Friday Faves: Girl’s Night

Happy Friday!!

I am so ready for a relaxing weekend at home. My plans? Let’s say they involve lots of movie watching and some dear friends.

Today’s edition of Friday Faves will be a little different than most if that’s alright with you. Last night, I went out with my friends Leah and Jennifer for an early birthday dinner for Leah. I’ll break it down for you Friday Fave style!

friday-faves

 

We all were really curious to try a new sushi restaurant called Sole that opened in downtown Augusta. New restaurants are a pretty big deal around here. We were seated at the sushi bar and all decided we should give their sushi a try this trip despite the fact that they had some seriously amazing sounding entrees.

Favorite: Sweet Potato chips (actually, sweet potato anything)

The sweet potato chips were really good. They were very light and weren’t greasy at all. However, we all agreed they could have benefited from some type of dipping sauce for fun.

sole-augusta-review

Not so fave: Their sushi.

Ehhh, it was ok. Kinda like Publix sushi. I think I will stick with my beloved Takosushi when I need a sushi fix though. However, I am looking forward to going back and trying their entrees at some point. P.S. They charged me 50 cents for a side of teriyaki sauce! Um, no. Restaurants that charge for extra sauce get some serious side-eye from me.

sole-augusta-review

Fave: After dinner walks at sunset.

After dinner, we went back to Jennifer’s new apartment and decided to take a little walk to explore her neighborhood. Isn’t this place so peaceful? We kept joking that it reminded us of The Notebook. All that was missing was a boat, Noah and about a dozen geese.

 

hammonds-ferry

Fave: Goats!

What we lacked in geese, we made up for in other animals. Walking back to Jennifer’s apartment, we passed one of the local restaurant’s farm and gardens. Of course, I was the one who had to stop and try to play with the animals.

hammonds-ferry

So even though dinner wasn’t quite what we were hoping, girl’s night was still a success since my company was the best.

One final Friday Fave? My friends.

Hope you have a great weekend! We’ll catch up on Monday, deal?

 

Do you give restaurants another try if they don’t “wow” you the first time?

Have you tried any new restaurants recently?

What are your weekend plans?

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Getting Through the Hump: Part 3

Hey there my beautiful friends!

I have to start off by saying a HUGE thank you to each of you for your sweet and heartfelt comments on my post last week. I know I’ve probably said this a million times before, but I’m so thankful to be a part of this incredible community of bloggers who actually encourage and care about each other. I know that the internet can be a mean and scary place sometimes. So, thank you for keeping my little space of the internet such a positive and inviting atmosphere!

I’m still in the process of going through the comments. Y’all had such moving comments that I want to make sure I take my time reading and responding to them. I promise I will get to them all!

You know I don’t like to keep things serious for too long around here, so let’s celebrate this week being halfway over by another round of “Getting Through the Hump!”

Besides the fact this koala is insanely adorable…just yes…

getting-through-the-hump

Also, speaking of food…You can tell how high you rank as a friend in my life based on if I will share my food with you. Splitting a meal? That’s reserved for only the best of the best.

getting-through-the-hump

But no, really:

getting-through-the-hump

My best friend is a pro at the whole putting on make-up in a car thing. It’s probably one of her greatest life skills. Me? Well, this is pretty accurate of what happens if I ever attempt to do that.

getting-through-the-hump

True Story: Some good friends of mine seriously had their boat sink this past week while it was docked. Also True Story: I sent them this photo. I hope we are still friends.

getting-through-the-hump

 

Hope you have a great Hump Day! The weekend is so close – I can feel it : )

How do you feel about sharing food?

Any car make-up artists out there?

What is one thing that is getting you through the week so far?

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Changing My Perspective

I was really struggling on what to post today.

There was a part of me that wanted to stick with the status quo and post a WIAW from the restaurant we went to in Greenville over the weekend. However, that’s not what’s on my heart to share honestly. What is on my heart is something that is pretty scary for me to share. It’s something I really am not sure I want to, but it’s also something I need to.

I try not to talk about my doubts and insecurities very much (on the blog or in real life) because who wants to hear about that? I’m not one for pity parties and always have the mentality of “suck it up.” But yesterday when I went to Marshall’s on my lunch break, it was a different story. I’ll typically go to Marshall’s or to Target sometimes to walk around and try things on for fun. For some reason when I was in the dressing room yesterday though, I was bombarded by negative thoughts. I don’t know if it was the lightening in the dressing room or what, but when I looked in the mirror, all I saw were my “imperfections.” With each dress I tried on, I found something new to hate about myself. Within a 10 minute period, here were just a few of the thoughts that ran threw my head:

“I am so pale! I need a tan.”

“Is that a varicose vein? OH MY GOSH. How do I have those already? I need to google how to get rid of them tonight.”

“If I was tan, maybe you couldn’t see the varicose veins as much.”

“This dress would be so cute if only I had boobs to fill it out!”

“Oh, to have clear, flawless skin!”

“I need some braces on my bottom teeth. Why did my dentist never suggest that?”

“I wish my hair color wasn’t so boring and tired looking.”

“I wish I looked like _______”

Do you see how quickly that spiraled out of control? I’m exhausted just rereading those thoughts. I left Marshall’s completely defeated. I wasn’t so much mad at myself for my “flaws”, but more so for the fact that I entertained those negative thoughts to the point that they consumed me. I was mad that I allowed our culture’s unattainable Photoshopped image of perfection alter my view of who I am as a child of God.

You know what else was so disturbing about all those thoughts? They focused solely on the physical -as if that is what makes me the person that I am. We are so much more than our physical bodies y’all! Despite the fact that society tries to put us in a box that says we are only valued by how we look.

So, instead of dwelling on the negatives that came into my head. I want to flip them right around into positives. Listen, I understand we all have our bad days, but in the grand scheme of things my “problems” are so minute compared to what really matters in life. If the biggest problem I have to face in a day is the fact that I have varicose veins and acne, then I’d say I’m doing pretty good overall.

child-of-the-one-true-king

“I am so pale! I need a tan.” –  When I’m 50 and hopefully don’t have leathery skin or skin cancer, then I’ll be grateful for my pale days.

“Is that a varicose vein? OH MY GOSH. How do I have those already? I need to google how to get rid of them tonight.” – So my legs have veins? Last time I checked, veins are kinda necessary to function and all. These legs have carried me through two marathons and hopefully still have another one in them! We’re kinda tight.

Disney Marathon 2014

“This dress would be so cute if only I had boobs to fill it out!” – Yeah, I might not have big boobs, but the ones I do have fit me and my body shape. Plus, I can get away with wearing some pretty cute stuff (without being scandalous) that I couldn’t if they were any bigger. See, there is always a bright side!

beach-wedding

“Oh, to have clear, flawless skin!” – Who knows if this one will ever happen or not. But I am not alone in this struggle, and I’m thankful for the compassion for others that I’ve developed from not having perfect skin myself.

“I need some braces on my bottom teeth. Why did my dentist never suggest that?” – You know what? I have SO many things that make me smile everyday. That is what really matters.

typhoon-lagoon-fourth-of-july

the-green-room-greenville

“I wish my hair color wasn’t so boring and tired looking.” – I have hair (and a lot of it -thanks, Dad!). Everyone has bad hair days.

“I wish I looked like _______” – Do I really though? I’ve spent 26 years trying to figure out how to be me and I think I kinda like the person I’ve become in that time frame.

psalm 139:14

 

I hope that all of this did not come across the wrong way. I honestly did not intend for it to sound like a pity party or anything of the sort. Instead, I hope you leave today feeling encouraged.

Encouraged because you are beautiful!

Encouraged because you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Encouraged because those things you think are “flaws”? They make you exactly the person who you are supposed to be!

 

 

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Weekend Recap: Let’s Go Girls!

Hello again!

I hope you had a great weekend! This weekend was definitely a little busier than last weekend, and I gladly welcomed the change of pace.

Friday afternoon, I met up with my friend Leeanne, her daughter Ava, her mom, and our friend Whitney who was in town visiting from Florida. We had a great lunch catching up and eating some delicious Vietnamese food. I also discovered that meeting people for lunch on Fridays may be my new favorite thing. It’s a great way to kick-start the weekend.

ladies-who-lunch

Saturday morning, I headed out nice and early for a 6 mile run. Yes, I learned my lesson from last week and actually got out before 8:00 AM. Was it still hot? You betcha. But did I live to tell the tale? Yes, but barely.

After I showered and cleaned up, I met up with my friends Kerri and Ashleigh, their mom (Mrs. Cynthia) and our family friend Mrs. Laura. We were Greenville bound to see Shania Twain and Gavin Degraw in concert!

greenville-roadtrip

If there is no car selfie, did the road trip even happen?

greenville-roadtrip

Of course we stopped at an Amish bakery along the way for some proper road trip snacks.

Right before we were going to walk from our hotel to the restaurant for our dinner reservations, the sky quite literally opened up and it started pouring. I’m talking crazy lightening and thunder, sideways rain, tropical storm level winds. There was no way we were even going to attempt walking in that weather, so we did something kind of crazy. We ordered our first Uber ride!

It was interesting to say the least. Our driver got lost trying to get to our hotel and then I had to give him directions on how to get to the restaurant from the hotel (it was 2 blocks away…). It definitely made for some good laughs and memories though. And hey, we didn’t get drenched, so that alone made the whole experience worth it.

first-uber-ride

shania-twain-concert-review

Once we got to the venue, we wanted a ‘sassy’ girl’s picture. This was the best we could get. Also, turns out awkward hand placement is my new photo specialty. Too much talent to know what to do with ; )

We had really great floor seats right near the cat walk which made for perfect Gavin Degraw viewing. Just a little history for you, I have loved Gavin Degraw for years. And by years, I mean since I was 15 years old and first heard “I Don’t Wanna Be” during the One Tree Hill opening credits. That song changed me. As you can imagine, I was way more excited to see Gavin perform than I was Shania. He was incredible and sounded just as perfect live as he does on all his cds.

gavin-degraw-concert-review

After Gavin came the main act: Shania Twain! I had forgotten just how many of her songs I grew up singing. We did not sit down the entire concert and we definitely danced off all our Amish treats from earlier.

shania-twain-concert-review

I could not get over how beautiful Shania was in person. Seriously. At one point she came out to the crowd and was right beside us and she looked like a doll (but not the crazy plastic surgery kind of perfection). She’s just naturally beautiful and I hope that 50 looks as good on me as it does on her.

shania-twain-concert-review

Another exciting point of the evening was when this happened:

shania-twain-concert-review

This couple came all the way from Poland for the concert. I guess she understood what he was asking her in Polish because it seemed like she said yes.

shania-twain-concert-review

Kerri and I couldn’t let the night end without one of our traditional concert pictures together. One of these days, I’m going to compile a scrapbook of all of them. We were taking concert selfies before they were even a thing. #trendsetters

concert-selfie

On Sunday morning, we packed up and headed back to Augusta where I spent the day doing super fun things like laundry and napping (hey, that’s why God made Sundays right?).

Thanks Erin for another Weekend Recap!

For those of you who are married, did your husband do an elaborate proposal? / For the single girls out there, how do you feel about over the top proposals?

Any crazy Uber experiences?

What is something exciting that happened to you this weekend?

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Friday Faves: July Edition

Hello and Happy Friday!!!

That is seriously my favorite sentence to ever type on this blog. Speaking of favorites, I realized that I haven’t done a Friday Faves post since May. Seriously, where is time going people? Not that I’m complaining. I’m just one step closer to pumpkins.

friday-faves

Favorite Food Find: Just Cookie Dough

Let me go ahead and say that this very well may be the best food find I’ve ever had. I stumbled upon this little jar of joy in the organic refrigerated section of Kroger one day and figured it was worth a try. It’s dairy-free and egg-free, so you can literally just spoon some cookie dough out of a jar without fear of all the salmonella and whatnot. That in and of itself was pretty amazing, but then I had to take it one step further. I discovered that if you put a spoonful into a microwavable bowl and microwave it for about 20-30 seconds (depending on the microwave) that you will get the most brilliantly undercooked cookie (undercooked, gooey cookies are my favorite thing ever BTW). I have shared this secret with a few of my friends and they have all promised to name their first born children after me as a thank you. Go and get this now!

just-cookie-dough-review

Favorite Activity: Booking Disney Trips

With the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon coming up in November and then the marathon in January, I have been spending probably more time than is acceptable on my ‘My Disney Experience’ page. I have way more fun than a normal adult should have when I’m deciding on which hotels and restaurants to book. It might be an addiction, but I don’t even care.

some-people-do-drugs-we-go-to-disney

Favorite Weekend Plans: Shania Twain/Gavin Degraw Concert

elton-john-concert-augusta

Saturday night I’m heading out with my concert buddy Kerri and her sister, mom and a family friend for a good ole girl’s night to see Shania Twain and Gavin Degraw in concert. Of course growing up, I knew all of Shania’s songs. But the real person I’m pumped to see is Mr. Gavin Degraw! He has been one of my favorite musicians since I was 15 years old and was introduced to him thanks to One Tree Hill. Surprisingly I’ve never seen him in concert, but all of that is about to change come tomorrow : )

Favorite Funny:

But….this is kinda genius right?

homemade-selfie-stick

Favorite Quote: Mr. Walt Disney

I wanted to end things on a positive note around here with some words from a wise, wise man. Isn’t it so true that most of the time, our happiness isn’t necessarily dependent upon what is happening to us, but by how we react and view the things that happen to us.

walt-disney-quote-happiness

And with that, I wish you a great rest of your day and weekend!!

Do you eat cookie dough (this is a judgement free zone)?

What favorite childhood musical artist would you want to see in concert?

Any plans this weekend?

Today I’m linking up with Heather and Katie to share my favorites.

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WIAW: Back on Track

Happy Wednesday!

After the sugar overload that was last WIAW, I figured it was time to rein it all back in a bit with some “normal” food around here. Today there will be no ice cream the size of my face or 6 cheese grilled cheeses. Boring, I know. But, it’s exactly the kind of reset my body needs after a weekend of over indulging (and the following week where by body is craving all the ice creams and fried foods).

BREAKFAST

wiaw

Breakfast was a mixture of these two cereals. I saw the pumpkin raisin crunch in the store the other day and had to have it. I also started to dream about all things pumpkin and fall. September, where art thou?

MORNING SNACK

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The one thing summer is good for? Watermelon!

LUNCH

kale-brussels-salad

Lunch was a kale and brussels sprouts salad with a poppyseed dressing mixed with some balsamic. Please don’t judge me for the amount of dressings that I drench my salads with : /

I also had about 6 or 7 or these with my salad. They are so, so good! OK, summer isn’t so bad I guess.

coconut-triscuit-review

AFTERNOON SNACK

wiaw

About an hour before my Orange Theory class, I knew I needed to get a small snack to hold me over. An apple and some honey glazed almonds did the trick.

DINNER

honey-glazed-crockpot-chicken

One of these days I will learn to take decent food pictures for y’all. That day is not today. Actually, this meal just didn’t photograph well because it spent a little too much time “warming” in the crock pot after it cooked. Although it doesn’t look like much, this was easily the best meal of my day (probably week). It was a honey glazed chicken with carrots, potatoes and green beans.

DESSERT

What’s a day without dessert? Pointless if you ask me. I tried to eat a mango (for the first time), but it just wasn’t hitting the spot. So I went with an old faithful, two squares of dark chocolate.

endangered species chocolate

So there you have it – a day of completely normal eats.

I’m linking up with Jenn to share my WIAW treats today.

What new to you fruit or vegetable have your tried recently?

What was the last meal you made that didn’t quite turn out how you thought it would?

 

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Weekend Recap: Does This Even Count?

Good morning and happy Monday to you!

I feel kind of weird even calling today’s post a weekend recap seeing as I did absolutely nothing “recapable” this weekend and only have about three photos to share with you. This weekend was so incredibly low key and needed. I was able to take a few naps and even watch some Netflix shows. I haven’t done that in awhile!

On Friday night, my dad and I tried a new, to us at least, Mexican restaurant. After dinner, Phil and I made date night plans of watching Office Space together via Facetime. Crazy stuff!

Saturday, I attempted to do a longer run, but I made the mistake of not going at the crack of dawn. Therefore, at 10:00 AM, the sun was already out in full force and I was only able to manage 2.5 miles before I wanted to die. I learned an important lesson though…if I’m running outside during the summer, it must be done before 8 AM or after 8 PM. The zone in between = death.

Saturday night I went over to Dom’s house to watch Star Wars with Kerri and Josh. We decided to do a throw back of awful foods like corn dogs and pizza bites. I was put in charge of the baking of the food and made a chilling discovery when I opened Dom’s fridge:

inside-a-single-guy's-fridge

What is going on here?? Someone please teach this man how to grocery shop! Most importantly, why are the fruit loops IN the fridge?? Ahhhh, the life of a single guy. Don’t worry, Dom. I will do my best to train you in the ways of grocery shopping and acceptable food to keep in your fridge before you get married. I feel like it’s my duty as a friend.

Another discovery I made on Saturday night was that you actually need to aerate your wines apparently? Josh brought this aerator devise and I don’t know if it was the placebo effect or what, but I think I could tell a difference! It made the wine so much smoother. A little too smooth probably…

wine-aerator

Sunday morning I went to church and then came home to chill with my birthday boy all day!

Oliver

That’s right. Little Oliver turned two yesterday! I naturally spoiled him by letting him do whatever he wanted and giving him a can of tuna as a little treat. He was SO happy eating that tuna. I should have videoed it.

Oliver clearly knew it was his day because he followed me around a little more than usual and planted himself in the most inopportune places like on my Bible when I was trying to read. But who was I to move the birthday boy?

Oliver

Alright, so four photos. That’s all I got for you. And two of them were cat pictures. Sorry about that : )

I know every weekend can’t be Disneyworld and concerts. Sometimes they are more staying in your yoga pants all day, dinners with your dad and watching movies via Facetime with your boyfriend who is in a different state. And you know what? There is nothing wrong with that!

Thanks to Erin for the Weekend Recap!

How was your weekend?

Wine drinkers: please tell me the purpose behind aerating wines. Is this necessary?

 

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WIAW: Beaches & Cream Review

Warning: Today’s post may cause the following symptoms…shortness of breath, extreme hunger, weight gain (from just looking at the photos), uncontrollable crying and the desire to quit your job and move to Disneyworld forever.

With all that being said, I guess I can proceed with my WIAW dedicated to Disney’s Beaches & Cream.

After a long day in the sun and heat at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon last Friday, Phil and I made our way to one of his favorite restaurants in Disneyworld: Beaches & Cream.

Beaches & Cream is located between Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club resorts near the Boardwalk area of Disneyworld. It’s a 1950’s style diner complete with an old jukebox that plays all The Beach Boys hits your heart could possibly want. This place is tiny though, so reservations are definitely recommended. We had a pretty late reservation which allowed us to walk around the area a bit before our reservation time came and we were promptly seated at the counter.

beaches-&-cream-review

 At this point in the evening, I was starving. In an attempt to get something halfway healthy in me for the day, I ordered the chef salad which was loaded with greens, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, ham, egg and the most heavenly candied bacon (YES, CANDIED BACON).

beaches-&-cream-review

Phil ordered their tomato bisque and 6-cheese grilled cheese. We pretty much shared between the two plates. I want to go on record and say that their grilled cheese is probably one of the best I’ve ever had in my life.

beaches-&-cream-review

 Now the real reason people come to Beaches & Cream? It’s the ice cream. Specifically the infamous “Kitchen Sink” pictured below. Items are much smaller in the photos than they appear in real life by the way. This thing was massive and meant to be consumed by a crowd. When I say crowd, I mean that 10 people could probably split this and still left some in the sink. It literally has everything and the kitchen sink plus a whole can of whipped cream.  

kitchen-sink-beaches-and-cream-review

 As ambitious as Phil and I were, we weren’t feeling that crazy. Instead we opted for the No Way Jose which had hot fudge, peanut butter sauce, vanilla and chocolate ice cream and plenty of whipped cream.

Oh man, just look at that peanut butter overflowing down the side. Lord, have mercy!

no-way-jose-beaches-and-cream

 We did the best we could, but we weren’t even able to eat half of it. 

no-way-jose-beaches-and-cream

 We left Beaches & Cream very full and very happy. We had to walk around the Boardwalk area a bit afterwards though just so we wouldn’t feel too completely awful getting in a car for the drive home. I might have slept the entire way home too and left poor Phil to keep himself awake. Clear eyes, Full belly, Can’t lose. Or at least that’s how I think the saying goes? : )

So, if you ever find yourself in Disney and craving some good ole comfort food and ice cream in a fun, nostalgic setting then Beaches & Cream is your place to go! It has officially become one of my favorite places to eat in Disneyworld.

Have you ever been to Beaches & Cream?

Would you be able to tackle the Kitchen Sink?

Have you ever participated in any food challenge?

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Weekend Recap: Fourth of July, Family and Fireworks

Let’s not even discuss the fact of how much I am hating Monday right now…In fact, let’s skip over that completely and rewind to Thursday around 5 PM when I got off work and made my way down to Florida for what was, hands down, the best Fourth of July weekend I’ve ever had.

My plane touched down in Tampa super later on Thursday night (it pretty much qualified as Friday morning at that point). Phil and I made some pretty big plans for Friday which all involved my favorite place in the world:

disneyworld-fourth-of-july

 The last time Phil and I were at Disney together, we were both still in high school. So, we figured it was time to head back now as “adults.” I’d never been to either of Disney’s water parks, and the Fourth of July weekend sounded like the perfect timing to change that status.

We arrived at Typhoon Lagoon right before lunchtime on Friday and spent the day in what is, quite literally, paradise. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I think this place has got to come pretty close.

typhoon-lagoon-fourth-of-july

typhoon-lagoon-fourth-of-july

 So gorgeous right?

I had no clue what to expect from a Disney water park, but I was really impressed. Although, it’s Disney so I shouldn’t have been too surprised by how much I loved it.

We spent the whole day lounging in the lazy river, riding a few water slides and enjoying the beautiful Florida weather.

typhoon-lagoon-fourth-of-july

 After a day of water park fun, we made our way over to Disney’s Beach Club Resort to walk around some before our dinner reservations at Beaches n’ Cream. Y’all. Beaches n’ Cream. If you’re ever at Disney, you must go. I will be doing a whole post on it on Wednesday because it’s deserving of that kind of love.

The Fourth of July itself was actually much more laid back. Phil and I met my mom, my aunt and uncle and cousin and his parents for lunch. This was the first time our families have ever met, so naturally my aunt had to document the moment with a picture. I really think my aunt would be a pro blogger because she always makes sure to get pictures at every family gathering. Thanks Aunt Terri for documenting things for my blog better than I do : )

fourth-of-july-weekend

 Later On Saturday, Phil and I made our way over to the beach with some of his family for some Fourth of July fireworks. I always forget how gorgeous Florida beaches are until I’m there. Can someone tell me why I didn’t take advantage of living five minutes away from this when I was in high school, please? 

fourth-of-july-weekend

fourth-of-july-weekend

 On Sunday, we went to church with Phil’s family before I had to head back to catch a plane back to Georgia. And here I am now, half asleep and still not really sure where the time went this weekend.

All in all it was the perfect Fourth of July weekend. Disney, family, friends, fireworks, food, Florida…what more can a girl ask for in a weekend?

Thanks Erin for the Weekend Recap!

I hope you all had a great Fourth of July weekend too! Tell me a little bit about what you did.

Have you ever been to any of Disney’s water parks?

Were you able to catch a fireworks show this weekend?

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Getting Through the Hump: Part 2

Oh, Wednesdays…

It’s like if I don’t have any food pictures to share then I don’t know what to do with myself. Not to worry though because I happened to remember that Wednesday is also ‘hump day.’ And who doesn’t need some extra laughter on a hump day (especially during a week before a holiday)?

Today I come baring some gifts that will hopefully make the fact that it’s only Wednesday a little less painful : )

Talk about the struggle…

I've-been-trying-to-save-money

I have no doubt in my mind that this will be me in the future:

leslie-knope-wife

I might have texted this to one of my best friends this week who had some winners of ex-boyfriends and we might have laughed a little too hard.

ex-boyfriends 

This was probably the best text I have received in a long time. Thankfully, my boyfriend always has my back (even if he is completely joking).

 

magic-mike-2-boyfriend

Last week, Orange Theory Fitness left me all…

life-alert-lady

A deep thought to end on today…

hot-chocolate-thoughts

I hope you have a great Wednesday! We are almost to the Fourth of July fun – hang in there!

Do you have a three day weekend for the Fourth of July?

What are your plans for the holiday?

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