TBB Asks {November}

Hey y'all,

It's a new month so of course I am joining the wonderful ladies of the Blended blog for their monthly questions post!

1. Have you ever kept a Gratitude Journal? Yes or No? 

Yes! I love keeping a gratitude journal especially in times where I am struggling in feeling the Lord's provision. You will be amazed of the things you begin to list as you think past being grateful for friends and family. Here are three things I'm grateful for today:
Lara bars for quick breakfasts on the go
hot water for my shower this morning
my friends Shelby and Laura Caroline on their birthdays

2. Hosting Thanksgiving at your house? Yes or No?

No. I will be visiting my family for Thanksgiving as usual. I am attending a Friendsgiving the Sunday before Thanksgiving and I am going to attempt Danielle Walker's herb biscuits from her book Celebrations.

3. Favorite Food from The Thanksgiving Meal?

This is a tie between the green bean casserole, my mom's homemade apple pie, and the smoked turkey.

4. What one thing in Nature are you most grateful for? 

Trees. Trees in the Fall are my favorite! I love long walks and just looking at all the trees changing.

5. Pumpkin Pie: Yes or No?

Hard no.

6. Traditional Cookbook: Yes or No?

I recently purged my cookbooks. I have mostly cookbooks from bloggers. I love Lisa Leake, Ree Drummond, Gina Homolka, and Danielle Walker. My mom still uses cookbooks from our pre-school that was filled with family recipes.

7. Oven Baked or Deep-Fried Turkey?

We started having smoked turkey for thanksgiving. It is already smoked and my dad puts it on the grill to heat up.

8. Thanksgiving Leftovers: Yes or No? 

Yes. We eat a lot of turkey sandwiches over the days following and eventually my mom makes a turkey casserole from my godmother's recipe with the leftovers as well.

9. What is one household product your most grateful for?

I'm grateful for my crockpot during this time of year!

10. Are you most grateful for home cooked meals or restaurant meals?

Home cooked meals from my family. I love a restaurant meal during the week as a break from cooking for myself but if I am home, I love having meals my mom or dad have made. 
Best,
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Five on Friday {November 2}

Hey y'all,

I am excited it is Friday! I have been battling a cold since Tuesday so I am hoping some fun this weekend with lots of rest heals me back up. I am not complaining that we get an extra hour of sleep this weekend either!

one. Sloth blanket.

On Friday, I had dinner with Traci and she was so sweet and gifted me this adorable sloth throw blanket for helping host her baby shower this summer. Sloths are one of my favorite animals and even Max approves of the new throw.

two. Dracula the ballet.

I went to Dracula on Sunday with my friend Christie and we really enjoyed the Carolina Ballet's performance. We felt that the Black Death piece that was performed before intermission was a little slow to start but the performance of Dracula was spectacular. I loved the costumes and the fact that they chose to have a narrator as part of the performance.

three. Sunset.

The sunset on Sunday was unreal. I had a church event that evening and this was the sun at 6:30pm when I was headed out. Gorgeous!

four. Wicked Halloween.

Did you catch the Wicked Halloween special on Monday? I am a huge fan of Wicked and loved the fun performances. The show made me want to buy tickets and see it again. I have seen it three times already but it is such a wonderful show!

five. 5 things I am thankful for.


I am planning on including 5 things I am thankful for in each of my 5 on Friday posts this month. Here are this weeks:
honey vanilla chamomile tea
friends to watch Hocus Pocus with on Halloween
modern medicine-I'm looking at you Nyquil/Dayquil
hot showers that help with congestion
great community in my bible studies this Fall


Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif, Becky, and Katie.
And Erika, Narci, and Andrea

Best,
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Five on Friday {October 26}

Hey y'all,

As always, I am sharing five things this Friday that I am loving! This weather is not included but the crisp mornings have been great as I have loved steeping some tea and enjoying the cooler air.

one. eat what you love tour

I love Danielle Walker of Against All Grain and her next book comes out in December called Eat What You Love. I am really excited that her book tour is taking a stop right here in Raleigh! All my grain free people in the Triangle, check it out! I am going with a sweet friend in celebration of her birthday and can't wait to meet Danielle in person!!!

two. hobby lobby decor

One night last week I wandered the aisles of Hobby Lobby. I don't go often so it was fun just seeing all the fun decor. I did avoid all the Christmas aisles though (way too soon) and grabbed a few Fall decor pieces.

three. Dracula the ballet

The Carolina Ballet is currently performing Dracula and this weekend I am headed to downtown Raleigh for a performance with my friend Christie. I think it's the perfect way to celebrate the weekend before Halloween.
Image result for carolina ballet dracula

four. Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Hallmark's Christmas begins this weekend. While I love to take it one holiday at a time and think it's a little crazy we are starting before Halloween, I of course have my DVR set for Saturday's new movie. Decorating for Christmas and Christmas music all have to wait until after Thanksgiving.

five. Mug Love Exchange.

Stephanie of Wife, Mommy, Me hosted a fun mug exchange and today is the day to reveal all! I was paired up with Jessica of I am Teacher Fit. She sent the sweetest gift of a to-do list pad, paper-mate flair pens (some of my favorites), tea, a snack, and this sweet mug! I mean, Jessica gets my love of Max Cat

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif, Becky, and Katie.
And Erika, Narci, and Andrea

Best,
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Life on the Bay {San Diego Days 3 & 4}

Hey y'all,

If you missed my first post on Tuesday, I went out to San Diego at the beginning of the month to spend time with my mom's side of the family. Here's what we did on days three and four of our vacation week:

Thursday

Thursday was the first real day on the bay. We all got up, enjoyed breakfast, then got ready to sit on the beach. It was cool but perfect weather to hang out under the shade.
My uncle and my dad manned the flat top grill for most meals. Everything was delicious.

Mom, Dad, and Kate

Thursday also was the start of Wallyworld families coming in to the campground. Wallyworld started in 1984 with a group of families coming to Campland on the Bay and my Aunt & Uncle have been going for over 25 years. 
A t-shirt blanket of year's past. Don't worry, the next vacation recap post will have photos of us all in this year's shirt.

Friday

Friday was more of the same. Lots of time on the bay, some reading, and enjoying everyone's company.

The group.
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Dinner was chili before the Wallyworld chili cookoff.
My Aunt Julie and my cousin's wife, Amanda, both entered. However, out of the 37 Wallyworld cookoff entries they did not make the top 10 for a prize.
Image may contain: 2 people, food
Also, while we thought we would win the Wallyworld prize for farthest traveled, this year, a couple came from Germany. Oh Well.

And that concludes days three and four. Lots of relaxing on the bay and enjoying time with some of my family. Get ready for the full family reunion on the next post.

Also, if you missed it, I blogged our first two days including the zoo here.

Best,
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What I'm Reading Wednesday {Bookish Q&A}

Hey y'all,

Last week I stumbled upon Katie's post on a bookish q&a. I thought I would do the same thing as I love all things books. Let's get started:

  Katie got the questions from Tanya at A Mindful Migration.  

Here are my answers to Tanya's Questions:

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?

All. My bookshelves have a mix of everything but I try to keep with one medium for an entire series if possible. So most of my League novels are all in hardcover but a lot of my Dark Hunters are in paperback.

Amazon or brick and mortar?

Now I tend to get most of my books from Amazon but I do enjoy wandering book stores and always add to my to-read list whenever I am in a Barnes and Noble.

Locally owned bookshop or big name chain store?

Both. Where I live I tend to make it to Barnes and Noble over the locally owned stores.

Bookmark or dog-ear?

Bookmark of course!

Alphabetize by author, alphabetize by title or random?

I have my bookshelf organized by genre then by author. If I have a lot of one author it is organized by series in order of the books.
My current bookshelf.


Keep, throw away, or sell?

Keep then donate if I have not read them in a while. I actually finally donated some of my classics that had been on my shelf that I read back in undergrad but had not thought of since or even enjoyed in undergrad. Your local library probably has a donation sale at least once a year that you can donate books to and the money they make typically helps the library purchase new books or help put on events.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?

Keep!

Read with dust jacket on or remove it?

I tend to remove a lot of dust jackets but I don't mind books that have them taped down from the library.

Short story or novel?

Novel

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?

Anthology. It helps you meet new authors.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

Chapter breaks. However, I have woken up to the light still being on and the book open since I fell asleep.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?

Both. I love a good suspense novel mixed in with all of my romances.

Buy or borrow?

Both. I borrow most of my books from the library but I purchase things from my favorite authors or books I know I will re-read. I try to make it to the library at least once a week.

New or used?

Both. Growing up as a library kid I don't mind a good used book and I love going to library sales where they sell donated books and library discards for amazing prices.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?

It depends if it is a series or not. If it is a stand alone novel I want a tidy ending. If it is part of a series I don't mind a cliffhanger to keep the story moving.

Morning, afternoon or nighttime reading?

I read mostly at night during the week and Sunday mornings in bed since I go to church on Saturday nights.

Single volume or series?

Series. I get book hangovers and love when my characters keep going on in other novels.

Favorite series?

The League by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Other favorites: Harry Potter, The Pink Carnation, the Dark HuntersThe Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, Little Lady, Immortals After Dark, and the Argeneaus

Favorite books read last year?

Born of Legend
Eligible
Wonder
Small Great Things
The Woman in Cabin 10

Favorite books of all time?

Persuasion
The Kite Runner
Ella Enchanted
Unbroken
Pawn
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Best Yes
Me Before You

Best,
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We Went to the Zoo! {San Diego Days 1 & 2}

Hey y'all,

I thought I would share some of my recent family vacation out in San Diego. I am going to split the week into 3 posts so here are the first two days and beware this is the most picture heavy of the posts.

Tuesday

3am my alarm went off as I was set to head to the airport. I had an early 5:30am flight and was the second in line at security and made it to my gate before 4am. I decided to read for a bit but my little old nook decided to stop cooperating. Oh well, I waited and eventually we boarded and headed to ATL.

My ATL gate was only a few over so I hit the restroom and settled in for my short layover.
I made it to San Diego before 10am PST where I met up with my Dad and my little sister who had just landed from Texas.
We headed to Campland on the Bay and got settled before I joined my parents, Uncle Rocky and Aunt Rhonda for a trip to Costco to pick up the fresh items they didn't grab earlier.
Of course we had to take some sibling selfies as we have not all been together in two years! My siblings all live outside of NC so it can be hard to coordinate everyone getting together with various work schedules and time commitments.
With Kate.
With Sara.
With Ken.
The rest of the night we hung out watching Hocus Pocus catching up on life, eating spaghetti for dinner, and getting ready for the next day at the Zoo!

Wednesday

Zoo day! We left the camp around 8:30 after a breakfast of muffins and bagels to head to the Zoo!
These ducks came by almost every morning to visit but we shooed them off before enjoying bagels and muffins for breakfast.
The whole family.


Here we go! Also, the zoo is on 100 acres so here are some highlights! We went to almost all of the park but skipped some of the aviary areas.

I loved that the tickets all had different animals on them. We did some trading and I ended up with the lemur!
We headed to the reptile house first.
Then a quick photo opp:

Hey Mom!

Then we saw some tortoises with commentary from my sister Kate (a real life zoo keeper) on the differences between them and turtles as my aunt asked her.
Of course when we stumbled upon a camel and it's Wednesday we had to get a group picture.
Hump Day!

Sleepy Lion


Elephants!
We went to the sloth talk at 12pm but the keeper could not convince either sloth to come out of the tree.
After the sloths we took a quick break for lunch as well. We just went to a cafe on the property where I had a pepperoni flatbread.

Then back to the animals.

Sleepy panda.
The lemurs were hysterical. They kept hanging on the wired in front of the doors looking for food






Koalas



Giraffes!

Hippo!

We eventually left the zoo around 5pm and headed back for dinner. We ended the night hanging out and watching tv and I enjoyed a nice bourbon cream float.
And I have to share this hysterical photo from the zoo.
What's your favorite animal? Have you been to the San Diego zoo?

Best,
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