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 - - 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bon Voyage!

Happy Wednesday!

I have some big news - tomorrow (Thursday) - Spencer and I are leaving for our big European vacation that we've been saving for! We finally saved enough, and got it all planned out. I can't believe it's here already!

I'd like to ask you for your prayers as we travel, for safe flights, good rest, and for an easy time finding our way around. It's my first time in Europe, but Spencer has been quite a bit, so I get to take advantage of his existing knowledge. :)

We will be making our way to the following cities (in this order). I would LOVE to hear any sightseeing and/or restaurant suggestions you may have!

1. Manchester, England
While we are here, we will be attending the Manchester United v. Arsenal "football" match. Man U is Spencer's favorite team, and I'm along for the ride (and the new t-shirt). Go team red! ;)

2. London, England 
In London we will do quite a bit of sightseeing. A few things on my list are Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Big Ben...

3. Paris, France
I'm excited for Paris! I have heard a ton of great things, especially about the food! We know I love food... Also, we are going to take a market cooking class while we're in Paris, which involves going to the market and selecting all of our fresh ingredients. I can't wait!

4. Florence, Italy
Many people have told me that Florence will likely be our favorite city. The architecture, the history, and the people are said to be some of the best. While we are in Florence, we are planning to take a day trip to Tuscany for a wine tour. I'm looking forward to experiencing some of the Italian countryside!

5. Rome, Italy
Our final stop will be in Rome. There are certainly no shortage of sights to see in Rome, and I hope we have time to get to most of them. Which ones do we HAVE to see?

Over the next 2 weeks, I have some guests posts lined up for you. I hope you stick around and get to know some of my blogging friends!

Also, make sure you are following me on my social media accounts. I plan to share some pictures as I have access to wi-fi.

Facebook: Yellow Door Diaries
Twitter: @YellowDoorDiary
Instagram: @YellowDoorDiaries
Pinterest: Yellow Door Diaries

au revoir!  arrivederci!

Monday, May 11, 2015

All American Progressive Dinner: Jalapeno Pimento Cheeseburgers

Summer is just around the corner, which means Memorial Day is upon us. Can you believe it? And Memorial Day means picnics, swimming, grilling, fireworks, and relaxing. Those are pretty much all of the best summer activities all rolled into one day!

If you're trying to plan a Memorial Day menu (or haven't even thought about it yet), we are here to save the day! I've teamed up with Jaelan from Making Mrs. M and Olivia from Snyders Tell All to bring you an All American Progressive Dinner! So get your pen and paper ready for your grocery list, and prepare for a major drool-fest...

My leg of the progressive dinner was the entree. There are so many options out there that would be wonderful, but really, what says "AMERICA" more than a classic cheeseburger?

To pump it up a notch, I decided to make some jalapeno pimento cheese for a kick. And let me assure you, it did not disappoint! 

Let's get started by making the pimento cheese.


  • 2 cups extra sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (trust me, use Duke's)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 oz. diced pimentos (drained)
  • 1 small (seeded) minced jalapeno
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Put all ingredients, except the salt and pepper, into a large bowl and blend with a mixer or by hand. If mixing by hand, be sure to press down on the cream cheese to be certain it gets incorporated evenly.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • That's it. Seriously.

The rest of the recipe is simple - just grill your burgers using your favorite seasonings (we went with salt, pepper, and garlic powder so we didn't steal the pimento cheese's thunder), and add toppings as you like. Lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, mustard, ketchup...get creative and add some bacon, sauteed mushrooms, potato chips, whatever you want! The world (burger) is your oyster.

Here is how mine turned out. It was really messy to eat, but aren't all of the yummiest things? It was husband, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law approved.

What do you think? Do you have any Memorial Day recipes that you love?

Be sure to hop over to see Jaelan's homemade vanilla ice cream and apple crumble pie (droooool) and Olivia's Red, White, & Blue drink AND a bonus second drink recipe, a Beerita!!

Until next time - - 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Five Reasons I'm Thankful for My Momma

Mother's Day. A day created with the sole purpose of honoring our mothers and for showing them appreciation for all they have done and continue to do for us.

As I have gotten older, I realize that my mom's role in my life has changed many times. As an infant, her role was to care for my basic needs: food, shelter, clothing. As I grew, those needs continued but more were also added: walking, talking, learning numbers and letters. Yet again, getting older added new responsibilities for her: manners, social skills, life skills.

I look at things that I do each day, and I can see her hand in almost everything. When I make food, I can remember times that she stood with me in the kitchen and taught me to crack an egg, to properly "fold" a mixture together, and how to add just enough flour to dough to keep it from sticking. When I shower, I can think back to the time she taught me to shave my legs (Spencer says thanks!). I drive myself to work with the memories of her teaching me to drive as a teenager, and I interact with people each day and can hear her voice in my head reminding me to say "please," "thank you," and "yes ma'am."

I value her more than she knows, and I certainly do not tell enough just what an impact she has made in my life.

Well, Momma, on this Mother's Day I want to share with you five (of many) reasons that I am so grateful for you.

1. You taught me that "stuff" will not make me happy.
We didn't always get everything we wanted or thought, at the time, that we "needed." At the time, it seemed so unfair. In hindsight, however, I am so glad you did not give in to all of our whims and wishes. It taught me, and my sisters, to be grateful for what we were given, to be content with less, and that using our imaginations could be so much more fun than any store-bought toy. That same imagination now helps me both at work and at home! 

2. I learned the value of family.
At a certain age, it seems all teenagers (females in particular) only want to be with their friends. I am sure all three of us were no exception. I am so appreciative, though, that you taught us how valuable our family is in our lives. You have always been close with your family, and have encouraged us to be close with ours, to "hug it out" - as much as we didn't want to - after a fight, and to remember that family is always family - through arguments, hurt feelings, and hard times. And as I get older, I have found that to all be true. My number of close friends has dwindled to a very special handful, and I see now how my family is always there for me, no matter what. 

3. Thanks to you, I can manage my home.
As a kid, it wasn't always fun to have to clean my room, to do a load of laundry, to make my bed, or to do the dishes. I even was jealous when I had friends who never had to do any of these things. I would think "that's not fair, I have to do so much and your parents do it all for you!" I couldn't see that it was actually the best thing you could have done for me. I learned to appreciate the things I had, to care for them and to keep them in good condition. I also was able to transition much more easily when the time came for me to leave home. Unlike others I knew, I could do my own laundry, keep my living spaces clean and tidy, and to be discontent if things were dirty. As I've gotten older and bought my first home, I feel that (for the most part) I can keep it running in an orderly fashion without overwhelming myself. Thank you for a lifetime of preparation for this valuable skill.

4. I inherited your love of cooking.
As you know, I love to cook! I always have. Remember when I would watch Julia Childs on TV (having no idea what she was saying) and then wanting to go into the kitchen and use any and every ingredient I could find to make, well, nothing? I know I got that from you. I loved to sit in the kitchen and watch you make meals - lasagna, chicken casserole, chili, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken...even cinnamon toast! The conversations and the smells - it all is so special to me. You've taught me a lot of your recipes, and I especially value the biscuit bowl and cutter you passed down to me. I will never use anything else. Thanks to this love of cooking, I can keep my husband (and future children) well fed, and love doing it!

5. You have inspired me to be a mother just like you.
More than anything, I am grateful that you have instilled in me the desire to be like you. Being the youngest, I was allowed some special years with you alone while my sisters were at school. I probably remember more of that time than you realize. You were always around to make ordinary days special (front porch picnics, playing in the leaves, and having water gun fights), to foster my passions and creativity, to give plenty of hugs, help us make memories, and to allow us to be kids while also teaching us valuable lessons. I hope that one day when I have children of my own, that I can be as great of a mother to them as you have been to us. 

Momma, as I've gotten older, I've watched our relationship turn into more of a friendship, and it takes a special mom to be able to let go of her "baby" and accept her as a friend when she grows up. Thank you for allowing me to grow up, and for allowing that process to take place. I hope you know just how much I love you!

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Musings: Four

These are always fun for me to read, but I don't often participate! Since I was tagged by the lovely and awesome Christine from The So-Called Homemaker, it gives me a great excuse to jump in. I hope you enjoy getting to know a bit more about me :)

Four Names people call me:
:: Morgs - mostly by my immediate family
:: Momo - extended family
:: Squirt - by my daddy-o
:: Gorgeous, most amazing, perfect woman ever - Spencer (ok, maybe I made that one up)
Four jobs I’ve had:
:: Marketing Coordinator for a law firm - current position
:: YMCA After School Program leader - college
:: Men's Basketball tutor - college
:: Restaurant hostess - high school
Four movies I would / have watched more than once:
:: Pride and Prejudice – I am with Amanda AND Christine on this choice. Never gets old!
:: Gone With the Wind - because the book is so incredible, and the movie has such dreamy movie stars
:: Twilight - all of them. Don't judge!!
:: Elf - Will Ferrell in an elf costume eating cotton balls? All day, every day.
Four Books I would recommend:
:: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
:: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It's just the best of all time, basically. 
:: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
:: Phoenix Island by John Dixon. John is my cousin, and the book is out of my typical genre. But I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I got into it and then I could not put it down! Also, the book was adapted into a CBS series called "Intelligence," which sadly was cancelled after the first season.
Four Places I’ve Lived:
:: North Augusta, SC
:: Columbia, SC
:: Lexington, SC
:: New York City (for a 3 month internship)
Four Places I’ve Visited:
:: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
:: Las Vegas, NV
:: Cancun, Mexico
:: Los Angeles, CA
Four Places I’d Rather Be Right Now:
:: At a spa
:: At home - because ahhhh
:: Europe (10 days!!!)
:: The beach (Hilton Head, probably)
Four Favorite Foods:
:: Chocolate covered strawberries
:: Rare filet mignon
:: Cheese
:: Red wine (is that a food?)
Four TV Shows I Watch:
:: 19 Kids and Counting
:: Married at First Sight
:: Downton Abbey - not caught up, but the costumes, the story!
:: Jeopardy - because I love when I get one right :)
Four things I’m Looking Forward to This Year (2015):
:: Europe!
:: Fixing up our back yard
:: I really hope to re-do our master bedroom!
:: Visiting with family <3
Four Things I Say All The Time:
:: Stoooop
:: Piper, no ma'am!
:: Babe, can you help me?
:: I'm hungry.
Four People I’m Tagging:
:: Elizabeth

:: Cassie
:: Madison
:: Ashley
Can't wait to read your responses!

Until next time - - 

Friday, May 1, 2015

DIY: Refurbished Front Porch Light

So, two years ago (almost to the day), Spencer and I purchased our first home. It was super exciting to have a place to play around with paint and decor! The possibilities of projects around the house made my head spin (in a good way), and it seems that once one project is complete, another takes its place. Can you relate (please, tell me I'm not the only one...)?

Well, one of these projects that I swore I would take care of ASAP, just got finished. As in, this past weekend. 

The front porch light.

It was white plastic, and I'm sure was original to the home. It was dirty (I know, I could have cleaned it), and finally the bulb burned out. Well, instead of replacing the bulb, I used it as motivation to get this little project done. It only took another two months after that :) . Better late than never, right?

This is the poor little guy we started with. So sad. Womp, womp...

 Gross, right???

Well, my sister-in-law gave me the front porch light from her old house. It is MUCH better, but being brass, just didn't match.

 So, like any thrifty DIY-er would do, I dug up some spray paint from the garage cabinet, paint-taped (is that a verb?) that snot out of it, and got to spraying! But, um, problem. Because there always has to be a problem. My brain was on vacation that day, and I forgot to tape off a very important part. The open bottom. Duh. So when I began spraying...yep, you guessed it. I sprayed the entire INSIDE of the glass. Just keepin' it real, y'all.

Nothing that a little (or a crap-ton - I know, also not a real adjective. Just work with me) elbow grease can't get off. I used a Brillo pad and kept right on rolling, pretending it never happened.

Finally, I helped my handy (and handsome) hubby install it. And by "help," I mean I stood at the bottom of the ladder and took pictures. You're welcome, babe.

And, voila! Much better, no?

What DIY projects do you keep putting off?

Until next time - -