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Monday, March 31, 2014

Grateful Heart Monday

I'm a newer follower to Love the Here and Now blog and Ember Grey and I just have to say, I am beyond inspired by these ladies' posts each Monday devoted to making Monday's brigher.
 
Nobody likes a Monday. Whether you're trudging back to school or trying to jump back into the "work mode"... Monday's just get no love #hatersgonnahate.
 
After reading these Grateful Heart Monday posts each week, I just couldn't help myself. I wanted in on some of this feel good attitude and embrace Monday's rather than cringe. Thus, here is my Grateful Heart Monday:
  • I am grateful for all the rain we had this past weekend. My allergies do not like the pollen that's making its grand debut here in Tallahassee, so I was happy that the rain washed all those little boogers away.
  • I am grateful for the patience and kind heart of my boyfriend. I am not an easy soul to handle sometimes (especially when it involves painting- I tend to whine about my arms hurting after 20 minutes...) and he was a trooper this past Saturday while we re-painted our master bedroom.
  • I am grateful to have celebrated another year with my father. His birthday was Saturday and we just spent time together, cooked out, and made new memories.
What are ya'll grateful for on this beautiful Monday? Thank you ladies for inspiring me to appreciate every day, even if it is that stinky 'ole Monday :)



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Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Friday!

Man oh man, this has been a crazy week! Between work, taking care of pups, and keeping a house clean... I'm whooped. How much longer until the end of Sessions?? #friedbrain
 
Yesterday, I talked about my home tour and gave ya'll a hint of what's in store. Therefore, this week's Top 5's are all about what I've got planned for the remaining rooms. Check it out!
 
1. One guest bedroom is in the process of being converted into another seating/storage area. My adorable friend, Lauren and her boyfriend Jason, are selling their beautiful leather couches for a song. Let me tell ya, Hunter and I sang! We'll be purchasing these lovely additions within the next few weeks. I don't want them out in the living room since Jep thinks all furniture are chew toys... Thus, these couches are being hidden behind closed doors until he's out of that stage.
 
 
2. The other guest room technically is almost done. I just need to hang frames and artwork. Which means I need to print out pictures. And that, my friends, is where my laziness kicks in...
 
3-5. The master bedroom.
 
This is actually the room I'm starting on this weekend and hoping to finish in a week or two. Depending on how quickly I can get my dad and Hunter to work with me...
 
First things first. Painting an accent wall. And if it it looks funny, I'll paint all the walls. I. Cannot. Wait!!!! Oh wait, we need to fix the part where Jep chewed my wall before we paint it...
 
Next, ripping up the nasty carpet. I'm sorry, I don't like carpet. My allergies don't like it, my dog loves it for bathroom purposes, and it's just yuck. So, we are ripping that up and laying down hardwood floors. Yay!!
 
Finally, hanging artwork; finding something to go behind the bed; and new blinds for the door. Jep thinks blinds are so much fun to chew on and try to tear down. I love my dog, I love my dog, I love my dog........
 
That's this weeks Top 5! I hope ya'll have had a fabulous week and an even better weekend! Follow the blog on Instagram and Twitter for pics as I journey through this updating process!
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Home Tour

For the last few weeks, I have guided ya'll through different rooms of my home since moving in. I wanted to share the decor I've done, the colors, and themes in hopes to inspire and show ya'll a little bit of my life.
 
We've come to a snag though. The last 3 bedrooms- 2 guest rooms and the master bedroom- are not quite done yet. Thus... I will be continuing the tour through my home, but at a slower pace since I need to finish these rooms.
 
This is good though. This will be the fire under my bootay to get me to move and finish these rooms, finally! So, keep on hanging on. More will be coming and thank you to the many kind words of friends, family, and readers who love to see my home.
 
If you're new here, check out the links below to the previously seen rooms of my home. I've got great plans for these last 3 rooms! For a hint on the master bedroom, think brown walls and wood floors. Now let your imaginations run wild!
 
I cannot wait to get started this weekend and next week on this room! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, be sure to check out the pictures in the process. I'm sure they will be pretty amusing! Until next time....

Living Room
Dining Room
Chicken Kitchen
Guest bathroom

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Little Friday

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Summertime Week #3: I lost my mojo...

This week, thus far, has been horrible in the healthy lifestyle realm. I'm talking donuts, cookies, and I just don't even care.
 
 
To make myself feel better about losing my healthy eating mojo this week, I'm trying to do extra workouts with my Insanity DVD. Not necessarily harder workouts, but more repetition.
 
Hey, everybody has a bad week right? I'll jump back on my noble steed next week... I will say this. I've noticed almost a complete difference in my energy levels by not eating healthy. My energy is zapped and I'm so sleepy. I guess the fruits, proteins, and healthy carbs are actually better than those delicious Dunkin Donuts' donut... Darn it all!
 
Side note: I'm flossing my teeth more. Does that count for something??
 
 


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Twist on Spaghetti

Notice: This was supposed to go out yesterday. Operator error resulted in "publish" button not being pushed...

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you would notice that I posted a picture of the "cutest noodles" earlier this week. Monday night, Hunter and I had our sweet friend, Brooke, over for dinner. Instead of the boring spaghetti, I wanted to change up the noodles.
 
Campanelle is the name. Campanelle Noodles... I watch way too much Bond movies.
 
Anywho, in one of my Costco trips I bought a butt-load of noodles. All different kinds too! The campanelle noodle made its debut.
 
For the sauce:
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • 1/2 to 1 pound of ground beef... Depending on how you like the chunkiness of it.
Yes, you can do the homemade sauce but "ain't nobody got time for dat!" My jar sauce probably would've been fine as is, but I like to doctor up my sauces.

Cook your meat first. Dice the tomato and onion. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and let it cook.

I like to let mine cook for at least an hour on low heat to let all the flavors come together. If I had longer, I'd go longer. But alas, I am a working woman on a time table with a hungry man in the house.

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Don't blink.

It's amazing how life can change in a minute. How one turn, one look, one movement could be your last.
 
I received a phone call yesterday from Hunter that my uncle (yes, Hunter's that close with my family that he contacted me about my uncle) had gone in for a routine visit. During this visit, they found part of his heart to be completely blocked. He was immediately rushed to the hospital, is scheduled to have a bypass surgery, and has possibly experienced a mild heart attack (they're running tests to confirm this).
 
It's amazing how life can change in a minute.
 
I've always said my aunt and uncle are my home away from home. Whenever I visit with them and stay the weekend, I feel like I'm one of their own. Their hearts are good, and their love is contagious.
 
As of right now, everything is in the air. The doctors are trying to approach this situation in the least traumatizing way to the body, but in the most invasive way to save him.
 
I challenge ya'll, today, right now, to stop for a minute. Think about where you are in life. What would people remember you for? Would it be good memories and thoughts?
 
I hate to be all solemn today but getting this news jarred me in a good way. Many days, I'm always thinking about the future. Like it's a guaranteed thing. But it's not. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. That doesn't mean don't have goals and dreams. Dream big! But could you definitively say that you lived a fulfilling life? Could you say that you can leave this world now, knowing that you've touched somebody's life?
 
So think about it. Is your heart in the right place? I know mine is.
 
It's amazing how life can change in a minute. Isn't it? 
 


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Because today is Monday...

Because today is Monday, my creative juices are not flowing ever-so-nicely. Thus... I leave you with some humor.
 


 
Thank you Pinterest for the laughs!


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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Soy Chicken

As promised last week, I bring to you... The soy chicken! Okay, okay... it's really nothing spectacular. BUT, it can literally go with anything. I've used it before as the main dish and added sides to it. I've put it in a fettuccine and Alfredo dish; it's just good.
 
  • Start by heating up your skillet (or pan) and add olive oil (thin layer to coat the bottom of pan) as it heats up
  • Add boneless, skinless chicken- you can either keep it whole, or cut it in strips or cubes
  • Cook the chicken thoroughly on medium heat until cooked all the way through
  • Turn the heat down to low, add soy sauce, and let the chicken soak up the sauce for a good 15 minutes
  • Also add any salt, pepper according to your liking
  • Serve
Like I said, easy peezy lemon squeezy. Enjoy!

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Friday, March 21, 2014

High 5 for Friday

"Helllooooooooo" (Mrs. Doubtfire's voice) friends! It's another lovely Friday after a long week in the office. Let's kick this thang off right, ya'll!
 
1. This past week, Ashley and I worked out to the 30 Day Shred DVD with Jillian Michaels. Talk about a good workout!
 
2. Sessions has had us busy here at the good 'ole Florida Capitol this week. But! That only means we're that much closer to being done.
 

 
3. Not sure if I've ever shared this but my younger sister is in high school, and my mother works at her high school. This week was their Spring Break so they've been gone the majority of the week. Hunter and I have been staying with my dad at their house to keep him company, and it's been GREAT spending time with him and doing dinners.
 
4. I didn't get pinched on St. Patty's Day for forgetting to wear green. Yes, I truly forgot.
 
 
5. Looks like I've got a pretty relaxing weekend ahead of me. Yay!
 
Ya'll have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Let's Get Personal

This here blog has been alive for a little over 3-4 months and I want to take the time today to answer some questions that will help you, my lovelies, get to know me a little bit better. So whether you're a newbie to my neck of the woods, or you've been a faithful follower since the beginning of conception... Thank you for your time and enjoy!
 
1. What is your current passion in life?
 
Honestly, {this is going to sound so cheesy} life. I am so grateful for each day that the good Lord has blessed me with and I try to live each day without anger and to the fullest. A shallow passion... Coffee. Iced coffee to be exact.
 
2. What's a random fact about you that many people might not know?
 
Well, many people know, but a lot don't... I'm actually hearing impaired. I've worn hearing aids in both ears since I was 1 years old. I've gone through 7 surgeries throughout my whopping 25 years of life that revolved around my ears/neck. I have a syndrome that's called "Branchio-Oto-Renal" and basically it covers kidneys, ears, and neck abnormalities. The syndrome that runs on my mother's side of the family doesn't affect our kidneys; we just have hearing loss, some facial paralysis (thus my crooked smile-which I love! Seriously), and cysts that have and can form in our necks. When I was younger, I was super self-conscious about it but as I've gotten older, I really could care less what people think. The ones who love me for my flaws are the ones worth keeping in my life anyways.
 
3. If you won the lottery, what would you do?
 
Pay off my debts, pay off my parents' debts, buy property, build a small cottage on it, and set up a rescue foundation and refuge for neglected animals.
 
4. Where do you want to see your blog a year from now?
 
Hopefully still alive! I just love connecting with people, making friends, and sharing my life song.
 
5. Where do you want to see yourself in 5 years?
 
Married with a kid pretty please :) But hey, God's got a vision that is waayyyyy bigger than mine so wherever He wants me, I'll follow!
 
 

 
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The Grits Blog

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Summertime Week #2: 30 Day Shred

Wanna talk about a work out? Holy cow, this 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels nearly kicked my butt! In a good way, of course.
 
 
Ashley and I have been making it a point to meet at least once per week to workout. We've done Zumba and walking, but they didn't even come close to the 30 Day Shred workouts. At this point we're only at Level 1, and I can feel the burn.
 
I love that Jillian Michaels sets up the workout sessions to include different reps of things such as cardio, abs, etc. It changes it up for you, and keeps working many muscles. Another thing that I just loved about these DVDs is that she's methodical. Rather than rushing into these workouts and making it fast, fast, fast, she methodically sets up the workout to be efficient and effective. I slowly climbed the stairs today at work because I could hardly lift my little legs!
 
In between my Shred workouts with Ashley, I'm also going to be doing the easier DVDs of Insanity. Hunter and I had bought this DVD set about a year ago. Insanity was a little too tough for me (certain workouts my body just physically could not do), but I can do the easier ones to keep myself moving forward in a positive direction of gaining weight.
 
Food wise this week... I've been very good about eating fruits, veggies, protein, and carbs that'll stick. Granted, I did have some sweets {thanks to Ashley's ooey gooey bars} but they we're oh-so-worth-it!
 
I'm excited with how this week has gone and can't wait to see what next week brings in my quest to gain weight in a healthy way, and get fit all at the same time. Thank you to everybody for your support!


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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oreo Creme Pie

Okay, I'm breaking my rules. I usually save Saturdays for a food post. But people. This pie was so dang delicious that I just couldn't wait til Saturday to share. Below is the recipe. I kid you not... IT'S SO GOOD! That is, if you're an Oreo loving freak like me.


36 Oreo cookies, divided

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted


1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened


1/3 cup sugar


2 cups thawed cool whip 
 
CRUSH 24 cookies to form fine crumbs; mix with butter until blended. Press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

CHOP 8 of the remaining cookies. Beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add chopped cookies and cool whip; stir gently until blended. Spoon into crust.

REFRIGERATE 2 hours or until firm. Halve remaining 4 cookies; insert, cut-edges down, into top of pie.

Again, people, it's so good! Hunter and I devoured half of the pie in no time #noshame. I've included the link to the recipe as well.     


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Girl, look at that bed

 
 
 
The past couple of weekends, Hunter and I have yanked and pulled and dug out our front bed. With the harsh winter we had, I just didn't even bother trying to resurrect my front bed until now. Yes, all you Northerners laugh.... Our winter doesn't compare to what ya'll have experienced- thank God. But for Florida, this was a harsh winter for us.
 
Now that we have stripped the beds with as many weeds as possible, and pulled out the awful "big bush" as I like to call it, we're trying to figure out what to do next.
 
Okay, side note- I had been sweating and yelling at little itty bitty weeds for being a pain in the rear to get out of the ground. I was telling Hunter how I wanted to cut the "big bush" back because it's so annoying and in the way. Well big boy steps up and yanks "big bush" straight out of the ground without breaking a sweat. Roots and all. God bless that man.
 
If I had a picture to show ya'll what "big bush" looked like, I would absolutely share it. However, I turned my back for 1 day and somebody felt like they wanted "big bush" and took him from my yard... Weird folks in this world I tell ya.
 
Now that I've got that story out of the way... What should we do?! I need suggestions on a couple of things:
  • Mulch, pinestraw, or rocks?
    • I've done mulch in the past and it worked fine. I just don't know if I want to change it up.
  • What should we line the beds with? Bricks? Wood?
  • Does that black stuff really work in keeping weeds out? I know I'm vague by saying that "black stuff" but I really have no idea what it's called. Weed keeper-outer?!

So as you can see, we've got most of the hard work done. Now it's just putting the final touches on the bed to make it look purrddy purddyy.... Pretty pretty for you people that can't speak south. Duh...




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Saturday, March 15, 2014

I made this up... It's a new thing...

The other night for dinner, I was trying to think of a side to a soy sauce chicken I make (that'll be next week's recipe- easy peezy lemon squeazy I tell ya!). Have you ever opened your mouth to talk, and your mother came out?
 
I'm having that problem all the time. Love you mommy (if you're reading this-ha)!
 
My mother always cooked our dinners. Every night, we sat down as a family, at a table, and ate as a family. It didn't matter who was there... You were family for the night. My mother also always said that you have to have at least one fruit or veggie on your plate. No if's, and's, or but's. Woman meant business.
 
So I've carried that philosophy with me into my kitchen.
 
Back to the story... I was looking for a side dish. And I decided to get crafty. I grabbed a bag of frozen (yes frozen-OMG it's a sin!) stew vegetables. Tossed the entire bag into a skillet with some water to prevent the boogers from sticking to the pan. I let those cook for about 5 minutes (basically to knock the "freeze" off of them) and then added a can of tomato sauce.
 
Once the tomato sauce had been added, I cooked it on low-medium heat for about 20 minutes or so. It was delish!! I'm sure this dish is already out there, but it was new to me. And that's all that matters.
 
**Note: The tomato sauce does thicken up a little and makes it somewhat creamy. So make sure you have a big enough skillet or pan.
 
I'm a horrible blogger... I didn't take a picture because honestly we ate it in one quick motion. Ooopsies.... But take my word for it... Yum!

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Tis a lovely Friday isn't it?

Happy Friday friends! It's another pretty day today in Tallahassee, FL. This past week has been a great week that consisted of youth, Zumba, and family time. However, I want to focus my HFFF on one thing today, as opposed to five.
 
Tomorrow, the Junior Women's Club of Tallahassee will be setting up and selling baked goods in our downtown area. The funds we raise will benefit the No Kid Hungry foundation and I'm uber excited to be helping out with this! It'll take all I have to not buy and eat every baked good we sell...
 
There will be other vendors there as well and I encourage all my local folks to come out Saturday to Klemen Plaza to support a great cause. Wear green because St. Patty's Day will be just around the corner. I hope to see many familiar faces there munching on some homemade cookies and drinking green beer.
 
If you aren't able to make it to this fun event, but would like to still help out, feel free to visit the No Kid Hungry website and donate.
 


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Look what we made!!
 
 
Little Friday





Style Elixir

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Summertime Week #1

This week I focused on getting my diet right. If you're just now tuning in on this series, allow me to fill you in. I'm striving to be healthier about myself. I want to eat healthier and exercise to gain weight the right way... Not lose weight.
 
I'm sure some of you are saying, "Oh be quiet and be happy with your tiny self." Never said I wasn't happy with myself, just want to be healthier about myself. Get it? Got it? Good :)
 
So where was I? Oh yes, getting the diet down. Now when I say diet, I don't mean cutting out food. I'm actually adding more food to my diet, but healthier foods. Instead of 10 Oreo's and a huge glass of milk, I'm reaching for fruits, veggies, and protein bars. I need the calories to stick, and sugars that are found in Oreo's go straight through my digestive system.
 
The Lord says our bodies are our temples. We should treat them accordingly... So I'm trying my very best to keep that in mind!
 
I will say this... I haven't totally cut sweets out. I'm sorry, I have a sweet tooth like nobody's business. So I have enjoyed a couple cookies here and there, maybe some ice cream on a date. No biggie folks.
 
 
Tonight, I'll be Zumba'ing {is that a word?!} with my friend, Ashley, and I'm beyond excited to be geting healthy in a fun way. The weather this week has been beautiful and warm so I've been able to get out and take walks with Jep after work also.
 
This next photo is from the "photo shoot" I did this past weekend for my blog picture. I'm not quite ready to show ya'll my "fine", pale body in workout clothes. Therefore, you will be seeing me dressed but I can still show ya'll the areas I want to add muscle to.
 
Basically I want to go from little muscles in the arms and legs:
 
 
To Jillian Michaels muscles:
 
 
I know I can do it... It'll just take determination and will power on my end. Do ya'll think I can do it??
 
 
 
 

 

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The Grits Blog

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Who doesn't love a good yard sale?



This past weekend, Hunter and I helped his aunt and uncle with a yard sale going on at their house. It took all I had to not shop for some things... Like the pigs seen below. Here's a few snaps of how the day went:

Aren't these pigs the cutest things ever?!

This was just one side of clothes

Hunter's always making friends


All the money they raised was used for a trip for them to be able to fly out to Idaho to see their daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. I'm sooo glad we were able to help them make that trip a possibility!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Introducing...

As ya'll can see, this here blog has gotten a makeoverrrr!!
 
I just love it- it's fun, southern, and just the right amount of "me" involved. I hope ya'll love it as much as I do.
 
Now I have to give credit where it's due. My girl, Ashley, is the brains and designer behind this new and improved. Isn't she talented?! She did a fabulous job keeping in tune with what I liked, keeping me posted along the way, and letting me see things as they were produced to decide if I wanted to tweak anything. Honestly, the girl knows me so well that I hardly had to tweak anything!
 
If you're looking for a full-on makeover, or even just a spritz of life in a certain area of your blog, she's the lady to call! Check her blog out, if you haven't already, and check out her design area too.
 
On that note, I want to encourage all of my readers and "fans" {Ha! Let me pop that big head and bring my happy butt back down to earth} to support Ashley, and anybody else who is trying to start a new project, in their endeavours. We all have dreams, goals, aspirations to be something in this life. Even God has called us to be something:
 
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
 
We are each called to different things in our lives. Whether it is designing blog pages for friends and other bloggers, sharing God's love through our social media outlets, volunteering in our communities-whatever it is, God has called each of us for a purpose. When someone we know is trying to live out that purpose, for the love of God, do not shoot down their so very delicate efforts.
 
I joined this blogging world to have a place to share my life. To share my life song. And most importantly, to share the love of my God who has made my life so much richer. I have found that becoming a blogger, I want to lift up every single blogger around me in everything that they do with their lives. We are a tight-knit community and should hold our fellow bloggers to the highest accountability of achieving all that they can in their life because GOD called them to that purpose.
 
In essence, thank you to those who have visited this lovely site with hopes to get something out of it. I hope you have. It's my goal to share a piece of my heart with you, and in turn sharing God's heart. Ashley's way of sharing part of her heart (other than blogging) is to create blog designs. Let's uplift her in her new endeavours.  
 
To all of my readers, bloggers, family, friends- do what God has called you to do. Not what others have called you to do. By doing what God has called you to do, your life will be so much richer.

**Check back next week for the continued tour of my house. Had to make a pit stop this week :)

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