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NEW life, NEW blog

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HI GUYS!! I KNOW IT’S BEEN FOREVER…(I’M SORRY!)

BUT I’VE GOT SOME SUPER EXCITING NEWS…

I’VE STARTED A NEW BLOG (LOTS OF NEW THINGS GOING ON)!  PLEASE CHECK IT OUT & DROP ME A LINE! 

A Little Less Talk, A Lot More Action – Florida Style

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Again, we haven’t spoken for weeks.  I’ve been in Florida for Spring Break with my family.  You know, every year we go to watch a few of my sister’s softball games, visit my Godparents, hit the beach, and possibly a park.  Since there’s absolutely no way I could cover everything in detail with just one post, I figured you’d enjoy the pictures more anyway.

We left after Momma FF got home from softball practice around 6pm on Friday night.  The SIXTEEN HOUR car ride was probably the biggest challenge.  Yes, we stopped on the way down to stay overnight in a hotel after driving about 1/2 way.

We slept until Poppa FF felt rested enough to haul us the rest of the way to Florida.   Ate breakfast at the hotel,

Annnddd we were back on the road in no time.

Sunday morning I got up to go for a run, showered, and got ready for the day.   Poppa & Momma FF graciously treated the family to tickets to Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

Let the magic begin!  This year, we were super excited to have two special guys with us on our family trip.  JD, my adopted brother, and my amazing fiance, Jarid.

They provided entertainment, laugh, & love throughout the entire trip.

The weather was a bit shaky.  It rained on and off almost the entire day, but it didn’t put a damper on our fun!

We breaked for lunch around noon, pretty much in order to get out of the rain.  The only place we found inside, was a super swanky restaurant.  We had no idea what we were in for when we saw the prices.  Literally, all of the entrees were about $35/person.  When you’ve got six people in your party, that adds up pretty quickly.

I opted for the $15 cobb salad, as did Momma FF & sister FF.  I nixed the cheese, bacon, & eggs and stuck with chopped romaine, turkey, avocado, tomato & chives.  I had never eaten a salad that was so finely minced before!  It was VERY good…just not $15 worth good ;)

Poppa FF & Jarid each got the stuffed chicken.   Not exactly sure of the description.  I think it was stuffed with ham & cheese if I remember correctly?  The portion sizes weren’t impressive for the price, but it’s to be expected, I suppose.  JD got the duck, but I didn’t get a photo.

Regardless of the fact that we were freezing cold and sopping wet, we had a blast perusing the park the rest of the day.

Toy Story

Pirates of the Carribean

Indiana Jones

The set of a special effects action scene

The Wizard of Oz on the Great Movie Ride

The Little Mermaid

Alice in Wonderland costume

I had to!

Beauty & the Beast

Rock N’ Roller Coaster

Star Wars Tours

Jarid in the Tower of Terror

Special effects boat dock set

 

I was so excited when I found out that there’s a 2nd Tangled movie in the works! Tangled Ever After…cannot wait!  haha.

The Muppets Fountain

My cup of no-sugar-added, fat free vanilla that was free of charge from the sweet vendor in the park! Later on, Poppa & Momma FF treated us all to coffee, too!  It must’ve been a vanilla kind of day because I ordered mine with sugar-free vanilla syrup then, too! :)

House Hunting & 1-Month Engagement Anniversary

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I can’t believe it’s already been a whole month since my best friend asked me to spend the rest of our lives together (:  I only mentioned it, because Jarid surprised me at work with a bouquet of flowers.  When I asked what the occasion was, that was his reply.

Last night, we actually went to walk through a potential home for the two of us!

The realtor was very friendly and knowledgable, which made the experience much more pleasant. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

He definitely came prepared.

This one was built in 1988 but just got a new roof in 2006, along with many other recent rennovations. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

It had a fireplaces, which I absolutely adored, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and was on about 3 acres of land in a nice development in my hometown.

See the woodstove in the corner? 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

It was one of my favorite attributes, along with the flooring and the closet space in the master bedroom. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

I know sometimes with wood stoves, you have to be careful about carbon dioxide, but the family who previously lived there was always very conscious of it and had detectors placed throughout the entire house.

The kitchen was great, too. 

I love the stainless steel fridge and the appliances had been recently replaced. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

Excellent cabinet space and well cared for surfaces.  It just fit us.

The dining room was a little bit small, but room enough for a little family, which is all we need right now. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

The paint color in there created a soft, warm vibe that I was diggin’. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

This is where we sat to go over the financing, closing costs, and all that good stuff.

The downstairs bathroom was pretty updated, with tile flooring, a modern looking sink, and new style light fixtures. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

This bathroom wasn’t huge, but again, I like the wall color.  Many of the muted tones throughout the house were earthy, which I liked.

Not such great lighting, but again, we were a fan of the bedrooms (this is the only one I took photographs of). 

I LOVE that we would each have our own huge closet (Lord knows, I’d need one).  I even like the doors on each…along with the wall color, again. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

That deep green is one of my favorites!

The second bathroom, upstairs, was much larger than the first.  Pros?  The two sinks.  I think I’d like his and hers :)  Cons?  The carpet flooring. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

I think I would be worried about the carpet getting moldy from any potential water getting out of the bathtub/shower.  Easy fix, though!  The realtor said we could put vinyl in for a few hundred bucks.

Bedroom #2 (from the website)

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

Again, the colors were fresh and inviting.  I could easily see one of our future children taking over this space :)

Outside, there is a nice little patio, where I envisioned us having get-togethers and grilling in the summertime. 

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

IT’s got a gorgeous view of the mountain!

31 Lauren Lane, Halifax, PA

Overall, I really loved it.  The house was out of our price range, but we’ll see what happens!  We are putting our best foot forward and not discounting any of our options!  Please say a prayer for us if you think of it that God would show us the perfect place for us! :)  WE know it’s all in His hands.

 

XO.

 

Wedding Progress.

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Lately, life has consisted of a few categorically different things.

Saturday morning, my brain was feasting on knowledge regarding the study of human disesases caused by bacterias & viruses.

Tuberculosis & leprosy were two that we studied during the last lab.  I’m finding Microbiology to be totally interesting…The problem is, each exam tests us on a HUGE amount of information!  I don’t think it’s physically possible to jam four chapters of the stuff into my brain at once.

After my brain was exhausted from my 8am-1pm class, we went WEDDING dress shopping.

Regardless of what I’ve been told about dress shopping, planning, and all that comes with the goodness of weddings, the process has not been nearly as stressful as it has been fun.

Granted, I probably have the most amazing group of girls in my bridal party…all cousins except one…

Wanna meet ‘em?  Well, above you’ve got my cousins, Brooke & Brandi (my matron of honor).  They’re sisters, and since I was old enough to walk, Brandi & I were inseperable.  Maybe you remember my mentioning her a few times in the past? :)

Then, there’s my cousin Allison, who couldn’t join us for shopping, since she was away at college…

and Abbie, who couldn’t attend the shopping outting either, but sent me a very sweet text message the morning of, letting me know she was thinking of me :)

Then, of course both my younger sisters Myranda & Morgan will be in the wedding.

And last, but certainly not least, my lovely friend from high school & “little sister” from my h.s. basketball team, Lyndsie.  She frequently comments on the blog and I love her dearly ;)

The day was filled with excitement and although David’s Bridal, where we had an appointment after my Saturday class, was absolutely packed full of girls trying on prom & bridal gowns, we made the most of our experience.

I not only have picked out my bridesmaids dresses, but I found my dream dress *teaser above*, which I knew was the one, almost immediately.

After the shopping, we headed to Atlanta Bread Company for a nice little lunch together.

 So far, here’s what all I’ve got taken care of… the DJ, the church, the reception, the catering, the pastor, the cake baker, the florist, & the photographer.

As far as invitations & save the dates, I’m not sure where to go?  Any suggestions from experienced brides out there?  I’m thinking possibly Costco?  Here’s a little creation that I’ve thrown together on their site…the prices are VERY reasonable if you ask me!

 

Much love to you all!  I’ll apologize in advance for the lack of commenting over the next few days…life as I know it revolves around my 8-4 job, my college courseload, and my amazing fiance who deals with the chaos on a daily basis <3

xoxo.

Gevalia Kaffe & Giveaway!

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Courtesy of MyBlogSpark & Kraft Foods, the makers of Gevalia Kaffe, I had the opportunity to try a new-to-me coffee brand that I’m head over heels for.  I can be somewhat of a coffee snob sometimes *cough, Starbies*, but I realized after trying this stuff out, those Swedish folks know good java.  With a promise of “rich, never bitter”, Gevalia offers a ton of different options to suit any palate.  From intense dark roasts to exotic varietals, Gevalia offers over 40 premium coffees. Carrying on the legacy of Gevalia founder Victor Theodor Engwall, our coffee buyers travel the globe in search of the best beans available. When they journey to the slopes of Mount Hualalai, Hawaii, you can be certain our buyers won’t settle for anything less than the perfect velvety-smooth, mildly acidic Kona bean. And when our buyers visit the Malabar Coast of India, we guarantee they won’t be coming home until they’ve purchased the finest crop of full-bodied Indian Malabar tempered with slight accents of honey and clove flavoring.

All that effort comes together with every cup of Gevalia that you brew. From the alluring aroma that greets your nose as you open the package to each cup’s full-bodied flavor, we’re confident you’ll agree that Gevalia is a genuine premium coffee lover’s delight.

  • Gevalia Traditional Roast (ground and whole bean):
    Gevalia Traditional Roast provides a perfectly balanced taste every time. Our most beloved blend – made of choice, mountain-grown Arabica beans – this coffee has a distinctive body and flavor with a lighter intensity. (Medium Roast).
  • Gevalia House Blend:
    A Gevalia favorite, House Blend is a robust yet never bitter coffee. This roast has a captivating aroma that is only matched by its exceptional flavor. (Medium/Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia House Blend Decaf :
    Delivering the same rich, never bitter flavor, House Blend Decaf has the same robust taste without all the caffeine. (Medium/Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia French Roast (ground and whole bean):
    Gevalia French Roast is a coffee of impressive richness and dimension, expertly crafted from prized Arabica beans grown in Colombia and Brazil. Hints of aromatic smoke give this dark-roasted French Roast blend an intense, yet uniquely satisfying flavor. (Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia Colombia:
    Grown high in the Colombian Andes, these beans produce a rich, bright and well-bodied Colombian coffee. This single origin classic is world-renowned, which is why we have sourced these beans for decades. (Medium Roast).
  • Gevalia Espresso Roast:
    Gevalia Espresso Roast is made of premium, mountain-grown Arabica beans from East Africa and Central and South America. This roast is bold and full-bodied with a hint of caramel undertones. (Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia Vanilla:
    This rich blend with vanilla flavor notes is crafted from choice mountain-grown Arabica beans, then roasted for exceptional body and flavor. Gevalia Vanilla is a flavorful and balanced experience with a heavenly aroma.
  • Gevalia Chocolate Mocha:
    Gevalia Chocolate Mocha allows you to indulge your passion for decadent flavor. Rich, velvety chocolate flavor is blended with mountain-grown Arabica beans for a sweetly satisfying experience.

This coffee is delicious, and I cannot wait for warmer weather, so I can keep a pitcher of it iced and in the fridge! YUM. 

MyBlogspark & Kraft Foods have also generously provided a giveaway for a lucky reader to win the same package that they sent me for the review!
You can win yourself a jumbo coffee mug, complete with Gevalia logo, and two bags of their rich, smooth coffee (one house blend & one french roast).

To enter:

1- Visit Gevalia’s Facebook page & “like” it.  Leave a comment letting me know you have.

2- Visit the Gevalia homepage and leave a comment letting me know which variety is most appealing to you.

3-Leave a comment telling me where your favorite coffee spot is!

 

Pretzel Crisp Additions!

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Lately, I cannot get enough salt!  I don’t know what’s up with me, because I’m infamous for having an insatiable sweet tooth, but recently, the saltier, the better!  One snack that has been a saving grace for me, has been Pretzel Crisps!  Which, you can find a $1 off coupon for here.

A big thanks to the company & Jessica for sending me some of their newest flavors to try! Along with the originals, there are three newborns in the family (:  Each of these, like the others, has about 110 calories per serving and range from 1-2g of fat.

Jalapeño Jack

These guys are the perfect accompanyment for salsa, black bean dip, & guacamole.  It’s got a bit of heat added to the crunch with Spicy jalapeño combined with smooth jack cheese flavor sprinkled right on top of each crisp!  Any spicy food lovers out there will adore this flavor.  It reminded me of Mexican food!  In fact, they would be delicious crumbled over a “mexican themed” salad instead of croutons…I can see it now…shredded lettuce, warm seasoned black beans, chopped onion, pico de gallo, pretzel crisps, and topped off with plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream!  Mmm. 

Ingredients: Wheat Flour, Seasoning (Salt, Whey, Buttermilk [Cream], Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Monterey Jack Cheese Powder [Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Salt, Enzyme], Jalapeño Powder, Spices, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Citric Acid, Parsley, Lactic Acid, Disodium Inosinate & Guanylate, and less than 2% Silicon Dioxide Added to prevent Caking), Soybean Oil, Sugar, Salt, Malt Syrup.

Buffalo Wing, ladies (and gentleman?) was my personal favorite.

UGH.  So yummy.  I can’t tell you the last time I ate hot wings, or that I’m really a huge fan, but I can tell you, that these will knock your socks off.  They’re not burn-your-mouth-off hot.  They’ve got a kick, though, and taste amazing with Laughing Cow Cheese Light Blue Cheese wedges!  Try it!  Another winner as a topper for this flavor, was plain greek yogurt mixed with a Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packet…hellooooo, creamy (HEALTHY) Ranch dip.

Annnnd, we’ve got baby #3 in the Pretzle Crisp household, Chipotle Cheddar.

It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what these reminded me of…I want to say, the SPICY version of cheetos?  The best part is, none of these pretzels really NEED a pairing.  They’re delicious all on their own, but it’s fun to mix & match pretzels and toppings.  I made little sandwiches with turkey lunch meat using this version…It was like the cheese slice was built right into the bun! ;)

 

Thanks again, Jessica!  Make sure all of you snackers out there take advantage of the $1.00 off coupon I mentioned earlier!  The Pretzel Crisp Facebook page always has perks ;)

XO,

Back-to-Back♥

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Last year’s college basketball team that I was apart of left some pretty big shoes to fill.  We were State runners-up, 1st place EPCC champions, and 1st seed in the tournament.

There were some trying times for me this season, but ultimately, I was praying a lot that God would help me be patient and TRUST Him.  He had it all under control all along.

The team we were playing on Sunday was a team that had beat us once, during the season, and we had beat once…both very close games.  Since we were first seed, we were able to host the tournament, which was nice so that more family members & fans could be there.

The game was physically and mentally rough.  The kind where you feel as if your team is playing against not only the other team, but the referees as well.  It was truly a test of what kind of people our team was made of.  We had nothing in our favor, except one another.  We endured everything from one of our starters fouling out,  to one of our other post players practically breaking her already weak ankle…She finished the game, unable to walk. Literally.

In the end, we prevailed and had a glorious time celebrating.

From the HACC website:

Congratulations to the HACC Women’s Basketball Team who captured the EPCC Tournament Championship by defeating Lehigh Carbon in a 69-64 down to the wire victory. Coach Michele Kieff was named EPCC Coach of the Year. Catherine “CC” Webster and Kira Jaroszewski were named to the All Tournament Team, and Sami Cox was named Conference MVP for the second year in a row. The Hawks also picked up the honor of finishing first in the EPCC this year.”


I couldn’t imagine my college basketball career ending any more wonderfully.  I’m so thankful that I got to be a part of something so special and I can’t express enough appreciation to the coaches and the girls enough for their support and friendships.  In high school, my junior & senior year, we won our league championships & senior year I was named League MVP.  Now, in my freshman & sophomore college years, we won back-to-back Conference championships and I was named EPCC MVP both years.  God is so good to me…I owe every talent, ability, victory, and success to Him. 

Along with my parents, Jarid, family & friends, I’d like to thank each and every person who has encouraged me along the way.  Your confidence in my abilities has meant the world to me, and I couldn’t have gathered the courage to maintain a college courseload, pursuing my dietetic degree, played college basketball, and kept up with my full-time job in human resources.

<3

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