I have never really done one of those currently posts, and I thinking about all of the things I have been up to lately, so might as well fill everyone in.

I am currently:

Reading: My Notorious Life by Kate Manning, Such a good book!

Watching: Preparing for House of Cards Season 3 so I have been re-watching season 1 and 2.

Wanting (Materialistic): I am really wanting a tablet. Not sure yet if the iPad Air 2 could be on the list of possibilities. What do you think?

Wanting (Life): A new job. I am ready to spread my wings and finally start building my dream.

Source: Facebook

Planning: An event to remember. Can't talk about it yet though ;)

Hoping: I have lost some weight since my last weigh in a month ago!

Over: WINTER. Need I say more?

Wearing: I am love with my new winter coat. I figured this year I needed an upgrade with all of this brutal cold and snow.

Travels: None planned yet but something should be in the works soon.

Blog: Considering some changes. Lots of ideas being thrown around in my head. I consider May 1st my blogiversary because I officially moved over to Blogger and posted more regularly. If I wanted to get technical I started officially blogging my 1 post a week on February 23rd. So maybe some real changes by May 1st :)

What are you all up to? 

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Reader Survey

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to conduct a quick reader survey. I have been gracing the internet now for a year and it would be awesome to get some feedback! If you could take a moment to answer these 5 quick questions I would love you for life! Thanks again and have a great Wednesday!

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Monday, I love you!

Normally you would never hear (or see) me say, "Thank God it's Monday!", but seriously guys.. I was so over last week and Monday was looking mighty fine with her moody cranky self. Yes I am embracing the new week with open arms. The weekend wasn't to shabby which is probably another reason I am feeling good on a Monday.

I had myself a good cry on Thursday, which also seems to make you feel better no matter what the reason was for the cry. You almost always feel a little lighter and less tense. I trucked right through to Saturday feeling just a little bit taller then I was Thursday. I had faced a few of my fears and that brought some peace to my mind. Such an empowering feeling.

So about my weekend (Sorry this is a bit rambly today, but I needed to let some stuff out.).. Saturday was spent with my other half. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was able to get myself some new yoga gear for super cheap thanks to T.J.Maxx. A new mat and a yoga block make me so happy. I was fully prepared for my first ever yoga event on Sunday.

Back on Tuesday me and the other half went to a Fat Tuesday event. It was hosted by the United Way and they had some pretty great silent auctions. I put down a bid on 2 tickets to a yogathon happening Sunday. Did not think I would win, but for almost 70% off the cost I had myself a pair of tickets. (We also ended up with a one night stay to a hotel that just happens to be right by a wedding we are going to this summer for super cheap and some theater tickets. My man love me. lol).

I was really excited and nervous to attend since I only just got into going yoga. I was not able to find myself someone so short notice to attend with me, but I ended up having a great time (and really sore legs!). I learned a lot and really found myself enjoying it. It is starting to feel like it needs to be apart of my life. Now that my 6 week course has ended I think it's time to find a yoga home. Somewhere that I can go during the week when I need to let go of the negative and stresses of the day.

 Such a great ending to my weekend. Now one last thing before I go. I am hosting my first ever e-reader challenge starting on March 1st (This Sunday). I am also offering up a $25 giftcard as a grand prize drawing for everyone who completes the challenge. All you have to do is link up to be entered! Check out all the deets here ---->  E-Reader Spring Challenge  Hope to see you there!

How was you week? It seems like a lot of people had "that week". How was your weekend?

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2015 E-Reader Reading Challenge

Hello there my reading loving friends. Today is the day. I am announcing my e-book reading challenge categories! Now notice I keep saying e-book. There is a real good reason for this. A few weeks ago I opened up my kindle and noticed I had a TON of books. I'm a digital book hoarder folks. The struggle is real. I think I enjoy downloading books more then reading them. Odd. I know. So it got me thinking that there's got to be others out there like me.

Now the original thought was to set up categories and have you pick books out of all the books that are already downloaded to your e-reader. It sounded fun and all, but I can also understand that there are people out there who DO NOT hoard books like me. So in order to make this a fun affair, I want to invite all e-readers into the challenge.

Now here are the rules:

*The challenge will run from March 1st to May 31st. Books you are currently reading are not eligible to be used in this challenge. You must start these books on March 1st.

*All books MUST be available on e-readers. I will check to make sure it is as I am offering a prize at the end of this.

*You must finish all books by the deadline. A no brainer, I know.

* Additional points will be added to those who do pick all books from books already downloaded onto their e-reader. Now we are going with the honor system here folks, so lets be honest.

Now here's the categories:

#1 A book with a one word title - 5 points
#2 A book already downloaded that you have not read - 4 Points
#3 A book you would be embarrassed to admit you read (And tell us why) - 3 points
#4 A book with a color in the title- 4 Points
#5 A non-fiction book that will better your life (Example: The Happiness Project) - 4 points
#6 Pi Day is March 14th- Pick a book with 314 pages (Pi = 3.141592653) - 4 Points
#7 Daylight savings is ending and Spring is coming- Pick a book with the word Spring, Daylight, or Savings in the title. - 4 Points
#8 April Fool's day is coming, read a humorous book - 4 Points
#9 April 22nd is Earth Day. Read a book about Nature, the Earth, or living "Green"- 4 Points
#10 May is the kickoff of Summer and a time where we remember our veterns: Read a book with Summer or Remember in the title.  4 Points

You can accumulate 40 points if you follow this list exactly. If you are able to pick a book from each category that you already had downloaded on your e-reader I will give you an additional 5 points for each book. If you pick all of your books from current downloads your points will double so a total of 80 points. Again please be honest with this. I can not physically see each one of your e-readers to check so please be honest when logging your books.

I will give away a $25 Amazon gift card at the end of the challenge. All participants must be signed up (by linking up to this you are signed up!) to be eligible for the drawing.

Thank you all and good luck! Can't wait to see what everyone will be reading!

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Wellness Wednesday- Clarity

I have been doing some much needed soul searching this week. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw a few posts about sticking up for yourself. While in my counseling session this week I was talking about how I feel left out in a lot of areas in my life. Whether it's not being invited out  with friends or being completely ignored when I have an idea. I was told that no person has a right to discount my feelings or thoughts no matter what the purpose.

I have always had a hard time sticking up for myself or speaking up. I let people talk over me because it has been happening for so long I just assume anything I have to say doesn't matter. Last week in my yoga class we talked about the Chakra that has to do with the throat and our voice. It was said that we need to let it all out and stop making ourselves a prisoner in our own bodies. 

I started with a post on Facebook, speaking my concerns and was overwhelmed with all of the responses I got. All encouraging and all true. I need to start taking action in my own life. I need to feel empowered in all of the achievements I have reached. I do not deserves to be lied to or made to feel like I do not matter.

And just like that I received a letter in the mail from a dear friend, like she knew I needed cheering up. Sometimes life works in mysterious ways. I think opening up the idea of feeling empowered helps to move into that state of mind. I am hoping from now on I can do that and stop discounting myself. 

I wonder how often this happens. Do you feel this way sometimes? I'm curious to know! Please feel free to share your stories.

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Irish Cream Brownies

Yesterday I posted an Instagram photo of one of my favorite Valentine's day treats. It is super easy and super delicious. You can whip this up in under an hour. Be prepared to get asked a lot for the recipe because it's that good. Now prepare to be wowed at how easy this is.

What you need:
1 box of brownie mix (Choose any kind)
2 Eggs
Heavy Cream
Baileys Irish Cream
Powdered Sugar

Follow directions on brownie mix. Cut the water measurement in half and add the Irish cream as your other half. Bake brownies an extra 5 to 6 minutes.

While the brownies are baking get out a mixing bowl. Pour half a pint of heavy cream in and mix on low. Add half a cup of Irish Cream and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Whip on high until you have a stiff cream. Chill in refrigerator.

Allow brownies to cool. Once brownies are completely cooled (this is important), cut into squares and set on a baking sheet. Spread a big scoop of the Irish Cream whipped cream onto each brownie. Place the brownies in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Now wasn't that easy? Serve chilled and enjoy!

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High Five for Friday!

Oh my word has it been a week.  I was so happy to see Friday rolling around, and H54F to save my sorry butt for having NOTHING prepared. I'm not 100% sure why this week was such a disaster. Maybe it was the fact that it snowed EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Or the fact that every one at work was in just as great a mood as me and that didn't mesh well for anyone. No matter what the reason was, I am just so glad we made it to today. I am sure I have 5 positive things somewhere in this week to talk about.

#1. Influenster. That website just makes my whole week. I won a challenge a few months back and it promised me into a VoxBox soon. They put me into the XO box and I couldn't be happier! It's even more exciting because I just wrapped up the Frosty VoxBox, which was a lot of fun! If you are not on Influenster you are missing out folks! Seriously the link is right here----> Join Influenster

#2. I am participating in the online baby shower through Sampler. I participated back in October when they did it and it had such a great response they are doing it again. You are able to participate if you are pregnant, are an aunt/uncle, or grandparent. There are flash giveaways daily as well as sampling events. It's a pretty cool event. Make sure you like "Sampler" online to get involved in the next one as this one ends today.

#3 I am hanging out on Anne from Love the Here and Now's side bar for the next 30 days! I am so excited because I love Anne's blog and her approach to supporting her sponsors. She is a promoting machine! I love that. I can only hope to be as awesome as Anne when and if I decide to offer sponsorships on this blog.

#4.  I keep talking about this reading challenge. Now I suppose I need to get the word out. The challenge is going to start on Sunday, March 1st and run through Sunday, May 31st. This is going to be an e-reader challenge. I will post the categories and sign ups on Friday February 20th. This will give you all enough time to decide on books and all that jazz before the challenge begins. Can't wait!

 #5. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! Whether you celebrate or not I have some pretty great last minute budget date ideas for tomorrow. Take a peek and see if you can bring out the romantic in you.

I hope you all have a great week! See you back here on Monday! :P

Thrive Update

Hello lovelies! Today I wanted to bring you an update on my Thrive 8 week experience. I spoke about Thrive a few weeks ago and got asked a lot of questions, so I figured it would be easiest to do an update on my own experience and answer questions. Let's to questions first.

What is Thrive?

Thrive is a 3 step lifestyle experience. It is not a diet. The three steps are done when you get up every morning. It starts with 2 vitamin supplements. 20-40 minutes later you have a shake loaded with probiotics and B vitamins. Once you are done with your shake you pop on your DFT patch and you are done! Nothing else needs to be done for the next 24 hours.

Is Thrive a diet?

Thrive is NOT a diet. It is a lifestyle supplement. Many people find Thrive helps them lose weight and feel better. This is mostly because it is so jam packed with good vitamins you feel more alert and full of energy.

Why should I take the 8 Week Experience?

You need to experience this product in its entirety to see how it effects you. You can take a 4 day sample but that may not be enough time for your to really get the full benefit of the products. Taking the 8 week experience lets you fully benefit from all the products.

I can't afford Thrive. Now what?

Thrive is fully attainable. Becoming a promoter definitely helps.  As a promoter if you have 2 customers on autoship your product is FREE every month. Most people claim using Thrive has saved them money because they are no longer eating out for breakfast and buying all the junk foods they used to throw in their carts. The average Thriver saves $14 - $28 a day.

 What benefits to do I get by becoming a Promoter?

Becoming a promoter is absolutely free. You are not required to make any purchases or meet any goals if you do not want to. If you decide to purchase the products or have customer orders you start a 2 week bonus time where you can make over $1000 in your first 2 weeks. Again this doesn't start until you become active and purchase and/or have customer orders. Promoting the experience allows you to qualify for things like i-Pad minis, lifestyle trips, and a CAR!

Thrive Overview

Thrive is for anybody and any body. Doesn't matter your age, your weight, your eating habits. Thrive is a different experience for everyone. Sign up as a customer today (it's free) or promoter today and stay up to date with all the exciting happenings of Thrive. I promote this product because I believe in this product. This is not about the earnings for me. It makes me feel amazing.

My Thrive Experience

I have been on the experience now for about 9 weeks. I have noticed my energy has gone through the roof. I don't feel as sluggish in the mornings and I have managed to ward off a lot of the sicknesses going around lately (Colds, flu, and stomach bugs to name a few). The other day I was at the gym and I got on the elliptical (my nemesis) and I couldn't believe when I looked down at my time and I had been on it for well over 30 minutes without and leg fatigue. I felt like I could go forever. I was also to the doctor for my 6 month check and I actually lost weight! I had been gaining weight each time they weighed me at the doctors. I was so excited to finally see a change. This stuff is pretty amazing and I can't imagine this wellness journey without it.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. Thanks again for taking the time to read about this. Have a great day!

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A Saturday (Budget) Valentine

Valentines Day is on a Saturday this year. I've got a list of things to do to fill your day with things to do while saving you money. Pick a few things on my list and make your Saturday fun and filled with love.

Plan a heart themed breakfast: Use cookie cutters to make heart shaped pancakes, french toast, breakfast sandwiches, fruit, donuts, ect. You get the idea! Have fun with this! Eating at the table is optional!
Buy a bottle of cheap champagne or coffee liquors and serve above breakfast with mimosas or spiked coffee. Yum!
Explore your cities events. Check community calendars and see whats going on. There may even be special Valentines events happening for free or a small fee. Some of my favorite places to check is museums, libraries, non profit organizations, spas, and small businesses.
Eat lunch at that new restaurant you've been meaning to try. Because most people make dinner reservations on Valentines Day, you should have no problem getting in for lunch. 
Attend a matinee movie screening. Movies are expensive so get one in before the prices go up at night. 
Plan a Netflix binge day. Pick up some snacks from the dollar store, pop some popcorn, and call it a day. 
Got snow? Get nostalgic and go outside and build a snowman together or have a snowball fight. When it gets to cold come inside and cuddle over hot chocolate. 
Have a game day. Pull out all those games for two and have fun! Studies say the couples who have game nights together have longer lasting relationships. Can't help to try right?
Get out all of your crafting materials and make each other valentines. 
Have a camp out in your living room. Who said blanket forts were just for kids?
Have takeout for dinner and have it delivered. Enjoy it with some wine and snuggles on the couch.
Have a big tub? Light some candles, pour a glass of wine and take a nice bubble bath together. Need I say more?
Put on "your song" and slow dance in your living room. It's such a personal experience it will make you feel closer to the one you love and bring back memories to why that song is "your song".
So there you have it. Many ideas for Valentines weekend that won't break the bank. What are your plans? Add your ideas or posts in the comments so we can all get even more fun ideas!

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Step Up Sunday 2/8

I am so excited to do my first Step up Sunday today! I have made a goal for February to work on my fitness so this is a great motivator!

1. How many pounds did you gain or lose?
I weighed myself on Monday at work to start off this journey and failed to weigh myself Friday. I will edit this tomorrow with how much I lost/gained for the week.

2. How many inches did you gain or lose?
I’m not tracking my inches.

3. Your weekly exercise or step goal, and did you meet it? 
I try to make 10,000 steps a day and I have been falling short every day by like 1500 steps. I will have to pay more attention to my counter this week and meet that goal.

4. What was your biggest challenge this week?
I had a lot of dinner dates this week catching up with friends so I was not eating the healthiest.

5. What is your favorite healthy snack or meal?
I have been enjoying clementines. They give me a punch of energy at that 3 o'clock slump and they taste yummy.

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My Grammy Experience

Let me paint you a picture. It was July 3rd, 2012. I was quickly fishing through my junk folder in my email looking for a message from a friend that never showed up. I decided at this point to multi-task and to delete as I went. Along the way I came across a subject line that was inviting me to the Grammy Awards. 

After picking my jaw up off the floor I started to worry. Was this a scam? We all know how the internet and email is full of phishing scams these day. You always have to be cautious. It was late and the next day was a holiday so I had to wait to call and see if this was legit. In the meantime I called my cousin to invite her to be my guest, cause naturally this was gonna be legit right? She agreed but also had the same worry as me.

The 5th finally came around and I called the number. Not only was it legit, the lady couldn't believe I actually called. Apparently most people just assume its a scam and lose the trip. So fast forward to February 2013. We were being picked up by a car service and whisked away to the airport to catch our flight (Which we almost missed..) to Los Angeles to attend the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.

Now being we are in full award season now and the Grammy's are on Sunday, I figured I would share my experience in pictures. My dream come true. I hope you enjoy!

That's right, we got the water in the car service. Jealous? lol
It was pretty rainy while we were in LA. Wasn't used to this because I don't think it ever rained any other time I was in L.A!

The Red Carpet the night before the Grammys. Look's so fancy!
We were smack dab in the middle of L.A. Live. We stayed at that JW Marriott pictured.

Did I mention it had a roof top pool?

The night before. We so fancy.

This is what Grammy tickets look like.
I clean up good. Yes?

This is what the Grammy's look like straight from the nose bleed section folks!

They had all these pretty lights. The theme idea was stolen from the folk who sing Ho Hey.

After Party! Sorry for the crappy picture- No cameras allowed but I had my cell.

It was bali themed. So cool!

 So there you have it. My Grammy experience! I hope you enjoyed it. Don't forget to tune in on Sunday!

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#Womanslives Matter

I always want to look back at my blog and be able to tell that it mattered. Something I wrote mattered to one of you. I want to look back and see that somehow one of my posts touched someone. Today's post is going to be one of those posts. On Tuesday I opened up my inbox to see an e-mail from She Knows Media (BlogHer). The e-mail read:

I’m writing to invite you to participate in a media partnership with She Knows Media and Public Radio International on a groundbreaking journalism project launching tomorrow, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, called Across Women’s Lives.

I was beyond proud and excited to be apart of such an inspirational project. We have come a long way here in the U.S with women's rights, but we aren't 100% there. Think about how bad we think it is here in our own country and multiply that by 100. We still live in a world where women have no rights at all. Think about how scary that life would be.

Now think about the women who stand up for their rights. Sometimes to their own spouses only to get in return violence. Domestic violence is still a very real thing in the world. Even here in the U.S. Did you know 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes? I believe it. Wanna know why? I am the 1 in 4. This campaign will certainly bring back some bad memories, but it will also help me feel empowered. I have a voice and it will be heard.

"Across Women’s Lives seeks to change the conversation in news media, because women’s lives are newsworthy. It is an in-depth series by PRI that will reveal the strong connection between the empowerment of women and girls, and economic development and improved health around the world."

Whether you are trying to make it in your career or experiencing domestic violence at home, you are worth it. Your voice needs to be heard. I hope you will all join me in this amazing campaign to get our voices heard. Follow me in this in depth campaign that runs through December. You can make the difference. We can do it together. Use the hash tag #WomansLives to follow along. 

For more inspirational stories and posts keep checking back here as I will be posting monthly until December. Also check out Public Radio International for more up to date into on Across Women's Lives.

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