Life Lately

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Oh why, hello! Time for a random life lately and a little bit of what we've been up to!
We went to the rodeo! Our new annual tradition. 
We took a couple of days off for a mini vacation and went out of town fishing.
I finally caught a fish. It had only been, oh, years. These are pretty much the size of fish my Husband catches on the reg. And pretty par for the course for me as well, if I even catch one. 
And guess who forgot their rain gear and got caught in the lake in the middle of a storm? Like a storm with hail, wind and rain? Aside from freezing, it was actually pretty neat and I will always take pride in the fact that my FIL told me I was a trooper. 
My in-law's dogs are just about as spoiled as ours. On the left is Maclin (which is Hank's daughter) and on the right is Malligun (Hank's mama). Don't they just lead the life of Riley?
It was terrible having to wake up to this everyday. Let's just say I hate goodbyes. 

We also celebrated my Mama's birthday Sunday and I baked her the best cake! She loves lemon and anything refreshing, whereas I am more of a chocolate-anything lover. When I saw this recipe for a lemon blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting it sounded perfect to try! Even people who don't usually eat dessert finished off their slice and had seconds. 
If you want to try it yourself (and you should) the recipe is found here. 
 
And that's just about all I've got for today. If you want to follow along with other random, everyday moments you can find me on snapchat (amcintoshaday). I have no idea what I'm doing but it's pretty fun and also this is basically how I keep in touch with my sister. 

Here's to a lovely day & to finishing the week off strong! 

Work It, Girl!

Monday, April 25, 2016

If you're anything like me, it is helpful to have something to follow along with when you're working out. My cousin and I met up this weekend for an intense workout that has left me feeling the burn days upon days later. 

We followed along with a similar workout but I modified it a lot for me and I wanted to document it for quick future reference. I broke them into 2 sets of 25 and alternated between each exercise, if that helps you out. If I couldn't do 50, I would do as many as I could. All that matters is you give it your all!

I'm telling you it doesn't seem like much, but about half way through I was ready to call it quits. I am so thankful I had her there pushing me to finish. Every gal needs a partner to not only hold them accountable but to be there to cheer them on when they want to quit!
You can do this! 
I hope this motivates you to start your week strong and that you'll give it a go. Let me know how you do!

10 Things I'm Spring Cleaning {and you should too}

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring brings many things. One of my favorites oddly enough? Spring Cleaning. It means deep cleaning and doing those things we don't do as often as we, well, should. Even though this nice weather has me all wanting to go outside every waking moment, I took some time this weekend to check some of those cleaning items off of my to-do list.
Here's 10 things I'm spring cleaning and you should too!

1/ Vinegar in the coffee pot: I try and clean the coffee pot as often as I can but I have yet to do a vinegar cleaning. I did a cycle of 50/50 water and white vinegar then another cycle of just water. I also put ice cubes in the coffee pot with a little dish soap and swirled it around. It helps clean the inside so well! Just make sure you rinse throughly. My coffee tastes mighty fine since I've done it!

2 / Baby oil on stainless steel: Anyone with stainless steel knows it's hard to keep those fingerprints and water marks from appearing even after cleaning regularly. This is the best tip a friend taught me and it works like a charm. Take an old rag, squeeze a small dab of baby oil and use it clean your stainless surfaces. 

3 / Clean the BBQ: I removed all the grills and burners and scrubbed them with some dish soap, water and a little elbow grease. And that extra vinegar water from my coffee cleaning? I recycled some of it to shine up the outside surfaces. 

4 / Vacuuming: I don't just mean the weekly vacuuming of the floors. I mean putting on the attachements and cleaning all of the baseboards, corner crevices and all of those pesky cobwebs. 

5 / Purging! Enough said. Getting rid of AS MANY OF THE THINGS as I can dare to part with. 

6 / Wipe down door handles: Whip out whatever disinfectant you prefer and go ahead and give those doorknobs, handles and pulls a wipe down. Your immune system will thank you. 

7 / Windows + windowsills: I love opening the windows up this time of year and it helps if they're clean, right?! Also, see above vacuuming. Don't forget the windowsills. 

8 / Blinds: Not the most enjoyable, but those things get dusty! There's lots of tricks out there (sock over the hand, swiffer, etc.) Whatever works best for you!

9 / Wash pet bedding: This could also be any other usual washing that you don't do on the reg. Our dogs have their own beds in the house and although we don't keep them too forever, it helps the lifetime of them and keeps them looking newer if you take the cover off and wash them!

10 / Going through the freezer: So, I think the more common thing to do here is clean the refrigerator, but do you clean your freezer too? I try and wipe the fridge down regularly. The freezer though? It reminds me of a deep, dark hole. I am making it a goal to use up what's in there and CLEAN the freezer!

Do you like cleaning in the spring as much as me?

I confess...country music gets me every time.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I confess that I was listening to country music over the weekend as I got ready for the day and a certain song came on and it made me tear up. Gush. What is wrong with me? Damn country music again, I thought.

Then I confess that later that same day my Aunt showed me this video and I got ALL THE FEELS. Are you an outdoorsmen's/hunter's/fishermen's wife like me and does this song just not absolutely resonate with you?
 
\\ I love it when my baby wants to roll with me,
    throws her boots on and climbs in a tree,
    she's slingin' her hair in my hat and she's ready to go \\

I have always liked Luke Bryan, but after watching this particular video starring his beautiful wife and kids, he's pretty much moved to the top in my eyes. Also, have you heard what he did for his nephew? Goosebumps. He's a real standup guy.

Anyways, pretty much most of my family can relate to this song (married to a man like this or lives this life themselves.) I pretty much want to pack up and move to the middle of nowhere now too and live this every single day. I'm dreaming...

And now I confess that this song and video is my new favorite...


And literally as I finished typing, this song just came on the radio. WEIRD.
 
Linking up with Jess @ The Newly for Thursday Confessions!

April Flowers brings Brandi's Shower {A Bridal Shower Brunch}

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On Saturday we held a small and intimate bridal shower brunch for my soon to be Aunt, Brandi. I absolutely love throwing parties, finding reasons to celebrate people and events, making someone feel special, and most of all using things you already have to create a festive and themed atmosphere. 
The day was so fun to plan and I was thrilled with how easily it all came together. Since deciding on a Spring theme, I used the saying "April flowers brings Brandi's shower" and incorporated bicycles as well since they love to ride! I picked up the flowers from Raley's and arranged them myself in white lace tins I already owned. The colors were just what I was looking for and I love the contrast between the vibrant spring colors and the white vases.
We gave homemade soap favors that read, "From Brandi's shower to yours." They were sweet pea scent and smelled absolutely divine! I ordered them from here
To make the glasses more festive I added a small wedge of strawberry and lemon. In addition to the champagne, we had infused water and lemonade. Although let's be honest, (owning it here), we mostly drank champs! 
We served brunch including a few breakfast casseroles and overnight french toast. It was a total hit and the recipe is so easy I will have to share it soon!
The two games we played were the "What's in your purse game?" and the game where you place a paper plate on your head and draw your best version of the bride-to-be on her wedding day and she chooses her favorite version. Both are easy, there's many free printable online versions (I used this one, but you could easily make your own if you had time) and also comical! 

The cupcakes were strawberry lemonade with cream cheese frosting and simply adorable with the small white pearls on top. I thought they needed a little something extra so I made my own cupcake toppers using toothpicks and a picture of a vintage tandem bicycle. They were so easy, however, it never fails that I manage to burn myself on the hot glue gun. 
Lots of laughs, memories and bottles of champagne later, I hope we were successful at making her feel special and welcomed to the family! 
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. I also wanted to mention that if you are in the market for some cute bridal shower or wedding decor that Zulily has some on sale now!
If you've never shopped the daily deal site Zulily before, you can join using my invite here!  

Cupcakes / Coffee Diem
Cupcake Stand / (old) Similar
'Love' Cake Topper, Chalkboard Sign & Glitter Banner / Target Dollar Spot
Vintage Bike / (old) borrowed from my Mom's garden 
White lace tins / (old) Ikea
Flower Bud Vase / Marshall's

A (non) Recipe: Energy Bite Snacks + A Pro Tip

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ok, so I am sure this is nothing new for you as they are all the rage right now in stores and on Pinterest. I personally have read many different takes on recipes, but the truth is this post is more of a non-recipe of sorts because you can make these yourself at home with whatever you have in your pantry, tailor them to your specific taste, and I am sure they will be just as scrumptious.

After our hike this weekend, my cousin came over and we were determined to whip some of these up as a snack. I told her I had a pantry full of random ingredients that we could use, so it was an added bonus no items were purchased specifically to make these.
Here are the ingredients I had on hand that we mixed in. They will give you an idea on some things you may have that are begging to be used as well.

/ Oats
/ Almonds
/ Shredded non-sweetened coconut
/ Sunflower Seeds
/ Peanut/Almond Butter
/ Coconut Oil
/ Dried Cranberries
/ Chia Seeds
/ Ground Flaxseed Meal
/ Vanilla Extract (a few drops)
/ Maple Syrup

So as far as the instructions or recipe go, I recommend using your choice of a grain, nuts or seeds, dried fruit and a mixture of sweetner and fat to bind it together. You can go crazy and add all the things or just stick to a few. We started by adding minimal amounts of the nut butters and oil and added a little more until it was the right consistency to form into small size bites. Again, you really can't go wrong with what you use. I promise they will taste good!

Here is one tip that I really had not thought of myself before and that was to the throw the oats into the blender real quick. It grinds them and turns into more of a flour consistency. My cousin told me this little pro tip and it was kind of mind blowing! If you really want to get fancy, she says she will use a 50/50 mix of flour and ground oats when baking cookies. So smart. That's one reason why I hang with her.

Once we got the mixture to stick together, we rolled them into balls and stuck them in the fridge. We made them bigger so you really only need one to feel satisfied.

Give them a try, I promise if I can make them without a recipe, you can too!

Take a Hike + Weekend Adventuring

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The weekend around our parts was basically the epitome of perfect weather. Our summers here can get downright unbearable, so I am soaking in every bit of this mix of spring & summer-ish weather.

We live in a great recreational town with lots of trails, lakes and rivers so there are many opportunities to get outside. It is absolutely beautiful right now with the wildflowers in full bloom, everywhere you look it's green and lush, and a basically full lake again. Thanks, El Nino.

I had been wanting to go on a hike and this weekend was too nice to not get out and take advantage. I initially wanted to do a different hike, but it turned out the be the wildflower festival and I didn't want to fight the crowds. Isn't that half of the fun of venturing outside to get away from all the people? Just me who feels that way?
Backpack (old) Similar / Sneakers / Sneakers / Neon Shirt
Anyways, my parents and cousin joined me. Ryan was actually fishing on the lake and my sis had to work so it was just the four of us. We hiked 6 miles! And the best news is I managed to not trip once. In fact no one did!

If you look close, you can actually spot hubby parked down there somewhere.
We passed a couple of fellow hikers and a group of mountain bikers. It appeared to be a couple of Dad's who were taking their daughters out for a ride and it completely had me feeling all nostalgic because thats exactly where my Dad used to take me. I also thought they were the absolute cutest especially when one of the girls told me she loved the flowers in my hair, so I felt like I was winning, lol. 
 Also one of my favorite things about this specific trail and a memory I have of riding it is stopping at this Trail Log spot and signing it. They keep a notebook in it year round and people who have traveled it write their name and date or whatever you want really. I always have wondered what they do with these when the books are filled?
Oh also, does it look like my Mom and I are wearing matching shirts because we are. I swear I am twinning in life with this woman in general. #owningit #idonthateit 
My Dad was thrilled that he got to bring along his selfie stick to document our adventures and it came in pretty handy. Although I am terrible at using it, he is not!
It was such a fun day, I felt accomplished and I can't remember the last time I took this many steps in one day.

 
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