How I Prepare For Guests: The Bedroom

Happy Monday, ya’ll!

If you read my post two weeks ago, you’ll know that this is part two of that series! If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, you can click here and get all caught up!

After I have the guest bathroom all stocked and fully loaded with the things to make my guests’ stay a little better, it’s on to the bedroom. When I’m getting the guest room together, I always try to think of little ways to make it comfy, cozy, and inviting; a place I would want to stay in.

First things first: the bed: I’m a big believer in fresh sheets and plenty of pillows!  There are normally at least four pillows on the bed, not including decorative ones. This way our guests have plenty to use if they want, or the extras can just go on the floor.

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Depending on the season determines what kind of comforter or duvet cover is on the bed. In the colder months, it’s a little ticker and warmer. Right now, I have a white duvet cover that has an almost woven like texture to it on the bed.

There’s a mirror and a small hutch in the corner of the room, but other than those and the bed, there’s not much else in the ways of furniture. The guest room isn’t big by any means, so less is definitely more in this case!

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Little touches you’ll also find are a letter board with the Wi-Fi information, extra blankets in the hutch, and hangers in the closet.

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What little things stand out to you the most when you stay at someone’s home? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,
Leah

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Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I have such a big sweet tooth; candy, cake, ice cream, you name it! My husband on the other hand is a little pickier when it comes to the ones he likes. While I will eat pretty much any kind of sweet, he would much rather have something that’s light and not quite so sugary sweet tasting.

Enter these cookies that he had months ago, and I knew I had to figure out how to make them for myself! After much trial and error to get the texture just right, I have a new go to cookie recipe that we both can enjoy!

What You’ll Need

• 1 Box of Lemon Cake Mix
• 1 Egg
• 1 8 oz tub of Cool Whip
• About 1/2 Cup of Powdered Sugar

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Like always, you’ll want to start by preheating your oven to 350°F and having your baking tray ready to go. I lined mine with a silicone baking mat to help prevent sticking, but parchment paper would work too!

Next you’ll combine your cake mix, egg, and Cool Whip in a bowl. Mix all of this together until it’s well combined. The mixture may seem lighter and a little fluffier than normal cookie doughs, but that’s how it’s supposed to be!

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Next you’ll take two spoons and a portion at a time, coat the dough in the powder sugar before placing on your baking tray. Once your tray is full, you’ll put them in the oven to bake for about 10 minutes! Repeat this step until all of your cookie dough has been baked.

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Allow cookies to cool on the tray for a minute or two before moving them to a wire rack to fully cool. Once all of your cookies have been baked, enjoy!

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XOXO,
Leah

Warning: In my experience, it is impossible to eat just one!

How I Prepare For Guests: The Bathroom

Now that my husband and I live hundreds of miles away from our families, when they are able to come visit it’s not just for an afternoon. This has really made me take a step back and think about the things I tend to forget when I’m packing my bag! I bet you’re already thinking about the one thing you always forget too!

Being the planner that I am, I love being ready for guests to be comfortable staying in our home!

Having a separate guest bathroom has given me the perfect opportunity to be able to have it stocked with the things that are so easy to forget!

I use a cute glass jar that I found at Target to help keep everything nice and organized!

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Fully stocked and ready to go, you’ll always find…

– Toothpaste
– Mouthwash
– Floss
– Shampoo
– Conditioner
– Hairspray
– Body Lotion
– Body Wash
– A Razor
– Deodorant
– Makeup Removing Wipes
– Hand Sanitizer
– Q Tips
– Contact Solution
– A Contact Lens Case
– A Nail File
– Band Aids
– Advil, Tylenol, or Aleve
– Hand Lotion

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Currently what the jar holds. I’m in the process of switching out and replacing a few products before our next guests come!

Unless they’re staying for an extended period of time, I normally just buy the travel size products, but full sized is always an option too! You can find these at most any store in a travel/trial size section in the health and beauty department.

In addition, there are always fresh towels, hand soap, toilet paper stocked, and a good smelling candle burning! Oh, and guests are always more than welcome to anything else in the house, but I’ll save those details for another day!

What’s a little way you like to make guests feel welcomed?

XOXO,
Leah

The Dress You Need In Your Closet

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If you have any special occasions coming up this spring, summer, or even early fall, then this is the dress you need! It’s the perfect dress for a date night out, wedding guest, and everything in between!

This true lace is absolutely gorgeous and well made, but it’s also lightweight and so incredibly comfortable to wear! It comes in over ten colors. Even better yet, it’s under $100!

If you’re on the shorter side like I am (5’00”) you know that the struggle is real when trying to find a good midi dress. Sometimes they hit at just the wrong spot and make my calves look huge. With this dress, I don’t have that problem! It hits at just the right length! The lace overlay continues all the way to a midi length while the under skirt hits just above the knee. (This will vary depending on how long your legs are too!)

You can find this ASTR the Label Lace Midi Dress here on their website or at Nordstrom! (The color selection between the two does differ a little between the two websites.) Nordstrom’s website says that the dress runs small and to order two sizes up. I personally feel that it fits TTS (true to size). I normally wear an XS or S and ordered a small.

This dress is perfect to dress up with a pair of heels or down with a cute pair of flats and a jean jacket! If you get one of the more neutral colors, the possibilities are endless for accessorizing too!

If you’re stuck between two different colors, I have great news for you! From now until February 14th, 2019, you can BOGO FREE when you order the dress from the ASTR the Label website! Use code XOXO at checkout!

What dresses will you be rocking for all of your special occasions?

XOXO,
Leah

6 Dates to Treat Yourself This Valentine’s Day

With my husband being in the Army, spending holidays together can be hit or miss. The last two years we’ve missed out on our fair share! Just because he’s not home to celebrate doesn’t mean I skip the celebration all together though!

With Valentine’s Day coming up and the possibility that my husband may be gone again, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite ways to treat myself!

1. Dinner for One. I’ve always been a big believer in having no shame with taking myself out to dinner at any one of my favorite restaurants! It’s a nice little twist on a traditional date night, and it gets me out of the house when my husband is away! I’m not going to lie though, the first time I went out by myself, I definitely felt a bit out of place.  At the end of the meal I was so glad I did! Now, I’m a pro at the game!

2. Go Exploring. If you’re someone that loves a good adventure, this will be right up your alley! I love getting to discover new things and places for myself. These trips make up some of my best memories! There is something so freeing about not having a set plan and just going with the flow. It could be a hike in a new place, going to a new city, or even just immersing yourself in something new! The possibilities are endless!

3. Buy the Outfit. Is there an outfit you’ve been eyeing from afar? This is your chance to buy it! Go all out; top, bottom, shoes, accessories, even new makeup to complete the look! Did you know that even just making an online wishlist of things you like can help reduce stress? I do this on a regular basis and definitely notice a difference from start to finish. Imagine what buying yourself a whole new outfit can do!

4. Visit Your Favorite Coffee Shop. If you follow me over on Instagram (@alongftride), you’ll know that I love having a good hot drink; coffee, tea, hot chocolate… My guilty pleasure is a hot vanilla latte! Have you ever gone to your favorite coffee shop with a good book and just enjoyed your drink and book? In our technology driven world, this idea may seem a little crazy, but I promise that unplugging for even just a half hour feels so good!

5. DIY Spa Day. I’m a big believe that treating myself can also involve things that are good for my mental health! I’m a whole package deal, so taking care of myself in this way is definitely high on my priorities. One of my favorite ways to do this is having an at home spa day. For me, this always includes a good bubble bath with Epsom salt, a hydrating lotion, fuzzy socks, a face mask, and a hot cup of tea! I love this because it can be whatever I need that day!

6. Netflix and Chill. Who says you need someone else for this? Personally, I think there’s nothing better than wearing my comfiest clothes and burrowing in a pile of blankets! Since my husband and I have very different tastes in what kinds of shows and movies we like to watch, when he’s gone is always a perfect opportunity to binge on the shows I normally wouldn’t or find a new series to watch! Add in your favorite snacks and drinks, and you’re all good to go!

What’s your favorite way to treat yourself when you’re flying solo for the day of love? Let me know down below!

XOXO,
Leah

3 Moments of Joy

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram(@alongftride) you know that most days start out with me writing down three things from the previous day that brought me joy. It’s a great way to start the day out on a positive and thankful note!

Today, I wanted to share with you my three moments from yesterday (Sunday):

1. I got in a great workout!

2. It was nice enough to have the windows open in the afternoon and let some fresh air inside!

3. My husband and I got a head start on a little spring cleaning!

Moments of joy don’t always have to be the big and extravagant things like going on vacation. While those moments are nice, for me, it’s always the little things that really add up the most for me!

What’s something that brought you joy yesterday?

XOXO,

Leah

Mental Health Day

Happy Monday, y’all!

Today’s post is on the shorter side. After a long weekend of checking the boxes on my to do list, today is for mental health and self care!

With It being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I am lucky enough to have my sweet husband home for the whole day. Since this doesn’t happen often given my husband’s job in the Army, we try to take advantage of it when it does!

What’s something you and your significant other like to do together when you have time together?

XOXO,

Leah