Northwest Arkansas Getaway!

Oh goodness. This is gonna be a long one, with lots of pictures, so just go ahead and prepare yourselves roadtrip-style: get your snacks, take a bathroom break, pack up your pillow, get comfy. ;)

We stayed in Bentonville, AR. over the weekend and had the. loveliest. time. Like I said in my last post, this area is one of my very favorites to visit. The area is so pretty, there are lots of different things to do, the people are really friendly, so many charming, yummy places to eat… I could go on about my love for this place for the next 5 years, so I’ll stop there. You get the picture ;)

We arrived at our hotel Friday evening around 6, and we were starving! I’d seen good reviews online for a restaurant called Table Mesa, and had my heart set on eating there all day. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. First of all, it’s on the square, which is just the cutest little downtown area EVER! Lots of little eateries, most of which have tables to eat outside with a view of the prettiest fountain surrounded by flowers. Anyway, the food at Table Mesa was so. so. soooo. good. We ordered cream cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates as an appetizer, and they were gone before I could even consider taking a picture. Oh my word. I know I’ll fall short, but I’m going to try to remake them at home. So delicious. And the atmosphere of the restaurant is so cool! Trendy and casual, the brick walls made it feel almost coffee house like, but definitely nicer. There are tea light candles on all the tables which add a little bit of romance. I just loved it!

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After dinner we walked across the street to sit by the fountain. There were lots of families out and about, and live music. The people here obviously love/appreciate their community, and everyone was just having a really nice time!

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After we left, we went to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. This place is really cool! The architecture of the building itself is so unique. We went a couple of years ago, but it was  near closing time, so we didn’t get to really appreciate the whole experience. I enjoyed the artwork, but I could. not. get over the frames! They are so intricate and detailed and beautiful!

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Saturday morning we went to the Bentonville Farmers Market (on the square), which was really more like a little street fair! So many vendors, all offering the most amazing produce, flowers, decor… it was amazing. I was dying over some of the bouquets and fruit (the blueberries looked so good!), but just came away with a bottle of boysenberry syrup (which is really tasty!). We kind of planned the trip around the Farmers Market. The first time I saw this little event was on our first trip back in 2012, but our day was already planned and we didn’t really have time to look around. We went to Eureka Springs last year and made our way back over to Bentonville on that trip, but it was during the middle of the week, so we missed it again. Third time’s a charm, right? ;) I didn’t want to miss it again, so we made sure to come on a weekend and make it a priority this time around. So much fun!

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From there we walked to a couple of boutiques (which I wanted to move in to. They had the cutest things, and Posh Alley Boutique had the most amazing smelling candles!), and then drove to  Compton Gardens just a little bit down the road. We actually missed our turn and had to come back because the gardens are tucked away behind trees. I didn’t expect what we saw… the cutest little trail beneath towering trees, a tiny stream running over stones, several little bridges. It was lovely. Also, humid. :)

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After the gardens, we made our way over to Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers and did a little shopping. Matt was in serious need of some new summer shirts, and I’ll never turn down an opportunity to shop ;) I love this mall. It’s really nice to walk around outside, and last time we came here there was live music and a big outdoor seating area on a patch of grass. The landscaping here is just beautiful! I did manage to find a bag from Target that I’d been searching for, which was just the cherry on top of the whole day! We ate at Fish City Grill for lunch, where I had some pretty delicious fish tacos.

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Sent this to Matt to get his opinion and help make my decision. His response? “Hm, hard to tell. I really don’t know. You’ll have to pick.” That boy ;)

We got back to the hotel in the early afternoon and decided to take advantage of the hot tub for a few minutes, then relaxed in our room for a couple of hours. It poured for about 45 minutes before dinner, but was really nice and cool after that. And then my favorite meal of the trip: Sushi House. Oh my goodness guys. First of all, the service is A.MAZ.ING. We got our food in less than 10 minutes after we ordered it, and the staff is super ridiculously friendly. We had several different servers because they all just pitched in and helped. Everything was DELICIOUS. We ordered 2 rolls and chicken teriyaki. What we didn’t order that was just on the house? Miso soup, salad, 2 different rolls, and edamame. I couldn’t believe the feast in front of us! Also, it is the freshest, yummiest sushi I have ever. had. I wish it wasn’t 5 hours away. :( But then again, that might be a good thing. I was 2 bites away from having Matt roll me out of the restaurant. #noregrets ;)

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Sunday morning after checkout we stopped at Starbucks and I finally got to try the Oprah Chai Latte. OMGYUM. Chai is my favorite drink in the fall, and this one is so delicious. It’s different than your standard chai, in my opinion, in that it isn’t as spicy. Really good!

Then we headed out! I was so sad to leave. I’ve been trying (and failing :( ) to convince Matt to move here since we first visited in 2012. I just love it!

We have a couple of other trips planned this summer, and I can’t wait to share them with you! Let me know if any of you have vacays planned, I’d love to hear about them! :)

June Favorites

I thought I’d mix things up this month. June was such a fun month, and instead of talking about my beauty favorites, I’m going to talk about my favorite moments/events! Here we go:

My birthday was the 11th, and I couldn’t have imagined a more fun, relaxing day! I got to go with Matt on a 3 day work trip (thankfully he only had to work 1 day!) to Tan-Tar-a Resort. We had the loveliest time! The view from our condo was AMAZING, and I really enjoyed having my quiet time out on our deck. So peaceful. We ate at a restaurant right on the water at sunset. Breathtaking! And the food was delicious. I did a little shopping that day too, and picked up a pretty dress at J Crew, along with a few other things that I’d been eyeing for a couple of months. It was the deal of the century and I’m still not over it ;) Such a great birthday, and just a great trip over all!

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Afternoon rides in the convertible. This. All summer.

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Coffee and quiet time on the deck. Lately I’ve been really cherishing my mornings spent outside. Despite the hum of neighbors’ air conditioners and a car every now and then, it is so peaceful and relaxing. By far my favorite part of the day.

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My dear friend, Leanne, got married this month!! She was the most gorgeous bride! The ceremony was so. beautiful. and had me in tears most of the day (Seriously. I cried in Chili’s later that evening :( ). I’m so excited for my friends and this new, exciting season of their lives!

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My mom stayed with us for a couple of days, but we were so busy I forgot to snap any pictures! Either way, we had such a good visit! I had a coffee-on-the-deck partner, which was so nice! We went to breakfast with my mother-in-law, (and stayed far past the point that our plates were taken away ;) ), did a bit of thrift store shopping, and Matt grilled us some burgers for dinner. There’s something so nice and safe about having my mom stay/staying with her!

Our last little getaway of the month: Northwest Arkansas. I’m not going to say much about this trip because I want to save most of the details for a future post, but I’m just in love with this charming little piece of the world. This is our 3rd visit in the past 2 years, and we enjoy each visit so much! (Excuse our wind-blown hair ;) )

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So that was my June! I have to say it is one of the best to date, though our July plans are already looking pretty promising ;) Hope you all had a great month as well!

Summer Lip Product Picks

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I’ve recently been obsessed with bright summer lips, which is surprising considering… me. I’m a neutrals kind of girl, mostly because I’m super fair and my hair clashes with everything. I have a lot of pink-nudes and blush colored lip products. Lately, though, I just can’t help myself–I’ve been grabbing up every bright pink, orange, red, and purple that I can get my hands on! I’ve thrown caution to the wind, people. And I’ve been loving it. Here are a few of my favorites (left to right, top to bottom):

Ohmygoodness, the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms. So. stinkin’. pretty. And fun. They make me wanna dance, haha :) These stay in place most of the day, even through eating/drinking, with minimal touch-ups required. My only advice is to make sure you exfoliate and moisturize your lips before using these… because they have a matte finish, any dry patches on your lips will show up x 1,000,000 and it will not make you happy. (Pictured: “Unapologetic” and “Audacious”)

For reds, I really like the Revlon Lip Butter in “Wild Watermelon”, and the  Buxom gloss in “Cherry Flip”. These are both really bright, but super low maintenance considering that they’re reds. They’re really pretty layered with each other as well!

Lastly, these Too Faced Melted Lipsticks are probably my favorite of the bunch. Melted Violet is killin’ it. I can’t get enough! Like, wear-it-while-doing-laundry, can’t get enough ;)

I super recommend any of these! You won’t be disappointed. Promise :)

May Favorites

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Favorites time! I have a lot this month, so grab a snack and settle in! :)

1. EOS Shave Cream in Lavender Jasmine:

I ran out of my cheap shaving cream a few weeks ago and decided to give this stuff a go. It smells sooo nice. Such a pretty, floral, feminine scent. It claims to be good for shaving wet or dry, but I’ve been too afraid to try it on dry skin. My legs do feel super soft after I dry off, and the scent lingers. Good product!

2. Freemans Charcoal and Black Sugar Polishing Mask:

My word. Slather it on your face, leave it for 5 minutes, scrub, rinse. Result? Truly brighter skin. I’ve tried lots of fun little face masks in the past, but this is the only one I’ve ever really noticed a difference in my skin after I use it. (Sorry all of you Glam Glow lovers. In my opinion this works better, and for a fraction of the price ;) ). Looove it!

3. Beauty Blender:

Why in the world did I wait so long to get this bad boy? The price tag.  $19.95 for a tiny sponge? Seriously? But when I found a 2-for-1 deal on Amazon, I jumped all over it. Can I just say that it is totally worth every penny, even without getting a deal? I was using some off brand of this sponge for a while, and it was fine. I thought it was anyway, until I used this for the first time. That one was at least 3 times the density of the Beauty Blender, and took so. much. longer to blend out my foundation and concealer. This tool gives the most beautiful glow (literally. I’ve had several comments on the glowy-ness of my face after applying my makeup with this), so if you’re on the fence about it? Go ahead and jump! :)

4. Mac Creamcup Lipstick:

I bought this at the beginning of April after hearing Tiffany rave about it in several videos. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off (which is a challenge I face with every shade of any lip product forever ;) ), but it is such a beautiful pink-y nude and absolutely perfect for spring/summer.

5. Covergirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous Concealer:

I’ve seen several reviews on this concealer with negative/indifferent opinions, but, um, I love it. It definitely doesn’t have heavy coverage, but for me it’s perfect to brighten up my under eye a bit. I wanted to try the foundation and pressed powder that is part of this collection (mostly because the packaging is so pretty! :) ), but the lightest shade isn’t light at all. Nice lightweight concealer for summer!

6. Loreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense Liquid Liner:

What a mouthful! Another Makeup By Tiffany D recommendation, and it didn’t disappoint. I’m really terrible at winging my eyeliner. Like, really terrible. But this stuff is super easy to use because of the felt tip, and is really easy to clean up/correct if I make any mistakes. Also, it doesn’t come off on my upper lid after a couple of hours of wear like other liners I’ve used. Saves the day!

7. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion:

I’ve been suuuper fortunate where my skin is concerned. I haven’t had a bad breakout in at least 2 months (knock on wood ;) ). I have had one or two small red spots come up every few weeks though, and this stuff is amazing at getting rid of them! I dabbed it on the affected area and in the morning the bump and redness were gone. It might be magic.

8. Flower Necklace:

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen this necklace at least 341,716 times. I can’t help it. It’s so pretty and white and summery and goes with everything. #sorrynotsorry ;)

9. Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish in Wild Strawberry:

I pointed out a swimsuit to a friend a few weeks ago that was the prettiest pink-magenta color and mentioned that I’d like to have a nail polish that color. She said that Revlon had one, and she was so right. This polish is gorgeous. I’ve worn it 3 times this month (also in a million Instagram pics ;) ), and will continue this pattern. #cantstopwontstop

And finally…

10. Too Faced Melted Lipsticks:

Aaahhhhh!! I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THESE! <– Dramatic much? But seriously, I absolutely love them. They are so. so. so. (x 1,000,000) good. Gorgeous colors. Ridiculously comfortable to wear (like nothing-on-your-lips comfortable), really bright but surprisingly wearable (see Mac Lipstick comment above for my wear-ability issues ;) ), and just all around wonderful. I have Melted Peony and Melted Violet (ah!), and I love them so much. I’ve never worn/owned a color like the Violet, and it’s waaaaay out of my comfort zone, but I can’t help it. I super love the color, even on me. I may have to snag 1 or 5 more colors ;)

Also, I have been lov. ing. graphic tees this month. J Crew and Old Navy have some great ones that are really inexpensive. They’re my favorite! They’re so easy to style. I wear them with both solid and printed shorts and skirts. So cute and comfortable!

That’s it! (Ha! “it”, like I didn’t talk about 60 things ;) )

Hope you all had a great May :) I’m excited for June, lots of fun things happening!

Until next time! :)

Enchilada-ish.

Let me explain. The following will be my version of enchiladas, and there is one major substitution I make that may keep these “enchiladas” from actually qualifying as enchiladas. See, I HATE corn tortillas. You may think that hate is too strong a word to use against something as trivial as a food item, but emotion is real (and I dare say that my friend Ashlie would use the same word to describe her feelings for bananas, so I know I’m not alone ;) ). Anyway, in place of those dry, rough little discs, I use regular flour tortillas, and the finished product is delicious! This is a ridiculously easy recipe, the likes of which has been shared a billion times before in various versions, but here’s mine:

Ingredients:

6 Flour tortillas (I use whole wheat, but regular will obviously work as well)

1 lb. hamburger

1/4-1/2 onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can rotel

1 jar enchilada sauce

1 bag shredded Mexican Blend cheese

chili powder (to your liking, I used about 3/4 tsp)

cumin (see chili powder)

onion powder (see chili powder)

sour cream and salsa for garnish

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute diced onion and pepper until soft and onions are slightly caramelized, and set aside. Brown the hamburger, then add peppers, onions, rotel, black beans, cumin, and chili and onion powders to the skillet. Cook together until thoroughly mixed.

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2. Spoon mixture into tortillas, then roll up and place in 9×13 pan. Add any extra hamburger mix to the top, and pour enchilada sauce over everything.

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3. Sprinkle (or drench, as I clearly did ;) ) the cheese blend over the top of everything. Bake until cheese is bubbly, or about 15-20 minutes.

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4. Add salsa and sour cream for extra deliciousness!

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Let me know if you try this cheesy goodness and how you liked it. Enjoy! :)

 

 

Living Room Updates

Um, it’s been almost 2 months since I posted, and I have no excuse other than that life has been busy. BUSY.

Spring’s arrival has me itching to brighten up the house, so I’ve done a few simple updates. I love how these small, easy, inexpensive changes can make all the difference! I ordered some curtains from Wal-Mart, and those really gave new life to the living room. Also, H&M has amaaaazing home decor on their site. New pillows can be really expensive, so I just ordered 5 covers from H&M (most of which were $5.95 apiece!), and used a couple of throw pillows from our previous bed set. Also, we finally hung everything I’ve been working on for a gallery wall. I’m really happy with the new look!

Before:

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After:

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I’m planning on keeping fresh flowers on the coffee table, like these beautiful tulips from my friend Leanne. They are so lovely!

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Also, I added some faux hydrangeas to the dining room table in place of this candle centerpiece. I may grab a couple more stems to really fill the table.

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I’ll have my eye out for a couple of other pieces  while at yard sales this year, but I’m really happy with this look! Happy Spring everyone! :)

 

Reading Lately.

 

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Over the past couple of months, I’ve really started to enjoy reading again. Life has been busy since, well, forever, and I’d forgotten how much I love going to the library. It’s easy for me to get lost in the endless array of reading material, and if it weren’t for Matt I might never make it back home ;) Anyway, I thought I’d do a quick review of what I’ve been enjoying lately! I’ll start with the book that inspired me to write this post in the first place:

1. The House at Riverton

This is so. good. I honestly haven’t read such a good story in years. If you like Downton Abbey, this book is for you. I would have read it all in one sitting, except that it’s close to 500 pages, and this girl has to sleep. I loved the ending, and was sad when I finished it. Isn’t that the mark of a good read? When you feel sad that it’s over?

2. The Paris Wife

I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s based on a true facts about the early life of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley. I love, love, love stories that are set in the Jazz Age, and this book didn’t disappoint in that regard. But the end left me feeling sad and angry with the characters involved. I feel like there’s unfinished business. I did like it pretty well though, and I recommend it if you, too, enjoy the 1920′s setting!

3. The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

Hm. This one wasn’t my favorite. I really wanted to like it, but it was anticlimactic, and I was disappointed with the ending. It plants an intriguing idea in the readers mind within the first couple of paragraphs (if I remember correctly), but for me, it didn’t deliver. Pass.

4. Gone Girl

If you’re easily offended by foul language and adult scenes, this is not the book for you. But, if you can get past that, you’ll find that this is a really interesting story. The plot is pretty unusual (read: CRAZY), the characters are unique… I can’t say I’ve ever read anything like it.

5. The Distant Hours

Another Kate Morton win. Really, really good. Her books can get a little wordy and overly descriptive, and a couple of times I found myself just skimming through a paragraph to get past bits of  (in my opinion) unnecessary information. That quality doesn’t take away from the stories, though. Love them.

6. The Secret Keeper

I just finished this book. Like, closed it 5 minutes ago and came in here to write this post. I wanted my emotions to be fresh so I could express to you how much I loved. this. book. My favorite so far of Kate Morton’s. I was sad when it ended. I wish I could have coffee with the characters and discuss the mystery! As with her previous books, it didn’t end at all like I’d imagined. Her stories (the three I’ve read, anyway) all have a similar theme. Misunderstandings and seemingly insignificant choices made by the characters cause ripple effects that last generations. My heart ached for the characters, their love lost. Speaking of characters, all of her books have an army of them. If I put it down for more than a couple of days, I had to really think to remember each of them and their role. I know I’ve really talked her books up, but I just love them!

Next on my reading list are A Room With a View (it’s old, I know) and What Alice Forgot. I like to check out only 2 books at a time, just to make sure I don’t return them late. It’s irritating to have to wait for a book that someone else has had for 6 weeks, haha ;)

Let me know if you have read/plan to read any of these, and what you think!

Living my real life.

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It has been my intention since beginning this blog to be really transparent and authentic. I’m still learning about myself… interests, dreams, style, insecurities, etc., and as I dig deep and explore those things, I want to share them with you. I’m hoping that I’m not the only one in this place of self-discovery. Keeping that in mind, I’m going to post this in hopes that it might be encouraging to you, should you have any prisons of your own.

So, I have this… thing. Mm, it’s actually less of a thing, and more of a heavy, unshakable, burden that stems from a deeper root issue of fear. It causes dread, weariness, anxiety, and has kept me up more nights than I care to say. Makes me competitive, and when I’m inevitably out-done, leaves me feeling less-than.

See, the “thing” is… I need you to like me. And not just you, but everyone (I warned you it was a heavy burden). I try hard to keep you (read: everyone) happy, and it’s exhausting and feels like a less authentic version of me. Honestly, it’s a little ironic. I’ve had several conversations with Matt about how I dislike in-authenticity. I feel it right down to my bones when people are being phony, yet I can be so guilty of it myself. I say yes to things I know I’ll regret later (but at least you won’t think less of me for saying no), and justify it by saying I’m serving and giving of myself, and that I should because, after all, I’m at home. Don’t get me wrong, serving is a non-negotiable. It’s a huge part of our calling as Christ followers to love and serve others. It becomes a burden, though, when we do it from a place of obligation or self-seeking (such as trying to control what you think of me), or when we just know that we need to say no because it’s not right for us right now.

Another example? Sometimes I won’t wear things I really like, because I think that you’ll think I’m trying to be someone I’m not. Or I won’t buy something because you might think me excessive or greedy. I do and say things to try and keep up with you, to make you think we’re on the same level. Heaven forbid that I should be left behind. That I might not be as far along as you, as confident, as sure of who I am. That I might not possess the same praise-worthy, tangible gifts. That I might be… inferior. Why would I let you see that? It shows weakness, after all. Weakness, and humanness, and smallness. And if you saw all of that, if you knew the real person… you might not like her.

I’m selfish, and lazy, and terrified of stepping outside of my comfort zone. Not because I’m actually afraid to try things, but because of what you’ll think of me trying things. I’ve been the same person, after all. You know me as that girl.

But here’s another “thing” that I’m slowly accepting: We are uniquely made. God has a different plan for each of us, has fashioned our hearts individually. Being the same, at the same level, with the same gifts… that’s not His plan for our lives. Can you imagine if we were all the same? Desperately trying to one up each other, always seeking approval? It’s how I’ve been living, and that realization breaks my heart. Jesus died so that you and I don’t have to live in bondage, in these prisons we create for ourselves, and that means that I don’t need your approval (or you, mine, for that matter). I am Approved. I am Loved. I’m Free.

“The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men… He fashions their hearts individually…” Ps. 33:15

“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” 1 Cor. 7:23

“But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?” Gal. 4:9 

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Gal. 5:1

That’s the real kicker, isn’t it? Almost laughable that I try so hard. I am Already. But I’ve been living like I’m Not Yet. I’m tired of it. I’m sick of enslaving myself to the standards I’ve imagined you to have. God has given us freedom, and boldness, and access through Jesus, and I’m ready to start living like I believe that. What an amazing, undeserved, exceptionally blessed life we have!!

Will you start living it with me? Whatever your personal prison, lets refuse to allow ourselves remain there, missing out on our real. life. Lets be bold and have the courage to be the person that He designed(!!), to say no when we know we should (even though some people won’t like it), and say yes to who we are! Lets be true to the Lord and to ourselves. It might be a slow process, and I’ll no doubt have set backs along the way, but I’m determined to keep trying, refuse to treat something as crucial as this to taper off like some unattainable, unrealistic new years resolution.

I feel like this is a whole jumbled mess that doesn’t flow or make a lick of sense, but maybe that’s good? The stamp of an authentic, un-flow-y (apparently I also make up words), imperfect, jumbled, messy, me?

(I almost didn’t link this song because I was worried that you’d think it was lame. But it’s so appropriate for this post and the chorus has been stuck in my head for days, so I’m doing it anyway. Baby steps.)

 

High Five for Friday!

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1. Valentines Day. It was really, really good. Matt didn’t have school, so we got to spend the entire day together! We went out to dinner with some friends and had a lovely time. I wore my Valentines gift (coming soon to a favorites post near you ;) ) with a couple of other bracelets and felt super fancy!

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2. We had a really relaxing weekend at home (mostly due to the nausea I thought I’d rid myself of earlier in the week. it’s going around :( ). We watched the entire second season of House of Cards on Netflix (which I don’t recommend if you’re easily offended :/ ). But it was nice to just stay in and rest. I’m feeling much better this week, thankfully, though still staying away from heavy foods.

3. Had another snow day with this cutie on Monday :D. How precious are those suspenders?!

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4. A night with my beautiful, newly engaged, sister friend! (Ignore the tired eyes. This is many hours, emotions, and a bottle of wine later.) Love her so much!

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5. I finished The Distant Hours (another one by Kate Morton) on Tuesday night, and immediately started The Secret Keeper. It is so satisfying, and also a little sad, to finish a novel. I’ve rediscovered my love of reading over the past couple of months, and am working on a post reviewing those books, so you can expect that in the coming week or so.

Happy Friday everyone! :)

Date Night Ideas (that won’t break the bank!)

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Now that Valentines Day is over, the flowers have been sent, and the chocolates and expensive dinners have been eaten, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share with you all some of  the fun, inexpensive dates Matt and I enjoy together. I love having date nights with my hubby, it is absolutely one of my very favorite things! Since I quit my job last fall, we’ve scaled back on our dates, going out only about once or twice every month. I know that probably still seems like a lot to some folks, but for us (who were used to going out every weekend), it was an adjustment. We’ve gotten pretty creative with our at-home date nights over the past few months, and I’m happy with what we’ve been coming up with. I hope you all enjoy these as much as we have! :)

1. Culturally themed date nights: This one was actually Matt’s idea. For example, if we go for Italian night, we’ll make pizza, spaghetti, etc., and watch a movie that goes along with it. It’s really fun, and forces us to branch out and try foods and movies we would otherwise pass on in favor of our usual.

2. Game night: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Grab some snacks and a fun game (or, if you’re like us, a really ooold game like Battleship or Life ;) ), and go to town!

3. Take a Drive: This is one of our very favorites. It’s inexpensive, exciting (but also relaxing), and I have to say that some of our best conversations happen when we’re in the car together. Sometimes we stay in town, sometimes we take a country drive, and sometimes we’ll go a bit further and see a place we’ve never been before. It usually involves sharing a large order of fries or a couple of doughnuts. Probably our most loved date.

4. Work it out: Our Friday nights can get pretty wild. I mean, going to the gym together to start off your weekend is all the rage right now, am I right?! ;) The point is that it’s something we can do together, and we both feel great afterwards!

5. Coffee and dessert: And oldie, but a goodie! Bake some brownies, brew some (decaf) coffee, and pop in a movie, read a book together, or (my favorite) talk about life, your relationship, dreams, etc.

So those are just a few inexpensive date ideas that we’ve been enjoying. Like I said, we still go out once or twice a month, but setting aside a dollar amount in our budget specifically for date nights out has challenged us to stay in more, and be more creative with our time together. Hope you enjoy these as much as we do! :)

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