2.27.2015

Reaching My "Me Time" Breaking Point



I'm sure you've reached the point I am talking about. The point where feel like you just physically or mentally can't anymore. When almost every little thing that happens is one inch away from sending you into a full out toddler tantrum. I've kinda reached that point this week. The thing is, there hasn't been one single "bad" thing that has happened - for me it all boils down to the lack of "me time" I have gotten in. And while I know that sounds totally selfish, it's how my whole being operates. You see, we haven't been living at our house the past two weeks due to the bathroom remodel going on. Instead we have been staying with my parents who are the most amazing parents in the world and while I am so grateful to be able to be in their space for a few weeks, I miss home. I miss sleeping in my bed. I miss waking up and wandering out to the couch to drink my coffee. I miss coming home from work and unwinding with a glass of wine while sitting in peace and quiet. 

While most would probably label me as an extrovert, I am an introvert to my core. I thrive off of alone time. When given the choice of doing something with others or by myself, my natural instinct would be to choose by myself. Because of this, when I go for a long period of time of constantly being around others, I start to break. Call me crazy, but it's true. I get overwhelmed, anxious, and often emotional. 

Thankfully, I have realized over the years that "me time" can be found in the little moments. You don't have to escape to a tropical island solo for a week (but I mean seriously, how amazing), you can dive into a Skinny Cow chocolate truffle bar (obsessed), park your car somewhere in the sun, and delight in all of the goodness around you for 3 minutes.


Even while at work I have found that it helps to take a ten minute break, crack open a Skinny Cow Creamy Iced Coffee, and allow yourself just to breathe and relax for a little bit.


While those are great options, my favorite has to be curled up on the couch watching some type of junk on TV while indulging in a Skinny Cow ice cream bar with no agenda but to make my way to the stick in the center and then preferably do it all over again.


How do you enjoy your "me time"?


Thank you to Skinny Cow for sponsoring this post - while I have been compensated for this content all opinions are 100% my own. 

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2.25.2015

The Easiest Way To Make Your House Feel Like A Home


When we first moved into our house last fall, I woke up after the first morning of sleeping there, walked out into the living room, sat down on the couch, and bawled....for awhile. Why you ask? Because I hated how it smelled. It smelled like old people, not us. Nothing about it reminded me of home. I ached for the familiar scent and comfort that we had in our previous house and in that moment I felt like we would never have it again. Looking back I know it sounds silly that I would cry about such a thing, but it was a very real concern of mine and continues to be the most thought about thing when it comes to making our house feel like a home.

Nowadays when I walk in our front door I am greeted by a familiar scent - one that is clean, refreshing, welcoming, and totally us. It instantly makes me feel good and lets me know that I am in fact, home.

The thing with scents is that they can be a very tricky thing. You don't want anything too strong or too weak. It has to trigger a little spot in your brain that resonates with you, makes you feel good, and lets you know that you are right where you want to be.

I turn to Unstopables to do just that. I would love to share the different ways we keep all aspects of our home smelling great and feeling fresh.

Lets start in the kitchen -- I absolutely love Unstopables pluggable oil warmer that alternates between two complementary scents and provides up to 60 days of freshness. I have this baby plugged in near our sink and it fills the room with the freshest of scents. Literally, I use the fragrance called fresh ;) It is both light and vibrant.


Next up is the Unstopables candle that we will burn from time to time on the center island in my favorite scent in the Unstopables line, lush. It is a combination of lavender and vanilla which is so peaceful and calming. I have always loved the flicker of a candle, especially in the evenings so this baby is lit often. 


Moving to what is probably my favorite product in the Unstopables line, the fabric refreshers. We often associate making our house smell good with the things I mentioned up above, however it is in the more "hidden" areas of your home that can really impact the scent of your house overall. I spray these fabric refreshers on all of our furniture, bedding, on my car seats, and anywhere else that is allowed (do not use this on leather)! It is great because as you can see, we have a little dog who likes to roll her cute little body all over everything. These fabric refreshers say "bye bye puppy smell" and "hellllllllllllo goodness"! 


Next up is the air refresher, also known as the King of our bathrooms :) This spray packs six hours of freshness after spraying which is perfect for making the not so pleasant smell wonderful within seconds (thank goodness). I like to keep the fresh scent in these areas for reasons hinted at above. I love that it fits in with the vibe of our decor and doesn't just stick out as a bottle of air freshener.


Last but not least, the product in the Unstopables line that I have been using the longest -- the in-wash scent booster. You throw a little bit of these in with your laundry when washing your clothing (towels, linens, etc) and it comes out smelling better than it ever has before. All of the scents are fabulous for this, but what you see below is Shimmer which is a combination of fruity and floral. Really I just love the pretty pink color. 


Because Unstopables is focused on delivering products that not only smell good in your home but also look good too, they have partnered with designer Nate Burkus (gosh I love him) to deliver some interior design tips for you all. Here is what he has to say: "When you get bored with your room, the easiest thing to
do is switch it up! Consider moving your sofa to another wall, bring in a side table from another room, swap out your throw pillows. You can totally refresh a room without spending a cent. For curtains, couches and rugs that can’t be washed, a few spritzes of Unstopables Fabric Refresher will add long-lasting freshness." and as designer Carlos Huber put it "Think of decorating as giving your space personality and scent as the final layer of expression. Fragrance adds mystery, serenity and distinction. Every room can have an
individual scent; I encourage it. If you are feeling like the room needs a bit of attitude, try the Unstopables Shimmer fragrance. The enticing fruity and floral notes, peaks an air of curiosity. With the Unstopables collection you can make each room your own."

Great tips boys.

Have you tried the Unstopables products? What do you do to make your house feel like a home?


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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2.24.2015

10 Ways To Overcome The February Funk

It seems as though almost every person I have talked to over the past two weeks has been in a funk of some sort and unfortunately, it hasn't been the uptown style of funk we've heard so much about recently. I blame it all on the month of February, especially when living in Indiana. It's freezing, the skies are literally 50 shades of grey, Winter no longer holds the same charm it brought with it in November, and we are all aching for some warmer temperatures and sunshine. While it's easy to blame it on the season, it's not always easy to overcome it.

Personally, it feels like I have been stuck somewhere between frustrated, unmotivated, unhappy, and all of that other junk recently. Between adjusting to a new job, having our house in shambles, freezing my head off, and the unavailability of time to watch the past three episodes of The Bachelor, I've been a little discontent so to speak. 

I wanted to share 10 different ways that have helped me bust out of the February Funk that I have been stuck in for the past 25 days. 

1. Spice Up Your Love Life. Without getting too personal, I often think some personal touch and love can go a looooong way (extra o's while on the subject of love making is never a bad thing ;) ). Spend some extra time in a bubble filled bath together, give massages while in bed, just love all over each other in whatever way you know best, or heck better yet - in a way you have never experienced. The endorphin's that are released from this activity are some of the best mood busters you'll come across. You're welcome. 

[side note: if you are in your teens and reading this blog please disregard item number one. keep your hands to yourself and your dignity in tact ladies ;)]

2. Get Moving. While the above item also burns calories and can create some stellar ab muscles, I'm talking about getting a good solo sweat session in by working out. Working out will not just make you feel fabulous physically, but it will also leave you with a sense of accomplishment. When we achieve something that we set out to do, we are served a nice slice of fulfillment and gratitude which we should all experience from time to time. Plus, whether we want to admit it or not swimsuit season is right around the corner and who doesn't want to feel a little more confident when wearing next to nothing? Hand is raised.


3. Challenge Yourself. Teach yourself a new hobby (crocheting anyone?), volunteer to take on added responsibilities at work, say the alphabet backwards, learn how to use Google Drive, just do something that is going to exert a little more brain power than what you are used to. It is in learning new things that we become more well-rounded human beings that have something to offer to other people. The most interesting people are those who have experienced and continue to experience new things. Never stop learning, those around you will thank you. 

4. Step Away From Social Media. It is a vicious cycle that much of the population, myself included, has fallen victim to. We log in, we compare the best of somebody's life to the worst of ours, and then we do it all over again. All day every day. We scroll and we scroll while our minds become more and more numb to everything else around us. Instead of spending much of your day gaining absolutely nothing from getting in everybody else's business on a very surface level, spend time with somebody who you want to share more than 140 characters with. 


5. Dance. I don't care if you have moves like Jagger or moves like your 59 year old father, shake what your mamma gave ya with everything you've got. It is impossible to not feel happy after droppin' it like its hot. 

6. Love Somebody More Than Yourself - Listen Rather Than Being Heard.  The easiest thing to do when feeling like you are in a funk, is to remind yourself over and over of how much of a funk you are in. The truth is however, somebody out there needs your love and support a heck of a lot more than you need to throw yourself that pity party. When you allow others to open up to you, you soon realize that you aren't the only one who isn't living in the land of glitter and rainbows. The best therapy is often opening your ears and shutting your mouth. Especially while done over multiple glasses of wine....


7. Spend Time In The Kitchen. Cooking is therapy to my soul. Whether it be chopping up vegetables, mixing the cookie dough, or measuring out twelve different seasonings, it is all a time for my mind to be free. I become so focused on what I am doing that I zone out from the rest of reality. Creating something with my hands and then enjoying it as a meal with others over great conversation and cocktails is such a rewarding task and one that should be done often.


8. Glam It Up. We all deserve to feel sexy. When in a funk the easy thing to do is throw on sweatpants, get away with another day of no makeup, and curl up under the covers. Instead why not throw on a dress, those cute little heels you've been meaning to wear, and spend an extra hour on your make-up and nails just because? It feels good to look good. Allow yourself to flaunt your sexy. 


I recently received my first Square Hue Nail Polish box and glammed it up with my nieces for an evening (they LOVE getting their nails painted). Square Hue is such a fun way to receive 3 always fresh, limited edition, trendsetting nail polish colors that are curated to meet the season's fashion needs on a monthly basis. It's a no hassle commitment as you can stay as long as you like or leave if you are ever nail polished out (impossible!) As an added bonus they donate a portion of their proceeds to organizations that are helping others.


It's a low monthly cost and if you want to try it out you can use the code 2015SH50 for 50% off your first box! Check it out here! 

9. Change Your Scenery. It's easy to get in a rut when you become comfortable in your environment. We become less productive, less inspired, less motivated, and so on. Work at a coffee shop for the afternoon, try a new place to workout (local ladies - I have recently become obsessed with LOL Health and Fitness in Goshen, try it out), volunteer your time somewhere you've always thought about, just put yourself somewhere you've never been before. Your world will suddenly become so much larger. 


10. Plan For The Future By Acting Now. February is often a slow month for many. Take advantage of the lull by doing the things that you won't have time to do in three months from now. Organize those closets, answer those emails, wipe down your baseboards, create goals for the next 3, 6, and 9 months. You will look back in 3 months from now and pat yourself on the back for being such a rock star now. 

11. (BONUS) Stay in bed for the next three days, pour yourself a huge ole glass of wine, and do absolutely nothing else -- we're almost to March...you've made it! 

Are you stuck in the February Funk right now? If so, what helps you snap out of it? 

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2.22.2015

Closet Makeover (And How You Can Organize Yours Too)!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SOFIproducts.com for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

You may remember when I mentioned the other week how I was in the middle of reorganizing my closet in hopes to find additional space to store all of my crap much needed items. I have since pulled everything out of my closet (along with the hair from my head) and found a cute little home for all of it. 

I present you...my closet before. 


And...my closet now. 


Thanks to the SOFI™ products it made this whole process easy -- I first decided to put all of my scarves into The Stax Shelf because I apparently have thousands of these bad boys. I then moved all of my purses into the SOFI Brix Box, Small and one of my favorites - all of my stocked up lotions and hand washes into the SOFI Zipper Tote, Small to allow for easy access every time I need one. 


I love how these SOFI™ products not only act as functional organizers but also look nice in a closet. The handles are great for pulling them out and their ability to stack on one another is awesome. 

Because our hall closet which houses our medicines, cleaning supplies, and other odds and ends was that of a disaster as well, I decided to clean that one up a bit too. Here's how. 

[before]

and after

By putting all of our medicines into the Rax Bin we are able to see exactly what is in there and be able to quickly grab what we need, rather than digging through the piles. Our cleaning supplies fit neatly into the Brix Box and our sunscreen items in the cute little SOFI Hex Box.


It's amazing how a little organization can make you feel like you can breathe that much easier. I love opening my closet doors and seeing everything nice and neat. The days of clutter and piling things everywhere are over with. 

Have you ever used the SOFI products before? Which are your favorite? 



ps. one closet organization tip when it comes to your clothes -- hang all of your hangers the same direction. As you wear something, turn the hanger the opposite direction. At the end of the year you will be able to see what you haven't worn so you know it is time to get rid of it!

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2.19.2015

What I Should Give Up For Lent, But That I'm Absolutely Not

Thanks to all of blogland, I realized that yesterday was the official start of lent. It's amazing what you can learn from these little homes on the internet. I was inspired by Helene's post of what she is not giving up for lent and Taylor's post of what you should give up for lent, that I thought I would share my own two cents of things I know I should give up for lent but that I am absolutely not. 

+ Recipes that require more than 2 sticks of butter....because is it really food if it has less than that? 


+ The Bachelor....it's so bad, but it's so good. Can't stop, won't stop, don't ever want to stop. 

+ Comparing dogs to babies...still trying to decide though if there is really that much difference? 


+ My inability to read...my napkins said it best with "my book club only reads wine labels" 

+ Claiming I'm dying to everybody I know when I start my period...one problem though, I am. 

+ Perhaps not even telling people every month when I am on my period.....but then what's the point of having a period?

+ Forgetting that the pretty things I see on Pinterest that I all of a sudden NEED cost people money. A lot of money.....still trying to deal with the cold hard reality of this.

+ The dollar section at Target....BUT HOW DID THEY KNOW THAT I NEEDED A NEW WHISK, COLORING BOOK FOR MY NIECE, AND CHINESE TAKEOUT BOXES?!?

+ Allowing my email inbox to get to over 800 unread emails....I'm going to go ahead and just file this one under "life goals". 

+ Speeding....two tickets in one week can't hold me down. Oh no, I've got to keep on movin'.....

+ Thinking I can dance....ignorance will always be bliss.

+ Checking Instagram multiple times during the night.....because what if somebody posts a picture of their midnight snack and I would miss it?!?! #thehorror 

+ Posting food pictures....if it's not documented, did I really eat it? 


+ Spending enormous amounts of time on Expedia.com....and then sorting by the highest star rating and believing that my husband would be on board for even a second

+ Selfies....no explanation needed. 


+ Concealer, liquid foundation, and powder foundation....one would think that I could get away with just one or two of these, but no. All three are 100% necessary. 

+ Vodka....see selfie. 

+ Footed Pajamas....preferably with a full zipper front, the new sexy.

+ Not letting my niece eat yogurt, 5 packs of fruit snacks, 2 juice boxes, Doritos, goldfish, girl scout cookies, and cheese while babysitting, for one hour.....uhhh, oops. 

+ Taking full advantage of the "checkout with PayPal" option on websites believing my husband will never know....turns out, he does. 

+ Checking my blog's stats multiple times a day...as if it radically changes from day to day. 

And the list could go on and on --- tell me, what's one thing you should be giving up for lent but are absolutely not?


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2.17.2015

4 Minutes To Flat Abs


Well, we are knee deep into the #1800MinuteChallenge by now and I'm starting to see (and feel) my body change for the better. One of my biggest trouble areas is always my stomach - I am thinking my diet of macaroni and cheese, beer, and jalapeno chips could be to blame for this, but details schmetails. Whatever the cause, it's always a "work in progress" zone. I thought it would be fun to share my four favorite ab exercises and show you all how in as little as 4 minutes you can get a great ab workout in. Want an even better ab workout? Do the following exercises for one minute each 3-4 times. While I don't promise you won't be sore, I do promise you will be happy with the results. 

1. Lets start with that exercise featured above -- the weighted oblique crunch. All you need is a set of weights (I typically range from 8-15 pounds per hand). Stand straight up, feet hip width apart - bend only at the waist and bring your weight down to your knee area. As you stand back up straight, exhale. Repeat on the opposite side. Keep switching back and forth for one minute. This one may not feel all that difficult while you are doing it, however you will fill it in your obliques the next day. 

2. The plank. This exercise is one of my favorites for total body toning. Simply get into the push up position, and bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders and you should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold this position for as long as possible (with the goal of a minute). You will shake, cry, and then want to repeat it all over again. 


3. Bicycle Crunch. Another one of my favorites to work all ab muscles. Simply lay on the floor, place your hands behind your head, bring your knees up to a 90 degree angle, now bring your right elbow to your left knee while lifting your shoulders off the ground, and then rotate to the other knee. Perform for one minute.

4. Mountain Climbers. I'm pretty I have almost died several times doing these, but we all know that the near death experience means we are doing the right thing. Get into the push up position with your hands directly under your shoulders and with straight arms form a straight line from your head to your feet. Now bring your right knee into you chest while keeping your back flat. Return to the starting position and now bring your left knee into your chest. Continue alternating for one minute. 


By the end of all of this, you should feel somewhat like.....


But believe me, your abs will thank you come swimsuit season. 

These 4 exercises were inspired by the latest piece of technology I have been using (funny where inspiration comes from sometimes) - the HP x360 convertible PC. Just like my favorite ab exercises, you can use this baby four completely different ways and experience the same awesome results. Allow me to explain... 



The first way to use the HP x360 is in the normal laptop mode. This is how I choose to use it most often as I am a keyboard type of girl.


One of my favorite things about the x360 is because of it's touch screen capability, it quickly becomes a tablet with one bend. Using a tablet makes me feel rather smart and with the 2000's so I try to do this as often as possible ;) I love that you can swipe all over the place to move from one program to another. 


The last two ways to use this flexible thing? In either tent or stand mode. Tent mode is pretty perfect for watching movies or TV shows as you can simply sit back and relax and take in all of the latest episodes of the Bachelor or anything else you missed out on. Easily convert tent mode to stand mode by setting it down on the keyboard.


HP is currently on tour with Meghan Trainor (who else constantly has "if your lips are movin..." in your head on repeat) for their #bendtherules campaign. They will be creating a fan generated documentary from Meghan's "That Bass Tour"-  check out all of the details here.

So tell me, what's your favorite ab exercise + what mode would you use the HP x360 in the most? It's time to get both fit and flexible together..physically and technologically.

For your pinning pleasure...
Thank you to @HP for partnering on this #bendtherules post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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