Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

So as many of you know, I am currently in a Master's Program. I have a racism presentation and a paper due this Monday.  (But then the semester will end and Christmas festivities can really begin!) Thankfully, I have managed to finish everything on Wednesday because this entire weekend is spent traveling and visiting with dearly loved family. :)

Here's a small taste of my Thanksgiving weekend activities.  This year my family and I have a lot to be thankful for,  and I am so glad I got to spend the holiday with them.

After eating to our hearts' content, my family decorates for Christmas including tree, outside lights, and all the inside trinmings.

How does your family celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Verse of Motivation and Thankfulness

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. - Col 2:6-7 (

I encourage you if you haven't already to download and use the free bible app from You Version. I use mine in the morning to help me get my day started with praise, thankfulness,  and God's love to help carry me through the day.

There's been times when I haven't read my bible like I should, and I struggled painfully with anxiety and depression. I trust in God and in his word, and it helps me when the anxiety starts to creep up.

What are your feelings about scripture?  Do you have a favorite verse you go vack to time and time again?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A New Friend (Furry-Friend)

So I love animals. Like LOVE animals. I grew up with a ton of dogs, and my mother currently has four dogs AND a rabbit at my childhood home.

As you may know, we have had a little shih tzu, named Wesley, for sometime now, but we decided we wanted to expand our furry family and get a cat. It just so happened that last Sunday the animal shelter was running a special on cats---half off any cat! Whoo! So we went to look at them with Wesley in tow, and all of the cats hissed, snarled, and tried to attack Wesley through their cages. Not good. But we talked to one of the workers, and just so happened that at the sister shelter located about 10 minutes away, there was a sweet, adorable cat who loved dogs that needed a home.

So, we hopped into the car and drove over to the other animal shelter where we fell in love with a grey/white tabby mix named Hydro. He is sweetest cat. He follows you around like a dog and loves to snuggle. We took him home right away. However, Wesley, while pretty good with cats in general, didn't understand why there was one in his home.

He barked. Hyrdo (now named Miko) hissed and, strangely, began to growl like a vacuum cleaner. It went so far that Miko even scratched Wesley in the face! I couldn't take it--- Wesley was my first furbaby! So, my wonderful husband looked up online how to "introduce" a new pet to an old one. It includes a lot of treats and a lot of belly rubs, but after about 6 days, it seemed to finally be working. Both animals did amazingly today, and I am so excited about our expanded family!

God has blessed me with an amazing, small family. There's a lot of love in that house. 

Have you ever had troubles introducing one pet to another? Do you have any advice for me?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Our Animal Friends

This weekend the Knoxville Zoo opened her doors for free to the public. My love and I LOVE going to the zoo on free day and today was no exception. I didn't get as many pictures of as many animals as I wanted to due to crowds and feisty mammals. :) 

It was a beautiful, if not chilly, autumn day. I couldn't help but get an aerial view of a couple of my favorite Savannah friends.

Near the end of our zoo adventure, we discovered this Americana farm animal exhibit complete with pigs, sheep, and goats all for petting.

Isn't this the cutest Carousel? I'm not sure why our Zoo has a merry-go-round, but I have to admit it was glamorous. 

Usually, my favorite animals at the Zoo are the otters and red pandas, but this trip I really favorited the elephants. The Knoxville Zoo has four currently on site, and this little beauty was not camera shy! Elephants are such beautiful, strong, wise creatures. They could do so much damage if they wanted to, but their quiet, complacent spirits are happy to live quietly with each other. There's a kind of simple beauty in that kind of life that I admire and desire for myself one day (once school is finished).
To live a simple, happy life is a very wise lesson to learn and one animals can teach us everyday.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Getting Back to Healthy

So, I know this is kind of crazy to do just before the holiday season starts up, but I'm going to start eating more healthy and to exercise more.

The last month or so I have really let myself go. I mean, I haven't gained like 20 pounds or anything, but I have been letting my exercise routine go lax and Halloween Candy is just really, really good!

I started my healthy journey today by eating more-healthy and going to the gym for an hour-long cardio interval workout. Seriously, the healthy eating I can do, but the workout KICKED MY BUTT. But I am totally excited to try again on Thursday!

I think I'm going to start back using My Fitness Pal, which has helped me in the past with keeping track of my calories, both gained and eaten. If you haven't heard of My Fitness Pal, you should totally look into it especially if you want to lose (or gain) weight! Go check them out at

Let me know if you are also starting or are already on a healthy journey. Any suggestions for me would be greatly appreciated~

Monday, November 4, 2013

Clingman's Dome

On Sunday, I got the opportunity to explore the Great Smoky Mountains during the most beautiful season. The trees were lush with golden, orange, and red bursts of color that amazed the eye and warmed the heart. 

We decided to drive up to the North Carolina/Tennessee border to explore Clingman's Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky mountains, standing at 6,643 feet high. The dome was named after Thomas Lanier Clingman, a North Carolina attorney and politician who aided in the exploration of the region. 

The path itself was paved, and due to the high elevation, patches of ice and snow lingered about the trail and then summit itself. We drove a short distance to get to the trail, and we then hiked the steep 0.5 mile path to the top. The wind and cold air burned my throat yet energized my spirit. Below are some of my favorite pictures from the trail, including one of my husband and I at the summit. Aren't the views spectacular?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lovely and Long, Adventuring Day

Hello all,

I have been out all day exploring in the Great Smoky Mountains including the extremely high (and icy!) Clingman's Dome. I have gotten back home, but I am exhausted from my travels.


You all will be getting pictures and updates tomorrow!

Sleep tight!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

National Blog Posting Month

Hello everyone,

November is the month for many wonderful things including:
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
No Shave November
National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo)

I'm pretty sure you're all familiar with the first three celebratory events of November, but maybe you aren't so familiar with NaBloPoMo. NaBloPoMo is similar to NaNoWriMo but specifically for bloggers.

Not all of us have large amounts of free time to devote to writing a complete novel within one month. However, writing is important, and so the universe created NaBloPoMo. NaBloPoMo is a challenge for those us who just want to write more. The challenge is to write a post for each day in November.

Wait for it....

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! (but wait, you already messed up with November 1!)

Ah, but that is okay. I made up for it okay?

Who knows how far I will get? Maybe day 3? 10? 23? Doesn't matter, I'm doing this.

Won't you join me? If you are, comment and let me know along with the name of your blog so I can check you out!

Happy NaBloPoMo!

Autumn Day at the Apple Barn

Hello lovely readers,

This past weekend my family and I traveled to Sevierville, Tennessee (home of the legendary Dolly Parton) and participated in some fun fall activities at the Apple Barn!

The Apple Barn is a large collection of rustic stores and restaurants that provides good, hearty food, flavorful cider and wines, and artisan-crafted goods. The location of this little village is off the main road in Sevierville across the street from a beautiful flowing river that I just HAD to explore. :)

We ate at the Apple Barn Restaurant, which was delicious. They even had gluten free options for me. You walk in the restaurant, and you're met with a beautiful mantle and fireplace to welcome you in. The restaurant is very quaint and made you feel like you were eating at your grandmother's house versus a restaurant.
Their menu was full of southern, hearty dishes like chicken-and-dumplings, chicken pot pie, and tender pork loin. The food was delicious and even came with a free dessert!

After eating, we wondered the shops which were full of artisan crafts including soaps, candles, food, candy, and Christmas decor. The stores were set in log-cabin like buildings with exposed wood accents, crafted staircases, and decorative mantles. I ended up purchasing an apple butter scented candle. It smells heavenly in my living room. I also bought a caramel and peanut-dipped candied apple that I saved for the ride home.

The small village included two restaurants, a candy store with a fudgery, a winery, an apple cider bar (which we didn't get to experience due to the crazy long lines), a general store, and a Christmas shoppe. It was the perfect setting for a perfect autumn day with family.

Hope the rest of your autumn is heavenly and full of fun, family memories!