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8.17.2017

Three on Thursday

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

8.16.2017

Goals Check In

I was working on quarterly goals for awhile, but Steph and Sara ended their related link up and they're both going in a different direction for future goals and plans.  And I agree with Steph that you should change it up when something stops working for you, so I plan on following her lead.

8.15.2017

Blog Post Ideas I Actually Want to Read

Everything is harder for me in the summer.  Yeah yeah, it's like beating a dead horse for me to keep repeating that around here but it's the truth.  I just can't stand summer.  I'm less productive and motivated and creative and all around slightly crabbier because nothing makes me crabby like being hot.  I'm thrilled that fall is approaching, because it means I'm ever closer to winter, my favorite.  (I live in a good city to be such a winter lover, but I'm still open to moving to Alaska, trust me.)  Of particular struggle lately though is blog motivation and post ideas.  I've put up 165 posts so far this year and have plenty more for the last 3 months of this year, but that's because the colder months just lend themselves to so many more ideas for me.

8.14.2017

Paperless Life

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Like I mentioned last week, I don't keep paper.  (John's been a little more resistant, since he was raised to keep everything, but he's coming around to the process.)  Digital storage makes my life easier and simpler, as does letting go of the notion that I 'might need it, one day.'  Spoiler: you don't.  There are so many good reasons to stop the paper madness - saving trees, saving money, saving sanity.  To me, the biggest benefit of going paperless as much as possible is that it reduces the amount of clutter in the home.  People don't realize what an issue paper is, because a few scraps here and there seem so small.  What they don't see is all of that paper piled together in one spot.

8.11.2017

Treat Yourself Without Money or Food

Friday has a arrived and let me tell you, I needed it to get here this week.  This one has been a doozy, for many reasons.  But the weekend is here, Tara will arrive in a few hours with her new Bichon puppy, Beau, and we have a full and fun itinerary ahead.  The week did get me thinking though about the different ways I could treat myself for getting through it, if I didn't have a concert already lined up (and let's be clear, I'm more of an 'open bar and free food' type person than a concert person.)  So many of the ways I treat myself involve shopping or food, and even though I don't spend very much when that happens, it's still not a great habit to be in.  The food one is even worse, since my food rewards are often pizza and ice cream.  If you're anything like me, read on for my ideas on how to treat yourself without money or food.


8.10.2017

Three on Thursday

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

8.09.2017

Tips for Maintaining a Vegetarian/Vegan Diet

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When someone finds out I'm a vegetarian (and sometimes vegan, but man, cheese), I usually get one main question - how?  Particularly in this country, and of course in the Midwest where I live, it seems impossible to not subsist on that meat and potatoes diet.  But I promise, it's really not that hard.  It's not even something I think about.

8.08.2017

Creating a Cleaning Schedule

I don't know what it is about routines and schedules, but you seem to love them as much as I do.  Or maybe I just draw that type of audience?  Birds of feather and all that.  I've posted about my daily routine before and how I stay on top of everything, but how I keep the house clean enough for anyone to stop by at a moment's notice is something I probably get the most questions about.  They key is definitely in the scheduling, and in staying on top of the little tasks so they don't become big, daunting tasks.  Simple, not stressful.


Last week I posted about how I get my bathroom clean in just minutes and a few weeks before that I posted about my annual home maintenance calendar.  My cleaning calendar is similar to my home maintenance calendar, and I actually have them set up together in a single Google calendar (all about that paperless life in this house!)

8.07.2017

Things I Don't Ever Feel Like Doing

A post idea straight up stolen from Steph because woof, it's been a weekend, and sometimes you need to just not think very hard.


Talk on the phone

Fold laundry, mostly John's t-shirts

Go to the beach

Wear a strapless bra

8.04.2017

What I'm Curious About Lately

I have a growing list of things I've been curious about lately.  Things I've been researching that I would like to dive in on but haven't quite found what I'm looking for yet.  I mean really, it's a list of things I could use your advice and opinions on, so please share your knowledge in the comments.

8.03.2017

Three on Thursday

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

8.02.2017

Chicago Street Fests: Best Cover Bands

The one thing I actually do really love about summer in Chicago is definitely the street fests.  There's very few I don't attend and thoroughly enjoy.  But there's multiple options most weekends, all over the city, so when I'm not choosing based on proximity (#lazygirlatheart), I choose based on which cover bands are playing that we most want to see.  

8.01.2017

5 Minutes to a (Naturally) Clean Bathroom

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I like having a clean and organized house, that's no secret.  But I also love to be efficient and while I enjoy the feeling of a clean bathroom, I don't particularly enjoy the whole process of cleaning it.  So I've streamlined it - at least a basic clean that gets us through each week until our cleaning lady comes and does the super deep cleaning (looking at you, grout and baseboards) once a month.  Because cleaning a bathroom doesn't have to be a daunting and time consuming process.  The best part is that my system uses only two natural cleaning products so there's no chemicals and you can be in and out in just 5 minutes, with a few extra minutes if you have time for some optional tasks.  How? Glad you asked.

7.31.2017

What (Else) I Splurge On

In an effort to dispel any ideas that I'm completely as frugal as possible 100% of the time, I already told you about the splurging I do related to hair care.  Now let me tell you about some of the other areas in my life that I'm willing to spend on:

7.28.2017

What I Need More of in My Life

Dog walks

Quiet

Vacation days

Candles

Movie nights at home

7.27.2017

Three on Thursday

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

7.26.2017

Dinner in Minutes and One Pan Chicken Tacos

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #ServeWithACoke #Jewel #CollectiveBias  

Summer can get wild in this house.  We have more plans, of course, but it's also the season where John is working two jobs, both at the firehouse where he's gone for 24 hours at a time, and the construction job that he's at from 6 a.m. until dinner time.  I also work full time.  So it's important to me to get dinner on the table quickly.  We have limited time together as it is, clearly, so I don't want to be spending all of it in the kitchen, prepping, cooking, and cleaning dishes.  I do like to meal prep on the weekends, but it's not always possible, like this past weekend when we spent all our time at the Blackhawks convention downtown.  And sometimes, you just don't want to eat what you prepped, right?  On those days I just need to pull something together quickly, conveniently, and inexpensively, but that still tastes homemade, we run down the street to Jewel-Osco for the signature chicken meal deal our choice of type of chicken, sides, and a 64 ounce Gold Peak® Tea.

7.25.2017

3 Steps to Prep for Christmas in July

5 months until Christmas!  I know, I know, it's 85 degrees out and it feels like it's a lifetime away.  And you do have plenty of time, but tell me you don't get to November and wonder where the time went and panic about how little you have done?  The thing is, financially, Christmas is not an emergency.  It comes at the same time every year, and yet people don't plan for this and go into debt over it.  That's crazy!  If that's you, it's time to nip that in the bud.

7.24.2017

Things That Make Me Irrationally Annoyed

Do you have anything that just bugs you?  Like it's a really small indiscretion but your reaction to it is just excessive?  No, just me?  Well, here's my not at all complete list of things that annoy the crap out of me, to an extreme extent they really shouldn't, but I just can't take it anymore:

7.22.2017

July Swago

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Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In addition to minimalism and organizing, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #notentirelyperfect on social media so I can see your beautifully unstaged life.  On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe via e-mail to be alerted to each new post.


7.21.2017

Disney People vs. Non-Disney People

It's that time again, time for another questionnaire style tag that I've seen floating around the internet, except I only answer the questions I like.  (Just like the 90s tag and the Harry Potter tag, aka the posts I write on Fridays when I'm not feeling like being a 'real' blogger.)  This time, we're talking all things Disney.  Are you a Disney person?  There's a big divide, like there's 'DISNEY PEOPLE' and then everyone else is 12 steps below them, you can't just be 'sort of a Disney person.'  I mean, I think I am, I have my favorites but I'm not obsessed, buying the merch or wearing the costumes around the parks.  But the gung-ho folks tell me that means I'm so not a Disney person.  Oh well, answering the questions anyway!

For the record, stole these questions from Audrey and Betsy.

7.20.2017

Three on Thursday

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

7.19.2017

How to Create an Annual Home Maintenance Calendar

One of my goals back when I was making ... spring goals, I think it was, was to set up an annual home maintenance calendar.  Just a master list of all the things I need to do, seasonally, to stay on top of things around the house.  I finally finished my version of one.  I was thinking about how to share what I did, but I did mine as a Google calendar  - not my main one, but you know how you can make extra calendars with different colors?  That's what I did, so I can look at just this maintenance calendar when I need to.  Plus I can set reminders, and make it a recurring event so I don't need to make a new calendar every year.  God bless the Google.

7.18.2017

Instagram for Success Review

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I'm sure many of you follow Helene of Helene in Between.  You've likely been watching her 4 part video series leading up to today, which is the re-launch of her Instagram for Success course.  It's a course that she offered previously, if you remember that far back, but it's been updated with way more content this time around and a lot more step by step detailing, like all of your photo editing options.
 Instagram for Success

7.17.2017

When You Wake Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

Sometimes, I just wake up mad at the world, does that ever happen to you?  It's usually set off by nothing in particular, I just wake up crabby and spend the rest of the morning that way.  I try really, really hard to not let it affect my entire day though.  If I give in, the negativity will cloud everything I do.  If I manage to get anything done at all, which isn't likely if I'm crabby and pouty.  Of course, there's plenty of times when I do give into the bad mood and just decide to binge on Netflix and popcorn all day, but those days are a luxury when you have real life responsibilities.  So here's what I try when I'm in a bad mood and need to change it, quick. 

7.14.2017

Finally Organize Your Inbox For Good

Organizing and culling your e-mail inbox is not a fun task, to be sure. Particularly if you have a backlog, it can seem very overwhelming. But digital organization can be even easier than than the physical kind, I promise. A few weeks ago, I set up small survey and asked what kind of topics you'd be interested in hearing more about, and digital decluttering and organization topped the list, everything from photos on your phone to going paperless, so you aren't alone if this is a problem for you. Inboxes were a concern across the board, so it seemed like a good place to start. Because although time-consuming, it's not as difficult as you think. And once the system is in place, keeping your inbox clean will be a breeze.

7.13.2017

Three on Thursday

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

7.12.2017

Splurge or Save? How To Stock a Bar Cart

This post may contain affiliate links.  What does that mean?

Although we've had our bar cart for awhile now (it was a gift from John, late last year), we just finally got around to stocking it because we had a party this past weekend.  Sure, we had some things on there, like the crystal rocks glasses and a massive bottle of Grey Goose, all of which I pilfered from my parents' house, this was the first opportunity we had to go out and buy some things that weren't just for us.  Because that's a bar cart's purpose, in my eyes: to serve the people I invite into my home.  I like it to be ready with the things people generally like.  Of course it's not going to be like a bar or restaurant, stocked with any and every drink and garish someone could possibly want, but I can cover some solid basics.

7.11.2017

'I'll Do It Tomorrow' and Other Sunday Evening Lies


7.10.2017

My Haircare Routine, Products, and Tools

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Oh man, here we go - hair care.  Lots and lots of hair care.  Took me longer to link everything here than anything else, but what can I say?  I have a lot of products!  That's kind of the point.  In case you missed this post last week, hair care is something I splurge on.  My system isn't minimal at all, nor is it frugal.  For all the places I save money, this just isn't one of them.

7.07.2017

Fire Life Update

It's time!  Time for the update on how the whole fire life thing is going and answer some frequently asked questions about how it all works.

7.06.2017

Three on Thursday

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

7.05.2017

Confessions. Mainly Just One.

Okay but actual confessions.  Not like 'I confess I ate Chipotle 3 times this week and had to re-run the washing machine because I let wet clothes sit in there for 2 days.'  Though those things are also true.  Not lately, I've been better about that, but it's been known to happen.  But no, I want to throw out some confessions that you're not expecting.  Mainly just this one:

7.04.2017

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day!  I love this particular holiday, which should come as no surprise.  A day off work and an excuse to set fire to things that go boom?  Sign me up.




I hope you're out there celebrating like I am, if you live in the U.S. of course.  If not, I'm sorry you're not having any fun, watch the Will Smith movie instead.  See you tomorrow!  And tell me - are you a fireworks person?  Love 'em or hate 'em?


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In addition to minimalism and organizing, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #notentirelyperfect on social media so I can see your beautifully unstaged life.  On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe via e-mail to be alerted to each new post.


7.03.2017

Keeping Up With Life Again

Is everyone out there on holiday today?  At least in the states.  I hope you are!  I am, but I've also heard a lot of my friends say that they don't have today off, only tomorrow.  Luckily my office is closed, because my boss wants to golf. 

6.30.2017

How to Make Layered Shots for the 4th of July

Independence Day is almost here!  The 4th of July is definitely one of my favorite holidays.  And what better way to celebrate than with red, white, and blue layered shots?


And I don't mean layered like the jello shots I did for the last 4th of July.  Those don't need a tutorial, you wait til one layer is solid and then put the next one in.  Easy.  No, this layering just the booze without the solidity of jello to help you.  Which is harder but the results are worth it.  I'm not going to lie - making layered shots isn't easy and it takes practice.  It's all about mastering the slow, controlled pour.  But once you get it, they end up so stinking pretty!

6.29.2017

Three on Thursday

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

6.28.2017

Keeping Up With Life Part 2

This post is a continuation of yesterday's, so if you haven't read that yet, I would start there.  It'll make much more sense that way!

6.27.2017

Keeping Up With Life Part 1

Finally time for that 'keeping up with life' post I promised a couple of weeks ago!  I meant to post one last week, that was my intention when I originally decided to tackle this, but Tara had been in town that weekend so it was anything but normal.  Instead, I started tracking my days on Saturday, June 17.  This particular post is going to be in two parts, with the second half coming tomorrow.  I typed it up altogether as one but it was so long, it had to be split.  I do plan on doing another one of these at least, just to give you more ideas because the next will be more traditional and have more meal ideas, and that won't be nearly this length.  This first go-around just had a lot of background explaining that had to happen, but won't be needed in the future.


6.26.2017

Ever Considered a Move to Los Angeles?

Today I have Lauren here to share a little about life in Los Angeles!  If you're missing me today, check out my post over on Lauren's blog about how to organize your bathroom cabinets and drawers.  I hope it helps!
----------
hi everyone! i'm lauren! steph is kind enough to let me allow me to guest post on her blog now and again and i am so happy to be here today! i live in los angeles, trying my hardest to be television screenwriter.  i work at dc comics in their publishing department and put out a lot of comic books! i wanted to share with you today what it is really like to live in one of the best, largest and most fun cities in the world, los angeles!

if you live in the valley, people who live on the other side of hollywood hills probably won't consider that you live in los angeles.  sometimes people say "do you live in los angeles or do you live in the valley?"  there are the hollywood hills that separate "los angeles" from "the valley".  the valley is where universal studios is, where warner bros. studios is (where i work), studio city, and van nuys (where i live.) you have to cross through or over the hills to get to santa monica or to the beach.  the hollywood sign is in the valley but father north.  the hollywood hills is not where the hollywood hills are.  "the valley" is the san fernando valley. #geography.  and sometimes you get made fun of living in the valley because it can be kind of trashy.  i don't care.  its cheap and its close to work. 

it is much hotter in the valley than it is over the hill. because of the ocean.  the ocean cools everything down but the hill blocks the ocean's cool breeze so its like a hot cooker of heat.  then you go over the hill and the temperature drops several degrees.  as i am writing this it is 109 and my poor little wall ac unit is no match for the outside heat.  

its true that most of the people you meet are in the entertainment industry. it is so funny to me that when i tell people who aren't in the business that i moved here to be a screenwriter, they act so surprised and say "oh so and so is an ____ or a ____" like its like "what a small world that you both are in the same industry! what are in the odds in LA! who'd thunk.  but that is how you network because everyone is in the business so then i usually respond with "can i get their info?" i'm annoying.  but very good at networking. i go to a lot of events.  but that is another post for another time that you can check out on my blog. 

carry cash everywhere.  i never, ever carried cash before but here, its a necessity.  where i am from, utah, you never ever need cash.  you can pay with a card for everything. valets, restaurants, you name it.  but in LA, there are valets everywhere and they don't take cards.  there are valets even at the grocery store.  its super inconvenient.   if you have no cash, you have to leave your id with them, go a gas station, get change and then come back. its very annoying and is best to just carry cash at all times to avoid this problem.  same with when you go to eat.  they usually don't take cards.  and get this.  when you go to the doctor, they don't take cards either.  how weird is that?  i was shocked when i went to my doctor and he said he would only take cash or check.  weird. 

 photo california_zpssmsndliy.png

take advantage of tapings. the great thing about living in los angeles is that you can be in the live studio audience of so many tapings! i wrote a post about how to get to go to tapings here.  it really is so much fun but can be tricky because the talk shows, for instance, are in the middle of the day, so you have to skip work to go.  and you have to actually tell work what you're doing in case you're on tv and they see it and so they aren't like "wait you weren't at the doctor.  is jimmy kimmel your doctor?" there are so many tapings to go to, but it does get old fast.  and tiring.  you are expected to scream and jump up and down for talk shows and you lose your voice and it can be really exhausting. 

you aren't going to go to the beach as much as you think you will.  we have been here five months and have yet to have a good beach day.  true, we moved here in january so it hasn't really been beach season until now, but we only have gone three times.  once to santa monica when we first got here so i could show my husband the pier and another to venice beach because i always wanted to check it out (really didn't like it) and another time on my birthday because i wanted to have cake by the ocean just like in the song (much better in theory.  that cake got really sandy really fast.)

there is no shortage of amazing things to do here at any given moment.  this is more of a broader observation from moving to one of the largest cities in america from utah. in utah my husband and i stayed in a lot because there wasn't much to do.  but here there are so many adventures to be had! each saturday we usually go to some new attraction or i take him to one my favorite spots in LA.  i lived here for a semester in college for an internship six years ago so when we moved here i was already in love with this city of stars.  there is so much to do and we take every advantage of living in one of the greatest cities in the world.

thanks to steph for letting me on the blog today and thanks for reading! you can find me on  at my blog, on instagram, twitter and pinterest


6.23.2017

Childhood Home Tour

I gave you the tour of our own home, and I've glossed over my parents' place a few times through pictures, but since I was pet sitting their two dogs on Wednesday (our house is a mere 2.5 miles from my parents), I thought it would be a great opportunity to just pick up the camera and do a complete walk through like I did with our house.   

6.22.2017

Three on Thursday

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

6.21.2017

What's In My Makeup Bag?

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Makeup is one of those things that was the last to be downsized when I decluttered my stuff. I don't think it's truly minimal at this point even, but it's leaps and bounds from where it used to be. I mean, I had a solid 40 lipsticks at one point, at least! My makeup collection is always changing, but I wanted to share what I'm working with right now until something runs out.

minimalist_makeup_collection

Like I mentioned in last week's Three on Thursday post, my makeup bag is from Target and it fits my entire makeup collection.  (Side note, I have a matching little one for my nail supplies.)

6.20.2017

Our Favorite (Frugal) Date Ideas

John turns 30 in two weeks, I can hardly believe it.  I wanted to mark the occasion on the blog in some way, but I already did facts about him for his last birthday, so I decided instead to list some of our favorite ways to spend time together when we actively plan for a date night.  John is a typical 'guy's guy' so a lot of things on the suggested date night lists floating around the internet get major eye rolls from him - dance class?  art gallery?  scrapbook together?  yoga?  Nope.  I mean, to be perfectly honest, those things get an eye roll from me too.  Fancy girly girl I am not.  So if you're anything like us, read on for some of our favorite and relatively inexpensive dates.


6.19.2017

Products I Regret Buying

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Yes, products I regret buying is hardly the 'recommendations' type post you're looking for... but maybe it is.  If you've been around here for any amount of time, you know that I like to give you my recommendations of favorite products (and other much loved non-monetary things, like fun YouTube videos) on Thursdays with my Three on Thursday posts.  But I haven't yet offered my opinions on things I don't like - I always figured I would just share the good stuff but now I'm realizing that you need to know about the stuff that didn't work too.  Because, man, some of these things really had me fooled: they get glowing reviews!  And now I feel like I just wasted my money, and I wish I had seen some more honest/negative reviews before making the leap.  Hopefully I can save you from making my mistakes with these products I regret buying:


6.16.2017

A Short Summer To Do List

These seasonal goals linkups are every 3 months and yet I somehow feel like I just wrote out my spring goals list, so 3 months passed for me in the blink of an eye.  Not sure how, but here we are and here's how I did with the spring session.  Spoiler: not good.

Spring Goals


1. Make Hawkeye an Easter basket.  My parents went to Florida over Easter so I pet sat for their dogs and all three musketeers got an Easter basket.
2. Plan a visit to the Botanical Gardens.  It's on my 101 list to go and Betsy's taking me as part of her Christmas gift to me.  We haven't gone yet, luckily I was smart enough to just say 'plan' this trip, not actually go.  Betsy is still waiting on dates on her end, but I sent her my list of when I can go, and I have a back up plan if she can't make it before September.  So I consider that planned.
3. Plan and book John's birthday party.  He turns 30 on July 5 and the way his schedule worked out best was to have the party on July 8.  The planning part is pretty much done, so the next two weeks is just execution.
4. Make alcoholic granita.  Easy and delicious.  It's literally as simple as mixing a good flavored vodka with ginger ale and letting it freeze for a couple hours, scrape it up with a fork, and eat. Yum.
? 5. Set up an annual home maintenance calendar.  I started this and meant to finish it before this link up, but I didn't.  It's almost there.
X 6. Get my next Invisalign tray.  HA.  I'm ridiculous.  This should have been an easy one but I didn't even consider it.  Well, that's not true - I considered it, and promptly ditched it.  Whoops?
X 7. Get halfway to my goal weight.  I have been working on it but not hardcore, and then I made the goal slightly lower, I don't know why, I like to punish myself I guess!  I pushed this one on to summer goals, I WILL make it.
X 8. Schedule Mom's birthday dinner.  Haven't set this up yet.  Her birthday is in January but she hates the cold and everything she wanted to do was warm weather activities. But with Mother's Day and Father's Day and then John's birthday, we just haven't set up a dinner or anything for her half birthday in July.  But I will!
9. Check one 'go to' place off the 101 list.  We went to the Shedd Aquarium back in April.
X 10. Go to country night with Megan.  We haven't had time!  She works crazy hours and while we did hang out (we set up her blog, we decluttered her apartment, we saw our friends' band at a street fest), we just didn't make it to country night at a bar.  But we will definitely do it soon.

Woof.  Only 50%.  I told you I'm so much less productive in spring and summer.  I just don't have the same sort of motivation that I do in fall and winter.  Although I do think if I had just one more month for these, I could have made a little more progress.  Ah well.  On to summer goals!

Summer Goals


Like spring, summer is particularly hard for me when it comes to being productive.  I still wanted to do 10 goals because I really, really like the evenness of the number.  But I wanted a good balance of easy goals with some more time consuming things that have been nagging me (re-organize my Bloglovin/Feedly readers), so I could be productive but still get some quick and fun things done.  Now, to be totally honest, I thought I had done that with my spring goals so....

Wish me luck!  What are your goals this season?

Linking up with Steph and Sara.  It might not be today but maybe next week! 


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In addition to minimalism and organizing, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #notentirelyperfect on social media so I can see your beautifully unstaged life.  On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe via e-mail to be alerted to each new post.

6.15.2017

Three on Thursday

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

6.14.2017

7 Easy Cocktails You Must Try This Summer

You know I'm normally a winter lover and not a fan of summer at all.  But.  Summer cocktails are absolutely something I can get behind.  Fall and winter drinks are always warming and full of sweet, comforting flavors like vanilla or cinnamon.  Summer has none of those things, it's all about the bright citrus and berry flavors, which I'm actually a big fan of.  Here are some of my tried and true favorites for all your light, refreshing summer drink needs.  And none of them are complicated because who has the time or patience for muddling and 13 ingredients?  Not this girl.


6.13.2017

Summer Binge Watch Recommendations

I know, I know, summer is about getting outside and trying to enjoy the weather.  But I really don't like summer and being hot so I understand the need to just stay indoors sometimes.  I mean, a Netflix or Hulu binge watch weekend is just as good in July as it is in January, isn't it?!  Here's some that I definitely recommend adding to your list this season.

6.12.2017

Hawkeye's Guide To Summer

Make mommy get you a fresh summer hair cut.

6.09.2017

[Not So] Big Blog Plans

Last Friday I asked for your feedback in the form of a quick survey, and I greatly appreciate all the responses I got.  The survey is still open so if you want to take it you can, and I'm picking a winner for the $25 to Amazon by 3 p.m. central time today.  (Check last week's post if you want to know how to win.)

Most of the answers I got were kind of what I expected, as far as what you like to see and what you want to read more about.  Everyone seems to be in consensus in enjoying the real life posts and general dry humor around here, and in wanting to hear more about different aspects of organization.  'Home organizational systems' is probably the best way I can broadly describe it.  I'll definitely try to incorporate more of that in, it is what I'm very good at after all.  I have some plans on this front but nothing concrete, things are still swirling around, but once I figure it out I'll be sure to give you an update.

One thing kept coming up in the survey answers about what else you'd like to see here did sort of surprise me though, because I didn't think it would be super interesting to anyone else: how I personally 'keep up with life.'  I mean, that's basically what it all boiled down to (although, one answer did actually state those words, 'keep up with life,' a phrase I really like so thanks, whoever that was!), but there were quite a few requests for things like meal planning, decluttering and cleaning routines, things of that nature, which are all part of my 'keeping up with life' routine.  You want to know how I stay on top of everything while I still work a full time job outside of the house.  I'm thinking that the best way to blog about those things would just be to have a sort of recap of my entire week and weekend routine, broken down by time frames, posted on Mondays.  And include a financial recap with that as well.

Probably won't be starting that this coming Monday though, because Tara is coming into town this evening and we'll be day drinking tomorrow and Sunday I'll just be hungover and totally unproductive, let's be honest.  But starting next week, I think I'll try to track what I do each day and how long it takes, including what sort of food and plans I make on the weekends to get set up for the next week, and share all of that on Monday, June 19.  Then I'll get your feedback and see if it's something that's actually interesting and helpful.  It's the best way I can think of to show how everything all sort of works together with my various systems, so hopefully the posts come across how I'm currently dreaming them up in my head.

Kind of how I feel every summer - lots of thinking of things, very little motivation for follow through.  I did manage to update the look of my blog, which was totally unnecessary but a fun way to procrastinate the things I actually should be doing.  I'm a master of that sort of thing.

Have a great weekend!


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In addition to minimalism and organizing, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #notentirelyperfect on social media so I can see your beautifully unstaged life.  On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe via e-mail to be alerted to each new post.


6.08.2017

Three on Thursday

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

6.07.2017

8 Tips to Make Clothes Last Longer

I very, very clearly remember wearing my beloved teal tank top to a friend's birthday party.  Not just any birthday party, her 16th birthday party.  (Hi Katie.)  Yes, we are currently 32.  So I've had this dang top for 16 years and tell me it doesn't still look fantastic, I dare you.  And it's not like I haven't been wearing it over the years, it gets regular rotation given my very small wardrobe.  I mentioned last week that I would share my best tips on how to make clothes last longer, so if anyone can help you, it's this girl who's been keeping and wearing the same clothes for 16 years.  (Side lesson - don't buy trendy things.)

6.06.2017

How To Sneak Alcohol Into Places You're Not Supposed To

Yeah, that's right, I said it.  I bring alcohol into places all the time because I loathe paying those wildly marked up prices like at, say, street fests.


6.05.2017

That Harry Potter Life

One of the gifts John got me for Christmas was the entire set of Harry Potter movies on iTunes, so I can marathon them whenever I want.

6.03.2017

A June Referral Bonus

This post may contain affiliate links.

It's summertime, and Swagbucks has brought a $5 bonus! Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.


When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $5 bonus! Here's how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 7/1/17. You'll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you spend at least $25 through Swagbucks Shop* you'll get another $2 (200 SB) bonus on top of the cash back you'll get from shopping. If you have some shopping to do online, just go to Swagbucks first and visit the store through them. It doesn't cost you anything extra, but you'll get SB points for every dollar you spend (on top of the bonus)!

That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned about $2,350 in PayPal cash.  Pretty sweet.

*You must receive your shopping SB before August 1st  


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In addition to minimalism and organizing, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #notentirelyperfect on social media so I can see your beautifully unstaged life.  On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe via e-mail to be alerted to each new post.


6.02.2017

How You Can Help Me

Blogging is work.  Some days it leans mostly towards the 'fun hobby' side of things, but there is always work involved, no doubt about that.  There's work involved in anything you choose to actively spend your time on.  And I like seeing some sort of benefit come from that, I think you can understand that.  So let me just get really, really honest here for a minute and tell you exactly how you can help me with that.

6.01.2017

Three on Thursday

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

5.31.2017

Getting Thrifty

Last month (and in March too), I talked about capsule wardrobes and budgeting for new clothing pieces, so if you read that then you might remember that I said to really weigh the benefits of thrifting and potential money saved against the investment of your time.  It's absolutely okay to spend more on a (perfect for you) item instead of trying to save some dollars by spending an entire Saturday in a handful of thrift stores attempting to hunt it down.  Because thrifting is not the easiest process.  That said, thrift stores can be a really fun adventure and save you a lot of money.  It's a fun way to bond with a friend, too, especially when you're both on a budget and usually enjoy shopping.


5.30.2017

Chicago Restaurant Recommendations

Since I do my Three on Thursday posts every week (haven't missed one yet this year!), I try to make my 'add it to my list' posts a little bit different and more specific than just my general favorite things lately.  For this month, I wanted to share my answer to a question I get asked a lot as a Chicago blogger - where should I eat when I come to Chicago?


5.27.2017

Memorial Day Sale

This post may contain affiliate links.

Most Memorial Day sales are about saving you money. With Swagbucks, you'll earn money too! They're offering increased cash back (in the form of SB points) at several of your favorite merchants.

If you haven't heard of Swagbucks, when you shop there you get cash back in the form of SB points for every dollar you spend. Then you redeem those points for gift cards to places like Amazon, PayPal, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, and more! Sign up here to get started.  

Plus, if you've signed up through my links at some point this month (or do it now), you'll get a $2 (200 SB) bonus added to your account when you spend $25 or more through Swagbucks Shop before the first of June!


You can earn SB in all sorts of ways, including discovering deals and trying new products/services, watching videos, taking surveys, or just searching the web! Get your shopping done early AND get points for it! Offers last through Monday, May 29th, 2017. 


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In addition to minimalism and organizing, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #notentirelyperfect on social media so I can see your beautifully unstaged life.  On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe via e-mail to be alerted to each new post.


5.26.2017

Balance

Summer is definitely the time when I lose my 'balance,' so to speak.  A lot of things about my routines and goals get thrown out during the summer months, which I think it part of the reason that I don't particularly care for this season.  I always end up feeling a little lost or behind on a lot of things, just because I'm not as productive as I am in fall and winter.  In many different areas in my life.  Mainly it's because summer is so much more unpredictable as well as full of more out of the house plans.  People (in Chicago at least) are done with their winter hibernations so there's so many plans being made and things to see and do.  A lot of which come up at the last minute because 'hey it's so nice let's play hooky and do X.'

5.25.2017

Three on Thursday

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

5.24.2017

How I Maintain a Clutter-Free and Organized Home

Last Monday I talked about how I style my home to still feel as simple, clean, and calm as I like it. I also mentioned that I'd spend today answering how I maintain my clutter-free spaces and keep everything organized.  How does a minimalist not revert back to her previous non-minimalist ways, so to speak.


5.23.2017

Things That Used To Be Important

5 Years Ago (2012, age 27)
What to write for blog content
Whether or not to go to Vegas with a group of girls I'd (mostly) never met
Going to country night every single Thursday at Houndstooth
Moving apartments
A super dramatic 'friend' and her boy/career/family/everything drama of the moment
Shopping
Cable TV

10 Years Ago (2007, age 22)
What to wear to graduation
Amassing a giant wardrobe full of Hawkeye gear
Planning a wedding (what on earth was I thinking)
The Super Bowl (Bears. We lost.)
Hand making costumes for every holiday and bar crawl
A draining ex boyfriend
Amassing a DVD collection
And a makeup collection

15 Years Ago (2002, age 17)
Whether to do newspaper or yearbook during senior year
Where to go to college
Trying to make a uniform not look like everyone else around me
Obsessing over what to wear on the weekends because I didn't have said uniform safety blanket
Figuring out how to sneak in without the dogs barking
What to do for winter dance/homecoming/prom/all the semi-formal high school events

All that to say, don't sweat... anything, really.  It's just not going to be that important forever and it'll all work itself out eventually.


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In addition to minimalism and organizing, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #notentirelyperfect on social media so I can see your beautifully unstaged life.  On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe via e-mail to be alerted to each new post.


5.22.2017

Farmer's Market Tips

Farmer's market season is underway here in Chicago (with many more locations opening in early June), and summer is such a great time to stop by one near you. I love getting produce at the farmer's market because it's so much fresher than what I can get at the grocery store, it's much more conducive to shopping zero waste, and I can usually find what I'm looking for at a price better than the chain grocery store.


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