Monday, July 13, 2015

Living In The Now

My posting at the blog has been pretty sporadic after the last move. My work hours have changed so I'm now working when most people work instead of when a majority of people are leaving work. Adapting to not having all my me time during the day to be productive and sharing my evenings with my mini family is a really rough transition for an introverted gal like myself.

Life in general just has changed for me. Relocating forced me to change jobs. Even though I am still working in a different field, it is completely different work in an entirely different atmosphere. There was just a lot of new in a short period of time and I am still figuring it all out. I like change, but I'm discovering I require a lot of time to adjust to changes. This must get harder as you get older.

My 30th birthday is sneaking up on me quickly. My goal since my early teens was that I wanted to be settled when I was thirty. It gradually is becoming just that.

So, needless to say, this little blog will be changing too. It will always change as I change. The though has crossed my mind to just stop blogging. But I am going to try out something new.

At the beginning of June, I went to a concert with my cousin. We have been admit about seeing them when come to MN for the last few years. Somehow this year I scored us front row tickets at a super small venue. During the concert, the band was telling some teens to put their phones away and live in the moment. For some strange reason, that resonated in me. I really didn't take much photos of videos. When is the next time I'm going to be 6 feet away from these guys at another concert? So we just enjoyed it.

As life would have it, we ran into the exit to the venue with some fellow fans. Long story short, we took a selfie with Danny, the main singer. That experience will never happen again. I'm glad I didn't waste it by watching it though a phone screen or hurrying out the door to beat the traffic. Instead, we sat back - well technically stood, enjoyed the once in a lifetime show, and took our time standing an chatting with a fun group of people that resulted in us meeting and getting our photo taken with a band member.

Ever since then, when I'm getting stressed for frazzled about something, I keep trying to stop and think positively so my day isn't ruined by one moment. Hopefully I get to share some of that on this blog so everyone else can have reminders to live in the moment and think of the positivity life can bring in a moment when you're not expecting it to.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Life is a wee bit crazy around this place. I'm in a weird stage of my life where I am moving again and saying goodbye to people I've known for several years. Tough stuff.

So I'm taking a time out to talk about something else. Shampoo. Seriously. @influenster sent me some nifty shampoo and conditioner and color corrector. It is suppose to help remove some of the brassiness that can happen to blonde color treated hair. 

Those of you that know me well, know that back when I first moved to Wisconsin, my hair turned orange. Only the bangs, but still. It was orange and not even bleaching it could take the orange out. Needless to say, I am a little hesitant about doing and using anything to my hair that makes my blonde color look any different than what it currently looks like. I am traumatized by the orange. 

When influenster sent me this product, I was leary to say the least. After only one use, my co-worker asked me if I highlighted my hair. Coincidence, maybe. But over the next two weeks, I've had five people ask me if I highlighted my hair. Obviously this shampoo is making my hair look like I just visited the salon. That's just too many people randomly asking me in a short period of time.

The price is decent and the smell of it isn't horrible. 

Try it for yourself.
There's no reason not to :) 
Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Advocare Update: Week One.

Good Day!
Thought I would do a quick update to let you all know how the Advocare 24 day challenge is going.
The All-In Challenge kicked off on Wednesday. Mike decided to start it on Thursday instead. Such a rebel ;)  Day one went fine for me at work, which was my biggest fear. You just never know how much time you are going to have to eat or have a snack. Day one for Mike was a little more tough. Learning to eat smaller portions and resist snacking at night is not easy!
  The weekend presented it's own challenges. Mike ended up getting a ticket to go to the Packer play off game. (yes, we are all jealous). So he spent Saturday and Sunday on the road and at the game, while on Sunday I was at a family Christmas celebration. Needless to say, it was a make it or break it kind of weekend. So we choose to take a day off of the challenge. Not fully, we were still very conscious of what we were eating, but didn't stick to Advocare's guide. Being more mindful of what we eat is a huge step in the right direction for us!
The biggest challenge staring off this challenge was the lack of meal planning. The All-In Advocare Challenge started on the last day of my ten day work week, which included being on-call. That translates to me spending the night at the hospital on the weekend, plus working second shift. You're free time is spent catching up on sleep. This Saturday I hit up the craziness of Costco and stocked our fridge with healthy foods. Literally, its chuck full! 
The hurdle I'm working on this week is my energy level... Neither one of us has had the energy to exercise this  last week.. 
There is a helpful Advocare 24 day challenge app that we are trying out too..
Has anyone used it?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Finding Our Health

Happy New Year!
I could list out my New Year resolutions for you, but they are most likely 99% the same as everyone elses, so I'll spare you :)  My plan this year is to not just figure out my resolutions and state them, but have a plan of attack in place.
First up to be conquered: Getting our health back!
I say "our" because not only have I let my healthy lifestyle slip, but the boyfriend has too.What can I say, we are two of a kind :)  We both had a big year full of unexpected surprises. So this year we are getting ourselves back on track in terms of our health. Last summer and fall, Katie from Running4Cupcakes has approached me to do the advocare 24 day challenge. She was pushed into doing it and had no regrets. Unfortunately, committing to 24 days of being somewhat home bound to prepare meals just wasn't working out with our schedules last year. She approached me again this winter and I signed right up! The timing finally worked out!
Starting Wednesday, Mike and I will be following a clean eating diet and taking supplements Advocare provides along the way for 24 days.
Our goal is to not only shed a few pounds, but to kick our binge eating and unhealthy eating habits out the door. So we will be cutting out caffeine (gulp),alcohol,  processed foods (basically anything over 6 ingredients), Fried foods, creamy foods, etc. Oh and Dairy!! This is going to be the hard one. I know on previous challenge blog posts, people had to cut it out completely, but on my information packet it just says to use in moderation. Since we are cheeseaholics, we will be abstaining from dairy. Well, at least for the first 10 "cleansing" phase days.
The good news is that we are not alone. Wednesday kicks off the 24 day "all-in" challenge. This is support I hope to utilize when I get a little overwhelmed with staying on track.
As much as I am ready for a start in the right direction, I am overwhelmed and nervous at the same time. With money invested in the challenge, there is more pressure to not fail or cheat. I am going to have to get on the ball about meal planning and prepping. Neither of which are my strengh.. Knowing the first few days we are both going to be royally exhausted and not having caffeine to use as a pick-me-up the next day will be brutal.
 My "plan" is to keep you all updated on how it's going. What is the toughest part for us as we go along with this and also, what surprised us.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Finding My Christmas Spirit

To say the last few months has not been crazy would be a lie. But honestly, whose lives have not been? Shortly before Thanksgiving my co-worker was asking me about Christmas and decorating the new house. I looked her and said "I honestly was more excited about Halloween". After thinking about that I realized I needed to change my 'tude.

My Solution. Go all out Christmas. I booked three different Christmas Music shows in Minneapolis. We set out and cut down our first tree. A few new decorations now grace our home. I made crocheted scarves for the Christmas card photo. The Christmas card photo even got taken and mailed out in a timely fashion. Our home even smells like Christmas. 

Did it help? Somewhat. This year has been such whirlwind, with the last few months been completely topsy turby. The boyfriends work continues to throw more curve balls at him. Even interfering with our Christmas plans. We literally have no idea where he will be working or living a few months ahead. Our health is no where near where it was or where it should be. With so much up in the air, I've found it easier just to fake the holiday spirit. Who has time or the energy for it?

I may not be Merry and Bright this season, but I am greatful. My health and happiness are not where they need to be, but they exist! I have a roof over my head. Two happy little dachshunds. A boyfriend to lift me up when I start to crumble under everything. A reliable vehicle to take me to and from work where I do my part to help people heal. A large family to spend my time with and celebrate one another. I may not be peppy and overly merry this season, but I am genuinely grateful for everything and everyone in my life. That to me is worth it's weight in gold..or Frankencence  and Myrrh.. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Girl Meets Chopsticks

Why does such pretty food have to be so difficult to eat? 

I've had my struggles with chopsticks in the past. I just tossed it up to never having to use them before. Only once have I ate Sushi in public, and it was comical. I got lessons in how to use them but needless to say, I failed. My fingers just couldn't make them work.

My solution, get more take out Sushi and practice eating them in my own home with no one watching. So I did. Several times. I had a 50/50 success rate. There are loads of YouTube tutorials on how to eat with chopsticks. I watched most of them. I looked at drawings on the correct way to use them. Still, I sucked.

The boy and I have a list of date night ideas saved on Evernote. Sushi was on it. So this weekend we went to Grand Ave in St Paul which was a date idea. Then got Sushi. Two date ideas at once, total over achievers, i know! So what do I do, have a freak out over the chopsticks. Mainly because I suck at using them, no matter how I long I've tried, and the boy, he's a pro. After I repeatedly spazzed out over lettuce falling all over the place, he orders me silverware. And I feel like I've failed. However I am the only one who really cares. 

I eventually calmed down. Tried the chopsticks a few more times. There is only so much of your food  falling all over the place before you throw your hands up. So I used my fingers and ate the rest of the food. I was as happy as a clam. Not sure if it's  because I didn't resort to giving up entirely and using silverware or because I came to the realization that I was fighting a battle against two pieces of wood.

Either way, we ended up enjoying our food. One with chopsticks, one with fingers. That's compromise :)

Above, is deep fried oysters. On Tuesday I talked about how we eat healthy during the week and fail miserably on the weekend? This is what I'm talking about. So delicious! Tasted like super juicy breaded mushrooms! 

Anyone else hate chopsticks?

Liking up with RunningWithSpoons today!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Handling Halloween and the Leftovers

First off, we survived our first Halloween in Minnesota. The boy was curious on how it would work with the barking addicted pup (as was I). Once we figured out how to hurdle the baby gate at the top of the stairs without injuring ourselves or falling down the steps, we were golden! Naturally, he barked non stop so we dressed him up as a "little monster" complete with a mohawk. sounds like a fair trade, right? 

Now we are dealing with the post Halloween leftovers, aka "candy". Since it was our first time handing out candy here, I really had no idea on how much to purchase. I'm glad to say I didn't have to turn the light off early and deprive the kiddos of candy, but having that much temptation around is brutal. We both have made several attempts at maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but once the weekend rolls around, we are eating out and eating unhealthy. We both decided we need to focus on planning ahead and eating healthier.  

So on Sunday we cooked our first turkey and carved it up for dinners all week long. Since I had no idea how to cook a turkey, there was lots of googling involved. Oh and buying a roaster. There are perks to actually being married and getting wedding gifts before living together. Roasters range in prices from $20 to $200 plus. Eek! Since cooking, carving, and eating the bird seemed to have taken up a good chunk of Sunday afternoon, not much was was able to get cooked. Thankfully, Balance Bare sent me these bars to review. They could not have come at a better time. They make great mid morning or afternoon snacks that help to keep us satisfied. Plus, they are non GMO Gluten/Dairy/Soy free! Tip: The sweet and spicy nut Balance Bare bar actually has some heat to it! I love it!

What's your game plan to stay healthy during the kick off the holiday season?

Linking up with OlivesNWine for Treat Yourself Tuesday. Best way to treat yourself is to take care of yourself, and laugh - at your dog in a mohawk :) 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Life: Unexpected

It's true I am not a big fan of surprises. I blame it on the inner shy Shannon.When people try to surprise me, all the attention is on me. Insert: Panic and red flushed cheeks! However, I have gotten better at rolling with the punches. For instance:
This is Ned. 
Ned is my basil toad. He lives in my basil plant. When I first met Ned, he surprised me by appearing in my bowl of freshly picked basil. I am not a fan of any creatures without fur, at all!  Now that we have formally met, Ned has felt a little more comfortable around here. He frequently is found clinging on the patio door window or chilling on his basil basil plant. We're good. 
Then a few days earlier, this happened:

Droopy Ears, Sad Face..
Sully wanted to lay in his kennel. All day. Not like him. He is normally attacking me with his squeaky toys or snoozing in my lap. I figured he just was tired. However when Mike came home, Sully didn't even wag his tail or get out of the kennel. It's safe to say the pups have grown on him because he scooped him up, pillow and all, and took him to urgent care. (yes, pet urgent care does exist)  Lab work, x-rays, and an exam later he was diagnosed with a compressed disc. He is back to his normal self now, chasing toads and all. Maybe it's because I take and examine x-rays all day long or because I asked the dog-loving radiologist I work with to take a peek at the X-rays, but I do not believe he has a compression fracture. But I do think he hurt his back, just not that severely. 
You never can predict what live with present you with, 
but sometimes you just gotta roll with it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 2014 Stitch Fix

Thank you to everyone who has been leaving comments on my Stitch Fix posts,
from last year. 
It made me realize I should probably get on the ball and do a post,
this year preferably..

Truth is,
Stitch Fix got a little ishy a while ago.
They changed delivery companies which caused me all kinds of chaos.
Then they really didn't seem to be matching my style very well.
The last two or three fixes have been much, much better.

So I thought I would share with you my latest fix!

First things first,
The photoarea had to be checked by my security team...

 1.) Renee C Mackin Floral Print Cut-Out Back Tank
I loved this top. Now that may hair is shorter, the cute cut out on the back is actually visible. The print is something I would not have normally picked out, but I really liked it when I put it on. The back is longer then the front.

Verdict: Return
Boyfriend said it looked like a "mom shirt". Needless to say I became paranoid and sent it back.

2) 41Hawthorn Montgomery Chevron Cross-Front Top
I am not a big fan of chevron print on anything. The chevrons didn't go up and down so I actually was okay with this top. The fit was perfect (and stretchy). It can easily be dressed up or down. 

Verdict: Keep!
It is a really good transitional piece to go into fall with.

3) Pomelo Alan French Terry Asymmetrical Zip Cardigan
I have been eyeballing this cardigan on Pinterest for a while now. So when I saw it was going to be in my fix, I was pretty pumped. I loved it! However, I would not recommend wearing it zipped. 

Verdict: Return
I decided bright orange isn't practical for this time of year. I did tell my stylist to include it again in another fix, just in a darker color. 

4) 19 Cooper Cathleen Split-Neck Tulip-Sleeve Blouse
This top just wasn't me. It fit great, but the style wouldn't work for my lifestyle. 

 Verdict: Return

5) Bay to Baubles Tazo Triangle Charm Lariat Necklace
I was uberly excited to get a necklace that was simple. I wore it in most of the photos above. It just dangled a little bit too long and wound up sitting inside my shirt. 

Verdict: return

So that's this months fix.
If you to try it yourself, here's my referral link! 

Speaking of links,
Today I am linking up with Becky@Olivesnwine
for Treat Yourself Tuesday! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Minnesota Yard

When I moved into this rental house in July,
there was so much I was ready for.
One of them being having a yard.
You really don't know how much you miss having one,
until you spend 6 years without one.
So here is a little look around the outdoors of my MN home! 

Anywhere I live,
my pups will be my first priority.
So that fact that this place came with a fenced in backyard is amazing!
Bonus: it's green. Much more appealing then the silver looking chain fence.

Speaking of the pups...
On each side of the garage is a dachshund.
I did not put them there.
It was fate, let me tell ya.
God knows he needs to be a little blunt with me on where I should live..

I can almost squeal at the fact I have a front stoop.
Not only and I planning on decorating it for the fall,
but there is no long FedEx battles!!!!
My #1 pet peeve at my apartment.

Yes, it's a recycling bin.
But after almost 6 years of no recycling.
I am happy to finally be doing my part.
We honestly go through as much recycling as we do garbage..
Sad to think about how much I've put in the landfill over the years at my apartment.

There is an empty lot next to us....

...and across from us :)

The pups are still have a deck to sun on.

A fire pit!
We were so excited to have on the backyard.
We are talking near giddy.. 
Truth: We've only used it once.

I have this slight obsession with the super tall pine trees in rows.
My back yard has them.
I LOVE looking out my window and seeing this pines.
I cannot wait until winter when they are heavy with snow..
Yes, I just said I cannot wait until winter.

What are your thoughts?
What is the favorite part about the outdoors where you live?

Today I'm linking up with Amanda@RunningWithSpoons

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