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9.01.2016

The Delayed Report: August


I'm not sure what I was expecting when August started, but I can officially say that this month was even sweeter (and sweatier) than July.  I tried new things, went to some new places, celebrated a lot of birthdays, and spent time with the ones I love most so it was a very successful month. 

Each month I like to re-cap what happened and thank goodness for a date stamp on the photos in my camera roll or I would be completely lost.  Put any of your monthly accomplishments in the comments below or link your blog and I'll come visit! :)


1.  Bachelorette Swag Bag Arrivals



The packages have started coming in for the bachelorette bags I am currently making for the #LeaveItToWeaver attendees.  I really appreciated how quick some of the Etsy shops have been getting these items to me.  I cannot wait to put the finishing touches on the bags this month so I won't have to worry about it once October rolls around.  If you run an Etsy shop, please leave your shop name below - I am in need of a few more goodies!



2.  Bible Study Blues

Snapchat: blogsmaidcass


On August 2nd, our weekly bible study ended and it was very bittersweet.  I knew it was ending soon, but I didn't want to let our time together go.  I learned so much from our study, The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee.  I would recommend it to anyone who feels like they must prove something or do certain things to be a Christian (read their bible more, pray more, etc). 

I learned that it's really about your heart and your relationship with Jesus.  Going to church and reading your bible shouldn't just be tasks we check off of our daily to do list, it's all about a relationship with Him.  Jesus died for us, his grace is enough and his blood paid it all - everything we have done or ever will do has already been paid for, justified and forgiven.  Our significance is in Jesus alone and that's just a really great reminder on the really tough days.


3.  Bible Study Birthdays






Two of the girls in the bible study had birthdays the next day, Kaylee and Caitlin.  I both gave them separate birthday cards and birthday collages on Facebook and a separate post on Instagram.  Because are you really friends if you didn't use each social media network + a text + a Snapchat?  As Gretchen Weiners would say on Mean Girls... "I'm such a good friend."



4.  My First SuperShake & First Quarter Note



SuperShake is a type of smoothie place where it doesn't have all the added sugars/preservatives in it.  It's good for your body and tastes delicious.  I have gotten the Butterfinger twice and the Malibu once.  The only thing I find ironic is that I've gotten the same bible verse all three times.  I am starting to wonder if God is trying to tell me something - but I'm not fully understanding what it could be from just that verse alone. 

After that, I signed up to run 6.2 miles when I don't run at all.  The Mississippi Blues Marathon is held every January and I decided to get my life together and what better way than with a race on the horizon?  All of this is said with sincere sarcasm, but I hope it will keep me accountable about working out consistently.  I am currently on week 2 of my c25k plan - so miracles are happening.


5.  Baby Snuggles & The Importance of Being Earnest



The next couple of days I spent time staring and laughing.  I got to hang out with my bestie and hog her baby for a few hours - which she said I can do anytime.  I love the nights I can go over there and just hold her little one and catch up on life with her.  The night after that, I went to a small play in my town and it reminded me how much I love plays.  I love the ridiculousness of most of them and I love how much I laugh and just let go of the daily things that stress me out when I get there. 



6. Jewelry & Taylor's Birthday 

 


The next Friday night, I attended a jewelry party and ended up buying something very uncommon for me.  I'm more of a dainty necklace person, but I couldn't pass this one up.  I've seen other girls wear big necklaces and once the girl said "this necklace goes perfect with black" I knew it was going home with me.

The rest of the weekend was spent celebrating Taylor's birthday.  We had dinner at Outback and saw Suicide Squad in 3D.  I usually can't watch movies in 3D because I get motion sickness, but this wasn't bad at all.  I also have a prediction that a lot of girls will be dressed up as Harley Quinn this halloween.



7.  Dad's Retirement Party



Since last October things have been a little different at our house, but Dad officially had his retirement party on Friday, August 19th.  It was nice to see where my dad worked for 34 years and I hope he knows how proud we are of him.  It's not often that you see grown men say sweet things to other grown men in the corporate world, so it will be a time that I will always remember with smiles. 

I've began to notice I'm more and more like my dad: don't like to shop, hard worker, but also don't like to be the center of attention and would rather crack a joke to make everyone laugh.  That's exactly what he did at his retirement party and it was nice to see how much his coworkers appreciated him. 



8. Spiderman Birthday



Right after the retirement party, I got in my car and headed south.  It was officially time to kick off Bentley's third birthday.  When I got there it was time to bring in presents, see the kids to sleep and then head out with the girls for some dinner and to see how many items we could fit in Meredith's car. 

Saturday morning was bright and early to start Bentley's SPIDERMAN birthday party - Spiderman even showed up to save the world with the kids.  Even though it was hot, it was a blast and I'm so glad I got to spend time with my Coast family.  Nobody throws parties better than the Clark/Allen family and I come home with notes/sweet memories every time.



9.  Mug face @ McAlister's



My best friend who lives at the beach came home for a week so I was able to sneak in a little dinner with him last Monday night.  We ended up talking for a few hours and they almost turned the lights off on us.  It was such a good time to catch up with him and find out what he has been up to.  Can't wait to see him again in October when I come down to his part of town.



10. 24 hours in New Orleans



Early Friday morning, my mom and I set out to Nola.   A few weeks prior, we decided to attend our second pre-season Saints game.  I don't think we could ever afford real tickets during the actual season - we have found a nice section we like to sit in - and we have already become used to the couple that sits in front of us.  We arrived in Nola around lunchtime and I had to find a certain spot that my friend Lila had been mentioning for delicious Mexican food: La Casita.  Once we arrived - it was about a mile from the hotel - we ordered chips and salsa, guacamole, tacos and margaritas.  It was so good but the best part was that we were not stuffed like I usually am with Mexican food - it was just enough fuel to get back to our hotel and relax before the game. 

The Saints lost that night, but the memories we made were so much fun.  The next morning we walked to The Ruby Slipper on Canal Street and enjoyed a truly southern breakfast.  I still haven't tried a Bloody Mary, but I was real tempted to get one - however, we were leaving Nola within the hour and I needed to have my wits about me for an engagement party that night.



11.  Engagement party that turned into a Wedding



Around 6 pm, I got ready to head to an engagement party for a couple of my best guy friends: Jeremy and Jonathan.  This whole time they have been telling everyone that it's an engagement party and that they are eloping in Tennessee later on this year.  About an hour into the party, the music changes and the preacher comes down the backyard in front of the lake and all of a sudden the grooms do too.  It was such a surprise and it was such a sweet moment.  I am so happy for these two and I hope they enjoyed my gift.  I realized what do you get the guys that have everything? A Target gift card. 



12.  Alumni Appearance



Every year, I look forward to going to dance practice to perform at Homecoming with the Alumni Hi-Steppers.  However, this year has been off due to the fact that they put homecoming in September instead of October aka REAL SOON.  I didn't go to the first two practices, so our coach sent me an email the Sunday I got home from the Spiderman party and said "I will see you next Sunday at practice - no excuses." 

So this past Sunday I showed up and kicked my legs as high as I could.  From not working out at all, it was a disaster, but it was really sweet to see everyone excited that I was there.  If there was ever a time to prove that I'm a dancer and can get it together under pressure, this is it.  Everyone come out to the Hinds football game on September 22nd, I promise you are not gonna want to miss this.


13.  Booked a flight to VEGAS



I'm not going to Vegas until March 2017, but I am so so so excited that this is finally getting marked off my bucket list.  It's also on my 30 before 30 list and that works out perfectly before my next birthday.  If you have ever been to Vegas, please leave comments below.  I haven't flown in ten years, so I need to know all the details about everything.  


What was on your report for the month of August?



The Report is a series I post once a month to list things and events that are currently happening in my life.  Please feel free to tell me your monthly report in the comment section below.  
To read July's report, click here

8.06.2016

The Delayed Report: July


July was a month of firsts, new beginnings and being reunited with old loves.  It was a really good month and I kinda hated to see it go.  Even though August is looking pretty promising; here is what happened in my world in July…



1.  Less than 24 hours old Babe


Kennedy Rayne Dunlap was born on July 3, 2016 and weighed 6 pounds and was 19 inches long.  I was able to hold her less than 24 hours later, I drove straight home from Tupelo, MS to hold her and it was worth every minute.  Bridget and Ryan, you both are going to be amazing parents.  I am so lucky to love all three of you. 



2.  Fourth of July Group Photo


Every time I make my weekend trips to Tupelo, I always mention that I want to have a group photo taken.  We never do, and I always forget until I get in my car to leave again.  After the firework display, Colleen asked a stranger to take our photo and I love it so much - even if it's semi dark and grainy. 


3.  Beach Ball and Bad Sunburn


When I ordered my most recent Lilly Pulitzer planner, it arrived with two free things: a set of hair ties AND a beach ball.  Since I won't be at the beach anytime soon, I figure I would take it to Tupelo and one of the babies could play with it.  Well, play we did.  The beach ball was a hit and so was my skin.  I didn't apply enough sunscreen and was burnt to a crisp in a couple hours.  I may not go to the beach this summer, but I was definitely a lobster.



4.  Baby Sprinkle


On July 9th, I joined a few more girls to throw a baby sprinkle for our friend, Mandy.  Mandy is currently pregnant with her second baby girl, so we knew a sprinkle would be perfect for her.  Turns out, the weather knew the same thing.  Even though it rained a bit outside, we showered the mom to be with lots of diapers, wipes and some new clothes inside the clubhouse.  The other hostesses were the real MVP's and I can't wait to meet the newest Baby Bounds soon.  




4. ​Reunited with Friends and Food  


I woke up early one Saturday and drove all the way to Laurel to spend a pre-birthday weekend with my friend, Lila.  I immediately asked her to take me to my old college stomping grounds, Hattiesburg, to get my true love: Which Wich.  I also tried grilled corn on the cob for the first time at Conner's house that weekend.  I ate a lot of good food and spent a lot of time laughing with friends so it was a very successful weekend. 



7.  Ghost Dinner/Sunday School Sister 


After the baby sprinkle, I attended a birthday dinner for our sweet friend, Angel.  I write this as part of the events for July because this night was really strange.  Brooke kept ordering things and the waiter would just bring everything to me; he basically treated her like a ghost.  It was very comical due to the fact that her dress was neon pink; like how could he not see her.   The next morning, we went to church and I went into Sunday School for the first time in a long time.  I was reminded of a lot of things in that class and I look forward to the next one. 




8.  Body Shop Balance = $0.00


Midway through July, I was paid for the rest of the damage that was done to my car and was able to pay the body shop the rest that was owed.  Knowing that debt was paid made me extremely happy and secure in knowing the drama for the past two months was officially over.  



9.  Saw Avenue Q


On July 23rd, I went to watch a close friend be the main actress in a local play.  They reminded us that this play was not suitable for children, even though each actor had a puppet on their arm.  It was described as "Sesame Street meets South Park" and it lived up to it's hype.  Taylor was so good and I never stopped laughing.  If you ever hear of Avenue Q come to your town, buy a ticket ASAP. 




The Report is a series I post once a month to list things and events that are currently happening in my life.  Please feel free to tell me your monthly report in the comment section below.  
To read June's report, click here

7.18.2016

The Delayed Report: June


I have recently come to the conclusion that each month's report is going to be delayed, so no more putting parentheses around the word.  As almost anyone can tell, my passion for blogging is just not where it used to be.  However, I love looking back over the months and writing a reminder of what happened to remind myself of how full/active my life really is.  I tend to forget that. 



1.  My Maid of Honor Answer  


The first Wednesday night of June, I was formally asked to be Kaylee's Maid of Honor in her upcoming February wedding.  I immediately said YES! I would be honored to.  I am currently in the process of planning a few things and I am having so much fun putting the details together. 




2. ​Meeting William for the first time



The weekend of July 11, I drove to Natchez, Mississippi to hang with my friend, Cupit and her little boy, Will.  He was such a snuggler and I couldn't have asked for a better weekend with one of my best friends turned mothers.  She is doing a fabulous job balancing her career, family and friends. 




3.  Engagement Basket: Round Two 




Before I drove to Natchez, I had help from Kaylee's mom and boyfriend to help surprise the Bride.  I had so much fun putting this Engagement basket together and I will do a blog post on it if anyone wants to know what all is included, leave me a comment below! 




4.  Supported my friend/famous blogger, Kathleen 




The minute Kathleen posted about her curated collection with Morning Lavender, I was so excited to see what she had out there.  When I saw that she had the ring I've been wanting for MONTHS, I was overjoyed.  I immediately bought the ring and it was the perfect price.  If you want to see any of her collection, click here




5.  She said YES to the DRESS! 




On June 25, the bride to be said yes to the dress in less than an hour.  The Matron of Honor and I also found the bridesmaid's dresses in record time.  The Bridal Path was extremely helpful, sweet and genuinely wanted us to have a great experience.  I am hoping to lose a little bit of weight before I go back to get measured for my bridesmaids dress.




6.  My Best Friend's Birthday 



One year after his golden birthday, my best guy friend turned 29 on the 28th.  I posted on all my social media and wished him the best birthday ever.  He probably had to work, but he lives at the beach so I'm sure it was an amazing day.  Can't wait to hang out with him when he comes home next month for a visit.  



7.  One Month Later:  My Best Friend's Wedding Photos 




A month after the big day, Brooke received her magical wedding photos.  Jodye Sabatini is an amazing photographer and she made us look like models - in the Mississippi heat - so clearly she is a good one. 




8.  Rental Car Realness 






The entire process of getting my car fixed was a disaster and it only made sense to give me a hot wheels car during the process.  I have never in my life been treated like I have the past couple of months and I could only laugh when they gave me the rental car key.  I'm sure a blog post will be written on the experience……at some point. 





The Report is a series I post once a month to list things and events that are currently happening in my life.  Please feel free to tell me your monthly report in the comment section below.  
To read May's report, click here


7.12.2016

#BrookesQuickTrip



**Disclaimer:  I cannot take credit for anything that happened or occurred during this trip.  I was simply an attendee and Kara, the maid of Honor, is the real MVP.  She had everything a girl could need:  mimosas and donuts for breakfast, bachelorette bags filled with essentials, ordered the 15 seat van for us to ride in, playlists with all songs needed for a road trip, the photo props, the scheduling of burlesque dance class/a show to attend later that night and of course, booking of the hotel - which had just been updated and was so chic.  I cannot thank her enough for everything that she did for us 11 girls and I hope she knows how much we appreciated her.** 





As many times as I have been to New Orleans, I've never stayed just one night and gotten one hour of sleep.  To say Brooke's bachelorette trip was a non-stop fun fest would be a huge understatement.  I am so glad I got to attend one of the best events of the year thus far, #BrookesQuickTrip.  Her hashtag was perfect due to the fact that we were in Nola for 23 hours and that her new last name was going to be Quick the following Saturday.  


We started off arriving at the host's house between 9-10 am to get our bachelorette bags, eat donuts, and drink a mimosa (if you wanted).  I didn't partake in the mimosa drinking because I know how my body handles alcohol: it doesn't.  I am a lightweight by definition and cannot drink very much; I wanted to enjoy the day to the fullest so, water it was. 




We left the house at 10:30 am in our 15 seat van and it was just enough small/roomy once you sat down.  Each person had their own AC vent - which is what I was most worried about - and we all had the best time traveling down to Nola.  We arrived around 1:30 pm and began checking into the hotel and getting ready for our lunch/burlesque class.  


We had to rush to our burlesque class; our cab driver made it awkward and took us to the wrong place, but we still had an amazing time.  Our instructor's name was Bella Blue and she is wonderful; found out later that night that she is one of the Top 10 Burlesque dancers in the world so clearly, homegirl knows what she is doing.  I am so glad we were taught by someone who is so great at what she does.  If you want to see her website, click here: http://www.nolaschoolofburlesque.com/



After the class, we got in a cab with James who became our new favorite cab driver EVER.  He gave us his card and a new hashtag for the weekend: #CherryEleven.  We cannot thank James enough for getting us back to our hotel in one piece and I hope he made his next pick-up to which he said into his CB radio: "I want that - an easy $80.00 - all interstate."
We all squeezed into the tiny elevator and started getting ready for the night which would begin at 7:30 pm.  I was able to find out that the drink machines in the hotel don't take cash so I walked to a mini store a couple blocks up with April and Kirsty.  We came back to the hotel quickly and began prepping for a long night ahead.  Prep didn't take long for me since I got my hair styled really early that morning, so it was more about making a mixed drink and taking some selfies. 









We walked around for about an hour to find our dinner place - we didn't know what we wanted but we came across Café Soule and it was just what we needed.  Good food, great friends and even better air conditioning.  We filled up on carbs and made our way to the Burlesque Dance show -- it lasted an hour and had all of us laughing and clapping.  






After the show, we made our way to the first bar and began to notice how crowded everywhere was - which gives me anxiety.  I need room to move around.  So we sat down in a club for a few hours, laughed and spent way too much money.  Around 2 am when we left, we noticed things were much more bearable outside.  Half the group decided to go back to the hotel and the other half decided that we weren't going to sleep anytime soon.  




We went to a club and danced to rap music until they kicked us out (my absolute favorite thing to do).  We then went to The Beach and danced until they also kicked us out.   Then we went back to another sit down club and laughed even more.  When we walked out of that building, it was 6:30 am and the sun was up.  We made it to daylight, y'all.  










I was so impressed, and we were also really hungry.  So Café Du Monde at 6:45, it is.  Beignets for breakfast was amazing and so was finally laying down in our hotel bed at 7:30 am. I dozed in and out of sleep until 10 am and then got up and packed my stuff to head out.  









We ate lunch at The Corner Oyster House on the Riverside and it is always the best place to stop at before the long ride back.  I call it a Sunday tradition.  None of us wanted to walk around anymore so we left the restaurant and got back in the van and headed home.  We didn't make any stops on the way home, either.  The last thing I remember when I got home was my dad asking me if I needed anything from the store.  I told him "turkey meat" and the next thing I know it was 7 am the next morning.  


#BrookesQuickTrip was one of the best trips I have ever had in New Orleans and I cannot wait to go back down to the Big Easy.  I love that city and it never disappoints.