Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Goals

First of all, I'm currently blogging from my Mom's new iMac! It's gorgeous. I am definitely an Apple girl...I love my macbook, love my iPod touch and love my new iPhone! I just love the technology & I've never had any problems (knock on wood) with any of the products.  By the way, thank you all for the phone advice earlier. I am loving the phone & encourage everyone to get one! Still on the hunt for a case, though...

Earlier this morning my Mom & I were chatting about how a lot of people are saying 2011 was a terrible year. This may be true for some, but I think I had a great year! However, I am ready to start fresh with 2012. To be honest, I was never one to write resolutions.  In fact, I don't remember ever sitting down and writing them.  Now that I'm 21, though, and feeling more like an "adult", I decided it was time. Here are some of my 2012 goals/resolutions!

1. Save/manage my money more effectively

I always seem to use every penny of every pay check.  This has got to stop! I'm going to graduate and have no money saved up - that would not be good.  There are also some big girls purchases I want to make in the future that I will need some money saved up.  I've decided to take my Mom's advice and set up automatic transfer at the beginning of every month so X amount of dollars will go into my savings account where I can't touch it!  I'm also going to set up a monthly budget so that when I get my paycheck & LOFT just happens to be having a sale I don't run & clear out the store!  Plus, like that quote says, I need to step back more and realize just how much I have and be thankful for it.

2. Plan [at least] 5 serious races / make time for exercise

By "serious" I mean I'm going to race, not jog.  In high school I ran cross country & track and I absolutely loved it.  Running is my favorite form of exercise, besides Jazzercise/Zumba.  Now that I'm in college, and have been for three years, I've been slacking when it comes to running. After a day of classes & work it's easier to settle in for the night with my homework instead of hitting the road for a run. I did run a half marathon during my freshman year and it was by far the best run of my life.  I want to get back to that point.  This year I plan to schedule a 5K, two 10Ks, a 10 miler, and a half-marathon.  I think I'll run the same half marathon that I did previously - it's in the Outer Banks. Anyone who likes running & lives on the east coast - I highly recommend this race! GORGEOUS setting, 99% flat and lots of fun! Usually ran in November.

3. Read more books

I love that Ashley & Crystal set up the book club because that will help me with this goal.  I want to read more books for me.  It's definitely more difficult to read during the semester when I should be reading my textbooks, but there isn't anyone stopping me from not sleeping in on Sundays and, instead, waking up to read! I think for this goal I might choose 15 books - one a month, plus an extra 3 during the summer.

4. Decide where I want to go to graduate school

Believe it or not, next fall I'm going to be a senior! CRAZY! That means one thing - more applications! My degree is going to be in Human Development with a Childhood & Adolescent Development concentration.  However, I am completing the classes necessary to enter an Elementary Education graduate program in the state of VA.  My school, unfortunately, does not offer the 5 year degree + licensure program.  Right now I'm thinking about applying to all the graduate programs in VA and then narrowing it down, rather than only applying to a couple. (I would love to not have to move fingers are crossed for Tech & Radford!)

5. Keep my room clean

Not my desk, but I want mine that clean!
When I had three roommates who often were bouncing in and out of my room, I kept it pretty tidy.  This year, I have one roommate who I hardly see.  This, plus my schedule of late classes & busy football weekends, has resulted in one messy room! I hate it! Being in a cluttered space is very frustrating for me, but rather than take the time to really clean it up (which I figured was time I could be doing homework) I would just escape it to do work at Panera or at home.  This year I'm going to spend one hour - that's all it should take - each weekend to tidy up my room.  This also goes for laundry...I need to keep up so it doesn't pile!


This goes for assignments, blogging, trips, meals, etc.  I'm a list-maker freak but I sometimes make too many lists.  I need to create a nice weekly spreadsheet separate from my agenda that includes everything I need/want to do each day.  I am going to start doing my assignments the day they are assigned, rather than the day or two before they are due.  I have fallen into this trap too many times.  I am going to start planning my blog posts for the week on Sunday that way I don't find myself sitting in front of my computer with writer's block.  I am going to plan out my trips to see Steven, my brothers, my Dad, etc ahead of time so I can make sure I'm caught up on work so that I can be on the trip stress-free.  However, in any schedule, you need to include time for people. I'm going to schedule in walks on the Huckleberry with Mom & Sadie!

7. Learn a better method of grocery shopping/meal planning/cooking for one

I live off-campus so I'm usually making myself breakfast, lunch and dinner unless it happens to be that I'm on campus with a break during one of those times.  This past semester was kind of rough - I was scrambling to find something quick for breakfast in order to catch the bus.  Lunch worked out pretty well, but cooking for one at dinner time proved to be difficult!  To be honest, I usually bought lots of Healthy Choice frozen meals since they are really easy to "make" - aka heat up in the microwave.  While they are good, for a frozen meal, not only were they getting a little too expensive but I started to get tired of them.  This year I'm going to do my research, talk to my Mom and actually plan meals (that I make) that are inexpensive, healthy and made for one.  If anyone has any tips on that, feel free to share :)

8. Go somewhere new

I love to travel, and although I know I'll have a busy spring semester & probably spend a lot of the summer working and watching baseball in Martinsville, I want to go somewhere I haven't been before! I've never been to Atlanta and my Mom has an Uncle that lives there who us begging us to visit. We are trying to plan a mid-May trip there :) On my list is to go to the aquarium & the Coca-Cola factory! Y'all know I love my Coca-Cola classic...

I want to thank all of my followers for a great year of blogging!
Cheers to 2012!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Birthday :)

Can y'all guess who this cutie pie is?

...if you guessed Steven, you're right!
Today is his 21st birthday!

I'm so thankful that his birthday falls on winter break so I've been able to always see him! I can't wait to celebrate tonight! Not sure where we're going yet for dinner, but I can tell you it will be mexican food - his favorite.
Pictures to come :)


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

*Warning: Photo Overload*

Linking up with Jamie today for a Christmas version of What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm loving...the time I spent with the kids at work & the Christmas snacks/crafts we made.

We had a small group! It was nice for a change!

I'm loving...that Steven came home early to see me for a couple days before heading back up to PA for Christmas.  We went to my favorite place in town these days for some self-serve frozen yogurt...The Frosty Parrot :) He's back home now!

I'm loving...puppies at Christmas time.

Sadie opening her presents

I'm loving...all of the wonderful gifts I got - shared two yesterday that I won't re-post, but here are a few!

Eddie Bauer mittens & a penguin wine glass slipper
The nail polish is Nicole by OPI "Orna-ment For Each Other"
Vintage Pooh is my favorite. Starting my collection :)
XXI clothes from my brother & cosmetic bag with 12 free Jazzercise classes!
Tim Riggins t-shirt. I'm kind of obsessed with this show. CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS, CAN'T LOSE.
Steven got me the two clips to add to my new bracelet. I love them! The ornament was from his Mom.
Some new music!

I'm loving...Christmas Eve mass.  Mom & I went at 11:00 pm and it was great!

Sorry the picture is sort of dark!
I wore Black Turtleneck - Target, Skirt - LOFT, Tights - Target, Jewelry - LOFT, Pandora, Relic.
And yes, I was freezing!

I'm loving...Christmas food!

I'm loving...doing puzzles in my free time. Two down, lots to go!

I'm loving...Christmas socks.

I'm loving...Christmas Crunch :) A family tradition!

I'm loving...the Frosty 5K and knowing we helped out the Crouse family this season.

HAE friend, Me, Mom, Megan (cousin) & Sadie

I'm loving...that now I get to go start writing some resolutions! 2012, here I come :)


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top 5 Tuesday: 2011

Woohoo! I have time to blog :) Linking up with Rachel to share my Top 5 from this past year!

1) Movie

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2
I remember sitting in the line for the midnight showing, in Norfolk, with my little brother who was dressed as Draco. I haven't read the HP books, but I love the movies.

Runner Up:
 The Help

Again, haven't read the book (bad, I know) but I loved the movie!

2) TV Show
Modern Family

By far the one show I cannot stand to miss!  I laugh so hard!

Runner Up:
 The Bachelorette

I love The Bachelorette & The Bachelor. Personally, I was glad Ashley chose J.P. and I think Ben was a dumbo for jumping the gun.  However, I can't wait for the new season!

3) Song

Dirt Road Anthem - Jason Aldean

This was my ringtone FOR-EV-ER. It never got old. I also love the version with Ludacris. I love me some Jason Aldean.

Runner Up:
Give Me Everything - Pitbull ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer

I LOVE THIS SONG. You can't listen to this song and not dance. "For all we know, we might not get tomorrow..." How true!?

4) Thing that happened

James (big brother) went on deployment & returned home safely!
He left in January for a six month deployment on the USS Enterprise and returned home safely in July. It was sad to see him leave but I was excited for him that he would get to see so many different parts of the world and have the opportunity to serve our country, as well.  He brought us all back things from different countries.  It was so overwhelming to be there for the Homecoming. I cried tears of joy!

Runner Up:
Steven spent the summer in Martinsville
So by now I'm used to Steven being gone for school, but I was also used to having him here for the summer.  He used to work on campus and we'd get lunch together almost every day.  This past summer was a little different when he played summer baseball in Martinsville, a small town about 1.5 hours from home.  It was tough but I knew that there were some teams that were even farther, so I am thankful he is at least a short drive away.  Still, it was hard to have to spend yet another two months apart - we would go down for games but of course he was on the field and we were in the stands - but I know that playing baseball is what he loves so I was happy for him too! He has already signed a contract to play there again next summer.
He's the pitcher
Excuse the green-only. I was playing around with my camera.

5) Christmas Present

iPhone 4S


Runner Up:
I think they were ALL runner ups...but I'll give it to my new Vera Bradley pieces

Grand Traveler in Floral Nightingale, Betsy in Carnaby and 2011 Ornament in Mocha Rouge

What are your Top 5 for 2011? This is the last link up for this year!

Can't wait to share with y'all the rest of my Christmas day! I'll be on that probably tomorrow :) Steven's birthday is on Friday and then New Year's on Saturday! Such a fun week ahead. I can't wait!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Birthdays & DIY Fun!

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Yes, Momma's birthday is the day after Christmas! Some people think that would be a stinky birthday, but really it's fun! We have two days of fun/presents/goodies.  We're planning on seeing a movie (a tradition) and then we're going to Red Robin for dinner!
I found this idea via Pinterest, modified it a little bit and did some DIY for my Mom's gift.

Here's what I made her:

It was hard to get a picture of all of us since my brother live in Norfolk but I did it!  Yes, there are little things that bug me about it, but she loves it & that's all that matters!

Thank y'all so much for the iPhone case advice! I'm glad I didn't buy the Lilly one without asking for advice! I'm still searching for one, although I looked up the suggestions you gave. There are so many options! If anyone else has some good/protective/cute case advice, let me know :) I am having so much fun with my new phone. Still getting used to it!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I am loving seeing all the Christmas posts. I'll be sure and do my own here in a bit!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Joy to the World!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

I hope everyone is enjoying time with their families, friends and loved ones. Wishing it was a white Christmas, but I'm glad it's safe for everyone traveling! I am so thankful for all of the blessings in my life and am excited for the new year!
Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm a cool kid!

Christmas is almost here! So happy that my brothers are both able to be here, even if only for a short time!

Tonight we are going to have dinner with my cousins, watch some Christmas movies and then go to midnight mass.

Now for the fun news: I got an early Christmas present today...I have finally joined the iPhone world! YAY! My mom walked into my room this morning with a little bag that said Merry Christmas Eve! It was a great way to wake up!

Now I just need Steven to come home so he can show me all the tricks!

I'm also on the search for a case...a store near my house has Lilly cases and I think those are super cute, but I'm going to shop around a bit.  Any recommendations?

I got another early gift from my brother, but I'll save that for the gift post!

Quick sidenote: I love this version of Winter Wonderland by Jason Mraz:

Hope everyone has a lovely evening wherever you are! Don't forget to count your blessings!

Merry Christmas Eve!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Thoughts & Updates

Like a lot of other bloggers, I want to apologize for being so sporadic with my posts! Even though I'm on "break", I have been pretty busy.

Here's a little of what's been going on:
  • On Wednesday, Steven came home! I was very pleasantly surprised to get a text from him saying he was coming home after his last exam that morning. We got to have dinner, watch some movies and get frozen yogurt.  I was very happy! He left today to go back to PA to see his extended family.
  • Steven & I exchanged gifts. More on this to come later (after Christmas) in a "gift" post!
  • My last day of work was so much fun! Pajama day was a success! Pictures to come.
  • The weather this week has been SO un-Christmas like! I am in absolute awe that it hasn't snowed. I cannot remember the last time we went this late into December with no snow!
  • As of tonight, I am done with shopping & wrapping! Thank goodness because the crazy shopping drivers make my anxiety level skyrocket.
  • Tomorrow we are going to Christmas Eve mass at 11:00 pm. I'm really excited - it's one of my favorite masses. I haven't decided yet what I'll wear, though.
  • Tomorrow morning we are doing the Frosty 5K.  This race is sponsored by my old XC coach's store! Proceeds go to the Crouse family - family of the fallen VT officer. My mom, cousin & I are going to walk the race with Sadie. I think it'll be a great way to show support to the family at Christmas time!
  • I was so excited to get my Holly Jolly Swap gift in the mail this week from Ashley! More on this to come later :)
  • I think I will watch The Santa Clause tomorrow, followed by the second and third movies! I have them in a box set. I love them.
  • I think Sadie got more presents than anyone...she is one spoiled pup. I'm so excited for her to open her box of goodies.

I promise I'll try and be better about blogging/commenting! Y'all should know that even if I'm not always commenting, I'm still reading!

Some Holiday Pinterest fun:

Merry Christmas Eve, Eve!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Favorite Things of Christmas!

Today I am linking up with Katelyn of The Bluegrass Belle to share some of my favorite things!

*Sidenote: I tried to do the vlog version with Rachel, but the video didn't match up with the sound & that drives me nuts! I watch other people's when that happens, but when it's my own video...ahhh! Can't stand it. So, here we go!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate...I hate eggnog!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps them! Delicately opening gifts to try and save cute paper is half of my fun on Christmas morning.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I like white lights and have them on my baby tree in my room but we have colored lights on our big, real tree! I definitely prefer white lights outside and I think it looks sleek on a tree, but I like em all. We have some white lights surrounding our entertainment center so we have a good mixture!

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope! Never have and probably never will. Where do you even find that stuff?

5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually right at the beginning of December! My brother used to be very anxious to get out the Christmas stuff.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? We don't have any Christmas specific dishes, but I love everything that goes into our Christmas dinner! We have a big, nice dinner with the family.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Driving to McLean to spend the week with our grandparents...the year we got an easel and now that I look at the pictures Santa's handwriting looks just like Mom's!...the year I got my "Joey" baby doll...ahh I have so many memories!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I honestly cannot remember! I think I just realized on my own but tried to play it cool like I knew all along...

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not usually! I like the idea of that tradition, though. Usually we just go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and open everything the next morning!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lights and TONS of ornaments...old ones, new ones, homemade ones, glass ones, etc. This year i think I put an ornament on practically every branch.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? At Christmas time, I love it :) I love to get one good snow in...and usually in VA, that happens more than once. When/if I need to drive around or we're expecting company...I hate it!

12. Can you ice skate? Yes! I love it :) I took Steven for the first time a couple years ago. He went even though they didn't have any skates in his size! Just pushed through the toe pain...what a sweet guy. It was so much fun! I hope we do it again this year - even though we have to drive to Roanoke to go!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Either my Lee Middleton doll (Joey) or probably every and any Barbie I ever got. I was Barbie obsessed back in the day. A couple of years ago I got a jewelry box that I love, too!

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending time with my family! Looking forward to my brothers coming home & carrying on traditions.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Gingerbread cookies :) I made a gingerbread trifle last year and it was SO good!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?  Christmas Cap'n Crunch for breakfast and watching Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special. I also like getting a new ornament for our tree each year!

17. What tops your tree? We used a gold star for as long as I can remember, but last year it got kind of bent somehow and loose. This past weekend we found a new star at Ashland Berry Farm. We switched it up and got a silver star :)

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I prefer giving! I always spend too much money at Christmas. It doesn't help, though, that my Mom's birthday is the day after Christmas and then Steven's birthday is the 30th! I like to receive, but I really like to see people's reactions to what I give them :) I am always praying that it's a smile!

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Yum, but I only eat (if any) 1 or 2 per season! We don't usually hang them on our tree, either. We have in the past. They aren't my top favorite. 

20. Favorite Christmas show? Elf, Love Actually, Pee Wee's Christmas Special, The Holiday, The Santa Clause....I think I did a whole post on this a while ago!

21. Saddest Christmas Song? CHRISTMAS SHOES. I cannot stand to listen to that song because it makes me so sad! I always turn the radio when it comes on.

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is You. ***NOT the Justin Bieber version - BLECK.

Link up! I would love to read what everyone else has to say :)

Tomorrow at work, per my request, is Pajama Day :) You would not believe how excited the kids are to wear their pajamas to's going to be great! I'll be sure and share pictures :) Today we took their pictures, made Christmas frames and our own wrapping paper to wrap them up! We also played "Just Dance" on the Wii. Too - much - fun.
Lastly, Steven informed me he might pop into town quick tomorrow before they go back up for Christmas! I am so excited for this to possibly happen!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend Loves

Here's a little peek at my weekend in Richmond!

Wine Tasting at James River Winery

Christmas Shopping at Ashland Berry Farm

Lots of Puppy Loving (3 out of the 4)

Going to see Christmas lights Downtown

Having an early Christmas

Got my UVA Dad some Hokie Red wine!
So excited to start cookin'!
Parody on the classic. Cutest book ever.

Happy last week before Christmas :)

I'm off to work today - three full days with the kiddos this week!