Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Round Up

Uhm, so wait January is over?! This month has flown by, and has been jam packed with events and to do lists. I have so loved blogging this year! I can already tell that the blog will be so cool to look back on later. Here are a few of my favorite posts from January. I loved writing these and reading your comments! 

  



  

       


      



January was great! It amazes me how much we fit into our schedules. I know February will be just as busy, but I like to stay busy. Lots of new posts to come! Thanks for reading!!
Leave me a comment: How is your 2015 shaping up?



Friday, January 30, 2015

This Week: January 30th

I'm Watching: I'm finally on the last season of Gilmore Girls on Netflix! I keep feeling like I have to finish it, but I know I will be sad when I do. 
Also I was watching Good Morning America yesterday and was introduced to Jerome the Vine guy-I don't have a Vine, but these videos are hysterical. I especially love the one where he whispers I love you to the random sunbathing guy. I seriously can't stop laughing! Lara obviously has a crush on this guy too. 

I'm Reading: So I randomly found out that there is a large group of German people who have recently migrated to my town. Suddenly I am very interested in learning to speak German! So, I have been reading a lot of basic German, and trying to pronounce the words correctly. It helps that I have a friend who is originally from Germany and she has helped me a lot with this random hobby. 

I'm Listening to: I mentioned this 2 weeks ago, but I really love Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. I love it even more now that I've seen the music video. Ugh, so romantic. 

I'm Wishing For: A whole new wardrobe. Do you guys have those days when you just literally hate every clothing item you own? Thats me this week. 

I Need to: I am in desperate need of a mani/pedi! I have no time to go to a nail salon, but I also feel like I don't even have the time to sit, do them myself and let them dry. 

I'm Looking Forward to: While I'm so excited we have tons of fun things coming up, I'm also completely overwhelmed by it. My calendar is quite literally filled through May, with maybe a weekend free in there somewhere! What I'm most excited about though, is that fact that I'm going to be an Auntie for the 3rd time this spring! With that comes a baby shower that I have yet to plan...

I'm Making: Tonight we are making these 'healthier' pancakes. They look so yummy, and strawberries were on sale this week!

In Case You Missed It: I had fun writing posts this week! 


      


Leave me a comment: How was your week? 




Thursday, January 29, 2015

Honey and Orange Chicken

We eat a ton of chicken at our house, so I'm always looking for a way to jazz it up a little bit. This is a recipe for an easy marinade that does just that (especially with the tequila!). You will have to try it and tell me what you think!

Hover to Pin!

Honey and Orange Chicken

Serves 4

Combine in a zip-lock bag or sealable bowl:

1/4 tequila
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon minced garlic
zest and juice of 1 orange
a handful of chopped cilantro
salt and pepper
2-4 chicken breasts

Seal and refrigerate for atleast 1 hour. 

Grill or bake! We enjoy serving this chicken over rice with fresh salsa!




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Good, The Bad & The Pugly of Owning a Pug

Blake and I have had Delly, our black pug, for almost 4 years. We were approaching our 1st anniversary, and I really wanted a dog. Blake's family has a pug, Willy, who is now approaching 11 years old. (he is pictured below) I had only met Willy a few times before we got married, and wasn't a huge fan (sorry buddy.) So, when researching dogs - pugs were not at the top of my list. I thought they were cute, but like ugly cute. Willy was a little smelly, and seemed overweight to me. (really sorry Willy!) Right around the time I basically decided I wanted a Beagle or a hound dog like that, we found out a friend of a friend was a pug breeder, and her pug just had puppies. So, I decided to go a look at them...big mistake right?! How can anyone look at a puppy and not want to take it home. So, I did! Well 8 weeks later anyway. 

Delly got her name from my brother-in-law. Picking a name was so hard, and we were bouncing off ideas when Bryan said "What about Delicatessen?" Delicatessen is my favorite word, and I'm sure he meant it as a joke, but it stuck! Her paperwork says her official name is Delicatessen, but we've always called her Delly. 

Now, I am a full on pug person! I really would like to have 2, and I'm working on convincing Blake about that. I really can't imagine our life without Delly! If you are considering getting a pug, this post is for you. I have put together a list of great things about pugs, and a few things that are not so great. 

Delly at 8 weeks old!
Delly at 3 months old!


Delly at 3.5 years!
Our Family Portrait


The Good: 
-They make people smile. This has to be my favorite thing about pugs. Anytime we are on a walk or in a park and people see Delly they just start grinning. They are so cute, and bring joy to everyone. I love it when a pug does the head-tilt...heart melting! They are total clowns, and provide hours of entertainment. 

-Pugs are total lap dogs. Apparently pugs were bred to sit on the laps of emperors in China. They love people, and they love cuddling. They will be your constant companion, even if that means following you to the bathroom. If you want a buddy, pugs are for you.

-Great with kids. We don't have any kids yet, but when my niece and nephew poke Delly or pull her tail she just sits there calmly. She is incredibly patient with them! In fact, unless I intervene I think she would let them hurt her. Delly will even bring her toys to them to play with. My niece chases her around the house squealing, and Delly loves it. She does lick them though.

-Pugs are incredibly smart. We have found that pugs are pretty easy to train, and keep trained. It probably helps that they are very motivated by treats. Potty-training took about 6 months. When she did have an accident, most of the time it was our fault- like we were gone too long. She learned to sit, lie down, beg, kennel herself, and she also knows 'where's your bone?'. We are still working on rolling over-but I think it's true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Delly also likes to test our limits-just like a kid would! She wants to see if we will follow through on a 'NO'. Being consistent is key.

-Minimal activity required. Delly is super low maintenance when it comes to activity. She naps most of the day, and has quick bursts of energy to play. This is great if you don't have time for long walks or a yard for a dog to run around in.

The Bad:

-Pugs shed, a lot. We have a lint roller by the front door, just because inevitably we have dog hair on us. The shedding is very manageable. There are brushes that help remove the hair, and if you do that at least every other day, it really isn't a problem. We also vacuum regularly, and have even been complimented about the seeming absence of pet hair. 

-They are noisy. Pugs don't bark too much, but they make plenty of other noises! They have short noses which makes breathing difficult for them. Pugs have to use a harness (not a collar) for this reason. Delly snores, and breathes really loud when she gets excited. I do not enjoy car rides for this reason-until she gets calmed down I can't even hear myself think!

-They have weight issues. As I said before Pugs are so motivated by food. Delly scarfs down her breakfast, like she is never seen food before. You have to stay strict with their diet, and make sure they are getting exercised-or they will get overweight fast. Our vet wants Delly to be at 20lbs, right now she is about 22. We are working on it!

-Pugs can't take the heat. This is not so good as we live in Florida. This means pugs are not outside dogs! Nor should they be left out for long periods of time. It comes from that short neck and thick fur-they just can't get cool! Also, pugs hate the rain. Delly refuses to go outside when it is raining. This means that I have to follow her around with an umbrella. 

The Ugly (or Pugly):

-Anal Glads. Ok, going to get gross for a second. Every dog has 2 anal glands that leave a scent. This is why dogs love to smell other dogs poop, FYI. Most dogs have no problem with their glands-but pug's glands tend to get blocked. This can lead to at the very least a smelly odor, or the dog scooting on the carpet. Now, I've looked up on Youtube how to express the glands yourself-but lets be honest I'm not doing that. Bleh. So about every 2 months Delly goes to the vet and they help her out. 

-Cleaning the Wrinkles. One of the charming things about pugs are their face wrinkles and rolls! But, they can also get dirt and crud in their wrinkles which can make them super smelly! We use a baby wipe at least every other day to clean out Delly's wrinkles. This can be super gross if not kept up with! It is quite funny to tell the house sitter that he/she has to clean out the wrinkles. One of our sitters said "I didn't know they were so deep!!" Cracks me up everytime. 



Delly and Willy
Most pug owners would agree that while pugs do have a few maintenance issues, they are amazing dogs. They are your constant companion and snuggle buddy! We wouldn't trade Delly for the world. I even like Willy now too - I think my first impressions of him were wrong, like I caught him on a day his wrinkles hadn't been cleaned. Pug people are the best people too! I love finding out when a celebrity is a pug owner, it makes me like them so much more! 

Leave me a comment: Do you have a pug? Are you thinking of getting one? What are your favorite things about pugs? Least favorite?





Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bible Highlights: Judges 5-7

Judges 6:15
"Gideon answered him: 'Pardon me, Jehovah. How can I save Israel? Look My clan is the least in Manasseh, and I am the most insignificant in my father's house.'"

We can learn a lot from Gideon's modesty mentioned at Judges 6:15. He could have jumped at the opportunity at becoming a national hero, but instead he implied that there was probably someone better for the job. We can also be modest when we are entrusted with responsibility, and avoid egotistical thinking about our privileges. In fact we can remember that Gideon was only successful because he had God's backing, and that was because he was modest. 


You can read the Bible online for free at JW.org

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Unpopular Opinion

Have you ever been at a party and the conversation turns to something that you just can't relate to at all? I'm talking about something that literally the entire group agrees with and you are the only one not nodding in agreement. 
For example: I'm often the only morning person in the group while everyone is talking about how they just wish they could sleep until noon. or: I've seen every episode of Doctor Who and I do not understand why people like it so much. or: naps. I hate naps!!
Oh how my teenage self would just love not to stand out in situations like this! I would have just smiled and nodded. Now, I love my unpopular opinions! I don't mind being different if it means being myself.
Hover to Pin!

My main unpopular opinion? I love Mondays!
While most people dread Monday, I look forward to them! To me Mondays mean routine. A fresh start to have a great week! That is the reason diets always start on Monday anyway right? Don't get me wrong, I love Fridays as much as the next girl. Weekends are filled with social events and little getaways, but you have to be balanced. Monday means balance to me. I got to be social all weekend, and now I want my routine! I look forward to the fresh page in planner, and getting ready to accomplish my to-do list. 

Ok it's your turn!
Leave me a comment: What are your unpopular opinions?! Any other morning people out there? 



Friday, January 23, 2015

This Week: January 23rd


I'm Watching: Still going strong with Gilmore Girls bingeing. Now on season 5, loving all the Luke and Lorelai. Also, so happy that The Flash was back this week! It is the only new show that came out this year that I'm still watching.
I'm Reading: I have been scouring the internet trying to find something about a change in American Eagle's jean sizing! I hadn't bought jeans in a while, but the last pair I bought were too short. I have to buy their long jeans, and usually they are too long at first and then after a wash they are perfect. I didn't think much of it, until Blake bought new jeans that were too long for him even though it was his usual size. My sister and brother have also complained! My brother's are too short, and my sister's are too long. Something is going on! 
I'm Listening to: Ever since Serial I have loved listening to podcasts while driving or cleaning. I really like the variety of stories on This American Life! Makes my drive go by much faster. Right now I'm looking for an interesting podcast about nutrition. 
I'm Wishing For: This list is never ending. Currently obsessed with all things Kracken. Dying for this shower curtain.
I need to: Laundry. Ugh, so much laundry. 
I'm Looking Forward to: A weekend of nothing. This is the first weekend in a while, and for the foreseeable future that we have nothing planned!! 
I'm Making: I'm in charge of the champagne bar at a party next weekend, and I'm searching Pinterest for ideas! So many ideas!!

In Case You Missed It:
   




Thursday, January 22, 2015

Big Shoals State Park

One of the things on my bucket list is to visit all of the State Parks in Florida. This past weekend we spent the afternoon at Big Shoals State Park near White Springs, Fl. The weather was absolutely perfect for a little hike! 
It turned into the perfect place to host our annual family get-together with my mom's side of the family. This was special because it is so hard to get everyone together. 
This State Park seemed kind of weird at first! To get to the entrance you go down this incredibly long dirt road and there is no signage out by the main highway! We trusted that Google was taking us to the right place. 
We started with a picnic near the entrance of the park. (once we found the entrance!) Hilariously the entire family had all coincidentally stopped for Publix subs. Genetics!! 
The hiking trail is along the Suwannee river, and ends at Big Shoals-which are the only natural rapids in Florida. In fact we read that they can be up to Class Three rapids! We had lots of rain last week, so the rapids were very impressive! It was really cool to be walking on the trail and suddenly hear roaring water. The trail was fairly easy to walk on, just a few roots to watch for. I love those palmetto palms and scrub oaks we walked through, so Florida! 
After we finished the 2.5 mile trail we packed up and headed to our house to grill out. Our house is small so I was glad the weather was so mild so we could be out back with the fire pits going. It's so nice to be with family! I didn't feel so guilty about eating dessert either after our hike, hehe!














Blake and I kind of ignored some signs a climbed down to get a better look at the rapids! I'm not usually so rebellious. Our "dare-deviling" made for much better pictures!
Leave me a comment: Have you been to Big Shoals? Would you ever white water raft? I also need State Park Suggestions!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

20 Random Facts about Me!

Have all of your friends been doing that 20 random fact lists on Instagram too? Here is my list! I cannot believe how hard it was to come up with that many things-interesting things anyway. 

1. When I got married and changed my name with the Social Security office, they messed up and combined my middle name with my maiden name. So my official middle name is ElizabethSalley. 

2. I love singing in Opera! 

3. If I had a superpower it would be Laser Vision-then I could trim really tall trees. 

4. I am an ENFJ which means I care more about you than I do about me. 

5. My favorite scripture is Job 37:5

6. My favorite animals are pugs, sloths and donkeys. 

7. I'm slightly obsessive, in that there is always room for improving. I can always be better.

8. My favorite movie of all time is Father of the Bride. 

9. I am a really fast reader. But, I tend to read a book in a day and then not another one for a few months. 

10. I hate highwaist shorts and tights as pants. 

11. I also hate when people wear workout clothes out, and obviously have no plans to work out. 

12. I am the anti-hoarder. I absolutely love throwing things away! 

13. I redecorate everyone's houses in my head when I visit. 

14. I love both Chipotle and Moe's! 

15. When I go to TJMaxx I'd rather look in the home section than at the clothes. 

16. My husband is my best friend! He pats my arm when I go off about something. Even though that irritates me, I also love that he is my opposite and balances out my crazy. 

17. I have a terrible inner struggle about having children. I love kids so much, but the idea of having them on purpose is so crazy to me. 

18. I love lists! 

19. I hate awkward silence! I end up saying the stupidest stuff just to break the silence. 

20. One of my ultimate fitness goals is to do a 5 minute plank! I have gotten up to 2 minutes, but can't seem to break that. 

Leave me a comment: Tell me a random fact about you! Can you relate to any of my randomness?



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bible Highlights: Judges 1-4

Judges 3:21
"Then Ehud drew the sword from his right thigh with his left hand and plunged it into his belly."


 To do what Ehud did mentioned at Judges 3:21, he had to have a lot of courage. Today we also need courage to carry out our ministry, especially if we face someone intimidating. If we want to develop courage we need to regularly study the Bible because knowledge builds confidence. Prayer will also help us because God's spirit will help us say the right thing in the proper way. But, ultimately Ehud succeeded because he had God's backing.



You can read the Bible online for free at JW.org

Monday, January 19, 2015

OOTD: Navy Blazer


Navy Blazer: American Eagle (via Ebay)
Mustard Striped T: Loft (via Ebay)
Skinny Khakis: American Eagle 
Ballet Flats: Amazon
Necklace: Disney Gift shop

I can't help but laugh when I think about what my husband and brother in law thought we did at lingerie showers. It was a big mystery to them! They genuinely thought we did pillow fights and did a lingerie fashion show. I had to burst their bubble and tell them we basically sip champagne, play a few silly games, and watch the bride open up gifts. Which is exactly what we did at my friend Arianna's Lingerie Shower this weekend. It was so fun. The girls did a great job decorating. The theme was something like 'when you walk in the door you are shrunken down to miniature and you feel like you are in a Victoria's Secret bag'! You'll see what I mean in the pictures below-the girls did a great job decorating with pink and white! 

I had a hard time deciding what to wear to the shower! The weather was gorgeous, but hard to dress for. I ended up in the above. I love my navy blazer, and I am really happy with this combo! I did get too hot after a few glasses of champagne and had to ditch the blazer-which stinks because it really pulled the whole thing together! 







Leave me a comment: What is your go-to shower gift? Don't you think we should all get a bunch of free undies?!