Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Sunday Photo ~ Full Moons.

Happy Halloween.  This week was the week of full moons.  I was captivated by the moon on Wednesday night.  It was almost directly over my house and its rays gleamed in through the window above my front door.  It was calming yet haunting...its hard to explain.  I went to a lower window to snap its picture, but as I mentioned it was so far overhead that the only way I could capture it was by positioning myself diagonally below that upper window.  It was already after 11pm and I was not stepping out of my house that late.  This is the beauty I speak of.

The next evening was yet another beautiful image.  Again it was late, but I just had to open my  front door to capture it.  This time the moon was angled in front of my house so I felt more comfortable about taking the picture.  This image was even more beautiful than the one the night before.  Both nights were cloudy and I did not use a filter on either of them.  I almost missed this shot.  Within seconds of snapping it, the clouds quickly shifted across and it disappeared for awhile.  The first picture has a smokey gray aurora and this one looks clear like the ocean blue.

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

Simple Me ~ October

This Friday is the first Friday of the Simple Me link up hosted by Liz of Sundays With Sophie.  Its a monthly link up happening the last Friday of each month.  Liz will prompt us with a set of questions each month, just as a way of getting to know each other better.  I thought this was a cute idea and decided to join in on the fun.  This month's topic is all about our states and I hail from the great state of South Carolina

Image Source

I've lived in ___ state(s) {number of states}
For the majority of my life, I have lived in South Carolina.  I did live in Maryland for a short period of time when I made my first attempted at grad school.   For South Carolina, I have lived in the Midlands, the Upstate, and now reside in the Lowcountry so I have covered all regions.

My favorite state is __?
What else, but South Carolina!  We are close to the mountains and surrounded by water on the coast. For the most part, the weather is nice, but our summers do get hot.  Other states that I enjoy visiting are Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  One day I would like to visit the West coast.

Why do you live in the state you currently live in?
South Carolina is where I was born and raised.  Its my home and most of my family lives here.  I am a family oriented person and love the connection we have with each other.  I do have family and friends in the other states I mentioned and visit them when I can.  I love the warmer weather of South Carolina and that allows us to enjoy the outdoors more and there is a lot to explore here.

Would you like to move to another state?
If I were to move to another state, it would probably be North Carolina.  I know you are probably laughing, but again it will keep me close to family and friends and the weather is very nice.  I don't think I could handle big cities now that I'm older.  When I was younger, I said I wanted to live in Atlanta, so Georgia would be an option as well.

What is your state known for?
Smiling faces and beautiful places!  South Carolina is known as the Palmetto State with the Carolina Wren as our state bird.  We are also known for our college sports.  I'm sure you've heard of Clemson and USC...University Of South Carolina that is! I attended Winthrop University and South Carolina State University.  We are especially known for our beautiful beaches and history galore.  The state has been on the news so much this summer that I almost feel like I shouldn't mention it here.  This summer, we made history with the removal of the Confederate flag from the State house.  We also made history with the horrible incident of domestic terrorism that took place in Charleston.  Recently, we were on the news due to the torrential flooding that devastated the state.

Image Source
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me and my fine state.  Join me again next month and be sure to link up.

What state are you from?  What is your state known for?  
See where I'm sharing this by visiting my Linking Up page.
Twinkly Tuesday and Ember Grey

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's Tea Time

This summer I participated in a gift swap hosted by Mary of I Need A Playdate. One of the items I received was a package of tea and I'm finally getting a chance to try it.  Mary sent me some green tea called Tea on the Beach which is perfect since I love the beach and have several of them to choose from in my area. 

 It is a loose leaf tea blended by a company in Cleveland, Ohio known as The Tea Lab.  The Tea Lab has over 100 varieties of tea blends for you to choose from.  You can choose one of their many creations or experiment and create your own.  After reviewing their Facebook site, I realize there is more to it than just a room full of selective tea concoctions.  They sell a variety of accessories and even host a Tea Talk.

This morning was the perfect morning to enjoy some tea.  My throat was itchy and it has been raining off and on over the last 24 hours and heavier rainfalls are expected this afternoon.  I plugged up my tea kettle and allowed this baby to purr.   

When I first opened my bag of tea, the fresh aromas were pleasing and tickled my senses.  

I couldn't wait to get this baby steeping.  I didn't realize it came with its own tea bags.

 So my mesh tea infuser will not have to be used today. J  I purchased it from Pier 1 in case you are looking for one of your own.  

I allowed my tea to steep for about 5 minutes before tasting it to see if it was at the strength I liked.  The taste was okay, but I felt it should steep just a little more. 

After a few minutes I tasted it again and I must say it was delicious all on its own.  It has a nice floral scent and taste (if that makes any sense) with a hint of honey flavor.  

I could drink this as is, but I decided to add some honey just to see if it made a difference.  Honey is great for flavoring teas and it’s also a natural remedy for sore throats and colds in general.  Just a little bit was all it took to enhance the flavors in the tea without overpowering it.  

Sorry about the torn label

Tea break... I'm actually stopping to enjoy my tea.

I must say, I am pleasantly pleased with this tea and will be looking forward to the next cup.  I went online to see if The Tea Lab had an online store and this is what I found under their Shop tab:

Due to a number of requests, we are working on a online store.
We hope to have it functioning soon.
But we also think the best way to buy tea
is to see, smell and taste it.
We encourage you to come see us at our retail stores

Okay, I don't live in Ohio so I won't be making it up there to buy any.  I know there must be stores here in my area that sell their own blended teas so I will be checking around soon because this bag of deliciousness will be gone soon and I will definitely be wanting another.  Thanks Mary for introducing me to loose leaf teas and thanks to The Tea Lab for supplying it.

  This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts and opinions are my very own.  
Visit my Linking Up page to see where I'm sharing this post.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Coffee Chat Tuesday

Leslie of  Ink Interrupted asks...The long day is done, you arrive home and the first thing you do...?  

Well let's see.  The work day is done.  I arrive home, grab a glass of water and flip open my laptop.  Yes, I am addicted to checking out my blog analytics, email, and social media.  If I'm home on time, I turn on the TV to catch the latest episode of Ellen.  She's my friend you know!  :)
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not neglecting anyone because I currently live alone.  Boys are away at college and that special someone is still somewhere out there.

This school year, our district adopted a new bell schedule and my work day ends much earlier than it has in the past.  Even if we have meetings after school, the work day is so much better.  I live 3 miles from work, so I can quickly get home regardless of the time.  I eat lunch around noon so I'm not very hungry when I get in, so the above mentioned activities take center stage.

What is your day like when you get home?  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My Sunday Photo - The Mac-Off

There are times I take some random pictures that tend to get stuck in my phone's photo gallery.  The just sit and wait to be shared with others and some never make it out.  I decided that maybe I should take the time to join others I've met in the blogosphere and showcase these little gems instead of stifling their existence.  Darren of OneDad3Girls hosts a weekly link party called #MySundayPhoto.   I have joined in on the fun a few times now and think I will make this a more consistent part of my weekly lineup.

Yesterday, I attended the 6th annual Charleston Mac-Off.  This is a day set aside for pure ooey, gooey goodness!!  It is something I look forward to each year. 

 I have attended this event for the past 4 years and have enjoyed every minute of it.  Last year I wrote about it and you can review it here.  I looked back over the post yesterday morning and realized how much of a novice I was then.  

Over 6000 people were in attendance last year and I truly believe we topped the scales with 7000+ this year. This is the third venue they've had since they began and I think they will be planning for a larger space for next years event.   

You may be wondering where are all the fabulous pics of the mac and cheese itself, I was too busy eating it to take pics this year and decided to focus more on the crowd for this year's post.  :)

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bucket List Review

What’s the use of having a bucket list if you don’t revisit it to see if you can actually scratch some items off that you've completed?  Well, that’s what I’m doing today.  I’m reviewing the 3 bucket lists I created over the past year to see how much I was able to accomplish. 

Host a wine party
Host a prepackaged food party
Carve or decorate a pumpkin
Go to a fall festival 
Make chili and taco soup
Attend a Halloween party
Attend my college homecoming game
Attend the Charleston Mac-Off 
Thanksgiving with my family 

Looks like I did a pretty good job with my Fall list from last year.  7 out of 11 events checked off that list.  Let’s see how well I did with the Spring list.

Get up and get going
Begin yoga classes
Fly a kite
Go to a local farmer’s market
Take a walk on the beach
Practice more R.A.K

I’m really proud of myself for basically completing this one.  By the time I wrote this, many kites had been sold.  When I went out to purchase one, I couldn’t find any that I liked.  There were several kid designed ones around and then there were some that just didn’t suit me.  Next year for sure, I’ll be able to check this one off my list.  J
Leaving the festival I realized I still had tickets so I handed them to a family just arriving.  That was my random act of kindness or R.A.K.  

And lastly, My Summer Bucket List, now this one was put together with the least amount of thought…well somewhat. 

Take a weekend getaway
Try a new restaurant
Start an herb garden
Begin my weight loss journey
Began, but not as successful as I would like
Go to an amusement park  
Go to a concert Reggae at the Music Farm
Make my own popsicles  Well I bought the containers :)
Go bike riding
Picnic in the park… Reggae in the park counts, right?  We bought food while we were there.
Watch fireworks
Take a dip in the ocean...Well that was a no brainer
Go for an evening walk through the neighborhood...Man it was too hot.
Read a book…I’m still disappointed with myself
Try a new summery nail color   I tried several
I still haven't started yoga, so... 
Well actually, I did.  I attended a class right after writing the Spring Bucket List post (see above), and then I went to a class held at my job for health and wellness week.

I’m a very random person and I can be very spontaneous. So, at times I actually plan events, but many were mostly spare of the moment.  I’m glad to see that most of the items on my bucket lists were accomplish and I will try to complete the other items in the near future.

How are you doing with your bucket list(s)?  Were you able to complete the items you listed? 
Check out my linking up page to see where I'm sharing this post.
Ember Grey

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Currently October

Its hard to believe that October is here.  The weather was beautiful for awhile and then Mother Nature made a strong appearance this past weekend.  The Weather Channel couldn't stop talking about the flooding in Charleston and the surrounding area.  Surprisingly, the entire state of SC has been declared a state of emergency due to storms and flash flooding.  Luckily, my neighborhood was not affected although surrounding streets were closed.  Hopefully, this bad weather is behind us and clearer skies are ahead.
Today I'm joining Anne and Jenna for their monthly Currently linkup.  This month's themes are eating, exploring, wearing, admiring, and collecting.


Eating: I made it to the grocery store and stocked up on some goodies!  Today, I'm enjoying Cajun seasoned pork chops stuffed with Cajun wild rice.  Oh, and some Ghirardelli chocolate brownies for dessert.  Yum!

Exploring:  All the tweets I favored from The SITS Girls weekly Sharefest Twitter Party... #SITSBlogging .  

Wearing:  The key word for the last few days has been comfort.  Being cooped up in the house due to flooding, I've been lounging around in warm ups and pjs.    Today, I was able to  venture out to the front of my neighborhood to get groceries.  Can't go too far because surrounding roads are still closed.  I'm wearing my Fit Happens t-shirt from Snapfit. I won it during an Instagram giveaway.  Isn't it nice?

Admiring:  All the first responders and emergency service personnel that are risking there lives to ensure the safety of others, especially in SC right now.  God bless you!

Collecting:  Various pumpkin recipes.  I have truly fallen in love with the taste.  First the Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Starbucks.  If you haven't tried it...YOU MUST!!!  I posted about it on Instagram.  Then, my friend Michelle starts writing about pumpkin chocolate chip cookies in this post.  Oh my goodness, they look so yummy! You should check out my newest Pinterest board, Pumpkin Everything.  I'm sure you'll find something to interest you.

So what have you been eating, exploring, wearing, admiring, and collecting lately?  I would love to hear.
Check out my Linking Up page to see where I'm sharing this post.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ahoy, It's A Boy!

It's a boy! 
How exciting!
It's the joy you have
been praying for!

May he be healthy.
May he be strong.
Most precious baby 
for all to adore.

Mom and dad
are prepared indeed
but don't know exactly 
what to expect.

Your arrival
is a gift from heaven.
The most precious gift
they'll ever get.

Baby Samuel
you are so loved!
You're a special gift
from God above!

The anticipation of a new baby is always exciting.  Have you celebrated the arrival of a baby in your life, recently?  Whether your own, a family member, or friend I'll love to hear.

See where I'll be linking up this week.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

September Via Instagram

When I began to write this post, I realized the lack of variety in the pictures I posted on Instagram this month.  I usually have more pictures to choose from or a variety of events displayed.   Many of these have been used in post that I have recently posted. Oh well, just goes to show, you can never get enough of a good thing.  :)

Starting My day with @Starbucks! My first #psl of the year! That's pumpkin spice latte for those who don't know. #yummygoodness  #pumpkinspicelatte  

September 11th will always be plastered in my mind. I can remember the news report that took over our screens. I remember one of my students running to me to check on his uncle who worked there. He didn't go in that day. I can remember my cousin being frantic about one of the planes which her best friend was suppose to be on. She too didn't go into work that day. But to all the men and women who we pay homage. #neverforgotten #September11  #alwaysinourhearts  #BloggersGetSocial

Charleston Strong! Tribute to the #charlestonemanuel9 on September 11 when we pay homage to those who lost their lives 14 years ago. God bless!!  #Charleston   #charlestonliving  #emanuelamechurch  #charlestonlife  #charlestonstrong    #charlestonunited  #BloggersGetSocial  #neverforget  #chs  #sweetsummerville

At 7:55 this morning, #theweatherchannel presented me with this lovely picture. Some nice iced coffee on the verge of a brisk fall like day. Just thought I would share it with you. Can't believe it's reporting a high of 76 today for#Charleston.   Great #weather!  #fallisnear #BloggersGetSocial

  A beautiful day today.  Took time for myself and enjoyed the outdoors.   #Charleston #chs #charlestonliving #thebattery #awayoflife #sunnyday 

Celebrated with this little one.  Ari is one.  #HappyBirthday #firstbirthday

How did you spend your September?
See where I'll be Linking Up this week.