Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My New Favorite Website: Things We Forget!

No time to blog! I'm busy busy but wanted to introduce you to my new favorite website:

Found it on Pinterest & love it already! Check it out :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

3rd annual trip to the Southern Home Christmas Show

This past week I took a day off work and it wasn't a holiday! When your Mawmaw asks you to accompany her to the Southern Home Christmas Show, you go! It was just a plus that she wanted to go on opening day, which was a Thursday, and I got to have a mini breather in a crazy, crazy work week. {Of course when you take a day off work though, work piles up while you're gone! But it was so worth it to me to get to hang out with my Mawmaw, friend Tashah, and aunt Georgia!} Now, it was the first day, on a Thursday, and we got there about 11:00... and let me tell you, it was PACKED! We were trying to avoid the crowds. So much for that! But all in all, we had a great time! About 4 hours of walking around like cattle, looking at all the Christmas everything!! It was great!! Here's a couple pics from our day...

Entrance ... Preparing you for all the Christmas crazy!! :) 

Just a sign I liked :)
Here's a pic of the best jewelry cleaner ever! It's by Sunshine Products and I have seriously been thinking about this stuff for over a year! I got my jewelry cleaned there last year using the stuff, and for whatever reason didn't buy it. This year I was on a mission to find the stuff & get me some! There's actually two vendors there selling the stuff {same price, I checked} so you can't miss it! This stuff can even clean "costume jewelry" but O-M-G the polishing cream is a tarnish remover and makes a silver {or gold, or brass, or whatever metal} piece look brand spankin' new!
***Side note: There's a sweet wedding-related post coming about this stuff...Stay tuned!!!***

 And this was as low-carb as I could get at the Christmas show! I ate most of this chicken caesar spinach wrap and was STUFFED. It was alright, but hands down the healthiest thing there to eat! It was either that or a "puff," pizza, barbecue, cheeseburgers, etc. You get the idea. I don't know how many carbs this thing had, but if this was the worst thing I ate all day, I'm doing good!! :) Definitely not worth $7 though. They get ya on the food for sure!

I am so glad my dear friend Tashah got to get off work & come with us for the 2nd year in a row!! We probably said "this is cute!" a million times! Me & Mawmaw don't always have the same taste, so it's good to have another young'n there to oodle at sparkly Christmas things :)

And the award for the most awkward Christmas ornament goes to....the blingy merman soccer player with this shirt unbuttoned!!
This crazy unique ornament actually came from the December Diamonds [@DecDiamonds on Twitter] vendor, who I got a fab little blingy lanyard for my school badge for only FIVE DOLLARS!! Best deal I've ever seen on those things so now I finally have me one....go gets yours when you visit the show this year!
sorry for the bad pic..
and for the fact I threw  a blanket on top of me
instead of showing the lanyard on top of my pajama t-shirt :)
Ahhhh!! And here's the best hot chocolate ever!! It's from a little vendor out in Tennessee. They let you sample their double dutch hot chocolate, their white hot chocolate, and their other one that didn't sound nearly as good as double dutch or white chocolate hot chocolate... but nevertheless, I bought the double dutch last year & the white chocolate this year!! O-M-G.. for a coffee hater, this stuff hits the spot! You've gotta try it!

And last but not least, I got another ring this year! Every year I go and get a nice ring to wear all the time. The first year I got the white one. The vendor had free engraving on site which was amazing, and you can't tell from the pic, but there's an N engraved on the white ring. Last year I went back, looking for that vendor, and they were nowhere to be found. :( So I found myself another fab vendor, got me the turquoise ring and fell in love! You will 95% of the time see me wearing one or the other. I just had to get me another one this year! I looked at all the jewelry vendors, wasn't super thrilled, until I came across this vendor! Low & behold it was the same vendor from last year. I probably would have never guessed {just because my memory's so bad} but thanks to Tashah and her great memory for faces, she realized it was the same vendor! Also, while looking for a ring in my size, Tashah found a black ring {I had told her that's what I was looking for}in my size!! And guess what!! It's the same exact ring as my turquoise one!! I LOVE it!! :) Thanks Tashah!! I'm so glad you went!! 

We returned home with the simple reminder that it's not quite Christmas time yet. There were fall leaves all OVER Mawmaw & Pawpaw's yard!! I love it. Fall, stay forever!! But since I know you won't, Christmas coming right after makes it okay...I guess. :)

and I mean everywhere!
Sisters ~ Aunt Georgie & Mawmaw
My favorite lady!! MY MAWMAW
I just love special trips and memories like that day. :) 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Going Low-Carb!

So I'm going to let it all out there! It's my blog & I'll do what I want! Sometimes I share personal things, sometimes I talk about my favorite TV shows. Sometimes I talk about 9/11. There's no common theme up in here... it's just what I want, when I want, and that's how I like it! :)

I'm gonna get a little more personal right now, and share with you "my new thing." I say this, knowing how I am... I start things and I never finish them. I admit it! BUT- this new ADHD medication something inside me has got me motivated. MAYBE it's the fact I'm getting married in less than six months {Eek!} but I don't care what it is, as long as this "thing" sticks!!

"My new thing" is a low-carb diet. I went to the doctor, primarily to tell him that all I want to do is sleep, and I've been eating better, even exercising more, and still- nothing! I didn't feel right and I knew this wasn't  the way I was supposed to feel, and quite frankly, I just didn't like it. I diagnose people every day with ADHD, so I knew I had that. Like knew beyond a shadow of a doubt. But this was something different. Well, he blamed my not sleeping well and no energy and yada yada to my diet. Go figure!! If I would have walked in there with a bloody arm he probably would have blamed it on my morning Mello Yello. But, I had to finally put my tail between my legs and realize... he went to medical school and I. did. not. I'm sure he knew what he was talking about, and if he didn't, I could say "I told you so" to him, but only after I tried things his way. He suggested a low-carb diet and ditching my morning Mello Yello the sugary drinks. I told him there's no way I'm cutting out the soft drinks cold turkey again. Last time I had MAJOR headaches. He suggested cutting however much I drink now in half, and keep cutting in half every week until I'm completely off of them. Well it didn't take me long to realize he wants me off them in two weeks!! I will try low-carb, but my Mello Yello is my baby and I just didn't know how I was going to feel about getting rid of it altogether.

I talked to a couple friends who have had great success with low-carb diets. One suggested staying under 20 carbs a day.

Do you know how many carbs are in my morning Mello Yello???
Forty! Seven! 
And still. I couldn't fathom my life without it. 

But, for the past four days, I have been successful!! I am not drinking two soft drinks a day. I'm opening up a can in the morning and if I don't finish it, I don't finish it. I think only one of the four days so far I've finished it. The medication really makes my mouth dry, so I'm drinking more water than ever!  I've been eating a protein bar in the morning, which, really isn't low-carb, but I might still have to find something low-carb I can eat on the go. No time for fixing breakfast...I love to sleep too much!! I've been eating boiled eggs for lunch. And I've made the BEST quesadillas for dinner. I've been switching it up between that, grilled chicken salads, and steaks the past four days.

After dinner tonight with my new friend Laura :) I learned that I have been eating less carbs than I thought!! I obviously had no idea what I was doing, and had been counting the total carbs on all my nutrition facts! Well, come to find out, with a low-carb diet, you subtract the Dietary Fiber and the Sugar ALCOHOLS (not the sugar) from the Total Carbohydrates to give you what they call "net carbs!" Who knew?!?! I probably would if I'd read info on the Atkins diet, everyone tells me. But anyways... so those tortillas I had been using on my low-carb quesadillas that I thought were 10g of carbs each are only 3!!!!!!!!!! Woohooo!! So I've been limiting my carbs, and still eating less than what I thought!! And, a little birdy told me I can eat bacon on a low-carb diet, so, I'm basically sold.

I'm now on a mission to find low-carb everything. I know it's possible! I want to do this so bad!! I know things will come up.. like my Christmas bridal shower, and, you know, the holidays. But if I give myself something to look forward to, and limit my "cheat days" to a cheat meal, or not three cheat days in a row, I think I'll be okay. It's for sure better than what I've been doing!!

And Laura told me something else that you probably already knew but I didn't... I can trade my morning Mello Yello in for an ice cold Diet Dr Pepper and save myself the 47 carbs!! Diet soft drinks have 0 carbs. I am not a diet drink fan, and I'm sure they're equally as bad for you but just in other ways, BUT... it will satisfy my craving for yummy liquid tasting drink in the morning {a.k.a. not water or black coffee} and will work on weaning me off caffeine as well!! I know I won't be finishing the cans, but it'll be a much better substitute! So now I will for sure be staying under my goal of 20ish carbs a day!! I'm excited!!

I'm really going to try to track what I'm doing. I'll try harder to share with y'all as well. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My DIY Fall Wreath

I've been meaning to do this since the beginning of September, but Fall starting speeding right past me & I felt like I almost missed it! I wanted to make a Fall wreath for Alex's front door. I say Alex's front door instead of mine because no one sees our front door & {almost} everyone in Lincolnton sees his. I loved my friend Danae's fall wreath and she said it was really easy to make. So off to A.C. Moore and Michaels we went to get the stuff to make it...

Everything here was about $21 and I didn't even end up using the bow, scarecrow people, or the two boutonniere looking thingys at the bottom-left of the pic. So I could have saved about $7 if I would have known. So about $14 total I spent on my final product!! Not bad for a personalized wreath you can use from September to Thanksgiving every year for a long time!! 

I am so glad I can start putting "M"s on things without judgment! I never did before, but sometimes you want to buy that really really cute thing on sale, but it has an initial on it, and you hope your initial changes in the near future, but don't want to be presumptuous and get your married initial before you're even engaged!  You know what I mean? 

Here is the final product hanging on Alex's front door! The white M shows up nicely from the road. I am impressed with myself. I'm the least crafty person I know! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Corbin & Carson turn 2 and 1!!

My great great friend & bridesmaid, Lindsey, came into town this weekend and had Bailey take her boys' pics for their 1st and 2nd birthdays. Carson Brooks just turned one in September and Corbin Blake is turning two this month!! Momma Lindsey's got her hands full!! I was just so so glad she was in town & we could hang out for a little bit. 

Every time she comes to town all of Lincolnton wants to see her & she also needs to spend time with her family, so I was glad we could hang out for a bit, even if we were glistening under the evening sun, acting a fool to attempt to get smiles out of the boys. They were out of their element at first, but find a dirty dog that will let them lay all over it, and some rocks for Corbin to throw in the pond & we were good to go! I can't wait to see all the pics. I even had Bailey snap a pic of me with each of the boys.. so I hope they turned out good of me and them! I can never get a decent pic with them! These boys are by FAR my favorite Godchildren! ;) 

Now.. for the purpose for this blog post :::

Ahhhhh!!! I am so so so in LOVE with the sneak peak pics Bailey Smith Photography posted on her Facebook wall. Go "Like" her page on Facebook!! 

Paper & Dresses

So, call me crazy, but I got SUPER excited when I found a font for my wedding "paper!" I keep calling it "wedding paper" because I don't know what else to call it. I plan on designing and creating my own save the dates, programs, invitations, all that.. so, when I say "wedding paper" that's what I mean. Anyways, I found the MOST PERFECT font EVER and can't wait to see all of its fabulousness on all our wedding paper! And it was a free font I found to download! You can't get much more amazing than that.

Next up on the agenda is ordering my dress and finding bridesmaids dresses that aren't too bridesmaidsy. I'd love any suggestions for inexpensive dresses that could be worn post-wedding! Oh... I got SO excited because one of my favorite radio personalities, Taylor Strecker, replied to one of my tweets to her! I asked her for a recommendation for a store that sold dresses that could double as a bridesmaid dress, and she replied back to let me know about Chloe and Reese. Well Chloe and Reese, you aren't in my price range. I know I'm not the one buying the bridesmaid dress, but, I'm not trying to make my bffs pay a ton of money "just because."

Do you suggest me search anywhere in particular? I'd love some suggestions! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My day. ... What if?

I had one of those days yesterday when nothing went right. To end the day, I broke my flashdrive. You know, the thing that held ALL my work-related everything and the thing I had NOT backed up since June. This has happened before. You'd think I'd learn. You'd think. Either way, I spent an entire day today in front of a computer, re-doing the notes I had done last week, that were due yesterday, and pulling any documentation I could recover via email. Let me tell you...it was a fun day. Oh, and I stapled my finger this morning. That was a first. I'm not gonna lie, it hurt and it bled. But I had a fuss fest nice lunch with three of my awesome co-workers today. That was the highlight of my twelve-hour-workday. That and telling Paul about the time I cried going down the slopes at App Ski Mountain. Good times, good times.

I really shouldn't complain about my day, but that's what I've been doing. I fit into a size smaller pair of jeans today that I must have bought last year on clearance {because I know I did not wear that size last year.} That's a definite plus! And I laughed the whole way to work listening to Wake Up With Taylor on COSMO Radio and the local Ace & TJ Show {my two favorite morning shows}. That's something to be thankful for, right? ...Right!

I saw this on Pinterest tonight while I was watching two hours an hour and 45 minutes {I wasn't super into The Mindy Project} of comedy TV on FOX tonight. I love me some New Girl and tonight was the season premiere of Raising Hope. I had been missing that show!! Ben and Kate got me LOLing too, so, I'm probably going to add that to my list for now. I totally just got side-tracked {ADHD brain}... What I was saying was I saw this on Pinterest tonight:

Wow! What if??

I just want to say- Thank you, God, for loving me no matter how thankless or thankful I am. Thank you, for all your blessings, even those I find annoying and inconvenient.

It really makes you think, doesn't it? What if?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wedding Dress Shopping

About a week ago, me, Mom, Alex's mom Ronda, and my bff/bridesmaid Elizabeth went to David's Bridal to do some wedding dress shopping. I was so glad they could come with me to share that experience! I had an appointment and the girl that helped me was extremely helpful. They offered the slip and girdleish thing, and the girl would come bring me dresses and help me get into them, then I'd come out of the dressing room and show the dress out and get everyone's opinion. One weird thing was was that there was no mirror in the dressing room, so I didn't know what I was looking like before everyone saw me. Ronda told me that they were looking for the expression on my face to somewhat decide what kind of face they were going to make, and every time I came out of the dressing room I was looking for their facial expression to see what I thought about the dress. Anyways, I tried on dresses I'd been dying to trying on, and tried on some dresses that I would never have tried on. Some I would have never tried on I really really liked! I also did not at all love the dress I had been dying to try on. So, apparently, I knew nothing.  I left David's Bridal with some pictures of dresses, a dress I somewhat liked, and another dress that Mom, Ronda, and Elizabeth LOVED. I wasn't loving how form-fitting it was, so, I was ready to keep looking.

Friday night I had appointment #2. This time it was at Bedazzled in the Gastonia mall. I'd been there before, looked through a catalog they let me borrow, and only found two dresses I liked out of the entire catalog and they were well over my price range. I wasn't looking forward to my appointment, but thought it wouldn't hurt to try some more dresses on. Ronda wasn't able to go this time, so it was just me & Mom! Then my sweet friend Becky informed Facebook she was going to be bored that night because her hubby was ditching her for the high school football game. I just had to invite her to join us and I am so thankful she was able to come with us! The experience was a little different at first. I had to browse through racks of dresses in the clear plastic bags. It's really hard to tell what a wedding dress looks like inside a clear garment bag. But the lady that was helping us knew what I was looking for, or what I thought I was looking for {now} and knew what to pull from the racks. We took about five dresses to the dressing room I was willing to try on and began the fun! I didn't have the undergarments, and she didn't really help me get into the dresses as much, but nevertheless, she was extremely helpful! I tried on a random dress that I would have never ever ever tried on before, but thought what-the-heck, you only try wedding dresses on "once." I tried the dress on, hated it, and with some suggestions from the employee, some future alterations, and a blingy accessory, I was able to pick out THE dress!! I literally said it.. {they made me} say "YES TO THE DRESS!" haha

I can NOT wait to order it, get it, alter it, and WEAR it on OUR WEDDING DAY! :) It's the perfect dress for an outdoor backyard wedding by the lake in Spring!! Finding "the" dress makes me feel like this is really happening!! I get to marry my best friend in 209 days!!

PS: My dress was the cheapest dress I had tried on! PERFECT for a bride on a budget! :) Love it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What I'm Loving

I am loving...

My school I'm at and how nice & welcoming the staff have been to me.

The fact that the brakes on my car don't sound like straight up metal on metal anymore.

The weather outside! Cool, crisp mornings, 70something-degree weather on the way home that allows me to  roll the windows down, put my sungs on, & blast the radio on the backroads home! 

The fact that it took me 2 hours but I cuh-LEANED my car o-u-t! The inside of that thing's never been so clean! {The outside's still dirty, but, let's not talk about it.}

All things FALL ♥ 

The fact that my shows are coming soon! TV will take over my life in less than a month. {Thank God for DVR}

That me & my manski are working on improving physically and spiritually, together. ♥ 

That I realized if I run a little slower I can run longer. Who cares how fast I'm going? 

That my big 2-5 BIRTHDAY is in less than TWO weeks! It just hit me. September has gotten here too fast. 

That our mandatory all-day-on-a-Saturday training the day after my birthday was rescheduled. 

That my job offers a paid day off in your birthday month! My birthday's on a Friday and I opted to work on my birthday and take the following Monday off. Genius? I think so.

That I will be taking off the entire Thanksgiving AND Christmas holiday with the kiddos. That's what I get for not taking any vacay this year. :-)

That I'll have two months off next Summer. YES, I am LOVING that already.

Toms. I don't know why it's just now hitting me. But I have GOT to get a pair for my birthday. Now to figure out which pair...the black glittered ones {for those dressy slash casual days at work} or the burlap ones {great for fall}?!?!

The fact that I called Verizon today to ask why my iPhone's voicemail isn't working and the lady witnessed a glitch I was experiencing with my phone, transferred me to Tech Support, and the fab customer service rep said those seven magical words:  "We're just going to replace your iPhone." Apparently my phone cutting off EVERY time I try to talk on it isn't because I live in the boonedocks. It's because my phone's stupid. And iPhones aren't supposed to be stupid, they're supposed to be smart! And I am pretty excited about having a phone that works! 

What I'm hearing about the new iPhone 5 that I WILL be getting in December. Better start budgeting for that now... ;) 

And my new shampoo & conditioner that is working a MIRACLE on my hair and makes me smell like I just left the salon every day! 

I think that's it for now. I needed to remind myself of all I'm LOVING right now instead of harping on all the NON plans we have for this future wedding day of ours! :) Gotta love it! ;) 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wedding update, Work update, & a Shout Out

Well, well.. 

Wedding Update:
There is no update. I haven't even told my bridesmaids that I want them to be my bridesmaids, or maid of honor, or matrons of honor, or whatever it is I'll be having. We have no date. We have no venue. We have a lot of nothing. But it'll be okay! I have a groom-to-be and I have the address to the courthouse {worst case scenario} so... I'm really trying to not worry about it. 

Work Update: 
I started my new position this week at Bessemer City Middle School! All the staff are being super nice and welcoming to me, which is great, because that was a fear of mine {that they wouldn't be} and I finally have my office looking better & better every day. {Pictures to come} I realized yesterday, while I sat in the school cafeteria during lunch time, looking around that I have not been inside a middle school since I was in middle school! I know I was a small middle schooler {and by small I mean short}but there are some TINY middle schoolers! It breaks my heart that they are being introduced to all things middle school. They should have their own school for super tiny, really cute kids. Because that's what they are. There's no way they are middle schoolers. :) And then there's some freakishly huge middle schoolers. Seriously, something's in the water, or the cows, or the chickens- I don't know. But  guys, if she looks like she's 18, you better get an I.D. because she may or may not be in the 8th grade. {For reals}

Also, for those of you who have asked me.. I'll just clarify. My new "job" is actually a new position for the same company I've been working for since I graduated. Instead of seeing clients for outpatient therapy {"counseling"}as needed in the office, I'll be at the school, doing therapy, and all my clients will come from that school and I'll see them at school during school time. Pretty neat! I feel like I'm so blessed to get to experience "the best of both worlds" because I'm technically in the mental health field, still working towards my {full} licensure hours, and am in a school everyday, and will have next summer off! Seriously, provisionally-licensed clinicians rarely get this opportunity. I have been very lucky thus far in my "career." {I still feel weird saying that word.}

Shout Out:
Can I give my boo a shout out? Because that boy deserves it! He has gone over and beyond lately to make me the happiest girl ever and I am thanking the Lord every day for making me the future wife of this man! We spent Thursday AND Friday nights after work working on making over this super old & ugly table that was left in my office. 



{And I don't have an "after picture" yet.
It'll come with the pics of the office, because that's where it returned!}

And Saturday morning he rode with me to the school to work on my office. He helped me paint one of the walls, and hang paper lanterns, and clean up old delinquents' messes. {My room is the old "ISS" room so envision the words "F" YOU, and THIS PLACE SUCKS written in whatever writing utensil they had at the time.} Alex assisted with minimal complaining and for that alone, I'm thankful! ;) That evening we had mini engagement session with Jess-Rudisill Photography. That deserves a post all on its own! To make a long story short though, Alex cracked me up for an hour, and it was such a good time! And by "cracked me up for an hour" I mean that we may or may not have any good pictures because I really couldn't stop laughing. {I know, I know, sometimes it's cute to see a couple all smiling and laughing in their pictures... but this got out of control.} He did complain {about the oddest things I would say} a bit but I am hoping to get some good new favorite pics of us out of the session! I should get those pics soon & I'll be sharing those for sure! ;) Then Sunday while I joined my long lost friend Tori & her husband for lunch in Hickory and had a Mary Kay date with an old RA from Ike, Hannah, Alex spent the afternoon helping my lovely father move. {Hate I missed that, really.}

Adding some fun, color, and happiness to a very scary room :) 
So you see why he deserves a shout out?
He's just being so darn nice. And cooperative. And that's how I like him. :)
{Love you Al!} 

& here's the {now} mRs. Tori Madsen Benoit :) ... ♥ her 
& here's our "sneak peak" of the engagement session. :)

Yes, I'm wearing the same top{s}... Please don't judge me.

That's all I know. I'm just darn proud I remembered to blog about these things! I have been soooo ADHD lately. Really needing some psychiatric medication at this point, but it's always the mental health therapists that don't take their own advice! ;) 

Until later {and not too much later I hope!}...


Sunday, August 19, 2012

"What's up? Nothing much..."

This isn't going to be a long post, but I feel like I should update!

Guess how many things we've figured out & got set in stone! Still z-e-r-o. I know who I want to be my photographer, but we haven't set a date, or anything else for that matter, so I'm not 100% sure she'll be free that day. Fingers crossed!

Also, can I just say that guest list dra-ma is not what I want to be doing on a Saturday afternoon? :) It was funny from time to time because Alex and our friends Derek & Danae are always good for some laughs, but in all honesty, I want all who I hold dear, as well as those who I enjoy their presence at my our wedding! So does Alex! But, the sickening truth is, unless we're going to charge a cover charge at the door, we have a problem. Every bride has to go through this. I mean, every bride I've talked to, because no one I know has it like that where they're able to invite 500+ people {except one but that's a rare exception}. Bluh! Just fill my time being engaged with growing closer spiritually and emotionally to my fiance, spending time with friends, laughs, good times, memories, good pictures, good food, and a couple nice presents if you really really want to and I will be set! None of this awkward, sad thinking and having to cut people from a guest list. No thank you!

And I'm officially going to stop updating people with the thoughts running through my head. Why? Because I annoy myself so I know I'm annoying others! ;) First its outside in October, then its April, then its May, then its November, then its May again. But it can't be May or Alex will melt, so it's got to be inside now. You catch my drift? Annoying. And the last thing I want to be is an annoying bride, so, stop me if you catch me being annoying! ;) Please!

And can I give a shout-out to my amazing girlfriends?! They've been there since day one, giving me ideas, offering to help in any way, watching me bounce off the walls, reassuring me it's all going to be okay, and just being super fabulous friends to me. {You know who you are!} And can I give a shout-out to my man? He's totally putting a smile on his face and letting me drag him through this journey with me. He's not complaining {too much} and most of the time when he is it's in a joking manner. And we're doing daily devotionals, really working on growing our relationship spiritually so we're {more} prepared for this thing called "married life" and working on getting better at praying with and for each other! I love that that's a priority for him & that he wants to make God the center of our relationship/future marriage.

That's really all I wanted to say. But yeah, just kidding about the "this isn't going to be a long post" thing. :)

When I know something, I'll let ya know! Until then, I start my new job this week so.. wish me luck!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bridal Showcase Success

So, for the longest time, I've been telling Alex I wanted to go to a bridal show. I know they only come around twice a year, or, this one specific one does, and I've been talking about it for a looong time. I've been fussing about it for a long time too because I just KNEW that Alex was going to propose after the August show & by the time the January show came around, I'd either be married or already planned everything. And I have always sworn that I wasn't going to a bridal show {for myself} without a ring on my finger. And for good reason! They're going to ask you a million times when your date is, and look for your ring, and all that, so, yeah, I just wasn't doing it.

Well, today I got my chance!! Alex had perfect timing all along, ;) haha.. and I was able to go to The Bridal Showcase in Charlotte, NC today with my mom and Alex's mom! We had such a good time walking around, talking to people, eating desserts, and getting ideas & getting INFORMED...

Man oh man oh man... I wish I would have counted up all the info I got today. Actually, scratch that. No I don't. That would be an annoying pointless task BUT this picture basically sums it up! I got all this info today, the rose {haha} and a t-shirt! I also set up 2 appointments to go try on bridal gowns in September! Woohoo!! I feel productive!! No more bad bride-to-be for me! :) Today was definitely worth the gas up there & the $12 ticket!

And, the best thing is is that I got "my experience" I was wanting!! I just wanted to do what all the other brides were doing have done! :) So, thank you Alex, for proposing two weeks ago, or else I would have been SO mad when I found out the bridal show was this weekend & I had to miss it again!! Haha

Ohh the joys of being a bride-to-be! :)

PS- Shout out to my friends Jessie & Hayden on their ENGAGEMENT! Love is in the air! ;) I'm so glad I can wedding plan with a{nother} friend of mine! So fun!

Can y'all tell I'm getting more excited about this?? Now I just have to nail down a venue & a date! But I worked on that tonight as well so... stay tuned!! ;)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A bad bride-to-be!

So, I used to feel like a horrible blogger because I was slackin' on the blogging. Now I feel like a bad bride-to-be because it's been 2 weeks since Alex & I got engaged & ask me how many things I've figured out. ONE. Who I'm going to marry. That. Is. It. ...Seriously!

First it was October.. then Alex decided to wait until the end of July to propose ;) .. so now we're I'm thinking April.. but then I find perfect places that would be beautiful in Autumn & I start thinking November.. so I can't even nail down a MONTH.

And don't get me started on venues. Wedding venues are outrageous! If you're going to charge me quadruple-digits, offer something other than a roof over my head & a parking lot. Please.

Small budgets are the worst when planning weddings but the good thing is, it keeps you grounded. I'm not able to say "I'll take one of this, and one of that." I'm being super "picky" because I have to make every dollar count. I think that's a good thing! Simple + pretty is what my wedding will be. And there ain't nothin' wrong with that! ;)

I have been super blessed so far with the fact that I have great friends who are offering to help me brainstorm, come up with ideas, and giving me their 2 cents.. all of which have been welcome thus far! ;) I've never gotten married before, so I don't know what all there is to know. I welcome any and all suggestions, ideas, and advice you've got!

I'm excited about figuring things out.
I'm excited about The Bridal Showcase tomorrow in Charlotte.
And I'm excited that every day that passes is one day I'm closer to marrying my best friend!

I think it'll all come together in time. I may or may not know a wedding month before Christmas. But it'll all come together.

I do know this...
I don't need to freak out.
I don't need to stress out.
I don't need to rush through things.
I don't need to overwhelm myself.
I need to take my time, make good decisions, and take it all in because I'll never be a bride-to-be again!
I'm excited about sharing this season with my fiance, friends, & family and am looking forward to our big day!!

PS: I spent quite a bit of time repinning all my wedding-related pins into different boards so I didn't have 350+ pins about 10 different things all in one board to make me cross my eyeballs. Check out my new boards & Follow me on Pinterest! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

We're Getting Married!

I can't believe it's taken me this long..
a) to say these words,
and b) to blog about this, but...


It's true! After 9+ years, this girl & boy are making it official!! 

Alex proposed July 22nd & it was {get this...} a surprise!!! Yep, that's right, he got me! I thought before there was NO way that was happening and he MADE it happen!! He gets major points for that one! ;) 

I don't know why, but I'm really paranoid about wedding websites from sites like The Knot, etc. so I am making my own, of course! Stay tuned (for real this time!} for that. I've gotta figure at least a couple things out before I post it. Until then, just look at how happy my man is... ;)

We are so excited and can't wait to share this time in our lives with everyone! And I can't wait to share with y'all all the craziness going on inside my head and all my fab new Pinterest finds!! Woohoo!! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This week's favorite pins!

Check out some of my favorite pins from this week. It's the least I could do for being such a bad blogger.
So, my hair is annoying me. Again. My next color job is gonna be something along these lines! I'm loving that "it's blonde, but it's not"... I seriously have a problem. Thank you God that I still have hair!! I am soooo ready for LENGTH!!! 

This seriously happens to me every time I go to take a nap...

Unfortunately this is also true...

And this amazing photo...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

So much for 30 days

So I suck for not blogging as much as I used to. This 30 blogs in 30 days thing is turning into 7 blogs in 65 days. My bad!

I'm gonna take some down time this evening, not work, and blog as much of these as I can because I am determined to finish something non-required in my life!!! Okay, so here it goes...and just for the record, some days are going to be skipped for now, but I WILL do all 30 days. Eventually. I'm kind of picking and choosing what I want to write about tonight. :) Okay...

Day 8: 5 Passions of Mine

  1. Assisting others in getting the help they need. 
  2. Helping my clients better their lives in any way possible
  3. Growing closer and closer every day to God
  4. Becoming debt-free, believe it or not...
  5. & Working towards one day having healthy hair again! 
Day 10: My Most Embarrassing Moment
I hate to say this but I have no idea. I've probably said or did something in the past that should have embarrassed me but didn't. So to think of a MOST embarrassing is a toughie. Sorry! I really would tell you if I knew.

Day 11: 10 Pet Peeves I Have
  1. When people misuse they're, their, and there. And you're and your. 
  2. When people don't smile with their teeth. [Shout out to Joy Smith! ;)]
  3. Seeing grown-out roots, and not the cute ombre type
  4. People getting help to fix a problem, then continuing to have that same problem
  5. Grown adults who can't get their life straight
  6. People who think they have an excuse to treat people poorly
  7. The HORRIBLE reception I get on my phone
  8. People who talk through their children or animals
  9. The word "supposebly"
  10. When I say "literally" and Alex says "LITERALLY?" [drives me bananas]
Day 12: Describe a typical day in your current life.
Well, get your bed ready because you're gonna wanna snooze after you read this. I wake up, shower, do my hair, scour my house for something to wear to work, grab a protein bar & a can of Mello Yello out of the fridge, eat, drink, and put my makeup on in the car on my drive to work, get to work, do a million things, try to go to lunch with a friend, head back to work, stay past 5:00 about every day, am typically the last one out the door, drive home, too tired to talk on the phone, get home, eat something, walk 2+ miles around the block, watch a little TV with Mom & Alex, send him on his way, shower, and pass out in the bed with my hair wet. OH! & I've been reading Redeeming Love every night before bed because it is my FAVORITE book! Seriously. My life needs a makeover. 

Day 13: 5 Weaknesses of Mine
  1. I sometimes think before I speak. I also make faces that tell you what I'm thinking when I should be thinking something totally different.
  2. I am messy. THERE! I SAID IT! 
  3. I am super impulsive. 
  4. I feel obligated to buy anything that's on sale 30% or more.
  5. I don't stick to anything that isn't required for any decent amount of time. I fully invest myself for a day to a week, then I'm on to the next! 
Day 14: 5 Strengths of Mine
  1. I am loyal to a fault.
  2. I will do about anything to help someone.
  3. I am a hard worker.
  4. I try really hard to be a good friend.
  5. If I find something that's great, I want to share it. 
Day 15: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
I would be a bird, so I could fly far far away from here. Just kidding. I have no idea what kind of animal I would be. Maybe my dog? Because she does what she wants when she wants and everyone still loves her no matter how crazy she is. 

Day 16: My 5 Greatest Accomplishments
  1. Graduating from college in three years
  2. Getting my Masters degree
  3. "Getting a job" before I graduated- that's a big deal in the counseling field! 
  4. Studying abroad- And I say that because so many people want to, very little actually do.
  5. and Alex said "landing a big fish."  I'm not dating a conceited person or anything. 
Day 17: What is the thing you wish were great at?
Staying fit and eating healthy for sure.

Day 18: What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
Hmm. Probably dealing with/loving my father through/despite his alcoholism. 

Day 19: If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
NYC baby! Duh! EVEN though it gets so so cold there. It would be worth it. Why? Because it's amazing, I'd feel like I was living in a movie or a TV show, everything's so close to you, you'd see celebrities all the time, it's gorgeous... need I continue? 

There. That's all I've got for tonight. I'm gonna go cry because I don't have five great accomplishments, much less "greatest." 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

30 Blogs in 30 Days: Day 7: My Dream Job

Day 7 of 30 Blogs in 30 Days {Which should be called 30 blogs in 100+ days as slow as I'm going...} has me tell all about my dream job! This is ironic because I've been talking about my dream job here & there for a couple weeks now to various individuals.

I will say that. I am on my way to working at my dream job. {So far} As of right now, I think my dream job would be to do counseling of some type.  I would love to work in a hospital one day, counseling individuals dealing with adjustments of various kinds, or family members of patients.

Call me lazy if you want, but I would love love love LOVE to not have to work an 8-5 five days a week. That's probably my dream. I would love to have some down time in a week to not have to rush, to be able to space my to-do list out, or you know, a day to sleep in. ;) But if I 110% loved what I was doing, it wouldn't feel like work, and I don't know if I'd mind working 40+ hours a week.

I think my dream job would be able to schedule clients according to MY schedule, have them come see me in MY office, and to make enough money to be able to pay my student loans off A-S-A-P!

Is that too much to ask??

For now, I'm a provisionally licensed therapist. I have another 2ish years left to be supervised once a week. I can't wait to be a fully licensed therapist. For one, I'll be able to bill more insurances, and so many more doors will open for me. My company is growing so darn fast, so I'm sure there will be something of interest for me to do down the road. Until then, I'm just so glad I have the opportunity to do therapy before I'm fully licensed. I love my clients and love having the chance to gain the experience I need and to learn more and more every day.

Hopefully this Fall I'll get to start something different. That's the plan, but we'll see. I think I'll like what I'll {hopefully} be doing then. I love the company I work for so I'm very lucky to be able to have done {now} four different positions in the company, even since I've started in September. I'm just happy not having to do something I don't like doing. :)

Click here to read my other blog posts from 30 blogs in 30 days. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

30 Blogs in 30 Days: Day 6: The hardest thing I've ever had to experience

Day 6 of 30 Blogs in 30 Days: Tell about the hardest thing you ever had to experience.

This is hard for me. I've been through a lot in my life but it's hard for me to say what was the hardest. I don't like to grade my trials and tribulations on a scale of one to ten, and I don't know that I've even ever experienced a "ten." The therapist in me is reminding me {to remind you} that not everyone's "ten" is a "ten."  Some people's "fives" may be others' "tens." Some people, myself included, have been blessed to be able to say that their life could be worse. We all could really say that, but some days, I know some things are harder for others.

Side note: Did any of that make sense?!?! I just took a Benadryl {or two} and am feeling it right about now. Maybe you can tell? Anywho...

The hardest thing I've ever had to experience?

Hmm... well, it was probably when my brother lost his eyesight beginning in August 2009. {How's that affect me, you ask?} Well it was a super hard time for my family. And my brother affects me, as does my family. My parents were still together, which often times made things more difficult if you wanna know the truth. And seeing my brother go through all he went through was tough on me as a sister, especially when he took things out on me.....

Time out: I know my brother doesn't read my blog. And this is personal. And I'm choosing to share this. If he finds out what I said, so be it. If he gets mad, that sucks. But I'm trying to honest, and I hope others respect that.

.... That was probably the toughest thing. I tried my little heart out to help him in any way I could, and he was so hurt and mad at the world that he took it out on me any chance he got. You couldn't talk to him. You couldn't question anything he was doing. You couldn't provide him suggestions. And you dang sure couldn't suggest he was doing anything wrong. My brother didn't talk to me for probably a year or more. I mean he did, but as needed, and it wasn't ever good conversations.

I like to think that phase is behind us. But my family going through all we went through, as a unit, and individually as well, was not a great time for the only two siblings to be upset with each other. I think know he was mad at me, and I was mad at him for being mad at me {!!}. And I would try, and he would get mad, and I would get upset, and I would swear off ever helping him again. Until he needed something. Or I saw a way to help. {Enter that unconditional love} I would always go back to my brother, helping him in any way possible because I know that's what God wants us to do for EVERYone and I am sure He knew my brother needed me. And I'm sure He knew I could help. And I'm sure that He saw things so far down the road {today & in the future} that what seemed to be a big deal, wasn't. But that cycle of being mad/sad, getting over it, just to set myself up to get mad again wasn't getting me anywhere. And it sure the heck wasn't helping anything.

I just prayed and prayed and prayed that God would heal my relationship with my brother. And I think step by step, day by day, God is doing that. I say God because after everything that's happened {to us and between us} that the only way my brother and I can have a healthy, loving, sibling relationship is by God. I knew God would do His thang to make it happen. And He is. Slowly but surely :)

Pat's senior prom ~ Spring 2009

Pat's High School Graduation ~ June 2009

June 2011 at my cousin's wedding :)

Click here to read more of my 30 blogs in 30 days. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

30 Blogs in 30 Days: Day 5: Five Things That Make Me Happy

Yep, I haven't forgotten about 30 Blogs in 30 Days! I just took a detour & blogged about inexpensive makeup, Mary Kay, and George Bush's interview about 9/11. That's what my blog's all about: Blogging about whatever the heck I want, when I want! ;)

So TODAY I shall blog about whatever the heck Day 5 is supposed to be.

And day 5 is....

Five things that make me HAPPY {in no particular order} ... That'll be easy enough :)

1. Pampering myself
Any time I can find the time [and money] to pamper myself, I will. That could mean getting a pedicure, getting my favorite shellac manicure or just painting my nails, coloring my hair, getting a fresh new haircut or style [body wave not included], taking a lavender-scented bubble bath, putting masks on my hair [Lord please heal my hair], playing with makeup, $HOPPING, or getting some color on my skin [I still am on the look-out for the perfect spray tan!] - I am always looking for new ways to feel better about myself, and if giving myself a spa day does it, well, I guess I'll just have to do it. ;)

2. My boy
Alex Mullen drives me crazy, more than probably anyone, but Lord do I love that boy! 9+ years together will do that to ya! He takes care of me and makes me laugh and that's all any girl wants! He truly makes me happy and I can't imagine my life without him.

3. Capital G - O - D
Hate me for being cliche, or cheesy, or whatever you want to call me today, but I'm not joking y'all.. a lot's going on in my life, and a lot has gone on in my life. I can't imagine where I would be without my God. I can't imagine where I would be without the hope I have in Him. I can't imagine how anyone gets through anything negative [and healthily] without Jesus. He is truly my strength, my hope, my joy, and my future! I know that no matter what happens, He is there with me, guiding me along, bringing happiness to me in the oddest of ways. And for that I am thankful! :)

4. Doing what I do
I love my job. I love that I have the opportunity to assist others in bettering their lives. Doing therapy has given me the opportunity to help people see the bigger picture, feel better about themselves, improve their family, improve their relationships, and deal better [in more healthy & appropriate ways] with the things going on in their lives. Making them happier and healthier makes ME happy as well!

5. Hang Time
Being with my friends, hanging out, doing nothing or doing something fun, or even doing something stupid makes me really happy. I love all of my friends, past and present! I don't know what I'd do without some of them. We're all super busy, and have our own things going on, so it makes me really happy to get to spend time with them. We always end up laughing and what's not happy about that?!
an oldie but a goodie :) 

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