July 30, 2013

How our Vacation turned into a Staycation

This weekend was a lot of fun, even though parts of it didn't exactly go as originally planned. It's still sorta fun to roll with the punches!

Saturday one of Billy's childhood friends, Josh, got married! Their friendship actually spans back to before they were born, Billy's grandma and Josh's grandmother were very good friends.. I think is how that story goes. If you ask Billy how the friendship began he'd tell you, "We've just been friends forever." (sigh) Well, Josh's family moved to Tennessee when they were still young. Their families still remained close, as they would always spend part of the summer at the cabin, as many of their friends thankfully do. Josh brought Brooke, his then girlfriend, with him one summer about the first summeer Billy and I were together. She and I hit it off instantly! We had a lot of common ground, we were both the same year in college, dating baseball players, she was a ot major as was one of my best friends.. plus she was the only other female in the house close to my age! Thank the lord! I just love her. Sweetest girl I have ever met, hands down! Needless to say, this past New Years I was ecstatic when we got word that Josh had finally "begged" Brooke to spend forever with him! Even better, she said yes!!

Saturday, we set out to Brooke's little hometown in Western North Carolina right outside of Maggie Valley. It was a sweet, simple, Christ-centered ceremony surrounded by all of their friends and family. I was so happy to be there and to be with their sweet families as they said their vows and became Mr. and Mrs. Hullett! I even caught the bouquet!! ;) I could not stop talking about how gorgeous Brooke looked in her dress. Absolutely stunning! I could not have ever imagined a more perfect dress for anyone. Isn't it beautiful?

After the wedding, Billy and I had decided to make the best out of an already great trip spend the weekend, plus Monday in Smokies to go to Dollywood and do some hiking in Cades Cove! So we made the quick trip in some rough rain on into Tennessee to Gatlinburg, where we had planned to stay. Much to our displeasure, every single hotel was booked! I had never seen so many No Vacancy signs lit up before in my life!! We literally drove into or called every hotel in the 3 surrounding cities, and every one was sold out, or all they had left was a smoking room, with a heart shaped Jacuzzi tub for $170 a night.. Homie don't play that!

About 9:30 that night, we decided we'd just go back home to Atlanta, because we knew even if we found a room, the park lines would be miserable if there were that many people in town... Side note, the first available hotel we found, was over an hour and a half away back in Georgia!! Guess we learned our lesson in making hotel reservations in advance.

Instead, we could have a staycation! We could do everything we wanted but on an even better budget, and the room has already been paid for! This is exactly what we have been wanting to do in order to help me as I'm saving money for a hopefully upcoming uh.. wedding party.

Sunday, we enjoyed shopping on the cheap with some friends at the outlet mall for their new baby that should be making her appearance later in the fall! I'll tell you more about my new neice, Addy, when she gets here! Quickly followed by dinner, also on the cheap, with our coaching family. After dinner, we went to a movie, on my couch, with netflix.
Today, we still got to enjoy our theme park trip, but improvised with Six Flags instead of Dollywood. Billy has only been to six flags once, and it was very brief as the lines were so long we only got to ride 3 rides before the park closed that day! No joke! So it was also something somewhat new to him. We had a blast together. I've missed being able to spend time with him because of baseball season.

It was actually really nice to do this instead. We saved a good bit of money, and still got to enjoy the same things we would have done if our original plan would have unfolded right. I'm actually kind of glad it didn't, because I feel like we got in some better quality time doing things together and with those we would have much rather had been with anyway. Instead of wasting half of Monday in the car on the way back, we were able to have nap and cuddle time, which we all know I'm a huge fan of. Since we didn't get to eat at our favorite restaurant in the mill, we got the next best thing at Cracker Barrel for a fraction of the price. 

We should really have staycations more often. I could get pretty used to having Billy all to myself on the weekends.. or at least for the next 3 weeks before the next season kicks up. 

July 26, 2013

5 On Friday

Today I am linking up for 5 on Friday! My five is going to consist of my top five new Favorite song recommendation that you should be adding to your iTunes playlist pronto. You can thank me after your jam sesh later.

Rachel Farley's new single - High Heels

Home - Sundy Best

Chillin' it - Cole Swindell

One Hell of an Amen - Brantley Gilbert

She Will Be Free - Josh Abbott Band

and because I had one more I just HAD to share..
Dirt Road Diary - Luke Bryan
Don't forget his new album Crash My Party on August 13th!

July 25, 2013

American Pretty Boutique - Sponsor Spotlight!

This month I am so sincerely proud to be sponsored by American Pretty Boutique.

One thing I am passionate about, and try my hardest to do (even though it's not always easy) is to buy American made products. It's especially hard when shopping for clothes, because everything is made in mexico or Thailand or really expensive. Now that I have been introduced to Dani, the owner and founder of American Pretty, that will soon become even easier!

Dani set out on a mission in December 2012 to promote and  provide girls with great fashionable, made in America quality clothing, at affordable prices. If you ask me, she's doing a heck of a job! Most boutiques you have to choose between good quality or an affordable price. Dani is providing us BOTH! Not only that, but her inventory boasts extremely contemporary and fashionable pieces!

Maxi dresses are all the rage this summer! Besides, who doesn't love the small lace detail at the bottom!? Precious!!

Love this beautiful detail on the back of this dress. The color is perfect to show off that dark summer tan!

This is a great piece! I love the combination of the soft pearls and the leather.

My personal favorite! I love coral. This top will be able to transition well from work to play. You can't beat the price for boutique shopping either!

I really, really recommend you take a couple minutes and hop over to American Pretty and browse through the rest of their inventory. Be sure to like them on Facebook here too! I'm sure there will be something you'll fall in love with and just have to have! So go on over, tell Dani I sent you.. and buy me something nice as well ;)
Just because they love my readers as much as I do, Dani has decided to spoil you all and give you 15% off your ENTIRE purchase! How sweet is she?! Just use the coupon code: VIP15 at checkout and then proceed to do your happy dance. 

July 23, 2013

I don't believe in soul mates

I love Billy beyond words. I couldn't imagine doing life without him. He is my rock and my best friend. We make a team that is unbreakable, even in the toughest of times. However, he is not my soul mate.

Interestingly enough, I do believe in soul mates--Billy just isn't mine yet. 

I read a blog recently that detailed almost the same emotions that I have always used to describe my take on relationships, marriage, and soul mates that inspired this post..

Hannah, the blog writer, and I both agree that we think there is no one person out there for everyone. There are probably a lot of qualified men to take the role of "person whom I will soon drive crazy." Of course, timing is everything as well as a mutual desire to make things work--we all know what I mean by those things.

Our first picture together as an official couple

Billy and I were lucky enough to cross paths at a great time in our lives. We had had time to find ourselves in college, and become comfortable with who we were as individuals, thus making us finally ready to settle down into a serious relationship that had potential of working without all the petty drama that most couples our age were going through. We were close enough to starting our big people lives, yet still close enough to being kids that we still were able to relax and not have the stresses of the real world that came after college. He was the first to graduate, and since we had such a solid foundation started in our relationship, we were able to make long distance work well. Baseball prepared me well for that. I graduated a year later and was so beyond blessed to find a job in Atlanta near Billy. We are still going strong after 3 and a half years of him being my main squeeze.

I really hope he pops the question any day now. I am so ready to start a marriage and share my life more with him. I have realized that, at this point in my life, he is the right one for me. Life makes perfect sense him, and I want to make many memories with him and little Miss Casey Michelle.

At the cabin our first Christmas together

I know you're thinking, if Billy's not my soul mate, then why am I wanting to run to the little white church and become Mrs. Henley?! Well, I believe soul mates are made, not born. I really established my firm feelings towards this in high school so this isn't a sudden idea that has popped up in to the danger zone known as my brain. I even believe I mentioned it as one of my random Liebster facts somewhere along the road. I decided that I felt this way many moons ago, because I saw that many people are able to have more than one happy, successful marriage, therefore I don't believe that that magic can only exists with one person.

I believe that soul mates are created after years of love, experience, hard work, and companionship. Soul mates are those two people that are able to sit in silence for hours, and walk away feeling like they have had the best conversation of their life. Soul mates are two people that can read each others thoughts and finish their sentences. They know each other inside and out. They know all of their best stories, because they lived it with them.
Whenever an older person would pass away, my wise grandma would say, their spouse would follow soon, because the other would die of heartache. The closest of those couples would always follow that prediction. Those are soul mates.. people who have developed such a deep, loving, overwhelming love for each other that life was not worth living without the other half of their being.

I hope that when I am older, wiser, and more worn, that I am still holding Billy's calloused, tender hand. He is my world. I hope that we continue to grow more in love with each other with each passing day. I hope that we become each other's soul mate. In time, work, laughter, tears, pain, and endless joy, I know it will be possible.

July 22, 2013

Back to business

I hate seeing weekends leave. At least this one, being 3 days, was able to stick around a smidge longer than the rest. {Bless you, weekend} Now it's time for another rousing rendition of, "Let's recap Megan's weekend" {Queue the weekend recap theme song that sounds identical to the Family Feud theme music}

Thursday my boss told me to take Friday off as a mental health day. I may have tried to hug him. He may have looked at me like I was crazy. This all hypothetical ..maybe

 I ran home as quickly as I could and packed to try to make it to the cabin before dinner time. Little did I know prior to my arrival, we were going to eat with some of Billy's old family friends--their neighbors of 30 something years from when they lived in Florida. It was great getting to meet and hear stories of Billy's childhood. I love hearing stories of baby Billiam. We ate at one of my Blue Ridge favorites, the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant. It is literally a mile from the cabin, and it is overflowing with guests everytime we pass by. It's a wonderful little restaurant right along the Toccoa River with a beautiful patio area right over the water. It burned  to the ground about a year and a half ago, and thank goodness they rebuilt, because I don't know where we'd be without this gem!
Friday we had more friends from Miami back to visit while on their way headed back south for the winter from their annual summer road trip. Joy and Tick are such blessings to have around every summer. We had planned on going tubing that day, but of course, it rained again. So our plans changed to a quick trip into town for lots of sugary snacks at Merciers and the chocolate store downtown. After the rain subsided, we got lots of meat to throw on the grill.
Have I mentioned before that Billy is an awesome grill master?! Because he is phenomenal! He even grilled peaches that were out of this world! I had never heard of grilling peaches before, but they were fab with a little cinnamon, rum, and brown sugar!

After dinner we went for a moonlit walk to enjoy the crickets, lightning bugs, and the almost full moon we had. It was so nice to finally take in some of the slower, simple things in life for a change. It was such a breath of fresh air.

Saturday we made plans to head up to the North Georgia Mountain Fair as we do every year. Except, when we got there, we found out we had missed all of the shows for the day :( Instead of letting the trip go to waste, we kept on the highway for an extra 30 mins and found ourselves in Helen for the afternoon.

When I was a kid, we'd go to Helen at least once a summer to go tubing. As I got older, we stopped going. After revisiting for the first time in years, I found out why we stopped going. This place is like Disney meets Myrtle Manor meets gross. I lost count of how many people I sincerely believed were on Meth. We pretty much got out of there as fast as we could. I was too afraid to even partake in the funnel cake for fear it was laced with heroine.. then again, I feel like that might be too classy of a drug.

Sunday we vowed "Good lord willin, and the creek don't rise" that we were going to the fair. By george, we finally made one of our plans work before getting ruined by rain. We got to catch the racing pigs, eat some mouth watering fried green tomatoes and BBQ, and take in a few of the fun vendors. One of my favorite moments was while wandering through the exhibit hall, I found  a very old wood burning stove that once belonged to my great grand parents. I had no idea it was even there! It stopped me in my tracks. What a fun find!

Billy's brother made it a point to photo bomb as many pictures as he could that day. We finally played along.

Today, sadly, it was back to the Monday grind. However, let's keep Mondays as positive as can be. Let's announce the winner of the Escape Monthly Box that I talked about here! Congratulations to Carlee for winning the first box! It should be arriving to you soon in the mail!

July 19, 2013

If you are lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough

Today I played hokey..

It's been well deserved after this crazy week I've had. Right now I have my feet propped up at the bar in the cabin enjoying a glass of my favorite wine while Billy is cooking dinner on the deck! We have had more friends in town this weekend making more memories with us. My heart is so full right now. I am a lucky, lucky girl. 

Here's to the good times and the hope that summer never has to end.

July 18, 2013

Why didn't anyone tell me that?

There were a few pieces of information that people failed to tell me my freshman year in college..

1) You don't HAVE to take 8 am classes. Just because you've started school at 8 am your whole life, doesn't mean that you still have to.

2) You don't always have to look presentable anymore.. but lets be honest, I'll judge you if you do it everyday

3) Whatever you do, DON'T BUY TEXTBOOKS!
I spent the first 2 years of college paying and ungodly amount of money buying text books I didn't even read only to sell it back at the end of the semester for next to  nothing. Seriously, one year I sold back an armful of textbooks and received $5 and a small, plastic water gun in return. You can't make this stuff up, people! After a year the book already has a new version, and the bookstore won't even buy it back! Side note: Billy's grandpa is actually has published a college textbook used at universities nationwide, and this even bugs the crap out of him! He's getting paid for it, and still thinks it's wrong!

My Junior year in college was about when renting textbooks actually became feasible. The first two years it was really not worth the effort, to rent and return them. By then, the campus book store offered it as an in house service. {Queue the Hallelujah Chorus!}

If you've never heard of renting text books before, it's not as sketchy or risky as it could initially sound. Take Campus Book Rentals, for example. My favorite part about renting textbooks is the price. I INSTANTLY saw savings.. I could rent a book for 40-90% of the cost of buying it. I could treat it as if it were my own--I could write in it and I could keep it until I no longer needed it. Then I could ship it back for free at the end of the semester! Selling my textbooks back to the school's book store got me nothing, and selling them back online didn't make enough money to justify NOT renting textbooks.

Another great thing about Campus Book Rentals is that, with every textbook rented, they donate to Operation Smile, an international charity that provides medical services to children born with cleft palates or lips in 60 countries around the world. Finally, something good about textbooks!

So back to all those old textbooks I have stacked up underneath my bed to this day and all those I have since sold off.. I wish I had known in college that I could rent out to others instead of selling them! Well, at Rent Back, you can! This is news to me, who knew!? For instance I sold my programming book that I bought for $200 back for about $40-50. I could have rented out to others and gotten $100-200! That would have actually helped me break even on my books, which is more like it!

Now that I have gotten so excited about being able to rent my textbooks back, I'm going to say Ta-DA! and wrap this up. I can't resist anymore, I've got to go pull those old books out and get to turning dust collectors into cash!

July 17, 2013

Wednesday, I love you.

Wednesdays are generally my favorite day of the week. Mondays just suck, let's face it. Tuesdays are an extension of Monday.. You're not quite there yet, but all the bullcrap usually subsides by Tuesday. Thursday, I am always exhausted. And Friday, I am totally unproductive, besides, everyone loves Friday.

Wednesdays mark the half way point. People's panties are not wadded up anymore. I am always in such a groove at work, and I can hammer out progress like a champ. But really, it's my favorite night of the week because it's Trivia night. It's been a while since I've talked about trivia night.. I love it so much I couldn't NOT talk about it much longer.

Every Wednesday, my trivia team gets together at Twisted Taco to show off our vast expanses of useless knowledge. Most nights, our team name is Bo and Luke, because for a brief stent there were only two of us showing up, and we needed a good famous Duo to name our team after {I was the Bo portion of that duo, because I am the better looking}. It kind of stuck, and now we use it most nights unless there is something in the news that is too good to pass up and we'll use other team names like Paula Deen butters her foot before she puts it in her mouth, Being a tight end comes in handy in prison, or I like my beer like I like my violence.. domestic.. Okay, maybe I only wish I came up with those names.

It's my night of the week to get together with relatively smart people and enjoy their company, have a wonderful sangria or two, and as cliche as this sounds.. have fun.

It's our bar--We are regulars. We have our own corner of the bar that is automatically reserved for us every Wednesday by the host, our bartender knows and loves us (and we love her more because of it), the kitchen knows our usual order, we generally get literally handed the remote to the tvs, and we have come to know almost all the other regulars.

We get the remote to pick random stuff to watch like the CMA awards

Not to mention, with our minds combined, we typically pull out a top 3 finish which comes along with house cash that helps pay for our meals. Now that's pretty legit! Most nights we leave without having to do anything but tip our incredibly awesome bartender. All the guys impress me with their endless sports knowledge and able to quote any movie ever known to man. I carry the team when it comes to music, pop culture, or 90's history category.

Though our team has transformed since we began sometime last summer. We've lost members, but we've also gained some other notable members. These people have grown to be my closest friends, and according to a couple drinks in my system me my other boyfriend. Without them my transition to Atlanta would not have been near as smooth, and I would have been bored and lonely. I love knowing that I always have Wednesdays to look forward to.

So let's test your trivia knowledge again.. Who's ready? PS: You can highlight below the question to find the answer. 

Who is the only person to have their baseball jersey retired and a star on the hollywood walk of fame?
(Gene Autry)
On Clarrissa Explains it all, what was her last name?
Name 4 movies starring Adam Sandler where his character name was also the same name as the title.
Jack and Jill, I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry, Mr. Deeds, Little Nicky, Happy Gilmore, or Billy Madison

July 15, 2013

I suck, I'm sorry..

I've been so absolutely slammed this week with work that I don't think I've eve turned on my TV once this past week. I come home and typically go straight to bed. It's not you, bloggy friends, it's me. I planned on scheduling a riveting post last night, but our early morning game turned into an 8 pm game and I wasn't home till midnight. PS: that doesn't work well with my work schedule.

So I just wanted to say hello, that I haven't forgot about you and I miss you all. Also, don't worry, you haven't missed anything unless you want to hear about a computer virus. Anything else worth sharing I'll get to eventually.

But goodmorning. Happy Monday!

July 10, 2013

Vacation Weekend Recap

After the wedding was over, I got up early Sunday morning and Denise and I got on the road to head back. I dropped her off in Atlanta at her apartment at SCAD and then I headed north.. very north. A short concert into my steering wheel later, I pulled up to the cabin where I was firmly planting myself for the next week.

I always like to spend the week of the 4th at the cabin. Independence day is my FAVORITE holiday, and there are so many celebrations going on in Blue Ridge and the surrounding area. Much to my displeasure, it rained every.single.day. while I was up there. We got very little outdoor time that didn't result in us coming back inside drenched. Equally not cool, Billy had to work every single day but the 4th.. the rain screwed his schedule up to boot, so his days were extra long and I would see him just briefly before bed. Then he was gone again in the morning before I even woke up.

But it was a week spent better there in the rain than at home and at work, so here are a few highlights that I have to share from the week.

1. We went to the orchard every other day to get more fresh peaches. We were eating them like candy. I  love fresh fruits and veggies from Merciers. We also found ourselves enjoying brain teaser ipad games.
2. Our friends from Miami were up to visit for the week. It is an absolute joy to have them around.
3. I got in a lot of quality front porch sittin' and reading.
4. The one day we actually saw a smidge of sunlight, we went to the lake. The views are hard to beat!
5. We put together a bookshelf that Billy's grandpa got for his birthday to go up in the loft. This is Billy's brother practicing his moves to see if he could make it as a hammer model in the future.
6. We went to watch the fireworks in the neighboring Tennessee town. We stopped by KFC for our traditional 4th of July dinner to take to picnic out with. It rained the entire time, but luckily we were under a pavilion and brought cards to entertain ourselves to the show started. I absolutely love fireworks. I think we should have them for every holiday.
7. Did I mention it rained a lot here in Georgia last week?
8. We went to the 4th of July parade here in town. This was the crazy marching band that came to perform. I was a little let down when the poster for the parade said a Budweiser Clydesdale would be in the parade, and all we got was a plastic statue of one. Rip-to the-off!
9. We went to dinner one night at the oh, so good Rib Country after we went to see Despicable me.

Unfortunately, because of the weather, I have very few exciting pictures to share. I thought I'd share them anyway because I was at least sort of hoping some of you cared.

July 8, 2013

Amanda and Tyler's Wedding Recap

As all of you were well aware, my college roommate and one of my best friend's got married last weekend! I didn't get to update sooner as I was detoxing myself from technology, but there's no time like the present!

Friday I picked up my dear friend Denise and we drove to the homeland to begin our weekend of wedding festivities! A few of the girls came over to my parents house and we finished a few last second crafts for the wedding like these cute cans to tie to the back of their car as they left from the reception.. except I was silly and forgot to actually take pictures of our look-alikes! so tadaaaa

After we finished crafting we jetted over to the church for rehearsal followed by a fabulous dinner downtown at the coffee shop. I was so excited to see everyone again. Let me tell you, this couple has some of the FUNNIEST friends and family. We were laughing the entire night! After dinner, everyone went over to the country club, which was where they were going to be holding their reception and to help decorate for the next day. Well, the girls decorated, the boys performed quality control over the bar to make sure that it was going to be suitable for the party the following night. Figures.

As gifts from Amanda, she gave us these adorable monogramed pocket shirts and sandals to wear at the reception

Saturday was the big day! We woke up bright and early to head over to Amanda's aunt and uncle's house on Lake Hartwell for a delicious home cooked wedding day brunch! You could not have asked for a prettier location or better weather!

Billy, myself, and Blake who is pretty much a brother to me. I can't describe what he and his family mean to me.

 Us with Amanda's crazy aunts. I've known them since I was a squirt! 

One of my favorite pictures from the morning. Tyler and Amanda's dad having a last second heart to heart. 

After brunch, we all went and got ourselves ready for Amanda and Tyler to start their forever together. Here are a few pictures from the precious ceremony and their absolutely adorable reception. She made such a beautiful bride! I love the way Tyler looked at her all day. I am so glad they are so happy together and that their day was as perfect as it could be for them. I had a blast and was so excited to be a part of such a special, sentimental part of them starting their lives together.

These two goofballs make my heart so happy

Some of us with my Godmother, Mama Dee

Leaving for their honeymoon in their favorite city, Las Vegas!

Stephanie Hicks did SUCH a fabulous job caputuring their special day! I highly recommend her to anyone in the Athens or Atlanta Area!