Fall is Here!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Warm days with cool evening. Apple picking. Pumpkin patches. Warm cider. Football. Scarves. The list could go on and on. Oh Fall, I always dread your arrival but I love you once you get here!

Does anybody else feel that way? I think I dread it because I know that Winter is next and I dread those short days and long nights. But all the perks of fall definitely make up for it.

One of my absolute favorite things about Fall (and Christmas for that matter) is decorating the house! I love being able to transform the house into different looks and feels with the seasons or holidays. And this year I'm all about some pumpkins!

This is actually my first year of decorating the house myself. Before living with my parents, my mom always decorated, but I'm finally getting my hand at it. NPG's mom and sister also used to decorate so we had some of their leftover fall decorations. I loved being able to mix their fun cozy decorations with mine and bring it all together. Plus it is a great chance for me to practice my interior photography! :)


Happy Fall Y'all!

Photography Passion Brought to Life

Friday, September 9, 2016

Photography has always been a passion of mine. I went into high school (so long ago *frown* ) knowing that I wanted to work on the yearbook and take awesome pictures that would be captured forever. I got my first DSLR back sometime around 2008 (maybe before then?!) but you can read more about that and my new camera here. After posting that I saw a Groupon for a walking tour for photography. The photographer would teach you how to use your camera and walk with you through the city showing you how to compose your pictures. 

Hands on help is always better helpful so I bought the Groupon for my mom and I. This Groupon was almost disastrous, but it worked out in the end. I put a sneak peak of some of my pictures in my August Vlog

After getting quite a few shots I really liked I set out to figure out ways to better edit my photos in Photoshop. I was able to figure out some "actions" and got free downloads, score! I was able to make my pictures look brighter and more vibrant with this. For example here is the before and after of my mom and I that the photographer took while we were at the park.

Even since editing this photo I've learned so much more! I want to keep getting better and sharing my photos (and hopefully one day make some money because of it). But right now, I just want to share my photos. So I created an Unsplash account. If you are unfamiliar with them, it is free pictures you can use in any way you want to. I loved using pictures from there for my blog. So now I'm glad I can give back. My goal is to get 20 likes on my photos!

You can check out some of my pictures, like them or use them for whatever you want! Click HERE to go to my Unsplash page! 

Dinner Ideas for Busy People

Friday, September 2, 2016

It gets very hard trying to come up with dinners to cook when you work in the evening. Cooking dinner for me takes place at roughly 7 or 8 am! I proceed to pack it up in to-to containers for myself and put the rest in the fridge for NPG for dinner. It's not easy to ask yourself what you want to eat for dinner when it's nearly 12 hours before dinner time!

I decided the best move for me to make was to make a meal plan for the month (August) and it extremely helped me to know what I was cooking and actually cook it. Plus it saved on grocery bills since we knew exactly what we were going to eat and what we needed to buy. I think one week I spent $40 for the whole week, minus dog food and alcohol.

Some of these recipes I saw on friends pages so I will list the links below so you can also try them out. Some really turned out to be favorites so I switched out some meals to make our favorites again.  

Basically I tried to have something new at least twice a week and have leftovers often so the fridge didn't get too piled up with food since it's only 2 of us eating. I'm thinking for some of the casseroles I may cut them in half next time because I know personally I get tired of a meal after eating it twice. But I can say the dog sure enjoyed the leftovers that we didn't finish. Also, I didn't plan for the weekends because we could be doing anything or going anywhere so they were often quick meals or eating out.

So without further ado, here is my August meal plan:

Recipes linked by date

3. Goulash
8. Stuffed Bell Peppers
9 (23). Skillet Sausage and Veggies
11. Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
12. Cowboy Casserole
15. One Skillet Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
17. King Ranch Casserole
18. Buffalo Ranch Chicken Quesadillas

If y'all know of any other great recipes please share them!  I'm still filling in my future months calendars!

Highlights of August

Friday, August 26, 2016

I have slowly been getting back into the blogging game. I'm basically a one-day-a-week blogger now (better 1 day than none, right?!) and so a lot of stuff gets left out when I only blog roughly 4 times a month.

So last month I saw how Elizabeth did a cool vlog of her adventures throughout the month and I really liked the idea, so I'm totally stealing her idea and making my own vlog to update y'all when I don't always blog about everyday life. Though everyday life isn't always that interesting, I tried to throw in the highlights.

What have you been up to this month?!

Finding Reading Time in a Busy Schedule

Friday, August 19, 2016

I swear my free time has diminished to about 5 hours a week. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but that's what it feels like. In all honestly though, between working a full time job that sometimes requires Saturday hours, training for the half marathon and just keeping up the house, reading falls somewhere behind blogging on the list of when to get things done.

Every year I create a goal to read 20 books on Goodreads and so far, every year I have fallen short. This year seemed to be the same (see all of my excuses above). I tried multiple times to sit down and read but every time I lost interest in about 2.5 seconds because there were other things I needed to be doing or I was just plain tired and wanted a nap. So far this year I have read 8 books and only one of this has been paperback.

Okay, so how do you read books when you have a busy schedule? Well, my answer has been audiobooks. I rediscovered them in all of their glory. Yes 7 of the 8 books I "read" I actually listened to. Most of them I listened to while driving back and forth to work. But it's also easy for me to listen when I'm cooking or cleaning.

This year I have read: The Girl on Legare Street, Who Moved My Cheese, Low Pressure, Texas Lucky, Lethal, The Heart Goes Last, Demon Rumm, and Rogue Lawyer.

I have also discovered a new favorite author, Sandra Brown. I have fallen in love with her writing style and can't get enough. I've read 4 of her books this year, that doesn't sound like a lot but for me, it is.

I also wanted to revive the Read Across America map! I have started adding a few new books to it.

My two new adds for this year are Texas with Low Pressure by Sandra Brown and also Louisiana with Lethal also by Sandra Brown. Next up in Tennessee with Ford Country by John Grisham.

How do you fit reading into your busy schedule?
What have you been reading?