Date Night Ideas

I got my hair cut today and it feels AMAZING! I keep saying I want to grow it back out long… but I really LOVE it short. The woman was incredible patient as kiddo sat in the cart (I went to the Salon inside Wal-Mart) and played the same game over and over (annoying sound effects and all). In case you didn’t recolonize it, that’s my $1 Thrifted Sweater (so cozy with the 59 degree weather today)

 

I wish it were Date Night because I feel amazing, but unfortunately he has to work tonight. I was thinking of taking kiddo to see the Tree Lighting and Parade tonight, but I am going to NOT put us through that. Downtown Ft Worth is EXTREMELY crowded and I know he would be overwhelmed and I could not keep tabs on him by myself. I am going to check a more local listing and see if there is a smaller tree lighting happening later this month.

Back in October we had a really FUN date night. One of the best I’ve had in a while. I decided to plan everything out 2 weeks in advance. Sitter, times, where we would eat, where we would go, what we would do, etc. I “schedule texted” the addresses to Hubby in a specific order giving us enough time at each place without feeling rushed and without getting board. It was PERFECT. The worst part about Date Night is deciding what to do. This took that conflict away and we had a blast. First stop was a Hole-in-the-Wall restaurant we would have never tried without prompting (it was delicious) Second stop was a Book Store (we bought a game to play) Last stop was a Coffee Shop (I had a list of questions to ask each other and a 30 second timer off of YouTube). If you struggle with making decisions in the moment or procrastinating planning Date Night, I have one more idea for you…23768737_10214358109527575_137599240_o

 

I received this game from Blogging for Books. It is a fun, role playing game to get things interesting on Date Night. If you are bad at choosing where to go or just want to spice things up, give this game a whirl. Don’t worry, not all the options are something you could get kicked out of a restaurant for 😉 23798324_10214358108967561_1505257840_o

Pick a “where” “what” and “who” card in put it in the envelope then give it to your partner with a Date and Time card that you fill out.23768733_10214358108807557_1033702039_o

I hope you have a great weekend!

Leave me a comment about how you make Date Night amazing!

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Thrifting 101

I LOVE Thrift Stores. I have been thrifting… forever. Now don’t get me wrong, when I was 12 and had to wear the 2nd hand jeans my mom picked out, I didn’t think it was so cool. As an adult I have found the joy and the benefit of Thrift Stores.

In college I remember spending $100 at a store in the mall one day on clothes, shoes jewelry, etc. I was a little shocked at the tally, but I had gotten A LOT of stuff. Unfortunately it was poor quality and didn’t fit well or look all that good (I’m sure I wore most of it anyway) I made the same mistake the first few years of Thrifting. I would buy stuff because it was cheap or “my size” and in a few months it was back in the Thrift Store (because I  donated it back) or torn and in the trash.

Today I want to share with you my list of “DO’s” and “Don’ts” of Thrifting and details about my trip I took today.

 

 

DO:

  • Make a Plan!
    • Know where you are going, when, for how long, with who, etc. Winging it will not get you the most for you time and money and you will probably end up wasting more time than if you planned it.
  • Know the Store/Sales
    • Know which days, times, locations, etc which stores have sales. Make sure you understand the restrictions and details (color tags, limits, etc)
  • Get there EARLY!
    • I usually get there about 10-15 min before the store opens on the day of the $.99 tags sale. I don’t want to wait too long outside with an active toddler, but I know that within that first hour most of the good stuff is GONE!
  • Dress comfy
    • You’re not going to the Mall, you don’t need makeup or heals. I usually wear leggings or sweat pants (easy to get in and out of when trying on pants) slip on shoes with thin socks (try on shoes in a flash) and a tank top with my favorite bra (so I can try on sweaters and shirts without having to go into the dressing room). I also usually bring a purse with a longer strap that I can cross over my body so I don’t have to worry about it.
  • Know your limit (and your kid’s/spouse’s/friend’s limit)
    • If you (or the person you’re with) gets tired or grumpy in an hour or two, then halfway into that time stop browsing and start trying on and deciding what you want. My trip today was and hour and a half and it was perfect. I got exactly what I wanted. I wasn’t burnt out on searching and kiddo wasn’t to the point of screaming at the top of his lungs…yet.
  • Have a Budget
    • If I did not have a budget today (and I have done this before) I would have bought at least 6 things that were not flattering and or I would have never worn. A budget keeps your choices in check and also stops you from regretting half of you purchases.

 

DON’T

  • Go in WITHOUT a Plan
    • Again, planning will make it a much better experience and you will have more yield for your time and money.
  • Think that you kids will not get bored
    • I brought the Tablet, charged and loaded with games and movies, so that kiddo would have a distraction. It made my time more enjoyable and effective.
  • Get on your phone
    • Silence that thing! If you get distracted by a phone call or text, you will miss out or loose focus.
  • Get distracted by items that are NOT on sale
    • If you want to browse for pretty things, pick a different day and plan to do that with a different budget. SALE DAY is about that specific color TAG and they go fast, so you do too! While you’re flipping through racks looking for that sale color tag, if something REALLY catches your eye throw it in the cart and keep moving. Come back to it later.
  • Fall into the Name Brand trap
    • Just because it is a great Name Brand or in your Size DOES NOT mean you HAVE to get it. If it is going to just take up space in your closet or you are going to be uncomfortable every time you wear it, it isn’t even worth a dollar.
  • Slow Down
    • Pickers (as I like to call them) move fast and often in groups. They are going to have the entire store picked over in about an hour. So you have to move quickly and with purpose. Plan ahead which sections you want to look over and in what order (because that might be the difference in finding something or not). Today I choose to go: Sweaters, purses, jeans, tops, workout gear. Shoes are very scattered at this store so I don’t really focus on them (although I found an amazing pair today by happenstance).

 

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My typical routine once I get in and have my budget and plan is to go section by section (according to what I want to find that trip) and very quickly look through the racks for sale color tags. I then grab any items that are my size and look like something I might wear ( I’m not extremely picky at this point) I continue through the store until I have a very full cart and have looked in my top 4 or 5 sections. If I am not finding a lot of sale tags in a section I will often move on, it may have already been picked over and I don’t want to loose momentum or hope. Next, I find a quiet spot and sort through my findings. This is where I take the time to think “is this my color, my style, will it go with anything else I own, when would I wear this?”. I often try to do this near a full length mirror somewhere in the store. I try on any shirts, jackets, sweaters, purses, shoes, etc (remember I am wearing my favorite bra and a tank top) I do this because Thrift Stores often have very small Dressing Rooms with very small limits (like 6 items). Then I hang up anything I am not IN LOVE with and take the items I definitely want off the hanger and put back into the cart. ( If you don’t love it, you probably aren’t going to wear it enough for it to be worth the space in your closet) Then I go into a fitting room and try on any pants or skirts. Make sure to rotate and check for spots or tears. Lastly, go through one more time and make sure every item you choose it worth its weight in your “limit” or “budget”. (BTW setting a low budget means you will probably come home with better stuff. I usually set it to $10 or 10 items)

 

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I cannot get over how in love I am with every piece I came home with today. I want to walk you through them each real quickly.

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The first shirt was a brand I didn’t recognize. It was good quality and extremely comfy and grey goes with everything. Second shirt was The Limited, very classy for a meeting or night out. Third was Coldwater Creek. Perfect for Texas’ midl fall days.

 

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The bag I picked up was Jessica Simpson. It doesn’t fit my laptop but is perfect for all my other work stuff.

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Cable Knit sweaters are IN and I found a bunch of them that were so adorable, but they just didn’t look stunning on me. This one is bound to be my favorite winter item (Bar III). The blue Ann Taylor sweater is great for work. The Phat Farm sweatshirt still had the tags on it. Someone paid $69 so I could have it for $0.99!

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These jeans cost me a buck, but they make me feel like a million $$$. 7jeans brand ($70 new) Then this Eddie Bauer workout shirt is actually nice enough to wear with a pair of jeans and not look too mom-ish 😉

 

Last, but not least. My Nine West find ❤

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There you have it! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about how I shop and that your next Thrifting Adventure is as successful as mine was. I would love to hear about great finds you have made, share them below!

Book Review – 30 Days to Peace Journal

Holidays are almost here. Peace on Earth and all those of the slogans that we hang on the mantel place and then enter into the chaos and blur of November/December. If we stop and really think about it, do we have peace? Do we even know what that word means or do we wear the chaos on our sleeve like a badge of honor? 10473207_10152368774587886_7193440034617429743_n
Take a moment. Take a deep breathe. Think about your “To-Do” list for today.

 

What on it is going to bring you Peace? What is going to bring you anxiety or more stress? Which of those things are going to matter in 10 years?

 

I found this amazing Journal, 30 Days to Peace, that gives you prompts everyday to help you realize what peace looks like to you and how to get it in your life (and hopefully maintain it, too)

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Each page is beautifully illustrated with quotes and scriptures to help you meditate on Peace and change your thought patterns.

I challenge you this Holiday Season, don’t let the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” make you more stressed out. Instead use it to take a journey to find Peace that will get your New Year started right!

 

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

Book Review – Coloring Book: Tokyo Street Style

 

 

Zoe de las Cases did it again with another beautifully illustrated coloring book that captures the culture and fashion of the city. This time it is Tokyo! The bright flexible cover stayed in place with a band so you can enjoy on the go. There is also a ribbon to mark your place.

 

We live in a stressful world, take some time to relax, unwind, and color.

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**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

Book Review – The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

This novel is a wonderful blend of fiction and history. From the author of “A Discovery of Witches”,  Barry takes you on an adventure you’ll soon never forget. Whether you are looking to dig into the History of the Salem witches or just enjoy a story about some modern ones, this book will be sure to take you there. 22127259_10213943781729639_409132263_n

 

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

Book Review – He Calls You Beautiful by Dee Brestin

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Every woman longs to hear those words, “You are Beautiful”. In this book Dee takes us through the “Love Book” –  Song of Solomon – and shows us how our Savior wants to Romance us. It is great for personal or group study with though provoking questions at then end of each chapter to help you go deeper. Whether you are single, happily married or otherwise…this book will help you remember that His love is enough for you.

 

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

The End of Summer

It is September and Summer is coming to and end (although it will still be in the high 70’s and low 80’s for a while here in Texas) The last 3 months have brought more “adventure” than I ever thought I would want to handle in one Summer (and I used to do a lot in the summers when I was in college). May 1st I made the choice to better myself and the life I can give my son by getting sober. I am currently 124 days sober and half way through the 12 Step Program. May 12th on my way to work, I was in a very bad car accident that left my car totaled and my back injured in several places. Later that afternoon I received the call that my husband had lost his job because of poor choices the CEO of his company had made and they now had no way of paying their employees. We had to pull Little Man from Playcare and I began Physical Therapy for my injuries. In June the stress of dealing with a special needs toddler, running a Cafe, and being in constant pain (and having to go to doctors 30 min from my work 4 times a week after working 10 and 15 hour days) all while trying to work my recovery program and stay sober, was too much. I could not give 100% to work, 100% to my son, 100% to my physical recovery, and 100% to my sobriety anymore. Something was going to suffer, and I knew where I needed to put my priorities. I choose to give my Cafe to someone else so they could give it the time and attention it needed. I stepped down from being General Manager and moved to a Cafe closer to home to support a new GM in her transition. Also in June Little Man turned 3! In July we traveled to Maine to visit family and be a part of my Best Friend’s wedding. It was beautiful and the most relaxing retreat I have had in a while. Little Man was able to spend time with Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunts, and extended family we hadn’t seen in over a year. He also saw a moose, bald eagle, and other amazing animals as we visited the Wildlife Park that I used to go to as a kid. August brought more challenges when we found out that we no longer had CHIP and Little Man lost his Speech Therapy and Insurance.

Currently I am learning what “One day at a time” truly means and surrendering every little thing as my anxiety overwhelms me. I never thought that at nearly 30 years old I would be putting my career on hold, in chronic pain, a special needs parent, and almost to my 6 month chip. Alas, I am. I am learning to:

Stop looking for the REASON something happened and begin realizing the REVELATION of who HE is in me.

That sometimes a MISTAKE and a MIRACLE are the same situation.

Sometimes the pressure is not from WHAT you are handling, but from HOW you are handling it.

I am far from perfect and this journey is far from perfect, but this week I decided to embrace the rain instead of trying to hide from it. ❤