Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in the Life : 2013

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Today is the last day of 2013. Wow. I can't even believe that another year has flown by, but here's a pint sized look at what this year has looked like for me. 
In January I switched my major from Biology to Political Science…probably the best school related decision I've made in a while. I also had tons of stuff for Mardi Gras because I was a maid (princess) for a Mardi Gras crew! 

Caroline, Me, and Katie before the ball! #merica
the coolest picture ever of me being presented amidst tons of confetti 
This is y proof that I was born to be a princess. 
Not much happened for me in February. I just enjoyed being back and school and actually loving my classes for once. In February I got my job as a page (which I started in May) and was so so excited! 

I'm pretty sure March was pretty dull as well. I had a major crush on this boy, who I still think is amazing to the day (lolz) and literally could not make myself talk to him. Cue anxiety. Butttt, it was also crawfish season + practically the best time of year. 
quite possibly my fav pic of me and carol ever…and we take pretty good pics together 
Still not talking to Mr. wOnderful, still loving my classes, still trying to find interesting things to do to cure my boredom at school. 

School ended and my paging job started at the capitol. I seriously loved it so much and can't wait to go back in 2014! Changing to Political Science was such a good switch for me and finding out just how much I loved working with politics only cemented that as a good decision in my mind. Btw, I finally talked to Mr. Wonderful, and it was great, but no one is ever as cool as you think they are (looking at you, Mr. Styles)…moral of the story - don't sell yourself short and give yourself anxiety about talking to cute boys. 
Me with the Governor of Louisiana! (who I hate..but it's still cool, right?)

the ceiling in the House of Reps Chamber 
Came home for summer and enjoyed lazing around by the pool. My dad got married in June and that brought lots of issues and new adjustments, but I'm glad to say that now things are alright. Step moms aren't always monsters. 
me with my dad and Hannah at the wedding 
July was practically holiday all month long. I was in Florida for about two weeks and it was amazing. Since Hannah and I are older now, we can go see cooler things like The Amelia Island History Museum and ride bikes around the island instead of only playing at the beach. So much more fun. July also brought the year anniversary of Mal's passing and it was so strange. It was nice to be able to go back to the place where we released her ashes, but strange to think it'd been a year without her. Grief is weird. My Kate Middleton obsession reached fever pitch and Prince George was born! So monumental! I also started talking to Amy while I was in Florida, which was such a blessing and a major part of why I soon started Sarah Smile! July was a really great month this time around.
having fun at the Amelia Island History Museum. I swear, it's so cool! 
the best announcement ever. 
Unfortunately, school started again and I had to be there two weeks early for sorority rush. It was a blast. This was my first semester taking virtually all poli sci classes and I just loved it. Apparently, I am really excellent at public policy. 
my room on move in day
MY BIRTHDAY MONTH, biatches. I literally took a whole month to celebrate my birthday, but I especially loved my Kate Middleton-esqe celebrations as well as my weekend in New Orleans. I shopped way to much…per usual. I also started Sarah Smile! Such a blessed month! This is also when my major One Direction crush hit. I saw This is Us and it was all own hill from there..in the best possible way. #futuremrsstyles

Football season was in full swing! I didn't do much of anything but try to get the hang of blogging and keep school under control. Also, Mal's 25th birthday was on the 12th, so again, another weird day.  

November was pretty awesome! I went to Memphis for Hannah's one year check-up at St. Jude's and got Sarah Smile redesigned! It was a month of milestones (I think I hit 50 BL followers then too) and I really loved feeling like I was actually becoming good at blogging! 

CHRISTMAS! I did Blogmas, which I seriously loved (Thanks Amy), and just basically threw myself into the Christmas spirit. I had so much fun with my family and had lots of lovely lazy days! I also joined Southern Blog Society and started talking to Amy, Jocelyn, and McKenna on a practically everyday basis..more milestones I'm so happy about! 

How was your 2013? What are this year's highlights for you?
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Week in the Life #4

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Phew, this had been a long week! I tried to keep my collages separated by day and then days started getting fuzzy. I had so much fun getting to spend time with my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, step family, parents, etc…I am worn out in the best possible way. Here are a few way too many snaps from the week. 
 On Monday, my family and I went to this small little poboy shop on the campus of the university of my town. I love the little small town feel and all the newspaper clippings and old pictures up on the walls. Tres cool! 
 My outfit on Christmas Eve / Just one of our tables full of fireworks / the fire pit where I stayed all night / this is how we do holidays in the south - food, food, and more food. 
Santa coming to visit the kids on Christmas Eve / My favorite Tyler Oakley quote to date (I downloaded the tumblr app and have not logged out since) / My mom and aunt making fun of my sister and I for our "sorority pose" 
The gingerbread house I made with my step-siblings that soon fell apart / My present straight from LONDON! (The last place it was open was in London and then I opened it, which basically means I was there…right??) / MY London umbrella that I am obsessed with / My cousins and being all cute and loving 

Playing games after all the Christmas festivities (I won) / My Naked 3 pallet, which I am obsessed with / My Lush bath! I split it in half and it was still awesome! Perfect for Christmas Day 
 Caroline got me Ruby Woo for Christmas! Eek! / Carol and I's celebratory brunch at Cracker Barrel, mmm mmm good / My favorite holiday snap chat of all 

How was your Christmas? Are you looking forward to New Year's Eve? Would y'all be interested in seeing a "What I got for Christmas" post?

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Post Christmas Blues

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So Christmas has come and gone and I can't help but feel a bit sad. Am I the only one that does this? To me, it's just so weird that we build a day up for so long and then all of a sudden it's over. And then on top of it all being gone, nothing ever lives up to all the hype...so it's all a bit weird. I mean I'm having loads of fun with my family and got everything I ever could have wanted, I just wish I could rewind and have December all over again! 
I'm currently coping with the post Christmas blues by pretending it's still Christmas. My family is keeping our tree up for at least another week and I think the lights on my bed will become permanent because I just love them. Today I am hanging out with Caroline to exchange presents and watch Christmas movies. I am going to try to stretch the festive spirit as long as possible. #sorrynotsorry 
It's actually a bit funny because I hate to let go of Christmas so much I once begged my mom to leave the tree up all year and just add seasonal decorations. Needless to say, she said no. 
Anyhow, there are a few things to update you on before the new year starts! I successfully made it through Blogmas and didn't miss even one post! I never thought I'd make it through but I'm so pleased to say I did. It was so much fun and I really have so much respect for people who consistently post everyday. 
I am taking part in the 2014 Blogger Challenge which means twice a month I'll post on a certain topic chosen by the Challenge leader. I'm really excited as I think it'll push me a bit out of my "comfort zone" posts and give me a few creative ideas! You can expect to see the first post about New Year's Resolutions motivation sometime next week! 
My obsession with Kate Middleton has reached unhealthy heights. Can we just discuss how amazingly perfect she is? #idie 
How was your Christmas? What was your favorite part of the day? 
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

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I am SO excited that Christmas is finally here! I have so many family things planned for today and feel so blessed to have gotten so many great things, but also blessed with so many good people in my life! 
Today, eat tons of food, spend lots of time with your family and friends playing games and taking silly pics, and soak up all the good memories you can! 

Christmas goes by so quickly and is such a rush, but most importantly, be thankful for the gifts that aren't under the tree! I am so thankful for all of you guys and the lovely comments and emails I get and the friends I've made through doing this! I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for us! 
I love you all and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

What are your Christmas plans? What is the best gift you've gotten or given this year?

P.S. - If you can't wait to see what I've gotten, check out my instagram @sarahashtynn! You can tweet me your favorite presents and adorable Christmas outfits @sarahsmileblog too! I'd love to share in all the Christmas cheer with you! 
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Christmas Eve!

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It's Christmas Eve, which means...
But it also means that...

And tomorrow morning we get to wake up and open all our lovely presents...

If your Christmas spirit is a bit lacking or you just love Christmas tunes, I've made you the perfect playlist for today! Get super excited, SANTA IS ALMOST HERE!

What are your Christmas Eve plans? 
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Week in the Life #3

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This week has been pretty boring. It was my first week home and I spent the majority of it waking up late, catching up on missed blog posts and YouTube vids, and just generally have lazy days. It's been so good to have "resting" time, but alas, I got a bit bored, so now all my cousins are in for Christmas and I'm ready to embrace the crazy! 
My Lush bath! I used the Cinders bath bomb and it was amazing! It smelled sweet and a bit citrus-y to me, but also with a hint of like spruce or something? I'm not very good at defining scents but I can say it was awesome and the popping candy made it even cooler! It was my first true Lush bath and OMG, so worth it! 
Is this not the worst collage you've ever seen? #soz
If you've ever wondered if putting ice cream in hot chocolate is a good idea, I have the answer...yes. This week I let my bezzies Caroline and Allyce take center stage to tell you a few funny things about me and I also went on a totally unnecessary Target haul. So worth it though. I also wrote a post on my feelings about sex and religion and all those things people are afraid to discuss. I was a bit ton worried to post it at first, but am so glad and proud that I did. It felt really nice to say how I felt and actually post it. 
 This week I went to Coffee Depot (a small coffee shop in my hometown where I also work when I'm home) about 7 times. On Wednesday they had their Christmas party for the whole town where local people and the 4th grade class from the Catholic school sang carols and they also served dinner. It was so much fun! Oh, and Mrs. Clause also told stories...trĂ©s cool! I worked there on Saturday and Sunday mornings and then I went to the employee Christmas party on Sunday night. Caroline and I both work there so here are a few pics of us! 
Also, it's a tradition that they put out a whole Christmas village along with a toy train during the holiday season. People get obsessed with it and I totally see why. The village is massive (I'm talking like 15 little buildings) with street lights, benches, trees, people, animals, the whole shebang, and I totally wish I could shrink myself and live there! 
I finished the weekend off at my grandmother's eating dinner and having good talks with my family. All in all, a very rewarding and relaxing week! 

How was your week? Are you ready for Christmas? #only2days
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Best (and easiest) Desert Ever.

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My grandparents make these things called pralines practically every time there is something special going on. Pralines are pretty easy to find in stores in the South, but I can vouch for the fact that theirs are the best! If you're looking for a super easy desert to bring to holiday parties or Christmas dinners, look no further! All you'll need is :
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup milk
-2 cups of chopped pecans
- 1/2 stick of butter or margarine
(It's safe to say these aren't the healthiest, but it's the holidays, no calories counting, mkay?)
Start by chopping your pecans like moi
 Then mix your milk, sugar, and pecans in a pot on high heat (stir every so often because it can't stick to the pot!)
 When it starts boiling you can turn it down to medium heat
 Keep stirring so it doesn't stick and it should start turning this glorious golden brown
 After about 15 minutes, it should get thick enough to where when you're stirring, you can see the bottom of the pot...
 Between 15-20 minutes, when it gets thick enough to really see the bottom, take it off the burner and add your butter
 This recipe should make around 20 depending on how big they are, and you can just plop them down on foil (but make sure to spray it with non stick spray)
 When you see that they've cooled, flip them over to cool the bottoms, which also makes them a bit flatter
 After letting them cool for about 30 minutes, you can now place them on a platter to serve! 
 We packaged ours up nicely in little baggies as teacher gifts! 
 Here's the cute little recipe card just for giggles! It's so old! 
What's your favorite holiday desert? Do you have a special family recipe? 
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