Friday, July 31, 2015

Weekly Bits:: 11

You guys, this is my 50th post! Before I started my blogging journey, I had no idea that I would love it as much as I do now. Thanks for following along with me!

Bought::  This bedding and this tank.
  • Ever since I moved, I've been on the hunt for new bedding, so I am happy to have finally found a set that I like! Also, how cute is that tank?! I was completely sold when I saw how Deb styled it on her Instagram post.
Read::  The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
  • My friend Erika just finished this book and gave it to me to read. I loved Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, so I bet I'll love this one too!
Listened To::  Mystery Show
  • I stumbled across this post by Jess on Wednesday and figured I'd give Mystery Show a try. I have been trying to find new podcasts to dive into ever since I finished listening to Serial. I've only had time to listen to one episode so far, so I haven't quite decided if I love it or not.
Visited::  Jessie's House!
  • One of my best friends is officially a home owner! Even better, her new house is just a few, short minutes from my work! I foresee many sleepovers in the near future!  I couldn't be more excited for her to embark on this new chapter in her life.  Hop on over to her blog to follow her as she makes her new house a home.

Emily Ann

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Country Scenes

One of my favorite parts of my new home is the calm, country scenery. Here are just a few of my favorite recent snaps:

So peaceful
Snapped this on a morning jog
My morning commute to work


Emily Ann

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Recent Reads:: v.1

I've managed to knock out quite a few books already this summer! Here are a few of my favorites:

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
  • Sophia Amoruso's story of builing a $100M company from the ground up was truly inspiring. As a young woman in the business world myself, I enjoyed her honesty about the highs and lows she encountered along her journey. I found her story and advice to be very motivating. This is definitely a book that I will read again someday as I continue my career as a business woman.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • I loved this book so much! The build up leading to "Trivia Night" left me not wanting to put the book down. My predictions were completely wrong, and the twist at the end was perfect. I highly recommend this book as a summer read. You will not be disappointed. 
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  • I'm not going to lie, this was a hard book for me to read. I'm not sure what it was that made it a more difficult read, but there were several times when I felt like throwing in the towel and not finishing it. That being said, I'm glad I stuck with it and finished it. It was so weird and twisted that it just left me needing to know what happened. I'm eager to see how the movie compares to the book.
Paper Towns by John Green
  • This was a quick, easy read. I really enjoyed the mystery of not knowing what happened to Margo and trying to decipher the clues she left behind. I was slightly disappointed in the ending, but overall I enjoyed the book. The movie came out last weekend, so I am hoping to find some time to go see it in the next week or so.
What books have you read this summer?


Emily Ann

Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekend Recap:: Lake of the Ozarks

I spent my three-day weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks boating, soaking up the sun, and enjoying great company.

Michael and I were both off work, so we spent our morning running errands and then headed to the Lake around 11. Once we arrived, we immediately hopped in the pool and sipped on some cold beverages. After spending a few hours enjoying the pool, we headed back to the condo for dinner. Michael made a beer can chicken and we sat around on the deck playing pitch and watching the storm roll through.

The view from our deck

We woke up bright and early and headed to Michael's cousin's condo. We took their boat out for a bit before heading down to the pool for a few hours. When we arrived back at the condo, everyone took a short nap before heading to the lazy river for a little more pool time. His cousin barbecued pork steaks for dinner, and then we called it an early night.

The only picture I got of us all weekend
Michael played golf on Sunday morning so I decided to lay by the pool and knock out some of my book. I am almost finished with Paper Towns, and can't wait to go see the movie! We headed home around two so we had a bit of time to unwind before another long work week. On our way home, I got a text from my sister.  She said that she had pictures of Gavin taken and I could look at them online, and guess what?! Gavin is going to be a big brother!! I couldn't be more excited for their family of three to grow into a family of four.

Enjoying some pool time
I was so excited to stumble across this picture!
Seriously, how cute is he?!
Another one of my favorites!


Emily Ann

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wish List:: Stella & Dot

The fall line is out, and it is fabulous! I'll definitely be putting my winnings to good use! Here are a few of my favorites:

Emily Ann

Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekly Bits:: 10

Made:: Quinoa Pizza Bites
  • I've been itching to try out some new recipes lately. I stumbled upon these pizza bites on Pinterest and figured I'd give them a shot. They were simple to make, but I didn't love them. I probably won't make them again.
Bought:: This maxi dress and this adorable stamp.
  • The dress was on sale for $21 with free shipping, so I couldn't pass it up. I'm already envisioning wearing it to a shower in August. Also, how adorable is that stamp?! I got this one for my sister too since they were buy one get one free!
Booked:: A flight to Las Vegas!
  • I've never been to Las Vegas, so when Michael asked if I wanted to go for his cousin's birthday in January, I quickly agreed! We even got our flights for free thanks to the Southwest credit card!
Looking Forward To:: A long weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks!
  • Michael's family takes a trip to the Lake of the Ozarks every year. I took off work today and will be heading to the Lake this afternoon. I am looking forward to a lot of quality family time, relaxing, and enjoying the sunshine. Stay tuned for a full recap next week!


Emily Ann

Thursday, July 23, 2015

New Recipes

Lately, I've been struggling with my eating habits, and it really has me feeling bogged down. Being such a picky eater, it's always a bit tough to find recipes that I find both healthy and tasty. However, I found a few that piqued my interest, and I'm determined to try out all of these recipes before the end of summer.


Emily Ann

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

DIY Coasters

Remember when I mentioned that I bought all of the supplies to make DIY coasters for a friend? Well I made them, and they turned out great!

My supplies

  1. Trim the photos so that they are 4x4 like the tiles.
  2. Using the foam brush, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the top of the coaster, making sure to spread all the way to the edges.
  3. Place your photo face up on top of the tile and smooth so there are no air bubbles.
  4. Apply another layer of Mod Podge to the top of the picture.
  5. Rough up the edges of the photo to match the rough edges of the tiles. (Note: I used my finger to give edges a distressed look. I just continuously ran my finger along the edges of the photo until I achieved the look I wanted. Since the paper is wet from the Mod Podge, it destructs fairly easily.)
  6. Set the tile aside to dry. (I sat my tiles face-up on red solo cups to dry so that the edges did not get stuck to the table.)
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 for other three tiles/photos and allow to Mod Podge to dry for several hours. 
  8. Apply another coat of Mod Podge to the top all coasters and allow to dry for several hours.
  9. Repeat step 8 one more time.
  10. Cut your cork board into pieces that are slightly smaller than 4x4.
  11. Apply a thin layer of mod podge to the bottom of the coaster and one side of the cork board and push the two together. Allow a few hours to dry.
  12. Use or gift your coasters!
Finished products!

Emily Ann

P.S. I've also used black and white photos to make coasters and they turned out really cool, too!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Recap:: Luke Bryan + Sweet Corn Festival

This past weekend was a perfect summer weekend spent enjoying good friends, good music, and good times.

After work, Erika, Jess, and I headed to the Luke Bryan concert at Hollywood Amphitheater. Even though it was extremely hot, we had a great time. Luke put on a fantastic show. It was even his birthday!

Hanging out with the birthday boy

Erika, Jess, and I hopped in the car for a road trip to visit a friend who lives in Springfield, IL. We stopped at The Creek and enjoyed a horseshoe (seriously, the best way to eat a burger and fries!) before heading to the Sweet Corn Festival in Chatham. It was the perfect place to sip on a couple beers and enjoy a great show by Brushville.

Thanks for having us, Chatham!
Included a lot of lounging, napping, and laziness.


Emily Ann

Friday, July 17, 2015

Weekly Bits:: 9

Received:: A Promotion!
  • Guess who is the new Accounting Manager at Bastian Robotics?! This girl! I've been fortunate enough to work for a company that has provided me with ample growth opportunities. I am so grateful, and can't wait to see where this new and exciting role takes my career.
Won:: Stella and Dot Mystery Hostess Awards
  • Remember when I raved about my obsession with Stella and Dot? Well just add this as another reason why I love the company so much! I won $166 in free product and three half-off coupons by participating in a Mystery Hostess Trunk Show. This is actually the second time that I have won a Mystery Hostess Trunk Show, so I am feeling pretty lucky!
Read:: Paper Towns by John Green 
  • This one has been on my list for a while, and I'm excited that I finally got it started this week. I've been getting a lot of reading knocked out since I moved a few weeks ago. Stay tuned for a recap of some of my favorites!
Bought:: More Books!


Emily Ann

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wish List:: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale always has a way of making me want to buy more than I should. In order to avoid the temptation of making purchases, I told myself that I wasn't even going to browse the sale this year. Well, I was able to keep myself from peeking until yesterday when I finally caved. All it took was one quick look, and now, just as I suspected, I want to buy everything! Here are a few items on my wish list:

What are some of your favorites from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?


Emily Ann

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Love List:: Fixer Upper

My Mom has always loved HGTV. Growing up, I found it so annoying that we always had to watch these boring home improvement shows. But now that I'm a bit older and living in a home of my own, I completely understand why she loves it so much!

A while back, Mom got me hooked on the show Fixer Upper, and I can't seem to get enough of it! The premise is simple:  real-life couple Chip and Joanna Gaines take these run-down homes with high potential and fix them up into the client's dream homes.  Not only are Chip and Joanna an absolutely adorable, down-to-earth couple, but their style is right up my alley. I love how open and airy the home designs are, and I love all of the rustic decor that Joanna uses in each room. She can come design my home any day!

Here are a couple of my favorite snips from the episodes I watched during my "down time" over the past weekend:

I love all the large clocks she uses!
Obsessed with that buffet and chandelier
White cabinets, hardwood floors...dream kitchen!
Love the built-in shelves and wood beams
Such a neat outdoor space and perfect table!
Love that vanity

Have  you ever watched Fixer Upper? If not, I highly recommend you watch an episode or two. I'm sure you will be hooked!


Emily Ann

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Motivation

After a weekend of unwinding, I was hoping to hop out of bed this morning eager to conquer the week. Instead, this Monday morning is kicking my butt, therefore, this post is going to be short and simple.

Here's a little Monday motivation to start off the week: 

I hope you have a great week!


Emily Ann

Friday, July 10, 2015

Weekly Bits:: 8

Bought:: Supplies to make DIY coasters
  • A friend of mine made me a set of coasters for my birthday last year that I am obsessed with. I quickly learned how to make the coasters myself and gifted several sets to friends and family last Christmas. A high school friend of mine came home from the Marines last week, so I plan to make a set to mail to him and his wife this weekend. Stay tuned for a DIY post on how to make coasters!
Watched:: Chasing Life
  • I honestly haven't been watching much TV since the big move, but the new season of Chasing Life started this week, so I couldn't miss it. I loved season one and I can already tell season two is going to be full of drama!

Listened To:: Serial Podcast
  • I had never listened to a podcast before, but, over the weekend, a friend recommended the idea to improve my daily commute to work.  I wasn't opposed, and immediately after starting the first episode of Serial, I was hooked. It's like listening to an episode of Dateline...only better! I can't wait for season 2 to be released this fall.
Made:: Beef Enchiladas
  • I have kind of made up my own beef enchilada recipe over the course of the past few years (that tends to happen when you are a picky eater like me), and it has become one of Michael's favorite meals. Here is my recipe:
    • Cook ground beef in a skillet, then mix in the packet of taco seasoning, can of re-fried beans, some shredded cheese, and half of the can of enchilada sauce. 
    • Fill the tortillas with the beef mix and roll them up in a baking dish. 
    • Once all the tortillas are in the baking dish, pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce over top of the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. 
    • Bake at 350 until the cheese on top is fully melted.
    • Enjoy!
      • 1 lb ground beef
      • 1 packet taco seasoning
      • 1 can re-fried beans
      • 1 can red enchilada sauce
      • Soft tortillas
      • Shredded cheese

Emily Ann

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Life Lately

Life lately has been pretty hectic. Between making a big move to a new town, dealing with new changes at work, and spending time with friends and family, "me" time has been a little hard to come by. Prior to moving a couple weeks ago, I had lived by myself for nearly 5 years, so I was used to having more than my fair share of "me" time!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Even though things have been busy, I honestly can't remember a time when I have been happier with life. I have an amazing family, friends, and boyfriend, and I can't even gripe too much about work right now. So, overall life really is great, but sometimes I just get a little too caught up in wanting to participate in everything, that I don't take the time to slow down and take some time for myself.

This upcoming weekend I had plans to attend Muckfest with some of my good friends.  However, due to all of the rain that we have been having here in Missouri, the event has now been postponed. In addition to that, Michael has plans to play golf all weekend, so I am seriously contemplating taking a whole weekend off from any big activities and just relax, unwind, and refresh a bit.

When you have so many new changes and exciting things going on in life, it can be tough to get settled into a solid routine.  I had hoped to have one established by now, but I have been struggling to find one that sticks. The idea of waking up, getting a work out in, commuting to work, working, making the drive home, fixing dinner, and then going to bed, sounds like a good routine in theory. But, man, is it exhausting in real life!

I've decided that I want to make it a goal each week to get in three morning workouts at home, and then head to the gym at least two times a week after work. So far, it's been a little bit of a struggle, but I'm determined to get in the habit of making it happen.

What are some of your favorite things to do to unwind when life gets a little hectic?


Emily Ann

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Weekend Recap:: 4th of July

My three day weekend was both relaxing and packed full of fun events. Here is a brief recap:

Thursday Evening:: 
  • After a very long week at work, I headed to Fair St. Louis with a few friends. The weather was perfect, Chris Young put on a great show, and I couldn't have been in better company. A great way to kick off the holiday weekend.
The whole crew!
  • Friday included a lot of poolside chatting with Jess about things like buying a house, home decor, blogs, and family. After a few hours at the pool, I headed home and knocked out some more reading.
  • My parents had their annual 4th of July party on their farm, and I recruited Michael, Jess, and Erika to make the two hour road trip with me. I loved having all of my favorite people together with my family. It was a perfect day that included washers, badminton, delicious BBQ, fireworks, and a little paddle boating.
Me and Michael at the party!
  • We headed home from my parents early in the morning. I was extremely worn out and spent the majority of the day laying in bed, alternating between reading and napping. It was some much needed relaxation after a busy weekend.


Emily Ann

P. S. The first picture is a festive treat that Jess and I made for my parents party!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Weekly Bits:: 7

Read:: Big Little Lies and Dark Places
  • I haven't had a lot of free time to read lately, but I am halfway through two books and eager to finish them both. I'm not typically one to read two books at once, but I just wasn't feeling the book I brought to read on our trip to Mexico, so I borrowed Dark Places from Erika, and haven't had a chance to finish it. I'm also still working on finishing Big Little Lies. Both of these books are really good so far, and I can't wait to have time to finish them!
Contemplated:: Getting XM Radio
  • After making the big move, my commute to work officially changed from 10 minutes to 1 hour. That's a lot of driving time! I love listening to The Bobby Bones Show in the mornings, but my evening commute is already starting to feel a little boring.  I can't decide if the $150-ish annually for XM Radio is worth it or not. Guess I'll keep contemplating for a while.
Made:: Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken
  • Michael found this recipe and we tried it out on Sunday night. It was delicious! I think it will be a go-to recipe for us.
Looking Forward To:: A long weekend with friends and family!
  • My holiday weekend is full of fun activities including:


Emily Ann

P. S. Those are fireworks from Mom's 4th of July party in 2013!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Date Night Ideas

When I lived in St. Louis, Michael would come visit me once a week-ish and we would have a date night. Now that we live together, I want to make sure that we still make time for date night every once in a while. I have been brainstorming ideas that we would both enjoy. 

Isn't he handsome?!

Here is what I have come up with so far:
  1. Try out a new restaurant.
  2. Go to the movies.
  3. Try out a new recipe together.
  4. Play mini golf.
  5. Go for a hike.
  6. Binge watch a TV show.
  7. Host a dinner party.
  8. Do a craft together.
  9. Visit the Casino.
  10. Have a game night with our favorite games (Phase 10, Yahtzee, Wheel of Fortune).
  11. Go to the driving range.
  12. Double date with some of our couple friends.
  13. Head to the pond for a little fishing.
  14. Find somewhere to enjoy live music.
  15. Go arrowhead hunting. (This is something Michael likes to do, however, Jess and I are determined to find a couple good arrowheads to make necklaces out of so I need to tag along on his next hunt!)
What date night activities do you enjoy?!


Emily Ann

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer Lineup:: Concerts

I can't believe it is already July! This summer is flying by and July officially kicks off my summer concert line up. Here is a sneak peek of my concert hit list:


Emily Ann