Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sweet Progress Fall Box Swap Reveal

It's Fall and I can truly say I've been enjoying it this year.  We have had unseasonable, cooler weather so this has allowed me to get into the mood.  Surprisingly, I have not had much pumpkin.  I had some pumpkin cheesecake at a faculty gathering and some pumpkin, cheesecake cookies from Pepperidge Farms.  Other than that, I haven't really indulged.

One thing I readily indulge in are box swaps.  I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to swaps!  I enjoy the surprise of a secret treat!  Who doesn't love getting treats in the mail?


Dean of Mrs. A.O.K. and Ashley of Happy Pretty Sweet have put together a seasonal swap known as the sweet progress box swap or #SPBOXSWAP.  So if you love swaps, you need to jump in on the next one.  Of course this one is the fall swap and I can't wait to share with you what I received.


I was partnered with Dara of Like Sara...but with a D.  Dara is a coffee-loving, DIY making, self proclaimed book geek. Dara was such a sweetheart and got me this yummy collection of treats.


I received a sampler pack of Zhena's Gypsy Tea.


A nice variety of hot cocoa!


Some wine markers


And a few goodies that feature one of my favorite symbols, ELEPHANTS! 


Chocolate with chai spice filling, a reusable shopping bag,

 and a Christmas tree ornament!

 I also decided to create a video reveal of my delicious box of goodies, so enjoy!



Dara, I enjoyed getting to know you through this swap and I hope you enjoyed the box of goodies I sent you.  
You can see what I got for Dara here.
You can check out what others received here.  
Do you like swaps?  What type of goodies did you exchange?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Thank You Notes: Sweet Progress, CHEF'D, and New Beginnings

Fall officially began last week, but with the southern heat of Charleston, it still feels like summer.  It's been a long time since I've written about things that I'm thankful for, so I thought I'd share my week with you today.
Thank you Dean and Ashley for hosting the Sweet Progress Box Swap! After reading your post, I started getting in the mood for fall.  There's still time to sign up if you're interested.



Thank you Amazon Music for allowing me to create a great playlist of songs to sleep by.



Thank you Chelsea for showcasing such delicious meals on your Instagram account, and offering a wonderful giveaway to Chef'd.  If you are looking for new recipes to try in your own kitchen, check out her page for an endless amount of delectable inspiration.  Interested in having meals delivered to your doorstep with all the ingredients needed to create your own masterpiece at home, then you should give Chef'd a try.  What I like most about Chef'd is that it is not a subscription service.  You can order meals when you want and not have to worry about hitting that "suspend this week" button that you see on so many other services similar to them.  Get $10 off your first order just by clicking this link, http://fbuy.me/ek_bw.



Thank you fall shows for bringing joy back into my life. You have blown me away with the sounds on The Voice, and Shonda Rhimes...well I can't even express how grateful I am for Grey's Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder to be back on.  You're teasing me by making me wait for Scandal, but I'll forgive you.  I had my popcorn and wine ready and you just decided to make me wait for Ms. Olivia Pope and her gladiators just a little bit longer. 

This new series, Pitch, looks very uplifting and promising.  It's great to see women shining in the spotlight.  Okay, so she may have choked on the day she made history, but welcome to the big leagues Jennie, we've been waiting for you!  Oh, and we can't forget Survivor... Wow, you opened with a bang!  First time in the show's history, the contestants had to be evacuated because you decide to shoot in Fuji during monsoon season. Black-ish is comedy that never disappoints.  My Wednesday date night with Shemar Moore ended when he decided to leave Criminal Minds last season, so we'll have to see if new comer, Adam Rodriguez of CSI Miami fame, can fit the bill.  If you are not watching this round up of shows, its time to catch up.


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Thank you unknown blogger for closing your account and allowing me to be the possessor of Sunshine and Elephants on Wordpress!  If you have been following me here, I ask that you join me over at my new place...as soon as I get it up and running. I'm excited about the changes to come and looking forward to new beginnings!



What do you give thanks to in your life?  Share with me below.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Popcorn + Wine: A Pairing That Pops

Popcorn and wine?  No stranger to me.  See the funny thing is, when the season premiere of Scandal came on in February 2016, I made sure to have the two readily available just as Olivia Pope has in several episodes.


Would I have tried popcorn and wine together prior to this?  Probably not, but ever since Shonda Rhimes created this lustful, drama-filled thriller of a series, everything that Olivia Pope does  becomes a trend.  Hence, the popcorn and wine pairings.



Just recently, I was contacted by the makers of Skinny Pop. When they suggested that I write a post about a pairing, I was instantly intrigued!  Like a true Gladiator, I obliged.


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See I'm a lover of popcorn.   I mean who isn't?  And, as my followers, you know how much I love wine!  I'm sure you can remember me posting about it here, here, and oh here!  :)

Skinny Pop allows me to snack without compromising. Under 40 calories a cup.  They have no artificial ingredients, no artificial flavors, it’s a good source of fiber and its simple delicious!  Simple ingredients for purity of tasty!  Speaking of taste, they have 6 delicious flavors to choose from so everyone's taste palate is satisfied.  

A photo posted by SkinnyPop Popcorn (@theskinnypop) on

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So grab your favorite wine, and a bag of Skinny Pop; the combination is sure to get things POPPING!  Whether you are planning a night in with the girls or a relaxing evening of binge-watching your favorite TV show.  This duo is sure to please. 


To help you out a bit, here's a Skinny Pop infographic, showing which of their flavors pairs best with various flavors of wine.


I was surprised there wasn't a pairing for Rose' and my all-time favorite, Cabernet.   If you're not sure about the pairings, start off with Skinny Pop Original.  I'm sure it will pair well with everything!  Cheers!

Which popcorn and wine pairing would you like to try?



Thursday, September 1, 2016

August Via Instagram

Is it September already?  I can't believe how fast August flew by.  August was a good month for me and I thought it would be great to share!

I was hoping August would bring me joy, and she didn't disappoint!  I wasn't sure what to expect, so I simply asked that she surprise me.

This summer I had an opportunity to try out some Mayfield Ice Cream and what a treat it was.  Influenster sent me 2 coupons to use towards 2 FREE cartons!  My boys and I enjoyed the treat! Are you an Influenster?  If not, you are missing out!  Want to join and get free stuff?  Join here :)


How many of you have a YouTube page and still haven't created your own videos? I was guilty of this until recently.  I decided to record a wine box unveiling and I'm pretty proud of myself.  What do you think? Click this link to view video.


Interested in some free wine?   Join me and you can have fine wine delivered to your doorstep in days!

Happy Birthday to Me!  Happy Birthday to Me! :) :) :)



Mickey Mouse and some ice cream sprinkles helped to make my evening, after a long, HOT day at work, more enjoyable!  Who doesn't love receiving #happymail!  I can't think of anything better than a friend spreading some love and kindness!

Well of course summer couldn't end without a few thunderstorms.  I snapped this picture right as the storm clouds were rolling in to show the split in the sky.  For a slight second, it was clear and sunny in my neighbors' front yard while it was pouring in their back.

Some back to school #goodies I scored at Marshall's. I love the unique items they sell.
I know my student's will be happy to use these!

Sometimes you just need a little wine to take the edge off.
 Wine down Wednesday is always a good time.

I ended the month by celebrating my 2nd Blogiversary!  What an amazing 
24 months it has been. My last post speaks all about it.  Cheers to 2 Years!!! :)

How did you spend your last month of summer?  Was August good to you, as well? 


See where I am Linking Up with others.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Cheers To 2 Years

It’s hard to believe that I have been blogging for 2 years.  I can still remember pushing the orange button to publish my first blog post ever. I still consider myself an amateur blogger, but with 2 years under my belt, I don't think I can continue to say that.  Why do I consider myself amateur, because I still have a lot to learn.  I do not have the time I would like to commit to blogging since it is a side hobby and not a source of income.

I'm in a weird season right now, when it comes to blogging.  If you look back over the last few months, you will notice that I haven't posted as much as I normally do.  Sometimes you have to sit back and relax when life starts to take you in a different direction.  This summer, I decided to rest, reflect, and not feel pressured to set timelines and due dates.  This summer, I allowed myself to focus more on everything around me and not center myself around my blog.  And, you know what?  It feels perfectly okay!
I used to worry about page views and comments.  Whether my post would reach new readers and whether it would inspire others.  I used to worry about linking up daily to get myself out there and reading endless blog posts by other bloggers.  This used to consume so much of my time and energy that other aspects of my life were starting to feel neglected.  I can remember staying up late to edit pictures (which is not as easy as you may think).  Staying up late to get just the right post.  Staying up late when I needed to be getting rest because my real job was waiting for me the next day.  The real job that pays the bills and takes care of my family.  Something had to give.
 I am not giving up on blogging, I'm just not putting all of my energy into it.  I was running myself ragged.  At the time, I didn't realize it because it was fun, new and exciting and when you're excited about something, you get this burst of energy that tells you to just keep going!  So, that's what I did.  Now, I'm going to relax a little and blog when I feel like it and not as an obligation. 

This summer helped me to reflect and remember why I initially started blogging and I held true to that reason, to a certain extent.  It has helped me to get all the crazy thoughts, running through my head, out in a more organized fashion.  It has helped me to share all the stories about my crazy, quirky life. It has helped me to be me in a way that is extremely public, yet still private in some aspects.  It has helped me to make new friends that I will always cherish and to grow as a writer, which is something I have always longed to do. 

 So as I celebrate two years, I want to say thanks to all of you because if it were not for you, no one would even know my little space in the blogosphere even exists.  Thank you for taking the time to read, comment, offer advice, and share.  Thank you for your loyalty and support.  Thank you for sharing this journey with me.  One of the perks that comes along with blogging is meeting people with similar values and interest.  Sharing my stories wouldn't be nearly as fulfilling without all of you sharing these adventures with me.  I can't wait to see what year three has in store!  Cheers!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Happy Birthday To Me

Today is my birthday!  I am 45 years young!  Inside, I feel young and spirited like a 20-year-old, but my body is starting to tell a different story.  Haha... :)

My boys have tortured me by placing my gift and card on the table yesterday afternoon.  When I arrived from work, I gasped when I saw it and instantly wanted to open the pretty wrapping.

  My son decorated it with magazine pages and I love how he created a bow out of comic strip paper.

Of course, I had to wait to open it today.  So check out what they gave me!


I told them I wasn't expecting a gift, but they were sweet enough to get me one anyway and my card was filled with money!  

 I received a few cards in the mail and a delicious slice of cake from church on Sunday.


As I approached my office this morning, I was greeted by these beautiful balloons.


My coworkers took me out to lunch at a local restaurant and one of them baked me a cake.  I guess I was too excited because I forgot to take a picture.  Oh well, I must say I had a great day!   I received lots of hugs, lots of Happy Birthday postings on social media, phone calls, and other gifts!

Tonight, I celebrated with the two most special people in my life...my boys!  They treated me to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Senor Tequila and we feasted on the most delicious meal.  Again, I was too excited, or too hungry, to take a picture.  Too much fun can cause you to forget things.  

I am truly blessed to have amazing family and friends who found it not robbery to go out of there way for little ole me.  I want to thank everyone for making my day special and thank God for allowing me to see another day here on Earth.


Are you an August baby like me?  How are you celebrating?  


Friday, July 29, 2016

National Ice Cream Month

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!  July is National Ice Cream month and I couldn't be more excited! If I had my way, every month would be ice cream month and actually in my house it is! Ice cream is a normal staple in my home.  It is the best way to beat the heat. So, what about those winter months? Yes, ice cream is still there!  It's never too cold for ice cream!

I'm celebrating National Ice Cream month by sharing all this yummy goodness with friends and family. What better way to celebrate than with the smooth, creamy taste of  Mayfield!  I was so happy when I was informed by Influenster that I would be receiving coupons to purchase my Mayfield ice cream and was pleasantly surprised to also receive this personalized scoop.  I rushed to the store to make my purchase.
My first thought was to go with my all-time favorite flavor, vanilla, because I can top it with anything I want. Once I got to the store, I decided to try some different flavors.  Well as you can see, the shelves were nearly bare, so I'm not the only one enjoying this #MayfieldSummer.

 I decided to go with Cookies & Cream and Butter Pecan.  Butter Pecan is a childhood favorite. It was pretty much all my mom would buy so I naturally grew to love it.  Cookies & Cream is like dunking an oreo into my milk , so I couldn't resist.  And it taste great with brownies!


These hot summer days call for a quick and delicious treat.  It's like having a little mini party with myself.  But that's no fun, so I decided to share.


I'm also sharing an ice cream party in a box as a thank you to one of  sweet friends who is always so supportive!  Her kindness is infectious and I just wanted to send a little sunshine her way.  I won't be revealing who it is here because it is a surprise, but my Pinterest board will give you an idea of what she's receiving.  Similar to the box below.  I can't wait till she receives her sweet surprise!
Photo Source



So how are you celebrating National Ice Cream Month?  I would love to hear below.
See where I am Linking UP with others.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sweet Progress Summer Box Swap Reveal

Do you guys like happy mail?  I love sending and receiving happy mail!  So, when I  came across Dean of Mrs. AOK's post about an awesome swapportunity, I was beside myself!  She and Ashley, put together the Sweet Progress Box Swap, #SPBOXWSWAP.  I immediately signed up and anxiously awaited the name of my partner! Click the button below to read about how they came up with the cleaver name.

The day came before I knew it and I was paired  with an awesome blogger, Erika of Cat Eyes and Skinny Jeans.  I scrolled through her blog that night and was like, "Wow, what a fashionista!"

Okay, now I'm like...uhhh...What do you get for someone with that much style?  I actually had to put off thinking for a couple of days.  I was at a total lost.

A few days later, my creative juices began to flow.  I came up with a few ideas and began working on my package for Erika. You can check out what I got her here.

Fast forward one week:  My happy mail has arrived and I'm so excited!  I can't wait to share with you all the goodies I received!  Erika hit the nail on the head with this one.  She really took the summer theme and ran with it.  

The first thing I uncovered was this cute little journal with a nautical theme...Ahoy girlie!  Too cute!  
I love journals, I mean like who wouldn't?  
This easy read novel continues the summer theme.  Bonjour Tristesse was written by Francoise Sagan when she was only 18.  Its a story about a seventeen-year-old on summer vacation from boarding school with her father in Paris.  To sum it up, she is a precocious teen trying to understand and control the world around her.  This looks like a great summer read with a great summer theme.  Erika must have read my post about needed to get back into reading.  
I'm really loving this box so far...can you tell?  Hehe...

Okay, how can you have summer without having some fruit and mine is everlasting.  I can use this pineapple bag for so much.  Inside, were some extra little treats.  A nautical themed pen and this cute, compass necklace! Aren't they darling? 
My box also included some purple polish and some good smelling body mist.  I actually sprayed it on right away.  

Light and refreshing and perfect for summer. 


Erika, you're a doll. Thank you so much for this adorable little package.  I love everything in it! 
 Be sure to go check out her blog and show her some love! 


To see what other participants received, scroll on over to our link up.  If you missed out on this swap, no sweat. 
 This is a seasonal box swap so be on the look out for more in the near future.


Have you participated in a recent box swap?  What did you like most about mine?


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Currently: Mixed Emotions

Hey everyone! It's been awhile since I've been on here, but its been for good reasons.  As you will see below, I began working on this post about a month ago.  I haven't been in the mood to write much and my focus has been on other things.

Currently:

Closing: Out another school year.  The end of this year was a rough one.  We were presented with a new test again this year.  We still have PASS testing for science and social studies, but the last two years have been different test for English, Writing, and Math.  With new test come new challenges.  It literally took the last six weeks of the school year away from counseling.  Counselors have to prepare all the test, and the process is too hard to explain.  We spend hour after hour in what we respectfully refer to as "The Dungeon".  One of our veteran teachers, who tends to work late, saw us one evening leaving out the same time he was.  His words to us were, "The trolls our out of their cave."  We all had a good laugh about it.  I'm just glad it's all over.


Grieving:  The loss of my uncle.  The eve of my last day of work, I received a phone call from my dad that really struck me hard.  His brother had passed that morning.  I had just spoken with Uncle George about two weeks ago and was looking forward to seeing him this summer. We held a memorial service for him on Saturday and everyone had such wonderful things to say about him I know that he is in a better place and is watching over all of us from above.  I just truly miss him.

Getting Inspired:  I just returned from the 2016 Education Business Summit and received a lot of inspiration for the upcoming school year.  I even got to meet Chef Jeff Henderson of Flip My Food.  He was one of our keynote speakers and he was AWESOME!  His story is definitely worth knowing.


Disappointed;  I participated in a box swap recently and was really looking forward to some happy mail on my return from the summit, but was sadly disappointed.  My partner did not follow through.  Well I hope she liked the gift I sent her.

Reviewing: Various things from Influenster.  Most recently was ZzzQuil and it really works.  It helps me fall asleep and stay asleep without waking up groggy.  I received my sample free for testing purposes and I think I will be buying some once school is back in session.  Want to join Influenster and get free goodies? Join here.



Thinking:  I have a lot on my mind and so much to ponder.  This is usually a more upbeat time of year for me and I 'm always looking forward to summer.  This year, I'm just not feeling it.  I don't feel like writing.  I don't have the energy to get out and go as usual.  I don't know.  Just kinda in a blah mood.  A lot of things to sort out for myself so you won't be seeing me much in the blogosphere.  But I will pop up every now and then. I have enjoyed reading others post and discovering new bloggers.  So you may not see much from me here, but I'll be around.  Until next time...Peace.


Do you go through periods where you have mixed emotions?  What are you currently up to?
Check out my Linking Up page to see where I'm sharing this post and others.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Sunday Photo: Geese

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers of the world.  This Sunday, I watched the head of this flock watch over his family as they fed.  He kept a steady eye on me as I took the pictures.  Don't worry papa geese, I'm not going to mess with your family.  






What adventures or discoveries did you make this Sunday?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer Essentials

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of summer are lazy days and cool breezes.  Not sure why I thought of the latter because we don't get much of a breeze unless we're near the beach.  The summers can be brutal here in Charleston.  It’s like one heatwave after another.  But you can't let that ruin your fun.  The blaring rays of summer may try to beat you down, but there are ways to protect yourself.  Today, I'm sharing with you ten essential items you will need to beat the heat in the south.





Sunscreen:  It's a must!  I strongly advise you to not leave home without it.  Sunscreen is so important for your skin to.  I don't know about you, but I have one for my face and another for my body.  I tend to use face lotion that already has sun protection in it.  If not, Neutrogena has a great one for your face that won't clog your pores or cause break outs.

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Lip balm:  Lips get sunburned as well and it’s not a good feeling.  When our lips lose moisture, they begin to feel dry and stiff and they may even crack.  Keep them moisturized with a good coat of protection such as Carmex.  Carmex is my go to for smooth and moist lips.
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A personal towel:  No joke.  If you're planning to walk around in our neck of the woods, you had better have a towel or hanky ready.  Perspiration is second nature here.


Deodorant:  Speaking of perspiration, don't forget to apply deodorant.  Please don't leave home without it. Enough said.  

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Hand Sanitizer:  If you are out and about, have this handy to keep your hands fresh and clean.


Face wipes:  These work wonders for a quick freshen up.  Keeps you from feeling so sweaty.

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Body mist:  During the afternoon heat, a light refreshing fragrance is all you need to complete your attire for the day.  They are refreshing, a good way to cool the body, and they smell great.  Save the heavy stuff for your evening out. Check out your local Bath and Body Works for a wide selection to choose from. My favorite scent is back this summer!  Yay!
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Water:  It is so important to keep our bodies hydrated.  Water replenishes what we burn off and it’s an essential must for the hot days of summer. Check out this amazing, refreshing video from Dasani.  Ahhh...



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Hats:  Not a favorite of mine, but when the sun is blaring, a hat or visor is sometimes needed.





Sunglasses:  And last but not least, you have to be sure to protect your eyes.  A great pair of #sunnies will do the trick.  Did you see my pick from the Warby Parker collection?  They were definitely helping me to #SeeSummerBetter.




Well this is my list of essentials that have helped me through the summer heat.  
What are some of yours?

See who I am Linking Up with.