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The only group photo, and of course it has a photo bomber.  Also, the photographer was confused on how to use my phone and said “I have a flip razor, I can’t use this!”.

And just like that, my October goal is complete.  With it being my birthday month, it seemed fitting to plan a girl’s night out.  I asked a handful of my friends to come and visit, and luckily we were able to find a weekend that worked for everyone.  These ladies were some of my best friends in college, and I have been so lucky to stay close to them since graduating.  Even though I talk to them quite often via phone, it is still not the same as having a slumber party.

We kicked off our Saturday with a small itinerary to follow (if needed):

4pm-ish until 6ish: Get ready to party like it’s 2003. We can relax, primp and have fun. I have heads up ready to go on the phone and a Pandora station keyed up.
There will be vodka gummy bears to dine on.
Courtney and Heidi, you are in charge of pre-dinner drinks (that seems like a dangerous choice of people to be in charge, but I am going with it).
Mary, you are in charge of a pre-dinner snack…so we don’t get too hammered before meal time.
Between 6-6:30, we will head to main street. First stop, Soho for martinis and Tapas.
(from here on, the schedule is subject to change. Only refer to itinerary at this point if someone says, “I’m tired” “I’m bored” “We should head home”
and it is before 12:30am).
Did someone whine? Or should I say wine? Head to Luna. You can not leave until someone takes a picture with the giraffe. Unless it broke, the amount of people that have jumped on that thing worries me.
If someone suggests pump haus, remind them it is always 19-21 year olds there and they stare at you weird. If you must go to prove this point, do it. Then go to Uncle Harry’s where the “older” crew hangs out.
Toad’s, because it’s toads. And there is never a line for their bathrooms. So ya think ya can dance now? Flip a coin for Jokers or Voodoo.
Then remember why you don’t go to dance clubs and head to berks.
At this point, it might be best to call it a night. Actually, call Dolly’s Taxi at 319-242-2011.
Becky and Ruiz, you should make sure there are some late night worthy treats. There will also be Tylenol, Gatorade and beds available for use.

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Drunk little gummy bears

 

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This was taken right before getting in the cab.  I thought it was a great picture until I saw the quality the next day :).

 

I have been waiting for this weekend for a long time.  Saturday, some of my bestest friends are heading to town for a night out.  I am so excited.  It has been a long time since I have seen these lovelies, and even longer since it involved a night out with no one pregnant or nursing.  Like almost 7 years.  And, since it is my goal for the month, you will get to hear all about it.

Has anyone else downloaded the new apple update?  Every since I did, my phone has been slow as sh$t.  It is so annoying, and causes me to yell at my phone numerous times throughout the day.

The other day, I told you about our trip to the pumpkin patch.  I didn’t share something, because I didn’t want to be a downer on such a fun trip.  But, while we were at the farm, we witnessed a cavy in labor.  HJ was completely enthralled.  I suggested he look away, to which he replied, “WHY?!?!”.  That’s when a random guy said, “Because I have seen 1 live birth, and it isn’t pretty!”.  About this time, I noticed the farmer pulling something out that didn’t seem to a good thing.  At that moment, they moved the animal into a private room.  I kept checking their facebook page, because they posted about other births on the farm, but I never saw anything about the cavy.  I hope everything is okay, and that the mama is fine!

A few weeks ago, I told you all about my favorite splurge site, Shopbop.  They are currently having a 25% off sale until midnight on the 16th.  Check it out and enter code “FAMILY25″.  I have a feeling my sister will go check out her dream handbag.

It’s time for me to start getting the house ready for our 5 overnight guests :).  Hope you all have a fabulous and amazing weekend.

 

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This past Sunday, HJ, my mom and I headed to the pumpkin patch for an afternoon of fun.  After hearing fun things about a Barn Stahl Petting Zoo in Wellsburg, we decided to make the trek.

The moment we got out of the car, HJ was running all around, trying to see everything.  Admission was $5, and included a bag of feed for the animals.  We first went to a barn with lots and lots of goats.  They ate right out of our palms, and the little ones were so cute.  There was also a track set up with scooters, and HJ zoomed all around.

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When we headed upstairs, HJ was jumping with excitement.  There was hay piled up to climb on, basketball hoops and tunnels to go through.  The next barn had a ball pit and a tower to climb up to look out over the farm.

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There was also a sand pit and a corn kernel pit.  There was an incredible tree house, and a tire swing.  HJ loved feeding the horses (they were messy eaters).  And, one of the miniature horses just had a baby.  It was smaller than our dog, and absolutely adorable.

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There were chickens, peacocks, llamas and pigs.  And then, there were all sorts of exotic pets.  We saw a zebra and a camel, cute little hedge hogs and Patagonia caveys.  There were ostriches, and the cutest, friendliest kittens (I almost brought one home). HJ also decided that bison’s have big, fat butts, and couldn’t stop laughing at them.

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Oh yeah, and pumpkins :).

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After a few hours, it started to get chilly and drizzly.  HJ hopped on a tractor ride to end the day.

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The petting zoo is opened year round, and I would love to take HJ on a warmer day where we can spend the afternoon.  He loved seeing all the animals, and I would love to give him more time to learn about them.

If you happen to live in the area, I would highly recommend visiting the Barn Stahl Petting Zoo.  We will be heading back for sure!

 

I have said it before, and I will say it again…I love fall.  I love the cooling temps, changing leaves and curling up with a hot cup of tea.  I also love all of the traditions that come along with fall.  This weekend, HJ, my mom and myself heading to the cutest little pumpkin patch to take in all that fall has to offer.

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pure jill cascading hoodie in charcoal grey c/o j.jill// pure jill ombre infinity scarf c/o j.jill// jeans, sevens in kensie skinny// boots, soda grey buckle

I knew that it would be slightly chilly, and wanted to make sure I was not only comfortable, but warm.  J. Jill always has classic pieces, that are both comfortable and elegant.  With clothing, I am okay with spending a bit more, knowing that the pieces will last me and stay fashionable.  That is exactly what I received from J. Jill’s fall line, Pure Jill.

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I layered a charcoal grey cascading hoodie over a plaid top.  I made sure it was extra cozy by pairing it with a ombre scarf.  Jeans and boots finished off the look, making it perfect for the farm.

As the designer of Pure Jill, Barbara Patin said, “Pure Jill is perfectly imperfect elegance. Comfortable, comforting and confident.”

I was extremely surprised at how warm I was during the cold, October day spent outside.  The cascading hoodie will definitely be my go-to layering piece this fall.  What item from the Pure Jill collection would be your go to fall item?

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Thank you to J.Jill and the Motherhood for sponsoring this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

All week, I have woke up in the mornings thinking it was Friday.  And tomorrow, it’s finally here!  It’s not that this week has seemed exceptionally long, it’s that it started out that way.  My Monday was almost 12 hours in the office, followed by a very busy Tuesday.  Wednesday was the first day I felt like I could get caught up on stuff.  By this point, I have put in enough hours that I am only working 9-2 tomorrow.  I think 9-2 would be the perfect schedule everyday.

HJ had soccer tonight.  He has been in this class a few times, and he has officially decided that he is too big for it.  They play on a mini field, and he is ready for a larger scale.

The other day, the dog barked.  HJ looked at him and said, “You can say that again!”.  I can’t help but laugh at the things that come out of his mouth.

We have started planning HJ’s b-day party.  Years passed, I have always had a theme (like last year’s construction party).  Very detail oriented themes.  This year?  HJ picked out a ninja turtle invite.  I thought that meant he would want a ninja turtle cake.  But no, he picked Mario and Luigi.  I am coming to terms that I don’t have to pin cute theme items this year, but I do hope he will let me go theme crazy another year.

We are having HJ’s 5 year pics taken this weekend.  He is insisting he will not smile because he wants to look cool.  Where do kids get this stuff?

After my post on Wednesday, Tracy left a comment giving great ideas on how to style the shelves.  I updated it to this:

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I noticed tonight, she said I should move the Halloween decorations and the jars, so I will have to switch those up.  Luckily, all this stuff was already in my house!  My mom asked me the other day why I always saved glass jars (the jars in the bathroom are pickle and queso jars).  Do you think it looks better?  I still love her idea of whale figurines, but for now, this will work!

I hope you all have a fun weekend.  I will be relaxing, because next weekend is my girl’s night!

Remember HJ’s whale bathroom?  Well, it’s still a whale bathroom, just with more storage.  Back when I did the bathroom reveal…3 years ago…I mentioned that I would love to add some built-in shelves into the little nook in his bathroom.

For the past few years, it was on my “wish” list.  Last spring, I was noticing that the bathroom nook was similar to size as the dishwasher.  When I moved in, the contractor removed a cabinet to put the dishwasher in.  When I measured, I realized thy were in fact the same size.  Perfect, huh?

Only problem, my cabinet was gone.  The contractor put everyone’s cabinet in their garage (I know this, because almost everyone still has them sitting in the garage), except mine.  I figured I would give it a shot and see if the contractor had misplaced it somewhere.  When I called, his assistant INSISTED it was in the garage, just like everyone else’s, and I must not be seeing it.  Right, because it’s pretty easy to lose a 3 foot tall cabinet in a tiny garage.  So I looked again.  And it still didn’t show up.

I pouted, and figured I was sh*t outta luck.

Four months later, I told my neighbor I wanted to ask someone if I could buy the cabinet sitting in the garages.  She sold me hers for $20.  Not only that, but her fiancé offered to cut it to the correct depth and screw it into the wall for me.

I purchased a laminate shelf form menards for $20, and my neighbor was able to cut it down for a top, and we still had enough left over to add the 2 shelves.  For the unfinished edges, we put on a strip of laminate in the matching color with wood glue (cost about $4 for the roll).

Now that it is in the bathroom, I think the before picture looks so bare!  I still need a few decorations, but the extra storage has been awesome.  I am also contemplating shelves in my bathroom, and something in the kitchen.  The wish list keeps getting bigger and bigger!

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Any ideas on how to make the shelves look finished?  I am in need of cute bathroom decorations.

First, a recap of September’s goal.  The goal doesn’t technically end until this month, but consider this a recap.  As of today, I still have 53 of the 100 miles to complete.  And we are 3/4 through our time line…so, there’s that.  I am still determined to finish the 100 miles, it just might take me an extra week or 2.  I had been doing pretty well until the last two weeks.  Once fall set in, it was hard to run outside and the gym has very limited child care hours.  I will figure it out, just need to set a schedule more!

 

September: 100 Miles

August: Back on Track

July: Get a Budget

June: Stay Unplugged

May: Run a 5K

April: Beautiful Nails

March: Get Organized

February: Picture Projects

January: Get Healthy

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October: Plan a Girl’s Weekend

I get it, it sounds fun.  But who said goals can’t be fun?  Plus, I am still trying to knock out this 100 miles thing, so give me a break :).

I have scheduled to have some friends come to town for a weekend in October.  I am planning an itinerary full of fun, that includes vodka gummy bears.  October is my birthday month, so it is only fitting I make a party be the goal.

I don’t think I need to much luck with this one, but I could still use some cheers for the 100 miles.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

This week, I finally buckled down.  I bought lots and lots of produce, and prepared for a week of healthy eating.  I was doing so well from January until about April, and then it all went to hell.  Working out was doing enough to keep the weight off, and I was able to indulge in yummy treats.  Then, I hurt my foot.  I couldn’t do much for just over 3 weeks.  And then, I have had to ease my way back into it.  Three weeks of now working out much and still eating horrible, and it started to show.  The jeans started getting tight again, I hadn’t stood on the scale because I knew what it was going to say and I kept telling myself, “one more cookie can’t make that big of a difference”.

I knew the best way to tackle this beast was to start over like I did in January.  I started the advocare 10 day herbal cleanse.  Of all the cleanses I researched, this seems the most manageable.  For one, it’s 10 days.  For two, you eat…lots.  Only, you are eating clean.  No processed/sugary foods.

Meal prepping is super important to stay on top of things.  Sunday night, I started by making egg whites in veggies in muffin tins.  This way, I just pop 3 in the microwave for breakfast and I am ready to start the day.

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Mid-morning, I have some mixed nuts.  A great way to add protein and stay filled up.  For lunch, I have a spinach salad topped with lots of fruit and balsamic vinaigrette.  I also had a pear or apple for a sweet treat (yeah, it’s no cookie).

Dinner has been chicken and veggies.  I grilled chicken, and threw it in with a whole bunch of colorful veggies.  It has been so tasty, I am not even tired of it yet (HJ gobbles it up too!).

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Once I get back into the habit of eating like this, I will try different recipes.  Right now, I just wanted to focus on getting back on track.

What clean eating tips do you recommend?  Any go-to easy meal ideas?

 

The mowing fiasco that took over Sunday morning made it so I didn’t even shower until 12:30.  I am one of those people who has to shower to start my day, so this was beyond irritating for me.  We finally had some time to relax and chill, which led to the slip-n-slide coming out.  I can not believe we had a slip-n-slide out the last weekend in September (I hope this Indian summer continues).

It was around this time I stabbed my finger with a pair of scissors.  And the dog puked up his lunch on the carpets I just shampoo-ed last weekend.  Oh, and I decided to take on the task of repainting the trim in my house.  I almost completed 2 rooms and decided, painting trim really sucks (I am hoping to do a room or two each weekend).

That evening, we went to my parent’s house for dinner.  I figured this would be our night winding down, but life had a few things in store for us.

When HJ and I got home, I opened our crawl space trap door to bring a few things down for storage.  Our crawl space is a concrete room, 6 feet deep.  The trap door is this huge section that pulls up and latches onto the wall behind it.  You have to latch it, because it is really heavy.  Without the latch it comes crashing down.  To get down to the crawl space, you have to use a ladder type thing that goes the whole 6 feet down.

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Now that you have that visual…HJ and I were in the crawl space, when I suddenly hear a CRASH..  I look towards the entrance and notice that Tyson, the dog, is suddenly with us in the crawl space.  Not only is he with us, but he looks dazed and is limping.  Somehow, the 90 pound dog tripped/fell/jumped down the crawl space.  Something he has never done before.

I tried coaxing him up the stairs, but getting a 90 pound injured dog to climb a ladder is not an easy task.  I told HJ to go to the neighbors and let them know we need help.  HJ did exactly as he was told, only he seemed to portray that Tyson was extremely injured (the neighbors got there FAST).

One of them was able to lift Tyson up the stairs, and at first glance he seemed to be doing completely fine.  Then the excitement of being saved must have worn off, and I noticed his mouth was bleeding.  And he was hardly able to put weight on one of his front legs.

I called his vet, who offered to meet me at the clinic.  I said we would be fine until the next day, because it didn’t look like it was broken, just hurt.  That night, Tyson had trouble sleeping, he was whining and uncomfortable (so we both got a lot of sleep).

On Monday, I did take him to the vet.  He has a severe sprain, is slightly overweight, has an ear infection and had to have 2 shots.  And gets to go back in 2 weeks.

I also learned that due to Tyson’s pain meds and/or his wild day, he had crazy dog dreams and was snoring.  I kept waking up to his snores, or to him kicking the wall and whining and growling.

Luckily, our little pup is okay.  Between the pain meds, ear drops, and updated vaccines, he should be healthy for quite some time!

You know those days where you wake up and the first thing you try to accomplish goes horribly, horribly wrong?  Yeah, that was my day.

I woke up, and went outside to get the mowing over with.  You may remember I recently started mowing.  It had become easier.  Until today.

To start with, my mower is from about 1985.  There have been quite a few improvement in mowers since then, but this one was free.  It shoots grass back at me, so I am always covered from thigh to tow in grass after I mow.  Also, it is heavy and hard to push.  My arms are usually sore for about 2-3 days after mowing.

So today…I start the mower by pulling the cord thingy about 20 times.  Yes, that’s how many times I have to yank it to get it started.  It goes about 4 feet, and dies.  I do this about 10 more times and then start pouting.

My neighbor suggested the grass was too wet, so we had a coffee break.  An hour later, I tried again.  It keeps dying.  Unless I hold it at an angle.  An angle that makes it so I literally have to lean all of my body weight into it to move it.  I am dripping in sweat within minutes.  And the grass was totally dry by this point.  And yes, I checked the gas and the oil.

Also, it is still dying every 10 feet or so.

I am pulling the cord to get it started for the 23rd time, and the cord breaks.  It snaps.  So I tie it in a knot, and pull it again.  It gets started, goes a bit and dies again.  This is when I notice it is smoking.  And I can see a burn mark on the side.  So I flip it over to make sure it isn’t on fire and run to the front yard in case it decides to explode.

Then I borrowed my neighbors mower.  And oh holy cow, it was a breeze.  It was still a push mower, but apparently newer models are much easier on the arms and back.  And a ton lighter.  And it started without having to pull the cord more then 3 times!  I no longer felt like I was pushing a tank around the yard and finished in record speed.

But have no fear, my dad and a neighbor were able to fix the tank, so it should be ready for me to use it again.  Woohoo.

*This post was going to be a update on the hole day, but I didn’t realize how long the first few hours would turn into when I started typing.*