Sunday, March 30, 2014

Favorite things from my MIA week

Life got a little too busy last week and I honestly didn't have the energy to go on Blogger the entire week. But I'm happy to be back today and to start the week by sharing a few of my favorite things I purchased this week 

Time to get fruity
While roaming around Walmart I came across this awesome water bottle that has an infuser in the middle. I have only ever seen big pitchers  with one and have been so tempted to buy one. But my fear was always that the fruit would go bad before I could drink the whole pitcher. And I really hate wasting things. So when I found this water bottle I had to get it and of course buy the pink one! Best part of this awesome find, it only cost $4.50!! 

Organization makes me happy
I have been searching for a bookshelf/organizing cubes for all of my crafting materials and my wallet was not happy with the prices I was seeing. Even with my free shipping in Amazon the prices still were too much. During that stroll through Walmart in which if found my awesome water bottle I found a six cube organizer! Just what I was searching for and what do you know... They have it for like half the cost everyone else did! Double score for Mary!!! I will admit tho, it may look easy to put together but there were definitely some swear words thrown around while Gavin and I built it. At one point we contemplated paying someone to finish it for is. But we somehow finished it! 

Aqua mint is definitely in fashion
I don't know about you but I am loving the aqua mint color this spring and when I found this iPad/iPhone holder at Hobby Lobby for 50% off making it only $5 I had to get it! Seriously Hobby Lobby is my favorite place. I can't believe I only just discovered it this past November! 

 Almondssssssss
So a week or so ago I posted a picture of the Salt and Vinegar Almonds and I am obsessed with. Well this week I found a contender for my favorite flavor, Lime 'n Chili..... you have to try them!! Delish! 

Happy Monday, girl friends!!

Mary xx

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! Today I am feeling especially tired and extra thankful it's Friday. My bed and couch are calling my name. Today may require some extra cups of coffee lol But let's jump right in...

One~23
I started off the week celebrating Gavin's 23rd birthday. And yes for those of you who have put it together... I'm a little bit of a cougar lol but only by two years. We were able to celebrate his bday three times this week with different friends so I sure hope he is feeling loved! We of course took a pre birthday dinner selfie

Two~BBB
We recently finished the Breaking bad series in which Gavin became obsessed and still continuously talks about. I thought it was good but not that great. But I did a little bit of a Breaking Bad Birthday theme for some of his presents. 

He put the shirt on right away... Sign of a good present! Yes! Go me!
I personally think his card is the best! Lol
 
Three~No Pudge
Have any of you ever tried No Pudge Brownies???? They are the best! They have no fat and you make them with fat free vanilla yogurt. I use to make them in college for my girl friends birthdays. Since Gavin and I are trying to get beach ready I made him these for his birthday and he loved them! 

Four~Ipsy
So I've been locked out of my mailbox all week due to a super lost key. But we finally found it yesterday! Thank God. I could see my little pink package waiting for me in there. This months is just ok in my opinion, but I do love the nail polish.

Five~Suntan Lotion
With summer around the corner all the stores are being taken over with suntan lotion and after sun lotion. I came across this Aussie lotion a few years ago in Florida and loved it. The smell is seriously the best! I could never find it in Michigan but now that I live in the South it's everywhere for me! I should probably up the SPF tho, so don't hate in me for it's only being 8 lol but seriously it smells soooooo good!

Happy Friday! And as always I'm linking up with Darci, Christina, April and Natasha. 

Mary xx

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday #2

Thursday means only one more day till the weekend!!! Joining all the lovely ladies again this week for Thankful Thursday! Go check them all out they are great!

One~ Today is the first day of Spring!! I love spring because the birds start to chirp, the suns shining longer, the temperatures are getting warmer and the flowers begin to bloom! The sunshine and flowers have always brightened my day and I tend to think they make you happier! At least for me they do. 

Two~ March Madness has begun!
Now I'm not the biggest college basketball fan but I am a super competitive person and greatly enjoy making a bracket. I become a little addicted with checking score during this month! Did any of you enter the bracket challenge to win One Billion dollars?!?!? I did!! Crossing my fingers I made the perfect bracket this year! Ill be cheering on my Michigan Wolverines in their first round game tonight!! I even wore all Michigan clothing items for Goodluck today! 

Three~ Good Friends
I am very thankful for good friends this week both close and far! Gavin's birthday was earlier this week and we had a great dinner at Longhorn celebrating with friends we have here in Georgia. Gavin of course got the Porterhouse Steak and somehow managed to eat the whole thing! I do miss my girlfriends quite a bit but thanks to technology we have a group app that let's us all talk at the same time and I'm able to talk to them everyday. 

Four~ Getting home safe!
We had an awesome time at the beach last week but the drive home Sunday was a little scary. There was a huge storm that called a lot of flash floods and made it so I could barely see a thing on the road. I am so very thankful we made it home safely and hope everyone else on the roads did as well!! 

Happy Thursday! Smile because it's finally Spring and tomorrow is Friday!

Mary xx




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Always looking for motivation on Tuesdays

Tuesday is the hardest day of the week for me and I always need a little motivation. I have a long to do list and this quote gave me the kick in the butt I needed! 


Mary xx

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A glimpse into what summer holds

What a wonderful weekend we had! The weather was beautiful, we spent all day in the beach, drank some summer drinks, spent time with Gavin's childhood friends and had so many laughs. We decided we are going to the beach every weekend once the weather is even warmer!!

We only took a few pictures and then didn't touch our phones the entire weekend. It was honestly the best weekend because we all spent the whole time talking with each other and weren't distracted at all with social media and texting. I loved it!!

The hotel pool

First night out!

Gavin and his lifelong English 'mates'

My favorite place

Fun in the sun and yummy drinks!

Happy Monday everyone!! 

Mary xx

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! 
It has been a crazy busy week especially with being out of commission the entire weekend! But I'm happy it's friday and happy to link up with  Darci, Christina, Natasha and April today for Five on Friday!

One~
Oh my gosh have any of you tried these Salt and Vinegar Almonds before?!? They are my new favorite thing, and with not eating junk food till Lent is over they hit the spot. It's like eating healthy chips lol

Two~
We are heading to Panama City Beach for the weekend!! I can't wait for summer when the beach becomes our weekend spot! Gavin's friends from England are staying in PCB for a week so we are going down to see them!

Three~
While dreaming of summer I have also began saving photos are drink ideas (I'm weird I know) 

But seriously how good to those look?!?

Four~
Just because I'm Happy and it's Friday!


Five~
This super cute little one learned how to walk this week!! And that is huge news in my world :) If only I knew how to post videos on here, I have the cutest one ever of him! 

Mary xx

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thankful Thursday!

I am excited to link up for this weeks Thankful Thursday!

One
I am so so so so thankful that Gavin got an amazing job and started working this past Monday!! God really blessed us with this job for him. His office is only a half mile from my work and we get to have lunch together everyday! :)

Two

My Dad gave me these beautiful flowers for my Birthday and they are still alive and beautiful after a week and a half! I don't know about you but flowers are brighten and lift my mood, I just love them! P.s. Please ignore the mess in the photo lol

Three
BrideToBeBaskets has had a very successful week and I couldn't be more thankful! I love making engagement baskets and wedding countdown calendars and I'm so happy other people love them and are ordering them! 
 
Four
So I have been trying to live a healthier lifestyle and while my Mom was visiting we stumbled across these vitamins 
She has been trying to make me take vitamins for years but I have a weird issue with vitamins. They tend to make me feel sick after swallowing them. I was so happy when we found adult gummys!!! They taste great and don't make me feel sick so yes I am thankful this week for gummy vitamins!

Mary xx

A Little bit of Everything

I think this is the longest I've gone without posting since I started blogging two months ago. Unluckily the nastiest flu bug hit and Gavin and I along with the whole family I nanny for were it's victims. I cannot honestly recall a time I have ever been so sick in my life. We were all out of commission from late Thursday night until Sunday/Monday. So glad it has finally gone and I pray I never ever have it again! 

On to bigger and better things... Gavin was finally able to find a great job!!!!! This is the best news for us as many know we have been running on just my income and a little help from our parents. (Thank God for them, both sets of parents are amazing!) He is now the Lead Coordinator at Senior life! I couldn't be more proud and happy for him! It has already been so much more fun with him working this week because I actually have someone to talk to while I get ready in the morning and we get to carpool to work. That's another a huge perk... His work is only a half mile away from mine which means lunch dates all the time!! I am one happy girl! 

Now that Gavin has a job I can also begin to seriously decide on my next schooling. I currently have a Bachelors in Business Management. I worked in the corporate world for over two years before I moved to the South; however, I'm not sure if business is for me. If I where to go back for Business the only program that interests me is hospitality management in the realm event planning (Which is hard to get into!)  I find myself wishing I went PreMed in undergrad, as I am currently stuck between choosing the Second Degree Nursing Program or the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program. I wish I could just see into the future and know which one to do!  Ahhhh! Can someone else just make the decision for me???? The nursing route is quicker but I would most likely specialize after a year or two working and the physical therapy route will take three straight years which means we have to pick a city we want to be in for that whole time. 

Which brings us to another crossroads! We will for sure be living in Geoegia for another year but after that do we stay South where it's warm or go back up to Michigan where all my family is at?!??

Decisions decisions! Sometimes I hate being a grown up, decisions are hard especially when they will affect the rest of your life. I'm super jealous of everyone who knows what they want to do. Because I have no clue!

Cheers to it being Hump Day and cheers to the flu finally being gone!

Mary xx

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Five on Friday

Yay it's Friday and after a week full of rain we are suppose to have sunny skies and highs in the mid 70's this weekend! Woohoo! I'm linking up with Darci, April, Christina and Natasha for Five on Friday!


One~ Friday Funnies
I came across a funny website called bored panda and they had a hilarious post about dogs and cats losing the battle against human furniture. Here are a few that gave me a good laugh...

Two~ A small prayer each day
With Lent starting this past Wednesday one of the things I am hoping to do more of during the Lenten period is praying. My  Mom sent me a link to receive an email each day with a short prayer. I thought it was a great idea and wanted to share the link for others to sign up if you would like. It's called 'Lenten reflections for busy people'

Three~ Oscars
Did you all catch the Oscars?? Normally I don't watch them but this year I caught the whole awards ceremony.  I didn't have the chance to see any of the movies that were nominated as I tend to think the movie theater is insanely overrated and I wait till it reaches Redbox. However watching the Oscars made me really want to see all of them. Gavin and I had the chance to watch Dallas Buyers Club the other night and it was phenomenal!! I have always been a fan of Matthew McConaughey and was happy he won, but after watching his film I can totally understand and respect the fact that he won. His role was so different than any he has played before. I highly recommend it. We are hoping to watch Wolf of Wall Street and Gravity next! 

Four~ Perfume Lotion
Did you know that you can have lotion made in the scent of your perfume?  I know that you can buy it along with your perfume sometimes but if you want a cheaper option you can get it made at Perfumania.   I had no idea until my Mom gave me a bottle of Spa Lotion for my birthday in which they look my Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue perfume that I love and sprayed it into a special kind of lotion.  It is great for when you want to match the scent of your perfume and lotion.


Five~ I choose Joy
Do any of you listen to radio morning show called The Bobby Bones Show?  The show is made up of a group of friends and they are quite hilarious at times and very real at other times.  This week is Joy week on their show.  Amy, one of the members on the shows Mom is fighting Cancer for the third time and she stated that this time around she is choosing joy.  That is what prompted this idea.  I thought this was a great idea.  They also have a daily segment called "Tell me something good".  It is always uplifting and makes me happy to hear when people do nice things for each other and I love reading the  pay it forward stories.  I am hoping to participate in pay it forward soon.  Have any of you?? I thought choosing joy couldn't have come at a better time with Lent just starting.  Many think of this time as a gloomy time but it shouldn't be.  It should be joyful.  You don't always have to give something up for Lent you can also choose to do something or do a combination.  Are you choosing to do anything?  I want to feel even more joy in my life, and I truly feel happy and joyful when I help another person.  I have asked Gavin to join me in volunteering a few time throughout Lent and hope to share the joy with him.  There are so many opportunities to help and I promise if you choose to it will make you feel a different kind of happiness and it will completely fill your heart.  

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday and weekend. I also hope you find extra joy in your life whether you participate in Lent or not you can always volunteer, pay it forward or simply just choose joy!

Mary xx



Lent

While I can explain Lent relatively well I found an article on the Catholic Sun that does a great job. The following was an insert taken from their article. 

"Lent lasts for 40 days — excluding Sundays — from Ash Wednesday to the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, which this year falls on April 17. It is a reminder of Christ’s 40 days of temptation and fasting in the desert, and of Israel’s 40 years of wandering in the desert.

This penitential season of fasting, almsgiving and special prayer is like a spiritual cleansing and renewal to draw closer to God.

For Catholics, it is an annual journey toward the great feast of Easter, the celebration of Christianity’s most fundamental belief that Jesus was raised from the dead and is the Lord of all.

Although the universal Church takes a more solemn tone, Christians are called to be joyful.

“It’s important to talk about our attitude,” said Fr. Steve Kunkel, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Mesa. “If we approach it like a depressing ordeal of suffering and starving, then we set ourselves up for failure.”

Lent is anything but gloomy. Instead, it’s a time for love and a journey to the fulfillment of hope.

Originally, Lent was a period of instruction just for catechumens who prepared to enter the Church at Easter, but it has evolved into a season celebrated by the entire Church.

Lent can be transformative if seen through the lens of love, and it’s through sacrifice that Lent becomes real.

“If I were to ask God what was the biggest thing Jesus was pushing, it’s the kingdom,” said Fr. Doug Lorig, pastor of St. Maria Goretti Parish in Scottsdale. “If that was Jesus’ principal purpose, to introduce the kingdom and call people to enter it, how do you live in the kingdom and open your heart wider?”

The three pillars of Lent — prayer, fasting and almsgiving — are examples of opening our heart by directing focus and attention on God and others.

“Each of those are our love language for God,” Fr. Kunkel said. “There’s a difference between a burden and a cross. A burden is something we do without understanding how it connects with God, a person or the Church. A cross is the greatest symbol of love with, and for, Christ.”

Fr. Kunkel said spending time praying the rosary or a chaplet demonstrates a desire to love and to know God; fasting, in a spiritual way, tells God, “I love You more than then chocolate, or whatever food it may be.”

Almsgiving, or charity, shows God we love Him through the person being shown charity.

“When we look at Lent, it’s our love affair with God,” Fr. Kunkel said. “We gladly do these things to show our love and our willingness to spend time with him." "

Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday! 

Mary xx

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday and its symbolism

Many people are unaware or uneducated on exactly what Ash Wednesday is. Since today is Ash Wednesday I thought I would dedicate this post to the explanation of its history and symbolism. Feel free to ignore this post if you wish, I will not be offended. My only hope is to spread the word of God and help those who want to learn better understand.

History~

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
 In the Catholic Church, ashes, being sacramentals, may be given to anyone who wishes to receive them, as opposed to Catholic sacraments, which are generally reserved for church members, except in cases of grave necessity. Similarly, in other Christian denominations ashes may be received by all who profess the Christian faith and are baptized.


Why we receive the ashes

Following the example of the Nine vites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told
"Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return."
Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.
The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Christians who had committed grave faults performed public penance. On Ash Wednesday, the Bishop blessed the hair shirts which they were to wear during the forty days of penance, and sprinkled over them ashes made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the church because of their sins -- just as Adam, the first man, was turned out of Paradise because of his disobedience. The penitents did not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days' penance and sacramental absolution. Later, all 
Christians, whether public or secret penitents, came to receive ashes out of devotion. In earlier times, the distribution of ashes was followed by a penitential procession.

The Ashes

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.
What is fasting and why do we do it?
Voluntarily Avoiding Something Good: Fasting, broadly speaking, is the voluntary avoidance of something that is good. When Catholics talk about fasting, we normally mean restricting the food that we eat. We can fast between meals, by not eating snacks, or we can engage in a complete fast by abstaining from all food. The English word breakfast, in fact, means the meal that breaks the fast. While fasting takes the form of refraining from eating, it is primarily a spiritual discipline designed to tame the body so that we can concentrate on higher things.

Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving - The Swiss Army Knife of the Spirit: That is why fasting is usually mentioned along with prayer and almsgiving (or charity). By controlling the passions of the body, we free our souls for prayer.  And by refraining from eating, we free up food or money that we can give to those less fortunate than ourselves. The three spiritual disciplines go hand in hand, and the Church calls us to practice all three together, especially during the season ofLent.
If you would like more information you can find it here or here. Tomorrow I hope to better explain Lent and why we either give something up or choose to do something. 
Mary xx

Monday, March 3, 2014

Birthday Weekend Recap

What a wonderful weekend it was celebrating my 25th Birthday! I was soo happy to have my Mom here to celebrate with me. She just flew out last night and I already miss her. 
Friday night~ We took my Mom on what has become our Friday ritual. Starting with Brook-oven pizza and then drinks at the wine bar. She agreed the pizza is the best ever!! 

Saturday~ We packed up the car and road tripped it up to Atlanta. The drive is about four hours, which is kind of a hike but it was well worth it. We spent the afternoon at the World of Coca-Cola. 

We finished out the evening with a yummy Mexican dinner and margaritas in Midtown. 

Sunday~
We spent the morning and afternoon at the Georgia Aquarium! They had the best dolphin show ever! I absolutely loved it. The little kid in me came out while we looked at all the fishies and I climbed through the penguin tunnels with a bunch of kids! 

I'm pretty sure every other adult wanted to as well but couldn't channel their inner child like me, that or they were embarrassed lol 
Here are some more photos from our day

I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. My 25th birthday was far better than I ever imagined 

Mary xx



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