Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Hope your day is filled with loved ones and delicious foods. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Few of my Favorite Things: Stocking Stuffers

Today is another fun link up for sharing my favorite things! I love link-ups like these because as you will see below I truly need inspiration for the guys! My go to gift is baking treats for friends and coworkers. However, not everyone has a sweet tooth as big as mine so sometimes I get stuck! Today we are sharing our favorite stocking stuffers. Look forward to seeing everyone's ideas! 

April // Elise // Katie // Zelle

I just love stocking stuffers. It's the perfect excuse to purchase adorable mini sizes of your favorite products. Also, by purchasing the mini sizes you get to try luxury pieces without feeling bad about the price tag! Joe and I typically exchange stockings instead of giving multiple gifts. This has worked perfectly for us since we are the type that if we want something we budget for it and buy it. So when it comes to Christmas is is hard for us to come up with a lot of things we really need. The money we save goes toward trips, house items or into savings.



Stocking Stuffers for the Sweet Tooth
I just love candy around the holidays something about sharing treats with friends makes it more sweeter. 




Stocking Stuffers for the Guys
Am I the only one that thinks guys are hard to buy for? Maybe it is just my guy. Well, my go to is Gift Cards. It is always the right size! Also socks because we seem to lose those constantly to the pup. I can't wait to check out others tips on what to buy for the guys. 



Stocking Stuffers for the Girls
I am pretty brand loyal when it comes to beauty products. My two favorites are Benefit and Philosophy. The sizes are perfect for when you want to try something new. I'd be thrilled to see these in my stocking this year! 










Stocking Stuffers for the Pup 
Nylabones are Charile's favorite toys. They are the only brand that he does not destroy within hours. Seriously these things are golden! 


What is the best thing you have received in your stocking?

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Happenings

Morning loves! I woke up in a rush this morning because my body thought it was Wednesday! Since it is a super short week and we only have two days of work I have a lot to do! Let’s rewind a bit to this weekend.

Friday night after work, Joe and I headed on a date night to NOFO at the Pig in Raleigh. There was a NOFO in Wilmington which closed a few years ago so I was excited to visit a familiar restaurant in a new location. NOFO did not disappoint. The restaurant prides themselves in using farm to table ingredients and promoting local small businesses. The restaurant is located inside an old Piggly Wiggly hence the name NOFO at the Pig. The upstairs is an eclectic shop which features unique children toys, local crafts and even baked goods.





After exploring the adorable shop we headed down to dinner. Joe and I enjoyed several drinks with our appetizer. I had a seasonal drink created with local ingredients called hot wassail cider. It truly tasted like the holidays in a warm alcoholic drink! I had never had wassail before and it really took me by surprise how much I loved it. We split the blue cheese wontons for an appetizer. They included mango compote on the side which stole the show. After dinner we merrily headed home to watch Hunger Games: Catching Fire.


Saturday was dedicated to gym time and errands. I still love Pure Barre classes and try and go once a weekend. I am hoping to improve my flexibility as I struggle to reach my toes most days. For dinner, Saturday night we enjoyed blackened Mahi Mahi on seasonal salads. I am loving Harris Teeter’s premixed salads which come with mixed greens, nuts and berries as toppers and a complementary dressing. I always lean toward the cranberry broccoli slaw and Joe loves the fiesta mix.



After church Sunday, we put up our Christmas decorations while watching football. I tend to keep décor minimal since there is very limited space in out apartment.  We have our Christmas tree and stockings. I am also hoping to figure out a space for our nativity scenes collected from our travels. I am already excited for next year hoping that I can go out decorating our new home!


We also took time to see Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Sunday afternoon. I enjoyed the movie especially since I love seeing what I read in the books being shown on the big screen. I hate that they split it into two parts since the ending leaves you hanging. I also feel that they have a lot of explaining to do before wrapping it up in the next movie. If you have seen the movie what do you think?

Another question for thought. How do y’all feel about putting up Christmas décor before Thanksgiving? Since we travel a lot on the weekends I want to enjoy Christmas for as much as we can. So I feel no guilt in putting it up a few days earlier.


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Few of My Favorite Things: Christmas Wishlist

The countdown to Christmas has definitely begun and it is not even Thanksgiving yet! This is a magical time of year so I am okay with celebrating as long as possible. I have even talked Joe into putting up our Christmas tree this weekend. I'm already dreaming of putting up the tree and enjoying some spiked apple cider. Yum! 

April // Elise // Katie // Zelle

I am excited to be linking up for These Are a Few of My Favorite Things and share my ultimate Christmas wishlist. I always like to include in my lists things I would not typically buy for myself. Tht is why it is called a wishlist right? I love everything on this list and would be thrilled to find one of these pretties wrapped under the Christmas tree!



Christmas Wishlist


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Five

It's time to wrap up another work week. I'm celebrating with a 6am Pure Barre class and a peppermint mocha. Yes, it has already happened I'm addicted to Pure Barre! I also want to make sure I get my moneys worth  of the unlimited classes. Hope all of your Friday has started on a good note as well. Let's get this Friday Five started!

{One} Reading.  I finished The Secret History a few weeks back and can't stop thinking about it. The book starts out with a murder and then backtracks several years and eventually explains the events of the murder. It is filled with Ancient Greek references and is set on a college campus. I you are enjoying How to Get Away With Murder I truly think you will love this book!


{Two} Drinking.  Right around this time is when seasonal everything starts to appear on the shelves. I just love the underdog of seasonal flavor- Cranberry! I absolutely love fresh cranberries and cranberry flavored treats. I drink a soda every now and then with dinner. I always make sure I have already drank 70 oz of water before enjoying a soda.  Anyway, I was happy to see cranberry flavored drinks already hitting the shelves! Cranberry Ginger Ale! Oh it is delicious. I am already scheming ways to incorporate it into some holiday adult beverages!


{Three} Wishlist Worthy. I am so excited to share my ultimate Christmas wishlist with you guys next week. I'll be linking up with the lovely Elise, April, Katie and Zelle. I hope you join in the fun as well!!



{Four} Currently Loving. I stumbled upon the website forever twenty somethings this week and can't get enough! I love the writers honesty and boldness. Everything I have read so far honestly rings true with my twenty-something self. I was laughing out loud at this post on group fitness classes. We all know time slows down on a treadmill. 

{Five} Coming Up.  This weekend I am heading up to Greensboro for a weekend conference. Honestly, I have no idea what to expect so it should be interesting. Meals and accommodations are included which always makes me a bit nervous since I am a particular eater. Anyone else like this? A plus is that I get the chance to catch up with friends while I am there! 


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Linking up with Lauren ElizabethClareKarliAmanda & April .

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Job

This post is a little out of the ordinary for me. One of my goals for this little blog is to share more personal stories about myself instead of being a vague overview of each week. As a way to get more personal with you my readers I am going to share a little more about what I do for work!  I am a School Psychologist at an Elementary School. Since this week is School Psychology Awareness Week I thought it would be a perfect time to share. 



I enjoy the chance to educate others about how I can support all students in school not just students in special education.  When I decided to go to graduate school, most of my friends have never heard of a school psychologist or just thought I was going to be in a counselor type role. That is not the case!


As a school psychologist I am able to that support students and teachers. I have expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior which allows me to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School Psychologist provide direct support and interventions to students, such as learning assessments, academic and behavioral interventions, counseling, and social skills training. We also consult with teachers, families, and other educators to improve support strategies and school-wide practices and policies. Can you tell I never get bored?

This year I have the benefit of being able to serve only one school. This has provided me the opportunity to get to know students on a more personal level and build relationships. I work closely with our school counselors, EC teachers and speech pathologists to provide support for students and staff.

I'd love to hear about what you do!

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I'm linking up with AnnieStephanie, and Laura!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Barre

Happy hump day loves! I’m back at work to finish out the work week. Thankfully there is only 10 more days until Thanksgiving break! There always seems to be some sort of countdown going on at work. I love having things to look forward to and reasons to celebrate so I will not be complaining.


For today’s post, I want to share two amazing barre workouts you can do at home. I love going to barre class. There is something about being in a class with others that really pushes you to go your hardest. However, if classes are not in your budget or if it is just too cold outside to brave heading to the gym before work these at home workouts can help. Just remember to embrace the shake! 




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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekday Off!

First and foremost, a huge thank you for all our veterans that have served to protect our freedom. School is out today for Veterans Day and I am thankful to have a day to myself to enjoy the fall weather. I already started the day with a great workout at Pure Barre. I just loved the message in the bathroom mirror. 

 Now I am sitting down to enjoy some morning TV including Kelly & Michael and the Today Show with Hoda and Kathy Lee. This may be my favorite thing about being off. I just love morning TV shows. I also have a few productive things on the books today which includes dry cleaning and getting my car cleaned. Anyone else hoard their dry cleaning until you have 10+ items to take? I am sure I will not be liking this bill! Then tonight is our General Member Meeting at Junior League. There is a little shopping spree before the meeting with local vendors. I am looking forward to picking up some more Christmas gifts! 

For dinner tonight I am planning on making one of my favorite low carb treats cauliflower cheese bread! Recently, I have been loving low carb dinners and sides. I find that when I eat a lot of protein I don't crave sweets as much and feel full for so much longer. I've been enjoying a chocolate protein shake for breakfast and then don't get hungry again until noon. That never happens when I have oatmeal or fruit for breakfast. 

I have been experimenting a lot in the kitchen with different low carb breads and casseroles. I love how rich the flavors are and something about the cheese and cream is comforting on a cool fall night. In the past, I hardly ever cooked with cheese because of the high calories. But everything in moderation right? Here are some of my favorite cheesy and creamy recipes! 






Do you have a favorite low carb recipe? Please share! 

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekending

Just like that the weekend is gone. Poof! Don’t you hate when that happens? Thankful to be back in the groove of things this Monday morning. Especially since I know Thanksgiving break is just around the corner. I just love the holiday season or really any excuse to have a party. I am already planning what to bake for Thanksgiving and Christmas treats. If you have any family favorite recipes please send them my way. You can check all of my recipes on my Pinterest board here.

This weekend there was lots of football watching going on in our household. Saturday and Sunday Joe sat flipping back and forth between football games and tracking our fantasy draft. Which unfortunately we are doing awful in!

Friday night we went out to see Interstellar with friends. I am not normally one to go see movies on opening day but they guys were truly pumped so we braved the crowds. The movie was beautifully done. Most of the sets were real and not done on a green screen which is incredible to think about. The space scenes seemed very realistic as well. The end of the movie got a little sci-fi and lost me with some of the terms used. However, I  was still able to get the main theme of the movie. I highly recommend it but be warned you have to be patient and prepared because it is every bit a 3 hour movie.

Saturday morning I headed to Pure Barre class. I love Pure Barre but since I had been running so much these past months I never made it a priority to get to a class. Since I am limited in my cardio currently this was the perfect time to incorporate Pure Barre back into my workout routine. I loved the class just as much as I remember and my muscles truly felt the burn!


The rest of Saturday was spend running errands and Christmas shopping with Joe. I love window shopping and checking out the holiday decorations. I could not believe it was not even thanksgiving and everywhere already had Christmas trees up. Saturday night we enjoyed dinner at Blackfinn watching some football.

Sunday was just as relaxed for us and we enjoyed our normal ritual grocery store, Petco, laundry and of course more football.

Ha.. notice a theme here? Oh man I can't wait to get the TV back come February!

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Five

Oh happy day! I am sure that I am not alone when I say I am thankful it is Friday! I have my first physical therapy appointment this afternoon and am praying for some insight into this injury. I have felt a bit confined now that I have Mr. Boot. He makes walking around school very cumbersome and I feel like I am entering a death trap when I try to go to the second floor classrooms. Mr. Boot has been a great conversation piece with my younger students and I have made a lot of new curious friends. Without further delay, let's get this Friday party started!

{One} Reading.  Gone Girl. I finally got my hands on this book from my local library thanks to a digital download. I stared it Sunday night and could not put it down. Thanks to the spoilers and friends talking about it I had a feeling I knew how it would end.  I was right at 50% last night and then my digital download expired! Ugh. I was right where Amy starts showing her real self. Huge suspense on wanting to know if I was correct on how the story would end. So I looked it up online J Mystery solved. Now on to see the movie this weekend!

{Two} Drinking.  Water and lots of it! I have been trying to get in 8 glasses of water a day. Somedays it is easy others I barely get in 2 glasses. Something about cold weather makes me not want to drink a ton of water. I have started drinking tea in the morning. But find it hard to fix while at work.

{Three} Wishlist Worthy. I love browsing home magazines and Pinterest for dream home inspiration. I am drooling over the look of a clean, white kitchen. I would love an island counter top and a pendant light as a centerpiece. 

{Four} Currently Loving. This Bible verse. 



{Five} Coming Up.  I am looking forward to sleeping in Saturday (I have an excuse now thanks to Mr. Boot), spending time at the Farmers Market and spending some time Christmas shopping. Need to get started on that early because I have no idea what I am buying yet!  

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Linking up with Lauren ElizabethClareKarliAmanda & April .

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Workout Pause

This week has flown by so far. I spent a wonderful and busy weekend celebrating Joe's 30th birthday and spending time with my mom shopping the Junior League Shopping Spree. Unfortunately, my ankle did not appreciate all the activity that came with the festivities. My lower leg was swollen and sore. I have been in and out of doctors this week trying to figure out why my ankle is not healing correctly. For now the diagnosis is a pulled tendon and sprained ankle. The prescription- a boot, rest and ice. This thing is bulky and cumbersome. Start physical therapy Friday and hope to get an estimate on how long it will take to heal.

Believe me this is extremely frustrating. I am not the type to rest. However, I know that if I continue to push myself I may just injure it more. Hoping for more insight Friday. Since this thing really prevents any strenuous cardio activity my game plan is to focus on nutrition (still a huge weakness) and work on strengthening my upper body. Kelly Ripa arms here I come!

Also, if anyone has any fashion tips on how to style this thing I would greatly appreciate it. :)

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