Monday, August 31, 2015

September Goals

Yay, here goes my first goal check-in. 

August Goal Progress

  1. Get 1K Instagram followers. Nopeeee. I went from 790 to 821, so that's okay, but not quite there. 
  2. Read two books this month. Another no. I've been Netflix binging and working out a ton, so I haven't had time to read....

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites + a Giveaway

So I can finally announce the good news here! I accepted a new job! I know I've hinted that big changes are coming and they really are! My new job is actually in the city so I'll be using the metro every day (not sure how excited I am about that...) However, I am totally excited about being in the city literally every day and getting to explore it more. Of course, I am extremely excited about the new job too. The interview process was a grueling month long process and even though I am a very patient person, I was getting anxious by the end of it. So yay! Potential bad news, is that, probably most of you know that I get on and blog, connect on social media, etc. during work hours. So I might not be as available as I currently am. My goal is to start blogging and being online more in the evenings and weekends since I rarely sign on Friday after 5 p.m. so I'll still try to be as active as possible on here. I promise, I'm not going anywhere, it might just take me longer to respond than usual!

Favorite Song
All My Love by Major Lazer and Ariana Grande. I actually requested my zumba instructor to choreograph a whole routine to this. She agreed! I can't wait to see what she comes up with. 

Favorite Workout
Alright guys, so I got Classpass this past month and have been going crazy with classes. I've mentioned before how pretty much the only way that I like to work out is group fitness classes, so Classpass is perfect for me. It is a bit on the pricey side, but that motivates me to make sure I use it at least 3-4x a week. I've tried Barre, Crossfit, Jazzercise, done yoga, zumba, and almost tried a pole dancing class but chickened out.

I just went to a Pure Barre studio instead of the other studio I went to. OUCH. My core and glutes were so sore! Definitely going again. The only problem is that Pure Barre sells out so quickly so I have to go at weird times. Oh well. I'll make it work. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My First Stay with Air BnB - A Review

A couple of weekends ago, I traveled to the Eastern Shore for a quick getaway weekend. I've known about AirBnB for a while but hadn't gotten around to using it until just recently for this trip. Let me break it down for you.

What is AirBnB?

Through the AirBnB website, you can find local hosts willing to rent out their unique places to travelers. You can stay in someone’s spare room, stay on someone’s sofa, you can even stay in an entire condos, or bed and breakfasts (like I did). I stayed for a whole weekend, but you can stay any length of time from one day to up to a month!

Monday, August 24, 2015

How I Pamper My Skin

A little while back I was invited to review Spongelle's body buffer and pedi buffer and absolutely loved them. You can read more about those on my What's In and What's Out. Hint: They were "in"!
Just a little bit ago, Spongelle reached back out to me about another opportunity to try out one of their  other products. This time it was the anti-cellulite contouring body buffer.

The Anti-Cellulite Contouring Buffer is a dual sided Body Contouring Buffer while massaging, smoothing, exfoliating, and detoxifying areas prone to cellulite. Spongellé Body Buffers are an amazing way to care for your skin. They are infused with exotic extracts, rich moisturizers and gentle cleansers to keep your skin youthful & glowing use after use. One of a kind fragrance blends and a creamy lather make Spongelle the most luxurious bathing indulgence for your body and mind.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Summer

We all love the endless long hours of sunshine, the trips to the beach, or swimming. There is so much to do in summer that we are all sad to see it leave. The last few weeks will be fun though, because we have brought you our version of saying goodbye to summer. Check them out and don't forget to enter in the giveaway for Paypal Cash below.

I'm looking forward to fall, but I'm going to make the most out of my last few weeks of summer. Over labor day weekend my hubby and I will be taking a small road trip to visit family and friends in his home-town. We are hoping this weekend will be full of laughter, ice-cold drinks, sunshine, and happiness. 

~Ashley from Keeping Up With Ashley and Cody~

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How to Use Google Analytics to Track Individual Page Traffic Sources

Happy Humpday everyone!

Now this is something that I just figured out, and it took me a little while to find, so I thought that I'd share my findings with you if you were lost in Google Analytics like me. 

First of all, if you don't know, Google Analytics, is a tracking code that you can put into your site that will read all of your site's traffic, stats, performance, etc. It's simple to install (especially on blogger!) and give you much better and more accurate statistics than your built in stats on either Wordpress or Blogger. 

It will take about a day to set up and start pulling data from your site. So once you've done that, it's great to track numerous different types of traffic. Before delving too deep into what Google Analytics does, let me get to what I'm trying to show you today. If you need a basic intro to analytics, Elle & Co has an absolutely wonderful resource for that. 

I've been using multiple types of social media sites to promote my blog including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Google +, and then link-parties. Certain posts have been crazy popular and I wanted to find out, what source is really driving the most traffic to that post?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekending IV

Why are weekends so short? What I wouldn't give to have had one more day this past weekend and still be at the beach...

This weekend I adventured out to the Eastern Shore a bit south of Chincoteague. Think Misty of Chincoteague. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any wild horses because we stayed away from the National Park because they don't allow dogs. 

It was the first time I used AirBnB and I loved it! I'll do a recap specifically about the stay and AirBnB later, so stay tuned. We stayed at this adorable house on a ton of farm land. We checked in Friday evening and the first thing we wanted to do was to to grab some great local food right on the marina. We ordered crab dip, I had the tuna, and he had Atlantic salmon.

We also lucked out and saw the prettiest sunset ever! If you follow me on Instagram you might have gotten a taste of this photo. I still can't get over how beautiful it was. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

August Goals

Many, many bloggers write out their goals for the month. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon to keep myself more accountable. I know we're almost halfway through August, but whatever!

  1. Get 1K Instagram followers. I'm at 790 right now and growing due to the Instgram challenge. I want to utilize hashtags more frequently and more effectively. I'm also focusing on commenting and liking other people's photos more. You can help me out by following me ;)
  2. Read two books this month. I'm not doing a reading recap because this is the first month this year that I haven't finished even one book. Given, I have been very busy with friends, family, birthdays, job stuff, etc, but still not an excuse.
  3. Workout three times a week, every week. I need to lose about 8-10 lbs or so. I need to get my butt in gear. Now that I have Classpass, I have no excuse. This leads perfectly into the next goal of...
  4. Cook dinner at least once a week for myself. I'm great at single girl dinners like mac & cheese or a sandwich, so I want to be better about cooking healthy meals.
  5. Stay within half of my budgets on I'm already over my budget for Bars/Alcohol and Blogging Spending....damn photo shoot photos.

That's all for now. I'm going to start small and hopefully grow more goals each month. Like I said, I've been super busy recently so it will help me to write all my goals down and be able to check them off. I plan to add one more goal to my monthly list each month.

My top five posts in July:

What are your goals for August?

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

3 Books to Read and 3 Books to Leave

Hi, friends! I'm so happy to be joining you all today. My name is Cassie and I blog at Sage where I chat about marriage, travel, and reading. I'm a sassy INFJ with a husband I love and three fur animals to top it all off. My heart beats for Jesus, authenticity, and community (I'm the co-founder of the #morethanaframe Instagram community). I hope you'll stay a while and chat books with me!

As I alluded to in my introduction, I'm a tad bit book obsessed. I constantly have an audiobook and ebook going at the same time. I feel like I can never get enough! I have done an obscene amount of reading so far this summer, and there have been a number of books I would definitely read again as well as a few that I would definitely leave. Here's the scoop:

If you haven't heard of this book, you're hiding under a rock. It has been all the rave in the blogging world lately, so I knew I had to give it a shot. It definitely lived up to my expectations. I loved the style of the writing and how suspenseful it was. It didn't overlook creating realistic characters even in the midst of the suspense, which I really appreciated.

This was a book I chose on a whim and I'm so happy I did. It's one of those "finding yourself after the storm" books, but in a way that hasn't been done before. Absolutely worth the read!

I'm a HUGE Jodi fan. I love how much research she puts into each of her books, how I never see the end coming, and how she weaves together seemingly unrelated character lines. I thinks she's a genius and this book is a great example of her talent. Plus it has elephants, and who doesn't love elephants?!

Maybe I shouldn't have seen the movie before reading the book because I found this really hard to get through. It's an amazing story, but it felt long and drawn out at times and I found myself hoping it would end soon. I'd say you're better off watching the movie.

UGHHHHHH. That basically sums it up.  I was warned that I was either going to love or hate this book, and I definitely didn't love it. I found the author annoying. She sounded like a martyr and something about that drove me insane. It kind of had the same undertones as "Wild," which I liked better, but still didn't love. 

This was another one of those books that everyone in blogland has been talking about. I found it pretty underwhelming. There are a number of other books that have similar plot lines and I found the ending predictable. I think this could have been a really good book, but something about it just didn't do it for me.

Do you use Goodreads? Let's connect!

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Get To Know Starla

I know you all know who Starla is, especially if you follow my Instagram. But, I realized you probably don't know too much about her. She has such a crazy personality, you should get to know her better!

First of all, Starla is a cattle dog mix. I'm not sure what she's mixed with but her personality is 100% cattle dog. She's four years old and  

Starla will eat anything. Except avocados, she doesn't like avocados. 

She's pretty bad at walking nicely on a leash. Which is probably more of my fault for not training her well enough. She's a huge puller.

She is super well adjusted, especially for an older rescue. I rescued her last year when she was three years old and I always count my blessings about her temperament. She loves people, is great with children, likes all dogs but isn't overly excited when she meets other dogs, and doesn't scare easily. She will sleep straight through thunderstorms. 

She's very talkative. She has tons of different noises that all mean something different. However, she can't or won't howl. I always try to get her to howl but she just looks at me like I'm crazy. 

When she wants something, she gives you either a half underbite or a whole underbite based on how strongly she wants it. But regularly she doesn't have the underbite. 

She doesn't know that she can swim. We've plopped her in deep water and she's swam back to me but she won't go swimming on her own accord. We're going to the beach this weekend and I'm taking the life-jacket so we're going to give it a try again!

She doesn't fetch at all. She thinks that tennis balls are just for chewing on.

She's the absolute cutest! What else do you want to know about Starla?

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Friday, August 7, 2015

A Photo a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

First of all, happy friday! Has this week seemed to last forever to you guys too?

Thank you so much to everyone who has joined in to the instagram challenge, #EverythingAugust. The co-hosts and I are so happy about the great response we've received. I absolutely love going through all of your photos each day. So, today I have all of my favorite posts from the first six days of the photo a day challenge.

Day 1: Summer Nights

Day 2: Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

A photo posted by rlamar (@rlamar) on

Day 3: Favorite quote

A photo posted by Kalyn (@kalynlouise23) on

Day 4: Wake up & Smell the roses

A photo posted by @nyfoodiefamily on

Day 5: Mornings like these

Day 6: Somewhere warm

I can't wait to see what the rest of the challenge will look like. If you need a reminder of the prompts, you can find all the details here! It's crazy that before we started this challenge there were maybe six random photos using the hashtag #EverythingAugust, and now there's 236 and counting!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Awesome Link-Up

Truly, August is going to be awesome! There are so many things I'm looking forward to and so many awesome things that have already happened!

Warm Weather

The weather has been so great lately. Still a bit humid, but nice and sunny for the most part. I absolutely adore summer and can't get enough outdoor time. 

Finally, getting good photos taken of me!

As you know I don't have a fancy DSLR camera. Everything iPhone. I am also cursed with not having any photographer friends/boyfriend/family members who can take a couple good snaps of me. So I got a photoshoot the other day (primarily to use for the blog photos!) and a lot of them came out amazingly well! Go check my about page to see some of the others ;) But here's a sneak peek!

Getting in shape

Getting in shape is always awesome, but it's even more awesome when you get a discounted Classpass membership! If you haven't heard of Classpass, they basically offer you any group fitness classes through tons of gyms and studios around your area at $99/month (usually!) I've already mentioned my love for group fitness classes, so I think this may work out really well for me! I had barre last night, crossfit tonight, and yoga tomorrow night. Wish me luck for crossfit!

Instagram photo challenge!

If you haven't heard, I'm hosting an Instagram challenge. The pictures that are coming in are AWESOME. I am so happy and proud with the participation and cannot wait for the rest. It's been hilarious how serious I take it. I have to schedule a good 30 minutes to just go through all of your photos a day! Also, a huge thanks to my co-hosts because they are awesome as well. All the blogger love goes out to these guys: Erica from Looking to the Stars, Jasmine from Classy, Sassy. and a Bit Smart-Assy, Ashley from Girl Talk, Helen from Hel on Heels, Christine from Christine Everday,  and Dayne from The Daily Dayne.
A photo posted by Angie Scheie (@chasingmyhalo) on

Best friend's bachelorette party

My best friend's bachelorette party is this weekend! It's definitely going to be awesome. We're going out to Baltimore for the evening, but I'm not going to share too many details because it's a surprise!

Last minute vacations!

Seriously, I love planning. I'm a meeting planner for my job! But spontaneous beach weekends are awesome. So the weekend after the bach party, I'm going to a quick 2-night beach trip to Chincoteague! I can take the Starla beast and there are wild ponies! What could be better? 

Now, join up and tell us what is awesome in your life?

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

Thanks to the invention of Netflix (and every other media company who has followed their streaming TV pattern), binge watching is now an epidemic! It's amazing. Huffington posts says that, "Fifty-percent of adults now identify as binge-viewers, meaning they're watching multiple episodes of a TV show back-to-back, according to a new study of 1,000 adults with pay TV subscriptions. The percentage was even higher for those under 35." But honestly, who needs statistics when you can get home from work and have plans with an inanimate object for hours? I'm talking about your TV!

To help out all you fellow-bingers, I've put together this handy binge-watching to-do list. Please enjoy! Also, if you want true descriptions of the show instead of my rhetoric, I've helpfully included links to their synopses.

Ranked in order of most binge-worthy.

Where you can find it: Showtime
Why it's binge-worthy: It has all the drama. Not only is it a simple story of two people who engage in an affair, it shows their stories from different point of views, and also a great twist at the end. 
How binge-worthy: Not even the temptation of snacks or wine will drag you off the couch to stop watching.
Where you can find it: on Netflix or FX for new episodes!
Why it's binge-worthy: Morbid fascination. Terrifyingly good. The first season is actually the weirdest, and the slowest, so force yourself through it and then get into the next few seasons. It's great to see the same actors play different roles in each season. You can go from loving one person, to hating them season to season.
How binge-worthy: Too scared to hit "Stop Watching."

Where you can find it: on HBO
Why it's binge-worthy: You totally get to immerse yourself in a rich fantasy world with great character development that keeps you on your toes at all times.
How binge-worthy: You just have to see who is going to die next!

Pst, the answer is "yes!"
Where you can find it: on Netflix
Why it's binge-worthy: Call your inner bad-ass, (s)he'll love it. Goes from epic firefights to heart-wrenching romances, and back to a whole ton of motorcycling. Apparently this show is pretty true to reality, too?
How binge-worthy: You'll want to don your leather cut and ride off in the wind with your Netflix account forever.
Where you can find it: on HBO
Why it's binge-worthy: I really hope I don't need to explain why it's binge worthy...but if you're one of the select few who have never seen at least one episode, here's why: A group of girls looking for love in the city. Revolves around a handful of unrelatable character that together you can totally see yourself in. Plus, they have every girl's dream life. A rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan, with a dream job of either being in PR, a lawyer, a writer (about sex, nonetheless), or the perfect housewife.
How binge-worthy: Put on your yoga pants, grab the wine, and go to town.
Where you can find it: on Netflix (from ABC)
Why it's binge-worthy: Why'd that happen? Who is that? Where are they? What is happening?! WHY?! You'll think you know the mystery, but trust me, you have no clue. 
How binge-worthy: You can't hit "Play next episode," any faster.

Where you can find it: on USA pretty much every other day. 
Why it's binge-worthy: Again, morbid fascination. And your love for Ice-T's puns. It's a classic, I know all my laws and Miranda rights from it! It's a bit more intriguing than the other Law and Order series because of Benson and Stabler, and their steamy sexual tension throughout the show.
How binge-worthy: Just turn on the tv and grab some popcorn. You won't even have to scroll through your queue to find this one.

BRB. Going to go watch TV for days now.

What are your favorite shows to binge watch?

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