Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I felt like I was one day ahead the whole week, so I am glad to finally see Friday!  And the long weekend.

1.  I picked up two pairs of jean shorts from Old Navy this week, and a pair of sunglasses...all for $28.  I was in need of a new pair of shorts, but since I don't really wear them all that often, I wanted to not spend much money.  Old Navy was (and still is) having 50% off shorts, making them only $10 a piece (for some reason they are showing up a few dollars more online).  I grabbed both a dark and medium wash to have.  I was going to check out when I saw sunglasses.  I am always buying new sunglasses, and for $5 these couldn't be passed up.

2.  Kind of a funny story behind this favorite.  My mom bought me this toothbrush because my dad told her I HAD to have it.  He had gotten it not too long before and really liked it, and decided I needed one, too.  My dad hooks my brother and I up with certain tools, flashlights, a small shop vac - that type of stuff, so it's kind of funny to me when the next 'must-have' was a toothbrush!  It's crazy cheap compared to other electronic toothbrushes, and I think it is just as good.  It keeps a good charge, so you don't have to have it plugged in all the time, which is nice for me.  I usually charge mine on the weekends and then it will last the whole week!

3.  Have any of you watched Nate and Jeremiah by Design on TLC?  I am LOVING their show.  Unfortunately the season is ending, but I believe there is a marathon going this weekend.  Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent help people who are in dire need of a renovation / new design for their home.  For example, on an episode last weekend, the family they helped had a pipe burst which flooded their house and caused the first floor to be pretty much striped down to the studs and concrete floors.  Shortly after, their daughter was diagnosed with cancer.  Just such tough circumstances.  Apart from the design element, it's so fun to watch them interact with each other and the real star of their show, their precious little daughter Poppy.  Just SO CUTE!  Anyways, the show is one of my latest obsessions.

4.  I came across this song a few nights ago and just love it.  I admit to having watched the High School Musical movies, even though I was in college when they actually came out.  I love a good musical and some of those songs were just so dang catchy!  I vaguely remember the original song, but this version is so good.  Definitely more 'grown up', if you will!

5.  I love James Corden's show, but that late late time does not work for me.  He was on primetime this week and did NOT disappoint.  Carpool karaoke is always a win and his Beauty and the Beast sidewalk performance (with some actual actors from the real movie) was so awesome!  

I hope you all have a great long weekend.  See you back here on Tuesday!

Linking up with AndreaApril, and Katie.  




Thursday, May 25, 2017

Recipe Round Up: April 2017


Greek Salad Bites from Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers.  I made these for book club and they were a hit!  Super easy to make, although I had a hard time finding the taziki sauce.  I ended up using a Greek yogurt dressing, which I thought was really good.  I finally did see some taziki sauce at Trader Joe's, but that was on a later trip.  If you are looking for a fresh, lighter app, these are it!    



Roasted Spaghetti Squash from Martha Stewart.  I opted for this recipe, because I could not cut through the squash without roasting it first!  Emily mentioned that you can prick it, microwave for a few minutes, and then cut through to roast, so I might try that option sometime.  This works well though, and although you can't really add any seasoning to the squash since it is roasting whole, I don't mind it!  Tossed with a good spaghetti sauce, you don't really need to add anything else.  For leftovers, I stored the spaghetti squash plain in one container, and then portioned it out as needed.  Such a great alternative for when you want pasta, but not all the carbs!

Other Recipe Round Up posts:
Recipe Round Up: February 2017 
Recipe Round Up: January 2017 
Recipe Round Up: November 2016 
Recipe Round Up: October 2016 

What new recipes have you tried lately?

Linking up with Annie.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Work Wear for the Week Vol. 5

Happy Wednesday!  We are on our way to the long weekend - I cannot wait!  I have another work wear post for you today.  Here's what I am wearing this week.

Monday: This is one of my favorite tops to wear in the spring/summer.  The colors are so bright and fun!



Shirt (old): Chaps (similar) | Pants (old): Loft (similar) | Heels: Calvin Klein | Necklace: Kendra Scott

Tuesday:  I am a big fan of pink and navy together for the spring / summer!



Shirt: Express | Skirt (old): The Limited (similar) | Heels: Calvin Klein

Wednesday: A cooler day calls for a blazer.



Blazer: Loft | Tank (old): Nordstrom (similar) | Pants (old): Loft (similar) | Heels: Calvin Klein

Thursday: A meeting at work calls for a blazer / dress combo!



Blazer: Loft | Dress (old): The Limited (similar) | Heels: Calvin Klein

Friday:  I actually wore this exact outfit two Fridays ago - I just love it!



Tee: Nordstrom | Jeans: Nordstrom | Flats (old): Steve Madden (similar)


For more of my work wear looks:


Linking up with The Blended BlogThe Pleated PoppyJenn and Jessi.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Show & Tell Tuesday: Travels

Time to share all my travels.  The past few years have been all about long weekend trips and work trips!  Still to come this year - I am hoping to join my family for our annual Michigan trip, road trip with my mom to Oklahoma (to see The Pioneer Woman, of course) and Texas (Magnolia Markets - need I say more?), and fingers crossed, make my way back to NYC around Christmas.  For now, though, let's take a little look at past trips.  Just click on the cities and you will be taken to that blog post!































Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend Recap + NYC

This is going to be more of a 'week' recap than just the weekend, because I wanted to share about my work trip to New York.

I arrived in New York late Tuesday afternoon.  Fortunately, the work part didn't really start until Wednesday, so a coworker and I had plans to do a little exploring Tuesday evening.  First stop was Black Tap in Midtown.  I had seen pictures of their shakes online and because I LOVE a good milkshake, I knew I wanted to go.  We were staying at the Grand Hyatt, and it was about a 25 minutes walk, so not bad at all.  We got there at the perfect time, around 6:00.  I say that because shortly after we sat down, the line was out the door and across the front of the restaurant.  I went with the All-American burger with the sweet potatoes fries and the cookie shake.  Everything was so delicious.  A bit messy, so be prepared, but very well-worth it.  We wanted to walk off a bit of dinner, so we headed over to Central Park.  My last trip (which was also my first trip), we didn't make it to Central Park, so I was excited to take a peek.  We just really went on the outskirts, but it really is a beautiful park - just from the little bits we saw!  From there, we headed to 5th Avenue to check out all the stores.  While we didn't stop in any, it was neat to see all the different ones they had their, and check out some of the window displays.  St. Patrick's Cathedral is right there, so we took a little pitstop at the church and checked it out.  It is just so very beautiful there!  We made our way back to the hotel and called it a night.  It was fun just getting out and walking around.  I would love to live in a place where you could walk everywhere like that - just so neat!  The rest of the trip was spent working, but we did have a planned dinner out at The Capital Grille.  I have ate at the one in Chicago and absolutely loved it, so I was super excited when I found out we were going in New York.  The food did not disappoint - everything was delicious.  The work part of the trip was successful and it was back home Thursday evening.















I was so happy to see Friday and ended up taking a half day to just relax and get some errands done.  I headed to the grocery store and got all my shopping done for the next week, and picked up some wine, cheese and meat for a little at-home happy hour.  My new go-to wine is Vinas Chilenas Rosario Estate Rose from Trader Joe's.  I think it's about $4 - super yummy and super cheap!

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful.  I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen.  After being busy at work and not really cooking, plus being out of town, I always get the urge to cook and eat something homemade.  I recreated my current favorite drink from Starbuck's, the coconut milk mocha macchiato (recipe to come!), finally made zoodles, and did some meal prepping for the week.  As I write this, I am in the process of making some homemade granola to pair with yogurt for breakfast or a snack - fingers crossed it turns out!

Happy Monday!

Linking up with Biana.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Favorites: Where I've Been

Hey all!  Long time, no blog.  That's a bit tongue in cheek because 3 days really isn't that long, but it's been quite awhile since I have taken a break that wasn't holiday related, so I feel like it is a bit long to me!

I have been MIA due to work and poor execution on my part.  I shared about how I plan my blog posts not too long ago, and I had totally planned posts for this week, but did not execute on them - I really need to get better about pulling things together over the weekend!  Work has been crazy and paired with work travel, I just had zero desire to look at my computer anymore than I had to.  I figured that not blogging would take something off my plate and maybe ease a bit of stress.  Since I thrive on a routine, I am not sure if that helped, but hey, I tried!  Anyways, it will be back to regularly scheduled posting next week - including a recap of my work trip to New York!

Happy Friday!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!  This weekend was a good one.

It started off right with a happy hour outside.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous.  For anyone in the area, Bishop's Post has the best patio.  We opted for my favorite - cheese and charcuterie and tried out their wings.  Their wings are grilled and are so, so good.  Sometimes the service isn't the best, but we really lucked out with a great waitress and you cannot beat the outdoor atmosphere.



Saturday we headed to Springfield, IL to check out the Cubs / Cardinals exhibit.  We got in right around lunch time, and tried out a local microbrewery, Engrained.  I had their summer shandy and it was the perfect light beer.  So refreshing!  We headed to the Abraham Lincoln Museum for the exhibit.  A tip - if you are going to just see a specific exhibit, make sure to tell them, because the cost is cheaper than if you were to see the entire museum.  The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals have a notorious rivalry - so much so that they created an exhibit on it!  And having grown up in Cubs country (my parents' neighbors literally painted part of their house 'Cub blue' and now living in the St. Louis area, it's especially relevant to me!  It's amazing to read all about the history on it.  And so cool to see the paraphernalia they had been able to collect, like an old ticket packet and old uniforms.  Just a super fun afternoon out.  I headed to the mall later that evening, on the hunt for new pillows and sheets.  Macy's was having a sale, so I picked up 2 new bed pillows and this 6 piece sheet set for under $55...I thought that was a great deal!  I also picked up a pair of tennis shoes.  I will be heading to New York in a bit and wanted to get something comfortable for walking that weren't my bright, clunkier gym shoes.  





I tried a new Starbuck's drink on Sunday.  This one may be my new favorite - Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato.  It has a few more calories than my recent go to, the Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato, but I figure what's 20 more calories, really?  I got it iced and thought it tasted a bit like chocolate milk.  Just so good!  The rest of the day was spent doing laundry, reading and trying to relax before another crazy week at work.  

Hope you all had a great weekend!  

Linking up with Biana.  

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Favorites: All the Things

Happy Friday!  I am calling this edition of Friday Favorites, 'All the Things', because all my favorites this week are just that - things!

1.  Sarah highly recommended this Matilda Jane dress and I scooped one up right away.  When she told me about it, she said it was so soft and could be for both work and play.  Obviously I was intrigued, and for only $68, I couldn't say no!  I wore it already this week and got a few compliments on it!  It's such a flattering cut, I think it would look good on anyone.  

2.  I shared this bell sleeve tee on Monday, but since I actually have it in hand (and I love it), I wanted to share it again.  The fabric is so soft.  Some reviews say to order down, but I opted for my normal size (small) because I didn't want it to be too, tight.  It's loose, but I think in a cute way, so I am glad I went with my normal size.  I think the extra small would have actually fit, but the length might have been a little shorter than I normally like.  Anyways, it's super cute, comes in a few different colors and makes for a great basic with a fun little flair from the sleeves (without being too much).  

3.  Another item I ordered from Nordstrom was this bra.  I have read on multiple blogs that it is THE BEST strapless bra ever.  I always have a hard time finding a good fit with those things, so I was down to try it out and I am happy to say it lives up the hype!  I ordered the pecan, thinking it would be just a little bit darker nude, but it is pretty dark.  However, it still seems to blend in under whites, so I am going to keep it.  If I decide to get another though, I will definitely opt for the 'nude' color.

4.  I received my first Influenster box, the Poppy Vox Box about a month ago and one of the items in it was Rimmel London Oh My Gloss lip gloss.  If you aren't familiar with Influenster, it's a site where you can sign up to receive complimentary items.  That may not be the best explanation of it, and honestly I don't quite understand how you get picked to be sent the certain boxes / items, but if receiving things for free to try out is something you are interested in, I would definitely check it out.  Back to the lip gloss.  I received this super pretty color (in the box for free), and finally got around to trying it out this week.  One thing I hate about normal lip glosses is that fact that they can be sticky and feel kind of heavy, if that makes sense.  This gloss is the total opposite!  It has a pretty tint, goes on super smooth, isn't sticky at all, and feels really light on your lips.

5.  Speaking of make up, yesterday's Girl Talk link up was all about makeup and beauty faves.  It was a super fun post to put together and I have really enjoyed reading the posts I have gotten through thus far.  My to try list is growing longer and longer!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Linking up with AndreaApril, and Katie.  

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Girl Chat: MakeUp & Beauty Favorites

I am so excited for this Girl Chat topic today.  I feel like I go through phases where I am really into trying new things when it comes to makeup and beauty and it happens to be one of those 'on' times.  The timing of this post could not be better!



Make up:
1.  Clinique Chubby Stick.  My mom got me two of these for Christmas a year or two ago and I love them.  I pretty much wear bountiful beige color every day.  Easy to apply and the shimmer is so pretty!

2.  Clinique Sugar Cane Eye Shadow.  I have been using this eye shadow forever.  It's the perfect bit of white to add to your inner eye and for an eye bone highlight.  So pretty!

3.  Lancome Primer & Grandiose Extreme.  Around the holidays, you can get these in a gift set for a super good price, compared to purchasing them separating.  I believe it also comes with a travel size eye make up remover.  Before trying this, Clinique's High Impact mascara was my go-to for years.  But after receiving a gift set of this, this is now my new favorite.  

4.  E.l.f. Blush.  I like a pink blush, and this one fits the bill.  It's super inexpensive, which is always a plus, and I love the color it adds.  I have had more expensive blushes before, but this one far exceeds them.

Beauty:
Kiehl's Deep Pore Masque.  I have mentioned my love for this many times (it was my second blog post ever!) and 2 years later, I still love it just as much.  I use it about once a week, maybe twice if I feel like my skin needs it.  I always feel like I have a nice glow afterwards and it helps to ward off any blemishes that I can feel brewing under the skin.  

Nail Polish.  I always feel way more put together when my nails are done.  Right now my two favorite colors have to be Essie Haute to Trot and OPI Mod About You.  Light pinks just scream spring!

Neutrogena MakeUp Wipes.  I was way behind the curve on this one, but I love these!  So convenient to grab and wipe and they are reasonably priced!  


To link up - just grab our graphic, link up and let's get to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others linked up for an extra bit of girl chat!


And don't forget to follow your hosts!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Workin' It: Planning & Prepping for Vacations

We made it to Wednesday!  Workin' it Wednesday for that matter!


This month's topic is planning and prepping for vacations.  I haven't gone on a 'true' (at least in my mind) vacation in some time.  I have taken plenty of long weekend trips the last few years, and I feel like a lot of the same tips apply.

I don't really have any tips for booking travel (hotel, flights, etc.) - that just is not my forte.  However, the activity planning usually falls onto my lap, which I will happily research!  Google definitely my best friend - as is Trip Advisor.  I think those sites are the best for bigger cities.  I highly suggest reading reviews, too.  Granted they are all subjective, but if you have no clue, I feel like it can really give you an idea of what you may want to do or what you may want to shy away from.  For small towns, like my favorite Hermann, MO, I feel like the city's website can really helpful.  If they are a touristy type town, then they usually have a good section of the site dedicated to those things, which may give you more information than elsewhere.  Another place that I like to check out is the hotel website.  Most have an area on local attractions.  I am going to New York this month for work and will have some free time to sight-see, so I used that option to look up a few different things.  Obviously, if you know someone local, that always helps for recommendations, or a friend that may have traveled where you are going recently.  

On vacations, I love to do things, but I also want to give myself plenty of time to relax and just enjoy being on vacation!  I typically like having one or two 'bigger' things to do in a day, and then a few options of 'we could do this if we wanted to...'.  

I shared my work packing tips before, and I would say they pretty much apply to vacations, too!  I like to make a list of things I will need, taking into consideration what our plans are.  It's nice to have this done in advance so I can make sure if I want to pack something I wear on a regular basis, it is clean.

Pretty darn simple - scour the internet, narrow down the to do's, then make a list (or two or more...)!  I realize my planning and prepping are not game changing, so I am excited to check out everyone's posts to see what suggestions I can adopt!

You can see all my other Workin' It posts by clicking the links below.



Just a reminder - tomorrow is this month's Girl Chat link up - we will be sharing our favorite make up / beauty products!

Linking up with ShayErikaJenn and Jessi.  

     

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Book Review: April 2017

April was a bit of a slower reading month for me.  I have just a few for you from April, plus an extra I forgot to include in my February 2017 Book Review.



A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  This was the book I read for book club.  Or that I was supposed to read anyways...I only got about a third of the way through it by the time we met!  It takes a bit of getting into, but it's really good.  I would liken it to Twilight, but more of a 'grown up' version.  It's part of a series, but it took me forever to read it, because it's pretty long, so while I really liked it, I don't think I will be reading the others, at least night for awhile.

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.  I had really high hopes for this book, but I think being told it was loosely based off Laura Bush's life actually turned me off.  I think if I had just gone in reading the book without that knowledge would have made me enjoy it more.  I felt like I needed to keep googling things to see if that part was real or not.  Just not my favorite.

The Girl Before by JP Delaney.  I could not put this book down!  It's about a house and the girl that lived in it and ended up dying in the house, and about the person the currently inhabits it.  You learn what really happened, and I have to say the twists and turns kept me guessing.  I figured out parts of it earlier on, but there were some moments at the end I was like whatttt?  If you liked The Woman in Cabin 10 or Behind Closed Doors, I think you would definitely be a fan of this book, too.  

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick.  I read this book earlier in the year, but totally forgot to include it in that month's review.  I thought it was a good book!  I had no idea how long Anna had actually been in the business and just thought it was really interesting.  Chelsea posted about listening to the audio book of this, and while I have never done an audio book before, I bet hearing this read by Anna Kendrick would have been really good.  

As always, please leave any recommendations you may have!  

Linking up with StephLindsay and Whitney.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Weekend Recap

Another Monday, another low key weekend recap.

Friday night I caught up on some shows I had DVR'd...feels like they are never ending!  I know I say that now, and then once all the shows go on hiatus, I will be missing having so much to watch!

I did a little shopping on Saturday, because I needed to make a return.  Unfortunately, none of the things I specifically wanted were in the store.  I feel like that always seems to happen - I can go find things when I am just looking, but when I go for a specific item, the store doesn't seem to have it!  I did order this super cute striped tee online when I got home, though.  And I order this to wear under all my cute summer tanks and dresses.  It comes highly recommended, so I am excited to receive it.  I walked to the library to pick up some new books - it was absolutely gorgeous all weekend!  The library is really close to a park, and they just redid part to include a veterans memorial.  I think it turned out so well!



Sunday was another lazy day.  I got other for a walk - what a difference a week makes.  Last weekend was all rain, and this weekend was sunshine and blue skies!  I am ending the weekend with a movie - The Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - hopefully it's as good as the first one!



Linking up with Biana.




Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Favorites: Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Surprisingly enough, I can't believe it is Friday!  It's been one of those quick weeks, and I can't say I hate it.  Although work-wise, I could have actually used an extra day, just for scheduling purposes!

1.  I shared my May Goals yesterday and I am feeling really motivated right now to get them all crossed off by the end of the month.  I feel like sometimes just writing things down gives you the extra bit of oomph needed to get things done.

2.  Guys, I am somewhat of a confession to make.  I am a big Miley Cyrus fan.  Yea, she went a little bit off her rocker for awhile (at least in my opinion), but I still have been a fan since Hannah Montana days.  The Climb was my ringtone for YEARS.  Partly because I didn't want to pay for a new ringtone, which, side note, do people still use songs as ringtones?  Anyways, the other part was because I really liked the song, I liked the lyrics, and I just like Miley's voice.  The point of this is that she is coming out with a new album and I am super excited.  The album won't be released until later this year, but the first song off it will be available May 11th.  I thought this article about it all was really good.

3.  I mentioned my Hunter boots on Monday, but since it's been raining pretty much all week here, I thought they needed mentioning again.  They are expensive, but to me, they are worth it!  I have had mine for almost 3 years now and wear them so much more than I originally anticipated.  Buy them - you won't regret it!

4.  Speaking of rain boots, let's talk about the crazy amounts of rain we have had.  Last weekend the area got so much rain, that it ended up causing some serious flooding.  It's really sad to see all these places that just experienced some major flooding less than 2 years ago are getting hit so hard again.  They just got settled, only to have to deal with it all again.  Major interstates are closed, co workers are either stuck at home, or stuck in a hotel because they can't get home...it just stinks.  And of course, Wednesday and Thursday brought more rain to add to the mix.  Obviously not a favorite this week, but what is, is seeing how the communities come together.  People volunteering, local businesses offering free meals to flood victims, just a lot of good is happening at the same time, too.  It's always sad to see things in such a bad state, but it does restore a bit of faith in humanity to see how people rally and come together.

5.  One thing I have been waiting to try for years is the Aquage Uplifting Foam.  I was under the impression that you could only get it from a salon, although after a quick search, I do see it's on amazon - a few dollars cheaper than the one I bought, too!  However, Ulta now carries it now!  I got my haircut the other day and picked up some to try.  I have only heard good things about it, so I am excited to see how it works for me! 

Also, quick reminder about the Girl Chat link up next Thursday - we will be sharing our favorite make up / beauty items!
  

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with AndreaApril, and Katie.