Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall Goodie Swap!

Hi, strangers!

Hope you've all been doing well since I announced my less frequent blogging

Guess what? I got to participate in a Fall Swap with another blogger...none other than Brittany from The Lady Lawyer! (yes, she is a lawyer, I work for a law firm...meant to be!)

I really enjoyed getting to know her a bit through email and through exploring her blog. If you have a few minutes, I would seriously recommend doing so! She's got great style inspiration and some drool-worthy recipes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Forgive my Absence...

Hi friends! 

I wanted to stop by my little part of the interwebs to say hello, and to apologize for being so absent lately.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Blog-tember Challenge: A Letter to My 16 Year-Old Self

Today's "Blog-tember Challenge" prompt is to write a letter to myself at 16.  In order to do that, I need to think about what was happening at that point in my life...

Friday, September 4, 2015

Blog-tember Challenge: My Passions

Happy Friday!

Today's Blog-tember Challenge prompt is "What are you passionate about?"  So, here are some things that make me tick - I'd love to hear from you in the comments section about some things you are passionate about. Do we have any in common?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Blog-tember Challenge: Get to Know Morgan

I'm back! 

So, I have read a lot of fun posts from Bailey Jean's "2015 Blog-tember Challenge" which I am hoping will help me get back in the blogging game more consistently. Things have been crazy busy, but I will do my best! I'm a day late, but bare with me...

The first prompt is an introduction of moi. So, instead of giving the very basics (which you can find on my "About YDD" page), I thought I'd get more specific. So here goes!

Friday, August 28, 2015

21 Day Sugar Detox: DONE!

Hi, and Happy Friday!

If you've been following our 21 Day Sugar Detox (first post here, update here), you may know that we finished on Sunday! We did it! I'm so proud of Spencer and myself for sticking with it, even when it got tough.

The hardest parts were the cravings and how to cope when I didn't prepare well. The foods we could eat almost always required some sort of preparation, so just grabbing a "quick snack" wasn't always an option. We also went over our grocery budget.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 Product Review: Orijen Angus Beef Dog Treats

I received a free package of Orijen Angus Beef Dog Treats from in exchange for writing an honest review of the product on my blog. I received no additional compensation in exchange for writing this review, and all opinions are honest and my own (well, and Piper's).

Thursday, August 13, 2015

An Update: 21 Day Sugar Detox

Remember how I am doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox? Well, I'm still going, and am 11 days down. Half way! Wondering how it's going?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Join me on Camellias and Copper

So, yeah. I'm still training for my half marathon! 

In addition to a few lessons I've learned so far (which you can read here), I thought it might also be helpful for anyone considering starting a training regimen to share some things you should do before you begin. 

You can catch my post "What To Do Before Training For A Half Marathon" over at Camellias and Copper. Enjoy! (and say hello to Michelle while you're there!)

Until next time - - 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Recipe: Guacamole Zucchini Pasta

Welcome back! Hope you've all had a great week.

Today I wanted to share a really simple recipe I made for dinner this week (remember, we are currently on our 21 day sugar detox - post here). It is a great recipe for anyone wanting a light dinner, something healthy, vegetarian, or even vegan! It's also really easy to customize with anything else you want to add - meats, additional vegetables, cheese, you name it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

My 21 Day Sugar Detox

Y'all, it's official. I've lost my mind.

Not only am I totally out of character with my half-marathon training, but now - today - I am starting a 21 Day Sugar Detox (#21DSD). GASP. 

For a simple explanation, here are the Six W's of my sugar detox.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sponsor Q&A with Danielle-Marie

As (I hope) you've seen, this month's Sunshine Sponsor is Danielle from Danielle-Marie! Danielle is a Christian wife and mother, living abroad in...get this...Thailand! She's adopted two gorgeous children, and supports her missionary husband amazingly. Be sure to click on over to her blog to get to know her even better (and to see some fun facts about Danielle - including the fact that she lived in Columbia for 12 years - !!!! - visit her About page). 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Get Organized in Less Than One Month (+ a Printable!)

Happy Friday! 

I hope you had a great week, and that you have something fun planned for the weekend. Spencer and I will be in New Jersey celebrating the wedding of two great friends. Yay!

This week, I ran across an article from PopSugar that lists 116 items to throw away (or donate) in your home. If you're anything like me, a list of 116 items seems pretty daunting! Have no fear. I am sharing the list with you (original article here) and also suggesting a way to tackle it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Three Things I've Learned (so far) During My Half-Marathon Training

Hey there!

Long time no see. My fault. Sorry about that.

I thought I'd stop in and give you an update on my half-marathon training. The race is November 14th, so we still have some time (thank goodness). 

My training buddy, Stephanie, has been absolutely awesome through the process so far. We are half way through our 5th week of training, and if it weren't for her holding me accountable, I probably would have quit after about 3 days. Seriously.

For those of you in the same boat (don't love running, but are trying to make a habit of it), allow me to share three lessons I have learned so far.

1. Find someone who will hold you accountable.
No, this cannot be yourself or your conscience. For me, it also could not be my husband. I am too good at talking my way out of things with him! And he keeps quiet so that I don't feel badly (smart man). Stephanie was the perfect partner for me for a few reasons: we are on similar fitness levels, we both really want to see it through, and we live in the same neighborhood which makes running together convenient. 

2. Invest in key items.
These items may be different for each person. For me, the key items have been a Garmin watch (old model, but can track distance), some running capris (running + shorts = too much rubbing), and a good pair of shoes. I had an employee at Fleet Feet watch my run and measure my feet, which was critical in finding a good pair of shoes. I learned that I overpronate (which basically means my feet turn inward when I run), so I knew to look for a pair of shoes that corrects that issue. In the long run, this should save my feet and my joints!

3. Running is 90% mental.
Spencer used to tell me this all the time, but I just would not believe him. Turns out, he was right (shhh, don't tell him I said that). If I keep a steady pace, it really is a matter of pushing myself to keep going. Of course, if I go too fast, I will certainly tire out. The key is to set a pace (for me it is somewhat slow right now), keep your breathing steady, and tell yourself that longing to quit is all in your head. Because, guess what? It really is!

Are you a runner? What tips can you share with me as I continue my training?

Don't forget to check out this month's Sunshine Sponsor, Danielle! View her blog here.

Until next time - - 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ad Space Giveaway!

Guess what - It's time for the best giveaway ever again...that's right, The So-Called Homemaker's famous/infamous ad space giveaway! I have teamed up with her and 16 other bloggers to giveaway a total of twenty-three (that's right, TWENTY-THREE) ad spaces! That means that 23 lucky readers will walk away with FREE ad space, no strings attached! The spaces being given away range from 200x200 spots to in-post ads, and are from bloggers you've all heard of and love!

Ad Space Giveaway - The So-Called Homemaker

Friday, July 10, 2015

Exciting Week


Hope you all had a great week. The past week has been full of some exciting things. My cousin, Casey, had a baby (a girl! Lilly) last week, and I get to meet her tomorrow! Our friends Joey and Natalie also had a baby girl, Simonne, this week and she's a doll. 

Aside from baby news, I have completed my third week of half-marathon training with my friend Stephanie, and we're still going strong - well, we're still going. Yay!

Today is an important day here in SC. If you've been under a rock the past couple of weeks, there was a tragic shooting in Charleston last month, and since then a lot of people have been pushing to remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Simple & Silly Survey

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! Do you follow me on social media? If so, you may have seen some pictures. If you don't, let's connect!

I found this A-Z survey on Peanut Butter Fingers (she's adorable, and pregnant with her first child!), and I really enjoyed reading her responses. I thought it was so fun, I decided to share my answers as well! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Celebrating the 4th in Style

Happy Independence Day (tomorrow)!

Isn't this a fun holiday? I love the colors, the food, the activities, and the drinks. It's all fun, and it's all patriotic. I also have to mention how important it is, while grilling, eating, and having a great time, that we remember the reason for this fun holiday. It is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. And as much as I love the royal family, I sure am grateful for that!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Plants That Can Grow in Hot Sun

One of my favorite parts of summer is seeing beautiful yards. I love walking through the neighborhood (and running during my half-marathon training) and seeing green grass that is well trimmed and edged, nicely shaped bushes, and other treats like flowers and hanging plants. These houses inspire me to work on our yard. In hopes of making it look a bit more "summery," I purchased two hanging ferns about a month and a half ago. I hung them from our front porch, and smiled at them every morning as I drove off to work (call me crazy). 

Friday, June 26, 2015

"Conversations" Link Up with Knock on Wood

The lovely Amanda from Knock on Wood Blog is having me as a Co-Host for her Conversations Link-Up! If you don't know Amanda, definitely go check her out and say "hello!". She's awesome!

The conversation I'm sharing today is one that made me laugh. I was texting with my dad about coming to visit for Father's Day weekend, and asking if he minded me bringing Piper the Puppy with me since Spencer would be out of town. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Motivation and Accountability: My 1st Half Marathon

Hey, strangers! Long time no talk.

Today starts the beginning of a new journey for me. One that will involve willpower, accountability, mental and physical strength, and lots of hydration.

I, my friends, am beginning training for a half-marathon. That's right. 13.1 miles of running. Running from nothing, towards nothing, with nobody chasing me. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Follow me on Bloglovin!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you don't already, go check check out YDD on Bloglovin and follow me there! It's the easiest way to keep up with new posts. <3

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sponsor Q&A with Rachel Nordgren

Hi there, and happy Friday!

As I've mentioned already, I have a Lemon Drop Sponsor this month! It is none other than the fabulous Rachel Nordgren! Please skip over there and check out her website and her blog if you aren't familiar with Rachel (or even if you are). She's awesome!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The 4th Year Begins

Yesterday Spencer and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary, which is insane to me. It seems literally like only months ago I was anxiously putting on my dress, opening my beautiful Tiffany bracelet, and crying over the longest, most heartfelt letter from my groom. I will never forget the church doors opening, and seeing him waiting for me at the end of the aisle - laughing because my mom, my dad, and I were all crying as we walked down the aisle together. :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

An Update

Hi, and happy Monday!

I know it's been nothing but crickets over here lately, so thanks for sticking around. After we got back from our AMAZING two week vacation (posts are going to come, I promise), we both jumped head first into work. My first week back was insanely busy! Also, I'm excited to share that I have gotten a promotion! Previously I was the marketing coordinator, and am now the events strategist! :) 

On Friday, I was interviewed by Mutual of Omaha for my "Aha Moment." I was nervous, as I'd never done anything before on camera, and had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised - it was a blast! They made it so easy on me, and I really enjoyed myself. I'll definitely share when it's edited into its neat little 30 second clip! 

This weekend was spent catching up on all things housework. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, laundry, changing name it, I did it. Whew! It was a lot of work, but I do love starting the week with a clean house. Piper, not so much. She's doing everything in her power to make sure it gets messy again ;)

ALSO, YDD has a new Lemon Drop Sponsor - please say hello to Rachel from! Rachel and I first connected on Twitter - her former blog name included...get this...her yellow door! Small world, huh? Ever since, I've enjoyed getting to know her through her blog and now at her new website. She's a wonderful writer, and I'm excited to feature her this month! Be on the lookout soon for her Q&A so you can get to know her a little better.
I've missed touching base with y'all - thanks again for your patience!

Until next time - - 

Friday, May 29, 2015

We're Back!

Hi, all!

We are officially back in the US, and I am back at work today. I don't have anything riveting for you - sorry! To sum up how I feel, I thought I'd share a picture of Piper from the weekend we got her. She had just woken up and was quite sleepy still. That basically sums me up right now!

And we're glad to be back home with our sweet Piper :)

Stay tuned for some vacation recaps!

Until next time - - 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Guest Post: Sage the Blog (5 Podcasts for Believers)

podcasts for christians

It seems like podcasts have just taken off with the last few years and I have really grown to love them. Instead of turning to music for my workouts, I have been listening to my favorite podcasts more often.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope that you get to enjoy a day off of work/school, relaxing and having fun with family and friends.

Remember the All American Progressive Dinner I did with Jaelan and Olivia? Well it is PERFECT for your Memorial Day meal! 

EntreJalapeno Pimento Cheeseburger
DessertApple Crumble Pie & Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
DrinksRed, White, & Blue Drink AND Beerita


Until next time - - 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Guest Post: A Silver Twig (Always Bet on Yourself)

The best piece of career advice I was ever given came when I was 23 years old and my business manager said to me, "No matter who you know, or where you are, you must always bet on yourself. Believe you are worth more, know more, and can do more than anyone else says or believes you can."

Why was I told this? I'll make a confession. I was a 2x college dropout with a former drug and alcohol problem. I'd lost hope in myself and my manager called me on it. She told me I was smarter than I thought, more talented than I believed, and was capable of greater things than I knew. She was right, but I didn't know it then.

First, let me introduce myself...

My name is Ashley and I blog at A Silver Twig which is a faith-based life and style blog. I live in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two dogs. I am a graduate of Florida State University and I work as a Technical Writer for a software company. I've completely pulled my life together and I've found great success, but it's all because I once had a manager, a mentor really, who forced me to have faith in myself.

Ashley in Atlantic Station

I was initially hired by my former manager to work in a call center but within 3 months she said to me, "You're better than this" and she transferred me to Finance working in billing and collections. She sent me to training seminars and workshops. She sent me to travel on business conferences with our management team. She encouraged me to go back to school and to finish my degree. She was always my champion and through it all she always said to me, "Today I'm betting on you. One day you'll learn to bet on yourself."

Then the day came, after I'd been working for this manager for four years, when I sat down with her for my annual evaluation. She didn't say much at first. It was tense, and quiet.

Then she said to me, "What are you still doing here?" 

I didn't know what to say. I was shocked, and confused. I just said, "I work here. This is my job. What do you mean what am I still doing here?" 

She only said, "You're better than this. I feel like you're settling because you're afraid to move on to something else. I worry that you think you can't do better but you can. You shouldn't be here. There's nowhere else for you to grow. It's time to bet on yourself and make your dreams come true. I'm never going to fire you but I want you to soul search, identify your passions, and pursue them. I'll be a reference for you and help you the best I can. Bet on yourself now."

So I did. She knew what I wanted. We had spoken and had conversations. She knew I wanted to live in a city and she knew I wanted a more challenging career. She also knew that I was just scared. 

I was scared that I wasn't good enough. I was scared that I wasn't smart enough. I was scared that people wouldn't hire me because I didn't do things the "right" way because I didn't go to college immediately after high school and I didn't graduate at 22 with a 3.8 GPA.  I didn't have an internship or any major college accomplishment. I didn't have anything that made me stand out from the crowd or that made me look like I was going to be a wise investment.

I was just a woman in my late 20's with a lot of regret and a pipe dream that I could move past those regrets and still live a life I wanted. 

Yet she told me to bet on myself.

She encouraged me to apply for jobs that I thought were far above my qualifications but I did and I was hired.

She encouraged me to move to Atlanta and chase my dreams so I did and it's been a stellar success.

She encouraged me to always bet on myself and know that I can do more than I think I can. 

So now I'm here to tell you the same thing. No matter how you feel or what regrets you might have you have to bet on yourself. You can make your dreams come true. All you have to do is roll the dice, take a risk, and believe in yourself. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Guest Post: A Hopeful Hood

As I mentioned, while on vacation, I have some great posts lined up for you to read. Today's is from an awesome blogger, Julie. I have enjoyed getting to know her through her blog, and today's post is not different! Enjoy her tips (I know I have!).  


hey, i'm julie and i blog over at a hopeful hood, which is--besides a play on my last name--a space where i talk about home renovations, teaching, crafts, and other random things. i love morgan's inspiring diy projects and her insights on life (like her tips for making the babysitter feel more at home! as someone who still babysits and loves to know the end time/where the pretzels are....). i'm so excited to chat with you all on this great blog!

as someone who works full time and doesn't have time (or the level of care) for an extensive beauty routine, i've rounded up some of my favorites.

5 hair essentials every low-maintenance girl needs:

i recently wrote a fancy updo post about how i recently did my hair for a wedding, but even that was really easy and low-effort. i'm always in a rush in the morning, and although i love having long hair, i don't have the level of effort to devote to burning it straight/frying it curly/actually doing anything (besides a braid, messy bun, etc.). this means i've had to collect a few things that makes my hair less crazy while still being low-maintenance!

//1// dry shampoo. i've been using this, but i can't wait til it runs out and i can try the cheaper (and supposedly better!) dove version. am i the only one who's hair looks fine the night before and then that morning is suddenly a bit greasy???

//2// extra hair ties in your bag for when your hair goes wild but you're already halfway to work.

//3// headbands for when the humidity kicks up flyaways. (please tell me philly isn't the only place that consistently has 90% humidity!)

//4//leave-in conditioner because you just didn't have time to condition in the shower (my favorites are mane & tail and the organix argon oil, pictured above).

//5// bobby pins that match your hair color so when the messy bun goes awry you can subtly fix it without having to to take it out and redo it....because that takes too much effort.

*bonus favorite*
waterless face wash! all you do is pour a little on a cotton pad and wipe gently over your face. this also works really well when camping and you don't have running water to wash your face! or when you're too lazy to walk all the way to the bathroom and want to "wash your face" in bed...jk, that's never happened.........

what are your favorite hair essentials? 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Guest Post: Adventures with Luka

Good morning!

As I mentioned, while on vacation, I have some great posts lined up for you to read. Today is no different! Meet Ashleigh, who blogs over at Adventures with Luka. Enjoy this post, and be sure to go say hello!


Hey everyone! This is my first time writing a guest blog post, so please bear with me :)

My name is Ashleigh and I run Adventures with Luka when I’m not teaching or volunteering at my church. My days are filled with work, volunteerism, reading, or taking care of my dog, Luka. He’s quite the pup and never allows for a dull moment.

It is my pleasure to share some of what God has been placing on my heart lately, and something I deal with often. You are not who the world thinks you should be. You are who God made you to be and you are on a trajectory of becoming who He wants you to be.

Working at a Christian middle school, I get a lot of my students commenting on my singleness. In this day and age, having “someone” is everything. Assuming (correctly, I might add) that I am living by God’s standards when it comes to relationships, my students are often baffled at how I embrace my single life. Not a month ever goes by without at least one student asking a question along the lines of, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” “Do you want to get married?” “Why aren't you married?” “Aren't you oh, so lonely?” When I first began teaching three years ago, I would cringe at these questions. How insensitive can these kids be? Of course I want a boyfriend and to be married. No, I don’t know why I’m single. If I did, I would fix it! Now, I never answered that way, but the three years of practice have helped me refine my attitude toward the questions themselves. I no longer cringe. I actually smile. Though my students (and many other people) think that there must be something wrong with me because I’m single at (almost) 26, there isn't. I’m right where God has placed me. I smile because when they ask I get to share with them an often unspoken and unheard truth about God. That truth is that there is no peace, no completion, no joy when you step outside of God’s will

After a long internal struggle, I decided in March to give an entire year to God and God alone. No more going on dates, no more saying yes when people ask if they can set me up, no more looking at that cute new guy in church or the store or the gym and wondering if he is single and loves Jesus. No more wondering where my future husband could be, if he even exists. None of that. An entire year focused on growing in God. An entire year focused on getting to know my Creator more intimately. An entire year learning what vulnerability and falling in love are really like with the most perfect Being there ever was, is, and will be. An entire year of seeking Christ before anything else. An entire year of spending time in the Word daily. An entire year of only looking to Him for my peace, joy, happiness, fulfillment, contentedness, and comfort. It’s only been almost two months, but they have been the best two months I've had in a very, very long time. I’m falling SO in love with Christ! I thought I already was in love with Him. Oh, how wrong I was!

We all live in a society which expects—sometimes it demands—of us what we cannot give and do not have. It expects us to have our lives completely together. Especially the Christians. We need to be tolerant, but not without backbone. We need to stand firm, but not too firm. We need to hold convictions, but we better not be offensive. We should stand out, but not too much. No matter where you are in life-- single, married, widowed, with children, without children (and trying), grieving the loss of a child, not even wanting children, in the process of adopting, divorced, broken, addicted, struggling, barely hanging on, graduating high school and afraid, graduating college and lost, changing careers and confused-- God loves you. God wants you to look to Him for your fulfillment. You worth comes from Him alone. Don’t look to the world for your worth. Look to God. How? The Word of God. A trusted pastor or mentor to give you guidance about a confusing concept in the Word of God. You don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to have it all figured out. You don’t need to have your future decided when you’re 18. You don’t need to have $50,000 saved up by the time you’re 30. You don’t even need to have $1,000 saved up by that time. 

All you need, all you need, is to know where to fix your eyes. Fix your eyes upon the unchanging, everlasting, unconditionally loving God. The One who was before time. The one who created all things. The one who knit you together in your mother’s womb. The one who holds the whole world in His hands. The one who loves you so much that He decided to come to Earth in the form of a man, retaining His full deity, and bearing ALL of your sins upon the cross. Though He was sinless, He chose to carry your sins. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, can define you apart from Him. He is all that matters. In that, seek to please Him alone. You will not regret it!

Connect with Ashleigh!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Guest Post: 2015 Summer Trends

While I am away on vacation, I have a few wonderful guest posts lined up for you! I hope you enjoy them. Today's post is written by my dear friend Casey (who you will recognize from a couple of other posts - my crazy birthday lunch and this amazing apple pie recipe).

Enjoy these tips!


Get Trendy With It!  The weather is finally heating up, so it's time to hit the racks!  Here are some pieces that you should look out for as you enhance your summer wardrobe.  

Color: Aquamarine
The number one color of the summer is AQUAMARINE!  Who doesn't love aquamarine?  I really think this color looks great on every skin color and hair tone!


Pattern: Gingham
Going on a picnic?  Well, maybe not, but this pattern is a must this summer - from dresses and bathing suits to shorts.


Jumpsuits & Rompers
Jumpsuits and rompers, OH MY!  You can dress up or dress down. The only down-fall is going to the bathroom - full clothing removal (meh). Man oh man, are they cute though!


Gladiator sandals
Lace up or zip up?  The strappier and taller, the better.


High-Waisted Bathing Suit Bottoms
Lower belly pooch?  Worry no more!  


Were you one of the lucky ones that snagged these Lilly bottoms at Target?  Too bad they are sold out now!


This lovely detail can make any ordinary dress extraordinary! It's simple, classic, and feminine.


You will be sure to catch some eyes if you have these cute trends on this summer!

What are your favorite trends this summer? What are your summer wardrobe "go-to's" and staples? 

Until next time - -