Monday, September 1, 2014

Unannounced hiatus

Suprise! I'm back!

I decided to go on an unannounced hiatus during the time of Kyle's family needs. His grandfather passed away and we were very busy during that time. Right after that we went to Florida and though Kyle came back last Sunday my mom and I stayed until this past Saturday! I missed my furbabies and hubs like crazy but I got some much needed r&r! Being a stay at home wife it would seem like I never had much to do, however I think I work more now than I did before. Even if I'm not physically doing something my mind is constantly at work over what needs to be done, what I want to get done, and what seems too impossible to do. A full weeks worth of not doing anything but picking up after myself and the hardest decision I had to make was what to do for dinner was exactly what I needed. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with my mom as well, it's been long overdue.

My parents both went down to FL on August 13th and then my sister, nephew, husband, and I arrived on the 21st around 2AM. On the 24th my dad, sister, nephew, and Kyle all left. Jacob, my nephew, got to see the ocean for the first time and with him having an obsession with sharks you can only imagine his excitement. With all his knowledge of sharks and how they attack he didn't even want to put his toes in the water, he about had a stroke when I was waist deep.

Needless to say we spent most of our time at the pool meeting new friends.

xoxo Haley

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Road trip essentials

As our road trip to Florida with my family is less than two weeks away, what better time to make a packing list!

When packing you cannot forget the essentials for the road! My essentials:

One. Snacks.
I don't know what it is about roadtrips but I find it necessary to have plenty of munchies! Just when you think you've packed enough snacks, pack a few'll thank me later.

Two. Blanket.
A road trip cannot be complete without a power nap in which calls for a blanket...and pillow!

Three. Tunes.
I'm sure many will agree that a road trip is not a road trip without a mixed tape. It's essential to have throwback tunes, Britney Spears or Backstreet boys anyone? You may want to consider headphones as well, who knows when you'll have a grumpy passenger that makes you turn your stereo down.

Four. Camera.
I find it highly important to capture your roadtrip adventure. You know, sneak a shot of the backseat passengers all passed out leaning on one don't wanna miss that one for the scrapbook!

Five. Travel Apps.
Why? Because you may just need to know where the closest Starbucks is in order to refuel your energy, or you may need to know where the closest rest stop is to release yourself.

Now you're all set for your next road trip! What's your must haves when on the road?

xoxo Haley

Friday, August 8, 2014

A first

With less than five hours of sleep under my belt I probably shouldn't be blogging right now but I've been away for too longg as is I really need to work on my scheduled editorial calendar. Yesterday we recieved the news that Kyle's grandfather may not have much longer to live, estimated in days. As soon as Kyle got off work we drove 45 minutes to be with him. We ended up staying in Dover overnight at his parents house only to return to Clarksville at 5:00AM. I'm emotionally and physically drained to say the least.

This is a first for me. I have dealt with death in my family more times than I would like to count. I haven't, however, had the hand dealt of a death in my spouses family. When I recieved the call from Kyle yesterday I completely fell apart on the inside, and after hanging up the phone on the outside as well. The pain in Kyles voice broke me. As his wife I wanted to immediately fix everything and this was something I couldn't. I wanted to cradle him like a child and let him know everything would be okay, but I couldn't. This wasn't something I could fix or just slap a bandaid on. I felt completely helpless.

This wasn't the only first for me. When two of my three grandfathers passed away neither had mourning spouses, they were both divorced. When my grandmother passed away she also didn't have a spouse. When my great grandmother passed away her husband had already passed long before I was born. Kyle's grandfather, however, did have a mourning spouse. I had never experienced death from this view, seeing her rub his hand as he laid in the hospital bed, seeing the life completely drained from her, knowing she hasn't slept and probably hasn't eaten, it was completely heart breaking.

Again, these weren't the only firsts. Kyle has a huge family, to which some people may think its average but to me it's gigantic. When my grandfather was in hospice he had a couple of friends drop by, my uncle came, but other than that my dad, mom, sister, and I were the main visitors. The difference? Kyle's grandfather had six out of seven grand kids, the seventh on his way, and many more family members there to support and love him. It was so refreshing to hear all sorts of stories about a man I didn't get to love and know long enough.

Grand daddy Clay will be missed by so many people. He's one of the greatest men I've met and I wish I could have known him longer than just three short years. You know you can speak highly of someone when their grandson is walking through the store and is stopped by a stranger and told a story of how Clay gave her medication for her baby when she couldn't afford it and never asked for a dime (he owned a pharmacy), along with many more stories of his generosity. I can't tell you the amount of stories of how he has the patience of a saint...even when his grandchild knocks over a whole can of gas in the garage and yet he doesn't say a word, he just cleans it up.

I'm thankful that this past Christmas at their house I sat in the seat beside him. As I helped him open his presents and read his cards I got to bond with him, a moment that on any other day I may have taken for granted.

I ask that you pray for his family through this time. Though he has not passed yet, his family is already dealing with the emotions of the events leading up to it. I also ask that you pray for when he does pass, that it will be peaceful and that he won't have to experience any pain and that his family will have peace and know that he is in a much better place than we are and that they can rejoice in that.

xoxo Haley

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday fancy

Hooray for Friday! Here in tennessee it's tax free weekend on school supplies, clothing, etcetera. As much as I love a deal I don't think my nerves can handle the crowds today. So instead I will tell you what I'm currently fancying about!

I am fancying that one day I will own a MacBook. I have an iphone and iPad and, to me, it makes sense to own an apple computer so everything can connect across the board. But it's pricey so for now I'll day dream cause I am more focused on renovating parts of my house.

I am fancying about owning this bad boy as well. A Canon Rebel T5i. It's not high on the list of being professional grade but for a family and blogging camera it covers all my wants and needs. With a price tag of $600-$700 I guess it will also have to be placed on the back burner. Sigh. Who am I kidding? I've totally been whining to Kyle about it.

Surprisingly that's the only two things on my high-priced wants list. I try to keep the list small so I can check things off faster *wink*

What are you fancying about?
xoxo Haley

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Our Story Part 3: Engaged

If you haven't read the previous posts on how we met or when we dated you can find those here:
We Met
We Dated

September 9, 2012 Kyle and I were headed to the first Tennessee Titans home game of the season vs the New England Patriots. It started out as a normal day and this game, unlike most, we made good time on the road so we could tailgate. As we neared the exit to the stadium we ran into the game day traffic. I could tell Kyle was starting to getting antsy as there was no ease or gracefulness to his gas and break peddle. Several times I thought we were going to rear end the car in front of us or be rear ended. Naturally I start nagging due to the anxiety attack that was about to take over me head on.

Finally we got to the game. Before we got out Kyle asked, "can we have a serious conversation?" With this I knew I was about to be lectured on "don't drink too much", "behave yourself", etc.

Me, "no because I know what you're going to say"
Kyle, "oh do you now?"
Me (in a mimicking voice) "don't drink too much...behave..."
Kyle, "well that's not exactly it but yeah that too..."
Me, "okay proceed..."
Kyle, "you know this was this same place we had our first date so I thought this would be the best place to ask you, will you marry me?"

Out of no where I look down and see him holding this shiny diamond ring, all I could think was "when did he get this out of his pocket?"

Of course I said yes and in the midst of the "oh my gosh", "how long have you been planning this", "are you sure" etc. I finally stopped in my ohh's and aww's and looked at him and asked,

"Wait...did you ask for my dads permission?"
Kyle, "of course!"

I then proceeded with the ooh's and aww's. I called my mom and told her and she was overwhelmed with happiness. She told me she knew he was going to ask because Kyle had come over to her house and with his face white as a ghost asked if he could speak to my dad alone.

I called and told my sister and after we got off the phone I realized oh my gosh, it's her birthday and I didn't even wish her to have a happy one...she still jokes with me about that.

Later in the stadium we told all of our friends that sit in our section and everyone was so happy for us. One of my friends and I headed out to the concessions and while standing there none other than the real Hayden Penettierre walked past us. My friend yelled out "Hayden!" And she turned around and walked over to us. I practically word vomited "I just got engaged today!!!" and with that she grabbed my hand and told me I had a killer rock and ohh'd and awed over it and then she went on her way.

Then I had to plan the wedding...

xoxo Haley

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fruit Salad

Finding a good summertime side item that Kyle will actually eat is hard to come by. He's not big into vegetables unless it's sweet potatoes so dinner time come summertime is normally a one-pot-meal. My grandmother use to always make this amazing fruit salad and, to be completely honest, I totally forgot all about it. For Kyle's birthday party, yep the big 3-0, my mom decided to bring the fruit salad dish which only reunited me with my love for fruit salad. With my new found intolerances it's going to be quite some time before I can have it again, and when it's time I won't be able to use the regular "fruit cocktail" due to my severe peach intolerance. So meanwhile, before I have to go on a 9 week clean out, I decided I would try to enjoy the fruity goodness in all it's glory. Saturday we went to T's house, Kyle's best friend, and his girlfriend made dinner and I guessed it... fruit salad. It was actually the first time I had ever made it and once I did I realized it was just too easy and too yummy not to share, with my mom's permission of course! Without further adieu:

Unfortunately my lighting source was not willing to work with me for this picture.


8oz Cool Whip (thawed)

1oz box of  sugar free vanilla jello pudding

15oz can of fruit cocktail* (in light syrup); drained

10.5oz can of mandarin oranges; drained

8oz can of pineapple tidbits** don't drain, you need the juice!


Mix together pudding, mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail, and pineapple. If you want to put an embellishment on top be sure to place 4-5 mandarin orange slices to the side. Once fruit and pudding is stirred up fold in your cool whip and mix. Once it's good and mixed together smooth out the surface and place your mandarin oranges on top.

*the grocery was out of just regular ol' fruit cocktail so I used extra cherry mixed fruit instead-basically the same thing with...extra cherries

**the grocery was actually out of the tidbits at the time that I made this so I just substituted it with crushed.

As always, let me know if you try it out and what you think!

this post was a part of Mama Kat's Writer Workshop

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sleepless in the south

I've recently got into this horrible routine at night. I go to bed but instead of going to sleep I get on Pinterest. If I try to go straight to sleep I lie there pondering about a thousand plus one things. Just random things, never of any significance. So I peruse Pinterest until my brain unwinds and my eye lids get heavy. Sometimes my eyes get so heavy they threaten to close with the view of one more pin. So at this point I put my phone on charge and try to drift off to sleep.

My eyes are now wide open. My brain screams out, "suprise! You thought you could sleep but here's a list of everything you need to do tomorrow and well...for the rest of the year".

So I lie there. Tossing and turning. Sleep deprivation knocking at my door. Before you know it my 4:30AM alarm starts screaming out in the silence of the early morning. When did I fall asleep? Why do I feel drunk? What was in that list to do today?

11:00 AM rolls around and I need a nap. My day is all screwed up now. My sleep is all over the map. The other day I was watching the afternoon news and before you know it Kyle is shaking me awake at 4:00pm. What the crap just happened? Am I narcoleptic now?

After much thought into why this is going on my only answer, in which I can't even guarantee is correct, is stress. I need to de-stress myself...and maybe drink a gallon of whiskey. Wait perhaps that's a bad idea, a hangover isn't going to do me any good.

How do you de-stress yourself? Any remedies for an amazing night of sleep?

xoxo Haley

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Taking a chance

Mama’s Losin’ It

5.) Talk about a time you took a chance.

I don't know if I can honestly say I'm a "risk taker" and that I like to take chances on a day to day basis. I would like to describe myself as fearless yet I'm an over thinker and I don't think the two can belong parallel.

Right before Kyle and I got married I had this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach but I couldn't pin point what it was. As time went on it started to hint at my job. I had gone to college for two years when taking on one of my dads barbecue restaurants fell in my lap. I embraced this opportunity and more often than not I loved my job. As overwhelming as it could sometimes be I found happiness in what I was doing, helping carrying out my dads dream. After several months of that nagging feeling digging deeper in the pit of my stomach I realized just that, it's my dads dream not mine.

I mentioned the idea of changing careers to Kyle in which he responded by telling me that he would support me in whatever decision I made. I just couldn't bring myself to do it though. Leaving the barbecue world didn't just mean I wouldn't be smelling like pork everyday it meant I would be giving up the opportunity to one day own it. The thought of losing that opportunity weighed heavy on me. It could mean a huge sacrifice for my future children, owning a restaurant would have been a nice monetary cushion for them in which I could provide more.

As weeks went by I slowly started realizing that maybe I wasn't so happy with my job. It was the same routines everyday, other than caterings I literally did the same thing Being in charge of a whole crew started to feel like being a babysitter to a bunch of rowdy toddlers, not to say I didn't absolutely love my crew because seriously they were the best of the best, but it started to just become repetitive. The customers started getting on my nerves, believe it or not this didn't happen frequently for me, and somedays I would swear that if one more person complained about our bottled water being $1 I would absolutely lose my cool.

I still couldn't take the chance on throwing my future away.

I started feeling guilty because everyday I would come home in a bad mood which, to say the least, was not fair to Kyle.

Finally after all the signs God threw my way the chance finally came to leave the barbecue world, kind of, behind me. Our lease was coming up and my dad started talking about renewing it. Mind you that my particular store on my side of town was not in the best location which at times was very unfortunate. I had already made my mind up that I was going to be making a career change but I couldn't find the words to tell my dad. I literally would start to sweat bullets even thinking about the conversation.

Finally one morning he brought up renewing the lease and I completely word vomited. I knew this was my chance to tell him and if not now then it would be never. So I told him if he renewed I would no longer be there to run it. He looked at me completely confused and asked why and then that's when I explained it to him. Previously when I imagined this conversation I visualized darts being thrown at me, instead he told me he completely supported my decision and that he understood I had to do what was best for my family. I may have had to pick my jaw up off the floor, just saying.

Needless to say my dad ended up closing that location. After a vigorous job search in the banking world Kyle and I decided it would be best for me to be a SAHW and focus on myself and maintaining our home. I now work two days a week, two hours a day just to help out my dad by pulling the meat and marinating it. Though it's not my top choice waking up at 4:30 AM for two hours of work I'm happy with where I am at and wouldn't take back the decision if I could.

I took a chance and if there was ever a chance worth taking, this was it.

xoxo Haley

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


For quite some time now I just haven't felt good. Not the "I have a cold", "my belly hurts", etc. feel good but more of the I'm fatigue, I'm dizzy, frequent headaches, I could fall asleep any second, I rather crap my pants than walk to the bathroom...okay, you get it. I just feel like crap no pun intended. I had gone to the doctor months ago to figure out what was wrong and why I was randomly getting so dizzy I couldn't make it through a full work day. After stealing multiple tubes of blood from my body and making me pay a ridiculous co-pay, a week later I received my test results.

"Everything's fine. Your test results had no abnormalities."
...and they sent me on my way, no further testing, nothing...

'Scuse my french but are you EFFING kidding me?! Last time I checked it is not normal to be dizzy and lethargic on a day to day basis. You can take your PhD and ram it so far up your hiney that it will never see a day of sunlight. Needless to say I refuse to ever visit that doctor's office again and should have took the note down when my friend told me they almost killed him when wrongly diagnosing him.

I left it alone though. I abandoned my health concerns in hopes that they would sort themselves out, it will go away...I'll be just fine... After seeing me slowly deteriorate my mom, metaphorically speaking, came knocking on my door telling me I wasn't in this alone and we would figure this out together. So she set me up an appointment to have more blood drawn. This time we would be checking for my food allergies.

Who knew you could be allergic to something and never have a fat clue!?

I finally got my test results back and I'm allergic to many things that I consume on a daily basis, one being gluten. Bye bye beer. Grapes, so long wine. You can only imagine the big ball of pity I'm rolling around in over here...not to say that I'm an alcoholic but I like to consume about two beers a week, three if I get wild, and an occasional glass of Riesling. Do I even need to speak my love for an all-american burger? Well, hello turkey burgers...we may need to get acquainted quite sooner than later. Oh and remember that coffee addiction I was talking about? Yeah, I always use vanilla creamer, as seen above in my yellow intolerance list... I won't lie, I'm crying a little river on this side of the blogosphere.

So what's there to do now? Go through countless recipes and try to figure out what I can and cannot have. Within those recipes that are gluten-free I have to find substitutes for the things I can't have such as white wine or soy, etc. Throw away all of the knowledge I've gained throughout my journey of becoming more domesticated in order to prepare Kyle delicious dinners, because quite frankly those dinners were on the road to killing me and I'm pretty sure he would rather eat poop for dinner than to not have his wife, or maybe I'm flattering myself. On top of all of this I pretty much have to change my entire lifestyle. Kyle and I attend small group every Wednesday and each time is rotated between houses and who to cook, it's not fair to them to have to abide by my weird diet because my body is pissed at me and doesn't want to digest anything therefore it's just floating around like, "hey strawberry, how long have you been here?". Therefore when attending our bible study I will either have to eat prior or pack my dinner. Same with our Sunday brunches at Kyle's Nanny's house. Yeah, my head is still trying to wrap around all of this.

In all seriousness, even if you do not have an intolerance to gluten I would strongly suggest to try to eliminate it from your diet. If you ever do research on what it actually does to the body you, much like I, will want to sue the FDA for allowing such in the American diet. Selfish assholes. To sum it up we might as well let the FDA approve rat poison in our Lucky Charms.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Our story: We dated

Today I'm going to continue Our Love Story. If you missed Part One: We Met you can find that here.

Part Two: We Dated
After meeting December 5th we continued texting and random phone chats, we also hung out a time or two. Five days into dating Kyle I decided I was going to prove everyone wrong. I was going to make a record to show everyone just how long I knew he was the one. Really it was more for him than anyone. I started a journal. My goal was to write him a love note at least once a week and I would give it to him on our wedding night.

Our second official date was on my birthday, December 16th. I knew without a doubt that everything about him was so much different than what I was use to. I treated our unofficial relationship like a delicate flower. When Kyle came to pick me up from my parents house, where I lived, I explained to my parents that I wasn't ready for them to meet him so he would not be ringing the doorbell. My family is extremely southern traditional. Before you take a man's daughter on a date you come to the door and you shake that man's hand, that's just how it goes in the south. With my feelings so intense for him right off the bat, emotionally I could not handle them meeting him yet. Once he text me that he was in the driveway I headed out to his truck where he was standing by the passenger door ready to open it. A true southern gentleman. He took me to dinner to one of our favorite hibachi grills and the night went wonderfully.

I remember being so amazed at how smooth our conversations would flow. Never any awkward moments or twittling of thumbs, just smooth sailing. I quickly realized I could be myself with him, I could laugh, I could chat, I could be a dork. For the first time since high school I felt comfortable in a relationship. There was no pressure, no trying, it just happened.

Kyle waited almost two months of dating before he asked me to be his girlfriend. Being the jokester that he is he asked, "so do you want to be Facebook official?" Heck yes!

We went on many adventures while dating. We went on canoe trips, out of state motorcycle rides, travelled to see tractor pulls, and much more. He was the first guy I dated with an actual career and did well for himself, being that I was only 22 years old it was a pretty big deal...then again he is almost five years older.

A year and a half in to our relationship, April 12th, we decided to take our relationship to the next step. For most that would mean an engagement, but our timeline was a little backwards so instead we bought a house! With mortgage rates low it was in our best interest to buy because they would soon be going up. After six months of being together I basically lived with him and his best friend and it finally became time to start our own nest.

The old saying is once you move in together your relationship gets harder, however that wasn't the case for us. Before we had a bedroom to escape to and a roommate that we had to be conscious of. Once we had our own place we had rooms where we could get away from one another and breathe a little, not that this happened often. Kyle became my best friend. When we would argue over something the first thing I wanted to do was run and talk to my best friend, making it hard because he was the one I was arguing with.

I remember the exact moment I fell completely head over heels for him. I knew I loved him after day one but I wasn't in love with him yet. One day we decided we were going to take a nap and then get up and get ready to meet some friends at the bar. We took our showers and when we started to get ready we just looked at each other and knew we didn't want to go out. At 10pm we went on a road trip to Wendy's and got some burgers and frosty's then stopped by Redbox to get a movie. On our way back we were just goofing off the whole way home. In that moment I realized, without a shadow of doubt, I wanted to marry this man and spend the rest of my life doing just this.

Then September came...
xoxo Haley

Friday, July 18, 2014

Our Story: The Meeting

Forever ago I said I would tell the fabulous story of how Kyle and I met, I've yet to do that. So with Mr. Writer's Block knocking at my door and me trying to ignore him I'll take the time now to give you our little love story! Enjoy!

I started out as a little girl from Hendersonville, TN. Kyle started out as a little boy from Dover, TN. We were approximately 84.5 miles apart growing up. I went to college in Chattanooga, TN, he went to Murray, KY. Approximately 249.2 miles apart. 

When I was in college I was always the single friend, and I didn't mind this. I'm pretty sure my friends minded more than I did because I was just wanting to have fun and have dating flings. As a joke they set me up on a dating website. I actually went on a date with one of the guys from Chattanooga but it was never serious. 

Once I left college I returned back home to Clarksville. As mentioned here I didn't have many friends in Clarksville. I worked with all girls, had only girl friends, the church I attended was mainly younger married couples, how was one suppose to meet a guy? The bar? Um, no! So I decided I would actually look into the whole online dating trend that was rapidly becoming more popular around me. I dated two guys that I had met online and neither were lasting relationships so I decided to call it quits. I continued being single for an entire year, going on casual dates, none of which were met online, before I decided I needed to delete my online dating profile. The night I went to delete my profile I finally decided I would take a look at my number one match, I hadn't prior to this because he has a child in the picture. (Shout out to the girls who have the sanity to date men with children, after one relationship of dating a guy with a child I knew it just wasn't for me). 

And there he was. Hellllooo, handsome! Come to find out the little girl in the picture was his niece. His sister had told him to put up the picture cause in his words, "Chicks love kids". We messaged back and forth and eventually exchanged phone numbers which led to many texts back and forth. One thing that reeled me in on his profile it said something along the lines of, "I spend my Sunday's going to church with my grandfather," and "family is extremely important to me," um, what's up winner!

And then it came time to finally meet. I'm a pretty die-hard Tennessee Titans fan. My parents have had season seats since the first game and I've always enjoyed attending the games. On December 5, 2010 my friend was suppose to go to the game with me to see the Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars however she dropped at the last second, the day before the game. She told me I should just take Kyle, the guy I had met online. After looking at her and exclaiming she was crazy I finally realized hey, maybe that's not such a bad idea. The stadium may be an hour away from where we live but I have friends there and if all else fails I'll just hang out with them. I shot him a text and asked him if he wanted to go, to which he replied he couldn't because it was his cousins birthday. I told him I understood but I sat there feeling completely shot down. While pitying myself for five minutes I got another text from him, "Nevermind, I'll be there. My roommate told me I'm a douche if I don't go." Blink, blink. SCORE! We set up the plans: I would pick him up from his house I clearly did not want a stranger knowing where I lived and have the beer ready for us in the back seat.

And then it was the morning I met him. I pulled into the cul-de-sac where he lived and notice and big trailer with the company name of my best friends brother in laws concrete business. Hm, maybe it's a sign? I called him to tell him I was outside his house, the first time I had ever heard his voice and vice versa. Oh boy, I have a country bumpkin on my hands. He walked out with a blanket in his hands, it was a December game, and it was nice to see he put some thought into our date. Once he got into my car I pulled off and we start the nervous chatter which was quickly put to rest.

Me: Hey my best friends brother in law owns that concrete company. (on said trailer)

Him: Oh really? Brittny or Lani?

Me: blink, blink. Um, Lani...

Him: Yeah that's my roommates truck and trailer, he's Josh's the owner/brother in law brother which is my best friend.

Could there be more of a sign?

We laughed about how small the world is and then continued to another topic of conversation:

Him: So what do you find attractive in guys?

Me: I don't know what it is but I love a bald head. Maybe it's the southern in me but I also love a guy who dips.

*now you may see in the picture of him above, he has a hat on. I had yet to see a picture of him without a hat and when he got into my car for the date he was also wearing a hat.

Him: oh really? Removes hat and exposes bald head.

Me: immediately blushing I give out a giggle.

We got to the game and he was a complete gentlemen. He shared his blanket with me to keep me warm and put his arm around me. I was seriously stunned at how wonderful the date was. Best first date ever.

The next day I told my sister, "I'm going to marry him" to which she quickly replied, "get real, Haley, you never put up with a guy past two months". She had a point.

Part Two: We Dated

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Coffee addict

Mama’s Losin’ It

4.) Something you got to do when you were young that you would not let your children do.

As a child, and still to this day, I have always been my mom's sidekick... always. Anything and everything she did I wanted to do as well, which I'm sure always kept her on her toes to do the right thing because she always had me less than one step behind her. 

I remember Saturday mornings always being my favorite. She was off from work and I would get to enjoy her the entire morning before other festivities took place. I remember I would wake up and run down stairs to crawl in bed with her and have our Saturday snuggles, which were the best. Once we were up and moving we would head to the kitchen and I would wait while she fixed the coffee.
Anyone remember Chip from Beauty and The Beast? Yeah, I owned that coffee cup! After Mom finished making the coffee we would go sit on the back porch and chat all morning all while I, an eight-or-so year old, drank coffee

Looking back I don't know if it was such a good idea to let a child drink coffee. Still to this day I cringe at the thought of starting my morning without it. I remember in high school I would get up two hours early before school started so I could go to Starbucks beforehand. On the days I don't go into work to help my dad I can drink a whole 12-cup carafe of coffee, no big deal. I'm just saying, I may have a coffee problem.

Though there are plenty of things much worse that a child could do, I'm still not so sure that I would let my child drink coffee with me. As much as I cherish these moments of when I was a child I think I'll let my kid have their own fix, maybe chocolate milk with added syrup...maybe apple juice garnished with an apple wedge...I'm not really sure. 

I would like to say I will never give my child coffee but over the years I have fallen in my mother's footsteps more than a time or two. Since I currently don't have children I can't say what I would and would not let my child do other than the obvious, ya know like roller blade while juggling knives or something. My childless self is screaming "heck no I am not giving my kid coffee, I'm sure they will have more energy than I can handle as is!" Who knows though, maybe my kid will be like me and need a pick-me-up. 

So my question to you is: Would you let your eight year old, give or take, have coffee?

Monday, July 14, 2014


This past week I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a post saying "Colbie Caillat was tired of continually being photoshopped so this is what she did...". Immediately my curiosity piqued so I clicked on the link provided which led me to Colbie Caillat's music video for her song Try. After viewing the video all I could think of was, "I wish this existed when I was in high school." Throughout high school I always had plenty of friends. After coming out of my awkward middle school years I finally colored my hair darker, gained a little weight, and applied makeup daily which resulted in me being at least average. This gave me a confidence boost and I quickly turned into a social butterfly.

Even here with a pushup/padded bra it was apparent I was flat chested. I had bushy eyebrows, dishwater blonde hair, and makeup and I had yet to become best friends. 
Meet high school.
I had finally gained some weight, not looking so anemic and like I actually ate and kept my food down. I met makeup, I learned you could wax you're eyebrows, and my cosmetologist mom agreed to color my hair darker. I remember in middle school there was a girl who I thought was the coolest of the cool. She was not a 'mean girl' but she had a ton of friends and I thought  to myself "I wish I could be one of her friends", unbeknownst to me I would become not only her friend, but her best friend and attend her wedding years later. Not because of the change of hair or makeup but because once I did make those changes I finally had the "balls", if you will, to speak to people and be sociable.  I finally had an amazing set of friends and I even met my high school sweet heart. Unfortunately, a wrench was thrown in the path I had planned for myself. I moved to another city the second semester of my junior year in high school.

I was devastated.
I thought my world was ending.
What would become of my high school sweet heart and I?

My first day at my new school I was looked at as if I had two heads, each having horns attached. No one would speak to me, I was alienated. I didn't get it, at my old school if we had a "new kid" we all became overly excited and rushed to meet them in hopes of gaining a new friend, many of which I took on... not here though. My insecurities resurfaced and my only outing was to my boyfriend that lived an hour away. Our nightly phone conversations started to become repetitive...

him "hi sweetie, how was your day today?"
me "horrible, I hate this school, everyone sucks..."
him "oh, just be patient I'm sure everyone will grow to love you!"

Then I would spend about 30 minutes to an hour whining and crying about how I just wanted to be back home. I slowly started alienating myself from my hometown friends. They had the life I once had and wanted back, I had to prove something, I had to make new friends, I had to pretend that my new "home" wasn't so bad and I would be a-o-k. 

It wasn't, at all. After about two months of being at my new school I finally had two people start talking to me. A bisexual female, T, and a homosexual male, D. You can imagine the reputation I quickly acquired by befriending these two. Somehow, I didn't care. I needed someone, something, to take my mind off going day to day with no one to talk to because now my HSSH was randomly becoming too busy to talk. Later D confessed that on my first day of school he was going to ask me to sit by him and once I took the seat he was going to walk away and laugh...I might want to add that D was a total diva! The only thing that stopped him was T telling him he was a horrible person and talking him out of it. 
D & I on the last day of the semester.

I remember going home after school each day and jumping on the treadmill and running my ass off while repeating in my head, "I will be skinny like the popular girls, they will eventually talk to me, I will soon make friends..." mind you, I only weighed 110lbs, so fat right? insert complete rolling of eyes. Looking back I want to cradle that girl that I was, tell her she was good enough and beautiful, and that it wasn't her, it was them. 

Fast forward to years later I am happy in my own skin. I will be the first to admit I love makeup, I love changing the color of my hair, and I love getting my eyebrows, toes, and nails done. However, I do this stuff for me, not anyone else. I am comfortable in my skin to go to the grocery store with no makeup on, not caring who I run into, with my hair unwashed and on top of my head. I am right where I want to be and each night I get to lay down beside a gorgeous man with my naked face and wet hair and guess what, he still loves me.

 For the sake of the video, here I am naked, exposed, and still beautiful. Why? Because God didn't create me to have a full face of makeup on when I came out of the womb and dare I say that he created something less than beautiful. Makeup should be for fun, not to hide behind.

Side note: I later went to prom with D (his senior year, my junior) and we had a blast. I still keep in contact with him today but not often. I didn't marry my high school sweet heart, we broke it off a month before my senior year prom. I got into the 'popular' group for two weeks until they spread rumors around the entire school that I was a lesbian thus leaving me to eat my lunch in the bathroom  stall (because I would have food thrown at me during lunch) until I befriended T which led me to eat my lunch in the Art room with her. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Girls just gotta have fun

What? Sometimes girls just gotta have fun! Seriously, who doesn't love some Sophia Grace? One thing I absolutely love to do when I'm in my girly girl mood is get my nails and toes done! I love soaking my feet in the jetted foot tub at the nail salon while sitting in the massage chair that you can control to massage where ever you want! Lower back problems? They have a setting for that. Neck ache? They got that too. I absolutely LOVE being pampered.

More often than not my mom and I do this together. We sit in our massaging pedi chairs and chit chat then head over to the mani stations. While she is more natural and gets Shellac on her nails I actually get acrylic nails.
I absolutely love the set I received Wednesday of this week. Inspired by Pinterest I went with a seafoam green with white polka dots on the middle fingers and white with sparkles on my ring fingers. I love them, they're so much fun!

However sometimes getting your nails done is not always glitz and glamour. Luckily I found a salon that I can actually understand what the nail techs are saying... for the most part. Other times, I just nod my head and hope for the best.  When they start speaking Vietnamese I won't lie, I often become uncomfortable. If you haven't seen Anjelah Johnson's skit on getting your nails done, I highly recommend it.

Pretty sure she hits the nail on the head with this one.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

One thing I love about meeting with my small group from church on a weekly basis is getting to try and trade different recipes. Yesterday I mentioned Cucumber Lemon Diffused Water which is actually a treat I learned from a couple in our group. Another recipe I learned was Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs . Let me tell you, this is delicious, and this is coming from a person who is not crazy about chicken. Also Kyle hates, and I do not use this word lightly, ranch but he absolutely loves this recipe! I stuck to the recipe other than leaving out the sugar as well as doing tenders instead of the kabobs. You can find the recipe: here.

1/2C olive oil
1/2C ranch dressing
3tbsp worcestershire sauce
1tbsp minced fresh rosemary I just pulled a few sprigs off my plant and chopped them finely
2tsp salt
1tsp lemon juice
1tsp white vinegar
1/4tsp ground black pepper
1tbsp white sugar, or to taste (opt)
5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves cut into 1in cubes

In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar (opt). Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken in the bowl and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to med-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers, discard marinade.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 8-12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

And wah-lah! You have some of the juiciest, tenderest, most delightfully scrumptious chicken ever! Leave a comment to let me know if you tried it out and what you think!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 Ways to Cool Off

It's that time of the year where we forget how cold the winter was and start heavily complaining about the harsh heat and sunburns. Never fear, I am here to tell you ten ways to cool down during these heated summer months.
Let's start by stating the obvious, shall we?
stay inside, duh
That's right. Beat the heat and go kick your feet up. Not quite ideal for me because I rather be outdoors during the summer because it's much easier to enjoy the beauty God created in the summer rather than everything that is dead in the winter. 
invest in this

This little jewel is what gets me through my days of gardening. It's a cooling towel, I purchased the Enduracool from Lowes, and it doesn't matter if you put hot or cold water on it... just give it a few snaps and BAM, it's cold. Kyle obviously has more than one of these for long days of mowing.
peppermint essential oil

Caution: please do not drink. Grab yourself a spray bottle, add some water, put a couple of drops of oil in it, and spray yourself! My mom and dad swear by this remedy. 
shower thyself
...with cold water! Kyle likes to take steamy showers regardless of the temperature outside. I, however, am prone to turning it icy cold and enjoying the sting on my skin after a long day of outdoor play.
spray yo'self before you burn yo'self
It's obviously a given that if you are playing outside one may want to apply sunscreen. However! This Sport CoolZone sunscreen by Banana Boat is quite delightful. It not only smells better than most sunscreens but it also is extremely cooling. Why not kill two birds with one stone? 
ice ice baby!
Sure, you can suck on an ice cube or two, but why not add a little flavor with some ice pops! Kyle keeps them in stock at home and on the job. 
take a dip
 That's right, my friend. Put on your skimpies and take the plunge. A sure way to cool off...and get a little wet.
 Drink yourself some water, friend. I love a nice cold glass of water when I have sweat rolling down my face. If you get a wild hair, cut up some lemon and cucumber and infuse your water. I absolutely love the refreshing taste of cucumber lemon water. Best part ladies: it helps with bloating... you're welcome.
Treat yourself to some ice cream! ...or a fudge pop...or a yogurt pop... or whatever cold guilty pleasure that tickles your fancy!
Make yourself a smoothie. Don't know how? No excuse, there's Pinterest for that, or Google.

Don't forget! Please apply deodorant, even if you have to have someone apply it for you. 
(This picture was taken on my wedding day, hence the dress and veil. I couldn't get the deodorant on without getting it on my dress so my sister kindly lend a hand.)
This post was inspired by the one and only Mama Kat and is a part of her Writer's Workshop. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fourth of July weekend

I know this post is coming a little late, however I haven't been feeling the greatest lately and I've had a thousand+one things going on. So! Happy Fourth of July!

We spent the fourth camping with my inlaws. We headed to Paris, Tn late Friday afternoon with the pups and put the boat in the water around 8pm to watch the firework display on the Paris Landing Bridge. After being on the water for a bit we decided to call it a night so we could try to pull off the water before everyone made it to the ramp, unfortunately we weren't the only one with this plan.

We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing at the camper and on the water. Saturday night the owner of Hidden Creek, the camp ground we were staying at, put on a firework show. Hands down possibly one of the best I've seen. After the show we all hung out and drank beer, which you can see in the pictures above my MIL and her friend were having a little too much fun. They wrapped eachother in caution tape while my MIL proceeded to ride my five year old niece's bike. Much laughter was involved and I thought a time or two I may just wet my pants from uncontrollable laughter.

xoxo Haley

Friday, July 4, 2014

First, let's talk about a #Selfie

We've all seen it, we've all heard it. Selfie. The latest hashtag phenomenon. So much so, that there's also been a song made.
Mind you, there's been countless debates and opinions shared that have gone on and on and...on about how horrendous, and quite frankly repulsive, this is. I'm not going to do that. Originally I wanted to write a post about how being a stay at home wife I don't get out much and how on a regular basis you can find me with no makeup and a t-shirt with my hair undoubtedly on top of my head in a messy bun, however the post, I decided, should be about something completely different. Why?
Once I uploaded this picture of how I randomly, on a day I wouldn't be getting out and a day I wouldn't be seeing anyone other than my dogs, decided to put on makeup and sit on the front porch all while taking selfies because I wanted to capture my moment of fabulousness I realized I rather blog about the selfie phenomenon. I don't know why... just stick with me here. What is a selfie you ask? Well if you're asking I'm going to put aside that you live under a rock and instead give you the definition via :
A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person's arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Myspace to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera.
Now I can guarantee you that my slightly embarrassing selfie photo collage did not make it to Facebook nor was it posted to MySpace (I didn't know anyone still used the MySpace platform?) Really it would have never even became acquainted with the web if it were not for me blogging about it. Why did I take a selfie? Because I wanted to capture the one day I decide to apply makeup so it wouldn't be another day feeling less than fabulous. I could go on and on about how ladies, and gentlemen in some cases, need to put away the kissy face and the 'emo' persona but too many people have covered that topic on how less than fabulous one may look when making such faces. So instead let's give a duck faced selfie taker and an 'I obviously am very in touch with my emotions' emo selfie taker a round of applause.
If making such faces make you feel beautiful, liked, confident, or whatever other positive energy flow than you keep doing you! Pucker those lips and snap a few extra for me. However! You may want to keep such a scenario in mind before uploading for the world to see: I once was a hiring manager and there came a time where two applicants fit the bill and I was completely indecisive on which one I should hire. Both had clean backgrounds, around the same age, both had reliable transportation, and they both lined up equally with one another. To take my hiring process a bit further I did what some larger corporate companies do. I Facebook stalked. One girl had pictures of herself with friends and family and some photos that were 'caught in the moment'. The other girl, however, had a photo she had clearly taken herself of her kissing her boyfriends cheek and then the rest of the photos were selfies. Legit kissy face, ducklipped, arm in picture selfies. After analyzing the photos on each girls account I ended up hiring the girl that had photos with friends that were actually taken by someone other than herself. Though it may be judging a book by the cover the girl with the selfies looked more like she didn't have many friends (which told me she may not be good in a team environment) and also looked like she was more into herself than others...which also is a red flag. I am not going to say taking a picture of yourself makes you a total loser. I will snap a photo of myself after getting my hair done and upload to Facebook. I will even take a photo of myself making an absolutely obscene face to send to my husband. AND! If one day I feel pretty, I will capture that moment and leave it in my iPhone camera roll to look back on until I need to delete it for space for new photos. Sometimes you need to take some feel good photos for your own viewing pleasure. With that being said take note that not everyone, and we are probably talking majority, care to see your selfies. I rather see a fun day at the beach, what you recently made (food or craft), or pictures of your children growing, a family portrait, etc. You know the saying, "If you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all," well same goes for picture sharing... if you don't have a share worthy picture to share... just don't share at all. Just some thoughts from yours truly. What's your opinions on 'Selfies'?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fourth of July wreath

Last Friday I wrote a post about my front door refresh. I mentioned that now my Fourth of July wreath actually stands out against the black rather than the hideous orangy-red.

You can see the door really does not do my wreath any justice. However now with a black door my wreath pops!

All hail the Fourth of July wreath. On a side note, the wreath wasn't the only thing effected by the hideous door. Last year we planted a crepe myrtle and as much as I wanted a pink one because the blooms are so gorgeous I ended up planting a white one because of the clash of red and pink. Yes, I may have been the only one to have taken note on such but it mattered to me.

Though this is probably the easiest wreath I've ever made it's one of my favorites possibly due to the simplicity.

Just cut the tulle to the length that you want it. Note that the shorter the length the fluffier it looks. My first attempt to a tulle wreath I wanted to make the tulle huge and fluffy like a tutu but unfortunately the tulle ended up falling over and looking a hot mess. Try to get all of your tulle pieces the same length but if it's a smidge off, it's not that big of a deal.

To attach the tulle simply make it into a U-shape and loop it around your foam wreath base. Normally I just try to get all of my tulle on and then I will position it and fluff it.

I did five pieces of white tulle then five red until the wreath was a full as I wanted it to be. Walmart carries foam sparkly letters for cheap so that's what I used to cut the corner on having to paint a wooden letter or even add sparkles. I just attached it with hot glue once I had all of my tulle situated.

Wah-lah! Now you have a cheap and easy Fourth of July wreath that you can use for Memorial Day, Labor Day, and whenever you feel like letting your USA pride shine on your front door! I recently came up with an idea for a wreath base for multiple holidays so once I buy the stuff for it I will make a more I depth tutorial on how to make it.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.
xoxo Haley