Life Lately (6.30.16)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's Thursday, friends, and that means we're one more day closer to the weekend!  I cannot believe that today is the last day of June and that the 4th is Monday!  I'm hoping July creeps by because I am enjoying my summer too much!

Here's a look into what our life has been lately:

 Because we're basically kids, Dustin and I bought a wiffle bat and ball set to play with each other.  We've enjoyed playing with each other in our backyard some evenings when it's not a million degrees outside.

 Typical day for when when Dustin works.  

 We went dining room furniture shopping on Monday and we both ended up liking the same style of table.  The only difference is that I like the round version and Dustin likes the rectangle version, but you knew we'll be getting what I want haha!  These are two swatches of wood stain, and since I'll be picking out the table shape, I'll probably go with the stain that D likes which is the darker.  Either would look good in our house!

 Summer means it's tomato sandwich season!  Except one of us (who won't be named) likes to eat them for breakfast and the other person likes to eat them for lunch or dinner.  I'm thankful my in-laws have a huge garden because it's fresh veggies all the time right now!

Our furniture shopping on Monday took us to the city my BFF lives in, so of course we had to meet up for lunch.  She hates matching anyone so it was hilarious when we showed up in outfits completely opposite of one another!  And she couldn't go home and change haha!  I asked Dustin to get our picture and this is what I got.  Please notice that Janie smiled then entire time haha!

Finally got the curtains hung in our bedroom!  They look so so great and I'm so pleased with how well the curtain pattern looks with everything in our room.  Now the only thing I'm still looking for is the perfect piece of artwork to go above the dresser which will be between the two windows in our room. 

What's going on with you lately?

Linking up with Annie

What's Up Wednesday--June 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Linking up with Shay for today's post!

What we're eating this week...
Extremely healthy!  This is actually the first week in a very long time that I did not meal plan for--surprising for those of you who know me well.  Last night was crockpot BBQ chicken, tonight will be kidney bean burgers, maybe zoodles with turkey meat sauce tomorrow?  See.  I'm winging nightly suppers for the first time ever.  (And I don't like it.  I'll be back to meal planning next week.)

What I'm reminiscing about...
Our cruise to the Bahamas two weeks ago!  You can read about Part 1 and Part 2.  Plus, I also added a few tips and advice for first-time cruisers. 

What I'm loving...
Summer vacation!  
And this guy :)

What we've been up to...
Vacation Bible School, a cruise to the Bahamas, work (for Dustin, not for me ha!)

What I'm dreading...
School starting back--I'm loving the flexibility of my own schedule

What I'm working on...
Finding the right furniture for the dining room!!  We've been in our house one year this week.  That's so crazy to think about!! I posted about our move here.

What I'm excited about...
Future plans!  I'm excited to pick out dining room furniture.  I'm excited for Dustin's birthday next month and what I'm planning for that.  I'm excited for our vacation next December (yes, we're already planning).  I'm excited for a lot of things!
(Note: Even though everything looks so bright and cheery all the time, that's not reality.  My goal this year has been to find my joy in God in every single situation, so that even when He tells me not right now, I find joy in Him and not my situation.  This is why I'm choosing to be so positive all the time, and I just wanted to share!)

What I'm watching/reading...
I'm watching all of the reality TV: Real Housewives of everywhere, the Kardashians, Southern Charm, and Hallmark movies and series.
I posted yesterday about the books I read this month.  I started reading my first ever Elin Hilderbrand book last night.  I hear so many great things about her, so I'm hoping this book doesn't let me down!

What I'm wearing...
These white jeans are pretty much my summer uniform.

What I'm doing this weekend...
I'm going to pretend I'm still in college and that the weekend starts on Thursday :)  Thursday night I'm going out to eat with my mom and sister!  And then maybe Dustin will plan a surprise date for us this weekend.  Hint hint.... ;)

What I'm looking forward to next month...
I'm hoping that the summer slows down!  Dustin turns 31 next month and then the next day we celebrate our 2nd anniversary--I'm excited for that!
Last year at his surprise 30th party.  
Please don't judge me by the cake--it was not what I expected when I ordered it.  I mean, I picked it up an hour before the party and was like, "Uhhh...."  I learned my lesson and have already ordered from our usual cake lady this year!

What else is new...
Not much!

Bonus Question:
What is my favorite 4th of July tradition?
My mom and step-dad have a huge picnic on the 4th every year at lunch time.  I'm talking huge!  They invite a lot of my step-dad's clients, and then our friends and family.  I look forward to it every year because there's always really good homemade ice cream ha!

June 2016 Reads

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Today I'm reviewing the books I read in June!  (To see the books I've read previously this year, click on the Books link on the sidebar.)  I was able to read three books, and I would have read another book except.....Netflix.
Anyone else feel this way when they read a book?  Sometimes I have to take a break from reading because I'm still grieving the end of the last book!

So, here's what I read this month:
(I'll include the short summary from Amazon and then my own opinion.)

the last star rick yancey
(3rd book in The 5th Wave trilogy)

    The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.
     But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.
     In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves . . . or saving what makes us human.

I received this book from a sweet student at the end of May.  She got me started reading this trilogy, and her mom brought each of us a copy to school on the day it was released--isn't that the sweetest!  With that being said, I did not enjoy this book!  If I'm looking at this as a teacher, I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending this book to my students because of the excessive (and unnecessary) amount of language.  The first two books didn't have this much language in them combined, so I'm not sure what possessed the author to include so much.  I did not like how the plot was all tied up at the end, and if you want to read any of this trilogy, I would recommend reading The 5th Wave only!

room by emma donoghue
 To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.      Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.     Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

I read this book for my book club this month and really enjoyed it!  First, I had no idea it was an award-winning movie from last year.  I loved the narration of this book--from the point of view of a 5 year old.  And I really believe that reading this book makes you look at the world a little differently--and also causes you to become more aware of your surroundings!  I highly recommend reading this book!

one true loves by taylor jenkins reid
 From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancĂ© who has finally brought her back to life.           In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.      On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.      Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.     That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancĂ©, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.   Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?   Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

Because I've read Maybe in Another Life and enjoyed it, I thought I may enjoy this book too--and I was right!  I was hooked from the first page and didn't want to put this book down.  Like I was so ready to get back to our room on the cruise so I could read a few more pages haha!  It really was my favorite book that I read this month.  I was rooting for Emma to pick a certain character from the very beginning, and I even cried at one point.  I loved this book so much, and I will definitely be reading another book by this author since I've like the two I've already read by her!  Go buy this book right now!

Have you read any good books lately that I should pick up?

Weekend Recap!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Do you ever have a weekend where you feel like you need another weekend to recover?  That's how I feel about this past weekend!  Saturday night I told Dustin how tired I was and it wasn't even 9 PM and I've done nothing!  I told him I was tired from having nothing to do all day haha.

I'm starting our weekend on Thursday night when we relaxed on the couch and caught up on the last two episodes of Southern Charm.  I had been waiting on the dinner party at Thomas's house since the first episode started out with that scene.  My thoughts on the end of the season:  I don't like Landon, Cameron has turned into a mean girl, Katherine will always be crazy, Thomas too, Whitney is weird, Patricia is condescending but in a hilarious way, and Craig and Naomi are my all time favorites!

Friday morning I ran.  We've been under a heat advisory the entire weekend so even though it was below 80 at 7:15 in the morning, the humidity was at 3,000% so it made for a miserable and short 2 mile run.
 It was way too hot to take a picture outside!

Then to pass the time since D was at work, I went shopping.  I got two great tops from LOFT, a table runner from Home Goods, and ate lunch at my favorite grocery store, Earthfare!
 Lunch there never disappoints--I just wish it were closer to home.

Friday night we had Dustin's work picnic at a local water park.  Remember how I said at 7:15 that morning the humidity was already at 3,000%??  Well, by 7:15 that night, it had increased to 603,475,927%.  Seriously.  I was miserable, in a romper, and way too hot to even take pictures.  I was ready to get home and take yet another shower and wash my hair yet again.

Saturday I went with my sister to pick up the dog she's going to be fostering.  While we were out, we stopped at her friend's new tiny home to see it.  I think she said it was around 400 sq ft?  This was my first tiny home to see in person!  The inside is SO cute and decorated how I would decorate.  I love her tiny home, but I could never live in one--Dustin would never fit!

Saturday night wasn't picture-worthy.  I cooked dinner.  Dustin got home and we ate.  We both sat in the living room to be together but doing separate things--he watched the TCU and Coastal Carolina baseball game, and I watched Netflix on the laptop.  I'm sure laid back weekend nights become picture-worthy once we have children, right?

Sunday morning was church.  I wanted to capture what my hair looks like right after I tease it.  Next time I'll leave it just like that :)  Isn't it so attractive?

There was a bridal tea after church, so Rachel and I rode together.  Can you see how much she copies me?  Similar sunglasses, similar dress style, both wearing long necklaces and our OTBTs.
Just kidding!  
(Rachel will be so made that I wrote that haha!  But it's my blog and I can!)

Then we met up with Dustin a few hours later after he got off work to eat Mexican.  Rachel and I spent a lot of time together this weekend, and I wouldn't change that for anything.  I'm so happy that we live close and are so close!

Linking up with Biana

Friday Favorites!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fridays in the summer are bittersweet for a Fridays but it also means I'm one more week closer to school starting back!

I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika to share a few of my favorite things!

 Summers off means that I can enjoy lunch with my sister during her lunch hour!  We met up at Panera Bread (one of my favorite places) to eat and hang out.  Wednesdays are the only days she can for sure take lunch at noon, so this summer I've had lunch with her almost every Wednesday that I've been in town!

This mini nap allowed me to watch a few Kim and Kourtney Take New York reruns!

 Anthro tag sale started yesterday!  I picked up a dress before the cruise and almost tried this one on, but it wasn't the look I was going for.  Now that it's on sale, that might be even more reason for me to go back to get it!  #perfectdresstoteachin

Remember when I blogged about wanting a new hair style?  I've been a little obsessed over the idea of it and have been scouring the internet (meaning Pinterest ha) for styles that convey what I want.  Well y'all, I went ahead and made my appointment!  Actually, I had scheduled a hair cut with my color touch up the day before school starts, but since I can't get this out of my mind, I called to move my appointment up week.  Eek!

And ever since then, I see short hair everywhere...
 Bethenny's short hair is killing it on RHONY and Snapchat (Me: sarahshaneyfelt).  Side Note:  Bethenny randomly starts singing sometimes on her snaps and it's the worst thing ever!  Like I want to tell her just to lip sync if she's going to do it.  We're not all singers, honey.

Then I snapped this horrible picture of Dylan Dryer's hair while watching The Today Show this week.  I'm telling you, short hair is everywhere and it's making me itch to cut mine!  It's like when you buy a new car and suddenly you see so many people driving your same exact car.

Fashion inspiration at the moment...

I know, I know, some of you are going to hate on the fact that I think Kim is a fashion inspiration.  But you have to admit (and even Anna Wintour loves her) that her fashion game is on top.

I've been burning this candle constantly this summer.  It's a smell that Dustin likes, too, so that's a bonus!  Sometimes he hates the candles I burn and he just has to deal with it :)

Advice for a First-Time Cruise

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Happy Thursday, y'all!  
I just returned from a cruise to the Bahamas on Saturday and I recapped Part 1 and Part 2 earlier this week.  I had some requests for tips and advice for cruising, and I am happy to oblige!  I loved the little tidbits of advice I received about cruising from a few readers, and I wanted to create a list of my own.  Hopefully, these tips will help you for your first cruise or your fifth cruise!

-Bring a jacket or a sweatshirt in case you get cold while on the ship.
-The only items of clothing that you need are dinner outfits, bathing suits, pajamas, and 1-2 lounge outfits.
-Don't pack a beach towel because the ships provide them!
-Bring way more sunscreen than you think you'll need.  You do not want to have to buy anything on the ship.....SO expensive!

-If you can, do the early dinner time.  This leaves time to see more shows after dinner!
-Excursions are so much cheaper at the port!  We saved $100 by buying our Atlantis pass at the actual resort instead of pre-buying on the ship.  (Not all excursions are offered at the port.)

-Carry some cash with you at each port and make sure you have one and five dollar bills
-Be prepared to be bombarded by locals at each port of call wanting you to get in their taxi or pay for their tour

-Take the stairs all the time!  It'll help you feel better about eating so much :)
-Deck chairs go fast so don't wait too long before going to lay out on your days at sea
-Get to know your room steward.  They are some of the nicest people on the ship and will help you out if you ever need it.
-If at all possible, try not to check your luggage when you disembark.  It takes so much longer to leave the ship and you're one of the last groups called.

What would I have done differently?
-I would have packed a small blanket because I did get a little cold each night while sleeping.
-I would have packed a few snacks for when I was hungry between meals.  The only food items available on my ship 24 hours was pizza and ice cream.  After eating more fattening foods for my meals, I did not want anything fattening for a snack.
-Check with your ship about bringing canned cokes on board.  If you're a coke drinker but don't want to order the drinking package, you may be able to bring a case of your own for your room.  Carnival allows it!  I'm a water drinker, but cruise ship water has a weird taste to it.  If I would have checked, I could have brought a case of Coke Zero.

Dustin's advice:
-Pack a few extra outfits in case you need them since there aren't any clothing stores on board (that you want to shop at) (Total opposite of what I said!)
-Pack an insulated water bottle (like Nalgene or Swell)--you will need this when you get off the boat and at the pool
-Dustin also says to bring cash in lower increment bills (He wanted me to reiterate this point ha)
-Take some sort of motion sickness medicine (or prescription patch from the doctor) with you in case the ocean gets rough
-Bring a carry on to the ship that has an extra outfit in case your luggage takes hours to get to your room like us
-Bring a backpack/bag to take with you off the boat
-Have sinus meds/Tylenol/cough drops in case you get sick  (Dustin had sinus drainage so we had to pay $7 for a small box of cough drops)
-Relax and enjoy it all!

Linking up with Annie today

Cruise to the Bahamas: Part 2

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Today I'm sharing the rest of our cruise with you: our stop at the cruise line's private island, a stop at Nassau, the last day at sea, and the day we left.  If you missed part 1 yesterday, click here.

I was SO excited for our first stop on the ship.  I had researched the private island, Half Moon Cay, and we had decided not to do any excursions but to enjoy the island as if it were a resort--laying out and swimming in the ocean.  We ended up staying in the ocean the entire time minus eating lunch because it was the most beautiful water ever!

For those of you who have never cruised before, be prepared to take 184,973,827 pictures. Seriously, there are photographers roaming constantly wanting to take your picture, so we had to get a picture as soon as we got off the tender boat onto the island.  (These pictures are so expensive to buy so we took a few pictures of the good ones.)

This stop required a tender in which means instead of walking straight out of the boat onto the island, we had to board a 2 story boat and ride over to the island.  
 Can you see how gorgeous the water is?  It was the clearest water I've ever been in and you could still see straight through to the bottom even when we were 5 feet out.  You can see why we ditched laying out and played in the ocean the whole time instead.

 Riding on the tender boat back to the ship.

For dinner that night, I wore this romper and it's back in stock!!!!  I bought it around Easter and it flew off the shelves and online within a week, so I'm so glad Anthropologie brought it back.  Remember, if you're long waisted like me, this romper will work for you!

For our dinner each night on the ship, we ate at our assigned table with the same people.  I was hesitant about this at first because I was afraid we would be sitting with people that we couldn't carry on a conversation with, but we lucked out and had great people!  All of them were young married couples like us.
 We became friends with the couple sitting next to Dustin on the right--Joy and Justin from Tennessee.  They were on their honeymoon!

The next day we docked in Nassau--home of Atlantis.  We were really excited about this port until the cruise director came over the intercom right before got off the boat with a warning from the US Embassy--don't wear jewelry off the ship and stay in highly populated areas since there was a high security threat.  Great, right?!  Way to make us feel safe!
 Our view of Atlantis that morning from the ship.

 Obligatory picture of the ship :)

Tomorrow I'm going to be sharing some tips and advice for first time cruisers, and so I'll share about what it's like when you get off on an island and the amount of locals who bombard you wanting you to get in their taxi or do their tour.  I bet there were 50 people we had to say "No, thank you" to while making our way to downtown.  And they are persistent people, too.

Basic white girl when...
 You get off the ship and see a Starbuck and you demand go in so you can order a frap and use their free wifi haha!  Notice how they spelled Sarah?

We walked around downtown for a while before deciding to go back to the area where all of the taxis were.  We decided not to do an excursion on this island either since they are outrageously priced, but we decided to hop in a taxi and let them take us to Atlantis for the rest of the day.

We LOVED Atlantis!  

Visitors are allowed to walk around in most of the hotel, but you must purchase a wristband to go to the pools, beaches, and aquariums which is the back of the property.  We decided that the package was worthy of buying because we would be spending the majority of the day there--and plus, we're just a couple of big kids who wanted to play in their famous pools :)
 Everyone must get a picture in this chair!  Thanks to the sweet lady who took it for us!

The grounds on Atlantis are GORGEOUS!  The property is huge and we were constantly looking at a map trying to find our way around.

 This is the lagoon that they have on property.  People were snorkeling here, paddle boarding, and swimming.

We then walked all through the aquariums...

 And this is what this guy did the entire time--taking pictures of wildlife.  Once a wildlife science guy, always a wildlife science guy :)

We got to see the sharks!!  This aquarium was one that a slide went through.  I'm not sure if you can really tell, but there's a tube at the bottom of this picture and one of the drop down slides at Atlantis ends through this aquarium where riders ride through on an inner tube to the pool outside.  I kept waiting on a shark to try attacking that tube haha!  Oh, and there were also people scuba diving in this aquarium, too, and I'm pretty sure that was about $200 a person.

 This was the Atlantis version of a lazy river.  It was a rapids river and so much fun!  This was my favorite thing to do while we were here.  It wasn't too violent except for one time when a rapid came and pushed a guy's inner tube into mine which shoved me into the wall and I almost flipped.  Other than that, the rapids were lots of fun! 

Atlantis has lots of pools so we would spend some time in one pool and then rotate to another--we wanted to take advantage of it all!

The casino inside--it was massive and this is just a small portion.

 They had a shopping area in Atlantis--David Yurman, Fendi, Versace, and Gucci just to name a few :)

This was one of the beaches on their property.  We didn't stay here long because it wasn't as pretty as Half Moon Cay, and there were also a lot of people trying to sell us stuff and they were pretty aggressive.

Toward the end of our time at Atlantis, it started storming so we decided to go ahead and leave and take a taxi back to the ship.  It was pretty scary--especially since we had received that warning from the cruise director before getting off the ship.  The driver kept putting people in this taxi that literally sounded like it was going to fall apart at every turn.  The girl in the backpack in front of us mentioned that this wasn't the same route we took from the ship to Atlantis and that this was taking much longer to get back--she was right.  Our driver took us through the hood and we got to see what real Nassau looked like--and it wasn't pretty.  If we weren't in a van with a bunch of people, I would have been terrified.
 This picture doesn't do it justice, but we were packed in this tiny van.

 Dinner that night

And remember how I told you we made friends with a couple from our dinner table?  We hung out with them some and we decided to take a picture together to be funny since the poses the photographer puts you in are ridiculous.
He made us all hug each other haha!  We really enjoyed getting to know Joy and Justin and had so much in common with them.

Heading home like...

Check back tomorrow for some tips and advice!

Linking up with Jenn

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