24 July 2016

Sunday Sayings {July 24}

Hey y'all,

This week, one of the verses I wrote out in my Write the Word journal was Matthew 6:21. The topic of treasure has also kept coming up in different things I have been reading and something I have been keenly aware of in my own life. I want to be remembered for being generous, having wonderful adventures and not for the things I have gathered from this world.

via Etsy
I love this print I found on Etsy and just might get it for my desk at home since I have a bulletin board above it.

What have you been learning this week? Anything on your heart?

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22 July 2016

Five on Friday {July 22}

Hey y'all,

Happy Friday! Get ready for one of the most random Five on Friday posts yet. As always I'm linking up with Tif, April, Christina, Natasha, and Heather.

one. Baby Sis. My baby sister Kate or kDi moved to Texas and began working full-time as a Zoo Keeper this week! We are all so happy for her. For the last year and a half she has been working on a wild life conservatory in Ohio but the majority of her time up there was an unpaid apprenticeship so YAY for benefits and a salary!
Throwback to her graduation from NC State

two. Mattress Foam Topper. Y'all, I scored this mattress topper for under $60 regularly $180 pre-tax! I'm upgrading to a Queen mattress since my old roomie was getting rid of hers when she moved out so now I just need to get a mattress pad and a bed frame.

three. Dinner Dates with Friends. I typically try to cook during the week but between going home for the weekend, turning around and going to DC the following weekend, and then pet-sitting Sunday night-last night cooking has not been a priority. I however, used that to my advantage and caught up with three different friends for dinner this week! Sometimes you just need to not grocery shop and instead ask deep questions over flights of Sangria at CPK (ps. the Strawberry Lime Margarita was also delicious).

four.Sarah Maclean's Love by Numbers Series. I finished the second and third book in this series this past week and I realized her other series, The Rules of Scoundrels which I had previously read overlaps with this series. Now I want to go back and re-read those!
five. A Weekend In. After traveling the last two weekends I'm happy to be home this weekend. My big plans include helping my new roommate move in, going to cycle, book club, and lots of sleep in my own bed.

What are you currently reading?
Any fun weekend plans?

Link up here:

Bright on a Budget
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20 July 2016

What the Heck I'm Binge Watching Wednesday

Hey y'all,

We are about one month away from schools starting back here in NC which means summer is almost over and binge-watching season as well. I thought I would share some of my favorite shows to binge-watch on Netflix and Hulu as well as some shows that are next up on my list.

A sitcom based on the Archie comic book series that started in 1996. It begins with Sabrina Spellman's 16th birthday when she discovers magical powers.There are 7 seasons which are complete throwbacks to the late 90s and early 2000s.
 A take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic charachter had Sherlock in Manhattan after a stint in rehab. He arrives to find that his father has assigned a sober companion to live with him-Dr. Joan Watson. A great detective show that just completed it's 4th season.
A Hulu-original spoof of the RealHousewives Bravo series, each season is only 7 episodes and you are going to be rolling on the floor laughing at how over the top the characters are written. There is only one season per city currently.
 Only season one is available on Hulu since Season 2 is airing currently on Lifetime, this show goes behind the scenes surrounding a dating competition similar to the Bachelor/Bachelorette. It shows how the producers manipulate the contestants with a whole lot of drama.
Yes, all five seasons of my childhood! If you never watched the show it was created by Jim Henson and is about a society of muppets called the Fraggles and originally aired in 1983. The Fraggles and Doozers (the Doozers recently got their own Hulu orignal series) live in a system of caves called Fraggle Rock. The series follows the adventures of Gobo, Mokey, Red, Wembley, and Boober as they explore Fraggle Rock.
91 episodes are currently available from Seasons 9-13. This show reminds me of sitting at my Parent's house on Friday nights. It's great when you are having a girls night in or celebrating a friend's engagement over some wine. 
Next Up:
 This legal/political drama began in 2009 and ended its final season this May. I watched the drama between the Florricks off and on but I need to sit down and watch the whole series in order.
Similarly, I started watching this detective drama back when it began in 2010 but I have not been watching continuously. The final season (season 7) began in June so it's time to get watching.

Currently Watching:
Peaky Blinders
Based on the Peaky Blinders gang operating in Birmingham, England during the aftermath of WWI. This crime drama centers around Tommy Shelby the gang's leader. The BBC has ordered season fourth and fifth series of the show.
Penny Dreadful
 A fantasy/horror drama set in Victorian-era London that follows fictional characters such as Frankenstein, Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray, etc. There are only three seasons.
The Blacklist
 A crime-thriller show that began in 2013 that follows Red Reddington a former US Navy officer turned criminal who surrenders to the FBI with a list of the most dangerous criminals in the world that he has compiled and is willing to inform on them in exchange for immunity. However, he refuses to work with anyone but Elizabeth Keen, a rookie FBI profiler.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
 A Netflix-original created by Tina Fey which began in 2015 about 29-year-old Kimmy Schmidt as she adjusts to NYC after being rescued from a dooms-day cult in Indiana where she resided in a bunker for 15 years.
House of Cards
 A netflix-original based off the BBC mini-series of the same name/novel by Michael Dobbs, this is a political drama series that makes you hope that our government is not as corrupt as portrayed in this show.
 Bob Ross
I still love watching Bob Ross paint happy little trees and happy accidents. This show is perfect to turn on Sundays while cleaning the kitchen and meal prepping.
Fixer Upper
 A great home renovation reality show that follows Chip and Joanna Gaines in Waco, Texas help clients purchase and renovate homes.
Gilmore Girls
 A classic and I can't wait for the special season to come out this year! The show follows the Gilmore Family-Rory & Lorelei in the town of Stars Hallow, CT. I have all seven seasons on DVD and watch them all the time.

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18 July 2016

Miscellany Monday {Weekend Recap}

Hey y'all,

It's Monday and I'm back from a quick trip up to VA/DC to see my sister and attend Together 2016. Together 2016 was a gathering on the National Mall of Christian artists, speakers, and leaders focusing on the fact that Jesus changes everything. It was a time to reset and was planned to last from 9am-9pm. As always, I'm linking up with Biana from B. Loved Boston.

Friday was a nice day at work between working on some projects I was able to have a lunch date with some of my old colleagues. It was nice to catch up with everyone since it had been three weeks since we had seen each other. The rest of the afternoon went by fast especially since Sue brought in her dog Rosie for a visit! It was my first time meeting Rosie and she is a sweetie. She is a rescue that was abused as a puppy so she had some neurological damage but she is the best.

At 5pm when I was leaving work it was downpouring and I had left my umbrella in my car so I had to walk the 10 mins to my parking deck in the pouring rain. I drove back to my apartment, took a quick shower to prevent pnemonia, finished packing and grabbed some dinner before heading to pick up Caroline.

At about 7pm we were ready to head up to VA to see my sister for the weekend. The drive included listening to some of the book Unbroken since Caroline had already read it, some Christian music, and lots of talking. It was pretty rainy and there was a patch with crazy rain that made me throw my hazards on which was scary but we made it to Sara's place by 11:30pm.

We unpacked, got situated and everyone was in bed by 1am.

6:45am came early as we got up and got ready to go into DC. We had some bagels and then drove to the metro stop in Reston, VA. The Together 2016 event began at 9am and we made it to the national Mall around 9:15 to the longest line ever. We stood in line until about 10:30am and then found a place near some trees to set up for the long haul.
Sara, myself, and Caroline
It was so hot and we did not plan to have enough water so we did spend some time in lines at concessions and gave up and went to the food trucks outside the mall to get water and gatorade. However, around 3pm we were told the even would be wrapping up early due to people suffering from heat related injuries. The event ended at 4pm which was sad since a lot of artists were only performing one to two songs at the end but respecting the authorities & health is important as well.
Hillsong United

We decided to go to the Smithsonian American History Museum to allow people to get to the metros and so we could enjoy more of DC. We went through the Presidency, First Ladies, Americans in War, and the American Stories exhibits before calling it quits and heading back to Reston for dinner. We went to BRB and listened to some live music. We were back home and in bed by 11pm.
There's No Place Like Home

Sunday was pretty uneventful. I woke up around 9am and checked in with a few friends, read some of then actually finally got moving around 11am. We packed up everything and headed to Eggspectation for brunch.

After brunch, we got back in the car and headed home. We hit some traffic but the drive was pretty uneventful with lots of worship music especially Lauren Daigle, finishing the audio book unbroken, and lots of chatting.

I got back to the triangle around 6:30pm and headed back to my place to unpack, plan out my outfits for the week, and make lunches. I did simple meal planning before I left so I could have a relaxing evening of just catching up on things.

What did you do this weekend?
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15 July 2016

Five on Friday {July 15}

Hey y'all,

We made it to Friday! This week flew by between driving back from my parents' house, a dentist appointment, hanging out with my favorite 10 month old & his parents, bible study, cycle, and babysitting I have only spent one night at my apartment and next week looks just as packed but I'm trying to remember to rest even if it is just a quick shower and 10 minutes of reading before bed. Now lets get to the reason for this post. As always I'm linking up with Tif, April, Christina, Natasha, and Heather.

one. The Contentment Challenge. While reading this weeks Fruitful Summer Newsletter from the Lara Casey Shop on pruning I heard about this challenge from Nancy Ray. I think we can all struggle in a world where we are constantly told we need more to be successful. I'm going to start this challenge on August 1st. Here's Nancy's explanation:
Several years ago, God called me to give up shopping for three months straight in order to find my true contentment and joy in Him alone - not in the sale room at Anthropologie or the latest from Target. I called it “The Contentment Challenge,” and I will never be the same for it. Because the truth is, in a culture that screams “you never have enough stuff,” “you need to keep up,” “you have to have the latest from Madewell and Starbucks in hand to feel happy,” it’s important for us as believers to tune into the Voice that matters. Sometimes we have to shut off the voice of the culture and do something drastically different to hear God’s voice clearer.
The Contentment Challenge: a 12-week Devotional is the perfect companion to your 3 month journey to contentment. Each week you have a new devotional to read, and each month you have a new memory verse and activity to complete.
While I have a few planned purchases in the next three months-bed frame, mattress cover, mattress pad, another set of sheets, birthday presents for my sister and Dad, etc. Those are the only things I will be purchasing from August 1st through November 1st.

two. The 10 Day Salad Challenge. Speaking of challenges, Allie of Alexandra Bee Blog's Instagram clued me in on this challenge from Eating Bird Food. While I already have next week meals planned, I'm thinking of starting the 10 day salad challenge on July 24-August 2nd. The challenge is to essentially eat a salad every day for 10 days as a meal. I love salads for lunch or dinner but they haven't been happening a lot so I figured this is a simple reset. I'm thinking burger salad, Caesar salad, Cobb salad, and Rosemary Chicken Salad with Avocado and Bacon will all be on the menu.

three. Audio Books. I typically am not an audio book person but with trips planned this summer and a bit of a longer commute I have turned to audio books instead of my typical praise and worship radio in the mornings. I am actually almost done with my book club's book, Unbroken. I started on Friday last week and I'm already on disc nine of eleven.

four.Sheets.I'm upgrading from a Full size mattress to a Queen which means I need to look for new sheets (luckily my comforter is a Full/Queen). I found a set of Ralph Lauren cotton sateen sheets at HomeGoods this past weekend and I'm currently eyeing this set from Martha Stewart.

five. Weekend Away. This weekend I'm headed to DC to visit my sister. We haven't seen each other since Christmas so I'm excited to see her. It's going to be a very quick weekend trip but I'm glad we are only a state away. Please share anythings we have to do in the city! I know most of Saturday we will spend time on the Mall for the Together 2016 Christian speakers and concert event.

Random Things I'm loving:
The best Hamilton Lip Sync
This top from the NSale and my other favorites.
All the pencil skirts on sale at Talbots for under $50.
The best road-trip snack 
Why you should never feel useless again.'
J.Crew Factory is doing their Clear the Clearance sale meaning 50% off of the clearance price!
The cutest koozies for summer from May Designs.

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14 July 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites

Hey y'all,

If you haven't heard by the hundreds of other bloggers posting about the NSale, it's here! I actually wasn't going to post about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale since I probably won't purchase anything with getting my budget under control but I had fun making some sets of items that caught my eye if I happen to win the lottery between now and July 22nd when the sale opens to the public.  Since I work in an office a lot of the items on sale like jeans and riding boots are not the most practical to me. I maybe wear jeans twice a week and my riding boots are Ralph Lauren from last year via DSW so I thought I would share some tops I found that would be perfect for the working girl, some accessories, and of course some things from the home, beauty, and workout sections. Beware this is a long post with everything linked!

In the Fall I mostly wear the same things-top, cardigan, dress pants, & flats. So while there are a lot of cute dresses on sale, I was gravitating towards work tops. Seriously, I might need to grab this top in every print  and color since it is under $30.
NSale Top of the Class

Top Row:
Middle Row:
I have started to really invest in my accessories since you wear them so often the price per wear becomes minimal especially in great shoes and handbags. I also love statement jewelry with sweaters for work so I saved a few of those. Here are a few staple items with some sparkle as well.
NSale Sparkle


Don't forget to puruse the beauty and home sections to stock up and grab hostess gifts. I love the glass NC state coasters I found that would be perfect for any recent grad. Also, a lot of workout gear is placed on sale from running shoes, tanks, Nike Tempo Shorts, to the cutest tops for barre3 classes.
NSale Extras

Are you shopping the sale? 
What are your fall staples?

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12 July 2016

July Goals

Hey y'all,

This past weekend I decided to finally sit down and write out my goals for the month and for accountability reasons, I thought I would share them here. I'm going with simple, attainable and meaningful goals. Lara Casey's Powersheets are very helpful and if you didn't read my 2016 goals and word of the year you can read that post here. I also feel like since my IRL friend Traci posted her goals and we do monthly check-ins I should share as well. So my goals need to help me get towards a life of rest and simple. 

one. a week without dairy. I have been officially diagnosed as lactose intolerant for six months and it has been a year since I really started to suspect that dairy and I are not friends. However, I tend to still indulge and take medicine to allow me to enjoy. I know my body is much happier when I am off dairy so we are starting small and going with a full week without any dairy or milk ingredients hiding in things. I even have a Pinterest board for some inspiration and I made zucchini bread last night that was non-dairy (I swapped the oil for applesauce and the walnuts for enjoy life chocolate chips).

two. re-adopting simple & healthy habits. Now that I am not stress eating and we have passed all major food related holidays for a while it's time to get back to simple small steps to get my health back. My three mini goals I know I can stick with are: Go to the gym three times a week. Drink a minimum of 64 oz of water. Cook more.

three. read 6 books. I haven't been reading a whole lot over the last few months with job searching, prepping for interviews, and then spending time with my roommate watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch so one of my goals this month is to get back to reading since I love it and it's a great way to unwind. I've already read 2 books so we have 4 more to go.

four.Write the Word. There are so many resources to get into the Lord's word and I love the idea of reading a chapter a day in the Gospels like Traci is doing but for me, right now, I'm being called to just focus on small parts and write out the word. I use these Write the Word journals but have also written the word in a journal I have through this list of verses on Sweet Blessing's blog. My goal is to write the word at least four times a week.

five. Get my budget under control. I know that I tend to shop when I'm emotional and that's not the best thing for my budget. Yes, I am about to pay off another student loan meaning 2 down and 2 to go but that doesn't mean that I can spend all that extra money. I have a few big purchases I'm planning over the next few months like a new bed frame, upgrading my phone, etc. so I need to wrangle my budget/unnecessary spending.

six. Find and Eye Doctor and Make an Appointment. Y'all, I can't even tell you how long it has been since I have gone to an optometrist. I don't have glasses or contacts but I still feel like you are supposed to go every few years and the last time I remember was probably high school or early college meaning more than 5 years. I guess I should be an adult and do that. If you are in the Triangle area and have suggestions please share!

Do you set monthly goals?

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11 July 2016

Tote-ally Work Appropriate

Hey y'all,

I thought I would share some of my favorite totes for work. I have always been a big fan of large tote bags and they are great as work bags. You can fit in your lunchbox, a sweater, and all the essentials for your work day.

I tend to go for a neutral color in my work bags since I don't tend to exchange them out during the week. Here are some of the favorites I own and some that I have had my eye on. Also, most of these can be found at Nordstrom, so look out during the Anniversary Sale since you never know what will be on a great deal.

Work Totes

I personally own the Longchamp Le Pliage in the large size in black, the Kate Spade Harmony Tote in hot pink, and the Tory Burch York Buckle Tote in a deep brown. I adore all three bags and tend to wear the Kate Spade in Spring/Summer and the York Buckle Tote in the Fall/Winter.

Since I am actually trying to simplify my closet and a lot of my life these three totes are my go-tos for almost everything.

Do you have a favorite work bag?

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10 July 2016

Sunday Sayings {Me Before You}

Hey y'all,

Last weekend I went to the movies with my future roomie, Betsy, to see Me Before You. I loved the book and I bawled at the ending. I went into the movie prepared to cry and of course I did. I felt like the movie stayed really true to the book and I had to share one of my favorite quotes for Sunday Sayings this morning.
So remember to be bold and chase your dreams. I am a big introvert but one of my goals this year is to say yes to some things that challenge/scare me.

Have you read the book? Seen the movie?

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08 July 2016

Five on Friday {July 8}

Hey y'all,

It's Friday which means we are almost to the weekend and I am linking up as usual with April, Christina, and Natasha for Five on Friday & Heather for Friday Favorites. Here's five things I have been loving this week:

one. My New Office. Y'all, it has only been two weeks but I am loving my new job. It's a lot of things to learn and I'm gaining so many experiences, plus the people are the best. I mean, this morning I was greeted with Rise doughnuts and fruit just because it's Friday.

two. Emily Ley's 8th Birthday Sale. This past Wednesday, Emily Ley celebrated eight years of being a wonderful shop. It was the perfect time for me to snatch up some desk accessories. I'm using the navy and mint color scheme for my new desk space! I'll keep y'all updated when everything gets settled and organized.

three.The Olympics! We are officially less than a month away from the Olympics. I watched all of the Olympic Swim Trials last week and the gymnastic trials begin today! My future roommate and I are thinking of hosting an Olympics themed house-warming either during the opening ceremony or one of the weekends the olympics is on. I've been pinning up a storm for ideas here. One of my favorite finds was the official Ralph Lauren Olympics Opening Ceremony Bear. Yep, it's $600. I think I would rather pay my rent than grab this bear.

four.Me Before You. Speaking of my future roomie, B, this past week we went together to see Me Before You. B kind of knew the plot from reviews and things but had never read the book. I felt like the movie stayed pretty true to the book, obviously a lot has to be taken out as far as random conversations but some choices I loved, like Treena being more of a random character compared to in the book when I felt she could be quite selfish. If you go, bring tissues. I didn't bawl as much as I did reading the book but I did use like 6 tissues if that says anything.

five.College Football. 49 day's y'all! Yep. I have yet to decide which games to grab seats to apart from homecoming (especially since it will be LC's birthday and we have to celebrate this bride who was featured in HuffPost Weddings #12) but I will be cheering for my Tar Heels in Kenan. This also means, I am on the hunt for cute gameday attire.

What are you up to this weekend?

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07 July 2016

Just Jess {Random Snaps}

Hey y'all,

Since I disappeared for a while with the whole new job+wedding weekend I figured I should share some photos of the events that occured. I will share more from the wedding weekend soon especially once the bride's mom shares bridesmaid brunch photos and the photographer sends out the professional shots.So buckle up for lots of photos.

 Leaving my old job! Right before Wedding Weekend began.
 Bridesmaid Brunch=Mimosas!
 Having fun with TS at the Rehearsal Dinner. 
Also, Happy Belated 27th Birthday TS. This guy has been such a great friend over the past {almost} 7 years. He is the perfect wedding date, cookout run instigator, and workout motivator. Although his flight from Chicago was delayed until 1am=grumpy Jessica, I wouldn't have imagined LCs wedding without this guy at my side. 
 Selfie at the Church before the WEDDING!
 Love Mrs. Susan! She wore the most beautiful MOB dress.
 The cutest name place cards
 At the reception, post speech.
 OOTD-Day 2 of the new job
Sweaty Selfie-recovering from a 17.3 mile cycle class. 
 Let the planning begin!
 4th of July Gym Session with Hannah.

What have you been up to over the last few weeks?
Favorite summer workouts?

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Just Jessica. Design by Berenica Designs.