Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wedding Wednesday : everything that went wrong with planning

I want to start this post by saying my wedding day was perfect and I wouldn't have changed a single thing. But along the way I hit quite a few bumps in the road, by the end the only thing I could say when something went wrong was "add it to the list!" We got married and honestly that's all that really matters. I kept saying as long as we sign the marriage license the day will be a success, and you know what it was! All these bumps in the road were just constant reality checks and reminders that it's not about the wedding, it's about the marriage.

How much could really go wrong planning one day you ask? Well a lot. Here is everything that went wrong with planning

1. My engagement photos outfit was lost in the mail - I ordered the most beautiful blush pink tulle skirt that would make me look like a fairy princess. And my shipping accidentally reset to my old Colorado address. I ended up finding a different outfit that photographed beautifully and everything was alright.

2. Half the apartment numbers weren't printed on the save the dates. We used Minted for our save the dates and overall I would recommend them because the process was fairly simple and very cost effective. The problem we had was that when we uploaded our list of addresses we didn't realize the column with apartment numbers didn't import. So after we dropped them in the mail my parents received a handful back for incorrect address.

3. The post office gave us incorrect information about needed postage on the invitations. I decided to go with these all in one invitations from Minted because I loved the idea of a wedding invite with less waste. I did all the research and everything said they only needed 1 stamp; I sent T to the post office with one to double check and the mail clerk confirmed just the 1 forever stamp. So we mailed them and again about a week later my parents started receiving them returned for incorrect postage. My mom took the returned invites to her post office and they explained that while they did qualify for just the 1 stamp someone looking at them quickly could easily think they needed 2 because they were very close to a square shape.

4. My dress shop went out of business and the owner was almost deported before I could pick up my dress. I loved my wedding dress! I found a small local shop that custom makes every single dress so there's low overhead cost and prices are actually lower than I found at any off the rack stores. About a month before I was set to pick up my dress the shop was vandalized, destroying the few stock dresses they do have; this caused her to miss the big summer bridal shows and have to close. Luckily my dress wasn't in the store yet so it was spared, but we had to move up my final fitting appointments because she was closing her doors. Then the last week she's open when I'm supposed to be picking up my dress she has to keep rescheduling. It turns out she had a traffic ticket (that was getting throwout!) that was holding up her application for citizenship and she had to be available to her immigration attorney.

5. 41 days before wedding day I got a call that the bakery was closing two weeks before our wedding.  To be honest this one almost sent me over the edge; we'd signed a contract over 7 months ago how could they be closing!? After having a legit freakout where I called T and my mom in tears I called another local bakery. We ended up getting our cakes from Panini Bakery and I could not have been more pleased with them! Their team instantly made me feel more comfortable about the situation and went out of their way to help me with this late request. Honestly this "went wrong" ended up having a better result than our original plan.

6. My day of coordinator moved out of state. Being a professional planner I felt pretty confident about planning my wedding, but I did need someone to be at the rehearsal venue while we were at the ceremony. I found a great day of coordinator when I went to the bridal show in January and we immediately clicked. About a month and a half before the wedding she let me know that her husband had gotten a new job and they were moving out of state. Luckily she made arrangements to come back on the weekends of her weddings!

7. My custom table markers were destroyed in the mail. We had a small intimate wedding so I really wanted all the details to be personal and thought out. Instead of traditional table numbers we labeled each with the name of a place that was important to us: our first date, first vacation, where we grew up, etc. I found an artist on Etsy who I hired to create custom watercolors for each, but sadly they were destroyed in the mail and never made it to me. Luckily I'd printed cards to go on each table explaining the importance of each location, so we just framed those and used them as the table markers.

8. My car battery died the afternoon of the rehearsal. I first had trouble with it Thursday afternoon when I couldn't get it to start leaving at the grocery store. T came to rescue me and was able to get it to start right away so we figured I was just stressed and hadn't put the key in all the way. But when I couldn't get it to start again the next day I knew there was an issue. I was able to get it to start and drove right home where I left it until Monday when I brought it to the dealership for a diagnostic check.

9. My hair and makeup team showed up late. I only had two bridesmaids, my sisters, and they stayed with me at my house on Friday night. I arranged to have someone come to do our hair and makeup at the house Saturday morning. They were scheduled to arrive at 8am to start setting up but the first didn't arrive until 8:26am; obviously I was freaking out. Luckily we had some extra time built in before we really had to leave for the church so it all turned out okay.

10. The Day of the Dead parade shut down the streets around my reception venue. At this point I really thought it was going to be smooth sailing. We had made it through the ceremony and only had the party time left. Well jokes on me because there was just enough time for one more thing to go wrong.  We had repurchased parking for our guests, but with the streets shut down it was impossible to get to it so our entrance was delayed while we waited for them to find other options. Honestly I'm still pretty upset about this one and not ready to laugh it off yet. I understand the venue had no control over the parade, but they gave me absolutely no pre-warning about it. I reached out the day before after the hotel where we had our block warned guests about valet availability and the venue told me I had nothing to worry about. I'm sure in time I'll be able to laugh this one off too.

Monday, November 11, 2019

5 best recent purchases

It's been a hot minute since I've done one of these posts so I thought this would be fun to share. In my option it's still too early for gift guides, but if you added any of these items to your Christmas list I wouldn't blame you!

1. Barbour Jacket - I bought this jacket specifically for our honeymoon and I'm so glad I did! It is such a classic look that I know I will wear for years. The pockets are very roomy so I actually didn't even bring a purse when we went to dinner each night I'd just put my phone and card wallet in the front pockets. Want the look for less? This quilted riding jacket from LLBean is a great option and is actually what I originally was going to order until I realized it was backordered and wouldn't arrive in time.

2. Bedspread - Technically this wasn't a purchase because it was a gift from our wedding registry but I love it so much I had to share! We've needed new bedding for a while but struggled to find something we both liked. I love feminine florals or fluffy white bedding; two things my husband absolutely did not want. This fun navy pattern is a perfect compromise! 

3. Maxi skirt - I love this skirt so much I actually have it in two colors; navy and this fun green. It's the perfect easy piece to dress up or dress down and I get so many compliments when I wear it. Wear it now with booties and again in the spring with gladiator sandals. Bonus it's a great piece to travel with because the accordion pleats hide wrinkles!

4. Sneakers - These were another purchase for the honeymoon in anticipation of all the walking we were going to do. I've been seeing so many bloggers rocking cute sneakers with jeans and leggings for cute casual looks but I didn't think I could pull it off until I found these. I wore these every day of our trip and had happy feet at the end of each day! 

5. Lip Balm - I picked this up on a whim when I was grabbing a few other drugstore makeup basics and I'm so glad I did! It's a tinted lip balm that moisturizes and has a SPF. It's perfect when you don't want lipstick but want more than your Burt's Bees. I also grabbed this nail polish that I think is the perfect fall/winter neutral.

What's one of your best recent purchases?

Friday, November 8, 2019

money diaries

Do you read money diaries on Refinary29? I'm obsessed and have decided I want to submit my own! Below is my first attempt at keeping track; I clearly missed some details (and it's a few months old) so this one won't be submitted, but my breakdown of what I spent this weekend post is my favorite from 2019 so I thought this would be fun to share too. 

7:30am : Alarm goes off, and then again, and again. Anyone else set multiple alarms to wake up in the morning? I quickly get ready and grab a frozen Lean Cuisine before heading out the door.

9:05am: Finally make to my desk; traffic was horrific this morning! It's pretty slow in the office today because we were out last week onsite for an event. I work in a small office, but there are usually more than the 5 of us in the office today. We all get extra days off when we work weekends and it seems like most the office decided to take theirs today.

12:30pm : Finally made it to lunch! On slow days I always try to wait until later to eat lunch to help break up the day; if it's a busy day I tend to eat early. I heat up my Lean Cuisine in the break room and return to my desk to eat while I scroll Instagram on my phone.

5pm : After a quick stop to drop off some Amazon returns at UPS I'm home! It's amazing how easy it is to get home when it's not rush hour traffic! I take the pup out to play in the yard. It's too hot out for a walk but the yard has a lot of shade so I let him run around and play extra long.

6:30pm : T is home from work! We're both hungry and decide to start cooking dinner. The chicken we were planing to make isn't thawed out so we go for plan B with grilling burgers. I make some green beans with bacon, onion and garlic salt for a full meal.

7:30pm - It's still pretty early so I decide to run out and do a couple errands I was planning to do in the morning. I have to return a few things to Old Navy and exchange a registry gift that arrived broken from Bed Bath & Beyond. I'm feeling good about the refunds I did today so I decide to make one last stop at my favorite specialty grocery store. I grab scones for breakfast tomorrow, peach sparkling soda, and a bag of hatch green chili crips that I think will be a good snack with some cheese.

9:45 - I watch an episode of Jane the Virgin and then decide to head to bed and read a little. T falls asleep pretty quickly but I'm not as tired as I thought. I turn on Netflix and realize I never watched the last few episodes of Kimmy Schmidt when they got added months ago. I watch a couple of episodes and then decide it's late and I need to go to sleep.

Daily Total : $10.20

9:30 - Happy Birthday to me! I took today as my extra day off work and didn't set an alarm. It's so nice to sleep in; does anyone else feel like they sleep 10 times better when they don't have to set an alarm? I respond to a few "happy birthday" texts and then decide to get out of bed and take the pup out. I think he enjoyed sleeping in as much as I did because I have to wake him up! T is working from home today so he makes me coffee and we eat our scones and some pineapple together while I open the birthday gifts my family sent. Both my mom and dad call me; which is nice because I haven't seen them in a couple of months. I'll be home for a couple of days in a few weeks and we talk about how excited we are to see each other!

11:00am - T gets back to work and I shower and then watch a few more episodes of Kimmy Schimt. When we first moved in I didn't think we'd use the office that much, but now I'm so glad we have it. Both T and I have the option to work from home once a week and having that dedicated space for work is such a nice thing. Eventually we'll turn that room into a nursery, but that's a few years away, so we're enjoying it for now.

3pm - My only real plan for today was to get a manicure and pedicure so I head out to my local nail salon. I only get my nails done about once every other month at most so this always feels like a real treat! I realize I haven't eaten since my scone this morning and gladly accept the Diet Coke they offer! Because it's my birthday I upgrade to services with the hot towels, scrub, and mask. I pick a hot pink for my fingers and a deep pink for my toes.  $75 including tip

7pm - We head out for our dinner reservation. I gave T three suggestions and then he picked; I'm secretly really happy he picked this one because it was my top choice! I'm on a mission to try new restaurants instead of frequenting the same few ones and this one has great reviews. We order a few cocktails (Titos Moscow Mules), a crispy asparagus appetizer, steak frites (him), the daily special fried chicken (me) and a fried berry hand-pie. It's my birthday so he pays for dinner ($145) but I have cash to tip the valet for our car. $5

9pm - One last stop before we head home! We stop into Sprinkles to grab cupcakes for tomorrow. When we first moved to Dallas we lived a lot closer to the bakery and went all. the. time. Now we're farther away so they feel like a treat, but we still consider them "our" thing. We get carrot cake (me) lemon (him) and a pupcake! We put them on my rewards number but T pays. When we get home we take the pup out and get ready for bed, both sleepy and full from dinner. I read some before falling asleep.

Daily Total : $80

8:15am - After my three alarms go off I finally get ready quickly and I'm out the door. I always shower at night so that my morning routine is minimal. I think about stopping for coffee and a donut on the way into the office but decide I don't really need it today.

1pm - Pack up my stuff and go meet T for lunch with plans to work from home the rest of the afternoon. Our offices are relatively close so we get lunch together occasionally; it's really nice to see each other in the middle of the day especially when he has to work late. We decide on a sandwich place that reminds us of college and where I have a free birthday meal. My salad is free with my birthday coupon and I pay for his sandwich combo and our drinks

2pm- I decide to stop for gas on the way home because I have less than a quarter tank. I have a favorite gas station that I try to stop at exclusively because it's usually at least 10 cents less than anywhere else, but because of this there's always a line. I really thought I'd get lucky and not have a line since its the middle of the day, but everyone else must have had the same idea because it's packed.

3pm - Make it home and the pup is so excited I'm here early! I check my work email and see nothing new so I continue working on the few tasks I had to finish from this morning. Still nothing new in my inbox so I decide to call it a day and do some wedding research. Our wedding is about 3 months away so it's mostly planned, but I still need to figure out a few details like a cake topper and veil. I spend a couple of hours on Etsy, but don't find anything I love. T calls to let me know he's leaving the office to head to his dinner meeting and we chat while he drives.

7pm - T calls to say he's bringing home dinner! I was planning to repurpose some leftovers, but this sounds much better! He has these dinner sales meetings a couple times a week and brings home extras about once a month. He comes home with a full meal for me; salad, bread, steak, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, and peas.

Daily Total : $37.13

8:00am - I keep hitting the snooze button until T lets me know how late it is; I just don't feel good and decide to work from home today. I send a quick email to the rest of my team and update the shared staff calendar so nobody thinks I'm MIA. Let the pup out and feed him; I'm not really hungry so I just pour myself a glass of orange juice and move to the couch. I answer the few emails I received overnight and make a plan for what I really need to get done today.

10:30am - I decide a hot shower will probably make me feel better. I'm feeling congested so hopefully the hot steam will do the trick! I skip washing my hair, but do use my favorite body scrub. It was a great Amazon find in the spring. The shower does the trick and I'm feeling much better! I mix together the salad T brought home last night with a small one I have in the fridge and eat lunch. It's a lot of lettuce, but not very filling since I skipped breakfast so I grab a few of the green chili crips to snack on while I get back to work.

1:30pm - Nothing new has popped up in my in-box today so I decide to call it a day and will just keep an eye on my in-box. I feel a little bad I didn't put in 40 hours this week, but our office is very relaxed and we don't have to track our time so really nobody knows how much time you put in each week. I also rationalize that I put in over 60 hours last week so it's okay I took it a little easy this week. I find a movie to watch on Netflix write some thank you notes for birthday and wedding gifts.

Daily Total : $0

9am - Wake up feeling very refreshed! T is already out the door for work so I have a lazy morning after taking the pup out. I pour a cup of coffee from the leftover pot T made this morning and heat up a frozen breakfast sandwich. I snuggle up on the couch and turn on Netflix that I can mindlessly watch.

12pm - Talk myself out of going to get the Thai food I really want and settle for something at home instead. My options are a little limited so I plate up some tuna salad, pretzel crisps, and frozen broccoli. It's not what I really wanted, but knowing I saved money and ate something that was already in the house makes me feel good. I've gotten in a bad habit lately of eating out on weekends when T is at work and that is not a good habit to develop.

2:30pm - T is back home and we're out the door to go pick out my birthday present! I decided I wanted a real pair of boots, but obviously didn't trust him to pick them out himself. After trying every brown size 7 boot; I finally find a great pair; because they're a birthday present T pays. We decide to leave them there overnight to be gently stretched so they won't take as long to break-in.

5:00pm - T and I head to church; we usually go on Sunday mornings but decided to switch it up this week so we can sleep in tomorrow. Going to church together is one of my favorite things; I really love that it's something we can share. Our church is a little out of the way, but it's the one we started going to when we first moved to Dallas so we make the longer drive weekly. $10 for the collection plate

Daily Total : $10

Grocery Shopping -  I buy eggs, bacon, breakfast bars, salsa, frozen pizza, a couple lean cuisines, a bag each frozen broccoli, green beans, and a broccoli cauliflower mix, and Arizona Tea Arnold Palmer. I try to stock up on frozen veggies when they go on sale to avoid paying the higher price for fresh. I also always make sure to have at least one frozen pizza in the freezer for nights that get away from me and dinner is either that or fast food.  $67.64

Weekly Total : $204.97

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wedding Wednesday : I'm married!

Last Saturday we finally said "I do" and I could not be more excited to finally be a Mrs! Even with a few hiccups the weekend was perfect in every way and I wouldn't have changed a single thing. They say your wedding day is the "best day ever" but I know I've got a lifetime of "best day ever"s ahead of me with my sweet husband.

I'll share more specific details once we're back from our honeymoon and life gets back to normal. But for now I just wanted to say married life is the life and I highly recommend it to everyone!

Monday, September 16, 2019

hello from Rebel

Hello my name is Rebel, and I'm the four legged boss around here. My mom decided to give me free reign of the blog today to tell you a little about myself.

I'm about 3 years old; we don't know my exact age because my dad adopted me in Colorado. I'm part black lab and part terrier (we think). My mom says it doesn't matter what I'm a mix of because I clearly got the best parts of each. Even though I'm 3 and full grown everyone thinks I look like a black lab puppy, it's probably because I get plenty of beauty sleep, that's what mom says makes her skin look nice.

My favorite treats are when dad makes me my own mini cheeseburger or there is leftover steak. Mom and dad say I get the extras because they're too full to finish, but I know it's really because I'm their favorite. As a thank you I always reward them with licks and the joy of giving me belly rubs. Speaking of belly rubs they're my favorite way to start the day! Mom and dad get up and start getting ready for the day, but I don't need to put on clothes so I get in their big bed and wait for my daily rubs. My other favorite activities are playing with sticks and barking at the squirrels in my backyard and taking naps with my stuffed penguin Penny.

I'm not a big fan of people. Mom and dad think my first humans must not have loved me very much and that's why I'm scared of people I don't know. So if you ever see me in public please use restraint and do not try to pet me. I'm very cute so I know it's hard. I do love other dogs! Mom and dad say they may get me a puppy sibling next year and I can't wait!

Well I guess that's about all there is to know about me!

Friday, September 6, 2019

fall 2019 bucket list

I know it's still technically summer and one look at the temperatures here in Dallas will quickly remind me that, but with the first week of September I'm looking forward to fall! I've always said summer is my favorite season, but TBH I am so ready for fall this year. We've got crunchy leaves in the driveway and football on the weekends; the only thing left is the temperatures to drop to double digits. Here are some things I have to look forward to this season, a fall 2019 bucket list per se

1. Get married - only 50 days to go!
2. Enjoy Washington DC for my honeymoon - please send all romantic suggestions my way!
3. Watch It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown - my favorite Halloween movie
4. Bake a pumpkin pie - preferably after my wedding so my dress fits
5. Go to an Ole Miss football watch party - we may not win a game, but we never lose a party
6. Try a new food at the State Fair - I've got my eye on the stuffed fried taco cone
7. Win a fantasy football game - I'm in two leagues so fingers crossed this will happen at least once
8. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon weekend - Is it even fall if you don't binge watch Harry Potter?

What's on your fall 2019 bucket list?

Friday, August 30, 2019

Current Netflix Watch List

Hello happy Friday friends! My office is closed today for the long weekend, so I really have an extra long holiday weekend. Tyler has to work so we don't have any plans other than staying home and out of the heat. I should probably work on wedding details (less than 60 days to go!) but I'll probably mostly watch Netflix. We don't have cable and only stream, but I have this idea that I want to have less streaming services to consolidate more. That means I need to watch everything on Netflix before we drop it. I don't know if this is an idea from a good place of wanting to save money and be minimalistic, or just my excuse to watch more Netflix. So if you're like me and planning to spend your weekend in the AC here's my current Netflix watch list

1. Glow - This is what I'm currently watching on Netflix. The third season picks up where the second ended with the ladies taking their show to Vegas. I'm only a few episodes into the new season, but so far it's as good as the first two.

2. No Good Nick - I stumbled upon this Netflix original series when I was looking for something to watch alone the other day and I'm so glad I did! The premise is that a girl goes to live with a family in an attempt to con and rob them. Melissa Joan Hart plays the mom so you know it's good! The characters are equally likable and unlikeable which makes it feel more real.

3. The Good Place - The new season recently was added to Netflix so now is the time to watch this if you haven't already. Simply put, The Good Place is the smartest show currently on television.

4. Gilmore Girls - It always feels like fall/winter when I watch Gilmore Girls so its the perfect time to start a rewatch of this one. I've seen this one so many times, but always feel a little different each time I watch it. This last time around I found Rory more and more unlikeable and Emily my favorite.

Prime Bonus : Suits - We're currently about a season and a half into this one and loving it so far. I'm not a huge Megan Markle fan, Price Harry is my OG celebrity crush, so I was a little hesitant to watch this one. But I remember wanting to watch this when it originally aired so I decided to give it a try.

Stars Bonus : Outlander - You can watch the first two seasons of Outlander on Netflix but I'd avoid that unless you have access to Stars streaming for the other seasons. After binging the first two seasons in record time I desperately looked around to find someone who could share their Stars streaming login with me! Fiancé and I watch this one together which is good because it's easy to miss details so having two sets of eyes on the screen is good.

What are you currently watching? Do you favor Netflix or another streaming service? Anyone else counting down to the release Disney+!?

Monday, August 26, 2019

summer 2019 playlist

If you're anything like me you've listened to the new Taylor Swift album approximately 500 times since it was released on Friday. My love of Taylor Swift is well documented here on the blog so I anticipate Lover to be on repeat for the foreseeable future; I Forgot that You Existed and Paper Rings are my early favorites from this album. Before I dive headfirst into Tswift's new musical genius I wanted to share my summer 2019 playlist.

What songs have you loved this summer?

Monday, August 5, 2019

Dior : From Paris to the World at the Dallas Museum of Art

I love art museums and am always excited when I get the chance to visit one. I've wanted to visit the Dallas Museum of Art since moving last year but just never got around to it until now. My younger sister used some free flight vouchers to come visit for a long weekend and I thought it was the perfect time to play tourist in my own town! The highlight of our weekend was a trip to the Dallas Museum of Art for their special Dior exhibit - Dior: From Paris to the World

Admission to the museum as a whole is complimentary, but you do have to purchase a ticket to visit the Dior exhibit. These tickets are timed to ensure there are never too many people in at once and cost $25ish depending on when you visit. We arrived about 20 minutes before our scheduled time and easily parked in the attached garage. We toured a smaller exhibit first and then got in line for the main  attraction!

To say this exhibit is stunning is no exaggeration; it is literally stunning! Even if you don't know much about fashion you can appreciate that these looks are works of art. The first part of the exhibit is set up so you can see the differences between the different heads of the fashion house.  It was so interesting to see how each era was different and influenced by the culture of the times.

The true star of the exhibit is a central room with looks along both sides from floor to ceiling. You walk in a line along the outside of the room so you get a chance to see them all from up close. At the end of the room is the celebrity wall which houses some of the dresses celebrities have worn, including the dress Jenifer Lawrence wore when she won the Oscar and tripped.

The other part of the exhibit displays looks by colors and themes. The final room's theme were famous paintings where the dresses were displayed with works from Monet and O'Keefe. The dresses were so beautiful you almost missed these other works of art on the wall!

If you haven't seen it yet, get to the DMA ASAP because this exhibit is only around until September 1!

Friday, August 2, 2019

5 tips for traveling for work

I'm very fortunate to get the opportunity to travel for work on occasion. I'm a meeting planner for an association, and because our membership is spread throughout the country (world really!) we hold most of our conferences in different locations. This year we had two conferences that traveled and are adding two more in 2020! When you combine these trips with the pre-planning trips it's safe to say the majority of my travel in the last year has been for work.

I was actually on one of these work trips last week which gave me the idea for this post! Not many people travel for work and it certainly wasn't something they covered in any of my college classes. Here are 5 tips for traveling for work that I've learned in the last year!

1. Have a clear understanding of what expenses are covered - Your transportation and hotel will obviously be covered, but do you need to make your own arrangements or will someone else make those? Are you restricted to a certain airline or able to fly the one of your choice? Will you be reimbursed for checked baggage and parking at the airport or do you need to carryon and plan to Uber? What meals are covered and do you have a daily or meal by meal budget? It's also important to know what documentation you need to provide to be reimbursed and how soon you need to turn in your expense report.

2. Know your responsibilities - Before any new work project you probably ask "what is expected of me and what do I need to be successful in attaining that goal" a work trip should be the same way! Having clear expectations of your responsibilities will ensure you're an asset on the trip and allowed to keep traveling!

3. Ask about your wardrobe early - My office is t-shirt and yoga pants casual dress code, but obviously this wouldn't be okay to wear while representing the association. Do you need to dress the same you would in the office? Can you dress more casual for the travel day? Should you plan casual clothes for after hours dinners? These are all things you need to consider before packing you bag. Be sure to ask early enough that you can do some shopping if you don't already have what you need!

4. Prepare an "out of office" response - Just because you're not physically at your desk doesn't mean  work stops. Take the time to set an "out of office" reply to include an emergency backup and when you'll be returning to the office. Don't forget to add a temporary message to your voicemail too!

5. Give yourself time to recover - Traveling for work is exciting, but it's also tiring. Between possible time differences, travel delays, and long work days it all takes a toll on your body and it's important to take time to recover when you're home. If you have to return to work the next day ask if you can come in a little later to sleep in or leave a little early. If you have the weekend to refresh before returning to work, make sure you take time to refresh for a new week. And no matter how much time you have to prepare these tips for returning from vacation can also be applied to traveling for work!

What are your tips for traveling for work?

Monday, July 15, 2019


Popping in today to share a few things currently going on in my life

Watching.... I just finished season two of Outlander on Netflix and am trying to figure out how to watch the other seasons. Anyone have a suggestion? In the meantime we're rewatching Gilmore Girls and That 70s Show

Listening.... I discovered an old Dixie Chicks CD in my car and have had it on repeat since. Who else is excited they're making new music!?

Reading....A random library book. I shared that I'm way behind on my reading goal for the year, but I'm hoping to turn that around soon. Last time I went to the library I went in without a plan and ended up with some pretty random reads. Hopefully one of these better catches my interest.

Wanting.....Nothing from the Nordstrom sale. Is it just me or is the sale just not that great this year? It also doesn't seem like other bloggers are pushing it as hard this year which probably helps with the FOMO. I did just buy this super cute Amazon sundress though that I highly recommend if you're itching to make a purchase.

Anticipating....My birthday in two weeks! I also have a big work trip later this week, so lots to look forward to before the end of July.

What's currently going on in your life?

Friday, June 28, 2019

2019 Goals Check In

With June quickly coming to a close I thought it was the perfect time for a 2019 goals checkin! To be 100% honest and transparent I just had to go back and look at my original goals post to see what my goals for 2019 even are. Needless to say the goals aren't going great.

1. Save $3600 - This is the only goal I vaguely remembered and that's probably because I knew I wasn't doing well with it. In my defense the big picture for this goal was to be able to buy a house next year, but since we did that this year it's not really such a priority anymore. I do need to be better about saving and I plan to make it more of a priority this last half of 2019. The house is pretty much furnished so hopefully there aren't any more large purchases in the near future.

2. Read 12 books - If you remember this is one goal I set in 2018 that I successfully completed, unfortunately it's not going as well this year. Life has been crazy this year and by the time my head hits the pillow I'm exhausted and ready to pass out, so reading before bed hasn't been happening as much as it should. I usually get home before the fiancé so I've started reading for at least 30 minutes right after I get home, if I keep it up all year I should have no problem getting back on track for this goal. I really love reading and I think doing it more will help relax me.

3. Feel confident in photos - This goal was about losing weight and getting healthy. I really thought my wedding would inspire me to drop some weight, but sadly that hasn't happened. I do however think this goal has been somewhat successful though. I came to the realization that if the thought of being in a wedding dress couldn't inspire me to get skinny than probably nothing could and that's okay. I do still want to lose the weight I gained since moving to Dallas, but because I know I'll feel healthier, not because I'll look better. I recently bought an under desk exercise bike after hearing how many calories a coworker burns with his, so I'm excited to see if I can get the same results. We're also trying to eat out less and cook healthier foods at home.

4. Get involved in Dallas - I've sorta done this, but not all the way. I did join my local sorority alumni group, but I haven't been super active. Most of the events were on Thursday evenings which was the same night I had a church commitment that took priority. The group doesn't really have events during the summer, but I plan on trying to be more involved once they start back in the fall and I no longer have that Thursday night commitment.

Did you make 2019 goals? How are you doing with them?

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Wedding Wednesday - The most important thing I learned in Marriage Prep Class

Back in February the fiancé and I spent a Saturday participating in the marriage prep class at our church. They do them twice a year and you have to attend one if you plan to get married at the church. Admittedly I was hesitant about going because I just didn't know what I could learn that I didn't already know. But when it was over I was so glad we attended and so glad we didn't put it off until the summer class.

The day was broken into different topics with two couples switching off to lead the discussions. We talked about money, sex, and family values, and all the important things you need to be on the same page about before saying "I do." While all the topics were informative and important my favorite activity was about love languages.

If you don't know, love languages are essentially how we process the emotion of love. Everyone is different so why would we all express such an important emotion the same way. I've heard about love languages for a while, but honestly didn't know too much about them. The 5 love languages are:
1. Acts of Service
2. Gifts
3. Words of Affirmation
4. Touch
5. Quality Time

We each took a quick quiz to determine our love language and I wasn't surprised that I scored close to perfect in Acts of Service. If you've spent any time around me you'll know this is 100% me; I absolutely believe that actions speak louder than any words. But I was surprised to discover my fiancé's love language is Words of Affirmation. I really thought he was going to Gifts because he always wants to buy me nice things. They explained that you can actually have two love languages, one for receiving and one for giving, but that specific test was designed for receiving.

Since taking this class and learning each other's love languages I feel like our relationship has been even stronger. I've made a point of verbalizing my love and appreciation for him and he's made a point of doing little things to make life easier. This knowledge about each other is such an important tool to help our relationship always be strong. I don't know any stats on it, but I feel like the majority of relationships that don't work are because someone doesn't feel loved, but that's probably because both partners don't have the same love language and are expressing love differently.

If you're in a relationship I highly suggest you take the quiz to learn your own love language!

Monday, June 17, 2019

a weekend in San Antonio

Last winter the fiancé and I took a long weekend trip down to San Antonio, so needless to say this post was a long time coming. I'm not a "things" person so I suggested the idea of a weekend trip instead of large Christmas gifts, and because he loves me more than presents he agreed! San Antonio is about a 4 hour drive south of Dallas; it's kinda long but overall pretty easy.

Before we made it to San Antonio we had to stop at the famous Czech Stop in West, Texas for some kolachies! I had never heard of kolachies until I moved to Dallas and let me tell you that is a darn shame! The meat kind are essentially pigs in a blanket and the fruit ones pastries, but they're better than what those descriptions imply. After loading up a bag of our treats we hit the road again!

We stayed at the Courtyard San Antonio Riverwalk which was the perfect "home" for our weekend. It's right on the famous Riverwalk, but tucked around a quiet corner so you're out of the loud crowds but still right in the action. We were able to take a back door out of the lobby and be right on the Riverwalk allowing us to walk to all the fun! The room was basic, but perfect for what we needed. We booked a package that included valet parking, which I highly suggest if you have a car because parking alone is not cheap.

The first evening we went to Mass across the street at St. Mary, which is a beautiful church. When I picture a Catholic church this is exactly what I picture; high ceilings, stained glass windows and beautiful art. It was fun to go to a beautiful church like this because my fiancé had never been inside one like this.

The next day we visited the Alamo! This was the main thing we wanted to see, but honestly I was a little nervous because I've heard mixed reviews from people who've visited. This was seriously so fun and entertaining and something I'd 100% recommend to everyone! To just visit the Alamo is free or you can pay a small fee for an audio ($7) or guided ($15) tour. We opted for the guided tour and honestly that is a must if you visit. Our tour guide had a degree in history and you could tell she was not only knowledgable about the Alamo but really passionate about it. We essentially walked in a wide rectangle in front of the Alamo and learned all about the history of not only the battle of the Alamo, but the whole of San Antonio. Then we entered the Alamo and learned more about the history of the actual building. This is where our guided tour ended, but there are also a few museum type exhibits with artifacts to view. The whole thing was extremely educational, especially for a new Texan!

That evening we enjoyed one of the river cruises to take in the River Walk. We decided to do it at night because the River Walk was decked out in Christmas lights so we thought it'd be more romantic, which it was, but it was also a little chilly; I'd suggest bringing an extra jacket if you do it at night. This tour guide had the usual corny jokes, but also had some fun facts to share and places to point out. Did you know they shot scene from Miss Congeniality on the River Walk!?

This was the perfect weekend getaway! If we go again I'd like to explore the Briscoe Museum and visit some of the other Missions. Other long weekend trips I hope to make include Austin, Waco, and Oklahoma City! We're doing a lot of travel this year so I don't know we'll get to do anymore of these long weekend trips, but now that we're in Dallas for good I have no doubt we'll eventually get to them all.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Life Update : we bought a house!

Surprise! I'm now a homeowner, or a half homeowner, or half a mortgage holder technically. April 10th the fiancé and I closed on our first house and we've been living in it for the last week and a half.

To put things simply we had terrible neighbors at our apartment and were just never able to get the full warm fuzzies for our building because of them. At the beginning of year we started talking about what we wanted to do once our lease was up and both agreed we didn't want to resign to stay for a year. We started looking at other apartments and didn't find anything we loved so we thought we'd look for a condo or townhome to rent. After talking to a realtor and mortgage broker we realized it really just made more sense to buy since mortgage rates were lower than they'd been in the last year and we could get a jump on it before the market got super competitive in the summer.

So we started searching zillow and for our dream place. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted; two bedroom 1.5 bath; 950+sq ft and in two specific locations in Dallas. We thought  these areas would have the best resale value once we started a family and needed something larger while still fitting in our price range. After a long afternoon of looking at about 8 condos we thought we'd found a great fit, but with one problem. This condo had been on the market off and on for almost 2 years (major red flag!) and had an insanely high HOA fee. We then decided to expand our search to single family homes where we wouldn't have an HOA fee and would essentially have the same monthly payment. This meant essentially starting the search over again with a whole new set of parameters.

We really thought the second house we went in was the "one." It had a fabulous screened in sunroom addition plus a large family room, and was much closer to both our jobs. I could picture our future in there and how we'd update it short term and long term. After talking to their agent and looking at a prior inspection report we decided there were just too many problems that we didn't want to fix as first time buyers. So back to the drawing board we went. In the middle of this I had a super crazy work/life schedule where I had 3 trips in less than a month. We took a mini break from looking while I was out of town for a week and decided to go look at three houses the day after I got back into town. At that point I was honestly a little over looking. Even though we hadn't been looking for that long, it was emotionally exhausting to think we had found the "one" twice already only to realize it wasn't a good fit once we looked more closely. I had accepted that we weren't going to find anything and would just need to sign a 9 month lease and start looking again in the fall after the competitiveness of summer was over. But then we walked into this house and knew it was perfect!

It has 3 bedrooms and two baths, a large laundry room, two car garage, and a nice fenced in backyard for the pup. The street has a cute name and we're in a good school district. No farther from work than we were before. Hot water heater, roof, and HVAC are all new within the last 3 years but the house still has some the original elements giving it charm. Gas stove and updated countertops and flooring. And the most adorable guest bathroom. Honestly it's everything and more that we wanted in a first home.

We put in an offer that day. The next morning we got a call from our realtor to let us know we were in a multiple bid situation and the owners were asking for everyone's best offer by 5pm. We went to church and prayed about it and then put in our offer. Later that evening we got the call that the owners had decided they wanted to work with us but countered our offer. After double checking with the mortgage broker we decided to accept there counter and officially said yes to buying the house! The rest of the process was true whirlwind. I kept waiting for the hammer to drop and something to go wrong, but we got lucky and the whole process went really smoothly.

When the year started I shared that one of my 2019 intentions was to be aggressive with saving because we wanted to buy a house in 2020. Reaching that bigger goal of owning a home a year early is so surreal. I realize I'm very fortunate to be in a position where this is possible and I owe a lot of thanks to my parents who not only always stressed the importance of saving and living within your means, but also allowed me to graduate college debt free and then live at home to save for 2 years. I truly feel like I'm living the American dream, and for that I am thankful.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Why I miss blogging and why I don't

The other day I tweeted that I really miss blogging, but then I think about what blogging has become and realize what I really miss are the old days of blogging. When I started writing on this space back in 2013 blogging was WAY different. For starters this blog looked completely different. When I started blogging I blogged at and my page was bright pink and orange, then to a chic black and white floral print, and finally to red, navy and white. I started it in part as a way to teach myself basic coding to add a skill to my resume so I did all the coding and design. Along the way I changed the name and design (again) until I curated a space I'm still really proud of.

I recently reread this post I wrote after my first year of blogging and the nostalgia really hit. Blogging was so simple back then. The majority of people blogging were doing it for fun, not to make money or become an influencer. We wrote fun how to posts, weekend updates, and silly prompted linkups. We formed real connects and read each other's blogs and left meaningful comments; not just "cool post!" People spent time writing out posts with real content instead of spending all their time on photo shoots and linking products. Your blog was your priority, not your Instagram follower count. I miss the age of being a blogger instead of an "influencer."

When I started blogging I published 5 times a week. Sitting down for blogging time was my favorite part of my day. I not only wrote each night, but spent time reading so many blogs. Slowly that went down to posting 3 times a week and now I'll go weeks without even thinking about my blog. Part of that is that I'm in a totally different place in my life now. I now have someone to share everything with and don't have to rely on writing down my thoughts to share them. But the bigger reason that I've become so distant from this space is that the blogging world is just so different now. The "influencer" bubble will eventually burst, and when it does I hope we all go back to being just bloggers.

Monday, February 4, 2019

5 ways to refresh for a new week

Weekends are just too darn short! Even though I love my job Monday mornings are hard and I often wakeup wishing the snooze button on my alarm were a time machine to redo the weekend. I have realized that the best way to get through a Monday is to take time on Sunday to prepare for it. In the past few years I've fine tuned my tricks to making Monday mornings more bearable. Today I'm sharing 5 ways to refresh for a new week! 

1. use a facemask - Obvisouly I wish I could end every weekend with a spa trip, but until I win the lottery that just isn't an option. A good at home facemask is the next best thing! There are so many in a wide variety of price ranges you're sure to find something great. I have a drawer full of these from Target; at about $2 each they're a major steal and really help me feel refreshed. If you aren't a big facemark fan doing at home manicure works just as well! 

2. tidy up the house - Let's be real, cleaning the house is not fun, but I always feel way better once it's done. Spending a few minutes on Sunday to tidy up helps me feel relaxed and ready to tackle the week ahead. It's not fun now, but come Monday morning I'll be thankful. 

3. get a good night's sleep - Probably the most important thing on this list! I think the sleep you get on Sunday night sets the tone for your sleep the rest of the week. I always feel more refreshed the morning after an early bedtime. 

4. plan out your week - I'm a planner so knowing what I have ahead is comforting for me and planning my week is a must! If you're not a big planner this could be as simple as planning out your meals for the week and going grocery shopping to stock your kitchen.

5. take time to relax - Enjoy the last of your weekend! Sunday Scaries are real, so make sure to take some time doing something you enjoy. Maybe it's watching a couple hours of mindless Netflix or maybe it's taking your pup for a long walk; whatever helps you feels relaxed and refreshed!

What's your secret to refresh for a new week? 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Current Playlist

Happy Friday!

Can you believe it is finally February! Every year it seems like January is 500 days long. I think it's the combination of the cold weather and finally getting back into work after the holidays, but making it to February 1 seems like a serious accomplishment. Today I wanted to kick the month off by sharing my current playlist that I've been listening to lately.

What songs are you loving lately?

Want some more songs? Check out my Valentine's Day playlist post here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wedding Wednesday - My Ring

It's been a while since my last Wedding Wednesday post, but that's because I've been so busy wedding planning! I'm going to a bridal fair and dress shopping this weekend, so I promise the next post won't be so delayed. Today I'm so excited to share the story behind my favorite piece of jewelry! Even though I've been engaged a little over 5 months I still find myself getting distracted by this shiny ring on my finger.

If you'd asked me to describe my perfect engagement ring I would have described something totally different, but now I can't picture anything else on my finger. I always pictured myself with either a pear or marquise shape diamond and a simple band, and I have a Pinterest board full of those rings to prove it. Before I got engaged I'd joke that my biggest fear was to one day discover my engagement ring was the same as every other mom in the car pool line; that is something I 100% do not have to worry about now!

My ring is actually an antique, originally belonging to my fiancé's grandmother. My future MIL graciously allowed it to become mine when I mentioned how much I love family rings. Whatever ring my fiancé gave me would obviously be special, but the fact it belonged to his grandmother makes it that much better. He doesn't really remember his grandmother because she died when he was little, but the fact his mom let me have something so precious to her is really touching. They always say when you get married you're marrying the entire family. I'm so fortunate to have amazing future in-laws who have loved and welcomed me from the start. Having this beautiful antique ring on my finger reminds me how lucky I am to have found someone who I love with a family I love as much as my own.

Monday, January 14, 2019

a breakdown of what I spent this weekend

Anyone else obsessed with MoneyDiaries on Refinery29? I seriously could sit and read them all day. When I first started reading them it was because I was nosey and find it fascinating to see how people spend their money. I also like to see how much different things cost in different parts of the world. And while I still like reading them at this surface level I've starting analyzing them a little more and reading into the deeper content. The Money Diaries series are a great first step to really thinking about how you spend your money. I've never really been a budgeteer. I know how much money I have in my account and I just don't spend more. But one thing I really want to work on this year is budgeting, and the first step is seeing how I spend my money. I thought a breakdown of what I spent this weekend would be a good first step in really looking into my spending habits.

Money Diaries are always anonymous and the photo is a random item they bought that week 

Friday 4pm- It's been a long week so I leave work an hour early and head home hoping to beat the traffic. It seems like everyone else had the same idea because I sit in traffic anyway. I get home and take the puppy out letting him run around extra long in the bark park at our apartment. Shortly after my fiancé gets home we head out to grab an early dinner. First we stop at Target to pick up an electric toothbrush he's been wanting. Electric toothbrushes remind me too much of the dentist so I don't get one, but I'd pre purchased it for him with the pick up in store function so I pay. We leave and head to McAlisters for dinner. I've been craving their chicken salad sandwich and sweet tea. He buys because I bought the toothbrush.
Total Spent : $42

Friday 7pm - Back home we decide to watch all the shows we've recorded during the week. We hardly ever watch anything live preferring to record them to watch later all at once. I decide to do some online shopping while we watch. Our engagement photos are scheduled in a couple of weeks and I can't decide what to wear. Last weekend I ordered a couple of party skirts from Amazon but didn't realize my shipping defaulted to my old Vail address until I received the shipping notice. My old post office is forwarding the box to me, but couldn't tell me when it'll arrive. These photos are obviously important so I don't want to wait and try to scramble a couple days before to find something. I order 3 dresses that I think will photograph well, hoping one will work and I'll return the rest.
Total Spent : $312

Saturday 9:30am - My favorite part of the weekend is waking up without an alarm. Getting to wake up when my body is ready does so much for my mental health. I eat a frozen breakfast sandwich and head out the door. I head to the post office to drop off my thank you notes from Christmas. I also need to buy stamps. Prices are going up this month and with my wedding I'll be using a lot this year. I pick out some pretty ones with hearts in the shape of flower that I think are the most wedding appropriate.
Total Spent : $100

Saturday 11am- I have a facial scheduled this morning. Spa days are a luxury I don't usually indulge in, but my parents gave me money for Christmas and a spa I've been following on Instagram was running a holiday special. I've already paid for the facial but the estonian convinces me to do an add on when I mention I want to focus on my skin care routine this year since I'm getting married. I also add tip and purchase a moisturizer she suggests that I can use for both day and night.
Total Spent : $129

Saturday 1pm - I call my fiancé when I'm leaving the spa to see if he wants to grab lunch before running some errands. He agrees so I pick him up and we agree on a popular brunch place in the mall since we needs to grab a few things anyway. We add our name to the waitlist and walk over to the shave store so he can buy some new shaving cream. Our table still isn't ready so I run over to pick up the book I have on hold at the library. For the last 5+ years I've been a big proponent of the library in an effort to save money and have less stuff; the Dallas library has a branch in the mall that's mostly used for children's story time but is super convenient for me to stop in and pick up books I've requested from other branches. Our table is now ready and I order a spicy chicken sandwich with pasta salad and a water; he has a cheese burger, fries, and coke. He buys because I'm going to buy the groceries later.
Total Spent : $0 

Saturday 3pm - Next stop is the grocery store. We always shop for the majority of our groceries at the same store to get the gas points. We make a quick list of what we'll cook this week and realize we don't need too much. We find a good deal on chicken breasts (buy one pack get two free!) and also decide to splurge and buy shrimp to eat tonight. Bacon, Sausage, a container of presliced veggies for roasting later in the week, a bag of romaine, orange juice, a block of cheddar cheese, and a bag of Smartpop.
Total Spent : $66

Saturday 4:30pm - Next month I'm going home for a mardi grass ball with my parents. I bought a new long dress but still need to get it hemmed. I take it to a seamstress with good reviews who will have it ready in a week. I don't have to pay until I pick up. Next I run over to DSW to return some shoes I ordered to go with the dress but don't love. While I'm there I decide to look around because I have a 20% off coupon and find some I do love.
Total Spent : $52  - $76 for returns 

Saturday 7pm - My fiancé cooks dinner (shrimp and grits!) while we watch the Cowboys game. The game doesn't end like we'd hoped, but dinner sure was good. I'm lucky to have a fiancé that likes to cook, and cooks things that I normally wouldn't. It really helps with the date nights at home. We also have a couple of beers we picked up last week on a liquor store run.
Total Spent : $0

Sunday 10am - I getting the start of a cold so we sleep in and skip church this morning. Sunday morning church is part of our weekly routine but we decide the extra sleep will be good for me and God understands. My fiancé cooks a big breakfast - pancakes, bacon, and scrambled eggs with pesto. I have chocolate almond milk and he has a mimosa.
Total Spent : $0

Sunday 1pm - The plan was to make crockpot chicken to go in a bag of tortilla soup mix I've had in the pantry for a while, but we realize we forgot to grab salsa at the grocery store. We decide instead we'll make burrito bowls and my fiancé runs out to grab a bell pepper and onion. He stops and turns in my winning scratch off ticket from the other week and also grabs some frozen cokes to drink while watching football. I do some laundry I've been putting off all weekend and roll spare change I've been collecting since I moved in April.
Total Spent : -$55 from my scratch off ticket and change 

Sunday 7pm - We make burrito bowls with grilled chicken, bell pepper, onion, rice, and frozen Mexican corn from Trader Joes. This is one of our favorite meals because we also have leftovers which reheat well for lunch the next day. My fiancé decides we should start watching Game of Thrones from the beginning since I've never seen it and he wants to watch the final season with me when it comes out. I shower (I usually shower at night to let my hair air dry) and head to bed early reading a couple of chapters of my book before falling asleep.
Total Spent : $0

Total for the Weekend : $570

Let me know, is this the kind of post you'd be interested in seeing more often? Have you done a similar breakdown of your spending?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2019 Intentions

On Monday I finally shared by 2018 goals recap so today I'm sharing my 2019 intentions. Notice how I'm calling them intentions and not goals or resolutions? I like the idea of intentions because it gives me a little more grace if I don't fully accomplish everyone. Resolutions feels like you're setting yourself up for failure and if you don't accomplish goals you're a failure. But this year I'm simply intending to do these things. I'm also only focusing on 4 intentions this year, sure there are more things I'd like to accomplish in 2019, but these are at the top of my list.

1. Save $3600 - This is the most important thing for me on this list. Since I've moved to Dallas I haven't put as much of a focus on saving as I had been, and that needs to end. The fiancée and I hope to buy a home in 2020, but that won't happen unless we seriously save in 2019.

2. Read 12 books - This was such a success in 2018 I knew I had to continue it in 2019! I'd love to read more than 12 books, but with another year of a full calendar I just don't think that's possible. I'm in a good routine of reading at least a few pages every night before bed; if I keep that up all year I should have no problem achieving this one again.

3. Feel confident in photos - It took me a long time to figure out how to phrase this goal. Last year I wanted to go down a dress size and that didn't work. I still don't think the answer is hitting a certain number on the scale either though. I have a lot of photos in my future for 2019 and really all I want is to be able to look at them and feel like I look good. I think that's partly loosing some weight and partly feeling confident in my own skin and realizing I'll never be 16 year old dance team skinny again.

4. Get involved in something in Dallas - The hardest part about moving as an adult is making friends. In Vail I was in an unique position where almost everyone I worked with was also new and so we quickly all became friends and then was able to slowly add to my friend group from there. I haven't had that luxury here in Dallas. This year I really want to get involved in something to make some girl friends. Dallas is where I plan to spend the rest of my life so I seriously need to "find my tribe."

Did you make goals/resolutions this year? What are your 2019 intentions?

Monday, January 7, 2019

2018 Goals Recap

Happy 2019! I know I'm almost a week late, but last week I was enjoying the last of my holiday break from work and just honestly couldn't be bothered to do anything except relax. For the first time in my life I work in an office that closes for the holidays and enjoyed the most time off work I've had since moving the Vail back in 2015. To say I enjoyed my time off is a major understatement, but I'm feeling refreshed and rested like I haven't in a long time!

2018 was a huge year for me; new job, new city, new fiancé! When 2018 started I was honestly feeling a little over whelmed and burnt-out. Work was crazy busy as we were finishing up a major system upgrade I was tasked with being the point person for. It was a huge task, especially because I don't consider myself to be an especially tech savvy person, but I learned a lot and was able to add a huge experience to my resume. That stress combined with the cold, but dry (not good in a ski town!) winter had me in a funk. I knew I needed some kind of change and it was around this time last year that I really started to seriously consider a move. That ultimately came to fruition a few months later when I accepted my new job and made the 14 hour drive to Dallas. Shortly (as in within 60 days) after starting my new job in Dallas my director put in his notice and our team of 3 became a team of 2 about 6 weeks before our largest conference of the year. Thankfully everything went off without a hitch and we had a great conference. A few weeks after that the love of my life proposed and we started wedding planning for our big day! All of that is to say that 2018 was a total whirlwind of a year, started out kinda low but certainly finished out on a high!

One of my favorite 2018 photos

And now a formal 2018 goals recap!

1. Save $1200 - Okay confession time, I'm not 100% sure if I hit this one or not, but I'm pretty sure I didn't. I honestly can't remember how much was in my savings account when 2018 started, but I didn't add the $100 to my savings account each month like I'd hoped. Honestly I don't feel too bad about this one, because I did move and fully furnish a new apartment this year. 

2. Go down a dress size - This was a big time failure. I blame it on moving to the South where we cook everything in butter, drink sweet tea by the gallon, and Sprinkles Cupcakes is such an easy stop on my way home from church on Sundays. 

3. Publish 100 blog posts - Again, didn't do so hot here, at 53 posts for the year I barely hit half my goal. With everything I had going on I don't feel bad that I didn't blog more because I was busy! But I do hate that I missed out on such good content to share. 

4. Go to church consistently - This was a huge success! I'm happy to report that since moving to Dallas not only do I go to church almost every Sunday, but I'm also officially a member of a parish. We're getting married in our church here in Dallas so taking the time to fill out the paperwork to officially join only made sense. 

5. Read 12 books - 100% complete! Honestly I'm most proud of this considering how much else I had going on this year. The Goodreads challenge really helped me stay accountable for this one. Favorite titles from the year were The Alice Network, The Gilded Years, and Small Admissions

6. Visit one new place - I actually visited a few new places this year, St. Louis, Toronto, and San Antonio  Plus a move to a new place, Dallas!

7. Complete 20 things on my 101 in 1001 list and blog about them - If I really think about it I probably did 20 things, but I know I didn't blog about them. Hopefully I can get some posts written soon about some of these things. 

8. Don't feel guilty for doing what makes me happy - I'd say this one was a success. Sure I felt bad a couple of times for not blogging more or eating healthy, but (obviously) most of the time I just tuned that out and did what I wanted. 

How'd you do with your 2018 goals?