Astrid*Stars: November 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jake and Caleb Book Giveaway


I am so excited to be writing this post and sharing this book with you. If you can't tell, the Holidays are just around the corner. I mean stores seriously have Black Friday ads bombarding us since Halloween ended and you bet people will be lining up this Friday (or Thursday). This means we have to start thinking about gifts for family and loved ones. 


One of my favorite gifts to gift as well as receive are books. Often when friends and family ask me what I want for Christmas, the answer will mostly likely be books. Sure I want other things as well, but books are always guaranteed hits in my book, excuse the pun. Ever since I was little, I've had a love for books and would light up when I would get them as gifts or when I'd get a Barnes and Noble Card. Because of this, I'm excited to be doing this giveaway in partnership with my friend Gina's publishing company, Jake and Caleb Publishing.


Gina has offered to giveaway two copies of the first book published by her company, and written by our friend Vanessa Wilson, to two lucky readers. I myself have already ordered a couple copies to give out as gifts to a few friends and family members. Honestly, the work that has gone into this endearing tale of two brothers and their imaginative adventure to the moon. I think every child can relate to going on some sort of adventure from their minds creation. It truly is a great book for kids and will be a great addition to story time.


I am running this giveaway until Dec. 10 so that they can be sent in time for the holidays. You can also purchase the book, here. Your kids will thank you :)



Love,
Astrid

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekly Wishes #7


Soooo,  I know this post is going up pretty late this week, but it was just a busy week. I'd actually started working on it early during the week, but of course, just as soon a I think I have downtime at work, it gets busy at the office. I can't believe how fast this month has gone by. It seems the closer, we are to the end of the year, the faster the time goes. But anyway, here are last week's goals (and what I got done):

1. Write out my budget- I did some of this. For the most part, I wrote down and figured out a debt repayment plan, which right now, is my biggest priority. I am also giving my self a $150 weekly budget, meaning that that's the amount I have to work with each week for gas, food, etc. Everything else is going towards bills and paying back my credit card debt. Still need to write out a more concrete budget though.

2. Workout at least 3 days a week- Um yea, this didn't happen. I keep trying to get my butt to the gym, but have been full of excuses lately. I want to go, but just am not motivated enough, or allow other things to get in the way. Let's hope this week it actually happens.

3. Blog- I think I'm doing a little better here. I think.

Now for this week's goals, I will keep it short since I'm post this so late.

1. Write out budget- Basically, write out the rest of my budget plan other than the debt repayment portion.

2. Write Blog Schedule- I really do need to do this so I can make sure I am blogging time sensitive stuff on time and also so I can start providing you with more posts.

So there, I'm keeping it simple and doable. I really need to start focusing on what I need to do and stop getting so distracted (but how can I not with my cute new boo? LOL). But baby steps.

What are your goals for this week? Share in the comments and let me know what you think about mine.

Remember you can always join this link up by clicking below:

The Nectar Collective

Love,
Astrid

Monday, November 17, 2014

Old Factory Candle Review + Giveaway


Old Factory Candle Review and Giveaway
*This post is sponsored by Brand Backer and Old Factory, but all opinions are my own*
I have a confession to make: I have a crazy obsession with candles! Seriously, if I'm notified of a candle sale, I will go and stock up even if I just bought like 5 candles the week before. I have a collection of them growing under my bed (that's my unburned stash only) and will light one or two everyday. So when I was asked by Old Factory to try out their candles, I was immediately on board. 

Old Factory Candle Review and Giveaway

I was given the choice of several different gift sets, each with a theme. I was very tempted to get the Fall Harvest (Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry and Autumn Leaves) or the Happy Holidays(Christmas Tree, Candy Cane and Gingerbread) set, but let's be real, I already have stocked up on similar scents. So instead, I decided to choose the Winter Wonderland set which comes with First Snow, Hot Cocoa and Roasted Chestnut. LA doesn't really have a true winter, so this would be the closest I could get to getting in that winter spirit that embodies all the holidays and makes for a perfect reading ambiance. 

Old Factory Candle Review and Giveaway

They honestly smell amazing, although my favorite one is roasted chestnuts! It makes me feel like I'm in front of a fireplace, even though I'm nowhere near one. It's a good thing that these candles burn for up to 20 hours. It means I can enjoy the scents for at least the next two weeks or so. I also love their low-key simple packaging.  What's also cool is that they are hand-poured in the USA with natural soy wax, self-trimming wicks, and premium fragrance oils. They are great for your home or even as a gift (um have you seen the Black Friday ads that are out already?). 

Well lucky for one of you, Old Factory has decided to giveaway one of their sets. You can choose from the ones mentioned above, or from the following: New BornCoffee Shop , Fresh & CleanHigh as A KiteMan CaveRomanceSpa DayVacation, and Fifty Shades (uh hello, have you seen the trailers?!). Enter below, you have until November 23rd at 12 am. Good luck :) Also available on Amazon.


Love,
Astrid 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Weekly Wishes #6


Another week, another set of wishes. For starters, I wish I could get it together and get these posts up on Mondays, but guess I'll work up to that. But anyway, I can't believe we are almost half way through this month. It's scary to see how fast time goes by, but the only thing we can do is enjoy the ride. Last week I shared my wishes/goals for the month. Here they are for review (and what I've actually worked on):

1.  Create a budget and stick to it.- I'd cross this off, but I've only done a very basic concept of this. But hey at least I've actually started to think of a system, a deadline and tools. On the plus side, I was able to pay off one credit card, now to focus on paying off the other one.

2. Read More- Yea still working on the reading. 

3. Sleep-  I actually have been getting more sleep this past week. Part of that being that I've fallen asleep before I even know it. 

4. Participate in NaNoWriMo. -  I haven't been writing everyday, but reworking a story I had started, but left very unfinished. I think I'll be able to finish it by the end of the month. 

5. Exercise more and eat healthier.- I haven't been to the gym yet this week although I hope to go at least 3 days, meaning Today, Tomorrow and Sunday. As for eating healthier, I actually have been able to avoid the candy and chips at work. I've been eating more fruit and trying to eat at home as much as possible. 

6. Keep up with Blog Posts & Youtube Videos- Yea I'm working on it.

So my November goals are still in their early stages, but let's focus on this week.

1. Write out my budget- This is totally doable. I got the resources, now just have to put pen to paper.

2. Workout at least 3 days a week- Hoping to get to this before the next weekly wishes post. I think I can do it.

3. Blog- Again, working on this. But hoping to put out two posts I've been meaning to write for some time.

I'm keeping it simple this week. I am currently busy also trying to get Charlie re-trained (he's been having issues with separation anxiety), so I want to be able to make things doable. 

What are your goals for this week? Share in the comments and let me know what you think about mine.

Remember you can always join this link up by clicking below:

The Nectar Collective

Love,
Astrid

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Weekly Wishes #5: November Wishes


OMG, it's November already. Honestly can't believe October (such a great month) is over and that we only have two months left of this year. It really has been a great year for the most part and I'm willing to finish it off with a bang by keeping up with my weekly wishes.

Here are last week's wishes:
1. Get Some Sleep- I finally got some sleep over the weekend. YAYY!!! I slept in a lot on Saturday and thanks to daylight savings time being over, I got really decent sleep Saturday night. It's an improvement, but still needs a lot of work. 

2. Get Charlie to a groomer- So happy I was able to do this. His hair doesn't grow long, but he needed a trim around the eyes and belly area and needed his nails clipped. Now he looks a bit better. 

3. Order a new phone- Ok so I tried to do this, but since my mom's phone hasn't arrived and therefore hasn't been activated, I can't transfer my line quite yet. It also means I can't order my phone quite yet. 

I like that I was able to cross off two things from my list and almost did the third one if only I'd be able to order the phone. Definitely a nice feeling of accomplishment. 

But now its a new week and a new month so guess it's time to put forth some new wishes and maybe some that are a bit more long-term (for the month anyway). 

{Source: Unsplash}
1.  Create a budget and stick to it.- This is the first order of business for the month of November. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but after pretty much spending a whole paycheck in a weekend, I realize I need something concrete to follow so I can pay off some bills.

2. Read More- My goal is to read at least 4 books this month. I feel like I can do this, I just need to create a routine and make time. 

3. Sleep- I hope that by the end of the month, I will be getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night. Fingers crossed. 

4. Participate in NaNoWriMo. - I plan on trying/attempting to write a novel this month as part of the National Novel Writing Month that occurs in November. Like I've said in previous posts, I like to challenge myself.

5. Exercise more and eat healthier.- I use to be a lot better at doing this not too long ago. I need to start doing this again. Perhaps try new recipes with my new special someone since we tend to cook or bake pretty much all the time we get together. And he is willing to join me on my workouts so yay!!

6. Keep up with Blog Posts &Youtube Videos- So I realize that since work started, my blog has suffered a bit. I need to change this and start posting more and stick to the schedule I'd made for my videos.

As you can see, I have lots to keep me busy this week/month, but I will try my best to get on it. 

What are your wishes this week/month? Let me know in the comments below. Can't wait to see what they are.

And remember, you can always join this link up by clicking below:

The Nectar Collective

Love,
Astrid