Ain’t no party like a live draft party…

Last year was the first year I was on a fantasy football league and it was pretty fun… it made the games more enjoyable to watch, so I wasn’t falling asleep on the couch while Brian watched allll of the games and I actually learned a lot about football. (I still have plenty to learn, but still…)

Well, this year Brian organized a live draft instead of having everything online. Let me tell you, so much more fun!! I get along pretty well with all of Brian’s friends, so it was pretty fun hearing their groans after I picked a player that they wanted…. I’m ready to kick some butt this season!

Here is my lineup:

QB- Drew Brees
RB- Matt Forte
RB- Fred Jackson
WR- Mike Wallace
WR- Wes Welker
WR- Vincent Jackson
TE- Jermichael Finley
K- David Akers
DEF- Philadelphia Eagles

Bench:
QB- Tony Romo
WR- Marques Colston
WR- Antonio Brown
WR- Santonio Holmes
WR- Lance Moore
RB- LeGarrette Blount
TE- Kellen Winslow
RB- Donald Brown

Brian reserved a HUGE room at the Boneyard Grill in Sussex and it was nothing short of awesome….

I made name tags for everyone with their team name on it…. mine is “Kitna Kitten Attack” and Brian’s is “El Cunado” (a reference from “The League”)

No, I was not killing time on pinterest… I was studying who I was going to pick…

Travis was actually studying hard who he was going to pick….

Totally got a girly drink for our draft… delicious passionfruit mojito!

“The War Room”

Gotta have a group picture…

If you are into fantasy football at all, I highly suggest that you hold a live draft! Brian has a great group of friends and they made it so fun! We all went bowling afterward, which was an adventure in itself… I wish I could’ve taken some pictures of that…

Are you in a fantasy football league? Have you ever done a live draft? What was your experience?

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Everything You Can Imagine is Real…

Yesterday I realized how much I don’t know… I was in a minor car accident and I felt so confused and just didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was sixteen and helpless again. Thankfully, my sister was with me and she helped a lot, but if it was just me I don’t know how I would have fared… But I kept thinking about how I don’t care to learn much about cars, insurance stuff, taxes, all this “grown-up” stuff… Real life can be scary when you aren’t sheltered by over-protective parents.

It’s a strange transition from careless teenager to struggling twenty-something. So much happens in your twenties; you go to college, you work, you watch your friends get married and have children, you get married too, you wait to have children, you move to a new city, you start from scratch… you don’t know anything.

But even once you have knowledge, there will still be things that you don’t know… you will continue to have “sixteen and helpless” moments. Knowledge is power, but only to an extent.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world.”

So much is changing in the next year; this day next year I will be married, 25, hopefully have a new job, have a kitten, live in Washington County… I’ll have different priorities, more responsibilities, other things I am concerned with. I have been able to adapt to new situations little by little, but it’s a little scary to think how much things will change.

I want to find balance once I’m married… I would love to be with Brian 24/7, but that’s not healthy. I want to be with my friends too and not have to worry that he misses me. I don’t want to be the friend that never wants to hang out because I’m with my husband, and likewise I don’t want to neglect him either…

All my friends live all over the place too, so it would be difficult to hang out with everyone all at once and I prefer one-on-one time with friends. How do you divide your time equally between your loved ones?

New is Always Better…

So this weekend I went to an estate sale down the street and I found TONS of furniture! Needless to say, it is all in my grandparents workshop and family room now… I figure Brian and I can use it when we move out in June/July… now all we need is a TV for the living room! Well, and an apartment…

Now we have two love seats, a five-piece bedroom set including two dressers, a nightstand, a mirror and a bed… the bed isn’t the right size, but it’s just nice to have an extra one for any possible guests… who knows if we’ll have room though.

The metal chairs really need some love, so I think I want to repaint the frame black and then add green cushions or something… cute, right?

My grandma modeling one of the love seats…

Mirror…

Tall dresser…

Wide dresser…

“everything…” dressers, nightstand, and bed in the back

The other couch…

metal chairs that realllllyy need some reupholstering…

metal chairs…

my cute grandparents…

That last picture was just for fun… the sun was kind of in their eyes, but anyway…

Oh, I also found some other cute/vintage things at the estate sale… some earrings, an old bottle of sour mash that has gold etching on it and says “old fitzgerald,” and this neat sweater storage thing… I most definitely got the bottle because of my obsession with The Great Gatsby… no lie.

On a side note, I can’t wait until Christmas this year because… The Great Gatsby movie is coming out!!! I love the 1920s.. the fashion, technology differences, the mystique… Most of me is super excited, but then there’s part of me that is scared it will suck and ruin my favorite book… So, we shall see. I just hope that I am not disappointed!

I have a new favorite beer… pomegranate lager… I went to the Delafield Brewhaus last night after work for a beer with some friends and they had it there. It isn’t too sweet like Leinie’s Berry Weiss and it’s just plain good! I know I’m not describing it very much, but you just have to go get one yourself… I know it’s a seasonal beer, so I don’t know how long they have it out for, but I’m really hoping that I can get it for my wedding…

Tonight I get to hang out with my bestie and she is kidnapping me… I’m meeting her after work and then she has something planned and won’t tell me what. I need to figure out how to get the film in my Hanimex Praktica so I can start taking photos again… that is my new endeavor. I have been admiring lomography from a girl I went to high school with and lomo from the internet. I figured it’s time I pick up my camera again and start shooting film again. I took a film photography class at UW-Waukesha back in 2007-ish and I have a pretty good collection of vintage cameras from my grandma. I know there’s a Diana in there and I want to load it up with film and see what happens… It’s just something that I really miss… What are your experiences with lomography (or photography)?

New is always better… that’s what Barney from How I Met Your Mother always says.. I thought it was fitting because everything in this post is about something new… “new” (to me) furniture, new beer, new movie, new adventures, new camera endeavors… new is exciting, invigorating, renewing. New things have the power to change us.

“There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I.” ~John Steinbeck

The Best Version of Myself

So I haven’t posted in a while, but I have been crazy busy! Friday when I would normally post was my birthday and Brian took my out and then I had the 5 am shift at work. Monday and Tuesday I had florist appointments, but I’ll say more about that later… to say the least, it was stressful.

Anyway, what I really want to blog about tonight is my Mary Kay business and just recap the past three whirlwind of months… I signed my MK agreement on May 12 and really got going in June and July seeing faces. It is now August and I have two recruits, making me a senior consultant. My sister just signed at the end of July and her friend Jillian signed in June and I’m looking for my third recruit to get into my red jacket. Jess told me tonight that I am a quiet storm and I am really feeling that. I have a bunch of women to call for a facial or party and I am just on a mission to find my third wonderful recruit!

There are times when I am down about my MK business because I didn’t see any faces or I didn’t sell that much, but I am so grateful for my MK sisters who pick me up after a not so stellar week and I am once again motivated to reach my goals that I set. You never know how you touch certain people in your live and that is so true with MK; even a few encouraging words can motivate someone to pick herself up and get going again.

And now for the flowers… sigh. I went with Michelle Monday to a studio in Wauwatosa called Petals and I just loved her studio.. super cute and lots of bright green, so that won me over. (My bedroom walls are painted kelly green, fyi…) But Carrie was so helpful and knowledgable and I just really want her to do my flowers, but it will mostly come down to price… we decided to price out every single thing that I could possibly need and then just cut out things if I decide that we don’t really need them. That quote was about $1700!! I had no idea that wedding flowers cost that much!! So Tuesday we went to Blooms in Bloom in Mukwonago to see what that was like and her floral shop wasn’t as cool as the other one, (I have no idea why I’m factoring this in, but image seems important) but she quoted it at $1300ish including a $450 cake… so that is considerably cheaper. Still don’t know who to go with because I am still trying to figure out what kind of flowers I want for what and how many. It is just so confusing at times because I’ve never planned a wedding before!

I also got my hair cut… nothing too crazy, just back to it’s normal self. Except when my hairdresser asked me if I had ever had my hair thinned out, I wasn’t sure and we decided that she would do it a little and see how I like it. It hurt… I am a big baby about pain, but my scalp was throbbing… it’s basically the scissors pulling on your hair and cutting it off at the same time. Has anyone else had this done? At least now I know for next time, right?

So that is the scoop… I am going to focus on booking appointments for facials and parties… oh, we have a booking contest for next week, so that is some incentive! I am also looking for ideas on how to share the MK business information during a facial or double facial that is quick and easy.

I will leave with a thought from Jackie, the Queen of Sales in our unit who got to go up on stage at seminar:

“You are born to be the best version of yourself.” and “The measure of your life will be the measure of your courage.”

What do those mean to you?

Birthday Fun

Friday was my birthday. I had to work, but it was still a good birthday. My sister even came into work to give me my card and a necklace with an ice cream cone charm on it. That brightened my day.

After work, I hung out with Brian and we went to Carrabba’s Italian restaurant. I love their homemade pasta and sauces and their dipping oil/bread…. so good.

Delicious pasta from Carraba’s…. tomato basil sauce with garlic, spinach and artichokes… yumm

Brian always gets me the cutest cards for my birthday or valentines day or our anniversary. This year he got me an owl one… so cute.

Cute owl card from Brian…

My mom invited my uncle, aunt, and my cousins over for a taco dinner on Saturday. She made me an elephant cake… she has an obsession with elephants ever since my cousin Grace declared her love for them. Since then, she swears that the elephants find her… in the form of stuffed animals, home decor, and cake pans of course…

Elephant cake my mom made… and my cousins Grace and William are so cute..

Coupon Crazy

I usually clip my big stack of coupons at work and I was flooded with great couponing tips that I’ve learned through my experiences. It wouldn’t be right not to share…

So, why should someone coupon?? In exchange for a little time to clip and basic organization, you save money on products that you buy anyway. Who wouldn’t want that? You might just save $1 or $20, but every dollar, every cent counts toward purchasing something else or saving for a rainy day.

I get my coupons from the Sunday paper, plus the Red Plum inserts that come on Wednesdays. I usually check the break room newspaper on Sundays for extra coupons and my grandmother has a coupon basket for me too. If you are okay with doing a little more legwork, there are tons of coupons online on various websites. I had to go online when I was in college because we didn’t get a Sunday paper delivered and it just made the most sense for me at the time.

My stack of coupons that I accumulated….

 

So without further delay, here are my tips:

• Never, ever buy hair dye without a coupon!! Unless you go to a salon or beauty store, the drugstore brands without fail have multiple coupons! I just clipped five different coupons for hair dye: $1 off two Revlon (good deal at Walgreens/CVS sometimes have it 2/$4 and then stack $1 off two coupon on top of that!), $2 off Clairol, $3 off Nice’n Easy Color Blend Foam, $2 off any L’Oreal Preference, Feria, or Healthy Look Creme Gloss, $10 off John Frieda Precision Foam Colour with purchase of John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioner… it’s as simple as that. Get. A. Coupon. Target sometimes runs deals for $5 gift card when you buy two hair dyes of a certain brand, so that it an extra incentive. That deal is going on until August 11 if anyone is interested.

• I have some favorite deals that I like to check if certain items are on sale to stack a coupon on top of the great deal. CVS is really good for this, especially with health and beauty products, feminine products, and household items. I probably have 20 little bottles of Dawn stored away because I got them for 25 cents! CVS would have them on sale for 75 or 79 cents and I had a bunch of 50 cent and 25 cent coupons, so it was hard not to stock up. Also, it’s a better deal to go with the smaller bottle… it is always cheaper! CVS also has deals on Tide laundry detergent… $5.94 for a 45-50 load bottle of Tide plus $1 off coupon! I also watch for deals on feminine products there and there are always coupons for that in the Sunday paper inserts. CVS has some good deals on make-up and beauty products too, but I use Mary Kay (and you should too!) so I don’t check those deals anymore.

• Don’t buy something just because you have a coupon for it. If you wouldn’t buy the item without a coupon, you shouldn’t be buying it with a coupon… It only leads to wasted money if you don’t use the product and that it the opposite of your goal, isn’t it? This also goes for buying a certain amount of an item because you have a coupon in certain cases. If you know you aren’t going to use three boxes of cereal, you shouldn’t be buying three.

• It sounds really basic, but you should really know what you buy and what you don’t buy before you start clipping. This goes along with the previous tip. If you know which products you buy most, you clip multiples of those coupons. If you know that you never buy a certain product anymore, but are clipping the coupons for it every week, you are wasting your time clipping and wasting time throwing it out when it is expired.

• There are also tons of coupons for various restaurants… I like to stash these in my wallet so I always have them with me. These are found it the newspaper inserts as well as the Valpak coupon envelope. Some restaurants that have coupons include Olive Garden, TGI Fridays, Bucca Di Beppo, Red Lobster, Boston Market, along with several pizza joints and Mexican restaurants. The newspaper inserts usually feature chain restaurants while the Valpak has local eateries. If you are going to eat there anyway, why not save money?

• I pick up quite a few things from working at a grocery store and I cannot tell you how many people don’t clip their coupons until they check out. Not only is this a pain for you and the cashier, you might be missing out on deals that you didn’t see because you were too concerned with ripping out a coupon out of the ad… I can also tell you that if you are pleasant with the cashier and are not a pain in the ass to check out, the cashier will usually tell you if you had an item that requires a coupon from the in-store ad. So be nice to your cashier, they have to deal with a lot of crap!

• You should also be looking at the price sticker on the shelf or near the product. This seems pretty obvious, but read the fine print! Some stores make you buy two of a product when it is 2 for $5, but others don’t require that you buy a certain amount. Also watch for what the limit on an item is if it’s on sale. One thing that happens incredibly frequently is that customers don’t real the sign that tells them that they need the bonus coupon from the store ad. It says so on the sign, yet people don’t read the whole sign and make excuses that they didn’t see it. It is right there. Store are not trying to hide the fact that you need a coupon. Just get one.

• Oops, the last couple tips kind of turned into a rant, but for good reason… two of my favorite beauty products that I like to stock up on don’t have coupons, but are very good deals when they are on sale. The first is Organix Shampoo and Conditioner. These normally retail for $6.99 a bottle and it’s not that big of a bottle… I would never pay that. But about every month or so, Pick’ n ‘Save has them on sale for $2.49!! That’s a savings of $4.50 a bottle! I usually get about 14-20 bottles when they are on sale and the cashier looks at me like I’m crazy, but it’s so worth the savings. And they come in great smelling scents (another huge factor for me) like Acai Berry Avocado, Pomegranate something and Tea Tree Mint, but there are some that are less scented like Moroccan Argan Oil, Brazillian Keratin, and Cocoa Butter. The other thing that I buy on sale is Bath and Body Works foaming hand soap. The almost always have a good deal on them, usually 5 for $15 or 7 for $20 and they usually have some sort of coupon out there for 20% off your order or the like.

Tell me how you have saved money! Have you tried any of these tips? What is your experience with couponing?

Style Obsession: Golden Girl!!

So I went shopping at Target last night to look for these pants that were in the ad… turns out they fit really weird like a lot of Target pants for me. So after browsing around and a quick swipe of my Target REDcard, I found some real gems…

 

Xhilaration Cheetah Sweater, $17.99; Gold Glitter Wallet, $14.99; False Eyelashes, $5.99; Earring Trio, $4.99; Essie Nail Polish in Sexy Divide, $7.79; Gold Glitter Nail Decals, $4.99; Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color in Gold Coast, $6.50; Mary Kay Nourishine Lipgloss in Sunlit Sand, $13; Wanderlust DVD from Redbox, FREE with promo code!

Tonight is extra special because my good friend Ashley is in town!! I am so excited!! I haven’t seen her in quite a long time… maybe since last summer?? I don’t even remember, but she has been very busy traveling; she was in Colorado for an internship with the Olympic Committee and then she went home to Osseo for a bit and now she is passing through Milwaukee on her way to Ohio for grad school. I am so proud of all that she has accomplished and I admire this woman’s work ethic and intelligence. She is one of my bridesmaids, so while she is in town we are going to try on bridesmaid dresses with Michelle. Michelle lives in the area so it’s not a problem getting her involved in wedding planning stuff… that and she loves event planning.

This week and next are very full with wedding appointments! Dresses with Michelle and Ashley tonight, dresses for Amy’s wedding tomorrow, dresses with Jamie on Thursday (plus birthday celebration fun) and next week Monday and Tuesday I have appointments with florists and I’m making Michelle come with me. She’s good with that kind of stuff, so I’m glad she’s one of my bridesmaids. I just wish Ashley wasn’t so far away! I know she would love this stuff too.

Quick Mary Kay update: My friend Jessica earned her directorship!! Hooray! She is one of the most amazing women I know and has helped me more than she’ll ever know. I admire her and I am committed to being one of her offspring sales directors!

Yesterday was my first day back at work in about a week…. not fun. But Brian and I had a wonderfully relaxing (and much needed) weekend in Green Bay. We went to the Packers practice on Wednesday morning and Brian got a couple high-fives (Jermichael Finley and Tim Masthay!) when the players were riding to the stadium on kid’s bikes. We were out and about most of Thursday… went to Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant for a great lunch – puffy tacos and pomegranate champagne margarita!! We were going to take a stadium tour, but while we were walking up to get tickets they put up the “sold out” sign up! Sad… but we will have to go another time. Travis and Brian went fishing instead with Brent and I gave Kenzie and her friend Kim a facial, so it turned out to be a pretty good night. They boys even brought home a ton of KFC… wedges with ranch for me. We went to the Northeast Wisconsin Zoo on Friday and a guy Travis knows took us on a little tour. He knows the zoo so well because he has to walk around and make notes about the animals as part of his community service… so that was nice. We started to head home Friday evening because Travis had to help Brent move into his apartment in Madison, but we really didn’t want to go home right away. As we were passing through Appleton, I jokingly suggested we get a hotel so we could go swimming (Swimming was mentioned several times at the zoo because it was so hot) and so Brian could watch the Packers scrimmage on TV. So we stopped in Appleton for the night and we went swimsuit shopping since neither of us brought ours with. Sadly I couldn’t find a top at Target that fit… so we just hung out and enjoyed the last day being away from home.

Packers training camp!

That’s my boy, Woodson…

Aaron Rodgers!

Brian’s favorite new player! We’re not “Worthy!”

Three monkeys…

Elephant…

He’s so dramatic…

Fun day at the zoo!!