Monday, April 29, 2013

Strawberry Smoothie

I love strawberry smoothies, but they have to be just right to be perfect, in my opinion. I'm like the Goldilocks of strawberry smoothies. The perfect smoothie is frothy with tiny little bubbles chilling on the surface. This also means that it's the perfect consistency, not too thick that you can't suck it up through a straw (which is the only acceptable way to drink a smoothie in my eyes, everything is better when you drink it through a straw!) but not so thin that you might as well be drinking juice. It also has to be smooth (hence being a smoothie), but I mean smoooooth, I don't want chunks of anything.

The base of this recipe is from the chef who works at my company's cafeteria, I've increased the portions of some things to get it to the consistency that I like and played around with it a bit. The real secret here is the yogurt. That is what gets the frothiness to the perfect point. Anyway, here is what you need:

-Fresh or frozen strawberries, about 1 cup, again adjusting to your preferences
- 1/4 cup orange juice to start, you might want to add up to another 1/4 cup to loosen up the smoothie
-1 small container vanilla yogurt
-ice (only if you use fresh strawberries)

There really isn't much to tell you here about what to do. Throw everything in the blender and blend, blend, blend, like walk away, get your cup and straw ready, and then blend some more. Stop the blender and check for consistency and flavor, add anything you might need to get you to your happy place and then pour it in a cup. 

Don't forget your straw!

Friday, April 26, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

1. I saw this sign on Saturday, I don't think there is much more that can be said:
Those who throw dirt, lose ground.
2. Monday I stopped by Chipotle for lunch. I was in the midst of ordering some corn flour tortillas and we (the server and I) got to the point where I picked the meat and I blurted out CHOCOLATE. What the? Chocolate? What the heck is wrong with me? I wasn't even thinking about chocolate, or craving it (confession: I had already had some that day), where did this come from?

I hung my head in shame while the girl looked at me questioningly like I had just broken out of the loony bin. I proceeded to tell her to ignore my absurd request and just give me some chicken, which is what I had wanted all along, contrary to what my mouth said. Regardless, my CHICKEN tortillas were good, while my sanity is still out for questioning. Let's chalk this up under "Nicole-isms". Dave has to deal with them often, much to his amusement, and now you, my dear reader, will as well. Trust me there will be plenty more where that came from, Dave can attest to that.

3. Wednesday was really nice, like 70 degrees and slight breeze nice. I decided to take the opportunity to let Nibbler and Squishee outside, but since I was on my own (Dave was working late), I had to put their harnesses and leashes on them. If not, Squish gets freaked out and then tries to run away and then I have to worry about losing Nibbler as I'm chasing Squish around. So I decided to save myself the heartache and put them in their harnesses. They HATE their harnesses. Squish walks backwards and plops up against everything trying to get it off and Nibbler does a reenactment of swan lake by literally leaping around the house on his hind legs. They freak out until they get outside and then its all "ooooh grass?" and then it doesn't matter if they are in the harness. We enjoyed a few minutes outside and I got this awesome pic:

Squish is on the left, eyeballing Nibs, who I got mid-bite.
I also got this great pic too, which is now my new wallpaper on my phone. I'm not going to tell you how many times a day I push the "on" button to see's shameful.

4. Monday I bought "Laced" by Urban Decay, Tuesday one of my favorite bloggers posted a tutorial that used the eyeshadow. Good timing, right? At first I thought I was going to have to go out and buy another one of the shades, but when I went home I noticed it was already in my Naked 2 palette (which is awesome by the way!!) so I had everything I needed to recreate the look! I love it when things work out like this, when you have something you want to try whether it be a new makeup look or a craft or whatever, and you realize you have all the things you need to do it. Now I just have to get up early enough to actually put makeup on, since I get up twenty minutes before I have to walk out the door most days (I really need to stop doing this) and don't have time for anything less than pulling my hair back and swiping my face with some powder. It's not my best look, but that's what I get for being lazy.

5. I've been obsessed with this song this week. I keep playing it over and over and over, which I do to most songs until I'm sick of them. It's so haunting, I love love love songs like this. It also makes me want to learn to play guitar again (because I've started that three times now, one day, mark my words, I will play guitar--consistently!!!)

Have you ever played a song over and over until you never want to hear another note of it again? What song was it?

Hallelujah, we made it another week!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Taco Braid

I found the recipe for this on Pinterest. I've modified the recipe ever so slightly, though not enough to take credit for it. Click here for the original.

I don't like spicy foods and Dave hates black beans (quite frankly I'm not a fan of most beans myself, pretty much only game for green beans and wax beans) so I left out the rotel and beans. I did add in a small can of corn.

Here is what you need:
-1 pound ground beef (use the leanest you can manage, see below)
-1 can of seamless crescent rolls, again see below for reasoning
-1 packet of taco seasoning, I use the low sodium kind
-1 small can of corn
-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-toppings of your choice, I use sour cream and tomatoes, Dave likes lettuce, sour cream and salsa

The first time I cooked this it was a disaster, I used regular crescent rolls and the seams made the braid just fall apart. I also used a fattier ground beef and no matter how much I drained there was grease everywhere. It left my braid a big, greasy pile of mess. I almost didn't make it again, but I figured I'd give it one more shot. This time I used the seamless crescent rolls and a leaner beef (the leanest you can get!) and it turned out goo-ooo-ood.

Here is what you do:

1. Cook ground beef, drain thoroughly. Add taco seasoning, follow directions on packet. Add corn (make sure to drain that too) once the meat is all cooked up and mix everything together.
2. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet (for easy cleanup) and unroll the crescent rolls. Using a pizza cutter, slice small strips on each side, no more than an inch or two deep.
3. Pile your meat mixture in the middle and top with cheddar cheese. Keep the sides open for your braid. This pile will be heaping, trust me it'll be ok, just push down lightly on the mixture when you have the cheese on top to bring it down a hair.
4. "Braid" your strips in a criss cross fashion (see pic to see how I did it), gently stretching the crescent dough to fit around the top.
5. Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the crescent roll is golden brown.
6. Top with some sour cream, salsa, tomatoes, lettuce, whatever your little heart desires and enjoy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

S-M-R-T, smart!

Alpha Sigma Lambda pin

This past Sunday, I was inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda. It's the honor society for adult students at the university I go to. Becca was also inducted as well, which was pretty awesome to be able to share in this experience with her.

Left to Right: Bob, Becca's fiancee, Becca, Me, Dave

In fact, I was considering not joining the honor society and it was Becs that encouraged me to move forward with it. We got to choose one person who pinned our honor society pin on us, plus three other people who could watch the ceremony. I chose Dave to pin me, of course, and invited my mom, step dad, Brian, and my Aunt Penny to be there with me.We got rope tassels that we will wear with our robes when we graduate, so I have to keep these safe for another year (yikes!).

me and AP (as I affectionately call her)
Aunt Penny, me and Ma
Brian and I
I always end up doing something to mess up a pic, much to my mother's dismay.

Great friends

Walka  walka walka
  Having the opportunity to be a part of an honor society makes me feel really proud that I've come along as far as I have. As I mentioned  before, life hasn't panned out the way I expected it to. And while I would never change it for a second, it hasn't always been easy. Being inducted into this society is my way of proving to myself that although it has been difficult, I'm still strong enough to make it through.

The reason I even got to be a part of anything related to college

In fact, I am pretty sure we all are stronger than we think and it's not until we are tested that we truly learn our strength.

Enough seriousness for now:

I just realized, I'm forever making a butt of myself.

Friday, April 19, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

I've noticed since I started writing these Friday posts that sometimes it's really hard to find five things that are "worthy" enough to jot down here. This week, up until Wednesday, that was the case. I really like doing these posts, they help me appreciate the little things in my life, even if it is difficult at times to find things to include in the list. In fact this blog in general has led me to be more positive and it has put me in a good mood. This is definitely a great hobby that I've picked up. Now that I've typed this I realized this is probably roundup #1 for this week. Go me for finding something out of seemingly nothing!

2. I have three classes back to back on Tuesdays. My second, three hour class was cancelled this week so I took the opportunity to catch up on writing final papers, homework, and some future plans I have for school. This also gave me the chance to catch a glimpse into what life would have been like if I had gone to school the "regular" way. I ate lunch in the school's cafeteria, walked halls that I didn't normally walk, and sat among other students and just took in my surroundings. I was thankful to be able to get an idea of what life would have been like--so I wouldn't have to wonder. But as hard as life has been for me at times, I'm glad I chose the path I did.

3. I stopped into the library Wednesday night to pick up books I needed to use for research for papers I have to write. My plan was to get in, say hello, and get out to get started on my work, but I should have known that is never going to happen in a place that I love and adore, and that loves and adores me back. This particular Wednesday there was a teen poetry session and two of my favorite people at the library (the third one was working behind the desk) happened to be part of the poetry event, so I joined in the festivities and had a blast. I left feeling so elated and happy, like I was on cloud nine. There are certain people you meet in this world who will always uplift your spirit and these ladies do that for me, I'm grateful that I was ever given the chance to get to know them.

4. One of my favorite moments of the poetry event was "Spine Label Poetry". What you do is walk around and grab books and use the titles on the spine labels to create mini poems. I chose to be inspired by my longing for Tennessee and put together this nifty little poem:

In this mountain
Where we belong
Heart of the matter
Finding love forever
How awesome is that little ditty? I can't tell you how much fun it was running around finding books that fit my idea of what I wanted to say. It was so creative and inspiring. If I ever get to be an English teacher this is most definitely going to be part of a lesson plan.

Here is another, this is by Hannah, one of my teens from the book club I run. Hannah is incredibly intelligent, funny, and the kind of girl that could be your best friend after 5 minutes, she is, simply put, awesome:

The truth about forever
Where people like us live
The dead and the gone
Keep holding on
Firebirds Rising!
One last thought, this was so much fun, try it out!!!!

5. Speaking of libraries, another local library was having a book sale last Saturday. Sadly the pickings were slim, but I was able to pick up this awesome book for $1. This thing is huge and hopefully I'll get some great recipes out of it. I love the feeling when you hold a humongous book in your hands, and this one you could definitely use to lift weights with!

So that's it for this week, have a great weekend, I hope to see you all on Monday! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Nibbler, wondering why I take so many pictures of him

These past few weeks have been a bit rough on Nibbler. He's a lot like me in the sense that he likes things a certain way and doesn't like it when things deviate from that. It started with us moving everything upstairs to the downstairs of our home to get ready for the new carpet that was going to be installed. Then it was the guys in our house installing the carpeting (who knew installing carpeting would be so loud) and now its us moving (very slooooooooowly) everything back upstairs.We have a cat door installed on our basement door so that we can keep the door closed but the cats are still able to use the litter box in the basement. Whenever Nibs gets scared he sits at the top of the basement steps peering through the door, just enough to see what's going on but far enough away from all the action.

While I totally feel Nibbler's "pain" and feel bad for the little dude, his loyalty and trust in me has been evident because of all this and it has made me feel so special. You see, every time I come home, whether he is hiding or not, the moment he sees me or hears my voice he comes running. The other day Dave was hammering away at something and Nibbler had taken his post at the basement steps. I walked over to the kitty door and tapped on the plastic. He looked up and saw me and burst through the door into my arms, he was so happy to have me home, loud noises aside.

Our neighborhood watch, nothing's getting by this one!

The day we had the carpeting installed was particularly rough for Nibsy, he went all the way into the basement and hid underneath a couch for most of the day. Periodically I would go down to check on him or switch over laundry and I would sing out his name or coo to him "Nibsy, as long as Momma's around you'll always be safe" which would get him to cautiously come out. We'd then lock eyes and he'd come running into my arms again, purring. Then when I'd go back up he'd crawl back under the couch and wait for me to return. At one point I got one of Dave's shirts out of the dryer and covered him in it on top of the couch, which got him to stay, but for the most part he just wasn't having all the chaos. 

So what's the point of all this, you're wondering? Have I just gone crazy cat lady on you? Well first off, I haven't just gone crazy cat lady, I've pretty much been this obsessed since the day I brought these two home. The reason I am writing this is to share the immense love, loyalty, and trust that Nibbler showed me these past few weeks. I'm sure a few of you have smiled as you were reading this thinking about your own sweet pet. He and I have always had a very strong bond to each other, but I never realized how much he relied on me. I figured it was always one sided and that he just put up with his crazy, obsessive, overly-loving mama because I fed him but that isn't the case. He really needs me as much as I need him. 

It warms my heart and of course makes me even more of a crazier lioness when it comes to protecting my babies now. Because now I know he's relying on me. 

I love this sweet moment between us

It's one of the greatest feelings to be truly loved by your pet. You will never find a more unconditional love. It's even more amazing when you know they need you just as much as you need them, it really makes me feel special, like I'm the only person in the world for this cat. He's my kitty soul mate.... OK now I've really gone crazy. And before ya'll start hollering that I'm playing favorites, I'm not, Squish makes me feel loved too and we have our special moments as well!

But seriously, I can't be the only one with this crazy bond to their pet right? Someone out there has to have or have had a pet that made them feel just as needed and wanted and loved, right?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Corn Pudding

Growing up, my mom was an amazing cook. She still is but unfortunately she is a bit stunted now by my stepfather's extremely picky palate (seriously Dad, there is more to life out there than chicken wings and canned corn, love you!). One of my favorite recipes that she made during the holidays was corn pudding and it was one of the first ones that I asked for when I moved into my own place.

Dave loves it too, in fact, I just asked him how he would describe it and his response was "awesome". Not very helpful but it gives you an idea how good this stuff is. I am pretty sure it was one of the determining factors in his choice to make me his wife.

So how would I describe corn pudding? It's name is a bit misleading. It's not "pudding" in the sense of your typical Jell-o pudding, it has a thicker consistency than just regular creamed corn. I guess the best way to describe it would be like corn casserole.  Either way you need to make this, it's amazing.

Here is what you need:

-1 can of creamed corn
-1 can of regular corn
-1 egg, beaten
-1/4 cup sugar
-3/4 cup milk
-1 heaping Tbs cornstarch
-1 Tbs butter

And here is what you do:
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Drain your regular corn and add both cans of corn to a baking dish

2. Add sugar and egg, mix everything together

3. Add milk and cornstarch, mix. As a side note, I would recommend sifting your cornstarch when you add it, if you just toss the heaping tablespoon into the dish you'll be mixing the clumps out for a while, whereas if you sift, there is less clumps to get rid of. I just use this little doodad and scrape the cornstarch through the holes with a spoon:

4. Cut up your butter into small pieces and toss it in the bowl, mix everything up again. This is what it should look like at this point:

5. Bake at 425 for at least a half hour or until it is golden brown on top. Depending on your oven it may take up to 45 minutes to get golden brown. The good test for me is to jiggle the dish at the end of the half hour and see how wiggly it is. You want it to be fairly firm with only a little jiggle, for me this is about 40 minutes, but I would start checking it at the half hour mark. 

Thanks for the great dish, Ma!

Friday, April 12, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

1. I walked around Joanne's Fabrics last Friday to get craft ideas for the blog as well as get some ideas for around the house projects, etc. It's been a while since I went craft shopping and I forgot how much I enjoyed walking around and getting the creative juices flowing in my head. It'll take some time to get everything I want created, written down and posted for the blog but just getting the ideas was super exciting.

2. Monday I was just I was just bummed out for no reason, have you ever had a day like that? I hate those kinds of days. Anyway, I texted Dave that I was feeling blue and he immediately started sending suggestions to lift my mood, go outside on the patio, work on your blog (I'm telling you guys, he is so supportive with this, it's amazing), but nothing seemed to work.

He had to work late and pulled in the driveway at 7. I had his dinner sitting in the kitchen waiting for him to heat it up but instead he tells me to get in the car, but wouldn't say where we are going. He ended up taking me to Rita's, our first visit this year, and as usual it was awesome (BTW, if you haven't heard of Rita's, they are this great company that is only open during the warm months and they serve really good water ice and custard). My mood totally lifted, and it wasn't because of where we went or the custard I ate (although I'm sure that helped), it was the fact that Dave put so much thought and effort to perk me up and it reminded me how amazing he is, what a great husband he is, and how lucky I am to call him mine.

3. This week, the weather finally warmed up--fast! Last week, it was 50 degree weather, this week 80-90 degrees! While it would be nice to have a slower warm up, I enjoy the warm weather. One of my favorite things about the summer is sleeping with the fan on. I love it! The rhythmic humming of the blades lulls me to sleep and keeps me in a nice, deep slumber, which I was able to enjoy this week. If I could sleep with a fan on year round and choose between hot and cold air I totally would.

4. I love surprises. I was heading out to walk on my lunch break on Wednesday when my best friend Becca handed me a vanilla flavored frozen yogurt. So before I ate it I went on my walk and just made sure to hoof it a bit faster to make up for the deliciousness that I knew I was going to devour when I went back to work. And oh my gosh was it amazing.

The best part about the whole surprise? Trying something new. Becca chose toppings that I probably would have never grouped together but I'm glad she did, because it was sooooooo good:  fresh strawberries, chocolate jimmies, and a broken up waffle cone.

Who doesn't love a little surprise from your best friend to feel loved, right?

Speaking of Becca, I have to give her even more props...she is always reads my posts and comments, in fact she is the only person who has commented so far. The support and enthusiasm she has shown me and this blog is amazing, I am really lucky to have her for a friend.

5. We got new carpeting this weekend, and I love the feeling of soft, plush carpeting. Monday morning, the first day after we had it installed, I hopped out of bed to hit snooze on my alarm for the first time out of ten (seriously, I have the thing across the room and I still hit the snooze for a good half hour before I officially get out and stay out of bed). Anyway, as soon as my bare feet hit the floor my first thought was, wait did I lose a pillow in the middle of the night--to be fair, this was Monday morning after a looooong Sunday and it was 5 am. I eventually remembered it was just the new carpeting but either way it feels so good on my toes!

That's all for this week so here's to good friends, great husbands, trying something new and enjoying ourselves. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Things are Sweeter in Tennessee...

I was married a little over year and a half ago. We took our honeymoon to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and I am pretty sure I left a chunk of me there when I left. In fact I'm certain of it. There are times, and it happens more often then not, where a little piece of my heart yearns for that place. I've never had such a connection to one place. Since we came back I've longed to see the rolling hills and the crisp mountain air...

This was the view off the deck in the chalet we stayed at. We woke up every morning and had some french vanilla cappachino and watched the sun rise and then had dinner every night on the deck watching the sun set. This was heaven.

Life is so much different down there, everyone is laid back and super nice; the food tastes so good but is so bad for you, and no one judges you for it. Up here you take an extra slice of pizza something's wrong with you, down there you DON'T go for that extra pat of butter, something's wrong with you. We went to the Pancake Pantry (my mouth is watering just thinking about their food) and they literally have a bowl (and not some little bowl, like a mixing bowl!) full of butter just chilling in the server area for them to scoop some on to your plate before they gave it to you.

There were no worries, even when we went four wheeling off the side of a mountain or zip lining, which was breathtakingly beautiful. The people who ran both events for us were so chill and laid back, it was like we were just some best friends hanging out for the day, not some yankee tourists with their southern hosts. Sorry guys my pictures do not do this place justice:

I would go back there in a heartbeat and relive every moment all over again. Heck, if I could move down there I would, no hestiation. It's only a 12 hour drive, Ma! But alas, life has other plans for Dave and I, so I'll just have to remember sweet Tennessee fondly and try to quiet the yearning in my heart for a simpler life there.

"Maybe I was much too selfish
But baby you're still on my mind
Now I'm grown and all alone
And wishing I was with you tonight
'Cause I can guarantee
Things are sweeter in Tennessee"

-"Tennessee" -The Wreckers

Monday, April 8, 2013

Afternoon Tea

My English professor set up an afternoon tea for students in my Romantic Literature class this past Saturday. I've never been to  any type of tea event before so I was really excited to experience it. When we arrived we were greeted by a small tier of plates filled with finger foods from scones to mini sandwiches to fruit tarts, chocolate covered strawberries and creme puffs.

The waiter (I guess that is what you call him) brought out mini tea pots for each of us with hot water in them and we chose our tea from a box set off to the side. I decided to play it safe and stuck with Earl Grey tea but I did throw some creme into it, which was really good. Our gathering took place in a small library of a historic mansion owned by Villanova University, Montrose Mansion. The atmosphere was relaxing and it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

I was a bit nervous at first, I was unsure of the proper way to brew and drink the tea, or eat the finger foods, and the pressure was on to not look like a total neanderthal, especially in front of my professor. Eventually I just relaxed. We enjoyed a good talk and some great food. The fruit tart was amazing, it consisted of a small dessert shell filled with a vanilla creme, almost like pudding and then topped with a slice of kiwi, strawberry and orange. The little sandwiches weren't my cup of tea (haha, see what I did there?) but they weren't terrible.

 Afternoon tea was definitely an enjoyable experience, and with the right company, a great way to spend the afternoon.

To the left of me is the lady of the house, Mrs. John Barnes Townsend.

Oh and the icing on the cake? Two geese chilling on top of a stone column on our way out, honking at us, but in a friendly way. It was most definitely a sight to see.

Friday, April 5, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

It's Friday again, so time for EOTWR. This week, like the past few, was pretty uneventful, which is normally what happens when you are too busy with school and life to do anything else, but no complaints here.

1. Dave and I had to clear out our upstairs to make room for carpeting. I downloaded an app on my phone that lets me keep track of all the books I own and who I lend them out to, because I do it all the time and can't remember for the life of me who I gave what to and don't always get them back. Anyway, I took this opportunity to go through and enter in all my books and when I was done I had 205 books, which is crazy considering six years ago I was lucky if I had maybe 10 to my name. Its been a lifelong dream of mine to own a library like the one in Beauty and the Beast:

Now I know that most likely I will never own a house even remotely big enough to fit this library in, but I still would love to have a room devoted to books and a reading nook, my own little library. With that in mind, I think having 205 books is a good base for my little sanctuary, and that's pretty awesome.

2. Sunday was Easter, and Dave and I went to dinner at one of his family member's houses. We had an amazing meal but what really made my day was spending time with our little cousin, Mia, who is six. When it came time to sit down at dinner Mia realized she wasn't sitting next to me but across from me and it upset her. I was washing my hands in another room at the time but could hear everyone try to reason with her, explaining that I was sitting across from her so she could see me, but she just was not having it.  I was so flattered, it made me feel so good to think that she chose me to be near her and no one else was good enough. Seriously, kids have a way of just making your whole day.

3. Teen Book Club met this week, I didn't get a chance to see all the teens, but it gave me an opportunity to talk one on one with one of the more quiet girls (one, one, one, I think I need a thesaurus) while her brother looked for books. It was nice to finally get a chance to connect with her, which I really haven't been able to do before. I don't know if this will have an effect on our relationship in the future or not, but the fact that it even occurred is something to be thankful for. This month, I am having them read the epic poems "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Christabel", I'm really excited to see what they think of both of these works, they are some of my favorites.

4. Speaking of the library, it's amazing how many parents come in begging for book suggestions for their kids because they cannot get enough of reading. It makes my heart soar, I love hearing this! I had one mom come in Wednesday and literally check out an entire series that I suggested for her son because she knew he'd just blow through all of them. Which is another thing, I love, love, love it when people actually take my suggestions to heart, especially when they rave about them when they come back the next time. I think I might create a post in the near future of book suggestions for teens/kids for when parents need ideas.

5. This is Gabby (and me, of course):

If you can't tell who is who, it's o.k., she's like a little mini-me, she is on the right. I met Gabby our sophomore year in college (so her second and my fiftieth...I kid, somewhat) and at first I wasn't sure what to think of her. She took my seat our second class together and I was ready to put her on my poo list for it but then we got to chatting and I realized how much alike we are. Among other things she's neurotic and anxious, so am I. She is incredibly intelligent and genuiunely a sweet gal. Gabby graduated last year and asked me to watch her walk. It was such an honor for her to ask this of me, I watched her on my laptop at home and blubbered when they called her name, like she was my own sister; I was so proud of her.  Gabby and I have been able to stand the test of time, friendship-wise, making it a point to meet up every once in a while and catch up. She is one of those people that I see being friends with for life, and its always a good time just catching up with her.

By the way, thanks Gabs for getting me my 205th book and rounding out my book collection to a nice, neat number, it quieted the OCD in me for the time being. 

Enjoy the weekend! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Helpful Link

Did you know you can pull your credit report for free once a year? Well, if you didn't you do now.

Annual Credit Report is a website that allows you to pull your credit for free once a year. You won't be able to get your credit score for free, that you'll have to pay for; however you can run a full report from each of the credit reporting agencies free of charge. 

So why is this important? Well, your credit is what determines your interest rates on loans, whether or not a financial institution will lend you money or how much they'll lend you, whether you can get a car or a house and whether or not you can get those things at decent interest rates. Plus, some jobs require good credit in order for you to be considered for a position. Your credit is so important for your day to day life, it's important to make sure that it is accurate. 

The nice thing is the website is fairly easy to use and if you do find some discrepancies on your reports, they (the three credit reporting agencies--Transunion, Experian, and Equifax) all have instructions on what you can do to fix it. There is no reason why you shouldn't take a few minutes out of your day to make sure your report is accurate, it's too important not to. Plus, like I said, it's free with no gimmicks (unlike those ones who claim to be free but make you sign up for 30 days with a credit card) or hidden agendas.
Hopefully this was informative, make sure you pass this link along to family and friends so they can check out their own credit reports! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

What's Black and White and Lace All Over?

Ok well not really but I really like the title and thought it was creative, just work with me here, ok?

Anyway, have you ever had a particular outfit, shirt, pants, shoes, whatever, that just made you feel like you were owning it? This little get up here was doing that for me the other day:

I know its not much, but it was so comfy and cute, plus I got a bunch of compliments for it. So this was a great outfit day, and it made me feel good, so I had to share it. It was the end of the day so I had taken off all the accessories I wore with it, which were a watch and earrings, and of course, my wedding rings. I keep things pretty simple.

I love having days like this. If you are rocking a great outfit, or hairstyle, or whatever, it just boosts your self esteem, which automatically puts you in a good mood. Its like having a shot of endorphins just coursing through your body to make you happy all day long. Think about it, if you have a day where you are just feeling gorgeous, what are the chances of that day going bad?

Top: Kohl's
Bottoms: Banana Republic
Shoes: Ebay

P.S. The placement of the pic and the way I'm looking makes it look like I'm gazing lovingly at myself in my "about me" pic....which is hilarious.