Sunday, May 14, 2017

my favorite part of the girls trip to Cali

Like I said in my last post, I've never been on a "girls trip." Until a few weeks ago.

And I had never been farther west than Missouri. 

Wheels up for a 4 hour flight to the west coast with just a couple girls I'm friends with through church had me nervous. As in almost backing out the night before nervous. But somehow I conquered my nerves. 

Obviously I had never seen this kind of scenery outside my window before. 

The flight to LA was smooth and I was thankful for a non-stop flight but it still felt like a long time to be in a box. In the air. 

We landed in LAX (oh and everybody was NOT wearing stilettos) and easy breezy got our rental car and headed off. 

My favorite part of the entire trip was probably the day we went to Venice Beach to rent bikes and ride along the coast. 

A close second is Joshua Tree National Park.

Venice Beach seemed like a pretty chill beach town. Not that different from the little beach towns I'm used to visiting in Florida. They even had Starbucks.

At the pier we saw several locals doing some fishing and a couple skateboarders. 
 I know I look like a total tourist with my camera backpack but I was really glad I had my big camera for the trip... also, those sandals made for some real cute tan lines

 This gentleman said he was cutting up a fish to use as bait for the "big ones"

We rented bikes at the Venice Beach pier and rode them a few miles down to Santa Monica Pier. It was $30 for an all day rental so we did that to avoid having to watch the clock.

I think I mentioned in my previous post that my friends did all the planning - when I saw bike ride along the beach on the itinerary my inner 9 year old did a cartwheel. As a kid I absolutely LIVED on my bike. 

Riding along the coast was so cool. Besides the fun of riding, it was nice to see the beach all along the way and do some people watching. Which is one of my favorite things to do.

We stopped off at Santa Monica Pier and rode the ferris wheel at Pacific Park and walked around a bit. It's a neat little area with plenty to do. The ferris wheel ride cost $8.50. 

I mean did you even ride the ferris wheel if you didn't take a selfie and throw a peace sign come on

 view from the ferris wheel looking toward the pier

 view of the beach from the ferris wheel - by the way, this ferris wheel is solar powered 

 looking back at other rides in Pacific Park from atop the ferris wheel 

The end of Route 66 is in Santa Monica...

This was just half our day but I'm gonna stop here so I don't overload this post with pics. 

If you get the chance to ride bikes along the beach anywhere in the world I say do it! Major fun!

There's just something about riding a bike and the wind blowing on your face that feels good. ahhhh

Thursday, May 11, 2017

a little girls trip to Cali *coming soon*

Since my last blog post I turned 40.

In my 40 years I've never taken a girls trip. Never. Not ever.

I wasn't even thinking about it back in January when a friend mentioned it, but after we talked through the details it just started coming together.

Call me a tagalong, but this girl who had never been further west than Missouri was headed to California.

To be clear, I did NONE of the planning. I just paid my share, packed my bag and hopped on the plane.

I'll be back soon to give a rundown of some of the stuff we did and until then, I'll leave you with a teaser of my very favorite thing we did - - -
(sorry for the low quality but it's a still shot of my Instagram boomerang)

Check back soon y'all ;-)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

what's the deal with selfies

A photo taken of yourself, typically with a smartphone and shared on social media.
A modern day term for a self portrait.

In 2012 Time magazine declared “selfie” one of the top ten buzzwords of the year. Made its way into the dictionary in 2013.

I got my first smartphone in the summer of 2012. Held out as long as I could. It’s a handy little thing, but sometimes I feel like it’s a time waster, too.

But back to my topic…

If you’re on any social media, you’ve seen lots of em. I’ve taken a handful in the past, but I never post them because I always find some flaw or several in my appearance that keeps me from sharing it.
*thoughts go a little like this* I hate how my nose looks. Is it really that big? I think it’s getting bigger the older I get. Oh my gosh, look at that wrinkle. Ah geez, there’s another spot on my skin. My hair looks stupid. I swear it looks better in person than this pic shows. Ugh.

And on and on it goes.

Today I took a selfie and I’ll share it here. Unedited, no filter.

Guess what? 
Even at my worst, God still loves me. My husband and my family and my friends – they still love me. They don’t care if my hair’s a mess or if I have a zit. They love me... simply for me.

So I guess my point here is to say LOVE YOURSELF. Cuz everybody's got some awesome in them. 

Sunday one of the girls in my small group shared about how during the school year she made a decision to stop worrying about what other people thought about her. She said once she did it, she was happier.

I think anyone at any age can benefit from this advice.

Don’t you think we’d all find more joy in our lives if we stopped worrying about trying to be perfect? And maybe if we focused more on trying to please God instead of working so hard to please everyone else, don’t you think we’d be less stressed?

Besides, people are gonna think what they wanna think about you. We pretty much can’t change that.

There’s a song I hear on Christian radio by Jonny Diaz that has some great lyrics - I’ll share the chorus here.

     There could never be a more beautiful you
     Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
     You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
     So there could never be a more beautiful you

Listen to the song – it has a great message all the way through. More Beautiful You video with lyrics

And remember, you’re great the way you are. 
Love yourself the way your maker does! God doesn’t make junk, remember? ;-)

Monday, February 16, 2015

not wanting to waste your time

Do you have a friend who wastes a lot of your time? 
Is overly needy.
The friend whose stories go on and on. 
The one who only texts when she needs something from you. 
You get my point.

Well I don't wanna be the blogger who wastes your time writing a bunch of nothing. Or the blogger who goes on and on about herself and it's just plain boring. 

That's why I try not to post things just for the sake of posting something. 

There are blog ideas in my head here and there. I just don't know what I want this blog to be. 

My favorite thing is to make people laugh. 

That's easier to do in person than via a blog. Agree? 

I hope you had a lovely Valentine's with your sweetie. We kept it low key as usual and basically ignored the holiday completely. HA! No cards, no candy, no nothin. We actually had a couple kids from church over and we ate pizza, baked sweets, laughed and played games. 

While we were baking we were talking about fruit flavors and the little boy commented that he doesn't like raspberries. I think I said I did. 

He said I don't, it's like licking a man's arm. 

We laughed so hard. 

I told him he ruined raspberries for me because now, every time I eat one I'm gonna be thinking about a hairy arm. 

Ok, so hopefully you laughed too. 
Later gator. 

I'll be back with something more meaningful soon. 


Monday, January 26, 2015

Loveless Cafe on MLK Day

We ventured to Nashville (aka the big city) on MLK Day.

Why yes, we DO believe in Nashville! 
Cool town, cool sign, yeah we cool


We started out at Loveless Cafe. 

You may remember, we ate there for dinner for anniversary numero 14. read the post here

For breakfast out at a restaurant I'm a sucker for a good omelet so that's the route I went. Cheese omelet, bacon on the side. 

It may not be fair but I can only compare any omelet to my fave - the one at The Pancake Pantry. 

Yall, if I'm being honest Loveless's omelet didn't measure up. It was just all right. At the Pantry they not only put the cheese inside, they have some melting on top - and it's slices. This one had shredded cheddar all inside. Not my fave. I was a smidge disappointed. 

However, their biscuits were amazing, just like last time. And the fruity jellies that come with weeeee. Oh, and I stole some of Anthony's gravy, I can't lie. nomnom

Anthony went for the biscuit plate. ha If you know him, you're not surprised. He got to choose 4 meats for his biscuits. He did bacon, sausage, fried chicken and country ham. Again, typical. He said it was really good. He didn't share. 

We ended up spending over $30 for breakfast. 

Anthony and I talked about how we would've been just as happy with breakfast at the barrel... we'll probably stick with dinner at the Loveless from now on, but eh, it was a fun outing on a pretty holiday that had some lovely sunshine and not very January-ish temps. It was like 60 degrees and just gorgeous! 

We drove around Nashville a bit and found the "I Believe in Nashville sign," took some pics with it and rounded out the afternoon with a bit of shopping.

A very nice day. 

I'll leave ya with this - cuz they're both so very accurate if you know us. 

til next time - - - >

Friday, January 23, 2015

the great smoky mountains yall / happy anniversary to us


Don't let this picture from our room deceive you. The whole time we were in the mountains it was gloomy, cold & halfway rainy. :-/

Until the morning we headed home - the sun was out and the sky was blue. :-/

Me & my man were supposed to go in November close to our anniversary. We've been headin to the smokies most years since we got hitched. That's where we honeymooned. 

This year (2014) was our 15th anniversary. I had high hopes of a big trip to Hawaii. Then I had a reality check lowered my expectations and really worked on a Disney trip. Shucks, we haven't been since 2005. Mickey has probably already forgotten about me by now. * tears * 

But, as it turns out I'm married to a fella who hates to fly and isn't a fan of driving too far. Oh and he likes to save money more than spend it. 

To the smokies we did go. 

We didn't get to go in November because we decided to go to our pastor's funeral. That's why we ended up going right after Christmas. 

It was nice. I read a book. Anthony enjoyed the rocking recliner in our condo whilest watching sports. So basically it was just like being at home. With a different view out the window. 

We always check out the outlet mall called Tanger at Five Oaks. Grabbed up a couple deals over there. 

The other thing we always enjoy about a trip is having different restaurant choices. 

This time we tried a place that's kinda new - JT Hannah's 
 sweet tea served in a Mason jar?

 this was my philly - obviously I had to cut it in half to even begin to handle it
it was delish & even the fries were really tasty actually
Our appetizer was some sort of cheese bites & they were amazing!

We took this silly pic because our friends have the last name Hannah & I wanted to send it to em and ask if this was some of their folks lol

Anyway, we'll definitely go back. It was good! Real good!

We also went back to Bennett's and had some bbq. 

I was underwhelmed by the fried corn on the cob. I thought it would have a crust sorta, but it just seemed like greasy corn on the cob. The mac n cheese didn't disappoint and neither did my pulled pork sammy. Yum yum!

Anthony had some kind of plate of meats. Based on the smackin and finger lickin I'm gonna say he was pleased with his. I always tell him I have trouble watching him eat wings. Reminds me of a caveman who just made his kill & just devours it... eh, whatev. To each his own. 

Last time we were in the burg we didn't get a funnel cake. What a shame! 
We got one this time :-) 
Let's pause a moment and be thankful for whoever invented these heavenly little things. 

And why is it that I CRAVE ice cream on vacation? Am I alone in this? Ok, fine.

While I'm talking about food lemme go ahead and tell ya to save your money & skip Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. It's decent food with high prices because let's be honest, it's all about hooking the tourists. The live music was neat, but we probably won't go back. Jimmy, stick to your tunes buddy.
It is in that cool new area called the Island - they have a ginormous ferris wheel and lots of shops. Pretty neat, but I'd spend my $ on the ride up in the wheel instead of Jimmy's dinner plate. But that's just me. 

Moving on. 

Caramel corn. Or is it carmel corn. Or karmel korn.
It tastes good & we bought some & here's a pic. 

Seriously though, we had a nice time slowing down a bit and just enjoying a few days away from home. Happy belated anniversary to us! 15 years down and at least 60 more to go 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

a look back at 2014

ahhh 2014 so quickly you went by

I didn't really set any goals for 2014. It was definitely a busy year. Not really significant in the change department but here's a little recap anyway - - 
please don't expect this to be brief cuz I'd hate to disappoint you ;-)

* movies we watched *
Now You See Me really good flick
Divergent five stars, two thumbs up
Margin Call big fat dud - don't watch it
Good People we liked this one
Mockingjay not my fave of the Hunger Games series but good
Guardians of the Galaxy (five stars, two thumbs up)
Twilight movies (all of em/don't judge) 
Maleficent (ahh Disney thank youuuu #faithinDisneyrestored)
Captain America (five stars, two thumbs up)
Nonstop (five stars, two thumbs up)
  eh, I think Anthony had a few more he went to see with the fellas & I probably missed one or two we watched at home. 

* live music we enjoyed *  
Justin Timberlake wowserssss, totally last minute decision and well, last minute for the win cuz yessssss 
OAR this was a show Anthony took in with a friend
Opry x2
Zac Brown Band fan club event before CMA fest
Tonic & Vertical Horizon let's kick it back to the 90s yall yeahhh 
Listening Room x2 - once to hear a buddy of ours and another time to hear a guy at our church
Kari Jobe before this I loved Kari Jobe and after this I loved her even more. In the VIP Q&A before the show she shared some personal stuff & man, her heart for Jesus really challenged me. 

* my dabbling with photography * 
another slow year & I had to replace my camera 
~ boutique shots for a friend of a friend trying to expand her biz check out her shop online

~ Anthony's uncle's grandkids

~ our friends & their little one (two separate shoots; the 1st one was kinda a wash because of my camera acting up)

~ helped a friend with a wedding (I LOOOVE being the secondary photographer it's kinda my fave)
Ang is in the yellow & is good friends with the bride

~ Girl Scouts gig

* books I read * 
Twilight books all of em/don't judge
The Street Lawyer
The Rainmaker
Kisses for Katie 
...and I've started The Partner 
I was on a bit of a John Grisham kick ha oldies but goodies

* trips * 
just a few
Gatlinburg after Christmas 
 it was rainy & dreary but we shopped and ate and chilled like we always do
...and discovered a new yummy place to eat - JT Hannah's in Pigeon Forge 
(sweet tea in mason jars is life)

Fort Walton Beach always fun times with the fam

overnight for DMB in Alabama

and I did the usual youth trips at church for Quest, camp and Girls Retreat (you've seen pics of these if you follow me on instagram & twitter) 

* family stuff * 
I'll start with my fave - 
~ me & Anthony celebrated 15 years of marriage awww We celebrated by eating a big fat burger at The Pharmacy (our first time there) and man oh man we'll definitely be going back!
~ my dad returned to pastoring 
~ we watched a lot of basketball played by the nephews, Dawson & those Carver brothers - Dawson is in 6th grade, Cam is now in 8th grade & Cullen's a junior in high school  * tears * 
~ speaking of Cullen, he's officially driving now and I just can't :-/

~ McKenzie, also driving, got her first car and is officially an employee at her family's restaurant. Waiting tables, washing dishes and what not. Oh and in case you care, her car is a slick Mustang silver in color and has only been dented a couple times so far. Both times it was the other guy's fault so. 
~ Caleb (Army nephew) is now stationed in Fort Walton (woot woot) and he got to come home in July for a visit. So of course there was a cookout in his honor cuz food.
ok let's do a silly pic everybody
Caleb apparently doesn't do silly. 
~ Kerlandy spent an entire weekend with us. First time for her to spend the night. We had a ball playin games & doing girly stuff like going to get manicures. 

~ the twins turned 1. Again ---> * tears * 

Time slow down please. You're killin me.

* friend stuff * 
~ Bridget graduated from college, got her first teaching job & I helped a little with her classroom. So happy for her.

~ celebrated a couple friends' birthdays by going out to dinner - steak for Brandi cheesecake for Ang 
~ took my bestie to Cheesecake Factory (her 1st time) AND introduced her to The Container Store weeee

~ got to hang out with friends here and there, even hung with the gang from our old church to celebrate our friends new home
~ went to a Titans game with my buddy Kelly

~ had some ice cream with Catie & Logan from camp (college girls who love Jesus are the best) 
~ went to Starbucks for the first time everrr with my friend Camille (another college girl I met at camp who loves Jesus)
~ another Starbucks date with my friend Kass (yet another college girl from church who loves Jesus)
~ had some good hangs with the Back Row Altos (aka the BRAs) eating chippy dippy, doing ornament swaps and just talking, laughing and loving life ... and Jesus 
~ yard sale experience with my pal Karen - now that one was memorable for sure 

~ surprise birthday party for our friend turning 50 cuz surprises are the best!
~ we also like hangin out with these kids lol
~and various other friendsy stuff like hanging out, grilling out and laughing the day away

last but not least 
* the totally random stuff * 
~ I celebrated my 10th anniversary at work * whoa * 
~ traded my Accord in on a new Civic and I'm happy about it (zip zip) 
~ I had 4 sinus infections :-/ 
~ finally FINALLYYYY found some tall boots that fit these big calves of mine & they were a steal - not to brag but we girls gotta be thankful for a deal, right? I got some Lucky brand leather boots at Ross for $79.99 - I think they were cheap because the seam up the front of the right boot is the tiniest bit crooked. Who cares?! Not this girl!
~ lots of crafty stuff including a bit of hand lettering doodles but the best is always when it's with my bestie

decorating office doors at work, making cutesy cards with my cricut, creating a guitar out of diapers, painting, making ugly Christmas sweaters, wrapping lotsa yarn around a picture frame to hang on our front door, and making a sign for Bridgett's classroom #nbd

~ I had my first lunch at the farmer's market in Nashville - yummy & a very neat place to hang out #crepesforthewin

~ speaking of food I made my first layer cake & it was a recipe from Southern Living magazine - the cover no less - and it was soooo good! 

~ I had my first experience at The Container Store & it was a life changer yall

~ Mason, our ringbearer, the kid I've literally watched grow up from infant to adult, got himself hitched 

being a small group leader and involved in so much of the student ministry events at church I got myself a little more involved with attending some of my girls' stuff this year... like volleyball games, band concerts, singing recitals, plays, bonfires and what not... I even hosted the girls in my group from Quest for a little sleepover and it was soooo fun! I love my girls!!
speaking of church, this year we sadly lost our pastor.. he's with Jesus now but we miss him realllllyyyy bad

Well yall I guess that wraps it up. Thanks for hangin with me on this very long post. Hope your 2015 is off to a great start :-)  

Keep up with me on a more regular basis by following me on twitter and instagram - I'm lyndy2t both places 
see ya :-P