...these amazing videos!! I have a very eclectic music taste. I have an appreciation for just about everything except screamo...that is just plain crap in my opinion, but do enjoy some genres more than others. And every now and then, I go through phases when I just love to listen to gorgeous instrumentals....on repeat. And these guys always satisfy my cravings....Enjoy!
The Piano Guys
youtube sensations and incredible musicians
I hope you love them as much as I do! Until next time....
The past few days have been an absolute whirlwind! And the countdowns continue...
5 days till I fly to Oklahoma
7 days till I move to Iowa
I'm finally starting to pack up, and I've just packed up a big box of stuff to ship off to Hillary's so that I don't have to worry about fitting everything into two suitcases. Yep, believe it or not...I cannot fit everything I need for the move in my two suitcases! I'll keep you updated with all the fun experiences ahead, but first want to tell you all about my trip to Knoxville with Erin!
Erin and I headed up to Knoxville - my home away from home - to meet with the Alpha Epsilon chapter for a quick Recruitment check up! It was so good to see some old friends and hear about all the plans for AE's first year IN THE HOUSE!!!!! After a great lunch meeting at Copper Cellar one of my favorites where, in case you were curious, I had an outstanding Crab Bisque and House Salad we all headed over to the Sorority Village construction site for a Grand Tour! =) WARNING: Your jaw will drop at the beauty of this home...
Erin and I with our hats...and again with Rachel and Jessica!
This is the front of the house...the red poles will be columns in just a could days!!
This is the grand staircase in the main lobby which is just plain incredible!!
...apologies for my janky picture connecting, but I wanted yall to see the whole thing...
Here's one of the bedrooms! The closets are a great size (which every girl needs) and have mirrored doors!
And the back of the House! I bought a brick to have at the House, and I found it on the Back Porch!!! I love it so much!!!
It's always a good time when I visit Knoxville! Thanks to Will for coming out with Erin and I, to Katie, Eve, and Kathleen for letting us crash at the Yellow House, and to Rachel, Kelly, and Jessica for meeting with us and showing us the house!! Love you all! See you in October =)
post title courtesy of the song "Tennessee" by The Wreckers
No, I have not just been potty trained. Believe it or not, that life-hurdle was crossed long long ago. But I can't help but think of that phrase as it becomes more and more real to me that I am a GROWN UP! Good, bad, or ugly, it's the truth. It is so strange that the last countdown I had was for Spring Break, Graduation, and Training, but now it's for my TRAVEL AND MOVING DATES!
NINE DAYStill I fly to Oklahoma
ELEVEN DAYS till Imove to Iowa
EEK! Can you believe it!?! I sure can't! I have not even begun to pack...which I usually do like six weeks in advance out of excitement, so I'm way behind on the Mackenzie-is-Moving schedule! I have so much to do, and I can't wait to pack up all my fun new purchases and hit the road!!
For graduation, I asked for a professional wardrobe, because, though I have some great pieces that I wore to work as a collegian, my norts Nike Athletic Shorts for those of you who don't know and large t-shirts far outweigh my business professional clothing. So since I came home for the summer, Momma, Sees, and I have been searching for some basics with a little flair! I'm still hunting for some essentials including the ever so elusive black dress that I cannot find ANYWHERE, but I think I've put together a pretty great selection! On that note, I thought I'd share some of my new I'm-A-Grown-up/Professional Wardrobe!!
One of the biggest things I've learned over the years is to invest in quality rather than quantity. Those of you who know me well know that I am not, by any form or fashion pun intended a trendy gal. I like classic pieces with some sass and flair! I adore shift dresses, pencil skirts, and cardigans. Throughout college, I've learned to scour the sale racks and take advantage of college discounts at quality stores rather than picking multiple items up at cheaper stores because, in my experience, the quality items last longer, wear better, and end up being worth every penny! When you're not a trend-follower, and you've had the same style for many many years, it makes sense to invest in clothes that will last. All this being said, my Aunt Libby and her daughters have an exceptional talent for finding amazing pieces for even better prices - so if you have this gift - go for it! I, unfortunately, do not. haha! I do my best at TJMaxx and throughout the sale racks, and have found some great deals hardly anything above was purchased at full price!, but that's nothing compared to their outstanding finds!! =) All in all, I encourage all you shoppers out there to think about investing in quality pieces that will never go out of style - but never stop hunting for low prices ;-)
Just like the 100 Book Countdown, I wanted to keep a running tally of the states I've been for #82 on my 101 in 1001 - "See all 50 States!" So...I've made this little map that I will continue to update as I visit more and more places!
Every summer we make an effort to head up to Michigan, and to ensure this tradition continues, I added "Visit Michigan" to my 101 in 1001 list. And we did it! Aunt Ruth, Lindsey, and her two kiddos - Kendall and Ethan - drove up to Nashville from Charleston on Saturday night. We enjoyed some chicken fajitas and - of course! - the wine slushies! The next morning, bright and early, we all caravanned up to the good ole Grand Rapids! Along the way, we crossed some borders, which means I have more states to cross off my list!!
We have a bunch of stops we just must make each year when we head up to Michigan, so we hit all the hot spots...Arnie's - our go-to breakfast joint, Jersey Junction - the best ice cream in town, and Aunt Libby's for pizza and game night!
With the Van Dam side of the family, we also went out to a new place! The Boatwerks in Holland for dinner and drinks with my Grandma, Uncle Randy, and his wife Pat was nothing short of phenomenal. The food was great, and the view was spectacular! It was such a gorgeous day, and we stayed a long while just catching up and enjoying the breeze. After dinner, we made sure to drive by the beach - yes, there are white sandy beaches up North - and snap a good picture of the old Van Dam cottage - where my dad use to vacation as a kid! =)
This was the first trip where all of Lindsey and Michelle's kids were around, and it was so great to see them all interact and play. They were crazy and rambunctious and so fun to be around! I am so jealous that they get to grow up with their cousins so close. We were always so far from everyone, but they see each other at least once a month - how fun is that!? Each of them has such an adorable personality, and I just loved having them around! I also loved that I didn't have to change their diapers or deal with the lack of naps....I want kids, but all in good time haha!
One of the biggest parts of our trip was the bridal shower for Shannon - my cousin Paul's fiance. It was such a fun time to get together as girls and play games, eat good food, and catch up with all the Wiersma ladies! Aunt Libby did an incredible job decorating the place, and Michelle's cookies and bingo cards were a huge hit!
The KayDee Lady Limeade that's tight - I pulled that recipe out of my very own sack of tricks and with Aunt Laura's fabulous chicken salad were enjoyed by all!
It was such a lovely shower, and such an awesome trip! It good to see all the Wiersma/Van Dam clans! I sure wish we were closer so we could visit more often. Love you all!
So, as promised but extremely late I want to introduce you to all the amazing women that I will be working with over the next year as a Leadership Development Consultant for Kappa Delta Sorority. If you have no idea what that even means, please check out this post for more information. Essentially, there are 14 Consultants, myself included, who work as the road warriors for Kappa Delta, travelling to chapters nationwide to assist with leadership and chapter development. For the business minded reader, I'm a consultant who travels to the different branches chapters of our corporation sorority to assist with development in order for each of our branches chapters to be as successful as possible. The majority of us are "based" in a particular city to establish a new chapter, or to rebuild the foundation of an existing chapter, while others travel for the entire year to assist with our existing chapters as needed. SO! Here's the gang...
If you've been following my blog, then you know enough about me...if not...then read up, slacker! ;-) All in all, I'm a sarcastic southern girl with big dreams and a big heart. My partner, Hillary, is one of the most incredible women I know. She is selfless and wise, with a huge heart and a precious spirit. She went to Oklahoma State where she majored in Agricultural Communications and Economics - a major I've never heard of, but that will be well-received in Iowa. haha! She is passionate about being a good friend and inspiring confidence in others - the ideal Kappa Delta lady! I can't put my finger down on a specific moment when I knew Hilly and I would make a great team, but somewhere in the midst of long days of training and her somehow capturing all my most unattractive moments on camera, we clicked. Every time we get together, I laugh so much my stomach aches. And somehow we created our own language of acronyms...BBM, LTT, SMPN...the list goes on and on...In less than two weeks, Hillary and I will be moving to Iowa to begin this new chapter in our lives, and I simply cannot wait!!
Erin and Rachel are two lovely ladies who left their hometowns for the sunny shores of Florida! Erin is from the Nashville area - like me! - and made a great study buddy in the weeks leading up to training. She attended Florida Southern College, and is very proud to share that it has been ranked "The Most Beautiful Campus" by the Princeton Review. She is such a firecracker - she knows just how much she deserves and never settles for less. I love that about her! Rachel left the cold weather in Michigan for the sunny University of Southern Florida - yep! Erin went to Florida Southern, and Rachel went to Southern Florida! Everyone calls Rachel "Marsh" after Marsha Brady, she has such a contagious laugh, and she eats more Dove Dark Chocolate than anyone I have ever met. These two ladies will be headed to the opposite end of the country for more sunny skies in San Diego, California come August.
Maddy and Shelby will be such a power couple in Connecticut! They are two sweet southern belles with a whole lot of sass! Maddy went to the University of Florida, but somehow we are friends! She taught me all the secrets of eye makeup while we were at training and was a precious angel for lending me some under-eye concealer on photo shoot day when I woke up with dark circles that zombies would envy! Thanks again, Maddy June! Shelby Mae is just a ray of sunshine, always makes me laugh, and I just know all the New Englanders will just eat her up! She went to Georgetown College, in her hometown of Georgetown, KY, and besides spending six weeks in DC for an internship, Shelby has never spent an extended amount of time away from home. This year will certainly be a growing experience for us all, but I'm excited to see Shelby thrive so far from home! Maddy and Shelby will be making the long trip from the South to the Northeast in just a few short weeks!
Sarah and I actually met in the summer of 2010 in Williamsburg when we both attended the National Leadership Conference for our Kappa Delta chapters. We just happened to sit at the same dinner table, and the rest is history! I was so glad to have her at interviews as a familiar face, and even more excited when we were hired together! She bakes like crazy, which I love, and one of my favorite things on her bucket list is that she wants to get on The Price is Right! Tori is a true southern girl straight out of Louisiana, and has such tangible joy and vibrance that surround her wherever she goes. She is incredibly genuine and curious, always asking questions about others and their lifestyles. Something that never ceases to amaze me is that Tori eats cookies for breakfast! And she has since childhood! Isn't that hilarious!? I love it. Sarah and Tori will be headed to Kennesaw to colonize in August.
Bri, our resident model, is gorgeous inside and out! She is always honest, which I find refreshing, and exudes grace and poise, which I envy. I think Bri surprised all of us when her obsession with "Bad Luck Brian" tweets came out. She laughed so hard over so many funny tweets, which made each one of us laugh even harder! Bri is headed to Washington University in the Spring 2013, and will be assigned a parter sometime within the next semester, but she will be travelling coast to coast this Fall, making frequent stops in St. Louis along the way.
TALK. ABOUT. FIRECRACKERS. This pair is certainly not lacking in sass. Kim and Whittney are the funniest girls in our bunch. Whittney is from LSU, one of our largest Kappa Delta chapters, and is full of great ideas and plenty of sarcasm and one-liners, which always makes me smile. Kim is just a ball of energy that can't be beat. She was constantly singing and dancing around the house, getting everyone pumped up. She has established the LDC motto as "I can't be bothered," and her incredibly carefree attitude about life is something I admire about her! These two will be hitting The Hill to start a new Kappa Delta chapter at The George Washington University!
And last but certainly not least, we have the true road warriors: our travelers! Georgia is our animal lover from Idaho. She is scuba certified and wants to work at Sea World someday! How cool is that?! I always give her a hard time about Idaho and try to compare it to Iowa, which she hates but I love. We also make a habit of calling her by singing the "Georgia" song to her. She will be visiting Delta Pi for Spirit Week and Recruitment, and I just know she will love them as much as I do, and vise versa! Sarah Forsyth is from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and was my roommate during training. She had planned to make us authentic Asian food at training, but we didn't have enough time, and we were all sad that didn't work out. That sure would have been yummy! She also has a military brother like me! Kelsey, my LDC twin, was a founding member of the Kappa Delta chapter at Boston University - how amazing!! She is the only one on our team who has been a part of a colony prior to this experience, and she brings an incredible perspective to our team because of it! She is adorable and genuine and we got very close over training, and I couldn't be happier to have her as my twin!
We're all just a few short weeks away from hitting the road and making great things happen all over the country! I can't believe it's almost here! I still have so much to do to prepare, and I certainly need to pack!! Until next time...
yes, I know I misspelled traveling on the travelers' picture... I'm human. I make mistakes. I was too lazy to fix it by the time I notices. Sorry kiddos.
Reading 100 Books is on my 101 in 1001 List, and I've made some pretty decent headway over the past couple weeks! In order to keep track, I thought I'd post what I've been reading...the titles with asterisks are titles that I would recommend (two for high recommendations),others were just completed...not too thrilling for one reason or another...
100 Book Countdown...
Live It, Love It, Earn It - Marianna Olszewski**
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James*
Fifty Shades Darker - E.L. James*
Fifty Shades Freed - E.L. James*
The Diary of Darcy Rhone (novella) - Emily Giffin
Where We Belong - Emily Giffin**
Southern Charm - Tinsely Mortimer**
Sloppy Firsts: A Jessica Darling Novel - Megan Mccarfferty
Second Helpings: A Jessica Darling Novel - Megan Mccarfferty
Charmed Thirds: A Jessica Darling Novel - Megan Mccarfferty
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling**
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling**
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling**
Girls in White Dresses - Jennifer Close**
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn**
The Summer We Read Gatsby - Danielle Ganek**
Love, Rosie - Cecelia Ahern**
What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty**
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald**
The Spectacular Now - Tim Tharp
The Women of Christmas - Liz Curtis Higgs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
Nothing yet - in search of another fantastic novel!
I had the absolute pleasure of spending the past three days with the wonderful Kappa Delta sisters in our Delta Pi chapter at Middle Tennessee State University for their July Recruitment Retreat. They made me feel so at home and special for my first unofficial visit. I could not have been more pleased with all the hard work they put into their retreat, and the amazing attitudes they maintained no matter how many times we ran through the skit or talked about conversation skills. These girls were such a treat, and I hope to go back to visit again soon!! For all of you readers, here's a special glimpse into their skit: apologies for my giggling in the background...I just could not contain my pride and joy!
Thanks for making my weekend so much fun, ladies! I can't wait to hear about Spirit Week and Recruitment and all the many great things to come! =)
I had every intention of doing a "Things I'm Loving Now" post every month, but it seems that June has just slipped away from me...so! Here's a combined June/July version of the Things I'm Loving Now! =)
1. The Chiropractor
Oh, my dear friends. If you have never been to the chiropractor, I must warn you - IT'S ADDICTIVE. I have suffered from relatively severe back/neck pain for about 4-6 years now, the timeline is fuzzy, but I essentially cannot remember a time when my back wasn't in daily agony...yep, I'm a 21 yr. old trapped in a 98 yr. old's body and finally I just couldn't take it anymore. I asked around, and my precious nurse neighbor, Linda, recommended Cool Springs Back and Neck Care. She'd been going there for years, and had rave reviews, so I thought, what can I lose!? I called them up, made sure they accepted my insurance, and went in for a consultation. Real Life: My life is forever changed. Dr. Caughey and Dr. Ries have been adjusting my spine for about three weeks now, and I legitimately feel so much better. Prior to my treatment, I couldn't run more than a mile without stopping to massage and stretch my shoulder muscles because they were so tense and painful....now I don't get that pain anymore! Which of course means that I have to actually start running more than a mile at a time...which is more difficult than I would care to admit...this is how out of shape I am #ashamed
2. Titanic: The Mini Series
SO GOOD! This four episode miniseries was written and directed by the same man who did Downton Abbey (you can find my rave review for his previous work here), and it is just as good! For any Downton Abbey fans out there, the woman who plays Mrs. Bates in Downton is also featured in the Titanic Miniseries...and it seems that she is a character actress haha! Similar to Downton Abbey, this miniseries focuses on characters from every class division - first class, second class, and steerage/staff. I personally have always loved the story of the Titanic and it's history, as well as this time period, so when I saw that this was released, I was ecstatic! We went straight to RedBox to rent it, and Mommy, Sees, and I all watched it together. I was totally engrossed the whole time. The characters are so well developed and you are instantly obsessed with all of them in different ways. You get completely sucked into the class struggles, the romance, the obvious fight for their lives aboard the sinking ship...*Sigh* I laughed, I cried, it was an all-around hit! I highly recommend that you all watch it!
3. Rain in Tennessee
It has been so dreadfully hot here in Franklin! We have had record breaking temperatures - literally - and until this week, NO RAIN! It has been just unbearably hot and dry, and we've even been placed on a watering ban because we're considered to be in a drought! Fortunately, however, this week has brought the rain! I'm partially bummed because I wanted to spend every day this week on a lounging tube in the center of the pool, but I know that we so desperately need the rain, so I'm happy! PLUS, I just love watching and listening to the rain =) I'm one of those lame people who listens to nature sounds when they need white noise to fall asleep...yep. I'm not ashamed. The picture to the right was taken about half a second ago because I am currently loving the view and the sounds on my back porch while the rain pours down =)
4. Having Time to Read
I love love love to read. Always have. I was THAT KID who was excited for reading time. Once again, I am not ashamed! And this week, I have thoroughly enjoyed curling up with a good book on these rainy days and just soaking up the literature. On my 101 in 1001 list, I put "Read 100 Books," and I am four books down! It's been so good to have the time to read, and I hope that continues the rest of the summer! I've got a eighteen hour round-trip to Michigan and back this next week, so I'm sure I'll get some heavy reading done in that time, which I am thrilled about! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know if you have any book suggestions!! I'm always looking for a good book to read =)
5. The Bachelorette
I can't help it. I love the drama. Team Ari. The End.
6. Highlighter Tape
*NERD ALERT* I know. It's weird. But I just cannot help myself. I'm obsessed with it. I got the idea from a post on Erin Condren's Pinterest (if you don't already know about my EC obsession, please refer to this post), and I literally went to three stores, called two additional, and then finally found this outstanding item at The Parent Teacher Store down the road from mi casa. And, again, I LOVE IT. I very much appreciate highlighters. They make my planner exceptionally organized and colorful, but they bleed through the pages! And that just makes me want to throw a tantrum to rival a two year old. this OCD thing is not a joke..I'm not proud. So! The highlighter TAPE is the perfect fix! Beautiful colors and organization with no bleeding!!! It puts me in my happy place.......please don't think I'm psychotic.
7. Bob Harper's Skinny Rules
YALL! This man....he's a genius. First of all, he's a Tennessee boy and you just know how that tugs on my heart strings =) Second, I am an avid "Biggest Loser" viewer, so even if precious Bob wasn't from Tennessee, I would love him. Third, THIS MAN IS A GENIUS! This stuff works. The truth of the matter is, my weight has been fluctuating like crazy over the past year or so, and it has been driving me crazy. The summer after my sophomore year of college, I was a Student Orientation Leader, and a full summer of ridiculous hours, no exercise, and cafeteria food found me at the heaviest I'd ever been. I decided to take immediate action and within the next six months, I lost over 20 pounds through Weight Watchers - of which I am a firm believer, still to this day, FYI. I was thin, healthy, and oh-so-happy! But, I got lazy. In the past two years, I've gained/lost about 8-10 pounds, and LDC training (more long hours, no exercise, and not-the-healthiest food) pushed me over the edge. Coming home, we Van Dam ladies decided to turn it all around! Mommy, Sees, and I turned to this book, and I am LOVING the results! There are 20 "non-negotiable" rules that Bob lays out in his book including, drink water before every meal, no carbs after lunch, protein at every meal, and don't drink your calories! This last one is the hardest....I want my margaritas!!! I am so happy to say that I've lost 6 pounds in 3 weeks, and I'm so excited to continue this success! fingers crossed that the success DOES continue! YAY BOB!!!
8. Zac Brown Band's New CD!
OH MY WORD!! IT IS SO GOOD!!! Zac Brown Band is one of my all-time favorite musical groups, and they put on literally the best concert I have ever been to. It was phenomenal....I cried the whole time...who's surprised? Not me. Their new CD came out yesterday - which I pre-ordered - so the minute I woke up, I started playing it on repeat, and it's been playing ever since. It is just plain incredible, and a long time coming! Katie, Anna, Richard, and I went to their concert last summer, and we've been anxiously anticipating this album since we heard them sing "Sweet Annie" at the concert...with a special accompanying chorus of sobbing courtesy of me and Katie =) The above video is "Goodbye in Her Eyes," which is one of my favorite songs on the album. Beautiful lyrics, gorgeous harmonies....just plain great music, folks. Enjoy it!
9. My Life!
I am just so incredibly happy with my life right now! I consistently feel blessed and encouraged with the way things are going, and I am so happy to be spending this summer not working which is incredibly unusual for me - I LOVE TO WORK - and was originally a huge source of stress at the beginning of the summer and just focusing on relaxing and enjoying time with my family and friends. I'm thrilled to have time to just sit and enjoy a book and the sunshine, or the rain, and just soak in how blessed I am! It's been an incredible summer leading into an exciting year ahead, and I just could not be happier! Thank you so much for taking time out of your life to read about mine - I am absolutely blown away by how many views my little blog gets, and I have YOU to thank for that! So THANK YOU for stopping by! =) Until next time...
OK! While blogging all about my life and such, I've realized that unless you're a friend/family member, or a Kappa Delta, you probably have absolutely no idea what my upcoming year as a "Leadership Development Consultant" really entails. So, I thought I'd at least attempt to explain to you what I do...and announce what my focus will be in the next year!!
If you are, or ever have been, a Greek Consultant of any kind, you really learn to dread that go-to question - "What do you do?" It's a simple question that most people answer easily, and can instantly find some way to connect with their conversational counterpart. Greek Consultants, however, do not have this luxury. And most of you reading this are probably thinking, "Yeah...I have no idea what you do." My guess is, you probably think my job as a "professional sorority girl" looks something like this:
Well, my friend...at the risk of being rude....NEWS FLASH! That is not my life. Thank you, Hollywood. While my job is incredibly fun, and I will spend the majority of my time on college campuses, my job is actually serious! I will not be wearing corsets or bunny ears, but rather, like many of you, will spend most of my days in business attire. My job is very important to Kappa Delta's success as a National Non-Profit, and it's a lot of really hard work! All that being said, the following conversationwhich happens more often than not when I am asked "What do you do!?" is enough to make me need to count to three, quickly pray for patience, and remember that I am a classy, respectable woman, not a WWE wrestler...
Person: So, what do you do?
Me: Oh, I'm in consulting.
Person: Oh really? For what company?
Me: I'm working for a non-profit women's organization based in Memphis.
Person: Oh....[insert awkward silence, inappropriate joke about not having a real job, or both here.]
While I do my very best to respectfully enlighten said "person" that my job is not a year of partying, but a year of developing leaders and continuing the success of an over-a-century-old company, it's difficult to explain what a Greek consultant does to someone who has absolutely no idea! I hope I do a decent job of explaining it to all of you! I'm not saying this to pat my own back, but Greek consultants do a lot. We specialize in public relations, marketing, recruitment, retention, event planning, cultivating leadership, and branch aka chapter management and development. That's a pretty wide span, my friends. And I seriously doubt that Greek organizations internationally would continue to hire consultants year after year if what we were doing didn't make an impact.
So the bottom line is, I work with our established, new, and upcoming chapters to continue chapter and national success by emphasizing values-based recruiting, leadership development, as well as positive internal and external PR...among many other things. In a nut shell? You should be so jealous of my job. Because it's incredible. And I cannot wait to start working with collegians all over the US!!
With some idea of what my job description is under your belt, I am so pleased to announce that in less than a month....
I will be moving to Ames, Iowa
with my LDC partner, Hillary, to work with the
Sigma Sigma chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority
at Iowa State University!!
I look forward to establishing new traditions in the Sigma Sigma chapter while striving to continue the century-old legacy of Kappa Delta's mission to inspire women to greatness!
We are so excited to get to Ames and get integrated into the campus, meet the wonderful Kappa Delta women there, and recruit some more!! For more information about Sigma Sigma, check out our website and Facebook! Be sure to "like" us! =)
Though I will be in-residence at Sigma Sigma, I will still be traveling to other Kappa Delta chapters across our beautiful nation - starting with the Delta Pi chapter at MTSU this week, then the Alpha Omicron chapter at Queens University in Charlotte, NC in late August! So many exciting things right on the horizon!!! But I don't want to hog all the spotlight - within the next couple of days, I plan to introduce you to all of the other wonderful LDCs and what they will be up to throughout this year as well! Until next time...
House Bunny and Legally Blonde photos courtesy of imdb.com
"Merica!" was the phrase of the week when I headed to Knoxville for the Fourth of July! It was another wonderful trip to see some beautiful friends that I miss so dearly! Katie, Eve, Courtney, and I went to Mexican (duh) and out for a night on the town as soon as I hit Knoxville. On the 4th, we hit the pool, we tried out many Merica-themed Pinterest recipes, we dressed up in our Merica best, and I even grilled my first unsupervised steak - SOO Merica!!!
And, of course, it wouldn't be the 4th without a fantastic fireworks display, accompanied by the Air National Guard, and watched from the happiness of our very own back porch! #perfection
It was a wonderful few days, and it was so sad to leave knowing I won't be back till OCTOBER! =( Knoxville still has, and will always have, my heart...*sigh* Good ole Rocky Top....
I have SO much to blog about...literally...I have a list...but for now, I just want to share one of my favorite recipes! Me and Mommy made WINE SLUSHIES in preparation for this weekend when Aunt Ruth and Lindsey and her kiddos, who obviously will not be partaking in the alcoholic beverages come to town! We'll all be caravanning up to Michigan to see our whole extended family, and celebrate Shannon and Paul's engagement with a Bridal Shower! Check out their gorgeous proposal pictures...
Fabulous, aren't they! :-) ...ANYWAYS! Aunt Ruth, Lindsey, and the kiddos will be getting here Friday night and we'll all have dinner and spend some quality time together before we head out to Michigan in the morning. And the only thing that for sure is on the menu, is my momma's famous wine slushies!! They are to. die. for.
You will need:
Gallon Freezer Bags
ice, approx. 20 ice cubes
750 ml bottle of White Zinfandel
2 cans of frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate
2 tubs of frozen Strawberries, thawed slightly
a happy heart and a hot summer night...or day...no judgement here!
The above ingredients make two batches, so you'll have to divide and conquer. A full bottle of wine, plus the add-ins just plain will not fit into one blender all at once. Divide the recipe in half so that your blender can accommodate the wonder that is wine slushies. Here we go!
Add all edible ingredients, except ice, into blender. Blend till smooth.
Add approximately ten ice cubes, blend until ice is crushed. Pour mixture into a gallon freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before zipping. Freeze flat.
Repeat with remaining ingredients for second batch. Let freeze overnight. Scoop out and enjoy!!
Hopefully your blender is better than our's, which we discovered leaks like CAH-RAY-ZEEEEEE, which caused a bit of an issue in our second batch...where about 98% of the lemonade seeped out of the blender while we were trying to open the second tub of strawberries....which made for an exceptionally wine-y batch...no complaints here....which Lauren labelled quite thematically for the weekend:
If you don't get it, don't worry - it's an inside joke between the Thomas/Singer/Grants and the Van Dams. And I can't wait for our trip to make so many more over breakfast at Arnie's, English Muffin Toast from Van's bakery, and much much more! See you Saturday, ladies! =)