Saturday, February 28, 2015

2015: Where I'm At Now

So... apparently it's pretty much March. What!?!!

I feel like, thus far, I've done an alright job of spending less. I'm buying a lot less at work and putting a lot more thought into every purchase, but I can definitely do a better job of it! I see opportunities for myself with groceries and "essentials" (face products, makeup, hair stuff, etc.). I need to pay more attention to prices and sales and anticipate my needs so I can shop around and pick things up during sales. 

As far as meal prepping goes, I can feel a difference in myself when I meal prep and when I don't. Food from local shops just doesn't taste as good as something I've made myself! Plus, not spending $12 on a mediocre sandwich feels awesome. I think I need to meal prep foods that give me a slight amount of wiggle room in preparation instead of eating the exact same thing for lunch 5 days a week. Right now I'm testing out salsa chicken, which I'm going to use for taco salads, tacos, maybe on a baked potato. Again, I definitely see room for improvements as far as this goes. Live and learn, eh? 

An update from my 2014 resolution is that well, I'm still not drinking soda. I mean, I have one every now and then, but it's just necessary spending and calories so I keep it minimal. Give me iced coffee over a Coke any day! 

I'm trying really hard to continue my trend of productivity on my days off. Since I've pretty much given up shopping, I spend less time physically out shopping but also time spent on my laptop online shopping. Over the past month it's just been so hard to get myself to clean something extra (tidying up my room isn't a big deal because I just cannot tolerate it being a mess on the days I work), do my laundry, run anything but the most urgent errands. I would much rather sit in bed and watch some TV on my laptop... Forcing myself to do laundry (can't run out of jeans for work!) and meal prepping has helped - even little bits of productivity feel amazing and get me motivated to do more. But, getting to that point of productivity is the hardest part.

I'm feeling better about the state of my wardrobe but I do think I'll need to do another clean out and purge soon. I keep flipping past items I haven't worn in a long time but love. Maybe it's time to let them go...

I wrote about this on my Tumblr last week. 2015 needs to be the year of "me". The year of me being selfish, because I can be. No boyfriend, no roommates, currently no rent/car payments, just me, myself, and my job. So I have to focus on making myself the best I can be this year. Once I love me, am happy with me, I can worry about finding love and all of that other "grown-up" stuff. I guess that's just what has come down the road for me... focusing on me.

Next month I want to work on spending (at the grocery store and Target, mostly), setting up some financial things my dad has been nagging me about, and being more productive earlier in the day on my days off.

Let's see how it goes. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014: A Recap

So it has been a while.

2014 was an eventful year in many, many ways. I can see and perceive many changes in myself, mentally and physically. A break from "blogging" (more like attempting to blog, in my case, as I was not regular in blogging by any means...) was nice because it gave me time to reflect on these changes and re-evaluate what I want to do here. I'm still undecided, so I think I'm going to take things as they come.

One thing I've realized over the past couple of months is that most of the blog world that I was familiar with really did not agree with me, my values, my ideals. Photoshopping bodies into ridiculous parodies of oneself, extreme amounts of makeup and hair extensions, wearing cheap clothes for posts simply because it was a way to make money as opposed to sharing something one loves with the world, obnoxious bubblegum pink lipstick, going to any length to work in a referral/reward link to readers.... Ugh. It makes me sick to think of these things. One's individuality is completely lost when trying to keep up with the Joneses, and most of the blogs I came in contact with in 2014 all look the same. It's boring. In a nutshell, I did not and do not want to participate in that. I want to be me, do me, even if it means that in a year I am still the only one reading these posts. And that's okay if I am.

So, upon completion of my reflection of blogging, I'm going to recap, in the simplest of forms, 2014.


There was a lot of flying back and forth to Minnesota/northern Wisconsin to see my boyfriend.

A trip to New Orleans, which should have been more enjoyable than it was.

My gramma fell in her house and broke her leg. She had to have surgery and stay in a nursing home. The roles in my family really shifted during this time. I spent a lot of time hanging out with my grampa since he was home alone.

A Valentine's Day spent alone because schedules couldn't coordinate.

A breakup.

I helped close/reopen one of the biggest stores in my market, which was really cool.

A big gesture - a trip to see me, out of the blue - to attempt to repair what was broken.

Things worked out for a while, trips down here, trips up there. Going to the zoo, going to a wedding or two, just trying to spend time together.

I turned 23.

I became the right hand person for rollouts at my store. Looking back, having the confidence in myself and knowing that others had that same confidence in me was an incredible feeling and amount of freedom.

I became really good friends with a co-worker! A no-judgement, belly-laughs, pushes me to do new things kind of friendship.

I got a chance to be promoted. And it would have led to me relocating. (Spoiler alert: it didn't work out, and it was a good thing.)

The breakup, part II. This time it was for good.

I chopped my hair to my shoulders - a big step for me. I love(d) it! It felt so much fresher, more age-appropriate.

I helped open a new store in the market - again, incredibly cool. It was a good time for exposure for me and I built a good reputation for myself with a lot of people in the market.

I led a couple of roll outs at my store. So weird. So incredible.

After a couple of grasps at a promotion, a spot in the market finally opened up. Eek!

I switched stores, going from a sales associate to a keyholder/operations manager. Full time but a 45-60 minute drive from home. Coffee. Lots of coffee.

Gramps got really sick. Really, really, stay-in-the-hospital, we-might-lose-him sick. He pulled out of it though and is doing well as of now!

I became an espresso addict. I actually crave espresso in the afternoons. Not coffee, espresso. Yikes?

I, for the most part, have cut out fast food from my diet. I rarely go to McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc. anymore. It helps that I don't have any incredibly close to me during the day or on the way home. If I'm going to stop, it's going to be because I can go inside my house and crawl into pajamas, not to get an unsatisfying cheeseburger.

I have also really, really cut back on drinking soda. My goal at the beginning of 2014 was to not drink soda ever, but if I want one I don't beat myself up over it. It's a couple of times a month and I try to only drink a can of Coke if I'm going to do it. I'm proud of myself for doing this!

I've become very attuned to how different foods make my body feel. On days off, if I make mac and cheese for lunch, I can just feel my body slowing down until I cannot resist a nap. If I try to make a cleaner, more healthy meal I feel way better! This is going to be one of my focuses in 2015.

Once I got promoted, I started going to bed earlier and waking up early, even on days off. It feels good!

I cut back on drinking, a lot. One glass of anything doesn't do much for me, so I just don't bother with it. I mostly drink on special occasions now (going out counts as a special occasion because it's such a rarity, ha!) and I've gotten a lot better at cutting myself off.

Around Thanksgiving I became incredibly aware of a few things. One, I have a great relationship with my sister these days and I'm so thankful for that. Two, that I am so grateful for the way I was raised, even if I hated it some days. The place that I work... it is incredible. I have seen thirteen year olds throw temper tantrums in my store because their moms told them they couldn't have everything they wanted from the store... I am grateful that my parents spent money on my education instead of buying a giant house in a ritzy suburb, that I got to go on educational vacations instead of trips to Mexico where binge-drinking was the main activity, that I got a job when I did. Third, my grandparents are getting old. Very old. And it's hard to spend time with them because of that, which I resent myself for saying. The next few years are going to be difficult.

I had a great night out (dinner, drinks, dancing!) with some friends that I haven't seen in a couple of months. It was great. I'm still laughing about that night.

I was a bit of a scrooge this Christmas. Working really sucked the spirit out of me, for many reasons. This year was difficult because more than ever, I saw people doing ridiculous things just to spend less money on their loved ones. It really brought me down. I only put up a Christmas tree in my room this year - I didn't have it in me to do anything else. The holiday itself really just ended up being a 24 hour reprieve from work.

Christmas gift wise, I am incredibly grateful for everything that I got. Since I am spending money on clothes for myself all year long, I wanted to check a few things off my shopping list: new sheets, a supply of my favorite bath products, some DVD's, and PJ's. I got all that and then some - thank you family and friends! Knowing I have all of these things to use on a daily basis without worrying about them or needing to go out and buy them is a great luxury, and I think of my gift-givers on a daily basis!

I spent New Year's Eve off of social media (the BEST), having dinner with my family, and then a low-key night with a couple of friends. It was perfect.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kate Spade Surprise Sale!

Happy Wednesday!

Kate Spade is having a surprise sale (from now until Thursday, August 14th, at 11:59 PM PT!) and there are some really great staples on sale! There is something for everyone, from wallets to purses to jewelry to baby bags to clothes and shoes.

I've selected four of my favorite items from the sale (believe me, there were many!) and showed how I would style them below.

Kate Spade Surprise Sale!

I am loving the croissant change purse! I'm tempted to buy it to toss in my bag to hold jewelry that I take off at the end of my day before I drive home. I'm also loving the floral sneakers, but since I've been looking to buy a pair of New Balance sneakers I might (keyword: might) hold off... 

I'm heading to the outlet mall with my sister today to do some last minute back-to-school shopping for her! I will try to update on Friday with what I bought! 

xx, Amy

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sweet Treats: Pie Crust S'Mores

Happy weekend!

Ummmmm, hi. How delicious do these look??? I am a huge fan of s'mores but since I don't have a fire pit or anything, well... it just isn't the same when you try to make them on the grill or in the oven. However, I'm pretty sure these would be amazing any way you make them. Yum. Check out the recipe on Just A Taste

Have a wonderful weekend! 

xx, Amy

Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Twitter

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What I'm Loving Right Now: Lariat Necklaces

Happy Wednesday! 

Lately I have found myself straying from huge statement jewelry and preferring simpler, more delicate pieces. I've been loving long pendants and tassel necklaces, but I am craving the look of layers upon layers of dainty necklaces! I am loving y-shaped lariat necklaces because they combine both of my current loves - dainty and delicate jewelry with longer necklaces.

I have a few necklaces saved on Etsy, now it's just a matter of picking one and completing the order. Here's some of the images I've been loving as inspiration! My favorites just have the necklaces paired with a casual tee - so easy and cool!

via Nhour's Etsy shop

via LayeredandLong's Etsy shop
via Stephanie Sterjovski
via elladolce's Etsy shop

via Courtney Kerr
So, tell me - do you have a necklace like this? Do you have one on your shopping list? Are you on board with the trend?

xx, Amy

Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Twitter

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Recent OOTD's

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Lately I have been really into Polyvore - I used to post outfits almost every day but I fell out of the habit since I graduated college and only posted once in a blue moon. I've been playing around with different social media sites lately (Polyvore, Tumblr, and Instagram) and have really gotten the blogging itch back! Here's some of my recent outfits - not sure if  I should keep the dates on the images or remove them... thoughts? 

You can click on the link below each set to find out where the pieces from each outfit are from! Feel free to follow me on Polyvore (click HERE) or to pin these images! 

OOTD: Sister Lunch & Shopping

I would really like to post "real" outfit photos one day but I don't feel comfortable in front of a camera nor do I have all of the photography skills and tools on hand to achieve the images I would want to produce. Guess I should play around with my camera instead of social media sites, huh?! If you have any tips for beginners please let me know!

xx, Amy

Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Polyvore | Twitter 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Festive for the Fourth

Hi everyone!

Happy Fourth of July to everyone in America and Happy Friday to everyone outside of the U.S.! I hope everyone is having a great day and has plans for a great weekend.

I have to work this evening, so I planned a patriotic outfit for work and a bottoms swap to go watch fireworks with my family! We got a pass to go to a local fireworks show and Fourth of July "festival" so it's going to be a little different than our backyard barbecue and driveway fireworks watching!

Festive for the Fourth

I recently tried the fluted skirt and I absolutely LOVE it! I can't wait to wear it, and it looks great with the striped sweatshirt! I might actually have to wear jeans at night though - it's been very cool for the past few days. Sweatshirts in July, how weird. 
Have a safe and Happy Fourth and a great weekend! 
xx, Amy