Monday, October 8, 2018

The Wildest Ride In The Wilderness

My Favorite Disney Ride // Pugs and Pearls Blog

One of my favorite things about Disney is that we've made so many great memories there. We've been so many times now, but each time has a distinct memory attached to it. It's either because of the friends we went with, or something like trying out a new restaurant or ride. Even things like the weather has made each trip stand out as unique. (I will never forget the time we saw 'snow' flurries in Hollywood Studios that one day! Disney made a killing in the gift shops selling hats, gloves and scarves to everyone who thought they were in Florida and didn't need that stuff!)

When we were deciding to renew our annual passes this year, Blake and I started reminiscing about our favorite times there. Then, for fun, we tried to narrow down our favorite places to eat, and our top rides. His favorite ride was Buzz Lightyear. Which was surprising! But, it makes sense because the guy literally looked up how to max out the score by hitting certain targets. My favorite ride though, hands down, is Big Thunder Mountain. Three of my very favorite memories took place on that ride.

Earlier this January when we really wanted to see the new fireworks show, and we had just enough time to ride something before it began. We decided to run over to Thunder Mountain and we were thrilled when the wait was just the perfect amount to time to ride and have time to get back over to the castle. We were stuck deep in the queue when we saw that there was only 10 minutes before the show started. It was too late to get out of line, so we made peace with missing the fireworks. 

We boarded the train, and started up the track. Our cart was coming over the crest of the first hill and the fireworks started! We ended up having the best view in the entire park! Riding the roller coaster with fireworks popping all around us and that chilly air in my face legitimately made me feel alive. 

Come to find out, the music is now piped in all around the park, so when we got off the ride we still had a spectacular view of the end of the show. (That's us watching it in the picture above!)

After the Disney Princess 5k with the girls, three of us wanted to go to the parks. February 26, 2011. We took turns riding rides solo all day. After we got down to the loading area of Thunder Mountain, we decided to ask if we could all three fit in the seat. The operator shrugged and said sure! The three of us squeezed into the last row. We DID NOT fit. But we were locked in (literally) and committed. 

I cannot remember a time ever laughing that hard! I was in the middle and just knew, more than once, that I was going to fly out. It's a wild ride anyway, but 3 people trying to hang on for dear life made it all that much more insane. I feel like that ride bonded us for life Chabeli!

Blake had just proposed to me in front of Cinderella Castle. October 5, 2009. We had the most perfect day. So many of our friends were with us. Our future brother in law won the American Idol Experience earlier in the day. My lifelong friend Devin found an abandoned wheelchair and someone in our group definitely pretended to be disabled to jump lines. (The whole reason they don't do it like that anymore...) Notice the wheelchair made the picture! 

After the fireworks were over, we were SO in love and so excited. We wanted to end the day with one more ride! We all ended up at Thunder Mountain and Blake and I got the back row. I just remember feeling so happy and exhilarated. 

Leave a comment below with your favorite ride at the Disney parks!! Do you have one special place where a lot of big things have happened? 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

October Goals

October Goals // Pugs and Pearls Blog

September Report
Add Additional Day of Exercise.  I feel like I'm never going to be happy with the amount of exercise I'm doing until it's every single day. Hashtag perfectionist. While I was definitely active in September, I still feel like I could work on this one. In addition to Orange Theory this month I went on a few runs around the neighborhood and walked a lot with my sister. One thing I am proud of is how much faster I am on the road now that I've been doing Orange Theory. Huge improvement there! 

Use Myfitnesspal Consistently. I really did use Myfitnesspal a ton this month! I found that I am really diligent about inputting meals until after lunch. I almost always forget to go back in and put in my dinner record. I want to get solid about it because I really think it helps! Such a reality check when you have your calorie intake in black and white. In August my goal was to drink more water, and I still improved on that this month! I thought I should add that detail because Myfitnesspal has a direct correlation to that improvement. I'm in love with the way I feel when I am hydrated! Still not at a full 8 glasses a day, but man it's made a huge difference. 

Have Someone Over. Gah! This one almost happened! We planned a dinner with a couple and their son for September, had it on the calendar and then the day before we found out her dad was having a medical procedure. I offered to postpone, and she was grateful to hold off. We plan on rescheduling for this month, but I have got to get it officially on the calendar. I've already mentioned how busy we are this month, so there are going to be limited times available. But, it's really important to me that we get back in this habit! A lot of you commented that having people over is hard, would you be interested in a full post about how we do it? 

Save a Certain Amount of Money. Big ole nope on this one! I had the money set aside, and we ended up spending it on Disney passes. LOL. So responsible and mature, I know. 

Do 1 Social Media Free Weekend This Month. CHECK! I did this and wow! I had no idea how interesting that social media free weekend would be. The key to my success was deleting the apps completely off my phone. I'm really glad I did that because throughout the first day, I would mindlessly scroll to find the app and realize it wasn't there. I would have failed if I hadn't removed the temptation. The first day was hard at first because I didn't realize how often I reach for it. The next day however, was so relaxing. I truly loved it. And then on Monday when I logged back in there was SO much to see and comment on. It was actually exciting to use social media rather than just a habit! I would really like to do one social media free weekend a month. 

October Goals
To be modest with myself, I'm not making any goals for October. I've mentioned before that we have a WHIRLWIND of a month ahead of us. We have so many travel plans and I even had to change my work schedule to accommodate that. I feel like I am not even going to know my own name after it's all said and done.

If I were to set a goal it would be to keep the days inbetween simple. I want to just manage to stay on top of laundry and keeping the house tidy. I want to make sure I get out in a nature a little bit to ground myself. And I want to make sure I don't neglect the basics this month. Things like my Bible reading schedule and making sure we have good home cooked meals whenever possible. 

I hope you all have a great October and I hope we get to see some real Fall weather this month!

Monday, October 1, 2018

October Stitch Fix

As much as I love Stitch Fix, I didn't intend to get any more boxes this year. I felt like I didn't really need anything new, especially for the fall/winter season. Living in such a warm climate means that my cold weather wardrobe is still in an almost new condition. But, Stitch Fix told me I had a credit in my account and I needed to use it before it expired. I'm definitely not one to pass up free stuff! 

It's always so exciting to open your box! It's half the fun. Erica says this all the time but you absolutely have to try on everything! Things might look completely different once they are actually on your body. 

Here's what I got in my box!
Colette Piper Knit Top - $38

This is absolutely 100% my style. In fact it's almost identical to the top I wore in this post. The stripes are thicker, but the material and the cut is almost the same. So much so that I can't justify another striped shirt! The stylist definitely got it right though.
Verdict: Return

J Crew Merc. Maylee Slim Boyfriend Chino - $36.50
Stitch Fix // Pugs & Pearls Blog

Can I just say how much I love J Crew Mercantile? It's basically J Crew's version of Old Navy. The clothes are great basics and the prices are so much better than traditional J Crew. When I pulled these out I was not sure how I was going to feel. On one hand I was excited to see the brand, but I have never really tried a boyfriend style pant. I just never thought they would work on my shape. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled these on! I do have a pair of olive cropped chinos (from Old Navy ironically), so I'm still debating on these. I'm also wondering what shoes would work?
Verdict: Still deciding. 

Tinsel Floid Chambray Top - $48
Stitch Fix // Pugs & Pearls Blog

Meh. That's how I feel about this one. I love the light chambray color and polka dots. The material is very heavy, so I know I wouldn't get much of a season to wear this top. Plus the fit is just okay. I don't hate an oversized shirt, but this just doesn't really flatter anything. I wish that the photo would reflect just how much extra material there is. I also noticed that the buttons easily come undone. If I loved it, I would size down. 
Verdict: Return.

Hummingbird Liara Knot Front Knit Top - $34

This is why I say you HAVE to try everything on! When I pulled this top out, I literally just put it to the side. The material seemed weird and almost sheer. I was positive I wouldn't like it. As soon as I tried it on I was sold! I LOVE this shirt! The knot front tops are very popular right now, but I had never considered it for me. This shirt does exactly what I've been trying to do with the 'half tuck' thing without being fussy. It's great. And the color is absolutely perfect for summer or fall. I immediately took the tags off and paired it with jean shorts-but I know it will look equally good with jeans and ankle booties in a few weeks. 
Verdict: KEEP! and try to find other colors. 

Nine Britton Abigail Brushed Knit Midi Dress - $54

If something could be the exact opposite of my style, this dress would be it! Holy crap, I didn't even want to put it on. It wasn't as bad as I thought once it was on though. I have super mixed feelings about the material. It's both soft and comfortable, but also really clingy which makes me uncomfortable. The length was great, and I did like the color. I think it would be really cute with ankle boots. However, I can't think of any occasion I'd feel appropriate in this. So not me. 
Verdict: Return.

Leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite piece is! Should I keep the boyfriend pants? Help me! 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

(Long winded) Life Lately!

Life Lately Update // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Jury Duty
I was called for jury duty this week. It's my second time ever being summoned, but the first time it was cancelled as I was arriving at the courthouse. This time I called the number the night before, and sure enough I needed to report. I was especially nervous because I had just heard my friend's experience of being on the jury of a brutal murder. Being the small town that it is, I figured no huge cases would be tired here. 

It's different in every county, but in our county they had everyone file into the actual courtroom and sit in the audience. There were at least a hundred of us. We all had to rise when the judge walked in, and be sworn in. He told us that there were supposed to be two juries picked for two trials that day but one settled as we were all arriving. He read the charges against the defendant, and my stomach dropped. I can't say the details of the case, but I can tell you I 100% did not want to sit through that trial and hear any of it. 

A group of 15 or so were chosen from what I think was a bingo machine, or something similar. They had to go up the jury box and read off a laminated card answering general things about them. I felt so bad that they all had to speak out in front of the entire silent room. I will say that it was absolutely fascinating to hear details about people. It really proves you cannot judge people based off how they look. 

We started at 8:30 and it took until lunch time for them to get done questioning that group. The judge and lawyers deliberated for a little bit and they picked only 5 people! The groans were very apparent. We were dismissed for lunch, and then we had to start the whole process over again. The 2 women on my right were picked for the next group so I was definitely on the edge of my seat. 

It was about 3 in the afternoon before they were done questioning that group. The questions were easy, things that you'd know the answer to, things about your life. But then every once in awhile they'd throw a weird or wordy question in there. You could tell that a few of those types of questions were directly related to the case. We got to see some 'Objection!' action to a few of the questions which livened things up a bit. I was sure that we'd be there for-ever, but they filled the rest of that jury with that group. 

I didn't even get called up! While super interesting, I wish the process was more efficient. There was no need for all of us to be cooped up at the courthouse all day long. Plus, our courthouse is over a hundred years old, and so are the benches we sat on all day! 

Disney Annual Passes
We've had Disney passes for almost our whole marriage. We got engaged there, and spent part of our honeymoon there so it's quite special to us. I think it was 2 years ago when we stopped our passes. There was a ton of construction happening and we were really too busy to enjoy going all that often. Plus even though the Florida resident passes are cheap, especially when you pay month to month- going to the parks is quite the expense. 

I will say, they have a special every January-June were Florida residents can get a 3 or 4 day pass for something like $140 and we received that as a gift last year, so we did technically have a pass in between.

Anyways, we are planning on going to Disney next month with Blake's parents. When looking at the 1 and 2 day passes, I was floored with how expensive they are! I guess I had forgotten. The Florida resident annual pass wasn't that much more, and we decided to go for it! I'm really excited! We haven't seen any of the Pandora section of Animal Kingdom and the new Toy Story land opened up this summer. We already have plans to go 2 more times after the trip with Blake's family, so it's already been worth the money. 

Working From Home
My commute is killer. It's an hour each way, and the only reason I've been doing it so long is because I love my job. Also, it's only 2 or 3 days a week. We've been talking about making some changes for a few months, but this week we actually started officially making the move to working from home. It was very daunting at first, but things started falling into place relatively easily. We have a few kinks to work out, and some experimenting to do with some logistics-but I think this should all go down in the next month or so. 

I'm really excited at the prospect of working at home. I love being at home and we already have a really good office set up. My pugs will appreciate the company too, I'm sure! There is a measure of down time at work too. It can be either slammed or slow. On those slow days it kills me to basically spin around in my chair. If I'm at home I feel like I can be productive at work and then use the quiet time to do stuff around the house. 

Our home office has already been upgraded, because we just bought 2 monitors for the volunteer construction work we've been doing. Blake is getting a new office at work sometime in the near future and he plans to take all of his Star Wars collection there. So we will have to do a little redecorating. It will be nice to make it a more neutral space-especially if I'm going to be in there all the time. 

Travel Plans
As a person who thrives on routine, and being at home...October might just kill me! We have something going on every. single. weekend! I told our house sitter just to move in for the month, it will be easier considering he will be here more days than we will! 

I've already mentioned Disney, and we are really looking forward to it! October is my favorite time to go to the parks. It's still pretty hot, but not brutal.

We also have a quick trip down to West Palm for some training. The class is only one day, so we are going to spend the rest of the time at the beach! Seriously, I have NOT been to the beach yet this year. It's been killing me! We just haven't had a chance to go. Excited doesn't even cover it!

Mid month my mom and I signed up for a 12K in Amelia Island! I feel woefully unprepared, but we will get through it! It's such a beautiful area, and I think we should have some beach time that weekend too. 

Finally, at the end of the month we have a 3 day training class that will make me feel much more qualified for our assignment. For two people with zero construction background, we need all the training we can get. 

I'm praying to normalcy throughout the rest of the month so that we can get through all of that! No more things like jury duty, please!! I even had to adjust my work schedule for the month because of all of these travel plans. I'm so grateful to work with such flexible people! I know I either handle a busy schedule like it's nothing, or the exact opposite-I flounder. It has everything to do with proper rest and having things organized. I'm going to really try to set myself up for a good month despite everything we have going on. 

Leave a comment below and tell me what your life has looked like lately!! Have you ever been on a jury? What do you think about the idea of working from home? Would you thrive in that work environment or do you need to physically go to work? Any fun travel plans coming up?

Monday, September 24, 2018

Currently Watching, Listening, and Reading

Currently Watching, Listening and Reading // Pugs & Pearls Blog

We just finished up season 1 of Suits and we have really enjoyed it! I'm excited to have found a show that has a lot of seasons already and is still on. Plus, it's really neat to see Megan Markle, knowing what she ended up doing in real life! Available on Amazon Prime.

I really love Chalene's podcast. She always really interesting guests on for interviews about health, nutrition and just general life advice. I like to listen to the podcasts when I'm doing yard work. I can usually get 2 or 3 episodes in while mowing our yard. Last time I worked in the yard I enjoyed listening to the episode about people who are chronically late and the more recent one about cleanses-specifically those Instagram teas people are always promoting. 

Me Before You was one of my favorite books! I have issues with the ending, but the writing and the characters were so good. I wasn't planning to read After You, the sequel, but when I discovered the Overdrive app that lets you check out audiobooks from your library I decided to give it a shot. It wasn't as good as Me Before You, but I did enjoy hearing from Lou again. 

Lauren Groff writes SO beautifully. I picked up Florida because of the setting. As a Floridian I was curious! It's fun to read about places you are familiar with. This book is a collection of short stories all taking place in or having connections to Florida. I haven't finished it yet, but I already know I love the style of writing. You can seriously feel the heat and humidity rising off the page with her descriptions. Some of the stories are mesmerizing and some aren't as good.

Leave a comment for me and let me know what you have been reading, watching and listening to recently!
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

4 Year Blogging Anniversary & Behind the Name

4 Year Blogiversary! // Pugs & Pearls Blog

Having a good chuckle at myself, because until I went reminiscing and flipped through some old blog posts I thought I was on year 5 of blogging! Whoops!

Flashback to September 18, 2014 and I posted my very first post on Pugs & Pearls. Well back then it was called Pugs, Pearls & Positivity. I had so much fun going through those first few posts that I shared. I'm so proud that I went for it and hit publish even though I was so unsure at the time. Back then there was a lot more quantity over quality in my posts, but it was still cool to see the journey that I've shared here. 

Things didn't really pick up around here until about year 2, so I'm really glad I stuck with it. It's important to know if you are thinking of starting a blog that things do not happen overnight and you shouldn't do it to make money or become famous. 'Cause that ain't happenin. However, it has been really neat to work with brands and make a little money with this side project of mine. I definitely never anticipated that! 

Recognize these old logos?
Picking out a name for a blog is incredibly challenging! So many good names are already taken, and it's hard to find something both unique and meaningful. I have noticed a lot of people recently just using their name as a website name and I really wish that was a more obvious option back in 2014! I definitely didn't know anything about branding then.

I decided on Pugs & Pearls because it was a fun alliteration, and I felt that those two things said a lot about me. My pugs are definitely a big love in my life, but they also represent that goofy, quirky side of me. Pearls are such a classic accessory that really define my style. Ironically, I have yet to showcase an outfit wearing my set of pearls yet! 

Love for pugs and a my set of pearls are also both gifts I received from my husband! He gave me 2 strands of pearls and matching earrings on our 6 month dating anniversary. I had always wanted a string of pearls and he was so generous! By 6 months we knew we wanted to get married, so it reminds me of those feelings. Plus, I wore them on our wedding day!

I'm not sure if everyone knows this, but I didn't really like pugs when I first encountered them! They shed a lot, and can be rather smelly! Blake and his sister had a pug named Willy when I met him. Willy was a sweetheart, but he was one of those smelly pugs. He was cute, but I always thought I'd want a hound dog in the future. Needless to say Willy grew on me and I started to love him. When I met a certain black pug puppy, I was smitten and here we are with 3 pugs of our own. Pugs are such good dogs and I just love that they make people smile! I really love that Pugs & Pearls has introduced me to so many pug people! In fact my 2nd most popular post of all time is a detailed list of what to expect from getting a pug. 

Things have absolutely changed in the last 4 years since I first hit publish! I'm sure things will continue to change too. For now I'm really content with posting once a week, with bonus posts here and there. I love sharing great outfits, travel diaries, favorite products and pug pics! It's been fun to get to know other bloggers. It's been a learning experience working with companies. And it's ultimately been an amazing digital journal! While there are some embarrassing posts here and there, I really love looking back on the past and seeing what old me was up to. My writing has gotten better, and I've really learned a lot about design and photography along the way! 

Thank you all for following along, always leaving such engaging comments and keeping this a positive place! 

Friday, September 14, 2018

2 Anniversaries

My Parent's 30th Anniversary
Last month my parents celebrated 30 years! We knew we wanted to throw a party for them, but my parent's didn't want us to make a huge deal either. My dad and I are so similar and he was adamant he didn't want any speeches or to feel like the center of attention. We ended up throwing a really casual party at a local brewery, and it could not have turned out better!

This party also kept with tradition of unique parties, because for their 25th we did a dinner cruise!

We reserved a section of the beer garden, so it was essentially like having a back yard party. They have AstroTurf and string lights hanging was a really cool place to do it. Our reservation also came with a tour of the brewery, a set of corn hole and all the tables and chairs we needed. Plus having it catered meant that all we had to do was show up!

My parents loved it and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves! I am SO grateful it didn't rain. The forecast showed rain all week and then the day before it said it would be clear. We had planned to rent a tent, which was so expensive and it would have really ruined the vibe. Anyway, it was great. It would have been perfect if it was 10 degrees cooler, but hey when your parents got married in August in Florida-it's inevitably going to be hot. 

Unfortunately, my little brother just started a new teaching job in Brooklyn and couldn't make it down to be with us for the party. He was definitely missed, especially because this was the first thing he hasn't been able to be there for.  

I brought my camera, and took exactly one picture. (The first one below) Fortunately, lots of other people took pictures for me! I was just having such a good time! It was partly relief that everything was going so well and it was also so nice to catch up with so many friends! 

Me and my nephews in their matching outfits! Lennox got naked pretty quickly at the party, haha.
My Sister and Brother in Law's Anniversary
A week before my parent's anniversary is my sisters! Amy and Bryan celebrated 7 years this year. When we were growing up, we always made a huge deal about my parent's anniversary. Since they would almost always take a trip, my grandma would come a stay with us. We would make a cake and decorate the house before my parent's came home. I distinctly remember making one cake that was white with rainbow sprinkles, purple icing and peppermint patties stuck to the sides. It was obviously gross, but it was so exciting to have this surprise for my parents. 

This year, I wanted to sort of pass on the tradition to my nephews. My sister and brother in law spent the day together and I watched the boys. Not an easy feat! Lennox is still so little, and he can't sit up yet. And you can't really hold him on your hip because he will fall backwards. Plus he is like 18 pounds! Carter also started pre-k, so I had to pick him up from school for the first time. #Auntielife. 

After I picked Carter up from school we ran up to the store and he picked out a couple of gifts for his mom. I believe he picked a candle, a notepad, and a cup. I had already bought 2 t-shirts for his dad, and he picked which one he wanted to give him.

Then we decorated a cake, and we made a card. Carter was so excited, and I really enjoyed passing on this little tradition. He got a little hyper after I let him have some of that icing though...

I have to say, the cake turned out so delicious. That was my first time making a two layer cake. We all agreed that the dinosaur sprinkles really added something! 

Leave a comment below with your favorite anniversary traditions! Do you and your family make a big deal out of them?

Monday, September 3, 2018

3 More Netflix Shows You Should Be Watching

Stay Here
I'm so happy Netflix is making home design shows! We don't have cable, so I've seriously missed HGTV. Genevieve Gorder has been one of my favorite tv designers for years, so when I saw her face on Netflix I clicked right away! This show is about people who are renting out their homes on Airbnb or VRBO and they haven't had much success. These guys come in to redecorate and help them give their guests a 5 star experience. Of course the places turn out so nice, but they also give really helpful tips on this show which I found interesting. I would totally stay on the houseboat in episode 1 and the cottage in the vineyard later in the season!

Marching Orders
I'm not sure if I've revealed that I was a band geek in school? I became first chair in flute after starting off with the french horn and hating it. Band was so hard and my band director made me cry a number of times. Marching Orders is about the marching band at Bethune Cookman in Daytona. Their band is exclusive to say the least! It was featured in the movie Drumline. This show documents some veterans and new recruits in one of the most serious marching bands in the country. The episodes are really short and they will make you want to go to a football game!

Amazing Interiors
Obviously, I have a thing for interiors and home shows! Amazing Interiors features just that-amazing homes. I really like that each episode highlights a work in progress as well as some established interiors. It's fascinating to see what other people have done with their passions and what people are willing to spend money on! The house within a greenhouse gave me some serious dream home inspiration. 

Bonus Movie: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
Oh my goodness, what a good movie! Lily James does an amazing job as an WWII era author who visits an unusual book club on the island of Guernsey. It's sweet, moving and wonderfully acted. I didn't realize it was a book, and I definitely have it on my to-read list now. 

Leave a comment below with your current favorite Netflix obsessions! We are still rewatching The Office, but these were fun to watch in between episode binging.

Friday, August 31, 2018

September Goals

September Goals // Pugs & Pearls Blog

August Report
Drink More Water. Over all, I did accomplish this. I'm still not getting my full 8 glasses a day, but I have significantly increased how much I was drinking. I found out that my corkcicle cup is just less than 3 full glasses, so that really helped me physcologically. If I refill it once, I'm getting 6 cups of water fairly easily. 

I also bought these cute little hydration stickers for my planner to help encourage the habit. So, all in all, still working on this one, but I'm definitely more conscious of it. 

Personalized Corkcicles // Pugs & Pearls Blog

Make DIY Laundry Detergent. Done and done! I shared the recipe a few weeks ago if you'd like to give it a go. It works great, and I can't believe how long these batches last. 

Trim Hedges. I'm so excited to say that we have definitely made progress on our landscaping! Blake and I cut down the most out of control section of our hedges. I cannot believe the light that is coming into our living room and kitchen now that they are gone! We've got a professional lined up to help us take out the stumps and the remaining hedges. Plus he is going to trim up our 2 oak trees. The ultimate goal is to have a very minimalistic yard that is easier to care for but still looks nice. 

Here is a progress picture:

Since then we've pressure washed and cleaned this area up quite a bit. I will share an 'after' picture once we get everything taken out permanently and sod gets put down where the bushes are. 

Finish All The Light We Cannot See. Finally! Yes! I finished this book. I shared my review in this post. Spoiler alert, didn't love it. I've been doing so much more reading thanks to the Overdrive app, so you will be seeing a lot more book reviews here. 

Add Additional Day of Exercise. My first fail. I didn't manage to do this. I've got a solid 2 days of intense Orange Theory workouts each week, but I would really like to have an additional day of exercise in there. I'm going to roll this goal over! 

September Goals
Add Additional Day of Exercise. I have seen such an improvement since starting Orange Theory. I can run so much faster and I really do feel stronger. I know adding in one more harder workout each week would help me so much with my fitness goals. 

Use Myfitnesspal Consistently. Last month I started using Myfitnesspal again, and I think it's making a big difference! My goal is to write down everything I'm eating into my log every single day in September. I think this will also motivate me to exercise because it is really hard to stay under my calorie goal without having extra exercise calories to use. 

Have Someone Over. We had a really good thing going in 2017 and early 2018 where we were having someone new over each month. We love doing this because there is just something so intimate about having people into your home and sharing a meal with them. I think it can take you from acquaintances to real friends! This habit kinda fizzled early in the summer because things got a little hectic. And, it's easier to invite your close friends over all the time. Making it a priority again this month and inviting someone new over! 

Save a Certain Amount of Money. I'm calling September our new fiscal year! I have in mind a certain dollar amount I'd like to save this month. While I've been talking about budgeting a lot here lately, I'm still a bit wary about sharing specifics. Accountability being what it is though, I want to share that I have this goal. 

Do 1 Social Media Free Weekend This Month. I've talked a little bit about how I want to quit checking my phone so much in this post. To work towards that I want to dedicate one weekend this month to being just a bit more in the moment and not check social media for the whole weekend. I have not chosen the weekend yet, but I will let you know how it goes!

Happy September everyone! Make sure you leave a comment below with your goals for this month and let me know how your August went!

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Another Navy & White Outfit!

Navy Midi Skirt Outfit // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Navy Midi Skirt Outfit // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Navy Midi Skirt Outfit // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Navy Midi Skirt Outfit // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Navy Midi Skirt Outfit // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Navy Midi Skirt Outfit // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Navy Midi Skirt Outfit // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Navy Midi Skirt Outfit // Pugs and Pearls Blog

Navy Midi Skirt Outfit // Pugs and Pearls Blog

A huge thank you to the Happiness Boutique who sent me this gorgeous statement necklace! They are offering you 10% off your order with the code: pugsandpearls 
Happiness Boutique offers free shipping and they have a customer reward program. Although I'm wearing a statement necklace, they have tons of minimal jewelry to choose from as well! I'm really loving that trend.

I've talked quite a bit about my shopping habits here on the blog, and I wanted to continue to update you on the journey I've been taking this year. While I haven't been able to completely avoid new purchases, I have been able to make huge leaps in the acquiring less arena. 

One of the ways I really feel successful with this is by thoroughly searching for the perfect item and only buying it when I know it's exactly what I want. That was the case with this skirt from the 1901 line from Nordstrom! (I want EVERYTHING in this line!) Skirts make up a huge chunk of my weekly wardrobe, so you better believe I know exactly what I want. I've been through pencil skirt phases, but I really just love the midi silhouette. When I stumbled on this navy midi skirt with that elastic waistband I was smitten.

Usually, I'm a big bargain hunter. I shop Ebay, Poshmark, and thrift for most of my clothes. While my goal is still to find exactly what I'm looking for used, sometimes you just have to buy at full price when it's the perfect thing!

This skirt has already paid for itself! I've worn it dozens of times and the quality is so good that I know I will be wearing this skirt for years. This is something I'm really embracing: Quality clothing that is timeless and worth every penny. Plus it has pockets!

I also want to mention that these sandals were another excellent purchase! I bought them last summer and they are definitely the MVP of my wardrobe. I wear them almost every day in the summer! They are the perfect color and just the right height. Another excellent investment! It makes me feel so satisfied knowing that I spent my money wisely, and that it's not just hanging in the closet.

Okay, one more side note, I accidentally left my silicone wedding band on for this shoot. But, I'm actually glad I did because I want to tell you about it! I got it for the volunteer construction work Blake and I are doing, but it's been so useful! It's great to wear working out or doing yard work. My finger feels naked without my wedding band on it! This silicone band is so light and comfortable. Definitely a good buy! (Go with your regular ring size.)

Leave a comment below if you've noticed that pretty much all the outfits I ever share are navy blue and white! I promise I wear other colors. Do you like to wait until you find the perfect item, or do you find yourself settling for things? Are you a statement necklace person, or do you go for the minimal pieces?
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