Friday, July 31, 2015

Liebster Nomination

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Heather of MamaMIA.

Thank you for the nomination!                                                             

To learn more about this award, you can click here.
Basically, its bloggers recognizing other bloggers as a way to encourage, connect and support each other and aid in the discovery of new and upcoming bloggers.
I accept this award by answering a few questions assigned to me.  But first, a few random facts about me…

I’m a Leo, Mom of twins, I love Breyers Vanilla Bean Ice cream (yum), My favorite dessert is Red Velvet cake.  I’m allergic to all trees (just my luck), My favorite symbols are the sun and elephants (Hence the name), I enjoy cooking, I was a cheerleader in high school, Played intramural volleyball in college, I attended Winthrop and S C State Universities, and I took piano lessons as a child.

My eleven questions to answer:

1 - How long have you been blogging?  As of July, I’ve been blogging for 11 months

2 - Is blogging your full time job, or a hobby?  Blogging is a hobby for me, but who know where it may lead.

3 - What do you hope to gain from blogging?  I hope to gain inner peace.  I have so much going on in my head and it was a way of getting those thoughts and emotions out and maybe inspire others in some way.

4 - Where do you live? I live in a suburb of Charleston, SC.

5 - Are you happy with where you live?  Yes indeed!  Who wouldn’t want to live 20 miles from several beaches, in a city booming with adventure, host of several festivals, server of many exquisite cuisines, and voted the #1 Travel destination in the US and Canada.

6 - Do you feel you live a life as a realist or someone who always lives in the moment?
This is kind of a tricky question, but those who know me know I’m as real as they come.  I try to live my life with no regrets.  However, I’m very spontaneous.  I can drop something in a minute to do things with or for others.  So, I guess you can say I’m a little bit of both.

7 - Are you where you thought you would be in life, at this stage of your life?  No, not at all.  I thought I would be married by now, instead I am single and an empty- nester.  The empty-nester part doesn’t bother me too much, but it would be nice to have a significant other to share this home with.  I haven’t given up on love and I know God has a plan for me. 

8 - If you are on a journey right now, to make changes in your life, what are they?  I am on a journey to make better choices regarding my health.  Two years ago, I developed some health issues that caused me to not be as active as I once was.  During that time, I put on some weight and I’m now working on getting the weight off and being a better me.

9 - What are some of your favorite things to blog about?  I blog about everyday life.  If you read my blog, you will see I’m all over the place. 

10 - Do you come from a large family? I do come from a large family.  My immediate family is small (Mom, dad, and 2 siblings), but when you count my grandparent, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so on…the list can be endless. 

11 - Do you have a large family or are you more of a loner?  I am a single mom of twin boys/men.  You can read about them here and here. 

To continue the tradition of the award, I would like to nominate other bloggers who are also well deserving of this award.  There are many people that I could nominate.  The first couple that came to mind actually have already received this award so I decided to go with the following:

I nominate: 

My eleven questions for you:
How would you describe yourself?
Why did you decide to start a blog?
What is your happiest blogging experience?
Is blogging your full time job? If not, what is?
How do you organize everything…balancing blogging and the real world?
Do you have a blogging ritual?
What’s your favorite pastime and how do you relax and relieve stress?
Who is your role model?
What advice would you give to your younger self?
What is your favorite quote?
What advice do you have for other bloggers?

Visit my Linking Up page to see where  I am linking this post.

Linking up with

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Christmas In July Reveal

I never thought I'd be celebrating Christmas in July.  This is something new to me, other than the  car commercials that try to entice you to purchase a car during the summer.

I have recently participated in two different swaps.  One was hosted by a blogger on Instagram.  The other was the #SunshineBoxSwap hosted by Dean and Abby.  You may remember reading about the reveal here.

My blogging buddy, Mary, of I Need a Playdate became interested after reading about our #SunshineBoxSwap and she decided to host a Christmas in July Swap.  What's unique about it is we will be gifting our person with items from the area in which we live.  As soon as I saw that, I knew exactly what I wanted to get.  I live in Charleston, SC so you can imagine the items I gifted my pal with.  I would love to share, but I'll let her speak about it herself.

I was the "Secret Santa" to Kristen of Ready Set Parenthood!   She and her husband take you through their journey of parenthood one step at a time.  From her blog, I learned that she is an educator like me.  Kristen I hope you liked your box of goodies and it has been great getting to know you through your blog.

Now, on to my Secret Santa!  Guess who I was so lucky to have?!?!  Mary, of I Need A Playdate, who is also the host of this swap!!   Here are the wonderful goodies she gifted me with! 

 Savory treats to satisfy my palette. Wholesome handmades to make my skin feel like butter.  A momentum to add to my collection, and photo stock so I can make my own creations!

 I can begin my morning with some delicious green tea and end the evening with some flavored popcorn and ice cream covered with this delicious fudge sauce. 

Then get ready for bed by showering with my handmade soap.  I better be careful not to overindulge, because this one is made with Gold Lager.    :) 

  I love taking pictures! Now I can share the moments and say hello with my own photo card stock!

And this cup fits nicely with other items people have given me. 

Thanks, Mary, for being such an AWESOME Secret Santa 
and for sharing  a little piece of Cleveland with me! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Random Cloudy Night

I'm sharing this photo here because I don't have anywhere else to share it.  It doesn't fit into any other sequence of  photos.  Its been sitting around in my cell phone gallery for a few months.  I felt it needed to be shared.  Why?  Because its beautiful and it looks like a picture in a story book.  I know this may be hard to believe, but there is no filter to this photo.  It was purely a lucky shot.  The weather was cloudy all day and when the sun set, this is what I saw as I was closing my blinds for the evening.  I grabbed my cell phone and took the shoot and voila!  This is what I got.  If you know me,  you know I love the scenic views that God places before us each day.  I kept saying I was going to use it for a blog post, but nothing has ever come up. So, today I decided to let it represent  itself.  Some things were meant to stand alone.

Do you ever have  moments like this that don't quite fit in anywhere, but they stand out all on their own? I would love to hear.  

Click on my "Linking Up" page to see where I'm sharing this post.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Everyday Adventures: Snapshots 2

This summer, I had the opportunity to go visit one of my best friends who lives in Spartanburg, SC.  Spartanburg is considered a rural area of the upstate.  This little trip served two purposes. Attending a friends wedding in Greenville just 30 minutes away, and visiting my friend and her family.  Below are some pictures I snapped along my way.

                                                                                                                                                           What's unique about this picture is that it was taken while I was waiting in the drive thru of a small town Chick fil-a.  It looks like it would be along the country road.  The flowers were so pretty I just had to take a shot.    


The open road. It was so peaceful.

                                                                                 A storm was brewing and it was coming fast.  Minutes after taking this picture, the house was dark and lightning and thunder was abundant.  

                                                                                   My friend's back yard.  They live on 1.5 acres.  I love coming out here and taking in the scenery.

                                                                                                 This looks like a great place to just run around bare-footed and let the grass go through your toes.  I can picture children having a lot of fun out here trying to climb the tower and playing outdoor games of yesteryear.  

 The reception was held at the former sawmill in Greenville.  It was a beautiful place and so picturesque

How is your summer going so far?  Any great pics to share? 
Visit my "Linking Up" page to see where I will be sharing this post.

Things That Make Me Uncomfortable

Uhhh, Hello (hesitantly pausing)... I'm Lowanda...and I'm a little uncomfortable about writing this post...Just kidding!  I feel like I'm about to do open mic at a coffee house or something.  So that's how I would like for you to picture this.  I have a few things to brush off my shoulders tonight and without further adieu, here we go...

Number one: I'm not fully comfortable speaking in front of crowds. Hence the hesitation at the beginning of my presentation.  

Number two:  I'm uncomfortable when people are one sided with their opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but you should be open to hearing (and at least attempting to understand) the opinions of others without placing judgment.

Number three:  I am not comfortable around negative people. I hate it when people are always negative or complaining about something. I try to look for happiness and joy in everything I do and then someone comes along and says something negative. All I can do most times is keep quiet. Although, at times when people are negative, I'll comment about their a positive manner.  

If they continue to be negative then I just sigh and change the subject or tell them I'll see you later.  Hate to say it, but all too often this happens almost daily at work.  If Negative Nelly is walking my way, I pick up my speed a bit and give them a polite hello and keep on trucking.  Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!!

Number four:  I'm uncomfortable when I go to an event alone and don't know anyone there.  For instance, last year I was so excited about Bloggy Boot Camp until the actual week arrived.   

Then it hit me that I was going alone. 
 Oh my, What was I thinking?!?!
It turned out to be an awesome event!

Number five: Sometimes I'm uncomfortable when I'm the only educator in the room of techie people, engineers, or other well established professions.  I don't feel I have much to offer to the conversation.  This is a true statement people and it is something I am working on personally.  I revealed this to a few of my friends and they were shocked.  Remember my first post of the year about opening up and trusting more?  That was one of the things I was more open about among many others.    

Number six:  I'm uncomfortable with people who hold senseless grudges.  Grow up people! 

Last and certainly not least...

Number seven:  I'm uncomfortable around people who discriminate! It really gets under my skin and this can fall into a variety of categories. One Love People!!!! Enough said...

Drops the mic and exits the stage...  

What make you uncomfortable? Do we share any discomforts?  I would love to hear. 

#WODW with Mia and Vashelle

See where else I am linking up by visiting my "Link Up" page

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Girls Night In: Spa Style

What started out as a little night of spa treatment fun, turned into animal house...Girl Style!  We all gathered at one of our favorite resting spots to get ready for a night of pampering.  Our gracious host whipped up some great dishes.  So great, I totally forgot to snap pics of them.  (Really hate that) They would have made your mouth drool.  I'm just realizing that I didn't get those darn shots as I'm writing this.  Ugghh...Anyway, we had more than enough food to feed the masses and great drinks to wash them all down with.  

Of course this is one of those "try to sell you something" hosted parties and I will not share the name of the company.  I'm so glad the representative was pretty laid back, but hosting a room filled  mostly of educators can turn out to be more than  expected.  Sometimes we make the worst students, which became noticeable after the rep snapped to get out attention ...a few times.  Lol, she's an educator as well so she used her management skills on us and she was good!  :)  Here are a few pics of our night.  

Hope you enjoyed!  Do you and your friends get together for girl night?  What do you do when you get together?

Check out my "Linking Up" page to see the various sites I'll be sharing this post.

Friday, July 3, 2015

June Via Instagram

What hallways look like at the end of a school year. #summerishere #lastdayblues #crowdedhallways #fullofjunk #emptyclassrooms #summerhasbegun

Someone was thinking about me and was thoughtful enough to get me a card. Snail mail is the best mail to get...thanks @mrs_aok for this wonderful surprise! #myloveforelephantsrunsdeep #snailmail #thinkingofyoucard #happyfriday #happygram

Here's to Summerville making it into the Guinness Book of World Records! #sweetsummerville #birthplaceofsweettea #worldlargestsweettea #guinnessbookofworldrecords #sweettea #summervillesc #summervillejournalscene

Cheers! #tequilashots #dailysummergram

I truly believe SC has up and moved closer to the equator.  Check out that heat index/real feel. It’s ridiculously HOT!!!!! #stayoutoftheheat#stayindoors #babyitshotoutside 

  I love the tree in this one  tonight at Tanger. #dailysummergram #sunsets

You're looking at close to 26 years of friendship here. Love you Angie! #dailysummergram #lastingfriendships #bff #wegowayback #winthroproomies #truefriendshipslastforever

Celebrated the union of these two yesterday. May God continue to bless their union. #weddingreception #maritalbliss #whatablessing #marriageisabeautifulthing #CapturingLifeLaughterLove

#Charlestonunited #CharlestonStrong #MotherEmanuel #PrayersForCharleston

#PrayersForCharleston #MotherEmanuel

#downtownCharleston #Charlestonunited #chs

Enjoyed spending time with my cousin @jamonsita we must do this again soon. #latergram #dailysummergram #chs #CapturingLifeLaughterLove #charleston #cousins #BloggersGetSocial

Rough day today. Paid my respects to my sister in Christ, Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor.  May your songs continue to be sung in heaven. God bless. I drove to #thebattery to gather my thoughts. #charlestonemanuel9 #prayersforcharleston #chs #downtowncharleston #charlestonunited #charlestonstrong