Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving is amazing, isn't it? And while everyone had a great time, no one is really that sad that it's over either, usually. Because the Christmas holiday is right around the corner! Well, tomorrow may be December 1st, but today I'm recapping our Thanksgiving holiday because it was definitely an interesting and exciting one!

Thanksgiving morning, we woke up and headed out, so that I could run the Turkey Trot! A friend of ours ran with me, and while he did absolutely amazing, placing 2nd in his age group, I did not. A few weeks ago, I discovered some pain in my right foot, and I was told it was a stress fracture. I thought I let it heal enough, but apparently, I'm stubborn (who would have thought?), and I started training back too soon. It felt okay for the race, but at the second water tent, someone was eager to get a cup and stepped on it making me fall and re-injuring it all over again. I ended up walking almost the last mile and then running it in at the end. Thankfully, my husband was there at the end cheering me on with our dog, and I grabbed her to have the push to finish! If he would have known it was hurting so bad, he probably wouldn't have let me, but what can I say, I'm really stubborn sometimes! Earned that medal that day! ;)

Later that day, we went over to a friend's house for Thanksgiving since we were all away from our families. We played games, watched the football games (of course, yay for a Seahawks win! P.S. I'm forced to cheer for them due to my husband. Still a Vikings fan!), and ate a delicious dinner. I was seriously so full that I didn't even want dessert. That's when you know I'm entirely too stuffed!

My family on Thanksgiving. The cat looks upset, but he was purring, so don't let that fool you!
It's so nice having close friends here to celebrate with! I hosted Friendsgiving for a few of my other good friends a couple days before, and it just makes you feel so blessed that you have people you care about (and who care about you) to spend it with! So very blessed and grateful!

On Black Friday, since this is the first Black Friday in four years that I did not have to work in the retail world, I definitely didn't want to brave the crowds for sales, so we opted to go skiing instead. Since my foot felt okay and was just a little sore and not swollen, I thought it would be fine. Well, when we got to the resort, just trying to walk in my ski boots a few steps was more than I could handle and sent me into tears. So much for skiing! We ended up at Urgent Care to make sure it wasn't seriously injured or broken. Turns out it was still the original diagnosis, but I was given a boot to wear. Not my favorite accessory, but it seems to be helping. Just a couple of weeks of it and then a couple more of rest and activity as I feel okay enough, and I should be good to go!


Friday night, we finished off another great weekend (Randy's days off are Thursdays and Fridays anyway) by watching his alma mater play that school I work for! There weren't many North Dakota fans there, and they got crushed by the Utes (not that I'm too sad, I'm a Utes fan, too!), but we still cheered them on! 

We both look exhausted from the busy week! Sheesh!
What did you do on Thanksgiving? Anyone brave the crowds for Black Friday, and if so, how crazy was it? I heard it wasn't too bad this year! :)

Happy Late Thanksgiving, and Here's to a Wonderful 2014 Holiday Season!

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Gifts for Days at Jane!

In honor of Black Friday today, I thought I would share a little about the company I love the most for giving and receiving gifts... Jane! Have you ever heard of Jane? Well, if you haven't, let me tell you about it and all of its awesomeness!
Jane is an online deal site that offers up to a hundred "daily boutique deals" every day at lowered prices. They sell items from various boutiques that they work with at prices slashed 40% or lower! All of the items they offer are the newest, trendiest, most-wanted there are, so they go fast! They release new deals at midnight every night, and they go on sale for 72 hours or until they run out of the stock they have on hand. And if it runs out quickly, they try to restock it as soon as possible, so don't lose hope! They sell everything from the cutest wardrobe items to home decor to accessories to beauty supplies. I can seriously find something for almost everyone on my list, including the young ones because there are items on there for kids, too! The guys are a little tougher to find products for as most men don't seem to like fashion or home decor, as much, but I'm sure you could find things they would like, too.

In honor of Black Friday, they are cutting prices even more, so go check them out today! Here are a few of my favorite finds recently! When I say a few, I mean a ton. Because like when I'm shopping at this online store, I can hardly pick!

I have one of these and love it!

Aren't these adorable? They would be so cute on a baby!

How adorable are these?!

Love this one!!

Wouldn't this be perfect for a Christmas party?

This would be so perfect for an accessory to the white lace top above!

Perfect for this cold weather!

So many options that would go with any existing home decor!

These are sooo cute!

I LOVE the Vikings print!

Told you there would be something for boys! :)

I would love to have this in my home someday! Isn't it cute?

My absolute favorite! If it's not there when you check, stick around,
 and it'll probably come back around soon!

Find something you liked? I mean, how could you not? Click on the link below to shop these deals and others!!

Image Map

Thursday, November 27, 2014


It may seem obvious that "Gratefulness" is the title for my blog post today with the fact that it is Thanksgiving, but truly, friends, I have sat down at my computer to write this post at least a dozen times. I keep adding and re-writing because I constantly feel that I don't have the right words to say to express how truly grateful I am.

You see, I had a really rough couple of years before I reached a turning point in my life and before I met my sweet husband. Times when I never thought I would see a time when I was legitimately happy. I was still truly blessed with so much at that point in time, but now, looking back, I am speechless. The blessings in my life outnumber all of the not-so-good times, and I wake up happy every day. I find myself just sitting in my car thinking about all of the good in my life, and I don't know if I will ever be able to find the words to thank the Lord for all that he has done in my world and how He has changed my life. Because of Him, I made it through the hard times to stand in the place that I am now, and I am truly grateful.

When I was younger, we would always go to a friend's house for Thanksgiving. In reality, the friends were more like family, and we knew all of the visitors that would be there. We always shared what we were thankful for, and my answer was always "friends" or "family" or "the opportunity to spend today with each of you." And while those answers were always true, they did not express my gratitude enough.

This year, I will be without my mother, father, and siblings on Thanksgiving. I will still be with family, my husband and our dog and cat, but it's still a different feeling for me, and at times I have felt sad. But I am thankful that I will be able to speak to them and know they are safe and enjoying each other's company while I enjoy being beside my husband with our close friends. I will be appreciative that I have the chance to visit them and talk often, as there are so many that have lost their loved ones and will be without them this holiday season. I am grateful that my family is growing, and I have such a wonderful new family, as well. I have the chance to be a daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, and aunt but never feel like an "in law"  because they have embraced me in their lives, as well.

That husband of mine brings me such joy, and I thank God every day for that love in my heart. That he put the two of us together, to continually uplift and encourage one another, to constantly support and enjoy each other's company. To be best friends living every moment beside the other.

I am humbled by new beginnings. By opportunities that range far and wide and for the chance to experience this amazing world. I am grateful for new friends and when I miss my family, remembering the families that are apart on this day because they are serving our country either domestically or overseas. I am thankful for hobbies, especially the chance to run on this cold morning  and accomplish another goal when so many don't have that same opportunity.

Most of all, I'm grateful for the future. The chance to make memories and chase dreams and continue living every day.

And I'm thankful for you. You are the reason I write. Your encouraging words and support make blogging so enjoyable for me, and the passion I feel when it comes to this blog grows every day. Thank you for making it meaningful for me.

On this day, and every day, I am thankful for life. Let us remember to embrace each day even more than the one before. To brush off the bad and remember all of the good. To live for one another and to encourage each other. And let us pray for peace both in our nation and in our world. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Free, Downloable Friendsgiving Printables

Who says you can't write two posts in one day? I have so much coming up for you, and I know many people are hosting Friendsgiving dinners ahead of Thanksgiving (or this upcoming weekend!), so I wanted to share the two printables I made for our dinner. I will do a full recap on the blog of our Friendsgiving dinner later! I made a general printable, as well as a menu printable (which you have full access to edit!). My husband and I are pretty traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving menus, so most of the items on our menu are ones you would expect. Hope this helps if you are hosting one!!

What are you doing this Thanksgiving? Share below in the comments! I am running a 10K Turkey Trot on Thursday morning with a close friend, and then my husband and I are going over to her and her husband's house to watch football, hang back, eat appetizers, and then eat the big turkey dinner at 5! We're excited for a week full of festivities!

Happy Holiday season! I consider tomorrow to be the start of the Holiday season, and it's my favorite time of the year. I hope you're enjoying it as much as we are!

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Dollar Store & Other Cheap Finds for Home Organization

I'm becoming an organizational freak. There, I said it. Seriously. If I can organize something on my day off or rearrange a drawer to make it look better, I'll do it. So one night, I decided to look online and find some baskets, cubbies, etc., that I could use to better organize my home. The downside was they were all so expensive! The next day I took a trip to the Dollar Store to see what I could find there, and I scored big. I found most of what I needed to complete the organization of my closets and cabinets!

I found this basket at Dollar Tree!

All of the baskets were purchased at Dollar Tree. I want to use a curtain rod to hang the bottles, but for now they fit nicely in the back and are easily accessible still.

Soon, I will get baskets for the towels, but the two white baskets contain extra essentials and toilet paper. There is also a "in case someone forgot something" ziploc container for guests!

Everything but the clear container was found at dollar tree. I use the red stackable containers for medicines with labels dividing them into: "First Aid/Pain Relievers/Cold/Flu." The clear container contains larger medicine bottles (refills). The container on top contains candles and scent refills.

I organized my bathroom drawer into: bobby pins, pony tails/elastic bands, and extra make-up. These containers were found at Dollar Tree and hook together to stay in place. 

This is the other bathroom drawer. The white basket was found at Dollar Tree and contains essentials, like my hair brush, contact solution, extra contacts, etc. The other bag was a gift and contains my daily make-up. :)

I found these shower curtain hooks at Dollar Tree and used them to separate and hang all of my scarves. 

This is also a Dollar Tree find. It hangs and can contain whatever you need it to! I use it to organize our shoes!

These are two baskets we already have, but there are similar ones for cheap at Target and Wal-Mart. I use one to hold extra blankets and the other to hold more shoes (I have a lot), especially the bigger ones like boots. These are the shoes that we most often wear. The other shoes get placed in the organizer. 

These are old finds from Wal-Mart, but they work great for holding other necessary items that may not be used on a daily basis. One contains extra beauty tools and socks. The other contains extra winter accessories (like beanies, gloves), skirts, and athletic shorts. The top container is from Dollar Tree and holds all of my perfume!

This is a Dollar Tree organizer that I use to hold the additional shoes that don't fit in the other one. I have too many shoes!

I found this basket for cheap at Wal-Mart! I love it because it keeps all of our daily things in the bathroom organized and not spread all over the counter.

This is our master bathroom cabinet. It has "His" and "Hers" baskets from Dollar Tree that contain materials we don't use every day. The back ones are also from Dollar Tree and contain "feminine supplies" and "razors/refills."

Another cheap basket that I found here at Smith's (Kroger store). We put our shoes that we wear that day to keep them off the floor.  

A great basket find at a garage sale! It keeps all of Honey's toys in place!

The chalkboard is very inexpensive from Michaels, and I write our weekly meal plan on it (you can download my free organizational spreadsheet to help with yours here)! The mail keeper was from Wal-Mart for under $4, and I use it to keep an envelope with our weekly coupons and my meal planning spreadsheet. The grocery notepad was a gift, but it's so helpful for keeping track of what's needed at the store! The bottom container keeps a pen, pencil, and scissors, and this container was from Dollar Tree!

These are other great finds! I would love someday to be able to have all of my baskets match, but for now, I am just trying to be cost-effective. These are two baskets from Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and I absolutely love them! One holds scrapbooking supplies, while the other holds other craft supplies!

The white bin was from Wal-Mart, but I saw something similar at Dollar Tree. It has extra post-it notes, markers, and pencils. The top container was from Dollar Tree and contains thumb tacks. The long container beside it was also from DT and has a stapler and staple remover. This table was built by my amazing dad and used to be part of a coffee table (I will show more about that soon!), but now it is in our office, and I love how we use it to organize our office supplies! This way, our desk only has a few pens in a cup, Kleenex box, and computer!

In our desk cabinet, we have a red folder that contains important information that has already been addressed but needs to be kept close (like airline tickets, reservations, or item invoices that are ordered but have not arrived yet). The basket I found at Target for cheap, and we use it to contain the envelopes on the right. Each envelope has a credit card that we use, and after it has been processed and placed in our budget tracker, we put the receipts in there. Once the month is over and the bill has been paid, it goes into a large expandable file. It's the best system and works so well for us!

All of these are from Smith's (Kroger Store), except for a couple we had before. It makes it so much easier not to have to deal with bags of flour, etc. It's made life so much easier! Next, we are hoping to get containers for cereal! We just don't have much cabinet space yet... 

As far as the labels go, I just made my own! Soon, I am hoping to make ones for all of the containers that MATCH, and when I do, I will post those on the blog!

Thanks for following along with my home organization tour! Just a reminder, if you haven't entered the giveaways that were on the blog Sunday and Monday, you still can here and here! They both end November 30th at Midnight! So head over there and enter! 

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Much Love!

Much Love!