Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Top 5 Tuesday {Youtube Videos}

Hey y'all,

I know it is exam week for many people and for the rest of us the holidays are always a crazy time. I know I am still getting all of my gifts together and I have four holiday parties between Friday and Tuesday and three of them have gift exchanges so it's a bit of a crazy time for me. Therefore, today I thought I would share five short youtube videos I have found recently that I would like to share.

1.Emily's Hair. You might need the tissues for this one.

2.For those of y'all stressed out: The Grinch Does Yoga

3. For the Taylor Swift fans and in honor of the VS Fashion Show on tonight. 

4. Since we all know that I love Frozen (really any Disney movie) and country music I had to share this rendition of Let it Go.

5. Finally for you musical fans, I'm so excited to check out this movie next year!

What have you been watching on the land of Youtube?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Sayings

Hey y'all,

We have all survived the first holiday of the season. I think during this season of Christmas and New Years we can often get sidetracked with "keeping up with the Jones'" syndrom. Here is a bit of a reminder for this week:
It sometimes can be tough to not compare yourself to others in this world of social media and constant exposure. However, we are all individuals and need to recognize our differences. Things like it is a-okay to think that spending over $200 on a pair of shoes is insane,we all are in different places budget wise, and what we value. In this time as we prepare for the holidays remember the things that make us all unique and special.

Remember, YOU ARE AMAZING! Just for being you. So remember your manners and everyone is struggling in life so put on your smile and go brighten someone's day.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Trouble in Tinseltown & The Viscount's Christmas Temptation {Book Club Friday}

Hey y'all,

Remember me. Sorry about the hiatus again. I spent Thanksgiving with my parents and sisters in my hometown so I was able to get away from last Wednesday through Monday and I am now just finally feeling caught up on everything work related (we will not talk about the amount of laundry I still need to fold and put away). While home I was able to get a lot of reading done between catching up on the Pioneer Woman (I miss Food Network since I don't have cable), going to the movies, and doing a bit of online Black Friday shopping when our internet was actually working (#firstworldproblems).

So to easy back into the blogging world I thought I would share another Book Club Friday post. Today I am talking about two books to make up for my long absence.Up first, Trouble in Tinseltown, the first part of the Summer Flings series by Aimee Duffy. 
Armed with a degree from Oxford that she doesn’t have a clue what to do with, Ciara Bree convinces her two best friends, Elle and Gem to spend their first summer of freedom backpacking across the globe. Now it’s time to shop, sunbathe, think about boys for a change, and party hard…
First stop: LA!
The girls hit Tinseltown for a few days of shopping, star spotting, and even a movie premiere!
But their plan to sneak into an exclusive celeb party in West Hollywood backfires. Elle’s gorgeous older cousin, Zack, is called to the rescue and despite knowing she should stay away, Ciara just can’t seem to resist him.
The ideal summer treat for those relaxing days soaking up the sun!

My opinion:
I really wish this book series was written as one whole book and not 7 small ebooks that are all about 40 pages long. I think one, 300page book, would be better but I know it is all a marketing strategy. I just hate that we are just getting to know the girls a bit and the story is over. It was a really short read and I want to know more but with other books out there I don't know how much I would reach for this fragmented story.

Then, I also received from Netgalley, The Viscount's Christmas Temptation by Erica Ridley starts the Dukes of War series.
Certain individuals might consider Lady Amelia Pembroke a managing sort of female, but truly, most people would be lost without her help. Why, the latest on-dit is that rakish Viscount Sheffield is canceling the fĂȘte of the year because he hasn't time for silly soirees. He doesn't need time—he needs her!
When a flash of lightning destroys the venue for his family's annual Christmas ball, Lord Benedict Sheffield intends to enjoy a relaxing holiday for once. But after twelve days of beguiling Lady Amelia's guerrilla tactics, he's up to his cravat with tinsel . . . and tumbling head over heels in love.
My Opinion:
I liked the start of the novella, however, I thought the courtship was really fast and after starting to arrange a ball, two people are now madly in love. I have the first novel of this series, The Earl's Defiant Wallflower, and I'm excited to continue the story but as usual with most short stories I don't feel very connected to the characters so I don't tend to love their stories.

What have you been reading lately?
Thank you to Netgalley for providing these books for review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Ten {Movie Trailers}

Hey y'all,

One of my favorite things to do with my family over the holidays and anytime we get together is to go to the movies. One of my favorite things about the theater is watching all the trailers and planning our next movie night. I recently went through a trailer watching spree on Hulu and I thought I would share ten films I am excited to see.

one. Insurgent.

two. Inside Out

three. The Theory of Everything.

four. Pitch Perfect 2

five. Mr. Pip

six. Minions

seven. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

eight. The Age of Adaline

nine.Into the Woods

ten. Cinderella


What movies are you excited about? 
Do you have any holiday movies you have to watch with your family?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thankful Tables {Thanksgiving Decor}

Hey y'all,

It has been a Monday over here. I am glad that we are back to warmer weather, but this morning, spilling breakfast before running out the door was not what I was expecting today to kick off this three day work week.

Today, I thought I would share some adorable Thanksgiving decor. I was raised by people who do not allow Christmas decor out until after seeing Santa in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade so we have always had the table and house decorated for fall and Thanksgiving. My late grandmother also made us a pilgrim couple and turkey that sit on the mantel in November.

I've found a few items from Pier 1 and World Market I thought I would share. Some of them are even on sale since we are so close to Turkey Day!

thankful table

Do you have Thanksgiving specific decor? 
Do you ever decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving?
Any special plans this Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Captive {Book Club Friday}

Hey y'all,

So I recently was given an eARC from Netgalley for the next book in the Blackcoat Rebellion series by Aimee Carter. If you remember last year around this time I read Pawn and became obsessed and sad that I would have to wait another year to read the following book. Now it is time to review Captive for Book Club Friday!

Now to refresh your memory, Pawn began with meeting Kitty Doe after she had taken the test to determine her classification in the country. She received a III due to her reading disability while Benji, her best-friend/boyfriend received a VI the highest one can score. Kitty is offered the chance to become a VII but only by being Masked (surgically transformed) into Lila Hart, the prime minster's niece who was recently killed but as Lila she will be Daxton's pawn in order to stop the rebellion Lila was stirring, or will she?

Enter Captive:
For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

My Opinion:
The first chunk of the book happens all within 24 hours and it was a little hard to transition from the palace to Elsewhere. I felt that this book was not filled with as many plot twists which I loved in Pawn but I felt it developed more of the country and justified the Rebellion of the Blackcoats more. I was so surprised at the way Knox reacted to a lot of things in this book and I have a feeling that he is secretly harboring feelings for Kitty which I wrestle with because I like that this dystopian book doesn't have a love triangle, and loving Knox. I loved that we saw a bit more of Grayson as well as learning more about Kitty and the man masked as Daxton! I won't reveal more for spoiler purposes but if you loved Pawn, I think you will enjoy Captive. I thought it was a decent sequel but the first book is still my favorite in the series. This one is only worth 4 out of 5 stars. I can't wait for Queen to come out next fall!

 Now, if you want to go pick up Captive, the book will be out on TUESDAY! If you want to go ahead and pre-order the book I know Barnes & Noble and Amazon give you those options.

What are you currently reading?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

jDl's Favorite Things 2014 {Songs}

Hey y'all,

It's Wednesday and there are only 42 days left in 2014! So yet again I am going to share some of my favorite things from this past year. If you missed my favorite foods of 2014 or favorite small business shops check out those posts here. Today I thought I would share some of my favorite songs of 2014. I am one of those people who will get hooked on a song for months on end and I mainly listen to country radio and Top 40s radio so I know most of these songs were one that were popular on the radio.

You can listen to the whole playlist below:

What have been your favorite songs of this year? Any artists I have to check out?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ten Things on Tuesday

Hey y'all,

Since I have so much to share on Friday, bookwise I thought I would share a list of ten things this Tuesday. They are all kind of random but I think that is what makes it fun. 

one. Brittney started a blog! Brittney is one of my sorority sisters and she started a blog called The Storm Life. You should go check it out! I have also added her link to my daily blog reads which you can find here.

two. She Read's Truth's new plan on giving thanks. I loved the plan on hospitality earlier this month and after the first devotion I know this short 12 day devotion will be the perfect way to prepare for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season in the right frame of mind.

three. Cinderella is Saturday! It's time for my third show at the DPAC for this season. I am so excited for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. I watched the TV movie with Brandy back when I was little and I know most of the songs so it will be a fun afternoon outing.
four. Between Thursday and Thanksgiving I will be having 3 Thanksgiving meals. Yep, 3 in one week. I have a potluck at work, a dinner with PBX, and then my family's meal. Let's hope that I survive eating all the delicious food.

five. Froyo time with Sam. Sam-I-Am (aka one of my small group leaders) is one of those people who is so encouraging and gives amazing hugs so I'm happy we are going to indulge in froyo and let all the stress melt away on Wednesday. Yay for midweek pick me ups planned.

six. Mockingjay Pt. 1 comes out on Thursday! I am being responsible and not going to see it in theaters at midnight, or 8pm as I did with the first two films. Yep, I got an early showing to Catching Fire. I am actually trying to hold off and see it with my family over Thanksgiving break and if not my small group is meeting up and seeing it in two weeks.

seven. one of the local news stations made this music video about No Shave November to the tune of Frozen's Let it Go. I present, Let it Grow.

eight. Starbucks Holiday mugs. I do not drink coffee so whenever it is the holiday season and people gift me with Starbucks I search for really cute mugs. I have a few Starbucks holiday mugs and they have held up great. This year I am really liking this plaid one as well as the candy cane stripes demi cup and the oh, what fun mug.

nine. Eight more days until the whole family is back together! This is the first time since May that I will be seeing my older siblings so I am excited to spend Thanksgiving with them, eating and hanging out. #outofstateproblems

ten. Hide and Hug Olaf. I love my elf on the shelf but for those of you opposed to having an adorable elf (mine is named PolkaDot after her polka dot skirt) you have an alternative with this hide and hug Olaf. I am still an elf fan but this is a sweet alternative for kids to have and hug.
What are you excited about this week?
It's the last full week of classes here at UNC, the holidays are coming, and my roomie is cooking dinner tonight. Why would I not be in a great mood?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Motivation Monday {My First Ride @ Flywheel}

Hey y'all,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready to take on this last full week before the big Thanksgiving holiday next Thursday. Before we all get to the holiday devoted to food and thankfulness I thought I would share a bit on my experience with Flywheel. I was contacted about trying the studio in Raleigh since it opened up in Cameron Village recently with both Flywheel and FlyBarre classes. I have always loved going to spin classes since it is a great way to sweat while still having fun. Also, your rides is yours. No one has to know if you decide not to add resistance each time it is an option. You build your workout with suggestions from the instructor but if you want to take it a bit easy or are coming back to fitness, all levels are welcome! I have yet to try the FlyBarre classes yet but I am thinking about going in December as a way to relax and stretch during the stressful holiday season.
Now, to reserve a spot in the class you simply check out the calendar, click the class you want and reserve the bike you would like. I chose a bike in the center, since I like being able to connect with the instructor but I decided second row was my speed. Once I clicked bike #16 I reserved it for my Saturday class at 8:30am with Jenn. I decided on a 45 min ride but there are also 60min rides available along with lots of theme rides. While you reserve your bike you also choose if you want to be included in the Torq board. I decided not to but I was actually keeping pace with a good amount of riders during my class and looking back on the stats in my account I would have been in the top 10. This is a great feature that can really motivate you in the class to keep pushing.

When I got to the studio, I checked in, grabbed the shoes they provide and when to the locker area. I had always taken spin classes in sneakers so it was interesting to have a ride with actual spin shoes. These lock into your bike so you are nice and secure.
Once I was all set, I went into the studio and was assisted in setting up my bike. All spin bikes are different so it is important to have someone show you the proper way to adjust it to you. Flywheel also provides seat covers if you feel like you need a bit of extra cushion. Once I was all set, it was time for the class. Jenn was a great instructor and very motivating for an 8:30am class on a Saturday morning. There are some regulars in the class and Jenn was very motivating and great with greeting everyone. One of the riders next to me was a regular and Jenn challenged her to make it to the #1 spot that class during some of the speed work.

The class flew by quickly and I loved that they incorporated some arm exercises as well since spin is very focused on your bottom half. I am excited to go to add flywheel in with my other fitness activities when I want to mix things up and not hit my normal gym every time I want to sweat.

Also, since we all love sales, this Thursday, Flywheel Sports Raleigh will be offering 5, 10 and 20 class packages at 20% off! Just head over to their studio, at the Cameron Village open house event or call the studio!

And, if you want to gift someone with some fitness classes, Flywheel is also having some great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. On Black Friday, all retail items in the studio (excluding socks, bandanas, and water bottles) are 25% off. Then from 5pm Sunday Nov. 30-midnight December 1st all class packages are 15% off.

Have y'all ever tried Flywheel? Flybarre? 
What is your favorite way to work up a sweat?

All images were provided by Flywheel Sports. I was contacted and received complimentary Flywheel and Flybarre classes in exchange for writing a post on my experience at the Cameron Village Location. All opinions are of course, my own and I only accept and post items and experiences I truly value and believe my readers would enjoy.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Sayings

Hey y'all,

I am trying to enjoy this rainy Sunday afternoon and get ahead on some blog posts for this week so in the mean time I hope you enjoy this pin for Sunday Sayings. 
I hope y'all are finding the beauty in the small things today even if it is hot chocolate on a cold day, a nice buble bath, or spending time with family and friends! 

What do you celebrate on Sundays? Today, I celebrated my great-great-great-grandlittle becoming an official PBX sister!