Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Why Everyone Needs An Ashley Around

Happy Tuesday, y'all! This title may seem a little conceited, but I assure you I am not talking about myself today! 

Back in November, I did a blog post on, "Why Everyone Needs A Melanie Around" in honor of one of my best friend's birthdays. As previously mentioned, the post was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Dana Mannarino, creator of The Champagne Edit, who did a blog post in honor of her best friend for their birthday. 

And I couldn't help but want to do one more post like this for my best friend, Ashley. Ashley and I have been friends since sixth grade, so we are going on 15 years of friendship at this point. I honestly have no doubt that Ashley and I will be friends well into our elder years - definitely my life long friend! 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Family Christmas Traditions + 4 Decorating Tips

Today I am hitting you with some of my favorite holiday family traditions, which probably many of you do too! The most popular one in my family is Gingerbread House making! My family is super competitive so we always talk crap to each other during the process - it's the best, haha! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Life Update + Things To Come

Happy Tuesday Everyone! I say, 'Happy Tuesday' but in all honesty, I've been in quite a funk lately and I feel like this week is just dragging on! Come on Fridayyyyy! Anyways, I'm here with a little bit of a life update and what's to come on the blog in the upcoming months. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Why Everyone Needs A Melanie Around

I was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Dana Mannarino, creator of The Champagne Edit, when she recently shared a blog post titled "Why Everyone Needs An Elle Around," in honor of her best friend's birthday.

So it goes without saying but this post is dedicated to one of my best friends, Melanie -- and why everyone needs a "Melanie" in their life. Happy Birthday Best Friend!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fall Friday Recipe: Stuffed Pepper Soup - Under $12!

HAPPY FRIDAY, Y'ALL! I am excited to bring you another crock-pot recipe today! If you missed last week's recipe, it was Slow Cooker Chili With Beans. This week it's a Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup! Are any of y'all lovers of stuffed peppers?! I do like them and they are so easy to make, but I have to say I prefer the soup over that for sure because this recipe was so yummy!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Fall Friday Recipe: Slow Cooker Chili - Under $15!

I've been wanting to share some of my favorite and cheap crock pot recipes for the fall, so I decided I'd do a mini blog series with these dishes and post them on a few Friday's throughout the month of November!

The first one up is just my go-to chili with beans! I say 'with beans' because you're basically patronized in my family if you call it Texas chili, but it has beans. Most Texas things I'm all for, but this one seems kinda nuts but I knew if I didn't say something, someone would comment on it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Work Talk: 5 Fundraising Tips You Should Know

During the month of October, Austin Community College participates in the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) and for the last two years, I have volunteered to be a Campus Coordinator for the campaign and have loved it!

As a coordinator, we are in charge of scheduling and creating events throughout the month to raise funds for ANY charity we choose that falls under the campaign, as well as encouraging others to donate. Although we can choose any charity we want, we tend to always choose to give the proceeds to the ACC Foundation, as it helps with student scholarships. A bonus of choosing the ACC Foundation as our primary focus, is that the Foundation will MATCH what is raised up to $20,000! It's definitely an exciting month for me as it keeps me extra busy and I love knowing I'm helping a good cause.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Five Things I Desperately Need To Remember

I didn't expect to publish a blog post today. It's typical for me to randomly come up with an idea that I want to discuss on the blog, but it's just added to my master list and I'll plan out when I want to post it and so on. Today was different. Today my wheels got to turning and I just felt led to say a few things. Some of these are things I feel I may have known, but were really placed on my heart today. I hope at least one of these helps you in some way. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

In Honor of My 26th Birthday: 26 Facts About Me

Actual Birthday: October 20th

Welp, I am officially way closer to 30 than I want to be, but cheers to 26! In honor of growing another year older and this being the first birthday I celebrate since I started my blog, I figured it would be fun to do a post with a little more about me - I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Meet My Sisters - Mom & Farm Life vs. Travel & Van Life

It's rare I get to see both of my half sisters at the same time, so when I found out my sister Tiffany would be traveling to TN, my mom and I jumped on the opportunity to see them both. I guess upon thinking of our little reunion, this blog post idea came to me in a dream, and needless to say, I ran with it. My half sisters live completely different lifestyles, both of which I find equally intriguing, so it brought on the idea of interviewing each of them on their view on life and comparing the two.

Not only was it a joy to see my sisters at the same time, but to learn more about who they are and what their life means to them was so much fun for me. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Tennessee Dreaming - Part II

For those that do not know, I try to take annual trips to Tennessee to visit my sister, Tambrey and her family. I published a blog post back in March regarding our previous trip and I plan to make one every time I visit as Tennessee has such a special place in my heart. To go back and read a little back story, click here

This trip was a rather spontaneous one as we found out my other sister, Tiffany would be able to go around the same time. We jumped on the opportunity, and it was such short notice that we couldn't stay in our normal cabins because they were already booked. Fortunately for us though, Tambrey was kind enough to allow us to stay with her and the family (which is huge if you don't know - 7 kiddos!). Tiffany had recently had a birthday so we were also planning a surprise party for her as well. And we kept it a secret... all the way up until the morning of. #oopsydaisy

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Family Fun at Volente Beach

Volente Beach Water Park on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas.
Here is beautiful overview of the park. Volente Beach has many things to offer to a family looking for a fun day. From the gift shop and restaurant, to the volleyball court, children's play area, fun slides, and the main pool - there's something for everyone!
The company my dad works for will have a company party each year and several times it has been at Volente Beach, so it's somewhere I've grown accustom to visiting every so often. However, it had been a while since his last company party was held here, so it was nice to revisit and see some of the things that had been added since the last time it was hosted at Volente.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Meal Prep Sunday: Seafood Edition

Good Afternoon! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I spent Saturday at Volente Beach for my dad's company party, so stay tuned - I'll be sharing about that on the blog Wednesday!

I enjoyed writing last week's post about getting back on track with Sunday Meal Preps so much, that I decided I might do this fairly often as it may potentially help someone else, and just hold me accountable. I probably won't post every single meal prep as some of them will probably be repeated & get pretty basic but I'll definitely start sharing my favorites! If you missed last weeks post, I have linked it here.

This week I made parmesan crusted tilapia & shrimp over a bed of cilantro-lime rice, with a broccoli, cauliflower, & carrot medley. Yum, yum, & yum.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Favorite Healthy Alternative: Protein Pancakes

Good morning, friends! Happy Thursday!

Y'ALL. One thing to know about me is I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth & unfortunately, this can often get me in trouble.. I can't be the only one, right?!

I have recently been caring more and more about fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which means that I am always looking for easy recipes that help me reach my goals, especially those that curve my never ending sweet tooth, haha!

Which is why I want to share my current favorite healthy alternative: PROTEIN PANCAKES. To be more specific, Banana Oatmeal Protein Pancakes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Girls Weekend + Weezer Concert

Phew! I had a busy, yet wonderful weekend! From a concert with the bestie, to my nephew's pool party, to a mini sleepover with a little girl I babysit - I had a fairly eventful weekend!

One of my best friends, Melanie, scored some tickets to the Weezer concert for Saturday night at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin. I have never been to the F1 track for a concert, or actually ever, so this was a cool experience for me. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Paisley's First Birthday!

I have mentioned before that I share a close bond with some of my cousins. One of which is Brittany, and her little peanut, Paisley Diane, turned ONE on April 26th. I was so fortunate and honored to take the lead on planning this birthday for our sweet girl Pais, with the help of Brittany of course, Kayla (other cousin, sister of Brittany), and my mom. I truly feel that what I had envisioned for this very special day came to life and hope it's a day Brittany and her fiance, Nate can look back on and cherish forever. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Paisley's First Easter!

What a special day with family! For Paisley's first Easter, we all went to my momma's church (Crystal Lake Baptist Church) Sunday morning, then went to my momma's house afterwards for lunch and Paisley's first Easter egg hunt!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Enchanted Rock: March 2018

Enchanted Rock is located near Fredericksburg, Texas and is what Kylie & I like to call a "Texas Mountain." It is certainly a great day trip for any and everyone.

 Enchanted Rock has been a very special place for my family and I for years. We have been several times, but this was my first time going as not only an adult, but well, the only adult on the trip. For those of you who do not know, this sweet gem in all the pictures below is my cousin, Kylie. I have a very close relationship with my cousins, but especially this one. She is smart, quirky, sassy, funny, kind, and beautiful. I truly look at her as if she was my niece or little sister. I have been wanting to take Kylie here for quite some time, and this Spring Break we finally made that happen and it was the best day I've had in a long time.

Simply Beautiful

The moment I saw this church when we arrived in New York, I knew I'd need a picture of it at some point. I remember making Dominic run through the snow to take this picture (I wasn't wearing water resistant boots) and it came out better than I could have hoped for. The timing of this photo couldn't have been more perfect; the way the sun was setting in the background was absolutely breathtaking in my opinion (photo is completely unedited). I can say without a doubt, this ended up being my favorite photo from our whole trip. 

Upstate New York is Breathtaking

I want to start off by saying, this post will be lengthy to say the least. Our most recent visit to NY (December 24th, 2017 - January 6th, 2018) was a two week trip so there is many photos and memories to share. 
For those that do not know, Dominic was born and raised in Upstate New York. Both of his grandparents reside in Germantown, NY, which is where majority of the photos are from. I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to not only experience the beauty that Upstate NY has to offer, but also for the time to grow closer with his incredible family. 

This view is outside the home of Dominic's grandmother, Toni, also known as the beautiful and brilliant, Nana. She's a life-long blogger and poet. Show her some love & check out her blog here

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Take Me Back to Colorado

I still have so much traveling in the U.S. that I want to do, but I don't doubt that Colorado will always be one of my favorite places to visit. I have only been twice thus far, but I suspect many more trips in the future. My first time was for my cousin, Kayla's high school graduation a few years ago, and the second time was a friends trip in December of 2016. Most of these photos will be from our most recent trip, but I'll probably throw in a few of my favorites from the first time too! Crazy how much time has already passed since then, but I love looking back at these wonderful memories!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Detailed Blue Apron Review

Dominic and I were fortunate enough to have a friend of ours send us free meals through Blue Apron to try it out (Shout out to Araceli & Hunt - we love y'all!). We were able to either get two meals for free or pay $14 to receive three meals total for two people. We decided that was too good of a deal to pass up so we took advantage of that and chose the three meal option. 
One of the first pros I want to point out to Blue Apron is that you have the unlimited option to skip weeks when either they don't have meals you're interested in, or you'd prefer to shop on your own, or if you have other stuff going on that week. 

Tennessee Dreaming

One of my sisters lives in a small town about an hour outside of Jackson, Tennessee. And not to brag, but she has a gorgeous piece of property. I’m always just in awe of the view from her front porch – there’s nothing like seeing her horses in the pasture that’s surrounded by beautiful tall trees. 
For those of you who do not know, this lovely sister of mine has seven children, and now one grandchild as of February 2017. And you’d never guess she’s had that many children – tip top shape… probably because those littles of hers keep her on her toes! Haha. Anyway, this is the most recent family photo they took for their 2017 Christmas cards. From left to right: My Brother-in-law, sister, four of my nephews, my twin nieces, my oldest nephew, his fiance, and their sweet boy - my first great nephew! They are such a beautiful family, right?! This picture was taken on their pasture. 

Mozambique, Africa

Back in the summer of 2008, my mom and I attended a mission trip with True Vineyard Ministries to Mozambique, Africa. While this was not a recent trip, I figured this was a good place to start with my blog because it’s a trip I will never forget. The purpose of this trip was truly to share the word of God with those that had never heard about Him before.

As I sat down and realized I wanted to write this post, my mom and I decided to go over it together as it's been almost ten years (whoa) since we went. In a way, we could relive the memories and piece together anything that I couldn't remember as clearly. With that said, my mom made the comment that truly sums up this experience;

"They were truly hungry for God. They have little to nothing and God is more than enough for them. We have so many materialistic things here, and sometimes God isn't enough for us. I'd rather have 'nothing' and have God, than to have everything and not have God at all."