Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Obsession!

I'm already obsessed! I LOVE Blue Apron!! I know, I know I've only cooked one meal, but I did it! It was easy and the food was REALLY GOOD.
I could not wait to get home and open up our first order. The box wasn't too big or too heavy and everything was packaged perfectly.
The first recipe I made was chicken meatballs with jasmine rice and a brussels sprout and apple side salad.

The overall prep time wasn't so bad - I just need to work on my chopping skills! Practice makes perfect!
Oh I'm so happy and proud of the little meal I made! This cooking New Year's Resolution is going to be a cinch with the help of my friends at Blue Apron! haha
Ryan really enjoyed it too. He brought up a good point - many of the recipes we'll receive are meals we would never think of making. We love trying new things!

Tonight for our New Year's Eve dinner I'm making rib eye steak with mushroom and potato hash. Yum!

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My 2016 New Year's Resolutions!

Every year I make resolutions. Some I'm good at keeping. Others don't last a month. This year's list is short and sweet - making it more manageable and obtainable.

Soooo without further a do. Here are my 2016 Resolutions!
  • Rid our apartment of things that we haven't used in over a year.
    • Clothes, shoes, electronics, papers - I will go through everything!!
  •  Read! 
    • This year's goal is to read 25 books (2015 I read 23 books) I use Goodreads to track what books I have read and what books I want to read! Check it out!
  • Travel to new places
    • If all goes according to plan, we will be going on our honeymoon in October 2016! 
  • Cook more!
    • Practice makes perfect and I need a lot of practice (I signed us up for Blue Apron thanks to a discount I received from Katie at <--- check out her blog!)
  • Practice positivity
    •  Staying positive is the best way to live a happy life. Who wouldn't want that?!

What are your Resolutions? Writing them down helps you accomplish them!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, December 28, 2015

Let's Get to Know Each Other

Since I've only been writing this blog for a short time now I thought it would be a good idea for you all to get to know a little more about me. So here are ten 'facts' about me!
  1. I was born and raised in Oregon.
  2. From preschool to third grade I went to a full-immersion French school. We learned very subject in French and had 'English class' for thirty minutes a day.
  3. I've been to France four times! And want to go back!!
  4. I studied abroad in London my junior year of college.
  5. I can't stand humidity!
  6. I've lived in the New York/New Jersey area for ten years now but still consider myself an Oregonian ;)
  7. Our dog's name is Bailey; cat's name is Lexi

  8.  I'm an only child and love it!!
  9. Ryan and I have been on the show The Price is Right!
  10. I'd pick a piece of chocolate cake other a glass of wine any day.
See! I just loooove dessert!!!

Any fun facts about you??? What would you rather have, wine or dessert?

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from Bailey!

Bailey wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

She picked out her ugly Christmas sweater herself...   Okay, okay... maybe I made her wear this sweater and forced her to take this photo... But I mean, look at her!? She's just too cute!

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Time in Oregon

Hello from my favorite state!! OREGON! My home! Where I grew up!

I just love it here and I am sooo happy to be home for Christmas! Though I do miss Ryan, I know he's having fun with his family. And I truly believe it's good to miss people. I think it draws us closer. And when you see each other again you have so much to talk about.

Here's what we've been up to!
Shopping! Eating! Wrapping presents! Seeing friends and family! Eating more! We're having a blast!

The first night I arrived I had my ten year high school reunion. Man, is that strange to say. I know everyone always says this - but it feels like just days ago that I graduated. yikes! I'm almost 30.

Anyway- Lots of fun Christmas stuff is happening here and I couldn't be happier! I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas week. Remember - Don't stress out! Have some fun!!

Thanks for reading,


Monday, December 21, 2015

Why do we Always Want?

While trying to stay organized and learning more about minimalism, I've realized that many people always want new stuff. This wanting and buying totally defeats the purpose of what I'm trying to do. The whole concept of less is more goes down the drain if you always want more. Always wanting the latest and greatest. So how do you stop wanting? It's hard.
Here's what you can do to help yourself. Personally, I need to do all of the things on this list! yikes!
  1. Avoid advertising. As I said in my last post about Minimalism, watch less TV. In turn you won't be as susceptible to advertisements.
  2. Avoid shopping. Do you really need to go to the mall? Try and use what you have. I know it's hard to do around the holidays. But this year Ryan and I did most of our shopping on-line. We made a list and stuck to it!
  3. Be conscious of your lust for material objects. Ask yourself if you really need it. Can you live without it?
  4. Recognize rationalizing. Are you making up reasons as to why you need it? Realize that you're rationalizing - do you really 'deserve' it?
  5. Pause. Do you need the item right this minute? I doubt it. Wait a day, a week or months. Usually the desire of a want fades away with time and you realize that you didn't really NEED it, you just really, really wanted it. (In my case it was a new Louis Vuitton purse...)

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Our East Coast Christmas

On Friday night we celebrated our little 'East Coast' Christmas. We made a delicious dinner, opened presents and I finished up some last minute packing. Bailey loved opening her gifts and helping us unwrap our gifts. It was such a fun night. I already miss Ryan and Bailey so much!

Anyone else traveling this Christmas?

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Learning to Love Minimalism

In my quest to slow down and relax - I've started to learn more about minimalism. I signed up for Highbrow - an on-line learning web site that e-mails you once daily on a topic of your choice. This service is completely free and the 'lessons' only take about 5 minutes to read.
The lessons on Minimalism have re-enforced my goals of organization and has kept me from making the piles I used to make and the dishes I didn't put away.

Here's what I've learned so far and what I am focusing on to become more like a Minimalist!
Learn to love less. Instead of buying a lot of clothes why not learn to cull your wardrobe into a few quality, beautiful pieces that you can wear often and enjoy more. Those high quality pieces will last longer and in the end you might even save money. Instead of buying lots of low quality items that you can only wear a couple of times, you'll have amazing pieces that will last for years.

Minimalism should also be incorporated in your use of technology and television. Learn to need less television, social media, etc. When you watch TV or go on-line spend enough time to get the information or the entertainment you need, but then step away.
"When you focus on enjoying less, you focus on full enjoyment. You learn to be content with little, and when you do that, a life of happiness is at your disposal."

Here's a simplified process of becoming a minimalist.
  1. Stop buying unnecessary things. (You'll save money and have less clutter!)
  2. Get rid of the obvious things. Stuff that's getting in the way.
  3. Get rid of more obvious things.
  4. Clear the clutter on your floors.
  5. Clear other flat surfaces. (Stop making piles!!!)
  6. Start going into your closets and drawers. (Donate things you never use or wear) I've been using thredUp, a consignment web site, to sell some of my nicer clothing that I no longer wear. You'll get $20 when you sign up through this link!:
  7. Start letting go, emotionally. (Keep memories, ditch the stuff)
  8. Get rid of more things.
The process will never end, continue to let go, minimize clutter and stop buying things you really don't need. The degree to which you become a minimalist is up to you. :)

"The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less." 
- Socrates

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 18, 2015

When We're Left Alone

Ryan was gone for two days for a work trip so Bailey and I were left to fend for ourselves. I'm not the best cook so I basically kept myself alive by eating carbs. Pasta is my jam.
Without Ryan at home to watch our TV shows I got a lot of stuff done after work! It's amazing how much time you waste sitting in front of the television. 
I'm all packed for my trip home to Oregon. I was able to keep the apartment tidy and wrote some last minute Christmas cards! Oh, and had this little photo shoot with Bailey... ;)

 Maybe we should make a rule that we're only allowed to watch one hour of television a night...

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Still Looking???

Still looking for the perfect gift?
Below are some of my favorite things for organization! I've also included some things that are on my Christmas list!

Ryan and I received this book as a wedding gift and I really enjoyed reading it. It really enforces keeping only the things you need and use.

In my on-going quest for home organization I've added this book to my list!

Not the most glamorous gift, but it keeps all those extra plastic shopping bags in one place! I love ours!

Another easy fix for a messy closet... This shoe rack brought order to at least part of our closet.

Another not so glamorous item, but let me tell you- the best thing for your cabinets. Hands down!

I usually throw my scarves in a pile on a self in our closet. This little guy would totally fix my bad habit!

Want more info on these items?? Just click them!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sunday Funday

The weather here on the East Coast has been unseasonably warm. So there was no way we weren't going to miss this opportunity to get outside. Ryan loves to play golf so we headed to a pitch and putt course near by. The weather was just perfect. It was nice to be outside, get some exercise and be together.

This week is going to be very busy with Ryan out of town for two days. I then leave for Oregon on Saturday. It was so nice to be together and do something we both enjoy.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, December 12, 2015

You Can't Chase Happiness

You can't chase happiness, you have to find it where you are.

Do you know where I heard that saying? In a Hallmark Christmas movie... I stopped the movie, re-wound it, re-played it and quickly wrote it down.

I just love it. It's exactly what we all need to hear. Why are we always looking for happiness? Why is it that when we finally get that promotion, or get that new car, or that new whatever then we'll be happy? Why can't we just be happy NOW? With what we have and where we are in our lives? Let's focus on the here and now. Celebrate all the positive things in our lives right now. Right this second.

Here are some things that make me happy right this second.
- Having Ryan as my husband
- Being able to go home to a nice, warm apartment
- Coffee (I neeeed it)
- A good job with a great boss

Two things from my happiness list - Ryan and coffee!!!

See, it's pretty easy to come up with a quick little list. It took me less than thirty seconds. When you take the time to write out what makes you happy you realize you have so much to be happy about.

So maybe those Hallmark Christmas movies are doing something right... Behind those sappy lines and bad acting there's some pretty great messages on how to live your life.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 11, 2015

Hello My Name is Catie... And I'm Messy - Part 2

Okay! Part 2 of Hello My Name is Catie... And I'm Messy has been completed!
I started small and wanted an easier project that wouldn't be overwhelming... since you know, being neat and organized isn't my strong suit.

So, I tackled our desk! Which I had taken over and just turned into a mess. It now looks so nice and inviting! I actually want to sit at the desk and get things done. I might be browsing the internet more, since now I have a pretty and organized desk to sit at.

So, how did I do accomplish this? Just a couple of things really.
First - Some money. I visited the Container Store on my lunch break and hit up the Home Office section. They have an amazing selection and so many colors to choose from. My purchase was under $70 dollars! (The line to check out was very long... so going on your lunch hour during the holiday season might not be the best idea... oops!)
Second - A garbage bag to throw out all the stuff you don't need. I used the bag all of my purchases came it. Recycling at it's finest :)
Third - 30 - 45 minutes of pure cleaning and organizing.

That's it! And the finished product looks pretty darn good!

What I bought- file folder, double drawer, white board and three magnetic holders for the little stuff (paperclips and pushpins).
Just a couple of more Christmas cards to send out!
The hardest part for me is always throwing things away. I'm a little bit of a pack-rat... Almost everything I keep has memory. Or, I just might need it someday... I'm trying to get over keeping and do more tossing.

I can't wait to pick my next spot in our apartment! Where should I head next???

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hello My Name is Catie... And I'm Messy - Part 1

I'm messy.
I don't know how it happened, but ever since I was little I've been messy.
Which is weird because I'm always on time, a big time planner and very detailed oriented. So you'd think with those traits I would be a neat freak too. But to the dismay of Ryan, who is a very neat person, I am not.
The thing is, I want our home to look nice, neat and organized. But during the week it just gets messier and messier. I don't know how to re-train my brain not to pile things up and just put them where they belong. It's become a weekly cycle – Monday through Friday the apartment gets messier and messier. Saturday and Sunday we clean and put things away. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I need to get out of this cycle! And I know Ryan is pretty tired of cleaning up after me...
But how? How do I re-train this brain of mine???
I'm going to start small. My first 'project' will be our desk. I've basically taken it over and it's horribly cluttered. As you can see I like to make piles…

To help me combat my messiness I've added this this book to my Christmas list:
One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good - by Regina Leeds

I'm going to make this a little mini-series to show you that even a pile happy messy person can change her ways!

Can't wait to update you with Part 2 :)

Thanks for reading,

Monday, December 7, 2015

How I De-Stress & Relax

During the holiday season schedules can get CRAZY. This December seems extra busy with many holiday parties all crammed in to about two weeks. When I start to feel overwhelmed I try to stop, relax and figure out how we can through the week without losing our minds and still have family couch/tv time. Our couch time is VERY important to us. ;)

The first on my to-do list was to get us a bit healthier. So I bought daily multi-vitamins. This makes sure we get all of the vitamins and minerals we need!

I love fresh juice. Juice Press is my all time favorite. I usually try and get a green juice or smoothie at least once a week during the hectic holidays to try and combat all of the germs going around on the subway. No one likes being sick during the holidays.

With parties comes lack of sleep. I love sleeping and need a lot of it, so this is a big one for me. We really try hard to sleep in on the weekends (9am is late nowadays) just to catch up from the work week. If I know we have a big night out ahead of us I'll get in to bed around 8:30pm the night before - read and turn off the light by 9pm. I know, I know... I'm a grandma... But I need my sleep! Sleeping is also when your body can fight off all of those germs!

I'll also try and get to a yoga class. A relaxed mind and body will do wonders for your spirit and your health. The last thing anyone wants to be is grumpy around the holidays. A little sweat will get your endorphins going and help burn off all of those Christmas cookies!

How do you relax and de-stress?

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Give Everything, Expect Nothing

During our wedding ceremony our priest wisely said - Give everything and expect nothing throughout your marriage.
That statement has stuck with me and I try to remember it daily as Ryan and I navigate this life of ours together. I very easily get in Catie mode and forget that Ryan and I are partners. We need to help one another - we're a team. I need to lift him up as much as he lifts me up and supports me.

Even the smallest things like washing the dishes or putting away my clothes adds up and makes him happier, which in turn makes our relationship better. And our home looks neat and organized (post coming on that soon). I also need to learn that just because I do clean the dishes does not mean I get some points in the Catie column. It just means I'm helping out.

Let's say it together - give everything and expect nothing.
My goal each day should be to make Ryan and myself happy. That's a pretty easy goal, right?

So as we come in to our fourth month of being married let's hope I get better and better at being a partner. Everyone has something they need to work on. Mine just might be cleaning...

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

One thing Ryan and I both agree on is how much we love Christmas. We are always so excited to go and pick out our Christmas tree and get it up and decorated. Since I always go home to Oregon for Christmas, Ryan and I celebrate Christmas early.
So, we always like to get the tree early so we can enjoy it before I head to the West Coast.

Since our new apartment has taller ceilings, we opted for a bigger tree... Making maneuvering in and out of the elevator - and down the hallway a bit difficult. Doesn't Ryan look happy?!

Every year we also make the piece they cut off the bottom of the tree into an ornament. This year's ornament is extra special. 

I take tree decorating seriously. I like to make sure the tree is full of beautiful, colorful ornaments that we love. Sometimes I try and hide my not-so-favorite ornaments in the back and Ryan calls me out and moves them to the front... Just another example of me needing to relax and go with the flow :)

We found these two little foxes at HomeGoods over the weekend. The Red Fox is the mascot of the college we both went to so we just had to get them. I think they're just too cute and basically make the tree!

Ryan helped by enjoying his tea and biscotti. And looking festive.

Bailey helped by sleeping and looking just as cute as can be...

Did you decorate your tree this past weekend?
What's your favorite part of the holiday season?

Thanks for reading,