Thursday, March 9, 2017

NEW WEBSITE

Sorry for all the radio silence around here but it's been for good reason!  I have officially made the move to Wordpress with a completely new site design.  I have so much fresh content coming your way!!!

Come visit me & let me know what you think and want to see!!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!! As usual, I'm super excited it's the weekend!  I love the extra sleep, quality time with my husband and getting stuff done around the house!



Can't wait to see this!  All the feels.


If you watched Titanic (which is everyone), please watch this video.  SO TRUE!!  #sharethedoorrose
I've watched it several times and cannot stop laughing!



Did you catch my January Book Review?  I read two very popular books right now and shared my thoughts!


I shared my Top 10 Organization Tips this week!  I love to organize and hope you can use some of these tips to stay more organized too!


I shared my Baked Ziti recipe this week!  It's a major favorite in our house so I hope you enjoy it too!

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Baked Ziti


This is a favorite dish in our house!  It's easy and delicious.  The best part about it though is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it!  I typically make 3 full size versions worth of ingredients, make 6 half size trays out of it and freeze them!  Sometimes, one of those pops into the oven that night for dinner though because it's yummy :)

Ingredients 
1 box ziti (we like the regular size & mini)
1 jar of marinara sauce
1 lb ground beef
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Garlic Powder
Sugar

Directions
Brown ground beef with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some garlic powder.
Heat marinara sauce on top of the stove.  
(I mix in garlic powder to taste and a few pinches of sugar to take the bitter taste from the tomatoes)
Drain the meat and mix in with the sauce.  Bring it to a boil and then simmer while the pasta is cooking.
Boil ziti until al dente.  (You do not want it overdone because it will cook more when baking)
Drain pasta.
Pour pasta in a 9x13 baking dish.
Cover with marinara and meat mixture and stir it all together.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top to cover.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cheese on top is melted.

If you are going to freeze this meal, after sprinkling the cheese on top let the whole pan cool for a few minutes before covering with several layers of Reynolds wrap.  I write on the top of the wrap what's inside and when I made it.

I break this recipe in half and it's plenty for the two of us.  This is an easy weeknight meal if you're making the whole thing and even easier if you already have several of them frozen.  We put ours in the fridge around lunchtime to start letting it defrost and then pop it in the oven at 350 for around 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Typically halfway through I stir it up some and sprinkle a little extra cheese on top.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Top 10 Organization Tips


One of the most requested topics I get for blog posts is organization!  I love to organize.  Closets, my life, drawers, papers, just give me something to organize and I am one happy girl!

I have some more in-depth posts coming on ways I organize that will give you lots of specifics but I thought today I would go ahead and share my top 10 organizational tips!

1. Buy a planner.

You will never be able to stay organized if you don't organize your day, appointments, etc.  I'm not a phone or computer calendar kind of girl. I like a paper planner.  Always have, always will.  I want one that has lots of list making space and that is easily portable to take with me wherever I go.  This year I purchased this planner & love it!  

2. Meal plan.

With our crazy schedules, if we didn't meal plan we would be eating out and eating junk constantly.  Making a plan at the beginning of the week and having everything in our house and ready to cook keeps us eating healthy and cheaper!

3. Sort mail immediately.

Do not let mail stack up and pile up on your counters.  As soon as our mail comes, we go through it and toss the stuff we do not want/need, open bills and business papers and put it where it goes.  I normally come home for lunch and grab any bills and take those back to work, pay them and put them in our work outgoing mail.  I hate unnecessary paper laying around!  If you sort through it, pay any bills and organize anything you need to keep as it comes you won't have large piles to deal with.

4. Do a load of laundry every day.

Again, with our crazy schedules, if I get behind on laundry we can easily look up and be out of X, Y, or Z being clean that we need.  I almost always do a load of laundry every day to keep up!  I hate spending all day on a weekend doing laundry so if I do this it keeps it from being such a chore.

5. Pack lunches and lay out clothes the night before.

Mornings are the most hectic time of my day.  I'm trying to workout, do blog work, get ready for work, take all my meals/snacks with me, etc.  If I lay out my workout clothes the night before (and even my office outfit for the next day sometimes) this really helps.  I also pack any non-refrigerated items in my lunchbox the night before so that I only have to pack the cold items on my way out the door.

6. Keep a to-do list.

If you keep a visual of everything you need to do, you are more likely to get it all completed!  I personally love the satisfaction of crossing things off my to-do list.  I keep these on paper and in my planner.  Backspacing on my iPhone doesn't give me the same satisfaction as actually crossing through a task.  At the same time, realize you are not superwoman.  I have a long, everything I have to do list but I make a shorter list for each day that's manageable.  Picking a few items to handle each day keeps me from feeling so overwhelmed that i just freeze.

7. Spot clean daily.

We get very rare free time and when we do, I don't want to spend it working on cleaning the house.  I make a point to pick things up off the floor or put items that are laying out away in the morning, at lunch and at night.  Keeping the house more tidy allows me to feel more relaxed in our home and makes our house feel more put together.

8. Run dishwasher nightly.

I don't know how you ladies with families do it.  With just the two of us, we fill up our dishwasher so quickly!  I've gotten in the habit of if it's over halfway full running it most nights so that I can unload it in the morning while I let my hair dry in my towel.  This keeps our kitchen more organized and all the dishes I need clean and ready to be used the next night.

9. Organize as you put things away.

When we put groceries away, I rearrange our cabinets and fridge to keep like items together and keep everything neat.  All our canned vegetables are sorted by type, all pasta is together, etc.  If you do this, it will take an easy glance in your cabinets, pantry or refrigerator to see what you will need at the grocery.  I do the same thing in our closets.  As I put things away, they are sorted by category and if I'm in true Type A form by color most of the time too.  This makes grabbing the clothes we need a lot easier!

10. Budget and balance your checkbook/check bank accounts daily.

If you want to save money and get to your financial goals, you need a budget.  We have one that we try to strictly adhere to.  We have certain goals we want to accomplish and it will require staying focused on our budget to get there!

Almost every morning, I balance our personal and business checkbook and check all of our accounts. I also update my tracking of our income and expenses.  This keeps this task from being overwhelming and helps us stay on budget.  


There you have it!  My top 10 organization tips! I'm planning on doing more detailed posts on most of these topics.  Which ones do you want to see first?  Any specific questions you all want answered?  

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Book Review


Happy Tuesday!! 

I'm a day late on blogging this week because of an adventurous Sunday/Monday.  Sunday afternoon my iPhone started freaking out.  Apps kept crashing and I could barely get the screen to light up by pressing the home buttons.  Within an hour I had a white screen with an apple logo and that was the status quo until late yesterday afternoon.  I was up all night Sunday working with Apple support trying to get it fixed and trying all the tricks I know to no avail.  Yesterday morning, I had to go ahead and go into work and several hours later I was cleared for a replacement phone that would take several days in the mail.  This is frustrating for anyone.  This was extra frustrating for me because I have to run our businesses off my cell and that's how I manage all my blog and social media content too!  

A conversation with my husband and Apple again led to an appointment scheduled at the closest Apple store (2 hours away), a vacation hour taken and a Monday night road trip!  Thanks to my amazing husband and a great group of Apple techs we arrived back home around 10 last night with a new functioning phone!  Our relaxing night at home turned into an adventure but I'm glad we were able to handle it together!  I hate it that we're so dependent on technology but it is what it is!  I'm excited to be connected with the world again and here with you all today :)

On to my January book review, I read 2 books this month!  My goal is to read at least 2 books each month so I'm glad I met my goal.  I am a member of our public library which I love because I have access to lots of books and I love being able to reserve all the new ones coming out!  Be sure to check out your local public library if you haven't yet.

Are we friends on Goodreads?  Add me as a friend and see what I'm reading here!

There are very few books that I would classify as life-changing but this one deserves it.  Different books have different effects on people and this one had a huge one on me.   So many themes in this book spoke to my heart and the decisions we're having to make in our business and lives in general!  Their commitment to trust God and their faith in each step they took to get where they are today was something I needed to experience through their words.  I laughed, I cried, I related.  I highly recommend this book!  I loved it so much that I'm going to buy it to add to my personal collection so that I can read it anytime I want.


I wanted to love this book.  I really did.  So many of you have loved this book but I just struggled with it from a faith perspective.  In case you are way behind like me and haven't read it yet, I'm not going to ruin it.  I don't think I'm going to give the sequel a read like I originally planned and move on to a new one!

I'm currently reading the Power of a Praying Wife!  Any recommendations of books I should be reading?  I'm in a positive/uplifting/relatable book mood so if you have any suggestions, please share!


Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday lovelies!!


I'm so thankful it's Friday!  I'm keeping it real with you all today.   I'm exhausted.  For some reason my body decided about a week ago that it can't sleep more than a couple hours a night and I.am.so.tired.  This has been great for binge watching on Netflix but not so great for my mentality, alertness and productivity.  I have been keeping up with my healthy eating for the most part but I have not worked out at all.  Here's to hoping for some extra z's this weekend and lots of energy next week!




First things first, I love The Vampire Diaries! Yes, I know it's a teeny bopper show but I don't care.  I started watching it years ago and still love it.  The series finale is coming up and Nina Dobrev just announced that she will be returning for it!  So pumped!  I am currently binge watching the first 7 seasons again while I work which makes me even more excited to watch the final episodes!




I mentioned once before that I was cutting down to 4 days a week in my office at my full-time job.  While this has made my 4 days busier and more hectic, it has been totally worth it!  It's so nice having a day in our home office each week to work on our personal businesses, take care of things like prepping taxes and more!  I just finished redesigning our website which you can see here!  If I didn't have this time there is no way that would be finished yet.  You will also see an increase in better posts, photos and topics around here because I dedicate a little time that day to working on this space too!




Ignore the circles (#teamnosleep).  I'm loving my Shakeology shakes for breakfast even more this week because my tired brain can make them quickly and get out the door for work.




Be sure to check out yesterday's post where I showed you which watch I recently gifted my brother with & why!  It was definitely a favorite to be able to give him this gift & there's a giveaway opportunity at the bottom of the post!




I am helping my grandmother organize all our family photos and I found this gem of my brother and I on the farm when we were little.  We still look the exact same just taller!  We've always been country living people and always will be :)  So many great memories of growing up there! 

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Unique JORD Watch for my Brother




Being a big sister is one of my greatest privileges!  My brother and I have been inseparable pretty much all of our lives.  From the moment he was born, I have had a built-in best friend, someone to share the bad and best times with, a travel buddy and the best support system.

We talk pretty much every day and have an unbreakable bond.  I am so proud of my brother and the man that he has become!  He is my hero.

When JORD contacted me about reviewing one of their men's watches and I saw this one, I knew it was perfect for him!  My brother is the only person I know who can be in a tux at a gala and fit in or be in camo hunting and fit perfectly there too!  This watch was a perfect mix that represented him just right!  The dark wood and green face provide a rustic feel but the watch is made so well that it has a dressy feel to it too.


I loved the presentation of the watch when it arrived!  It came with a cleaning cloth and pen which is very helpful!




The wooden box with a magnetic lid was a great benefit too!  It provides great storage for the watch while also doubling as making the watch even more impressive for gift giving.





My brother loved the unique watch I picked out for him!



See his exact watch here!




The large faces on men's watches makes such a statement with their outfit!






I love my brother so much and am so thankful he loved this cool watch!

I was very impressed by the quality of JORD watches and would recommend the men's watches (see those here) or women's watches (see those here) for anyone on your gift list!  I was so thankful to be able to select a gift for my brother that represented some of my favorite qualities of his and that he loved it and will be able to wear and enjoy it!  Being able to treat this awesome guy and remind him how much he means to me is always a great feeling!

Valentine's Day will be here soon so be sure to check these out!  A great watch would be a perfect gift for the special guy or gal in your life!


JORD is giving away a $100 credit towards a JORD watch of your choice!  Be sure to enter the giveaway here!