Ask Away Blog: December 2016

My Elliptical Routine

Friday, December 30, 2016



So as you know, I've really been working on my fitness these days and one thing that I do consistently is my elliptical workout.  I do this every other day for 35 minutes.  

So here is the routine I use.


I originally found a similar one on the internet but the resistance was so high and I wanted to be more realistic since I still consider myself a beginner. So I played around and modified it and it's been working great for me. 

Feel free to save the image and routine and print it for your own use!



















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Christmas 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas this year.  Today I wanted to show you some photos from our Christmas. 
Enjoying some wine on Christmas Eve before family arrived.

On Christmas Eve we had my mom, dad, brother, and grandmother over since she was going to my aunt and uncle's house for Christmas Day.   So my mom made some Hors d'oeuvres. 
Shrimp Dip
Bologna and cream cheese
Monkey Bread



The Spread
Don't be fooled.  This was my first of literally 10 servings.

Grandma had a blast with the pups as always. 






 Oh and I am obsessed with Christmas centerpieces.  James sent these to my work earlier in the week so I brought them home to use them on the table of course!




  I sat around during the day on Christmas Eve reading and reflecting on all the things I'm grateful for.   I have my healthy (good eating and work out habits and I've lost nearly 20 pounds since March!), I'm engaged, I found a new hobby this year with gardening and reading library books, and I have a great home!

Christmas Morning James and I always open each other's gifts first.
Sports bra I wanted, and Oofos sandals which are perfect for my Plantar Fasciitis prone feet

Chihuahua Leggings from LuLaRoe (I know I know! Stay tuned for a blog post in the next two weeks to explain! haha)
Battle Scars

 At 4 pm my mom, dad, and brother came over for Christmas Day dinner and gifts.  I cooked EVERYTHING myself.  It was a gluten free meal as well for James.  I only had one mishap.  I sliced myself on a can, and as I yelled for James to bring me a band-aid it was like a domino effect. I suddenly bumped an open bottle of Brandy (for the cranberry sauce) and it went all over the floor making a sticky ass mess.  Then I lost track of what needed pulled out and when so I began to sweat and get all frantic.  I ended up doing a good job anyways.  Any only needed one bandage.


Sweet Potato Casserole




I made the napkin ring!



Cranberry Sauce



Green Bean Casserole

Corn Casserole with Cheese




And I was so happy with my gifts from my mom and dad.  All the stuff I needed.  New towels, gardening tools, a gravy boat and ladle, a game for when I have friends over, and a spiralizer!



Everyone always asks what I get my dogs for Christmas.  Well they have EVERYTHING they need already.  They have two bins of toys, they already are stocked up on treats and chewies, and they have a full wardrobe.




Rocky was happy that he had some new food to try out. Stella & Chewy's has some Super Blends Meal Mixers and you can even feed them as a full meal.  He is such a picky eater but man does he love this stuff!  It's specially formulated in a small breed offering that meets my little guy's needs.  There are no added hormones or antibiotics in the poultry and it also has 100% organic certified fruits and veggies!   No grains, gluten, or artificial ingredients! You can either mix it in with their kibble or feed it on it's own like I did. This freeze dried blend even came with a little scoop so it was easy to measure out how much to give Rocky! 


And as for Grace's gift... well let's just say with her health scare in September/October I think I spent more than enough on her already so she has her health and that's a damn good gift. 


Stella and Pixie got tons of hugs and cuddles as their gift.   That's all they needed.



How was your Christmas?!?




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Books I Recommend You Read [Decemer]

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

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Hello Hello and here we are again at the end of another month and I have another selection of great books for you that I've read this month!


One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Oh Em Gee I absolutely LOVED this book!! Do you remember in the movie Castaway when Tom Hanks comes home and goes to his former wife's house and sees how she's moved on.  But she's still confused and so is her and remember how you felt watching that scene where she basically had to make a choice?  Now imagine that someone wrote a book specifically about that struggle...well that's what this book is.  Jesse gets lost at sea and Emma has to move on and when she does she finds the new love of her life, Sam.  But suddenly Jesse is back.  She now has to make a choice.  Who will she choose and will it be an easy decision?  This book was such an easy read as well!

 
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt
This is one of those books that takes place in the 70's and it's about a girl that falls in love with an older man who turns out to be a monster.  Will she get away?  

 
Forever by Judy Blume
Okay, I know this is totally a book for teenagers but I never read it. And OMG it was amazing and totally brought me back to those first time emotions and feelings of love and lust.  This is a must read for every female at any age.

 
Above by Isla Morley
This book is really really interesting and very hard to put down. It reminds me of that Cloverfield Lane movie. Basically a girl is kept in a shelter underground and you go through the book trying to figure out if the guy keeping her there is brilliant or just a sicko.  Seriously, this is a thrilling read!



 
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book is about a trial separation and I just love how the author captures all of the emotions that we experience both in a relationship and during a break up. It's a very easy read and it's an amazing story line.





Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino
This is a great little love story (and I'm normally not a fan of them because I assume they are all sappy) about a boy and a girl that grow up together and are then separated. Then the boy writes a book about what could have happened and the girl reads it.  And I'm only leaving it at that because you HAVE to read it and find out the rest yourself.  



 It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
This is an amazing novel about family patterns, how hard it is to break them, domestic abuse, and how our pasts stay with us. I don't even want to try to explain more but just know that I read this book in a day!   


 
Wild and Precious Life by Deborah Ziegler
Do you remember Brittany Maynard? A couple years back she was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.  She chose to end her life on her own terms.  Her story is beautiful and her mother carries on the story through this book.  MUST READ!! AMAZING! It makes you realize how petty we can all be sometimes.


All The Wonderful and Ugly Things by Bryn Greenwood 
This book is a great! I was so captivated by the story line. Told over several decades and different point of views,  it's a tale of forbidden love and family drama.   I love the grittiness of it! 

 
People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper
I read this in one sitting because I could not put it down! It's the story of a woman whose life is essentially changed forever after 9/11 but it's her own doing in a way.  Over a decade later her past is catching up with her.  It's also got a realistic love affair which I really indulged in.  

That's all for this month! Have you read any of these?  



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Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016



Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine!

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My Official Kitchen Tour

Monday, December 19, 2016

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My closet tour post seemed like a really big hit so I decided to do a kitchen tour as well! As I said in my closet post, I'm going to be realistic and show you what my kitchen looks like all the time.  Everything is not perfectly neat and tidy.  Because I'm a real live human.  So while it is very tidy thanks to the KonMari Method of course, it still isn't perfect.

How To Get a Great Holiday Makeup Look

Friday, December 16, 2016

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

Tis the season for parties and celebrations!    Along with that comes the decision of what outfit you'll wear, how you will style your hair, and how you'll do your make up.  Well GA-DE Cosmetics has made that easy for me so today I'm going to show you what's in my makeup bag and how I use it all for my regular makeup routine.  

Now before I start, let me just say that GA-DE Cosmetics is a brand that offers makeup, skincare products, and fragrances.  It's meant to make you not only look beautiful but feel beautiful.  They have a range of products for all skin types and their makeup is practical and wearable whether it's for an everyday look or an elegant special occasion look.

 So let's take a look at GA-DE's Fall 2016 Collection.   It's full of down to earth hues that give you a soft yet beautiful look. 

Basics Matte Eyeshadow Palette
I absolutely LOVE this palette! The earthy tones are perfect for pretty much every look I want. They are all neutral tones too so I don't have to worry about anything clashing with the rest of my look.  This is a must have for every girl!  



I love how it lasts all day and night! 

 Idyllic Soft Satin Lipstick
These lipsticks are so ideal for this time of year.  The lighter one (Bare Chic) I use as an everyday look.  The darker one (Wine Divine) is perfect for an evening look or a holiday party.   They don't dry my lips out either.
Idyllic High Definition Volume & Length Mascara and High Precision Matte Eyeliner
I am OBSESSED with this eyeliner!   It is so smooth and gives an amazing touch of elegance to my look.  It's long lasting so it can go all day at the office into the evening at a holiday party.   And the mascara really lifts and lengthens my lashes.  It actually isolates each lash so it really makes my eyes pop.  It's perfect for date night!
I just love this eyeliner and mascara.  It stays on ALL day even after my workouts! 


Also, I have a coupon code for you guys.   If you use the code GDGIFT10 you can get $10 off any $20 purchase at check out.  This offer expires 12/31/16.



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Travel Tips for the Holidays & A Giveaway from Hotels.com

Thursday, December 15, 2016

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





The holidays can be a really hectic time especially if you have to travel. There are however a few simple tips you can follow to make everything go much more smooth for you and your family.






Plan Ahead
Make sure you check Hotels.com for deals that you can take advantage of to save some money.  You can check out their Deal of the Day, their Holiday Sales, and even their Last Minute New Year's Deals


Stay Connected
When you are rushing around getting packed and trying to make your flight or arrive to your hotel at a decent time, make sure you stay connected.  The Hotels.com app lets you book on the go.  You can easily sort and filter the results and even take advantage of Secret Prices on the app. 
The Hotels.com Secret Prices aren't shared with any other sites.  They are specifically negotiated for customers that have subscribed to emails or downloaded the app.  You can also join Hotels.com Rewards and collect 10 nights and get 1 free! There are plenty of great rewards and you are also eligible for Secret Prices!


Be Prepared  
Make sure you have a schedule of when you need to leave, what items you need to pack, who you need to notify (if anyone is checking on your pets or your house), and a basic itinerary of your travel.   Being organized and prepared is a great way to ensure you can enjoy yourself and not feel stressed the whole time!


Speaking of traveling, if you have people on your gift list that love to travel and you still need a gift idea for them, why not choose a $50 Hotels.com gift card!


Today, Hotels.com has teamed up with Ask Away to give one lucky winner a $50 gift card for Hotels.com!



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How to Begin Paying Down Debt

Wednesday, December 14, 2016




The thought of tackling your debt can be extremly daunting but that doesn't mean you should refuse to work on it.  You remember how I became debt free, right? Well, I speak from experience when I say that as long as you are serious about getting out of debt, you can break the task down into different parts that will help it be a bit less overwhelming.


Know What You Owe
You obviously can't start paying down your debt if you don't know how much you owe and whom you owe it to.  So first you'll need to make a list or a spreadsheet that includes all credit cards with a balance, any medical bills, student or bank loans, and any personal loans.   Then write down the amount you currently owe on each.

I'M ENGAGED!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016




YES! It finally happened!!! I AM ENGAGED!!!!!!!   
So of course here are all the deets!
 
When did it happen? 
Last Thursday, December 8th in the evening!

How did it go down? 
I was just laying on the couch on my phone and James sent Rocky out wearing a cute little tux.   Then he got down on his knee and asked. I was so thrown off it took him forever to get my attention when Rocky first came out.   Typical lol!

When will the wedding happen?
Puhhh-lease. I am so not traditional.  So there will be no formal wedding.  We are living in our forever home so we can't justify spending tons of money on things like decorations, a dress, a formal ceremony, etc. when we could be investing that money into home projects.  So instead, we will have a party.  We will go to the courthouse to get married in the Fall of 2018 and then we will have a giant party with our close friends and family.  It will easily be under 100 people and I'd rather invest money in things like music, food, and a fun location.  

So basically I will be living the dream of planning a big party.    And yes, I will be blogging everything along the way.  So stay tuned! And in the meantime, you're damn right I'm going to be showing off my ring.    So be sure to follow me on social media, because you definitely can't miss that!







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