Wednesday, February 25, 2015


This is the tablescape I an currently working on. Since it is Lent, I don't have too much going on decorations wise, and won't until Easter. I put our little Mardi Gras tree away, and I am not too into Saint Patrick's Day.  Maybe I should change that since I am married to an Irish guy, and have the "Mc" last name to prove it. I do have a Saint Patrick's Day wreath I put on the front door, but that is about it.
This still needs some work, and it needs something else. This is what I have so far.
Yadi photo bomb in background

Dishes are our everyday dishes, Lennox Butler's Pantry
Silver from my grandmother

Lately I've had school stuff spread out at the little kitchen table, and Nick and I have been eating in the dining room. I really like it, and want to keep doing it.
This is a screenshot from google images. I want an oyster painting for our house. I am pretty decent with drawing and painting since my Mom used to teach art, and I am considering attempting to make an oyster painting using acrylics and a canvas. I see a Hob Lob trip in my future.
Happy Hump Day!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Weekend Recap

Another great weekend has come and gone. Friday I watched The Bachelor and didn't do much else. Saturday morning I went to barre, then took a nap and took it easy. Saturday night we went to Cantina 76 and it was AMZING. I love Cantina 76 so much. Our friend Mariah (the Reverend's wife) met us since the Rev was out of town with their kids. We had a great time.
I gave up social media (fb, twitter, and Instagram) for Lent so I haven't been taking a lot of pictures. This is the only picture I took this weekend. I still think the iPhone 6 takes TERRBILE pictures. Has anyone else noticed this?
Sunday morning I went to church, then studied and got some chores done around the house. I was supposed to go to something at church Sunday night, and fell asleep on the couch so I never made it. Shame!
Our trip to Mexico is in only 17 days, so I have GOT to get it together and shed some weight. Our night at Cantina 76 did nothing towards that goal. I am doing barre three times this week, and hopefully I will stay on track with my eating.
We are supposed to get ice later today and it was actually sleeting while I was driving to work this morning, so I really cannot believe we are here today. Everyone be safe in this weather!
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Positivity Post

Thank you Allison for this idea! I had nothing to post about today.
ONE. Something you love about yourself.
I love that I have self-discipline. This is a muscle, if you will, that I have had to work out and develop. Freshman year of college I barely went to class. Now I am doing great in a difficult graduate program (and also going to pure barre regularly). I'm loving being in my 30s, and feel like I've tapped into new parts of myself. I am still a work in progress though.
TWO. Something that you are proud of.
Most recently I am proud of myself for really adopting an attitude of "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar." I have done a few {small} things that I have done not because I feel like it, but just to be nice. Not expecting anything in return. Just to do the right thing. To be polite, which is absolutely how I was raised. Sometimes we do have to do like it says in the Bible, and turn the other cheek. I DO feel that the more you utilize this way of thinking, the more natural it becomes. I hold a grudge like no other, but I am working on it and doing pretty well lately.
THREE. The best thing that has happened to you recently. 
We had a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend! We are still in the newlywed phase, and I want to enjoy it as long as possible. Life is good right now.
FOUR. Give someone a compliment.
I have more than one person.
HUSBAND: Thank you for working so hard for our family. Thank you for doing things for the best interest of our family, and not thinking of yourself. You don't know how much I appreciate you. I often take you for granted, and should show and tell you more often how wonderful you are.
My best friend Jessie: You are hilarious, kind, considerate, and are a wonderful mother. I cannot wait for our next big girls night!
I wasn't in a bad mood to begin with, but I am feeling even more positive after making this list. Have a great Hump Day everyone!
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine's Weeeknd Recap

I had one of the best Valentine's Days I have ever had. I should add I hated Valentine's Day before I met Nick. I would usually be depressed. Nick has been a game changer.
Friday I was solo and watched The Bachelor with the dogs. I love this season! Maybe it is because Chris is from Iowa like my husband. I can't wait until Friday so I can watch last night's episode. I DVR it, and watch it on Fridays so it doesn't distract me from schoolwork during the week.
Saturday night Nick and I took a class at Charleston Cooks! at the Crosshill Market location. I got this class as a surprise for Nick. I wanted to do something different from the typical date night. We had a wonderful time! I highly recommend Charleston Cooks! They have locations in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville. The food was really good, and you get a 10% discount in the store after your class. We purchased a food pod that we had used during the class, a Columbia landmarks trivet that I had to have, and a cute measuring cup.

Sunday we went to church, then I spent the afternoon with my good friend Melanie. We went to Miyos for lunch, and then went shopping at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx. Melanie is hilarious, and it is always wonderful to see her.
I have been eating horribly lately. Melanie and I went to Marble Slab on Sunday. Shame! My face looks so fat in the in picture above. I need to get back on track with my eating. It's so hard.
Sunday night we had ribs Nick made for supper, and watched The Best of Me. I loved the book and Nick gave me the DVD as part of my Valentine's Day gifts. 
Happy FAT TUESDAY!!! I wish we were doing something special at work today like we did in Catholic school growing up. Of course, we have already had King Cake at work twice and I do not need any more treats.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

100 Pure Barre Classes

Back in January, I reached the 100 classes milestone in pure barre. I realized I never blogged about it, and wanted to.
Before I got into pure barre I had been in a real slump. I was approaching 160 pounds the day we came home from our cruise to the Bahamas in 2013, and that was the biggest I had EVER been. That was a bad, bad feeling.
The way I got to that point was by not caring. I started the job I am currently at in May 2012, and around that time started eating whatever I wanted, and very rarely going to the gym. That fall I took my first graduate course, which was also my first class since I had graduated college in 2007. It was very, very difficult for me. I struggled with both time management, and with studying since I had been out of school for a few years. The class was Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing Mechanisms-enough said.
That Christmas Nick and I got engaged, and I knew there was no way I was walking down the aisle looking that way. I couldn't stand how big my face and arms were in pictures. I was slow to start, but I tried pure barre for the first time that Spring. At first I wasn't crazy about the price. I got ten classes and while I loved them, I still wasn't 100%. I dieted and worked out in the gym that summer, and that is how I lost most of my weight. I started eating much healthier and quit Diet Coke.
That fall I went back to pure barre and that is when I started really getting addicted. I went religiously all through the Spring semester leading up to our wedding. I wish I had lost a bit more weight, but I felt good about how I looked in my wedding dress. You can see my collar bones in this picture, and I didn't know I still had them. I was about 138 at my wedding.
I am very, very small boned and therefore shouldn't weigh over about 145 at the most in my opinion. I prefer to be in the 130s, and feel like I look my best in that range.
I was super slack last summer. I backslid a lot, and was gaining weight back. I had Research Methods and Neuro in summer school last year, so it just sort of was what it was. In the fall I went back to barre and have been going strong ever since! I even did pretty good over the holidays. I am trying to get back down to the 130s. Lately I have not been doing very well with my eating. We are going to Mexico next month, so I need to buckle down so I will not feel uncomfortable in a swim suit.
If you are thinking about trying out barre, I highly recommend it. It is a lot of fun. The routine changes so that your body doesn't get used to the exercises. I go in the evenings after work, and I like having that hour all to myself. All for myself. I only think about what I am doing in there right then. It is a nice break after work before going home to study.
Pure barre also improves your flexibility a lot. I about have my middle split back, granted not turned out, but still.  
It is a pretty laid back atmosphere. I have had several people tell me they think they are too uncoordinated for barre. I told them it's not like you're practicing for a performance. There's no pure barre recital like in dance. It doesn't really matter if you are out of step or don't pick up on something quickly. Instructors are also very helpful about showing you adjustments if you are doing something incorrectly.
Let me know if you have any questions about barre! I don't teach or anything, but I will be happy to let you know about my experience. On to 250 classes!!
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Pageant Weekend Recap

I am on the board for Miss Midlands, and this weekend was our pageant. It is something that is very exciting, and always one of my favorite parts of the year. I always look forward to being on my friend Benson's board, and helping with his pageant.
Friday after work I went to barre, and got a mani/pedi. My nails looked like I live in a jungle, and I didn't want to go to a pageant looking like that. Saturday morning I got up and watched The Bachelor for about an hour while I had my coffee. I got ready and drove over the Lexington, which is where the pageant was held. I have been craving Chick Fil A, so a lunch break there was just what the doctor ordered.
We had an absolutely wonderful group of contestants this year. I went with the judges to dinner. We went to Travinia, and it was absolutely wonderful. Great food and great service. I will for sure be going there again.
After dinner it was show time! All my work was mostly over at this point, and I just sat in the audience and enjoyed myself.

We are absolutely thrilled about the winers. I am so, so happy for Benson. He has two wonderful queens going to state this year. He works so hard producing his pageant, and also works so hard to prepare his girls for state.
I am not sure what was up with me on Saturday. I am normally very comfortable with my age, in fact, I am happy to be 30 and have many things in my 20s behind me. I usually feel like I left a lot of insecurities behind me in my 20s. Not the case on Saturday. I felt like I was looking very, very old on Saturday. My hair is limp and lifeless. I was also looking chubby, but then I have not really been eating right so I am to blame for that. Anyways, I am not sure if I was dehydrated, tired, the iPhone 6 takes bad pictures or what was going on. 
Sunday I went to church, and then took the dogs to downtown Columbia for a long walk. I am still exhausted today. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! You couldn't be the 70 degree weather we had here yesterday.
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Monday, February 2, 2015


We had a wonderful and relaxing weekend at home. Last night we enjoyed watching the Super Bowl at a neighbor's house, and of course Monday morning came all too quickly.
I am happy to report that General Beauregard Lee in Georgia did not see his shadow this morning, and predicts an early spring in the South.
My best friend Jessie and I have been talking about manners a lot lately - and a lack thereof. I think manners are intended to put others at ease. I am not perfect, and I certainly fall short lots of times (I know I have been guilty of talking too much), but I do try my best to use proper etiquette.
-I always write thank you notes. I am haunted to this day that I somehow forgot to write a thank you for a wedding gift. Sending thank you notes is probably the most important etiquette rule in my book. I think it is only right to acknowledge when someone gives you a gift.
-I never wear white pants or shoes before Easter or after Labor Day. I know a lot of people do not abide by this anymore, but I still do.
-I still say ma'am and sir, and call those older than me Miss or Mrs. For example, I have been friends with my friend Mrs. Carolyn for many, many years and I still always call her Mrs. Carolyn. (And I have a Chick-Fil-A date with this wonderful lady on Wednesday!)
-Drink soft drinks with a straw (and of course only Coke products).
-Bring a casserole or dish over when someone has a new baby or has surgery. This applies for funerals too, but luckily I have never had to do this for a death in someone's family. Only babies and medical procedures so far. (You can find one of my go-to recipes here.) This is another custom that I am HUGE on. I just think it's nice.
-I also think in this day and age, it is only wise to use discretion about what you post on your social media. I swear people will put anything on social media these days. Some things are TMI.
-Sitting with your legs together, crossed at the ankle. This one was drilled into me when I did pageants. You cross your ankles, not your knees, because when you cross your legs at the knee you are showing cellulite on your upper leg. I am always amazed at how many celebrities I see go on talk shows, and cross their legs and show their thigh to the camera.
What are your favorite etiquette rules?
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