Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bring on 2014!

A new year means new goals, new challenges, and new adventures. Happy New Year friends, may 2014 be the year you MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Manatee of a Time

Friends I have a confession... I LOVE MANATEES! I have always adored these sweet gentle giants. While on a trip in the Florida Keys two summers ago, I made sure to take pictures with as many "manatees" as I could. Luckily, one manatee swam up to greet me at a restaurant's dock!
Today... I got to accomplish one of my lifelong dreams. Today... I got to swim with the manatees! My family attempted to swim with them back when I was in high school but we were unfortunately stormed out. However, this year was different. My family journeyed down to Florida after Christmas solely to swim with these gentle giants. We booked a group tour with Captain Mike's Sunshine River Toursdonned our wet suits and ventured out into Crystal River. 
The manatees flock to Crystal River in the winter months due to the river's warm natural springs. When I say warm, I mean 72ish degrees. Regardless of the temperature, I was one of the first in the water and one of the last to get out! The manatees just seemed to know how much I love them because they immediately found me! :)
This one was having the best time chewing on the anchor line.
If this manatee could talk he would say, "Who me? You love me? Aw shucks..."
They kept getting closer and closer and closer! They just wanted their bellies rubbed :)
These are some of my favorites. Taylor took a few pictures of me with a baby manatee! Cue heart-melting.
Needless to say, swimming with the manatees is a memory I will cherish forever. So sorry for the overload of manatee pictures, they are just as cute as buttons! 
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas sweet friends! Through all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I hope you will all take the time to be present in the lives that matter most to you and remember the greatest gift ever received. 
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
oh my deer etsy shop
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14
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Friday, December 20, 2013

A Lovely Ribbon Ornamnet

Y'all, I adore this ornament! My sweet blogging friend Katie at Midwestern Charm and I decided to do a handmade ornament swap. Oh my word, this ornament just sparkles in the light of a Christmas tree!
 What you need: A glass ornament and ribbon of your choice!
 I ended up cutting the peach/pink ribbon into smaller slivers so that the silver sparkle ribbon could shine!
 Hooray! You now have a beautiful glass ornament filled with lovely ribbon.
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Weddings Wednesdays: North Carolina Photographers

My lovely home state of North Carolina sure does have a bushel of talented photographers! On this delightful Wedding Wednesday, I am featuring some of my favorite ladies (and the occasional gentleman) who are behind the lenses. Photography is such an art...especially wedding photography. It's a picture of a sweet kiss on the forehead or father looking adoringly at his daughter that will be cherished forever. I love looking through my parents wedding album and seeing how wedding photography has evolved over the years.  Natural light, candid shots, and beautiful family heirloom details are a few of the many pieces to beautiful photography. If you are like me and love nothing more than beautiful love stories told through stunning photography, go and sit a spell on these lovely photographers' blogs. I promise you won't regret it!
Emily March Photography Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Instagram @emilymarchpayne

Robyn Van Dyke Photography Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Instagram @robynvandyke

Cameron Faye Photography Charlotte, North Carolina | Instagram @cameronfaye_

Nancy Ray Photography Raleigh, North Carolina | Instagram @nancyray

Jordan Maunder Photography Durham, North Carolina | Instagram @jordanmaunder

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Put a (State) Ring On It!

Hey friends! I am sorry for my blogging hiatus last week. I was busy cramming studying for finals. It was just such a fun time... But one GREAT thing did happen exactly a week ago. I GOT MY CLASS RING! NC State has an incredible tradition involving class rings. I had the privilege of placing my ring in the Bell Tower on Friday, here, it spent the night there and then it was presented to me in a ceremony on Sunday!
The memory of us getting our rings together is one I will cherish forever!
 My sweet family braved the weather to see me receive my ring!
 In a few months I will be graduating from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with a Bachelors of Science in Animal Science. It's crazy to think that I picked my major when I was 16-years-old. Yes, I probably picked the wrong major but I have learned that I can do anything I set my mind to regardless of my degree!
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Monday, December 09, 2013

Shrimp Linguine with Tomatoes, Broccoli and Artichoke Hearts

I have been lovinggg artichoke hearts lately! Random? Definitely. I had a can left over after making a heavenly spinach-artichoke dip and decided to make a pasta creation! It was delicious!! The broccoli was one of my favorites parts to this dish other than the artichoke hearts and tomatoes and shrimp and.... everything else!
Fresh USA wild caught shrimp, 1/4 lb.
One head of broccoli
4 artichoke hearts
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of crushed tomatoes
olive oil, used to sauté
2 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoon basil
1 package of Linguine, or Fettuccine, or Spaghetti 

  1. Add olive oil to a skillet, toss in 2 cloves of the minced garlic
  2. Slice the artichoke hearts into quarters and remove the stem area
  3. Add the Artichoke hearts to the skillet
  4. Cut the broccoli into florets and add the broccoli to the skillet
  5. Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes, do not drain it will become the sauce
  6. Add basil and oregano
  7. Start boiling the water for the noodles!
  8. In a separate skillet, sauté shrimp in olive oil with the left over garlic
  9. Sprinkle the shrimp with some basil and oregano
  10. Let the sauce simmer and Voilà! Your meal is complete
Happy Cooking!
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Friday, December 06, 2013

Five on Friday

This next week is going to be an absolute whirlwind with finals! I will try to post during necessary study breaks. I am linking up with the lovely ladies today for another Five on Friday linkup... Better late than never!

{one} I am such a list maker. I LOVE checking boxes beside items I write down in my planner. However, my goals and to-dos seem to merge together and I am really challenging myself to keep them separate. This month I posted my December Goals and I am having so much fun making them happen!  Coffee or Cupcake dates with friends over finals week. I had a perfect coffee date with my dear friend Sidney after our last journalism class together. Y'all, she is hysterical and incredibly talented (more on that later...PS scroll down). 
Emily and I enjoyed a cupcake date tonight after we put our class rings in the Bell Tower (more on that later as well!) This Butterfingers cupcake was D E L I C I O U S! There was even a surprise peanut butter filling...mmm
{two}I promised y'all more on my sweet friend Sidney and here it is! I have known Sidney since my freshman year at NCSU through Young Life. We lost touch over the middle years of school but lone behold when I walked into my journalism class this semester we were in the same class! Who knew I would make one of my best friends my senior year?! Her handwriting is absolutely to die for... I am always peaking' over her shoulder to see what she is doodling during class. 
She recently started a stationery and calligraphy business and is making gorgeous custom prints. Follow her on instagram @sidneyleescott or email her at slscott4@ncsu.edu for custom order information!
{three} I checked off another December Goal this week at the lovely Carolina InnBuild a gingerbread house {or barn}Southern Weddings hosted their third annual Gingerbread Barn Building Competition  and it was a merry ole time! My friends and I piled in a car and headed to Chapel Hill for some much needed stress relief. We spent the evening drinking hot chocolate, eating candy, and building a gingerbread barn. I am so thankful for the Southern Weddings gals and their kind hearts!
{four} Oh my word! Have y'all seen the new Southern Weddings website design?! It is cute as a button!! Those gals have been busy! Not only have they released a gorgeous website, they also just announced their partnership with Southern Living... Talk about match made in HEAVEN!! 
{five} Today Emily and I got to put our class rings in North Carolina State University's Bell Tower. In that moment, it really began to sink in that I am a senior and my time at State is ending. Our class rings get to stay the night in the Bell Tower so that the NCSU spirit is forever within them. I can't wait to get my ring on Sunday!
 Naturally, to commemorate this grown-up moment...we take jumping pictures!!
 Andd then of course it's time to hold up the Bell Tower with our muscles!
Happy Friday friends! Now off to the library...
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