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Weekend Recap!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Can you believe it's February 29th?  I'm so ready for March because I feel like that brings spring-like weather (and spring break), and February happens to be extra-long ha!  Such a tease!

This weekend was full of lots of rest and quality time.  I didn't get pictures of everything we did, but we definitely did a lot.

Started it out with a filling breakfast--I'm really loving the Ezekiel break English muffins.


Bowling


We've been together almost 5 years and have never gone bowling together--so crazy, I know!  I forgot to mention to D that I was pretty good at bowling hahaha




Saturday I took lots of pictures of me in clothes so I'll bypass that.  We also went out to eat that night with my in-laws after Dustin got off work.


Sunday had the most amazing weather!  After church we headed to the river to walk on the trail--the weather spoiled me for sure.  Spring, where are you?




Letting me know what all we could do with a boat ;)





We ended the night by having my sister and her husband over.  We snacked on a cheese tray (goat, smoked gouda, and cheddar) before eating deer burgers and sweet potato fries.  That was definitely my cheat meal of the week.


Happy Monday!
Don't forget to vote in the Presidential Primary!  For Alabamians, it's tomorrow!  It's so important to vote--we have the freedom to vote, so get out there and make your vote count!

Linking up with Biana today

Friday Favorites!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Happy Friday y'all!  It's supposed to be sunny this weekend and I feel like it's been forever since we got any sun around these parts!  It doesn't matter if it's 20 degrees out--if the sun is shining then I'm in such a happy mood.

I'm linking up with Andrea for Friday Favorites today.

ONE

I used to not be a fan of candles--so strange, I know.  The only scent I liked of anything was a fresh linen scent.  Then my sister became obsessed with Bath and Body Works candles....and I did too.  The last time she and I were at BBW together, I picked up this new candle because it smelled like spring in a jar :)  I was able to burn it one warm day that we've had and am hoping to be able to burn it on Sunday after church since the high is 65!


TWO

I posted yesterday about my weight battles and my new Diet Bet game.  I got a lot of great support from other bloggers and I really appreciate y'all!  Each email I opened really encouraged me.  I have enjoyed taking control of my eating.  I've really realized that I let my eating get out of control and it became gluttonous--which is sinful.  I would eat even when I wasn't hungry simply because it tasted good.  I am striving to glorify God in my body (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20) and to be healthy, so I can serve the Lord my very best.


THREE

 Since I get up super early during the work week (I'm talking 5 AM, y'all) and I eat breakfast then, by the time break comes at school at 9:55, my stomach is growling!  I've found a great, healthy snack that fills me up so I'm not hungry before lunch.  I have been taking a low fat vanilla yogurt and mixing it with 1/8 cup of high protein granola.  SO good!



FOUR

I've been getting my nails done professionally once a month and so Tuesday was my day for February!  I enjoy painting them myself, but I just need someone to clean up my cuticles.  I picked this deeper purple from OPI--unfortunately the label was removed from the bottom so I don't know the name!

Sense of Sarah: Weight Battles + Diet Bet

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I haven't done a Sense of Sarah post in a while and today's topic is really all about who I am.  It's something that I struggle with daily and something I know that I will have to battle my entire life.

Back when I first started blogging, I did a post on my massive weight loss.  I think this is a weird topic for people to talk about, but it doesn't bother me.  I'm happy to talk about how I lost the weight and what I struggle with now.  Pre-weight loss I always heard (skinny) people talking about they still struggled with body image issues after losing lots of weight.  And I used to think those people were crazy because they looked so great!  How wrong was I to think that because after I lost so much weight, I still didn't feel small enough.  

Like I posted back in 2014, I started out at over 200 pounds, and my 5'7" frame was having a hard time fitting into my size 16 dresses.  Then I joined Weight Watchers and got down to 150 pounds which put me in a size 10, and I thought I was happy.  Then I got engaged and thought I needed to be smaller.
2-3 months before the wedding

A few days before my wedding

I don't have any pictures of what I looked like after losing more weight after getting engaged, but I got down to 145 pounds, wore a size 8 jeans, and my chest/shoulder/neck area was extremely bony to the point where both my mom and sister would point out how bony I was. I ended up gaining back a little weight since I was basically eating nothing to get down to 145, so on my wedding day (and I wouldn't weight myself) I weighed probably 152 pounds--and I still thought I was fat.  

This brings me to today's topic.  Since getting married in July 2104, being extremely happy, and then starting grad school in early 2015 and being stressed out ever since, I've gained some weight.  So after reading Annie's post on her experience with Diet Bet, I've decided to do the same thing.  I had briefly heard of Diet Bet before, but after reading her post, I thought it would be the perfect thing for me to get motivated.

You simply join a game or create one yourself (I joined one), pay the money, and you have 28 days to lose 4% of your body weight.  If you do, you get to split the pot of money with all of the people who also lost 4% of their weight.

So how do they know you actually weight that and/or lose that much?
You have to submit two pictures (I am using the app I downloaded on my phone--super easy to do it) wearing something light and then another picture of the scale, your feet, and the word they give you for your game.


Since grad school literally takes up so much time and keeps me exhausted, I know that I'm really going to have to control my eating.  No longer can I indulge my sweet tooth (which is huge).  I'm tracking my food on the My Fitness Pal app and really trying to keep my macros in check and my protein at 30%--which is really hard by the way, so I'm okay as long as it's in the 20s.  Exercising on Saturdays are a must for me and really easy, so I am working on getting 1-2 days during the week.  When I was at my smallest, I ran 4-5 days a week.  I know that my time will free up once I finish grad school, so I do know that this 2-3 workouts a week goal is just for a small time.  At least the key in losing weight is controlling your eating and that's something I can control now--I've always heard it's 80% of what you eat and 20% exercise.  You can't out exercise a bad diet.  And my bad diet is something I've got to get control of--I love sweets way too much!

So I submitted my pictures on Tuesday and my final weight in is March 24th!  I'm really nervous in sharing this, but I know that it will help keep me accountable!!  

And if you've read this far, thank you!
Linking up with Annie today.

What's Up Wednesday--February 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Happy Wednesday, y'all!  I'm linking up with Shay today for What's Up Wednesday--and I'm in a VERY good mood today!  Why you ask??  I finished all of my assignments for the week yesterday!!!  Yes, you read that correctly....yesterday!  I think since my finals are next week, both professors decided to take it easier on us this week and I am NOT complaining!  I seriously feel like my load has lightened tremendously since turning in that last assignment. All I have left is my finals next week, updating Livetext, and then one more term and I'M FINISHED WITH SCHOOL FOREVER!


What we're eating this week...
I'm making this recipe tonight--Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili.
This past weekend I was reading my Shape mag and read about how healthy brown rice is (which I love so yay) and how it's even healthier when refrigerated overnight because it's a resistant starch.  Sounds great, right?  They had a few easy recipes in the mag so I tried one Monday night and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  I took it for lunch yesterday.....SO GOOD!  Recipe coming soon :)


What I'm reminiscing about...
Monday night D and I booked our summer vacay/celebration of Sarah's graduation from grad school and we're going.......TO THE BAHAMAS!  We booked a 5 night cruise and I am so excited because I've only been on one other cruise (which was insane because who knew that a cold front in the ocean created 16 foot waves = cruise from hell) so this one should be much better.  So basically I just wrote all of that to tell you that I'm reminiscing about the awesome weather one my first cruise (until the cold front hit).


What I'm loving...
Monday night my friend Sarah came over for us to discuss our She Reads Truth Lent study and pray together.  She brought along...

Baby Nate!  
I kept him in the nursery on Sunday so I was so glad she brought him!


What we've been up to...
 Prepping our taxes

 Some of us have been resting

 DNOW hosting

And working out ;)


What I'm dreading...
the amount of work I have to do for grad school before the end of April....yuck


What I'm working on...
Eating healthier and losing weight...post on that tomorrow!!


What I'm excited about...
June vacation!  And my few days of a break in between terms--I'll really be hitting up the gym with all of my free time


What I'm watching/reading...
I haven't been reading a lot because of grad school, but check back with me on Thursday, March 10 because Victoria and I are hosting another Book Club Thursday!  Our first link up was so fun and exciting (plus lots of great book recs) that we're doing it again!


What I'm listening to...
The Avett Brothers since I'm going to see them in May!


What I'm wearing...
This comfy little sweatshirt from GAP

Other than that, nothing exciting.  This weather is so confusing....muggy one day and cold and rainy the next, so I haven't worn anything cute or picture worthy.


What I'm doing this weekend...
Taking my husband on a surprise date!  I can't say anything else since Dustin reads my blog ha!  I'll post about it on Monday :)


What I'm looking forward to next month...
SPRING BREAK


What else is new...
-Thinking about what I'm going to wear on our vacation this summer (anyone like me who books a vacation and immediately starts thinking about clothing??)
-Working on planning our second vacation this year
-Trying to get together a Shaneyfelt family vacation like last year 
-Looking around at options for a new car for me...yayyay


Bonus Question: 
What is your favorite Easter tradition?
My favorite tradition used to be buying my Easter dress until last year.  Last year we all wore...


Shirts from Forget the Frock--this organization gives the money you would have spent on Easter clothing (and actually probably one sleeve of Easter clothing) to Feeding the Orphans while you wear a shirt to raise awareness of the hunger and orphan issue in the world.  This year Forget the Frock is supporting Feeding the Orphans again along with two new organizations aimed at getting women out of the sex trafficking industry.

Weekend Recap: DNOW + Nashville Edition

Monday, February 22, 2016

This weekend was jam-packed!  We were a DNOW host home for the 7th and 8th grade boys at our church and on Saturday I took a quick trip to Nashville for lunch.  We've been exhausted and Dustin was asleep by 9 on Sunday :)

Dustin worked this weekend, so he got home about an hour before the boys showed up.  We fed them a lot of pizza, and then we retreated to our room while they had Bible study in the living room.  This picture was taken before all of the craziness went down haha!  We prayed that the Lord would open the hearts of these boys to know Him more and for them to grow in Christlikeness. 



Saturday morning my mom came to stay at the house while the boys were still there and I hit the road to Nashville to the 12th South neighborhood to visit with Victoria who was in town for the weekend!!!  First stop.....Reese Witherspoon's store, Draper James!  I was so in awe of every single thing in her store--not only her classic, timeless clothing designs, but the interior design of the store.  Apparently her interior designer designed this store to look like the inside of Reese's home.  I loved it!



So I just had to try on a dress.  When I walked into my dressing room, there was a huge curtained off area to the left.  I opened the curtain and this was behind it...
 My own personal bathroom!  It was so interesting because we had already checked out the bathroom on the other side of the store (we would have walked through the stock area if they would have let us haha!  We were so curious about everything!)


This is the dress I tried on--super cute for fall/winter, but not practical for the warm temps we have now.  P.S. Can you see the curtains behind me, and the bathroom behind them?



Lunch was at Bartaco which reminded me of the Little Donkey in Homewood (which is my favorite place to eat).  We each got two tacos (I had one chicken and one mahi mahi) and then we split the corn and lime pineapple.  Oh my gosh, it was so good!  We both agreed that we literally could have just made a meal out of sides.



Bartaco had massive glass garage door windows rolled up so the whole restaurant felt very airy and open.  While we were eating, we saw this little food truck across the street--so cute!  And I love Smores, so I would have gotten some if I wasn't getting Sprinkles cupcakes to take home.



How cute is this neighborhood?!  I will be going back soon with Dustin because it was such an easy drive from our house.



I had SUCH a fun time in the two hours we spent together and it was so fun meeting in person!  Love that our friendship first developed over a love of reading and has transformed into so much more!  I also got to meet her husband and his old college roommate and they were all so nice--I hate that we live so far away from each other!






I got back home at 3:30 and Rachel was at my house.  After the boys got back, we went in my room and laid on the bed and just hung out for a little bit.  I love being able to just hang out with my sister--I love our relationship and how close we are!



I went upstairs to make sure nothing was broken and the majority of them slept in the bedroom upstairs.  



After church on Sunday, I rushed home to CLEAN!  I scrubbed the house top to bottom before heading to a bridal tea at church.  I added this duck to the mantle that I bought in Nashville with Victoria.  I am SO pleased with this purchase!  The funny thing--when Dustin saw the price, he said, "You spent that much for a duck?!"  And I just had to remind him that it was my souvenir from my day trip AND that wasn't it so pretty?  He agreed and that was it ha!  Love him :)


Linking up with Biana today!

Currently on a Thursday

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I thought I would try linking up for the Currently post today!
Linking up with Christy and Annie today

Reading...
the She Reads Truth Lent Study and I LOVE it!  I love SRT studies because they give you the portion of Scripture that you read, and then you read a very solid commentary after.  So far one of the things that's really resonated with me from this study during Lent is that while Christmas is such a joyous time of celebrating Christ's birth and everything is decorated beautifully, Lent is a time to really understand the seriousness of sin and the weight of it.  Repentance is not just turning from your sin and to God, but walking with Him in obedience. This study has really helped me to not only see my sin, but to see my Savior who is so much bigger than my sin.


Listening to...
anything by the Avett Brothers!  I'm so excited to go see them live in May!


Watching...
I have so many things recorded on my DVR but haven't had time to watch any TV because of grad school and the million things I have to do!


Cooking...
Monday I made the baked chicken parm from the Skinnytaste website.  I've made this recipe lots before, and we always love eating at my house.  We cut out the noodles and just ate it with roasted asparagus....yum!


Looking forward to...
We're a DNOW host home this weekend for our church--I hope we get some sleep.  And I'm looking forward to Saturday when I get to meet up with Victoria!!!  We've been joking about how it's like just seeing an old friend you haven't seen in a long time--aren't friendships like that the best?


Wishing...
I was already done with grad school!  I think I have 10-11 more weeks left and then I'M DONE!  Almost there!


Enjoying...
the days staying brighter longer....that means spring is on its way!!


Loving...
4 day work weeks!  It's really thrown me off though because I continually second guess myself throughout the day about which day it really is.


Wanting...
warmer weather to be here for good!  I've been seeing in other parts of the country temps in the 60s--I'm so ready for it to get in the high 60s and low 70s here!  That also means that I need to get my Costas fixed so I can wear them again!


Wearing...
nothing that I remember to take pictures of.  This week has been so stressful because of the amount of homework and the fact that I don't understand some of it mixed in with commitments that I have after school.  For example, yesterday we went and met with our accountant after school.  That lasted over an hour and then we made a quick stop by Target to get a rug pad to put under the runner in the entryway so the boys don't slip and fall this weekend.  I ended up getting home about 6 and immediately changed clothes and sat down to work on homework.  I felt like I had missed out on 2 hours of homework time already because of things that I had to do, and so I had to stay up later doing homework.  Oh well, I'm almost done!


Grateful for...
doing the She Reads Truth Lent study has really reminded me of the enormity of my sin and the fact that Jesus took on my sin (when He was completely sinless), became the perfect substitute for me on the Cross, and whose death reconciled me to God--all before I was born.  Doing this study and really focusing on repentance at the beginning of it has made me extremely grateful for Jesus


What are you up to currently?

Dining Room Inspiration from Pinterest

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The dining room is the next room that I want to tackle decorating.  The only problem is that I can't seem to find a table that I either like or that I think is a good price.  I don't think it would bother me so much that the dining room is empty if we didn't have an open floor plan.  (You can look at the dining room here.)  I see it all the time and it's a constant reminder that it needs to be decorated.

Our large open space is painted with Sherwin Williams Lightweight Beige.  For the dining room, I went with Sherwin Williams Sea Salt cut down to 50%.  I looked up some pins that had dining rooms painted with Sea Salt (granted theirs is darker than mine).  These pins embody the design aesthetic that I'm aiming toward.


I love the different shades of brown mixed in with this room.  And their light fixture looks like it's the same as mine--an oil-rubbed bronze.  Instead of putting a china cabinet in the dining room, I'm going to put a buffet/sideboard.



This dining room is a lot lighter than the one before, but I'm loving the rug.  Everyone right now is going with the dining room tables that are solid wood and look a little rustic, but I like how this table is much different.  My problem is that I can't decide on a table style!



I thought this was a cute little corner--love the colors brought in...gold, blue, and the black (although I don't own any black furniture and doubt I ever will.....just not my style).



Or do I want to repaint with something lighter than the Lightweight Beige?  I love lots of things about this room--the wall color, the color of the table, and the fact that there is a deer mounted on the wall!  Once I get our dining room furniture and start decorating, I will be putting a deer on the wall--I love the mixture of masculine and feminine and have seen deer mounted on a wall with china salad plates framing it.  I've actually seen two different people in real life do that in their home and it's looked really good.


My favorite place to get home inspiration is Houzz.  I used it a lot during the home building process and will use it a lot more than Pinterest when it comes to deciding on a look for the dining room.  Has anyone ever used Houzz?

Linking up with Jenn and Jessi today!

Four Things About Me!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I saw this on Emily's blog not too long ago and I thought it was a neat way to learn a little more about a blogger....which I love!  Feel free to copy and paste and do on your own blog!

Four Names People Call Me (Other Than My Real Name):
B (or Miss B)

Super Sis
Little S
Sister

Four Jobs I've Had:
Babysitter

Barista (which was awful because I hated coffee and couldn't make a drink if it was a special request)
Employee at the Rec Center at The University of Alabama
Teacher


Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once:
When Harry Met Sally

You've Got Mail
Pretty Woman
Dances With Wolves

Four Authors I'd Recommend:
Harper Lee

Rick Bragg
J.K. Rowling
Mary Kay Andrews

Four Places I've Lived:
Alabama!!

Four Places I've Visited:
California--from San Fran to Orange County

Jamaica
Savannah, GA
Tampa

Four Things I'd Rather Not Eat:
BANANAS

Sushi
Oysters
Seafood

Four Favorite Foods:
Pizza

Chicken fingers
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cake
**I don't eat all of this...I only wish I did ha!

Four TV Shows I Watch:
Greys

Scandal
Real Housewives of BH/OC/NJ
Kardashians

Four Things I'm Looking Forward To This Year:
GRADUATING WITH MY MASTERS

Summer
Vacation
Having my life back

Four Things I'm Always Saying:
What did I just say?  (This would be to my students haha)

Dustin, check your blood.
I'm so obsessed
Mr. Felt

Weekend Recap: Valentine's Edition!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Monday, y'all!  I'm thankful for unused weather days today since I get to take full advantage of it!  Having a three day weekend has been really nice, and speaking of this weekend, Dustin and I had a blast.  This was his first off weekend that he actually stayed at home since, like, Christmas!  Seriously so glad deer season is over!

Friday started off with a few goodies from some students.


Then Mom and I headed to Sephora after school on Friday to pick up more make up.  I don't know what it is, but I love buying make up.  And I love Sephora because their employees are so helpful and really know what they're talking about.


We're really excited about our new purchases, and I'm excited about...


THIS!! 
 I really can't wait to take advantage of the free make over.  I told D that I'm going to use it on a date night when I want my make up to be flawless :)


Saturday morning we were lazy, family came over, Dustin changed my car battery, and I ran a couple of miles to prepare for our dinner out that night.  And Dustin surprised me with this magazine!  I had mentioned how I wanted it because I wanted to see inside the Kardashians' homes.


We walked around and shopped, and then stopped inside Barnes and Noble to warm up and wait before our dinner reservations at Texas de Brazil.  I got this Tim O'Brien book because I've read The Things They Carried and loved it, and the reviews said this book was great, too.


Yes.


And then Sunday was very impromptu after church--we had plans to watch a movie at home, grocery shop, and I was going to cook dinner.  Then we randomly decided to go look at cars for me which took us back to Bridge Street where we went out to eat again!  We definitely looked out of place (or I did because I had on leggings and tennis shoes with an oversized shirt) because you could tell a bunch of couples were on their V-day dates.  We both love eating at this restaurant and both tried new dishes!


Love him!

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