February 28, 2014

5 on Friday

Happy Friday, friends! Another week has come and gone and I can't believe March will be here in a few days! Time flies when your keeping busy! I know I personally say that a lot, but I believe it to be true. Don't you? Even though I might be busy, I always make time each week to participate in Five on Friday. So let's get right down too it!

ONE
Last night was The Charlotte Social's February meet-up at Heist Brewery! Even though it wasn't the biggest turnout we have had, it was a lot of fun getting to see old and new faces. I can't express this enough but if you are in the Charlotte or surrounding area, you should really look into joining this group. It's a great way to make new friends, talk all things blogging and social media and who doesn't enjoy getting to go to new places!?

TWO and THREE
On the topic of going places, who doesn't love to travel? I tell myself (and Will) all the time that we need to travel more. There are so many places on our list of "to explore", and when I came across bloggers Stripes & Sequins and Design*Sponge's city guides, I was eager to check them out. Stripes & Sequins focused on all things NYC and Design*Sponge had a list of places all throughout the United States. Instead of Googling places to go, or things to do, I would highly recommend checking these out as a first alternative!

FOUR

Fact. I love giving people presents and surprising them. But when it comes to waiting to give a present to someone at the appropriate time (such as their birthday)...I struggle! For example, Will mentioned awhile back that he wanted a new coffee maker because the amount of coffee he made while he was in law school likely took away from it's brewing mojo. So of course I went out and purchased Will an upgrade right away, wrapped it up and stored it on a shelf in my closet. Well, last night I was making Will coffee and Will mentioned that he needed to buy a new coffee maker and that's when an alarm went off in my head and I just couldn't wait any longer to give him his birthday present (his birthday isn't until the end of March)! He had not a clue what I had got him, but gladly stopped what he was doing to sit down and see what it was. Ta-da! A new coffee maker!

Long story short, I don't know what I am going to do when I have kids one day when I buy them presents for holidays like their birthday and Christmas...how do you WAIT to give presents?! Am I the only one with this struggle?! 

FIVE
Is anyone else excited about seeing these two movies? I love a good love story and anything based on a true story so these two are right up my alley!

February 27, 2014

The grass is always greener on the other side

I never believed in the saying "the grass is always greener on the other side" until I went to Northern Ireland...and the saying couldn't be more true. During my senior year of high school, I went on a missions trip to Ireland over Spring Break and had the time of my life sharing God's word with the children of Ireland and getting to sight-see like more tourist do! 

We not only left our mark in Lisbellaw, Belfast, Portstewart and Dublin, but we also visited Downhill Demesne, Dunluce Castle, Giant's Causeway, and Lough Derg, the Sanctuary of St Patrick. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing Northern Ireland is. And would you believe me if I told you that it didn't rain once while we were there (a total of seven days)?! The trip couldn't have turned out more perfect. One thing I told myself I would never do while there was walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge...but I got over my fear of heights real fast and enjoyed the magnificent views that I got to experience hundreds of feet above the sea.

To have been able to go on a missions trip overseas was something I will never forget. I can give that trip partial credit to where my faith and belief in God's glory truly took root in my life. So many memories were made while there, and the countless laughs and tears shed are more then I can count. And what trip would be complete without some unexpected turns along the way. Let's just say that we were not use to driving on the opposite side of the road and ended up in a ditch along side a horse and cow pasture. Thanks to the local farmers that helped us out that day!

The pictures below give you a tiny glimpse into one of the best trips I have ever taken thus far in my life. Of course, back then I didn't have as nice of a camera so the picture quality isn't as good as I would have liked them to be. But despite that, I hope you are able to see the beauty of Northern Ireland and the love that we brought to the individuals that we met along the way! 
Oh! I forgot to mention that this trip was extra special because it was this trip that got me on my first plane! Maybe flying over 3,600 miles my first time was a little much but I wouldn't have traded it for anything! 
 
The 18th-century mansion that once belonged to Earl Bishop. The rotunda at Ballyscullion was roofed and furnished, but Earl Bishop lost interest in it and the house was never completely finished. 
The Sanctuary of St Patrick is a place I will never forget. To get there you have to take a boat. And once there, you are not suppose to speak. Let me explain why. This is a place of pilgrimage. This is a place that many people come to in hopes to "escape", and to take a step back and look at the direction their lives are going. It's a place many go for prayer and reflection.

Lough Derg is within a few miles of the village Pettigo in County Donegal and once upon a time, the area around the lake was a place of protection for anyone who was in trouble. Here at Lough Derg you will find many people barefoot, and praying or walking the prayer circle. We only stayed there for a few hours, but the peace and serenity that I felt while there was almost magical.   
Fun facts about Dunluce Castle: The castle was originally built in 1500 by the McQuillians, who came from Scotland in the 1200s as hired mercenaries and built the castle about 200 years later. There is also a myth about the kitchens falling into the sea during a bad storm, taking the lives of seven cooks, but who knows.
  
 
Taking the Rope Bridge challenge was well worth it because of the views of Rathlin Island and Scotland on the other side. I can't even describe the beauty that I saw.
The Giant's Causeway. Have you heard of it? The legends are quite interesting and talk of a giant who was 54 feet tall and built the Giant's Causeway. His name was Finn and his story is humorous. Instead of me trying to explain it, you can read about it here.   

February 21, 2014

5 on Friday

ONE
If you have been following me via social media, you would know that I held The Blog Baton yesterday and had so much fun sharing my day with everyone! Since yesterday was also Thursday, I threw in a #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) photo of me in Charleston; one of my favorite vacation spots that Will and I have taken together thus far in our relationship! Below are snapshots of the photos that I shared. Thanks Mason for letting me take over for a day :) It was a blast!
TWO
The Lion Whisperer. His real name is Kevin Richardson and he is a Zoologist who spent many years in South Africa and has a very unique bond/relationship with lions and other wild animals. I heard about him when I was scrolling through Facebook the other night and watched this video. It's intriguing and remarkable at the same time to see how much these animals respect him. In the article that goes with the video, it states "he uses his unique relationship with these lions to bring attention to Africa's poaching problem, fearing over the next two decades they will be forced into extinction" and that makes me so sad! I know that I would never gain enough courage to play with the "wild things", but I do respect them as creatures as they are after all, God's creation.
THREE
I hands down love my DSLR camera (Canon Rebel T3i) that I got for my 25th birthday. But I would be lying if said it hasn't intimidated me on a number of occasions. There are so many buttons, settings and things I don't understand about it that scare me away. But I know for a fact that if I learn how to use it, I will be able to post more photos on my blog and stop having my own little pity party. If anyone has any tips, tricks or know of any tutorials please let me know! I'm ready to start doing some outfit posts and much more for SSM :)
FOUR
Do you remember when I wrote a blog post about my BaubleBar wishlist? If not, that's okay because you can read it here. Well, over Valentine's Day Will told me that he had one more gift for me that hadn't arrived yet. I had no idea what it could be, but was excited to see what it was. So yesterday morning rolled around and when I got up to head to the kitchen, I found a package on the counter. When I opened it up, I found the prettiest little Bow Link Bracelet that had been on the wishlist I mentioned above!

I was so excited that I ran into the bedroom to wake up Will and thank him. He told me that he had read that blog post awhile back and remembered that I wanted the bracelet. Not going to lie, Will gets MAJOR boyfriend points! I feel so spoiled and thankful for this boy but his birthday is right around the corner so he's in for a treat!
FIVE
Oh Audrey...how I adore you.

February 19, 2014

How Pinteresting!

After reading A Preppy State of Mind this morning, I was inspired to do a blog post dedicated to my favorite Pinterest pin's (thanks Rachel)! If you are ever in need of some inspiration, Pinterest is your one-stop-shop that you must check out. From recipes, interior decorating, fashion too DIY tutorials, you can find it all here. Check out my boards to see for yourself.

P.S. I'm so excited to be taking over The Blog Baton tomorrow so go make sure you are following me (@mscheek) and The Blog Baton (@TheBlogBaton) on Instagram so you can see what my daily shenanigans include! NOW...without further ado, here are my favorite pins :)

I am loving the versatility of this top. The lace sleeves add a romantic feel, and can be easily paired with skinny jeans for a casual look, or dressed up with a skirt and heels for a night out. 
And how perfect is that blue and black color combo?

I tend to take my earrings and rings off randomly throughout the day so these precious little macron trinkets would defiantly be put to use. I'd probably stash them at work and in every room at home! 
 
Mason jars and flowers have stolen my heart! I am so ready for spring to arrive so I can have my windows open at home, and flowers all around the house.
This room is calling my name. I can totally see myself waking up in this cozy room, with the natural light coming through the windows while I sip on some coffee, reading my devotional and watching GMA. Oh how I wish I was laying in bed right.about.now...
Whew-wee! If only I could snap my fingers and have this beautiful dish on my desk by lunchtime for me to enjoy. The combination of Broccoli, Chicken and Mac and Cheese looks delicious.

Ha! If only I did this at home...but the creativity of this idea is so smart!

February 17, 2014

Valentine's Weekend Recap

Why hello! Did everyone enjoy their weekend? Were you shown lot's of love on Valentine's day? I must say, I was quite spoiled this year and was shocked by all the thought that Will put into celebrating the holiday this year!

Side note: we aren't the type of couple that goes all out for this particular day...not because we don't enjoy it, but it's mainly because we strive to celebrate LOVE each and everyday we are together.

When Will got off work Friday night, he came by the condo so we could exchange cards and gifts before heading to dinner. This is were Will surprised me the most with his creativity. I was told to close my eyes, and when I opened them I was given a card that talked about our past, present and future. Will then gave me three different gifts; each representing the past, present and future. The first (representing the past) was a box of chocolates in a soccer ball shaped heart box. The significance of this goes back to when Will and I met in 2010 when he was the goalie for the NC State soccer team; hence when/how we met. The second gift (representing the present) was one most people girls would not enjoy receiving. A handheld vacuum! Will and I had had previous conversations in which I mentioned wanting a handheld vacuum, and to my surprise, he did some research and viola! Wish granted. The third gift I received (representing the future) was a coffee table book I have been wanting for months! Will gave it to be explaining to me how he can't wait for the day that we purchase our first home and to see all the decorating I get to do! Decorating is something I really enjoy, and seeing Will excited for our future was the icing on the cake.
After exchanging gifts and reading cards, it was time for us to head to Napa on Providence. If you live in Charlotte, you MUST check this place out for dinner! From the atmosphere, drinks and live music, to the food and service, everything was close to perfect. I highly recommend getting the Flirtini and Fettucini that is topped with grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, spinach and maderia cream. Oh and the Chocolate Lava Cake for dessert was the perfect touch to ending our meal. Let's just say that we will be going back PRONTO!
Saturday I spent most of the day relaxing, catching up on some TV shows, did some laundry and played around on social media. On Sunday, Caitlin joined Will and I at church and had a great time hearing Emily Maynard (who you might recognize from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette) and Tyler Johnson speak about how God has been working in their lives recently. 

For those who might be interested in knowing, Emily and Tyler serve at Forest Hill Church and that is how they met and have overtime gotten to know each other and are now engaged to be married! We as a church talked about the four different Greek words for love (the most widely known one being Agape) and got to hear Emily and Tyler speak about their relationship and all things related. It was so neat to hear their perspective on things like love and relationships and I truly got a lot out of the discussion that we had.     

February 14, 2014

Snow today, gone tomorrow

We finally made it through the snow storm, y'all! I won't say that I didn't enjoy every minute of getting to sleep in, watch Live with Kelly and Michael, relax and enjoy a book...because I did! I had a blast taking Miller out to play in it, watch snowflakes fall from the sky and enjoy the peace and quite of our neighborhood. And a bonus was that Will got to work from home, that is, until our power went out yesterday afternoon and again around 7:00 PM.
We were NOT expecting that to happen, and when it did, we found ourselves wondering what to do. So we did what any normal 20-something year old's would do: took a nap, played board games and quenched our thirst with some cold ones. I even got a precious photo from my mom of my dad napping on the couch (yes I treasure little things like this)!
Oh! And HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! :) Whether you are single, dating, married or widowed, it doesn't matter! Today is about going the extra mile to showcase LOVE. Love for God, love for family, love for your friends, love for your pets, love for just about everything. Remember that today isn't about those yummy chocolate hearts you get, or the flowers you were surprised with, or even the breakfast in bed. It's about spreading the LOVE onto others. Making those around you feel appreciated and special. Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to seeing what Will has gotten me and can't wait to go on our dinner date tonight to Napa on Providence. But those things are just temporary, and love should be an everyday thing. Remember that. I love each and every one of you and am so thankful to have such amazing followers!


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