Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why? ... Why Not?

It's about time we get to the nitty-gritty. Down & dirty. Fundamentals, people.

Before we can move further in our relationship we need to get to know each other better.  Want to know more about me? Follow along as I ask myself some deep (and some superficial) questions:

Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging (VERY recently) because we are moving. When we move we will be relocating to a town (notice I said "town" & not "city") that is very unlike our current location.  At first, I wanted to be able to easily share the experience with friends & family. Then I got to thinking that maybe my reflections on our new life would interest others and perhaps blogging could become a new hobby.

Why do you need a new hobby?
This will be addressed more later; however, once you learn a bit more about our "big move" you will understand why a plethora of hobbies is a must.

Why do you think people would even be interested in reading your "reflections" on your new life?
Here's the thing, I am neither a city-girl, nor a country-girl.  We don't live in a large city but I wouldn't exactly call it country-living either.  Pretty soon here, after our relocation, we are about to become country-folk. Even if we were to try to fight it, it will be inevitable. But we're not going to fight it. We're going to embrace it! We are totally psyched to be moving here:
Future home. Lots of potential.
Have you heard at all about all the crazy things going on in western ND? Well, we're not headed out into that big frenzy; however, we are headed in that general direction. I'm going to be full of information about what life is like out there. It might not always be the most news-worthy but it will be full of enthusiasm, perspective, and (obviously) a little sarcasm.

Why are you moving?
After we committed to making the "big move" friends & family were always asking us this question.  This is literally a screen shot of our "Reasons Why" that I compiled on April 26, 2012. I immediately sent it out in a mass e-mail. (Notice: Some parts have been blurred out from the original version for posterity. Actually, no. They were blurred out in case you're a creeper and want to stalk us.)

Why are you not writing about all the neat-o DIY projects you want to try?
Easy. Because our apartment looks like this:
One wall of our apartment.
Free time? We pack. Date night? We pack. Friday night plans? We pack. It will pay off eventually, but in the meantime I have a huge, awesome list of fancy-shmancy projects I wish we were rather working on. So bear with me kiddos, because eventually PHL will be bursting with inspiration, daily reflections, and DIY fun, one cowboy boot at a time.

T minus 26 days.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Two people. Two years. Two good to be true.

WARNING: I should fully disclose that if you are a person who does not like love, does not like happy endings, and does not like beautiful wedding pictures, stop reading now & come back next week. You have been warned.

This weekend, the hubs & I will be "unplugging".  That seems to be this new, hot term today that I see magazines include in their "How to be a better you" articles.  In today's day & age it means shut off your computer, cell phone, ipad, pda, etc. & ignore your friends on twitter, instagram, facebook, pinterest, etc. It allows you to celebrate who you're with & what you're doing.  What will we be celebrating? Our two year wedding anniversary! (Which is actually on Monday but who feels like celebrating anything on a Monday?)

Who wants pictures?!? Because pictures say a thousand words:

Best friends + Brother & Sister = Wedding Party
Officially walking under the bell tower at our alma mater. When you do, it means you'll be with that person for the rest of your lives.
At our Mini-Honeymoon/Wedding Weekend location 2 years ago. This is also where we will be spending this weekend to celebrate!

Aren't we just so stinkin cute?! Being married is awesome.  After dating for 5 1/2 years & now being married for 2 years I am still learning new things every day. Not every day is flowers & roses & happy-go-lucky, but the tough days are worth it once you get to the good ones. I could never put into words the way the hubs makes my life a million times better.
This basically sums it up:

There are dreamers and there are realists in this world.  You'd think the dreams would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists but... more often than not, the opposite is true.  You see the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun.  And the realists... well, without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.  
- Cameron (Modern Family)
**Notice blog header now.**

I thank god I have a dreamer to make my life carefree, interesting, and full of love. Here's to an infinite number of days to be thankful for.

Are you a dreamer or realist? Got any good plans for this weekend?


Coming next week:
  • More about our big move - where? 
  • After you see where, I will need to explain why - I'll share my Top 10 reasons WHY
  • The to-do list of projects before going........

Have a great weekend dudes!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I needed an attitude adjustment

Do you ever have your very own little pity party? I just had one. And I even wrote about it for a good 20 minutes. Then I said to myself (in my head, not out loud because I'm not crazy), "Samantha, you need an attitude adjustment.  You just had a great weekend with one of the best families anyone could have & you had an extremely productive day. Now don't you dare start writing again until you've changed your attitude." So here I am. Attitude fully adjusted and ready to be a Positive Patty.

Here's why I should be positively thankful for my weekend:

1. Time with my girlfriends.
2. I love my mom.
3. Bike ride around MN lakes on a beautiful afternoon with my cousins.
4. First trip to Target field.
5. Parker, myself, younger brother, & his girlfriend at our first Twins game.
6. The hubs & I. (Christmas card? hmm...)

All in all, great weekend. Now the only suggestion I'm going to make to any of you (notice, in a very positive manner): Do not, and I repeat, do not, ever, under any circumstances, wear denim jeans to an outdoor baseball game when its 85 degrees and sunny if you plan on being comfortable. Thankfully we found empty seats in the shade where my jeans were no longer sticking to every part of my body from the waist down. Did I mention I am very thankful for shade?

So why was I having a pity party? Because we're moving in 5 weeks, which in and of itself is awesome! What's not so awesome is spending all your free time slowly packing up your life so that your apartment looks like a lonely wreck when you could be baking fall yummies or buying gourds to perfect your fall decor. (OK, I just had to get that one little rant out of my system.)

Upcoming projects I have on the agenda before the big move will include more refinishing, packing, & cleaning and less baking, decorating, and organizing.  Because I have such a positive attitude, I have recognized that these upcoming projects can still be loads of fun and will most definitely pay off once we reach our new destination.

Until then, I will be living vicariously through other blogs and Pinterest to enjoy all the amazing-ness that fall decor has to offer.  I have also decided our future apartment will look like Santa's Workshop as soon as November rolls around to make up for not being able to participate in the fall decor madness right now! You can't have your cake & eat it too, but you can always save it for later :)

Got any fall projects or decor that you are loving? Got any moving/packing tips? Happy Monday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

H54F #1 | High Five For Friday

Happy Friday!
Linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk for High Five for Friday.

5 Fabulous things to celebrate this Friday:

1. The Help: I got my hands on this bestseller this week. My grandma lent it to me (not my recipe-book grandma, the other one). Looking forward to reading it soon, especially considering every woman I know and their mom has already read it.

2: Flowy tops: I'm into flowy tops recently.  By recently I mean since Wednesday when I wore this outfit to work and got 3 compliments.  This is my only one, currently, but I plan on purchasing more. Especially since one of the compliments was from the hubs (whoop!)

3. Cookie scoop: I used to underestimate these things & wonder why people used them & now I know - because they're awesome! If you don't have one, go get one. If you do have one, you can attest to how great they are.  My cookies were perfectly round, all the same size, and baked to deliciousness. Based on my coworkers' reactions I have also concluded that this would be a great way to make new friends - bribe them with baking. Kidding. Sort of. When we move I think I will become a baking-machine. Another plus: I felt very domestic.

4. Date night: Date night with Parker to celebrate the purchasing of our first new vehicle. It is a truck and, much to my surprise, I like it. And I like driving it. I might just become a truckin' chick, we'll see.

5. Minnesota Twins: This weekend I get to go to my first-ever Twins game.  All I know about baseball is three strikes and you're out and the lyrics to "Take me out to the ballgame"; however, I'm all for being outside with my family, enjoying a cold beer & the beautiful fall weather. 

Any fun plans for the weekend? Got a Twins t-shirt I could borrow? :) Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Organization for your Inspiration

I thought I'd share a method I like to use to keep track of the new things, of all different genres, that I constantly put on my "To-Try" list. Here's the deal... I love reading magazines. I love getting ideas from friends. I love to be inspired, whether it be related to healthy eating, yummy not-healthy eating, kick-butt exercises, or just plain life in general. I don't love to try to keep track of all of these new ideas in my mind. I also don't love having random slips of paper or magazine tear-outs all over the place.  I love to be organized. So I have 2 binders that give me some "Organization for my Inspiration":

Whenever I find something that "inspires" me in some way I either jot it down or tear it out of the magazine I'm reading and add it to one of the above binders.  The first contains inspiring articles, exercise ideas and tips, and lots of beauty & fashion tips (because really, I could use all the help I can get in the Style department).  The second is specific for recipes... Ready. Set. Organize!

What you need:
Your inspiration, duh! Absolutely NOTHING inspires you? Then stop reading blogs and go get a life!
Mine happened to start out as a huge box of magazines with some corners dog-eared and random notes jotted down.
And your office supplies:
Binder, pen, dividers.
1. You need to determine your "categories" for your dividers.  

  • My categories: Appetizers, Beverages, Breads, Breakfast, Casseroles, Desserts, Frostings/Fillings/Sauces, Fruits & Vegetables, Main Dishes, Marinades, Meats, Pasta/Rice/Potatoes, Salads, Sandwiches, & Soups. 
Depending on your personal preference you might want to have even more specific categories than I have listed above.  Or maybe you've decided that creating a Recipe Binder is a big enough step toward organization and there's no way you're actually going to create different sections. Either way, if you decide to go with different sections, label each divider for your reference.
Across the top of my binder I have used Post-It flags to create 4 subcategories in the Meat section:
Fish, Chicken, Beef, & Pork.

2.  Take your Inspiration, hole-punch each page, and distribute into the correct category.

3.  Admire your work thus far.  If you are like me, this is the point in the tutorial where you will notice that your "Dessert" category has far more ideas to try than your "Fruits & Vegetables" category.

4.  I use the front folder of my binder for the recipes I have tried & liked out of my binder's collection.  I put them in this spot until I write the recipe on a recipe card and add it to my recipe box.  This way I always have our favorites in our recipe box.

5.  Final step, create some sort of cover sheet.  Because what fun is a binder if it's not properly labeled.  (Note to self: Get label maker.
  • My cover sheet is in my Grandma's words..."Recipes A through Z". Speaking of inspiration, she actually started the binder for me with some of her favorites so I had to keep some parts of it true to her.

How easy is that? It's so easy I got the whole thing done during the finale of Bachelor Pad (don't judge!) Of course, I also love that all the recipes I want to try are filed in one spot that can be tucked away in one kitchen cupboard!

Do you have any great ways you organize the things that inspire you? Are you working on any small organization projects similar to this?  Did you watch Bachelor Pad? :)

p.s. No updates on the kale front; HOWEVER this morning I did try a different breakfast smoothie, sans kale, and had a much more successful turn-out! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Week of Trying New Things

Hi, friends! Welcome to my first post. I am a newbie to the blogging world but I have recently found thousands of blogs that I look forward to reading every day. Between blogs and Pinterest I have been completely inspired to get out of my I-love-routines-and-am-not-spontaneous rut & start trying some new things. A little something that provided some extra motivation for Perfectly Happy Life is the fact that we (the hubs and I) are moving to a place that looks like this:
It's our first-ever move away from our hometown, away from our friends & family, and I was inspired to start PHL & share my sarcastic, but always positive insight as I undertake new DIY projects, attempt recipes, "try on" new fashion trends, and try out new "hobbies". So here we go...

3 things I was new to this week:

  • Blogging!

  • Kale. 
Never tried it. Never bought it. Never cooked it... until this week. Did you know that a grouping, bunch, bushel (?) of kale is huge & leafy and is a gigantic amount of foliage that one could not possibly consume before it goes bad?
A smoothie recipe in SELF magazine (Speedy Smoothie) inspired me to try kale. The smoothie itself was not my cup of tea but it didn't completely scare me away from this odd vegetable.  Any great ideas on how to use it??? Please please PLEASE let me know! I have oodles of kale...
  • Post-workday sweat session followed by a healthy, home-cooked meal. 
The hubs and I started getting in a good workout at the end of our work day and we're loving it.  Remember my love-hate relationship with running? Well, this week I have been attempting to give it the attention the needy little bugger thinks it needs.  What this means is that we get home between 6:30 and 7:00 and need some quick, healthy, DIY weekday meals.  Favorite of the week so far - Chicken stir fry:

1.  Chop all your veggies and choice of lean protein ahead of time.
We used onion, mushrooms, broccoli, and carrots. Next time I would also add cauliflower.

2.  Cook your lean protein and set aside.  {I chose to use bite-size pieces of chicken breasts and cooked them in my skillet with a little olive oil.}

3.  Heat your skillet to medium-high heat.  Add about 1 tablespoon olive oil and swirl to coat.  Add veggies. Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes. {Tip: Add tougher veggies, i.e. carrots, first and cook longer than others.}

4.  Add lean protein and stir-fry for one minute.

5.  Add your sauce. {We made Teriyaki Sauce out of my Cooking Light magazine}.  Toss & stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes.

6.  Serve with cooked noodles or rice.

I've read that in order for something to become a routine you need to stick with it for at least 4 weeks.  Blogging, I can do. Making friends again with running & cooking dinners will be tougher but I WILL do it. Kale, I will try 1 more time but I'm not making any promises ;)

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