Friday, July 31, 2015

July 2015 Favs

Ya'll! How is it already the end of July?! I asked that same question yesterday and OMG the Summer is just flying by.

I'm so excited to share my favorites from this past month with you. There might be one crossover from June, BUT I bought it this month too, so that counts right?! Now, I've mentioned all of these over the last few Fridays, but be sure to watch the video at the end if you want me to gab about them a little bit more, lol!


1. Ride Steady
Yes, it was published on June 30, BUT That means most of the population didn't get to read it until this month. I went on a HUNT for the Walmart Special Edition because I had to have it, right? Make sure to check out my full review!

2. TBR Jar
I'm so excited to start using this bad boy. I'll explain the different colored papers, and all of what's behind this next week!

3. Magical Voice ORLY Polish
You guys, this polish is so bright pink. I can't get over how much I love it. It's from the Disney Dare to Dream collection available exclusively at Walgreens! Not all Walgreens are carrying them. I've been able to find them in Tampa, but not in one of the stores in the suburbs.

4. Kate Spade Glitter Studs
I was only able to snag the pink multi-glitter earrings last night while I was uploading my video and watching Elle's July Chit Chat, there was one of those pesky ads on the sidebar that was the multi so I clicked it and OMG the multi-ones were back in stock!! Day made! Ugh! Just got the cancellation email because they ran out before they could fulfill my order. RAGE!! I don't want to pay full price somewhere else, lol.

5. Adult Coloring Books
Specifically Johanna Basford as I just think her books are so detailed and gorgeous!


This weekend will be designing for two new clients, family time and reading...duh!

What are some of your favorite things from July? What are your plans for the weekend?


Linking up High Five for Friday with Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin, Cup of Tea, and Della Devoted!!! Also found another Heather in blogland that has a Friday favs link up!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

August 2015 Spending Freeze and #EverythingAugust


I nerve really thought I would do one of these again, but after moving out I really need to reign in my spending BUT with all of the sales and even a few things I had been eyeing on Amazon went on sale I just couldn't say no to those prices! Luckily my side job has been picking up business so I'm bringing in extra to cover all of my shopping! Since I started this post a few days ago, or last week this statement couldn't be more true. It's crazy!

I've done a couple of these in the past but the last one was in January! A lot has changed in my life since then and while I thought I had a handle on my shopping addiction I went a little crazy last month and want to find my center, my chi.

Goals for August 2015 Spending Freeze

1. Only eat out twice with friends, never by myself.
2. No ordering from Amazon. No online shopping at all. This includes books!
I may have to order my YL Essential Oils starter kit at the beginning of the month. Paperwork is at my parents.
3. Free Weekend August 14 - 17 when we go to Omaha to move my Sister down!!
4. Only one pedi. You can do your own nails, Heather!

You know what else is happening in August?!

My Sister is coming and...

I'm really looking forward to this August Instagram Challenge put on by several other bloggers!!


Way back in like 2013 I participated in the Fat Mum Slim photo-a-day challenge for like 5 months straight and then I stopped and haven't been able to get back into it. One of my best tips is to save that image as your lock screen, home screen, post it on your Instagram, etc. Make sure you can always go and it's easy to reference.


Have you ever done a spending freeze or photo-a-day challenge? Was it successful?

Tomorrow it'll be all about my July favs! How are we already at the end of July?!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Confession Session

I actually wasn't going to do these today and post something DIY'ish BUT then I had a few things to get off my chest.


I took this Twilight or Fifty Shades Quote Quiz and got 13 out of 15. If you take it real quick, tell me your score!

I haven't gone to the grocery store, so I've been a bad girl when it comes to food prep, eating out and eating things like ramen noodles! What is it with those super processed foods tasting to darn good?!



I keep filming Youtube videos and then deciding to either not use them for some assinine reason and wanting to "record them again later" or for like an empties one I don't think I have quite enough empty containers or something is almost empty!!

I found this Youtube video about Taylor Swift's Journey to Fearless. It was so awesome to see her...journey!


Getting my Nordstrom packages at my apartment complex has been a JOKE! This is a rant about mail, which is usually something I love!

1st one arrived and I stop by the office even though there isn't a slip in my mail box. I'm told they didn't have any packages for me. Okay, it could be something with the USPS. However all things point to it being delivered so I went ahead and sent an email to the complex with delivery time and they found it! Oh, put it in the wrong spot.

2nd one was "delivered" by UPS so the note was on my door, NOT in my mailbox which I had already stopped by the office to inquire about. When I go back with my note she spends several minutes looking for it and when she can't find it, comes out and proceeds to tell me perhaps he's still driving around the complex and he hasn't dropped them off. Well, I wish he would have put a time because I checked the delivery and it said 12:01 pm...5.5 hours before I came to the office looking for it.

Sorry you guys don't have a very good system, but I buy a lot of stuff online so I'm kind of cranky when I can't get my packages right away.

/rant

One of my favorite designers, scrapbook designer to be exact but I hate to label her as that because she's so much MORE but that's the world she's known in. Anyway, she just experienced the loss of a child and if you've been a fan of hers and followed her on social media you've watched her kids grow up like I have and feel like you kind of know them, ya know? She shared his life and then the celebration of his life during the funeral on her blog and it's so touching. Don't read it if you don't want to cry, but the way that complete strangers reached out to her since it happend has been absolutely amazing to witness. She talked about depression and life and capturing the memories. Since she's a scrapbook designer, she's constantly taking photos, but she joked about how now she's going to take even more.

This post could almost be called link love. A friend of mine sent me this 10 Things that Make You Look Like a Massive Idiot while Driving, because she knows how irritated I get when people do most, if not all of these things. #roadrage

Do you have anything you need to get off your chest?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

To Do By: August 4, 2015

Good Morning!

It's back to work for me this morning and the forecast is calling for rain all week. Boo!

Last week, Ashley started sharing her to do lists for the week, not the month. I used to do the monthly goals but they weren't all necessarily tangible so I thought I'd give myself only a week to complete FIVE tasks. Shouldn't be near as difficult, right?


To Do By: August 4, 2015


1. Edit July Favs video for Youtube
2. Make Youtube page channel art
3. Get a total of 60,000 steps over the 7 days
4. Make more freezer breakfast burritos or something freezer for breakfast
5. Make a To Do List graphic with my own photo
Bonus Goal: Finish a book off my Literary Ladies Summer Book Challenge List

Now that I'm writing these, I'm getting the itch to actually write a monthly goals list to. Making a list and checking things off always feels so rewarding!

What are some of the things on your list for the week?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekending with Friends and Martinis

Wouldn't it be funny if the title of this post said martians instead of martinis? #foodforthought

Anywahy, how was your weekend?! Every other Monday, I have a case of the Mondays, but on days like today I'm thankful for little perks at work. This morning I'll be doing some blogging at Starbucks before getting a pedicure with my mom and a friend. #thegoodlife

I'm not trying to make this resemble a #hashtaghumpday post, it just is and was the #hashtag a double negative that cancels the other out?

OMG, Heather just write your freaking post and get to the weekend.

Friday Night...

I soaked my feet/ankles while finishing up the two book Callie and Kayden series. The second book was better than the first and I am interested in reading some of the other things by Jessica Sorensen. I just used epsom salt and some essential oils (lavender, melaleuca and peppermint) mixed with warm/hot water for about 20 minutes. It was divine! I've been eating bad and I can always tell it in the way my ankles get all cankle'y.


Saturday

I spent the morning making breakfast and kind of cleaning. I did a real good clean a month ago right before my parents went out of town and I was house/dog sitting. Well, I loved coming in to a clean apartment every time I would stop by and now the apartment has gotten cluttered and messy again so my goal was to clean Saturday morning, BUT all of my motivation apparently got used up last weekend. So it only got about half done and I'll need to finish it chore by chore over the week.


After the breakfast and some cleaning I was off to hang out with a friend that is in town for a couple weeks. We had some girl time; I got to Facetime with the guy she's been talking to and I also found out her Masters program is in something I could give her a few tips on. #score

When I pulled up to her sisters house, I saw some of the flooding that was supposed to be happening around the Tri-County area and had to park down the street, lol. Luckily the rain stopped mid-afternoon and we found stuff to entertain us inside.


Her sister always cooks THE best food and makes us yummy drinks. For lunch I tried my first strawberry pina colada, sooo sweet but oh so delicious.

For dinner we had steak and crab. I didn't have much of the crab because I was full and saving room for more drinks. I also had kale salad for a second time and this one wasn't nearly as bitter. I liked it. Plus, they made this berry vinaigrette dressing, OMG so good.


After dinner drinks were a chocolate martini, which I turned down a second one so I could go home. THEN, they wanted us to try a key lime martini and I was like well maybe I'll just stay the night, lol. Have you ever had Licor 43? It had a mini recipe book on the bottle and had a citrus-vanilla flavor to it. It's about $40 a bottle which can get expensive. I mean, I like me some Patron so I'm not opposed to spending good money for booze, but with all of the things you can make with it and the fact that it comes with recipes, I'm thinking about getting it.



Both drinks were absolutely delicious. I've had the chocolate martini, made with the Godiva Chocolate liqueur before and am thinking about getting the stuff to start marking them myself too!


Sunday

Since we were up late with drinking and midnight snacking, we slept in late. I could have headed straight to my parents house and showered there, BUT I wanted to go home for a bit before heading over there.

We had the ladies recipe night this weekend and I still had to finish designing my page, buying my ingredients and helping my mom out with finishing up some of the other pages. We got it all done with no time to spare and then spent a great night with friends; eating, crafting and talking.


Treat receipt is back at Starbucks, so get your fix in the morning and a special treat in the afternoon! Happy Monday, friends.

How was your weekend?!


Linking up for weekending with B Loved Boston!

Friday, July 24, 2015

5 Fav Ways to Use Tequila on National Tequila Day


Happy Friday!! Five day work weeks sure make me anxious for the weekend to get here and this week things were a little up in the air at work so I'm ready for the much needed down time that comes with the weekend.

While I can enjoy my wine and love a good Sangria, my absolute favorite alcoholic beverage is a margarita. Because I love margaritas so much I've found other ways to enjoy the key ingredient...tequila!

In case you didn't know, it's National Tequila Day and should definitely be celebrated. These are my FIVE Favorite ways to use Tequila.

1. Margaritas, of course!
This is the very first margarita recipe I started using. Last time my sister was home, she showed me a different variation with a little bit of added water and something else, I think so I'll be sharing that on the blog in the near future. I thought I had already shared it, but you know I'm a slacker.

2. Baking
This Tequila Lime Cheesecake bar is the bomb.com. The refreshing citrus makes it a perfect Summer treat to serve at your next party. The recipe I used is here, BUT next time I make it I won't be lining the dish with aluminum foil. It was a disaster and a half! I also made a few variations that I think worked out just fine, so I will be tweaking, perfecting and then sharing that too.

3. Dip
OMG this dip was a hit at the party I took it to and I can't wait to make it again.

4. Popsicles
I actually haven't tried these yet, but don't they look fabulous!

5. Shots, Shots, Shots!
I asked my sister, she told me two things were good besides margs when it comes to tequila.
1. A tequila Sunrise, which is how I found those popsicles that I'll be trying when she moves home next month!!
2. As a shot and if I talk about shots I need to use the term "training wheels" when I reference the lime and salt.
Of course, when I think of shots I always think of this club song, lol.

ICYMI on My Little HEA this week

Chick-fil-a First 100 Camp Out
Inspirational Cowboy Romance Book Review and a Contemporary Football Romance Book Review. FOUR stars each!
Confessions
Literary Ladies First Month Check in
A Very Productive Weekend

What are some of your favorite things to do with liquor? What are your plans for the weekend?

I'm seeing a good friend that's in town on Saturday and then we're having our quarterly Ladies Recipe Night, featuring appetizers.


Linking up High Five for Friday with Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin, Cup of Tea, and Della Devoted!!! Also found another Heather in blogland that has a Friday favs link up!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chick-fil-a Camp Out - First 100

I had quite a few of you wonder what was up with the CFA camp out and I'm all too happy to talk about my love for all things Chick-fil-a

Almost two years ago I experienced my first CFA camp out, kind of. It wasn't the traditional camp out that lasts approximately 24 hours, this one only lasted about 12 and it was on a weekend vs a weekday so those were huge factors to take into account when I decided to participate.


The Gist


Any time there is a new Chick-fil-a opening, there will traditionally be a First 100 camp out. To read all of the rules and tips, please visit their site but I'll run through the gist below.

Basically, they give you a start time the day before store is to open. Typically around 6:00 am on a Wednesday morning and the first 100 people that show up and can prove their eligibility have the opportunity to spend the next 24 hours outside of that Chick-fil-a and will in turn receive 52 free #1 vouchers. If there are more than 100 people that show up, they do a random drawing to see who stays and who goes. Show up at least 15-20 minutes before the start time to make sure you're in line when they do the count. You don't want to miss it even by a minute!

Be prepared to be turned away.

They recently had a grand re-opening for a rebuilt CFA near work and I think I would have been eligible, but it was in the middle of the week and I wasn't guaranteed a spot so I didn't even try. I just can't justify taking 1-2 days off work because I'm sure I would need a day to recuperate after spending 24 hours outside!

When I participated, it was a 10th anniversary,so the CFA was still open and serving regular customers. We had to be there by 8:00 pm and there weren't more than 100 people so all of us that showed up were able to participate. The friend I went with had participated in 15+ grand openings while he was in college and his meals were basically paid for. Awesome, right?!

Want to know where a CFA is opening near you?

Activities and Goodies

There was a DJ that played well into the night, probably stopping about 1:00 am maybe. We made the mistake of sitting right up front by the DJ, won't do that again. Although, even after the music stopped there were these two guys that would not stop talking and it was getting to be like 4:00 am!

Some people bring tents, especially those that attend a traditional opening for 24 hours. I only took a chair, sweatshirt and a bag of books/my iPad to keep me busy. It was the middle of August, but boy did it get chilly at night.

A has a one-person tent that he used at each opening and I think he brought a book too. Cards would be a good thing to bring or board games!!! You'll have a lot of down time to fill up.

Pictures are great, I also apparently brought a hat and my umbrella. You never know how the Florida weather is going to go!



There were some people there that had been to a lot more than A and they were true enthusiasts. I wonder if there is a Guinness World Record or anything?

They had a late night meal for us, a #1 of course and we also got a cookie! They also had the bathrooms open for people to use the restroom. In the tent pic, you can see the people "walking" through the drive-thru lane, haha!

In the morning when we were going through the line to pick up our cards, they also gave out free t-shirts and I still wear mine; it says I *heart* Chick-fil-a! Inside the box with the same sticker were my 52 cards for #1 meals, I should have taken a pic of the stack!!


I am a ditz sometimes and had to ask what the significance of the 52 was...it's one free meal a week. *face palm*

I also still have ONE free meal left that I haven't used up. I thought I had used them all up, I mean I gave away a couple dozen and then I found two cards in my glove compartment. Apparently they no longer give out individual cards, which was nice because you could share them with friends, family or even random strangers. They now give a pre-loaded card. You get the same stuff, but it's not really the same.

I've stood in line for other store openings and received gift cards, but those you don't have to spend 24 hours, it's more like 1-5.

If I gave out any wrong info, please keep in mind my event was not a traditional event and I'm going off my experience! This is also one of those times it would be nice to have a proof reader, lol.

Have you ever attended a store opening?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Confessions

Yes, this is the SECOND blog post for the SECOND day in a row. I know book only review posts aren't always the most popular, but when you get something for free you are pretty much required to share it in order to keep getting free books and I'm all about free things, books especially.

I was talking to a guy (online dating) and one of my profile pics is from a Chick fil a campout. This one was an anniversary one so we only had to sit out side for 12 hours, score. In case you didn't know, you get 52 free meals when you do a chick fil a camp out. Ain't nobody going to do that for nothing! He totally thought I was a crazy goof that just wanted to show my support.


My sister is moving down here in 23 days!! I don't know if I mentioned that BUT I'm soooo excited!


She's had some personal things going on...ex, jobs, etc. She really needs her fam and we're 1200+ miles away so she's finally moving down to join us on her own accord and the move is really helping to brighten her spirits.

I have been eating terribly and my body is feeling it. Not just in the clothes either. I wish I didn't like all the stuff that my body doesn't need but I do, and it's delicious. And I'm still not 100% over my sickness(s) so I've been eating what I want.

I have finally realized I may not ever get back to what I was before I got sick and this may be my new norm. Stupid weird sounding stuffed way up and can't blow it out nose.

I've been using the Neti Pot, you know the thing that you stick in one side of your nose and it travels through your sinus cavities out the other nostril. Yeah...I've never done it smiling. Though you do have to breathe through your mouth and it's quite awkward.


I need to go on a spending freeze next month. The struggle is real!

I think one of the only reasons I got my closet done this past weekend was because I didn't have a new book I was dying to start and I had finished all the ones that were sucking me in. Yay for little miracles like that!

I'm starting to worry I'll never hang anything up in my apartment. My sis and I are already talking about getting a two bedroom in my same complex and if I don't have to put holes in and cover them up that'd be the best right?

I can still do an apartment tour even without all the bells, whistles and wall art, right?

I ordered some peep toe heels from the Nordstrom sale. I used to wear heels all the time in college, walking across campus BUT then I put on some weight and the heels became flats.


I filmed the first part of my #SecretSummerSwap video before I sent off the package and I got to use my new light I bought from the Amazon Prime Day...one of three things I bought that were actually a better deal for me. I was one of the lucky ones but still felt like the whole thing was quite laughable.

I've been going through my Bloglovin' and cleaning out people I followed for a giveaway. Also, making sure I mark all as read after I'm done reading each day and I'm LOVING it!!

I always feel like I had more to confess before I started and I am forgetting something.

Oh! I designed a book cover for a non-traditional romance that is getting fabulous buzz from book blogs!

Synopsis: Sophie Swenda is accustomed to saving lives on a grand scale. As a refugee aid expert, it’s her job. Now, she needs to save just one person – Michael Nariovsky-Trent, the man she loves.

In the bitter cold winter of 2014, the Soviet Republic once again invades the unified Baltic nations, forcing tens of thousands of civilians into a refugee camp that more resembles Auschwitz than a place of mercy. Under the watchful eye of a vicious Soviet commander, Sophie leads her team into the camp to do what she does every day: save lives under the most extreme conditions.

But for Sophie, this mission is like no other. Michael, a Baltic-born American doctor, vanished months ago after joining the resistance. Sophie believes he’s trapped inside the fences and barbed wire, lost in a sea of freezing, starving prisoners of war.

Despite her long-ago failed romance with Michael, Sophie’s always believed their time would come – no matter how unlikely it seems to everyone around them. His blazing temper, her obstinacy, and their shared brilliance and competitiveness have made the road to love a rocky one. More than a decade after they separated, they’re too stubborn to forgive past mistakes … and still too in love to move on.

Unless Sophie can find him, their long-delayed chance at love will be lost forever. With the world’s security forces deadlocked and the camp’s commander seeking vengeance, Sophie is on her own. She must bargain for the life of the man she loves – and everyone else in the camp – before the commander destroys them all. Add it on Goodreads

I also designed a "price sheet" for my book design stuff and I'm very happy with the way it came together. For some reason, I always have such a hard time designing for myself than when someone gives me their ideas to run with.

Do you have anything you need to get off your chest?

Book Review: The Cowboy's Surprise Baby

Synopsis: After years away serving his country, Cole Bishop finally returns home—with a newborn baby in tow. As a single dad, Cole needs help. But the last thing he expects to encounter at his new job is his high school sweetheart—all grown up and more beautiful than ever. Tessa Applewhite might have broken Cole's heart years before, but she's never forgotten him. And he can wrangle her heart like no one else ever has. But Tessa rejected him when the stakes weren't nearly as high. Can Cole trust her again—and in the process, form a forever family?


Review


Oh gosh, I loved this book. It was super cute, had some good morals and revolved around adults making a difference in the lives of teens.

A cowboy, DILF story, which is weird to say about an inspirational romance and the cover is one of my least favorite things about this book, but the inside was sugary sweet.

It's a second chance romance book where a couple that had planned a future together, much too young gets a chance to see that they might have been right all along. Everyone remembers their first love and whether it's a fond memory or a train wreck, it's still a part of you. I grew up in a small town so I could relate to a lot of the story, but I'm so thankful I never had a very public relationship.

It was very cute and the only reason I struggled with my rating is I had no idea it was an inspirational Romance and all of a sudden the cowboy was talking about the direction of his life and God.

It was all about first love, coming back to your hometown and sticking with your beliefs! That I can totally get behind.

Are you a reader? Check out my other book reviews here. Also make sure we're friends on Goodreads!!


I was provided with a copy of The Cowboy's Surprise Baby in exchange for my honest review.