Come on Over

Hey avid readers!!! Since we're about to start a new month, I thought I'd launch my new and improved site! So thanks for coming, and please follow and keep reading over at the new site! It's easier to remember and I'll put links here until you bookmark it, save it, or remember the new site!


Decking the Halls

Okay, not gonna lie. It is not even December yet, and I am already super pumped for Christmas time. I don't think we've ever set up a tree prior to December starting, but I've been in the "spirit" if you will, so, I got started.

The mantle is one of my favorite places to decorate. Why?
1. Because we have a mantle.
2. It's the focal point of our living room.
3. We buy real greenery to put up there.
4. It's my chance to showcase some of the stuff I love.
5. Once decorated, it feels like an iSpy book where you have to look close to see all the treasures hidden up there.

So that's where we started. We took everything up there off so that we could see what we were working with. And since we only have one stocking (which is for the dog), I stuck it up there.

The greenery smells so good by the way. Even if we didn't have a tree, or for those of you in tiny apartments, get greenery and a wreath. Boom. Christmas.

Yesterday, David said, "you have no pictures of me on the blog. You look like a single lady with a dog." So note to self: add more pictures of wonderful husband and keep posting equal amounts of cute dog pics. Moving on, in terms of "keeping it real", after I cleared off the mantle, this is what the living room looked like. How awesome is that mirror btw? Salvation Army. $6. Real wood. Real Heavy. And how awesome are our plantation shutters? Ugh. Love it.

So, operation Style the Mantle began. (took greenery down to start...ended up putting it back up).

Yes, that is a picture of my parents cast into plaster. They did weird things in the 70's. I love it.

Matt, my brother in law and Davids womb-mate (twin) made us this amazing wood carving as a wedding gift. So pretty, right? He copied the font and stuff from our programs. I gotta put those up here some time--they were so great. (as were the save the dates--that had a photo strip with us holding up the words save-the-date-august 14, 2010).

I digress... (and added another David picture--you're welcome). See how I did that? So then we went to get a tree (yeah, it was like 9 pm), so we went up to the Pig (sorry, didn't shop local so to speak), picked a tall tree and stuck her in the car.

And then we brought it in and put it by our one window facing the front yard. Yeah, it wasn't gonna stay crooked like that. We decked it, we listened to Christmas music--mostly Mariah Carey and Nat King Cole, and Charlie Brown happened to be on TV. So all that was great. But then we realized with the furniture where it was, it was really visually "heavy" on that side of the room. We did a lot of furniture rearranging, and then we decided to move the tree. So I was a little sad that you can't see it from the front yard or the street unless our front door is opened. Oh well...it's better from the inside and isn't the tree for us, not the neighbors? The answer is yes.

So we moved it (and moved the table that was there) and sorry for the dark picture, but the tree placement is way better here. I'll try to get a brighter picture of it up soon, but it was after 10 by the time we were done. We had plans to start watching Homeland, but I guess we'll start that tonight (after pizza with dog park friends). Oh yeah, and we started a tradition of eating cookies while we decorated. It's not really a tradition since we were just like, "oooh, I want some mint milano's", so we ate some. But next year, wine and Milanos during Christmas decorating time. It'll be a tradition.

What tree decorating traditions do y'all have? This is only our second year at this, so we're newbies.

love ya, bean it <3


Start It Off Right

Today, I've totally copied everything my friend Emily (above) normally does, including a similar outfit to hers from yesterday. I had to drive up to Rock Hill, SC for work this morning and needed a portable snack. So, I channeled Em and made a smoothie-of-interesting-color. Normally, she has some sort of Green-ish smoothie at work each morning. She uses her City Roots CSA in lots of ways, but seems to really love it all liquefied. She drink's her salads.

So, since I'd be on the road, I whipped up a little smoothie. And it was amazingly good and filling. Wasn't hungry again til like 11. (and this was at 8ish).

My Thrown-Together Smoothie:

Handful of Blueberries
Handful of Strawberries with green top cut off (duh)
Heaping Scoop of my fav protein powder (I used chocolate this am, we have vanilla too)
Two Handfuls of Spinach (raw)
1 spoonful of greek yogurt (Fage 0% is my fav)
About 3/4 cup of Almond Milk (you need a liquid)
About 5 ice cubes

Blend and ta-da! Brownish-purplish smoothie greatness! I drank it in the car, so no pictures. (Can't take pictures while I drive, y'all...I would never do that).

See?? I'd never take pictures and drive. GAH.

On my way to Rock Hill, I stopped into a shopping center to hit up TJMAXX. I was early for my meeting, ok? Thought I could fit in a little niece and god-children xmas shopping. Well that place is crazy as ever. In the midst of this....

I did find one cool thing. 

Yeah, that was it. I didn't even buy the little glass jar with copper lid because I was so depressed in that store. It is so messy!! You really have to be in the mood to sift through all that. Reminds me of an Onion article David and I used to laugh at.

So, as I headed up 77, I did some major Bible catch-up. **For new or recent readers, I'm doing a Read the Bible in a year challenge** Yes, the Holidays set me behind a bit. I had about 8 chapters of Numbers to catch up on, and Luke 5-7 to catch up on as well. It was hard to find the time while I was home to keep up with lots of things that fit easily into a routine when I'm home.

Prior to Googling, I tried to think why Numbers was called 'Numbers'. I tried to use my brain before my phone---weird. BUUUUT, I got nothing other than they do a lot of listing and preparing (similarly to Leviticus/laws). So here's what the inter-webs said,

"This book takes its name from the fact that it contains the account of the two census enumerations of the congregation of Israel in chs. 1-4 and ch. 26. The title, however, is interesting since there is really no connection with these "numberings." The original Hebrew title, "in the wilderness," is greatly to be preferred, as the book is certainly more a vital history of the events of the period of wanderings than a catalogue of lifeless statistics. Numbers follows naturally after Leviticus in the sequence of the books of the Pentateuch. After receiving the laws at Sinai, the journey to which was described in Exodus, the Israelites were ready to continue their march to Canaan. This book tells of their preparations, their sin in failing to trust in God and the resultant thirty-seven years of wanderings through the rough wilderness. At the end of the book, they are once again at the edge of Canaan, where they receive instructions for the conquest and division of the land."

I am enjoying reading the Gospels a lot-- I like reading the same general story a few different ways. It also cements it into your head better when you read about Jesus' life 4 times. I'd like to get Rev. DW to talk more about the gospels once we finish John (about 1/3 into Luke right now), but for now, you can just ponder this.

Why John's different (quote creds below)

"John presents a "higher" Christology than the synoptics, meaning that he describes Jesus as the incarnation of the divine Logos through whom all things were made, as the object of veneration,[9] and more explicitly as God incarnate.[10] Only in John does Jesus talk at length about himself and his divine role, often shared with the disciples only. Against the synoptics, John focuses largely on different miracles (including resurrecting Lazarus), given as signs meant to engender faith. Synoptic elements such as parables and exorcisms are not found in John. It presents a realized eschatology in which salvation is already present for the believer. The historical reliability of John is debated, particularly by secular scholarship.[11][12]In contrast, Grace-oriented churches argue for the total pre-eminence of John."

Also Ponder this. For your health.


top photo: Thomas Hammond  http://www.thomashammondphotography.com/


Holiday Arrivals

For the record, I bought NOTHING online yesterday for Cyber Monday. Why is that a holiday by the way?

So, for the latest addition of what's arrived, I have a few holiday additions to add the the new closet rack. (Which by the way is holding up really well).

So, this Saturday, we've got our first Holiday party of the season! Can't wait to head over the Addie and James to celebrate. So what to wear? We've all decided on something "festive" so...

SEQUINS, Y'ALL! This MMC dress from Piperlime is awesome. I am thinking about wearing this dress that I just got, but just as it seems in the pic, it needs to be hemmed up a lil' bit.  So mission hem dress is what's on the schedule for this week. I won't be wearing those shoes that look like she dipped her feet in black tar. Maybe with black jeans, not with this.

Another little number I got in the mail last week? This THML Embellished Shoulder Dress. Is this an option? It may be a little "formal" for the festive party. Maybe I could wear this to church on Christmas Eve?

Another option I have already, and I've only worn it in the summer is this little number. 

Kind of Holiday-esque? No?

Lastly, I have this green number from Piperlime as well. I wore it my my friends Bryan and Danielle's wedding about a month ago, but would love to wear it again when I'm not feeling injured (you know what I mean if you were there).

We shall see...


I've Missed You

I missed you blog. Sorry it's been so long. Been busy doing things with people and interacting with something that's not a computer and not an iPhone. But I'm back!

So, a little recap.

Last Tuesday, we drove to Atlanta for the holidays.

 David and I are lucky enough to have our parents in the same city so that we get to see everyone when we travel. Sure--it has its ups and downs and we both feel some pressure (put on only from ourselves) to make sure we spend somewhat equal time with each family. We travel back and forth a lot but it is totally worth it and we wouldn't change it.

After a whirlwind week at home (Hotlanta), we both feel really glad to be back in SC...and back into a "routine". The only one is isn't happy to be home is Colonel Mustard. He got to spend 5 days with his BFF, my folks dog, Creature, and needless to say, Colonel did not want to leave Atlanta. He pouted and stared out the car window for about 30 minutes until he realized we weren't going back. And until I gave him a little piece of bacon--just to remind him where the food and love comes from (ME). Creature doesn't feed you, Colonel. Sorry, buddy. You'll see him in a few weeks.

Wednesday, David spent the entire day helping my dad do yard work. After a long run and some family time, I had a fabulous ladies night with 3/4 of my girl friends. Lots of healthy snacks and lots of unhealthy amounts of wine and prosecco...life is all about balance, right? It was a really fun night of catching up, gossiping, talking about life, careers, relationships...all that good stuff. Love you ladies.

Thursday was Thanksgiving and my little sis and I started the day off right: cooking. If you've been to my house, you know the kitchen is the heart. It is where you'll always find my mom, and she is totally happy in there. She had old movies on the small tv while we made a savory Mushroom and Leek bread pudding (instead of vegetarian stuffing), thank you Barefoot Contessa. I cooked my Tofurkey, which I gotta say, I'm getting better at each year. It gets more flavor and more juicy each year--it's a good thing. My little sister made a chocolate pecan and bourbon pie for the pie contest that would take place at my aunts. It was amazing--as all the food always is. It was a great morning together--I love that time.

Tofurkey on Left, Fried Turkey on Right

 We went to my Aunt and Uncles for Thanksgiving "dinner", which is eaten at 1pm (which turns into like 3pm). We eat, laugh, tell stories and hang out. There were about 20 of us this year which was really fun. I really love my family. (little sis below, and then cousin KK)


(pies: sorry for the hand...someone couldn't stay away)

 My Plate. Yum.

David's dad, Jack and my dad, John, and their turkeys

Around 4pm, we left and went up for Dinner Part 2. Dinner at the Wagner's is always really awesome. They make these killer sweet potatoes with crunchy and sugary stuff on top, and let's not forget, Emily is there. Everyone loves seeing her grow up (she's our niece, and she's 2). She is super talkative and is so much more developed each time we see her. She plays really well, she started to actually like Colonel Mustard this time (last year was a little...um...traumatic), she strings together really long and funny sentences, and it is just so fun to be with everyone.


Friday, David had a dude-friend poker game, and so he and his twin brother Matt went to do that, and I went home. My older sis Lis and her bf Andy, my little sis Megan, my mom and I went to the humane society. We had the best intentions of looking for a 1-2 year old male dog that doesn't shed and that is potty trained and all that stuff. Well, we basically melted when we went into the puppy room (which we shouldn't have done), and we picked one out for Creature. This wasn't a random idea, by the way. My mom's been trying to "convince" my dad for a year or so that Creature needs a playmate to keep him young and active, and my dad has always just kind of said, "yeah, no." --I should also include that my dad has never had anything to do with picking any of our dogs we've had. I secretly think he likes it that way so he can tell people, "they just went and got a dog! without even telling me!" So, we'll just let him have that.

So, we settled on the opposite of what we came for. His Humane Society name was Roast (will be renamed), he is 6 mo. old, not potty trained, definitely sheds, still chewing stuff up....you know, total opposite of what we planned. But sooooo cute...like a tiny little Creature. But isn't that how it works? You just "bond" with one, and that's that. All rules out the window. So, new name and more pics coming when he's ready to be picked up.

New Bro for Creature

Saturday was awesome. David and I got up bright and early (like 9am---it was vacation), shared a clementine and had some coffee, and then drove about an hour north of Atlanta to meet up with him family at a Petting Zoo. It was all for Emily, and we were all so excited to see her reaction to the farm animals. Well, she hated it. She squealed. She whined. She did enjoy the cats walking around (not part of the exhibit), but she didn't want to be that close to the goats, pigs, cows, llamas, etc. It was a lot of fun for the rest of us though, trying to show her how "cute the little goats were", or how "furry the llama was". She wasn't buying it. Emily was like, "where's my iPad. I want Little Einsteins. Now."

It was a good time overall, and being home was, as always, great. I got some good family time, got to see some friends, and got to let Colonel play with Creature--which makes us all very happy. I hope everyone had a fun and family and love filled Thanksgiving Holiday.

Now I've got to pack for a work trip to NC--headed up Monday morning. Love ya, bean it <3



Thank you Anna for writing yesterday and sharing your really amazing story with the readers.  All of my NICU friends really loved it and can I just say that the video was a personal fav. Especially the end of the video-y'all are funny. You are hopefully the first of many twenty something to share their story...and I really appreciate it!

Also, with all the thanks going around, thanks for reading. Y'all are awesome. And thankfully I got home safely for the holiday, just in time to get ready for girls night tonight. Thanksgiving Lady Night, that is. So sorry for being absent poster today---I'm home, can ya blame me?? I'm surrounded by green beans, family, prosecco and pies...can't stay online long.

Will all that, I'm gonna sign off with a little food rec if your ever in or near Atlanta, since that's where I am. Go here. Souper Jenny. Every time we're home, we try to go. It's awesome. We went today. I got the pumpkin black bean soup which was amazing. Great little hole in the wall.

Happy Almost Thanksgiving! <3lybi



So, I've got this amazing group of girl friends (the same ones that inspired this little blog when I started the Bible challenge). We'd been emailing back and forth about the upcoming holidays, and I had a great idea. (well, great in my opinion).

Anyways, I got the idea to do a little series called "I'm a twenty something lady and this is my life", because we're all at totally different stages in our 20's which to me is what you're 20's are all about. I was reading about this book called 20 Something Manifesto: Quarter Lifers Speak About Who They Are, What They Want, and How to Get It, (notice I said reading about this book, not actually reading the book, I'm reading too many things right now)-- and there is a person in it that says,

"the most difficult thing about being twenty something is that this is the time when
you build your foundation for all aspects of life, including job, love life, family and finance.
It takes time to see the results, it's difficult to focus on the 'now,' and sometimes,
 I want to give up because I start doubting that what I'm doing is for me". 

I think most of us in our 20's could concur with that. So, I thought I'd feature some of the best 20-something women I know and give them a platform to talk about life in our 20's (most of us nearing thirties).

Quick intro to the amazingness that's coming up. Anna Murphy is one of my Camp Mikell lady friends who I've been close friends with for almost 10 years. She's almost 30, so I made her post first for my little project. Hah, right now I could hear her using some choice words towards me for making her go first. Don't lie Anna, you curse like a sailor. Here she goes...read her words. She rocks.


Freakin' Weekin'

We have our Office Thanksgiving party tomorrow and right after that, my friends Addie and James are throwing a Christmas Party. So with all of the upcoming holidays, some friends decided that we need to do some "signature" cocktail testing...for your health.

So this past Friday, some of those friends came over for a signature cocktail taste testing before we went to the Puppet Slam (we'll get to that). Emily is the cocktail creator (I wrote cocktail creature first...darn auto-correct...oh wait...) and we decided that this time of year is the best season for...Bourbon.

Who doesn't love whiskey or bourbon? If you're a friend of mine and you don't, don't answer that. It really is a great liquor for this time of year. Mixed with ginger ale ..mixed with just ice...whatever. So Emily's cocktail creation was amazing.

I give you the Cider Bourbon Cocktail, thank you Martha. Just put it all in a cocktail shaker, and shake it. And pour it. And sip it. Perfect Fall Drink.

  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 (2 1/2-inch-long) thin slices fresh peeled ginger
  • 2 thin slices lady apple, for garnish

So after a few of those, we went downtown to a Puppet Slam at the Trustus Theatre. We had no idea what to expect. Emily told me it was an "adult puppet show" but not like x-rated, just not for kids. So David, Emily, Brent, Santi and I went and met some other friends there. It was actually way more fun than I'd expected. Some acts were way better than others, but some were pretty cool. I'd go again to see the cool ones again. How's that for a review?

Then we went to a few other places downtown for some drinks and live music, which was meh...but overall, Friday was really fun.

Saturday I slept in (and that felt soooo good) and then I got up, went for a run, and decided to drive to Atlanta to surprise my sister for her birthday. She didn't know me or my little sister Megan were coming home, so that was fun. All the girls went for mani-pedi's which we like doing when we're all home. Then we went out to dinner at Watershed on Peachtree. I had a veggie plate (which was really good---sweet potatoes, turnips, broccolini, lots of other good stuff I can't remember), and everyone else had meat/fish stuff that looked good too. I guess.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 4:50am (YEAH.) and drove back to SC for church. I was exhausted but gotta be there to support David, ya know? So I was just making my way along I-20, listening to music, waiting for the sun to show itself...and then...aw crap. Got pulled over.

I haven't gotten a speeding ticket since I was 19 with my black jeep. Yeah, if you ever rode with me in high school or on the way to a camp thing in that black jeep, I'm sorry. ***Sorry Whitney for speeding up to camp and eating french fries with BBQ Sauce while I drove.*** I was a wreckless 19 year old and didn't even think twice. If you're 19 and you're reading this...slow down. Driving is scary. 

Luckily, I wasn't going too much over the speed limit, and I also had the nicest police officer ever. Colonel Mustard was not happy when someone walked up to the car though---I should have just unleashed him. Wouldn't have gotten a ticket THEN! But I probably would have gotten arrested and lost my dog, so really, I'm okay with the ticket.

 I kept apologizing for the dog barking ferociously from the back seat, and the cop said, "it's okay, he's just doin' his job", so I just smiled and said, "yep. he's a good guard dog". Evidently, Colonel thinks people in uniform are dangerous and scary, but burglars or serial killers...they're cool. They look like regular people-- which I guess technically they do. But cops and mailmen and people that walk up to you uninvited? Danger.

The weekend didn't end on a bad note though, because last night I laid around and watched tv, made tacos, and was in bed at 9pm. I am old and that was the perfect end to my weekend of driving a lot. Someone else please tell me you decided it was time for bed after watching Storage Wars for 2 hours. (yeah...I did that).


My Little Tough Guy

Since one friend from the dog park follows my blog, and I promised I'd blog about the craziness that ensued yesterday...here goes. Let me set the scene a little bit. Our dog park is a 3 acre dog park of amazingness--I think that's what Colonel Mustard would say. There's sand, there's an in ground pool, there are woods, there are farm animals (on the other side of the fence--otherwise there might not be farm animals), there are sticks and Frisbee's and balls...you get it, dog heaven, right?

So all the "regulars" are hanging out, talking while they're dogs are kind of just, chillin'. 

And then we arrive. 

And let's just say that Colonel Mustard is still in his terrible two's (he just turned 2 so for those of you that have owned dogs before...you know what the first 2-3 years are like). He is very well behaved at home--aren't they all--and usually okay at the park, but he's just SO EXCITED to be there every day. 

So anyways, we go in, I make him sit (to establish some semblance of alpha authority over our spoiled dog), take his leash off, and he sprints...and I mean...SPRINTS to meet up with his best-buds!! 

While most of the dogs are used to this, 

they're probably just thinking: "look busy...sniff something, pretend we're sleeping...here comes Colonel Mustard"

Usually most of the dogs humor Colonel and run around with him for a while, all parents (humans) are happy that they're dogs are running around and getting worn out. Well yesterday, Colonel got a little over-excited and one of his friends wasn't having it. They had a "scary-barking-in-your-face" type throw down, until they actually started going after each other. 

Let me say...if you are a regular at a dog park, you know that this type of thing just happens. Not to all dogs, but when your dog is as in-your-face as Colonel is, it happens to him sometimes. 

So, a little dog "fight" ensued. It only went on for probably 10 seconds and while I'm trying to break them up, they've conveniently moved into a dark puddle of something gross. Trying to grab Colonel was like trying to grab a greased pig. No, I've never done that before, but it's what I'd imagine. He was slick and wet with gross-dog-park-puddle. As soon as we broke it up, we make the dogs sniff butts (which is just to be like..."look, we can all get along...y'all are friends, remember?") So as soon as we did that, Colonel and his friend continued to play together for 30 minutes--completely forgetting they just had a little tussle.

 And again, this caused no real alarm because when you go to a dog park every day, the odds of this type thing happening are pretty high--at least in our experience. No one was badly hurt, Colonel has a little puncture wound, and I sent David this message as we were leaving the park.(yesth is in Colonel's voice...you know how pets have an assigned voice, right?)

******This animal-related post is for my soon to be veterinarian-sister, and it happens to be her BDAY TODAY!! Happy Birthday Lis! Can't wait til you're a vet and you can stitch up my dog for free!!!!