Posted in life

Currently : December 2017

Oh man, I can’t believe I missed this one on Wednesday! I think that just sums up how the last few weeks have been!

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Lighting : The Christmas tree and the lights on the mantel…well, sometimes. We’re Christmas slackers around here…

Spending : More time with my family! That’s about all I want to spend these days because of our financial goals!

Choosing : Gifts for friends and family members. I’m so behind on my Christmas shopping this year, and I am struggling more than usual to buy for certain people. Argh!!

Sending : Gifts through campus mail at work! 😉

Singing : Christmas songs…allllll of the Christmas songs!

Belatedly linking up with Anne and Catherine

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Posted in life

Christmas Mini Bucket List

Recently my blogger friend Leslie reached out to a few of us to see if we were interested in creating mini bucket lists for Christmas and having a linkup. Since I didn’t update my Fall bucket list in November and have forgotten what was on it, I decided this would be a good chance to start fresh with bucket lists! I’m a few days behind on posting this, but better late than never, right?

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(I also stole a couple of these from Leslie. No shame in my thievery game…).

Let’s look at the items, shall we?

1. Buy a new ornament – every year since Will and I were first dating, we have bought a new ornament for our Christmas tree. One year we bought it on Halloween! We’re behind on getting our annual ornament this year, so we need to get to it!

2. Christmas lights scavenger hunt – This is one of the ones I stole, but it’s such a great idea! I’ve seen a few of these around my neighborhood!

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3. Have a Christmas party – Totally cheating on this one since we’re having our Happy Holigames : Part Deux this weekend! I’ll mark this one off the list at least!

4. Learn to make a different Christmas treat – I make reindeer belly buttons every year, and they’re delicious, but I need to add another treat to my annual recipes!

5. Watch Elf – I haven’t seen this in so long! I know it’s one of my mom’s favorite movies (ha!), so I’m going to invite her to watch it with me… 😉

Want to join in? Leave your Christmas mini bucket list items in the comments or join the linkup by clicking the blue button below. Be sure to check out the other blogs and see what they have planned!

Posted in life

Holiday Themed Q and A : A TBB Asks Linkup

I know it’s only December 4, but it feels like this month is flying by! Since there are only three weeks until Christmas (INSANE!), I thought it would be fun to answer some Christmas-themed questions today!

Image uploaded from iOS

1. Real or Fake Tree? Fake – I’m so scared of not watering a real one enough and having a fire start when the tree is too dry and the lights are too hot. I’ve given this a lot of thought, obviously.

2. Favorite Christmas Cookie? I don’t really discriminate against any kind of cookie!

3. Home on Christmas Morning or Travel? We’re fortunate that all of our relatives are close by so we can spend Christmas morning at home and then go to their houses later in the day!

4. Clear or Colored Lights? Colorful, although I have seen some clear ones used as accents on outside decorations and they look really good.

5. Send Christmas Cards? Every year I say I’m going to and I have the best intentions, but I don’t think I’ve sent or given out cards since I was in college!

6. Favorite Christmas Present Received? Goodness, I’m not really sure! I’ve gotten a lot of great presents throughout my life, so it’s hard to pick just one!

7. Favorite Christmas Present Given? I think the year we gave my mom tickets to see P!nk is pretty high on my list!

8. Stockings or No Stockings? Stockings! Ours are usually pretty empty, but the ones at my parents’ house are full…and just begging for me to peek into them…

9. Christmas PJ’s? Yep! My parents have given us Christmas Eve pajamas for as long as I can remember! Char also just got a couple of pairs from her Mimi and Papa, and they are so cute!

10. Favorite Christmas Carol? It would be easier for me to list the ones I don’t like rather than trying to pick a favorite. Hint – Christmas Shoes is number one on that list.

11. Favorite Holiday Tradition? I’m not sure! I’m going to post a Christmas bucket list tomorrow, so maybe I’ll have a couple of ideas for some new traditions!

12. Early Shopper or Last Minute? Last minute…that’s how I live my life…

13. Favorite Christmas Movie or Show? Charlie Brown Christmas! That makes it officially the Christmas season! And who can ignore the 24 hour Christmas Story marathon…ha!

14. Favorite Holiday Beverage? Will has been making coffee lately with peppermint hot chocolate mix added, and it is so good! It’s definitely a new favorite!

15. Cookies and Milk For Santa? Of course! And carrots or something else for the reindeer too! They deserve a little fuel after all of their hard work!

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Let me know in the comments!

Linking up with The Blended Blog.

Posted in life

Car repair basics from A to Z

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With our recent focus on becoming debt free, we decided to get rid of our two cars (and their expensive payments!) and downsize to one car with a payment that was much more affordable for us. We still needed a second vehicle, so we “borrowed” my brother’s truck – a 1999 Ford Ranger. I say borrowed because it used to be my husband’s truck, then my brother bought it, and now it’s back to us. It’s basically a community vehicle between our families!

While we’re thrilled to have the truck to drive, we understand that an 18-year-old truck with over 200,000 miles is going to have different repair and maintenance needs than a newer car with fewer miles. Since my husband and I aren’t the most handy people (sorry babe!), we need a little help when it comes to knowing what to do and how to do it. That’s where cars.com comes in!

I’m sure you’ve heard of cars.com for car shopping, but did you know they have a section on their website devoted to service and repair?

 

Cars.com has repair resources ranging from things that seem simple, like replacing windshield wipers and checking the oil to things that are more complicated, like changing transmission fluid and replacing batteries. If you’re a true novice, there’s even information about how to open the hood of your car. That’s probably the first video you’ll want to watch!

The repair resources are categorized alphabetically so you don’t have to waste time searching through a lot of unnecessary topics to find what you need. There is a ton of information also -more categories than I could fit into this screenshot!

 

 

The videos also include descriptions, tell you what kind of tools you’ll need, how long the repair should take, and how difficult it is. This information makes my nerdy self so happy!

I know that neither of us will become full-time mechanics or repair experts because of this information, but it will be nice to be able to do some basic things on our own without having to ask our parents for help or take our cars to a repair shop! Plus, I like to brag anytime I do anything remotely outside of my ordinary day-to-day tasks, so this will give me bragging rights. Win-win!

Take a look at cars.com and see what types of repair resources are available for your car. Let me know in the comments if you’re a do-it-yourself type person or prefer to leave things to the professionals.

Posted in life

Hello again…

Hi, my name is Amber, and I used to blog pretty consistently around these parts. Time for a little bit of a life update.

(No, I’m not pregnant. I don’t know if anyone is assuming that, but it seems like anytime someone takes a break, says they have news, or even buys a seasonal picture frame with one more space than the number of children their family has,* people assume there is a pregnancy).

In the spirit of transparency and disclosure, I’ve honestly just been in a huge funk lately. I think there are a lot of circumstances that have caused it, but it’s been tough to do more than the bare minimum. I would sit down to write a post and find myself wasting time online until it was way later than I intended on staying up. I was kind of just shuffling through things and not putting much effort into anything. Even my last post, which I normally love writing, took me about three days to put together because I just kept procrastinating on it and getting distracted.

Things were so bad in my brain that I didn’t even want to listen to Christmas music. If you know me, then you know things are serious when I’m not chomping at the bit to start busting out the carols on November 1.

I’m making my way back to myself though. We’re making some family changes, and they’re going to help bring down our stress levels, which will help keep me a lot more balanced. I’ve started another blog to talk about our major focus right now. If you’re interested in reading about it, click here.

I’m ready to start writing again, and that’s a huge sign that I’m feeling more like myself again. I’m also ready to bust out the Christmas music, take down the fall decor, and Elf this place up while I’m hopped up on homemade peppermint mochas.

Or, uh, whatever.

I want to thank my husband, kiddos (human and canine), parents, and the other half of my brain at work and in life for sticking with me over the last few weeks and helping to bring me back to where I need to be. I have a tendency to want to hibernate and not want any human contact when I get in these moods, so I appreciate all of you dealing with me and making me be a person…even if I was crying about moldy bread or your recap of what I said to you when I was falling asleep. I’m ready to save the tears for the important things – episodes of This Is Us and that one commercial I usually see around this time of year where the mom is a soldier and announces her arrival home from deployment by driving the toy car into her house.

I’m not ugly crying…you’re ugly crying.

So, be prepared to see more writing from me again. I hope you’ve missed me because I’ve missed all of you!

* I saw this on Facebook recently. Someone who has a toddler and just had a baby earlier this year bought a snowman picture frame with three spots and someone asked if that third spot meant there was news. No! It means that it was a cute home decor piece that she stumbled upon while shopping with her two adorable children! The mother was very gracious in her response to the woman who asked if it meant potential news. Much, much more gracious than I would probably be in that situation!