Friday, August 28, 2015

Weekend + Links


Happy Friday!  

Why are the weeks going by so fast?!  This is the last Friday of August (tear).  I may be a little MIA today as I'm helping with sorority move in on campus, and then this weekend we're off to another wedding! 
 
+ A 'Bombshell Blowout Thermal Brush' that results in shiny, sleek, no frizz hair - without using your blow dryer. Sounds amazing, right?  Check out Kate's full review, and hopefully I'll have my own coming soon - I have some leftover Sephora giftcards that I will be putting to use on this bad boy.

+ April shares how you can send a letter or drawing to an Army veteran in Hospice.  Mr. Strong lives in North Carolina and has no remaining family.  He's feeling really alone in his last few days so let's all cheer him up with a quick hello :)

+ My newest Etsy shop obsession: ShopSprouts.  THE cutest jewelry!

+ We made this recipe on Tuesday night and it was delicious and SO easy.  The Cookie Rookie recipes never disappoint.

+ ICYMI: the best piece of blogging advice I've ever received. 

+ I want this scarf in every color, but especially the burgundy.  It's perfect for fall.

What are you guys up to this weekend?!
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Best Blogging Advice I've Ever Gotten


One of my favorite parts about blogging is also the part I struggle with the most: comments.  I love them, I live for them, and appreciate every single one of them.  But, I'm SO terrible at letting the email notifications of them pile up in my inbox and getting beyond overwhelming.  Until one day, I came across a random blogging article somewhere on Pinterest (I can't even find it anymore, it was so long ago) that changed everything for me.  So here it is:

Touch it once.

This phrase can have a whole lot of different meanings behind it, but for me it means touching every email only one time.  What I was doing in the past was opening up an email, reading it, closing it, organizing it into the proper folder 'comments' or 'sponsors', and then marking it as unread so I would remember to come back to it later.

So. Dumb.  

That was such a waste of time!  All that I really needed to be doing was touching each email once, and then acting on it.  So as soon as I open the email, I'm going to respond to it.  And if I don't have the time to respond to it that second, I don't open it and leave it for when I do. 
 
It's really hard for me to not be distracted by the emails rolling in while I'm doing other blog related things, so it's helpful to just keep my email closed while I'm researching, writing posts, or editing pictures.  I'm so much more productive that way, and things get accomplished MUCH quicker.  Now I will only keep my email open when I have time to act on the messages coming in.

Nothing seriously groundbreaking here, but you wouldn't believe how much it has helped me.  Gone are the days of an inbox filled with 200+ emails to respond to (traumatizing for a slightly OCD person like myself, ha), so I just had to share in case any of you are in the same boat!  

What's the best piece of blogging advice you've ever gotten?

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

These Are My Confessions


First of all, I wouldn't mind if these flowers magically showed up at my house.  Bodega roses - so gorgeous.

Today is good ol' confessional Wednesday!  Does anyone still host this link up?  Confession posts are some of my favorite to read and write, and it would be a shame if the blogging world lost these gems.  I know Kathy from Vodka & Soda retired from hosting and of course with Leslie being gone, so I've been tossing around the idea of hosting a weekly/monthly edition?  Let me know what you guys think.

I confess that I knew buying brownie batter Oreos was a terrible idea, but did it anyway.  I can't stop eating these things - they are dangerously delish.  Do yourself and your waistline a favor and just don't buy any ;)

I confess that I desperately need new makeup brushes.  I couldn't tell you the last time I bought one - maybe three years ago?  And let's not even get into how I don't take care of them by never, ever washing them.  But anyway, it's so overwhelming trying to know which ones to buy.  I've really only ever owned Real Technique and Bobbi Brown ones - what are your favorites?

I confess that I am super excited that BEN H. is the new Bachelor!  They really did scare me with that Nick stunt, but thankfully ABC is smarter than that because n-o o-n-e would watch.  I think Ben is going to be great, he seems so sweet!  I confess that I'm also surprised that Kaitlyn and Shawn are still together.

I confess that I hate olives.  Despite yesterdays pasta salad being full of them, I really only add them in for my husband!

I confess that this bracelet that I had been wanting something fierce from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is finally back in stock.  Ladies with small wrists - this one is for you.  I love the tan color for fall, it'll go with everything.

I confess that the word 'fall' makes me shudder (summer, never leave me), but I did stock up on my fall soaps from Bath & Body Works this week.  They were on sale so you can bet I bought one of pumpkin everything!  I refuse to do anything else fall related until Tuesday, September 8th though.  And then it's on :)

Happy hump day!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Make It Now: Zesty Veggie Pasta Salad


I totally made up the name of this pasta salad, don't mind me.  But it really is zesty and full of veggies and best of all, it's so good.  We've been eating it all. summer. long - usually with grilled meat and watermelon, yum - so I can't believe it's taken me this long to share.  Something about a cold salad when it's hot outside is just right.  

Ingredients
1 box Farfalle noodles
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
10 oz. can of sliced olives, drained
1 cup Kraft's Zesty Italian dressing
1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
Cracked pepper to taste
Optional: pepperoni 

Directions
Cook the noodles al dente.  In the mean time, chop up all veggies and drain olives.  Add to bowl.  

Once noodles are finished cooking, drain and rinse with cool water.  Combine in bowl with veggies.  Add dressing, parmesan cheese, and pepper (more is always better, in my opinion).  Mix well.  

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.  And enjoy!

**Make sure to share your favorite version below - I'm always looking to try new ones, and we all know it's going to be hot out for at least another month (or longer for you Southern ladies!)

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's Monday

Good morning, friends!

We had a great weekend at home.  The weather was beautiful, and we managed to do every cliche summer thing we could think of:  the beach, dining al fresco, campfires, ice cream... oh, and overloading your Snapchats with clips of Brady at the dog park ;)  Sorry about that!  It was a really rejuvenating weekend, and we're ready to take on the next month of friends wedding festivities and everything that comes with the beginning of fall!  

Fried chicken with maple syrup glaze... y-u-m
He was literally terrified of that dock in the background.  We spent FOREVER trying to get him to jump off,
but all we got was a bunch of barking, whimpering and frantic pacing!
Sunday snugs - I swear my goal in life is to wear that boy out.

Hope you all had a great weekend, too!  Make sure to stop by tomorrow - I'll be sharing my favorite pasta salad that you'll definitely want to whip up before summer ends :)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Adopted Grandparents, Books and Colorado (!!)


Hallelujah, it's Friday!  This week actually went super quickly.  I spent the first couple of days recovering from last weekends wedding festivities, and after that we were pretty busy.  But I am seriously so excited for this particular Friday because we are staying H-O-M-E, all weekend long!  I really savor these weekends with how busy we are this summer.  On the books: the beach, ice cream, sleeping in, grilling.  Gah, I can't wait.

Oh, and are those not the most amazing shoes above?   They literally have 'sexy thing' in their name, and I couldn't agree more.

Here's what we were up to this week...

+ My 'adopted' grandma, Carol, was in Michigan this week, and we were able to grab lunch on Tuesday.  We met Carol and her husband Dwight about 12 years ago, when we used to camp up north all summer.  We've stayed in close touch with them and make sure to get together whenever they're visiting from Arizona!

Fun side story: we actually met them because as kids, we were obsessed with their dog, Brandi who was a Golden Retriever.  We would walk her and play with her all day long, and that's when I fell in love with this breed.  I knew a Golden was the only type of dog I wanted when we started talking about getting one!  Best decision ever :)

+ I'm working my way through my summer reading list.  I just finished All the Light We Cannot See and LOVED it, probably more than any book I've read in a really long time.  It was so well written and despite having zero in common with the characters, I truly connected with them all.  I was so sad when I finished the book because I just didn't want the story to end.  I've already started onto What Alice Forgot and it's a much lighter, different read but I'm enjoying it as well.

+ This has nothing to do with what I did this week, but I want these shoes.  So cute.  And for that price, I'd like them in both colors.

+ We officially booked our Colorado skiing trip for winter 2016!  We're heading to Breckenridge and Denver for 5 days - give me all of your recommendations!

+ I went to my first Junior League prospective member event this week... and I think I'm going to join.  I know SO many of you are JL members, have you had good experiences?  I'm kind of excited about what I've heard so far!

Aaaand that's a wrap.  Have a fabulous weekend - see you here on Monday!

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