Monday, April 30, 2012

30 Before 30-TV Show

Earlier this year I created a list of 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. Some of them were fairly large goals (going on a mission trip, adding to our family, etc) while others were a little sillier (keeping my nails painted for a month for instance). Well, folks I'm here to tell you about my most recent feat-I watched an entire show from beginning to end!

I know this seems silly. That's because it is. This is a bit of an accomplishment for me, though. While I have never been formally diagnosed with ADD, I'm 99.99% sure my job has given me some form of it. Between the children constantly shouting questions and concerns at me coupled with the million things I have going on with my computer at any given point in time, I have developed a tendency to stay away from focusing.What the heck does that have to do with watching a TV show? Well, prior to this I had never watched an entire TV series from beginning to end. I usually start it, then somewhere in the middle I lose focus and quit watching. The TV show that has snapped me out of this funk? None other than Friday Night Lights!

I found it after searching Netflix for an hour-long show I could watch while I was on the treadmill. This gem was recommended after Netflix perused my previous collection. I was hooked from the first episode! Everything from Eric and Tammy's love-infused marriage to the drama of Jason Street's accident kept me watching. The writers never gave us an opportunity to get bored with the storyline. My only complaint was the way it all ended. It was as if they weren't renewed for another season and they had no way to end it but to cut it off.

So if you're looking for something to do this summer while the shows on are hiatus, I highly suggest checking out Friday Night Lights! I've since moved onto Mad Men and have actually broken my own rule of "only Netflix shows while on the treadmill" to keep up with the action. Don't be surprised if I start replicating everything Betty Draper wears and pursue my masters in advertising. . .

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Doesn't Get Much Better

This post is coming to you straight from our patio on this glorious Sunday afternoon. My handsome hubby is reading beside me while the princess lays in the grass next to us. Does it get much better than this? I think not. These past few days God has shown me how incredible His blessings are. I don't even know where to begin with all the wonderful, so I'll start with David's homecoming.

Thursday evening brought a very tired David home from a three-week stint in Alabama. We were both overjoyed by his arrival after so many weeks apart. He was there for an outage at the plant he worked at last Spring. We were fortunate that he didn't have to do the crazy six months like last time, but it still stunk to have him gone. Our neighbors and families did a great job helping us out and taking care of me. As you can imagine we were both pretty stoked to have him home again. The very first thing this sweet boy did after unpacking his car was put together the patio set I had purchased during his absence. He also went and picked up an elliptical he found on Craigslist for me since I haven't been able to run (dang pulled muscle). Seriously, how lucky am I?!? That evening we grilled out and visited with my sweet friend Kelley before turning in early. He hadn't slept in over twenty four hours and I'm just an old lady who goes to bed early;-)

Friday morning started with David making us a delicious breakfast (his body was used to night shift hours) before I headed off to school. It was a typical crazy Friday, but imagine my delight when I look down the hallway and here he comes with coffees for me and my teammates! And the best hubby award goes to Davido! We were talking with one of my teammates when my principal came down the hallway with some news . . . I won Beginning Teacher of the Year for our school!!! This is an incredible honor made even more special by the fact that my peers were the ones who chose me. I'm still on cloud nine from this news!! I contemplated not even posting about it because I didn't want to seem like I was bragging, but I am super excited about the honor!!

We celebrated that evening by heading to our local favorite, Afton Tavern. We enjoyed our meal on the patio and got to see some of our friends from church before we headed back. We spent the evening relaxing with our neighbors playing corn hole and enjoying the beautiful weather. Couldn't think of a better way to celebrate!

Saturday morning we ventured out to the Crack-O-Barro (Cracker Barrel for y'all above the age of 6) for a big breakfast. After we gorged ourselves on deliciousness we hit the mall for a few random items before heading home. We had grand plans of doing things around the house. That was interrupted by the dreary weather and the laziness it brought with it. We ended up pulling out the sofa bed and catching up on our shows all afternoon. Be jealous. We tied the evening up with steaks and vegetables on the grill-mm mm mm!

This morning we celebrated with our Hope Church family and were able to witness three wonderful people give their lives to Jesus through baptisms-praise God! Once again our great plans of productivity were thrown out the window thanks to the weather. Instead of the dreariness making us lazy, it is sunshine making us want to loll about reading all day. I don't hate it.

All in all it has been a glorious weekend with me living on cloud nine. I hope everyone has had as wonderful of a weekend as we have!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Reese's Pieces Banana Muffins

This past week I had an excess of bananas that had gone bad. What's any good cook to do with bad bananas? Banana bread, of course! I wanted to make something a little different, though, in honor of "Administrative Professionals Week" to thank the wonderful ladies at work who help keep the school running! I searched high and low for a recipe and found one. Here is a unique twist on boring ol' banana bread. . . Reese's Pieces Banana Muffins!

1-1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (I used 3 large bananas)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (1 Starbucks Via Packet)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Reese’s Pieces
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. 
In a bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg. 
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda and salt. 
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
 Mix in the Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips. 
Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. 
Bake in the  oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick (comes out clean).
Let cool for 15 minutes.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday's Letters [04.27]

It's another fantastical Friday with Adventures of Newlyweds!

Dear Alabama, Thank you oh so very much for returning my sweet husband to me! Daisy and I have been quite lonely without him and are overjoyed at having him back. Three weeks is far too long to be apart, especially when one of us works days and the other works nights. I hope you don't want to see him again because I don't plan on returning him to you. Ever.

Dear tomato plant, My sincerest apologies for not thinking of you during that ugly little cold snap earlier this week. I totally should have brought you into the warmth of our home sooner than I did, but the fact that I remembered to do it one night counts, right? Right?!? Please don't die on me now. That would make me oh so very sad.

Dear thisiswhyimbroke.comI don't know quite what to say to you. You have truly thought of everything that I never knew I wanted. You've also thought up quite a few things I have no interest in, but certainly make me giggle. Thank you for providing me with another opportunity to waste time.

Dear Davido, I am SUPER excited to have you home again. Three weeks is far too long to be apart. The house was very lonely without you. The neighbors did a fabulous job of helping me out, but it wasn't the same as having you home. I'm going to need you to never leave again. See what you can do about that, OK?

On our wedding day. . .

Dear Mad Men, Why are you so wonderful? You really to slow down on being so fabulous because now that my sweet husband is home, I can't devote my entire evening to taking you and all your 1960's glory in.

Dear baby fever, Please vamoosh. And do so as soon as possible if you can. I have you caught a pretty bad case of you. In case you forgot I have this whole kidney issue to conquer first. So I would really appreciate it if you could disappear for a bit and come back later. Muchos gracias!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I usually devote my Thursday postings to the things in my life that I am thankful for. This Thursday I thought I would veer off that course to share something that is on my heart. I tweeted this late last night when I was in a bit of a funk:

My sister responded with:

Wow. Talk about some truth being thrown at you. It was exactly what I needed to hear, though. I have been allowing myself to wallow in self-pity the past two weeks about this pulled muscle. I have been allowing it to bring me down when instead I should be grateful that I have the potential to run again one day. Heck, like my sister said, I should be grateful I can even walk!

How often do we allow ourselves to get caught up in the things that surround us? How often do we let our emotions depend upon others? How often do we let worldly experiences replace the pursuit of eternal life with our Savior? Too often is the answer on my heart.

I am very guilty of complaining about all that I don't have instead of being grateful for the things that I do have. The fact that I have a car to drive each and every day puts me way ahead of most of the world. Yet I can't stop myself from referring to it as the "rattletrap" car and coveting the newer models I see on the road.

What about the emails that flood my inbox with new clothes, shoes, etc? Instead of thanking Him for all that I do have, I still peruse the site to see what's out there. I then pat myself on the back for not actually spending the money. I tell myself I'm a good person because I didn't actually buy that dress. But in all honesty, how am I any better than the person who does buy that dress? I'm still coveting that item.

The truth of the matter is I need to do a better job of thanking Him for all that he has given me. Not just every Thursday for y'all to see, but on a regular basis in my daily conversations with Him. I need to do a better job of praising Him for the multitude of blessings I do have instead of wishing for the things that I don't

Does anyone else struggle with this? I'd love to hear how y'all combat the temptations of this world!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Friends Forever

I get by with a little help from my friends.
-John Lennon

Has a more true phrase ever been uttered? I don't think so. I had the true pleasure of visiting two sweet friends of mine the other day. Now, these girls are not just any friends. I've known these girls for over twenty years. Wow. Still cannot believe that. We all moved into our houses about the same time and we couldn't help but become thick as thieves. Kellie Collins (KC) lived next door and Kelley Taylor (KT) lived across the street. You can only imagine the confusion that came from having two best friends named Kellie/Kelley. We even had a nickname for our little posse- KLK (Kellie Lauren Kelley). We were so cool. 

We did just about everything together when we were younger. Swim team, cheerleading, concerts, errands with our mommas, vacations-you name it we did it together. I think our parents realized early on there was no way they could keep us apart so they all just adopted us. I considered their homes my second and third homes and their parents my add-on parents. It was not unusual for us to go to each other's houses and just open up the pantry to see what someone's mom had bought that week. It was rude. It was what you did with family and that's what we were. 

We went through our teeny-bopper boy band crazy phase, though I'm pretty sure we're still going through it. If BSB ever came back to Charlotte we'd be there front row center with our bedazzled T-shirts (been there, done that). We went through break-ups and break-downs. We went through an eating disorder. We went all the way through school from kindergarten to graduation. You name it, we have conquered it together. I have been, and continue to be, immensely blessed by these women and I am extremely grateful for the support and love they continue to offer me. I hope that our future children will one day be lucky enough to know the kind of friendship that has supported me all these years. Until then a few pictures to keep you giggling. . .

A gymnastics birthday party 

Please take note of that sass on my face. I was a mess!

Our pre-teen angsty years

Vacationing in New Jersey

I always told y'all I see myself as the birthday queen. . .

Vacationing in Charlestion, SC
Does anyone see those earrings I was wearing?! Why did no one stop me??

 On my wedding day
(along with my cousin and sisters)

I apologize for the pitiful quality of these pictures. It was the best I could do without any knowledge on how to use the fancy pants printer/scanner/space ship in our office. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Guest Post on The Blog Tap

Happy Tuesday one and all! I had a fabulous post all set to go yesterday, but it was deleted. Oh, the tragedies of my life as the merry mrs. mobley ;-) Today I am chatting over at The Blog Tap about some things to consider if you're new to blogging. For instance, is a name really all that important? What about a host? Does it really matter what you say? All things to consider, so stop on by and see me!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Butternut Squash

I've mentioned my extreme love of our weekly produce box from a local farm quite a few times. Every Thursday of this past winter we received a box of fresh produce. We just started our Spring session this past week! What we get varies week to week, and it's always exciting to see what we get! Butternut Squash was pretty popular this past winter. Here is a recipe a sweet friend of mine at work shared and I couldn't wait to try. It's definitely a repeater:-)

1 butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon parsley
sprinkling of parmesean cheese

Preheat oven to 400.
Peel and cube squash.
Place in oven safe dish.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Stir in garlic and parsley.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Me in A-Z

Hello all! I was recently tagged by two very sweet ladies and fellow bloggers, Autumn at Mrs. in the Making and Tanya at A Glass of Wine and a Good Book. Each of these girls did it a little differently, so I figured I'd do it a little differently too. I thought I'd share some facts about me for my new readers from A-Z. Too much? Probably, but I want to do it, anyway:-)

 I attended one step aerobics class in college and learned very quickly that step aerobics is not a talent of mine.
I am currently on a plan to read the Bible in a year, and I love this special time each day!
If I could live anywhere I would choose Charleston, SC in a heartbeat. 
 My thumbs are double-jointed.
I've spent my entire life on the East Coast, in the South more specifically
Now that I've had fresh fruits & veggies, I have a hard time buying them at the grocery store
 I love grocery shopping! Odd? Yep.
I have a soft spot in my heart for topics from History.
 I love nights in with my hubby
I love Jesus!
 My two best friends growing up were both named Kelly, but they spelled it Kelley and Kellie.
 I love that my name is Lauren because it means I can write cursive L's. Thanks, Momma and Daddy!
I believe that alone time is a great recharger in a marriage.
 I want all of our children to have a family name as either their first or middle name.
I'm pretty much obsessed with baking. Actually, I'm totally obsessed.
I am most at peace with my husband next to me on our back patio
I'm a quote-aholic.
I am a reading ninja. If I have the time can finish a book in a few days
I know the sun is bad for me (thank you Irish blood), but I just love the feeling of warm sun on my skin
 I respond sooner to texts and emails than phone calls.
 I attended North Carolina State University!
 We try and go on a few vacations a year to remind us that work is not all life is about.
My husband makes me weak in the knees
I honestly don't know any words that start with X and I'm a teacher. Is that pathetic or what?!?
David and I enjoy a good yard sale every so often. 
For some reason I like going to zoos!

Have a marvelous day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday's Letters [04.20]

It's another FABULOUS Friday with Adventures of Newlyweds!

Dear Pulled Muscle, I am oh so very tired of your pain. You make simple tasks such as walking and rolling over in bed a chore. Can you please be done aching? I would really like to return to some normalcy in my life. Appreciate it. 

Dear Readers, Would you please be so kind as to vote for my student?? The voting ends TODAY and we would really love for her to win this nation-wide competition! Not to mention, she obviously rocked this. Please vote for "Raven as Jen Ledger".

Dear Fellow Bloggers, For some reason my button wasn't working (thanks to the fabulous Mrs. Robinson for letting me know!), but it's back in working order now. Let me know if you want to swap:-)

Dear April, Where did you go?? I'm very pleased to be over halfway through with you because that means summer and days of rest are near. That also means the monster of end-of-year tests are just around the corner. Oof. 

Dear Foodies, Any superb recipes out there for things with strawberries? I have a few that I like to make every year, but I'm on the hunt for new ones! Got any to share? :-)

Dear Husband, If you send me one more Craigslist picture of a pitiful puppy that needs a home I might just have to cry. I know it makes you happy to see all those precious pups, but it just breaks my heart! One more and I might have to contact the seller of you have sent me. Oh, you weren't interested in opening up a home for rescued pups? You pushed me to this! You know I can't even go to the pet store on "Adoption Saturdays" without leaving in tears. Why must you torture me like this?!? I bet Daisy would like another companion . . .

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday-Chuggin' Along

Keep chuggin' along
Keep singing your song
Put the plow in the ground till the daylights gone
When you look back over your shoulder
At everything you've done
Put the good times in your pocket
Let the bad ones make you strong
Keep chuggin' along
-Luke Bryan

Sometimes in the thick of the crazy it is hard to remember the things we are thankful for. We become so focused on the negative that we forget to remember the positive. I'm at that point this week. It seems that every time I get up, I get knocked back down. Instead of allowing myself to dwell on the negative, I'm going to focus on the positive. Here are the things I am thanking the Lord for this week:

My grass and I are oh so very grateful for this respite from the dry, windy days. Not to mention that my allergies are jumping for joy at the rain washing the pollen away!
kind neighbors
I am very thankful for kind neighbors stepping up and looking out for me when I need it most! This people are serious awesome sauce.
It's super-doubles at the Harris Teeter AND Lowes Food this week-WAHOOO! My wallet and I are very appreciative of this little bonus.

I am very grateful for my sweet blog friends and their kind comments!

crop share
I am grateful that a new season has come and we are back to picking up our weekly half-share from the farm (a full post to come on this awesomeness later!)

What are you thankful for this week??

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Money, Money, Money

Today's post is coming to you courtesy of one of my favorites-my husband! The Mr. Mobley (David) had a few guest posts when I was sick (found here and here), but has been hiding in the shadows recently. Well, he's back! He was prompted to share some details of our money managing thanks to a sweet comment left by an even sweeter lady! Without further adieu. . .

An earlier blog had a comment / question about the “fun money” that Lauren referenced when wanting to use some of “her money” to pay someone to mow the yard.

Growing up, I (David) was very much of the “you earn a dollar, you save a dollar” mentality (and I still fight that to this day).  Nearly every dollar that I earned, or was gifted to me, was put straight into the bank - as early in my life as I can remember.  I definitely understood the mentality of saving money, but it was obvious that I had not matured in ENJOYING money.

Right after Lauren and I were married and she started her job, we tried to save nearly every dollar that we could in order to accumulate a down payment for our house.  In doing so, we worked 40+ hours a week and never really enjoyed the “fruit of our labor” (ref Ecclesiastes).  Money that came in was used to pay bills and necessities and date night (one thing we will never get rid of) and the rest basically went towards savings.  After we bought our house and were planning for 2012, we decided to implement a “David” and “Lauren” budget.

Our thought was that each of us works and earns money, and we should each be able to enjoy the fruit of our labor.  Lauren and I agreed on an amount (we’ll call it $10 for the sake of simplicity) that we would be allotted each month.  Basically, I had $10 to spend and Lauren had $10 to spend - no questions asked.  Lauren has been known to use hers for haircuts, coffee, shopping - anything she wants.  Furthermore, we decided that this amount could roll over from month to month or we could go into “debt”.  In other words, if I didn’t spend my $10 for January, I’d have $20 available in February.  On the other hand, if I bought a $20 DVD one month, I’d be “in debt” until March.  I, for example, had the great idea to buy a bass guitar and amp to learn for church, which obviously put me “in debt” for several months.

We found that after buying the house and without having an obvious goal, we suddenly had no more structure financially - our goal had always been to save.  Before, we knew that we were saving for a house - period.  Once the house was purchased, it became very easy to just go and spend money since the huge sacrifice had been made.

I think this scheme has several benefits, but two in particular:
  1. It allows (and almost forces) us to enjoy some of the money that we earn - no questions asked - however we want to spend it
  2. The set amount holds us accountable to not spend extravagantly on ourselves - causing us to think before we spend.
That being said, we have many budgets that we’ve created through Mint [INSERT LINK] that follow the same philosophy, as far as rolling over money we don’t use or going “in debt” if we spend too much.  Several examples include:
  • Vacation
  • Date Night
  • Groceries
Lauren and I recently got back from our Charleston vacation, something we’ve been “putting away money” towards for several months.  We found that we actually enjoyed our trip more because we knew we had saved a specific amount of money allotted for that specific purpose.  We didn’t worry about “spending” during the trip, because we knew what money we had available.

I’ll end with this - If you’re a scrooge with your money and pinch every penny, you’re likely enslaving your spouse - as I did for the first year of our marriage.  Similarly, if you’re loose with your money and constantly spending with no limits, you, too, are enslaving your spouse.  God has gifted and entrusted us with everything we have - to facilitate and enjoy by His grace.   Manage, but also enjoy, your money wisely.

Hope y'all enjoyed that little foray into our lives. Maybe we can convince him to come back again soon. Until then, check him out here!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guest Postings and Musings

Hello friends! I am actually visiting a sweet lady over at La Vita e Bella today! I am answering the pretty big question, Do you live to work or work to live? This is something that has been on my heart recently, so let me know what you think too!

 I will be back again tomorrow with what is hopefully good news about my leg. Until then, have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Saga Continues

If you remember my lawn mowing saga from the other day, you probably remember how proud I was of myself. I was over the moon to add "mowed the lawn" to my wifely resume. I should have known better than to speak so soon. Since nothing in my life is ever simple, I don't know why I thought this would be. Let me back up. . .

I failed to mention the attributes of our yard. It's fairly small (thanks DR Horton!) and mostly flat (thanks former farm land!), but does have a bit of a dip where it meets the farm. Nothing too significant, but it definitely added another dimension, and more work, to my lawn mowing experience. I started by pushing the mower down the hill, then pulling it back up. Well, about the fourth or fifth time I did this, I slipped and the lawn mower went straight into the fence. No need to worry, I still have all my fingers and toes, but it was a bit annoying. I got the mower and continued with my work.

Fast forward to Saturday morning when I was on the treadmill. I had just gotten into a groove with my run while Don Draper (LOVE me some Mad Men!) was off wrecking more havoc on his marriage, when I felt a sudden twinge in the top of my leg. Actually, twinge would be an inappropriate word. More like, as excruciating as the needle from my kidney biopsy pain in the top of my leg. I hop off the treadmill pretty quickly and attempt to shake it out. When that doesn't do anything, I started stretching. Alas, nothing was working and I tossed in the towel on my workout.

I hobbled back into the house and called The Momma (have I mentioned how terribly convenient it is to have a nurse for a momma?!) who told me to lay low. Bah humbug, I had plans! Anywho, I laid low the rest of the day in hopes that it would go away. By that afternoon the pain had gotten so bad I was dragging my leg behind me. Called The Momma again and she diagnosed it as a pulled muscle. A what?!? A pulled muscle, most likely from mowing the lawn, that was aggravated by my running.

I was not too pleased to hear this answer, especially after I did some research (thank you, WebMD) and learned this would put me on the sidelines of running for a few weeks. Momma said it's likely that not only is the prednisone for my kidneys thinning my bones, but it's probably doing something to my muscles too. Awesome. The fun never ends!

Needless to say, I'm a little bummed. I was planning on starting to train for a 10K in the next few weeks and completed another 5K at the end of the month. As much as I don't want to believe it, it's probably better to be safe than sorry and to take it easy the next few weeks. I found some stretches to do to strengthen the area, but until then I'm out of commission. All the more reason to never mow the lawn again;-)

Any one else ever had something like this? I'd love to hear suggestions on exercises to work around this!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I had a hankering for something sweet last night (shocker, right?) but knew I needed to make something I could share with others. I had to make something that I could enjoy for one night, then get out of the house! What could be more perfect than muffins?! I could make them, enjoy one, then take them to share at church the next day. Perfect. Here is a recipe for that little something sweet without going overboard.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used the minis)

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 
In a small bowl beat the egg, milk and oil. 
Pour into the dry ingredients and stir.
Add chocolate chips.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full and bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. 

This makes one dozen muffins. You can also adapt this for a quick bread. Pour all the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

I'm A Big Girl Now

Oh, home ownership, how the fun never ends! I love, love, love our house and all the extra that comes with living in a house versus living in an apartment. I realize how incredibly blessed we are to be in the position we are in, but (there's always a "but") can I get an AMEN on the extra that comes with living in a house versus an apartment?!? One of those big extras happens to be yard work.

I actually enjoy working in the yard in a certain capacity. Emphasis on certain capacity. I enjoy weeding the flower beds. I enjoy planting flowers. I enjoy tackling the monstrous weeds that grow in our pitiful little yard. I do not enjoy mowing the lawn and I can say that with full confidence now because this grown-up just mowed the lawn for the first time. That's right folks, I mowed the lawn for the very first time. I'm still patting myself on the back for this feat.

Let me preface the whole situation by saying this-I never had the mow the lawn growing up. Two brothers and a daddy who takes pride in a pretty yard prevented this from ever occurring. Thank God. I had negative interest in it. You should have seen my sweet husband's face when he learned of this. You'd of thought I just declared myself queen of all the land. It's not that I've ever thought I was too good to do it, I just never had to.

Fast forward to being a grown-up and living in a house. Our pitiful (emphasis on pitiful) little lawn has started to grow. Due to unforeseen circumstances, David couldn't mow the lawn. I informed him I had no intention of picking up this hobby now. I even offered to spend my own "fun money" on hiring someone to do it. You heard that right. I was willing to sacrifice a month of weekly Starbucks treats for someone else to take on this task. He conceded and we started the search for someone else to do it.

I asked my brother who lives close by and apparently college students actually enjoy having a life and he was too busy to do it. I asked the neighbor kids and none of them could do it. I even tried to get my sweet daddy to drive an hour to come do it, but his own house to-do list took precedence. It looked like I was going to have to conquer this beast all by myself.

I am proud to say that yesterday afternoon I beasted our little yard. It wasn't easy (I may have slipped on our hill a few times) and it wasn't pretty (who really needs "lines" in the yard anyway?!) but I did it! I think it is safe to say that as soon as David is able to do it again, he will. My fear of having to do this on a regular basis is not likely to be fulfilled when he sees the ragamuffin job I did.

I know this seems silly, but I am so proud of myself. I feel like such a big kid! Any of y'all ever conquer some silly little task?! PS- I totally treated myself with a large bowl of ice cream. Hey, I earned it with that workout;-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday's Letters [04.13]

It's another Friday with Adventures of Newlyweds!

Dear Mad Men, Why are you so fantastically addictive?! The moment I started watching I knew it was game over on the rest of life. The temptation to do anything else fades away when I begin to ponder Mr. Draper's next move. Keep on rockin'. 

Dear pollen, You have really overstayed your welcome this time. I'm not sure how much more sneezing and itching I can take before I lose my mind. Not to mention my cute little green car had taken on a not so flattering yellowish hue. Please take your sneezes and itches and vamoosh!

Dear Easter candy, I still cannot believe how much of you is at our house right now. It looks like my students will be receiving you as a reward until next Halloween. 

Dear tomato plants, PLEASE grow! The anticipation is absolutely killing me! Everyday I dutifully water you in hopes of seeing something the next day, yet I am continually disappointed. Any chance of some growth happening anytime soon?!?

Dear NC weather, Wooooeeee you have really thrown us for a loop. It felt like just last week I was laying out redneck diva style in my backyard soaking in some rays. Oh, wait. . . that was just last week! Now here I am bundled back up in my North Face. Any chance those beautiful days of 80 will be back?

Dear Little Suzy Subaru, Oh how adorable you are! My apologies for not always saying the nicest things about you. My b. The fact that you have hit 123k and are still trucking along makes my heart oh so happy. I'm sorry about sometimes (OK, all the time) whining about wanting a new car. You really are the cutest.

Dear Friday the 13th, Please don't make my students cray cray. I wouldn't call myself "superstitious" per se, but you (along with your friends the full moon and impending snow days) have a tendencies to make me want to pull my hair out. See what you can do about that. K, thanks.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shopping For A Sweet Cause

I have a very serious question for y'all. . . What girl doesn't love shopping? Now an even more serious one, what girl doesn't love shopping for a good cause? I thought y'all would think along the same lines as me. Well, do I have an opportunity for you! All day today you have the superb opportunity of supporting a great cause by shopping!

The super sweet Jodi is up against a pretty nasty beast-MS. She's not the type of lady to let it get her down, though. Instead she is completing a 50 mile walk to raise awareness and money for research and is asking us to shop  to raise money in support of her. There are two great ways to show how much you care.

Click this link to shop at the super precious Sweet Tea Paperie and Amanda will donate 25% of the proceeds!

Click this link and choose Jodi Dwyer as your hostess at checkout. 50% of the proceeds will be donated!

Be sure to check out their great selections and shop for an AMAZING cause!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Break Breakdown Part 2

Hello again lovely readers! Without further adieu I am going to pick back up where I left off. . .

We woke up Friday morning (after a glorious sleep-in) to some pretty gloomy clouds. Good thing we got our trip to the beach in the day before! We hit up the hotel buffet for breakfast and plotted our day while overlooking the river. Have I mentioned how awesome our hotel was?! We decided to hit the market!

Love me some downtown Charleston!

The chaos that is The Market. 
You can only imagine David's anxiety about getting his toe stepped on.

For those of you not familiar with Charleston, The Market is an open-air area full of vendors and shops. Most have wares from around the city, but there is a pretty wide range of goodies. You can find everything from candy to sweetgrass baskets to photographs to antique baseball cards to chess sets! It sounds like a lot of stuff because it is. We decided to make one good stroll through The Market before we decided to purchase anything. Didn't want to get any buyer's remorse if we found something better later on! 

A few things caught our eyes but we didn't leave with a ton. The things we did get: an orange pashmina (gotta support the Tigers and Gators!), some earrings for me, an ornament for our tree (we get one everywhere we go), and two beautiful photographs. The pictures caught our eye the first time we walked through so we asked the photographer a few questions about them. We decided to keep walking in case we found something better, but in my heart I knew they would look perfect in our house! On our second trip back through we bought them and I couldn't be happier. We even picked up frames and hung them up this weekend! 

We then hit up King Street for some more shopping and browsing. Poor David was such a good sport through all this! About this time we considered getting lunch, but were both so full from the breakfast buffet that we decided to bypass it and hit up the Aquarium instead. In our infinite wisdom we decided the walk would do us some good after all the food we'd been eating, so we walked from The Market area to the Aquarium. Y'all, this was not a joke. This was a serious walk! 

My own street!

When we got there we saw a ridiculously long line outside. After much hemming and hawing we decided to try to see Fort Sumter instead. Just our luck that the last boat of the day would have just left minutes before. Cool. We looked through the little museum then went back out to stand in the Aquarium line again. After about 5 minutes we decided that neither of us are very invested in sea creatures and will save that adventure for our future kiddos. We then walked all the way back to The Market area for supper. 

The SUPER long line

We may have missed the boat, but we didn't miss the opportunity for a picture!

 Cooper River Bridge

 Earlier in the day we had gotten a coupon for a free appetizer at The Noisy Oyster. We're big into saving the moola, so we headed over there. Y'all are going to think I'm a snob, and I promise I'm not, but this place was about as bad as A.W. Shuck's was the night before! Our waiter was a little clueless about everything and kept us waiting for quite a while and when we finally did get our food, you could tell it was microwaved. Ever had microwaved seafood? I don't recommend it. Then when I asked for a side dish he had forgotten, he argued with me that I wasn't supposed to get it. I hung onto my Southern charm and decided it wasn't worth the battle. He must have realized he was wrong because a few minutes later he dropped the cole slaw off as he walked by. Note to self, the non-chain restaurants are always a better idea! We headed back to the hotel for fro-yo and baseball. 
David's extreme excitement for fro-yo

Cereal as a mix-in for fro-yo= pure genius

The next morning we hit up a local diner for a delicious breakfast before hitting the road!

Pondering the ways of the world

 Yummy breakfast spot!

All in all it was a fantastic trip to a fantastic city! Where did you go on your favorite vacation?!?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Breaking Down Spring Break

Happy Monday one and all! I hope everyone had a wonderful day back to work after their long weekend. If you have today off, I hate you. Not really, but I am tremendously jealous of the fact that you didn't have to work today. David and I returned from our glorious trip to Charleston on Saturday, and I decided to take Sunday off from blogging to celebrate the glorious day that is Easter Sunday. Lucky for y'all, I am back and at it again with a recap of our trip! Please try to contain your excitement.

We hit the road super early Thursday morning in hopes of getting there in time to hit up the city and all it had to offer. We were slightly delayed by the fact that we had to stop at Walmart to procure hydrogen peroxide for hubby's pitiful little toe (details on that adventure here) and at Panera for coffee. Homegirl needs coffee in order to be expected to fully function. After those brief detours, we hit the road!

Bound for Charleston bright and early in the morning!

We arrived at our hotel after what seemed like a 30 minute ride. Now, we have both been to Charleston more times than we count, but have yet to have found a place to stay that we absolutely love. That may have all changed! We stayed at the Holiday Inn- Riverview this time and loved it! For those of you familiar with the area, it's the big circular building overlooking the Ashley River. It is in a fabulous location and has lots of great things to offer. What made it even better was we had enough points to comp the room-score!

After briefly stopping by the hotel, we headed to Folly Beach for a few hours of sunshine. We weren't planning on staying too long mainly because I was already crispy and because of David's toe. Why was I already crispy, you may be wondering. Oh, I don't know. . . maybe it was the fact that I decided to be a redneck diva and lay out for three days straight in our backyard. Needless to say I probably won't be doing that again anytime soon! David was a bit concerned about getting sand on his toe, so we bandaged him up tight before we got there and all was fine!

The Ashley River as we drove over it

My poor little hop-along!

His toe on its royal pallet for protection

Before heading in after a few hours of baking

We then headed back to the hotel to shower up before hitting the town. Now, if you know us then you know how ridiculously indecisive we are. I don't know what our deal is, but neither of us can make a decision if our lives depended on it. Put us together and you have a recipe for total frustration. After over an hour of debate on supper, we finally headed to Pearlz Oyster Bar, and boy am I glad we did! I'm not a fan of oysters (David is), but we had a great time drinking their local brew and talking with an older couple at a community table. 

After David gorged himself on oysters, we headed to Southend Brewery for more drinks and snacks. We had pretty much decided at this point we were just going to hop around until we got bored. Southend provided us with more craft brews and nachos. Not as good as Pearlz, but not too bad either! We then headed over to A.W. Shuck's. We should have known when we sat down without a wait that something was up. It wasn't that our food was terrible, but after these other places and our self-pronounced chef skills, we were not thoroughly impressed. Gordon Ramsey has ruined us for restaurants! We ended the evening by hitting up the fantastic cupcake shop on King Street for treats.

 Hanging out at Pearlz

Pouring over the Southend menu trying to figure out what we should order

His response when I asked him to tell me what he thought of our meal at A.W. Shuck's
East Bay Street at night

More to come tomorrow!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Miss Me Yet?

Happy Saturday, folks! Today I am guest posting for Brianna over at Adventures of the Southern Wife. I met this sweet girl a few years ago at our alma mater NC State. When I heard she was looking for a guest poster, I knew I had to take her up on the offer!

I'll be back soon with tales of our own adventures through Charleston!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Guest Post-Along the Way with V & J!

While my hubby and I are taking a few days to get some MUCH needed R&R Valerie was kind enough to fill in for me. Be sure to stop by her adorable blog and say hello:-)

Hello! I’m Valerie from Along the Way with V & J! I’m so excited Lauren is having me guest post for her while she is on her Spring Break  trip! Today I’m going to share a recipe with you for one of my FAVORITE sweet treats: CAKE BATTER BLONDIES!

If you are a fan of cake batter flavored treats,
then this dessert is for you!
Every time I make them, they get rave reviews!
& the best part is: they are so easy to make! :)

Cake Batter Blondies

1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 – 1/2 cup milk {maybe a little more}
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

directions: Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Add the milk slowly – you want the batter to remain as dense as possible. Then mix in the rainbow sprinkles and white chocolate chips. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. {I used an 8x8 baking pan}

If you want to eat them warm and GOOEY just let them cool for five or ten minutes before digging in.  If you wait twenty or thirty minutes the center will thicken to a delicious moist cake! We dug in while it was still gooey and it was super yummy! However; I actually preferred them the next day when the center thickened. Either way its one awesome treat!

Many thanks to Valerie for stopping over here today!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Guest Post-Ms. Mia Maree!

While my hubby and I are taking a few days to get some MUCH needed R&R Ms. Mia Maree has offered to fill in for me. Be sure to stop by her adorable blog and say hello:-)

Hi Everyone!
My name is Mia and I blog over at MsMiaMaree! That is where I like to say stilettos meet football. Being the girly girl that I am I went and married a football coach. Boy do we have stories. He doesn’t get me sometimes and I don’t get him, but we make one heck of a team! I blog about everything. Fashion, Beauty, Life, Books, etc.

I am one of Mrs. Lauren Mobley’s newest followers and I am so drawn to her blog because of the goals she set for herself. I love her 30 before 30 list! This has made me start crafting one of my own.

I’m 25, so my before 30 list can span the next 5 years! This has made me start thinking about shorter goals for myself specifically this Spring.

Musts for this Spring:
  1. Take Full Advantage of all the gorgeous bright colors this season has brought to the Fashion World. Tangerine = my favorite!
2. Are you tired of being so pale? I’m very much looking forward to days out in the sun! Wear Sunscreen!!
3. Buy a colorful pot and plant an even more colorful flower!

4. Looking for some great beach reads? Join and explore the entire book world and connect with friends! You can find me on there: msmiamaree

5. Get some fresh air! Go on a walk, browse local flower gardens, get a bit of exercise!
6. Plan a Summer Trip. I get antsy this time of year stuck inside at a desk. Give yourself a break and plan a fun summer vacation. On a budget? I can guarantee there is a cool place tucked somewhere close to you. Make it a day trip and explore your city! These sometimes end up being the best trips!

I hope that gave you some Spring inspiration! Hope to see you guys over at MsMiaMaree or catch up with me on Twitter! (@MsMiaMaree) Thank you Lauren for letting me hang out today! You are too sweet and I am glad I found you in this wonderful blog world!

Many thanks to the fabulous Ms. Mia Maree for stopping over here today! Be sure to send some love her way on her precious blog!