Friday, March 28, 2014


super awesome thrift find / thinking about making a bar cart...mainly to make room in my freezer / happy that now I can watch this whenever I want (and that I'm 2 figures closer to completing my Little Mermaid set) / new pans, hooray for clearance / now I only need Ariel!! / really Wisconsin? really? / finished this last night, now I'm on the hunt (at thrift strores) for the last book.  SOOO GOOD!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

365 Questions: 29-35

29) When it's all said and done, will you have said more than you've done?
I hope not.

30) If you had the opportunity to get a message to a large group of people, what would your message be?
To go over how to get though a 4 way stop.  Really, how to people still not know how to do this?

31) If the average human lifespan was now 40, how would you live your life differently?
Well I probably wouldn't plan to have kids anymore!  And since the majority of my life is now over, I would just try to enjoy the time I had left.  Travel maybe.

32) What do we all have in common besides our genes that make us human?
I think most people have the desire to do good.  But it somehow gets morphed by our surroundings and upbringing.  We eventually worry about how we look to others.  This need for acceptance makes us abandon what we know is good, it makes us do and say things we wouldn't normally.  And this behavior shift happens gradually over time until we begin to believe that we are still doing good.  We all need to revert to a state of child-like goodness.

33) If you could choose one book as mandatory for high school students, which book would you choose? 
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  but I would make it required reading for middle schoolers too.

34)Would you rather have less work or more work you actually enjoy doing?
The latter.  I would love to be swamped doing something I was passionate about.

35)What is important enough to go to war over?
All things considered, I really do not know.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Journal Day #6

Here's this week's prompt- 

Everyone has different things that keep them going. Sometimes it's the people around us, other times it might be what's waiting for us on the other side of hard work. Whatever it may be, there's usually some sort of motivation to get up every day, get things done, or maybe even go the extra mile. With that said, what would you say is your biggest motivation in life? Has it always been this way?-via Sometimes Sweet

I can certainly tell you there are different motivators for things like getting up and going to work (I don't want to get fired), doing laundry (I need clothes to wear), and doing house/yard projects (to have a home I am proud of). But as for a driving force behind my entire life I just don't really have an answer.

I have always kind of lived my life on a very day to day basis, not really planning for my future. In my naivety, I always just figured the future is always just looming out of reach so it will never really get here so I don't really need to worry about it. Silly I know. Since I am usually a big-picture kind of person, it surprises that I have lived most of my life this way.

Now I am older I know there are things I want out of life. And since I am willing to work for them I never really thought about and underlying motivator. I strive for and yearn for things simply because I want them, as selfish as that sounds. And while that may seem shallow to some, I can't imagine living any other life than one that strives towards filling my life with things that I want and make me happy.

I don't mean just material things, although sometimes those things do make me happy. I mean filled with people, moments, experiences. I want to surround myself with only people that truly care about me. I want to share my life's big and small moments with those people and want them to want to share theirs with me.  Then I want to sit around a fire, make s'mores and talk about our lives for hours. Just the thought of these moments keep me working towards keeping these people in my life. And that's good enough motivation for me.


Monday, March 24, 2014

SPRING...and all the work it brings

Its almost here! Spring is one of my favorite times of year (next to fall). And with comes the task of yard work. There are some leaves left over from last year that are screaming to be raked but there are also other big projects on the horizon for our front and back yards.

First things first, our house doesn't have a front walk way. You step off our landing to a see of grass. In the winter guests have to go through our (super messy) garage because we can't shovel the grass. And that means there is also no walk way from our front door to our driveway. Here are a few paver walkways ideas that I just love.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

While I really like the pattern in pic #1 I don't really like the color.  I am a big fan of the greyish-blue tons mixed with some neutral tones. And the other 3 are spot on in the color department.  I also like the organized chaos of the other ones.  There's no definite pattern but it still looks put together and like thought went into the placement of each piece.

We have a really big back yard and a ton of trees. That means there is a lot of shade. Which is great for entertaining but not so great for certain plants. This year we are hoping to plant a collection of shade plants to brighten up some neglected parts of our yard.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

I love the mixes of shrubbery and flower plants.  The hard part will be narrowing it down to ones that fit the space and go together. I am fully looking forward to many trips to Steins!

Another project we want to tackle is building a fire pit.  We have already picked out the perfect spot in the yard. While I'm sure the mister will draw up something I found a few that I quite like.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Its no clue that I love square things so naturally I am drawn to the first one. And that slate tile is to die for. The ones with "built-in" seating are always nice but there is also something about the super simple ones that catch my eye. I'll have to see what the mister comes up with...

One of the other things we have talked about is possibly adding another tree to our yard, a Japanese maple.  Whenever we see them we always say how much we like them.  The shape and size are great and they come in a few different colors.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

This year we are also transplanting the willow we started growing last year and continuing our attempt to keep our grass green and out other plants alive. We planted quite a few last year and I can't wait to see how they do this season.  I'm ready for you Spring!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Journal Day #5

We all encounter challenges on a daily basis. You may consider yours something small, like having enough time in the day to accomplish everything you set out to do, or it may be a bit bigger- perhaps something you have to overcome mentally or emotionally, or even a struggle when dealing with a difficult person. Whatever the case, take a look at your daily life- what would you say is your biggest challenge? Or if you have a past struggle you were able to overcome, how did you do it? This week, write about a challenge you currently deal with on a day to day basis, or discuss one you managed to get past. -via Sometimes Sweet

I would have to say just remaining sane while dealing with people everyday. Haha. I have worked in some sort of customer service for over 14 years. When I was younger it was retail based and now its in the medical field. In that time I have come in contact with all sorts of personalities and people from all walks of life. And there are certain types that are constantly difficult to deal with.

In retail, there was the chronically messy (destroying a table of folded clothing while you are standing right there folding it), the ones that don't know what day it is (person arguing about why a coupon is no longer valid because it expired 2 weeks ago or why we can't honor a sale price from a previous ad) and, my personal favorite, the "why don't you have any more?" customer.  While I won't bore you with my thoughts on each of these customers (because believe me I have them!), I still had to find a way to deal with each one. And that is patience. It may not be the cure all for every situation but it sure does help with many. It has taken me years to deal with certain types of people. I can assure you I have never ever yelled a customer. I may have ranted about them after they left but that's to be expected.

The patience muscle I so diligently toned in my years of retail has come in handy in the medical setting. When I have to repeat a medication or a question to someone 3 or 4 times, its ok.  When someone is rude to me about not being able to get a routine appointment RIGHT AWAY, I can handle it. And even when you yell at me because I won't release medical records without a signed release per HIPPA policies (even though its for your protection), I can take it. Some days are harder than others. I have been called names, been yelled at, even had things thrown at me (like a urine sample, blech).  In spite of all that, I have only considered throwing in the towel a few times.  But you know what they say, take it one day at a time.


365 Questions: 22-28

22) What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life?
Being a mother.  I have struggled with this recently.  It is something I have wanted for as long as I can remember and not knowing whether it would be in the cards or not for the mister and I made me really re-examine why I wanted it so bad.  Deep down I've kind of come to terms that it may just not happen for us.  I hope it does though.

23) Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?
Not any more.  I shed myself of fair-weather friends.  I've come to a point that I don't care about hurting your feeling if you have a complete disregard for mine.

24) When you are 80 years old, what will you remember most?
I have only lived for 30 years.  I have no idea what I will do, learn, or experience in the next 50.  I will let you know when I get there.

25) When it is time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right?
Always.  I wish more people would just do what it right instead of worrying about how it will benefit them, how it will make them look, or how much they won't get in return.  If we did the would would be a much better place.

26) How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?
Probably 24ish.  Or younger even.  When I'm curled on the couch watching Disney movies I could easily pass for 8.

27)Would you break the law to save a loved one?

28)What makes you smile?
Finding something amazing while thrifting, my husband's curly hair, an orange scone from Panera, and knowing that I will be at Disney World in 5 weeks!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Photo An Hour - March 15th 2014

I've seen Photo An Hour posts from a ton of bloggers (Kaylah being on of my faves).  I love that you kind of get a sneak peak into their lives. And while I'll admit the thought of remembering to take a photo every hour for an entire day seemed impossible, I decided to give it a try!  Here is my first attempt...

8am: Rise and Shine
9am: Mmmm breakfast

10am: Thrifting

11am: Got lumber?

12pm: More thrifting.  Are you surprised?

1pm: After errand selfie

2pm-4pm: Crafting. I failed a bit here and forgot to take pictures. But I did really craft for 2 hours so it counts right?

5pm: Tunage

6pm: Super happy to add these to my plug collection! Not real happy with this pic though...

7pm: Getting some supplies.  No fabric though...

8pm: Delicious greasy dinner

10pm: This doesn't even need a cation

11pm:  SS Web!

Sorry (but not sorry) for the image heavy post.  I was up later than normal so it amounted to about 3 more photos that a normal day.  Even though it was a challenge to remember to take pictures, I really enjoyed doing this.  I think I'm going to try to document one day a month in pictures.  Stay tuned!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

365 Questions: 15-21

15) If not now, then when?
Never I guess.

16) Have you done anything lately worth remembering?
Bit the bullet and got bangs again.  I need to remember that's a great way to hide my kind of big forehead.  I somehow always seem to forget.

17) What does your joy look like today?
Surprising my husband with a nice dinner for our 5th anniversary of when he asked me to be his lady.  We don't do Valentine's or Sweetest Day but we do celebrate this an our wedding anniversary.

18) Is it possible to lie without saying a word?
Of course.  Our eyes and faces sometimes express way more than we mean to.

19) If you had a friend who spoke to you the same way you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?
I actually don't speak that bad to myself.  For all of my gripes about my weight, I actually don't do the whole self-deprivation thing.

20) Which activities make you lose track of time?
Reading, surfing Pinterest, and browsing Target

21) If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
Middle school science


Monday, March 10, 2014


She broke every crayon...on purpose / Finally watching this, oh the feels! / Disney gifts are the best gifts / Love thrifting great books / Stoked to add these to my ever growing collection /I could spend hours here


Friday, March 7, 2014

Thrifting Routine

I am a creature of habit.  I watch the same movies. I tend to order the same things when I got out to eat.  My daily outfit is always some version of the same thing over and over again: jeans, cardigan, tee/top/tank.  I have about 3 different hair styles in rotation.  So its no surprise that I have a certain routine when I go shopping.  Especially thrift shopping.  There are certain things I look at every time and other things I never look at. 

Now I am not one of those people that prowls every isle searching for something that looks really old or like it might have some retail value and throwing it into and already overflowing cart.  I am just there to find a good deal on clothes, things to furnish my home or some random item that I didn't know I needed.

First things first, no matter if I am looking for something in particular or just casually browsing, I always, always, always get a cart.  I need somewhere to put my purse.  I just hate lugging a purse around a store, I think I need to make fanny packs cool again.  Or I just need to stop carrying one.  That's a topic for another day.  Back to carts...  There is nothing worse than getting half way through the store and realizing your hands are full.  And considering how crazy I am it would just upset me that I'd have to through off my normal trek around the store to go and get a cart.

Here's a rundown of what I look for/at when thrifting...

I have found sooo many great books while thrifting.  And it has honestly made me turn my nose up at regular priced books.  $12.99 for a paper back?  I'd rather spend $0.89.  Granted you don't always find the newest books or ones that are on your to-read list.  But you will find a book that you never know existed or would never have found it you hadn't stumbled upon it in a thrift store and figured "eh, why not".  That is how I discovered Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad books and now I'm hooked!  It's also a great place to find kid's books.  Even though I don't have any children yet, I have already started a library for my future kiddos.  The prices are great and you can always find a mix of classic and newer books.  Just make sure you look out for missing pages and crayon scribbles!  I also sometime peep out the records.  i am forever on the hunt for Disney soundtracks on vinyl.  I have also found some Johnny Cash and Elvis, and all for only a buck each!

Hardline Isles
For those of you who have never worked in retail, hardlines is anything that is not clothing, which is usually referred to as softlines.  This is one of the few things you learn in retail that actually make sense and is not an acronym. There are sooo many acronyms.  Anywho, I usually look through every isle for anything that jumps out at me.  Literally.  Sometimes its a kid (which means I've reached the end of the isle because I'm usually not paying attention) or other times its things I knock over without even knowing.  I have thrifted my entire vintage Pyrex collection, numerous vases, even some pretty snazzy home decor items.

Home Furnishings
I always take a peek at lamps and shades (all the lamps in our house are thrifted, including my Little Mermaid one!) and picture frames (you can never have too many).  Rarely do I truly look at the bedding selection.  It's one of the few things I feel weird about thrifting.  There's just something about used sheets that no matter how many times I'd wash them I'd still feel dirty knowing that someone else used them.  However I have found a few sets of brand new sheet from Target that were a steal.  And I have also found a few awesome pillows and recently,  a pair of brand new curtains. 

Even if I am not in the market for any bigger house items it never hurts to look. That's how we found our amazing $30 dresser-turned-tv-stand (that we still need to sand and stain).  We have also found side tables for both the living room and bedroom and recently I found 3 dining room chairs for only $5 a piece!  I agree that on a cursory glace most items in thrift store furniture sections look like junk but you really gotta get in there a look.  You never know what might be hiding behind that old, stained corduroy couch.   

My mood (and how much time I have) usually dictates if I look at clothes.  Being a bigger gal its sometimes hard to thrift age appropriate pieces.  But there have been a few instances where I have been pleasantly surprised.  Over the last year I've found some choice items including a few cardigans and sweaters, some jeans, an awesome black skirt that I still haven't worn and a few other misc tops.  And while I usually strike out on shoes (my size 10 feet don't help), the last few weeks have been pretty good in the shoe department.  Target must be switching over product because I have found 3 pairs of brand new flats.  I also usually browse the purses.  Most of the time there is nothing that even resembles something I would wear.  But I have found a couple that I couldn't help throwing in my cart.  And few other that I wish I had.   

Understanding that you are not going to find something every time you thrift is a big part of continuing to go.  Some people get immediately discouraged if they don't find a great vintage piece or the perfect coffee table on their first run.  I used to go thrift store shopping every week and it really helped me score some great pieces.  The above pic was from one such trip and everything came up to less than $20!  It also helps that are 2 different stores that I drive by on my way home from work.  Going often and on different days (especially on weekdays when there is less traffic) also increases your chances of scoring a great find. Also remember that a little paint and some creativity can go a long way to making a so-so find into something you really love.  Happy thrifting!!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

365 Questions: 8-14

8) Who do you love and what are you doing about it?
I love my husband more than words can express.  I tell him everyday (even though it will never be enough) and try to do little things for him to make life easier or to just make him smile.  I love my friends and am trying to see them more despite living farther away from them then ever.

9) What's a belief that you hold which many people disagree?
Most have to do with religion's involvement in the government.  Women should be the only ones that have any say on what we are allowed to do to our bodies.  And homosexuals should have the same rights and freedoms as any other human being.  Enough said.

10) What can you do to today that you were not capable of a year ago?
Pronounce quinoa properly.

11) Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?
This is one of those weird things that never made any sense to me.  It is a bodily function and is completely normal and natural.  And suppressing emotions (usually related to crying) can lead to some sort of emotion issues down the line.  If you need to cry, just do it.  No one should think less (or more) of you for simply expressing your feelings.

12)What would you do differently if nobody would judge you?
Probably run/jog around my neighborhood.  Or stay in pajamas all the time.  Haha.

13) Do you celebrate the things you have?
Sure.  But not in a way that rubs it in other people's faces.

14) What is the difference between living and existing?
Living means you are experiencing what life has to offer and taking joy in that.  Existing is just obliviously floating through life not taking any stock of what is around you.  The latter is quite sad.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Journal Day #3

Here's this week's prompt via Sometimes Sweet

They say hindsight is 20/20, and with good reason- looking back at something always gives us a better view. We're often able to really see how our choices and decisions then shaped our today, and examine what we would have done differently given the chance. When looking back though, we often look way back, but for this exercise stay a little closer to present time and look back just 12 months. If you could go back just one year, what would you tell yourself? What advice would you offer about everything you've experienced?

I have never been happy with my weight and have repeatedly started and stopped healthy eating and exercising daily.  When I start out I am super motivated and tell myself that this time is going to be different.  This time I won't quit and stay in the same place I've always been.  But it doesn't matter.  Every time is the same.  I stay on track for a few weeks and then slowly recede back to old habits.  During the time when I am eating better and working out, I am losing weight and feel a million times better about myself.  But for some reason this isn't enough to keep me focused and on track.  It is super frustrating.  Especially since when I am at work, I am super focused and driven.  No task is too big that I can't tackle and in record time.  Why can't I translate this work ethic to my personal life?

When at work I am usually in the mindset that if I don't do it, it will not get done.  In trying to apply this attitude to my motivation issue recently, I stumbled upon a quote that sums up everything I need to remind myself when falling off the weight wagon.  You only get back what you put in.  Simple right?  Nothing will change if I don't put forth the effort.  Subconsciously I obviously know this.  But just saying this phrase to myself puts me in my work mindset.  It gets me to work out during my lunches at work.  Its still trying to get me out of bed early each morning but I have no doubt that soon it will.  If only I had found this earlier, maybe I would not have quit one of my earlier attempts to be healthier.  A year is a long time to waste and I don't plan on wasting another.