Category: Personal / Information / Etc.

Quarantine Goals and Habits

I shared on Twitter the other day that I downloaded an app (Habitica – feel free to check it out but that’s not what this is about, nor is it my favorite thing. It works though.) to track some of the daily habits I really want to accomplish. Habits, goals, and little to-do lists all rolled into one. Everyone is approaching this weird time in our lives in a different way. Chris works in manufacturing and, as of right now, is still considered essential. I am thinking there will be some time off in his future (fingers crossed), but right now I’m alone in quarantine, working from home each day. He doesn’t get to join in in the craziness of actually being home 24/7, which sucks for both of us frankly, but there are still some quarantine-ish things he has to deal with anyways. Daily Habits I thought I would break my goals down into some categories, expand on them to include broader “during quarantine overall” kinds of things beyond the daily habits I want to keep. But, the main things I plan to do EVERY day are: Get outside If it’s nice out, this means spending some genuine quality time on the porch, going for a walk, or on the front step. Even if it’s horrible, rainy, and cold out, I need a minute or so of outdoor time still. That could be greeting Chris on the front porch under the awning or walking to get the mail. Be […]

The Bright Side (4/10)

Posted April 10, 2020 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 0 Comments
The Bright Side (4/10)

As we’re all going through the same global pandemic with various levels of “stay the F home,” I thought it would be fun to highlight the good things in each week, instead of dwelling on the negatives, the unknowns, and the uncertain future. I tend to do some kind of wrap-up or rundown of my week/month/etc. on Fridays each week (often linking up with Friday Favorites/Currently) so this isn’t too much of a diversion from that. ✨ Someone Great I’d been really good about watching the Netflix rom-coms as they came out (Chris doesn’t care about watching them with me), but I kept putting this one off for no reason. I LOVED the chemistry of this cast! I decided to watch right before work one morning and it was a great way to start the day. It was a bright spot of the week; I laughed and smiled throughout the movie (a little less so at the ending but that’s okay). ✨ Spotify and YouTube I’ve always enjoyed music but I haven’t been as focused on it post-college. I got back into reading and started listening to audiobooks, and then I added podcasts to my routine too. Music fell by the wayside except for during work hours. Now that I’m home all day, I can listen to music loudly when I’m not on calls. I can also keep some casual YouTube videos on in the background! Usually these are about fashion/Amazon, meal prep, ASMR and other lowkey videos. The playlist […]

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 […]