Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Christmas! (Part 2)

I woke up Christmas morning and made orange rolls and bacon for our Christmas breakfast! This year was different because Matthew and I got to wake up and do our Christmas first thing. I guess it will be like that once we have kids, but it was weird not having Santa with my parents first thing. Signs of getting old! haha Matthew ended up with a couple of Jos. Bank's dress shirts, a Duke hoodie, some face wash, organizer for his car, can coolers, a mechanic's set, monogrammed beer mugs, hairclippers (to cut his own hair), and a reversible belt. I got a craft table, a purse, socks, underwear, a trashcan (for recycling), a watch, season 2 of Modern Family, and a ChickFilA calendar!

After wrapping a couple of last minute gifts and separating and packing them all up in the car, we headed to Matthew's grandparents' for Christmas lunch. We had prime rib (that was cooked more like a tough roast). I can't remember the other food. I rarely eat the side dishes there haha. Then we exchanged our gifts. His parents gave us a $50 visa gift card. His grandparents had already given us $100 each. And his sister and her husband gave us a set of 4 frames with a saying in each one. We gave his sister a gift basket with all sorts of bath and body stuff, makeup stuff, candles, etc. And we also gave her husband a basket of car wash stuff. His dad got a suitcase for all the mission trips he goes on, and his mom got a facial at the day spa. We gave his grandma a scarf, dishcloths, and bath and body stuff. And we gave his grandpa bedroom shoes and a wallet. Everyone liked their stuff, and if not then they did a good job of lying haha.

Around 2 p.m. we made it to my grandma's to celebrate with my dad's side of the family. There was more food to be had! They just had sandwich stuff, potato salad, chicken salad, deviled eggs, shrimp, sausage balls (from Biscuitville.. do not buy those), cheesecakes, candy and nuts, and chocolate pie. Matthew got a pair of Clarks (for work and church). I got a coat and a bunch of school stuff (like bandage scissors, safety glasses, notebook, binder, pens, and pocket notebook). And together we got a globe from Pier One along with a $20 gift card. I've already got my eye on something!

Finally we headed to my parents' house to open the majority of our gifts. It was weird opening them at night! Matthew got another Jos. Bank's dress shirt, a Chaps shirt, bedroom shoes, more face and body wash, a Carolina hoodie (blah!), a sweater jacket, a windbreaker, and some money. I got a couple of sweaters from Talbots, long sleeved tshirts, bras, sound machine, the olay prox facial cleansing brush, a set of 3 mirrors (for my clock wall), bearpaw boots, a hand mixer, and some canisters for the kitchen. And together we got a ceiling fan, new lights for the hallway, a light for the kitchen, 2 island lights, and a front porch light.

Christmas was fast paced and full of stops this year, but it was still great! Now to start shopping for next year! I have to do even better this year with my $50 a person budget!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas! (Part 1)

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and enjoyed spending time with their families! I know we had three days to celebrate because of it being on a weekend, but time flew by. I didn't even get in a Christmas nap! haha

After working Thursday and Friday last week, I still had to buy groceries to make mini cheesecakes for Christmas. I wanted to get up early Saturday and do them all but I was making a triple recipe and they needed to chill for a couple of hours. So I stayed up Friday night until they were all done. If that's what it feels like to get off at 6 and come home and cook for children and put them to bed, then I'm not ready for that at all. I was worn out! The tripled recipe should have produced 72 cheesecakes, but I ended up with 57. And 12 more were burned and thrown away. So I came really close to the right number!

I woke up on Saturday and put the cherries on all the cheesecakes, got the gifts separated and packed for all our stops, and off we went! My mom's side of the family was first on the list. There was soup, shrimp, a cheese ball, sausage dip, cheesecakes, lemon meringue pie, coconut pie, spiced pecans, pimento cheese, ham, turkey, pickles, cheese, meatballs, chips, pigs in a blanket, and I can't remember what else. It was all so good!

We had to be at Matthew's aunt's about 6 p.m. They had even more food, but I didn't eat anything there. Then all the gifts were passed out to the kids. This year we begged to play dirty santa, and we did! I think everyone enjoyed it (because we got a lot of thank you's for coming up with the idea). We had a $5-$7 limit which isn't much, but some of the gifts were pretty good! There was a pack of charmin, a sign with a Bible verse on it, coasters, a fleece throw, a picture frame, a lot of candy, a massage set, a bottle of wine, a movie, a money jar, a gardening tool, and a tv remote caddy. I ended up with the fleece throw and Matthew got the massage set. Somehow everyone started joking that it was a sex toy, but it's not and that's disgusting and the dang thing was made out of wood. Pretty sure nobody is using that for any purpose other than a massage. But everyone had fun playing dirty santa, so we are doing it again next year!

Afterwards, we went over to my parents so I could fill all of the stockings. That's one of my favorite things to do! I am a master of stuffing stockings. But I even shocked myself at how much I fit in my mom's haha. I know the thing weighed at least 10 pounds!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Few Baskets!

I have made a few more gift baskets but just haven't had the opportunity to get them up here to show ya'll! Plus, a couple were gifts for people that may or may not read this blog, so I didn't want to spoil anything.

This basket was made for a lady at work who is having her first grandchild any time this week! I had a lot of fun putting this together! There is a ton of stuff in that basket, including a very large Classic Pooh blanket! I'll try to list everything but I will probably forget something: hooded towel, 2 bottles, book, bank, 2 photo albums, 5 onesies, 2 hats, 3 washcloths, a scrubby duck, a stuffed dog blanket, brush scrubber, 5 bibs, 6 pairs of socks, and 2 packs of baby body butter. I feel like I'm forgetting something though. This basket sold for $80. A smaller basket can definitely be done though.

This car wash basket was $35. It's got an ice scraper, windshield cleaner, 2 microfiber towels, a microfiber mit, a microfiber sponge, a bug sponge, 2 wax applicators, glass cleaning wipes, tire foam, cleaner, and I can't remember what the other bottle is. It could also be put into a bucket. I just used what I had at the time.
This coffee basket sold for $25. It's got 2 large mugs, a large bag of coffee, 2 small bags of coffee, coffee creamer, a coffee dishcloth, and coffee flavored candy.
This foot spa set is $20. It comes with a pair of flip flops, a pumice stone, toe separators, a loofah, foot scrub, foot lotion, nail polish (not pictured), and emory boards (not pictured).

This snowman bath set sold for $25. It has the cutest snowman loofah, a snowman candle, 3 snowman themed body washes, 2 snowman themed lotions, and a Bath and Body Works peppermint hand soap and hand sanitizer.

Christmas Is Coming!

School is done!!! I ended up with A, A, B, C. Woohoo! I wish I could say these three weeks would be a true break, but then I'd be lying. I have to work several days over break, which is not a complaint. I am extremely thankful for my job and that they are so willing to work with me! Words will never be able to express my appreciation! And with all that I make working, I will basically be making back all that I spent on Christmas haha!

We already did our gift exchange at work last Thursday! I got some great stuff that I really needed: a small pocket notebook (for clinicals), Burt's Bees chapstick, Bath and Body Works lotions, some chocolate truffles, and a $20 Target gift card! Everybody got some really great stuff!

This week I've been finishing up my Christmas shopping. I've been to Raleigh every weekend for the last three weekends haha. And the last two times I bought one thing each time. It's just so nice that when school is out I can actually relax and breathe and do things because I have free time and not just because it's necessary to do! It's so much more fun that way.

I've got to finish making some gifts for Matthew and my brother-in-law, Jeff. I have to return some stuff to JCPenney's just to buy it back with a coupon (that's coming out on Wednesday). It's worth it to save $10! I've wrapped all but 4 gifts I think. Matthew still has to finish shopping (and he only has to buy gifts for me) and wrap it all. We did manage to finish buying stocking stuffers last night. Those are always hardest to buy because you want to buy small stuff that the person would like but also maybe some creative ideas and you don't want to pay a lot for each item. I've found that the smaller the item, the more outrageous the cost!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Where's the Light at the End of This Tunnel?

There are 8 days of school left, 8 ridiculously packed days! The last few days have been a whirlwind, and I really can't even remember everything I have done.

I went to Raleigh for the weekend to go shopping with my sister. I've still got a few things left to buy though.

When I got home Sunday, we went and bought a real Christmas tree! I grew up having a fake tree (except for a couple of times), and we have been using a fake tree. But when Matthew pulled that thing out of the storage room, I tried my best to make that thing look as real as I could. It was impossible. I don't know what happened in that storage room in the last few months, but it was not nice to the fake tree! It had so many bare spots. There was just no help for it. So we went to Lowe's and got a Douglas Fir. I think the other kind is a Fraser Fir, which looks more traditional I guess. But I thought the Douglas Fir looked fuller and even. And it was a steal at $30! I thought they were more expensive than that, but I'm glad it wasn't!

I learned after a week of trying to get Matthew's help with Christmas decorations that I should just do it myself. So I did just that! It took me about 5 hours to do the majority of it, but I wouldn't trade that for 2 hours full of complaining. I still have a couple more things to put out and then I'll be done. I also set myself up a little wrapping station. And I have wrapped 2 gifts so far haha. I don't have any gift tags or ribbons or bows or tissue paper yet. I'm trying to put that off until after the 2 tests I have this week.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday Deals!

I did not go out shopping on black Friday. I had to work, and the computers were down most of the day. But I still managed to snag a couple of deals that I am super excited about!

A few weeks ago I had taken a survey after purchasing a couple things from Coldwater Creek. I have been waiting for a sale and free shipping so that I could use my $10 coupon! I got this dress for $15! It was regular $100! This will be perfect for the weddings coming up this year!

I also got three dress shirts from Jos. A. Banks for $20 each! There are two men in my life that are impossible to buy for... bet ya can't guess who they are! I was so happy to get these at such a deal. They are around $70 regularly!

And after getting off work last night I wanted to go to Tuesday Morning and see if they still had a ceiling fan I had seen. Matthew and I asked my parents for new light fixtures for the house. You get such fun Christmas gifts when you become an adult haha! We had looked at Lowe's and were shocked at how much ceiling fans cost... $100 for the cheap builder grade up to whatever you could ever possibly want to spend! Of course all the ones we liked were at least $200. So we rushed to get to Tuesday Morning before they closed at 7 p.m. and the fans were on sale! They were $115 marked down to $80!!! We got a 52" Hunter ceiling fan with bronze. I love it and cannot believe it was only $80! It's very similar to this one on the Lowe's website, which is selling for $230!

I am happy with the few deals that I got! I still have more Christmas shopping to do (mostly for my dad and Matthew). We are probably going to put our decorations up this weekend. And I will eventually start wrapping gifts!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Days Are Shorter And My Schedule Is Longer!

I was hoping to catch a break one of these days.

I had a test Monday and Tuesday, so I studied for two days straight!

Then yesterday, Matthew's grandma passed away. Please pray for him and his family. I have never seen Matthew cry until he heard the news. It broke my heart to see him hurting. I know all too well what it's like to lose a grandparent. When my PaPa died, it took me years to get over it. And I still occasionally have a rough day. I can only hope that Matthew is better at grieving than I am. The visitation and funeral will be Thursday night and there will be a family graveside service on Friday. I won't be able to go Friday because of a hospital orientation (which is the first step of a job interview basically). I wish I could be there for Matthew, but he understands.

This morning I had my scholarship ceremony. I was so nervous! But it really wasn't all that bad. I'm glad it's over with and I'm ready to get the money so I can pay for next semester!

I have been busy Christmas shopping and making gift baskets and so many other things! Maybe one day I'll get back to blogging!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ornament Swap!

There's an ornament swap over at The Luckiest in Love! I particpated last year and got a beautiful ornament for my tree! Just go over to her blog and fill out the form if you want to give and get some holiday cheer this year!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Busy Week

I am ready for a break! And I don't see one in sight. We didn't have any tests this week, but I've been working on a lot of homework and a speech and computer work. There's another hospital visit on Friday, babysitting on Saturday, and Sunday will be full of studying. I've got to take a test on Monday and another on Tuesday. It seems like every other week from now until Christmas break we will be having at least one test, if not two. I am so beyond ready for Christmas break!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What You Don't Know About Me

I thought it might be fun to do a post about me and what you may or may not know about me. It seems the older I get, the more I learn about myself. Sometimes I don't like the qualities I find, but other times I am happy that I have qualities that are rare these days.
  • It's not easy for me to make friends.
  • I am shy until I really get to know you (like years of knowing you).
  • I don't trust easily; and if you ever lose my trust, it's almost impossible to get back, even if I want so badly to go back to the way it was.
  • There are very few people I consider to be friends. And even though I no longer talk to them, I still consider them my best friends.
  • I am cautious to a fault in my relationships.
  • I don't think I show emotions of sadness, stress, and worry. If I do, no one has ever commented on that.
  • I work harder than is necessary. I work two times harder than necessary if I am really passionate about something.
  • My work ethic has been instilled in me by watching the examples set forth by my parents and grandpa.
  • I am more sensitive than anyone will ever know. I am just really good at hiding it in front of others.
  • I am quick to stand up for what I believe.
  • When I am stressed or worried, I don't let anyone know for fear that they will see me as weak.
  • I always think people are looking down on me. My self esteem is a wreck.
  • I don't drink alcohol, not because I disagree with it, but because I just don't like how it tastes. I do however cringe every time I see a young person drinking, smoking, and just partying their life away. It makes me sad for my generation.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 10/31-11/6

Monday: Baked Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, and Green Beans (I know this same thing keeps showing up every week.. We always seem to be lazy on this day)
Tuesday: Hamburger Steak with Mushrooms and Peppers and Baked Sweet Potatoes
Wednesday: Spaghetti and Cheesy Zucchini
Thursday: Leftovers!
Friday: Out!
Saturday: Brunswick Stew and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Sunday: Leftovers!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What a Week It's Gonna Be!

We had our first clinical orientation on Friday. They served us breakfast for free! I looked quite professional in my scrubs and white coat, and no I don't have any pictures of me dressed up haha! It was a long morning of meeting people and being told all of the rules and precautions. The best news of the day was that whenever we rotate there, we get to choose a free breakfast or lunch. They were cooking ribs on the grill as we were leaving and let me tell you, they smelled sooooo good! This is going to be good for my wallet but bad for my waist! We also got a couple of free hand sanitizer sprays. Nothing says "Welcome!" like a free gift!

I had to work Friday afternoon as well. We drew names for Christmas gifts. I am excited to get shopping and am glad with who I picked! I would be glad with anyone considering I just like shopping in general. But I am especially happy with my pick! And I can't wait to find out who got my name and see what I will get! I just love getting gifts! And giving gifts!

This week we have a test on Tuesday, a test on Wednesday, and I have a speech due Thursday. Then there's another clinical orientation on Friday. Luckily, both tests are mostly math which happens to come a little easier to me. I am one of three people not panicking about these tests. But it's still a lot to do in one week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Couple of Crafts!

So I think I have made you all wait long enough to see what I have been making lately! This is not everything, nowhere near everything! But maybe this will give you some ideas. Christmas is coming, so if anyone wants to buy any of this stuff or wants me to make similar items, then please let me know!

Here are two sets of coasters I have made. I have a couple of extra sets made as well, just no pictures of them. For a set of 4 coasters, I am charging $7.50. If you need a set of coasters with an odd amount of coasters (anything other than the regular set of 4) I am charging $2 for each additional coaster. I can make coasters in any color theme! These are tile coasters with felt feet, so they will not scratch your furniture.

 Here is a cute dishtowel I made! I just love it! I do not have a set price on dishtowels, because it all depends on the price of the dishtowel as well as what goes on it. For this particular dishtowel, I would charge $4.50. If it only had the frog (or just the flowers), I would charge $3.50.

 These are some gift baskets I have made in the past. I am in the process of putting a few together right now. But I will also take custom orders. I will add pictures of the custom order I just completed and another one I am working on now. All gift baskets come wrapped in cellophane and are tied with colorful ribbons.

This particular gift basket would be $25. It's got a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, a hairbrush, and lots of hair accessories.
This movie night basket would be $30, but it would depend on how expensive the movies were. The basket includes a large popcorn bucket, two small individual popcorn holders, two bags of popcorn, two bags of M&Ms, and four candy bars.
These nail gift baskets would be $20 each. The basket on the left has body wash in there, but that is not included in the price. These each include four nail polishes, nail clippers, cuticle clippers, emory boards, cuticle cream, cotton balls, french tip sets, and I honestly cannot remember what else.
This is a cute gift for a teacher! I will personalize the top with the teacher's name. As you can see in the pictures below, it is full of all things red, black, white, and silver. This box includes pencils, a pen, a deck of cards, ladybug pushpins, magnets, a mini stapler, daisy tacks, binder clips, paper clips, and staples. The empty spots are for candy, which I can add or you can add. I am charging $22.50. This would be a great end of the year gift for a teacher that your child really learned from!


Remember, I can make a gift basket with any theme! There are so many to choose from: kitchen, coffee, ice cream, gardening, spa, baby, and the list goes on! If there is something you are thinking about and are wondering if I can make it, leave a comment or email me at The next project on my list is glass etching. I have also made serving trays. I will try to get more pics up as soon as I can! I hope you like what you see and I look forward to hearing from you all!

Menu Plan Monday 10/24-10/30

Monday: Baked Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, and Green Beans
Tuesday: Hamburger Helper, Salad, Corn, and Oranges
Wednesday: Barbecued Porkchops, Seasoned Fries, and Peas
Thursday: Leftovers!
Friday: Brunswick Stew and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Saturday: Out!
Sunday: Leftovers!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekends Are For No Work!

The end of the week was so insanely busy, I am just glad that it's over. First of all, I am so thankful that I do not have class until 6 p.m. on Thursday. This gives me a whole day to get my schoolwork done. So that's just what I did. I had a midterm for public speaking Thursday night. I was slightly worried about it just because of the massive amounts of information, but it turned out to be quite easy.

Friday morning I had my next respiratory test as well as a patient assessment lab competency. I was completely stressed about both of those! One, the tests always have so much information on them and it's just hard for me to remember everything (luckily for that class it's all multiple choice). Two, I don't like "acting" in front of people so the patient assessment was a nightmare come true. Oh, it was just so horrible! I know I won't have a problem when I am with a real patient, but I just have a hard time pretending. I am not imaginative like that. Amazingly I passed the test with a 92 and the competency with a 97! I am happy with that!

Unfortunately, that was not the last stressful event for the day. I had to go to work and do something I had never done before! I had trained for less than two hours total! Everyone was sure that since it was Friday afternoon that nobody would come in. Wrong! Within five minutes of being alone, I had a customer. I was so nervous that I didn't even tell them my name! But I didn't mess anything up, so that was good! I don't know why I was so nervous about it. I am ready to do it again now!

Friday night we cooked steaks with my parents and their neighbors. It was a late night, and I had an early morning Saturday for a day of babysitting! I was wore out by 4 p.m. We blew bubbles, played tball and football, looked at all of the pumpkins inside and outside, walked the block twice, collected leaves, colored, made art projects with the leaves, did puzzles, played with legos, snacked, and then he finally passed out asleep. Saturday night we went to Raleigh to eat at Brio with my parents and another set of their neighbors. It was a very good restaurant. I only wish I could have eaten more! haha

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

School Scholarship

Since the first day I got accepted into the respiratory therapy program, I have been wondering how in the world I was going to pay for five straight semesters without working. I still occasionally work at my job, but the little I do make is more for us to be able to keep fixing up our house and to be able to go out and do fun things once in a while. It's almost time to register for the next semester and the thought of watching our savings slowly decline has started to seep into my mind.

When Matthew came home Saturday and brought in the mail, there was a letter from the school. When you aren't expecting anything, you instantly think it's bad news. I opened the letter up and read about two sentences before I burst into tears. I just sobbed. I got a scholarship for this semester! Since I already paid up front for this semester (because you have to), I will get back the amount of the scholarship. This amount will definitely cover my tuition for the spring semester with a little left over to go towards books!

I have been praying and asking God to help me to have more faith and to worry less and to depend on Him to provide while I prepare to serve Him with this career in respiratory therapy. He has certainly provided! Two out of the five semesters are now paid for!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Grocery Shopping and Pantry Organizing

I have not been grocery shopping in forever! Matthew and I have both just been on a long run of eating out. It was just so easy when my schedule changed because of school. Eating out is expensive. And it finally has taken its toll. As you read last week, I got back in the meal planning game. Now we're into week two of consistent meal planning! This weekend we went to the grocery store and got a bunch of stuff that we needed. We're not only meal planning for dinner, but also for breakfast and lunch.

As of today, Matthew is going to be taking his breakfast and lunch to work with him instead of buying fast food. I see Matthew as being the bigger challenge because he loves to go out for food. But in order for us to stick to our budget, this has to work. So every night I am going to get Matthew's lunch bag ready for the next day. I also need to find him a real lunch bag instead of a Wal-mart bag! haha I'm such a great wife!

We now have a variety of breakfast foods (cereals, poptarts, protein bars, smoked sausage) and snack foods (chips, dips, cookie bars, goldfish) and fruit (apples, bananas, pears) and lunch foods that are not so healthy. I will make healthy lunches my next goal.

And after the huge grocery store haul, I felt compelled to clean out the pantry and organize it! It looks so amazing! There is a breakfast section, a snack section, a baking section, a pasta section (it's sad that I have over 15 boxes of pasta). I also bought these cute canisters. So excited to get them! I'm going to put my sugar and flour in them.


I also bought this two-level wire rack today at TJ Maxx. I have been wanting something to put my fruits and vegetables in. I've been using a wire bowl, but I had just one. Maybe it's just me, but I don't like my fruits and vegetables touching each other. Is that weird? It has rope around the rims and looks like an old antique. It's super tall too. I saw it yesterday but thought $25 was too high. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was so glad that they still had it today! I think I would have cried if it was gone haha.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 10/17-10/23

Monday: Shrimp Alfredo with Mushrooms and Salad
Tuesday: Chili and Beans and Fresh Guacamole
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Sausage, Sweet Potato Fries, and Baked Beans
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Baked Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, and Green Beans
Saturday: Out
Sunday: Leftovers

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 10/10-10/16

I'm back into menu planning and cooking! It's quite the combination haha! I know it's already Wednesday but I wanted to post it anyway since I have actually been cooking these meals!

Monday: Baked Chicken, green beans with lemon, brown rice, and tomatoes and okra
Tuesday: Grilled Pork Chops, stuffing, and yams
Wednesday: Sandwiches
Thursday: Shrimp Alfredo and salad
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out
Sunday: Leftovers

Monday, October 10, 2011

Yard Sale!

We finally had our yard sale on Saturday. I am so glad it is all over with! I feel like I have been going through junk for weeks. Now I just have to get rid of all that stuff that I didn't sell, but that's the project for this week.

I ended up making about $175. I was hoping for more, but I'm happy with that.

I am shocked at the fact that people want everything for next to nothing. If it still looks new, then I think it's worth more than $1. One girl was especially rude. She had a suede purse, 2 cute ceramic signs, and a pack of thank you cards from my pile and a bath rug, picture frame, super nice scarf (like a pashmina), and a little planter from Tammy's pile. We told her $12 for all of it and she handed me the purse back as she made a disgusted face. Everything she had was practically brand new. I really wanted $5 for the purse, but had told her $3. Is $3 too much for a suede purse that's barely been used? I don't think so. She really got under our skin. It's people that are rude that make you think twice about having a yard sale.

My mom made the most.. over $400, but she sold some furniture and my dad sold a bunch of fire extinguishers for $10 each! Tammy made a little over $200. So altogether we made over $800. That number sounds pretty good! haha I wish my number alone was that good!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I am so tired after the weekend trip to Charlotte. On Friday and Saturday nights I didn't get to sleep until 1 or 2 a.m.! I usually am asleep by 11 p.m. So that was an adjustment. Plus riding in the car made me extremely tired, both ways.

The trip was fun, but I am glad to be home! When we got there Thursday, we pretty much had time to pee and then we were off to a high school volleyball game. That was a first for me. My cousin did so good though! I was glad we got to see her beast at her sport! We ate dinner at the house, and that was not a fav. They  had cooked roast. That happens to be my least favorite food right next to beef stew, but I didn't want to be rude so I ate it anyway. I was starving a few hours later and luckily had packed a protein bar in my purse haha. It's always weird to me when you are staying at someone's house, they say to make yourselves at home but it's strange to be scouring their pantry for a snack and eating when nobody else is.

On Friday, we woke up and headed to Ikea. I was so excited to go to Ikea! I love it! I managed to get a ton of stuff and spent less than $100, and that included the rug I wanted! I can't wait to show you the finished rug, there are big plans for it! And most of the other stuff I got was for gift baskets. We ate lunch at McAlister's Deli and did some shopping at Stein Mart, where I got 2 cute shirts on clearance! They ordered pizza and wings for dinner and we may have made a grocery run for cookies. Mmm!

E picked me up about 11:30 that night. I was so tired already and was ready for bed, but like I said, I didn't get to sleep until really late. We slept in on Saturday and then headed to Concord Mills to do some shopping. We ate at Moe's for lunch and the cashier told me he was giving me the special because I was a special girl. That means, I got a free drink! haha I will accept being hit on if it means I'm saving money! We finished up our shopping with frozen yogurt, which was amazing and I cannot wait for the place here to open, and dinner at TGI Fridays. I managed to only buy 2 things at Concord Mills, again both on clearance.

Sunday we went to Elevation Church. That was quite the experience. Although different, I kind of liked it. I'm not sure I'd want to go there all the time though. We met up with another friend for brunch. This was someone I haven't talked to in months, one of the people I just stopped talking to for multiple reasons. I didn't really know what to say to her or if we would instantly be friends again. It was nerveracking just thinking about it. And it was quite awkward the whole time we were eating. We acted as if nothing had ever happened between us, but you could tell that both of us couldn't avoid thinking about it either. I'm not sure what the next step will be in our relationship. I'm not sure if it's something that can be salvaged, at least not in a way that it will be exactly as before. I guess it was nice to see her though. It is hard to say what I really thought about the whole situation. It was just so weird.

I was so glad to get back home and was half asleep most of the car ride. I missed Matthew, but I am not sure he missed me haha. He has been ill ever since. Oh well. That's a man.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh, How Time Flies!

Not having class most of the week has clearly freed up a lot of time. But somehow I don't seem to be getting much done.

I have worked on one of the hospital packets. The only blanks I left were dates of shots and doctor visits as well as current medication. I was too lazy to get up and go find the medicine. I have a general idea of what I take and why, but I don't know technical names and dosages. I attempted to do the other one online but the login info doesn't work. Not sure what to do about that one. Then I tried to do some work for my computer class. That website would not load, so I gave up. Even when I make myself finally sit here and accomplish things, I still get nothing accomplished.

But I have gotten a few cute fall tops over the last couple of days! And all but one of them were clearance finds! A couple of them were only $5 which I totally think is an awesome deal considering one is from Belk's. I found five of them at TJ Maxx. I'm pretty sure that three of them were $10 each (and tank tops.. for layering) and the other two were $15 each. My goal is an item of clothing for less than $20. I'd say I beat my own goal this time! Maybe I will have some pictures of me wearing this stuff after the weekend. But don't hold your breath!

I have also been crafting up a storm. I have made a teacher gift, a couple sets of coasters, a gift basket, and I'm working on some other projects. Hopefully I will get pictures up here soon because everything is for sale!

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Would Just Like to Say Thanks to... teachers for being at a conference for the rest of this week! You have no clue how much I appreciate you for this!

We had class today, which included another test. And I didn't do so good on the test. But it is okay. I have learned my lesson. Writing out the answers to the objectives should not count as time of actual studying. So if we take the entire time I studied and subtract the time I spent answering the objectives, that would leave about fifteen minutes this morning. And really the fifteen minutes got cut short because I really had to use the bathroom and would rather bathroom time take away from study time instead of from my "make myself look presentable" time.

Then we got a ton of handouts, forms to fill out, and an assignment to write a summary of an article. All of this will be due Monday. So now I've got a lot to do before Wednesday night since I'm leaving Thursday and going to Charlotte for the weekend! I am so excited to go see my friend "E"! I would say "Easy E" as that instantly comes to mind. But I know she hates that. I can't wait to see her cute apartment and of course, just be in Charlotte.

Also, the funniest thing ever just happened!!! Matthew's mom usually cuts his hair. I don't know what has happened over the last week, but his hair was really long and nobody has had time to cut it. So Matthew brought the clippers home to do it himself. He called me in there to help trim the bottom up, except he didn't make it clear to me what I was doing. I might add that I have never cut hair before and the buzzing and shaking of the clippers along with Cinnamon barking in my ear and Matthew yelling to direct me... well, let's just say I couldn't focus and may or may not have given him a bald spot on the back of his head. Whoops! He was pretty made for about fifteen minutes. However, with my uncontrollable laughter, he just couldn't stay mad forever!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Odd One Out

That would be me. Remember in the last post how I said I felt like I was not being as included as before? Well it's true. Now if it is due to the fact that I stood out from everyone because of religion, I'm not sure. That could be part of it. But I think what really makes me different is that I have a life outside of school. I'm not saying I'm super popular and have a hectic social life. That's definitely not it haha! I just have a lot of things going on other than school. I am working on occasion, helping out with my grandma, crafting, going to two other (non-respiratory) classes, maintaining the house, paying bills, Christmas shopping, running a million other errands, and the list goes on. Do other people in my class not have anything to do? It sure seems that way.

My classmates have all been going out to lunch together quite often, maybe even every day that we have class. They have been forming multiple study groups, if not having one big study session with everyone after each class and even on days we don't have class. The grandmother of one of the teachers passed away over the weekend and everyone in the class (except for me and one other girl) went to the funeral, which was an hour out of town.

I don't get invited to lunch. I have not been asked to join a study group. And the truth is, I am really okay with it. Yes, I feel slightly excluded. They post on facebook how much they love their class and how close they have gotten with everyone else. It bothers me to read that, because I know that I'm not included in that. I don't feel close to any of them, and I wouldn't say I love my class. Maybe things will change over time. I did get invited once to lunch, but I had to work. I did go to class early one day to study with someone, but they wanted to chit chat instead and nothing was accomplished. We all know that when you invite someone to do something and they say no a couple times, you just stop asking them. That's what has happened to me.

Today, class was pretty much done at 9:30 because we had finished reviewing for our test on Monday. The teacher wanted to start new material, but everyone else wanted to get in their study groups. We were taking a short break before all of that began. As everyone left the room, I quietly asked the teacher if I really had to stay for that. He asked, "You like to do your own thing and study alone don't you?" I nodded yes and he told me I did not have to stay. I was out of there in about one second! Maybe no one else in there understands, but at least the teacher does. I am the only person responsible for me making it through this program. Nobody else is going to get me the grades I need to graduate and get a job.

So for once, I'm happy to be the odd one out.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Burden on My Heart

Class began the other day with the teacher asking if we wanted to see an experiment. Everyone agreed. As he came back into the room with the supplies, he asked if we believed in magic. A few nodded yes, a couple shook their heads no, and some didn't respond at all. He looked at me with this look as if he couldn't grasp that I didn't believe in magic. In that instant, I didn't know what to say. So I said the only thing I'd been thinking since he asked the question. "Magic is of the devil." I didn't laugh as I said it, which I tend to do in uncomfortable situations. I just said what I felt and what I believe. It was the truth, and I have no shame in my beliefs.

Somehow the conversation turned to religion and how people have varying opinions because of what they believe. The teacher asked if anyone wanted to share what religion they were. Very few spoke up. Someone said Baptist and another said Methodist. Then someone else said they were Hindu. I don't recall hearing anyone say Christian. I am sure that the two that said Baptist and Methodist meant to say they were Christian, but they didn't. I have asked myself a million times since Tuesday (when this all occurred) why did they choose to say what type of church they went to as opposed to saying Christian.

The teacher went on to tell about what religion he considered himself due to the varying religions of his parents and grandparents. His mom was a Jehovah's Witness; his dad an atheist; his grandmother Baptist; his grandfather Methodist; his other grandmother Holiness; and his other grandfather was whatever his wife made him be. And the teacher called himself a "mutt of religion", taking aspects from each and implementing them into his own life. He even said he did not consider himself to be an atheist, but sometimes that made more sense than the others.

My natural response to this entire situation was to be angry that someone would dare bring this conversation up in class, when there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. This is a community college run by the state. And this is where the irony comes in, I actually do not believe in the separation of church and state. I believe that this nation was built on a foundation of Christian values and everything the Bible stands for. In today's world, it is not operating on the same standards. It even seems strange to me that I was angered by the situation.

My next reaction was this overwhelming feeling to just cry. I did not actually cry in class, but I wanted to. I just had this burden on my heart for these people, all of them. It doesn't make sense to me. I was raised in a Christian school. Ever heard the phrase that it takes a village to raise a child? I don't take that phrase literally, but I do think that children take bits and pieces of everyone along the way to form the person they will grow up to be. For me, that includes going to a Christian school my whole life. Those teachers, classmates, and other parents all helped shape me into what I am today. It's hard for me to see how people can believe in other gods or in nothing at all. My family never went to church every Sunday or even every other Sunday. I wasn't sent to a Christian school because my family was religious. The truth is, I went there because my dad didn't want me in the public schools. They were gradually worsening every year. And the district we lived in would have put me in the heart of downtown, in the hood, for lack of a better word. Every single day I feel blessed that my parents made that decision to send me to a Christian school. What would I be like today if I had gone through public school? I see all of the kids that are my age and went through public school. I am so thankful to be so different in so many ways!

During a class break, I was asked if I was super religious, is that why I said magic is of the devil. I said well I'm not super religious. I am a Christian, and I stand up for my beliefs. I politely told the girl that I love to debate and argue for my beliefs and I felt it was best I just keep my mouth shut. But is that the best move, to say nothing at all? I think in that moment, I was just so flustered, angered, and saddened by all that had been said that if I spoke up, it would have come out as a debate instead of being a genuine welcome to know and understand God.

Since that class, I have not felt as welcome as I did before. Maybe it's me, and I'm over analyzing. I thought I was fitting in. But maybe it's meant for me to be the standout and go through this on my own. I hope and pray that over the next 20 months, I can be an example to everyone else in that class. Even if I cannot bring myself to talk about God, then hopefully my actions will be enough to show them God.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thirty-One Party!

So I have decided to do a Thirty-One party since apparently September has an awesome hostess reward! The girl is really booked up for the rest of the month, so I am only doing the catalog/online ordering. All of you are invited to check out the catalog on the website, or if you live near me then I can get you a book and order form!

If you do choose to shop online, here is the website: On the right side of the page it says "My Events"; click it. ...On the next page, look through the list until you see my name (Morgan Daughtridge) and click "Shop Now".

Once you get to the checkout process and are on the Shipping Information page, if you want your products shipped to me then make sure to select the very first box that says "Ship To Host-Check to Ship Product to Host". If you get the products shipped directly to you, there is an extra cost. So if you live near me or have a way of meeting with me at some point to get your stuff, then I would definitely make sure that box is checked!

If you have never heard of Thirty-One, then you are missing out! They have tons of really cute organizers, purses, and so much more! And you can get most of it monogrammed, which makes it even cuter! This month's guest special is for every $31 you spend, you can get 50% off a Celebrate Card Set, Zipper Pouch, or select wallets (organizing wallet, coin purse wallet, soft wallet, essentials zip wallet, and hard case wallet). You can easily find enough things to get you over $31. I personally think that card set is a steal at only $15.50 after the 50% off!

I hope you will check it out! Let me know if you have any questions. The party will end September 25, 2011. And maybe, just maybe I will do a giveaway!

Happy Birthday to My Husband!

Happy 25th Birthday! I hope that you have had a great day and great rest of the week as we will continue to celebrate!

You finally got your Mexican fix for lunch. I know you are glad that I was up and not in my pj's or else we wouldn't have gone. And I know you loved the surprise of me coming to your work and bringing you 25 balloons and some cupcakes for everyone. I know you were embarrassed by that, but birthdays are supposed to be fun and full of surprises! I wanted to make it the best birthday you've ever had! And every year I will outdo myself. So just think that by the time you are 75, you should be getting a pretty awesome surprise haha.

Hurry up and get home because I am starving and Ichiban is sounding pretty great right now!

Love you!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I am telling you, time seriously is flying by lately! What is going on?

I had another impromptu speech in public speaking last Thursday. I guess it's supposed to make us more comfortable being in front of people. Well, after I gave my (supposed to be) 2 minute speech and sat back down, the girl next to me asked why I was so red. Ever heard of anxiety or being nervous or being scared to death? Yeah, that's me! So my face, neck, and chest turn a few shades of red. It's normal, at least for me!

Friday, we had our huge CPR hands-on exam and written test. After being the luckiest person in the room and going first, I am happy to say that I passed both parts with flying colors! I only missed one question on the written test and got to leave class an hour early! I spent the afternoon with my mom and two of her friends going to a furniture consignment store in Knightdale (great stuff there.. lots of Pottery Barn things). We also shopped at TJ Maxx and Baskin Robbins. The only thing I bought was a mocha blast haha!

The weekend was a blur, but it was back to school today. We learned how to wash our hands. Did you know that a 4-hour college class could be based on that? Neither did I. We also got fitted for masks and learned how to dress in a sterile gown and gloves. It was like playing dress up, but being more serious about it. Luckily, there's a photographer in our class so she got some great shots!

And what did I do after all of that hard work? I shopped! I told you that all of this free time is killing me! But I didn't even spend $50. So proud of myself! I got a cute owl, decorative napkins, and some Peeled snacks ( at TJ Maxx. I've been wanting to try those snacks but have only seen them online. I was afraid to buy them not knowing if I'd like them, so I'm glad I saw them! I got some sconces and a cute tin bucket at Ross. And I hit the motherload at Michael's! If you need anything crafty or decorative, go to Michael's this week. Run to Michael's this week, or like right now! Most stuff was 50% off. Scrapbook paper was 6/$1! Picture frames were half off. Photo boxes were 6/$10, regularly $4 each! All flower stems are half off. Seriously, go! I am already wanting to go back and I just left a couple hours ago!

I'll add pics later of all my goodies I bought today!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When Things Come Together

Before leaving my job to physically go to school full-time, I rarely worried about money. I mean, I worried about spending too much and saving enough. But I didn't worry if we would make enough to pay the bills. When I realized that I was not going to be working full-time and would become dependent on my husband, I admit that I was scared (I still am on occasion)! I was worried that we wouldn't have enough to make ends meet. We'd most certainly be giving up anything fun and extra.

This is the first month that we've had to buckle down on our budget (even though I haven't worked in almost a month). I'm not going to lie and say that it has been a breeze. It definitely has not been a breeze! It's tough to cook at home more nights than not. I'm still working on that. I'm exhausted most days, so cooking is even less fun than before. But I am improving, and Matthew is helping out on occasion. We even had a cheap "date" on Monday. We went to Raleigh and spent less than $30 on lunch and at the mall! Definitely a first haha.

The thought of me not having any income for nearly two years was scary. But things have come together over the last few weeks, and I will have some sort of income each month. It won't be a steady income, but it's something to stick in savings to help cover the cost of gifts, fun, school, and the unexpected. I wish that I could work full-time and make enough money to constantly save. I'd save every last dime if I could! Too bad things cost so much. But at the same time, I am glad that I am not committed to a full-time job right now. School is a lot more work than I have encountered with past classes. I so appreciate this time I have each afternoon and weekend to concentrate on my homework! I know it won't last forever, and I have less than two years to get this career figured out.

So you may be wondering what I'll be doing for this not-so-stable income! Some of you may know that I am still going to be filling in on occasion at the job I left haha. Can you call it that if you didn't really leave? I'm also going to be staying with my Grandma once a week (maybe twice) to help her out around the house and run errands. I'm so happy that I get to do this (as frustrating as she can be). These are moments I wouldn't pass up for anything! Sometimes I'll work with my dad and help them out. I'm also free for babysitting if anyone needs me or if you want to pass the word on to other people you know! I'll be having a yardsale with this girl in October! I've got lots of stuff to get rid of! And I think I'm going to start selling some of the crafts I've been making! I hadn't thought about doing that until someone else mentioned that I should. I have been crafting like crazy! But I'm excited to start showing ya'll what all I've been making! I've also considered making myself available to make gifts for teachers, shopping for Christmas gifts (for those who don't have time or those who want to get stuff for a deal!), maybe putting together gift baskets, and whatever else I can imagine!

It's so nice when things come together better than you ever expected they would!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How to Deal with Difficult People

This post is not intended to be mean in anyway. This is just how I feel about the whole situation.

Have you ever had someone in your life that you just could not stand? They are not in your life because you chose for them to be in it but because of someone else you chose to be in your life. They sort of came along as somewhat of a package. You don't have any obligations to spend time with them or even talk to them. But they happen to be at several of the same places.

What makes this even more complicated is how you feel about the person's life choices.

You were raised to have a strong work ethic, believing that you should work hard to achieve your goals and that hard work will always pay off. You were raised to be independent, which allowed you to learn to make wise decisions. You learned that your decisions had consequences, which made you grow into a mature adult who was capable of making proper decisions with limited consequences. You were raised to value your education and to be a lifelong learner. You were raised to observe the world around you and to learn from others in both their accomplishments and mistakes. You were raised to respect your elders, no matter the age difference, and to trust their wisdom. You were raised to be confident and proud of your accomplishments, but not to be cocky and overbearing with your pride. You were raised to be frugal and make do with what you had; if you needed more, then you worked hard to get it.

They could not even get out of bed to finish their senior year of high school; the teachers simply passed them without a single assignment being done. They finally began a two-semester college program which they could not finish because they would not get out of bed to go. They got fired from their part-time job, the first and only job, because they could not do simple bank deposits and then felt they needed a week off work to go to the beach. They depend on their parents and grandparents to provide everything they need and want without any guilt of wasting their money. Instead of seeing how others work hard and following their example, they choose to see how others have babies out of wedlock, stay home without a job, and don't have a single thing going for them. They don't respect their elders; if they did, they would feel guilty about being dependent on their grandparents and living with their parents, not paying a dime of their own money for anything. When people try to give them advice, they yell and scream to get their way and then stomp off when they don't. Their elders have experienced life much longer and have plenty of advice on how to avoid certain pitfalls, but they won't accept their wisdom. The slightest accomplishment (if you can call it that) of getting out of bed gets praise worthy of a saint. There are no accomplishments to be proud of, yet they are beyond proud of the life they lead. And they aren't frugal in the least. When they don't have a job and live with their parents, they should be beyond frugal and try to find a job to help out. But instead they keep on taking.

This is something that has been bothering me for nearly three years. I am beyond irritated at the slightest mention of their name, let alone their presence. I feel very strongly about children being raised to be mature, responsible adults who are positive contributors to society. I understand when times are hard and people struggle to make ends meet. But that is not this situation. This is a blatant defiance of authority and responsibility. And when they do get money from their grandparents, it is used for tattoos, shopping, and tanning. The worst part is that they got married this summer, only making me more furious. If you cannot support yourself with an education and job, make wise decisions, or move out of your parents' house, then you should not be married. That is not marriage. That is two people playing house with someone else's money. That is not life. That is not the real world. It doesn't work that way.

Maybe you think I'm jealous. I can assure you that is not it at all. I am not jealous of her attitude, her disrespect for others, or her overall lack of concern for those around her. I am furious that people like this exist and even more furious that I will forever have to deal with her because she is considered part of my family. I dare to even use the word family. I am ashamed, even embarrassed, of her actions and decisions. And yet I cannot escape her. I don't know how to deal with her any longer. At just the thought or sight of her, I feel like I could explode. I do not have children at the present time, but when the time comes, I cannot even imagine letting her be near my children for fear that her ways will rub off on their young, impressionable minds.

If you have any advice on how to approach this situation to make it even the slightest bit better, I would so appreciate your thoughts! I am at a complete loss as to what I should do. I don't want to act out in anger, which I fear will happen soon. In the last few months, I have avoided it all by just not going around where she may be. I shouldn't have to live my life avoiding seeing others that I do care about just because I'm trying to tiptoe around her. She continually requests to be my friend on facebook. I cannot even bring myself to add her as a friend. I do not want her to know about my life. In the past, she has said some mean things about my friends and about me. I would rather just not even give her the chance to read anything about my life. If she doesn't know anything about it, then she can't say anything mean.

This is the drama of my life. Ugh.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This Week is Flying By!

I just realized it's Thursday. I can't believe it's already Thursday! I feel like I have been running around all week from one place to the next.

There was school on Tuesday and then I stayed with my grandma for a couple hours. She's back home in case I forgot to mention that, and I'm pretty sure I did. She came home on Friday! It's not as easy as she thought it would be. I can tell that she has aged a lot in the last three months. Yeah, she's 89. But she certainly didn't act like she was 89 before the stroke. She had some slight issues with getting around before but could manage to do everything on her own. Now, it's taking a good 5-10 minutes to walk from one end of the house to the other, a good hour to shower (with help) and get dressed, and you can forget working in the yard. It hurts me to see her like that, but I have to realize how far she has come in the last three months and that this is just how it's going to be. I had class again Tuesday night which I decided to go early for so that I could be home at a decent time. Well, the website went down halfway through my assignments. I wrote the teacher a note and left.

Yesterday, there was more school. I found a study partner in my class! Woohoo! After a rushed lunch, I helped do some work for my dad. They got a big job cleaning the clothes for all (well, a lot) of the crews working to restore power around NC and maybe elsewhere (not really sure). Those clothes were stinky and sweaty. I washed my hands about ten times! But not having a job, I definitely need the money. I'm clearly willing to do most anything! haha I might go back today. I'm waiting to hear if they need me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 8/29-9/4

Monday: Hamburger Helper Stroganoff (made with turkey), collards, and crowder peas
Tuesday: Enchilada Casserole (Easy Enchilada Casserole and Mexican Casserole as inspiration)
Wednesday: Baked Fish, potatoes, and salad
Thursday: Four Cheese Tortellini and salad
Friday: Baked Chicken, green beans, and stuffing
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Leftovers

Did Everyone Survive the Hurricane?

We made it through! I think hurricanes make for pretty boring days stuck in the house. But as I was sitting here watching tv, because we'd yet to lose power, I noticed a small wet spot on the ceiling of our bedroom. No big deal, right? I mean it was raining and the wind was whipping, probably just blowing water under the eaves, right? Well not long after that, the power went out. So then I had nothing to do but watch the wet spot gradually get bigger and bigger! Still, no big deal. It's just a little water.

Three hours later and this rusty colored area starts to show up to the party. Matthew was freaking out by then. He wanted to call someone like right then to come look at it. After I brought him back to reality and reminded him that we were in the middle of a hurricane, he gave up on those dreams of calling someone. Plus, we still had a roof and all the walls to our home. It was just a wet spot!

My parents came over and we packed up everything in the freezer and refrigerator that we wanted to save. We ended up with two huge coolers full of food! They had not had power all day but they did have a generator. By the time we got to their house, their power was back on. I did not want to lose all of that food! I had one whole cooler full of just meats!

After going out to dinner and deciding it was best to stay with my parents, Matthew came back to let Cinnamon out. I felt so bad leaving her here all alone. I know she was scared to death. But she sheds ridiculously bad and dealing with my mom's fussing was not something I was really wanting at that point. Matthew came back yesterday morning to let her out and get a couple of things so we could shower. We spent a few hours cleaning up my parents' yard which was full of limbs and sticks. My body is repaying me today! We headed back home to let Cinnamon out again and woohoo! We had power! I was so excited! I was dreading having to pack up clothes and books and everything to stay with my parents for a couple of days. We were hearing that it would be days before the power would be back on!

Luckily, we didn't have any major damage and nobody that we know did either. I hope that all of you were safe during the storm. I think we have a lot to be thankful for! The storm was supposed to be a lot worse than it actually was. I can't imagine if it had remained a category 3!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Miss Me?

This week has been rough. Not rough as in bad, just rough as in wow it has been so long since I've had to go to all of my classes and spend hours upon hours there. I'm still adjusting to this new schedule. I know that most people go to class and that it's normal to go to class. However, I have been doing mainly online courses for the last four years. The only exceptions to this were the drug therapy course I just took over the summer and the occasional computer classes. I don't count the computer classes though. Most of the time I was the only one technically in my class (there were several classes in one room at a time) and it was a self-paced schedule.

I have officially made "friends" in my respiratory class! That's exciting! It has never been easy for me to make friends, like never ever. But it wasn't terribly hard! Maybe I'm finally out of my shell! They are both about my age and they are both named Ashley. As long as I can remember, every person I met named Ashley turned out to have a bad attitude or thought they were better than everyone else. I was beginning to think it was a bad name haha. But now I've met a few Ashleys that have changed my mind and I love to read this Ashley's blog! Thanks to all of you Ashleys for setting a new precedence!

We finally started using all of those books on Tuesday! The syllabi have been covered, the handouts have been given, and so far so good! None of it is as intimidating as I thought it would be. It's all really interesting and I am loving it!

Tonight I had my first public speaking class. I was definitely dreading it! Luckily the teacher is young, fun, and let us out early. He promised to let us out early most every class! That's a good teacher right there! Unfortunately, we already had to get in front of the class and speak. Ugh! I had to introduce a classmate and they had to introduce me. And as soon as we did that, I was back in my car and on the way home!

Tomorrow is Friday and my grandma is finally coming home from the nursing home! I am so excited for her and will be spending my afternoon with her in case she needs help with anything!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Survived the First Day of School!

Actually, it wasn't so bad. I had two classes, each lasting 2 hours, but the teachers just kind of switched back and forth talking over the entire 4 hour period. My butt was tired of sitting for 4 hours straight! Both teachers like to talk, a lot, and get off on random tangents. We never even got to the syllabus! I'm sure will cover that tomorrow and start learning from those 7 books we have for the class!

I have been so nervous and a little scared over the last couple of months thinking about what it would be like going back to school full-time. Well, I've been in school full-time. I just haven't had to go to class for all of my hours since high school/freshman year of college. But after getting in there yesterday, I was amazingly calm. They aren't going to throw me in there with patients without teaching me what to do first, thank goodness! And I'm really excited now to start learning everything! This upcoming week will be the first full week of school. I'm ready to get myself on a set schedule!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Making Plans!

Since tomorrow is the first day of school, aka my new life, I have decided that Monday I am really going to start this new chapter off the right way. I know that I have said multiple times that I am going to get healthy and lose weight. But this time how can I not follow through? I will have most afternoons free. So I can't possibly make excuses! If anyone has any workout tips or tips on eating right, will you please fill me in! I really want to make it work this time. I don't care how long it takes to get down to the weight I want to be, which is really a general range. I would rather be considered healthy than just at a specific weight. And I will be starting on a Monday because it's just an OCD thing where I have to start at the beginning of the week. Monday has always been the beginning of the week to me instead of Sunday. I consider Sunday the end of the last week. It's a complicated place in my brain haha.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So this is what it feels like!

This is Day 2 of being home and not working full-time. As of right now, I can't say that I could get used to this. I have been really bored in the mornings. I have made plans for the afternoons so I would at least have a reason to shower. Is it sad that I need a reason to shower? But school starts on Friday, and I know then I will be thankful for all of the extra time!

And believe it or not, I have vacuumed (not the whole house, but the main areas), washed dishes, cleaned countertops, organized things, made several crafts, and shopped for school supplies (and maybe some other various decor items)! I really hope that no one is having a stroke after they read that last sentence. Sitting around with all this free time definitely makes me look at a million blogs and Pinterest and get a lot of ideas (that of course cost money)! Like I said though, once school starts it won't be so bad. I won't have time to shop or the money to spend so it will be fine.

I most definitely know that I can never be a full-time stay at home mother. I am just not loving this enough. I have never had time to just be. I've been working at least some amount of time since I was thirteen. I like working. It's fun to me. Not fun like a party, just interesting. I like being busy and learning new things. I don't like being bored. But I am appreciative of the fact that I can take this time for myself for the next 21 months and accomplish a goal, a career, and a lifestyle change. Am I nervous? Heck yes! Am I scared? A little. Am I excited? Most definitely!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Found It!

So the dog didn't really eat my ring. Whew! She did move it though! I fed her the vaseline sandwich Monday night thinking it would work like a laxative and get going fairly quickly. Wrong!

I was supposed to be somewhere at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. I was getting ready to leave and took Cinnamon outside before I left. It was a nightmare! The vaseline definitely made it easier for things to come out! Unfortunately it was not my ring that came out. I won't go into much detail because it was just gross haha. The short story is, I had to call my dad to drive all the way here (about 15 minutes) to help me hold the dog down while I hosed her off. I wasn't going to even attempt to pick her up. I had just showered and gotten dressed! And she was so scared of the water hose that she was fighting and trying to get off the leash (and she can get off the leash). I couldn't hold her and hose her down at the same time. I didn't have time to chase her down, especially with her having a several thousand dollar ring in her gut! She was worth too much to let go!

There was still no sign of that ring for the rest of Tuesday or even Wednesday morning. I was cleaning up the bedroom some Wednesday and sorting through my textbooks for my upcoming classes when voila! I found it! The ring was between two books, books that happen to be on the opposite side of the room where I had left the ring. This is how I know that Cinnamon did move it. Matthew and I had both looked through those books though, so I think we might have just moved it around some.

But at least we found it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Dog Ate My...

...engagement ring! Bet you thought I was going to say homework, huh? I wish it was my homework. At least I could redo that and it wouldn't cost thousands!

I woke up this morning, like every other morning, stumbled to the bathroom until my eyes decided to join the party. I did my usual routine of using the bathroom, checking facebook on my phone (it wakes me up!), and washing my hands. Finally I was ready to take a shower so I grabbed my towel and off I went. I have been showering in the guest bathroom for a while now. I like having the window open in there and since my bathroom is on the front of the house, I can't exactly open it up and let the sunshine in.

As I walked back in the bedroom no more than 10 minutes later (is that a long shower?) I saw my beloved Cinnamon sitting on my bed with something shiny in her mouth. I approached her and she ran under the bed. I got up to see what she had and realized all of my jewelry was no longer on the table where it had been. I cried, I screamed, and then I got on the floor and crawled around right after I took a shower and might have just had an OCD/germophobic moment. I guess my screaming got to her and I managed to pull her out from under the bed. She was eating my "pearl" earring. I found the other one on the bed. So I started looking for my ring. The band was next to the bed. But where was the rock?!

I searched with a flashlight for ten minutes. I was going to be late for work so I just gave up looking. I thought about it all day long. I felt naked without my ring on. And I felt like a terrible wife. How could I let my dog eat my engagement ring? By the time I got home from work, I was so mad about it I was laughing. You have to find humor in this situation. How many people have this problem? And how many times does it happen to them in a lifetime? I'm hoping more have this issue than I'm thinking do, and I'm hoping this is the only time it happens to me. But what a story for when I'm old and gray!

Matthew searched during his lunch break. We searched again tonight. No luck. I did call the vet and they told me to feed her a piece of bread with vaseline on it folded in half like a sandwich. Yummy! I did that and nothing has been pooped out yet. They told me to keep an eye on it for 2 days up to a week! So stinkin fun! (pun intended!) Cinnamon better hope that she can poop that thing out and doesn't get sick or have to have surgery because of it. I cannot afford for this dog to have surgery right now, although it would be cheaper than a new ring! Does anyone know if homeowner's insurance covers your dog eating your jewelry? haha I've never been more excited for this dog to poop in my life! It's like panning for gold, but pooping for diamonds!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Project: Kitchen

A big reason I fell in love with this house is the big kitchen! It has tons of cabinets and drawers! There's access to the deck! It has a bar! And the dining room is attached! Okay, so it's not a formal dining room, but it's got hardwood floors!

The kitchen was not very appealing when I first moved in though. The walls had been painted white... over red. And you can tell in areas like where the wall meets the chair railing. You could tell it was a cheap, rushed paint job. The cabinets were filthy. And the vinyl floor was disgusting. So the first thing we did was clean everything! And then we found some of those peel and stick tiles to put over the vinyl flooring. I know that may sound cheap to some of you, but any other option was just not in the budget at the time and still isn't today. This is what we chose. It was affordable and both quick and easy to put down. Instant upgrade!

My plan from the get go was to get all of the cabinets and trim painted a bright white because they still seem a little dingy to me. For the walls I wanted to find a really nice blue/gray color. And I found it! I picked out Mercer Blue in the Eddie Bauer collection for Valspar. We also picked out a glass tile backsplash with white, blue, gray, and charcoal. You may be thinking those colors sound so boring, but I love all colors. So I don't want to paint my kitchen green and always be tied to that color. With a neutral background, I can still use all different colors!

I found this rug and I love it! My sister paid for half as my wedding gift and I paid the rest. It looks sooooooo good! And I got these pictures for Christmas since I didn't get them off my registry.

Now for the pictures!

We still have to cut a few tiles for the odd areas, grout the tiles, and buy all new plates and put them up. I also have plans for a plate wall over the mirrored console table, and I need to get some decor items for that. We just got the table last weekend at Tuesday Morning. If you don't go to that store, you should, because it is great! I have been thinking about that table for months and I figured it would be gone, but they still had it! It was meant for me!

We haven't painted the cabinets and trim, so that's still in the plans. And I will definitely be changing out those gold hinges and knobs! I'm not sure what we're going to do behind the stove area yet, but we've been thinking about mounting a microwave over it. Right now the ginormous outdated microwave sits in a little alcove next to the refrigerator, but I'd rather utilize that as a cookbook shelf. So we'll see. It's still a lot of white in there. Maybe we can change the counter at some point to help break up all that white.

And excuse all the stuff on the counters. I just went grocery shopping today and I've been buying a lot online lately. See that Foodsaver in the next to last picture? Best deal ever!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

June 30 Shopping Trip!

Harris Teeter
(10) Goldfish $1 each
          (1) $.55/1 coupon = $8.90, or $.89 each
(5) Lays Chips $3.99 each
          minus B2G3 sale = $7.98, or $1.60 each
(1) Fresh Salsa $3.79
(2) Celentano Cheese Ravioli $2.85, or $1.43 each
(4) Sweet Baby Ray's $5, or $1.25 each
          (2) $1/2 coupons = $3, or $.75 each
(1) HT Tortilla Chips $1.89
(2) Mt. Olive Pickles $3.25, or $1.63 each
          (2) $.50/1 coupons = $1.25, or $.63 each
(2) Nilla Wafers $3.59, or $1.80 each
          (1) $1/2 coupon = $2.59, or $1.30 each
(2) Blue Diamond Almonds $3.49, or $1.75 each
          (1) $.60/2 coupon = $2.29, or $1.15 each
(5) Coke 12 pack cans $6.39 each
          minus B2G3 sale = $12.78, or $2.56 each
$10/$50 Recyclebank coupon
Total: $39.02
Savings: $82.52, a 78% savings!

Let's Take a Bet!

How long do you think it will be before I post again? haha Just kidding! I need to keep this thing up to date so when I'm old and can't remember anything, I can read about what I was doing way back when!

So what have we been up to this summer? Well I guess the same thing as always. We have been working our usual schedules. I have been going to school and doing homework every week. The school is actually closed this week so I have been relaxing after work instead of staying up until midnight taking tests! And it is nice! We went to the beach for Memorial weekend and only went on the beach for about an hour total. We did swim in the indoor pool though. I definitely cried a couple times about being fat and disgusting, so once I am done working and will be home more, I will be exercising and eating right. I really have to fix myself this time and what excuse could I possibly have when I have nothing going on? Exactly. There will not be an excuse of any kind!

We have been saving money and trying to figure out a budget for the next two years. I have been looking for a part-time job, which has been unsuccessful thus far. I have never really had to search for a job. My first and longest job was working for my dad. I didn't have to interview for that! In college I did a lot of babysitting and I did have a part-time job, but somehow that was super easy to land. I was much more mature then! It's just not as easy as I expected. Plus, with a school schedule that will vary each semester, it doesn't leave a lot of options. People don't want to work with a complicated schedule. It's just a fact. If anyone has any ideas or knows of any job openings, please let me know! I think I may hit up the retail stores in the next couple of weeks. They may be my only legitimate option!

The countdown is on! I only have 22 days left until my life changes forever and for the better. Only 22 days left until I take the first step, maybe the biggest step I've ever taken, into my future. I like being independent. I don't like depending on others. I don't even like borrowing a dollar! I am proud of all that I've accomplished at a young age and I can't help feeling that I'm allowing myself to take a step backwards. The phrase "take two steps forward and one step back" rings in my mind constantly. I feel like that is exactly what I am doing in my life. And as scared as I am to let go of my little comfort zone of being so independent, at the same time I am excited that I will have to depend on Matthew! I am excited to see him be the provider, something he has wanted to be for so long! I am excited at the thought of being home a little more and maybe keeping the house up a little (or a lot) better! The next two years won't be easy as far as finances go, but I think that we will both grow closer together and closer to God. I think that maybe I will become more of a homemaker and be preparing myself for that future dream of motherhood. I think Matthew will fit into his new role as breadwinner quite nicely and maybe he'll become a better man, one that's pruned just perfectly to become a fun and loving dad.

Despite all of my excitement, I am still scared. Soon I will be a skinnier, confident, patient, house-cleaning, baking, outgoing, gardening, happier version of me! How fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 21 Shopping Trip!

I went grocery shopping without any coupons in hand. Can you believe it?

I only used 2 coupons at Food Lion, and I found them in the store! And I still saved a decent amount of money! Just what I needed to get back into the coupon game! For the most part, I loaded up on drinks and paper products, things you don't find a ton of coupons for anyway. And the Gatorade... Matthew spends the same price on bottles half the size! So that is a huge deal for us! He should have enough Gatorade for the next month!

Lowe's Foods is having some great produce sales! I am definitely going to enjoy this!

Food Lion
Last week and this week, Food Lion is having a Big Deal sale. If you buy 10 items, you get $5 off. If you buy 20 items, you get $10 off. And if you buy 30 items, you get $15 off. That's $.50 off each item!

(4) Poptarts 8 count $2 each = $8
          (2) $1/2 coupon
          Big Deal Promo = $4, or $1 each
(10) Pepsi 2 liters $1.25 each
          Big Deal Promo = $.75 each
(10) Gatorade 64 oz. $2 each
          Big Deal Promo = $1.50 each
(1) Oscar Mayer Ham and Salami Sub Kit $6.99
          Big Deal Promo = $6.49
(2) Sparkle Paper Towels $8.99 each
          Big Deal Promo = $8.49 each (Not too proud of this deal. I could have sworn they were on sale for less than this. Oh well, we did need them.)
(2) Charmin Toilet Paper $4.50 each
          Big Deal Promo = $4 each
(1) Pedigree Dog Food (15 or 20 lbs., not sure) $11.99
          Big Deal Promo = $11.49
Total: $74.82
Savings: $33.57

Lowe's Foods
(2) Hershey candy bars $.49 each (because Matthew acts like he's 5)
(1) Nature's Own Whitewheat Bread $1.99
(2) Fajita Mix vegetables $1 each (from $2.69 each! love marked down produce!)
(1) Milk gallon $2.99
(6) Peaches 2.29 lbs. $1.53
(5) Bananas 2.70 lbs. $1.86
(1) Vidalia Onion 1.02 lbs. $.68
(5) Green Bell Peppers $3.35, just $.67 each!
Total: $15.75
Savings: $10.42 (which doesn't include how much those Fajita Mix vegetables were marked off. That's another $3.38!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wedding ABCs (part 2)

A highschool classmate and her dad sang "The Prayer" during the ceremony. Our first dance was "At Last". And that's all I remember. One of the bridesmaids put together the list of songs for the reception. It was a mix of hip hop and oldies; we had to please everyone!

By definition, newlyweds means "Recently married", and recently means "Of, belonging to, or occuring at a time imeediately before the present". So by that, I would not consider us newlyweds. Everyone asks if the honeymoon is over. I always say, "Uh, yeah, that was over during the actual honeymoon!" I joke! I have felt like it was over from the beginning. We jumped from wedding to honeymoon and then back to work and school. We haven't had any length of time spent on us. The last year has been one class, meeting, appointment, and event after another. The next two years will not be any different. And once we have kids, things will be even busier. I guess we are adjusted to our few moments of hangout time.

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue
I didn't really make a big fuss about doing this tradition. But I wore old underwear, new dress and shoes, borrowed my mom's biker short things (it was hot.. my legs were sticking together.. nobody wants chafing haha), and I think I might have had blue on my underwear. I can't remember.

We had an awesome photographer named Brian Fleming! He was exactly the type of photographer I wanted. I don't care for all of the crazy and goofy pictures or the super artistic pictures. I simply wanted to get all of the pictures, and I wanted them to be good! I didn't want to have to buy individual prints for outrageous prices. I liked that he was honest and upfront, especially about the service of making a photo album and that he would go to a website just like I could do myself. And the price was extremely reasonable!

Question Popping
I went over that in yesterday's post. It was perfect!

There were orange and pink tissue pom-poms hanging over the dance floor. There were food tables along all of the walls. We had shrimp, carved beef and turkey (or maybe it was pork!), a pasta station, hot crab dip, a fruit display, cheese and vegetable table, some kind of chicken, and I can't even remember what else! Everything was good, but we didn't get to eat a whole lot there. Luckily, our caterer packed us a cooler for the road! And we hauled that thing into every hotel room (for midnight snacks) until we got tired of filling it up with ice!

If you know me, then you know that I love nothing more than a Rainbow flip flop! They are my shoe of choice no matter the occasion. If I could wear them to work, I would! Since a wedding is slightly more formal than everyday life, I got a white pair of rainbows (whiter than my dress, but who cares!) with some bling on the strap! These shoes cost more than I wanted to spend, but I have worn them a couple of times since. They might just go in the shadow box haha. I also picked these out because I wanted a flat shoe (since we are about the same height and I do not do heels) and a comfortable shoe.

Trash the Dress
I would never in a million years trash something that cost that much! I am too cheap! Plus, I want to keep my dress. It's all cleaned and boxed up!

Hmm.. I'm not sure if we had anything super unique. We did have pinwheels for our favors. And I guess it was unique that we barely danced, because I hate to dance haha. We also did a sand ceremony instead of a unity candle. I know that's not unique, but it wasn't super popular around here at the time.

We just had the traditional Baptist vows. I couldn't even tell you what we said. Is that sad? I mean, I meant what I said. I just have a terrible memory!

Wedding Woes
There wasn't really anything that went wrong on the day of the wedding. I didn't want to wake up that early and setup for the reception. And I might not have shown up at the time my mom wanted me to. But other than that, everything turned out just like it was supposed to!

The only thing x-rated was Matthew's groomsmen and their foul mouths. But they managed for a day to be semi-polite and gentleman-like.

Young Kids
We requested that no young children be brought to the wedding. The only ones that were really there were the flower girl and ring bearer, along with their older brother, and my cousin's baby (but he slept the whole time and they had traveled from Georgia to be there).

Yeahh, when was I supposed to get the sleep? I didn't have that in my itinerary! After the wedding, we rode around until we realized neither of us had keys to get into our cars or my parent's house. After fixing that problem, we hung out at my parent's house until midnight probably eating leftover food and cake and hanging out with my family. Once we got home, we opened all of our wedding gifts, which took about 2 hours! And then we passed out to sleep. We had planned to leave at 7 a.m. the next day for our road trip, but we probably ended up leaving closer to 8:30.