Friday, February 21, 2014

Confessional Friday...

Hi Girls-

It's Confessional Friday time again and I'm linking up with the lovely Leslie over at blondeambitionblog.com

1.  I confess that I just worked out and came home and had a pork chop biscuit.  I know, I know--that completely negates the workout that I completed this morning but I made dinner for a friend and her family last night and that was leftovers.

2.  I confess that I have an interview at 2 today.  If you read my last post, you know this is great.  Wish me luck, send me good thoughts, pray for me.

3.  I confess that I ate cereal for dinner three times this week.

4.  I confess that I am loving this weather we are having in NC this week--temperatures in the 70's.  I've had my heat off for the majority of the week and have slept with my windows open the last two nights.  This is great!  Even though we are calling for a possibility of snow next week.  Say what?!?

5.  I confess that my last blog took a lot out of me.  But it felt so good and so freeing to release some of those emotions.  I've also had an outpouring of friends who read and have called me and said they were so proud of me for writing what I did. 

6. I confess that I've watched 2 episodes of Saved By The Bell every single day this week.  I'm not ashamed but couldn't remember how hokey those episodes actually are.

7.  I confess that I'm working on a new post titled "Things My Friends and I talk About".  It is mostly made up of the crazy text messages that my girlfriends and I send to each other.  And it is seriously "ROTFLOL".  Do you hate those?  I know I do...but stay tuned because it really is funny.

Alright girls, those are my goods.  I hope you all have a fantabulous weekend! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

Hi Girls!

I stole this from a blog I found this past week but can't remember who it was but I thought it was a great idea.  Over the last couple weeks I had linked up with the lovely Leslie at blondeambitionblog.com on her "About You" series.  I thought it was great and I really enjoyed reading some of the other lovely gals who also linked up.  However, I also wanted to get a little more serious and give you ladies, who stumble upon this blog, a bit more insight into me. This is a bit scary--some of the things I'm going to discuss make me very vulnerable and I don't like being vulnerable.  But when I decided to write this blog, I also decided that I was going to be open and honest and use it as a vessel for my emotions.  So, here goes...

1)  I'm terrified of being a disappointment.  To who?  Well, to everyone.  I don't want to let down anyone in my life.  I want everyone to think that I have it all together.  Even though my parents are no longer here, I even struggle with myself on trying not to disappoint them in being the woman I know they expected me to be.  I would consider myself a people pleaser even though I hate that about myself. 

2)  I lost my job on January 31st.  The first week and a half afterwards I took to decompress--what that really means is cry and what that really means is bawl my eyes out at the drop of the hat.  I've worked since I was 16.  I started my professional career when I was 22 right out of college.  I left the company I started my career with and was with for 12 years to "do something different" and unfortunately, it just didn't work out.  I was devastated.  I was hurt.  I was scared.  I've put so much of my life into developing my career--putting so many things on the backburner because I wanted to be a career woman and now I'm feeling a bit lost mostly because I've always been defined by my career. I'm working with some great colleagues from my past who are all being so supportive and helpful and I am managing to now turn all my negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  I'm thinking that's because of all the prayers and positive thoughts that so many have been sending to me. I've only told a few of my friends about this and you may be asking why but read #1 again---I'm so afraid of appearing as a disappointment to those who know me as the professional.  UPDATE to this confession:  I wrote this post over a week ago because I wanted to get what I was feeling out but because this is such a tough situation, I decided to leave it as a draft for a little while--mostly to protect my feelings.  Fortunately, I'm feeling better and have begun my aggressive search by reaching out to a much larger network of folks that I hadn't planned on before.  I also realized that I'm not the only person who has ever lost their job.  Good people lose their jobs everyday.  What matters most is that I am picking myself up by my boot straps and getting back out there.

3)  I'm worried that I'll be single forever.  I know I'm not old but y'all, I'll be hitting over the half way point in my 30's this year.  I'll no longer be in my mid-thirties, I'll now be in my late 30's.  And I'm single.  Very single! I have made some bad decisions in relationships in my past--some I'd wish to altogether forget about but well, they are a part of my past so I hope I can just say that I learned something from them.  I've always been a very independent woman but now I'm wondering if I've been too independent and maybe I pushed away the right guy because he didn't seem enough for me at the time.  But girls, I'm praying--praying hard that God still has the right man in mind for me and that he brings him my way very, very soon.

4)  To go along with #3, I'm afraid that I'll never be a mother.  What's strange about this is that I've gone through several periods in my life where I wasn't sure if I wanted to have children and honestly, I still have those days.  I love children--I love all the friend's kids.  I love having them over for slumber parties, planning parties, watching them grow--heck, I have a kid playroom in one of the spare bedrooms in my house that holds all their toys, games, stuffed animals, etc.  But the older I get, the more I worry not only if I will ever have children but if I actually will be able to carry a child. Last time I was at the gynecologist, she reminded me that the chances of being able to get pregnant after 35 starts to dramatically increase.  Talk about a ray of sunshine, right?

5)  I've had a very tumultuous relationship with God.  I don't know why this is something that I'm afraid to tell you because I know that everyone has struggled with their relationship with God at some point in their life.  I grew up in a family of strong Christian faith.  My parents were very involved in our church and different ministries in the communities.  Because of their involvement, obviously, I was involved too.  We, as a family, prayed a lot, attended church together and faith was always represented in our household.  I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was around 12 and was baptized at 24 when I became a member of my church.  After the deaths of my parents when I was 17 and 18, I questioned God more than I ever have before and if I'm being honest, I still do in regards to that situation.  Why would a God that loves me so much leave my sister and I as orphans?  What did we do to deserve that?  Because of all this, I often don't feel worthy being a child of God.  I struggle everyday.  I know this is natural.  But I look at others who seem to have their life together in their walk with Christ and I'm jealous.  I know I can have the same thing.  I know I will.  I'm a work in progress. 

Gosh y'all--that was heavy.  There are so many more but I'm going to be honest in telling you that it was exhausting getting that out. 

If you made it this far, thank you for reading!  Oh and if you know anyone hiring in Sales in the Charlotte, NC area, let me know ;) 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Easiest Chicken & Dumplings Ever!

Hi Girls-

I'm so excited to be linking up with Kelly over at kellyskornerblog.com for her SUYL (Show Us Your Life) Soup Edition.  I am a crockpot Queen.  I love crockpots and pretty much anything you can make in it.  And I love soups and stews so I thought it would be great to share one of my recipes I make at least once a month.  I grew up with Chicken and Dumplings--like the real Southern kind, completely made from scratch that my momma made.  Well, let's get real now--I don't do much from scratch now simply because I don't have the time but I found this recipe several years ago and it comes real close to my momma's and is much easier to make.  So here goes...I'm a single gal so when I make crockpot meals, I can eat on it for a few days. Because this recipe is so easy, double or triple depending on the size of your family.

Chicken & Dumplings--The Easy Way

2 chicken breasts (I only use two because I like dumplings more but feel free to add more)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 (48 oz) box of chicken stock
1 carton of Anne's Dumplings (found in the freezer section)
4 tablespoons of butter
Pepper

Put all the ingredients except the dumplings in the crockpot for 7 hours on low.  At the 7th hour, take the chicken out and shred it.  You can do this for 8 hours too if you work and aren't home to take it out.  Put chicken back in and add the dumplings in intervals.  They are in long sheets of three and I just break them up and add 6 sheets at a time, stirring in between and waiting about 10 minutes before I add the next batch.  This keeps the dumplings from sticking together and also helps them all cook thoroughly so they aren't doughy.  Let everything cook for an additional hour and y'all that's it--it's that simple.  I love these--especially on a cold snowy day like I'm having today.



Even though the cream of chicken shown is the Fat Free version, I actually used Regular.  All that is missing from this picture is the chicken (I had already cooked it).
 
In the crockpot, with the crockpot liner (best invention ever and makes cleanup a snap).
 

In my bowl--perfect consistency every time. 
 
 
Enjoy y'all!

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas...WAIT, WHAT?!?

Hi Girls-

I hope you have all had a wonderful week.  I've been terrible at blogging lately and didn't complete anything on my "36 Things" list but I've had all these ideas of what I wanted to write about and also have about 4 drafts that I'm working on too.  So, please stay tuned!  My creativity is just busting at the seams--Just Kidding--but I do hope you come back to read what I'm working on.

This has been a crazy week in North Carolina weather wise--hence the Title to my post today.  For some reason, when I think of snow I think of Christmas and well, we all know it is February (although there is someone in my neighborhood that has their lights still up) so the Christmas spirit is obviously long past us.  We have had snow 3 days this week--3 DAYS!!!! In North Carolina!!!  We actually haven't had weather like this in over 10 years and I measured 10.5" in my backyard yesterday.  I am stir crazy and ready to get out of my house.  I don't have anywhere to go but have to leave.  However, with all that said, it was absolutely beautiful.  My dogs didn't particularly enjoy it but they are also 5 and 7 pound poodles who really don't go outside other than to use the bathroom anyway so their time outside was very short lived.  I was able to eat snow cream, nap with my dogs, not wear makeup for 3 days straight, eat way too much because that's what you do when you are stuck in your house, switch from one pair of lounge pants to another day after day after day, get caught up on all my Real Housewives of "All of Them" and did you know that Sex and the City comes on everyday from 2-4?  SATC is another one of my guilty pleasures and a reason why Cosmopolitans are still one of my favorite cocktails.  It started melting today and ironically enough, Charlotte is expected to have 80 degree weather next Wednesday---did I mention I love living in the South? 

Anywhoodle, I'm going to leave you with pictures from my Winter Wonderland.  Hope wherever you are, you are warm and toasty!






If you look real close on this picture, you can see a red cardinal.  It was absolutely breathtaking seeing it there.  


OK y'all, that's all I have for the night.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Getting To Know You, Part Deux...

Hi Girls!

I'm so excited to be linking up with Leslie again at blondeambitionblog.com for an extended edition of "Getting To Know You".  It was so fun getting to know others more after having read their blogs for a little while.  I'm really enjoying the blogging community and how everyone seems so supportive, especially of new bloggers. I've had a rough week--I'll spare you all the details for now but I would really appreciate your prayers and good thoughts while I'm working some things out.  Anywhoodle, onto the task at hand..getting to know me MORE, so here goes.

1.  What's my middle name?  It is Ann.  This was also my mother's middle name and was what I was terrified of hearing if I heard my momma say "Jennifer Ann" because I knew I was I trouble--y'all know what I mean, right? I have a cute story to tell about my middle name.  One of my dearest friends gave her daughter my middle name as well in honor of me--I was beyond touched as she changed it last minute from what she had originally planned.  Talk about tears flowing!  Anyway, when the baby was about 6 months old I was having a very serious conversation with her 5 year old sister and we were talking about names and she was telling me that her momma named her after her grandma to which I told her that her momma also gave Kendyl my middle name.  Her response, "well Jenny, what is your middle name now since mommy gave Kendyl your name."  I love it and it tickled me to death.
2.  If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?  Even though I've never been there, I would say Italy.  Only because I've watched "Under the Tuscun Sun" way too many times.  But I would want to relocate all my friends and family there too--it would be lonely in a big ole Tuscan villa all by myself with my new Italian lover Alessandro.
3.  Tell us about your guilty pleasures.  Well, let's see--reality TV, I am totally sucked into all of the Real Housewives of who cares, I watch them all.  Cupcakes from my local bakery--I always buy two and act like the 2nd one is for someone else when it never is...NEVER. And my most shameful ones Ramen noodles--y'all I love these things but don't have them often because I know how horrible they are for you and also because I'm embarrassed to be a 35 year old gal buying Ramen noodles.
4.  Like best about your job.  If you weren't doing it, what would it be?  I'm going to answer the second half only because well, it's my blog and I can do what I want.  I would love to own a wine or cupcake shop--two of my favorite things.  Heck, maybe I'll just open up a wine shop that sells cupcakes.
5.  Five things I'd grab during a fire.  Last photo of me with my momma and daddy, the Bible my daddy gave me, lipgloss, a bottle of wine and my phone charger (if the firemen are cute I want to make sure I look my best with the gloss and if I don't I can drink enough wine until I think I do and if all else fails I call my friends who will lift my spirits telling me I am pretty no matter what).
6.  Marathon running--pursue or just crazy.  I have no desire to run a marathon but have mad respect for those who do.  I'm a 5k'er only.
7.  Only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Ramen noodles.  Ha, just kidding!  It's a toss up between spaghetti or spicy tuna rolls.
8.  Last person you spoke to.  My sister at smorganfaithfamilyfriends.blogspot.com.  We talk oh, only about 15 times a day.
9. Favorite childhood toy.  Barbies or my Lite Bright.
10.  Breakfast cereal of choice.  Ok, I'm going to choose two here.  When no one is looking it is Cocoa Pebbles.  When people are looking it is Blueberry Morning or Special K Red Berries.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Can't wait to get to know some of you girls better too.  Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Downward Dog...Say What?

Hi again Girls!

Just wanted to provide proof that I have completed #23 from my "36 Things" list tonight--taking my first yoga class.  This was before class but I did survive.  After a little crouching tiger, hidden dragon I was sweating.  I did enjoy it and the stretching and quietness was great.  I liked the last ten minutes of class the best--when we were just laying on our mats, eyes closed and just breathing.  It was very peaceful.  Will I do it again?  Ummm, maybe.  But I think I will use my yoga pants for another purpose for the rest of the evening by lounging on my couch.


All smiles--I had no idea what was getting ready to occur?


Bloggin' Change and Lovin' It

Hi Girls-

Happy Tuesday!  I hope y'all are having a great week.  This won't be a long post but I had to write something because I've been working with a super fantastic designer who put the finishing touches on my blog today and I'm loving it.  It's simple, chic and just what I had imagined in my head but not creative enough to do it myself.  Thanks Jennifer Jordan for working with me on this!

And girls, if you are looking to create a new look for your own blog or just want to freshen it up Jennifer's information is listed on my side bar.

Oh, I'm going to be crossing off another one of my "36 Things" tonight--my first yoga class.  I'm going to be honest in saying that I am so scared and nervous about it.  I'm definitely not what you would call flexible and always hated when we had to do the President testing in elementary school and one of those tests included touching your toes---I would always argue with my teacher that my arms were simply not long enough and y'all I'm still saying that.  Wish me luck!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Daddy...

Hi Girls!

This is going to be one of my more serious and emotional posts I write.  One of the reasons I decided to do this blog to be able to write about some of the feelings that I don't often express.  I  thought about this particular post even before I wrote my first one a month ago.  This is one of the things that is part of my life, my past, but I don't often talk about it--especially with strangers. But I feel it's time to start letting go of some of those things and what better way to do it than through my blog. 

Today is my Daddy's birthday--what would have been his 73rd birthday.  I lost my father many years ago this month.  Just like many girls I know will profess, I think I had the best father in the whole wide world.  I was the baby of the family and my daddy treated me that way.  I got away with way more things than my sister did and was able to pull the pouty face and sad eyes to get just about anything that I wanted.  My daddy was a simple man--he loved my momma and her cooking, loved God, loved both of his girls to extents that I still can't put to words, loved his brothers and sisters and loved real estate.  He was a greatly respected man in our community and I love when people recognize me or my name or ask where I came from and I tell them who my daddy was and they immediately have a story about something he did for them and said to them that stuck with them throughout all these years.  I miss him everyday. 

But today, I am celebrating him because I know he is having a super party up in Heaven.  I wish I could hug your neck and give you a big kiss today.  I love you Daddy!  So...

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Daddy,
Happy Birthday to you!