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Friday, May 30, 2014

Visiting + Giveaway

Hey ya'll! Today, I'm stopping by The Grits Blog to introduce myself to some new folks. Swing on by to say hello and maybe make some new friends, like I'll be doing! I hope ya'll have a fab weekend!

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But before you leave...










a Rafflecopter giveaway







Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Really Baked These

I've always proclaimed to be a great cook, thanks to my mother. Give me anything and I'll whip up some sort of dish that tastes pretty darn good, if I say so myself. But tell me to bake the simple chocolate chip cookie?

Forget it.

I've had more baking flubs than successes. BUT, I will not let these piddly fails ruin my drive to bake a darn cookie!

Or sopapilla cheesecake for that matter. Have you ever had sopapilla cheesecake?

A friend of mine introduced the recipe during a Sunday school lesson one morning (love that woman!) and has had our little family hooked on the little guys since. It's a very simple, delicious recipe!

When Ashley asked if I could bring a side and snacks to our Memorial Day weekend getaway, my mind immediately went to sopapilla cheesecake. The recipe makes soo much and it's always a huge hit! Thus, I brought a salad for my side and sopapilla cheesecake for my snacks to share... How contradictory! Such is my life.

Sadly, I did not make the "clean eating" version since I'm rather new to the bandwagon and I was sort of making these at 11:30 at night..... Also no pics involved, but if you click over to the link, it'll have some pretty pitchas!

Ingredients for the "cheesecake" part:
  • 2 boxes of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cans of refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Ingredients for the "top" part:
  • 3/4 cups of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup of honey (I didn't use this)
To make the "cheesecake" part:

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until consistency is smooth

To make the "top" part:

Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and butter together.

Final steps:

Open 1 can of crescent rolls, lay flat in bottom of ungreased pan, and flatten out so that it resembles a pie crust.

Pour cheesecake mixture and spread out evenly across bottom crust.

Open second can of crescent rolls and flatten out on top of cheesecake mixture to form another layer of crust.
**Tip: For the top layer of crust, I laid it out on a cutting board and flattened it that way, then transferred it on top of the cheesecake mixture.

Pour top mixture (butter, sugar, cinammon) over the top crust, spreading evenly.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for roughly 30 minutes.

Yum-a-yum!! Enjoy!
The Grits Blog



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday Wishes

Wooowee it has been a busy couple of days. This post is coming a wee bit late in the day but for a good reason! Image Map

Yesterday morning, I left work to go to the ER. I was having severe pain in my lower right side of my abdomen.

Do NOT Google where your appendix is - you'll be so scared into thinking your appendix has ruptured.

Luckily, that wasn't the case for me. The doctors found that a cyst on my right ovary had ruptured. With some pain meds, spoiling by Hunter, and homemade meals, I'm back on the mend.

My wish for today is my lovely little ovary to heal itself back up nice and neat. Then I can quit having the feeling that a lime is sitting on my ovary and weighing it down. Off to relax and heal up my friends!

Happy hump day friends!

The Hump Day Blog Hop





Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Adventures?

Each season in life brings changes. Sometimes it can be a completely new hair style. Other times it's something a little more challenging and effective in your life.

Hunter and I have gone through many seasons in life. Some were as simple as me changing my hair color; other times it was us changing our lives completely for the glory of God.

A big change that we're both making in our lives, if you're new to this here space, is our marriage happening later this year. We're both beyond excited, ready, and willing to make this change. We want to be married to each other because we do feel that God has brought us together for a purpose.

Hunter and I have been discussing (a lot) lately:
 
How can we better serve God as individuals, and as a married couple?
 
We both traveled to Honduras last summer, and instantly fell in love with the people and the country. Even more so, we fell in love with the idea of sharing the gospel to others. Unfortunately, we could not make it back to Honduras with our group this year. But that isn't stopping us.
 
With lots of praying, discussing with each other, and slowly putting our wheels to the ground, we have discovered how we can better serve God as individuals and as a married couple.
 
Last week, I briefly touched on the changes our church is going through. With these changes, Hunter and I have realized the urgency we have, as Christians, to share the gospel.
 
With that being said, we are moving. We are moving to the small town of Quincy, Florida where our church is located. Rather than moving there to be closer to our church, we're moving there to be closer to the people we can impact.
 
See here's the thing: Quincy is a small town right outside of Tallahassee. It is known for it's old tobacco barns that thrived years ago, tomato farms that provides an income to migrant families, and the Coca Cola stock that began right there many years ago. Sadly, Quincy is also known for it's struggling job market, hate crimes, and people who have been turned away from and forgotten by society and those "Christian folks" because they're "different."
 
Hunter and I are already youth leaders in our church. And when I say we have all walks of life, we truly have all walks of life. And we love it!! Our students are so open to people that appear different from them on the outside, but know that we're all the same on the inside. These students are the reason we are making life changes.
 
To get to the point: Hunter and I are moving to Quincy. Not to be closer to the church building, because at this point, the majority of the church is doing nothing to reach out to the community of Quincy. No, we're moving to Quincy to immerse ourselves in the culture, the people, and being able to impact any and everybody that gives us the time of day.
 
We believe in an open door policy. Mi casa es tu casa. We believe that anybody is welcome to walk through the doors of our home, stay as long as you can, and feel like it's a home away from home. Thus, we believe that by being in the heart of Quincy, we can reach more people and develop deeper relationships.
 
Hunter and I want so badly to show people the love of Christ. And no, the love of Christ does not come in a big church building. It does not come in the fancy, velvet pews. It does not come in the type of music whether it's old hymns or modern day praise and worship.
 
The love of Christ comes through relationships and loving as Christ loved us.
 
So are we crazy? Eh, possibly. But we're crazy about people knowing what it's like to really be loved. We're crazy about the love of Jesus. And yea, I guess you could say we're some Jesus freaks. Get used to it sister!
 
Quincy, we're coming for you!

Monday, May 26, 2014

#GratefulHeartMondays

  


Happy Monday and happy Memorial Day! I'm currently wrapping up my amazing weekend at the beach with some awesome folks.

This Monday, and every Monday, is a blessing. It's a new day, we're fortunate enough to wake up and experience another day in God's world. Emily @ Ember Grey has helped remind me of these moments, and to take advantage of them while we can.

Today, I am thankful for Emily. I am thankful for her kind heart, sweet words, and her love for the Lord. She recently lost her grandfather and my heart just broke for her. I can relate to the pain and tears you are feeling, Emily. And as soon as I heard the news, I knew instantly who/what to dedicate this Monday's #gratefulheartmonday to. It's funny how things work like that!

While my heart broke for her and her family, at the same time, I smiled because Emily knows that she will see her grandfather again someday. I can only imagine what he is feeling now, being in the presence of Jesus. Holy cow that makes my heart explode with excitement and happiness!!

Emily, thank you for reminding us to slow down in this fast-paced world and to appreciate every day, even if it's a yucky ole Monday.

Emily, thank you for your smiles and funny stories. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog every. single. day because you're just an awesome woman.

And Emily, thank you for loving the Lord. We need more folks like you in this world.

What are you grateful for today, and everyday?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

On the coast of somewhere beautiful...

Image Map{Name that artist for the song title above - you'll win a big ole hug}

Today, we are away. Wishing you and yours a wonderful, safe, and fun Memorial Day weekend! Eat lots of BBQ, soak up some sun (not too much), and enjoy the fellowship with friends and family.


See ya'll Monday!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hello, Friday

Friday, you had me at hello.

I think with the oncoming long weekend, and knowing that I'll be at the beach for the weekend, this week kind of decided to drag her buttocks a wee bit.

Nevertheless, I am so happy Friday is here!

ONE: Sunday through Tuesday were packed with dinner plans each night after work. Whether it was spending time with close friends and catching up on life, or helping mom cook her amazing spaghetti, each night was wonderful.

TWO: Earlier in the week, Hunter and I made the decision to start eating clean. We've been feeling so blah lately, not having much energy, so we decided to start with our diet first. I'm just amazed that Hunter's even on this crazy train with me! And no, we are not and will not ever give up meat. Yes, we are striving to eat "cleaner" meat in between hunting seasons. We just need to hunt more, come November! #sorrynotsorry



Do you think this lovely donut counts?? Probably not...

THREE: Some of our youth kids are graduating this week so we have been/will be attending their graduations. Of course, we're going to scream and embarass them when they're called on stage...

FOUR: I'm really shocked that the Febreeze folks haven't shown up to my house this week. I don't know what it is. Either we've been super busy, or we've been super lazy... But my house needs a deep cleaning ya'll. Looks like I'll be doing that Saturday morning before we head out of town...

FIVE: Uhm, have I mentioned that we're going to the beach this weekend?? This is our first little mini vacay in awhile so we're excited to the max! I'm ready to relax, have a few drinks, catch a few fisheys, and spend time with friends.

What big plans do ya'll have for the weekend? Anything exciting for Memorial Day?

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday

I usually don't partake in the different days of the week hashtag craze that usually take place on some form of social media. Not that I don't like it - I usually just forget to even do it!

Not today kids. Not today.

Today, I give to you... drum roll please... 

 
#ThrowbackThursday
 
And no, that's not me super dark chillin' on the beach with that hot bathing suit. That would be my little sister and cousin. Payback, honey. But aren't they so dang cute?!
 
This Throwback Thursday, I am blessing ya'lls eyes with a series of pictures. Please enjoy!

This was mine and Hunter's first kayaking trip.

My sister and Manny

My future sister-in-law and I striking a pose

Graduation day from FSU with the 'rents

Can we just talk about how adorable he is?!

The couple that cooks together, stays together.

Duh, this is just awesome.

My trip to Honduras last summer. Fun fact: My wedding flowers are sunflowers because they remind me of the beautiful sunflower gardens in Honduras.
 

The Grits Blog

 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Learning to love again

Image MapIn church this past week, our youth led the worship music for the church service. Ya'll, we have some talented folks in our youth. They sang their hearts out, played their instruments beautifully, and praised God for all His love and glory.

Come to find out later from Hunter, an older woman that was sitting behind us made the comment

"What is all this racket nonsense?!"
 
I'm very glad that I did not hear the comment at the time because I probably would've shown her to the door. I'm grateful Hunter waited to tell me once we had left the church so that I wouldn't show my hiney.
 
I thought more about it later, just frustrated with the comment, and the audacity of her to judge students, youth, CHILDREN, because the music wasn't just the way she liked it.
 
Our church is going through, what Hunter and I call, a revolution. There is a change happening in the church. The older generation is struggling to maintain their power and control over the church while it is steadfastly dying with their generation. We are part of this revolution to change the church. We want to welcome any and all folks; I don't care what color your skin is, what you have done, where you have been. All we care about is
 
where you're going.
 
After I was done fuming (for the most part), Hunter said something to me that I will forever hold in my soul:
 
You judging her is no different than her judging the music, or our youth.
 
Uhm, deep?? Me judging her for her inability to actually put her selfish desires aside to worship a SELFLESS GOD, is no different than her judging the music or our youth. Or the sermon. Or the color of the sky for that matter (ya'll laugh but I'm telling ya, there are some folks who will argue this).
 
Thanks to Hunter, I realized I cannot judge her. Yes, she still irritated me. But I need to love her. Just as Jesus has called us to.
 
I need to still love those who spit in my face for my faith. I still need to love those who mock my God. I need to love those who say they are "Christian" but still live a lie.
 
Because I am NO DIFFERENT. I am just as much of a sinner as they are. And you know, what they do is between them and God. What I do, is between me and God.
 
So today I challenge ya'll, just as Hunter challenged me (thank you Lord for that man!). I challenge ya'll to LOVE those that make you so mad, you could just spit nails. I challenge you to embrace those who are full of judgment, just as Christ embraced those who judged and condemned Him.
 
I challenge ya'll to be a part of a revolution to change the world. Start small, in your home or church, and spread outwards. Show people the true reason why Christians do what they do. It's not to judge others, or belittle them for their different faiths or lack of. It's to show the love of Christ as He loved us.

To myself: I pray that I can fully love without restraints. I pray that I am slow to anger, and quick to love those that ruffle my feathers.
 
To the elderly woman who sat behind us yesterday in the pews of God's house: I pray for you and your heart to be more open to change. I pray that you will someday, maybe not in this lifetime, realize your hurtful words. And lady, I gosh darn it love ya!
 
Love the Here and Now
The Hump Day Blog Hop

 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to pack for a 3 day beach weekend

So Memorial Day is just around the corner and I'm beyond excited to be at the beach!

Toes in the sand...

Smell of boat gasoline and oil while cruising down the bay...

Drink in my hand...

Sun on my face...

Hunter looking mighty fine reeling in that big fish...  sorry ladies, I can't help but daydream about the man...

Ashley, Carson, and I gossiping about life...

What more could a girl want?! As I was prepping myself up for all the fun we are about to have, I realized something. I need to plan my packing!

Let me explain my packing. I pack for 3 days like I'm going away for a month, to a foreign country, where anything can happen. My dad and Hunter constantly pick on me for how much I pack when we take trips. Look, you never know what you may encounter so one must be prepared! Can I get an amen, hollabackatcha girl?!

So, if there are any fellow ladies out there like me, this post is for you. And your "obtrusive" packing skills.

ONE: Locate large enough bag to carry enough clothes in it for a week. This includes any and all outfits for warm days, hot days, and the awkward freezing-butt-off days THAT CAN HAPPEN. I have seen it with my own eyes, ya'll.

**Tip: I like to carry large duffel bags - it's payback for all the rib jabbing I get in regards to said packing skills earlier from Hunter. Because my southern gentleman carries my bags ladies.

TWO:  Lay out each outfit for each day. This includes the top and bottoms, shoes, back-up shoes in case prior shoes fail you, and accessories.

THREE: Pack a couple of extra "nice" outfits in case you go out to a "nice" dinner. This includes shoes and accessories as well.

FOUR: Realize you don't like certain said outfits and would rather take that super cute romper you forgot you had instead. Repeat step two, and three if necessary.

FIVE: Grab a glass of wine because husband/future husband/boyfriend/general male has entered room and exclaimed in shock that you're over-doing the packing again. When in fact you have strategically planned this out. Men, what do they know.

SIX: Dump out entire contents of bag. Throw in all bathing suits, cute cover-up, and flip flops, and call it a day. You're going to be on the beach for goodness sake. Clothes, at this point, are optional.

**Totally kidding on optional clothing Ash... Nude colony will not be formed this weekend. Ha!

SEVEN: Finish glass of wine. Pour another for a job well done on the packing skills you have mastered successfully.

You're all ready to go!


Monday, May 19, 2014

#GratefulHeartMondays



Each Monday, Emily @ Ember Grey hosts a lovely link-up to encourage others to embrace Monday and be thankful for what we have in our lives.

This Monday, I am forever grateful for little day trips. 

This past Saturday, Hunter and I along with fellow youth leaders, took our youth to Wild Adventures for the day and it was so much fun! We rode rides, spent time with exotic animals, listened to some great music, and fellowshipped with one another.

Even better, we became closer to our youth kids. It's so nice not having to act like we're their parents. We strive to be their friends, somebody they can trust to talk to about deep things, and in turn we can hold them accountable for their actions that reflect their faith.

It's a win win relationship!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Liebster Lovin'

Image MapHave you ever come across a blog and just instantly loved the gal behind the blog?! I surely did when I visited Cat's blog over at Yes Deer.

Ya'll, the woman is my kind of cup of tea! She loves to hunt, being outdoors, looking like a beautiful queen, and she has the most precious babes!

She was a blogger a couple years back, took a break, but is back with full force and a happy heart. Stop on by to say hello!

Cat was so sweet to nominate me for a Liebster Award! I just can't get over the kindness she has shown me in nominating this here bloggy for the award. So flattered! Without further ado, let's hop to it, ya'll!

 
If you're new to the bloggy world, Liebster Awards are nominated to newer bloggers, or bloggers that have a smaller following, that have potential for growth. In my opinion, they're nominated just cuz their blogs are so dang cool! Ha! Typically, you answer the 11 questions posed by the nominator, provide 11 facts, choose 11 new nominees and pose 11 questions for them. The magic number here is 11!
 
With this blog still being a little wet behind the ears, I'm making friends as I go and have nominated many bloggers for previous Liebster Awards. Therefore, I am going to use Cat's 11 questions as my facts and my answers. That's how we do it down here, ya'll!
 
Here's what we have:
 
If you could do anything in life what would it be?
 
Easy, own land and farm. Granted, money wouldn't be an issue in this pretend life so we could enjoy the farming, rather than stressing and hoping crops grow. I would want land with a country-styled log cabin on it, pastures with horses, woods for hunting, and enough property to have both my parents and Hunter's parents close by.
 
Of course, I would blog on the side!
 
What is your must have beauty product?
 
I can only pick one?! Hmm... Dry shampoo. It can save you time in getting ready and save your locks from being damaged quickly.
 
What is your favorite Bible verse? or quote?
 
The Bible is my go-to for everything in life. Okay, to keep details out (due to respect for that person and his family's privacy), Hunter and I had a friend who was going through a very tough time. In the midst of that horrible time, we loved him and supported him. He is here today, living life, and smiling his awesome smile. One night we sat down over dinner with him, and despite all his troubles, he was still able to help people in need. The verse he told other troubled folks, that in turn helped save him?
 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
-Psalm 139:14
 
YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made. Is that not just amazing? Our God is so, so good!
 
What is your favorite song?
 
Currently? "You're My Kind of Woman/You're My Kind of Man" by Vince Gill and Patty Loveless. Hint hint: wedding dance...
 
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
 
I've never been, but I've heard it's amazing. Out west. Maybe Montana, Wyoming. Somewhere where I can't see my neighbors.
 
I need a good laugh, so what is your most embarrassing moment? Or just share a funny story
 
Oh dear me. What's a good story? Hmm... How about the time I tried to help a baby mockingbird that had fallen from a nest and it's mother AND father were sitting by watching, waiting for the poor idiot to fall for that stunt. Of course, they swooped in and chased me down the streets, all while I'm screaming at the top of my lungs. In broad daylight. Down a busy road. I hate birds....
 
What do you look for in a blog?
 
Genuine character and a classy person. I'm not going to read blogs that has a cuss word every few words. Sorry ladies, that is NOT classy. If a couple slip out here and there, fine. But this is a public forum. Not your private diary hidden under your bed.
 
::drops mic::
 
Why do you blog?
 
As a creative outlet for me to share my life song. And to keep my future husband sane from having to listen to me talk 24/7. He only hears me 16/7 right now... ha!
 
What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
 
Being outside! Whether it's sitting by a pool, fishing, hunting, gardening, walking, sitting, I don't care. I want to be outside in the sun!
 
What tv/movie character do you relate with the most and why?
 
Dang I don't know! Maybe Sandra Bullock? Because she's funny and likes to make people laugh like I do. I strive to make people laugh or smile. If I've helped one person smile in a day, I'm doing good. Plus, we both support the idea of adoption.
 
If you could offer one piece of advice to anyone what would it be?
 
What are you doing with your life? Are you really happy? If you're not, stop wasting your time being unhappy and seize the day to do what you love. Smile each day and laugh A LOT. You never know when the good Lord will call you home.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Friday!

It's been a busy week for us, but lots of great things happening!

ONE: If you missed yesterday's DIY post, check it out here! I am finally able to find time to sit down and start making/getting things ready for our wedding. All of the decor will be handmade, homemade, Kelly-and-friends-and-family made so we've got our work cut out for us.



TWO: Wednesday night was youth night with my kids, and then afterwards, all the youth leaders got together at the good ole Hardees to catch up, laugh until we cried, and just enjoy each other's friendships. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

THREE: I was able to have dinner Thursday night with an amazing gal who has such a bright future ahead of her. She's a part of our high school youth, will be graduating in just a few days, and is probably one of the smartest girls I have EVER met. And she has a killer sense of fashion! I'm very lucky to call her a friend.

On that dinner kick, tonight Hunter and I will be having dinner with his family and one of the sweetest friends I have ever had the pleasure of knowing! We haven't seen her in forevs and I cannot wait to wrap my arms around her neck and squeeze with my big ole hugs. She's an awesome lady!

FOUR: Tomorrow Hunter and I, along with fellow youth leaders, our youth, and another church's youth and youth leaders, will all be going to Wild Adventures. It's quite a fun park, a smaller version of Six Flags. While there, Christian rapper Lecrae will be performing and I cannot wait! He's the only rap I honestly listen to anymore.

FIVE: Sunday we have the usual church, but after that we're heading out to our reception location with my family and Hunter's family to start planning the layout of things. Plus, my parents have never seen it so I'm excited for them to finally see where we'll be gettin' down after the nuptials.



Got any big plans this weekend??

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

DIY Mason Jar Centerpieces

The other night, I finally sat down after work to put together some burlap mason jars for our wedding. I was really impressed with the ease of it all!

 



ONE: Purchase a roll of burlap (as seen above), along with some pretty scissors.

 



TWO: Measure out the burlap to wrap around the mason jar, with some overlapping.

 



THREE: I swear by this adhesive. It sprays so make sure you have a towel down.

 



FOUR: Be sure to have plenty of mason jars on hand. I purchased mine from Target.

 



FIVE: Spray one side of the already-cut burlap with the adhesive.

 



SIX: Have your mason jar ready to wrap. The adhesive doesn't dry super fast, but still. Also, make sure you have chipped nail polish.

 



SEVEN: Swaddle that baby up! Remember, chipped nail polish on one finger is the key here.

 



EIGHT: Swaddle many mason jars with burlap and voila! You're starting to look like a pro!

 



NINE: Arrange in a group for a pitcha.

 



TEN: Ta-da! Burlap mason jars.
 
I set these jars off to the side to finish drying over night. I'm going to go back and tie some twine around them and see how they look. I may just leave them as is. So many options!
 
We will be filling these jars with candles and/or flowers... Not together though! Lord knows I can't be burning down barns.

The Grits Blog

 

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