Monday, October 29, 2012

The Marathon that is Life.


I had a HUGE "uh-oh" moment this weekend.  On Saturday, I ran the Soaring Wings Half Marathon in Conway.  I did this in preparation for my upcoming double marathon I am running ( read about that here) I have been training religiously, like running almost everyday, and I follow a strict regime on what to run and when to run it.  I have been using this app called... Nike Running.  I have loved it, in fact I have told most everybody that it is the best app to run with.  Well, it was until during my race this weekend on Mile 10.. my app told me "congrats you just finished your first half marathon" First, false - this is my second.  And Second, No!!!  I am only on mile 10!!!

As I began to contemplate what was exactly going on, I began to realize that my app was not calibrated correctly and my training had been misleading!  I thought I had run 12 miles last week in RECORD time... but I hadn't.  Actually - I was slower than I thought.  I finished the race in 2:28 which is almost 20 minutes faster than my first half marathon.  I am training for that Double Race on New Years and so I have about 8 weeks to get faster and better and stronger.  It was just disappointing - so frustrating, in fact, that I almost ripped my iPhone off my arm and threw it into the ravine.  I didn't - But I was close.

The best part of the race is the new resolution I made with myself.  When I run a race, I will get a new outfit :) So this was my Under Armour exclusive outfit! Complete with matching pants and top and a very comfortable neon yellow/green sweatshirt!  It was so comfortable to run in!  The weather this weekend was perfect running weather, especially for the outfit I picked out - but I can't imagine what the weather will be like on New Years!  Hopefully, it will be mild.  Here's for hoping!
Wanted to let you know what else I did with my weekend:  













I babysat these adorable little cousins of mine!  Yes, they are apart of the Gosser Mafia!  
See I am telling you - you do not want to mess with us :)
drumrolll pleaseeeeeeee


I also got my extensions back!  What do y'all think of the "new look"?  I got them from Robin at Harrington and Co. in Conway!  She is amazing!  And they look so real!  I am getting use to the length, but Love LOVE LOVE the new look! Hope you do too!


And then finally - as I look back on the past 6 months.... I love playing the Piano!  Miss Arkansas wasn't the highlight of my summer, it is this picture.  I think it captures everything that I wanted to accomplish this year - I wanted to
HAVE FUN WHILE PERFORMING THE PIANO IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE.  

And I did just that!
Abby

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Whatcha Want Wednesdays


I am moving to Waco in a few weeks and am trying to figure out the style of decor that I want to use.  I have a red microfiber couch that I am using and I have a yellow lamp.  I didn't really want to go fancy shmancy, but I wanted to go livable.  With that in mind I have found several pieces that I could see myself buying.  I have recently fallen in love with Craigslist (Furniture) and Etsy (furniture) and of course Ebay, however my favorite is Etsy.  Soo many fun things out there!

Here is the dilemma I have:

Kitchen:

I have a kitchen and nothing for it!  I have one crockpot!  Thats it haha.  I will eventually need decor in there, but to get started I need a kitchen table and chairs.  The place I am living has a bar, so I will also need bar stools.

I love the look of this barnwood kitchen table.  I feel like it will last me a LONG time and this particular table with one bench is $200 which I think is very reasonable.  And these bar stools are $30 a piece and I would only need 2!  I would most likely paint them a really fun color - (yellow?) What do you think?  If I go for this rustic chic look - will it compliment the red couch I have?


Door:
Right when you walk in there is enough room for a bench of some kind to place a basket on and a couple of hooks above it.


I love this red bench ($64) and it only measures about 34 inches long and they say it sits pretty close to the ground.  What do you think about putting this by the door and placing a wicker basket on top of it and these hooks ($9) above it.  Oh and I would love to get a framed mirror for by the door ($190 - obviously not this EXPENSIVE mirror)!  I just think mirrors are so elegant taking up space!

















Living Room:
I have the Red couch, but nothing else.  I was thinking I will need to end tables, a coffee table, a chair, and an entertainment set - maybe 2 chairs.

Going along with this shabby/rustic chic look - I am thinking about mimicking either of these 2 designs for my living room entertainment area... What do you think?














These are my thoughts - my red couch with some white and rustic pillows, 2 end tables (yet to be determined) with lamps (very symmetrical) and then to carry the rustic over into the living room - I love this barn wood table that has been sanded and refurnished.  I could easily use that as my coffee table.  For above my couch I love that barn wood and picture theme - I was even thinking of going to Staples's and getting an industrial print 3 feet by 4 feet and placing it on top of some old wood that I (doctor) up over Christmas Break.
















For my entertainment set area - I was thinking of just using this bench and mounting my TV on the wall and placing things on the bench under the TV (like the picture on the left).  I don't know if I would use lamps over there - but I have tons of pictures, that I could even hang on the wall - or it could just be really simple (I might aim for simple) What are your thoughts?

After that these are just some of my other knick-knacks that I have found that I like and I would like to use somewhere in the house.

I love this curtain thing in my room:  The BIG question is if I don't have a posted bed like that will it look as cool?  And I am not quite sure I like the Sun Mirror in the middle.  But I love the black and whites over on the far wall!  Very simple!  LOVE IT!!  (my cousin Meg always nags me, I love the way simple looks, but I am ALWAYS saying I need more on the walls!)

I ALSO LOVE THE PILLOWS on this bed :)  I need more pillows on mine.  All I have is 2 yellow and one green in the middle.  And this full length mirror inside of a door - I really wanna try this - anyone with me?!





This Room is also a favorite - I don't know if I could be that chic though with the way my living room will look?



Which of the bed rooms are your favorite?  I am looking for some honest feedback here because I move in a little over a month! AHH.

HELP HELP HELP.  COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT!

You can find all of this stuff on my Pinterest - click the button at the top or just click here!















































Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Too Fat Tuesday.... Halloween Edition

I thought since today is too fat Tuesday I would share with you the fat things that I like to indulge in during the holiday times, namely Halloween.  Halloween is right around the corner, so I thought I could also share some recipes with you of some fun treats to try for your friends or with your little ones around the house!
First: 
PEANUT BUTTER PUMPKIN MAN
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • peanut butter chips, for melting
  • a couple squares of your favorite chocolate
        
 Melt the peanut butter and honey together in a small microwavable bowl until easily stirred.  Mix until well blended.  In another bowl, combine oats and flax.  Pour the peanut butter mixture into the oat mixture and mix together.  It may seem dry at first, but just keep mixing.  Form the now combined mixture into balls and place on a plate.  Chill in freezer overnight.  The next day, melt peanut butter chips in a small bowl (I used a ramekin).  If desired, thin the mixture with a bit of milk (I did this).  Using a toothpick, fork, of your hands if you don't mind getting a bit messy, dip the frozen peanut butter balls into the melted peanut butter chip and twist a bit to coat.         

          Set back on plate.  Repeat with each ball before returning them to freezer to let peanut butter coating harden (about an hour or so).  Once hardened, cut chocolate pieces into rectangular chunks and place on top of balls to make pumpkins.  You may have to melt the bottom of the chocolate a bit to get it to stick on top.  Return balls to freezer until serving time.

These are the best treats ever!! (especially if you like peanut butter like I do!!)  This next great has a lot of peanut butter as well!  I promise last peanut butter treat!


GHOST COOKIES!!


My mom has been making these for ages!  All you need is one package of nutter butter cookies and one package of white chocolate candy coating.  Melt the candy coating (be careful and only melt 30 seconds at a time because it will burn and mess up all of your white chocolate).  Then dip your nutter butter halfway in and let the excess white chocolate drip off before laying the cookie down on parchment paper.  Before the chore chocolate drys - place two chocolate chip morsels on it for eyes!  It is quick and simple and will make such a fun tailgate food, party appetizer, or even holiday gift!!  Plus they are super delicious!!


The next treat is a great dish to make with your family during the holidays for the best meal... BREAKFAST!

One of my favorite favors this time of year is pumpkin.  My mom makes a delicious pumpkin bread that I will share with you in a couple of days that is absolutely to die for!   This recipe is a spin off of a classic breakfast casserole where you soak bread overnight and back for 30 minutes in the morning.  Granted, it does have quite a bit of prep time.  It is worth it.  Especially for those mornings where you just want to lay around in bed, I lay around with Baylor, but those of you with sweeties - this is a great dish to make the night before - wake up and put in the oven, and snuffle for that extra 30 minutes you always want!! 

 Pumpkin French Toast Bake



Sweet and spicy pumpkin french toast is made the night before for an easy, early-morning preparation.
Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups 1-inch bread cubes (about half of a loaf and use wheat bread for best absorbency).
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk (any kind)*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin BUTTER (or 1/2 cup pumpkin puree)* 
  • 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
  • nuts, like pecan or walnuts (optional)




                                                            Instructions


  1. Cut any kind of bread into 1-inch cubes – I recommend a crusty, whole grain variety, but sandwich bread will work, too. Just use enough slice to fill a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish quite full.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and pumpkin butter until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar and nuts (optional). Bake for 35-45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet.
  4. Serve immediately with maple syrup, honey or agave nectar. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to a couple days.


Notes
I make my own pumpkin butter this time of year, so I use that, but if you are using the canned pumpkin I would use half of the can - I think it's like one cup pumpkin puree.



  
This is absolutely my favorite time of year!  Try these recipes out with your loved ones !!  I promise they will not disappoint.  My sister loves this last one because coupled with some good old fashioned log cabin maple syrup you are in for a sweet and pumpkin-y treat!  I love fall because with nutmeg, pumpkin, and cinnamon, plus of the different spices that we use this time of year - you can actually taste the leaves changing and the crisp air outside in every bite!  

That is what makes cooking so wonderful!  Especially this time of year!

Tomorrow is whatcha want Wednesday and I am going to show you some things that I want for my house.  I will need your opinion though because I am a bit of a clutter-holic.  I don't know when to stop and I dont know how to pick ONE theme!  I just pick what I like and throw it together. 

Because I am moving to Waco for a while, I really want this to feel like a cozy home.  A place that I can have company and that I can "grow up" a little with.  So I need your help!! PLEASE!



Also, I know we are a few weeks removed from the tragedy that struck the Turner family, but please remember them in your prayers.  Julee has a long road ahead of her and the more prayers that are out there the more comfort that will surround her.   I truly believe that Jesus sends us ANGELS to help us. let's pray for Julee and Preslee that angels surround them during this time.  And let's not forget, Matt's mother.  She has lost her husband, to leukemia (7 years ago), and now her son.  What a heart break.  If anything, pray for her sanity and her reliance on God and HIS PLAN AND HIS CONTROL during these times.

Thanks for reading my blog.
Let me know how you like the recipes!



Abby

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Inspiration






I have been thinking today on inspiration that gets me through the day.  Inspiration that helps me succeed or motivate me to be better.  This kind of inspiration, I thought, would come from a great book, an influential man, and in my mind a sports icon.  However, as I pondered what to write today and how to best inspire you... I thought about a conversation - this conversation has helped me look at life a little differently... so here is the story.



Nerves, that's the good part - ride that adrenaline.



I don't exactly know where it happened or even when, I just remember the text message I got that changed my perspective on competition.  For years I have been petrified getting up on stage and playing the piano.  It has never been something I enjoyed doing.  Now, sit me down in front of 88 ivory keys in the comfort of my own home and I will tickle those ivories until my fingers sweat.  The thought of getting in front of the crowd on the Miss Arkansas stage just about made me sick in the stomach.  One day last spring I was texting my friend from Baylor, Ashley, and was telling her how how nervous I was about playing in front of people.  She confidently text me.  



Nerves, that's the good part - ride that adrenaline.  




Ashley :




An All-American Selection in 2006 & 2007, Ashley was a first team All-Big 12 Conference honoree and named player of the week for three consecutive weeks. She holds the Baylor Career Record Holder for home runs per game, RBI's per game, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, doubles, games played and started. Career-record holder for slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Upon graduating from Baylor, 

Ashley was one of 36 players invited to attend the 2007 Olympic Camp. 

She was then drafted to the National Pro Fastpitch League and the Professional Fastpitch Extreme (PFX) tour. Ashley is still active in the game, playing first base and left field for the PFX Tour, which includes 30 top caliber professional players.




Nerves, that's the good part - ride that adrenaline.


Ashley is a hard worker and I was so honored to work with her the year I was at Baylor and look forward to going back because she was a great friend. Ashley obviously knows what she is talking about when she said those words to me. Being a professional athlete causes you to look at things differently and she was able to impart a little of that knowledge with me and I am so blessed. .  But think about those words.  Ride that adrenaline.  Ride it.  How many times are you nervous or scared of the unknown - it could be a presentation or a conference, even something as simple as a phone call - but the adrenaline we have is looked at as a negative emotion or feeling.  




What Ashley empowered me to do was view the adrenaline, that butterflies in your stomach feeling, as a positive motivator and use that to do your best.  I did.  And after changing my mindset completely I was able to push through the shaking hands and the butterfly feeling and do the best that I ever had.  It is a quote, a feeling, and a way of life that I will always remember and I will always strive to live out.



Nerves, that's the good part - ride that adrenaline.




Abby

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Grace Period

After spending a year in Waco, I had decided that I was done with Texas and I would always be a Little Rock native and homebody.  After spending nearly 6 months at home, I am moving back to Waco - to finish my degree in Sports Management and to start a life of my own.  Here is my story and how Jesus has changed my heart...
Last spring, my heart was gearing up for one of the best summers and runs at Miss Arkansas I could have ever dreamed for.  I was ready to be in Arkansas and I was ready to be with my family.  Because I was already living my life in Arkansas, while still in Waco, I wasn't able to completely devote myself to my time and my friends there (Kellie and Rachael below).  I was merely living day to day and going through the motions.  
In July, after Miss Arkansas, a number of opportunities opened up for me in Arkansas, including an incredible internship at the University of Central Arkansas, so I decided that a much needed semester at home coupled with a God send internship was just what I needed.  

In no time at all I quickly fell in love with a church family in Little Rock, my work family at UCA, and loved being at home with my sister and family.  For the first time in a year I was able to go to family lunch and sit and watch tv with my mom at night and was included on the family chit-chat during the day.  I loved every minute of it.  

By the end of my seventh week home, some things in my heart started changing.  People began asking me for my future plans after grad school ends in May.  I answered very matter-of-factly every single time, I am moving to NorthWest Arkansas and getting a house and working for the University of Central Arkansas.  It is where my friends are, my university (the state university) is, and of course a job!  But something in the pit of my stomach was not right.  I had this feeling once before, about a year ago, when I was saying (matter-of-factly) that I would marry a boy named Taylor Clark.  This feeling had come back.  Which meant that something was not right with the Man upstairs.  
I began praying for discernment of the Holy Spirit and the work it was doing in my soul.  And then I began the infamous Beth Moore JAMES study.  It is amazing.  (And I am a horrible student of it right now - I mean seriously, I have missed 2 weeks in a row!) The first week she discussed family and you can read about that HERE in my older post.  I am learning that I shouldn't judge a place because I am not close to my family - you can make new family wherever you are.  No, they aren't your biological and "real" family - but they are your spiritual family.  They can pick you up in times you need and have fun and go see movies on Sunday afternoons.  This family, I was beginning to shape and form in Waco last spring, however, I abandoned ship and I left Waco to come to a more comfortable place.  

I feel like God is showing me that comfort is not necessarily what we need.  I thought that God was putting my back in Arkansas to develop a sports network, to work on a job for May, but what God was really doing - was giving me a "GRACE PERIOD" a period of my life that I can take my glasses off, clean the lenses, and look through them with a new perspective.  This perspective is the perspective that counts.  

It is with God's help and his mercy, strength, and confidence I am returning to Waco in January.  I am not just returning for the semester, or the year, but to plant roots.  To grow as an individual and to grow as woman of God.  I know that God will open a lot of doors for me as I take this HUGE leap of faith and head back down there.  But I know now, more than ever, that Waco is going to be my home and that God is preparing big things for me when I get back!  

Please pray for my continued efforts in discerning God's truth and the Holy Spirit's words.  That I don't put words in Their mouths or emotions in the feelings that I am getting, but that I make decisions based one hundred percent on God's plan for my life.  





I also want to ask you to pray for friends of mine.  I have only met them a couple of times, but they are special to me in several ways.  They are native to Arkadelphia - my families home town, they are best friends of my family, and the are in laws of some of my closest friends.  But most importantly they are my Ouachita Family.

People often ask what is so special about Ouachita, well you see, no matter when you went there - you are always family and in times of need and tragedy and joys and celebration - Ouachita Family is there and supporting you.  I ask that you take a moment and pray for Julee Bell Turner and her family as they mourn the loss of her husband, Matt Turner.  Matt was an incredible Father and Husband and to learn more you can visit THV's website.  Matt and Julee have a 10 month old precious baby girl named Preslee.  As they prepare for the funeral and for honoring Matt's 32 years on this earth, friends and family are giving back.  

Several Ouachita friends are donating proceeds this week to the Preslee Turner College Fund.  If you want to donate:  Please do.  It is supporting a family in need and a family that needs more prayer and support than we can probably give them, but that is what is so neat about God.... He is ALL WE NEED. And his hands and arms are covering the Bell-Turner Family tonight.  

Don't just remember them this week or next week... but the upcoming months will be the hardest and remember them in a year, in 2 years.  They will still need your support then.  

Go shop and donate - and give to this family that needs your support and prayers.  

Lord, be with the Bell-Turner Family tonight.


Click here for :  POSH BY ALEASA


Click here for ::  Accessory Dash


Click Here for::  RiffRaff

Abby

Sunday, October 7, 2012

gnomEEEs winnnnnnn!



I am sooo proud of my sweet sister, Molly Anne!   She co-directed this show and I could not be more happy and more impressed with her choreography, her patience, and her perseverance for this show!

The EEE's won Tiger Tunes last night at Ouachita, giving them the WINNING show two years in a row... WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN DONE AT OBU!!

I am incredibly proud of her and will have more pictures up later.

It was a great night and a great time to celebrate.  I am o glad I was there to share it with her!



Abby

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall into love with Tunes!!!!!

Last night marked the first night of Tiger Tunes at Ouachita Baptist University.  And it was a great night!  With my precious little Women of EEE winning Costume last night it set us up great for another show tonight and two tomorrow.  I know they are geared up and ready to bring it on.  
If you don't know what Tiger Tunes is... It has been around forever (actually my mom was in the first show at Ouachita as a Junior).  It is a fundraiser for scholarships for students - which means every ticket sold is straight money for students that have OSF Scholarships.  The show consists of 8 Host and Hostesses (one of the most esteemed titles you can receive at OBU) and a 7 minute show from every club in a particular theme.  So this year the themes are:
Women of EEE: Gnomes
Women of Tri Chi:  Circus
Women of Chi Delta:  Shipwrecked
Women of Chi Rho Phi:  Freshman Dorm Francis Crawford
Men of Beta Beta:  Exterminators
Men of Kappa Chi: Police
Men of Eta Alpha Omega: Lumberjacks
Men of Rho Sigma: The Men of Rho Sigma
Campus Ministries: CAMPers
Campus Activities Board: Gym Class





Last night the Men and Women of Campus Ministries won Theme and Lyric and Choreography and Entertainment and The Men of Eta Alpha Omega won Musicality and 
THE WOMEN OF EEE WON COSTUME!!!
Look at my precious little babies!!!


My family is attached to Ouachita.  With every member of my immediate family going to Ouachita I have grown up around Tiger Tunes and the small and cozy university.  I love it.  Fall is my favorite time of year because no matter where I am - I can go back to my "stomping grounds" see tons of people I know, and watch a wonderful show that promotes students in college by giving them scholarships.  


There is no place like Ouachita.  No Show like Tiger Tunes.  And I encourage you - If you have not gone to Tiger Tunes before - make plans to watch it this year at OBU SIGNAL ONLINE and cheer for the EEE's!!  


This year is the first year you will be able to log on and watch it from your iPad, iPhone, Computer, and even Twitter - via the LiveStream App!  Go read about it :OBU SIGNAL ONLINE!!  

  • I am in love with Tiger Tunes - which is appropriate because it is Fall in Love Friday.   
  • Oh and guess what... MY BEAUTIFUL TALENTED WONDERFUL SISTER, together with her friend MaryLacey, co-directed the show!  I'll try and put a video up tonight!!!
  • Thanks for your support!  Let me know what you think and if you want to watch the show!  For pictures and updates follow me on twitter (click the link above) or go to Dr. Kluck's Facebook Page - he uploads tons of pictures!!!
Have a great Friday - and don't forget to FALL IN LOVEEE!! 
Abby

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Clothes and Puppy Dogs... Whatcha Want Wednesdays



By this time you have noticed I got a beautiful new blog design for CharmedBliss. It was about time for a professional look and a more unified homepage for all of my mindless wanderings. If you are considering a blog redesign I urge you to use 733 Designs. She is prompt, efficient, and look at her cute design she did for me :) I just love it! SO hop on over and check out her portfolio.


 I created a blog to share my most deepest dreams and desires and to a degree, I have succeeded.  Well today I am going to take another step towards success and tell you about WHAT I WANT!  I really want fall to be here.  Fall leaves, colors chaining around us, and especially fall clothes.  I love greens and greys and purples.  The hues and tones of these colors (and the boots that accompany them) are just so comforting.
Don't you agree?  Fall is a very comfortable season.  It is a season of change and enjoyment.  One of anticipation and relaxation.  It is one of my favorites.
But as a I literally freeze indoors today I am comforted by my sweater, that 2 months ago would have already found it's place in the floor.  It is a wonderful season!  And I am so ready for it to be here.  But in order for my fall clothing collection to be completed I need a pair of light tan boots, a couple more scarves (I really like the grey one in the picture) and I need a green one for the Baylor game I will be attending next week.

And since we are on the topic of Baylor.... Wouldn't it be cool if he did dog shows??  I mean he IS cute enough right?  DUGHH...

Let me know what you think about the blog change!



Abby