June 30, 2014


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Grateful Heart Monday Link Up with Ember Grey

Things are going to be a bit quieter around here starting this week. I tried really hard to keep up with my posting schedule (1 post a day M-F) after I started my classes, but it's becoming harder and harder to keep up with everything and something has to give. I'm slacking in some pretty important areas right now and in order to catch up and make things right, some adjustments must be made. I love blogging and I adore you (and your blogs), my lovely readers, but I won't be posting as frequently as I have been.

I am so grateful to have this outlet: a place to share my thoughts, projects, and tidbits of my life. And since I'm already linking up with Emily at Ember Grey. for Grateful Heart Monday, I'm going to take it a step farther and steal her blog post idea  share a silly conversation I had with my husband Saturday.

Me: I should be studying. (Instead I am playing 4pics1word and online scrabble)
Hubs: Yeah, you should.
Me: I don't want to.
Hubs: *gives me a half serious look* Am I gonna have to bring out my big boy voice?
Me: *gives him a skeptical look* What are you gonna do?
Hubs: I have the power!! *raises fist in air*
Me: The power of what?
Hubs: I don't know. I didn't think that far ahead.

I did end up studying for a couple hours that evening. Hubs has been such a great study buddy though. I think he's even learned a few things from going through my seemingly endless stacks of flash cards with random historical facts or psychology terms written on them. So, I also have that to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for?

June 27, 2014

DIY Floating Table for the Pool

So remember that pool we got for our back yard? Well, it's pretty awesome and while we were enjoying a leisurely dip the other day, I longed for a floating table or tray to play cards or place a snack on. The next day I was chatting with my mom and we came up with a game plan for me to make my own floating pool table! My DIY project turned out pretty great and was perfect to play a few hands of rummy while chilling out max and relaxing all cool in our fabulous little backyard pool.

Here's what you need:

:: 1 plastic serving tray (I got mine for $2 at Dollar General, but they have some cute ones at Dollar Tree as well!)
:: 1 slim pool noodle (these are everywhere during summer. I got mine at Dollar General for $1)
:: E6000 High performance industrial grade glue (don't freak out! It's under $3 at Walmart, but you need a strong glue that is also waterproof and this works great!)
:: Scissors

*NOTE: Go outside when using the E6000 glue and be careful not to get any on your skin. The fumes are toxic, so please don't die.*

Here's what you do:

Turn your tray over so the bottom is facing up. Cut two section of noodle that are slightly shorter than the bottle of your tray. After you go outside, make a squiggly line of glue on one side of the bottom of the tray. Place a noodle section on the glue and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat those steps for the other side. Let the finished tray dry outside for about 15 more minutes to let the fumes dissipate and the glue set it. Then Enjoy!!

Best idea I ever had. Seriously it's pretty cool. If you make one send me a picture!

June 26, 2014

TBT: Family Vacation

My bad you guys. I didn't show up yesterday, even after I promised a tutorial on Instagram. Don't worry! I'm gonna get that tutorial up for you tomorrow. But on to today's post.

Family Vacations

Family Vacations, your first one, your favorite one.

I've been on two family vacations in my whole life. One to Biloxi, Mississippi when I was eight and one to Hilton Head, South Carolina in 2010.

I don't think I appreciated that first family vacation as much as I should have. I don't remember a whole lot from that trip, mostly snap shot in my memory of things we did. I was just me, C, Mom, and her husband at the time. F was too little to bring along, so he stayed the week at my Nanna's house.

While in Biloxi, we got to see how a shrimp boat operates, went to a dolphin show, and swam at the beach once. Why only once? It was a public beach and I remember it being kinda gross. Most of the time we were pool side at our hotel, where I learned to do a back flip into the water. #momwassoproud

Parasailing in Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head was a very different experience. I had so much fun on this trip, even though I was only able to take half the week off from work. ALL the kids (on my mom's side) went, so there was seven of us total. Hilton Head, South Carolina is a beautiful laid back vacation spot. We enjoyed multiple beach days this time, good food, and fun activities. My favorite activity was parasailing. Seriously, if you ever get the chance to go, do it!

One of the days we rented a boat and went cursing around the island. There are dolphins and lighthouses and sailboats everywhere. So picturesque. And for your viewing pleasure (or not) a sweet little video/slideshow I made back in 2010 with some pictures from the boat trip. It was the first "video" I ever made using the iMovie software on my Macbook, so go easy on me.

What was your first/favorite family vacation?

Next week on TBT: 4th of July Celebrations

Peaches in Missouri

Also linking up with The Grits Blog.

The Grits Blog

June 24, 2014

Harry Potter For Life

I'm not sorry for my love of Harry Potter

Today I am guest posting for my Snicklefritz Kay over at The Best of Intentions. She's been on vacation in Florida reading Harry Potter in the shade of a palm tree. If you know anything about Kay, you know she loves everything Harry Potter and I'm so jealous she got to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last year. I'm dying to go! And now they are about to open up Diagon Alley on July 8th! Someone help me explain to my husband how much a trip to Orlando is necessary this fall.

Kay loves Harry Potter, I love Harry Potter, so it was only fitting that I do a post all about Harry Potter and the random things I've learned over the years about the books and movies.

Click HERE to hop on over and check out my awesome Harry Potter post on The Best of Intentions. And seriously stick around over there and read some of her other posts and fall in love with Kay like I did.

And I'll leave you with this:

Harry Potter was saved by a mother's love more than once
Via Pinterest

June 23, 2014

My Cup Runneth Over

Ember Grey. Grateful Heart Monday

This past weekend is the first weekend since Easter that I got to spend two solid days with my husband. He works so hard to provide us with the best life possible and I am so very grateful that he is able to do so. But I am also grateful for his much deserved (and needed) weekend off. Friday I was busy setting up the little pool we purchased Thursday evening. It was harder than I expected it to be, and I discovered that our back yard isn't as flat as I imagined it was. After three attempts and a few hours of frustrated sighs at the instructions and yelling at the ground for being uneven, I finally found the perfect spot. I wanted it to be all set up and ready, so when Hubs got home he could just relax and enjoy our new summer toy.

We spent much of Saturday lounging in our giant blue blow-up bathtub pool in the middle of our back yard sipping vodka cranberries out of plastic tumblers with straws. I got a little color and he got a little crispy (oops). Saturday also happened to be exactly two months since we got married. Steak and mashed potatoes were in order to celebrate.

Sunday I got right up to try and knock some studying out before we made the trip up to Jefferson City for the afternoon, which gave Hubs some quality time with his PS3, #bromance. We had the mouth-orgasm that is Chipotle for lunch to fuel our afternoon shopping adventures. Random amazingness from Dollar Tree, new sneakers for me, some work clothes for him, and an iPad mini later we were on our way back to the air conditioning at home.

This weekend was pretty awesome. I have so much to be grateful for. My cup runneth over.

What are you grateful for?

June 20, 2014

Procrastination Station

Everyone has put something off at some point, either because you don't want to do it or you have OCD tendencies like me and can't do something without doing this other thing first so you can concentrate on the thing you should be doing. This is happening to me more frequently now that I am back in school. And because everyone loves a good list, I present to you the list of 25 things I do when I'm supposed to be studying.

1. Writing blog posts like the one you are reading now!
2. Reading and commenting on other blogs.
3. Making/Editing images to go with blog posts.
4. Browsing Twitter.
5. Browsing Instagram.
6. Staring out the window.
7. Updating my editorial calendar.
8. Updating my planner.
9. Texting my mom.
10. Taking pictures of my cats.
11. Taking Selfies.
12. Dishes.
13. Texting my husband.
14. Saving a baby bird that fell out out of it's nest.
15. Checking on said bird periodically throughout the day.
16. Thinking of blog topics.
17. Re-organizing the craft supplies and other items that get piled on our kitchen table.
18. Checking and responding to emails.
19. Texting Kathy.
20. Texting Melissa.
21. Tweaking my blog design.
22. Doing blog designs for other bloggers.
23. Playing 4pics1word on my phone.
24. Talking to my mom on the phone.
25. Absolutely nothing.

Some of those things are totally ok though right? Like the dishing have to get done and you can't ignore your mommy!! What do you do when you procrastinate on something?

June 19, 2014

#TBT: Meal Times

Peaches in Missouri

Happy Thursday! It's time to link up with Melissa and me for another round of Throwback Thursday! Today we are talking about meal times. Were you a picky eater? Did you get in trouble for not eating all your food? Did you try to give your broccoli to the dog?  In what ways did your parents make meal times special?

Throwback Thursday Meal Times
Pawpaw, Mom, Grandmommy, Baby F, Me, and C
My mom was one of those moms that made you sit at the table util you had finished everything on your plate. That's how we learned to like a lot of foods, but it was also a form of torture to a kid like me who was very picky. I still am pretty picky about the foods I eat. Most of the time my mom made foods that she knew I would eat no problem. But sometimes... she would make Hamburger Helper *barf* and I would put up a bit of a fight.

I think C got the worst of the nasty food torture. As a punishment once (I think for bad grades at school), Mom made him eat an entire plate of canned spinach. Have you dated canned spinach? It's pretty gross. He gagged a few times, but managed to get it down. Let's just say that his grades improved after that.

C had to sit on a phone book when he was really little!

My mom did try to make meal times fun for us too. She always told us that eating fish was good for the brain. So when we had fish for dinner, we got to eat by candlelight. Then we would attempt to make the flame dance with our minds because we ate all of our fish. I found out when I got older, my mom would blow on the flame to make it moved for us, but we never noticed because we were so focused on trying to make it move!

My favorite meal of the week was Friday. Mom would order pizza or Chinese food and us kids got to eat in the living room while watching TGIF, then Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, and of course, Walker: Texas Ranger. But the best part was we got to make a pallet in the floor with blankets and pillows and sleep in the living room too! My brother, F, coined the term "panc-out", like pic-nic and camp out put together.

We looked forward to that all freaking week!

What were meal times like when you were younger?

Next week on #TBT Stories: What is your first/favorite family vacation?

Peaches in Missouri

Also linking up with The Grits Blog.

The Grits Blog

June 18, 2014

A Fashion Post?

A Victory Maxi-Dress Fashion Post

I don't know if you heard, but I am totally sure I aced my test in History on Monday! *high fives all around*

In celebration, I was given permission to make a victory purchase. What did I choose? This amazing coral colored maxi dress with shiny embellishment on the top. At first I was unsure of the color, but once I put it on I was in love. It's a little long for me and my stumpy legs, but that's nothing I can't remedy.

As soon as Philip got home, I couldn't wait to show it off to him. Then I had an idea. I should take pictures of me in my new dress and pretend to be a fashion blogger for a day.

HAHAHAHAHA! Well, let's just say, my husband isn't the best photographer in the world, and I'm still learning how to position my body for the most flattering poses. We had a quite a few really bad photos that immediately got deleted, and a few that were just ok, but will still probably never see the light of day.

I did save a few of the one's I wasn't crazy about, and perhaps one day I'll be brave enough to show them off in a nostalgic post about that one time I tried to be a fashion blogger.

My Attempts at Fashion Blogging

The dress came off a ginormous rack at Ross and I only paid $17 for it. Score! I hardly ever buy clothes from department stores anymore, because there are so many affordable options to get the exact same items for wayyy less. You just might get them a season late, and I'm totally ok with that.

I have a presentation to make tomorrow (today, by the time you read this) in my Psychology class, and I'm almost positive I'm going to wear my victory dress to boost my confidence. What do you think?

P.S. I promise I won't become a fashion blogger. I'll leave that to the professionals.

June 17, 2014

Healthy Peanut Butter Coco-Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Healthy Peanut Butter Cocoa Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Between school, blogging, working out, and housework I've been a busy bee lately. That means meal prepping is very important in keeping up with a healthy diet. These cookies have become one of my favorite go-to snacks, especially in between my classes. And today, I'm going to share my recipe with you.

Here's what you need:
2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
2 Ripe Bananas
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 tbs Unsweetened Coco Powder
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
2 tsp Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Salt

Makes: about 20 cookies
Calories per cookie: about 74

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
I like to line my cookies sheets with aluminum foil because it cuts down on clean up time.
Very lightly grease your cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.

Make the cookies:
Step 1: In a large microwave safe bowl, mash the bananas into a liquidy goop.

Step 2: Add the peanut butter and microwave for 45-60 seconds and stir until well mixed.

Step 3: Mix in the coco powder, cranberries, apple sauce vanilla, and salt next.

Step 4: Mix in the oatmeal about 1/2 cup at a time. The "dough" will be thick and drier than you think it should be. That's ok!! It's supposed to be. 

Step 5: Dish out heaping teaspoon sized portions onto your cookie sheet and shape them up so they actually look like cookies.

Step 6: Bake for 8 mins. 

Step 7: Let them cool before you eat them and burn your tongue like I did.

Please note that you will need to store these in the fridge if you don't plan on eating them all in the next day or two.

I like to portion out these puppies in baggies for an easy grab in the mornings before class and for busy study sessions.

What's your go-to healthy snack?

June 16, 2014

Crap, It's Monday Again...

Be Careful! It's Monday Out There
I'm writing this post from my bed using the app on my phone. It's 10:32 pm on Sunday. We've only been laying here 6 minutes and Philip has already fallen asleep because he is one of those lucky assholes people (I love you honey!) that can turn their brain off and is sailing off to Hushabye Mountain as soon as their eyes close. And I'm just laying here trying to figure out what to wear tomorrow. Then I realized I didn't have a post ready for tomorrow (today by the time you're reading this), and I know I won't have time before school to write one. So I'm writing it now, and maybe you'll get some pictures added quickly in the morning.

Ok. So. Cool thing happened Thursday. The #TBT post about my Nanna was featured on Daily Fiber. They tweeted me Thursday afternoon/evening to let me know, and it was kind of awesome. 

Peaches in Missouri featured on Daily Fiber

Then Friday, my tweet promoting the post about my 10 Favorite Blogging Tools was featured on Rebel Mouse. Of course, I was again informed by tweet of this feature. The kitten fist bump is the best part!

Peaches in Missouri Featured on Rebel Mouse

I have to be honest. I had never heard of either site until I received their tweets informing me of these features. Also, I kinda had to dig a little to find where I was featured on both sites, but it's still a slightly awesome occurance. Especially on back to back days! 

Maybe this stroke of fortune (luck? good timing? I don't know) will extend to my History test at 11:15 am. I've been studying for all afternoon. Hopefully I won't drown in the sea information I managed to consolidate onto flash cards. Oh Jeeze... I think I just set myself up for that nightmare. #winning

How was your weekend?

June 15, 2014

Father's Day

I wouldn't be the person I am today without my Daddy. Even though I don't have as many happy memories with my dad as I always wished for, he gave me life and taught me to make the most with what you're given. I Love you Daddy.

I have to say, that I am pretty lucky in the father department. Not only do I have my Daddy, but I have a pretty awesome step-dad too. In the past 10 years Brian and my mom have been married, Brian has been there for me in ways I never expected. I am not his biological daughter; he didn't even meet me officially until after he and my mom were married! He has no obligation to support me and my goals, yet he stepped up to play the father role in my life when my Dad checked out. I can't tell you how much I appreciate Brian's generosity and guidance, and I couldn't ask for a better man for my mom. I Love you, Brian.

Normally, Father's Day is reserved for that special guy you call Dad. But, for a long time, I only had my mom. She played both roles. My brothers and I (especially me during my teenage years) gave her hell, but she never left, she never gave up, and she always made me feel loved. She gave us the best life possible on a single mom salary, and with dads that came and went as they pleased. She was, and still is, our rock. She is home. I Love you, Mommy.

Happy Father's Day!

June 13, 2014

10 Helpful Blogging Tools To Use Every Day

I'm not new to blogging, but I have decided that this time I putting more effort into growing this blog and making it something awesome. Over the past few months I have discovered some (mostly free!) tools and programs that are helping me reach that goal. I'm sure you've seen a lot of these on other lists floating around the Blogosphere, but that just means those tools really are pretty darn good.

I've learned more about Photoshop in the past six months of blogging than I ever have with my previous creative projects. It's a great way to make custom images, fonts, and colors that match your blog's overall look and feel. I use a variety of photo editors when making images for my blog, but I usually always start in Photoshop.

Photoshop sound too complicated? No worries! PicMonkey is the next best thing, and it's FREE! It's very user friendly and has tons of colors, image, and font options to choose from. I use this tool to make pin able images for blog posts and when I just want to add a watermark to my photos.

Now that you've got your image, what do you do with it? Photobucket is a great place to store and share all of the images you use for free. What's great about this tool is it provides you with several sharing options. The "direct link" and "html" options are most handy when implementing a new design.

I stumbled upon this tool quite randomly through Facebook. Essentially it is used to create a mobile app for your business, website, blog, etc. BUT when I checked it out, I discovered that it offers a free mobile site option you can install into your blog. I personally dislike the standard mobile version that comes with using Blogger, so this was a great option for me. I was able to incorporate what was most important for my readers to see when viewing my blog on their phones or tablets.

All link-ups and blog hops need to have a linky list. InLinkz provides a free and easy way to get that feature. You can choose from several different display options and you can customize the message that appears before the list. I like to add the "rules" of the link-up and directions about adding your link.

A great way to get new readers to see your older (and equally and awesome) posts is a link list. LinkWithin does just that by providing a "Related Posts" section at the bottom of each post. You don't even have to sign up on their site and it's completely free.

While all social media has it's perks, Twitter is the best for the blog world. It has, by far, brought the most traffic and attention to my blog, and it's a fantastic way to interact with your readers and other bloggers.

Now that I have started school, I can't always be checking and posting to my social media profiles. Hootsuite is the solution! It allows you to schedule out your posts on the major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (blog page, not personal profile) for free. I use this daily because I will forget to promote my own blog if I don't!

Most of my DIY and craft project ideas have come from Pinterest, but it's also another tool to use in blog promotion. The key to getting a post "pinned" is to have an image in that post that is Pinterest friendly. Using those photo editing tools above, you can create eye catching images people will want to pin and re-pin.

10. Google
Google and I are BFFs. If I don't know the answer, Google does. These days you can teach yourself just about anything with a quick Google search.

What are your favorite blogging tools?

June 12, 2014

TBT: She's a Stubborn Old Lady

In TWO days, Casey from Love and Waffles is getting married!! I am so freakin' excited for her! This afternoon, she starts her long wedding weekend and I agreed to help her out a little with a guest post. So go check that out and wish her so much happiness on her upcoming nuptials.

Peaches in Missouri

Today is Thursday, so I have a #TBT story for you. I forgot to put a prompt at the end of last week's post, and I didn't even realize it until Kathy texted me asking what the theme was for this week. After a short discussion I decided on: Favorite memories with Grandparents/Great-Grandparents.

But first let me reintroduce you to my co-host! Melissa has been on a hiatus of sorts since Google decided she didn't need her account anymore and deleted it (and therefore her blog) without her permission. BUT, we've made her a fresh new blog with a new name and a fabulous new design! The Rambling Llama fits so much better into Melissa's personality and her (future) content. AND I got the link-up tool to work again!

Ok back to topic.

Some of my favorite memories are of my maternal great-grandmother. We call her Nanna. Her house always seemed like a whole other world to me, and I was fascinated with it. I had never (and still haven't) seen a house with dark royal blue carpet, but it totally worked with her decor. My favorite part was outside. She had a honeybee hive, a strawberry patch, blueberry bushes, an herb garden, and bird feeders everywhere. Nanna's back yard looked like it could have come straight out of a fairytale. I wish I had pictures.

Four generations of women on my mom's side.
She lived across the strewn from the Tucker High School practice field and track. It was open to the public, and she would go over there every morning and walk two miles. When I was little she would take me with her and we would make fun shadow shapes with our hands. Then we would come back home and water the garden. I learned so many things about nature during my visits with Nanna. She taught me about birds, herbs, how the honeybees make the honey. She taught me how to crochet. She read me stories, played games, and sang songs. 

Nanna celebrated her 100th birthday this past January and even though her Dementia is getting worse by the day, she's still kickin'. She's a stubborn old lady. I hope she's still here to see my future child.

Next week on #TBT: Meal times. Were you a picky eater?

P.S. Here's a smaller button option!

Peaches in Missouri

Also linking up with The Grits Blog.

The Grits Blog