MC 10.3 Strength Conditioning

Hey friends! Hope you enjoyed your first day of Spring yesterday! It’s scheduled to rain here in California this week, but I’m hoping the sun will come back soon! I was a little sick this past week, so I’m not going to lie – it was a little hard for me to get up and do yoga. But I’m still glad I did it! It’s definitely getting a little more challenging and I feel like I’m getting a restful workout in. Check out my favorite poses from this last week below!

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Yoga Studio: Beginner Relaxation

This pose is literally called “one legged king pigeon with forward fold.” How in the world do they name these things?

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Day 16: Easy Breezy Beautiful Yoga

I’ve done this stretch several times this week, and it’s one of my favorites.

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Day 17: Happiness Boost Yoga

This one was really hard to balance but it was a good stretch!

I rested for 2 days – I finally had a free weekend to take advantage of!

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Day 20: Heart Practice

Although this pose looks simple, it reeeeeally stretches your hips!

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Day 21: Joyful Home Practice

I call this “holding a beach ball.”

If you’ve never done yoga before, Adriene’s 30 days of yoga series is a great way to start! I’m not sure I’ll be able to balance on my head by next week, but stay tuned to see how my last week of yoga is! See you next Tuesday!

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MC 10.2 Balancing Act

Hey friends, hope you are enjoying your week, even with daylight savings! I found out yesterday that March 13 is National Nap Day, which might be one of my new favorite holidays.

This last weekend, my sister visited for her birthday, and we spent the whole day at Disneyland so I didn’t get to practice as much yoga as I would’ve liked! BUT I did get over 33k steps – thanks fitbit for making me feel better about myself. Anyways, here are a few of my favorite yoga poses from this week. If you haven’t joined me in this challenge, it’s not too late, you can start any time!

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Day 8 – Yoga for Healing Meditation

This one is really good for your hips!

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Day 9 – Full Potential Detox Practice

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Day 10 – 10 min Sun Salutation Practice

Definitely not this flexible yet, but I’m working on it.

Break day AKA at the most magical place on earth.

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Day 11 – Shakti Yoga Practice

This was actually a fairly fast-paced one, but it was nice to be in a routine. I like that this pose is called Lizard 🙂

Skipped a day because I wasn’t feeling well.

Yesterday, I decided to do something a little different. I was inspired to do yoga this month after my friends Kelsey and Christina led our high school girls staff through one of Yoga Studio‘s classes, and it was so relaxing. I had gotten the app after our retreat, and love the variety of classes and that you can download it and take it wherever you go. I decided to be ambitious and do one of the intermediate balancing classes, which proved to be a bit over my head. But I really liked this One Handed Tiger pose – it was a great stretch!

That’s all for this week, I would love to know what your favorite yoga poses are! Catch my next update next Tuesday!

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MC 10.1 Basic Poses

Hey friends, happy Tuesday! In case you missed it, I’m doing yoga this month! My friend told me about 31 days of yoga revolution with Adriene on youtube, and I thought I would give it a shot! She has short 20-30 minute videos and is super easy to follow. Below are my favorite poses from each of the videos. I would love for you to join me in this challenge!

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Day 1 – Practice Ease

Started off with the good old downward dog!

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Day 2 – Stretch and Soothe

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Day 3 – Forget What You Know

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Day 4 – Yoga For Your Back

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Day 5 – Practice Rhythm

It was at this point that my friend and I were talking about the yoga video we did that morning and found out we were talking about completely different videos. I realized I was doing Adriene’s challenge from 2015, while he was doing her current 2017 version! Needless to say I felt really dumb (especially since I signed up for her daily newsletter with the links in it that I didn’t use).

I skipped Sunday – wanted to rest!

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Day 7 – Stability Practice

I have to admit, I think I like the 2015 series better so I might go back, but we’ll see! Starting off the day with yoga is so nice and relaxing. I really hope I get some good flexibility and tone this month doing yoga every day. I hope you guys decide to join me!

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3/17 Friday Favorites

Hey friends! Happy March! I have some GREAT new finds for you this month, enjoy!

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LINKEE

I found another new game you guys, and I love this one! It’s from the same people that made bananagrams, so you know it has to be good. I played it with our high school girls staff and it was a BLAST (thanks Kelsey and Tina for bringing it)! The goal of the game is for your team to get letter cards that spell LINKEE. You get a card by being the first group to yell LINKEE and correctly say what links the answers to four clues given on the card. So it’s a really fast-paced trivia game, but you can also sabotage other groups that are close to winning. It’s super fun with a big group of people, but if you want to test it out first there’s also a one-player mobile app with just the trivia cards. Definitely worth checking out!

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Arrival

Matt and I just watched this movie a few weeks ago and it was SO fascinating! Amy Adams did a phenomenal job in this movie as she interpreted the language of aliens communicating in inky shapes. It won several Oscars, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Achievement in Sound Editing. I would recommend seeing it in theaters if you still can to get the full effect, otherwise rent it on Amazon!

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Speck Case

I’ve had my current iPhone for almost two years, and I finally decided to get a new case for it since mine was starting to crack on the corners. Thankfully, I knew that Speck is a great case brand, since it has protected my phone from many drops over the years! In fact, in drop tests it meets or exceeds military standards. My phone looks as good as new! I just ordered this adorable one (maybe because it reminded me of my blog?) when it was on sale, and right now it has $5 two day shipping! I ordered mine Monday night and it got here yesterday, so it was pretty fast without two day shipping. Anyways, in case you’re in the market for a new phone case, I highly recommend Speck!

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HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification

HubSpot is one of my favorite blogs – I love reading it to keep up on marketing and communication trends! Two of my coworkers recommended I take their Inbound Marketing course, and I got my certification last week! It’s 12 easy to understand video classes, takes under 5 hours, and is free. They also have several other certification courses, like content marketing, growth-driven design, etc. If you’re looking for something to build your resume, see if there is a certification course that would be applicable to you!

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I know it sounds so corny, but I have loved Dev Patel since Slumdog Millionaire. He’s just so talented. So even though I didn’t know much about this movie before seeing it, I knew it would be great. I just didn’t know how great! It’s probably one of my favorite movies of 2016. And Sunny Pawar is the cutest! It has such an amazing story of finding yourself and going back to your roots. I would HIGHLY recommend watching it! It won the Academy Awards for Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Supporting Role.

That’s it for this month, stay tuned for April’s Friday Favorites!

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MC 9.4: Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation

Hey friends! This last week I tried showing love through touch and words of affirmation.

There are so many great ways to show both of these to those you love, and here are just a few examples I put into practice this week:

  • Giving hugs
  • High fives (I know it sounds corny but they can be really encouraging, especially when your high school student gets excited about something)
  • Massage trains with your girl friends
  • Holding hands with your significant other
  • Writing a kind note on the mirror to your roommate or spouse
  • Acknowledging your coworker’s achievements
  • Encouraging friends that are going through a hard time by listening to them and giving advice
  • Celebrating little wins with friends
  • Calling friends or family you don’t see often

I hope you enjoyed practicing the five love languages with me this month! I think it’s so important to practice each of these love languages, and it’s especially meaningful when you can pick out someone’s love language and really focus on showing that to them.

In other news, for my March monthly challenge, I’m doing…. yoga!

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I’m so excited to spend some time relaxing and stretching at the same time! See you next week for my first update!

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MC 9.3: Giving Gifts

Hi friends! I hope you all had a great week! We survived “Lucifer” (not even kidding, that’s the name of the storm) here in SoCal. I was just reminded about how dramatic Californians are with rain! Although I was a little surprised when the electricity in our apartment went out for a few hours. Thankfully it didn’t take too long to come back on.

Anyways, this last week I focused on gifts! I don’t want to brag about the things I got people, but I hope you can be inspired to shower some love in the form of simple gifts to those around you, especially if you know gifts is one of their love languages!

Matt got a Hydroflask bottle around Christmas time, and has really loved it except for the lid, which screws on and off. So I thought I would surprise him with a flip lid for valentine’s day after we said we weren’t doing gifts. But of course the one day I ask him to get the mail is when the package arrived, so unfortunately it wasn’t much of a surprise. At least he tried faking like he didn’t know what it was when I gave it to him!

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I also wanted to give our sweet 94-year-old neighbor some love on valentine’s day, so my sweet husband got flowers at my request. He picked out the cutest little plant and hopefully it will give her joy for a while!

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Lastly, I had the opportunity to take one of the high school girls in my small group out for dessert and treated her to the best cinnamon rolls ever! A new place near church called Cinnaholic opened up and it is just as addicting as it sounds. She picked chai frosting with blackberries and I picked macadamia nut frosting with coconut. It was so fun! I personally love being treated with free food and I love having the chance to do that for someone else. We had a great time!

Here are a few more ideas to show love to those who appreciate gifts:

  • Buy their favorite candy bar
  • Treat them to coffee
  • Pay for their gas
  • Buy their favorite pens
  • Send them a care package

Getting gifts for people doesn’t have to be expensive, but it definitely communicates you care! See you next week for my last update!

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MC 9.2: Quality Time

Hey friends! Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re hanging out with friends or your significant other, I hope you have a great day! Matt and I actually had our valentine date last night – our fancy restaurant was all booked the day of so we celebrated early! But good food is worth it, amiright?

Anyways, this past week I worked on the love language of quality time, which was challenging but fruitful!

I tried (and sometimes failed) to put down my phone during car rides with Matt and have conversations with him instead. Car rides are always a good time to catch up, and I actually learned a few things he had been thinking about when I made an effort to make myself available to listen to him. I need to do that more often!

I tried to be a better listener this week when interacting with my coworkers and ask about what’s going on in their lives. Small talk is an important part of work culture that often gets overlooked, and that’s something I want to cultivate in my workplace!

On Friday, my friend Mary from home happened to be in the area, and she made time in her busy schedule to come over for dinner. I always love having her visit to catch up and it was nice to have some uninterrupted friend time with one of my besties! While I wanted to veg out and watch a show with her, I suggested instead to play one of our favorite games – Dutch Blitz – so we could interact more. It was so fun having her in our home.

On Saturday, I spent some time with girls from our church’s community group, which was great! I got to learn more about their interests and even their sense of humor over breakfast, then hung out with them at a Galentine’s Day event at a nearby store. I made valentines with them, chatted about what they were getting their SO’s or what things in the store were SO hard to resist buying. It was great getting to know them better and having some quality girl time!

I think quality time is so important because it communicates to someone they are worth your full attention and that you value them. I’m going to keep working on that one for a while!

Also, here’s a little example of words of encouragement, since I’ve been working on it for each of the weeks! At the Galentines event, I made a little valentine for the sweet couple that hosts our young adult community group in their home. The rest of the group is going to sign it for them also just to show our appreciate for them. I thought it turned out really cute!

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And here’s another I made for our sweet 93-year-old neighbor!

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As an added bonus since it’s Valentine’s Day, I put together a playlist of what I call “Real Love” songs! Each of these songs demonstrate an extra dimension of what true love is (in my opinion), in contrast to most of the songs on the radio today. There’s links to the youtube versions of them, or you can listen to them all on my spotify playlist! I’ll put a little section of the lyrics that stand out to me as well. Enjoy!

Real Love Songs

Pieces – Bethel Music/ Steffany Gretzinger
Unreserved, unrestrained/ Your love is wild/ Your love is wild for me
It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed/Your love is proud/ To be seen with me

Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23

Already Mine – Us The Duo
I already have you/ But I wanna know you again
It’s so hard to kiss you/ When it feels like I’m only a friend
I can’t control you/ Or what your heart will decide
But I’ll never stop trying to fall back in love with what’s already mine

Never Stop (Wedding Version) – Safetysuit
I’ll never stop holding your hand/ I’ll never stop opening your door
I’ll never stop choosing you babe/ I’ll never get used to you

The Ballad Of Love And Hate – The Avett Brothers
Love has been waiting, patient and kind/ Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign
That the one that she cares for, who’s out of his mind/ Will make it back safe to her arms

Photograph – Ed Sheeran
Loving can heal/ Loving can mend your soul/ And it’s the only thing that I know
I swear it will get easier/ Remember that with every piece of ya

Better Together – Us The Duo (I like their version better)
It’s not always easy/ And sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing/ It’s always better when we’re together

I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
I won’t give up on us/ Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love/ I’m still looking up

Lemonade – Jeremy Passion
She’s my sunshine in the rain/ My Tylenol when I’m in pain
Let me tell you what she means to me
Like a tall glass of lemonade/ When it’s burning hot on summer days
She’s exactly what I need

Your Love Is Strong – Jon Foreman
So why should I worry?/ Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need/ You know what I need
Your love is strong

Easier To Be – Lifehouse
Let myself go/ You were still there
Like coming home/ Coming up for air

Everything – Michael Buble
You’re a falling star, you’re the getaway car/ You’re the line in the sand when I go too far
You’re the swimming pool on an August day/ And you’re the perfect thing to say

Divine Romance – Phil Wickham
A deep deep flood, an ocean flows from you/ Of deep deep love, yeah it’s filling up the room
Your innocent blood has washed my guilty life/ In your presence God I’m completely satisfied

Never Seen Anything Quite Like You – The Script
Well I’ve seen you in jeans with no makeup on/ And I’ve stood there in awe as your date for the prom
I’m blessed as a man to have seen you in white/ But I’ve never seen anything quite like you tonight

I Won’t Let You Go – Switchfoot
If you could only let your guard down/ If you could only trust me somehow
I swear, that I won’t let you go
If you could only let go your doubts/ If you could just believe in me now
I swear that I won’t let you go

I Was Made For Loving You – Tori Kelly/ Ed Sheeran
I was made for loving you/ Even though we may be hopeless hearts just passing through
Every bone screaming I don’t know what we should do
All I know is, darling, I was made for loving you

Stop (Just Love) – Us The Duo
I’ll never stop trying to let you love me/ Even if we’re stuck in rut
Through all this mess we’ve been together/ I’ll be right there, right there / I won’t stop

Same Old Same Old – The Civil Wars
Do I love you/ Oh I do/ And I’m going to ’til I’m gone
But if you think that I can stay in this/ Same old, same old/ Well I don’t

Next to Me – Emeli Sande
When the skies are grey and all the doors are closing
And the rising pressure makes it hard to breathe
When all I need’s a hand to stop the tears from falling
I will find him, I’ll find him next to me

I Believe in a Thing Called Love – Branches
I wanna kiss you every minute, every hour, every day
You got me in a spin but everything is A. OK

Hope you guys enjoy the playlist, and have a great Valentine’s Day! See you Tuesday!

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The Perks of Getting Married Young

Hi friends! This will be my first “rogue” post, if you will, and I’m super excited about it! To me, this blog is more than just a place where I can write about trying new hobbies, but also a place to process and to share my thoughts about life. This post is all about marriage. I love marriage and I am a firm believer in dating your spouse, whether you’ve been married 5 or 50 years.

As some of you know, I was recently married a little over a year ago at 22 years old. Usually when people find out I’m married, they are surprised because I’m “too young to be married!” Which makes sense, because in our culture getting married that young is often because there’s kids involved or the husband is going into the military. In fact, according to this article, the average age for a first marriage is the highest it’s ever been, and almost half of millennials don’t want to get married until they are in their 30s.

I’ve seen many articles circulating around with catchy headlines like “20 things to do in your 20’s” or “21 reasons being single is actually the best,” which are really just lists encouraging people to do whatever they want with gifs to prove their point. I’m all about self-discovery and learning how to “adult,” but I don’t think those things are incompatible with getting married young. In fact, I think getting married young is beneficial in many ways, and here are just a few!

  • There’s someone to listen to you – your 20s can be a really rough time in life, and if you’re like me, you need to verbally process it all with someone! While parents and friends are there for you too, there’s nothing like coming home to your spouse and telling them how crappy (or great) your day was and having them there to listen to you in real time (then cuddle with you after!)
  • You can bounce ideas off each other – your spouse is a great person to do this with because they know you the best! Case in point, I recently read a message I was about to send to someone to Matt to ask if I was coming off the right way, and he helped me fix it so I sounded way less creepy than I would have 🙂
  • You have someone to help you figure out how to pay bills, loans, budget – one of the times I appreciate Matt the most is when he helps me figure out how to do adult things, like registering a new car or keeping track of a budget. That is no fun to do by yourself, and let’s be real, your roommate is probably not going to want to do that all with you.
  • Always have someone there when everyone else is living their own single life – in the age of facebook, instagram and snapchat, it’s easy to look at everyone else’s “perfect” life and feel lonely. I’m guessing most of you, like me, don’t have a ton of money to travel around everywhere and eat at fancy hipster restaurants all the time. Having a spouse really taught me how to be content with my situation in life. I may not be doing some things my single friends can do, but I have a best friend wherever I go, even if it’s just a quick trip to the beach, and that’s amazing!
  • It’s easier to find friends – when you get married, you basically inherit a whole other friend group! You may not get along with all of your spouse’s friends, but odds are you will gain a few. And the more you get involved in things with your spouse, the more chance you have of gaining new friends – which are so important to have when you’re young!
  • You build memories with someone who will be there the rest of your life – this has been a huge blessing to me! I love that when I’m 30, 40, or 50, I can look back on my years as a young adult and share so many memories with Matt. We can laugh about silly things we did before we knew better or reminisce about how we struggled to start our careers. I love that we can share that!
  • They push you to do things you wouldn’t normally do – this is a huge one! When you’re older, you’re more set in your ways and it’s harder to get out of your comfort zone. But when you get married young, your spouse can really be a driving force to help you try new things! For example, I have forced encouraged Matt to try different kinds of food he wouldn’t normally eat, and Matt’s helped me learn more about the game of basketball!
  • You’ll have lots of fun memories of when you were a poor young newlywed couple – for example, Matt made a table and chairs out of the boxes we moved with and we ate off them for probably a few weeks until we invited people over and HAD to buy a table. We frequently have ice cream dates instead of full on dinner dates, or go to the dollar theater instead of the real theater. We aren’t glamorous by any means, but those memories we are making as a young married couple are ones I will treasure.
  • You’re more flexible and you have more free time – your career, interests, family, and hobbies all seem to take up a lot more time the older you get. There just seems to be less time available for everything. When you’re younger, you’re still figuring things out and you have more spare time, so it’s a great chance to devote your free time to building a strong marriage and investing in your spouse without all those distractions! And without kids (or likely even a house), you have so much more flexibility to do the things you really want to do that are harder to do later in life.
  • We were built to have intimate relationships – no matter who you are or what your relationship status is, we were created to have intimate relationships. Your relationship with your spouse will probably be the most intimate one you have. It’s hard work but it’s so worth it to pour into another person the way you do with your spouse. And hopefully, you can be secure knowing that your spouse will never leave you and will choose to love you even when it’s hard, and even when you’re still growing up as a young spouse.

Thanks to my wonderful husband for showing me that getting married young is truly a freeing thing, no matter what the rest of the world thinks.

I would love to hear your thoughts on marriage – I’m always looking out for other couples’ wise words! Hope you guys enjoyed my first rogue post!

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MC 9.1: Acts of Service

Friends! I can’t believe I’m already in month 9 of my challenges! I’ve done so many different activities this year, and they have all been fun. OK, maybe not my exercise month, but I’m still glad I did it.

In case you missed my announcement last week, this month I’m focusing on the five love languages! What are the five love languages, you ask? I’ll enlighten you!

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The Five Love Languages is a book written by Gary Chapman, who basically breaks the different ways we give and receive love into five categories:

  • Words of Affirmation: Uses words to affirm other people
  • Acts of Service: Actions speak louder than words for these people
  • Receiving Gifts: For some people, what makes them feel most loved is receiving a gift
  • Quality Time: Giving the other person your undivided attention
  • Physical Touch: To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch

Since he wrote the book in 1995, over 11 million copies have been sold! He has also written additional versions, including a men’s edition, love languages of children and teenagers, a military edition, and a single’s edition. It’s a great concept that is helpful for everyone, whether in a relationship or not!

If you’re curious what your love language is, you can take a quiz on his website that will tell you! I’ve taken it at least 4 times, and my answers have changed depending on what stage of life I’m in. I just took it a few days ago and got acts of service and quality time as my top two, with words of affirmation, physical touch, and receiving gifts following. Usually my top two are quality time and words of affirmation, but now that I’m married I really appreciate when Matt helps me do things around the house or does a project for me!

Anyways, each week I will be focusing on demonstrating one of those love languages to those around me, and I will be doing words of affirmation every week. I hope you are inspired to shower some love on those around you as well!

This week, I focused on acts of service. Here are a few things I did that I hope you can put into practice as well!

  • Help a coworker set up an event
  • Cook dinner for a friend
  • Clean dishes on a girls retreat
  • Watch the Superbowl (yes I believe that is an act of service!)
  • Get more groceries at the request of Hubby even though I was already at the register

I hope you can use a few of these ideas to love your significant other, family, friends, or coworkers this month! See you next week!

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2/17 Friday Favorites

Hey everyone! Look at me being on time with my blog post 🙂 I have lots of fun things for you to check out this month!

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Party Bananagrams

I’m sure many of you have played bananagrams (you know, that fast-paced build your own crossword game in the banana peel bag), but have you heard of party bananagrams? It’s 10 times better than normal banagrams, which is huge coming from me. Just listen to the description from the website:

“The Re-Gifter, The Thief, Switcheroo, Pouch Head…these are just some of the names of the 14 chaos-inducing Party Power tiles in BANANAGRAMS Party edition. Each tile holds its own special action, allowing the receiving player to bestow chaos on the victim of his/her choice! Whether it’s taking a lap around the game table or demolishing another player’s grid, no one is safe! Party Power tiles add chaos to the sneakiest, cheekiest BANANAGRAMS ever!”

My family got this for christmas, and it did indeed induce chaos! On top of arguing with my dad about his made-up words, I also got to scramble his tiles 3/4 of the way through the game or make my sister wear the banana peel on her head the whole time. It’s a blast to play!

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Ulta Complete Eyeshadow Compact

This compact was one of my black Friday buys since I was running out of gold eyeshadow, and I have LOVED it! The colors blend beautifully and the shadow goes on so smooth. I can use the lighter three colors for a more neutral look, or do all five for a more golden smoky look. It $12 it’s a great buy – it’s the perfect treat yourself gift!

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Celebrity Pink Skinny Jeans

You guys. The saddest thing happened to me in November. My favorite jeans ripped right in the middle. I seriously shed a few tears, I loved them that much. They were the perfect wash and short enough so I didn’t have to roll them up. I was so so sad because I hate buying new jeans – they almost never fit right because I’m short. I pretty much buy my jeans exclusively at Macy’s – specifically the American Rag brand because I can always order them in short length. However when I looked this time, they had basically no jeans! I was so disappointed.

However I decided to give Macy’s a second chance and ended up taking a risk and trying some Celebrity Pink jeans – specifically the Dawson Infinite Stretch Super-Skinny jeans in vintage dark. I had to order them from the store because they didn’t have the short length, and the underside was a lot lighter so I didn’t want to roll them. I almost never order any clothes online because 99.9% of the time they don’t fit. So I was pretty skeptical that I would actually keep them. But miracle of miracles, they fit perfectly! AND they were super similar to my favorite jeans! They are SO comfortable and a great length. If you’re in the market for a new pair of skinnies, definitely check these out!

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Sweet Potato Sausage Soup Recipe

I tried out this recipe when I had a friend over for dinner this week and it was so yummy! It had lots of fresh ingredients I could prepare ahead of time and was very easy to make. I put more than double the pasta in for Matt, so it turned out more like a stew. It was one of those meals that I felt looks really impressive but is a snap to put together. I’ll definitely be using it again!

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This Is Us

I know I’m a little behind on TV trends (as usual) but I’m in love with this show. We’re still on the first season, but we’ve only been watching like a month. I love how I feel like I’m watching real people in real life, not just actors. The emotions are so raw, and I love Rebecca and Jack’s parenting. I have cried pretty much every episode because it always touches me! Matt told me the last episode that he doesn’t think I’m emotionally stable enough to watch it anymore haha! If you haven’t watched it yet, you really should. The second half of the first season starts February 7, so there’s still time to catch up (I hope)!

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