Goals for September

My girl Erica is hosting a monthly goals link-up and I figured what better way to keep myself on track with all that I'd like to accomplish in September? Especially since I wrote this post and so many of you encouraged me to work hard on my fitness goals- I'm feeling more motivated than ever! If you want to link up your own goals anytime this coming month, hop on over and add your post here.

September Goals
1. Work out 4x a week
This will be a huge challenge for me, as I'm lucky to work out 4x a MONTH right now.

2. Pay off an even larger sum of our student loans than last month.
Another big challenge as well, but I'm certain Perkins Jared and I can do it. August had quite a few unexpected expenses and we were still able to rock it. Hoping September can be easy and affordable ;)

3. Make time to work on my book.
I've mentioned it many times, but I've been writing a book for who-knows-how-long and it always seems to take a back burner to other things. I'm determined to have the book completely done before 2013 is over with, so I need to work on it regularly if I want to get there!

4. Don't drink pop for the entire month.
This.Is.Terrifying. But pop is so bad for me and I'm pretty positive if I can just go a few weeks without it, I'll be able to break the habit. Bring onnnn the caffeine-withdrawal headaches.

What do you hope to accomplish this coming month? Any tips to help me accomplish my goals?

Bring it On.

August is coming to a close people! And I will say, it's a month I'm happy to wave goodbye to! After working 13 hours at our final preseason game yesterday? I am ready for the REAL football to begin. So bring it on September, I have high hopes for you. I'm looking forward to a lot in the coming month including, but not limited to:

--Celebrating my cousin's adorable little guy for his 1st birthday. He's the first great-grandbaby in our family so I'm sure we'll get to spoil him rotten at his party, and I can't wait! I just love that sweet little face!

--A date this weekend with my man that is already paid for and that we've been looking forward to for a long time, yay!

--Attending my first ever OSU Buckeyes game thank to a generous client of mine. I am sortof out of my mind with excitement over this one!!!

--Having one of my best friends come stay with me for a weekend SOON. Amanda, I cannot WAIT TO SEE YOU and spend an entire weekend together catching up. It's been far too long since our last get together.

--Attending a fun wedding for one of Jared's cousins and getting to watch/hear Jared DJ a wedding for the first time. Definitely going to be a fun time :)

--Hopefully seeing my Bengals start the season 4-0 this month! WHODEY!

In other news, if you need me this weekend? I'll be busy having way too much fun, and definitely blaring this song 1000x over. I cannot stop jamming to my girl Katy Perry. Linking up over at Whitney's today because if you don't already love this song, you need to.

More Herbs, Less Salt

I kid you not... today, August 29th is officially "More Herbs, Less Salt" Day which fits in perfectly with this post I've been wanting to write for awhile now. (Also, check out Days of the Year's website to entertain you every.single.day)

Here it is folks: I don't eat healthy. Let me rephrase that.... I eat healthy a lot of the time, but I have still got some terrible habits that I want to kick. While Jared and I try to cook lean meats and eat lots of veggies and fresh fruit during the weeks for lunch and dinner, we tend to fall apart on the weekends. I still reach for a Mountain Dew way too frequently, and I still love to snack on chips and queso when we're out at our favorite Mexican place. We don't keep unhealthy foods in the house- truly, we never buy pop or snacks at the grocery store. I just want to consciously make healthy choices- foods without preservatives and a crazy mile-long list of ingredients in them. I want to choose the things that make me feel good and look good.
I read quite a few blogs about clean eating, healthy living, better ways to snack and curb that sweet tooth, etc etc and feel like I'm truly ready to make the lifestyle change that I know needs to happen. Blogs like Alexa's and Katie's always inspire me to treat my body a little better. It's the only one I've got, after all!

So why am I writing this blog post? Well, what better way to motivate yourself than to put it on there for the world to see?! Since our wedding, just a little over 2 years ago.... I have gained -gulp!- roughly 30 pounds. THIRTY, you guys. That number truly disgusts me. My clothes don't fit right, and I'm squeezing into things I don't even like, simply because I can't/don't want to spend money on new things. I've got a great closet full of clothes that if I can just get on track, eat right and exercise will fit me like a glove again. You'd think that would be motivation enough!

Another big thing for me is going to be getting back into a fitness routine. I go through phases of being motivated, then not working out for a month! I want exercise to become a regular part of my life and I'm excited to see what my body can do and achieve. I've decided to sign up for a half-marathon with my sister-in-law...... Let's let that sink in a little bit. I'm terrified and nervous, but mostly excited. It's been on my 30 before 30 list and I'm ready to prove to myself that I CAN have the body and lifestyle I want.
So friends- I need your motivation and help along the way. Have any favorite healthy living/eating blogs? Favorite workout boards on Pinterest? Any tips for kicking my horrible pop-drinking habit? I'm ready for a change!!!

I Can't Believe

...I can't believe I'm doing this "link-up" even though the host is MIA ::::coughRobincough::::

...I can't believe all the amazing, cheap books we got at McKay's on our roadtrip this past weekend.

...I can't believe tomorrow is the last preseason game for us. Thank goodness- let's bring on the real stuff!

...I can't believe I woke up looking like Scar from the Lion King. Those pillow lines to the face are crazy!

....I can't believe we paid off another loan this week! Sallie & Perkins are one step closer to being debt free!

...I can't believe it's the end of August! I know I say it every month, but where it time going? Slow down life, slowww down!

...I can't believe I finally convinced another awesome gal to join the blog world. Go say hi to my college friend Chelsea and check out her adorable design I did ;)

...I can't believe what a great work week I'm having. Some weeks can really bog you down, but then weeks like this totally make up for it. Feeling grateful for genuinely kind-hearted people today!

Weekend in Memphis

I. am. TIRED. This weekend we traveled to Memphis and if you stalk my Instagram you know it was a good time. Jared's childhood friend got married and we were so glad we were able to roadtrip with Caleb and Kayla down there to witness it. It was a beautiful ceremony and one party of a reception. We didn't have a ton of time to explore the actual city of Memphis with the rehearsal/dinner and other wedding preparations, but we had an amazing time.

Since my eyelids feel like they weigh about 1,000 pounds today, I'm going to just let my pictures do most of the talking. :)
With the beautiful bride at the rehearsal dinner
Jared with the groom!
Cuties :) The exposed brick in the banquet hall was so pretty! 
A little hotel fun never hurt ;)

Love this man :)
The new Mr. and Mrs. Moore! :)

We sent them off with a sparkler exit (see- 'amazing' picture above) and I may have ended my night by breaking my 5-year ban of Taco Bell. Crazy, I know ;)

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend! I think I need a few days to recover from mine!

Super Mom

It's always a good day for me when I meet another blogger I can talk football with one minute, cooking the next minute and what color nail polish we're 'feeling' in the next. That's not always the combination you find, but I'm glad Jenn and I were able to find each other in the bloggy world. Her blog continually motivates me to treat my body better- this new momma is seriously a rockstar. I hope you'll enjoy her guest post over here, but more importantly go stalk her blog for some laughs, as well as motivation!

Hi everyone!! I'm Jenn and I blog over at Bliss to Bean.  Erin did such an awesome job on my blog design, I just knew I had to show it off by getting an ad space from her.  This girl does NOT disappoint!  I love to write about my family, friends, and life.  It all goes by so quickly, it's so important to enjoy the moments.

I know Erin is a huge football fanatic, and here at our household, you'll find us sporting maroon & gold!!
My husband has been a 49ers fan since he was a little boy.  I honestly didn't know much about football...and then I met him and we'd watch it from time to time.  Well, come 2011, things started changing and Jim Harbaugh's team was kicking butt!  I attribute it to my cute PINK San Fran sweats I'd lounge in on Sundays.  Either way, I was hooked!! The thrill of watching a good game on a Sunday afternoon with your significant other, is priceless. Needless to say, we've bonded even more since that year!  This year I have a new #7 jersey to rock!

You're most likely to find me in the kitchen.  Since I've retired from teaching and become a housewife, now SAHM, I'm constantly trying out new recipes!! I believe in healthy balances of good food, good for you food, and tasty treats.  I try to share as much as I can on my blog & Instagram!
{recipe here}
In January of 2013, we welcomed our little bundle of joy, Brooke, and became a family of three! She is the apple of our eye, and we just adore this little bean.  She's already 7 months old and in 12 month clothing. Where does the time go??

Of course, she was our lucky charm and the Niners made it all the way to the Superbowl...and we'll leave it at that. {this is our year boys!!}

I can feel it in the air:::Football time is here!! Soon enough our Sundays will look like this, with the baby of course!!
2011--I was NOT prego here.

And now that I've had my first baby, I'm just a normal gal who wants her hot pre-baby body back. 
Fall 2012
I gained quite a bit {scale tipped over 60 lbs at the end of my pregnancy} and while most importantly I delivered an absolutely perfectly healthy 8 lb 6 oz baby girl, I have had a heck of a time losing all of my weight.  So, I've since joined an amazing team of people and am currently doing my 24 Day Challenge through AdvoCare.  If you're even remotely feeling like I was, [sluggish, tired, not fitting into clothes, feeling down about my appearance, just not 100% happy with myself] please please please, know that this company and their products work.  There is NO reason why you shouldn't feel and look your best.  We only have one body {and life} and it is our job to keep it healthy!! I just love helping people feel awesome.  It's also nice to have a little something extra to do while I'm at home with my baby girl.

Stop by and say hello!! I just love meeting new readers!! You'll be entertained, to say the least, I promise!!

 Life is short. Be silly.

Wedding Memories

This weekend, Jared and I have the honor of seeing one of his childhood friends get married! Jared has known Alex his entire life and I have so enjoyed getting to know him over the years, too. Alex is the crazy guy who doesn't care what anyone thinks and will act a fool for a good laugh. Alex is also the guy who has worked incredibly hard since college and is doing big things with his career. He's a smart guy, I'll admit!
While I've only gotten to meet his bride-to-be a couple of times, she's just as sweet as they come. The first time I got to have a conversation with her I felt like we'd already been friends for ages. Kelsey's just one of those people who puts you at ease and the conversation is easy. Plus? Even though she's not a Cincinnati girl, she embraces and loves Skyline Chili :)

We couldn't be happier for this adorable couple and look forward to celebrating with them all weekend long! Some of the best memories are made at friend's weddings, am I right? Like the time....

--Jared and I weren't "officially" dating yet and he brought me to his cousin's wedding. I was asked about 30 times how long we'd been dating and I had to keep saying.... "Ehhh... Umm... we're not?!" We also got snowed in and I ended up staying at his parents house for 2 nights that weekend. We got to know each other, real fast ;) 

--Or the summer of 2009 when Jared and I went to 6 different weddings within 3 months and had to turn down a handful of others we couldn't make.

--Or at my best friend's wedding, just a month after we'd gotten engaged. Weddings took on a whole new meaning for us as we got ready for our own. And of course, Jared stole the show out on the dance floor with the flower girl for most of the night.

--Or at our own wedding, just having the time of our lives with all our best friends and family there to share that day with us. It honestly seems like yesterday!

I know we've all got plenty of wedding funnies/memories/moments to share, so I asked some of my lovely sponsors to join in and share as well! Make sure to stop by their blogs and say hello.
 Jen: Blog // Twitter
 Jessica: Blog // Twitter
 Miranda: Blog // Twitter
 Erica: Blog // Twitter

So what's your favorite wedding memory or moment? Did you meet your future husband at a wedding? Catch the bouquet when you didn't want to? Let's hear 'em!

Sally & Perkins: Dollar Store Date

Okay, okay, so this might not really qualify as a date, but when you're limiting your date night funds and focusing on getting out of debt as fast as possible, just about anything gets called a date these days ;) It's like if we call it a date, it makes it more fun. 
Totally us at this point in our lives….
"Let's do laundry and fold clothes side by side while our iPod blares cool jams.... Date night!!"

"Our kitchen sink is dripping. Want to run up to Home Depot with me?..... Date night!!"

"Our totally nerdy, favorite magazine came in, wanna' spend an hour reading them? Date night!!"

Regardless of how unromantic those things may seem, we do try to tackle the mundane tasks of life together because truthfully, Perkins can make anything fun! Including the Dollar Tree. The Dollar Tree has been our little hidden gem lately and we'll fill you in on why. STUFF IS CHEAP! Who woulda' thought, right?! Now do we do all our household and grocery shopping here? Of course not- but there are definitely some things the Dollar Tree offers that you should be picking up here, instead of your local Target.
Food storage. I don't know about your household, but plastic containers and storage items seem to CONSTANTLY go missing. No, I am not looking directly at Perkins right now.... ;) With the dozens of pieces and sizes, and the trips to and from work all the time, we always seem to be short on these guys. If you've looked at them lately in most stores, they can get fairly pricey! Stock up on some from the Dollar Tree and save your wallet a few dollars. We bought a 3-pack of medium-sized containers for a dollar (duh) and they are the perfect size for lunches and leftovers.
Another item we love to buy here? Cleaning supplies. Another necessity of life that sucks way too much money out of your bank account. You can compare the ingredients in any name-brand, favorite cleaner of yours and I promise they match right up with the cheap stuff. We buy our kitchen and bathroom cleaners here at a fraction of the cost we used to spend on similar items. They work JUST as well.
The third and final thing I LOVE to pick up the Dollar Tree? Gift bags and cards. How often do you make a quick trip into Target for a cute bag and card and leave there $9 poorer?! It's crazy what they charge for some pretty paper! The Dollar Tree generally has 2-packs of gift bags for $1 and cards are always 2 for a dollar. You can't beat that- go stock up and have those on hand!

So do yourselves a favor- get over to the Dollar Tree and save some dollars! What's been your best find at a Dollar store??

Yummy Snacks!

With the chaos that football season brings, healthy snacking is always a challenge for me. It's way too easy to pick up some type of junk good at the gas station while I fill up, or grab Chipotle's chips and guacamole one too many times when I'm working an entire weekend. So when I disocvered Green Giant Veggie Snack Chips I knew I had to check them out!
My family and I tried out Green Giant's Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chip- Garden Ranch and also their Multigrain Sweet Potato Chip - Barbecue. My personal favorite was definitely the Garden Ranch chips. Thick, flavorful chips with that perfect "crunch" to them. The flavor was delicious without being overpowering. The kind of chip that is tasty by themselves, but could also be dipped in hummus or homemade guacamole to really kick up the snacking!

The rest of my unofficial taste-testers (thanks, husband and in-laws!) loved the Barbecue chips best. If you are normally a barbecue chip fan, you will definitely love these. Packed full of flavor, they don't need any type of dip… they're amazing as is. I can honestly tell you they were gone in probably less than 30 minutes-- they were tasty!!

A serving size of the chips only has only 120-130 calories (depending on the variety) and are made mainly of ingredients you will know and recognize :) Green Giant also offers a Zesty Cheddar flavor and a Sea Salt one as well. I'm looking forward to trying out both of those soon. It's always good to have options!

Although I'm trying to eat healthier in general, I'll never completely cut out snacking. When I do snack though? I want to make better choice than I have in the past and I really think Green Giant Veggie Snack Chips have a winner with this product! I know it will probably soon become a staple snack I keep on hand at the office for those days I just need something to hold me over while I'm working late.

What healthier snack choices have you made lately? Have you tried out any veggie-based chips yet?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

It's go-time.

This weekend kicks off a very important time in my life. The Bengals have a home preseason game tomorrow and this week has been nothing short of crazy. I must admit, while most of us are running around like madmen/women, the energy in the office is still exciting! The hope of a new season is just about as thrilling of a feeling as you can get when you're "on the inside" as my dad likes to say about my job.

The 2013 football season kicks off (pun definitely intended) my fifth season with the league. FIVE SEASONS?! How is that even possible?!!

So if my posts haven't been the most thrilling this week, or if all you see are crazy retweets about the Bengals, Super Bowl predicitions and Hard Knocks, I hope you'll all be okay with that. Speaking of Hard Knocks- if you missed me freaking out about that earlier this week they FILMED in MY OFFICE and there's a good chance I'll make an appearance on next Tuesday night's episode. It might be a 3 second shot, but I'm crossing my fingers it leads to my personal reality show ;)
By the way, it is totally hard to "act natural and just do what your normally do" when you have a camera and sound crew up your nose. Pretty sure I was sweating and typing very intensely while they filmed. Should definitely make for an exciting clip.....

Short post today friends, I've got a game to get ready for!! WHODEY! 

Linking up with Sarah for what else?! Fan Friday!!

Venus Trapped in Mars