4.26.2015

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly [Weekend Recap]

This weekend was one for the books, both good and bad. We'll cover both parts for all practical purposes.

this part...obviously good. 

To start out with, Friday night went both better and worse than expected. What began as a simple dinner out with my husband and some friends turned into a couple of Moscow Mules (literally two) later which thus resulted in a very fun time and a very sick Erin. This was both troublesome and horrible timing because the very next morning (Saturday) I was participating in our town's local Amazing Race. I'm not saying that I was roofied but I am saying that the last time two drinks made me this sick was never. I'm either getting way too old to hang or the bartender realllllly liked me. I'm going to go with option one.

Long story short, have you ever woke up at 6 am on a Saturday morning knowing that you have a full day of physical and mental labor ahead of you feeling like you want to die? Well, I did. Thankfully some coffee and one McDonalds hash brown later and I was ready to run. And so that's what I did. 
At 10 am our team took off and 3 hours later after doing some of the craziest stuff all around town we finished in 7th place out of 24 teams. Not bad all things considering. 


If you haven't even saran-wrapped yourself to 3 co-workers while having to walk down a basketball court to each pick up a stick and walk back to drop it in a bucket, I highly encourage you try. Saran-wrap. Always cheap entertainment.

Saturday evening my family got together to watch home videos from 20+ years ago which had to be the most amusing thing I have done in a very long time. Apparently at age 4 I still didn't know how to talk and I was afraid of everything. Including pink Barbie cars and blowing out candles. 


Next things next, Sunday rolled around and while doing a little landscaping shopping at Lowes I 
realized I no longer had my drivers license or debit card with me meaning I lost it at some point time on Saturday. This is only somewhat of an issue because I am flying this week and last time I checked those TSA people are pretty adamant about having identification (rude, I know). To keep my freaking out at bay I decided to attend a "lets learn how to paint!" workshop because that seemed like something a girl who can no longer have more than 2 drinks should do. Not sure if any of you have ever heard of Annie Sloan paint but apparently this stuff is the shiz. I know this only because it costs a decent amount of money. Anything expensive is obviously important. I also know it is awesome because you no longer have to sand something before painting it which is pretty freaking exciting if you are anti-sand like me. Needless to say our bedroom furniture shall be transformed soon enough. And by that I mean most likely in the next 5-10 years. 


And that pretty much covers my weekend folks. 

Stay tuned for this weeks posts which will consist of my most recent Stitch Fix goodies, our completed guest bathroom before and after, updates on our other home projects, a post about really good wine, and perhaps a few other things sprinkled in between. Please pray that I make it to Arizona and that I don't get sent back home for improper identification. I'm not kidding either. PRAY PEOPLE PRAY. 

Okay, thanks. Goodbye. 

top & jeans :: stitch fix // bracelet :: pixie dots

pssssst......that white brick you see on the left - WE NO LONGER HAVE ORANGE BRICK! #hallelujah. More to come on that in the near future as well. 

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4.23.2015

Music Festival Must-Haves



If there is one thing I love more than food, it's live music. I can't ever seem to get enough, which would explain why I found myself in a club Monday night that is clearly more fit for ripe 20 year olds (who like knives and things) and not soon to be 30 year olds but whatever. Concert season is about to kick off in full effect and as I prepare to head to my favorite music festival, CMA Fest in Nashville this June, I thought it would be a good idea to share my music festival must-haves for this Summer.

Lets get this party started --

1. Outfits fit to sing and dance in..all day long. 
tee :: miss chic // shorts :: target

Because country is my music of choice, this tee was a no brainer. Well that and because cowboys. Frayed denim are always my go-to because if there is one thing my legs don't like being is hot and sweaty. Because they are all like "LET ME BREATHE WOMAN" I let them do just that. Choose your outfits wisely -- comfort and IG worthy should always be your two priorities when deciding ;)

2. Cheapo plastic sunglasses

You're at a music festival. People are spilling beer everywhere. Don't bring your Pradas into that mess. Find the cheapest pair of sunnies out there and wear em' to your hearts content. 

3. A phone that you can count on...all day(s) and night(s) long. 


I don't know about you but I'm kinda addicted to having my phone with me for any major life event (okay and in bed, at breakfast, and in the bathtub). Chances are you aren't going to be nearby any electrical outlets while dancing and singing your heart out and that's where the DROID Turbo Sapphire Blue has you covered. With its 48 hour battery (the largest of any smart phone), you can go a full two days without having to plug that sucker in. Combine that with it's durable (scratch and water resistent, say whaaaaaaaaaat) build and it makes it the ultimate music festival phone. I am super impressed with this piece of technology and can't wait to get my hands on one. Read more about the DROID Turbo Sapphire Blue smart phone here

4. Sunscreen and smell goods. 

Two things are to be sure when at a music festival - you will get sun and you will get sweaty. Don't be that stinky burnt girl that everybody laughs at (you know exactly what I'm talking about). Make sure to lather on the sunscreen and throw your favorite deodorant in your bag that you can re-apply and re-apply and re-apply. You get the picture.

5. Comfy shoes
shoes :: amazon 

Look, I get that heels make your legs look sexy, but in the wrong setting they also can make you look stupid. Break out the tried and true favorites of yours that you know you can handle standing and dancing in for hours on end. Flats are wear its at. Just sayin'.

6. Disinfectant wipes

Maybe I'm the only germ-a-phobe around these parts, but guess what folks? Music festivals aren't necessarily the cleanest of sorts. Have you ever gone to the bathroom in one of those pieces of plastic with four walls? Then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Throw some of these babies in your purse and you should be all set. Bathroom trips, spilled beverages, BBQ all over your hands, these will have ya covered.

And that concludes today's music festival must-haves. What would be on your list?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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4.21.2015

On A Tuesday

First things first, next time I think I am cool and/or young enough to go to a club on a Monday night for a concert, remind me that I'm not. You know what late Monday nights bring? Tuesdays that are full of fried cravings, several cups of coffee, and eyes that don't stay open. You know that little emoticon with Z's popping out of it's head? Last night I was the salsa dancer and today I'm that guy. In other news, this past weekend was gorgeous so that kinda makes up for my lack of motivation today. Indiana decided to charm us all with pure sunshine and 70 degree temperatures. The term "this weather is perfect" is spoken approximately 6 times in a 365 day time period, so now that we are down 2 we have 4 left.

Sorry, my head hurts - that was a lot of math.

Back to what I was saying though -- it was a good weekend around these parts. Friday night we went out with some friends to a little hole in the wall joint on a lake and then introduced them to the roast of Justin Bieber afterwards so obviously, laughter was plentiful. Please watch that if you haven't.

Saturday was a fun filled day that started bright and early siding a house for Habitat for Humanity. I'm not one to really get down with a hammer and nails but without sounding too arrogant, I did pretty darn well. I know this only because I only had to correct 19 of the 20 pieces of siding I hung. That's right. One was done absolutely perfect. WHAT NOW.


From there I made my way back home where it was straight to our friends child's first birthday party.
It's so fun to see your friends who you have grown up with go from people who you used to do ridiculous things with to real adults who know how to raise a human. It still blows my mind such a thing is possible.


There were a gazillion children there which only resulted in one puking cake on their front rug, so I mean...success. Unfortunately my husband witnessed the whole thing taking our chances of having kids go from 5% down to 0%. Sorry mom and dad. Blame it on the rug puker. 

Somewhere in between the birthday party and dinner with friends, we hung out back taking in our new backyard and scheming ideas on what the heck we want to do with it. Before I knew it a gin and tonic was in one hand and my camera was in the other where I snapped photos of the prettiest tree in our yard I ever did see. 



Later that night we did something we have been waiting 8 months for....WE ATE DINNER OUTSIDE. I know, I peed a little too. 

don't worry - I also had a chicken sandwich loaded with bacon, avocado, and mayo

This little stud muffin decided to join the big boys at the table and of course, stole all of our attention. Another human raiser is on our hands! They are popping up all over in my life. Oh right, because I am getting old and shouldn't be at a club on a Monday night. Noted. 


And that concludes my little weekend recap of sorts.

Our house is starting to get painted on the outside this week so stay tuned for all sorts of fun updates there. Peace out pumpkins.


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4.20.2015

Slow Cooker Beer Cheese Dip - Made With Hamburger Helper

So it's no surprise that I am addicted to chips around this joint. Literally it's almost the only thing I eat. Well that and macaroni and cheese. Up until now, I had never combined the two together which is probably one of the more disturbing things knowing I have never done. Regrets, we all have em'. 
That is until this weekend. With the ACM Awards happening on Sunday night, I knew I would want something that would satisfy both my husband and I (like country singers in tight jeans wouldn't do that already ;) ) and so that's when this recipe made its way into our house. 

For starters, it involves a slow cooker. We all know my feelings on slow cookers. I love them. Secondly, it involves Hamburger Helper which is where the macaroni noodles come from in this chip dip. Third, it is delicious. Ask my husband who can't stop shoveling it into his mouth. Or maybe thats me, whatever. 

Like any Hamburger Helper recipe, it is so easy to make so for all of you with little time to spare when hosting friends - I've got you covered. It also makes a ton so I mean, loosen those pants and get ready to chow down. 

Without further ado, I present to you....macaroni and cheese beer cheese dip. No, life couldn't get better. Continue. 
Ingredients: 
Two 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
32 oz Salsa con queso
16 oz prepared cheese product, diced
2 cans of beer 
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
[I used jalapeno cheeseburger macaroni for an added kick]
A dash of onion flakes, garlic powder, and seasoning salt

How to make it: 
1. With a handheld mixer combine the cream cheese, salsa con queso, diced prepared cheese product, and beer. Get it all smooth and mixed well together. 
2. Pour into a slow cooker
3. Throw in the uncooked Hamburger Helper noodles along with the seasoning packet
4. Add in the cooked ground beef
5. Leave on high for around 2 hours or until all noodles are soft and seasoning is all mixed
6. Enjoy! 


It turns out that there is a deal going on right now that when you buy 3 packages of Hamburger Helper, you will receive free pound of ground beef with a mail in rebate. I like to go big so I bought 4 -- helllllo dinner for the next week. It would be rude if I didn't tell you how to get your free pound of beef, so here you go. 


1. Visit your local grocer, and purchase three Hamburger Helper products and Ground Beef. 
3. Print and mail in the rebate form.



And of course, for your Pinning pleasure --


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4.19.2015

The Power of Home Equity

This post is written and sponsored by U.S. Bank.

                      Influencer-heloc1

Seems you’ve got a bit of a dilemma on your hands. That big project you’ve had in your head for what feels like forever is now actually coming together on paper and just waiting to be started. You have the time to do it and - best of all? - you want to do it. There’s just one problem. You need funds, because without them, your dream project stays on hold.

But fear not! If you’re a homeowner, and have equity in your home, you may have some options. One possible funding opportunity could be a second mortgage through access to your home equity. You may be able to take out what’s called a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or a home equity installment loan.
Unfamiliar with the idea of using your home‘s equity as collateral on a loan? No problem. Before you go any further with your plans, check out the Achieve Your Goals site. It’s a new financial resource from U.S. Bank. It’s a great resource with a variety of articles on financial topics such as home equity.

                      Influencer-heloc2

While the end result - access to funds - is essentially the same through both a home equity credit line and installment loan, and they both use your home as collateral, they are structured differently. So you’ll want to see which of these makes the most sense for your unique circumstances.
On the other hand, a HELOC or Home Equity Loan may not be the right move for you if:
  • You plan on moving soon. You’ll need to pay back the line or loan when you sell your home.
  • You might not be able to afford monthly payments. Remember your home is used as collateral.
The HELOC
With a U.S. Bank home equity line of credit you may be able to borrow funds (up to the limit on your line of credit) on an as-needed basis to finance what you want, when you want, without having to reapply. For example: buying a new vehicle, consolidating debt or a starting a home remodeling project. There’s no need to reapply as the need for funds arises (as long as you don’t exceed your amount of credit). Also, HELOC interest rates tend to be lower than credit cards or unsecured loans.

Home equity loans
A home equity loan is essentially an installment loan. You apply for a specific loan amount and make monthly payments to pay it off. A home equity loan can be a great way to consolidate debt or pay for a one-time expense like that big project that’s begging to be finished. A U.S. Bank home equity loan can be a great way to go: competitive rates, low monthly payments and the bonus of potential.

                     Influencer-heloc3

With U.S. Bank you have home equity options. This makes getting a loan or line an even better choice!

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4.15.2015

Double The Fun With Country Inns & Suites

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Country Inns & Suites By Carlson. All opinions are 100% mine.


Exciting news here folks. As you may or may not know by now, I love traveling. Any place other than here is somewhere I want to be. Because of this, I am constantly on the hunt for places to go, hotels to stay in, deals to take advantage of, and articles that teach me how to beg from my husband appropriately. As I was walking through the airport on my way home from Kansas City last week, I noticed all of these pretty little banners for Country Inns & Suites. They were all trying to tell me to stay in one of their hotels because I could get double airline points on my preferred airline and I was all like "say whaaaaaaaaaaat? that's neat!" because I talk to banners in the airport regularly. 

And so that's the good word that I am here to share with you today. Choose from one of their 470 locations and take advantage of the Double the Fun rewards. To take advantage of this offer all you have to do is provide your airline loyalty membership details at check-in for one of the following airlines and you will earn double the rewards that you normally would (hip hip hoooray!) 

               undefined

Southwest Airlines -- Earn double rapid rewards points through May 31st 2015
American Airlines -- Earn double miles April 15th - June 30th 2015
United Airlines -- Earn double miles April 15th - June 30th 2015
Air Canada -- Earn double miles April 15th - June 30th 2015

You'll be jet settin' all over this great land with all of those miles soon ;) I may or may not have just spent entirely way too long on their website perusing all of their beautiful hotels in the greatest locations (anybody interested in heading to Cali like today?!) 

Be sure to check out Country Inns & Suites website for all of their locations and offers! Once you find where you want to stay, The Rest Comes Easy.

Anybody traveling anywhere soon? Share the fun and let me know -- also, I would love to hear how any of your experiences have been at Country Inns & Suites so please, do tell. Sharing is caring.
Book Now!

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4.14.2015

You Could Read This. Or You Could Do Something Worthwhile. Choose Wisely.

What's up yo? Here it is 5 pm and I just remembered I was supposed to write a blog post today. Not because I have anything of value to say but because my husband lets me work part time "so that I can blog every day." Sometimes he has a hard time believing that I neeeeeed to sit outside in the sun doing nothing rather than "working". To get away with such things I sprinkle in mopping the floors and washing our bedding so it resembles that of a productive day. I'm not saying to not do what you say you are going to do, I'm just saying everything in moderation, that's all. 

A few life updates if you will. The most important being I am 84% sure that I am eating Chipotle tonight for dinner so praise hands emoji that. Secondly, our bathrooms are almost finished. This is excellent news because not that I hate the construction process, but I definitely hate the construction process. I have this thing about dust being all over the place. It's like I grab something out of my closet to put on and dust particles go flying in every direction making me feel like one of the dirtier humans on the planet, so that's good. What else? Oh I'm going to be reading a book! This is a monumental thing because I said I am going to be reading. A book. I know, bigger miracles haven't ever happened. The author goes by the name of Giuliana Rancic and I may have some history with her. The book is Going Off Script and I've never been more excited to be knee deep in an autobiography. 


Tell me you have read it or are planning on reading it? We can be book club friends. The kind that only ever read one book together and then return back to our Instagram feeds.  

URGENT UPDATE: Since the making of this post, it has been deemed a 0% chance that I am getting Chipotle for dinner tonight. WHY HUSBAND OH WHY DO YOU DO THESE THINGS TO ME?

Gotta jet. I've got a dog to walk and a beer to drink. 

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