Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I'm Back!

I'm back! For today at least. Will I be back for good? We will see!

When I was still at my old job, I had a lot of time for blogging. I guess I always tried to keep quiet about it, as this would probably be frowned upon, but I had a lot of downtime at my old job and I didn't use it to work on work. I had been at that job for a long time and knew my responsibilities really well. I was at the university a total of seven years, and at that job for just over three years when I left. I could usually get my work done quickly and then use my time for blogging, online shopping, and even school. I even wrote several papers at work-you can't really beat that! 

I wasn't crazy about that job. I really enjoyed a lot of people that I worked with, but didn't enjoy the actual job duties. Well, since I have been gone, I have seen that for the above mentioned reasons I really did have it pretty good there. Plus I got a discount on tuition! So, I guess I have some mixed feelings on being gone. 

Moving right along, I had an absolutely WONDERFUL summer! I LOVED my placement with Lexington School District Two. I loved (most) of my students this summer and I learned a ton. There is only so much you learn in class - theory if you will. Well, I had a wonderful supervisor and she taught me so much about actual therapy and articulation placement this summer. 

We were also lucky enough to take several trips this summer. One of my favorites was spending several days in Hilton Head, with a stop in Beaufort on the way home. 

My placement ended the last week in July. Right now I am doing some substitute teaching, which I love, and other than that I am a graduate student and SAHW. 

Having time to actually be at home is wonderful! Our laundry is done, our house is clean, there are groceries in our house. When I was working and going to school, all of those things were a struggle. I was constantly short on time. Now if I need to do something like give one of the dogs a bath or go to the bank or post office, I DO IT! It really is a luxury. I am also still doing pure barre about twice a week. 
I have to say I am beyond blessed and so THANKFUL to have a generous and hard working husband. 

I have days where I am very productive. I've gotten several home improvement projects that we've been meaning to do for years accomplished. I will admit that I have had some not so productive days as well, but you need those from time to time. I can say I haven't really had a BAD day since I quit working. 

This semester is very full-even without working full time. My classes are hard, and I have several projects due. 

I do have some fun things on the horizon:
-KY game on Saturday (going to make these cookies)
-day trip to Charleston next week to spend the day with a dear friend who is here from OK visiting her family 
-a day trip to Sky Top Orchard!
-hosting a baby shower for a close friend in November 
-We have decided we want to move closer to the coast and build a new house when I graduate and start working! My Pinterest board for that is OOC. 

I hope y'all had a wonderful short work week and have a fabulous weekend! Go Cocks! 
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Monday, June 1, 2015

Weekend Recap & Summer Home Decor

I really thought this weekend was going to be a bust (again), but it was pretty fun and relaxing. Friday night I helped my darling Benson prep his two girls who will be competing in Miss SC later this month for interview. They were all dieting for state, so we had a vegetable tray for supper. We really had a lot of fun, and he has wonderful queens this year.
Saturday I spent almost all day in a CPR/First Aid training. I am glad to have the skills, and I understand why it is required for my program, however it wasn't the most fun way to spend a Saturday. I think the class was especially slow for me because I've taken it before. I also stayed up way too late the night before so I was really tired. That evening I took a nap, and made Bow Tie Fiesta and my favorite chocolate chip cookies. Nick was out of town so the dogs and I watched a movie.
Sunday I went to Sunday school, church service, and stayed for a VBS training. I spent the rest of Sunday working on putting up summer decorations. I love these plates I found at HomeGoods!
 //summer talbescape//
 //Trinket napping//
 //shell table runner, another HomeGoods find//
 //table runner for our cabinet//
 //I decided the lamp I had in the living room didn't really fit so I changed it out for this one from HomeGoods//
 //Guest room//
//HomeGoods find for our guest room//
As you can see, I've had a lot of luck at HomeGoods recently. I hope all y'all had a wonderful weekend. Thanks so much for reading!
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Our Family Photos

 I got our family photos back Saturday, and I've spent way too much time looking at them. I just love them and cannot get enough!
Our Memorial Day weekend was kind of a bust. My husband worked all weekend. We are very, very blessed though, as Nick received a promotion recently. We had been praying for a long time that he would get this job. It is a wonderful opportunity, and a real answer to prayer.
I had to work on Monday. All we really did over the weekend was have a small cookout for just the two of us, watch a movie, and go to church.
Here are our new photos! It was important to me to include our dogs. These were taken at Folly Beach. I have never spent much time at FB. In fact, I think I've only been there once before our photos, and that was in high school when I was visiting a friend at C of C. I really fell in love on this trip, and want to go back. Nick absolutely loved it as well, and we may or may not have looked at fliers for homes for sale just for fun.

I also wanted to wear my Lilly because I love it. I may or may not have a cover up (I wear the tank dress as a cover up) and bathing suit on it's way to me now. Online shopping is generally not advised for those about to quit their job...
Happy Hump Day everyone!
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Hapy Memorial Day & My Cinco de Mayo Dress - a few days late!

First of all, happy Memorial Day. May we never forget those who have sacrificed their lives in service to our great nation.
//picture I took last year in DC//
This is a few days late, but I wanted to share my new eShakti dress with y'all. While everyone else enjoyed queso and margaritas on Cindo de Mayo (two of my favorite things!), I took a final after work. I was feeling festive in this gorgeous embroidered dress from eShakti, however! I thought it was perfect to wear for Cinco De Mayo.
eShakti is a company that offers a variety of different dress styles that are custom made using your measurements. The wedges I wore are several years old, and they worked perfectly. I love them and never get to wear them.
I went with a dress that was different for me - a new shape altogether than I normally wear. I usually wear shift dresses, sheath dresses, or maxi dresses. I never wear a full skirt, even though these are in right now - because I am self conscious about my size. I am happy to say that I felt more comfortable and liked this shape way more than I thought I would!
I might even try wearing  fuller skirt like this with a cropped top like girls are doing now. I've seen it on girls that it looks so good on.
If you are interested in eShakti, right now my readers have a discount coupon! Type 'sassysouthernbride'' from 05/09/ 2015 to 06/09/2015

Thanks so much for reading and enjoy your Memorial Day! 
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Summer Plans!

Are all of y'all getting excited for an epic summer? I know I am. I am so excited about the big changes ahead, and I feel like this will be one of the best summers ever.
Quitting my job is a huge life change for me. I've worked since I started babysitting at age 12. I was working at the Islander the summer I turned 17, and I've had a job pretty much ever since.
I am leaving my job for a required summer clinical. I am now halfway through my program (!!), and one step closer to my dream of being an SLP. I feel very relieved about having less stress and more time in life.
Here is a little timeline, just to keep myself straight:
6/1-6/5: my last full week at work (plus dentist and hair appointments)
6/7-6/11: VBS at our church every evening
Tuesday 6/9: my last day at work!
Wednesday 6/10: Our godson's FIRST birthday party! (a sub will fill in for me at VBS this night)
6/12-6-/14 Atlanta for Kenny Chesney and Eric Church
Monday 6/15: I report at my clinical
Tuesday 6/16: Students first day!
I still do not know a lot of details about my placement this summer (which drives me crazy). Our camp should last six weeks, so I am expecting it to be over the last week of July. The hours are supposed to be 7:30 am - 4:30 pm Monday-Friday. A lot of the information I have is hearsay from the cohort ahead of my class.
I am working at a camp held by a school district for children who qualify to receive speech services over the summer. This is similar to student teaching in that it is unpaid, but I am extremely grateful for the opportunity.
In fact, as the beginning of my clinical is approaching, I find myself with an overwhelming sense of gratefulness that I am able to have this opportunity. In my past I made poor choices that I’ve suffered the consequences for, and my life in undergrad through my early-mid twenties was a mess. Left in rubble. But God has brought me through hard times, and I am so excited for what He has in store for the future.
Leaving my job is bittersweet. While I do not exactly enjoy a lot of my job duties, I really love the people I work with. I have wonderful coworkers, and my boss is one of the kindest people I've ever met. I think having a good boss really makes all the difference in fostering a positive work environment. I should add I had a lovely going away party, and was so happy to receive a gift card to Pink Sorbet from my coworkers as a going away present.
I have four classes in the Fall, and I feel like it will be a hard semester. So, all the more reason to enjoy every single second of this summer.
I have more summer plans to share soon. Happy Friday Eve!
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Monday, May 18, 2015

MANcation 2015 + My Big News!

We just got back from an absolutely wonderful week of traveling. We saw several baseball games, and Nick went fishing on Lake Erie, hence the name "MANcation." We started out last Friday in Pittsburgh, PA. Pittsburgh was a lot nicer and prettier than I thought it would be. We enjoyed a weekend of eating and seeing baseball games with some of our good friends. One of my best friends, Marcia, and her husband joined us from Ohio. Marcia and I saw a lot of each other when she lived in SC, and I was sad last year when she relocated for work.
//Pittsburgh-surprisingly beautiful//
We spent the rest of our trip in Ohio. We visited with John and Marcia, and got to see their new house. Marcia and I enjoyed being ladies of leisure. We had massages, pedicures, lunch, and saw The Longest Ride. It was so good, y'all.
 //Lake Erie//
We also spent a few days in Cleveland. It was COLD! We saw two Cardinals games, and went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I definitely recommend seeing the Hall of Fame. The Herb Ritts exhibit they have right now is amazing! We also had a great dinner at Wilberts.
//Freezing, but happy to be together!//
Now for my big (to me) news! I have turned in my resignation and will be leaving my job. I have been at my job for three years last week, and have been pretty happy here. However, my graduate program requires a clinical this summer, and obviously I cannot be in two places at once. I have very mixed emotions, one being that I am thrilled to be cutting down on my stress level.
One semester I had an evening class. I would leave home around 7:30 am, work all day, go to class at 5:30 pm and not get home until around 8:00 pm that night. It was too much. I have had many many long days since starting this program. I don't say that to complain, I am ready to make sacrifices. I am happy to be in this program at all. How many people can say they are doing something they've always wanted to do?
I will share more about this big change and my plans soon!

 //Happy for a great semester//

Happy Monday! Thanks so much for reading.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One Year Anniversary Recap

We had an absolutely wonderful first anniversary weekend! I have been swamped with school, so I am just now getting around the recapping it.
Saturday morning we dropped Yadi off at Camp Bow Wow, and made the drive down to Savannah. The weather was absolutely terrible. As soon as we arrived, we stopped for a drink at one of our usual places, the Blue Moon Tavern, and then got lunch at Treylor Park. Lunch was to die for! We had fried chicken and waffle fries nachos.
Treylor Park nachos
 The Cotton Exchange and gray skies.
We checked into our hotel room and took a nap. Later we went back out. There was a break in the rain for a while, but not for long. I told Nick I was going to show him how to hurricane party.
 drink at Boar's Head
We were supposed to have a carriage ride Saturday evening. The rain stopped for a while, but as soon as our horse arrived it was supposed to storm again so our horse had to leave. This horse is Salt, and we had his brother Pepper for a carriage ride last year. I love Draft horses. They are such gentle giants.
 Our horse Salt before he had to leave
We walked to our dinner reservations since our horse had to leave. We got caught in a terrible downpour. At that point, I didn't care. It wasn't cold and the weather was so bad it was comical. Not one, but BOTH of my little gold metallic flip flops blew out as we were trying to make it to dinner. I ended up eating in a very nice restaurant with no shoes!
We ate at Circa 1875, and we will for sure be going back. Everything there was so good.
Sunday morning we woke up to a gorgeous day. We had breakfast at Huey's, and then walked around Forsyth Park.  We stopped in the gift shop at the Mercer Williams house and I got some stationary.
 Forsyth Park
 I wish I could spend every Sunday afternoon here
On the way home we stopped in Hampton and I showed Nick where I competed in the Watermelon Festival Pageant. Their festival is a lot of fun, and I hope to go back someday. Out of all the pageants I competed in, that was my favorite and the most fun.
 Hampton SC
Sunday evening I made Cowboy Lasagna and we had champagne and wedding cake for dessert. I think I am the only person to say this - we totally lucked out and our wedding cake was really good!
In fact, it was so good I was afraid I was going to eat it all week, so I brought it to work and everyone that tried it said it was good.
 Our wedding cake a year later
Have a wonderful rest of the week!
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

One Year

First of all, HOW has it been a year already?! This weekend Nick and I will be heading to Savannah to celebrate our one year anniversary. 
I remember this week last year in so much detail, and it feels like it just happened yesterday. This year has flown by, maybe more so than any other year so far in my life.
 It has been full of good times. Spending Christmas in our house for the first time was one of the highlights for me.  
One of  the best things I have done for myself and my marriage this year is to join a church and start attending Sunday school.

Certainly we have been through a few trying times. I try to always keep things positive on my blog though. I write candidly about mistakes I've made in my past, and am an open book about a lot of things. Our home life is not one of them.  
I am also a big believer in only speaking well about your husband. This is something I learned in my Sunday school class. My husband makes that pretty easy to do, and I should do it more often! 
This may seem minute, but with all this rain we've been having this spring I have been so appreciative that Nick put new windshield wipers on my car. He saw I needed them, and took care of it. After you have been a single woman living alone, that is HUGE!  
Nick is certainly much better than I deserve, and God has blessed me immeasurably by sending him into my life. He is my "immeasurably more." (Ephesians 3:20)
 I would strongly encourage single ladies not to settle, but to wait on God's perfect timing. When I graduated college at twenty-three, I was READY. But, the plans God had for me were much better. Nick is better than anymore I could have dreamed of ending up with.  
I will also say that I read one of Patti Stanger's books when I was single, and she has you make a list of what you want in a partner. Nick is probably 80% of that list. I wish I'd kept it, but I became disgusted with it and put it in the incinerator at my old apartment. (Thanks Patti!)  
From the time I was a little girl, I've always wanted to get married for the companionship. I've found that in Nick.  
Most of all, this year has been FUN! I look forward to many more happy years together.
So, happy anniversary Nick.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

End of Semester - Spring 2015 Edition

I don't have much to write about, and won't until after finals. I am very anxious to finish up this semester. This summer I won't have to take classes, and will only have speech camp. I feel like it will be my first real summer in a long time!
Last summer I took Neuro and Research Methods so I didn't have much free time. In addition to going to school, I am also working right now. I really struggled with Research Methods. I am not a big math person.  
My *BEST* college summer was in 2003. My daily itinerary was: sleep in, get up around 9, go lay out, read, get ready and go on a date, or go into work at my waitressing job at 4. Stay up late. Repeat.
Other summers I worked for Hilton (my undergrad was Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management), and still had a decent amount of free time.
I am pretty happy to say that I haven't really procrastinated on anything this semester. I've worked ahead a good bit. I am just READY. Ready to knock everything out, and have the semester over. Ready for sweet freedom.
In the precious amount of free time I've had, I've done some gardening, cleaned the house some, spent time with Nick, gone to church, and watched Mad Men.
I have some exciting things coming up this summer, and I can't wait to share them. I hope y'all are having a wonderful week! Good luck to everyone taking finals next week.
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Books I've Loved Lately

I love reading. I find it way more relaxing than watching tv. When I am watching tv, I often find myself playing on my phone or doing chores. These are a few books I've loved lately.
This book is seriously SO good. If you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (I loved it), you will enjoy this book. It has a great theme about bullying in it. The main character has Treacher Collins syndrome, although the author never comes out and says so, and is bullied because he looks a bit different from other kids. This book is so good, I might read it again. I feel like I especially enjoyed it since I am in school to be an SLP.
Dear Senator
This book is by Essie Washington Williams, Strom Thurmond's daughter. I loved reading about her life and her experiences. It also has a lot of interesting history about South Carolina in it. I am often in such a hurry, that I didn't really notice until I read this book that I walk by the statue of Strom Thurmond at the State House all the time. Aside from the obvious subject of her famous father, I enjoyed reading about Essie's life and marriage.  

Walking Across Egypt
My Mom read this book with one of her classes several years ago, and I decided to read it because I didn't have anything else to read. It was really pretty good. It's a cute story, and an easy read. The author's depiction of life in the South is spot on, and the main character will remind you of a little old lady at your church. The food in the book made me hungry, and I've been wanting butter beans ever since I read it. I think my Mom also showed the movie with Jonathan Tyler Thomas to her class, but I can't find it on Amazon Prime or Netflix.
I read really fast and am always looking for suggestions, so if you've read something good recently please let me know!
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Randoms

1. I ate HORRIBLY last week due to having Masters company, and going out on both Monday and Thursday nights. Somehow, I have lost three pounds and am down to 144 which makes me happy. I am still trying to get down to the 130s.
2. We are reading this book in my Sunday school class and I really like it. And while we're at it, can I just say I love my Sunday school class?
3. We (read: Nick) put squash and tomatoes in Saturday, and I am so excited to have a garden again. Last year spring was so crazy with our wedding that we did absolutely nothing as far as planting.
4. I read The Girl on the Train in a few days and it is seriously SO good. If you are looking for something suspenseful to read, I recommend it. Amazon said if you like Gone Girl (I loved it), you will like this. Now I need something else good to read.
5. Speaking of Gone Girl, I keep turning the movie on while I am doing chores around the house. I really, really like it. Nick gave it to me for Valentine's Day this year.
Have a wonderful Monday!
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter Recipes

Happy Friday Eve!!
This week has been crazy and we've had company in town for the Masters. Somehow I've managed to get a good bit of school work done. I found out I made an A in my Clinical Eval course, which ended at Spring Break, so I've been happy about that. Can we just get this semester over with already?
I am always so flattered when someone asks for one of my recipes. I had a reader ask for my Easter recipes, and I am happy to share.
The ham recipe I use is from the Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Holidays book. My grandmother gave me this book several years ago, and I keep it on display in our living room.
According to the book, Lilly invented the recipe one day when she went to look for a Coke to splash on her ham and only found a can of ginger ale.
Baked Ham with Ginger-Pineapple Glaze
One 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice, well drained, juices reserved
Two 12 ounce cans ginger ale, as needed
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
One 8 pound spiral-sliced smoked ham
Position rack in center of oven and pre-heat to 325 degrees. Oil a large roasting pan.
Mix pineapple juice, 1 can ginger ale, brown sugar and mustard in blender to dissolve mustard. Set aside.
Place ham, flat side down, in the pan. Pour pineapple juice mixture over the ham. Pat the crushed pineapple onto the ham; if you press hard it will stick nicely. Place pan with ham and pineapple juice on top of stove and bring to boil over two burners on high heat. Tent ham with foil and transfer to oven.
Bake for 1 hour, checking occasionally to be sure that juices aren't burning and adding a bit more ginger ale to the pan if needed to keep the juices moist. Discard foil tent and baste ham with pan juices. Bake, basting occasionally and adding more ginger ale to pan if needed, until a meat thermometer inserted halfway into the ham, but not touching the bone, reads 140 degrees, about 45 minutes more. Transfer ham to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Let ham stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place roasting pan over two burners on high heat and bring juices to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until juices are dark and syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour juice over ham and serve.
The deviled eggs I made are Sriracha Deviled Eggs and the recipe is straight from Garden and Gun's website. The sriracha really adds something extra. I skipped the bacon fat.
I think the Coca Cola Cake recipe I used before Pinterest was from The Sweet Potato Queens book. Instead of digging for the book, I used one from Pinterest for Easter and the cake wasn't quite as good. I say that, but I still had several pieces. This is the recipe I used for Easter.
We have plans yet again tonight. I am so ready for the weekend and a day with no plans. Saturday just might be that day. Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Weekend Recap

We had a very busy, but wonderful Easter. In fact, it is one of the best Easters I've ever had, and the best Easter I've had in about five years.
Friday I got off work early and went to the Piggly Wiggly. You know I love grocery shopping, so this was fun to me. Grocery shopping is not enjoyable for everyone, but I like doing it. When I got home I made two Coca Cola Cakes from scratch. I hadn't made one in years, and I forgot what I was missing. It is so good! It was Nick's first time having Cola Cola Cake, and he loved it.  
Saturday morning I went to barre (Cola Cola Cake guilt), and then got ready and went to one of my best friend's house. We had a great time at the park with her two kids that afternoon. Later that evening, we had a potluck with two other friends. My friend brought beignets, and they are TO DIE FOR!! We also had heirloom tomato vodka Bloody Marys and it was really good vodka. I spent the night and stayed up way too late having fun.
Sunday morning came bright and early. I drove back home and got ready for church. I really love the church we joined. After church Nick and I had a great Easter lunch. We had ham (Lilly Pulitzer ginger ale/pineapple recipe), crock pot mac n cheese, and siracha deviled eggs. I got the deviled eggs recipe from Garden and Gun magazine, and I will make it again for sure. The siracha is a great twist on deviled eggs. We were also supposed to have green beans, but I forgot about them being in the oven and ruined them.
I put treats in a few eggs and hid them in the backyard for the dogs. Yadi seemed to enjoy finding them.
I am so tired and so ready for the weekend. We went out last night with some friends that are in town for the Masters. Nick is there today and I am working - so not fair! I have a Literacy class that only lasts the month of April, and I have a lot due for it. I am struggling this week.
Have a wonderful Tuesday.
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