Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Liebster Award Round 2!

I was happily surprised to receive two emails a week or so ago about Liebster Award nominations from two different bloggers that I recently started following.

The Liebster Award is an award that bloggers give to each other to recognize up and coming blogs. I was nominated for this award back in December from my sweet bloggy friend Samantha of Designer in Teal. Click here to read that post.

 Liebster Award Rules:

1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Write 11 facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
4. Nominate 11 blogs with 200 or less followers. Notify them.
5. Create 11 questions for those bloggers you've nominated to answer.

11 Facts About Me: 

1. I love food and trying new foods. I will try most anything at least once. 
2. I am an only child.
3. I am not crafty. I don't really have the patience for it.
4. I have wanted to have every job under the sun, and growing up I shadowed both an FBI agent (in his office, nothing exciting) and an anesthesiologist (actually exciting...I got to see a brain surgery and twins being born via c-section!)
5. I love wearing fun crazy nail polish colors.
6. I love cheese.
7. I love sparkling wine.
8. I kind of want to live in the country and grow and can my own veggies. Not sure how I would fare as a lifelong suburbs girl. I would definitely need a Target and good grocery store options within 15 minutes of my house.
9. I am a serious creature of habit.
10. I love Bravo TV.
11. I am usually cold and can't stand it!

The first recent nomination came from Ashley of Horseshoes & Pearls. I love Ashley's blog because she is really genuine and open. She is strong in her faith and posts lots of things that are inspiring to me. It's also pretty awesome that she also lives in Virginia AND has pearls in the name of her blog! 

Ashley's Questions:

1. What was your most embarrassing moment growing up? Hmm...I could probably think of a lot. I am going to go with one that felt so embarrassing at the time--my mom and a friend's mom doing the macarena on a school field trip where they were chaperones. My mom claims that all the kids loved it and thought it was hilarious....I was mortified. No middle schooler wants to see their mom dancing in front of all their classmates. Sorry mom, you know I love you.

2. If you could pack up and move anywhere you want, where would it be? Somewhere outside of Winchester, VA. I love that we could be in the mountains and have some land, but still be equidistant from our families, and be so close to D.C. The perfect combo of city and country living!

3. If you could swap lives with someone for a week, who would it be? Hmmm that is a hard one. I love my little life so its hard to say who I would want to have the chance to be instead. I'll say some gorgeous movie star. I'd like to have tons of fabulous clothes and jewels at my disposal for a day, as well as someone to do my hair and makeup (I hate doing that every morning!), cook my meals, and well basically wait on me hand and foot. :)

4. Did you play any sports growing up? I took dance (mostly ballet) for about 10 years, I played softball for a few years in middle school, and I ran track in high school. I also took some random tennis lessons in there. Tennis is something I could see myself getting back into.

5. What was your first vehicle? A 98' Honda Civic. I still miss that thing sometimes. It was sporty and fun.

6. If you won the lottery tomorrow what would be the first thing you would buy and/or do? Pay off my student loans. I'm just practical like that.

7. What's your favorite meal? That's hard for me. I am a foodie and love to eat anything and everything. I am going to go with a wine and cheese spread. A glass of wine with cheeses, meats, warm crusty bread, olives, fruit, good dark chocolate, ohhh I am drooling...

8. Do you have any fears/phobias? If so, what are they? I don't think I have anything that qualifies as a fear or phobia. Don't get me wrong, I definitely have some quirks, but I don't think any are phobias.

9. If you were to sing karaoke, what would you sing? Oh my, first I would hand out ear plugs and then I would sing Material Girl by Madonna. Not that I am a material girl, but that is a classic song from my childhood. I just love it.

10. Name one thing on your bucket list and why its important to you. To travel. I have been blessed to travel many wonderful places so far, but there are so many more places I want to explore.

11. If you could give any advice to new bloggers, what would it be? I would say find your voice and be genuine to it. Just like in other aspects of your life it is not worthwhile to compare yourself to others. Stay true to what your dreams are for your blog and don't worry about what anyone else out there is doing.

My second recent nomination came from Beth of Clothes & Cocktails. I love Beth's blog because she is a fun loving southern girl. How could you not like someone who loves clothes and cocktails?! AND she is a Delta Zeta, so we are technically sisters too! 

Beth's Questions:

1. What is your favorite workout? Definitely Barre, although I have not really been since I have been pregnant. I have been sticking to a lighter workout these days.

2. What social media do you check most often? Probably Facebook. I have a goal though to start using my Instagram account.

3. Who in your life do you most admire and why? My mom. She is just an amazing person who always handles things with such grace and positivity.

4. Are you in love? If so, give us the short story of your first meeting. Yes, with my fabulous husband. We met in a class in college. He claims he had his eye on me and I was clueless. Luckily we got paired up for a group project and the rest is history...

5. What is your most favorite item in your wardrobe? My collection of statement necklaces. They are the perfect way to transform an outfit and make the most of the basic pieces in your wardrobe.

6. What is one thing you have to do everyday? It is not always every day, but most days I talk to my mom either on the phone or by text or email. She is one of my closest friends.

7. Who is your favorite sports team? Honestly, no one. I am totally not into sports.

8. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Reading, being outside when the weather is nice, baking.

9. What is one thing you can't live without? My planner. I could never remember everything if I didn't have it. I write down my life in there!

10. What is the wildest/craziest thing you have ever done? Hmm I'm not too wild and crazy {and the moments that I was I think I'll keep to myself...} but one of the craziest hardest times in my life was deciding right before college graduation that I regretted giving up on my childhood dream of being a teacher, to pursue my degree in business and economics. After graduating {with my business/econ degree} I took a job {making basically minimum wage} teaching preschool, and took out student loans to go back to school for my teaching license. All the while living on my own in an apartment, surviving on grilled cheese sandwiches, and being 30 minutes away from my friends and boyfriend, and 3 hours away from my family. I wouldn't trade those days for anything though because they had such a big impact on who I am today.

11. Why did you start blogging and who inspired you to do so? Starting a blog was really just a random idea I had. Once I get an idea I tend to jump on it and my blog was born.

I nominate:

Meredith @ Cotton's Pickins

Katie @ Dreaming in Lace and Pearls

Amanda @ The Barstow's: Our Little House on the {West Texas} Prairie

My Questions for the Nominees:

1. What is your favorite sweet treat?
2. If you could go on any vacation where would you go?
3. What is one wish you have for your blog?
4. What is your favorite beauty product?
5. Mountains or beach?
6. Sweet tea or unsweet?
7. What is your favorite season and why?
8. What is one talent you wish you had?
9. If you could change to any other career what would it be and why?
10. What is your favorite accessory?
11. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?

You Know You Wanna Win This....

Hop on over to The Belly Blog to read my latest post, Budgeting for Baby, and enter our fabulous giveaway (it ends tomorrow, so hurry!). Even if you are not expecting there is some great advice on creating a budget, and how to pay down debt and increase savings.

As part of the post you can win a fabulous coupon clutch from Thirty-One Gifts! The clutch has five sections, which I use to organize my cash categories for our budget. Although, if you are a couponer it would be great for that as well.

The clutch has been donated by my fabulous friend (and Independent Thirty-One Consultant) Dory over at The Doyle Dispatch. She is super crafty and creative and even has her own business, Personally Yours. Definitely stop by and say hello!

The giveaway ends TOMORROW, so hurry up and get on over to The Belly Blog and enter!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Power Lunch

One of the best parts about being on Spring Break is being able to make lunch at home. For teachers, who don't get the option to run out on their lunch break, trying to pack a lunch every day gets so old!

Today I experimented with some produce that needed to be used up and I ended up with a delicious lunch. I present to you...

Roasted Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad:

{Sorry for the terrible picture. I was super hungry and in a rush, so when I stopped half way through to take this pic with my phone I was not too concerned with the quality. Although, I wouldn't say I'm known for my great photography anyway...}

Peel and dice one sweet potato. Put onto a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally (I like mine to be a little crispy on the outside so I let it go for longer).

Let sweet potatoes cool slightly. Put a generous handful of fresh baby spinach in a bowl, top with sweet potatoes, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

That's it! It tasted really fresh and delicious and had some awesome vitamins and nutrients for me and baby girl.

Spinach contains: Vitamins A, K, C, and folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium {source}

Sweet Potatoes contain: Vitamin C, calcium, folate, potassium, and beta-carotene {source}

I enjoyed some cheese and crackers and greek yogurt with my salad to make up the rest of my meal. This power lunch full of vitamins, minerals, whole grain, and protein definitely made up for my Easter brunch yesterday of cinnamon baked french toast and bacon (...with a side of fruit, if that counts for anything)!