Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Checklists, Birthdays, Fried Kool-Aid, and Easter Memories

Howdy! How is possible that we're already halfway through April?! How is everyone enjoying Spring? I love the mostly warm weather and seeing the beautiful flowers and trees in bloom!
 What are these called?? Anyone??? Anyone??? Is there an app yet to take a photo of a plant/tree/flower/dog/cat/car/ etc. and have Suri or Google identify it? There should be for people like me who are ignorant on such things.

Here is my Spring Checklist:
1) In with the new--(spring cleaning)! I have already changed out my winter clothes--see ya! Buh bye heavy coats and sweaters. Hello bright colors, dresses and sandals!

2) My friend Karen and I were talking about self tanners. You don't want to look orange or streaky and these have been my soul mates for the past couple of summers. She asked what I use--here's the ones I have the most luck with:

3) Summer Slim down: Ok, you can't talk about cute clothes and a tan without mixing in a workout/diet plan somewhere. I have been doing some reps each day:

I like this plan that is relatively easy and then with my diet, I am just trying to eat sensible and healthy. Part of me would really like to go on the Paleo or Clean Eating plan..not just for a while but as a lifestyle. I love the idea of no processed foods, refined sugars, fried foods, etc.
Dr. Oz featured this "Slim down" drink.  I'm always skeptical of any kind of jump start juice/fad diet, etc. but I guess I think Dr. Oz has more credibility, so I decided to try it.
Dr. Oz's Slim down Drink:
1 cup grapefruit juice (I use the light)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey

Drink before every meal. It is suppose to help your body burn and break down fat.
I can say I really feel the burn of this drink. If you're not use to apple cider vinegar sting, it takes a bit to get used to, but now, I really love it. I crave it more than orange juice or even coffee in the mornings because I feel it helps wake me up and suppresses my appetite for a little while. It's worth a try. 

4) Movies: Divergent and God is Not Dead have been my recent movie splurges. Enjoyed them equally for different reasons. Heaven is Real looks like another great one to see! The book was great!
5) Books: What is everyone reading? I went to the library a couple of weeks ago and have devoured these finds:

6) Music: I don't know what I would do without Spotify. It is my answer for all my down time, workout playlists, party playlists, gets me through the workday, and now I never have to buy another song, etc. Check it out! Love the pugs on this ad for an April Fool's playlist! You can create all the playlists you can drum up for every occasion imaginable, with millions of songs to chose from!

This was a great week for new albums, I might add. One of my favorite bands, NEEDTOBREATHE released their fifth studio album, "Rivers in the Wasteland." I love all their albums and can see this one is no different! These guys will be at the Alabama Theatre on September 11th this year and tickets are already on sale!

And another favorite, Ingrid Michaelson released "Lights Out." I love her music. She captures the beauty, humor, and heartbreak in life. My favs on this new album are "Stick," "Girls Chase Boys," and "Home."

7) TV: Sooo I'm very much looking forward to the Muscle Shoals documentary/movie airing this Monday, April 21, at 9 p.m. on PBS. Watch the clip below. So much influence in our music history was born and recorded in the Shoals.

8) Birthdays: My cousin Kase turned 1 on April 1st! We had his Hungry Caterpillar party a few days later. I'm still laughing about his mustache pacifier! He and my grandaddy Kirby look so much alike!

On the same day of his party was also my beautiful mom's birthday! Love her soooooo much! She gets prettier every year!
                                                                                                    We had a fun time with both celebrations!
Always good to see my sister Lauren! We had some good catch up time later that day, going for a walk and doing some shopping in Guntersville. We like our pink!
9) Adventures: I was fortunate enough to get to attend and work our Marshall Co. CVB booth at the Alabama Trails Conference last week at the Lake Guntersville State Park. We heard a lot of great speakers on the popularity and development of trails in the state and new ideas and trends. So many people hadn't been to the park before and were in awe of it's beauty. Let's not take it for granted and really utilize and patron the park this spring!

On Friday afternoon, Mom and I volunteered to work at the Boaz Farm & Poultry Expo. It replaced Moulton's popular Chicken and Egg Festival. It was a great day to be out and see animals of all different shapes and sizes, sample some yummy food like this pizza from Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza! My photo doesn't do it justice, but you can see why the slim down drink mentioned above is needed! It was a great expo, lots of vendors. I love to people watch and see what the latest crafts and food items are. Like this: 
Oh just your typical deep fried Kool-Aid! I couldn't bring myself to try it but will admit, I'm a little curious! Anyone had it?! Would it taste like a gusher with breading? I'm at a loss on this one...

Friday night, I did a Zumba Masters class with my mom and some other ladies as a fundraiser for a mother and daughter who were killed recently in a car crash. It was a high energy class taught outside by a guy from Atlanta. Not. Used. To. That. At. All. But it was an intense workout!
Saturday morning, Mom and I left out for Sheffield, AL! (Hence the plug for the Muscle Shoals movie!) It was a beautiful country drive and we decided to make a stop to Ivy Green to see Helen Keller's birthplace. So cool!
 The house was built in 1820 and over 85% of the furniture is still the originals! The water well above is where a young 7 year old Helen uttered the word "W-A-T-E-R."
I loved seeing this huge tree--appropriate name for the home, Ivy Green!

We went to observe a Cabela's King Kat Catfish tournament we may try to bring to Guntersville in the future. This was a huge 74 lb catfish! The winning fish was actually 86 lbs!

10) Easter:

 Good Friday is upon us and many churches across the country are participating in the simulcast of Secret Church. Looking forward to this intense 6 hour Bible teaching of how the cross plays into our everyday life. I did this last year--it was on Heaven and Hell. Great teaching from author and pastor David Platt.             

Side note:Yesterday was the end of Lent=peanut butter is back! While I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would, I'm looking forward to being able to get a spoonful of the creamy/crunchy stuff! Just in time for a Reese's egg!
What is everyone doing for Easter this year? I was remembering a couple of things that have since changed since childhood about Easter:

1) My mawmaw made us an Easter cake each year---chocolate with marshmallow bunnies on it, jelly beans, and dyed green coconut (yuck)
2) The Easter dress you had to have for church.
3) Easter baskets from Mom and Dad
4) Easter Egg Hunts--I guess it's the same with trick or treating--once you outgrow that, it is no longer acceptable...shame!
5) Easter Bunny photos at the mall
I'm in a sugar daze apparently while my sister gives her sneaky grin before devouring the jelly beans; my grandparents had this adorable fluffy dog named Sheba roaming behind me in the bottom left; I was my own Easter basket at 8 mo.old --my parents said I loved playing in a clothes basket--looks like prison to me, ha, that bunny looks evil; and then me and my friend Melanie at the preschool egg hunt. Good times! What are some of your favorite memories?

The best part about this holiday is not in the candy, bright colors, Easter brunch, and egg hunts--it's about focusing on the price Jesus paid for our sins. I love Charlie Hall's song, "Mystery." It says:
"Christ has died and Christ has risen and Christ will come again!"
That really sums up what we as Christians believe. We know we are sinners born into this world, in need of a Savior. Jesus--who was without sin, paid the ultimate price--an unthinkable and terrible death on Calvary--for who? For us. Every. Single. Person. He rose again--giving the whole world HOPE! And this is the reason we are here--to give the lost HOPE and show His LOVE, for He is returning for His children and we need to live with an urgency now more than ever.
"Celebrate His Death & Rising! Lift Your Eyes, Proclaim His Coming!"
May He ready our hearts to be worshipful and ready to hear the message He has for us,
the message of the Cross.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God." Eph. 2:8

Happy Easter y'all!

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