Thursday, June 30, 2011

The most hideous office supply EVER

Whilst strolling through the office supply store with my office companion I stumbled across quite possibly the most disturbing office supply / accessory EVER. Now, in order to actually purchase and wear this product you must quite honestly have a diagnosed mental disorder such as OCD or even worse. Clearly the Dial company is in need of some serious profit boosters in which they are targeting the OCD population. I consider this a health, retail, and more importantly fashion concern. Meet fashion's biggest mistake in office wear since the dreaded name badge/lanyard.
What is this madness? Purpose? To ruin any career oriented ensemble? Even if you work in a Dr.'s office, dentist office, or any public facility where germs quite possibly are a still have a desk right? A counter? A bathroom where you can wash your hands? There is no need to wear hand sanitizer as a daily accessory in order to fight germs. I draw the line at name badges. If lanyards are an absolute must, could you please not wear your health and sanitation practices as part of your outfit? Here is a close up.
Complete disgrace to the working population. It's like a reward for NOT washing your hands at work. Eww
Ok, I'm finished.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

You wanna be what?

Disclaimer: While reading this post I will need to refer to myslef as Baby-D. Something about being with this girl takes me back to when we first became tight at the PHS (Person High School).  Note: I promise I will explain all my random nicknames in a future post. I have several. That should be a good one.

Boy did I have a shocker coming at me over the weekend with LC...Here goes...
That's LC to my left looking all happy and sweet. A true Southern Sweetie!
Something about being with one of your besties and listening to rap tunes reverts me to my old ways. Hence the need to refer to myselff as Baby-D for the remainder of the post (ever seen Next Friday?). Baby-D was my high school nickname given to me by my cheerleading squad in 9th grade by the Varsity Captains. All this is playing together so nicely. You'll see. You know how every once in a while one of those magical weekends comes along where everything in stars align perfectly and you are able to escape from normal life? Well, it happened to me this weekend. I was there.

And then..., LC gives me the ultimate shocker. I swear this is worth the anticipation.

So, I can't help but share this little tid bit about my friend LC (which will remain nameless for Google searching purposes). So there we are just chillin' in the Beamer rollin' through Bath, NC and I whip out my trusty Ipod packed full of old rap tunes. I'm talkin Circa 1990-2001. Not just today's scrambled rap madness, I'm talking for real classic tunes. Biggie, 2Pac, Warren G, Snoop, Lil' Kim, etc. you know??? the REAL deal. Anywho, we get all into our jams as we cruise along, ... then all the sudden LC casually mentions that her lifelong dream is to be in a rap video (quite possibly with Lil' Wayne).

ME (to myselff): Wait a minute. Pull over white girl. What? Now, this I never knew.....And you think you know somebody...OMG! Then there is more mention of Lil' Wayne and so forth. Major discussion.

Come to think of it she would be the perfect addition to Lil' Wayne's next video. I mean check out his latest jam with Kelly Rowland called Motivation.  (Sorry I can't post. I'm looking out for all my readers who would just gasp at the moves Kelly puts on.) Clearly LC could play the part (and she loves that jam). Just look at that blonde hair and she has legs for miles. And...she already got da' pimped Beamer....Lil' Wayne would be all about this girl...
This is the exact moment of her confession. I just died.

So, that Ol' Saying.."Know who your friends are." Wellllllllllllll, it just took a whole new meaning. Clearly, there are things about all my BFF's that have trickled through the cracks over the years. So instead of "Girls Weekend" I'm proposing a 'Confession Weekend.' Anything you all need to share?

Other than that little surprise in my weekend. We did absolutely nothing. Here are the highlights:

Behind the guest house. We were watching the sun set. Ahhhhhmazing!

You can see just a little peek of sun. We couldn't walk much outside because there was a bear and baby cub sighting. YIKES!

Our outlook for the remainder of the weekend.

One thing I can say is that I know the Lord has blessed me with a friend for life. We laugh, we cry, we pray, we discuss, we walk, we shop, we rap. We do it all. For certain, over the past 10 years we have built some great memories together and I know there are more to come. Love ya LC!

Finally, my final accomplishment for the weekend was not only gettin' my tan on, and spending time with my girl LC, but also finding the model for the Future Austin Estate. So Sean Austin, the search is over (aren't you relieved?). Here it is. I'll get the floor plan on the next trip!
Imagine this...Hester's Store Road, Hurdle Mills, NC ~ White with Navy shutters, larger columns in the front, and possibly navy tin Roof. ~ I'm feeling it. It also comes with luxury quarters for Moi as I will clearly need a relaxation space from all my gardening and child rearing.
I wonder if this will fit into our 5-year plan? Hey, a girl can dream right?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Beauty Regimen Vol. 1

Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with make-up. From the time I got my first Lisa Frank stationary set and my first Barbie Lip gloss I have been completely obsessed. I always loved playing with my mom's makeup and looking at all the fun bottles, packets, and compacts that she had. Now, the absolute best place on earth for great makeup is none other than... 
I mean look how flossy this lady is… An icon for the ladies for sure. Just check out that flawless skin.
If I could have any dream in my life fulfilled, for sure it would be to have my own Merle Norman studio.  Maybe I should start saving up? It is such magical place. I love to go and sit and let them try new products on me. They also did my make-up for my wedding and my face was flawless. Here is my local MN where all the magic has happened since I was 13.
Wendy's Merle Norman Cosmetics

See that chair to the right and that lovely little table? That's where the magic happens!
The new owner Wendy is really nice and Misty is a great make-up artist! They are really good at showing you new products as well as having all your standard Merle Norman staple products in stock. I love nothing more than a “Promotion” time (which is right now by the way...get going!). They always give you free samples and new products to try and usually some sort of little make-up bag (I have tons from over the years that I can’t part with). They are always really cute and just the perfect size for all your daily essentials.

Luckily, I have always been blessed with really great skin. I owe it all to Merle and the good Lord. I started using Merle Norman when I was 13 (maybe before if you count all the times I got into mom’s makeup).  I always loved to watch my mother (and still do) sit and put on her make-up. YES! She would sit down in front of the mirror at her vanity (which I now have) and apply all of her moisturizers and beauty products. It is also a really great time to sit and talk with her :) So, thanks mom for taking me to Merle Norman.  I started out as a make-up diva at a young age so naturally I would LOVE makeup today. 
One of the things that aggravate me about makeup on people is that it does not match their skin tone. You must have this done by a professional.  Again, MN is the best place for this.  They can look at my face and pretty much guess my foundation color. Professionals. Yes they are. 

Now, to get started.
First, you must apply the MN Luxiva Daily Moisture Cream. Now, I don’t use this everyday but I should… Sometimes I get started with my makeup routine and I forget because I’m running late or whatever. But, when I do remember it gives you such great moisturizing and a great protective layer against the oils in makeup or daily facial dirt. I get MUCH better results with my makeup when I remember.

Second, MN Total Finish is the ABSOLUTE best product they make. This foundation is so magical that it can cover any flaw, blemish, or scar on your face. It is very similar to a theatrical type makeup. It is heavy but whenever I have this on, I ALWAYS get compliments on my skin and face. It is worth every penny and more! It comes with a large sponge that you can also wet for a matte finish. The most EXCELLENT product ever. If you have blemishes or need heavy covering around the eyes (like me) it is a MUST!
Total Finish....also comes with a large sponge applicator :)
Now, I have had this makeup combo for YEARS because it truly gives me that flawless look and it works so well with my skin.  Remember that what works for me may not work for you. It is such a good combination that I actually feel so much better when my face is complete.
Next, you need to apply the MN Luxiva Ultra Powder Foundation. This is a foundation combined with pressed powder. It is more powder than anything and it takes away the oily look of foundation, leaving you with a soft fresh look and feel. It also smells great and can be used alone without the foundation layer underneath. This is a MUST for your purse because it is great for touch ups. I have one in my car, purse, and my desk drawer. See…
They did just recently change the packaging which completely broke my heart. It has been the exact same since I began using it all those years ago. This white compact was a classic and I love the big mirror on the inside. It also looks a tad bit pearly in your makeup bag which you all know I love.

Now it is black. eww :(
 They switched it to this which just does not float my boat but hey, still the same great product inside. It went down in size by .5 oz and is now a dollar cheaper. Maybe it will fit in my MN makeup travel bag better? I still cannot justify the change. Me no likey!
Finally, if I’ve been tanning or chillin’ pool side I cover with an amazing product I stumbled upon at Ulta. Smashbox is the next best thing to Merle Norman. However, I only use their accessory type products such as bronzers or eyeshadows. It is not a staple cosmetic company in my opinion.
Use this with a large kubuki brush or large loose powder brush. Do not "dab" it on your face or it will be spotty.
Speaking of lip pencils, nothing finishes my face better than my MN Lip Pencil Plus.
The title really is Gold Amber...Unbelievable I know.
Just looking at it reminds me of another thing I like about Merle Norman.  Most of their products are accented with gold which is another classic trait of mine. I love GOLD. Jewelry, shoes, bags, makeup adornment. LOVE LOVE LOVE me some gold anything. A true Diva. You see? This lip pencil is dual action. A lip pencil on one end; the color on the other. And Merle was tricky on this.  It only fits in MN sharpeners so you must purchase one of those also. But, the sharpener is so handy and it saves a lot of your pencil by only trimming down the wood part and not the makeup. A smart purchase for sure. This lip pencil is called Gold Amber (Imagine that?) two great things in one :) It is my fave. This is also my final step in fixing my face. This color works best for all year round depending on what gloss you put over it. (See gloss in accessory photo below as #3)

One thing I cannot stand is for my face and my body to be different colors. NO m’am! So, the bronzer really helps with that.  I dust a little bronzer on my neck to in order to make it look more natural. Note to self: check out MN’s bronzers. Pile all of this together and you have one amazing, glowing, fresh look. Especially during summer. Have you ever taken a picture with your make-up just perfect and your face comes out really white? I have found that this is due to the SPF in the makeup. Now, Merle does have some SPF in her makeup to rid you of those harmful UV rays. Thank you Merle for looking out for us. But, in order to fix this you must use a bronzer on top of your foundation and pressed powder. Then you will not have the glowing ghost face :)
  Finally, some of my accessory products that compliment all that perfect face polishing would be….

#1. New MN Eyeshadow. This came in my latest promotion pack called “An Eye-deal Gift.” It is just the right color for summer. It is shimmery and has those pewter and gold tones that makes your eyes glow. The color is called Desert Shimmer.
#2. Blush. This is a staple I’ve used for a while from MN. Also a find from a promotion. This is why it is so great to experiment with your make-up. You find just the right compliments for your face.The color here is Sugar Melon.
#3. MN Moist Lip Color. Now, I am not a fan of sticky wet lips like most lip glosses. However. This gives you a clean finished look over the dual lip pencil plus gives your lips a little *pop*. Especially in photos. I got this for the wedding and honeymoon and it was PERFECT! The color here is sheer kiss and it compliments many different shades of the dual lip pencil.
#4. Lash Prep. This really is a great product for extending and giving you very full lashes. Cover your entire lashes top and bottom. Then cover with MN Lash Lift for some super scrumptious lashes. You may have to use a lash comb to remove a few clumps.  I fell in love with this when I had my bridal portraits done.

My last and final thought for today is do not waste your money on lame products that simply will not do the job. If you have never tried MN you needs to get on that ASAP!  Go see Wendy and the girls on N. Main in the Rox.

More beauty tips coming in Vol. 2 of Summer Beauty Regimens. I'll give some info on keeping that skin looking good, facial cleansers and treatments, and some of my other favorite shower must-haves!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Canning for Dummies 101

As you all know by now I am so excited about my garden this year. First of all, my squash plants are like way extra huge and they are throwing out some serious squash on a daily basis. So far, I have 4 super huge squash plants, 1 zuchinni plant, 7 okra plants, 6 tomato plants, 2 cherry tomato plants, 3 butter lettuce (heads? idea what you call them when they are just leafy…) and several very serious, swirly cucumber vines which are everywhere (and they are so precious when they are tiny little wanna be pickles just basking there in the sun). Isn’t that exciting? It gives me such pleasure to pull out weeds and actually make something grow that is useful. I cannot help loving a finished product especially when it is tasty. Here are some photos from my recent pickin’ of said vegetables………
Can't you see that widdle baby pickle just waitin' for his vinegar and water spa day?

See that ginormous leaf hanging over those babies' head?

This is some really tasty butter lettuce which is expensive in the store. Seed packet cost me .50 cent. So far, I've probably saved $10 from buying bagged salad. CHA-CHING. More money for mani's and pedi's :)

In order to keep all those things tasty through the fall and winter months one must have a storage plan. DING DING DING….and so we have Canning for Dummies 101. Our local Cooperative Extension office (another one of NC State’s most magical blessings) recently hosted a class “From the Garden to the Pantry.” I must say this was quite an interesting class. It was made up of a very diverse group of individuals. You know, the organic-tree-hugger,-free-spirited type, the random grandma with nothing else to do, and then there is me and my friend Stephanie who are just craving the down home canning skills all the women in our family have. Side Note: Stephanie Brown is one of the most amazing, beautiful, and fun people I know…See here for her awesomeness... Geez she is photographer!

During this class we learned about gardening, canning, freezing, pickling, making jams and preserves (which I have already done here) and so much more good stuff. Some of the major things I learned were how to use a pressure canner, a pressure cooker, and what to can and what NOT to can. I learned that many things I have been taught over the years are not exactly safe. My grandmother is probably turning over in her grave. So, because we all want to be safe, I am going to share a few of the highlights with you…I know you are just thrilled!  

1.       1. First, Can you believe that new guidelines say NOT to can squash? Apparently, the squash never gets hot enough on the inside to kill the bacteria that can cause botulism …so better off to freeze squash.   
2.       2. When using a pressure canner- the steam created under  10 pounds of pressure must reach 240 degrees to kill all the harmful bacteria when canning.
3.       3. Add lemon juice to your tomatoes when canning, this kills some bacteria and is much safer. Tomatoes will also keep their color better. 1 TBS per pint, 2 TBS for a quart.
4.       4. For high acid foods use a boiling water bath for canning.  Your jars (with lids tightly sealed) will be completely covered with water for this purpose.
5.       5. Vent your pressure canner for 10 minutes and let steam escape before building pressure. Always use a pressure canner and not a pressure cooker when sealing your non-acid foods.

Finally, if you want to do it right and you are still learning like I am you must invest in this…..
So, here are some photos from our very fun, interesting night. My girl Stephanie and I should be pros by the end of summer. Look out farmers market and State Fair entries! Blue Ribbon for Ber and Steph? I think ..YES!
Stephanie bravely faces her childhood fear of the evil pressure canner. I was so proud.

me canning green beans :)

note to self....take Weight Watchers more seriously.  

 I will let you know how it goes!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I can't believe it's not..........

So, as a calorie counter, recent Weight Watchers member, and lover of most foods, I cannot help but be so grateful to this amazing product...
 However, in my nutrition class in college we actually did a little research and found that it is just couple molecules short of being plastic...if I remember correctly (it has been a while). I an not a scientist nor do I have any actual factual info to back that up. SORRY! My co-worker Dawn, believes that it is slowly attaching itself to my arteries.  Whatever the problem, who actually cares? I mean this product saves me lots of calories every day + it is delicious and I seriously Can't Believe It's Not Butter :)

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use it:

1. Morning - Several sprays on Whole Grain Low Fat Kellog's Waffles - PLUS sugar free syrup--- total for   2 waffles = 195 calories....cha-ching!!!

2. Vegetable medley- this is so good. I use fresh squash, zucchini, and onions to make a delish side dish for supper. First, cut all the vegetables as you normally would then coat the bottom of a frying pan with about 2-3 tablespoons of the non-butter concoction.  Then, add vegetables beginning with onions first for a few minutes. Then add the squash and zucchini.... Place lid on top for several minutes over medium heat until the vegetables become tender. After about 15 minutes of cooking top with 2 tsp. of Splenda, then S & P to taste and you have one delish side item with nearly zero (0) calories. Even my four-year-old loves it (at least the zucchini anyway). If you wanna get really awesome at this add Mrs. Dash for a salt-free version.

3. I use this on muffins, toast, baked potatoes, and so much more. It is so good in grits for a another breakfast option.

Bottom line....thank you Fabio and Kim Cattrall for supporting my no-calorie needs for a butter substitute.

I would rather have the butter...just sayin'

My other no calorie obsession of a somewhat questionable nature is.....
Doesn't it look so refreshing in this photo?
 um....ahhhhh...don't you feel refreshed already?
But look at these... even better.
Doesn't DC look so sexy from the side? Yes.

Retro DC. Just to prove that DC has never left the fashion scene and will always be coming back.

This is a seriously honest comment on this here can. Hormone elevation? I think...hormone delight.

Diet Coke is another one of my many daily downfalls in accordance to food intake.....Here is what I like to do...I drink nothing in the morning until I get to work. Not one sip of ANYTHING. I like to get my toaster going with some waffles, sandwich thins and so forth, and get at my desk. Then I eat most of my breakfast before I drink ANYTHING. Then, all the sudden I'm thirsty and like some magical moment in time, I crack open my can for nothing other than ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... it is just so dang refreshing...AND it hits the spot  EVERYtime. Good grief it is just the most wonderful, refreshing sensation.And I am also a DC snob. Cans only PLEASE :)

Now, I must admit that Sean and I have had some serious, heated, and downright dirty discussions over this topic; My love for Diet Coke. All I gotta say is...don't be jealous Sean. From now on when the Diet Coke discussion comes up, I'm going outside or putting on ear muffs.

 Here are my justifications for my daily Diet Coke Activity / Consumption:
1. I WILL continue to drink diet coke until plain water gets considerably more personality.
2. I need the caffeine to even get motivated on a daily basis. (I am not a coffee drinker ...especially in the summer)
3.  I have never actually heard a Dr. say that Diet Coke is bad for you. Now, clearly they would like for you to consume a small amount of carbonated beverages but there is no clear indication that Diet Coke has me one foot in the grave. So, until Mr. Austin becomes Dr. Sean M. Austin, M.D. I will be getting my Diet Coke on' ...On a regular basis.
4. I have done plenty of other worse things throughout my lifetime that could do way more damage.  I quit smoking for goodness sakes, and that kept me skinnier than Diet Coke...I am so NOT going there right now.
5. Some people (I will not name names, only initials ..ah hem...S.M.A) who have problems with my Diet Coke consumption drink Diet Dr. Pepper with Cherry, or REGULAR Mt. Dew, Pepsi, Coke, and so on... So, do not cast any stones if you are not solely drinking non-carbonated beverages. Thank you and have a great day.
6. Since I already have like 4 parents, and I am of a somewhat mature age now, I will continue to make own decisions. OK? Great. Now that we have gotten that squared away, I'm thirsty......... 

and here is what I think the next Diet Coke Commercial should entail.....

Fully dressed in wedding attire rockin' a Diet that is dedication. You must agree this would be a great ad? Commercial? the next DC can photo cover? Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Um is not preggars for me. Shewwwwwwwww! Don't even wanna thank about that.

This is so totally random but, I have recently discovered some favorite things in my life that could have a possible twin. First,  No Southern Diva in her right mind should go anywhere without some sort of classic pearl adornment. One of my signature traits is my super large pearl stud earrings which just make my friends at the Whispering Pines all giddy. Don't be jealous y'all. My ears are perfectly suited for them. So, you can understand my amazement when I was shopping and saw this the other day which is the home accessory version of my super large pearl studs. Isn't that so exciting? Must purchase soon! Note to self: find rational, believable excuse to explain purchase to hubby :)
Someone must have seen the millions of Facebook photos of me with my large pearls and created this from inspiration. I must insist on a share of the profits.  Don't ya think?

So classy...Agreed?
Next, my wonderful friend / family ...Mr. Terry Newton is one who finds pleasure in hanging with the ladies. He is said to be "one of the girls..." So, as you all know I have no problem taking random photos of people I love and then asking their permission to blog about them (I still will whether they want me to or not). Luckily for me, Terry doesn't have internet (who can live this way may I ask?). I seriously think that he and Amy (the wife) are technologically challenged. I mean..this one time, they came to my house to use the internet to make an online purchase and it took like hour. And why do they have a digital camera with no computer at home? Really? Anywho, Terry reminds me of one of my ultimate favorite things......Can we say Dr. McDreamy's twin? I think yes! Sadly, Terry just shaved off all his facial hair which gives Dr. McDreamy a slight edge. Otherwise, you would have to agree they were separated at birth.

See the resemblance? If not...even so, they both have a lovely smile and perfectly moussed hair.

See, Terry also has this suave nature with the ladies. They are drawn to him. They flock to him...They sit beside him in the most unusual places....I have seen this. The beach is no place to leave him unattended. It is a remarkable talent that he posses. Luckily, he is aware of his wife's awesomeness and really we all find this trait quite amusing.

Sorry for the randomness but I just had to share.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Overscheduled You

For those of you who like to view photos throughout my posts for entertainment purposes...stop reading now. This will be impossible to photograph. It would be sad to actually photograph my over-scheduled, busy, crazy, neurotic, overly exhausting, and hectic life right now. That makes you want to see a good photo doesn't it? 

I see so many of my friends Facebook posts with phrases like, .....
some days I wish there was more than one of me ( I am sure some people are glad that it is only one of me) ...Gotta go here, gotta finish this, gotta plan that... man my head is spinning!!!!
is feeling like I need a personal assistant these days.....too much to manage between work/home/kids/etc......
 and these are actual quotes from FB! 
Isn't it astounding how much we as moms are over-scheduled, over-worked, and overly-EXHAUSTED. Sometimes I look at some of my amazing mother-friends and I think to myself, "how on earth does she do it and make it look so effortless?"  Well, the truth is she is really exhausted, and holding it all together as best she can just like I am. If I am doing good in one area, chances are something is lacking somewhere else. So, where did we go wrong? Well, really we didn't do anything wrong per say. The one thing we all have going for us is that we want to do it all and be absolutely perfect at whatever it is. I want to be everywhere, involved in every thing, doing it all just perfectly despite all my little (or giant) imperfections. I think that I have so much going on in my life until I talk to my friend who has the exact same amount of craziness going on in her world. 

The hardest part for me is not being able to say no. I actually want to do it all and I want to do it well. Only to find out, I'm exhausted, stressed, worn-out and more importantly, my child is exhausted. So here is what normally happens.....The moment I take like 5 seconds out for myself to do something for me, or to get away from EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY the GUILT kicks in. Oh yea, and then the school calls and says your child has a fever and you need to come and get her. Then I'm an hour away doing something fun, so I cry all the way home because I feel guilty for not being RIGHT there. How does this happen? It seems like their is some kind of radar I don't know about that keeps me from relaxing. Probably the only time I've relaxed lately was on my honeymoon where I was 4 billion miles away with no cell phone service and my mom could NOT actually let me know my child was sick...WHILE I WAS AWAY!!!! Ok, I'll throw in one pic....Look how stress free I am!!!!!
this just makes me happy
Imagine that? I get free time and my baby gets sick.  Everytime I go somewhere it happens. Now, GA is sick and I have so much going on this week that it is worrying me to death. I have Bible School, Exercise Class, Meetings, WORK, WORK, and WORK, and not to mention my auditor is coming next week. YAY! There I am ....already over scheduled and my baby is sick :( Grrrrrrrrrr Please PRAY for us!
I think back to my dear friend Beefy who always reminds me that if I don't take care of myself, I can't take care of anyone else. So, as soon as my schedule clears I'll get on that!  I usually don't "have it all together" or am even organized to any extent these days but I would like to look like it!!!! So, here's what we are going to do ladies who are in my same position. We are gonna smile, wear our best outfit this week fully accessorized, and vent to each other about how exhausted we are. Hey, that's all we will have time for.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Got to be SC!

First let me apologize for that ginormous picture of me in the heading...I will be getting that fixed ASAP.....It is so annoying how it will not line up in center...Grrr...Ok carry on...
There is something about the South Carolina air that speaks to my soul. The moisture, the salt, the pure fragrance of SC should be bottled for sale. Once I cross over that state line it is like I am a completely different person. I am at home. I am free, I am breathing in pure bliss.  No matter if I’m driving or sitting in the passenger seat I get jittery the closer I get to the line.  I even like stopping at the “SC Welcome Center” just to get the chance to get out on the sandy soil sooner than later (ridiculous I know but I can pull a pee-break better than anyone I know). 

I had the pleasure of going to SC for a super long weekend (thank you hubby) to visit one of my besties and to scoop up some family time with some Newtons who joined us later in the weekend! Here are a few fun things that happened on our traveling adventure.
First, now y’all know I was born in SC and so true to the land of my birth I will remain. Naturally, any SC girl would get excited about crossing the state line. This I have done numerous times. And EVERY time I get excited…Oh yes y’all it’s South of the Boarder! Seriously….who doesn’t get excited about the miles and miles of countless entertaining billboards on the way? With all those fabulous colors, moving objects, and some even glow-in-the-dark…Serious roadside entertainment is what I’m talking about! Thank you Pedro for your enlightening descriptions of the oh-so -famous South of the Boarder and your articles and attractions for our traveling delight. The anticipation nearly glues me to the window every time! 
Can you not smell the excitement already? Disclaimer...not a good location for suitable hotels no...

"You never Sausage A Place".....bahahahahah cracks me up every time....This is my fave. Along with her sister billboard going North stating "You're a Weiner with Pedro" ....

2 good things in one photo; actually 3: low gas prices, PALM TREES, and Subway :)

Moving on…..No summer vacay would not be complete without a little family time. On Friday we had one of those perfect days where the sun was just perfect, there was a restless breeze blowing, and the beach was hardly crowded. Sean and Georgia Anne were just precious the entire day. Sean and I could sit back, watch GA play in the sand, and take turns walking on the beach while she played. It was just delicious. As I was walking, I got to thinking…(imagine that) There is something very powerful about the ocean. It is uncontrollable, irrational, loud, and peaceful at the same time. It brings forth what is deep under the surface, rehearsing the fate of what it has found underneath, and repeats over and over again. It forcefully loses control, exposing the surface, then sweeps it up again (anybody want to draw a comparison to somebody…..hmmmmmmmmm). 
So anywho…I connect with the ocean…no surprise there! Here are a few photos from our perfect family day...
Doesn't this look like a Southern Belle to you? Just precious....

future Baywatcher?

Next, there is nothing other than the grace of God that has led me to this woman…I mean, were we separated at birth? Were we both oh-so-faboulous that God separated our souls and made us 2 people instead of one? I think yes! I love this amazing girl so much. While living in Myrtle Beach several years ago, I stumbled across a friendship that was absolutely a work of God! Here I am living on the Rox, 5 hours away, and still I feel like she is close by.  One of the best things about my love Jenn, is that we can share clothes. I mean, let’s be honest…we have good taste…might as well share it! So, as I was lingering around her house over the weekend, I decided to have little fashion show via Jenn’s closet. Oh my….how I wish I had packed a bigger bag to bring home some of these babies….. Thank you for the new additions to Ber’s closet ;) 
BESTIES!....Here's us with our babies at Reagan's graduation

Switcheroo...loving the shirt exchange...thank you ...Oh wait, she wouldn't let me have this one :( 
oh the joy of this dress..but I can't have it either....
She so rocks it better than me anywho....

And finally, no summer getaway can be complete without a little drama! So I have never been on the beach when lifeguards were actually blowing whistles and getting people out of the water. FrEaKy…if I must say so myself. I’m talking major Jaws issues as a child….I still cannot watch that movie! (And why is that always on cable at the beach…I just don’t get it.) So, as crowds gather on the beach and lifeguards are sportin’ their Baywatch skills and all, what does Amber do? Duh, be nosy and find out what the who is going on….And here is when it happened….I got an almost, up close and personal, snapshot of the mysterious Stingrays. And here ya go…..
talk about S-C-A-R-Y

I was like right there as they were washing up on shore. Never did I get an actual good photo of them but they were swarming the beach all day. Back and forth….Oh, it was complete torture. Do you think I was letting my babies get in there?....I think not. NEVER have I ever experienced anything like this on the beach! So, come vacay in July, Landon and GA will not be surfing waves with Uncle Thomas. And that is how vacay will go from now on. Thank you…. And here are my precious babies that survived the drama. 

No, finally is really this right here. I have been hearing all about “Skinny Girl” from my blogging friends and was like, whatev….It can’t be all that and I never go “out for drinks” anymore anyway…..Say what???? That does not mean a little sample is not in order on vacay….meet my new fave mature beverage. Jenn just happened to be on board with this little growing secret of 27 calorie delight. Ahhhhhhh thank you 

BONUS: I also found “Cupcake” which is a new fave wine of mine ever since little Mrs. Tracie Rodriguez’ engagement party. Couldn't find it on the Rox anywhere....

And yes ladies and gentleman, it is available in SC …. Land of all things that bring on a happy me 

Here is a few more of my fave pics from the weekend....
seriously cute

thick as thieves

what is the purpose?

holding him is the best! 

dun dun dun ....troublemakers? I think yes!

luckily for your viewing pleasure....GA is perfectly positioned as a shield ;)