Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekend Recap + Giveaway!!

We had some great weather this weekend so we made sure to take full advantage!  Saturday was spent working part of the day and we spent the rest of the day/night at my parents hanging out with my sister and my family.  Sunday was super productive: grocery shopping, church, cleaning up dog poop that has been piling up all winter (gross), cleaning out my car, and doing laundry.  I hope you were able to enjoy some great weather this weekend too!

Today I'm participating in this amazing giveaway to celebrate A Modern Commonplace Book turning one year old! I've been reading Ginny's blog for a while and she is one of the hosts of The Intentional Life Project that I've been participating in the for the past couple of months.  Her first post, What is a Commonplace Book?,was published on March 14 - and the rest is history.  Happy first blog birthday to A Modern Commonplace Book!

MCB photo for giveaway
Because of my birthday month, I have asked some very favorite bloggers of mine to help throw a fabulous birthday giveaway! This one's for you, my readers! Enjoy!


This awesome giveaway could not be possible with these amazing women! I am truly grateful for all their encouragement, friendship, inspiration, and like-mindedness this past year. Make sure you stop each of their sites - and show them your thanks!


One lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and three hand-picked (and hand-made!) boutique gifts! These gifts will spoil you! I am super excited to include the Victoria Secret Lemon Escape Body Lotion. This stuff is luxurious and like silk.

The Custom Jimmy Choo print is from the awesome Sandra Manton Shop from the Sam and Duke Blog. Sandra is absolutely skilled - and this piece is simply stunning. We all need this hung in our bedroom! See other gorgeous prints here!


The winner will also receive 4 vintage shabby hand-made headbands from the Emily Gold shop. You can pick the size (infant or adult), and there are tons of designs to choose from! See her beautiful Etsy shop and all her headbands here.
Giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on March 31st until 11:59 pm EST on April 7th. All entries will be verified, so be honest! Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner will be chosen. Enter using the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dateless in Dallas

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five On Friday

Linking up with ChristinaDarciApril, and Natasha and you should too!

ONE.  My sister was in town this week for her Spring break and she stayed with me a couple of nights, and I’m going to my parents to see her again tomorrow after I get done working.  Our dogs had a lot of fun playing together while she was here too.  She has a Great Pyrenees and he is a giant.  He is almost one is seriously like 100 pounds.  Admiral didn’t care that Lambert was twice his size and had fun wrestling with him anyway.

TWO.  Opening day for baseball is Monday.  I. Can’t. Wait.  LOVE me some baseball.  Go Tigers!

THREE.  I seriously need some Spring weather.  It snowed a couple days again this week, but it looks like some warmer temps (40s and maybe 50s) are in the forecast for next week.  Bring it on!

Dear Winter, Don't be a whore. Let Spring get some, too. Sincerely, Humanity.

FOUR.  We will be gone on Saturday, but plan to be home on Sunday and I hope to finish up some things in the kitchen…like the backsplash grout and caulking the trim.  It’s also supposed to be in the 50s and sunny, so I might end up spending my day outside.  But then I would just be picking up dog poop all day.  Gross.  I think I’ll put that on my “honey-do” list for my husband…

FIVE.  I started doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred this week and I am loving it!  I love that the workouts are simple moves, but the way she incorporates strength, cardio, and abs and changes it up really makes me feel like I’m getting a total body workout and in a short time.  I’ve been a little sore, but not too bad, and I definitely feel the burn during the workouts.  I’m excited to keep it going!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

ABCs of Me

Julie from Just the Joys posted this fun ABCs of me yesterday and I love it, so I decided to do one too!  Since I have new followers around here (hi there!), I thought it'd be a good way to get to know me a little better.

A - Age: 26
B - Birthday: July 16
C - Color: Purple (that's why I used it as our wedding colors)
D - Drink: I usually just drink water or Lipton's diet green tea with citrus, but alcohol wise I'm definitely a beer girl and Bud Light is my fav :)
E - Eyes: Hazel
F - Flashback:  Birthday Bash weekends past...I can't wait for this year's concerts in June!
G - Gent: My husband of almost nine months, Kevin.
photo by McKensie anne Photography
H - Hobby: Crocheting, reading, watching and playing sports, going for walks with my husband and dog, and watching movies.
I - Indulgence:  I love chocolate.  Especially mint chocolate.  Oh and peanut butter and chocolate together-YUM.  And dark chocolate, white chocolate...just give it all to me!!  Easter candy is my weakness.  Cadbury Creme Eggs are my fav...and Reese's eggs.
J - Job: I'm an Administrative Assistant at a school.
K - Kids: Some day.  We're not in a hurry.
L - Love: My family and friends, bonfires, and the beach.
M - Music: I love country music, but I also like clasics rock, pop, r&b...I'm not too picky.
N - Nickname:  Kevin calls me 'cka.  Apparently Ericka is too much to say haha.
O - One Wish: To win the lottery!  I know money doesn't buy happiness, but it sure would be fun :)
P - Pets: Our three-year-old Goldendoodle, Admiral.
photo by McKensie anne Photography
Q - Quote:  It's hard to pick just one, but this is one of my favorites: "God has perfect timing; never early, never late.  It takes a little patience and a lot of faith.  But it's always worth the wait."
R - Residence: We bought our first house about a 1.5 years ago in the Grand Rapids, MI area and we love it!
S - Siblings: I have one sister, Ashley. She is 2 years younger than me.

T - Temperature:  I LOVE warm weather...give me 80 degrees and sunny and I'm a happy girl!  This long, cold, Michigan winter is driving me nuts!
U - University: I went to Baker College, which is a small local school.  I got my Associates (Office Administration) and my Bachelor's (Business Administration-Management) there and I would go there again in heartbeat.
V - Vehicle:  I currently have a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am, but fingers crossed, I'm hoping to get a new vehicle later this year!
W - Worst Habit: Probably picking my hang nails/dry skin around my fingers.
X - X Rays:  Just in my mouth (my teeth are horrible) and I had a chest x-ray once.
Y - Yuck:  Frogs and toads.  Hate them.  Don't know why, I just do.  They gross me out.
Z - Zodiac: Cancer

Monday, March 24, 2014

Our Weekend In Cincinnati

After work on Thursday, Kevin, his mom, and myself headed down to Cincinnati to visit Kevin's brother (Chris) and sister-in-law (Lisa).  We got down there around 11:30 p.m. Thursday night.

FRIDAY:  We lounged around in the morning and then headed to Hot Head Burrito for lunch.  Then the boys went golfing and the girls went to Ikea!  Friday night we went to dinner at Boi Na Braza and then spent the rest of the night watching basketball at Chris and Lisa's apartment.

SATURDAY:  We had a pretty relaxed day on Saturday.  We went to Kroger for a few things and then picked up Thai for lunch.  We spent the rest of the afternoon watching basketball and playing cribbage.  Lisa made us Alfredo for dinner and then we watched some more basketball and played games for the rest of the night.

SUNDAY:  Sunday morning we got ready and then headed to the casino for a little bit.  I ended up winning $25 so I was pretty happy!  We ate lunch at Bobby's Burger Palace in the casino and then packed up and headed home.

We got home around 7:30 Sunday night, so we did a load of laundry and started to catch up on some shows on the DVR.  My Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD came in the mail right before we left, so I'm starting that tonight!  I can't wait to get back in shape, so I'm hoping this will be a great kick start.  Anyone else done her 30 Day Shred workout?  What do you think?

Dateless in Dallas

Friday, March 21, 2014

Intentional Life Project: Improving the Budget

Linking up again today with Bre and Ginny.

I've been doing pretty good at this month's Intentional Life Project: improving the budget (read this month's first post HERE).  My goal was to limit myself to one specialty coffee per week (instead of the 2-4 I was buying).  So far, so good!  We are actually in Cincinnati right now visiting my brother-in-law and his wife, so we'll see how I do during the weekend.  I think I tend to splurge more when we are away from home.

The Intentional Life Project

Wednesday was 99 cent drink day at Biggby, so I had to make a stop and get one (did anyone else take advantage of that great deal??).  Here is what this month's chart looks like so far:

Each "X" is a day where I did NOT purchase a specialty coffee. So, there have only been four days so far this month that I have purchased one.  Which basically means that should be it for the month if I'm sticking to one per week. I'm going to try to stay strong :)

I'm loving the way that this project is making me think about different aspects of my life and be "intentional" in them.  I'm already looking forward to finding out next month's topic!  It's not too late for you to join the Intentional Life Project either.  Just head over to Bre or Ginny's blog to get all the details and link up!

What are some simple things you do to help improve your budget?  Do you love specialty coffees/drinks as much as I do?  :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Cleaning: Medicine Cabinet (and Linen Closet Help)

This past weekend I had every intention of "Spring cleaning" our bathroom and linen closet.  But when our washing machine broke, I spent the majority of my weekend trying to figure out what the problem was, and the linen closet didn't get touched.  (I would like to mention that I DID figure out the problem, and my husband I were able to fix the washer last night all by ourselves.  And the only cost was a $20 part.  I feel like I'm on top of the world after having figured it out AND fixing it.)  Since I didn't have time to tackle the linen closet, I still wanted to do a little Spring cleaning, so I decided to tackle a small part of the bathroom that we use on a daily basis--the medicine cabinet.

At first glance it doesn't look too bad, but I'm kind of weird and mess/clutter kind of stresses me out, so I wanted to make sure everything was clean and organized.  I started by taking everything off out of the medicine cabinet and cleaning it really good.

I felt better after just cleaning it, but I also wanted to organize it a little better too.  There were a couple things I took out that didn't really need to be in there, but the rest stayed so I had to find a better way to make it all fit.  I found the perfect little pen holder thing in the dollar section at Target (of course) to hold all of the little tubes of miscellaneous creams.  Now they aren't all laying around and getting knocked in to the sink every time I bump them.  Such a little change, but made a huge difference in our daily morning routine.  Everything can be taken out without having to move three other things to get to it.

Remember how I said that I didn't have time for the linen closet?  Well this is why:

I think that picture speaks for itself.  I need to do some major organizing in there.  And probably some purging.  I have so many lotion/shower gel/makeup/samples that I really need to go through them all and decide what is still good, what I will actually use, etc.  I also need to go through some of my husband's stuff too.  I like to keep some extras of things in case we run out, such as deodorant, toothpaste, razors, etc.  But some of that stuff can take up a lot of room in our linen closet if we get too much of a stock pile and I just don't have room for it all.

I mean, look at all of those razors!
One idea to help combat this "stock pile" issue is Dollar Shave Club.  Have you heard of this?  If nothing else, check out the hilarious video on their site HERE.  They will send quality razors to your door for $1 per month (or $6 or $9 depending on which razor you choose).  That means no more stock piles of razors and no more using a dull razor for far too long because you keep forgetting to go buy more.  I've seen some of my guy friends rave about it on facebook and I'm thinking about signing my husband up.  

Utilizing Dollar Shave Club is one small way to help me overhaul this linen closet disaster.  Do you have any tips for organizing a linen closet?  Do you have any experience with Dollar Shave Club?

*I was contacted by Dollar Shave Club to create this post, but I was not compensated and all opinions are my own.*

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I Can't Wait for Summer Because...

I'm linking up with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between for the "I Can't Wait For Summer Because" linkup.  It sounded like the perfect way to get myself ready for some warmer weather...even though I think it might never happen.  So anyway, here it goes:


...Birthday Bash takes place June 7 & 8.  Two full days of country music.  Need I say more?

...I can finally sit on the deck and enjoy an ice cold beverage while wearing shorts and flip flops.  Not a winter coat and mittens. one year wedding anniversary is June 29!

...days at the beach are like Heaven on Earth.

....I can get fresh veggies from my parents garden. is back!  Ok, so it's actually back in less than two weeks, but you know what I mean. yard will be full of pretty flowers instead of giant snow banks.

What about you?  Why can't you wait for summer??

Helene In Between

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kitchen Update: New Paint!

I finally finished painting the kitchen on Saturday and I am LOVING the new color!  Here are some before and after's:


 The color is Stone Mason Gray by Valspar.  It almost looks like it has a little tint of blue to it, which I love because it goes even better with our backsplash and counter tops.  I love the way it looks against the white trim and white cabinets, and against the black table and chairs!

I have a couple ideas of things to hang on the wall next to the wine bottle/glass holder above the table, more on that later.  I'm also hoping to do an update next week about the amazing pre-mixed grout we used and how those little area turned out.  But for now, I'm just enjoying this beautiful new color in our kitchen!

What do you think?  Do you like the new gray better than the green?

House on the Way

Dolen Diaries

I party with Remodelaholic

MaMade Blog Hop MaMade Blog Hop #9!