June 23, 2017

Five On Friday (June 2017)...

Happy Friday! I only work for a few hours this morning so it really is a happy Friday (I do love my job, I swear!)

It was my plan at the beginning of the year to do a Five on Friday post once a month but I've been slacking in all aspects of this little space of mine so this is the first one in a long while... hopefully this is the start of recurring monthly ones though!

Eleanor is home and all fixed up! I finally got her back on Wednesday afternoon and by then it had already been over a month since I had last driven her. Thankfully the repairs were all covered under a recall - if it hadn't been for the recall it would have cost me over $4,500 in repairs. Yikes! But if it weren't for the recall I wouldn't have had to worry about repairs so there's that... I'm just glad she's finally home and I don't have to worry about any of it anymore! She'll be paid off in 4 months and I cannot wait to not have to worry about a car payment for awhile.

I'm off to Saskatoon today for my cousin Dana's wedding. I'm looking forward to a Cameron wedding - its been almost two years since the last one (my brother's)- but I am not looking forward to the 5 hour drive. I'll need some drinks as soon as we get to the hotel tonight! It's just a quick trip, I head back on Sunday, so there won't be time for shopping which is probably a good thing for my budget but I don't make it to Saskatoon very often so it would be nice to get to spend a little more time.

Work is holding an online FB auction to raise funds for the Centre and my office has been bursting with all of the awesome donations for a couple of weeks now. The problem is that I want to bid on everything. It ends at 6:00 tonight and I'm going to have to restrain myself from bidding on every.single.thing. I'm really hoping this auction goes over well for us and we raise a good amount of funds for the Centre! 

Myself and my staff put in some money and this is what I put together for us to donate to the auction. Is it bad that I just want it for myself? haha

Jillian and Justin premiered on Wednesday night and I haven't gotten a chance to see it yet and its killlllling me! I do have it PVR'd, I just need to find a chance to be able to watch it. I LOVE Jillian Harris so I'm super excited to watch the series - I just wish there was more episodes! And for once living in Canada has paid off because it's currently only available here - it's usually the other way around 

June 21st marked three years since I picked Krickit up in the parking lot of a Subway in a town 35 minutes away and she fit into the palm of my hand. I can't believe it's been three years already!

Oh Krickit...

Have a great weekend y'all!

June 22, 2017

Summer Bucket List (2017)...

Happy Summer y'all! My favourite season is FINALLY here and I am so excited. The past two Summers were absolutely crazy, with 2015 being the year I was MOH in my brother's wedding and wedding activities pretty much took up every single weekend and then last Summer I was still working at my part time job and was working weekends and long days throughout the week so I really didn't get to enjoy my Summer as much as I would have liked. 

This year my Summer is fairly open. I have a trip to Vegas for my 30th birthday in July, a trip to the Twin Cities at the beginning of July, and then the rest of my Summer is open to enjoy and be able to be a little more spontaneous. I do have two weddings to attend but they're at the very beginning of Summer and closer to the end of Summer so they really don't affect the months of July and August, which is what I think of when I think of Summer. 

The last four years I have made Summer Bucket Lists for myself (2013,2014,2015,2016) and then pretty much forgotten all about them and hardly crossed anything off of them (whoooops). But this year will be different! I've taken things off my lists from the past few Summers that never got accomplished that I'd still like to do and hopefully this Summer will be the one to finally get them off the list. Then next Summer can be full of brand new ideas and adventures!  

I managed to get a few things crossed off of my Spring Bucket List, just not as many as I would have liked. Obviously I should be striving to do everything since they're all things I picked for myself but time just got away from me. I thought about adding the things that didn't get crossed off to my Summer Bucket List but decided that I'll just finish up a few of them and update my Spring Bucket List with some items completed in the Summer months. 

I also still have lots left to cross off of my 30 Before 30 list - and only a little over a month left!- but there's not a snowball's chance in hell that I'm getting everything crossed off that list. Oh well, I guess the things that don't get crossed off will get added to my 101 in 1001 list (since there's NO way I'm doing a 40 Before 40 list - that freaks me out just thinking about!)

What's on your Summer Bucket List?

June 14, 2017

Currently (June 2017)...

Reading  Before I FallI'm annoyed, however, that it took me getting 1/3 of the way through the book before I realized I have already read the book. Face palm. So I guess I'm technically re-reading it. I must have read it when it first came out in 2010 and now that it has a new cover (for the movie) I thought it was new and bought it again. Sheesh! I also just finished a couple of really good books - I've got a 'What I've Been Reading' post in the works since I've been reading so much lately so stay tuned for that!

Listening to all the T-Swift songs on Spotify now that they're finally available! Also, one of my favourite songs on my Spotify play list right now is A Long and Happy Life by Delta Rae - I'm obsessed!

Celebrating the beginning of Summer this weekend! I know its not technically Summer until next Tuesday but I'm just going to start celebrating Summer early! MN is here in the GWN this weekend so I'm hoping for some good weather.

Watching the same thing as last month -  baseball, baseball, and more baseball. The CFL football season starts soon so I'm sure I'll be catching those games when they are on. And the same as last month I've been re-watching Friends on Netflix before I go to bed/when I get ready in the morning . I had hoped to get through the rest of Game of Thrones  while I was in the Twin Cities a couple of weekends ago but I only got to episode 5 of Season 6 so I still need to get through the last 5 (though I've seen the very last 3 of the season) before the new season starts in July.

Working on a post for a fun giveaway for my 30th birthday. Monday marked 6 weeks until the big day - eeek! So stay tuned for that post as well, I'm super excited about it!

Drinking lots of black coffee lately - I only let myself have creamer on the weekends (or my days off) now, water, water, and more water, and the occasional beer or glass of wine. This weekend I want to make a new Sangria that I've never made before so I'm scouring Pinterest for a good recipe.

Waiting for my dealership to call me with some information on my SUV. I've been without Eleanor for almost three weeks now. Major side eye. Basically what happened is that almost three weeks ago she broke down on my Mama in Minot, ND while she was spending the night because she had to pick me up off the train in the am (hence why she had my vehicle). We spent the next day towing my vehicle from place to place (thank god for OnStar!) before finally getting it to a GM dealership where they were going to look at it in four days (it was the Memorial Day long weekend in the states) so we had to leave her behind and get my aunt an duncle to come from Canada to rescue us and take us home. 

After being quoted $2,500 - $4,700 to fix it (USD, so more like $3,300 or $6,200 in CAD) at the dealership in Minot I told them thanks but no thanks and that I would make arrangements for someone to take a trailer down to Minot to pick it up and haul it home. It sat there for over two weeks before my Dad was able to find a trailer that worked and a day that worked for my brother to go and pick it up. So last Saturday I headed to Minot with my Mama and brother to finally pick up Eleanor. When I got there the technician had information on the report that made me realize that it was an issue to do with a recall on my vehicleand I was super thankful I hadn't let them go ahead with the work there! On Monday my Dad hauled Eleanor to my dealership in Canada (35 minutes from where I live) and explained what had happened and gave them the recall notice I had *just* got a week before it broke down (so annoying). They're making me jump through some hoops to get it covered through the recall but my Dad has been very persistent so hopefully it all gets worked out soon! I'm soooo close to paying her off, I don't want to start all over now! I also got a loaner vehicle from the dealership so I finally don't have to bum rides off everyone just to get things done for work. I'm so ready for this shit show to be over and to have Eleanor back in good (running!) condition. All the expenses from having her looked at in Minot at two different autobody shops, putting a new battery in at the dealership in Minot, paying people to help me out with the situation, etc, etc have really blown my budget! I was also super annoyed to get to the dealership last Saturday to find a bunch of white paint all over the drivers side door and no note to explain it. Thank goodness for good insurance that will cover the repairs for that!

Wearing these super comfy capris from Old Navy. I have them in four colours now...  Last month I posted about these ones that I was loving but I can't wear those to work so I needed some that I could. I can't wear any of my shorts to work so capri leggings are what I live in during work in the Summer. I love Lululemon but because of my budget I've also been loving Old Navy's prices lately - there's always a sale! But as soon as I get my budget figured out (and my vehicle back!) I am finally going to purchase a pair of Align Crops from Lululemon - I've been coveting them for forever. 

Anticipating finally getting our trip to Vegas booked! I've told my family they need to figure it out by this weekend or I'm just booking it on my own and I'll meet MN down there. I just want to have it booked so I can start counting down to it! 

Loving the donations that are rolling in for a Facebook Auction fundraiser that I'm heading up for work. I might end up bidding on everything and completely blowing my budget. There's just too many good things being donated! 

Making plans for this weekend to do some fun things while MN is here. It usually doesn't work out that he is here over a weekend so it will be nice that everyone else will be off work too. On the agenda is playing Bones, hopefully getting out on the boat, day drinking, BBQing, - just to name a few things. Perfect way to kickstart Summer!

June 6, 2017

June Goals (2017)...

May was such an insane month for me y'all. Not only was work insanely busy with finishing up everything for re-licensing before the end of the month BUT I was also on vacation for almost 7 workdays straight (I don't know that that has ever happened before!). I say almost because I had to pop in and out the centre a few times to tie up some loose ends even while I was technically off so it made for a chaotic month with trying to fit vacation days into a busy period of deadlines. If I hadn't popped into the centre a few times I would have been off work for 12 whole days (including the weekend and the Stat holiday due to Victoria Day). 

During the month of May I spent a total of 9 days in Minnesota (two separate trips) so it just was a very stressful and crazy month - but also a lot of fun. I know I say all the time that the months just fly by but May 2017 will go down in the books as the one that went by the quickest. I can't believe its over and we're already almost a week into June! 

I haven't looked at my 'planner' (aka a printable calendar I found on Pinterest that I just keep in a binder) in forever - I'm pretty sure the last time I actually wrote anything down was April - which just goes to show how crazy May was! So it should come as no surprise that my May Goals were completely forgotten about and thus there's no need to recap those. Onwards to June!

In June I Want To...

Lose 5 lbs 

Work on crossing things off of my Spring Bucket List and 30 Before 30 List 

Dust off my DSLR 

Book my 30th birthday trip 

Create my Summer Bucket List 

Recap my May vacation 

I'm keeping my June Goals fairly simple since I have lots of things to cross off of my Spring Bucket List and 30 Before 30 list still. Summer will be  here very soon (yay!) and I have less than two months now until the big 3-0 (eeek!) so those things will take up enough of my time that I don't need to put even more on my plate.

Hopefully I can get lots accomplished this month and in July I can get back to some loftier monthly goals. Wish me luck! 

May 18, 2017

Currently (May 2017)...

Reading Nothing at this exact moment, but only because I just finished Don't You Cry on Sunday night and haven't started a new book yet.  I also started and finished The Perfect Stranger while on the train a couple weekends ago and at the end of April I read The Good Girlloved all three - they kept me in suspense the whole time and I could not put them down. Next up in my reading pile is Before I Fall - I'm sure I'll get through it on the train home from Minnesota next Thursday night. 

Listening to a lawn mower outside as I lay in bed writing this post. It's been really chilly here the last two days (and I am not loving it) but that makes the best lawn mowing weather so I'm sure I'll be hearing it all day long.

Celebrating so many birthdays in May. I think May has the most birthdays of family/friends out of any other month. Add in Mother's Day and it can be an expensive month! 

Watching baseball, baseball, and more baseball. Pretty much the only thing I watch these days. I've also been re-watching Friends on Netflix before I go to bed/when I get ready in the morning just for the background noise (I hate silence).  And then when I'm at MN's we watch Game of Thrones to get me caught up before the new season starts - we're at the end of Season 4 so there's still a ways to go!

Working on some blog posts to have scheduled for when I'm gone to Minnesota for a week because I'm officially on vacation y'all! I'm off work until May 29th (yesterday was my first day off) and this weekend is the long weekend in the GWN so I'm technically only off for 7 days. I picked MN up in Minot yesterday morning at the train station and then tomorrow night we head back to Minot to get on the train together (first time ever taking the train together - its always either one of us doing it alone to see the other person) to head back to the Twin Cities. We're taking a mini vacation to Duluth on Sunday to celebrate MN's birthday on Monday and I can't wait!

Drinking a cup of coffee with some french vanilla creamer at the moment. Since I finished Whole-30'ing at the beginning of May I've only allowed myself to have creamer in my coffee on the weekends but since I'm off work (yay for holidays!) I'm letting myself indulge a bit. I've also been obsessed with Iced Tea since finishing Whole-30'ing which is strange because before this round of the Whole 30 I could not have cared less that it was in the fridge. I also had my first drink of pop since April 2nd on Monday. Just before I started that last round of the Whole 30 I was going a little crazy with my Dr Pepper obsession and probably drinking three cans a week (which is a lot for me because I usually don't drink much pop) so I need to make sure that I keep my obsession in check moving forward. 

Waiting for MN's birthday present to show up in the mail. I'm crossing my fingers it'll get here by tomorrow or else MN will be getting a belated birthday present ...

Wearing these mesh-panel compression capris from Old Navy because I haven't changed yet after doing my workout this morning. I pretty much wear these capris every chance I get - they're so comfy! As soon as I'm done writing this post I'm ordering two more pairs in different colours - that's how much I love them!

Anticipating going out for supper with my brother and sister in law and MN tonight at a restaurant in 'the city' that I've never been to before. I hope it's good!

Loving the results I'm seeing from doing Country Heat. I lost 10 lbs and 12 inches doing my first round of it (combined with the Whole30) and I'm currently on Day 11 of my second round of the program and my clothes are fitting SO much better. I'm absolutely loving it!

Making a grocery list of supplies needed to make Puffed Wheat Cake and Rice Krispie Cake - my plans for the afternoon. I've been craving Puffed Wheat Cake lately and last night my oldest niece was talking about it and MN said he has never had Puffed Wheat Cake before (!) - he actually says he's never even heard of it - so now I definitely need to make it!

May 11, 2017

A Wicked Weekend...

Last Thursday I headed to Minot to get on the train to Saint Paul for my 20th time. I didn't take my first train ride to the Twin Cities until May 18th of last year so I've now taken 21 different train rides in less than a year. That's a lot of hours spent sleeping on a train! My train was about an hour late getting to Minot, but it worked out okay because it gave me more time to make a couple of stops. I finally picked up a new Nook tablet at Barnes and Noble. My Nook Color bit the dust over a year ago and I've wanted to get a new one for a loooong time now - I have so many books in my library that I haven't been able to read! It's so much easier to travel with just a Nook filled with books to read rather than having to bring 5 books with me on the train. It'll give me more room in my backpack or suitcase for shoes or clothes! And of course I made my way to Target - I grabbed some healthy-ish snacks for the train and a couple of new books to read since I wouldn't get a chance open up my Nook and charge it until I got to Saint Paul. 

My train got in to Saint Paul just shortly after 8:00 on Friday morning - not too bad considering we were an hour late leaving Minot. It's become tradition for MN and I to head to the Uptowner Cafe for breakfast so that's exactly what we did. Pretty soon they're just going to know my order and won't even have to ask me because I always get the same thing. I can't help it, it's just so good! 

Eating supper in my car in either Target's parking lot or in the lot at the train station is also becoming a tradition haha

It was a weekend jam packed full of activities - I'm pretty sure I'm still recovering from it. Friday was Cinco de Mayo, my third favourite holiday (can you guess the other two?), and MN and I headed to a get together at a friends new house to celebrate. Give me all the Mexican food and margaritas please and thank you (especially after just finishing Whole-30ing)! Katie made us margaritas with her Ninja blender and now I'm on the hunt for a good deal on the Ninja Professional Kitchen System that also comes with the food processor. If you see a good deal send the link my way! I have a Margaritaville blender but it's really only good for slushy drinks, not everyday things, so I'd like to upgrade and sell my Margaritaville blender. 
Saturday we were up early to get ready to head to Waconia, about a 45 minute drive from the cities, to tour the J.Carver Distillery with MN's sister and her bf. The tour was interesting, I had no idea how vodka or gin was made, I just knew that I like to drink it! I had a Minnesota Mule as we toured and it was the best mule I have EVER had. Like, ever. After touring the distillery and sampling a flight of different spirits (or in my case, having a sip of each of my three and having flashbacks to my high school days of chugging straight vodka at parties and thus not being able to finish them...) we headed to the Iron Tap for lunch. I had some sort of Raspberry beer concoction and it was ah-mazing and the food was just as good. I would definitely go back to Waconia again!

When we got back to the cities twe only had about an hour and a half before we had to head out to meet MN's family for dinner before seeing Wicked at the Orpheum Theater. We met MN's mom, dad, uncle, sister and her bf at the Rock Bottom Brewery for dinner and then it was time for the show. MN's parents spoiled us with amazing seats and the show was SO good y'all. It was only my third time going to a musical (I'd previously seen Cabaret in the Queen City years ago during my middle school drama days and then saw Chicago on Broadway in NYC in the Summer of 2012). Confession: I have never seen The Wizard of Oz. When I admitted that to MN and his sister and her bf I think they all looked at me like I had two heads. I know the story of it, I've just never seen it. I guess I need to now!

Monday was MN's sisters birthday so on Sunday they had a get together with friends at their place to celebrate so MN and I headed there in the late afternoon, after sleeping in way later than I have in years, to spend some time with them before I had to get on the train to head back to the GWN. 

It was such a great weekend. Busy, but great. Every time I have to head back home it gets a little bit harder to say goodbye to MN though. But, on the flip side, everytime I leave to head to the Twin Cities its harder to say goodbye to Krickit too. As soon as she sees my suitcase she just knows I'm leaving her and it breaks my heart. I'm leaving her for almost a week at the end of next week and it breaks my heart. I wish MN could have pets in his apartment and then she could just come with me every time! 

May 2, 2017

May Goals (2017)...

First off, let me just say that I cannot believe that it is already MAY. Just yesterday I was writing out a receipt for a parent and I put the date as May 1st, 2016 - that's how fast this year has went by. I still feel like Christmas was just yesterday!

Some of my favourite people have birthdays this month so it'll be a busy month of birthday celebrations with them all. I'm also spending a lot of time in Minnesota in May so I'm sure this month is just going to be another one that flys by. I've got some big goals for myself in May so I'm hopeful that even though its a busy month I'll be able to keep working towards my goals and crossing them off of my list. But before we get to those goals, lets check in on my April Goals Progress

Come up with a way to earn extra income 
Not exactly but I'm on the right track...

Get 10K steps every weekday
I did much better than in March but I still had some issues with my FitBit dying without any warning so I didn't quite get there. I did win a couple of Workweek Hustle challenges though so at least there's that 

Get outside with Krickit 
It snowed at the end of April, if that's any indication of how this goal went for me... Spring seems to have finally arrived, just a a few weeks too late to make this one achievable. Hmphh

Be present on social media 
I made a bit more of an effort than normal but still not as much as I'd like to. I've definitely been using Instagram Stories more than ever, which is great, but I still need to up my FB and IG game. 

Today is my LAST day. I didn't follow the Whole30 guidelines completely so technically I can't say I completed a round of the Whole30 after today BUT I stuck to their guidelines 99% of the time. The ways I didn't follow it completely: I chewed gum (I had braces for over 2 years - nothing is going to stop me from chewing gum now haha), I had one beer while visiting MN at the beginning of April, I got one Caramel High Rise from Caribou while in Minot with my sister a couple of weekends ago, and I had some non Whole30 approved salad dressings on my salads (and a small bite of pasta salad while at Ruby Tuesdays because it's my fav). All that to say that even with those few 'cheats' I'm down 10 lbs since May 3rd - I'll take it! 

Enjoy an at home spa day
I almost let this one slide by but I got it crossed off with only 1 day left in the month. On Saturday I relaxed with two different face masks, put on a hand mask, gave myself a manicure, and even used a hair mask while enjoying a bath. It was all very enjoyable and I need to make time to do it more often! 

Read 4 books 
I only got to two this month - The Couple Next Door and The Good Girl. I have so many books that I've wanted to read over the last month but I made myself save them for my upcoming train trips so that I wouldn't have to spend more $$$ on books 

Publish blog posts three times per week 
I didn't make it here three times per week BUT I did once again manage to hit publish 10 times in April so I still consider it a win!

Try at least 4 new recipes 
Once again this didn't happen. We kept things pretty basic with Whole30 meals so there wasn't much opportunity to try out new things. Next month!
My goals for May were a little hard to come up with since I just posted my Spring Bucket List - I had to make sure I wasn't doubling up on anything but after some thinking I managed to set myself some goals that I'm pretty excited for! 

In May I Want To...

Reach 50K steps at the end of the workweek (Mon-Fri)
I've switched it up from wanting to reach 10K steps each weekday to getting to 50K steps total by the end of the week. The exact same thing in the end, but I'm just allowing myself a little bit of wiggle room in my days. If I only get 7K steps in one day then I just need to add extra steps in on other days to hit my goal by midnight on Friday. Allowing myself a little grace will stop myself from beating myself up if I fall asleep at 9pm on a Tuesday night while I still had 2K more steps to get in that day 

Read two books while not on the train 
I'm specifying while not on the train since last month I didn't meet my goal of reading 4 books because I didn't let myself read books at home since I wanted to save them for the train so I wouldn't have to spend more money on books (face palm). In May I have 4 train trips so I know that I will read at least three books throughout those trips but I want to make sure I'm making time for reading at home too. Y'all don't even know how excited I am that I can start my annual HP summer re-read in 7 weeks once it's officially Summer!

Hit publish on at least 12 blog posts 
I managed to publish 10 posts in both March and April - the most in any month since December 2015 - and I think 12 in May is doable, even if I will be spending a lot of time away since I will be in Minnesota for 9 days in May. I'm loving spending more time here, even if things have changed soooo much in the blogging world since I last posted consistently (2014/2015)

Get my workout done in the mornings at least three times throughout the work week 
I love getting my workouts done in the mornings before I even really start my day so that I can relax in the evenings, especially now that Blue Jays games take up most of my evenings. It's nice getting so many steps in so early on in the day too! I would love to say that I will get them done every morning before work but that's not realistic so I will aim for three days and hope for success

Book a trip to Vegas for my 30th birthday
I turn 30 this Summer y'all (eeek!) and will be heading to Vegas with some of my favourites to celebrate. MN, my sister, Scooby (hopefully, we're still working on convincing her) brother and SIL, and even my Mama are heading to Vegas for some rest and relaxation (and bottomless mimosas). We've narrowed our dates down to a week that MN has off of work so when I'm in the Twin Cities this weekend I am going to figure out flight details with him since he'll be flying out of a different airport than the rest of us and then when I get home next week I will sit down with my family to book our flights and hotels so that it's done. I can't wait! 

Plan a weekend trip to Montana to cross visiting a new state off of my 30 Before 30 list
One of the things on my 30 Before 30 list is to visit 5 new states. In June of last year I visited Wisconsin for the first time. MN and I took a day tripto WI where we first stopped for lunch in Pepin at the cutest little cafe that is now my second favourite restaurant of all time (behind the Gristmill in Gruene, TX) and we then made our way to Chippewa Falls where we toured the Leinenkugel brewery. Then in August of 2016 my sister and I road tripped to Kansas City, Missouri for some bird watching and I was able to cross Missouri and Nebraska off my list as we stopped in Omaha, NE to spend a night and the bird watching took place in Kansas City, Missouri at Kauffman Stadium. So, that leaves me with two more states to still cross off the list. I live pretty close to Montana but have never been so I told my sister and our friend Scooby that we're going to have a KJK weekend in Montana in June to cross that state off my list before my birthday. Now I just need to convince MN to go to Chicago with me so I can cross Illinois off my list...

Wear a different outfit to work each weekday in May with no repeats
My outfits lately have been either for comfort or warmth and I want to get away from dressing for those two reasons (Spring finally arriving in SE Sask should help with the dressing for warmth part...). My outfits have been very basic and I want to start actually putting thought into my outfits with putting my clothing and accessories together to create a look. I'm making it a little easy on myself since I will be off work for 8 of the 21 work days in May, so I'm starting by easing into it. Now that I'm hitting some weight loss goals getting dressed is getting easier since I'm feeling more comfortable with myself so that should help with this goal as well

Hit another weight loss goal
As mentioned in my April goals progress, I'm down 10 lbs since April 3rd (wahoo!) and I have about 6 more lbs to go until I get to where I was at the end of May last year so that's my next weight loss goal. Once I hit that goal I will be back at my smallest weight since probably high school (maybe college? It's been so long my mind is hazy haha) and then I can keep working to hit other goals. I'm going all out over the next three months to be in the best shape of my life for my 30th birthday and the subsequent trip to Vegas to celebrate and I can't wait to see my results! 

Try at least 4 new recipes 
It's gonna happen this month y'all. It has to! 

Pay cash or debit for all purchases (aka no credit card spending!)
I don't think I've mentioned it much, but after years and years of credit card debt (not a huge amount, but still) stemming from orthodontic procedures, having two car payments at once, emergency vet bills, travelling without budgeting for it, etc. I am officially credit card debt free!** Halle-freakin-lujah. I paid off the last small balance on my second credit card at the beginning of April (having paid off the last balance on my other card back in February). Moving forward, I will never get back into credit card debt. I will not allow it to happen. In 2015 I started a plan for getting out of debt, which included building up an emergency savings account for when things come up (like vehicle repairs, vet bills, etc). I also started saving for Christmas throughout the year so that come November I have $1,035 to spend on Christmas (baking supplies, gifts, decor, etc) so that I don't rack up my credit card throughout the month of December, as well as putting money into a savings account each month. Had I not created these savings accounts/Christmas budget account I would have been able to pay off my credit card debt sooner but I liked the idea of having money that is mine and not borrowed and though it may have taken me longer to get out of that debt in the end I have a good amount of money in savings so at least I'm not starting with zero dollars in my bank account. I will use my debit card or cash in May and that is it! (For things like train trips to the Twin Cities or the Vegas trip that I will be booking I will put on my credit card but then pay back immediately as I have already budgeted for thse items so have that money to pay it off right away). **I probably should have made this into its own post since it got so long but I'm just so happy that I can officially say I have zero credit card debt!

I've got some bigs goals for May but I'm feeling very energized and ready to take them all on so I'm hopeful I can knock them out. Wish me luck!

What are your goals for April? 

April 28, 2017

Links & Love (April 2017)...

I've been totally Pinterest obsessed lately since I am trying to get my bedroom and the two spare bedrooms downstairs looking put together. I've pinned so many things - now just to actually do them!

I loved following along with Ali Edwards Week in the Life on IG last week and think this is something I definitely need to try (once I'm finally caught up on Project Life..)

I can't wait to eat all the salads this Summer. Like this one. And this one. And this one. Yummmm! I'm pretty sure I could eat salad for every single meal...

I've been eyeing up this doormat from Target. Pretty sure I NEED it 

I want one of everything from the LC Lauren Conrad jewellery line at Kohl's. I limited myself to only five things when I was there last weekend but I easily could have spent a fortune on just jewellery

I ordered myself an Instant Pot and I can't wait to try it out! I had some gift cards to Best Buy that I had originally planned to use to purchase an iPad but decided I would just upgrade to a new Nook so I had no idea I was going to use my gift cards on until I saw that the Instant Pot was on sale. Now I'm scouring Pinterest looking for recipes. I just hope I can figure it out! 

I can't wait to make this Drumstick Cake once I'm done Whole-30ing. When I was in Grade Six-ish (somewhere around that time anyways) there was a restaurant in my hometown that made Drumstick Cake and my friends and I would go down after school to have hot chocolate and a slice of Drumstick Cake. It closed over 15 years ago but I still think about that Drumstick Cake (it was that good y'all). This seems like it might be pretty comparable and I can't wait to try

These crops from Lululemon are on my wish list for when I hit one of my fitness goal and I cannot wait to order them

I have been doing Country Heat, a country dance inspired fitness program from Beachbody, for the last three and a half weeks and I am absolutely loving it. I am not a dancer and have no co-ordination but I love the workouts (and the fact that they are only 30 minutes). Call me crazy but I actually look forward to the workouts (who am I?!) because they are so much fun. The 30 minutes flies by and at the end I am am drenched in sweat, so it's definitely working me out! I am done the program on Tuesday and was planning on starting the 21 Day Fix Extreme on Wednesday but I think I am going to do another 30 days of Country Heat because I'm so happy with it and the results I'm seeing! (Full disclosure, I am a Beachbody Coach but do it for the discount, I don't actually make any money from the company at this point) 

Today doesn't feel like Friday (because I took my EDO on Wednesday instead of today because of conflicts with some of my staff being off today) but I am so glad it is - I have lots to get done this weekend and then I should finally have everything crossed off of my to do list and can start just enjoying my weekends when the weather is nice! 

Have a great weekend!

April 27, 2017

Spring Bucket List 2017...

We're over a month into Spring already and I'm just getting my Spring Bucket List up now but better late than never, right? I've got until June 19th to cross things off my list, so just under two months - I think that's still doable! 

I'm a list maker through and through so I love making seasonal bucket lists for myself. Sometimes things from my Spring Bucket List might end up on my Summer Bucket List (or some Summer Bucket List items end up on my Fall Bucket List, etc.) becuase I don't get to them during that season or I might not even get to them at all but at least having them written down here makes me try and accomplish them. 

1I Enjoy mimosas on a patio
2I Sew something 
3I Complete a Spring Photo Challenge
4I Have a picnic lunch with my nieces
5I Make a carrot cake from scratch 
6I Complete 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Project Life albums (Yep, I'm that behind-face palm)
7I Finish three home decor projects (I've got a bunch on the go, I just need to finish them)
8I Go on a hike
9I Cross things off of my 30 Before 30 list
10I Unplug for a day 
11I Try 10 new recipes 
12I Visit the library 
13I Organize, de-clutter, and deep clean (I'm kind of cheating here because I'm about 75% done this (wahoo!) but I still have that 25% to go so...)
14I Enjoy a morning cup of coffee on the deck 
Completed June 19th. I almost forgot about this one but with only one day left before Summer offically began I got it checked off the list! 
15I Go on a lunch date with a friend 
Completed June 16th. My oldest friend Jayden helped me out with this one after I sent out a Snapchat plea for someone to have lunch with me before June 20th so I could cross it off the list
16I Try a new cocktail(Bonus points if I make it at home) 
Completed May 22nd. I had a 'Not a Gin Drinker' at the Vikre Distillery in Duluth after MN's birthday supper. It's made with their Lake Superior Vodka, juniper syrup, lemon, and fizz and was SO delicious. I can't wait to go back there again!
17I Celebrate MN's 30th birthday We'll be in Duluth, MN for his birthday and I cannot wait! 
Completed May 22nd. We had an awesome mini vacation in Duluth from May 21-23 celebrating MN turning 30!
18I Treat myself to a facial 
19I Attend my niece's dance recital  
Completed May 27th. Due to my car troubles it almost didn't happen but we were able to make it work. They did so good in their recital - I was one proud Auntie! 
20I Grow something

What's on your Spring Bucket List?

April 26, 2017

100 Things That Make Me Happy...

As I mentioned in Monday's post, I did some shopping on the weekend and was finally able to find some pieces for my bedroom to start pulling together the look that I'm trying to achieve (and have been trying for over a year now...) I was so happy with all of my purchases and for once there was no buyers remorse after the fact (hallelujah). Feeling so happy about such a trivial little thing like home decor kind of made me feel a little silly but if we can't enjoy the little things then what can we enjoy?
I've had this post in my drafts folder for a long time but decided today was the perfect day to finally get it finished and published! I did a post like this back in 2014 with 32 things that make me happy but I figured it's past time for another edition.
So here we go…100 things that make me happy (in no particular order)

  1. Krickit cuddles. (But not when she tries to give me a 'bath'...)
  2. When I'm taking the train and it arrives and departs on time. Or arrives early! 
  3. Sipping on an Iced Caramel High Rise from Caribou Coffee
  4. Wandering up and down every single aisle at Target. It's my happy place 
  5. Binge watching HGTV
  6. Receiving snail mail 
  7. Getting a new tattoo 
  8. Trick or treaters on Halloween 
  9. Sales shopping
  10. Sleeping in on Saturday morning. And by sleeping in I mean until like 8 am haha
  11. When one of my old favourite songs randomly comes on while listening to an XM station
  12. Seeing MN when I get off the train in Saint Paul 
  13. The entire month of December
  14. My Mathison/Cameron clan
  15. Discovering a new favourite restaurant
  16. The Target Dollar Spot 
  17. The smell of campfire
  18. Suppers with my 'city' friends
  19. List making
  20. The sound of a bottle of champagne being uncorked 
  21. Mashed potatoes
  22. Baked potatoes
  23. Really, any kind of potatoes ;) (but NOT sweet potatoes. Blechhh)
  24. Hobby Lobby deals. I honestly don't know if I've ever paid full price for something from there!
  25. Travelling. To places I've already been or new places 
  26. Bubble baths 
  27. 3-wick candles from Bath and Body Works
  28. Free shipping 
  29. Starting my annual Harry Potter re-read 
  30. Spending the entire day in bed on a rainy day 
  31. Family Game Nights
  32. Discovering a new favourite song
  33. Home Alone. Favourite movie of all time
  34. Gildan heavy blend sweatshirts
  35. Shredded hashbrowns
  36. Bird watching. Go Blue Jays!
  37. Cucumbers with salt and vinegar. Mmmm
  38. Screwdrivers. The drink, not the tool
  39. Mexican and Margaritas 
  40. Flipping through photo albums
  41. Group chats with Toni and Scooby 
  42. Eating at the Olive Branch
  43. Flamingo and Pineapple home decor 
  44. A big bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. For supper. Because #adulting 
  45. My mama's cooking
  46. Productive Sunday's 
  47. Using my Kitchen Aid mixer to make cookies 
  48. The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls 
  49. Summer 
  50. Blog comments
  51. Burrito bowls from Chipotle 
  52. Waking up without an alarm 
  53. Camping
  54. Baby snuggles 
  55. Country music
  56. Sand between my toes 
  57. When a new recipe actually turns out 
  58. Floating down the Guadalupe River
  59. Summer BBQ's
  60. Paying off debt 
  61. Finishing a good book 
  62. Chick-fil-A
  63. A good workout 
  64. MN's bed. And not in a TMI way. In an its-the-most-comfortable-bed-in-the-world way
  65. Happy mail days
  66. Fresh clean sheets
  67. Dr. Pepper with lots of ice 
  68. Wine
  69. Backroading 
  70. Gift giving
  71. Taking photographs
  72. Exploring a new city
  73. Crossing things off of my 'bucket' lists
  74. Getting pampered
  75. Online shopping
  76. Rainbow ice cream 
  77. Fresh new notebooks
  78. Road tripping to Texas
  79. The tiny humans at work 
  80. Family time 
  81. Hotel stays 
  82. Move theatre popcorn 
  83. Breakfast for supper 
  84. Driving with the windows down. Just as long as I have a hair tie to tie my hair back
  85. My daily Shakeology drink
  86. Animal videos
  87. Vacation planning
  88. Random acts of kindness
  89. Freshly painted nails 
  90. Binge watching TV shows with MN
  91. KJK weekends
  92. Christmas traditions
  93. New office supplies 
  94. Walks with Krickit
  95. Coffee mugs
  96. YouTube tutorials
  97. Being called Auntie
  98. My Pinterest boards 
  99. Family vacations
  100. Pajama days
I tried not to repeat anything from my original list so that I would have 132 things that make me happy to look back on in case I'm ever having a down day. I only had about 20 from when I had first started this post before it ended up in my drafts folder so I had to add 80 and at first I thought that would be a huge task but they actually came to me quite easily

What's at the top of your happy list?

April 24, 2017

Shopping, Snow, and Sunday Productivity...

This weekend I spent some time in Minot, ND doing some shopping with my sister. We didn't leave until mid afternoon on Saturday since my sister didn't get home from a conference in the Queen City until that morning and we ended up getting an inexpensive (but still decent!) hotel room for the night so we wouldn't have to rush to make the border or go completely out of our way to get to the 24 hour crossing. I had some money left from my income tax return so it didn't even break my budget - wahoo! I know I'm getting better at adulting when I spent what was left of my income tax return (after paying for window repairs) on bedding and home decor instead of travelling or tattoos. 

I've been trying to catch up on Project Life (I'm sooo behind) and I need a new album for 2017 (so I can try and stay caught up on the current year  so our first stop in Minot was Hobby Lobby where my sister found the cutest wall hangings for my nieces bedrooms and I also found a super cute framed pineapple print (I didn't find the Project Life album though - booo). Our next stop was Kohls, because its right next door. We found so much stuff at Kohl's y'all. Like, sooo much. We picked up a bunch of jewerly from Lauren Conrads line, perfume, some home decor, and I got a couple shirts and Toni picked up some Summer clothes for my oldest niece. I love Kohl's (because everything is always on sale haha) but always forget to stop there when I'm in Minot. The cashier convinced me to sign up for the Kohl's card, which saved me 25% so I love it even more now and I'm sure I'll be making it a priority to stop there more often (not sure if this is a good or a bad thing... I'm going to go with good because SALES).

Once we finally made it out of Kohl's we headed to Ruby Tuesday's for supper (I've been craving their garden bar lately for some reason) because we were both starving and hadn't eaten all day (and by this point it was after 7:00 our time) and then to my happy place - Target! Because of North Dakota's blue laws the only places open for shopping before noon in Minot on Sundays are the grocery stores so we had no plans for Sunday other than to check out of the hotel, get gas and grab Caribou, and then head home so we had to get all of our shopping done on Saturday. We wandered around Target, I grabbed a few cute things from the Dollar Spot (because I just can't help myself) and then I (finalllllly) found bedding that I was happy with so I was a happy camper since I didn't find anything I liked in Kohl's and I've searched Target the last three times I've been there and hadn't found the perfect bedding - until now! After leaving Target just before they closed at 11 we then headed to Wal Mart. I needed to pick up some of my favourite makeup wipes (they're cheapest at Wal Mart) and had plans to grab a few things from the Pioneer Woman collection but ended up leaving without anything from the collection. Whomp whomp. I was really disappointed in the selection -normally they have a huge selection but this time there was hardly anything there so the search still continues. 

I wish I could have Caribou every single day. At least my Caribou K-cups get me through on the days I'm not around a Caribou 
I'm in love with everything I picked up while in Minot and will post pictures in this Friday's Links + Love post. I'm also so happy that my bedroom is finally coming together into a space that I can actually enjoy and don't mind spending time in. I was finally able to take my Christmas bedding off of my bed last night and replace with my new sheets (also from Target) and the new bedding. I do have other bedding (in case you're wondering because MN rolled his eyes at me when I told him I needed to buy new bedding so I could finally get my Christmas ones off my bed) but they don't go with the colours in my room at all and I've had them since I was in High School (so 12 years ago...) so it was definitely time to upgrade.  There's still a few more things I need to do/add to my room but then it will be complete - hallelujah! Once I have everything finished I'll be posting some updates pictures on here and IG (do you follow me? Krmathison13) so stay tuned! 

I need opinions! Should I paint these crates white or leave as is?! For reference, most of the furniture in my room is white (aside from a black mirror and the dark brown dresser just to the left of this that I plan on painting white). Also, I need to print off some photos for those frames now (Kohl's finds that go perfect with my colour scheme) haha. Also, please excuse the terrible lighting (#basementlife)
And in non shopping related news, I woke up to snow on the ground yesterday morning while in Minot and then again this morning at home. I guess I should be happy it didn't start snowing here yesterday but c'mon Mother Nature - it's Spring! Also, today marks  exactly three months until I turn 30. Which means I really need to get working on my 30 Before 30 list. Eeeek. It's now also less than a month until MN turns the big 3-0 and I still have no idea what to get him - I need your help y'all! 30th birthdays are a pretty big deal so the gift needs to be super duper special compared to a normal birthday gift, right?!
Even though I spent part of the weekend away from home I still managed to make it a productive weekend. I got back from Minot yesterday at noon and somehow ended up heading straight to work and spent 2 1/2 hours at work getting some cleaning and organizing done. The time flew by and in the end I had five garbage bags full of stuff to throw out and had to make three trips out to the recycling bins to get rid of cardboard. That's what I call productive! Then when I finally headed home I unloaded everything from my SUV and immediately got to work around the house, stripping my old bedding off my bed, doing five loads of laundry (new bedding, old bedding, and laundry that had piled up), unpacking my suitcase and putting everything back where it belonged (it normally takes me days to unpack form a trip, even if its just an overnighter), did some rearranging in my bedroom, set up the new decor items I had just purchased, AND I even got to watch the Blue Jays win. I love days like that where everything finds its place and I can go to bed at the end of the night without a million things running through my mind that need to get completed the next day. The weekend may have flown by but I can definitely say I got some things accomplished over it so I can't complain too much!