Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Reflection: Part One

Hello friends!

Sorry about the delay again in posting.  Sometimes you just get so wrapped up in life that you forget to sit down and write it out!  Also, I have thoroughly enjoyed being lazy the last couple of days!  My Christmas celebration started on December 21, at my Maw Maw's house for some family time!  Then our annual Christmas Eve Lovefeast that I mentioned here on, you guessed it, Christmas Eve!  Then Christmas Day, and on December 26, my family decorated our annual Night Tree for all the animals! It has been a busy year, full of excitement and joy!  I have been trying to keep everything straight, but there have been a lot of big changes, so today I am posting a reflection!  Or at least the first part of 2014 (because it was a long year)!

In January, I started the year engaged to my best friend!!

You can read about our engagement here!  This meant a whole new assortment of things to do, such as bridal shows, venue shopping, vendor shopping, and engagement photos!  You can read about some of that here!

Also in January, Joshua and I got to play in a few big snowfalls in Raleigh!  You can read about some of them here!

I also pledged to read 25 books as part of my 2014 Goodreads Book Challenge!

In February, Joshua and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary!

Officially started dating February 18, 2012!  This year for our anniversary, we escaped the weekend before and went to Wilmington!  

February also saw a lot of snow!  

In March, I traveled to Sacramento, CA to visit with family!

Yep!  I flew out there and visited my family!  We had a blast, and I cannot wait to get a chance to visit them again!  This time, I swore up and down I will convince Joshua to go with me!

In March, I also traveled to Reno, NV for a concrete convention!

I did this last year, only last year's event was in Phoenix, AZ.  You can read about it here!  Reno was an interesting experience because I wasn't happy in the major I was studying, I didn't like the professor who led the trip, and I totally tore my MCL when I attempted to ski for the first time.  Not feeling Reno, but all in all, it was an adventure!

Also in March, St. Patrick's Day happened, and I got to decorate!  Y'all know how I love to decorate! You can see what I did here!

April totally just happened!  No pictures or details of anything exciting!

Haha!!  Whoops!

In May, I finished final exams!

This was exciting because this also marked the official changing of my major and my career path!  I switched out of Construction Engineering and Management, and I switched to Agricultural and Environmental Technology!  I switched from a life I hated to a life I absolutely love!  One of the highlights of 2014!

Also in May, one of my best friends and beautiful bridesmaids moved away from Raleigh with her boyfriend, and it completely changed my life in Raleigh!  Even though I miss her terribly, she is one of the main reasons I work so hard to keep this blog going!  She blogs about her life and I blog about mine!  It is almost like a coffee date!

That is why in June, I officially joined the Blogger community!

My very first post was about who I am and all the things I love!  You can read it here!  

Also in June, I found and booked mine and Joshua's wedding venue!  It is beautiful!  

Joshua and I ended June with a visit to the Brevard Zoo in Florida, and a week at Disney over July 4th!

This was an adventure and I was super thrilled to share it with Joshua!  I am pretty sure this is another 2014 highlight of ours!  You can read all about this adventure here!

Joshua and I did so much in 2014, it is hard to fit it all into one post!  So look back tomorrow, and I will have the rest of the year mapped out for you!!  Hopefully 2015 will be just as exciting as 2014, and hopefully you are enjoying looking back as much as Joshua and I are!

What are some of your favorite 2014 adventures???
Like I said, let me know!!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pinterest Faves: Holiday Baking Edition

Hello Friends!

As the holiday season is rolling around, I have decided that Pinterest is in fact a holiday obsession!  Seriously!  I have been spending hours on Pinterest looking up cute and yummy things to fix for my family, and I am super in love with so many things!  Here are some of my favorites!

1.  Crescent Roll Breakfast Popovers

When I found this recipe, I was looking for something easy and fast to fix for Saturday brunch for me and Joshua.  I also wanted something that I could make with very few ingredients.  I got this recipe from Yummy Mommy Club, and of course, I made a few tweaks!  Maija's is on the left and mine is featured on the right!  The idea behind this thing (I call it a pop-over because I like the sound of it), is scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon wrapped in a biscuit!  Maija used cheddar cheese, but Joshua and I like a little kick every now and then, so I used pepper jack.  I also used crescent rolls, because I didn't have any biscuits.  The results?  Joshua loved them!!  He was so shocked that he enjoyed them, and he went out Saturday night to by more crescent rolls so we could make more for Sunday!  Overall, this was a win!

2.  Homemade Peppermint Patties

I love peppermint patties!  That is a huge understatement, but I cannot express in words how much I love peppermint patties!!  Joshua sometimes brings me some home, and I know right then and there that I have picked the best man alive to marry!  I love everything about them, including putting them in the fridge, and breaking them in half by my ear so that I can hear the minty part separate with a crispy little "puh!"  I pinned this last year, and bought the ingredients, but I never got around to making them.  Not this year!!  This year I made it happen!  I got this recipe from Mom on Timeout, and once again, her's is on the left and mine is on the right!  I definitely did not get five dozen, but I did get just short of four dozen.  This was actually pretty messy, so I ended up wearing gloves while I was kneading the dough.  That helped a lot!  The result?  I followed this recipe to a tee, and mine came out great!  It is rare that I am 2 for 2, but Joshua loved these too!!  I had white ones too, but I did not get them in this picture.  Definitely went out, bought more ingredients, and I totally intend to make them again this holiday season!  Joshua is pretty happy about it!

3. Salt Dough Ornaments

I realize that I cannot eat these, but they do have to be baked, therefore, I included them!  Last year, Joshua and I bought our first Christmas tree together, and this year we wanted to continue that tradition.  Just like everything, the tree prices had gone up and our little 4' tree cost about $35, which is pretty high!  In order to stay within our decorating budget, and not spend a fortune on ornaments, I immediately Pinterested a way to make ornaments!  Ta-da!  The salt dough recipe!  I found this recipe on Mommypotomus, and her beautiful ones are on the left, and my interestingly brown one is on the right.  I liked the idea of this because they were pretty simple to make, didn't involve many ingredients, and if they broke, it is okay.  The result?  These are really fun!  I definitely enjoyed making them, and I like how they look on my tree!  I am not sure if I over baked mine, but mine turned out a little brown.  It is totally fine though because they look cute, and Phoenix has enjoyed chewing on them as well.  They fit our little tree perfectly!

Overall, I have really enjoyed our little baking projects, and they all turned out wonderful!  My favorite parts are the memories that I made with the people I love!  That is always important around this time of year!  I definitely feel like all of these little treats will become part of our family traditions!

Are you doing any cute Pinterest projects with your loved ones!  
Like I said, let me know!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Cards!

Hey Y'all!

I am super excited about this Christmas!  A few weeks ago, I told y'all I was signed up for the 2014 Great Christmas Exchange!  Well I am happy to report that I finally got my package in the mail!  I can't tell you what I got her, or who she is, but I cannot wait to hear if she likes it!  I hope she does!  I also still don't know who drew my name, or where my package is coming from.  I will have to keep you posted!

This year is the first year that Josh and I are sending Christmas cards.  My family has actually never done picture Christmas cards, but my aunt and uncle have almost always had one made.  I like the idea.  I have some family that has never met Joshua, and he is such a big part of my life that I want to share him with my family.  I also look forward to seeing how members of my family grow and change year to year! 

This year, I used Vistaprint, and I am really feeling them!  A few months ago, I got my Save-the-Dates from them, and they were awesome quality for an awesome price!  They came in and they were beautiful!  I felt amazing sending them out, and I am still sending them out!  For our Christmas cards, I only bough 20, but I also got 20 envelops for free.  I definitely need to get more for next year, but for our first year of Christmas cards, 20 is a perfect number!

I even got to put our fur-baby on the card as well.  This year is the last year Joshua and I will be "single."  Not single in the fact that we are not dating, but single in the fact that we are not married.  2015 is going to be a year of huge changes!  By this time next year, we will be married, and hopefully have our own house!  We have been engaged a year, and I still don't believe it!!  

This is the first year that we have done Christmas cards, but I totally feel like this is going to become a tradition!  I cannot wait to see what this holiday season brings us, or where we go from here!  

Are you sending holiday cards this year?
Like I said, let me know!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Best. Day. Ever. 2013 Recap.

Hello friends!

A while back, I talked about how Joshua and I have been engaged for a year now.  A year as of yesterday!  This is a day late, but it is okay.  Here is a little bit of information about the best day ever, so far!

It all started a few days before the 13th. Joshua asked me what my Friday night looked like, and I responded with, "I don't really have anything planned." Joshua then informed me that we were going to go to dinner on Friday. This was odd because we go to dinner almost every evening, and I am never told ahead of time. It just kind of happens that way. Like every good woman, I immediately knew that something was up! Being me though, I kind of forgot my suspicions, and almost completely forgot our dinner plans!!

Friday arrived and it was freezing!! Literally! Josh and I went to one of our favorite burger places downtown, Mo Joe's Burger Joint, and we had a really great dinner. We talked to some really cool people while we were there, and overall Joshua seemed to be in a great mood.  After we left Mo Joe's, I was ready for some heat and we ran back to the car.  Bundled up inside the car, I thought we were going back to my apartment. Joshua turned down Boylan Ave, which is one of our favorite spots in Raleigh. From the Boylan Bridge, you can see all of downtown Raleigh, and it is a really picturesque place. Joshua pulled the Honda over to the side of the road, and said, "Let's go look at Raleigh from the bridge." I was cold, so I said, "No!" and laughed. "C'mon!" Joshua responded. That is when I was reminded of my earlier suspicions. I have never seen Joshua stop in the cold, and beg me - whiny me - to get of a warm car and stand on a cold bridge. So, I finally relented and we ran across the street to the bridge. Squealing in the cold, I quickly grabbed Joshua's hands, and he looked at me with a big smile! He said some of the most beautiful things I have ever heard him say, and finally asked, "Will you marry me?"  Only problem? He was still on his feet!! Instead of answering 'yes,' I asked Joshua, "Are you serious?" He laughed, said yes, and FINALLY got down on one knee! He pulled the ring out of his pocket, and excitedly jumping up and down, I yelled, "YES!" It was the best!!

Last night, we went to a restaurant next to the Boylan Bridge, and while the food was terrible, it was great to reminisce about the year before.  We even took our picture this time, and it was still cold!  The past year has brought about a lot of changes, but I have never been happier with our lives.  With 2015 just around the corner, it is important to remember all the exciting times of 2014 and in our case, 2013.  I am definitely eager to see what the next year will bring us!!

What are you excited about for 2015?  
Like I said, let me know!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmastime is Here!

Hello Friends!

Sorry it has been so long since we spoke last!  I have been super busy, and, while I have wanted to blog, I just haven't really had time to say what I wanted to.  Let's see, since we spoke last, my little sister turned 17, Thanksgiving happened, Josh and I went with family and friends to see "Scrooge" in Roanoke, and I have studied like a mad man for finals.  I just finished my final exams yesterday, and I am just waiting to here back if I passed or not.  Normally, people in college are like, "Yea, I passed that exam, no problem!" but I have a distorted perception of how well I did on an exam, so I am just waiting to hear before I start singing praises of joy!

Now, I love Christmas!  It is one of my favorite holidays!!  Being a Moravian, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is our Christmas Eve Lovefeast at our church.  You got your buns, your coffee, and most importantly, your beeswax candle.  What more can a Moravian ask for?  For the past few years, I have had trouble getting into the season spirit, seeing as how most years I have exams until the 15th of December, and I work until the 22nd.  The highlight of my season is always the Christmas Eve Lovefeast, but that means that until 6:00 on Christmas Eve, I am not really in the Christmas spirit.  This year, I am trying a different approach to Christmas.

Christmas for me is the season of giving.  God gave us his son, three wise men gave precious gifts to Jesus' family, and families give love and joy to one another.  You give of yourself, and ask for nothing in return.  Most people who know me know that I don't make a lot of money.  I live on $81 a week, and some weeks it sucks.  Christmas is always a difficult season, because I always have to reign myself in from spending all my money.  This year is different.  I still make the same amount of money, but I am trying to give people my love and my heart instead.  

I signed up to do Operation Christmas Child, and I filled my shoe-box with gifts of love.  I picked out a black and white stuffed cat to send, because I was giving the love of my cat to a little girl somewhere.  I put soap, and a washcloth in the box, and a coloring book with crayons.  I put flash cards in the box, and for the first time in a long time, I noticed how much stuff was in the toy isle that I couldn't send.  Electronic Barbies, and mini iPad things.  Computer games, and Littlest Pet Shop toys.  Somewhere, this child just needed the basics, and it took me about an hour to try to find the basics.

I also picked an Angel off our Angel Tree at church.  My little girl, Nataly, had two other Angels on the tree that my mom and dad took.  Between the three angels, this 13 month old little girl needed a car seat, clothes and shoes, diapers, and a baby doll.  This broke my heart.  Do you know how many baby dolls I had growing up?  A lot.  I got my little girl two baby dolls, and as I shopped for other toy items, I carried around the softest teddy bear I could find.  One of the Kmart employees asked me what I was doing with the bear, and I told her, "I am filling it with love."

That is what this season is about.  Filling the gifts you give with love.  I spent my paycheck on a little girl I will never meet, but I gave her the most love I could give, and I truly love this little girl, wherever she is.  God gave us Jesus, because He loves us, and when Easter rolls around we will celebrate how He loves us again when He allows Jesus to be crucified for our sins.  It is important to note that God did not give us His gift in the form of a prince or a man of any power, but in the son of a carpenter.  When you give gifts to your loved ones this year, remember that.  My homemade gifts are not things that are good enough to be sold, but they are made with the love I have in my heart.

I have done a lot of things this year to try and get myself into the Christmas spirit, and I am thinking they worked.  Most importantly, I have given of myself as God intended us to do, and I did it knowing that I will never meeting these people.  But they know someone out there loves them, and believe me, I do love them.  So this Christmas, give the love in your heart to people who need it most!

What have you done special this year to get you ready for Christmas?  
Like I said, let me know! 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Thanksgiving Favorites

Y'all!  There are only 45 days until Christmas!!  We are officially in November, and Thanksgiving is only 17 days away!!!  With holiday season around the corner, I have been living on Pinterest looking up recipes, gift ideas and decorating DIYs.  If you have never discovered Pinterest, shoot me a comment with your email, and I will totally invite you because it is in fact, amazing!!  It is super easy and a great way to find and save ideas for later.  Make it happen people!

In honor of the holiday season, I am posting a few of my favorite Thanksgiving pins!  I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do, and can incorporate some of them into your holiday!

1. Buttermilk Pie
This one is amazing!!  I love it!  Joshua loves it!  My family loves it!  It happens!  I found this one last year from Amy of Positively Splendid, and I was super ready to make this pie!  The directions were really easy to follow and the result was wonderful!!  Joshua and I literally ate a whole pie in a day (which was not good for the whole weight loss thing, but it was a holiday right?)!  If you like chess pies, and vanilla, this is for you.  It is basically like a vanilla chess pie, so don't worry about a buttermilk flavor because there isn't one!  Believe me, it is worth it people!!

2. Dollar Store Decorations
Sometimes, our decorating budget is a lot smaller than we want it to be.  This is why we are always looking for the best deals!  Joshua is always like, "How much did that cost?" and I really get excited when I buy things from the Dollar Store!  I can be like, "$10!"  I found this post from Rachel over at Useful Beautiful Home.  She has so many great DIY projects and they are all pretty low cost.  I don't know about you, but low cost or free is always in my budget!

3. Printables
I love printables!  I love decorating with them too!  I hopped over to Pretty My Party with Christy, and she rounds up her favorite free printables.  I really like several of them, and the best way to use them is to save them as a picture, send them to some place like Walgreens and get them developed as pictures.  I have done that several times with several different holidays!  Simple, and you can reuse them year after year!!

4. "Thankful For" Table Cards
I found these over at Lovesome by Erin, and she has them for things she is thankful for.  One of the ways my family uses them is as seating cards.  The cards say "Thankful For" and then a name.  We list the names of people present at our Thanksgiving table, and people we wish were still present in our lives.  It is a sweet way to remember everyone special to us on a day dedicated to giving thanks!

5. Roasting a Turkey Infographic

I found this over at Visual News, and I love it!  I look at it as a refresher every year!  Every year, Joshua and I try to throw a Thanksgiving get-together with our friends and people bring some of their favorites.  I always do the turkey, and this little beauty is so super helpful!!  Sometimes, you just need a good base to throw a great Turkey Day get-together!  

These are my favorite Thanksgiving pins, and I hope you like them and can use them!  What are some of your favorite holiday ideas or finds?  Like I said, let me know!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Great Christmas Exchange 2014

Hello friends!

I hope everyone is having a great week!  First note: I need to take more pictures of thing this year because as I dig through my archive of snapshots, I realize I have nothing!  Not cool.  Anyway. Remember how earlier this week I was like, "I want to be excited about the holidays?"  Well I might have just found a way!

One of the blogs I read all the time, Oak & Oats, is participating in something call "The Great Christmas Exchange," and immediately, I was intrigued.  I absolutely LOVE receiving little treats in the mail, but I also love buying people gifts!  I think that is why I really love Christmas!  You can read more details about "The Great Christmas Exchange 2014" here, but here is what I know!

What it is:  
The Great Christmas Exchange is a gift exchange by people all over the country (and possibly the world), and the opportunity to make/stalk a new friend.  You sign up before November 12, and then the bloggers in charge send you the name of your person.  It is basically like an internet friendly "Secret Santa."  Once you receive the name of your person, you try to find out as much information as you can about them without letting them know!  Then you mail your gift for them by December 10, and you should receive yours around Christmas!  Excitement!

Who can participate:
Everyone!  Bloggers and non-bloggers alike!  That is the cool part!  You could be making a new friend in another country, or three streets down from you!  The possibilities are endless!!

How much:
There is a $20 shopping limit.  You can be overly generous and go a little over, but you can't expect someone else to go over $20.  You still need to pay a little extra for shipping, but I think it will be worth it!!  

How to sign up:
You can sign up here!  Once you create your own profile, you can link up your Facebook or blog to make it easy to be stalked!  

This is something that I am really excited about!  I think it is going to be fun!  I already love gift swaps, so I will keep you all posted, but shhh!  No names or items until after Christmas!!

Are you doing a gift swap this year for Christmas?  Is this something you would like to do?
Like I said, let me know!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wedding Planning | Is This Really Happening?

Hello friends!

I have been struggling to write something that is good and something you will all like to read.  So I got thinking...what is going on in my life that you would all be interested to hear???  And it dawned on me!  I know you want to hear about wedding planning!!!  Right???  Just go with it!  My sister is actually fed up with wedding planning, which I find ironic because we have only just begun.  We still have so much more to do, but here is a look at what we have accomplished!

We finally took our engagement photos!!

Yes, in case you were confused...that is what these are!  Josh proposed to me on December 13, 2013, so we have been engaged almost a year now, and we want an October wedding, so we decided to wait until October 2014 to take our pictures, and I think they came out wonderful!!  We went to Rockford, and the Rockford General Store, and then on to Cody Creek where we really came out of our shell!  The reason I don't have a watermark or copyright on them you ask?  That is because my mom was actually the photographer, and I was the editor!!  I think they really came out great and she did a great job!  We were totally nervous to begin with (even though it was only my mom!!) but I think she loosened us up!  We had a lot more fun than we thought!!  

My Save-the-Dates are in!!!

I have been holding off on ordering/designing them until I could get our engagement photos.  The benefit of having my mom take the photos is that they were immediately mine and the ones I LOVE, I went ahead and edited.  Then I got looking up ways to print your own post cards, and that is when I stumbled onto Vistaprint.  Vistaprint was running a deal and I actually ended up getting 100 Save-the Dates for only $15!!!  Annnnndddd, I got matching stickers for the back, and matching return address labels, and a stamp.  With shipping and everything, I only ended up paying about $50 for the whole cart!  The irony?  My envelopes (we opted out of post cards) cost more than my Save-the-Dates!  Crazy!  Along with Save-the-Dates....

Some are already in the mail!!

According to my Wedding Planning app, I am supposed to have all my Save-the-Dates in the mail by November 5.  Considering today is the November 4, I don't think that is going to happen, but it was a good try!  I am still collecting addresses, and it is actually a lot harder than I thought!  Still, it is totally worth it!!!  

I am still in serious shock because now it feels like this wedding is going to happen!  I want it to be amazing, but I am also ready to start my marriage with Joshua.  I am so ready to be his wife, and start planning our adventures together!

What are you excited for today?  Has one upcoming even been occupying your mind?
Like I said, let me know!!


Monday, November 3, 2014

November Goals

Hello Friends!

The last goal I listed was in September and was to blog more consistently.  I don't think that worked out the way I wanted!!  To tell you I have been super busy is to preach to the choir!  Everyone is super busy, and my schedule is not the only one that is way too full!  This month, my goals are more or less the same, but sometimes it takes more than one try!


1.  So no pictures this time, but I did some cleaning over the past two months.  It is not finished, but I want to keep working on it.  My goal is to take at least one load of clothes to Grace's Closet and one stack of books to the Surry Senior Center Lending Library.  Both of these ministries are great ones and I want to benefit them!  Maybe that is why my goals for me don't work.  They need a better reason than just my wants!

2.  I said last time that I wanted to blog more consistently.  This time I am saying I want to blog more about things that are important to me.  I am still finding my groove to this blogging thing, and I want to find things that matter to me!  Some things I want to post about my upcoming wedding, my engagement (a.k.a., the best day ever!), and I want to start a book club!!  What do y'all think about those???

3.  Keep up my Zumba three days a week!  This is very important to me.  Every time I get involved in something exercise related, I either get injured, or something gets in the way.  Any way, doing something for my health is always the last thing on my mind, and this month, I don't want it to be.  I want my health to be one of my first concerns!  I need to be healthy because it won't be long and I will be trying on wedding dresses, and I know I cannot be a perfect size 8, but I sure would like to be a size smaller than what I am.  

4.  I want to get my Thanksgiving decor up soon!  I totally did NOT put up Halloween stuff until Tuesday, so I don't want to do that again!  I want to be better about that!

5.  Every year, I wait for the excitement about the holidays to build and every year I find myself on December 23, just getting excited for the whole holiday season!  I literally am only excited for two days and then it is OVER!  And I kick myself afterward!  I was super excited about my Halloween costume that I made, but now I need to take that super excitement and focus it toward the holidays.  After all, this will be my last Thanksgiving and Christmas as a single woman!  I need to enjoy it for what it is, and be excited to spend the holidays with my family and friends!

I am hoping this month we see a lot more of me, and I can write my posts instead of just think about them and take pictures.  I really want to be an active blogger!!  

What are your goals for November?  How do y'all feel about a book club (nothing too hard core)??  Like I said, let me know!


Monday, October 27, 2014

This Too Shall Pass

Hello Y'all!

So a lot has happened this weekend (and previous week) and therefore I feel the need to blog about it.  Some of it is happy, and some of it is sad, but all of it is relevant to my life, and where I am now.

I finished my five week long pledge process, and last week was my first full week as a CERES Sister!  That is super exciting, and, so far, I am totally loving it!!  I went to Zumba all week long with my sisters, and even worked at the State Fair on Friday with some of them.  Overall, super amazing experience, and believe was not easy!!!  Nothing about my pledge process was easy, but as soon as I was accepted, all of the difficulty was worth it!  We immediately started our Fall Retreat, and it was AMAZING!  Corn mazes, and gold mining!!  So much fun!  Definitely something I am looking forward to enjoying!!!

This leads me to my next event.  I met with my advisor, I enroll in classes later on today, and I should be graduating in MAY!!!  This is exciting news!!  I have been a student at NC State now for seven years, and, for me, that is long enough!  I am ready to not be a student anymore!  I am ready for new adventures, and less homework!  At the same time, this is scary y'all.  This is real.  I have been a student since I was six, so that is 18 years of my life in class.  It will be hard to believe, and probably hard to handle!

Speaking of hard to handle, Saturday was super bittersweet!  I was really excited to see my brother marry the love of his life.  Of his life literally!  Brett started dating Kathryn when he was in the 10th grade, but they broke up for several years.  Flash forward like 12 years.  They try a relationship again (and believe me when I tell you Brett NEVER stopped loving Kathryn for a second) and he pops the question, she says 'yes,' they move home and forward onto Saturday!  They had a BEAUTIFUL wedding, in a BEAUTIFUL location, with a BEAUTIFUL ceremony!!!  Get the picture??  It was amazing and love filled, and joy filled and I am so excited for the both of them.  Brett is settled, something he hasn't been in a long time, and in love and I hope they have 75+ more years of love, laughter and beautiful moments together!! 

The bitter part of this story?  When we first moved to our house in Westfield, 20 years ago, some of our family brought us a cat.  We named her Simba (Lion King kid, duh!) and within a few weeks she got pregnant.  Now, as a four year old, I did not really understand how this happened, but I was super thrilled to have kittens.  On Father's Day 1995, Simba went into labor under my bed, and we didn't get to go to church because Simba had her kittens!!  Super excited four year old!  She had five, and two were identical and the sweetest kittens out of the liter.  Simba went on to run away and get hit by a car, but we kept one of the two identical kittens and gave the other to my cousins.  They named their kitten Calamity, and we named ours Sassie.  On Saturday morning, around 7, my Mom walked into the living room to find Sassie on the floor sprawled out, and she called me and Dad in to say "Good-bye."  We petted on her, and told her she was a good girl, and to just let go.  Around 7:30 she passed away, and a part of my life and childhood disappeared.  She was 19, and loud, smelly, and pretty darn crazy, but she was ours.  

This too shall pass.  Everything that happened in the past week is changing, and one day will only be a fond memory.  I might be an old soul, but things seem like they will last forever, and then change in a heartbeat.  My mom's whole day is going to be reconfigured because she is not worrying about Sassie and taking care of her.  Our Christmas will be different this year because instead of pictures of Sassie in the paper and Phoenix next door, Phoenix will be roaming around the house.  We don't wake up to Sassie meowing for food, or to be let out, and while that is nice, it is also sad too.  We got new pigs on Saturday, and the farm kept on growing and going without a quintessential piece.  But that is how life is, y'all.  Change is inevitable, and the ticking clock is chasing after us all.  To quote one of my favorite Christmas movies: "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not here any more."


Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: October Birchbox

Hello lovelies!  

It has been too long since I have posted anything!!  Waayy too long!!  I will have to do a write up soon of what all I have been up to, but for now, we can just stick with the basics!  I have yet to do a Birchbox review, and I know I promised one!  Technically, I promised September and August reviews, but I actually clicked the wrong skin tone color, and so I really don't like anything they sent in those boxes (except the eye liner)!  This is the first box that I was actually super excited to receive, and I think Birchbox hit it on the nose!  Here is what I got!

Camille Beckman: Tuscan Honey Glycerin Hand Therapy

Y'all, my hands look rough in this picture!!  Sorry!!  Anyway, this stuff smells pretty good, but I have been using it and honestly, I don't see a big difference.  The full size cost is $13.95, but I think the Aromatherapy that I pick up at Bath & Body Works does about the same thing.  

Conclusion:  I think I am going to keep using this to see if it gets better, but as of right now, I am not going to purchase the full size product.

Coastal Scents: Revealed Eye-shadow Palette Set

Ignore Phoenix's photo-bomb!  I could NOT get her to get out of the picture! lol  Anyway, this stuff is pretty!  It is gold and metallic and I thought I wouldn't like it, but I do!  The downside: The full size is $34.  Not feeling that, which is a total shame!  

Conclusion:  I like this enough that I have not ruled it out.  I think I will check out Ulta and see if I can snag a better deal!!

 Dr. Lipp: Original Nipple Balm for Lips

When I first saw the name of this, I laughed out loud, but seriously.  It has done wonders for my lips!  It isn't flavored and I kind of feel weird rubbing on my lips, but I am seriously trying to make this stuff last!  The full size is $14.50, and while I think that is a little high, I really like this stuff!  I might try to use some of my Birchbox points toward it!

Conclusion:  I think I am going to buy this.  I am going to search for a better deal, and let you know, but I think it will happen folks!  Good stuff!

TOCCA: Eau de Parfum, Florence

So this is love!  This is expensive love, but love non-the-less.  First off, I love gardenias!  If I could grow them and roll in them, I would, but alas, that is not in the cards!  This stuff smells amazing, and I love it!  Downside: y'all this is $68.  I don't have money to be throwing at smelling nice, but surely somewhere this stuff is cheaper!!  

Conclusion:  I love this, but it is too expensive for me.  I think I am willing to pay like $25 for perfume, so as of right now, this is a no go.

Vasanti Cosmetics: BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

Y'all, this is bad, but I haven't used this yet!  I am not a big fan of facial washes because I have to do it in the shower, and most times I am too busy singing to wash my face.  I really only wash it about once a week (maybe).  This is also $34 and I don't think I want to buy a full size.  I am going to try it, and get back to you, but I like the stuff I use already, when I wash my face at all!

Conclusion:  I can't pass a judgement, because I haven't tried it!

I really liked the stuff I got in my October Birchbox, but honestly, I am not willing to pay the hefty prices for the full sizes.  Still, every month it is really great to get the little treat of beauty in a box!  For $10 a month, this is a pretty fun little treat!  I think I will keep my subscription for a few more months and see what else I can find!  If you are interested in receiving a Birchbox, you can sign up here!  They have boxes for men and women, so don't be afraid to give it a try!

What special things do you treat yourself with?  Like I said, let me know!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: thredUP

Hello Friends!

Recently I posted about ordering and receiving my thredUP orders.  Like I said before, I discovered this site on a blog that I enjoy, Oak & Oats.  It is a really cool concept.  Basically it is Plato's Closet only much more organized and online.  I definitely love this site.  After one order, I was hooked!  And friends, I am going to tell you why!

The Shoes

I have always had really small feet, which I love, and therefore I love to shoe shop.  It is probably one of the only kinds of clothes shopping that I truly enjoy.  It is definitely one of the few where I am like, "I think I need a smaller size!"  That being said, I also love boots!  I swear my favorite fashion trend is black leggings and boots! I love them!  So when I stumbled on these babies, I knew a purchase had to be made!

These boots are Sam Edelman, size 7, and they supposedly had a tiny flaw, which I have yet to find!  They had been $89.00, but I got them for $15.31!!  That is a savings of almost 83%!!!  The came in a green polka-dot box, and when I opened the lid, a green sticker on white tissue paper said "enjoy!"  I immediately put them on, and this is the result!

Absolutely beautiful!

The Cardigan

I am a cardigan queen!  I have more cardigans than one woman will ever need, and Joshua is constantly asking me, "Do you really need another cardigan?"  The answer is always a resounding, "YES!"  I love cardigans sooo much!  I pair them with a long sleeve tee shirt (normally a black Faded Glory tee from Walmart), and then my leggings and boots!  Cardigans are a fall item that I wait all year to be able to wear again!  

  This cardigan is from Love Stitch and it was originally $69.00.  I got it for $11.37, which is a savings of almost 84%!!  It was a little bigger than I anticipated, but I still think I like it.  Since Tuesday was the first real day I could wear some of my fall clothes, I haven't gotten a chance to parade around in this cardigan.  I did not realize when I ordered it that it had 3/4 sleeves so that was a surprise, but I still think I am going to enjoy it.  If not, I can always make alterations!  thredUP as has a 30 day return policy on items as long as they are not a clearance item.  This means, if something doesn't fit, or doesn't look right, you can send it right back!

The Conclusion

I love thredUP!  I seriously have ordered two more orders from them since I got my boots and cardigan.  I also like that every one of my friends can save $10 when they join thredUP through my blog.  What this means is every one who follows this link, can save $10 on their first order!  This means friends, get shopping!  You can also sell items on this site, so look into that as well!  

Have you ever tried thredUP before?  Do you have another favorite online shopping site?  Like I said, let me know!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Ten

Hello Friends!

It has been too long!  Almost two weeks since I told you anything about my life!  That is why I feel a complete Tuesday Ten is in order!  So much has gone on!!!

1.  I had a birthday!!!  

Yes, I might not have posted on my birthday...sorry, but now I am 24!!  I know what you are thinking, and yes, I am in fact old!  lol  My birthday is September 13, and that is why I had such an awesome birthday gift the other week, from my loving fiancĂ©!  I ended up having a cookout with my family and friends and it was awesome!!  Just think, in 76 years I will be 100!!  

2.  My August and September Birchboxes have come in!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how I was trying out Birchbox, and I told you I would keep you posted!  Well I got my boxes!!  One in August and one and September.  I think I am going to do a legit August/September Birchbox post, but I am going to tell you that I am seriously considering signing up for a year-long subscription.  I think I just need one more box to convince me, but so far I like what I am getting!  More to come, I promise!!

3.  I am pledging a sorority!

One of the reasons that I haven't been on here blogging a lot lately is because I am pledging CERES, one of the agricultural fraternities (although we are Sisters) on NCSU campus.  For those of you who are thinking, isn't she a little old, the answer is, "Yes, I am old, but they love me anyway!"  All of my friends from college have graduated and some have moved away to start their lives.  That leaves me on campus with my roommate (who works a lot) and Joshua.  I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to make personal connections and professional connections!  I really like my pledge sisters, and the other sisters as well!  

4.  Joshua had a birthday too!!  

Yes!  It is true!  Joshua and I are both Virgo!  Technically Joshua's birthday is before mine (September 5) but since it is my blog, I posted about my birthday first!  Joshua turned 28, and since his birthday was on Friday, I made him pumpkin muffins Thursday night so we could do a pre-celebration!  I think he enjoyed it, and his birthday kind of kicked off the start of pumpkin spice season!!  All in all, it was a good birthday celebration!

5.  I scored big at Dollar Tree!!

I realize that can have lots of different connotations, but just to be clear, I found a great deal at Dollar Tree!  I literally bought 200 wedding invitations, response cards, envelopes, etc. for $8!!  Total!!  I then went home and searched the brand name and discovered that each box of these invitations sells for $36.99!!  That is a 97% savings!  See??  It's a score!!

6.  My thredUP orders came in!

Yes, "orders" is plural not singular!  I definitely got my boots, and was like "WHOA!" so I found other things I liked on and off I went!  Remember, if you want to try it out, follow the jump and save $10 off your first order!  Check it out because it's awesome!!!

7.  Halloween is less than six weeks away!!

This year I fully intend to get my decor up and take pictures in time to share with you, friends!  I want you all to see my cute little spooky apartment!  Also, Halloween is a time when we can watch some of my favorite movies, and eat lots of yummy (and spooky) treats!  Can anyone say "Boo?" because I am ready!!!  Speaking of decor...

8.  I actually completed one of my September goals so far!!

If you don't remember my last post (because it was so long ago), I had said I wanted to achieve some goals this September.  While one of them was posting better posts more consistently (which is not going to be achieved this month), another one was finish my football decorations!  Success!!  Just in time to take them down for Halloween right?  Anyway, I feel like these decorations are too awesome to just be viewed in passing so look for a more detailed post about them!  

9.  I really want to try "Bullet-Journalling!"

My friend Haley, from The Blue Dishes, did a post just the other day about "bullet-journalling."   I love, love, love to make "To-Do" lists.  I know, I sound nerdy and crazy but I am super excited to try this!  I like to have a plan, and I like to understand what all I have going on.  I am not a journal writer.  I don't keep a diary.  I do, however, stick very close to my planner!  Check out Haley's post for more info! (And a giveaway!)

10.  It's Fall y'all!

Definitely my favorite time of year for so many reasons!  It is pumpkin and apple season, State Fair season, and legging and boot season!  

What are some of your Top Tens this week?  Like I said, let me know!


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