Monday, March 31, 2014

The Girl with the Yellow Umbrella




Tonight, is the night where How I met your Mother comes to an end. For 9 years, we have watched Future Ted tell his kids the story of How he met their mother.

"Kids, there's more than one story of how I met your mother. You know the short version, the thing with your mom's yellow umbrella, but there's a bigger story ..."

The show has followed, Ted Mosby, as he navigates life with his best friends, Marshall, Lily, Barney and Robin, trying to find "the girl with the yellow umbrella." And spending a lot of time in their local pub, MacLaren's.



There have been,..legen...wait for it...DARY!, LEGENDARY. moments between this friends. Slap bets, Robin Sparkles, Barney teaching "The Bro Code" as he lots of tips and tricks for women, all the while SUITING UP. Moments you can laugh with, cry with and just overall, say WHAAAT??
 

We have watched since it has started and it has been a huge part of our lives. Might sound silly for a TV show but it's true. My mom was chuckling in the living room one night and I asked her what she was watching, it was How I Met Your Mother. She told me all about the story and I watched Robin sparkles sing, "Let's Go to the Mall," with my mom.

I talked with Brian about it and he too had started to watch the show. As the years went on, he quoted the show. Talked about it with friends. Tweeted about it. I watched the first 3 seasons on my old desktop computer trying to frantically catch up 5 years ago. Since then, I have also followed along.

How I Met Your Mother has spent birthdays with us.

Sent HIMYM clues for his birthday present of all 4 seasons!

 Christmases.


Notice the pineapple? ;)

Even Lily has joined in on the HIMYM watching.

Notice, she's also named Lily.


On June 7th, my wedding day, I was even "the girl with the yellow umbrella." My groom gifted to me a yellow umbrella on the morning of our wedding day as I had been so upset about the rain that would be coming down on our wedding day. It was a reminder, rain or no rain, I was his "girl with the yellow umbrella."

Lucky gal I am.



As we watch the last How I Met Your Mother, just a little thanks.

Thanks..

...For taking us through the past 9 years, always believing in destiny and stealing that blue french horn, Ted.

...For coining the term "lawyered" even when it had to do with food, being AWESOME at game night and for shaving your head on your wedding day, Marshall.

...For hating the word "moist", being the Slap Bet commissioner and for always thinking you are the matchmaker, Lily.

...For being Canadian, Robin Sparkles and using literally in pretty much every sentence, Robin.

...For all the inappropriate jokes, inventing "The Bro Code" and having 2 epic proposals, Barney.


...For giving us one heck of a show.
Farewell How I Met Your Mother.







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Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to Set a Budget in 5 Steps

Budgeting. Not a very fun thing. We were bad adults and didn't really set a budget until a few months ago. It was more of a, How in the heck do we set a budget? rather than simply just not wanting to.

In the end it actually wasn't as hard as I thought. It took a little legwork of about an hour, but I did get to play with highlighters! This is what I did to finally tackle the dreaded budget.



Gather Supplies
...Bank statement, credit card bills. I even went deep and took all the Target receipts and assessed the amount of fun, groceries, etc.

 ...Highlighters. Choose as many colors as you need, depending on how you want to break up categories.
Here is how I used each color of my highlighters

Orange-Student loans
Purple-Bills/Utilities
Green-Groceries/Food
Blue-Fun

...Monthly Budget Planner.

Calculate

...Monthly income. Any income that comes in the form of a check to your household.

...The categories. Time to really dig deep and see the number form in each category. The fun and groceries were our biggest "ouch." We knew it wasn't going to be pretty once we arrived at the final number.

Subtract

...From your monthly income, subtract anything that is a set expense. These are the student loans, monthly credit card bills, some utilities. The amount you are left with after this....This is now your NEW MONTHLY INCOME.

Why? This is the amount you have left to work with every month and is a realistic look at how you really need to be budgeting for non essential items. It will help cut down on some of the larger spent categories from step 2.

...From your NEW MONTHLY INCOME; subtract the rest of your expenses from the previous month. get ready, this might hurt. Similar to ripping off a band-aid. It came as a shock to us how little we had left to go into our savings and made a lot of sense why we were struggling with that.

Evaluate

...Where is the category out of control. Shocker, it will most often be your fun category. This is eating out, going out, picking up movies, shopping at Target (ouch). It will have the most wiggle room for you to cut back on.

...Where can you cut down your spending Groceries came in a close second for us after "fun." Coupons might be an option or starting up a meal plan so you aren't digging into that fun category too. Really look at what fits within your lifestyle to cut back on. We even looked into how we might be able to get rid of our cable. Still working on that one but I'm trying to cut that back.

Set goals

Now that you have seen how much you spent last month in the Fun category, set a goal for how much less you want to have in that category by the end of this month. Do this for every category that is not set.

...make an action plan for each of these. To cut down on fun and groceries, we made the plan to utilize coupons when we are able to and to plan out our meals to cut down on groceries and eating take out.




Congratulations, you now have a budget!!! Take a deep breath. You can do it. You will do it and save yourself a lot of moola.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen {Review}


It is no secret I love my coffee, wine and tea. It is also no secret that these are all culprits of getting icky, yellow teeth so I am always on the look out for easy teeth whitening products.

I was lucky enough to receive the Colgate VoxBox from Influenster that included the new Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen. Now, that's a mouthful but it can be broken down in 3 easy steps.

Brush




The Colgate Optic White toothbrush has special polishing bristles that aid in stain removal. Can be used with any toothpaste you choose but I would say, bonus points for using Colgate Optic White.


Whiten



Turn the dial at the bottom of the whitening pen and apply gel. It takes very little time to brush all around your teeth with the whitening bristle. There is also no need to wait that dreaded half hour before you can even drink.


Go!



The pen stores very conveniently inside the brush. Just snap in and off you go. Yes, it's as easy as it sounds.



Overall, this is such an easy way to be able to whiten your teeth. No strips to fuss around with and you literally can't forget when it's in your toothbrush! However, the gel did become a little clumpy at some points which made it uncomfortable on my tetth.

I also missed my usual toothbrush. I have been electric toothbrush user for well over 10 years. So having to use a regualar toothrbush was a little out of the norm for me. For that reason alone, I will not continue to use this but will finish the whitening gel. I did notice a slight difference in my teeth color after 2 days just like they promised. Is it enough for strangers to compliment me on my white teeth? Definitely not. But who knows what could happen after a couple of weeks.

Overall, a great travel brush for me. And if you are a manual toothbrush user, this could be a great option for you. Now, if they make an electric toothbrush with whitening, I'm all in!




I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.





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Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Wardrobe Updates on a Budget

Being a newlywed, we are on a serious budget crunch to save for a house, kids and many other things for our future. Sounds like fun, right? Especially with spring now here, I have a serious itch to update my wardrobe.

When it comes time for a new season, it can be easy to think there isn't a lot of wiggle room in that budget for an update. I've discovered that isn't the case. I CAN still look fabulous on a budget, but it does mean I won't be seen anytime soon sporting the new spring line of Michael Kors or wearing Ray Bans on this face.One day, future milf self. One day. But for now, I have found all the best alternatives.

So fret not, my saving gals, here is how to update your spring wardrobe even when on a budget.


Spring Must Haves on a Budget





1. Charlotte Russe-Wedge shoes $36  It isn't spring without pulling out the wedge sandals and letting those toes breathe. These are one of my favorite pairs with the triple buckle.
2. Body Central-Cross purse $19 This turquoise purse breaks the molds of the winter black purse. It has a spring color of pastel and can even fool enyone into believing you paid a lot more for it.
3.Target-Mossimo Basic Tee $12 These tees come in a lot of colors and can be worked into any outfit. Under a blazer, by themselves, with a statement necklace, the options are endless and the price is right to by more than 1 in every color.
4. Target-Mossimo® Women's Tulip Maxi Skirt $20 It's pretty much a rule to break out the maxi skirt or dress once the weather starts warming up. This one has twist with a tulip slit in the front to really show off those flip flops. Or if you're short like me, the slit helps it be wearable for you too. My short gals know what I'm talking about.
5. The Red Dress Boutique-To Catch A Husband Tunic-Orchid $39 The color! Just makes your eyes pop and I am in LOVE. We are all tired of the snow, winter, winter coats and boots, what could say welcome to spring than this fabulous tunic?
 6. Target-Mossimo skinny jeans $30 The boyfriend jean. I bought my first pair last spring and went and bought 2 more pairs. They are so comfortable and versatile to dress up with wedges, booties or flats. You cannot go wrong with Target denim.
 7. Body Central-Khaki Blazer $30 It seems winter just keeps lingering on, so we probably won't be able to jump into tees by themselves just yet. This is the perfect transition piece until we can. Can be thrown over the tees and paired with boyfriend jeans.
8. Charlotte Russe-Aviator sunglasses $5 Perfect for those selfies. And has a little glam on the side to really make them unique. The price tag fits my budget just in case I sit on them or lose them, which is where most of my sunglasses end up.
9. The Red Dress Boutique-Happy Tears Necklace Bubblegum $28 Statement necklaces are everywhere lately and this one, bubblegum, says sweet spring. It would be perfect with a white tee or aqua dress.
10. Forever 21-Love 21 skinny jeans $16  Everybody needs colored skinny jeans. It breaks up the monotony of blue denim. Give your wardrobe a splash when you are having those " Why won't winter just end?" blues. I have a pair in bright pink that I am itching to break out 


If you are on a budget, don't think you can't dress fabulously. And be sure to show your significant other just how great the prices are. I mean, it's pretty much a steal from those other $298 jeans, right?

Know of any other budget friendly spring wardrobe picks?





Thursday, March 20, 2014

All I will say is UGH

It seems I have been hit with some sort of virus or sickness or something. Not really sure at this point. 


Earlier in the week I thought it was due to my poor food and drink choices over the weekend and left it at that. Turns out, not so much. 


I thought maybe it could be a cold but then I thought stomach virus. Now I am out of ideas and made the awful decision to head to WebMD. Now I think I have the plague or appendicitis.

I'm hungry but in pain. Not hungry and have a huge headache. In and out fever. And I will spare any other details that enter into the TMI area. If any of this sounds familiar, give a girl some help. 

The point of this rambling story is I am spending this first day of spring curled up on the couch. Missing my Rita's and free iced coffee from Dunkin. I have also been missing out on blog and social media life. My bed and my couch are my favorite while I whine to my husband about if I should go to the ER. Let's hope the answer keeps being no. 

Buttt I can't forget to mention, winter is over!!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Cleaning Tips



As we are entering into the official start of spring this week, it is time to think of our annual cleaning ritual, Spring Cleaning. It's a time to go through all that stuff you have lying around, really get down with your bad cleaning self and whip your home into shape for those summer BBQ's. Go ahead, take a minute to really think about those summer BBQs. We are all more than ready for it.

I know I will be starting my spring cleaning very shortly in anticipation of a move. And here is exactly how I get my cleaning self into proper spring cleaning mode.

Prepare Grab a glass of your favorite vino or adult beverage. You make the decision whether to enjoy it before, during or after. Have all your favorite cleaning products on hand. My go tos are the Swiffer Duster, Lysol or Clorox wipes, pink cleaning gloves and a lot of paper towels.

Toss-Donate-Keep- Designate a donate pile before you even start clearing out the closets. Have the trash bags ready to just toss. Really evaluate if the items are worth taking up your closet and room space. Worth stressing you out over the clutter they might causing.

Unsure if you can? Try the 12-12-12 rule. Find 12 items you want keep, 12 items you want to donate and 12 items you want to trash. Right there, you have 36 items already taken care of. Your closets will breathe a little better.

Organize Now it's time to tackle all the stuff that is left in your keep pile and see where it belongs with all the rest of your stuff. Closets, under the bed, drawers, desk. You name it, organize it. Start the new season with a fresh, organized view from your desk or closet. Baskets are always a great idea to really start the organizing. Label away.



Deep Clean Get those cleaning gloves out. Pink ones optional. You will dusting, scrubbing and vacuuming like you haven't in the past 8 months. This includes moving furniture, washing windows and flipping the mattress. You can't forget to clean the pantry, fridge and toilet. All of the favorite spots. And just in case you need a checklist like me.




Reintroduce spring Switch out the winter bed linens, winter clothes and bathroom linens. Introduce the bright back into your life with spring sheets and towels. Pep up your wardrobe.It's time to kiss winter goodbye. And I can say for anyone on the east coast, we are ready!



Any tips you have for spring cleaning? How much are you looking forward to spring?
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Monday, March 17, 2014

First, let me take a selfie.

It looks like I have unintentionally been MIA on this blog for a few days. You see I was busy getting ready for the weekend and thought I had my post drafted on Friday. Turns out blogger had other ideas and before I knew it , I was rushing around to pack all my stuff and couldn't remedy the situation.

But alas, I am back, ready to talk to about my weekend. My weekend involved friends, dancing and absolutely no green to celebrate St. Patricks Day. Oh, and some selfies.

On our way!


Best friend on go karts


Just cruisin



Margaritaville



Handsome







We danced.

Much needed on Sunday.

And that my friends, is a good weekend. Waiting for my next day off...tomorrow.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Let's talk about Juan Pablo




This was the first bachelor season I have really gotten into for awhile. I think the last might have been Jesse Palmer. Yea, going wayyyy back.

The concept of this show was becoming old and diluted to me. These men and women would come on this show, fall in love and out of love so fast. It never lasted and started to irk me. What was the point of this again? Did anyone really want to find love?

But then came the hype over Juan Pablo and after the first night I was hooked. There was something about it. I blame bloggers everywhere for raving about this Juan Pablo.

Oh yea, definitely something about it. Juan Pablo is now the most controversial Bachelor in it's history. Or so Chris Harrison tells me. But here are all my thoughts on the matter because I know you want to hear it.

 Do I think Juan Pablo is as awful and assholish as people are saying? The night the motion of the ocean left him carried away, yes. Such a cop out using his daughter.Clare came to the room, he not only said yes but went to change. Then tried to make her feel guilty for the whole thing. Just grow a better pair. Please and thank you.

However, Juan just did what every woman wants a guy to do. Tell the truth. He didn't like the woman? He told her. Was i delicately put as we all might of wanted to be? Definitely not. But he told the truth. He slept with a woman. He told the other one.

And don't even get me started on the whole Andi fiasco. Do we all forget she admitted to sleeping with a guy she wasn't sure she even had feelings for? Come on, ladies. Let's be fair here. She's a grown woman who made a choice, who knew what position Juan was in.  She was having doubts from their fantasy suite "talk" and did it anyway. Just say no. Make grown up decisions and don't be upset when you are upset at yourself for going through with it.


And if anyone forgot what The Bachelor was about, it's about the hope of finding love. Maybe Juan Pablo really didn't. Who are we to make him admit he did or didn't? Who are we to say Nikki needs to make a run for it because he hasn't said I love you? Once again, he's being truthful if he's not there yet and just saying it for the show or because she wants him to.

He is also not the first Bachelor not to propose. And even the ones that did have long since moved on from the set betrothed.

So everyone, relax. Juan Pablo was The Bachelor. He gave good ratings, will always be remembered and probably won't be with the woman he chose. Just like the 12 before him.



And just to say, I was Team Clare. And will still probably tune into The Bachelorette. Because it's like crack.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Skinny Jeans

Talking about my weight or body image is not something you see on here often. What you do see me talk about A LOT is what new diet or healthy eating kick I am on.



My weight isn't something I'm obsessed with but I will admit, I think about it a lot. It was a constant reminder growing up when my family would mention how skinny I was and didn't fit in with the family. I was blessed with a high metabolism I guess. Where did that go?

Prom 2005

Always being the "skinny" family member definitely contributed to my concern over any and all weight gain. I saw a pound creep up and I instantly became concerned. I went through diet pills, weight loss strategies and ran like a fiend just to keep the pounds off back then. Not smart, Krista for your college self who did none of those things.

My sophomore year of college was my heaviest I've ever been. That weight won't be disclosed as I am still a little embarrassed that the number got up that high without it being contributed to a new life being inside me.

I was in love, just joined a sorority that I loved and was happy with my life. There was a kitchen downstairs where it was easy to indulge in pizza rolls and chicken fingers. I definitely did not have a scale to monitor the weight gain. I saw pants getting tighter and I loved my sweatpants but it was ok. I was happy.

In the same dress, 2010



Then, I ended up with a knee condition in the spring of 2010. For 3 months, I was a medical mystery. 3 MRI's, physical therpay for no reason, 4 X-Rays. No one knew why my knee was the size of a basketball and I couldn't walk on it. Turns out it was that tricky meniscus. Had some surgery, physical therapy and somehow the weight just fell off.

That summer, I lost 20 pounds. Typing that I still can't believe that I was that heavy to be able to lose that much and not even be near the 100 mark. (not saying that is EVER my goal) I felt absolutely amazing and my blood pressure was under control again. I could run and workout and I actually wanted to.

Naturally, I had to go on a shopping spree. I was a whole new person coming back to college my junior year. I felt free and had to battle some things and new clothes would help me take on the world. Cue my "skinny" jeans. As we all know as, the jeans that linger to a period when you were at your "best" weight.

Skinny jeans!






Since I put on those skinny jeans, I have obviously not kept up with that weight. It has been a constant fluctuation with ups and downs, ups and down some more. It creeps up then I realize and do something about it.

Put some back on. Spring 2009.

Christmas 2009. Weight off again.

Engagement Pictures 2012. Up again.

On our wedding day. Way down. Thanks stomach flu!

As you can see, after college, I lost another 10 pounds. Not as much booze I think. But then I moved on my own, got engaged and loved my job. It was the happy weight you see in my engagement pictures. That then came off during operation wedding weight loss and stomach flu.

And those skinny jeans? Those jeans still sit in my closet. Circa 2010. I can't say they just sit there and collect dust because they don't. I pull those jeans out on a regular basis. They are how I know I am gaining weight or losing weight. Or might be carrying a little extra in the love handles.

It might seem like I am obsessed with my weight. And I would say yes and no. Carrying a few extra pounds, no big deal. But too many of those pounds look and feel different on a 5 ft. 2 in. person than someone taller. It also affects how I feel overall. I feel more tired and just overall blah.

It's part of why I keep the skinny jeans. I felt like I could take on the world when I first bought those skinny jeans. I felt sexy. My blood pressure dropped, my skin improved. I was living life and really enjoying it. Those skinny jeans are more about how I FELT in them rather than what I looked like.

If I gain a few pounds, I don't stress or worry about it. I hardly get on the scale after operation wedding weight loss. But I do get concerned when I start to feel the weight gain. My blood pressure, my skin, my overall well being.

I might opt to toss those skinny jeans come spring cleaning time. Or I might still hold on to them. Still haven't made the full decision if I really still need them around. I have put on some of the newlywed pounds but I will call that my happy weight and I won't let my skinny jeans tell me any different. 

Do you have skinny jeans? How long have you kept them?
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Inspiration


This weekend was a tough one. I worked and didn't get to see my husband as much as I would have liked to and today I am honestly dragging. SO. I needed a little inspiration and hopefully it can help you too on this Monday

















All images from Positive Life Tips



Enjoy your Monday!
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