Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Giving Tuesday

Don & I are HUGE advocates in giving back. We believe that if everyone would be willing to help another out, whether it be a listening ear, a bag of groceries, a warm coat, a toy for a child, etc., the world would be a MUCH better place. I don't believe we should focus on giving back just ONE day a year, but instead every single day that we are able. With that being said today is "Giving Tuesday"......

Here's my shameless plug of a couple organizations that we truly believe in, and would love if you would help as well! Or, if you have your own organizations that's fantastic too!

We have a family that is dear friends of ours that annually collect money & goodies to send to soldiers overseas. She goes through a reputable organization, and the number of boxes and the amount of cheer/love that gets sent to our service men & women is just unbelievable! When she asked Don & I if we would be willing to donate, we absolutely said, yes! All in all she was able to send 9 BIG boxes overseas, as well as a manila envelope full of homemade Christmas cards and stamps so these men & women are able to write letters back home. We also donated tubs of peppermints that we had left from our wedding & she used those as "packing peanuts." The time that she spends on packing these boxes, shopping for all these goodies is just priceless! She's seriously amazing!


We also chose an organization that is near and dear to my heart, Jarrett's Joy Cart. I went through chemotherapy with this young man, and to say he was just a ball of joy is an understatement! He never seemed to focus on the fact that he was "sick", he simply just wanted to make a difference and help those in need. He started the "Joy Cart" which goes around to every room at our local children's hospital, and allows every child to pick ONE toy off of the cart. Something so simple brings SO much joy to these children. I know, because at one time I was a recipient. Jarrett unfortunately lost his battle with cancer, but he's still bringing JOY to kids all across Kentucky! They are hosting a toy drive this Christmas. They have registries at Target & Toys R Us, which makes it easy peasy! You can also send money as well. This is their 1st annual Joyful Holiday Celebration which we will be attending! If you're local, you should come out and support a wonderful cause in memory of a wonderful young man!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday! Tell me, what organization is near & dear to your heart?

Thanksgiving Celebrations

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you have recovered from the holiday craziness! I believe I am still stuffed to the gourd from ALL of the delicious food! My goodness! With that being said, here's a little update on my Thanksgiving celebrations!

Thursday: I woke up and my mom & I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. It's a tradition she started when I was little, and to this day it's no different. Except maybe then I was sipping juice & now it's lots & lots of coffee! We went to a friends & family Thanksgiving gathering hosted by one of our dear friends. She only has to mention that she's cooking once to all of us, and we're there! I believe we ate till we couldn't eat anymore. We sat around and told stories, watched Chrisley Knows Best & just relaxed with everyone. Don got to go out into the woods with her husband to check his trail camera and who knows, maybe see a deer or two :). Don was like a kid in a candy store! He was so excited! They saw some deer, played in the creek on 4 wheeler's  and put out some corn for the deer. When they came back they both looked like they were frozen! My contribution to dinner was to bring dessert. So, I attempted my first homemade pumpkin pie and it was a success! Seriously, I was SO proud of myself!

Friday: Don & I refused to brave the Black Friday crowds so we stayed at home. We watched movies, cleaned and drug out all of our Christmas decor! We didn't get the main tree up in the living room yet, however,  I put a small one up in our bedroom this year. I just love Christmas lights & adore falling asleep with them on. They just give the room a cozy, romantic glow! With all of our travels we try to collect an ornament for each place that we go. So, our tree is Travel themed! It's pretty cool to look at all of the ornaments hanging and reminisce on all of our adventures! 

Saturday: We attended Thanksgiving #2! Or, I guess you could say "Friendsgiving." We ate, sat on their front porch, got shot with Nerf guns (and can i say those hurt like a bitch!?), sipped a few drinks and played petting zoo with their pigs and cows! Did I mention that I LOVE cows!

All in all, it was a great holiday break! I hope you had a fantastic one as well!

Friday, November 18, 2016

High Five for Friday - 11.18.2016

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Hi ya'll! It's Friday! We've successfully made it through another week! 

1. I made this for dinner the other night. Sadly, I snap-chatted the pictures to a couple friends but forgot to save them to share! Oh well, the Pinterest picture is much prettier than mine anyway! It was delicious and super easy! Definitely saving this to make again! 

An easy meal, ready to roast in just a few minutes. Sticky and sweet with a punch of garlic, this pork loin is sure to be a huge hit with your family. Serve it up with some roasted carrots and potatoes on the side for a healthy balanced meal that is ready start to finish in 45 minutes!:

2. This song! It's seriously my new favorite jam this week! Maybe because it pretty much sums my life up in two words, "Highway Vagabond." I guess I probably should explain that in more detail...okay, later. 

3. That we finally received our wedding photos that we ordered! Now, I just need to find a place to hang them all! 

4.  A Friday night spent watching Food Network & catching up on my stack of magazines!

5. And this....my favorite E-card of the week! Fitting too, don't ya think?

Happy Friday, everyone! 


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thankful Thursday

simply free spirits:

This week I am thankful for: 

  • Good news & answered prayers. Sometimes we wonder if the man upstairs is really listening or hearing our pleas, and today he showed us he is. Making sure you're always doing the right thing even if it's not always benefiting yourself will ALWAYS pay off. 
  • For getting to catch up with an old high school friend this upcoming weekend! She's going to come along with the hubby & I to her very FIRST rodeo! I'm excited to see her & to have a fun evening out! 
  • This BEAUTIFUL Kentucky weather! It's been 75 degrees with sunshine & blue skies today and supposed to be tomorrow! I hear though that this weekend it's going to be 45* and rain. Blah! So, i'm going to live in the moment until Saturday morning, when I'm sure I'll be complaining it's too cold! 
  • The hubby & I went out to dinner tonight & our waiter was new to the south. He was from NY & has only been here for 4 months, and was just blown away that "Southern Hospitality" was a REAL thing! When he found out my husband was a veteran, he gave us a discount & then turned & thanked him for his service! Such a breath of fresh air!
Happy Thursday! 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Weekend Fun!

Happy Monday! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Ours was busy, fun and relaxing all wrapped up in one! 

We headed to Louisville for the International Livestock Exposition and Championship Rodeo! We took along my little "brother", E, with us! He and Don had an agreement that if Don went to a horse show that he'd come to a rodeo with us. The trip up was rather smooth other than the HORRIBLE Louisville traffic. I am convinced that there isn't a good time to go through that city. 

E, myself & the hubby! 

Me & my handsome husband! 

Hangin' by the chutes 

They had a drill team on horseback that had Red, White & Blue lights all over themselves and the horse. I thought it was super cool! 

This was a day that I let my husband choose everything that we did. He's a veteran & my hero, and well these military men & women do NOT get enough appreciation so I wanted him to feel extra loved and appreciated for all that he did for us and our country. We started out with having lunch at his favorite hot dog place here in town, who sadly was closing down the next day! We are so bummed! They said, there is possibility that they are opening up in a near by city, so *Fingers Crossed*

He had the Chili Slaw Dog, which this picture doesn't do it justice! This thing was HUGE and piled high with all of the fixins'. 

I had the Greek wrap and added Buffalo Chicken with a side of their coleslaw! So delicious and I had leftovers for lunch the next day! Win, win! 

After we left the hog dog place we met up with one of our friends. Her little girl had a gift that she wanted to give Don, it being Veterans Day, so we went and met up with them. This family is wonderful and they constantly encourage and push their children to do random acts of kindness. 
They have no idea how much their gesture meant to Don and myself. They handmade a card & bought him a cupcake with an American Flag as a topper. M, who is 4, walked up to Don and handed him the card and said, "Thank you for your service." It took all I had to hold it together. Needless to say, it was probably the HIGHLIGHT of his day.  

We spent the rest of the day fishing at one of my favorite places. I call it my "Happy Place." It's so peaceful and I always seem to witness the most incredible sunsets. The fish weren't biting, the breeze was chilly, but the sunset and spending time with the man I love made it all worthwhile. 

We did some more fishing at a new spot. The fish were biting, but thank goodness we weren't trying to catch our dinner! We would've went to bed hungry! 

All in all, a great weekend! How was yours? 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thankful Thursday

"And be done with the rest" because it is what it is. I want to be that woman who is thankful and content no matter what.:

Holy Smokes!

 Has it really been ALMOST a year since I've posted anything? Lots has happened in the last year. Lots & lots of travelling, getting married & all the craziness in between! I'll share all sorts of updates, but for now I thought I'd jump in & get my "feet" wet with a link up and a grateful heart!

1. I'm so thankful for this man! I may not show it or tell him often enough, but he's my best friend. My biggest supporter & now my Husband! It's still so awesome (weird) to be able to FINALLY say that! This has to be one of my favorite pictures from our wedding, even though they all are really fabulous!

2. Easy yet healthy dinners on crazy week nights. Okay, so i'm totally obsessed with Trader Joe's. Please tell me I'm not the only one. I love that I'm always greeted with top notch customer service when I'm shopping. Their products are fantastic, relatively cheap & healthy! What more can you ask for! This has to be one of my favorite meals ever! Mandarin orange chicken with TJ's cauliflower rice & barley. So delish!

3. So the husband & I went to our very FIRST concert TOGETHER last week! Boy was he in for a treat, witnessing me at a concert. Ha! We were randomly picked out of the crowd before the concert & asked if we wanted to meet Randy Houser! Heck yes! I never win anything, so I was super excited! Randy was so down to earth and so nice! He was so humble and so thankful for us coming out to see his show. This was our first time seeing him live, and we will definitely go see him again! He was INCREDIBLE! The radio definitely does not do him justice at all!

Happy Thursday, friends! Have a good one! & remember there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for!