Friday, July 31, 2015

Moving On

Big news around these parts....WE'RE MOVING! After 7 years at our current place we have decided to move on to bigger and better things. Well, hopefully better and definitely bigger! Our townhouse lease is due to be up the end of August and so we slowly began looking for somewhere new. We weren't in any kind of rush and were actually planning on renewing our lease - we just thought "hey couldn't hurt to look." We love our townhouse so much but we are starting to outgrow it and figured scouting out some larger places in the area might not be a bad idea. Jason found a house online and sent me a link to which I think my reply was "not a fan, but I'll check it out." The broker listing the house didn't do the best job of photographing the place (word to the wise, clean the dishes out of the sink before posting photos of your house online). However, when we walked through it I really liked it! A couple days later and our application was approved and a deposit was paid. And so, as of the end of next month this will be our new home. 
The house is located just a few miles from where we are now so we still get the benefits of the awesome area we love so much only it's even closer to all the places I prefer to shop! Bonus! It's got 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a great basement/family room/rec room, and amazing patio for entertaining, an attached garage (hallelujah!) and the world's smallest kitchen (womp womp). Aside from the small kitchen and the fact that I have to part ways with my pool (not even kidding I tear up when I have to talk about it), I am so excited for the space this house is going to give us and this new chapter in our lives. 

We are renting the house as I am just not ready to commit to owning a house. Is it weird that I had no qualms about committing my life to Jason but get super nervous about committing to a house? We just feel that when we do make that investment we want it to be a house we'll be in forever and are head over heels for because let's face it...it's a lot of money, a lot of responsibility and moving sucks! But I think this house is the perfect stepping stone for us - more space, more freedom and more responsibility without the commitment of a mortgage!  As anxious as I get about big changes (creature of habit over here) I am really excited for this next chapter and can't wait to get in there and put my spin on it! 



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Weekends Passed

Remember that time I inadvertently took a 3.5 week blog break because life got so crazy I just couldn't get myself to sit down and write? Whoopsies. Things have been hectic and overwhelming over here but also super fun! We are really packing it all in this summer and sadly the blog takes a hit when our schedules are full. We've been working hard and playing harder and our weekends just seem to get better and better - I'm telling ya, this summer is one for the books. Here's what we've been up to while I was not blogging....

We kicked off 4th of July weekend on Friday afternoon with fun at the pool and a BBQ at our house. Our besties Colin & Sharisse brought their boys over to swim and we all had a blast. 

We spent 4th of July on the lake with my family then joined my brother & sister-in-law for a BBQ and then ended the night at the country club for fireworks. Kenley was entertaining us all with her firework commentary..."Wow! Look at that one! Yellow! Blue! Oooooh!" It was great. 


The next weekend we went to Jake & Carolyn's to help them with their basement reno. As an avid HGTV viewer I was SO excited to knock down some walls. It was a lot for work but it was so fun! I left with some pretty hefty bruises but beating the crap out of some walls was totally worth it! I'm so excited to see the new basement all finished! 


That same weekend we celebrated one of Kenley's bestie's 3rd Birthday! Vinny had a pirate themed party at Edinborough Park and Kenley had a blast. She loves "Binny" and couldn't stop talking about the fun they had together. 


The following weekend was my dad's big basketball tournament that we run every year. It's a long weekend of a lot of work but thanks to some company tickets, I was able to bail early to enjoy the Kenny Chesney & Jason Aldean concert at Target Field. It was an awesome night with awesome music, awesome friends, and a few too many awesome cocktails - but that's what summer is all about isn't it? 


And then, finally, this past weekend we got to celebrate one of my college roomies, Clara's, wedding! It's always amazing to spend some quality time with my old roommates and our guys. We have so many memories together and the laughs are pretty non-stop when we're together. 


It's been so fun and exhausting and believe it or not, August is set to be even busier than July has been! But, I'm not complaining! I'm so lucky to have such awesome friends who want to spend time with us...so bring it on August! 



Thursday, July 2, 2015

July Goals: Health

July! Say what?!
I can't believe how quickly this summer is already going! If you read my Happiness Project post from yesterday, then you know I am embarking on a little self improvement quest for the rest of the year starting with my health. I decided to tackle this one first because let's face it - how we feel impacts everything we do. Working out will give me more energy to tackle the upcoming month's goals. Eating healthy will help me look better and feel better which is never bad. AND giving up a couple non-healthy indulgences and meal planning will save money! Wins across the board! 
Weight Loss Secret....
My resolutions this month were as follows: 
  • Create a work out schedule
  • Meal Plan
  • Quit Pop
  • Cut Back on Booze
  • Drink More Water
  • Limit Starbucks
  • Limit Meals Out
  • Get a Good Night's Sleep
I decided the best way to work towards these resolutions was to create a little game for myself because let's face it - like a small child or a dog I like to be rewarded for my efforts. I made a table of daily goals that will benefit my overall health and each goal is worth a point for a total of 7 points a day. At the end of July's 31 days, if I have earned myself 200 points, I am treating myself to a new swimsuit {no budget} for my upcoming trip to Las Vegas! It's a doable but lofty goal and I'm pretty excited. 

So here are my daily goals: 
  1. Take a minimum of 10,000 steps {tracked by my handy FitBit}
  2. Drink 85oz {or more} of water {also tracked by FitBit}
  3. Exercise for at least 30 minutes
  4. No booze {hold me}
  5. No pop
  6. No Starbucks {hold me tighter}
  7. Enter all food/drinks into MyFitnessPal and come in under the calorie goal
5 Ways to Make Running Feel Easier
And just to make things a little more interesting, alongside my girl Erin, I have entered my first ever DietBet...have you heard of this? You basically enter a challenge and bet money you'll achieve it. If you do - you win your money back. If you don't - your money gets split between everyone who did. If you achieve your goal and others don't - you WIN money! We entered a challenge to lose 4% of our weight in 4 weeks which times out perfectly for my month of health not to mention I want my $35 back and that is definitely motivating me to stay on track with those above goals! 

What are your goals this July?





Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Happiness Project

Last month my book club read The Happiness Project which has me feeling all kinds of inspired. 
The Happiness Project is about an author who realizes that despite having a wonderful life she could be happier in her day-to-day life which leads her to go on a quest that she calls her Happiness Project. She sets different goals and resolutions for each month of one year and has to maintain the previous months resolutions as she adds more each month. It was a super fun read and, as I said, was very inspiring. {read the full synopsis HERE}

Reading this book got me thinking what I could do to make myself happier. Don't get me wrong, I love my life! In fact, this is probably the happiest I've ever been! Well, except for maybe when I was a kid and my greatest stress was which house we should go to for night games. However, despite having a great life, I still find myself feeling stressed out, self conscious, impatient and really I guess...less than happy from time to time.  

So I decided to jot down some of the areas in my life I think I could work on that would help me convert those negative feelings that creep in into more happiness and joy. What I came up with was
time management, patience, stress, health, finances & quality time with my little family. 


It just so happened to work out that there were six things that came to mind and six months left in 2015. So, much like in the book, I've decided to try and focus on one of these each month and build on what I've accomplished month by month. Within each of these categories I jotted down some resolutions that would help me improve in each of these areas.  When I made these lists I found that there was a lot of overlap, which has me excited in knowing if I work on this little-by-little it could really yield big results! 

So here are the things I want to work on each month and how I'm breaking down my happiness project, then each month I will create and share specific goals that will work as baby steps to achieve my resolutions and hopefully improve me in these areas. 

JULY: Health
  • Create a workout routine and stick to it
  • Meal Plan
  • Quit Pop
  • Cut back on the booze
  • Drink more water
  • Limit Starbucks
  • Limit Meals Out
  • Eat at home

AUGUST: Time Management 
  • Wake up early
  • Stick to a schedule
  • Just say "No!"
  • Accomplish a little at a time
  • Get a good night sleep

SEPTEMBER: Stress
  • Declutter / Clean
  • Time Management
  • Speak Up
  • Just say "No!"
  • Plan Ahead
  • Yoga
  • Get a good night sleep
  • Me Time

OCTOBER: Finances
  • Dave Ramsey
  • Daily Budget Update
  • No Spend Month
  • Limit Starbucks
  • Eat at home
  • Work more 

NOVEMBER: Patience
  • Time Management 
  • Prioritize
  • Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
  • Learn
  • Be Creative 


DECEMBER: Quality Time with my Little Family
  • Time Management
  • Limit Social Media / Phone
  • Make Dates
  • Create a Routine
  • Family Dinner at the Table 
  • Create Traditions


I'm really excited! I think everyone is always on a quest for self improvement and that quest is neverending, but I am looking forward to making some small changes that will enhance my life and the life of my family in a big way. You know what they say "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." But truly, I am so so so happy - I just want to be a better Kristin! 


Check back tomorrow for my July goals!




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Honeymoon Friends {part seis}

Over the weekend, Jason and I were reunited with our Honeymoon Friends at their house in Ankeny, Iowa. Per usual it was a fun-filled weekend complete with plenty of adult cocktails and nonstop laughs. Jason and I headed south early Friday afternoon and were anxious to get the 3.5 hour drive over with so we could see our pals. 

We rolled in to town and immediately picked up where we left off. It's so awesome to have such great friends that time isn't an issue - we hadn't seen Bill & Jackie for a year but it was just as if no time had passed. 

Bill grilled us some delicious kabobs, we settled in, had a drink or two and then hit the road for a bike ride! I haven't been on a bike since our trip to Chicago two years ago, so I must admit I was a tad nervous. But it's true, you hop on it just comes right back to you. Our ride started at the Flat Tire Lounge, a really cool old feed barn that was converted in to a bar.
 I loved the bar so much, I just had to have a tank top from there and Jackie followed my lead. #bikeflat
 After a couple of drinks at Flat Tire we made our way to the High Trestle Bridge where the view was incredible!
 After taking in the view on the bridge we were off to the Whistlin' Donkey for a couple more drinks and some snacks {aka the world's cheesiest Grilled Cheese} and then we headed back and ended our night back at Flat Tire. In all I think we biked around 12 miles. It was a great workout, so much fun and now Jason and I are bike shopping like crazy because we must have bikes. 


On Saturday we woke to perfectly sunny and blue skies - which officially broke the curse of me always bringing crappy weather to Iowa. It was the most perfect day to spend on the boat and so that is what we did! We ate, drank, swam, danced, laughed and had a blast! There isn't much I love more than a day on the boat and to spend it with good friends is icing on the cake. 

After a solid 6 hours on the boat and a sunburn to prove it...
 ...we got showered and ready and went to Wig and Pen for some DELICIOUS pizza. 
After dinner, we made our way to Firetrucker, a really cool old fire station converted to a brewery. I wish I would have taken more photos because the decor and atmosphere was so cool. 

After a couple of Firetrucker original beers, we were back at Bill & Jackie's where we stayed up until the wee hours chatting on the deck while using our newfound favorite app "Star Chart". It's seriously SO COOL! You hold it up to the sky and it tells you what stars and constellations you are looking at! Seriously - hours of entertainment! 

It was another successful reunion and we are already planning and counting down the days until our next! I love so much that we've managed to maintain this friendship because it certainly would have been easy to leave Mexico saying "let's get together" and then never following through. Just think of all the fun we would have missed out on if we didn't make the effort. 

Next up.... Part Siete!