My 2019 Planner plan

November 14
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I was in Joann’s the other day and I wandered over to glance at the Happy Planner products. While I was there, it dawned on me that we have just under two months until 2019 and I have not yet bought a new planner. I know it seems like I have tons of time, but in the planner world you usually have your pick by fall as many sell out.

So in store I looked through the planners available and realized I was not really happy with any of them. I liked the “Super Mom” planner, but as I am not a mother I did not really feel that planner was right for me. I also gravitate towards plain, neutral colors. Although I enjoy adding color, I prefer for it to be on my terms not the planner itself.

I left the store empty handed and then turned to Instagram to ask for help. Several followers recommended this extension pack which has the same layout as the Super Mom planner but without the mom stuff. I was hesitant at first about it because it is undated and still has a lot of color, but I decided to bite the bullet and do it.

My plan it to use this as a base and create a fully custom 2019 planner for myself. I will be sharing here on the blog about the building process, so you can see what I am adding and why. I’d like this planner to be part planner/part brain dump/ part file folder for all the important aspects of my home life. I plan to use Happy Planner products alongside items from Etsy and maybe some products I make myself. We’ll see!

So far I have grabbed the extension pack, metal discs, and some plain sheets of paper. Keep an eye out for updates and more about my new planner system.

Fall Old Navy Favorites

November 4
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I have been loving all the long, cozy sweaters I’ve seen this fall. My only problem is that realistically I won’t get to use them much. As a resident of Florida we don’t get a ton of cool weather and most of the sweaters I’ve seen were a little pricy. I love that these Old Navy options are affordable and adorable.

This one is the thickest of the group. Although it is not scratchy to me, it is the roughest of the bunch. I love the look this gives. I have a feeling I’ll wear this one the most due to the more moderate length.

This long duster sweater is to die for. It is super soft and has great pockets. I sized up one size in this one just to have a little more room for whatever I wear under it.

This one will probably be the most useful of the three. It is thinner so I can wear it on warmer days. I love the detail on the back too! (I grabbed the dress too but in this color)

I also found these joggers that are adorable. I will wear these as around the house pants and pajama pants.

While your shopping the sale be sure to check out the holiday pajamas. I didn’t buy any this year, but they are great for families. Last year my husband and I both got these in men’s sizes and we wear them together all the time. BONUS: They have pockets! Ok, now I’ve convinced myself to go buy some again.

Are you picking up anything from Old Navy during this sale? Let me know!

Friday Faves: Conair Steamer

October 26
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Confession: I hate ironing my clothes. Like, I rarely do it and I avoid clothing that needs ironing. I am lazy and it is just not my thing. This has been an issue for years.

Enter the  Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Steamer.

I had heard a few bloggers talking about hand steamers, but honestly I really knew nothing about them. I knew about the big professional grade steamers that took up tons of space and cost hundreds of dollars, but that was never on my horizon as an option.  When I started to look into hand held options I realized that there were tons of great products that I could use all over the house to press and refresh fabrics without getting out the ironing board. I bought the Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Steamer because I wanted a powerful option that would work on heavy home fabrics like curtains along with clothing.

I’ve been using this steamer for a few weeks now and I am in love with the results. I recently steamed the new curtains I bought as well as my outfits for the week. I love how put together I look and how easy this is to use. I can pull it out and use it before work it is so fast.

Now to hit the husband’s side of the closet….

Friday Faves: Cookbooks edition

October 19
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A few new cookbooks have come out this fall so I wanted to talk about a few I am loving and a few more I still want to read. I few of these are from bloggers I’ve followed for some time and a few are just things I’ve seen and tried out. I love to buy my favorites, but I also check them out from the library to test them out and make sure I even want the book.  Some of these are Instant Pot based books which is perfect if you’re just getting in to electric pressure cooking.

I’ve been following Brittany Williams for some time now. I learned of her website, Instantloss.com from an Instant Pot Facebook group I used to belong to. Her recipes focus on JERF (just eat real food) and are a whole foods based diet plan. She lost over 1 pounds using these recipes. I am not on a diet, but I like to use healthy, whole foods when I cook and these recipes fit the bill. Most are gluten-free, dairy-free, and low carb. If you are looking for new healthy meals, or to loose weight you really need to pick this one up. Most recipes are made in the Instant Pot and they are all super easy and quick.


I love Lisa Leake and her 100 Days of Real Food books and blog. Her most recent title, 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget is perfect for people looking to get in to healthy whole foods, but afraid of the cost. In the opening of the book she goes over simple budgeting tips as well as swaps you can make at home to save. She even includes a price list from several stores including Aldi. Even if you don’t use the recipes, the information shared in the beginning of the book is priceless. My favorite parts of her recipe section are those for packed lunches which are perfect for adults and kids alike. I sometimes have a hard time finding lunch recipes that actually work for those of us who work outside the home and don’t have the time to prep a fancy meal in the office.


I haven’t had a chance to try the recipes in this book yet, but I am for sure looking forward to it. I grabed Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow at the library on a whim because I’d like to get in to running and quick meals are my favorite. What I love about this book is that each recipe includes tips for runners as well as nutrition tips and tips to help you save time. The book also has a great introduction which goes over proper nutrition, especially for athletes. Like the other books, this one focuses on healthy whole foods and using ingredients that you most likely already have. I highly suggest this book if you are a runner or athlete or want to become one.

Megan, of Detoxinista also released a new cookbook this fall. Her new book, The Fresh and Healthy Instant pot Cookbook includes 75 Instant Pot recipes with photos for each one. What is interesting about Megan and Detoxinista is she follows certain rules for food combining that helps with digestion.  Each recipe is designed with this in mind and includes vegan and vegetarian substitutions. While I have not tried this one yet, I will be getting a copy soon, at least to try.


The last cookbook I wanted to talk about today is the one I know the least about. This one just came up in my Amazon search and it looks intriguing. Although I am not vegetarian, not do I follow a keto diet, I enjoy trying out recipes from both and am curious how the author successfully melds the two. I have it on hold from the library and if I like it I will share more.

Do you enjoy cookbooks? Have you tried a new one recently that you love? Share it with me in the comments on on Instagram!

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DIY Dollar Tree skull lanterns

October 17
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I usually skip halloween decorations in my home. It is not that I don’t love halloween, I just usually do a generic fall decor that I can keep up until Thanksgiving. I’m all about easy decorating.

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But for some reason this fall I decided I needed to add a little bit of spooky. I didn’t want to get too crazy so I decided to just decorate the porch so I wouldn’t spend an arm and a leg.

Spooky lanterns


Anyways, I  got a lot of my decor at Dollar Tree and while I was there I saw these awesome skulls. This got me thinking. I knew I had some lanterns at home that it would fit in. How cool would that be?

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So I grabbed two skulls and a set of two flickering LED candles and went on my way.img_3020

At home, I cut the bottoms off of the skulls so that my LED candles could shine through. Then I searched the garage (for far too long.) to find these perfect lanterns. I believe these are from the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago for the 4th of July, but I could be wrong. Anyways, I cleaned them up and then added my skulls and candles.

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I love how these make a spooky centerpiece and I only spend $3 on the whole thing.  It pays to think about what you have around the house before you start decorating. Yes, the lanterns have non-spooky stars in them, but who even cares, right?

 

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Travel Tuesday: a glimpse of our Vegas trip

October 16
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If you follow on Instagram you probably saw that we just got back from a few days in Las Vegas. We were in town for a friends’ wedding, but took time to enjoy both the downtown/ strip area as well as the outdoors. I’ll be sharing more about the trip in the future but here are a few highlights.img_2319

By far, my favorite stop on the trip was Red Rock Canyon. We were able to explore the desert and this amazing canyon.

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The Hoover Dam was pretty cool as well. This was a little further away from the city but worth the drive. Also, you get to call everything “dam” while you are there.

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Did I mention there are  like caves? Dam caves!

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We grabbed donuts from Donut Bar and mine was bigger than my hand.

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In-N-Out burger was of course on the list. We opted for a location off the strip which was not as crazy as the strip location.

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Although we stayed off the strip (more on that later.) We did take the time to drive the strip and visit some of the hotels and casinos.

Next week I will be sharing more about our trip including why we stayed off-strip and how that helped us save money.

 

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Friday Faves: Ninja Coffee Bar

September 21
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I shared this earlier this week on Instagram, but I finally got a new pod-free coffee maker.  I’ve been trying to cut back on disposable single-use products and my k-cups were on that list. I wanted to replace my Keurig with something that was easy to use, looked nice, and was of a decent quality. My coffee bar is located in the middle of of kitchen and dining room, so it needed to be something that fit with the space. I asked on Instagram and was suggested the Ninja Coffee Bar. This coffee maker is a drip machine, but is designed for easy single serve use just like a Keurig.  Just what I needed!

I love that I can brew directly into my mug, or make a big batch if I have guests. I am the only coffee drinker in my home and I only brew what I am going to drink right now, so I did not need a carafe or warmer plate.

I like to make my morning coffee as I am heading out the door so I usually turn the machine on while I am getting ready so it can heat up. Then, as I am grabbing my things I brew the cup. Although not as fast as the Keurig, I can totally wait like 2 minutes for coffee.  I then just toss the grinds in my kitchen compost, rinse the filter, and go out the door.

This week I’ve been using some whole coffee beans from Lucky’s Market. When I like to use whole bean coffee the the best flavor and just grind it up in my blinkone coffee grinder. This grinder is great for this machine as well as any other coffee maker or press.

I love the brew options. You can select your size as well as brew type. This weekend I am going to try out the specialty brews which are like espresso shots for your favorite beverages.

The machine also comes with a frother for those special drinks. It works great and won’t break like many of the cheap flimsy ones.

Well, I’m off to enjoy this cup of coffee. What’s your favorite coffee drink? I want to know so I can try and make it!

Note: this is not a sponsored post. I purchased this coffee maker myself. Affiliate links are in use which help support the upkeep of this site without costing you anything.

Travel Tuesday- Dollar Tree travel favorites

September 18
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I generally don’t like buying special travel products, but there are always a few things you need special. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to find many of those at the Dollar Tree. Today I’m sharing my favorite Dollar Tree travel finds. Enjoy!

One of my favorite things to grab are these travel bottles. I hate buying travel sized products as they are so expensive for what they are. This three pack of bottles is a steal for $1. I use them for shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and body wash.

We don’t take many medications but I do like to take some ibuprofen and allergy medicine with me when we travel. I bought this pack and just mix the pills together in one little tub. I also keep one of these in my bag all the time and one in my husband’s car so he always has them. These could also be used for small earrings.

I ran across these the other day and I fell in love. I have been working to reduce my disposable products around the house and one of the items I have cut out is face wipes. I didn’t use the wipes often, but I loved them for travel. While in the health and beauty isle I found these face cleansing cloths and they are perfect for home and travel. Use them with a regular face wash or just with some Micellar water for quick and easy cleansing.  I hand wash in the sink after each use and then toss in the wash with towels.

As I mentioned already, I don’t like to buy travel size products. My one exception to this rule is toothpaste. Grab one and an extra toothbrush so you don’t have to worry about remembering yours.

So that’s it. Like I said, I don’t buy a lot of special travel stuff, but these items all work super well for me. Do you have any awesome travel size items or Dollar Tree favorites?

Friday Faves- a natural deodorant that works

September 14
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Please note: this is not a sponsored post. I just really like this stuff. Also please note, this is a bit of a stinky topic. You’ve been warned.

 

I’ve always been a sweaty person. Like, an armpits kind of sweaty person. Ever since high school I have been self-conscious of my pits, often times wearing extra clothing to cover them just in case.  Totally great for someone living in Florida.

At a young age I started searching high and low for products to help reduce the sweating. Some worked, some didn’t. As I aged I learned how to deal with my perspiration with both products as well as clothing. By my mid-twenties I had been using the same basic products for some time, but always worried that the “maximum strength” anti-perspirants couldn’t be good for my health. Of course, I also felt that it didn’t matter as I needed those products more than I could worry about them, so it continued.

A few weeks ago I learned about something called “vodka deodorant” and tried it out. Have you hear of it? It is just vodka and water in a little spray bottle. For some this works great but sadly for me it did not. They say that when you switch to a natural deodorant your body needs time to adjust, but I gave it time and it just did not work for me and my pits.

I want to take a second here to publicly apologize to my friends, family, coworkers, and that guy in line next to me in the sample line at Costco. I smelled bad, real bad. For a WEEK. I am sorry for all of you who’s little noses I offended. I offended my own nose for crying out loud. I did not even know I was capable of being that smelly.

Anyways, I am sure the vodka deodorant is great for some people, sadly I am not one of them. Defeated, I wondered Costco trying to stay away from strangers. Then, while I was hiding in the pharmacy section, hoping to avoid an old college friend, I ran across Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant. I looked at the cute Costco display, (everything is enticing in that store) but remembered that I was clearly not a natural girl. But, while I was hiding I did a little Google research and it appeared to me that the product might actually work. Knowing that it was Costco and you can return anything there, I decided to give it a whirl. I grabbed the three pack of the Bergamot and Lime scent and cautiously checked  out. I tried it for work the next day. (Brave, I know) and was pleasantly surprised that I was not disgusting at the end of the day.  Figuring it was a fluke, I tried it again and it still worked. I’ve been using this stuff for two weeks now including  traveling through two airports and a wedding. I smell great and have had no issues with wetness. That didn’t even happen with the maximum strength stuff.

So anyways, I am here to tell you that even if you though natural deodorant was not for you, it just might be. Give it a try. I am not going to sit here and bore you with health information, you’ve seen it. The usual stuff is bad. Try out something new. Schmidt’s is working for me, but look around and see what works for you and your body.

Please note: links on this page are affiliate links. If you purchase something from these links I will get a (very) small commission which helps me run this site. 

My new all-time favorite pen

September 4
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Lets be honest, I usually just grab the pen that is closest to me. I am the worst about keeping a pen near me and I also leave mine wherever I am. Because of this, I usually find myself using whatever random freebie pen that I find. Although they are not perfect, they get the job done. This was all fine and dandy until about a week ago.

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Last week someone stopped by my workplace and brought sample Pilot Frixion  Erasable pen for the office. Never one to say no to free stuff, I grabbed mine and tried it out. OH MY GOODNESS. This pen/pencil/piece of perfection was a life changer. The darn thing writes like butter, erases like magic, and does not bleed or show through pages. They are so good a coworker and I messaged each other about them and both ended up buying ourselves a pack off Amazon.

So I got the ten pack off Amazon because I wanted several colors. Two days later these babies showed up on my doorstep and the fun started. I am using these in my planner so that when I change my plans I can use erase instead of crossing out my changes. The erasers work so well that you can hardly tell there was anything else there before.

I went ahead and tried out each of the pens and then also erased with them so you can get an idea of how good the are are erasing. I have used “erasable” pens in the past but was never really happy with any of them. These erase pretty darn well.

Here is what the back of the page looks like so you can get an idea of the bleed through which is basically nothing. There is some markings that show through so I will try to not press as hard with the pens.

 

Have you tried these out? What did you think? Also, do you have a favorite pen that you think is BETTER? Let me know here or show me on Instagram.

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