Goals on Goals on Goals

Hi ya! We’re tackling three things in this post today:

  • 2017 goals check in
  • Winter goals recap
  • Spring goals reveal

2017 “Resolutions”

(Original post here.)

Be Healthy.
(As in eat better & exercise.) Ehh… not doing so hot here. We’re eating at home more often, but exercise has been a complete no-go.

Feel Less Guilty About Downtime.
(Less guilt when lounging/reading/unwinding.) I think I’m getting better here. We’ve be so busy all year so I can’t quite get a handle on the balance of responsibilities vs. relaxation.

Read more.
(Last year I read 25 books. This year I’m aiming for 40.) According to Goodreads I’ve read 9 books this year and I’m two ahead of schedule. Cool!

Become a Morning Person.
(Less snooze button and rushing, more consistency and chill.) HA. No. Still working on it. I just love sleeping (in).

Get on Schedule.
(As in meal planning, cleaning, dog maintenance, etc.) I’ve been great about a meal and blog schedule. Now it’s time to focus on cleaning and home maintenance.

Winter Goals

(The original list appears here in this monstrous post.)

  • Make a meal planning journal and, like, actually do it
    We’ve been REALLY good about meal planning! Every once in a while I skip a day or we opt for take out, but so far I’ve been making lists and planning meals each and every week!
  • Wash all window treatments & cushion slips
    Partially done… Whoops.
  • Write thank you notes for Christmas gifts
  • Get Lylee on a walk schedule again
  • Clean the junk out of the basement
  • Hire someone to come in and clean the carpets

So overall I did pretty terrible with the seasonal goals. Ha. I’ll be rolling most of these over into spring I guess…

Spring Goals

  • Wash cushion slips
  • Scrub grease build-up off cabinets
  • Replace/fix water heater
  • Get Ly on a walk schedule again
  • Clean junk out of basement
  • Hire someone to come & clean the carpets
  • Finish 3 year scrapbook
  • Order pics for year 4

These are all doable AND borderline necessary. So… here’s to hoping I get them crossed off!

Linking up with Sara & Steph (tomorrow)! What are your spring goals?

Life According to Steph

Currently

We’re so close to the weekend… I can feel it. Since I changed jobs I haven’t been counting down the weekdays but for some reason I am over this week.

Today I’m joining the blog world in linking up with Kristen and Gretch for What’s New With You. Have you been dying to know what I’ve been doing lately?? Well you’re in luck.

Currently

Eating… a mixture of home cooked meals and takeout. We were doing great with meal planning but all the time away from home has left our kitchen a little bare…

Drinking… coffee and tea and smoothies with Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk. It froths up just like milk and gives drinks a little extra flavor. I’d like to make some soup or ice cream with it!

Reading… Heartless by Marissa Meyer and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Listening to… audiobooks for the first time. Last week I had a very long solo roadtrip so I downloaded Audible and listened to A Wrinkle In Time. I’m not sold on book-listening, but it might have been my choice of book. I’ll give it another shot before I nix it.

Watching… The Voice. For some reason K and I have been tuning into this show for the past few seasons. I read during the obnoxious (Gwen and Blake) parts. I’d also like to start watching Victoria (PBS) and The Crown (Netflix).

Planning… K’s 30th birthday party! We’re having all our friends over to the warehouse and doing things up like a backyard cookout (inside) with cornhole and giant Jenga and more. Except we’re having a taco bar and margaritas- not grilling burgers and ‘dogs.

Receiving… these adorable LuLaRoe leggings from Erin!! She’d heard I had never tried these leggings and then sent me a pair. How did I find such a sweet blogger friend??!

There are foxes AND elephants on these!! What even!!
There are foxes AND elephants on these!! What even!!

Giving… away some books. (Idea inspired by Erin & the beautiful people in her book challenge.) Free to a good home- I’ll even cover shipping. Comment w/ the title(s) you’d like to receive 🙂

booksforgrabs
Goodreads Links: Exposure to a Billionaire (not recommended…) | A Wedding in December | The Wind in the Willows | The Other Typist | Beatrice & Virgil | Island of the Blue Dolphin 

Feeling… a little burnt out from our social calendar and a little bit sad that winter is disappearing so quickly, but also very thankful that we have the means and health to travel and the business to keep us busy and the fresh, clean air to flow in through open windows.

Celebrating… so. many. birthdays! K’s uncle and dad both celebrated February birthdays. K is turning 30 next weekend. One of the guys in the warehouse just had a b-day, too.

Praying about… the violence and hate we’re seeing in the world right now. I don’t know what else to say about it.

Giving up… yelling at the dogs (for Lent). I rarely yell at Enzo, but Lylee gets scolded quite a bit. (She’s a teensy tiny bit headstrong. And stubborn. And downright defiant.) Anyway, I know she responds best when I’m calm with her, so I’m going to give it a shot until Easter.

And there ya have it. What’s new with you?

signatureWhat's New With You

Add It To My (Super Random) List

By skipping Mondays I lose my opportunity to recap my weekend. If you were curious, I had a good one 🙂 Fun fact: I spent every weekend in February out of town. First Cleveland, then San Antonio, then Columbus, and then Cleveland again last weekend. Some trips for business, some for pleasure. This weekend Kayla and I visited Aubrey and her fiance Alyssa because Aubs is recovering from surgery and we went up to celebrate her transformation and keep her company. (You can follow her story/creep on her here. She’s #InstaFamous)

life_as_louise_favorites

In an attempt to stay hip and trendy I’m trying to keep track of the fun link-ups that go on in the blog world. I managed to jot down the schedule for the Add It To My List link-up with Lauren and Bre, so here we are.

Firstly, these three products were recommended by other bloggers:

I’m easily influence by others… I went out and bought this stuff immediately because I was in the market for some quality polish and comfy shoes for work. (The polish remover is cruelty-free & I needed that toiletry in c.f. form.) All three have my seal of approval!

Bamboo bedding…
Two years ago my grandparents gifted K and I some bamboo bedding. GUYS- we fell in love with it immediately. They’d bought it from Marshalls, so obviously I’ve never come across it again. Then last week this idiot (me) remembered Amazon exists and I have a Prime account. So I ordered some sheets. (How many pairs of sheets do you have for your bed? We have two. I always have to be on my laundry A-game, especially when I peel the sheets right before vacation and make the bed for the dogsitter, then come home and remember that now both sheets are dirty and I’m too exhausted to do laundry.)
I digress. Bamboo sheets are the softest and most comfy sheets ever. Go get some.

On to another random thing…

Go make this recipe:

One-Pan Veggies & Sausage

sausage-bake

I made this last week and it was a hit (with all two of us). It’s crazy simple- the “hardest” part was chopping all the veggies. We had rice with it. (I also made Brussels sprouts separately because they looked so good at the store and K doesn’t like them so I couldn’t mix them in. But then he ate some so…. that was a minor victory in my kitchen.)

(I’m pretty sure I took this recipe and another one (this!) from Nadine’s Pinterest!)

. . .

This fall K and I are planning to visit Disney. I’ve been there a handful of time, but I’ve never planned the trip. (I was a child and/or a band student on prior trips.) Kyle has never been to the happiest place on Earth, so I’m hoping to show him a good time. I’m looking for tips, tricks, and advice right now. I know how to “do” Disney, but any reminders or travel tidbits would be helpful. 🙂

Enjoy these last two days of February!

signatureEat, Drink, and Be Lauren

The Galentine’s Blogger Exchange

Happy Thursday, my friends.

The link-up for this post (with the beautifully talented Mattie & Olya) is scheduled for tomorrow, but by now we’re all aware that I switched my posting-days to only include Tuesday and Thursday. (Jury’s still out on how I’m liking that… )

galentines-exchange

To begin, I sent a package to Miss Maryrose in New York. (It shipped out a little late, but it should’ve arrive by last Friday. Plenty of time but my apologies, nonetheless!)

In return, last week I was greeted at the door by two packages- one in the shape of a book (😄!!!) and one from Uncommon Goods. Once I ripped gently cut them open I discovered that my gift-er was Ashley from Bits & Pieces of Me.

galentines_1

Ashley sent me Yes Please by Amy Poehler as well as this little note:

I love that this book was on your wish list, because it’s been on mine as well! I hope you enjoy it! -Ashley

galentines_2

She also sent me a beer + food pairing dish towel (from Uncommon Goods) that’s been on my wish list for quite a while. The colors (which are a little skewed from my filtered picture below) look great with our kitchen!

galentines_3

. . .

galentines_4

Thank you so much, Ashley!! And thanks to Mattie & Olya for hosting ❤︎

signaturegalentines-exchange

Friday er, Thursday Favorites

One of the worst parts of this Tu/Th schedule is the loss of Friday alliteration with “favorites” posts. *sigh* I’ll get over it.

Actually, I’m going to start tying this into the ‘Add It To My List’ link-up that happened on Tuesday. I’m late to the party this month, but that’s ok.

life_as_louise_favorites

Before I move on to other bloggers’ posts, here are some things across the internet that struck my fancy.

Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Flavored Coffee
source
source

K brought this to my attention and my mouth hasn’t stopped watering. I don’t typically crave whiskey in the morning, but sign me up for this! The description sounds so good! (*It’s non-alcoholic, Mom. Calm down. )

The National Parks Going Rogue

nps-resistance

I made a Facebook status about not believe every headline you read, but I am consciously choosing to believe this. And I love it.

If you haven’t heard, our fearful leader put a temporary gag order on a few agencies. Maybe you hate his “reasoning” (*raises hand*), maybe you agree with it. Either way, this was the response.

And other departments/agencies have followed suit. 😏

Think Dirty – an app

think_dirty

All credit must be given to Stephanie for this one. She mentioned it in last week’s Three on Thursday. Guys… I’m obsessed with this (free) app. I have searched/scanned all my make-up products as well as my Ulta wishlist. I’ve made a new goal to own products that rank 5 and below on the “dangerous” list. If you’re concerned about what goes into your food and cleaning supplies and make-up then you need this app for make-up/face care.

. . .

Check out some posts from sweet friends (& a celebrity) across the internet who have spoken directly to my heart and soul these last few weeks.

And there you have it. TBH, there were a ton of fantastic posts in January in Blogland. If you have any favorites (or maybe you wrote one that I missed!) feel free to leave the link in a comment!

Linking up with Lauren and Bre for Add It To My List.

Have a Happy Friday / weekend!! ❤︎

signatureEat, Drink, and Be Lauren

Confessions Plus Some…

Of course now that I’m not posting on Wednesdays I decide to link-up with Kathy & Nadine for Confessions. Oh well…

confessions

. . .

I confess that I thought about apologizing for all the political-heavy content or references made this past week or so. But I’m not sorry. And I won’t stop talking politics or sharing what I believe is right. I do NOT support a useless wall. I do NOT support barring/banning people from our country. I will NOT use the term “alien.” People are people. I do NOT support racism or sexism or xenophobia or homophobia. They’re not liberal buzzwords- they’re dangerous ideologies that divide us. I do NOT support thrown together, half-ass, ego-boosting executive orders that hurt and endanger far more people than they help. Jesus taught me to love others as I am loved. So I will. The very best part about this country is that I am allowed to disagree and voice that disagreement. And if / when that right is stripped from me I will still voice my resistance. I do not have to agree with anyone. #RESIST

If you need to stop following my blog that’s ok. But I’m not going to change my tune here in this space.

Moving on…

. . .

I am a terrible hugger. My nearly-life-long friend Aubrey is engaged to a wonderful woman named Alyssa. Last time I saw them we all hugged goodbye and I realized just how terrible I am. Mainly because Alyssa is the best hugger I’ve ever come across. It’s like a warm, strong wrap of friendship. It’s like when someone makes eye contact with you in a conversation and you feel like they’re really listening… except it’s a hug. I’m terrible. I’m the girl that won’t make eye contact and hangs out on the floor with the cat in the corner. My hugs are floppy and short and meaningless. I’m sorry to all my hug-receivers…

. . .

One night I was lying awake in bed, waiting for sleep to come, and I started panicking because for a split second I thought the world was in black and white… The TV was off and I was facing the wall with only the dark wood trim, white blinds, and light colored wall in my line of sight. And I was super tired. Ha… So the lack of color made me panic. I actually thought the world was in black and white.

. . .

I went Christmas shopping for the mutts and told myself they needed nothing, only something small each- maybe spend $20 total. Yeah… right… I spent +$50 on two new nylabones, a toy, and ample treats. In my defense, I thought everything was on sale. (Turns out it wasn’t…. so instead of walking away I just bought it all anyway. UGH.) And then all our family members gifted them Christmas presents so our house is overrun with toys and treats twofold. (I love that we have family who spoil our babies!! )

. . .

I changed jobs and my paydays got all switched around and my system (for paying bills/the mortgage) is totally wrecked. I’m a creature of habit and I’ve been doing the same thing for three and a half years. I am so, so thrown off.

. . .

I can’t wake up in the mornings. It was a 2017 resolution & it’s something I want to do, but I just sleep through alarms until K bumps me and says, “You should probably get up.” And then my morning is rushed and terrible.

img_4764

. . .

At times my mouth would make a sailor blush (sorry, family ), but my new job is making it worse. I work with five dudes in a warehouse environment. Filters don’t exist here.

. . .

Somewhat contrary to my previous confession, I think I’m too nice sometimes. Like when I’m calling about overdue invoices (at work) or lost packages (at home). I’m always like, “No problem. It’s ok. Thanks so much for fixing that.” Like, I’m legit pissed before I make the call but then I don’t have it in me to scold someone. Even when they probably deserve it, lol.

. . .

And there ya have it… Some fresh confessions, hot off the press.

signature

The Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange

Through blogging I’ve “met” some pretty fun people. Two of those ladies are Olya of The Siberian American and Mattie of Northwest Native! When these ladies shared the details of their Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange on their blogs I was all about participating.

blogger-exchange

Similar to their Valentine’s Day swap, the exchanging was anonymous and conducted through elfster. A few days after I sent some goodies to Nikki in Texas I received a package in the mail from a nameless Elf! (Turns out it was from Jess of To Sparkle Punch!) I’m so glad I participated because I got exactly what I’d wished for!

xmas_blog_swap_1

. . .

xmas_blog_swap_2

. . .

xmas_blog_swap_3

A week or so after the package came (and Mattie revealed to me who my elf was), I got a Christmas note in the mail from Jess! Since she’d sent the goodies via Amazon she wanted to get in contact somehow to wish me a Merry Christmas! So sweet!

xmas_blog_swap_4

Thank you so much for the Christmas gifts, Jess! And thanks for hosting, Olya & Mattie!

audielou.com_signature