Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking Back on my Goals for 2012!

Last year on December 31st, I made a list of 12 things that I wanted to do in 2012. I was excited, anxious and nervous for the year to come, but I knew that I wanted to do BIG things! Since 2013 is right around the corner, I thought this was the perfect time to reflect on what I accomplished!

In June (at the six-month mark,) I updated y'all on my progress, but here's a quick round up of the whole list!

How I did: 12 To-Dos in 2012:

1. Have an amazing spring break: Check!
I spent a full 8 days enjoying the Florida sunshine in New Smyrna Beach and Jacksonville!

2. Exercise more: Check!
I've been going to the gym almost every day after work, and I feel amazing! Go me! I'm even signing up for a 5k this coming March!

3. Graduate college with honors: No, but I was close!
 I did make the Dean's List for both semesters of my senior year. Woohoo!

4. Get a job: Check!

I have not one, but TWO fabulous jobs that I love so much!
1. I work for a wedding planner as an Assistant Wedding Coordinator to some beautiful southern brides!
2. I work full time at my alma mater, Appalachian State University as the Assistant the the University Registrar.

5. Live on my own: Check!
As of this afternoon, I am moved into my new apartment! More to come on this very soon!

6. Get a dog: Absolutely!
In June, I was blessed with the most beautiful dog that I've ever seen! I am head over paws for my sweet Paisley Ann!

7. Read More: Check
I finished quite a few books already this year, and I'm working on the Harry Potter series as we speak! Plus, I got two new books for Christmas!

8. Buy a crock pot & learn to cook with it: Check!
My sweet friends Kathy & Bob bought me one of these as a graduation gift. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but it's in my new apartment ready to go!

9. Send out my own Christmas cards: Check! 
My Mom is a Shutterfly expert, and designed theses in about 10 minutes. I loved sending my own cards for the first time, and hearing how much people enjoyed receiving them!

10. Be able to buy REAL Christmas presents: Check!
This year, I was able to give some of my favorite Christmas gifts ever! Two of my favorites were my Mom's new Coach bag and a bear tumbler for my Dad.

11. Invest in a nice piece of jewelry: Check!
I received a beautiful Pandora bracelet for graduation, and I love it so much! Each charm represents something special to me. The best part, I didn't expect it at all!

12. Go to Disney World: Semi-check!
Though my family decided to go to the beach for a week instead of going to Disney, some close friends of mine did go, and brought me back an adorable Minnie sweatshirt! So until I make it back to this magical place, I'm living vicariously through them.
10 out of 12 goals...not too shabby! 

It makes me so happy to see the goals that I've accomplished over the past year. I plan on doing the same type of list for 2013. Goals seem so much more attainable when they're written down and staring at you in the face!

Do you accomplish your goals for 2012?

As always, Have a Sweet Day!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

26 Acts of Kindness for Sandy Hook

Like so many people around the country, I was horrified to hear of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. It still breaks my heart thinking of the 26 innocent lives that were taken that day, especially those beautiful children.

On Friday, I saw that Mindy, one of my close friends, was participating in something called "26 Acts of Kindness" in honor of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims. At the time, I didn't know exactly what it was, but after searching online, I knew I wanted to participate. 

26 Acts of Kindness, is an idea that journalist Ann Curry suggested after asking herself what she could do for the victims. The answer she came up with was performing 26 acts of kindness for others, one kind act for each life that was taken that day.

She tweeted this idea a little over a week ago, and has had an unbelievable response. People everywhere are getting involved to honor these precious victims. Read about Ann's proposal here.

I hope you will consider doing the 26 Acts of Kindness as well. There's no right or wrong way to do it, just do something nice for someone else, and let them know it was in honor of a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. 

Here are 3 of Mindy's 26 acts:
For my #26acts, I decided to write a message on large index cards explaining what I was doing and why. Each one has the name of a victim and their age, so the recipient knows that act was in honor of a particular person. 

What better way to honor these 26 victims than to do something nice for someone else?
Have you heard of 26 Acts of Kindness?

As always, Have a Sweet Day!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Leaving the Lusk House

Merry Christmas Eve, Everyone!
It seems like every year it gets here sooner and sooner! I finally arrived back at home yesterday morning, ready for family time and good food.

Saturday night was my last night with the Lusk Family, the people that I've been staying with over the past month. 

My apartment is finally vacant and ready for Paisley & me to move in! Though I'm excited to be in my own place, it was so bittersweet packing up my things to leave yesterday morning. 

A month ago when I moved in, I had no idea that I would fall in love with this family the way I did. They are amazing, and I am going to miss them so so much!

Since yesterday was our last night together, we made sure to spend some quality time chatting in front of the fire in my favorite room. Their living room is straight out of Southern Living, and just plain beautiful!
They totally caught me off guard when they surprised me with all kinds of Christmas presents, one of which I wore today on my way home! You'd think they know me well or something! Pink, cupcakes, Starbucks and my own sequin stocking! Needless to say they hit the nail on the head!
I know I mentioned in my original post from when I moved in, how much I liked it here, but that was before I really knew Marcia and her family. They are generous, loving, supportive, kind, and now some of my closest friends. I am so thankful for everything they have done for me over the past month.

I'm already excited for my next stay in the Lusk Hotel!

Missing my beautiful room!
When I get back from Christmas break, I'll be in my brand new place! Woohoo!

Merry Merry Christmas!
As always, Have a Sweet Day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My 2012 Christmas List!

With Christmas Eve just six days away (goodness, it doesn't seem real,) it's high time I shared my 2012 Christmas list!

This year, I asked for an array of items from board games, to clothes, and even apartment things!

1. Quelf
One of my friends got this board game as a gift from her parents, and it is SO much fun! I cannot wait to play it again with a group of friends!

2. The Carrie Diaries & Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell
I have a slight obsession with Carrie Bradshaw, hence my need for these two Bushnell books.

3. Lilly Pulitzer "Critter" Earrings in pink
I love bows, presents, and pink, so I couldn't help adding these sparkling beauties to my list!

4. Sex and the City (The boxed set)
I've never seen the show, but after hearing so many good things from friends, I'm ready to dive in the the world of Sex and the City. I asked for the boxed set, so I can start from the beginning.

5. Nike Tempo shorts
A colorful staple for anyone who enjoys working out (or laying around) and being comfortable doing it!

Extra suggestions:
I also suggested a few items for my apartment such as a microwave, toaster, or new coffee table, as well as some clothes that I liked!

What are you asking for this Christmas?!

As always, Have a Sweet Day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Good Things Happen to Good People"

I have never been more excited to give this Christmas.

This is partly because it's the first Christmas that I've had a full-time job and can somewhat afford Christmas gifts, but the other part is a little different. This is the first time that I've felt like each gift I've picked out is something that the recipient will treasure for years to come. 

There's one gift in particular that is extremely important to me, because I know the person receiving it will be able to do something that probably would have never been possible.

This is what Christmas is all about. Giving. Joy. Happiness.

Every year, at the restaurant where I've worked since I was a teenager, we draw names for Christmas. About a week before Christmas, we have a party where everyone brings a dish and their families. We eat together, play games, and go home with a present from our secret Santa. 

This year, I drew Lindsey's name. Lindsey is a sweet waitress, that has worked at Sam's for years, much longer than my six, and has five children. Five boys. Lindsey is so wonderful, and I knew I wanted to do something special for her.

At first, I started thinking about a manicure/pedicure gift certificate. We're only supposed to spend about $20, but I wanted it to be something that she could do for herself. With five boys, she doesn't have much time for that. Then, it came to me.

A few weeks before I found out I was coming back to Appalachian, Lindsey mentioned that if I ever had tickets to an Appalachian basketball game, she and her family would love to come. She said it wouldn't be all of them going (there are 7 total!), but that whenever it was, she would "make it happen."

When I drew her name that night, I knew it was my chance to "make it happen" for her. 

I started talking to people and brainstorming. How could I get 7 tickets to a game, and not spend an outrageous amount of money? Then I spoke to Marcia, my old boss that I live with, who happens to work for the place where the Appalachian basketball games are held. She told me she'd work on it and get back to me. I started working on my end too, and had someone else from the restaurant at home ask Lindsey what day her and her family were available for an unknown activity. I got the date and told Marcia. 

About 30 minutes later, I received a text from Marcia saying:
 "There are seven free tickets waiting for you in the box office." 

I couldn't believe it, I started crying at my desk thinking of Lindsey, her husband and her five sons that will now get to attend a men's and women's basketball game on a Saturday in January at Appalachian State, completely free. I told Marcia how eternally thankful I was for her generosity and she simply replied:

"Good Things Happen to Good People."

With the $25 that I had allotted for the tickets, I purchased Lindsey and her family a gift card to Pizza Hut, that they can use when they come. I had found out that though don't get to eat out a lot, they all love pizza.
Tonight is the night that I will give this gift to Lindsey. I cannot wait to see her face full of happiness. She deserves every bit of it and more, for being a great mother, wife and friend. 

I love these tickets even more because each one is labeled with the title of our mission that Marcia came up with: Operation Christmas Tree
This made my Christmas, and I hope it makes yours too.

I couldn't have done it without you, Marcia. You truly are a guardian angel.
Thank you.

As always, Have a Sweet Day!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Marcia & Don's Famous Ice Cream Sandwiches!

You might be thinking to yourself, is she really writing a post about ice cream sandwiches?

Yes, I am. They're that good.

When I moved in with Marcia & Don, it wasn't long before I was introduced to a food staple in their home, something that I've grown to know, love and CRAVE. 

Exhibit One: The Ice Cream Sandwich 
When I first arrived, these little sandwiches of goodness didn't have a title, but they have since been named "Marcia & Don's Famous Ice Cream Sandwich!"

Marcia started making these sweet treats nearly three years ago after her husband's open heart surgery. Don was in need of a heart healthier diet, so Marcia started reading all about healthy alternatives to familiar foods. The best part? They only have two ingredients: graham crackers and lite Cool Whip!

They get eaten so fast around this house, Marcia makes them almost every night. She whipped up the most recent batch earlier this week and I was able to snap a few close-ups!

Here's how she does it!
1. Tear off small pieces of saran wrap and lay along the kitchen counter.
2. Take one graham cracker, break it into two pieces, and sit them on each piece saran wrap.
3. After keeping your Cool Whip in the freezer, spoon it out onto one of the graham cracker pieces.
Marcia puts enough on the cracker, so that the sandwiches are about 1.5 inches thick.
4. After shaping the edges with a spoon, add on the second graham cracker piece.
5. Squeeze the two crackers together and wrap it up with the saran wrap! 

That's it! Marcia then pops them in the freezer, and they're good to go!

There you have it! A healthy alternative to the ice cream sandwich!

As always, Have a Sweet Day!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Life Update!

Things ARE and continue to be SO busy! I swear I never stop!
Here's what I've been up to lately!

1. Loving my new job!
Every single day in the Registrar's Office is a learning experience, and the best part...I really enjoy it! I love helping parents, I love getting to know students, and I love my co-workers. They are all seriously amazing. I am so so lucky.

2. Crossing goals off my list!
Just in the past few days, I marked two more tasks off my First Year in Boone to-do list.

1. Last Wednesday, I tried a new restaurant with my friend Alex and a new friend, Emily! It was completely spur of the moment, but I'm so glad I was able to meet up with them. We had dinner at this restaurant/bar near campus called tApp Room. Though our dessert was a bit overpriced, everything was really tasty, and I would definitely go back again.

2. Yesterday, I crossed off "Do something that benefits my entire office," when I brought two dozen donuts for breakfast. They were a hit! I took them around to each person, as I handed out my Christmas cards. It was so much fun to surprising everyone with a tasty treat!

3. Exercising
I knew when I moved back to Boone, I wanted to be a lot more active and develop a routine. I have been doing just that! I go to the gym almost every day after work for about two hours. I have never been a runner, but slowly I've been trying to get back into it. Last week, I ran 9 miles! Yes, 9! and I've already ran 3 so far this week. I am so proud of myself!

4. Wedding Planning
As many of you know, I also work for a wedding planner, and I love it! Last weekend, I got to experience one of the most beautiful weddings I've seen thus far, and I work a lot of weddings! It was a winter wedding with a beautiful southern bride! Here are a few pictures I snapped on Saturday!

So beautiful!

Also, Happy 50 Weddings to my amazing boss, Leigh!
What a great accomplishment!
You can check out our fab wedding blog here!
Want to keep up with me?
Follow me on Instagram: sweetlikeasong

As always, Have a Sweet Day!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Carnival Themed Birthday!

Back in August, my friend Anna and I started working on her son's carnival themed birthday party! I had never coordinated a child's birthday, and Anna had never thrown this type of party before, so it was a first for all of us.
It went fabulously, and everyone had a great time, especially the birthday boy Lane! How amazing was this cake from a nearby bakery?!
The day before the party, Anna and I went to her church fellowship hall (where the party was being held) and moved tables, got things ready in the kitchen and set up as much as we could before the party the next day!

As you can see, it wasn't carnival-like at all! After about 5 hours, tons of candy, balloons and streamers, the room was ready to go!

Anna picked out the color scheme, as well as all the supplies. My job was to figure out the best way to set things up and see how everything would flow together.
Lane and 50 of his closest friends had a wonderful time at his carnival party! It will definitely be a birthday to remember!

Thanks so much, Anna, for letting me help with Lane's 3rd Birthday! I had SO much fun!
As always, Have a Sweet Day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Boone To-Do List Check Up!

My first week of work was the perfect opportunity to cross some things off my Boone to-do list that I talked about here!

It's been so much fun figuring out where I can go and how I can get all of these things done. I'm already making my way, and have three things checked off!

Here's the list from my original post!

20 Things to do by August 1st, 2013:
  1. Go to the gym everyday for a full week
  2. Cook dinner for a group of friends
  3. Visit a new church
  4. Learn the names of everyone in my office
  5. Go hiking on the parkway
  6. Go skiing this winter
  7. Watch 10 movies that I've never seen
  8. Read 10 new books
  9. Make friends with a neighbor
  10. Take Paisley to the Greenway
  11. Spend a day in downtown Blowing Rock
  12. Do something fun for New Years Eve
  13. Personalize my new desk
  14. Buy an outfit from a local boutique
  15. Attend an Appalachian basketball game
  16. Do something that benefits my whole office (bring breakfast, write birthday cards, something!)
  17. Eat at 5 restaurants that I've never tried
  18. Throw a super fun housewarming party
  19. Make my new apartment warm, inviting and like home
  20. Make time to grab coffee before going to work (or buy a Keurig!)
The items that are crossed out are ones that I have completed. 
Any item that is underlined is currently in the works!

What I've done so far:

1. Attend an ASU basketball game!
My friend Kim & I had the best time the other night catching up, enjoying the concession stand and watching the game! It was a great time and I can't wait to go again soon!

2. Personalize my desk!
It's taken this whole time to get my desk finally looking how I want it to, but I think I'm finally done!
I love love love having my own space to work from every day!

3. Learn the names of everyone in my office
I got this done on my second day of work! Woohoo!

4. Eat at 5 restaurants I've never tried!
Last Thursday, I marked one of these off my list. We ate at a little place called Boone Drug. I had been to one of their other locations, but never this one. 

Here I am posing with a stuffed bear right beside where we were having lunch. That thing was nearly $400.00!
The place had a grill, as well as a place to shop while you wait! I love the small town feel. It reminded me so much of where I'm from.
Stay tuned as I try to check off everything on my list!

As always, Have a Sweet Day!

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