Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Work Wear for the Week Vol. 8

Time for my monthly 'work wear for the week' post.  This is what I wore all last week.  You can see I have started feeling fall with the colors and the fabrics, even if the temps aren't quite cooperating.


Shirt: Loft | Pants: Loft | Sandals: Vince Camuto (similar)


Blouse: The Limited (similar) | Skirt: Loft (similar) | Pumps: Calvin Klein


Dress: Eliza J (really love this one - one of my favorite brands for work dresses! | Pumps: Calvin Klein


Cardigan: The Limited | Sleeveless Blouse: Loft (another option) | Pants: Loft | Pumps: Calvin Klein


Cardigan: Old Navy | T-shirt (United Way T-Shirt for work) | Jeans: NYDJ | Open Toe Booties: Vince Camuto

Linking up with Lindsay and Whitney.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Weekend Recap: First of Fall

Happy Monday!  

It was the first weekend of fall, but felt more like the warmest days of July and August with temps in the 90s.  I think we might have even broken a record during the week or on Friday.  Insane!  Friday was crazy at work, as it was the end of our United Way Silent Auction.  I am happy to report, we were able to raise over $12,500 for the United Way via the auction, which is the most ever!  I celebrated with a few drinks after work - just a nice treat.  I caught up on some DVR'd shows and relaxed.

I had a to do list a mile long this weekend and I was determined to check off a good amount of things.  One of the things I really want to get better at is getting more done on Saturday, instead of trying to cram it all in on Sunday, so I hit the ground running on Saturday.  I got a few things done, then ran into work to try and get some stuff for the auction organized.  It wasn't all work, work, work on Saturday - I went to see the second Kingsmans movie.  I really liked the first one and the second didn't disappoint.  I was a little surprised because I thought Channing Tatum's role would be a bit bigger than it actually was.  Lots of action from the get go, and Elton John's part was absolutely hilarious!  Dinner was Chick fil a, which is always so good.  I honestly love going there because they have the best side salad.  

Pedal the Cause was held in my town this weekend, so I was up bright and early for the gym.  I really wanted to make sure I was there and back before any of the bikers hit the road, which thankfully was the case.  I've started attending Sunday school prior to the church and it's been really interesting and helpful in my understanding of the Bible.  I was a bit nervous about attending at first (which is a bit ironic as I type this since we spoke about being anxious and worrying in class today), because I really didn't know what 'Sunday school' looked like an as adult, but it has turned out so well.  I headed home after service to try and knock more things off my list.  While I got a lot done on Saturday, some things I have just put off and they have piled up.  My hope is to knock those things out, then just be a little more proactive and not let things pile up so my to do's are a bit less ambitious and more managable so I can get to that 'relaxing Sunday' I am striving for.  

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Hope you all had a great weekend and enjoy the week again!

Linking up with Biana.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Favorites: It's Fall!

Happy Friday!  Happy Fall!  Two of my favorites things!  It's hard to believe it is officially fall now, especially since it is hot as heck outside!  Yuck!

1.  To kick of my favorites and the first day of fall, I thought it was only fitting to talk about fall.  You know I have been in the fall mode for the whole month already.  Sarah & I just finished up our Fall Favorites link up series.  If you missed it you can click on the titles below and see my post and the link ups!

2.  This week has been a super busy one for me.  Monday I had book club, which was a ton of fun.  I made Mix & Match Mama's Pumpkin Spice Latte bundt cake and it was so delicious!  Everyone loved it, and I was super happy to unload some leftovers on the host so that I didn't have to bring it all home with me.  Tuesday night I had a women's church meeting.  We did a potluck at one of the member's home and was it fun!  The night started with visiting and then once everyone arrived we dug into all the delicious food and desserts.  Post dinner we got down to business.  Since I am newer to the church, it was neat to hear all of the things they do - just some really lovely women who give back.  As an ice breaker, we had to share a story about ourselves, and it was a great way to get to know people a bit better that way.  Wednesday, brought another event, this time with the Humane Society of Missouri.  A co-worker invited me to attend, and at the last minute a few people backed on her, so I was able to invite one of my friends, which was so nice!  There were drinks and a little bit of food, with the main event being a presentation by an animal behaviorist.  It was super interesting, and a great time!  The event was hosted by the women's leadership group and it sounds like they do some really amazing work for the humane society.  While everything I had going on the first half of the week was super fun and really enjoyable, I was happy that Thursday was a night spent at home!

3.  Every year my employer offers biometric screenings to its employees that have a company health insurance plan.  While these aren't necessarily my favorite thing (because you have to fast, have your finger pricked and of course get weighed), I do really appreciate being able to have a quick check in and see some numbers regarding my health.  Especially when they are all within the recommended levels, which mine were!

4.  One of best friends from college sent me this text yesterday and I had to laugh out loud.  Having VS Pink brand sweatpants that you would wear scrunched up was SO cool in college.  We both had them in multiple colors (along with everyone else at that time) and would rock them on the regular.  Apparently they are making a come back.  Kind of wish I had my old ones still - now those were the real OGs!  Vintage, even!

5.  Some girls love flowers, some girls (like me!) love food.  While I would never, ever be against getting flowers, coming home to a box from Sherri's Berries this week was the best surprise!

As an extra favorite this week, I wanted to share an upcoming event, Love a Little Louder - A Musical Mental Healthy Rally on Saturday, September 30th, for anyone that is local.  I have included the flyer below for details, but if you have any questions, feel free to send me an email!

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Review: August 2017

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I totally got my days mixed up last week and missed the Show Us Your Books link up, so today I am sharing what I read in August.  A slower reading month for me (as this month is shaping up to be, too!), but I had some good ones!

Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts.  This was an interesting book.  It's about a guy whose soon to be ex wife is murdered and he is a suspect.  He is not charged, but still wants to clear his name.  To get away from it all, he heads back to his family beach home, where he meets the quirky housekeeper and ends up finding himself again.  There is lots in between that of course, more mystery on top of his soon to be ex's murder.  I liked this book, as I do almost all Nora Roberts books.  The characters were good and I honestly wasn't sure how it was all going to play out.  The ending makes sense and it wraps up the whole thing nicely, which is something I always appreciate.  If you are a Nora Roberts fan, and enjoy her books like The Obsession and The Collector, I would suggest adding this to your list, too!  

The Host by Stephenie Meyer.  I really enjoyed The Chemist (and all the Twilight books), so when I realized there was another Stephenie Meyer book out there, I picked it up.  It was a little slow for me to get into, and I was a tiny bit worried that it would be too sci-fi for my person preference with the aliens taking over human bodies, but I ended up really, really liking it.  And I loved the ending.  The only thing I will say is that it is a longer book, so it can take a little more time to read (at least it did for me).  I do think it is worth it, though.  If you like her writing, and don't mind a little sci-fi (and some romance!), then definitely get this book.  

Southern Charm by Tinsley Mortimer.  I actually read this a month or two ago, but totally forgot to share it!  I picked up this book purely because Tinsley Mortimer is on RHONY.  It's a cute book.  It goes through the ups and downs of moving to NYC, and her relationships - both with work life and personal.  If you are looking for a light-hearted, easy read, this would be a good one to pick up! 

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris.  This book was so good!  I really liked Behind Closed Doors, so I was excited to read this book.  It really threw me for a loop and while I had a small inkling of one of the people involved, I really didn't think it would end how it did.  The breakdown kind of refers to two things - a woman passes another woman on the side of the road.  Thinking she is broke down and needed help, she pulls over, but the woman never gets out of her car, so she just drives on because it was storming really bad.  Come to find out, the woman was murdered.  The second thing it refers to, is the woman thinks she is losing it.  Weird things happen and she is super paranoid about the murderer coming after her, and her possibly being ill.  I feel like I can't say too much, but read this book.  It's a good one!   

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fall Favorites 2017: Fall Decor

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I said this yesterday, but today is my favorite of the fall favorites link up Sarah and I have been hosting this month.  Before I get into this week's topic I thought I would do a quick recap of the last two weeks.  First up - fall drinks, my favorite being, of course, a pumpkin spice latte.  You can see my post here, and I would highly recommend checking out the blogs linked up - there were some yummy recipes in there!  Next, it was all about fashion.  You can see my post here, where I share some of my favorites for the season, going from head to toe.  And now, onto fall decor! 

Fall kicks off the start of my favorite time of year, and part of what I love about it is how warm and cozy things feel due to all the decorations.  I've been accumulating decorations for awhile now - since right after I graduated college, and my collection just grows and grows.  This year I feel like I added quite a bit and I love how it turned out.

Plaid pillows: Pottery Barn
Wooden charger: Pottery Barn

I picked up these plaid pillows this year and absolutely love them.  I was able to get just the covers and use the inserts I already had.  Switching my orange pillow around to show the buttons makes it seem a bit more fallish, and the new lumbar pillow ties it all together!  My cloche plate was seeming a bit small, so I picked up a charger, which I love and much like the pillows will probably find its permanent home here.  The wreath is old - I took a grapevine wreath and with my mom's help jazzed it up a bit with some faux berries and added a bit of color with the orange ribbon.

I love this free printable I found online - it says 'there is always something to be thankful for', which is so true, even on those tougher days.  I grabbed 3 of the little orange mercury candles in Target's dollar spot, and one made it's way under the cloche.  The velvet pumpkin is another new add this year from Home Goods - I just love the shape and the stem!

I love sitting on the couch watching TV and looking down to a pretty fireplace area.  Everything you see here is old, and how it came together is a big thanks to my mom.  We had it set up differently and it was ok, but just wasn't really there yet.  I left to run and errand and came home to this!

A closer look.  Side note - I picked up the grapevine pumpkins at Crate & Barrel years ago, and just love them so much.  At the time, it seemed like a silly purchase, but these guys are some of my favorite things to pull out year after year.

Tray: Kirkland's

A little drop area!  I love how this tray gives me a contained space to decorate, while also being functional.

Pumpkin bowls: Pottery Barn

I got this tray last year and just love it so much.  It's always fun to figure out how to decorate it, while making it functional.  It can be a bit of a process.  And I absolutely LOVE those little pumpkin bowls (there is one on the other side, too).  I wish I had gotten more than just the two!

I have developed somewhat of an obsession with seasonal plates.  I actually bought turkey plates earlier this year at the Pottery Barn outlet store.  I was just going to use them all season, but when my mom and I went shopping, we saw the pumpkin plates and that was it.  I wanted a full candle ring to add some color, and this one fit the bill!

I used to store some of my cookbooks on my bar top, but it was just too cluttered.  Under this stool is the perfect spot and they just so happen to all be pretty fall colors!  Also, a little side note.  The berries in the basket with the pumpkins are actually just a bunch of small candle rings.  I had them from when I had a light fixture they could be used on, and never knew what to do with them until now.  My mom stuck them in the basket and viola!

Pumpkin plates: Pottery Barn
Napkins (in Terra Cotta): Pottery Barn

A closer look at the tablescape.  The napkins aren't a true orange, the color is more of a compliment to the orange in the plates, which is really pretty.  And they will match my turkey plates come November!  

I really enjoy having this shelf space to decorate.  We changed it up from previous years and this is probably my favorite yet!  The banner my mom made, using leaf cutouts and twine.

That's a look at my fall decor!  I pretty much only linked items that were new to me this year, but if you have any specific questions about where anything comes from please feel free to ask!

You can see pasts fall home tours below - including my parents' house from last year!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Italian Beef

Hey all!  Today I am sharing with you a super yummy recipe for Italian Beef.  And surprise, surprise, this is another recipe of my mom's.  Which I found out originally came from my Aunt Kathy - a true family recipe!  My sister in law absolutely loves this recipe and often makes it.  It's even made its way to her side of the family and is high on their favorites list!  Funnily enough, this is one of my mom's recipes I have never made myself.  After hearing my sister in law rave about it so much, I need I had to change that.  And while I still haven't quite made this myself (my mom and I made it together in the pictures below at my parent's so I don't quite count it as making it on my own), it's definitely one that will be added into the rotation going forward.  This Italian Beef super easy to make and one of those great make ahead dishes.  You can cook it while at home, cut it up, store and then eat on it throughout the week for a quick, but warm and delicious meal.  I am going to change things up a bit and explain by picture, and then share the steps (sans pictures) below.

First, you need a rolled rump roast, or some type of thicker beef roast.  And about 3-4 cloves of garlic.  Cut about 6-8 slits in the roast, fat side up.  Cut your cloves of garlic in half, then insert into cuts.  

Place inside roaster at 275 degrees.  My mom uses a Nesco roaster for this, but you could also roast in your oven, using a dutch oven.  Another option is to use your slower cooker.  For that, you would place in slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.  Note: Slow cooker times are courtesy of googling - once I actually make it in my crock pot, I will adjust times if necessary!

Add enough water to come up half way on roast.

Sprinkle dry Italian seasoning mix (2 packets) on top of roast and in water.

Add in 2-3 beef bouillon cubes.

Sprinkle with just a bit of Italian seasoning.

Cook covered for about 5-6 hours in a roaster / oven.  For the slow cooker, cook on low 8-10 hours, or high 4-5 hours.  For some reason that is where my photos stopped.  However, to summarize the next steps (which will again be down below), you take the meat out, refrigerate in a covered container, and in a separate container, pour in the liquid and store in the refrigerator.  Once meat has cooled in the refrigerator, you will want to thinly slide it, against the grain.  As for the liquid, the fat will form on top of it in a thin layer, which you can skim off.  To eat, heat the liquid on the stove to a low simmer, then add the meat and warm.  This will keep the meat from drying out!

Now for the condensed version.

Italian Beef
Rolled rump roaster or some type of thicker beef roast
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 envelopes of Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mixes
2 or 3 beef bouillon cubes
Italian seasoning

Make 6-8 small cuts in the top of the roast, fat side up.  Cut garlic cloves in half, then insert into the roast.  Put in Nesco roaster / dutch oven / slow cooker.  Add enough water to come halfway up on the roast.  Sprinkle both packets of Italian dressing mix on top of the roast and in the water.  Add beef bouillon cubes, and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.  Cook covered - Nesco roaster 275 for 5-6 hours, dutch oven in the oven at 275 for 5-6 hours, slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.  Once done, remove meat from pan and refrigerate.  Remove liquid from pan and refrigerate separately.  Once roast is cooled in the frig, slice thinly against the grain.  Again, store separately from the liquid in the refrigerator.  To eat, heat the liquid on the stove to a low simmer, then add meat and warm through.  Enjoy!  

A few things to note - my mom likes to cool the meat in the frig because she said it is easier to cut that way.  The reason you warm the liquid first, is to avoid drying out the meat.

You can serve this pretty much anyway - as a sandwich, by itself with potatoes, or on top of rice or anything other grain.  No matter how you serve it, you cannot beat the taste.  And let me tell you, the smell is amazing.  Your mouth will be watering while this cooks up!    

Reminder: Tomorrow is my favorite of the fall favorite link up topics - fall decor!  I absolutely love seasonal decorating, and this time of year is one of my favorites to share!

Linking up with Erika, AshleyThe Blended Blog, Lindsay and Whitney.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Weekend Recap: The Middle of September

How is it Monday already?!

Friday ended on a high note with a happy hour.  And to make it better, the service was actually pretty attentive, which was a nice change!  I was in between my DVR and the news Friday night to see what was going on with the protests in St. Louis.

My new weekend obsession is the pumpkin bagel from Panera.  It is seriously so good and makes for the perfect weekend treat.  I honestly didn't do much at all Saturday - it's a bit embarassing to say exactly how lazy I was!  I did clean, but that was probably the most productive I was the entire day.  

Sunday I was up and ready to go early!  Since I did so little on Saturday, I had big plans for my Sunday.  I was able to knock out a few things before it was time to head to church, and then had a spontaneous lunch with some people from church.  The restuarant we went to was super behind, so we ended up walking over to the grocery store and getting food from the salad bar.  It was just kind of funny, we all stuffed into a small booth at the store to eat, and just had a lot of fun.  I think it's going to be one of those good inside jokes because it was so random, but really good at the same time.  I headed to the grocery store afterwards, which I was happy to see wasn't completely picked over.  I have gone there in the afternoon and sometimes it i just like all the food is gone, but that was not the case, thankfully!  I ended up having to run into work for a few hours, which was super unexpected and threw a little kink in my plans to get everything single thing on my list done (always over ambitious when it comes to that dang list), but I am going to use it as a reminder and motivation to not procrastinate going forward and get all the things done on Saturday, to clear up my Sundays a bit.  Let's see if that actually works.  As I type this now, my bundt cake for book club tomorrow is baking and the red carpet for the Emmy's is on, so I am taking in all the fashion.  Here's to finishing the weekend with a little award show watching and organizing for the week ahead! 

*Update - a few people have commented they were thinking of me this weekend with everything going on in St. Louis, which is super nice!  I really appreciate that!  If you are unaware, protests have been going on in St. Louis since Friday.  For the most part, the protests have been very peaceful.  One of which actually happened pretty much in my backyard.  Unfortunately, once night hits, things go from peaceful to violent.  So far none of the destruction has happened in my specific area.  However, it's really sad to wake up each morning and hear about the destruction in other parts of the city, which in my opinion, takes away from the message and all those that have been exercising their right to peacefully protest.  The news is focused on how many windows were smashed, if chemical were released, etc., rather than focusing on the issue at hand.  If you could send a few extra prayers to St. Louis, it would be much appreciated!  

Hope you all have a great start to the week!  

Image result for in a world where you can be anything be kind quote

Linking up with Biana.