Saturday, November 30, 2013

Not Like The Grammys. But Sort Of.

Today I feel pretty special. Not like the last time I felt special. This time I REALLY do feel special. [blushing]

It was brought to my attention that I have been nominated for the Sunshine Award! I've never been nominated for anything. Gotta say it's a good feeling.

It's a great way for new bloggers to get exposure by sharing some info about themselves, while also introducing other blogs we believe deserve equal recognition.

Thank you, Ms. Tammy for the nomination!! You're so sweet. I appreciate the love!! Xoxo

So here's how it goes. I'm given 11 questions to answer. I give 11 random facts about myself [that should be interesting]. Then I nominate 11 other bloggers; alerting them via post comment.

1. Why did you start blogging?
I've always enjoyed journaling, but was recently inspired to take it a step further! It's fun to jot down whatever you're thinking, and realize there's other people out there that think on your same level of weirdness.
2. Favorite holiday?
Christmas. I am sooooo looking forward to these next weeks ahead.
3. Favorite holiday tradition?
Decorating the tree with my mom. We turn on old classic Christmas songs [Nysyc, Mariah Carey, etc.] and sing along while hanging the lights and ornaments. There's really nothing like it.
4. What is one thing that you could do over and over?
Nights when my family gets together and we play games. It's hilarious, and absolutely priceless.
5. Dream job?
My current job [stay-at-home mama] but with income. That'd be phenomenal. 
6. What does your Christmas tree "theme" this year?
Traditional. That's every year. We do the multicolor lights, with random ornaments. BUT! In our next house [where we'll have more room] we'll definitely have a "themed" tree. A food tree. Yes! I can't wait.
7. Favorite Drink?
I drink a lot of water, so that often limits me to exploring the richness of flavored beverages. But if I had to pick one of my go-to drinks, it's Snapple Peach Tea. LOVE it.
8. Ice cream or Cake?
9. Did you participate in Black Friday? If so did you find any good deals?
I did last year. Which is why I chose NOT to this year. Ha. 
10. Favorite store?
Target. I would say something like H&M or Nordstroms, but that list could go on forever. I couldn't choose just one. Target on the other hand is simple to say "I love everything in it; clothes, home goods, etc.".
11. If you had an unlimited amount of limit on a credit card and you didn't have to pay anything back where would you go?
I would take my whole family and travel. Travel, travel, travel. Anywhere and everywhere.

11 Random Facts:
1. I often ask my husband the name of a pop song [that's likely been on the radio for months] because the only tunes in my car is the Disney Princesses soundtrack.
2. "Selena" is my favorite movie.
3. I don't like meat in my pastas. In those cases, I'd rather fill up on the pasta than the protein. Diet fail.
4. I've been to Disneyworld 25 times.
5. I love the whole month of December = birthday celebrations and Christmas!
6. I love coffee... to a sad extent..
7. My daughter is truly the light of my world.
8. My husband is my #1 best friend.
9. I have an OCD of labels facing forward. 
10. I iron everything. Even my gym clothes.
11. I manicure my nails at least once a week.

Majority of the following are not new to the blogging world; most of them are well known. Sadly, I don't always have the time to explore new up and coming blogs, but these are all good reads!! I promise. Check them ALL out. With that said, my list of nominees would most definitely be:

Katie @ BlueDaisy in the Bluegrass
Jessica @ Little Miss Sunshine
Karly @ Karly Kim: Good Enough To Read
Helene @ Helene In Between
Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons
Megan @ Style Me Swanky
Kaitlyn @ Wifessionals
Nikki @ Cupcakes For Breakfast
Meggan @ Trying To Make Fetch Happen
Shannon @ Page Twenty-Two
Mandi @ All My Happy Endings

11 QUESTIONS for my nominees:
1. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? [if that exists in your life; mine is rare]
2. You might need a drink after this. What's your usual drink of choice?
3. What's your go-to snack?
4. Favorite movie?
5. Favorite designer? [fashion]
6. What was your most accomplishing moment in your life?
7. Most embarrassing moment?
8. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
9. Worst pick-up line you've experienced?
10. What's one piece of jewelry you never leave the house without?
11. Say you just won a free, all inclusive vacation... Where would you go? 

Get to it ladies!! But don't forget to follow up with 11 random facts about yourself, and to nominate 11 bloggers you feel deserve some recognition. Much love to you all!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gobble Till You Wobble

One of my favorite time of year has arrived. I love getting together with our families, and the food indulgence doesn't hurt either. Especially this time around. 34 weeks pregnant = automatic belly bulge = no shame. 

Before I head out to both family gatherings, I wanted to share a new tradition I've been providing these past two years. 

Homemade Pecan Pie
Ok so I first must confess that this year, and this year only I did not make my pie crust. [shreeeeeeek] I'm a strong believer that "homemade" means just that, homemade. Last year I successfully accomplished my first experience making two pie crusts from scratch, but this year I just didn't have the time. With that said, the Pillsbury Pie Crust was my second option and it worked just fine. I recommend that if you're ever in a crunch. 

Baking has always been a hobby of mine. I just love it. I don't know what makes it so enjoyable, but it is. Not to mention I love throwing on one of my favorite purchases from Paula Deen's restaurant in Savannah, GA. 
Recipe time!

Again, at the last minute I was unable to find my husband's grandma's recipe [failing on all accounts thus far] so the next best thing was set on good research, and reviews. With that, I stumbled upon the Pioneer Woman. Her ingredients, and measurements were almost exact to what I remember of my own recipe so that was the winner. 

Here are the essentials.
Sugar, brown sugar, salt corn syrup, eggs, vanilla extract, melted butter and of course pecans! I bought the halves, and coarsely chopped them to make some tinier pieces [it helps the crunch; read more on that on the recipe site]. For exact measurements, you can find them HERE.

1. combine all dry ingredients 2. sift them together 3. add syrup 4. add melted butter
1. add beaten eggs 2. add vanilla extract 3. coarsely chop pecans 4. evenly spread them on bottom of shell1. pour mixture over pecans 2. let pecans rise to top 3. fluff crust edges with fork 4. cover with foil
Bake for about an hour at 350 degrees. I say "about" because all ovens vary. This particular recipe even calls to split the time 30/20, removing the foil after 30 minutes. I ended up baking two pies, and each one did great with an hour's time. But you be the judge of your own oven.

That is all I have for today! Hope everyone has a safe holiday weekend!!!!


That Moment I Question My Normalcy

I love coffee. 

Really. It doesn't have to be caffeinated to get me through the day. A simple decaf will do just fine. I simply just love the taste of coffee; especially coffee flavored ice cream. YUM [pregnancy hormones take over].

But on a serious note, I do love coffee and I've mentioned it once before. It was in one of my early formative blog posts [aka very elaborate and colorful]. So if you happen to view it via dreadful plug in, then my apologies for the corniness.

Moving on. I have come to realize with my love of coffee, that I may have established an obsessive relationship with my Keurig. 
I really don't know what I would do without it. I almost feel like going back to a regular coffee maker would be like returning to the stone ages [as if I've ever lived in that era, but that's irrelevant].

The convenience of placing a small container in the machine, and pushing a button is glorious. Of course you have to remember to fill the water from time to time or, well... fail.

But the options of different flavors makes it all the more fun. Usually we stick to a basic medium roast, but every now and then the husband will get fancy and buy some kind of holiday flavor. 
Sadly, decaf is limited so I don't get to enjoy the flavored brew. Although I'm grateful, because then I'd have no excuse to stock up on my Pumpkin Spice & Peppermint Mocha creamers. Cha-ching!

And finally, I love the Keurig for the simple fact that I can use my sweet little caddy [wedding present from a bestie] and set up all the containers like a Marriott concierge breakfast getup. 
 Or at least I like to think that's what it looks like. More or less.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An InstaLOVE Life

I love instagram for the simple pleasure of stalking viewing purposes. There's something intriguing about viewing the adventures through another's eyes, or lense for that matter. Whether it be fashion, travels, makeup, or nonsense, I could be on it for hours. Especially being that Facebook is mostly drama, Keek seems to be flooded by all Kardashians, and I have yet got into the hype of Twitter.

With that said, I thought I'd share a few of the people I vicariously live through in the lovable Instagram world.

Negin [if that's your name] I want your hair.
Ms. anniep, I'll take one of everything. Please and thank you.
Hey garypeppergirl, can we become besties and take me on some of these excursions?
Wendy, I want your wardrobe.
And for whatever real reason, I just love her.

Glossy Blonde

Monday, November 25, 2013

Love & New Life

Well, we have just wrapped up quite an eventful weekend! Without going into elaborate details, here are some highlights. 

One of my favorite people in the world [also known as my aunt] threw me a beautiful baby shower on Saturday. I was able to capture a couple of my most favorite details, but they don't do it a bit of justice. Scrambling to enjoy every second, I left the photog to my sister-in-law! Thanks, Em!!! ;) 

With my family and friends gathered around, Audriana and I felt truly blessed.  
 And Sunday, I got baptized.
No words could possibly explain the emotions I endured this entire weekend. I was overwhelmed with love. Thanks to everyone for sharing this weekend with us, and especially for the support and love I received on Sunday.

Simply an amazing weekend.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A BIG Day for Mee

Today, I am getting baptized.

When I was 7 years old, I remember being baptized alongside my grandfather. Although it was a special moment, I didn't really understand the purpose. I knew it was something I needed to do in order to show my belief and loyalty to our Savior, but never did I really understand it.

Twenty years later, I experienced some pretty life changing events. To read more on that, you can find that here. At this point in my life, I now know what it means to live a life by God. After some grueling trial and fails errors, I chose to turn my life around and live on the path He chose for me. Thus, introducing me to my husband. From there, He continued to provide blessings all around. My daughter was continuing to grow beautifully and healthy... and now we are expecting a son. I could not have imagined this reality if you asked me about it years ago. I am so grateful.

As an adult, I've chosen to get re-baptized with a better understanding of what it is about. I now know the grace of God, and the forgiveness of our sins he provided to us through Christ. Throughout these recent years, I've really come to know myself and practice - EVERYDAY - at being the woman God intended when He created me.

The feeling I have today is unexplainable.

Thank you, Lord, for second chances.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cirque du Soleil from the Ukraine

When I was three or four years old I took gymnastics, as any young child should experience for any possible coordination ability. From what I remember, it was fun. Except for the scar on the top of my foot from the cheese pit. Not so fun when there's a nail sticking out by the exit ladder. Um, ouch.

Recently, we enrolled Audriana (age 4) into the same gymnastics program and with our 5th week approaching she still seems to enjoy it. Thank goodness. I was a little concerned on the third week when the instructor assisted her up on the 4ft. balance beam and Audriana responded in tears or terror. True story. But she has overcome that, and is now a willing participant.

I never took gymnastics very seriously, given the reality that I failed at a simple backbend - if that's the accurate terminology. So, there's no real pressure for Audriana to take up such an interest. If she does, great. If she doesn't, we'll move on. Like I said, right now it's simply for coordination purposes.

Avoiding any of THESE at all costs would be a great.
 With that said, if she does so happen to take an interest in gymnastics and aspires to be the next Shawn Johnson, then we better make sure she doesn't compete against Ukrainians.

I've seen this video floating around everywhere, so I decided to see what it was all about. I believe the original title was some derivative of "jaw dropping", so I was curious.

And as all others who've witnessed this before me, my thoughts were simply "...wait, what?".

And these were my thoughts at certain points throughout the video...

1:19s: "...whoa where's this going?"

1:25s: "...does she have a vertebrate? "

2:18s: "...seriously, again??"

2:30s: "...who thinks this stuff up???"

Friday, November 22, 2013

Green Thumbs Down

In my mind, I strive to be the all around domestic housewife:
Ironing - ✓   Dishes - ✓   Laundry - ✓   Sewing - ✓   Cleaning - ✓   Mopping - ✓   etc......

But I have come to the realization, that there is one thing I have numerously tried to accomplish, yet failed miserably.

I do not have a green thumb.
[womp, womp]

Although I have always imagined having some sort of eden in my backyard, the reality of that happening isn't looking so bright. I just can't seem to keep those darn things alive!!!! I mean really, all it takes is a little water, sunshine and maybe a little lovin' right? But no. They are guaranteed to die on my watch. 

I know that we're approaching winter, and all plants meet their maker at some point. But I guess I could still do the courteous thing and throw them out... [sigh] mom and mother-in-law [both green thumbers] would be so disappointed. 

If raising children were based on the liveliness of your garden, God may have second guessed my ability to have any. Lets be glad that's not the case. 

From Three to Four

When you first glance at that positive pregnancy test, immediately you think... "really? no way." For me, nothing but excitement came into play in those first few moments, because we were actually trying. So by all means, it was more like "EEEEKKKK!!!!! FINALLY!!!!". Even announcing it, our daughter was just as surprised and happy. Although she was just shy of her 4th birthday [secrets not being her strong suit] so we didn't tell her close until the time we were ready to announce it to the rest of the world.

When we DID tell her, as expected she told everyone she ran into; whether or not it was in the right context.

Person: "Does someone have a birthday soon?"

Audriana: "... I'm going to be a big sister!"

Person: "How old are you going to be?"

Audriana: "...big sister."

That's about as accurate as her conversations were with anyone. She's very excited. And I'm thinking the age gap between the two is going to be just right. She's old enough that she gets it, and wants to be my big helper. By all means!! The reality that I'm about to have t-t-t-two kids is beginning to set in. Whoa.

Two kids. 

My first thought of two kids was initially... 
But then there are moments like these that leave me comforted...
She's ready to be a big sister, and I'm sure she will be will great with her baby brother. My mind still wonders how in the world some parents attain the ability [and sanity] to raise more than two! On a recent vacation outing, I witnessed multiple families of no less than 4 or 5 children. FIVE! I don't even think my brain can comprehend that reality. Not even  mentioning some of our grandparents who come from families of over 8. I praise those parents. God bless ya!!

The comparison of my first pregnancy to my second hasn't been too different. Although, this one has flown by quite quickly. I remember when I was pregnant with Audriana, each day passed about as quickly as molasses. I don't mean that in a bad way, just that I was able to savor in every month my belly changed. This time, I feel like my belly has grown over night. I'm trying to enjoy this pregnancy as much as I can, but I'm pretty sure Audriana's keeping me so busy that I'm distracted from even the subtle changes. Don't mistake that for not feeling the stretching, and constant ninja kicks going on every hour. I'm very well aware of those. I'm just finding myself at 33 weeks, wondering where the time has gone!!

I feel like I'm rambling. Am I rambling? 

I guess what I was originally trying to say is that I might not feel ready, but I know it'll be just fine when the time comes. Regardless, I'll take comfort in knowing it's normal to freak out if need be.

Mmm... chocolate.


Speaking of family, it's making me miss my husband. With these coming months being the most demanding, his absent becomes more frequent due to long hours in the office and mostly traveling. BUT he comes home today!!!! So this is to convey my serious excitement to see him!!!!!!!!!!! Xoxoxo

To my lover,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We Are The Champions!!

Since I formatted last weeks' blog posts prior to the occasion, I am behind on formally [blog] celebrating one of the most exciting news in our volleyball history. Our PHS girls did it.

I credit this photo to my good friend and old teammate, Jessica! You can also catch up on more of the state final details over on her page!

This was a moment I knew was bound to happen. I just knew it! I mentioned that quite a few times here. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, I was not able to attend the event. That was a real upset!! A stream of text messages were coming through every other minute from my best friend who was lucky enough to witness it all firsthand. So as I sat in my car, on the road, I waited... point by point.

That was until my amazing, never disappointing husband whipped out the laptop and found the LIVE STREAM airing the State Final Championship game!!! Now I was watching the game for myself.

I don't know what was worse. Waiting for a text message of scores, or actually watching it live! I seriously thought the anxiety was going to put me into labor.

The girls had taken over the first two games easily, but [a winning match being 3 out of 5] they now needed this third game to finish it.

Point by point, rally by rally, I found myself clinching the seats, covering my eyes, hollering at random. Chris was not appreciative of my antics. I don't blame him. But I couldn't help it. I was on edge, ready for that final point that I just knew was going to happen. They were going to finish this in three. I just KNEW IT.

But when that match point finally came, I was not prepared for my overwhelming emotions.

I just cried.

These girls finally did it for our program. After numerous trips to the state finals, coming up short, these girls were bringing home the championship title! Anyone who has ever been part of this program would understand that overwhelming pride that set in the moment those girls received their medals.

Especially, our Coach.

Arms clenched, face full of emotion. It was the exact image I could have imagined if I hadn't seen it for myself. I just know in that moment she was proud; not just of her girls or for herself, but for the entire program.

I think the most emotional part for me was that there. Seeing her finally get that championship medal.

The medal she so heavily deserved.

This was a moment that was special to not only the most recent years of the program, but as far back to the past 10+ [one of them being our own team].

Congratulations, Providence!!! PHS!!! PHS!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Shade of the Week

Since it's been some time now, I decided to allow my inner nail technician to take over and get a little crazy with some new colors. I say crazy, but all I mean is jumping into a fad I never thought I'd be part of. I've never tried to get into too many fads, given sometimes they are just that and the world will soon be moving on to something new. Remember the feather extensions?
Are people still wearing these? I'm not a fashion expert, so I can't really say if it's here or gone. All I know is that I don't see it too often anymore. Which is my point. A fad.

So where am I going with this. I'm leading into the nail polish fad that's exploded in the fashion industry. Although, nail art isn't really something new. I remember some pretty tacky designs back when I was in high school. However, the nail fad these past couple years have been to polish all nails one color while painting one or two others a different shade. And NOW, it seems to be all about the design of said different-shaded-finger. They are so creative, you never know what people will think of next.
So again, getting to the point. I have decided to dip into this newish nail fad, and see what it's all about. I have always had a creative bone in me, but it's not something that just comes out naturally. I have to be inspired. Well folks, yesterday I was inspired. By who you may ask? My best friend, Jess. Ha! Not that that's funny, but to no surprise we were thinking about doing this new nail trend at the same time. It just took  a short conversation of "I think I might do this..." "oh yea, I was thinking of doing it too!". And that was it.

So here we are.

The products I used for my nail fad trial experience, was none other than my good ol friend, Sally Hansen
For my ringer finger (right), I used Complete Salon Manicure Earl Gray 320 and the design was made with Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear White On 300. 

For all other nails (left), I used Complete Salon Manicure Commander In Chic 290.

Being that I'm right handed, I was easily able to polish my left hand with no hassle. So I decided to paint one hand, and share it with you! But please, bare with me. Have you ever taken a hand picture before? Unless you're obsessively marveled at your own hand, I doubt you have. It's awkward. Do I hold the nail polish bottle? Do I just lay them flat on the table? Bad angle/good angle. This is the best I could do.
Amateur, I know. But hey it was fun.

Now go link up with one of my newest faves.
Glossy Blonde

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Day I Realized I Have Super Powers

That's right. I have a secret.

I'm not just Megan, behind this blog. I'm special. (Yes, we know).

No I don't mean this special...
I mean THIS special.
That's right. [collar pop] According to this list, it applies to all moms that can do this...
Except for me, it's really about as glamorous as this...
Nonetheless, I can do it and that considers me a supermom which makes ME special. [insert childish banter, nana nana boo boo].

Of course depending on the source, some would define "supermom" as a mother who can hold down the kids, dog, house chores, while also managing a full-time employment. I agree... to an extent. And yes, this is coming from a stay-at-home mom. Without going into a debate about how stay-at-home moms don't actually work (really, let's not go there) I think the title of "supermom" applies to ANY mom who has children, laundry, dishes, pets, a house to clean, no maid, and still puts dinner on the table for the family by 6:30pm. If you're an employed mom, then I would certainly credit you for having that extra brain power to deal with that on the side of everything else. However, I don't think it distinguishes the challenge of one mom to the other. Because trust me, it's no easy job having your children at your feet while doing said laundry, dishes, house chores, grocery shopping, dinner, etc.

No one mom is better than the other. The end. We are all special. 

So back to my gloating...