Too Much On Your Plate? How to Lighten the Load

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

 Something funny happened at our wedding shower this Summer. One of the games was a quiz where people had to determine if the statement was about James or myself.  One of the statements was "I run the household."  And almost all of the women in attendance knew right away that it was me. 

That's because most of us feel the same way.  It doesn't mean we call the shots and get to control everything.   No no, you see the runner of the household tends to be the one that not only does a lot of physical tasks like cleaning and cooking, but the mental tasks.

If you were to write down all of the tasks you have to handle in a week I bet some of them would include reminding others (husband, kids, etc.) to do things.  No wonder we feel so overwhelmed.   We take on so many tasks that we even have to remember things for other people.   And as much as we may want to become resentful of the other household members for not helping out, you can't be mad.  You have to take action.   Here's how to lighten your load so you have more time for yourself and you don't feel so frazzled.

[1] Discuss
Let your family know that you feel so overwhelmed anymore and it's causing you to neglect yourself.   You should totally be able to schedule a few hours for yourself in the span of a week.   Give them a heads up that you will be asking for help with some things you do regularly and if someone gets defensive and feels like you're accusing them of not doing enough, let them know that's NOT the case.

[2] Delegate
Taking the trash cans to the curb every week may not take long, but it's a task you have to mentally remember to do.  Why not assign it to someone else.   Worried they will forget? Write a note and keep it on the calendar so you can either shout out "It's trash night!" when you get something out of the fridge, or have them write it somewhere they will see on a weekly basis.  There are a lot of tasks that can be delegated.   If you are constantly reminding your kids or your husband of their appointments or important birthdays,  consider using a smartphone app that sends reminders to them about those things or even just calling attention to the fact that everything will be on the calendar in the kitchen (or wherever) and it's on THEM to pay attention to it.

[3] Make Charts
A great way to make sure everyone is clear about what they are responsible for is to simply make a chart and put it in a central location like the fridge door.   It can have the regular weekly or daily tasks everyone is responsible for along with anything that comes up on a spur the moment basis.

[4] Plan
Plan everything out so it's not a thought that keeps swimming in your head all day.  I use daily to do lists for myself of even the tiniest tasks, just so that I don't forget. I plan meals out 2 weeks in advance and have my grocery lists all ready to go.  I plan out where all of my money will go from each paycheck, and I plan out any appointments (hair, doctors, nails) well in advance so it never pops up last minute and I can't get it done.

With a bit of planning and asking for help, you can definitely lighten your load and not feel so bogged down.

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Books I Recommend You Read [September]

Monday, September 25, 2017

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Another month of some amazing books, including new releases for Fall! Enjoy!

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed 

This is an interesting science fiction read about a place where daughters come to fruition and are bred to make babies and when your job is done you can die. But there's a lot of twisted stuff that goes on and some badass girls that want to rebel. It's a very interesting book!

Mrs Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

Once again Tom Perrotta gives us a juicy novel about suburban life with a twist of scandal. Mrs. Fletcher explores her own fantasies while her son is away at college learning that he should tone it down with his. This is such a guilty pleasure of a read!

The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham
WOW this was an awesome thriller about two women that are pregnant and become friends. But as the story unravels, one of them is lying and it's very twisted! Stolen babies, affairs, etc.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
This is a great young adult book about 4 high school students at the center of the death of another student. Everyone has a straight story but it still doesn't add up.  It's told through the perspective of each student.   Really great and easy read. 

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
This is an amazing thriller of a fiction novel about a girl and her step siblings and how when one of her friends goes missing, she's at the center of it all.  I raced through this book with different evolving theories. It has a great ending as well!

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown

This book was so awesome and juicy, about a family that is breaking apart and when the oldest daughter comes to live back at home temporarily because of her own drama, she learns her other family members have just as much scandal as she does.

All We Have Left by Wendy Mills

This is an amazing book (fiction) that involves a few main characters in the times before and after 9/11.  A muslim girl goes to visit her dad at work when the towers fall, and she becomes trapped inside with a boy named Travis who dies.  Intermittently told in the present is the story of Jesse, sister of Travis, who is trying to figure out why her brother was at the towers the day he died. What an amazing read!

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

This is another fictional novel set in the days and months during and after 9/11.  It follows 3 teens as they cope with the tragedy in the city they live in and love so much.  It's a great read!

Miss You by Kate Eberlen
I loved this book. It's about two people that cross paths at 18 and then their lives keep intercepting where they run into each other without even knowing it. It covers their lives separately and the relationships and experiences they go through before finally meeting back up. 

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Outfit of the Day: Feelin' Fall

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall weather means Fall colors and patterns and that's why I'm obsessed with my kimono (the LuLaRoe Shirley).  It's sheer and has a gorgeous Fall floral theme on it.  The colors are perfect for Autumn.

This is a great look for cooler weather because if I get too hot I can just take the Shirley off. Underneath is just black leggings with a plain white tee.

What patterns do you wear in the Fall?

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Target Deals Round Up

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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Who doesn't love Target?! Seriously, I can't go in there for just one item. I always end up leaving with a whole cart full of stuff. 

Today I wanted to share a few deals with you so that you can take advantage of them and embrace your love of Target!

For the home...
If you shop online from 9/24 through 9/30 and spend $150 on furniture you will get a $40 gift card! The promo code is HOME.  Shop here for furniture.

Also if you spend $50 on furniture, bedding, home decor, and rugs and you use the promo code HOME you'll get a $10 gift card! Shop here for home goods.

For Halloween...

Get shopping for costumes now and from 9/24-9/30 get 20% off! Shop here for Halloween costumes.

For anything....
And of course you can get free shipping on orders of $35 or more.
So what are you waiting for. Shop today!

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Outfit of the Day: Feathers and Denim

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

These leggings are so cute. They have feathers and dream catchers on them and I love the colors because they are perfect for Fall.

This shirt actually matches the one color in the feathers so it's a perfect outfit and I topped it off with a denim jacket.

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[Planning Our Wedding] Photo Props, Layout, + To Do List

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

 EEEEEK! You guys! It's less than a month away!

I have spent the past few weekends doing some finishing touches on everything for the wedding.

So we had some major rain for like 2 weeks straight so I took advantage of that time to use my remaining wedding budget on craft supplies to make photo props to use during our reception party. 

I love how they turned out! I can't show you what the prop signs say because I don't want to spoil it but of course since I got to use my sense of humor, I am telling you these are going to be great!   And the frame was super easy to make I just used a hot knife (the tool, not an actual hot knife, lol) to cut foam board and then painted it with the colors from my bouquet and then used tacky glue to put some embellishments on.  I can't wait to use it the day of the party!

I have a chart drawn up for which tables and chairs will go where and what things go on which table.  This is going to save me some major time and energy the day of the party.  If someone asks me where something goes - I can just point to the chart.  But it also is great because it gave me some time to see how stuff is gonna look and if it will all fit on the same table, etc.  

So you know me, I'm a planner but I love to-do lists as well so I combined both of those.   There were so many random things floating around in my head like "Oh I should definitely remember to move these out of the garage a few days before so we can sweep in there." But by the time an event day comes around I always forget something.

So I wrote everything and I mean EVERYTHING that still needs done before the big day of the party.  Then I assigned a day/date to it.  Then I made a new list that goes by date, and on that day I'll just look at what's listed and do it.  I left NOTHING out, I assure you.  It gives me so much peace of mind.

THIS IS IT!!! The next update will be pictures and a summary of how it all goes.   And you'll be excited to know we stayed within our budget of $2,500. Of course I'll do a post probably in November on how to do a wedding JUST LIKE OURS and save money.

Outfit of the Day: That Paisley Love

Monday, September 18, 2017

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This is still my favorite skirt EVER and I never used to wear paisley. I love all the colors in it too. When I see paisley normally it has more brown, orange, and yellow tones and I think that's why I wasn't a fan.  This skirt, however, has pink, purple, and green which makes it one of my favorite color combinations in my closet.

Do you wear paisley?

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What It's Like to Own A Rat

Friday, September 15, 2017

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Before you shriek at the though of owning a rat as a pet INSIDE your home, just stop. Most of what people say is just a misconception. 

First of all, let me just give you a few awesome facts about rats.

Rats have been known to take care of injured and sick rats in their group and without companionship or at least interaction with their human owner, they can become lonely and depressed.

They also have great memory and become creatures of habit, following the same paths to get somewhere. 

Contrary to popular belief, rats are very clean animals and spend hours each day grooming themselves. They are actually less likely to catch or transmit a parasite or virus than a dog or cat!

The freaky tail you probably don't like? Relax, it's like that so they can balance when moving around and it also helps regular their body temperature. 

Rats have very similar genes to that of humans which is why they are used for testing.  

So that all being said - I love rats.  Currently I have a rat named Charlotte. She's about two years old and is super sweet. She gets upset if I don't hold her every day.  

Owning a rat is really fun and they are very easy pets and are great with kids.  Unlike most small critters, rats LOVE being held.   I used to own gerbils and trust me, they aren't fond of being handled.  Rats on the other hand will get used to your smell, touch, and voice and you'll often notice they are excited when you enter the room and go to get them out of the cage.

The cost to own a rat is minimal. Food and bedding is pretty much it.  The initial cost is probably the most - a cage, water bottle, toys, etc.  I clean Charlotte's cage once a month and feed her every morning. If I don't feed her when she hears me wake up, she rattles the side of her cage!

One of the best and most important parts of owning a rat is keeping them entertained and interacting with them.  My favorite way to do that with Charlotte is with the Kaytee Crinkle Tunnel that I got from Chewy!

Charlotte loves this thing! It encourages exploration, exercise, and tunneling activity and it's machine washable! It's great for ferrets, chinchillas, small rabbits, and other critters.  It stretches to 23" in length and has a circular opening on both ends and one on the top for her to peek out of! 

Charlotte seems to really like the crackling sound it makes and she loves running through it as fast as she can, popping out on the other side, then going back in!

I used it outside of her cage so it doesn't get too dirty but it's also a great excuse to have her out on the floor or in my lap. STAY WITH YOUR PET AT ALL TIMES obviously! This is a really durable toy and if you have a small animal, consider getting one!

Never let your dog or cat and your rat interact without you their to supervise and when you have them in the same room together, make sure you reward them both so it's a pleasant experience.  I keep these Natural Balance Tender Cuts treats from Chewy on hand so I can reward the dogs for sharing some attention with Charlote. Make sure you feed an all natural treat like these so you aren't filling your pooch with artificial ingredients! These treats are soft, too so it makes it easy to continuously reward the dogs with them every couple of minutes.

The dogs definitely don't mind Charlotte and she's not phased by them either.

So basically - rats are awesome and if you're looking for an easy to care for critter that you can interact with I definitely recommend a rat!

Have you ever had a rat as a pet?

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Purging the Things You Own Too Many Of

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

We are all guilty of excessive stuff.   I definitely was until I KonMari'd my entire life and home.  Most of us don't even realize how much we have until we sit down and gather all the things in a certain category.  So whether you just don't have time to KonMari yet or you don't know where to start - I'm going to help you out today.  

[Our Weekend] Date Night, Fall Decorating, + LipSense

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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This weekend was pretty low key but still pretty eventful. I always share everything going on in my life on social media and not so much on here. I guess I just got lazy. But from now on I'll post weekly with everything that's happening. But if you aren't following me on social media yet make sure you do, especially SnapChat (EllenR886) because I try to keep it super funny!

 So it was time for our monthly date night and this time we had a gift card so we went to Greystone Public House.  This place is so beautiful and classy, both inside and out.  They also have a nice selection for Gluten Free and Vegan folks. 

 We started off with the veggie board which includes gluten free pita and squash hummus.  There were also roasted Brussels sprouts, carrots, and beets!
 I got a glass of white zin as well!
 For dinner I chose the Veal Porterhouse which was mouth wateringly amazing and I have to say it's the best meal I've had in a very long time.
 James got the slow smoked prime rib. It was fantastic. It literally melts in your mouth!
 Told you it was the best meal ever!
 For dessert we had the Chocolate Turtle Mousse! It was not only gluten free but very rich and filling.
This was out last date night as an engaged couple because our next one will be at the end of October after we get married.  Our date nights are planned out well in advance since we have crazy schedules with James' work having him on call every couple of weekends. 
When we got home we decided we'd have a fire and invite the neighbors over.  Of course I had already taken my makeup off but I figured a little lip color wouldn't hurt. So I decided to try out LipSense!
 Boring dull lips before....
 With LipSense you clean and dry your lips then shake the bottle of color.   Then you put three layers on with a 10 second break between each layer.  You swipe in one direction as you apply.  You keep your mouth open, you don't touch your lips, and you can use an oil-based makeup remover to fix any mistakes.
 Then after the color is on in 3 layers you can add the gloss.  It seals the color and moisturizes your lips. And if you want your color to last even longer you can re-apply the gloss before meals.  The colors I used were: Mauve Ice and the gloss was Gold Glitter.
 Even though I was dressed super casual I felt super glammed up.  So what is LipSense? It's a long lasting liquid lip color that is guaranteed for 4-18 hours.  It's waterproof, smudgeproof, kiss proof, and doesn't dry your lips up. It's also lead-free, wax free, gluten free, vegan, kosher, and is NOT tested on animals. 
 So I thought it was really unique that this makes my lips tingle when I put on the color.  It's because of a cosmetic grade Denatured Alcohol which is in the tube to create a bacteria free environment. Once the gloss is on the feeling goes away though.  It's normal for the first two weeks of use.
 You can even mix colors with each layer.  And to remove you just use an oil-based makeup remover. 

 The weather has been nice and cool lately (hello Fall!) so we had a fire again. 
So the porch is ready for Fall as well. I got rid of the potted herbs and wiped everything down real well and it's perfect for hanging out on cool nights. 
And of course it's time to decorate for Fall!

 I even made little potted flower arrangements out back.

 Here's our front door!

How was YOUR weekend? Do anything fun?

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