Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Friends, we've almost made it to the weekend! That makes me happy. Lately I have let myself become super stressed over summer school, and I've started complaining too much. I am turning over a new leaf now, and having a more positive attitude.

I say WAY too often how I wish I had either majored in something that would have landed me a job making good money right out of college, or gone straight to graduate school. If I had, I could have been making a higher paying salary all these years. I have GOT to stop saying that to myself, and just be grateful that I have the opportunity to go to school now. I wanted to go back to school for YEARS and couldn't find a way to. I need to just concentrate on being thankful that I am doing it now. It's probably an overused phrase, but it's true - better late than never.

It is hard - so hard - to be an adult student who works full time, but I think it's going to be worth it in the long run.
I also found out that I CAN make a C in my program. I misunderstood and thought I couldn't make a C at all. You can't get below a B in the first year (these are called the leveling courses), but you can make a C after. The rule is that you can't have more than 12 hours of a C. I am really sad and disappointed, because this will be my first ever C at Carolina, but it is going to be OK. I just don't really get statistics, and I've really struggled with Research Methods this summer as a result.
You know what else makes me happy? Plans to get a few new LP items for Fall! I keep hearing so much about the new collection. I think my 8/15 paycheck may be a time to go check it out.
Thanks for reading!
p.s. If there are any other adult students out there, I would love to hear how you keep your sanity! I will be starting my second year of this madness, and I'm always trying to figure out new ways to balance it all.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend Recap

We had a great weekend spent with good friends.
Friday night I stayed in and studied. Saturday we got up bright and early and headed to our best couple friends Marcia and John's house in the upstate. We spent Saturday on Lake Bowen. Although I've lived in SC all my life, this was my first time going out on Lake Bowen. It was beautiful!  

Sunday I spent the day catching up on housework and studying.
I have to say that I got on my scale this morning, and I was horrified by the number I saw.
I have got to get back on track. I haven't really been watching what I’m eating since the wedding is over, and I haven't been consistent with barre (or any other work out) due to summer school. I’ve just sort of let go. Lost control. I am taking control back. We are going on vacation next week after I finish finals, and I do not want to go looking like this. I'm not sure how I let all my hard work from the wedding backslide!
I hope everyone has a good Monday.

Friday, July 25, 2014

New Favorite

I made this for the first time last night and it is SO good. I got it from the Skinnytaste website. Casseroles and dishes made in the crock pot that yield leftovers work the best for our family. Nick and I lead crazy busy lives, and often do not eat at the same time. Some weeks Nick is not home at all, other weeks he is at home, although that still doesn't guarantee I will see a lot of him. School keeps me from having a lot of free time, and Nick sometimes works 70 hours in a week. I said all that to say, quick dishes that will make several meals are a lifesaver for me.
Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
 Slow cooked shredded chicken with corn, tomatoes and black beans. Prep this the night before and turn your crock pot on in the morning for an easy weeknight meal.
 Serve over rice or in a bowl with nachos on the side, and don't forget the toppings. Chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, fat free yogurt or sour cream and reduced fat cheddar are my favorites.
Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
Servings: 8 servings • Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 190 • Fat: 1.5 g • Fiber: 5.6 g • Carbs: 23.1 g • Protein: 21 g
·         24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
·         14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
·         15 oz can black beans
·         8 oz frozen corn
·         1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
·         14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
·         3 scallions, chopped
·         1 tsp garlic powder
·         1 tsp onion powder
·         1 tsp cumin
·         1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
·         salt to taste
Combine chicken broth, beans (drained), corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot . Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top.  
Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning to taste. Serve over rice or tortillas and your favorite toppings.
You can find another one of my favorite recipes here and here .
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I stole this idea directly from Nikki at The Pink Growl.

Listening - Right now I love the new Tim McGraw song. It was TIME for a new Tim and Faith duet.

 Eating -  Unfortunately after my birthday weekend I REALLY need to get back on track with my eating. I have also been slack about barre. Summer school takes all my time.
Drinking - Still loving La Croix. I get it at Publix. I pretty much only shop at Publix now that most Piggly Wiggly stores were bought out by BI-LO or closed. :(
Reading - Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews and Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeil
Feeling - Happy with life, SCARED about summer school. I currently have Cs in both of my courses, and desperately need Bs. My program has very strict GPA requirements. I am really struggling with the difficulty level of my classes this summer. If you think of it, please say a prayer for me.   
Weather - Hot and humid in Columbia, SC. But what else is new?

 Wanting - Mostly just to make Bs in my two classes! If I can make it through the next two weeks, we will be a on vacation, and that makes me so excited.

Watching - Real Housewives and Game of Crowns on Bravo. I DVR these and save them for Sunday mornings.
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!  

Monday, July 21, 2014

30th Birthday Weekend Recap

My 30th birthday was one of the best birthdays I've ever had. Friday evening Nick and I went to see Sex Tape. It was hilarious. I love Cameron Diaz so I was excited to go see this, although I wasn't too big on the premise of the movie. It was a lot better than I thought it would be.
Nick surprised me with many wonderful gifts, including KS earrings, which I have wanted for a long time, two Pandora charms, and roses.
 Perfect cake for a girl who grew up in the 90s!
Me and my bestie Ashley at my surprise party. I tried to lay low about my birthday because everyone did so much for my bachelorette and had to travel for our wedding. I am nearly impossible to surprise, and really was surprised when I walked into the Islander and saw my friends.
I had some trying times in my early and mid twenties, and am so excited about starting this new chapter.

I hope everyone has a great Monday!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Final Wedding Photos - My Bridal Portraits

I got the nicest comments on my thirtieth birthday post yesterday. It really made my day!
These are the last of my wedding photos to share. I had my bridal portraits done in Charleston in March. I took a day of annual leave and headed down to Charleston with my Mom. We got lunch from Groucho's before we left, and it was a Friday which meant I had a three day weekend. Overall a great day!
I used this as my 24x16 to display at the wedding. My husband had never seen a bridal portrait at a wedding before, and thinks the whole concept is really weird.
This is on Lagare St. I had to change in a small changing tent on the street, and my Mom had a time getting me laced into my dress.

I used this pose for our newspaper announcement. This was at the Battery in Charleston. 

This was a lot of fun because people were walking and driving by and had many sweet well wishes. One man walked by with his kids, who were about my age or a little younger, and hit on my Mom!
Can I also say I wish my hair and makeup looked like this everyday?
TGIF! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The BIG 3-0

Saturday I turn 30. Growing up, I thought 30 was pretty old. I have a young mom, and I can well remember my MOM turning 30. And now I am 30. I am growing older, but I’ve also never been better. That might sound boastful to say about yourself, but I’m not trying to brag. It feels like I am in the sweet spot of life right now. My life is the best it's ever been. Given that, I can't be sad about getting older, or turning The Big 3-0. To tell you the truth, I haven’t been this excited about a birthday in a long time.

Like all of us, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. There were MANY good times in my twenties! There were also some not so great parts, but I learned a lot from the tough times. I feel like I am at a good age because I can look back on what I’ve learned (some of it learned the hard way), and also look forward to what the future holds.
In my twenties:
-My Mom and I took an amazing two week road trip across Texas
-I moved to Columbia to attend USC, and made some of my best friends for life
- I graduated from the University of South Carolina
- I got my first real job-it was a pretty sweet job for someone just out of college!
-Adopted Trinket
- I got laid off, like many other Americans, during the economic downturn
-Lived with my best friend Ashley
 The kitchen of our old house
At Lake Warren before a pageant
-Did a lot of pageants
The Hampton County Watermelon Festival Pageant was the most fun pageant I ever did
-was a bridesmaid
- After being laid off, I had to take a job that was a salary cut. I barely scraped by during the almost three years I was at this job.

 RIP Ricky. I miss you.
- Was too poor to eat.  One time Ashley and I ran completely out of groceries until pay day. I still remember going to a birthday party on that pay day. The birthday boy asked me, “So how was your first real meal of the week?” I am like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll never go hungry again!
-Dated someone that put me down constantly. Now I know that no one is worth going through some things, and you can’t change anyone. I am very thankful that God had someone better in store for me.
-Helped Nick pick out his our first home
- I moved on to a much better job
- I got engaged to the man of my dreams on December 15, 2012
-I got accepted to and started grad school. It is hard. Very hard. But I think back to how I struggled financially at my old job, and that keeps me going.
-Discovered my love for travel –The Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Mexico have been some of my favorite places
- I hit the biggest I’ve ever been
- I lost 15 pounds for our wedding
-I got married
- I grew as a person and learned a lot
There were some mountain top experiences, and also hard times. There are some seasons of life that I am honestly SO glad are over. I learned from those times though. Going forward, I hope to keep changing for the better. Most of all, I thank God for blessing me with another birthday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Extreme Wedding Photo Dump {Part Four, Reception}

By this point of our big day, I was just having fun! Photography is by Courtney Dox.
My BIL Tedd, best friend Jessie, and flower girl.
  Mr. and Mrs. McTee!
 Still so happy with how these owls looked - Thank you Gran and Aunt Glenda!
I still get hungry every time I look at this cake.
I love this picture.

  Me and my StepDad
 Nick's Aunt Kaye and Uncle Terry
My POGO (aka Ashley) and her bf.
All these little details I obsessed over for a year.

 My very special long time friends the twins, Jessica and Jennifer.
My Grandparents.
  All of us that used to work at the Islander together.

St. Louis Cardinals Grooms Cake
Nick with his Mom and brother

These sweet friends came early and put up decorations for me and helped to set up. They were a lifesaver! If you are interested in this service, let me know and I can put you in touch with Jennifer (pink dress) from Graciously Southern Events. Some of you may recognize Blair (blue dress) from Reasonably Swanky.

ROCK LOBSTER!!! Going down!!!! One of our favorite songs from living in the dorms.

 Beautiful picture of Nick's sister Melissa.

I love how these pictures in the lights turned out.

The End.
Happy Hump Day!