Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Well That Was Unexpected

I'm talking about my little blogging break.

Break... gap, hiatus, vacation, whatever you want to call it. I haven't been gracing this blog with my written word in nearly a week. A week is just crazy! What have I possibly been doing if I haven't made time to sit down and write?

In all honesty, I feel like everything since last Friday has been a blur. There was our late Friday night drive to the lake, where we spent the remainder of the weekend relaxing, not wearing makeup, showering if I we felt like it, and drinking homemade margaritas. And Tuesday and Wednesday have just been so swamped with getting back home again and organized and being crazy-busy at work - it makes the week go by fast at least!

I got to feeling a little guilty about not sitting down at my MacBook to bring a new post to The Samantha Life each day. I think I easily get down on myself if I don't have a new post for all 5 weekdays like I normally plan on. I mean, we invest so much time and energy (and sometimes money) into our blogs so we should make time to write a new post and do a "good job" with it on a daily basis, right?

Then on the other hand, we invest so much time and energy (and sometimes money) into our blogs so we sometimes just need to get outside, sleep, cook dinner, or start obsessing over a new show on Netflix, right? Ok, maybe that last one is just me but I just started watching Scandal and LOVE it. Capital L-O-V-E.

My little break was completely unplanned but, you know what? It felt good. I had a great weekend relaxing at the lake - thank you God, for finally giving us some nice weather! And I've actually really enjoyed getting in good workouts, cooking healthy dinners, and spending the evening watching a new show the last few days. It was an unexpected break but I think I needed it.

And now I feel even more motivated to write and am glad to be back. Sometimes a break is just what we need to get ourselves back on track

I'd love to write more but Parker has hockey tonight so I need to go microwave my Lean Cuisine and watch as many episodes of Scandal as possible.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Letters | Memorial Weekend Edition

#memorialday #flag #america #americanflag #us #armedforces #army #freedom #usflag

Dear Weekend, I am so glad you are extra-long this time. I think that'll make this last day of work just a liiiiittle bit easier.

Dear Ponytails, you have been making your appearance quite often lately and I don't hate it.

Dear Weather, oh you finally got the memo that this is the time of year it's supposed to be nice outside? Thanks for catching up with us and thanks for making it 75 and sunny yesterday.

Dear Meryl and Maks, I agree with Charlene and want you to get married and make beautiful, talented babies.

Dear Coffee, you're just not doing it for me right now. I want a skim latte from Starbucks so freaking bad.

Dear Men and Women of the U.S. Armed Forces, thank you for doing what you do or have done every single day and for fighting for our freedom. 

Dear Lake, can't wait to see you for 3 full days!

Dear Blog Readers and Friends, we have Monday off so you'll probably see me return to this little bloggity by Tuesday - because it's too hard to look at a computer screen when the shining sun and glistening water are reflecting off of it. Plus, it wouldn't be good if I spilled my margarita on my computer so better put my laptop away and not take any chances :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why You Should Do a Blog Consultation (The Basics)

I just had my first-ever blog consultation (last night, since you'll be reading this on Thursday). I was all bits of nervous and excited - nervous to be part of a video hangout for the first time ever with someone I've never even met, and excited about getting to talk about blog things for a full hour with a fellow blogger. 

If you have ever thought about purchasing a blog consultation do. it. now. Seriously right now. Like, don't wait any longer. It's totally worth the money or nerves that might be holding you back.

#blog #blogconsult #bloggingtips #allthingsblog #bloglife #tips #consultation #consult #ads #friends #googlehangout #chat #promote

It can be a little scary to think about being a part of a video chat with someone who you've never met in real life but whom you feel like you stalk on the internet multiple times a week. If you're like me you think it'll be awkward, uncomfortable, or you'll run out of things to say. And let me tell you, you don't. Which brings me to my next point...

Someone Who Understands
You get a full hour of talking with somebody who understands about something that the two of you could probably spend days talking about: all things blog. When you talk about SEO you don't have to explain what it is. When you talk about pageviews you don't have to explain how you track them. When you talk about photos and Pinterest you don't have to explain why these two things go together. My poor husband tries so hard to follow along sometimes and ask questions to show that he cares, but he just doesn't get it like a fellow blogger does. Talking about all of these blog-related things for over 60 minutes was awwweeesoooome.

This one you already know because this is why you would pay for a consult in the first place, right? You want tips, tricks, things that work, things that don't work, yada yada yada. Hayley and I could never have e-mailed back and forth enough for me to leave with as many tips as I did from our consultation.

Feeling Refreshed
When you finish your consult you will want to write blog posts, work on your social media posts, and go back and edit properties of your old posts for hours! I promise you that you will. Because talking about blog things for an hour with someone who gets it will make you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and motivated to conquer the (blog) world!

Who knows who you'll connect with or love chatting with. But if you're lucky enough to feel like I did at the end of my consult, you will feel like you really just made a new friend. And that's part of why we even do this whole blogging thing, isn't it?

There are only good memories when I look back on that one hour of all things blog. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

She Is Just Adorrable*

** This is a guest post written by a funny, makeup-hoarding, kind girl named Becca.

Hi, "The Samantha Life" readers! My name is Becca Dorr and I blog over at Becoming Adorrable. Get it? No? My bad. I'm a terrible comedian. I'll just share a little bit about me: I got married this past August to a dude named Tim. I think he's pretty awesome. Our wedding was awesome, too -- so much so that it had its own hashtag (#adorrablewedding). I totally would have eloped, but my husband had to have his big day. In the end, it was a great time, and the dancing at the end of the night was by far the best part. You know, other than getting married to the love of my life.

Melissa Prosser Photography

I'm really pale, I can't walk in heels, and my favorite drink is Malibu and pineapple. Unless I'm eating Mexican food, then I am obviously drinking a margarita. If I'm dancing, it's a rum and coke. If I've had any of these, then I really can't walk in heels. We have two nieces. I don't have any kids yet, but we'll have some one day. Right now, I'm enjoying the excuse to buy cute baby clothes, play ring around the rosie, and go home once they have a meltdown.

Hugs. Aww.

Tim and I have four pets, all of which he owned before we got together. Rescuing animals is close to my heart, and it's difficult for me not to give another fluffy puppy a home. However, I am actually allergic to cats, so moving into this house was a little rough since my husband already had THREE cats. Their names are Uno, Dos, and Tres, because he's the creative type. Dos is the slightly less intelligent of the three. Proof:

I'm a TV addict. I watch so many shows that I have a spreadsheet to keep track of all of them, and I can give you a list of TV shows you can binge watch. In fact, I already made one (Shows you should be watching on Netflix). I don't watch a lot of reality TV, sports, or the news. Or CSI. But I do watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I wish I was a pegasus. Before I moved to the city to rock the housewife life and picked up this blog thing, I worked in childcare for nine years, during which I miserably failed at pursuing a college degree (but I swear it's not because I'm an idiot). I loved working with kids, and for those nine years they were my world. I'm also obsessed with makeup. If it was reasonable, I would buy every product I could get my hands on and hoard it. Instead, I carefully research products before I buy them, so I feel like I only invest in the best. My makeup routine is constantly changing as I try out new things. Here's my current makeup routine:

NYX HD Primer // Revlon Colorstay Foundation // NYX HD Concealer // elf HD powder // NYX Blush in Mauve // CoverGirl Clump Crusher // Maybelline Gel Liner // Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette // MAC Fleshpot // Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz // Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil // NARS Albatross

So y'all stop by my blog and you'll have the pleasure of reading more about all of these things (yes, even My Little Pony)!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Only Worry About Things Like Pink+Purple Cupcakes

Parker normally grocery shops because he loves it and I just don't so much. He can walk through the store without a list and come home with everything we need for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and well-planned out dinners. It's almost annoying how good he is at it. But I went grocery shopping last night because he had hockey and there was a little girl standing in line in front of me with her mom and younger brother. Her mom started unloaded the groceries onto the conveyor belt and the little girl absolutely insisted that she be the one to set the pink cupcakes on the belt. I noticed that her mom patiently, without complaint, moved a few other things aside (including blue cupcakes, might I add) to hand the container of pink cupcakes to her daughter who then placed them very carefully on the belt. A few minutes went by while her mom emptied everything else out of their cart and they waited their turn to check out. The little girl was very quiet until she finally shared out loud what she must have been thinking to herself for the past few minutes.

We have to go get another one of the pink and purple cupcakes.

Her mom told her they only needed one because they were mini ones so between the 12 pink+purple cupcakes and the 12 blue+green cupcakes they had enough for her class.

But there are not enough pink and purple ones for all of the girls in the class.

Her mom then, very patiently again, explained to her that there would be enough cupcakes for every body and some of the girls will just have to have a blue and green cupcake. Even though her mom listed a few of her friends that would probably pick a blue and green cupcake instead of a pink and purple cupcake, her daughter was just not buying it. She wanted every girl in her class to be able to have a pink and purple cupcake because she figured that's what any girl would want and she just wanted them all to be happy.

Do you remember when your only worries were what treats you would bring to school on your birthday? Or what you would wear to your 7th grade dance on Friday? Or which pair of earrings you should buy from Claire's? We didn't even know at the time how easy we had it. Lots of things about being an adult (or whatever this phase in life is called) are awesome, totally awesome. But some days, I wish I were worried less about bills, cleaning, and getting to work on time and more worried about feeling good, treating myself, and making people happy.

For the record, the little girl also wanted the pink, yellow, and purple "It's a Girl!" balloon on their way out. She's a girly-girl after my own heart :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

2014 Graduation Weekend

We had a great weekend back home with our family this weekend celebrating my brother's college graduation - he earned his Master's degree in Architecture. It really seems weird now that we're both graduated from high school and he's getting married in August - it seems like just yesterday we were just little kids playing together. 

It's slightly embarrassing, but not really that much, that shortly after he walked across the stage we bailed and had a bloody mary at the bar where he met us when the ceremony was done. And by we I mean me, Parker, my parents, and his fiance and her parents. But can you blame us? The ceremony from start to finish was 3 hours long and his last name is Briggs, so...

We had a celebratory dinner on Saturday night at my parents' house at the lake, played games, and went on a late-night pontoon ride. It was the perfect end to a perfect day. Sunday us girls went on a nice long walk, went to the nearby greenhouse, and the boys picked up a free, old, disgusting-looking kegerator sitting on the side of the highway for clean-up week. Then Parker and I made the 5-hour trek home in the late afternoon. And now, I'm going to just post a bunch of pictures from the weekend because it's Monday and that's what I do and I don't have time to write anything else. I hope you're weekend was happy!

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Post Written While Still In My Bath Towel

Whew! It's only 7:02 am as I'm writing this and I've already worked out, showered, and even ate a good breakfast! Which means I've got about point 2 seconds to crank out this post so I have time to still get dressed and made up for work. Yes I am in my bath towel right now - don't try to tell me you've never done that before. 

1 || Currently, I work with 8 men and I'm the only girl. Today, another lady starts and I'm actually pretty excited to laugh about tv shows and girly things instead of all the weird crap men think is funny. Possibly more on this next week.

2 || Tuesday morning I found out Parker had dinner reservations at our favorite place for my birthday dinner. I didn't even see him on my birthday this year and then we were super busy the rest of that week so we just got around to having a special dinner. And I wore white shoes, even though it's not Memorial Day yet. Sue me.

3 || Grey's Anatomy season finale, anyone?! I have mixed feelings. First, I don't know how much I'm going to like this with Christina gone. Second, I hate it when there's turmoil in the Grey-Shepherd marriage - they're my favorite. Although I'm sure they'll work it out. Did Christina and Mer's dance-it-out scene make you teary-eyed or what? Holy smokes, you'd think they were real people the way I get attached to them.

4 || I started using my Polar watch during workouts this week and love it! I'm getting the hang of it and look forward to doing some research on how best to monitor your heart-rate during a workout for weight loss. Any tips are highly welcomed!

5 || My little brother graduates this weekend with his Master's in Architecture! I'm so excited and looking forward to being home for the weekend.

Friday, be nice to me. I'm ready for the weekend. Peace out!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#FIRSTSTOTALSOCIAL | My first Instagram

I'm pretty excited to join in with Sarah and Helene for their first week of Total Social and we are supposed to share our first of something...

I'd share my first real boyfriend, but you see pictures of my husband all the time.

I'd share my first blog post, but that's probably just plain embarrassing.

I'd share my first baby, but oh wait, I don't have one yet.

Which leaves me to ... my first Instagram post:

Ok first of all, I don't even know what my username was 110 weeks ago. Second of all, helloooo blah picture. Let me just point out that 110 weeks ago I didn't use VSCO Cam, Afterlight, or any Instagram filters to increase the photo viewer's pleasure. On second thought, did these apps and features even exist 110 weeks ago? Let's see, that's like over 2 years ago - which tells me that this photo was probably taken circa April/May 2012. I didn't have a blog yet, I posted a photo maybe once every 2 weeks, and my average likes per photo for about the first 50+ photos was 0-1.

Now that I'm done bashing myself regarding photo skills and popularity, let's talk about why I chose to write about my first instagram photo. Looking back, it's only fitting that the first photo I ever posted on (what is now) my favorite form of social media was of the lake. I've written before about how this is my place:

It's no doubt that it's my favorite place to be and that post says it all. I probably post a photo from the lake at least once a week, on average, throughout the course of a year. And although I've definitely gotten the hang of Instagram filters and multiple awesome photography apps, pictures of this place don't really need either. Because it's already perfect.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's OK To Enjoy The "Perks" Of Blogging

I will be the first to admit, sometimes blogging is real cool because you get free stuff. 

Is that why I started blogging? Absolutely not. I started blogging because we were moving 4 hours away from home and I thought it would be cool to document life in western ND on this little internet space... funny how things change. Anywho, I started my blog for myself and my family and friends. It was an "outlet" for me and actually made me enjoy writing more than I ever thought I would. It became a hobby that allowed me to express myself, while at the same time learning new things - whether I was learning html or learning that there are other people who struggle with the same things in life. I love everything about sitting down to my computer and sharing my thoughts 5 days a week. 

Once I got further into blogging I realized some people make money on their blog. They attend events for free. They get paid to write about a product. They get something free and share it with their readers. I thought for sure you had to be a "big blogger" for these perks and never thought I could get anything cool or go somewhere awesome or be paid to wear a shirt. I've experienced just a handful of these perks - I got a custom card, ordered a chambray tank from eShakti, and received a custom wine glass - all for free! Does this mean these are the only reasons I blog? Abso-freakin-lutely not. They don't even make up 15% of the reasons why I blog. 

So I have to disagree with anyone who thinks that a blogger who receives perks is only here for the money or free stuff because there are so many more reasons why I share some of my favorite diy projects or pour my heart out. And there's nothing wrong with making money or getting something free because of your blog. Actually, it's pretty cool.

| | | | | | | | | |

That custom wine glass that I received is from Tiny Wishes Creations, an Etsy shop owned by Tabitha. It is so cute in person and I love that I have a blog-themed wine glass! What is it about blogging and wine that seem to go together? :) 

Side note: you can use the script on the glass as a sort of measuring cup. Fill to "blog": 1 glub. Fill to "dream": 2 glubs. Fill to "love": 3 glubs (screw it, and drink from the bottle).

Drink up and go check out her shop!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Current "Favorites"

Today seems to be one of those days where it's just going to be a mish-mash of a post. Because my brain seems to be in a mish-mash sort of mood. Plus, I'm the writer so it's my choice anyway. Try to keep up :)

Favorite Quote:
Think about it. It's totally true. Think about the absolute best things - I don't think I need to go into more detail here. You finish them feeling refreshed or energized or happy - but always glistening. I keep reminding myself of this because I have yet to get back into a good gym routine. I don't have a good reason why because I know it's going to make me feel great. I know I'm going to want to come back the next day. I know it's good for my heart and makes me look good in skinny jeans. Why have I not made exercise a priority in my life? That I do not know.

Favorite Drink:
Blue Moon. I don't drink beer often in the winter so there's something about a nice, cold Blue Moon or Stella when the weather starts breaking out of the winter season.

Favorite Thing-my-husband-has-said:
I love the guy, so much. He just says that darnedest things sometimes - I wish I could remember to write them all down because they just make me giggle. I feel like it's kind of preparing me for all the crazy stuff my future kid will say one day. See, he tries to use common expressions, sayings, or idioms of the English language - but 97% of the time he uses them wrong. For example: We were laying in bed the other morning - our alarms had gone off and we were postponing the actual "getting up" process. He then said, "I'm just trying to find the mustard to get out of bed". What he was trying  to say was something along the lines of the expression "I'm trying to muster the energy to get out of bed". Mustard?! Hence, the giggle.

Favorite Topic-to-search-on-Pinterest:
"blog life" : Do it. Hellooooo beautiful blog life apparel and goodies (that I need!), plus amaze-balls blogging tips! Do not do this if you are insecure with your workspace at home - you will be bombarded with all-white, crisp, sequins-covered perfection of blogger's office spaces. 

Favorite Movie:

Frozen. I do realize I'm lightyears behind on this one, or maybe you think I'm just hopping on the "Frozen/Let it Go bandwagon" but there's no denying it. I think it's great.

Favorite Blog Read:
Ok, what blogger doesn't have a million favorite blogs that they wish they could indulge in every single day?! That is certainly the case for me and I could never pick a true favorite one; however, lately I have been absolutely loving Becoming Adorrable. Becca is a girl who loves makeup, but blogs about so much more than beauty products. She makes you feel like you are sitting right next to her having a (usually funny) conversation just through her writing style. Some of my favorite posts of hers include anything blogging related, the reasons why she likes being short, and 11 things we learned from Gilmore Girls. Because let's be real, who hasn't wished they were a Gilmore girl at one point or another?

Go check her out and have a great rest of your Tuesday! I just found out this morning that my hubby has dinner reservations at our favorite place for my belated birthday dinner. So there's that, and that makes me happy :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway...

Actually, that's a lie. The cold does bother me, especially when it's cold (still!) in May. But even though I'm typing on my computer while watching the Minnesota Wild play, in my head I'm a beautiful ice princess belting out Let It Go in Idina Menzel's voice. If you already follow me on Instagram, you know that Parker and I wrapped up our weekend with a relaxing Sunday saying goodbye to his grandparents, getting coffee, and watching Frozen for the first time.

How we didn't watch this movie until now? I don't even know. It was great, so great. Especially for two animated-movie-lovers who have jam sessions every time Let It Go comes on the satellite radio in the car.

His grandparents got into town Friday night so we just got them settled in their hotel room, made tacos, and watched the Wild beat the Blackhawks in Game 4. It was their first time visiting us since we moved out here so we spent Saturday giving them a bit of a tour - we drove a bit further out west to see some of the oil-rigging action happening out there, showed them around town, got burgers for lunch downtown, and played cards before cooking them an early Mother's Day dinner. Part of our tour consisted of stopping at the casino, mostly because we needed a bathroom break, and I impatiently waited for 10 minutes while they spent a few bucks on the slot machines.

Oh, and then Parker gave me 2 bucks and told me to just play one machine before we left. Reluctantly I abided. Oh, and then I won 73 dollars and 45 cents. I wasn't that excited or anything...

I hit that cash out button as soon as possible, reimbursed my husband for the 2 bucks he gave me to play, took my cash and left, feeling pretty smug. I can see why people get addicted to that feeling.

And throughout all of this I had my awesome family members, whom I love so much, texting and snapping me pictures of getting the docks and boats in at the lake, drinking the first Zorbaz margaritas, and taking the first boat rides of the year. Isn't that just great? I mean, I had a great weekend, too - but, be honest, where would you rather be...

I'd pick the one on the right any day...

I just realized I wrote the most confusing weekend recap post ever : started with Sunday, then recapped Friday, and finished off talking about Saturday. So sorry about that.

And because it's Monday and I like to start my week thinking through what I'd like to accomplish and making a game plan, I'm linking up with Amanda today to share my hopes & plans for this week:

Marry Mint

| | Get my brother's graduation present ready for this weekend. I'd give more details, but in the small off chance that he reads my blog every so often I can't take that risk. You'll have to just wait until next week.

| | Clean our apartment, change our sheets, and do our laundry. It's just embarrassing how these things haven't been happening often enough lately.

| | Update the blog's about and sponsor pages. I've got new thoughts and ideas in the works, I just need to allow myself to invest the time. 

| | Exercise at least 3 times. 'Nuff said.

I think 4 things on the list should keep me pretty busy :) What do you have going on this week?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dear Life. Sincerely, Samantha.

Dear spring, thank you for warming up enough for the ice to go out. Seeing open water in the last few weeks has been such a beautiful thing. Dear readers, I'm so excited for Amanda's link-up to go live on Monday - come share your hopes & plans with her. Dear little brother, I cannot believe that you are done with college and will graduate in a week with your Master's. I hope you know I'm so proud of you. Thank goodness you didn't lose those two fingers from when I slammed them in the door that one time. Dear spam, stop leaving me countless comments from hemorrhoid and foreign websites. Dear husband, thank you for helping me clean our apartment last night for the first time in weeks. Dear Grey's Anatomy, I love you. I really do but I have thought it was the Season Finale for the last three weeks. I'm pretty sure next week it's official but I've been bracing myself every week for the ending that has yet to come. Dear Samantha, go to the gym this weekend. It's time to make yourself a priority and that is an order. Dear Minnesota Wild, please oh please oh please win tonight. That is all. Dear hockey, I really had no idea how much I would be married to you when I married my husband. But I don't hate it because gosh, his smile is cute when he's coaching. Dear Athleta, if I buy all your clothes will my body look like your models? Because if that was a purchase guarantee I would go broke shopping your website. Dear tv watchers, what are your favorite summer shows? I don't watch a ton of tv but need a few recommendations now that all my favorites are coming to the end of their seasons. Dear Cinco de Mayo, you have come and gone and I didn't indulge in outrageous amounts of chips & salsa or drink too many margaritas. What is wrong with me? Dear iPhone monkey emojis,! Dear Victoria's Secret, I swear I get a new credit card from you every week. Dear life, I kinda like you. Sincerely, Samantha.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's Time To Work My Butt Off (literally.)

So I'm just going to be completely honest here for a few minutes. How many of you have ever bought something because it's going to motivate you to exercise? Let's say for example, clothes, new tennis shoes, an iPod, workout tanks, free weights, or even a new pair of ear buds...

Ok, so maybe it's just me that feels like that but really, I know there are some of you out there that have done the same. I just had the most hilarious conversation with Alyssa, my future SIL, when she told me she just ordered something online to make herself get her butt to the gym. Naturally, I asked if it was clothes. She responded with Nope, tried that. That didn't work either. I ordered a FitBit. I laughed so hard because I've tried buying all of those things that I previously mentioned to make me want to exercise. And just a few days before she was telling me this I had told Parker that I wanted one of those Polar Heart Rate Watches that I'm seeing all over Instagram. It lets you monitor your (dun dun dun) heart rate during physical activity and, based on your heart rate tells you how many calories you burned - which happens to be much more accurate than the actual cardio machine tells you when you press that glorious red button labeled, STOP.

And what did my selfless, good-looking, compassionate hubby get me for my birthday? Exactly what I wanted.

I'm proud to say that in 2 weeks I have lost (and kept off) 5 pounds - but I still have about 15 pounds to go before I know I will feel my best. However, I also have been out of town for about a week (plus, it was my birthday) so I managed to keep those 5 pounds off even amidst the yummy food, extra cocktails, and no chance to get to the gym. So I know that I can knock off those next 15 pounds if I put my mind to it. I think the most motivating part is how much better I feel after just 5 pounds. 5 doesn't sound like a substantial number but when I keep that weight off my stomach feels flatter, my skin feels cleaner, and I can feel my body type beginning to change. 

I would love to know if you are also working toward similar goals whether it be weight loss, strength training, healthier eating choices, or whatever! I'm a firm believer that we work harder and work better when we have a team and I would love to be a part of yours - leave me a comment, send me an e-mail, or contact me in any way so we can be each other's sidekicks throughout our fitness journeys!

Is this new watch going to force me to go to the gym? No. Is it going to make me love exercising so much I choose to do it for fun? Probably not. But it will give me an accurate reading as to how hard I'm working my body. And I'm such a numbers person that I know that seeing my heart rate when I look at my watch and seeing how it affects the number of calories I burn will push me to work even harder. 

It's like watching your fellow classmate race through the problems during the fifth-grade time tests. Give me something to beat and I'll work my butt off.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Things I Don't Understand

wine has to have calories. 'nuff said.

we don't have spring-y weather. Hello, it's May 7th. The rain and snow need to stop.

bloggers offer certain sponsorship perks and don't follow through. If I pay money for a guest post or 6 twitter mentions I want my guest post to be freaking published and I want at least 6 twitter mentions. I feel like I go above and beyond what my sponsors pay for and I don't understand why others don't do the same.

some friends are so self-absored that they can't even be bothered enough to realize that you're unhappy on the inside.

instagram isn't everybody's favorite form of social media. Love. It.

certain songs make me feel more homesick than I feel when I'm actually visiting my hometown. Christina Perri, I should probably just stop listening to you.

I can't eat whatever I want without it affecting my body weight. I mean, I get it but it sucks.

all the good shows stop in the summer. No wonder this rainy May weather is so depressing because all my shows are ending at the same time, too. SVU.... Grey's ... Parenthood...

One thing I do understand ... 

I love this little space of mine and all of you who I connect with on a daily basis. I have felt a little disconnected due to my schedule during the past few days and look forward to getting back into full blogging force again. As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for swinging by this place every once in awhile :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Girl's Weekend For The Books

I know it's Tuesday but I had such a great weekend (topped off with turning 26 on Sunday) I just have to write the usual weekend recap post, so bear with me :) Think of it as a little game of Caption That - photo, caption, photo caption, and on and on and on...

  A few weeks ago I planned to take Friday off for a girl's shopping weekend we had planned and Parker had another hockey weekend so we headed out Thursday afternoon, dropped him off in Grand Forks, and I continued on to Fargo (not the tv show).
Thursday night my dad's buddy's band played at the Ho Do downtown - great blues music and helloooo, lemondrop martini!
My mom and I headed to the cities Friday morning and spent the afternoon walking around some shops and getting pedicures. My future sister-in-law and her mom got there later that night and the four of us went to dinner with my aunt and uncle where we sipped martinis, talked about plucking hairs, and came up with our Saturday plan. I had the most delicious sea bass, finished off with a red velvet cupcake topped with a sparkler.

This would be the M.O.B. and M.O.G. at the M.O.A. Witty, huh? 

Saturday the four of us girls hit the Mall of America to find wedding day dresses for the 2 moms. 7+ hours of shopping and the martini lunch made for quite the day.

We headed home on Sunday, had a little birthday dinner, and I actually worked from Fargo on Monday so I'm just getting home to my hubby today. Sure am lovin' the rainy, dreary, unmotivating weather. But, it's better than snow. That's me, always looking at the bright side.

Monday, May 5, 2014

So Here's To Turning 26

Well I turned 26 yesterday. You don't get a sparkler on top of a red velvet cupcake for nothin'.

It sounds so weird. The first month or so after your birthday kind of feels like January when you write the date wrong on your checks and forget what year it actually is. It's funny that birthdays just aren't that big of a deal anymore. Don't get me wrong, I think everyone deserves to feel special on their birthday and birthdays should be celebrated every single year, no matter what your age. But birthdays 1-21 are the biggies - the ones where you actually feel different as each year passes. 

I remember how excited I was to turn 10 and be in the double digits. Then you can't wait to be a teenager at 13. 16 and 18 are probably the biggest of the teenage years because you reach driving age and "adulthood". I put adulthood in quotes because I'm still not quite certain that I feel like an adult. Then you think it's pretty cool to turn 20 and not be a teenager. And by the time you reach 21 there are officially no more laws telling you what you can and can't do based on your age. Even last year's birthday kind of felt like a bigger deal because a quarter of a century seems like some sort of milestone. I think they just get a little more low-key as time goes on.

The past 26 years have been good to me. I have the best family that I could possibly ask for. I already have found the love of my life and spent 3-1/2 awesome years as his wife. I've learned how to bake a pie crust and that friendship takes work. I'm still working on perfectly folding a fitted sheet but I think that's just a mom thing. I've learned how to save money while also not depriving myself of a little retail therapy every once in a while. I've kept 5 plants alive for over a year and a half and could tell in 3 seconds flat my favorite coffee drink. I think I'm a very lucky girl and I think I'm doing pretty good in this thing called life. 

So here's to turning 26 and officially starting my 27th year of life. I just have a feeling that this is going to be a good one.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Boy, this is 2 days in a row that I had a post scheduled - like, written ahead of time and scheduled to post at a certain time, social media mentions and all. Boom baby! That's been a rare occurrence around these parts lately. Maybe it's the fact that Parker's Spring Hockey season is in full force so I'm trying to soak up as much time as possible with him during the week. Or maybe it's the fact that work has been picking up, which is awesome, and the days are flying by. Or maybe it's because it's basically still winter around here and that's so damn depressing it makes a person want to sit on the couch and watch Parenthood while scrolling through their Instagram feed. Oh, that's just me?

Well this post had to be written ahead of time because I HAVE TODAY OFF! I'm headed to the Minneapolis area with my mom, future sister-in-law, and her mom for a little "Mothers of the Bride and Groom" dress shopping. I mean, that's the reason we're going but it also involves other things like miscellaneous shopping, martini lunches, pedicures, martini dinners, Caribou Coffee every morning, good tunes in the car, and just plain girl time. I'm just kidding about all the martinis. Sort of. 
Spring Shopping Weekend 2012

Sounds pretty fab right? Keep up with my shenanigans on Instagram because I've actually been quite the 'grammer lately and have been posting very regularly. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April Showers bring May "Hopes & Plans"

* I was going to title this post May Goals but I've seen my friend, Amanda, post her Hopes & Plans each week and I like the way it sounds :)
  • Make our 2014 wall calendar via Shutterfly
  • Finish a book - currently reading The Happiness Project
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day, on average
  • Tackle our spring cleaning
  • Get real photos in the 3 frames above our bed

I think they're pretty do-able, don't you? Yes, it's May and our wall calendar still shows December of 2013. Yes, the 3 frames above our bed have been up since I made our headboard last September. But, you win some you lose some and these are the things I will be focusing on this month. I should probably also add Put my birthday presents away to the list because it's my birthday in 3 days :)


And before I go let me introduce you to Linda! She lives in Canada and mostly blogs about fashion. Each day she'll share an outfit of the day and I personally think he accessories are the best part. Make sure you go check her out!

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