Monday, July 22, 2013

Free Weekly Social Media Calendar Download

Happy Monday Loves!

This week I am busy getting lots of social media posts organized for the week since I leave for #BlogHer13 on Wednesday, hoooooray!!

Last week I shared on Instagram that I couldn't find a weekly social media calendar that I like so I created one myself. So many of you loved it I thought I would share it for all of you to use. :)

Download here.


The purpose of this is for me to be able to write down a quick discription of the FB post I created for our morning, afternoon & evening posts. Some days I have more posts to schedule but I always make sure we have at least 3 posts.  For example, we currently have 5 bloggers doing a series of posts for us about different stages of deployment.  Last week the topic was "Why I blog".  So when I schedule one of their posts on fb I will simply write "Jacey blogs" so I know what the post was about. If I share it as a photo with the link I might also write in "photo" so I know that as well.  Then I use the twitter and google+ icons to put a check next to if I schedule the same post on those social media platforms as well.  

This sheet works for my visual needs and is great when I will be on travel for work{or play} so I know what is scheduled.  It also helps to make sure I don't duplicate posts or share something similar back to back.

{The posts I create and the links I share for my job at Blue Star Families don't always have an image that would make it good for Pinterest so I did not include that icon, but you can just add a 3rd check.}

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shrimp, Bean & Avocado Summer Salad {quick & easy recipe thanks to All You Magazine!}

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You, but all my opinions are my own. #lifeforless #pmedia http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

I love magazines, my love might be something close to an addiction.  I think it has something to do with the pictures that inspire me. Whether I am reading about fashion {affordable fashion of course!}, recipes, home decor or DIYs I always put down my current magazine read inspired to create something or re-do something! 

Last fall we moved to the south.  This California girl is adjusting well, but there are still some things that I don't understand but I am sure people think that way about us west coast peeps! One thing I did notice soon after moving here is the magazine All You.  It was not one of my magazine options back in California when I would stock up on magazines for a beach day or travel day.  When I was asked to check out the magazine for pollinate I might have squealed a bit! I was able to go just down the street to Food Lion to grab the current issue of All You. I also see it when I check out at my local Harris Teeter!  The good news is the magazine is now offered all over the US and in a variety of stores! You can go here to see all the places you can jump in your car and drive to to pick up the latest issue! 


All You is jam packed with so many amazing articles about how to live life on a budget, but still have fun! I for one love to save a few dollars whenever I can, it adds up in the long run. All You's tag line is "enjoy life for less" and they do a great job of creating a magazine that helps you do just that!

They have some beyond cute and affordable DIYs to spruce up your house or garden.  There are literally more than a dozen recipes that look delicous and do not break the bank, a double win in my book! Tons of beauty and fashion advice as well as an article about how to clean your house faster and cheaper! I am ear marking that page to read when we get back from vacation next week!



I picked up All You one day after a long day of work. I was exhausted, it was warm out so the idea of turning on my stove kinda made me wanna cry.  I decided to pour myself a fruit infused water and peruse the magazine and relax before I tackled dinner.  I have a slightly bizarre way in which I read a magazine.  I look at it in numerous rounds. The first round I kind of skim each page and if any of the titles or pictures grab my attention I stop and read the article a bit more.  Of course the first articles that caught my eye were those dealing with fashion.  After I read about how to pick the most flattering dress for your body type I was then stopped by this article, "1 week, 5 easy meals."  I still needed to make dinner and low and behold one of these 5 meals was beyond easy, Roasted Shrimp, Avocado and White Bean Salad. It required quickly cooking the shrimp, chopping up a few veggies and opening a can of white beans.  Hello quickest dinner ever!



What made me even happier about this dinner was I had almost every single ingredient in my fridge and pantry as part of my "staples," which means it is a great dinner when you haven't been to the grocery store in a bit and super affordable. I usually always have a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer, they are so easy to throw into a pasta or rice dish and now a bean salad!  The only ingredient I was missing was the tomato, I substituted a red pepper instead.  The only step I changed in the preperation was the way I cooked the shrimp. Since it was a typical super hot and humid Virginia summer day I did NOT want to turn my oven on so I quickly cooked the shrimp in a pan on the stove top for a few minutes.



I think the entire meal took 20 minutes from prep to plate, so perfect after a looooong day of work. The real test though was my husband, he scarfed down the dish! A sure sign I will be making this dish again, soon!  At a steal of $2.99 All You magazine is my new life saver for quick and healthy dinners!


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 15-oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice {I used a red pepper instead}
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 small avocados, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch dice

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. 
2. In a bowl, toss shrimp with 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet and roast until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool slightly.
3. Add beans, tomato, onion and cilantro to bowl with shrimp. Whisk remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, lime juice and crushed red pepper in a bowl. Pour over salad; toss to combine. Fold in avocados. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

pattern mixing {what i wore} & infertility ramblings

Today is a day that is kind of hard for me to deal with.  It is a date I never really thought I would have etched in my brain, but life is funny that way. It throws you curve balls when you least expect it.

gold chevron necklace: Lisa Leonard // turquoise necklace: made by me // top: Forever21 // skirt: Ross // heels: JCPenney {$5, a total steal!} // purse: free {slightly embarrassing but I found it in the trash at an old job. it was a desk trashcan, not the dumpster!}

3 years ago we decided to stop birth control and try to start a family.  3 years later we have no baby but instead countless doctors appointments to go to, and countless procedures to cross off the list as being tried.  Most days are fine, but every now and again it is hard.  It is frustrating.  We have been trying to start a family since before people we know who now have kids were even married! That is often times a hard pill to swallow.  

I remind myself it will all happen in Gods time and according to his plan, but damn it, sometimes I want to scream and yell and ask him why! Ask him why he gave me such a desire when I was so young to be a mom and then for our journey to start a family to be such a struggle. 

We are trying to embrace life right now and do things we know will no longer be so easy once we have kids. 

Over the holiday weekend we took a last minute day trip to Richmond, VA. Just about an hour and a half northwest of us.  It was so easy to jump in the car and go. As much as I try and tell myself to enjoy these things I can't help but sometimes get a bit sad and jealous when I see others posting pictures of their new adventures with baby in tow. 

Each day I think I am slowing getting to a better place. I know I am in a far better place today than I was about 18 months ago. 


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