Monday, September 25, 2017

My Sunglasses Collection

For as long as I can remember, I've been a sunglasses snob. I started with several pairs of cheaper sunglasses then slowly transitioned into more expensive, better quality sunglasses. John was actually the one who encouraged me to buy a more expensive pair of sunglasses, and I'm so glad he did!
I bought my first pair of expensive sunglasses, which were the D&G aviator sunglasses with mirrored lenses, back in 2010. At that time, they were $110. I loved (and still love) these sunglasses. I took such good care of them and felt so cool wearing them. These are now my beach and swimming pool sunglasses, meaning I don't care if they get water on them. I've gone under water many times with these sunglasses now, and they still look great for being seven years old.
The D&G sunglasses transitioned to more of beach and swimming pool sunglasses when I got my Ray-Ban Aviator Gradient Gold sunglasses. John bought these for me for my college graduation in 2013. I wear these more during Fall when the sun isn't quite as bright as summer since the lenses aren't as dark. I do wish I would have picked out the larger frames, but the regular frames fit my face much better. The only complaint I have about these sunglasses are that they get stuck in your hair if you put them on your head, and they aren't quite as sturdy feeling as my other sunglasses.
John also bought me my next pair of sunglasses, which are the Hawkers Air Joker. He got these for me right before our wedding when he was buying groomsmen gifts. These weren't expensive sunglasses (around $40) but still more expensive than the normal $10 ones I used to buy. I love the frames and lenses in these sunglasses. They are funky and sturdy, and these are the closest thing to pink sunglasses that I have at the moment. I wore these the entire time on our honeymoon!
This next pair of sunglasses are my favorite ones I have ever owned. They are the Tom Ford Alicia sunglasses. They are oversized, sturdy, sit on my face and top of my head nicely, go with any outfit - they are everything I want in a pair of sunglasses! John bought these for me for Christmas 2014! These are, by far, the most expensive pair of sunglasses I own, and I would honestly buy them all over again. Totally worth the money! Tom Ford knows what they are doing when it comes to sunglasses.
My last pair of sunglasses actually came in my Rachel Zoe's Box of Style box this summer. They are the RAEN Durante Cat-Eye sunglasses. I feel like they look slightly goofy on my face, but I still love them because they are different. They are the tortoise shell look, which I don't have in my collection. These sunglasses are sturdy but sit on my head kind of funny. These are ones I leave in John's car, so when he is driving, I have a pair of sunnies in there.

If you can swing it, I do recommend getting a pair of quality sunglasses at least once in your life (or find someone who buys them for you - thank you so much John!). Most all of them are worth the money. Take your time and find YOUR perfect pair. It makes all the difference when you love them instead of just kind of like them. Plus, you don't want to spend your money on something you just like or want because everyone else has them.

Do you own expensive sunglasses? If so, which ones? I'm always looking for new ones:)

PHONE UPDATE: John surprised me on HIS birthday weekend with the new iPhone 8 Plus. I actually received it on the release day (Friday), which was so cool! I've never gotten a phone the day it has been released. I'm the one who gets it a year later, so this was so exciting for me! It was also so sweet that John shared his birthday weekend with me getting me new phone. I absolutely love it and bought this case for it at Best Buy. It was an open box, so we got it for $29.99!

Friday, September 22, 2017

My Day Off in Pictures

I haven't had a day off in a minute, which is unusual for me. I'm used to working four 10 hour days and having a day off in the middle of the week. Since I started my new job in July, I have been working five 8 hour days. Now my schedule has changed, and it looks like I will have a day off every other week. YAY! Sometimes you just need a day off, especially in the middle of the week - they're my favorites! Luckily, I was able to have yesterday (Thursday) off, which helped me prepare some things for John's birthday today (Friday)! Let's get on with it and see what my day looked like, shall we?

My body typically wakes itself up around 7:00am. I normally go back to sleep until at least 8:00am before I get up and actually start my day. I'm trying to get back into a skincare routine but so far I have failed. I normally get up, go to the bathroom, put dry shampoo in my hair, brush my teeth, change into a t-shirt and some sort of bottoms, and deodorize.
I then throw my hair up into some kind of something so that it is out of my face, put on my slippers (similar here), and head downstairs to let Layla and Penny outside and feed them.
Most of the time John will make he and I coffee in the morning, and he will leave mine out for when I come downstairs since he leaves so much earlier than I do. On the occasion he doesn't make coffee, I indulge in my favorite.. CHOCOLATE MILK! Not that pre-made shiz, which I'm not totally opposed to, I just prefer my Nesquick powder and milk. This is normally a night time drink for me, but when I have a day off from work, it's fair game for morning and night.
 Now we move onto couch time and YouTube watching time. You can see Layla and Penny are thrilled. Sweet Penny had an appointment at 11:30am, so I wanted to try and get some things done before we left on that adventure.
Party City didn't open until 9:30am, so I had a little time to wait around and continue watching videos. I went in there looking for a large 3 balloon and a large 5 balloon for John's birthday. They had nothing in the same colors. I didn't have time to go all the way to the St. Louis Party City, so I sucked it up and went to Walmart. No luck there either, but the sales lady told me to try another Walmart about 10 minutes away. I hopped back into the car and off I went to another damn Walmart - I must really love this guy.
Luckily, they had what I was looking for at the other Walmart except a smaller version and air filled not helium, which was fine with me. I then had to swing by Walgreens to get John some Puffs since he is still sick, and we were completely out. We are total kleenex snobs and like to blow our nose using Puffs Plus Lotion. It was an added bonus that I saw these with Vicks in them.

By this point in time, I was sweating and ready to get back home. I only had about 15 minutes before I had to leave to take Penny to the vet.
I quickly made John's birthday cake, Jello Cheesecake with no crust. It took me a whole five minutes to make it. He is so easy to please:) I popped that into the fridge and off Penny and I went to the vet.
She got her nails trimmed and her anal glands expressed (TMI? Oh well.). She did so good and loved being an "only dog" for a change. Lately, Layla has been getting to have all of the "only dog" adventures with all of her knee surgeries and checkups, so it was Penny's turn.
We made it back to the house around 12:00pm, just in time for me to eat this hearty lunch of salsa, chips, and A & W Root Beer (I'm more of a Barq's girl, but this will do.) and light my candle to make the room feel cozier because it's 90 degrees outside and Fall is tomorrow. I also did the dishes #wifeaward.
Now it's present wrapping time! I couldn't find any tape to wrap the presents, so I just used painters tape. It seemed to work pretty well, and John didn't even notice it when he got home.
Birthday preparation was now complete! I did this all before 1:00pm, and I must say that I'm pretty proud of that. Normal days off, consist of me sitting on the couch ALL DAY.

While wrapping presents, blowing balloons, and hanging banners, I was watching New Girl. I just started it, and I really like it! In the entire span of day and night, I went from episode 9 to episode 23.
 John got home around 3:00pm. Finally, someone to take my picture with me on my laptop for this blog post! We continued to watch New Girl and catch up on the day. Penny was clearly too exhausted to keep her head up, so when John moved forward on the couch, her head slid behind his back. She was a tired girl after her little adventure today.
I ate another nutritious meal of chicken sandwiches while John ate frozen boneless, buffalo wings for supper around 6:30pm. John let Layla and Penny outside and fed them, then it was back to couch time. I normally read blog posts later at night, so I did this while continuing to watch New Girl. To be honest, I read maybe two blog posts because I didn't want to not watch New Girl.

Now it is 9:45pm. John has gone to bed because he has to get up at 3:00am, and he is still not feeling well. Layla is laying next to me snoring, and Penny is in the chair with her eyes closed as well. After proofreading, I will probably watch another episode of New Girl, drink some milk, let the girls out, put them to bed, then put myself to bed.

I hope you enjoyed my little day off post. Thank you to Erin for the post idea!

What do you do on your day off?

Since this blog post is going up today (Friday), I would like wish my incredibly, amazing husband a very Happy Birthday! I love you bookitty - forever and ever!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Roaming Thoughts of the Week - Seven

Smiles from my sweet Penny!

I don't know if you are ready for this week's edition of Roaming Thoughts. They are pretty out there...

Roaming Thought #1:
The corn fields and soy bean fields I see everyday going to and from work look dead as door nails. It must be getting close to harvesting season. Those big tractors are so cool. I want to drive one. They also suck because they cause traffic build-up.

Roaming Thought #2:
It's getting hot outside again. Um, hello fall, where ya at? Friday is the first day of fall, and it's supposed to be 94 degrees. I feel like I'm back in Mississippi with this weather. Illinois is supposed to have seasons people. Is it fall or Fall? 

Roaming Thought #3:
I keep thinking someone is going to stand outside my living room window with an IT mask on. I can't wait for some haunted houses this year!

Roaming Thought #4:
After my phone went for a swim, my battery has been draining so bad. I'm debating harder on whether to get a new phone or not.

Roaming Thought #5:
The candle I'm burning smells so good right now. It sure does make this room cozy. I wonder if I can burn a candle upstairs while I'm downstairs? I'm pretty sure I would forget about it, and John would kill me.

Roaming Thought #6:
Penny needs her nails cut. Good thing I was a #goodmom and made an appointment. I should take Layla on her physical therapy walk for her knee. Can they go inside the grocery store with me?

Roaming Thought #7:
Can you strain the muscles in your eyes from rolling them too much? I feel like thats all I've been doing when I look at Facebook lately.

Roaming Thought #8:
I need to start getting Christmas ideas and presents together. Should I get them what they want and wait for a list or get them what I think they will like and hope for the best (run-on sentence much)?

Roaming Thought #9:
My think tank has honestly been on zero these past couple of weeks. I feel like my brain is just sleeping all day, everyday.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Little Weekend That Could

...but it didn't.

Let me explain.

Friday night, kind of, went as planned, which was fantastic! We got to meet up with good friends, drink good beer at Recess Brewing, and eat good Mexican food!
I even got to wear my new Vans (late birthday present). I love these shoes. I feel so cool wearing them. Don't judge me.
Then we came home. My stomach started cramping, and I had the worst headache. I just wanted to crawl into bed. Instead of peacefully crawling into said bed, I went to the bathroom and dropped my phone in the toilet, which I have never done before in my life. This was after I dropped my phone on vacation and completely cracked my screen back in June, which I have also never done before in my life. Ugh. In June, I decided I was going to wait it out, with a cracked screen, for the iPhone 8. I was super excited to get a new phone but realized on Thursday it was too expensive for us right now, and I could live with my cracked phone to save money - there are other things I want to spend $40 a month on. That is until I dropped my phone in the toilet. Luckily, John was able to save it, and it just has some discoloration on the screen.

While all of this was going on Friday night, riots started occurring in St. Louis. Since we live about 20 minutes from the city, it didn't effect us too much until all of our plans started getting cancelled for the weekend.

I woke up Saturday morning, feeling much better, and was so excited for the day. We were going to watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film while the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performed the music, live! OH MY GOSH! I was over the moon excited for this. I've never gone to the Symphony before, and I love Harry Potter. We were going to get dressed up and have the best date night. Well, we received an email that said it was cancelled. The riots turned unpeaceful (is that a word? blogger says no. whatever.) Friday night and it continued into Saturday, so the Symphony did not feel like it would be safe to have the concert. I completely understand and appreciate them thinking of our safety, but damn I was disappointed. I already painted my fingernails, used cuticle oil, and shaved my legs. At least they gave us the notice in a good amount of time. I would have been pissed if I were doing my makeup and then had to take it all back off again. 

Since our plans were a bust, I decided to start unpacking the last two boxes in our bedroom. That ended with a huge mess on the floor and no pathway to John's side of the bed or the bathroom. Whoops. The boxes got unpacked though!

We washed and put back together Layla and Penny's beds. They were so excited to have their "big" bed back.
For supper, we decided to try another new place, Marco's Express. The pizza and service were fantastic. I definitely recommend! Afterwards, John wanted to show me more wood working tools he wants from Lowe's for his birthday on Friday. We later came back home to watch some LSU football, but they lost. Ugh.
Now it's Sunday. We were supposed to go pick up our free Cardinals tickets from Busch Stadium and watch the game at Ballpark Village, but we received another cancellation email due to the riots. Ugh. I guess it kind of worked out for the best. John's throat was starting to hurt him last night, and he's not feeling 100% today. I was able to clean up a few of the piles on the floor from the two boxes in the bedroom I unloaded last night and organize them. I still have more to go but there is a pathway now, so I think I will do the rest at a later date. We also have been watching some football today, but the Saints lost. Ugh. Just a continuation of the weekend. We also watched Helene in Between's House Hunters International episode, which was so inspiring and exciting! Now we are watching Big Bang Theory reruns. Wild Sunday night over here.
I'm hoping next weekend will be better since it's John's birthday! How did your weekend go?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bath & Body Work Sale 2017

Oh yeah! It's that time of the year again when Bath & Body Works puts their 3-wick candles on sale! Right now, they are $12.50/each when you buy two or more. Honestly, Bath & Body Works sales are like my version of the Nordstrom Sale (except BBW has more sales than just one).

This year John and I narrowed our candle selection down to just four. We figured we could burn one every two weeks or so to last us all the way through fall. I picked a candle, John picked a candle, and then we picked two joint candles. It makes it more fun and luckily John likes to be involved in the candle picking process!:)

First up, we have my pick, Pumpkin Apple (out of stock online). This candle has the smell of sweet apples with a hint of cinnamon. I like it because it doesn't burn your nose with a strong cinnamon scent like most fall candles do. It's a perfect mixture of sweet with a little spice.

Next up is John's pick, Pumpkin Cupcake. This is a very sweet smelling candle, and it's one of my favorites. It smells like vanilla pumpkin cupcakes. YUM!

Lastly are our joint picks, Flipping Awesome (Pumpkin Pecan Waffles) and Autumn. The Flipping Awesome candle is one of our all time favorites. It smells just like it sounds. I actually bought one for my parents a couple of years ago, and both of my parents loved it as well. The Autumn candle is a great transition to fall candle. We currently have it burning in our house. It smells like sweet, fresh apples and crisp air. My mom bought this candle as well and asked my dad what it smelled like. He responded with, "it smells like Sarah's house!" So sweet and true!
I found a coupon on RetailMeNot for a free gift (retail value of $14.50) when you spend $10.00 or more, so I got the Black Cherry Merlot candle in the medium size. It has a deep fruity smell, not super sweet, that I really liked. I didn't care for the way it smelled in the 3-wick version, but this smaller version smelled perfect. I have no clue why that is - it just is what it is.
Let's get these fall and Halloween decorations out y'all! Did you buy anything from the Bath & Body Works sale?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Wedding Gifts Worth The Money: Kitchen Edition


John and I have been married for a little over a year and a half. We had two big arguments during our engagement period. The first was over the date we were going to get married. I cried. He won. I ended up loving the date he chose (01.23.16) but still wonder if my date was better every now and again (04.23.16). The second thing was over what to register for. John wanted to register for anything and everything he has EVER wanted (this includes an electric bug swatter), and I just wanted to register for things we really needed. He wanted to register for expensive stuff (like All-Clad pots/pans and Wusthof knives), and I wanted to register for less expensive stuff. He clearly won this argument too, and I honestly could not be happier. We have a lot of quality pieces that we will be able to use for years to come.

Let's first start with our toaster oven. I am a huge fan of a toaster oven over a regular toaster. This is mainly because my family and I never used a regular toaster. We currently have both. I love our regular toaster, but my favorite is still the toaster oven. You can do so many more things with the toaster oven, and it can fit more bread in it. I don't always like heating up the big oven if I'm the only one eating, so the toaster oven works perfect for that. Plus it has a broiler that I've never used, but my momma told me we wanted a toaster oven with a broiler. So there ya go. I love the look of this toaster oven and how easy it is to use. I also love how easy it is to clean the crumbs out of the bottom. Just pull the tray out and dump.

Next are the All-Clad stainless steel pots and pans. I've never used stainless steel, so I was a little leary about asking for expensive stainless steel pots and pans. What if I melted them? What if I scorched them? We couldn't afford to replace them if that ever happened. I'm happy to report I've done neither of the two. These pots and pans have been amazing! I highly recommend them. Our food always cooks evenly and fast. Since they are not non-stick, we don't have to worry about little black flakes in our food from scratching the bottom of the pan. You can scratch away on these bad boys. It gives them character. They are also dishwasher safe, but we still hand wash all of ours. Make sure to register for the ones that have lids. You don't realize how much you need it until you don't have it. All-Clad is pretty expensive if you buy them as separates, so we registered for a large set that we received from the hostesses of one of our showers! We registered for some other pieces, but this one, this one, and this one are the ones we use the most.

Mixing bowls of my dreams. The stackable-ness of them, the look, the rubber bottoms.. I want them all. We actually received two sets of these mixing bowls, and I waited over a year to return the second set because I love them so much and what if I'm making something and need more mixing bowls? The rubber bottoms really come in handy especially if you are whisking something or trying to mix cookie dough. I don't have to constantly hold the bowl when my forearm is on fire. The three different sizes are perfect for anything, and they are dishwasher safe.

This grill John and I actually bought using gift cards because we didn't register for it. If I knew then what I know now, I would have put it on our registry. We currently don't have a grill at our house, and this has helped us cope so much. We cook all of our burgers, chicken, fish - pretty much anything you can think of that you might need a grill for plus more, like paninis. It's extremely foolproof to use, which I really like. You just tell it what you're cooking, it preheats for that particular item, put item on grill once done preheating, and it tells you when to take it off. The plates and grease trap are all dishwasher safe too.

Who doesn't love a knife that actually cuts shit on the first try. These knives do just that. This three pack contains the perfect size knives for anyone's kitchen. The only downfall is that they are not dishwasher safe.

So what did we learn from all of this? Register for whatever the hell you want to - no matter the cost. You will really be surprised at what all gifts you get that you never thought you would. Dishwasher safe is always best. Quality is key, so you don't have to replace it later on down the road. Register for the large sets and individual pieces (like All-Clad and Wusthof knives) because you can always return it.

Hopefully this post will be helpful. Let me know if you register for any of these items or currently own them. I would love to know how you like them!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Blogging Tips For a Newbie By a Newbie


Starting a blog can be somewhat intimidating. but you just have to go for it. Going for it can be somewhat hard though if you don't exactly know where to start. Recently I've had a couple of friends ask me how I got started, so I figured I would share with you too. This will probably sound somewhat redundant to the many other "how to start a blog", but who knows.. It might just help you.

1. Choose your platform.
I am not a super tech-savvy person, so I chose Google's Blogger. Wordpress.com seems to be the way to go if you know more about coding, and Wordpress.org is more for big time bloggers that want to host their own website (way out of my league right now and too expensive). I just wanted something I could setup quickly and start writing. Plus, it's free.

2. Choose a name for your blog.
This will stick with you for a long time as I hear it's a pain in the ass to convert from one blog name to another when you have a following so make sure it's one you like. Try to keep it simple and not to wordy. It seems harder to find blogs with wordy names. While choosing my name, I used GoDaddy's Domain Search to see if that domain name was taken. I went ahead and purchased my domain name and web hosting through GoDaddy because I honestly didn't know there was anyone else I could get it from. I know many other bloggers use DreamHost and BlueHost. I'm happy with GoDaddy and haven't had any issues with them. It costs me under $150/year for both my domain name and web hosting. I just use gmail for my email address. It was easier than buying one from GoDaddy (which I had for my first year) in my opinion.

3. Design.
This was one thing I have spent the most time on. I wanted my blog to look nice and somewhat simple. I do not know a thing about coding, but I know how to follow directions. The thing that helped me the most was reading Venus Trapped In Mars blog specifically this post and this post. I also googled other things that I wanted to change about my blog and usually landed on someone's post that would help me out.

4. Start writing and taking pictures.
Now is the fun part, writing and pictures. I'm not much of a planner when it comes to posts I'm going to put out there. I usually just think of things and write them, or I'll write ideas down on my weekly planner (out of stock). If I know I am going somewhere fun, I make sure to bring my camera, so I can take pictures because every good blogger always posts a picture with every blog post (I've read something of this nature on every single "how to get started blogging" blog post out there). It does really help though, even if it is a random picture. I don't have a high quality camera. I just use my old Sony Cyber-Shot that I've had for five years. I've just started dabbling in editing pictures, but I just do it through photos on my Mac and change the brightness and saturation.

5. Share on social media.
This is something I just started doing since I started back blogging at the beginning of August, and it was terrifying. I don't share posts on Facebook, but I started sharing them on instagram and twitter. I'm so glad I did. I really do see more traffic when I post on instagram, not really so much with twitter, but it's still out there. One day I will get brave and share on Facebook but until then instagram and twitter is where I will be. I also recommend getting a Bloglovin' account. This is where I go to read all of the blog posts of bloggers that I follow, and it helps me find new people to follow. It's just nice to have it all in one place. Make sure to link your blog to your account so other people can follow you.

6. Google analytics.
I just recently found out about Google Analytics, and it really is a game changer on knowing what is working for your blog, what's not, and who's reading. Blogger gives you statistics, but they aren't extremely accurate. Google Analytics seems to be more accurate, and it's free. For example, Blogger says I've had 623 page views where as Google Analytics says I've had 345 page views. I didn't add Google Analytics until August 12th, but I don't feel like I had 300 page views in the first two weeks of my blog. Who knows - maybe I did!

I'm still extremely new to the blogging world, but I just wanted to share what has helped me thus far. Let me know if you have any questions or if you are just starting up a new blog!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day Weekend Recap

Happy Labor Day! This weekend my brother-in-law and sister-in-law came in town to spend Labor Day weekend with us! We had the best time showing them a couple of our favorite places, so I thought I would share them with you. 

Saturday afternoon we went to Blues City Deli. This is probably my favorite restaurant in all of St. Louis. It feels just like you are back in the Big Easy and that makes my little heart extremely happy. 

You cannot go wrong with any of their food selections. My favorite is the Original Roast Beef with mayo and provolone cheese only. The roast beef sandwiches remind me so much of Short Stop Poboys (known to my family as Russell's Short Stop) in Metairie, Louisiana - one of my favorite places! John's favorite sandwich is the 7th Street Sicilian. I also highly recommend their sides, especially the potato salad and red beans and rice. My mouth is actually watering while I'm typing this. I just love it all so much!

Besides the amazing food and the choice between Pepsi products or Coke products (yes, they have both fountains in there with the best ice), this place has an incredible atmosphere and vibe. It's just a cool place to look around in. The other great thing about this place is the staff. We have seen the owner there every single time, and he's always working the cash register and wearing his fedora. He is probably one of the nicest people I've ever met.

I keep telling John that I will work there some day, that's how much I love it. TIP: If you are going for lunch, get there early, or you will stand in line. We always get there about 5-10 minutes before they open.
 After eating, we went to IKEA because BIL and SIL have never been. I walked away with only a lamp shade. Our last stop on Saturday was Miniature Market for the boys. If you are a board game lover, this is the place for you. They have ding and dent board games up to 80% off in store. The games themselves are not damaged, but the box may not look really pretty. Sometimes you can't even tell where the ding or the dent is in the box.

Sunday was our day in St. Charles. If you ever come to the St. Louis area, you must make a visit to St. Charles Historic Main Street, especially from Fall to Christmas time. It's the prettiest little town with a ton of shopping and good food. I recommend getting the Lobster Mac & Cheese Bread Boule from Little Hills Winery. There wine is also fantastic!
My favorite of all the shops in St. Charles has to be Joys Collective Market. Local artists pay for booth spaces to showcase their handmade crafts and amazing treasures. There is also a great white, brick wall next to the market that is great for taking pictures of your loot.



I hope everyone is having a great Labor Day! BIL and SIL have gone home, so we have been washing dishes and doing laundry while watching The Bold Type, Harry Potter, and now baseball! 

What did you do this Labor Day weekend?