Ask Away Blog: April 2016

Chewy 30 Day Challenge [Final Thoughts]

Friday, April 29, 2016

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So this is the final post in my 30-day challenge from Chewy where I fed my Chihuahuas Dr. Tim's Kinesis All Life Stages Food.  They did so well on this food! I am so impressed with the all natural ingredients and the overall smell, texture, and size of the kibble.

I've noticed a great energy level in all of my dogs over the past 4 weeks.  When I'm working out in the basement I can hear them running around chasing each other and wrestling on the floor above me.  Their bodies are definitely full of the proper fuel to allow them to run and play. 

Rocky is no longer a picky eater and he is maintaining a healthy weight which is important since he has a heart condition. 

I am so impressed by Dr. Tim's food and I have been recommending it to several friends.  When you feed a high quality food you get high quality results.  Nutrients get absorbed into the body so they can do all of the things they are supposed to.  They go to the bathroom (number 2 ) just twice a day and honestly, when I forget to clean up after them the rain just washes it away in a few days.  Remember, all natural ingredients means it literally will break down naturally too!


If you are looking for a high quality dog food I suggest Dr. Tim's!

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Our Yard Makeover | The Final Part

Thursday, April 28, 2016






So last year I showed you our front yard makeover and a few weeks back we did the side yard and added some things to the front in another makeover. Well now I'm happy to report that everything is complete because last weekend I finished the stones in the other side yard and the backyard. 

Talk about being productive.  The front corner was very plain and bare looking without the rocks.   It looks so clean and nice now that it's finally done. 
 
 My OCD is lovingt he clean line between the grass and the stones.
The back of the house has changed so much on this side wince we moved in. I love it!
 I kept some bushes in the sideyard because honestly I want the birdies to have a place to hang out.
 This is my favorite part. I don't know why. I just am obsessed with looking at this picture up close haha.

And here's a nice view of the side yard.
I am so relieved that this is done.  Stay tuned for plenty more things around the yard and house this Summer!



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A Few Things to Remember About Administrative Professionals

Wednesday, April 27, 2016



In honor of Administrative Professional's Day I wanted to make a post that every admin out there can relate to.  I know that many people take us for granted, but I don't know if they really understand what it's like to BE us.  So here are some things to keep in mind.  I promise that you're adminsitrative professional will thank you!



[1] We need our space. 
Just because we are out in the open doesn't mean you should hang around constantly.

[2] We aren't invisible.
Having a conversation with other people right in front of our desk makes us feel under appreciated and invisible. We are people too. Would you stand in your boss's office and talk to a friend? No... so go away.

[3] Our job is exhausting.
You know how people say they get tired from a long day  where they had to be "on" all day... being on means being ready to be approached. you notice every person that walks past, and you are prepared to talk to them if they engage you. it's EXHAUSTING.   

[4] Don't interrupt.
Just because our desk area is generally open, doesn't mean we forgo privacy. if there is someone at our desk whether it's for work or a personal conversation, please dont assume it's okay to just come up and stand or just jump right in. Go back to your desk and check back later.

[5] Those little tasks add up.
I'm not kidding when I say we slave over a copy machine. Those things get hot. And when you have a billion staples and paper clips and you want some things double sided but others not wehave to do a lot of rushing around over the copier to coordiante everything.

[6] Multi-tasking is constant.
Not only do we have about 10 things always in the back of our mind for ongoing projects that we are waiting to hear back from someone else about, but we are constantly interrupted by ringing phones, emails, and foot traffic.  It's exhausting.

So with that being said - we understand our job is to be the one everyone depends on but please remember that our jobs can be just as difficult and tiring as everyone elses.




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Things I've Learned Being A Homeowner

Monday, April 25, 2016





Being a homeowner has made me sooo domestic, I swear.  I've also learned a lot of cool little life hacks along the way that I wouldn't have known or even cared to know about before having my own house.  I figured I'd share some of the things I learned with you gu are just as excited about them as I am.


#1 | You can prolong the amount of time your bananas are ripe by wrapping their tops with foil.  No more having to worry about using the bananas before they go bad and no more having to make an extra trip to the store just for fruit.


#2 | Instead of purchasing spices at the store - make your own by hanging herbs from your herb garden to dry, then chopping and put into a container. In the longrun you will save a little bit of money and it gives you a sense of pride when you do it yourself. 


#3 | You can soften butter by filling a glass cup with boiling water, pouring it out, and then covering the stick of butter with the cup.  Perfect for impatient people like me!


#4 | If ants are bugging (ha!) your flowers, sprinkle the soil with Cinnamon.  I struggle with this every summer but the Cinnamon definitely works. 


#5 | Keep chipmunks away with mothballs. Trust me, they hate them! Snakes don't like them either so that gives you some peace of mind.


#6 | Baking soda takes the stink out of furniture and old stains on the floor where a dog (or child) peed.  Just pour it on, let it sit, then vacuum it up.  I have 4 dogs. I speak from experience.


#7 | Prevent streaks on windows by cleaning them with a microfiber cloth in a back and forth motion.  Circular motions actually enhance streaks.  Also clean windows when the sun isn't shining on them.


#8 | You NEED a flyswatter. Seriously, you do.  if you don't have one, you WILL go crazy.


#9 | Curtains are a pain, but completely necessary. It's like no matter when you shop for them it's always a big ordeal.  You have to find the perfect design, color, texture, type, and price.


#10 | Winters are depressing when you garden.  If you live in a state that gets a frigid winter, be prepared to mourn the loss of your garden until Spring.  Then all the hard work starts again.  I have a mini greenhouse inside but the outside is just so much better.


So as you can see - I've learned a few precious things in my first year of homeownership.  CHEERS!










 


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A Look at My Skincare Routine



This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #CeraVeSkincare #CollectiveBias

So not only am I a blogger but I have a full time job so my days are pretty crazy and that means when I get home, my evenings aren't any better.  That being said, I do try to relax and take care of myself each night.  

So since I use CeraVe Skincare products (which you can save $2 on) because they help replenish the vital ceramides healthy skin needs, I'll be featuring them throughout this little tutorial. I also love them because they are non-irritating and fragrance-free and most are also non-comedogenic. 


After Work
When I first get home I like to spend time outside on the porch and in the yard, especially since I have a garden to tend to.  So I always make sure to put on CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50.  It provides broad spectrum, lightweight sun protection and has vital ceramides.  It's easy to put on and I feel better about being exposed to the sun, even in the evening hours. 

Before Bed
Before bed I need to remove all the makeup and dirt from my face so I use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.  it removes dirt, oil, and makeup as ceramides and hyaluronic acide moisturize and soften my face.  It also helps repair my skin barrier.  My face always feels super clean afterwords.

Next, I use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream to help restore the protective skin barrier with vital ceramides.  This way my face doesn't feel all dry and tight when I go to bed.

In the Morning
Of course whenever I wake up for work I have to wash my face before I leave the house so I use CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser which removes dirt, oil, and any makeup while it replenishes my skin.  It always leaves me feeling refreshed.

Then I finish it off with CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.  It moisturizes my skin and also provides broad spectrum sun protection so I can enjoy the day outside on my lunch break at work.



I just love CeraVe products because they were developed with dermatologists and a mission to provide advanced skincare products that do more than just moisturizing the skin's surface.  CeraVe is also the first and only brand to offer a full line of products that contain an exclusive combo of 3 scientifically identical ceramides! The patented Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE) technology they use in their products releases important ingredients slowly over time which allows them to absorb into the skin to nouris it and repair, restore, and maintain the natural barrier.  So basically CeraVe products keep working even up to 24 hours after you apply them.  And if you are still wondering what Ceramides are... let me explain.  Ceramides are naturally found in your skin but overtime they become depleted which leads to dry and irritated skin so CeraVe helps to replensih the ceramides that your skin needs to be healthy.  Only CeraVe delivers these ceramides through a patented, controlled-release technology. I think that's pretty cool!



You can find CeraVe Skincare products in the skincare aisl at Walmart.  CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, and CeraVe Moisturizing Cream will be on Rollback until 5/9/2016.  Until that date, all 3 will be $9.97! '


So what does your routine look like? Post about it on social media and while you're there check out CeraVe on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube!





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5 Tips to Properly Care for an Active Dog

Friday, April 22, 2016

This site has affiliate links and sponsored content. Read my Disclosure Policy.





Whether it's a Great Dane or a Chihuahua, any dog can be full of energy.  Believe it or not, my 4 love to race around and wrestle with each other.  Sometimes it gets a little crazy and someone slams into a wall, tumbles off the couch, or pulls a muscle as they run.  Just like with kids, you have to keep pets in line when they are active so here are a few tips to help care for an active dog.



1 | Prevent Falls
Obviously if you don't allow your dog on furniture you probably don't have to worry about this but that's just not a reality for me. I love my pups snuggling with me in bed and on the couch so to prevent falls, I use pet stairs and foot stools.  This way, they can safely go up and down without having to jump and risk landing the wrong way on their paws.  No one wants a hurt pup or a pricey vet bill.



2| Joint Care
Even if your dog is young, some breeds are more prone to joint issues, especially large breeds.  Since my Chihuahuas are all over the age of 5 I want to make sure I help them out with their joints so I use Nutramax Cosequin Minis from Chewy.com! They are chewy and moist and my dogs look at them as a treat. They are formulated for dogs up to 25 pounds and provide mobility cartilage and joint health support. 







3| Maintaining Control
When you have a dog that gets spurts of energy and likes to run around, you should always ensure that they are secure.  If you have a fenced in yard, ALWAYS make sure the gates are shut and never take your dog outside without a leash when you aren't in a fenced in yard.  The last thing you want is for your pooch to run off and risk getting hit by a car or have a scuffle with another dog.

4| Water
Water is the fuel of life for humans AND animals so always have fresh water out for your pet when you're home and you see your dog has been active.

5| Regular Exercise
Life can get really busy, and that's okay, but if you have a high energy dog, make sure you give him the chance to get his energy out through a 20 minute walk, a game of fetch, or just some rough housing and wrestling on the floor. 

Do you have an active dog?   What do you do to embrace his hyper side?





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A New Me - Fitness + Food PLUS A Free Printable Fitness Tutorial



This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #SavvySnacking #CollectiveBias

I've always been a simple gal so when it comes to what I eat and how I exercise I like to keep it as simple and realistic as possible.   Two of the major difficulties in my life are getting myself to exercise on a regular basis and making smart snacking choices.  Well, I am happy to report that I am becoming a pro with both of those. 

Snacking has always been a struggle for me and I would always tend to grab the most starchy or sweet treat and stuff my face with it.  I'm totally owning that, by the way so give me some credit!  I'm serious though, I would get done with a workout and then stuff my face with jellybeans.  It was horrible because I couldn't stop myself and it was becoming such a bad habit.  It's like when my body craves nutrients and fuel, I just go with what my tastebuds love which obviously includes sweet and carb-loaded stuff. 



Lately, I've been eating more protein in the form of snacks and I wanted to find a snack that had responsible ingredients and delicious flavor.  Well, I found that in the form of Lorissa's Kitchen which you can find at Walmart.   My all time favorite snack these days is Lorissa's Kitchen Korean Barbeque Beef.  It's so flavorful and delicious.  There are other flavors to choose from as well like Lorissa's Kitchen Sweet Chili Pork and Lorissa's Kitchen Szechuan Peppercorn Beef. 


Lorissa's Kitchen captures that farm-to-table lifestyle through their yummy portable snack that is obviously packed with protein.  It's a great way to fuel your body as you go about your day and it's perfect for when you're on the go. 

Oh and there's an awesome sweepstakes you can enter!
Lorissa's Kitchen #SavvySnackingSweepstakes

I keep some in my purse so that I can snack on it throughout the day at work or when I'm out running errands.  I also keep some handy when I'm working out so that afterwards I can relax and give my body the protein it needs. 


Lorissa's Kitchen is high in protein but low in carbs and fat.  It has no MSG and no preservatives.  It's even gluten free!!   These products are also made from grass-fed beef.  The ingredients in these snacks can be found in your own kitchen! 

As promised, I do have a fitness tutorial for you that includes the strength training moves I do 3 times a week. 

Day # 1: Chest + Triceps
Dumbell Bench Press - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Dumbell Incline Press - 10 repys with 5-10 lb. weights
Kickbacks - 12 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Overhead Press - 12 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Skull Crushers - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Take a 30 second break and repeat 2X.

Day # 2: Back + Biceps
Dumbbell Rows - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Dead Lifts - 10 reps with 10 lb. weights
Bent Over Flys - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Seated Dumbbell Curls - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curls - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Take a 30 second break and repeat 2X.

Day # 3: Shoulders, Legs + Abs
Lateral Raises - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Upright Rows - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Seated Dumbbell Press - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
12 Squats
12 Lunges
12 Calf Raises
10 Sit Ups
10 Leg Raises
10-Second Plank
12 Pushups
Take a 30 second break and repeat 2X.

Here is a printable version for you...just click to open and hit print!

Be sure to look for Lorissa's Kitchen products at the registers at your local Walmart. 




And be sure to enter the Lorissa's Kitchen Sweepstakes from earlier in the post, too!!!   

Now, what's your secret to a new you this year? 







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40 Things That Get Me Fired Up

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I have wanted to make a list of things I despise for quite some time now but I worried it would be "negative".   However, I realize now that it's funny and I hope you guys can relate.  


So without further ado...here is a list of things I despise.



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[1] When a gnat buzzes into my ear.  Not only does the sound make me want to start throwing sh*t around but then I'm paranoid that it's stuck in there laying eggs.


[2] Flies harassing me. Whenever I'm out somewhere and there happens to be 1 little fly around, he always harasses ME! It drives me nuts. I have been known to stop eating a meal and focus on swatting the little sh*t away while out at dinner.



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[3] Sneezing violently for no reason.  I'll be sitting there at work and all of a sudden three in a row of the most violent sneeze.  After I'm done I feel like I've been punched in the face and then I have to deal with using like 10 damn tissues to blow my nose.


[4] Sports bra padding that rolls into a clump.  It always happens with the sports bras that don't have a little slit to reach into.  I'll spend 5 minutes trying to flatten the stupid boobie pad until I finally give up and walk around with a clump sticking through my shirt. Come on now!



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[5] Phone calls in the middle of a show/movie. I'm always at the good part and all of a sudden my phone rings. F THAT! I hit ignore RIGHT away.  Then I think to myself "how dare they call me in the heat of the moment?" until I realize that they have no idea of knowing.  And if I answer and it's something trivial and petty - oh SNAP! It's on!



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[6] When someone asks me a question that they could have googled.  OMG this kills me.  If you have been having a weird cramp in your muscle, EFFIN GOOGLE IT! But no, of course they come up to me (knowing I'll google it anyways) and I say... well did you google it? And they say "no, not yet."  So I have to google it for them. Then I'm sitting there fuming.


[7] When a driver doesn't signal.  Did you know...there's a little device on the side of your steering wheel that makes a little flashing light come on to tell the rest of the world which way you are turning. USE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


[8] When someone tells me they don't use public restrooms. Well good for you but you're not a real human then!!!  


[9] People that walk by my house and get my dogs all fired up.  When you see my dogs barking like heathens at the window, don't stand there and gawk for 2 minutes while your dog pretends to piss in my yard. MOVE IT ALONG! 


[10] People that run stop signs. STOP. ESS TEE OHH PEE! I guess living by a 4 way stop sign doesn't help me much on this.   



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[11] When people tell me their list of errands for the night. I don't care that you have to get groceries, go to Target, and look for wrapping paper for your nephew.  Seriously... boring! Why even bother telling anyone that. I didn't even ask!


[12] Vague marketing emails.  If your email makes no sense in laymen's terms and you're basically asking me if I want some sort of SEO services for my blog...Bye Felicia.   How the hell do you people even get my info?



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[13] Binge eating and feeling guilty about it.  I'll stuff my face with jelly beans and then sit around for 5 hours angry at myself. DAMNIT!!!! The temptation is just too strong!


[14] Peeing right after I leave home.  I just peed before this road trip and I already have to go again?? And then it's all in my head because when I do pee, I barely even go.


[15] When the shower temp won't get exactly where you want it to. Seriously, I can go the entire length of my shower and still not find the ideal temperature.



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[16] Shedding.  Am I normal? Is it acceptable to lose this much hair in a day?  What's that touching the back of my arm?!    Where is that hair!!??


[17] Flu shot drama.  I get flu shots.  That is that.  Don't lecutre me, don't question me.  Have a nice day.



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[18] When people use made up words.  You see they think these words are real but they aren't.  There's no such this as "irregardless" or "alls that you have to do".   GAHHHHHH!


[19] Bloggers that consider 4 sentences a blog post.  Unless you are specifically showing off photos of a room makeover, an outfit, or a vacation - put the damn time into your reviews and posts.   It's obvious when you're half assing stuff and that's why other bloggers and companies won't want to work with you.


[20] Direct sales.  I'm sorry but if I want something that smells good in my home, I'll buy the cheapest one I can at the store.   I just can't justify Scentsy, It Works, Thirty-One, and other similar items.  So no, I won't attend your party because to be quite honest it's a waste of time for me to go and have to sit there for no reason since I know I'm NOT purchasing anything. I'm sorry.  But I just can't and I won't.



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[21] When I make a meal that looks nothing like the picture in the recipe.  Nah, not even Instagram worthy.   So if I make a meal and eat it without sharing it on social media.... did I really even eat it?


[22] People on Facebook that share fake articles.  They don't even know it's fake and you can tell they didn't even read the article, they just see the headline and share it right away.  Haven't you ever heard of SATIRE people!?



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[23]  When people get angry that other people discuss shows on social media and "spoil it".  Okay, so if you can't watch an episode of a really big show, then stay the hell off social media.  Sorry, but the rest of the world isn't going to avoid social media just because so and so can't watch the episode.  Stay the hell off it until you watch.  And if you really can't stay off social media, then YOU have the real problem.


[24] When someone asks your opinion and then argues it.  Well you just asked my opinion on what I think is going to happen... so why are u trying to convince me that my opinions wrong, brah?



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[25] People that sit in the bathroom silently.  Dude, I know you're pooping. Just let 'er rip.  The worst is when it's a poop-mate aka you are both at a checkmate because you are both waiting for the other one to leave so you can do your business. Nobody wins. It's just downright awkward.


[26] Conspiracy theories. Get a grip. 


[27] A stranger's fart.  It's like the most disgusting thing ever and you feel like it's sticking to your skin. 



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[28] Awkward elevator rides. You know, the kind where no one talks but everyone's thinking about talking and a stupid cliche one liner to break the ice.


[29] Speaking of elevators - taking it for one floor.  Get your ass out and take the damn stairs!!!!


[30] Out of area numbers.  The second my phone rings it's like the world has stopped turning.  I freak out with a pit in my stomach for each ring.  And then I wait for a voicemail.  And then when there's no voicemail it's like OH MY GOD !! WHO COULD IT HAVE BEEN!??!?!?!?!?!?!  Did I win a sweepstakes? Oh my god, I should have answered!


[31] People that say "I'm very careful what I put on social media".  Okay, well guess what... if you are alive and breathing I can find out where you live on the internet so I think you got bigger things to worry about.



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[32] People that complain about their food at a restaurant.  Dude, enjoy your spit sandwich. 




[33] Teacup anything. Newsflash! There is NO such thing as a tea cup animal.  "Breeders" just use that term as a marketing thing to get you to buy and pay more for an animal because you think it will be super tiny.  If anything, a "teacup" is just a runt. 


[34] People that are willing to pay big bucks for a mixed breed dog. FYI - a Morkie is just a mutt. It's a maltese and a yorkie.  You basically just paid 2 grand for a mutt. Congratulations!


[35] When they talk sh*t on you at the nail salon.  What else do you think they are saying?!  How ruuuude!


[36] When I work with you and you email me and then call me to tell you that you emailed me.  Dude, give me a minute to read it. I can't read it when you're yapping on the phone. You sent it, and that's the point of email. I'll get it. RELAX!


[37] Interrupting me at my desk. Just because it's not a closed cubicle like everyone else's is, doesn't mean I'm not concentrating so when you come up 10 times a day to talk about random boring things - it's a big distraction.  Please limit yourself to twice a day, IF THAT!


[38] "Can you get this for me from your blog?" No. Just because I'm a blogger doesn't mean I get free sh*t for anyone and everyone.  I work hard to get where I am with my blog so no...if you want "free sh*t" then you can start your own blog.


[39] "It's so cold out." I know.   I just walked inside to work through it. DUH.


[40] When someone leaves an irrelevant comment on my blog. "Cool, check my blog out." Nope. Just nope.


So can you relate to ANY of these? Please tell me I'm not crazy! 




 


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Life Lately

This site has affiliate links and sponsored content. Read my Disclosure Policy.


While I love writing about things that are useful to others, I do like to take the time to occasionally update you guys with things going on in my life.  I do have some things that are useful in these posts so perhaps you'll like my recommendations. 

Hair Lately
Oh my hair.  It's always something and you all know how much I dread having to wash it no matter how dirty it is. Well, I've been making showers much more enjoyable by pampering my hair once a week with BeHairWorks! There are 3 parts to it.  Be true is hair purification.  It has a gentle formula that removed product and mineral build-up and it really makes my  hair feel so clean and fresh afterwards.   I just leave it in for 5 or 10 minutes and then rinse it out.  Then there's the second part - Be kind which is the cleanse.  It's a moisturizing shampoo that clenses hair without drying it out.   Then part 3 is Be generous which is a deep moisture treatment.  It adds moisture and leaves your hair silky and smooth.  I love how it smells and I love how silky it leaves my hair afterwards.  This is another one that you leave in for 5-10 minutes. I find that it's a great way to just relax and do nothing while you wait for the time to be up.  This stuff is just truly amazing and I love that it rejuvenates my hair even when it's so dull and lifeless.  I know I use a lot of products on my hair on a regular basis so this makes me feel like I push the reset button from time to time.







Leggings Lately
Spring is always fun because it's warm out but can still get chilly in the evenings so I try to wear one outfit a day but I keep that outfit as versatile as possible. So now I'm obsessed with No nonsense Leggings.  They have so many styles, patterns, and colors to choose from.  It's the perfect way to complete an outfit. You can wear a tunic or dress over top.  When I'm lounging around the house I just wear an oversized t-shirt with some cute leggings. 

Forgetting Lately
Okay, so my memory has gone to crap these days and I always end up forgetting where I put my keys.  Sometimes it's in a shopping bag in my bedroom, sometimes it's in my purse, and sometimes it's somehow in a drawer.  Well thank God for the iHere 3.0 Key Finder because this thing can let me know where they are.  It is so tiny and lightweight and I put it on my keychain and then I just downloaded the app.  You can even control your phone's camera with it.  It's all run by bluetooth and it's rechargeable with a charge that lasts up to several weeks.   You guys HAVE to get one of these. It's only $19.99 so there's really no excuse not to!
To find out more about iHere 3.0 Key Finder- or iHere 3.0 Key Finder




Outside Lately 
We have this gorgeous wetlands in our backyard.  It's technically not on our property but it's still in our backyard.  And it's never going to flood because of the way our property sits uphill.  When we moved in last year it was already summer so we didn't get to see what Spring would be like and also we didn't have time to clear the brush that had already grown in.  Well this time, I made sure our weeds were cut back so we can see more of the pond.  I even found a little sitting spot. It's SOOOO peaceful to be near water.  I am in heaven. I grew up with the creek in my backyard so to not be near water is so weird to me.  Anyways, there are so many awesome creatures that we see including ducks, small fish, birds, muskrats, and more!   I just wish human beings weren't such jerks because their trash blows into it so I guess I need to clean that up one of these days.  If I don't, who will? 
 


Painting Lately
I painted Rocky! If you remember a few months ago, I painted Pixie at a local Paint & Create and I still had 3 more dogs to go.  So now, I just have 2 more to go.  It's always so fun and rewarding to create a beautiful piece of art for my home.  

Hope you enjoyed my updates :)



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