Friday, December 31, 2010

My Friends Are Better Than Yours......

OK, so maybe the title isn't entirely true especially since many of my really good friends read my blog and they also have other great friends, but I can say I have been truly blessed with some amazing girl friends and they all show it and make me feel that way in various ways! With everything I have been through this year from my health to wedding changes to school to weight gain, my friends have been there when I needed to cry, when I haven't looked my best, when I just wanted to sit with them and not go out, when I've canceled on them and haven't been the best friend I could be, when I've had to leave their bachlorette party early because I was too sick, when I wanted to have a slumber party and feel like we were young again, when I didn't show up to their Birthday celebrations, when they couldn't get a hold of me and had to call/text my mom to check on me or find out what a new doctor said, when I've needed flowers to cheer me up.. they were sent to my house, when I needed a card in the mail to make me smile, when I needed a sweet post written on my facebook wall, when I needed to try a new experience such as yoga or just crafting, when I needed that "just because" gift, when I needed to vent, and the list can go on and on!!!!

One really sweet thing that was done this year for me is what brings me to this post... I feel that I always find creative ways to show my friends just how much I appreciate and love them and this year one of my groups of girlfriends topped everything I've done!

This year we celebrated our 3rd Annual Girl's Christmas Dinner/Gift Exchange together, three years ago while we were all out one night it was just casually mentioned that we should start doing this and I'm not too sure if anyone really thought it was going to happen, well leave it up to me and I'll make it happen, so we did it! As an appreciation of me planning this event for us the past three years the girls got me a necklace that I had mentioned on this post. When they brought it up and told me what they had done for me I wanted to cry, I def teared up but tried to not be a drama queen and cry, I'm sorry I'm emotional and when people do things like that for me I just can't help it...

Here's the precious/pretty/sweet/dainty little necklace they got me:

Here's the description online:

BFF. Partner in crime. Confidant. No matter what she goes by, she is your best friend! Let her know how much her friendship means to you with our best friends reminder necklace. The wishbone charm lets her carry her wishes with her everywhere. She deserves it. Come to think of it, so do you!

Here's the card message the necklace came on:

make a wish and put on your necklace. I believe we were meant to be friends. let your necklace be a daily reminder that your love and friendship is an amazing gift to me!

How sweet is that? So does my title beat yours?!?! ;)

I can't tell you my wish or it won't come true, but I will say with these group of girl's it will come true!

I sent each of them a little Thank You note in the mail and hope they really know how much it means to me that they did this for me

Here's a pic from our first annual party Dec. 2008 at Jenny's parent's house

This is our 2nd annual at Kristina's APT.. I didn't get very many good pics this year:(

This years 3rd annual party at Corelli's Italian restaurant

I look forward to collecting many more of these precious little necklace's

Year of the Rabbit- In my life..

- I've done some brief research and have found that only 8% of people who make New Years resolutions stick with them the following twelve months, as a matter of fact more than half don't even make it to the end of Janurary.
I also learned mainly the reason for that is simply that people can't adjust their lives drastically all of a sudden and make all these changes, so basically many people are set up for failure. The reserach has proved that in that 8% all those people started ideally planning for these new resolutions/goals approx 4 weeks before the New Year or even off and on for several months, not just the week prior to the New Year. Now with all that being said, here is my plan...

My New Year's goal's to roll over from this past year (past few months) and simply push harder!

Includes but is not limited to:

{Continue really pushing myself in boot camp}
Ideally I would like to go all 4 times a week my boot camp is offered but I'll be honest with myself it's a challenge to make it to every session so I will try to commit to 3 times per week and hope for 4!

{Continue loosing weight}
Approx. 25 pounds down in the past 2.5-3 months, _ _ to go.....

{Budget,Save,less shopping}

OK I'll be honest, I haven't really been doing this yet.. I have been budgeting better and not shopping as much but I haven't been saving.. yet

{Continue to use coupons}
I've become the coupon notsee and I'm not even a mom yet!! I've always enjoyed reading the Sunday Newspaper sale ad's and clipping coupons but now in this virtual world we live in, they simply pop up in my email way too often and also I have a few lovely coupon lady blogs I follow.. Now let me say this though, I do not print a bunch of coupons that I'm only going to save .50c here or .25c, I look at it as it's costing me more in paper and ink to print the coupon

{Eat better}
This has always been a challenge for me as I simply love food and love junk food. I was not raised eating the healthiest foods and I am extremely picky and can't do certain textures so basically I'm a difficult eater..
I have really made some changes over the past few months and looking forward to continuing and doing better! Getting my gallbladder removed in May has helped this change be easier as I couldn't eat many foods anymore but that's besides the point...

*Included in this category*

-Better balanced meals

-Better and more breakfasts

-Cut way back on Soda's, I know I should cut it all together.. But let's be honest, if you know me I have been a soda lover my whole life, I actually was talking with some girl friends the other day about how they used to come to my house when we were young and our fridge had a row of Cokes, Sunkist, DP, Root Beer, Cherry Coke, etc...
So I'll be real with myself, I will take the challenge of only having them on occasion!!

{Stay organized}
I'll toot my own horn for a sec.. I've always been good at this, I pretty much know where anything I need is at all times, I use color coded plans, I have tons of storage container/bin things, I have several personal file folders already, I make to-do lists and stick with them by crossing out etc, my laptop and email folders are very organized, and even my back pack and purse have certain ways of staying in order

{Send random cards in the mail and Thank You notes}

I'm the Queen at this and I absolutely love it!

New goals/hopes for 2011: (simply said)

-Blog way more than I did in 2010
-Learn more about Brian
-Forget past failures
-less web browsing
-more book/article reading
-spend as much time as possible with girlfriends (yes I do this a lot, but this next year will be much harder as I will have a busier day schedule and more exhausted in the evenings)
-spend more time with people over the age of 60 and under the age of 6
-Agree to disagree
-Don't compare myself to others or be jealous of others
-Get "dressed" more aka don't wear my comfy black pants and sports bras so much
-Spend more time with my future in-law's
-Call my family more
-Continue to take an unbelievable amount of pics of friends & family
-Continue to learn as much as I can to be the best possible teacher
-Be open minded
-Count my blessings
-Finish writing my mission list: 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days
-Learn to do 180 on my Wakeboard
-Maybe do this:

You can read about it here: One Hundred Push Ups

Last but least, spend more time in prayer, reading my Bible, and reading my daily devotional

Well, that's a wrap blog friends!!!
I look forward to another blessed year of reading everyone's blogs and learning new things you share!

With all the being said...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Catching Up....

Yes, I'm alive!!!
No I didn't forget about: My 12 Days of Christmas posts, the 3 posts I blogged about back in October, 3 Things Introduction.. and yes I still plan on doing those and doing a brief wrap up of the 12 days posts!

I just caught up on my Dashboard/Reading List, I went back all the way to December 15th when I last read anyone's post and got caught up on what I felt was necessary...

But now I'm off to shower to go to dinner with my longest life long group of girlfriends who I've spent a lot of time with over this break but be ready for several posts the next couple days!!
One I'm really looking forward to is about my New Years goals, plans, etc.. No NOT New Years Resolutions!!

PS- If your bored and wanna look or have a fav pair to share, I'm on the hunt for an "everyday" earring.. I want a stud earring, sterling silver, kinda dainty.. I need a pair to help dress me up with my buisness casual attire for next semester, I have kinda mis-placed my Diamond Studs at the moment and don't know that I would want to wear those anyways..
SO you got a fav pair or brand or seen something cute? Please share!!

I hope all my blog readers had a Blessed Christmas with their families and friends!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"12 Days Of Christmas" Day 4- Tips/Tricks to Budget

Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season

Let me start off by saying that famous line, "Practice what you preach".. So I am going to say these things with every bit of intention on doing them myself!

1. Use coupons USE coupons USE coupons!!! I have bought very few items this past year (including before Holiday shopping) without a coupon.. If a coupon is possible, I normally have it, rather it came in the mail, newspaper, via email, (I am signed up for emails to almost every store I shop at) found on a blog I follow, or goggled for "blank store promo code month year". I will admit, at times I feel cheap and if it's too stressful to use the coupon or it's a very little discount, I don't waste my time.. But if I could go back and add up for you how much I've saved you would be surprised, as I think I would be too!!

2. Make a list!!! Write down everyone you plan to get something for and ideally how much you should spend.. Oh and stick to the list!!!

3. Only buy what you can afford!

4. Don't be afraid to look for good deals, rather it be at a discounted type store or even the sale racks!

5. It's never too early to start purchasing things.. If you see something that just fits one of your loved ones to a T, buy it.. If a store closes and you can stock up on gifts, do it.. If an "end of season" sale happens at a favorite store and has great things you can't pass up, buy a variety of things for parties like white elephant, or a small gift exchange at work etc...

6. If your extended family is still buying for each individual person, suggest drawing names or playing some type of gift exchange game to where you only bring one gift and then maybe something little and special for your elderly family members.

7. Don't buy at Hobby Lobby or Garden Ridge till a week after Thanksgiving when they put everything 50% off!!!!

8. Please please please don't spend lots of $$$ on gift packaging... Most all my bags come from the dollar store, and not only the single bags but the ones with 2-3 gift bags per $1... They also have great gift box labels, sometimes you can get more for your money at Wal-Mart on those but still always keep the dollar store in mind!

9. Do something personal, write something.. make something.. do something with pictures..
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

10. Stock up on Christmas decor, wrap, etc the day after Christmas and the weeks following.. Put it away with all your old goodies as they go back in the attic for another year :)

So there you have it.. Those are my top 10 money saving thoughts! What are yours?

Monday, December 6, 2010

"12 Days of Christmas" Day 3- Meaningful/Memorable Gifts

Day 3: Meaningful/Memorable Gifts

* This might not be very relevant but I think my most meaningful and memorable gift would be the gift of life my parents have given me.. The unconditional love and support they have always shown me, the young woman they have taught me to grow into, the value they have shown me what true love and real friendships means, and the list goes on and on!

*Quality time with my family and friends!

*All the Christmas cards we receive early!

*ANYTHING handmade and/or personalized!!!

*Special ornaments.. Especially personalized with name, initial, year, or certain type that relates to my life

*Anything including a photo on it

*The Victoria Secret spray- "Heavenly" my Maw-Maw got me every year the last 5 years she was alive

I think my all time favorite gift that I can remember from the past few years would be far have to be my:

I think this gifts top all gifts of all for several reasons.. taking pictures is one of my most fav things to do, captures some lifetime memorable moments, great quality, and I can get so much use out of it for years to come as to some things in the past like cloths, toys, etc. that I only got minimal use out of!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"12 Days of Christmas" Day 2- Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

* So I am aware I am super behind, the 12/14 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge is almost complete and I am on Day 2... With my busy schedule and lack of blogging time lately I have decided my goal is to complete the 12/14 Days of Christmas by December 25th, Christmas Day! Sorry Aly & Molly for breaking the rules.. Please forgive me :)

Day 2 - Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

- Black Friday has already passed.. and I did not partake in any of the shopping madness but I will wing it!

*I have never done Black Friday Shopping, I've never had a reason to.. Don't have kids to go buy all the top selling toys for and don't have my own place yet to need that amazing deal on a 42" flat screen... My parents have told me they used to be the crazy people waiting in line at Toys R Us to get the best deals, Bless them for being the most amazing parents!

*For weeks my sweet friend Katie over at A Daily Dose of Dallas and I planned on being at Target when they opened and also hitting up Best Buy but the night before as we were both heading up to Baker St. to meet friends, we decided against it..

*I did go with another sweet friend Lindsey over at Longhorn in Houston to Target on the Saturday after black Friday after we went to an early morning yoga session and lunch. We went basically for a few necessities, and I ranked in on about 8 dvd's mostly costing 1.99 or 3.99!

*I have done a great deal of online shopping the past few weeks.. A few things I can think of that I've ordered... Photo gifts for my parents, a shirt for Brian, some ornaments, jeans for me, a funny sign to hang at our river house for my dad, a few things for my little Allie girl's first Christmas, a gift for my buffer Megan, some gifts to donate, a gift for my bff Rachael, some stuff for my brother, a graduation gift for a few of my fellow UH education friends graduating this semester.. and I think that's it so far. With all the "email deals" I keep getting I just can't resist! I've gotten up to 60% of some things and haven't paid over 3.99 for ANY shipping!!!

*Over the past couple years I'm growing to liking online shopping more.. If I know exactly what I want and know the quality, size, color, etc is good, it's almost just as easy to order it online with the cheap shipping everywhere is offering!!

*I very seldom buy anything without some sort of "promo code," I have even goggled until I have found one before placing an order!!

*We have had the same UPS guy deliver to our house since we moved here 13 years ago.. Everyone knows him on a first name basis, he even knows our dogs and talks to them every time he comes to the door.. Thursday night I heard his truck pulling up as the dogs started barking, I thought to myself NO way is Charles delivering at package at 9:40 at night.. Sure enough I look out and he's walking up the drive way, I went outside and joked with him and said "how dare me order so much that you have to work this late" he just laughed and said he enjoyed it, I told him to go home and go to bed, "he would probably be back tomorrow" sure enough, he delivered here again on Friday, eek!!! Needless to say, he's on my gift card purchase lists this year!

I don't really have any tricks or tips to share other than the online shopping I talked about above!

Oh actually I do have one thing... Some times if you find something you really like in a store, especially a boutique style shop, take a pic on your phone (or write it down, of course) of the info on the tag and go home and goggle it! Sometimes you will find you can only purchase the item wholesale or that is isn't cheaper online but sometimes you will find it for half the price!!!!


Blogs in need of Prayer