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!