Friday Favorites

Happy Friday to my lovely readers! I hope you have all had a wonderful week. I had a bit of a rough one, but luckily things started looking up yesterday. Steve and I have had our tickets booked for Europe for a few months now, and last night we planned out our trip! I am so excited! Plus tonight I am going to a local brewery with my friends and having a slumber party at my best friend’s house because [drum roll please] I am going to be a trainer at SkyZone.

SkyZone is that trampoline workout I’ve been doing for about 2 years now, and a few weeks ago my friend and I were asked if we would like to be trainers. [free classes and a little cash for working out / aka doing something I’m already doing… DONE and DONE!] This weekend we will be teaching all of the classes so needless to say I will be sore and in desperate need of a glass of wine after! But I’m excited and will be crossing my fingers that things go well until I’ve finished teaching my first class.

Anyways, I am looking forward to the weekend and to help celebrate / get me out of my crappy work funk I present the quotes I’ve been loving on recently! Happy weekend!! 🙂

Favorite Love Saying [because valentines day is about 2-ish weeks away]


Favorite Workout Motivation [because why else do you workout?]


Favorite Friendship Quote [because i get to spend this weekend with a bunch of my crazy friends]


Favorite Relationship Saying [because celebrating differences is a fun thing]


Favorite Clothing Quote [because i’m not shopping for a while in order to save for europe / i have about 1,000 striped shirts]



This is an Automatic Reply:: I am Out of the Office…Until Tomorrow


This year I made a New Year’s resolution to not use my phone in bed. I was noticing that Steve and I would wake up and immediately check our phones. I would look at e-mail and Instagram, and Steve would play Clash of Clans. This would go on for about 10-15 min and then we would get up. Steve and I have enough going on where quality time isn’t always easy to come by. Between house projects, his sporting events, and spending time with friends and family we don’t always have quality alone time. Then I realized that during the time we actually were alone, we were on our phones instead of communicating. After realizing this, I decided my resolution would be “no phones in bed” and it’s been wonderful! We actually chat in the morning and I feel even closer to him.

Now that I was paying attention to my phone usage, something else occurred to me. I was spending the evenings we had together checking my work e-mail to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. If an e-mail came in I responded to it without even thinking about it, even if it wasn’t important. Finally last week I realized that between checking my e-mail right when I woke up, during breakfast, while I worked out, during the work day, while I was making dinner, right after dinner, while I’m relaxing with a glass of wine, and before I went to sleep, I was working 100% of my waking hours. I was a slave to the little ding I get when I receive an e-mail.

As soon as I would hear that ding I would be on my phone checking it because I didn’t want to miss anything and 99% of the time it was nothing urgent. But even then I was responding right away because I didn’t want my clients thinking I wasn’t able to help them. Finally after all this realizing and thinking I came to a decision. I am not checking my work e-mail unless it’s during work hours.

This was a promise I made when I first started working from home because it’s so easy to blur the lines between work and home life, and having access to e-mail and phone calls the entire time was blurring the lines even further. I didn’t want to do it anymore.

And you know what I’ve found? I love it! I am more productive during the day, I can fully relax during my non-work hours, and I am less stressed about responding to e-mails as soon as they come in. The message is always waiting for me in the morning and my immediate response wasn’t needed. It is truly a game changer. I don’t know why I strayed away from this idea in the first place, but I can promise that I will try my hardest to maintain the home/work boundaries.


What do you guys think? Is this idea crazy in this day and age? Should I let go of my pre-historic ideas and give into the idea that work will follow me everywhere or is this something you guys are going to try/already abide by? Let me know in the comment section below!

Mexican Musings

excited about heading to Mexico
worried about nothing!
reading The Nightengale by Kristen Hannah
creating a list of things to bring with on vacation
loving a new type of Christmas celebration
laughing about a silly Harry Potter tweet
christmas hp
wondering how early is too early to have a beer in Mexico
craving tacos and a corona
listening to Give Me A Try
watching Jessica Jones
thankful for a family I love spending time with
looking forward to a much-needed mani/pedi with my mom and sister

How To Black Friday Shop When You Don’t Need to Buy Anything


Now I know what you’re thinking… who doesn’t need to shop on Black Friday?? Most people haven’t even thought about Christmas until that day and wind up spending their Black Friday pushing people out-of-the-way to get the best deals on the newest toys of the season. Well let’s just say this is either a post for people who already shopped, don’t exchange presents, or really just love to shop…

This Christmas is a little different for my family in that we aren’t exchanging Christmas presents. This year the entire family [25 cousins, 12 aunts and uncles & 2 grandparents] is heading to Mexico for about a week and because of this huge trip we all decided to skip giving each other gifts.

Since I don’t have to buy for my family, and I’m already done with gifts for my friends, I don’t need to shop Black Friday sales. That being said, I still plan on going Black Friday shopping! This is a concept my dad and husband can’t seem to grasp. Why would you go Black Friday shopping when you don’t need to buy anything? Good question! Let me tell you why!

  1. Exercise. You get to walk off all the turkey and stuffing you ate the day before. You spend the entire day walking around several malls many times over.
  2. Deals for yourself. Who doesn’t love the thrill you get when you see a new sweater that you obviously “must have” and it’s 1,000% off! They are literally giving them away!
  3. Spending time with your family. I guess this one may not apply to everyone, but for me I spend every Black Friday shopping with my sister, mom, and aunt. We explore all the deals, talk each other into buying the sweater that’s 10,000% off, and eat lunch together. It’s an amazing day that I look forward to every year.
  4. Create memories & traditions. Ever since I can remember, the girls in my family spend Black Friday shopping, while the boys play football. When my grandma was still alive she would Black Friday shop with us and those are some of the fondest memories I have with her. My sister and I have so many inside jokes from our experiences during Black Friday shopping, and now she will bring her daughter with! Who doesn’t love creating memories and holiday traditions with their family?!
  5. Coffee. My family gets an early start on shopping and I’m fairly certain that no other coffee tastes as good as the coffee you’re drinking at 6 a.m.

So there you have it. Ready made reasons to wake up early, grab a coffee and your family and hit the malls [even if you don’t have to buy anything]!  What about you? Have you started shopping yet? Do you spend Black Friday pushing people out-of-the-way for the new necklace that’s 100,000% off or relaxing at home? Do you think Black Friday is a waste?? Sound off in the comments below!

Oh yea, and Happy [almost] Thanksgiving 😉

“I Do It Myself”, The Police Were Called, & Other Musings

My niece is almost a year old and it has been awesome watching her grow! She is so close to walking it’s crazy! Plus she is starting to be so independent. She wants to walk by herself, feed herself, grab her toys by herself and much more!



Steve and I had a blast celebrating Halloween. Steve went as Bret Michaels and I was the winner of season 1 of the show Rock of Love. We went to his friend’s house to start the evening and wound up back at our neighbors.

Turns out that while we were gone the people across the street had what they thought would be a low-key party for their 17 year old daughter. As you can guess, the plan didn’t go the way they anticipated. Over 120 kids showed up [some / most rather intoxicated] and eventually the cops made an appearance. Now, we weren’t there for the ordeal but word on the street is that is was a pretty crazy sight to see!

Plus, remember that living room that was a work in progress? Well it’s finished!! New rug and all! We went with the blue rug that I posted about before. It feels even better than it looks!


All that’s left is to finish painting our kitchen cabinets and the big projects we knew we wanted to do when we bought the house will be done!! Wahoo! (ignore the fact that it’s been 2 years).

Finally, Steve and I are coming up on our 1 year anniversary and decided to celebrate by driving to a town a few hours north of here for a few days to celebrate. I’m so excited to relax and do nothing for a few days!! But seeing as it’s a 5 hour drive, I wanted to ask you lovely readers… What song is a MUST on your road trip playlist? I’d love any suggestions you have for me!

Right now I’d say my must song would be “Give Me A Try” by The Wombats. Take a listen and let me know what you think in the comment section below!! Please and thank you 🙂

How To Make Your House A Haven

With so many things happening at your house at any given time, it can be hard to find a place in your house to truly relax. Between the need to clean, meal prep, house projects and more, it’s easy to turn your home from a relaxing space to one filled with constant work and projects.

I have two places I can relax in my home and I make the most use out of those spaces. My spaces are the kitchen and the living room. I know a lot of people who try to make their bedroom the most comfortable place in their home, but for me I  don’t like to spend a lot of time in the bedroom because I would wind up falling asleep. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for having a good mattress, nice smelling candles and a fluffy blanket, but I don’t put things in there that make me want to stay in there for extended periods of time. No, my relaxing space is my living room and kitchen.

Only recently has my kitchen become my space for relaxation. I have started making my own bread and holy cow does that smell good as it’s cooking!


I think of cooking as a great way to relax at the end of the day with some great tunes or an audio book, and maybe a glass of wine. The only thing not relaxing about it is cleaning up afterwords. That’s what husbands are for, right? 😉

I also make sure that my kitchen stays my happy place by unloading the dishwasher first thing in the morning, washing all the dishes before I go to bed, and always having coffee or wine on hand.

My second relaxing space is my living room. If you follow me on Snapchat [ hoolination ] or on Instagram [shapowell] you will see an overwhelming number of photos taken there. That’s because it’s my space to relax.  We just refinished the wood floors that were under the carpet and it looks amazing!


Then I add in my coffee table that has [fake] flowers on it, fun magazines and a seasonal scented candle to create a fun thing for me to look at. I painted the trim in the house and it makes the space look so much more open! [don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the door, it’s being done with a spray gun when we do the kitchen in a few weeks]

fall flowers

I finish it off with a fuzzy blanket and foot massager. The only thing that could make this space better for me is a rug, but after you get your floors refinished you aren’t supposed to put rugs down for 30 days. Luckily this gives me time to look at rugs I love to make this space perfect. These are my current inspirations:

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Now if you’ll excuse me, all this talk of relaxing has me craving a night on the couch, so if you need me that’s where I’ll be!


What about you lovely readers? Which room/space in your house is your space where you relax and forget about all the other things you have in your life? How do you make it relaxing?

Typical White Girl Post + Some Home Improvement Musings

Yes, it’s true the weather is getting cooler and in typical white girl fashion I am beyond thrilled about all the fall clothes that I can wear very soon! I recently bought a staple piece that I believe every girl should own.. a military green jacket!

Seriously, what doesn’t it go with? Not only can you wear it with basics (black, white, grey, navy t-shirts) but also flannel, neon yellows, pinks, corals… etc. Plus you can make it a little girly by adding a lace top, or make it a little edgier with some leather.

endless possibilities!!!!


I got mine at Target: Olive Green Military Jacket [and I promise it looks much better in person than the photo on the website].

Also, Steve and I are getting our floors refinished and trying to figure out which company we’d like to go with. We’ve had a few people out to give us bids and they all came in around the same price so we [obviously] had to decide who we like most based on personality. What did I learn? The more awkward and uncomfortable you are, the more Steve and I like you.


I mean… how else do you decide?

What about you guys? Any staple pieces you will be wearing this fall?

Friday Favorites

Favorite Friday [weekend] motto

Favorite “I’ve had a rough week, thank you for loving me” motto

Favorite Recent Memory

Favorite Recent Purchase


Favorite Song 

What about you lovely readers? How was your week and what are you looking forward to for the weekend?

Life According To My Camera

This last week has been incredibly fun. Steve and I went shopping last week and I got these bright color shorts. It was only after I was getting ready to go on a run that I realized they matched my shoes. [at least i know i’m consistent]


It’s been absolutely beautiful here recently, so I’ve been trying to spend as much time outside as possible. I even turned my backyard into an oasis of sorts.

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In my free time I’ve been trying to bring out my creative side by drawing. They are nowhere near great, but since I’ve never drawn before, I’m happy with them.


Finally, one of my best friends is moving to Arizona next week so a few of us decided to meet up for a bar hop. Unfortunately, as we were on our way Steve’s car overheated so we had to sit in a parking ramp for about 30 min while the car cooled off.

Ironically, with the group of friends I was going to meet up with, we used to have a friend who never showed up to anything because she had “car trouble”. It was either that she was changing her oil, rotating her tires, or some other silly excuse (I mean how many times a week do you need to “change your oil”?) So naturally as I texted my friends says Steve’s car was having problems they laughed at me and told me they were also changing their oil. It was only after I snapped this photo to prove what we were doing that they believed me.


But after the car cooled down and we grabbed my car, I made it to the bar hop and had a marvelous time!





What about you lovely readers? What does your camera say you’ve been up to recently?

Who Doesn’t Love A Good Mystery?

Alright, as I’ve said before I am loving listening to podcasts while going for walks. I’ve talked about my love of Stuff You Missed In History Class, but I recently found another podcast that you might like!

The podcast is called Mystery Show and Starlee is so fun to listen to. She brings back the childhood dreams of solving mysteries. Plus, for all you ladies, Jake Gyllenhaal even makes an appearance in episode 5.


I highly suggest listening to this!

What podcasts (if any) are you guys listening to?