15 September 2021

What I Wore Wednesday

In July our office officially went to a hybrid model and I started to go into the office two days a week. It has been wonderful to feel like I have a schedule again. The routine of leaving my apartment and commuting to work has been so needed and while this month I am working more from home with traveling and isolating before traveling I started to document some of my work looks again. As a reminder, I work in a tech marketing firm that has a very casual atmosphere. 

I will go ahead and say these tanks from Old Navy are my current favorites. I own about 7 right now in various pattens and solid colors and they are my go to outfit. I am in a much larger body than I was pre-pandemic and I am working through loving my body well, eating intuitively, getting back to moving my body daily, and dressing my current body well since it I deserve to look and feel great in clothes.

Tank: Target (old)/Cardigan: Old Navy/Pants: Old Navy/Earrings: N&S/Nails: Olive & June Rosy Tips
tank: Old Navy/cardigan: Nordstrom (old)/leggings: Nordstrom/Necklace: Nordstrom (old)
Working from my parent's house. 
Top: TJ Maxx/Leggings: Old Navy/Earrings: Kendra Scott
Tank: Old Navy/ Cardigan: Old Navy/ Pants: Old Navy/ Flats: Birdies/Necklace: J. Crew (old, similar)/Nails: Olive & June Honest & Kind
Tank: Old Navy/ Cardigan: Old Navy/ Leggings: Nordstrom/Flats: Anne Klein from TJ Maxx/Necklace: Kendra Scott
Tank: Old Navy/Jacket: Lee via Amazon/Leggings: Old Navy/Earrings: N&S/ Nails: Olive and June LD

What has been your favorite clothing purchase recently? I am ready for all the sweatshirts and leggings for my WFH days this fall.

11 September 2021

20 years

I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that it has been 20 years since 9/11. 

I can still vividly remember walking up the street coming home from school and our neighbor greeting us to grab her kids and telling us to get inside. We turned on the TV just in time to watch the second tower fall. I was living in Germany at the time. My father was stationed in Germany for three years and we attended school on base. With the attack, our base shut down. I did not go to school for two days but sat home watching the television (we only had 7 American channels) afraid of what could happen to my Dad. My Dad had been in the Pentagon that same month. He was spared when so many lives were lost. 

I am thinking and praying for all of those that lost someone during 9/11 and the 20 years of conflict in the Middle East that occurred after. I continue to pray for all of our service members who tirelessly sacrifice for our safety as well as first responders who saw lifelong effects from their service on 9/11. I pray for those who lost parents, children, friends, and family in the towers as well as on flight 93 and at the Pentagon that day.

I hope you can take a few minutes today to reflect on the tragedy of 9/11.

10 September 2021

Five on Friday {September 10}

Waking up to a cool fall morning of 59 is making me excited for all the Fall things. Now if only my allergies would get under control. I'm sipping on some hot tea with honey this morning since my local Starbucks was out of the Honey Citrus Mint Tea and I was going to treat myself to one. Oh well. I have a pretty laid-back weekend planned with lots of reading and watching TV as I am starting to cut out social plans in prep to see tiny people at the end of the month. Here are five things I am loving this (short work) week:

one. Puppy cuddles.

I am currently watching a friend's 1.5-year-old Corgi. E is very sweet but filled with energy especially after work so it has been hard finding a balance between relaxing after dinner and keeping her occupied. I'm very thankful for friends who trust me with their little ones since it means I get puppy cuddles. Don't worry, I have checked on my sweet cat, Max, every other day so he is doing well while I am away.

Also, last Friday afternoon, I got to stop at my co-worker's house to meet four puppies. Beci shows and breeds Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and her current litter is so sweet. They will be off to new homes by the end of the month.

two. Ted Lasso.

I finally started watching Ted Lasso thanks to signing up for Apple TV+ with Target Circle's 4 months free. I started watching the first season on Monday with my friends Traci and Jordan. I actually finished the first season on Thursday night. If you need a funny and heartwarming show (and you don't mind the language) I would highly recommend checking it out. 

three. Brunch.

I had not been out to brunch in what felt like years and I was so glad to catch up with my friend Ashley on Sunday at First Watch. We enjoyed lovely food - I got the traditional breakfast and Ashley went for the Fall special of Pumpkin pancakes - and caught up on life. Our next adventure will be Torcy's Tacos in October.

four. Owl Keds.

I love my Ked flats and wish Ked's would bring back this style. I tend to wear these a lot when I am teaching Pre-K at church. They are very comfortable, washable, and with the fun owl print, they can be a conversation started to welcome a cautious little one into class. I am currently looking at adding one of the Rifle Paper slip-on Keds to my Sunday morning rotation but if you want the owl flats, check out Poshmark (here's a pair for $20).

five. Heir of Fire.

I am finally sitting down to read the third book in the Throne of Glass series. I often forget how I love to wind down for the night by reading when I get out of the routine. This summer has been filled with lots of TV binging (I'm looking at you Olympics and Criminal Minds) so changing it up to sit and read at night has been a welcomed shift.

Other favorites:

Olive & June's Fall Collection. I love Social Studies and Geometry. 

Bath & Body Work's Lakeside Morning Candle.

Fuji Apple & Cheddar Cheese for an afternoon snack.

College Football is back! GO HEELS!

Allergy medicine since my allergies have gone crazy the last few weeks.

Being brave and stepping outside my comfort zone. I applied for two things this week (fun not new job things) and it was a good reminder to just try/go for it.

As usual, I am linking up with Andrea of Momfessionals and Erika of A Little Bit of Everything today.

What are your plans for this weekend?

09 September 2021

September Goals

Y'all, how is it September. I ended up having a crazy end of August at work as we were in the process of hiring two new employees. Working on the Admin/HR team meant lots of late nights finalizing interviews, checking references, and then prepping and onboarding everyone. Now that work has calmed down a bit and it is starting to feel like Fall since it is after Labor day, I thought I should get back to this little blog and of course, start off the month with my goals. Here are the five goals I am focusing on this month.

one. Walk at least 5,000 steps a day. 

I want to get back into a workout routine and being healthy but with mask mandates, I don't think I can make it through a whole 60 min dance cardio class at the Y masked up quite yet. I am terrible about getting up and moving when I work from home so this goal is to make sure I get outside and move my body especially as the weather cools down. I actually took the step count from my Apple watch and looked at the last three months' averages and they were all below 5,000 so that's where my goal began. This way my monthly average will be at least 5,000 steps if not more. So far I have only missed one day and that was by less than 70 steps so it's working.

two. budget/track all expenses with my new The Budget Mom workbooks. 

I ordered last year's Budget By Paycheck Boxed set (they are undated) on sale and dove in after watching lots of Miko's YouTube videos. Her new designs go on sale next week and she has a lot of free printables as well if you want to try out her Budget method.

three. enjoy my vacation. 

I am headed to the west coast at the end of the month to see my best friend's family (and meet her son born in August) as well as see most of my mom's side of the family. It will be good to see everyone and I can't wait for the memories (and meeting 5 little ones that have joined the family since I was last out there in October 2018 including my cousin's daughter born last week). 

Here's my Mom's side of the family back in 2018 (almost all of us) 

four. use up items in my pantry.

I am terrible about going to the store and buying items when I know I have a lot of food in my pantry and freezer. I want to be a better steward of the items in my home so I am challenging myself to use up some items in my pantry every week. These items could be trail mix, popcorn, pasta, tomatoes, rice, etc. 

five. Breathe study.

I am going through Priscilla Shirer's Breathe study with Going Beyond Ministries. The study began this week on Tuesday and is 5 weeks total. Each Tuesday Priscilla is teaching on Instagram live and you follow along in the workbook for the weekly study/homework. I think this is the perfect study on Sabbath as the Fall is here and schedules are changing especially as some things are going back to normal, like going to the office a few days a week. If you want to study along, feel free to grab the study journal (here's a link to the digital copy) and watch the IGTV from Tuesday.

Bonus goals:

  1. Finish posting my clothes on Poshmark
  2. Finish 5 books
  3. Paint my nightstand navy blue - I have all the supplies, now to wait for good weather
  4. Decorate for Fall.

What are some of your goals this month?

12 August 2021

What I Read in July

I think I am in disbelief that it is August and it's almost my favorite season, FALL! However, I am still holding on to reading all the light fluffy beach reads for this season especially with a beach day trip planned for this weekend.

I am very ahead on my Goodreads goal of 85 books this year and I attribute that to a winter of audiobooks when I had to be in the office working on a scanning project. However, I only actually read two books this past month. The rest were audiobooks since I took a trip to my parent's town and I had more driving around town visiting friends (before this variant picked up in NC). Here's what I read last month:

Beach ReadAugustus Everett and January Andrews are both writers, he writes literary fiction, she writes romance novels. They have been rivals since college and now find themselves as neighbors for the next three months on a beach in Michigan as January inherited a home there after her father's death. The problem, they both have writer's block. 

One night they make a deal to write in the other's genre - January will write the next great novel and Augustus will write a happy ending. To help each other they decide to take field trips each week. Throughout the summer they get closer as they adventure around the town and learn more about each other's pasts. 

This was a fun read although it took me a while to get into the book itself. ⭐⭐⭐

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man - Emmanuel Acho began a video series last year under the same title that takes on all the questions, large and small, insensitive and taboo, many white Americans are afraid to ask and kindly educates white people. He explains the vital core of such fraught concepts as white privilege, cultural appropriation, and “reverse racism” with compassion and understanding. 

This was a very quick audiobook that had me examining and questioning some of my past behaviors and thoughts. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tweet Cute Pepper is the swim team captain a chronic overachiever and an all-around perfectionist. Her family's burger chain Big League Burger’s is booming and Pepper is the talent behind their massive Twitter account. Jack, a classmate of Pepper's is seen as the class clown a thorn in Pepper’s side. He is often seen busy working in his family’s deli or fighting with his twin. 

When Big League Burger steals Jack's grandma's iconic grilled cheese recipe, Jack steps into a Twitter war to take down Big League Burger, one tweet at a time. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

This was a sweet YA romance that was a quick listen as you hear the two teens fighting for their family's businesses while also juggling extracurriculars, college applications, and figuring out what they actually want to do with their lives if they did not have the family business inheritance pressures.  ⭐⭐⭐

Last Tang Standing Andrea Tang has a successful career as a lawyer, a posh condo, and a clutch of fun-loving friends who are always in the know about Singapore's hottest clubs and restaurants. All she has to do is make partner at her law firm and she will have achieved everything she (and her mother) has ever worked for. So what if she's poised to be the last unmarried member of her generation of the Tang clan? She doesn't need a man to feel fulfilled, no matter what her meddling relatives have to say about it.

But for a dutiful Chinese-Malaysian daughter, the weight of familial expectations is hard to ignore. And so are the men life keeps throwing in Andrea's path. Men like Suresh Aditparan, her annoyingly attractive rival for partner and the last man she should be spending time with, and Eric Deng, a wealthy entrepreneur whose vision for their future is more lavish than she could have imagined. With her workplace competition growing ever more intense, her friends bringing dramas of their own to her door, and her family scrutinizing her every romantic prospect, Andrea finds herself stretched to the breaking point. And she can't help but wonder: In the endless tug-of-war between pleasing others and pleasing herself, is there room for everyone to win?

If you enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians, I think you would like Last Tang Standing. It is also set in Singapore, however, most of the characters are working adults that are dealing with familial pressures and cultural expectations of what is considered successful. ⭐⭐⭐

In Five YearsWhen Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend's marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

As someone who is Type-A and would want to see a peek into 2026 this was an interesting concept as a book and it was fun to see how the vision came to be and how it colored Dannie's relationships for the five years of "waiting." ⭐⭐⭐

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