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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lately...

Y'all I have ONE more day of work, and then I'm off for winter break until January 2nd! Yes Lord! I just wanted to give you all a little update and share a few photos.

Here we go...

This isn't the best picture, but I told y'all I would share my Christmas wreath that I made at work a couple of weeks ago now. Everything I used, including the wreath, only cost about $8!
Last week I went out to lunch with a co-worker to this sushi spot in the area. Oh em gee!! Divine! They have a lunch special called "Bentos Box." I'm not sure if that's special to this restaurant in particular or not, but it came with Hibachi chicken, fried rice, and two sides. I chose the California roll and Gyoza, which is a chicken dumpling. Talking about delish! I will be a frequent flyer at this spot for sure.
Little R had his first basketball game, of this season, this past Saturday. He is such a little athlete. I love watching him play. His dad was all into the game too! Last year Big R and I coached his team, and I must say I enjoy it a lot more from the bleachers with the other parents. LoL. Fun times. We are all looking forward to the rest of the season.
After Little R's basketball game we had to get Big Cam (our Camry) serviced, and I captured this photo of my dudes. I love them soooo much! I can't imagine my life without them.
I have the hardest time thinking of meal ideas during the week. Monday Big R suggested that we have "seafood night." I will usually blacken shrimp and fry tilapia for our seafood nights, but I decided to switch it up on Monday. We had shrimp that I seasoned with Old Bay and cajun seasoning and grilled them in butter, along with crab legs, and corn on the cob. Banging! That's all I have to say. Big R agreed! I'd call that a win! LoL. 
That's it for this update y'all! I hope to be back soon!!

Until next time...<3
Keia






Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday y'all!

Here's to a little Friday inspiration:
Pinterest
Until next time...<3

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Decor {On a Budget}

Happy Thursday!! I'm here to share a few photos and tips on how I decorated our home using decor I picked up from mainly the Dollar Tree and the Goodwill! I think my decor is very simple and minimal, but it has definitely made our home full of Christmas spirit. So here we go!

{Our Mantle}
The mantle is certainly the focal point of our dining room, so I'm always excited to make it festive for the holidays and the change in seasons. 

Here is an overview:

The mirror, hurricane vases, and the photos of Big R's late grandmother and my late father are always on the mantle. The China candy dish was a gift from my neighbor. I just filled it with gold-wrapped butter cream mints that I picked up from the Dollar Tree. You can't really see it, but the gold Christmas tree tea light holder I bought from the Goodwill last year for 99 cent. 

Here is a closer view of the far right side:
I put the flower arrangement together (I'm no expert y'all) using $1 flowers and sprays from Dollar Tree and Michaels. The rose gold vase, that I just love, is from Family Thrift. I only paid $1.99 for it. ; ) The super cute stocking holders and the stockings themselves I picked up from the Dollar Tree for a buck a piece! 

So there you have it. In my opinion, a very simple and festive mantle. 

Here is a glimpse of the before and after:
And two views of the finished product:
{Dining Room Table}


Y'all I tingle with excitement when I look at this table! Again, it's very simple, but the decor was extremely budget friendly! Here are the details: 

*The plates and gold chargers are from the Goodwill, and I paid $1 for each. 
* The Christmas garland centerpiece was $1.99, and I found it at the Goodwill last year. I just popped a plant that I'm desperately trying to keep alive in the center. 
*Now for the table runner! I found the cream table runner at the DOLLAR TREE. I just added the burlap stripe in the center. I bought a roll of burlap from Michaels for about $3.50 I believe. I am going to use the rest of the burlap on the Christmas wreath I'm going to be making with two of my coworkers later this afternoon actually.

Cheap, cheap, cheap y'all!!

{Christmas Tree and Bannister}
Y'all don't laugh at our Charlie Brown Christmas tree! LoL. Next year I am going to convince Big R that we NEED a real tree. ; ) Anyhoo, the tree was decorated with mainly Dollar Tree ornaments and gold garland. The tree is so flimsy that I had to suffice with a bow on the top instead of an actual star. The bow also came from the Dollar Tree as well.  

The bannister! Oh I love it so! : ) I wrapped it in Dollar Tree garland. The lights I bought at Walgreens for less than $5. And the bows, take a wild guess? Yep, that's right...at the Dollar Tree. A pack of three for $1. They are actually ornaments, and I just tied them around the garland. 

And that's it! I will probably keep my eye out for some other small knick knacks, especially for our kitchen. I will share pictures of the wreath I am going to make sometime this weekend!! 

Tell me about your Christmas decorations! Where do you find your best Christmas decor deals?




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday's Top Picks - December 3, 2013

Oh, this late post action! I'm going to get my life together y'all. Late and all, I'm back with this week's Tuesday's Top Picks!

{1} Staycation

Pinterest
Big R and I were supposed to spend the last couple of days in Charleston, SC for a mini-vacay, but he found out last minute that he had a few recruiting meetings at some of the high schools in the area. I had already requested for annual leave, so I used this time as staycation, and boy has it been awesome! I have not been able to get as much accomplished as I would have like, but I really needed the R&R. I'm not returning to work until noon tomorrow, so the short week will be GREAT as well!
 
{2} I like BIG cups
Pinterest
I seriously think I may be addicted to coffee. I love it! I enjoy having myself a nice, big cup of Joe every morning. Today I had a cup with a splash of Southern Comfort Original Egg Nog, and whew child! It was great!! I popped the egg nog in the microwave for about 30 seconds before I mixed it with my hazelnut coffee. DELISH!

{3} Elf on the Shelf Ideas
Pinterest
 I had to pin these Elf on the Shelf ideas because CLYDE is BACK!


I totally did not expect this child to be so excited! Our elf's name is Clyde. Here's a little about the Elf on the Shelf:

"The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day's adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.
There are two simple rules that every child knows when it comes to having an elf. First, an elf cannot be touched; Christmas magic is very fragile and if an elf is touched it may lose that magic and be unable to fly back to the North Pole. Second, an elf cannot speak or move while anyone in the house is awake! An elf's job is to watch and listen.
Elves typically appear in their families’ homes at the beginning of the holiday season (around Thanksgiving in the U.S.). On Christmas Eve, the elves return to the North Pole with Santa Claus--until next year! (www.elfontheshelf.com)"

It's a lot of fun to see Little R find Clyde each day. He is so serious about it all. He even gets on Big R and I when we use "ugly" language from time to time. (He knows to do as we say, and not as we do y'all!) So that forces us to try a little harder to be on Santa's nice list as well. 

{4} Pantry Organization
Pinterest
This is perfection! I have my eye out for some nice canisters to revamp and reorganize my cabinets. I really love the chalkboard labels on the canisters on the bottom row. I also love the clear jars as well, because they allow you to see what's stored in each of them. I'm thinking I can track these things down at the Goodwill over time! I will keep y'all updated.


That's it for today folks!!! Let me know what you think.

Until next time...<3

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy, happy Thanksgiving y'all! I hope you all are able to spend this day amongst family and friends. We all have so much to be thankful for!

<3 Keia

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday's Top Picks

So I'm working to bring you all a more consistent blog post routine. So on Tuesdays you can expect to see, "Tuesday's Top Picks." I will share four or five of my favorite quotes, home decor and/or fashion inspirations, wishlist items, etc. Most of these will come from my Pinterest finds, of course. I hope you all enjoy!

{1} Count Your Blessings
Pinterest
During the Thanksgiving holiday, I think we are all more conscientious of our blessings. This cute printable is a nice reminder to not only count my blessing during the holiday season, but I need to count each of my blessings, everyday, one by one.

{2} Thanksgiving Outfit
Pinterest
Big R, Little R, and I will be spending Thanksgiving Day in Virginia with my family. I'm thinking I will recreate this look. I already have similar pieces in my wardrobe, but I wouldn't mind getting a new sweater though! Hehe! ; ) However, the sweater pictured, and the sweater I already have in my closet, will do a great job of hiding my post-Thanksgiving meal food baby!

{3} Sweet Potato Casserole 
Pinterest
Late last week, we had our office Thanksgiving potluck. One of my co-workers convinced me to bring yams as my dish. I have to admit I was kind of reluctant. I'm usually the person that brings chips and salsa or a store bought cake to our offices parties, but I went with it. I feel like I'm a fairly decent cook, so I don't know why I was nervous. Another co-workers shared the Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole recipe with me. I used that as my base, and I added a little extra here and there to taste. The recipe is listed below, if you're interested: 

Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole
Prep: 10mn
Total: 55mn
Cook: 45mn
SWEET POTATO MIXTURE INGREDIENTS
•    2 and 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (Cooking options listed above- either bake, microwave, or cook the potatoes on the stove)
•    2/3 cup granulated sugar
•    1/4 teaspoon salt
•    3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    1 egg, beaten
•    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
CRUST INGREDIENTS
•    2/3 cup brown sugar
•    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
•    1/2 finely chopped pecans
•    3 tablespoons butter, melted
•    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS
1.    Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and prep a medium to small sized casserole dish with cooking spray. I used a 9×9 inch casserole dish.
2.    Use a mixer to whip together cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (instructions to cook, bake, or microwave sweet potatoes above), 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 egg – beaten, 3 tablespoons unsalted melted butter. Mix until the potatoes are light and fluffy.
3.    Pour the potato mixture into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.
4.    Meanwhile, combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl – 2/3 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
5.    Sprinkle the crust over the casserole after it has baked for 30 minutes. Bake for 10-15 minutes longer, until the pecan crust is lightly browned and crunchy.

This is what my casserole dish looked like when I picked it up: 

I think your girl did ok! Haha! Anyhoo, after sending my mom a picture of my empty casserole dish, she asked me to make it again for our family dinner. I plan to make it this time with not only the pecan crust, but with a few marshmallows in the center as well. Big R willing be smoking three turkey breasts for the dinner, so the least I can do is a sweet potato casserole, ya know?!

{4} Protective Styling
Pinterest
Cool weather can very easily mean dry, natural hair. So with that, I'm on a mission to protect my strands. I will be rocking a number of protective styles to keep my ends protected and healthy. I will definitely attempt this lovely bun with a scarf as an accessory like the lovely Meechy Monroe. If you are a natural and you don't know who Meechy Monroe is...let me put you on! She and her sister Vaughn are a dynamic, Youtube natural hair guru duo. You can find them on Youtube here and here. What protective styles do y'all plan to wear over the next few months?

{5} Christmas Sweatshirt
Ok so...not to jump ahead of myself or anything, but I HAVE to have this sweatshirt to wear for the Christmas holiday.
Pinterest
I know y'all get the reference, right?! No? Check out this short video clip:

Can we please pause for the cause, and talk about how Home Alone 2 was one of my all time favorite movies as a kid!! LoL. I had a Home Alone board game and everything! I will be placing an order for my sweatshirt ASAP. Thank you Pinterest, thank you!

And that's all folks! I hope y'all enjoyed my top picks for this lovely Tuesday! {Today is my Friday! Holla!}

Until next time...<3

Monday, November 25, 2013

Detoxify Your Life Update

Y'all, this was a big, fat flop!!! I could give you a bunch of excuses, but basically life got in the way! I plan to give this a real, true go at the beginning of 2014! I will take y'all along for the ride if (I will, darn it) I can make it happen!!! I learned a lot from the program, and I encourage you to check out Brooke Thomas' website. I plan to apply some of the things I learned to my daily routine, and of course I will share them with you all in greater detail when the time comes.

I just wanted to keep it funky with y'all, and let y'all know the deal. I'm a work in progress, ya know?! ; )

Until next time...<3


Monday, November 18, 2013

Breakfast of Champions


Yes, it was that kind of morning. As long as I have my coffee! <3 Hehe.


Friday, November 15, 2013

i LOVE friday!

Don't you? What are your plans for the weekend?! Share with me.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Slow Down, Baby Girl

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Yesterday morning, on my drive in to work, I was involved in a fender bender situation. Every morning, I am always in a rush, so much so that I am usually still multi-tasking on my drive in to work. Well, yesterday it caught up with me. I was distracted for a second too long, and I ended up rear-ending the nice lady who was making a turn off the main road in front of me. I was driving my old "Betsy," and she was already a little busted up. The collision banged the hood up pretty good, but I was not hurt and neither was the lady I hit. Thank God. The car is still drive-able, we are blessed to have another newer car, and Big R just bought a truck that is being worked on that we will have in our possession pretty soon as well.

I was a little emotionally rattled, but at the end of the day I know this was God's way of telling me to "Slow down, baby girl." Life is precious y'all, and this was a lesson learned for sure.

This morning, I took my time. I was able to think clearly, and thank God for all of my blessings. God is so good!

Until next time...<3

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

FREE Special Edition Keurig K60


Umm this event only happened NINE weeks ago, and I am JUST now giving y'all the scoop! Shame on me! But yes, I said FREE!!! Well in exchange for my old corded, drip coffee maker that is...but who wouldn't make that trade? If you enjoy coffee as much as I do, I am sure you can understand the excitement I felt walking away with my free Keurig coffee maker. My co-worker mentioned the event  in a Friday morning staff meeting. The Keurig company sponsored a promotion to give away FREE Special Edition Keurig machines. Mind you, the particular machine they gave away valued at almost $150! Don't believe me, you can find it here at amazon.com. {The price is now $222.35 at Amazon, doggone holiday inflation} The event manager explained that the Keurig company conducted research and found that the residents of the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina are, and I quote, "intense lovers of coffee," (that I am!) yet, the sales of the Keurig machine and K-Cups were down in our particular area, and hence the reason why they decided to bring the event to the area to increase overall company sales as a result.

The event was scheduled to start at 10:00 am on Saturday morning at the local coliseum, so myself and two coworkers planned to arrive at 8:00 am, due to rumors of just how many people had gone out for previous events. Well, we arrived shortly after 8, and long story short we waited for 5 hours and went home without our freaking Keurigs that day.

It was all good though, we had scoped the scene and we knew what we needed to do to assure we would get our Keurigs the next day. Sunday morning, we woke up at the crack of dawn, and camped out at the next location for the promotional event. Around 11:00 am, myself and 3 of my co-workers were heading home with our new babies!

I have since set up a nice little coffee station in my dining room area.
I need a K-Cup Carousel like this one in my life:
As a side note, I wouldn't mind using my "coffee station" as a bar cart as well. I've seen a few that I like on Pinterest like this one:
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Or this one:
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But anyhoo, I love my Keurig! It was so worth the 11 hour wait in line to get it for FREE honey!


Until next time...<3

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Simple, Afforable Way to a Fresh Smelling Home

I pride myself on keeping a fairly clean home. It is not always easy cleaning up after a man and six year old, but I do the best I can. To me, a clean home is not complete without the finishing touch of a nice aroma floating through the air. I mentioned several posts back that I would share with you all a Pinterest inspired "faux Scentsy" candle wax burner idea that I use in our home.

I am so happy I came across the pin for this brilliant idea. As I said before, I love for my home to smell fresh and clean. You can find an array of air fresheners around our place. I use Glade and/or Air Wick wall plug-ins. I buy the Bath and Body Works Three-Wick Candles, whenever I can catch them on sale for 2/$22 {They are currently on sale now, actually.} I will also pick up other candles here and there, but my faux Scentsy burner is tried and true.

Here's what you will need for your own:

Sorry about the poor picture quality yall. I'm working on that.
1| Candle wax burner. I purchased mine at Dollar General (DG) for $3 each.
2| Laundry Scent Boosters. Several brands make the product. I've only used Gain, but I've also seen the Tide brand in stores as well. The price ranges from $4-7 bucks.
3| Tea light candles. Again, you can find these anywhere for the low. I usually buy a bag of 50 from Walmart for around $2.50. 

With just those three items, which cost $9.50-$12.50, you have yourself an awesome candle wax burner that will last you for several weeks. 

Lately I have been burning the Glade Wax Melts in Sparlking Spruce. (Don't judge, I'm in the holiday spirit early this year!)
Now, if you want to get fancy, you could always skip the tea light candle method, and get yourself an electric wax burner like the ones here and here from a store like Yankee Candle. There is not a thing wrong with using the tea light candles though, in my opinion, and you can't beat $3 bucks for a burner like the ones I purchased from DG.

Y'all let me know if you try out this idea! You will thank me, I promise. ; )

Oh, and one last thing! The candle wax burner and accompanying wax melts would make for an awesome Christmas gift. Christmas is right around the corner peeps!

Until next time...<3

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm Back!

What do yall know about James Brown!? That's a young James too, child! I'm using his music as a motivator. It's time for me to "get up offa this thing," and get back to blogging! I have missed blogging soooo much, and I have so much to share! Yall hold me accountable, now!!!

Until next time...<3 { I'll be back soon ; ) }

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Detoxify Your Life!

360yourlife - 28 Day Challenge
On those really hard days at work, I always jokingly say that I need to get away from my desk to "detox" during my hour lunch. While I often enjoy my one hour, mid-day detox, I could benefit from an overall life detox. I stumbled across this FREE 28 Day Challenge with Brooke Thomas via a post from 100 days of Real Food on Facebook. Brooke Thomas is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and a Health Educator and Coach.The challenge will entail daily emails with tips to detox your diet, beauty routine, your home, and your stress. The challenge begins on Monday, and I'm really looking forward to it! I say you join me!! You can sign up here: http://360yourlife.com/28-day-challenge/

Let me know in the comments if you're in!! Also, tell me what you feel like you need to detoxify the most.

<3

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It Has Been a Minute

My goodness this thing called life sure can get in the way! Where in the world have I been you ask? Wait! Before I fill you in on where I've been...umm this happened!
A little over 500 views!!! Ah! I don't know who you all are, but thank you, thank you! I appreciate you all! I really enjoy sharing pieces of my life with you! <3

Now for the update...

{1} I don't really remember much about last week. There was work. I had class on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Eh, I lived for the weekend per usual.

{2} Friday after work, I picked up the little dude. I convinced him to let me peak my head into the Goodwill that is right by the Walmart we meet at to exchange him, and boy am I glad I did! I picked up this jewel.
Yes, that's right. A never used, super cute, decorative pillow from good ole' Target! I don't know how y'all feel, but decorative pillows can be a little pricey in my opinion. Well guess how much I paid for this jewel?!
Mmm hmm, $3.99 baby! It's hard to see in the picture, but it was originally priced at $19.99. Yeah, it would take a lot for me to pay 20 bucks for one dang pillow, but $3.99...sign me up! The pillow now has a nice home on the sectional in our living room.

{3} On Saturday, Little R and I made the 45 minute trip to watch his dad's football team's practice scrimmage.
Little R was front and center for the action. Big R is going into his first season as defensive coordinator so he has been extremely busy with football stuff the past few weeks. This also means that I will spend quite a few upcoming Saturdays at football games. Go Blue Bears!

{4} Sunday we had a few coworkers, my mom, brother, and step-dad over for a cookout/gathering. I wish I would have captured a few more pictures! I am still trying to remember to take more pictures to share on the blog.
My mom bought Little R a little golf set. She thinks she's a golf pro. LoL. The two of them had a good time knocking the golf balls around our living room.
Oh, my little brother! This child. I feel like he's my kid sometimes. Here he was in my kitchen...no shirt on (because he couldn't eat his food without spilling it on his shirt), tasting the bottle of triple sec I had laying around. Gotta love him!
Amidst the music and casual conversation, Little R thought it would be a good idea to attach one of his train cars to his remote controlled truck and drive it around the dining room. A pretty creative way to entertain himself I must say! We really enjoyed having company over, especially since it is not something we do often.

{5} Because of the Labor Day holiday, we were able to enjoy Little R for an extra day. So after sleeping in, I whipped up our favorite breakfast (which was actually more like brunch). Per Rashaun's request, we dined on our deck using the new patio set I picked up for the gathering we had on Sunday, but didn't get to use due to a terrible rain storm.
I got the table and the umbrella at Rite Aid at 75% off for a total of less than $20! Score! Even though we didn't get to use it for the gathering, I think we will still have some warm days over the next few weeks, and I will make sure we get out back to enjoy it.
Those two were definitely able to kick back and engage in some deep conversation after stuffing their faces with pancakes and bacon. LoL.
After we ate, we all plopped on the couch and watched a movie before we had to take the little one back for drop off.

{6} And now I'm back to my regularly scheduled programming...
Tuesday morning in the office, which felt like Monday of course.
Then Wednesday...back to Bio lab. The gross anatomy of the heart is pretty cool...wouldn't you agree?! LoL. I'm a nerd. I know.

And that's it y'all! I hope I won't be away from blogging for such an extended period of time again...but I won't make that a promise.

Until next time...<3