Thursday, April 28, 2011

Little Things

I've been thinking about ways I can budget and save my money. I have a few ideas.

Like not buying nail polish, cute shirts, or extra miscellaneous things. It may sound insignificant, but when I thought about it, that is where so much of my money gets wasted. I think it's pretty reasonable to set aside that money instead of spending it.

This doesn't mean I'm not going to spend any money on extra things, but I'm definitely going to pay extra attention to my spending. I guess my new attention towards money has to do with actually having money to save. Always a plus. I want to save more than I spend. I have already been trying to do this, and I thought with my new job I should continue it.

Anyways, I wanted to write about my little goal as a way to empower myself and maybe someone else who has been thinking about doing the same thing.

I'm not really sure why, but I feel like I have been a little discouraged about things. No big things, just small ones. I feel like I have less time to work out, and I hate that. I've been trying to do yoga when I have an hour.

That helps me feel better, but I want to know that I'm still taking care of my body. I love the feeling after I go for a run. I like knowing that I worked hard. I think I'm going to start switching off with those two. One day I'll do yoga, and the next I'll run.

Something like that. I just want to feel like I'm staying strong. I've even cut back what I eat during the day to make sure I don't gain weight. ha I don't know why I'm worried about it, but I'm glad I'm doing something about it.

With my new schedule, I'm finding ways to adjust and still do the things I like. I have found that appreciating the little things that make you happy throughout your day is the one of the best ways to be thankful.

Little Things Making Me Happy:

The buds on the trees.
My puppy sleeping next to me.
Hearing "I Love You" from Billy. (not such a little thing to me. :) )
 Cute Texts
Warmer Weather
My 24th Birthday in a month.
Pretty scarfs.


xoxo
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend

I just spent the last hour obsessing over my watch that I thought I lost. ugh. I was about to go over to Bill's house to find out if I could spot it. I was being a bit of a control freak, but fortunately, after I sent Bill a text about coming over he found it! *Huge sigh of relief.* Anyways, now that I am relaxing, I thought I would share with you my Easter weekend.

I really did enjoy the weekend, but there were parts of it that just did not go as planned at all. On Friday, I went to pick up Bill from work like I sometimes do after he has been on night shift. We go to this bar with a couple of his coworkers. It's a sports bar where they have betting on horses. I love going there with him. After a year, there are so many fun memories there. After, we were done eating, we headed over to Culvers for cookie dough ice cream and drove home happy. The next morning, I went over to Bill's older sister's house for Easter. I brought fruit pizza that I had made that morning.

The dough turned out to be raw. I thought I was in the clear, because I had cooked it for 10 minutes, and the recipe suggested 8 to 10 minutes. But it turns out that the 8 to 10 minutes was for the sugar cookie dough that is already made that you buy in the store. Mine was homemade, and I obviously had made more. Oh well, I thought it was still pretty tasty. I honestly had such a good time spending Easter with Bill's family. They're so good at having a traditional holiday. They had one of the biggest Easter Egg hunts that I have seen with all of the nieces. The kids were so cute scrambling around to find their eggs.

Billy's parents gave the kids a chocolate Easter present from the local confectionery. I got one too! I loved mine. Mmmm. Plus, all the food that they had for lunch was good as well. It was just a really good holiday. :) My Easter dinner at my house didn't go quite as planned. We forgot to take the ham out of the freezer in time for it to thaw. Ooops. Our back up plan was pizza. Bill came over before my family got home from my brother's track meet so we watched TV, and he gave me my Easter basket. He got me a candy, goldfish, and sangria wine that we are planning on having tomorrow with waffles and ice cream. A fancy breakfast for dinner. 

After eating pizza for dinner, we went on a walk in my town and noticed all the old buildings downtown. I also showed Bill the part of the water tower that's next to my house that echos when you yell in it. I adored showing him some of the things that I grew up with. It was a great night. On Sunday, I went to church with my dad, and I'm really glad I did. I got to see so many people who I hadn't seen for a while. That was much so fun. It was nice going to a service where I knew some people. That night, Bill and I grilled some amazing hamburgers. (I love that he likes to have jalapenos mixed in the meat.) Even though we didn't have a traditional meal on Easter, we
prayed, and it was nice praying together. I am so thankful for God's sacrifice for us. I felt so lucky to have my family, Bill, and his family to celebrate Easter with. They are wonderful!



xoxo
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Content


I think I was a little too harsh on myself when I said I had become that girl. It doesn't sound right at all. Now, I just think it's that point in my life where I'm growing closer to my boyfriend. One. Because, I love him, and I don't live that close to my friends. And two. Because, there is little free time.  It doesn't mean I've forgotten my friends. It just means I'm settling into a new stage. For me, it happened post college. Ah, I feel better acknowledging all of that rather than convincing myself it was a negative thing.

I wanted to thank you all for your comments on my last post. I loved reading all of them. I don't feel so alone in spending most of my time with my boyfriend. Anyways, I am very thankful for this week. I know that I am getting in a routine that I like. This 40 hours a week is starting to become normal. I couldn't be more thrilled that I am adjusting pretty quickly. That was the goal. Plus, I like the time away from home. That was definitely needed. 

Even with working full time, I am still doing the things I love. Like yoga, reading, and blogging. Although, I want to be blogging more. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to work that into my schedule, because it really puts things into perspective for me. Maybe I'll blog at night as my way to process the day. I need that time to myself so I can feel like I know how I'm actually feeling about different things. I process almost everything emotional through writing about it. Writing is how I express myself. It's like one big uninterrupted conversation that I get to have with myself whenever I feel like typing away on my laptop. In a few words, it's amazing. I know it's something I need throughout the week and into the weekend.

For instance, this weekend I feel like I'll be wanting to jot down my thoughts about almost everything. I definitely have so much I need to process through. Do you ever find yourself writing for the sake of typing out all your feelings? That's what I'll be doing the next few days. Stay tuned.



xoxo
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(Image via: WeHeartIt)

Monday, April 18, 2011

This Week

I don't like spending my evenings alone.

I like being in the company of people I love. That's why this week is going to be a little different since I'm not going to see Bill. He's on night shift, and I won't be able to really spend time with him till Friday. I'm going to miss my boo.

We usually hang out all the time, and it's been that way since we started dating over a year ago. It's makes me wonder what I'm going to do to fill my free time.

Even as I write this, I'm thinking have I really become that girl? A little over a year ago I wouldn't have understood a girl who would complain about not knowing what to do with  her evening hours since her boyfriend is occupied. Now, I'm one of those girls. I am OK with it though. I realize I need to hang out with other people, and of course I want to do that. (I'm very excited to see my friends in a couple of days.)  But I feel strangely comfortable being a girl who spends a good amount of her time with her boyfriend. We love hanging out all the time, and we live so close to each other. I think it's perfectly acceptable to do that, as long as your still making time for your friends. And I'm completely understanding of those girls I used to judge. Please forgive me. :)

I'm not going to lie, I have thought of things that I am looking forward to this week. I am a planner, and I adore planning ahead of schedule. There are a few things that I personally am so thankful for this week. One of those things just happens to be the new episode of Glee tomorrow! Glee is seriously one of my favorite shows ever! I could watch and re watch an episode a couple times in a row over a few days and still love it. They're classic. AND, I am also going to spend some time with Bill's family this week too. Should make for a good week. :) Plus, I can't wait to have some girl time with my friends. I love how we always end up talking about what is going on in our lives at the moment. The things that make us happy and the things that don't. It's exactly what I need after the work week.




What are you looking forward to this week? I would love to know.


xoxo
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(Images via: WeHeartIt)

Friday, April 15, 2011

A sweet weekend.


At the end of the week, I want to know I can relax and enjoy the precious days off.  I don't want to have things hanging over my head that I need to get done. That's one of the worst feelings! Today, I am so happy the weekend is here, and even though I might sound like a wimp, I know it's because I'm not used to 40 hours a week. But the good news is I am adjusting, and I'm enjoying my job. I am looking forward to an Easter egg hunt at work today. ha Yes, my work has an Easter egg hunt, and we get Good Friday off next week. I think that's pretty special.

Even when I write all this, I am realizing how many things I have to be thankful for in my life. I love how when I think about all the wonderful things that are happening now, all of my fears subside. When I don't control my thoughts, there is so much fear that surrounds me about different things. It's nice to have a break from it. Anyways, tonight I'm excited to hang out with my sweetpea and eat pizza for dinner.  I love having free time.


~Other Exciting Things~

Easter Egg Hunt Today!
Dinner with Billy.
Smoothie making.
Watching movies on Saturday morning.
Not having to worry about time. 
Finding flowers coming up in my yard. 
Plain & Simple: Relaxing.


xoxo
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(Image via: WeHeartIt)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Summer Day Dreams



This past Sunday, I ran in the Shamrock Shuffle with Bill's sisters and one of their friends. I was beyond excited and nervous to run it! It was my first road race, and although, I did run in cross country in high school, I knew that it was going to be different. I actually really liked how different it was. There was people from all different levels of running, and I loved that it was casual. The best part was that the temperature was in the eighties. I couldn't believe it was that warm. I have been thinking this whole week that I want to go back to Sunday when it felt like summer... That part was amazing and the location was pretty sweet. You can't go wrong with Chicago.

Since I have been day dreaming about my summer since the race, I am craving summer days like no other. I want to swim in cold water on a hot day, grill out on the porch for dinner, have outdoor parties with friends, run on my favorite trail ever with Bill or my sister, Meg and of course my little puppy. Honestly, I just want summer here now. hehe

~Other things that I love during the SUMMER~

Laying outside and reading a book.
Sipping strawberry wine.
Going on walks with no real destination.
All the festivals and fairs. 
Taking the train to Chicago. 
Chicago Summer Dance. 
Running on my sweet trail.
Hanging out with Billy. My favorite.
Swimming with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the weather.
Bonfires at night.
Riding on a four wheeler. 
Making smoothies when it is SO HOT.
et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...

xoxo
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(Image via: WeHeartIt)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Growing up... It's hard to do.



Last week, I started my first full time job. Meaning, last week was the first time I worked forty hours in a week. I feel pathetic even writing that, but it is the truth. I'll admit that I am a little tired from working this past several days, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be when I got to the weekend. I feel like I am still getting the same amount of sleep that I got before I started my job which is really good since I am one of those people who NEEDS my sleep. Before work started last Monday, I was staying at home blogging, baking, and hanging out with my sister. It sounds good in theory, but I felt guilty for not working.

And when I started working, I felt like I had no time for myself. I went from having a lot of time to having very little time. It's just plain hard. ha I am sure I will get used to my new schedule in  a few weeks. I adjust pretty easily most of the time, but right now, I wish I had more freedom. The cool thing about my work? All the women in my department are almost all around my age. I want to get to know them and hopefully make new friends. I guess, I didn't realize how much I missed being social on a daily basis!

The girls who I am working with have been sweet and helpful. I was impressed at how well they explained my responsibilities to me. I was able to memorize so many things. I am hoping that each week I'll get faster at my tasks. I guess that would be natural at any job to get faster with time. Does anyone else feel that way?

After work, I'm looking forward to dinner with Billy. I LOVE seeing him after work. It's so relaxing and comforting to hang out with someone you love. (Cheesy, I know.)

xoxo
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Love - the can't-live-without-you-kind


 I have been known to reminisce... 

Lately, it's been about things close to my heart like how I love how much life has changed for me since college. There are definitely some things I miss about being in college like walking to class with the sun beating down on me, people watching while doing my homework on a bench near the castle, and learning from interesting professors, etc., but then, I remember the things I don't miss: lost hours of sleep from studying into the wee hours of the night, too many assignments with not enough time, and the lack of committed relationships.


The last thing I listed comes to my mind more often these days, and I'm not really sure why. Maybe, I am noticing how much I like being in a strong committed relationship compared to how I think I would like the casual ones I saw on campus. Of course, I realize not all 20-somethings at my college were in less than committed relationships. I know that's NOT true! But for the majority of what I would see on campus, I noticed my peers engaging in relationships where there wasn't any stability. It made me sad to say the least.

And for the majority of those years, I was living the same life. I just didn't have a long-term boyfriend. Don't get me wrong, I wanted that more than a lot of things. I wanted a person who would be there for me everyday. But, for some reason for most of those four years, I didn't have the kind of relationship I desired. It seemed like no one wanted the same things I did, and I didn't find anyone who I really liked. Even now, when I think about the relationship I had in college, I realize now that it was way too casual for me, and not to mention, I would never chose to be in a relationship with that person or anyone like him today.


I am definitely where I want to be now. I have a man in life who cares for me more than I could have ever expected from someone who I would date. And he loves me...Like really loves me. It makes me very happy that he has become my best friend. I don't know how I got so lucky. He is truly unlike anyone I have ever met. This relationship made all of those years waiting for that special guy to come along worth it


xoxo
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(All Images via: We Heart It)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A little update.

This week has stretched me in a good way! I get so nervous on first days of any kind, but my apprehension dissolved when I sat down at my desk the first day. These past couple of days, I have been trying really hard to memorize what the process is for everything they are currently teaching me. I want to remember it so I'm not having to ask them all the time. Of course, if I am stumped I will ask questions-work goes smoothly that way. And for the most part, I feel like my training is going smoothly. I'm pretty happy about it, but I know there will be things that I need to take my time to learn.
All of the women training me have been super sweet. In my department, there are all women who are around my age. I'm really hoping that I make friends at work as well. I would love to have people who I go to talk, and I want them to feel free to talk to me. That is SO important to me that I feel like I have a community of friends at work. I know that doesn't always happen, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will. One person brought me a cute container of purple push pins for me to use to decorate my cube. It was really nice! I need to get some pictures up today! Other than that, I am hoping that I don't get too red when I am introduced in a meeting today. I am having so many feelings and thoughts right now. I am hoping to fit in with everyone.


xoxo

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P.S. I feel like I am making a concious effort to plan things now that I am working full time instead of part time. Does having a full-time job or just being busy automatically make you better at time management?

P.P.S. For some odd reason, Billy didn't find that modern chicken coop as cute and amazing as I did. I was shocked but not really. ha

(Photos via: Audrey Hepburn Complex)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Modern Chicken Coop



After seeing a link to a modern chicken coop on Cup of Jo last Friday, I knew I HAD to see it for myself. I have never seen anything like this chicken coop before, and I think it's adorable. I am betting it is really hard to make? Hmm... I will have to show Billy this, but I'm not sure if he will like it as much as I do. We'll have to find out!

xoxo
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P.S. My first day at work went well, and I think I going to like it there so much. First days always make me nervous though. I'm looking forward to tonight and having dinner with Bill's family and some of my family!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Our trip to the zoo.


There is one thing that I love more than spending the day at home cooking, pouring over my magazines, and going for a run, and that is having the whole day set aside to hang out with my sweetheart. I love how our trips together are such a fun and memorable time for us. I really can't get enough of him. This Saturday was no exception as we walked around Brookfield zoo for a few hours.

Billy always seems to notice the hard to find animals before I do. Maybe, he's better at playing detective than I am. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but this time I actually discovered a couple on my own. I was very proud and surprised. We both had a great time exploring even though we have been there before. There is just something intriguing about going to the zoo-I love all the exotic animals that I don't see everyday.

After we got home, I helped Billy with some yard work. I realized then that I don't mind working outside. I don't think I ever really given yard work a chance to be fun in my life. I'm usually too busy thinking I don't know how to garden or hoe so why bother? But, yesterday, all my apprehension dissolved as I picked up a rake to gather all the acorns. Another great thing about doing yard work? Neighbors come and visit you while you're working. In my neighborhood, I rarely visit with my neighbors, so it was a pleasant surprise when some of Bill's family came over to talk. I love that they live close together. I'm hoping that tomorrow, I remember the new wonderful memories we have as I start my first week at my new job.

xoxo
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Inspiration from the Heart: Sophisticated Steps

I would love to introduce to you Gail from Sophisticated Steps! She is one of those people who makes me realize why I blog all the more. She is so sweet. I feel we have a few awesome things in common, and I'm so glad that we are blog friends! I love reading her posts-her writing is so fun and energetic! You are truly missing out if you haven't visited her blog, Sophisticated Steps. (You gotta love that title.)


Where did you receive your inspiration to start your blog?
Oh…that’s an interesting one. It kind of came by default. You see, I HAD a Facebook account and for a whole bunch of reasons that I will not go into, I closed that account. Enter sudden void. Where on earth was I going to spill all my random thoughts? Who could I share my deepest, darkest secrets? [Kidding.] I use writing as one of my many creative outlets, so one day I up and started a blog. “Hello, world.” It’s not a huge one and that’s fine by me. I do it for me. If others are drawn to my slight sarcasm, self-proclaimed wit, love of photography, cool recipes, interior design (uh…can you tell I’m plugging my blog?) then great. See you there. ;)

What have you learned from blogging? What is your favorite part about blogging?
I’ve learned blogging can suck you into its black hole. It can be hard to get other things done [as in doing life] when all you REALLY want to do is sit down with your lap top and blog…and read blogs. It’s a vicious cycle. My favorite part is sharing bits of me, things that are important to me and meeting great people like you! [Cheezy? Yes. True? Yes.]

What are some of your hobbies?
Honestly, I have no actual hobbies, NOT that I don’t do anything, it’s just that my “hobbies” are actually my work. I own an online boutique…[wait for it…wait for it]…The Pea Closet [yet another plug – ha!] and I design and make everything myself. I’ve also recently expanded to include photography, as in family portraiture. Now, if you count running around after three children a hobby, then okay.
What is your favorite part of the day? 
Bedtime. Let me clarify: my children’s bedtime. It’s the only time when I can get things done in peace. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kiddos, but seriously, a girl’s gotta have a little downtime and it’s my snuggle-on-the-couch-with-hubby-watching-Everybody-Loves-Raymond time.
What do you think is your best quality? 
My husband would NOT say my sarcasm. Wow. That’s a hard one! I’d love to say my humility, because I am always so taken back when others compliment me and I’m very careful not to let things “go to my head”, but then doesn’t saying you’re humble sort of negate your humility? Haha! Honestly, I’m…good grief, Natalie...you had to ask that? I guess you could say I always stand up for what’s right even if it goes against the flow. That being said, growing up, even though I didn’t go along with what mainstream did, I was still well-liked and respected for being grounded in my beliefs. I’ve never wavered or feared what others think in that regard. I hope to teach my children to be the same.


Gail, thank you so much for letting me interview you! I loved getting to know you more! Friends, I hope you all get a chance to visit Gail at her blog, Sophisticated Steps!
If you would like to share where you received your inspiration to blog, please email me at:
littlepinkbookxoxo at gmail dot com

 xoxo
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