Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Stylish Organizational Supplies for Paperwork & Two Organizing Tips

One of my goals for the past few months (I saw few, because it literally took me three months to get it together) was organizing all my paperwork.  Bills, banking information, car paperwork, misc...the list goes on.  I originally had one of those plastic accordion filing containers, but it was just not cutting it anymore.  I had too much paper for it, and it wasn't exactly cute.  Since my space is limited, I wanted something that could be a little more decorative.  That way I could put it on a bookcase, or leave it out somewhere, if I so chose.   I headed to Target and found two super cute products!

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1.  Marbleized Hanging Folders.  I honestly was just going to go with the regular green hanging folders, but Target did not have any in the size I needed.  I found the marbleized folders and decided that even though they were the less 'practical' choice, they were too cute to pass up.

2.  Wooden Filing Box.  I was looking for something more decorative and smaller than a filing cabinet, and this fit the bill.  It looks more like a crate that you would keep blankets in, rather than something for files!  I grabbed it up, and headed home.

With having just organized my papers, I had a few tips that might make your organizing go a bit easier.

Shred folder.  As I was organizing my papers into piles, I had a folder set off to the side for things that I wasn't keeping and needed to be shredded.  Using the folder keeps it from getting mixed in with the other piles, and helps you to remember, oh yea, I did look at that already, and it's not needed.

Categorize.  Instead of having one hanging folder for every single pile, I used plain manila folders, then put the like folders in one hanging folders.  For example, all my utilities are separated into individual manila folders - electric, cable / internet, water / sewer / garbage - but they all are in the same hanging folder labeled 'Utilities'.  It cuts down on the amount of hanging folders you need and keeps things together categorically.

Linking up with Lindsay and Whitney.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekend Recap: Days Off + Decorating

Happy Monday!  I say that with real excitment because it's Thanksgiving week!  Only a few days of work then it's family time...and shopping.

I started my weekend off early, because I took off both Thursday and Friday.  Wednesday night we headed to the movies to see Thor.  It was really good and actually quite funny.  

Thursday seems to far away as I try to write this on Sunday evening, haha!  We decided to try out a new to us restaurant, Mission Taco in the Central West End area.  It's such a neat neighborhood, with lots of restaurants, shops and just some really awesome houses.  Lunch was amazing - my very favorite things weren't actually the tacos, but the apps we got - queso con chrizo and corn fritters.  So good!  The margaritas were awesome, too!  After lunch we perused the book store across the street.  It was neat to be inside an old school bookstore.  I could have browsed in there for so long - especially the cookbook section.  We ended the afternoon with ice cream at Jeni's.  I had never been there before, but heard good things, and opted for the Darkest Chocolate.  I really, really liked it.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing.

My mom and I started decorating for Christmas on Friday!  Last we had quite the fiasco with the lights on the tree, but I am happy to say that it went a whole heck of a lot smoother this time!  We got the majority of things up that evening, and had our list of things we were going to look for the following day.  

Originally, we had plans to check out a table top tour that was going on Saturday at local shops.  We ended up scratching the idea, and just headed out to some other places.  Our first stop was The White Rabbit.  It's a shop I had been following on instagram for awhile, but never made it to.  It just so happened that they were having their holiday open house, so it worked out perfectly!  I am so glad we went, because I picked up some super cute items...and since it was their open house, I was one of the lucky customers to get a gift, which included a super cute ornament and gift certificate!  We had to go to Pottery Barn, because sadly, I had to return my plaid plates I was so excited about.  I totally got it wrong, and realized that my Santa plates were dinner size, not salad plates.  So, I couldn't layer them liked I had planned in my head, because they were the same size!  Of course, I didn't realize this until I was getting my decorations out on Friday.  Whoops!  We would have gone anyways, honestly, because both my mom and I love that store.  They were having a really good sale - 20% off your purchase, and then my mom had a really good coupon.  I picked up this faux fur pillow case, which is soooo soft and my mom grabbed some mercury glass votives.  Then it was on to World Market, Michael's and Target.  Michael's had some amazing sales.  I decided to add some red berries to my decor this year, and they had picks on sale 70% off!  Meaning, the $1.99 picks I got ended up being only $0.59 each!  It was really nasty outside - rainy, windy and super cold, so we were glad to get home.  Last time my mom was here, we got Pi Pizza for dinner, and ended up doing the same this night.  Our favorite is the Central West End pizza.

Sunday we braved the cold for a short walk, then it was breakfast and time for church.  Afterwards, I made a quite trip to the grocery store, where I just tried to wing it with no list.  I am so not that kind of shopper - I need a list!  The rest of the day was spent doing laundry, meal prepping a bit and just enjoying all the decorations! 

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Linking up with Biana.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Favorites: Taylor Swift, Tea, PJs, Decorating & Link Up Fun!

Happy Friday!  We are less than one week away from Thanksgiving...and a week away from Black Friday shopping.  I cannot wait!

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1.  Taylor Swift & Channel 4.  I put on Channel 4 News when I get up and then I have it on in the background for basically 2.5 hours in the morning before work.  Last Friday, the traffic reporter, Laura Hettiger, incorporated Taylor Swift songs in her report, as an ode to her new album coming out.  I am sad to say that I totally missed this, even though I had it on.  Anyways, I guess Taylor Swift has family in the area and sent her the story.  Taylor Swift retweeted the traffic anchor, and the story was picked up by difference new sources, one being People!  I just thought it was so neat!  If you are a Taylor Swift fan, I would definitely recommend checking out the video - Laura was just so clever with the song names!
2.  Hot Cinnamon Sunset Tea.  Lately I have been craving coffee almost everyday.  And by coffee, I mean a PSL, Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato, or Peppermint Mocha.  I try to limit those drinks to just the weekend, and thought tea would be a great alternative.  I remember Shay from Mix & Match Mama mentioning a cinnamon tea, so I looked it up and found that she recommended Hot Cinnamon Spice tea.  So I head over to Target last weekend to look for it.  Instead they had Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea, which after googling, sounds like the same exact thing.  I cannot tell you how good it is.  It's just a cup of goodness.  The tea is a bit heavier, if that makes sense, so it is a bit more filling and seems more indulgent, and has the most wonderful smell from the cinnamon.  
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3.  Festive PJs.  Something I again saw on Shay's blog - these super cute pjs (top / pants) from Old Navy.  I headed there yesterday evening in hopes of getting a vest, and ended up with these pjs instead.  It's fun how you can pretty much mix and match all the different patterns.  Shay said she sized up on these, which I would suggest doing as well, that way they are a bit looser and more comfortable.  You could probably even go two sizes on the pants for them to be a little looser throughout the thighs.  

4.  Decorating for Christmas.  My mom is coming this weekend and we are doing some Christmas decorating.  I cannot wait!  I have been ready for awhile.  Last year was my absolute favorite so far, and I am excited to see what we come up with this year.  

5.  Sarah and Victoria hosted a Christmas link up last year, and they are doing the same this year with the addition of having guest hosts!  I am super happy to be kicking things off with them on Dec 4th with the first link up topic - sharing our wish lists.  Below are the dates and topics and the guest hosts if you are interested!

December 4th- Christmas Wish List with A Little Bit of Emily
December 5th- Holiday Entertaining Tips with Classic Catherine
December 6th- Christmas Day in the Life with Nicole Cole
December 7th- Christmas Gift Guide with Whimsical September
December 11th- Christmas Cards with Taz and Belly
December 12th- Holiday Home Tour with Michaela Noelle Designs
December 13th- Favorite Holiday Party Recipe with The Queen in Between
December 14th- Favorite Meaningful Holiday Memories

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Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie.   

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

I feel like Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that I usually shop my closet for.  And whether it's a bit nicer, or a bit more casual, just depends on my mood.  Below are two outfit options that I think are the top contenders for my favorite holiday next week!

Option 1:

I picked up this dress a week or two ago, because it was on sale, super cute and would be perfect for work.  It's sweater material, so really soft and the fit and flare style is super flattering, not to mention it will help to hide allll the food that will be consumed on Thanksgiving.  I am torn if I would want to wear this with booties, or tall boots (both options I have are old, so I linked alternatives) - either would be super cute!  

Option 2:  

I picked up this circle sweater during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and it's one of those items I wish I had gotten in another color, too.  Under the cardigan, I am thinking plaid.  The top I have in mind is really old from The Limited (which, did you know they have reopened?!), but the one pictured / linked is very similar.  Excluding the plaid, pretty much this whole outfit comes from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - the cardigan, the high waisted jeans that I cannot get enough of, and the Vince Camuto booties.  I have talked about these NYDJ jeans for awhile now, and I really like the fact that they are high waisted.  They are so comfortable!  While the booties are heeled, they are also really comfortable.  I do suggest wearing no show socks under them, though, because the first time I did not and they definitely started to rub after awhile.  With the socks, though, I haven't had any problems!

Now I have to ask, which outfit do you prefer?    

Linking up with Annie.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide: Ladies

It's the second edition of Emily, Owen and Brittany's Ultimate Gift Guide.  Last week was Kids, and this week is for the ladies!  I have rounded up ten gifts that I think would be really great presents.

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1.  J. Crew Coat.  This is a big purchase at $350, but I personally have been lusting after this coat for a year or two.  It's such a classic style, I think it would be used for many years.  I personally like the sandstone and hthr dusk, but it comes in six other colors, too!

2.  UGG Slippers ($120).  I got these slippers last year for Christmas and I LOVE them.  I wear them all the time and at almost a year later, they still look like new.  I prefer the slip on, because it makes them easier to put on and just slip off when I want to tuck my feet up on the couch.  I also really like the hard bottom - that was something I wasn't too sure about honestly when I put them on my list, but it's super nice to have that extra support and sturdiness to the slipper.  I cannot recommend them enough!  And who doesn't love a pair of slippers?

3.  Bare Foot Dreams Cardigan.  I feel like this cardigan is loved by everyone.  While it is pricier ($92), you cannot beat the softness and quality.  I have one and my mom has one...she fell in love with it when I wore mine home at Christmas, so my dad surprised her with her own after the holidays!  I have had mine for 1.5 years now, and it's still great after being wore and washed a ton.  It's nice and long, which makes it so cozy to curl up under, almost like a blanket.  I really think it would make a great gift for anyone!

4.  Kendra Scott Jewelry.  I am a huge Kendra Scott fan and I think anything of hers would make a great gift.  I feel like the Dani / Elle / Danielle earrings are classics, and they come in so many different colors, you can really find a look that suits any style.  I am also really liking the Alex earrings, too for a fun, different shape.  

5.  Mascara Gift Set.  My mom has gotten me this I think 2 years in a row for Christmas, and it's such a great gift set.  You get the Lancome primer, mascara and eye make up remover all in one set.  The primer is one of my favorites, as is the mascara.  All together, the value is $70, but the gift set is only $39, giving you a good bang for your buck!  I have linked to Nordstrom, but in years past I have also seen this at Macy's, although I could not find it online.

6.  Face Mask Gift Set ($49).  I feel like face masks are just so popular nowadays and having a set where you can try out multiple is a wonderful gift.  Something like this could also be split up and used as stocking stuffers or gifts for girlfriends.  Pair with a nice wash cloth, and you have made your own little gift set! 

7.  Cookbooks.  You all know I love a good cookbook.  I have a minor obsession, but they are so fun to look through and really make a great gift.  I personally would recommend any of The Pioneer Woman cookbooks or Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.  One of my best friends raves about Jessica Seinfeld's cookbooks, too.  On my list this year I have the first Skinnytaste cookbook, Simmers, and the newest cookbook from The Pioneer Woman...just to name a few.  I think adding in a fun holiday kitchen towel and utensil, like a wooden spoon would be a great way to elevate your gift giving, too!

8.  Ornaments.  I think ornaments are great presents, because there are so many, you can really tailor your choice to the person you are buying for, whether it be something they are interested in, a trip you took together, or just something that relates to an inside joke, you can always find something!  Like this taco - how fun is this?  Perfect for any Mexican food lover!  Homemade ornaments are really great, too.

9.  One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book ($16).  I saw this a few years ago online and I thought it was just such a neat present.  There is a spot to write something about each day of the year, for five years.  I think it would be so interesting to look back and see how things have changed!  

10.  A Candle.  Who doesn't love candles?  It's a great gift for any lady in your life.  Whether it be someone at work, a friend, or a family member.  Candles add such warmth to a home and I feel like you cannot have too many of them.  There are such great options out durings the holidays, too!  My personal favorites include The Smell of Christmas, Mistletoe Kisses, and Frasier Fir.  I haven't ever burned a wood wick candle for Christmas, but I think they are such fun candles.  I have one right now for fall, and it honestly sounds like there is a fire crackling - how warm and cozy is that?!  Not to mention it's a candle, so not only does it give you the feeling of a fire going in the fireplace, you also get a lovely scent.

Linking up with the ladies above, Jenn and Jessi.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

October 2017 Book Review

Putting this post together, I could not believe I only read 2 books this month.  Usually I read quite a bit, but I guess not this month!  The two I read, though, were definitely good ones!

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The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand.  I am usually a fan of Elin Hilderbrand books, and this one was no different.  The story is about identical twins who had a big falling out and now they must come together after their father's passing.  It was interesting reading this book and empathizing with the characters, and wanting them to be a certain way or make a certain change.  I think all in all it comes together nicely and proves for a good ending.  If you normally like Elin's books, I would check this one out, too.  

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  I had been looking forward to this book for awhile, and had heard super good things about it.  I thought the premise was really interesting.  A woman's husband is thought for dead, until years later he is found.  She has moved on with her life, but now faced with the dilemma of which life is really for her - her old one, or her current one.  At times throughout this book I was like can you not see who is right for you, and the main character made me a little angry, because I felt that she was handling things well, but I got the ending I wanted.  This book made me have all the emotions and I definitely cried a few times through it.  I would highly recommend.

Well that's it - keeping it short and sweet today!

Linking up with Steph, Lindsay and Whitney.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Show & Tell Tuesday: Serving

I am sharing my post for Show & Tell Tuesday today, because tomorrow is the Show Us Your Books link up, where I will be sharing my October book review!  

I love the subject of serving, because helping out others is one of my favorite things.  It's almost selfish in a way, because although it helps out others, it makes me feel really good trying to make a difference.  Below are a few ways I help to serve others.

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Amazon Smile.  I mentioned this before, but if you purchase through Amazon Smile, a percentage of your total will be donated to a charity of your choice.  In my opinion, using this is a no brainer.   You are going to buy from Amazon anyways, might as well do so and give back at the same time.  I believe it allows you to pick your charity, and then it will remember that next time you shop through the website.  I have mine set up to a local non for profit, but I also know some people can help their schools this way, too.  Easy peasy.

My Schnucks Card.  This is more of a local / regional way to give back, but the My Schnucks Card gives up to 3% back to a charity of your choice.  You set up at the card online, then when you are shopping, you just have them scan your card before paying and a percentage of your purchase is donated to the charity you specified.  Another super easy way to give back while doing something you would do anyways.  It takes minimal effort.

I do realize that both Amazon Smile and My Schnucks Card are small percentages to give, but I think every bit counts and can add up.

Young Professionals Board.  I am part of the Provident Young Professionals Board.  Provident is an organization whose mission is helping individuals and families to a brighter future through counseling, suicide prevention and intervention, and community support programs.  A lot of different organizations have these YP Boards you can join to help spread awareness and raise money for that organization.  It's a great way to help out a good cause, network and meet other people in the area, and have fun!  

Donate.  For me, donations range from money to things to time.  My church has a mission junction, and there are often specific items that are needed.  Usually the items are cheap, and something I can grab while out shopping.  I feel like there are always friends are coworkers participating in walks or runs or other events, so making a small donation when I can is a great way to help out.  My work also has different campaigns going on throughout the year.  I have mentioned before that I head our United Way Silent Auction, and then this year I also made cookies for a cookie walk benefiting Operation Food Search.  There are also flea markets held at work during the fall for decor items, so when I am putting up my decorations for the seasons, if I see something that I don't care for anymore, I set it aside to donate.  It helps me clean things out a bit and get rid of unwanted items, and it also helps to raise a little bit of money.  Sometimes I can't donate money to all the things I want, because, well I still have to cover my expenses and ya know live, but donating time, or items that I may not have use for anymore, is a great way to give back without dealing with the financial aspect.

Sometimes I think serving is more of a personal thing, and people don't talk about it as much.  I think it's great to share, though, because we all could use a little more good in the world and knowledge of all these great things people are doing, whether it be big or small.  And it may inspire someone to get involved in something, too!

...and 2016 Show & Tell Tuesday posts below.

Linking up with Andrea.