Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Survival Guide to Night Shift

Most of the time Bill and I are together, but he is on night shift one week out of the month. I've learned a lot about my favorite things to do and how to occupy my time. Here's a list of my favorite things.


From left to right:

1. Home Manicure and Pedicure. It's always relaxing to paint my nails. I love painting them a bright pink color.

2. Cuddle up with a good book. One of my all time favorite things to do after work. I love getting lost in a good book.

3. Go to my mom's house and hang out with my brother and mom. Her house is cozy, and she always has flowers and plants in the house.


4. Watch TV shows with family or by myself. Modern Family, The Middle, or The Big Bang Theory are a few of my favorites.

5. Watch a long movie. I watched The Hobbit this week. I can't get enough of this movie. I might have to re-watch it. I love fantasy!


6. I like to get together with my best friend. Of course, we can always get together when Bill isn't on nights, but since he is on nights once a month, we've been getting together then. I love the chance to hangout and talk about what's going on in each others lives. We also really like going to Home Goods as well. :)

7. Sometimes, I also go over to my in-laws and have dinner and play a game. They're really into Mexican Train Dominoes right now. :) A pretty fun game!



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Friday, March 29, 2013

Finally!



My title is a bit on the dramatic side, but I'm so happy to say that Bill is finally off night shift! Yay! The other manager was on vacation for two weeks, and Bill had to cover nights those couple of weeks. I hate complaining about it, because I know it's more hard for him to switch between day and nights. I'm planning on writing my own little survival guide for night shift. It will include all the little things I do to pretend I'm busy and occupy my time.

I am thankful for today though. I had the day off since it's Good Friday, and we got to go out to eat together. We also stopped at a garage sale. A first for this year! I love the way he looks in the picture above.

Happy Easter weekend, friends!


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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hurry Up, Spring!


Last night, I went to a forest preserve with my mom and dog. We walked close to two miles. I haven't spent that much time outside in a long time! It was wonderful to get some fresh air. There was no wind, and it was warm enough that neither of us were cold.

I'm wishing Spring was already here after that walk.



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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My New Purse

My mom pointed out that my boots match my purse!
As I mentioned earlier, my dad helped me get what turns out to be my dream purse! We had gone to the outlet mall and we walked into the Fossil store (after going to many stores) to find an abundance of leather purses! There were so many choices. I was stuck on this brightly pink colored purse that I'm glad I didn't get. I had another option in my hand as well when a man working there walked up to me.

He politely told me that the bright pink purse wouldn't be as good of an option as the light violet colored purse I had in my hand. I welcomed the advice and walked back to where I found the violet purse after I discarded the hot pink purse! The violet purse was next to all these black/chestnut brown purses. I was glad that guy approached me and gave me that advice. The leather was better quality on the purse he suggested than the pink one I had looked at.

By this time, my dad probably knew that I needed helped deciding when he walked over to me. He waited a while to speak and said, "How about that brown one?"

I didn't know which one he was referring. He pointed to this beautiful chestnut colored one. I'm glad he asked me about it. I don't think I would have noticed it, because I was so stuck on the violet one. I loved the color, and I knew it would go with every season. It was more classic. (*I can just see my mom giving me an eye roll for calling a purse "classic." She isn't into labels. ha)

I replied with, "Yeah, that one would be really nice."

 All he said in return was, "OK, I'll help you buy it."

I was in shock. It was a really nice purse with slightly bigger price tag than what I had budgeted. My dad likes to surprise me like that. I thanked him a bunch of times, and we walked out the door with my new favorite purse.

I think I'll always look at that purse with good memories. Love you, Dad!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back on Track


Last night, I worked out for fifty-five minutes, longer than I've worked out in a while. I did cardio that combined strength training for thirty minutes, and I ran for twenty-five minutes.

The running went well. I watched It's Complicated while running on the treadmill. Whenever I watch a movie, running goes by faster.

After running, I switched to my cardio DVD's. I love my new ones that also use weights. They're perfect. You might be wondering why I chose to workout for an hour? I honestly felt inspired by my brother. He works out everyday during the week for an hour and a half. I want the same dedication to breaking a sweat like he has. Also, I want to lose around 10 pounds or more.

Whenever, I have exercised consistently in the past and watched my diet the extra weight I had would easily come off. I'm treating this like an experiment. (Exercise was my magic pill, along with not snacking.) I'm going to start working out for the hour and a half like my brother does. I can't wait to find out what happens! :)

Here's my plan:

Eat healthier:
Breakfast: yogurt with blueberries
Lunch: vegetables with some kind of protein
Dinner: I'm not officially planning out dinner. Our plans for dinner change to often. :) I will post later the healthy options I find.

For a snack in the mid morning, I want to either have a fruit or a vegetable, or I will have my 94% fat free popcorn that only has 220 some calories in the whole bag!  I'm rarely hungry in the afternoon so I'm not going to have a snack. Instead, I'm going to have unsweetened tea or water. If I get hungry, I can always afford the calories of a vegetable. :)

Workout plan: 
Different forms of cardio for 1.5 hours for 5 days a week.

Record workout/diet in my journal. I've done this before, and it works really well. Last night, I was rereading my notes from earlier this Fall. I love looking back on what I did.

I'll keep updating my progress after each week. I want to see a difference in 3 months!


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day & a Little About Me


Happy St. Patrick's day everyone! I'm not sure what we have planned if anything, but we do have corn beef in our fridge that we'll probably cook. Maybe, we'll have our own small party.

I'm just stopping by my blog to answer a few questions about me that Jess from Bowie to Baltimore asked. She gave me an award for my blog! :)
  1. What state do you live in?
    I live in Illinois. :)

  2. What is your most happiest memory?
    Oh man, there are a lot. My happiest memory has to be my wedding! We got married last January.

  3. Do you have a hobby?
    Yes. I would say reading, blogging, and working out are my hobbies. 

  4. What is your favorite sports team?
    Umm... I don't have one! I did see a hockey game once and really liked it though.

  5. Do you have any pets?
    I have two ducks (Kevin & Ginger) and two small chickens (Nickolai & Dolly). My family dog lives with my mom. Her name is Kitty or Kittle, and she has many nick names. One of my favorite nick names for her our Kitty Kittleson or Chuckie.

  6. Elvis or the Beatles?
    Elvis

  7. Best vacation you ever took?
    I loved the many times my family went to Colorado growing up, but my most recent favorite vacation is going down to Florida with both of our families for our wedding. I loved having everyone close to us there. 

  8. Favorite day or the week, and why?
    Saturday! I do organizing projects on Saturday, and I love to sit down with a good book. 

  9. How do you stay connect with siblings?  If any only child, how do you stay connected with family?
    Mostly by phone. My sister recently moved to Hawaii. I'm hoping we will Skype and talk often. My brother lives close to me for now. :)

  10. What color is your car?
    White.

  11. Favorite color?
    Purple and pink. I love to be girly.
Thanks Jess for the award!
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sweet Memories


Bill and I decided to relive our second date on Wednesday. ha It actually happened by accident. We were going to go bowling with his best friend Luke and his wife Tasha, and we decided that we would go to Culvers beforehand. Turns out, we did that exact same thing on our second date. :)

I remember being nervous that he asked me to go bowling almost three years ago. Initially, I didn't want to go bowling. I never bowl and am not great at it. Megan and my mom encouraged me to try something new and that it would be fine. ha I had a great time that night. Somehow, I managed to get a really high score when I bowled. Around a 140 I believe. I have no idea how that happened!

All these memories run through my head when I think about our second date and the weeks and months that followed those first few dates. I think about our conversations we had driving to our dates and going to my house, our first time holding hands, how we walked around NIU's campus in the Spring, watched The Office for the first time together, and when we developed our love of cooking with each other.

Very sweet memories.


I honestly can't believe we met three years ago, and at the same time it feels like it's been longer.

It's been an amazing three years. :)



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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Fun Visit


Each time my dad comes home, I always get so excited and when he comes home I end up getting all teary eyed. I can never seem to hold back the tears.

This time my brother was with me when we he left his house Sunday night. I like having him with me. He asked me, "Are you OK?" I usually respond with, "I don't know." Sometimes he also jokes around with me to try to get me to laugh, and I love that he does that for me.

I'm not sure why I get so emotional when he leaves, but I just really want to have those moments where we are hanging out regularly. It's very hard having a family member living so far away, but I always adjust back to it as much as I can.

Yesterday, my brother and I headed over to his house in the afternoon to hang out with him. We had a great time watching Pink Panther (the old movies) and True Grit (one of our favorites). I sorted and filed some of his papers for him while I watched the movies and later we had lasagna for dinner.

The day before that, I had gone over to his house to hang out and cooked a pizza. We had a spur of the moment shopping trip to the outlet mall. We both had some errands to run there. We were walking around and shopping at different stores. I loved doing something so normal and routine with him. It truly was like old times. :) Also, I totally didn't expect him to help me buy a purse at Fossil, but he did. It was a very sweet surprise that I didn't really expect.

I realized something after he left to go back to Afghanistan. I realized that this distance really has made us closer and more thankful for each moment we have together. I never would have chosen to have him this far away, but I'm glad that he was given this adventure. I'm also thankful that we have a closer relationship.

Life changes so fast sometimes, but I am glad that I can adjust to the changes.

I want to make the most of each moment I have with each of my family members. I feel like I did exactly that with this visit. We had dinner at our house, many dinners out to eat and at his house, watched movies, shopped, and hung out with each other.

I am very thankful for what God has given me. These visits are so important to me. :)



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Monday, March 11, 2013

My Heart is Full


These past two weeks, I've had lots of time to spend with my dad. We've gone out to eat, talked for hours at his house, watched movies, gone on little shopping trips, and went to church together.

Some of my favorite times have been when we are just sitting and talking.

 Also, I love going watching the movies with him or making a meal at home. It reminds me of when he was here.

I fully plan on writing about a few of my favorite times with him on this visit. It's really nice having a way that I can look back on all the good memories.

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Friday, March 8, 2013

More Days Like that One

I felt like a kid with a snow day.

On Tuesday, I took a vacation day and stayed home. We were getting a huge snow storm, and I knew that I would rather not drive in it if I didn't have to....

The wonderful thing about living so close to family is that I didn't have to spend the day alone. In the morning, I spent the day by catching up on things around the house: making our bed, picking up clothes, making pizza dough for dinner, baking cookies (that turned out flat!), and researching different things for our Europe trip!

I loved staying home and organizing things around the house that usually get put off till the evening.

I experienced a little slice of heaven, for a type A organizer that is.

My brother-in-law, Tom, came over in the morning to talk to me. By then, the snow was really coming down! We had already got 3 inches of snow by 10a.m. At least, I think we did. I don't know. I was in my own little world that day. :) Anyways, he invited me to have lunch with them later in the day. Of course, I said yes!

I did more organizing before lunch, and I took pictures of our chickens and ducks that are posted here. Tom picked me up at noon, and we went over to my sister-in-law, Tracie's, house for lunch.

Tom had picked up chicken pot pie for everyone and an ice cream sandwich for dessert. It was really sweet of him!

All 3 of Tracie's kids were there. She has two girls and a baby boy. Their favorite neighbor was there as well. He cracks me up every time I see him. Apparently, the girls thought he was funny too. They were sitting next to him eating their lunch and laughing at everything he said! It was adorable.

At one point, he taught them how to do "cheers" with their drinks. They tried it out themselves and slammed their drinks together and milk went flying. They're so cute! I love their giggles!

That lunch kind of made my day.

I was happy with my decision to stay home. I definitely had fun experiencing what everyone does during the day.

If only Bill had of been there. That's the only way my snow day could have been better.

When he got home in the evening, I had the pizza made and we had dinner together. It was the least rushed dinner, I think we have ever had since we've been married.

That day, I realized I have a lot to look forward to in more ways than one. It was a good snow day, almost perfect.


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(Image via: Pinterest)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snow Day

Today, I feel somewhat like a kid with a snow day. I decided not to go into work today with the huge snow storm we are getting right now. :(

Of course, I'm feeling a little weird staying home, but I also feel great that I won't have to deal with the drive home! Yay!

I'm not letting this day go to waste entirely though. I'm checking things left and right off my to do list. I won't be unproductive today... I won't be unproductive today. (What I've been repeating to myself for the last few hours.) It's helped if you're wondering.

Anyways, I've also been taking care of our animals. Refilling their water every couple of hours and giving them food when they need it. Those ducks sure drink a lot!

Nickolai and Dolly eating. We had to separate the chickens and ducks, because Kevin (the bigger male duck) kept beating up the poor baby chickens. I don't think he'll ever learn. ugh

Nickolai is the closer one and Dolly is eating in this picture.


Here's Sir Quacks A Lot... A.K.A. Kevin. He's lucky he is so cute! ;)

He wanted to pose for me! Very gentlemen like.

Ha! I love when he looks up at me all curious. He is cute, but I wish he got along with our chickens. Silly duck.


I don't think I've ever shared a video of our animals on the blog! Here they are eating and drinking their water. I adore having them around!

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

What's an early morning person supposed to do??


This morning, I had plans to work out at 6am. I got up at 6:36a.m. instead, and I did yoga for 20 minutes.

I love starting the day with a good workout even if it is later than planned! Bill was asleep so I decided to take advantage of some extra time.

So you might be wondering what I did? I started taking pictures of my bangs that I got trimmed this week!

I had been trying to grow them out for a few months, but I realized I liked how I looked with them more than without.


And... Here's a picture with my hair down. Just so you get the full effect.


While I was taking pictures of my new bangs, I wondered what Charlotte from Sex and the City would be doing while Harry slept.

She would probably be up and getting ready for a run.

 Maybe, I thought of her because I miss watching that movie, or maybe I thought of her since I adore her character so much AND miss watching that first Sex & the City movie.

Either way, I'm watching that movie right now. I must say it is one of my favorites!

*via Google


These characters always did have a special place in my heart for my TV and movie love!

What have you been up to this weekend?

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

5 Things that are making me Incredibly Happy


*More daylight starting next week!

We switch our clocks next Sunday, March 10th!! Spring Ahead! I am very excited for the extra hour of day light... I already feel like Spring is in the air. Maybe, I've just been thinking about everything possible that I missed about Spring/Summer, but nonetheless, I am very much looking forward to warmer weather and more daylight time. :)



* My nails painted in a bright Spring Pink Colour. 

I like painting my nails to match the changing of the seasons. It just so happens that Spring is probably my favorite season. I love the anticipation of warm weather.



* Anticipation for future Cookouts/Bike Rides/Walks outside with Kittle/Star Gazing/etc.!

Now, you all know, what I've been missing this winter! I can't wait to go over to my mom's house and grill chicken, hamburgers, and vegetables. I love talking outside with everyone and doing absolutely nothing. :)


* St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day has been extra special these past couple of years. Bill and I met the day after St. Patrick's Day (March 18th). It's hard to believe it was already 3 years ago! Last year, I made a green velvet cake. I used the red velvet cake recipe, but I switched out the red dye with green dye. I even used green sprinkles for on top of the cake. We also cooked corn beef and cabbage in our crock pot.


* Yoga with my Mom

Lately, we've been working out together. I love working out with my mom. My mom and I used to go to Yoga classes together at a gym, but I don't have a membership anymore. These Yoga DVDs have been a great substitute that I like even more than the gym.


What has been making you happy?


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* All images via Pinterest except my nails. :)