Monday, April 25, 2016

Meal Plan #17 + A Break

Typically this post would've gone up hours ago, but there is just too much craziness going on right now to have pre-written the meal plan for this week. I was sick pretty much all weekend and am currently only barely functioning while at work. With closing on our new house on Friday, I didn't want to buy a bunch of stuff at the store and then have to try and move it all. So I picked up a few things that could make for a quick dinner since most of our nights will be spent packing this week.
In no particular order, this is what we plan on eating this week
  • Hot dogs & sausages on the grill
  • Pancakes
  • Tacos
  • Manicotti - freezer meal from a couple months ago
I'm going to take a bit of a blogging break while we move and things get settled.  See you all in a week or so!

Friday, April 22, 2016

5 on Friday

1. We sold our house in 26 hours - yep you read that right, 26 HOURS people! Our house was up for the world to see around 10am on Tuesday, by noon on Wednesday we had a full price offer. To say we are excited at this whirlwind of activity is an understatement. If you are looking to buy a house, make sure you read this.

2. In exactly 1 week we will be the proud owners of our new house. The excitement just keeps on flowing over here! There are so many things in my mind with what to buy, what color to paint walls, do I really need to replace those drawer pulls, and so on ... it's hard to keep all my thoughts straight. 

3. With all the craziness, I haven't written as many blog posts that I've been dying to get out. But you should read this one if you haven't yet - it's a winner I promise! What kind of blog posts do you always click on to read?

4. I get my quarterly bonus check from work today. I really want to use it to color my hair - I originally wanted a color like this, but now I'm not so sure. Should I just go for it or be adult-like and pay bills?

5. The presidential race has reached Indiana. It's bad enough having to listen to it on the national news, but now that they are doing tv ad spots and signs on every corner - makes me want to hide under a rock until our primary is over with. And that's about all I have to say about that ... #AnyoneButTrump

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Currently #12

loving. the hike we got to do last weekend
smelling. gorgeous flowers that are finally blooming
writing. more blog posts, but I can't get the ideas out fast enough!
reading. new blogs
watching. Season 7 of Royal Pains that just came out on Netflix
craving. calm and order
obsessing. over paint colors for the new house
wishing. packing boxes didn't suck so much, I know I have the unpacking to look forward too
needing. a day of non-adulting
wanting. a massage
trying. to find some new meat-free meals that the rest of the family will enjoy
eating. all the hummus with carrots and pretzel thins
drinking. super cold water, fill up the ice
feeling. excited at all the interest we've had on our house already - we put it on the market Tuesday morning around 10 and by 8:30 that evening we had 3 showings scheduled for Wednesday
hoping. this Spring weather sticks around - it's so perfect outside!
clicking. through all the cute jewelry options at Hey June

Monday, April 18, 2016

Meal Plan #16

Our garage sale this past week was a huge success! I made almost $240 and my mother-in-law made $190. Not too bad for 2 days of sitting in the sun. Best of all, I cleared out a bunch of stuff we weren't using any more AND now we don't have to move said stuff. The weather was perfect so we treated ourselves to a hike on Sunday. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. It does make heading back to work today that much harder. 
Back to work means another week of meal planning, which is what you are all here for so let's get into it ...

MONDAY: Lasagna Roll-Ups
I prepped these on Sunday night so they just need to be popped in the oven for a quick dinner. This will be our meat-free meal for the week. 

TUESDAY: Taco Salads

WEDNESDAY: Paninis with Fruit
My favorite way to do sandwiches for dinner, but make it feel like so much more.

Breakfast for Dinner! A favorite at our house. 

FRIDAY: Kebabs on the Grill
The weather this week is supposed to be gorgeous, so the more I can grill the happier I am :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

5 on Friday

1. I am having my garage sale today. Let's hope I get rid of tons and make a bunch of money to go along with it!

2. I won a blog giveaway awhile back which won me some sponsorship spots on a few blogs. Hello new readers! I hope you stick around and see what I'm all about. I've been working on some unique and interesting (I hope!) content for my blog - enjoy looking around!

3. The weather this weekend is going to be in the 70s - I can't wait to go hiking on Sunday with the family.

4. I have become slightly obsessed with tiny houses. Maybe it's because we are buying a new house that is bigger than what we really need (2,600 square feet) but I am in love with these tiny house options (under 1,000 square feet). I desperately want to take a weekend vacation and stay in one. I couldn't commit to living that way, but think it would be a fun way to spend a weekend. I mean how cute are these?

5. Speaking of our new house - what color should we paint the master bedroom? It's a big room so we are thinking of doing an accent wall with the vaulted ceilings. I want something darker ... maybe a deep olive/army green. Thoughts/suggestions are welcome!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Have you ever watched the funniest home video shows when they do a section called "versus"? These types of videos versus these types of videos.

Kids on slides vs Dancing dogs
Cats stuck in trees vs Baby wardrobe malfunctions 
and so on ... 

Well I decided this would make a great blog post. All items shown in green are the winners ... introducing VERSUS!

Dogs vs Cats
Plain M&Ms vs Peanut M&Ms 
Diet Coke vs Diet Pepsi
Scary Movies vs Comedy Movies
Playing Bingo vs Playing Candy Land
Pretzels vs Popcorn  
Water Balloons vs Sprinkler
Dinner Out vs Take Out 
Date Night vs Dinner with Friends
Country Decor vs Modern Design
Pigs vs Cows 
Staycation vs Road Trip 
Lip Gloss vs Lipstick
Mowing the Lawn vs Gardening  
Black vs Pink
Leggings vs Yoga Pants
Scandal vs House of Cards
Singing in the Shower vs Car Karaoke
Milk Chocolate vs White Chocolate
Milk Chocolate vs Dark Chocolate
Iced Coffee vs Hot Coffee 
Bears vs Colts
Reading on a Kindle vs Reading a Physical Book
Reading a Book vs Reading a Magazine
Running Outside vs Running on a Treadmill
Facebook vs Twitter
Instagram vs Twitter
Brunch (Breakfast + Lunch) vs Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner)
Brunch vs Breakfast
Martinis vs Margaritas
White Wine vs Red Wine
Mountains vs Beach 
Chinese Food vs Italian Food
Chinese Food vs Mexican Food 
Dessert vs Appetizers
Apple vs Android
Old School Rap vs Pop
Shots vs Mixed Drinks 
Did I miss the mark on any of these?  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Meal Plan #15

We are doing our garage sale this weekend (let's hope the weather gets warmer!). Time to clear out some junk and things the girls have outgrown. Here's what we plan to eat ...

MONDAY: Chicken and Broccoli Bites with Fruit or Salad

We'll use the leftover chicken from Monday's night dinner. 

WEDNESDAY: Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwiches
Swimming is over, but tonight the girls have their spring musicals at school so dinner still needs to be quick and easy.

THURSDAY: Ravioli with Breadsticks
Last week I skipped a meat free meal, so this will count for this week.

FRIDAY: Frozen Pizza
Not exciting, but with the garage sale going on today easy is the best way.

Friday, April 8, 2016

5 on Friday

1. For some reason Fridays make me super happy. Knowing that I will have 2 days to spend with my family without work interruptions keeps a smile on my face!

2. I'm planning a garage sale for next weekend. The amount of stuff we have to get rid of is mind-boggling. I don't think there is a room in the house I haven't gone through to collect items to sell. I hope we can make a few extra dollars to put towards the new house. Bring on the people and nicer shopping weather!

3. I haven't done much working out lately. I'm in desperate need of a run as a way to escape and be alone for a while. Thursday nights are my chill nights. I turn on TGIT for all my favorite Shonda shows (we're on a first name basis me and Shonda) and paint my nails. It's a nice mental break from all the craziness of the previous week.

4. I've been working on creating some new blog posts to get out of my meal plan and Friday posts rut. I was excited about this week's post on my home buying tips and I have one in the works for a fashion related post soon as a "what I wore". What other kinds of posts do you like to read? What titles always make you click to read more? I've got some more ideas brewing, I just need to type them out :)

5. Netflix is bringing back a bunch of old movies, I love introducing my kids to some of the classics I watched as a kid. The latest favorite is ET in our house.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Buying a House - tips & tricks

I'm sure lots of other people out there have posted about buying a home. But I feel like a bit of an expert in this field. We are in the processing of purchasing our third home, so I feel like I have some credibility on this topic. I've learned what to do and what not to do.

  • Look at lots of houses: There's only one way to figure out what you like and what you don't like and that is to look around. Every time we've purchased a home we've looked at least 50 places. I know it sounds like a lot and it is. But you learn what kind of layouts you like best, what features you could live without and lots of other useful information.
  • Get a good realtor: Find someone your personality meshes with and someone who is knowledgeable about the area you are looking at. If you are going to make this person show you 50 houses, you better get along well.
  • Get a pre-approval letter: Now days it's almost impossible to buy a home without selling your newborn child - just kidding, I still have both my kids intact. There is so much paperwork that can be completed before you've even found your perfect home. This is called a pre-approval which basically says the bank has approved you to spend $xxxxx on a home. The ability to pay for a home is huge when you put in an offer. If you are up against another buyer without a pre-approval letter, your chances are much higher at getting the deal. 
  • Stand up for yourself: Buying a house is a negotiation. If you aren't good at wheeling and dealing,your realtor can help fight on your behalf and provide suggestions. It's ok to walk away from a deal that isn't right even though it can be heartbreaking.

  • Rush: Take your time to find the perfect house. The worst thing you can do is buy the first one you see and then hate it 6 months later. However, if you find something you love, don't wait to put in an offer. I know our area is selling like crazy right now and if you wait a week to decide the house may no longer be available.
  • Get a really outdated or falling apart house: If you aren't super handy or don't have thousands of extra dollars laying around, don't buy a house that needs a ton of work. A little work (painting, replacing carpet, new light fixtures) is one thing, but you don't want to buy a house that will put you further in the hole than when you started. The idea is to build equity in your home. If you spend $50,000 on a house, then another $50,000 in renovations but can only resell it for $75,000 then you have a major problem.
  • Buy a house in a bad location: I'm sure you've heard the saying with real estate that it's location, location, location. This couldn't be more true. Pick something near where you work and play. If you have kids or intend to have kids, pay close attention to what school district you are in. It goes without saying the area should be safe as well. Sometimes a great location will cost you more (see "Stand up for yourself" above to get the best deal).
  • Fall in love: It's important to love the house you buy, but don't fall in love with the wrong house. Remember, it's ok to walk away from a bad deal even if you love the house. Being financially stable is much more important than having your dream home. Many homes could be turned into your dream home with a little extra work. This is one time where it's important to let your head make the decisions and not your heart.

I could probably go on with many more things I've learned along the way, but these are the things I always do (or don't do) when buying a home. The best part about buying a new house is making it your own. I'm excited to start that process with our new home. Do you have any tips to share on buying a home?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Meal Plan #14

I can't believe the terrible weather we had this weekend. It snowed almost all day Saturday. I mean going from 70* days to snow is just unacceptable in my book. Get it together April! I'm not sure to plan meals for warmer weather or cold weather so we have a mix of both this week.

MONDAY: Make Your Own Wrap & Fruit Salad
You can't complain when you make it yourself!

TUESDAY: Mexican Stuffed Shells
We've had something similar to these as a freezer meal so everyone will be happy to have them again.

WEDNESDAY: White Chicken Chili
I've made this once before and it was delicious!

You're On Your Own - kitchen's closed, find something to eat :)

FRIDAY: Burgers & Corn on the Cob
Even if it isn't summer, I'm going to make a dinner like it is.

Friday, April 1, 2016

5 on Friday

1. I've been feeling extra stressed this week. With so much going on (at work and at home) I need a day to myself where I don't do anything or think about anything. Yeah like that will happen!

2. I'm in a mood to cook/bake all the things lately. Which of course isn't working into my current schedule. Maybe I'll take some time this weekend while it's cold outside to do some freezer meals.

3. My Dad sent me the family a huge tub of popcorn for Easter. It is drizzled in white chocolate with pretzels, M&Ms and a few rainbow sprinkles. I have managed to devour almost half the tub on my own.

4. I have a giant pet peeve with companies that tell you they will follow up or send you something and then they don't. We've had a few inspections on the house we are buying yet both companies have failed to email me the reports. How am I supposed to know what you found if you don't tell me?! See #1 above for result of this happening.

5. I'm thinking of getting back on my smoothie kick. I'm not sure why I stopped, but I miss it. I came up with some great options too! See them all here.

Happy Friday!