Friday, August 17, 2012

A Decade

Ten short years ago today I lost my first true love, my grandfather.  
Just a sophomore in high school, I never realized then how sentimental I would become on the topic.

There is so much that can happen in a decade.  Before you know it, the days are gone and all you have left are the memories.  Since you left, I graduated high school and went to college, fell in love, and four short years later completed my Bachelor's degree.  Then I moved to Charleston and completed my MBA, and before I knew it I was happily married.  During these past ten years and through all the memories, there is one thing that has never changed.  I strive to live my life as you did yours- honoring God, putting family first, and never losing hope of my dreams.  You instilled in me so many values that I never truly understood until now, and I am thankful for all the hard lessons you taught me.  
I hope that I have made you proud.  

If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to Heaven
And bring you home again.
-Author Unknown

PS.  I am guest posting today over at Life's Better With Freckles while Lauren is on a mini-vaca.  Go check it out and leave me a shout out!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Free Money

Everyone likes free money, right?  That is definitely a rhetorical question.  This year, I recently stumbled across Ebates.  I read about it on a couple other blogs, and decided to sign up for an account.  I'm not a huge online shopper, as I like to physically touch and feel most things before I purchase them, but I decided to give this website a whirl.  And boy have I been more than pleased!

Ebates is the leader of online Cash Back Shopping.  You create an account, search for a store, purchase your items, and get a percentage of your pre-tax total.  That simple.  Just one extra step, and you could save hundreds of dollars a year (depending on how much you shop online).  This year, I have received $14.23 from Ebates and an additional $10 Target gift card for just signing up!  And like I said, I'm not a huge online shopper!  So what are you waiting for?  Send me your e-mail address and I will be happy to refer you!

I was not asked or compensated for endorsing Ebates.  I just wanted to share my wealth of knowledge of this website to all of my readers!

Monday, August 13, 2012


For my birthday this year, I have requested a day planner from my mom.  

I haven't owned one since Grad School, and honestly, I miss it.  It was an easy way to keep up with birthdays and events, keep track of bills, and planning for the months ahead.  I realize I have a calendar on my iPhone, but it just isn't quite the same.  I want something that I can physically flip the pages, color coordinate the events, and draw cute little descriptions all over!

So, what is your favorite planner?  Do you always use one in particular?  
What do you like most about it?  Include links if you can :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Work Out Routine

Even though I haven't been a consistent blogger lately, I have kept up a pretty good work out routine.  Tuesday and Thursdays are still reserved for Barre class, but I have mixed it up a little for the days in between.  I found a circuit routine online a few weeks ago and it's my new obsession.  It's a little mix of cardio, arms, abs, and quads in 30 minutes.  Now that's my kind of work out!

1 Mile Interval Run
0:00-2:00        5.5 pace
2:01-4:00        6.0 pace
4:01-6:00        6.5 pace
6:01-8:00        7.0 pace
8:00-9:20        7.5 pace

10 Push Ups

20 Sit Ups

30 Squats


I promise you will leave the gym sweaty and feeling good!  
I'm trying to find the courage now to repeat twice for a total of three times.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake

During the summer, there is nothing better than a fresh veggie recipe.  I ran across this particular one on Pinterest and couldn't resist "pinning" it.  It was easy to fix, and had tons of flavor!

Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake


10 ounces dried cheese-filled tortellini (2-1/2 cups) or two 9-ounce packages refrigerated tortellini
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups sugar snap peas, halved crosswise
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
1 8-ounce package cream cheese or light cream cheese (Neufchatel), cubed and softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1 small red or green sweet pepper, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


1.  Cook tortellini in boiling salted water according to package directions, adding the carrot during the last 5 minutes of cooking and the sugar snap peas during the last 1 minute of cooking; drain.
2.  Meanwhile, heat margarine or butter in a 12-inch skillet. Add chicken and mushrooms, and cook about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet.
3.  Shake together chicken broth, oregano, flour, garlic salt, and pepper in a screw-top jar until smooth. Add to skillet along with milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; add cream cheese. Cook and stir until cream cheese is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Add pasta mixture, chicken mixture, tomatoes, and sweet pepper. Toss to coat. Turn into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking dish or shallow 3-quart casserole.
4.  Bake, covered, in a 350 degrees F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Stir mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Transport in an insulated carrier. Makes 12 main-dish servings.
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