Dear TJ Maxx: You Have My Heart

I would call myself a 'maxxinista' because of how much money I spend I love TJ Maxx.

You can find such great deals and this weekend that's exactly what I got. 

Are there any Lilly Pulitzer lovers out there?

Look what I found in great condition and with the original price tags on them so I can compare what I paid vs. the retail price...

First up...my favorite purchase.

The Original Tote...
Retail price: $88.00
I paid: $25.00 on clearance

the cute pink inside.

Next purchase...

Cosmetic make up bag...
Retail price: $38.00
I paid: $12.99

That's a savings of... $88.00.

Now, I probably would never pay full price for either of these items but hey that's still a heck of a savings and I love them both..very very happy :)

My last purchase were these Betsey Johnson sunglasses...

I absolutely love these sunglasses. 
I love the wayfarer style and the pink sides = just awesome.

Retail price: $55.00
I paid: $9.99

I would call that shopping trip a success.

We also planned the dates for our roadtrip to Charlotte {sorry for the confusion..some of you thought we were going this past weekend} and we are going Valentines Day weekend...
Feb. 11th! Can't wait!

Before I go....looks like someone got a bath & haircut this weekend...

our little rugrat Rocky! so fresh and so clean, clean...

and here is spinning all over the floor...He goes CRAZY after his baths and rubs his body allllll over the carpet, pillows, couches, anything...haha

Do any of your dogs do this? So silly. 


This May Be The Cutest Thing I've Ever Seen...

I know I just posted a video of Lia earlier this week but this is one of the cutest videos I have ever seen.
You have to watch this video. If you only have a little bit of time to watch...fast forward to the 1:30 mark...it is hilarious.
By the way...she is reading the classic Green Eggs & Ham (aka Sam I Am) if you have trouble understanding her cuteness voice :)

My fav part is when she yells "I don't like them ANYWHERE!" and at the end when she says she is done reading now...haha   

Well, Billy and I are off to go skiing tomorrow..we usually try and go atleast once a year.
My Dad bought me ski's a while back so it's time to pull them out of hibernation in our basement and get some use of out 'em!! It's always a fun time!

We are also planning a road trip to one of our fav places this weekend...

We are looking to go in a couple weeks in the middle of Febuary. I looked up the weather for the weekend we are thinking of going and it shows 60 and sunny...yesss! We are itching to get to some warm weather and enjoy the sun :) 

We've got a busy but fun weekend ahead of us!

What are your weekend plans?!



Thoughts for Thursday...Book Rec's Please!

I <3 Thoughts for Thursday!

It's great that I can put together all my random, interesting, useless facts to share with you in one post! Go link up with Carolyn & share yours!

#1. Earlier this week I finished the book Water For Elephants...

Let's just say: One of my favorite books..hands down.

It had me hooked from the beginning not wanting to put it down. I am a huge animal lover so I really enjoyed all the circus parts. At times, it made me wish I could go back in history and work on a circus! You know, besides living on a train and only having one pair of clothes. (What would I do without my hair straightener?!) Not very glamorous, but a girl can dream. I don't want to disclose too much information about the book because I know some of you are either reading it or will be reading it...
but if you haven't read this book yet: GO OUT (or download to your fancy Kindle's) AND BUY IT NOW! :)

Besides, you still have time to read it before the movie comes out.

Reese Witherspoon......


#2. So now that I'm done with the book...I need each and every one of you girls to give me AWESOME recommendations for the next book I should read.

What books have you read lately and enjoyed?!
I want to go out over the weekend and get one so please share with me any good reads you have!!!

#3.  I have gotten around 10 recipes so far from the email recipe exchange I participated in. I love it! I got it from a friend and basically you send any recipe to the person you got it from and then add your name to the bottom of the list and send it out to 20 people.
In the end, depending on how many people participate, you only sent out 1 recipe but should get around 20 recipes! Awesome idea!

#4.  I am much more happy with 7+ hours of sleep.

#5. Why do people not accelerate when getting ON the highway?
That just drives me up a wall!!!
 You need to go the SAME speed as the traffic so that when you merge you don't get hit from behind! Why is this such a hard concept?

That's all for today!



What I'm Loving Wednesday: I'm a Winner!

Hello lovelies!

It's my favorite blog day of the week & what I'm loving has put a huge smile on my face this week!

I'm *loving*  that I won my FIRST ever blog giveaway on Monday!!!!
from the lovely Jess at Polka Dots, Pearls, and Pink... Oh My! 

What did I win?!

A beautiful pashmina & pearl earrings that Jess picked out herself!
I'd say for my first time winning this was a damn good one to win, dont you think?!
I'm awesome (actually thank you to my lucky #23..I had nothing to do with it.)
I never imagined that by starting this random blog filled with all my random thoughts that I would ever meet such nice people and on top of that never imagined I would get GIFTS out of it!
 I am thrilled to get this package in the mail from her and to wear them!!! Thanks Jess :)

I'm *loving* all of my new readers (I like this word better than 'followers')
A very special "Hi" to all of you!!! :) Some of you have messaged me or sent me comments which I appreciate. If you haven't, please don't hesitate to! I love to hear from everyone!

I'm *loving* that I've made it to the gym everyday since Saturday. I have so much more energy and it feels great.

I love these Mix1 drinks...you should try them.

I'm *loving* this quote....

I'm *loving* that ONE TREE HILL is back on! I have been watching this show since the very beginning and it is sooo addicting.

Do any of you watch this show, too?! The episode last night was absolutely hilarious.
Brooke's character on the show is my favorite. I just love her.


I'm *loving* that my father-in-law DID buy the boat that I mentioned last week!!!!! Booze cruises, anyone?! We are so excited for this summer to be able to use it...

Billy waterskiing

I'm *loving* the current DIY jewelry project I'm working on. I can't say much about it yet because I am going to share it when it's a finished project but it's getting there! :)

I'm *loving* my red Hunter rainboots! They are the best.

I'm always *loving* my wonderful husband & sweet puppers!<3

Be sure to link up with Jamie & tell us what you're lovin'! :)



YES! Homemade Girl Scout Cookies

I faint with excitement.

It's Girl Scout Cookie season ladies.

I may be watching what I eat (pshh) to try and get bikini ready but Girl Scout Cookies are a WHOLE different story...I was a proud Girl Scout in my little Katie days & they are to.die.for. I simply can't subject myself to not being able to eat any this year.
I ordered us 3 boxes already (and hopefully won't have any more than this) from a family friend who's daughter is trying to hit her 100-box goal. Getting the best cookies ever and helping a sweet little girl? I couldn't turn it down, obviously.

I ordered us these...1 box of Thin Mints, 1 box of Samoa's (or Caramel Delights..what's up with the name change?), and 1 box of Tagalongs. All of my favorites! I'm hungry just thinking about them.
We won't get them until the first week of March but we will be on vacation so luckily I can eat them by the BOX (I have yet to succeed at eating just 2 or 3...) when we get back & not have to worry about getting in a swim suit & possibly looking preggers! Cheers! 

I was on Yahoo the other day and one of their trending topics was 'Homemade Girl Scout Cookies'.  
AHH...What, BACK UP, this isn't a joke to ruin my diet, is it?? I'm all over this. You CAN have girl scout cookies year round.

Here is the homemade recipe (long & short version) for one of my favorites...Thin Mints. I think they are the most popular cookie they have. If you want the Samoa or Tagalong recipe, let me know, I have those as well (...that may come as a shock.)


Homemade Thin Mints
Makes 48 to 60 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts and beat until smooth. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined. Place dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes — this will make it easier to shape into logs.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Turn one portion onto a piece of waxed paper and roll into a log about 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. (Or bigger, if you want bigger cookies.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up 24 hours. Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the dough into 1/4- to 1/3-inch rounds. Place on a cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are firm around the edges but soft on top, about 13 to 15 minutes (or a little longer for frozen dough). Let cool.
Melt the chocolate and vegetable oil in double boiler, or in the microwave. Line two baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Use a small offset spatula to spread a layer of the chocolate glaze over the top of each cookie. Place the cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm. Store at room temp in an airtight container.

*Want an even simplier recipe for Thin Mints than that?*

This version only has 3 ingredients and the word around the street is that these look and taste JUST like them.

Here's the faux version if you will...

-Ritz Crackers (try and get the unsalted kind)
-Semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate almond bark
-Peppermint Oil flavoring

Start with about 3/4 of a bag (or 6 oz.) of the chocolate chips and melt in the microwave, stirring often, or double boiler or over very low heat. Stir in about 1/4 t of peppermint oil (add by drops until you get a strong, delicious taste you like) Work quickly so your chocolate doesn't set up while you are dipping, or keep it warming in a bowl or pan over another pan of hot water (double boiler style). You can get about 1 sleeve of crackers dipped with about 6-8 oz. chocolate chips. If your chocolate is too thick to dip, you can add 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening and stir smooth. Don't add butter or water it will seize.

Using a fork, dip the Ritz crackers one by one to cover in the melted minty chocolate coating and let the excess drip off before laying on parchment paper or wax paper. Let harden or if you are in a rush, refrigerate to harden.

will be trying the short version this weekend to see how they turn out!



Monster Monday

Green Monster Monday...to be exact.

Now wait...before you go clicking the big "X" to leave my blog...I know this picture may look gross, but I can promise you this girl would NOT drink anything that is disgusting for breakfast!!

 Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, you know.

Have you heard of a Green Monster?

 I just discovered this different type of smoothie and decided that I'd give it a GO!!
I am working on incorporating more veggies in my diet (I love them but it can be hard to get those daily servings!) and I am a HUGE smoothie/shake fan so I thought I'd kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

Here's the recipe.
Don't be scurred of the spinach in it, ladies :)

Green Monster

~2-3 cups spinach (for your first one, you can use a little less to get used to the taste)
~1 banana
~2-3 strawberries
~3/4 cup of milk (I use Silk's unsweetened almond milk)
~Truvia sweetner

Blend all those suckers together.

It only has 200 calories and is good for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

**I want to hear from atleast one of you ladies {especially all you upcoming brides that are being extra healthy - you know who you are!!} that you tried this soo go on and get to it!!**

One thing before I go...

THANK YOU to the sweet CMae {like how I used your colors?) over at Live What You Love for picking my blog for the "This Blog Rocks" link up!!

It means a lot to me that you guys enjoy reading my blog and I hope that some of you new ladies or gents that come across my blog from this link up will enjoy my blog, too! :)

Have a great Monday!

Happy Birthday Lia

Over the weekend, we celebrated my niece Lia's 3rd birthday. She is growing up so fast and is such a little sweetie. 

Here's a video that I took from my flip of her and her sister Mara dancing to Katy Perry's 'California Girls'. For our wedding, my bridesmaids and I did a little dance to this song and Mara and Lia learned it the day of the wedding and did it with us {and did it better than the BRIDE}. They still dance to it all the time :)

Please don't pay attention to my dreadful singing and loud voice...I thought the background music to the song would be louder but obviously not haha You get a look at my hubby who I was trying to get in on the dancing...TRYING..keyword ;)

Aren't they precious?

Our soccer team is also 2-0 after this weekend....yep, we kick some serious butt. We are getting pretty good and working better as a team this session! 

Saturday night... Me & Billy, my parents, my stepsister Mandy & her husband Sean, and some other friends went to a charity function downtown for Catholic Social Services. This is our 2nd year going and they have items you can bid on, raffles, and a big band to dance to. Plus, a delicious steak dinner and open bar :D  I got Billy on the dance floor for 1 song...and a FAST song at that...I was thrilled! Billy isn't much of a dancer except he can do the slow dances if I give him a "pretty pretty please". 

I did get some really cute tops and a skirt for our trip to Florida, too! :)

I am hoping this week it warms up to atleast 20 degrees. Because let's be honest...the 5-10 degree weather we've been having....SUCKS



Classy & Fabulous

Who is classy and fabulous you ask?! Me and my friends of course...like you even had to ask to figure that one out! :)

Actually, the title of this post is meant to be for a recap of my favorite show (shhh!) Real Housewives of Beverly Hills finale that was on last night but before I do that I wanted to share some not so classy fabulous pictures of this past weekend!

the cookie cake I got Natasha!



like I said, very classy.

Me and Natasha with our best guy friend Jim! 

and then there are my husband Billy and Natasha's "TRADIONAL" pictures they take together...
we started noticing after many pictures together that they do pretty much the same thing in each one {with some strange variations} 
so when she came home this weekend we had to get one...

and there's that hand in the air...

lol love how Natasha's eyes are closed here...
ok, you get the point. that's their "traditional" picture...


Who watched the finale of Real Housewives of BH last night?!

Since I've blogged about it since it started it seems only right to do a finale post about it!

My overall opinion: BEST season thus far of Real Housewives!!!!

To Lisa & Kyle: I want to be you. Can we please be friends? 

Bravo finally got it right this time. These ladies actually have money (I'd be cool with owning the Palms casino!) and their lifestyles prove it! They also seem to have less DRAMA than all the other seasons combined! I feel like Bravo even had to create some of the drama thru editing because not much was happening with the ladies. 

They are classy (for the most part) and all of them seem to get along with the exception of Camille and Kyle. Even they, however, seemed to squash their differences fake maybe? for the end of the season. I really hope everything works out with Taylor and her husband but that whole situation makes me sad. Taylor seems so sweet but yet so sad to be married to what's his name he barely spoke all season Russell. 

and lastly..Mauricio...thank you for FINALLY giving us viewers some eye candy after toooo many seasons of unattractive, lousy husbands!!! He's no Billy..but he is cute & a wonderful father!

What did you all think of this season?? 



I'm Alive...

but no thanks to FOOD POISONING!!! {awful..absolutely awful}

I'm backkkk!! I have had a busy but wonderful weekend and last couple of days! Having Natasha back in town was great but that was expected! We had a lot of fun Saturday night (and also had 1 too many margaritas...) for her welcome home party. We went shopping and out to dinner Tuesday to a nice restaurant here in Columbus and everything was just great until later when I felt sick and realized I got food poisoning!! It was miserable. I am just now feeling better but I haven't been able to eat anything besides an apple for over 24 hours... :(

I feel so out of the loop with being gone from Blogger for what feels like a really long time and am looking forward to reading all of your posts that I've missed!

I figured today I would link up with Carolyn @ Life, Love, and Puppy Prints for her first Thoughts On Thursday link-up because let's face it.. I have A LOT of random thoughts today!!! Go link up with her and play along!

Here goes!

#1. Did I mention food poisoning sucks? Have any of you had it before? This was my first {and hopefully last or I will seriously hurt the next chef} time and I really don't know if I am ever going to be able to eat Salmon..or any fish..ever again!!! Is this normal thinking and will I eventually get over this? I hope so...

#2. I'm loving the cute things I got when we went shopping this past Tuesday...

I got these super cute Guess Marciano nude pumps...

here's a better pic...

I found this cute Navy jacket that I thought would be good to bring to Florida to wear in the evenings...

and of course I had to make a stop at lululemon athletica and I got these running shorts!


#3. I love my husbands sense of humor. He seriously cracks me up. After the awful singing session by Brad and Ashley on this weeks Bachelor...he sang Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" on repeat proving to me that he could potentially be the next Bachelor and that he's better than Brad. Hate to break it to you hunny, but first off you are MARRIED and secondly...ANYONE could sing better than Brad! It was so bad it was hard to even watch but I loved how Ashley kept it fun & cute!

#4. I really liked the movie the Social Network. Have any of you watched it? What did you think?! We watched it this weekend and I thought it was pretty good! It was totally weird to get on facebook after watching it though. I'm so mad I didn't come up with facebook! Wouldn't that be nice? Cya millions of millions of dollars...

#5. Billy's Dad put an offer in on a BOAT last night. We are soo hoping he gets it!!! We love to go boating in the summer...fishing, waterskiing, tubing...we love it all :)

#6. I am loving the book Water for Elephants and can't wait to see Robert Pattinson looking uber sexy the movie!

#7. We are shopping around for different lighting to go in our kitchen and I am hoping that this weekend we will decide on one & buy it! We are looking at different track lighting like these...
#8. I wish it would stop snowing in Ohio but we are getting 3-4 inches today! wahh!
A little over 1 month and 1 week until FLORIDA!! :)

Tomorrow I'll be back with pictures from this past weekend!




"It's Not A Purse, It's A Satchel"

....quote via The Hangover. if you haven't seen this movie you are really missing out.

I am overly excited that it is finally Friday!! I had a BUSY {but good} week at work and it felt like Friday was never going to come. I know I've mentioned this about 5391 times but I can't wait to pick Natasha up from the airport tomorrow!!! It's going to be wonderful to see that cute face of hers :)

I will probably be MIA from Blogger for a while because I want to spend as much time as possible with her while I can since she is only staying until Weds! girl time..girl time..girl time!!

It seems like lately the "cool thing" to do on Blogger is to share what you carry inside your purse everyday aka "It's In The Bag!" as Jess would put it...and also the ever so popular Vlogs!!! Sorry to get your hopes up (I know you are just dying to hear my boring awesome voice), but I won't be posting a Vlog today even though I have REALLY enjoyed watching some of yours!! My flip is currently being charged for the weekend festivities and I have been too busy to record it but maybe I will do it soon because I really like the idea!

You will, however, get to see what's inside MY bag! Mine is in fact a purse and NOT a satchel, but I just love when Alan says that in the Hangover so I had to use it as the title for today :) I know you are jumping with joy over this! haha I really am not too creative with what I carry in my purse everyday but it IS my lifeline to the world so thought I would share anyways...

Here are a lot of my goods...sorry for the bad picture quality but these are taken with my phone...

Let's see here. Starting from the back...

I've got my Coach wallet that at the moment is busting at the seams with so much money receipts..I hate carrying receipts! must clean that out soon.

Then I've got my Ray Ban aviator sunglasses which are essential. Even though it's gloomy here lately in Ohio, you can never be too prepared for the sun to show it's face.

iTouch. can't leave home without this guy. He goes with me everywhere...to the gym, to work, etc.

Moving along....yes, that is a childs soccer ball pen you see. What in the world is this doing in my purse? I never knew I had it in my purse until now. I'm not even sure where I got it. Hmmm...whatever, it's kinda fun..it can stay.

Then I've got my Vera coin purse and check book cover. typical everyday purse items..

2 packs of gum... 1 regular mint pack and 1 pack of the Extra Dessert gum for when I am out and about and am about to indulge in some unnecessary calories that would just go straight to my hips. warning: these obviously don't work all the time..but they help.

Crest Whitestrips. I don't normally carry these in my purse..but I found them under Billy's sink (double vanities in our bathroom = lifesaver) and figured I would steal some. Ya never know when you have 30 minutes to spare and want to put these babies on.

Now for the lip gloss/chapstick...

This may look like a lot to be carrying around in 1 purse but it seems like whenever I actually really need them on the weekends I CAN'T FIND ANY OF THEM!!! Anybody else have this problem?!
Maybe I need a cute little bag to put all of them so I can find them easier and not have to carry this many...

Usually, I have my camera in my purse too but it's at home charging! My keys are also not pictured but obviously they are always in there. I'm known to randomly bust out an apple or Fiber 1 bar as well when I'm out with friends for a little snack..hey..don't judge, I love my food.

Now for the purse!

This is my favorite Coach purse I own. I love love love it. Billy got it for me after some serious convincing on my part... ;)

It's the perfect size for me and goes with everything. I can't carry small bags and this has a bunch of room but isn't too bulky.

The best part is the purty inside...my favorite Tiffany Blue color...

Sorry if I don't carry that many interesting things in my purse but that's me!