Friday, May 29, 2015

Five on Friday {Volume Five}

After my last post, I received a lot of comments asking for help.  I've determined my life calling = Housewife for Hire.  Not to single men, but to moms, other married couples, and older couples.  Everyone can use a little help sometimes.  An extra boost to get organized.  Motivation to finally go through those old or family items.  I think I would have a blast working with willing women.  I'll keep that idea in never know!

As for the we go!


Our weekend was uneventful, but we DID find a house we love and made an offer on Monday.  Unfortunately, even with a full price offer and no conditions, another offer was chosen.  Don't ask me how that happens, but GOLLY the market is crazy right now.  I've been super bummed all week, and hoping that something goes wrong with the other offer.  Unlikely.  Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep my attitude up and know that something else will come along.  I am NOT a patient person, so again, keep us in your thoughts and I hope our home will come along soon.  


Tomorrow, I planned an anniversary party for my parent's 35th wedding anniversary (May 31st).  We will have munchies and a bonfire, share lots of memories, and have a great time.  I'm excited to see lots of family, my parent's friends, and whoever else may come along.  Mike and I will celebrate three years of marriage on June 2nd.  Hopefully we can make it as far as they have come!


Does anyone have a good second-day-curly-hair product?  I  have really learned to embrace my curls over the past few years, and I have an excellent method for styling my hair after a shower. {Curly girls, if you've never heard of "plopping", it will change your life.}  I do it consistently and although it takes a bit of time, it's so worth it for the life it gives my long hair.  BUT...after a sleep, my hair is a DISASTER in the morning.  If I don't straighten it, it looks totally insane.  I usually corral it with lots of mousse and headbands.  So please, if you have a product suggestion to revitalize my curls for day two, HELP ME!


My mom had the day off today, so we got ourselves into a bit of fun.  We made the hubby take us to breakfast at Cricket Meadow before heading to a porch sale.  We walked out empty handed and headed to Hutchinson to pick up my BRIDESMAID DRESS!  It is all altered and ready to rock. Thank you to Sharon Wilson at Creative Clothing for the excellent work.  {Now, to get comfortable in my heels and shrink my overexposed tatas!}  We also stopped at ShopKo (of all places) and came away with some awesome finds.  I have not been in to a ShopKo in probably ten years, but they actually have some cute clothes and home items.  I got some killer shoes, flip flops, some headbands, and my mom got a purse, shoes, and jewelry.  We also got a hummingbird feeder to put on the front deck!


I spent about two hours on the phone this week with two of my best friends (seperately).  One of them I haven't seen in THREE YEARS!  After not talking for two years, we reconnected and are keeping in touch better than ever.  It is great to have friends who don't judge each other, will always trust you and be also willing to listen.  I cannot wait to see these ladies soon.  Know that YOU CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS, and yes, it does take effort to be a good friend.  I'm lucky to have had these ladies since our freshman year in college.  Love ya!

Linking up with:
Friday Favorites at Momfessionals
Oh, Hey Friday at September F A R M
High Five for Friday at Bright on a Budget
Friday Favorites at The Diary of a Real Housewife
Friday Favorites at Life in Leggings
Friday Favorites at Meet @ the Barre

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Moving Home {What I'm Up To}

Last week, I did a quick update of what's been going on in my life.  My husband and I are currently living with my parents while house hunting.  He works from home and I'm everyone's housewife.  I'm sure half of you are wondering, WHAT does she do all day?!  Well, I am loving having time to work on all sorts of things, so I'm going to share of a few of my projects I've completed since being back in Minnesota.  
To start, remember a while back when I mentioned that my cleaning and organization habits can drive some people crazy?  I now know that it is in response to my mom's style of household.  I love my mama, but she has a tendency to KEEP lots of things, stuff them in to small spots, and then forget about them.  AKA = C.L.U.T.T.E.R.  
Since I'm helping out with the house, one of the first things I did was organize the cabinets and closets on the main floor.  
The linen closet was chock full of too many towels, an overflow of bath and body products, and tons of smaller miscellaneous items.  I organized all the body products by type and put my mom on a buying freeze until we use up some of the lotion/body wash/etc.  {I recommend this for everyone!  Just because it's on sale, doesn't mean you will use it!}  All hotel sample bottles are in a bag that is easily accessible before traveling.  Everything else lives with other like items (nails section, sun section, oils) so it is all easy to find.  Mom only had to help by getting rid of some of the 30+ pillow cases {yikes!}.  Now everything fits nicely, and we even have some extra space!  
Before (I had already removed the items on the floor)
Next came the kitchen, where I organized the food cabinets by sorting all the cans, bottles, spices, boxed items, teas, etc.  I now know exactly where items are and what we have available for meals.  I also took this time to get rid of a few expired items.  I cleaned and organized all the drawers in the kitchen...INCLUDING the junk drawer, which I vowed not to touch.  Together, mom and I went through the glassware and were able to make that cabinet a bit more appealing. The kitchen clutter is gone and things are easier to find.  My extra special touch, I scrubbed the floors by hand ;)

For some fun outdoor projects, I painted our bathroom storage and a rusty stool I found outside.  A few coats of spray paint can make anything more pleasant!  I also water stained our picnic table for the season.

Last weekend, my mom and I tackled the porch area.  Since my dad works outside during the day, this is sort of his domain.  It was messy and disorganized.  All it took was a garage sale box, moving some items to the garage, sorting some clothes, a quick dusting, and an intense vacuuming session. We also added a shoe rack, organized the closet by season, and gave dad his own designated area.  It is now a much more pleasant place to be!

These are some of the things I've been able to tidy up since we've been home.  I also keep a weekly cleaning schedule, tend to the laundry, and do dishes a few times a day.  Not having our own home right now is definitely a bummer, but I love to clean and organize, so I'm keeping myself busy around here!  I always make sure to get approval before I dive in, so hopefully I'm not driving my parents too crazy!

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Five on Friday {Volume Four}

So it's officially been two months since I've done a fun Friday post.  You'll find out why if you keep reading.  We've had a lot of changes lately and are enjoying this time of transition in our lives. Luckily, we have great family to lean on and are always growing in our relationship together.  I'll break down our recent month into the big points to share here.  Sorry I've been out of touch!


April 21st was my last day at my amazing job in Austin.  I was lucky to have secured a position at the largest law firm there.  I learned so much about the legal world and litigation.  I really enjoyed delving in to a whole new area and meeting a ton of great people along the way.  Thanks to everyone at JW for your patience, advice, and all of the memories!!


April 24th, hubby and I packed everything up AGAIN and took a two day drive to Minnesota.  Austin, Texas treated us so well, but the Midwest has our hearts and our families.  It was hard to leave the warmth, great people, and mostly, the food scene.  We are currently enjoying our time in the country crashing with my parents.  The internet deadzone, one bathroom, and limbo should be getting us down, but we are loving the down time.  Mike is able to work from home, and I am taking the purposeful unemployment as a nice break.  If you need moving advice, just ask!

Leaving Texas
Minnesota Welcoming Us Home


We came back to Minnesota much earlier than expected (and crashed with the parents) to get in on the house hunting game.  Let me tell you, it's not fun.  We suck at this game.  We are a tough couple because we want a modern house in the country, preferably with out buildings, but within an hour of the Twin Cities.  And we want it to be our forever home.  So it has to be big enough, close to grandparents, and affordable.  Now you see the problem.  We've almost made an offer two times, but it hasn't been quite right.  Patience is not my strong point, but this has been good for me and good for our relationship.


I finally got to meet my niece and nephew!!  One lovely part of not having a job is that when my mom asked me to go out to Colorado with her, I could go!  We spent four days near Denver helping to take care of my less than two month old twins.  It has been a long time since I've held or fed a baby.  I took my time and slowly got more comfortable with them.  They are so tiny and adorable!  I loved having the time to be there while they are still small.  We're so lucky to have them.  I cannot wait to see them again soon!



It feels good to be back.  Everyone in Austin  couldn't fathom why we would want to move back to Minnesota.  {It's cold}  But once we got here, we knew it was right.  Like I said, this is a strange transition time, but we are doing great with it.  Mike gets along great with my parents, we enjoy being home together during the day, and we're rediscovering this area of Minnesota.  Seeing friends and family reassures us that it's good to be back.  

Mom and Me
What have you been up to lately?

Linking up with:
Friday Favorites at Momfessionals
Oh, Hey Friday at September F A R M
High Five for Friday at Bright on a Budget
Friday Favorites at The Diary of a Real Housewife
Friday Favorites at Life in Leggings
Friday Favorites at Meet @ the Barre

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cousin Weekend 2015 - Eating & Drinking Austin

At the end of March, I had two cousins come to Austin for a spontaneous cousins weekend.  About a month before, my cousin Laura called and said she wanted a getaway vacay in Austin.  Knowing my cousin Aria wanted to check it out, too, we all worked it out and thus began a {hopefully} new tradition! 
Aria arrived on Thursday.  We did a lot of catching up on life while Mike cooked up some delicious beef bourguignon for dinner.  We enjoyed it at our card table {yes, Laura, a card table}.  We got rid of our kitchen table when we moved and never replaced it.  Tease all you want. 

We topped off the night with seeing Cinderella at The Alamo Drafthouse.  They are an awesome movie theater that is also a full service bar and restaurant while you watch.  It is fantastic and affordable compared to other theaters.  Get the cookies or a milkshake!  They even have adult milkshakes...

Speaking of adults, Laura arrived on Friday and we commenced our weekend of eating and drinking. I will put some of my favorite highlights here for you!

We went out for a few drinks on Rainey Street.  This is a a fun area a few blocks away from downtown that you can easily walk to.  It is a street full of old houses that were turned in to bars and restaurants.  So neat!  The vibe is a bit calmer and not as loud as Sixth Street.  There is a little something for everyone, from mezcal, to sausages, to beer, to loud music.  We opted for beers, plus more beers and cheese curds.  Here we are toasting to the weekend!

Craft Pride

Saturday we went on an excursion out to Lockhart, Texas to try some famous BBQ.  It was worth the small wait to have our pick of delicious sides and fresh carved meats from the famous Black's BBQ. If you have a few extra hours, load up the car and head out to Lockhart.  It's a cute little town with some neat shops. Get to Black's early and save some time for walking around and digestion!

We then drove all the way to the opposite side of Austin to visit one of our favorite places - Jester King Brewery.  This is a farmhouse brewery on several acres of land west of Austin.  They specialize in "making wild ales and spontaneously fermented beers".  The use the local land, water, resources, etc. to get uniquely flavored beers that are fantastic.  The place in huge, with tons of space to hang out, kids included.  Bring your shades and sunscreen to bask outside and enjoy some fantastic beers which you can purchase in 4 or 8 ounce pours, or bottles.  They have several serving stations and will even give you a tab number so you can run your tab through different serving stations.

When you get hungry, get in line for some Stanley's Pizza, made fresh on site.  They'll text you when it's ready!  If you need a little crunch and a few extra carbs to fill your tummy for extra beers - go for the salad and garlic knots.  WORTH IT.

Another fun place I love to take visitors is the Gourdough's truck.  It sits on South First right next to a moontower - another neat Austin feature.  You'll have to choose an amazing donut from a rotating list of about 15-20 options.  We each settled on an flavor, plus an order of blueberry donut holes to share. FYI - the donuts will run you 5-6 dollars, but can last you 3-4 servings if you have self control.  In any case, they are deeeelicious and totally worth waiting in line for at 10:00 PM.

One place we like to visit when we're close to our house is the Moontower Saloon.  They have coined themselves "Way South Awesome" and have a HUGE outdoor space filled with fire pits, heaters, and tons of fun lights.  They also have a few food trucks, sand volleyball courts, washers, and bean bags. You can keep yourself occupied here for hours.  Plus it's dog friendly.  And you can ride an armadillo.  Being that there are not many options in way south Austin, this place is a hit.

After a long weekend with lots of catching up, storytelling, several beverages, tons of food that's not good for you, shopping, history, sleeping in, late night Whataburger, and memories - everyone got home safely.  We had an awesome time hosting the hopefully First Annual Cousins Weekend in Austin, Texas.  Thanks for visiting Laura and Aria!
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Amazing Dress Find! {Target Strikes Again}

The other day, my mom and I had to run to a larger town to pick up a few things.  I begged her for a quick stop at Target to quell my craving for shopping.  It was a day out with nothing urgent on the schedule, so she obliged.  

Being that we recently moved, I have been very good at not buying a lot of extra things.  My clothing shopping pretty much ceased a few months ago (in preparation for the move), and other items such as house decor or kitchen goods has been cut off recently as well.  When you have to envision everything in boxes, and then eventually put said things in boxes, it makes not buying things pretty easy.

BUT - 

I needed to peruse Target.  I taught my mom my expert ways:  quick slide through the purses and scarves, followed by the clearance jewelry section, then the new clothes, and a bit more time in the clearance section.  Followed by anything that is ACTUALLY on your list, and then a browse of the end caps in the home section.  

We each found a few things to try on, and I found the most comfortable, affordable, modest, could-be-dressy dress for $20!  Check this baby out:

First of all, the model is gorgeous.  Secondly, it's a funky palette addition to my closet.  Third - this dress is SO COMFY.  I hardly ever buy things that are not on sale, but I'm highly considering ordering another color online.  Note that the sizing seemed to run big.  I ended up buying a medium, while I would normally be a large.  

I wore this yesterday during my first whole day meeting my twin niece and nephew.  {EEKS!}  It kept me covered even while bending over, stretching, etc.  The fabric is medium weight and would be perfect from spring to fall.  The shape is flattering for anyone, and the little cinch waist gives a bit of extra dimension.  I highly recommend this dress for anyone!

After leaving the dressing room, a peek in the men's section ended up with me purchasing two shirts for the hubby.  {He also got hot'n'spicy chicharrones...this is love.}  Again - at $20, you cannot go wrong with these gorgeous shirts!


Target is on point for summer - go treat yourself!!

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Review of: Armor Fit Clear-Frosted iPhone 6 Case

I don't know about you, but I am pretty picky about the phone cases I use.  Since getting an iPhone, I've tried to keep it in a case.  I have always opted for the OtterBox cases to keep my phone in one piece. Especially since my husband dropped his phone face-down on our wedding day.  Oops!  

Even after hubby broke his phone, he still never got a case for it.  Now, years later, I got the opportunity to try out an Armor Fit Case and review it.  The perfect chance to get my picky guy to use a case!  

I got the clear-frosted case which is gender neutral and still gives you a peek at the new iPhone design for the 6.  The case has a bit of a funky look because of the rounded bumpers on each edge, other than that, it is nice and sleek & very light which is important for a guy carrying it around all the time.  The case also come with a screen protector which is an excellent perk for the price! 

After a few months, the case has held up fantastically.  It has done a great job protecting the phone, isn't too heavy, hasn't bent or scratched, and is still functioning!  

Two little things I personally don't like about the case: the top bumper area is actually hollow (to make it lighter, I assume) so it fills up with little dust particles and you have to clean it out every now and then.  Also, the bottom bumper makes it hard to plug in some types of cords.  We bought a new AUX cord during our recent move and I had to take the bottom of the case off to plug it in.  Kind of a pain, but nothing too annoying.  

All in all, this case in a fantastic value.  I love the sleek look, its weight, and the fact that it is clear.  I finally got the hubby to keep a case on, so it must be a good one!  Go check out Armor Fit Cases on Amazon - they have a few different colors to choose from and at $14.95 you have NOTHING to lose!

Although I received this product for free, all opinions are my own :)

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