Catching Up On “Me Time”

I know, I know.. I’ve been MIA for almost a month now. It was much easier to attempt to update this during the winter when I didn’t have quite as much going on. But I’ve been doing SO much for work recently and I’ve been trying to stay outside as much as possible with the dogs on nice days. So my dear sweet blog has been neglected.. which I kind of knew it would. Hopefully I can get myself together and motivated and actually make this blog something real, but it’s been so hard lately!

So this update is going to be a random collection of what’s been going on in my life lately..

1.) My hubby’s aunt has a habit of collecting random items.. and happened to have a very old, very large pool table in her basement. It’s a Brunswick, which is supposedly a really good brand. Needless to say, we have since become the new owners of this pool table and have been working on fixing it up for the last week or so.  We’ve finally cleaned and painted everything, now we just need to wait for the billiards place to finish everything else and come back to put it together! And yes, it’s going in our garage. We both have SUVs and they won’t fit in there together, so we decided to just stop using it as a garage and turn it in a mancave/bar for my hubby. He’s SUPER excited.

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In his aunt’s basement.

 

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All taken apart, ready to be painted.

2.) I’ve been attempting to eat healthier. If you know me, you know I eat junk food and fried foods like there’s no tomorrow. So I’ve decided to try one new vegetable a week! So far I’ve discovered brussel sprouts, chick peas, and kale.  I can officially say I’m obsessed with brussel sprouts! Sauteed in a littleeee butter and lots of lemon pepper, yum yummmm.

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3.) April Beauty Boxes! I didn’t take pictures of my Birchbox, so we’ll just have to wait for my May box. I’m going to wait until the Nail Files Friday for my Julep box. So that leaves me with.. Ipsy! April’s box had a pink theme to it. Pink bag, pink blush, pink eyeshadow, pink nail polish.. and then a non-pink hair product. I plan on trying the hair product tomorrow. I’m not a huge fan of pink eyeshadow, but the colors were pretty. Anddd I love the blush, it gives me such a pretty rosy glow 🙂 and while I haven’t used the polish yet, I love the color. As always, I’m not super in loveee with my Ipsy items, but I was definitely happy with the contents.

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It all came in pretty boxes too!

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Inside the bag.

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4.) I received my first BzzKit! I’m going to make a separate post to give my actual review of it.. but I was super excited to receive my first box in the mail! Who doesn’t love receiving free items?!

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5.) As you may know, I’m a nurse on a renal unit. Well, one of my coworkers discovered these awesome pins for our badges and she ordered a whole bunch of them so we can all have one. How cute is this little guy?! This company is super awesome and has pins of almost ANY organ. All nurses should seriously check it out 🙂

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The little kidney is the actual pin.

 

Well, that was random but my doggies are cuddling and I need to start the laundry. Until later!

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Must. Learn. To. Garden.

We moved into our house almost exactly a year ago and I vowed to start a garden this spring.. butttt I have way too much going on with work right now and it’s just not going to happen. BUT we are thinking about fixing up our landscaping a little bit and I have fallen in love with..

Container Gardens!

Seriously, they’re just too adorable. So here’s a bunch of pictures 🙂

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You could totally grow herbs in these!

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Bright, cheerful, and so pretty.

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Topsy turvy pots. Love this.

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Cute country barrels.

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Huge and busy, but motivation!

What gardening tips do you have?

The Return of ME!

I am SO sorry for being MIA lately. I felt like I was doing so good at blogging – and I was so proud of myself! – but then the weather started spiraling downhill and raining and/or snowing for days and days. And it was so cold and dreary. And work has been absolutely insane the last month. I just felt like I needed a few weeks to relax and cuddle on the couch and have me time. But I think I’m back now and I have so much to talk about! Where oh where do I begin?

First of all, I officially have my own domain name!

http://www.lovelywanderingthoughts.com

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We’re getting too much of this lately.

Second, I finally caught up on everyone’s blogs.. and you guys are as awesome as ever!! I tried to like and/or comment on quite a few posts (some of you may have been bombarded with both!) but I just wanted to let ya’ll know I haven’t forgotten about you!

Third, I found this awesome recipe for Lemon Pepper Chicken Divan on Amber’s blog over at Momma In Bloom. It was so creamy and cheesy and just plain yummy! I don’t have an oven-safe skillet, so I just put it in a 9×13 Pyrex pan and it worked fine. I definitely recommend trying it out!

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Fourth, my beauty products! I’ve been contemplating cancelling my Birchbox, so I didn’t bother writing anything about February’s box. I should be receiving March’s soon. I’ll discuss my Julep box on Friday (for the Friday Nail Files). And that leads me to.. my first Ipsy bag! I actually received it in February, so I’m not going to go into TONS of details – as my March bag should be arriving soon – buttt you can check out this awesome blog called Pearls and Paris and she goes into much more detail (we received the same bag!) AND gives discount codes for all the items. Unfortunately, I’m a little late to update and the codes expire tomorrow.. so get shopping!

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Quick review Black patent leather makeup bag – looks kind of cheap, but still cute for little items. Eye shadow pallette – the yellow looks a little too bright, but I’m willing to try it. Primer – went on super smooth and made my skin feel really soft. Mascara – I’m very, very faithful to my current mascaras but it defined my lashes nicely and didn’t get clumpy. Lash card – I have tried these things before and was not impressed, so I just threw mine out. BUT the winning item in this bagthe gel eyeliner!! I am not a fan of liquid eyeliner and I always have difficulty finding pencil liners that give me the look I want. I used a small eyeliner brush to apply the gel liner.. and I instantly fell in love! Overall, I was super impressed and the $10/mth price is pretty awesome too 😉

Fifth, my BFF from PA introduced me to this jewelry brand called Alex and Ani. They sell bracelets that are like charm bracelets – except they’re bangles! Their prices vary (some are quite expensive!), but most of them are really affordable. I’ve never been a fan of charm bracelets – they’re a little too gaudy for me – but these bangles are seriously SO cute.

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$48 – source

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$38 – source

And lastly, I was tagged by the lovely Mrs. Burnett for a Five Things About Me challenge and I figured.. why not?

One – I have a problem with things that don’t match or things that aren’t consistent. A few examples – I have all 4 books in the Twilight series but only one is paperback and it drives me crazy every time I look at it. I color code all my notes at work and if I write something down in blue instead of green on accident, it’ll seriously drive me nuts until I can either rewrite everything or use white-out to fix it. I can’t think of anything else right now (way too sleepy!) but you get the idea. Is this OCD-like behavior?

Two – I have baby fever to the extreme. Like I really, really, really want a baby. Most people are aware of this. (Mom – are you aware of this?!) The hubby is well aware of this and is – thankfully – on the same track as me. So yay 🙂

Three – I don’t feel like the same person I was before my grandparents died. Sometimes I don’t understand how I’m continuing to live my life without them. I know I was running away when I moved to NC. I know I did it because I couldn’t handle living in the same town they lived in. It hurt too much. Thankfully I love our home and the city we live in, but it’s sometimes hard to know I’m here because I wanted to hide from my fears.

Four – I could watch HGTV for hours and hours and hours and not get bored. Seriously! I love watching shows about people house hunting or renovating their houses or selling their houses or anything! If I even watch 2 seconds of a show, I have to watch the whole episode because I need to find out what happens! I get drawn in so easily!

Five – I got a tattoo my senior year in college. It’s a red rose on my right hip bone. Yes, it hurt. No, I don’t regret it. Yes, I still love it every time I look at it. And yes, I sometimes contemplate getting a second one but I don’t know if I have the guts to do it!

Feel free to join in and write 5 things about yourself on your blog – just don’t forget to tag me! 😉

Worst. Blogger. Ever.

Okay, so I’m a terrible, terrible blogger this week.

I know I’ve been slacking lately (this rainy weather will be the death of me), but this week has been awful. Tomorrow morning when I leave work.. I’ll have worked 55 hours this week. Sooo not like me. I am not the type of girl that does overtime. But here we are.

I’m sorry for not updating you all about my life. But I haven’t forgotten about any of you! I promise! I’ll try to think of something good to talk about this weekend 🙂 hope everyone’s enjoying their Friday!

A Good Day of Purchases

Well, I noticed I’ve been quite random in my updates lately.. but apparently my life is quite chaotic. So let me begin with this (only because it’s currently the #1 annoyance in my life).. some people think that having curly hair is so cute and EASY. Everyone assumes that you put in a little product and blow dry with a diffuser and BAM, you have luscious, curly perfection.

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Not my hair.

Well, I’m going to share something with you all.. something that might scare you a little bit.. the picture below is what REAL curly hair looks like after some product and some blow drying. (I only use about 2-3 hair products a day, but I feel the need to frequently and obsessively alternate them). Yep, this is what I deal with on a daily basis. I get my hair trimmed religiously every 6 weeks. I buy hair products that are way too expensive. Hair products that when I tell my husband how much they cost.. I only tell him 50% of the real cost. Seriously. It’s like Medusa meets Mufasa! After blow drying, I have to let it “settle” for about 10 minutes before I can even make it slightly manageable. Ugh.

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Only some of my hair products.

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Apparently I have a lazy eye in this picture.

Someday I’ll learn to deal with – and successfully manage – this scary mop on my head. Until then.. Ugh.

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From Pinterest.

And Realization #2 – I realized my boot addiction has reached a new high.. especially since my mom has been in town visiting. I’ve purchased THREE pairs since Friday. Yep, three pairs. I’m too lazy to go upstairs to take a picture of the third pair.. so I’ll only share two of them with you right now. The first is an awesome pair with tassels from Ninewest that was on CLEARANCE. They’re dark brown and super comfy.

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Ninewest.

The second pair is a camel colored bootie with a little bit of a heel and some buckles. Super comfy and beautiful! I’ve been dying to try this camel trend but I wasn’t really sure of what to pair them with.. apparently anything matches! LOVE! And again, super awesome sale from Rue21. Just because I’m almost 26 doesn’t mean that I can’t find awesome deals at Rue21!

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Rue21.

Next stop in our journey was Costco. Again.. LOVE! Picked up another set of stemless glassware – supposedly they’re meant to be used for wine, but I love using them for just plain ol’ southern sweet tea (you can find the PERFECT recipe right here).

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Wine is always yummy.

We also found an awesome set of ceramic knives by Kitchenaid. It’s a set of 3 knives and a peeler. I didn’t take an actual picture (and again, I’m feeling particularly lazy right now), but I found this picture (below) of the exact same thing on Google images. You can read about ceramic knives here.  I can’t wait to actually use them!

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Oooh, sharp!

AND THE BEST PART OF THE DAY.. THRIFT STORE SHOPPING! I found a whole bunch of baskets for about $2 a piece that hopefully become something awesome. I’ll keep you updated!

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Not quite a Longaberger..

Found these ideas on Pinterest.. looks adorable and seems super easy!

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Not my baskets.

And then.. dun dun dunnnn…  A Keurig machine for $10!!! Neither my husband or I drink coffee, but there’s all sorts of delicious teas and hot cocoa flavors that I’m super excited to try. And since I have an (awesome) habit of buying random vases whenever I see them on clearance.. I found this perfectly sized vase in my storage closet. My little K-cups look adorable.

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I feel fancy!

So there you go.. a crazy, blabbering, excited post of everything random. Which seems to be my habit. But I think I like it that way – because it’s exactly how I actually talk to my family and friends. Enjoy!

 

And lastly.. I’m not sure about the exact lingo, but let’s put it this way- no one has paid me to talk about any of these products.  (Although, I wish someone would!)

Oh, What A New Year

Oh gracious. I promise I’m not neglecting you my faithful readers (there has to be some of you.. right?!). I wish I had more time to update, but I’ve been way too busy being sick (I think I’m finally better now), working, and cleaning like a crazy person because I was preparing for my mom’s arrival. She arrived on Thursday and is staying until the 10th so I can’t guarantee a ton of updates this week.. sorry!

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She really, really wanted a sign.

We had a billion days of rain last week so on Saturday when I took the dogs out after working all night.. my precious little Roxie decided to lay on her belly and pull herself through piles of mud. Yep, through the mud. She was quite pleased with herself.. until she realized that it meant I would be giving her a bubbly bath. At 8am. After I worked 12 hours. UGH! But look how cute she is 🙂

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Muddy feet.

I’m working on organizing my life and my first project was using my awesome new makeup organizer that I talked about here and that you can purchase here. I seriously love it! It’s meant to be placed on top of the counter, but I have a serious issue with things cluttering my counters.. so I made room for it under my cabinet and it’s beautiful! I seriously love using it and now I need to go out and buy more makeup because the whole back half of it is literally empty.

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Perfection!

Today is Playoff Sunday.. let’s go Redskins! My mom and I made a feast with tons of yummy foods and most importantly, we made Cranberry Pomegranate Sangria! You can find the awesome recipe here which I found on Pinterest, of course. It’s seriously amazing. Unfortunately, the Redskins appear to be losing and will most likely have lost by the time I end up publishing this. My dear hubby is not very happy.

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Pot ‘o Sangria.

So I guess I’m going to finish this update with my New Year’s Resolutions.

1. To become a better, more successful blogger. I want to become more involved in the awesome WordPress blogging community and participate in daily activities. Or maybe even make my own daily activities/topics to blog about! I have a seriously hard time updating when I have to work, so I can’t promise daily updates, but I hope to update at least 3 times a week. One of my favorite things is “It’s OK Thursday” by an old coworker of mine. You can read her blog here.

2. To become more involved at work. I’ve already begun working on this goal, go me!! I’ve been working as a floor nurse for 3 1/2 years now and I feel like it’s time to start working on my career. I’ve agreed to be a preceptor to a senior nursing student for an entire semester (which should be starting in the next few weeks). I’ve agreed to take a charge nurse class. I signed up for an ACLS class. I’ve signed up to be on a committee to help educate other nurses on new nursing skills. I feel like I’m heading in the right direction, especially because education is something else I’m very passionate about.

3. To become more organized in my life. Pinterest exists for a reason!! I’ve pinned a billion different ways to clean and organize my life.. now it’s time I get started! I’ve already begun working on this goal. Go me! My next task is figuring out how to make my closet a little less chaotic.. at least until we can have someone come in and customize/rebuild my walk-in closet for me. I also hope to FINALLY paint some more rooms in this big ol’ house. I’ve only succeeded in painting the living room, the downstairs half bath, and the upstairs guest bathroom.. and we’ve lived here since May!

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I have way too many beauty products.

I think I’ll just leave it at that for now. Wish me luck!

And now something to make you giggle.. that I found on Pinterest.. of course.

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Merry (Belated) Christmas!

Ugh. So I broke my promise to you guys. I’m sorry! What kind of blogger am I that I go away for a week and a half AND THEN I don’t update for several days after I get home! Well, I seemed to have come down with yet another sinus/respiratory cold.. so I’ve been laying around and doing nothing but reading my Kindle. Which means that my house is currently in a state of disaster and my mom will be here in exactly ONE WEEK so I better get my life together!

Anyway, how was everyone’s Christmas?! Did Santa give you everything you wanted??

My first wish that came true was spending a week and a half in PA with our families and finally getting to enjoy time with them. We haven’t spent any substantial amount of time in PA since our wedding last October, so it was super awesome to see everyone. One of the best parts.. my mom’s homemade cookies! NOMS!

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Also, my mom and I attempted to make deviled eggs. “Watch out for the paprika, it comes out fast.”

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I convinced the hubby to let us give the dogs their gifts on Christmas Eve.. they got tons of stuffed toys (to eventually destroy and scatter cotton all over the house) and lots of yummy dog treats. Roxie – our Boston Terrier – loves tennis balls, so we stocked up on those. And Layla – our Boxer, who’s a rescue – finally got her own doggie bed! She’s been sleeping in it every night! I took some videos of them playing with their toys but I haven’t quite figured out how to insert them yet.. I’ll keep working on it!

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And then as for me.. well I got (almost) everything on my list! Santa was SUPER AWESOME to me this year.

1. A carpet steam cleaner and shampooer. Yes, I seriously ask for this and yes, I’m seriously super excited to use it this weekend!

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2. A super awesome printer that also prints pictures. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but supposedly I can print WIRELESSLY from my phone! I take way too many pictures on my phone and this printer is supposed to be one of the best!

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3. An awesome countertop makeup organizer and makeup brush set! Can’t wait to show pictures of the final, organized product! You can buy the makeup organizer here and the makeup brush set here.

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4. Another thing I got (which hasn’t been delivered yet) is the complete Gossip Girl book series. The series finale just aired on TV and now I’m super stoked to read the whole series and see how it compares! Hopefully it’s equally awesome!

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From the series finale.

There’s still one thing else that I wished for.. it just hasn’t happened yet. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please.

Did You Miss Me??

Hello fellow bloggers! Were you worried about me?

I just spent over a week in wonderful PA with my husband’s awesome family and my awesome family.. but I’m finally back home in gorgeous NC.. and I couldn’t be happier! I have tons to do tonight – unpacking, laundry, making a grocery list, etc, etc.. but I promise to do my best to update tomorrow!

Hope everyone is ready for Christmas!!

Sometimes You Just Need To Be Random

Well, it’s been quite a busy few days for me so this update is going to be quite random.  There’s so much I want to share! First, the bake sale was a huge success at work – we made almost $300! Go us!

Earlier in the week I had my performance evaluation with the director of my floor – all good reviews, a 2% raise (not much, but eh), signed up for an ACLS class, agreed to start training for charge nurse AND I agreed to be a preceptor to a senior nursing student for a whole semester starting in a few weeks. 2013 is sounding like it’s going to be awesome!

Then I forgot to share a recipe for a super delicious slow cooker chicken taco soup that I made last week. Surprisingly, this recipe did NOT come from Pinterest. I know, I know.. recipes from other websites?! How old fashioned of me! But seriously, I didn’t really change this recipe at all – I just used an extra can of black beans and I used a can of chicken broth instead of beer because we didn’t have any in the fridge. And it was SO SO SO GOOD! I added tons of cilantro because I’m obsessed and it was amazing. It didn’t even need sour cream or cheese but that’s up to you.

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NOMS!!

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This is what I added on top.. Sooo yummy. Try them with fajitas too!

Friday night at work was TERRIBLE so I went out for some early morning drinks and breakfast with one of my coworkers (when you work night shift, it’s totally acceptable to drink alcohol at 8am – right?). There’s not really a story here, I just wanted to show some pictures of FALSE ADVERTISING and everyone can realize how upset I was when I paid $7 for this piece of cheesecake that was not at all what I was expecting.

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This is what I thought I was ordering..

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This is what I got.. uh.. no.

Saturday night I went out with some friends – which resulted in me being hungover all day Sunday. Which resulted in me not cooking, cleaning, doing laundry or grocery shopping like I was supposed to. Bad decision making skills. Ugh. When will I ever realize I can’t party like I’m 21 anymore?

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All cute and ready to go!

And then last and most importantly, Sunday was my Princess Roxie’s 3rd birthday! I can’t believe how big she’s gotten! When I think about when we brought home this cute little 2 1/2 pound black and white ball of fur.. I can’t believe it’s the same dog that we have right now!

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Surprise presents!

Anyway, that’s it for now. Talk about being random and babbling nonsense – but that’s the way my life is so I feel like it’s only appropriate to update in the same manner. Happy Monday everyone!

New Traditions

So today I finally convinced my husband to let us buy a real tree for Christmas. I’m sick of our fake Christmas tree that we’ve had for the last 2 years. And our house smells ridiculously awesome right now! Helloooo real tree!!! It’s our first Christmas in our (new-ish) house and I’m so excited I can barely contain myself! We’ve officially started our own family traditions! More tomorrow – maybe!

Ps. I’ve had too much wine!!