About Me

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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Going Green

Oh my goodness - I'm losing it and jumping on the health nut bandwagon, courtesy of my friend Lisa. My lunch today was green and the most prominent ingredient was spinach! Who am I? The bag might have Popeye on it, but I didn't immediately feel the urge to duke it out with a villain, ha-ha.

Just thought I'd share some pictures of my experiment today and I'll even share my version of the recipe at the bottom; in case anyone else feels like going green! I was shockingly surprised to discover; just like Lisa said, you couldn't taste the spinach at all and it really tasted pretty good. I guess I won't have to find a home for my extra spinach after all!

I can honestly say this is the first time in my 28 years I've ever bought spinach - and I  certainly couldn't have predicted it would be to drink!

Ingredients - here goes nothing!

I mean - not exactly appetizing at this point...

Swirly, swirly....

It was certainly green. Not as green as I thought it would be, thank goodness.
Mean Green Smoothie

-1 cup fresh spinach
-1 tbsp (heaping) of Greek yogurt (I used vanilla)
-1 tbsp peanut butter
-3/4 cup skim milk
-1 banana

Throw all the ingredients in a blender, pulse until thoroughly mixed and then drink up!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Work Week Wrap-up

1. What part of the state do you call home?
I live in Collinsville – which is a one stop light town, literally.  Definitely one of those places where if you didn’t know what you did last weekend, someone else certainly did and they wouldn’t hesitate to tell your Momma about it.
2. How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging in 2010 – around October of that year. 
3. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging; I guess for no particular reason other than that I wanted to. I felt like maybe my life was about to get really exciting since I’d just graduated college and I wasn’t very good at writing in a journal, so blogging seemed a good alternative. I wouldn’t say my life has gotten that exciting – at least not what I thought it would be, but I’ve certainly documented it.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Oh – anywhere but where I am now. I’d like to be married and have a child but I’ve learned the hard life lesson that I can plan my life until I’m blue in the face but what I plan makes no difference because God already has my plan.
I’m told that what God has planned for me will be far better than anything I could ever imagine and I’d certainly like to see that. I’d be lying if I said I could patiently wait to see what would happen; I feel like I’ve been waiting patiently for quite some time now and it gets harder with each passing day.
So – in five years? Who knows? I know what I’d like but we’ll see how that all turns out. Forgive the short rant.
5. If you could choose an actress to play you in your life, who would you choose and why?
Ooh – Sandra Bullock. I love her in just about everything she’s ever been in. She’s hilarious but can also be dramatic when called on and certainly one of my favorite actresses.  Definitely Sandy.
6. Name 5 things on your Bucket List that you hope you’ll check off before you die?
1)Get Married  2)Have children  3)Travel extensively  4)See the Northern Lights  5)See the pyramids of Egypt
7. If you could be known for one thing, what would it be and why?
I want to be known as a good friend to the people in my life. I’ve been blessed with so many good friends myself and I hope that I am able to be as good a friend to them as they are to me.
8. Describe the best moment in your life.
I don’t know – maybe it hasn’t happened yet.
9. If you could “be” anything (no consequences, no fear), what would you “be”?
Could a valid answer be something along the lines of…Superman? I guess that would technically be Supergirl; I don’t want to be a man. Ha-ha, just kidding. Although that would be pretty cool. I think if I could “be” anything, I’d want to be worry-free for the rest of my life.
I am such a huge worry-wart; I over think and elaborate in my mind until I make myself sick. At the end of the day, I really need not worry at all because I know that God is going to handle things and I’m just along for the ride. I think not having any worries would be divine.
Maybe not the typical answer to this question – but there you have it.
10. What or who inspires you to blog?
I don’t know if any person inspires me to blog – I guess I just like to share anecdotes from what is going on around me. So I suppose my life in general inspires me to blog.
11. We’re headed to your neck of the woods… what restaurant would you recommend?
Oh man – I guess San Marcos. Almost everything in my neck of the woods is a chain restaurant and so that isn’t really so special or unique. I like eating at Chili’s but hey – you can eat at Chili’s almost anywhere in the 50 states. So maybe get some Mexican food at San Marcos.
12. What’s a southern tradition you and your family have?
Eating meals together as a family – at least we used to when we all lived together. I don’t know if that is a uniquely Southern thing but there you have it. I suppose Watson and I do that still; he sits as close to me as he can when I eat supper. Ha-ha!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

I'm going to do a brain dump via my blog today - because I've got lots of thoughts and they are just whirling around in my head. I didn't think I'd ever get my brain to shut off last night; thank goodness for Advil PM. Moving right along....

Yep - I need to do that.
A silent house - seriously, my house is SO quiet sometimes I just want to scream. Even the smallest noises seem to be so loud sometimes. I have to leave the TV or music or something on because I think the quiet would make me crazy. I guess it's not anything new because I've been living by myself for almost 2 years now but sometimes it makes me nuts. You know what is really loud when you're in a quiet house? A bowl shattering. *sigh* Also, finger pricks bleed a lot. *sigh again*

Celebrity Crush - oh my goodness, Henry Cavill. I'm sure the fact that he plays Superman helps because he can wear that suit like nobody's business. I made him the background of my phone and that leads to lots of moments of my thoughts wandering throughout the day; not necessarily a bad thing when you don't have much work to do. I noticed Henry Cavill years ago when he was playing Charles Brandon on The Tudors; which I once owned. I kindly passed them along to my sister so she could watch it and now...well now I wish I still had them. Hahaha!

*sigh* Yes please.
Treadmill trauma - Which is going to have to stop. Now. I am on this major fitness surge and a huge part of that is that I'm able to get on my treadmill and walk; because I'll be honest, I can't afford to join a gym and if I tried to walk in this insane heat, I'd probably absolutely die. You see, the belt keeps locking up when I'm walking and the whole stupid treadmill tries to pitch me into the floor. So far, it hasn't been just awful but on Tuesday that thing locked up crazy hard and the resulting jar that it gave me was not pleasant. It actually hurt a little bit. This treadmill better get it's crap together - because I'm having major trouble figuring out what the next step would be if it doesn't. Get it together - Now!

Television Indecision - So, I went back and forth about finding some kind of summertime TV show to watch. There is literally nothing on TV during the summer and I can only bake and read so much on the weeknights before I start going nuts - remember, I've already ranted on my quiet house.  I decided to record Under the Dome and I watched it last night. I think I'm pretty effectively hooked but I'm still not sure. Unbeknownst to me, the show is based on a Stephen King book...which also means it's classified as horror. One of the characters made a comment last night that when she had goldfish, one got sick and the other ate it - which, these characters are trapped in a dome. Is that foreshadowing? Are they all going to become cannibals? Do I want to get invested in this show and then 5 episodes in have it be scaring the crap out of me because the people trapped under the dome are going nuts?

Yeah - Is this show going to scare the crap out of me?

*** I have too much time on my hands and my brain just never quits thinking - I'm telling you, crazy. ***

Health Food - Oh man, also on this health kick. I'm completely not even sure who I am sometimes anymore. My friend Lisa posted a recipe for a green smoothie and because I'm just about nuts, I actually think I'm going to make one. I've got to buy some fresh spinach first. I just crack myself up, I'm going to make a mean green smoothie and drink that bad boy down. At least, I hope I will. My friend says you can't taste the spinach over the milk, yogurt, etc...and I guess we'll find out. If I can taste the spinach, then someone is going to have to take fresh spinach off my hands. Ha-ha!

Mini Vacation - I get one in just...6 days!! Oh my goodness. How do you try to cram in as much as possible in just 3 and a half days? Also, is there any way I can just convince my parents to let me stay? Probably not. I know that we are going to a Nationals baseball game on Friday night and going to Antietam on Saturday for some 4th of July fun. I can't wait and because I can't wait...the days are passing so slowly...

So yeah - there you go. I've dumped some of my thoughts today. Granted, they all still seem to be whirling around in my head too. Oh well, whatever. I guess it's better to have lots to think about as opposed to nothing at all.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Finger-Lickin Chicken

This post will be short and sweet - kind of like my meal last night. It was quick, easy and delicious. I stumbled onto a recipe for bacon wrapped barbeque chicken tenders yesterday afternoon before I headed home for the day and I immediately decided that was what was going to be for supper.

As soon as I got off the treadmill, I immediately started cooking. The irony, right? I walked for 45 minutes and then cooked chicken wrapped in bacon and smothered in barbeque sauce. Oh well - whatever. I'm dedicated to my walking (even when the treadmill keeps trying to throw me into the floor - seriously) but I'm also not going to eat plain chicken and bland veggies every night. It just isn't happening. So - moving on..
Some chicken & bacon...in a pan...

Cooking it all - chicken, purple hull peas and mashed potatoes.

Adding some barbeque sauce to the mix.

I was pretty sure the pan would never be clean again - but at this point, the house smelled so good that I really didn't care.

Oh yes - delicious supper.

The bacon was meant to be wrapped around the tenders, but I couldn't find toothpicks to secure the bacon. I just laid it on/in the pan with it and it all cooked together with a good flavor. Once I got the barbeque sauce in there, with the bacon and the chicken and all the cooking juices....I may or may not have licked the fork I was cooking with about 3 times; it was covered in this bacon/barbeque-y goodness and I was hungry.

Bacon Wrapped Barbeque Chicken Tenders

-thawed boneless chicken tenders (I used 3)
-barbeque sauce of choice (Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Barbeque Sauce)
-2-3 slices of bacon
-shredded cheddar cheese

Wrap (or in my case, lay in the pan) the tenders with bacon and season with Season All. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, till tenders are cooked through. Cover each tender with a tbsp. of barbeque sauce, turning to fully cover. Cook on low for about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and plate.

See - it is just that easy. And it is really good. As evidenced by the picture below of my constant shadow begging for a bite of people supper. God love him - he's precious. I may have slipped him a little bite.
Please Mom - just one taste & I won't pitch a wild fit when  you bathe me.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Just Passing the Time

Sometimes I feel like that is what I'm doing - just passing the time. I guess what matters is what you're doing while all that time is passing. I stayed pretty busy this week, so it seemed like it passed even quicker than usual.  I enjoyed my week and my weekend - but man, blink and you miss it.

I'm just now eating my breakfast on this Monday morning, so it may take me a paragraph or two to become completely coherent. I've become one of those people that needs two cups of coffee to function these days - thanks for the addiction Dad. Ha-ha!

My family was with me at the beginning of the week; it is always nice to start any day with family around you. It was also really nice to know that when I came home on Monday afternoon my house would be filled with sounds of people and I'd have someone to talk to. The house was pretty quiet on Tuesday when I got home; I love my dog dearly but he isn't exactly the world's best at conversation. He is good with the cuddles and confused looks - as you'll see below.

Watson saying good-bye to his Aunt Beast. I think he misses her the most.

Monsoon conditions on the way to work Tuesday - where is my boat??

This face kills me - so confused about why his "people" left. Bless your little puppy heart.

The rest of the work week passed pretty much without incident - which is how I like it. I guess I think of an incident as a bad thing, I suppose that isn't accurate though. Maybe I need more incidents in my life to liven it up? Regardless, this week was pretty relaxed - unless you count my treadmill trying to kill me on Saturday but that's getting ahead of things. I'll get to that in a bit.

Wednesday morning stretches - he cracks me up.

The office lizard - he visits almost daily. I think he's pretty cool.

Fluffy blue skies on Wednesday afternoon.

I baked again - I mean, I couldn't just let those bananas go to waste...

Flowers everywhere! I'm amazed any stay alive in this insane heat.
Thursday was eventful - maybe I should backtrack on no incidents. This was an awesome incident though. Some backstory: July 4th is on a Thursday this year - what a crazy weekday to fall on 4th of July! My office is not closed on Friday, the 5th and that is just a sad truth. We'd been discussing making plans for me to visit Virginia if the office was closed on the 5th, but since that wasn't happening, the visit to VA was a no-go. I basically had no plans for the 4th of July but to sleep late and maybe wear some patriotic colors while I chilled at the house. My Momma decided that just wouldn't do though...

Thursday morning on the way to work, she told me to go ahead and ask for the 5th of July off. Which I was kind of skeptical about - plane tickets cost quite a bit of money and this chick does not have much of that green stuff to spare. Also, July 4th was literally two weeks away - to the day. Plane tickets don't get any cheaper the closer your departure date gets; they do the opposite and much like the Man of Steel (saw that this weekend - I'll elaborate later) they go up, up and away...out of reach. Thank goodness I lead such a jetset life because all those miles that I'd been accumulating were about to be of use.

My day off was approved, there were fevered text messages between my Mom and I - was 45 minutes to short a layover in Atlanta? Did I mind getting back to Jackson at 8:53 or would I rather get back at 5:30? - and then, the best text message of all - to check my emails, the confirmation would be there! Victory! Through my miles and a gift of some of my Mom's miles (thanks Mom!) I am now going to be VA bound for a long weekend in just...9 days! If you count the 3rd, which is the day I leave. So really - only 8 days! Talk about a drastic change in plans in a matter of hours.

I spent the rest of the day bouncing off the wall with excitement and that feeling has carried over into this week because with each day that passes, I'm a day closer to VA and all the people there that I love to see; family and friends both! Virginia is worming it's way into my heart and with every visit, I am even more convinced that I want to make a more permanant place for myself there. So - we'll see. Only 8 days to go!

Yay Virginia - I'm counting down the days!

Sack lunch Friday at work...yummy, yummy.
This movie - was DUMB. And really weird. So weird
And now my writing is centered. What is up with that?? I tried to move a picture and it caused it to get all jacked up. My OCD tendencies are kicking in. Oh well, moving on. Friday night, David and I went to see This is the End. Now, I was pretty confident it was going to be fairly dumb - especially when David tells me we should probably turn our brains off before it starts. I don't think I expected it to be SO dumb. Sure, some parts of it were funny and the last minute and a half was pretty hilarious/awesome, but all in all. Just - no. *I fixed it! Joy!*

You know what was even more no? A girl decided that she would strike up a conversation with me while I was in the bathroom stall next to her. Never seen this girl before in my life and suddenly, while we are both going about our bathroom business she wants to discuss Channing Tatum's 30 second cameo in the movie. I mean - no thanks. Please lets not discuss that or anything else. Just - no.

McKenna showing off Lindsey's possible new bedding while in town on Saturday.

Saturday morning I drank my coffee and fought my treadmill. I mean that almost literally; not in the sense that walking on the treadmill was killing me. That's not it. The crazy belt on the treadmill seemed loose on Saturday morning. When I tried to walk forward, the belt jerked backward pretty hard and had I not still been holding on to the hand rail, I would have been pretty swiftly thrown into the floor. Good grief! I mean, come on treadmill, you are supposed to help me acheive physical fitness - not try to kill me. I persevered and kept on walking, but with a little more trepidation. Ha!

I spent the afternoon in town with McKenna. We ate lunch at San Marcos, perused some shops in town and then went to see Man of Steel . Which will now be classified as my favorite Superman movie. Honestly, is was such a good move. I was pretty apprehensive about it; I'd heard that it was too dark, too brooding, etc...but I really didn't think that. It was really well cast - I mean, hello Henry Cavill! I know he's a Brit but he can play America's number one superhero all day long if he'll just leave that supersuit on. I told McKenna I might pass out if he was shirtless in the movie and ever dutifully, when he appeared onscreen shirtless, McKenna poked me and whispered "are you okay over there?" Ha-ha! Amy Adams was also great as Lois Lane and had great chemistry with Henry Cavill. Granted, I'm not sure how you couldn't have chemistry with Henry Cavill. Is it too obvious that I might have a slight crush on the new Man of Steel? Ha-ha, go see the movie. You won't be disappointed.

Loved it! People only gave it 2.5 stars, but I say 4. Loved. It.

Sonic on the way home - Orange Creme Slush this time.

My one purchase for the day - a $6 red owl from Ross. Love it. He's hanging out in my kitchen now.

Sunday - well, Sunday was stressful. I'll just leave it at that because I probably shouldn't say much more. Suffice it to say that once I got home and had lunch, I was really looking forward to my nap. Apparently so was Watson because he crawled into his little dog bed and practically died. He's a mess for sure but he isn't going to miss his Sunday afternoon nap - much like his Momma.

I think having pets is like pre-gaming for when you have kids. Seriously. Sunday afternoon I was asleep on the couch...pretty deeply asleep and I heard a choking noise on the porch which caused me to jerk up and off the couch and to the front door to see why Watson was choking. I don't know if he swallowed a bug or what, but he coughed for a minute and then recovered. Of course, then he needed to come in and nap because choking is exhausting. Agreed - because I think worrying that your dog is choking is also intense. Yikes.

The church is getting an overhaul - whoa!

I mean - he was out like a light. Didn't move.

My sweet Daddy brought this to me last week. It's one my fridge now & let me say - Superman is looking GOOD for 75!

Look at that face!! I could eat him up sometimes.

True Blood - oh Lordy. Definitely a guilty pleasure at this point; mostly because sometimes I actually feel guilty that I'm watching something so absolutely nuts and enjoying even a little bit of it. A couple of the storylines are good and if Alexander Skarsgard is onscreen then I'm game, but most of it has just become such complete fantastical nonsense that I find myself playing a round of Candy Crush Saga during some scenes. I guess I feel invested though - I've watched 5 seasons and I can't just quit; I've got to know how it all ends.

Nerdy Eric - I love it. Eric/Alex is the best part. The rest of it = meh. Whatever.
Well - that's all folks. I'll touch base a little later in the week - till then, hope you're having a good Monday.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Seeing Color

Bedroom Overhaul 101 - maybe that's what I should have titled this post. I've had the same bedroom "theme" for 12 years now. Twelve! I got it into my head a couple weeks back that I needed to update my room and it needed to have some serious color. It's been tan, black and brown for far too long. I didn't know what I wanted but I knew I wanted color - and lots of it. So, when my Momma came to town and said we should go look for new bedroom stuff, I jumped at the chance and away we went - with Lindsey in tow for supervision and help making decisions. Ha-ha!
My room before the makeover - nice...but too dark.

I loved it...but I needed some change.

The trio searched high and low, through Belks, JC Penneys and Dillards. I found a pillow I really liked, but no bedding that really matched. I found a really cool pillow at Penney's...but the pillow alone was $40 and that just wasn't it. Everything in Dillards cost around...oh, $200+ or was really ugly. Lindsey had mentioned that there was a 50% off shelf but my Mom and I blazed right past it to look at other things, so Lindsey plopped down on a bed and proceeded to play on her phone. Right about the time I was going to admit defeat, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye - on the 50% off shelf. I pulled it out and waved my Mom over. At this point, Lindsey looked at us, hands on her hips and said "geez guys - I told you about the shelf right when we came in, but Nooooo. You wouldn't look!" I guess I should give Lindsey the credit for finding my new bed set. She saw it first. It was fluffy, bright and colorful - and on sale! Score!

Hello colorful!

Lindsey even found the throw pillows. Maybe she should get credit for the whole room?

So bright - I love all the color.

One the bed set had been purchased, I sought out accesories to make the room just right. We perused Wal Mart and Bed, Bath and Beyond to find the things that we needed. I even had some things already at my house  that I was able to incorporate into my new room, swapping things from one room to another and making everything work out for the best. All in all, I am really pleased with how it turned out and I am loving that my room has so much more color!

New lampshade on an old(ish) lamp. Yes - the shade is a little big for the teeny base, but I like it. It looks...unique!

Some prints on my wall above the bed - want to guess who found these? Hint - she found almost everything else.

I love it!

Some wall flowers from Bed, Bath & Beyond. They matched the bedding perfectly!

Just a little closer look.

Side by side pictures of the Tuscan countryside. Also matched the bedding!

New sitting area by the window with new sheers.

A Wal Mart find - so cute & perfect to sit on & put on shoes at the beginning of the day!

Already had this table - just moved it from the living room to my room!

Again - love it!

The completed room looking from the head of the bed to the windows.

The room looking from the windows to the door!

Last but not least, since I moved out all the animal print stuff, I took the little tiger striped chaise lounge from my bedroom and moved it to the living room. I wasn't sure it would work out, but I actually think I like it. I've been trying to convince Watson that it can be his very own couch where he can lay and look out the window. So far, he's not buying it. When it was in my room, he got on it all the time. Now that it's in the living room, he's having none of it. Silly dog.

I think it looks pretty good.

And - that's all for now. I'm loving my new room(s) and I hope you enjoyed seeing it. It's almost the weekend - so close I can taste it and I'm going to sleep late in my new, colorful bed!