Friday Favorites: Challenge Edition

Hi friends! Hope everyone is having a wonderful week. It’s been pretty quiet over here as Travis has been gallivanting across Australia for work and I have been working/reading/watching Master Chef Australia.

As I just decided I did not feel like blogging last week, here’s a little recap of what’s been going on the past couple weeks around the Alkek Abode.

$50 Challenge

As I mentioned in a previous post, Travis and I challenged ourselves to spend $50 or less a couple weekends ago. We were so successful we did it last weekend too! With our anniversary (Monday), Trav’s birthday (August 8th) and our Thailand/Vietnam trip (August 20th) all coming up we figured we needed to start cutting back our expenses. During the week we are pretty good and eat all of our meals at home but on the weekends we tend to eat out for lunch and dinner which adds up really fast.

The first weekend we did it, we came in at only $44 for Friday to Sunday and the second weekend we cut it a little close at $48. I will admit I missed our date nights out but it was fun to challenge ourselves to stick to our budget and get creative. We still have been able to find plenty of fun things to do like hit up the Brisbane French Festival and check out the local museums (they all have free entry!). I even went out for a girl’s night one Friday and still kept us under budget.


We will definitely be hitting up this challenge again but this weekend I am excited to celebrate our anniversary and go to a nice dinner Monday night. Plus I have a little surprise activity up my sleeve…

Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge

Even though it isn’t summer here I decided to challenge myself and join in the Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge. It’s 10 books in the 3 months all within a certain category.

I have been a lazy blogger lately (see above) and am a little late posting my check-in for the month but here’s how I have done so far:


A suspenseful book – The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison

A book written by a comedian or celebrity – Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Currently Reading:

A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show) – Paper Towns by John Green

A book that was recommended by a blogger – Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

Still Need to Read:

A YA book – The Book Thief

A book with a one word title.- HELP I can’t remember what I put down on my preliminary list so any suggestions are welcome!

A book about Summer, with Summer in the title, or in any way related to Summer because this is a Summer challenge- Summerland by Erin Hildebrand

Non US Author – The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes

A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more – Bossypants by Tina Fey

A book with a kickass female character -The Diviners by Margaret Laurence

SO as you can see I still have a ways to go. I am hoping to finish Calling Me Home over the weekend because I can not put it down. I suppose I shouldn’t recommend anything until I finish it but so far I love it.



I bet the librarians love me.

Twin Peaks

We have been obsessed with binge watching this show from 1990 on Netflix. It has suspense, humor and more twists than… a pretzel? I don’t know just something with a lot of twists. There are two seasons on Netflix and the second has 22 episodes so it has kept us pretty busy lately. Showtime announced recently that they are bringing it back for a third season with some of the original cast members, set to come out in 2017. So I guess we will have to find another show to occupy our weekends for the next two years while we wait.


Due to a pretty awesome sale Quantas was having this month, we are having two sets of visitors coming to stay with us in November!! Travis’ best friend since second grade is coming up for the first half and then two of our best friends (that are married to each other) are coming for the second half. These are our first friends to come visit and we are SO excited to show them around! I am already having so much fun brainstorming all sorts of activities and places to go with them. Pretty sure I should just become an official Brisbane/Australia tour guide after this year. 🙂 We are also throwing around the idea of spending a weekend in Bali with Thomas and Jenn, let’s just hope this volcanic cloud skeedaddles before then.

I couldn’t find a picture of just the four of us, so I thought I would just include a picture of me supporting Jenn as a beautiful bride on her wedding day.

The following picture is Travis receiving a Thomas cutout (that accompanied us on our honeymoon flat stanley style) and a giant poster of them two men and a baby style. Clearly we love them a lot.



I tried to find an adorable picture of Travis and Sean when they were little but I failed so just use your imagination. I am sure Sean isn’t reading this anyways.

Energy Bites


This is what I have been eating for breakfast all week, sans chocolate chips because I’m healthy (jk I forgot to buy them when I got distracted buying tim tams). But seriously so good, and also when does Gimme Some Oven steer me wrong? I love every recipe she puts out. She’s a favorite too.

In conclusion, congratulate me for being really good at saving money and tell me a good book to read with a one word title. Thanks in advance!

Linking up here and here.

14 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Challenge Edition

  1. Cat @ says:

    Congrats on doing well on your $50 challenge! We are trying to cut back on spending on eating out the next few months so I am cooking loads but it will be worth it in a few months.

  2. Love your $50 challenge! Van and I should try that sometime…..make ourselves get creative! Thanks for sharing! And I have been so busy/distracted with moving and school that I didnt know Twin Peaks was out yet!! Maybe it isnt out here yet though hmmm… And I love you book list! I got to meet Jojo Moyes and she is a doll.

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