What I Was Into in March

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Seriously – March is over??? Do you realize that we are already 1/4 of the way through the year 2014? I don’t know how you feel about that but it depresses me a little bit; time just moves too quickly and I usually feel like I’m left grappling at the hours as they whiz through my fingers. Oh well, I guess everybody deals with that at some point, right? I suppose the best we can do is try to enjoy that time, even if it speeds by…so here are some of the things I used my precious time on in March!


Books I Read


Wideacre – by Phillipa Gregory: Oh this book; so intense. I got this book at the Green Valley Book Fair in Harrisonburg, Virginia back in November when my family went to explore – it’s literally a huge (huge people…gigantic) warehouse filled with books and nothing is over $5 or $6! The book tells the story of Beatrice Lacey, the daughter of the Lacey family who owns and farms Wideacre in late 1700’s Sussex County England. Beatrice loves her home and the land but because she is a girl, she cannot inherit the estate so she makes it her life’s mission to find a way to get her hands on the estate – no matter what she has to do to achieve it. Trust me when I say, she is ruthless to the point that by the end of the book…I didn’t care for her. When I started reading it, I wasn’t sure if I’d be that interested but since it had only cost $3, I bought it – and I do not regret it – this book piqued my interest from the start and I couldn’t put it down! I liked it so much, I decided I needed the other two books that complete the trilogy!


The Favored Child – by Phillipa Gregory: Part two of the trilogy, this story centers on the children of Beatrice and her brother, Harry – the heirs to Wideacre. And yes, you read that right…they are children born of an incestuous relationship: I told you, Beatrice schemed and connived in all manner of awful ways to insure her child(ren) inherited Wideacre. Yes ya’ll…it is crazy…crazy good! The main plot line in this story is which of the two children will fulfill the prophecy of being the favored child; the true heir to Beatrice Lacey, a child that will bring the land back to life and make the village of Acre prosper again – will that child be Richard or Julia? It took a little bit longer for me to get into it, but once I started reading it, I definitely was hooked, just like it’s predecessor and since I was rooting for the main character; Julia, it made it easier to enjoy.

Meridon – by Phillipa Gregory: Part three of the trilogy; this story centers on the child of Richard and Julia, the characters from The Favored Child. Meridon was given away at birth to gypsies and has struggled her whole life with feeling like she doesn’t belong; she dreams each night of a place that she has never seen but that she somehow knows she belongs to. She is desperate to escape her life as a gypsy and make her own way in the world; her own way back to the life she knows she was meant to be in, her only crutch is her “sister”, the only person she cares for and also the person that could prove to be her downfall. I was really pleased with how this book ended and how the whole trilogy concluded – I’m really glad I stumbled onto these books back in good ol Virginia…they’ve been a great use of my time! Of course, any time spent reading is a good use of time! 

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Sadly, my books didn’t come in a fancy box like this….they were still good though!

Books in the Queue

Grace for the Good Girl – Yes, it’s still in the queue! I didn’t expect to get so hooked on the Wideacre trilogy and reading those three books basically took up all of March! I’ll get to it though, I promise!

The Next Best Thing – Also still in the queue; it’s the other book I intended to read before I got sidetracked by the Wideacre trilogy! It’s time is coming though.

The Fault in our Stars – by John Green: I have heard so many good things about this book and I also know it has been made into a movie that will be released a little later this year, so I need to go ahead and tackle reading it. I’ve also heard that it will make you cry and cry…so I guess I need to plan to buy some Kleenex for this one!


Can’t Miss Television

How I Met Your Mother – You guys, I’ve been watching this show since season two (I had to play catch-up with season one beforehand) and after nine seasons, it is taking it’s final bow tonight, March 31st! I have so enjoyed watching the relationships between Ted, Barney, Robin, Marshall and Lily grow and change as each season passed and it was so exciting to finally….finally actually meet “The Mother” this season! I suppose I’ll dedicate a whole post to the show because I am publishing this before I watch the series finale…which I know will be Legen….wait for it….dary! I do know that I absolutely loved that Barney and Robin finally got married in the second to the last episode and I especially love that the person freaking out before hand wasn’t Barney, but Robin – and Barney calmed her down. Needless to say, I could go on and on…but I won’t – it can have it’s own post. 🙂 Can’t believe it’s finally over.

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And just like that…everyone (including Ted) finally has someone to love!
Being Human – Another show that I’ve watched for what seems like forever…event though it’s only been on four seasons, but apparently season four is the end for this one! I understand though; there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and I’d rather a show I enjoy end on a good note as opposed to being milked for all it’s worth until it straggles to an end. I’ve enjoyed watching the exploits of Aiden the vampire, Sally the ghost and Josh and Nora, the werewolves for the past four seasons; unfortunately the series finale isn’t until April 7th so when I post this I won’t know if Aiden and Sally have managed to find a way to have a relationship (that’s hard to do when one of you is non-corporeal), if Josh and Nora will ever have any little fur babies of their own or if all four of them can ever make peace with not quite “being human” but I do know I’ve enjoyed watching while it lasted! 

It’s not easy Being Human…or at least pretending to be non-human…

Dallas – Ooh wheee, what a crazy mess this show is! Of course, having seen some of the original Dallas the original was a crazy mess too and this is following perfectly in the footsteps of it’s predecessor. The thoughts I have now that we are five episodes in are thus: John Ross is basically JR Ewing writ in a younger form and just like his daddy before him, he is gonna get shot if he doesn’t slow his roll. Christopher is also the very reincarnation of his Daddy but I think he has very poor taste in women; get it together Christopher! Emma (the daughter of Bobby’s wife, Ann) is just a nasty girl, the epitome of trashy and classless and someone needs to help her move on to greener pastures because I am about tired of her. I’m not sure Elena realizes what she has gotten herself into; I realize the Ewings need to be taken down a few pegs (at least, some of them do) but I wouldn’t ever be the one to try it – the Ewings always seem to win in the end. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds…I do hope that at some point John Ross gets some comeuppance though. One thing is for sure, things are never anything less than absolutely dramatic at South Fork!

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They’re all wearing black…because, you know…oil. Hehehe…

DaVinci’s Demons – Another thing I stumbled onto courtesy of the free preview weekend of Starz! The show follows Leonardo DaVinci as he serves the court of the wealthy and powerful De Medici family in Florence. DaVinci is hired to create weapons for the city of Florence but he also spends his time; often time he is meant to be making weapons, studying birds to invent a flying machine, painting portraits and searching through vaults and libraries for the Book of Leaves. The most interesting part of the show for me is watching DaVinci’s mind work, (example: the opening credits are basically his mind working…) the show allows you to get inside his head and see how his thoughts are processed – and yes, he’s played as a near genius, which is fascinating. Granted, the show isn’t exactly 100% true to history – I’m pretty sure DaVinci never crossed paths with Vlad Tepes (that would be Dracula, just an FYI) – but it is completely intriguing and entertaining. Sadly, I don’t actually have Starz…so I got to record all of season one and that’s all there is…for now. And it ended on a complete cliffhanger. Ahhhh!

Season Two picture: Lucrezia Donati, Lorenzo de Medici, Leonardo DaVinic, Count Riario & Clarice Orsini…I love the names….so fun!


Movies I Watched


Dallas Buyers Club – This movie was….interesting. Perhaps that is the best way to describe it. It tells the story of Ron Woodruff, a man diagnosed with HIV and told he has thirty days to live. Instead of taking his diagnosis lying down, he begins to look for a cure by any means necessary; for both himself and the friends he makes on his journey. Ron starts the journey as a very small-minded man with a very narrow view of the world but through his journey, his eyes are open and he learns that all types of people are worth value. I can certainly see why this film won both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto their Oscars; they were outstanding in the film, although I prefer them both with a little more meat on their bones. Talk about being committed to a role!

Two men who desperately need to eat a cheeseburger…or four…

Austenland – I rented this from the Redbox as a kind of last ditch pick when what I was looking for wasn’t there and I’m so glad I did! Austenland follows a hopeless romantic named Jane who is obsessed with all things Jane Austen and the romantic ideals of her stories. Hoping to find a fairytale ending, she spends all her savings to visit a theme resort called Austenland, where every day of life is played out as if it is straight from Austen’s period, complete with actors fulfilling every whim of the guests….but of course, this complicates things because Jane can’t decide what is real and what is an act. This movie was such a great romantic comedy and even though it was an alternate choice, I’m so glad I chose it!

About Time – Oh my goodness, well this movie immediately jumped on to my favorites list within minutes of starting to watch it! It was recommended by my little sister and she for sure picked a winner! When Tim turns twenty-one, his father lets him in on a secret that all the men in their family can travel back in time. Tim uses this to live each day with his true love to the fullest, sometimes repeating days just so that he can experience the small moments that make each day special. Domhnall Gleeson (hey Bill Weasley!) and Rachel McAdams are the main characters and they have splendid chemistry; actually the whole cast is pretty brilliant. This movie is the perfect blend of romance and comedy with plenty of heartfelt moments thrown in to boot. It’s absolutely a wonderful movie – go rent it now!

I love this movie – it is so completely excellent!
Hotel Translyvania – This was a really random selection; I discovered that DirecTV was doing a free preview of Starz and Encore from the 21st – 25th and so I immediately checked out the channels and recorded tons of movies, you’ve gotta seize the free stuff, right? This movie is the animated tale about Dracula’s daughter Mavis growing up and how he has to learn to let go of his daughter and let her grow up. Dracula builds a hotel in Transylvania for monsters only and tries to keep his daughter locked behind closed doors; safe from the scary humans who live in the world but his plan goes horribly awry when a human manages to breach his defenses, discover the hotel and fall in love with Mavis. This was a cute movie and was a nice way to pass some time on Saturday night.
The Hangover: Part III – Well, this was just stupid. The first movie was hilarious, the second one was only sort of funny and this one was just beyond stupid. There is a reason they say you can get too much of a good thing and that’s the case with these movies. They should have quit while they were ahead and left well enough alone. At least Bradley Cooper is pretty to look at though, right?

Divergent: Absolutely great! Granted, it took me two times, almost two hours in the car and $18 when it was all said and done…so I’m awfully glad I enjoyed it. The movie tells the story of Tris Prior, a girl who doesn’t fit into just one of the five factions that her society dictates and is labeled divergent – a dangerous thing to be in the dystopian society she lives in. The movie follows Tris as she chooses her faction and tries to find a way to fit in and suppress her divergence…until circumstances around her force her to realize she will have to embrace her difference and stand up for what’s right. Also, Four is really easy on the eyes…although every single time I saw him I wanted to say “how dare you die in Lady Mary’s bed?!?”…and if you don’t get that reference…go watch some Downton Abbey and educate yourself. Ha-ha!

Oh my – he’s handsome, right?


Music I Listened To

Thirty Seconds to Mars – Ages ago (I’m talking, when I was in college) I discovered this band and bought a song or two from them…but as it happens so often, I stumbled onto other things and they gradually faded into the background. I stumbled on one of their most recent singles on iTunes for FREE and fell in love with the song; it of course went immediately onto my iPhone! I further discovered that I could get the whole album that the aforementioned single came from for only $4 and I was sold. It was an excellent purchase and I’ve been listening to it on constant loop for most of the month! Best song? City of Angels – I love it. 

Thirty Seconds To Mars, 'Love Lust Faith + Dreams': Track-By-Track Review
Yay music!


I also stumbled onto a song called Somebody to Die For by a group called Hurts. Which is off an album called Exile…which makes this song sound really depressing, but it’s actually quite pretty. Perhaps you want to take a listen?

I must confess that I’ve also been rocking out to the Frozen soundtrack because I am still really into it. I may or may not have rearranged my bedroom furniture to the soundtrack and gotten really into “Let It Go”. Again – may or may not have. You can decide that for yourself. This is still the best scene in the movie…because it’s got the best song of the movie.

Yummy in my Tummy

I stumbled onto a recipe for Southwestern chicken salad which I whipped up and stuffed in some crescent rolls and that was absolutely delicious! I’d love to be eating some right now.

Also delicious – when I cooked myself some chicken, potatoes and carrots in Italian dressing. Sometimes it is just really good to have a nice, hearty meal!

One of the best things I’ve at this month has been chocolate that my sweet family so kindly sent my from a Georgetown walking tour that was centered on chocolate of all kinds. They picked me out a box of six beautiful, French “hand-grown” chocolates in flavors like Honey Lemon (delightful) Irish Coffee (tasty) and Salted Caramel (oh my gracious). I want to find that store ASAP…because I’d love to taste each and every flavor!


What I’m Looking Forward to in April


Captain America: The Winter Soldier…because y’all, I am a nerd for sure and if it has to do with the Marvel Universe you can be sure I’m excited about it..(okay, Guardians of the Galaxy looks a wee bit weird…but that’s not till August) and I am going to be there. Luckily, the day it comes out coincides with my next half-day at work and I will be taking my merry little self to the movies!

Game of Thrones fourth season starts on April 6th and I cannot wait! Each season has been better than the last and I have no doubt that this season will not disappoint! Suffice it to say, I will be glued to my TV from 8-9 each Sunday night, watching the season unfold with (sort of) baited breath…I mean; I’ve read the books…I kind of know what’s coming. Most of the time…

Going to the Smoky Mountains! I haven’t been to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge in probably three or four years and I have missed it so! I’m meeting my parent’s in the Forge for Easter weekend and I can’t wait – because oh yeah, I haven’t seen them (or at least by then I won’t have seen them) in almost five months! Hiking and ziplining in the mountains, shopping at the outlets, eating at the Apple Barn and Huck Finns! Is it April 18th yet?? 

Overlooks along highway US-441 and the Clingmans Dome Road are excellent spots to enjoy sunrises and sunsets.
Ah yes – glorious. Can we just go now?

Well – there you have it. Another month has come and gone. I wonder what I’ll get into in April? Only time will tell….



Titles Escape Me….It’s A Frequent Problem…

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Oh Lordy – another week. Tomorrow is the last day of March and I don’t even know if I can wrap my head around that! I know sometimes people say they felt like the first of the month was just yesterday but I really do feel that way! It’s one thing for the week to fly by…but when the weekend flies by, that is just so sad. Obviously I get broken up over really important things – like the length of a weekend. Ha-ha! Anyway, the week in review.

I think I’ve posted this before – but it’s 100% true.

Monday night quick fix – I whipped up some pulled pork chili & it really tasted delicious!

I think he might play really hard all day – because as soon as the sun sets each evening, he sleeps & sleeps..

Note – This will be mostly pictures because pretty much nothing really “exciting” happened this week and I try my best not to bore you to tears. I assure you, the breakneck, high speed thrill race that is my life is also sometimes too much for me to take too – but if you’ll just hang in there with me, maybe something exciting will happen one day, someday soon. That’s certainly what I’m hoping for. Until then, it’s dog tales, movie reviews, food and random happenings….so hang on, there may be turbulence. Ha!

I’ve never tried fried green tomatoes until this week – the verdict? Delicious!

Oops – the March winds have arrived…at the end of the month…

Another sleepy pup picture – because you can’t ever get enough of those!

Definite proof that my parents know me very well – comic books & chocolate. Nice!

Way too pretty – almost too pretty to eat. ALMOST. I’ve eaten five of the six…

As promised – a dog story. The weather got a little fierce on Thursday night and because I’m a complete softie, I got up in the middle of the night and went to see if Watson wanted to come sleep on my bed – he’s pretty terrified of bad weather. He came right down the hall behind me and crawled right up on the bed with me…but then every time I shifted, he would get irritated and jump off the bed. You see – even though it is MY bed, if he is going to get on it he wants everything exactly to his liking..and that meant I needed to lay down in the bed like a corpse and let him get comfortable. I finally got up to go to the bathroom around three and he was sitting by the bedroom door, just looking frustrated with me. He stomped (seriously, he can stomp…with his little paws…he stomps) into the living room and got on the couch and would NOT move – that was where he was sleeping the rest of the night, no questions. I told him that was fine but if he started going on a barking spree at 4:30 AM, I’d have to lose my mind. I kid you not – when I came into the living room at 7 AM, he was in the exact same position that I left him in, except he’d hidden his face under the blanket. Apparently that’s the best way to avoid thunderstorms – hide your face!

Riding out a thunderstorm – apparently the couch is the best place for that.

A really sweet, unexpected surprise from one of my best friends – I love it.

I love those little paw prints!

One week! Just one week! I can’t wait!

Friday night nap!

Saturday morning coffee with my (new) favorite mug!

Watson says “I need you to move this plant so I can go be wild & free….”

Saturday – oh hello eventful. Life on a grand scale doesn’t usually go as planned and on Saturday, life on a small scale didn’t really go so well. I had grand plans to go see Divergent at two and I took my surrogate little sister with me to see it. I was intensely involved in the movie when I noticed that she seemed a wee bit…uncomfortable. I inquired and she said she felt hot and sick to her stomach…and things only progressed from there; halfway through the movie we had to make for the car because she thought she was going to be sick. I quickly grabbed a ticket for the four-thirty showing, made the thirty minute drive to her house (praying she wouldn’t get sick in my car – praise Jesus, she didn’t) and dropped her off (right at 4) and turned the car around and headed thirty minutes back up the highway to the theater. I grabbed a seat and once the movie started and I knew the theater wouldn’t get crowded…I crept out, grabbed a Sierra Mist and some chocolate chip cookie dough bites (because all I’d had to eat all day was a cup of coffee and a ViSalus shake) and then plopped myself back down to enjoy the show. Granted – by the end of the day I’d spent $18 as opposed to $6, spent almost 2 hours of the day in my car and burned up tons of gasoline. Sheesh. Thank goodness the movie was good, right?

It took two tries to finally see Divergent – but I saw it all in the end.

Taco Bell has issues – I asked for an order of pintos & cheese….& apparently they heard pints of cheese.

Getting some Sunday morning snuggles….so sweet.

I’m not sure what kind of plant this is – but I love it! So pretty!

Wishing on a dandelion fuzz…

Maybe it helps if you wish on more than one at a time?

Well – that’s all she wrote. As in, that’s all I’m going to write. So…until the next time, good night and good luck!

Southwest Chicken Salad – Two Ways

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Southwest Chicken Salad isn’t really a salad – it’s chicken salad. I’m not really much for salad as it is and while I’m sure that a nice salad with some chicken tossed on top of it is delicious, that’s not what this. What this is happens to be a twist on your run of the mill chicken salad and once I mixed it up, I used it in two different ways and both were absolutely delicious!

I found the original recipe on Pintrest and tweaked it to my own liking from there!

An ingredients picture that I’ve just now realized is fuzzy. Ignore the ViSalus in the background…

Ingredients

– 1 can white meat chicken, drained
– 1 can black beans, drained
-1/2 tbsp. ranch dressing
-1 tbsp. BBQ sauce
-1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice (I had cheddar, a Mexican blend would be good as well)
-salt
-pepper

I took these pictures at lunch and I was using classy cooking tools…obviously.

It doesn’t look entirely appetizing all squished together like this…but I assure you, it is!

How To

– Drain the chicken and flake it apart.
-Drain the black beans and add to the flaked chicken.
-Combine the cheese, ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, salt and pepper with the bean and chicken mixture, combing all the ingredients well.
-Serve on a toasted bun! 
*The recipe can also be made with corn added into your mixture; I omitted that because I’m not a huge eater of corn but you can make it however you want. It was also recommended that it be served with tortilla chips to scoop up and munch!

So yummy!

As the title says, I made this two ways and the second way might be my favorite – it was so yummy and made a delicious and quick Sunday lunch for me! It was perfect with a bowl of chicken noodle soup on a chilly Sunday!

All you need is your southwest chicken salad and a package of crescent rolls!

Ingredients

-Southwest chicken salad (with a little extra BBQ sauce added in)
-1 package of crescent rolls

Spoon a good size dollop of chicken salad onto your crescent roll and wrap it up!

Arrange the packets of goodness on a pan – and do a dance if you have parchment paper!

How To

-Preheat the oven to 375 (or the temperature listed on the package of crescent rolls)
-Spoon a decent helping of the chicken salad mixture into each crescent roll and wrap it up tight, placing them spaced out on your cooking sheet.
-Bake at 375 for fifteen minutes.
-Devour! Ha-ha…or maybe just enjoy…your choice!

Delicious pockets of tastiness!

A toasty mixture of chicken, black beans, cheese, sauce and flaky crescent. So yummy & good!
So there you have it! An easy little variation on chicken salad that is delicious on a bun, scooped up with tortilla chips or baked in crescent rolls! Get yourself to the store and whip up some of this for yourself – you’ll enjoy it for sure!

I Just Need More Coffee

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I don’t know about y’all but I am still struggling hard with this whole time change business and that happened two weeks ago! I mean; as I (started to) type this it is 8:20 on Saturday night and seriously, I am yawning so frequently that I’m going to overdose on oxygen at this rate…it’s nuts. The sad thing is that it has been this way all week! I mean; two cups of coffee almost every morning and I was still ready to lay down on my desk and sleep at 11 AM. I mean – this whole extra daylight at the end of the day is great but can we get some extra daylight at the start of the day too?

I suppose that’s all beside the point – except that I spent the last week in a coffee-fueled haze of sleeplessness…which is weird, since I slept like a rock (almost) every night….

A little Monday evening chill session with this little guy – always a pleasure when he decides to be sociable.

My happy from London – brought back to me by sweet Rachel that works with me. I just want to squeeze all the “London-ness” out of it. *sigh*

Nothing better than potato soup on a dreary Winter night!

Watson’s three favorite activities are playing outside, begging for people food and sleeping – he likes sleeping a lot. It was obvious to me from the start of the week that he was playing extremely hard while I was at work because each afternoon when I got home from work, he’d continue to play until the sun went down and as soon as he came in, he would eat (or beg for what I was eating) and then immediately crawl onto the couch and completely crash. Hence the tons of pictures of him asleep from this week on Instagram; I managed to keep it to just 2 or 3 for the blog.

I promise you – there is not a more rotten dog this side of the Mason-Dixon!

He obviously has been playing extremely hard all day, every day because this is his M.O. each night…

I may have an almond addiction…

Confession: I have an almond addiction. Which is funny since just four or five months ago I wouldn’t touch the things. I’m not so much a fan of plain almonds but a friend at work (oh wait…I only actually have one work friend…) introduced me to Habanero BBQ almonds and that was all she wrote; those things are delicious. Once I’d had those, I discovered Toasted Coconut almonds and then I was really in trouble when I stumbled onto Honey Roasted. So can I just tell you, when someone at work mentioned that Walgreens was having the Blue Diamond almonds on sale for buy one/get one free…I might have had my own personal moment at my desk and immediately planned a lunch excursion to Walgreens and went a little nuts – ha; no pun intended! I have to say – Pumpkin Spice are delightful but I’m not so sure about Lime ‘N Chili…

And yes – I know. My life is fraught with excitement. I just wrote a paragraph about almonds. Hold your horses because it can only get wild and crazy from here.

Spring has sprung – flowers blooming outside my Grandma’s house!

Wednesday night = the world is on fire…kind of literally…

Oh Wednesday night – what a hot mess! Again, no pun intended because when I came home the air smelled a little bit like smoke but I didn’t think too much of it. I sorted my clothes to walk over to my Grandma’s house and do some laundry and with each trip I made, the smoke got thicker. I began to realize that my whole house smelled like someone was having a barbecue in the middle of my living room; with each subsequent trip I ended smelling like a Lil Smokie – it was nuts. The thicker the smoke got, the more concerned I became that someone had set the woods on fire and so I called not one, but two area fire departments – and let me tell you that I don’t know how safe I feel in the event of a fire since NEITHER fire department answered the phone. Epic fail! I finally got to talk to someone and was told that there were no reports of fire in the area and it was probably someone burning leaves. Well let me just tell you – if it was just someone burning leaves; they burned a whole forest of leaves. Lordy what a mess; I went to sleep breathing smoke – not exactly a smell that lulls one into pleasant dreams.

What happens when you have to jump out of the tub and run for your phone….

A sweet gift from a dear friend, made by another dear friend.

Colors everywhere – I especially love this pink tree on the first day of Spring!

A birthday cake egg – while it’s quite fantastic, I must say it didn’t taste as good as I’d hoped.

I took this picture at the perfect moment – do you see that beggar??

2 weeks. Just two short weeks away from all this goodness.

I spent my Friday night with some of my favorite people – Hope and Micah! After I got just a few groceries at Wal-Mart (which is just always a hot mess…) I dropped them by the house and made my way to the Mabry’s house to hang out and get some cuddles in. We played and chatted and I even got my hands on him for just a little while; at least long enough to get a good picture! He is so sweet and silly and I do love the chances I get to catch up with him – I can’t believe he’ll be one in less than two months! I encountered about six or seven deer on the way home and since I was creeping along when I came on them, they slowly parted on the road, I rolled down my window and took the time to try to get a picture of them…which was of course, dark and shady at best. I spent the rest of my Friday night poking around on the computer, organizing my room and finally crawling into bed to read.

Friday night fun with this little goofball!

All in a Friday night’s “work”…napping, supper and talking on the phone!

A deer! Just one of the many….

Talk about cracking me up!

I have been playing a game called Disco Zoo on my phone and I just recently added some fox to my zoo – again, I realize my life is fraught with thrills and the one thing you really wanted to hear about was my fictional zoo on my iPhone…but it is what it is – anyway, before I fell asleep on Friday night I noticed the little fox kept “saying things”. Whoever created this game obviously had a sense of humor because I noticed that the fox were saying lines from the song What Does the Fox Say. I’ve only heard that song once but once was all it took for it to scar some part of my brain forever…but having said that, I did get a giggle out of the game being so goofy.

Pretending to be a big bad protector and “guard” me from the guest that had come to visit us…

And once the threat had passed, he got into this apparently very comfortable position and slept. Just…wow.

Have you ever seen such a face? He was not pleased to see rain on Sunday morning.

Just thinking about Monday makes Watson feel exhausted. I know the feeling buddy!

Well – another week has come and gone. As always, I feel like the weekend didn’t last nearly long enough, I feel like I only just started the weekend and now it’s over! I guess I should go stockpile my K-cups to make sure I have enough coffee to get through another week. *sigh* I just need more coffee…and more weekend.

Wisdom from Words – Volume I

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I love to read – books are like oxygen to me; truly. I can only dream that one day I can have a house that has a library to rival the one in the Beast’s mansion in “Beauty and the Beast”. Seriously people, that library is legit! The way books smell is absolute heaven; fresh ink on perfectly crisp pages, I can honestly tell you sometimes I just hold a new book close and take a deep breath.

I mean – I wanted the Prince too…but that library – be still my heart.

In the spirit of the thousands of books I’ve read since I started reading around the age of four (yes, four – ask my Mom and she will vouch for me) I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes/lines from all those books I’ve spent hours of my life consuming. I soon realized that since I read so much, I’d never narrow it down and you’d be reading this for hours…so I just decided that from time to time, I’d post a series of ten quotes/lines from a select author. I’ll start with one of the master of literature – J.R.R. Tolkien; writer of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Silmarillion, to name a few. Onward….

Top Ten Words of Wisdom from Tolkien


1) All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wonder are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither, 
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
   From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
   A light from the darkness shall spring;
   Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
   The crownless again shall be King.
   – The Fellowship of the Ring

2) “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” – Bilbo Baggins
   – The Fellowship of the Ring

3) There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.
– The Two Towers
4) “It’s a dangerous business Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – Gandalf
– The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
5) All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
– The Fellowship of the Ring
6) It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.
– The Hobbit
7) “The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.” – Gandalf
– The Fellowship of the Ring
8) “I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” – Arwen
– The Return of the King
9) Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.
– The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
10) One Ring to rule them all, 
      One Ring to find them;
      One Ring to bring them all
      And in the darkness bind them.
– The Fellowship of the Ring


Thank you Mr. Tolkien for a fantasy world that is the most brilliant escape. Absolutely incredible.

So there you have it – my ten favorite quotes/lines written by the legendary J.R.R. Tolkien. They just don’t make writers like Tolkien anymore and if you’ve never read any of his books, you should really get on that because they are delightful. Having said that, if you aren’t a huge reader I’d suggest you start with The Hobbit – since jumping straight in with The Lord of the Rings trilogy might be daunting – that’s a big ol book y’all! Also, The Hobbit actually takes place before the Lord of the Rings, so that helps too! Go get on it…read yourself a good book…or maybe just take a deep breath and smell those wonderful booky smells!

And as I close – please just look at the picture below. I mean, hello fabulous…where can I get this house?


In conclusion – someone built the library in real life. Hello heaven!

Old School Blogging

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So, I’m linking up with a blog I check into from time to time called An Inch of Gray. Apparently eons ago when people first started doing this crazy thing called blogging, sharing post with randoms questions was a big part of getting to know other bloggers. I’ve done this several times before and thought I’d do another one just for the fun of it.

I always like a little something to pass the time!


What is the last thing you watched on TV?
My Tuesday night shows (because I haven’t watched TV since last night) are Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Originals. I usually watch one while I’m recording the other since they both come on at 7 – I flip-flop which one I’m watching from week to week. I watched The Originals last night; a show that is a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries and centers on the Original family, and which I must confess I actually think is better than The Vampire Diaries. Shh – don’t tell anyone I said that! Agents of Shield wasn’t actually on last night but a show called Marvel: Assembling A Universe was on in it’s place and being the complete dork that I am (I’ll write a post on that someday…) I watched it with rapt attention. I can’t wait for Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Avengers: Age of Ultron…I must admit I’m not sure about Guardians of the Galaxy though…

The Originals & Agents of Shield…my Tuesday night shows.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
I last stepped outside this morning when I got out of my car to walk into the office. I’m really looking forward to stepping outside again to go to lunch because since this morning, the sun has come out and the skies are blue!

What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Mostly ugly pictures and random pieces of stuff…because I’m sitting at the office.

Ugly painting….
Slightly less ugly painting…and the top of my nappy head…
All manner of random junk…

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
I would buy a small but nice home to be my “base” and then I would travel all over the place. I’d start in London and just see the world. I guess that means I’d be buying lots of airline tickets…although maybe not Malaysia Airlines because they still have not found that plane and I just do not know what to think about all that business! I’ve always worried about crashing in a plane but the thought of the plane I’m on just disappearing…never entered my mind!

Sorry – I dovetailed. I’d buy plane tickets. And luggage. And fabulous travel things.

Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
I like things to be “even”. Case in point, I like my phone calls to end on even numbers – I want to hang the call up at 20:44 seconds, not 20:43 seconds. It bugs me. I don’t know why. Also, in the car – I want the heat or air to be turned to an even number – 68 is fine, 67 is not…neither is 69. I like the volume to be on an even number. If it stops on 9, you better believe I’m turning it up to 10 because 9 is just not acceptable. I know – could I be more weird? I could…but we’ll leave that alone for today.

Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
A wrong number – doesn’t that stink? No, I’m not Benny! Do I sound like a Benny??

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?
It’s location. I wish I could just pick the thing up from it’s lot in Mississippi and slap it back down in the middle of Virginia’s rolling hills with a view of the mountains out my back door and my parents a few miles down the road!

What was the last thing you bought?
Gas! I mean – thrills, I know. I live an exciting life. I plan to buy some almonds on my lunch break. Again, I know what you’re thinking: hold the phone Sally, you are TOO wild! Thank you – I know.

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? 
No. So much no. I’d not do either. Heights + Natalie = spazz attack. I’ll pass.

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?
I will be completely shallow with this one…because at this point in life, my answer would hands-down be…Benedict Cumberbatch! Hello – duh!

  • The Hollywood Reporter Photoshoot - benedict-cumberbatch Photo
    I am not ashamed – love him. 

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
I can only choose one place? Well then I suppose I would say Belk because then I could buy clothes, shoes, purses, accessories and even some home goods. Maybe I’m not thinking deep enough with this but I’ve never gotten something from Belk that I didn’t like so I’ll stick with that answer! Old Navy is nice too….

Is the glass half empty or half full?
I guess it all depends on how you look at it, huh? 😉

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been?
I suppose that would be….Canada! Lovely place, delightful people! Things are a wee bit more expensive though! Loved my few short sweet days in Canada though and I’d love to go back.


What’s under your bed? 
A bunch of junk! Surprisingly though – it is all organized! I actually only have two shoe boxes; one filled with letters from a high school boyfriend and one filled with letters from my high school friends, it tickles me to no end to pull them all out and read them. We were beyond dramatic! I also have an empty storage container and three pillows. Wow – I guess that’s it. So actually not a bunch of junk!

What is your favorite time of the day?
Dusk, when the light is changing. It’s the part of the day where everything transitions – the hustle and bustle of the day gives way to the still and calm of night. And there you have it, me being poetic today. That’s all you get. Twilight (also know as dusk) is also good for a good sunset!

What Inspires You?
There are lots of things that inspire me but I guess the most prevalent thing at this point is my little sister, Lindsey. She had a dream when she was in high school – to go to the Air Force Academy and become a pilot. She will graduate in May and start pilot training in November; so to know that she went after her dream is pretty inspiring to me. I’m proud of you Lindsey!

Isn’t she cute?

So – there you have it. That’s the end of this post; I hope you enjoyed my take on “old school blogging”.

….I Can’t Think of a Witty Title….

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Oh my goodness – really, I can’t for the life of me think of anything good to title this post; I think my brain is still asleep this morning and so you all will have to settle for my lame, pitiful title. Ha-ha! Maybe once I’ve finished writing the post and in the process, drank gallons of coffee…I might think of something better. The past week somehow seemed both long and short – if you can explain that phenomenon, please do…anyway, looking back…

I want a sign like this for my door…maybe I need to make one…hahahahaha!

I realized that so many of the pictures I took this past week were of nature – it seems like Spring really started showing up and showing off this past week and I can’t resist some pretty foliage! I am all kinds of thrilled that the cold(ish) weather is finally starting to peter out…now if only the Spring weather will stick around just a little bit; I’d hate for the weather to be nice for two weeks and then go into oven mode for the next eight months – but since that is what usually happens, we all better enjoy the Spring while it lasts!

Oh yeah – but do you know what comes with Spring? The time change; that’s what! And yes, I do agree that it’s lovely when the sun is up until almost 7:30 or 8 at night but let me just tell you, waking up at 6:30 and feeling like it is 5:30…that is NOT lovely. I am not exactly a bounce out of bed with joy and happiness kind of person anyway (at least not until I get some coffee….) but when it is still dark outside, I just am not okay with that at all. I struggle and drag and shuffle through my morning routine like a zombie and my sweet dog; he just looks at me like I’ve lost my mind when I open the door to where his bed it, he is thinking “are you seriously waking me up when it’s still dark outside?” I mean, not good people. Not good.

The sun was still coming up as I drove to work Monday – sure, it makes for a beautiful picture or two, but that’s just no good. No good at all.

Flowers in bloom everywhere you look!

Begging – with his mouth wide open, ready to receive a bite of whatever I’ll give him…silly goose!

Snowy white petals…

Soon I won’t be able to see the road anymore…the trees will be in full bloom and everything will be shielded by fluffy leaves…

I’m telling you – Watson obviously loves the Spring weather and the proof is that he is worn out every single day! He plays and plays, sometimes until almost 8 at night and then when he comes in, he eats supper and immediately finds a place to sleep and that is all she wrote! Once in a while, he might be tempted to come in before the sun sets but that is usually only if he thinks he might get a bite of whatever I’m having for supper. Otherwise, he plays in the fading daylight until he just can’t handle anymore fun and then comes inside, has a sip of water and a couple bites of food and then lays down and crashes! He always cracks me up!

Please stop taking pictures of me – I am trying to sleep!

Hank – the office mascot; or at least the mascot at my desk…on Thursday!

Have you ever seen such a blue sky?

Trees in bloom in the neighbor’s yard…which used to be MY yard!

Packing for a weekend visit to Jackson…and all my Thirty-One things matched!

I spent the weekend in Jackson, visiting with some friends from college. We spent Friday night eating some delicious Mexican food at Jaco’s Tacos (complete with a yummy Pina Coloda for me) and then just relaxed at one of the aforementioned friend’s houses, watching some TV. Saturday was spent shopping and apparently tons of places have St. Patrick’s Day sales…who knew? Happily I benefited from those sales and I was able to get lots of cute things and didn’t spend too much money, which is always something to be thrilled about, right? The friend I was staying with; we met up with a second college friend for yogurt and had a good time catching up on Saturday afternoon. We also went to see “Frozen” for a second time (both of us had already seen it once…) and it was just as good the second time as it was the first – I may have had to restrain myself from singing along, ha-ha! On Sunday after church, we had lunch with another friend from college and then I drove on home to see my sweet puppy! It was a good weekend, but for whatever reason, it had me worn out when it was all said and done! I must be getting old y’all!

Friday night supper at Jaco’s Tacos – some really good Mexican food!

Hanging out at David’s apartment!

Saturday morning coffee – can’t beat a Vanilla Machiatto! 

A sweet friend gave me this cute necklace – and it matched what I was wearing on Saturday!

Yogurt – cheesecake and cake batter with all manner of chocolate deliciousness on top! Yes please!
Yogurt with Kristen and Lisa – good to catch up with friends!

The Renaissance at night – always so pretty, whether the sun is up or down…

I don’t know about you, but I always love coming home after a trip. There is something so comforting about being in your “own place” after being away. I’m sure some people will think this is nuts, but it is so therapeutic for me to put all my things away and make sure my house is in order. I know – I’m nuts, right? I’m telling you…making sure things are organized gives me peace of mind! I managed to take a short twenty minute cat nap before I had to get to church for afternoon and evening activities. I did manage to celebrate for a quick few minutes with Watson – who turned 5 on Saturday! All in all, a good end to the week!

Cute clothes from Old Navy – and two super cute Spring/Summer scarves!

I may have gotten a little sandal happy – but I needed all of them. Okay, maybe I didn’t need the gold ones, but they were only $15!!

Only three weeks until season four premieres – until then, I’ll do some light reading on the subject…

Happy Birthday – have one of the white chocolate dog bones I got for you!

A little Spring “snow”…soon that tree will be bright green!

Ending my weekend watching some “Once Upon a Time” with Watson – I love it!

Well – I typed the post and drank about eight ounces of coffee and…still no witty title. It’s Monday morning, what can I say? Hope you have a good week – if I could only get woken up, maybe I could get started on that myself!