Fall Recap 2017 & Wintertime To Dos

First and foremost, happy ADOPT-A-VERSARY TO OUR BABIES! Five years ago today we brought Lylee home from a friend who couldn’t keep her. K and I were unmarried, I’d just finished college, and we were living separately- me in my parents’ basement. A year later (totally unintentional) we brought Enzo home from a rescue. We’d been married for 7 months and just bought our first home. We were living so differently than when we got Ly. Now, half a decade later, life is so, so different. It’s very strange to look back. I stand by my declaration that bringing Ly and Enzo into our lives are two of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
Guys, if you can, adopt a dog. You’ll save a life and gain a best friend 
❤︎

Originally these were two separate posts, but I’ve decided to combine them and link up with Kristen and Gretch. Also, I’d like to petition to start “winter” around the end of November. December 21st is just too late.

And now a brief fall recap

  • Go to at least two fall festivals
    • Yankee Peddler Sept. 9 & 10, 16 & 17, or 23 & 24
  • Move into the new house! (We close the first week of Oct.)
  • Host our annual Halloween Party!
  • Visit a nursery and get some mums for the front porch
  • Pick/buy pumpkins
    • Carve them
  • Get a bay of straw for the front porch
  • Work on meal planning and try out these recipes:
  • Find a walk route in the new neighborhood with pups
  • Get a few rooms in the house decorated
    • Living room Ehh, it’s mostly done. Stuff needs hung.
    • Master bedroom Still needs painted & artwork.
    • My office Needs a miracle. Woof.
  • Get 25% of my Xmas shopping done by the end of Oct.
  • Visit an apple orchard
  • Bake a new fall cookie No cookies but two different cupcake recipes!
  • Drink some apple cider
  • Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Beetlejuice
  • Find cute booties (*part of 30×30 list) Yaaaas!
  • Take a dog or two on a hike (*part of 30×30 list) Happening this month w/ E!
  • Scrapbook. Even a little bit. Just get something done… lol *office in shambles
  • Dog park with E (in Columbus)
  • Homemade ice cream, damn it *face palm*

Some thoughts:

Only made it to one festival but I’m ok with that. Our annual Halloween Party went well 🙂 I visited a nursery with my mom, but bought nothing. Then my mother-in-law gifted me some mums for my birthday. I think that means I can check that off. I bought straw and pumpkins the day we signed on the house! Then my brother and sister-in-law carved them with me the night before our party 🙂

Overall I think I accomplished enough. Fall was really hectic and stressful for me this year. I didn’t enjoy it and, while I’m sad about that, I think it’s good to recognize that I overloaded myself and put too much pressure on me/us. We’ve slid into winter much more slowly and delicately.


As of now, I’m starting on my winter to-do list ❄️

  • Order / address / send Christmas cards
  • Girls’ trip with my ladies*
  • Weekend shopping trip with Mom
  • Finish all the Christmas shopping
  • Make some big decisions regarding the business
  • Complete 50% of my Christmas Movie List
  • Trim the tree and finish decorating the house
    • Post some kind of home tour/Christmas tour of house
  • Make some Christmas cutout cookies
  • Do something fun in the snow! (sledding, build a snowman, etc.)
  • Come up with some 2018 goals/resolutions/a word
  • Start planning something for our 5 year anniversary (April 2018)
  • Get all our stuff out of M&D’s basement
    • Got through that stuff and purge all that we can live without
  • Fall Winter walk with a dog or two*
  • Make. Freaking. Ice Cream.
  • Get my office set up
  • Look into getting the bedroom painted
  • Scrapbook!*

*denotes items from my 30×30 list

I won’t lie… my Christmas cards have been sent, my girls’ trip is happening this weekend in a remote cabin in southern Ohio, and my mom and I have already done our shopping trip (which I’m hoping becomes an annual thing). Whatever, man. Sometimes you need a few surefire things when it comes to goals and checklists.

Will I ever make ice cream in my ice cream maker? Only time will tell.

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Fall Stuff List 2017

Before I begin… Today, four years ago, we moved into our house 🙂
Also, Happy Birthday to my cousin Sam!

On to some fall time goodness…
I’m always more motivated this time of year and it’s reflected in my goals and seasonal bucket list. (Last year I killed it.) This year I’m combining everything into one list and I’m going to be more specific and intentional with each goal 🎃

fall_bucket_list_2017

  • Go to at least two fall festivals (examples below)
    • Yankee Peddler Sept. 9 & 10, 16 & 17, or 23 & 24
    • Swiss Festival Sept. 29 & 30
    • Atwood Area Fall Festival Oct. 6, 7, & 8
  • Move into the new house! (We close the first week of Oct.)
  • Host our annual Halloween Party!
    (This is year it’s more housewarming and less costume. I know, I’m sad about it, too.)
  • Visit a nursery and get some mums for the front porch
  • Pick/buy pumpkins
    • Carve them
  • Get a bay of straw for the front porch
    (Sidenote: You should always buy straw for decorations. Hay is food for animals.)
  • Work on meal planning and try out these recipes:
  • Find a walk route in the new neighborhood with pups
  • Get a few rooms in the house decorated
    • Living room
    • Master bedroom
    • My office
  • Get 25% of my Xmas shopping done by the end of Oct.
  • Visit an apple orchard
  • Bake a new fall cookie
  • Drink some apple cider
  • Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Beetlejuice
  • Find cute booties (*part of 30×30 list)
  • Take a dog or two on a hike (*part of 30×30 list)
  • Scrapbook. Even a little bit. Just get something done… lol
  • Dog park with E (in Columbus)
  • Homemade ice cream, damn it

For the sake of consistency and closure, I guess I should touch on my summer goals and bucket list items…

Bucket List

  • Go on a mini-golf date with K
  • Finish Year 3 scrapbook
  • Beach house vacation with the whole family
  • DCI Championships with K in August
  • Finish backyard landscaping
    • & host a cookout for the company
  • Take Enzo to the dog park
  • Outdoor concert with K & friends
  • Garage Sale (#2)
  • Visit the farmers’ market
  • Make a serious dent in Erin’s reading challenge
  • Drink more water
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Take the pups on an adventure

Recap: I sucked… Most of the things I crossed off were already in the works when I made the list. Also, Ly and Enz got a bunch of time at the dog park thanks to open houses and showings so…. I feel like that counts as “an adventure.”

Goals

  • Clean junk out of basement & utility room (Yay house-selling!)
  • 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 (With the fam, but not as a date with K)
  • Tackle three books per month (…ish)
  • Clean out/update my Spotify playlists
  • Finish Year 3 scrapbook
  • Order pics for year 4

Recap: Slightly better than the bucket list. Opening the house to strangers forced me to clean a lot.

For being an insane season at work and selling the house (twice), I feel ok about those goals. Plus, we all know I’m not that tough on myself anyway with these. *shrug*

What’re you hoping to accomplish this fall? How’d you do over the summer?

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

Meal Planning (or “How to Keep Most of Your Groceries From Going Bad”)

Hiii (*waves nervously*) Let’s kick this off with the confession that I am not a foodie or a chef or a professional meal planner. I’m a newbie who still let’s the milk go bad and forgets to use the bananas before they’re squishy and grey.

Alright. Now that my credentials are out of the way…

*In between starting this post and finish it I went through our pasta cabinet and threw out so much expired food. Pasta, graham crackers, panko breading. Not a few months expired… years. Please note: All of that was purchase pre-meal planning. #oops

Toward the end of last year I started meal planning for our family of two. At the start of 2017 I made the lax resolution to meal plan every week. Surprisingly, I’m actually carrying this out with moderate success. A fellow blogger (Carolann, I think?) suggested I talk about my methods. So I thought, ‘Sure! Why not?!’

To be frank, I’m not even 100% sure I do this right. Critique me if you feel so inclined. I have thick skin; I can handle it.

Step 1

Pick three meals for the week.

Three?? But Audrey! Surely you’ll starve!

Fear not, my friends. We utilize the luxury of takeout and/or dining out at least once a week. (*cough*still working on budgeting*cough*)

Honestly, though. On Fridays we’re usually out with my parents and on Sundays we typically have dinner at my grandparents. Mix in one night of take out and fill that fourth night with leftovers and we’ve got three days left for home cooked meals.

… perhaps I’m not so qualified to write this post.

Stick with me, friends. Pick three meals from anywhere. I usually search Pinterest. Sometimes it’s not a recipe meal- sometimes it’s just burgers and veggies on the grill. It doesn’t matter… it still counts.

Ok. Got your three meals? I’m going to play along here and pick three, too.

  1. One Pan Sausage & Veggies (+ egg noddles with butter #healthy)
  2. Chicken Fajita Pasta (so good!! if this isn’t one of your 3 you should change that)
  3. Steak & veggies on the grill (+ mashed red potatoes left over from meal #1)

Step 2

Make a grocery list with the ingredients you don’t have.

can we ignore the “egg noddles”? oops

Now double check your kitchen for the ingredients you might actually have, but you put on the list anyway because you weren’t sure and you were too lazy to go look in the cabinet to check. (Oh. Just me? ) Cross those ones off.

Step 3

Go grocery shopping. I prefer Sunday afternoons because for some reason it’s a ghost town at the market but everything is all stocked for the week.

Obviously if there’s an afternoon NASCAR race this gets bumped to Monday night (which becomes the takeout night).

Step 4

Prep stuff if you feel so inclined.

Often I do not.

This is a good time to figure out WHEN you’re eating your meals. I don’t like to keep asparagus or steak too long so we’ll have those on Monday or Tuesday. If we don’t plan to make something until the weekend or we get busy and have to skip a meal I throw the appropriate meat in the freezer.

Boom Bang Ba-Da-Done.

the chicken fajita pasta… seriously- SO good

Some amateur tips:

  • if you never go out to eat plan for four nights
  • if you have a super busy week aim for two nights and make enough for leftovers
  • this doesn’t include lunch… and if you eat leftovers for lunch, go with 4 meals
  • make that Chicken Fajita Pasta… you won’t regret it

Was that even helpful…? Hahaha. Honestly, I never meal planned before this year but now that I do it’s pretty easy to stick with. This is probably a good gateway to meal prepping, too, but I don’t wanna demand too much of myself…

So tell me… do you meal plan? If so, what am I doing wrong? 🙂 If you don’t plan does this make you want to…?

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

Last night was crazy…

… yeah we tore it up again / Kicked off our shoes and went to bed by 9pm / We were balling and Netflix / We turned it up to ten / Last night was crazy…

Name that song… (Here’s the answer.)

I decided this post was happening 15 minutes before I left work yesterday. I was going to post about our trip to Texas but I didn’t have the pictures edited. I know some folks document their whole day, but this was a last minute decision.

4:30 pm

Time to go home. I prefer to grocery shop on Sundays but the NASCAR season started and my Sunday afternoons are now tied up. Instead, I popped into the grocery store tonight to get goodies for the week.

(Usually I buy enough for three meals. This week we have some evening activities so I skimmed the list down to two meals.)

5:15 pm

Once home I’m greeted by the welcome committee.

And then they expect me to play with them…

Typically I’d start dinner, but the local cantina changed up their menu and my parents invited us to join them for dinner.

6:00 pm

I swear I ate food, too.

Dinner at the JNG (I told you we always end up here…)

7:15 pm

Home again. Time to feed the dogs, throw the leftovers in the fridge, and change into not-real-pants. (#FavoritePartoftheDay) Now I’m working on this post and lounging on the couch with the husband and dogs.

I end up standing here throughout the evening… Someone always needs a potty break.

8:00 pm

The Voice is on. So I’m still glued to the couch. But now I’ve got some ice cream.

8:41 pm

A dog farted. It was Lylee. K and Enzo both almost puked.

9:00 pm

Technically The Voice is still on, but K’s show comes on (Gas Monkey Garage) so I bid him adieu and retire to the upstairs.

So… now I either crack open a book or switch on some Netflix (cough* Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries *cough).

10:00 pm

K usually wanders up to bed and we drift off to sleep watching Bob’s Burgers.

… 11:00 pm

Let’s be real. I’m usually still awake at 11 so I watch an episode or two of Family Guy. Then I finally fall asleep.

And there ya have it. I’m always curious to see what other people do in a day/night so I figured this might entertain some folks. Some days are a little more productive than yesterday… I squeeze laundry or dishes or organizing into my nights. Monday was pretty lazy because #Mondays.

What does your Monday usually look like?

Goodbye Fall… Hello Winter

The last three months of the year are my favorite. I love colorful trees and cool weather, I love fall fashion (a.k.a. jeans and a sweatshirt) and fall foods, and I love how seamlessly fall becomes winter- November flurries, Christmas lights suddenly appear on the neighbors’ houses, leaves in the streets become drifts of snow. Also, does anyone else love a blue dusk? I know summer and fall have the prettiest sunsets, but I just LOVE how the sky turns blue at the end of a winter day!

In September I made two separate posts for my Fall Goals and my Fall Bucket List. Apparently this was my ‘get it done’ season because I most certainly did. With the first day of winter a week away and Sara & Steph‘s link-up on Friday, here’s a recap of my fall season + some goals for winter.

goodbye-fall

The FALL Bucket List

  • Go to a local apple orchard & bring home a bushel small bag of apples
    Thanks to my mother- & sister-in-laws for going with me!
  • Get all the fall decor out & around the house
    And now we’re on to Christmas decor!
  • Visit a few fall craft shows (preferably with Mom)
    Mom & I went to one little festival, but technically it’s a CHECK
  • Pick out some bright orange pumpkins
  • Carve said pumpkins (preferably with Fred & Christina)
    I carved them alone, but that’s ok
  • Drink lots of apple cider
  • Get a PSL DONE 😉 I checked this off at the start… ha
  • Host our annual Halloween Party
    It was a 90s theme and it was a success!
  • Take the dogs to a local park or nature trail for hikes
    Ly and I went hiking- it was too chilly/long for Enzo
  • Visit a haunted house
  • Bake a few new fall cookie
    (No, but I failed HARD with these… Ha!)

cookie_fail

  • Fall vacation with the husband
    Charlotte and Myrtle Beach
  • Add a few classy, seasonal pieces to my wardrobe
    Thank you, Old Navy

  • Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • Create & enjoy a fire pit area in our yard
    We created it… ‘enjoying’ it is a different story…

and now…

The FALL Goals

  • Paint the front door (I’m bloody determined to make this happen.) | YES. Done!

door

  • Keep with the #30DayYogaChallenge that I signed up for | I went 13 or 14 days straight, then I got sick and fell off the wagon *sigh*
  • After the challenge is over continue to practice yoga weekly | Nah.
  • Continue volunteering weekly | Try bi-weekly…
  • Order 3 year photos for scrapbook
  • Get invites out for Halloween Party
  • Walk/bike to work at least twice a week | Not twice a week, but I walked to work occasionally.
  • Create a fire pit area in the backyard | Ok, so we upgraded the backyard and added a concrete pad & fire pit area, but our neighbor straight-up lost his mind and went passive aggressive psycho on us. As in, called the fire dept. (911!) to report our small, legal, backyard fire. Like, walk your ass over and talk to us like an adult, dude. It’s been a headache, and I’m leaving out a ton of detail, but things seem to be resolved and we’ve had fires in our backyard since. (Seriously, though. People are insane sometimes. )
  • Get all the pieces of my Halloween costume together BEFORE the week of the party | Ha. No. We rush ordered my costume. But whatever, we looked fly.

halloween_us_2016

  • One crockpot meal a week (**buy crockpot liners!) | At least I bought some liners…
  • Hardcore wash the dog beds & blankets | Multiple times, in fact
  • Wait until the end of Nov. to break out Christmas stuff | I lasted until mid-ish November…
  • Get X-mas shopping done! | Most of it!

I did OK with the goals. I straight up killed the bucket list. Thank you to everyone that helped! (After reading the goals results I feel like I should post about our exterior home improvements. Is that of interest to anyone?)

OK, on to some Winter Goals

  • Make a meal planning journal and, like, actually do it
  • Wash all window treatments & cushion slips
  • 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

Keeping it short and sweet this season!

 

dog snoopy 2

Linking up with Sara & Steph for Winter Goals!

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Life According to Steph