Friday, October 20, 2017

Recent Netflix Picks

I took an extra half day off work this week. I had an off-site training and just didn't want to drive back the opposite way to go into the office. This meant that not only could I wear comfy jeans and a flannel but that I also was able to take the rest of the day lazily watching Netflix. I'm always interested in what everyone else is watching on Netflix, so today I'd thought I'd share my recent Netflix picks, both good and bad.

1. The Queen - Have you ever watched a movie and as you're watching it don't think you're enjoying it that much, but once it's over you discover you really enjoyed it? Because that's exactly how I felt about this one. It's explained as being about how the Queen deals with the death of Princess Diana, but it's really about how the Queen and Tony Blair deal with each other after the death of Princess Diana. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars

2. Beauty and the Beast - After watching Moana every single night for two months while I went to sleep I've decided to switch it up and watch another Disney princess. I didn't want to like this one when I first saw it in theaters, but the more I watch it the more I love it. Is it better than the animated classic? I think it just might be. I'd give it 5 out of 5 stars

3. Easy Virtue - The description for this one is correct, yet it wasn't anything like what I was expecting. Jessica Biel is an American who's just married an Englishman and trying to fit into his family who includes Colin Firth. If you're a Colin Firth fan, and let's be real who isn't, I'd suggest this one. The period outfits are fun too. I'd give this 3 out of 5 stars

4. Cable Girls- The plot of this one sounds so good but it just didn't deliver for me. It centers around 4 women working as cable operations in 1920s Spain. I struggled to make it through the entire season, but ultimately finished so it would get off my "continue watching" tab. I think the fact that it's dubbed into English and the mouths don't exactly match up also threw me off. I'd give it 1 out of 5 stars.

5. The Giver - I've never read The Giver, because of that I honestly had no idea what to expect, but it wasn't this. I usually really like this type of dystopia story, but I just couldn't really get into this one. I fell asleep halfway into it the first time I tried watching, so I think I need to watch it again. I'd give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

6. Adventures in Babysitting - This one had been in my list to watch for so long it had gotten to the point where I needed to either watch it or remove it. And y'all I'm so glad I watched it! This was easily my favorite on this list. Some parts were pretty predictable but it was still funny. I'd give it 5 out of 5 stars

7. Desk Set - Anything with Katharine Hepburn in it is bound to be good. She is a reference librarian who's job is in jeopardy when Spencer Tracy tries to modernize the department with a computer. I thought it was really interesting that even in the 1950s the idea of machines taking jobs of humans was a thing. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I'm also working my way through the West Wing, and I'm so obsessed I honestly have no idea why I waited so long to watch it. What have you watched on Netflix lately?

See my other Netflix suggestions here and here

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Five Stages of Grief as Told by Taylor Swift Songs

I always say there's a Taylor Swift song for everything. Regardless of how you feel about her as a person, you have to admit the girl is talented. I am a huge Taylor fan (don't believe me? Just type taylor swift in that search box on the left and look at all the results pop up) so no matter what emotions I'm feeling you can bet I know a Taylor song to play on repeat to get me through it. I recently went down rabbit hole of Taylor Swift videos on Youtube so I thought I'd put my knowledge to use and share the five stages of grief as told my Taylor Swift songs.

1. Denial

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression -  (if you can watch this without tearing up you have emotions of steal)

5. Acceptance

All Taylor Swift songs are so emotional there were a few I was torn between for each stage. Do you agree with my picks? Which would you have switched?

Monday, October 9, 2017

five easy weeknight recipes

One of my 2018 goals was to start cooking at home more and overall I've been pretty successful. I've always enjoyed cooking but cooking for one is a little intimidating and seems like so much more effort than just throwing a Lean Cuisine in the microwave. While that initial cooking is obviously more work it's always worth it plus you end up with leftovers for the rest of the week! Today I wanted to share five easy weeknight recipes. These are some of my favorites that I keep going back to, perfecting my recipe.

1. Stuffed Bell Peppers - My current favorite meal to make. I cheat and always make these after I've made ground beef tacos because it is the perfect way to use the leftover meat and Mexican rice. There are tons of great recipes for these all over Pinterest so you can experiment until you find your favorite. I bake mine empty for about 25 minutes at 400 than fill with leftover taco meat, mexican rice, salsa, and cheese and pop back in the oven for about another 15-20 minutes.

2. Cowboy Casserole - This is one of my favorite meals because it's so simple yet so filling, plus it freezes well for leftovers down the road. It's one of those meals that you can serve by it's self for an entire meal or with a side salad or cup of soup if you're trying to be fancy.

3. Foil Sausage Packets - The easiest clean up that exists in cooking. Just combine chopped veggies and smoked sausage with some seasoning and EVOO in little tin foil packets throw in the oven on 400 for about 40 minutes (depends on veggies / chopping size). I really like sweet potatoes, bell pepper, and zucchini with garlic salt and red pepper flakes.

4. Stuffed Mushroom Caps - One of my favorite dishes to prepare when I'm trying to add more veggies to my diet and cut the carbs. This version is stuffed with spinach, bacon, and cheese, but you could do so many variations. Recently I've been opting for the mini caps instead of the giant ones because eating three little caps is more fun than just one big one.

5. Crockpot Pork Chops - This is one of my favorite crockpot meals because you can easily switch up the sides depending on what's on sale at the grocery store. Not ideal for a day you have to work because they only take about 6 hours to cook, but oh so perfect on a day when you're bogged down with little errands and house chores.

What are some of your favorite easy weeknight recipes?

Friday, October 6, 2017

October Goals

Can you believe it's already October? We've already gotten our first snow fall of the season here in Vail and full blown winter is just around the corner. Today I'm going to share my October goals, but first I wanted to talk about my September goals. I'd say I was successful about 50% of the way with each one, except for eating healthy. I did a really good job at this one because I had a vacation planned at the end of the month. Just by watching what I was eating and incorporating more salads and less sweets and alcohol I lost 9 pounds last month! So hopefully that willpower will transfer to my October goals!

1. Continue to eat healthy - I did so well last month I'm hoping to do just as well in October and lose another 9 pounds. Now this is going to be hard because October is the start of pumpkin everything season, and I love pumpkin. But I'm going to continue to eat more broccoli and less ice cream and hopefully all the pumpkin yumminess I enjoy won't do as much damage.

2. Read a book - I read about 3/4 of my book last month, but didn't love it. Honestly if it hadn't been my goal I wouldn't have read that much. This month I'm go to reread a favorite which I think might be what I need to jump start my reading habit again.

3. Grow my Instagram - I've been hovering just under 700 followers for so long it's not even funny. I'll go up to 700 and then drop back down 666 (I wish this were a joke) and then go back up and back down. It's been a never-ending cycle and I'm ready for it to end. To make it to 700 and stay there is my goals for October. I'm really going to focus on posting quality content and engaging with other users to grow. Plus I bought this book which will hopefully make me Instagram famous.

4. Declutter - I never did a good spring cleaning of my closet so October seems like the perfect time to do one before winter really sets in. Now that I don't have to wear a uniform to work I need to take a good look at my closet and make sure I have things to wear when it's below freezing. One way I'm doing this is through Poshmark. I've been going through my closet and listing things I no longer wear and making a little cash! Go share my closet (user name hill_goodfellow) and help me declutter!

And those are my goals for October. Hopefully with just four goals it'll be easier to make them happen. What are your goals this month?

Monday, September 25, 2017

fall playlist

As I've been getting back into the habit of blogging more often I've started to get back into the habit of making playlists. Today I'm heading to Vegas so I didn't have a ton of time to get a post written so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share my fall playlist with you!

And can I just say thank goodness Taylor Swift music is back on Spotify!

What's on your fall playlist?

Friday, September 22, 2017

five things you may not know about me

I feel like being an over sharer today, so I'm going to talk about the one subject upon which I'm an expert, myself. Remember way back in the beginning of blogging when we had Friday Introductions and Friday Five posts? Today I'm throwing it back and doing a Friday Five, Friday Introduction post!

1. I would love to one day write a children's book. Reading was such a huge part of my life growing up and is still one of my favorite pastimes. I attribute this to my mom being a kindergarten teacher and reading to us constantly. It would be the ultimate accomplishment to write the next Amelia Bedelia or Junie B. Jones.

2. I've never broken a bone, but I have dislocated my knee cap. I did it in 5th grade playing soccer and had to sit out the entire season. I refer to it as my career ending injury so people think I was better than I actually was. I've also twisted my ankle a few times, including the time in middle school when I tripped over my backpack.

3. Washington DC is my favorite city and I've always been interested in politics. I interned on Capitol Hill one summer and also had the chance to lobby as part of a PAC in college. For a long time I thought I wanted to work in political communications and being the White House Press Secretary was my dream job. Those are obviously no longer my dreams, but I do think I'll always have an interest in politics.

4. I started college as an elementary education major and really thought I wanted to teach kindergarten. I made the change two days before I was supposed to register for sophomore year classes. Thanks to spending that summer on campus working as a camp counselor and taking classes I was still able to graduate on time. Why journalism? It was my pick because the building was full centrally located on campus and full of brand new computer labs.

5. I hate olives. Just the thought of eating one makes me gag. When I was little I ate 3 pieces of Popeyes spicy fried chicken followed by one black olive and threw up. Still to this day I'm convinced it was from the olive and not the overload of chicken.

I'd love to hear a random fact about you!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cowboy Casserole

This casserole is one of my favorite fall meals. It's really easy, but comforting and hearty. With the temperatures dropping I'm starting to crave hot comforting hearty meals. A salad just isn't something I crave in September haha. This cowboy casserole is perfect for a chilly fall night.

Cook ground beef like you would for tacos. I just add a little taco seasoning and salsa. Drain and fill the bottom of a greased baking pan. Add a handful of grated cheddar or taco mix cheese.

Mix a box of cornbread exactly as it instructs on the box. Spread on top of the beef mixture.

Generously top with more cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes

This serves well with a black bean and corn salad or a bowl of tortilla soup.

What's one of your favorite fall meals?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

3 alternative ways to donate after a natural disaster

Following Hurricane Harvey I shared my personal hurricane story. I thought that would be the last time I'd have to think about this type of natural disaster until next year. The fact that there would be two major storms in a year just wasn't even a thought in my mind. Maybe that's why even all the way here in my tiny mountain town across the country Irma is giving me anxiety.

Florida is a special place for my family. My great grandparents owned a Key and my dad spent his summers growing up down there. The Florida Keys are truly my dad's happy place. We spent the Christmas after Katrina down there in an effort to forget that our new home was a tiny apartment in north Alabama. That vacation was the first time I was able to almost forget how non-normal my life had become. I also have family still in the Keys. Thankfully most of them were able to evacuate safely and are staying with my parents in Mississippi. But I do still have some relatives acting as first responders down there. Please keep them in your prayers.

With big disasters there is always push to donate to big national organizations, but they often aren't the most helpful. Yes it's easy to text a number and donate $10, but out of that $10 you donate probably only $2 is actually going to people in need. Here are 3 alternative ways to donate after a natural disaster.

1. Organizations you have a connection to - Look toward your alma mater donating to alumni chapters in the destroyed areas or scholarship funds that benefit students from affected areas. Large national organizations may be doing the same thing for local chapters. My sorority has a fund specifically for sisters going through extreme distress due to natural disasters.

2. Local organizations - Look for organizations based in the devastated areas. Not only are you guaranteed your donation is going to the people in need, but these organizations often fill unique needs. Think diaper banks, schools, churches, etc.

3. Ask locals - If you know people in the areas ask them what they need. This is especially true for people who evacuated and aren't able to return. After Katrina friends of family furnished our apartment in Birmingham and provided school supplies, things we desperately needed in order to try and move onto a normal life again. If you have friends who didn't need to evacuate or were able to return, ask them where you should donate. They are the ones actually there seeing who is helping and how much.

What other ways have you heard of to help after a natural disaster?

Friday, September 8, 2017

My thoughts on the newest Bachelor

The news dropped yesterday that ABC was finally ready to announce the next bachelor. While I personally was hoping for Eric from this last season I kinda had a feeling that wasn't going to happen. I don't think ABC was ready to have back to back minority stars, but that's a discussion I'm not trying to start here. The rest of the world wanted Peter or Dean, but I never saw the appeal in either of them.

I'm actually thrilled in their picking Arie. For the first time in a long time I'm actually looking forward to this season and here's why

1. Emily not giving the final rose to Arie is still the biggest surprise in Bachelor history. Like I'm still surprised it happened. For those of you who don't remember Emily was all about Arie, like all about him. She was already talking about home towns on like week 3. But in the most dramatic moment in Bachelor history Emily sent Arie home and gave the final rose to Jef with one F. I don't know who was the bachelor the next season, but it should have been Arie. (edited to say I just looked it up and it was Sean Lowe, so now I understand why they didn't pick him the first go round)

2. Arie is 35 which is an appropriate age to use alternative means of finding love. I feel like so many contestants are so young, way too young to go on a reality show to find love. When you're 22 and on the Bachelor you're not there to find love, you're there to become famous. An older Bachelor gives me hope for older contestants all around and more looking for real love.

3. Emily Maynard's season was the first whole season of the Bachelor franchise I watched. My younger sister and I watched together every week; it was our thing. So I guess you could say having Arie as the newest Bachelor makes me nostalgic.

What are your thoughts on the newest Bachelor?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September Goals

It's been a long time since I've done one of these posts, but I'm feeling inspired to make September great. Can you believe 2017 is almost over!? Seriously where has the year gone? I was looking back at my goals for this year and realized I've accomplished almost none of them. I don't want to say that's because I haven't been doing these monthly goals list, but I certainly think it's contributed to the problem.

1. Blog Consistently - Honestly I've been a terrible blogger the first half of this year, hopefully I can turn that around in the last bit of the year. I'm trying to be better about writing ideas for posts down so that when I have time to write I have a list of topics to pick from.

2. Eat Healthy - My roommate is doing weight watchers and has had great success with it and it's inspiring me to eat healthy. I'm not thinking of it as a diet, more being conscious of what I'm putting in my body. We've gotten rid of almost all the junk food in the house and replaced it with fresh fruits and veggies and healthy snacks. My current go to meal is a spinach salad with strawberries, sunflower seeds, boiled egg, and bacon with a oil and vinegar dressing.

3. Read a Book - It's been way too long since I've finished a book. I keep borrowing from the library and then lose interest in it before I can finish. But this month I'm determined to finish one. I picked up a new one from the new and recommended section of my library and I'm hoping this will be the one to get me out of my reading funk.

4. Get Enough Sleep - This is the first time in my life I've had a mostly 9-5 job and my body doesn't exactly know how to handle it. I was either use to being up super early so I'd fall asleep early or working till late and being able to sleep in with no alarm. I'm trying to be better about getting in bed and turning off the lights at a reasonable hour.

5. Don't Put Things Off - By things I mostly mean laundry. I've been absolutely horrible with laundry the past couple of months. I've been putting it off until its overflowing from the basket and I'm down to my last pair of clean underwear. I want to do it every week wether I feel I need to or not.

What are your goals this month?

Friday, September 1, 2017

What I'd do if I won the lottery

You're not allowed to sell lottery tickets in Mississippi so ever since I was young I've been fascinated by it. It was always big excitement when we'd visit my grandparents in New Orleans to get a scratch off ticket. We were little so $2 seemed like a fortune! I still like to try my luck and buy a scratch off ticket from the grocery store every now and then. I've never won but I'm hopeful.

I saw someone won $759 million in the Powerball last week. Whenever that happens I always think about what I'd do if I won that much money.

1. I would take it in a lump sum. I trust my ability to manage money more than the people at Powerball. I also wouldn't want a press conference announcing I'd won.
2. I'd pay off all my debt and my parents debt. My parents have always stressed the importance of living within your means so this wouldn't be much, but I think is the obvious first thing to do
3. I'd buy a house in Vail. I don't know that I'll always live in Vail but even if I move this would be a good investment. I'd love to buy a place like this one and put all those hours of watching HGTV to good use.
4. I'd hire a financial advisor and invest, invest, invest. I'll be the first to admit I didn't learn near enough in my semester economics class in high school. When I try to read articles about investing in stocks I feel like I'm reading Russian, so I know I'd need to hire someone to help.
5. I'd take a fun trip. Nothing too extravagant, because with that kind of money I'll be taking vacations for years. I think I'd go to Ireland because I always thought I'd go somewhere in Europe for my 25th birthday but I just didn't have the money or time. Which brings me to the 6th thing I'd do
6. I'd finish out the season and then quit my job. I am so lucky to truly be working my dream job, but I wouldn't want to work 40 hours a week and mine just isn't something that would work part time.
7. Because I wasn't working full time I'd need to find something to fill my time with. I'd want to go back to school to get my masters. I don't know exactly what I'd want to get it in or where, but I loved school and would jump at the chance to go back and continue learning.
8. After that I'd want to go back to working part time. Call it cheesy but there is just something so fulfilling about getting a pay check. I'm not saying I'd work forever, but the retired lifestyle seems like it'd be lonely at 26.

And that's about all I've figured out. I've always said it says a lot about a person by what they'd do with that much money. What would you do if you won that much money?
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

5 ways to stay motivated at work

I started my new job almost two months ago and I'm happy report that it is every bit of wonderful that I was hoping it would be! I love the girls on my team, having my own space, and working with such interesting and diverse clients. One thing that has been a major change for me is working on my own set of tasks that I'm solely responsible for completing. Having this sense of ownership is so fulfilling and honestly something I've been craving professionally. But getting all this done does require an amount of motivation I've never needed before. I've reached back into my college days and resurrected my 5 ways to stay motivated at work.
1. Make a to do list - I am a very visual person so seeing my tasks for the day is the only way I'm going to get anything done. I start each day by making my list of everything I want to accomplish; I even include meetings so I can get the satisfaction of marking them done.

2. Take a break - Even the most focused, motivated person needs a break every now and then. Maybe it's a 10 minute social media break (I don't have enough self control for this) or just going to refill your water bottle, but giving my mind a quick 10 minute break always helps me refocus on my tasks. When the weather is nice I like to take a quick walk around the building outside to get some fresh air; once the snow starts back I'm really going to miss this type of break!

3. Eat a snack - Y'all hanger is a serious curse in my life. Not only do I get unpleasant when I'm hungry, but I literally can't focus on anything else. I always keep a few snacks in my desk drawer for emergencies. And if things ever get really desperate Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is right outside my office, and their chocolate covered gummy bears cure all.

4. Change your surroundings - Most of us, myself included, don't have the luxury of multiple offices to work in when you hit a rut, but there are other ways to change things up. I like to move from my desk to the small conference table in my office when I feel like I need to stay motivated. I've also found it helpful to change up my Pandora station.

5. Eliminate Distractions - I very easily get distracted by my phone so I put it away in my bag while I'm working. I know myself well enough to know I just don't have the will power to not pick it up every time I see a notification. And Lord help me if I post to Instagram during lunch and then leave it on my desk as all the Likes come through; you can just kiss any chance of productivity goodbye for the rest of the day!

What are your tips to staying motivated at work?

Monday, August 28, 2017

you are not alone

My heart has absolutely been breaking for all those impacted by hurricane Harvey. There aren't accurate words to describe that level of destruction. A hurricane is so much more than just the loss of stuff. Stuff can be replaced. A hurricane takes your sense of security, happiness, normalcy, and self. These things can't just be bought at Target or Home Depot.

When I was 14 hurricane Katrina took all that away from me. 14 is already a difficult enough stage of life to be in, imagine doing it in those conditions. It's no exaggeration to say that was the lowest point of my life. The only way you'll ever understand that level of sadness is if you've gone through something similar so I won't even try to explain it. I will say it took 4 years for me to feel whole again. I'm still not totally over it; truth be told I don't think there is a way to ever be totally over destruction like that. I am a survivor, but it took a long time for me to feel that way.

To every person feeling the destruction of Harvey I want to say you are not alone. It's okay to cry and throw the biggest pity party of your life. It's okay to not feel okay. It's okay to feel utterly hopeless and helpless. Know it does get better. You will be more than okay, one day you'll be happy again. You are a survivor and one day you'll feel like one.

So this year instead of shopping the Lilly Pulitzer Sale I'm going to donate that money to those in need. I don't need a brightly printed shift dress, but those people need help and hope.

Friday, August 18, 2017

An open letter to the girl who didn't get in her first choice sorority

I started this post two years ago, but just never hit publish. With recruitment season being in full swing I thought now was a great time to finally share. Image result for hey girl

Hey Girl,

So Bid Day came and went and it wasn't like you imagined. You had pictured yourself opening that envelope and seeing a different president's signature, a different crest, a different set of letters.

Guess what, you aren't alone. There is some girl in the "top" house on your campus a little bit upset because she didn't get the house she had really wanted. Maybe she's a freshmen or maybe she's a senior who's just realized her experience hasn't been what she always dreamed it would be. I was you.  I didn't get my first choice house and you know what, I had a much better sorority experience than any of my friends in my first choice house. When I look back on it now I honestly can't imagine being in any other house than my own. I know it's corny to say trust the system because it works, but it honestly works.

The set of letters you'll wear on your tshirts for the next four years don't define you; what you do in those letters define you. So finish your pity party and realize you're in for the best four years of your life. There's a reason they're called your sorority sisters. These women will become your family, your home away from home, your study buddies, your shotgun riders for late night taco bell. They'll be there when Justin cheats on you with that horrible girl from his biology lab, and they'll be there with the biggest smiles and loudest squeals of delight when Ryan asks you to be his wife.

So open you heart, open your mind, and get ready for the best adventure of your life. And when all else fails go look at your wiki page and find the list of all your famous sisters or scroll your national's Instagram feed.

Friday, July 21, 2017


Currently I'm

Loving ..... the summer! Summer has always been my favorite season but it truly is something special here in the mountains.

Wishing ..... there were more hours in the day. I'm loving my new job but y'all there is so much to learn and just not enough time to learn it

Drinking ..... Lime LaCroix. I was a hard core grapefruit or nothing fan for a long time but right now I'm all about the lime

Watching ..... I shared my Netflix list the other day, but on actual tv I'm loving the Bold Type on Freeform and I'm not ashamed to say I'm highly anticipating Descendants 2 Disney Channel

Listening to ..... Moon Taxi. When I didn't renew the XM radio in my car I was stuck with the two channels I can pick up. One of those channels is exclusively in Spanish. So needless to say I've been listening to the only CD I have in my car which happens to be Moon Taxi.

What are you up to currently?

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

3 things to remember in a long distance relationship

I don't talk about my personal life a lot on here, but today I'm going to make an exception to talk about my boyfriend. He works for another part of the same resort I work for, but he's based in an office about 45 minutes away from me. Far enough that we don't see each other everyday, but still close enough for a couple date nights a week. While it's not an ideal arrangement I've learned to really make the best of the distance. In five years I think I'll really appreciate the fact that I had a successful long distance relationship because I think it's so important to still grow and develop as individuals. Here are my three things to remember in a long distance relationship.

1. Really enjoy the time you spend together - One thing that's great about not being able to see each other daily is that we still plan fun dates. Last weekend we went to the farmers market in town and spent the afternoon wandering around looking at the different booths. Even when we're doing normal things like cooking a meal or just running errands it's more special because it's something we don't get to do every day.

2. Understand each other have a life outside of your relationship - When you don't see each other everyday it's normal to want to stay looped into what they're doing, but it's important to remember to give each other space. We each have our own jobs and friends in our towns and sometimes these things take time away from our being together. Having these outside lives is healthy.

3. Trust each other - Trust is essential in every relationship, but even more so in a long distance relationship. Lack of trust causes suspicion and resentment which is never good in any type of relationship. If you don't have trust it's just going to lead to a whole laundry list of other problems down the road.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? How'd you make it work?

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Monday, July 17, 2017

What you should be watching on Netflix

I've been trying to clear out my Netflix list for a while now. Just as I think I've made significant progress it's a new month and a whole slew of new titles are added that I just have to see. I had a long weekend off before starting my new job and did some damage so I thought I'd share my favorites with you today.

1. Girlboss - I was so stoked to see this Netflix original because I was a big fan of the book. If you're looking for a fun light hearted series I highly recommend it.

2. The Woman in Gold - The best movie I've seen on Netflix recently. It's the true story of a Jewish woman who is fighting for the return on family painting stolen by the Nazis. It's very moving and really makes you think.

3. Madam Secretary - I am obsessed with this show. My love of politics is well documented so this show is really a no brainer. What I really enjoy is that it's realistic without being too realistic.

4. Moana - Confession I watch this movie almost every night before bed. I'm slightly obsessed with the crab, Tamatoa. And how cool is it that the same guy who did Hamilton did this!?

Next up on my list is the Hart of Dixie. What are you watching on Netflix?

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Out West Wednesday : Two Weeks Notice

A couple weeks ago, two to be exact, I put in my notice at my current job. The job I had worked my butt off to get promoted into with the same hotel I've been working at since moving out here. Making that decision was honestly one of the most difficult I've ever made. You see I learned that when you have a job you genuinely enjoy with people who make work fun it's hard to leave. I never thought I'd enjoy working at a hotel front desk, but I took the time and effort to learn the role, become good at it, and it was honestly very fulfilling. But all good things must come to an end.

Starting Monday I will be starting my dream job. Not my ultimate dream job, but my dream goal job when I made the decision to move to Vail. When I decided to pick up my life and move across the country it wasn't because I had this deep desire to work at a hotel front desk. Taking that front desk job was a step back that I needed to take to fill in the missing pieces in my experience. It gave me the luxury hospitality experience I knew I'd need in the future. I made that decision to move in hopes of ultimately getting an events job in a luxury hotel. And y'all I did it!

Come Monday morning I'll begin working as an events coordinator at our sister hotel here in Vail. I am so excited for this transition and the fact that the plan I put together way back in the fall of 2015 is finally coming together. Hard work pays off but sometimes you have to take a step back to make all the pieces fall together. So if anyone is looking to get married or hold a corporate event in Vail let me know, I'd be thrilled to work with you to make your event happen.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Everything we did in Disneyland

Last month I made my first trip to the West Coast. You can read about our first stop in San Diego in this post. Today I'm going to talk about the second part of our vacation, Disneyland! This was my first time to visit Disneyland and first time at any Disney park since I was 12. Maybe I just didn't notice it but when I was younger I never realized adults would do Disney without children. But I'm here to tell you Disney in your mid 20s childless is the best time to go. I kept seeing these parents carrying their children and thinking I'm so glad I don't have another human attached to me right now, and don't even get me started on the stroller corrals.

Today I'm sharing all the attractions we enjoyed and a brief description of them. Obviously everyone has their own taste and likes and dislikes so remember this is just my opinion.

1. Toy Story Midway Mania - I'm very competitive and like to make bets for things like loser buys first snack, so I really enjoyed this ride. For the record I had to buy first snack

2. Soaring - Top 5 Rides - This one is so well done and I really appreciated that I felt like I was soaring and not being jerked around

3. Star Tours - Bottom 3 Rides - Hands down my least favorite part of the day. I'm not a huge Star Wars fan plus this one jerks around so much I felt a little sick afterwards.

4. Lugi's Rollickn Roadsters - Fun enough but I not worth it if the line is 20 minutes or longer

5. Monster's Inc.- I'm a big Monster's Inc fan so this ride is on my would ride again list for sure

6. The Little Mermaid - My favorite part is hands down the music because let's be real The Little Mermaid has some of the best songs

7. Peter Pan - Bottom 3 Rides - I feel like I'm going to catch some flack for this one, but it's honestly not worth the hype. We ended up waiting in line two different times before it broke down (twice) and then we eventually were able to ride. All that said, if you've never ridden it's worth a ride.

8. Radator Springs Racers - Fun enough, but unless you have a FastPass not worth the extra long waits

9. Haunted Mansion - a true classic not to be skipped

10. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - This is probably my least favorite of the mountain rides so if you have to skip one it'd be this

11. HyperSpace Mountain - Top 5 Rides - We went when they still had the StarWars overlay which was fun. I was actually surprised how much I loved this one. I also really liked that you get to sit next to someone whereas in DisneyWorld you're just single file.

12. Splash Mountain - A classic that shouldn't be missed! I sat front row and honestly didn't get that soaked, but saw many others getting off that looked like they'd gone swimming. Also I think it's so funny that this is such an iconic Disney ride yet very few know the backstory of Song of the South

13. Grizzly River Run - I think this one is seriously underrated, just be prepared to get wet!

14. Snow White - This is one of the classic slow dark rides in Fantasyland right behind the Castle. If you aren't a huge Snow White fan (full disclosure she's my favorite) you can probably skip this one

15. Mr. Toad - Top 5 Rides - This is my childhood favorite and honestly 90% of the reason I wanted to visit Disneyland. When they removed it at Disney World I wrote a letter expressing my displeasure

16. Alice in Wonderland (not the teacups) - This is one of the rides that is unique to Disneyland. It's fun and silly with lots of bright colors

17. Pirates of the Caribbean - Did you even go to Disney if you don't ride Pirates? Beware the drop is bigger than the one in Disney World and you will feel like you're sitting in water for the whole ride

18. Jungle Cruise - If you're not into dad jokes this is one to skip; however, I am a big fan of dad jokes and love this ride

19. It's a Small World - Need a break from the heat? This is the ride for you, just make sure you're not in hurry because it is a slow ride. Be sure to be on the lookout for all the updated Disney characters!

20. Enchanted Tiki Room - Top 5 Rides - This is another childhood favorite of mine. Bonus points for being able to eat your Dole Whip inside!

21. Buzz Lightyear - Bottom 3 Rides This is another ride that honestly I could have skipped. It's the same concept as the Toy Story Midway Mania in California Adventure, except less fun and more difficult

22. Matterhorn Bobsleds - Top 5 Rides - The mountain ride unique to Disneyland. We went right at closing so the nighttime views of the park were really fun and made the experience.

All in all I think 22 rides is pretty impressive, considering we hit all the major ones we wanted to. Indiana Jones (closed for refurbishment), Tea Cups (mainly because they're iconic), and Nemo (honestly forgot it was even a thing) were the only rides I was really interested in that we didn't do. We also caught the beginning of the Main Street Electrical Parade, one of my favorite attractions from when I was younger; if you've never seen it or haven't since you were a kid I highly suggest going in the next two months so you can watch one more time before it retires forever.

What's your favorite Disneyland attraction?

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Friday, June 2, 2017

First Timer's Guide to San Diego

Today I'm sharing the first of my California vacation travel posts. This was my first time to the West Coast and originally I thought I'd call it a success so long as there were no earthquakes during our visit. I'm happy to report there were no earthquakes but the trip was a success for more than just that reason. Our first stop was San Diego and that's what I'm going to break down today!

We flew into San Diego International Airport which was really cool because it's right in the middle of the city. As you're flying in you're low enough to see the palm trees and traditional Spanish style architecture. As soon as we were out the airport the smell of salt water immediately did this coastal girl's heart good.

We stayed in the Gaslamp District at the historic St. James Hotel. It's now owned by Wyndham but has a charming boutique feel. There was no pool but they did have a cool rooftop patio with great views of the city that totally made up for it. My favorite part was the old fashioned elevator complete with the double doors you had to open yourself. My other favorite part was the location. We were a short walk to Petco Park, which was our first event of the trip.

The original reason we decided to visit San Diego was to go to a baseball game. Since the Rangers played really early in Denver this year and we missed the game we thought it'd be fun to go see them play somewhere else. Before the game we stopped at a local spot next to the stadium and grabbed a couple beers before heading into the game. A friend from work has season tickets that we used and had fun seats for the game. The seats were about the only fun part of the game as the Rangers took a serious beat down that night. Ironically the next day they gave a beat down of their own but we had decided not to go to back to back games.

The next day we slept in after a late night of drinking. In much need of something to cure our hangovers we decided to head to a local burger spot, Hodad's, that my friend had recommended. These burgers did not disappoint! One way I judge restaurants is by the people eating inside, this downtown location had a mix of business professionals on their lunch breaks and tourists like us; a sure fire sign you're in for a good meal For those wondering, I looked it up and a hodad is someone who spends time at the beach and thinks he knows how to surf but really doesn't.

Our next stop was the famous San Diego Zoo, just a quick Uber ride away. We had picked up a discount coupon from our hotel which I highly recommend because this is not a cheap ticket. The zoo really is spectacular with enough animals that everyone is bound to find their favorite. Included in your ticket is a bus tour and gondola that takes you from the front to the back of the zoo and drops you off right at my favorite animal, the polar bears! Fun fact the San Diego Zoo is one of only four places to see Giant Pandas in the USA! Double fun fact - I've seen them in three of those spots!

before I got sick on the boat - hint take the seasick medication even if you never get seasick 

The next day we started the morning with a whale watching tour. Sadly we did not spot any whales, only common dolphins and an ocean sun fish, oh whale. I found a two for one groupon for San Diego Whale Watch and would highly recommend them to anyone. We went kinda in between migration periods so our chance of spotting a whale was low, but I'm confident had there been any in the area we would have found them. The majority of the people on our tour were actually a whale watching club, so I felt confident that we chose the best company to ride.

That afternoon we decided to tour the Midway. This is something I never would have thought to do, as I've been on battle ship tours before, but it was so fun. It's a self guided tour with audio that gives you little details; I think there were something like 100 stops you could listen to. It covered in detail the different living areas including the dining rooms for the different levels of sailors aboard. On the flight deck they have all types of different planes and helicopters to view too. If you have any interest in the military this is a can't miss attraction, just be prepared to walk up and down lots of narrow steep stairs.

After returning to our hotel to change and relax a little we picked up our rental car and drove across the bridge to Coronado. Driving was really fun because we kept seeing signs telling us how far we were from the border, hint it's not far at all! Coronado is the perfect little vacation beach town; I wish we'd had more time to explore it. We briefly walked through Hotel Del Coronado which was lovely and reminded me of a Disney World Resort. They were hosting a reception for the California GOP that I wanted to crash but didn't because it was late.

I've saved the best part for last. If you pay no attention to anything else in this post remember this, my favorite meal of the trip. We had dinner at Brigantine Seafood in Coronado and I'm not kidding when I say I'm literally still dreaming of that meal. I grew up on the water and am picky about my seafood but that may have been the best I've ever had. I ordered a seasonal grilled tuna dish that have cauliflower puree and shaved brussels sprouts. We also went on half price bottle of wine night which only enhanced our experience!

The next morning we woke up before the sun to get in our rental and drive north! Be sure to check back next week to read the second part of my California vacation!

Have you ever been to San Diego? What was your favorite part?

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Friday, May 26, 2017

3 ways to make returning after vacation easier

Is it just me or is returning from vacation the least pleasurable experience in life? You're off having a great time and then all of sudden you're back to real life with all your responsibilities. After my last vacation I really had a hard time adjusting back to real life so I started thinking about ways to make returning after vacation easier and came up with these three ways.

1. Take care of major financial obligations - Do you have rent, car insurance, or utilities due between the time you return after vacation and your next pay check? If so make sure to pay all these large bills before you head out on vacation. Making sure your financial obligations are taken care of means you don't have to worry about how much you're spending on fun dinners or souvenir.

2. Give yourself time - I don't care how good of a plane sleeper you are, you always come back from vacation tired. The best way to make returning after vacation easier is to ensure you set yourself up for a good night's rest before returning to real life. Obviously you can't account for travel delays, something that killed us on my California trip, but when possible making sure you give yourself time to relax and get that full 8 hours will make your life easier.

3. Unpack and get back into your routine right away - Returning after vacation sucks, there's no way around it, but getting back into your everyday routine as quickly as possible makes it easier. There is nothing I hate more than unpacking my bags, so I find ripping that bandaid off and getting it done right away is my best bet. Even if I just unpack and throw everything in the hamper and put the suitcase away I feel like returning after vacation is already easier.

What are your tips to make returning after vacation easier?

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

This past weekend the newly crowned Miss USA caused a stir with her response to the final question before being crowned. What do you consider feminism to be and do you consider yourself a feminist?  What a loaded question, right?

I've never considered myself a feminist. You'll never find me burning a bra or feeling offended by a gentlemanly gesture. I'll gladly stop and wait for a door to be held open for me. I'm first in line to have someone else carry a heavy box or do any handy work. But watching these three women give their responses to this prompt I suddenly had a change of heart.

A little throwback to my one pageant. RIP to my high school skinny body  

A feminist is someone who believes all females are capable of achieving anything they put their minds to achieving. And yes I do consider myself a feminist. My mom always says I live my life by the saying "she believed she could so she did."  I think that saying perfectly embodies my new idea of what a feminist truly is. With this new idea of feminism I think the world needs a few more feminists.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

new playlist : disney edition

As I mentioned earlier this week I'm heading on vacation come Monday! To say I've been obsessed with all things Disney lately would be an extreme understatement. I keep finding myself googling things like "what to wear to disneyland" and "disneyland for first timers without children" and "best disneyland snacks." I've also been binge watching Disneyland youtube videos and following all the disney instagrams. Because of this I've also been listening to Disney songs nonstop. I thought it'd be fun to share my current spotify playlist with y'all today! Because Disney songs should be played and appreciated all the time!

What's your favorite Disney song?

PS - Make sure you're following along on instagram and snapchat (hill_goodfellow) to catch all my vacation adventures! Also be sure to share any of your recommendations!

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Monday, May 1, 2017

my airport routine

One week from today I'm heading on my first real vacation of the year. My boyfriend and I are going to San Diego and then driving up to Anaheim to do Disneyland! He was born in LA but moved to Texas when he was young so it's both our first times really to visit. All I've been able to think about since we booked our flights was this trip so obviously today's post had to revolve around it too! We're flying (obviously) so since I've already shared my airport essentials I thought it'd be fun to share my airport routine. One thing I really like about traveling with other people is to see how they do the airport. Everyone has a different airport routine I've learned. What makes a good travel companion is someone who you can mix and match airport routines with!

I like to arrive to the airport two hours before departure. I've never had to run to make a first flight and don't want to start any time soon! This gives me plenty of time to check my bag ( I usually fly Southwest so obviously I'm taking advantage of that free checked bag) and get them to print me a boarding pass. I usually use the app on my phone for actual boarding, but I like having a physical back up, plus the printed boarding pass looks the best for Instagram photos.

Next I head to security where I try to only think positive thoughts and be as polite as possible. This practice of only putting out positive vibes has gotten me past TSA relatively quickly overtime. My other trick is to not put on any jewelry for the day until I've gotten past security. If I'm not heading out first thing in the morning on the way to the airport I'm stashing all my jewelry in a small pouch in my tote because nobody wants to be the girl that takes 15 minutes to take her 12 bracelets off! Also I try to always wear an easy slip on and off shoe, nobody has times for laces.

Once I'm past security I like to head to my terminal and find a bathroom. This allows me to put my jewelry back on and fix my hair and makeup. Next I need snacks. I don't care what time it is I always like to have snacks in my bag for the flight. I'm probably not going to eat them until later when I'm in my hotel room, but just knowing I have them relaxes me. I'm usually going to grab pretzels because I feel like they're a solid any time of day snack and don't crush as easily as chips. I also need bottled water. On my last flight I realized I'm actually a bit of a diva when it comes to this. I had to go to a magazine stand a terminal over to find satisfactory bottled water; I only like Smart Water and Dasani. I'm also going to pickup any other plane goodies I forgot to bring along : earbuds, magazines, gum.

Next it's time to find a real snack. My tendency to fly during meal times and the fact that nobody wants to deal with me when I'm hangry means I'm usually eating something in the airport. Here I'm not really picky. It could be the airport bar or a quick fast food burger while at my gate, but you best believe I'm eating a little something. My real dream job is to host a show on the travel channel where I just travel to different airports featuring food and drink items. Each episode would be a best of with a different category like craft beers on tap, grilled cheese sandwiches, or rice crispy treats. If anyone reading this has the hookup at the Travel Channel let me know!

Once I've gotten my airport snack I make my way to my gate. I've still got plenty of time before my flight so it's usually still empty enough that I can snag a seat by a plug to charge my phone while I wait. I spend this time scrolling my emails or social media feeds, painting my nails, or trying to get that perfect #travelgoals instagram snap. This is also when I text my mom to let her know I'm safely at my gate. Yes I am an adult woman who still lets her mom know things like that. When we're about 10 minutes from boarding I start playing this game where I question myself 100 times about if I need to run to the bathroom one more time before boarding. Hint the answer is always yes. When I return my prime seat next to the outlet is probably taken but that's okay because we're minutes from boarding and I really just want to stretch and stand anyway.

And that's my airport routine. When I first started out writing this post I thought it'd be a quick short one, clearly I was wrong. Hope people still want to travel with me after reading this!

What's your airport routine? Do you have any travel tips for San Diego or Disneyland?

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Friday, April 28, 2017

10 things to spring clean

Anyone else feeling the spring cleaning bug lately? Maybe it's watching one of my roommates pack to move out, but I'm feeling like I have seriously too much stuff in my life. The other day I had the carpets in my townhouse professionally cleaned and now I feel like I need to clean everything! When you think of spring cleaning you probably think of just deep cleaning all the floors and surfaces, but I started thinking about all the other things I could clean too. Here are 10 things to spring clean!

1. Closet - Probably the most obvious place to start. How many white v-necks does one need?

2. Phone Contacts - I have so many Sarah from Bio 101 type people in my phone still it's ridiculous considering I graduated college 4 years ago. Please tell me I'm not alone

3. Instagram Feed - I actually have two separate instagram accounts, one for my blog and one that's private. My private one is pretty manageable because I really only follow people I know in real life, but y'all my blog one is out of control. I follow almost 500 accounts, probably half of which I don't even see thanks to the weird algorithm.

4. Facebook Friends - This one is long overdue! I have so many people on there that I honestly don't even know how I met. I'm talking worse than just Sarah from Bio 101; think more girl who lived two doors down at camp when I was 14.

5. Inbox - I jumped on the rollup bandwagon about a year ago but I'm thinking it's time to do another round

6. Netflix list - If it's been on there for 6 months I'm probably not going to watch that documentary and need to just accept that fact.

7. Beauty Products - I actually don't wear makeup on a daily basis so while I don't have tons of eye pallets I do have open products that it's probably time I throw out.

8. Junk Drawer - don't lie, you know you have one

9. Pantry - I'm horrible about stocking up on non perishables when they go on sale. With two roommates and small pantry space this is not a good thing.

10. Freezer - Because I'm just one person I like to cook things that I know will freeze well so I don't feel like I have to eat the same leftovers 5 days in a row. Using up those frozen meals should help out my budget!

What are you spring cleaning?

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Friday, April 14, 2017

How to build the perfect Easter Basket

Building the perfect Easter basket is a simple formula; one real gift, one non chocolate candy, and one chocolate candy. Of course these rules are only for those that have stopped believing in the Easter Bunny. If you're lucky enough to spend the holiday with a sweet baby who still believes all rules are out the window and the more the better is the way to go. But for those that no longer think a bunny brings you gifts, you don't need $500 worth of things. I've rounded up a few "real gift" options that you can still get in enough time for Sunday. And because it's been brought to my attention that I don't include guy things very often I've included a few choices for the men in your life.

shorts / tumbler / tote / cooler

I think my favorite combination is that Bag-all (PS it's currently 20% off!) with Reeses eggs, and jelly beans. How do you build the perfect Easter basket?

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Friday, April 7, 2017

12 Easter dresses under $100

To me the beginning of April signals the start of spring and the need for an Easter dress. Maybe it's the southerner in me, but I just love a good Easter dress. No matter if your plans involve church with your family or just brunch with the girls; every female should buy a new Easter dress each year. And as an extra bonus an Easter dress doubles as a great dress to wear to Mother's Day brunch a few weeks down the road. In my mind the perfect Easter dress is either white or soft pastels with fun details like a floral print or giant bow. And bonus points if you have a matching Easter bonnet! Here are a few Easter dresses under $100 I'm loving.

Can you tell I'm really loving yellow this spring? What does your ideal Easter dress look like?

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Shopping

I gave up shopping for Lent (with two items as exceptions), so obviously I want to buy everything in sight. Spring shopping is some of my favorite because the bright colors are just so fun and happy. I've rounded up a few items I have sitting in my shopping carts until Lent is over and I can go back to my online shopping habit.

Those blue earrings and that necklace are my two shopping exceptions. I have a feeling they'll both go on sale before Easter so I didn't want to pay full price before the start of Lent. And seriously how fun are those Disney Princess sneakers!?

What are you itching to buy?

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

5 tips to getting an upgraded hotel room

I've worked at a hotel front desk for almost a year and half now, which I feel is enough time to share my insiders point of view. The other day I was watching The Today Show and they were talking about ways to get travel discounts, but they didn't really touch on actionable ways to get an upgraded hotel room other than travel during off season. It is possible to get an upgraded hotel room even during the busiest travel times! Part of my job working at the front desk involves selling upgrades, so today for Out West Wednesday I'm excited to share my 5 tips to getting an upgraded hotel room.

1. Ask for it - It never hurts to ask! Some people, myself included, feel awkward trying to sell upgrades to guests. Broaching the subject of an upgrade yourself might be the only way you'll get one  from someone more timid at the front desk.

2. Be nice - This should really be common sense, but if you're nice to me I'm going to be nice to you in return. It doesn't have to be with a tip (but hey an extra $20 in my pocket doesn't hurt!), a simple smile and pleasant conversation goes a long way. If you're rude and unpleasant I'm not going to want you in front of me for longer than necessary which means I won't take the time to make an upgrade happen.

3. Be willing to pay - Unless we're very slow I'm not going to be able to justify comp upgrading you three room levels. Any upgrades we sell at the front desk will be at a discount of what you could have originally purchased that room for, but we are a business. We can usually be flexible, but you also need to be realistic.

4. Know what you want - Do your research and know what you've booked and what you'd ideally like to stay in. Maybe you want a bigger room or one with a view; knowing what you want makes it easier for us to make it happen.

5. Be proactive - This goes along with the previous point, but if you do your research ahead of time and know what you want, give the hotel a call ahead of time and ask. My favorite way to sell an upgrade is when someone calls a day or two before checkin and asks about it. This allows the front desk to do any moving around of inventory needed and lets housekeeping know that upgraded room needs to be ready on checkin day.

What are your tips to getting an upgraded hotel room?

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Pinch of Green

With St. Patrick's Day just a week away I've had all things green on my mind. I've always thought of St. Patrick's Day as the fun little holiday between Mardi Gras and Easter. Plus being the holiday for the guy that rid Ireland of snakes, this is totally a celebration I can get behind. Today I thought it'd be fun to round up a few items to help you get your pinch of green in for the big day!

I think those shorts are my favorite, mostly because I'd have to be somewhere much warmer than here to enjoy them!

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