Monthly Goals Linky: September 2015 Goals

Is it already September? Whoa.  This year is flying by so fast that it’s crazy-I’m all windswept and overblown and feeling like all I want to do is hide under the covers and listen to Green Day over and over again.  Wake me up when September ends?  Maybe? No.  No, probably not.  There’s too much to do.  So go forward I do.

September Goals

How I Did Last Month

→ Unpack at least 3 boxes a week. FAIL.
Finish painting the kitchen. SUCCESS. Mostly anyway… There are a few bits of trim I need to do when the A/C is removed.
Re-hang my kitchen cabinet doors and handles. SUCCESS.
→ Paint the upstairs bathroom. FAIL.
Finish painting the bedroom. SUCCESS.
Spray for Spiders. SUCCESS.
→ Start working on my ISM training. FAIL.
→ Start working on my A+ Certification. FAIL.
Start or cancel my Math class.  SUCCESSCanceled. lol
Take Josh’s headshots. SUCCESS.
Set up my bedroom. SUCCESS.
Clean the house. SUCCESS.
Host a housewarming/Josh is in town party. SUCCESS.
→ Participate in the August 12×30 Photo a Day Challenge. FAIL.  I kind of did it half way… I never make those. lol
Host & participate in the Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap. In Progress.
Water my lawn and try to bring it back from the dead.  SUCCESS. Watering anyway… It prob wont come back til Spring.

I’m not going to beat myself up about it too badly, because what I did get done was a tremendous amount.  On top of all of this I adopted a dog (more on that soon), managed to get most of the junk out of my yard and onto the curb before the neighboorhood cleanup day, made the switch from Blogger to WordPress, upgraded Health visited my family, celebrated my grandmother’s birthday, changed my headlight, and a bunch of other stuff that took quite a bit of time.

→ Switched from Blogger to hosted WordPress.
→ Moved the majority of junk in my yard to the curb for neighborhood cleanup.
→  Upgraded Health NOT to NUT to an actual site with a real address.
→ Adopted a dog.
→ Met my neighbor.
→ Visited my momma.
→ Changed my headlight.
→ Celebrated my grandmother’s birthday.
→ Spent a night in Tremonton at momma Pam’s (Josh’s mom) house.

Plus a bunch of other stuff… So I was EXTREMELY productive this month.  People keep commenting on how shocked they are about how much I’ve gotten done around the house.  I’m also tremendously in debt over it. lol

This Month's Goals

→ Unpack at least 3 boxes a week.
→ Start working on my ISM training.
→ Start working on my A+ Certification.
→ Finish reading at least one book.
→ Finish editing old posts on this blog to fit the new site.
→ Post at least one post in the New Blogger Series.
→ Post some of my photography.
→ Get my dog and I into a better routine.
→ Start cooking meals again.
→ Try my hand at meal planning and preparing for the week ahead of time.
→ Try at least one new recipe.
→ Find one of those DIY dog wash places and give Bub a bath.

What are your goals this month? 

arrow how to play along

The Monthly Goals Link-up

→ Follow your hosts My So-Called Chaos and A Peek at Karen’s World.
→ Write up a blog post with your goals and progress for the month.
→ Include the Monthly Goals button. (Code above)
→ Link up below!



CoSchedule – What it is & Why You Need it

Some of you may have noticed that I recently made the big move from Blogger to a hosted WordPress, and while I’ll talk more about that at a later date, one of the greatest things I discovered in this process were so many fun plugins and tools that could be used to help me manage my blogs (’cause you all know I have a few) more easily.

Boy, are there tons of different options and products out there to help, and I have been using a few over the years to manage and schedule out posts and social media.  I’ve had several different accounts to log in and use, wouldn’t it have been nice to have it all in once place where I could just do everything at once? Yes, it would-and you can.  I can.  I do. It’s called CoSchedule.

What is CoSchedule & Why do I need it?

Bloggers, I’m serious when I say that CoSchedule makes it so super easy to manage my blog.  It’s like an editorial calendar and social media manager all in one, and it integrates into my wordpress blog seamlessly so I really only have to log into one place instead of the three or four I was logging into every day before.  It’s amazing.  It currently only works with self-hosted wordpress blogs, but they are working on other integration soon-but if you have a self-hosted blog and you aren’t using co-schedule you’re probably doing more work than you have to be.

Unfortunately when you’re writing blog posts out and scheduling them ahead, it can sometimes be tricky to keep up with which posts will be posted when.  You kind of have to search for the date on the right side, and go into it to see some of the details, and then your page is filled with draft posts and it can be hard to go back and find the current live post or archived posts.  Well, probably not difficult, but time consuming at least.  Co-Schedule makes it super easy to see all of your planned blog posts and social media in one calendar view-which is so beautifully organized looking.  Seriously, anyone who loves organization can totally geek out over this beauty.

CoSchedule Calendar


I can log into Co-Schedule and see an easy layout of what has been published as well as what will be published, and I can plan my posts on all of my accounts accordingly.  It’s crazy easy, and so useful-I can’t believe I’ve been doing it the hard way all along when this beauty exists.  Then if I decide I want to add a post, as I did on Sunday, September 6th for The Weekly Round-Up, I just click on that date and it pops up an easy window allowing me to schedule something out in advance.

Creating a Post with Co-Schedule

As you can see, I don’t even have to write the whole post out at that time. I can simply stick a title in there and schedule it, as well as set up the Social Media if I want to.  This is useful for if I get a big idea for some posts I want to write out for the next week, or I have posts that need to go up on certain dates, since I can just sit down and schedule them all and then go back and write them later when I have time to.  That way when I’m wondering what to post, I can check the calendar and make sure I don’t have something scheduled for that day first.  This is super useful, especially when it comes to posts I do each week or month, such as my Monthly Goals and Musical Mondays link-ups.  When I’m ready to go ahead and actually write the post, I can simply click the Edit Post in WordPress button and it shoots me over to my WordPress composition page.

What makes CoSchedule even greater is that it integrates fully with WordPress.  I don’t even have to log into CoSchedule, I can just access my editorial calendar directly from my WordPress dashboard.  It was so easy to install also, I simply went to my Plugins section, then to Add New, searched for CoSchedule and bam-installed, activated, and logged in and it was all ready to go!

Accessing the Co-Schedule Calendar from WordPress


The integration doesn’t stop there either.  It’s so much further integrated that when I’m editing a post in my regular Posts > Add Post section of WordPress I can simply scroll down below the post and schedule out all of my social media for it.  This is what shows directly under this post right this moment as I’m composing:

CoSchedule - Schedule your social media directly from your post as you're writing it!

All I have to do is click on the little + Sign there, and then this screen comes up:

CoSchedule - Schedule your social media directly from your post as you're writing it!

From there, I can pick which Social Media profiles I want at the top (in this case, I’ve chosen Google+, Twitter, and Facebook) and preview how it will look.  I can also edit the message or just leave it as the title and link, and I can schedule it to run at the same time as the post, the next day, a week later, a month later, or even set a custom time.  It is so easy for me to just write out my post and schedule the bulk of my social media sharing of it right from the post itself, and not have to worry about it since it automatically posts when I’ve told it to.

What’s even more beautiful about this in-post integration, is that after it has been published and see the metrics for the social media interactions.  Here are the results so far from my Instax Mini Giveaway that’s currently running:

Viewing social media metrics from CoSchedule in your Post.

Isn’t that fantastic?  I just love it.  Not only is it making my life easier when it comes to scheduling and composing, but it’s keeping me updated on what is working and what is useful in my social media.  Scheduling reminders for giveaways has never been easier-seriously.  It’s fantastic.

Check out this video explaining a little bit more:

So long story short-what is CoSchedule?  It’s an all-in-one editorial calendar and social media manager for managed WordPress.

Why do you need it? Because it will make your life and blog so much easier and more organized.  CoSchedule is perfect for any blogging use, but if you are serious about using your blog for business-whether it’s promoting your shop or making money from your blog-you definitely need CoSchedule.  It will be your best friend, and it will help you go so much further in the world of professional blogging.

Don’t just take my word for it-try it yourself!  They’ll give you a free two-week trial to try it out without committing to anything.  As you can see from some of my screenshots, that’s what I’m currently doing-it’s just about time to upgrade though!

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September 12×30 Challenge: Exercise

September Exercise Challenge

Whoooooooops, I almost forgot about this post.  How is it September already?  Sheesh, this year is flying by like crazy, and I can barely hang on by my fingertips… Are you ready for the September 12×30 Challenge?  This month it’s all about getting our exercise on and bettering ourselves in a physical way. Making our bodies healthy and strong.

So are you with us?  Do you want to work on getting healthy and strong?  You should totally join us!

Ways you can participate this month

→ Join a fitness group, gym, or an exercise challenge.
→ Try a new workout-yoga, lifting weights, jump roping, hula-hoop, etc.
→ Take a fitness class.
→ Exercise 30 minutes a day a few days a week.
→ Explore a new hiking trail.
→ Try a new sport-Tennis, Soccer, Swimming, etc.
→ Take a walk on your lunch break.
→ Link up with Fit For Me Thursdays. This week’s theme will be Workout Routines-fitting!

Blogging Prompts

→ Share your workout playlist.
→ Share your favorite workout routines.
→ Post your Before and After photos.
→ Share your exercise success story.
→ Share some workout inspiration.
→ Share your favorite workout products.


Link up any posts related to exercise throughout the month.  Please include the button (located at the top of the post) and please make sure to check out other bloggers who have linked up and show your support for them and their progress with this challenge.  Don’t forget to share on social media with the hashtag #12x30Challenge and #SeptExerciseChallenge this month!

Don’t forget to check out the previous months:

January 12×30 Challenge: Love Yourself
Feburary 12×30 Challenge: Get Organized
March 12×30 Challenge: No Spending
April 12×30 Challenge: Reading
May 12×30 Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness
June 12×30 Challenge: Try Something New
July 12×30 Challenge: Be Present
August 12×30 Challenge: Photo a Day

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I Can’t Stop Wanting You Next to Me

Sometimes I think it would be easier to not care as much.  If I could just move on with my life and not have any desire to wait around for someone in particular, it could be easier… Maybe?  I don’t know.  Dating sucks anyway, whether you’re waiting for someone specific or anyone in general, so maybe not…

At this point in time I’m fine waiting for Yoshi.  I mean, I miss him quite a bit and spend a lot of time wishing he was around in person, but the span of time I’ve set to wait is not the problem.  That time is going to fly by, and then I’ll find myself at a point where I find out whether we’re going to try for real or not.  The part that I’m having the hardest time with is that I’m terrified that when those three months roll around, if we don’t work out, how am I going to stop wanting him?  All this time I’m wanting him so badly, and dealing with the fact that I can’t have him for now-what happens if it’s no longer just “for now” and I have to get the hell over it?

Sometimes the idea of us ending up together after all of this does feel like it would be a total miracle, and then my pessimist side kicks in and I don’t believe in miracles-and I feel discouraged.  Logically I know that I’d eventually get over it, I have in the past, but emotionally I know it’ll hurt quite a bit if it comes down to that.  My optimist side somehow manages to hang on enough that I have significant hope of us having a future once events have happened and things are cleaned up a bit.  We just get on so well.  We’re super compatible when we’re together-and I’m terrified of losing that.

"I can't stop wanting you next to me, 'cause I keep holding out for a miracle..." - Mako & Madison Beer "I Wont Let You Walk Away"

Unfortunately it’s those thoughts that seem to wrap their grubby fingers around every bit of insecurity in me.  I told Yoshi that I’m terrified that three months is too long and that we’ll just fizzle out and die, or that he’ll forget how much he wants me during that time.  He’s reassured me more than once that he could never forget because he knows he’ll never find someone even 1/4th as good as me-which is sweet, but I get to distrusting that feeling.

I don’t distrust him.  With our all honestly all the time policy I have learned to trust what he says to me; I just fear that it’ll change.  That’s the part that makes me feel like a pit has opened up in my stomach and sucked my heart down into it.  What if I keep waiting and wanting and he stops?  It’s just insecurity.  He’s assured me that he wants me just as badly and can’t imagine not wanting me like this, and honestly if he did I would be okay-I would move on like I do, but still.  Wanting this much hurts.  It’s a risky move.

Some people are worth the risk though, and I can’t stop myself from putting myself out on this limb with every hope that Yoshi is one of those people.  So far he’s different than anyone else I’ve dated just for the sheer fact that he wont sleep with me unless we can have all of each other and actually be together.  Most guys would have dropped any care about a relationship and gone for all physical, and he refuses even when I’m the one bringing that up.  That’s a pretty good indicator that he’s not like all the other guys, and maybe-just maybe-this whole thing will be worth all of this waiting and wanting.

And for now?  Well, for now I’ll keep reminding him why I’m awesome.  I’ll do my best to remind him why being together in the long run is worth the wait, and I’ll do my best to not let either of us walk away without giving this a chance-just in case.

This week’s song:
I Wont Let You Walk Away
by Mako & Madison Beer

I know I wont stop if you give me the keys
Because I could drive it like I’m a criminal
I wont watch if you want me to leave
‘Cause I keep looking back for a miracle

I’m just a lighter without a spark
Take a bullet right straight through the heart
Oh I’ve made my mistakes but I wont let you walk away

Please don’t tell me you’re gone ’cause baby I want this
Please don’t give it too long ’cause baby I’ve got this
Please don’t tell me you’re gone ’cause baby I want this
Please ’cause I wont let you walk away

I’ve got my windows down getting lost in the breeze
And I feel like I’m caught in a fairytale
I can’t stop wanting you next to me
‘Cause I keep holding out for a miracle

I’m just a lighter without a spark
Take a bullet right straight through the heart
Oh I’ve made my mistakes but I wont let you walk away

I wont let you walk away

Whoa, whoa, whoa I wont let you walk away

I wont let you walk away

Whoa, whoa, whoa I wont let you walk away

Like this song? Buy it here:

How to Play Musical Mondays
Musical Mondays at My So-Called Chaos
Musical Mondays is a weekly link-up (with a month-long linky) for anything music related.  I hope you can join us!

>> Write and publish a blog post sharing music or something music-related.
>> Include the Musical Mondays button-the code is above.
>> Link up in the month-long linky below.
>> Visit other participants and show support.

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The Weekly Round-Up


“Construction begins in October. I’m a little bummed to hear that it’s so far away. Weather permitting, it will be done in the February – March time frame. It should only take them 17 weeks to complete the house. We have a Construction Manager, which makes it sound even more super exciting. We will be receiving weekly reports from him once we’ve actually broken ground. Our lot is #546! I can’t wait to find out what our address will be.”

→ Kimi from Kimi Who and her soon-to-be husband are building a house!  How exciting is that?  If you follow her blog, you can totally keep up with each step of the process as she chooses the different features. I’m living vicariously through them at this point in time, because it’s all so fancy.



“Through the AirBnB website, you can find local hosts willing to rent out their unique places to travelers. You can stay in someone’s spare room, stay on someone’s sofa, you can even stay in an entire condos, or bed and breakfasts (like I did). I stayed for a whole weekend, but you can stay any length of time from one day to up to a month!”

→ Alanna from Alanna and Company recently stayed at an Air BnB and has provided a comprehensive review of the experience.  This is great, because I’ve always wondered about one of these for when your’e traveling instead of a typical hotel room.


“When I am at home editing photos, I typically use Photoshop Elements. To be honest, I don’t actually do a whole lot of editing on my photos. I will mess with exposure and brightness occasionally, but typically I edit them more for a style or mood that I use in most of my photos. To achieve this, I use what are called actions.”

→ I love that Stephanie from In Her Wonderland shared a quick little bit of help on how to use Photoshop Actions.  This isn’t something I’d played with yet-I’ve stuck mostly to Lightroom honestly, so it was awesome learning from her.

The Paper Mama: Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY


“Baskets can help turn a messy storage spot into well organized space. If you head to most stores to buy one, a little basket can easily cost $20 plus dollars. When I do buy a basket, I usually head to a thrift shop to buy a basket for cheap. This time I decided to make my own. This was my first time making one, but I’m pleased with how it turned out and I would totally make this again. I originally made this easy woven rope basket DIY for the Better Homes and Gardens blog.”

→ I love this pretty little easy handwoven basket from Chelsey at The Paper Mama.  She said it was pretty simple, and while it took some time it was good mindless work she could do while watching TV.  That’s pretty much why I learned to crochet.

Long Distance Loving: how to build better pinterest boards (and why you should).


“I did some research to support this effort. Board descriptions can be captured by search engines, which means you could be attracting a wider audience with a few simple keywords. With the more advanced search features now available on Pinterest, they tell us that solid board descriptions will also help when someone searcheswithin the site. If you’re into SEO (aka search engine optimization), your SEO efforts shouldn’t end on your blog — they should extend to your pins and board descriptions as well.”

→ Alison from Long Distance Loving took a lot of time and effort to create better Pinterest boards, and then she wrote a blog telling us about it too.  It’s such good information, and I need to update some of mine.

What are your favorite posts this week?
The Weekly Round-Up

Join Aubrey and I and link up your favorite posts here:

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Saturday Spotlight: Sundays with Sophie

Hello friends!  It’s time for another Saturday Spotlight, and who do I have for you today?  Well, I have Liz from Sundays with Sophie.  Liz is a mommy blogger who talks about things like pregnancy, motherhood, breastfeeding, and the like.  Her daughter is also one of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen, and there is so much love in that family.

Sundays with Sophie

How did you meet your husband Kyle? 
That”s a good question with a funny answer.  There’s a short story and a long story, but since you have time, here’s the long story. We met a few years before I started working at his place of work because I asked for a pair of shoes. He remembered because of my shoe size. That’s right shoe size. However it wasn’t until 3 years later when I applied to work at the bowling alley that I really met him and got to know who
he was.

You’re kind of a new mom, what’s your favorite thing about motherhood? 
Motherhood is tough flat out, not going to sugarcoat that., but my favorite part of motherhood?  Easily the time spent with Sophie.  It doesn’t matter how little or how long the time is, each and every time is my favorite.  She makes me laugh with her antics, and she’s just so smart and intuitive.  But she grows up too fast.

Is there anything you miss about being single and childless? If so, what? 
Sleep.  Funny how they say you don’t know what you had until it’s gone, well that’s how I feel about sleep.  Marrying a man with an opposite schedule meant I stayed up later to see him, and having a child meant I woke up earlier to spend time with her.

If you could offer one piece of advice for anyone starting a family, what would it be? 
It is 100% okay to not know what the heck you’re doing.  Half the time I don’t.  Parenthood is not for everyone and it’s not something you can just learn ina book.  I was terrified when Sophie was born, what if I was a bad mom?  What if I didn’t know what she wanted?  What if, what if, what if?  The thing is, if you’re doing your  best, that’s good enough.

How did you get started blogging at Sundays with Sophie?

I originally started it as a documentation for my pregnancy, but it turned into so much more.  A place where I talked about marriage, adventures of parenthood, everyday life and everything in between.

Who inspires you in the blogging world? 
I couldn’t say an actual person inspires me, but certain type blogs inspire me.  I love other mama blogs.  Whether it’s just keeping up with them or finding tips, those types of blogs are my favorite.  Probably because I’m a lifestyle/mom blog I find more in common with those types of blogs than just solely fashion blogs.  However, I keep up with my fashion blogs too :)

Where do you see your blog in 5 years?
2020, let’s see, hopefully by that time Kyle and I will have moved into a new home, settled into that place and Sophie will most likely be in first or second grade.  I think the blog will be the same  as it has been, but far more adventures with Sophie since she’ll be with other kids more frequently.  And of course, we’ll be juggling having a school kid in our home :)  And who knows, maybe by that time we’ll have added a second one to the mix.

Keep up with Liz, Kyle, and Sophie here:
Blog | Pinterest | Google +

Want to be featured in a Saturday Spotlight? Bloggers with less than 500 followers or small handmade shops get their first Saturday Spotlight FREE. Just fill out this form.  It’s my way of giving back to the community here.  If you’re a bigger blogger or company, you’re still welcome, just snag an ad or post on my sponsor page.

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Confessions of a New Home Owner Pt. 4

How are things with my house going?  Well, it’s been a few weeks since I last updated you on my new home and confessed about it (see parts one, two, and three for more information about my house) so I figured it was time for an update!

House Update: Confessions of a New Homeowner Pt. 4

I confess… I spent a good amount of time working on it trying to get it in some kind of show-able shape before my  house warming party which ended up scheduled earlier than I planned so it would coincide with Josh being in town from Canada.

I confess… The week before the party found me agonizing over which curtains to choose.  I couldn’t find any that fit quite right, and anything I liked was super expensive.  I thought about forgoing the curtains for now, but I didn’t want to have ugly blankets hanging over my windows for the party and I needed some kind of covering for them.

Ironing Curtains

I confess… I finally found some that will do.  I went with white sheers underneath some dark teal thermal curtains, and I got them from Walmart (ugh I hate shopping there) so they only cost like $4-$7 a panel.  When you have four whole windows to do that still adds up, but not as badly as buying sets other places.  I spent about $20 per window instead of the $40+ per window at IKEA or worse other places…

I confess… When I got them out of the bag they were so creased!  Having only a few days til the party, and still having to work early in the morning, I tossed them in the wash and then dryer to see if it would sort it out.  It didn’t.  I was up until Midnight ironing 16 panels of fabric so I could hang them before going to bed.

Curtain tiebacks

I confess… My mother and sister had already hung the main curtain rods, so I just added a second smaller curtain rod for the sheers and these cute little curtain tiebacks that I found on Amazon.

Josh hanging curtains.

I confess… I have one window I couldn’t reach, even with a ladder.  Thank goodness Josh is tall and was willing to help me hang the curtain rod and the curtains before the party.  Here he is doing his yoga pose on the stairs (yes, that’s a ladder lying down below him-but he swears this one was more fun) as he hangs them.  Thanks Joshy.  Man I miss him.  You can also see how the finished curtains look in this picture too.

Kitchen Door with Turkish from Sherwin Williams

I confess… I also managed to finally decide on a color for my kitchen accents.  I went with Turquish by Sherwin Williams.  It looks darker on the swatch so I almost went a shade lighter, but I’m so happy I decided that things always looked lighter in the house and decided to just get the dark one.  It turns out I LOVE this color in there.

Sherwin Williams Turquish and towels from walmart.

I confess… I picked up these towels before the paint color, but look how perfect?  I since bought this tablecloth from Amazon as well, and it matches pretty well!

Kitchen shelves.

I confess… I have these shelves in my kitchen that can’t be moved because they hide a pipe.  So I painted them the accent color, painted a strip of chalkboard paint down the side of it, and then used grey chevron contact paper to line the shelves.  What do you think?

I confess… I also have this giant portable dishwasher that sits in front of the shelves.  I really wanted to not have these cute shelves I put all that work into blocked, but unfortunately there’s just nowhere else to put it, bummer.

My bedroom.

I confess… I finally got my bedroom put together too.  I had to run to IKEA to get new parts that somehow got lost in the move, but I managed to get it all rebuilt and haul my mattress downstairs on my own.  Not too shabby.

I confess… As expected, I’ve had a bit of a difficult time adjusting to sleeping in the basement.  It has this weird smell to it… I have no idea where the smell comes from, other than the main drain to the house is just on the other side of it’s wall so maybe that’s it?  Ugh.  I’ve started lighting a candle or incense a few hours before bed to help.

Smokey Utah

I confess… The air has been crazy smokey here due to the wildfires.  I snapped this photo before work, and while pretty, it’s hard to breathe.

I confess… Smoke aside, my housewarming party went really well.  I liked everyone who showed up and had a great time loving on friends and dogs.  Especially a BABY CORGI.  Seriously.  That killed me. I’m dead.  It was the cutest thing in the world.

I confess… I was pretty hungover the next day, but still managed to make it up and all the way to Tremonton for Josh’s family BBQ.  It was great because his friends from France came into town and I was finally able to meet them and practice my suffering French.  The practicing was pretty no good… I also think I scared the husband trying to tell him about beers and hookers in French…  It was a great time though.

Hazy Tremonton

I confess… I have to admit that after a weekend where my house was filled with people, and where I was at other people’s houses filled with people, my house seemed extra empty and alone.   I managed to get myself mega anxious about it for two nights.

I confess… I also manage to creep myself out on the regular.  You can’t hear anything in the basement.  The house is super well built so even when someone walks around upstairs you can’t hear it (which is kind of nice actually) and the A/C unit I bought for the bedroom is as loud as a jet engine.  So I lie in bed thinking about all the things that could be happening upstairs that I don’t hear… Like break ins.  And I freak myself out.  It’s an anxiety thing.  I’m really going to get a dog.

I confess… I’m serious.  I think I’ll go adopt a dog this weekend…

What are you up to this weekend?

Linking up with:
Friday Confessional

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Things I Love Thursday vol. 1

So I had another post scheduled for today, and then I rescheduled it for tomorrow because I wanted to join Kimi and Healther for their new Things I Love Thursdays link up.  It’s always fun to share things that you find around the interwebs and love, and how cute is this button?

Things I Love Thursday
Read It

→ This viral post about how to raise your daughters to not end up like Anna Duggar.
→ The 51 Best Fantasy Series to Read Before You Die – added a few new ones to my TBR list.
→ 18 Charts to Help You Sleep Better – this one is useful all around.

Laugh at it

And then Buffy Staked Edward...

→ I’m not sure who this artist is, but this gave me a good giggle.


When You Know You're Chubby but He Says You Look Cute

→ Yoshi.  Every time.  He super loves my butt and I think it’s the worst. lol

Watch it

→ “What type of animal doesn’t finish a potato based food? Kids. Because they have no souls.” Hahaha, I think even parents can agree on this one… No joke.  Kids are the worst-whether you love them or not.  Also, can Matt Bellassi be my best friend?  I LOVE him, and I love Whine About It.

Wear It

→ I bought this dress from Torrid a few weeks ago, but hadn’t worn it until my housewarming party.  It was SO comfortable and flattering-and I got so many compliments on it.  So much love.

Support It

Billy Nye Quote

→ This is actually true.  We talked about just this in my Anthropology class.  Race isn’t real.  Neither is gender.  People should stop being idiots and realize that people are people.

→ This Petition to Support Planned Parenthood.  My idiot governor bought into all the hype, lies, and misdirection (including highly edited videos) regarding Planned Parenthood and stopped funds from going there.  Funds which keep millions of women and men from dying due to not finding out about their cancers (cervical, breast, prostate, etc.) due to lack of health care options.  Not okay.

Rescue Dogs and Drink Wine


→ Buying this cute Drink Wine Rescue Dogs shirt feeds SEVEN shelter dogs. So not only do you get a cute shirt that’s probably one-hundred percent accurate, but you’re feeding homeless pups. LOVE.

Buy It

Happy Camper

→ Someone buy me this Happy Camper HC1 stat and something to pull it with STAT.  Seriously, how perfect is this thing? It’s a hippie’s dream.

Honey Cocoa Lip Balm

→ It’s sooooo dry here and I’m dying, but I love this Honey Cocoa Lip Balm from Stella Kenton Body Shop.  I got this last year and it’s still good and going strong-so great!

Win It

Win a 50 book library

→ I totally entered to win a 50 Book Library from Penguin Random House.  Fingers crossed!

Enter to win a Pink Instax Mini

→ My sponsors and I are giving away a pink Instax Mini-it’s fantastic so you should totally enter to win it.  I want one of these SO MUCH!

What are you loving this week?

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Pink Instax Mini 8 Giveaway & Our Favorite Photos

When I was a little girl we lived in my great grandmother’s basement for a while.  Upstairs grandma’s house was filled with all sorts of treats like her candy drawer and the homemade rice crispy treats, but perhaps one of my favorite things to play with was her old instant Polaroid camera.  I’d pack that thing around snapping pictures and pulling the small square photos out of the slot and then sit with anticipation waiting for that image to show up.

I loved taking photos with that old instant camera.  Having always had a love of all things photography, being able to have that photo nearly instantly in your hand was the highlight of my day.  I’d wave the image around and shake it hoping to make the image show up faster, and then after it had developed my grandmother would pull out her black pen and scrawl the date on the space at the bottom in her shaky cursive.  There are boxes and boxes of those old photos packed away somewhere, but the memories of taking those photos and waiting for the image to appear is what will stick with me for a lifetime.

Fast forward to today where we have digital photography, and though we can instantly see the photo we’ve taken, it doesn’t hold that same kind of wonderful anticipation that waiting for the photo to develop does.  So what are we doing?  Well myself and a few of my sponsors have gotten together to give you a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 in pink.  You’re welcome.


I’ve wanted one of these pretty little things for years now, so I don’t know why I’m giving you one instead of buying myself one, but I hope you appreciate it.  Haha!  I hope whoever wins this loves it so much and takes so many great photos with it.  For now, take a moment and get to know my sponsors first.

This month, in the spirit of giving away this treasure, I’ve gathered my sponsors together to tell us about their favorite photos and why they mean so much to them.  Enjoy.

In Her Lens

Stephanie from In Her Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is my absolute favorite movie (Tim Burton style). I found this necklace on Amazon and absolutely fell in love with it. I think I love the photograph more than I love the actual necklace. It really represents who I am a lot.”

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Fun in the Water

Lindsay from Bourbon, Lipstick, & Stilettos

This photo was taken of me, my sisters, and my niece on our recent vacation. I love it because we were having the best day! We are so close but don’t live near each other- our time together is precious.”

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Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

Megan from Semi-Charmed KMegan from Semi-Charmed Kind of Lifeind of Life

I took this photo on my honeymoon in Southeast Asia last year. We woke up at 4:30 a.m. to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat, but the most beautiful part of the sunrise was behind us, over this temple library. The photo is extra special for me because I’m studying to be a librarian, so I love visiting libraries (old and new) in other countries. :)”

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Bethany from Stella Kenton11205027_10153335479834558_798728441878664260_n Body Shop
This place is Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, GA. Generations of my family’s love is here; good energy spills out of the trees and sand. This picture was taken when I took my two very best friends there for the first time. They let me share a special place with them just like my grandparents had shared it with my parents and my parents with me and, a few years after this picture was taken, I shared it with my little family. There’s something powerful about being at Driftwood, standing and loving the beauty in the same place and way my family has for years before me.” 

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Kimi Who

Kimi from Kimi Who

This picture is of my late husband Charlie and my daughter, Hailey when she was 2 years old. It’s one of too few pictures that I have of them together. Although she wasn’t biologically his child, he became more of a Daddy to her than I ever could have hoped for or expected. I smile every time I look at this picture, knowing how genuinely happy they were when it was taken.”

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No one can make you feel inferior without your consent

Alanna & Company

Alanna from Alanna & Company

I know this isn’t super personal, but I use this as my iPhone background, I have this quote on my office wall, all over the place. It means a lot to me.”

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A Cat-Like Curiosity

Sarah from A Cat-Like Curiosity

I guess this is cheating a little, as it is technically four photos you see here 😉 I love this picture because it really encapsulates my life right now. I am all about art, creativity and creating joy in my life. When I think how far I’ve come in a few short years it makes me so happy, and this picture really represents that for me.”

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Stumbling Upon Lizzy

Stumbling Upon Lizzy

Lizzy from Stumbling Upon Lizzy

I love this photo because number one I LOVE ice cream. The second reason I love this photo is because it was taken when my husband and I were spending a little time with family at a local ice cream shop. It brings back happy memories full of laughter and love.”

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We Took the Road Less Traveled

Casey from We Took The Road Less Traveled

I love this photo because it’s from the first big trip my husband and I took this year after moving back to the states from Germany. It was a long year of big changes and new beginnings, so it was nice to take some time for ourselves and reconnect with each other and our love of travel!”

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Kat of SimplistiCreations

I love this photo because it shows the city in a state most people don’t see. Hong Kong is constantly busy and is always in motion, surrounded by people going somewhere and things happening. For once, this city is still and there’s a sense of solitude.”

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Want to be included in next month’s Group Giveaway  & Community post like this?  For September we’ll be talking about our favorite organization tips and giving away a gift card to The Container Store!  You should totally join us.  To do so, check out my sponsorship options.

Enter the Giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Local Flavor Swap Reveal

Whew, this post is a bit late… With the move and trying to get my house in order before friends were in from out of town and my housewarming, I’ve gotten SUPER behind.  I mean really really far behind.  That isn’t always the greatest when you need to make sure things get in the mail… Things like Aubrey‘s birthday present (which is still sitting on my shelf, oops! Sorry lady!) and your Local Flavor Swap package.

What’s the local flavor swap?  Well it’s a swap we recently hosted over at Chaotic Goddess Swaps where you’re paired up with another blogger in a different location and you each send the other goodies that represent where you come from.  Thankfully, I was partnered up with the super sweet Jordin from A Bottomless Book Bag and she was SUPER understanding about how late I sent the package.  She was in the process of moving too (she just got married, congrats Jordin!) and her package managed to make it to her old address and then all the way back to me.  Good thing we were both in the process of moving and can understand.

Local Flavor Swap Package Reveal

Jordin sent me:

> Espresso flavored chocolate
>> Local Wine
>> Columbiana Coffee
>> A “Talk nerdy to me” magnet
>> Harry Potter hair pins

Local Flavor Swap

It was such a great package, and the chocolate is delicious!  Thank you so much Jordin-I love it all!  See what I sent her HERE.

Local Flavor Swap

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