RISE Together 

These two podcasts are by Rachel Hollis (author of Girl, Wash Your Face). RISE is more about business and professional development. A few that I've liked so far: From Graphic Designer to Journal Queen: the story of May Designs; The Story of Jenna Kutcher; Overcome Distraction in Work and Life. She has a supplemental podcast with her husband (RISE Together) that I've just started listening to and I like it already! They're so real in their discussions.

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Image result for rise podcast rachel hollis
Skimm'd from the Couch 

Most people have heard of Skimm (if not, sign up here, you won't regret it!) It's a daily newsletter that breaks down the news of the day in digestible chunks. On their podcast, they interview a variety of female leaders. I have found so many of these stories so inspiring! A few that I've liked are: Tyer Haney (founder of Outdoor Voices), Mindy Grossman (president/CEO of Weight Watchers), and Christie Hefner (yes, that Hefner).
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Miscellaneous Entertainment 

Business Wars 

I found this podcast when looking for something on Marvel and they did a series on Marvel vs DC Comics. It was a 6 episode series about the development of the two companies and how they came to be such tight competitors. Some others they've done is Netflix vs Blockbuster, Nike vs Adidas, and eBay vs PayPal. They just started a Coke vs Pepsi series which OF COURSE I will be listening to that one.
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The Margarita Confessionals 

Ali and Lauren are local girls in Charlotte that started this podcast as a dating podcast so it didn't really pertain to me. But, since then, they've started to branch out into more development and lifestyle topics and I love it! Some of my current favorites are Former Bachelor Ben Higgins on Life After #BachelorNation; Catt Saddler on Trusting Your Gut, and Making Friends as an Adult is Hard and Sex and the City Might be to Blame.

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Binge Mode: Harry Potter 

Okay, I saved my favorite for last. I am OBSESSED with this podcast. Last month, we did a pretty intense 8 part Harry Potter trivia series and the first night, I was looking for a quick refresher and thankfully, I stumbled on this podcast and I haven't looked back. Essentially, the two hosts are obsessed with Harry Potter but are also able to snark on it which every diehard fan does! They break down the books 4-6 chapters at a time and talk about the major themes and how they fit into the rest of the story. Once they go through the entire book, there is an episode of the movie. I have laughed out loud SO many times while listening to this and I'm excited to save a few for the drive to Charlottesville next weekend!

Image result for binge mode harry

What are your favorite podcasts? What should I add to my ever growing list?!

Monday, August 20, 2018

WE ARE...

MOVING! I know, I know, you thought I was going to say pregnant. As I've sat down with/called/texted everyone in our lives, I've started with "so... we have news.. I'm not pregnant but we are moving". Because literally every single one assumed we were going to tell them we're expecting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Another Month of Reading in the Books

Well, this last month has been absolutely insane and I've gotten almost no reading done. I've started a few books and I've stared at the stack of library books by my bed, but I haven't made much headway. We have had a LOT going on and reading has unfortunately fallen by the wayside. I'd like to say it's going to get easier.. but I don't see any extra reading time in my future for this month.

But I've got a few to link up with Jana and Steph!

Friday, July 20, 2018

A Little 5 on Friday

For someone that really dislikes the summertime, I've somehow ended up crazy busy the last two months. Well, really, since my birthday in May. After a crazy May, work and personal were super crazy in June and so far in July as well. I have SO many posts in drafts that I want to try to get out in the next couple of weeks so keep an eye out!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Closet Organization the KonMari Way

Today I am walking you through how I actually organized my closet once I was done getitng rid of everything. If you missed my first post on how I actually purged all my clothes, catch up here.

I organize my closet pretty ridiculously so get ready. In the closet, I have 3 "sections".

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Closet Purge the KonMari Way

A few months ago, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and overall, I felt motivated to make some changes. Back in February, I had participated in the Minimalist Game in an effort to get rid of a bunch of clutter in our house (you can read more about what that is here). Once that was done, I still felt like I could do better and find more ways to clean and simplify.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A New Book Challenge

It's already time to link up for Show Us Your Books again with Steph and Jana?! How did June go by so quickly? I felt like I didn't get to read as much and I would like but I'm participating in a book challenge that's pushing me outside my reading bubble (updates below).

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

82 Days Until Fall

In case you're new around here - I despise summer. If I had to rank seasons it would be:

  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I Can't Stop Reading

I missed last month, but don't worry I'm back with some good ones today! I'm also in the middle of a few good ones as well that I'm looking forward to sharing next month! Linking up with Steph and Jana!

FICTION

Little Fires Everywhere // Celeste Ng
Rating: 4/5

I was on the waiting list at the library for SO long with this book. Possibly the longest wait I've had so far. It was definitely worth it! I was expecting a little bit more of a thriller but it was extremely character driven. I enjoyed this, though, because it really got my thinking and involved in the characters.

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The Broken Girls // Simone St. James
Rating: 3/5

I enjoyed this book because of the mystery/who dunnit aspect and the characters were easy to get into BUT it had a... supernatural side that I wasn't prepared for that I didn't feel was wrapped up well so I was left with quite a few questions at the end. Yes, the mystery was mostly solved but there were still questions.


The Wedding Date // Jasmine Guillory
Rating: 3.5/5

If you've read any of my book recaps, you know I much prefer a thriller, but I had seen a few bloggers post about this book and I was interested. This book was a great modern romance that I definitely found myself swept up into. It was a quick read and somewhat realistic which was nice. Yes, there were some big gestures that most people can't relate to, there were also a lot of really relatable moments. If you're looking for a lighthearted beach read, look no further!

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After You // JoJo Moyers
Rating: 3/5

I will be honest and let you know that I did not read Me Before You because my friend wanted to see it in theaters before I had time to read it. I realize I still could have read it after, but reading after seeing the movie always lets me down so I just started with the sequel. This book was okay. I felt that it dragged on a little too much in a few places but overall, another good beach read. I'm on the waiting list for the final book at the library now which I hear is better than this one!

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Still Me // JoJo Moyers
Rating: 4/5

Still Me was SO MUCH BETTER than After You. So much so, I almost lowered my rating on After You after reading it. But I rated it right after reading it, so I'm going to stick with it. I loved the journey Louisa went on during this book and it was very inspiring.

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DEVELOPMENTAL:

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck // Sarah Knight
Rating: 3.5/5

This was a quick read (I read it in about an hour on a flight) but it was definitely a new way to look at life and making sure you're doing things that you enjoy without hurting people around you. We have to be a little selfish with our time in order to be the best version of ourselves. I'd like to revisit this book and take a little more time to do the activities within it that I didn't do on the plane.

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Body Love // Kelly LeVeque
Rating: 2.5/3

I thought this book was relatively common sense and most of it can be found on her blog. I'm glad I checked it out from the library instead of purchasing. I do follow Kelly on Instagram and I found that is good enough for me!
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Currently Reading: 

You Do You // Sarah Knight
Grace Not Perfection // Emily Ley
A Simplified Life // Emily Ley
A Simple Favor // Darcy Bell

Have you read any of these? Is there anything I should definitely add?





Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What happened to May?

I think I wrote two posts in May? And when I started this post, I actually forgot about that and had to go back and look... May was possibly one of the craziest months I've had in recent memory. I thought I would do a little recap of the month because there were a few fun things that happened!

My Birthday! 

I flew out for a work trip on my actual birthday so the night before, my husband took me out for dinner and ice cream. Ice cream is my love language so this was a big win in my book.
At work, my co-workers decorated my desk, brought my cupcakes and bought my chicken nuggets from Chickfila before we headed to the airport for San Diego!

Thankfully, we had a direct flight to San Diego in which I made it through multiple podcasts, a book and a little nap before we got there. I love time change sometimes, but after waking up early to workout, working most of the day, and flying almost six hours, I was exhausted! But, my boss had made dinner reservations for my birthday and dinner was AMAZING. I had crab legs and lobster :)

San Diego. 

We were out in California for a work conference with the Association for Training and Development and it was one of the most exhausting things I've done but I was nerding out so hard over all the training/employee engagement/development stuff! We also had some time at the zoo, in Old Town San Diego, walking around and eating in Little Italy with plenty of ice cream throughout the week.

BUT, the best hour and a half, BY FAR, was being in the same room as the best key note speaker that has ever happened at a conference... BARACK OBAMA. President Barack Obama. We were outside the conference center at 6 AM and he didn't start speaking until 8:30... thankfully, we did get relatively close - as in I could see him with my own two eye balls without looking at the screens. Truly a once in a lifetime, unforgettable experience. To read a little about his speech, click here.

Mother's Day. 

We got home just in time for Mother's Day, my father in law's birthday, and my uncle's visit from Maui. We had our annual Mother's Day/ father in law's birthday cookout with my in law's neighbors - which turned into their impromptu vow renewal! It marked their 20 year anniversary and Vickie surprised Susan with a minister who (re)married them by their pool!

For actual Mother's Day, we spent the day with my entire family: grandparents, mom, brother/his girlfriend and all four of my uncles. It was so fun to have the entire family together and thankfully we were able to get together a few other times before he left.

Wedding fun! 

The next weekend - we had a wedding to attend! And not the Royal Wedding - even better - our friends Alyssa and Kevin finally tied the knot! We have a group of 4 best friends from college and Alyssa was the last of the four to get married and we all had so much fun celebrating them. It was also supposed to rain the entire day and it barely sprinkled around 9:30 pm that night and by that point, it was refreshing because it was so hot and humid!

Dallas. 

Towards the end of May, I was out in Dallas for a few days to do some training for our new employees out there. Let me tell you... being someone that hates summer, Texas is not a place for me in May. That is a different kind of heat. I swear that the sun was laying directly on top of me. It wasn't as humid in Charlotte, in my opinion, it was just WAY hotter somehow.

Memorial Day. 

Sadly, I had to work Memorial Day #transportationproblems but we did have a good weekend relaxing, being productive and catching up on life after an entire month of being busy or away from home. I think that was the first grocery store trip I had made since the end of April... I'm pretty embarrassed but there was literally no time to cook or shop.

So there we have it - one of the busiest months of my life... and June is shaping up to be pretty crazy too. help.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

5 Travel Must Haves

This year has involved quite a few trips already. Starting with Orlando in February, Chicago and Nashville in March, and I've already been to San Diego this month and am headed to Dallas today. For the rest of the year I've got a trip to Indianapolis, Arkansas, Nashville and Chicago again on the docket (so far). Needless to say, I'm racking up the American Airlines miles and I hope they work for me next year with a free vacation flight!

Monday, May 21, 2018

My Unpopular Opinions

It came to my attention at trivia a few weeks ago that I have a strong opinion that may not be that popular with others. It got me thinking about some other opinions I have that many people might not agree with either.

First up, the actual opinion that almost got me kicked out of trivia: Johnny Depp is my favorite actor (or at least top 5). I will also say that the recent allegations against him really made me doubt this opinion because I don't want to support anyone who is abusive. But, I can't stop the fact that many of my favorite movies star Depp and that I think he will be a good Grindelwald (also a very disagreed with statement). So this is definitely an unpopular opinion, I'm sure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

First Quarter Check In: Thrive 2018

Wow. We are a full quarter into the year already. I know we all talk about how fast time goes by but I just love that we are that much closer to my favorite time of year again (October 1st if you're new around here ;) ).

For 2018, I sat out to Thrive.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Five Things

As soon as I wrote that title, I thought of the Miley Cyrus 10 Things song about a Jonas Brother. Anyone else? Bueller? I'm just embarrassing myself at this point, I guess.

So anyways, on to the meat of today's post... my 5 on Friday!

 one // We are starting our KonMarie purge this weekend! I mentioned earlier this week that I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and was planning to do some serious cleaning out here in the house. I know we won't follow all her guidelines because some are a little too much for me. But, I'm starting with the closet tonight and hope to knock out the closets, bathrooms and kitchen this weekend between a few self care appointments I have!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Weird Things That I've Cried At

I am a crier. I know plenty of people that say that, but I'm embarrassing about it. Whenever I meet someone new, I somehow end up "telling" on myself and how ridiculous I am about crying over literally everything. As I was telling someone the other day, I realized this might be a hilarious post to share on the blog so you can all make fun of me, too! (Or maybe you cry at everything ever, too!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Recent Reads

Currently, I am 6 books ahead of schedule for my 2018 reading challenge according to Goodreads. This is good because the last two weeks I've been slacking! Here's to hoping I make more time in April to read more!

Friday, April 6, 2018

5 Random Things I've Loved This Week

 one // A new podcast: Business Wars. With the new Avengers coming out in three weeks, I've been soaking up everything I can about the MCU. I found this podcast that shares the stories of big competing companies such as Nikes vs Adidas and Netflix vs Blockbuster. I've been listening to DC vs Marvel - duh. It's going to be a six part series, I believe, and the fifth one was just released yesterday so I can't wait to listen!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Moving into April + Goals

And just like that, we're 4 days into April and I feel like I missed most of March. As you can see from my March Goals post, there was a lot going on!

And that strep I mentioned in that post knocked me out for almost two weeks! A week of strep and then I developed a runny nose and cough that caused me to lose my voice for the second time and kept me pretty drained. By the time LASIK rolled around, I hadn't gone to the gym in two weeks and had to wait 5 more days post surgery. Needless to say, that prevented me from reaching some of my goals.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

5 March Favorites

I realize most people like to post their favorite products or clothes for the month but I want to share some random things I've either learned or enjoyed this month!

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Source

Monday, March 26, 2018

My Unfiltered Thoughts on BBG

In January, I started Kayla Itsine's BBG workouts. I feel like every one on social media has heard of these workouts or seen transformation pictures on Instagram at some point. I've always considered starting it but to be fully honest, I was afraid to because I always hear how hard it is and I didn't believe that I could do them and I didn't want to fail.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Another Exciting 5 on Friday!

We have made it to Friday again! I don't know why this week felt so long? Probably has something to do with the fact that a big work project I'm working on had its deadline moved up over a week and I'm scrambling! I'm looking forward to relaxing this weekend (even if I'll probably have to do some work too... at least I can do it in my PJs!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My 8 Current Favorite Podcasts

I mentioned in my self care post that I've really gotten into podcasts recently so I thought I would share a few of those. Full disclosure: I have really weird podcast tastes but maybe you're interested in some of my weird stuff, too?


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

8 Little Ways to Take Care of Yourself

As I've mentioned a few times, my word for 2018 is Thrive. 2017 was a hard one for me. I mentioned this in my 2017 wrap up post back in January. It was a good year in terms of work, my relationship and trying a lot of new things, but there were a lot of personal issues where I ended up totally exhausted and unable to function outside of going to work and getting by.

As things in my personal life calmed down, I realized I needed to do a better job of putting myself first. You know how on a flight they say to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others? It's truly the same thing here. You have to take care of yourself so you can help others and thrive. Hence, my word ;)

This isn't going to be your typical roundup of bath bombs and face masks. Yes, those are great, and as much as I love a good bath, there are plenty of other ways I'd like to spend my time. These are some of the other things I like to do to prioritize my mental (and sometimes physical) health so I can be the best version of me every day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Reading is My Favorite

Another month, another link up with Steph and Jana! I have been SO motivated this year to read and I've found so many good books from the linkup so I am keeping my library hold list pretty full!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Looking Forward to March + Goals

Y'all. I don't like Summer and Charlotte starts Summer in March so I don't usually get excited for this month, but this March is going to be so fun (and so tiring) and I can't wait for it all! I already started the weekend off with a bang in Nashville this past weekend for Alyssa's Bachelorette party and it was such a fun weekend! Even if I did come home and get diagnosed with strep and now I'm writing this from the couch with all the lights off and curtains drawn.

Moving into the rest of the month, I have quite a few great things happening:

Friday, March 2, 2018

5 on Friday: Non Scale Victories

We made it to Friday! I'm headed to Nashville for Alyssa's Bachelorette this weekend and I'm so excited to spend a weekend with some of my best friends celebrating our girl! To kick off the weekend, I'm sharing some non scale victories I've had recently on this BBG/21 Day Fix/get it together life I'm living.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Day in the Life

Do people still like to read these types of posts? Because I really love reading about people's day to day lives and see how they spend their time so I've decided to finally share one of my own!

And excuse the pictures - I wanted to be as true to my day as possible. No staging/filtering/getting the light juuuuust right/etc. And it was raining Monday so there was no hope on the lighting. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

How I've Started Working Out in the Morning

It's now week eight of waking up early to work out before work. I honestly never thought I would type that sentence. Off and on since I started working out consistently I have attempted early morning workouts. I've done a handful of 5:45/6 AM Pure Barre classes and for a few weeks last summer, I attempted to get up early and on the treadmill but it clearly never stuck.



Finally, this year (so far), I have committed to the morning workout game. Before I share how I'm doing it, I want to share why.

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. 

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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