Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Juice Cleanse... here I come!

I am so excited to announce that I will be doing a 3 day juice cleanse starting tomorrow! I just received my box of nourishment for the next three days, so I did a video talking about my plans.




Drew and I plan on staying home tonight. We've been so busy this week, we felt that spending time at home would be best for us. I plan on starting this early tomorrow morning. I am also starting back with Weight Watchers tomorrow as well. My mom gifted me a membership, so I will be starting that along with the cleanse. I am excited for this new, fresh start!

What are your plans for NYE?


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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Goals for 2015

Hi everyone! I made a video sharing our goals for 2015. We have some health goals, family goals, and I threw some personal and professional goals in, just for kicks. I pour my heart out a little bit, so it's a little long. Bear with me.




Click here to check out what I use in my budget binder. THIS will show you my envelope system that has worked for me for over a year.  THIS is the free google spreadsheet that is perfect for setting up a budget. Make sure to save it to your own google drive before editing it!



What are your goals for 2015?
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

What's Inside My Frosty VoxBox!

I haven't received a VoxBox for awhile, so I was excited when a new one finally came! Check out the video below to see my first reactions to the products. 






Did you get a Frosty VoxBox? What do you think? 



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*Products provided by Influenster. All opinions, as always, are my own. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Flourish Fun!


The day had come. I had to go out into the shopping world and find a few items I couldn't buy online. I dread this EVERY year. Shopping, for me, is just something on my to-do list that I want to check off. I don't have tons of fun. I don't always look forward to it. Especially in December. I try to steer clear of any/all holiday shopping. That seems scrooge-like, doesn't it? Time and experience has taught me that people are meanies in December. Trying to find the perfect gift, trying to get it done in an hour or two. All that stress of shopping gets to people, and those people get to ME. 

See, I am a smily person. Smiling randomly at strangers is my favorite. (This may be because someone mentioned I have resting B-face, but that's another story.) I like to help people find things, or just make someone smile. During holiday shopping time, people have growled at me.    Merry Christmas to you, too! 

If that's not enough to turn your holiday smile upside down, I don't know what is. 

Back to my weekend. I HAD to go out and get some of my final shopping completed. I went on Saturday with my husband, ready to tackle the day. Our goal was to be in and out as quickly as possible. Our first stop? Lunch at Famous Daves. Fueled up with some yummy barbecue, we were ready to tackle the crowds. 

My husband dropped me off at Flourish Boutique and headed to a hardware store for a gift for his dad. As I strolled into Flourish, I was reminded of why I adore this place so much. 









This place isn't a store, it is truly an experience. From the sparkly accents to the fun chevron wall, and gorgeous chandeliers, it truly feels like one is walking through a dream. And the attention to detail always makes me appreciate the little things they have on display!

  

 I grabbed some things to try on and headed into the dressing room. 

Dress from old navy, chambray cardigan from target, leggings from Flourish, boots from Lane Bryant, Jewelry was gifted.

I found myself gravitating to soft, comfy sweaters, and they felt just as wonderful on as they looked on the rack! 


Thunder and Lightning Sweater 

So Much To Be Thankful For Sweater 

LOVED this one

Fabulous Holiday parties call for a fabulous new dress. Am I right, ladies? Unfortunately, teachers aren't usually ones to have said parties. Boo. If someone could please buy one of these super cute dresses for your party, I would appreciate it. Send me a pic so I can live vicariously though you, k? Thanks. 


                                


After what seemed like only 5 minutes, my husband came searching for me in the store. Oops- I must have gotten carried away! Easy to do in such a gorgeous establishment! 

Flourish  is graciously offering you all 25% off online! They always have some amazing deals, so go check them out. You can order those last few gifts, or even something special for yourself! Just use the code EMILY when you check out.

What do you think of Holiday shopping? Online... in store... what is your go-to?

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*This post is sponsored by Flourish Boutique. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Andrew's "Helpless Husband" Recipe Vol I... Chicken Sandwich Edition

After my husband's softball games the other evening, he was hungry. Yes, he had already eaten dinner, but he had worked up a big appetite. If you've been watching my youtube videos, you know that he is OBSESSED with making his "chicken sandwiches." I was finishing up my vlog for the day, and he asked me to film him making his sandwich. To say I was taken aback is an understatement. 

My husband is hilarious. He will not stop talking. He loves telling stores. But that is to people he knows. Well. VERY well. To strangers? It is quite hard to get him to talk (unless it's about football or his job.. those are good talking points.) He HATES being on camera, and will shout out bad words if I ever try to film him, so that I have to edit him out. (True Story!) So when he asked me to film his sandwich, I didn't hesitate for a millisecond. 

He talked through the video like a pro. He had me move my camera to different angles, make me zoom in to important steps, and was loving it. He decided a voiceover would be better, so I edited the video clips for him, and handed over my computer. 


This was the end result: 





If you have anyone in your life who is helpless in the kitchen, please, share this video. I hope it can make someone else's day, too. :)



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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Homemade Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

Today I am sharing my homemade chicken fried rice recipe with you. This isn't your typical recipe... you do NOT need to follow any of these directions "by the book!" In fact, I encourage you to take this and make it your own. Add your own twist!  Having never made the same fried rice twice, I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is a super flexible dish.  This is a great way to use up leftover rice, meat, and veggies at the end of a week. I've also made this as a side dish, just serve the protein on the side!

I hope you enjoy this video. Let me know if you try this recipe out, or if you have your own version!




Ingredients
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 tbs oil (something with a high smoke point)
2 cups cooked rice (day old rice works best!)
1 cup protein (cooked shrimp, beef, chicken, tofu, etc.)
1/4 cup green onions
1 egg, cracked and beat with a fork
1/4 cup frozen peas and carrots (or any veggies you have on hand!)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
pepper to taste

Directions
Prepare all ingredients ahead of time so they are close by and ready to go. In a large skillet or wok, heat oil and red pepper flakes at a medium high heat. Add onions and veggies, saute until soft. Then add egg, cook until scrambled. Add rice, soy sauce, chicken, and pepper. Stir fry together for about 3-5 minutes, until desired doneness.  Serve hot.



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Friday, October 3, 2014

Taco Pasta Bake

Today I am sharing my version of the ever popular Taco Pasta Bake! I found this recipe on Pinterest (here), and I've changed it up to make it my own. I hope you give this a try! 



Ingredients:
1 lb cooked and drained ground turkey or beef
3/4 bag dried pasta, cooked and drained
2-3 cups spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided.
1 1/2 cups water
1 block cream cheese
1/4 cup taco seasoning
Chopped green onions (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cook and drain pasta. Set to the side. Cook and drain ground been or turkey. Set to the side. Add taco seasoning to the water, mix well. Add the seasoning mixture to ground beef. Add cream cheese, stir until melted and combined. Once combined, add spinach, half of the shredded cheese, and pasta. Stir until combined. Place in a baking dish, top with remaining cheese, and place uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes. Top with green onion and cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!


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A new post? Whaaat?


I know. It's been awhile. Almost six months, to be exact. To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure if I would be back here again. Six months ago, this space didn't feel right for me. Constantly writing about weight loss, healthy living, and everything in between became a chore. No longer interested in writing about healthy living, made writing about eating, weight loss, and fitness something I dreaded doing. It felt like a chore.  So... I stopped, and took a breather.

Looking to my last post, one can read how I felt change coming. I had been feeling it for a year or so. I wasn't happy in my career, wasn't happy with myself, and felt stuck in almost every way. In the spring of this year, I graduated with my Master's degree.  Soon after, I got a new job. A month ago, we moved. And not soon after that,  I found a new hobby. That's a whole lot of change in just half a year.

Taking some time off helped me to dig deep and really think about what I wanted; in life, in my career, and in this space.  I feel refreshed and refocused, and I believe I now have a clear vision of what I want to accomplish in all aspects of my life. To be honest, it's completely liberating.

Youtube has become a new outlet for me. I adore it. Never would I have planned on making Youtube videos. Even now, typing that out makes me giggle. It happened gradually at first, and has picked up speed the last week or two-the way falling in love with a new project often does. After following different Youtube channels for a year or so, and after months of my husband's encouraging words, I decided to make my own channel.

Most of the YT channels I watch are women that are housewives, stay at home moms, or people that work from home and have more time to create and share. Drew thought that perhaps I could create videos from a different perspective- a women that works full time, with no children. With his confidence in me, I took a giant leap and have fallen in love with the whole process.

So, all that said, I need and want to let you all know that this space will be changing. Not all details are worked out as of yet, but I going to be cleaning this ol' blog up. I may still post healthy living topics from time to time, but that will not be my entire focus.

I would love it if you would come along with me in this new adventure. Like any worthwhile journey, it is bound to have some ups and downs. I would love to have you along for the ride!


Thanks for reading,

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

I decided to join a Homemaker linkup this week since I'm on spring break and I feel like I really am a home maker. Living the dream, guys.



As I look out my window:It's rainy and gross, but still getting warmer each day. I'll just keep in mind that "April showers bring May flowers."

Right now I am: relaxing with my husband after dinner.

Thinking and pondering: Where life is going to take me. Deep, I know. But I have a sense that something new is coming along soon.

On my bedside table: My bible, devotional, and book for grad school

On my TV tonight: Grey's Anatomy. We are very behind, and we are playing catch up. Drew is watching baseball.

Listening to: My dog Jeffrey chewing on a bone, my husband humming on the couch. 

On the menu tonight: THIS taco pasta bake made with GF noodles. It was really yummy.

On my to do list: My list for tomorrow is

  • finish painting coffee bar
  • go to the bank
  • take wood back to Lowe's
  • Trip to dollar store for shipping envelope
  • Stop by the post office 
Plans for this week: I just have lots of projects to complete and relaxing to do!

What I am creating: I am finishing up our coffee bar. Andrew made me a shelf and I am repurposing a small bookshelf we had. I'll make sure to show you the end result! 

My simple pleasure: Sleeping in. Spring break, I love you.

Homemaking tips: Clean as you go. I love to cook but I hate cleaning up the huge mess I always make. Cleaning as I go helps me to make it manageable.

Looking around the house: I see a clean space with lots of items to be sold in our garage sale this weekend.

From the camera: 

I was at a bachelorette party this weekend and Drew was with the Bachelor. The girls began at wine and canvas and ended up driving up to the casino to play a joke on the boys. It ended up being a TON of fun, we had a blast. 

fish tacos 

lovely ladies 

finished products 
Surprised the boys, only to realize almost all of them were already asleep. LAME! We had a blast with the three who were left. 


Dollar slots are where it's at 
Prayer list: Our families have lots of exciting events in the upcoming months. Two weddings, a baby on the way, reunions and trips. Pray for blessings upon all of it. 

Bible verse, Devotional: Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


This was super fun, thanks DOASAHM for hosting!


What are you all up to this Monday?
Don't forget to enter the Flourish giveaway HERE



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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Flourish Boutique Grand Opening


Last Thursday evening I was invited to Flourish Boutique for their Grand Opening celebration, and wow, did they celebrate in style! Flourish has been around since 2008, but they just re-opened in their new location just a short distance down the road in Centennial Plaza. You may remember this post from a previous fashion show, and this one was just as fun!

The new store is incredible. Glitter on the floors, pink walls, giant chandeliers- the perfect place to have fun shopping with some friends. And if you aren't local, their website has all the fun wrapped into their online store!


While I waited for the show to start, I walked around and took in all the glamorous surroundings. I tried on a few pieces, admired the beautiful hors d'oeuvres,  and chatted with some other bloggers.


Soon after I arrived, the fashion show began. Instead of a typical runway, they used the huge windows in the store with live models. It was fun to watch the models come and go with different outfits on. Here are some of my favorites:

THIS dress was just so beautiful 

THIS bag.... 

I die. 


This was my favorite favorite favorite item of the night. 
If you live near the Granger area, do yourself a favor and head over to Flourish Boutique



Flourish is also giving you all the chance to win a $25 gift card! Check out the giveaway below to enter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Flourish for a super fun evening and congratulations on your new (amazing) location!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Katz Gluten Free Baked Goods


Hi everyone! I wanted to share a new resource I found for gluten free items. I wasn't paid to do this review. I simply want to share an awesome resource for any of you that are gluten free. a friend shared this website with me, and I am super impressed. Katz has some delicious gluten free items that you can have shipped to your door.

When I was first checking out the website, I discovered that you can order a free sample box, which includes many of their items. You have to pay a very small shipping fee, but for a very small fee you get many items to try. I placed my first order on Monday, and the box was waiting for me when I got home on Wednesday. My first box was damaged, and a few items inside crumbled as a result of UPS's poor handling. I contacted Katz and they sent me a replacement box immediately. That's amazing customer service! The sample pack included:

  • 1 slice of whole grain bread
  • 1 slice of white bread
  • 1 slice of challah bread
  • 1 powdered donut
  • 1 chocolate cupcake
  • 1 english muffin
  • 1 cookie
  • 1 rugelah (similar to a cinnamon roll)
  • 1 slice of marble cake 

My favorite item from the sample box was the chocolate cupcake. I've only tried one box mix for cake, but it was disgusting. This cupcake tasted amazing, and had the perfect chocolately taste I was craving.

I can see myself ordering baked goods to keep on hand for special occasions, or for holidays when I know I am going to miss out on something like pie. This definitely will not be a weekly or even monthly purchase, but stocking up on special items may be a good idea (especially because orders of $50 or more are shipped free).

I hope you or someone you know that is gluten free find this helpful! I was very grateful to find this website.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to save money when buying textbooks

Some days I feel super boggled down with grad school work. Usually during one of these times I bring it up to friends or family, and I end up finding out someone else I know is in school too. I find that grad school goes a little under the radar, and I'm always surprised at how many people I know are in school too! 

By far the biggest thing that comes up when talking about school is the incredible cost. Textbooks are always way more expensive than what we think! I wanted to let you all know some tips I have for saving some money on textbooks.

1. Share books with friends.
-pretty much self explanatory, but sometimes people forget that sharing books with other students is super helpful and can save a lot of money. A colleague of mine is in the same program as I am, but we take classes at different times so we can swap books. It has saved a lot of money!

2. Shop around

-If you want to buy your books, check out every option. One site might be cheapest for one book, but may be super expensive for another. Check out all of your options if buying is the way you want to go. 

3. RENT your textbooks

-I think campusbookrentals.com is amazing! 
-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods
-they donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented
-free returns within 21 days(this one is HUGE! I've bought so many books before that I never ended up using. This way you can begin your course and figure out if you really will use the book or not!) 


4. Make money off your textbooks
-some people keep their textbooks thinking they will use them down the line. I have not used a single book since graduating with my undergrad degree. I learned my lesson and now sell back all my books. 
-RENT your books! I wish this would have been around a long time ago. RentBack is new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own - to other students... which is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what you will make through buyback options!



College is SO expensive, and the additional cost of books can put budgets over the edge. I hope this can help someone along the way!
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*This post is sponsored by Campus Book Rentals. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

I miss you


Hey guys!

I just want to pop in and let you all know I'm not dead. I know you were worried (haha) but I'm fine. I am almost finished with Grad school and the end is in sight! This last semester has been rough, but It will all be worth it in about 2 more months. I hope to be able to update a little more as time goes on, but if not, know I will be back soon.

I have SO much to share with you, but I want to do it when I have sufficient time so I don't leave anything important out.


I really miss posting and getting everything out on here. I miss a lot of things actually... but I just have to keep going. It will all be worth it when I am finished with school!



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Friday, February 14, 2014

Planetbox Review

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Before I begin this Planetbox review- I want to share the winner of the giveaway from Monday! 

Elizabeth has been emailed. 



Okay, so next up is Planetbox!


The Planetbox lunch box was actually what spurred this whole series. I loved the idea of having a stainless steel lunchbox that had different sized compartments. I decided to review the Rover set, which includes the lunchbox, carry bag, magnets, and dipper set. This model retails for $59.95, which is a HEFTY price for a lunchbox. Is it worth the price?
carrots, popcorn, sour patch kids, rice cake & almond butter, blood orange and a gluten free brownie
The lunch box itself is made of stainless steel so it is non-toxic and very sturdy. The lid is attached and folds down while securing the box easily. This can be washed in the dishwasher, but obviously cannot be microwaved. 
carrots, rice crackers, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, blood orange, guac and string cheese
This box is geared toward children, so it comes with lots of fun magnets you can choose from. I haven't used these myself, but this seems like a fun feature if you will be using it with young ones. 

One of the drawbacks to this box is that it doesn't seal completely. You cannot pack foods like applesauce or yogurt inside because they will leak all over the place. This is why Planetbox created dippers, which DO seal completely. You can fill these with dips and sauces and place them in the box- and the lid of the box seals them. 
Carrots & hummus, rice crackers, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, grapes, and turkey meatballs. 


The bag that the box came with is made out of recycled material and seems pretty durable. When I received it- it had a terrible smell. I made sure to hand wash mine immediately before use. I've read similar reviews, so just be prepared if you order one. 

The inside of the case includes a mesh pocket for a napkin or an ice pack, and two straps for utensils.



Planetbox also has a really cool site where users can plan, create, and share their lunches. You can check it out HERE
Carrots, yogurt tube, chia shot, sour patch kids, strawberries, rice cake & almond butter
 I tried packing a sandwich one day, which worked since I used small gluten free bread. If you were using some big pieces, it wouldn't fit. If you are more of a sandwich eater, Planetbox has a box called Launch that would work better for sandwiches.
Turkey and cheese rolls, rice crackers, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, blood orange, yogurt with almonds


PROS:
-dish washer safe
-easy portion control
-lasts for years
-dippers seal 
-website to help with lunch ideas

CONS:
-cost $$
-box itself doesn't seal
-not microwave safe 
-not large enough to hold a big sandwich 

Overall, I totally think this is worth it. It is one of my favorite lunch boxes to use. I think many will balk at the price, but if you think about how long you can use it, it's a great investment. I ended up buying a second set to keep on hand, because I love it so much. 

What did you have for lunch today?

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**I received this box free to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.