20 Totally Random Facts About Me

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  1. I absolutely cannot stand being tickled.
    • I don’t mean in the fun way like “Oh no! Don’t tickle me, hehe!” I mean do not even attempt to tickle me or I will thrash and kick and scream until you’re in pain and regretting the decision to lay those wiggling fingers on me.
  2. I also absolutely cannot stand the taste or smell of celery.
    • I should’ve added this to my list of biggest pet peeves, but it irks me to no end when people say “celery has no flavor!” YES it does and it’s repulsive to me. I don’t care of it’s mixed into soup or slathered in peanut butter. I won’t go anywhere near it.
  3. I love, love, love to cook and bake.
    • I’m certainly not the best chef around, but I thoroughly enjoy whipping up new recipes and creating new concoctions. (Just don’t ask my family about the time I tried to make black bean brownies)
  4. I still love playing video games
    • I could spend all day playing Super Mario Bros on Wii or playing Cooking Mama on my Nintendo DS. Hello my name is Emily and I’m 24-years-old, with an 18-month-old, and I still love video games. Problem? Didn’t think so.
  5. I played volleyball for 14 years, including at the University of Cincinnati, and I miss it every single day.
  6. I could eat breakfast food for every meal.
    • Biscuits and gravy, cereal, pastries, donuts, eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, pancakes, waffles, parfaits, oatmeal, and so much more. I could go on and on.
  7. I have always wanted a golden retriever, and my yorkie-schnauzer mix knows it too.
    • I’ve said for years, as soon as I have my own house with a fenced in yard, the first thing I will do is purchase a golden retriever. They’re beautiful, loving dogs and I’m destined to own one!
  8. I thoroughly enjoy reading.
    • Jodi Picoult is my favorite author, but I’m a sucker for the Harry Potter series and all things Christian Grey. Talk about pulling from both ends of the spectrum!
  9. I don’t chew gum.
    • The sound of gum chewing irks me pretty bad but I really can’t stand the thought of chewing on a rubbery, mint flavored item until it becomes flavorless, only to spit it out.
  10. Speaking of mint, I don’t like that either
    • The only kind of mint I can handle is Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and toothpaste. I’m waiting for someone to invent a dessert flavored toothpaste.
  11. I am utterly terrified of public speaking and heights
    • Ask me to give a speech on top of a building and I’ll die right there on the spot.
  12. I also don’t ride rollercoasters
  13. Growing up, I was obsessed with Barbie, Betty Spaghetti, Polly Pocket, and American Girl dolls.
    • The American Girl doll I had was Kit (the one with shorter, blonde hair)
  14. I love spicy food
    • I’m eating chicken, vegetable stir-fry doused in hot sauce as I type this.
  15. When I was in the third grade, a was a member of a recess band called Steps Jr.
    • We sang songs from the band Steps during our 30 minute recess and our classmates would gather around and watch during our “concerts.” And, for those who are wondering, no, I can’t sing worth a lick.
  16. My favorite alcoholic beverage is a Long Island Iced Tea
  17. The very first car I ever drove, I named Karen.
    • She was a 1998 baby blue Chevrolet Malibu
  18. I am not allergic to anything, luckily!
  19. I could spend all day watching the Food Network, and nothing else
    • Unwrapped is my absolute favorite show but I also thoroughly enjoy Best Thing I Ever Ate and The Kitchen.
  20. My hot weather Starbucks order is a venti sugar-free vanilla iced coffee with soy milk and during cold weather I order a blonde roast coffee with soy milk, two Splenda’s, and cinnamon.
    • Every now and then I’ll treat myself with a pumpkin spice latte, a flat white, or a skinny vanilla latte.

Alright, enough about me! Now tell me something random about you!

20 Of My Biggest Pet Peeves

Apparently I have pretty bad road rage. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I began making a list of my biggest pet peeves, and I realized how many of them occur while I’m in a car. It’s one of my faults I guess. *shrugs*

I thought it would be fun to make a list of some of my biggest pet peeves, just to see if I have any in common with other people out there. Because, admit it, even the smallest things can easily become the biggest nuisance. Can you relate to any of my pet peeves that I’ve listed below?

Living With Will Power

  1. The sound of a dog constantly licking himself.
    • I don’t know if it’s the repetition or just the disgusting sound of a wet tongue scraping fur (come on, you know that sound repulsive), but I can’t stand when I hear my dog cleaning his paws. I know he does it for a reason and I thank myself every day that I don’t have a cat for that exact reason.
  2. When the car in front of me doesn’t turn right on red when allowed.
  3. People who walk incredibly slow while taking up the entire side walk.
  4. The sound of gum being chewed.
  5. Tardiness
    • I can’t stand arriving late, no matter where I’m headed. I also get very frustrated and annoyed if I end up waiting on someone because they’re late. If you’re running late, the least you can do is notify the person you’re supposed to meet. Be courteous!
  6. When people confuse your and you’re, to and too, and their, there, and they’re.
    • I don’t care if it’s just a text: get it right people!
  7. When cars pull really far forward into a parking space, making you think it’s empty when it’s really not.
    • Yeah, bikers, I’m giving you the stink eye too.
  8. Crooked parking or people who take up more than one space when parking. Also those who park too close or even over the line, not leaving enough room for even my Corolla to fit.
  9. When people drive as far as they possibly can before trying to merge at the last minute.
    • I know you’re doing it on purpose because there’s no way you missed the half a dozen signs warning you that the lane was going to end. Be polite and merge sooner rather than trying to force your way into traffic. Ugh!
  10. When someone who clearly has more than 10-15 items in their cart, gets in the 10 items of less line at the grocery.
  11. When people use the words “gay” or “retarded” inappropriately.
    • This one’s a bit personal for me and it’s just about being respectful. I have two (soon to be three) special education teachers in my family. Gay marriage was legalized in the U.S. Learn to be accepting and respectful of all people. There are plenty of other words you can use in place of those that hurt people.
  12. The smell of body odor.
  13. When toilet paper is rolled under rather than over.
    • I will debate this until the day I die. Toilet paper is supposed to be rolled OVER. It just looks better that way, believe me.
  14. People who talk while a movie is playing in a movie theater.
  15. People spit in public.
  16. Slow internet.
  17. When every radio station is playing commercials at the same time.
  18. Being tickled.
    • Yeah, I’m laughing, but I’m fuming on the inside.
  19. People who drive slow in the fast lane.
    • MEERRRGGEEEEE!!!!
  20. Getting stuck at consecutive red lights.
    • Aren’t those things supposed to be synced? If not, they should be!

So there you have it. The top twenty things that annoy me or frustrate me more than anything else. I know there’s plenty more, so perhaps eventually I’ll do a part two. But for now, tell me, do we have any pet peeves in common? I’d love to hear what your biggest pet peeves are!

Weekly Workout Update + Leg, Arm Day Routines

Weekly Workout Update

You know those days where you wake up feeling a little bit thinner? Those mornings where you feel like you’re finally starting to see some progress after all your hard work? Well I had one of those this morning and it was glorious! It’s been a slow progress, seeing as it’s been 8 weeks since I’ve gotten back on track with my fitness goals.

I’ve switched up my routines, tried various workout regimens, and seemingly found one that works for me. I’ve been at that specific routine for three weeks now and I’m feeling fantastic. Lifting heavier serves as cardio within itself, but I’ll still throw in some cardio when I feel like it. The lifting routines I’ve been doing definitely leave me feeling sore for a couple days after, but it’s totally worth it — which is why I want to continue sharing some of my lifts with you.

Living With Will Power

Sometimes I don’t have a ton of time to get a workout in, but I figure a short lift is better than no lift. The above routine is an example of what I do when I want to continue working on my arms, but I don’t have enough time for a full-out lifting session. It still gets the job done right?

Living With Will Power

The above workout was the leg routine I accomplished this past week. Leg day is my absolute favorite, and recently the squat racks have been taken the entire time I’ve been at the gym, which is why I haven’t been doing them. Oh well, I can still tone the desired areas without them!

Workout time, for me, is like therapy. It’s a way for me to escape any stress in my life, or even release some of that stress. It’s hard to be angry when you’re giving all your energy to lift a weight! I enjoy working out, which means it never truly feels like a chore for me. Sometimes it’s just a bit difficult to find the motivation to get out of the house and do something.

But speaking of getting out of the house, this week my average daily steps are around 11,000, which means I’m exceeding my daily goal of 10,000. The 15,000 step trip to the fair on Sunday helped a lot, but I’ve been enjoying a lot of walks during this cooler weather. So even on days that I don’t hit the gym, I’m certainly getting a good amount of activity in!

Do you aim for a step goal each day? Do you know how many steps you average?

How I Make Money As A Stay-At-Home Mom + How You Can Too!

Making Money As A Stay-At-Home Mom

Believe me when I say that I am thankful every single day to be able to stay at home with Will. It allows me to be a part of every one of his milestones and witness him grow up right before my eyes without feeling like I’m missing out.

But being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean I can just forgo the entire making money idea. I still have a car payment, cellphone bill, and many other monthly payments to make, so obviously I have to generate income from somewhere. So how exactly do I manage to make money, without even leaving my house?

How I Make Money As A Stay-At-Home Mom

Freelance Writing

My main source of income as a stay-at-home mom comes from freelance writing. I’ve been working as a freelancer for almost a year and a half. I began working for a company based out of Cincinnati that is still in the process of expansion. For them, I write recaps of syndicated television shows, to summarize what happened during each episode in case anyone missed it. The website I write for is called Recapo and lately the shows I’ve covered are The Dr Oz Show and The Doctors but I’ve also covered The Chew, Ellen, The View, The Today Show, and The Talk.

I only work for that company when there are new episodes, which means little to no work for me during the summer. However, when shows are back and all-new, I bring in a great income.

Writing For UpWork and BlogMutt

To supplement the income I get from Recapo and also to build my writing portfolio, I write for two other freelance websites: UpWork (formerly ODesk) and BlogMutt. I simply created a profile on UpWork and then whenever I can, I submit proposals to people looking for freelancers. I read job postings, determine if it’s a project I can complete, and then try to sell myself well enough to get them to choose me. I’ve made several hundred dollars in the past three months working for UpWork, and that’s by only working every now and then, not as much as I can. UpWork is great for both amateur and professional writers.

As for BlogMutt, I had to apply to become a writer for them, and after passing a test, I was “hired.” It’s another website that allows me to work as much as I want, when I want. I write articles based on the material a client is looking for, and if they like the article they can select it to be published on their blog. If my article is published, I get paid $8. The articles typically have to be at least 250 words, which means I can write an article in less than 15 minutes. So far I’ve written 8 articles for BlogMutt and have a 100% approval rate. I plan on writing for them much more in the future.

Both of these websites work through ghost writing, which means I don’t get credit for the material I submit. I’ve written about all kinds of topics including health and fitness, beauty, and pregnancy. I thoroughly enjoy writing, so to be able to do what I love, get paid for it, and stay at home with Will, is a true blessing!

Money-Making Apps

Another way I supplement my income as a stay-at-home mom is through the use of apps. While the income isn’t exactly enough to support my family with, it can easily total enough to cover one of my monthly bills. I just recently got started with SwagBucks, but I’ve been reading articles that show how you can pretty easily wrack up enough points for $50-100 in PayPal gift cards, as well as gift cards for stores like Target. It’s an easy way to bring in just a little extra cash with little to no effort!

Inbox Dollars and Viggle Apps

Other apps I use include Inbox Dollar and Viggle. I hardly use Inbox Dollars but just by filling out my information and checking my Inbox, I’ve made almost $20. You can earn more by answering surveys and performing searches through their search engine, but I’ve been using SwagBucks for that instead.

As for Viggle, you get points by watching TV and “checking in” as well as watching short ads and occasionally answering polls. You also get 100 points for every song you listen to. I’ve kind-of slacked off a bit with Viggle, but I’ve earned over 70,000 points so far.

With Viggle, your points can be redeemed for various items. The bigger, more expensive the item, the more points you need. You get 1 point for every 1 minute of TV watched when you check in, and an additional 20 points for every ad watched. So it takes a while to build up your points. The “most expensive” item you can turn in points for is an iPad mini, worth 1,665,000 points. You can also use your points to redeem items like merchandise, e-books, music, and gift cards. If you watch a lot of TV, this is the app for you!

Other, Random Ways I Bring In More Money

I also make a bit more money with a few other things, such as CrowdSource. CrowdSource is another website I had to apply to first, before I could actually start working. For them, I perform small tasks as a copy writer or quality assurance specialist, and receive anywhere from $.05 to $3.00 per task. The tasks can take just a few seconds or a lot longer, depending on what you decide to do. These are tasks I tend to do in my spare time, whenever I have nothing better to really do.

I’ve made around $20 on CrowdSource so far, again just working for a few minutes here and there. Just like BlogMutt, if I put more time into this site, I could earn more. Another great way to supplement income and some of the tasks can be really fun!

I also make a little extra money through UserTesting. It’s a website where companies pay to have people test out their websites to find out how user-friendly they are. To work for UserTesting, you have to pass a test that requires you to test out a website while you say out loud, what you’re thinking. If you’re hired, you can make $10 per test, which typically take around 10 minutes to complete, but the tasks come few and far between. I simply leave UserTesting open in a tab on my computer and listen for the “ding” that tells me a test is available. I’ve made as much as $100 in one month from UserTesting, so I can verify that it is legit.

The last significant way I have made extra money while being a stay-at-home mom, is by selling things on CraigsList. I’ve helped my parents sell their pop-up camper, sold landscaping bricks, and even old kitchen appliances. If you have things just lying around your house, why not try to sell them? If you price things reasonably, you’re sure to peak someone’s interest!

While I don’t exactly bring in loads and loads of money, I make more than enough to cover my expenses and then some. I can still treat Will and myself every once in a while and enjoy the occasional shopping spree. But I’m certainly money conscious and aware of my finances. I’m truly blessed to be able to stay at home with Will, while still bringing in money for my family.

Friday Favorites + GILT Shopping & Homemade Sushi

  

My little guy has always been such a morning person, but this month in particular has been extra fun. Because I’m only doing freelance articles for the month of August, we’ve been taking advantage and staying busy.

The past two Tuesday’s we headed to GILT, which is sort-of like a temporary warehouse where they set up all these designer items at super discounted prices (we’re talking 70-80% off)! I didn’t hear about it until the last two weeks, but because they restock on Monday’s, we knew Tuesday’s were GILT days! 

We waited in line outside for about 20 minutes before the doors opened, with about 75-100 other people. Once the doors were unlocked, people took off like it was Black Friday! The first Tuesday I didn’t really know what I was in for so I kind-of just walked around and stumbled upon some things.

I ended up getting Will a play tent, a suitcase, and a scooter all for less than $50! I put the scooter away for Christmas but he adores playing inside his tent and wheeling the suitcase around.

  

The second week I knew to head straight for the kids’ section. I was ecstatic because I snagged this $200 jeep for $15.

  
He just woke up from a nap when I took this picture but believe me, he was beyond excited. Another thing I had to put away for Christmas though.

I also snagged this adorable kitchen set for just $10 that I put inside his tent. He loves playing with it!

 
GILT was without a doubt my guilty pleasure of the last two weeks. Get it? Haha! My incredible deals were easily my favorites of the week. 

As for another favorite of mine this week, check out this homemade sushi I made. Yumm!

 
I cooked some brown rice, added rice wine vinegar, and then rolled up the seaweed and rice with carrots, cucumber, peppers, and salmon. I use a bit of spicy mayo on top of a few and they were absolutely delicious!

Making sushi at home was definitely a lot easier than I thought it would be!

Did you do anything exciting this week?

Weekly Workout Update + Weight Lifting Routine

 

 

 

After a few weeks I finally feel like I’ve hit my groove. After looking at various lifting & workout plans on Pinterest, I put together a lifting plan that includes a little cardio with each lift, along with one or two cardio days, for a total of 4-5 workouts a week. I went ahead and created graphics to show what my lifts look like!

Chest Arm Workout

Leg Day Workout

Back Shoulders Workout

I complete those, usually with a cardio day in between, and feel fantastic afterward. Each workout typically takes between 45-60 minutes which means it’s great for anyone who can’t exactly devote hours each day to working out.

On top of that, I’ve been aiming for the recommended 10,000 steps daily and four out of the last seven days, I’ve hit that! Just today I ran a total of three miles, two without needing to stop for a break. Needless to say I’m feeling great!

Another thing that has really helped me the last few weeks is avoiding the scale. That’s right, I haven’t weighed myself in over two weeks, maybe even three. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, I’m paying attention to how I feel and how my clothes fit. I have so much energy, I’m WAY less moody, and in general I just feel better.

I’ve also been doing pretty well overall at eating healthier, watching my portions, and making better decisions in terms of nutrition. I’ve even started eating breakfast again, which, to me, is a big deal because I avoided it for a while out of fear of the calories. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day so I’m certainly glad to have it back!

One of the biggest motivators for me lately has been the alumni event I have coming up at UC. Everyone want to look great when they see people they haven’t seen since last year right? It’s at the end of the month so hopefully I start to see some changes by then. It’s totally possible right? Right!?

Anyway, I’ve bragged & ranted enough. How’s your fitness journey going? Have a great workout you’d like to share?

 

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Will’s First Haircut + Non-Scale Victory!

What a fabulous Sunday Fun Day today was! It all began with breakfast in front of the TV (a true rarity) because my parents were re-finishing the kitchen table. Then we headed off to mass, which is getting more & more interesting as Will becomes more active & vocal. Thank goodness for Cheerios & dry erase books! 

After mass, Will went down for a quick nap & once his daddy arrived, we headed off for Will’s first haircut! I just had to snap a picture before waking him up because, come on, look at him! He sleeps just like his mommy!
 
While he didn’t exactly need a haircut quite yet, he had a long bunch of hair on top of his head & a growing rat tail of hair at the nape of his neck so we agreed he needed a trim!  

We took him to Kid O Cuts & I’m so, so glad we did! They have a slide in the waiting area & then when it’s your turn to bring your kid back, you select a movie for them to play on a TV right in front of the car seats. By car seats I mean literally seats that are cars. So cute!

  
The hairdresser (I guess that’s what her job title would be?) was so great with Will, even when he threw a fit over the hair trimmers. He wasn’t a fan of the loud buzzing sound.

  
But oh my gosh did our little boy look so handsome after his first trim!  

  
He loved the cars so much he wanted to sit in another one before we left. What a cutie! 

Kid O Cuts was great & even gave us a certificate with his picture & a little Baggie of his hair to remember his first haircut! He also got a balloon & a sucker, & you can just imagine how excited he was about that!

After his haircut we headed to the Science Museum, because I have a pass that let us get in free one Sunday. Will had an absolute blast!

  

We were there for a couple of hours before saying goodbye to Daddy & heading home for dinner with Gram & Grandad. This time we are outside. Don’t worry, our eating situation will be back to normal tomorrow!

To top off a great day, Will was pretty tired so we snuggled up to watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid before Will went to bed & Mommy took a bubble bath. 

  
I love my little guy ☺️.

Oh & about that non-scale victory I mentioned in the headline? Guess who fit into an old pair of jeans for the first time since before Will was born! That would be me!!  

  
Now I just have to continue down this path to better health, emotionally & physically & there will only be more non-scale victories to come!

How was your weekend??

Happy Saturday!

 

Enjoying a relaxing Saturday morning before a day full of adventures!

Enjoying a relaxing Saturday morning before a day full of adventures!

It’s my favorite day of the week! Not sure what we’re going to get into today, wanting to wish everyone a happy Saturday while we relax, Mommy enjoys her coffee, and Will “helps” with laundry.

Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend?

Fun Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday! Even as a work-from-home mom, I can still say Friday’s are my second favorite day of the week– come on now, nothing can top Saturday’s– because it means the beginning of the weekend!

I like to do something fun to kick off the weekend, especially if my work schedule gives me a little extra time, & today it certainly did, so this morning Will & I headed to the zoo! We’re absolutely loving our zoo membership because it means we can go whenever we want & park for free!

  
There’s me with my little guy! He hasn’t quite gotten the whole “smile for pictures” thing down yet. We’re working on it. Speaking of, how adorable are these pics of Will with he gorillas? Come on Will, smile for Mommy!

   
 
In case you haven’t noticed yet, he’s wearing his zoo outfit. You have to admit, he looks pretty darn cute, right? Okay I’m a little biased but look at him!

Okay, okay, I’ll stop. For now. I could go on for days.

So after the zoo we went & had lunch at Qdoba. I’m a sucker for Qdoba. But I would just like to boast for a second that I didn’t finish my burrito bowl. & by didn’t finish I mean I only ate half. That’s a first for me. It’s amazing what practicing portion control can do for you! It gets a lot easier the more you do it! So I have a nice lunch for tomorrow already! Woo hoo go me!

The rest of the afternoon was spent with him napping & me working, so the main excitement of the day is over with. But I’ll leave you with a few more great pictures from our zoo trip. Happy Friday!

   
   

Weekly Workout Update

Yikes it’s been a crazy week couple of weeks! Fortunately, I’ve been swamped with freelance work so I can’t exactly complain about that, but it has meant less time focusing on my blog. 

It’s also been crazy hot outside (at least crazy hot to me), so walks with Will have been less frequent than I would have liked. But I did get to take him out on a couple bike rides, which we both loved!

  

Anywho, as for my workouts, I’ve been really proud of myself. I’ve gone to the gym about 7 or 8 times in the past two weeks & have busted out a few quick at-home workouts when I had the chance.

I’ve also been eating better although still not great. It’s hard when you have every intention of making the right decision but then you’re not the one always choosing what’s for dinner. I can only control so much while I live with my parents. But I’ve definitely improved my portion control so I know that’s made a big difference.

As for physical changes, I can’t see any yet. But I’m trying to stay patient telling myself that will come. One thing I have noticed, however, is that the scale is slowly counting backward. By slowly I mean at a glacial pace, but perhaps that’s just because I have zero patience.

I did a lot more cardio this week because 1. It let out a lot of frustration & stress 2. I did a lot of body weight & dumbbell at-home exercises throughout the day.

 
 Nothing particularly special but the main thing is that I’m sticking to it & staying active. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of myself for that!

Now my biggest goal for the next week is to drink more water. Good Lord if I had a dime for every time I was told I needed to drink more water I’d be a gazillionaire. I know I need to but I’ve never been one to drink a lot. Maybe if I start drinking enough water the weight will slide right off, eh? It’s worth a shot! 

What’s one of your health goals for the next week?