July 2020 According to my iPhone

img_1635

Another month flew by! July was a pretty great month, all things considered. We spent the 4th at my grandparent’s lake house, flew to New Hampshire, road-tripped from New Hampshire to Michigan with my sister, celebrated our Niece’s first birthdays, and I finally completed my class.

All in all, not a bad month!

img_1644img_1645img_1650img_1655img_1687img_1729img_1747img_1750img_1808img_1811img_1876img_1901

How was your month?

Footer

Five on Friday #23

img_1797

We made it to Friday! I am so excited that this week is almost over. How was your week?

As always, here are five random things for Friday:

  1. Taylor Swift’s new album Folklore came out last Friday and it’s SO good! She is incredibly talented and I’m in awe of her once again. She created this surprise album during quarantine and it’s amazing! I highly recommend listening to is ASAP. Do you like Taylor Swift? How do you feel about Folklore?
  2. Today is the last day of my class! It’s been a long week and I will be super happy when this is behind me. This is a three year program so I still have two more years of class ahead of me. If you didn’t know, I’m working towards a finance certification.
  3. Now that my class is over I am really looking forward to August! On August 19th Brett and I will celebrate our third wedding anniversary and our ninth anniversary together. We are hoping to do a mini Michigan roadtrip to celebrate! We were actually planning a Europe trip this year but obviously that won’t be happening.
  4. I’ve wanted Air Pods for awhile but I’ve never been able to justify the price so they have just been sitting on my wishlist. The class that I’m taking sent a care package to all of the students since it had to be moved to virtual instead of in-person. The care package had a set of wireless earbuds in it and I’m obsessed with them! Do you have Air Pods? Should I invest in a pair?
  5. The Fall 2020 FabFitFun box spoilers have been released and I’m not that impressed. I have to decide if I want to re-new my membership after this box and I really do think that it’s a great value. Even though I’m not super impressed with the contents of the Fall box I’m pretty sure I will be renewing my membership as an early birthday gift to myself. I love having something to open every quarter! Do you subscribe to  FabFitFun?

Tomorrow I am taking the exam for my class. The exam shouldn’t be terrible since I’m only in my first year so I’m only being tested on the material from this class. Year three is when I’ll sit for the certification exam which will test on all three years worth of material. Wish me luck!

Do you have any plans for this weekend?

Footer

Summer 2020 Bucket List

img_1749

Summer 2020 will go down as being the weirdest summer of our lives. A summer where graduation parties, weddings, and concerts were all cancelled. Life looks different right now but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still enjoy it!

Here are a few things that I will be doing during this weird summer.

  • Play badminton in our backyard
  • Walk local trails
  • Spend time at the lake with family while social distancing
  • Take a Michigan roadtrip with Brett for our anniversary
  • Make pasta sauce using veggies and herbs from our garden
  • Try a new restaurant for carry-out
  • Visit Lake Michigan
  • Host a social distancing cookout with a couple of friends
  • Take a day to do nothing
  • Do an outdoor house project
  • Send co-workers and friends cards in the mail
  • Have a picnic in the park

I’m actually really enjoying having a quiet summer for once! My husband is really involved in air shows so usually our summers consist of an airshow every weekend. It’s nice to be able to enjoy some time at home this summer!

What’s on your summer bucket list? Have you been able to make any plans?

Footer

 

Long Distance Sisterhood

MT1A00994

My sister and I are only 20 months apart so I don’t remember a time before she was born. She’s always been my built-in best friend.

Growing up our bedrooms were right next to each other and we shared a bathroom with only one sink. We have our fights and disagreements but at the end of the day, she understands me better than pretty much anyone else.

I never really thought about her moving away. I guess I just thought that we would live in the same place together forever.

And then a couple of years ago she met this guy in the Navy who she would end up marrying. It changed our family and I thought that I’d be upset about it but I’m not. I love watching her be happy.

She has now lived in New York, Hawaii, and New Hampshire. I have had the opportunity to travel to new places to visit her on a few different occasions. It’s hard being apart and I always hate when she leaves after a visit but I know she’s happy and that makes the distance worth it.

When she first decided to move with him I was worried that I wouldn’t be there if she needed me. I wouldn’t be a 20 minute drive away if there was an emergency. It’s been hard to let her go but I know that her husband is taking care of her. I also know that she’s a strong, independent woman and she doesn’t need her big sis to bail her out.

Long distance sisterhood has been hard. It’s taught me that I need to have more friends than just my sister. It’s also taught me that it’s okay to set boundaries with family.

We didn’t have the hardest childhood but we had our challenges that we got through them together. Adulthood presents another set of challenges and even though we aren’t together geographically anymore I know that we will still get through it together.

Do you have any siblings? How do you handle growing apart as you get older?

Footer

 

Five on Friday #22

sincerely-media-b8wztr4H4xU-unsplash

Happy Friday, friends!

This week was a bit of a cluster for me but I’m trying to just enjoy everything right now. I am so glad that Tax season is over though. How was your week?

  1. My sister is in town for a few more days visiting from New Hampshire. I am so happy to have her here even if it’s just for a short visit. We don’t get to see each other all that often anymore so I really value all of the time I get with her.
  2. I have been loving the TULA Acne Clearing + Tone Correcting Gel lately! I bought it in a FabFitFun sale because I had heard good reviews and I was looking for an alternative for the Murad Acne Clarifying Solution. I love the Murad product but I ran out and was ready to try something new. This is my first TULA product and I’m actually really impressed! Have you tried any new skincare products recently?
  3. I’m taking a certification class the last week of July. It’s a three year program and this is my first year so I’m still super nervous. My class supplies arrived yesterday so I’m going to start to get everything organized and ready. I feel like I’m back in college again!
  4. I used to have an Instagram for my blog but when I quit blogging I switched to just having a personal Instagram. I’m thinking about starting to use my blog Instagram again. Do you have both a blog and a personal Instagram?
  5. Speaking of my sister, we recently discovered Beanitos Hint of Lime tortilla chips and they are so good! We both love the regular lime tortilla chips but these are way more flavorful. Super random but delicious!

My dad’s birthday is on Sunday so we will be celebrating with him. I don’t really have any other weekend plans though. I really want to get some sleep because I’ve been super tired this week.

What are your plans for this weekend?

Footer

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

July Blog Schedule

img_1644

July is a super busy month for me and I think blogging will have to take more of a backseat in my life for awhile. I’ll still be reading but I don’t know how much time I’ll have to create content.

Brett and I flew into Maine on Monday to see my sister in New Hampshire. On Tuesday we drove from New Hampshire to Michigan. On Wednesday we got her settled in Michigan and today I returned to work after 6 days off. I am exhausted.

Work has been rough this year. When I originally started writing this post I wrote that things were finally starting to look up. I spoke too soon. I don’t want to go into details because I know I am extremely lucky to have a job right now. I’m feeling really burnt out and I can’t imagine doing this for the rest of my life but I have no idea what else I’d want to do. I’m just feeling very unsure about work at the moment.

Speaking of work, I am taking a class for work the last week of July. I started a 3 year designation course which is usually held at Notre Dame. This year it will be online and I have been studying hard but still feel really unprepared. I will be spending most of the rest of this month studying and preparing for the class and the exam.

My anxiety is really high right now as I figure out how to deal with all of the things that are going on in my life. I’m nervous for all of the changes that are taking place at work and I’m extremely anxious about my class/exam.

Hopefully I will be back in action in August but July will most likely be pretty quiet.

Do you have any plans in July?

Footer

 

 

 

 

Five on Friday #20

max-eberlein-vAMJmX5a7vs-unsplash

Happy Friday, friends!

It’s been a pretty challenging week but I’m feeling energized and ready for the weekend! Our stay at home order in Michigan has been extended through June 12th so we are just hanging out at home but I am perfectly okay with that. I will never take time with my family for granted.

Here are five random things this Friday:

  1. I accidentally bought 5 tomato plants on Monday. I thought I was only buying 2 and it would be an easy way to start a container garden but there were actually 4 tomato plants in one of the containers. I have found gardening to be super relaxing so far. I have a little herb garden, my tomatoes, and some various flowers. I really think I needed a relaxing hobby to de-stress. Do you enjoy gardening?
  2. A couple of month’s ago Influenster sent me their Be Mine VoxBox which included the Live Clean Apple Cider Shampoo and Conditioner. I was skeptical but excited to find that they were 97% plant derived, cruelty free, and free from dye and parabens. They are also under $5 a piece on Amazon so they are super budget friendly! I’ve been using these products for about 2 months now and I really love them!
  3. For most of my life I have believed that credit cards were bad. I got my first one at 21 that had a $500 limit to take with me to study abroad. I just got my second credit card in 2017 which is the one that we mostly use for purchases. It has great cash back rewards and I’ve been trying to utilize those. I never buy anything that I couldn’t afford to buy with cash unless it’s a well-thought out and very necessary purchase. Because of that I am able to pay off my credit card each month. I have found that paying the balance every other Friday on my payday is super helpful instead of paying one lump sum at the end of the month. How do you feel about credit cards?
  4. I’ve started re-reading the Harry Potter series and I almost forgot just how much I love the books! Reading them reminds me of being a child and being so excited to go to bed every night just so my mom could read us another chapter of whatever Harry Potter book we were currently reading. I fell in love right away and they are still so comforting to me.
  5. On Wednesday night Brett and I went to my grandma’s house for dinner. That sounds anti-stay at home but we had a nice little social distancing dinner with her, my mom, and my dad. We sat in her garage 6 feet apart and caught up on life. My grandma lives alone so I think it was really good for her to be around people safely for a couple of hours.

How was your week? Do you have any plans this weekend?

Footer

Photo by Max Eberlein on Unsplash

 

2020 Spring Cleaning List

spring cleaning list

I shared my spring cleaning list for 2019 and really enjoyed having it to reference this year. 2020 is a bit different since I’ve been home basically 24/7 for the past 2 months so my house has been a bit more organized than it normally is. I still have some deep cleaning and organizing to do though!

It’s been raining pretty much non-stop in Michigan which means our water table is super high. We have a partially finished basement and have never really had any issues with flooding. This week, however, we started to get a puddle of water on the finished side of our basement. It’s leaking up through the cement and into the carpet. There’s not a ton we can do about the situation other than to try and keep it dry. We will most likely need new carpet though! I will just have to live with the fact that my basement won’t be clean and tidy this spring.

Here is my 2020 spring cleaning list. Let me know what’s on your list to tackle this year!

  1. Move furniture and clean the floors
  2. Clean and organize the fridge and freezer (house and garage)
  3. Dust the blinds and wash the curtains
  4. Organize the basement “pantry”
  5. Deep clean the laundry room
  6. Clean out and re-organize the storage room
  7. Dust the shelves in the dining room and re-decorate
  8. Mount the TV in the living room and clean out the TV stand
  9. Take out winter clothes from our closets and add in spring clothes
  10. Deep clean the mudroom and put away winter boots and shoes
  11. Finish painting the rest of the furniture
  12. Clean out dressers and donate/sell clothes
  13. Power-wash the outdoor furniture and patio areas
  14. Dust the walls and ceilings

It’s Memorial Day on Monday which means we have a 3 day weekend! I’m hoping to cross off a few of the items on my list this weekend since we can’t go to the lake like we usually do for Memorial Day.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Footer

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

An Introvert In Quarantine

I’ve been working exclusively from home for the past two months but it feels like it’s been only a few days. I’m from Michigan and our state is supposed to be re-opening at the end of the month so my work has been coming up with a re-entry plan but I’m not ready to go back. I’ve enjoyed working from home so I plan on continuing for the foreseeable future. Overall I feel less stressed and have had more time to take care of myself.

I know that many people are struggling because they have to social distance at home. For introverts such as myself, I think this has been a good opportunity for us to re-charge our “introvert batteries“. One of the characteristics of introverts is the need to be alone to re-charge after social situations. The lack of social anything has given us ample opportunity to re-charge our batteries. I know that my battery will be drained again after my first social experience.

This period of social distancing has also shown the importance of the little moments such as visiting friends and family, hugs and handshakes, and quick trips to the grocery store. I hope this helps us to not take those things for granted when society re-opens.

Being an introvert in quarantine has it’s perks. My husband is an extrovert and has been so bored. I don’t typically get bored very easily so I’ve been able to keep myself busy. I’m stuck inside my own head most of the time and enjoy being around a very small group of people. I like going for a drive with Brett every once in awhile for a change of scenery but for the most part I’m a happy camper.

I do think that it will be hard for me to go back to “normal”. I feel safe and comfortable at home but I know that I can’t stay here forever. At some point I will need to re-enter society and that is pretty terrifying. Social distancing feels like the ideal situation for avoiding draining conversations and eye contact.

My whole life has prepared me for social distancing. The new problem I face is dealing with the anxiety of re-entering the world when things start to re-open. I will always crave the safety and security of my house. I will always crave alone time or time with just Brett. I hope some of the things we all learned during quarantine will stay even after everything re-opens.

Are things starting to re-open where you live? Are you ready to get back out into the world?

 

 

 

 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

 

October According to my iPhone

IMG_4971

It’s November! October is my favorite month so I am kind of bummed that it’s over but I had a great month and I’m excited to share this month’s round of iPhone pictures.

95705A3F-2516-4F3D-8A6A-DE9BEB8EA9F3

October started out badly with the passing of my good friend, Alex. He was only 25 and I had known him since kindergarten. Alex was also my freshman year roommate’s ex-boyfriend so we spent a great deal of our college careers together. He was so funny and had always been a great friend. I’ll really miss him. He was hit by a car on his way to work which once again proves that life is way too short. Brett and I always raise a glass and toast to our loved ones when they pass. It’s something that I learned from my mom and have continued doing.

IMG_4882

Oscar the burrower looking too cute for words.

1BE51B7B-FA46-49D2-8C6E-9BF307A6BA2AIMG_4913

Brett and I babysat our nieces, Ava and Elizabeth, while their parents had a nice night out. It’s so cute to see Brett interact with them! A couple of months ago he was too scared to hold them but now he’s first to react when they cry and is always ready to rock them back to sleep. He’s the best uncle!

IMG_4917

We got Oscar a Detroit Lions jersey. He had such an exciting day watching the game with the guys that he fell asleep with his jersey on!

IMG_4932

My work had their annual Fall Festival and I had the opportunity to co-sponsor it. It was a lot of work but so much fun!

IMG_4949

I spent many days at the lake with my grandparents. The lake is my favorite!

IMG_4961

I celebrated 3 years at work! My company sent me a beautiful Orchid and a gift card.

IMG_4966

My dad stopped by the night before my birthday with donuts and cider from our local apple orchard. It was the best way to start my birthday weekend!

IMG_4975

Brett got me my favorite cake from Coldstone. It’s called Peanut Butter Playground. Yummmm

76DE9B99-BC7B-43AB-A1DA-48B72084DDCB

We spent the Sunday of my birthday weekend at the lake with my family. My grandpa and I have the same birth date so we always celebrate together! So much fun!

IMG_4988

We had a snowy Halloween night in Michigan but at least Bruno and Oscar looked cute! My nieces came over along with their parents, my parents, Brett’s mom, and Brett’s uncle. We had a good night despite the cold weather!

How was your October?

Footer