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Friday, January 31, 2014

5 on a Friday!

Maybe you've noticed a pattern on this little blog o'mine... I'm a list person. Thursday Things to Love looks awfully similar to 5 on a Friday, but hey that's just how I roll. So let's roll on -
 
{ONE}
I know the Northerners are like "no big deal", but it finally snowed around here! Snow makes me a happy girl!!! I probably had about 3 inches at my house and it was so fluffy and pretty. This was Wednesday AM before I left for work. No snow days at my work! I know everybody is sick of hearing about the weather, but I couldn't help myself. I love this picture!
 
{TWO}
 
Rushed out Wednesday after work to buy this book immediately after seeing the movie trailer. I couldn't resist. I'm one of those people who HAS to read what every else is reading, I'm a total bandwagon jumper with books. I was half way through, with huge tears literally just streaming down my face until the end. Such a great story! I know this sounds crazy, but I don't always like my stories to have a happy ending so I love to see flawed characters and their battles with life. Cancer books are hard for me sometimes because my mom's struggles. She's not doing well right now, so it really hit home with me. She had just been diagnosed with cancer when I read My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. The timing is interesting on when I read them both. But I definitely loved this one, can't wait for the movie!
 
{THREE}
I got this little package this week in the mail from A Cut Above Boutique - LOVED the gold packaging!!! I won a giveaway from Rachel and got a $35 giftcard. I picked out this cute bow top & cross earrings for my prizes.

 {FOUR}
Superbowl weekend!!!!  Bittersweet because no more football until September after this... but I'm excited for this game! Of course I'm team Peyton, DUH he's a VFL (Vol for Life). No wonder he went to the Broncos, he just missed wearing orange! Cheering on him and the other 4 VFLs on the Denver team!
 
{FIVE}
Why do I love this song so much?
 
Happy Weekend, my loves!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Things To Love

Well it's Thursday and I love things so naturally it's time for another Thursdays Things To Love! By the way, thank you all for your incredible comments on the Overcome the Lie post Tuesday. It's been awesome to get your feedback and to see that I'm not alone in my struggles. I got more personal emails off that one than any other post I've done in a while. I love hearing from you though and seeing how we can help each other! It can be hard to be open and put ourselves out there, but it's so rewarding. How's that for an intro? hahaha
 
ID Vanilla Iced Coffee Light -
It's sooooo good! I prefer the vanilla one, but seriously you just plop in some ice cubes and ready to go. Easy and delish.
 
 
10K Trainer Run for PINK - free app-
Could be a little premature to say I love this app because truth be told, I haven't started it yet. But it's a 10k trainer for FREE so I love that about it. I'm going to start this weekend...I need my running stress relief back in my life. Thanks to Jordon for telling me about this one!
 
Katy Perry -
 
I have a giant girl crush on her! How could you not?? But when she partners up with one of my favorite TN boys, Juicy J, I love her even more! Juicy J was looking pretty fly at the Grammys too! Cannot stop singing this song - even after that witchy performance with pole dancing on brooms.

I just feel like we are missing a picture of a hot guy in this post...so here ya go. I've mentioned this before, but I'm going to share with you my newest love interest. Jesse Lee Soffer. I LOVE HIM!! You know I love a man in uniform...with a gun...2 guns...I'm dead... just does it for me.
 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Overcome the Lie: 40 Day Challenge

I’m in a funk right now. I just feel blah. Blah about myself, blah about everything. And I have so many things to be thankful for, but some days I choose to focus more on the things that bring me down. I hate those days with a passion. I hate that I allow myself to be consumed by feelings of mediocrity and that I actually begin to believe those ugly little lies I tell myself.
 
I have a topic I want to promote today: Overcome the Lie. I was recently introduced to this site and have been fascinated by the movement. Maybe you are getting sick of my self help babble, that’s understandable...but for those who aren’t, stick around and let this marinate with you today. Maybe you need to hear this too. Have you bought in to the lie that hope is lost or ever feel like you're fighting a losing battle? How many times in your life, have you allowed others to shape your own opinion of yourself?? There are plenty of ways we allow the enemy to bring us down.

Personally, I have struggled with bashing myself. I am guilty of buying into the lies that I'm not good enough. I have people in my life who have said hurtful, awful things about me and tried to twist my character around, but those people are nothing to me. I am usually able to tune them out, but how do you tune out yourself? Some days I can, and some days (like right now) I totally believe into all the negativity. Maybe for you it's the opposite and other people affect you more. Either way, those are distorted versions of ourselves.

A perfect example is where I'm at right now in my own life. I have made the decision to stay single during this transition period. I've also allowed myself to gain 35-40lbs. Sometimes those are sensitive topics for me. I try to  be open and transparent here on my blog because I know it can help people, but it's not always easy to put it out there. I have grown in so many ways, but I still beat myself up.  I feel lonely sometimes, or not worthy. Often I tell myself that I am too chubby to date right now, I'm not as pretty as "her" or I'll be single forever. And even though those little comments seem harmless - especially when made in a joking manner - they really kinda hurt when they all add up.

So back to the self help stuff...Overcome the Lie is doing a 40 day prayer challenge starting Feb. 1st. I was allllll over this when I saw it! I love a good challenge and I can definitely use more accountability with my personal prayer time. My goal for this challenge is to focus on seeing myself how God sees me, even on my ugly days. If I want to be able to accomplish the amazing things God has planned for me, I have to see myself the way He sees me.

No matter where you are in your relationship with God - this is a great opportunity to take a leap of faith. I promise you will be surprised how much you can stretch yourself in just 40 days. Maybe you just need to meet new people and know you are being prayed for. The OTL ladies have NOT in any way asked me to promote this challenge, I just wanted to share the info with you. And there's still time to sign up, all you have to do is email them at: info@overcomethelie.org. I'm excited to see what the next 40 days holds for me!

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Currently - January Edition

Happy Monday friends! (happy Monday does not sound as happy as Happy Friday)

Listening - Jon Pardi's new album - LOVE IT! If you like Luke Bryan kind of country then give it a listen! My favs (besides Up All Night) are: Write You a Song & That Man.
Thomas Rhett - Get Me Some of That
The Black Keys - how am I JUST NOW getting on board with them? Where have I been?? They are music for my soul.

Eating - let's not even discuss my fatty tendencies right now...
 
Drinking - I've been trying to get back on the water wagon....I really have. WHHHYYYYYYY is it so hard?
 
Reading - Believing God - Beth Moore. Every single page is full of wisdom. I'm reading it on Kindle (thanks to Beth's books being on free download in early Jan), but I have a notebook full of side notes. I'm a note taker/highlighter person when I read. I really connect with her style of writing.
Next on my list: The Silent Wife - checked it out from the library Saturday
  
Feeling - TIRED!!!! I couldn't go to sleep until 1:30am after all the Grammy excitement. I have sooooo many things to say about the Grammys...but I'll just leave you with this hair perfection...
 
Weather - We have had record cold temps here in Knoxville for January. I work for a natural gas utility company so cold weather = good business for us, but it's been quite cray cray. It's actually been warmer in Alaska than it has been here. Which is just stupid. Not a lot of snow, but a ton of negative wind chills.

Wanting - Floors in my house. Is that too much for a girl to ask? Patience, patience, patience. BTW - I love these floors and all the depth with the color. Mine were much darker.
 
Watching - Crazy Hearts: Nashville {A&E} is my newest guilty pleasure! Counting Down the days until The Walking Dead comes back on Feb 9th!
 
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Friday, January 24, 2014

5 on a Friday


{ONE}
I cannot get enough Ron Swanson and Parks & Rec. I DVR reruns so I have about 4 new ones per day. I love it. If you don't know who Ron Swanson is then I question your sense of humor...

{TWO}
The music that I listen to on my way to work in the mornings sets my attitude for the day. These days I listen to a lot of worship music to get in the zone for a good attitude. This morning I needed to hear throwback jams. Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, old school LB and Elton John. It's gonna be a good day!
 
 
 
{THREE}
I found an old folder on my laptop last night full of wedding planning pictures - pics of my dress, my bridesmaids in their dresses, ideas for d├ęcor. It made me laugh a little bit that for whatever reason I never deleted it when Skye and I broke up OVER A YEAR AGO. So thankful that I can laugh at those things instead of crying now. It actually inspired me to do some creative writing - which I may or may not share with you soon.
 
{FOUR}
The past couple weeks have been exhausting for me! Working longer days, lots of after work activities, too much time on the phone with people from damage restoration and insurance companies. I've been in by around 10pm every night -which is not the norm for me. I've been go, go, go so when Friday comes around I am one happy girl.
 
{FIVE}
Speaking of being exhausted.... I am dreaming of a vacay. Somewhere tropical, with strong drinks and tan bodies. I need a partner in crime to just pack up and run away with me for a week. I'm not the kind of girl who would do a vacay alone. Could you do that?? Who's in??
 


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5 Cheap Cheats

It's no secret around here that I am cheap. We don't even have to be nice about it and say "frugal". Let's call it what it is, I'm cheap. I love living vicariously through all my blog friends with their expensive makeup,  designer clothes and pretty things but I am just not able to participate most of the time. So instead, I pride myself on finding amazing quality, yet low priced substitutes. I still want to feel pretty too!
 
I wanted to share with you my 5 favorites right now because everybody needs to know these little cheats. There are certain items that we are all attached to and will spend whatever necessary to get the real deal. Beauty products is a particular area that I am comfortable cutting costs and trying new products.
 
1. Rimmel Mascara - The Max Volume Flash
I am absolutely in love with this mascara. I've tried every mascara out there, because I feel like my eyelashes are one of my best physical qualities so I always try to accentuate them. In my experience, this stuff lasts all day, doesn't clump or smudge and I love the way it looks on my eyes. Price tag is about $6.99.
 
2. While we are on the subject of Rimmel and how much I love all their products...
Rimmel Pressed Powder - Stay Matte
I love the coverage this powder provides. It's enough to last most of the day, with minor touch ups. And for my oily T-zone face, that's saying a lot! There's not a huge selection of colors, but enough to find one that works for you. I think mine is "Sandstorm". Price tag is around $7-8 bucks.

3. Wet n' Wild Eyeshadow Shimmer Primer -
Whatever your personal opinion is on some eye shimmer, I sure do love it. I was a loyal MAC eyeshadow primer girl for YEARS. This is my first go round trying a new brand in a while, but so far I am 100% impressed with Wet n' Wild version. It's like $4 and it lasts all day. I love the color and it's just enough shimmer to make my eyes pop. Fergie has even put her stamp of approval on it.
 
4. Elf - Flawless Eyeshadow (Tantalizing Taupe)
If you haven't jumped on the elf bandwagon yet, then immediately stop what you are doing and run to Target to check their stuff out. (I think you can get certain items at Walgreens & Walmart now too!) For $2 you CANNOT go wrong with giving it a try! I am sold on this eyeshadow. They have different color selections, and everything I have tried of theirs I've been happy with. I love neutral colors for my everyday look and these don't seem to crease up as much as others by the end of the day - especially when you use a primer (see #3).
 
5. Neosporin - (substitute for zit cream)
I saw this on Pinterest and was doubtful, but I've been trying it and it really works. Just put the Neosporin on trouble spots at night before you go to bed, and it heals while you sleep. Not necessarily overnight, but I have truly been able to tell a difference.

There you go! What are you favorite cheap cheats?
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Weekend Update

Even though it's Tuesday, it still feels like Monday! Yes, I'm a whiny baby today. I could REALLY get used to not having to work on Mondays. I feel like I'm a funk right now - a cloud of disorganization that is just killing my vibe. The bottom level of my house is still floor-less & door-less and it's driving me bonkers. I spent yesterday trying to get my kitchen back in order - as best I can right now, but it didn't really help me feel better. I've moved into my new office at work, but it still doesn't quite feel like mine yet. I just feel a little disheveled in all areas of my life.
 
But do you know what ALWAYS makes me a happy girl?
 
yep, Luke Bryan! And he did not disappoint Saturday night. We had so much fun! I want to go back and do it all again.

Don't mind me while I'm over here being a baby about having to work today. Only 18 more work days until the next holiday! WHOOO HOOOO!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Gotta Get Down on Friday

Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday! This week has been cray cray and I have barely had time to communicate with people in real life, let alone via social media. I've missed all my bloggy friends though! I HOPE things will calm down soon and I can get back to my regular schedule. The one good thing about being busy? No slow draggggging days. The past 2 weeks have just zoomed right by.
 
Work is great, I finally got moved into my new bigger office. Just trying to get it all decorated now. My house is still a wreck with no floors due to the water pipe issue last week. But I've gotten as used to it as I can and I'm dealing with it for the time being. I really can't complain about getting all new floors and a new bathroom! And the best news I have to share? I HAVE A HOT DATE WITH LUKE BRYAN TOMORROW NIGHT!!!
 
If I'm being honest, I'm probably just as excited about seeing Cole Swindell. I can't wait for his album to drop in February.
 
Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend!! I plan on having LOTS of fun, trying to find some organization in my life and since I'm off Monday I'll definitely be having some beer & football on Sunday. GO BRONCOS!
 
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Friday, January 10, 2014

5 on a Friday!


{ONE}
This week has been PURE HELL for me! Chaos at work because the frigid weather/arctic vortex crap (I just wanted my chance to say arctic vortex), picking out paint colors for my new office that I'm hopefully moving into early next week, and to top everything off I had a busted water pipe in my house on Tuesday night. Lovely. Annoying is more like it, but I'm still truckin' and counting my blessings! This girl is incredibly happy that we are facing a weekend!!
 
{TWO}
In case you haven't realized this yet, I am 12 years old. And since I'm 12 years old, I'm allowed to listen to One Direction, right? This is really embarrassing considering I am truly 29 years old and I have quite the crush on sweet little Harry Styles. Wanna laugh today? I sat in on a conference call for the first time on Wednesday, totally thought I was on mute and started singing "Story of My Life".... OH THE SHAME!!! I told you, this week is treating me very well.

{THREE}
Now that my bathroom floors are ruined from the busted pipe issue...I FINALLY get the chance to redo my master bathroom! I've hated those floors ever since I moved in that house like 5 years ago. Time for a change! I'm dreaming up a new, fabulous, simple master bath.


 
{FOUR}

One week from tomorrow I have a HOT date with Luke Bryan!!! Even if next week is hell on me, like this one, I can survive knowing I get to see his pretty face on the 18th!

{FIVE}
I'm so excited for the Golden Globes this Sunday! Tina & Amy are the perfect combination for hilarious hosts. I'll definitely be tweeting about all the pretty people! I love award show season!
 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Man Candy - Chicago Style

You've heard me talk about my love for Taylor Kinney before - AKA Severide from Chicago Fire. I mean, I just have no words for him. I love him. I want him to leave Lady Gaga and come running to me. Maybe I have a little thing for cute firemen....maaaaaybe that's why I've dated a couple of them. (I'm using the term dated VERY loosely here - no pun intended)
 
So since I've been on my Chicago Fire kick, I've been introduced to the new love of my life - Jesse Lee Soffer, who did a cameo on Chicago Fire & will be appearing on the new show Chicago PD.
 
So maaaaaybe it's not just cute fireman that I like....maaaaybe it's cute cops too? I was engaged to one, after all. But he wasn't a cop when I met him...ANYHOW - Jesse is my new crush. He's a doll! And yes I will probably be watching Chicago PD for him...and Scott Eastwood. (Clint Eastwood's hot son) Maybe I like cowboys? Or their sons? haha There's no rhyme or reason to my boys. I like them ALL! That's the great thing about being single.
 
So basically, my two favorite hot guys in the same city on back to back nights. I hope real life boys don't even try to get me out of my house for a date on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
Probably won't happen. Who are your current crushes? Introduce me to more cute boys, please!

 
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

An Honest Confession

Living the single girl life can sometimes put quite the strain on my little wallet. I am incredibly blessed with a great job that I love and I get paid well to do what I do, but at the same time it's just ME in my household. I have a mortgage, a car payment, student loans, insurance, a couple credit cards....none of these expenses I took on initially thinking I would one day be paying them on my own. Yada yada... you know all the bills we, as adults, have to face each month. I'm not a great saver and I spend a crap load of money on going out to eat with friends and frivolous things (ahem...Walgreens). You've heard me say this before, but I'm a baller on a budget!
 
So back in October my church introduced a campaign called Waking the Giant, and part of this campaign includes moving into a larger, more permanent location (we are a new-ish church of only 3-4 years and we rent a facility currently). Moving to a new location requires some moolah - and $500,000 over 3 years to be exact. That's a hefty challenge, especially being presented to us just before the holiday season. My pastor was asking us to step outside of our individual comfort zones and to "test" God on this tithing issue. Malachi 3:10 talks about God challenging His people to tithe, the only time in the Bible that it allows us to test Him. "I will open the windows of Heaven for you. I will pour our blessings so great you won't have enough room to take it in. Try it! Put me to the test! (NIV)" I prayed long and hard about it. I knew I felt moved to contribute, and I knew I could trust God to provide for me...but I am telling you it's a SCARY thing to give up control of your money. I will freely give up $50 to buy a round of beers for a friend who's had a rough day, or drop $100 without hesitation at Wal-Mart on who knows what, but I was really struggling with this idea of giving just 10% to my church.
 
I have never been a regular contributor to the offering plate on Sundays. I gave $10 here, a couple bucks there, and never really gave it a 2nd thought. I justified it by telling myself that God knew my single income situation. He knew that sometimes I am waiting on my paycheck to hit the bank before I can get gas again. I spent several nights in tears over my budget, trying to work this out on paper and I just couldn't see how it would come together. Honestly, I just hoped that God would show me a way that I could wiggle out of this. My church has been a lifesaver for me. I am not being dramatic when I say that. God has been so good to me, more so than I deserve! I am a part of this church, and it's a huge part of me. This new location matters to me. I knew He was calling me to trust Him. So the day that we were supposed to make our commitments came.... and I put my money where my mouth was, literally speaking. I no longer wanted to say "have faith in Him" here or "trust Him with this", yet not make this sacrifice myself.
 
That was on November 24th. And guess what is happening come January 1st for me? I got a big promotion at work, with a raise that will more than cover the commitment I made for the Waking the Giant Campaign. And I've heard stories from people in my church family who have been blessed in the same manner. You can read my pastor's own story here. I have never felt more thankful. I have never been closer to God. I have never had so many answered prayers, large & small.
 
The moral of this story is no matter what you are facing, no matter how big it seems or how much it challenges you - you can get through it with Him. I promise. I am not even trying to be preachy with you guys. I just wanted to share this experience because it has genuinely blown my mind how it's all come to work out. When I made that commitment, I was honestly scared to death about how I would manage to make it all work and still have money at the end of the day.  I felt like who am I to deserve these blessings? I am a small town girl in Knoxville, TN who makes a ton of mistakes everyday. I've been wronged and I've definitely done my fair share of wrong doing to hurt people. I am so humbled by God's plan for me, even though I have no earthly idea where it will lead me.
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Weekend Update

WHEW I can tell it's Monday and this Monday ain't no joke! East Tennessee (along with everywhere else around the country) is experiencing quite the cold front right now. I'm all for snow, but I'm not a fan of this ice crap and only 1 inch of snow. NO THANK YOU! Tonight it's supposed to get down to a wind chill of -5 degrees. I'm not sure it's been that cold here within my lifetime. It's crazy! And freezing temps like these make my work day VERY interesting in the natural gas business. Heating people's homes is our main priority right now. I'm rambling.... I just got out of my first REAL staff meeting in my new position at work.
 
I can't remember if I've blogged about this or not, but I got a promotion at work! It's pretty exciting and includes a bigger office and lots of travel so you won't catch me complaining. 2014 is really going to be a fantastic year for me, I can already tell. I have a special post coming up tomorrow that will touch more on this and answered prayers. So many exciting things are shaping up in my life right now, it's really awesome to see things play out and I CANNOT wait to see what else unfolds. (fingers crossed for man of my dreams!)
 
And speaking of fantastic things...I found this nice little BuzzFeed the other day about being 29. If you have reached the your late 20's then go ahead and check it out. I dare you to tell me one thing that isn't absolutely spot on!
 
My weekend was awesome and pretty low key. That's seriously what I say about every weekend these days. I saw Anchorman 2 Friday night, and loved it. Not quite as good as the first one, in my opinion but still hilarious. I may or may not still have a slight crush on Brian Fantana.
 
 
I'm on the go today, so that's about all I have for you. But happy Monday and I hope everyone is safe and warm out there!
 
 

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

BETTER

So on Monday of this week....which feels weird to say because even though today is actually Thursday it completely feels like a Monday...anyhow... on Monday of this week I shared with you a little about what I hope for 2014. I'm a goal oriented person. I love making lists and checking things off. But at the same time I'm not really into new years resolutions. I just want to make myself BETTER - in every way that I can. So that's what I'm gonna do for 2014!
Better attitude, better relationships, better body...just BETTER!
 
I'm sure I will stumble along the way, but in the stumbles I will have grace. At this time last year, I said I was excited and ready for new things...but I really wasn't. I didn't know who I was or what I wanted. I had a lot of discovering to do. 2013 was SO great to me though! I started the year with a shattered spirit. I couldn't deal with my emotions at all, and so I tried to eat and drink them away...unsuccessfully because all that got me was 30 lbs of weight gain and still feeling yucky on the inside. Slowly, but surely over the months after I put all my vices aside, I began to grow personally. I began to discover things that I didn't realize before. I got comfortable with myself and with being single. I joined a church that I'm completely in love with and made relationships that have brought me closer to, and helped me strengthen my own relationship with God. I crossed things off my bucket list. I made lots of new friends. It was a huge year of growth for me.  I learned to like myself more...even though I'm not the happiest with my weight, I'm still awesome. I became aware of self help - no one could fix me, I had to fix myself. I learned to laugh again, like really truly heehaw laugh. I changed my perspective on life. I am thankful for it ALL. For every single day - the ones where I questioned everything and couldn't make it through without tears and the ones where I stayed out late on work nights for just one more drink and one more memory. 
 
I am so much closer to the person that I want to be. But I can always make myself better. 2014...watch out, I'm coming for you!
 
 
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