Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

Ironically, I sat down to write this, turned on the TV and saw an ad for Sears that said, "More value. More Christmas." Seriously? Since when did Christmas have anything to do with value? It's not called "valuemas."

Anyways, rant over. Today is the first day of Advent so in honor of it, I thought I'd share something that David and I have been talking about lately - Advent Conspiracy. If you've never heard of it, there's a promo video that wraps it up pretty well:

It's really sad what Christmas has become but I think this is a cool answer to it. And clearly, none of us are going to be able to give the world clean water, but there is a lot we can do to help other people. I can't speak for everyone but I know that I don't need any more presents - especially in bulk. If you want to give me a present, wait until the summer, when I'm always in need of swimsuits/sandals and am 6 months away from my birthday and Christmas :)

If this video doesn't convince you enough, check out Shaun Grove's blog about "Going Giftless." He's really funny and a very talented writer who has some good points about the way we celebrate Christmas.

And, if you're ready to give up your Christmas gifts this year and give more, but don't know where to start, here's a plan: go explore the India Gospel League's Gift Catalog. Instead of getting another sweater, you can give a family a goat. Or teach an adult to read. Or feed a child.

T-26 Days. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for this year but since we'll be celebrating alone in Florida (...until Sarah, Paul and Mary get here tomorrow!) there won't be any going-around-the-table-to-say-what-you're-thankful-for. I need to share with someone, so here's just a few of the things I am super thankful for this year.

A - Athens - home sweet home!
B - Blogger so I can stalk all of my far-away friends and pretend that they are close.
C - Christ Fellowship for being our supportive south Florida church and for letting David work there everyday.
D - the Dawgs, even when they're having an off-year :)
E - Ephesians 2:4-5.
F - Family. Between the LaHaie/Jacksons and Aldridge/D'Ambolas, we couldn't ask for better people to be related to.
G - Generosity. We have been given so much!
H - our Health.
I - the ability to be Inside with a roof over my head and carpet for my feet.
J - a Job that I love and people that I love to work with.
K - special K, my very favorite cereal!
L - Long-distance friends and family who make home seem a little closer.
M - Marriage. Hands down the best thing ever and I am so thankful to get to spend every day with my best friend.
N - New friends in Florida who have made the transition easier...and fun!
O - the Ocean, which makes for a beautiful backyard!
P - Plenty of food to keep us going every day.
Q - Quiet time to think.
R - Reading a good book. Especially at the pool.
S - the ability to Sleep soundly at night without worry or fear. In an awesome bed.
T - Thomas, our sweet sponsored child from Uganda.
U - Unlimited clean water to drink, clean and bathe in.
V - Volunteering to help people who couldn't do it on their own.
W - Worship and the ability to do it freely without persecution.
X - eXperiences. I've had the opportunity to do and see a lot in my 23 years.
Y - Yesterday and the things I've learned from my past.
Z - Zero-calorie sweeteners, especially Splenda.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


We are suckers for free samples. If you are too, head over to Kashi for a free sample of a trail mix bar (plus some good coupons when you get it in the mail!).

The Southern Savers blog has a lot of freebie samples that they have rounded up today (and last week)too!

Go get yourself some free stuff!


Okay, so I have a new favorite product. And I need to tell you about how amazing it is.

I looooovee Peanut Butter but anyone watching what they eat knows that you have to use it sparingly. 2 tablespoons of most peanut butter will cost you about 180 calories and 17 grams of fat and while most of it is good fat and it's full of healthy amino acids and a little protein, the calories and fat add up fast. Plus, who can stop themselves at just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter? It's amazing on everything.

Enter my new favorite thing ever - PB2. It's powedered peanut butter. Yes, powdered. But it's not full of strange chemicals or preservatives, just peanuts, salt and sugar. And it's made in Tifton! How could I not support a company from my home state?! And the best part? 2 tablespoons of PB2 has 50 calories and 2 grams of fat!
I know what you're thinking - diet foods are gross. And this is generally true, but PB2 is delish! You just add a tablespoon of water, mix it up and use it just like your old favorite type of peanut butter. Or you could mix it directly with strawberry jelly. Or with wait! They make chocolate PB2 too!

So it's a little more expensive than the Jif you grab from the store (about $5 for a jar) and mixing it with water is a little less convienant than tradiational PB, it's totally worth it to save 130 calories. Why waste them on peanut butter when you could be eating ice cream?!

Check out Bell Plantation's website for more information about PB2 and to order some samples or find out where you can get it locally.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Weekend

This weekend was definitely eventful for us. We spent Friday morning rounding up gifts for the kids that we are sponsoring for Operation Christmas Child and then headed down to Boca for some fun. We spent less than $30 to fill up boxes for at least 2 kids, which was pretty eye-opening, especially if you've seen my Christmas list this year! When did Christmas turn into such a consumer holiday?

Anyways, speaking Christmas (and those who don't celebrate it), Boca was fabulous, as always. We went to eat dinner at Maggianos but took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked around a pretty sweet park before stuffing ourselves silly. We discovered mutual love of gnocci, which is great because we have a LOT of it leftover in the fridge!

Saturday was interesting, mostly because it was the end of my job at the spa. Things just weren't working out, but I am not disappointed in the least. Financially, things will be a little tight but otherwise this is fabulous news, as it was just not a good situation at all. We didn't have time to mope around though, because the Stallings and the Litters came over to watch football and hang out. I tested out a new recipe on them, which passed with flying colors.

1 can pumpkin
1 box spice mix

Mix well, bake following directions on cake box (either in a glass pan like brownies or in muffin tins). Optional: Heat cream cheese icing and drizzle over the top.

These little guys are really good, really moist and have a lot more spice flavor than pumpkin.

Anyways, we had some church commitments on Sunday and the weather was gorgeous so we walked around CityPlace and soaked it all up. Today was my first day as a stay at home wife, but it was great and I don't know if I ever want to go back to work. It feels great to be so productive - I have done a ton of laundry, dishes and cleaning that we've neglected. I don't know how people with families and activities keep up with everything!

I'm already planning all of the productive things to do tomorrow, I'm free!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Make New Friends but Keep the Old...

I really hate it when people don't update their blogs, but I am guilty. I just haven't felt like it and we've been busy. Lots of fun stuff has happened, though.

My parents came to visit and we ate a lot of amazing seafood. It's crazy that we haven't seen them from the wedding! We had a great time showing them around the new 'hood and spending lots of time at the pool and beach. We also discovered 2 delicious new restaurants - Spoto's Oyster Bar in Palm Beach Gardens and Sailfish Marina (which makes the most amazing crab nachos EVER!).

There have been a lot of October birthdays too, so Happy Birthday to Meredith and Emily...and anyone else I forgot! Ya know that song that says to "make new friends but keep the old" Between these two I've done just that and I am fortunate to know both of them!

Meredith and I met in high school when I accidentally stole her scarf...and we've been best buds ever since! We lived together during our freshman year at UGA and were in each others' weddings when we became "grown ups." She taught me how to be an incredible cheerleader (...), I locked her out of our dorm room naked (okay, maybe a few times), and we have had our fair share of adventures. I miss her and wish we lived closer! Happy birthday, Merediddy!

Emily and I actually "met" online while we planned our Georgia weddings but somehow we both ended up in the little town of Jupiter, Florida. We have really enjoyed getting to know her and her husband - it's nice to have an Atlanta connection way down here and I'm excited about getting our supper club started!

We need to take some pictures :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Okay so I know that I am behind in posting. I'm working on that but I discovered something tonight that I just had to share with all the billions of people who read this. is the funniest thing I have ever seen. I am literally crying from laughing so hard.

If you're not familiar with you should be because there is some pretty fabulous homemade stuff. There's also a lot of junk and the people at regretsy have found it all. The first few pages of the website are funny but it's the next 25 (or more, probably, but that's as far as I've made it tonight) that are insanely hilarious. Who makes this junk?!

Go look at it so we can make fun of people who knit x-rated water bottle holders. I think I'm done with my Christmas shopping :)