Posts in Life
Maverix Muse 005 - Loving & Lusting Lately (+ Quick Career Update)
Travel

Hi, how’s it going? Long time no talk.

I’ve been pretty MIA on social media lately unless you’re following my occasional stories on Instagram- and even those are typically just snaps of my dogs. So I’m jumping on today to share what’s been going on and a few things I’m loving + lusting lately.

First and foremost an explanation as to why I’ve been MIA. I tend to keep my professional life private from social media but thought I should share a bit since it has become such a huge part of my life and who knows, maybe it’ll inspire someone to pursue a career in corp America. Last month I was promoted to the Capital Projects Cost Control Analyst. Stepping into this position has been equal parts exciting and challenging and has been such a fun change of pace. Plus I’ve been getting to do a little bit of travel down to our corporate office in Sugar Land, TX. (Sugar Land is a really dreamy town.)

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In this position I’m responsible for controlling the cost of our Capital projects within the refinery (I work at an oil + gas refinery) and it’s exciting to me, because 1) I’m a certified control freak and 2) I love crunching + running numbers and balancing / budgeting. I get to prepare trends and forecasts to analyze where our projects will be (financially) 3, 6, 12, 24 months from now and help identify project cost exposures and overrun risks. It’s truly a dream job and I feel extremely lucky to have landed this gig. It’s kind of funny how things just fall into place when you stop forcing and start letting.

Okay, on to the fun stuff. Things I’ve been loving + lusting lately.

Rad Maverix

01 Cap Toe Nude Heels – It has proven to be a bit challenging to find a chic + comfortable (closed toe) heel for the workplace. They’re calling these the “12 Hour Heel” because they are so comfortable. Yes, they are currently in my shopping bag, I need them!

02 UV Protective Hair Perfume – Last week while my mom was in town we stopped by Bath & Body Works and snagged this new goody. As someone who goes several days between hair washes, I’m a sucker for a good hair perfume. Havana smells so heavenly.

03 Vintage Silver Stacking Teapot – I’m a sucker for vintage housewares. Would love to add this to my growing tea station. Love that it stacks so it doesn’t take up so much shelf space.

04 Watering Can – Watering plants has never been more fun- I look forward to it! I actually keep this sitting out on the kitchen counter, it doubles as décor. I love this one too!

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05 How to Raise a Plant and Make it Love You Back – This book is a goldmine. So many cool tips + tricks on raising beautiful and thriving plants. I would suggest this book from the novice planter to the veteran green thumb.

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06 Furbo – If you know me in real life, then you’ve probably fallen victim to having to watch my dogs on this cool app on my phone. Several months ago I purchased the Furbo dog camera + treat thrower and it’s probably one of the best purchases I’ve ever made as an adult. It’s basically a security camera that allows you to fill it with treats and toss one to your dog(s) while you’re away from home. This camera has lots of neat features like being alerted if it notices a person in your home or if your dogs are barking. 12/10 would recommend.

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07 Desk Sign – Found this cute little sassy desk sign during one of my trips down to Sugar Land last month at a store called Charming Charlie- this store is literally walking distance from the office. Dangerous.

08 Chic Canvas Mules – I’ve been living in these lately. Comfortable but dressy enough to wear to work and perfect for summer.

Bonus: The Morning Brew - If you’re in the mood to receive daily biz updates, I highly recommend the Morning Brew, a daily newsletter catered to young biz professionals that shares short + digestible briefs on the most important business news as well as stock market recaps. Since this is a daily email, I filter them to their own folder so they don’t clutter up my inbox :)

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Until next time,

Riss

LifeMerrissa
Deep Cleaning Area Rugs w/o a Carpet Cleaner
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I'm all about having the gadgets + tools to help improve your day to day life if they truly add value and not just clutter. One tool that I have not been able to justify purchasing is a carpet cleaner. Our entire house is hardwood floors and honestly with dogs and cowboys constantly walking in and throughout the house without any regard to mud or dirt, it is a dream come true.

On the flip side, having hardwood floors can sometimes make a place feel cold. So to add a bit of depth + coziness, I added a few area rugs to our living areas. Unfortunately, these rugs aren't exempt from the aforementioned dogs, cowboys, mud and dirt.

So a couple weeks ago I noticed the rugs were getting pretty dingy looking so I pulled them out, rolled them up and stuck them in the guest bedroom until I could figure out how to clean them or get them cleaned by a professional. Dad has one of those fancy carpet cleaners and he has mentioned in the past that I could borrow it anytime so that crossed my mind. But then a couple weeks ago, the weather wasn’t too terribly bad so I decided to load them up (okay, maybe JF did the heavy lifting) and run by the car wash to see if I could just “power wash” them. I AM SHOOKETH TO THE CORE. You never really realize how dirty something is until you clean it.

This is my officially official disclaimer:

Check the cleaning instructions on your rugs prior to taking them to a car wash. Do not take a high dollar Persian rug to the local car wash and drench it in VEHICULAR grade soap followed up with a high-pressure rinse. PLEASE SEE A PROFESSIONAL FOR YOUR BOUGIE-ASS-HIGH-AFFLUENT RUGS.

TIPS

  • Before dousing your rugs, first turn the knob to the rinse setting and spray away from the rugs for a minute or 2. This should clear out any wax or spot-free chemicals that you don't want soaking into the rug fibers.

  • Use the 'rinse' setting and spray each rug before you really go to town with the high-pressure wash. If you don’t want to use the vehicle-grade soap then I’d suggest just trying the high-pressure rinse!

  • Work from side to side making a pass from one side to the other. After cleaning 3 rugs, I quickly learned that you will get much better results if you work in a horizontal fashion and clean from side to side rather than just going every which way. This will work the dirt + grime in an orderly fashion rather than just spreading all over the place.

  • Use the high-pressure rinse and rinse until you no longer see soap suds.

  • After washing + rinsing, roll the rug back up and carefully walk back and forth on top of it, performing a small 'pounce', to ring out as much water as possible.

  • If you have weak upper body strength you are definitely going to need help loading these back into your vehicle. They will be unbelievably heavy! Also, it would be ideal to tote these back and forth in the back of a truck because no matter how much water you ring out, they will still be drenched.

  • Once back to the homestead, unload and let air dry.

How to deep clean area rugs
How to deep clean area rugs
This rug was on our front porch, hence why it was so dirty :)

This rug was on our front porch, hence why it was so dirty :)

Like I mentioned above, this was a few weeks ago but I haven’t noticed any fading, tears or other damage from cleaning them at the car wash. I’m actually probably due to take them back soon after all of these Spring showers we keep getting.

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for cleaning obnoxiously large household items? 

 

Xx, Riss  

LifeMerrissaHome, Cleaning
Maverix Muse 004 - Things That Have Made Me Smile Lately
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Today I’m sharing small things that have brought me joy lately. In an effort to design a delightfully simple life, appreciating + enjoying the small pleasures are key.

01 Not Your Typical Valentine's Day Flowers. I know a lot of people are not big on Valentine's Day celebrations but I have to give a quick shout out to JF. I love flowers in all forms but for vday this year, instead of a dozen roses, he gave a couple plants that will last (hopefully) many years to come. So thoughtful as he knows my black thumb is slowly but surely turning different shades of green. My grandma June would be so proud. Plus! He finally admitted that he is loving my obsession with plants as it makes the house feel cozier. His words!

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02 Birthday + New Baby Celebrations. I got to spend a Saturday morning celebrating + sending off well wishes to a good friend who will be expecting her baby boy in the coming months. The following afternoon we spent celebrating another friends birthday with Mexican food, margs + Flying Tee (similar to Top Golf). We finished the night at the Casino and didn't leave empty-handed. So all in all, a great day.  

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03  A couple warm winter days. this cold weather has me in a major funk. My motivation to do anything besides the bare necessities is really lacking. Really loving Mr. Billy the Kid gracing us with his presents. He is a free-range goat and has been spending the last several months in one of our heifer pastures and I'm just sure he thought he was going to get lucky. 

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04 These new-to-me wicker/bamboo chairs. I snagged these at a flea market and immediately new they’d be great for additional seating in our living area. 

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05 Fresh Bruschetta. It's the little things in life that truly bring me joy, like baskets of bread and + fresh tomatoes + garlic. Been craving a soul-satisfying comfort food like bruschetta for a long time and finally whipped up the nerve to give it a try. Why did I think making bruschetta would be so hard or time consuming? Literally in less than 10 min, fresh + extra garlicky brushetta was served. 

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06 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. If this isn't already on your watch list and you're looking for something to binge, you should definitely add it! A very spunky "Mrs. Maisel" ends up separating from her husband and is learning to navigate life as the strong, independent woman she never knew she was. She learns that she is quite the comic and takes on this new adventure of being a comedian and a "divorcee" in the late 1950s. Excellent show! 

What little things have you been enjoying lately? What’s your petit plaisir (petite pleasure)?

xx, Riss

LifeMerrissa
Maverix Muse 003 - Currently Loving
Marie Kondo Tidying

Hi friends. It’s a dreary day in Oklahoma and all I want to do is lay up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and watch true crime documentaries.

Coming back to ya to share a few things I’m loving lately. I really love that “Maverix Muse” is sort of a catch-all for random posts that don’t really fit into any sort of category. Let's get started. 

01 Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a new series on Netflix. Warning: if you watch this, you will NOT stop throwing clutter away! I have to laugh though, because apparently I took it a bit too far. I was cleaning off our bar cart and noticed an empty bottle of Tito's Vodka. So I trashed it. Well, this particular Tito's bottle was wearing one of those holiday sweaters, honestly I didn't think much of it when I trashed it (mostly because JF had purchased the vodka and...he's really not that sentimental when it comes to holiday garb). Until I received a phone call...

JF: Hey do you remember that bottle of Tito's vodka that was wearing a sweater? 
Me: ...Yes?
JF: Do you know where it's at? I don't see it on the bar cart.
Me: ...*shit* Um, yea, I threw it away.
JF: Seriously? Why? That was a collectors item!!!!!

Thank you Marie Kondo. You just cost me $10 on Amazon to replace a freaking holiday sweater for a bottle of vodka!!!!!!!!!!! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can see the sweater here.

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02 My 2019 Day Planner. Loved getting to crack open this bad boy the first couple weeks of 2019. If you’ve started in your new day planner like me, here's a #radgirltip to get a head start on the new year:

Write in important dates + birthdays + events. Something I like to do is add a sticky note at the beginning of each month (on the monthly spread page) and simply jot down any gifts I will need to purchase that month. This helps to plan ahead and actually makes me feel like I have my life together a bit better. 😁

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03 A new meaning for a garage door. These past couples of years I have significantly parred down my inbox. Deleting and unsubscribing from newsletters that no longer align with my goals or visions. However, I have kept my weekly Zillow emails because I love getting to take a peek inside newly listed homes just to get a dose of inspiration. This little home in Colorado hit my inbox and I'm feeling très inspired. I could definitely see myself sitting in this living space with the garage door open and the fresh spring air breezing through. BRB, adding this to my "must haves" list when JF and I decide to build. 

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See more of this Colorado beauty here. Photos by Zillow!

 

04 My two Seagrass totes coming in clutch for catch all's, grocery hauls + chic storage. The one pictured below, I got back in the fall at the L'Occitane storefront at Utica Square, it's petite and could actually double as a purse. Found this (much larger) cutie and decided to add it to my collection. I've already been using it as a catch all and at the grocery as I'm trying to consume less plastic bags! 

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05 Bubly. Have you tried this sparkling water? I've only tried the cranberry flavor but it is really tasty! Especially with a splash of wine! #radgirltip if you're trying to ditch the pop but sparkling water doesn't really do it for you, try mixing a pack of your favorite crystal light with a can of sparkling water! Don't add the entire pack- it will likely fizz over and be way too sweet. Rather simply add half the pack, stir, taste and add more if you desire. I found that a half a pack of crystal light per can does the trick! 

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Anyways, that's it for today- hope you have a great week.

 

Xx, Riss

LifeMerrissa
What’s Your 2019 Word Of The Year?
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Last week I had a few ladies over for a little Q1 business-life-planning-dinner party. We had all purchased Lara Casey’s Powersheets / Cultivate What Matter workbook so I figured why not get together, have fun with it and keep each other accountable for our 2019 intentions + aspirations?!

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If you’re not familiar with Powersheets – it’s essentially a workbook that helps you hone in on what you truly want and it helps you ‘cultivate what matters’ too you. This is the second time I’ve purchased the powersheets but the first go ‘round I didn’t really take it as seriously as I could or should have. Maybe I wasn’t ready to be real or honest with myself the first time? I’m not sure but after digging into the first few pages of the workbook I forgot the emotions evoked and hard questions that needed answered. Now these aren’t hard as in, you need an entire whiteboard to figure out the answer, I mean these questions are hard because it makes you get real with yourself by bringing up touchy topics that you’ve been suppressing.   

While going through the workbook and discussing with the other ladies, the “word of the year” topic was brought up. You know, a word of your choosing that will be your ‘focus’ or ‘intention’ for the following 12 months. The word that will help guide your daily actions, intentions + goals. The word in which will be your main focal point, so that when shit is hitting the fan you can come back to center and realign with your overall intentions.

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Without aim, my 2018 was certainly a year of rest. It was nice but ya girl started to feel stagnant towards the end of the year and honestly I’m ready to make some moves (cardi b, “money moves” voice).

Now you probably know by now I am a lady of many personalities so one in such capacity cannot simply choose just one word of the year.

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So I’m choosing 3.

Simplicitynoun, the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do, the quality or condition of being plain or natural.

Purposefuladjective, having or showing determination or resolve, having a useful purpose, intentional

Resiliencenoun, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness, the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

You might be thinking by now, ‘okay enough about you, how can I pick my own word of the year’? It’s pretty simple:

  1. Think about the best version of yourself. What kind of person do you want to become? Not where you’re at now, but where you want to be, in say 12 months. (don’t think about the how, think about the what!)
  2. Write down the traits and characteristic of the person you envisioned in step 1. How does this person handle stress and hardships? How does he/she stay motivated and inspired? Is this person philanthropic?
  3. Now pick a trait identified in step 2. Which characteristic do you want to obtain? How do you want to live your 2019?

Examples:

  • grace
  • free
  • peace
  • brave
  • restored
  • purposeful
  • health
  • present
  • focus
  • happy
  • renew
  • driven
  • bold
  • rest

#radgirltip if you have commitment issues and choosing a word for the entire year scares you, what about narrowing it down to a monthly- or even a quarterly word? 

Have you chosen a word for 2019? If not, I challenge you to pick a focal point to help guide the next 12 months to the highest version of you. 🖤 

 

xx, Riss  

How I’m Designing A Delightfully Simple Life, One Day at a Time
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Edited to add: Wow- I missed the perfect opportunity to title this “How I’m Designing A Delightfully Simple Life, One Meal at a Time”

To design a delightfully simple life.

My new + improved manifesto.
My beginning goal.
My mid goal.
My ultimate end goal.

What does it mean to design a delightfully simple life? To me, it means more than what words can describe, it's more of a feeling. But I'll do my best:

  • it means spending more time doing things that light you up...even if that means absolutely nothing,

  • enjoying the petite pleasures in life,

  • more happiness + less stress, 

  • simple yet thoughtfully curated,

  • in most cases quality over quantity,

  • soul-satisfying but also altruistic, and

  • deliberate contentedness.

It's like the mission statement for my own personal life. The way in which I will move from day to day, always keeping in mind those things that do not align with my mission statement + values have got to exit the stage. And those activities and people and petite pleasures that bring me joy- more of those. I think it's safe to say we all want to live our best life (cardi b voice). But if we don't outline values or craft a personal mission statement, how do we make that 'best life' a reality?

Your best life...and my vision of what it means to be living my best life are likely very different views. What you define as success and how I view success are also likely defined very different. What’s your mission statement in life? What does it mean to be living your best life?

So, basically I never really thought I would write this next statement which is today's topic. 

I’m actually learning to enjoy cooking.

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Phew. There, I said it and somehow after all these years of conditioning myself to believe I hated cooking I still somehow don't believe myself. 

My 20-year-old self wouldn't even recognize me today. 

Confession time: I was the worst offender and the best customer of local fast food joints. It all started when I was interning at the local Chamber of Commerce back in 2010 and 2011. Every morning I would stop by the Woodshed (a popular gas station in northeast okla / southeast kan) and grab TWO bottles of coke and a pastry, biscuits and gravy, or a bag of chips and then head in to the office. That would normally suit me until lunch time and then 9/10 I would go grab a bbq pork sandwich, french fries and another coke. OR if I was feeling a rather "healthier" option that day, I would walk down the street to the Sunflower Soda Fountain and grab a tuna salad sandwich, chips and a chocolate shake. HA 

BUT IT GETS BETTER!

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After work I would stop by and grab whatever fast food JF thought sounded good for dinner. 

Fast forward to fall of 2011 and after leaving my internship, I went to work for a bank. The bank was literally 55 ft from a donut shop. Yes, you guessed it! Sausage rolls, donut holes and cajun pies EVERYDAY. These bad habits just transpired and I continued to eat fast food almost 3x a day for almost 3 years. Every once in a while I would make a home-cooked meal but it was not a regular habit I enjoyed or ever consistently picked up. 

Looking back and reflecting on all of this, the most ridiculous part is the fact that it wasn't even the health aspect that broke the camels back. It was after calculating how much $$ I had spent on FOOD alone in any given month. I kept recalculating and thinking "this CAN'T be right". 

Needless to say, this is about the same time I actually started paying attention to my spending habits and trying to be better about investing and making my money work for me

#radgirltip If you have a habit of regularly eating fast food and you'd like to kick it, do me a favor and start keeping tabs on how much money you're spending on just food. Go through your checking account over the last 30 or 60 days and take a look at how much money you're eating...and just think: what ELSE could you be spending your monies on besides overpriced bbq pork sandwiches?! Add those extra dolla's to your savings account. (I LOVE using Ally because I can't immediately transfer funds to my checking account if I want to make an impulse purchase.)

But Merrissa, it is so easy to run by my favorite fast food joint or Chinese takeout when I'm in a jam or when it's been a long day and all I really wanna do is go home and relax and not have to worry about cooking a meal!!! I totally agree! And there is definitely a time and place for those scenarios! But not everyday, like I used to tell myself. 🤪

So back to today’s topic, not only is eating at home better on the wallet but it's ultimately better for your waist and overall health too. The best part is knowing exactly what ingredients you're using and this typically means less junk + preservatives. Yay! With all of that being said, for me, aiming to cook more meals at home makes me feel just plain good.

I feel better on a mental + physical level when I choose to regularly eat nourishing meals rather than junk. I feel satisfied when I can cook a good meal for myself + JF + company.

BUT PLEASE DO NOT GET IT TWISTED. I WILL DEVOUR CHIPS + SALSA + QUESO + ALL OF THE SANGRIA MARGARITAS.

(cue the 80/20 nutrition rule- actually I’m pretty happy with a 70/30 ratio if I’m being honest)

Here’s the recipe for success if you’re anything like my 20-year-old self:

Find or develop a couple of really good recipes that are easy, delicious and something you excel at. You know, the kind of recipes that are SO simple you will almost always have the main ingredients on hand and you could literally cook it with your eyes closed. Jot these recipes down and add them to your recipe vault. Keep these in mind when you're having one of those days where you’re tempted to stop for fast food. Or stop for fast food. #70/30 #yolo

If you're still riding the but-fast-food-is-life struggle bus and need some inspiration, check out some of my favorite recipes + food blogs.

 

Go-to Food Blogs:

Real Food Whole Life - Robyn shares so many great (+ simple) recipes! 

Pinch of Yum- Lindsay has a way of making you salivate through the computer screen. Her photo's make you want to cook ALL THE FOOD.

Minimalist Baker- Although a vegan food blog, she has many dessert recipes that you'll want to try, like yesterday.

Budget Bytes- If you're looking to ball on a budget, Beth has your back. 

JSHEALTH- I love Jessica’s approach to healthy living!  

Recipes:

Parmesan Chicken Tenders 

Homemade Granola Bars

A Healthier Take on Taco Tuesday 

This post is just the beginning of how I’m designing a delightfully simple life. If this is something that sparks your attention then be sure to check back and read how else I’m curating a deliberate + purposeful life. As a remixner, for you and me, this is simply a guideline- not a do or die recipe for success. 🖤

On another note, we ordered our new counter tops last night and I CAN’T WAIT until they are installed. I have waited so long to order them. Mostly because we didn’t know which route we wanted to take, what material or vendor. Finally bit the bullet and bought exactly what we wanted.

Who knew buying new counter tops meant signing your life away too? Will also admit I did a little happy dance when they said it should all be installed by the end of December. 💃🏼

Do you enjoy cooking + eating meals at home? Have you ever had a fast food problem like me?!

Xx, Riss

LifeMerrissa
My Favorite Day Planner
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I am such a "ooh this cute notepad will make me super productive" or "I need  that cool iPhone app to make all of my wildest dreams come to life". And while these beliefs hold true, it typically only lasts a week or two.

It's like a stationery high.

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Can you get high off of new stationery? I think so- hear me out. You're strolling through Target and you see all the cute notepads, pens, stickies and agendas that are totally going to turn your plans into action because the cover says "Killing it"... We have all been there. Especially if you geek out over good pens like me. Finding a good pen is sacred ground at my house. I will fight you if you try to take my good pen. 

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It has taken me a longggg time to figure out it's not just the planner or notepad or cool app- it's the why behind the what that kicks your ass into gear. But that is a subject for another day, another blog post.

Back to stationery: honestly I still crave that placebo effect, that instant high that makes me feel like I'm really going to get all of my shit done this time. LOL It was like every single time I was feeling less than inspired I would just run out and buy myself a new agenda or notebook and like I said, that would typically do the inspo-trick but only temporarily. All of those times I was buying new office supplies, I should have been revisiting and reevaluating my goals + dreams. There was definitely a deeper reason why I wasn't feeling inspired to tackle my to-do list and the lack of chic and trendy notepads was not the issue.

I really try not to criticize people but boy will I criticize the hell out of a day planner. I am extremely particular when it comes to the annual book that is in charge of holding my life together by a single gold spiral. I love paper planners and the ultimate feeling that I have my shit together after a cozy Sunday evening, sitting in my comfiest pj's, drinking a hot-off-the-stove herbal tea and planning the week ahead. I love the act of physically writing down the tasks I choose to take care of the following week and crossing said tasks off. Why is this so satisfying? Is it just the Virgo in me? Anyone else?

I get a lot of q's on my daily agenda so I’m going to share with you guys in case you're still looking for a 2019 planner.

The agenda that I'm currently using is the only repeat planner I've ever bought on purpose. Normally, I tear my planner to bits throughout the year... it doesn't allow room for this, or it isn't the right size for my purse or the font is cheap-looking, the bind and cover is not sturdy enough. Yes, I am very shallow when it comes to my day planner.


The last couple of years I have been using Danielle LaPorte's The Desire Map Planner.

 

11 / 10 would recommend.

 

Here's why: I love that it takes your to-do list and weekly plans to a much deeper than just surface level &/or just the act of crossing another thing off of your list. It sparks a conversation with yourself in re: to spending time doing things that make you feel the way you want to feel. Whether that be content, happy, fulfilled, successful- that's completely up to you and your core desired feelings. It has really helped me align my inner soul-satisfying goals with my outer, everyday activities. Especially since I've been trying to remove the word "busy" from my vocabulary. I don't want to be busy I want to be purposeful with the way I spend my time + energy. The Desire Map Planner allows me to do just that.

 "You know what will happen with that kind of inner clarity and outer action? You’ll feel the way you want to feel more often than not. Decisions will be easier to make:You’ll know what to say no to and what to say hell-yes to. You’ll be more optimistic, more open-hearted. It will be easier for you to return to your center in the midst of a challenge." -Danielle LaPorte


The Details:

This planner comes in two different layouts, daily and weekly, and I have tried both. I prefer the weekly version as it allows me to see my week at a glance.

The Daily Edition - perfect if you thrive on details and want more space to track all the moving parts of your life.

Dimensions: 9.5" x 7.5" / Page Count: 386


The Weekly Edition - perfect if you tend towards big-picture thinking and want to see all your great plans at a glance.

Dimensions: 8.5" x 6.75" / Page Count: 274

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The best part about purchasing this planner is that it comes with a free planning companion. So you also get 3 workbooks to help you define your core desired feelings.

  • Workbook 01: Free + Clear Get grounded before you set goals and intentions. Examine your strengths and delights, then say goodbye to what’s really not working for you.

  • Workbook 02: Core Desired Feelings Generate a vision for a life that’s aligned with how you really want to feel.

  • Workbook 03: Goals With Soul Choose intentions that feel authentic to you—in sync with your Core Desired Feelings.

I kind of feel like an infomercial because....THAT'S NOT IT- THERE'S MORE.

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When you purchase a 2019 Desire Map Planner, you'll also get weekly guidance and monthly workbooks to keep you feeling supported and present with your newfound core desired feelings. If I were knew to The Desire Map Planner and was hesitant because of the price, this is what would ultimately sell me on it. It feels less like a pricey planner that I will only use for a month or two and more like a purchase to change your day to day habits and make serious positive change.

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So, yes, the price might be a bit steep but the value you receive is worth so much more. I think it's a great buy and I recommend it to everyone I know.


If you're looking for a new agenda for 2019, as you can tell, I highly, highly, highly suggest The Desire Map Planner. Also, if you're ready to start planning right meow, Danielle offers these planners in an undated version too!
Phew- that's it from me. Let me know if you have any q's in the comment box below!

ps - I use my agenda in conjunction with a calendar app on my phone. I am a BIG fan of the Google Calendar app. It allows me to cross reference my personal life with my work life in one place. If you'd like me to write about other organizational tools I love, let me know!


xx, Riss

photo’s from DanielleLaporte.com

Maverix Muse 002 — Things I’m Loving Lately

Hi — Happy almost September! Where the heck has this year gone? Feels like just yesterday I was hungover from NYE festivities. #kiddingaround 

Anyways — we are heading down to the lake this weekend but wanted to share with you things I'm really loving lately. This could be anything from hair/face products, experiences, white trash TV, sweet treats &/or all of the above. So I pretty much recapped the entire blog post in one sentence, keep reading if you're still interested. LOL

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01 This Patriotic Sweet Treat — I'm a fool for anything sweet; especially fruit tarts with a dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top. The ingredient list isn't a mile long either so I'm going to give it a try. Any one else decide on whether or not you're going to try a recipe based on the amount of ingredients listed and whether or not a grocery store trip is required?

Speaking of sweet treats! I was craving chocolate cake the other night but only wanted to bake up a single serving. I found a really good recipe but revised it a bit:

Low quality photo provided by Merrissa

Low quality photo provided by Merrissa

Mix WELL in a small bowl:

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

  • 1 tbsp whole milk or almond milk

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • Tiny pinch of salt

  • Optional: sprinkle of powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream


Make sure you mix REALLY well, the egg should be blended so well that its not stringy.

Add batter to a large coffee mug that has been sprayed (well) with PAM or greased with real butter.

Microwave for 1 min 30 sec (will depend on the power of your microwave but this is what worked for me -- the top should not be wet to the touch)

Flip coffee mug over on small plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar, even add a scoop of ice cream!

DELICIOUS AND COWBOY APPROVED


02 Group Fitness Classes — Last month Katelyn, owner of Sparrow Fitness LLC, started hosting workout classes in Downtown Coffeyville and let me tell you, I'm digging it. I even convinced a couple friends to join in on the torturefun so the accountability has really helped me ditch the snooze button. A few details on the classes if you're local and want to give it a try!

If you'd like to get more details on these fitness classes, check out this post!

Photo by Katelyn Haley Osborn

Photo by Katelyn Haley Osborn

 

03 The Hills: New Beginnings — In case you haven't heard, they are bringing back the cast of The Hills and filming a reunion series. I am so damn excited about this but also like what the hell, LC -- you're too busy to join the cast this go around?! We miss you and your low-drama attitude! Lauren was my absolute favorite, which is kind of funny because she was JF's favorite too (apparently we have the same taste in women). It's also funny because I don't watch a whole lot of television and I keep teasing JF that I'm going to cancel our Dish Network contract because I never even get the remote 😉 But The Hill's - this is something we can both get on board with.

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Can we just talk about how stunning Audrina and Stephanie looked at the VMAs? Drool-worthy.

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04 Tea Tree Oil — THIS STUFF IS LIFE CHANGING.

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I know, it sounds crazy... why add more oil to an already oil-prone complexion? 🤷🏼‍♀️ This 100% pure tea tree oil has improved my skin tone so much! I have been extremely stressed the last month and the first place you can tell if I'm stressed--is my face. Which causes me more freaking stress because my face is broke out! It's finally calming down and getting back to "normal".

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I apply this tea tree oil all over my face and down to my decollete, after I wash/tone and before I apply my morning or nighttime moisturizer. If you've never used a tea tree oil just be prepared for the overwhelmingly stout smell. IT IS STRONG. If you have sensitive skin, I would recommend testing a small patch before applying to your entire face. Or even just use it as an all natural spot / blemish treatment.

Tea tree oil has many benefits!

  • contains healing properties for sores, scrapes + scratches, stings + bites

  • diffuse or dilute with water to freshen linens/towels

  • help fight dry scalp or dandruff

  • fights bacterial and fungal infections

  • the stout smell could also help with clearing your sinuses ;)


04 Verday Chlorophyll Water — If you're looking for a way to sneak in greens but don't like the taste of greens, this water is excellent. I could even see myself sprucing this up with a wedge of watermelon or strawberries and a shot or two of Tito's Vodka.

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What are YOU loving lately? Tell me below!  

 

Xx, Riss  

Mom Jeans + Quick Trip to Fort Worth
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I have been wearing the heck out of these jeans. They are so comfortable, flattering and hold their shape even after several wears. They are a TRUE denim!

The good news, THEY ARE ON SALE RIGHT NOW for less than $40 with code EVERY20 (code expires on 5/23, so hurry and grab yourself a pair!)

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(Photos by Brittany Coffee Photography)

 

Shop the look


 

Quick Trip to Fort Worth

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Lord have mercy, you guys. It was quite the eventful weekend. We woke up so early on Saturday morning and headed down to Fort Worth, Texas with our friends/family (framily?) Drew and Savanna, to hang out with our other friends (who also happen to be family). We didn’t really have much lined out besides tickets to watch Easton Corbin at Billy Bob’s and to squeeze in a bit of shopping + eating down at the stockyards.

Depending on who’s driving, it’s only about a 5ish hour drive to Ft. Worth from our doorstep – depending on how many times we need to stop to use the restrooms. 🤷🏼‍♀️ It’s kind of funny, we had to stop 3x on the way down and didn’t stop one single time on the way home (I think we were all really ready to get into our own beds; we were up for almost 24 hours Saturday!).

Well, anyways, on the way down, we make it about 20 minutes out from Ft. Worth when BOOM – a hawk smashes into our windshield while driving 80mph down the interstate. I shit you not; I thought we were all going to die. At first, I thought some jackass had dropped a brick from an overpass because it was SO loud. I’m not sure how that hawk didn’t end up going all the way through the windshield but the glass ended up staying intact long enough for us to get off of the interstate.

We were in luck because we were just a short drive from Grapevine, TX and they just so happen to have a Ford dealership in town (we were in JF’s Ford F250) and we were hoping they might be able to replace it. While driving to the dealership, the windshield was literally flexing in and out from the wind/pressure—we were just sure the glass was going to come crashing down.

The Ford dealership tells us that their service department doesn’t replace windshields and gave us a couple numbers to call. Of course, we’re all like, ‘Well, shit. It'll probably be Monday before we can get it fixed.’ But you see, home girl does not play like that. I was determined to find an auto glass company to come to the scene, no matter the price (I was that desperate). Luckily, after a few closed shops and unanswered phone calls, the nicest guy at Quality Auto Glass offered to make the drive from North Dallas to come fix it for us that Saturday afternoon. AND even more so luckily, it didn’t cost us a fortune.

To make a long story short, JF’s sister, Jessie, came and picked Savanna and I up so we could go ahead and get to the hotel to get around and hang out with everyone while JF and Drew waited to get the windshield replaced. No worries though -- they were able to Uber to the local Golf Galaxy, so their afternoon wasn't totally wasted!

It was only a few hours later and JF and Drew were on their way to Ft. Worth – and they made it in one piece! Geeze that was a long few hours anticipating their arrival.

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The rest of the evening was a blast and stress-free compared to the events that had taken place prior. We got to shop a bit, watch the longhorn "cattle drive" and enjoy a glass of wine while listening to live music at the historic downtown Ft. Worth Stockyards. Next thing I know, it's a few lemon drop shots, vodka waters and $40 at the local Whata-Burger later and its 4a Sunday morning.

We woke up Sunday and decided to all go eat brunch at Flipz Patio Grill. This place was SO cool! If you come across one, you gotta go! Then everyone decides to stop at the Tanger Outlet Mall on the way home. I was equal parts "yes I want to go" and "no I just wanna be home" lol. Either way, it was time well spent.

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Until next time,

Riss

What's In My Makeup Bag (Spring 2018)
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I’ve had a few requests on the ‘gram to share what beauty products I use + what my daily makeup routine looks like these days. Although my basic day-to-day routine RARELY changes (like, I’ve been using the same style of products for what feels like, furrever) I do love trying new products occasionally! With that being said, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but not much has changed since my last 'whats in my bag' post LOL I am a creature of habit and when I find products that work well with my (sometimes-finicky) skin, I like to stick with it.

 

The Base

I have been using and continue to use the IT Cosmetics line for my base coverage. I don’t like a lot of coverage, I prefer the ‘barely there’ look when it comes to the ‘foundation’ part of my routine. I have previously used the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream but have found my skin feels healthier + freer when I only use powder for coverage.

 

Eyes

As far as the eyes go, I tend to use bronzey and neutral colors to help my eyes stand out. I always feel like it’s harder for those with blue eyes to get their eyes to “pop” and not blend in with their face because they are considerably lighter than other eye colors. (Flashback to high school when heavy black eyeliner was all the rage 😩🤦🏼‍♀️)

  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer - I have oily skin so this helps my eyeshadow stay in place — even after the gym! This is another tried + true go-to. 
  • Tartelette "Flirt" Eyeshadow palette
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Curvitude - This mascara (+ my lash serum) has changed the game for me. I accidentally found this mascara on an end cap at ULTA and didn't realize it was "waterproof" until after I had used it and couldn't figure out why I was having such a difficult time removing it LOL I have never bought a waterproof mascara on purpose in my entire life but I am actually LOVING this mascara! It lengthens + adds the perfect amount of curl to my lashes.
  • Nyx Eyeliner - I normally only wear eyeliner if I'm going out, but this brand is my go-to
  • Nyx Eyebrow Pencil - This has been a continuous beauty repurchase, I'd even say it is comparable to Anastasia Beverly Hills, but less expensive! 

 

Lips

My go-to's lately have been my standard red lippy and new to the crew, a 'plumping' lip gloss. I love a bold red lip and I really like that it has become a part of my signature look (I actually feel naked without it!).

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Have you tried these beauty products? What's in your makeup bag?

 

xx, Riss

Life, StyleMerrissaMakeup
Slowing Down
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Lately I've been slowing down like a fine Canadian maple syrup. And let me tell you, it has been oh so good for my soul + overall well-being. I'm enjoying the longer almost-spring days and taking more nature walks/runs for distance, not speed. I'm enjoying my coffee more + the entire process from coffee bean to freshly brewed espresso.

To be honest with you, this winter has really gotten me down. Like full force SAD (seasonal affective disorder). But as with every season, they come and go. Here's what I've been up to + how I'm slowing down:

I stopped taking clients over at Rad Maverix Republic for a short bit and put all of my effort + energy into the ones who have already invested in me. No worries though! If you need my assistance, I'm back in biz

I joined the gym (again) and even started getting back into running. I have a very strong love / hate relationship with the gym. We go back and forth, fall in love, out of love, fight, bicker and everything in between like those couples you see on Facebook that are constantly "In a Relationship". (...BUT WAIT--I thought you were already in a relationship?!) Going at it with the idea of "I don't have to go balls to the wall, I can do this on my own terms" has significantly changed my outlook on physical activity. I was listening to a guided running audio from the Nike+ Running App and it was a 20 min recovery run featuring Bill Nye. One thing he said that really struck a chord with me: "some time is better than no time". Bill says this in regards to not stressing out about the numbers or the length of your exercises...He goes on to say, "it's better to squeeze 10 min of physical activity in a day rather than NO time a day."

Even though the weather in the Midwest is a bit chaotic + sometimes erratic I'm learning how to slow down and enjoy the many seasons we're being presented with each week. My closet has never been so confused or gotten such an exercise..."Okay, Merrissa, you wore shorts + a tank top yesterday and now you're reaching for a scarf and parka..."

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Rad Maverix
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Cooking more meals at home and I'm actually not loathing it. I've never (iteration on the NEVER) been a fan of cooking. I blame it on my very literal personality. You see, when it comes to baking (which I LOVVVVE to do) it's pretty black and white in regards to what ingredients you need and how long you bake it for and at what temperature. Cooking on the other hand--there are SO many variables! And what if the "medium" flame on my stove isn't the same caliber as the flame used in the recipe I'm using? That gives me so much anxiety! So with that being said, I've been cooking more and trying new recipes. I'm up to like 4 or 5 dinner recipes that are really good + cowboy-approved! Woot. (If you're wondering: 1) enchiladas, 2) ziti, jalapeño popper chicken breasts, 3) spinach, parm linguine and 4) Parmesan crusted chicken strips. I'm going to share with you my parmesan crusted chicken strip recipe soon! YAY!)

I've been using a French press to make coffee and taking time every once in a good while to enjoy an (uninterrupted) afternoon espresso. One thing I have noticed with the American culture is we're always on the GO-GO-GO. If you're not busy or worn out, you're not working hard enough. I'm trying to break that workhorse tradition, because, well, "sanity".

I don't immediately reply to emails. Oh my goodness you guys. This shift in my day to day business has been a breath of fresh spring air. I have a note on the signature line of my emails that says something to the effect of, "Please allow 2 full business days for a response" and this has taken a lot of pressure off of feeling like I need to immediately respond to inquiries. 

Learning to slow down + enjoy my meals. This has been a biggie for me and honestly it is still a work in progress. I overheard someone once say, "Why are you eating so fast? There aren't any taste buds in your stomach". Like holy shit, you're so right. Why rush to shovel this apricot clafoutis down my throat instead of really enjoying each bite? With that being said, I try to not use my phone while eating meals. If I want to snap a photo of my meal and I don't have my standalone camera on me, then I'll snap a photo with my phone but thats all I'll do, no checking social media, or replying to emails/texts. Again, not every meal is like this but it is an effort of mine to have meals "device or social media free". 

 

That's it for today. Thanks for reading + keeping up with me. xx

Riss

PS - How do you feel about the traditional American mentality on work-work-work? Do you like it? Are you fighting it? Are you working to live? Or living to work?

LifeMerrissaWellness
Maverix Muse 001 - Top 5 Favorite Podcasts
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(Me titling this post as Maverix Muse 001 as if I'm 100% going to start a series. Had to laugh at myself on that one! We'll see!)

One thing I really cannot live without (at the moment) is listening to podcasts. I've been on the podcasts bandwagon for a couple of years and have listened to quite a wide range of topics + publishers. I'm going to share with you guys a few podcasts that I normally have playing in the background while I'm working, driving or cleaning house.

This is really going to bring to light how sporadic my interests + personalities are.

 

My Top 5 favorite Podcasts at the moment, in no particular order

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01 True Crime Garage

Mystery + Real Life Crime

This was the very first podcast that I ever listened too and boy did these 2 guys get me hooked. Nic and Captain, the 2 co-hosts of True Crime Garage, have an excellenteye for pointing out the details in mysterious and true crime cases. They are based out of Ohio, USA and typically take an episode to dissect a crime case that has gone unsolved; over the years they have started producing lengthier crime cases that span over 2 to 4 episodes. They do an awesome job at staying unbiased and laying out all of the facts and possible scenarios -- not to mention their uncanny playful banter back and forth is often laughable.

Check out this episode: The Vanishing Man, Part 1 and 2

 

 
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02 The Balanced Blonde

Spirituality + Wellness

A podcast by Jordan Younger, formerly known as The Blonde Vegan. Jordan shares her personal struggles + triumphs of overcoming the eating disorder, Orthorexia and how she went from a vegan diet to a no-label diet. She is also the author of Breaking Vegan and Soul on Fire Yoga eBook. Jordan likes to keep it real; from discussing the hurdles she has overcome to the trolls, she has had to face on the interwebs. She also likes to bring health + wellness experts onto her show who always bring a whealthof knowledge in all things wellness, branding, business + spirituality goodness.

Check out this episode: Ep. 6 ft. Rachel Mansfield - Food Blogging QUEEN + Jordan's Instagram BFF

 

 
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03 Join us in France

Travel 

This is my new favorite podcast! When I listen to this podcast, it takes me straight out of the beautiful Midwest and transplants me right into the heart of France. Join Us In France is a weekly podcast produced by Annie and Elyse where they share about all things travel, culture, art, food + traditions in France. They give us the ins & outs and the dos + don’ts of traveling and living in France. This podcast cures my inner lust for all things French and my inner Francophile.

Check out this episode: Champagne Region, Episode 11

 

 
Rad Maverix

04 Straight Up with Stassi

Comedy + White Trash Television

When I need a good laugh this is my go-to. Although I don't consider Stassi Shroeder a comedian I do find her beliefs + life trials a bit comical. She has no filter and I thoroughly enjoy that because she often is saying what EVERYONE else in the room wants to say. This will likely be a podcast that you'll either love or hate depending on whether or not you're a fan of Stassi.

Check out this episode: Stassi's "Summer of Yes" with Kristen Doute and Brian Carter

 

 
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05 The Minimalists Podcast

Life + Wellness  

If you don't know about the Minimalists you have GOT to check them out. So inspiring, encouraging + motivating! This is a podcast produced by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus who get real + raw on how to live a meaningful life with less. Every single time I listen to an new episode I get re-inspired to go through all of my belongings and start chucking things! You might have noticed that I placed this under both the life AND wellness categories--a tidy home = mental wellness to me and this

Check out this episode: 068 | Overwhelm

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

TED Radio Hour
Letters from War
The Daily

 

So there you go, a small peek inside of my many personalities. A little bit of travel, minimalism, wellness, white trash television + to top it all off... a bit of true crime. I’d like to say I’m pretty well rounded.

 

Are you on the podcast bandwagon? Which one(s) are you currently loving?

 

xx,

Riss

LifeMerrissaWellness, Podcasts