Monday, December 31, 2012

Out with the Old, In with the New

This year has been a year of change for me, for the good I should say. I can't wait to see how 2013 unfolds. I really feel like some great things are going to happen

This past year I...
Left a job to start a new one, which I cried for weeks about. I still miss my TFA family.
Started working as a Behavior Assistant for a therapy company with the best mentor ever, and and excellent teacher in her field.
Graduated graduate school with my Masters in Education.
Moved from Downtown Orlando to Lake Nona (Love)
Had to deal with my evil anxiety coming back full force, but I am on the mend.
Saw my first Broadway show- Wicked!
Stayed in the most fabulous hotel in New York City, The Plaza. It was dreamy, classy and the best ever!
Traveled to Williamsburg, VA for a colonial times Thanksgiving.
And most importantly I realized people are not who you think they are, so choose your friends wisely.

So it's Out with the Old and in with the New~


Mallory :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Party Weekend

This past weekend I was busy busy busy with Christmas parties! Friday night I had my work party at Dixie Belle Café where we shared fun, fellowship and southern food! Of course we had an ornament exchange that was a lot of fun also.
Saturday night my friends Hayley and Kent had her annual festivities at their house. It’s always a fun time there! We too, had an ornament exchange and played some silly games J
Sunday was filled with getting things ready for my annual Christmas Cookie Swap. I love having my friends and family over to trade Christmas desserts. I made a treat from Martha Stewart living- “Coconut Christmas Trees”. Which are just like a macaroon, but shaped like trees and dusted with powdered sugar to resemble a snowfall.
There is also a little bit of a competition! This year, Hayley and Michelle went home with the prizes for their awesome goodies! Hayley made everyone’s favorite peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. Michelle won for her creative Christmas tree cupcakes!
We also had so many other great desserts that we ate up and took home! I am so glad I was able to do the swap again this year, it is always a nice time.

What kind of cookies do you like to make for the Christmas season? I would love to know! Comment below!


Friday, December 14, 2012

The End of a Long Journey

Well, here I am writing this post on the Friday that I OFFICIALLY GRADUATE with my masters degree! I have been waiting for years for this day and it is here! Yay, yay and yay!
It sure has been a tough road, lots of ups and downs. Tears of finals and writing papers, ughhh the thought of it makes me want to crawl in a hole! But I did it! It's over!

Now I have time to spend writing in my blog, which I love to do! I wish I could just write for a living, and create awesome blog posts...that would be fun :)
Have a great weekend friends...I'm spending mine celebrating the end of a journey, the beginning of a new one, and will be busy with three Christmas parties!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Philippians 4:6-7

     I was watching Married with Jonas a few days ago, and watched Dani, Kevin’s wife struggle with her anxiety issues. This hits so close to home for me. Anxiety disorders can be so terrible and very debilitating. I have always had this disorder, and most times you cannot tell. But, when I am having an attack, it’s very noticeable to some, but I have gotten used to covering it up in front of people other than family.
Even though this is not a physical sickness, physical pain is very evident when you have anxiety. Fear, phobia’s of things out of your control, upset stomach, nauseated stomach sometimes 24/7, body aches, night sweats, racing heartbeat, shortness of breath and the list goes on. These symptoms are evident almost daily in one form or another, and you never know when they are going to take over. And it’s a terrible feeling. You cannot make them stop, no matter how hard you try.

I am not sure when all this started with me, but I can remember as a child when it would rain in the car, I would start screaming. My mom would have to pull over and wait for the storm to pass. I just remember thinking “what if” – “what if” she cannot see? The car will wreck, what if, what if? The fear took over.
I was young at this point but my family never thought any thing of it, just maybe that I had some quirkiness. But, that was not what it was…it was anxiety the whole time.

It wasn’t until I was around 16 when I had to be put on medication for my acid reflux, and other odd feelings I had in my stomach. The DR told me just take gasX and you’ll be fine. I was not fine- I was miserable. The medicine never worked that they gave me. A year later, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder at the age of 17.
Life went on and I was able to cope, I lost around 50 lbs from not eating. Because I just couldn’t stomach anything. I went off my medication a few years later and I felt much better. I still had some anxiety, but nothing that I couldn’t control on my own.

This past few months have been tough, as my anxiety has come back full force after 10 years of feeling half way normal. I am now back on medication and even though I am not thrilled to be back on it, it was necessary. After many exams and tests of possible cysts, and this and that with my physical health…I was diagnosed for the second time with Anxiety.
After getting back on my medicine in the past 2 months, I’ve had one crisis after another. A friend of mine suddenly died, I’ve lost other friends for personal reasons, one of my close friends son is fighting leukemia, I moved homes, etc etc. All these situations trigger my issues I have with anxiety.  I struggle daily with the physical symptoms that anxiety causes but only one thing truly helps me through each day. Scripture. Without scripture, I don’t know how I would keep going and going like I do. I will be going back to my church this Sunday and I know that will help. I am excited to get back there.

I will leave you with one of my favorites verses:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

LOVE the ones who treat you right, and PRAY for the ones who don't..

During my devotional time today I read a passage that spoke about forgiveness. It seemed to be written just for me at this time in my life. I have learned that It's finally time to let go...let go of the people in life who bring you down. I've learned that not everyone's heart is in the right place. I've learned that I must accept this to move forward. I've learned that some people are influenced through others in a negative way. I've learned that feelings are hard to let go of. I've learned that miserable and unhappy people only want to hurt you in the end. I've learned that I miss people more than they will know. 
As the saying goes- "Never regret what happened in the past, because at the time it was exactly what you wanted". I believe this is true. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean to forget, but you can overcome it, accept the situation given to you...and LOVE the ones who treat you right, and PRAY for the ones who don't...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Deja Vu'

It feels like deja vu'. One year ago this month I had boxes and a disarray of STUFF everywhere in my apartment. I was moving, and was so excited to move to a was bigger, had a yard, and everything else I missed about being in an actual house.
Today I sit here, and look around my house and I see boxes, and disarray. I am moving AGAIN! After being here a year, I have realized that this is not where I feel at home. Next month, I will be heading to NorthLake Park at Lake Nona to a townhouse. I am so excited to have this place, I love love love it so much! It all worked out perfectly. God definitely had a plan in mind, and I know this is right where I need to be. I have friends right next door, a brand new Menchie's is right around the corner- and Panera is building a drive through store right next to my neighborhood. What more do I need? :)
Of course our moving day is the day that the community will be having it's annual Fall Festival...hopefully I can get enough done to where I can go enjoy my new neighborhood!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Yacht & Beach Club Birthday Weekend

Last weekend my mom and I packed our bags and headed to Disney's Beach Club for a weekend stay for my birthday. You know us and our weekend stay-cations, we love it!! I had never stayed at this resort before and was suprised to find out that this is where were were going to be for 2 days.

Was it a coincidence that Hurricane Issac was on it's way to Florida when we ate lunch at Hurricane Hanna's? haha I think so!

Best pool on Disney property! It's like a miniature water park with a lazy river and there is even sand all over the bottom of the pools. So fun!

My mom thought she would be funny and wrap my presents in theme. So here was my Disney Princess gift bag! I am a princess, so it fit ;)

My aunt and Troy came over for the day and swam with us. They also took me to dinner Saturday night for my birthday to Todd English's BlueZoo in Walt Disney's Swan and Dolphin Hotel. I had glazed seabass with shitake rice. It was fabulous! I definitely recommend this restaurant if you like seafood fine dining style. They even brought me a special dessert!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New York City's Piece of Heaven

As I sit here and write this post, all I can think about is how wonderful this place was. I wish I could go back again and again because it is that great. The Plaza Hotel in New York City is beautiful, and you feel like a million dollars while you are there, especially when you find out your bathroom has real gold fixures. It's ultimate perfection :)

My aunt and I took an EARLY flight into JFK in late July for a girls weekend in NYC. We arrived in the city at 8am and we were picked up by our driver who brought us to the hotel. We were greeted by the hotel staff right when we got out of the car and off we went.
After checking in, our butler (yes, I said butler) walked us to our room and went over how everything worked, including our in room ipads that controlled the lights and temperature. We knew right then that this place was a little piece of heaven. We quickly unpacked our luggage and started enjoying our room...the bathroom was gorgeous and the bathtub was ahhh, just lovely!

Since we had been awake since 2am to get to the airport, we needed a nap! I found these fancy slippers in our room beside our bed. We put them on and took a little snooze before it was time to get all pretty for afternoon tea at The Palm Court.

Here we are at tea- I had the Eloise Tea, which was an array of pastries, strawberry and cream sandwiches and apple spice tea :) It was lovely of course too!

After tea, we headed down to the Eloise shop and wanted to see everything Eloise! I don't know if you know the movie Eloise at The Plaza, but this is where she lives, and it's super cute!

                                                         In the lobby of The Plaza

The next day we had lunch at Serendipity. If you have seen the movie, you know exactly what I am talking about- it's an NYC landmark restaurant- and we even sat at the table where they filmed the movie...because my aunt is awesome and we got the best seat in the house :) Here I am drinking their famous Frooozen Hot Chocolate

                             A little snack before dinner at TAO and Wicked on Broadway!

Wicked was my first broadway show and it was so great! I just kept thinking the whole time I was watching the show, how those actors must feel up on that stage. They are ON Broadway!

There were so many great pictures of our trip, but I didn't want to write a book, so I kept it simple. Our weekend was so fun and I can't wait until our next adventure....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fondue Fun

This past Saturday, my mom and I went to the Melting Pot for dinner just for fun. No special occasion, we just wanted fondue! I love love love this place, it's so good! And I found out that they have "happy hour" Monday-Thursday from 5-6pm :) You get a choice of cheese fondue, salad and your choice of chocolate fondue all for just $20/person. Great deal that I will have to go back for soon-

The last time I ate at the Melting Pot was in Hoboken during Christmas, so I was excited to be back! We started off with the Fiesta Cheese Fondue- served with apples, breads and an assortment of veggies. YUM

For our entree we had an assortment of meats and shrimp, along with veggies and my favorite stuffed mushrooms! (of course you have to be creative and makes these yourself)


The Flaming Turtle for dessert- a mix of chocolate, caramel and nuts. 

This is the best part of the night... Happy Dipping!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nashville Summer

Last week I got back from Nashville, TN visiting my Dad, Melissa, Michael and Cathryn. It's always nice when summer arrives because I know that's my time to head to Music City to see my family. My dad lives in a town called Smyrna, it is right outside of Nashville- a very quiet town with not much to do! Each day that I was there I ventured off by myself to find where people shop around that town! You have to drive a bit to get anywhere, I spent a lot of time in Murfreesboro since they have some shops I like and it doesn't take too long to get there.
My friend Amy came down from Louisville to stay with me for a night, and we went to dinner and then  woke up early the next morning for a shopping day at Opry Mills, which is right next to the Grand Ole Opry. I would love to see a show there one day! I found some great things in Nashville and people are so kind there. Unlike Orlando where most people are rude and inconsiderate. Nashville is like a whole other world of people!

My time there with family is always short, we spent time going to the pool (it was over 100 degrees the whole time I was there), out to lunch, and just spending time together at home. My brother and sister are obsessed with video games, so I wasn't able to entertain them with things I think are fun :) I guess I have to save those things for my nannying days. My sister grows so much every year that I see her, this summer I really noticed how old she was getting, she is six now and not so little anymore! My brother Michael is just TALL and it's scary- he's about 6'2 and is only 12 years old. But I see so much of myself in Michael, our personalities are a lot alike, especially when I was his age.

I would love for them to come to Orlando so I could show them around this fun city!
Taking them to all the theme parks would be so fun for us! Love those kiddos-

Monday, July 16, 2012

Port Orleans- Riverside

 A few weekends ago, my mom and I ventured off to Disney's Port Orleans Resort for a weekend stay-cation. I love staying at nice resort hotels for a few nights and taking advantage of the dining, shopping and of course the pool! Port Orleans is such a quaint and pretty resort, little cottages and manors sit along the riverside to represent the state of Louisiana and more specifically, New Orleans.

Our room was in Magnolia Terrace, with a beautiful garden view. Each cottage is different in style and this one was very traditional, with pillars and pretty decor inside the rooms.


The Riverside of Port Orleans. You cross the bridge to get to the shops, restaurants and pool. You can take a boat to Downtown Disney, Saratoga's Tree House's (I will stay here one day!) and Port Orleans sister resort, The French Quarter- which is down the river.

Here on the bayou, you can rent boats and have a nice Louisiana inspired dinner at BoatWright's Dining Hall. My mom and I had dinner here of course, Jambalaya- veggie style! They also have some very yummy cornbread and french onion soup!


And the most important part of our days was the pool! We stayed here most of the day and enjoyed swimming and tanning. This pool is one of my favorites :) I can't wait until our next stay-cation. Have you ever had a stay-cation? What is your favorite place to stay? Comment below and let me know your ideas!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rainy Day Shopping

     There is something about the rain that brings people out and about. This past weekend it rained, rained, and rained some more. It is actually STILL raining as I blog thanks to Tropical Storm Debby, and I am ready to see the sun! Welcome to summer in Florida.
Silly me decided I would venture out of the house and to the Orlando Premium Outlet mall yesterday along with every tourist that is visiting this city. Off I went with my umbrella and freshly straightened hair-

     Once I got there, it was raining even harder and I began to think I was insane for actually coming out here. I had a reason though, and needed to find some things for my upcoming trips. I love the Ralph Lauren Factory Store and was excited to find exactly what I was looking for after stomping through major puddles and rainy wind to get there. I was on a hunt for the classic polo dress in navy blue or black. I love these dresses and think they have such a classic look that does not go out of style. I guess that's why they call them the Classic Polo :) There were so many other things I would have grabbed but all of my money would have been gone if I would have stayed! So I opted for two dresses, one in navy and the other in a sunny yellow, and a striped T.

     On the way to my car, I also picked up a steal from Lacoste and Ann Taylor Loft. With these stores it's hit or miss, luckily I was able to get some great clothes at great prices on this yucky day!
Let's just say when I got back to my car, my hair was surely not straight and I looked like I had been walking in a hurricane- but it was sure worth it!

How often do you shop at outlets? Do you find great deals, too?
I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Get Healthy!

     I am sure if you are reading this post, you are aware that someone in my circle of friends is doing the Body by Vi Challenge. If you haven't heard of this challenge before- let me tell you a little bit about what I am doing.
     First off, let's get this straight- I. AM. NOT. A. DIETER. It's that simple. I have never really dieted before on a strict "diet plan". So, when a friend of mine talked to me about Body by Vi, I was pretty skeptical. The plan says to drink these "shakes" everyday as a meal replacement for breakfast and lunch, or you can just replace one meal. You can also eat a regular dinner (healthy balanced meal) and have fruit and healthy snacks during the day.
This silly thing doesn't work. So I thought...
    After going to my friends challenge party, I still wasn't sure. But overnight I decided I would give this whole thing a try. I ordered my "Shape Kit" which is a 30 day supply of the shake mix, and I decided to replace lunch with this shake. I have been on this since Monday June 18th and have lost  4lbs as of this morning. The plan is not difficult at all, and your body gets used to the routine of the shakes. Let me also tell you that this is not a diet shake, it's simply a nutritional shake that even children can drink. You can mix all kinds of fruit in it and get lots of recipe's online for the program.
Here is a little glimpse of what I have on a daily basis:

Breakfast- Whole wheat english muffin with egg & coffee

Lunch- Vi-Shake. I make them thick, more like a smoothie texture.
I have made the following with the shake mix:
*Orange juice/ice (Tastes like creamsicle!)
*Strawberry/mango/banana/ice/organic lowfat milk
*Sweet cherries/dark chocolate almond milk/ice

Dinner- I have a protein, vegetable and carb. And make sure my portions are correct of course :)
Snacks- Fruit, lowfat string cheese, yogurt, pretzels

I'm excited to keep going on this plan and to see what kind of results I have. I actually enjoy this challenge because it does require you to make healthy choices. So with the balance of Body by Vi, organic eating, smart restaurant changes, and my new treadmill- I will be back to my gymnast shape in no time! hehe

If you want to try out this challenge with me, write a comment below or check out my link below and I will be glad to help you out on your journey- We are all in this together!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Getting Crafty

     I love decorating with apothecary jars or any sort of glass jar. They are especially fun to decorate with during seasonal times. Since the 4th is on it's way, I thought I better start the decorating process! I found this great idea on Pinterest and wanted to try it out!

     I found a jar at HomeGoods that was perfect for the look I was going for. This store is great for decorating your home with inexpensive items, I can always find great deals here.

                I put about 1 cup of white and red beans in the layers of stripes to make a "flag" look.

                    You then top it off with black beans that look navy blue to finish off the flag.

                Love it! I have this sitting on my kitchen bar. Such a pretty 4th of July decorating idea :)
                What do you do to decorate for the 4th of July?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jambo! Summer is Here!

     It's been a while since I have posted. Things around here have been a little nuts lately with the end of the school year and my mounds of homework assignments. The last thing I had time for was blogging! Now that things have winded down (Thank you Jesus),  I am back!

     I cannot express how much I am glad summer has arrived. I love love love summer because I get two months off of work- even though I take on nanny jobs, which is easy peasy. I also travel during the summer and LOVE it! This summer I will be going to Nashville for the 4th of July to see my dad, his wife, and my siblings. It's so nice to go up there, it's a whole other lifestyle and it's such a calming environment when you are out in the countryside.
In late July, I'll be taking a weekend trip to NYC- If you know me, you know how much I am in love with that city! If I could afford to live there, I would go in a heartbeat. My aunt and I are going to have such a great time shopping and dining! I can't wait!

     I kicked off this summer with a "stay-cation" at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. My friend Tiffaney, her two kids and Jennifer came along too. We had so much fun waking up to zebras and giraffes saying good morning off of our room balcony. I think that hotel is one of my favorites, especially when you have kids! I am planning an October stay-cation at The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Lodge- that's the best place to stay during Halloween :) So much fun!

                     Jambo! Our room was ready for us with a Mickey shaped towel on one of the beds :)

                                                The lobby of this hotel is so pretty!


Best part of stay-cations is breakfast delivered! Love dining in my pajamas

     Good morning from our balcony! The kids thought it was so cool to wake up to animals grazing in the grass every morning. Griff would wake up at 6am and want to go out on the balcony- we set a rule that we couldn't open the curtains and see our animal friends until 7:30!

                                All smiles with Sydney! I think this is my favorite picture from our trip

Day #2: We hit the pool and the water slide early! Storms were rolling in early afternoon so we got some sun in beforehand- Here is Griff sliding into the pool- He probably went down that slide 100 times in an hour.

What do you do when the pool closes because of Florida afternoon storms?? Get your face painted like an African Princess! This nice lady at The Mara painted Sydney's face and told her the story of women in Africa who get their face painted just like hers on their wedding day! 

On our last night, Tiffaney, her mom and I went to Jiko- Flavors of Africa for dinner. It was quite the experience! We were VERY adventurous with our cuisine and tried some great foods. Here are our appetizers: Apple Curry, Mushroom Filo with Spinach and Chicken Flatbread. Not to mention I had the best tasting African wine too!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pool Days

This past weekend a friend of mine and I got together to have some fun in the sun. We had such a great time! The kids had a blast swimming and we relaxed in the spa and ate some yummy food that Tiffaney cooked on the grill- chicken, steaks and all!  

I always love Friday nights when you get together with friends after a long week! I could have stayed in this pool all night :)

Miss. Sydney getting ready to jump in!