Thursday, February 28, 2013

Project Smile On

The other week at work I went to the teacher station in the cafeteria to fill up my water cup with ice. When I got there there was a bright blue sticky note stuck right to the front of the top shelf. It looked something like this:

I am not sure who put it there, and when I commented on it, the ladies who work in the cafeteria were not sure either.

I was having a fine day {I was not in need of any cheering up} but how can you help but be uplifted when you see something like this?

It really made me stop and think about how simple acts of kindness can impact others. Although I was already having a good day, imagine how someone who was in a rough place may have been brightened by seeing that. It's the "ripple effect" never know how many people may be affected and in what way by your actions.

So, to whoever left this note, thank you for the bright spot in my day.

This note inspired me to be more proactive about spreading acts of kindness and positive words to others. Wouldn't it be fabulous to happen upon a note like this with a similar uplifting message? Imagine finding one on the mirror in a public bathroom, waiting in your shopping cart at Target, sitting next to the box of cereal you're about to pick up in the grocery store, stuck in your locker at the gym, or in any other surprising location.

How would you feel finding a note like this? Even better, how would you feel leaving a note like this? Being the one to start the ripple, not knowing where it will lead.

This is my inspiration for starting Project Smile On {Get it? It's like passing ON a SMILE....Smile.On.} Let's make the decision to spread positive messages instead of negative ones, think about others instead of ourselves, get out of our comfort zone, and of course Smile On.

Link up here to share pictures of the notes you leave behind. I hope that one day someone will link up who discovers one of these notes. Do you think we can spread that many smiles?
A T-Shirt and Pearls  
No need to write your name on the note, just a positive message. Sign the note "Project Smile On" to spread the word.

Here we go...changing the world one sticky note at a time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

{Oh how Pinteresting Wednesday}

Do you ever go through a phase where you eat out often, or eat a lot of junk food, and then you hit the wall and your body feels totally gross? It is at that point when you take up a vow to get back on the healthy train and eat tons of fruits and veggies.

That definitely happens to me, but so does the opposite. Sometimes when I am doing so well and eating really healthy I get to the point where I just want something delicious, terribly delicious.

Well friends, I am at that point. Maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones, but I have a lurking suspicion it also has to do with the veggie wraps, greek yogurt, and protein cereal with almond milk I have been enjoying (there have been a few indiscretions with Skittles, Mike & Ikes, and Girl Scout Cookies, but we won't count those...)

So without further ado, what I really want to be eating...

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

And for the grand finale...
Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Am I serious or joking about this last one? Only I will ever know.

I can tell you, that after compiling these pins my chicken breast that is out thawing waiting to be stuffed with spinach and reduced fat feta with a side of steamed veggies is going right back in the fridge, and I am sending asking hubby to go get us some Chik-fil-a. Done and done.

Visit The Vintage Apple to link up and join the fun!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Randomness {and exciting news!}

Welcome to this week's issue of Tuesday Randomness! If you want to start playing along link up here:

A T-Shirt and Pearls

{I hope that button works. I don't know why I have such trouble creating buttons. I need some more html practice. And, I can't get that darn box to be centered under the image. Bear with me, self-taught blogger here.}

Let's start with a flash back to last week...

Have you ever been to Patient First? Have you even been at 8:00 at night? Have you ever been and shared your visit with every single person in Richmond that has the flu? Worst.Experience.Ever. Glad that's over!

This past weekend, hubby and I starting registering for baby girl. Wow, was that overwhelming! I have been doing lots of research on must have registry items and I still did not feel prepared when faced with aisles and aisles of baby items at Babies R'Us.

Isn't that presh?! It is one of the little treasures on our registry. Baby girl will be preparing to be a Delta Zeta in her pink & green preppy bib.

It turns out that once we figured out how to navigate the store {and how to get our scanner gun to work...of course we had a faulty one!} we didn't have much time left to register. I had discovered some unused P.F. Changs gift cards in my purse earlier in the week and we had dinner reservations waiting for us. This ended up being for the best because we have had the chance throughout the week to look online and talk about what we want and need for baby so we are ready for round #2 this weekend.

Sunday was spent organizing our documents and information for our tax man. We are not even doing our own taxes and this still took me all day. Repeat after me..."I solemly swear to keep all of my business records and expenses organized this year. For real." But taxes are yucky and uninteresting so enough on that.

On to something juicy...I just caught up on the season finale of Vanderpump Rules. Any other fans out there? I'll save the spoiler, but all I have to say is that I am seriously mad at Jax. I really had higher hopes for him {as if I actually know him and he would care what I think...isn't that what reality tv is all about?!}

I'm sure the reunion next week will be just as trashy interesting.

I also wanted to share some exciting news that I contributed a post to The Belly Blog over at the website What's In My Belly? What's In My Belly is a super fun FREE site for creating a baby pool guessing game. You know I am going to be creating one. I will let you all know when it's up so you can join the fun!

Until then check out my post about "6 Pregnancy-Safe (& Drug-Free) Remedies to Sooth that Cold". Here are some lovelies that are included in my post. Any other Lushies out there?

I hope you have had a fabulous and random Tuesday!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Liquid Sunshine

Liquid sunshine is also known as citrus salad. Liquid sunshine just seems appropriate because that is what it tastes like...warm Florida {citrus} sunshine. Yum-o. 

I have always been a fruit lover (and will choose fruit over vegetables any day) but during my pregnancy I have been particularly craving citrus. Citrus cravings are said to be a sign that your baby will be a girl and for me it happened to be true. 

I got this citrus salad recipe from my mother-in-law who always serves it as part of our Christmas brunch. I scaled the recipe down since I am the only one eating it, but you can increase the proportions to make as much as you need. If you let it sit more than a few days the apples get a little funky, so I prefer to make it in smaller batches.  

Citrus Salad

1 grapefruit segmented
1 orange segmented
1 apple peeled and diced (I like to use Fuji...the original recipe uses Granny Smith)
1 small size can diced or crushed pineapple

Put everything into a bowl and stir. I include the juice from the canned pineapple because I like it juicy. I also take the leftover orange and grapefruit, after all of the segments are removed, and squeeze the remaining juice from the fruit out into the bowl.

Mmm drinking the juice from the bottom of my bowl is perfection for helping satisfy my citrus craving. When I take citrus salad for lunch at work I try and discreetly get all of the juice up with my spoon, but at home...I just tip the bowl up to my mouth and drink it down. No shame. 

I wish I would have taken some pictures of the segmenting process. If you don't usually do your citrus that way here's how:
1. Cut off the top and bottom of the fruit so it will sit flat on your cutting board and so that the top is open with the flesh of the fruit exposed. 
2. Take your knife and cut down the side of the fruit from top to bottom removing the peel all the way around.
3. Once you are left with a round piece of fruit that is peel-less {carefully!} slide your knife between the white membrane on each side of a segment so only the fruit comes out.
4. When you are done you will be left with the empty white membranes (which always taste yucky and bitter to me) and some juice. All of the fresh delicious fruit will be in your bowl ready to enjoy!

While this recipe has been a staple for me during my pregnancy it is delicious any time. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

{Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday}

I am pretty excited for my first adventure with a link up. A link up is like a blogger party and usually everyone's invited! The fun thing about link ups is that you get to discover lots of fabulous new blogs.

This afternoon I came across The Vintage Apple's "Oh, How Pinteresting" link up. Um excuse me, why am I just discovering this?! I do have 3,727 pins and counting. Obsessed much?

Since this is my first time playing I chose some pins that will help you get to know me a little better.

Bacon. I love it.

Baby girl is arriving in June. I love this family photo idea.

Dream dog. He will be named Scooter.
Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Oh dear, I could just keep going and going. See I told you I'm obsessed. Check out all of my Pinterest boards here, and come on over and join the fun!

Thanks for hosting this fabulous link up, Michelle!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You're #1 Onesie

I want to give a shout out to one of my dear friends, Dory @The Doyle Dispatch who made this rocking onesie for baby girl:

Credit for all photos goes to Dory @The Doyle Dispatch...because her pics looked so nice I didn't want to take my own!

Isn't it precious?! Baby girl will be just like her mommy in her t-shirt and pearls. What a classy girl!

Check out Dory's blog post on the onesie here. You can also contact her via her blog if you are interested in your own pearl or personalized onesie.

Thanks for being a #1 onesie friend, Dory!

P.S. Because blog land is blowing up with it....Happy Valentine's Day friends! I hope you have had a love-ly day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Won! I Won!

Well this week I have something too exciting to share, so this post is in place of the regular Tuesday Randomness. Tune in any other day of the week for my random musings...

The other week I entered a giveaway hosted by Luisa @LaBelleMadeline. The giveaway was for a handmade headband from Kayla @Love Sparkle Pretty. I love entering these giveaways in hopes that I will be the lucky winner out of hundreds, and guess what...I was! Once the giveaway ended Luisa emailed me to let me know that I was the winner. I sent my contact info to Kayla and heard back right away. She is the sweetest. This afternoon I checked the mail and inside was a little envelope with Love Sparkle Pretty as the return address...hooray! My treasure had arrived. I came inside and ripped it open right away. Here is what I found...

Even the packaging is pretty! 

Kayla included a sweet hand written note, and look, its on a super cute bird notecard. This girl knows the way to my heart.

Check out the beautiful detail on the back of the flowers. There were even some little sparkles stuck on the felt. :)

Ok, now is where things got weird interesting. I of course wanted to show you all a pic of the headband on, but I have never attempted the self portraits/mirror pics that some girls are so good at it. Each picture got progressively worse and I felt more and more lame. 

So, after 20 or so pictures here's what you get...

OK, fine. In my efforts to "keep it real" with you all I'll show you this one too...

Ah, that's so terrible. Imagine what the others must look like if that is the one I have chosen to show you. Yea they are that bad. And yes, that is a spoon on the chair in the background. Don't even ask. 

To make things more exciting I may or may not have been singing this song to myself during the photo shoot...

Hey, it's catchy. What can I say.

I am so in love with my new headband! I was worried how it would fit because I have a small little head but it was just perfect. The flowers are the perfect cute little size because you can see them without it looking like I have a giant bouquet on my head. You can definitely tell that Kayla puts her heart into her work. The headband is of such good quality and I would recommend it to anyone. I can't wait to wear this little pretty with my Valentine's Day outfit. 

Like what you see? Visit Luisa and Kayla's blogs and follow along to join the fun. Visit Kayla's Love Sparkle Pretty etsy shop here to order your own pretties. She has an awesome variety and will even work with you to create a custom piece!

Thank you Luisa and Kayla for this fabulous giveaway!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thrifty Threads

A few months ago I posted about wanting to start thrifting (catch up here), but what I really was talking about was furniture and home goods. Thrifting for clothes has never been something I wanted to try. I just feel weird about wearing someone else's old clothes. I would rather buy off of the clearance rack at Target and know that I have something brand new that is just mine.

Fast forward to this past weekend when I was home in MD and my mom and I were having a girls' day. This of course included some shopping for baby girl! My mom wanted to check out a consignment shop that is known for having good stuff, and although I have the weird thing about second hand clothes I do love a good bargain, so I was excited to see what treasures we could find.

Well, we definitely found a treasure...

This Lilly Pulitzer (love her!) dress was $10?!?! You better believe we snatched that thing up before someone else discovered what a treasure was hidden in the racks. It is a 12-18 month which means it will be just perfect for next summer. It is in amazing condition and looks brand new despite there being no original tags on it.

I am not sure I am completely converted to consignment clothes shopping, but for special treasures like this I am totally on board!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday Randomness {2}

Well, are you impressed that I remembered to come back for Tuesday Randomness this week? If you're not, you should be!

I don't have too much fabulousness to share this week because I am fighting off a little cold and the witty part of my brain is not working at the moment.

Here is the highlight of Tuesday Randomness....

Yesterday afternoon hubby and I went to the doctor and found out our baby is....a girl!!

We are super excited to welcome baby girl in June and now that we know I am more than ready to start making some decisions on names and nursery decor. It was so amazing to get a good look at her yesterday and watch her move around during the ultrasound. She is pretty fabulous if I do say so myself. :)

After our appointment hubby and I went to an amazzzzzing dinner at The Boathouse. We l-o-v-e this restaurant, but reserve it for special occasions because it is definitely not budget friendly. It is absolutely delicious though and the atmosphere is amazing. We had a Living Social deal that we had bought in December so the meal was paid for (minus taxes and gratuity). The funny part was you had to use the entire coupon in one visit and it could not include alcohol (for hubs of course) so we had $80 worth of food we could order. You better believe we tried our best to use up its entire value. That means we had two appetizers, two entrees, a dessert, and several take home boxes! We ordered calamari, crab puppies, shrimp and scallop pasta (for me), shrimp and grits (for hubby), and a pizzookie for dessert. Yum-o! Check out their menu here. Sorry no pics to share...I was too busy stuffing my face, ordering oddly large amounts of food with take out boxes, and enjoying a fabulous evening with hubby.

A few more randoms:

- I am taking a long weekend this coming weekend and am so looking forward to a little getaway {minus missing the hubs}.

- I am getting my first prenatal massage this weekend...can.not.wait.

- Today I entered an awesome giveaway at Because Shanna Said So. You should go enter because it is for a rockstar pair of expensive earrings. :)

- I got 2 new pairs of maternity jeans this past weekend (BOGO 50% at Destination Maternity!) and if you know me and my love of jeans this was a major highlight of the weekend.

- Tonight I had a conference call with a marketing representative for a company that I will be sharing a pretty cool product from in March. Major excitingness for my little bloggity blog.

- I really want a piece of cake right now. Guess I'll have to settle for my 2 gummy vitamins. If you close your eyes you can kind of pretend they are some type of dessert. Kind of.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Budget Friendly Crockpot BBQ

Hubby and I have started a pretty strict budget this month in order to help us save more before baby comes. One area where we are trying to cut costs is groceries. This means choosing meals for the week that use a minimum of ingredients while still tasting yummy and for the most part being healthy.

Tonight we made pulled pork BBQ in the crockpot and it was delish. It was also very budget friendly. I will give you a cost breakdown after the recipe. 

Can you tell I was pretty excited about the coleslaw?! This afternoon I opened the tub right up, got a fork, and started snacking. Yum! 

Here is how I made it:

Pulled Pork BBQ
Servings: 4-6 depending how big of a sandwich you like, or how far you want to stretch the meal


Pork tenderloin (ours was 1.3 pounds)
Yellow Onion
2 cloves garlic
Bottle of BBQ sauce
Worchestire sauce
Brown sugar
Hot sauce

Rolls and coleslaw for serving


Salt and pepper (to taste) the tenderloin on both sides. Rough chop the onion (I prefer it chunky, but do it however you prefer) and dice 2 cloves garlic. Add all 3 ingredients to your crockpot. 

Pour about 3/4 (maybe slightly less) of your bottle of BBQ sauce into the crockpot. Add a generous splash of worchestire sauce, a few dashes of hot sauce, and about a tablespoon of brown sugar. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix sauce in the crockpot, spooning over the tenderloin. 

The sauce will look watery but as the tenderloin cooks it will thicken. I prefer the thin sauce because it really steams and marinates the meat as it cooks making it super tender. I don't love thick glopy BBQ sauce on my sandwiches anyway so this ended up being a perfect sauce for me. If you prefer a thick sauce mix the remainder of your bottle of BBQ sauce in with the meat at the end of cooking. 

Cook on low for approximately 5 1/2 hours. Shred the meat with two forks and switch the crockpot to warm for about 20 minutes to let the sauce thicken the rest of the way. If you want to add additional sauce do it now.  

I was at home while this cooked so I was able to baste the tenderloin with the sauce several times during cooking. I am sure it would be fine to throw it in and leave it, but no guarantees on the result.

Cost Breakdown:

1.3 pound pork tenderloin     $5.30

1 yellow onion                      $0.38

2 cloves garlic                       Pantry item 
(Factor in about $0.60 if you need to purchase)

BBQ sauce                           $1.00 
(We got Kraft Original on sale...don't worry about getting the most basic cheap sauce because you are doctoring it up)

Worchestire sauce                Pantry item 
(Factor in about $1.38, Food Lion store brand that I bought the other week, if you need to purchase)

Brown sugar                        Pantry item

Hot sauce                            Pantry item

Salt & pepper                       Pantry item

Rolls                                    $1.00 
(We got Kroger brand on sale, basic white hamburger buns, wheat would have been healthier, but eh...)

Coleslaw                             $3.29 
(This was my splurge. We could have gone without and saved more, but I really wanted it. I bought a large size container from the KFC drive through. Pre-made, delicious, and just the right amount!)

Recipe Total (not including pantry items): $10.97
Total per serving: $2.74 (4 sandwiches), $1.82 (6 sandwiches)

We served this meal with roasted sweet potato wedges. Add $1.00 for 1 medium sweet potato. Wash, peel, and slice into wedges. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings of your choice (I used chili powder) and roast at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. 

Hopefully this will be the first of many budget friendly recipe posts. Enjoy! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Friday Smile

I came across this picture on Pinterest this evening and I just had to share. I know this is how I feel on Fridays...

source via
Isn't that the cutest little critter? It's called a Quokka. If you are a curious person like me you can find out about these little creatures here

The third picture is going to be me in about an hour. :) Happy Friday friends. I hope you have a lovely weekend!