Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Date Idea #1: Picnic in the Park

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Fruttare, but all my opinions are my own. #itsallgood #pmedia  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV



Last month, I shared 10 Free or Inexpensive Summer Date Ideas that I wanted to go on with my husband this summer. Like I mentioned, we are attempting to put him through college debt free, so I am all about the budget friendly dates. This last month it has been a rarity that we have both been in town the same weekends, much less have a day off together. Last Saturday was one of those rare days though that we were able to spend some quality time together, so we decided to treat ourselves to one of those dates. We decided to take a picnic in the park along the river in Boise.



 When we first started dating, we spent a lot of time having picnics and just laying in the grass at local parks on a blanket under a tree talking about our dreams and future plans. It seems like with all the busyness that life brings, we haven’t had much of a chance to just sit and enjoy each other’s company, so this picnic was more than needed.


 When planning a picnic, you want to be sure you have the essentials right? A blanket, a picnic basket, finger foods, napics, etc. But one thing you may not know about me is an essential picnic item for me is desert. I eat some type of desert every single night-and lately I’ve been trying to find healthier options that still satisfy my sweet tooth. We decided on these Fruttare Frozen Fruit Bars because they are made from FRUIT(ie HEALTHY) and were easy to throw on some ice in the picnic basket and enjoy during the picnic. The Fruttare Frozen Fruit Bars are sold in stores nationwide, and we picked them up in Albertsons.


We had a hard time picking just one flavor because there were so many good ones: like pineapple, black cherry, and strawberry and milk.  I picked up two boxes at Albertsons grocery store, and decided on Strawberry and Milk and Black Cherry.  To follow Fruttare on Facebook and get more information about these delicious treats, click here. This date was so much fun and a really nice change from our typical dinner and a movie. I am looking forward to completing the rest of the dates on the list and sharing them with you all!



 What do you think the perfect picnic food is? Have you gone on a picnic date this summer? I'd love to hear about if so, or any other fun (inexpesnive) date ideas!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Love, Don't Love

Happy Friday! We're officially on vacation in Chicago this weekend visiting family and celebrating a friend's wedding. Today we're off to explore the city with our best friends who moved back to Illinois from Idaho last summer. Hopefully you follow me on Instagram so you can keep up with our adventures! Today calls for a little Love, and Don't Love session-things I'm loving right now, and things I'm not loving so much. Simple, really.

L O V E 

An extended weekend out of town and away from work. Such a needed break!

Being here in Chicago-we are staying with Ronnie's sister and her family, and we are loving the time we get to hang out with them. Last night we roasted marshmallows and caught fireflies, because thats what summers are for, am I right?


Getting a full day to hang out with our friends Jordan and Steph. I have said goodbye to quite a few friends in my adult life as life takes us to new places, but I still feel the sting of my dear friend Steph being so far away. I was so happy to see my friend again I could barely sit still without jumping up and down and bouncing around. Reunions with friends are just plain sweet.


Getting to hang out with (and eat chocolate) with one of my favorite blog friends, Lisa tonight!

Celebrating MARRIAGE. One of Ronnie's best friends is getting married Sunday, so this weekend is full of festivities and I am so excited to celebrate with them. I love being married and I love taking a small part in helping other couples celebrate their big day.

DON'T LOVE


I don't love being away from my animals. Is that weird? Every morning around 5:00 AM Ollie jumps on the bed to snuggle right up next to my head and I was just telling Ronnie I am going to miss that when I wake up while we're gone!

Only getting to spend a short period of time here-theres so many people we want to see and things we want to do, we could easily spend another week here and still not be ready to go home!

Rental car extra taxes and fees that sneak up on you last minute.

The fact I neglected to get an eyebrow wax before my trip.


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S P O N S O R     S P O T L I G H T



I am so excited about this spotlight because there is NOTHING easier than spotlighting a blog that is a regular read, a blogger who's posts I'd NEVER miss. I introduce you today to Always Ashten, who is not only the author of a hilarious yet genuine and insightful blog, but also someone I'd call a good friend. My days are often filled with chatting with her via text or gchat  about anything from careers and jobs to boys and love. This girl is absolutely brilliant and my only complaint is that she lives TOO FAR away from me! She is one of those bloggers who is 100% real-one that will never only show you the "pinterest perfect" parts of her life, but be open about whats on her heart, her mind and even what she's struggling with. She always makes me laugh and is a fiercely loyal friend who I am lucky enough to have 'met' through blogging.

Here are a few of my favorite posts by Ashten:

If You Don't Like The Show, Change The Channel

The Definition of Beauty

Things I Know For Sure

Get A Barf Bag Friends (Because AWWWW!)

You can find her on social media here: Blog // Instagram // Twitter  // Facebook

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Its A Good Day When ... [A Link Up]

Hello friends-today is a good day! One of my best blogging pals and I have teamed up to host this simple, yet fun link-up. What makes a day good for you? Is is sleeping in, having a great workout, or seeing friends? Whatever it is, we want to know about it. This link up is open to anyone who wants to  fill in the blanks to "Its A Good Day When.."

Grab a button, tell us what makes your days great, and then link up below. The best part of link-ups is meeting all sorts of new friends-so definitely go say hello to everyone else while you're at it! Happy Wednesday, its a good day!


Two Martinis



O N E My husband wakes me up with breakfast and coffee in bed

T W O I can wake up slowly without an alarm

T H R E E I find money in the pocket of my jeans

F O U R I win a blog giveaway (I mean, this WOULD be  really good day if it ever happened, especially if it was cold hard cash or an iPad)

F I V E I get to have a night to myself watching Gossip Girl and eating chips and salsa in bed

S I X I have plans to catch up with my girlfriends after work over a glass of wine or $5 movie

S E V E N I get to see one of my VERY BEST FRIENDS I haven’t seen for a year (I get to do that FRIDAY in Chicago!)

E I G H T My husband and I have a day off together

N I N E I leave the office and I have a long weekend ahead of me

T E N Someone tells my boss how awesome I am

E L E V E N My mom reloads my Starbucks card

T W E L V E I get flowers delivered at my office just because

T H I R T E E N Coworkers bring in treats to the office

These are just a few things that make a really great day for me, so I'd love for you to write your post so I can learn what makes YOUR day great! Thanks for playing!






Tuesday, June 24, 2014

True Life: You Should Be This Girl's Friend

Happy Tuesday! Today there is a gorgeous and sweet lady taking over the blog who I just learned has a Great Dane Mastiff mix who I am now in love with! One thing you may not know about me is I used to have a Mastiff named Diesel who I miss so very much. I have a soft spot in my heart for all mastiffs and their humans. 

Anyway, say hello to Morgan from True Life of KMK and make sure to scroll down to the bottom because she's giving away something to do with COFFEE and you all know how I feel about that!


Hi sweet beauties! I am so thankful that Brittany has allowed for me to guest blog on her awesome blog today. I blog over at The Truelife of KMK where I rant, confess, laugh (a lot), cry, and dwell on things that are on my heart. Many of the things I talk about are funny stories that have happened to me or things that happen in my everyday life.


Some of my most favorite things include reading, playing with my goofy pup Tank (he is an 8 month old Great Dane/Mastiff mix who has stolen my heart), date nights with my man Matt, and Trendy Thursdays!

Aside from those main things here are some things that I hope will help us become friends one day (I'm all about making new friends!) Here are some facts about me.

*I am a kickboxing trainer at a gym called 9round. I worked at the location in Clemson, SC while I attended school at Clemson for over a year and now am in Charlotte working at the location here with my main man Matt. I love love love to kickbox and love using this as my main way to exercise.



*I have been in a long distance relationship with Matt for 3 years now and am FINALLY (like as in a week ago) no longer in a long distance but a "short distance" relationship in which we are about 25 minutes away from each other and I couldn't be happier. BUT I learned so much about myself during that time away from Matt and I am thankful for those years together apart.


*I'm learning how to be a dog mommy right now and some days are hard and some days are easy but that's what learning is all about :) He's the cutest dog out there (sorry but I just have to say this because it's true) and is literally the goofiest thing ever. 

A day in the life...

*I started blogging a little over a year ago but have become much more in love with blogging over the past few months.
*The name of my blog came about because one time I went to the hair dresser and accidentally put on someone else's shirt (because I thought it was like an undershirt to my hair robe thing) and then panicked and threw it in this laundry bin because I didn't know what else to do... and the lady ended up leaving in a hair salon robe... Not my proudest moment.
*I love love love to be organized and have everything in a certain place. I write down every little thing and could make lists for a living.
*Awkward things happen to me on a regular basis and I've learned to accept this and go about my life with joy and laughter from these moments instead of misery.
*I could drink coffee 24/7 and eat Paleo food and be happy the rest of my life.


IN FACT.

I love coffee so much that I'm giving away some to YOU awesome readers to show a little bit of my love for Brittany and for you beautiful people!
My friend Lindsie owns the Etsy shop EverydaySummit in which she hand makes THE CUTEST coffee mugs and I want YOU to have a chance to win one!

Here are some of my favorites:

So enter.
Show some love to Brittany.
Show some love to my girl Lindsie.
And let's become friends :)


 photo kmk-sig_zpsef094917.jpg



Monday, June 23, 2014

Lemon Berry Triple Layer Cake


Fourth of July is around the corner, and that means BBQ's and parties, fireworks and red white and blue decor, snacks and outfits! If you have a party to go to and aren't sure what to bring, I have the perfect desert idea. This weekend I made one of the easiest (and festive) deserts ever that tasted amazing and fresh for summer. I made a Lemon Berry Triple Layer cake with raspberries, strawberries and blueberries and it was divine. I was hoping to bring it to work today, but it didn't last long in our fridge because it was just too good.






I paired this delicious desert with refreshing and fruit Red Wine Sangria. I used CK Mondavi Scarlet Five red wine in the sangria because it  is the perfect 4th of July wine. Not only is it the only wine in this price point to be 100% American made & grown, but a percentage of sales goes to supporting veterans. A percentage of each bottle sold between May - August is donated to Intrepid Fallen Heroes (up to $50,000). Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) is an organization that supports the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. I have a special place in my heart for men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedom. My dad is a veteran and I am still so proud of him for the way he bravely layed his life on the line for the country he loves.



You also cannot beat the price of this wine. I am all about an affordable bottle of wine that doesn't sacrifice flavor, and all of the CK Mondavi wine's I've sampled have delicious. CK Mondavi is the only American made/grown wine in the “supermarket wine under $10” category. Because the Rasmussen house is on a strict budget now that we're putting my husband through school, wine that is under $10 and still tastes amazing is the only kind of wine I keep in the house. 



So if you're heading to a Fourth of July BBQ this weekend, make sure to you don't show up empty handed! This delicious desert paired with a bottle of CK Mondavi Wine or the fruity sangria you mix up will definitely impress your host and make you the most popular person at the party! The recipes are both below!




Lemon Berry Triple Layer Cake

Cake Ingredients:
6 tablespoons butter-softened
 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda pinch salt
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

 Cream Ingredients:
-2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
Juice of about 1/4 lemon

3-4 cups blueberries, strawberries and raspberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl
Add eggs, one at a time, along with the yogurt and milk
Pour in dry ingredients and continue to mix until combined well
Pour into a small cookie sheet (about a half sheet) and smooth into one flat layer
Cook at 350 for about 8-10 minutes
Set aside and cool for about 20-30 minutes

While the cake is cooling, mix whipped cream, vanilla and powdered sugar until thick and the consistency of whipped cream. (About 3-4 minutes)
Add in lemon zest and squeeze a 1/4 lemon juice into cream
Mix well

Then, just cut your cake into four equal rectangles
Put the first rectangle on a plate, add a layer of cream plus berries, then add the next layer of cake, add cream and berries, and repeat. 
I made my cake with three layers but you can add a fourth if you want

Notes:

I recommend fresh berries, I used frozen raspberries because my grocery store was out of fresh ones and I didn't love the texture of them once thawed, but they still tasted great! 

I also don't know the exact amount of fruit I used, I just bought two cartons of strawberries and a large carton of blueberries plus the frozen bag of raspberries.

Fruity Red Wine Sangria

 1 Bottle of CK Mondavi Scarlet Five Wine
2 Cups of Sprite
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1 Lemon Cut into Wedges
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 Orange Cut into Wedges
2 Cups of Sliced Strawberries/Blackberries/Rasberries -You can make this with any of the fruit, its all good! I like to do some of each

Mix all the ingredients together, and let sit in the fridge for a few hours
When its party time, add ice to the mixture for serving and thats it!

Note:
You can also add brandy and/or triple sec, but I didn't have any on hand and this still tasted delicious!

Tell me: What is your go to item to bring to a 4th of July party? 



I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Day In the Life Link Up

So you want to know what I do on a typical day, huh? Well, here you go! Yesterday you got to learn more about what I do at work, but here's another glimpse into a typical day in the life of me. I am so excited to be hosting this linkup with my friend Rachel and hope you are going to link up as well!


My day always starts with coffee and I try really hard to be disciplined and avoid going to Starbucks too often in order to sac money. This particular day though, it was pouring rain and I was extra tired and grumpy, so Starbucks was necessary. Please note something very important in this picture: My gas light is on. This is seriously way, way too common for me. I live life on the edge and always seem to be playing the game of how long I can drive on my gas light before I run out of gas. Which has happened more times than I care to admit.


You saw this picture yesterday, but this is my desk at work. I work from 7 am- 4 pm and my day was fairly routine, I worked on some job announcements, some interview questions, helped a hiring manager with an exam, and went to another state agency and did a file review on an applicant. 



Please hold your judgement but I went to Starbucks again at lunch. I am addicted, okay? I ordered just a brewed coffee so no four dollar coffee for me. My friend Shal works in my office so I always have the best breaks when we get to hang out and chat. 


PUMPED to go for a run after work. I usually try and run three or four times a week, but I took a mini-running break after my half marathon so it was nice to get outdoors and feel the wind in my hair and the sun on my face again.


This is where I ran-I think Boise has the BEST running trails, and I was craving a hard run so I headed to our foothills. It was a really challenging run, but I always am reminded that my life is really great during a run. Sometimes getting out the door is the hardest part of running, but I always feel amazing when I am done. 


My husband is the cook in our family, and a really great one at that! I am so glad he's always cooking healthy food, it makes making good eating decisions so much easier. He made grilled chicken on the BBQ and broccoli but I really could've gone for a greasy, cheesy pizza. But, swimsuit season is officially upon us so I am glad I wasn't in charge of dinner. 


He also prepped some lunches for us for the rest of the week, totally saving me because I never have a minute to spare in the mornings for things like packing lunches and making breakfasts. In fact, when he was out of town, I was late to work because I didn't realize how much time doing all that stuff plus feeding the dogs took!

So there's a pretty typical day in my life-add in some blogging in the evenings and usually a big bowl of ice cream at night, and you have my usual routine down. Tonight there will be no ice-cream because I finished it last night and forgot to stop for more. Excuse me while I go cry. Rachel and I do have a special gift for you at the bottom of the post, and would also LOVE for you to linkup with us so we can get to know you just a little more! :)


Your Hosts

Brittany @ Happy Is A Choice   ||   Rachel @ Rachel Rewritten

Link up Rules:

1. Follow Your Hosts
2. Write your "Day In The Life Post"
3. Add your link
4. Go check out what a day in the life of the other participants looks like 
5. FIND NEW BESTIES!




Rachel and I have also teamed up to give away an amazing prize pack that I wish I could just win and keep for myself! Here are a few of our most favorite things of the summer that could be yours! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter! Good luck!


summer giveaway




 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My 9-5


One of my favorite things to learn about people is what they do for a living. It fascinates me, actually. I like to know more than just their title though.I want to know what they DO. How they spend their time. What a typical day looks like. What kind of environment do they work in? How they landed in that job, and where they want to be in the next year or five years. Thats what's interesting to me.

So, when I discoverd this brilliant #9to5TotatlSocial link-up hosted by Venus Trapped In Mars and Helene In Between, I immediately wrote it in my planner so I didn't forget!

I work in Human Resources and specifically am a Recruiter. I am the only recruiter at my organization. What does a Recruiter actually do you wonder? I post job announcements, screen resumes/applications, field phone calls and e-mails from job candidates all day long, write interview questions, schedule interviews, facilitate and participate in interview panels, conduct reference verifications and background checks, and coordinat offer packages for candidates. I'm exhausted just typing all that out!

Really though, I spend most of my day in my cubicle in the corner of the office. I work 7 am to 4pm (not 9-5), and also get a significant amount of comp time for extra hours worked which is a true GIFT. I work for a large organization and only know about 10% of the people in my building. My favorite part of the job is that I work with a really great group of people, and my boss is really great and super flexible. I've worked for some not so great bosses and that will make you appreciate a good one. I spend my days mostly drafting up job announcements/exams, answering e-mails and participating in interview panels.

I have a good friend who works in another department and we usually take a couple of breaks together outside on the picnic benches. I also often go for a run at lunch along the river behind my office or go to the gym across the street. But my favorite thing to do is go sit at Starbucks and read or chat.  I think I have a really great job that only sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out. Can't wait to hear what the rest of you do for work, and I'll try not to be too jealous of you people that get to work from home in your pjs!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Few Thoughts On Sponsored Posts




I've been doing some thinking lately about this whole blogging thing, and how my feelings about it can change on an hourly basis. Lets all be honest: It can be a LOT of work, am I right? But at the end of the day, I will forever love this space and the people I've met and the relationships that have been formed because of it. The blogging friendships that have grown through this space and all of your spaces make showing up for blog class worth it, day in and day out. Truth is, I'd be a little sad if I wasn't here, sharing my life with all my "online friends" and catching glimpses of your life as well.

Today, I want to chat. I want you to feel free to share your opinions, your thoughts and beliefs and tell me what you think. I've been thinking about what sometimes is the elephant in the room: Sponsored Posts. There are undoubtedly a lot of opinions about sponsored posts, so tell me, what do you think about them?

If I had to guess, I would bet that many of you have spent significant money and time investing in your blog. I know I have. This hobby of mine has turned into so much more than just a place to word vomit all my thoughts. And I am in the camp that if you can make a little bit of money doing what you love, then why not?

Here are some guidelines I use when working with brands and participating in campaigns:

1. I try and do a maximum of one sponsored post a week-my goal is to have no more than 20% of my blog be sponsored content. I know that as a reader, we all want fresh, original content on the blogs we love so I try very hard to deliver that.

2. I ask myself "Would I really use/buy this product?" If the answer is no, then I am not going to promote it on my blog. I want to be authentic and real, and I want you to know if I tell you something is great, I REALLY think that something is great. I think as bloggers, its easy to start seeing dollar signs and not step back and evaluate whether a product/service is a good fit for our blog.

3. I try and make every sponsored post have a fresh, original and relevant tie in to my life and blog. I definitely evaluate this when I consider doing a paid opportunity on my blog: Does this even make sense for my blog? For instance, I probably won't be reviewing any baby toys or products designed for mommy bloggers considering I'm not a mom! I think its totally do able to still write fresh, original content while promoting a certain brand or product, you just have to be creative!

What do you think? Do you have any rules or guidelines you follow when you work with brands? As a reader, do you hate, love or tolerate sponsored posts? What makes them more bearable for you?


Monday, June 16, 2014

A Beautiful Weekend

Well, the good news is I survived dirt biking with my little brother this weekend. The not so great news is I crashed the bike twice and am sort of hobbling around, aching all over. My brother is almost 16 and lives with my Dad in Alabama, but every summer he comes up to spend some time in a town north of Boise, McCall Idaho. McCall is a little tourist town nestled in the mountains of Idaho and its such a fun place to visit. So, visit I did.


I left my house bright and early, decked out in flannel and stopped for Starbucks, because if you know me its that I need exactly two things on road trips: coffee in the morning and diet coke a few hours in. Luckily, McCall is only a two hour drive so I jammed out to some music, listened to a Perry Noble Sermon and before I know it, we were in McCall and I was eating the most ginormous cinnamon roll I've ever seen. 


I was basically a pro at the whole dirt bike riding thing, as long as I didn't have to stop or turn. HA! I crashed pretty good within the first ten minutes and am sure glad I was wearing that attractive helmet or else I may have been feeling like Humpty Dumpty who fell off the wall. Jacob took be to a gorgeous trail by the river and showed me some tricks that made my heart drop just sure he was going to end up with some broken bones. One thing about me you may not know: I do not do so well in a crisis. Anyone who gets injured around me probably would end up comforting me while I break down into a full fledged panic attack. Luckily, no bones were broken on this trip.


I had such a fun time hanging with my little brother. The last time I saw him was at my wedding and I feel like that was in fleeting moments because the weekend was insanely crazy. We got to spend the entire day together, catching up, laughing, and exploring. I think my brother is the coolest. We also went to get milkshakes, and his ex-girlfriend happened to work at the joint and I'm sure she thought I was his (much older) girlfriend, which my brother thought was cool. 

Jacob was very patient with me as I made him snap 1000 photos of all of our activities. In my defense, he did ask me if I'd write a blog about him someday, so he basically asked for it. He learned that not only are pictures necessary, 10 retakes of the same picture is also necessary.


I also made a new, four legged, very large friend named Izzy. We were having a moment here. 





I headed back home Saturday after Jacob went to work and tried not to cry when I told that little bugger goodbye. I don't know when he became so, not little. I was very happy that I made the decision to pay a student from my youth group to clean my house though because I came home to a sparkling clean home that I didn't have to spend four hours slaving over. If only I could afford to make that a weekly occurrence. 

So, that was my favorite part of the weekend. Don't forget about the Day in the Life Linkup happening THIS Thursday! Take pictures throughout your day, and come link up and let us have a little look in a typical day for you. I am so excited to get to know everyone more!