Thursday, April 18, 2013

She's a Better Woman than Me!

I don't think this guest could have shared her post at a better time! I have the utmost respect for our country's military and their families! The sacrifice they make is a substantial one and for what?! My freedom, your freedom, our freedom. What they give up to protect our country is something I'm not sure I would ever have the courage to do and for that I can't thank them enough! They are brave, courageous, and selfless. They give up time with their families. Spouses are left to raise families a lone while they sit and wonder about the safety of their heart and soul! It's enough to bring me to tears just writing about it. While I dry my tears please enjoy Becca and her beautiful family and thank her for the sacrifice she and her hubby make for us! 

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Hi y'all!

My name is Becca. I blog over at Faith Love & Babies, my blog is about being an army wife, a new mama, random tidbits about my life and the things I love. I blog because it's a creative outlet and a definitive way to keep me on the path of becoming better. A better me. A better wife & mother. A better friend. Just an overall better person in general. I love to give advice and share things that I'm passionate about. I'm still fairly new to the blogging world but I absolutely love it and enjoy meeting other bloggers!

I'm 21 and became an army wife when I married my high school sweetheart, KC. We got married in September of 2012 and a few months earlier, we became parents to a precious little boy, named Wyatt. We also have two fur-kids; Cinnamon and Lucy.  

Meet KC, he's a solider in The United States Army, my very own personal mechanic, my best friend and just such a good man. He will make you laugh, I promise you that. He's goofy, quirky and has such a kind heart.
KC & I at our wedding.
Mr. & Mrs. Moss
Meet Wyatt, as of today he's ten months old and he's the happiest baby I've ever met. He's literally always happy, unless he's hungry or fighting sleep, because then he's a bear. Being a mommy is the best gift and the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced. You can see how much he has grown from the first six months he's been here in this post right here



Meet the girls; Cinnamon & Lucy. Back in 2010 KC & I rescued Cinnamon as a puppy, we believe she is a Lab/Beagle Mix. She's got a long body and short little legs. And as for Lucy or as we like to call her, Moose, she was in a litter of puppy's my brother-in-law's dog had, we got her in 2011. Moose is a Bull Mastiff/Boxer Mix. She does not like the snow but she loves to cuddle. 


As for me, I'm a simple girl. I love the color yellow, happiness and anything pumpkin. Colorful paper clips at work, the occasional margarita and of course some football (who-dey!). I have a positive outlook on life, I believe that there is always something to be thankful for, I truly believe that "Faith Conquers Fear", that everything happens for a reason and that all things are possible. 

Come on by Faith Love & Babies and say hi, I'd love to meet y'all!

Want to know some more facts about me? 


You can read a post dedicated entirely to facts & quirks about little ole me right here!



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How adorable is she and her precious family?! I love that we share a great abundance of love for furrbabies, pumpkin anything, and football! Not to mention, colored paperclips kind of rock my world too! Please be sure to head on over to her neck of the woods and say hello!!! She has a lot to say and share!!! 

XOXO, 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another Photo Dump For Ya!

I know I said What I'm Loving Wednesday would be back this week but in the light of recent events I'm just not super thrilled about much this week! Emotions are at an all time high and I'm honestly speechless with the events happening in our nation and world. The only place I've been able to find comfort or understanding is in the arms of my hubby with Baby Reef in my lap. It's a place I never want to leave.

Since I don't have much to share, for today I'll post photos from our Easter lunch at my mom's house! My mom did a fantastic job as usually with her tablescapes, food, and our annual Easter egg hunt {that I did not take photo's off because I was too busy participating in it}! Enjoy!

The Drink Station! Love a good ole Mason Jar! Country Living! 

Tablescape with Carrot treats! 

My mommy and Cousin Mason have bunny ears! 

This was our first furchild together! His name is O'Neil and he is the size of a baby lion! He now lives at GiGi's (my mom) house where he can roam the woods and fields and hunt like the lion he is! 

My Momma, My Nanna, and Me! 

The hubby playing on Mason's scooter! Never gives up the chance at being a kid! 

Mom and her baby TinkerBelle have the same hair style and coloring! 

My everything!

Baby Sister was able to come after work!!! Can't believe she graduates from high school in 2 months! 

Hope everyone has a splendid day! XoXo,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Bit Fallish But Who Cares!

*I liked to take a moment and express my deepest sympathies to those victims in yesterdays horrific Boston Marathon events! Prayers are continuous and I hope that they can all find peace and comfort during this time! Boston, you will prevail and evil... evil will never win!*

A few weeks ago one of my favorite local go to lunch spots {Gourmet Gang} had this to-die-for salad as a special! Anything with pumpkin and goat cheese is a win in my book so I had to give it a try! Who knew I could fall deeply in love with a salad?! After devouring this goodness I knew I would have to recreate it at home and of course add a little meatiness {the shrimp} to it for the hubby!

What You Will Need:

1 pound of shrimp {I use frozen but you can use fresh if you'd like}
1 bag of Ready to Eat Leaf Spinach or Baby Spinach
Goat Cheese
Sunflower Seeds
Dried Cranberries
Roasted Sweet Potatoes

For the Dressing:
Pumpkin Butter
Apple Cider Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

{If you noticed I don't have any measurements so just eyeball how much you would prefer}

Pumpkin Butter-Shrimp-Goat Cheese-Sweet Potatoes- Spinach- Sunflower Seeds-Dried Cranberries

Directions:

Peel, Cut and Cube Sweet Potatoes {One Sweet Potato should be PLENTY}. Toss in Extra Virgin Olive Oil until fully coated.


Spread out evenly on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.



While roasting sweet potatoes sauté shrimp until cooked thoroughly.


After shrimp and sweet potatoes are finished cooking, fill bowls with spinach, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries. Then top with goat cheese, shrimp and sweet potatoes.


To make your dressing combine equal parts pumpkin butter, apple cider vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl and mix together until blended. 


Drizzle over salad and ENJOY!!!



XoXo,

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Recap!

Helllllooooo my darlings!!! I trust all of you had a splendid weekend?! For those who commented on Friday's post about my dog bite, I promise, promise, promise I will respond soon and I am not ignoring y'all!!! Life is getting busy with the increasing warm temperatures and home improvement tasks and I can honestly say I did not check my e-mail once this weekend! I did instagram per the usual so here's a recap of our weekend through my IG photos!

Friday evening was our typical relaxing evening in! When I got home I headed to the gym to get in a hard workout! I clocked a one mile run on the treadmill, one mile on the elliptical, and three miles on the bike! I then came home and made Poppyseed Chicken {minus the poppyseeds because we were out of them} while the hubs spent the evening doing an online driving improvement course {Can we say too many speeding tickets?!}. After dinner, Baby Reef crashed, the hubby studied and then studied some more, and I got started on painting some wine glasses! It's funny how Friday nights are so different than they were several years ago! I certainly wouldn't trade them now for anything.

Our Friday Night! 
Saturday, the hubby woke up early to cover some more driving improvement lessons. While he studied, I went for a refreshing one mile run. Early afternoon consisted of going to watch the hubby coach a baseball game! Sadly I didn't take any photos! I took Baby Reef and while he was on his best behavior and I was so proud of him for being calm, keeping my full attention on him made it hard to whip out the camera and take photos of the game! 

The hubby and I decided after the game that we would treat ourselves to dinner out which we hadn't done since February {due to lots of family get togethers}. We had a gift card to a somewhat new restaurant in my hometown, Suffolk, named Harper's Table! It was a super cute place and the food was amazing!!! We started with Pork Belly Biscuits and shared a Fuji Apple Salad. For our entrees Todd had the Sea Scallops with roasted cauliflower, thompson raisin puree, pecans and brown butter and I had the Chesapeake Bay Flounder with fennel, new potatoes, peas and a chorizo vinaigrette and we shared a side of hand cut fries & bacon mayonnaise! For dessert we had a homemade donut with a maple glaze and buttermilk ice cream and corn pudding! It sounds like A LOT of food but they are smaller portions which I love {not tapas small but the correct portion small}! This restaurant reminded me of the restaurants we ate at while in Charleston, SC last summer! I loved everything about it and the fact that I felt as though I was on a mini vacation but I was only thirty minutes from my home! After dinner we came home and crashed from a legit food coma! 

Beautiful Morning sky during my Saturday morning run! 

When renovating and creating Harper's Table, they found this original painted ad that was covered up by a border wall! 
Yesterday, we slept in a bit later than I would have liked, however I know I needed the extra sleep! One thing I love about my hubby is that he is a master breakfast chef! He can whip up any breakfast related dish and it's always fantastic! He treated me to fluffy chocolate chip pancakes and bacon! The pancakes were to die for! Seriously, I'm not sure if it's because I haven't had any in some time, but holy moly they were amaze balls!

This is the hubby's plate as I devoured my pancakes before even thinking about snapping a photo! 
After our late breakfast, the hubby headed to take his driver improvement test! This allowed me to start working on things around the house: laundry, dusting, straightening up, creating the grocery list and starting the removal of the wallpaper border in our kitchen! Once the hubby came back home {with a A on his test} he gave our yard some close attention with some good ole dandy yard work!

Starting to remove the '80s wallpaper border!
Later in the evening, I headed to good ole Harris Teeter to do some grocery shopping and was so excited to pick up some pretty tulips to brighten the coffee table as well as some scrumptious fresh fruit! Strawberries and Watermelon scream warm weather and I love that I can add them to my breakfast routine now!

Watermelon, Strawberries, and Tulips! Gloriousness!
After putting the groceries away we decided to head out for a nice evening walk with Baby Reef! We don't walk him often because in the past he would pull and drag me along {even with the gentle leader} but after seeing how well behaved he was Saturday at the ball game we figured maybe he has matured a bit! To our surprise he most definitely has matured! The walk was great {and over a mile long} and I loved being able to do it as a family! Maybe I will be able to take Baby Reef on my runs here sooner than later! 

What did y'all get into this weekend? It was beautiful here in my area and I'm beyond thankful for it! The house is still a work in progress but I feel accomplished on what we did do this weekend! Here's to more fantabulous weekends! Cheers! XoXo!  

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Bit Distraught!

Bare It All Friday is on hold for today as I am suffering some minor emotional issues! Okay so I'm joking, kind of! If you are a Facebook friend of my personal page or you follow me on Instagram, well than you may know why I'm horrifically scared for life now. If you don't follow me on either, allow me to explain.

Please understand that I am a HUGE dog lover! I am not biased towards dogs, except for my own, but seriously, I love ALL dogs! Teacups and Minis to Huge and Heavy! ALLL dogs! I have never had a bad experience with a pooch. I'm not a fan of barkers and yappers buuut I've never encountered an actual mean vicious pup.... until last night!

I decided that I would take a nice run yesterday evening and forgo the gym since the weather was so nice and I knew today would be rainy. I got my gear on, put my head phones in, start my Nike Running app and got to stepping! Mind you I don't run in my neighborhood. Since we live in a townhouse development it takes close to 3 laps to complete a mile. I HATE running past the same things more than once, so I've been running in the neighborhood behind my own. Lots of streets and different directions to go but they all lead back to the same place. Needless to say I've enjoyed running it A LOT!

I have to cross an elementary school football field and some baseball fields on the way to the neighborhood! Tons of kids and parents out playing on the swing sets, basketball court, and even some baseball games going on at the fields. Once I got to the neighborhood I noticed lots of folks doing yard work, loads of children bike riding, folks walking, I even saw another runner! It was a typical suburban neighborhood on a gorgeous Spring evening! Side Note: I love seeing kids out riding bikes and playing considering it seems so many of them are stuck indoors playing video games on their own iPads!

I decided early on I was only going to run one mile for the evening and at my half way point things took a turn for the worst. I was running, minding my own business, jamming out to Matt & Kim when I noticed up a head a young kid on a bike.... being chased and barked at by a small yippy dog! The kid looked a bit scared, threw his baseball cap at the dog and called out to his dad who was walking up ahead of him. The dog ran off into a yard. I ran by during all of this still minding my own business! All of a sudden I see this little black furry thing dart at me from the corner of my eye. I don't balk at dogs and figured with his size he was harmless and if I just kept running he'd leave me be. Oh how I was wrong. I couldn't hear his yapping as I still had my headphones blaring, but I did see him circle me {and almost trip me} and then I felt it, a sting on my ankle. I thought he was jumping on my leg as I ran and scratched me, so I just kept running. Then I felt it again, a longer drawn out sting, and it hit me, THIS DOG JUST BIT ME! I dropped an f-bomb and stopped to look at it. Blood. Really?! This little pipsqueak dog just bit me and drew blood! I looked up to see a grown man standing in the yard looking at me with this dumbest expression I had ever seen. Seriously it was a "duh da duh" face. Not even trying to retrieve the dog, he proceeds to yell at me "Are you Okay?" in the most unsympathetic way. I responded with "I assume so, hope he's up to date on his shots"! His answer "Oh yea, he is" to which I replied "You better be glad I like dogs"! I continued running and about 30 seconds into it, I started to cry! Not from pain but from utter disbelief! I have NEVER been bitten by a dog or felt threatened by one and here this little 10 pound rat just bit me for no good reason! I cried as I ran and then I cried when I hit my mile mark and began my walk back home!

I really had no idea what to do. After posting about it on Facebook and Twitter people were telling me to report it, but I felt it was silly. The dog was tiny and I felt like I was being a baby about the whole incident, but then I kept thinking about that boy on the bike the dog was chasing after. What if he had been walking?! The dog most certainly would have bit him! I headed to my neighbors house to see what she thought. She suggested just going back to the house and asking to review the dog's rabies records! She then proceeded to clean up my wound and her youngest son, who I like to refer to as my boyfriend, bandaged me up with a little bandaid! Best neighbor award goes to them, no doubt!

After getting my neighbor's advice Todd and I went to the house where this dog lives! I kindly but sternly asked to see the dogs rabies information. From there I learned that the man, who I assumed was the owner,  is not the owner! The man and his wife are staying at the home and caring for his wife's parents who are elderly. The dog apparently belongs to his brother in law who was conveniently not there. The wife went inside to ask her elderly mother where the paper work was, but her parents were apparently asleep. She did say several times that she knows the dog is up-to-date on his shots but that she just doesn't know where her mother keeps the paperwork. She then offered to have the information for me sometime today. I reaffirmed that I would be back later today for the information and that I needed to see it for my own well being! I took down their name, address, and phone number to call later today. After I took their information the husband then chimed in that the dog likes to escape from the house and backyard and that this isn't the first incident this week! Yes, the dog has bit other folks this week!! I don't want to be the reason someone has their dog taken away, but jeeze! To know I'm not the only one he has attacked this week and they aren't watching him more carefully, pisses me off!

By the time it was all said and done I felt it was too late to call the police about it, however, if these people can't supply the shot records to me today, I will be filing a report. Thank goodness I know to take photos and such, as I did after it happened and once it was cleaned up! Regardless of the size of the dog I'm still in shock over it! Part of me really thinks I am "over reacting" that it's just a small peasize dog who has Napoleon syndrome  and whose bite marks look and feel like scratches. The other part of me is like "holy crap I just got attacked by a dog! A freaking dog bit me, while I was running". I think because of this incident I am going to be really apprehensive around dogs for some time. Not around Baby Reef of course, but definitely around strange dogs I don't know. And I won't lie, if he comes at me again while I'm running, I may possibly punt him down the street! I love animals and don't condone cruel behavior towards them but mean dogs like that need a lesson and some home training.

I will of course keep you updated on the outcome of this situation. Meanwhile, check out the mark that little punk left!


Happy Friday and Happy Weekend! XoXo!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Heads Up, Heels Down is Not Just for Horseback Riding!

Saaaaay what?! Is it really Thursday! My week seems to be all mushed together and to be completely honest, I felt like yesterday was Tuesday! I know, it's a nice surprise to learn I was a day behind! Since it's Thursday, y'all know the dealeeo! Ashley reached out to me after finding my blog page on Facebook! Come to find out she lives like 45 minutes away, her mom used to live in the area I live in now, and her uncle owns an auto body shop that my friend's husband works at! Small world right?! This gal right here has the sweetest most genuine heart I think I've ever encountered! I can't wait to arrange this blate and I hope it involves horses and riding since I've been dying to get back in the saddle after almost 15 years of saying goodbye to my beloved sport! Enjoy Ashley and wish her a Very Happy Birthday - it's today!!!

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Hello sweet girls!! Birthday girl here, Ashley, and I ramble over at Horseshoes & Pearls! I turned the big twenty-three today! Woo hoo! I actually found Miss Lauran through her blog's Facebook page right around the time I was debating on whether or not to start a blog of my own. After visiting hers and others that I found via Lauran's, I decided to press forward and enter the blogging world. I am so thankful and happy that I did! I have met some amazing women, including Lauran, and I am so thankful for the friendships that have been created. Not to mention, I'm totally in love with Baby Reef, Lauran's lab and her sense of style and the honesty she puts into her posts. OH, and ps, we still need to arrange a blate! 
Hi! That's me!
So, a little about me real quick before I go into my post. I am a newly engaged, wife-to-be to my best friend, Chris. We are currently chin deep in wedding plans, planning and preparing for a September 2013 wedding! See how he proposed, here or view our engagement pictures, here. We live in a small town of Southern, VA with our two fur babies Chevy & Oliver, and two horses, Bailey & Paddy. I'm a very positive person and I try to find the positive in any negative situation. I'm a God fearing woman and strongly believe in the power of prayer. Making people smile makes my heart happy. I've been riding and showing horses ever since I was old enough to know what one was. Graduated from Virginia Tech in 2010 with a degree in Animal & Poultry Sciences, now continuing my education to become a large animal LVT (licensed veterinary technician). I'm very OCD when it comes to cleaning, making lists, staying organized, and making plans. I'm addicted to Pinterest, Instagram, cowgirl boots, Mason jars, the color pink, Kate Spade, polka dots, and Criminal Minds. I love to cook, bake, try new recipes, tackle DIY crafts and projects, decorate, and then re-decorate again. Anything rustic, vintage, or antique is right up my alley. I'm the girly girl who loves hunting, fishing, shooting sports, and sports. Jeans, cowgirl boots, and a strand of pearls is typically my outfit of choice. Closet book nerd and an aspiring professional photographer. And now, on to the good stuff... 

Here's us! :)
And here's a sneak peek from our engagements... about to play kissy face! ;)
So, after reading Lauren's Bare It All post on Friday, I decided what I would write about here today.
I've struggled with weight all my life and am constantly struggling with insecurities and doubts that it puts in my head. I was the "thicker" girl growing up, elementary school all the way through high school... but it wasn't until that day that my weight changed my world upside down. I had a legit "enemy" all through elementary school and middle school. Her name was Ashley, too, and to be completely honest I can't remember why on earth she hated me so much.  I remember the day so vividly that sometimes thinking about it still stings my heart in ways that I just can't really explain.
Gym class, my 6th grade year, we had to start "changing out" in front of other girls in the bathroom before and after class. I knew, compared to my classmates, that I was "bigger" than they were but it didn't really bother me until this.... I was cramming myself into one of the corners of the locker room trying to change for class without really letting anyone see me (regardless of my weight, I still felt super uncomfortable changing in front of other girls, it was just super weird to me). I had just gotten undressed down to my skivvies when my enemy walked over with her little posse of friends and they started shoving me back into the wall. Of course I lost balanced and fell backwards, dropped my gym clothes that were in my hands, leaving me completely exposed, they started laughing, calling me names, mean names that I'll never forget, they grabbed my gym bag, all of the clothes and ran out of the bathroom, leaving me there with nothing but my panties and bra. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't run out after them. I couldn't go get a teacher. I had no clothes. I was just left there, exposed. About five minutes later I started hearing people walking down the hall towards the bathroom and I thought, thank God, the teacher realized I was missing and has come to find out what was going on. No. It wasn't the teacher. It was a group of boys in my grade being led by the enemy and her posse to come see the "fat girl naked." The boys started laughing and calling me mean names right along with the enemy and her friends. This went on for about five minutes until our gym teacher finally realized that there was something going on and came in to cease the chaos.
I was devastated. Of course the boys, enemy, and her posse were suspended, put in detention and other disciplinary actions charged against them for bullying. But that wasn't any good. It had already scarred me, cut me deep, for life. Still to this day it haunts me. I blame this incident for being the stem of all of my insecurities and self consciousness. It's ruined past relationships and caused me to think very little of myself every now and then. Of course it got better, a little, as I got older and out of high school, but I'm still nowhere near my best. I have my good days and my bad days. My good months and my bad months. My good years and my bad years. But I still occasionally struggle with feeling like I always have to be "skinnier" and "tanner" and "blonder" and "wear more make-up" and "buy cuter clothes" and "always fix my hair"... and honestly, the majority of the time when I'm not these "things", I feel very insufficient.
Chris has been an amazing support system with my insecurities and knowing how I feel about certain things he always makes it a point to encourage and lift me up. He's the first man that I feel 100% comfortable with and we've decided that together we are going to work towards a healthier lifestyle. It's a work in progress, and probably will be for years to come, but I know I'll be just fine!
Of course there's more to feeling the way I do, ie media, social expectations, etc. these days... but I feel like this incident that happened in 6th grade was the base, the stem to all of this. I wanted to share this story to encourage Lauran and others who may be dealing with the same insecurities. It's a very difficult thing to overcome and feeling insufficient about anything can be a real heavy burden on someone. If you struggle with the same insecurities, or ones like it, and want to talk about it and try to encourage each other, I am more than willing to open my arms to anyone and listen, talk, discuss, or be a support system if needed.
A big thank you to Lauran for having me today! And thank you'll so much for taking the time to read my ramblings. I hope that you'll come visit me over at Horseshoe & Pearls! I look forward to meeting you!

 
Follow along...
xo, Ashley

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First off, I cried like a baby when I first read this post, so if you are crying, it's only natural! I think Ashley is already a beautiful person and I'm so glad she is on her way to accepting herself! I still remember being 23 myself! It's definitely an in between stage where you thought you knew who you were but you're starting to find out who you are meant to be! I certainly believe in karma and I believe that you reap what you sow, therefore, I will go ahead and assume that Ashley's enemy is or has paid for the horrible, cruel, and sick way she treated Ashley! Children can be so mean and hurtful and it's sad that they have no clue as to how deep such behavior can affect someone! I'm certainly proud of Miss Ashley for sharing her story with all of us! It takes a brave soul but it's also a way to heal. I think you are on your way to being healed! Keep your head up loves whether you're riding a horse or riding life! 


XoXo, 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Baby Reef Had a Photo-shoot!

What I Love Wednesday will be back next week! In the meantime, check out this precious pup child of mine! This little man has my heart! Side Note: Don't judge my photography skills! I've never claimed to be good with a camera though it doesn't help that this guy couldn't be still for longer than 3 seconds!














Baby Reef and I both hope y'all are having a stellar week so far!!! XoXo!