Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm Thankful

I know this is like two days late (read: no internet for two days), but I still wanted to share what I'm thankful for not only on Thanksgiving - but on a daily basis :)
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My sweet, sweet husband. I am thankful for my country redneck for taking a chance and choosing to marry a suburban yuppie from the North. For accepting everything about me. And being my guinea pig for all of my homemade cooking attempts. You are truly one in a million :)
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The fam. Thank you for all of your support through it all - college, marriage, and my new life in Florida. And thank you for always keeping me in the loop of things and making me feel like I'm still with you! I wouldn't trade you four fools for anyone.
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Florida. I am so blessed to be living where I do. For our first home together, it is a great adventure every day.
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Home and Florida Friends. I'm thankful for the friends I have back at home and the ones that I've made here in my new home. Being away from everyone and in a new area isn't easy, but I'm thankful for the new friends I've made that have made this transition that much easier.
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And for your entertainment pleasure; amusing myself after cooking/prepping for our Thanksgiving feast for 6 hours.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and ate tons of food!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#HashtagHumpDay Premiere! | Vol.1

Hi friends!

It's the first premiere post of #HashtagHumpDay! I hope you'll link up with Laura and I for our new series because you love us and who doesn't love a good hashtag? Exactly!
#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren
Let's call these rules the 'skinny' because rules just sounds way to formal and this is anything but:
  • Talk about whatever you like! Just as long as you ad a #hashtag at the end of it because it's #fun
  • Link your post up here or with my gal pal Laura so we can read all about your life and thoughts #takenoprisoners
  •  Comment on at least one other post and make friends because that's the point of linkup right? #letsbefriends
  • Share it on social media and add #hashtaghumpday #allofthesocialmedia
  • Have fun! #hashtageverything
Watch this video from Marcus Luttrell! He makes a speech to the Alabama football team about being a #badass He's a little more acceptable of a motivational speaker to a football team than when Matthew McConaughey gave a pep talk to Texas football team #butthatsnoneofmybusiness

Sweet, sweet Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy #illbeyouroldlady

But Blake told me that he calls me his old lady at work, so #iguessiwin

I often go back into my Pinterest boards or likes - reorganize them and delete the ones I don't want anymore. #pinterestaddict #organizeerrthang

When I'm out on the prowl for new nail polish I only ever buy OPI or Essie #nailpolishsnob

I've been eating my homemade chili everyday for the past week and now that it's gone I feel that I just broke up with my best friend #comebacktome #amateurcook

Seeing little babies and toddlers with headbands makes me think that I can pull them off too. And that whenever I do have a baby that it'll be a girl so that I can dress her up in super cute headbands. #alloftheaccessories

Speaking of babies, two girls from my high school that I graduated with announced they're pregnant in the past week #howyouknowyouregettingolder #eventhoughimmarried

I tried washing my pillows on Monday it was probably the worst idea ever #4dryercyleslater #neveragain

I solved my ingrown toenail problem all by myself! #whoneedsadoctor #drgoogle

When Blake comes in asking me if I want to play racketball... #butmyhairisclean

I strongly believe that at least half of my grocery bill goes towards the wasteful use of the plastic grocery bags at Walmart. Like, WHY only put one item per bag??? #USEMYREUSABLEBAGS

It's fun, right? Of course it is :)



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Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Wrapup

Good Monday | Weekend Wrapup @ Genuinely Lauren
Hello! Hope you've all had a super fantastic weekend. I got to a little bit of everything this weekend: date night, hang out with friends and have a snuggly, lazy Sunday due to in part of a storm that took over.

Friday we did dinner and a movie date night at Chipotle and saw Mockinjay Part 1. I got to pick what we got to do kinda like an IOU from Blake going to Alabama with his friends last weekend. Guys, if you love The Hunger Games movies or books, you HAVE to see this. It was soooo good. And it followed along with the first half of the book really well. I kinda thought that they jumped right into it in the beginning but it was still very good. Blake jumped so high out of his seat at the end of the movie I may have laughed a little too loudly in the theater and continued to make fun of him when the movie was over.

We even walked around the mall a little before the movie and they already had their Christmas decorations up. If they would keep up their lights all year long, I wouldn't be mad about it because it was was very pretty.
Weekend Wrapup @ Genuinely Lauren
Saturday I did the usual grocery shopping and people we're already starting to buy their turkey for Thursday. I'm refraining from buying my supplies just yet because I don't know what I'm making or for how many people.  I actually got a workout in in the morning despite my ingrown toenail. Bleh. I'm never accidentally cutting my toenails too short ever again. But good news is that it's almost fully healed.

Later that night we hung out with a bunch of Blake's friends from work and one of my wife friends. We both just decided to hang out with one of the guy's son while the rest of the them we're out in the garage talking cars. Me, my wife friend, and the son all bonded over watching Pocahontas II. I forgot how much I love that movie!
Team John Smith | Weekend Wrapup @ Genuinely Lauren
John Smith is so dreamy. But John Rolfe... Oh, man.

Sunday was super relaxing. It was raining all through the night and all day so we got to sleep in super late which was so nice.
Weekend Wrapup @ Genuinely Lauren
On Friday I mentioned that I got some exciting things going on. GUESS WHAT??!! Wednesday, Laura and I are debuting our first link-up of #HashtagHumpDay! Join us on Wednesday and #hashtag the Schmidt out of anything you want to post! Confessions, currently, or just your normal every day thoughts :)
#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren

Hope you'll all join us on Wednesday! Share with your friends! And have a fantastic Monday!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, everyone! I have some pretty exciting things coming up next week that will hopefully pan out without any mishaps. I'm most excited about Thanksgiving next week and that we're most likely going to have with a lot of Blake's buddies that aren't going home for Thanksgiving. Which means that I'll get to cook up some awesome favorites of mine and my own family's. Cheesy potatoes, anyone?

Quote
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I'm trying to keep up the faith and stay motivated and I think I'm doing kindof a good job here. I'm just trying to stay hopeful that everything is going to work.

Fashion
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I'm really digging vests and reaallly love this one. It's so different and is layered perfectly. Also, Marley Lilly starts a Black Friday sale tomorrow and all of their vests are on sale!
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Chevron AND cardigans?? LOVE it.

Turkey Day
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How adorable are the rice crispy treats?
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AND on fudge?? Looks cute and yummy!
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I love how the leaves are hanging around the chandelier. It's such a simple touch to make a great setting for Thanksgiving meals.

Funnies
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Especially with the holidays coming up. Might have to wear leggings instead.
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This gets me every time!
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Please make this stop.
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I just don't get it. Blake does this and I just don't understand!
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Substitute tea for bottle of wine and you've got it!

FOOD
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How delicious does this look?? Bacon, beer, bread. My three favorite B's.
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Yes. My own recipe. It's still so delicious and I couldn't be more happy with it.

Have a great weekend!


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Uglies

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld Book Review | Genuinely Lauren
This read has been a long time coming. I don't even remember when I got Uglies, but I knew when I was moving that I wanted to bring it along so that I could put it on my new bookshelf and actually read it. And I have to say, I loved it so much!

Uglies is another great dystopian type of book; similar to Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Giver. They created this world where everyone, up until the age of 16, would be deemed physically ugly. And they would embrace that. Because it was the norm for everybody. But on the child's 16th birthday, they would undergo an operation to become Pretty. And it wasn't like everyone was uniquely pretty in their own way. It was a carbon copy Pretty. Every community had to follow this carbon copy for the "Pretty" operation and be dubbed a "New Pretty." And as they would grow older they would have operations to become "Middle Pretty" and "Old Pretty" or what they called "Crusties."

They story follows Tally as the narrator for the three months before her 16th birthday. She makes a new friend Shay, because both of them we're the youngest of their group of friends. They learn new tricks with each other and gain a friendship. Up until the week before both of their birthdays, Shay wants to run away to a rumored place called The Smoke. And Shay wanted Tally to run away with her. Tally decided not to because all she ever wanted was to become pretty and join her best friend in New Pretty Town.

But on her 16th birthday, before her operation began, she was told that she needed to bring Shay back and help expose The Smoke or else she could never become Pretty. The rest of the novel follows Tally's journey to The Smoke and her attempt to bring Shay back. But in the process, she ends up falling in love with someone and with The Smoke. And like all good dystopian books, she finds out what really happens during the Pretty operation that ends up changing her views and opinions on becoming what she always wanted, to be Pretty.

This books is extremely fantastic. Even if dystopian style books aren't exactly your thing, I would still recommend reading it. Scott Westerfeld does an amazing job capturing this new world and still able to keep it interesting and intriguing throughout the entire book.

I'm super excited to get my hands on the remaining books of this series (Pretties, Specials, and Extras). And I loved the first one of the series so much that I want to add it to my own personal library. So if anyone wants to be uber nice or anything, I won't refuse the offer.

Kidding. Maybe :)
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

6 Ways to Stay Motivated

I've mentioned a few times how I've been discouraged (here and way back here) about not finding a job yet and it's kinda been affecting my mood. And I hate myself for allowing myself to be upset about it because I like to think that I'm a very positive person. Always finding the brighter side of things no matter what it is.
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Yesterday I went to a military spouses job club that was on base and we were talking about how to keep up the motivation on finding a job and to not give up. This time of year is extremely difficult for finding a job because it's almost the end of the quarter and there aren't many available unfortunately. I'm hoping that after the new year that everything will all work out and that I will find something.

They told us there were ways for us to stay motivated through the job search and how to not feel discouraged and think there is something that we're doing wrong. As long as you are applying for jobs and searching on a daily basis, you are doing everything you can. And I have to keep reminding myself that.
6 ways to stay motivated! | Genuinely Lauren
Stick to a schedule. Get out of your pajamas and into some other clothes. Even if it's in jeans and a t-shirt. Or if you want to, yoga pants are fine too. Whatever is going to make you feel productive with your day and get things done. Set aside time to apply and search for jobs. Sticking to a schedule will help you accomplish tasks and get into a habit of your day.
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Set realistic goals. No goal is to big or too small. Whether it be setting goals for the day to accomplish, weekly, monthly, or where you would like to see yourself in a year. But be realistic about it. Set a goal that you know you can accomplish. I'm trying out starting to make daily goals and lists of things I would like to realistically get done that day and I think it'll actually work out for me.

Volunteer. I was told yesterday that it's really great to volunteer places to keep you busy. More importantly, to volunteer somewhere that is going to help you get somewhere. Somewhere that could potentially lead to gaining a job or connecting with others. Even making friends! This also helps you to get out of the house and have a little you time.

Make time for yourself. I've made a lot of time for myself by reading more. I've read over 33 books since June and I've that my own me time. I had a love for books when I was younger and I wanted to pick that back up again. I've also done more crafting - really trying to personalized and DIY my home. And also training for a half marathon. Never stop making time for yourself.

Don't stop learning. There are multiple resources that we could use to continue to learn new skills. Goodwill offers free training classes to learn programs that will help you gain employment: like QuickBooks or simple computer skills. It's just very important that even after college that we continue to learn new things and ideas that could eventually help us in the long run. And even if it doesn't help employment wise, you'll never regret learning something new.

Have an accountability buddy. Having a friend keep you motivated along the way will help you greatly. A lot of people use this for goals that they wish to accomplish and have said that this helps them get closer than they ever thought they could do on their own. They can also give you motivation along the way to keep going and achieve what you set out to do.

These could work for staying motivated for anything, not just trying to find a job. You may have other steps that work for you and that's awesome! But however you do it, don't lose hope and stay motivated to reach your goal!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chili & Corn Bread

I find it a little ironic that the day that I want to share an extra warm recipe that half of the country is under snow and 49 out of the 50 states are at below freezing temperatures. Anyone else think so?? Okay, maybe just me.

I decided last week that I wanted to attempt to make homemade chili and cornbread. So when I perused through Pinterest to find the best one I discovered that everyone kinda does their own thing. Whether it be a family recipe, minimal ingredients, cookoff-winning, spicy, thicker or a little watered down chili. So then I just decided to combine them all and kinda come up with my own! And it turned out to be fantastic and I got the thumbs up approval from the husband which is huge in my book :)

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My own Chili recipe:
  - 2 pounds of ground beef
  - 3 strips of bacon
  - 1 medium onion chopped
  - 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  - 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  - 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  - 1/2 cup of creamed corn
  - 3 - 10oz cans of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chile
  - 1 - 16oz can of Kidney beans
  - 1 - 150z can of Black beans
  - 1/3 cup of tomato sauce
  - 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  - 1 teaspoon of salt
  - 1/2 cup of water

Brown ground beef with onion and garlic over medium heat. Drain grease and add to the larger pot (trust me, you will need a very large pot) with beans, Rotel, creamed corn, and tomato sauce over medium heat. Add cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper, salt and water. Cook to boil, simmer to low and cover till thickened.

Pour into your bowls and garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese, crackers, or tortilla chips!
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Corn Bread recipe from Home of Malones:
  - 1 box of Jiffy corn muffin mix
  - 1/2 cup of sour cream
  - 2 eggs, beaten
  - 1/4 cup of melted butter or margarine
  - 1 teaspoon of salt
  - 1 cup of creamed corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pour mix into muffin pan (greased or muffin filters). Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 12 muffins.

Let cool before serving.

If you like a little moisture and creamy to your corn bread, this one is definitely for you!
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Guys, you will not be disappointed with either of these recipes. I had a lot left over and probably will be eating it for the next few days for lunch (eating it while I'm writing this up and still good the next day!). I would say the only thing I would do differently is do 2 cans of Rotel instead of 3. Well, that was Blake's suggestion anyways. But you can not go wrong with however way you decide to whip this baby up. I promise. I'm still grinning ear to ear about how amazing this turned out :)

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Wrapup

Hellloooo!

I got an awesome surprise from this past weekend. Well, mostly Saturday. I got the entire day to do whatever the heck I wanted and have it be all about me. Those things don't come around that often. Even though I can have a me day every other Saturday because Blake would rather sit on the couch and watch college football - and I don't blame him. But this past Saturday I got the whole apartment to myself! Blake and his friends decided at the very last minute to go up to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama vs. Mississippi State game and have an all men weekend.
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They got caught doing the Heisman with the cheez it!

And by last minute I mean that they decided Friday during the day that this was going to happen. They planned on leaving in the middle of the night Friday because Blake was getting his very first tattoo (tattoo virgin no more!) and then that way they could go straight to college gameday in the morning and then start tailgating. Instead, they decided "hey, let's not wake up at 2 in the morning, let's just leave right away." Men.
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How awesome is his tattoo?? I couldn't be happier about it if it was on my own skin.

So, they ended up leaving I think around 11 that night and headed up to Tuscaloosa. Crazy guys. So I got a full day and a half to be by myself. And it wasn't too shabby. I did the normal grocery shopping. Dropped off a garbage bag full of old clothes at Goodwill. Then I got a little curious as to what they would have so I perused around a little bit. I figured since I donated clothes that I could buy something there too. I totally hit the jack pot with the books they had and bought 5 of my favorites. Best way to build my own personal library is to hit up Goodwill and any other discount book stores.

I also bought my Christmas decorations and hit up Starbucks to try out their holiday drinks. And what better time to do that during their buy one - get one free special this past weekend! Chestnut Praline Latte and Gingerbread Latte.
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My little me weekend ended at about 2 am when Blake and one of his friends came strolling in from Tuscaloosa; where we then proceeded to sleep in until 11 the next morning. We had a lazy Sunday spent on the couch finishing season 1 of Sons of Anarchy. Much, much needed.

I had to work earlier this morning at a temp job and am just now starting to get the free time to write. But, tomorrow I'll be sharing my new attempt of cooking! Get excited. I know I'm still jazzed about how delicious it tasted :)
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