Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekly PINspirations - Week No. 12 - July 4th

Let Freedom Ring!  This is one of my most favorite holidays of the year.  To me Independence day means Freedom...Freedom to spend time with my friends and family, Freedom to wear what I want, Freedom to Pray, Freedom to eat...FREEDOM!

Independence Day by Martina McBride on Grooveshark

This weeks' PINspirations are all about July 4th!

Something to Create:  I love doing crafts with the Littles and this American Flag Hand print T-shirt is totally cute! It is a great idea to wear on the 4th and all Summer long as well as a fun DIY to keep the Littles entertained during vacation.  We may have to try this one out!

Something to Organize:  We are free to gather together with friends and family so why not organize a cookout or an Independence Day party.  These cute utensil jars would be just what you need to brighten up your table scape as well as organize your party utensils!

Something to Eat:  Who doesn't love Rice Krispie Treats?  These red, white and blue ones are so festive and fun.  My family loves these little treats especially during the summer.  They are light, sweet and individually sized.  Perfect for cookout snacks or just a pick me up for you as you enjoy your long weekend! I have a feeling these are going to show up in my kitchen this week.


Something to Wear (x2):  I love this toenail polish design.  It is so fun and I wish I could pull it off without having to go to the salon.  I haven't quite perfected the nail designs, so I am sure that my stars would come out little blobs.  This is a clean and neat way to show your patriotic side on your toesies!  I love it.

I also love this outfit from Shanna Said So!  She featured it on her blog last week and I had to pin it.  It is a simple sun dress from Old Navy with a denim vest.  I love this red, white and blue without being overly flag like. Ha!  No one needs to be a walking American Flag...it is not cute, but this outfit is one of my favorites.



Something to Live By:  #Merica is an amazing place to live.  This is the time of the year that we put our differences aside and celebrate our Country.  Our Country!  We are free, but as I have said before, "Freedom Doesn't Come Free".  Don't forget why we still have our freedom...as you watch the light show in the sky say a little prayer for those who fight, have fought or will fight for our Country.  We are the Home of the Free because of The Brave!

 

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Friday, June 27, 2014

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!

I apologize for not having a lengthy informative or even creative post today!  It has been a very long week of playing catch up at home, work and on the blog and I am still not finished with work.  So, today I will just announce the winner of the Pink House Press koozie giveaway and wish you a wonderful weekend.  We should be back to normal next week...HOPEFULLY!



Congrats to my winners.  I will be contacting you via email shortly to let you know how to claim your prizes. Thank you to everyone who entered and stay tuned I have a few more giveaways up my sleeve in the future!

Happy Friday to all and I hope you have a Fabulous Weekend!

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

3 SOUTHERN GALS THROWBACK THURSDAY - Link Party!!

Welcome back Y'all to another week with the 3 Southern Gals. 
 This Throwback Thursday Link Party has been such a blast.
This is our 4th week and we have met some amazing bloggers and read some incredible post.
  As always thank you for sharing and linking up with us!!  

So what  is so great about this link party?  Anyone can link up!!  You can share a post you wrote today that shares old pictures and/or stories...  But if you already have something else scheduled for today, or maybe you just found this link-up, no worries....link up an old blog post.  We just ask if you link up a previous blog posting, that it be older than a week old.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask one of us.


Cat @ Yes DEER :   Bloglovin / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram / Facebook



Before you link up please read and make sure you are following the party guidelines :)

The Rules are Simple:

1.  Make sure you are following ALL 3 of the Southern Gals Blogs.

Cat   //  Kelly  //   Tela

2.  Link up your throwback blog post.  This includes a post where you share old pictures and/or stories.  OR you may also share a blog post that was posted prior to last week.  
In other words please do not link up to your blogs home page, a post you wrote this week that does not include something from the past.  

3.  Please no giveaways, shops, or other linkups. 
 (as these would also not fall into the throwback category)

4.  Share our party button and/or link back to our party.

3 Southern Gals TBT

5. Don't just link and run...check our some other TBT post.

6.  HAVE FUN!!!


****NOTICE****
  We want this to be a fun link up, so link up your post!!  Lets reminisce together.  All we ask if that if you link up, PLEASE follow ALL the rules.  We really do not want to delete links.  Honestly this is the last thing we want to do, but these link parities take a lot of our time an effort.  In return we just need for you to be respectful to our party and to others.  In the past linkups  we have had a few each week that have not followed all the rules.  Going forward we will have to delete any link that does not follow the party rules.  


NOW LETS GET THIS PARTY STARTED

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CURRENTLY I'M + GIVEAWAY


Currently I'm...  

Still Loving:  My Carolina koozie from Pink House Press!  I cannot get enough of this thing.  I take it everywhere in my purse and every drink I have in my hand fits nicely into my wonderful koozie.  Don't forget to enter to win one for yourself.  Time is running out!

Excited About:  My new snail mail that came while I was away on vacation!  Three cute new bags for me to keep my sports mama self organized! {post to come} Have I mentioned I have a purse/bag fetish...


Stressing Over:  Work!  Seriously...it is not fair how hard you have to work before and after vacation just to let loose for one week a year!  Geezzz.....

Eating:  Pretty much everything bad for me! Don't you love the week before....??? Greasy, cheesy, chocolatey...it doesn't matter just give it to me.

Desperately Needing:  A date night!  While I love vacation with my Littles, we had them the entire week with no break.  I am really needing a reason to get dressed up and go out with the Hubs!


Wanting to Be:  At the lake with my family and close friends to celebrate July 4th!  It is an annual tradition for all of us to gather at my parents lake house and cook out and have a great time.  I just can't wait!! I am feeling a little homesick for my family and friends.

Drinking:  A chocolate protein shake from my new free Shaker Bottle from GNC.  I was super excited that I received a 25% coupon for any purchase and a free shaker bottle with any protein powder purchase  in my email, so I went and got some chocolate whey protein and they guy working also let me get the free shaker bottle!! Win win right!


Wanting to Make:  This color block bag from my $3 bag that I got at the One Spot in Target (which the day I bought it got red juice box spilled all in the bottom of it!)  This is the perfect cheap fix and I love the look!

Listening To:  My favorite 15 Throwback Songs of Summer.  I just can't get enough of them and they are quite frankly helping me cope with the reality that I am no longer on vacation!

Linkup:  Lovely Ladies Linky, The Hump Day Blog Hop, Random Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday,  Lovely ThursdaysLittle Friday LinkupAll Things Thursday The Little Friday Link UpThe Best of Friday Link Up,  Thinking Out Loud
Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by 
Pink House Press.  Although I received 
products and/or other compensation 
for the items in this post, all thoughts 
and opinions are my own. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

HOMEMADE BASIL PESTO SAUCE

Last week I shared my Chicken and Pesto Bowtie Pasta.  It was a hit and it seemed that everyone enjoyed it...even if you weren't able to do internet taste testing.  Today I will show you how I make my own pesto sauce.


What You Need:
  • 2 cups of packed fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan/Romano cheese
  • salt and pepper

What You Do:
  • Combine basil, garlic, cheese and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped;
  • Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully mixed and smooth;
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • If using immediately, add the remaining oil and Enjoy;
  • If freezing, transfer into an air-tight container (I use Ziplock freezer quart bags) and drizzle the remaining oil over the top. (Pesto can be frozen up to 3 months)

There you have it!  Your very own fresh pesto sauce.  I grow my own basil (which is super duper easy) to make this sauce as well as freshen up recipes.  I try to make enough pesto to last me through the winter until I can grow more basil in the Spring and Summer.  You should really try this!

Linkup: Delicious Dish TuesdayTreasure Box Tuesday, Tasty TuesdayTwirl & Take a BowTickle my TastebudsOne Project at a Time

Also, don't forget to enter the koozie giveaway from The Pink House Press!  Three lucky winners will receive a free koozie of their choice.  Enter Now!

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Friday, June 20, 2014

FRIDAY FREEBIES - Free Fun Beach Activities + GIVEAWAY

Vacation is always a time for Family Fun, but it doesn't always need to break the bank.  The beach is a wonderful place to have fun for free.  It is God's gift of a free amuzement park. Why not enjoy it in all of it's glory. 
 
Here are our Five Free Fun Beach Activities to enjoy this summer...
 
ONE
(Go Fly a Kite)
 
Kites are fun for all ages.  We have had this one for three years that we purchased for $10.00 at Sams.  It has seen it's fair share of blue beachy skies.  The Littles love to fly the kite and the Hubs has it down to a science.  This year we actually flew it and then tied it up to a shovel in the sand and let it fly itself.  Talk about a conversation starter!
 




TWO
(Put a Little Boogie in It)
 
Boogie boarding is always a fun pass time.  Little Man's boogie board is actually the same one that I used to use when I was little.  I know...that thing is OLD!  They don't make them like they used to, so we will keep this one around until it falls apart.  Little Man is getting pretty good at catching waves.  I even caught one today!  You don't always have a boogie board...you can also body surf.  It is just as free and just as fun!
 



 
THREE
(Bicycle...Bicycle...I Want to Ride My Bicycle)
 
We take our Little's bikes just about everywhere we go.  Sometimes we even take our own, but this time we only had room for the smaller ones.  There is just something about riding bikes at the beach that is relaxing and fun for the entire family.  This year we found an empty parking lot and a walking trail to ride on.  You can also take them down to the beach and just about anywhere depending on your riding skill level.  Remember to be safe and wear a helmet!





FOUR
(Sea Creature Search and Rescue)
 
It never fails that everytime we come to the beach we find some sort of sea creature or wildlife to find, rescue or dispose of.  This is also totally free and also, most of the time, makes people happy and is also a conversation starter.  Last year we were able to see a Horseshoe Crab in the ocean and a Hammerhead Shark that someone had caught.  Earlier this year we saw/disposed of a few jelly fish and this time we found a dead Sand Shark on the beach!  Little Man had a "big fish story" that he caught it with his bare hands and killed it with his shovel.  I actually found it, but we let him roll with it. Ha! 
 
 
 



FIVE
(Long Walks on the Beach)
 
The beach is always free!  We love to walk on the beach and find sea shells in the evening.  The Littles love that the sand is not hot and the beach is not crowded, so they can run anywhere they want.  It gives them a sense of freedom and an outlet for some pent up after nap energy.  It is also a romantic time for the Hubs and I...and it makes for some great photo opportunities!
 


 
 Free fun is always awesome!  I hope you enjoy some of these free activities this Summer with your families and/or friends. 
 
Speaking of fun Summer freebies...who wants to add a new free koozie to their Beach Bag Essentials
 
 
Three lucky winners will receive a koozie of their choice from The Pink House Press.  Enter Now!! You know you want one!!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 Linkup: Lovely Ladies Linky, The Hump Day Blog Hop, Random Wednesday,  Giveaway Directory Thursday, Lovely Thursdays, Friday Favorites, Anything Goes Linky, That Friday Blog Hop, High Five for Friday, Little Friday Linkup
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY - Top 15 Songs of Summer

I thought it only appropriate to share some of my favorite throwback summer songs seeing that I am still enjoying the fun, sun and surf here at the beach.  It never fails, when I hear these songs I think of Summer.  Some bring back memories and some are just for fun.
 
Here are the Sweet Southern T: Top 15 Throwback Songs of Summer in no particular order...
 
 
Kokomo by The Beach Boys on Grooveshark
Cruise (Remix) [feat. Nelly] by Florida Georgia Line on Grooveshark
Hot in Herre by Nelly on Grooveshark
Blurred Lines Robin Thicke (feat. T.I. & Pharrell) by NewThingRadioWeb on Grooveshark
Redneck Yacht Club - Craig Morgan by Craig Morgan on Grooveshark

Source
 
Little Big Town Pontoon by PONTOON on Grooveshark
The Booze Cruise by Blackjack Billy on Grooveshark
Summer Girls by LFO on Grooveshark
Brown Eyed Girl by Other on Grooveshark
Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams on Grooveshark
 
Source
 
Summer Nights by Grease on Grooveshark
Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters on Grooveshark
Alice Cooper - Schools Out For Summer by Alice Cooper on Grooveshark
Carolina Girls by Chairmen of the Board on Grooveshark
 
What are your top Summer songs? Are any of these your favorites? Have a great Thursday loves!  Off to the beach!
 
Linkup:  Lovely Ladies Linky, The Hump Day Blog Hop, Random Wednesday, Inspire Me Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday,  Lovely Thursdays, Little Friday Linkup, 3 Southern Gals TBT
  
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3 SOUTHERN GALS THROWBACK THURSDAY - Link Party!!!

Welcome back to another week of 3 Southern Gals Throwback Thursday Link Party.  We are so glad you are joining us.  We had several great link ups last week.  It has been a blast looking through old pictures and reading how you and your love met.  It is always fun to look back at older blog post as well.  That is what is so great about this link party.  Anyone can link up!!

You either share a post you wrote today that shares old pictures and/or stories.  But if you already have something else scheduled for today, or maybe you just found this link-up, no worries....link up an old blog post.  We just ask if you link up a previous blog posting that it be older than a week old.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask one of us.


Before you link up please read and make sure you are following the party guidelines :)

The Rules are Simple:

1.  Make sure you are following ALL 3 of the Southern Gals' Blogs
Cat   //  Kelly  //   Tela

2.  Link up your throwback blog post.  This includes a post where you share old pictures and/or stories OR a blog post that was posted prior to last week.  
In other words, please do not link up to your blog's home page, a post you wrote today or prior to last week, or a post you wrote today that does not include something from the past.  

3.  Please no giveaways, shops, or other linkups. 
 (as these would also not fall into the throwback category)

4.  Add our party button and/or link back to our party.
3 Southern Gals TBT
 
5. Don't just link and run...check our some other TBT post.

6.  HAVE FUN!


****NOTICE****
*****  We want this to be a fun link up, so link up your post!!  Lets reminisce together.  All we ask if that if you link up, PLEASE follow ALL the rules.  We really do not want to delete links.  Honestly this is the last thing we want to do, but these link parities take a lot of our time an effort.  In return we just need for your to be respectful to our party and to others.  In the past linkups  we have had a few each week that have not followed all the rules.  Going forward we will have to delete any link that does not follow the party rules.  ******

 
Let's Get This Party Started!!


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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WHAT'S IN MY BAG? - Beach Essentials

Well if you didn't know...this Southern Gal is at the beach with The Fam!  We are having an amazing time, but I wanted to take a second to show off some of my new favorite items that have made it into my beach bag as well as some of my old favorite beach essentials.
 
What's in my bag?
 

I have loved the mail man recently!  He has been bringing me some amazing snail mail from some great companies.  My new favorite beach essentials arrived last week, just in time for my beach trip.


TOWEL TESTIMONIAL

The most important thing in my beach bag is my towel!  I love to have a colorful and fun towel to show off my personality as well as keep me dry.  I received this beautiful personalized beach towel from Cafe Press.  I was not only blown away by the softness of the towel, but also by the quality of the graphics on the towel!  They are perfect!!  All of the lines are so crisp and the colors are rich and pop!  The towel is super absorbent as well and dries quickly. 
I am totally in love with it!!

Currently they have their beach towels for 30% off when you enter the code BEACHBUM30.  You will not be disappointed in these personalized towels.  They are great quality and Cafe Press has a great selection to choose from.  It would make for a great gift as well. Go now and check it out!
New on CafePress! Fun beach towels - customize to fit your style!


SIP IN STYLE

I also received a matching koozie from The Pink House Press.  When I saw that they had coral I almost fell out of my seat.  I love coral and I love matchy things.  It was perfect to pair with my new beach towel. 

Every well stocked beach bag needs a fun koozie in it to keep refreshments cold in the summer heat.  This koozie has kept more than it's fair share of liquid of all kinds cold for the past few days!  I love having the fun print on my koozie to let everyone know that I am a Carolina Girl!
 

Would you like to score one of these for yourself?  I bet you would!!  They come in all sorts of different colors and Southern States (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Florida) and many other custom prints! 

Be sure to check back at the end of the week to see how you to can sport one of these babies in your beach bag this summer. 


Now on to the old favorites! 



 READING MATERIAL
In addition to a good magazine, I love to read my Kindle Paperwhite.  As you can see, the sun is shining brightly here at the beach and you are able to still read the screen.  Isn't that amazing!  It is most annoying when you try to look at your cell phone or camera screen in the sun and can't see a thing.  No problems here!  I absolutely love this thing.  I also love that I can have multiple books on the beach with me without my bag feeling like I have just raided a library.  If you love to read and love the beach, you should really invest in one of these.
PHOTO OP READY
Next is my Fugifilm waterproof camera and floating wristband.  It is so nice to take this baby out to the beach and not worry about the sand or water hurting it.  It is resistant to just about anything.  The only bad thing about it is that IT WILL SINK!  Make sure to have the floating wristband on it at all times.  This camera takes great pictures in and out of the water.  It also has a great zoom and is light weight.  I bought this one two summers ago and have loved it ever since.
PROTECT THE SKIN YOU'RE IN
Sunscreen is a must people.  You will find multiple SPFs in my beach bag, but for photos sake I only pictured two.  I have others for the Littles and the Hubs, but these are my personal favorites.  I use the Neutrogena Beach Defense spray for all over protection and the Aveeno face for well...my face. 
I love how the Neutrogena smells and is not sticky at all.  It actually leaves your skin smooth and not greasy.  I also like the spray better than the lotion because after a while of being on the beach with the Littles, I am a sandy mess.  I don't have to rub sand into my skin with the spray, so I much more prefer it over the lotion. 
The Aveeno allows my face to breath and also is not greasy.  It does not break out my face or make it oily.  I also use it on the Littles and it is great for their sensitive skin.  I would recommend these to everyone.  I believe they both come in higher SPFs if necessary for you.  I just usually stick to a 30 SPF and am fine.
Don't forget the lips when you apply your sunscreen!  Burnt lips are no fun and not kissable.  "Ain't nobody got time for that."  I like to use Nivea's A Kiss of Smoothness.  It is hydrating and has a SPF of 10.  It keeps the sun and wind burn away while making my lips smoochy smooth!
HAIR CARE
The secret is out...I pay a lot to have my hair look like it does and the last thing I want is the sun to ruin that!  I apply Purology Antifade Complex to my hair prior to going out into the sun either on the beach, lake or at the pool.  It protects from fading and chlorine damage.  I also carry this mini bottle of it in my beach bag to periodically reapply if my hair has been in the water for some time.  It also makes my hair smooth and helps with tangles.  I swear by this stuff and have used it for years!
GET RID OF SANDY HANDS 
Thanks to Pinterest for the beach hack of using baby powder to remove sand from little (or big) hands.  When your hands are sandy and a towel just wont remove that pesky sticky stuff, just pour a little baby powder onto them and voila!  No more sandy hands! 



I would also add my favorite Oakley Shades, which I featured in this post, to my bag contents but they are always on my face!  I want to protect these baby blues at all costs, so they hardly ever make it in the bag, but they are definitely a beach essential!

What is in your beach bag?  Don't forget to check back for your chance to win a Pink House Press koozie to add to your beach essentials list!  Happy Hump Day ya'll, now back to the beach!


**These products were provided to me by Cafe Press and The Pink House Press
for review purposes however, all opinions are 100% my own.**

Linkup: Lovely Ladies Linky, The Hump Day Blog Hop, Random Wednesday, What I Wore, Wake Up Wednesday, What you Wish WednesdayGiveaway Directory Thursday, Lovely Thursdays, Trend Spin Linkup, Fashion Linkup, Little Friday Linkup 
 
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