Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Best - House improvements & inspiration, sales, and celebrations

Finally. Friday. This week was a quick one - lots of fun things, work headaches, and such. I hate to point this out, but the weekend ahead is the last full weekend in June. How did that happen? Alas, we have a whole lot of Summer ahead of us and I have another early out today (woot!). This week's bests include some home improvements I plan to make, inspiration, a good read, sales and celebrations.

Best new lighting
I have been eyeing some new lighting options for my dining area for a while. After a trip to Home Depot, I was unimpressed. After a trip to Menards, I was overwhelmed. But this one stuck with me & for that price, it is a win. Hoping to get it purchased and hung within the next 2 weeks (I have to wait for my Cattleman to be out of the straw fields).

Best celebrations
My friend Erika's 30th + my Mom's birthday + a going away dinner for my cousin

best surprise
My boss brought me back some Mother's Brewing beer from a weekend trip down to Springfield, MO - we can't get it here in STL - he brought me Loopty Loop (a lawnmower beer that pairs with blackberry cobbler) & Lil' Helper (a fave!)

Best Spotify playlist
I discovered a "Your Summer Rewind" playlist - It's a curated list of all of my old Summer favorites- check it out on your own account, I've been loving mine.

Best sips
I finally tried the coffee ice cubes at Starbucks and I had a refreshing moscow mule at BC's Kitchen

Best mantra 
:: Trust that what you want to cultivate matters enough to allow it to ripen over time as you take small steps forward and some big leaps along the way too. ::

Best read
I started listening to The Couple Next Door on audio book on Tuesday and I am already on chapter's so good!

Best  [sale] finds


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First Day of Summer

The first day of Summer is here! I've got my bucket list set & am ready to embrace the long, sunny days ahead. I wanted to pop in and share some things I love about Summer >>

+ loose agendas -- saying yes to last minute invites (baseball games + patio sips)
+ outdoor time -- dining, pool-ing, fishing, hiking, walking
+ county fairs
+ live music -- [upcoming] Eric Paslay, Jason Aldean, Chris Young, Diamond Rio and Sawyer Brown
+ less tv, more reading -- my library request list is longgg
+ road trips
+ fireworks
+ windows down driving
+ lake time -- have plans to head to Bennett Springs, The Lake of the Ozarks, and hoping for time at Mark Twain Lake
+ tan lines
+ gardening - mine is going in way late, but I hope it will provide some goodness
+ plants
+ popsicles

happenings from last Summer

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2017 - Halfway Point

We've hit the halfway point for 2017, friends. Last year I made a 2016 - Halfway Point post and wanted to repeat that concept again in 2017.

This time last year ::
 + I was nearing the one year mark in my home
+I was just getting to know the Cattleman and going on some first dates
+ I was looking forward to a trip to Portland (I still plan to recap that) and a week at the Lake of the Ozarks
+ I was celebrating Father's Day & my Dad's birthday for the first time without him

This time this year ::
+ I'm nearing the 2 year anniversary of being in my home, continue to make  progress on settling in and one of my cousins is planning to move into my finished basement for a bit.
+ I'm past the one-year mark with my Cattleman
+ I booked a trip to Mexico to celebrate my 30th
+ I have lots of wedding festivities on the books for two of my best gal pals getting married this Fall
+ I'm assessing my 2017 Intentions (falling behind on the recipe front) & my Year 29 goals (this month I am resetting my investments)

To accomplish in the next 6 months ::
+ investing more strategically (and maybe in a new car)
+ brew beer
+create a home office and more efficient storage
+give myself more grace
+ form better habits/routines (meditate, AM workouts, more "me" time, more sleep, etc) 

So, again this year, I feel I am in a good space and am in a better space than this time last year, it would be great if this continues to be a norm.
I think my family & I are in a pretty good space right now. Settling into new norms - 
-My Mom has been rearranging and organizing her home, she's going on a trip to the beach this Summer with family- and while she has her bad days, she seems pretty happy.
-My brother is settling into his new home and getting the urge to decorate, paint, etc. He stays busy socially and has finally mastered the lawn care routine (this was a big hoot last Summer).
-Both of them really like the Cattleman and we have all been spending a good amount of time together these days. I've been enjoying all the extra time with them in my hometown (even if it means I am a nomad and always packing a weekend bag).

Where are you at with your goals for 2016? How is the year treating you?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Best - Sweet Summertime

Hi friends. It's Friday, I get to leave a bit early today, and I have free Starbucks in hand - definite good vibes over here. This weekend I have pool time on the agenda, maybe stand up paddle-boarding, a wedding to attend, and family time on my parents' farm (fishing + bbq-ing) for Father's Day & to celebrate my Dad's birthday.
Another edition of a Friday Best with a highlight on Summer nights, podcasts, inspiration and more.

Best podcasts
I started listening to the first episode of the Up and Vanished podcast this week as per Kimmie's suggestion /  Also, I follow Natalie's blog & find her lifestyle and her business very inspiring, so when I saw she was a guest on a podcast I went on over to listen & suggest you so the same!

Best evening
I took an impromptu drive out to the Cattleman's farm on Thursday this week. Usually I save those treks for the weekends...but he's had a busy week full of late nights working straw and prepping for baling hay this I drove out and soaked up some evening sun on one of his farms then we headed to BWW for 75 cent wings and patio vibes.

Best mantra
:: Find contentment in the journey :: 
I finished The Magnolia Story this week & this was the theme they ended on - I love this message.

Best interviews
My 9-5 gig is recruiting. Specifically, I recruit for accounting and finance roles. Sometimes the role can be trying and others times it is very rewarding. This week has been filled with the latter. I've interviewed so many genuine people this week who truly need some help in their job search - whether it's interview tips, resume advice or just some confidence in their skillset. You learn so much about a person when they are in an interview, your resume tells a lot about your story, and this week two people have been brought to tears during my interviews with them while telling their stories. I know I made an impact on these candidates and they did the same to me. It's a nice feeling to get in a corporate gig and I hope to find them a role that's a great fit for them.

Best weekly finds [Mexico prep edition]

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Bucket List

It's time to share a Summer Bucket List, folks. This one has two parts. First, is the list that the Cattleman and I put together for the Summer & the second is a list of things I want to be sure to do in the St. Louis area
+ get sand between our toes (ideally more than once)
+ take a long drive on a sunny day  with no set destination
+ eat ice cream on a DQ patio
+ have a picnic on the farm
+ drive go karts
+ see Eric Paslay at the O'Fallon Heritage & Freedom Fest
+ go to a drive in movie
+ kayak
+ go to a Rascals game

Lou List --
+ get to Slider House for more patio sittin' & acoustic music listenin'
+ head to the Botanical Gardens for the Whitaker Music Festival
+ check out Third Wheel Brewing
+ shop at Blooming Daisy Marketplace
+ partake in outdoor yoga
+ hit a new farmers' market

Previous Lou Lists

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hey there -- Starting Summer

A hodge podge of mini notes to miscellaneous things/people/days/whatevers. One to kick off Summer vibes for the season.

Hey there, plants
I love watching you grow. I wish the squirrels would leave you be. You are all flourishing at the moment.

Hey there, chat books
You have endless (affordable) possibilities
Hey there, french press
You are coming in handy for making cold brew coffee.
2/3 cup ground coffee + 3 cups water. Stir, sit in fridge for 12 hours, press, sip.

Hey there, fishing adventures
I love spending a Summer day this way. This picture was a whopper the Cattleman caught on my parents' farm. We have a few more places we fish, but this spot is a favorite. We spent Mother's Day bbq-ing and fishing and plan to do the same on Father's Day. 

Hey there, weekend getaways
You're good for the soul.

Hey there, weddings
You sure are filling up my calendar this year. I have one for a hometown friend this weekend.
Hey there, 8 inches
You got donated and now I am adjusting to styling a new do. Nice little Summer refresh.

Hey there, June horoscope
Talks of having travel fever, being social and re-evaluating my daily schedule/habits are all spot on. I want to re-work my sleep habits - earlier bedtime and rising earlier to get in AM workouts and allowing time for productivity. I also like the suggestion of writing down thoughts to get clear on what I want out of the next 6 months. Halfway through 2017.

Hey there, patio season
You sure send out some good vibes. I love soaking up nice weather with a friend and a nice outdoor scene.

Hey there, ladder blanket
You're a good addition to the Shack. 

Hey there, Summer reading
I'm about to the halfway mark for the Summer reading program at the library. Currently on my request list : Hello, Sunshine (excited for this - 4 of 16 holds), Into The Water,
The hate u give, The Sunshine Sisters, In the Unlikely Event,
The Identicals

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Best

This has been one heck of a I right? The full moon coming tonight has made things nutty at work.But, we made it. Almost to the weekend finish line. Today I'm just going to post a few updates/rambles.
  1.  First up -- The Cattleman and I booked a trip to Mexico this week! I turn 30 in October so we are going over my birthday week to celebrate!!! It will be the first time both of us jet off to Mexico (remember what happened the first time I tried??) and we found an affordable option that comes recommended to us- The image above is from the resort.
  2. I went to see Kaleo this week and they were so so good. The lead singers vocals have such a range AND it was at my favorite venue - The Pageant. Also of note, I am far too old to be going to concerts on a week night..which I already the next day is always a doozy, but I managed to be very productive (surprisingly).
  3. Summer Throwbacks is playing on Spotify & Hot in Here is currently on. Speaking of, it's supposed to get toasty this weekend. mid 90's
  4. We have a friend BBQ tonight hosted at Emily's cute farmhouse (see!). I'm excited to hang outside, play washers, drink craft beer and eat some grilled grub. 
  5. My cousin is considering moving in with me- I have a finished basement with a full bath, room and living room that never gets used- and she came over this week to talk specifics. Now I need to get in gear to rid some clutter and free up some space for her to utilize and get things in order. We are having fun scheming up ideas.
  6. I started looking at some storage shelving for my unfinished room in my basement and also items to get my office in place. Good timing since both are my Q2 home goals. 
  7. And more home talk - I am wanting to switch out my living room ceiling fan, dining room light, and sink pendant light - so I scouted options at Menards this week.
  8. The Cattleman helped me stain my garden bed last night and do some outdoor work. My back patio is lookin' good! Now to host some BBQs.
  9. My weekend is full to the max again, but that's what Summer is. Lots of plans/parties/family + friend time - and I love it.
Enjoy your weekend, folks.