Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goals for 2014 + Exciting News!

Raise your hand if you can believe today is the last day of 2013...well my hand is not raised! As I sit here writing this last post for the year, I am in awe at how quickly time flies when you get "old". I wish there was a way to wave a magic wand and turn 1 minute into an hour so I could celebrate more memories. 

As I look back on this year, there are no words to describe how blessed I was. 2013 brought about my student teaching semester in my dream grade (5th), I graduated from college, landed my dream job as a Traveling Leadership Consultant for my sorority, and have now completed my first 5 months of traveling the country. In 2013 I also took a chance of starting a blog after reading others blogs for months. Even though I'm still getting into the swing of "blogging world", I am so excited for what 2014 holds for both my personal life and for Southern Abundance. 

I've never been much of a "new year's resolution" setter as I'm more of a month by month goal person. So to start New Year's Eve off right, I wanted to share my top 5 personal goals and my top 5 blogging goals for January. Then at the end of the month we can all take a look back at them and see how I did! Without further ado, here are my January 2014 goals:

Now that you know my top goals for the coming month I'm excited to make the following announcement...

Starting tomorrow I will be hosting my first giveaway! YAY!!! That's all I will tell you write now but be sure to check back tomorrow for all the details!

What are your goals for 2014?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Rewind Part 2 + A Birthday Celebration

Good Morning Sweet Friends!
Have I said lately how thankful I am for each of you? Well, in case you didn't know I am VERY thankful for each of you who read this blog on a daily basis. It's because of you all that I'm challenging myself to make Southern Abundance blog bigger and better in 2014...but more about that tomorrow. Today we have a little rewinding to do!

If you missed my Christmas Rewind Part 1 from yesterday, you can hop on over here and catch up! Now on to Part 2:

I always spend a few days after Christmas with Josh and his family as his birthday is December 26th. This year we spent his actual birthday touring downtown Fayetteville and window shopping in little antique stores. Historic downtown was still decorated for the holidays and it was just nice to walk hand in hand with one another down the sidewalks. 

After a day spent walking and shopping, we went out to eat with his family for a wonderful birthday dinner. Before dinner I decided to dig up some old pictures of him so you all could see what a cute little boy he sure was! 

On Friday I finally gave in to four years of being asked to go hunting and decided to sit with Josh for a few hours in his families tree stand in the woods. Luckily we saw no deer because I think I would have cried if he actually shot one but it was a beautiful day to watch the sunset over the vast country fields!

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday :-) Make sure to check back tomorrow as I make a big announcement!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Rewind Part 1

Wow...is it really December 29th?
Where did Christmas go? Better yet where did the past week go?

Christmas morning my family and I woke up to a beautiful Christmas tree and our puppy Ben guarding all the gifts! Alarm clocks go off at 5:30am and we are all in the living room by 6:30am to follow our very specific order: 1) we always sing "Happy Birthday Baby Jesus" to remind us of the true reason for the day 2) empty our stockings 3) open gifts. Once all gifts are exchanged and opened, we load up in the car and hit the road by 7:30am to make our 2 hour drive south to Grandma's house. 

Upon arriving at Grandma's house we are surrounded by the love of 6 Aunts+6 Uncles+1 Cousin Dog+15 cousins+1 amazing Grammy! We spend the morning eating woofing down ham biscuits, cranberry sausage balls, and sweet tea. I'm lucky enough in the fact that my sweet Joshua only lives 3 miles from my Grandma so he drives down to also spend the morning with us. We file cram into the living room and pass out all the gifts and envelopes to be opened before spending more family time taking pictures together. My cousin Erin came down from New York this year and it was the first time I've seen her in 6 years, so you know my little heart was full of excitement! 

After the morning at Grandma C's, my parents, sister and Josh went to visit my Grandma B at the nursing home. Grandma B has had Alzheimer's for a little over 12 years now and does not remember who we are but she still brings a smile to my face, a glow to my heart, and tears of happiness to my face. We go into her room greeting her with hugs and are immediately told how pretty we are. Of course we brought her some new clothes and socks because every Grandma deserves to be rocking the latest styles! She sings us "Amazing Grace" and invites us all over to dinner at her house tonight where "her mama and daddy are cooking collards and potatoes". It's the same type of visit we have had for the past few years but it is one where I am thankful to hear her say "I love you" by the time we leave and grateful for another holiday spent in her presence. 

My final stop for the day was to Josh's grandparents house to celebrate his family's Christmas. I always enjoy the wonderful finger foods, his grandfather reading the story of Jesus' birth from the bible, and the exchange of old pictures and gift cards. I am so thankful that his family has taken me in like one of there own and love seeing them all. Josh and I had to take our annual tree picture once back at his house to celebrate our 5th Christmas together...y'all I can't believe it's been that many! I am truly one lucky girl :-)

I look forward to sharing part 2 of my Christmas rewind with you all tomorrow!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Follow Southern Abundance on Social Media!

I'm excited to announce that Southern Abundance is now linked on Twitter, Instagram, and of course the ever so wonderful Pinterest (Facebook page will be soon to come)! Follow along with us to get more daily updates and see sneak peaks before they are on the blog. Southern Abundance is excited to get back to our normal posting tomorrow with the Christmas break behind us but until then, follow along on social media. See you tomorrow pretties!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend that has rolled right into the start of what is sure to be an exciting week filled with lots of special moments with family and friends! Before logging off of blogger world this week, I just wanted to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas! While I love working on blog post, I've decided to take this week off to spend with family since I'll be hitting the road late next week and won't be home again till May. I promise though that 2014 is going to be a big year for Southern Abundance blog...so stay tuned as I want all of YOU to be involved!

Before I say good bye to y'all for the week, I thought I would share a few pictures from the Christmas Party I attended on Friday night! Enjoy sweet friends and always remember the REAL reason for this season!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Happy Sunday friends! If you live on the east coast I hope you've been able to stay dry through this "rain train" that is sweeping over our states. And no, I'm not clever enough to dub it "rain train", just heard the weather man call it that :-) Any who, if you read my link-up on Friday, you saw that I had a Christmas party to attend Friday night and had yet to make my dip. Well, today I'm here to share with you my recipe for this quick (less than 25 minutes) buffalo chicken dip that I ended up taking! 


24 oz. of chicken (You can use fresh or canned chicken. Normally I use fresh but since I was in a rush on Friday I used my dear friends over at Tyson and trusted their canned white chicken.)

16 oz. of cream cheese

3/4 cup of hot sauce

1 cup of ranch dressing

2 cups of mild cheddar cheese 

[RECIPE MAKES: around 20 servings]


1) Drain 24 oz. of chicken from cans and cut/shred into small pieces. (Don't worry if you still have some pretty big pieces as they will cook down just a little bit in the pan.) Place the chicken in a medium sized sauce pan.

2) Add 3/4 cup of hot sauce into the pan with the chicken. Turn your stove on medium heat and stir until heated throughout.

3) Add 16 oz. of cream cheese into the pan and stir until completely melted. (Hint: cut your cream cheese into small chunks like I've done here to help it melt quicker!)

4) Add in 1 cup of ranch dressing and stir until blended throughout. 

5) Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese and stir continually until the cheese is completely melted. 

6) Place your buffalo chicken dip in the crock pot placed on low heat to keep warm till served.

7) Serve with chips, bread, or your favorite dipping item! Enjoy :-)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Five on Friday

Happy Friday Beauties!
Can you all believe this is the last Friday before Christmas? I hope I'm not the only one who  thinks this year has flown by! Today I'm linking up again with my favorite ladies April, Darci, Natasha, and Christina for my favorite post each week...Five on Friday!

Yesterday Josh and I decided to take a little day trip to Charlotte to do a little shopping and grab lunch in one of our favorite cities. I remembered on our way down there that the new Tupelo Honey opened a few weeks ago right off of South Blvd. and let me just tell you Charlotte bloggers: if you have not already gone you MUST! I have always wanted to go to the Tupelo Honey in Asheville but never have, so this was a treat for both Josh and I. 

Their sweet tea is thebomb.com

Every meal comes with a salt and pepper biscuit that literally melts in your mouth

Also with the biscuit comes fresh honey and jam...Josh and I ended up buying some of both to take home and place in our parents stocking stuffers. 

While I love the main dish, I'm the type of girl that loves good side dishes. Luckily Tupelo Honey is a place where you can make a meal plate out of 3 side dishes. I swooned over mac-n-cheese, mashed sweet potatoes, and "southern popcorn" aka okra!

Today is the 2nd Annual Christmas party for a group of college-aged adults that I have had the honor of working with at mission camp the past three summers. We all gather at a  local eatery that is central to us all decked out in our tackiest Christmas sweaters and eat! We then head back to our hide out for the night to play a mean game of White Elephant filled with homemade snacks and Christmas Card writing to the families we have been able to serve the past 3 summers. Speaking of food I still have not made my dip yet...best get on that! Here are some pictures from last year's party: 

Josh and I had date night on Wednesday and searched all over Winston to find a ginger bread house...well really we only looked at one Target...but were still sad we didn't find one. Josh had the idea instead to bake Christmas cupcakes and those could be his treat to bring to the party tonight. Let me tell y'all, he did not let me touch any of his ingredients or help him mix. He truly did it on his own and I think they turned out pretty good!

I have a new little cousin y'all! Since being on the road with my job starting in July, my family added a new little bundle of joy to the family name and I got to meet him for the first time this past week! He's almost four months old now but I'm excited to experience Baby A's first Christmas with him next week! 

With this being the last link-up before next week, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Favorite Makeup of 2013

2013 has been a year of makeup experimenting for me. I was never one to wear much makeup in high school or even in college. My face was very prone to acne breakouts and I always believed that the more makeup I put on my face the worse it would potentially break out. However, I made a promise to myself when I started student teaching back in January that no matter what, I would put myself together every morning even if my foundation was very light. Because of this new daily routine, I have fallen in love with makeup. I know there are many products out there and we all have different skin types but I personally always find it helpful to hear what worked best for others before trying something out on my own! So here we go with my favorite makeups (and other products) that I have discovered this year! (Please note that I have oily-dry combination skin and heavy scarring on my jawline from acne.)

1- Make Up For Ever/High Definition Foundation ($42): I have always had a hard time finding a foundation that doesn't look orange on my skin. I found this foundation on Pinterest one day and figured I might as well give it a try and to my surprise I fell in love. It is a heavy coverage but one that feels so light. It also stays on all day and doesn't sweat off. 

2- bareMinerals/Mineral Veil Finishing Powder ($20): Trying finishing powder for the first time had me a little nervous but I love the way this places a smooth finish on my face. It also helps to absorb any oil.

3- NYX/Pore Filler ($13): This product is like magic. You know those pesky pores right on your upper cheeks that always seem to poke through your foundation? This product by NYX literally fills them right up. I love the super light feel that it provides and how it evens out your skin. It also looks great just wearing it as a base by itself. 

4- Neutrogena/Deep Moisture Night Cream ($11.99): While my skin is oily during the spring/summer months, it becomes very dry during the winter months. I am so thankful that a dear friend led me on to this deep moisture cream that literally has changed my dry skin to normal in just 6 nights. 

5- L'Oreal/Magic Lumi Concealer ($10.99): This is the best under eye concealer I've been able to find. It is great to wear on top of your foundation and then place finishing powder on top of it. Using this concealer almost completely hides my under eye circles!

6- Maybelline/Volum' Express Mega Plush Mascara ($5.99): What girls doesn't love beautiful lashes? Place two coats of this mascara on and your eyes will be looking beautiful all day. 

7- Jane Iredale/Zap&Hide Blemish Concealer ($26.00): By far my favorite product I've found this year and I had to travel all the way to Texas to find it...now I'm hooked. At one end you have a gel that zaps blemishes and makes them smaller. It also doubles as a gel base for the concealer. The other end provides you concealer that is so strong it completely covers up my acne scars. Yes you read that right, it covers my purple acne scars. I never thought I would find something that would, so as soon as I found this in Texas I grabbed three of them. Luckily I was excited to find I could purchase it on the web.

So beauties, what have been your favorite makeup products in 2013?