Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy List

A few things that have made me happy lately:

Pretzel M&M's 
Pink heart shaped sunglasses
Watching Mr. Bean on Netflix
My new cross body bag from Target
Quality time relaxing with Tim
Lots of time for reading and sleeping

What has made you happy lately?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Did I really Graduate?

(in my cap and gown)

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." 
- Dr. Seuss

It's still hard to believe that I graduated college. 
It doesn't feel real yet. 
But I am looking forward to the future. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Road to Recovery

In March, I fell and dislocated my knee. This was probably the most pain I've felt in my entire life. 
After I fell, I pretty much spend the next four days in my bed or on the couch. 
I hate feeling helpless. I hated having to ask for help with everything, including taking a bath. 
It took all my energy to walk down the stairs to get in the car and go to the doctor. 

When I started physical therapy, I was so nervous.
I didn't know what to think or what to expect. 
The therapists I have been working are the sweetest most encouraging people I could have been paired with. 
That first day of therapy was difficult. The simplest tasks were so difficult. 
All I was asked to do was to tighten my muscles and lift my leg off the table I was sitting on. 
The pain was intense plus the realization that I couldn't complete this simple task got me pretty upset. 
I remember thinking "This is such a simple task, why can't I do it?"
It took awhile for me to adjust to walking much slower, taking the steps one at a time, not being able to drive. 
But I have made a lot of progress. It took work but now I can drive, I can walk pretty close to what my normal pace was, and I am no longer taking the steps one at a time (still slowly though).  My knee still gets irritated if I stand to long or spend too much time walking but it's getting better. 

After going to therapy twice a week for the past five weeks, I am happy to say that today should be my last physical therapy session. I just might have to find a small way to celebrate. 

p.s. Thanks for all your responses to yesterdays post. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bridesmaids Dresses

It has been difficult to pick out a dress for my bridesmaids. 
Each bridesmaid is beautiful. But it was proving very hard to find one dress that will be flattering on three different people. Of course, I wanted it to be a dress they would be happy in as well, unlike some atrocious bridesmaids dresses we've all seen from the past.
I asked for their opinion on the three dresses below. 

1 |  2 | 3

I would like your opinion as well. 
Which one would be your favorite?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Making a Difference: Tom's Shoes

Have you heard of TOMS Shoes?
I am sure most of you have, but in case you haven't, they are an amazing company. 

TOMS makes shoes that are stylish and comfortable.
For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS gives a pair to children in need all over the world.
Their motto is One for One. 
This video explains what they do better than I could.

I absolutely love my TOMS shoes. Actually I think obsessed would be a better description. They are so comfortable and cute.  I love when people ask me about them because then I get to share the TOMS Movement with them all because I was wearing cute shoes.

They have all different kinds of styles for men, women, and children in their shop.

How can you help?
You can buy a pair of TOMS shoes and donate a pair to a child in need.
Spread the word about TOMS and their movement.
This is an amazing way to help make a positive difference in the lives of others, plus you get an awesome pair of shoes.

Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter 

Do you have a pair of TOMS? 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hello Monday.

Hello Monday. 
Here are some quotes to start off your week.

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual 
experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.
- Dennis Waitley

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted."
- Randy Pausch

If anything it’s a reminder that you can’t live your life holding grudges, with hate in your heart, being unforgiving. Life’s way too short, there’s way too many questions left unanswered, for us to fester and dwell on things that are completely unimportant in the long run."
- William Beckett

"If there is any secret to this life I live, this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can. and there is nothing more to it than that." 
 Brian Andreas

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably."
- Walt Disney

"Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." 
- Oscar Wilde

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead.
- Elizabeth Gilbert

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Save the Date!

I realized I haven't shared very many wedding details with you lately. 
My sister, Megan, created our Save the Date postcards that we sent out. Tim's sister, Meghan, took the pictures we used. I like that they both helped us with this. (yes, we both have sisters named Megan/Meghan)


Back of postcard

There are some wedding details that I am dying to share with you all, yet I am trying to keep most things a surprise for our guests. I will try to share what I feel won't jeopardize the experience of our guests.
We created a wedding website which I was pretty excited about. 

Our colors are a sage green, a latte brown, and a chocolate brown. 

Only 5 months and 3 days until we get married!
I'm very excited.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Strawberry Pie

The other day I looked in the refrigerator and realized we had a ton of strawberries. 
After my sister begged and begged, I finally made strawberry pie!
And it was very delicious. Perfect for summer.

I used this recipe found via Kraft Foods.

2 cups fresh strawberries, divided
2/3 cup  boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
  Ice cubes
1/2 cup cold water
1 tub  (8 oz.) COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping, thawed
ready-to-use reduced-fat graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)

SLICE 1 cup strawberries; refrigerate for later use. Chop remaining berries; set side. Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to cold water to make 1 cup. Add to gelatin; stir until slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice.
WHISK in COOL WHIP. Stir in chopped berries. Refrigerate 20 to 30 min. or until mixture is very thick and will mound. Spoon into crust.
Getting ready to add in strawberries.

After being placed in the graham cracker crust. 
REFRIGERATE 6 hours or until firm. Top with sliced berries.

Final Step: Eat and Enjoy!! 

*Problem solver:After we refrigerated the pie for 1 day and 1/2 it was still kind of mushy, so we just placed it in the freezer for two hours or so and it turned out delicious.

What is your favorite summer dessert?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Making A Difference: Nakate Project

I have recently been provided with the opportunity to work with an amazing organization, Nakate Project.

Nakate is an organization that started in December of 2010, and has since grown to support over 20 women in Uganda on a month to month basis. Nakate sells beautiful necklaces made by these women in Uganda to help support them. This project started because of one girl who touched the hearts of the founders of  the Nakate Project.

This is a picture of Nakate. She inspired this entire project to help the women in her village. 
Isn't she simply beautiful?
Read the whole story.

Because Nakate gives as much back to the women in Uganda as they can (almost 100%), this does not leave much left for the funds of Nakate as a business.
There are several easy ways you can help out the Nakate Project.
1. Donate just $5 to help support the team. Donate here.
2. You can sign up to be an advocate to spread the word about the Nakate Project.
3. Buy a beautiful necklace to help support the women in Uganda.

The summer line for the Nakate Project's shop comes out today!
Here's a sneak peek.
Aren't these bracelets and necklaces amazing?

Nakate Project Website : Twitter : Facebook

All information and photos via The Nakate Project.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Love the One You're With Review

Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

 Summary: Ellen and Andy's first year of marriage doesn't just seem perfect, it is perfect. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo for the first time in eight years. Leo, the one who brought out the worst in her. Leo, the one who left her heartbroken with no explanation. Leo, the one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she's living is the one she's meant to live. (via Goodreads)

Review: I really enjoyed this book. I love Emily Giffin's writing style. She makes me laugh and connect with the characters. I could not put this book down. The internal struggle that Ellen faced kept me intrigued. While I did not agree with way Ellen was treating her husband, I absolutely had to find out what her final decision was. I could not put this book down. I definitely recommend this book. I gave this book 5 out 5 stars on Goodreads. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Graduated, Now What?

I am a college graduate! 
It is kind of scary and exciting all at the same time. 

Graduation was a wonderful experience. 
The ceremony was a little long but exciting. 
After the ceremony we had a picnic with my family and everyone who came to support me. 
It was fun to be outside spending time with everyone. 

My family (minus Megan) with Tim after graduation. 
Because of my dislocated knee, I was required to wear flats.
I was happy to be wearing some Toms.

My family at the picnic. 

I was very happy that Tim could be there and that we got to spend most of the weekend together.
Graduation means we are one step closer to getting married! 

I was so blessed to have all these people there to support me, and to have their support and encouragement throughout the past four years. 

Now if only I could find a job. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love Review

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Summary: In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want--husband, country home, successful career--but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. (via Goodreads)

Review: I enjoyed this book for the most part. It took me a while to finish it. I really enjoyed the beginning during Elizabeth's journey through Italy. I had a difficult time relating to her journey while she was in India and it took me a while to get through this section. It was very interesting to see her journey to happiness and peace. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, because it didn't quite hold my interest as much as I was hoping, but it was an entertaining read. I did collect some wonderful quotes from this book. 

Daniel Boone Native Gardens

Well I had posted this last week, but blogger deleted it. 
So we'll try again. 

I went to the Daniel Boone Native Gardens twice while I was in Boone. 
Tim and I went on Saturday, and my mom, Hannah and I went on Sunday for Mother's Day.
It was so beautiful. 

The gate was so beautiful and inviting.

The flowers and plants throughout the garden were so incredibly beautiful. 

The gardens were so peaceful and relaxing. 
It would be the perfect place to lay down a blanket and read a book. 

Where do you feel the most peaceful?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Visit to Valle Crucis

This past weekend was very busy but wonderful at the same time. 
My grandparents made it to Boone for my graduation, so on Saturday Tim and I took a trip to Valle Crucis with them.

This is beautiful and small community about 15 - 20 minutes from Boone. 
We enjoyed exploring the original Mast General Store. There are a handful of these stores throughout the High Country. It was nice to see the original, which is a working post office. Pretty cool, right?

Tim and I in front of the store. 
I love the old gas station sign. 

My grandparents in front of the store. 

Behind the store was a building that used to be a school house. 
Isn't it cute? I would love to teach in a building like this. 

We had to sit on the porch of the school house and enjoy the beautiful view around us. 
While I don't think I could live in a small town, it would be perfect for relaxing weekend getaways.

Part of the view.

 I have so much to share with you from my very eventful weekend. I think I took close to 200 pictures over the course of 3 days. I might be a little crazy.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day! 

Where is your favorite weekend getaway?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Next Stop, Graduation!

Wednesday was my last day of student teaching. 
I was very sad to leave my silly students and all the wonderful people I had the opportunity to work with.  

All of the students were so sweet today. 
They gave me some very entertaining letters.
My two favorite letters said, "You are the flower of my heart" and "You are so good you should be in a wedding." 

Some of my favorite comments:
"If you don't come back tomorrow, I won't either."
"Can I come to college with you?"
"If you leave, I'll cry all day."

And the comment that made me laugh the most:
"Will you give me some sugar?" 
He was referring to hugs, but I was always under the impression it meant kisses.
So of course I shared a hug with him.

This semester was very challenging for me. I learned to handle situations I never imagined would come up. 
There many times were I was so stressed, frustrated, and discouraged that I couldn't wait to be finished with the semester. Then I would remember this quote:

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow."
 -Mary Anne Radmacher

It reminded me to keep trying, to not give up. It help me remember that I needed those students in my life as much as they needed me in theirs.

I enjoyed my time student teaching and I am so grateful for all the things I learned.
Now I am glad to be graduating and hopefully having the opportunity to lead my own classroom.
On Sunday I will be a college graduate! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love Quotes

 I finally finished reading Eat, Pray, Love.
I do not have a review ready, but I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes from the book.

My favorite:

"You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight."

"And love is always complicated. But still humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something."

"To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life."

"Some days are meant to be counted, others are meant to be weighed." 

If you've read the book, what is your favorite quote?

*Book review coming soon

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hello May.

{my city}

Hello May. 
I hope you are having a lovely start to this wonderful month! 
I am looking forward to graduation in seven days.
As well as more time to read and blog. :]

What are you looking forward to this month?