Summer Goals (because spring was a bust…)

Summer started yesterday, the link-up with Steph & Sara is tomorrow, and today we’re going to talk about some seasonal (and year-long) goals 🙂

First, let’s look at how hard I failed this spring.

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

I got 3 out of 8 accomplished. To be completely honest, I’m so glad I checked off the ones I did. The floors were terrible. Exhibit A…

*blushes* Life with dogs, #AmIRight? Moving on…

Summer Goals

  • Clean junk out of basement & utility room
  • Get spare bedroom clean and de-cluttered
  • Wash cushion slips
  • Wipe down fans, baseboards, etc.
  • Go for a bike ride once a week
  • Go putt-putting/mini-golfing (is there a difference?)
  • Tackle three books per month
  • Clean out/update my Spotify playlists
  • Finish Year 3 scrapbook
  • Order pics for year 4

Manageable. Hopefully. (You’d think I’d give up on some of this stuff, but I’m determined.)

And last but not least, a look at my 2017 year-long goals:

Be Healthy.
(As in eat better & exercise.) Ehh… some healthy foods / 100% no exercise

Feel Less Guilty About Downtime.
(Less guilt when lounging/reading/unwinding.) K and I just argued about this a few nights ago. He’s really good at decompressing; I’m still working on it…

Read more.
(Last year I read 25 books. This year I’m aiming for 40.) According to Goodreads I’ve read 17 books this year and I plan to finish two this week!

Become a Morning Person.
(Less snooze button and rushing, more consistency and chill.) HA. No.

Get on Schedule.
(As in meal planning, cleaning, dog maintenance, etc.) I have a handle on the meal and blog schedules. Everything else is just too much right now. *shrug*

(You can find that original post here.)

So… summer is not a motivating time for me. We’ll see how this goes…

What are your summertime goals??

Life According to Steph

Currently…

Linking up with Kristen & Gretch today for a What’s New With You? update.

Eating… a little bit healthy but not really. I’ve been bringing snacks to work like carrots, almonds, apples, cherries, and oatmeal (for b-fast). But there are also Doritos in my snack drawer so… #balance

Drinking… water and coffee. More so the latter. I’m going to aim for more of the former this summer. Then again, our brand new, very first Starbucks just opened in town, so… No promises…

*[edit] Listening to… the new Foo Fighters song “Run.” It came out today! If you don’t like FF I feel like our friendship might be in jeopardy… (Here’s the new song!)

Reading… The Heir & Coraline. I need to finish up The Selection Series. Also, Erin just released her Challenge 7.0 list today so you know I’m already picking out my books for July! (I’ll share those on Tuesday!)

Watching… nothing really. The Voice ended last week so K and I lost our Mon./Tues. entertainment. Now he watches Cavs games and I read at night. (Maybe I’ve watched some Bachelorette stuff. Maybe.)

Seeing… college friends ❤︎ Last month one of my college roommates was in the state (she moved to Arizona after getting married) and I drove north to have dinner with her and another college friend. We’re all in a very similar season of life right now (married a few years, no kids, working that professional grind), so it was super relaxing to just kick back and talk for +4 hours with them.

Listening to… lots of country music (like this playlist). Warm weather feels like country music, ya know? Plus Kayla and I are headed to a two-day outdoor country concert later this month and I am PUMPED.

Praying about… the world.

Raging about… the world. (More specifically, the US dumpster-fire administration.)

Dreaming about… a European vacation. Nothing in the books yet, but someday soon.

Looking forward to… our family vacation to the beach! As it turns out, my family will be vacationing at the same time as K’s family, only 20 minutes north of them. Also, this will be our first family vacation with all six of us!!

So what’s new with you?

What's New With You

Goodbye, April

I never do a monthly recap, but April was a fun & busy one so I thought I’d switch it up and type one out for Kristen and Gretch‘s What’s New with You? link-up.

What's New With You

This is a picture-heavy post, but I only included the good moments 😉

This month we celebrated my mom’s (and uncle’s) birthday.

For Mom’s celebration we ventured down to Columbus on a Saturday for dinner at de|Novo and a concert at the Ohio Theatre. Fred & Xtina joined us for a relaxing evening with yummy food and a mesmerizing performance.

The show was called Cirque de Symphonie and there were acrobats, dancers, contortionists, and rope/silk artists to accompany the musical numbers.


Things that happened mid-month that didn’t warrant pictures…

  • Lylee got her nails trimmed and her ears cleaned at the groomers
  • a local drumline Friends & Family Show
  • meeting the best friend’s new boyfriend
  • getting financially assaulted by the US govn’t on tax day
  • a few dinners out with friends and family
  • a breakfast date with K on Good Friday (and a day off!)
  • one of my best and longest friends asked me to be a bridesmaid!


Easter was spent with family. We did church in the morning, an egg hunt and lunch and kite flying at my parents’ house, a dinner for K’s family (and my parents) at our house, & dessert and another egg hunt at K’s grandparents’ house.


The end of the month hit hard and fast…

We left for Dayton on the 19th and spent three days bouncing between the Uni. of Dayton, Wright State University, Miami University, and Northern Kentucky University for WGI Percussion World Championships.

Three 10+ hour days in parking lots and arenas watching high school and independent drumlines and making new connections or seeing old friends. So fun and so exhausting, ha.

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared our products on my blog before… We had over 60 groups using our equipment at this competition. It was pretty surreal.


The Sunday after WGI we left Dayton and drove southeast to Bristol, TN. My parents and cousin were already there. The race was scheduled for 2pm on Sunday but rain postponed it until Monday.

Bristol is mountain territory and in the past we’ve been foiled many times by spotty rain-delays and postponements. We now always spend Sunday night in the area and drive home on Monday. This allows us to stay late for a delayed Sunday night race or a rescheduled Monday afternoon race; the latter being the case this past trip.

Cabela’s | Racing | Bowling
The water in that picture should be a little stream- NOT a river…

Last but not least, we celebrate our 4 year anniversary on the 27th. We did a food tour in a neighboring city. It included four restaurant and some city history. We were so full by the end of it… but it was delicious!

Both Steph and Alexandra sent cards wishing us a happy anniversary! You girls are total sweethearts!

It was so windy on our tour but it didn’t storm so that’s a win!

And that concludes our April (a.k.a. possibly our busiest month professionally + personally all year). I kicked May off with a deep tissue massage on Monday. #SelfCare

What’d you do last month?

What's New With You

Things I Really Love Right Now

I was going to write a serious post today. I started one about the controversy surrounding the Beauty and the Beast outrage. I thought about screaming ranting about the idiotic administration running our country. But I just can’t. If you’ve been around these parts long enough then you know that I have 0% issue with people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. You also know I loathe the people inhabiting the White House. So let’s talk about something that isn’t going to make me pull my hair out.

I’m going to link up with Kristen & Gretch for some “currently” updates and some favorite things that I want you to know about 🙂

Reading… The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. Atonement (Ian McEwan) is also on the docket. Last two books for Erin’s Challenge!

Watching… the series finale for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I tried to drag the series out as long as I could. I’m sad it’s over but pleased with how it ended. Now I’m trying to convince K to watch Firefly with me. (I’ve seen it, he hasn’t.)

Looking Forward To… my mom’s birthday celebration. Her b-day was Tuesday but I’m surprising her with an outing on Saturday. I can’t say much here because she reads this blog 😉

Planning… a fall vacation. We were going to go to Disney, but I couldn’t get K excited about it. He’s never been and wants to see it for the first time with a big family group or with a kid in the picture. Fine. Whatever. I was bitter about it at first, but now I’m looking forward to spending some time at Universal Studios (#DisneyForever) and on a cruise. We compromised.

Loving… my new job with K’s company. I feel so relaxed and fulfilled working for a company that I love and working alongside people that I really enjoy and working in an industry that’s had my heart for +8 years.

(Here’s what I was up to at this exact time last year!)

Now let’s talk about my recent favorites.
(I’m going to style this like Rebecca Jo’s Friday Favorites post.)

life_as_louise_favorites

Favorite Reads

I’m going to recommend two authors instead of books.

I’ve gone on and on about The Lunar Chronicles, so it makes sense that I recommend Marissa Meyer to those who love a little fantasy and adventure and retelling. Her newest standalone novel, Heartless, quickly became a favorite for me, too. (I’ll talk about it on Tuesday!)

The_Lunar_Chronicles

The second author that I’ve really enjoyed so far is Ashley Weaver. She writes a 1930s mystery series that centers around Amory Ames and her playboy husband Milo. They’re not thrillers, but they have an air of suspense and romance and betrayal. Plus they’re set in historical England- which is my fav.

Favorite Recent Purchases

Everyone has their favorite place to buy jeans. Mine is Old Navy. If you’re an ON gal check out these jeans! I have three of the same pair, all in different shades (medium wash, light wash and light pachuca). They are so comfy and flattering to my curvy hips!

Also on the recently purchased list: These pajamas from Marshalls (or TJ Maxx, I guess.) The same cross-cross shear pattern around the neck is also down the outside of each leg on the shorts. Perfect as the weather warms up!

…obviously this isn’t my body. Ha.

Favorite Lip Stuff

I’m not a beauty blogger, but I have three lipsticks/stains/things that I’ve been loving lately. Two are Burt’s Bees products (Pink Lagoon gloss lip crayon & Ruby Ripple moisturizing lipstick) and one’s from Wet N Wild (Lady and the Vamp balm stain). Last weekend I got three compliments on the balm stain!

Favorite Funnies

Have you tried any of this stuff? What’s something you’re loving lately?

What's New With You

Add It To My (Media) List

I had no idea what to list off this month. Usually I have a draft with a running list of favorites that I add to throughout the month, but I didn’t do that this time. As time was running out I happened to stumble across three short (very different) online clips that captured my attention.

life_as_louise_favorites

I assume that everyone needs a mental break throughout the workday, so hopefully one or two of these videos can provide that today.

James Corden’s Crosswalk the Musical: Beauty & the Beast

I don’t know why this made me laugh as hard as it did. I blame Dan Stevens (and the fact that I still have trouble see him as anyone but Matthew Crawley.)


Emma Watson’s kitten interview

If I ever have kids I hope they see Emma Watson as a role model. I certainly do. Everything about this video is great, especially her shout out to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah!


Elmo Gets Laid Off

To be 100% honest, Sesame Street moved to HBO so it’s probably safe if/when PBS gets the ax. That said, when I was a kid we didn’t have HBO- I still don’t have HBO. I watched Sesame Street on PBS like most kids in America do. So for those 2 to 7-years-olds with moms and dads who aren’t millionaires with a +40,000 channel cable package, they’re just S.O.L.

I’m going to stop because the budget cuts to the arts and education have me livid and terrified. If I keep typing this post will quadruple in length. So suffice it to say, we are so against budget cuts.

Maybe as a consolation prize Tr*mp can take us on one of his million dollar golf trips to Florida 😐

Also… Sesame Street: spoofing on Donald Tr*mp Grump before SNL made it cool.


In other news of things I want to list or bring to your attention, I joined a FB group for bloggers that has been very active and supportive. If you’re in the market for something like that you should check out The Peaceful Posse on FB 🙂

So tell me about something you’ve recently discovered or started that you love! Linking up with Lauren and Bre today!

Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren

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