Friday, January 19, 2018

High Five for Friday!

Joining the High Five For Friday linkup hosted by Tif @ Bright On A Budget, Katie @ Cup of TeaBecky @ BYBMG

{1}Doing work!
On Saturday Thenewguy and I went to a volunteer event held by Target (he works there) & Chicago Cares I learned that Target is super involved in charity work. I'm sure everyone else knew but I had no idea. Anyway, it was great, and he was the only rep from his store going so he asked me to join. I won't lie getting up before 10 am on a Saturday is not my idea of a good time but I am so glad that I did. We drove down to the south side of the city and got to work helping re-paint a school. Was an awesome time and I got to meet some great people while helping! 

Excuse my face...I don't normally get up at 7 am on a Saturday.

When he should have been painting he was snapchatting! 

{2} Family Dinner! 
After an unfortunate car accident on our way home from volunteering (we are ok, his car is not) we rallied our beat up selves and headed to the burbs for a family dinner. They have a new baby in the family so of course I was all over her all night. It has been great getting to know his family and being welcomed in so quickly! 

He is not a fan of babies...

{4} Laying around 
I don't get to lay around as often as I would like. But Sunday was banana pancakes, bacon and marvel movies and it was AMAZING! 

{5} Monday Funday! 
Monday there was no work so I headed to the burbs to watch Jumanji with my sis & nephew and then have a great "girls night" dinner with my mom and sis. First, Jumanji is hilarious and don't let anyone tell  you different. Second, I haven't had a night with just my mom & sister in a long time and it was so freaking nice to sit and talk to them. My sister has never had Thai food before and guys...I could eat Thai everyday! In an effort to support her new adventure into being vegan we ordered only food she could eat and shared. It was fantastic! Sooo if you are ever in Naperville stop at Bangkok Village.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

On Gratitude...

So my teacher introduced us to a Gratitude Grid, since a lot of my coursework is online or hybrid classes I don't get to interact with many of the other students often. The staff got together and decided to do a Gratitude Grid on Flipgrid to allow for people to talk about ways they can show gratitidue and things they are grateful for. Its been fun to see some of the other videos. I haven't posted one yet because I hate making videos of myself but I thought I'd share some of the prompts!

- Share a video of the food you are most grateful for
haha I love food. I am self proclaimed foodie so talking about all the food I love isn't hard. BUT sitting there and thinking about what food I am most grateful for is not as easy. I decided on avocados. Random but true. I absolutely love avocados on things, in things, and by themselves. Not only do I love the way it tastes but I love how much it helps my hair & skin and body in general when I am eating enough of it.

- Share one way you can show gratitude today.
I think the most simple way is to just say Thank You. We forget that we don't always have to do something extra special to show someone we appreciate their effort/time. So just saying Thank You is huge. 

 - Who is one teacher that you have had that you are forever grateful for? Why?
Ooh man. I feel I am fortunate in that I had some amazing teachers growing up. The one I am most thankful for is actually my High School English Teacher  Mr. Downing. He is a former basketball player and you can actually read an article from the Chicago Tribune from a few years ago that talks about him. Let me tell you, I always loved reading and writing but he was the kindest and most inspiring teacher I had in High School and is probably one of the top reasons I finally decided to become an English teacher. 

- What is one small pleasure you are grateful for? 
Hmmm...I think I would go with time. Time is the thing I am most grateful for because we often are so busy and working so hard and getting things done and there just isn't enough time. Also, I recognize that I am privileged enough to have time because I can afford it. Time to do whatever I want is so important and necessary for my mental health. 

So those are some of the prompts. I might just suck it up and post a few videos on the grid...have to comb my hair first though! 

Answer some of these, let me know what kinds of things you are grateful for!  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

On Throwing a Totally Awesome 80's Party!

I can't believe I never posted about my NYE 80's party but I was on sort of a blogger hiatus forever. I love love throwing parties and I have a special place in my heart for themed parties!

So some tips:

- Pinterest is a HUGE help!

- Send out an invite early, give people time to make a costume or buy one!

- If you are doing it for NYE make sure that you let people know you will do a countdown (and keep track of time) Ill never live that NYE down when I started the countdown 5 minutes late 

-  Check out a dollar store or $5 below near you, they have tons of 80's stuff for SUPER cheap and thrift stores! I found some awesome buttons for $1 at one near me!

-  You don't necessarily have to get printed things like plates/cups all that. Instead purchase bright colors like hot pink, neon green

- There are TONS of printables online to decorate with. If you have a color printer then go wild! (I turned my frames in the house inside out and posted up 80's movie posters)

- If you are making food (apps) then use clever names: Meatball's Meatballs, Sixteen Cupcakes, Michangelo's Pizza...etc. You get the gist

So here are some photos!

This makes me want to throw another party....

Friday, January 12, 2018

High Five for Friday!

Joining the High Five For Friday linkup hosted by Tif @ Bright On A Budget, Katie @ Cup of TeaBecky @ BYBMG

I attempted to make a Chicken Crust pizza because carbs right? nope. DID NOT like it at all. Thenewguy thought it was fine, said it tasted like a big chicken nugget. I am not sure if it was because I have to use fake cheese and I used a bbq sauce or what but I almost couldn't eat it. I did because I was hungry from working out and I didn't want to make another dinner but nope. Not doing that again.

I've printed out tons of pictures so I can get started on my travel wall and also so I can put more frames up and start working on  Project Life binder. I had to print this one out just because I thought it was adorable! 

Being back at work is hard. I hit a wall on Wednesday just as the kids started to really get their groove back. They are finally calm and it feels less like wrangling monkeys and more like my actual job.  All in time for a 3 day weekend! 

 I put away the Christmas tree and took down all the decor....this makes me sad but its also a highlight because I can actually see the tv from my spot on the couch now! I don't think I got to share pics with you all so here ya go! 

Did I mention its a 3 day weekend?? 

How was your week?


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Goodreads: 2017 Reading Challenge!

I love to read. I read more than anyone I  know personally(not online most of you have me beat!), which actually makes me kind of sad because it would be great to have more people to talk to about the books after I read them. Joining book clubs is hit or miss, they usually want to read books that are more serious than I am interested in reading at this time (I have to read thanks to anything else serious).

Anyway! I set a goal of 75 books for 2017. I knew it was kind of low but I also hadn't been reading as much as I like to for a few months so I just wanted to make sure I hit the goal. Towards the end of spring I got my groove back and started powering through books again and ended up finishing out 2017 with 113 books read! Much better!

You can check out the entire list of books I read on my Goodreads page, also feel free to add me because I love seeing what everyone is reading and finding new books that way.

Here were my top 2 favorites and my least favorite.

I thought it was a great read, I loved the back and forth of the timeline and the characters. I hate to give away too much but I found this one through a book club and everyone in the group also really enjoyed the book. 

 I really enjoy YA books, as I've mentioned before. I thought this was a great read. I loved the mystical aspect along with the revolution and, of course, a little love mixed in! 

Choke was one of the few books I really really wanted to enjoy but just didn't 
 I  love loved Fight Club so I really thought that I would be a fan of anything Palahniuk wrote. To be honest I think it just tried too hard to be like "I don't give a shit if you like this or not" and because of that it came across as ridiculous. 

There you have it. What was your favorite read of 2017? Did you make have a challenge??

TBB Asks: New Year, New You

I love doing link ups, sharing my blog with more people and getting to find new blogs I may otherwise not have found on my own. I especially love ones that ask questions that allow me share a bit about myself! When I saw this one on The Blended Blog I thought it would be fun to share.

Resolutions or No Resolutions: No resolutions for me. I am so terrible at keeping up with things like that and after years of making & breaking them I realized I should stop. I pick a theme/word for the year and go with that in whatever form it takes but importantly I make sure that I do my best to do what makes me happy every year.

Love Snow or No Snow: Noooo snow. No thank you. BUT I will take it over -30 windchill if I must. I feel like if it is going to snow I want it to dump like a foot of snow so everything shuts down and I can just go out and play in it and relax at home.

Name a New Place you want to go this year: Hmmm there are so many. I feel like my list gets longer everyday. I am really trying to explore more of the US though so Austin is next on the list of cities to visit.

Would you rather have a new hair cut or new hair color: This one is tricky. I hate cutting my hair because I ALWAYS regret it after unless its only a trim. I love having long hair but I recently cut about 6 inches off because it was touching my butt already. But I do always feel so fresh after a new color!

Name one special thing you want to do for yourself this year: I would really like to make a travel wall. I have this idea in mind to go along with a Map gift I got for my wall. Since I really don't like trinkets and knick knacks around the house I always buy something to hang and I want to get it all together all nice.

Least Favorite Thing about January: The cold. It gets so effing cold in Chicago in January & February it makes you hate leaving the house

Most Favorite Thing about January: Everything slows down. No more holiday rush, no more something to do every single week/weekend. Its a great time to get organized and relax!

When do you take down your Holiday decorations?  I don't take down holiday decorations until after Three Kings Day (January 6). Usually a couple days after or that weekend depending on the day of the week it falls on.

Do you diet in January: I am on a revolving diet train at all times so January isn't much different except that I am usually so bogged down and gross from all the junk food over the holidays & break that I am happy to eat better.

What area of your home do you want to organize most: My bedroom. I have 2 closets and one has turned into a storage for all things. That needs to be fixed.

Favorite Winter Comfort Food: Easy! I love love mashed potatoes! Shepard's pie makes my heart so happy too.

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Are cookies a guilty pleasure? But otherwise YA books. They get me every time. I love them and I don't care how ridiculous they are.

If you aren't linking up tell me some of your answers!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On Meetup...

I have previously mentioned in posts my love of but today I thought I'd get a little more into why.

A little backstory:  The thing about living in city like Chicago is that there is always ALWAYS something to do but when you only have a handful of very close friends who have busy lives like your own then you can't always find someone to do those things with you. Then you have the usual friends getting into new relationships and disappearing until they step back from the honeymoon and realize they don't need to eat, sleep, breathe their SO. I originally found meetup because of just that...a combination of friends in relationships and a real need to get out of my apartment.

Its super easy to join and just search for the kind of groups you are looking for. I am a member of all girl groups, couples groups, co-ed social groups, movie marathon groups, monthly dinner groups...etc.

You may recall my super awesome 80's NYE party? I made an event on meetup for that and had quite a few people show up to party with my friends and I!

** While typing this post I realized I never posted about my 80's NYE party! So expect that soon.

Or the even more awesome holiday cookie exchange I do every year?  Posted the idea on meetup and it blew up to about 60 girls! I actually had to cut the list and start charging $5 a girl so that we could rent a space to have it.

This is just the group that was left at the very end

I did start a couple's group back when The Boy and I were doing our thang. We had many brunches, bowling nights, ice skating, and even toured a brewery & distillery with the group. After we broke up I was so not in a place to be running a couple's group so someone else took over for me. Now I have joined a couple, though I am not sure I am ready to be running one again!

So if you are new to your area or just want to explore your city and make some new friends I highly suggest!

** this was not paid for or  sponsored in anyway by, I just really like using it!

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