11/22/2013

Thankful

As I was sitting on my couch this morning, the Today show on my TV, my blinds open, coffee in hand and pup at my feet I began to think about being thankful and how I was surrounded by things to be thankful for everyday but often forget the blessings that have been abundantly poured out over me.

Sitting on my couch I started to think about the sign that is hanging over the desk in our office, it says "Our house is just a little house but God knows where we live". Oh what a powerful statement. Our house may be a little house, but it's warm, it keeps me dry when rain is falling outside, it has cabinets full of food in the kitchen and a sweet husband and pup that fill its walls every single day. No, it may not be as big as the house around the corner or have Anthropologie housewares scattered about. But by golly it is a darn cute house, one that I'm proud of, and one that was a huge blessing that the Lord gave to Josh and I.

I have a closet that I can actually walk-in to, but I'm certain it's not a big as some. It's not spilling over with J Crew clothes and doesn't have Kate Spade purses on every shelf. Pair after pair after pair of Tory Burch shoes don't fill my shoe rack. But I love that closet, I love going in to it each day and picking out what to wear. My kitchen cabinets aren't full of name brand foods. But they provide me with the ability to make dinner for my family every night. My bathroom drawer isn't full of Essie nail polish. But it is full of nail polishes (most of which my mom gifted to me, thanks mom!) that I take joy in pampering myself with.

Not to mention that loving husband of mine. I could live in a cardboard box with that man and I'd still be as happy as a clam. Marriage is a beautiful and wonderful blessing. I'm so thankful for my marriage. Sure we may not be taking vacations to extravagant places every other weekend like some people but our weekends filled with PJs, cuddles, good conversation and tag-team house cleaning mean more to me than any extra-awesome vacation we'll ever take. We still have "dumb phones". There is nothing even close to smart about our cell phones and I tell him daily I think it keeps up humble...and present. When you don't have instagram, twitter, and facebook to scroll through constantly you end up paying a little more attention to the people who are actually sitting right in front of you. (And yes this means I tweet *gasp* from a computer!) But my phone helps me stay connected with my friends and family via text and calling, and that is a blessing.


In this season of Thanksgiving I've been reminded lately that "Comparison is the thief of joy". That statement is so true I can hardly stand it. While we are in this fleeting season of Thanksgiving I want and need to be more intentional with the things I am thankful for. Big or small, because so many people do without everyday. Not just in the holiday season but every single day of the year. May I always be thankful and have a heart to give. What is the point of my blessings if I'm not sharing them with others?

I'm so glad the Lord moved in my heart this morning as I was sitting in the quiet. I should open my ears to Him more often.

Happy Friday, beautiful friends.

11/21/2013

Etsy has all my $$

Whenever I'm looking for something personalized or unique, normally the first place I run to is Etsy. I feel like you can find a little bit of everything on there! I wanted to share a few shops with you that I have had great success with and have been extremely pleased with their products.

When a product or customer service is awesome, I just want to shout it from the rooftops.

--Monogram for our mailbox from PersonalizedbySarah. So pleased with the turnout and her quick turnaround time!

--Return address labels from SewCraftey. Maggie sent a draft for review and she had those bad boys in the mail the next day, I love them!

--Address stamp for our wedding invitations from foryoo. Again, such a quick response time, she sent over a draft to make sure everything was correct and to make sure I liked it and we received our stamp a few days later. She was SO nice to work with!

--Custom burlap sign for our wedding from burlapartbyelizabeth. I kid you not, this came like a day after I ordered it!

--Josh ordered my monogrammed necklace for his wedding gift to me from MinimalistDesigns. It took a little bit of time to get here...but it did come from Turkey, she does free shipping and the product is wonderful!

--Embroidered hanky for my mom as my wedding gift to her from shembroidery1. Sue was a joy to work with, sent over a sample and had the hanky to me days later, my mom LOVED it! She gave me tons of options to make sure the hanky was exactly how I wanted it.

--Glitter monogram decal from cSaMonograms. Caitlin had this darling decal in the mail immediately and she had GREAT prices on glitter monograms!

--Bone shaped dog tag from KDEngraving. Quick responses to my questions and was literally in the mailbox the next day! Murphy sure does look sharp with his engraved tag.

--Bone shaped stocking from Dotspincushion. We ordered Murphy a stocking for Christmas and this one was EIGHT DOLLARS AND NO SHIPPING!!! Awesome, awesome price! Looks adorable and even had a note from Santa tucked inside when it arrived with dog treats!

These are just a few of the great shops on Etsy and I encourage you, if you're looking for any of the items mentioned above, check out these shops! With Christmas right around the corner Etsy has been my go-to many times for gifts!!

P.S. Happy 2 months to my husband!!! I love you more everyday! Being married is SUCH a blessing!
 
P.S.S. Our wedding pictures will be here at the end of this week/ early next week so prepare yourself for wedding recaps!! I've been waiting to so long to do them and I'm about to BURST to post them!


11/18/2013

That time Florida came to Williams-Brice

Oh Monday, you came around way too soon and Josh and I had a fabulous coffee date with friends last night but I PAID for drinking a café mocha after 7 o'clock. I slept horribly last night...resulting in a sluggish Monday. But thank you Lord for waking me to see another day!

Josh and I had a pretty jam packed weekend. On Saturday he headed out to play golf and I sweet talked my mama into running some errands with me. I LOVE spending time with that woman y'all, warms my heart. We spent the afternoon grocery shopping, packing boxes for Operation Christmas child and enjoying each others company. Josh and I scored tickets for the Carolina v. Florida game, 2 for the price of one! So after he got home from golf we quickly got ready and headed out to Williams-Brice. This was my first BIG SEC game that I've been too...I've been to plenty of Carolina games but normally when they play a team they are pretty certain to beat. And while Florida is less than stellar this year, they have a way of sneaking up on you. We got to the stadium and found our seats...I should mention we bought the tickets from a Florida fan...and as the seats began to fill, there was a LOT of orange and blue around us.

The people around us were a pretty spirited group...and a pretty big group of smack talkers. We had Carolina fans to the left and right of us and Florida fans in front and behind us. A guy a few people down from us was just talking all kinds of smack about Florida and the FL guy in front of us had enough...he turned around and said "Why you don't you just eat your nachos" and then said "that's a comment on your weight, not your nachos". At this point the girl beside me (Carolina fan) LOST IT on the Florida guy. She got right IN his face, pointed her finger and yelled "YOU ARE A MEAN PERSON. YOU HAVE A MEAN SPIRIT. THIS IS A FOOTBALL GAME AND HE IS A HUMAN BEING. YOU HAVE A MEANT SPIRIT." She repeated all of this I KNOW five times, I kid you not and the FL guy just took it. It was intense. Football brings out the crazy in people, y'all. No kidding.

The guy behind us had on a big national championship ring that caught my eye so I talked Josh into asking him what it was for. Turns out he played for Florida in the '90s and Spurrier was his coach! I found this very intriguing. All was fun and games until this guy became SO CHATTY. He would not stop talking, not just to us, but to everyone around us and even to HIMSELF. He had a comment and an opinion on everything. He also moved from behind me because I "stood up too much". Um excuse me, WHAT? This is a football game right? I also had three other people move because I was yelling too loud...again I had to ask myself...have these people ever been to a football game?

All in all, it was a GREAT game! I had an awesome time. The environment was contagious. The stadium was slam packed, so loud and it was so nice to watch the FL fans file out of the stadium with their heads hung low...I may or may not have gator chopped once or twice at the end of the game...all for the love of football, right? I sound like a jerk don't I? I swear I'm not. I happen to be a very friendly football fan and never want another team to feel heckled or annoyed when they visit our stadium. But a win over Florida suuuuure felt good...GO COCKS! And Auburn beat Georgia...what what!! Now Missouri, I need you to lose one or both of your next 2 games. Thank you very much.

Can you tell that hubs is participating in No Shave November?

Sunday we headed to church...with extremely sore throats from the night before yelling fest, then went to my parents to celebrate my Granny and Papas birthdays! I love spending time with those folks! Afterwards we headed home and jumped into our running clothes and hit the river for a run with Murphy. He did a GREAT job on his second outing and we were very proud of him. After a quick nap and popping a pizza in the oven for dinner we headed to grab coffee with Griffyn and Brandon then came and home and crashed. Now here we are at the start of a new week...and it REALLY hit me today that Thanksgiving in next week...WHAT?!?

I think the holiday bug might have bitten me and I'm going to put our Christmas wreath on the front door when I get home and wrap some Christmas gifts. 'Tis the season!!


11/15/2013

Happy 2nd Birthday!


Every Day Life is two! How in the world I've been going strong in this little space for two years now is beyond me. It truly blows my mind. This past year of blogging might have been one of my favorites. I felt myself really enjoying my writing and stumbling upon some blogs that really inspired and that I literally look forward to reading when I sit down at my computer each day.

I've also managed to begin making blog friends....say what?!? I know, its crazy! But I like it! Blog friends are fun.

So here is a HUGE, GIGANTIC, TREMENDOUSLY BIG THANKS to all of you that visit this space daily, maybe once a month, or even if you've only dropped by once. I appreciate it. I really, really do.

I hope that in this next year for EDL you continue to be inspired, loved on, find some laughs at my newlywed adventures, and just be a part of this journey that I'm traveling on and documenting as I go.

I'd you like to take a little journey of my blog you can find my first post here and the blogs first birthday post here . You've journeyed with me as I got engaged, graduated college, landed my first job, bought my first house, got married, went on a honeymoon, and adopted a dog. Those are some big life events people, and you've been there for them all!

Thanks for all of your support for EDL. You were great year 2, here's to the 3rd!

11/13/2013

My Go-To Cold Months Outfit

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Ya know, as you enter new seasons throughout the year, each one has its own outfit...its own "uniform" I guess you could say. That one outfit that you can always count on to look effortless but put together all at the same time. Well this one happens to be my fall/winter outfit. I've talked about the leggings/jeans (jights as my husband calls thme) whatever they are on the blog before but I swear to you I live in these things...I own nothing more comfortable...except maybe some of my pajama pants. But it's a tight race between to two.

And oh the importance, to me, of a good blouse for the cold months. You know that one that is perfect for layering or is fabulous by itself? I really need to add a black one to my collection. I adore this cream top with the big bow...it's so chic and feminine! I got it at a consignment store last year and I believe it probably came from Kohl's, that's what the tag inside indicates.

Don't even get me started on vests. I'd wear one everyday if it was acceptable. A good fur vest is like the perfect pair of shoes, ahhhh! This one is actually from Old Navy...probably 5 years ago, I kid you not. I love this vest. And boots, there's no question there. A good pair of black and brown tall boots are a necessity for the cold winter months. I used to never ever ever ever wear black and brown together but once I started, I never looked back.

I hope my husband likes this outfit as much as I do because I have this strange feeling that he is going to be seeing it pretty often.

What's your favorite fall/winter outfit consist of?

11/12/2013

Chicken Parmesan

This is only the second time Josh and I have made chicken parmesan but I think it will be hitting our weekly menu much more frequently. It is SO good and so filling! Not to mention, it's not hard at all to make!

Here's what you'll need:
--boneless, skinless chicken (you can do breast, tenderloins, whichever you like)
--spaghetti sauce
--mozzarella cheese (shredded)
--parmesan cheese
--bread crumbs (I used Italian)
--one egg

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Coat your chicken with a little egg and then cover them with breadcrumbs. I push the breadcrumbs into the chicken really well so that it sticks. I also put a little oregano and garlic powder on my chicken before I bread them. After all of the chicken is done put it in a pan and fry it up! I put a touch of olive oil in the bottom of my pan.

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While that's cooking get out a baking dish and pour 1/2 half of your spaghetti sauce in the bottom. Once your chicken is done, place it in the baking dish and then pour the second half of the spaghetti sauce over the top. The recipe I follow says to put 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on top of this and 1/2 cup of parmesan. I do one cup of mozzarella and then sprinkle some more over the top and I do the same with the parmesan, do the called for 1/2 cup then sprinkle extra on there.

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Pop that bad boy in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. In the meantime boil yourself a pot of pasta. The last time I made this we had to combine tricolor rotini and spaghetti noodles together because we only had 1/2 a box of the rotini left over.

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Once your 30 minutes is up, take it out of the oven, fill your plate with pasta and put the chicken and sauce on top. Make sure to get the extra sauce in the pan to cover your noodles with, it is SO good!

And there you have, easy peesy chicken parm that is sure to be a winner at your dinner table!

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11/11/2013

Home Tour: Kitchen

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I've been trying to hold off on giving the tour of our kitchen because I ordered a wooden monogram from Etsy to hang on our backdoor and the darn thing hasn't come yet...I'm actually a little worried about it because I ordered it WEEKS ago and haven't heard anything from the Etsy shop :( I really hope it comes...soon! So I'll do the tour and you'll have to imagine and nice wooden monogram in that backdoor window :)
 
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The kitchen might be one of my favorite parts of the house. I love the openness, the white cabinets, the cabinet space and the bar in the corner. I can't tell you how much we enjoy having a good amount of cabinet  and counter space. We have plenty of room to prepare our meals without feeling cramped. We bought our table from the sellers as well as the canvases on the wall. Josh and I both loved the way the table fit in the space and adored the canvases  so we made a deal with the sellers and I'm so glad that we did! The little spice racks you see, the sellers left when they moved and at first I didn't know what they were but quickly found out and I love that I can have my spices right next to me, as well as a place for paper towels and even rings to hold your pot holders!
 
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A lot of time is spent in the kitchen and I think that is why it's one of my favorite rooms in the house. Josh and I cook in there together, laugh, dance, contemplate life, and just a little bit of everything.
 
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The bar, while clean now, is our catch all place during the week. I love that we can display glasses in the top cabinet and the actual bar is GREAT for having people over. You can line it with lots of snacks so that its easy for people to get to! And you don't have to clutter your kitchen table with goodies so that people have a place to sit and enjoy. There are also lights that light up the top cabinet and lights under the cabinet that light up the bar. I like to have them on in the evenings so there's a little bit of light coming from the kitchen.
 
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I also really love the big window looking into the backyard. We went a day without curtains there and quickly decided we needed some to close at night time haha! I'm also a big fan of the tile in the kitchen...I'm so glad that the previous owners did real hardwood and real tile throughout the whole house. This tile is also in both of our bathrooms and around the fireplace.
 
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Murphy has his own little place for his food and water. I initially bought his pink water bowl this summer while in Panama City at the Life is Good store for whenever we got a dog, clearly I assumed we'd get a girl dog lol but something tells me he doesn't mind the pink. We got his blue food bowl from Target and the little dog bone mat underneath from Pets Smart.
 
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So there's our kitchen, the place where many of my wife fails happen, the place we gather to enjoy dinner together and have nice table conversation.
 
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And here's one for the road...Murphy must go in and out of his doggie door 100 times a day and he often sticks his head through to see what's going on then pulls it right back out and goes frolicking in the yard.
 
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11/08/2013

Murphy the Smurfy

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Murphy made his first blog appearance on my Halloween post. We adopted him from the local pet shelter one Sunday and he has quickly made his way into our hearts. He is between 1 1/2 and 2 years old and is a black lab mix. He has some sort of skin condition that we are treating and hoping to nurse him back to a fantastic coat of fur here soon!

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Murphy is very sweet and loves to be right next to you. He loves to lay his head in your lap and cuddle close. He also has somewhat of a bad habit of grabbing your arm when you come in the door. I'm pretty sure it's his way to greet you and let you know he doesn't want you to leave! He LOVES to carry around his toys in his mouth and the other morning he trotted down the hall with his blankie in  to greet Josh in bed, it was nothing short of precious.

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I have ALWAYS been an animal lover, especially dogs! I've consistently had a pet in my life growing up and I knew that I wanted Josh and I to have a dog. Murphy is still getting adjusted to our home and is not a fan of guests, he acts like such a butt! I think it's because he is starting to feel like our home is his territory and when people come over that he doesn't know, I think he gets scared. We don't know a ton about his life before we adopted him but I can imagine is wasn't all roses...hence him ending up at an adoption center. But we are working diligently with him so that he'll be as sweet with others as he is with us. He loves to sit on the back deck in the morning watching the squirrels run around the yard and every once in a while you'll find him bounding down the steps after one. He has THE cutest yawn in the world...maybe I'll catch it on camera one day. It's so loud and has got to be the cutest thing I've ever heard. He LOVES to run up and down the hall chasing his toys and cries at the door if he knows you're in the room.

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We had quite a time with him escaping our back yard the first week and 1/2 that we had him...poor Josh was out all times of night digging through brush and thorns to fix the fence so Murph man couldn't get out. I believe we have it fixed now and hope to do a more permanent fixture in the Spring.

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Murphy has already been such a joy to have in our home and our lives and I just know he is going to be the perfect pet for our family.

Now if we can get him to quit jumping on the bed and rubbing his body all over our comforter! He literally walks up and down the side of the bed rubbing his body allllllll over it. I swear.

It's nice to come home to a sweet face and wagging tail each day and I hope he knows how much we love him already.
 
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11/07/2013

Aldi for the win

 

Have y'all heard of the grocery store Aldi? Do you have one in your town? Lucky for us, we have one about 5 minutes from our house and it's our new go-to for groceries! My granny has been shopping here forever but I'd never really jumped on the bandwagon. I did make a few Aldi trips in college because their fruit was so much cheaper than the other grocery stories in town and I could get full sized Nakeds or Bolthouse Farms fruit drinks there for half of what they cost at places like Wal Mart.

It took some convincing to get Josh to shop at Aldi for the first time, homie likes his name brands and loves Publix, go figure. Our first trip there he was skeptical about everything but I kept convincing him that he had to at least try things to see how they were and if they were ridiculously horrible, well, at least we didn't pay a ton for them.

Turns out, after our first trip to Aldi everything that we bought was DELICIOUS. No exaggeration. Everything really was great! Their fruit and veggies are out of this world! We got tomatos, broccoli, lettuce, strawberries, apples, baking potatoes, and red potatoes during our first trip and all of it was so fresh and tasty.

Here are some things  from Aldi that we think are just as good as or better than name brands from other grocery stores:

--pasta salad (like Suddenly Salad type)
--frozen pizzas (WONDERFUL! And $3.49! A digiorno is going to run you at minimum $5)
--Velvetta shells & cheese (Josh is a velvetta snob and when he tried the Aldi brand he SWORE it was velvetta masked in a different box)
--hazelnut coffee creamer (you get a HUGE bottle for 1/2 the price of a coffee mate smaller bottle)
--pretzels, chips, protein bars (their kettle cooked chips are where it's at!)
--cereal
--ALL of their fruits and veggies
--frozen chicken nuggets (the best that I've had)
--frozen buffalo chicken poppers
--frozen French fries
--spaghetti sauce
--paper towels
--tortilla chips and queso (they have AMAZING blue corn tortilla chips and their queso is to die for! I'm drooling thinking about it)
--almond milk
--all of their cheeses (mozzarella, parmesan, etc.)
--frozen dinners (think Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice type meals, I take them all the time for lunch)
--popsicles
--frozen green beans
--we used to get this chicken alfredo frozen dinner by the brand Voila from Wal Mart a good bit and Aldi has the same thing for HALF the price

So there you have it, just a few of the things that we love from Aldi. I'm always so pleased with how much we spend and how much food we got! We spent roughly $108 the other day and got 54 items...54!!! That's around $2 for each item...win, win, win. Thank you Aldi.

Have you tried Aldi? Are you a fan?

11/06/2013

I can only afford polka dots from J Crew

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Being in blog land for almost two years now, it seems like every blogger on the face of the earth adores J Crew and their closet is filled to the brim with items from there. I have a couple things from J Crew, but they all came from thrift stores and cost much less. It's a mixture between not being able to afford J Crew and the thought of "you gotta be kidding me, they want HOW much for that sweater? those shoes? that bag? that necklace? there is NO way I'm paying that" when I look at their price tags. I'm a bargain shopper by nature, what can I say.

Well, on the way back from our honeymoon in Hilton Head we stopped at an outlet mall and I wandered my way into the J Crew there. I literally looked at nothing in the front and went straight to the back...I always know where the sales racks are! While I didn't find anything on the sales rack, I did find these very cute polka dots tights. I have had polka dot tights on my "want list" ever since last fall but never found any I liked. Just so happened that I really liked these and they were cheap (ish) and they were another 20% off of their original price! So I grabbed them and headed to the counter and proudly pranced out of there with my J Crew brown bag in hand.

And while we're on sales talk...I scored these booties from Express last January for a whopping TEN DOLLARS! And I have worn the heck of them. Listen to me, do your winter shopping mid-January and you will spend at LEAST 70% less than normal, I promise you!

I'm waiting to hear the news that they're having another one of those, what do you call it?...Warehouse sale? That thing where they have all of their clothes piled on tables and like shirts are all a certain price, pants a certain price, etc. Maybe I can score some good deals and finds there and be cool like the rest of blogland ;)

11/05/2013

Why not make some goals?

Let's make some goals this month shall we? I haven't made goals in quite some time so now seems as good as time as ever. November really came upon us fast and it's going to be the end of the year before we know it!

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1. Picking one thing to be thankful for everyday and sharing that thing over dinner with my husband.
November is the month to be thankful so why not voice what we're thankful for and really spend time this month focusing on all of the blessings that surround us everyday.

2. Praying over our place in church
Josh and I have been talking and praying a good bit lately about how we want to get involved in our church and this month I want us to decide what capacity we want to volunteer in and really jump in and participate

3. Spending more quality time with my husband
We spent tons of time, pretty much all of our time, in October together but life was busy. We adopted a dog, were still getting settled into marriage and I want November to be a month where I can just love on him daily and spend uninterrupted time with him

4. Reach out to friends
This month I want to be very intential about reaching out to my friends. Whether its a text, call, visit, dinner date, Skype date, or coffee date. Friends are good for the soul and I've got a great group of them.

5. Embracing the holidays
For Halloween I meant to bring in a festive treat to share with my office, but let that slip by me. In November I want to embrace the holidays, bring fun treats to the other or church, make pumpkin bread for my neighbors, etc. It's the little things!

6. Spending time in the Word individually and also with my husband
It's so important to my spiritual health to be in the Word on a daily basis and being in deep prayer with God each day. While I want my individual spiritual life to continue to grow, I also want to nourish my marriages spiritual life.

7. No spend November
I have got on my no spending hat for this month and I am determined not to fail! This month I am committing to not spending any money on myself, only on others.

What are your goals for this month?