Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine's Challenge: Day 2 & Top 5 Tuesday!

Wow. I just realized my posts are going to be filled with link ups. I hope that doesn't annoy y'all. On the weekends I won't have any link ups. I think they're fun though and I really appreciate everyone's comments on my stories! It means a lot that y'all actually read what I write :)

Today's topic is: Worst Date Ever

I honestly can't remember a horrible date! At least, not one that I went on and something terrible or embarrassing happened.
The one day that sticks out in my mind, though, was a Friday night in December of 2008.  I had just gone over to Steven's house and we were going to go to the mall - going to the mall isn't really a "date", but we were going out together, alone.
We went outside and were playing around in the driveway - laughing and chatting. I was sitting on the back of my old car so that we were the same height. When your boyfriend is almost a foot taller than you it hurts to always be craning your neck to talk to him!
Anyway, long story short I teased him and so he picked me up over his shoulder. Then, since I'm such a scaredy cat, I started fidgeting and squirming.
The next thing I know, I'm laying on the ground and Steven is bending over me saying "Come on, hold my hand, we need to go inside."
Yep...I had squirmed so much that he fell backwards, dropped me and I hit my head on the driveway.
[Sidenote: This was before he had his elbow surgery (tommy john) and he had landed right on his elbow...I didn't know this until later and felt so bad]
Blood started running down my neck, into my shirt and on my pants and shoes. I had no idea what was going on & suddenly thought I was going to throw up.
Long story short, we did not end up spending the evening in the mall, but rather the Emergency Room where I got my very first stitches :) And might I add...they were blue. They had to cut some of my hair to do them so for the longest time I had short hair behind my ear. Hair stylists would always say, "Ummm...do you know you have these short pieces?" "Sigh....yes I do, thanks!"

Steven hates that story because he felt so bad. But I know it was a complete accident (and partly my fault) and I like to joke around about it now...I had never, and still haven't, broken a bone and hadn't had stitches so I saw it as a cross off the bucket list! Sort of...haha. There's a first for everything.

That was probably my worst date ever - mostly because we never made it to the "date"! :(
After getting the stitches and a super attractive gauze headband we did get to snuggle & watch a movie on the couch since I was zonked out. That's just as good to me :)

Now for Top 5 Tuesday with Rachel!
Make sure to check out her special post today - she's having an Emi Jay giveaway! :) If you don't know about Emi Jay...you're probably going to want to.

January Favorites

1. Olay Ultra Moisture Lotion with Shea Butter

Love this stuff. I bought a trial size in the "airport aisle", as I like to call it, in Target and it's amazing! It has a nice Olay smell and has been a life saver during these dry, wintery January days - and let me tell you...my skin gets D-R-Y! It's very uncomfortable. The trial size is perfect to put in my cosmetic bag that I take everywhere.

2. Winter Break
Steven, his brothers and me on Steven's birthday!
The first two weeks of January were spent still on Winter Break making them much more preferred than the last two weeks. I had such a wonderful time with Steven and his family and also my family. I was so happy to have my brothers home. I'm already ready for Spring Break...and Summer Break...ohhhh boy.

3. Beauty and the Beast
January was the month that my favorite Disney Princess movie was re-released in theaters! I know y'all are probably tired of hearing me talk about it, but it definitely is worth a re-mention :)
...barely even frieennnnds, then somebody bennnnds, unexpectedlyyyyy...

4. The Sugar Bowl
Even though we came out defeated, I was still so proud of my Hokies for going to the Sugar Bowl down in New Orleans. Mom, Steven and I watched at Bull & Bones with nachos & margaritas. It was a tough game to watch but I'm proud of the boys and excited for next season!

5. Instagram
We made cupcakes at work. YUM.
Since receiving my iPhone in December, I have developed a strong love for Instagram. I love documenting little things in my life and making them look neat. It's also helping me in my Project 365 challenge.
I'm also loving seeing all the posts about where to get your Instagram pictures printed! I would love to do a collage or something with them. Or maybe put them in a book. I'm not sure. If you have Instagram - I'm slryan3 :)

What about January stands out to you?

Lastly...who watched The Bachelor last night!? Ben needs to turn things around. I just can't believe he is keeping Courtney who is so rude and sending home Jennifer who actually has a nice personality and good intentions. He needs to be slapped in the face. That is all.

Today is an early release so I get to spend five hours with the kiddos :)
I'm used to working on Mondays, but this semester I have class at 4:00. I miss seeing them on Mondays! Therefore, I am very happy it's an early release. More time to catch up :)

Have a great day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fabulous Valentine's Challenge: Day 1

First of all, thank you all for the sweet comments yesterday. Mom is feeling well enough to go to work & will hopefully be in a boot later this week :)
Over the next two weeks I'm going to be linking up with Neely, Amber and Casey for their Fabulous Valentine's Challenge!

Today's topic is: Loved This Date - Best Date Ever

I have had a ton of "best dates" but that's because it doesn't take much for me to think a date is the best one! In fact I can't really think of any bad ones.
Going bowling, putt-putting or making a homemade meal together can make me smile from ear to ear!
Since Steven and I don't get many date nights throughout the year, I value each one we do get. Our favorite date night is definitely dinner & a movie.

However, the date that stands out in my mind is my 18th birthday. Steven told me we were going somewhere in Roanoke, but wouldn't tell me where. He picked me up & we started driving.
Sidenote: this is huge for him. I'm usually the one having to decide what we do! I was excited, but scared. We had been together for almost a year by this point.
We got to Roanoke and walked into the mall. Not many clues came to mind seeing as the mall has a lot of stores.
We go up the escalator & I know exactly what store is at the top.
Build-a-Bear Workshop.

I don't care if this makes me sound like a baby, but I was so happy! I got to make a penguin (one of my favorite animals) and he still sleeps on my bed to this day.
I was not only thrilled to be going to Build-a-Bear (the last time I was there was quite a while ago) but it meant so much that Steven planned the whole night himself. He planned a special surprise, just for me, and that means more than any gift.
Not my picture - but this is the penguin I made! Isn't he adorable?

Afterwards we went to Abuelo's for a birthday dinner! The same place we both went for our 21st's this past year. YUM!

Coming in at a close second would be our day-trip to Disney! Even though his parents were there, so it wasn't really completely a date.

I also know my best date might change in twelve days when we go to the game I got tickets for for Steven's birthday! Can't wait!

Also - did anyone else watch the SAG Awards? I was so happy that Modern Family won best cast ensemble for a comedy series. That was a tough category, but I think they deserve it. That show is hilarious!
I was also so glad to see The Help win so many categories. That was a great movie with even greater actors. They deserve it!

Hope y'all have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Verse

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
I'm at home helping my Mom who fell & is now on crutches with a chipped bone in her ankle and a sprained wrist! Yesterday was kind of exhausting, but we got some good Redbox movies & a pizza. Hoping she can get in a walking boot soon because the crutches are a pain! Thankfully we have a rolling computer chair that she is rolling around the house in :)

Don't forget to go enter Lindsey @ Keep It Classy, Alabama's 3rd blogoversary giveaway!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Navy Knot

Just when I thought I'd found the preppiest, cutest website ever...I am proved wrong!
I got a Twitter follow request from The Navy Knot and after checking out their website, I was quick to follow them back!

The Navy Knot celebrates coastal style - my favorite :) - and also has tons of monogramming options! Another favorite!

Here are some of the first things that caught my eye:

In VA we have to have both license plates on but if I lived elsewhere I would definitely have this!

There are so many cute things, I wish I could post the whole website! They even have iPad sleeves and cases!
The best part is that everything is reasonably priced. They are also doing free shipping if you buy 2 items! Not hard to do...

Go check 'em out & find them on Twitter here and Facebook here!

Also, check out Lindsey's giveaway today on her blog! She is having super fun blogoversary giveaways!


*I was not asked or paid to do this post, I just seriously love monograms & the beach...so when the two come together: heaven.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday's Fancies & OOTW

Today's Friday Fancie with {av} was supposed to be a blog swap where you are paired with another blog & you create a look for them! I decided not to participate this week, but I might the next time!

If you chose not to partake in the swap, the theme was either create-your-own, or Winter Wonderland!

Since today feels more like Spring, I decided I'd go ahead and imagine there is snow on the ground, school is cancelled, I have a big cup of hot cocoa and the whole day to myself!

Here's what I'd wear :)

Vest, jewelry, leggings, bag are J. Crew
Shirt/moccasins are L.L. Bean.
Random Mittens
Top Shop scarf

P.S. I love mittens.

This Friday I'm also joining Rachel to share my Outfits of the Week!
This is such a good idea! I don't do OOTD's very often, so this is a good excuse. Let me know what y'all think & maybe I'll try and do them more often! It would help if I had an easier way to take the picture...sorry about my awkward iPhone-ness.

Also, first of all, you will have to excuse the weird splatter/smudge on my mirror. Last summer I was spraying on suntan lotion & didn't realize it hit my mirror...it doesn't want to come off.

Second of all, you need to know that I have outfit A.D.D. Sometimes I wear two outfits a day because I get bored, cold, hot, itchy, etc. It's a miracle if I wake up, put on one thing and actually stay in it without changing before I leave, let alone stay in it all day.

I also sometimes change for work because I don't want to wear a dress/skirt. Sometimes I do, but these days when I get out of work it's cold! Plus I have touchy-feely Preschoolers to worry about.


Shirt: LOFT
Cardigan: Old Navy
Scarf: Old Navy
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Target

Yes, I mix black cardigans and brown boots. I also mix gold & silver. I like it.


Shirt: LOFT
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Rack Room
Peacoat: Old Navy

I love that coat. If y'all need a good 3/4 sleeve, mid-length coat look for this one! It might be leaving stores so maybe you'll catch it on clearance :) I got it during a super save event for only $30!


Blouse: Old Navy
Cardigan: J. Crew
Pants: Old Navy
Flats: Old Navy

This was taken at HAE :) Behind me is the reading loft in my Mom's library.


Shirt in both: LOFT
Cardigan in both: Target
Scarf: Gift
Jeggings: Lauren Conrad for Kohl's
Flats: Old Navy
{my favorite} Boots: Rack Room (Steve Madden look-a-likes)

I wouldn't have normally changed that outfit to work, but I promised a kindergartener I would wear my brown boots so we could match :) You don't want to disappoint a five-year-old!


Left (school):
Dress: Old Navy
Jean Jacket: Old Navy
Leggings: Target
Boot Socks: LOFT
Boots: Rack Room

Right (work):
Shirt: LOFT
Jean Jacket: Old Navy
Pants: J. Crew

Of course, that's just what I have on for work now...but I have one more hour so WHO KNOWS what I'll actually go in.

Okay, so clearly I shop a lot at Old Navy. Whoops.

Even if you didn't take pictures all week, take one today and share! :)
Hope this post wasn't too fashion-y!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's Ok Thursday :)

Time for It's Ok Thursday!

It's Ok...

...to start envisioning spring outfits. It got to 60 degrees today! :) :)

...to wake up early to iron three shirts, and then not end up wearing any of them.

...to come home to find out the maintenance inspection people came and your room looks like a hurricane!

...to pretend like you didn't see Beauty and the Beast when a third-grader wants to share all the previews/highlights with you. Just play along :)

...to take a moment and freak out because the real world is just around the corner.

...to scream at your roommate under your breath because everything she does annoys you. Or just blog about it.

...to want to cry every time Pinterest pops up with that 502 error message.
...to sit and cringe for an hour at the thought of reading for homework because you really just want to be reading The Hunger Games.

...to like kid movies more than grown up movies AND be really excited about this:

Anyone else?

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Whew, Wednesday already! Can't believe how fast the week is going. That's a good thing :)

Time to share what I'm loving!

I'm loving that I started my first semester of Internship! This semester I am combining work hours at GLE with a few hours a week at HAE where I'm helping in a 1st grade classroom! HAE (the school my Mom works at) is like my second home and I'm thankful to be helping in the classrooms now!

I'm loving that I'm one month away from watching my favorite baseball boy in action! They're kicking off the season at the end of February in Davidson, NC. So excited!!

I'm loving the 50 degree weather that made its way to Virginia this week! Very thankful to see the sun.

I'm loving the Emoji keyboard on the iPhone. It makes texting (and tweeting) so much more fun! I just wish non-iPhone users could see them :(

I'm loving American Idol! It's back on tonight with new auditions :)

I'm loving my wonderful blog friends. I am thankful for all of you every day!

I'm loving that Moneyball got quite a few Oscar noms! It was a really good movie. Definitely recommend it - especially if you like baseball...or Brad Pitt :) Jonah Hill is also in it & did an amazing job in a more "serious" role than normal.

I'm loving these pins:
(Follow me here!)

What are you loving today?
Link up with Jamie!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog

Good evening, loves!

A couple of weeks ago a contributor at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog contacted me after seeing my Pinterest Bucket List post.

As some of you know (and the rest will know closer to our event when I do a post), I am very active in my university's Relay For Life chapter. I am all for doing whatever I can to help and support those who are suffering from cancer or those who have a loved one suffering from cancer. Part of our efforts also has to do with raising money for research to fight cancer, especially my committee - Fundraising! Most of you probably know this since Relay is all over the world! So, I'm always willing to do what I can to provide resources. I never know who is going to run across my blog & what their specific needs/wants may be.

Anyway, she has written this piece for me to share with my readers about how blogging can help you set & achieve your goals!

There are many times in a person's life where setting goals can provide the motivation and encouragement to move forward. For a lot of individuals, after receiving a negative prognosis for an illness like mesothelioma, breast cancer or even diabetes--one is left to manage their quality of life throughout treatment. Setting goals is harder to do that simply saying them out loud and hoping that they will come true. In order to achieve success and make progress with your goals, it is important to write them down, share them with others and receive encouragement and accountability. Blogging is often the solution to this problem. Blogging allows people of all ages, races, physical conditions and locations to communicate with one another to set goals and reach them. Here are just some of the many benefits of setting goals via a blog:

Allows for Expression: It can be hard for people to openly admit their goals and dreams to friends and family. Lofty ambitions might be hard to share with those close to you, especially if you are struggling with your health. However, an online blog is idea to write down your deepest dreams and ambitions.

Opportunities for Encouragement: With billions of people who use the Internet each day, there are countless potential opportunities for you to receive encouragement from other thanks to a blog. If you feel comfortable, you can even share your blog with friends and family. Often it is easier to let them see your goals in their own time and in private, where you might not feel judged. Blogs also allow new friends from around the world who may be in a similar situation to comment and leave encouraging words on each post that you write, which can be incredibly uplifting for anyone.

Get Advice: Thanks to the internet, it is possible to find other people going through the same situation. For some people, it can be enlightening to read of a person also going through a divorce, or cancer treatments, or even a job loss. You might even be able to learn something new about the situation from someone who already dealt with it in the past. Celebrate their successes while implementing what you learn into your own life.

Accountability: It is quite common to set goals as you enter a new year or even a new stage of life. Most goals, unfortunately, will be forgotten about a few weeks or months into the year. Hold yourself accountable to these goals by writing about them on your blog and sharing your progress weekly or perhaps monthly. Knowing that people look forward to your progress and results can force you to stick to your goals, whether they are creative, physical or mental.

Blogging is the perfect way to set goals and stick to them, thanks to the encouragement, accountability, advice and expression it allows.

Thank you Melanie for sharing this!
The link to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog is listed with the rest of my favorite blog buttons!
If you or someone you know is in need of this resource, please follow the link to the blog! It has lots of helpful facts & figures.

I'll be back tomorrow with WILW!

Top 5 Tuesday: Favorite Recipes :)

I'm linking up today with Rachel for another Top 5 Tuesday!

It was really hard to pick only five for this one! There are so many dishes that I love.

1. Appetizer

Yummmm. I love getting this at restaurants with little pita slices or chips! My mom even made some at home last month - so good.

2. Side Dish

I love sweet potatoes! I love lots of vegetables, actually, but this is my favorite. I love the flavor of the brown sugar on them in this dish!

3. Main Dish

I love all Italian food! Lasagna is one of my favorites, and you can play around with ingredients/make it vegetarian. It's usually a fan favorite! Also easy to make :)

4. Dessert
(this is a toughy)

My grandma used to make these all the time! We called them Dolly Parton bars (or maybe that was just me?) They are so sweet and so delicious!

I also love...

So easy to make & soooo delicious! (Unless you have a peanut allergy, in which case I am dearly sorry.)
Eeeeek my favorite cookie - besides oatmeal chocolate chip!

5. Drink

Champagne. Fruit. Cherries.
Tried this at Olive Garden a few weeks ago and I loveeeee it.

What are your favorite recipes?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Two Reviews & Upcoming Movies!

One of my favorite things to do is go to the movie theater! Where I live, we have one big movie theater and one local, smaller movie theater downtown called The Lyric. The Lyric shows movies a couple of weeks after they leave the big theater - and for only $5 :) Although it's a smaller theater, I love to see movies there!

This weekend I saw two movies that I want to share with you!

Extremely Loud & Incredible Close

I saw this on Saturday at the big theater with Mom. It was a really good movie! It was quite sad, but very good and worth the watch. The story is about a little boy who loses his father on 9/11. He then embarks on a journey to find something that his Dad left him - he just doesn't know what he's looking for. All he has is a key. It's a wonderful story and based off a book by Jonathon Safran Foer.
The little boy is an incredible actor especially for this being his first big movie. Also starring is Tom Hank and Sandra Bullock! Faves!
I would recommend this movie! It does have some funny parts, but I'd still bring your Kleenex ;)

The Muppets
I went to see The Muppets yesterday with Mom, my Aunt and cousins at The Lyric! At first I didn't want to go, but I'm glad I did! I don't remember ever watching the Muppets before (in fact, I didn't know many of their names...just the really popular ones like Kermit and Miss Piggy) but I figured I'd go ahead and give it a shot. I'm a movie lover - I like to see a variety of films! Overall, this movie was much better than I thought it would be! It was really funny in a way I can't explain...you just have to see it!
The cast was great, too! Jason Segel and Amy Adams are the main stars, but there are appearances by Jack Black, Neil Patrick Harris, Emily Blunt, Whoopi Goldberg, Selena Gomez, Sarah Silverman & more. Lots of cameos!
Even if you don't think you're a Muppet fan like I did, I would definitely recommend seeing this when it hits the Redbox :)
Are there any Muppet fans out there? Have you seen this movie and did you like it?

Two movies in one weekend was quite the treat :)
Now here are some upcoming movies I'm excited to see!
(the first two pictures are so similar!)

February 10

April 20

February 3

March 2

March 16

April 6

April 27

May 11

Among many, many more! (Ice Age 4...MIB 3...Snow White and the Huntsman...Finding Nemo in 3-D...)
Don't want to overload this post too much!

Are you excited to see any of those? Which will be your favorite?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!