De-Cluttering: The Pantry

Last year I started a mission to de-clutter my life. One night I looked over and thought… I HAVE SO MUCH FREAKING STUFF and decided to start purging. I started with the top of my dresser, moved on to my desk, tackled the stuff by my bed, and recently massively de-cluttered my bookshelf by just getting rid of it (I sold it at a garage sale for $2).

There’s nothing like a garage sale to get you going to un-stuff your life, right? I took a break from my room and decided to do something with another area of my life. For those of you who don’t know, I live with my mom. While my life is overrun with stuff, for being 30 years old and having most of my possessions confined to one room and a portion of a closet.. I think that’s pretty good. But I love pink and thrift stores and one day I plan on not living with my mom, so I have slowly started collecting my own dishes. and I guess I maybe have a problem with collecting random dishes, because this is what my corner of the pantry looked like:

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Yikes!!! There were SO MANY Starbucks traveler mugs, random appetizer plates, small cups and mugs. It was a complete mess and now I can’t really understand how I found anything in there!

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And again I say… YIKES!!!!

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I just don’t even know.

So I spent a few hours one evening, taking everything out and only putting back things I really used and wanted to keep. This is the final product, and forgive all of these iPhone photos!

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I’m appreciating the thought of only keeping things that are actually of use to me, regardless of how “cool” they might be. Like I had mentioned before, it also significantly affects my spending habits because I can see what is actually of use to me, instead of having no idea what I have.

Also as a side note… I like REALLY love pink. It’s not for show or anything, haha. This garage sale had me purging a LOT of stuff. Today I was looking for my camera charger¬†and I realized there aren’t as many places it could be hiding as there used to be, and that was a GREAT feeling… also a scary one, because I was worried I’d lost it for good. It was just in my car ūüôā

Have you been bitten with the spring cleaning bug recently?


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May 12, 2016
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Things I’ve been doing instead of blogging

HEY.

First. Thanks for putting up with my sponsored posts. I actually really hate blogs that are one sponsored post after another, and at first I thought “by then, I’ll be back in my blogging groove and it won’t be as obvious.” SIKE! Four out of my five latest posts were sponsored, and for that I am really… truly… whole-heartedly sorry.

I had a whole lot of words written about what I do instead of blogging, but as I sat here writing this blog post, a real-life example came upon me and I thought I’d go ahead and just share it because it’s spot on.

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Then I moved on to “Martian.” and then I came here, deleted all of the words and uploaded that screen cap. So basically instead of blog, I¬†waste time on social media, go for drives, drink a lot of coffee, go to work, buy and prepare groceries, and go to Target.

My life is really super exciting.

But thanks for sticking with me in the ebb and flow of my blog and my life. You guys are peaches. I have quieted here on my blog and I’m really sporadic with ¬†my Instagram, but man I can tweet circles around people, so make sure you’re following me on Twitter.


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May 11, 2016
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The Big Red Bucket List

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatMattersToU #CollectiveBias

Every so often I declare a “GIRLS ONLY” post. This is one of them. Let’s have some girl talk.

The older I get, the worse my periods are. I think it’s my body getting increasingly more angry at me for not having children. Is that realistic? I imagine my lady parts saying “oh I’m doing this ANOTHER month and you’re STILL NOT DOING YOUR PART? WATCH ME RAGE!” Anyone else? Just me?

I read online (a really accurate source of information) that the average woman will spend… wait for it… 6.41 years of her life on her period. I’m sorry, what? I read that and started thinking… when I’m on my period, I like to just sit around, eat chocolate and feel really sorry for myself. If I spend my periods doing that, I’ll spend around 6 years of my life literally doing nothing.

No thank you.

That’s when I had this idea. I call it… The Big Red Bucket List. It’s all of the things I want to be intentional about doing in the days when I’m most inclined to do absolutely nothing. Some are little things, some are big things, but they’re all things to help me not waste my life.

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My Big Red Bucket List includes a combination of indulging, self-care and making sure to be intentional with my friendships, because 6.41 years is a long time to be out of touch and living in a cave. Not much in the world makes me happier than flowers, and looking over and seeing flowers in my room makes me feel happy.

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These beautiful flowers cost me $0 because they all came from my front yard! #blessed

and… I know this is weird, but I LOVE bridal magazines. Before Pinterest, I bought them all the time, and they really bring me a lot of joy. Bridal magazine + yoga pants + cozy socks + coffee = perfect morning, even when I just want to stay asleep forever.

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and there is few things more rewarding than crossing something off of a list, am I right? The best part is that this is a list that’s basically like “make sure you don’t waste a week of your life,” and it’s full of things that are awesome. What matters is just staying intentional about life even when I’m not feeling it.

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If I’m going to be an active participant in life, I need to be assured that the scientific part of my period is worry free. You know, the messy part of it. I always trust U by Kotex¬ģ to take care of me so I don’t have to worry about missing out. The¬†U by Kotex¬ģ Sleek and U by Kotex¬ģ Click¬ģ Tampons are my go-to choices. The Sleek are great to keep at home, and the Click are great for on-the-go.

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Oh. and y’all know how I am ALL ABOUT rewards and such?¬†If you pick up two packs of U by Kotex¬ģ products (might as well stock up in advance, right?) you just need to text UbyKotex to 811811, upload a photo of your receipt and register at ubykotexrewards.com and you¬†can get free songs and magazines. Rewards for necessities? Yes please. It’s open until May 31st, so you still have time to run to Walmart and take advantage of this offer.

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I (obviously) used a white board to write my bucket list, but I went ahead and made a little printable for you of your own Big Red Bucket List. I left a few blank spots so you can fill it in on your own.

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So. Girl Talk. What are the important things in your life that you don’t want to miss out on during your period?


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May 10, 2016
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Gluten-free snacks on-the-go (plus a giveaway!)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SavvySnacking #CollectiveBias

The first time I went to Nashville, I remember texting Ernie and feeling like a huge burden when I told him that I didn’t eat gluten. To people who have unrestricted food options, two weeks with a food intolerant guest could be a hassle. Luckily, he told me that his wife has food issues, gluten included, so I was fine. But that was when I decided that traveling while being gluten-free requires some preparation.

A few weeks ago, Justen and I went on a little road trip for a wedding. Before we left, I made sure to bring along some easy to grab gluten-free snacks. The great thing about these snacks is that while they are gluten-free, they were all appealing to everyone who ended up riding in my car!

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Before we hit the road, I stopped by Walmart to stock up on a variety of snacks that were sure to hit the spot for whatever cravings we may have. Gluten-free fruit snacks and to-go trail mixes, dried fruit and fruit pouches, and Lorissa’s Kitchen beef and pork. I saw these staring at me on the end of an aisle in three delicious sounding flavors – Korean Barbeque Beef, Sweet Chili Pork and Szechuan Peppercorn Beef.

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When I’m on the road I tend to crave meat, but my only options are drive thru or gas stations when we stop to fill up. Neither of them can guarantee a gluten-free product, so I was really excited to discover Lorissa’s Kitchen. In addition to being gluten-free, Lorissa’s Kitchen uses grass-fed beef and responsibly raised pork, making their snacks a healthy source of protein on the go. Yes. Please. Right now Lorissa’s Kitchen is offering a $100 Walmart gift card giveaway (which you can enter from this post – just scroll down!) and all I can think about is how many of these I could buy!

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We kept our snacks within arms reach in the back seat, and made sure to share with anyone who got in the car. Being on-the-go with a gluten intolerance can be tough, but thankfully companies like Lorissa’s Kitchen provide great – and delicious – options. My favorite was Lorissa’s Kitchen Korean Barbeque Beef. I already went back for seconds.

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Whether you’re on the go ¬†traveling or just always on the go, here are a list of great, convenient gluten-free options to keep handy (just remember to always check the labels). :

  • trail mix
  • squeezable apple/fruit sauce
  • dried fruit
  • pre-packed single servings of plantain chips
  • Lorissa’s Kitchen products
  • fruit
  • veggie chips
  • fruit snacks/bars
  • single serving bags of popcorn

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If you’re in need of some stocking up, I’ve got your back! Enter the #SavvySnackingSweepstakes for a chance to win a $100 Walmart gift card (you can thank me by gifting me one of each of the Lorissa’s Kitchen flavors, thank you very much!). and make sure to check out Lorissa’s Kitchen on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

Lorissa’s Kitchen #SavvySnackingSweepstakes


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May 6, 2016
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Celebrating Amazing Moms this Mother’s Day

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CelebrateAmazingMoms #CollectiveBias

I’ve got a thing for moms.
I think moms are some of the most amazing, brave, inspiring, selfless human beings around. There are a lot of different kinds of moms, but I have a thing for one kind in particular.

Single moms.

Any time I am babysitting, I think… what if this was my life? What if I was the sole caretaker and provider for these children? What if every day looked like this with no break and no other person to share the responsibility?

Whoa.

So when we talk about celebrating amazing moms, I think of single moms. Two in particular.

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One of my friends took custody of her cousin’s daughter when she was in need of a stable home. She went from living a very spontaneous and adventure-filled life to being the surrogate, single mom of a very sassy little girl. There was no baby shower to prepare her, no established history of discipline or experience.. just Anna and the child. I have watched her cry and brag and laugh about what her life looks like now, and I am so proud of her for giving up what was her “normal” life so that a child could experience one.

Another one of my friends is a single mom of a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old. Her 4-year-old girl is fighting cancer. A few weeks ago I got to see all of them, and I carried her kids around. She told me I could put them down if my arms got tired, but I kept thinking…¬†if I could have carried her, I would have. What a brave life she is living. She had the baby shower and has the history, but still her life requires so much strength. I am so proud of Annie.

They’re the ones I think of when it comes to amazing moms. American Greetings has a treasure chest of ideas to celebrate amazing moms this Mother’s Day. ¬†I decided to make them little purse emergency kits. I wanted them to know that I am thinking about them, I love their children, and I’m in their corner!

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I collected things that I thought they could use and need at any given moment and I came up with this list:

  • All-purpose wipes
  • tissues
  • Fruit Snacks
  • a small box of crayons
  • a first aid kit
  • stain remover wipes
  • hand sanitizer
  • lotion (for mom!)
  • Dove promise mint chocolates (for mom!)

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I stopped by Walmart to pick up the supplies I would need, and while I was there I grabbed some American Greetings cards and gift packaging. I loved that there were options that celebrated ALL moms РI found two brilliant, beautiful cards for my friends.

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After I bought the items, cards and packaging, I laid everything out, grabbed two travel-size bags and stuffed them. I made sure to top them off with the Dove promise chocolates because my guess is that if they were needing to grab anything else, they could also use a piece of chocolate first.

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The most important part of the whole thing, in my opinion, were the cards. The bags were cool, but I wanted to make sure I was filling them with encouragement and support, love and bravery. I picked the cards out very special to each one, and wanted to make sure they were aware of how much I admired them.

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Once the cards were done, it was time to package them. One of the women lives a few miles away, but the other one lives all the way in Idaho! Hers obviously is being packaged with a bubble envelope, but the other one was wrapped in fun American Greetings tissue paper and put in a beautiful bag.
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I can’t wait to let these wonderful single moms know how proud of them I am and to make sure they are fully and rightfully celebrated this Mother’s Day. Even though I am not a mom myself, I have always worked with children and know that the business of raising human beings is no joke. It can be tireless and thankless, so they need to be reminded of their strength and bravery.

Since most of us know multiple moms that deserve celebration, be sure to check out a Walmart.com offer¬†for $2 off a $5 American Greetings purchase¬†and don’t forget to visit the other great Mother’s Day ideas from American Greetings.

You can also take a quiz and see what kind of mom you are! I’m not a mom, but I took it anyway and I am apparently a Health and Wellness mom. What kind of mom are you and what amazing moms are you celebrating this year?


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April 26, 2016
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