Wednesday, May 30, 2012

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday

I love my sweet kitty.
My sweet little kitty thoroughly enjoys being on our bed. When we lived with Collin's parents we kept the bedroom door closed so that the other animals wouldn't get in there and make a mess (one didn't use the litter box for his number 2 business and I didn't want any of that in my bedroom). It always made Stank sad because he wanted to be with us, so now he is taking full advantage of having an open door to the bedroom. The only problem, we have to vacuum the foot of the bed all the time because he leaves behind lots of hair!

 then, she {snapped}


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Season's First!

This weekend we got to spend a day in DC with some good friends of ours and had a good time! It was HOT. Very, very hot. But, we still enjoyed ourselves. We started out our day at the Air and Space Museum. And then we walked to the Botanical Gardens and on that walk and walking through the outside gardens was when I got pretty miserable. But, it's okay. I cooled down a little inside the conservatory, but not too much because it is pretty humid in there afterall. =) Anyway, after that we walked over to 7th and Constitution to see the Memorial Day parade. Collin and Jeff really wanted to see Gary Sinise. We had seen earlier that morning outside the Air and Space Museum that he was going to be on a float representing NBC. They were happy guys to see him! We ended our day in DC with a quick trip into the American Art Museum. And yes, we did go view our "Snails Space" artwork again. =) I'm telling you, we love it. Seriously go see it if you are ever in DC and have the opportunity to go to the American Art Museum. Anyway, we had a really good day and we even got to stop for dinner at Chili's on the way home and enjoyed some delicious food!

During our walk from the Botanical Gardens to 7th and Constitution we passed this beautiful median with sunflowers. I was SO excited. Because at this point I was really quite hot and miserable and it brought me so much joy and really perked me up seeing those sunflowers. They were the first I've seen growing this year! Super exciting! I can't wait until sunflowers are growing all over and I can go to the Farmer's Market and buy bunches for the house all the time!

Beautiful sunflowers in the middle of DC. Made my day!
Oh how I love the beauty of the sunflower.
 then, she {snapped}


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

This past Sunday Collin and I took my parents up to Waldorf to go see the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs! For those that don't know they are our local minor league baseball team. And I'm very fortunate to work for a company who purchases a skybox each season and gives tickets out to the employees for free! So wonderful! Anyway, we took advantage of it this past week and took my parents with us! So much fun!!

At our minor league baseball team's, The Blue Crabs, ball game!
Our skybox this year is right behind home plate!
Love spending the afternoon with my hubby doing fun stuff!
Yes, I know this is very washed out but I like it regardless. =)
Love me some soft serve ice cream!!
Soft serve ice cream is one of my favorites. I love going to games mainly so I can get some. ; )
So glad my parents could come today, too. Enjoying sitting next to my momma.
I really enjoyed sitting next to my mom during the game. And we even had on almost identical sunglasses!
Oh my goodness!!! Little kids dressed as fruit racing around the bases!! Soooo cute!!!
I must say though, my favorite part of the whole afternoon was the fruit race. They put those fruit costumes on little kids and had them run around the bases. hahaha! It was ADORABLE! And of course the "grapes" was the smallest one so he was the slowest. But it was precious.

What a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I really like going to the games on a Friday or Saturday night though because then you get fireworks after the game! Maybe we'll get the chance to go once more this season.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Review: Stand By Me

If I haven't said it before I'm saying it now, I love to read series. I think the reason I love book series so much is because I get so involved in the character's lives and stories and I feel like reading about them for one book just isn't enough. I love to get to read more and become more engaged in their lives through book after book. Another thing I love in books is when author's tell the story from different character's points of view throughout the novel. It's so fun to get the different perspectives within the same book!

Anyway, the latest novel I received from Booksneeze was Stand By Me by Neta Jackson. This novel is the first in a new spin-off series called Souled Out Sisters following her other two series Yada Yada Prayer Group and House of Hope. I loved both of the other series and I was excited to learn that Neta Jackson was coming out with yet another series so I requested this book right away! And I started and finished it almost as soon as I received it!

The book is told from the perspective of a college senior who is a newly professed Christian, Kat Davies, part of the time, and from an elementary school prinicipal and long-time Christian and church leader, Avis Douglass, the other part. Kat is very enthusiastic about life, living "green" and her new found Christian faith. Kat discovers Souled Out Community Church and introduces herself to Avis and longs to become a part of the multi-cultural church and to be close to Avis, a woman whom she greatly admires. However, Avis is going through some hard times in her life at the moment; including a strained relationship with her daughter and the unknown of her and her husband's job status. She thinks Kat is very eccentric and nosy and does not want to be bothered by her. Kat is almost the complete oppostie of Avis and yet God put them in each other's paths for a reason. Their lives keep intertwining in ways neither of them would have expected but God knows what He is doing!

I realled enjoyed this book. It was so fun and filled with real struggles and life situations. It kept me very engaged and wanting to learn more and more about the characters. I had "met" Avis before in the other series books by Neta Jackson but she was never a main character. In the Yada Yada books she had a "supporting role" so to speak and in House of Hope she was basically a character that appeared every now and then. I'm loving that I get to learn more about her and her family. Kat was a new character and it was lots of fun to "meet" her. I look so forward to reading the rest of the books in this series and getting to know more about her! She was so spunky and full of life, she almost reminded me of myself in some ways.

If you're looking for a fun, engaging, heart warming story that teaches great lessons pick this one up! And the best part is, you don't need to have read the other series before reading it. All of Neta's series though intertwined are completely readable on their own! Each has a different set of main characters and the characters that are in the other series are explained well enough you know all you need to about them! I highly, highly recommend this book along with any of her others!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's guidelines.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday

Sorry for my lack of posts this week so far. I just haven't felt very inspired. Plus I've been pretty tired from being on the go and unpacking. And it doesn't look like things will be slowing down much until next week. But at least the things I'm doing have been really nice and enjoyable!

Anyway, when I posted my Instagram vacation photos I mentioned I had some pictures on my iPhone from our little visit into downtown Beaufort, NC and I wanted to share them with you today. It was such a beautiful little town and it was definitely a highlight of our vacation for me! I love how quaint it was and that it was filled with lots of little shops, mostly local and speciality shops, cute little homes, and the most beautiful waterfront boardwalk. So.. without further ado...

Beaufort 001
Beautiful flowers in a field on the drive there. I wish I could have gotten out to take pictures because it was truly gorgeous and this picture does not do it justice.
Beaufort 002
We saw this memorial stone on the boardwalk. I didn't know this man but it has special meaning to me. The Challenger explosion is what set my mother into labor with me.
Beaufort 003
The beautiful Bogue Sound.
Beaufort 004
Looking down the boardwalk.
Beaufort 005
Cute little alley way.
Beaufort 006
Beaufort 007
Beaufort 008
Beaufort 009
I wanted to buy up all those dishes to fill my tiny kitchen. haha

 then, she {snapped}


Friday, May 11, 2012

Even More Little Notes

Dear Grilled Cheese, thank you for being such an easy and delicious meal. Thank you for tasting good even when my tummy hasn't been feeling too well. You are one of my favorites.

Dinner of champions! Lol

Dear New Apartment, you are awesome! I love how great you're turning out as we're slowly unpacking boxes. Thanks for having the right spaces for all our stuff. It's pretty swell. I can't wait to finish making you pretty and cozy. I am definitely happy and ready to go home now!

Dear CAC Office Worker, it brightened my day to come in and renew my CAC yesterday because of the inspirational sayings you had taped to your desk. You were also a pretty cool dude it seemed and I appreciate your cheerful personality and niceness to me.

Awesome encouraging words at the CAC office today. =)
"Life is not the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!"
"Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you're not willing to move your feet."

Dear Collin, I love you. Thanks for being so stellar throughout this whole move and putting things where they need to go and for unpacking and working with me to get our place looking so great. Thanks for taking the initiative with a lot of it and surprising me with things being put away!

Dear Beautiful Weather, you have been so pretty the past week or so. And even on Wednesday when you decided to rain all evening when we were running errands, you weren't pouring and I greatly appreciate that!

Dear Sky, you are incredible. And I am especially loving your views from our new neighborhood!

I love the sky from our new neighborhood!

Love, Cindy

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Life in Boxes

Look who's helping us pack. Lol
Stank wanted to help us pack. =P
 then, she {snapped}

Welp, it finally came! The day I thought would never come finally came. We moved out of Collin's parent's basement! Woo! Yesterday was the big day and overall it went really smoothly. We had lots of help from some great friends and family, and we were so thankful for them and their willingness to help us. We got everything out of the storage unit and most of our stuff from the house. There's still a few things left behind at the house but they'll get brought over this week, including Stank! I can't wait to see what he thinks about his new digs.

The apartment is so cute and cozy. It's tiny, only a one bedroom, but it's perfect I think. Everything is still in boxes so it seems really small but once we unpack and organize I think it will be just right! I can't wait to get it all set up and fully liveable. Once we do I'll definitely take pictures, and maybe even a video tour! So yeah... that's what's going on in my life. The next several days will be filled with unpacking boxes and lots of organizing. Good thing I enjoy organizing. =)


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Instagram Vacation Photos

I took a lot of pictures on our vacation. I used Instagram, my phone's regular camera, and my "big girl" camera! So for today you all are going to get the Instagram photos and little snippets about the vacation relating to that. If I were to post my pictures from every medium this would be a very long post and I've already got a lot of pictures for today to post!

Our trip was pretty fantastic! We left Sunday afternoon and got down to the beach finally around 8:30pm or so. But it was a nice drive. Just rainy most of the way. Foruntately Collin was driving and the rain doesn't bother him much. I didn't take any pictures of this but we stopped for dinner on the way down there at a place recommended to us by some friends. The place is called Ralph's BBQ and it's just off exit 173 in North Carolina. Oh my goodness. That was the BEST pulled pork sandwich I've ever had. So, so, so good! If you're ever traveling through North Carolina on I-95, I highly recommend you stop at Ralph's. Remember, exit 173 for Roanoake Rapids... It's amazing! That is if you like Eastern North Carolina BBQ. =)

Starting off our anniversary trip in the rain. But it's okay. Sunny skies predicted the rest of the week!
A rainy day of driving.
Getting so close!!
Getting so close!

Monday morning was beautiful. It was chilly but that was nice because Collin and I both wanted to get out and get some exercise. He went for a run while I took a walk.

Taking a walk on the beach!!! #nofilter
I got to walk on the beach for a little bit!
We may not have an ocean view room but we can see the ocean!!
We could see the ocean from our room. It wasn't technically considered an ocean view room but it was neat being able to see it from the room. =)

Monday afternoon we went to the aquarium and had a blast. I have lots of pictures on my Nikon from the aquarium that I'll be sure to share!

Watching some divers in the shipwreck tank with sharks. =)
They have a shipwreck tank that has an actual sunken German U-Boat from WWII and during the afternoon they have diver's go into the tank and actually talk to you using a special microphone thing. But the coolest thing is they have at least 6 sharks in the tank! Love it!

Tuesday was another beautiful day and our anniversary! Collin and I started the day out by playing some frisbee golf up in New Bern and the course was beautiful! Definitely the best course we've played at yet. It was right on the water and the park it was in was pretty much designated for frisbee golf. It was really fun playing and the holes all had different challenges and elevations and that's much different than our course here at home! Tuesday afternoon we had lunch at Sonic on the way back to the beach and in the evening we went to dinner at this local bar and grill called Raps which was fantastic! We even ended up going back another night on our trip.

At a beautiful park playing frisbee golf with my hubby. Starting out anniversary off awesomely!
View from the beginning of the frisbee golf course
Beautiful view on hole 7.
View from hole 7. Loved it! I almost permanently lost my disc on this hole. There's a hill just before the hole and I threw my disc from a ways back from the top of it and it landed on the hill and rolled. Because of the hill we couldn't see where it stopped but had an idea. So we went down to look for it and could not find it! I finally found it way far away from where it would have made sense that it was.
And now we encounter a snake on hole 17....
Right after I threw my disc on hole 17 I look over to my left and see that... Once I finally calmed down and realized what was going on I was okay. I'm not really afraid of snakes. At least not of non-venomnous ones. And this one is not venomous and Collin and I truly knew because the day before we had gone to a Creature Feature at the aquarium on snakes and the volunteer gave us all these tricks to determine if they are venomous or not!
Lunch at Sonic. Sooo good.
I love tater tots. Definitely my favorite type of "fry". And Sonic's cups for their tots are funny!

On Wednesday after enjoying a delicious New York style pizza lunch at Michaelangelo's and walking through some cute local shops (including a book store!), Collin and I went to Fort Macon to enjoy a little bit of history. I have lots of photos of the fort on my Nikon that I'll definitely be showing soon but for now I want to share this one.

Enjoying a beautiful afternoon at Fort Macon.

After Fort Macon we went to Dairy Queen and used a coupon we had for Buy One Blizzard Get One Free!
Enjoying Blizzards after a tour of Fort Macon.
I got Chocolate Xtreme and Collin got Chocolate French Silk Pie.

For dinner on Wednesday Collin and I were going to go to a Japanense Steak House in Morehead City which was going to be our big anniversary dinner but they were closed on Tuesday. So we get all dressed up and head to the restaurant and they're not open! We think they might be closed for good or something because they are supposed to be open on Wednesday and every other day we drove by later during the trip they were closed also. Sadness. So instead we ate at Olive Garden and were treated so well! The manager even gave us a free dessert because she knew it was our anniversary! Funny story about dinner... our waitress asked us how everything was and I replied good and then Collin said "It's fantastic!" with a big smile on his face! Well, the waitress gets this look on her face like "oh wow! I'm so sorry!" and she asked Collin to repeat himself. So he does and relief washed over her. She thought that he had said "Everything's nasty!" hahaha! We were cracking up laughing. It still makes me laugh just thinking about it!

Thursday was our warmest day. It was also our windiest day. After breakfast Collin and I wanted to go take a walk on the beach. And then in the afternoon we played two rounds of mini golf! So much fun! Then in the evening we went back to Rap's for another delicious dinner!

On the beach!
On the beach with my hubby!
Under the boardwalk. ;)
Under the pier that got pretty badly damaged during Hurricane Irene last August.
Playing mini golf on the warmest yet windiest day yet!
Enjoying a beautiful day of mini golf.
I got a hole in one on 15!!!
I got a hole in one on this hole! Hole 15! Collin then got a hole in one on Hole 4 on the second course we played!
I got really wet from the waterfall and wind. =(
It was really, really windy on Thursday. And at this hole there was a waterfall right above the green and I happened to be putting when a HUGE gust of wind decided to blow and it sprayed water all over me. I was pretty wet. Collin said the look on my face as it happened was priceless. lol I bet it was!
Pretty sunset over the Bogue Sound.
Pretty sunset over the Bogue Sound on the way to dinner.

On Friday Collin and I drove down to Jacksonville to check out another frisbee golf course. Then we ventured to the mall and after leaving Jacksonville we headed into downtown Beaufort and checked out the waterfront shops and did a little sight seeing. It was BEAUTIFUL. One of my favorite things about the trip.

Another beautiful day on the Crystal Coast!
A beautiful drive to Jacksonville that morning.
Enjoying a beautiful afternoon in downtown, historic Beaufort, NC.
The beautiful downtown, historic Beaufort, NC. I really did enjoy seeing how quaint and cute this town was. I took more pictures on my phone but didn't post them to Instagram so I'll share them soon.
Does the name make you want to eat there? Lol
We passed this Morehead City restaruant many times and the name just cracked me up every time. Apparently they have really good seafood though. They better with a name like that! =)

We headed home on Saturday with heavy hearts to be leaving such a beautiful place. I would totally move there in a heartbeat. But we'll definitely go back for another trip. That's for sure. Collin told me before our honeymoon I would love the Crystal Coast and not want to come home and boy was he right.

Goodbye beautiful Crystal Coast. It's been a fantastic week. We sure will miss you...
Goodbye beautiful Crystal Coast. I miss you already...


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