Friday, September 30, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1.   My current obsession is      to-do lists and calorie-counting.  I blame it all on self-control september  .

2.    Vacations with friends      make me happy.

3.  My greatest strength is   a mystery to me.  I don’t know what I’m good at really   .

4.    Yummy food   is my greatest weakness.

5.  My life is    pretty darn good, but exhausting.

6.  In high school I was   
  a cheerleader.  Don’t hate on the cheerleaders.  We weren’t all stuck-up, popular, mean girls   .
7.  When I'm super tired    I somehow still can’t fall asleep.  Something is seriously wrong with my brain because it just won’t stop  .

(Join in on Fill in the Blank Friday and link up over on Lauren's blog

I hope you all enjoy your weekend! I have no plans except my mom and uncle are stopping by tonight to take me out to dinner on their way to Charleston. Those of you who are going to football games this weekend (especially the ECU vs. UNC game)...I am SUPER jealous! Go Pirates!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ok I'm waving the white flag. I do need a man.

This has not been a very good week.  I have been in a FUNK.  I'm negative nelly.  I'm pessimistic.  I'm complaining.  I have a short fuse with people.  I am frustrated at work.  I am frustrated at home.  My friends seem like they are miles away (even though I know they aren't).  Something is just off.

I was g-chatting with one of my friends yesterday and said "Sometimes don't you just want someone to go home to that will give you a great big hug and tell you everything will be ok?"  And by "someone" I meant a boy.  No, I'm sorry, a man.  I have decided I am so over boys.  Maybe. I think I want a man that can still be a boy sometimes.  I'm picky.  Actually I probably don't even know what I want anymore.

Back to the point.  I need a hug.  A MAN hug.  Not a hug from a friend.  Or my dog.  Or even my mom.  But a big strong man hug and maybe a kiss on the top of my head.  Actually I need way more than that, but I would settle for a good hug and a "keep your chin up kiddo".

Y'all if I ever do get married (and at this point I almost can't imagine it ever happening) but if I do.  I will remember these days.  I will remember when there was no one there to give me a hug and tell me it will all be ok and remembering these days will help me be so much more appreciative and never ever take him for granted.

So yes, even though I am a strong, independent woman, I am waving the white flag and admitting it...I do need a man.

Funny side note- lately when I have found myself in situations where a husband would be helpful I will say out loud "See God this is why I need a husband."  Well yesterday I was trying to open a pickle jar.  I twisted and turned and banged it on the counter and squeeled and finally sat it down frustrated and said "See God this is why I need a husband".  Well wouldn't you know...when I picked it back up and twisted the lid, it popped right off.  I guess God heard me.

Another side note- I am going to go ahead and predict that tomorrow is going to SUCK.  I am getting ready to switch insurance plans.  I am probably going to go with a high deductible I am on a mission to make sure nothing is wrong with me (medically speaking) before Friday.  I went to my regular doctor today for a physical.  But I had to make an appointment to come back for the blood work.  The only appointment they had before Friday is tomorrow at 1:30 pm.  Problem is- you have to fast for at least 8 hours before the blood work.

So I am going to have to get up at 5 am tomorrow (did I mention I have insomnia and am definitely NOT a morning person. AT. ALL.) to eat breakfast.  Then I can not eat again until after my appointment.  It is going to suck.  I am already cranky.  I'm getting even more cranky just thinking about it.

Ok, I'm going to stop spewing my negativity all over my blog for now.  Hopefully the funk will lift soon!  Until then I will try to keep the complaining to a minimum. Hope you all are having a better week than me!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday Snippets on Monday

Life has been busy busy.  This Self-Control September thing has kept me busy (more on that later).

I did go to church yesterday, but honestly I didn't take any notes.  It was on the last spoke of the Gospel centered life "wheel"- Generosity.  JD made a point with a question- "which would put more fear in your heart- hearing that God was not pleased with you or hearing that there was no money in your bank account?"  Both would freak me out.  But he was trying to make a point that people value money and being rich almost more than anything else in their life.  I was talking to a friend later and I said yes, maybe from a guy's perspective money is the ultimate "idol" but I think from a woman's perspective being beautiful or skinny is the ultimate idol.  That consumes my thoughts, time and energy more than the pursuit of money and I know that is true for a lot of my friends too.  What do you think ladies?

After the service they had more baptisms.  I had to take something to the office and on the way back to our cars a girl I volunteer with and I stopped to watch.  We were talking about how we couldn't believe there were 300 baptisms last weekend and even more today.  I said "That's just crazy" and she said "That's God."  That stuck with me throughout the day and still today.  When something amazing happens from now on well, that's God.

Also- here is a re-cap from Church at the Ballpark.  I love this!

Church at the Ballpark from Josh Sliffe on Vimeo.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's fall y'all!

Today is the first day of fall!  I've already updated my house with some fall decor:

I love fall!  Football, cooler weather, the pretty leaves, and so many yummy pumpkin recipes!  Speaking of pumpkin, I know y'all probably love the pumpkin spice latte like I do, but watch out!  A grande with skim milk and no whipped cream still has 260 calories!  That's almost double the calories from my normal favorite the Skinny Caramel Machiatto!

Also do you remember how I wanted this rug for my living room?

Yeah well I ordered it from West Elm.  I got the smaller 5x7 size.  It was not what I expected.  The material was really rough and the white was more of a cream.  It also had no kind of backing whatsoever and even with a mat, I could see it not staying in place very well in my living room.  The pattern was too bold for the way I had my furniture set up (on a diagonal) as well, so back it goes.

I wish I was going to the ECU game tomorrow.  I want to be able to use my newest addition to my Pirate collection.

But at this rate I might not make it to a game at all this year :(

Hope you all have a fabulous fall weekend!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

-I have dubbed this month "Self- Control September" and so far it's been pretty good.  (Expect to see a whole post on this later)  But so far no sodas (diet or otherwise) since Labor Day weekend.  Although I did have a cherry limeade a few weeks ago and looking back I think it had Sprite in it.  But I didn't think about that at the time.  I did find a Cherry Limeade sugar free drink mix at Target that is only 5 calories that does not have any soda in it so it is a fabulous substitute!

-I just got hired on full time at my job!  For the past year and a half I have been working as a contractor.  Virtually everyone starts off as a contractor here and usually it takes a few years before you are converted.  It wasn't too bad except for the fact that I only had 5 paid time off days and had to get my own health insurance (which was crazy expensive!!).  Now I get 15 vacation days and 12 holidays, health insurance for free, other awesome benefits, and I can use the gym on our campus!  And now I am eligible for the performance bonus!  I am so super pumped!  My first official day is October 3rd.  Yay!

- I've hurt my knee.  I don't know how I did it, but it is hurting REALLY bad.  Last night I iced it and wrapped it in an ACE bandage.  This morning I called and made an appointment with my doctor.  I just want to make sure it is nothing serious.  My health insurance is getting ready to change.  I was going to go with the high deductible plan since it is completely paid for (and the company puts $500 a year into your health savings account!).  But if this is something serious with my knee I may need to upgrade.  The only other time I was on a high deductible plan I ended up breaking my toe and had to pay over $3,000 out of pocket for it!

- I've been doing really well with my 10K training plan until this week.  I haven't ran since Monday because of my stupid knee!  I really want to though.  I might try to tonight.  I's a bad decision, but I just want to stay on track with the training plan! 

- I love running at night.  I have been thinking about doing a half-marathon next year.  So I found a the MOST AWESOME half-marathon ever!  It is Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon. It is run at night through 3 parks at Walt Disney World.  And it is at the end of September which is like PERFECT running time.  Unfortunately my BFF's little sister is planning her wedding for that weekend next year.  I still might do it though unless I can find another good half marathon that is run at night.

Hope you all are having a fabulous week!  It's almost Friday!  WOO HOO!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Snippets from the Ballpark

Today was the best Sunday!  This is where we had church:

That's right, we had church at the baseball park.  Ever see the movie Bull Durham?  That ballpark became our sanctuary today.

It was packed!  I think the official numbers were over 7,000 in attendance.

I had been kind of nervous all week that I would have no one to sit with.  Most of my church friends were volunteering for the event, but I really just wanted to go and hear the message and have a Sunday off from volunteering.  I was praying, Lord please let some of my friends come!  I really don't want to sit by myself.  God answered my prayers and I had 4 friends to ride with and sit with today!

There were t-shirts shot into the audience, campus pastors sumo wrestling, and $1 concessions.  It was a great worship experience and a great message.  The one quote that stood out to me from the sermon was...

"A lot of people are going to miss heaven by 18"- the distance between a belief in the head and a belief in the heart."

After the sermon there was an opportunity for those who had never been baptized to publicly declare their faith in Jesus and be baptized.  I was a little uncomfortable at first because I knew one of the friends I brought with me hated things like this...the mass baptism, alter call, whatever you want to call it.  Another friend I was sitting with was from my bible study and she had never been baptized as an adult and I told her it would be really cool to do it today.  Not many people can say they have been baptized on a baseball field.  She wanted to wait though.  Well, my other friend decided she wanted to be baptized!  I was shocked!  And since she was going to do it, my bible study friend decided to go ahead and do it too!  Praise God!  I was crying and I wasn't even the one being baptized!  Both of them like me had been baptized as infants, but this was their public deceleration of their faith in Christ.  It was truly incredible to get to experience that with them!

It made me think back to my own baptism and how that was the first time I really did something I absolutely did not want to do, but I knew that God wanted me to do.  That one act led to such a deeper trust and faith in Him and I never, ever doubted where I stood with Him again.  Since then I have had the trust and faith in Him to let Him take the lead on so many other areas of my life.  I am so incredibly happy for my friends to have that too!

It also reminded me of this quote:

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” 

I had this quote written on my whiteboard for weeks at work.  See I still struggle with sharing my faith.  For years I thought this is something so personal.  It's just between me and God.  I get uncomfortable talking about it, I still hate praying out loud, but I have been trying to change that.  There is no reason you should have to hide it for fear of how you will look or if you are going to offend someone.

That was never more evident to me than it was today.  If my one friend would not have had the courage to stand up and say I want to do this, let her light shine, then the other wouldn't have either.  She unconsciously gave her permission to let her light shine too!  It was truly God at work!

So today...Go!  Let your light shine!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Act Fast!

One of my most favorite bloggers Kristen @ All in My Twenties just hit 1000 followers!  How does that even freaking happen?!?  I mean I can't believe I even have 50 people find my blog, let alone 300, and forget 1,000!  It just blows my mind!

Anyway, in honor of this she is hosting a giveaway, but you only have 24 hours to enter.  She has some pretty amazing prizes and you even get to pick which one you like best!  (I told you she's fabulous!)

Go HERE to enter!

I also love her because she introduced me to the honey badger!  I LOVE this!

A friend of mine said the new optimal level of drunkeness is "honey badger drunk".  It's where you are just so drunk you don't give a sh*t, but not blackout drunk.  Still makes me crack up!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh How Pinteresting Wednesday!

I am linking up with The Vintage Apple again for Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!

Please follow me on Pinterest so I can follow you and see all the pretty things you are loving!

Follow Me!! - ncsuz on Pinterest

Right now my mom is in Portland, OR.  She has 3 ladies she has been friends with since elementary school (I think that is amazing!).  They try to get together every year now, so she is spending time with them this week. But that means I don't get to have my nightly chats with her and I miss her!  Especially today because I have some big news to share with her!  So the theme for today's pinboard is parenting (and no my big news is not that I am pregnant!).  These are just a few pins and ideas I love for if I ever become a parent!

Source: via ncsuz on Pinterest

Source: via ncsuz on Pinterest

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

20 Adult Truths

They were talking about this on the radio this morning and I was cracking up and agreeing with every one of these so I had to share:

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die. (just in case!)

2. Nothing stinks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (AMEN! I wish I could have nap time now!)

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? (even when I have instructions I can't do it!)

6. Was learning cursive really necessary? (now I do kind of still like cursive better)

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5.  I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.  (super annoying)
8. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired. (again Amen to that!)

9. Bad decisions make good stories.  (I think I might have racked up enough good stories now though!)

10. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

11. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

12. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.  (I hate that!!)

13. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.  (I also give them bad last names like "donotanswer")

14. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

15. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

16. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?   (I do this all the time!)

17. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!  (One of my biggest pet peeves!  Do not let them over y'all!)

18. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

19. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

20. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Friday, September 9, 2011

And the winner is...

A little later than I anticipated, but it's because I decided to do this drawing old school style:

Congrats Aubrey Laine!  I will send you the info for the $75 gift card!

Thank you everyone for entering!  I hope y'all have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sunday Snippets on Thursday

I missed church on Sunday because I was at the beach.  But I finally got to listen to the sermon today so I figured I would do a little Sunday Snippets on Thursday post.

We are continuing our sermon series on how to be transformed by The Gospel.  We are spending a week on each of the five outward signs of the inward renewal the Gospel brings.  Just a reminder those five outward signs are:

1. Prayer & Bible Study
2. Character
3. Community
4. Evangelism & Missions
5. Generosity

Reminder this is not a list of things you must do to be transformed by the Gospel.  These are things you will naturally start doing when you've had that inward transformation.  It doesn't happen overnight (at least for me it didn't.)  And it doesn't come naturally or easy, but these are things you will start gravitating towards and doing once you have truly realized what Christ has done for you. 

What is the Gospel?  That we are all- everyone of us- sinners.  And the penalty for sin is death.  But God loved us so much that he sent His son Jesus to pay that price for us.  He died on the cross to pay the price for my (and your) sins.  Once you admit that you are a sinner and realize you can't save yourself just by trying to do better or be a better person and you finally admit it and let go and give your life over to Christ (follow him and his ways) in thanks for paying your price with his life on the cross- that gratitude and amazement will overwhelm you at times.

Those 5 signs listed above are just outward signs indicating that inward transformation has taken place.  Kind of like you know you have the flu- the outward signs are a stuffy nose, cough, fever, aches and pains, etc.  Those outward signs are your indication that you have been infected by the flu virus.

Last week the focus was on Community.  Here are some quick bullet points of the main take-aways I had from the sermon and our small group study:

- You must be involved in a local church.  I know I used to say my relationship with God was a very personal thing and I didn't need to be involved in church or even attend church to have God be a part of my life.  The thing is God shouldn't just be a part of your life.  God gave you your life.  Jesus saved your life.  Your whole life should be theirs and you can't have significant growth and support without the community of other believers to build you up, pick you up when you fall, and hold you up when you can't stand.

- When you go do a mega-church it can be hard to feel like you are truly a part of it.  I struggled with that for almost 2 years at my church.  But you have to BE a part of it to FEEL like you are a part of it.  Join a small group, volunteer, go on a mission trip, introduce yourself to people.  If you just hurry into service and hurry out of service every Sunday you will never feel like you are a part of it because well, you kind of aren't.  You're kind of just a spectator at that point.  Building real, deep, relationships in any area of your life is not easy.  It can be downright painful.  But if you really want it and you are intentional about me it is so worth it! 

- Some people are followers of Jesus like they are followers of Justin Bieber on Twitter.  You don't really know Justin and he has no idea who you are but you like to check in on what he is up to or suggests every once in a while.  You are a fan, could even be an acquaintance, but have no meaningful relationship with him.  That is not the way to be a follower of Jesus.  Followers of Jesus have real relationships that go beyond surface level with Him and with other followers of Him.

- We talked in my small group about how we all segment our friends.  We have our work friends, our church friends, our fun friends, our high school friends...and we hardly ever intermingle the different groups and may behave differently around each of them.  A healthy way to build a stronger community would be to intermingle the groups.  The girls beach trip I took last weekend did that well.  It was a bunch of girls from different areas of my two church friend's lives.  We all got along splendidly.  I know there is fear when intermingling groups or introducing new people to a group, because group dynamics are super hard to figure out.  And when it goes bad, it can be really bad.  But I am going to try to get better at this.

- Confession: when I joined my small group I was like WTF is this?  I thought I had nothing in common with the other girls, it was such a pain to do the homework and give up 2 hours of my weekday night for the meeting, I thought I was the stupid one in the group and had stupid questions, I thought everyone was judging me...I hated it.  For about 6 months.  I really hated it.  But things started to change.  I started getting more comfortable.  I started to get to know some of the girls even better.  Some of the things I thought of as really weird I just accepted as being different.  I seriously LOVE my small group.  I make it a priority in my week.  Just like exercise, I have to force myself to go some weeks, but it brings so much to my life.  We are far from the perfect small group but it amazes me the things God has done in our group.  If you are not in a small group at your church I highly recommend it.  If your church doesn't have small groups, get your friends together for a bible study on a regular basis.  Trust me you will be amazed at what God can do through community.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oh how wonderFALL Pinteresting Wednesday!

I am linking up with The Vintage Apple again for Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!

Please follow me on Pinterest so I can follow you and see all the pretty things you are loving!

Follow Me!! - ncsuz on Pinterest

The theme for today's pinboard is fall!

Summer is my favorite season just because of all the fun summer vacations, daylight until 9pm, coconut scented everything, sun-kissed skin, fruity drinks and my birthday!

But fall comes in a close second. Crisp cool (not cold) fall air, the pretty leaves, apples, pumpkin carving, football games, Halloween costumes, and of course all the yummy pumkin flavored/scented things!

What could be more pefect for fall than Pumpkin Cream Cheese!?

- 8oz low fat cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup canned pure pumpkin
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- dash of salt Directions: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy.

How perfect would this be for a fall party? And it is somewhat healthy with the apples right? This is a pretty lengthy recipe so check out the pin for the link to the original.

OMG! Pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon syrup?!

Pumpkin Pancakes (yields 6 pancakes)

1 cup flour
1 1/2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs vinegar

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Cinnamon Syrup:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup water

Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir occasionally until boiling. Let it boil for a few minutes while stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

I would love to give these out for Halloween! But I doubt parents let their kids eat anything that isn't factory sealed nowadays right?  Any parents out there reading- would you let your kids keep these if they got them trick or treating?

This Pumpkin Cake is so stinking cute! Maybe I will make it for the annual Halloween party!

On a side note- I had a fabulous Labor Day weekend! I hope you guys did too!  Girl's weekend at the beach was just what I needed to put the exclamtion point on this summer! I'll try to post a little something about my weekend festivities tomorrow.

Happy Hump Day everyone and don't forget to enter my $75 NOVICA gift card giveaway!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gift Certificate Giveaway!

Remember how I said if I reached 300 followers by my birthday I would host a giveaway?  Well, I didn't make that number.  I was still at 299 followers on August 12. But at the time I am writing this post I have 311 followers!!  Yay!  I am so happy to have you all here!

So we are still going to celebrate with a little giveaway ok?

NOVICA is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites. They work with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market. They have thousands of top fair trade womens accessories, mens accessories, jewelry and home decor.  I particularly like their wool scarves!

So what am I giving away?

A $75 NOVICA e-gift card!

Here are some of the super cute things I might buy with that:

Monkey Bookends- $59.95

Pearl Cocktail Ring- $20.49

Elephant Teapot- $30.74

Wood Chess Set- $29.95
How do you enter?

1. Leave me a comment with your email address letting me know how you discovered my blog!  (1 entry)
2. Be a follower of 30 Before 30 list! (1 entry)
2. Tweet about this giveaway!   Maybe something like "@ncsuz is hosting a giveaway on her blog!  enter to win a $75 gift card here: " (1 entry)
3. Blog about this giveaway on your blog!  (2 entries)

Leave a separate comment for each of your additional entries with links to your tweet and/or blog post.

You have until midnight EST Thursday September 8th to enter.

I will announce the winner on Friday September 9th.  Good luck guys!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Free Stuff Friday (almost)!

This is a big weekend!  It is kind of bittersweet if you ask me.  It's the end of summer, the start of fall, the start of college football season, my last summer hour Friday...I'm so confused am I happy or sad?!

Whatever you are doing, I hope you all have a fun and fabulous labor day weekend!

And to get it started right, here's some free stuff I've come across recently:

Free Breakfast at Chic-fil-a!  Chicken minis are freaking heaven in my opinion!  You can sign up HERE.

Here are some coupon codes for a free rental from Blockbuster Express:

38JEAH9- Expires 9/2/11
43PBCG5- Expires 9/2/11
36TTDR9- Expires 9/2/11
62PGAR5- Expires 9/2/11
24KRVF9- Expires 9/2/11

9HLG4X- Expires 9/3/11

38RMAQ2- Expires 9/5/11
57TPLD3- Expires 9/5/11

I got these from a friend on Facebook.  The ones she posted a few weeks ago worked great for me (except you could only use one at a time).  But I haven't tried these out yet, so don't shoot me if they don't work!

Have a fabulous weekend!!

P.S. Come back to visit me on Tuesday for an awesome giveaway!!