Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Projects

I mentioned last weekend that I've been in a funk because of my inability to run as much, so I was good on my word and not only purchased a glue gun but also made something with it. Before I left for Chattanooga I made not only a Christmas ornament wreath but also a pecan pie for Tim. Both were really easy and a lot of fun to do. I've got more craft projects in the works, and I promise to post about them. I included the tutorial below as well as the pecan pie recipe.
I probably spent about $20 on supplies for the wreath, but I had to buy a glue gun and could have gotten the small and teeny ornaments at Walmart or somewhere cheaper than Joann. But I was there, so that's what I got.
I found the basic tutorial here, but basic instructions include gluing the balls in circles around the wreath and then continuing. I'm sure it could have been more methodical than I made it, but I'm happy with how it turned out. If I did it again I would spray paint the foam green or gold or something so that the white didn't show through.
Because I wasn't going to be in Tampa for Thanksgiving, I wanted to leave Tim with something that I know he loves and wouldn't get if I didn't make it. Pecan Pie is his favorite for the holidays. I used a pre-made crust (shh...) but followed a Food Network recipe exactly. I ended up baking it about double the amount of time they said, but I'm starting to think there's something wrong with my oven.
I shopped on Small Business Saturday and have to share with you what I bought, because it will be the inspiration for my next project. 

And I enjoyed my time at home so much; I'll share more pictures over the next few days. I'm lucky because I'll be seeing my family this weekend for our engagement party and next weekend for a shower in Chattanooga as well as for Christmas. I'm going to get spoiled and used to seeing them this much. It's when I get to spend so much time with them that I realize how much I miss them when I don't see them for a long time.  

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend and are ready for December! It's almost here!
Do you have any fun holiday crafts that you're wanting to try or can share with me? I'm looking for other ideas...

Today is the last day to enter my Scentsy $25 Giveaway and my Classic Chic Designs Invitation Giveaway!

And Sonja @ Running in Pearls won the BIC Band Giveaway! Email me your color choice Sonja! If you didn't win, check the BIC Band website and Facebook page for Cyber Monday deals!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

thanksgiving in pictures


Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Weather for the Turkey Trot 8k
Running the Race (See that hill behind me? That pales in comparison to some of the hills...painful for this Florida girl). 
 But we made it! I ran with a friend's husband. I finished my first 8k in 44:48 (9:01 miles), which I'll take because of my hip problems lately and the insane hills on the course.
 Afterwards I visited my sister's salon (in her bathroom) for a quick hair and makeup fix.
And we were off to chow down at the family's house.
I was still good and counted calories and actually didn't go over.
 Me and Kacey
 Cousins {Ashley and Holli}, sister, great aunt {Peggy}
 me and dad after a big meal (he perused the paper while I checked out the sale ads)

family

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I am going to share my Greatful Swap goodies on Sunday, because {Sar} did an amazing job! I am supposed to post today, but because I'm in Chattanooga and my goodies are in Tampa, I have no pictures! Suffice it to say she hit the nail on the head and I've already put my gifts to great use!

Thanks for reading! I'm so very grateful for my friends in the blogging world and wish everyone a wonderful time with their family!
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful {for a lot}

I made it home to Chattanooga last night. It was a long day that started with corralling children into learning on a day that they so did not want to (can't blame them...last day before Thanksgiving break?), and continue with a flight to Atlanta, and renting a car to drive to Chattanooga at 9:00 PM. Phew! But I made it...and it's good to be here!

I'm looking forward to relaxing for the next few days, hopefully running a turkey trot, and keeping my fingers crossed that there will be some great Black Friday deals online (although I'm really tempted by Best Buy's 40" Sharp TV to go get in line). Anyone seen any preview ads for what the sales are going to be online? Brunch at Saks has shared a few...I'm still looking for more...specifically Butter London nail polish

To link up with the Thankful link up, I wanted to of course talk about people I'm thankful for.

Manic Mother

I'm thankful for my Fiance, Tim.


I love this picture, and I entered it in a contest to win $1,000 from Tiny Prints that we could REALLY use for our wedding. If you have a second could you vote for us? I would really be appreciative.

I'm also thankful for my family.


I took this picture. Don't know why I didn't then ask Tim to take one of the four of us. Hm. But! I brought my nice camera home with me so I'll definitely be taking some this week!

I'm thankful for friends.


And I'm thankful for my many other friends that I haven't seen in ages/haven't taken any recent pictures with. PS Blair, I know you read this, and we legitimately don't have any photos together electronically. That's sad and should change quickly.

And I'm super excited for my wedding weekend in July, because hopefully many of them will be able to make it from across the country and I will get to see them and get millions of photos to share with you!

I'm going to get up now (days off from work are so nice) and spend time with my family. What are you doing for Thanksgiving tomorrow? Are you going anywhere out of town? Be safe in your travels!

Enjoy a restful time, and be sure to enter my $25 Scentsy giveaway and invitation giveaway!


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Monday, November 21, 2011

$25 Scentsy Giveaway!

To continue with my giveaway streak, Erin has offered up the best type of giveaway: one where you get to pick what you want!

Up for grabs! 
$25 to spend on whatever you want from her Scentsy shop!
What will you pick?





With $25 you can get a mid-sized warmer, a plug in warmer and scent, or a whole bunch of scents! She also said you can apply it as a credit if you want to order more and she'll cover the shipping on the rest.

If you don't know about Scentsy, they're wickless candles that you plug into the wall. The heat from the bulb melts the wax, and it gives off the same strength of scent as if you were burning a candle. I like the little light like a lamp turned on.

It's a great gift for someone you're not sure what to get too! 

There are several ways to win the $25 shopping spree (please leave a separate comment for each):
1. You must be a follower of my blog (Mandatory 1 entry)
2. You must visit Erin's site and tell me what you want (Mandatory 1 entry)
3. Like my brand new Facebook page (1 entry)
4. Subscribe to Erin's newsletter (1 entry)
5. Like Erin's shop on Facebook (1 entry)
6. Tweet about this and tag @lttlegrlbigwrld (You can do this once per day 2 entries per day you do it; leave a comment each time you do it) You could say: "Win $25 to spend on anything Scentsy from @lttlegrlbigwrld : http://bit.ly/v2MaQd"
7. Buy something from Erin's site (5 entries)

This giveaway will end November 28th at midnight so you'll have plenty of time to pick one out before the holidays if you're getting it as a gift!

And don't forget about my other stuff going on!
BIC Bands Giveaway (ends tonight!)

Classic Chic Designs Giveaway
Holiday Card Swap Sign Ups





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Thankful {Thanksgiving recipe}

I'm excited to be linking up again today with Meghan and Co., and I'm even more excited to share with you my favorite Thanksgiving recipe.

Manic Mother

This recipe has been my favorite since I could eat Thanksgiving. It's my Grandma's sweet potato casserole recipe, and while we've always eaten it with Thanksgiving dinner, I remember first seeing the recipe when I got older and wondering why it hadn't become dessert. But nevertheless, it is my favorite favorite favorite part of Thanksgiving, and without it there wouldn't be Thanksgiving for me.

Thanks mom for sending it to me!

Sweet Potato Casserole
 Layer 1:
3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp. Vanilla
1/3 cup milk
 
Mix together and put into baking dish (you'll need a 9"x13")
 
Topping:
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter (slightly melted)
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 cup chopped pecans (if desired)
 
Mix and sprinkle on top of potatoes
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes

The last step that isn't mentioned is to restrain yourself from eating the entire casserole in one sitting. It's hard. 

I don't have a picture, but I'll take one this year and share it with you!

My mom is making it this Thanksgiving, because Grandma isn't coming up to Tennessee this year (I don't think. I'm going to have to ask mom). She'll probably make it more Christmas, though, because she knows how much I love it.

And if you don't like to eat dessert with your meal, try out mashed cauliflower. I made it a few months ago and realized that my life had changed because of that discovery (only a small exaggeration). They're creamier and even more delicious than mashed potatoes.
Can't wait to see your favorites!

BIC Bands Giveaway
Classic Chic Designs Giveaway
Scentsy Giveaway (posted today!)
Holiday Card Swap Sign Ups

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Funday

I don't usually blog on Sundays, but today I wanted to break the mold and write a post catching you up on me, since a lot of posts last week were link-ups or giveaway announcements.

Last weekend I was really thinking I was going to be able to run my race this morning. I ran 3 miles on Saturday and then 6 miles on Sunday. They felt good, and my hip wasn't bothering me too much. I iced like a mad woman afterwards, but when I ran on Tuesday, I had pain like I haven't felt since this all started. It was bad. I thought maybe if I just stayed off of it until the race I would be okay, but after my post Thursday and the advice of a trainer at school, I decided it would be best to skip the race. And that was really hard to do.

I had a bit of a cry on Thursday night on the phone with my mom. I told her that I was having a hard time right now finding things that really make me happy about myself and my time. That's not to say that I'm not happy, because I am. What I meant was that running has given me an outlet and something to do and focus on for the last few months, and having it taken away has been a bit tough. It's made me realize that I need to integrate a few more fun things into my daily routine that give me little things to look forward to on a regular basis.

That's to say, I don't look forward all the time to getting up, going to work, coming home, cleaning, cooking, watching tv and blogging, going to bed, getting up and doing it again...like a lemming. I need to shake things up. I get bored with 'the same' very easily, and it's been 'the same' now for a few months. Do you ever get tired of 'the same'?

So I've had some fun ideas on ways to shake things up.

1. I'm going to take a knitting and crocheting class. And I'm going to continue practicing until I can actually make things. I've knitted before, and I love how relaxing and mindless it is while also producing something.

2. I'm going to be more crafty and have fun making little things here or there. Here are my first two crafting projects:


3. I'm going to go back to the gym. Running is great, and once my hip cooperates I'll be back at it full blast, but until I can do that, taking spin and other classes at the gym gives me things to do and makes me feel better as well.

And for now, these ideas seem great to me. I need things to get me excited and have something to look forward to. I can't function on continuous routine.

I'm headed home to Chattanooga to spend time with my family on Tuesday, so I know that will help to shake this no-running-funk I'm in too. Do you get in funks sometimes when your routine is staying the same? What suggestions do you have to shake it up?

I also wanted to remind you about my two giveaways and the holiday card swap.
BIC Bands Giveaway ends Monday at midnight!
Classic Chic Designs Invitation/Card Giveaway ends November 28th!
Holiday Card Sign Up ends December 2nd!

And I've got another giveaway tomorrow!



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Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Card Swap!

As you know, I've joined quite a number of swaps. But, When Krystal mentioned to me the idea of holding a Holiday Card Swap, I knew I had to bite. It's inexpensive, and because my love of mail, it's fun to get a few different holiday cards! Read below to find out what it entails and sign up!


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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crossroads...to race?

I need a little help...I'm at a point where I don't know what to do.

You know I ran a half marathon October 1st? And you know I said I was going to run another one on Sunday? Well...my hip that I really thought had stopped hurting returned with excruciating pain on Tuesday that allowed me to run just 2 miles about a minute and thirty seconds slower than normal and feeling like I was actually trying...it was terrible. And now my leg hurts again. 

So I can't get in to a doctor until Monday (after the race...) to make sure that it isn't a stress fracture or bone problems, and I have to make the decision of whether to run it and hope things clear up by Sunday or sit it out...and I'm so upset about it. Like, tears...upset. And even thinking about GU and ice baths and fuel makes me sad. Because I want to be okay. Because I was training SO. WELL. for this race. I mean, I was going to break 2 hours, and it's tearing me up that I've barely been able to run at all in the last two and a half weeks. What to do. Anyone have hip problems in the past and can help? I ran 6 this past Sunday and was only a little sore after...I guess it took two days to catch up to me. I want to run!! :(

I'm so torn up...


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Classic Chic Designs Giveaway

I've got another fantastic giveaway for you today that I'm super excited about. I told you a little bit ago about our amazing engagement party invitations. Amber at Classic Chic Designs was amazing to work with. She sent me all kinds of mock ups and drafts and helped me decide on what kind of paper and envelopes to get to match the invitations. 

I emailed her last weekend and told her that our guests love the invitations and that I was so pleased with the overall look. I asked her if she would be interested in doing a giveaway on the blog, and she said she would love to give you your own customized digital file of anything in her etsy shop. Or, she'll give you half off a completely custom design, which would make it $20. 

Check out some of her beauties currently in her etsy shop. She'll change colors for you and work with what you're wanting.
 A fun holiday party invitation!
 A holiday photo card (she's got lots to choose from)
 Invite to Thanksgiving?
 Another holiday cocktail invitation
 Any kind of birthday or cocktail party
Bachelorette party? Engagement party?

So, if you're having any kind of dinner party, engagement party, shower, or holiday gathering coming up or you're looking for custom holiday cards, enter to win a custom invitation file! She emails you a high resolution digital file that you can send to a printer or print yourself at home. And it's all custom done!

Here are the details (leave each in a comment below):
1. Mandatory. Go to Amber's etsy shop and leave in the comments which of her designs you would pick or what you would like her to design for you if you choose the custom design!
2. Like her brand new page on facebook.
3. Be a follower of mine.
4. Like my new facebook page.
5. Tweet a message with a link to this post. You could use this: "Enter @lttlegrlbigwrld's giveaway for party invitations or holiday cards: http://bit.ly/uYzGpB".

This giveaway will end November 28th.

I can't wait to see what you pick!
And don't forget to enter my BICBands giveaway that ends Monday the 21st!





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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful {Chattanooga}

I'm a little late today, but I just had to linkup for the day to be thankful for your hometown (ps I know I'm a teacher because I inherently typed out homework even when my brain was thinking hometown).

I love Chattanooga; I grew up on a little mountain in Chattanooga called Signal Mountain. The other mountain in Chattanooga is called Lookout Mountain. There were quite a number of battles of the Civil War fought in and around Chattanooga, so the names come from the Civil War era. I just love that little tidbit being the history nerd that I am.
Signal Mountain Photos
This photo of Signal Mountain is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Even though I don't think I would live there again, there are so many wonderful things about the city.

I love that there are seasons, and I love that they are distinct but not extreme. In the summer it's pretty hot, and in the winter you need a good coat, but you never feel like you're walking on the sun or the north pole.

It's silly, but I love the song Chattanooga Choo-Choo. You've probably never heard it, but when I meet people who don't know Chattanooga, I'll say, "you know, like the Choo Choo". And yes, there is a Choo Choo, and it has a hotel you can stay in, but don't stay there; it's not that nice and not in a great part of town.
There're also a number of things to do in Chattanooga on a family vacation. There's a huge freshwater aquarium, a children's museum, an art district, an art walk, an art museum, several malls. It's a pretty nice place to visit if you're looking for a little weekend getaway.

But the reason that I love Chattanooga the most is because of my family.

I wish I didn't live so far from them and could see them more often (I also wish I had more family pictures...), so I really can't wait to see them on Tuesday next week when I head home for Thanksgiving! I just wish Tim would be able to come this year...

Also, I'm really excited, because I have two more giveaways coming up in the next few days! Be sure to enter the BICBands one and look forward to the ones coming up!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

thankful {exciting releases}

The topic for today's thankful link-up is supposed to be why I'm thankful for YouTube.

Manic Mother
But I'm going to hijack it a little bit and put my own spin on this topic (is that okay Meghan?).

I'm not a huge YouTuber, but what I do want to share with you comes from YouTube, so it counts!
On Monday, I found a few bloggers talking about the exciting release of the official Hunger Games trailer, and I'm one of the hooked ones.
I swallowed this book whole, and I wrote a review about it. It's the fastest read, and because it's a young adult book it doesn't require a whole lot of thinking. I promise you that you won't regret it. My mom and sister read it after me and loved it, and you'll absolutely want to read it before you see the movie in March.

Now, for you die-hards, there is one thing in the trailer that I believe is different than the book. Can you spot it? Or is it portraying a different part of the book than I'm thinking of? Leave me a comment if you notice.

I'm super thankful that someone got me started on these books, and I'm super excited that they are now coming out in movie form. I just hope they're as amazing as the books.

Now, if you'd like, go enter my giveaway! It's for one of my favorite things!


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Monday, November 14, 2011

my christmas list + BIC Band Giveaway!

Be sure to read #1 for the giveaway! :) 

Most years at Christmas, my mom asks me to send her stuff that I want and I spend time looking online and shopping in the month of November/early December to find a few things I like. I am always at a loss for understanding why there are so many things I would love to have all year long and then I can't think of anything when it comes time to make up a list.

Well not this year. Pinterest and my complete stoppage in shopping have really helped me out. Sending my mom items here and there for Christmas has not been hard at all. And since I know it's helpful to get ideas from others sometimes, I thought I would share with you what I've sent to my mom and dad/fiance/sister/anyone else shopping for me.

1. Three new BICBands. I'm asking for gold, smoke, and purple. If you are looking for a good running/wearing around headband, these are the best! They really don't slip!
And! Exciting news! I had totally written this post and thought about contacting Sandy for a giveaway, and she wrote me back so fast and agreed to offer one!!

Here I am after my half marathon in my silver one:

Here are the details:

Sandy is going to send the lucky winner one sparkle BIC Band of your choice. They're great for all sports, working out, and even wearing around during the day (because of the cute sparkle)!

BIC Bands is an amazing company for a few reasons. First of all, she donates $1 from every headband to a difference charity every month (Last month she donated $850 to Breast Cancer Research). A lot of times she pairs up with runners fundraising for races. Also, the BIC stands for Because I Can. I just love that. And, they're the least expensive of the non-slip headbands out there. They really don't slip!

Here's how to enter (leave a separate comment for each telling me you did that one):
1. Be a GFC follower of my blog and tell me below (Mandatory 1 entry).
2. Go to BICBands and tell me which color sparkly skinnie minnie you would like (Mandatory 1 entry).
3. Follow @BICBands and @lttlegrlbigwrld on twitter (1 entry).
4. Follow BIC Bands on facebook (1 entry).
5. Tweet about the giveaway. You could use this tweet "@lttlegrlbigwrld is giving away a sparkle @BICBands. They're the best non-slip headbands out there. Enter here: http://bit.ly/tkmcGl"
6. Like my brand new facebook page (1 entry).

The giveaway will close November 21st at midnight!

Now back to my Christmas list...
2. Some Butter London Nail Polish. I love that Zappos and Nordstrom carry them online, and I had no idea until Saturday. I would love to have The Black KnightNo More Waity, KatieAll Hail the QueenFrilly Knickers, and Wallis. A combination of any of them would be just lovely!

 3. A new gym bag. The one I want is the Zella gathered tote at Nordstrom, and it's meant to be a gym bag so has lots of pockets and place to store things.

 4. A gold Meghan necklace. BaubleBar has some really cute ones.


 6. These Seychelles wedges that I've been eyeing for over a year. They're called the Eye to Eye.

 7. Some running tights. It always seems to be colder in Florida after Christmas than before.

 8. A scentsy warmer and some scents. This one or another one that I showed her.

I'll add a few more things here or there for the next little bit, but I was sure to tell my mom that I'd let her know when LOFT was having 40% off.

I also told her she HAD to use ebates on every single online purchase she makes. She didn't know what it was, so I filled her in. Do you use ebates? I've gotten $80+ back so far, and I don't even do that much online shopping. You just go to ebates.com and type in the site that you're wanting to shop for and it gives you a certain % cash back. Four times per year it will either mail you a check or deposit the amount into paypal (whichever you ask it to do). I swear it's legit...I just recently got a payment. And you can still use coupon and discount codes on the actual site.


What's on your wish list?



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