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Friday, July 22

Good morning, lovelies!

I hope that y'all have had a fabulous week. As I mentioned earlier this week, I am at a jujitsu clinic in Chicago. Since blogging while traveling is challenging, the Mister has agreed to share his confessions with you. This is the first time since I started High-Heeled Love seven years ago that the Mister has written a guest post, so I hope you enjoy his confessional post.

I confess…

When I am asked to write things that others will see, I get anxious about my spelling and grammar. Somewhere in my younger life, I began to doubt and second guess myself whenever I write or type. Thank goodness for spell check and auto correct. They are both a blessing and a curse. Aubrey has suggested that I do more reading, she has told me that it has really improved things for her.

I confess…

I’m so excited that Aubrey is getting to travel to Chicago for a jujitsu clinic. I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t say I was a little jealous. Through several blessings, I was able to fly out to Sparks, NV for our National Convention. Unfortunately, the two of us couldn’t. It was really important for me that she was able to go to the Chicago clinic, so I have been hustling some side work to help out.

I confess…

I have been in the carpentry trade for almost two years. I have learned a lot and have developed the confidence to do some things for friends and family, but after tomorrow, I will be starting a new chapter in two weeks. I have over a decade of experience with digital printing and was fortunate to land a nice job with a company. For training purposes, I will be working first shift for two to three weeks, but after that, I will be switching to third shift. I’m a little nervous about the lifestyle changes and change in routines that will come with that schedule.

I confess…

Two big things are coming up in August that I am very happy about. Aubrey will be having a birthday and my niece will be getting married. I’m always happy for birthdays, but I’m super happy that my niece has met such a wonderful man.

Confession is good for the soul, so grab the button and let it all out. You'll feel better when you're finished. Want to play along? Grab the button and link your Friday Confessional below. Please comment after linking.

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Tuesday, July 19

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may be compensated for purchases made via these links. Thank you for your support of my blog.

Here's the thing about taking a road trip. I love travelling. I love getting in the car to see new parts of the country and the adventure of a trip to a new city. There's something about two-lane country highways and the beauty of the American countryside that makes my heart happy.

But the prep for a trip, even just a weekend trip, is a fair amount of work. At the moment, my travel to-do list seems to just keep growing. I'm not packing for just a trip to Chicago; I'm also packing for my first solo martial arts clinic.

It's not just a matter of packing a bag and throwing it in the trunk. Before we started living on a budget, I took the attitude that I could just purchase anything that I forgot when I reach my destination, but that seems wasteful now - especially since the Mister did a lot of hustling because it was important to him that I get to go on this trip.

Here's what I need to accomplish today:
  1. Finish laundry.
  2. Pack street clothes and toiletries.
  3. Pack martial arts bag; include ibuprofen and liniment for bruises (just in case).
  4. Stop by mechanic's for tire rotation, have fluids and hoses checked. Get new windshield wipers.
  5. Get gas.
  6. Go to the bank for change for toll roads and cash for gas.
  7. Decide what snacks I want for the road and go to grocery store.
  8. Stop by my mother-in-law's; she's making me some chicken salad for lunch on the road.
  9. Decide on audio books for the trip and purchase them from Audible. (Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks); finish putting together music for my road trip playlist.
  10. Go to bed early since I plan to be up at 4:30 in the morning on the road by 5.
Of course, I have actual work at the office today as well. And our plumber is going to stop by the house this morning because I think our water heater is dying. This is probably why I'm wide awake at 5:30, but I can't do much packing yet since the Mister is still sleeping.

Road Trip Travel To-Do List || Stop by High-Heeled Love & sign up to get my free printable road trip prep list.

On a travel-related note, I have two opportunities to share with you:
  • I've designed printable road trip prep list for you; join my mailing list to get it for free.
  • Shutterfly is offering a special for a free travel luggage tag when you use the promo code SUMMERTRAVEL at checkout. This offer ends 7/20/16; taxes and shipping/handling will apply.

So, I need to get moving, but if you have road trip travel tip or music suggestions for the road trip playlist, but let me know in the comments or on my facebook page.

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Friday, July 15

Good morning, lovelies!

I'd like to know how it's Friday again already? This summer is flying by just too fast. Last week, I cancelled Friday Confessional because with all that was happening in Dallas and in other parts of the county, I just couldn't.

Now it's time to start the weekend with a clean slate by sharing all the dirty, little secrets. Also, this post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support of my blog.

I confess...

Last weekend was spent at my parents' house. They're moving soon, and I volunteered to help them over the weekend with the moving sale as well as getting the house clean for the realtor's open house.

You don't realize how much work tasks like that are until you get started. I'll say that I surprised myself with my ability to lift and move heavy objects, and I am definitely in the right career path in sales. Also, selling items at a yard sale is much easier than selling insurance (though not as lucrative).

I confess...

Today is National Ice Cream Day. I had no idea when I created this week's Wino Wednesday post; I just knew that I like ice cream and wine.

I'd really like to make some ice cream this weekend. There's a recipe in the Lee Bros. Southen Cookbook, which we received years ago as a wedding gift, for buttermilk peach ice cream that I'm dying to try.

I confess...

Next week, I'm headed to Chicago for a martial arts clinic. I'm trying to get all the practice in that I can before my black belt exam in October. There's still so much to do to get ready for this exam, and I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed.

This is me with two of the professors in our system from our clinic last fall. I love the opportunity to train with friends from all over the country.

I confess...

I'm driving to the clinic, which is a 12-13 hour drive. And I need some tunes for the road. Please share your road trip music essentials in the comments.

Confession is good for the soul, so grab the button and let it all out. You'll feel better when you're finished.

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Custom Shapes For Your Cards at Zazzle
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Wednesday, July 13

Hello, fellow winos!

Welcome to Wino Wednesday! This is a monthly linky party where we discuss any and all things wine-related.  This month, I'm daydreaming about boozy summer frozen treats.

Wino Wednesday: Boozy Frozen Summer Treats

With temperatures regularly soaring past 100 degrees here in South Carolina, frozen desserts are survival requirement. Last year, I received an ice cream maker for my birthday, and I was thrilled to come across some wine ice cream while hunting for recipes.

Wine + Ice Cream = Yes, Please!

Seriously, who doesn't love the idea of an icy treat at cocktail hour. Here are my favorite choices for boozy frozen treats this summer.

  1. Pear & Prosecco Sorbet by Camille Styles
  2. Moscato & Blackberry Ice Cream by Sugar Spun Run
  3. Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles by Spoonful of Flavor
  4. Berry Sangria Sorbet by The First Year
  5. Red Wine Ice Cream Sundae by Cooking with Janica
Wino Wednesday: Boozy Summer Frozen Treats

Do you want to join the Wino Wednesday party? Here are the ground rules:
  1. Grab the Wino Wednesday button below and slap it on your post.
  2. Link a wine-related post to the linky party.
  3. Make some new friends over a glass of vino.
  4. Mark your calendar to join us for Wino Wednesday on the second Wednesday of each month.

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Want to play along? Link your Wino Wednesday post below. Please comment after linking.

Wino Wednesday: Monthly Party at

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you might want to consider following my Wino Wednesday board on Pinterest. We'll see you at the next Wino Wednesday, which is the second Wednesday of each month.

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Monday, July 4

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may be paid a small commission from sales via these links. Thank you for your support of my blog.

If you are new around these parts, the Mister and I took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course through our church last year. We have a goal to pay off half of our consumer debt this year. You can catch up on our journey by checking out our previous recaps:
Our Financial Peace Journey: June 2016

June Budget

Okay, let's start with the taxes. I mentioned during last month's update, that our tax bill was a few thousand more than we had saved. This wasn't something that could linger, and the bill had to be paid by June 17 or we'd incur further interest and penalties.

When we sat down to have our budget meeting for the month, we had to be honest with ourselves. It didn't matter how much we hustled on the side, we weren't likely to make another $3500 in June (that would basically double what we normally bring home.) And we both would rather owe more on our line of credit than owe the IRS.

So, we paid it via the line of credit and re-figured our debt snowball. The money from the tax savings account was thrown at the two lowest items on the snowball, which are now paid off. It's a bummer because it feels like we have took two steps backward, but accomplishing things in life doesn't always happen in a straight line.

June Victories & Blessings

The extra income has been finding it's way to us; we're pretty pleased to have added nearly $600 in extra income to our budget last month. The Mister has lined up some regular part-time work, helping out with a local restaurant. He's also lined up several painting and repair jobs for July that should total at least another $1000 extra income.

I firmly believe that when you're handling your money right, blessings find their way to you. Case in point. A couple that lives in our neighborhood recent remodeled their kitchen and blessed us with their gas range, so we'll be able to sell our old range. Since we didn't have a gas line in the kitchen, the Mister has bartered painting work to have the line run.

Also, some family members are blessing with a paid for vehicle when they move in August, which will allow me to sell mine and get rid of the car payment. They will also be giving us some furniture; I'm anticipating a yard sale in our near future.

We're halfway through the year, and this is a great time to get control of your finances. I'd suggest reading The Total Money Makeover. Want some more reading to improve your finances? Check out my suggestions of four books to improve your household finances.

What are your financial goals for 2016? If you're working your way out of debt, share your victories with us in the comments.

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Friday, July 1

Good morning, lovelies!

Confession is good for the soul, so grab the button and let it all out. You'll feel better when you're finished.

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I confess...

I absolutely cannot believe that we're halfway through the year. I told the Mister last week, and that since July 1 is kind of like a mini New Year's for me, I wanted to start cleaning up my diet and try to lose a few pounds. Given that my cholesterol was a wee bit high at my last annual, I'd like to have that under control before my appointment in the fall.

However, I then realized that we have two cookouts to go to this week, so I'm staying in and getting started on Monday. I'm thinking produce from the garden will take center stage on my plate next week.

I confess...

I'm way behind on my massage homework. If anyone local is reading this, I need more hands-on time. Reach out to me if you'd like an hour of free bodywork this week. I need to complete like 10 more hours before Saturday.

I confess...

I had the good pleasure of taking the Mister to two ball games last weekend. A colleague gave me his seasoned tickets since they were out of town.

I always forget how much I enjoy watching baseball live until I get inside a stadium. Our stadium is brand new and really nice. We'll definitely be heading back.

Want to play along? Grab the button and link your Friday Confessional below. Please comment after linking.

Coveted Gift with Purchase
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Thursday, June 30

Hello, friends!

Welcome to the Monthly Coffee, a little linky party hosted by me and Miss Angie from My So-Called Chaos. I'll tell you what. June just flew by; I can't believe we're at the end of the month, and that it's time to share my round-up of favorite reads already.

This party is all about sharing those fabulous blogs that you've read this month. Let's grow our blogger community by sharing the best posts you've come across. You'll find new blogs to read, and we'll all make new friends.

So pour yourself a steamy beverage, grab the button and share your favorite reads this month.

That said, here were my favorite reads lately:

Given that I had a conference this month and led a session during our leadership course, blog posts about improving leadership skills have been resonating with me. This post from Her After covers principles to help you be successful.

And if you're looking for ways to be more productive, then Sage Grayson has you covered with her concept of a before lunch list. This idea will help you get the most important items on your to-do list accomplished.

Continuing with the theme of productivity, I came across this list of ways to use your planner from Hello Giggles and loved it. I'm particularly liking the idea of tracking reading progress and recipes tried.

Since today marks the halfway point of 2016, it might be time to renew some goals such as getting the house organized. I Heart Planners has a quick list of organizing projects that you can accomplish in just 15 minutes.

Finally, let's look at some blog improvement. I'm always on the lookout for some good blog advice; this month I appreciated Meg O. on the Go's collection of bad blogging advice and why said advice wasn't a good fit for her. You really gotta evaluate all the blogging "help" out there and determine what works for your situation.

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Want to play along? Link your Weekly Round-Up post here:

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Monday, June 27

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking my links. Thank you for your support of my blog.

I know that it's been a little quiet around these parts lately. Life has been busier than ever between summer obligations and work travel, and this summer heat seems to sap any extra energy I might have at the end of the day.

Surviving Summer Heat on National Sunglasses Day

When the temperatures rise above 100 degrees and the heat index even higher, we go into summer survival mode. Lately, this is what I suggest doing to survive the summer heat.

Bust out a Swim Suit

We might be headed to the pool or the beach, but swimming is a necessary part of surviving South Carolina summer.

Drink Plenty of Beverages

I'm not talking about adult beverages (though I did share some ideas for Wino Wednesday earlier this month). I've been loving all the frozen seasonal drinks that show up on summer menus. This time of year is probably the most important time to really focus on hydration. I aim for 80-100 ounces every day and more if I'll be doing outdoor activities.

Keep Your Shades Handy

Honestly, I wear sunglasses year-round, but the glare of a South Carolina sun in the afternoon will have me digging in my purse the second I step out the door. I literally won't take another step until I find them.

Today is National Sunglasses Day, which is all the more reason to celebrate a cool pair of shades. We both found with our annual optometrist visists, that our prescriptions had changed.

We all know that prescriptions glasses can get price-y quickly, and since we'll both need new frames and sunglasses, I'm happy to share a cost-saving option - Warby Parker's Summer 2016 Collection.

Shop Warby Parker Online

The newest Warby Parker Sunglasses in the Summer 2016 Collection include shapes for both women and men in super fun summer  colors such as Grapefruit Soda, Sand Castle, Ocean Mint, and Belize Blue.

Warby Parker Sunglasses - Eastman in Belize Blue

Warby Parker Sunglasses - Tilley in Grapefruit Soda

Warby Parker Sunglasses - Topper 16 in Crystal

I can use Warby Parker's Home Try-On program, and they'll send me five pair to try on risk-free to help me decide which pair to purchase.

Also, for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need through Warby Parker's "Buy a Pair, Give a Pair" program.

With prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses starting at just $95, and progressive lenses starting at $295, I hope you'll join me in seeing summer better through Warby Parker.

See Summer Better
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