October 31, 2014

List Yourself: A Non-Official Link-up

As the seasons change and we prepare ourselves for the inevitable, and sometimes necessary, hibernation that occurs during the winter months we begin to contemplate the things we set aside during the carefree warmth summer provides. The Holiday season promotes this sense of thoughtfulness; looking beyond the masks at Halloween, figuring out what you are thankful for around Thanksgiving, seeing the good in others at Christmas, and contemplating what you need to change about yourself at New Year's Eve. I could make a list for each one. As a blogger, I love lists. But I never thought a list could help me figure out who I really am and what I believe until a couple of years ago when I found a book called List Yourself: List Making As A Way To Self Discovery.

I don't remember why I bought it, but soon after I had to pack it up because my life was changing and, for the third time that year, I was moving. It's stayed tucked away, along with my other books, in a large rolly suitcase stacked among boxes and furniture in a dusty storage unit in Georgia. A few weeks ago I finally unpacked them and discovered this book all over again. As I thumbed through, some prompts stuck out. I marked them determined to make my way through them before the end of the year and then I thought "why not share this with others? I can't be the only one who needs some help letting things go and accepting myself as I am." So here we are.

I invite you to take this challenge with me, but since this is a non-official linkup thing I don't really have any set guidelines or clever hashtags for social media. But I do have some unofficial co-hosts who helped me decide if I should post this for you all or not. So big thanks to Melissa from The Rambling Llama and Kathy from Him & Me.

I just chose 30 prompts that jumped out at me. Some are fun or insightful, while others make you look deeper inside yourself for the answers. You can choose to explain your answers, or not. You can do all them, or only some.  The link-up will remain open, so you can add your list posts as you write them. Self Discovery takes time, after all.

Only one rule: Be honest, especially with yourself.

  1. List all the names you've been called, endearing and not so
  2. List all those restrictions from stop signs to gravity that you can't stand living with.
  3. List what usually goes through your mind just before you fall asleep.
  4. List all the qualities in yourself you like the least - the best
  5. List all the things you'd like to say to your mother.
  6. List all the things you'd like to say to your father.
  7. List all the things you hide when your friends come to visit.
  8. List the brand names you buy and swear by.
  9. List the best gifts you've ever been given.
  10. List the ways you have changed for the better.
  11. List the places you have visited that have altered your view of the world.
  12. List the attitudes and habits you've had to give up to get through life.
  13. List some of the people that have really changed your life.
  14. List the fads you embraced while growing up.
  15. List what makes you laugh. 
  16. List the quotes you find yourself spouting.
  17. List what values you need in a lover, significant other, or mate.
  18. List all the excuses you've used to get out of dates or appointments.
  19. List the things that you presently find yourself praying for.
  20. List those unanswered questions that have been plaguing you since childhood.
  21. List the foods you'd eat if guaranteed you wouldn't get fat.
  22. List all the details you can remember from your childhood bedroom.
  23. List the ways you sabotage yourself from getting what you want.
  24. List the movies you've seen that were really worth two hours of your time.
  25. List the real reasons you are inspired to stay alive.
  26. List the names of all your pets from childhood until today.
  27. List the transitions in your life that taught you the most.
  28. List all the habits you just can't break.
  29. List the parts of your body that make you feel like you.
  30. List how you feel connected to other people around the world.

I'll be adding my own lists to the linky tool as well, so be sure to stop by to watch it grow.

Knock on Wood - List Yourself

October 30, 2014

Conversations with...

... My Hubs

While I like to think I'm pretty decent at cooking, I don't particularly like it. I do like cooking for people, especially my husband. And my favorite is when he helps me cook. We end up having some pretty hilarious conversations during prep and of course while we eat. Take this conversations for example:

Hubs: Hey, smell my hands. *He shoves them in my face*

Me: Oh. *scrunches nose* Garlic.

Hubs: What? You don't like the smell of garlic?

Me: I like the smell of garlic, just not all up in my face.

Hubs: You must be a vampire then.

Me: I thought you were the vampire.

Hubs: I'm only a vampire from the waist down.

Me: *laughing* From the waist down??

Hubs: Yeah. I got fangs in my pants! *gestures to his crotch*

Me: *dies of laughter*

I'm not entirely sure what he means by "fangs in his pants" and I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.

What conversations have you had lately?

Knock on Wood

October 28, 2014

Blogger Men Tell All: The Halloween Edition

This edition of Blogger Men Tell All is Halloween Themed! While we don't have kids or dress up ourselves, Halloween is still a fun holiday. I mean it gives us an excuse to buy more candy than we know we'll need and then we get to eat it ALL!

1. Is Halloween your favorite holiday? If not, what is?
Hubs: No. I don't really celebrate Halloween anymore.
Me: What is your favorite holiday then?
Hubs: Probably Thanksgiving. Cause of all the food.
Me: What is your favorite Thanksgiving so far?
Hubs: Last year. Cause my amazing wife cooked a good meal.
Me: *swoons* Really?
Hubs: Mmm Hmm
Me: What was your favorite Dish?
Hubs: Corn Casserole. (Recipe Here!)

2. What do you plan on dressing up as for Halloween this year?
Hubs: A naked space man?
Me: Really?
Hubs: Sure. Why not?

3. What is your go-to drink (alcoholic, non-alcoholic)?
Hubs: uummmm. Don't really have one for alcoholic since we don't drink that much. But for non-alcoholic it's root beer.
Me: Bleh! Gross.
Hubs: *shrug* To each his own. 

4. What’s your favorite scary movie?
Hubs: Cube Zero.
Me: What's that about? I've never heard of it.
Hubs: People are locked in a 25 room by 25 room maze type thing, and the last row of rooms has 26 which is the exit. Each rooms has some type of deadly something in it and you have to figure out how to get through to the end.
Me: It sounds like a psychological thriller.
Hubs: Yeah. And then there are these two guys in another room that are monitoring all these people with surveillance cameras and stuff.
Me: That's pretty creepy.
Hubs: Yep.

5. What is your best Halloween memory?
Hubs: The only one I can really remember was when I was in fourth grade me, mom, dad, and my sister all watched Scream. It was the first horror movie I watched.
Me: Were you scared?
Hubs: Not really. I didn't think it was scary.

Me: Do you have anything else you wanna say?
Hubs: Not really. *yawns*
Me: ready for bed?
Hubs: yeah

He's such a sport for staying up a little later last night to do this with me.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

Linking up with

Becoming Adorrable

October 27, 2014

Grateful For Second Chances

This has to be the first Monday I have been excited for since I got married (we got married on a monday). After two weeks of much needed down time I am ready for classes to start again. It might mean I'm weird, but I actually like school and look forward to my classes each week. I guess college is different from grade school because you are working towards a specific degree that you got to choose and (hopefully) you are passionate about the degree path you picked. That passion and desire to learn everything about your subject makes the learning easier and way more enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, there are things I don't particularly like about school (so many papers and presentations!), but those things are in place to help us prepare for what's ahead in our career paths.

I'm continuing with my pattern of one psychology class and one general education class this session. I'm glad it worked about that way again even though non of my newly made friends are in them. They are however a bit earlier in the day this time, so I won't miss entire evenings with Hubs. 

The professors put the course syllabus online, and instead of a traditional research paper in my psychology class, we get to team up with a local volunteer organization and develop a plan for a new program to assist the community. I'm not sure how it's going to work out, but it will definitely be an excellent learning experience. I'll really have to get over my shyness in speaking to people I don't know well to do that assignment. 

I'm truly grateful for this second chance to finish college. To get a degree. To be the first in my family to graduate from college. To make my mom proud.

What are you grateful for?

Linking up with
Ember Grey

October 24, 2014

Sharing Some Blogger Love

I haven't participated in this link-up for a while. Mostly it was due to school and I didn't have much time to all of the blogs I really wanted to. And during my break between sessions at school, I've been trying to do more recreational book reading, which takes away from blog reading as well. But I have finally caught up and I have some posts to share with you all.

Becoming Adorrable - 8 Ways to Make a Cat Love You
Legit. I had to do all of these things when I first moved in with Philip and his (now our) two cats. It's not always an easy feat to win the hearts of fur babies.

Jumping JE - True Life: I Travel With A Penguin
I too have a stuffed animal I sleep with and take with me when I travel. I'm not sure why it's so comforting, even as an adult, but it is #Don'tJudgeMe. Maybe one day I'll do a post all about mine.

The Adventures of Bug and Boo - Who Am I Now?
This post explores all the facets of figuring out who you are besides your titles of wife and/or mother. We are so much more than that, and we have to learn how to not lose ourselves in those titles.

Love The Here and Now - The Ring
I love this post from Anne. I have a similar attachment to my rings, although for a very different reason. It really began when Philip's mother told him he didn't spend enough on it and showed him similar rings in a higher price range. We were was so offended and insulted by her comments. It made me attach that much more to the rings HE chose for me. I'll never give them up.

The Best of Intentions - Let's Not Talk About It
Let's talk about how awesome this post is.
Let's not talk about how much I want to steal this post idea in the future.

Notes From and Newlywed - I'm One of Those Skinny B*tches
Let's end the "war" between fat and skinny. Everyone has their own battles to fight and we should support and accept them all.

Our Nashville Life - Biggest Fear
Jackie and I share this fear. And it really is a big one.

Pink Nightmare - Blogging For The Sake of Blogging
I have recently (if you haven't noticed) decided to only blog when I have something to say or something I want to share with you. I can't just blog to be blogging because that's what's expected of me. I want to gain and keep my readers because I offer good content, not because I have flashy photos, stilly tips, and empty lists (although a huge thing about lists will be coming soon, they just won't be empty).

I know I'm breaking the rules a little bit by choosing posts from the past two weeks and by choosing more than just five. But I'm trying to play catch up here, so I thought it was necessary.

What are your favorite posts lately?

Linking up with

All The Joys Friday Favorites

October 22, 2014

A Book Review... or Two


I love reading. I have quite a collection of books on both my book shelves and on my iPad. Reading is a great way to escape the humdrum of everyday life, and where you don't have the time (or funds) to go anywhere but that comfy spot on your couch.

I haven't done a book review before, so don't hate me if it's not perfect or what a traditional book review is supposed to be, but I just couldn't not share these books with you.

I read "If I Stay" in one afternoon/evening. What drew me in initially were the previews for the movie and the promise of a love story, and I'm a sucker for love stories. This brilliantly written story is no ordinary love story, it's no ordinary story, period. It's about the young heroin of the story, Mia, having to decide if she is going to live without her family after a horrific and fatal car accident, or to let go. The only thing making her decision harder is the honest love for her boyfriend, Adam and the passion they share for music.

I've never read anything like this before, and the perspective Gayle Forman gives her readers is truly unique. Keep your tissues handy, though, there are a few spots that will make you tear up, or in my case, ball my eyes out. Definitely a must read. And I totally plan on seeing the movie soon.

The sequel, "Where she Went", I read in a matter of hours as well. It tells the story of the aftermath of the events and Mia's decision at the end of "If I Stay" from Adam's point of view. After having reached the musical success he was aiming for before the accident, Adam is struggling with so unanswered questions and dealing with is diminishing love for the music he has created. Forman tells Adam's story through his memories and the inner dialogue he has with himself. By the end, you are hoping and wishing right along with Adam that he gets the closure he so desperately needs. This story is just as deep and just as captivating as its predecessor, even if I only teared up once.

I'm almost glad these novels were not long and drawn out. The author manages to pack in all the depth, detail, and emotion into half the size I'm used to. I highly recommend these books to curl up with on a rainy afternoon.  I'll even send you a copy of my own!

Have you read the books? or seen the movie? What did you think?

October 17, 2014

Premarital Cohabitation: A Snippet of my Research Paper

This session I did my research paper on Premarital Cohabitation for my Lifespan Development Psychology class. This subject hits a personal note with me because I am a strong supporter of it. You don't truly know someone until you live with them. Both Philip and I only want to be married once, so making absolutely sure about each other involved moving in together. At first when I started my research the information was strongly against my beliefs. But as I dug deeper and found more recent articles I found some awesome statistics and studies that support my view.

Cohabitation facilitates the kind of interaction that increases the knowledge of oneself and of a potential partner and of the kind of mutual adaptations that are so essential to a stable relationship. While there are several reasons couples choose to cohabit, one of the main reasons is to test the waters; to see what life would be like if they were married. But what effects does premarital cohabitation have on romantic relationships and/or subsequent marriage?

Cohabitation has been on the rise for several decades now.

The numbers above are a significant indicator of the apparent changes in the progression of romantic relationships between both different sex and same sex couples.

With couples waiting until after college and/or after starting a career cohabiting has become a step in the partner selection process as well as a transition srep into marriage. The steps of a romantic relationship have shifted to include the cohabitation option.

Cohabitation is less accepted in societies with high levels of religiosity, but the advancement of western industrialized societies has increased the tolerance of premarital cohabitation and therefore making it a more widespread phenomenon. There has also been an increasing acceptance of divorce. However, with the continued plateau of divorce rates we can assume that this rise in cohabitation is not associated with a similar growth in divorce. Traditionally, cohabitation is associated with a negative affect on marriage, but in the last couple of years new research has shown a significant change. In fact, one study suggests that living together during the engagement is actually more defensive against divorce than not.

However, age is a great factor that has not been included in previous studies. It’s common knowledge that the younger you marry the less likely your marriage will succeed. That can also be applied to cohabitation. Couples who marry or cohabitate before their mid-20s’ relationships are more likely to fail. Why does this occur? It is due to the fact that younger couples are not yet ready for the roles of “husband” and “wife”.

Another factor that can greatly influence the success and probability of a marriage after cohabitation are the intentions of the couple going into the cohabitation agreement. Upon entering cohabitation, if the couple has definite plans to marry they will experience a level of marriage quality similar to those who had not. 

However, cohabiters without marriage plans only have a 17% chance of actually getting married and experience higher odds of marital dissolution than cohabiters with marriage plans.

As cohabitation has become more widespread its effects on marital instability have declined. It has the potential to improve the quality of life for many poeple, especially women, because it is not subject to the same gendered roles and expectations that may be associated with marriage. In my own personal experience, premarital cohabitation has saved me from making a couple horrible decisions and helped me make the best one of my entire life. The moral of the story here, though, is to only go into a cohabitation agreement with your partner if you are on the same page with respect to marriage and your future together, but only after you have had time to “grow up” and get to know yourself better.

Did you and your spouse cohabited before marriage? If so, did you go into the cohabitation agreement with marriage plans? Do you feel like your marriage has benefited from premarital cohabitation?


Baker, M., & Elizabeth, V. (2013). Tying the knot: the impact of formalization after long-term cohabitation. Journal Of Family Studies, (3), 254.

Cohabit. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cohabit

Grose, J. (2014, March 10). Call Your Dad: Living Together Before Marriage Does Not Lead to Divorce. Slate.

Jose, A., O'leary, K., & Moyer, A. (2010). Does Premarital Cohabitation Predict Subsequent Marital Stability and Marital Quality? A Meta-Analysis. Journal Of Marriage & Family, 72(1), 105-116.

Kuperberg, A. (2014, March 10). Does Premarital Cohabitation Raise Your Risk of Divorce? Retrieved October 7, 2014, from https://contemporaryfamilies.org/cohabitation-divorce-brief-report/

Kuperberg, A. (2012). Reassessing Differences in Work and Income in Cohabitation and Marriage. Journal Of Marriage And Family, (4), 688. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00993.x/abstract

Lau, C. (2012). The Stability of Same-Sex Cohabitation, Different-Sex Cohabitation, and Marriage. Journal Of Marriage & Family, 74(5), 973-988.

Lee, K., & Ono, H. (2012). Marriage, Cohabitation, and Happiness: A Cross-National Analysis of 27 Countries. Journal Of Marriage & Family, 74(5), 953-972.

Manning, W. D., & Cohen, J. A. (2012). Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Dissolution: An Examination of Recent Marriages. Journal Of Marriage & Family, 74(2), 377-387. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00960.x

Oppenheimer, V. (1988). A Theory of Marriage Timing. American Journal of Sociology, (3). 563.

Xu, X., Bartkowski, J. P., & Dalton, K. A. (2011). The role of cohabitation in remarriage: a replication. International Review Of Sociology, 21(3), 549-564. doi:10.1080/03906701.2011.625664

October 15, 2014


Today I'm going back in time to share a conversation I had with my mom.

Let's set the stage. I had just purchased a new (to me) car and was in the process of getting my tag. I had already gotten one extension on my temporary tag while waiting on the dealership to tell me it was ok to go pick up my tag, and I only had 5 days until it expired when I finally got the go ahead. On top of the deadline, I had just moved... ugh! After trying twice and not having enough proof of address and being in the wrong county, I made a third attempt only to find out the office was closed that day. I was extraordinarily frustrated. so I called my mother to tell her the story through angry tears. She listened patiently, then this happened:

Mom: Calm down, Amanda. You're driving.

Me: I'm fine! I just... ugh!

Mom: Well, all you have to do is go get proof of address from the bank, maybe print a couple from you're online bills just in case. Oh, and double check the days the offices are open.

Me: I know what I need to do, Mom!

Mom: I was just trying to help!

Me: I know. But sometimes when I call you like this I just need you to be mad with me.

Mom: (in her sarcastic angry voice) Dammit! I am SO MAD!

Me: (laughing hysterically) That's better.

Mom: (laughing with me) Feel better?

Me: Yes. Thanks Mommy.

Mom: That's what I'm here for. Lubs you.

Me: Lubs you too.

Love the Here and Now

And since today is Wednesday and we share our wishes on Wednesdays, here's mine. I wish that everyone has someone they can call or talk to when they are frustrated, angry, sad, or happy that will share their emotions and support their decisions.

What are you wishing for?
Have you had a shareable conversation lately? Tell me all about it!

If you are interested in co-hosting the Conversations Link-up visit my sponsor page!
Knock on Wood

The Rules:

1. Publish your post on your blog, please include the Conversations button or a link back to Knock on Wood.

2. Add your post's link to the current Conversations Linky list. (only post links, not blog home page links please)

3. You don't have to, but if you follow your host and co-host it would be awesome!

4. Be sure to check out the other posts in the linky list! Who knows? Maybe you'll discover your blogging soulmate!

October 13, 2014

A Grateful List 2

Today I am grateful for a few things. And since we love lists here in Blogland, I'm gonna make one. Let's not make this Monday any harder than it already is.

1. I can't say it enough, but I am so grateful for my husband. He is my rock. You know that quote about the anchor and the wings? Well that's totally us. He's the anchor and I'm the wings.

2. I am grateful I have a couple weeks break in between sessions at school. I didn't realize how mentally and emotionally draining it can be.

3. Speaking of school, I'm grateful my brain didn't explode before finals. I'm fairly sure I passed both classes with a low A or a high B. I find out later this week, so I'll keep you posted.

4. Another things about school and I'll shut up about it. I am grateful for school because it introduced me to my three new best girlfriends. I've so missed having them and they add so much joy and laughter to my life.

5. Pig tails. Yep, I'm thankful for pig tails. I have really think hair and when it's longer like it is now, it gets heavy and gives me a headache if I wear it up in pony tail or a bun for too long. So plaited pigtails circa Laura Ingalls from Little House and The Prairie have become a go to second and/or third day hair style for me.

What are you grateful for?

Linking up with

Ember Grey

October 7, 2014



Awesome is a many faceted word. It's a perfect adjective for life because life also has many facets. After the amazing response Anne received from her post about 20 Awesome Things last week, she decided to create a new link-up for the first tuesday of each month where we can all share the awesome things in our lives. I freaking love this idea and was definitely one of the bloggers who voted "yes" to the link-up! So today I am sharing with you 10 awesome things that have happened since I moved to Missouri last September.

1. I got to marry the love of my life. (duh, that's why I came here in the first place)

2. I gained two fur babies. They are like our kids and I miss them when we're not home.

3. I started school again. After nine years I'm going to finish my degree!

4. Since starting school, I have made three fabulous girlfriends. Dana, Boni, and Kaity. I freaking love those girls!

5. I got to re-decorate my very own home. To be quite honest, we are still in the process, but it's way better than it was a year ago.

6. I started this blog!! Yep. In January Peaches in Missouri was born, then after I changed my name, the blog got a name change too! This blog has brought me so much joy and introduced me to so many wonderful women, I'm so glad I followed through with my whim.

7. SNOW. I have never seen so much snow as I did last winter and it's beautiful! I love getting to see all the seasons here. There are only two seasons in Georgia (Summer and Winter with no snow).

8. No traffic. It's amazing. Living in such a small town there is really no such thing as traffic here.

9. I have been able to purchase a few items that I have wanted for a while now. It's nice to have the means to indulge your materialistic wants sometimes (Thanks to my Hubs).

10. I am truly happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I'm not sure I knew what being happy really was until I came here and got to be with Philip all the time. Love will do that to you.

What are some Awesome things in your life?

Linking up with

Love the Here and Now

October 6, 2014

Finals and Term Papers and PowerPoint Slides Oh My!

Ember Grey

You guys. It's finals week. I also have a research paper with corresponding powerpoint presentation due this week as well. If you don't see me, it's because I'm boobs deep in scientific journal articles, power point slides, and flash cards.

I am so grateful to my husband for putting up with the madness that is school. And for you guys being so patient and supportive! It means a lot to me.

I have a few weeks off in between sessions, so we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

See you soon! Hopefully I won't be bald from pulling my hair out.

October 1, 2014


Hello October. Welcome back, I've missed you! Fall is one of my favorite seasons. It brings out the sweaters, boots, and scarves I love to wear; it marks the beginning of the holiday season (I start mine with the First Day of Fall!). Along with the changing of the seasons comes the chaining of other things in life too. So here's what I'm currently up to.

Loving... The amazing fall weather we've been having. We don't have to run our AC and it's not cold enough for a heater just yet. #savingmoney

Reading... Breaking Dawn (book 4 of the Twilight Saga) for the millionth time #dontjudgeme #TeamEdward

Feeling... #Stressed. Finals are approaching, and I still have to finish my term paper and powerpoint presentation for Psychology.

Watching... Gossip Girl. I finally gave in and now I'm hooked. Thank you Netflix. #XOXOGossipGirl

Writing... other than this blog post, I'm writing my term paper and working on my study guides. #SchoolIsCool

Listening... Classical and instrumental music. It helps me concentrate when I need to get stuff done. #focused

Wanting... some new shoes for fall. All my flats are old and stinky. #shoppingtrip

Needing... some coffee. I wish Starbucks was closer to my house. #caffeine

Avoiding... #Amazon. I don't need all the things. I don't. I don't. I don't. (These are the things I have to tell myself to keep from going on an online shopping spree!)

Trying... to keep up with social media, blog reading, studying, TV shows, family, and my husband all at the same time. #Exhausted

Hating... that my favorite tumbler straw cup broke last week. But that means I get to buy a shiny new one, right? #moreshopping

Missing... My mom. I miss her all the time really. #momsarethebest

Considering... rearranging my house. #decor

Wishing... a wonderful beginning to the holiday season for everyone! #happyfall

Hoping... that you will take advantage of the discounted pricing on my Sponsor Ads this week! (Sale ends Monday, October 6th) #pleasepleaseplease

Thinking... that I should probably check on the bagels in the tooter oven. Don't want them to burn! #breakfast

Praying... for a speedy process time on my financial aid issue that got resolved yesterday. #gogogo

I used all the hashtags... #SorryNotSorry

What have you been up to lately?

Linking up with

Love the Here and Now