Category: Personal / Information / Etc.

A Day in the Life // Work From Home (3/18/20)

A Day in the Life // Work From Home (3/18/20)

I thought given the current situation of staying home and isolating, I’d share what my day looked like once this week! I’m bad at remembering to take early morning pictures so I apologize we’re missing the coffee-and-Kindle situation from when I first woke up. I fell asleep super early last night so I was really hoping to wake up around 5:30 to finish my book and relax with YouTube. As usual, I forgot to press snooze and woke up naturally at 6:15 instead. My boss and I had worked from home the day before since I had a cough in the morning. We were planning to kind of play it by ear since our office has two people in it and we could easily work from home. I expected to go in this morning when I woke up. I got out of bed to make my coffee, eat some pistachio loaf, and go to the bathroom. Chris left for work a few minutes before. He works as a machinist so he has to go in. I spent the morning finishing up SUPER ADJACENT for a blog tour coming up in early April. I also watched Book Roast’s announcement for OWLS, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while, and hopped in the shower. While showering, my boss texted that she would be working from home again today. I was surprised and a little mad I rushed myself in the morning, but overall happy to stay home for now. I got […]

Following a Skinnytaste Meal Plan

Following a Skinnytaste Meal Plan

I’ve followed Skinnytaste for a long time now because her recipes are so dang good and healthy! She was a go-to when I was doing WW because she includes the points (and calories, which helps me now) for her meals. I’ve always kept an eye on her weekly FREE meal plans and debated trying one out. There often was a meal or two that didn’t look great to me, or I didn’t want to buy all the groceries, or whatever other excuse I could come up with. I finally decided, after my grocery challenge was over, that I would follow a week of her meal plan for Chris and I to eat. I figured my house was fairly empty of food and waiting for a real grocery trip, so why not? I looked at the most recent meal plan at the time (she had it slated for 2/24-3/1 but I started it on 3/2 instead, since I was finishing my grocery challenge at the end of the month). Most of the recipes looked good to us, with only two really “out of our comfort zone” but not bad! I’ve never made a creamy soup before or cooked with tofu, but we were open to trying them out. This was the perfect meal plan to begin with. Here’s how I approached it and how it went! Prepwork I printed out the recipes, calendar, and grocery shopping list for the week and started looking it over. She has it set up so […]

February Grocery Challenge: Weeks 3-4 & Wrap-Up

February Grocery Challenge: Weeks 3-4 & Wrap-Up

You saw recently how I made a February Grocery Challenge to use food up that I had on hand and stick to a $20 per week (sometimes $25 if needed) grocery budget for the entire month of February. I shared my reasons for doing it, the rules I developed for the challenge, and tracked ALL of the things we ate and bought throughout February from a food perspective. The post got quite long as a result so I thought I would split my posts up a bit and share the overall results and lessons learned in a separate post. The Results Week Three (2/17 through 2/23) Monday EATS: As I mentioned in the last post a couple weeks ago, we had leftover meatloaf with green beans and mashed potatoes for lunch. I decided to actually do a planned Meatless Monday for dinner with some of the new groceries I bought. I found a recipe for an eggplant caprese (I didn’t grill the eggplant but I did use the grill pan on the stove instead, which was fine!) and made an Italian-style quinoa (including fire-roasted tomatoes, zucchini, and sun-dried tomatoes) to get some protein and more veggies on the side. SHOPPING: Okay SO I decided to go rogue and do my final two grocery shops for the month in one fell swoop. I wanted to keep close to the budget, get everything at once, and do Walmart pickup instead of going into a store and spending too much money. Their minimum for pickup is $30 so I […]

February Grocery Challenge: Rules & Weeks 1-2

February Grocery Challenge: Rules & Weeks 1-2

I spoke a while back about how randomly I got obsessed with Jordan Page’s videos. She’s a specialist in being frugal, budgeting, paying off debt, scheduling, productivity… all that good stuff. While I’ve heard some so-so things about her since (just google it), a lot of her videos and blog posts have inspired me in my house and life. The main ones here related to the #Shelftember and #Stocktober challenges. You limit grocery spending in September to $25/week and eat from your pantry, fridge, and freezer as much as you possibly can. In October, you stock back up on the essentials. I realized in January how I spend SO much money on groceries. I only grocery shop during my lunch break because I’m in a town with way more options (Trader Joe’s!) than the town I live in. I tend to buy smaller bits of groceries throughout the week but sometimes find myself going WAY over budget because of so many small trips to different stores. Can’t get Velveeta for the Superbowl at Trader Joe’s? Guess I’ll also stop at Stop & Shop and oh wait they have all these other things I may need sometime soonish! – me all the damn time. Believe me, it’s good for my computer-facing eyeballs to leave the office at lunch (and during the warm weather I love to just read a book outside!), but I don’t need to go to a STORE multiple times each week. Enough was enough – we have an expensive […]

Huge True Crime Podcast Round-Up

Posted February 12, 2020 / Media, Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
Huge True Crime Podcast Round-Up

A few years ago, I posted three podcast recommendation posts: one for true crime and some comedy, one with my current rotation (including wrestling and general podcasts), and another true crime update. Surprisingly, I’ve only really featured podcasts in my Lauren Lately and Five on Friday posts since then! That means I’ve shouted them out very randomly across about three years. I thought it was high time for a BIG update on my podcast recommendations. Yes, these are all true crime-related. I’ll give brief descriptions and general feelings about them underneath and they’ll be in alphabetical order, so I don’t have to worry about ranking them. These are all ones I’ve listened to between mid-2018 and early 2020, and I’ll let you know if they’re ongoing or if they’ve wrapped up. Quick list of true crime-ish podcasts I’ve recommended in the past: Unconcluded, The Fall Line, My Favorite Murder, Thin Air, Dirty John, Up and Vanished, Serial, Criminal, Missing Richard Simmons, Accused, In the Dark, Finding Tammy Jo, S-Town, and Unresolved Show: A Killing on the Cape Style: About one case  Status: Complete Snapshot: This one was an interesting, professionally-made podcast about a murder that happened on Cape Cod. It was made by 20/20 and there’s also an episode you could watch about it. Was the convicted man actually the one who committed the crime? Show: A Murder on Orchard Street Style: About one case Status: Complete Snapshot: Super similar to A Killing on the Cape, as it was also made by […]

Currently: February

Currently: February

Currently is hosted by Anne in Residence, where we link up and discuss what we’re currently doing, feeling, etc.! The topics change each month and this post is about what we’re loving, embracing, tasting, wearing, and preparing. I like to link up on things like this occasionally and have done my own “currently” posts in the past as well. Currently loving… Our new TV: We knew we wanted to get a new television around the Super Bowl because that’s when the best deals happen for them (correct, not Black Friday!). My dad called me in late January (the day of the Royal Rumble) to tell me the sales were kicking off at places like PC Richards and Target, so we spent the whole day looking at the screens and finalizing our choice. We’re SO happy with the one we selected! We also bought a new TV stand for underneath since our old one was super small (just like the TV was lol). We managed to shop around, buy both the stand and TV, and set everything up JUST in time for the Rumble to start! We were excited to host Chris’s sister and her husband for the Superbowl this weekend too. Tati Beauty’s Blendiful: So there have been some mixed comments and reviews on this one so far but I genuinely adore it. Before I get into that stuff, let me explain: Tati came out with this new sponge/puff sort of duo that you can apply your entire face with. I used […]

2020 Planners, Spreadsheets, and Organization

2020 Planners, Spreadsheets, and Organization

Alright y’all – new year, new planners and spreadsheets! I’ve posted countless organization-related posts over the years that can be found in this category on my blog. I’m keeping some spreadsheets and planners the same as last year and bringing some new things to the table as well, so let’s get into it! Planners (Digital and Paper) Artful Agenda – Digital Life Planner I wrote a whooole post on this when I first got the Artful Agenda, so feel free to check that out for an overview. I use this to sync with my Google calendars (blog posts and personal) and can include other tasks, meals, and to-do lists/notes pages. Below are two screenshots. The first is part of the monthly view: And below includes the daily page layout, next to the calendar section. (For more pictures, definitely check out the post I linked above.) There are priority tasks, other tasks, meals, water intake, and an automated daily quote. The section at the bottom has a title you can edit, so I made mine into a place where I can track groceries and/or things I need to pick up that day. I also use the “other tasks” section for my internet and blog-based tasks; the “priority tasks” section is mostly for ~real-life~ tasks. Bullet Journal for Reading/Books I’m still doing a bullet journal this year for my 2020 reads! Again, I made a whole post about this with my pages before I filled anything in, so check out that post […]

2020 Reading Bullet Journal

2020 Reading Bullet Journal

I tried to share some bullet journal posts last year and got lazy for the final pages of the year. I think I was not giving myself enough ability to be creative with it and just lost steam. I ended up putting a lot of thought and effort into my layouts for this year, so I thought I would share my bullet journal setup for 2020! This includes all of the yearly pages (reading tracking overall, challenges, etc.) but not the monthly layouts. I kept some layouts the same, moved stuff around, and came up with brand new ideas for my new challenges. I also ended up using the same bullet journal from 2019 and just setting up a 2020 section because I barely made a dent in it last year haha. So, here we go! 2020 Divider Because I’m continuing in the same bullet journal from last year, I decided to make a 2020 divider page so I know where the new year starts. I’m keeping the little bookmark there as well. Year in reading and dates completed/read These pages are similar from last year’s setup as well. I made a large book where I color in one stripe/line across for every five books I finish. By the end of the year, the book should be full of stripes and colored in! The second page here features a year-long calendar. If I finish a book on a specific day, I circle that date in the calendar. If I finish […]

#ChristmasMovieADay (40 Movies) | Part 1

Posted December 16, 2019 / Media, Personal / Information / Etc. / 1 Comment
#ChristmasMovieADay (40 Movies) | Part 1

I thought there was too much pressure (only from myself TBH) last year to watch and review holiday movies, but I still felt like something was MISSING from my holiday post schedule without this kind of roundup! I thought I would talk a little about my plans to watch 40 Christmas movies in the 40 days leading up to Christmas (approximately). I tweeted each of them so this little roundup will discuss each movie per my Twitter feed! #ChristmasMovieADay While this hasn’t worked out exactly as I planned (because honestly a LOT of the Hallmark movies this year didn’t fully appeal to me for some reason), I still wanted to target watching 40 movies in the 40 days leading up to Christmas. I figured any time where I got behind, I’d probably make up for it later on. Chris is on board with watching some classics when we get closer to Christmas, so we’d end up seeing a few movies a day then. I also got lucky where my boss was out of the office for a few days – that meant I could play some cheesy Hallmark or Netflix movies in the background while working. Mini Movie Reviews So Far   #ChristmasMovieADay A Shoe Addict’s Christmas 🎄 I somehow didn’t get around to this one last year despite the fact that CCB is my favorite. Fun concept overall but I don’t know why God was referenced..usually Hallmark is not that overt and it felt random toward the end pic.twitter.com/jkjfLxx57h […]

Holiday Decor Home Tour

Posted December 5, 2019 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
Holiday Decor Home Tour

I try to share my super basic holiday decor each season, and this year is no exception! It’s very similar to last year but we managed to move a few things around differently. I also added a couple other decor elements after consulting with Chris that we were just missing a little something. He’s very much a “we’ll do Christmas after Thanksgiving” kind of person, while I prefer to start on November 1st, so we usually compromise a bit. I’ll watch my movies and listen to music all throughout November and we decorate our house during Thanksgiving weekend (last year it was riiiiight before Thanksgiving lol). So! Here’s what we did over the previous weekend. I would have put the tree up so much earlier but refrained! Chris and I headed to the local farm we went to last year – Cropley’s – to pick out our tree. We had a lot of success in 2018 because we got a much larger tree for the price, based on the size range for each price range at the farm. We spent a little more this year, which annoyed us, but the tree we got is virtually perfect! We put it in our stand on Saturday after Thanksgiving and then had a million errands (and a birthday party) to attend/do. So, we spent our Sunday morning decorating before football! It actually snowed on December 1st up here too, so having the Christmas tree up with the lights during a snowy football Sunday/end […]