Tuesday, March 28, 2017

5 Things That Make Me Kind of A Weirdo

My favorite type of blog posts to read are the ones where people get real. The behind-the-scenes photos or the embarrassing stories...I love that! We live in an Instagram world where we only get to see the highlight reel. That's why I love those glimpses into people's real lives! We are all seeking to connect with others and not feel super different or weird. 

I thought I'd share a few things with you today that make me weird! I'm putting myself out there, so ya'll have to return the favor and comment below with what makes you a little odd too. 

I gag when I brush my teeth.
I've been brushing my teeth for almost 27 years and I still gag every time. Sometimes it's just a little and other times my husband can't stop laughing at me because he can hear it in the other room. This is totally genetic because my sister has always been a gagger too. (Is gagger a word?) For me it's usually textures and smells that make me gag, but when I'm brushing my teeth it's because of the toothpaste and brushing my tongue at the same time that causes it.

I love riding with my feet on the dash, but absolutely hate it when other people do. 
There is nothing like kicking off your shoes, propping your feet up on the dashboard and leaning the seat back when you are going to be in the car for awhile...except when you do it. I absolutely hate seeing people's feet on their dashboards when driving around. But, I can do it and it doesn't bother me. I realize this doesn't make any sense.

I have an actual phobia of cotton balls.
I honestly feel sick just writing about this. The texture of cotton balls makes my skin crawl and my stomach flip. I actually tear up when I open a pill bottle and see that it has a cotton ball in it. I can't touch it or I will throw up. It's kinda like nails on a chalkboard, or a fork scratching a plate. The thought of them is so cringey. It's probably mostly a texture thing, but even the thought of them alone makes me shiver. Cotton rounds are a bit different for me, and that's what a use to take off my nail polish. They just have to be soaking wet with acetone for me to feel okay. It's so weird and I totally regret writing this post now.

Dolphins give me anxiety.
Okay, so this one stems from an experience. I was kayaking with my friend and we came upon some dolphins. It's a movie moment, but instead of feeling amazed by nature I was so overcome with worry about being surrounded by them in a little kayak that I still have dread when I see a dolphin. I just have this feeling that they'd turn on you. It's like clowns for some people. They are supposed to be all happy and cheery, but a lot of people feel like they are secretly evil. That's me with dolphins! Even when I see them in an aquarium I feel a bit anxious. 

I imagine my furniture in every home I go into. 
I guess this is just a testament to how my brain works. Every time I go into a new house, (which is often since I work in Real Estate and clean houses for extra money.) I imagine all of my belongings and furniture in there as if I was going to move in. It may have started as an mental exercise when I started my job, but now I just do it every time I'm in a new house. I think about where our couch would fit, where the tv would go and if I'd have to get rid of something or buy new stuff. If I'm not imagining my own furniture, I'm mentally moving the existing furniture and redecorating. To all my real-life friends reading this, yes, I've done it at your house! 

It's my hope that reading this made you feel a little less weird yourself, or maybe you feel connected to me now! Please leave a comment below letting me know I'm not alone and that you love reading about other people's real lives. 

If you're a new reader, welcome! Start Here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Disney Date Night

 (Pants are brand new, top was last season, and the rest of the items are much older)

I don't think we could have picked a better weekend to visit Disney! We love the parks, but have learned to avoid them from May to September or October. (Unless it's a water park!) My favorite times to visit are in March and October. Although summer lasts a lifetime in Florida, the nights in the parks can get pretty cold in January or February. By March it's starting to warm up but not brutal yet. This past weekend had high temperatures in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Perfect Disney weather!

This is what I wore on our little date night on The Boardwalk. We ate at Trattoria al Forno, which is a delicious Italian place - this was our first time there. We had a great waiter and we ate off his recommendations. I didn't really love that they sat us so close to the next table over. I know they are trying to pack as many as possible in there. I can't help but eavesdrop anyway, so that made it really hard not to! The couple to the right of us had us cracking up. The guy did not believe his girlfriend that Jim is short for James...he was flabbergasted. It was hysterical! But we couldn't really laugh, or we'd look like creeps.

Before heading to dinner we explored our hotel a bit, and I fell in love with all of the fountains! We stayed at The Swan, which was great. The Dolphin never disappoints either, and I like that you are free to roam around both hotels. 

After dinner we walked The Boardwalk, which is such a pleasure. I love staying on The Boardwalk because it's so convenient to get into Epcot through the back entrance, and there is always fun stuff to look at along The Boardwalk. One day I'm going to rent one of those 4 seater bikes!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My All Time Favorite Girl Movies

I was reflecting today on just how much your spouse can influence you over the years. My husband loves all things nerdy and Sci-fi. My interest in that sort of thing was never very high! I saw a handful of superhero movies before we met, but it was mostly because my guy-friends wanted to go see it. After marrying Blake, we only go to the movies if it's a new Marvel movie, Sci-Fi film, or the latest Star Wars movie! I will admit, I've totally jumped on board and love those types of movies too. (Minus James Bond, I can't stand those movies...but we can talk about that in the comments!) 

While Back to the Futureand Indiana Jones totally top my favorites list, I still have love for the chick-flick! I wanted to share a list of my all time favorite girly movies, the ones I can't get my husband to watch with me! 

Father Of The Bride
This movie goes down as my all-time-favorite. We had the VHS growing up, and I watched it about a thousand times. It's such a cute movie, and totally inspired my love of weddings to this day. It's pretty 90's, but that makes it even more fun to watch now! I also loved Father of the Bride 2!

I'm talking about the 1998 version with Lindsay Lohan. I can literally quote this entire movie. My sister and I watched it SO many times. I can remember reading my teen-magazine and finding out that there was only one actress playing the part of the twins-and I still think that CGI holds up. It's a classic that I can picture watching with my niece in a few years. She will have to deal with me quoting the whole thing, because I can't help it. (I have class, and you don't

This is turning into my favorite childhood movies...but! I still love them all! The Princess Diaries stands out because my dad actually took me to the theater to see it. I had read the book and talked him into taking me. It's such a cute movie, although I remember thinking it was different than the book. I love Julie Andrews, and Anne Hathaway was perfect in the role too. Still one I can watch over and over!

Another VHS I wore out! Ever After is such a sweet movie, and I think it's still timeless. Anjelica Huston is an excellent Evil Stepmother, and I think Drew Barrymore is so cool as a 90's feminist Cinderella. 

I can't even explain why I love this movie so much. It's a cute story, and a fascinating idea. Blake Lively does a great job, especially in the scene where she is playing the mother of an elderly daughter. It's kind of mind boggling, but believable. Her outfits are SO great too. and her hair...Also the actor who plays a young Harrison Ford is a dead ringer! In fact I heard it was this video that got him the part

So this movie isn't exactly girly, in fact Blake loves it too. But it's on this list because I love it so much. Owen Wilson is not my favorite actor, but he does so well with this character. It's set in Paris, and the story is just so cute. I love the history included and we laugh so hard at Paul. 

Leave a comment below if your husband makes you watch nerd movies too! I want to hear about your favorite girl movies or if one of the more nerdy/sci-fi movies are at the top of your list!

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Stride Against Silence 5k - Gainesville

On Saturday, my husband and I participated in the Stride Against Silence 5K in Gainesville with some of our family! Nicole found it and had everyone sign up for it, so I had no idea it would be such a tiny race. I'm used to doing larger, more popular races, so I was really surprised how intimate the group was. I ended up really enjoying it though! Sometimes, with bigger races, you end up at the back of the corral and it takes a few minutes to even cross the start line as people are heading towards it. 

This was so relaxed and we were almost at the front of the pack. It was a perfect morning for running too because it was pretty brisk. I got made fun of for my shorts, but I know how I am and I knew I'd hate having extra layers on after a mile. 

Every single time I'm running in a 5K, I think "I'm going to train better for the next race!" Blake and I started off so strong with our Couch to 5K program 2 months ago, but we got derailed just as we saw progress. He ended up walking most of the race and I'd say I ran 2/3rds. During mile 2 I ran/walked since it was pretty hilly near Lake Alice and the area where the fraternities are.

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That last picture of Blake was a joke, he was barely even winded. He's so stubborn he has to make me feel bad for making him sign up. We all felt really proud afterward and celebrated with brunch at The Flying Biscuit. Best grits ever!!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Currently Loving - Spring 2017

I haven't been this excited for something in a long time! In January I got a Pixel XL, to replace my Samsung Note 4. (The Note was an awesome phone! and so is the Pixel!) The Note was a huge phone, but I noticed the Pixel being really heavy on my pinky finger. Everyone is getting a dent in their pinky from phones, but mine was actually getting worse. So, I found this amazing little device! It's a PopSocket, and it's basically a sticker that you can use to hold your phone. It also makes a convenient stand when you are watching a video. It pops in and out as you need it. It definitely doesn't pop in flush, but that isn't a big deal to me. They come in all kinds of colors and designs. The advertisement says they can be repositioned but I'm too nervous to try. In hindsight I wish I would have placed mine just about 1 mm lower for texting. 

This is palette is a blogger favorite, and I'm totally on the train too. The Carli Bybel Palette from BH Cosmetics is a winner. It's got gorgeous eyeshadow colors, and 4 excellent highlighters in one palette. There are actually dozens of combos you can do with this, and I keep going back to YouTube looking for new ideas. The color payoff is great and even better is the price! Both Amazon and Ulta have it listed for $14.50. 

I actually loved our last bedding set, and still do. The colors were perfect and it was exactly the look I was going for. The problem was it was a comforter, and it was very difficult to wash. In fact it usually took 2 rounds in the dryer and it wasn't even fully dry after that. It was pretty, but not practical and practicality is what I'm going for. 

We haven't had much success with duvets either, and with summer coming up I decided to hunt for a quilt set. TJ Maxx is usually where I find bedding, but I couldn't seem to find a quilt that I liked there. Target had their on sale the other day and I narrowed it down to a couple. 

I really love navy and orange together so this one stood out. It ended up being quite a bit more gray than I was anticipating. The picture online seemed much more beige, and I was sort of counting on that to match our toss pillows and curtains. Ideally though it will be much easier to wash, and making the bed will be simpler. Plus dog hair doesn't show up as much as it did on the previous set! I may change up the pillows in time, but for now I like it! 

Plus, we are planning on painting our bedroom and bathroom in the near future, so this new set might inspire a more cohesive color scheme. 

Kate Spade Whale Wallet
This was one of my anniversary gifts from Blake! I may have steered him toward the Kate Spade Surprise Sale last month...but he picked the most perfect wallet for me! I was sporting an $8 one from Target before. I can't describe this shade of blue, but I think it's my new favorite color! And good for me, because I've seen it all over the place lately, so it must be in fashion. It's kinda periwinkle, but more blue than purple. The whales are the cutest touch and are SO me. Thanks babe! (Ha, like he's actually reading this.)

I reconnected with our family friend Denise at my grandparent's 50th party this year. We had so much fun catching up and talking about our shared obsession with Disney! She showed me her nails which were a Minnie Mouse Jamberry wrap. She is a sales person for Jamberry and she gave me her card. I was hesitant to try them out. I thought her wrap was really cute, but I have SO many nail polishes and I'm trying to use them up. I ended up browsing the selection on her Jamberry profile and was super intrigued! 

I bought the basic bundle, which includes a heater and a few tools. It also comes with 4 wraps. You can also just buy 3 wraps and get the 4th free. They run about $15 per sheet, but I didn't realize until I applied my first set that you can get at least 2 manicures and 1 pedicure out of one sheet. 

Of course I bought a few Disney themed sheets, which I'm really excited to use with our next trip to the parks! Unexpectedly, I also won additional sheets through Denise's instagram! I haven't gotten them in the mail yet, but I'm looking forward to it! 

They aren't too hard to apply, but I do think I will get better with practice. These wraps can last up to 2 weeks, but I haven't made it that far yet. I'm really tough on my hands, and I'm not a pro at applying them, so that may change. 

Oh! And, I also found it a little difficult to shop for these wraps, based on the stock images in their various listings. Denise told me that each nail has it's own hashtag, and you can search for real people who have that wrap on their fingers. It was so helpful to see them like that! And there are some crazy talented people out there who are mixing and matching these wraps in such beautiful ways. 

Okay, that's it for now! I love sharing what I'm currently loving, and I would love to hear what you guys are into right now! Do we share any favorites, or do you have some Jamberry tips for me? 
Leave a comment below!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Our Experience Changing Our Dog's Name

Last June, we adopted Bailey and got the surprise of our lives when we found out she was pregnant! The puppies kind of took over our attention after that. I don't think I've shared just how much we've enjoyed having Bailey herself as part of our pug family. She would have been a great addition, with or without the puppies that we love so much. 

Her health was an immediate concern, and we are so happy to say 9 months later that she is lightyears healthier than when we adopted her. She is about 4 pounds heavier now, and that's compared to her weight at almost full term pregnant. She is so laid back and sweet! 

One thing I don't think that I ever mentioned here was that we changed her name when we adopted her! Bailey's original name was Boo. A teenage girl owned her previously, and when she told me that this dog she needed a new home for was named Boo, I was kind of...reluctant? I don't know if that's the right word. 

I could not imagine my husband calling out "Boo!!" into the yard, or even myself saying it without cringing. If that's your dog's name, I'm sorry, but I wasn't a fan. 

I think there was about 2 days in between chatting with her previous owners and actually going to pick her up. We needed to buy a few extra dog supplies and more food, but I spent most of that time researching how to change a dog's name.

I don't know why but I felt so guilty about it! This dog is going to have a complete life changing event by coming into a new home, with all new people, and then you're not even going to keep their name? But, I did my research and found out it could be done. 

Here are my tips:

- First, don't feel bad! Dog's don't have the same sense of identity that we do. In fact they don't even speak English. (A point that I never thought about until I heard my Spanish neighbor saying "ven aca!" to her dog.) In fact, it may be the best thing to change their name if they were in an abusive home. It will be a fresh start for them all the way around.

- On that same note, they learn their name like a command, just like Sit, or Stay. So using treats and positive reinforcement can help them catch on really quickly.

- Pick a new name that begins with the same letter as their old name. That's why we chose Bailey. It started with a B just like Boo. It's even better if you can choose a name that begins with the same first sound. Or, choose a name that rhymes with their old name. 

- Don't use the old name ever again. This was a bit challenging because we often called our other dog Delly Boo-Boo. We had to stop that to avoid confusion. For the first week or so, you could use their old name in conjunction with their new name, and then drop the old name. We did not do that, however. 

Blake and I both said 'Bailey' as much as we could in that first week, and it definitely took a few days for her to start responding to it. She's Bailey now though! She adjusted so well to living with us, and I can't help but feel that she is grateful and satisfied. I don't know how long a dog's memory is, but she must feel the difference in our home where she is fed multiple times a day, gets to lounge around on leather sofas and sleep on a tempurpedic mattress compared to whatever place she came from where she was underweight, living outside with ear and eye infections...and having puppies at an older age. 

I will say it also took me some time to feel like she was my dog. I knew Delly from 8 weeks, and Winston from his first day...so to adopt a dog at the age of 7 was a very different experience! She made noises I wasn't familiar with, she had marks on her body I didn't know what from, and she didn't know any tricks, unlike Delly and Winston who we trained right away. 

Here we are 9 months later, and I feel like adopting her was one of the best things we could have done. I'm not sure if she'd be alive right now if we hadn't. We already loved pugs, and had one, but adopting one that needed us was a really fulfilling experience. So, if you are considering rescuing a pet and want to know if you can change their name, the answer is yes! We did it, and are really happy we did!

Leave a comment below if you adopted or rescued a pet! I'd love to hear about your experience and if you changed their name!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Book Club: The Magnolia Story

The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines
From Amazon: The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.

What I Didn't Like:
I really don't have any big complaints with this book! It comes across just like the show, so if you don't like Fixer Upper, you may not like the way this is written. There is also a little religious overtone to this book too, so if you aren't into that you may not appreciate the story. It's not pushy, but they are religious and so "God's plan" is mentioned a bunch.
What I Liked: 
I adore Chip and Joana on Fixer Upper. I think they are so cute together and are a great match. Their chemistry is lovely to watch and I think that's why so many people like their show. That same chemistry is obvious in this book. I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by the Gaines, so it came across just like on tv.  It was really neat to hear the backstory on their relationship and how they even got a show to begin with.

I laughed SO hard at several anecdotes. The end of their honeymoon story had me rolling, and I almost choked hearing about the baby on the ATV.  I also had tears in my eyes when she talked about what she found in the attic of her dad's shop. So many touching moments.

The theme of the book is clear. Go for your dreams and keep working on them. It is truly amazing what they have accomplished together and it's also really endearing to see that they energize each other.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5 Stars (1: hated it, 2: didn't like it, 3: liked it, 4:liked it, 5: loved it)
Overall I think fans of the show will especially like this book. And I really loved the audio version!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Cleaning Schedule

One of my ongoing goals is to be in complete control of my life. That has the unfortunate side effect of making me a little fussy about certain things. I've gotten made fun at work for years for it. Whenever someone is looking for something in the office, and can't find it, the joke is always "Kristen must have organized it."
I've tried the opposite approach too! The whole go-with-the-flow mantra has never served me well. I end up so overwhelmed with stuff I let slip through the cracks. I don't like living like that, but I don't like living with a reputation of being OCD either...
You may be tired of hearing about it by now, but my little minimalism journey has totally helped me out in this department. While I was decluttering our home, I was intentional about what stayed and what went. I designed it so that we could maintain our possessions, and actual home, much easier.
Along with decluttering, we made sure to minimize what we were wasting time on too. All of this was so that we could focus on more important things. Cleaning and other essential duties are still part of our life but now it's not such a huge deal to accomplish!
I want to share a snapshot into our cleaning routine! We are still experimenting, but so far this schedule has made a huge difference in my life. I designed it so that nothing will ever pile up. The Daily tasks are nonnegotiable. If these things are done every day, our house is always visitor ready. Then there are Weekly tasks, that can be scheduled any time during the week. I may end up doing these jobs separately, but more often than not I spend an hour or two at once.
Make Beds // This is something I think everyone should do every day. If nothing else goes right that day, you can still feel like you've accomplished something. Your bedroom ends up looking much cleaner right away, after the bed is made. My rule is last one in makes the bed. But we end up making it together most of the time.
Wash Dishes // There is nothing worse than waking up to a sink full of dishes! Our routine is to clean up right after dinner, before we get relaxed! Once we plop down on the couch that's it, so I know we need to get it done before that. We rotate whose night it is to wash, but it's also nice to be flexible and not leave it for the other person if they aren't feeling well-even if it's their turn.
Wipe Kitchen Counters & Dinner Table // The person who isn't washing does this. It's SO easy when you've got minimal things on the counters to wipe around.
Sweep or Swiffer // We HAVE to do this every day. With 3 pugs, the dog hair in our house is embarrassing. Fortunately we don't have to sweep every room, every day. Our kitchen, dining room and bedroom seem to collect the most hair, so that's what we sweep up daily. It's not a big deal and takes maybe 5 minutes.
Bathrooms // Every week our bathrooms get a top-to-bottom cleaning. Toilets, tubs, sinks, mirrors and floors. Our guest bathroom isn't used as much, so most of the attention goes to the master bath.
Dusting // Dusting is one of my least favorite things to do, but it does seem easier to do now that we have less stuff. I dust every surface, even ceiling fans. I don't wait for things like that to build up.
Laundry // It's actually crazy how much laundry we accumulate each week. I wash, dry and iron everything once a week. I don't mind it, especially when I'm watching a movie or something while ironing. Huggable hangers and the KonMari folding method are my friends.
Wash Linens, Change Sheets // All of our rugs, dog beds, dog toys and sheets get washed once a week. Dog stuff holds stink like no other!
Floors // And finally our floors get swept, swiffered and mopped weekly. I love how clean floors feel! and smell!
If I keep up with this schedule there aren't any chores I need to do monthly. But, yearly we do a bit of spring cleaning. Things like washing the windows, pressure washing the outside of our house, or having the carpet cleaned.
Something I am also trying out is taking action if I see something that needs attention, instead of putting it on the to-do list. If I can attend to it right now, why wait? For example, yesterday I noticed some of our plants needed pruning. Instead of getting to it later, I just grabbed the scissors and did it right then. I'm trying that in other areas of my life too. I was about to add 'Write Thank You Card' to my Wunderlist, when I realized I should just write it now. Done and done. It's a cool feeling, not having things like that weigh on you.
I'm still not this organized with my yard work! We have a fairly big yard and it always seems so daunting to tackle. I'm working on some landscaping options that are more low maintenance, even removing some of it all together.
Leave me a comment below if you are known in the office as the organized one! I'd love to hear your cleaning routine, and what you feel like you need to do every day. I'd also like to know if you haven't found your ideal routine yet too!

Monday, March 6, 2017

3 Annoying Things About Pugs

You don't need to look very hard on this website to figure out my adoration for the Pug breed. We have had such a good experience having pugs. Up until last year, all my pug advice came from owning just one pug. Now that we have 3, it's cool to see what's personality and what is a "pug-thing". 

They've got so many lovely qualities, but along with that they've got some annoying ones too. Most pug people agree these are easy to look over, and actually find them endearing. But, if you are considering Pug-ownership, there are things you need to know!

The Shedding!
The dog hair and pet dander in my house is insane. Pugs are shedders. If you have allergies, pugs are not for you. As you give them scratchies you can see the hair float away in a cloud surrounding your pet. It's actually incredible. We've got both a black pug and 2 fawn pugs. Interestingly the fawn pugs seem to shed more than Delly. When we just had Delly, her hairs didn't show up on our dark furniture and blankets, but you could see it all over the floor. Bailey & Winston's hair shows up all over our leather furniture, but you can't see it on our floors. It's there though!

There are things you can do to keep the dog hair situation under control. We have a great deshedding brush that helps a lot. If you brushed daily or even every other day, I'm sure you'd see a huge difference in the amount of hair that ends up elsewhere. I've also made it a habit to sweep every day. That may be over kill, but I'm very particular about our home. Swiffer dusters are also great!
The Noises!
I always compare owning a pug to living near a train track. The people who live there get so used to the train noises, they don't even hear it anymore. That's exactally what it's like for us! Our guests always giggle when one of the pugs start snoring, and then we laugh because we didn't even notice. 

It's in their nature and breeding. They don't have great noses and that smooshed face makes for lots of various noises. Snoring, grunting, sneezing...even their nails click on the hard floors. You'll get used to it and even find it charming. 

The Stubbornness! 
Pugs are quite intelligent, and catch on really quickly. When we adopted Bailey last summer, she learned to sit for a treat after coming in from potty breaks within 1 day. She is 7 or 8 years old, and we don't think she knew any tricks before coming to us. Being food motivated helps, but we've had no trouble teaching this 'old' dog new tricks. That being said, if they don't want to do something, they won't. 

For example, if it's raining...no, if it's even misting outside, our pugs refuse to go out to pee. Like, dig their paws into the floor, flat out refuse! It can be very frustrating! I can't help but smile when our pugs 'play dumb'. They look at you with those big ole eyes and act like they don't know what planet you're from. Because our pugs love their treats so much, usually just offering one will help us come to a compromise. (or in the raining situation, following them around the yard holding an umbrella over them...) If you really want them to do something, you have to be determined to be more stubborn than them. 

Overall, any animal is going to come with a few annoying traits. If you are considering getting a pug, you should definitely be aware of all their facets. Our pugs bring my husband and I endless joy and they have so much character. (For what it's worth, I think 3 is too many! 2 is the perfect number of pugs. We are crazy about all 3 of our dogs, but 3 is a lot of pug.) 

Comment below if you are a pug lover! I'd love to hear what you find annoying about your pet, pug or not. Don't forget to mention what you love about them too!