Friday Fancies: Baby It's Cold Outside...

Friday, January 30, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside
Since this weekend is going to be a chilly one, I thought I would just post how I plan to kick it around my house.  I know some of you are going to be in MUCH colder areas so I recommend that we all stay in and get cozy!
What do you think?

It's Okay Thrusday!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

... to skip a day of blogging ... yep totally okay.
... to be excited for the Super Bowl ... GO SEAHAWKS!!!
... to secretly think that Russell Wilson can't be that nice.
... to wonder why the heck Friday isn't here yet.  Seriously, what is taking her so long!?!?
... that my 8 year old niece has a "cooler" phone than me.
... to still say cooler ... right?
... to take a break from drinking nothing but water - sometimes you need some flavor ... oh and caffeine!
... to walk outside and think ... FINALLY Floridians have the right to say in a whiny voice ... it's cold outside ... wahhhhh!  (Currently 33 degrees)
... to want Starbucks but drive right on past because the drive thru line is too long.
What's okay with you today?

Happy Birthday to Me!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thank you to all of you that read my blog and have stuck with me through all these years!

Hello Monday #2

Monday, January 26, 2015

So it's Monday, our favorite day of the week … am I right?

I thought this Monday I would share a glimpse into the madness of how I am trying to keep myself accountable for my time management since it could probably be dubbed my New Year's Resolution at this point. In the past, when I decided to manage my money, I literally posted my purchases each day on my blog to stay accountable. If I spent money on ANYTHING it was written down. Since Paul and I use our credit card for EVERYTHING I then went through the statement and made categories. Bills, Gas, Groceries, etc. This helped me see where I was wasting money. So then I gave myself a budget. When starting off, I kept track of my spending money to the penny. I tried my hardest not to go over my budget. After awhile, I got the hang of it and really essentially saved a bunch of money. {To see some related posts click on the MONEY label.}

So now I need to and have incorporated this into my time management. So I started with writing everything down for each day and creating a checklist of things that I need to accomplish each day/night. Here is a sample of what I strive for every day/night, this is my permanent list:
(X) Packed Lunch
(X) Blog Post
(X) Go to bed on time (10/10:30)
(X) Drink 8 glasses of water

Also, I'll add things I want to accomplish that day and if I don't get them done … I add it to the next day's list as well. Here are some examples:
() Organize coupons
(X) Find book at library

Not only do I keep track with my check list. I also make notes regarding how my day went with regards to accomplishing those tasks. I created a color scale. Each item I write down is ranked by:

Purple - Keep up the good work!
Blue - Somewhat successful
Orange - needs work

The color code makes it easy to see what I need to work on because let's face it - everyday isn't going to be all purple and blue. I think I've only had one day so far that was … lol. Recently, when I had a three day weekend, I made a long to do list and nearly accomplished it all. VICTORY!

So far I can say that I am seeing progress in my time management and that even though everything isn't 100% everyday - writing it down definitely helps me stay accountable. Also, I feel less pressure to get EVERYTHING done on one day. When I have everything mapped out for the week, I know I have enough time to do the things I want to get done. 

So how are you doing on your resolutions?

Friday Fancies: Trip to the DMV

Friday, January 23, 2015

Let's Go to the DMV

Thanks to the fact I needed to have a vision test done - apparently you can only renew online so many times BEFORE you have to prove you can see.  So here is the gist of what I wore to have my license photo taken.  I'm a firm believer in ... don't show too much skin because then it just turns out looking all weird in that dreaded photo.  Also, wear a dark or black top.  This will help make the contrast of your head and your body show up under that bright flash.  Some extras:  I brought a magazine to read but I walked right in ... thank you DMV gods.  Also, I rewarded myself with my FREE birthday drink from Starbucks.  I got a Venti Iced Decaf Soy Caramel Macchito Upside Down (not quite represented by the photo above but again you get the gist).  Isn't that a crazy long request?!?  I have to repeat it to myself in like about a million times so I don't forget one of the words.
Happy Friday and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

It's Okay Thursday ...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

... to wake up on Thursday super excited that Friday is tomorrow! 

... to have no opinion about deflated balls ... GO SEAHAWKS!

... to take splenda from Starbucks ... I mean chances are that splenda will go into their product so it's totally legit ... right?

... to get mad when your parking spot in the garage/parking lot is taken ~ no assigned spots but C'MON I park there EVERYDAY!
... to already be counting down to the next 3 day weekend.
... to just realize that I need to renew my license ... dang birthday coming up!
... not understand why I actually have to go to DMV - online renewal can only be done so many times?  WHAT!?!?
... to then wonder if my outfit and hair are acceptable for my new license photo ... LOL
What's okay with you today?

Do or Don't: European Kitchen

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pics from housetohome

Americans are all about big kitchens, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, but why? Could we embrace the European take on kitchens and still function?  Granted, I am with you 100% on the size of the refrigerator but honestly ... do we need tons of cabinets and an abundance of countertops?  I'm all about my home being mine ~ my style and my likes ~ I could totally see Paul and I taking a nontraditional take on a kitchen.  I honestly don't even like granite ... I know GASP!  

As along as the kitchen is functional, chic is totally acceptable in my book ... what do you think?

Pack Your Lunch

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When planning to pack my lunch, I turn to my trustworthy friend Google to find some ideas - only to be put off by the complicated looking bento boxed lunches. Sure this all looks great and I would love someone to pack me one of those healthy and perfect looking lunches, but let's face reality ~ I'm the one packing it and chances of it coming any close to one of those is slim to none. 
Of course, packing your lunch is healthier for you than fast food options but it is also cheaper than buying lunch everyday. So packing is a double winner in my book. So how can I get this rolling? 
First, set a goal of how many days a week you want to pack your lunch. I set my goal for 4 days a week with Fridays open to have lunch with friends since there is always someone wanting to meet up for a chat and a bite to eat. Last week was my first successful week - I packed Monday - Thursday and had a great lunch on Friday with a group of friends. Also, since I hadn't purchased a lunch all week I didn't really mind that Friday I splurged a little.  
Second, figure out the best packable lunch for you. So, what the heck should you pack? My tip is to figure out a lunch that is easy to make and that takes no real thought or effort once you get all your goods for packing. I'm all about throw in the bag options. During my grocery shopping, I just went back to basics. So I need a sandwich, side, fruit/veg and maybe a treat. Seems simple enough … right?
The sandwich: this can be your Achilles heel or easy … I prefer easy. I don't necessarily have somewhere cold to store my food until I plan to eat it therefore complicated sandwiches are out for me. Also, I can't say I want to spend thirty mins or so making my lunch everyday so I opted for peanut butter & jelly. The good 'ole PB&J. It's really something that I never get tired of - I never look at my sandwich and think … man I don't want this today. It's filling and easy. 
The side: There is a whole world of options. Last week, I bought a bag of pretzels and kept filling up my sandwich bag each night. It just took a matter of seconds to replenish.  Sure you can buy all the prepackaged foods but I think throwing some in a sandwich baggie is not that time consuming.  Yogurt is also another good option as a side - but again don't want to have to worry about keeping it cold.
The fruit/veg: Again, you can go the hard way or the easy way. The hard way is when people buy a bunch of something chop it all up etc. Again, I just pick something that doesn't have to stay cold. Banana, apple, pear, etc. I'm not to fond of oranges as a lunch option because I don't want to deal with the peeling and oranges in my opinion are better when cold. 
The treat:  Currently this spot is being occupied by a Nutragrain bar.  But, you can pick anything you want.  What's something you can throw into your bag that will make this plain Jane lunch feel a little more bareable day to day?  Also, pick something that you won't snack on outside of lunch - you know late night when you are watching tv you don't want to eat up all your lunch supplies.
This is what works for me. But, if you have leftovers and like to pack those … go for it! Salads are also a great lunch option but again I don't really want to have to worry about my stuff staying cold.  All in all - keep it simple and enjoy your day off to splurge.
What's your go to pack lunch?

Friday Fancies: Cute & Cozy Sweaters

Friday, January 16, 2015

So I got this idea from little luxury lists ...

Cute & Cozy

Since we are all probably tired of wearing sweaters {some more than others},
I thought I would post some cute ones that can cheer us up from the winter blues. 
How cute are those elbow pads?

It's Okay Thursday!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

... to look for the cheapest gas even now when gas is cheap!  Seriously what is it about my exit that needs to be 10 cents more per gallon?

... to have a bed time ... yes I am an adult but I need to go to sleep when it is time to go to sleep!

... to wear your hair in a pony tail everyday this week ~ it's raining folks ... why even try to pretend my hair will stay presentable without putting it up?

... to realize that everything I complain about can be summed up with #firstworldproblems or #FLproblems.

... to be currently addicted to NPR.  Hello RARELY any commercials and I am learning stuff everyday.

... to feel smarter for listening to NPR ... LOL.

... to start sentences with the phrase ... so I heard on NPR ...

... to give eye rolls ... yep you thought I couldn't see you.

... to look at your nails and think about using a nail file but it not happening ... jagged is fashionable ... right?  {okay maybe not}

... that my husband knows exactly how long we have been together and I am ALWAYS wrong.  Seriously, even recently when I was like okay I have this down ... nope still wrong!  I can never remember how old my dog is either because it's hard to remember a time before her ~ so I told Paul that he's like the dog now ~ I can't remember a time before him.  {insert ahhhhh}  Okay so FOR the record ... we met March 2, 2008 (ok so I just had to check my blog for the day - why can I never remember this??)  Seriously, I have a yearly reminder that pops up in my phone and when I see the calendar near the end of Feb I will think ... what do I have scheduled for the 2nd?  True story ... EVERY year ... LOL.  We married September 20, 2012 ... okay that I def remember!  

Crap Products and Tried & True Swaps ...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

So since I have been couponing I have tried out a bunch of products that I have found deals to make them cheap and/or FREE. Here are some products that aren't even worth free ...

The Oral B battery operated toothbrush only rotates on one section of the toothbrush head; however, when you push down to brush your teeth the force stops it from rotating so at that point it is just making a loud buzzing noise with no actual results.  Also, if you push down softer - it just sprays toothpaste all over your mirror - NO FUN! 
The Colgate toothbrush with whitening pen is good in theory; however, the toothbrush is too bulky because the whitening pen is stored inside the base of the toothbrush, so you can't store it in a normal toothbrush holder and then it just lies around on the counter or in a drawer ... YUCK!  As for the whitening pen, I will say it works "a little" - if you put it on your teeth and try not to close your mouth it whitens - there is nothing holding to your teeth.  It is good for a quick touch up but it's not portable because essentially the top to the pen is the toothbrush and believe me you don't want to be lugging that massive thing around with you all day.
Gillette Venus Spa Breeze Razors are horrible.  {I gave the other razor head to my sister to try ~ she had the same results.}  Basically, the outer foaming/shaving cream area does not work.  It doesn't lather up ~ it just becomes gooey.  Also that extra stuff area makes it impossible to get the razor on your skin without pushing down and then knicking/cutting yourself to death.  PASS!
Crest 3D White has a money back guarantee but just skip it.  It's a great toothpaste but doesn't really make that much of a difference with whitening. 
Caress Daily Silk Body Wash (Silky Orange Blossom) doesn't really make your skin feel any softer after use.  I had two bottles of this stuff.  I used practically the whole bottle felt no results on my skin and gave the other bottle to my sister to try.  She had the same results - no silky feeling.  Also, I picked this scent because it was the least offensive one they made.  This scent isn't really that appealing either.  So again ... PASS!!
So here are some swaps that definitely work well {which I have also gotten on a deal for cheap and/or free}!

Colgate 360 toothbrush is awesome ~ the toothbrush head is perfect size for my teeth and it cleans great.  It also has a tongue scrapper on the back; but, I cannot even do that {too much gag reflex ... LOL}.

Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster Gel ~ this stuff is amazing!  You have to use it with toothpaste because it has no actual teeth cleaning function it is just for whitening.  Also, I tried it on its own and it tastes HORRIBLE so def use some toothpaste.  What I also like about the Colgate 360 toothbrush is that the toothbrush head is big enough for this whitening gel and toothpaste.  The whitening is amazing ... you can tell a major difference after one use.  The box states to use once a day but if your teeth are not sensitive I think you could probably get away with using it twice a day.

Crest Complete with Scope ~ average toothpaste but I love this container.  It works well to apply a thin coat of toothpaste beside a thin coat of the whitening booster.  So if you want to try the booster just get a toothpaste in this container - I think Colgate uses this bottle as well.  So just get whatever normal toothpaste you like.

Schick Hydro Silk ~ I got one of these in a Birchbox once and LOVED IT.  This is the best razor!  The Hydro area really works ~ you can shave with just water knick free.  Also the area lasts and the razor itself does not get dull quickly. 

Softsoap Citrus Splash & Berry Fusion Body Wash ~ I love Softsoap products.  They have tons of different scents and they even have creamy body washes.  This one smells great and the exfoliating beads help to get your skin clean and soft.

What's one product you deem as crappy and what do you recommend instead?


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Downton Abbey is one of my favorite shows and Joanne Froggatt plays one of my favorite characters. 
Congrats to hear on her Golden Globe!

Do you watch Downton and who's your favorite character?

Hello Monday!

Monday, January 12, 2015

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  As for being productive, I think I was about 80% solid, which isn't too bad for my first week of trying to manage my time better.  

Also, I almost broke down and bought a planner ... I even looked at several online.  Then I thought about it.  My online version is working well, I can log into it anywhere without having to lug it around or fear of it getting damaged or {gasp} dirty.  So I thought ... how can I jazz up my online planner to make it cuter.  My BFF google helped me find cute fonts/washi tape/backgrounds to download.  Now my online planner is SUPER CUTE!  Loving it!!

I think for awhile I am going to post on Mondays five items that I want to get done this week. Instead of trying to struggle with EVERYTHING, I am going to focus on what I deem most important for that week and work on those.  Don't get me wrong the items don't always have to be super serious but at least things that I feel will keep me on track.

So here are my plans for the week:

1) Pack my lunch each day.  

2) Post all week.

3) Organize my coupons.

4) Go to sleep by 10:00!  (Seriously no later than 10:30)

5) Find a book to read.

Okay so that is it, here are my goals for the week.  I think I am good to go on #1 and 2, but #3 and 4 are going to be rough.  I am sooooo behind on organizing my coupons and I am terrible about going to sleep "early" so I guess those will be my focus of conquering.

What are your goals for the week?  Do you have something looming that you need to get done?

Friday Fancies: Can We Build A Snowman

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Fancies: Can We Build A Snowman

So guess what ... it was snowing yesterday in Jacksonville, FL. Yep I saw it with my own eyes or I wouldn't have believed it either. So I thought I would post what I'll be wearing tomorrow ... okay minus the MK bag but hey a girl can dream. Doubtful that I will wake up to a fresh powder covering everything but hey it did snow for about 30 mins.

So how's this arctic weather effecting you?

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men ...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

So I have been trying to get back into being on top of things.  You know like packing my lunch, blogging and couponing.  But, honestly sometimes I feel as if there aren't enough hours in the day or at least enough that I want to be awake to get everything done.  Oh and then … I get sick and that totally knocks out an entire weekend. 

Doesn't it always seem like we either have a million and one things going on or nothing {cue the crickets}? So how do I get back into the swing of things? How do I make time to get everything done and keep it rolling? Can I just type that in google and TADA all my problems solved? I think not.  
I guess the trick to getting on track is to start with one task, accomplish it and then move on to the next.  Seems simple enough … right?  Well, also that whole "lack of time" issue really needs to be kicked in the butt.  What are the things I do have time for and are they the best things to be spending my time on? 
Well first things first, (I'm the realist … LOL) I packed my lunch today. Second, just like back in the day when I made a budget, I kept track of everything I bought each day and started to see a pattern of waste, so I will start keeping track of my time. Not to the second or minute but you know generally if I spend an hour doing such and such at the end of the day I can evaluate it and try to see where I am wasting my time. Also, when I was budgeting my money it doesn't happen over night I made mistakes but writing it down helped me stay accountable.  I'm trying my hardest to be all techy about my planning these days. I am not going anywhere near a stationary section of a store until at least April (should be safe right) for fear of buying tons of planners I never write in.  So, I guess we will see how it goes ... honestly I think there is a lot less TV viewing in my future.

So, how do you get back on track or manage your time?

Friday Fancies: Pantone's Color of the Year ~ Marsala

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pantone described the color as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red.”
Here are some other color combinations if you want to rock this color in 2015!
My combination was geared towards No. 1.  I also like Nos. 3, 4 and 7.
What do you like this color for 2015?  Will you be rocking any of the combos above?
Happy New Year!

Auld Lang Syne!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

How long do we think it will take me to stop writing 2014?
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