Sunday, May 30, 2010

a much needed vaca

schools out for summer! which means it's time to go home and relax at the beach. spending time with my sweetheart in my favorite spot, Boca Grande, Florida. what a great way to start the summer!
a beautiful evening at the pass club

my favorite street

me and my hubs.

beautiful hibiscus

turtle on the path

shell buddy

lovin the grill

yummy kabobs
i love my new face wash. i could spend hours in the store just looking at all of the different skin care products. however, switching products can be very intimidating. when the bottle is slowly emptying and i am desperately squeezing every lost drip out of it to avoid spending more money on yet another product, i am forced to make a decision. do i love this product enough to buy it again? is there something better or cheaper out there? i am not a huge magazine fan, but one thing i love about them is the product advertisement and reviews.

currently, i had been using cetaphil face wash. the smell of cetaphil was kinda getting on my nerves and it just wasn't doing much for me, skin wise. so, when i ran out of my cetaphil face wash, i was eager to try a new product. when i was standing in the skin care aisle, i was torn between fighting annoying pimples and preventing the future wrinkle. no, i am not a teenager anymore clearasil, and no i am not 40 years old either, olay regenerist. which product to choose? finally, i found her. the perfect combo: neutrogena healthy skin: anti-wrinkle, anti-blemish. since switching over, my skin has felt so much better!

decision made.

after doing some research and thinking it over, i finally made my decision. i found a really great camera website that compared both the canon rebel xs and the nikon d3000 that helped me differentiate between the two cameras. i have been dreaming of a nice camera for about 4 years now, and it is so exciting to finally have one and be able to take better quality pictures. i did not buy any extra lenses; i just got the basic nikon d3000. i have a lot to learn about photography, so please bare with me as i explore the very complicated nikon world!ladies and gentlemen, the nikon d3000

Thursday, May 27, 2010

buh bye little blue house

i am so thankful that i survived the last week! after packing, the yard sale, more packing, and the end of the school year, i am exhausted! it feels so good to be on vacation and relaxing with family. however, it is weird that we won't ever live in our little blue house again. i will always love that house simply because it was were we lived during our first year of marriage. i am excited about our next place though...we will have working heat and air conditioning. yahoo!!! {haha} thanks for a great year little blue. it seems like yesterday we just moved in!

on our way to auburn!

move in day

before: lots of brown


Saturday, May 22, 2010

let's make a deal

my first yard sale...what an experience! after hours of going through our stuff, pricing, cleaning, organizing, and advertising, the yard sale day has come and gone. my day started at 4:45 AM and then i was off to jenny's to set up for our 6 AM opening. the hunters started arriving at 5:45 and they came all day until 12:30! we loved having our friends stop by for a visit and talking with the shoppers. we met a lot of interesting people and experienced some crazy things. we had some thieves, scammers, and witnessed some interesting family dynamics. despite all of that, it was fun to see how excited the people were to be there and get great deals. it was hard at times to let great things go for next to nothing, but at the end of the day i have less to pack and money in my pocket. i am really glad that i did a lot of research on yard sales before going through this. i learned a lot of great tips that helped me to have a great first experience.

if you have never done a yard sale before, or you just want to prepare for one, here is a list of my top ten yard sale tips:

1. start planning and preparing 2-4 weeks ahead of time

2. advertise on craig's list a week before and tell everyone you know!

3. put up colorful posters around the area with arrows directing your customers {focus on what, where, when}

4. clean things and arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing way {hang clothes, use tables...people don't like digging for things on the ground}

5. get lots of change {quarters, $1, $5}

6. start early and prepare for early birds

7. keep a money bag on you or set up a paying station

8. price things 1/4 of what you paid for them to start with, but prepare yourself to "make a deal" on almost everything {if doing a multi-family yard sale, you can color code your price tags so you know who gets the money}

9. provide your shoppers with grocery bags when checking out

10. remember the goals: #1. get rid of stuff #2. make money {and don't sell anything that you will regret!}

Hope these tips help you in your next yard sale! Here are some highlights from the day:

pricing fun

lots of great finds!

half way through {9 AM}

good morning baby girl!

precious little helpers!

it definitely was worth all of the hard work! now i am a lot closer to getting a new camera. my friend sarah told me about the Nikon D3000 and how Nikon's lenses fit on all of the camera bases, so i am leaning towards Nikon now. i am going to continue researching and saving!

Monday, May 17, 2010

i [use to] hate packing

what have we been up to lately? oh just packing up our house, moving stuff to storage, preparing for our first yard sale, packing for the beach, packing for the summer, getting a summer job, managing our schedules, taking finals, and wrapping up my first school year. man, have i been bored! {ha} i really feel that the Lord has given me superhero strength to handle all of this mess. for the past two weeks i have been waking up at 6 am, packing/cleaning/pricing before going to work all day where multiple to-do lists await for me. after spending the day with middle schoolers, more packing awaits, along with the daily chores. can i just tell you how much i am looking forward to some vacation?

now i know having a yard sale at the end of may is probably going to make life even that much more stressful, but it has really helped me in the packing process. i can either pack something and move it, or sell it....hmmm let me think about it...SELL! i despise packing and we both tend to be a little packrat-ish which makes moving even that much harder. it is crazy how much stuff we have accumulated in just under a year of marriage! i can't wait to clean out everything and simplify our lives. i am tired of moving around junk and then cramming it in a closet. i am becoming a firm believer in the "less is more" theory.

i am excited to experience my first yard sale and make a little money! my friend jenny and i are joining forces to hopefully bring in a large crowd. the yard sale is motivating my packing and moving and also {hopefully} going to help me get closer to buying a new camera. i am still trying to decide between the nikon or canon route. any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

i have always enjoyed experimenting with new products and searching for which brand makes the best product. i wish i could get paid to try all of the different products out there and write reviews for them. just walking down the soap aisle overwhelms me! there are so many choices to choose from and i wish i could try them all. i typically just go with what i grew up with or whatever is on sale. i love hearing about new products and finding ones that i can't live without. so, i figured i share some of my favorite finds from time to time!

i want to start off by telling you about my new favorite chocolate chip cookies. they are the wonderful, convenient "break-n-bake" style, but they almost taste homemade! they bake in no time and i always take my cookies out early so they can harden but not be crunchy. i also like how thin, yet big these cookies are. they are perfect for making ice cream sandwiches! pillsbury also offers so many coupons for their products that i almost got these for free. so, if you are a cookie fan like myself, you have got to try out these! they are simply delicious!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

i can't believe it's been a year.

congratulations, graduate. it was just a year ago that we were sitting in sanford stadium sweating to death anxiously awaiting the moment to turn our tassels to the other side. it felt so surreal to stand in that stadium and remember the first time i ever watched a game between the hedges and then realize that it would be my last time in that stadium as a student. when i think back to my college experience i almost think it was a dream it was so perfect. during the college selection process, i didn't know much about georgia, but i knew that God had a plan for me there. little did i know i was going to meet such amazing people and experience community for the first time. now being in the real world for a year, i realize that the Lord blessed me with such wonderful friends and experiences only to prepare me for the sometimes harsh real world. this year i have been reminded of what Paul said in Philippians: "In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus". {Philippinas 1:4-6} a lot has happened since last may, and it has been so encouraging to see the Lord working in everyone's life. i am so blessed to have made so many wonderful memories with such wonderful friends. with all said, it really is great to be a georgia bulldog!!!

happy mothers day, mom!

dear mom, thanks for loving me just the way i am. crazy hair and all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

jin and sun

jin and sun. if you are not a LOST fan, then you might think this post is a little ridiculous. now i know it is a little weird to blog about t.v. characters like they are my friends, but tuesday night's episode was such an emotional rollercoaster that i just had to write about it. and by emotional, i mean the end had me sobbing uncontrollably.

jin and sun's relationship on LOST has been one of my favorites {the other being Desmond and Penny}. they have been through so much and i have just fallen in love with their story. when they crashed on the island, their marriage had been struggling and plagued with lies; however, after being stranded on the island, their marriage began to heal and be renewed {the island tends to have that affect}. during this healing time, jin learned english, sun got pregnant, and they fell more and more in love.

unfortunately, tragedy struck when they got separated during the tumultuous attempt to flee the island. jin was left behind on a freighter that sadly blew up and fans experienced sun's emotional reaction to watching what she thought was her husband's death. fortunately, jin survived the explosion unbeknownst to sun.

years went by until they were finally reunited on the island. so much had happened during their time apart; sun had gone back home and given birth to their baby girl while jin had been time travelling back and forth on the island. all that mattered was that they were finally together again.

on tuesday night's episode, they were with the other cool kids of LOST trying yet again to escape the island - this time on a submarine. tragedy struck again thanks to "the man in black" acting as John Locke. he had magically implanted a bomb in jack's backpack that caused the submarine to quickly fill with water and begin to sink. the explosion trapped sun up against the wall and jin desperately tried to free sun so they could swim out of the water filled sub.

sun tried to get jin to leave her behind and save himself, to which he said "i will not leave you again". gahhhh tear jerker!!! it was painful to watch jin struggle to free sun, knowing that there was no possible way he could free her. the show ended with them holding hands and dieing together. wow. so emotional and at the same time so beautiful and selfless. "locke" had successfully killed two of the candidates, but their love prevailed and they were together. i think being married now just makes me more sensitive to things like this. when you have someone in your life that you would rather die with than live without or sacrifice your life for them, life is put into a different perspective. this is what my grammy would call "pure love". with all this said, the alternate reality better be the real life in the end, LOST.

Monday, May 3, 2010

glad i got these little girls

i am so thankful for the rain this week. our air conditioner was broken all weekend {lovely} and the rain on monday definitely cooled us down! it rained all fall here and once i bought these fun boots at target a few months ago, it hadn't rained since! so i am also thankful for the rain, because i FINALLY got to wear my new rain boots. however, not so thankful that the downpour washed away my baby strawberry plant...oopsies. buh bye baby. failed attempt #1. ha.

intern appreciation

intern appreciation. makes me think of an episode from nbc's the office, and the infamous re-make of "kittens, inspired by kittens". but most of all, it makes me think of my own experience as an unpaid intern.

it was merely a year ago that i was saying good bye to mrs. reid's 2nd grade class and closing the door on student teaching. i can remember my last day like it was yesterday. i remember packing up my belongings for the.last.time, hugging the precious babies, and thanking them for the wonderful children's books that they had bought me at the bookfair {definitely got a ton of use out of those babies this year}. i also remember walking out to the intern parking lot in the rain and getting a call from the fiance'. it had been a very important day in his life as well: gmat day.

a few weeks before this, our future life had drastically changed from moving to dallas with a job to maybe no job, so let's go to grad school somewhere. life had been extremely overwhelming and a drastic switch in the end like this was almost unbearable. but it was in this moment that my faith in the Lord saved my little heart from despair. i was able to look back on my life and see how He had already provided and blessed me with so much. i knew that His plan was going to be the best plan, and we just had to put our trust in Him and patiently wait for the right door to open. and oh did the Lord know what He was doing!!! thanks to the brain that God gave tyler and to divine intervention, tyler scored wonderfully on the gmat. i can remember sobbing in my car in the school parking lot, exhausted, overwhelmed, and so thankful. i drove away from the school with such a peace that day. the Lord had gotten me through student teaching and the new plan was grad school.

fast forward a year now and grad school at Auburn has been great! we love it here and i am so excited to have my first year of teaching almost under my belt. our interns on our team are leaving this week, and it is going to be so sad to lose them. to show our appreciation, i baked them some love. as challenging as the first year of teaching is, student teaching definitely takes the cake! here are some pictures of the red velvet cake i made them! thanks for the help paula dean!

lots of food coloring

cooling in the freezer

layers and layers

homemade cream cheese icing

ta-da!! the finished product.
cake ingredients:
  1. 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  7. 1 cup whole buttermilk
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
  10. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  11. 1 teaspoon vinegar
cream cheese icing ingredients:
  1. 1 1/2 packages of cream cheese {12 oz}
  2. 1/2 cup of butter
  3. 3 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*i like a lot of icing, so i added 1/4 cup more powdered sugar and an extra 1/2 package of cream cheese*

  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Beat in oil, buttermilk, and eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Stir in food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar.
  5. Pour 3/4 cup of cake batter into each cake pan, turning to distribute batter evenly.
  6. Bake 8 - 10 minutes.
  7. Let cool in pans 3 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. {i put mine in the freezer}
  8. Wash and dry pans; repeat procedure with remaining batter until all layers are baked.
  9. Depending on how thick you want each layer to be, the mix can make between 4 and 7 layers. The best thing to do is measure out each layer evenly.
  10. Let butter and cream cheese soften.
  11. Add vanilla and sugar and beat until creamy.
  12. Spread cream cheese icing evenly between layers and on top and sides of cake.
  13. Garnish the cake however you like! I used chocolate shavings.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

merry christmas to me!

for christmas, tyler bought me a gift certificate to spa 180. the even better part was that tyler and our friend tom planned this together and he also bought his wife, chane', a gift certificate so we could go together! we both had been so busy and had been trying to find the perfect weekend for both of us to indulge in this treat. well, four months later, we finally were able to go! it was a perfect way to start the month of may off right! we both went for the facial and massage. the massage was definitely my favorite. i think i've been harboring a lot of stress in my shoulders lately... come on may 26th!!! the facial was good, but nothing beats a facial from karen at spa jardin! we came home rested and relaxed and told the boys we wanted to do this every saturday. to which they said, "sure, we will just stop eating lunch every day" how sweet and thoughtful! {haha}

the second part of the gift was that the boys would then cook us dinner! wahoo! talk about the best saturday ever! sure, i will go to the spa all afternoon and then come home and relax some more. such wonderful husbands we have. the dinner menu included ceasar salad, corn on the cob, baked new potatoes, and beef tenderloin. it was delicious. thanks boys!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

vote for dayna's bag!

our good friends the bates need your vote! dayna has created a reusable bag design for kroger and if they win, they get $1000!!! so go vote for dayna's bag today!