Five on Friday #21

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It’s finally Friday, friends!

It’s been a sad week but I’m going to continue to work on educating myself to be a better ally. I’ve ordered books, listened to podcasts, and have tried to be as educated as possible. History is happening right before our eyes and it’s easy to stay quiet and let it happen but it’s important to stay involved. Right now I am trying to listen and learn as much as possible.

Here are five random things for this Friday:

  1. Our stay at home order was lifted early this week. It was supposed to last until mid June so I was really surprised when it was lifted. We did have a 7 pm curfew for a few days because of the riots and looting. The protests in my city were mostly peaceful though. Were you able to attend any protests this week?
  2. I have a certification class and exam in July that I’ve been studying for. I’m really excited for the class even though it’s been moved to a virtual class format. Like I’ve said before, my background is not in finance so I feel like I still have a lot of catching up to do in terms of my knowledge of the financial industry. This is a huge step for me but I really need to focus!
  3. We actually have plans this weekend! We are going to hang out with some of Brett’s friends (while social distancing) in our backyard. The weather is supposed to be really nice and it’ll be good for my extrovert husband to spend some time with his friends. I think it’s been hard for him to not see his friends as much as he was used to.
  4. When I was planning our wedding I got really into hand-lettering as a hobby and stress relief. I still have so many pens and brush markers but haven’t really touched them in a couple of years. I started hand-lettering again last week and have been loving it! I keep extra paper in my desk drawer and whenever work is feeling too stressful I sketch something and it makes me feel much better. I used Creative Lettering and Beyond with these Sakura brush pens when I was learning.
  5. The mosquitoes are so bad this year! We are thinking about getting our backyard sprayed just so we are able to sit out. Have you ever had your yard sprayed for mosquitoes? Did you think it was worth it?

How was your week? What are your plans for this weekend?

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Photo by Niklas Veenhuis on Unsplash

Five on Friday #20

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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?

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Five on Friday #19

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Happy Friday!

I am so glad it’s almost the weekend! It’s been a tough week and I need to re-charge. I’m still working from home since the Michigan stay at home order was extended to the end of May. Are you still under a stay at home order?

Without further ado, here are five random things for your Friday morning.

  1. I’ve seen all over social media that people are struggling with anxiety right now which is helping me feel less alone during this time. I’ve had pretty good control on my anxiety for the last couple of years but now I feel like I’ve lost control. I know it’s just temporary and it helps to know that everyone is feeling anxious right now. I started taking a magnesium supplement for my migraines but my Neurologist said this also might help my anxiety so fingers crossed! Let me know if you have any other ideas for dealing with anxiety.
  2. The weather is finally starting to warm up in Michigan and since everything is cancelled this summer Brett and I are working on a little backyard refresh. My dad just built a new fire pit in our yard and I’m trying to decide on what patio furniture to buy. We have a double lot backyard so we have lots of room to work with. I’m thinking a badminton set is a must!
  3. I selected the items for my summer 2020 FabFitFun box a couple of weeks ago and I was so excited to see that they included the DryBar Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler. I got this detangler in my winter box and loved it! I have really thick wavy hair and this makes it shiny and soft. Do you have FFF? What did you pick for your summer box? My sister and I got my mom a membership for Mother’s Day and it was so much fun choosing our boxes together!
  4. Brett has been doing all of the grocery shopping for us over the past couple of months which means that I haven’t really left the house at all. We are hoping to go to Costco this weekend to stock up on some essentials. We usually go to Costco once a quarter but haven’t been at all this year. I’m anxious to leave the house but I think it’ll be good for my mental health. Plus, my grandma made us super cute face masks to wear!
  5. Brett and I have been making it a habit to have Saturday night date night since this quarantine started. Brett’s schedule is usually crazy so we rarely have dates. Our date nights have consisted of grabbing takeout from a local restaurant and watching a movie but I still really enjoy the one on one time. I actually think staying home has been really good for our marriage. What have you been doing during quarantine?

Do you have any plans for this weekend? Other than date night I’ll just be at home getting stuff done around the house.

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Photo by Emiel Molenaar on Unsplash

Five on Friday #18

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It’s finally Friday and I couldn’t be happier! This week was so busy for me, mostly because it was the end of the month and end of the first quarter so work was incredibly crazy. I’m happy to be busy though because I’m not feeling bored while quarantined.

Without further ado, here are five random things for your Friday morning.

  1. I received my spring FabFitFun box a couple of months ago but I just started using the Gravity weighted sleep mask that was in my box. I think many people were disappointed with this product because we have seen a few eye masks from FabFitFun already. However, I am a big fan of eye masks because they are really helpful when I have migraines and need to block out all the light. I’ve been sleeping with this one this week and the weight is so comforting! It sounds weird but wearing this eye mask is soothing and I fall asleep really quickly!
  2. This was my first full week of being quarantined and I think it went really well. I have my normal work setup at home so it’s not super difficult for me. We have a great phone system that allows us to work remotely and have video conferences easily so that hasn’t been an issue at all. How are things going for you?
  3. I’ve been loving cooking dinner lately! I’m trying to be more creative with meals now that we are exclusively eating at home. I got a few Keto cookbooks for Christmas from my mom this year so I’ve been using those in addition to just making recipes up as I go. My favorite Keto cookbook is this one by Amy Ramos which is usually under $10 on Amazon!
  4. If you knew me in real life you’d know that I pretty much always have a Sparkling Ice water in my hand. I’ve loved them for years and drink at least one a day. I don’t eat sugar so these are my sweet treat and a great substitute for soft drinks. When I was visiting my sister in New Hampshire I tried the Sparking Ice + Caffeine waters and they were a game changer! I don’t drink coffee but every once in awhile I need a little caffeine. I can’t buy them at any stores around me but I did find them on Amazon. The Blue Raspberry is my favorite!
  5. I have been loving watching YouTube lately. For three years Brett and I only owned one TV which was fine by me but I got used to not ever watching the TV so instead I’d watch YouTube. I like to play videos when I’m cooking, cleaning, writing, etc. I recently discovered Jen Chapin and I love her grocery hauls, meal prep, and day in the life videos. She really inspires me to create a healthy work-life balance.

I usually share my weekend plans in these posts but these days I have nothing going on. I have to admit, I am enjoying my one-on-one time with Brett. It feels like everyday is a date while we are eating our meals together and watching movies. I’m really glad to have some time to just spend with him.

Do you have any plans for this weekend? What are you loving lately?

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My Sunday To-Do List

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Sunday is a hard day for me because I feel so pressured to get everything done. I try to write my to-do list on Saturday so that I can cross off a few items before Sunday rolls around. We usually have plans on Saturday though so it’s hard to get too much done.

After my post last week about the things I do to prepare for my week I thought it would be fun to actually share my to-do list for today. I know that I probably won’t be able to get everything done on this list but I always try to!

  • Clean the bathroom
  • Empty all trashes
  • Clean out the fridge
  • Sweep and mop the floors
  • Finish the laundry and fold/put away clothes
  • Wash bedding and make the bed
  • Deep clean the kitchen
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Prep lunches and snacks for the week
  • Vacuum the couch
  • Change the kitty litter
  • Tidy the living room
  • Dust the furniture
  • Wipe down surfaces
  • Clean the mirrors
  • Organize the coat closet

If I have time I would love to put up my spring decorations. I haven’t re-decorated since Christmas so my house has looked empty for the past few weeks. I’m ready to add some color back into my decor!

Since it is Superbowl Sunday we will be heading to my parent’s house to watch the game and have dinner. I’m going to attempt to make some sort of Keto friendly appetizer for me and my mom.

Who are you rooting for to win the game today? I know nothing about sports so I’m really just in it for the food and commercials!

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4 Things I Do For A Productive Work Week

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Last year I wrote about the “Sunday Scaries” and about being so anxious on Sunday that I wasn’t able to enjoy my day off of work. I feel so much pressure to get things done that I can’t just relax and take care of myself like I should. Since then I have been working on learning how to breathe and enjoy life.

Even though I am enjoying my Sundays now more than I used to I still have a small list of things that I do during the weekend to help me have a productive work week ahead. I hope that these help you if you are also feeling anxious about getting things done!

  1. Create a meal plan and go grocery shopping. I hate making unnecessary stops on my way home from work. On Monday the grocery store is always super busy and I don’t want to wait in lines or be stuck in cart traffic jams. I like to browse the store ad online, create a meal plan, and go grocery shopping early in the morning on Saturday or Sunday to avoid crowds. I feel really good if I can check this off my list right away!
  2. Make my kitchen spotless. I’m one of those people who just can’t function if my kitchen is messy. I hate cluttered counters, dirty dishes in the sink, and a messy floor. If I am able to start my Monday with a clean kitchen I feel much more ready to tackle my week. I’m also more motivated to cook dinner when I arrive home from work if the kitchen is clean!
  3. Laundry done plus clothes folded and put away. I used to have a bad habit of doing my laundry and then leaving it in the basket for a few days before finally folding it and putting it back in the basket. I hated putting my clothes away in my closet or dresser. Now I make it a goal to have all of the laundry done and put away before Monday morning.
  4. Realize that I won’t be able to get everything done. I’m just one person and there’s no way that I can tackle my whole to-do list in one weekend. I try to get the basics done and make small lists to accomplish during the week. I have stopped putting so much pressure on myself to have the perfect house and I feel so much better! It’s okay to leave some items unchecked on your list. You’ll get to them when you can.

2018 was a really dark year of me but it taught me that I needed to learn how to put myself and my mental health first. Last year I struggled with finding a healthy balance of productivity and relaxing. I’ve made a lot of really good progress and I contribute that to learning how to set myself up for success.

How do you prepare for your work week?

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Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

 

Five on Friday #15

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Happy Fri-Yay, friends! :)We made it to the weekend and that is definitely something to celebrate!

On Fridays I like to share five random things about my week including what I’ve been listening to, thinking about, etc.

How was your week?

  1. Green Day, Weezer, and Fall Out Boy just announced that they will be going on tour together in 2020! Green Day is my all time favorite band and I’d love to see them live again! Green Day had been dropping hints about their tour and new album on social media and I’m so excited now that I know what’s going on!
  2. I heard this Hilary Duff medley the other day and I can’t stop listening to it. Is anyone else super excited for the new Lizzie McGuire reboot?!?
  3. Brett is at an airshow this weekend and I’m kind of looking forward to a weekend alone. I’m planning on watching a couple of my movies, deep cleaning the house, and going shopping, basically all the things Brett hates doing! Let me know if you have any Netflix recommendations for me!
  4. I’ve been doing a ton of cross-training at work to learn my teammate’s processes in order to help provide balance in our division. It’s super challenging to learn new things but I’m really enjoying getting out there and doing other processes. It has made my workday more enjoyable and makes me feel like a better member of our team.
  5. Speaking of work, this week we had our first annual team-building event. We left work at noon and headed about an hour away to some sand dunes near Lake Michigan for dune rides. It was so much fun to get away for the afternoon and spend time with some of my favorite people! Have you ever been on a dune ride?

Do you have any plans for this weekend?

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Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash

Labor Day Weekend In Cleveland, OH

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Labor Day weekend is always one of my favorites! I look forward to three days off to spend time with family and friends. As always, Brett wanted to go to another air show so we packed up the car and headed to Cleveland, Ohio for the weekend.

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Cleveland is about 4.5 hours away from where we live and is one of my favorite cities to visit! I grew up listening to Green Day, Tom Petty, AC/DC, and many more iconic bands and musicians so the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of my favorite travel destinations. I have been four times now, twice with my family and twice with Brett and it doesn’t get old!

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Most of the exhibits were new to me this time! Brett and I agreed that our favorite was The Garage where there was a live band playing and TV screens with instruments where you could learn to play a verse on the guitar, bass, drums, or keyboard. It was super cool and I was able to impress Brett with my ability to play Smoke on the Water from my guitar days in high school. It made me want to re-learn guitar!

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We spent most of Saturday at the Hall of Fame but wandered out around dinner time. I was starving! Brett let me choose where we would eat so I picked Shake Shack. This is one of my favorite burger places but we don’t have one near us so I always look for one when we are traveling. The cheese fries are my favorite!

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For dessert we went to Cathy’s Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches. I found Cathy’s by doing a Google search for ice cream in the area and I was SO impressed! You pick your cookie flavor, ice cream flavor, and a topping and they make your sandwich right in front of you! I chose M&M cookies with chocolate ice cream and chocolate chips. I wasn’t able to eat all of mine but it was so good and I highly recommend!

We walked around downtown before heading back to our hotel. We stayed at the Westin which was walking distance from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and every other place we wanted to go including the air show. We ended our Saturday night by watching Ten Things I Hate About You and Sweet Home Alabama on tv.

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Sunday was air show day so we grabbed Starbucks and walked to the airport for the Cleveland National Air Show. The weather wasn’t great so we ended up leaving a couple of hours early to drive home.

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However, we can’t go to Cleveland without eating at The Melt! Our friends introduced us to this restaurant a couple of years ago and we have been hooked ever since! They make the best and most unique grilled cheese sandwiches. I usually get Wake and Bacon but this time I tried The Dude Abides and it was delicious!

We got home around 8 pm on Sunday and pretty much went straight to bed. We both had Monday off of work so we headed out to the lake for a day with family! Overall, it was a great weekend and much needed.

How was your Labor Day weekend?

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Weekend Recap: Hot Air Balloon Festival

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This past weekend was super busy for our family. Brett is involved with all of our local airshows and balloon festivals. He is a third generation aviation fanatic so the love of all things aviation runs deep.

Our local balloon festival was Friday-Sunday and Brett and I work on the media team doing Facebook and Instagram. The location of the festival is at a farm which is very close to where I grew up.The farm has apple orchards, pumpkin patches, a corn maze, farm animals, homemade donuts and cider, and every other fall activity imaginable. I went there every year growing up so it makes it even more special to be involved as an adult.

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Friday after work we headed to the farm for the first balloon flight and balloon glow. This was a balloon competition so each flight the pilots had bags to throw from their balloons to try to reach a target.

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We decided to sleep in on Saturday morning and do chores before heading to the farm. There was a car show from 11-2 so my dad, Brett, and our friend headed there. My mom and I stayed at my parent’s house and did some work. My parents are officially empty nesters so we are working on turning the two extra bedrooms into guest rooms. We also want to paint the whole upstairs and turn the basement into a family room area.

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Saturday night we headed to the farm for the balloon flight and glow. We met up with some friends and had cider and donuts. It felt like fall which made me excited for the months ahead!

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The Sunday morning flight was cancelled due to weather so we stayed home and did the rest of our chores and went grocery shopping. We took Oscar to my parent’s in the afternoon for a little play date and then my parent’s and a couple of our friends came over for dinner.

We had a great weekend! It felt like the beginning of fall in Michigan. I’m sad that summer is practically over but I’m ready for all the fall things!

How was your weekend?

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Five on Friday #11

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Hooray! We made it to Friday! This was my first week back to work after vacation and I’m exhausted.

  1. Fourth of July is next weeks which means that it’s our biggest airshow week of the season. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! The fourth was always my favorite growing up because both sides of my family would get together to celebrate America and my sister’s birthdays. I loved having everyone together at the lake.
  2. We went to Oregon last week on vacation with my friend, Anna Sophie, and her boyfriend. You might remember her from my study abroad posts. We hadn’t seen each other since leaving London in 2015 so it was so nice to catch up! I’m hoping to write a whole post about our trip soon.
  3. Before vacation I was really motivated on my health and fitness journey. My goal is to not only lose weight but to accept my body at every stage along the way. I’ve spent the past couple of years being really terrible to myself with the way I talk about and treat my body and I know that needs to stop. Body image is a huge issue in our current culture and I’ve really had to step back from social media in order to get my head back in a good place.
  4. Going on vacation has really made me realize that I need to spend more time away from work. My work-life balance has gotten much better since last year but I still worry and think about work way too much. I need to step back every once in a while and just worry about me.
  5. I had a neurologist appointment on Monday afternoon and I’m thinking about doing a Migraine update post to share what’s been going on. I haven’t done an update post in awhile because there hasn’t been any updates.

Do you have any plans for this weekend?

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Photo by Link Hoang on Unsplash