April 28, 2017

Links & Love (April 2017)...

I've been totally Pinterest obsessed lately since I am trying to get my bedroom and the two spare bedrooms downstairs looking put together. I've pinned so many things - now just to actually do them!

I loved following along with Ali Edwards Week in the Life on IG last week and think this is something I definitely need to try (once I'm finally caught up on Project Life..)

I can't wait to eat all the salads this Summer. Like this one. And this one. And this one. Yummmm! I'm pretty sure I could eat salad for every single meal...

I've been eyeing up this doormat from Target. Pretty sure I NEED it 

I want one of everything from the LC Lauren Conrad jewellery line at Kohl's. I limited myself to only five things when I was there last weekend but I easily could have spent a fortune on just jewellery

I ordered myself an Instant Pot and I can't wait to try it out! I had some gift cards to Best Buy that I had originally planned to use to purchase an iPad but decided I would just upgrade to a new Nook so I had no idea I was going to use my gift cards on until I saw that the Instant Pot was on sale. Now I'm scouring Pinterest looking for recipes. I just hope I can figure it out! 

I can't wait to make this Drumstick Cake once I'm done Whole-30ing. When I was in Grade Six-ish (somewhere around that time anyways) there was a restaurant in my hometown that made Drumstick Cake and my friends and I would go down after school to have hot chocolate and a slice of Drumstick Cake. It closed over 15 years ago but I still think about that Drumstick Cake (it was that good y'all). This seems like it might be pretty comparable and I can't wait to try

These crops from Lululemon are on my wish list for when I hit one of my fitness goal and I cannot wait to order them

I have been doing Country Heat, a country dance inspired fitness program from Beachbody, for the last three and a half weeks and I am absolutely loving it. I am not a dancer and have no co-ordination but I love the workouts (and the fact that they are only 30 minutes). Call me crazy but I actually look forward to the workouts (who am I?!) because they are so much fun. The 30 minutes flies by and at the end I am am drenched in sweat, so it's definitely working me out! I am done the program on Tuesday and was planning on starting the 21 Day Fix Extreme on Wednesday but I think I am going to do another 30 days of Country Heat because I'm so happy with it and the results I'm seeing! (Full disclosure, I am a Beachbody Coach but do it for the discount, I don't actually make any money from the company at this point) 

Today doesn't feel like Friday (because I took my EDO on Wednesday instead of today because of conflicts with some of my staff being off today) but I am so glad it is - I have lots to get done this weekend and then I should finally have everything crossed off of my to do list and can start just enjoying my weekends when the weather is nice! 

Have a great weekend!

April 27, 2017

Spring Bucket List 2017...

We're over a month into Spring already and I'm just getting my Spring Bucket List up now but better late than never, right? I've got until June 19th to cross things off my list, so just under two months - I think that's still doable! 

I'm a list maker through and through so I love making seasonal bucket lists for myself. Sometimes things from my Spring Bucket List might end up on my Summer Bucket List (or some Summer Bucket List items end up on my Fall Bucket List, etc.) becuase I don't get to them during that season or I might not even get to them at all but at least having them written down here makes me try and accomplish them. 

1I Enjoy mimosas on a patio
2I Sew something 
3I Complete a Spring Photo Challenge
4I Have a picnic lunch with my nieces
5I Make a carrot cake from scratch 
6I Complete 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Project Life albums (Yep, I'm that behind-face palm)
7I Finish three home decor projects (I've got a bunch on the go, I just need to finish them)
8I Go on a hike
9I Cross things off of my 30 Before 30 list
10I Unplug for a day 
11I Try 10 new recipes 
12I Visit the library 
13I Organize, de-clutter, and deep clean (I'm kind of cheating here because I'm about 75% done this (wahoo!) but I still have that 25% to go so...)
14I Enjoy a morning cup of coffee on the deck 
Completed June 19th. I almost forgot about this one but with only one day left before Summer offically began I got it checked off the list! 
15I Go on a lunch date with a friend 
Completed June 16th. My oldest friend Jayden helped me out with this one after I sent out a Snapchat plea for someone to have lunch with me before June 20th so I could cross it off the list
16I Try a new cocktail(Bonus points if I make it at home) 
Completed May 22nd. I had a 'Not a Gin Drinker' at the Vikre Distillery in Duluth after MN's birthday supper. It's made with their Lake Superior Vodka, juniper syrup, lemon, and fizz and was SO delicious. I can't wait to go back there again!
17I Celebrate MN's 30th birthday We'll be in Duluth, MN for his birthday and I cannot wait! 
Completed May 22nd. We had an awesome mini vacation in Duluth from May 21-23 celebrating MN turning 30!
18I Treat myself to a facial 
19I Attend my niece's dance recital  
Completed May 27th. Due to my car troubles it almost didn't happen but we were able to make it work. They did so good in their recital - I was one proud Auntie! 
20I Grow something

What's on your Spring Bucket List?

April 26, 2017

100 Things That Make Me Happy...

As I mentioned in Monday's post, I did some shopping on the weekend and was finally able to find some pieces for my bedroom to start pulling together the look that I'm trying to achieve (and have been trying for over a year now...) I was so happy with all of my purchases and for once there was no buyers remorse after the fact (hallelujah). Feeling so happy about such a trivial little thing like home decor kind of made me feel a little silly but if we can't enjoy the little things then what can we enjoy?
I've had this post in my drafts folder for a long time but decided today was the perfect day to finally get it finished and published! I did a post like this back in 2014 with 32 things that make me happy but I figured it's past time for another edition.
So here we go…100 things that make me happy (in no particular order)

  1. Krickit cuddles. (But not when she tries to give me a 'bath'...)
  2. When I'm taking the train and it arrives and departs on time. Or arrives early! 
  3. Sipping on an Iced Caramel High Rise from Caribou Coffee
  4. Wandering up and down every single aisle at Target. It's my happy place 
  5. Binge watching HGTV
  6. Receiving snail mail 
  7. Getting a new tattoo 
  8. Trick or treaters on Halloween 
  9. Sales shopping
  10. Sleeping in on Saturday morning. And by sleeping in I mean until like 8 am haha
  11. When one of my old favourite songs randomly comes on while listening to an XM station
  12. Seeing MN when I get off the train in Saint Paul 
  13. The entire month of December
  14. My Mathison/Cameron clan
  15. Discovering a new favourite restaurant
  16. The Target Dollar Spot 
  17. The smell of campfire
  18. Suppers with my 'city' friends
  19. List making
  20. The sound of a bottle of champagne being uncorked 
  21. Mashed potatoes
  22. Baked potatoes
  23. Really, any kind of potatoes ;) (but NOT sweet potatoes. Blechhh)
  24. Hobby Lobby deals. I honestly don't know if I've ever paid full price for something from there!
  25. Travelling. To places I've already been or new places 
  26. Bubble baths 
  27. 3-wick candles from Bath and Body Works
  28. Free shipping 
  29. Starting my annual Harry Potter re-read 
  30. Spending the entire day in bed on a rainy day 
  31. Family Game Nights
  32. Discovering a new favourite song
  33. Home Alone. Favourite movie of all time
  34. Gildan heavy blend sweatshirts
  35. Shredded hashbrowns
  36. Bird watching. Go Blue Jays!
  37. Cucumbers with salt and vinegar. Mmmm
  38. Screwdrivers. The drink, not the tool
  39. Mexican and Margaritas 
  40. Flipping through photo albums
  41. Group chats with Toni and Scooby 
  42. Eating at the Olive Branch
  43. Flamingo and Pineapple home decor 
  44. A big bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. For supper. Because #adulting 
  45. My mama's cooking
  46. Productive Sunday's 
  47. Using my Kitchen Aid mixer to make cookies 
  48. The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls 
  49. Summer 
  50. Blog comments
  51. Burrito bowls from Chipotle 
  52. Waking up without an alarm 
  53. Camping
  54. Baby snuggles 
  55. Country music
  56. Sand between my toes 
  57. When a new recipe actually turns out 
  58. Floating down the Guadalupe River
  59. Summer BBQ's
  60. Paying off debt 
  61. Finishing a good book 
  62. Chick-fil-A
  63. A good workout 
  64. MN's bed. And not in a TMI way. In an its-the-most-comfortable-bed-in-the-world way
  65. Happy mail days
  66. Fresh clean sheets
  67. Dr. Pepper with lots of ice 
  68. Wine
  69. Backroading 
  70. Gift giving
  71. Taking photographs
  72. Exploring a new city
  73. Crossing things off of my 'bucket' lists
  74. Getting pampered
  75. Online shopping
  76. Rainbow ice cream 
  77. Fresh new notebooks
  78. Road tripping to Texas
  79. The tiny humans at work 
  80. Family time 
  81. Hotel stays 
  82. Move theatre popcorn 
  83. Breakfast for supper 
  84. Driving with the windows down. Just as long as I have a hair tie to tie my hair back
  85. My daily Shakeology drink
  86. Animal videos
  87. Vacation planning
  88. Random acts of kindness
  89. Freshly painted nails 
  90. Binge watching TV shows with MN
  91. KJK weekends
  92. Christmas traditions
  93. New office supplies 
  94. Walks with Krickit
  95. Coffee mugs
  96. YouTube tutorials
  97. Being called Auntie
  98. My Pinterest boards 
  99. Family vacations
  100. Pajama days
I tried not to repeat anything from my original list so that I would have 132 things that make me happy to look back on in case I'm ever having a down day. I only had about 20 from when I had first started this post before it ended up in my drafts folder so I had to add 80 and at first I thought that would be a huge task but they actually came to me quite easily

What's at the top of your happy list?

April 24, 2017

Shopping, Snow, and Sunday Productivity...

This weekend I spent some time in Minot, ND doing some shopping with my sister. We didn't leave until mid afternoon on Saturday since my sister didn't get home from a conference in the Queen City until that morning and we ended up getting an inexpensive (but still decent!) hotel room for the night so we wouldn't have to rush to make the border or go completely out of our way to get to the 24 hour crossing. I had some money left from my income tax return so it didn't even break my budget - wahoo! I know I'm getting better at adulting when I spent what was left of my income tax return (after paying for window repairs) on bedding and home decor instead of travelling or tattoos. 

I've been trying to catch up on Project Life (I'm sooo behind) and I need a new album for 2017 (so I can try and stay caught up on the current year  so our first stop in Minot was Hobby Lobby where my sister found the cutest wall hangings for my nieces bedrooms and I also found a super cute framed pineapple print (I didn't find the Project Life album though - booo). Our next stop was Kohls, because its right next door. We found so much stuff at Kohl's y'all. Like, sooo much. We picked up a bunch of jewerly from Lauren Conrads line, perfume, some home decor, and I got a couple shirts and Toni picked up some Summer clothes for my oldest niece. I love Kohl's (because everything is always on sale haha) but always forget to stop there when I'm in Minot. The cashier convinced me to sign up for the Kohl's card, which saved me 25% so I love it even more now and I'm sure I'll be making it a priority to stop there more often (not sure if this is a good or a bad thing... I'm going to go with good because SALES).

Once we finally made it out of Kohl's we headed to Ruby Tuesday's for supper (I've been craving their garden bar lately for some reason) because we were both starving and hadn't eaten all day (and by this point it was after 7:00 our time) and then to my happy place - Target! Because of North Dakota's blue laws the only places open for shopping before noon in Minot on Sundays are the grocery stores so we had no plans for Sunday other than to check out of the hotel, get gas and grab Caribou, and then head home so we had to get all of our shopping done on Saturday. We wandered around Target, I grabbed a few cute things from the Dollar Spot (because I just can't help myself) and then I (finalllllly) found bedding that I was happy with so I was a happy camper since I didn't find anything I liked in Kohl's and I've searched Target the last three times I've been there and hadn't found the perfect bedding - until now! After leaving Target just before they closed at 11 we then headed to Wal Mart. I needed to pick up some of my favourite makeup wipes (they're cheapest at Wal Mart) and had plans to grab a few things from the Pioneer Woman collection but ended up leaving without anything from the collection. Whomp whomp. I was really disappointed in the selection -normally they have a huge selection but this time there was hardly anything there so the search still continues. 

I wish I could have Caribou every single day. At least my Caribou K-cups get me through on the days I'm not around a Caribou 
I'm in love with everything I picked up while in Minot and will post pictures in this Friday's Links + Love post. I'm also so happy that my bedroom is finally coming together into a space that I can actually enjoy and don't mind spending time in. I was finally able to take my Christmas bedding off of my bed last night and replace with my new sheets (also from Target) and the new bedding. I do have other bedding (in case you're wondering because MN rolled his eyes at me when I told him I needed to buy new bedding so I could finally get my Christmas ones off my bed) but they don't go with the colours in my room at all and I've had them since I was in High School (so 12 years ago...) so it was definitely time to upgrade.  There's still a few more things I need to do/add to my room but then it will be complete - hallelujah! Once I have everything finished I'll be posting some updates pictures on here and IG (do you follow me? Krmathison13) so stay tuned! 

I need opinions! Should I paint these crates white or leave as is?! For reference, most of the furniture in my room is white (aside from a black mirror and the dark brown dresser just to the left of this that I plan on painting white). Also, I need to print off some photos for those frames now (Kohl's finds that go perfect with my colour scheme) haha. Also, please excuse the terrible lighting (#basementlife)
And in non shopping related news, I woke up to snow on the ground yesterday morning while in Minot and then again this morning at home. I guess I should be happy it didn't start snowing here yesterday but c'mon Mother Nature - it's Spring! Also, today marks  exactly three months until I turn 30. Which means I really need to get working on my 30 Before 30 list. Eeeek. It's now also less than a month until MN turns the big 3-0 and I still have no idea what to get him - I need your help y'all! 30th birthdays are a pretty big deal so the gift needs to be super duper special compared to a normal birthday gift, right?!
Even though I spent part of the weekend away from home I still managed to make it a productive weekend. I got back from Minot yesterday at noon and somehow ended up heading straight to work and spent 2 1/2 hours at work getting some cleaning and organizing done. The time flew by and in the end I had five garbage bags full of stuff to throw out and had to make three trips out to the recycling bins to get rid of cardboard. That's what I call productive! Then when I finally headed home I unloaded everything from my SUV and immediately got to work around the house, stripping my old bedding off my bed, doing five loads of laundry (new bedding, old bedding, and laundry that had piled up), unpacking my suitcase and putting everything back where it belonged (it normally takes me days to unpack form a trip, even if its just an overnighter), did some rearranging in my bedroom, set up the new decor items I had just purchased, AND I even got to watch the Blue Jays win. I love days like that where everything finds its place and I can go to bed at the end of the night without a million things running through my mind that need to get completed the next day. The weekend may have flown by but I can definitely say I got some things accomplished over it so I can't complain too much! 

April 19, 2017

Mondayest Tuesday Ever...

Yesterday was the Mondayest Tuesday to ever exist.  I got to work at my normal time, only to find a lake (slight exaggeration but it was still a lot of water) in the staff bathroom and leading out into the hallway outside the bathroom. A water line had a tiny hole in it but was still spraying water like crazy so I spent my morning mopping up water, setting up fans to try and dry up some of the water, calling the plumber, discussing the problem with the plumbers and town workers (since it was a water line), changing out towels, and mopping some more.  In the end the plumbers had to jackhammer a small area in the bathroom to access the line and then were able to put a 'bandaid' on it to close up the pinhole and stop the water from spraying. When I first heard that they needed to use a jackhammer I imagined a huge mess and my entire floor torn up but it wasn't as bad as I thought (thank goodness!). 

The worst part of it all was that I had the biggest meeting of the year last night - the Centre's annual review with our Consultant from the Ministry to renew our license for another year so I wasn't even able to focus on getting ready for it until after lunch when the plumbers were finished their repairs. After our relicensing meeting we then had our monthly board meeting so I didn't even get home from work until 7:30. 11.5 hr days are no fun! I scarfed down supper because I was hannnngry and then I had great intentions of getting my workout in but instead I fell asleep. At 8:00. Can you say exhausted?!  I'll also be accepting my worst girlfriend ever award any day now because I have been terrible at falling asleep mid conversation (via text) with MN and almost every night for the last week I've fallen asleep before saying goodnight or even indicating that I was going to go to sleep. I'm terrible! 

Also, when I left work quick yesterday to go home for lunch I stopped at the post office and was so excited that my package had finally arrived. I've needed a new pair of running shoes for a long time - right now I use my Nike Flex's for both indoors and outdoors but I need a designated pair for outdoors so that I don't find little stones all over my floor when I work out anymore - and I found a good deal on a pair of Nike's on Sportchek's website last week. My excitement was short lived though because when I tried them on I realized that they were the most uncomfortable shoes I have ever worn. It was like I was standing on rocks. I can't even begin to describe how terribly uncomfortable these shoes are. I can see now why they were on sale!  So I wil be returning them tomorrow when I'm in 'the city' and re-starting the search for a pair of affordable running shoes. Ughh! It was definitely just one of those days 

In other news, yesterday my FB memories notified me that it had been 9 years since I packed up my bedroom at my college residence and got on the road to SK to life back in O-town. 9 years. I swear I just convocated yesterday! That also means that I've officially been employed in the ECE field for 9 years now (I started my first full time job after college a week after I moved home) and that just blows my mind! I guess when I think about it I am turning 30 this Summer (eeek!) but I feel like my college days were just yesterday!

Since I went to bed so early last night I'm up bright and early this morning and hoping for a day full of smooth sailing - wish me luck! I do have to fit in two workouts today since I missed one yesterday but since I'm up early I'm going to get one in now so I only have one to do later tonight. I'd also like to get in some treadmill miles or take Krickit for a walk so I can keep listening to Up and Vanished - my brother has been hounding me to get through it since I told him about it last week and he starting listening. I told myself I could only listen if I was on the treadmill (but I'll break my 'rule' for a walk with Krickit) to motivate myself to get back on it and so far it hasn't worked - maybe tonight will be the night?!

April 17, 2017

Easter 2017...

Happy Monday y'all! I hope your Easter weekend was great. Mine was super low key -  my family actually postponed our Easter celebrations because a) my parents and I are Whole-30ing and b) my nieces were at their Dad's house all weekend and we couldn't celebrate without them. So, we will be having a big Easter supper (with turkey and all the fixings plus a made from scratch carrot cake by yours truly) sometime in May when we are done with the Whole 30. I can't wait! I also can't wait to devour the Mini Eggs that I bought over a month ago and then forgot about until this weekend when I couldn't eat them (ughh). 

Side note: I was texting MN last night and whining about the fact that he was drinking wine and I wanted some and couldn't have any. While I was whining about the lack of wine in my life I also said how I wanted Mini Eggs along with wine and he didn't know what they were (!) I had a mini panic attack thinking that they don't have them in the US but then I saw on a US bloggers IG story that they had some so all is right again. Phewww! 

After doing some research (because I'm passionate about my Mini Eggs! haha) I think that the Hershey's Eggies are more popular in the US? And the Cadbury Mini Eggs aren't as readily available? All I know is I LOVE me some Mini Eggs. You used to only be able to get them around Easter but now they're available all year (Thank goodness! Actually, maybe that's not such a good thing...)

I loved seeing all the different Easter baskets on Snapchat and IG this weekend. I was ready to adopt a child for a day just so I could make up an Easter basket! It seriously took every ounce of willpower to not go crazy in Target last week and buy tons of Easter goodies for my nieces and nephew. Every.single.ounce! This was also my nephews first Easter and when he came over on Easter Sunday for a visit he slept the entire time. Apparently Easter wore him out!

My parents always spoiled my siblings and I during holidays when we were young and our Easter baskets were always full of goodies. My mama would also hide those tiny foil wrapped chocolate eggs all over the house for us to find and months later we would still be finding them! I remember one year finding one in a plant in our family room in our basement sometime in July. JULY! Holidays are just so much fun! Though when I messaged my sister on Saturday and told her that I want kids just so I can make up Easter baskets she told me I'd change my tune when I actually have to pay for them since she had just dropped $150 buying Easter basket goodies...

For some reason the Easter Bunny missed my house this year (the last 10-ish years actually...hmph) but I had thought ahead and bought myself some Spring-y things over the last couple of weeks so at least there's that!

Since my family's Easter celebrations were postponed I spent most of the Easter weekend cleaning and organizing my basement - it seems like its never ending! The end is almost in sight though - I *think*! I also took a quick trip to 'the city' with my Mama on Saturday so I could grab my last paycheque from my part time job that I just left and to grab a few things at Wal-Mart. And then a few things turned into more than a few things... I also finally got my hands on The Perfect Stranger but I'm not allowing myself to read it until I take the train back to the Twin Cities in a couple weeks so that I have something to read on the train. It's going to take all my willpower not to start it until then!

How did you celebrate over the Easter weekend?

April 12, 2017

Whirlwind Weekend in the Twin Cities...

I headed to Minot last Thursday night to get on the train to head to the Twin Cities to see MN and for once my train was on time. Actually, my train was early if you can believe it. 

I of course wasn't prepared for my trip so as soon as I was done work on Thursday I had to fit a workout in, finish laundry, shower, and pack my suitcase. I never learn. Though I am finding lots of new travel hacks that makes packing much simpler and I'm pretty sure this trip was the lightest I have ever packed! Unfortunately while I was packing up my suitcase my mom got a call that Rae had broken her arm at school and she needed to go up to the hospital to be with her until my sister could get there from work (30 mins away). I hated leaving not knowing what exactly was going on with her. 

Turns out she had actally broken her wrist and it required surgery so her and my sister got to take an ambulance ride to the Queen City (2 1/2 hours away) to get the surgery done. Oh the joys of small town life. This is actually her third broken bone and the second that required surgery. When she was 4 we were having Christmas supper at my aunt and uncles house and she thought she could fly (spoiler alert: she couldn't) so she jumped from the middle of their basement steps and broke her arm (I actually think it had something to do with her elbow) and it required surgery. Then a couple years ago she was jumping on the neighbours trampoline and broke her arm (I think it was the same arm? My memory isn't the greatest...) So suffice it to say she doesn't have the best luck when it comes to broken bones!
I took this on Monday when I got home. My poor girl :(
After saying goodbye to Krickit at least 10 times (and her trying to leave with me - breaks my heart!) I got on the road and made it to Minot around 7:00 my time. My train was scheduled to leave Minot at 8:47 my time so that left me with just enough time to grab a salad from Subway for supper (and scarf it down in the parking lot at Target haha) and then speed walk my way through Target to grab a new book for the train (I couldn't find The Perfect Stranger - I realized today that it just came out yesterday. So next time!) and some Whole-30 approved snacks in case I got hungry later (almonds and pecans and apple pie Larabars). I had wifi in Target so as soon as I got there I checked to make sure my train was still on time and it told me that my train would be arriving early and would be in Minot by 7:58 so that was the reason for speed walking my way through Target - I didn't even look anywhere else! Now, the train can't leave until its actual departure time but I wanted to make sure I was there first thing so I could make sure to get a good seat on the train before it started filling up. 

I pulled into the train station at the exact same time that the train was making its way in. Can you say perfect timing?! I went into the station quick to use the washroom since I will only use the one on the train if I'm absolutely going to pee my pants and then grabbed my bags and made my way on to the train. There weren't many people at the station yet since the train was early so I got myself a good spot on the right side of the train (I like to sleep with my head turned to the right so I always try to make sure thats how I'm sitting) and with no seat partner - wahoo! People trickled on as we waited on the tracks for an hour until the scheduled time to leave but I was just happy I was there early. I hate being late even if it technically wouldn't have been considered late. I finished reading The Couple Next Door (really good read!) and then it was lights out for me. I sleep pretty good on the train, I just wake up every couple hours to change positions or because people get on at other stations and are super loud (so annoying). 
I wasn't kidding about eating my salad in my car haha. And Union Depot is just so gorgeous y'all. Its used for lots of events/weddings because of how gorgeous it is!
I got into the Twin Cities early the next morning, by at least half an hour. Much better than getting in 3-4 hours late like the last few times I had taken the train! MN picked me up at the station and then we headed to the Uptowner Cafe for breakfast - its become our tradition when I get off the train. The rest of the weekend seemed to fly by (unfortunately). We were dogsitting (and thus housesitting) for his sister and her boyfriend while they were in Vegas (I was so jealous!) so we spent most of our time working our way through Game of Thrones and just hanging out with Zeus. We did go out for supper to a Mexican restaurant with friends on Friday night and then they came back to the house for a bit afterwards but otherwise it was a pretty chill weekend. I even got a couple of workouts in while I was there - go me! 
I hope we never stop coming here!
I won't complain about getting to spend time with this handsome guy! 
My train got back to Minot at 8:30 (7:30 my time) on Monday morning so I headed to Target for a little bit before heading home. The Victoria Beckham collection had just been released the day before and I drooled over a few things (the kids stuff is so adorable!) but I'm not allowing myself to buy any clothes until after I finish the Whole30 and this round of Country Heat. There was so much cute Easter stuff that I would have loved to buy for my nieces and nephew too but because budget I had to resist. I managed to make it out of Target without spending a complete fortune, which never happens, but my list of things I want keeps getting longer and longer. I did get myself a new picnic blanket in the cutest pineapple print and a couple of cute flamingo/pineapple cups but otherwise I just grabbed a few groceries (Whole30 approved) and some toiletries. 

I would have loved to check out a couple more places but most stores don't open until 10:00 and I wanted to get stuff done at home so after Target I stopped quick to grab a case of beer (since its so cheap I always stock up whenever I'm gone over 48 hours and can bring back duty free) and then I was on the road home. I didn't even get a Caribou Coffee for the road because of Whole-30ing :( 

Just a few of the things I picked up to try -   I'm really hoping I can make that cilantro actually grow for me! #targetmademedoit
Once I was home I got to visit my nephew - I hadn't seen him in almost two weeks so it was long overdue. He slept through most of my visit but it was nice to just catch up with my sister in law too!

I'm counting down to my next trip already - I head there on May 4th to go see Wicked that Saturday with MN and his family. I can't wait! 

April 7, 2017

Currently (April 2017)...

Reading my way through The Couple Next Door. I'm sure I'll be done it by the time my train even leaves the station tonight (I'm writing this on Thursday to have scheduled for Friday). Then I'll be moving on to Before I Fall and will hopefully get my hands on a copy of The Perfect Stranger tonight so I'll have something for the train ride home on Sunday night 

Listening to podcasts whenever I'm in my vehicle lately (unless there's a baseball game on, then I'm listening to that if I'm on the road and can't actually watch). Thanks to a couple people that I follow posting in Instagram stories I learned about Up and Vanished, S-town, Finding Tammy Jo, and Actual Innocence and I can't wait to get through them all. I downloaded a few episodes of Up and Vanished to my iPhone so I can listen to them on the train (since I won't have any data) but I'm wondering if I'll be too much of a chicken shit to listen to them on the train haha.  I'm also still listening to my same ole Spotify playlist all day long at work 

Celebrating that baseball is back! It's been a looooong Winter without any bird watching!

Watching baseball and curling most days. Otherwise I've been turning PLL on before bed just for some background noise. If there's a Four Weddings marathon on or episodes of the Pioneer Woman then I will try to watch but otherwise I just don't make the time for watching tv. But if I had been able to I definitely would have been watching Big Little Lies!

Drinking coffee and water. That's it, that's all as I'm currently Whole-30ing. Not much different from usual except that my coffee is being drank blank instead of with International Delight French Vanilla creamer and I've had to cut out the odd beer or glass of wine that I would have on a weekend - I'm not much of a drinker during the Winter months but during the Summer its a totally different story... 

Waiting for my income tax return to get deposited into my account. I always take my taxes to my accountant to get done but just for shits and giggles in February I used Turbo Tax to enter all of my info to see what I should prepare myself for (having worked two jobs last year I was really worried that I would have to pay the Government a lot of money) and I almost had a heart attack at what it was saying I would owe (over $2,000).  After taking out a good amount of RRSP's Turbo Tax was still telling me that I would owe the Gov't around $150 (but that sounded much better than $2,000). So imagine my surprise when I picked up the mail yesterday and found that my accountants had mailed my return to me and it turns out that I'm actually getting a return and it will cover the cost of my window repairs and I'll still have some money leftover. After all this I will never trust Turbo Tax! It was one of the best mail days ever!

Working only one job now! Though I did just say yesterday in my April Goals post that I want to come up with a way to earn extra income - I'm not interested in taking on another job, more like just some kind of some project 

Wearing clothes that haven't seen the light of day since probably September. Now that it's getting a bit warmer around here I have so many more options!

Anticipating finally getting to see MN - it's been a long 44 days since I've seen him (not that I'm counting... haha). I haven't taken the train in over two months now (since he was the one to visit me last) which I think is the longest I've ever went in between train trips

Loving the warmer temperatures we've had lately! I'm not holding my breath that it won't snow one last time but I'm going to enjoy these warmer temps while they are here. I got to wear flip flops a couple of days the last few weeks y'all. It's really not nice enough for them quite yet but I went with it

Making progress on some of my Project Life albums. Finally

What are you looking forward to this month?

April 6, 2017

March Happenings (2017)...

What's New With You
March was another blink and you miss it kind of month. It was definitely a busy month, just not in my usual way. There were no trips to the Twin Cities, just lots of catching up on to-do lists and finishing up my last few shifts at my second job (hallelujah to no more commuting to work!)

The beginning of the first full week of the month brought the SE corner of SK the craziest blizzard of this Winter aka Snowmaggedon. People were stranded in their vehicles on the highways for over 24 hours due to zero visibility, no travel was recommended on almost all of the highways and most were impassable anyways due to huge snow drifts or vehicles blocking the road.  I didn't think anything could beat the Christmas Day blizzard but I was very, very wrong. I got my first snow day in almost 4 years due to this blizzard - as much as I don't like bad weather conditions I don't mind a snow day every now and again!

I had to head to the Queen City a couple of days after the blizzard for my check up appointment after getting my braces off in January so thankfully Snowmaggedon had moved on and my drive was smooth sailing. Though I definitely wasn't impressed that I drove 2 1/2 hours (just one way) for a 5 minute appointment. FIVE. The only thing that made up for it was getting Starbucks. I didn't even do much shopping (because budget) but I did find a pair of joggers (for $29) that I've pretty much lived in ever since.

I headed to the theatre on opening weekend of Beauty and the Beast with my sister and nieces and it was everything I had hoped it would be and I can't wait until I can watch it again!

March was the month that I finally got the last couple of things crossed off of my 'things I keep putting off' list (other than upgrading my iPhone because at this point I don't want to do it until mine completely kicks the bucket) and it felt so good to finally be done with it all! Eleanor is all fixed up now and my drivers side window finally rolls down - to the tune of $525... ughhh, but at least now I can get coffee through the drive thru whenever I'm in 'the city'.

This is how trips to the grocery store turn out after you find out that a) you waited three hours at the car dealership for nothing because you are heading home (30 mins away) in a loaner vehicle anyways and b) how much vehicle repairs are going to be 

March is Mama Bears birthday month so I made her a homemade birthday supper and my Dad brought cake home and we celebrated with the whole family on her actual birthday. Graycie was so excited because she got to go to three birthday parties that weekend and could barely contain her excitement. I love that she considers it a birthday party when we just have a family supper and sing happy birthday  when its rime for cake.

The day after Mama Bear's birthday celebration I co-hosted Quade's baby shower. We had wanted to have it a bit earlier since he was already 6 weeks old at the shower but the last weekend of March was the only one that ended up working out for us all. I still have a post in the works for his on-a-budget-baseball-baby-shower. There were a lot of things I had wanted to do but couldn't in the end due to time and money but I still think everything turned out pretty good. And the little turkey slept through his entire shower, even when being passed from person to person!

I made time to 'connect' in March, getting together with friends for supper one night after my last Sunday shift in 'the city' and then again later that week with another group of friends from 'the city' when we headed to the Olive Branch for supper. I definitely over indulged since I knew I would be starting the Whole30 the next Monday but I just couldn't help myself.  If you didn't have a reason to visit SK before you do now - the food is that good y'all!

The bruschetta is ah-mazing!

What was your favourite thing about March?

April 5, 2017

April Goals (2017)...

Happy April y'all! I'm loving that April has brought some warmer temperatures - I've worn flip flops three times already in April! 

I don't have too much going on in April - other than a quick trip to the Twin Cities coming up right away - so I'm really hopeful that I will get to cross off all my goals this month. It is one of my busier months at work with our annual relicensing coming up but I just have to make sure that I keep my work at work and I should be good!

March Goals Progress
Try five new recipes 
Not even one y'all. I had grand plans of trying out some new appetizers for the baby shower but there was just so much to do for it that I just stuck with my usual appetizers to make my life easier 

Get 10K steps every day 
Thanks to my FitBit being a complete piece of garbage this definitely didn't happen. My FitBit only logged my steps for about half of March (if even that). I've been having to charge it every.single.night just to make sure that it doesn't die halfway through my day without any notice. It's sooo frustrating!

Track every single cent that I spend and stick to my budget 100%
I did it y'all! I tracked every.single.cent that I spent in the month of March and it definitely worked to make sure that I was limiting my spending on non-necessities. Now, March was more of an expensive month with the baby shower and car repairs (ughh) BUT I did still stick to my budget when it came to the non-necessities - yay me! I'm going to continue tracking since it's so simple - I just write everything into a note into my iPhone as soon as I make any purchases and then transfer it to an Excel spreadsheet a couple times throughout the week. I have a 'How I Budget' post in the works so stay tuned for that!

Complete the 21 Day Fix, begin Country Heat, AND use my treadmill at least three days per week 
I started the 21 Day Fix and then never finished. Ughhhh. I'm back at it now though but decided to start with Country Heat instead and then I'll move on to the 21 Day Fix when I've completed Country Heat. Aaaand my treadmill didn't even get touched at all in March. Whooops

Post here three times a week 
I didn't make it here three times a week BUT I did blog 10 times in the month of March, the most in one month since December 2015 so I'm still pretty  happy with myself!

Read Go Set A Watchman, Big Little Lies, After You, and finish reading Second Life
I sold a pile of books in March on a FB garage sale group and since After You and Big Little Lies were in that pile I absolutely had to finish them. I bought Go Set A Watchman as soon as it came out, in hardcover even because I just couldn't wait until it was released in paperback, and it has taken me this long to finally read it because I saw so many negative reviews about it. I breezed through it once I finally opened it up and though it doesn't compare at all to To Kill A Mockingbird it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated based on the reviews. And the reason for not finishing Second Life? I just could not get into it. I tried and tried and tried and finally gave up. I loved Before I Go To Sleep so I thought I would enjoy Second Life but it was a no go - I don't usually give up on books but this time I just had to

I had also carried over my February goals of organizing photos on my laptop and ordering prints, working on my photography, and completing one Project Life album and though I didn't completely finish all of these things I did get a start on them so at least I'm making progress!

In April I want to...

Come up with a way to earn extra income 
I'm officially done at my second job - last Thursday was my last night - and now that I don't have that extra income I want to come up with a way to earn some extra income that doesn't involve driving to 'the city' because in the end my second job wasn't really earning me that much income when I factored in my travel time + fuel. I don't need the extra income but I do like to travel which costs money so...

Get 10K steps every weekday
Now that I'm charging my FitBit every night (which is a total pain in the ass) I can get back to making sure I'm hitting my step goals. The first full week of April started off with a Workweek Hustle challenge with some friends so that will definitely help motivate me to hit my goal each day 

Get outside with Krickit 
Now that the weather is getting nicer and the streets are finally clear of ice and snow I can start getting back to regular walks with Krickit. She needs to work on losing some winter weight just as much as I do...

Be present on social media 
I scroll through social media so many times throughout the day - Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter - I'm constantly refreshing them to see what's new. But I hardly ever post. The last time I posted on FB? March 8th. The last time I posted on Instagram? 5 days ago. The last time I tweeted? March 19th. The last time I opened all of these apps on my phone - fifteen minutes ago when I first woke up. See what I mean?!

I know, I know - I said I would never Whole30 again. But it is sooo needed y'all. I just need to get back to basics for a bit to get myself back into the right frame of mind. My 5th round officially started on Monday so the last day will be Tuesday May 2nd - right in time for Cinco de Mayo (I totally planned that... haha) 

Enjoy an at home spa day
Now that my weekends will be free of work I can set aside some time for just me - and I can't wait!

Read 4 books 
I definitely want to get through Before I Fall, The Couple Next Door (which I'm about halfway through already), Talking As Fast As I Can and I also want to purchase The Perfect Stranger  because I loved All The Missing Girls SO much. I'm taking the train to the Twin Cities tomorrow night so I should be able to knock out at least three of these just this weekend 

Publish blog posts three times per week 
Obviously I didn't follow through with this goal for March but since I did still manage to publish the most posts in one month since December 2015 I think if I just set a bit of time aside each day for this blog that I should be able to accomplish it this month

Try at least 4 new recipes 
This should be easy peasy this month since I'm Whole-30ing. All those delicious recipes from my Mmm Mmm Good board on Pinterest that I've been wanting to try for forever will just have to wait until May

I'm excited for a fresh start this month - who's with me?!