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Friday Favs – Last of 2018!

Friday Favs – Last of 2018!


Happy Friday, friends! Can you believe 2018 is almost history? 3 more days! I’m posting late in the day this week, which you’ll hear more about in #1…



1. I helped teach a day camp thing at my Hunter/Jumper barn today and despite literally freezing temperatures (I think it was 31), it was a lot of fun! We had 5 girls there for almost 5 hours, and it went surprisingly well! A lot of times when you have groups of kids there’s someone who feels left out or cliques or whatever, but that was the perfect number. Whew!

I mostly worked in the barn teaching kids parts of the saddle and bridle, parts of the horse, horse colors and markings, etc. while the barn owner (my jumping instructor) took them on pony rides one at a time. There was one little girl who was SO EXCITED to ride who as also SO nervous, so I walked alongside her while my instructor led the pony. It was so cute to see her go from legit trembling to waving like a princess when we started talking about the Princess Diaries. I’m not a kid person, but I do love teaching!



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2. I worked on Christmas Eve and Christmas and the day after, but I was off on the 27th and it was like 60 degrees, so I went on a quick hike in Branson. One of my goals for 2019 (I’ll be sharing more about those soon!) is to hike 100 miles, so it was nice to get a one mile stroll in to warm up for that since I haven’t had time to get outside much lately. I’m really hoping to get at least a few nice weather days in January so I can knock out 10+ miles ASAP and make a dent in the 100 mile goal!

By the way, does anyone know what this plant I came across is?



My first thought was holly, but I’m not sure. It definitely looked Christmas-y!


3. If you read my Friday Favs often, you know that about half the time #3 is a review of something that Chewy sent us for their Influencer Program! This week it’s the Purina Beyond Wild Prey-Inspired Salmon, Liver & Arctic Char Recipe Canned Cat Food.



Side note – I had to look up what Arctic Char is – I figured it’s a fish, but I’d never heard of it. (Although I don’t eat fish so maybe you guys have heard of it?) Turns out they’re both cool and creepy looking, and apparently massive?


what is an arctic char


Anyway, back to the cat food! Salmon is the main ingredient, so it’s high protein and Bear-approved. (He’s a bear, of course he likes salmon.) It gets good reviews on Chewy – 75% are 5 star and the next 13% are 4 star, so it seems to be cat-approved in general! My cats liked it a lot, but the other food they tried this month (which I wrote about here) stole the spotlight because they loved it so much.


4. Sorry to go all Cat Lady on you (not actually sorry), but my favorite part of Christmas clearance shopping (it only barely beats out getting fancy chocolate for cheap) is picking up new toys and treats for my cats. I got this catnip penguin for $1 at Target and it’s basically Hercules Mulligan’s new favorite thing in the world:


5.  I picked these up on a whim on my last trip to Springfield to hit my favorite grocery stores, and I was surprised that I really like them! I’m so busy most of the time that little snacks I can keep in my car are super important. The funny thing is that I DO NOT like cauliflower at all, but these do a good job of masking it. They basically taste like Cheez-its, but a little less artificial, if that makes sense. I found them at Hy-Vee, but I just looked the brand up and they are also available on Amazon.


That’s it for this week! I’m trying to type with my cat Bird rolling around in my lap, so I’ll keep the goodbye quick! See you all next year!


Friday blog linkup


Friday Favorites – Shortest Day of the Year

Friday Favorites – Shortest Day of the Year


Happy Friday, friends! And happy Winter Solstice! I am SO HAPPY that after today, sunset will start getting a little later each day. Total darkness at 5:30 pm really throws me off!

This has been such a weird week for me. After working 4 jobs from August until the beginning of December, I’m now down to just TWO until March! One of those is freelance writing, and I just found out that the main site I write for is going to close their office until January 4th for the holidays, so after I finish up the 600-ish words I need to do today, I won’t have anything else to do for over a week! Long story short, I’ve had SO MANY DAYS OFF and although it’s going to suck on payday, finally getting to catch up on things around the house has been awesome.

I’m working at the hotel on Christmas Eve and Christmas, but I really don’t mind because it means that my coworkers who have kids don’t have to work.

Here are a few of my favs from this week!


1. I follow this artist on Instagram and always love her work (I think she’s even made a Friday favs post before), but I feel like this piece is SO ME!


2. Spotted at my local Walmart earlier this week:


3. As you probably know, sends my cats awesome food to review every month for their Chewy Influencer Program. My cats usually aren’t that picky, but this month’s selection was even more of a crowd pleaser than usual!



We got the Natural Balance Delectable Delights wet cat food in the Sea Brulee variety, which is a grain-free stew made with tuna, whitefish, chicken, peas, eggs, and carrots. My cats LOVED this – I think it was the perfect blend of broth and chunks of fish.

This stuff is apparently so good that one night I fed it for dinner and then woke up in the middle of the night because Hercules Mullign had dug the little plastic cup it comes in out of the trash, brought it to bed, and was licking the (totally empty) cup right next to my head. For like 5 minutes. Definitely cat-approved!


4. This distractify post of 34 Hilarious Holiday Cards is fun to scroll through, even though most of them come from just a few families. The one above is clearly the one I relate to the most!


5. This is my current jam for dancing around the kitchen while I cook:

Have a fantastic weekend and a Merry Christmas next week!


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Friday Favs – Middle of December Already!

Friday Favs – Middle of December Already!


Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a hot second since I’ve had time to post! I was sick last Thurs – Saturday (Well, still am, but that was the worst of it), so I missed my usual Friday post, and then Tuesday was my birthday and I decided to go out and enjoy it rather than rushing to finish my Show Us Your Books post for the monthly link-up that day.

Thankfully, thankfully, work is slowing down a little bit now until about March, so I should have a little more time for like, life. I’ve been wanting to write a catching up post for over a month, but still haven’t found a decent chunk of time. Soon!



1. As I mentioned above, Tuesday was my birthday. I still wasn’t feeling great so instead of big plans I kept it very simple. I had a chiropractor appointment that morning (I’d call myself an old lady but I’ve seen a chiropractor on and off since I was 16!), then went to pick up my free b-day beverage from Starbucks. I usually get a venti latte (gingrebread or pumpkin spice) since December is cold, but Tuesday was in the 50s and my sore throat wanted something icy, so I ordered the glorious vat of caffeine and sugar pictured above. (Venti cafe vanilla Frappuccino). I don’t think I’ve ever ordered a venti Frappuccino in my LIFE, but hey, if it’s free? Might as well go big!

After picking up my drink I went for a short walk by the lake at the Branson Landing to soak up some sunshine, then headed to Moe’s for my free birthday burrito. I was worried I wouldn’t really enjoy it since I’ve been so congested, but it was still 100% delicious.

My short outing totally drained my still sick self, so I headed home post-burrito and curled up in bed to read for most of the rest of the evening. I know how to party! Hopefully next year will be more exciting, but this year ended up being just right for how I was feeling.


2. I spotted these leggings at Target and am torn over buying them. I mean, cats AND llamas? Sign me up! And they’re fleece lined,which I loooove. But I’m very poor right now (see mention of work slowing WAY down for winter) and need to watch my budget. And if I wait a couple of weeks, there’s a solid chance that I can get them on clearance. What’s a gal to do?? (They’re available online here if you love them, too!)


3. I was just leaving for work a couple of weeks ago and thought I forgot my car keys, and as I headed back into the house to get them I found my dryer emitting a bunch of smoke. I was in such a hurry that I just shut it off and did a quick check that the smoke stopped when I did so (probably not the safest thing in retrospect?) and then asked the maintenance guy at work what to do. Between a crazy work schedule, being sick for over a week, and recently finding out that it might still be under warranty, I still haven’t fixed it, but I did discover that Sears has really, REALLY helpful repair manuals for most major appliances online here!  I really love feeling empowered to fix things myself, so finding those made me really happy. As a side note, this whole debacle taught me that nut drivers are a thing. Like a screwdriver, but for nuts! WHO KNEW? NOT I! I went and bought the size my dryer was supposed to need to take the back off and investigate the source of the smoke, but it’s somehow too big? Fingers crossed that I figure the whole thing out soon, because I’m running out of clean clothes and do not want to spend hours of my nonexistant free time in a laundromat.

I also recenty learned how easy it is to replace the tub faucet in my guest bathroom so that I can start showering in there (the little pull-thing that switches it from bath to shower is broken) and stop worrying about falling through the floor in my master bathroom. (There’s water damage under the shower. I’ve probably written about it here? Long story.)

Related: I can not wait until I can RENT again and maintenance issues become someone else’s problem. I will click that “pay rent” button with such happiness and relief every single month. This house has broken me.


I’m going to have to cut this week’s list short at 3 things. Fingers crossed I’ll be over this funky cough ASAP and be able to get back to actually posting.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Favs – December Starts Tomorrow??

Friday Favs – December Starts Tomorrow??


Happy last day of November! I can’t believe December starts tomorrow, and even crazier – that we’re only a month away from 2019!

I’m finishing up today’s post in a hurry so I can head out to the ranch and ride Polka Dot one last time before he goes to Texas for the winter. (The trail rides I work for are closing Dec-March 1). I’ve bonded with him so much I’m going to miss him a lot!

(I wound up finishing this after work instead, so here’s a pic of my last day with Polka Dot!)


On to this week’s favorites!



I worked my hotel front desk job on Thanksgiving, but the weather was really nice so I decided to go on a super quick hike before work. Twenty minutes in the woods made all the difference in how my day went. I need to do that more often!

I did the paved part of the trail at Henning Conservation Area since I knew it would work with my time limit, and it was a great choice except that the leaves made the trail super slippery! I haven’t had a free day to go hiking in ages, but maybe I can fit in more of these quick stops?



2. The only Black Friday shopping I did this year was e.l.f. cosmetics. I’d planned to get a new laptop, but I had a vet bill that took up the $ I had set aside for that, so I’m still using my dinosaur of a computer with the faulty space bar for the foreseeable future. Anyway, I like a lot of elf’s makeup (especially their eyeliner pen) so I tend to stock up on favorites and try a few new things every year when the big sale rolls around. Cyber Monday was 60% off with free shipping on orders over $25. I wound up spending $27 including tax and got tons of things that I’m excited about (including six different eyeliners – I guess that might have been overkill.). The biggest downside is that elf has really slow shipping – it’s been a week already and I haven’t gotten a notice that my order is shipping. I’m no good at patience!


3. I feel like I’ve told similar stories multiple times, but here we go again: Remy broke into the Chewy box again.


At first I was like oh, that’s not too bad! But no, he also really worked on eating through the bag to get to the Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Shredded Blend Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food that Chewy sent us as part of their Chewy influencer program! (You can find the exact cat food here!)



I transferred it to some big zip-lock bags to keep it fresh, but a 3.2 lb bag doesn’t last long in my multi-cat house anyway. My cats were all fans, although nobody else showed Remy’s original level of “OMG I have to have whatever’s in that box!” enthusiasm. There are two different textures of food, which adds a little variety, and added probiotics and prebiotics for healthy digestion.



4. I got this t-shirt at Walmart for $4.97. Need I say more?


It’s 11 pm now, so I’m cutting this week’s list short at 4 things instead of 5. Today was kinda nuts -in addition to my last day of trail rides,my dryer kinda caught on fire and I had to drive home from my hotel job in crazy storms. Very ready for sleep!

Hope your weekend is awesome!

Friday Favs – October

Friday Favs – October


Happy Friday, friends! This is the first time I’ve actually managed to get a Favorites post up ON Friday in like a month! Go me!

Here’s what I’ve been loving lately!


1. First things first, I found the best Halloween decoration at the thrift store:


I could leave this up year-round, TBH. My cats will cuddle all intruders.


2. This is a $2 gift bag from the Halloween section of Target:

Is it weird that I want to buy one and frame it as wall art?


3. Season 3 of Serial is out, and I’ve been enjoying it so far. Season 1 (about Adnan) was SO GOOD, then Season 2 was a big let down, but 3 is pretty solid. None of season 1’s “OMG! GASP! No way!” moments yet, but interesting and well put together.


4. Polka Dot has become my go-to trail guide horse, and he’s finally starting to relax and trust me. The above photo is from a ride this week where we were hit with a pretty steady rain about half an hour into a 2 hour ride. The actual rain wasn’t bad, but riding in wet jeans in like 50* weather wasn’t the most fun ever!

After a lot of trial and error, I’ve finally found a saddle and bridle that are super comfy for both me and Polka Dot, which is a big deal. On days like Tuesday where I spent a total of 5 hours in the saddle, a comfortable one makes all the difference!

One amusing story from my Polka Dot adventures: I usually bring up the rear on rides to keep an eye on the guests and make sure nobody falls behind. On one ride, we had paused by a water trough so the horses could drink, and the girl who was riding just in front of me could NOT get her horse to move when we were ready to start again. I can usually kind of nudge a “stuck” horse forward by bringing my horse right up behind them, but that wasn’t working. I jokingly told Polka Dot “Bite her (the horse, not the rider) in the butt!”, and then almost fell off laughing when he reached forward and tried to nip her! I’m a horse whisperer, y’all. (I also got a sheep to baaaaa back at me this week, but that’s a whole other story.)


5. This song reminds me of how much I love the energy of a big city. I need a dose of that soon!

Have a fantastic weekend! I’m working both days, but that’s just how I roll lately.


Friday blog linkup