December 18, 2014

Stuff & Things 12/18

++ Today is the sweet husband's birthday!!!  He's a weeeeee bit hesitant for this one since it rings in his last year in his 20s, but it's definitely a reason to celebrate!  Let's show him all kinds of love today, shall we? :)

++ We sold the Camry on Friday.  I've had that car since I've been driving, and every time we've tried to sell it in the past I've had a last minute panic attack and decide to keep it.  Let's just say, I couldn't watch the girl drive it out of our driveway.  Onwards and upwards, right?

++ I've been trying to finish reading a book for about a month now.  I've been reading Big Little Lies, and everyone has been raving about it.  It's been good, don't get me wrong, but I enjoyed The Husband's Secret more. Or maybe the "bam wow" moment will come at the very end?  I'm about 70% through it and it's very put-downable for me.  It could also just be because I've got a lot of distractions going on in my life right now so I'm not as committed to the book as I would usually be.  Take this at face value.  It's probably an amazing book and I'm just missing it.

++ We went to an Ugly Sweater party on Saturday night.  We busted out the old sweaters I made for J's bday party a couple years ago!  It was a great party with great friends!

++ I've been sick the last couple days.  I spent the entire day Wednesday on the couch hoping to kick whatever it is.  It's feeling very flu-ish though so...there's that.  I swear.  I'm always sick.  In fact, you can thank Kristin that this post even happened.  She emailed me the html for the link up and it dawned on me what day it was.  I'd completely forgotten.  I'm blaming all the dayquil.  In fact, did anything in this post even make sense?  I can't tell anymore.  ::downs more dayquil::

Alright friends!  It's your turn!

December 17, 2014

Worth The Splurge

I'm a fan of doing things on a budget.  I have pretty simple taste and would almost always rather have a cheap bottle of nail polish over a fancy outfit.  It's just how I function.  But I was thinking about the splurges we've made over the last several years and how they're still items I use daily.

Worth the Splurge

Worth the Splurge by hodgespodges featuring a top handle purse

So with Christmas just around the corner (HOW? HOWWWWW!!!???), I thought I'd give y'all a breakdown of the gifts I've received over the last few years that were totally worth the splurge!
  1. Clarisonic Mia: Christmas 2011.  I still use this every single day.  It's held up wonderfully.  It's still practically in the same shape it was the day I opened it up except that the "clarisonic" writing is starting to wear off from over use.  The replacement brush heads are affordable, and I can still tell a difference if I go a few days without using it.  
  2. FitBit Flex: Summer 2014.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this little bugger.  While the concept of it seems cool, I wasn't sure if I'd get over the hype of it after a few weeks of wearing it.  The answer is no.  It consistently motivates me to get up and get moving.  It's accurate, and I like that I can switch out the bands.  The social network attached to it is one of the main reasons I love it so much.  If you're on the fence, consider this me nudging you off.  Do it.
  3. Original Kindle: Anniversary 2011.  I still use this every single day.  This is just the standard, original kindle.  It still charges and works just fine.  Totally worth the dollar bills we spent on it all those years ago.  This was another product I wasn't so sure about when I thought I "wanted" it.  I'm so glad J got it for me.  And I'm impressed with how it's held up over the years.
  4. Coach Hampton Signature Tote: Date-iversary 2008. Okay, the bag pictured isn't the actual bag I have but it's the most similar.  There's a story here.  J bought me a tennis bracelet for that anniversary.  He dropped an inordinate amount of cash, and to put it frank...I was pissed it wasn't a ring.  Beyond that, it was entirely too much money for something I'd hardly ever wear.  It was gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but I am not a jewelry person (you know, beyond that important diamond ring thing).  So I made him take it back (are you cringing?).  Instead, I picked out the Hampton Signature Tote which was a fraction of the cost of the bracelet.  And I use it almost daily even all these years later.  It's perfect for this work-from-home girl on those days I work remotely at a coffee shop or need to bring my work stuff with me anywhere.  Totally worth the splurge!
  5. iPad: Christmas 2013.  I'll be honest.  When the iPad first came out I scoffed.  Who would actually need that when iPhones are all the rage?  But I use it regularly.  It's great for when I'm on the go and don't want to lug my entire computer with me.  But honestly, what I use it most for is Netflix while I paint my nails or do my makeup/hair.  It's definitely not a necessity, but something I would want to replace if something ever happened to mine.

And there you have it.  If you've been on the fence about shelling out the cash for any of the above items, I say go for it!  Or maybe you're having a hard time asking for a particular item for Christmas, unsure if it was worth the dollar bills!  

What are some of your favorite items that were "worth the splurge?"

December 16, 2014

Real Marriage: Why We Don't Use The Word Divorce.

Seems simple enough, right?

But tell me you haven't been there.

You're joking.  You're in the middle of a heated argument.  You want to get your way and you need to show your husband (or wife) exactly how serious you are.  It's your get out of jail free card.  It's an ultimatum.  

If you do xyz, I'll leave you.

Fine, whatever.  Just divorce me.

I swear to God, enter name here.  I'll divorce you.

Divorce lawyer up.

Start dividing up our crap, jerkwad.

Any of those ring a bell?  Those are just a few examples I've heard in real life from real, live people.  Friends even.  

If you do this, you aren't alone.  In fact, it's extremely common.  I've even overheard people use the D word over a casual dinner on a Wednesday night at a Ruby Tuesdays over which entree to split.

We don't do this.  
Joking or otherwise.

We went into our marriage with the understanding that this. is. it.  It's permanent.  It's for better or worse.  It's for richer or poorer.  And trust me, we've been there.  We're smack dab in the middle of one of the "worses."  (No, worses isn't a word, but I'm in charge here.  Roll with it).  Our patience has run out and I'll admit it, we've snapped at each other a few times in the last few weeks.

Because real life, people.
We're human.

But the reason we don't use the word divorce, even in a joking manner, is because it gives the impression that we think there's an out.  It plants that seed of insecurity.  Doubt.  It illustrates that you have an escape route.  That maybe there is a breaking point.  It implies that one of us isn't in this to win it.  

We've had some serious fights.  There have been times where one of us has had to walk out, drive away, get out.  We have tempers and we're both extremely stubborn.  And we're both always right.

I've been so angry with J before that I literally couldn't see straight.  But the thing is, I always know there's going to be a time when we meet back in the middle.  It's a guarantee.  I can get mad.  He can get mad.  We can fight til the death.  But I always know he's in this. And he always knows I'm in this. Neither of us is walking away no matter how mad we get.  No matter how something goes down.  Because it's just not an option we entertain.  There is always a compromise, and there's something reassuring about knowing we'll get there somehow.

And maybe some of you are reading this shaking your heads.  Maybe you think we're young and naive.  Or you're sitting there going but but but... what if someone cheats.  What if something you can't even imagine happens.  What if what if what if.

I'm going to be blunt.  We didn't enter into our marriage lightly.  We had a lot standing in our way when we were dating.  It took a lot of work and effort to get married.  It wasn't some fairytale with diamond rings and big fluffy dresses.  If we wanted an out, we wouldn't have gotten married.  

The promises we made to each other on our wedding day mean something to us.  We entered into our marriage understanding that it would be work.  We joke a lot that we always love each other, but we don't always like each other.

And that's true.
And that's okay.

 So, no.  You won't ever overhear us, joking or otherwise, using the D word.  And maybe you'll reconsider before you do.  

December 15, 2014

A Hodges Style Christmas!

J and I do our holidays a little differently now.  The first few years we were married, the holidays left us stressed, frazzled, and exhausted.  We'd end our "vacation" feeling more tired than when it started.  So a few years ago, we made a decision.

And now we stay home for the holidays.

What that meant for us, though, was that it was time to start our own traditions!  I have a few things from my childhood that I need for it to feel like christmas.  And so does he.  So we married those things to create our own holiday traditions!  I've partnered up with Man Crates, an awesome new company who create the best gift crates filled with all sorts of goodies for men that he actually has to open with a crowbar, to bring you guys a His & Hers version of our Holiday Survival Kit!  (Also, just real quick, what man wouldn't want a gift they need a crowbar to open?  Just sayin').

Holiday Survival Kit

Holiday Survival Kit by hodgespodges featuring winter candles

For it to feel like Christmas, I need the following:
  1. Fleece Lined Leggings.  Okay.  That's a little specific.  But basically, my parents' house was known as the "happy pants" house.  My siblings would all do their rounds on Christmas all dressed up, and by time they ended up at my parents' house, they'd just want to change into "happy pants."  So no, I don't do the dress up thing on Christmas.
  2. Red Wine.  Since I was old enough to drink (and mayyyyyyybe just a little before then) I've enjoyed a glass of red on the days leading up to the holiday.  Now, it's a little less necessary since I'm not in a house with all of my siblings and countless family members for days on end, but you get the point ;)
  3. Bath & Body Works Winter: Okay.  This one is more recent.  Back in 2012, J was already living in Buies Creek and I was still in Charlotte.  That Christmas, J came home for several weeks.  I'd just bought this candle and it burned that whole holiday season.  We spent the night in a homemade fort.  We built a ginger-bread house from scratch.  We spent an entire day on the couch watching Christmas movies.  All with that candle burning.  It was such a special holiday that now I need the scent to feel like "home" at Christmas time.  Unfortunately, I don't have access to a Bath & Body Works on the regular, so I have to improvise.  Never fear!  There are a couple dupes for this!  Glade Hayride melts & Better Homes & Gardens Winter Ski Resort candle (walmart)!
  4. M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies: Since I can remember, my sister has made M&M chocolate chip cookies at Christmas, and therefore it's not Christmas unless I have some of those.  Now that we stay home, I make a few batches here!
  5. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation: This is the holy grail of my Christmas.  Back when I wasn't even old enough to understand half the movie, this has been the epitome of Christmas at my parents' house!  So now the week of Christmas, we're sure to have a Christmas Vacation night!

Hubs Survival

Hubs Survival by hodgespodges featuring a food & drink

Things are a little different for the husband.  All he asked was that we carry on his family's tradition of watching the Home Alones (uh, duh, only the first two) and order pizza!   Uh, a tradition that involves pizza and I don't have to cook or clean up?  Fine by me!  

He also enjoys:
  1. Crown Royal: + diet coke.  Tis his drink of choice.  
  2. Slippers: It's pretty much the only time of the year that he actually wears slippers.  Of course he has to have a pair that has an actual sole because if Santa brings him anything that he can play with outside, he runs straight out the door to test it out.
  3. Terry's Orange Chocolate: I've learned that it's just not Christmas morning if there isn't one of these in his stocking.  Yeah.  I found that out the hard way a few years ago... haha!
What are some of your must haves for the holidays?

linked with Becky

December 12, 2014

Red Carpet!

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Red Carpet (390)

I bought this polish over the summer with the intention of wearing it at the holidays, and I was so excited to finally pull it out!  I'll be honest.  I had a nail art idea in mind and then I just wasn't feeling it.  I really enjoy the look of just a classically painted manicure sometimes, and so that's what I went with.  I realize it's probably more boring for these posts--but I'd rather keep it real and share what I'm actually wearing instead of just doing a quick nail art mani then wiping it right off.  

Anyway, I don't really have much else to say.  Hope you all have fantastically wonderful weekends!

linked with Jennie!