Weekending

Hey y'all,

Once again it is Monday and I know I have a busy work week ahead with a half-day of training on Wednesday, two students defending their dissertations, and working on setting up a luncheon for 80 people next month. Anyway, while I did not have the most restful weekend to prepare it was a lot of fun, and I apologize for the lack of pictures. One day I will get back into the swing of things for blogging.

Friday

Following work on Friday I headed straight to babysit for a sweet family. The two boys and I ate dinner, played Mouse Trap, watched some PJ Masks, and then they headed to bed. I watched a Hallmark Christmas movie until their parents returned.
It ended up being after 11:30pm by the time I got home but knowing I was having a friend come into town on Saturday, I started a load of laundry and picked up the living room a bit.

Saturday

Sunday morning I worked on getting my laundry finished before heading over to Barre 3 with Rachel G. It was a tough class but exactly what I needed to kick off my weekend. Following Barre3, I headed over to Trader Joe's to pick up a few items. I never run over to TJs so I picked up a few treats like tulips, mandarin orange chicken and their new whole wheat lavash to make pizzas for dinners this week.
I then went to my WW meeting and was down over 3lbs which means I just have 1lb left of vacation weight to get off and keep trucking along.

After my meeting I went home to finish cleaning my kitchen, take a shower, and hang out until my friend arrived from Atlana.

Max obviously was very helpful in cleaning the apartment.
TS arrived around 3:30pm and we hung out watching Nailed It before driving to downtown Durham for his college roommate's wedding. E&S are so sweet and the ceremony and wedding were beautiful and heartfelt. Also, shout out to Snap Pea Catering on the amazing dinner served family style.

Sunday

Since we didn't get back to my place until after 11:30pm it was a slow going morning. We went to church at the 9am service then headed to Chapel Hill to wander around before going to brunch at Another Broken Egg.
After brunch, my friend left and I got ready for Barre3 with Brooke. After barre, I ran to Target for a few items, went to the library to return a book, and grabbed gas.

The rest of my night involved a bubble bath with epsom salt for my muscles and then I went to the airport to pick up my parent's from their trip to Europe.

What is one thing you are looking forward to this week?

Best,

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Five on Friday {April 6}

Hey y'all,

I hope you are enjoying some spring weather as here in NC there is a chance of ice tomorrow with a freezing temperature as the low. This week was all about getting back into my routine. With being out of work for 8 days it was a bit rough getting back on Monday and I think I am finally back to my normal night routine and bedtime--a whole week after I have returned from vacation. As usual, I love sharing five random things on Friday that are bringing me joy.

one.My Mom's Birthday.

Today is my Mom's birthday and while she is not in the States right now (she is on a river boat cruise in Europe) she of course should be celebrated. I will say it has been strange as in the last three weeks I have only called her a handful of times and we usually talk every week day. Between vacation in California with her family and then her leaving for Europe with my Dad the day after I returned I miss my after work chats with her. She is my best friend and biggest supporter.

two. Project Runway on Hulu.

If you are like me and love Project Runway, I thought I should let you know that Hulu has seasons 6-15 available to stream. This past week I was able to get through season 14 and most of season 15. It did help that last week I was off Thursday-Sunday and binged some while cleaning my apartment and doing the post vacation laundry piles. I love that overall there isn't too much reality tv drama on Project Runway and the challenges and fashion shows are always a surprise.As far as live TV, I have been loving Splitting Up Together, The Royals, and The Arrangement.

three. Easter Weekend.

Easter weekend was pretty hectic around here. On Friday, my church hosted a concert at the Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh. I met up with some friends and enjoyed the concert from the lawn.
On Saturday, after my usual Barre3 class and WW meeting, I hung around the house before heading to church to serve in the kids ministry. I am a team lead for the PreSchool team during one of the Saturday services and it was great to see so many families in attendance. I served both of the Saturday services before heading home to eat dinner and watch some Hulu.

Sunday morning meant a bright and early start. I attended the 9am service and then headed into the kid's ministry to help out with the last service of the weekend. It was another great service and I am so glad that so many people were able to hear the message. Also, there were so many baptisms at church this weekend which just warms my heart. I seriously get teary every time I see a baptism and I hope that never ends. How can you not be overwhelmed with tears of joy for someone being saved?
The rest of the afternoon was filled with a quick lunch, Barre3 at 3pm, and my typical Sunday prep.
What I Wore on Easter Sunday
Dress: ON Swing Dress (Tall version for more length)/Jacket: ON/Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer (old, similar)/Earrings: Nickel & Suede/My Bible: She Reads Truth/Journal: May Designs

four. Sweet Potato Bean Burgers

This past week I made BBQ chicken and sweet potatoes in the crockpot using Christina's hack. However, due to a big catering order at work I have had lunch provided Wednesday and Thursday so I moved my planned chili to dinner. So I decided to freeze the cooked chicken and make my favorite Sweet Potato and Bean Burgers and freeze them as well for nights I don't want to cook. They are super easy to make. I typically leave out the greens and tahini. I also tend to use flour over nutritional yeast. Let me know if you make them!

five. Putting Me Together Spring Challenge.

As I mentioned previously, I participated in the PMT Winter Capsule Challenge and decided to go for the Spring challenge as well. I have seriously decluttered my closet and took some items to a local consignment store and made $83! Plus the less items of likes not loves I have in my closet distracting me, the easier it is to get dressed in the morning. You can see the capsule items in Audrey's post here. Here are the looks from the first week of the Challenge.

Monday
 
Top-LOFT (on sale for under $30)/Cardigan-LOFT, old/ Pants-ON/Flats-Ralph Lauren (old, similar)/Necklace-JCF (old, similar)/Earrings-Nickel & Suede (Glissade, similar)

Tuesday
Top-Banana Republic Outlet (Old)/Cardigan-NY&Co (old)/Necklace-Kendra Scott
Pants-Old Navy/Flats-Kenneth Cole Reaction via Marshall's (old, similar)

Wednesday
 Top-LOFT (old)/Cardigan-Old Navy (old, similar)/Pants-ON (exact)/Flats-JCF (exact)/Necklace- JC Penney(old)

Thursday
 Top-LOFT(long sleeve version)/Cardigan-Nordstrom (exact)/Pants-Ann Taylor(exact)/Flats-ON (old, similar)/Necklace-Kendra Scott (exact)/Earrings-Target(exact)

Friday
 Top-Nordstrom (exact)/Jacket-Old Navy (exact)/Pants-Lilly Pulitzer (exact)/Scarf-Lilly Pulitzer (old, similar)/Flats-Sam Edeleman (exact)

Fun links

Books to add to your shelf from Emily. 
 The Greatest Showman DVD comes out on Tuesday. I have already Pre-Ordered my copy!
Triangle friends, Meghan just posted a list of the 7 best burger places in the area and I have only been to 4 so it looks like I need to get going. 
Emily's Ruthless Declutter challenge starts Monday if you need some motivation for Spring Cleaning.
I'm crushing on these gameday earings from Lisi Lerch. Perfect for Carolina games in the Fall.
If you need some more book recommendations, I shared the nine books I read in March yesterday.

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif, Becky, and Katie.
And Erika, Narci, and Andrea

And here's my favorite guy. This week has been filled with cat cuddles as someone missed me while I was away. You can't see it but he has three of his toys right behind him.


Best,
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March Reads

Hey y'all,

I can't believe that it is already April and we are a quarter of the way through 2018. After a fun an relaxing vacation, getting back to my routine with work this week has been a bit tough and I definitely need to get back to my usual nighttime routine and 10:30pm bedtime.With 8 days off work I was able to read four books on vacation leading to a whooping nine books for March. I am actually ahead of my book goal according to GoodReads with 19/55 completed.
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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. 5/5 stars

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African ChildhoodTrevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

This was my book club's selection for March. I listened to the audiobook which I recommend as Trevor Noah reads the book. This was filled with stories from his childhood and were all over the map as far as emotions. I thought it helped bring some awareness to the struggles in South Africa as well as helped you understand his past.

  Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) 3/5 stars

Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1)When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan. Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage?

I started the Hathaway's series after reading the Ravenels and Wallflowers series from Lisa Kleypas. The Hathaway family includes some characters from the Wallflower series and I enjoyed the first book. 

Again the Magic (Wallflowers 0.5) 3/5 stars


Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5)Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class. Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father's estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable—John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the countryside... an exile from London society. Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned—more boldly handsome and more mesmerizing than before. His ruthless plan is to take revenge on the woman who shattered his dreams of love. But the magic between them burns as bright as ever. And now he must decide whether to let vengeance take its toll…or risk everything for his first, and only, love.

This book is a prequel to the Wallflowers series and explores the sisters of Marcus Marsden, Earl of Westcliff who is the main man in my favorite Wallflower book, It Happened One Autumn. Aline is mentioned in that book but her story of finding love and moving to America is merely a few lines. This was not merely a novella which I enjoyed.

Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways #2) 3.5/5 stars

Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2)Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation... and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate. Then, Win returns to England... only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for.

I think this was my most anticipated book in the Hathaway series as Kev and Merripen's love is highlighted a lot in the first book. It was a great story about sticking up for yourself and your feelings. I also loved the deeper look into Merripen's past and wish there was more about their future in the other Hathaway books.

Tempt Me at Twilight. (The Hathaways #3) 3.5/5 stars.

Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3)Poppy Hathaway loves her unconventional family, though she longs for normalcy. Then fate leads to a meeting with Harry Rutledge, an enigmatic hotel owner and inventor with wealth, power, and a dangerous hidden life. When their flirtation compromises her own reputation, Poppy shocks everyone by accepting his proposal—only to find that her new husband offers his passion, but not his trust. Harry was willing to do anything to win Poppy—except to open his heart. All his life, he has held the world at arm’s length…but the sharp, beguiling Poppy demands to be his wife in every way that matters. Still, as desire grows between them, an enemy lurks in the shadows. Now if Harry wants to keep Poppy by his side, he must forge a true union of body and soul, once and for all.

This is probably my favorite of the Hathaway stories and that is most likely since it deals with people outside the aristocracy. I love a good mix of industrialists and the "Ton" in historical romances. This book was filled with real people with faults and learning to compromise. It was a quick read and fit well with the Hathaway's and their sense of being a little off in society.

 Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways #5) 3/5 stars

Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5) As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted... and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man—just to avoid spinsterhood?
Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix's friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul—and it's becoming clear that Christopher won't come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru's disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru's letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep... and when Christopher comes home, he's determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix's innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love—and a passion that can't be denied.


I have read a similar story of false authors in letters and they tend to be fun stories but not my favorites. I have liked that Beatrix is a bit odd and not your typical heroine from a historical romance. However, I didn't love how this one played out. It was cute but not my favorite from the series.

November 9 3/5 stars.

November 9Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

I liked the concept of the novel but some of the story was a bit over the top for me. It was a very quick read (about half the day) but I wasn't emotionally invested like I have been with other Colleen Hoover books.

All The Missing Girls. 3/5 stars

All the Missing GirlsIt’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

This book is told backwards. You read a chapter and then start on day 15 moving back to day 1. I thought I would be more intrigued with this novel like other thrillers/mysteries but I often was able to set this book down. I didn't feel as connected to the characters and what was happening in large park to working back in time. 

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship.

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship Kayleen Schaefer has experienced (and occasionally, narrowly survived) most every iteration of the modern female friendship. First there was the mean girl cliques of the '90s; then the teenage friendships that revolved around constant discussion of romantic interests and which slowly morphed into Sex and the City spin-offs; the disheartening loneliness of "I'm not like other girls" friendships with only men; the discovery of a platonic soul mate; and finally, the overwhelming love of a supportive female squad (#squad).
And over the course of these friendships, Schaefer made a startling discovery: girls make the best friends. And she isn't the only one to realize this. Through interviews with friends, mothers, authors, celebrities, businesswomen, doctors, screenwriters, and historians (a list that includes Judy Blume, Megan Abbott, The Fug Girls, and Kay Cannon), Schaefer shows a remarkable portrait of what female friendships can help modern women accomplish in their social, personal, and work lives.


This is the Girls Night In book of March. I wish I could get into this book more. I kept putting it down as I was not connected to it. I did enjoy the discussions of how female friendships have changed historically especially with the entry of women into the workforce but it isn't one I would recommend to a lot of individuals to read.   

Next on the List:

What are you currently reading? 

Best,

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What's Up Wednesday {March}

Hey y'all,

I have been home all of three hours from spending eight days in California with my Mom's family so here is a peek into what I've been up to this past week:
WUWquestions edit

eating

In and Out. Really, you can't go to California and not get In-N-Out. Tomorrow I will be meal planning and getting my grocery list together since my pantry and fridge are very low right now as I tried to clean out before the trip.

reminiscing about

Te last time I was in California. This trip was the first time in over 9 years since I had been out to see my family. Seriously, it was the June after I had graduated high school. It was great to see everyone and meet all the little ones my cousins have had. 

loving

Family time especially with the littles. Between LEGOLand, breakfast and walking around downtown Orange, and even just getting dinner together I loved spending time with my family. I wish we didn't live on opposite coasts but it makes you savor the time you have together.

what I've been up to

This past week included flying first class, going to my cousin's wedding, LEGOLand, Universal Studios Hollywood, and lots of family time.

dreading?

Heading back to work? I have been off since the 20th and do not return to work until Monday. I am kind of dreading opening up my Inbox on Monday.

working on

Blog posts. I have been slacking on getting content out to y'all but with a long weekend and no more major events on my schedule for awhile I am excited to get back to posting three times a week.

excited about

The Putting Me Together Spring Challenge. The challenge kicks off on Monday and after traveling and Easter weekend, I'm glad to know that my first week back at work, my outfits are already planned and ready to go.

watching/reading

This past week I watched Wonder, Home Again, The Shape of Water, and Pride and Prejudice on the plane rides. I also went to the theater to watch A Wrinkle in Time and Midnight Sun. Of course, I also fit in a few Hallmark Spring Fling movies as well while my aunts were working.

As for reading, I read four books this week and will be recapping them on a book review post soon.

listening

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack still. The movie comes out on DVD on April 10th but you can already own the digital version if you can't wait.

wearing

Right now I am still in my travel outfit of my favorite leggings and a t-shirt from the women's conference at church last year.

I did wear this jacket a lot while on vacation. I wasn't sure how much I would utilize a utility jacket but I love this one.

doing this weekend

It's Easter weekend! On Friday I am going to an event at the Red Hat Ampitheater hosted by my church. Saturday I will be at church helping in the Kid's ministry. On Sunday I will be volunteering at again in the kids's ministry and attending church.

looking forward to next month

A wedding
Baby Shower
Bridal Shower
Walks at Lake Lynn

new

Hmm, I did purchase some new clothes for spring especially as I ave dropped a dress size. I think I am going to write a recently purchased post along with another outfits I wore post.

whatsupwedupdated
Link up with Shay here.

Best,

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Five on Friday {March 16}

Hey y'all,

We made it to Friday! I officially head on vacation on Tuesday so this weekend is going to be filled with Barre3, laundry, getting my nails done, packing, and hopefully some relaxing. Now onto five things I am loving this week.

one. Match Day.


It's today! At 12pm EST, my best friend finds out where she will do her residency! This is such an exciting time and I am hoping that where she matches will be a good fit. I wish I could be there for the ceremony and celebration but I head to the West Coast on Tuesday so a flight to Chicago for today didn't make it. I am so proud of her! She has worked so hard and will now get to follow her dream of being a doctor.
 Image may contain: Jessica Driscoll and Aireanah Zednelem, people smiling, people standing and indoor

two. Revlon Oval One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizing Styler

I recently picked up the Revlon Oval One-Step Hair Dryer. I have had the same hair dryer since college (aka 2008) so I thought it was time to upgrade. I have naturally curly hair and with this I can blow dry my hair straight in under 20 mins. And no, I don't look like I have a fluff of hair like you usually do blow drying curly hair straight. I sometime run my ghd straighter over my hair at the very end and sometimes not. Quick easy hair is always a win.

three. Book Club Book Shower

On March 3rd, we had our March Book Club meet up at Laura's home. Little did a few of our members know that we were surprising their future littles with books at the meeting. The surprise shower was a lot of fun and Laura went above and beyond with the snacks and decor. She checked out a ton of kids books at the library for decor and had children's book themed food as well. Here's to 1/4 of our group expecting littles later this year.

Book-Themed Baby Shower | Fairly Southern 
Book-Themed Baby Shower | Fairly Southern 

four. March Madness.

Living in NC and attending UNC for undergrad, March Madness is a holiday around here. My office has now been decorated with our brackets and we will see how I end up faring. GO HEELS!

five. Old Navy Twill Field Jacket

On Sunday I popped into Old Navy as I had not been in store forever and wanted to see what work pant options they had. I still hate the regular pixie pant on me but I have the Stevie in Navy and the new Pixie Sculpt now. I also picked up a dress and this coat. I love my J.Crew Downtown Field Jacket (I have the Navy un-quilted version from a few years ago) for spring but I have yet to grab an olive jacket. For under $50 (I got mine for under $40, check for sales). I thought it was a great deal.

Fun Links
This wonderful post about being a mess and embracing it. Let's all give ourselves some grace here.
Save/Splurge Post for those who are engaged
Speaking of engaged, it is shower season. If you are headed to a bridal shower why not throw in these luggage tags or these ones?

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif, Becky, and Katie.

What is your carry-on must have?

Best,
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10 on the 12th {Spring Cleaning}

Hey y'all,

I am excited to once again be linking up with of the Perfectly Port Family although this was supposed to go up on Monday and I am running a bit behind. You can read my January 10 on the 10th post here all about 10 random facts about me. This month's theme is all about cleaning as we get into Spring the cleaning bug hits. Why I am no expert and there are often hand dishes piling up next to my sink and laundry to put away here are 10 cleaning tips and tricks I have learned over the years.

one.Emily Ley's a Simplified Life and Simplified Challenge.

I highly recommend everyone read's Emily Ley's book A Simplified Life and work through the Simplicity Challenge you can find on her Instagram and  blog. The challenge has a task for each day for 31 days from clearing out the apps on your phone, putting gas in your car, to making a list of ten go-to meals. It has been so helpful in simplifying which in turn means less stuff to clean!

two.Put trash away, right away!

This is something I have been working on a lot this year. Often, I put trash down in someplace that is not the trash can. Think, I just bought a new shirt, let me cut off the tags and place those tags on the top of my dresser rather than taking the three steps to the trashcan and throwing them away. Or placing all the mail on the dining room table, rather than sorting and throwing away junk mail immediately and then organizing the important mail to the files, invitations to the fridge, etc.

three.Method Daily Shower Cleaner. 

This spray will change how you clean your bathroom. Seriously, every time you shower, you just spray down the tile, tub, and curtain and you are good to go. No scrubbing necessary. This cuts down on weekly cleaning in the bathroom and means the tub/shower can be a monthly/deep clean only item. And for under $3.00 at Target it is a no brainier (you can also get the refill solution for under $6 and it refills over 2x). Their tub cleaner is also great for that deep clean bathroom weekend.
Image result for method shower cleaner

four.Take Everything out of your closet.

When cleaning out your closet, completely empty it. Try on every piece before putting them back in the closet. If it doesn't fit, feels off, hasn't been worn in a year, or has a hole it needs to find a new home. That could be donated to a local charity, taken to a re-sell/consignment store, put up on Poshmark, or given to a friend. Your closet should reflect your style and filled with pieces you love that fit your life now. Not your dream life.

five.Recycle Those Electronics.

Did you know that all Best Buy locations will recycle your old electronics? I had a laptop and printer from college that I have not used in 4+ years. I finally drove over to my local Best Buy and dropped them off to be recycled. It was a simple process and I know the batteries in the electronics are being taken care of responsibly. Go through your home and find those things-2nd generation iPod? CD player? Stereo? It felt good to know that they were recycled and I now have lots of space under my bed where those items had been living collecting dust.

six. Break Down Each Room.

I always write my to do lists in mini steps. My list might include, clean bathroom. Then under that line I make a list: shower, toilet, trash, counter tops, flooring, mirror. It helps me feel accomplished as I cross of each little step and if I don't get to all of it, I still feel like I accomplished a lot and can move that one item over. Like last weekend, I did the bathroom floors, toilet, trash, and counter tops but not the shower or mirror. Those got moved to a to-do list on Tuesday to finish up that room and it didn't feel as overwhelming to be cleaning on a weeknight as it was only two small tasks.
Examples:
Living Room
Pick Up Items
Vacuum
Fold Blankets

Bedroom
Put Away Laundry
Change Sheets
Make Bed
Clean Closet
Clear off Desk
Clean off Dresser
Trash
Vacuum

Kitchen
Dishes
Hand Dishes
Counters
Oven
Microwave
Floors
Trash

seven. Make it Easy.

I don't know about you but the easier it is to put away laundry the better. I love to do laundry but the folding and actually putting clothes away is the worst. I just use bins for my socks, scarves, tights, belts, nike shorts, bathing suits, and sports bras. This means these items do not need to me meticulously folded but rather placed in this system in my closet. I also keep my extra large boat tote in my room filled with my at home exercise equipment like my B3 core ball, kettle bell, stretch band, etc.
Image result for storage cube unit

eight. Be Realistic. 

As someone who moved almost every three years as a kid I have learned the power of a good purge. Do I really need 20+ pens in my desk drawer. Nope. I donated a huge bag of pens, pencils, markers, and highlighters to some of my teacher friends instead. My parents kept a trunk for each of us for our sentimental things. That meant only a few items from every school year made it in but looking through the trunk now is such a treasure and I on occasion still add to it. From the baby bracelet at hospital, the first stuffed animal ever, to my favorite college t-shirt they all live in that trunk in the storage unit attached to my apartment deck. My parent's were realistic in the fact that I did not need every piece of artwork from elementary school but I did need the book I made, some of my book reports, and the about me pages. Be realistic about what is sentimental and needs to be kept along with what is necessary.  Ten black dresses, maybe whittle it down to five. 20 pairs of flats, just keep the favorites that are more wearable with outfits. Remember, the simpler and less items you have the easier it is to keep clean.

nine.Prioritize.

With my busy schedule, not every room gets cleaned every weekend. That's okay. I try to prioritize the kitchen as that is a shared space and you want to make sure it is clean so no one get's sick. After that, I prioritize laundry and bathrooms. Vacuum doesn't happen every week but it happens at a minimum of once every three weeks and we mini vac the couch weekly because of Max cat. That works for our apartment. For you it might mean the dining room dusting is at the bottom of the list and that is okay!

ten. Reward Yourself.

When you are done with the deep clean for spring, all the items have been donated (including those old coffee cups you never use), the electronics recycled, and the house looks great. Treat yourself. It might be a new decorative basket for the blankets in the living room so that you don't have to keep folding them, a fun new wall hanger for the mail or a nice massage. Just don't forget that cleaning and organizing is a way of self care and will set you up for success.

What are some of your helpful spring cleaning tips?
Favorite cleaning products?

Putting Me Together Capsule Wardrobe {Part 2}

Hey y'all,

Yesterday I shared some of my outfits from the PMT Winter Capsule Wardrobe challenge and I promised to share the rest today. As indicated, these were just some of my outfits during January/February and mostly my work wardrobe. You can read yesterday's post here.

Let me know if you have any questions about the challenge. I had a lot of fun and it helped me to really shop my closet and recognize that I could work with a capsule wardrobe and not feel restricted.

You can register for the Spring challenge here starting today!
Work
Work
Top (LOFT, similar)/Pants/Scarf/Earrings
Top/Pants (old)/Cardigan (LOFT, old, similar)/Necklace/Flats
Church
Cardigan/Top (Church's Kids Ministry)/Earrings/Jeans (Target, similar)
Top/Vest/Scarf (old, similar)/Earrings/Pants
 top/pants/scarf (old, similar)/shoes, old from Ralph Lauren (similar)
Top/vest/necklace/Jeans (Target, similar)/boots (old, similar)
Cardigan/Top/Scarf (old, Lilly Pulitzer, similar)/Pants/Flats (Converse, old, similar)

These two outfits were worn the last week of February when we had a warm period and were in the 70s!
Top (old, LOFT, similar)/Cardigan (LOFT, old)/Necklace/Pants
pants/necklace/top-Target (old)

Let me know if you would like to see more OOTD posts on my blog. It would probably be work wear round ups like these posts.

I signed up for the Spring Challenge and was thinking I might post my weekly outfits for y'all. If you want to purchase the winter challenge it is on sale here.
Best,
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