Friday, September 28, 2012

Packages of Books

Alright firstly, I want you to go check out the blog Mary in Marriedland, because she has been doing a series called "City in 5 Photos," and today my photos are featured! Yay! It's so weird and also so cool seeing my photos on someone else's blog. Mary is also a pretty cool gal, and I think you'll probably like her too :) And second, now onto our regularly scheduled broadcast...

Over a month ago I signed up to participate in a book swap with other bloggers. We got to sign up, select the styles of books we like, and then we got matched with a girl to send a book to, and another one to receive a book from. Then we all sent Packages of Books all over the country! And today is finally the tell-all and link-up! Thank you to the following ladies for organizing the whole thing, and giving us this fun swap! Can't wait to do it again!

So... my book came all the way from Arizona, from Jessa at Life of A Sport's Wife! She sent me "Daring to Dream" by Nora Roberts. It's a super easy read, and I flew through it pretty quickly. I've never read anything by Nora Roberts before, but it was pretty decent. I probably wouldn't have picked this book for myself (only because I've never ready her before), but I did actually end up enjoying it! However, it was book one of a three-book trilogy series. I haven't yet decided if I am going to read the rest of the trilogy, or if I will simply pretend like that was the end of it all... But this marks book number 2 of my 6 before my 25th birthday. Guess I better get scootin' and read a little faster, huh?!

Anywho, here's some pictures of my book and the cute and sweet little card Jessa sent me!

And I sent my books all the way up to Vermont to Kathleen at Espresso Yourself. I sent her two of my favorites off of my own Top 10 List. I sent her "The Mermaid Chair" as well as "The Secret History" because they're both so great. I hope she enjoyed them as much as I do! I also sent her a cute, tiny calendar I got at the Dollar Tree, and picked up one for myself as well. :) Check out her blog for her reveal and to see if she did in fact enjoy the books!

I made this cute little twine bow! Wouldn't it look perfect on a brown-paper package?!

And I'm linking up today with Aunie for "Just Because Fridays" over at her blog, AunieSauce!

Just Because Friday

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Again, music spoke to me last night during youth. There's just something about praise and worship music that can get my attention and make me focus in on God just a little bit more than normal. Even if it's only for a few minutes before I get distracted by an out-of-control sixth-grade boy... The power-ballad style of praise and worship is probably my favorite, and last night it was the following words that really caught my attention in just such a song.

"You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say.
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim!"

Check out this video and listen to the song "Forever Reign" by Hillsong, where those lyrics above come from...

Another one of my favorite lyrics from that song is "You are Light, You are Light, You have covered all my sin." And I like that because (News Flash!!), I've got a lot of sin that needs covering. I mean, don't we all? Can we all just be honest and real about that? But here's the awesome part, we can RUN into His arms, and He will accept and comfort and forgive us. There is literally nothing that can compare to His loving and just embrace. Nothing.

But back to the "proclaiming" part... it is our job as humans to worship and praise His holy name. Because if we don't, the Bible tells us that even the rocks and hills will cry out to magnify Him. Check out this little excerpt from Luke when Jesus was entering Jerusalem (or in church-speak = The Triumphal Entry)...

"As he was drawing near - already on the way down the Mount of Olives - the whole multitude of disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, 'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!' And some of the pharisees in the crowd said to him, 'Teacher, rebuke your disciples.' He answered, 'I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.' " Luke 19:36-40

So you're telling me that if people weren't worshiping and glorifying our God, that rocks and stones and hills would do it instead? How crazy is that? Does that show you how important worship is? I've heard these verses before, and I understood them then, but today I think my eyes have been opened up just a little bit more, and I've got a new perspective on it now. Isn't it amazing when scripture that we've heard "a million times" stops being just words, and becomes reality? It's amazing how the Holy Spirit works sometimes, huh?

(I hope my thoughts haven't been too jumbled today. It feels like I was a bit all over the place here...)

Blogger Ladies -- Link up with me to share one of your more Thoughtful posts from the last week or so, and again, just put my button on your page or post, and link back to me please... :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I'm feeling a little random and scatterbrained this afternoon, so what you get is just a string of Peculiar thoughts floating around in this crazy brain of mine...

++Tonight after church I am going shopping for my Mama's birthday present, since her birthday is on Saturday. I'm pretty positive I know what I'm getting her, but since she reads this here blog, I'll have to keep it a secret and reveal it another day. If necessary you know...

++I feel like I spend 80% of my days freezing cold. The majority of my day is always spent at my desk at work, and it's got to be something like 60 degrees in there, or colder. I constantly have on my sweater. (I also have socks and a blanket for those extreme days.) My fingers are always frozen, and my nose is always a tiny ice cube. Even when it's 100+ outside, I'll be super cold, and need to go outside to "thaw out" every now and again.

++I'm excited to go bowling on Friday night with some friends, and use up another one of my Groupons! Remember, I dubbed myself the Queen of Groupons last week sometime? Yeah, it's totally true.

++I did a  little facial mask this morning before my shower, and I think it helped out my post-menstrual syndrome acne. Yes, I get PostMS... So these last few days my poor face has been suffering from the torment of my monthly issues. I got this little trial-size packet from Walmart, and didn't use the whole thing, so I'll be doing it again in the next few days to get all the good outta that thing. But at least I look good doing it, right?!

++Found out about an hour ago that I won a giveaway on another blog, and I got so super excited! I won a print from THIS adorable Etsy shop. I like pretty much all of them, and have at least 7-8 "favorites." Picking out just one favorite is going to prove tricky I'm sure, but I can't wait to do so!

++Jeff bought the new Mumford & Sons album last night, and so tonight he's going to also let me have it too. Looking forward to listening to this non-stop for the next month or so, because I know myself and that's what I tend to do with new music.

++I started reading "The Swan Thieves" by Elizabeth Kostova last night. I've heard some good things about it from friends and strangers alike, and so I'm ready to get movin on this giant novel. The greatest part? It was originally supposed to be $16 for the paperback version, but was supposedly "on sale" (somewhere) for $12. But I am awesome and I scored this baby at The Dollar Tree for a whopping $1!! Yay for me!

I think that's enough for now. Hopefully no one is sitting at their computer crying because I've bored you to tears. Hopefully you'll come back and read this little blog again. And hopefully you'll like doing it :) Happy Hump Day!

Oh, and I posted a couple random blog posts over on my "photography" blog from a project I will tell you about tomorrow....but check it out HERE, ya know, if you want to and all ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Picking Out Thrifty Treasures

This past weekend I spent an amazing weekend of fun with my favorite girls. Check it out HERE if you missed the post yesterday :) And while I was there, we did the teensiest amount of garage sale thrifting. We wanted to do way more, but couldn't find anymore on the island before lunch-time. I always love thrifting and garage sales, but it's definitely way better and way more fun with lovely friends. So of course I wish we could have done more! Oh well, it just wet my appetite for more garage sale shopping in my future. Maybe this weekend if I'm lucky?!

Check out my finds...

This lamp was $7. And it actually does work. (Although I don't think I will ever use the actual light bulb in it, because that would be just tooo much, but I do want to find somewhere to put it that it will get some sunlight on it, because it looks beautiful in the natural sunlight!

Then these cute little coffee mugs and measuring cup jugs I got for a grand total of $1 - for all four things! So dadgum cute. And this will help me in my quest for a fun and unique coffee mug collection :)

And this wasn't thrifted, but it was cheap and cute, so I decided to share it anyways. It's from Earthbound, and it now lives on my bathroom counter top holding all of my rings. It was a whopping $4.95.

I love garage sales and yard sales and estate sales and flea markets (sometimes if they're not too disgusting), and I can't wait to go again sometime in the near future!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Perks of Having the Bestest Friends

I have the best friends. Did you know that? It seems impossible for you to not know, because I mention it all the time. But it's only because it's an absolute fact. I'm serious.

This past weekend was spent in St. Augustine with my favorites, and we had a great time. Here's a run down, with a few pictures at the end, of some of the fun things we did, as well as some of the Perks of Having the Bestest Friends. (Because really there are just too many to name them all...)

I didn't take many pictures of my own, because what's the point when one of your bestie's is a photographer with a legit camera and you can just borrow her pictures? Later this week, I am hoping to share some more pictures from this weekend taken by the lovely Jenni with her awesome photography skills. Fingers crossed that she can fix the card reader issue with her camera later tonight...! For now, just accept the few random ones that I did take...

Friday night
Dinner at my favorite, Mango Mango's. Ate an awesome Caribbean burger with jalapeno relish on it, and plantains
Then back to the girls' house for hang out time and games! We played a couple rounds of the card game Golf, and stayed up till 2 am chatting and laughing (Perk #1)

Oh ya know, just me at a rest stop after a potty break. The usual for me...
Slept 'til the glorious hour of 10:30
Made banana pancakes and chocolate chip pancakes for a noon-time brunch (Perk #2)
Got showered and ready to go shopping downtown on St. George street
Visited Kaley & Zach's new house on the way so I could see their cute new apartment
Had a late lunch at Mojo's Old City BBQ, which was seriously delicious. Better than Sonny's - and that's a big deal
Walked around and shopped some more, and had super cute and yummy macaroon's from Bon Ami.
Set out around 50 nail polishes on the kitchen table, and all did our nails together. So girly, and so fun (Perk #3)
Photoshoot with Jenni outside right before sunset. And got some awkward (awesome) family photos (Perk #4)
Finished painting our nails (Perk #5)
Ordered pizza and watched "Crazy Stupid Love" (which was a super cute movie)
Played Phase 10 until around 2 am, then Jenni and I stayed up until 3 am talking some more (Perk #6)

Not my favorite mani, but it'll do for now, and I'll re-do it in a few days of course!

Jenni also took individual portraits of us. Something tells me hers are going to be wayyy prettier...

Slept until 9 am, but wished it could have been longer, but didn't get out of bed 'til 10
Got showered and dressed and packed my bags, then attempted to go to thrift stores, but they were closed
Went to a couple of garage sales instead and got some good deals which I'll show later this week (Perk #7)
Met some more friends at Stir It Up (another classic favorite) for a yummy lunch of sammy/smoothie (Perk #8)
Got back to the girls house just in time to pack up my stuff and hit the road

Forgot to take a picture of the sammy before scarfing it down like a mad woman...

Edited later to add: I stole the next three pictures from Kaley's blog :)

It was a great mix of fun and games and laughter and relaxing and movies and nails and friends. And I loved every single minute of it. I can't wait until I see them all again in October, for 2 separate weekends! Yay! And happy Monday to everyone out there!

{Today, I'm linking up at the following blogs: Sami's Shenanigans, Glitter & Gloss, Covered in Grace and Synfully Delicious.}

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pal-in' Around

At this very moment you're reading this, I could be doing any number of random things. For instance, I could be: at the beach, riding my bike, playing games, shopping downtown, eating a snack, crafting, farmer's/flea market shopping, getting some coffee, watching a movie, holding hands, laughing my face off, singing at the top of my lungs, painting my nails, taking a million pictures, or goodness knows what else. One thing is for sure though, I'm definitely pal-in' around with some awesome ladies.

And that's because I'm spending the weekend with my very bestest girlfriends in St. Augustine!!! Remember some of them from my post back HERE about our last girls' weekend? Well, we always have the best time together and the most fun, so I'm positive that it's happening while you're reading this, whenever that may actually be.

Expect a full report on Monday when I return with some good photos too hopefully! For now, I hope you're all enjoying your weekends just as much as I most certainly am!

Love my friends, and love the weekends. Happy Saturday!

And here are some of the girls I'm with today, taken from our time in April :)

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Casserole

First of all, let's talk real quick about my new background/layout. Tomorrow is the first "official" day of fall (although Florida weather will choose to ignore that until probably Halloween or so...), so I intended to make my background something fall-ish inspired, or at least some fall colors. But then I found this purple polka-dotted beauty, and knew I had to do it. I mean those colors are perfect, right? And the whole thing is just so ME. And the colors match my new button perfectly. Check it out...see how good these colors go together? I'm loving it :)

And now...Pinterest recipe #2 (in just two short weeks) was debuted at my house last night! I've always loved cooking, and I'm so glad when I get a chance to do it for my family! So last night I made this glorious creation. It combined two of my favorites (PIZZA & PASTA!), so what's not to love?

The original recipe can be found here at this link, but I will be sharing it all here as well, because today I'm feeling a little less lazy than when I shared my fajita recipe the last time.This is a super easy recipe, so if you like pizza and pasta (if you don't, I'm sure we can't be friends anymore...), then try this for yourself, and tell me all about it!

2 pounds of ground beef (I actually used ground turkey though)
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced (I used garlic powder because we didn't have fresh)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
16 oz. Rotini noodles (cooked first and then drained)
4 cups Shredded mozzarella cheese (family size bag)

Saute beef/turkey in skillet with diced onions, garlic and seasoning. Then drain.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, meat, sauce, and half of cheese.
Place mixture in a Pam-sprayed casserole dish. (I put this in one big one, and one medium sized one)
Sprinkle remainder of cheese generously on top, and add pepperoni's on top of cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is nice and melty!

We ate it with a simple iceberg salad and some garlic bread. And this stuff was a hit. At least in my book it was :) My family actually requested that we just use ground beef next time instead of turkey, but turkey is healthier, so whatever. So, I think you should hop on into your kitchen and give this one a go. It's a huge recipe though, so don't plan to cook it for yourself unless you want it for the next two weeks or so. We had seven people eating for dinner though, so it worked out great for us. And let me know what you think guys!

Also, I got crazy and made dessert too. We had three bananas that were on the verge of rotten, so I decided to make some banana bread. I'd never done it before, but it turned out great as well! And I used my great-grandmother's recipe. Wow! Think about how many times that same recipe has been made in my family. So crazy and so awesome! I love things like that - being able to use a family recipe that's been around for sooo many generations. So awesome!

Today after work I'll be making the drive over to St. Augustine to spend the weekend with some of my favorites for some girl time. I can't wait to go to the beach, and paint our nails, and play games, and shop downtown, and hold hands (Jenni & Kaley), and laugh so much we cry. I love these girls, and I'm so ready to see them!! Yay!

HAPPY FRIDAY! HOORAY! And Happy Almost-Officially-Fall.

(And today I'm linking up with Oh So Amelia as part of the Friday Chaos Blog Hop and also at AunnieSauce for Just Because Fridays!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Plus, God's On Our Side

"Our God is Greater,
Our God is Stronger,
God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer,
Awesome in Power,
Our God, our God."

Does music speak to you the way it does to me? I absolutely love worship songs and getting to worship our God. There's something about praise and worship music that just makes my heart happy and reflective and ready to hear from the Holy Spirit. Last night during youth was one of those nights where I just have to stand by myself, not move, and sing my little heart out with my eyes closed.

This Chris Tomlin song is definitely one of my favorites. It's been around for a few years, but it is nowhere near old to me yet. It is such a powerful song musically, but the lyrics are so inspiring as well! "Our God is Greater, Our God is Stronger. Our God is Healer." Who else can be these things but Our God? No one. And with Him on our side, nothing is impossible.

"And if our God is for us,
Then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us,
Then what can stand against?"

Sure, there will definitely be people who try to stop us or stand up against us. And they might be an opposing force to us silly little humans. But we're not fighting alone, we're getting help from other silly humans; plus, God's on our side! And to Him, there is no match. There is no stopping us. For He is Great and Mighty and Powerfully Awesome! And no one can stand against Him. And this Mighty God is on OUR SIDE! What an incredible thing that is for us. We certainly don't deserve it, but He loves us enough to do it anyways.

Our God is Healer, Stronger, Greater, Awesome, Powerful, Higher. And He's on our side.

Check out the song below...

(Other blogger friends - Please feel free to link up with me! But, I'm having issues with the button, so just download the picture, and make it a link yourself. Not too difficult right?! Haha, and thanks!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Here is a silly and random post that makes up the silly adventures of most of my silly life...

Today Jeff rode his bike into work, so I picked him up from his office for lunch. I had bought one of those fancy huge coupon books from one of my youth, so we used one of them at a little place called Tally's Grille in Market Square. We both got burgers on rye bread, which was so different and quite tasty. Then I also had seen some coupons in the book for this little French pastry shop somewhere in the same vicinity at Market Square.

Well, since macaroon's are all the rage these days among bloggers and non-bloggers alike, I've naturally been dying to try them out. I'd Google searched before, but didn't find anything in Tally, so was pumped when I saw Au Peche Mignon in my coupon book. So after lunch, we plug the address into my Google Maps app on my iPhone, and set out to find it. We drove around so slow looking everywhere, but didn't see it. So a couple of blocks away, on the other side of the "main" road, we pull into a parking lot and Jeff gave them a call.

And guess what you guys?! (This is the slightly embarrassing part...) The guy explains that it's about three or four doors down from the new Cuban restaurant. We said we knew where that was, because it had only been about four or five doors down from Tally's Grille. So we head back over there, and I was like "Hey, if it's only 3/4 doors from the Cuban place, that means it could only be 1/2 from Tally's!" Turns out, I was wrong.... As we drove back up, I'm like what the heck? It has a giant red awning and everything! How did we miss that? It was literally

Um hello?! How did we miss that? Turns out, when leaving lunch Jeff noticed the cute little tables and chairs outside the place and thought to himself, "Looks like a little French bistro or something." Well guess what boyfriend? You were right, only you didn't know that, and you didn't say it out loud, so I didn't even notice the place. So about five minutes wasted, and a random phone call in a parking lot later, we come back to the exact spot we had started.

Oh well. It was funny and provided lots of laughs and funny jokes during our dessert time. And see what I mean about my silly adventures now? Good thing I have a good great sense of humor and can not only freely laugh at myself, but blog it to the "world" as well! 

My coupon was for BOGO macaroon's - so we did just that. I got Hazelnut Kirsch (hazelnut layers, with cherry-flavored filling) and Jeff got Gateau L'Orange (chocolate layers, with orange cream filling). Both of us liked our tiny macaroon's and we also split a chocolate mousse eclaire. And holy crap that thing was delicious too.

So we definitely weren't healthy today, and I am A-OK with that :)

Notice Tally's in the background there?! hahaha ;)

And now looking at their website and menu, I can't wait to go back and try some more deliciousness. They have apparently been in that same spot for 20 years, which I was (obviously) very unaware of, but I'm glad I know now! It also reminded me so much of the adorable little shop from the movie "Chocolat," which is definitely one of my favorites. Go watch it if you like cutesy movies, and let me know you did :) Can't wait to visit this delicious and precious pâtisserie again!

Linking up with Little Petrie for Wonderful Wednesday today! :)   [but can't get the button to work...]