Finding My Strengths

A few years ago, my friend Ashley mentioned the book StrengthsFinder while we were out for a company happy hour one night after work. I was immediately interested and purchased the book shortly after hearing her recommend it. I love anything related to personal development and / or psychology, so this was definitely up my alley! 

Inside of the book, there's a code to take an online assessment and once completed, you'll learn what your top five strengths are. The book discusses the importance of utilizing your strengths, advice for maximizing your strengths, and an overview of all of the different strengths described in detail. This book is a very short and easy read -- definitely one that I like to glance through as a "refresher" every now and then.

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I remember being so excited to learn what mine were -- and then feeling surprised at my results. A few of the top five results that I received weren't necessarily words I'd typically use to describe myself, but after reading the chapters about my particular strengths, I realized that they were spot-on! 

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Learning my strengths has helped me immensely -- it helps me to understand what types of environments I thrive in and therefore aids in maximizing my potential. Since one of my strengths is "Achiever", I'm all over this! 

I'd highly recommend this book for both personal and professional development -- plus, it's always fun to learn more about yourself in the process! 

Have you ever heard of StrengthsFinder?
What are some of your strengths?

10 Random Facts About Me Vol. 2

Happy Wednesday! The last time I shared my random facts post, it was well-received, so I have volume two up on the blog today! 

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1. I'm not a huge movie person and really don't enjoy seeing movies in the theatre. I attribute this to the fact that I like to talk during movies and be able to pause the movie if necessary.

2. I love public speaking / giving presentations and it is my dream to one day go on a promotional book tour once I publish my book that I'm writing.

3. Although I love having my nails painted, I immediately redo them once they chip. Chipped polish drives me crazy so I always have to remedy it right away! 

4. I'm a little over five foot three and have always loved being short. I'm pretty sure I haven't grown since 7th grade! 

5. My family is super small and I always longed for more siblings and cousins when I was younger. I always envied my friends that came from large families and had lots of cousins (I only have two). I was also obsessed with tv shows such as Full House and 7th Heaven and always wished I lived with a big, crazy family because it looked like so much fun.

6. I'm right-handed, but I'm a leftie for golf, hockey, and snowboarding. This has always puzzled me because it literally makes no sense! 

7. I have this weird dislike for anything old / vintage / antique and prefer that things are new -- especially clothes. Major props to those who score deals on used clothing but mentally, I just can't do it. 

8. Whenever I'm eating food that is supposed to be hot, it needs to be really hot -- same for foods that are served cold -- they can not be lukewarm at all. Sometimes I'll reheat my plate of food in the microwave seconds before sitting down to dinner just so that it is piping hot.

9. I also do not enjoy drinking beverages that are room temperature -- they either need to be super hot or freezing cold with lots of ice cubes.

10. I won't watch tv if there isn't anything on that I am super interested in -- it has to be worth my time otherwise I find something else to do.

P.S. I'm also linking up with Sarah today to chat about my favorite fall drinks! My favorite is Starbucks' PSL, which I enjoyed yesterday afternoon. I also enjoy pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee and an occasional hot apple cider!  

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What are some random facts about you?
Do we have any of the items listed above in common?

New Wheels

This past weekend was filled with some unexpected car shopping! Andy's car bit the dust last Wednesday so we were in the market for a new one!

We went into car shopping with fairly open minds since we weren't set on one particular make or model. We checked out a few dealerships in the area on Wednesday evening and after not really seeing anything that we loved, we decided to spend the weekend browsing other dealerships.

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On Friday morning, I headed out for a quick run through the park before sitting down to work on a freelance project before Andy got home from work. Thanks to the holiday weekend, Andy arrived home mid-afternoon, which left plenty of time to hit a few dealerships before they closed around 6pm.

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We test drove a few vehicles, but didn't really see anything that we loved. We shopped around at our local Walser and after not finding anything, we headed to a few others in the area.

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We headed home later that evening feeling a little discouraged that we hadn't found anything and felt some urgency since we had been sharing a vehicle last week and needed to find something by the end of the long weekend. Upon arriving home, we ate dinner and then played our favorite game to relax for a bit before calling it a night.

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The next day, we headed to a couple other dealerships and then found ourselves swinging by the Volkswagen dealership just for kicks. To our surprise, we ended up finding a car that we both really liked! We took it for a test drive and then chatted with the saleswoman for a bit before heading home -- they were about to close for the evening so we made plans to sleep on it and then come back on Monday to check it out again.

Neither of us have even owned / driven a VW before so we did a little research the next day before heading back to the dealership. One of our friends / neighbors works for Audi and has owned many VWs over the years, so we asked him a bunch of questions about them and he was more than helpful! 

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On Sunday morning, I went for a long walk while listening to another episode of Casefile, which I'm enjoying even more than Up & Vanished! It always keeps me on the edge of my seat and I love that they provide answers to a lot of the cases featured. I popped into our local grocery store on the way home to grab a couple of items that we were out of and had to take a quick picture of their pretty fall flowers right outside the entrance! 

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Upon arriving home, I whipped up some of these, which came highly recommended from this girl! Both Andy and I really enjoyed these and plan to make them again next week for snacks! 

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Later that morning, my sister called to ask if I would be interested in watching the girls for the afternoon while they headed out to grab lunch and run errands. I always jump at the chance to spend time with my favorite little girls, so I quickly showered and headed over to their house. 

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It was easily one of the easiest babysitting jobs ever since both girls napped for 75% of the time that I was there. I took advantage of nap time by enjoying a cup of coffee and my latest book.

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We headed back to the VW dealership bright and early on Monday morning to test drive the car once more before making our final decision. 

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Once we decided that this was the perfect car for us, we headed back to the dealership to purchase it! The customer service at this location was outstanding and it honestly made it such a great experience for both of us! 

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After paying and signing everything, we were both starving so we swung by Chick-Fil-A on the way home for a late lunch! I always joke that I'm a vegetarian 95% of the time only because of Chick-Fil-A! Their grilled chicken cool wrap with honey mustard is my favorite! 

It feels so good to be a 2-car family again -- sharing a car worked for a few days, I think we're both a little too independent to share one vehicle! 

Favorite part of the holiday weekend?
Favorite vehicle that you've owned?

Easy Vegetarian Chili

Happy Labor Day! I hope your day is filled with lots of fun activities and relaxation! I'm sharing my favorite chili recipe today and I'll be back tomorrow with a recap of our holiday weekend! 

Growing up, I was (and still kind of am) a picky eater. However, always I loved most vegetables and even liked bizarre ones such as kohlrabi. I'm also particular about how foods are made -- for example, I always loved the chili that my mom made for us but I never liked any other chili recipes. 

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It is because of this that I've still been making my mom's chili recipe for years and recently tweaked it this past year in order for it to be vegetarian-friendly. If you're not a vegetarian, simply omit the black beans and add in one package of ground turkey or chicken that you've browned in a skillet beforehand.

This is such an easy meal because you literally just dump the ingredients into a pot, give it a few stirs, and let it cook. 

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1.5 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 can red beans in chili sauce
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1.5 cups of Archer Farms Restaurant Style Salsa (I love this one because it's finely blended)
  • 1 can of condensed tomato soup 

In a large stock pot, cook chopped onions in coconut oil on high heat until soft and translucent. Next add tomato soup, all of the beans, salsa, and chili powder -- stir occasionally and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or until heated through. 

Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips. Enjoy! 

Are you a picky eater?
Do you like chili?

 

Friday Favorites #10

Happy Friday! In typical Friday fashion, I'm sharing some of my favorites from the week! 

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I watched my little nieces the other day and while Chloe was napping, Becca and I decided to bake! She always cracks me up because as soon as she pours an ingredient in, she immediately puts down the measuring cup and tastes whatever ingredient she added to the mixing bowl. She quickly discovered that baking soda doesn't taste all that great! 

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We made M&M cookies using this recipe that our family has loved for years -- except instead of using M&Ms, we used Cadbury Harvest candies. These cookies aren't healthy in the least bit but they are so good!

These mini bobby pins have been a lifesaver for short hair! They are the perfect size for pinning back the front layers of my hair and they hold just as well as regular bobby pins. I'd highly recommend them for bangs and shorter styles! 

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I was in need of a new hairdryer that had more power since I style my hair primarily with a dryer. I didn't want to spend a ton, but still wanted an upgrade from my old hairdryer, so I picked up this one! I was blown away (haha, I had to!) by this one the first time I used it! More heat, more power, and best of all, it has a little concentration attachment to add to the end of it -- making it so much easier to focus on one section at a time, Would highly recommend this one if you're in the market for an improved hair drying experience! 

Okay, now that's it's officially September I'm ready to wear all the fall clothes! I've also got my eye on a few new things as the season changes, too. This boyfriend button-up, this plaid popover, this dress would be so cute for work, my favorite sweaters, and this super fun tie-back shirt! 

Speaking of it being September, I most definitely will be ordering a PSL in the near future! 

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I think I've found my perfect avocado toast combo! Toasted Ezekiel bread, avocado, diced tomatoes, this seasoning, and this balsamic glaze. I eat this almost every single day for lunch with a side of my favorite soup or if I'm eating it solo I'll top my toast with a fried egg for some added protein! 

What's one thing you're excited about this month?
Favorite topping for toast?