WIWW: 'Cation Style

I haven't done a What I Wore Wednesday in a while and I most certainly have never linked up more than one outfit, but alas...the time has come.

We are on vacation right now and my outfits are gonna readily represent my "I have no plans and I am loving it' attitude that I am sporting.

I am far from a fashion blogger, but I do enjoy playing dress up sometimes  Oh, wait...pretty much every outfit this week is gonna go more along the lines of 'dressing down' but you get what I am trying to parlay...right;) let us not care about details.

First up was my the outfit that I pulled out for the first 7 hours of our trip. I had a last minute run that may have turned into lots of minutes to the happiest place on earth: Target and I stumbled upon so many goodies. This light sweatshirt was clearanced to a little over $5. I paired it with a tank and leggings I bought from there last year and including my flippy floppies...this whole outfit was under 15 bucks. Please and thanks.

this is really the softest sweatshirt I have ever worn. 
and for our second trip that took us from the lovely and overtly charming city of Savannah, I found a sparkly tank the same trip to Target that was a whopping $2.87. Go ahead and ignore that big glare. Whoops.
after looking in the mirror and deciding I needed to perhaps...cover these puppies up. I was gonna just chuck it and wear a light sweater when the mamma in law saved the day and offered me up this jean jacket.
Ended up loving the the ensemble. Tank was under $3, leggins were $5 jewelry was free(selling stella and dot) and borrowed jacket, along with cheap flip flops and this outfit was under $12. 
As I look at this, I wonder...do I frequently make the kissy face that selfies are so...well, infamous for? I am now paranoid. 
 Anyways...I did have to dress up at least one night...

I mean...we are on vacation in Miami. 
and since I am always ahead of the game(haha)
I realized I was wearing a dress I got last year from Target's Miami collection.
I paired it with some camel colored wedges and some jewelry.
the hubs got me this dress last year for our trip to Seattle and I am not sure the full amount, but I think he paid $40 for it. and the wedges were $16

and for my final look...a comfy and bright look for our day at the beach and traipsing around the city.

I was really excited to bust out my Sperry's for the first time. 
You may not know this about me...but I came forth from the womb in stiletto's. 
I am the antithesis of comfortable in flats...but they are so cute, so I managed.
Just don't go getting used to the whole...idea.

This bag holds so much meaning. My sweet sister in law went to Thailand last year with Freedom 424. The organization is part of her church and their goal is to rescue girls from sexual slavery. One of the many jobs they are taught to provide for themselves {using other means} is to make these bags. I get more compliments on this than you can imagine, it's one of a kind and I wish my photo skills did it justice.

This look was another Target tank, I think I paid $8 for it, the cardigan is a soft, butter yellow and I got it on crazy sale and coupons from New York & Co for $11. I don't remember how much the shorts were...as I have had these things longer than Honey Boo has been alive, but probably around $15. and my new and fabulous sperry's were 75% off and I shelled out $21 for them.

Here is my outfits of the week, sorry for the jacked up selfies...but really, you should all know by now;)

Linking up with

Weekend Wrap Up: Britney's My New Bestie

As we were making our way to Florida on Friday, I was in the backseat splitting my time between books and facebook when I stumbled upon a link my friend had shared about Britney Spears' new beau and she had captioned it "if a normal guy can get Britney, then I still have a shot at Ryan Gosling" so boredom won out and as I am reading the story...bells are dinging in my head. You know those moments of  'wait a second, wait a second' and I begin reading as fast as possible and they confirm that he is from Appomattox, Va and I am all....$%@# and I texted my sister in law asking if it was indeed her cousin...and this was part of our exchange.

So...luckily for you guys now, I am not charging for my signage;) 
and then of course, I texted one of the besties...and she always puts it in perspective for me;) I mean...in my defense, I am from Virginia;)
but like I said...still winning;) and since Wiki is from Boston, obviously I can make fun as hard core as I want. and of Italians. and Lebanese and just a Northerner in general;) haha

We headed out for date night on Saturday. My dress may have been a blowin in the breeze.
Lindsay and I! One of my favorite friends in the world! So in our favor that we just so happen to vacation in their town every year. No really, we actually aren't visiting them...just randomly enough the place my in laws selected a few years ago, is the the town they relocated to!
Wiki and Dan(hitdog;) besties since 6th grade, enjoying some brews and stogies.

Obviously when on vacation you unpack your utmost essentials promptly in the freezer. and no, Brandy, they are not for one dish. hahaha gross.

But mainly we have just lounged by the pool and done a whole lot of nothing...my favorite kind of 'cation.

We are headed to my favorite beach today, Key Biscayne. More pictures throughout the week.

So what did everybody learn about my weekend? Britney and I are not even any bit closer to ever being absolute besties;)

Linking up with 

Florida Here I Come

and it's ok that I packed 5 a day in advance. I like to be prepared. 

It's ok that I had to buy my own tea for the trip. How do I know if they're gonna have tazo zen. and I love my tazo.

It's ok that I packed sweaters for Florida... A couple of nights it's supposed to be in the 60's. Hello, Winter!

It's ok that I haven't had chic fil a in over a week. Right? Someone tell me yes. Tell. Me. Yes. 

It's ok that we have to wake up in 5 hours to drive and I am still not sleepy.

It's ok that I found the pictures to add for this throwback Thursday post and I am actually thinking no chic fil a (or any fried foods) was a good idea, 

It's ok I think I looked pretty hot...yup. It is;)

It's ok that I was 32 and looked 13.

For my throwback Thursday I revisit 3 years ago at one of my bestie's weddings. It was in Buffalo and it was a blast. She is pregnant with lil bit number 3 right now. And her oldest will turn 2 next week. Yes. You read that right. She is a firm believer in Irish twins;)

The things I am noticing....

My legs...come back to me.

My arms. I miss you too.

But the sadness that was in my heart...I don't miss you at all. 

The hardest part about going on my medicine 2 years ago was the weight gain. I used to be uber fat.( I can say fat cause I was, that's the rule...) and as I have said before not in the p.h.a.t. way but more so in the l.a.r.d. way. I worked my butt off(actually that's a lie, girl still got crazy booty) to lose the poundage I put on after we got married. I said goodbye to 91 pounds and I kept it off for 5 years. I have gained back almost 30. all of it after I started the medicine and 21 of it within 4 weeks of going back on it. 

I still am FAR from how overweight I was before and  am much healthier and happier than I was in these pictures. That was one of the darkest periods of my life and I always hid it behind an easy smile...but c'mon why can't a girl be happy and...thin?;)

 Stacey and I at the rehearsal dinner. I seriously look like a tween. haha
Me and my Icca, the last night she was a single lady.
all the ladies getting ready.

 pretty sure I was zonked at this point. all the wine did not help.
 obviously I was not tired at this point...and how come nobody told me 'the girls' were popping out of the top? Ummm. Not that lovely of a look. but whatevs.
 me and my girlie!
 Bridesmaids at the bar. and posing. haha
 let them have their cake and eat it too
 T and I! looking like I am about to fade;)
Introductions and the night is just gettting started.

and in this photo folder I found another picture from that week...Oh...gym, we need to be better friends again, I forgot how I loved that shirt;)

While I can say without a doubt, I prefer the look of myself in these previous pictures

   I prefer the woman who resides in my skin a helluva lot more now;)
besides...look at how fabulous my hair is now;)

linking up today with


Sausage Spinach & 'Shroom Soup

or as I like to call it "BBD" which obviously stands for 'big bowl of Death' as I am allergic to all three of those ingredients. haha So, I can give you zero feedback as to how tasty this was. Wiki, on the other hand  wants me to tell you that this was "mmmmm, what soup is this? mmmmm. This is the best you have ever made. I just ate all of it" as I stand there... flabbergasted;) haha As I always say, an empty bowl is the best compliment you can be given.

This soup was actually an accident. I was so excited when Mel announced she was doing the link up again this year. I love soup. I may be one of the few strange people who actually even crave it when the temp is above 75'. I love me some soup. and I was all ready to whip up one of my favorites, 'Pepper Steak Soup" when I realized I forgot to get the potatoes. Gasp, the horror;) and so at 1:15 am, unable to sleep because I read a creepy book...I remembered seeing a spinach and sausage soup on a menu somewhere and realized I had both ingredients(along with the mushrooms) on hand and somewhat blind about how it would turn out(being allergic means you can't actually taste test the whole process as I usually do;)...and this is what I came up with..

1 can cream of mushroom soup
32 oz beef broth
1 cup cream(or half/half)
1 lb sausage
1/2 lb mushrooms
1 large bag fresh spinach
olive oil(2 tbsp)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
spices to taste

Cook sausage through in a skillet, drain excess grease and add in spinach, sauteing till spinach begins to reduce and add in sliced mushrooms. Cook for about 2 to 3 min. Stirring to combine, add in the butter and as it melts add in the flour to coat and make a thickening rue. In a separate stock pot, heat on medium, empty in the can of cream soup and slowly whisk in the beef broth. bring to a simmer and add the sausage mixture. Stirring slowly add in the heavy cream and any spices you want for taste( I used salt, pepper and badia seasoning) Simmer for half an hour and serve immediately or refrigerate. 

Badia has lots of varieties  but their complete seasonings are
life changing...promise.

If you want it to be healthier, you could use chicken/turkey sausage and fat free half and half. 

So if you make this and don't enjoy it...you know who to blame. Wiki, not me;)


Infertility Prayer Project

It's finally here. I am excited and nervous about this experience, but the few people I have spoken with about it have given me positive feedback. I wish there had been such a venture when I first began struggling with my desire to have a baby. If even one person becomes grateful they participated...then it will have been worth it. 

What is the infertility prayer project exactly?

I want this to be a sounding board for women(or men!) that are struggling with the overwhelming desire to have a child and it is not so readily happening for them. even when it seems it is happening for everyone you know or even meet. Your friends who are on birth control. Your friends who were still in middle school when you got married 10 years ago...Everybody;)
I should probably admit that when I typed that my mind said "errybuddyy"  

But also for families who in the past have suffered a miscarriage and since gone on to have successful pregnancies. I have spoken to women who have told me that they feared discussing that they still had raw pain from the loss, that they felt guilt about wondering about that baby. They felt they had so much to be grateful for and were somehow undermining how much they loved their children who are here. I want this to be a place that they can ask for prayers...and to even share there stories. I promise it is ok to grieve for them, they were yours.

I would like this to be a place that women who struggled with infertility for years and had to finally take upon other means to be a mother. I want to hear your story. Women need to know the positive that can come from the negative. That the emptiness that you feel... that void can eventually be filled, even if it is not in your timing...but His. I want to not only pray for those who are hurting, but praise Him for those successes.

My goal is that you will comment or email me and I am going to pray every Sunday night and intermittently throughout the week. If you want to remain anonymous  then comment that way and just leave me your initials. If you want to tell your full name, the babies you have lost, the babies you have had, how long your struggle has been, I want it all. If you have a sister or daughter or friend or even your wife...and you want me to pray for them, tell me. and perhaps, other women will join in and pray too! Prayer changed things.

I want to pray for everyone on Sundays...and for those of you who are willing to share your full name/story with me, I want to choose two or three a week until I have gone through everyone and pray for those women in depth, for that week. and if you leave me your contact info...When your week comes up, I will contact you and let you know.

I don't care if you have struggled for 3 months or 3 years. A desire is a desire and it isn't easy. But please note my prayers are  not going to be "Please let so and so become pregnant this week" My prayers will be that you will become a parent,  but if it is not the "way" in which you want or the timing that you so crave, I will pray that you will come to understand His plan, even if it's not happening in the way that you want. Believe me, easier said than done. I know.

I understand all  of the emotions that come with infertility. From being a young wife who was ready quite a long time before my husband, to friends getting married years after me and becoming moms twice over...to the ache of a baby whose loss is still felt. I promise there isn't one emotion I haven't felt. My story of infertility began 8 years ago. Over a hundred reminders every month that my one true desire, my ultimate dream...evades me still.

 I legitimately peruse the aisles of  target and Babies R Us, imagining these items in my house, my baby in them. I imagine a future of laughs, of dances and graduations...and each year that passes, each try that becomes another failure...my imagination dims ever so slightly. and even writing that brings tears to my eyes as the realization just hit me...and it makes my heart oh, so sad.

Olive skin, dark hair and blue eyes. A perfect combination of my husband and I. Next month will be five years since my pregnancy was lost. It was extremely early on and I had no idea I was even pregnant, I had been told multiple times that I would never become pregnant without help. I try and picture what my baby would have looked like, were they a miss or a mister... and normally that is what I conjure up, the skin and hair of their father and my blue eyes.. although, I normally cannot grasp a very clear image. I tell myself it is because the baby I imagine can never touch the actual one God has planned to place in my arms. For now the baby lies solely in my heart. He or she would start kindergarten in the fall. I think of that baby often when I am around other children that age. Would they have my mindset or my husbands? Would they have another sibling? How different would my life be? We had been married just shy of 5 years, I was on the verge of my 30th birthday. I had assumed I would have 2, possibly 3 children by then. But our plans are not His...but when I cannot see the grander picture...those are the moments I most wish our plans were aligned. It is not til later that I can see His hand placed in every detail.

This year we are to celebrate 10 years of being hitched. I will turn 35 and the ache in my heart has never dulled. Every few years I go through stages. I can be strong and handle it and other times...the pain comes in waves. It grips your gut and you cannot see past the blinders you have on: baby fever. I wish I could tell those of you who are in the beginning phases that it gets easier but that would be disingenuous  You just learn to handle it better. You save your tears for when you are alone. The worst are when people tell me "I am still young" or "You guys still get to travel everywhere" Please don't say these things to women who are struggling, they are so....for lack of a better word: Ech.

There are no adequate words for the longing of my heart, for how it desires to be a mother. How do you possibly express the feeling and yearning you have for a person who has yet to exist except in the depths of your heart(and God's image)  I so desire to hold them for the first time, no matter whether I carry the baby or I am given the best gift that life can bring by someone else....

So this is where my heart is coming from. I would like to do two to three posts a month regarding this. One I would like to be from a woman who is in the process of the struggle, if you(or anyone you know) would be willing to share your story...to put yourself out there. Another post would be from a woman who struggled with infertility or miscarriages(or both) and now are mothers. Give hope to women who are in the midst. Even if you are a woman who tried and motherhood was not in the cards for you...my prayers know no bounds. If you are ready and your spouse isn't...I will still pray. If you have the life you always dreamed of, but the grief for your child who didn't survive is still there, please...I will deliver you up to the Lord. If you are single and struggling with wondering if you will ever get married and have children...please, add your name. 

I also want to be lighthearted with this so every few weeks I plan to do vlogs of "what not to say to a woman who gots her some baby fever" If you cannot add humor to a situation...you can never win. I promise;)

If you want to know my specific struggle with infertility, why we have problems then you can click on these two posts... I drank the water  and Tick Tock Tick Tock, The baby Dilemma  

and lastly...I would like to sincerely challenge you to not avoid your friends/family who are new parents or are expecting.The person who eventually benefits least from evading their experiences is...you! Believe me, I fully understand the urge to isolate yourself from these situations. But if you choose to celebrate their joy rather than dwell on your loss...you will soon find that while your yearning has not lessened,  it will be far less daunting.  When it's finally your turn...you are going to want all your friends and family to celebrate, to participate in your happiness.  Don't punish them b/c they don't have your struggle!  Let joy creep in...eventually you will be so glad you did. I did{evade} more than once and I still reek of the feeling of being remiss.

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be blessed from reading this. email it to others or share it on your facebook/twitter. For somewhat selfish reasons(if I am honest) I want to touch base with as many women as possible, there is something to be said for sharing your story with others who may not know you...but immediately "get you" Commiseration brings about healing. Fell free to comment and in no way do you have to follow my blog or be another blogger. Everyone is welcome. If you have an extended story, email may be easier than the comment section, but I will leave it up to you.

My email is 

The Melon Beam

How was my weekend you ask? Well...other than I created the next big thing in the cocktail world, nothing much. You guys should probably take a moment to let this sink in. You were here..today. When it all started. or you are the only 125 or so roughly people who will ever know about this concoction b/c it is never going to become all the rage. Either way is a win-win for you;) 

Actually, my weekend was run amok by that white powdery stuff. No, not that...the other terrible white powder...Snow. We got a full inch. Which means life comes to a screeching halt and every possible bit of bread and milk that could possibly be in our midst...has gone bye bye. You think I jest. I have seen schools be canceled before one flake ever hit the ground. and more than once, the snow never even came. haha  This was exceptionally exciting after having 68' weather on Friday and a high of 28' on Saturday. Fun all around people.

My husband's family got over 30 inches of snow last weekend and the next morning they were all at Dunkin Donuts. If we got 30 inches of snow here...I still wouldn't have meandered outside. A few years ago we had a last minute storm and preparations were slightly late to the game, people had to abandon their cars and walk...and a couple hundred kids got stranded at school and had to spend the night. I think we got 5 or 6 inches. haha But in our defense, it's rare and so we just don't have the equipment.

But my favorite ever was the ice storm from 10 years ago, we were on our 3rd day of no power, we finally got out and headed to the store and a big sign that read just like this greeted us.
Priorities, people. 

Ergo, my plans to attend a favorite's party was nixed. It was too far of a drive and it ended up being completely nasty here. We saw friends for a small bit to say goodbye before they move to Philly, but we were otherwise pretty much home this weekend.  Which means... I make up drink recipes with randomness that lies around my humble abode. Sometimes they are bad...and then sometimes. Goodness happens.

So today...behold the Melon Beam. Not to be confused with either the Melon Ball nor the little death trap known as the Laser Beam(that I have never ever drank, sounds ummmm, ech?). and if you think I didn't google Melon Beam just to be sure I can get props for coining this phrase...then you don't know me at all;) 

Melon Beam
2 servings if straight up(4 if over ice)
4 oz pineapple juice
2 oz melon Liquor
2 oz jim beam
1 oz vodka
spritz of sprite

Pour all ingredients except the sprite into a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously.  Pour into glasses and top with a spritz of sprite or over ice and give it a cherry garnish and a straw.

I did manage to fit in highlights before the snow paid us a visit and I was checking them out today. I always take a picture and look at it. I think pictures are more honest than mirrors. I normally just delete them...but then Wiki came in as I was snapping and my facial expression made me laugh.

Mainly cause my eyebrows look all kindsa crazy, but at least...I can control them(sometimes) if you know what that means then our Monday nights are the same, if not...just go with it. haha

Then we had the annual "play for Kay" game at Duke in honor of Kay Yow, the former N.C.State coach who died of cancer a few years ago.
and my sister in law who was watching the game in Boston spied the one and only, Wiki, doing his side job of scoreboard operator and sent me this picture(which looks funny b/c that isn't his hand in front of his face)
 and how could my weekend not involve bacon!

 There is a baconfest in South Fl next weekend when we are there. May not be able to get tickets though. Kevin Bacon...are you there? If you see this, let me innnnnnnn! hahahaha Yes, I am so sure;)
and a new recipe for candied bacon popcorn, created by a recipe I saw on a flight and a app I had at a restaurant. You will see this soon enough. I promise.

and to leave you with this... My mom found this picture somewhere this weekend. It is from when I was 16 and it was my first ESPN gig.
 I mean....rockin' those suspenders. Cause I don't play!

How was your weekend?

and don't forget, later today I am debuting the infertility prayer project. If you(or anyone you may know) is suffering or has ever suffered from infertility and or miscarriages, I hope that you will decide to become involved. If you want to read the back story you can click on these infertility posts and get more of the back story. Enjoy your Monday!!!

Linking up with
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