OOTD

10:24 AM, in

Casual Friday


Navy Blazer: American Eagle (similar)
Striped Tee: Banana Republic (similar)
Skinny Jeans: American Eagle
Pink Statement Necklace: Ebay (similar)
Navy Satchel: Michael Kors (vintage. Ebay!)
Bracelet: Alex and Ani 
Pink Ballet Flats: Amazon

Fridays mean jeans at the office! I try to pair the jeans with a nicer top to keep my outfit work appropriate. Although, I would love to show up in a tee-shirt. Downtown Tallahassee is full of suits, especially during session. You don't want to dress down too much, or you will stick out a bit. Although there are a lot of homeless people downtown too.. 
Today I was feeling my blue blazer. Love that thing! It goes with everything. Plus when it warms up this afternoon I can just take it off.
 I also wanted to throw in some pink, since it is the last day of October. 
My outfit would not be complete without my day planner!! I take it with me always.
One day I will show you how I stay organized.

What do you wear on Causal Fridays?


Blossom

5:41 PM, in

"Blossom where you are planted", a popular phrase. This is something that I truly believe in, and have personally embraced. 
Growing up, my family traveled very often. From a young age we all developed wanderlust. I know my sister and I both don't feel complete without a trip on the calendar in the near future. 
Now that I am a grown up (yuck) and married, I don't get to take as many trips as I'd like. We travel fairly often, but it is usually short distances. 
Blake and I would love to be able to pack up and go! We have purposely put off having kids so that we can have the freedom to do that. But, the problem is we don't really have that much freedom. Owning a house ties you down so much. 
We also own a house in a small town. 
I noticed that when I dwell on that fact, I have to admit that I start to feel a little trapped. 
I just want to go! anywhere! 

Here is where the Blossom quote comes in. 
I could obsess about all of the things I can't do.
Here is a fact:
I may want to see the world, but I can't right now. (sad face) 
But, what I can do: Blossom. 
I can make the most of my life whatever/wherever that is. 
While there are many things about my house or small town that I dislike, I choose to focus on what I do like!
Contentment means being happy where you are and with what you have.
 Complaining will not make anything better. In fact, complaining will only make people want you to go more than you want to leave. 


How do you guys stay content? 
& Have you embraced any popular sayings? 

Deuteronomy 12:30, 31

“be careful not to be entrapped after they have been annihilated from before you. Do not ask about their gods, saying, “How were these nations accustomed to serve their gods? I too will do the same. You must not do this to Jehovah you God, because they do for their gods every detestable thing that Jehovah hates, even burning their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.”


At Deuteronomy 12:30, 31 Jehovah made it plain to the Israelites that the practices and customs of the Canaanites were disgusting to Him. Because of their detestable practices, the Canaanites were going to be destroyed, and any Israelite practicing the same things would be too. We also want to be careful that we are not contaminated by the world. For example, there are many popular holidays coming up that are full of things that Jehovah hates, and we do not want to have any part in them if we want our worship to be clean.

Read the Bible online for free at JW.org


Inspired by: Creme de la Crumb
Serves 4

Preheat oven to 375*

You will need 2 cups shredded chicken breast. This is a great opportunity to use rotisserie left overs. If you are not using leftovers, cook your chicken first. 

Cook 8 lasagna noodles according to package directions.

In a large bowl combine:

2 cups shredded chicken breast
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded Parmesan 
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Stir well.

Lay cooked lasagna noodles out in a single layer. Spread about 1/4 cup chicken mixture onto each noodle, and roll tightly. 

Pour 1 cup Alfredo sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.

Place each roll seam side down in the baking dish, side by side. Pour another cup of Alfredo sauce on top of the roll ups. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve!


This was a fairly easy dinner to throw together. It is my goal this week to cook every night! This was a good start. Although the cap busted on my oregano and spilled probably half a cup of herb into the bowl. Ugh. I had to basically dump it out and start again-and the oregano flavor was still way too strong! (I didn't have Italian seasoning so I was making my own.) 
Besides that extra flavor boost, I thought it was really yummy and I will make it again! 



The past few weeks I have been pretty lazy in my fitness. I am still very active, and almost always get my 10,000 steps with my Fitbit. But, when it comes to extra exertion-I've been lacking.
It has just been a busy time of the year. (insert other excuses here
My mom talked me into signing up for the Red Cross Hurricane Run in Tallahassee. I thought with a race coming up that would motivate me a little. While I have been slacking, I still thought I could do it...
Running has never been that hard! The course took place in Tom Brown Park, it was a paved course, but most of the run took place on an old bike trail. The rough terrain definitely added a challenge. 
Not to mention the race started at 4:30! I have only done one other evening race, and I don't think I will do one again! It is so different when you run first thing in the morning! It is much cooler and you have way more energy. & for some reason it decided to be 85 degrees on Sunday, when every other day this week hasn't been hot at all. Also, I tried wearing 2 sports bras to hold my phone (new phone! but I haven't gotten my new running band in the mail yet.) and that was a terrible idea. I didn't realize how hard that would make it to breathe!!

This was tough! 
I finished at about 40 minutes. My goal was to be under 40, but I knew that wasn't going to happen around mile 1. 
My bib number was pretty cool tough-1111!


The theme for the Hurricane Run was:
Run For Bob!
It was on the back of all the t shirts, and I finally figured out who Bob is. Bob is a board member of the local Red Cross. He put on this race for the last few years. A few months ago Bob was bitten by a mosquito and was paralyzed! The run was dedicated to his recovery. 
Here are a few pictures of from the race!
Mom, my brother Cameron and Me

Friends M'lisa and Autumn

The only person I know who can actually pull off a headband!

At Start! There were not many runners, so we ended up at the front. One day I will be like the girls at the front wearing just shorts and sports bra...if only I had those abs!

The trail. Do you see that old lady beating me?!

After! Ugh, it was so hot.

Triumph! With friends Slonde, Walsta, and Kuteeah
It was Slonde's first 5k! She did great. 

We are doing a Turkey Trot in November, and it is my goal to really prepare! 
I have 1 month! 

What do you think of evening races? Am I the only one who hates them?

I am so excited to report that I have my camera back! I have had my Canon Rebel for about 3 years now. A few months ago, I was taking a picture when the shutter never reopened. No matter how I tried, I could not get my camera to turn back on. The worst part is-it was out of warranty. 
Finally, we got it sent off to the Canon repair facility, and they shipped it back to me good as new! 
I am not a professional by any means, but I do love taking pictures! 
My first subject was Delly of course!



Then I was able to round up a few girls who wouldn't mind being my subjects. They are 3 best friends so this was a fun photo shoot. I also got to explore Heritage Park and Gardens in Live Oak and I found a few spots that would make great back drops in the future. I really wish we had more options for photo locations around here. 






Pressure to do a good job is so tough to deal with! I personally need to work on communicating what I want the person to do. It is such a balance with wanting them to feel natural while also giving them instructions. I'd like to learn how to instruct them without posing them too much.

I was so happy (relieved) to come home and upload the pictures to find good ones! Because I do not like that overly photoshopped look, I did very minimal editing of these images. 

One of my friends asked me to take pictures of her parents for their anniversary in a few months. I feel a little more confident after this afternoon, but I still want to do a lot of practicing in between.

I know my blog with benefit from the better quality of pictures! My phone camera just isn't cuttin' it! 





Did anyone else have RockBand/Guitar Hero parties? We loved this game, and often had people over to play it with us. (a lot of people!) Personally, I liked playing the bass, and then loved playing the keyboard when that came out. Singing was fun too, but only when you could convince someone else to belt it out with you! 
I'm doing a 5k on Sunday, and have been working on a playlist to motivate me. (haven't be practicing..whoops) 
These are my favorite RockBand songs to work out to! The playlist is right around 40 minutes-what I hope to finish the race in. 


What are your favorite workout songs?
See my last playlist here.

Service Organizer

11:09 AM, in
With so many products on Etsy, you'd think I would have any easier time finding the perfect service organizer. It actually took me a long time to find one with vinyl sleeves. I had an organizer I was really happy with, but I was just running out of room! This was the perfect solution for me. 
The front and back covers have pockets the perfect size for our tracts. I even got clever and added a fridge pad to one pocket for quick note taking. The quality of this folder is very impressive! I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised! 
You can get one here!




How do you stay organized? 






Serves 4
Inspired By: Real Mom Kitchen

Preheat your oven to 400*

Place 1 lb chicken breast strips in the bottom of a 13x9 greased baking dish. 

In a small bowl combine: 
1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 tsp salt. Brush spice mixture on chicken strips. 

Top chicken with a 15 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies, 1/2 green bell pepper cut into strips, 1/2 red bell pepper cut into strips, and 1/2 onion cut into strips. 

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Chicken should be thoroughly cooked and veggies will be tender. Stir well and serve on flour tortillas. Top with things like shredded cheese, sour cream or guacamole

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Probably our go-to dinner is anything taco. I am always trying to reinvent taco night. This is a yummy recipe that involves very little work! Great for a weeknight meal. Plus you have the added healthy bonus of baking the chicken and veggies, instead of frying them. 
What are you making for dinner tonight? 



OOTD

10:57 AM, in

Fall In Florida


Dark Plum Pants: American Eagle
Peach Sleeveless Top: Loft (old) {kinda similar}
Olive Army Jacket: Ambiance (from a boutique) {kinda similar}
Bracelet: Alex and Ani
Necklace: Old, don't remember {exact necklace on Ebay}
Leopard Ballet Flats: American Eagle
Houndstooth Travel Mug: TJMaxx

Fall in North Florida means layers!! It starts off so cool in the mornings, but by 2 its back up in the 80's. Today is a work day for me. We get to be pretty casual in the office, but usually try to save jeans for Fridays. You are getting a 10 second timer selfie because I'm way too embarrassed to ask any one in the office to take a picture of me. I can't wait until I get my new phone! & I will really be able to step up my picture game when my Canon gets back from the manufacturer. (More about that later) 
What are you guys wearing on this lovely Wednesday? 


Deuteronomy 10:12, 13

"Now, O Israel, what is Jehovah your God asking of you? Only this: to fear Jehovah your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of Jehovah that I am commanding you today..."

At Deuteronomy 10:12, 13 one of the things Jehovah asks of us is for our obedience. But, he does not desire forced obedience. There are 2 things we need to become obedient from the heart: Love for Jehovah and Faith. Both of these things can be developed from Bible study. When we study the Bible we build appreciation for Jehovah and his qualities, and we also see faith strengthening examples of how others were blessed for their obedience. 


Read the Bible online for free at JW.org



 We spent this past weekend at Walt Disney World! 
As passholders we go to Disney pretty often, but this was an exceptional trip!
The weather was perfect-cool in the mornings and pretty warm in the afternoons. Well..really warm in the sun. Disney has such a special place in our hearts. We went on our second date to the parks, we got engaged in front of Cinderella Castle during the fireworks, and we spent the first part of our honeymoon at WDW. You can never have a bad time at Disney! One of my favorite things to do is go with friends and family. While it is hard to go with a big group, we feel more flexible because we go so often. 

You find out someone has been talking behind your back.

It is never a good idea to talk about someone behind their back, because somehow-someway it will get back to them. 
Recently this happened to me. It hurts! Finding out someone has a negative opinion of you can be devastating. When this happens to you, you have a few options. 

1. Decide if it matters to you what they think. 


To help you decide:
How do other people (people you respect) view that person?
Do they have the same standards I do?
Why do you think they chose you to talk about?
Is there any truth to what they said?

When you decide that you do value that person's opinion, that is when you should confront the situation. 
If you do not value the person's opinion, let it go. (cue Frozen sing along)



Proverbs 26:4- "Do not answer the stupid one according to his foolishness, so that you do not put yourself on his level."
&

2. Prove them wrong.


Whether or not you value that person's opinion, all you can do is your best. Be the best person you can be, and prove them wrong. All I can do is show the world who I really am. 





Do you have any strategies when dealing with bad mouthers? 



We seriously go through so much peanut butter in our house. I love natural peanut butter, but it can get expensive. I had no idea the only ingredient in peanut butter is peanuts! 

In a food processor add: 
16 oz roasted peanuts (salted, unsalted, honey roasted-any kind you want)
Process for 4 minutes. The peanuts will go from crumbs, to dough, to butter! 

You can store at room temperature, or for thicker PB-store in the fridge. 




As you have seen, I am a big list writer! It is so important to write your goals down. Whether it is your goal of visiting the Grand Canyon, or your goal of finishing the laundry-write it down! Writing it down makes you accountable. It is so incredibly satisfying to cross it off! The best part is when you are done, you get to set a new goal.

 You can always improve, and there is always going to be something you haven't done or seen. 

I decided to write up a 30 Before 30. It is a list of things that I want to accomplish in the next 5-6 years before I turn 30. Some are big dreams, and some are little things that I have always wanted to do. 




Leave me a comment: What's on your 30 Before 30?


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