Monday, September 28, 2015

Recent Reads:: v.2


Since my reading list includes about 30 books right now and I clearly do not have time to read all of them, I decided to take advantage of audio books during my two hour commute every day. I have made a pretty good dent in my list so far and wanted to share my thoughts on a few books.

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
  • I'll start by saying that I didn't love this book. It was cheesy - even more so than I was expecting it to be. With that being said, I did enjoy hearing how the the relationship between Ridge and Sydney evolved. The characters were very likable and the fact that Ridge was a deaf musician also really intrigued me. Overall though, I probably wouldn't recommend this book.
The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  • This book was advertised for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train so, naturally, I was intrigued. Let me tell you, though, that was not the case. I was not a fan of this book at all. The main character was very pretentious and unrelateable. I can't think of one point in this book where I was truly interested in what happened next. I almost gave up and didn't finish, but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. End result...I do not recommend this book. 
  • I did recently see that this book is being made into a movie produced by Reese Witherspoon. I hope the movie is better than the book was!
One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
  • Since I had previously read Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, I had a good feeling that I would enjoy listening to this book and I was right. It was the right amount of funny and sad, and kept you rooting for each of the characters success in finding happiness. I would recommend this book.
  • This book is also being made into a movie in 2016. I look forward to watching it!
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
  • If you can get past the first part of this book, then it will have you hooked! There were so many twists that I would have never predicted (trust me, I tried) and I kept wanting to know more. It was interesting to see how a simple conversation quickly led to multiple murders. There were numerous times when I actually found myself rooting for the murderer to get away with it! I would recommend this book. 

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Style:: Old Navy


Happy Sunday!

I have been such a fan of Old Navy lately. I feel like they have really upped their style game. This past week they had 40% off everything online so I took advantage and stocked up. I earned $50 in Super Cash as well so you can bet I'll be taking advantage of that in the near future!

 Here are some of the items I purchased:

  1. I actually got this cami dress in two prints (grey floral and fuchsia floral). Since it was only $10 and I couldn't decided which print I liked more, I just got both! I can't wait to pair it with a cardigan and booties for fall.
  2. After Jess raved about this scarf, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Getting it for only $20 was a bonus!
  3. I accidentally got rid of my favorite leggings from last year during my move, and am in need of a new pair. $10 is the perfect price.
  4. This hoodie was only $5! I'll take it.
  5. I got this swing dress in the orange combo for $19. Such a perfect fall dress.
  6. Fall sweaters have been on my mind ever since I saw Caycee's post on sweater sales. I'm eager to recreate her jeans and navy sweater look with this sweater.



Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Friday, September 25, 2015

Weekly Bits:: 18


Sipped:: Pumpkin Beers!
Dined:: Bravo!
  • I met one of my friends from college for a quick happy hour. I highly recommend the fried mozzarella ravioli appetizer!
Assembled:: Outdoor rocking chairs
  • I have been on the hunt for black rocking chairs for our front porch for a while now and finally found some decent priced ones at Lowe's. I was so eager to get them put together and LOVED the way they looked on the porch.  So, you can imagine my disappointment when the back of one of them broke after only it's second time being used.  Such a bummer! 
Watched:: Nashville
  • All of my favorite fall TV shows are starting back up! Nashville had it's season 4 premiere on Wednesday, and I was not about to miss it. It wasn't as good as I was hoping, but I am eager to see what happens this season!
Enjoyed:: Watching the sun rise
  • With fall comes a later sunrise. It has been dark outside when I leave for work lately, and I am really enjoying watching the sun rise on my morning commute. 
Bought:: Olive booties
  • I have been eyeing these booties for weeks and finally pulled the trigger this week! I have a feeling they are going to get a lot of wear this fall.
Made:: Southwest Chicken Fajitas
  • I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks and decided to give it a whirl. They turned out well, but I would recommend adding some taco seasoning or maybe even dry ranch to add a little more flavor.
    • Ingredients::
      • Three chicken breasts
      • One can of black beans
      • One jar of salsa
      • One can of corn
    • Pour all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred the chicken and serve on tortilla with shredded cheese. Enjoy!
Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Thursday, September 24, 2015

#TBT:: Skydiving!


Back in the summer of 2011, I was feeling pretty adventurous. I had just moved to a new city, started my first big girl job, was making new friends, and felt like I needed to keep trying new things. One day at work, my co-workers and I stumbled across a deal on Living Social for skydiving. Before I knew it, we had all purchased the deal and were planning a date to go jump out of a perfectly good airplane!

This was by far the craziest thing I have ever done in my life, and when we pulled up to the Illinois Skydiving Center, I was seriously questioning my sanity. It was literally just a shed in a random field in the middle of nowhere. I felt like I was in a scene right out of a horror movie. Luckily, once we got inside, the staff was extremely nice and excited to take us on our skydiving adventure.

Overall, I really loved this experience and, given the opportunity, would do it again.  I have always been afraid of heights, so I like to think that this was me conquering my fear (even though they still scare me). 

Here are a few pictures of my skydiving experience:

Getting ready to jump out of an airplane!
Well, here goes nothing....
I'd say I was a little scared at this point.  
One of my favorite parts - the camera man grabbed my arm and spun us!
Free falling!
Landing was a bit rough.
This is my "holy crap, I can't believe I just did that!" face.

If you ever decide to jump out of an airplane, I definitely recommend splurging for the picture/video package. I love having all of the pictures and video to look back on.

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

P.S. Check out the video, too!




Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hello, Fall...I've Been Waiting for You


It's finally Fall! I absolutely love this time of year and want to embrace everything it has to offer. This year, I made birthday bucket list when I turned 27. I plan on knocking a few items off that list in the coming months, so I thought it would be fun to compile a list of other things I would also like to do this fall. Here is what I came up with:

Finish updating the curb appeal of our home
  • I've been brainstorming ideas of how to add curb appeal to our little farm house for a while now and am making progress! I still have some final touches to add this for fall, but I am already excited about how it's coming together. I'll be sure to post some pictures when I get it all finished!
Bake pumpkin bread
  • Fun fact about me - I love bread! It's one of my favorite foods. Since I have never baked any kind of bread before, I figure fall is the perfect time to give it a whirl!
Decorate our kitchen mantle with all things fall
  • There is a adorable mantle in our kitchen that has been sitting empty since I moved in. I just can't figure out how I want to decorate it long term, but figure I can make it look really cute for the fall season!
Complete a 10k
  • Running has always been my favorite form of exercise and to stay motivated, I like to have some kind of race scheduled that I can work towards. My next race is a 10k at the beginning of November. I have a lot of work to do before then!
Go to a pumpkin patch
  • Can you believe I have lived all of my 27 years without going to a pumpkin patch?! This year I am making it my mission to find a good one in the STL area to visit.
Knock five books off of my reading list
  • So many books to read, so little time! I hope to spend a lot of time on the front porch with a book in hand enjoying the beautiful weather.

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bits of Summer 2015


Since today is the last day of summer, and the Summer of 2015 was so good to me, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the excitement I've had over the past few months. I can't wait to see what fall has in store!

  • Kicked off summer with a girl's trip to Mexico
  • I moved! Traded in the STL city life for country living - and am loving it!
  • Spent a lot of time with friends and family in my hometown
  • Attended multiple country concerts
  • Took a trip or two to the Lake of the Ozarks
  • Found out I was going to be an Aunt again!
  • Knocked a few books off of my reading list while lounging by the pool
  • Celebrated my nephew's 2nd birthday - gosh, time sure does fly!
  • Went on a family vacation 

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Monday, September 21, 2015

Family Vacation 2015

My aunt and uncle's beautiful yard
Life has been a bit hectic since returning from our family vacation a couple weeks ago.  I've been so caught up trying to get back into the groove of things that I haven't had time to put together a proper recap of our trip. But hey, better late than never right?

It's been such a long time since my family went on a vacation together, so I was thrilled when we planned a trip to visit family in Georgia and South Carolina! My mom and dad love to take trips on their Harley, so my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and I all took advantage of some vacation time and drove down to join them.

It was about a 12 hour drive to Bonaire, GA where my aunt and uncle live. I was so impressed by how well my 2-year-old nephew handled being in the car for so long on the way down there. The trip back...well...that was a different story! Prior to the trip, my brother-in-law purchased a DVD player for his truck in hopes that it would help distract my nephew.  For the most part, it was successful and I'm pretty sure we watched Despicable Me at least 10 times during our drive (IT'S SO FLUFFY!!).

Such a beautiful drive

Our journey began on a Sunday and we made it about halfway to Bonaire before stopping at a hotel in Clarksville, TN. We grabbed dinner that night at Old Chicago and it was delicious! The next day, we continued our trek but decided to take a slight detour to drive through Nashville. None of us had ever been, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to check it out.  Even though it was a short-lived detour, I can't wait to explore more of Nashville during a girls' trip in a few weeks!

Sleepy heads
Almost to the mountains

We arrived in Bonaire early Monday evening and settled in at my aunt and uncle's before enjoying a delicious homemade dinner. One thing to note about my family, is that we love playing games. Card games, board games, you name it. So naturally after dinner, it was family game time. My Aunt recommended Five Crowns which none of us had ever played before, but picked up on quickly. We liked it so much that we ended up playing it every night we were there!

The whole gang
Busted eating one of Aunt Ruth's grapes!

On Tuesday, we went to explore the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA. My Uncle was a Colonel in the Air Force and still holds several flight records to this day. It was neat to see the aircraft and hear stories from my uncle. My favorite was the "super spy plane" that flew from California to New York and back in 55 minutes at an official speed of 2,193 miles per hour. WHOA!

Such a neat place
Taking a break from the excitement
They left me...

We spent Tuesday afternoon and most of Wednesday lounging by the pool in the backyard. Their backyard was so beautiful and peaceful. It was so nice to just hang out and unwind. My sister did have to take my nephew to the doctor on Wednesday because he hadn't been feeling well. It turned out he had an ear infection and upper respiratory infection - poor guy!

Relaxing poolside

He loved playing in the pool!

Thursday morning we all packed up and headed to Little Mountain, SC to visit another aunt and uncle. It was about a 4 hour drive, and I opted to ride on the Harley with Dad. It was the longest ride I had ever taken with him and I loved it! We arrived mid-afternoon and spent the day/evening enjoying great company.

And we're off!
He clearly had a great time!

Mom and dad were lucky enough to extend their trip for another week to continue exploring the mountains, but we packed up the truck on Friday and headed home. My nephew was worn out, not feeling well, and tired of being in the truck which made for an interesting adventure home. But, we made it! Overall, it was a wonderful trip. I loved getting to spend time with family and relaxing in their company. I hope we plan another family vacation soon!

Beautiful view 
Aren't they the cutest?!

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Friday, September 18, 2015

Weekly Bits:: 17


Read:: The Girl on the Train
  • Knocked this book off of my summer reading list recently. I intend on posting a review of it in the near future. Stay tuned!
Discovered:: Fabletics
  • Ads for Fabletics keep popping up on my Instagram account, and the trendy athletic wear always catches my eye. The fact that it says you can get your first outfit for $25 also has me intrigued. I have a 10K and a 5K that I am hoping to participate in this fall/winter, so I feel like some new workout attire would get put to good use. Have you ever purchased from Fabletics? If so, I'd love to hear your feedback!
Loving:: SweetTsDesignShoppe
  • I stumbled upon this Etsy shop on Brickyard Buffalo a few weeks ago and purchased this shirt. The shirt is so soft and comfy that I can't resist regularly throwing it on to lounge around in. I'm thinking I will need to purchase this one soon as well. (Warning:: the shirt does run big, so make sure to order a size down.)
Wrote:: Industrial Robotics in the Automotive Industry
  • Remember when I mentioned that I wanted to participate more in my work's blog posts? My second blog of the year was posted this week. Check it out!

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Thursday, September 17, 2015

#TBT:: Labor Day Weekend Boating


Since I was on vacation last week and didn't have a chance to post a Labor Day weekend recap, I figured I'd update you with a "Throwback Thursday" post.

For the past several years, we have made it a tradition to take my sister and brother-in-law's pontoon boat out on the river to celebrate my birthday. This year was no exception. Michael and a couple of my girlfriends arrived in my hometown on Saturday morning and we hopped in my brother-in-law's truck to head to the river! We sipped on some drinks and enjoyed the beautiful weather all afternoon.

It has also become a tradition to go to El Jimador after we get off of the river every year. If you live in central Missouri and haven't tried this Mexican restaurant, you are missing out! I'm pretty sure I ate the whole bowl of cheese dip by myself!

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday Mood


Coming back to work after a week of vacation is tough! Especially when you are also fighting a head cold. As much as I want to get caught up at work, I have been struggling to find the motivation to knock out my task list. How many more days until the weekend?

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fall Movie Lineup




Fall is only a few short weeks away and there are several movies hitting theaters that I would love to see! I was only able to see half of the movies on my Summer Lineup so I'm itching for the rest to come out on DVD (especially Trainwreck...I can't believe I didn't have time to see that one!).

Here is a list of the movies I am looking forward to seeing this fall:

Sincerely,

Emily Ann



Friday, September 4, 2015

Weekly Bits:: 16


Read:: My monthly horoscope
  • Jess introduced me to the horoscope feature on Loft's website a couple weeks ago. With September not only being my birthday month, but also the start of fall, I was eager to read what my horoscope had in store for me. "Your self-esteem, relationships, and creativity will flourish." - I'll take it!
Dined:: O'Fallon Brewery
  • A couple girlfriends and I headed to this new brewery for a quick birthday celebration. It was a night full of laughs, beer, and delicious food! I have officially decided this will be my new go-to place for future happy hours.
Discovered:: Big Little Lies Television Series
  • Remember when I raved about the book Big Little Lies? Well I just discovered that HBO is making it into a limited TV series in 2016! I will definitely be watching.
Attended:: Jungle Boogie
  • A couple friends and I took advantage of this free event put on by the St. Louis Zoo and had a great time. We packed some snacks, sipped on wine, and enjoyed the live music and perfect weather. After, we headed to Six Mile Bridge Brewery for a beer before heading home. Their beer selection was limited (they only make three kinds) but it was good, and the atmosphere was fun!

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wish List:: Target Labor Day Sale


Leave it to Target to tempt us with 25% off clothes, shoes, and accessories PLUS an additional 10% off with their labor day code. If you ask me, that is just too good to pass up. Here are a few of my fall favorites:
Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fall TV Shows



I don't know about you, but I am ready for my TV shows to start up again! Back when I was living by myself, I did away with cable and survived on Netflix and Hulu Plus. Needless to say, I have binge watched my fair share of TV! Now that I have cable again, I am excited to watch the new seasons of a few of my favorite shows as they happen. I put together a list of all the shows that I am currently up to speed on that start this fall. Hopefully I'll have time to keep up with a few of them!

  • Nashville - September 23rd
  • Grey's Anatomy - September 24th
  • Scandal - September 24th
  • Once Upon a Time - September 27th
  • Chicago P.D. - September 30th
  • Good Wife - October 4th
  • Chicago Fire - October 13th
  • Chicago Med - November 17th

What shows are you most looking forward to this fall?

Sincerely,

Emily Ann

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Birthday Bucket List


Hey guys, it's my birthday! I thought it would be fun to make a list of things I'd like to accomplish during my 27th year. While the idea of having a list of 27 things to do when I'm 27 sounds fun, I think that might be just a bit overwhelming. So, I settled on a list of 10 things to do before my 28th birthday. Here is what I came up with:
  1. Finish 12 books
  2. Update the curb appeal of our home
  3. Go somewhere fun on a girls' trip 
  4. Complete a 5k, 10k, and half marathon
  5. Plan a weekend getaway with Michael
  6. Take a class to further my education or learn a new skill (photography? cooking?)
  7. Host our first dinner party with friends and family 
  8. Grow something I can eat
  9. Expand my palate by trying 12 new recipes
  10. Significantly increase my savings account balance

Sincerely,

Emily Ann
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