Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop Is Now Live! Come & Link Up!

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

What a day to celebrate! This is the 57th week of the Let's Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week! 

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of  The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! :)

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 

***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. 

Meet your hosts: 

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'

Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin'

 and your co-hosts:
Micaela from Mind Your Madness

Kendra from Open Spaces
Suzanna from One Hoolie Mama
Jenna from The Year of Life

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:

Hi Loves! This is Chelsee this week! I had the pleasure of picking a winner this week and I must say it was a hard choice. Each of you linked up fabulous posts that I enjoyed reading. I do want to mention that you must link up and actual post and not just your blog to win. Now onto the winner!

Elizabeth is a Army wife living in the great state of Hawaii. I knew the moment I saw the picture in this post that I had to try this recipe. I found that Elizabeth gave easy to follow instructions on how to create your own delicious Shrimp Scampi. I live on the coast and love some seafood, so finding recipes like this is pure treasure. I find scampi sometimes to be quite difficult, but when I saw this post I knew that it was a great one. 

So if you like what you see above or just want to read this great love story, check out this awesome post. I have to say that I love reading all of your posts and can't wait to see what you all link up next week! 

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for me to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My Poor Little Neglected Blog...

It seems that in my quest to soak up the last warm, sun filled summer days has meant that my humble little blog has fallen to the wayside. It wasn't intentional and I didn't even realise it had been so long since I posted until I checked my email this morning and seen a blog related email. My first reaction was 'F***, my blog!".
In amongst the last few weeks of afternoon drinks in the sun, family birthdays, work events and hour long walks along the coast, I seem to have forgotten my little corner of the internet. I'm not going to beat myself up about it, I don't regret taking a step back from the interwebs to enjoy time with some of my favourite people but I will jump back into blogging. I really do find this whole blog thing fun not to mention a creative outlet where I can unleash my thoughts on the world (insert evil laugh) - they may not always be succinct and may sometimes seem like the ramblings of a crazy cat lady but perhaps someone out there might be going through or feeling something similar. I know that when I read a blog post that is similar to something I am thinking or dealing with I have a little moment of 'YES! I'm not the only one". If I can give event just one person that moment I will be a happy lady.
So onwards and upwards for this little blog and its little band of lovely followers....
Much Love,
Jen Xx

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Life Lately

It is Sunday evening as I type this, I am sipping on a delicious grapefruit and lime cocktail, listening to Vampire Weekend on our record player and feeling optimistic that this coming week will be better than the last!

This week has been challenging; work deadlines, family drama and illness have all been present over the past 7 days and it has been draining to say the least.

Hubby and I have both been under the weather with sore throats and earaches but a busy work week has meant no chance of a sick day to rest for me "sigh" (yes, i'm a total mopey mess when Im feeling unwell). Luckily I have a super adorable husband who went to the farmers markets this morning to by me a pistachio bagel and strawberry macaron to help cheer me up - total swoon worthy move.

This week a lot of focus for me has been on my family. I have had an immediate family member going through a tough time with mental illness which has been really heartbreaking not only for that person but also for my family. Whilst i'm usually a very open person this isn't something I want to go into detail about - I think its still too fresh in my mind and personal for my family. Mental Illness is a real bitch isn't it?

On a more positive note here are some things I am loving this week:

  • Sochi Winter Olympics - I am crazy loving watching as much winter olympic action as possible. I don't think I have ever enjoyed watching an olympics as much as I have these winter games. I really love anything snowboarding! I also really love the sportsmanship and positive outlook of these athletes.
  • Exercise - The Jen of 3 months ago would never have said this but I am really enjoying going for a walk/run every morning. It puts me in a great mood for the day and side effect is that I have been losing weight and loving the results. Who knew exercise could be enjoyable?
  • Firmoo Glassess - After getting my eyes tested a few weeks ago I ordered glassed from Firmoo. I paid for express shipping (so worth it) and they came within 2 weeks. I am in love with the glasses! I love that Firmoo sell fashionable, fun glasses but without crazy optometrist price tags. Ill post a few photos of my 2 pairs of glasses in the coming days.

Here are some photos from the last week.

Sending love and positive vibes for the week ahead!

Peaceful afternoon watching the waves crash

Morning walk along the Foreshore - perfect time of day!

Friday night date night at Moneypenny at Honeysuckle - its our regular! 
Newcastle Town Hall by night

Jen, Xx

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Looks I Am Loving Right Now

Whilst I would definitely not call myself a fashionista I do love looking at fashion and putting an outfit together - plus I completely LOVE shopping! My style varies as I don't really follow trends - it feels like too much effort to me.

However, after spending "some" time on Pinterest (I won't admit how long, Pinterest is really addictive!) I started to think that I really would like to put more effort into my outfits.

Here are a few of the looks I love and that made me look forward to autumn!






How would you describe your style - do you follow or set trends or do you prefer to go for less fuss?

Jen Xx
Thursday, 6 February 2014

A Domestic Goodess I Am Not

I may be a 27 year old with who has lived out of home for the past 7 years but one thing I have come to realise is that I am so NOT a domestic goddess.

Here is how I like to tackle a few domestic challengers:

  • Spill red wine or nail polish on the carpet and want to clean it up quickly? My rule of thumb is to experiment with all cleaning products in the house until one of the works.
  • Hosting a dinner party for in the inlaws? Buy food that just needs to be put in the oven and served (burning the food is optional as is serving dry meat...ive done both of these...yum!). 
  • Need a dress ironed for work? Throw it in the clothes dyer for 20 minutes.
  • Accurate measurements needed? Meh, that looks close enough.

The downside of growing up in a home with an amazing mum who cooked dinner, baked cakes, cleaned rooms, washed clothes etc, is that you really don't learn to do anything for yourself. All of the women in my family are great cooks, have beautiful tidy homes and are domestic goddesses - I think I'm missing that gene. 

Don't get me wrong, our house is tidy and well presented but cleaning is not my favourite thing (thank god for a dishwasher!) and I hate having to schedule in time to clean and tidy on week nights or the weekend for that matter.

My cooking is slowly improving, I make a mean pasta and you better get ready for my kick arse cupcakes (made from a pack of course) but Im still a work in process on the cooking front. 

The good news is I have made it a goal this year to improve my domestic abilities by adding "bake a cake from scratch" and "host a dinner party and do all the cooking" on my 28 by 28 list. Im hopeful that somewhere down the line my domestic goddess side decides to show itself but for now I'm comfortable in my easy to prepare meals, my cupboard full of mostly unnecessary cleaning products and contestant need to google how to do things around the house.

Anyone else out there domestically challenged?

Side Note - my husband is much better at me with domestic tasks so thank good there is one adult in our house!

Jen Xx
Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A Happy Tuesday Moment

This post should probably be labelled "majorly self-indulgent" but Im going to go ahead anyway....

So I have had this work dress in my cupboard for 4-5 years, unworn and tags still on. It isn't anything too special, just a straight black work dress. I purchased it knowing at the time it was too small but for whatever reason I fell in love with it and thought "heck, I'm going to lose weight". Turns out that didn't happen right away. So the dress has remained in my closet for years, tags still on, moving from place to place and whenever I have had a wardrobe cull I just haven't had the heart to part with it.

Now for the exciting bit (well to me anyway) - after lots of exercise, positive lifestyle changes and improving my diet TA-DA it fits!!!! 

I wore the dress today as I knew I had a lot of meetings and I wanted to feel extra put together. It was a good day. I know in the big wide world its just a small possibly shallow and vain thing but it kept a big smile on my face all day. Sometimes its small unexpected moments like this that are most satisfying.

Here is a terrible, dark work bathroom photo of said dress - whilst it is a bad photo my day long smile is evident!

Have you had any small wins lately?

Jen Xx
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