Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday Shopping vol. 5

It's been overcast here in Birmingham this weekend meaning that online browsing paired with movies on Netflix seems like a killer combination. While browsing, I came across so many cute spring items that caught my attention. With stripes, ruffles, and some of my favorite colors it's tempting not to want to purchase one of each of these items for myself. 

If you're interested in shopping these items, click directly on the item in the graphic to be taken to where it can be purchased. This should work for all of the items aside from the ricrac charger keychain which you can find here. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

January Favorites

I feel like everyone has been mentioning this, but January seemed to last for forever. I have to admit that I’m not usually the biggest fan of January despite the fresh start that it brings. Instead, I usually get stuck on how cold and dark it seems. It seems like all of my favorite things for this month are revolving around me attempting to embrace the lack of sunshine and stay warm as the temperatures drop. Since I decided to make this a no shopping month (and am aiming to keep it that way in February), most of these items are things I’ve been loving since December with a few Christmas presents mixed in.


If you caught yesterday’s blog post, then you heard the beginning of my rave about how amazing this product is. Seriously though, I have never found a way to love my hair after just blow drying it, and this has changed that for me. Having a brush and dryer in one makes the process of blow drying my hair so much easier allowing me to style it as I go. I did find that it took a few tries to figure out how to get the roots of my hair dry and smooth, but after trying a few different methods now that is no longer a problem. After using this one night, the next day I had so many people telling me how good and shiny my hair looked. I don’t think I had ever had more people comment on my hair in one day, so if you’re in the market for a time-saving tool that will garner lots of compliments spend the $50 and get this (plus it’s on prime which is a selling point in general in my opinion). 

This year for Christmas it seemed like a lot of family members opted to give cash instead of a physical item. While that is awesome, and I am SO appreciative of the generosity I don’t tend to do the best job of actually spending the money on something I want, and it instead just goes in my bank account and ends up getting used on rent or as of late, bridesmaid dresses. While I was fine with some of it doing just that I had been wanting a new pair of long-sleeve Lake pajamas and gifted myself that via the gift that was Christmas money. If there’s one thing that I look forward to every single night, it’s putting on a pair of comfy pajamas, and Lake’s are hard to beat with how soft they are. 

More than ever lately I’ve seen people on Instagram featuring great finds they’ve discovered on Amazon. If there’s one site that I’m most likely to impulse buy from it would definitely have to be Amazon thanks to free two-day shipping and the ability to order so many different things all from one place. I had seen someone raving about this workout jacket a while back and ended up getting it. Holy cow does Lululemon have something to worry about. I love my pieces from Lulu, but this jacket is at least half of the price with the same quality and a multitude of color choices. I have been reaching for it more than my pullover one from Lululemon and get compliments and questions about it every time I have it on. I’m hoping to try out more workout wear pieces from this brand (and a few others I’ve heard people rave about) and report back to y’all with what I find because if it’s anything like this jacket then shopping for workout wear just got a whole lot easier. 

There’s something that I love about opening a blank planner for the first time. Despite being nervous before writing down the first thing in it, I love figuring out how to organize things, and this Dapper Desk planner was no different. I shared a post all about how I chose to organize the interior, but as a whole have been relying on it a ton as of late. While I know the newness will wear off with time, I do not doubt that this will continue to keep my life in order all year long. 

I sound like a broken record with my adoration of The Makeup Eraser, but it really is as good as it sounds (if not better). Forget makeup wipes or some sort of eye makeup remover cotton round combination since all it takes to remove a full face of makeup is some water and this cloth. I gifted these to my friends for Christmas, and they’ve been raving about them as well. Do yourself (and landfills) a favor by getting one of these. I got mine from Amazon, but you can also get them for 15% off on The Makeup Eraser site with the code CUTIE15. 

I never expected to grow so fond of a coffee mug, but it has happened. I’m the type of person who likes to sip their coffee instead of chugging it all at once but over time realized that I’d waste some after it got too cold to be enjoyed. Problem solved with my Ember Mug. While I know, they are an investment (especially for a coffee mug) I’ve been using mine daily and loving it. Sometimes I’ll even pack it up along with its charging coaster to bring to work; it’s that great. This would be the perfect gift to give for someone who loves coffee but is hard to shop for. 

I have a new favorite piece of jewelry. The Goldbug Tangled Up In Blue ring that I got for Christmas has now become a part of my everyday attire. I realized that I didn’t have any rings and after seeing this one back in October or November knew it would be a great everyday piece. I used to be really picky about not mixing metals, but now I wear silver and gold together daily without thinking twice and love the blue hues this adds in as well. I am constantly getting compliments and questions (everyone assumes it is an antique with some sort of cool story) on and about this ring and am way too overly enthusiastic to share the brand with the people I am talking to. While I only wear it as a ring, the band flips up so it can also be worn as a necklace which is a genius feature. 

After deciding that one of my goals for this year was to be more informed when it came to news, the Morning Brew has helped me take that a step further by paying attention to business news in addition to just politics and world events. The first thing I do when I get to the office is read their newsletter, and I am way too into the trivia they include daily and their weekly quiz. Whatever it takes to stay informed, right? 

I’d love to know what you enjoyed in the month of January (even though February is halfway over already). 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Week Night Nighttime Routine

Whenever I take to Instagram and ask what posts y’all are interested in seeing it goes without fail that someone requests a morning or nighttime routine. This makes me laugh since I feel like it’s very boring, but here we are. I suppose that I can be a little bit nosey and am interested in other people’s habits so I get it, but I hope that y’all aren’t disappointed by the lackluster that is my normal weeknight routine. 

I’ve mentioned it time and time again, but I am undoubtedly a routine person (sometimes to a fault). If someone asks me to do something last minute, I have to remind myself that not going to the gym or being in bed at a particular time isn’t a big deal. With my roommate leading Bible studies for her job twice a week and so many friends in school studying weeknights are usually very quiet. Here’s a look at what I’m generally up to…


5:30 Off Work
When the clock rolls over to 5:30, I am headed out of the office. Fortunately, it’s starting to stay light a bit later which makes 5:30 not feel super late. I’m ready for the days where I leave the office and still have a good bit of daylight left but know it’ll be a bit before that happens. I keep my gym bag packed in my car so that I can head straight from work to the gym which is about 20 minutes away depending on the traffic on 280 (if you live in Birmingham you know exactly how unpredictable that can be at times). I usually listen to a podcast on my way to the gym to make listening to music while I’m there seem a little bit more exciting. 

6:00 Workout at the Y
Once I arrive at the gym, I head to the locker room to change. It depends on the day as to what I do there, but usually, I’m running on the treadmill (since I’m training for a half marathon in March) or on the bike or elliptical if it’s a non-running day. I end my workouts by stretching and depending on the day doing arms and ab exercises.

7:15 Head Home
Most days I am in the car heading home around 7:15. Once I get home, I catch up with my roommate if she’s home, put my lunch box in the kitchen, and am motivated by the fact that the sooner I shower the sooner I can eat dinner. 


7:30 Shower 
Although I shower every night, I wash my hair every other day. On the days when I don’t wash my hair, I use dry shampoo and blow dry that into the roots to refresh it a bit. Ever since doing a charity competition my senior year of college and not being able to shower for a week my hair has held up well with not being washed daily (proof that you can definitely train your hair to do this). 
When I do wash my hair, I use this shampoo and conditioner both of which I really enjoy. About once a week I’ll use this deep conditioner and let it sit in my hair for a bit before washing it out. Although I wash my face in the shower sometimes, I am unable to get all of my eye makeup off which is where my Makeup Eraser (you’ve probably heard me rave about this on social media) comes into play. All you have to do is wet the cloth and pat it on the area of your face that still has makeup on it, and it removes the makeup completely. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. On the off chance I still have any makeup left on my face I use the cutest face towels by the brand Weezie. These are the softest, fluffiest, and prettiest towels I own and I can’t help but love the cute embroidery on them. The navy color is perfect since I know that they won’t get stained, but the size, color, and monogram options on Weezie’s site gives you plenty of choices if you’re looking for a more personalized option. 

 

7:45 Make and Eat Dinner
Using the word “make” is generous in this scenario since I tend to do all of my cooking on the weekends so that I can easily heat up something I’ve made on weeknights. So by make, I really mean plate and heat up which on some nights can feel like equally as much effort as wiping something up, haha! After dinner is ready to go, I usually take my plate to the living room and eat in there. 

8:00 – 9:00ish Work on Blog Posts & Watch TV 
After eating and cleaning up after myself, I like to plop down on the couch and watch a bit of TV and work on blog posts. I try to do a lot of my blog work for the week over the weekend but inevitably end up with something that needs to be finished up. I usually give myself an hour to hang out and do this, but that also depends on what I’m watching and whether or not my roommate is home to join me in watching something. 

9:00 Blow Dry Hair and Brush My Teeth
Once I’ve motivated myself to get off the couch, I blow dry my hair (if I washed it that night) and brush my teeth in preparation for getting in bed. I recently discovered the most amazing hair dryer that leaves my hair looking bouncy and smooth while drying it in a lot less time than my traditional hair dryer. Enter the Revlon One Step Hairdryer and Volumizer. I had ordered this when it was out of stock on Amazon while I was still at home during Christmas so when it came in during January, I was excited to try it. I have since see n a lot of blog and social media posts about the tool and rightfully so. It does wonders on my hair and leaves it looking nice enough that I don’t have to touch it with any other styling tool. 

Once my hair is dry, I’ll brush my teeth, put lotion on, and pack my gym bag for the next day. 


9:15 In Bed Reading 
Around 9:15 I’ll get in bed to fill out my 5-minute journal and then read. One of my goals for 2019 was to get back into the routine of reading before bed, and I’m so glad that I’ve made this a priority since it has reminded me how much I enjoy reading. It’s also a nice break from looking at a screen since I spend a lot of my day doing that. Depending on the book, I’ll read a chapter or until I get tired before deciding to turn out the lights and call it a night. 

One trick I’ve learned that helps me to follow my bedtime and read at night is to set my alarm before I start reading with my alarms set for the next day knowing that I’m not going to pick it up again till I wake up. I can definitely get sucked into scrolling through social media aimlessly which usually leaves me bummed that I’ve wasted time I could have been reading. 


As boring as it may be, this is how most of my weeknights look. I have to laugh at how much better I am about sleep now as compared to when I was teaching and how much that has changed my overall attitude. Now if only I could tell my college self how important sleep is…

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

White Chocolate Candy Snack Mix (The Perfect Last Minute Valentine's Day Treat)

If you know me well, you know that I am such a snacker. I am the type of person who is genuinely afraid of winding up somewhere hungry, my blood sugar dropping, and there being no food in sight. For that reason, I have a granola bar with me at all times. To make sure that I don’t get super hungry, I am a big fan of having a snack to eat in the morning and afternoon. While I try to lean toward healthier options, today’s snack is one that doesn’t quite fit that category but is so easy to make and a hit among friends.

 

Introducing, white chocolate candy snack mix. I am not usually the biggest white chocolate fan, however, with this recipe that’s not the case considering I could eat an entire bag of it in a sitting. My roommate and I first tried this at a baby shower we attended and ended up texting one of our friends to try to get the recipe. She came through, and we’ve been claiming this treat as one of our signature desserts ever since. Another thing I love about this recipe is that it’s so easy and fun to make with friends. While I like baking with friends, I understand why the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen” exists. This recipe is so simple that you don’t have to worry about someone adding the wrong amount of ingredients or cooking something too long, and the best part is you can enjoy it almost instantly! 

We are making treat bags of the mix for our friends to take home after our Galentine’s Day party this Friday and the recipe makes enough that we will also be able to set some out to be enjoyed right away. If you are looking for a last minute, inexpensive, and delicious Valentine’s Day treat to hand out to friends or co-workers, stop by Target and get some cute themed bags from their dollar section and load them up with this mix as a way to show the people around you how much you care! 


Ingredients:
1 large box of Golden Graham cereal
1 large jar dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup of M&M’s (mini or full size)
1 (24-oz) package of white chocolate

Instructions:
1.    In a large bowl, mix cereal, peanuts, chocolate chips, and M&M’s. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
2.    Melt white chocolate according to instructions on the package. Be sure to microwave in increments so as not to burn the chocolate. 
3.    Pour white chocolate over the dry ingredients and mix well. 
4.    Spread the mixture in a thin layer on wax paper.
5.    Cool. If you lack patience, like me, putting it in the freezer for about 10 minutes is a good start. 

6.    Once the candy has cooled completely, break into bite-size pieces and store in a Ziploc bag. 

 



To make our mix a little bit more festive for the occasion, we added pink and red sprinkles along with the pink and red M&Ms we found. It would be so simple to make this for other holidays by switching out the colors you use to make it slightly more festive. If you're around my roommate and I enough, you'll realize that we refer to this snack as Christmas Crack since the first time we made it was around Christmas time and it's addicting to have around. 

 

Another great thing about this recipe is that it is easy to add in other ingredients if you'd like. We threw in some pretzels while we were making our mix to add a little bit of crunch to our creation. 

 

I'd love to know if you make this or have a similar tasty snack mix that you love! 

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