A Day Off

Yesterday I got a surprise day off from my work which was AWESOME. I mentioned last week that I'd been working every day for almost three weeks straight and I think my glazed-over eyes were starting to show to my boss. He kindly agreed to let me stay home Monday and it was one of the most productive days ever. Jared doesn't work Monday's, so we were both home to celebrate National Coffee Day together. 
mccafe-caramel-frapp

You know me, I don't like "real" coffee that actually tastes like coffee so Jared grabbed us both some caramel frappucinos and oh my gosh! 400 calories of deliciousness right there ;) Yes, we worked out afterwards. #necessary
fall-leaves-ohio
We sat outside sipping our delicious "non-coffees" as I call them and I couldn't get over how fast our leaves have changed! One tree always seems to turn much faster than the others, and this year is no different. It's nice that my favorite color is orange and I get to look at this view out back every day for awhile :) Consider this my obligatory "I love fall" post and accompanying photos.
ohio-fall-leaves
After getting all jacked up on caffeine, we tackled some much-needed house projects. Decluttering our garage, cleaning out our cars and taking another load of stuff to donate at Goodwill! I mentioned the "bag" last week, but I really think it's already helping us get rid of the unnecessary junk in our house- I love it! Little by little we're reducing our stuff.

Days like yesterday make me really wish I had a more flexible work schedule, or one that involved working from home in SOME form. It's really nice to just have a few more hours at home, and few less hours commuting. How far do you all drive to and from your jobs each day? Typically it takes me about 35 minutes in the morning, and closer to 45 minutes on the way home. I know many people who drive an hour or more to work in bigger cities than I do, and I can't imagine! For everyone's sanity, I'm voting all Mondays become a play at home and clean your house day. Thoughts? ;)

Football is Life

Even on my free, non-working weekend I can't seem to stay away from football. You really can't blame me though. Football IS the best sport out there- no arguments will be tolerated. I mentioned Friday that a client had given me tickets to the Ohio State game over the weekend. Jared and I had an absolute blast. We obviously don't get to attend games together very often (i.e... never) so even though part of me didn't feel like driving up to Columbus for the day, I knew it would be fun once we got there- and it definitely was.

It was hard to pick who to cheer for. Ohio State played U of Cincinnati, but you know me, I'm an NFL girl so I didn't care that much about who won. I wanted a good game, but sadly UC got destroyed out there. I had my Buckeyes necklace on anyway though, so I guess I picked the right team! We were able to stop by a friend's tailgate for some free food to say hi for a little bit before the game started which was fun. I have honestly never tailgated in my life. Yes, you read that correctly! I'm always working, so it felt so weird/different to be on that side of things.

Our seats for the game were awesome, as usual. They're located right by where the band runs out and I was too excited about them coming onto the field to get any pictures of them, but my former band-nerd-self was loving it. Plus, the cops all stand right behind our section because the rowdy student fans are right above us-- we felt nice and safe from any craziness the whole game! 
buckeye-football-stadium

It turned out to be a super hot evening for September football, so we were pretty gross by the time we left the game. We'd been working up a sweat cheering our hearts out and watching the Buckeyes win 50-28!!! However, no weekend adventure is complete without a jumping picture and a selfie so we were sure to grab those on our way out.

Ohio State, you were a great host- but now it's back to my Bengals and the NFL, my first love ;) It was nice to have the Bye week and not have to stress over our score, but now I'm already anxious for us to play Sunday night. Patriots - here we come!! 

Who were you all rooting for this weekend?

Fifteen

Fifteen things you "need to know" from me and my blog today seems like a ton, I know. I started the post with the intention of listing 5 things, but sometimes I just have a lot to say. Or a little bit to say about a lot of things- so roll with me and these next 15 if you wanna' get caught up in the world of Erin.

1. I'm not loving my job right now, and things got a little messy here last week. I know everyone thinks my job is super awesome, and while I'm incredibly thankful for paychecks and benefits? It's not always as amazing as it may seem. I wish I could talk about it more on here, but I also don't want to cross the fine line of over sharing career stuff. Never know who's reading, unfortunately.

2. Today I am finally completing 19 days in a row of working. So yes, I'm prettttty excited about the weekend ahead of me. Praise the Lord for time off!

3. But in true football-lover fashion, I just can't stay away from it. One of my clients gave us tickets for the OSU game this weekend and Jared and I are looking forward to cheering our hearts out tomorrow night.

4. I've officially started Christmas shopping and I bought a few things from Amazon already. You really can't beat their prices and two-day shipping from Prime. Plus, my Swagbucks are getting redeemed there so it's a double-win.

5. While I've jumped ahead to Christmas, I can't figure out what Jared and I should be for Halloween, yet. We've had some fun costumes in the past, but I really want to top them all this year. Big decision, I know. Suggestions?

6. Jared is freakin' cute. This is obvious of course, but sometimes it just needs to be said.

7. I officially have visible triceps now.  They are teeny, tiny little guys, but they are there. Jared may or may not have caught me checking 'em out in the mirror while imitating a rope pulldown the other day. It happens.

8. On days where sometimes I feel like I just want to shut down the blog, one of you always seems to pop up out of no where with something kind/encouraging to say, and it changes my mind. I can't thank you all enough, but know that I appreciate your words every time.

9. Some nights even when there are chores to be done and rooms to be cleaned, you just gotta push it all aside and watch a Disney movie. Gosh, why don't I live in Florida? Ohio is too far away from these guys.

10. Many of you have heard the Devon Still story now, I'm sure. If not, he's a Bengals player who's daughter has been battling stage 4 cancer. Well, her 6-hour surgery went great yesterday and the doctors removed ALL of her tumor, all of her lymph nodes and her right adrenal gland where it all started from. God is so good!

11. Jared and I started a donation bag/box and we're leaving it at the front door where we can't help but see it. I forget where I saw this idea, but an organizing blog I read does this and tries to make a trip to GoodWill every week or two. That way it forces her to not having anything in the house they don't love/need/use.

12. Last night's workout was one of the best I've had in awhile. Before we headed to the gym, I psyched myself up by looking through my favorite inspiring fitness gals on Instagram. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?!

13. EVERYONE I know is pregnant, and it kindof stresses me out. There, I said it.

14. I'm counting down the days until Thanksgiving. Yes, for the food of course, but mainly because I'll get to squeeze my little cute niece again. Why doesn't family all live in the same city? It should be a law.

15. Thanks for sticking with me (all 2 of you!) during this most random post. Hopefully after some actual downtime this weekend I'll feel like a normal person again and this blog might just be in better shape next week ;) Have a great weekend everyone!!

The Perfect Fall Soup

Since yesterday officially kicked off the Fall season and since these Ohio evenings are dipping down into the 40s (!!) I was in the mood to make a delicious fall soup for dinner this week. This was such an easy soup to make and can be adapted very easily for your tastes and preferences. There is chicken in this soup, but it could easily be omitted if you don't eat meat- it's super filling without it, too! Here's what I did:
zucchini-soup-recipe











zucchini-soup-ingredientsWhat you'll need:
1.5 lb's chicken breast or tenderloins, cubed
4 c. chicken broth (I also added about 1/2 cup water to my mix, but you don't have to)
2 zucchini's, chopped
1-2 cans tomatoes (I ended up using 2 because to me, you can never have enough tomatoes!)
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt, Pepper, and/or Italian Seasoning - all to taste!
zucchini-soup-ingredients

How to make it? Once you've chopped everything up, toss alllll that goodness into a large pot and let simmer on low for about an hour to an hour and a half until your veggies are soft and the quinoa is cooked. 
fall-soup-recipe
Eat, enjoy and embrace this fall weather!
fall-zucchini-soup

Getting Back to the Basics

I have really missed writing on paper. Good, quality paper where you just pour your heart out- you scribble things out if you write it wrong instead of hitting a delete button. You draw arrows and lines to connect thoughts if you need to, instead of copy/pasting your text into different areas of a word document. I'm the girl who still keeps a paper planner because I refuse to go digital in that sense. I love paper, pens and the physical act of writing things down. There is never a shortage of colored pen options in my purse. You never know what color you'll need when!
May Designs book

Sometimes when I'm feeling discouraged in the blog world, I think it's truly because I'm not writing... I'm typing. These feelings have almost made me shut down my blog completely a time or two, and sometimes I still wonder if/when I will. While I enjoy blogging, it definitely takes up a good amount of my time. Time that could be spent writing creatively, journaling and really putting my my whole brain down on paper. I've always loved to write and it saddens me when it feels more like a chore, and less like a hobby. Shouldn't it be the other way around?!

So I'm trying to get back to the basics and get back to the days of keeping an actual journal. It's been years since I consistently kept one! There are some things that just need written out for my eyes only-- they don't have to be perfect, they don't have to make sense or even be a coherent thought-- I can just write write write and spill my guts.

I'm obsessed with pretty notebooks and pens, so I recently decided to get myself a MayBook that I've heard so much about. I decided if I needed that push and that reminder to actually write I'd obviously need a new, cute notebook! While I wanted to purchase about 12 of them in advance, I just got one for the time being. And how else would I customize it? Orange and polka dots, it is! Look familiar?
may-design-polka-dots

There are legitimately hundreds of ways to customize them. So yes, I'll be buying more. I love the fact that it's a soft, canvas cover- so different from anything else I have. It's also small, just 5x8, so it easily fits in any purse or bag. You can get plain paper or lined paper and they also sell planners, a budget journal (Sallie wants one for Christmas!), meal planners and more!
orange-polka-dots

MayDesigns is being super generous and offering one of my readers a free, custom notebook of their choice! Enter below, now through Friday! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fall Fashion Wish-List

It's no secret I'm obsessed with LOFT clothing. Seriously, if I could pick one store to shop from for the rest of my life? It would be here! They have everything a gal could ever want, I'm convinced. Thank you, Lori, for introducing me to the wonders of LOFT a few years back- lol! My wallet shouldn't thank you... but luckily I always wait for a great sale/coupon or hit up the outlets on a holiday weekend.

The closer we get to paying off the debt, the more my desire to shop goes up. And up, and up and up! All the new fall clothes? UGH! So since I won't be shopping and actually buying anything for awhile still... I figured what better way to get my "fix" than with making a fall clothing wish-list? ;)

I love tops like this for work. Pretty, flowy and a perfect blend of fall colors!
Floral Tipped Blouse // LOFT
I'd also take one of each of these please! I've been obsessed with shirt-dresses lately (see middle picture!) and have been trying to find a good sale before I snatch one up. Another item I could wear to work with a cardigan and cute wedge shoes, or dress down on the weekend with boots. Not to mention more cute tops and bold, fall-colored skirts. I'm swooning, are you??
Burgundy Deco Piped Blouse //  Plaid Shirtdress // Autumn Bloom Pencil Skirt
So while I absolutely want one of everything at LOFT, I can't forget about my favorite local(ish) boutique- Sugar Love. The owner Jill has become a friend of mine and I always love stalking her site to see what's new! Sign me up for boot socks and oversized sweaters. Yes, please!!
Oakley Leg Warmers  //  Presley Cardigan  //  Lauren Sweater
Alright ladies- what's on YOUR fall fashion wish list??

***This post may include affiliate links, but it is not sponsored by either company mentioned nor am I paid for writing this post.

Friday Confessions

I see a lot of "I confess" posts and even link-ups but I have never jumped on the confession thing until now. This Friday feels like the perfect time to change that, even if today isn't really a "Friday" for me... yes, it's back to the crazy stretch of work days with no days off. Today's 12 of 19 in case you were wondering! That's also the reason today's post includes ecards and GIFs- you're welcome.

- I confess... that my new(er) short hair definitely does not work well unwashed but sometimes I do it anyway.

- I confess... that I am obsessive about planning my future and sometimes I have real issues with not being in control. It's a work in progress, that's for sure. #controlfreak

- I confess... that I hate missing church during the fall when I work so much. It's always the highlight of my week, but I am at least thankful I can listen to the podcast online later. Yay, technology!

- I confess... that I am incapable of keeping up with laundry. 100% incapable of it!!

- I confess... that I have stuff in an online cart for probably about 10 different stores right now but my bank account (and student loan!) keeps telling me no.

- I confess... that when we make our final debt payment I'm positive I will cry tears of joy. I can't even fathom life without those payments but I'm excited to find out soon!

- I confess... that Jared and I totally binge-watched New Girl season 3 all week since it's on Netflix now. Love that show and can't wait to be caught up.

- I confess... that I only cooked an actual dinner once this week. Whoops!

- I confess... that I'm pretty angry with a coworker right now. Post to come, don't worry.

- I confess... that I let football season get the best of me sometimes. Working a lot wears a person down but I need to somehow find the energy to keep after other aspects of my life. My job cannot be my everything!

- I confess... that I'm terribly guilty of wishing away time. Right now, I'd like to skip ahead to NEXT weekend when I finally get a day off. And after that? Let's just go right to Thanksgiving, shall we? ;)

- I confess... that these confessions came way too easily and maybe I'll have to post these more often.

HAPPY FRIDAY!!! I hope you all aren't stuck at work like me ;)

Sallie & Perkins: A Zero-Based Budget

sallie-and-perkins-budget

First off, we just have to share that we had a record-breaking August. We dug deep and kept our spending to a very minimal amount. And it worked! Imagine that!

Sallie & Perkins paid off: $3,050.39 in August!!!

Since we started sharing our journey to become debt-free, it has amazed me how many people don't have ANY type of budget at all. So many people just live paycheck to paycheck, never look at how much money is spent on what things each month and it blows.our.minds. We are constantly looking at our bank account online and monitoring our spending/payments.

If we didn't have some type of budget in place, we would be in a much worse shape financially right now. We never want to come across preach-y because let's get real-- we're not perfect, we don't know it all and we didn't do anything about our debt for the first two years of our marriage! Okay. Now that we clarified that- we want you to MAKE A BUDGET!!! We can't stress it enough. So many people are afraid to face the cold, hard facts and see their spending habits on paper. It's scary- trust us. But it was the #1 reason we were finally able to put a plan in place and start paying down our debt. It's a huge eye-opener.
sallie-perkins


It doesn't matter if you're single, married, with or without kids- everyone needs to have some type of budget, even a loose one to structure your spending around. Something Dave Ramsey taught us is to "spend every dime on paper before the month even starts" and it has helped tremendously. We know what our paychecks will be each month and we plan for bills, groceries, gas before each month begins. We look ahead to see if there are any birthdays or weddings or special events we'll be spending money at. Some of you have irregular paychecks/schedules and while I'm not expert in budgeting for those- again, Dave has a great article on it HERE. Gosh, Dave- are you reading MY blog yet?? ;)

Dave calls this method a Zero Based Budget and he's got a great article going into more details HERE if you're interested. We know almost EXACTLY what we'll be able to pay on our debt before the 1st of each month. Tweak your budget every single month! Sounds tedious? It is sometimes... but each month will be different and if you don't look ahead, you'll fail. Sorry- it's the truth! Take just a few minutes each month to look ahead like this - it'll save you money and some headaches.

Oh, and our last and probably most important budget advice? Budget for some fun! You have to!  No matter what your idea of fun is (What?! Not everyone loves StarWars Lego Wii games and Discover magazine?!) leave some room for it each month. Budget doesn't have to be a "bad" word.

You'll lose your mind without a little bit of "play" money for the month. Set a small, reasonable amount aside each month so that you can enjoy a night with friends, a cheap date night or just pick up a pair of earrings that you love! Budgets don't have to be all bad- it's just about having a plan!

A Weekend in Numbers

I'll be honest- my weekends in the fall generally are not blog worthy. I spend them working and watching football. There is only so much one can say about that lifestyle... and I certainly don't get out my camera as much during these crazy months. So I'm going to break it down in numbers for you. I once did a post on my life in numbers which was really fun- so let's try it weekend-style :)

24 Numbers of points my Bengals scored yesterday

2-0 The Bengals current record


0-2 My fantasy football team's record... #lame

107 Muscles in my body that are sore from working out. Ouch, ouch ouch!

8 Days in a row of working so far...

11 more days to go until I get a day off. Not that I'm obsessively counting or anything.

5 cards/snail-mail that got send to friends and family over the weekend

3 new candles I snagged during Bath and Body Works big sale #obsessed
bbw candles

45 Minutes that Jared and I spent in Toys 'R Us this weekend. I swear its been YEARS since I stepped foot in that store!!

Hope you all had a great weekend :) Let's hear YOUR numbers!!

Crappy vs. Happy

Sometimes crappy things just happen. Little, big... it doesn't really matter. I like to focus on the positive side of things but sometimes you just need to vent about the not so awesome thing that happened before you can move on, amiright? So today I'm telling you the crappy stuff from the week, followed by the happy thing that makes it okay. Like...

Crappy?  Work this week. I have dealt with some of the most ridiculous, rude people in the past few days. It will always amaze me how big and bad someone can feel over the phone and internet. I'd NEVER speak to someone the way these people have talked to me.
Happy?  The Bengals ARE 1-0 and that first win Sunday felt pretty awesome. It's been cool to see the Devon Still story get picked up nationally, too and see the support from many kind-hearted people.

Crappy?  Being so sore that every move makes me wince in pain. It's an effort just lifting my arms up to wash my hair right now! True story.
Happy?  Working out is my jam! Jared is killing me week in and week out and I'm starting to see some new muscles in my arms and legs finally. Watch out world! ;)

Crappy?  Not eating whatever I want all the time. After pigging out Sunday for the Bengals game, my body hated me. It was reminding me why I CANT eat that way anymore. But it doesn't mean I don't still crave all the bad things...
Happy?  Feeling less bloated and gross is worth it. My Granny loaded me up with fresh vegetables from her garden this week and there is truly nothing better than eating something healthy grown with love :)

Crappy?  Looking at all the new fall clothes, and all the summer clothing sales. I'm pretty confident I've got stuff in my online "cart" from every story out there... but I can't click buy. I just look and daydream.
Happy?  We are getting SO CLOSE to being debt-free. It's a major uphill climb for this last student loan, but we killed it in August (can't wait to post about it next week!) and are running full-speed ahead.

Crappy?  Missing my family :( I never get to see them enough.... parents, my sister and her family, grandparents. I wish we could all just live in the same general area! I've been lonely so much lately and I know it's them I've been missing!
Happy?  We make the time together count! Today is officially my Dad's 58th birthday and we celebrated with them last night over BBQ ribs from his favorite local place. While it was just a few hours together, it was good to be celebrating another birthday with him. My dad is awesome and this will forever be my favorite picture of us. Happy Birthday, Dad!!!


Hope your happies outweigh the crappies this week! Happy Friday!

The REAL First Step

My mom texted me a few weeks back to let me know she bought me one. She'd found it at a yard sale, scored a great deal and snatched that sucker up as quickly as she could. She's a yard sale queen, by the way. It's amazing the stuff she brings home for next to nothing. I need to take some lessons from her!

So my mom and I found a time to meet up and there it was. It was in the back seat of her car just begging to have a home. She grabbed the box and handed her over to me. Just holding it felt wrong... like it didn't belong. But I wanted it. Oh, I didn't even realize how much I wanted it until it was mine! I happily took my new "toy" home and set it up in our office, admiring her and maybe taking a photo or two. That's what we bloggers do, after all. I moved her location a time or two until I was happy with the placement. The placement would mean everything, of course.

Soon she was settled in and I was ready. Okay- let's do this! Hmmm, I know! I'll start with Pinterest of course! I spent an embarrassing amount of time scouring the website for any and every little 'pin' that just might point me in the right direction. Pin, pin, pin, repin, save, like! It was all here! I was practically a genius with it already. A professional with this new toy that had come into my possession. This is so great!

Until Jared so innocently asked me one day, "So, are you ever going to actually USE that thing?"

"Of course I am!" I replied. "I'm so excited! I've always wanted to learn!"

But then I hesitated... "I bet it's going to be super hard. I'm going to be awful, aren't I?"

Then Jared, being the intelligent guy that he is, had a brilliant point:

"I think the first step would be taking it out of the box."
sewing-machine

brother-sewing-machine

Whew. That first step was harder than I thought. Now what? Anybody sew out there?? What's the "real" first step... because this girl could use some direction. ;)

Football Is Back

My weekend was so fun I made it last an extra day! Just kidding... don't I wish!? I was definitely back in my office yesterday, recovering from a sports-filled weekend. Jared and I went to our first (and likely only) baseball game of the year with my brother/sister-in-law Friday night. We knew the night would be fun, because our foursome always has a good time together so we were pumped to meet up downtown after work. Ridiculous amounts of food and amazing free seats? What could go wrong?

The Reds could play really bad... that's what! We still had a great time- and luckily those dark clouds didn't open up either, but goodness our team played terrible. Add in the Ohio State Buckeyes loss on Saturday night and I was starting to get nervous about the Bengals vs. Ravens game on Sunday!

But I had no reason to... my guys looked great and we started off the season WINNING in Baltimore, which is a huge deal. I  stuffed myself silly with too much junk food Sunday which was fun while it lasted. And then I just felt like a blob. A very large, but happy blob. Note to self- football season does NOT mean I can eat whatever I want! I can make it for others, but it doesn't mean I have to eat it!
football-food


It was fun having a group of friends and family over for the first official Bengals game. Nothing better than surrounding yourself with fellow die-hard fans who scream at the TV just as loud as you, who go along with weird superstitions and don't ask questions and who are happy to toss the victory football in your subdivision after the game. THIS is what fall is all about :)



The team now has two home games in a row and then the Bye week (already!!) so we won't be hosting another get together until next month. That's okay with me though. As fun as they are, I'm exhausted after a big shin-dig. Anyone else party too hard for their football-filled weekend? How about those fantasy teams? Jared beat me in week one, but that's no surprise ;) Cheers to football being BACK!


It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

I'm feeling extra happy on this Friday (probably because the NFL kicked off last night and it's like Christmas to me!) so I'm going to cut right to the chase. Here's what is rocking right now:

-- Seeing a sweet blog-turned-real-life friend and her ADORABLE belly! Allison and I were able to grab dinner and talk all things babies, blogging, careers, church and more this week. So happy this weird blog world introduced us and so CRAZY that the next time we get together I'll probably be meeting her son, eek!!

-- This is both awesome and terrible. Awesome that I'm going to a Reds game tonight with Jared and our besties. Terrible that this is my FIRST BASEBALL GAME OF THE YEAR. Oh my gosh, how did I let that happen? I have no clue- but we will surely have a blast tonight. There are post-game fireworks, too!

-- This dinner is partially awesome, partially NOT! Remember those "noodles" I mentioned Monday? We made them and served with garlic parmesan chicken and... well, I just didn't like the noodles. They didn't taste like much of anything so it wasn't that- but they were more chewy than a regular noodle and I couldn't get past the texture. However, my chicken was delicious. Win some, lose some!

-- Stopping in at CVS for batteries and finding that they were buy one get one free. Score! Batteries aren't cheap at all so I stocked up. Plus the summer dollar bin stuff was all 70% off so I got a huge pack of colorful straws for a QUARTER. Straws make any drink more fun, amiright?

-- Cashing in my Swagbucks for loads of giftcards this week was super fun. Now I can start my Christmas shopping. Yes, in September! It makes life so much less stressful to start early, plus I'll probably get better deals by not waiting until the holiday craziness is upon us! I've already started on my niece's gifts!

-- Football is HERE! Like you all didn't know that already. My nerves/excitement/anxiousness over seeing my guys play this coming Sunday is through the roof and I cannot wait to eat my feelings all day long ;)

What are you loving this Friday? And who are you rooting for this weekend??

September Goals

I'm convinced I wouldn't make it through one day without a to-do list (or three), let alone an entire month. Typing them out makes them feel more real and more attainable. Plus, I always love when someone comments and let me know what their monthly goals are and if they posted about them, too. I'm the classic Type-A person who can only get things done with a list in front of me. The more lists the better, I say! ;)

Let's check in on August's goals and see how I did first:

1. Do a day of freezer cooking. Check! Did it once and planned for a second one- check out what I made here.

2. Complete a 30 day fitness challenge. So I was goingggg to do this push-up challenge. And I made it maybe 10 days in before I basically forgot about it. In my defense, I was working out a lot this month and constantly had sore muscles. However, I still want to get better at push-ups so I'm going to keep chugging away at them!


3. Go the entire month without drinking pop. I only had TWO this whole month. Let's go for ZERO in September. I get a 'check' for improvement! 

4. Write 10,000 words in my book. Let's just say, this didn't happen. Moving on.



5. Cross off at least one thing on our passport. :( Not a lot of dating/adventuring happened this month. Just a lot of Netflix... which totally counts as quality time together, but we need to get out more!



6. Finally have that garage sale. Check! We made a couple hundred dollars and felt great about getting a lot of extra clutter out of the house.


Sooooo yeah- August was rough on the goals, apparently. Just keeping it real. I let work get me down way too much and although I'm sure I had plenty of time for many of those things, I just didn't make 'em happen. I guess that means I need to double up on the checklists and seriously get stuff done this month, huh?! Here's my plan:

1. Have a no-spend(ish) month. It's easy to let little purchases add up, and the closer we get to being debt-free, the easier it seems for us to justify small things. There are a few things on the calendar that we'll "have" to spend money on, but I want to pay a lot closer attention to our bank account in September. Sweet victory is so near! 

2. Reach some weight-lifting milestones. I always have a hard time making fitness related goals, so this one is a bit generic. Jared has been training me hard and I'm starting to see little improvements in how much I can lift and what I can do at the gym. Just over the weekend I tried a weight I didn't think I could do and totally surprised myself by being able to do 6 reps! I want to keep pushing and find out what I'm capable of.

3. Update some pages/tabs on my blog. Funny how I always have time to work on other people's blogs and then put mine on the back burner looking like a mess ;) No major changes on the horizon, but a few things are driving me nuts and need updated!

4. Make a cleaning schedule. I'll be the first to admit as much as I love my lists and organization, I cannot seem to get into a normal cleaning routine. Which then stresses me out. And then I'm too stressed to clean. But my house is a disaster! And I can't find anything! And I don't know where to start! So I wreak havoc on my entire house and then vow to never let it get that bad again... but it does, all too soon. Anyone have a great schedule they live by??

5. Read another book. A girl's gotta make me-time and I refuse to let football compleeeetely take over my life. Some quiet reading and an amazing candle are good for the soul.

6. Go on a fun/unique date with Jared. Date nights are always budgeted for so it's time Jared and I actually get out and do something together that doesn't involve renting a movie or going to the gym together. I have a couple of things in mind that I'm excited about and hope we can make them fit into our busy schedule!

7. Make two new recipes. This is always sorta' on my radar, as I'm trying to add more and more to our dinner menu and find new, healthy things we like. The ole' favorites are surely sticking around, but I want to try at least two different ones this month and see if if we can find another delicious dinner option for us!

8. Make plans with Amanda. My college friend (Hi, Amanda! I know you're a faithful reader! :)) and I go way too long in between our hangouts and we've been texting about finding a date to get together. This month we WILL pick a date ma'am! Girl time is necessary.

9. Finish my 2012 photobook. You all have heard me mention these dozens of times, and I'm still chipping away at my photobooks little by little. I'm hoping if I can finish 2012 this month, that gives me the rest of the year to do 2013. You know... before it's 2015! #neverending

10. Make this blog rock. My content and consistency was definitely down in the past month, so I'm hoping to have lots of engaging and exciting stuff in September!