My Bestie!

Today marks the 4 year anniversary of my bestie and her hubs!  Congrats Amanda & Hunter!

So, today I would like to celebrate all thinks ALE .... and reminisce about all the good times we have had together...

1. Teaching me those two fabulous words... WAR EAGLE! Amanda could honestly take full credit for where I chose to go to college. As all my friends and family would tell you - I routed for that other team across the state that wears only Crimson until Amanda left for college and convinced me to follow.

2. It's ok if you drive a car with a "bra" on the front - all you have to do is turn up your jams to low-rider, lay the seats back and cruise through the parking lot where you fit right in with all the low-riders - then and only then, your car is cool with a bra.

3. Wearing camouflage while driving a camouflage golf cart does not make you cool.  Nor does it give you permission to cruise by the front of the movie theater on Friday night...however, we did it anyway.

4. Spending the night in your new house with no windows... no bed... and no one else = kinda creepy.

5. Obsessively wearing bright colors at all times is a crowd pleaser and trend setter.

6. Calling the radio station to wake your parents up after a long night of drinking at Mardi Gras = epic. {waking up your friends who are also staying in the room = not so epic}

7. Starfish and Teal will forever remind me of your wedding day!

8. Pineapple upside-down shots will forever remind me of my bachelorette party ... and Mangofest.

9. One day there will be an actual Mango Tree Shop.

10. I'm so happy that you're found your perfect match and feel so lucky that I've been here to enjoy the ride! :)

I Love you!!  Cheers to many more great years' to come!!! 


Organize Me Please.

I love being organized!  However, in the busy days that pass by quicker than I can cross them off the calendar I am reminded {on a weekly basis} at how un-organized I really am.  So, lately I have been trying to tackle small projects that I keep putting off don't have time to do. Today, I wanted to share a few small projects that will make you feel super organized!  

Need some fun wall decor for your closet/bathroom/bedroom?
 Find an old mirror or frame like this one, remove the middle and hang up your earrings to give the space. Make them look cute while doing it by using lace, instead of wire.

Don't have time to make yourself? Visit The Vintage Treehouse on Etsy and put in your order. 

If only I had the closet space for this one.... 
You could also use an old bookshelf - just add small wire hooks for your bags. 

My craft closet could use this A.S.A.P.

Perfect use for baby food jars - all you need is a friend with a baby 
{who also works, has multiple community commitments, and doesn't have time to make homemade baby food every night}, chalkboard paint and chalk!

Summertime is here - Time to dust off the flip-flops!  
The perfect solution to ensure that all the flips have their pair and keep you from forgetting about the old pair that gets hidden under the pile in your closet. 

Happy Organizing!! 


Dressed for a Wedding

So, if any of you are like me at this point in my life... I have developed quite the collection of bridesmaids dresses. However, every time I get to be a guest at a wedding I feel lost about what to wear?? I guess I am so used to being told exactly what to wear - down to the earrings and shoes - that when I get to pick, I have no idea what to do!

This weekend we have a really fabulous wedding to attend (shout out to K&T) and I had great intentions of recycling something from my closet or even a bridesmaids dress... well,  the closer we get to the wedding the more I just can't commit - to a dress that is.  I keep seeing Facebook flooded with weddings and cute spring dresses, and I want something new and fun to wear too!  So, at lunch today I popped in one of our cute little shops downtown , Pollagallo - check them out, such a fun store!

....and this is what I came out with!  I also remembered that I had a return credit with them, so the dress was a steal.

After getting home and doing some searching, I found it online too - and if you have never shopped Couture Candy before, use the discount code WISH to get 20% off. 


My Favorite Things

This weekend I am heading off for an AOII team retreat and workshop in Raleigh, NC. I'm super excited to finally meet all the wonderful ladies that serve this small corner of AOII with me. I get the job of overseeing recruitment for our 8 chapters in NC, VA and MD. It's really neat working with the women on a volunteer level and getting to share all the things that I only wish I have known when I was in college! {O don't we all?}

BUT - I'm excited for a weekend to mingle with other {adult}volunteers and just catch up about all things AOII.  Last night I decided to break out an old AOII tradition from my undergrad days at Auburn - AOII Crunch Mix. It was what we lived off during recruitment and I haven't had it in years'... so I thought, what a better occasion than this to try my own batch.

It's a great snack - and packed full of protein!

AOII Praline Pecan Power Crunch

1 (16 oz. box Quaker Oat squares
3 cups unsalted pecan halves
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Toss oat squares and pecans together.  In saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. 
Bring to a rolling boil.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. 
Pour over cereal and pecans and toss well until evenly coated. 
Pour into 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour. 
Spread on waxed paper to cool. 

We also have a fun gift exchange tonight called  "My favorite things", where we all bring something we love (under $10) and have a fun little exchange with each other. So, I'm trying to decide what my favorite thing will be... just some ideas I have... 

Who doesn't love cute, new dish towels ?

Cocoa Mill Chocolates ~ A Lexington fav!

Cupcake Malbec ~ My favorite vino!

Or maybe a cute dish and spreader... I never seem to have enough of these!! 
Any other ideas ?? 


It's Derby Time

Which only can mean one thing... it's time to grab the Maker's and dust off your hats for a fresh new look. As you can see from these ladies, it's easy to spruce up an old look just by adding some festive flowers, feathers, ribbons and berries!!  I just love Derby time... any excuse to wear something crafty on your head and not look ridiculous is right up my ally!  So, let's see what you think... which one is your favorite??

Love the fabulous colors and designs... O how I wish we were going to the derby this year... heck, maybe I'll break a new hat anyway, just for fun!!


Waking Up in Dixie - A great read!

This is such a fun book!  It caught my eye at our local library in the new release section, so I thought I would give it a try. Once I got into it, the story was so good I could barely put it down. This is the first book by this author that I have read, but it won't be the last - her writing style is so real and off the cuff that you feel like you know the characters. AND, if you like stories where everything is tied up in a pretty bow at the end, you'll enjoy this book! 

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Hat Club comes a hilarious story of marriage and love and second chances
When Elizabeth Mooney escaped the shame of her “white trash” family to marry the crown prince of her small town, Howell Whittington, she never dreamed that thirty years later, she’d end up trapped in a loveless marriage to the cruel banker who’s foreclosing on all her friends. Then Howe has a stroke sitting up in church, and when he wakes up, he’s at the mercy of all his appetites and emotions. Transformed, Howe wants to be a real husband, which scares proper, repressed Elizabeth to death, and setting out to right past wrongs, he blackmails the town’s baddies into doing the right thing by threatening to foreclose on their mortgages. The ensuing hilarious rollercoaster ride wakes up not only Elizabeth and their marriage, but the whole town and its hidebound institutions.


Veggie Garden!

For the past few years we've had great intentions of trying our green thumb at a little veggie garden of our own... and the months and then years' pass and nothing ever happens. This year - we actually have planted what looks to be [fingers crossed] a good start to some yummy fresh veggies for the Lyons' den this year! 

Since we have the tinniest of back yards, we opted to build nice long planters for the seedlings instead. we also found a way to get them more sun by attaching them to the fence - like window boxes. They actually turned out pretty neat - and we made them all by ourselves.  

I'll have to post the actual building of the boxes soon, but here are a few pictures of our little seedlings!

The peppers and tomatoes got their own pots - so they can have lots of room to grow! 

We added a few boxes filled with flowers in the middle, so it doesn't look so bare - they seem to be doing great! 

Be sure to check back - I'll blog about how we built our boxes and hopefully have pictures of yummy fresh veggies by summers' end. 


Lemon-Cranberry Muffins

I love the weekends, mostly because it means sleeping in late and druming-up a fun new big breakfast feast!

Today, I had to share a delicious new healthy muffin recipe we treid... they are in the oven as I type, so I'll let you know how they turned out!

I stole this one from fittness magazine and added a few changes of our own!

1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white whole-wheat flour, or whole-wheat pastry flour (see Shopping Tip)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 12 large (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon in long strips. Combine the zest and sugar in a food processor; pulse until the zest is very finely chopped into the sugar. Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla and pulse until blended.
3. Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Divide the batter among the muffin cups.
4. Bake the muffins until the edges and tops are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm.
Tip: No buttermilk? Mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice into 1 cup milk.
Shopping Tip: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole wheat. Whole-wheat pastry flour can be used as a substitute here. Both can be found in the natural-foods section of the supermarket or online from King Arthur Flour, bakerscatalogue.com.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Wrap each in plastic and freeze in a freezer bag for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap muffin in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds.


Spring Wreaths

Spring is here... but Easter is blown past us.... which means it is time for a new spring wreath! 

This is one I made for a friend a last year, I like the lemons in it... with maybe softer colors for spring? I'm thinking something shabby-chic for our door. 


Here are a few others ideas I found... but I'm thinking I would like to use some burlap in it somewhere too.  Guess we'll see what I can come up with...

I'll post the final product later today - I love my Friday afternoon's... no work and lots of time to craft!

The final product! 


Stress Free & Happy

I came across this facebook post today and it made me smile. "15 things You Should Give up to be Happy" 

Lately, I've found that it's so much easier just to let things be... rather than let them get you down.
   Don't like the way your co-worker barges in your office (every hour, on the hour)... let it go. 
   Don't like the way your husband stacks the dishes... let it go. [He is washing them]
   Don't like the trash your neighbors throw in your yard... let it go. [At least you have a house]

You can't control things other people do, but you can control how you react. So, do what you can, fix what you can, help others when you can, and most of all - just be happy that you are able to do what you want and feel what you do!

So, #1 on this list: Give up your need to always be right.There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?


Today is only ONE day.

Found this quote while browsing Pinterest today. 

It made me smile - so I wanted to spread the love.