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?

Advertisements

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

The Revised 30 by 30

When I turned 25 I made a 30 (things to do) by (the time I turn) 30 list. I threw it together haphazardly and felt a little meh about it, so after a while I removed the page from my blog.

30x30

After some revision and soul searching, I’ve republished the list (^ up there ^) and figured I’d share it here. There are 10 or so things are from the original list- including the few that have been crossed off- but these 30 things are activities or experiences that I’d really like to accomplish before the big 3-0. (Deadline: Oct. 17, 2020)

  1. Read 100 books (26/100)
  2. Visit 5 new cities (2/5; Boston, Charlotte)
  3. Work for K and Pageantry Innovations
  4. Finish writing my novel
  5. Finish Yearly Scrapbooks (2/7)
  6. Take K to Disney World
  7. Take K to Europe
  8. Re-read the Harry Potter series (0/7)
  9. Pay off any and all credit card debt
  10. See the West Coast
  11. Learn the art of making (my grandma’s) pies
  12. Take another cruise
  13. Go horseback riding
  14. Attend a professional sporting event [November 23, 2015]
  15. See Panic! at the Disco live
  16. Attend at least 5 different NASCAR tracks (3/5)
  17. Make something on my sewing machine
  18. Complete Erin’s book challenge
  19. Complete a TBD film challenge
  20. Finish OUAT series & The West Wing & Mad Men & Miss Fisher’s…
  21. Clean junk out: spare room / utility room / basement
  22. Go on a girls’ trip
  23. See Trumpet in the Land (a local outdoor production)
  24. Tryout for a part at the local theater- even if I don’t get it
  25. Start a real, physical, local book club
  26. Find the perfect pair of booties
  27. Ride on a train (again)
  28. Visit the Rock & Roll HOF
  29. Take the dog(s) hiking each fall (Starting 2015… 2/6)
  30. Visit a unique Ohio location not already listed (suggestions )

I feel like I’ve got a pretty terrible start, ha. I’m nearly a year and a half in and I’ve got two-ish crossed off… Oof. That said, I’m working on the books, television shows, cities, races, and hiking. Also, we’re planning a Disney trip for this year (and hopefully Europe in 2018)! So, you know, that’s a start…

I looked at some other 30×30 lists while I was creating mine, but I’d love to know what’s on your bucket list! Do you want to skydive (not me ) or scuba dive or travel the world?

signature

A New Chapter

I know I teased on Wednesday about big news today. I hate when people do that so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer…

I quit my job.

To give a little background: In May of 2013 I started a job with an appraisal company as a writer. It’s a small company with 12-ish employees (they’ve come and gone over the last three years). It was a great job with wonderful people- I’m very, very appreciative to have spent the last +3 years of my life there. I’ve never had to resign from a job where I liked my boss, enjoyed my co-workers, and had relatively no complaints about what I did- it was tough to do, emotionally. Today is my last day.

So where am I headed?

The stars have aligned and K offered me a job at our company. (I say “our” but really he’s been the one building it for the last four years.) One of his administrative employees is leaving the company and his position isn’t one that can go unfilled. K is changing hats and taking over sales (in addition to designing the products) and I’m taking over any and all administrative/HR/accounts/social media work. (This is the company.)

“I could NEVER work with my spouse…”

I’m very excited for the switch. I’m glad that I don’t have to forfeit the flexibility that I had with my old job and I love the guys that work for K (which includes my father-in-law). Plus, I get to bring Enzo with me whenever I want!

Am I nervous to work along side my husband? No. So many people have asked me this or raised an eyebrow when we’ve told them the plan. Building a business was hard, but we were careful to put one another first throughout the years- I don’t see that changing. If you know us, you know that we are both ridiculously stubborn and bullheaded. But you also know that A) we’re perfectionists and B) we understand one another without having to exchange words. So honestly, I’m not concerned. My job is only being done by me- I’m not being micromanaged. I think this is going to work out well for us.

So that’s that. On to some 2017 goals/resolutions!

2017-goals

Be Healthy.
I hate the idea of dieting. I like to enjoy food- regardless of the calorie count. That said, I know there are millions of yummy & healthy meals out there, and I’d like to make more of them. Also, I need to get my body moving. This is a vague goal, but I think y’all know what I mean.

Feel Less Guilty About Downtime.
I am the person that can’t lay on the couch all day staring at the TV with nothing to do. I feel guilty reading more than a chapter when there’s a hamper of dirty laundry in corner. I never take the time to write when I’m home because my mind won’t quiet down about all the chores. So I’m going to work on turning off the responsibilities and turning on the relaxation.

Read more.
Last year I read 25 books. This year I’m aiming for 40.

Become a Morning Person.
My morning routine is ridiculous (a.k.a. nonexistent). This is the year I stop rolling out of bed at 7:30 for an 8 am clock-in and I start brewing some coffee, enjoying my shower, and avoiding the snooze button. *Yes I’m working for K, but he still expects me to be at work on time!

Get on Schedule.
What I mean is… figure out meal planning, get the house on some kind of cleaning schedule, figure out a walk/bath/grooming routine for the dogs. Despite my downtime resolution, we need a little more order and routine in our house.

Last year I made the following goals : Start running | Learn to cook more (vegetarian) meals | Find a word for 2016 | Read & write more | Volunteer
(Here’s the original post for these) Quick summary… I did not start running or writing more, but I did find a few new recipes, read more books, pick a word (“embrace”) and find a place to volunteer. So as Jen would say…

yes

Word of the Year

Last year I chose the word “embrace” and it was fitting. I learned to embrace the nothingness between life’s big moments. (I’m terrible with downtime/limbo/lack of progress.) I learned to embrace new career opportunities and spontaneous home maintenance and last minute car purchases and random vacation pit stops. I’m ending the year with a messy house but I’ve got a perfect partner and happy dogs and a warm bed- so embracing the now and the waiting and the surprises has paid off.

I don’t have a word/phrase for 2017 yet…

2016 Summary

What can I say about this year… It was a pretty stationary year for us. Some highlights included Elliot’s 1st & my grandma’s 80th birthday party, our 3rd wedding anniversary, two NASCAR races (Bristol, TN & Loudon, NH), Fred & Christina’s wedding, new cars for both of us, some yoga, lots of family, new front yard landscaping, spending almost every day with K, meeting business milestones, cuddling the dogs, going to movies and dinners and showers and bachelor/ette parties with friends, two trips to the east coast, and concerts with the husband and friends.

2016

* The end of 2016 is weird for us… We’re in the middle of career transitions, we lost a close friend on Christmas day, and we’re slowly emerging from a long-running limbo into a new normal. I’m really hoping that 2017 brings some progress and success. I could use a break from the sadness and shock. The end of 2016 was as glum as the entire year. I’m hopeful 2017 will be infinitely better for us and for you ❤︎

That was a lot of information and news… Sorry about all that. I promise I’m done until 2017 😉 Also, in 2017 I’m going to try out a Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule. (Typically I post MWF.) We’ll see how the two-a-week thing goes!

Have a happy new year, my friends!

Charlie Brown NY

audielou.com_signature

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!

audielou.com_signature

Life According to Steph