Monday, December 13, 2010

Just Another Day In Paradise :)

Do you believe in miracles? I do! I know, especially as grown ups we don't get to see as many of them. But I have a good one for you!

A few posts ago I mentioned "taking a year off" because I probably would not get into physical therapy school where I needed to. Well...



I found out Friday and am still working on overcoming the shock.

I applied two weeks after the deadline, only applied because my fiance wanted me to, and never in my wildest dreams expected to get in to this particular school. Most physical therapy schools accept about 30 students per class, but this school only accepts 18!

I am SO blessed and continue to be amazed by what the Lord is doing in our lives. Every baby step we take in planning our future together seems to continue to be affirmed in His perfect plan and timing. And so far His plan has been so much more than I could ever have imagined for myself!

Not only was I accepted, but because we will be married when I start school, I also am able to get in state tuition, which will still be a lot of loans, but will be much less in the long run :)

We spent this past weekend apartment hunting, it was just another addition to my excitement about our CRAZY life!

116 days :)

Two finals left and I will be finished, SO close!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Six Simple Steps... Yeah Right!

Tomorrow: A final and a quiz and a five hour drive
Saturday: Apartment hunting (for our first HOME!)
Sunday: Engagement picture shoot (weather permitting!)

And the excitement continues!

Today was a great day! One of my mom's friends is downsizing and sold (practically gave) these two beautiful pieces of furniture plus a couple of lamps and some wall decor to us.

I am SO thankful and completely excited because these are the first pieces of furniture we have purchased for our new home!

This buffet is one of our new-to-us pieces and I am so excited to have a nice central piece to decorate around, rather than just Ikea-ing everything (not that I have any grudge against Ikea!). She also generously included this table with the buffet to help us get started :)

I am so excited because ideas are finally starting to flow. Due to our small budget, we are getting more and more resourceful. And on top of all of that, this weekend we get to find a space for all of our plans to live. :)

We are going to use his current bed and dresser, I am going to try and redo his bedside tables, and my parents are lending/giving us a dresser, sleeper sofa and coffee table. With this buffet and computer desk, we are pretty close to set in the furniture essentials area for our small apartment. I of course hope to "pick up" some end tables and such, but for now, I am not in need of anything but...

A round kitchen table and some sturdy chairs are what I will spend my January through March scouring Craigslist and garage sales for! I fell in love with this table redo that I saw on Kendra's blog.

She took this sturdy yet out of date table:

And refinished it into this gem:

I figure I will give this making over furniture a try, if I fail, I will take it to a professional and we will be no worse off, but if I succeed, that is further budget stretching success :)

Now the big question is (aside from where this table and chairs will come from) whether or not I try and re-stain the table top. Gabrielle has a beautiful table make-over on her blog, which gives me hope! I would LOVE to be able to make something beautiful like she did! Here is her amazing transformation:
She took this:

And transformed it into this:

Wouldn't it be beautiful to re-stain a table top to match the buffet and desk? And then do a white bottom with white chairs? I am getting SO excited!

Step 1 - finish this semester
Step 2 - research re-staining and re-finishing furniture
Step 3 - find table
Step 4 - find chairs
Step 5 - convince myself I CAN do it :)
Step 6 - GET TO IT!

If anyone has any advice on refinishing furniture, apartment hunting, used furniture buying, decorating, wedding planning, newlywed living, budget stretching, or anything else in between, I am all ears and wanting to learn! :)

Anyways, back to studying Sport Psychology and Nutrition! Due to some distractions, I am thinking this might be a 3.0 semester rather than a 4 :P

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Current Craving: Avocado :)

1. Makes almost anything taste better
2. Can be added to most dishes
3. Delicious raw and/or Guacamole is EASY to make
4. Major immune system booster!
5. Is AMAZING for you!

"Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit." more info here

Aside from Sweet Potatoes, I am convinced that Avocado is the second best super food, chocked full of everything we need, just saying :)

Just a quick reminder not to forget about this amazing fruit (yes, fruit) as you are enjoying this wonderfully cold soup weather!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire...

... Jack Frost Nipping at my Nose :)

I get to spend my weekend in Nashville with my lovely sisters and am enjoying every minute of it!

I have missed blogging so much lately!
There are so many things going on right now though.
Between concluding my last semester, applying and interviewing at physical therapy schools, and wedding planning, there is not much space for anything else!

Due to the possibility of me starting physical therapy school in May, we have set our wedding date for April 8, 2011. Which has put us into hyper drive with wedding planning, but it has been great and I am sure will be well worth it! It was either April of 2011 or June of 2014, so we decided to go with sooner rather than later!

Two more weeks left in the semester and then real life starts!

Hubby-to-be will be starting a new job in Columbia in the beginning of January, which has thrown my hopes of starting physical therapy school this spring or fall for a loop, but has not crushed them. I am holding onto a thread of hope that I will get into South Carolina or Medical College of Georgia. South Carolina I applied to two weeks after their application deadline and MCG I was already wait-listed for applying there after all of the spots were filled also. :/

I know we have to go though, it will be a great career step for him and they will pay for him to get his master's too, so he really could not turn the opportunity down.

I have become more comfortable with the realization that I will probably be taking a year off now, and although it took me a little while to adjust to, that now idea thrills me because I would love to have a year to make a home and learn to be a wife. I would love to try re-doing furniture like so many bloggy women do, quilting, and decoratively crafting in general.

I am so excited about everything going on right now! It is very overwhelming at times but I just keep telling myself that the Lord will never put us into situations we can't handle, and that He has given me an amazing support system through all of this perfectly lovely insanity!

Have a happy weekend!

21 more days until Christmas and 125 more days until we are married :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We're getting married :)

I am living on a cloud right now!
He is amazing, and I am SO excited for what the future will hold for us!
This has been such a special time so far!
Oh my goodness, SO excited! :)

I will be sure to post updates soon, I just wanted to share the reason for my recent blogging absence real quick :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I (heart) running... a lot.... a lot a lot :)

In an attempt to keep my fitness level high I have been running 3.1 miles (a 5k) everyday with half mile warm up and cool down walks.
I LOVE it!
I have not realized how much I missed just exercising for the fun of it and pushing myself and training for races and everything that comes with it!

That just looks fun to me! (the running, not the having my picture taken while running, ugh, how awful!)

To celebrate my returned excitement for running, and ensure my continued dedication picked up a pair of new tempo shorts. Go Dawgs! :)

On top of that, I have also focused on scaling back the amount I eat. It has worked out really well. As I scrutinize the amounts of food I am eating, I tend to eat healthier because I know I can eat more apples and baby carrots than kettle chips, which helps me mentally feel more full.

That sounds like such a "duh" plan, but it so much harder than that!

Here is my current running playlist, titled "intense running"
because that's what it is.
crazy intense :P
  1. K'naan feat. David Bisbal - Waving Flag (this song always makes me visualize passing people in a race for some reason, but it is awesome)
  2. Basshunter - All I Ever Wanted
  3. Maino feat. T Pain - All of the Above
  4. Taio Cruz feat Ludacris - Break Your Heart
  5. Shakira - Waka Waka
  6. O.A.R. - Love and Memories
  7. Sean Kingston - Replay
  8. Capital Lights - Mile Away
  9. Enrique Iglesias - Escape (love him, and this song, and him)
  10. B.O.B. feat. Rivers Cuomo - Magic
  11. Boys Like Girls - Love Drunk
  12. Fabolous - My Time
  13. Darude - Sandstorm

I am always looking for new songs to run to though, so if you have any good ones send them my way!

PS - College Prep is having yet another darling giveaway here!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Queen of Green

I am all about recycling and taking care of the things that we have been given, here is a little bit more motivation to save the planet :)

Visit Sweet Southern Prep to enter this adorable giveaway!
Be sure to mention my name in your entries :)

Visit take heart to see this cute bib giveaway!

Also, be sure to check out these great giveaways:
AZO Immune Boosting Products
CSN Stores
Mauviel Pan
Lamps Plus
CSN Stores
Necklace by Zionshore
Market Tote by Take flight Boutique
Personalized Sign from BOSHEREE

Opinion also has some great giveaways going on!

Also, I just came across this adorable blog with an amazing pottery barn giveaway! :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Only Good Things Can Come From Whole Grain Rolled Oats :P

If you are at all interested in living a healthy life Whole Foods Market has a wonderful website! It is full of yummy looking recipes and healthy tips!

I just read one of their blog posts about oats and did you know one cup of rolled oats contains:
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 4 grams of fat (only 1 gram of saturated fat)
  • 6 grams of protein
  • no cholesterol
  • Iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese

And oats are practically as cheap as dirt!
Especially in winter, why go for the cheerio's when there is such a warm and happy alternative?

Not to mention they offer all of these awesome recipes to encourage oat filled decisions.
Who could say no to Oatmeal Apple Pancakes???

Just saying, eating healthy does not have to be expensive or yucky, it just takes a little research :)

P.S. Random fact - Whole Foods Market purchased the Greenlife Grocery chain in May, I guess it was just a matter of time, the stores were identical already :P

Monday, November 8, 2010

Getting Back On The Wagon

Soccer season is over... for good... which means....

First of all - I will miss seeing those girls and laughing with them everyday :(
Secondly - I have MUCH more time! That opens up 3:30-6:00 every evening
But Lastly - I need to STOP EATING LIKE A COW!

Seriously, the other night after practice I was so exhausted, I made jambalaya and finished off FOUR servings of rice! Now, during season I usually pack on a few extra LBs, which is good, you know, with muscle and all.

I am pretty health conscious and nutrition savvy. I know what to eat, I just have very little self control to do it.

So, I am in the process of formulating a diet plan. It will start with holding off on the sweet tea, but I am not sure which step to follow with.

I will be sure to keep you posted though. Because I DO NOT want to be one of those girls who blows up like a balloon right after her sport ends, or ever for that matter!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'Tis the Season for (Gluten Free) Pumpkin Bread! :)

I made gluten free chocolate chip pumpkin bread tonight!
It tasted (and smelled) delicioso :)
Here is the recipe:

  • Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Stick (1/2 c) Softened Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • Pumpkin (15 oz can)
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste


CREAM - Butter, Eggs & Vanilla
MIX IN - Pumpkin, Cinnamon & Pumpkin Pie Spice
MIX IN - Cake Mix
POUR - into greased baking pan
BAKE - using box directions
and let COOL

recipe source

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What do you think about sushi?

Okay, girls, yay or nay?
Before you answer that, look at some of this information:
  • Studies have recently found that in testing the tuna in sushi at 20 restaurants in the Manhattan area, that most exceeded legal limits of mercury. Not only did most exceed, but 5 of the 20 had mercury levels so high in their tuna, the FDA was legally able to go in a remove the tuna from the restaurants.
  • Similar studies had the same findings in Los Angeles. This article noted that Tuna in particular is a more mercury laden fish, especially sushi grade tuna, because of its age. The larger and older tuna fish are the ones ideal for sushi, however, the larger the fish, the greater the mercury concentration, leading to higher levels of mercury in tuna than those fish that are caught younger, such as wild salmon and crab.
  • Despite reports of salmon's healthy mercury content, we still must be careful. The spread of a tape worm parasite found in undercooked salmon is on the rise, especially in Japan, but there have been cases reported here as well. Clearly rare, but still a concern.

    Keeping in mind that sushi is not all raw salmon and tuna, there are TONS of health benefits to eating sushi:

  • Wasabi sauce contains isothiocyanates, which destroy the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Isothiocyanates also inhibit cancer causing carcinogens.
  • The seaweed wrap is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and iron
  • The vegetables offer a good source of fiber and other vitamins and minerals - especially avocado which is high in the carotenoid lutein, which has been shown to reduce macular degeneration

  • The fish offers a great amount of omega-3 fatty acids and protein - crab and wild salmon have the lowest mercury levels.

  • Try to find sushi made with brown rice rather than white rice, this gives you most of the nutrients from the rice as well as much more fiber.

  • Not to mention, all of these nutrients can be consumed for a relatively low calorie count.
  • Living on a budget? Check out this simple sushi making tutorial
    (PS - in buying fish, a Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter suggests that buying organic fish is often a waste of money because organic fish is not closely regulated and the rules for organic fish are not as concrete as those for other food groups)
Overall we can see there are many pro's and con's to eating sushi, however, this is the case with all things we eat. Just because we are concerned with the mercury levels of fish does not mean that chicken or steak are better choices. There are just as many dangerous toxins there, even eating organic meat provides many risks.

I vote, avoid tuna, cook your salmon, and enjoy the rest :)
Yay, definite yes!

So, what do you think?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Grocery Shopping 101

As a relatively new grocery shopper, I probably overpay for many of my purchases.
However, I am in a nutrition class this semester and we are learning all about grocery shopping well
My thrifty side is loving every minute of learning!
I am sure most of you already know these but, here are some of my favorite tips so far:

  • Stores will reduce one item to advertise, but mark up another to compensate for their loss and your "savings" - so its best to shop at two grocery stores
  • Coupon cutting helps! American consumers saved $3 billion dollars in 2005 from clipping coupons, most of the coupons were from Sunday newspapers, but they can also be found in magazines and online :)
  • Study grocery store's flyers online to find the best prices on household staples and to save time by not running around
  • Always check the unit price, bigger is not always cheaper

Also, something I ALWAYS do when I'm shopping online is google coupon codes before I check out, it usually gets me at least free shipping :)

Do any of you have any price cutting tips? :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A, B, C, all the way to Z! :)

In conclusion, A is for Arbonne and Apple Pie... and Z is for Zebra print and Zzzz's and all of the wonderful things in between!

I had such a fun time blogging every letter!

I guess we'll just have to wait to see what comes next :)

Lets Talk About Zebra Print! :)

Zebra Print... some people love it some people hate it.

However, I prefer to take a healthier approach to it,
like all things, it can be great moderation :)

It can look adorable as an accent to decor (love this room!)

photo credit

yet can even blend in as a more lively piece in a simple room...

photo credit

...not to mention can SUBTLY add fun to a wardrobe!, if Carrie Bradshaw wears it, it can't be all wrong, right? :)

In conclusion, the lesson learned is that zebra print, while often loud, obnoxious, and tacky, is not the fault of the print itself, simply user error.

I hope you ladies have a lovely last week of October
and enjoy the BEAUTIFUL weather before it gets cold! :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Futbol: The Last Chapter

Tonight is my last soccer game on our home field.
I have grown to love this group of girls over the past four years,
more than I thought possible .

It felt like some days would never end but four years sped by so quickly!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I want to be Kathleen Kelly when I grow up!

You've got mail always makes me smile :)

Tom Hanks is adorable and Meg Ryan does the "kindergarden teacher" look in the cutest way possible!

I know she is only a character but I wish I could be as confident in myself as she is. I speak up far too little. When I do speak up it seems to be about insignificant trifles that don't really matter all that much.

I also love how she enjoys simple things, almost as a child would, yet is not childish. I think, those who live life getting excited about small things and trying to be optimistic are often looked at as childish, when that really is not the case at all. It takes a good deal of maturity to keep the difficult things of life in the right perspective. They need to be kept in a place where they are not merely blown off, but do not ruin a day either.

Above all, I love her honesty and dedication. So often I try to make situations look better than they truly are, but am entirely terrible at making myself vulnerable. I know I have missed out on developing more meaningful relationships with people because I was so busy trying to look put together, rather than living in my own shoes.

Anyways, I know I have looked into this movie much more than necessary,
but I do love it,
and it does make me smile :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crafts, Ready In Time For Christmas!

Words CANNOT describe how much I love the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! I know, we have time still and I am not in Christmas mode yet...

...but I have still been looking for fun Christmas craft ideas!

I am not a huge fan of the whole commercial Santa and presents thing, more of a "reason for the season" believer, but still love the giving spirit that seems to come over so many during this season!

One of my favorite times of the whole year is the week after finals week in December. Classes are over, I am home with my family, and we have nothing to do but get ready for Christmas!

During this time I LOVE to craft. My mind is still comatose from the previous week, but my creative side takes over and makes decorating and crafting all the more fun!

With that said, here are some of my Christmas crafts I can't wait to try :)

1. I am a huge fan of wreaths. In my mind they can make any door look welcoming. Not only do I think this wreath would look adorable on my door for the Christmas season, but doesn't it just make you smile? :)

The tutorial for this wreath can be found on Cheryl's blog a pretty cool life (which I HIGHLY suggest checking out) or you can buy one in her etsy shop!

Out of all of the blog reading I do, a pretty cool life is probably one of my favorites :)

2. A quilted Christmas? Yes please! I LOVE this tree skirt. In my opinion, the tree skirt pretty much makes or breaks a Christmas tree. Wouldn't this be adorable under a tree with matching stockings? :) Just an idea though...

Visit the tutorial here. I love it because you can purchase a kit or just follow the tutorial yourself!

I need to stop blogging about Christmas though or I will end up way too excited and break out Christmas music or some other sort of craziness like that!

Have a happy Tuesday! :)

PS - this is the best I could do to share the letter "X" with all of you, like X-mas? Maybe? :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wellingtons for "W" :)

Okay ladies, quite honestly, I am ready to be finished with this alphabet! I know, its my blog, I can do whatever I want. This blog event can end whenever I decide (believe me, I have been told this a number of times) but, I figure, if I can't even finish a blog event, that is not a good sign for real life!

So, since the letter "V" was blogged (a little out of order) as a victory, I wanted to share with all of you beautiful readers my favorite thing about the letter "W" right now!

Ever since my birthday (in August :P) when I was blessed with a pair of Hunter Wellingtons, I have been putting together wet weather outfits just for the fun of it :)

So, you guessed it!
The letter "W" is all about Wellys! :)

Not only do I LOVE the versatility Wellingtons bring to rainy weather, but am also completely loving the different socks offered for them!

Hunter has a whole collection but I also found an adorable shop on etsy that features these Welly socks, or slugs as they call them

Be sure to stop by Those Alaskan Girls Etsy shop. Not only do they have adorable products but I am in love with the photography as well, as you can see above!

It makes me want to try and make some myself, especially because my boots are red, and there are not many socks that match that color :/

I know, two posts in a row about boots seems somewhat silly, but 'tis the season for boot wearing!

I am so excited to have a FULL week off for fall break this week, I plan to be very productive. Hmmm, we will see :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

U is for Uggs! :)

I was a little behind the curve when it came to adding Uggs to my winter wardrobe. I thought the classic boots were hideous and firmly stood on that platform, until my sisters both had them and wore them with EVERYTHING. Needless to say, I bought a pair, and now agree they are the most comfortable boots ever.

With the first sign of cold weather, I visited the website to pick out a pair of Dakota slippers and fell in love with these:

The Highkoo II.
I wish I could squeeze them into my budget somehow, but I have tried every way possible and the only solution would be to, you know, not eat or something.

I'm sure most of you have heard that the Ugg children's sizes run pretty large. My classic pair is actually a kid's size 6 rather than a women's size 8. Unfortunately, the Highkoo II boot is not made for Children (so sad) but the Dakota is :)

So, no Highkoo II for me, but I did get an adorable pair of chestnut Dakota's for $60 instead of the $100 adult price!

Slippers: check!

I would never say "bring on the cold" but I am now ready for when it comes :)

Where is October???

Is it just me or did the weather skip October and jump straight into the cold of November?
Usually winter clothes are slowly phased into the wardrobe... not this year I guess.
Pea coats here I come! :)

While I get over my cold weather shock, here are some giveaways for you to enjoy:

Southern Proper Giveaway At Kitchen Belleicious!
Be sure to mention I sent you! :)

True Prep Giveaway at Sweet Southern Prep!

Pleated Poppy Giveaway At Bird Crafts!

I'm sure we will at least get a few more warm days in before we get into the thick of the coldness of winter... surely :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Loving Life, One Day At A Time! :)

For the letter T, lets focus on today. Living in this moment! It is so easy to get caught up making plans for the future and living in past glories and regrets. Today is all that we are guaranteed, so lets live it!

I confess I have gotten caught up in thinking constantly about the future lately, and not enjoying the things I have been given today! I am in the middle of a soccer season that is 7 and 2 so far, that is awesome! Yet, I still catch myself getting excited about starting triathlons up after the season. I need to focus more on the now and less on the not yet!

I am so thankful for the life I have been given and the blessings I am living right now! I want to live joyfully in the today, not waste it away by looking toward tomorrow.

1. Tea Parties

2. Trader Joe's

3. Triathlons

4. Thrifty Creations

lima bean wreath tutorial here.

Moss covered ball tutorial here.

5. Tevas

6. Tea Cups

7. Trivial Information

8. Tuscany

9. Thank you notes

10. Tuna (favorite meal ever, seared Ahi Tuna, mmmm)

I hope everyone has a lovely Wednesday :)