Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thinking Out Loud Thursday...Weekend Recap

Hi Girls-

Happy Thursday!  I hope that you have all had a super fab week.  I finally got back to NC after a few delays last night in NY.  I love to travel but plane delays are super annoying.  I suppose that's just part of life.  Anywhoodle, I am linking up with a couple of my fave gals, Vanessa and Penny for some Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  Y'all, this is such a fun link up and you can talk about anything and everything so head on over and take a look at these girls blogs and all the other fantastic bloggers that link up as well. 

OK, so I know that I had promised yesterday that I was going to be sharing about taking a break from dating...but the post is not exactly what I want it to be yet so I'm postponing it until next week.  With that being said, now that I'm home, I decided to do my weekend recap that I wasn't able to do on Monday because I had forgotten my memory card.  So, four days later, here is my recap.

This was my last weekend with Abbey so she and I had some fun stuff planned.  Abbey told me that she had always wanted to feed a giraffe and I couldn't think of anywhere else that could fulfill this dream for her.  So Friday afternoon I played hooky from work and she and I hit up Lazy 5 Ranch.  This is such a fun place to visit if you are local to the Charlotte area.  You have an option to explore the ranch on an open wagon ride or you can drive your own car through.  We elected to do the car ride because we thought that it would give us much more freedom even though I was certain that my car was going to need a thorough cleaning afterwards.  We had such an amazing time feeding zebras, giraffe, deer, llamas, oxen and so much more.  I will definitely be going back...maybe this time with kids. 

The brochure tells you not to feed the giraffe because they bite....obviously we aren't very good rule followers.  But this also wasn't the first time that this giraffe had eaten from a bucket either.

This little baby deer was so sweet and let me pet it.  He was by himself and I seriously wanted to just pick him up and put him in my Jeep to take him home.

These oxen were huge and got a little aggressive when I was trying to pull the bucket back in the car.  I didn't get scared until a second one came over and was trying to force its way into my window. very cool.

After the ranch, Abbey and I strolled over to downtown Mooresville and had ice cream, walked down Main Street and visited some antique shops. 

Saturday morning, we actually had very little to do so we decided to take it outside and I cleaned out my disgusting garage and Abbey washed her car to get ready for her trip back home.  Abbey and I had Japanese for our last dinner together and reminisced about all the fun times we've had over the last couple of months.  I'm so going to miss this girl.

Typical Abbey pose...
Sunday morning was a bit tough for me as I knew this was my last day with my wonderful girl.  I actually got up early and sat outside her bathroom chatting while she got ready for church.  The service that day was declared "Abbey Day" although no one really knew that because Abbey is very humble and would have died if the pastor said that out loud.  Abbey led all of our worship during the service and did amaze-balls.  I am so moved by her love for the Lord and how she is able to express it through song. 
After a quick lunch, Abbey and her family were back on their way to VA while I came home and napped and ate ice cream to try to avoid the inevitable that she was no longer there.  Y'all know I'm a comfort eater ;) 

OK y'all, that is my weekend recap...a few days late.  Lots of great memories!  Come back tomorrow where I'm sharing my Friday Favorites of the week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

An Update to my "To Do" List

Hey Y'all-

Happy Wednesday! 

So, in January of 2014, I made a list of things I wanted to complete the year I turned 36.  It was a list of randomness that I've always wanted to do or thought about doing or thought would be really cool to do.  I had read some other blogs who had done something similar before they turned 30 and thought it was a great idea.  Well, did I mention I turned 37 this past May and there are still a few things left to do?  OK, so yes, I admit that I am a bit behind but hey, at least I'm still working to complete it instead of abandoning it altogether.  You can check out the original list here and see all of the things that I have done but below are the items I still have left to do.  Now that I've reposted them, they all seem pretty easy to complete (well, with the exception of the skydiving) but I've just been dragging my feet.  And I'm really not a procrastinator.

3.  Have a dinner party for 5 of my friends that mean the world to me
8.  Take a cooking class (My sister gave me this for my birthday but I have yet to take it)
9.  Get professional photographs done of just me---well, and maybe my dogs :)
14.  Bake a souffle
17.  Buy a last minute flight to somewhere for the weekend
21.  Make a pillow (with a sewing machine)
22.  Send (now 2) gifts to friends without them knowing who it is from
26.  Write a letter to someone you love (a real letter with real stationary and a real pen)
27.  Give blood (terrified of needles)
28.  Go to a movie alone
32.  Toss out all my granny panties I have acquired throughout the year and replace them with pretty panties
33.  Get a tattoo (I already know what I'm going to get, I just have to muster up the courage and go do it)
35.  Shoot a bow and arrow and actually hit a target
36.  Sky dive (this is a doozy, I'm hoping I can work up the nerve to actually do this)

The most recent item I checked off is doing the zip-line course at the White Water Center in Charlotte.  Y'all, if you live close to Charlotte, this is such a fun place to go to---you can hike, white water raft, do the ropes course, zip-line, kayak, stand up paddle and so much more.  There's a great restaurant onsite and every Thursday and Saturday there's a band that comes in. 

Anywhoodle, Abbey and I spent the day there while she was here back in July and had so much fun.  As a matter of fact, we went back again and ate at their restaurant a couple of weeks later.  So, unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any pictures of me actually zip-lining because neither of us had our phones with us because we were doing water sports and other things and it wasn't conducive to have our phones with us but Abbey will vouch for me that I did it.  It was a lot of fun but this was the one part of the Summer that I realized how much of a beanpole Abbey was compared to me.  We both left the launch pad at the same time but I was already halfway down the tour when I looked up to see her.  LOL!  I'm not scared of heights but I'll be honest, taking that first step off the tower where I was only hanging on by some rope and a couple of metal grips dangling over concrete and a manmade white water rafting river did cause a few heart palpitations.  But I lived to tell about it and it really was a ton of fun!  Because we didn't have our phones with us for most of the day, here are the few pics we were able to capture of us there.

A huge rainstorm came in and shut down nearly everything at the center so we elected to eat lunch in the car.

And this is how we felt after it was still raining for what felt like forever.

In front of the boat launch...

The most delicious pimento cheese dip served with warm pita bread...oh my mouth is watering thinking about it.  I'll go back to the restaurant just for this.

View from our table for dinner.

Alright girls, my goal is to complete the remainder on this list prior to the end of the year...well, maybe all but the skydiving.  I don't know if I can muster up the courage to do it in the next couple of weeks and I definitely don't want to do it when it gets cold in NC either. 

Y'all have a fabulous Wednesday and come back tomorrow when I'm sharing why I'm taking a break from dating...again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Let's Talk Tuesday...Ten Thoughts On Absolutely Nothing!

Hey Girls!

Happy Tuesday Y'all!  I arrived safely in CT yesterday at my corporate office.  I feel so lame when I go into my headquarters because I immediately feel overwhelmingly tired as soon as I walk in the door.  Mind you, I travel a lot but working from home has definitely provided me with working at my leisure---in pajamas :)

Before I get into my Ten Thoughts today, I had to share a funny story with y'all that occurred while I was taking an unplanned blogging break.  And also why in my daily photo I posted yesterday on IG (nc30grits), I noted that "at least I was traveling to the right airport".  OK, so here's the skinny.  I have a customer in Ft. Wayne, IN.  This same customer has shows 2 times a year in Indianapolis.  Well, I had a scheduled meeting with said customer in Ft. Wayne and apparently was suffering from temporary brain loss when I booked my flight because I flew into Indianapolis...which is about 2.5 southwest of Ft. Wayne.  OK, funny part is that I didn't even realize I had flown into the airport until I got in the cab and gave him the address of my hotel.  He said "Are you sure that's the addresss?"  Me:  "Of course, it's like 5 minutes from the airport.".  Him: "Um, ma'am, you are 2.5 hours from Ft. Wayne."  Me: Finally dawning on me what I had done responded "Hmm, well, I guess you better take me back to the airport."  Fortunately because I travel so much, I seldom freak out when I get lost or something of the sorts.  I felt more stupid than anything and after being told that all the one-way rental cars were booked (You guys suck, BTW), I hopped on board the Hoosier Shuttle with 3 college students and made the trek to Ft. Wayne.  I've been traveling for my job for 15 years and I've NEVER made this mistake before---EVER!  My boss totally got a good laugh out of it and told me that he would never let me live it down.  Oh well, these things happen!
Alright gals, let's get into my Ten Thoughts today! 
  1. I always feel so gross when I fly and can't wait to get my "airplane funk" off of me.  I know I'm not the only one that thinks this but recycled air in a tin can just brings out the germophobe in me.
  2. I never hang up my towels when I'm staying at a hotel.  As a matter of fact, I always laugh when I read the sign that talks about conserving water as I'm throwing my towel on the floor.  Then I feel bad and think the cleaning staff judges me.  But I still leave my towels on the floor the next day.
  3. I am so excited that Bath & Body Works has all their Fall smell goods out.  I am so ready for Fall.  I am a lover of all things pumpkin related.  And I can't wait for NC to not feel like a sauna anymore.
  4. I just got done reading a book that I was super pumped about until the last chapter that gave instructions on "next steps".  It is causing me a ton of anxiety.  More on this later.
  5. I lost part of my toenail last week. Not sure what caused it but at least half of it is still remaining.  Y'all know I have a foot thing but at least it doesn't look all gross and gnarly and with toe nail polish, no one knows the wiser.
  6. I wish I could play an instrument---like the fiddle.  But I have no desire to take the time to learn it.
  7. I decided not to watch Bachelor in Paradise after tuning into a few episodes.  These peeps are cray-cray and I just can't get into it.  Oh, and I think that Joe, who I loved from Kaitlyn's season, is a total douchebag!  However, I will be glued into The Bachelor when it comes back on---bring on Ben H although I think I would totally watch it if Nick were the chosen one.
  8. I went by Dunkin' Donuts today when I got into CT yesterday because I couldn't find my beloved Starbuck's.  I ordered a Vanilla Iced Coffee which was horrible AND they ran out of bottled water.  How does that happen?  That was your chance DD! 
  9. I really want to get extensions so that I can have long flowing hair.  And I want extensions because I don't have the patience to let my real hair grow to that level.  Any of you girls out there have extensions?
  10. I am totally ignorant about all the politic rumblings going on right now with the presidential run.  I actually feel ashamed by this because I know how important it is to be "in the know" when it comes to the running of our nation.  With that being said, all I'm seeing is a political circus that has me totally uninterested.  Anyone else feel the same way? 
Well girls, that's all I have for today!  Again, a whole bunch of nothing.  We all have these blogging moments, right?  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Empty Nesting....

Hi Girls-

Happy Monday!  I'm going to do my weekend recap a little later this week.  This is mostly due to the fact that I forgot my memory card with all my pictures prior to traveling today.  So with that said, I'm just going to move my Abbey post up a couple of days.

If you follow me on IG (nc30grits), you know that yesterday was the last day that I had my sweet Abbey with me.  She has gone home to Richmond to spend some time with her family before starting back to school at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.  I am so saddened that our time together has come to an end but I am super excited for her as well because she is starting her senior year and has so many opportunities and wonderful things that will be happening over the next year.

Which leads me to this...

OK, so yes, I know this technically doesn't apply to me because Abbey isn't my child and I've only had her for a short 2.5 months but y'all, my heart is totally feeling this way.  I don't know how you momma's of college age children or just children that have moved on deal with it.  Her room is so bare now, void of any personal effects and her clothes in the closet.  I don't hear Nick at Nite playing on the TV.   It's so quiet in my house now and I'm so happy that I'll be traveling over the next few weeks. 

If you haven't been reading this Summer, you may not know the background on how Abbey came to live with me.  You can read my first post about her here.  Anywhoodle, long story short, Abbey was only supposed to be with me for a few weeks before she moved into her permanent host home, but we decided early on that it was just meant for her to stay the Summer with me.  Which is sooooo unlike me!  I am a single, never been married, never had a roommate girl who loves her personal space and the opportunity to roam around my house naked anytime I want.  Having someone come into my home that I didn't know couldn't seem any less ideal but she and I just fit together---kind've like Chick-Fil-A nuggets and a milkshake (she'll appreciate that analogy).  We hit it off---and spent the next couple of months having late night girl chats, frequenting Chick-Fil-A far too many times to count, eating an abundance of ice cream and her listening to the plethora of first dates that I was going on.  It actually was so nice having someone just to talk to.  Abbey took me completely out of my comfort zone and her love for Jesus and strong faith made me ask some serious questions of myself and where I was at in my relationship with Christ.  My life will forever be blessed for being able to get to know her and spend such quality time together.  Now, I can't even imagine saying no when I was asked to house her because I wouldn't have had such an opportunity to have met an incredible young woman who has the brightest future imaginable. 

I didn't mention this before because I wanted Abbey to be relish in this for a bit but she became engaged while she was with me.  She had gone on vacation just a couple of weeks ago with her boyfriend's family and her sweet love popped the question.  Have you seen a cuter couple?  I mean, seriously?!?  Don't they kind of remind you of Malibu Barbie & Ken?  Abbey's, now sweet fiancé, is a student at Liberty University...which could be another reason that she is excited about getting back to school so she can spend all her time with him.  Let the wedding planning commence!

OK, so here's how I'll end this.  A final letter to my sweet Abigail!

My sweet, amaze-balls Abigail-
How is it that the Summer flew by so quickly?  What I first thought would be a Summer of hiding my jewelry and silver because I didn't know if "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" crazy was moving in turned out to be a Summer spent learning and developing an ever-lasting relationship with you.  My life will forever be changed by this experience. 

You, Abigail, are an amazing young woman!  What a fantastic future you have awaiting you, not only being a wife to your love, but serving the Lord in whatever capacity He leads you too.  You are so incredibly talented and I can't wait to see how that talent continues to grow. 

I think back to all of our great chats we've had and laughing about "who knows what" and dancing in the car to music you've never heard and being asked if I was your mother and feeling super old because you didn't know who Kid Rock or Cheryl Crow were and introducing you to movie classics like 'Steel Magnolias' and telling people of your aversion to vegetables and buying tons of mac and cheese and ice cream (which I still don't know where you put it) and listening to you practice and loving watching you on stage feeling the spirit while you perform and letting you do some of the chores (which took me a while but...).  These are just a few of the memories that I'll take with me from this super fantastic Summer. 
This is when I actually realized she was going to be leaving...

I wish you nothing but the best for your future!  Know that you are so very loved in NC and always have a home here.

Love Always---

Alright gals, that's all I have for today.  I hope you had a great weekend!  Can't wait to share some pictures of the trip Abbey and I took to a ranch on Friday.  They are hi-larious!  Have a great rest of your Monday! 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Favorites....

Hey Girls,

Happy Friday!  What a crazy, busy week it has least for me!  Hope y'all had a super fab week and have lots of fun stuff planned for the weekend. 

I love this meme!  OK, yes I know, I work from home and yes I know that I remain in my PJ's all day for more days than I care to admit.  But y'all get the gist---the feeling is still the same!

I'm linking up again today with Andrea, Erika and Narci for a little thing called Friday Favorites.  I love reading all the different blogs that link up.  It's so fun to see what everybody is writing about and making new blogger friends. 

OK gals, let's get right to are my favorites of the week!

Urban Decay Naked Basics.  OK, I am in love with this little mini.  I've been using Naked eyeshadows for, well, forever it seems but I always run into one issue.  I always run out of the base colors first leaving a very sad, empty hole in my beautiful container.  I know, #firstworldproblems.  Well, when I went to pick up some of my favorite Lipstick Queen lipstick, Float, at Ulta last week, I saw this beauty and knew that she needed a place in my life.  Plus, because I travel so often, it is perfect for my travel makeup bag. 
I love to clean.  I love the smell of bleach.  I love a new cleaning gadget.  I love microfiber.  But most of all I love my Dyson vacuum.  I've had it for a couple of year now and don't know how I managed to live without it in the past.  This is the one I have.  I don't think this model is available anymore but there are ones that replaced it.  I purchased mine from QVC but I know they are available in lots of different places.  Anywhoodle, I only have carpet upstairs in my house so downstairs I primarily sweep, mop, etc on my hardwood.  I do use my Dyson down there too but it's kind of a pain to lug up and down the steps.  My dogs are the non-shedding kind but my cat leaves enough hair around to make another cat so I'm really conscious of cleaning up after her, especially on the couch.  Now here's where my exciting news comes in.  If you follow me on IG (nc30grits) you already saw this but I am super excited about the new edition to my cleaning family.  Drumroll please...welcome the Dyson DC59 Cordless Vacuum.  If it could be as easy for me to love a man as I do this vacuum, I would be married by now ;)  OK, but seriously, this thing is the best ever.  I purchased this one from QVC as well.  It was a great deal and included all the attachments you see below.  You can check out the deal here.  And just so you know, I priced this around and this was by far the best price with the most attachments.  Y'all, let me tell you that this thing is changing my life.  I now don't have to lug my vacuum downstairs and the sucking power on this thing is just as good as my upright.  I'm embarrassed to admit this but hey, we're all friends around here, right?!?  I hadn't vacuumed my stairs in over a year and it was gross...I mean seriously gross what this little piece of heaven in a vacuum got up for me.  I give it 5 stars!  And highly recommend you pick one up if you are looking for something to do smaller jobs around your house.  The only cons I've heard about it, although I've not experienced it myself yet, is that the battery power runs out pretty quickly.  I'll keep y'all updated.

OK y'all, I know you've been hearing about my Abbey for awhile now and I've posted pictures here and on IG (nc30grits) of she and I.  Well, our time has come to an end and Abbey will be leaving to go back to school at Liberty University this Sunday.  To say I am completely heartbroken of her leaving would be an understatement.  I am going to miss that girl like crazy and I don't think I'm going to like it being all quiet around my house again.  Now I'm not going to get all crazy and get a roommate or anything like that but I am genuinely going to miss having her in my home.  She has enriched my life in more ways than she will ever know.  I'm going to do a post on her next week but this is something she wrote for me last week at her cookout.  This girl makes me laugh!

BTW, as a side note, I love doing this on my picture frames.  I just put burlap fabric where the picture would go and you can write on the glass with a sharpie...just a regular 'ole sharpie.  Wet paper towel gets it off and you can write something different.  I do this all year round with Bible verses or holiday sayings, etc. 
Pound Cake.  Need I really say more?  OK, I about Paula Deen's Grandma's Sour Cream Pound Cake?  If you are like me, my sweet tooth is already producing too much saliva to stay in my mouth but I made this for Abbey's party last weekend and have munched on it all week.  I'll have you know that I also sent half of it home with a girlfriend of mine so I wouldn't be tempted to eat the whole thing on my own.  Now mine didn't look nearly this pretty but I'm positive that it tasted as good.  Word to the wise, I've made this pound cake probably a dozen or more times.  Make sure you don't overbeat your batter as it will make it kind of tough.  I'd still eat it but just wanted y'all to know.
Y'all, I saw this on FB yesterday and it was called '50 Embarrassng Beauty Trends from the Past'.  I am certain that the person who put these together is a child born after the 90's because these all seem fantastic to me.  I mean if you weren't down with sweatbands (or Cher for that matter), big hair, side ponytails and geometric sweaters and scrunchies...well, I'm not certain we can still be friends.  Just kidding, but for reals y'all, I loved all these looks and participated in every single one of them.  So, Good Housekeeping, I think you need to get a more seasoned and obviously, more fashion conscious, researcher for this type of project.  Good Day!

Alright gals, those are my favorites of the week!  Come back next week for my recap, why I'm taking a break from dating, a whole post about my Dear Abbey and a whole bunch of randomness that I'm sure will make for some good reading!  Have a great weekend y'all!