10 Things I’m loving right now

This week marks the official first week of fall. Yay! Even though it has still been in the 90’s the past week, the first day of Fall in Texas brings a glimmer of hope cooler temps are on the way.  I was initially going to title this “Fall Favorites” but the things I love about Fall are probably the same things everyone else loves and I’m sure more eloquent things have been said by others about it.

So instead of Fall favorites, I decided to share 10 things I am loving right now. Would love to know somethings you are currently loving, so maybe I can love them too!

Here is my list.

1. Every Dollar App

img_7984Before Jeff and I got married we knew how we handled our money was going to be a large part of our marriage. We were upfront with each other about the debts & expenses we both had. For the first few months of marriage we were keeping track of everything on pen and paper and saving receipts to determine expenditures in different categories. This worked to a certain extent but we found ourselves getting frustrated at how much we were spending in certain areas. Not that we were living frivolously, but as you probably well know, money has a way of finding a way out of your bank account if you are not careful. All of those little trips to the store for “one thing” and those “small” Amazon purchases add up quickly.

In our efforts to get more organized and “on the same page” if you will in this area, I went to Pinterest and searched for budgeting tips. I came across reviews for the Every Dollar app, read a few different blogs on it. Since it is free, figured we would give it a shot. September is our first month to use it, but so far I have noticed a change in my spending habits. Until you start keeping track and giving every single dollar you earn and spend a name, you don’t realize just how much you are spending.

Aside from my personal story, just to give you a little bit of info on it, every dollar application/website is a budget tracking program by Dave Ramsey. The goal is to budget every single dollar you bring in each month. It comes with preset fields for income and expenses, which you can edit to your liking. It also puts all of your expenditures in a pie chart with percentages spent on each category, so you can have a nice visual of it. You can also enter the amount you have in savings and keep track of where you are at in his “baby steps” program. Even if you are not a Dave Ramsey fan, it is a great way to keep track of your income and expenses.

We created one account and my husband and I can log into it from any device or computer. I would recommend when you initially set up your budget, to do it from a computer, not that it can’t be done from a phone, but it is easier on an actual computer.

It is free on the iTunes and android app stores. If you would like a more advanced option which directly links with your bank account, you can purchase, Every Dollar Plus, for $9.99 month subscription fee. Happy Budgeting!

You can read a more detailed review on this blog.

Here is the Every Dollar Website.

2. Dave Brubeck Pandora Station

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I realize Dave Brubeck has been around for ages. And I feel like everyone probably has their “go-to” Pandora station depending on what mood they are in.  Right now Dave Brubeck is my go to decompress/chill station. I listen to it sometimes in the mornings while making breakfast and helping my daughter get ready for school.  However the main time I listen to it is while having to catch up on charting at work and I need to concentrate on what I am writing, yet need a distraction at the same time. Some of my other favorite Pandora stations include– Kirk Franklin (my go to Gospel station), Hezekiah Walker, Shara McKee, Mark Condon, Israel Houghton, and Cal Tjader (Latin Jazz).

What are some of your favorite Pandora stations?

3. Winco Grocery Store 

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From Winco Instagram page

 

We discovered Winco grocery store a few months ago.  Winco has been in the DFW metroplex for several years, but I sadly never made it out to one until recently. I thought it would be more like an Aldi grocery store, and I personally am not a fan of Aldi, so I did not have much interest in going. I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I really like it!  You just can’t beat their prices. Even though there isn’t one conveniently located in near proximity to where we live, we try to go there when we get a chance.

I have been impressed with the quality of the produce and the products they offer. The store is always very clean and the employees are all super nice and helpful. I have yet to have a bad experience. The more we go the more I find myself wanting to shop there.

They have items you would find at other stores, not some weird knock off brand you are scared to buy because it might be horrid. You can also buy in bulk, everything from dog food to almond flour.You do have to bag your own groceries, but they do provide bags.

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They even have an awesome selection of Mexican cookies! So many childhood memories on this aisle. #Marias

 

4. Plantains

 

I am currently infatuated with plantains. I have always liked plantains. I love Trader Joe’s plantain chips. But I always left it in the category of food I would never be able to cook. I recently discovered a recipe by watching someone else, @realfoodwithdana make it on her Instagram stories, and I thought…Hey! I can do that! So I tried the recipe and I loved it. It is super simple and it is a nice addition to any meal. Great with eggs in the morning or with your salad at lunch or a side dish at dinner or just by themselves.

Here is the recipe I used the first time I made plantains.

5. Dutch French Braids

I feel like I am late to the party on this one. My daughter has always been able to do a Dutch French Braid and I love how they look. Even though I have been doing my own French braids since I was 9, every time I would try to do a Dutch Braid, my fingers would get all twisted and the hair out-of-place. So I went to YouTube, as you do when you want to learn new things, and I discovered a few channels. Watching the Twist Me Pretty YouTube channel really helped me to take it down to an elementary level and I just sat down and tried until I got it. I’m still in the beginner stages of experimenting with this, but have been practicing.

Here are a few You Tube channels to check out –

Twist Me Pretty Youtube Channel

Barefoot Blonde Youtube channel

6. Dry Shampoo 

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Another item I feel like a late comer on. I just discovered dry shampoo a few months ago and am still in the infancy stages of figuring out all of the things it can be used for. So far I like to use it when on day 2 or 3 of unwashed hair. It gives my hair a great lift and smells fabulous. I used the Batiste brand.

The Freckled Fox website is where I have gleaned some of my dry shampoo knowledge from,  she has a lot of great hair-do’s & tutorials for long hair and also hair product reviews. I have included a few links below.

 

You Tube video which inspired my dry shampoo purchase.

Great hair do’s and review of hair products.

7. Dr. Pimple Popper 

Ok I might lose a few people on this one, but I find watching popping of blackheads and extractions to be so relaxing. Yes you can tell me I’m weird (my brother already has plenty of times) but until you actually watch a few, don’t knock me on this one. When I find myself not being able to relax at night or my mind going in 1000 different directions, watching this helps me to just completely relax.  Here is a good YouTube video of black head extractions.

8. Perfumes/ Scents I am currently loving

La vie est belle by Lancome You can read more about it here.

Before I got married a good friend of mine took me out to eat to celebrate my engagement. Not to sound weird, but she smelled really good! Naturally I asked what perfume she had on and she told me she was wearing La vie est belle. I immediately knew this is the fragrance I wanted to wear the day I got married, so I went to Ulta, purchased it, wore it on my wedding day and I still wear it! I love it. You can find it at Ulta, Sephora, or any major department store that sells perfume. Every time I wear it I get quite a few compliments and the scent sticks with you, it stays all day and night. I even got my mom hooked on it. Just trust me on this one.

Pretty as a Peach from Bath and Body Works Here is the link to it on their website.

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This is my recent Bath and Body work scent I have really taken to. It is light and not too overpowering. This and A Thousand Wishes are probably my two favorite scents from them right now.

9. Pentecostals of Alexandria  (POA) Archived services

I highly recommend watching the archive services from POA, especially from the summer months with Rev. Tisdale. July 17,2016 and August 7, 2016 are great services to start out with. Phenomenal life changing preaching.

You can visit their website here and click on “Archive Services” under the tab “Watch and Listen”

10. Early morning runs 

I have no links for this, but recently I have been trying to push myself to go out for a run at least 2 days a week early in the morning before the sun rises. Watching the sun rise during my run is so refreshing. I use it as a time to pray, worship, think and just enjoy alone time. Then you feel so accomplished and ready to start your day. I find I usually get more done the days I run in the morning then the days I don’t.


 

***And a bonus,  here is one song I am loving this week. I love the words. A great uplifting song, reminding us ALL things are working for our good!

Intentional by Travis Greene

Happy Fall everyone!

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