Monday, August 31, 2015

The Angel Oak Tree

This weekend, I visited The Angel Oak Tree of Johns Island, SC.  I've driven passed it many times on my path to other adventures.  So glad I decided to stop to view it.  The structure of this massive tree is extremely unique.  Its limbs look almost human-like.  It's long phalanges looking limbs stretched out, reaching, beckoning me to climb it.  Of course that is forbidden.   Every inch and angular turn of its body tells a story and I can only imagine the secrets it holds.  Although there were several people visiting, it was very quiet and serene.  Everyone was taking in its majestic wisdom and giving it the respect it demanded.  The atmosphere captivated me and I had this sense of peace that I simple can't explain.  It was as if the tree enraptured my soul and took me to a peaceful, euphoric state of being.  It was breathtakingly beautiful!

Check out where I'm sharing this post by viewing my "Linking Up" page.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It's My Blogiversary & A Giveaway!

I officially launched my site a year ago today and I must say it has been a very rewarding experience. I have learned so much about myself.  I have met some fabulous bloggers and made some amazing friends.  I have also grown as a writer.  

I am still learning new things every day.  I am nowhere near where I would like to be.  I embarked on this mission as a hobby, but who knows where it may lead.  I'm definitely in it for the long haul.  

In celebration of this momentous event, I would like to offer you a giveaway.  But, before that, I’d like to say Thank you!  For those of you who visit my blog regularly, thank you for your support and encouragement.  Thank you for the sweet comments. Thank you for walking with me on this journey. To the friends I have made along the way, you have made this journey easier than you know. 

Let’s take a look at year one and how much she has grown. 

Most Viewed Post of the Year:  Probably my shortest and least thought out post.  I kept coming across this picture in my phone and knew that I wanted to share it, but how?  Finally, this post evolved.  

Posts I wished received more love:  I was so psyched about starting my site and couldn’t wait to share with others.  Yet, I didn’t know anything about  link-ups so I didn’t get much traffic in the beginning.  There are a few posts I wished received more love and they can be found herehere, and here.  

Most Personal Post:  I really opened up about some of the pain in my life with this one.  It’s never easy to lose those that are close to you.  Hoping others will find some strength in dealing with whatever they are dealing with. 

Most Commented Post: Sometimes it’s the simplest post you create that catch readers’ attention.  The ones we least expect.  I would love to have comments on all of my post, but this one received the most.

My First Post Ever:  This was my baby and I was one proud momma.  This post didn’t receive enough love as well because I knew nothing about blogging or getting my page out there.  The few people who came across it were very positive and encouraging.  Today is its first birthday so let’s show it some love! J  

Now on to the giveaway!  Today I'm offering you a few of my favorite things.  Its just a little something to let you know how much I appreciate all of you!  :)

The giveaway will run from 8/27/15 - 9/6/15 and is open to US Residents only.  The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond or a new entrant will be chosen.  Entries will be verified. The winner will be announced on the evening of 9/8/15 so good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Currently August Vol. 3

I'm really starting to get into posting a weekly update of my everyday life.  Don't know how long this will last, but thanks for stopping by to see.


Meeting:  Today, I had the pleasure of meeting my online friend and blogger, Michelle, of Grammie Time!  She was visiting family down in my "neck of the woods" and she contacted me to met for lunch.  I first met Michelle through her blog.  Her inspiring words and fun-loving personality instantly caught my attention. Shes very family oriented and is a wine lover like me.  Obviously, she felt the same about me because we instantly connected.  We developed a friendship online and its great to know that we have a genuinely, real friendship.  I'm looking forward to many more meetups!

Listening to:   A little bit of everything.  I love all genres of music from Jazz to Country.  Good music is good music. 

Receiving:  Gifts from my sons.  A grab bag of goodies.  :)

Cooking:  Now that I'm back at work, I'm trying to be more proactive with my time by preparing my meals in advance.  Today, I am cooking stuffed flank steak and mesquite spare ribs.  Yum!

Watching:  Tonight's sunset.  I'm crazy about these things.

How are you currently spending your time?  Share with me below.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Currently August Vol. 2

Celebrating:  August 10th was my birthday!!  Can you hear the excitement?   Forty-four years that God has blessed me here on Earth.

Loving:  All the love I received through emails, gifts and calls for my birthday!  

Feeling Blessed:  I was nominated for a Liebster Award and have been featured by other bloggers I admire.  You can read about it here and here.  I've only been blogging for a year, so I am truly honored.

Eating:  Back to work this week and lunch was catered by our lovely PTSA ladies and others.  We had a massive spread of Mexican cuisine on Monday.  Guess what I had for dinner?  The same.

Busy:  At work, we have been preparing to take on the 980+ middle-schoolers preparing to walk through our doors Monday morning.  Here we are at our annual district convocation getting pumped up for success!

Feeling:  Exhausted! This week has really taken a toll on my body.  I came home and fell asleep on the couch.  I'm not a drooler, but today I was.  So sorry.

Friday, August 14, 2015

July Via Instagram

For me, summer has come to an end.  This is my last weekend before I am completely consumed with work.  On Monday, the doors will open to close to 1000 middle school students.  Before they take over my life, take a look at how I spent my last month of summer.   

Be sure you follow @sunshine.and.elephants on Instagram to catch every moment.

1. What's summer without a beach trip.  Spending time with friends at Kiawah Island.
2.  This lovely couple are coworkers of mine that tied the knot early in July.
3.  Reggae Nights at James Island County Park.
4.  A great wine recommendation from World Market.  Sweet Shiraz made in South Africa.
5. With happiness there is sadness.  Laying to rest a friend's mom, but knowing she's in a better place.
6.  Christmas in July gift swap.  Read about it all here and here.
7.  Nothing like a Girl's Night In to cleanse the soul.  Facials, feet soak, good food and drinks. 
8.  That wedding was so nice, I had to rep it twice!  I work with a great group of people!
9.  I will miss this young lady as she ventures to new horizons.  From teacher to ITS, to Operations Manager at a coding school.  She also helped me to develop a taste for beer.  Go figure! J

What have you been up to this summer?  I would love to hear!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Happy Days Are Here Again

Today I was reading a fellow blogger’s post who is also celebrating her birthday this month.  Latisha of, gave me a great idea and I hope she doesn't mind me piggy backing on it.  She had mentioned getting happy mail from others.  Now if you have been following me long enough, you know that I love happy mail.  Generally, it is in the form of a swap, but this time if any of you would like to spread some extra cheer, you could simply email me at  My birthday is Monday, August 10th  and I would love to hear from you! Of course you are not obligated to email me, and I won't feel bad if you choose not to.  For those of you who choose to, it would truly make my day!  Happy Birthday mail...who wouldn't love it!  J

If you read my last post, you could see that I was not in a good mood. I apologize because I am usually not like that.  However, we all have our moments.  I'm glad I wrote it because it helped me to let things go and move past it.  You will be happy to know that I started my birthday weekend yesterday by visiting the Firefly Distillery.  If you ever come to Charleston, you have to make time for this.  The distillery is on the same property of Irvine-House Vineyards, Charleston's one and only winery.  I decided to take my son, who is now 21, and we really enjoyed ourselves.  I have been several times before and thought it would be neat to share this experience with him.   My favorite bartender, Wanda, was there to pour our spirits and there was another young lady there celebrating her birthday as well.  Wanda asked that everyone give us a toast and a birthday shout-out.  It was nice to spend time with others and share in the fun.

When is your birthday and what plans do you have to celebrate?  Have you ever been to a winery/distillery?  If so where?

Check out my Linking Up page to see where I'm sharing this post.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Food For Thought

This plant pretty much represents how I'm feeling this week.  Dry, brittle, and neglected.  To be totally honest, I've been in a such a funky mood.  I haven't been sleeping well.  I've been exhausted from work.  My food choices have not been the best.  My body is sore and my thoughts have been fleeting.

I officially go back to work this upcoming Monday, but I've been busy with work for the past 2 weeks.  Workshops and conferences last week. By choice, I went in on Monday to help set up the library that was disarrayed after new carpet had to be put in.  The company came earlier  than expected and books were promptly removed to accommodate.   For the last 2 weeks, the librarian (who just had a baby in June), her assistant, her father, and 2 volunteers have been feverously working to get it back into a functional state.  Picture thousands of books displaced in no particular order, because they needed to be moved in a hurry...ONE HUGE MESS!  I wish I had thought to take a picture.  Anyway, I went in to help out and I think I may have picked up too many books at once.  Or, didn't bend down appropriately to pick things up.  Or, maybe it was when the cart we were pushing, that had a few hundred books on it, lost a wheel and I was holding it up to get the wheel back on.  All I know is that I hurt my back. Nothing major, but it hurts.

Tuesday and Wednesday were our annual Fact and Fee Days.  Parents can come register their children, pay fees, and pick up schedules from 7am - 7pm.  We do close for lunch, but that time goes by fast.  We, counselors, are expected to be there the entire time although we are not back at work.  These days are extremely busy and tiresome.

As I mentioned, I haven't been sleeping well.  Monday night, I only got about 3 hours of sleep. The neighbors dogs woke me up around 2am.  Mind you, I had just gone to bed around midnight.  I think I drifted back off to sleep shortly after 4:00 since that was the last time I remember checking the clock. When my alarm went off at 5:30, man I was tired.

To top it all off, I'm not feeling too thrilled about my upcoming birthday.   Plans are starting to fall apart.  Friends who had agreed to go to certain outings with me have backed out.  Some are not even responding to my messages.  I wanted to attend a local cooking class and it filled up before I purchased my ticket.  That was the biggest disappointment.  When I messaged everyone the news, then they were upset that we wouldn't be able to attend.  REALLY?!?!  I called and placed myself on the waiting list.  I will go alone if a spot becomes available.  I've decided to cancel plans for the harbor cruise because of the same nonsense.

And finally, my son's car went kaput.  The mechanic said it was useless to fix because it would cost more than its worth.  So now we are down a car and I feel really bad.  This is the son who attends college 3 hours away.  I really don't have the money to get him another one at this time, so I guess I'll be looking for some part time work.

Its funny how life can change so quickly and detour off its regular course.  One little monkey wrench can  sabotage the best of plans.  Sometimes its like a punch in the stomach.  Have you ever felt that? That unexpected punch that just says, "Boom! Here I am now deal with me."  That unexpected punch that just knocks you off your feet.  When things do not go as planned, it can be really stressful.  Stress that can keep you awake at night.  Stress that can make you second guess yourself.  Stress that can make life seem bleak.  You know, the type of stress that tense up your muscles and cause you to think of all the decisions of the past you wish you could change.  What do you do when life beats you down?  Do you just give up and raise the white flag in surrender? Do you just ignore it and hope that it just goes away?  How do you get through it? 

How do you deal with the challenges that life throws your way?

Check out my Linking Up page to see where I will be sharing this post.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Currently August


Hi everyone! It's me again filling you in on what I'm currently up to.  I have been looking forward to linking up with Becky of Choose Happy who has a weekly Currently link up and now I can.  This time around, I am following the pattern of Anne and Jenna who host a monthly Currently linky.  This month's themes/prompts  were creating, wishlisting, hoping, eating, and watching.  So here is what I am currently doing.  

Creating:  Lesson plans for upcoming lessons for this school year.  A bedtime schedule to get my body used to an earlier wake time.  

Wishlisting:  (When I first began this post) Our school family will continue to be strong and work together and put forth our best efforts. We have a lot of changes in store this year.  

(Closer to post date) My birthday is fast approaching and I would love a few new things.  Nothing big.. just a personalized cutting board, some new clothes, a new laptop, and some new wheels.  Oh, and if someone would like to throw me a party that would be good too!  And finally, tickets to Ellen's 12 Days of Giveaways!!  Is that too much to ask?  :)  You can check out my wishlist on my Pinterest board here... 

Hoping:  I will have a great start to another school year.  I hope to be better than I was last year, because we can always improve on what we do. I hope that I can again make a difference in the lives of the students who's paths I cross. Are we starting to see a pattern here?  LOL...

Eating: Pretty much anything.  Nothing special right now.  Busy getting things situated at work and they have been providing lunch so...

Watching: Nina Simone's biography on Netflix...What Happened Miss Simone?  Its pretty eye-awakening.  Did you know she was from North Carolina? Small world. 

 Also, Bachelor In Paradise. Watching the Bachelor series of shows (The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, etc.) helps me when working with my middle-schoolers. Sad, but true. Seriously! Don't they act like a bunch of middle-schoolers? 

And if I can add another...

Wanting:  For summer not to come to an end.  That we could add maybe one more week to summer so I can enjoy more time with my family and friends. I didn't get to complete some of the activities I had planned.  Oh well, a girl can dream, right?

So what are you currently up to?  I would love to hear!  :)

Check out my Linking Up page to see other sites I'm linking up with.