Thursday, February 27, 2014

February in Pictures

Of all the social media in the world, Instagram will always be my favorite! There is something about seeing life through pictures that makes my heart just smile! I have always been that girl who literally takes a picture of everything and had scrapbook supplies from the time I was 10; scrapbooking turned into my crafting obsession which my dad thanked me for years down the road when my entire dorm room was filled of craft supplies! With the short month of February quickly coming to an end, I wanted to do a little review of the month in pictures! Come follow along with me on Instagram to capture a glimpse into my life daily :-)

February Statistics:
States visited: 3 (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida)
Schools worked at: 4 (Monmouth University, Edinboro University, University of North Florida, Stetson University)
Flights: 4
Car trips: 1
Total miles traveled: 1,481 miles 

3// Thankful for laughter with friends

4// Leaving my heart in New Jersey with the girls I've grown to love
5// Flying over nothing but snow filled land

7// Ice skating
9// Leaving my week stay at Edinboro University 

10// Experiencing the 75 degree Jacksonville weather
12// Getting excited because the Starbucks worker spelled my name right without asking

13// Experiencing homecoming week at the University of North Florida
14// Hanging out in my happy place by the lake

16// Being #DebStrong for one of my biggest role models as she finished her last chemo treatment
17// I finally bought a big girl camera! (And yes I took a selfie!)

20// Saying goodbye to the wonderful girls at the University of North Florida
21// Arriving at my last visit for February to homemade cookies and lots of goodies!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jacksonville Weekend

Do y'all ever have a weekend where you don't want it to end because you had so much fun? Well, that is how I felt about this past weekend. Let me start off by saying that over the past week I completely fell in love with the city of Jacksonville, Florida! Not sure what I had pictured in my head that it would be but after spending the past 7 days there, I would not mind if I called it home one day :-) So here is a little weekend review of what I got to experience.

Saturday morning we got up bright and early to head down to the river front and shop for local produce at the Riverside Arts Market. Until this experience I had never been much of a "farmers market" type of girl. I was always the one that wanted to stay in the car when my parents went to one back home but I can safely say after experiencing how fresh the food is and not to mention cheap, I will be doing more local shopping like this when I get home. The girls and I were able to pick up lots of fresh produce and test taste some yummy barrel olives! 

After our shopping was complete, we headed down to the river front to soak up some sun and take in the beautiful views. These pictures do not do the area justice but oh my goodness, it made me want to hop on a boat and float on the river all day!

Upon our search for a local lunch place, we were referred to the Mossfire Grill and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Our nachos were yummy to the tummy and with all the beautiful weather we were able to enjoy our food outside on the second story patio!

Even though Saturday was so much fun, Sunday my heart could not stop smiling. If you've been reading on here for a while, you all know that my mom is a breast cancer survivor so breast cancer awareness is very important to me. The ZTA chapter at University of North Florida and myself got up at 5am to head into Jacksonville for the 26.2 with Donna; Finish Breast Cancer marathon. Our job was to be cheerleaders on the bridge at the mile 25. We had the most beautiful view out over the bridge and got to spend 7 hours cheering on marathon runners from all over the country. Let me just say, if I ever get fit enough to run a marathon I'll be coming back to Jacksonville to run with Donna!

My Sunday finished with my last meal in Jacksonville before moving down the coast and getting the chance to see my sweet sorority sister and fellow TLC Julia who is from California. Our paths have not crossed since training in August and I'm so thankful I got to see her!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five Five+Fashion Poll

Praise! We have reached another Friday sweet friends and the weekend is upon us. Anyone have any exciting plans? Sunday morning I'll be up bright and early to go to the 26.2 with Donna marathon here in Jacksonville, Florida. Now don't go thinking I will be running...nope, nada. I'll be the girl cheering on all those runners at the finish line with my pretty glittery sign! :-) I'm excited to be linking up with Darci again today for Five on Friday.

One// Care Packages
My heart is so thankful to have a wonderful man in my life who still after 4 years of dating knows how to surprise me! Since the beginning of the year, Josh has been sending me a letter each week to read in the mail but yesterday when I got my "letter" it was an entire package. I opened it up to find my favorite sour candies, a homemade card, three letters, and a new Wake Forest sweatshirt. I am truly lucky beyond words!
Two// Social Media Change
You might have seen here, but in a few days I'll be deleting my blog social media sites and strictly using my personal ones! I'm ready to be real with y'all and feel you should know the real me. So why try to hide behind a second Instagram/Twitter account when it is just much easier to have you follow the real me :-)
Three// Winter Whites
Okay y'all, I need your 110% honest opinion. How do you feel about wearing white in the winter time? Take this little poll below to let me know your thoughts and look out for a little post with the outcome next week!

Do you think it's okay to wear white before Easter? free polls 

Four// Bachelor
So I did myself in and looked up the ending of the Bachelor...all I can say is I'm shocked. If things end up the way Reality Steve has predicted they will, this season could end VERY interestingly. 

Five// Spring
Spring weather has arrived here in Florida and I've been soaking up every little bit of sunshine that I can! This girl needs to do some major shopping for short sleeve shirts so that I don't look like a crazy person wearing all the sweaters that are packed in my luggage! Happy weekend loves!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Social Media Update

Oh Wednesday, we meet again! I hope y'all are having a wonderful week and enjoying some hopefully warmer weather than we've had the past few weeks. I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past few weeks and I've decided to delete my "blog" Instagram and Twitter. No, this doesn't mean you can no longer follow me on social media, but it just means I want to be more of my true self with y'all. So many times when you start a blog you get sucked into wanting everything to be perfect and for a while I tried to run separate social media sites for my blog than for my personal life. But...that was an epic fail and I quickly realized A) I did not have time to do both and B) this is my personal blog so why not just use my personal social media accounts. Okay, that may not have made sense at all but anyways; long story short on Monday I'll be deleting my Southern Abundance social media accounts and strictly using my personal ones. You might have noticed (or will notice over the next few days) that I'll begin following those of you that I already was following through my personal accounts and invite you to follow me back! All my links of here have been updated to correct these changes and I can't wait to live life with y'all through the real me. Thank you always for your friendship and support :-)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Birthday Cards for Colin

Every once in a while I just randomly hear about something that is so worthwhile I cannot help but to get excited and participate. Flash back to last week when I was in Pennsylvania and heard the buzz about a new Facebook page going around called "Happy Birthday Colin". Of course I had to check it out for myself and I was immediately hooked. Colin is a 10-year old boy who will be turning 11 on March 9th. When his mom asked him if he wanted to have a birthday party, Colin told her there was no point in having one because he did not have any friends. Because of Colin's varying disabilities, the kids at school pick on him to a point where he eats alone every day in the school office. His mom created the Facebook page in hopes that she could encourage people around the country to send Colin a birthday card to let him know he does have friends out there and we all hope he has the best birthday in the world!

So last night I picked up a birthday card for sweet Colin and placed it in the mail this morning. It is my hope that you all will take the time as well to send him some birthday love. Let me know if you send him one as I would love to see how far this reaches! 

You can find more information here on the "Happy Birthday Colin" Facebook page. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snowy Valentine's Weekend Recap

How was your weekend sweet friends? I hope each of you got to enjoy it with someone you love and had lots of down time to catch up on relaxation! Thank y'all so much for all the sweet comments you left me on Friday's post. I'm so glad that y'all enjoyed looking at pictures of Josh and I through the years! This past weekend I was still in Pennsylvania for the majority of my time. Let me tell y'all, I have seen more snow in the past three weeks then I have in my entire lifetime...and I loved every minute of it! So here is a look into my snowy and fun filled Valentine's weekend:

 We went sledding!


and lots of sledding!

 I spent Valentine's Day handing out these beautiful balloons!

 I learned how to trust those driving on the icy roads

 At the biggest plate of sausage gravy and biscuits twice...yep no regrets here!

And saw the largest icicles that literally formed on every house!

Then yesterday morning I hopped on a plane and am now soaking up the sunshine in good ole' Florida! Stay tuned tomorrow to find out how YOU can impact a little boys life on his upcoming 11th birthday! Happy Monday friends :-)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five on Friday: Valentine's Edition

Happy Friday and Happy Valentine's Day! I'm excited to be celebrating one of the first major holidays of 2014 and even though I'm not at home, I'm sending lots of extra love back to my favorite people in North Carolina today. Today's a little bittersweet for me as this is the 5th Valentine's Josh and I have celebrated together but also the first that we don't get to be together. 502 miles separate us today but I can promise you that won't stop us from have a wonderfully long Skype date tonight! (Oh modern technology, I am so thankful for you!) So today I'm linking up with my favorite ladies for Five on Friday and I'm doing this post a little differently than normal. Today is all about looking back on the past five Valentine's I've spent with Joshua. Enjoy :-)

one// 2010
Our first Valentine's Day came a little over 3 months into us dating. We spent the weekend in Chapel Hill and got to experience our first snow fall together. We ate dinner at a Japanese restaurant and then had a snowball fight outside his Carolina dorm room. 

two// 2011
Valentine's Day number two was spent having Josh as my date to my sororities date function. The theme was "Famous Couples" so we went as the red and green M&M. Pretty clever right?

three// 2012
By 2012, Josh was interning as a youth pastor so we spent our Valentine's weekend skiing with 30 youth group members in West Virginia. Luckily no broken bones happened! 

four// 2013
Valentine's our senior year of college was celebrated with hearing the acceptance of Josh getting into grad school at Wake Forest! 

five// 2014
And since we aren't together today for me to snap a picture, I made Josh a little surprise montage of many of our pictures together. This is what I sent him earlier today, so if you have 4.5 minutes to spare you can take a little laugh at how much our looks have changed in the past five years!

Valentine's Day 2014 from Alyssa on Vimeo.

Happy Valentine's day to all of you, my sweet sweet friends!