Saying Goodbye to my 20’s!

#30/30

I’m writing this post on May 4th, 2017 at 10:30PM, my 30th post of 30 posts, just right before I turn 30 in an hour and a half. It feels slightly surreal ending a decade and entering into another.

Here’s my top ten of my 20’s:

  1. Moving 8 times within 10 years!
  2. Going to my dream school, Southeastern University.
  3. Backpacking Europe with Amy & Starting Bird’s Nest. From that, discovering a new passion for writing.
  4. Traveling to other countries like Israel, Nicaragua, Mexico, Bali, Thailand, and China!
  5. Pursuing my Master of Divinity at Wake Forest School of Divinity and being so so so happy to finish school!
  6. Eleanor, because that’s my girl.
  7. Moving to Charleston without a job or place to live, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I made in my 20’s.
  8. Of my 20’s, I think 26 is still my favorite year.
  9. Working in hospice was one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had. Learning as a young person to live an abundant life without regrets, centered around Jesus, has been life changing.
  10. The biggest decision I made as a 20-something: Michael & getting back together, engaged, and married!

What a decade! I am so incredibly blessed. There’s been hard seasons- seasons of depression, a lot of work with school, and growing in everyway possible- but all of it has been a sheer gift from a loving and faithful God. I’m so blessed to have the family and friends I do, the community I have both near and far, and that I get to live this life. It’s humbling.

Cheers to my 20’s!

North Carolina, Banana Walnut Muffins, & More

Recently

Time is flying, am I right or am I right?! Recently, Michael and I went to North Carolina to both Winston-Salem & Asheville, NC for a combo Christmas/Birthday gift. We stayed in a log cabin with a wood-burning fireplace and he was in fire-heaven (oxymoron?) building that fire. I enjoyed gazing at those muscles building that fire! OW OW! Hehe!

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We explored The Biltmore on a snowy day, visited a few breweries, and hit the slopes for a little skiing. We took advantage of our on-deck grill for steaks, grilled pizza, and salad (of course), cozying up for the Super Bowl, basketball games, and a movie!

Recipe

My new favorite ripen banana recipe makes 24 delicious Banana Walnut muffins, good throughout the week and perfect for individual freezing:

Mix Dry Ingredients:

  • 4 cups 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix Wet Ingredients:

  • 7 very ripe medium bananas
  • 2 large brown eggs
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar
  • ½ cup zero calorie baking stevia
  • ½ cup organic agave syrup
  • ½ cup organic melted coconut oil
  • 10oz 0% plain greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stir together, fold in 1 cup of chopped walnuts, pour in greased muffin pan, and bake at 350 for about 22-25 minutes!

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Funnies and Warm Fuzzies:

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7a2045ba7770c26c82afa8cc7232d7f7And finally, watch & listen to this video. SO good.

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xo!

 

#TGIThursday!

Folks, it’s Thursday! It’s been one heck of a week around here. One word regarding work: audit.

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[Photos of people being blown by a leaf blower]

This post is to cover a few reasons why I’m oh-so-very happy it’s Thursday!

First thing is first…Michael and I are getting married in 100 days! ONE HUNDRED DAYS!

The wedding dreams have been in full-swing and last night I had a dream that the bridesmaid dresses were blue corduroy jumpsuit dresses with a white turtleneck. They looked very similar to this:

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Next up is a MAJOR shout-out to this birthday girl!!! She’s officially in a new decade and she is thirty, flirty, and thriving! Happy Birthday, Brandy! I miss you terribly here in Charleston. Our “Brandy & Shea Take On Charleston Day” is absolutely one of my favorite days with you and with this city!

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I’m also excited it’s Thursday because Scandal is back on tonight and we finally get to know “where in the world is Oliva Pope.”

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In other television news, tonight is the series finale of Parenthood. This has been one of my favorite shows and my guess is that I’ll be boo-hooing like a baby when I watch that last episode. Cue the tissues.

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One last hurrah…this is my 300th post on Bird’s Nest!!! Thank you so much for reading my ramblings. I’m so grateful!

That’s all I got. Happy Thursday y’all!

Well Hello!

Happy Sunday y’all!

I’ve been binge watching “Once Upon a Time” on Netflix with my favorite buffalo chicken soup and hot tea. Shea bird has been dealing with a full-blown cold the past 3 days.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve caught up here on Bird’s Nest. What can I say? The “3W’s” have been a bit time consuming: work, working out, & wedding planning.

Speaking of wedding planning…things are moving right along and major pieces are coming together! I’ve come to realize that having an “over the top” wedding means something very specific…it means you pay “over the top”, as in… over the top of the budget! I’m sure have another blog post dedicated to my DIY candles, centerpieces, welcome bags, invitations, and how to remove spray paint quickly from ya skin. You just wait…

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In other news, I’ve “borrowed” my parents Vitamix since Christmas and have been obsessed with it. My favorite go-to smoothie drink: mix 2 cups of spinach, 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 3 frozen strawberries, 1 cup of ice, 8 drops of liquid stevia. YUM. (Mom, let’s make a deal…either I could permanently “borrow” this lovely machine or it would make a lovely wedding present…however you want to look at it.)

Another YUM…Quest nutrition protein bars are my new favorite treats. ¼ to ½ of a bar will usually suffice for a “tie-me-over”. Honorable flavor mentions: chocolate chip cookie dough, S’mores, and cookies & cream. You won’t be disappointed!

I had a bridezilla moment the other morning when my MOH (maid of honor) told me about one of our favorite restaurants not having the baked brie appetizer we were wanting for the bachelorette weekend. Yes y’all, bridezilla over brie cheese. Heh…if you don’t understand, this article sums everything you need to know about me when it comes to food.

Life is good, I am blessed and humbly grateful. I miss Michael terribly. Being long distance while planning for a wedding and marriage isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a good thing we have ski plans coming up soon! Yippeeee!

I hope all is well in your precious life!

Xo.

2 Years in Charleston & a 2014 Recap

It’s my 2-year anniversary in Charleston! Last year I wrote this love story about Chuck. Hindsight really is something else. I smile at the memory of that roadtrip down here, the days searching for a place to nest, and the many Dunleavy’s wings consumed because I fell in love with them right away and used the excuse that I didn’t have a “proper working kitchen.”

The first year was a beautiful collection of tasting and knowing risk and reward. I grew into the person I’ve been called to be and wanted to be. My second year let me settle comfortably into this town for a hot second…and then I reconnected with Michael and the year flew!

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I look back at 2014 and am still wondering if there was actually a summer! (There was, I just checked.) There were so many trips taken, countdowns counted, and not nearly enough beach visits as I wanted. Between work during the day, the gym at night, and every few weeks traveling to see Michael, 2014 blurred by!

I’m not complaining though. I threw out my old slippers (that I’ve had since 5th grade……………), got mom to take a selfie with me, tried my first “hot-off-the-belt” donut, and adored the holidays with family!

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Other highlights of 2014: I traveled to Bali, embarked upon a new writing project, had (and still have) an obsession with oatmeal, and party-it-up’d celebrating my friends’ weddings…2014 was sweet! Anhhh… and my favorite highlight of 2014: getting engaged this year!Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 8.11.16 PM

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2015 is going to be amazing. Amidst the wedding plans, honeymoon, and marrying Michael, how could it be anything less than awesome? Sure, a tad (understatement) stressful but it’s a gift and the adventure is wild! I’m humbly grateful.

I have a feeling in two years, I’ll look back at this season of my life and smile with the same endearment as I do to 2013-Shea. Hindsight will be a better view then, but right now I’m living in the moment and focusing on soaking up every precious day I have. It’s an abundant life and God is so faithful! Cheers to 2015!

This-n-Thats.

I could write about a bazillion different things but let’s be honest, ain’t no body got time for that. (P.S. Michael just introduced me to the youtube video from where that originates. Heh, late bloomer?) So I bring you some random this-n-that’s.

Katherine Heigl’s character’s name is “Charleston Tucker” on her new show State of Affairs. I loooooove the name!

Eleanor has been OBSESSED with this ribbon. It’s cute super annoying because she wants to play ALL.THE.TIME. Sure Eleanor, I’m ready to drag it around the house for your entertainment…who cares it’s 3am. I love her too much to take it away. I threw it in the trash a week ago and my roommate got it out. Eleanor is enamored with it.

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$2.55 for gas? Yes.please.thank you!

Honeycrisp apple + pomegranate seeds + a wee bit of Trader Joe’s Honey Goat Cheese on top of salad greens = winning.

My favorite movie as a child was “Cinderella”. I am a giddy 5-year-old watching this preview. Is it March yet?!

3 days until Michael comes to visit! THREE.DAYS.

I had the best sandwich of my life from Tattooed Moose called “The Thanksgiving Sammy”. In case you were wondering, it’s made of “herb roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, mayo & crispy onions on toasted wheat served with a side of gravy for dippin’!” I’ve thought of that sandwich every single day since I tried it 11 days ago.

The Hunger Games Mockingjay this weekend!

Nordstrom really does have the best customer service. Kuddos!

Blue Cheese + the Color Red.

In my last post I talk about change and how if things don’t change, they can start to stink. Apparently change is one of my favorite topics on Bird’s Nest because I’ve talked about it a lot… like here and here.

There are some things that I’m confident will never change…like how much I love cat week on Ellen, eating salads (I seriously love them), and the power of endorphins after a great workout.

I’ve also been thinking of things that I used to really dislike. Among that list included foods like blue cheese, peanut butter, bananas, and squash. With an open palate and few tastes of each here and there, now I can’t seem to get enough of those. (Blue cheese, who would have thought?! Peanut butter? A few tablespoons a day, paaaahlease.) cb18d9af96f75e128f8ad90adb9bcb05

(Autumn Salad with Figs + Blue Cheese)

Wearing the color red? No way…hardly any pieces in my closest with that color. Now I can’t stop thinking about how to incorporate it into my fall wardrobe. f71d17d4c5a6db124c8c4e86fbe1348f

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Country music was once nails on a chalkboard for me. Now, I could probably sing along to most of the current radio country hits. Who am I?!!

Another (honest) “dislike” turned to like love: Michael. Yeah, it’s true. After he and I broke up in high school, I could barely stand to be in the same room with him—and considering that “room” was the sanctuary at our home church, I had some major negative vibes going out as I lifted my hands lovingly to God in worship! Oh the irony! My heart changed and what can I say?…I can’t imagine my life without him. 1625630_10201720682290211_4899466001597001571_n I’m still waiting on my taste buds to change on foods like mushrooms…still a bit iffy about avocados, and definitely don’t like tofu. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying them. I’m open. Maybe I just need to taste them a different way, see them (preferably hidden) in something else? Like that banana nut bread with avocados and chia seeds I’ve made in the past, total winner!

Here’s what I’m getting at: Be open. Try new things. Make changes. We just might surprise ourselves and discover how much better our lives are with something we once wrote off, or maybe even someone we once closed the door to. We are creatures made to evolve and transform!

So I’m curious…what foods did you used to hate as a kid but now adore? What about trends or habits that you thought you’d never do but now have become the norm?