Monday, February 24, 2020

Spring Fashion I'm Loving

Now that Valentine's Day has come and gone I feel like we can start talking about spring. I know we're still technically about a month away from the start of spring, but hey the ground hog did predict an early spring! I'm trying not to make any fashion purchases this month, but here are a few things I've got my eye on once the month ends!

I also have my eyes on these new Rothy's but I can't decide if I think them more than the regular pointed toe ones. And this Target dress has been getting a lot of love from other bloggers recently, but I can't decide which color I like best.

What spring fashion do you have your eyes on?

Monday, February 10, 2020

What I'm Currently Watching

The weather here in Dallas is supposed to be gross and rainy all week. Gross and rainy weather makes me want to sit home and binge watch tv, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one who feels that same way! Even though I've made it a goal to be more intentional with my time this year and not sit around endlessly watching tv, I still have my fair share of recommendations for you!

1. Cheer - I never did cheer ( I can't even do a cartwheel lol) but I think the big picture message of this docu-series is one that everyone can get behind. This is getting so much hype already I'm sure you've watched, but if you've yet to pull the trigger I'll say the hype is totally worth it.

2. Grace and Frankie - The final season dropped on Netflix about a month ago and while I'm sad the series is over I think it ended in the perfect way. If you're looking for a funny series to bing in it's entirety I'd highly recommend this one.

3. Disney+ Classics - One of my favorite parts of Disney+ so far has been the old live action movies. It's been fairly easy to catch the classic animated ones on other streaming services or tv in the last few years, but nobody has played the live action ones. Some of my favorites are Bed Knobs and Broomsticks, The Ugly Dachshund, and Blackbeard's Ghost

4. Encore! - speaking of Disney+, this is my favorite of their original programming. The idea is that they go back years later and re-do a high school musical with the original cast. Some of the casts are only about 10 years out of high school, but some of them are closer to 30 years. It's so funny because there's usually at least one person in each cast who has a big personality and tries to bring back the old high school drama.

5. Troop Zero - This Amazon movie was so well done I think it could have been released in theaters. I was never a girl scout, but again the big picture message is one that resonates with anyone. Plus there are some big names in the cast.

6. 911 Lone Star - This was my husband's pick, but it's one that I really enjoy too! It's not as intense as the other 911 show and how can you not love something with Rob Lowe as the main character.

7. Miss Americana - My love of Taylor Swift has been well documented here, so you know I'm biased, but this was so so good. I literally cried three times watching it. I have a whole new respect for Taylor the person after watching this one.

What are you currently watching?

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wedding Wednesday : My Bachelorette Weekend

When it came time to plan my bachelorette weekend I was really stumped as to what to do. I only had my two sisters as bridesmaids, neither of which are your typical Las Vegas bachelorette type of girls. I decided what I really wanted was a chill weekend with my mom and two sisters. After lots of thinking my mom had the great idea of going to a cooking school!

I flew home to Mississippi and then we drove up to Greenwood. Greenwood is a small town (well large for the area) in the Mississippi Delta. Fun fact, they actually shot a lot of scenes from the movie The Help in Greenwood! Greenwood is also home to the Viking Cooking School.

In the middle of downtown is a cute little street with some local shops, the cooking school, and The Alluvian Hotel. The Alluvian is a cute boutique hotel with a spa and restaurant. We had dinner at the on-site restaurant, Giardina's, our first night and I'd highly recommend it. The restaurant is set up as separate little private booths so your meal feels very intimate and private. The hotel also serves breakfast on the top floor each morning. It's a great Southern style breakfast with eggs, biscuits, grits; all the yummy things you need to start the day!

The cooking school itself was such a fun experience! We selected a class where we made Southern favorites inspired by the movie The Help. We started with some sweet tea and deviled eggs while we learned the correct way to dice an onion and peel garlic. We then learned to make fried chicken, skillet corn bread, mac&cheese, greens, and buttermilk biscuits. We finished the class with a slice of chocolate pie! The class was perfect because not only were the instructions easy to follow, but all the ingredients were already measured out (my least favorite part of cooking) and there were two instructors to help if you got confused. Oh and you didn't have to do any dishes when it was all done!

I came home with a Viking apron, packet of receipts, and feeling like I was ready to be a real Southern housewife! I would recommend the Viking Cooking School to anyone wanting a relaxing bachelorette weekend or just a fun, low-key girls getaway.

Monday, February 3, 2020

20 easy ways to reach your savings goals in 2020

A few weeks back I shared 20 easy tips for reaching your health goals in 2020 so today I thought I'd share my tips fore reaching the other most common type of resolution; savings goals. Even if my didn't make an official money/ savings goal for 2020 these tips are so easy you could incorporate one without trouble. I recently saw something on instagram that said the way to spend $1000 in a year is to spend $19.23 a week. When you think about it that, saving $1000 in a year seems very doable! Here are my 20 easy ways!

  1. have a no spend month 
  2. pay your savings account at the beginning of the month 
  3. download the grocery store app and shop the sales
  4. pack your lunch 
  5. never buy something just because "it's on sale"
  6. enjoy date night at home
  7. sell your less worn items on Poshmark
  8. cut a subscription service 
  9. plan minimal ingredient meals
  10. pick up a side hustle 
  11. go out for happy hour drinks + apps instead of dinner 
  12. cash in your credit card points
  13. make your coffee at home 
  14. get a library card 
  15. ask for a raise 
  16. buy frozen veggies vs. fresh
  17. "shop" your closet
  18. swap accessories with a friend 
  19. ask yourself if you really need it before making a purchase 
  20. have a clear vision of what you're saving for 
What are your tips to reach your savings goals? 

Want more tips on reaching your savings goals? Go check out this old post I wrote 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Winter 2020 Playlist

Today's devoted to house chores and other random tasks. I have a little laundry and vacuuming plus finishing cleaning my oven, try not to be too jealous! Friday I spent 2.5 hours at the DMV getting my name changed on my license so now I have to change it everywhere. Not a difficult task in theory, but annoying and time consuming. When I have things like this to get done at home I find I'm most productive with a good playlist, here's what I'm currently listening to!

What song do you currently have on repeat?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Wedding Wednesday : Favorite Registry Items

Breaking out another Wedding Wednesday post to share some of our most used and favorite registry items. These 6 items are more unique than the basic obvious wedding registry items every list tells you to add. Obviously a wedding registry is more than likely going to include new bedding and towels and a set of china or everyday dishes. My advice for those items is to select something classic that will match other items you already have in your home. We went with an every day china collection (machine washable!) that is white with a gold border; it's simple and timeless and will easily match whatever serving pieces or table decor I use. So here are my 6 unique favorite registry items!

Sorry, I'm just a little obsessed with my ring! Read the story of it here

Air Fryer / Instant Pot- This wasn't an original registry item, but I'm so glad we added it! Having two great kitchen appliances in one really can't be beat! And yes, both of these are as good as all the hype they get.

Immersion Blender - I've wanted one of these for years so I was so glad when it was one of the first items we received! I love that this one includes a blending cup perfect for when I'm just doing a small amount.

Taco Racks - A lot of people shy away from including fun gifts like this on a registry, but I think they're the exact type of gift people love to give! Fun, yet practical so they'll get a lot of use, plus these are really easy to clean! We also registered for these fajita pans which we love as well!

Vacuum - This is admittedly a high dollar item that is out of the price range of most people, but I'd still advise including it. We combined all our gift cards to buy ours, but this would be a great gift for a few couples or your wedding party to go in on together.

Pot set - This is the perfect time to upgrade your basics. This set has the perfect variety of sizes, including a large pot that's perfect for making big batches of soup or gumbo!

Christmas Plates - Special holiday pieces are the perfect things to add to your registry. My godmother got us these precious Christmas plates that I know we will use every year and think of her.

One final note on wedding registry items. We registered at Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Williams Sonoma. Target and BBB were so easy to work with in regards to starting the registry and making returns/exchanges. Williams Sonoma was a nightmare. When I started our Williams Sonoma registry they also (unknown to me) started a Pottery Barn registry where they added one white bath towel, hand towel, and washcloth. I only discovered this when I received these gifts in the mail from someone who purchased them thinking that was all that was left on my registry. In the process of getting everything settled Williams Sonoma deleted my actual registry; after countless hours on the phone and emailing 11 different people in their customer service department we were finally able to find and reactivate the real registry. All they offered me after that nightmare experience was a 10% discount on a future purchase, so less than they regularly mark things for store wide sales. And then because all of that wasn't a big enough headache, unless a gift was purchased in the store you visit they can not refund/exchange it; you have to wait to be mailed a gift card. They have nice things, but the headache just isn't worth it; register somewhere else.

Monday, January 13, 2020

20 DFW restaurants I want to try this year

When I first moved to Dallas I had these grand dreams of all the great new restaurants I would enjoy. But in the almost 2 years I've lived here I find myself keeping on going back to the same places. There's nothing wrong with having favorite spots, but as I try to be more intentional with my spending this year I want to try and branch out. Here are 20 DFW restaurants I want to try this year. My hope is to use this list the next time we don't know where to go on date night or for lunch after church.

cheeseburger and fries from Sweet Basil in Vail 

1. Hudson House - This has been on my open table list forever; they have a couple of salads and a cheeseburger that look to die for

2. Maple leaf Diner - After trying Poutine in Toronto a few years back I'm dying to try it again, what better place than the local Canadian diner!

3. Joe T. Garcia's - This is the place for margaritas and fajitas in Fort Worth. I think the husband and I need to take a day trip to explore and eat

4. Pizza Americana - I pass this pizza spot every day going to work but always forget about it when we order a pizza

5. Bar Taco - I've seen other bloggers talk about how good this spot is, so I've been excited to try it out since ours opened a few months back

6. The Biscuit Bar - This looks like the perfect spot for brunch after church one Sunday.

7. Cane Rosso - The dessert pizzas alone got this pizza place added to my list

8. Pecan Lodge - Everyone says this is the best BBQ in Dallas, it's time I try it out for myself

9. Ziziki's - I love Greek food, but don't eat near enough of it.

10. Taverna - $2 mimosa brunch. Need I say more?

11. Rise No. 1 - I've admittedly never had a savory souffle so I'm mostly interested in the sweet ones. Oh and the marshmallow soup!

12. El Fenix - This Dallas chain has been around for over 100 years so you know it must be doing something right

13. Royal China - I've heard this is the place for dumplings and I love dumplings!

14. Emporium Pies - Does a bakery count as a restaurant? I've decided it does!

15. The Zodiac- Are you really a Dallasitte if you've never lunched in the original Neiman Marcus?

16. Oddfellows - My maiden name is one letter off, so obviously this made the list

17. Partenope Ristorante - This southern Italian spot caught my eye on a list of hot new restaurants in Dallas and I've been thinking about the menu ever since

18. Keller's Drive-in - You know something is good when it doesn't even need it's own website, just a Facebook page

19. Ida Claire - This looks like the perfect quirky little spot for a delicious bite

20. Cafe Pacific - On an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate they talked about the pecan ball with is  pecans, vanilla ice cream, and fudge sauce all round up in a ball. This has been on my list ever since

What's your favorite DFW restaurant? I'd love to add more to my list!

Monday, January 6, 2020

20 easy ways to reach your health goals for 2020

I would bet that 90% of people incorporate a health goal into their new years resolutions. This year my health goals for 2020 included wanting to work out 3 times a week and stopping junk food snacking. Obviously my overall goal is to lose weight and be healthy, but I chose these 2 specific goals to best help me reach that overall goal. Today I wanted to share 20 easy ways to help reach your health goals for 2020. I've learned that the best way to reach a goal is to be specific and have a game plan; these are 20 easy ways to do just that!

  1. Take the stairs 
  2. Take a water bottle everywhere
  3. Ask to substitute the fries for fresh fruit or a salad 
  4. Do 20 jumping jacks, 20 sit ups and 20 push ups first thing in the morning 
  5. Don't buy junk food 
  6. Drink a glass of water for every beer/cocktail/glass of wine 
  7. Park at the back of the parking lot 
  8. Take your dog for a walk instead of just letting him run around the yard
  9. Get your burger/sandwich lettuce wrapped 
  10. Do 5 squats during every commercial break 
  11. Practice proper portion control 
  12. Pack your lunch 
  13. Don't worry about the number on the scale; focus on how you feel 
  14. Get a full night's sleep 
  15. Order grilled instead of fried 
  16. Skip the whipped cream on your coffee
  17. Take a lap around the mall before starting your shopping 
  18. Make a weekly menu and grocery list before grocery shopping 
  19. Stock your desk/fridge with healthy snacks 
  20. Be realistic and know there is no magic fix other than hard work 

Find more of my healthy living tips here and here

Friday, January 3, 2020

2020 Word of the Year and Goals

A few years ago it was the "cool" thing to pick a word of the year. The trendiness of it only lasted that year so I didn't pick one again the next year and didn't really think about it again until now. When I started to think of what my 2020 goals were I kept coming back to the same thing, wanting to live each day with intention.

In 2020 I want to be intentional with how I spend my time, money and energy. There are 365 days in a year and I plan to use every last one of them. On average I have about 4 hours for me each work day once I make it home; some of that time needs to go to cooking dinner and other household chores, but too much of it is going to just lounging around watching tv or scrolling my phone. Sure lazy days and relaxing and recharging are important and have their place, but honestly I'm not doing anything so stressful that I need to recharge for hours every day. 2019 was a great year, but it came with a lot of big life changes; I'm hoping 2020 is full of little life changes. I plan to live with intention  and check off lots of little goals.

I shared my 2020 goals on Instagram the other week but I'm excited to share it here now. I borrowed this goals worksheet from Katey. She has another planner and habit tracker on her website too if you're interested. The idea for my 2020 goals was to keep everything manageable and things to continue to work on all year!

Family - Eat dinner together at the table 3 times a week

Home - Don't leave dishes in the sink. Figure out landscaping

Career - Pass 2 classes toward my certification

Health - Workout at least twice a week. Stop junk food snacking

Spiritual & Community - Sunday Mass every week. Pray the Rosary monthly

Personal - Read 15 books. Get serious about learning another language

What are your goals for 2020?

PS : Pretending like its 2014 and linking up with Helene today!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 Goals Recap

Happy 2020! I'm honestly so sad to see 2019 go because it was a good year filled with good memories, but before I officially close the page I thought I'd share a final 2019 goals recap! You might remember I decided to officially call them intentions and not goals; looking back now I think that's because I had very little faith in myself achieving these. But I'm excited to say I'd call 2019 a success!

1. Save $3600 - This was a total failure as I added nowhere near that much to my savings this year. But I did buy a house which was the big why behind this goal so maybe it wasn't a total failure. I also helped the husband see the importance of savings and I'm proud to say we're back on track of slowly adding to our savings while also paying off debt/ our mortgage.

2. Read 12 Books - Success! This one came down to the wire and I finished my final book with about a week to go. Halfway though the year this was not looking good and I was prepared to give myself a lot of grace for not reaching it, but I really prioritized reading the last two months and got this complete! I won't be doing a full "what I read" recap because I wouldn't recommend most of what I read, but I did really enjoy Love at First Like and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and didn't think American Royals or The Dinner List lived up to their hype.

3. Feel Confident in Photos - This was a success, but not in the way I thought it would. I originally set this goal as my "lose weight and be healthy" goal without wanting to say lose weight and be healthy. I didn't lose any weight this year, in fact I may have gained a couple pounds, but I did realize that in the big picture of life that's okay. When I look at my wedding photos I don't look at a single one and think I wish I were skinnier or wore a smaller dress size; all I see is someone truly happy and filled with joy. Could I stand to lose a few pounds? Sure who couldn't. But I'm not letting that control me and my happiness and sense of self worth.

4. Get Involved in Something in Dallas - Another success! About a month ago I officially became a member of Junior League of Richardson. When I first wrote this goal I really thought I'd get involved in my sorority alum chapter and honestly never even considered Junior League, which is silly because joining Junior League was one of my 100 in 1001 goals. Junior League of Dallas is crazy competitive to get into so I'm glad I joined by suburbs group; not only is the group smaller and more manageable but I like that we serve a more distinct area.

How'd you do on your 2019 goals? Did you do a recap post? Share the link below!