Midweek Pick-Me-Up

During long, stressful weeks, I sometimes just need a little pick-me-up to help power through to Friday. Do you ever feel this way? I know I’ve mentioned this in several of my most recent posts, but life has been nuts lately. Between loads of projects at the office, hosting multiple get-togethers at our new house, volunteering at an animal shelter {more on that later}, and just the ins and outs of daily life, I’m downright exhausted. I need this week to be O-V-E-R, stat. But, since it’s not quite Friday, I went hunting for a little inspiration to keep me going. Check out some of my favorite finds below and end this week strong!

Things I’m crushing on:

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This mug. Anyone want to buy it for me? How could you not feel motivated with a mug like this? And for that matter, I’m pretty much crushing on all of Charm & Gumption‘s lovelies on Etsy.

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Skirt PR on tumblr. It’s literally just all images, but they’re so pretty! I don’t know about you, but I love looking through pretty images when my brain is fried. Definitely good for a quick boost of inspiration and happiness!

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Podcasts from Influential Gal. I actually went to school with Lauren for a long time and I’m totally digging her new website as a whole. It’s full of inspirational articles and helpful tips, and I love listening to her podcasts while I’m at work. It’s really given me a boost of confidence to pursue a few things in my personal life that I’ve been too afraid to go for until now. Girl power!

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Last but not least, this quote. Like I just said, I’ve been too afraid and self-doubting in the past to pursue a couple things that I really want to do. So, I’m taking a leap of faith! {Ok, so maybe I am just tip-toeing, but even small progress is forward progress!}

I hope you all have a fantastic end to your week and an even more awesome weekend. Don’t forget to celebrate your mommas!

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Summer Essentials

Wow, is it really already almost Friday? I don’t know about you guys, but this week has flown by. This whole month has really. I mean, it’s already the middle of April. When did that happen? I feel like it was just last week that I was writing about my New Year’s resolutions. Not that I’m complaining – I’m totally cool with the warmer weather! I love winter, but even I was over the cold.

With all of this warm weather happening right now {and with today’s near-80s temps!}, I got inspired to do a post about my summer essentials. I know, I know, it’s still April, but we’re only a couple weeks away from May and for me May = summer. I love trying new things in the summer…seeing all the latest trends is so fun! BUT, I have to have my go-to summer staples. A lot of these products are things I use year-round, but they are especially handy for those warmer days. And here in the midwest, you have to have a few things in your arsenal to battle this crazy heat and humidity!

 

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1. A water bottle // The number one rule of summer is staying hydrated, right? This one’s portable, insulated, and easy to drink out of. Plus, it’s BPA free! This one’s from Target and it’s Flamingo Pink {because pink is my signature color!}.

2. bareMinerals Original Foundation // When it’s already 98 degrees outside, the last thing I want to do is cake my face with a heavy liquid foundation. I’ve used other powder foundations before, but I’ve found that this one is the best {and truly worth the money}. It’s light and stays put even on the sweatiest of days, and it has SPF 15 for a little sun protection. And I love that you can layer it to make it more or less sheer. In the summertime I usually just do one thin dusting to stay as natural as possible. The particular shade I use is Fairly Light, although if I get a tan, I could probably get away with Fairly Medium {pale kid probs}. You can get bareMinerals online or at Sephora.

3. Coconut Oil // Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’re familiar with the coconut oil craze. While I mostly use this stuff to cook, I also love to use it as a moisturizer. All you have to do is rub a little between your hands to soften it up, then apply! Easy peasy. You can use it pretty much everywhere, from your lips to your legs. Plus the light coconut scent screams summer, which I absolutely love! It makes me feel like I’m on a beach. I like Kirkland brand because it’s cold-pressed and certified organic {and inexpensive!}. If you don’t have a Costco membership, you can also find Kirkland brand on Amazon, but you can find other brands of coconut oil just about anywhere these days.

4. Sephora Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer // This is one of those products that I use year-round. I L.O.V.E. this stuff. Other primers seem too creamy or they don’t seem to sink in well enough. This primer is perfectly light, and you can’t even tell you have anything on your face once you rub it in. Even though you don’t want a ton of layers on your face in the summer, I think primer is essential to keep everything in place, even when you sweat. This stuff does just that, but is light enough to feel like you’re not wearing it at all. I even put it on my eyelids to keep eyeliner in place and prevent creases in my eyeshadow. You get this primer at Sephora.

5. Burt’s Bee’s Facial Cleansing Towelettes {Pink Grapefruit} // Let me tell you – these babies do work! The scent is so light and refreshing, and they scrub off dirt, makeup, sweat, sunscreen…all the pore-clogging nasties of summertime. The best part is they don’t leave any residue, so there’s no need to rinse your face after using them. These would even be good for your body on those I-didn’t-sweat-enough-to-take-a-shower days. An added bonus: they’re 99% natural. You can get these at a variety of places, but I usually buy mine at Target.

6. Essie Nail Polish // There’s not much that says summer more than bright pops of color on your nails. I love all Essie polish in general {their colors are fabulous}, but I’m particularly loving their Sunday Funday line. It’s a perfect mix of fun, beachy brights and summer-savvy neutrals. You can buy Essie polish all over the place, including most drugstores, but you can find the whole collection on their website.

7. Sugar Lip Treatment // Not gonna lie, this stuff is a little bit of a splurge for me {I’m cheap, I know}, but it’s totally worth it in my book. I don’t know about you, but I like to keep things simple in the summer, including my makeup. Most of the time I don’t even wear eye shadow or blush – just a little primer, foundation, and mascara…and this stuff. I love their tinted colors because they go on very sheer, so you just get a hint of color, but they also have more vibrant hues to choose from. It’s not sticky at all and it makes your lips feel so soft. Plus, the color surprisingly lasts longer than you’d think. And again, it’s SPF 15, so bonus points for them {I love beauty products that pull double duty!}. For daytime, my favorite color is Rosé – it gives just the tiniest tint of color and looks so natural. For a little more color {I like it for date nights or summer happy hours}, the Plum is a great option. You can also buy these babies at Sephora.

8. Mossimo Mid-Rise Shorts // Power to the women who can rock those Daisy Dukes, but I am just not one of them. I’m already not a huge fan of wearing shorts because they ride up a lot, so short shorts are out of the question. These shorts from Target are awesome. They give me the perfect amount of length and I love the cuff. Plus the mid-rise cut and dark wash of these flatters anyone with a curvy booty like myself.

9. Old Navy Women’s Active Tank Top // Oh baby. It’s very rare that I find a tank top I like, but these are one of those buy-one-in-every-color tank tops. They’re super lightweight and the fit isn’t skin tight, so they’re perfect even on those muggy 110-degree days. I also love them because they’re super flattering {this coming from the girl who hates wearing tank tops because she thinks they make her arms look big}. They’re a little bit sheer, so they’re perfect for layering over a brightly covered cami, a swimsuit, or a cute crop top. As the name suggests, you can get these at Old Navy.

10. Sunglasses // What would summer be without your sunnies? I lose/break my sunglasses a lot, so I always get a cheap pair and I try not to get too attached. I’m currently loving this style, which you can get at H&M, but I also love sunglasses from Target, JC Penney, Forever21, and TopShop.

11. Sunscreen // Perhaps the most essential thing to a good summer is…sunscreen! While I love the smell of sunscreen {it reminds me of tropical vacations}, I cannot STAND the way it feels on my skin. It’s so greasy and ick and I always feel like I need to take an extra-long shower when I’ve put any on. Not with this stuff! This sunscreen is so light and it soaks in super quick. It’s so not-greasy that I even use it on my face without any worries. I usually use SPF 30, but this particular line goes all the way up to SPF 100. You can get it at any drugstore, but I usually grab it at Target.

12. eos Shave Cream // Last but not least, shaving cream. You can’t rock those cute shorts and tank tops without shaving, am I right? Again, I love this stuff because it pulls double duty. It doesn’t foam like regular shaving cream. It’s literally a cream, which means your legs stay super moisturized after you use it, so there’s no need to use lotion – just shave and go! This is perfect if you’re like me and forget that you need to shave your legs until two minutes before you need to leave! I buy mine at Walgreens, but you can pick it up at any drugstore.

That just about sums up my list of essentials! I’d love to hear what y’all reach for in the summertime, so hit me up in the comments.

Find Your Happy Place

Howdy everyone! TGIF, am I right?! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had one heck of a week…and today was especially stressful. Do you ever have one of those days/weeks where you just want to come home and throw a little fit like a toddler? Um, yeah, I was at that point today.

In the past when I’ve come home after days like today, I didn’t do much to alleviate my stress. I usually come straight home and plop in front of the TV/computer/cell phone just to get my mind off of the stressful day I just had. Most of the time, this serves its purpose of taking my mind off of things for a little bit, but it does nothing to improve my mood. I’m still cranky, I’m still stressed, my shoulders are still tensed up…yeah, it’s not pretty. I almost inevitably end up snapping at hubs at some point. No bueno.

If you read my last post about living life more unplugged, then you may be able to guess where I’m going with this. This year, I’ve been trying to live my life with more intention. I want to be more purposeful and deliberate in the choices I make and the things I do and say. With that being the case, then why on Earth would I come home and do something that doesn’t make me feel any better {and doesn’t make me pleasant to be around}?

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I realized that when something bad happens or when I have a stressful day at work, I need a happy place to go to. I think everyone needs a happy place to escape to every once in awhile, and I don’t think you have to be limited to just one happy place. {Example: I LOVE coffee shops…not just for their coffee, but for their atmosphere in general. I’m instantly in a better mood the minute I walk into a cute coffee shop. Maybe that has to do with my unnatural obsession with mugs…but I digress.}

One place that I’m usually most happy is my home, but lately I’ve found that I’m particularly happy when I’m outside on nice days like today. I’m not sure why it took me this long to figure that out, but I think the important part is that you find your ultimate happy place, no matter how long it takes you to find it.

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So today, after my incredibly stressful week, instead of coming home and drowning my sorrows with social feeds, I immediately asked hubs if he wanted to take pup on a walk. He obliged and we went on a nice long walk around the neighborhood. I don’t know if it was the kids playing, the freshly cut grass, or the smell of everyone’s flowers, but even the act of taking a few minutes for a walk made me feel a million times better. After that, I headed straight for the hammock, and that’s where I’ve been ever since {yes, I’m blogging from my hammock…be jealous}.

Moral of this story: find your happy place, wherever it may be. It doesn’t matter where it is. As long as it makes you feel more relaxed and at peace with the world around you, then that’s all that matters. I promise it’ll make you feel a whole lot better to have a little spot to retreat to when life gets too overwhelming.

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Unplugged

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Ever feel like technology is taking over your life? It’s not really a secret that people spend more time on their electronic devices than they ever have before. I personally am very active on my phone and my laptop…probably too active at times. True confession: hubs has mentioned countless times how much I’m on my various electronic devices. Yikes.

I feel a little funny talking about this through my blog, since a blog by nature is a “plugged-in” thing. But oh well – it’s for the greater good! I’ll take one for the team {wink, wink}.

This year, I’ve made it one of my resolutions to spend less time on my devices. I’ll be honest though, I’m still not great at it a lot of the time, especially when hubs isn’t around. Most of my friends probably know this already…often times I’m one of the first people to like things on Facebook or Instagram, and I pretty much always respond to texts and e-mails the second I get them, even if it could wait.

Half the time I’m honestly not even sure why I’m so active online. Part of it is my mild OCD – I loathe having little notification icons on my phone. It drives me insane! Another little part of me feel like people have come to expect it, which I know seems silly. But I think a big reason is just because I’m bored. I’ve found myself scrolling through Facebook stories/statuses that I’ve already read, even thinking of how bored I am. And yet I keep scrolling. It sounds pretty outrageous when you say it out loud, and I’ve been trying to catch myself when I do this.

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When hubs and I first moved into our new house {going on three weeks now – WOO!}, we didn’t have internet for almost two weeks. Long story short, our previous internet provider didn’t service our new neighborhood, so we had to decide which new provider we wanted to go with.

O. M. G. How was I supposed to live without internet? I didn’t freak out or anything, but I was honestly pretty irritated that we weren’t going to have internet for awhile. But you know what? It ended up being one of the best things that could happen to me.

We had some pretty nice weather that coincided with The Feipel Internet Blackout of 2015, which helped draw me outside and away from my phone {which still had 4G, and therefore internet}. I found myself wanting to spend more and more time outside, whether it was playing with the pup or eating or just relaxing and talking to hubs. And when I was inside, I had all the windows wide open to let the fresh air in.

Something must have happened in my head – maybe all that fresh air cleared the technology-induced cobwebs from my brain – because something had kickstarted my efforts to unplug more. Pup and I have gone on a nice long walk every evening that the weather has allowed us to. Hubs and I have eaten outside several times already. Even when the weather isn’t nice, I feel more inclined to get things done around the house rather than just sit on Facebook.

I know it’ll still be hard at times to consciously unplug, but I think I’ve laid a pretty solid foundation for myself. I would encourage anyone who’s addicted to their technology to unplug every once in awhile. It does your brain and your body a lot of good {and you get a lot more done}!

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Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore…

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Guess who can officially say she’s a homeowner? This girl! {And who can say she now has internet in said new house? This girl again!} I apologize for the brief hiatus…home buying is hard work! Plus, as it turns out, our previous internet provider doesn’t cover our new neighborhood, so we had to find a new internet provider, which took a little while. No internet, no blogging. BUT, operations are back up and running at the NEW casa de Feipel and we couldn’t be happier.

Not going to lie, when we first started our home search, I only wanted to look in Kansas. It’s not that I have anything against Missouri or people who live there. I actually really like Missouri…a lot of my favorite things are in Missouri {the Plaza, the Chiefs, tons of good food} and I have a lot of family that lives in Missouri. But I was born and raised in Kansas, so for whatever reason, I wanted to stick to living in Kansas. Silly, right?

Luckily the hubs talked some sense into me and we started looking at houses across the state line. Within a matter of about two weeks, we had fallen in love with our new house. Funny how that works. I’m still not really used to saying, I live in Missouri, but with time I know I’ll get used to it.

Another reason I wanted to only look in Kansas is because I’m familiar with most of the cities we were looking at. Whether it was Olathe, Shawnee, Overland Park, or whatever, I’m familiar with most of those areas. Stick me out in Lee’s Summit and I have NO CLUE where anything is, other than the places in the immediate vicinity of my office building. At first I didn’t really like the idea of that, but then I looked at it as a new adventure. I love experiencing new things, especially with the hubs, so why should living in a new part of town be any different? It’s all unfamiliar anyway until you get used to it.

I have to say, from the little bit of exploring I’ve already done, I can tell I’m going to like it out here. There are a ton of lakes out here, which I had no idea existed. In fact, our house is so close to a lake that I’ve been taking Casey there to walk around the shore on these beautiful days we’ve been having. She loves being so close to the water {and staring at the ducks}. Our neighborhood is really active – people are always running, cycling, walking, you name it. There’s also a huge wildlife reserve not far from us, which I also had no idea existed. You can walk the trails, fish, hunt, and bike. Pretty cool, huh?

As if I wasn’t excited enough to explore our new city, we just got the local magazine in the mail yesterday and it talks about TONS of events and classes that are coming up this spring and summer. I’m talking music festivals, outdoor movies, nighttime 5Ks, dance lessons, music classes…seriously, TONS of stuff. I put a few things on my calendar already.

All in all, hubs and I are extremely happy with our new neighborhood, and we love our new house. It already feels like home! The buying process may have been stressful, but I’m happy to report that it was all worth it. Now if we could just get everything unpacked so we can start exploring more of the community!

One last thing…I have to give a quick shout out to all of our family and friends who helped us move. From helping us physically move things, to putting furniture together, to making sure we stayed fed and hydrated, y’all were truly lifesavers and we’re so grateful! We love ya!

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The Final Countdown

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{Did my blog title make you start singing the song? Good…it’s been stuck in my head all morning.}

Happy Monday everyone! Hubs and I are officially less than one week away from moving day! How crazy is that? I can’t believe the month flew by so fast. Assuming all goes according to plan {a.k.a. the bank gets everything processed in time}, we should be in our new home this weekend.

I have to say, even though I’m excited to move, I’m feeling more exhausted today than I did when I got home Friday afternoon. Hubs and I spent most of our weekend packing. Let me tell you, packing seems like pretty mundane work when you’re just talking about it, but it’s really tiring when you spend multiple days in a row doing it! Luckily, we got a really good part of it done. Our living room is now unusable because of all the furniture and boxes we have shoved in there.

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One thing that’s made our lives a little easier is staying organized. Hubs and I are both pretty good at planning things out in our heads {at least when it comes to this kind of stuff}, so that’s kept us mostly sane. The trick is making sure your mental plans line up with each other. In our case, our plans didn’t line up yesterday. I figured we’d pack all of the things we don’t use on a daily basis first, so I started packing office supplies, guest bedroom stuff, and extra linens. Meanwhile, hubs takes the TV {something we definitely use every day} down from the wall-mount so he could start patching the holes. Totally makes sense, but it wasn’t what I had planned. I figured we’d leave the TV up until Thursday or Friday, because hello? The Bachelor is on Monday, Nashville is on Wednesday, and has he not heard of something called TGIT? Luckily, he was sweet enough to set up our little TV in our bedroom. It’s the small stuff, folks.

From that point on, we started to communicate a little better about our strategies. Something that’s really helped us out {and I’m hoping will help us out on move-in day} are these little color-coded labels I made. Each color coordinates with a different room. I also put a spot to number each box. The plan was to write the numbers down in a notebook and then write what was in each box next to the numbers in said notebook. But, as hubs so eloquently pointed out, “What if you lose the notebook? You do lose things a lot…” Touché, Mr. Feipel.

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So, I modified our labeling system by just writing what was in each box on the label. It definitely simplifies things, but now it looks like we’re hashtagging everything we pack! Plus it doesn’t fulfill my compulsive need to make lists. Sigh.

All in all, things are moving along pretty well. Now we’re just crossing our fingers and hoping everything gets processed in time. I’d hate to have worked so hard packing everything, only to have our closing date pushed back. I may cry if that happens. But, as I’ve blogged about before, positivity is a beautiful thing. Here’s to staying positive and keeping my sanity!

Redefining Valentine’s Day

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Wow, here we are already! Happy V Day everyone! Break out the chocolates and the conversation hearts! {Just kidding…but really, you could give me chocolate…} Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that you either love or hate. Sure, I know people who dislike Christmas because they get annoyed by the music, or Thanksgiving because of all the family craziness. But of all the holidays, V Day seems to be the most polarizing.

Let me just give a little disclaimer up-front: I’m a total sap. I love all things mushy, and even the most cliché of romantic gestures will put a smile on my face. Think The Notebook paired with cuddling, wine, and chocolates {and tissues…lots and lots of tissues}. Yeah, I’m that girl.

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With that being said, while I personally love Valentine’s Day, more and more I think it’s a little exclusive. If you don’t have a husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend, you’re kind of out of luck. I used to be all about the traditional array of Valentine’s Day festivities – fancy dinner, flowers, jewelry, the whole nine yards. But as hubs and I progress in our relationship, my definition of Valentine’s Day has changed.

Fun throwback story: hubs and I spent our first V Day in a movie theater eating tacos from the Taco Bell drive through that we’d snuck into the theater. My purse smelled like tacos for weeks after that. And you know what? To this day, that Valentine’s Day stands out the most in my mind, not because it was our first one, but because it was one of the most fun Valentine’s Days I’ve had with him. Out of all the fancy dinners and nice gifts throughout the years, smuggled tacos and a rom com have topped my list of favorite Valentine’s Days. Go figure.

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I think part of the reason I enjoyed that Valentine’s Day so much was because there was no pressure. Valentine’s Day isn’t so much a holiday now as it is an ordeal. Who can come up with the most elaborate date night? Who drops the most money on fabulous diamond jewelry? Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have only made it worse. “Well so-and-so’s boyfriend got her diamond earrings AND a pony.”

Can we just stop for a minute and think about what V Day is really about? It’s about celebrating the one{s} you love. It’s a time to slow down and let your significant other know how special they are and how much you appreciate them. They do so much for us all throughout the year, so why not show small tokens of love and appreciation rather than drop ungodly amounts of money on things they probably don’t need?

And to take that one step further, why not make Valentine’s Day a celebration of all the people you love, rather than just significant others? Then it could be a holiday everyone could enjoy. Whether it be a sibling, a parent, a child, a friend, a pet or all of the above, everyone has people {or animals} in their lives who they love. So this year, let’s make V Day about sharing the love and appreciation with all the important people in our lives. To me, that would make it a much more inclusive and meaningful holiday.

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So, having put all of that out there, you may be wondering what the hubs and I are doing today to celebrate. We’ll be spending the rest of our morning at the World of Wheels auto show {my small gift to him, because cars are his favorite}. After that we may go to Nebraska Furniture Mart to shop for appliances, and we’ll end our evening spending quality time with good friends at their house. Nothing fancy, no bells & whistles. Just quality time with my love and people who matter to us. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day everyone!

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