Friday, January 8, 2016

Top Five Friday #38

January is off to a CRAZY start for me!  I'm one of those people who thrives off of keeping busy, so for me this is a great way to start the year.  I have a lot on my mind and a lot I want to update all of you on.  I hope this serves as an excuse in case I have lots of typos in upcoming posts, or forget to visit your blog.  I swear, it's not you-it's me!  And if you see me in real life and I seem a bit stressed- a coffee would be nice :)

Linking up with MarCynthia and Court 
as well as Heather!

To start off my Top Five Friday post, I wanted to talk about the top five things that are going on in my life (aka taking up most of my time and thoughts), then talk about five things I'm loving, and five songs I'm obsessed with.

Five Things Going On In My Life

House Hunting 

One of my goals for this year is to purchase my first house, so Dan and I have been going to open houses, talking to agents, and just got pre-approved for a mortgage!  Would anyone be interested in hearing more about this process?  I think it could be an interesting series to start, but only want to do it if anyone would like to hear more about the process of buying a home for the first time!


Marathon Training 

This is week one of my training, so I've been running more, doing some cross training, and working on building out my plan.  I shared some information about the marathon in yesterday's post if you're interested in hearing more! 


Wedding Planning!  

Thank goodness we're not having an actual traditional wedding that would require some planning, because I don't think I could handle that right now!  Dan and I have almost everything booked and planned out for our wedding in Belize, but there are still a few loose ends we have to tie up.  It's only a few months away, and I still have to get a dress, make sure I have all of my documents, get things in order on my blog, and think about what to pack!


I'm feeling SO great this week (I'll talk more about it tomorrow!) but this is definitely hard work and time consuming.  Dan decided to join in with me, so I feel like when I'm home, I'm constantly meal prepping or planning out what we're going to eat.  Don't get me wrong-it's completely worth it, but it's a lot of work!

Regular 9-5 job

Oh yeahh...I also have to worry about my regular job as well!  I don't talk a lot about work on my blog, but this year is off to a crazy start.  There is a lot of change going on at my company, and my group just took over the work of three other groups.  It's been a struggle to juggle four positions at once (project manager, quality assurance analyst, change analyst, business analyst), but it's making the work day fly by!


Five Things I'm Loving

Jingle Vox Box

I've been a member of Influenster for a few years now, but I don't get boxes very often.  I was really excited to find out that I got selected for one, and even more excited when I saw what was in it!  Here are the contents, with some notes about each:


Kiss True Volume Lashes and Adhesive with Aloe - I haven't actually tried this yet.  I don't wear false lashes really ever (I wore them twice in my life!) so I'm going to save these for a special occasion.  I might need a girls night out to test them!

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream - I LOVE this cream!  It's so soothing and rich, but sinks in really quickly.  I also love that it's completely scent-less.  I got a small jar of it, so I can just throw it in my work bag and use it when I get dry patches.

Pure Ice Polish - I really love this shade of polish (I got French Kiss), and it went on extremely smoothly.  However, it chipped right away, as in less than 24 house after I applied it.  I like it if I'm only planning on wearing it for one night since it goes on so well, but wish it lasted longer.  Here's what it looks like on my nails:




NYC CityProof 24HR Eyeliner - I really like this liner!  It goes on so smoothly and has a rich brown pigment.  It also lasts all day on my eyes.  This has been my liner of the week!



Biscoff Cookies - These cookies are SO GOOD!  I believe these are the cookies that are used in Cookie Butter and Speculoos spread, and they taste amazing as biscuits as well.  They're so good dipped into coffee!

Hallmark Itty Bitty - This little guy is adorable!  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him, but it was a cute little addition to the box.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes  (P.S. you can join for free too at Influenster.com!)



MailChimp

This week I sent out my first newsletter!  I'm excited to start this new adventure of blogging, and to have another way to connect to all of you.  I'm using Mail Chimp (I guess all of those Serial ads finally sucked me in!) and I'm really liking it.  The interface is really easy to follow, and I love how you can create your own template or use one of theirs.

P.S. I would love and appreciate it if you would sign up for my newsletter!  All you have to do is put your email address in the box at the top of the side bar and hit enter.  Or- just leave a comment with your email address and I'll add you!


Matrimoney Podcast

I mentioned my love for the podcast The Girl Next Door before, and I'm equally as obsessed with the Matrimoney podcast!  This one is hosted by one of the Girls and her husband, and they talk all about money and marriage.  I already learned so many great tips from them, so I would recommend giving it a listen!


Winter TV

All of my favorite reality shows are back!  The Bachelor, Biggest Loser, Masterchef Junior, Top Chef, American Idol- Oh my!  I'll be able to talk more about which contestants I like on each show next week, but for now I'm just excited that I have something to watch!  What shows are you all watching lately?


Fashion

Madewell Sweater (similar) x Express Jeans x Sofft Boots (similar)

Target Blouse (similar) x Treasure and Bond Jeans x Reebok Sneakers

J Crew Factory Sweater x Target Scarf (similar) x American Eagle Jeans x Target Flats


Five Songs

Hey Hey Hallelujah - Rachel Platten and Andy Grammar
Two of my favorite singers that always seem to put me in a good mood collab'ed on this song!  I just love how upbeat it is.  By the way, if you haven't checked out Rachel Platten's new album- listen NOW!

I think Birdy has such a beautiful voice, and this was such a different sound for her.  I really like it!

Lay It All On Me - Rudimental
The steel drums at the beginning of the song got me, and then Ed Sheeran sealed the deal!  I love this catchy song, and it's a really great song for running!

The Flyest - O.T. Genasis
To be honest, this song is kind of annoying and I'm a little embarrassed to share it.  It's on a football commercial and it is SO catchy that I had to download it!  These are the types of songs that I love to sprinkle in my running playlists, so when they come on it gives me a shot of energy!  I love the line "Who you know that's better than me?  No-bo-DY!"

Tuxedo - Clare Dunn
Pretty much obsessed with Clare Dunn, and I can't stop listening to this song!  It's SO good!


Note- this post contains some affiliate links.  I earn a small percentage if you purchase anything through these links.  Thank you for your support!

What's going on in YOUR life?
What are you loving this week?
Would anyone be interested in hearing about my house hunting process?
What TV shows are you into lately?

Have a great weekend!

47 comments:

  1. Wow girl, you do have some big plans in 2016! A marathon, a wedding, and buying a house, all huge! Good luck!

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  2. I forget I have a "9-5" job too! I'm so excited for you and your house and your wedding. When's the exact date again? I just can't imagine how beautiful and exciting it's going to be especially if you both get to look forward to a new home! I'm loving your news letter way to get started on that, I know it's a daunting task (why I haven't).

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    1. May 6 :) The newsletter really isn't TOO bad- I can help you get started if you'd like!

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  3. Yay for house hunting! We bought our house about a year and a half ago, and although the process can be frustrating and time consuming, it was legit the BEST decision we've ever made! Good luck!!

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  4. So much for me to check out! Take me with you to Belize, and take me with you house hunting (I love that, architecture nerd that I am, and PGH has great houses). You so have so much fun stuff to come! Yay!

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    1. Take me to Cabo and I'll take you to Belize! You're more than welcome to come house hunting, or I'll at least snap along the way!

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  5. Wow you have a lot going for this year. I love Belize. It is so beautiful. Good luck on finding your dream house.

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  6. Buying your first house is so exciting! AND stressful!! Good luck!!
    Belize is awesome. I had a destination wedding too and it was totally worth it.

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  7. We have changes too, but thankfully not within my group. We have to tighten a few business processes, and we have a state audit to back us up. If people complain about this isn't how it used to be, tough.

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    1. Haha exactly!! If it's the rules they should follow, no complaining allowed!

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  8. Oh my goodness, yes, you have a very full plate this year! Good thing you are used to running marathons because all aspects of your life have some very demanding components! False lashes would be a fun touch for your wedding day! They take quite a bit of practice (for me at least) or a helper who knows how to apply them but they look really great in photos! Good luck with everything that's going on and hang in there!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

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    1. Thanks Gina! That's a great idea for a wedding..I'm planning on going very natural (maybe some concealer and lip balm) so lashes would be a pretty touch. Just need to practice now :)

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  9. Big YES to hearing about the house hunting process. The BF owns a home, but did not find it in ANY traditional way. He was there for a call & the lady who lived there had broken her hip, he slipper her a business card & the place never even made it to the market. And I think he truly thinks that situation will somehow happen again when it's time for a bigger place.

    Thankfully no big life changes going on for me right now. Just researching all the things I want to do in New Zealand. And there just isn't enough time to do all I want to do!

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    1. Wow that is a crazy way to get a house! I don't think that'll happen to me ;) New Zealand is going to be AMAZING- have a great time!

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  10. Best of luck in the house hunt! We TOTALLY lucked out and bought the house behind our rental in the North Side...we literally moved across the back alley. :) One of the best decisions ever!! I also feel you on the 9-5 life. Juggling multiple positions is the worst! Hope it gets better soon!!

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    1. That sounds amazing! No moving truck needed! Thanks for the good wishes, and I know you're struggling (or were struggling) with the same thing.

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  11. i think house hunting is fun & i'm sure others would also enjoy hearing about it. i launched my newsletter the end of decemeber as well and i'm excited because it's growing daily. and yes to the bachelor!!!!!

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    1. Ohh I didn't know you had one! I'll have to join right away :)

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  12. I would love to hear more about the house hunting process- we are likely buying a house in the Pittsburgh area in the next year! I'm obsessed with Top Chef and The Challenge(MTV)... I've been thinking about starting a newsletter- will definitely need to up my game soon!

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    1. That's great! I'll definitely fill you in. What areas are you looking at?

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  13. Too much fun on my birthday last night so I never got a blog post up today. But I can't resist your Friday posts! As usual, I'll be downloading those songs. Yayyy!

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    1. Sounds like you had a fun birthday :) Glad you were feeling up to it! The celebration continues I hope ;)

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  14. Keep plugging along with that 9-5! Sending good vibes :) I'm digging the whole 30 process because it's keeping my sweet tooth in check and giving me insight into how much I actually crave(d) sugar!

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    1. Thanks Kaitlin! Same for me...I never realized how much sugar really was an addiction. At first I was craving it so much, and now I'm not at all!

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  15. Those are some awesome goals! Good luck to you in 2016, girlie! Happy (belated) Birthday!

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    1. Thank you Heather! And my birthday isn't until June, so you're still early :) Thanks anyway!

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  16. That's so exciting about everything coming up this year! I'm actually a realtor so if you do have any questions at all I'd be happy to answer them:) I signed up for your newsletter a few days ago but never received anything.. I'll try entering my email address again!

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    1. No way!! that's so cool. I wish you lived closer so you could take us to houses :) You'll get my next newsletter on Monday! Thanks for signing up :)

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  17. Wedding planning! Love it :) Have a great weekend, Gretchen!

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  18. Ryan and I are starting to look into buying our first townhome/condo (which is the over-populated Seattle version of buying an actual house, ha) so I'd be very interested in hearing more about your house hunting process! The whole thing intimidates me a lot!
    I'm so glad to hear that you're already feeling better on Whole30! I hope you and Dan have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Good to know Laura! I'll definitely keep you updated :) It sure is intimidating!

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  19. You got this, girl!! Lots of big things coming up :) so cool that you are getting married in Belize :) I went there once as a stop on a cruise, it's beautiful. We will hopefully be buying our first house this late spring/early summer!! May have to ask you for tips ;)

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    1. That's good to hear! It looks beautiful in pictures. I hope I can help you out..I still have so much to learn!

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  20. The wedding is so soon! Eeeeh so exciting! And first house buying is so stressful and fun and exciting! Such great stuff going on! I am planning my son's bar mitzvah so trust me when I say, I understand why you wouldn't want to be planning a regular wedding. So many details and things and ugh!

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    1. That sounds stressful too! I've never been to one but they always look so extravagant and amazing! Good luck with planning!

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  21. Hey! Stopping by from the Friday 5 link up! Good luck with marathon training and your upcoming wedding planning! I'm really into Mozart in the Jungle and The Goldbergs right now!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Christy! I watched the first episode of Mozart and liked it, but never got into it. I'll have to try it again!

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  22. ooh a wedding in Belize - sounds like so much amazing fun!

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  23. meal prep is a pain in my ass and i do it every sunday with wine...wine makes things all better :)

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    1. Hahah wine makes everything better! That's what I miss most with the Whole30!

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  24. Oh I need to finally get on to listening to Matrimoney - LOVE those girls next door! And so exciting to have the Belize wedding almost all planned out!

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