Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Favs - Summer Essentials

Happy Friday! 

With Memorial Day this past Monday, I'm all about preparing for summer. Today on Friday Favs I'm sharing a few of my favorites for summer! 

     I love being outside this time of year, but I hate the gnats! It's really hard to read in the garden or master warrior one during yoga in the park when bugs won't leave you alone! I tried this product last year and it's awesome! It works, plus it is natural and local and actually smells good. 

     This lotion is awesome! It helps build a tan and really does firm a bit! I especially notice the firming in my thighs. I've also used the Jergen's version - it is great too (and may work a little better), but usually I go for the cheaper option. 

Check out my other Friday Fav posts here

What are some of your favorite summer essentials?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekend Recap - Labor Day

this weekend in three

1. All Outside Saturday! I started the day with coffee, a granola bar, and a book (Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay) in my garden. 

Stop two was yoga in the park. (Last week there was a huge story in the QC Times about it and I made the photo gallery!!) 

Stop three was lunch at Fresh Deli and a beer from the Front Street Tap Room on the Freight House Deck. After a shower and a nap, it was time for a bar with an outdoor band and a plethora of dancing! 

2. Memorial Day Tradition. When I was younger, my family always visited the cemetery with my grandma and dad's aunt and went to lunch (usually at Bishop's). My grandma lives near Des Moines and Aunt Hilda passed in January. So this year it was just my family who visited Hilda, her husband George, and my Grandpa Vaughn. After, we went to Steak 'n Shake, a favorite of Hilda's.

3. QC Criterium! The weekend ended with the Quad City Criterium! Such an exciting event to watch and this year was the race's 50th anniversary! 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekend Recap - Mother's Day

three things about this weekend

1. school presentations. I finally had this huge presentation for grad school that I've been working on since Feb. It was a group paper and presentation and I learned a lot, but I'm glad it's over. Only two classes to go!!

2. new orleans style iced coffee. After drinks with friends on Friday night, I decided that an iced coffee would be the perfect way to start my Saturday (and help me survive the presentations). I had heard many good things about Redband Coffee's New Orleans Style Iced Coffee and they were all correct. Seriously, so delicious. I think I could make it the only beverage I drink. Luckily for my bank account, both locations are on one-ways so it isn't always convenient. 

3. Mother's Day. We celebrated my mom and grandma with going to church, a trip to a huge local craft fair, and a late lunch. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Friday Favs - Nails

It's Friday!

(well not anymore. I had this post all ready but forgot to actually post it yesterday...)

Today I'm going to share my favorite for nails...

 ...Essie Polish!

I don't always have my nails painted, but when I do it's with Essie! I believe I discovered Essie in college and it has become pretty much the only brand of polish I use. It comes in gorgeous colors, holds up well, and comes off easily with remover (no stains after wearing dark colors!).

The other night, I decided to try something new though! I have a friend who sells Jamberry and she sent me a sample so I tried it out. I struggled a bit while applying it and it isn't perfect (it's the striped one), but I'm excited to see how it holds up. And she was sweet enough to send more than one sample so maybe my second attempt will be better. 

All opinions shared are my own. I receive no compensation for these reviews. 

What are your favorites for nails? 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

77 Days

77 days. The number of days I was unemployed before receiving a job offer. 77 days.

I get it that at about 26 years old I haven't had a lot of time to experience true struggle and I know my life has been fairly easy this far. But even with few truly challenging experiences, I can assure you that unemployment is awful. I'm not sharing this for pity or to compete with others who struggle. I'm sharing for personal catharsis and with the hope that you may understand unemployment a bit better. 

The worst 77 days. 
I felt hopeless, sad, exhausted, lost, useless, lonely. I lost confidence in myself. Some days I couldn't find an ounce of motivation. 

The hardest 77 days. 
For me the toughest part of unemployment was not knowing when it was going to end. I quickly lost the ability to concretely plan anything in the future - scheduling a haircut a few months away was stressful. 

The longest 77 days.
Every day was the same. Weekends were no different from weekdays. Without having somewhere you must be everyday, days run together. Job searching and applying can occur any day of the week. 

As my dad said when I called him with the news of my job offer, "It only takes one". It took one offer for all the terribleness and stress of those 77 days to dissipate. My tears of worry and frustration turned into tears of relief and excitement. 

I think it will take a bit of time, but I hope that I become thankful for my unemployment experience. So far it's helped me with one thing. Perspective. I learned that challenges that once brought me frustration are actually not that terrible. I hope that I'll be able to keep that perspective as I venture back into the "employed" category. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekend Recap

three things about this weekend

1. Celebrating a new job in two ways! First picking up my sibs from school and stopping at Starbucks for treats and fraps. My bro at a blueberry muffin in the time it took me to snap this pic. Secondly, enjoying brews with my Besties! 

2. Enjoying the weather: working in the garden, decking (not the material used to build a deck, but the act of chatting on a deck on a sunny day), and soccer watching. We had gorgeous weather all weekend and I tried to be outside as much as I could. 

3. Procrastination. Per usual I procrastinated on my school work...