Unboxing! Birchbox – June 2015

I got my June Birchbox last week and thought I’d share what I got in my box this month! I had been subscribed to Birchbox for over a year and left them to try some other subscription services, but I decided to go back to Birchbox for the quality and variety of products. I absolutely LOVE getting my Birchbox in the mail every month, especially since we’re still on a budget! It makes me feel like I’ve splurged, but I’ve not broken the bank, plus I get to try new products without having to pay the full price. Birchbox is one of the most affordable subscription product services out there. For $10 a month, you get 5 products, sometimes they’re full size and sometimes you get surprise lifestyle extra in your box!

So let’s dig in!

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I love how they decorate their boxes with the month’s theme! They’ve made their boxes more colorful and always have beautiful typography.

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Here’s a breakdown of everything that came in my box this month. This is one of my favorite parts of Birchbox! With some of the other subscription services I’ve tried, they didn’t always include a card or any description of the products. Birchbox always has a description of each product and they list the price for the full size product, which helps you both know how to use the product and decide if it’s worth investing in the full sized product.

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Products

1. Skyn Iceland | Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels • These felt soooo nice and relaxing! They de-puffed my eyes and were so cooling. They also peeled off really easily without irritating my sensitive skin. I’m pretty tempted to invest the $30 for the full size to have on hand when I need a relaxing spa night now and then, or need a quick cool down for extra puffy eye mornings!

2. Emi Jay | Hair Tie • I love these kinds of hair ties! They are never tight and don’t leave any dents  or bumps in your hair.

3. Beauty Protector | Protect & Detangle • This leave in hair protecting product works great and doesn’t weigh down your hair. Plus, it smells A-MAZING! I absolutely love this stuff! This is easily my favorite product in the box this month!

4. Marcelle | Waterproof Eyeliner • I can attest that it is INDEED waterproof! After washing my face, I had to use both an eye makeup remover AND a cleansing cloth to rub it off. I tend to wear more neutral/natural colors on my eyes for eyeliner, so I think I would only wear this on a fun date night or girls night out…

5. COOLA | Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face • I’ve used COOLA products in the past and they’re great for sun protection. With it being summer, I’m looking forward to using this under my makeup to help me not burn.

6. Marcelle | BB Cream Golden Glow • I originally thought that this BB cream might be too dark for my fair skin, but I wore it alone on an easy makeup day and it provided a little coverage, blended into my skin tone pretty well, and gave a little bit of a bronze glow. I was afraid it might be too greasy, but my skin stayed comfortably dewy (which is not easy to do, especially on my complexion!). The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the scent…

June’s products full-sized price value: $134.95

Overall, I was pretty pleased with this month’s box! I’m looking forward to next month’s box!

Do you get Birchbox or another subscription beauty box?
Tell me your favorites or what you got in your box below!

#Birchbox

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signs

I didn’t forget, but Thursday night was a busy night! We had our garage sale yesterday and I was busy prepping for Friday late into the night on Thursday, so the signs I made for the sale were all I was able to do for my daily sketch…

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Status

Monthly Recap – March

Whew! March was jam packed! I feel very accomplished and I’m proud to say that I got a lot done, but I’m looking forward to a less busy month. 🙂 Once again, I’m linking up with The Lady Okie and her Project 12 posts. Find how my March panned out below:

30 for 30 Progress: As I mentioned in my previous Monthly Recaps, SpringNightthere are a few items on my 30 for 30 List that I will be working on throughout the year. I made headway on a few projects this month and I’m excited to see more of my list completed! I made progress on making our office more functional (#3), I got my 401k paperwork finally taken care of (#16), I finally got a cleaning schedule nailed down (#22), and we got Pepper enrolled in training (#21)! I also started a Spoonflower Shop and entered my first contest. Even though I didn’t win, it was fun to design something based around a challenge and to be part of a creative community again. I also had two sales during the month of March! I’m hoping to add more designs to my shop in the future.
150316-MM-Day16My biggest 30 for 30 List accomplishment this month was tackling the 31 Day Purge Project from A Bowl Full of Lemons. I adapted the Spending Freeze idea from Living Well, Spending Less and incorporated it into our March project, creating my own March Makeover. It was a challenge, but it feels so good to have a decluttered and organized home! It was also really eye-opening to see how we could get through a month without having to spend money on everything. It allowed us to focus on saving and helped us stay on the same page financially! You can find out how the project went by clicking here and looking up the hashtag #MarchMakeover15PO on Instagram.

Books Read: I am so behind, it’s not even funny! No reading was done in the midst of all the productivity…

Fitness: As of this post, I’ve lost 8 pounds since I started my fitness plan in February! (YAY!) I am starting to see a noticeable difference in how my clothes fit and what I see in the mirror, plus I have more energy. It’s not as noticeable to others at this point, but it’s encouraging to see a difference. I created a separate page to track my progress here.
FitbitI also got a Fitbit! It’s been motivating to try and get all of my steps in, to track my quality of sleep, and to see that just by being more active in the day, I’m burning calories! And before you think that this Fitbit was going outside of our Spending Freeze, I was able to get a very good deal, we discussed it, and we decided it would be a good purchase!
My Fitbit syncs with both MyFitnessPal and GymPact. I’ve mentioned MyFitnessPal before in previous fitness posts, but I’ve started using GymPact which is an app that lets you earn money for working out and logging your food. I mentioned GymPact in my most recent fitness update. You can link the app with your other fitness apps and devices and set goals for yourself. When you complete or meet your goals (your pact) for the week, you earn cash that can be transferred to your PayPal account. If you miss a workout or don’t complete your pact, you have to pay. Needless to say, that’s pretty motivating to stay on track. I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks and have earned nearly $5. I know that’s not much, but it’s better than nothing and better than paying $5 for a missed workout!

Travel: No trips this month. 😦

Watched: Ever since Friends came on Netflix in January, we’ve been watching it non-stop. We finally finished the series! It was bittersweet, but it was fun and I have a feeling it will be another show for us, like the Office, that we just watch over and over again…
150325-MM-Day25We also had a movie night at home as a family and enjoyed watching Mockingjay. Jonathan and I both agree that it’s the best movie in the series so far. We were in suspense the whole time we watched it in theaters and it was just as enjoyable at home, along with all the behind the scenes footage.
My sister and I are huge fans of Pretty Little Liars, so when the season finale aired this month, we were glued to the TV. While I know a lot of PLL fans were disappointed with the season finale (no spoilers here), personally I thought that it was one of if not the best episode of the show to date! There were answers but also so many more questions and I can’t wait to see how they answer them in the upcoming season! Any other PLL fans out there?

Listened: I discovered two excellent podcasts this month! The Accidental Creative is really good and though provoking for professional creatives. But it’s also applicable to others in cop orate careers. My favorite episode for the month was “The Power of a Morning Ritual.” I was encouraged to establish a more consistent morning routine and hopefully I’ll be able to implement one soon.
The other podcast is great for when you need a laugh… Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids is hilarious! Based out of Canada, they hold open mic nights and encourage adults to bring their diaries, journals, letters, etc. from when they were kids. Some of the entries are adorable, most are really funny, some are deeper than they originally appear. Overall, it’s always a fun listen.

Family Moments: We survived a few little earthquakes (one big one that jolted both Pepper and I) and our first tornado of the season. We were only in the tornado warning zone, but it still makes me a bit anxious, so I was thankful that hubby was home at the time. Pepper slept through the entire thing…
We got Pepper enrolled in training this month! So far, she’s the only one in her class due to a schedule mix up, but she’s learning and catching on. She loves going to “school” as we like to call it and gets so excited when we drive up to the building. We’re working on loose leash walking, sit, wait, leave it, etc. The loose leash walking is the most challenging, but I’m glad we’re seeing a little progress there. It gives me some hope that in addition to being the sweet puppy she is, she can be an obedient puppy too. 😉

This Made My Day: I finished up my first sketchbook for the year! If you follow me on Instagram, you can see me post a daily sketch and since we’re almost 100 days into the year, I ran out of paper in my first sketchbook and had to start a new one! It’s been really neat to go back through and look at the sketches I made at the start of the year. I can’t wait to look through all of them at the end of the year and see how my style and technique has progressed!

Monthly Moral: With the March Makeover, I learned a lot about “stuff” and how much of it we don’t really need. I found so many things that were just that, “things” and were taking up space both physically and mentally. I had to work on letting go of things that I no longer needed and really didn’t serve a purpose anymore. I was reminded of how much of a sentimental pack rat I am. But once I started seeing the extra space that was starting to be created and realizing what I actually used, I was able to let go a lot easier and feel like I could breathe! I think I’m going to have to purge clutter periodically from our home and from my life.
I also realized that we can live on less. I went grocery and general shopping once. That’s ONE Target trip for the month! But we made it and we weren’t deprived or in desperate need for anything, plus we were able to save the extra money we would have spent frivolously. I don’t think we should try to live in a Spending Freeze all the time, but it honestly doesn’t hurt to do it every once in a while.

I’m excited to see what April has in store! How was your March?

What’s In My Bag?

In the spirit of spring cleaning and because I wanted to swap the purse I’ve been carrying around all winter, I thought I’d do a “What’s In My Bag?” post. I love watching these kinds of posts on YouTube because I just find it interesting to know what people carry around with them, what products they use, or what they carry their stuff in. Plus, I’m just nosey… 😉

I needed to clean out my purse, since I couldn’t remember the last time I had done that, but I also am reminded every time I go to the grocery store that I need to carry a bigger purse so I can take my Target grocery/shopping bags with me. (You can save $.05 for every bag you bring for your items, instead of using plastic bags. You don’t have to only use bags you bought from Target, but if you can’t find or don’t have bags, you can buy them for $.99/ea. Plus, if you’re environmentally conscious, it helps with that too…) But even after changing purses, I’m not sure I’ll be able to carry my grocery bags without some reshuffling before my next grocery trip… Since I’m saving up for a designer handbag, the purses I use now are pretty inexpensive, but still great bags! I tend to buy my purses from Target (do you see a theme? I heart Target!) because they have great designs and are affordable. NavyPurse All winter, I’ve been carrying this nifty navy purse that I bought from Target for about $30-40. I like that it has three outside pockets and is open in the center. I like to keep my keys, my phone, pens, and other items that I need to be able to find quickly. NavyPursePocket1 I like to keep my keys and phone (not pictured) accessible in the front pocket. I also like to keep my pens and pencils accessible…and apparently chocolate! I love Sharpie pens, they just have a nice smooth flow of ink and come in a range of colors, plus they don’t bleed through the page. Chuao chocolate is so good! If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. They offer so many unique flavors! Each bar is a little pricey, but the chocolate is high quality, rich, and surprisingly, not high in calories. 😉 NavyPursePocket2 NavyPursePocket3 In the other two pockets, I like to keep my headphones, charger cord, mobile charger, and memory stick easy to reach, especially when I’m in the car and need to charge my phone. My mobile charger is handy for times when I can’t get to an outlet or my car. For whatever reason, I’ve also been carrying around a tape measure. Hey, never hurts to have some tools on hand! NavyPurseTop NavyPurseCenter The center section of my purse holds pretty much everything I could need while out and about:

  1. Blogging notebook for jotting down ideas on the go.
  2. Coupon wallet/folder. This is what I keep all of my coupons in, however I don’t take this to the register with me, since it would take too long to hunt for all the coupons I’d use. These folders are perfect for couponing, they’re cute, durable, and they don’t cost much!
  3. My GorillaPod was a gift from my mother-in-law and it’s helpful for taking steady photos with your phone or camera. It’s a flexible tripod that can wrap around or attach to numerous surfaces while still providing grip to help stabilize your shot.
  4. A lady “always” needs necessities for that time of the month…
  5. Trident gum. I like this container because you don’t have to worry about a wrapper, plus if you want to share with people, there’s a lot more gum in one of these containers than a little packet.
  6. Planner. Find out how I use my planner here.
  7. Password log. I don’t always keep this with me, but it depends on what I’m doing or where I’m going as to whether I need it or not. I know that there are password apps that store your passwords and protect them, however I’m old school and I like to keep our passwords in a booklet.
  8. More gum… I like Orbit, but these packets tend to spill in my purse or get lost.
  9. Granola bars for when I need a boost of energy or I need a snack. Lately I’ve been enjoying Special K bars and the Simply Balanced nut granola bars. They’re good for you and they taste  good!
  10. My wallet. I keep all of my cards, sometimes cash, business cards, gift cards, and always at least one giant paperclip for my coupons. I love that this wallet zips closed so nothing falls out.
  11. Sunglasses case. I keep my sunnies and some lens cleaner in this nifty little case.
  12. This metallic pouch is where I keep all of my little beauty things that could get lost in the bottom of my bag. I’ll show what’s in this pouch in further detail below…
  13. Hand cream. I like to use Bath & Body Works hand creams both for the fragrance and because they soak deep into the skin quickly. My hands tend to dry out easily since I wash my hands a lot, so having lotion on hand is a must for me.
  14. Apparently I need to carry two of a lot of things… I like to always have hand sanitizer in my bag. You never know when there might be gunk you could get on your hands, plus these smell so good! Both of these are also from Bath & Body Works.
  15. Tums Smoothies. This is a nifty travel size that I bought before a trip and I just keep in my purse now and refill it as needed.
  16. I guess I need chocolate on hand at all times… I mentioned these in my February Favorites post. They’re so yummy!
  17. This is the one shopping bag I can fit in my purse right now. I got this at Pier 1 a while back up at the register. I like that this bag folds up to this little size and fits in a little pouch so it stays neat and compact.

TanPurse I decided to switch to a tan purse for spring. This purse is a little bigger, but does not have pockets to help contain like items. So, I decided to add a few more pouches to help keep items together and make them easier to find. Since I’ve been subscribed to Ipsy, I’ve collected a few little makeup bags that have come in handy for organizing my purse items. SilverPouch

  1. Tissues. These are always a good thing to have on hand…
  2. I like to keep these Colgate Wisps in my bag in case I need to brush my teeth while I’m out. You know when you go out to eat and sometimes you feel like you just need to brush your teeth right after? These are perfect for those times.
  3. Dental floss. See above… Dental floss is never a bad idea.
  4. Band-Aid Friction Block Stick. I love this little dude! It looks like a little deodorant stick, but it’s for your feet. It helps prevent blisters from forming when you rub it on areas that you tend to get blisters or when your shoes feel a little tight. This item has saved my feet on long days or late nights when I’m wearing heels!
  5. Nail file. You never know when you might break a nail…
  6. Soap. This is a little nifty packet of lavender soap leaves that I picked up from Pier 1. They’re nice to have when I find myself in a public restroom that’s run out of soap in the dispenser. You can just take out a little sheet of soap, run some water over it in your hands and it foams up!
  7. Powder. I always keep an extra compact of powder in my purse for any necessary touchups I may need while I’m out and about. This is Neutrogena’s Shine Control Powder.
  8. Oil blotting sheets. These are also helpful for touching up your makeup, especially in Oklahoma summers. I like these Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing sheets. The Body Shop also has some nice tea tree oil sheets that work well too!
  9. Lip gloss. Always. Currently I’m carrying around Rimmel’s Show Off Lip Laquer in 101 Celestial. It’s a nice nude/pink shade that has been going with any makeup look I happen to be wearing. The formula is moisturizing and stays on like a lip stain.
  10. Bandaids. It never hurts to have some bandaids… PenPouch ElectronicPouch

I added these two pouches to my bag, since I don’t have any exterior pockets or additional pockets on the inside of my purse. The first pouch holds all of my pens and pencils. The second pouch corrals all of my electronic accessories and tools.

So that’s pretty much it! What essentials do you carry in your purse or bag?

What kind of purse do you like to carry?

March Makeover – Week 3 Progress Recap!

We made it halfway through March! This was another busy and productive week. Even though this week, most of these projects didn’t get done or posted on Instagram before midnight each night, the perfectionist in me is learning to give myself grace and not beat myself up about it. To be honest, my day doesn’t end at midnight…but it also doesn’t start until about lunchtime. 🙂 #LEOlife #paralleluniverse  So here’s how the week panned out:

3/15: Downsize clothing and put away for seasonal storage if necessary // Purge purses and handbags
I had already gone through my clothing and somewhat downsized it and organized it, so the seasonal storage wasn’t really necessary this go round. So, I focused on going through all of my purses and handbags. I ended up having about seven to give away and the rest I was able to organize and store neatly in my closet. I didn’t take a picture of how they really looked in my closet beforehand, but let’s just say all of my purses now are up off the floor and easily accessible. I’m working on a “What’s In My Bag?” post coming soon, so stay tuned!

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3/16: Get crafty and make something useful (instead of buying home decor, make it!) // Purge board games and candles
This was quite the fragrant day! I discovered that all together, I had 71 candles stashed around my house. SEVENTY-ONE! I had apparently been collecting a stockpile from all my Bath & Body Works sales shopping… I was able to whittle my collection down and sort out the half burned and never burned candles. I tossed out the used up candles (except for one or two, which you’ll see why further down in the post) and now can easily store all of my candles to use. I think I’ll need to put myself on a candle spending freeze at least until I can get through most of these… *Goes and lights a candle 😉
I also went through all of our board games, puzzles, and playing cards. I had forgotten how many fun group games we had! We’re going to have to schedule some game nights with some friends soon. 🙂

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3/17: Finish useful craft project // Purge desk
Since I’ve been slowly working on our home office, thankfully this day wasn’t too bad. I was able to get our desk cleared off, organized, and clean for hubby to use while he studies or for when I do any paperwork.
I also finished up the useful home decor project I had started the day before. I made a cleaning chart to use throughout the week. Using a photo frame that I already had, I wrote the daily and weekly cleaning tasks on some blank stationery and framed it. I use an Expo marker to mark off tasks for each day and can wipe them off to use over and over. I hung it our hallway so it’s not just out where everyone can see, but still where I’ll see it everyday as I do stuff around the house!

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3/18: Recycle by finding new uses for old things // Purge bills
This task took a while, but it’s FINALLY done! All of my filing is finally finished! This is a big deal for me, because I’ve been trying to get through our combined files since we got married (four years ago), but with our busy schedules and when I worked outside the home, I wasn’t able to get it all done. It feels so nice to be able to find paperwork whenever we need it. I know, I sound like a nerd, but there’s just something about having things in order that let’s me be able to relax and have peace of mind – especially around tax season!
I found a new use for some of those old used up candles I went through earlier in the week! I cleaned out the wax and took off the labels to use the glass canister for a cotton pad storage solution in our bathroom. At first I wasn’t sure how to best clean the wax out, but after a little research, I followed Ingrid Nilsen‘s method. You can check out her video here. Her channel is pretty upbeat and fun to watch too, if you every need a bright and cheery pick me up for the day! I’m thinking I may need to make some makeup brush holders like she made in her video sometime…
P.S. Mahogany Teakwood candles from Bath & Body Works are probably the best candle scent in the world, in my opinion! Jonathan thinks they smell like the mall…but that’s fine with me! 😉

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3/19: Purge nail polish
Thursday’s task was to go through all my nail polish… Now, for a person who only consistently wears nail polish on her toes, I don’t know how I ended up with this much nail polish! Looks like I need to start giving myself a manicure every now and then. I was able to weed out a few colors that just weren’t my style, but I still ended up with quite a few colors. I store all of my polishes in a drawer, since that’s the most convenient place for me, so a while back I had come up with the idea to use a q-tip to paint the tops of all my polishes the color that was in the bottle so I could see colors easier without having to go through every single shade to find the one I was looking for… I have a few stragglers that I need to do this to, but overall, it’s been a very helpful little trick.
What’s your favorite nail color for spring?

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3/20: Purge spices
Did you know spices expire? Apparently I didn’t… I went through all of my spices and found several had to be tossed because they had expired or lost their taste. After a little research, I learned that on average, ground spices only last about 3-4 years, of course it ultimately depends on the spice and whether it’s ground or whole. I was able to pair down quite a few spices and figure out what I really use and need to replace. I also had been storing my spices on two separate sides of my kitchen, so with a little rearranging, I was able to get all of my spices in a more convenient area for when I’m cooking. Now I just need to go through my recipes and spice things up a bit… 😉 Here’s a handy link for how long kitchen spices typically last

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3/21: Week 3 Progress Recap // Purge tupperware
Tada! We’ve reached today’s task. Today was pretty easy, I didn’t need to throw anything out and just had to rearrange a few things. I honestly don’t use plasticware all that much, since I rarely cook large meals that require leftovers. Plus, I personally don’t like leftovers, I know, I’m weird. But for the times that we do end up with leftovers or need to bring a dish to a family or holiday function, I love these Lock & Lock plasticware pieces! My husband’s sweet grandmother has been helping me build a nice collection of these sturdy containers and they are the best I’ve ever used!

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All in all, this was a pretty productive week, but not too overwhelming. My house is feeling cleaner and I feel like I’m able to find things a lot easier. I’m being reminded of how blessed we are and despite our spending freeze, I’m finding that there’s not much that we truly need to buy. I’m hoping we can keep up this momentum of living on less, both financially and with all of our “stuff.”

How was your week?
Random question for this week:
What is your favorite flower to plant in your front yard and why? I’m wanting to gather ideas… 😉

March Makeover – Week 1 Progress Recap!

Sorry for the late post, but today was bananas… Holy wow! One week down. This week was quick and full, but mostly full! It’s been amazing to see the progress this week. I’m really liking the idea of tackling the huge task of decluttering and organizing my house in bite size daily tasks. I’ve been posting a daily picture of my progress throughout the week on my Instagram. Feel free to follow me if you want to see daily updates. I’m using the hashtag #MarchMakeover15PO on all my posts, if you want to find them quickly. Here’s how this week went:

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3/1: Create a Spending Freeze plan for ourselves and define essentials // Purge magazines and catalogs
We discussed our spending needs for this month and wrote down what spending was allowed and what was necessary. It’s been a little bit of a challenge to remember that we’re not spending extra money this month since I like to shop here and there, but it’s also been nice in a way, because I don’t have to worry that we might be spending too much money. I’ve also been staying too busy to go shopping!
Purging my magazines was an eye opening day for me. I didn’t realize that I’ve had 357 magazines stacked around my house for the last few years… I paired down my stacks to only reference magazines (I’m a graphic designer and kept the design magazines that had good articles, inspiration, and tutorials) and the ones I’d like to read from the last six months. But, I threw away 188 POUNDS of magazines and catalogs!

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3/2: Organize pantry and begin brainstorming meals // Purge pantry
I was pleasantly surprised that we threw away less expired food than I thought we would. We’ve actually been eating up what we buy pretty well without having too much left over to expire. But at least now everything is organized, we can find what we’re looking for easily and we know what we have on hand for meals.

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3/3: Begin meal planning based on food in stock // Purge fridge
This task was similar to the pantry. We hardly threw out any food thankfully! It was nice to take the time to deep clean our fridge and put everything back in a more organized way. I didn’t break down a meal plan for the whole month, but just for this week. I know that I will need to make a grocery trip next week, so I’m going to finish the meal planning after our groceries are restocked.

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150304-MM-Day4b3/4: Eat “out” at home by creating a favorite restaurant style meal at home // Purge freezer
Just like the pantry and fridge, our freezer was in great shape too! Yay! We ate “out” at home this week and I recreated a delicious pizza that we had while visiting family last year in Denver. When we were in Denver, we found this nice pizzeria that makes coal-fire pizzas. It was a gorgeous day with beautiful weather and every time I make this pizza, I remember going to Colorado and enjoying the relaxing weather! I don’t remember the name of the pizza we ordered from Marco’s Coal-Fire Pizzeria, but I call it Pesto Pizza… Here’s my recipe:

Pesto Pizza
1 can of Pilsbury pizza dough
1/4 cup of pre-made pesto sauce (depending on how much you like pesto, you really just need enough to cover the crust)
1 cup of shredded mozzarella (or fresh mozzarella works too)
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
Crushed black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp of Pine nuts (I used slivered almonds, since I didn’t have pine nuts)
1/2-1 cup of grilled chicken strips or cubes (I used pre-cooked frozen grilled chicken)
8-10 Roma or cherry tomatoes
Parmesan cheese

Spray pizza pan with cooking spray and roll out dough. Follow the cooking instructions on the can of dough.
While dough is pre-cooking, peel garlic cloves and chop them into thin slices.
Cut tomatoes into halves.
Once dough is pre-cooked, spread pesto sauce onto crust.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over sauce.
Add Italian seasoning, pepper, and chopped garlic over cheese.
Add chicken and finish cooking until the crust is slightly browned and the chicken is fully cooked.
When the pizza is done cooking, add fresh tomato slices and parmesan cheese to taste before serving.
Slice, serve, and enjoy! 🙂

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3/5: Purge dresser drawers
This project took a lot longer than I planned. Our drawers were so stuffed that we couldn’t close them easily, plus I would have to fish out socks that had fallen back behind the bottom drawers… But I went through everything and threw out a lot of stuff that was too old, falling apart, or too small and now everything fits in the dresser! We can close the drawers all the way and they’re not so full that stuff will fall down into the back and get lost. It feel so nice to open the drawer and see everything all folded and neat!

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3/6: Organize home office // Purge crafting/office supplies
Realistically, I knew that organizing the home office was not going to be completed in one day. I’ve been working on our home office for the last two months, but it IS coming along and with the remaining office related tasks on this month’s makeover project, the office should be fully organized and functional by the end of this whole project! I was able to go through all of our office supplies and crafting supplies and get those wrangled into an orderly fashion. Plus, I discovered that I have somehow  ended up with three staplers… 🙂

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3/7: Week 1 Progress Recap // Purge makeup
Ok! This one was rough. Today was just too busy and I just felt like I was running out of time all day to get this one done, so I didn’t do as well on this one that I thought I would. But, even though I had to keep stopping and starting on this project all day, I finished going through all my makeup and threw out a lot of old and expired makeup and got my makeup drawer organized. Let’s just say, I don’t need to buy foundation or eyeshadow for a while!
And now you’re reading this update! 🙂

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"You have HOW MUCH makeup, mom?"

“You have HOW MUCH makeup, mom?”

Here’s to Week 2 and to continued momentum!
How was your week? Do you have any spring cleaning or organizing tips or tricks?

March Makeover | The Master Plan

Ok, buckle your seat belt, March is going to be a busy month! I decided I wanted to tackle #6 (31 Day Purge Project from A Bowl Full of Lemons) and #22 (Create a cleaning schedule and stick to it) on my 30 for 30 List this month and give our home a makeover. Now, I’m not planning on redecorating or buying tons of stuff to fill up our house, quite the opposite, actually. Think of this makeover as a detox and getting a head start on spring cleaning. In addition to wanting to downsize on the amount of “stuff” we have in our home, I’m also wanting to streamline our budget and cut down on our spending, so I decided to incorporate a spending freeze plan, based on the No-Spend Challenge from Living Well, Spending Less, into my 31 Day Purge Project. I know, it sounds like a tall order, but I plan on taking March one day at a time and it should be a productive month! I think it will also be good opportunity to simplify our life and practice contentment with what we have.

So, here’s my plan: Every day, I’m going to tackle one task from the 31 Day Purge Project and one task from the No-Spend Challenge when applicable. I’m also going to create a daily cleaning routine and test it out with our weekly schedule to make sure it fits our routine. I’ll post the final cleaning routine once I have it all ironed out (puns…I can’t resist sometimes).

You can read the full project details for both the 31 Day Purge Project and the No-Spend Challenge in the links provided, but I will give you a quick breakdown of how I plan on implementing them this month. Basically, the purge project is like a complete house decluttering. By tackling small sections of your home, you go through everything and decide what to keep, give away, throw away, sell, or donate. With the No-Spend Challenge, the goal is to not spend any money on anything other than your monthly bills, pre-planned spending (birthday gifts, medical appointments, and other planned events), essentials, with essentials meaning only the necessities. I feel like we’ve already been trying to do this somewhat so that we can begin saving aggressively, but I’m excited to see if we can save even more. I’m not planning on using the entire No-Spend Challenge, but I’ll be incorporating the items that best fit our lifestyle. I modified the schedule for both of these original plans to fit my schedule this month and have tried to keep similar tasks on the same day.

I will be posting a recap of how the week went and the progress that was made. I’ve created a schedule that I plan on following below. I’ll be posting a photo everyday on my Instagram to show the tasks I completed and using the hashtag #MarchMakeover15PO. If you want to follow along, I’d love to see your progress on Instagram and we can encourage each other. Don’t feel like you have to take on the full project if you don’t want to, just do what fits your goals, even if it’s just a day here or there. You might be surprised at what a few minutes of decluttering can do for your day! Feel free to substitute a task for something that suits your home better (for example, you may not have three dozen half used candles scattered around your home to purge like I do…eek!). Wish me luck and if you choose to follow along, you can do it!

March Makeover Overview

3/1: Create a Spending Freeze plan for ourselves and define essentials
// Purge magazines and catalogs

3/2: Organize pantry and begin brainstorming meals // Purge pantry

3/3: Begin meal planning based on food in stock // Purge fridge

3/4: Eat “out” at home by creating a favorite restaurant style meal at home // Purge freezer

3/5: Purge dresser drawers

3/6: Organize home office // Purge crafting/office supplies

3/7: Week 1 Progress Recap // Purge makeup

3/8: Create a spring cleaning plan // Purge cleaning products

3/9: Spring cleaning day // Purge shoes

3/10: Clean and organize bonus rooms (we don’t currently have kids,
so we have bonus rooms) // Purge/clean out cars

3/11: Organize master bedroom closets // Purge master closets

3/12: Organize bathrooms // Purge bathroom cabinets

3/13: Purge medicine cabinets

3/14: Week 2 Progress Recap // Purge books

3/15: Downsize clothing and put away for seasonal storage if necessary
// Purge purses and handbags

3/16: Get crafty and make something useful (instead of buying home decor, make it!)
// Purge board games and candles

3/17: Finish useful craft project // Purge desk

3/18: Recycle by finding new uses for old things // Purge bills

3/19: Purge nail polish

3/20: Purge spices

3/21: Week 3 Progress Recap // Purge tupperware

3/22: Sell or donate your extra stuff // Purge bedding and linens

3/23: Purge and organize wrapping paper and stationery

3/24: Enjoy some free activities with the family // Purge and organize pet stuff

3/25: Have a “free” date night // Purge mudroom/laundry room

3/26: Purge e-mail subscriptions

3/27: Purge DVDs

3/28: Week 4 Progress Recap // Purge nightstands

3/29: Re-assess budget // Purge junk drawer

3/30: Planning date for April and discuss upcoming goals, events, or projects
// Purge under the kitchen sink

3/31: Celebrate date! // Purge garage

What day are you most excited to do or see completed?