If you haven’t noticed, this month is highly weighted on posts about both Bianca and my trip over seas! For this week’s Style of the Week post, I am showcasing two of my outfits I wore while being a tourist in Sweden. While preparing for Sweden, I did some research on what is fashionable there, but also kept the chilly weather, cobblestone streets and flexibility of my outfits in mind. Being able to layer pieces, be comfortable and be able to travel light by reusing certain pieces throughout my trip was the most important to me.
With that said, here are two of the outfits I wore while my mom and I explored downtown Stockholm.
For the first day in Sweden I wore my new plaid pullover shirt/dress that I recently purchased on Amazon. I then added my black cotton leggings. This shirt would also pair nice with jeans and tall boots FYI!
Since the mornings were pretty chilly I wore my new Aeropostle jacket. Believe it or not it was hard to find a warm olive coat, with a hood! I found it at the Pleasant Prarie Outlet Mall.
To finalize the outfit I wore my new boots, which were also from Amazon and super comfortable, as well as my Louis Vuitton purse. This outfit was perfect for a casual day on the town doing touristy things!
The second day I decided to add a little color by starting the outfit off with my new Ann Taylor mustard sweater. I added a pair of jeans and accessorized with my Target plaid blanket scarf and gold and beige Coach crossbody bag.
I added my Steve Madden riding boots and re-wore my Aeropostle jacket again.
While I started off the morning with a knitted headband, I ended the evening with a new black hat from H&M, after doing some shopping
As you may know, my mom and I recently went to Sweden for a friend’s wedding! We decided to make the trip a mini vacation and stay in Stockholm for 3 nights. While we were there we enjoyed some amazing restaurants and bars! Here are some of our top places and highly recommended!
This was our favorite restaurant! From the sound of it, I thought it Americanized chain restaurant, but I was wrong! While they have two locations, they are both in Sweden. The restaurant is attached to a hotel and is decorated very industrial. They pride themselves on organic and local food. They even have a market inside where you can by some of the same meats, and organic foods that they use in their delicious dishes! My mom and I opted to get a meat platter for 2 that you can share. It was melt in your mouth delicious! Their fries were also the best I have ever had! They were all super crispy and had an after taste of funnel cake batter!
When I was doing my research and pre-planning for the trip, this was the #1 place I had on my list for places to eat. The menu sounded amazing and the themed rooms sounded funky! Little did we know that this restaurant was literally right around the corner from our hotel lilla rådmannen. Don’t be fooled, by the cheap looking outside, the restaurant is super cool inside and the food is DELICIOUS!
I can honestly admit, I have NEVER been to a bar made of ice! Nor, had drinks made with ice cups! This place is fun and very unique! It is located inside Nordic C Hotel.
You first have to pay a entrance fee, which includes one alcoholic drink per person. Then you don this thermal poncho and gloves because the bar is 7 degrees Celsius all year. Once you don your protective winter gear you can enter the bar.
The bar is set up with ice sculptures you can take pictures and believe it or not the bar has to be completely redone each summer! I had Moose Calf and my mom had the Hooded Crow. Both were amazing! Definitely a one in a lifetime experience!
The first full day my mom and I had in Stockholm we stopped here for lunch. Since it was a week day, it was full of business people! It was a great lunch place we just happened to stumble across and I am glad we did that! Even without reservations we got the best seat in the house by sitting at the window.
While we only stopped by for a couple glasses of wine, before the on and off boat tour, this was another great find!
Even though it was quite brisk on the water it had the cutest outdoor seating area that we just couldn’t pass up! The inside of the restaurant also seem very sophisticated and nice place for young adults to hang out!
We only stopped in there for a beer but they had a HUGE selection of beers on tap as well as in bottles! Great choice for a quick beer or to socialize with friends. They also have a entire menu where you can either eat at the bar or in the small dining room.
Only stopped in for a quick sweet bakery item! We got a warm chocolate croissant and coffee. It is off the water and is quite quaint. So many cute bakeries to choose from but this one was super convenient for us!
I will be honest, none of the restaurants or bars that I went to, were bad, what so ever! I had a lovely experience with the food I chose and the food I ate. The only thing that was interesting was that the servers do not expect tips so multi-tasking and urgency is not really an interest. Service isn’t bad it is just slow. With that said, Swedes like to enjoy dinner and therefore can be dragged out longer than traditional American dinner. Each place my mom and I went to it was 3 hours. Again, due to the knowledge that dinner is more of an intimate meeting time as well as the non-urgency of dining. Keep this in mind when planning ahead and if you are in a time crunch!
Other than that, the service and food was amazing and these places come highly recommended from my mom and I!
I cook a lot of chicken you guys. It’s the only meat I really make at home for dinner. My boyfriend jokes he’s going to turn into a chicken one day. But when you make it that much, you learn ways to make it new again. And something like a stuffed chicken recipe may sound like a tired old recipe your mom made, but there are so many ways to make it new again.
Besides from how you prepare it, what you stuff in it can be whatever you want. While vie tried things like sage, turkey bacon and tomatoes; I found that the mixture in this recipe it the best. The mixture is flavorful and juicy and for the most part stays out in the chicken without sliding out.
It’s very easy and does not take much time, but it does use some pretty delicious ingredients you might have to go out and get just for this recipe.
2-3 tablespoons soft brie cheese
2 tablespoons fresh mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 small tomato, chopped
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 large chicken breasts
Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil
Mix cheeses, fresh basil and tomatoes in a small bowl.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in medium sauce pan over medium low heat. Add chopped garlic and cook, 5-6 minutes until soft. Once garlic is cooked, remove from pan and return to heat.
Cut each chicken breast, butterfly style so you can easily stuff inside with cheese mixture and fold skin over.
Stuff each chicken with about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture. Sprinkle the outside with dried basil and dried oregano as well as some salt and pepper. Fold over chicken and pierce open sides of chicken with toothpicks. Seams should be on the sides of the chicken so you can set it flat in the sauce pan.
Place each chicken in heated pan and cook on each side for 5-10 minutes. Chicken should turn a golden brown color on each side.
Once chicken is cooked, remove from pan and enjoy!
If I had to describe the bulk of my wardrobe, it would be monochromatic. And if I wanted to be more specific it would be, black and white. While I gravitate to black clothes, I also have a fondness for white clothes.
So I am on my European Vacation still and I’ve spent the last three days in Barcelona. A place where everyone is stylish and everyone is good looking. I really wanted to be chic but also comfortable, because I was doing a lot of walking. It is important to not always look like a tourist when you are abroad, they already know by your American accent anyway.
One of my day trips in Barcelona to see the works of Gaudi and enjoy Tapa’s, I wore this outfit. Simple pixie pants, a Valette long tank, a lightweight cardigan, Coach loafers and a slim black and gold backpack purse.
I wanted to feel comfortable in the 60 degree weather but also not stand out too much. I paired the look with a simple bun and leather choker. The look works great for walking about town as it was comfortable without looking lazy. It’s easy to make your own style similar to this, just start with a simple slim pant and comfortable but stylish shoes. No walking shoes for me…simply not my style.
Like most millenials we want things fast and simple. It’s no wonder Britt and Bianca love to use Amazon Prime for that very reason. Its simple one-click buying for essentials, gifts and splurges. We both purchase pretty frequently and items range from household goods to fashion must-haves. Check out the last 5 things we bought on Amazon.
Bianca’s Last 5 Things
1.Cocoly 7 Piece Travel Organizer. So this really helped me for my trip. It’s smal collapsable compartments to pack your things in so your suitcase stays organized. I am the worst when it comes to keeping my suitcase neat. Day one I’ve already made a mess. This helps keeps my things organized.
2.Coofit backpack – I really did not want to cart around a purse while on my travels, so I bought this adorable backpack purse. It is small enough to fit my purse items but can even fit my notebooks and chromebook.
3.Cupshe Bathing Suit – I really wanted a one-piece bathing suit for summer and got one just as the prices began to drop!
4.Botanicals Notebook Collection – I wanted to make sure and document everything I do on my travels. I got this set of notebooks for a friend as an engagement gift and fell in love with them. I got the same set for myelf, at a discounted rate on Amazon!
5.Stealing Coin Cat Piggy Bank – This was a gift for a co-worker who loves cats. It’s really cute and comes with other animals as well. Its piggy bank, and when you place a quarter on top of the box, a cat pops its little head out and grabs the quarter with its paw and meows. Its kind of a big hit at work now!
I actually find some amazing pieces on Amazon. Since I have Amazon Prime, I love the fact that I can purchase items and then return it if it doesn’t fit or is not to my liking. I wore this dress to a recent wedding and it was a huge hit!
While preparing for Sweden I was told not to wear thin heels because a lot of the roads, sidewalks are cobblestone. So of course I found an alternative with these fashionable boots! They go well with almost anything!
Preparing for a trip also means you need to prepare for what you plan on eating and drinking! With that said, I did some research into what Swedish alcohol and cocktails typically are made of. Here is what I found:
Brännvinis probably best translated as light Swedish vodka. It is normally about 30 and 38% (ABV). It is translated as meaning burn-wine (bränn = burn, vin = wine). It is referred to as burning since the distillation is rather tasteless wine with it being made of potatoes and cereal grains. Here is a cocktail made with Brännvin:
Swedish Punsch is made from sugar cane spirits from both the East and West Indies. KRONAN Swedish Punsch is a rich, full-bodied rum with an after taste of toffee, smoke, molasses and leather…yes leather! It is mostly served straight but can be served as a cocktail with other spirits such as this one:
Do you know how easy it is to create a polished work day look? All you need is a long-sleeved oxford shirt and a slim fitting cardigan. Simply roll your sleeves and expose those cuffs for a clean look ready for work.
While I work in a casual work environment, I sometimes feel more productive when I have a more polished and professional look. Afterall, your wardrobe can set the tone for your attitude and nothing makes me want to be more professional than dressing professional.
For today’s outfit I wore an Ann Taylor Loft oxford shirt with a white floral detail on it. The gray cardigan is a simple and lightweight by Abound. The khaki’s are Old Navy and the purse is London Fog. As long as I have my cup of coffee to go and my sunglasses, I am ready to head off to work.!
As you may know, from previous posts, I have never been to Europe. With a close friend’s wedding being there this year, my mom and I decided it would be a one in a lifetime experience to not only travel there for the wedding but also make a fun girls trip together!
Step 1 Word of Mouth
Preparing for Sweden was stressful, I’ll be honest. I think partially because I am so busy this fall with work, weddings and of course the day in and day out of life in general BUT my mom is a worry wart! I was lucky to have a sorority sister who just visited Sweden a couple months ago so we met for dinner one night and she gave me a heads up and the ins and out of what we can expect and what we need to prepare for.
Step 2 Use your resources
Even though I got the ins and out from my sorority sister, Steph, I still did my research on museums, tourist attractions, popular restaurants and of course hotels. After doing research and narrowing down which tourist attractions we were interested in I chose the hotel that would work best for us. That would be Lilla Radmannen for the first 3 nights because we planned on being in the city of Stockholm for most of our trip.
Step 3 Check Research
Check the Weather
I checked the weather leading up to the trip. Months before, weeks before and then of course a few days before so I knew what to expect and what to pack.
Great to know what plugs you needed such as a Converter and Surge Protector. Buy Correct plugs on Amazon so you are able to use your electronics and don’t overload the fixtures in the hotel.
I got the ATT Silver Passport plan which was $60 for 30 days of unlimited texting and then a set data and calling plan. This means I could at least navigate through the country and not feel like I am lost as well as keep in touch with my boyfriend and my dad.
It is great to know that you can take the train into Stockholm right after getting in to the airport. It is super cheap and is super fast. Only 20 mins to take the Arlanda Express from airport to Stockholm
Did my research and learned from my friend that 99% of people in Sweden can speak English so this makes it much easier and less stressful when traveling. You can feel reassured you can ask for directions or even to use the bathroom!
Step 4 Make Packing list
Since the weather is 50’s-60’s I planned on layering my clothes. I also tried my best to pack light so that I wouldn’t have to struggle with my bag. With that said, I still had an extra 40 lbs after packing so I added a few extra items, just in case. Worst case scenario we can buy it in Sweden if we need it.
Also, learned that most of the streets and sidewalks are made of cobblestone so best to not wear spiked heels!
Step 5 Make Copies/Prepare/Keep Safe
Since we were going out of the country you have to be smart! Making copies of your passport is a great idea! Heaven for bid you loose it or it gets stolen you have a B plan to get back into the United States.
Stay tuned for what my trip has to offer in the next week
I know what I am supposed to do. I am supposed to give you a long list of things we should all know by the time we are 30. Some 30 things YOU HAVE TO KNOW before you turn 30. We’ve seen it a hundred times. Lists like that are often vague, don’t apply to every walk of life and sometimes include things we should know how to do before we even turn 18. Things like, change a light bulb or do your own taxes.
So instead of telling you all the things you have to know by the time you are 30, I am just going to tell you that you don’t have to know it all. There is no brick wall at 30 that stops you if you don’t know how to ask for a raise at work. None of these lists will ever make you a better you, unless all the tasks on the lists were created just for your life.
I guess that was one thing that bothered me about the thought of turning 30. Does it mean I have to stop shopping in the juniors section at Nordstrom’s? Does it mean me and my friends can’t get black out drunk on a girls weekend? Does it mean I have to stop cursing so much and learn to use my words? I’ve only been 30 for a few hours now and I really have no idea how to do it.
Of course I know people who are 30, and they seem to be doing it just fine. Perhaps they read one of those lists I was referring to and got it all squared away before turning 29. Maybe they were ahead of the game, and can be in their 30’s successfully. My sister is the perfect example of someone who has never used her age as a measuring stick for anything. She’s nine years older than me and still feels on the inside as though she is 21. I am not sure if I feel (or have ever felt) like I am 21 on the inside. Most of the time I feel more like I’m 18.
So here I am 30, and completely unqualified to be 30. Ok, so I have the basic qualifications down, been walking the earth for 29 years. But I really don’t think that’s enough to take on the task of being a 30 year old. Does a 30 year old have to be in their dream job? Does a 30 year old have to be married, with kids and halfway to retirement? I am not, so therefore I am still not qualified to be 30.
Also, all the girls in my girl squad don’t turn 30 until next year. That’s some bullshit if you ask me. And I am certainly not the most adult of all of them…I mean I am probably tied for 1st place for “most likely to not have their shit together” within that group. Which if I were to focus on that, I’d be stressing out today that I will never get my shit together and always be the one behind.
But I imagined that when I turned 30 I would have some revelation, some sort of awakening that would not only help me realize my potential at 30, but would subdue the pressure I have put on myself as I grow older. None of that has happened, but something else good happened. While I found myself not living up the hype of being an adult, I did find that things weren’t all that bad. At 30, I own my own home, I am in a committed relationship and I have friendships that have lasted decades. Maybe I don’t always know what to say or wear in every situation, perhaps I should be reading those lists. But as I am now, I am 30 and I feel the same as if I was 29.
Like Britt, Bianca is taking a mom and daughter trip to Europe. Bianca and her mom are taking a 14 day trip across Spain, Southern France and Italy. The trip was done via Go Ahead Tours, so airfare, accomindations, some meals and museum expenses are all included in the price of the trip. We also have a personal tour guide and motor coach to move us from place to place. It all begins in Barcelona!
Can’t wait to have tapas in Spain and visit the famous La Sagrada Familia. They started building the church in 1882 and still have not completed it. We will see so much of Antoni Gaudi’s work, including the House of Bones. From Barcelona we will travel through Spain to the French Riviera! One place I have always dreamed of going to is Monaco, and we get two nights in Montpellier so we will be spending one of those in Monaco. Can’t wait to visit the Monte Carlo Casino! After Nice, France, we will move towards Italy. On the agenda are many excursions including a perfume factory, a food tour and lots of museums. In Florence we will visit the Basilica of Santa Croce, burial place of Michelangelo, Machiavellia and Galileo. In Rome, during our last days on the trip, my mom and I have lots to do. I am the most excited about going to the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and visiting the Galleria Borghese. The Borghese has been on my bucket list for a long time as it has some of the most amazing and ancient sculptures in the world. It’s also right next to our hotel! I am so beyond excited to start my trip, but I know I will never want it to end!
Brittany will be going to Sweden, next week, for her friend’s wedding. It will also be a once in a life time mom and daughter trip, since it is both their first time to Europe. As you know, tons of planning goes into a trip overseas so, we are ready for an overseas vacation. We will be staying both in Stockholm for a few days and then in Sigtuna, for the actual wedding. We plan on site seeing, touring the historic towns/museums and of course eating and drinking a lot. Brittany is also very excited to do some high fashion shopping at couture European designer’s boutiques! Weather will actually be warmer than normal being 50-60 degrees so, hopefully she can pack light. Brittany is going to be layering her clothes throughout the day and ready to blog each and every moment of her trip ! Stay tuned for details of her trip and tips for traveling to Sweden!
As you all know I am OBSESSED with saving money. Well this past weekend I hit the jackpot and snagged this sexy TMG New York gray body con dress for $8.99! Together with my Levity suede and leather peep toe heels the outfit cost me under $25. Now, of course I went over that $25 outfit by adding my Louis Vuitton bag from Tradesy, but aside from the purse, it is an amazingly priced outfit!
Not only is the dress super comfortable, but it is the perfect color! It goes well with my beige tan and black leather Levity heels and of course the kodiak brown and camel leather of the Louis Vuitton. The slits up the side are not too scandalous either because they come to the normal height of an above the knee dress.
I also added my Forever 21 black beaded necklace to spice up the outfit a bit!
I got away with wearing this outfit to work, but I may also wear it to a more casual wedding. It would also be fun for a cocktail hour in the city, last minute dinner date with your man or a wine night with your girlfriends.
Who has a lot going on in their life? Raise your hand. Ok put your hand down, because you are probably at work and don’t need to be raising you hand for no reason.
Lately, I’ve had a lot going on. With my job, no day is ever the same, and I like that. It can be a bit much when it comes to getting day to day tasks done. Like Brittany, I like to keep lists, but I am not so good at organizing them. Often times I jot down a note on a scrap of paper and stuff it with a few other notes. Not anymore.
I discovered something called bullet journals and have been doing it for a month. So far it has streamlined my work and has made me much more efficient. With my job, it is extremely important for me to not only take note of things we need to do, but things I have done. Part of my job is to report weekly on marketing efforts I have made. Marking these notes as well as the days they have been implemented in a bullet journal makes it easier for me to report on.
So what is a Bullet Journal? It’s basically a customizable organization system. It’s most easily identified by the use of bullet points, cells, numbering and dates.
Creating a bullet journal begins with the entire page on a sheet. Identify what the page is going to be, it can reflect that day, that week or even that month. It could even be about one topic or task.
Once you’ve identified the page, you can start making bullets. The bullets will serve as a list, and you can use different kinds of bullets to identify whether they are tasks, notes or reminders.
Here is an example of using various bullet points.
o Fill out expense report
– Collect receipts from 9/15/16 – 9/26/16
< Remind Tonya to fill out expense report
Use different marks to indicate whether your listing is a note, a task, a reminder, a task completed or something else. Just be sure to make a key so you know what special character means what.
You can also use things called signifiers like, ? ! * to indicate importance of a note.
The layout can be however you want, as long as it makes sense to you. For me, I use cells. In my work notebook, I take a ruler and draw a line down the center of the page and then horizontally on the middle of the page, creating 4 separate cells. I use the top left for my t0-do’s for the day. I use the bottom left for things I’ve accomplished. I use the top right for things to follow up on tomorrow and in the bottom right I jot down miscellaneous notes. In each cell I make bullet points for each item on the list. I do this every day and keep the cells the same, so I can easily reference yesterday and the day before.
Here is an example of how I use bullet journaling.
The great thing about bullet journaling is that you can make it your own. While I was researching ways to keep a bullet journal, I saw some pretty extreme entries. From creating a cell for each to-do mark to marking the time of day for each day of the week on the axis.
Still not sure how to get started? I found a lot of great sites that give tutorials on creating a bullet journal. One was BulletJournal.com, obviously a great place to start with a name like that. It gives you a visual layout on creating a bullet journal. Then there is Tiny Ray of Sunshine which provides an in-depth look at how to create your journal. It also featured this helpful infographic.
We all get consumed with taking pictures of everything, “checking in”, updating our status and of course creeping on each other. It is really exhausting when you think about it! There is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and a billion other social media platforms that you want to be involved in each and everyday. You also can’t forget to use apps and filters to have the most creative and professional looking photos…even if it is of your cat eating a piece of pizza!
For us twenty-somethings social media has started to consume our lives! Let’s be serious when you look around at a concert everyone has their phones up taking pictures and videos…how can you enjoy a concert while looking through the screen of your phone?
Being a blogger is sometimes hard because I also want to live in the moment especially when we are writing a review on an event. Here are some ways I give myself a backbone so that I am not consumed as well as not overwhelmed by keeping up with social media!
Pick your platforms
For me it’s Facebook and Twitter. While I have snapchat and an instagram account I do not have the time to manage that while having a full time job, two part time jobs and co-managing this blog. I have to choose my platform and even then it’s exhausting to have to keep up on a daily basis!
If you do not have time to post on each of your social media platforms, be like me and link your accounts together. You can either do that through Instagram or like myself I linked my Twitter to my Facebook Account. Not as personable but much more simplistic!
When I go to an event I limit myself to when I will actually use my phone for taking pictures. I try to get pictures done right off the bat so I can enjoy the rest of night enjoying being in the moment and not worrying about anything else.
When I am eating dinner or doing something important I either turn off my phone completely or at least leave it in another room so I don’t feel obligated to check it or even think about it! I also enjoy traveling to places where I don’t have service so that I can’t do anything related to using social media platforms!
Don’t be consumed by social media and give yourself a little leeway! Remember you don’t want to be those annoying chicks at a concert or baseball game taking selfies or watching the action from behind their iPhone screen.
Going back to being a kid, ice cream is all about the crunchy waffle cone, chocolate fudge and of course the colorful sprinkles! Well you are an adult now so might as well add your favorite liquor to that ice cream recipe! Even though today is the first day of fall today is National Ice Cream Cone Day. I thought it only fitting to show how you can design cocktails made with Ice Cream Cones. But, first you obviously need to know how to jazz up your mini ice cream cone shot glass with Sugar and Cloth’s how to video. Here is how to make your mini ice cream cone shot glasses, the first step in making a tasty shooter!
Once you have your shot glass you can fill your mini ice cream cones with really any delicious shot recipe. Here were 5 that I thought would be mouth watering and perfect to pair with the mini ice cream cone!
Kahlua Ice Cream Shots
Kahlua with whip cream and a cherry on top, could life be any better?
So I am getting ready for a pretty amazing trip in October. It’s only 15 days away so I have been planning my outfits for each day ahead of time. Since I want to be chic and comfortable, I had no doubt in my mind that slim pants and a blazer will be my go to look. I have a few leggings, tights and slim pants but I found a great new pair of pants perfect for work and travel. I am talking of course about the classic pixie pant. Pixie pants can be dressed up or down. My favorite look is with flats and a blazer.
For this look I stuck to a monochromatic style with all black and a tie neck blouse. This blazer is great it has leather cuffs and gold zippers. The pixie pants help keep it chic and the flats bring the comfort. Since I was wearing black and white, my dogs matched me perfectly so they got in the photo too.
I wore simple gold hoop earrings and a gold bracelet. The outfit is not about standing out, it’s about looking effortlessly chic. So no flashy jewelry. This look makes me feel like myself and it also makes me ready for fall. All I need is a pumpkin spiced latte and I am ready to rock!
Technology has come a long way since our mother’s started doing laundry but just because we upgrade our washing machine to the newest and best machine it doesn’t always mean you have consistently clean laundry.
Recently, I have been doing laundry and realizing I am not that good at it, but really is anyone? I rush through it and expect the washer and dryer to do it’s job when really it is my responsibility. It is not the washer and dryer’s fault when my sweater shrinks nor is it the washer and dryer’s fault when the stain doesn’t come out in one wash…I am the one at fault!
So, I did some research and learned some cold hard facts about laundry and what we could switch about our laundry routine. Here are some washing and drying mistakes we can easily fix before that next load of laundry!
Even though we all hate it, it is important to sort but not by colors by wash temperature which you can find on the care label of each piece of clothing. Cold , warm and hot piles . Very few items should be washed in hot though which is a HUGE mistake I make! When you do it this way clothes will last longer and colors will look better.
If you have a bad stain it is worth pre-treating but don’t rub the stain, dab it. You aren’t going to get that stain out with your own muscles, let the washer do it’s job and just pre-treat the stain.
Pretty self explanitory but we all do it. We try to fit three loads all in one to just be done with it. Your laundry will not get as clean as if you do it in smaller loads. It will also smell better if you use smaller loads!
Zip, Button and Take Care of Delicates
I always forget to zip up my jeans zippers, button my blouses, un-scrunch my socks and put my bras in BraBall. These are all very important so you items don’t get snagged, ripped or worn in the washer and dryer! Make sure socks are not scrunched up so that they can be properly cleaned!
Put in Clothes, then water, then soap
Mind blowing I know because we were all taught by our mothers to do water, soap then clothes, but times have changed and washers have become more efficient. Also, modern detergents are phosphate-free which is less harmful to clothes the way the old formulas were when our mother’s taught us how to do laundry.
Don’t Skimp OR Use Too Much
Since most detergent is actually expensive, we all try to penny pinch and think since it is a quality brand that we don’t need as much as recommended on the back of the bottle – false! Being stingy and not using the recommended dosage will leave your clothes dirty and possibly make them dingy.
Complete opposite, my boyfriend always goes through a bottle of detergent WAY too fast! But he pays for it in the end because he has to do extra rinse cycles so that there is not excess build up on his clothing. In retrospect this uses more water than needed and really his clothes are no cleaner than if he used the recommended dosage.
Read Labels Before Using Cold Water
Even though cold water helps prevent shrinkage of your favorite skinny jeans or favorite cotton top, it may not help get your clothes that clean or the odors out. Make sure you reach the lables to get the best temperature for washing your items.
This is by far my biggest mistake! Don’t use bleach on white socks or underwear. The bleach actually eats away at the elastic and ruins your clothes! This would be why I constantly have to get new white socks.
Minimize Dryer Usage
I am one to just throw everything in the dryer and be done with my chores for the day. This is something that we all need to fix ASAP! Really we are cutting the life span of our clothes in half. Cotton clothes, that are known for shrinking, should be hung up on a hanger to dry, but hang it up inside out so you don’t get those annoying bumps in your shoulders. Also, jeans, even though it takes a long time for them to air dry they will fit better, fade less and will be better overall! Plus you will be saving energy bill and possibly air-conditioning usage if you air dry your clothes!
Make sure you are always cleaning the lint trap for your dryer before every use. Not doing that can not only lead to dirtier, lint covered clothes but also house fires! Doing it is simple and a way to reduce risk within your home!
I’ve always kind of known I was bad at being in a relationship in the past. Mainly because I was in relationships that I didn’t value very much. But now, I am in a relationship that matters and still…I’m bad at being in a relationship.
I’m not taking infidelity or abuse or anything borderline inappropriate related to your significant other. I mean I am just not good at it. Like driving stick shift. A lot of times we stay with manual. We know manual. It’s simple, it’s easy and it never changes. Stick shift, while some might find easy to use, we can never be as good as it as we are manual. We can get the best car on the planet, a classic beauty, but while we love and enjoy it, we still can’t get used to the stick shift.
I’ve been in a serious relationship for 6 years now (holy cow does that make me a grown up?) and still, I learn more about how to share your life with someone. My sister always said you need at least two years to really know someone, and now I see why. After six years, we finally had the talk. The talk some couples never even get to because they have bottled it all up and exploded on one another. The premise of the talk was this, what’s keeping us around and what’s giving us the idea to leave. It was as simple as that. We discussed why we don’t want to be with one another, and why we still are together.
I’m not going to spill the beans on what was wrong and right in our relationship, but I will say, my inability to be a good partner came up. It was something I knew about myself, but never something that I thought would truly risk my relationship.
So why am I bad at being in a relationship? Well it’s complex and some of it is personal, but to sum it up, I am selfish. I care only about myself and my goals and my ideas. That’s different from not caring about someone. I care about my boyfriend’s well-being of course. I care about his health, his happiness and all that good happy bubbly stuff, but I really care about me. It’s like when Samantha told Richard on Sex & The City, “I love you, but I love me more.” Of course that was in reference to his infidelity but still.
When it comes to planning my evenings and weekends, the first thing that comes to mind is me, not us. I think of the chores I want to get done, the things I need to do and so on. The only time I think of something together, is when I need his help doing something. If I need to do some yard work, then the him and me time will come into play. Other than that, I only think of what I am doing.
I never put timelines on our relationship, only on my life. It’s no secret to my friends and family that I don’t feel the need to get married. I do however want to have kids. So I have been harping on my boyfriend about the year I want to have a kid. I told him and he would say, “ok, we’ll see” and so on. But never did it occur to me to ask him when he wants to have kids. And since I need him to have a baby and raise it, that’s something I should consider.
If we are doing something like watching a movie on the couch or driving in the car and talking to one another, I will almost always have my phone out. Like most people, I look at my phone while I do other things. Who doesn’t watch TV and look at their phone at the same time? It almost feels weird not to multi-task at this point. But I didn’t realize that by checking my phone, I was withdrawing myself from the present. I wasn’t focused on the movie we were supposed to be watching together. I wasn’t paying full attention to what he was saying while we were in the car.
Not only do I only think of myself when I am in a relationship, I assume everything. I assume he will be mad at me if I do something. I assume he won’t be able to make it to an event I am attending or even want to go in the first place. I assume how he will feel about something, and 9 times out of 10, I am wrong. It took him telling me this to realize that I assume situations in my head and project them without seeing what’s in front of me first. Making these assumptions are part of why I feel more invested in myself than in the relationship, I assume the worst.
If this sounds anything like you, awesome! That means I am not alone! But also, it doesn’t mean you can’t change. But if you are really struggling with giving more of yourself in a relationship, it probably means you are not in the right relationship or it’s just not the right time in your life to be with that person. That’s a tough decision to make and one that we all have to wrestle with when we think about the person we are with. Because I value the relationship I am in and want it to work, I decided to let some of my guard down and care less about myself. It’s been a few weeks now and I can say we are doing great.
The first big challenge I had was giving up my Saturday. My weekends are planned down to the hour, because I really value that time off. So I schedule all my tasks and excursions very carefully. So when Labor Day weekend came this year, you know I had a full schedule in my head of all the things I wanted to do, of course they revolved around me and what I wanted to do. So when my boyfriend woke up Saturday morning and said he thought we should go to the Museum of Science and Industry for the day, my stomach almost dropped. My gut instinct was to say no. I am not exactly the best at spontaneity, plus heading to a museum in Chicago on the weekend sounded like a lot of time and effort that I didn’t want to deal with. So I didn’t say no right away, I said maybe. But I knew I should go, because while it’s important to keep up your house, your health and other things like that, it’s important to keep up with your relationship. Since I could tell he really wanted to go, I went. I was stressed for much of the day, getting out of my comfort zone. I took a Xanax (I have a prescription for panic attacks, which I get often) and was finely able to enjoy the day. We ended up having a great time and I even got him to go to this gastro-pub restaurant that I assumed he would hate. He loved the food and I love spending the day with him.
Now that doesn’t mean I am completely cured and ready to be the best girlfriend ever. I may never be that, but I am taking steps. No more assumptions and when we are having dinner or idly chatting in the car, my phone is put away.
Everyone always asks me how do you stay so organized with your full time job, two part-time jobs, co-managing a blog and managing your personal life cleaning, cooking, taking care of the dog, paying bills etc. Well, how I would respond is I am a list. I compile a couple lists to help manage my day, week and month. It not only helps me narrow down important things but it also helps me manage my daily life. Here is how lists help you with your Organization, Improved Memory, Productivity, Motivation.
One of the most important reasons to keep lists is to help you stay organized. Organizing your tasks both work and in your personal life will help you manage your life and feel more in control. Seeing a clear outline of what you want to get done that day as well as the tasks you haven’t completed yet will help you stay focused and feel much more organized.
I am forgetful which is why I make lists. If I make those lists I have no reason to forget a task, ingredient, activity, etc. My forgetfulness has improved 110% since I started making task lists in college!
Making lists are just a productive way to live your life in general. Knowing what you need to get done that day when you wake up and what you have accomplished that day will keep you constantly motivated.
I make my lists into a game to stay motivated. I want to be able to cross off everything on my list at the end of the day and feel that accomplished feel. Using your pen and crossing off each task on your list is amazing!
If you know what you need to get done that day/week you will be able to manage your time better so that you can get your tasks accomplished throughout the day. This will help you not feel as rushed in life as well!
Lists At Work
At my full time job I am already micro managed where I have certain things I need to complete throughout my day. But, being the person I am, I am involved in committees and also am required to do certain things weekly or monthly in regards to running special reports, putting PowerPoint presentations together etc. I manage each day with a list of things I would like to get done that day. I keep the things that I don’t have to get done exactly that day towards the bottom. I am an early bird which helps but really I kind of think of it as a game that I want to complete everything on that list as fast as I can that day. If for some reason I can’t get to it all and the last items on my list aren’t required to be done that day. I stick them on a post-itnote for the next day so when I walk in, in the morning I know what I need to get done that day.
Lists In My Personal Life
I am pretty old school and actually use a planner. I think it is the fact that I know it will never fail me. Technology can always fail you at the flip of a switch and that would worry me having my whole life planned out in something that could just fail me. I also like using my planner because I can then make my little 3 most important task lists each day. Things that I would like to get accomplished each day throughout my day. For instance, I will write put dishes away, choreography classes and upload pictures to blog. Nothing that is life or death if I don’t complete, but it is very rewarding to cross off at the end of the day and know that you don’t have to push those tasks over to the next day for completion. Everything else seems to fall into place if I do that.Trust me you will sleep better at night!
Long Term List
Although this isn’t a necessity, I think it is helpful managing a weekly or monthly work/task load so that you can help yourself manage time around your personal schedule. You obviously don’t want to give yourself a shit ton of tasks to do on a weekend of a special event or on a Sunday where you know you are going to be hungover..planning ahead will also help you stay organized and help you save time!
What to Do
1. Keep a daily planner- Old school printed planner or phone/tablet electronic planner. Either way works!
2.Be Flexible- Keep your list to 3 important tasks a day. If you can’t get to the others they can be pushed to the following day. No sweat!
3.Keep it Simple. There is no point wasting what little time you have to write down every little detail of that individual task
4. Time Limit- Give yourself a time limit for each task. You will never get your list done if you take hours to complete each task. If you don’t complete it finish it later that day or push it over to the following day’s tasks.
What not to do
1.Make too many list- This will confuse you because you will be less organized deciding on what is more important that other tasks.
2.Don’t make your lists too long- Be realistic and don’t try to kill yourself completing a billion task all in one day.
3.Stress- Your lists are to help you organize your day and help keep you motivated they aren’t suppose to be a negative tool.
4.Don’t Lose your Lists!!!
Don’t try to wing it. Set goals as tasks and make lists. Using a manageable list is an efficient system that works to keep you Organized, but it will also help you manage time, improve your memory, stay productive and keep you motivated during your day and over your week. Keep positive and get ready to start crossing off your lists today!
It’s officially that odd time of year when it’s not quite fall and not quite summer. Its sall, or fummer. It’s hot as hell all day but the sun goes down and it’s chilly. So dinner time ideas are always vexing this time of year, do I go with something hearty for the cold weather or light and colorful for the warm weather. Luckily, I have a recipe for both fall and summer. It uses fall and summer vegetables and it light but also served as a hearty dish.
When I was growing up my mom would make the most colorful orecchiette dish that was sooo good. She used swiss chard and red pepper to make a perfect midsummer pasta dish. Whenever I make orecchiette I think of that dish. But I wanted to add some sort of protein so my boyfriend had nothing to complain about with this meal.
Now, from the pictures with might look simple, and that’s the point. It’s easy to make and packs a flavorful punch. My boyfriend said it was one of his favorite pasta dishes. It’s a great summer to fall dish because you can put your harvest vegetables to use, who doesn’t have a fresh zucchini laying around this time of year?
1 box orecchiette
1 pound ground turkey
3 gloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 large red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
shredded parmesan cheese
crushed red pepper
salt, pepper, olive oil
Preheat oven 375. Slice zucchini, squash and red pepper into thin slices. I cut my zucchini and squash into half circles and the red pepper in thin slivers. Lay out vegetable evenly on a greased baking pan and sprinkle with garlic salt. Place in oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip vegetables over and place back in over for 15 minutes.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and to sauce pan and saute 3-5 minutes. Add in ground turkey and cook for about 5-7 minutes until halfway brown. Add canned fire roasted tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook orecchiette according to package directions
When turkey is done, add to large bowl. Combine with cooked orecchiette and roasted vegetables and stir well. Sprinkle a handful of shredded parmesan cheese and tablespoon of crushed red pepper.
When I was a little girl I couldn’t wait to come home from school and put on my tutu! As you can tell I was in love with being a ballerina. The tutu skirt allows us to go back to our youth and embody that inner little girl! I also feel like I am embodying a little Carrie Bradshaw, from Sex and the City, since her unique tutu skirts made the trend rather famous!
I recently purchased my Joey Pale Pink tutu skirt from Amazon; yes Amazon! PS it was very affordable too! I added my black and white flannel button up from Target to make the skirt a little more casual for work. I then added my Impo Stretch black kitten heels from TJ Maxx.
I then topped my outfit off by accessorizing with my pink and gold flower earrings, that I got as a gift from boyfriend’s mom a couple years ago.
This outfit is perfect for any season, since you can wear more layers on top and your legs are fully covered! You can also dress the skirt up and down by wearing a more casual top or shoe.
I can’t wait to play with this skirt and wear it a few different ways, in the next couple of weeks!