Archive for January 2013

Braving the Cold

Thursday, January 31, 2013

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It's been cold in these parts lately. Well, I take that back. It's been cold, then warm, then cold, then warm. Throw in some rain & snow and there you have it. Kentucky weather. Sigh.

We're gearing up for another cold spurt. [is spurt a word?]
Like hats, gloves, wintercoat & leggings-under-jeans kind of cold.

The only problem with dressing for the cold [for me at least] is that once you get to your destination & go inside you feel like you're going to melt! That's why layers are my best friend!

My go-to outfits when it's cold always include:

-jeans
-leggings [under jeans if it's super cold]
-comfy socks [if found some at costco that are brown, pink & tan. Cute & warm!]
-boots
-long sleeve shirt/button up
-sweater
-vest or coat [I almost got rid of the above vest, but I'm so glad I decided to keep it!]
-gloves, scarf & hat [mostly because I just love to accessorize!]

What's your go-to winter outfit?

xo
Sam

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On Comparing...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


It's something we're all guilty of sometimes. Right? Please tell me that I'm not the only one that does this occasionally? I don't know who this Matt Cheuvront character is, but he sure has some wise words.

... actually he's a self made entreprenuer & you can find him here...

Really though, I do not consider myself a jealous person. Not at all. I'm genuinely happy for my peers when they accomplish something personally or professionally, just as I hope that they are happy for me & my accomplishments. That said, I still oftentimes find myself comparing.
Comparing where I am to where they are. Asking myself should I be at this point?

It happens in work life, in personal life, and even in blog life.

Bottom line, we need to all just stop, take a second to breathe, and realize that we are each on our own path, not someone elses. Your personal success is definined by you. By your accomplishments. Not by other peoples accomplishments or how you 'stack up' against someone else.

Success is defined differently by everyone, and quite frankly, it should be.

What does success mean to you?

xo
Sam

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Weekend Fun.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hey loves! Hope all of you had a wonderful weekend :) Here's how I spent mine...

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Ate a ginormous cinnamon roll at Wild Eggs. Jason & I decided to go out for an early morning breakfast. Highly recommend this place for all of you around Louisville :)

Spent Saturday afternoon being lazy watching the Cardinals & Kourtney & Kim Take Miami. The dogs were enjoying the lazy day after we got back from our long walk.

This is how I communicate with Jason now. He has been literally livng in the basement since he got a new tv. So while he's watching NBA games I'll send him goofy texts to see if he wants to come hang out with me :)

Spotted this New York sign at a pizzeria here in town. I'm thinking I can totally make this a DIY project with wooden letters, scrapbook paper & modge podge. Hobby Lobby here I come!

We had sushi night with a couple of friends. These are from a place called 'Soro' but we also tried Sake Blue for the first time. Both very good! Jason is becoming quite the sushi connoisseur!

Found this hairstyle! This is Frankie Sanford from the band The Saturdays. I am dying over her hair! You can see it above in both blonde & dark brown. What do you think?? Too asymmetrical? I always find the cutest short syles when I'm in the 'growing my hair out' stage.

I had a few showings on Sunday morning & it was c-c-cold! It was definitely a coffee kind of morning!


 What was the highlight of your weekend??

xo
Sam

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Fearless Fashion Fridayyyy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hey ladies!

Here's a question for you....

What does 'FASHION' mean to you?

To me, fashion isn't just the clothes you wear, but it's the overall image you present. Your style. The way you accessorize, style your hair, or do your makeup.

I've always been game for trying out new clothing trends, but I've not always been as open to trying drastic new hairstyles. I tend to rotate between chopping my hair off into an asymmetrical bob, then growing it out to a long layered style. I also switch it up between heavy blonde highlights & dark brown overall color. One thing I've always sort of wanted in the back of my mind is a cute, short cut. But I'm always too afraid to pull the trigger!

Some of these styles are so chic & edgy... if I could change my hair every day I would try them all!

                                                                                      Source: yfrog.com via Samantha on Pinterest







 
                                                                            Source: dearlydevoted.tumblr.com via Samantha on Pinterest
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                               Source: hair.becomegorgeous.com via Samantha on Pinterest

Have you ever had a short cut? I'm in the 'growing my hair out' stage right now, so I'm hesitant to chop it off at this point, but these sure are tempting!

So excited to be linking up with Kelly & Lindsay for their new link-up.... Fearless Fashion Fridays!

 
Can't wait to see all of the other lovely ladies that linked-up today!
 
Happy Friday!
 
xo
Sam

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On the Hunt [Iphone 5 Wristlet]

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hey ladies! So I'm officially on the hunt for an Iphone 5 wristlet. I want something cute yet functional, allowing room for my phone, a couple of cards & some cash. Here are a few options I've come across...

Iphone 5 Wristlets
Any other recommendations?

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Our Cancun Trip [Maroma Beach] [Secrets Resort]

Ladies, it's recap time!


I'm sooo excited to fill you guys in on our trip to Cancun! We had an amazing time & I would highly recommend our resort to anyone! We stayed at Secrets Resort on Maroma Beach in Cancun, Mexico.
The beaches were just gorgeous, and the resort was top notch.




Umm... is that a bed? yep! 
Gorgeous, right?!
 

Jason works in the tire business, and each year one of his distributors sends us on a trip.  [yayuh!]They usually pick the best places & the majority of time they are all inclusive resorts, which is nice.
However, we have had some trips booked by another distributor that were not all inclusive resorts. While still nice, I really prefer the all inclusive. Those poolside drinks & all that food adds up quick!

Tried to take this badboy ourselves... haha he had to hold the camera & I had to press the button!

Here is what our room looked like at Secrets. I'm pretty sure all rooms are the same layout, but if you're lucky enough to get the first floor you get a 'swim up' room, meaning you can literally walk out of your sliding door and into the water. Crazy! We got a room on the 3rd floor & we really enjoyed our view overlooking the pool, palm trees & the ocean.

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The following pretty much summed up our vacation.

Food

Being an all inclusive resort, we had unlimited food options & availability. All food & drink is included, other than some bottles of wine. Guys, the pico de gallo was to die for here. For breakfast, we could order room service or visit the 'World Cafe' restaurant for a breakfast buffet. For lunch, we had the option of sitting down at one of the restaurants, or they had a poolside grill where you could fill your plate & take it with you to the pool or beach. We opted for the poolside grill most days because clearly we are all about spending as much time as possible pool/beach side. For dinner, we had multiple places to choose from inluding a steakhouse, italian, hibachi, french & the world cafe.
I would give Secrets an A+ for food quality. Most everything was delicious. [Not going to lie, we brought peanut butter crackers & breakfast bars just incase]

Beach & Pool Activities

Most of our days were spent relaxing either on the beach or poolside. It was partly cloudy a lot of the time, so we didn't get super tan but we still had such an amazing time. The hotel staff was really personable & made sure there was plenty to do. They had pool & beach volleyball, water aerobics, zumba, darts, dancing ... the list goes on. We prefer to be outside as much as possible while on vacation, soaking up the gorgeous views & warm weather, but if you like to spend time inside they had shopping & a spa.

Evening Entertainment

Once the evening rolled around, we once again had all sorts of options. First we would usually have dinner & drinks at one of the above mentioned restaurants. Then when we finished, just about every night around 9:30 the evening show would begin. The hotel staff gets really into the shows & make them so much fun! We had a Rock Show, a Cirque de Soleil inspired show, a 'Secrets Idol' night[think American Idol], a Fire Show [my favorite!], and a Sensuality Show. On top of those, we also had a 'Love & Marriage' game show that was hilarious. Moral of the story - DO NOT write off the provided entertainment as lame, because these shows were awesome!

Can I just say that our host introduced himself as our 'MC of the night' that's short for Mexicannn Chocolatteee.

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The girl in front was my favorite staffer, Dianna! She rocked.
 

Once the show of the night ended, they had a 'club' you could go to & listen to music. We went here most evenings to hang out for a while. It was actually very fun even though I am totally not a 'club' person. The staff would get out there & make people dance!


We also had Casino Night one night. I think this was put on special for our tire group, but I'm not sure. We were given fake money to gamble with & then there was an auction afterward. I'm a blackjack girl & Jason is a roulette fan, so we stuck to those two games the most. It was funny because our blackjack dealer had no freaking clue how to play the game. So we tried to teach him. It didn't work! Our roulette dealer was better :)


Tips for a tropical vacation 

Book all inclusive resort
I can't stress this enough! I am just all for all inclusive resorts. No paying extra for entertainment, food, drinks... the list goes on & on. I've stayed at other resorts that were not all inclusive and eating & drinking gets expensive. Then again, I'm cheap... but check into it at least! Remember though, tip your staff! We tipped our servers that brought us drinks at the pool & beach, our masseuses [we got a free massage], and our hotel maids [because I clean houses & know they deserve a tip!].

Quality of food
Whether you're staying at an all inclusive resort or not, try to check into the quality of food before your stay. You can visit the resort website & facebook page, also review sites such as yelp!. Also when you arrive, see if any restaurants require reservations. At our resort, none required reservations except the hibachi grill which we had to reserve days in advance due to popularity.

Look at reviews online
Yelp!, Facebook, etc. are useful resources. Find out what other people thought of their stay. Also, if you have friends [blog or real life] or family that have been ask their opinions!

Excursions & activities
Plan ahead! Some excursions & activities requrie you to sign up in advance. For example, snorkling offsite, wine tastings, spa, shopping excursions, etc. See if you need to sign up in advance, then once you arrive be sure to reconfirm with your consierge.

Dress code
Most resorts are casual attire, however some restaurants or clubs will require more formal dress, check the resort website in advance to be sure you pack accordingly.

Consider travel time
 Flights & layovers can take up a good portion of your day, so if you're booking a 5 day getaway, make sure 2 entire days will not be occupied by travel. Try your hardest to get a direct flight, but sometimes it's just not possible. Pack a small carry-on with a change of clothes if your traveling somewhere tropical where it will be much warmer. Then you can change at the airport if you get warm, or even change once you get to the hotel if your room isn't ready upon your arrival.

I am by no means a world traveler, but so far I've been to a few places.
Dominican Republic - Paradise Island [stayed at Riu Resort next to Atlantis - all inclusive]
Dominican Republic - Punta Cana [stayed at Hard Rock resort - all inclusive]
Puerto Rico [can't remember the name of the resort! it wasn't all inclusive]
and obviously Cancun, Mexico [Secrets resort at Maroma beach]

So far my favorite resort has been Secrets in Cancun. But my favorite place has been Puerto Rico.

What's your favorite international place to travel?
Any tips for planning a vacation you want to add?

Also, can I just say that tonight I'm meeting my best friend for zumba followed by a few of these....

And this is literally the ONLY thing that is going to get me through this long day! And you though I would have had enough margaritas in Mexico... ha!

Linking up with Shanna for....
xo
Sam

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Splitting Expenses - What's your strategy?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

First of all, can I just say that I wrote this entire post & then blogger deleted it!? Thanks blogger! NOT! #bloggerproblems

Grrrr... Anyways...

I thought we would talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. That something is splitting expenses within the household.

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Working in real estate, I get to help people with one of the biggest financial decisions of their life, buying a home. Not just a home, but their home. When working with buyers in the home buying process, not only do we break down what the home costs & what the monthly mortgage payment will be, but we also break down how these added monthly expenses will fit within the overall household budget.

I work with a lot of buyers. Husbands & wives. Newly engaged couples. Single people. Boyfriends that bring their girlfriends along. Girlfriends that bring their boyfriends along. Girlfriends that bring their girlfriends along. Sometimes people even bring their dogs along for the process. Heck, we don't discriminate.

Working with this diverse group of buyers often has me wondering how couples split their household expenses.

I mean, lesbereal. In todays day & age, not all couples that live together are married. Or engaged. Or anything. Nothing wrong with that, heck I'm one of them! But not being married often means seperate finances, so this can present a sticky situation when talk turns to splitting the household bills.

Jason & I have lived together for 4+ years, so we have had plenty of experience with splitting household expenses. We've definitely found what works for us. That's why we look oh so happy, right?!

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Just look at those smiles! I look way happier than Jason, ha! ;)
 

There are many ways to go about splitting household expenses, but as with any relationship or co-living situation, communication is key! Be sure to discuss splitting expenses upfront, so everyone can have realistic expectations & be on the same page from the get go!

Here are some possible tactics for splitting household expenses:

Split down the middle.

Likely the most straightforward approach to splitting expenses, you could just split them right down the middle. 50/50. Each person pays their half. Something important to consider here is which bills are included in the 50/50 split? All expenses including personal expenses such as car, insurance, etc.? Or just household expenses such as mortgage, rent, utilities, etc.?

Split based on income.

What if one person makes double what the other person makes. Should they pay double the amount [or 2/3's] towards the household bills? Maybe, but this could potentially cause resentment if not discussed and agreed upon by both parties. Once again, communication is key, people!

Split the bills up.

Another way to approach splitting up household expenses is to do just that, split the bills up. For example, one person will pay bills 1,2,3 and the other person will pay bills 3,4,5. This can also work very well as long as everyone's expectations are layed out upfront.

Creating a written household budget showing all shared expenses can help keep track of everything. I also keep a written personal budget each month keeping track of all expenses.

Like I mentioned above, Jason & I have lived together for 4+ years. When we decided to move in together, I moved into his existing home. We are not married or engaged, and we keep our finances seperate. We will not combine finances until when & if we get married.
We decided to go the route of splitting the bills up.

Each month, Jason pays the mortgage, and annually he pays the property taxes & home insurance. [Just as he did before I moved in] He also pays all of his personal expenses such as car, insurance, business expenses, etc.

Each month, I pay the gas & electric bill [more than you think!], the water bill, and all grocery expenses. I also pay all of my personal expenses such as car, insurance, business expenses, etc.

Splitting the bills up works great for us, because our incomes vary. [Jason makes wayyy more than homegirl here. For now anway ;)] This is a good way for us both to contribute to the household expenses.

However, I can see how another way would work for other people. Remember, it's all about what's right for your relationship & your living situation :)

How do you split household expenses?
Would you combine your finances with someone if you were not married?

xo
Sam

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Facts of Me

Hola Chicas! As you know I'm back from Mexico. See the little mini recap here.
That's right. After an amazing getaway to Secrets resort in beautiful Cancun, it's back to reality for this ladayyy. Sure, I'm feeling a little blue, but Whitney's The Facts of Me link up is dulling the pain a bit. Don't worry, a full recap of our little Mexican getaway will happen soon. But for now, please enjoy...
 
 
Like Whitney, I too enjoy a good pair of yoga pants every once & a while. MY go-to version is leggings with a tunic/dress & boots. You know, when I still want to be presentable and all.
 
A less presentable yoga pants day. 
 
I'm a creamer in the a.m.-joe kinda girl. Creamer & sweet n low. [artificial sweetener - ahhh!] Need to make the switch to truvia. The only thing is, I have like a costco size box of sweet n low & just can't bare to trash it.
 
I'm a saver. See above sweet n low dilemma.

Sweetwater Blue = favorite beer everrrr!

 
I LOVE to thrift [clothes, furniture, you name it] but I'm starting to understand the value of investing in quality peices. [Read Hudson jeans & Oakley sunglasses] I can totally tell a difference in quality and know both will last me forever but dang did it hurt at the cash register.
 
Recently thrifted cabinet to go in my dining room transformation.
 
Flat Iron Curls are my new BFF & go-to hairstyle.
 
I'm one of those creative types... Give me a craft night & a bottle glass of wine & I'll be in heaven!
 
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Did I say a bottle of wine? Ok lesbereal... bottles of wine.
   
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My masterpeice from 'Uptown Art' wine & paint your pet night.
 
I'm going to go out on a limb & say that Halloween is my favorite holiday.
 
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Never ever will I turn down an adventure.

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Bright coffee mugs kinda sorta make my morning.

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These two guys. Yeah, I love them.

 
 
Personal finance blogs make me really really OCD happy. See above 'saver' remark.
 
Hats are totally my thing.

 
Love to travel & learn about different people & cultures. Try different food, drinks & experiences.
 
Exploring Charlotte all day all by myself.
 

 Exploring San Juan, Puerto Rico with Jason & two new friends.
 
 
 What else you ask? Here are some more randoms...
 
I once ran a mile in under 6 minutes. I considered this huge!
 
I get really competitive with myself while exercising/training.
 
My fingernails suck!
 
I might make mug brownies a little too often.
 
I once tried out for a craft show called 'ultimate craft throwdown' & made it to the finals, but then was cut. It was still a fun process. The show ended up being called craft wars.
 
I have a hair chaning obsession. Cut, grow, highlight, dye...
 
I am not a fan of massages. They weird me out.
 
I have a strange issue with people touching my face. I don't even like to touch my own face unless I'm washing it, applying moisturizer, etc.
 
I get up extremely early just so I have time to relax & move slowly.
 
This post somehow ended up EXTREMELY long. If you made it here, props to you! ha ;)
Can't wait to read everyone elses version of 'The Facts of Me'.
 
Are you linking up? What is one fun fact about yourself?
 
xo
Sam
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Weekend Update - Beach edition!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hola chicas!

I'm backkkk. From sunny Cancun, Mexico that is. Yep, from 80 degree + weather there, all the way back to 20 degree weather here in lovely Louisville. I'm just a wee bit bummed.

That said, we had an a-m-a-z-i-n-g time. Duh. Beach, sun, drinks, mexican food... what's not to like, right?

Full recap to come soon, but for now here's your sneak peak :)







Highlights included - good beach reads, corona light with lime, authentic Mexican food, the best literally to-die-for pico de gallo ever, that beautiful aqua ocean, swim up bars... ahh, perfection.

How did you spend your weekend?

xo
Sam

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