Dream Big & Buy The Shoes: November 2014

November 26, 2014

What I'm Thankful For Wednesday

I'm sure I won't be the only one sharing my thankful thoughts in the next few days, but I just can't help it. When you stop and look around, life is really an awesome gift.

I am a person that suffers from anxiety. Often times this anxiety leads to me expressing my worries in ways that are not effective or healthy. I complain, I whine, I yell. One thing that I always want to work on is dealing with my anxiety and the stress that comes from it in a positive way. It's an evolving process that I hope only gets better with time.

The reason I share this with you is to tell you that there is another side of me that is extremely grateful for things to the point of giddiness. Anxiety has helped me cherish these gifts and moments because I don't have to stress about these particular things.



It is probably very evident that I am thankful for my fiance Chuck. Words can't express what he does for me or how he helps me. He does the unthinkable things that I don't even have to ask him to do. Without me blinking an eye or opening my mouth to seek his help, he is there. That is a true partner. He has dealt with some of the most raw and painful moments I've experienced and been by my side through each and every one, sometimes when I'm kicking and screaming.

I am thankful for Ethan, but not just because he is adorable and awesome. Ethan has taught me to be more patient. Raising a ten year old boy has proven to be difficult, trying, and has also showed me that love conquers all. Ethan is a handful, but not in all the bad ways. He has energy, a positive fun loving attitude and even some days when he tries to act older than his age and have some smart comments his kind and caring heart prove he is the little sweatheart I have always adored. I am thankful for what he has taught me and that I haven't even had the chance for him to fully understand what he has done for me.

I am thankful for my family. It is untraditional, scattered, but everything I could hope for. Losing my mom was the worst thing that ever happened to me, but of course, even that helped me. I matured at a young age and learned to be a fighter. I am bold and independent and can thank the difficult times for molding me in to the woman I am. My family has supported my rash decisions, my indecisiveness, and always had my happiness in mind. I used to be sad that my parents didn't stay together, but I have learned to embrace the unique family I am blessed with.

Some days I complain about my job, compare myself to people my age with huge houses, wonder what it would be like to have children of my own already, and wish I didn't have a crazy amount of student loans to pay.
I am lucky to have a job to drive to every morning in the car that I can pay for. I love our home because it is our place to build all these moments in. Some day I will have a little love that will share the Lawrence name and those student loans will be gone.

For now, I am learning to live in the moment. I have accomplished things I never thought I would, this blog being one of them. It seems so simple and easy, but it was a huge dream of mine for a long time. I am a blogger and I love being able to say that. I wake up happy and I appreciate the small moments like eating dinner together as a family each night.

I am thankful to be alive and healthy.
Thank you for your support of this blog and for reading.

 Dream Big...each day...it's never too late.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


November 25, 2014

Blogger Men Tell All


It's that time of the month again where Chuck shows up to answer some questions and loves life of being the babe of a blogger. Blogger Men Tell All...Thanksgiving Edition!!

I already knew before I asked Chuck the questions that he would gladly answer all of them with a smile. HE LOVES THANKSGIVING...it's his favorite. He's kind of like a Buddy the Elf in turkey form.

Let's get to it....

1. What food do you look forward to most at Thanksgiving dinner?

Turkey and stuffing. You cram one in the other so it's a tie.

2. Do you ever go shopping on Black Friday?

Sometimes. I enjoy the deals but most times I don't like dealing with people. I scour the ads when they leak and on Thanksgiving to determine if it's worth my time to go out and find the madness on Friday.

3. What's your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

Our family coming together at our house and us preparing a meal for them.

4. Do you travel for the Thanksgiving holiday or stay close to home?

The last couple of years we have been hosting so we don't leave the house.

5. What are you most thankful for this year?

I am thankful for my engagement and to announce the big news that Emelia is pregnant at our family dinner. Boom.


That's not true. No bun in the oven folks, just good ole Turkey. And I didn't even have to pay or bribe him to say he's thankful for me...how sweet.


In other exciting news...I am holding the Blog Baton today!! What this means for you: find me on Instagram @dreambigemelia to follow along my daily adventure. Click the follow button while you're there because...well, let's be IG friends.
If you're a blogger and have never heard of the Blog Baton you can find more out here.





Becoming Adorrable

November 24, 2014

The Gift Guide You Haven't Seen Yet

If you've been anywhere near the internet for the past week you have seen a million and one gift guides. They are super helpful which is nice, but there is one that I haven't seen. The Bacon Girl's Gift Guide.

I love bacon. Le duh. I could eat it every day. Every single day. My favorite way to eat it is crispy on an everything bagel with a slice of provolone cheese. I love when there's about two... let's be real...three pieces on the side too.

A funny story to preface this gift guide. I have a friend who I met in college that LOVES bacon too. After our late night shenanigans around town we would get back to campus and cook bacon. Our sophomore year we had a suite and the bathroom was super big. We had a George Foreman set up in the middle of the long sink and would cook bacon at 2 am, listen to 50 Cent and laugh uncontrollably. Those are some of my favorite memories of college because the nights were so silly but SO fun and random. We still, to this day, send each other pictures when we are eating bacon.

Now I present...to every bacon loving woman out there...the ultimate gift guide. Enjoy!
Bacon Girl Gift Guide

November 21, 2014

Cleeeeeeveland Cavaliersssss// Fan Friday

In a complete blonde moment, I totally forgot to post this last week...better late than never, right? Riiiight.

Last Monday we made the trip to Cleveland with a few friends to welcome the Cavs back home after their stretch on the road. Ethan has been so anxious to see a game since Lebron has returned back to The Land and we were all ready for a good time.

I have NEVER seen The Q that live and loud with so much excitment and energy. The intro this year is  awesome and the building was shaking...SO cool. The court graphics and video are on point. It's one of my favorite parts of the game. Anything that incorporates the Lil Jon number TURN DOWN FOR WHAT gets me going.



Other than sitting in front of a group of inappropriate teenagers we had the best time. It was so good to be back with Lebron in the house. CAVS WON!



After the game we walked down the street to take advantage of some photo op's with the new banner. Selfies galore. You're welcome Instagram friends.




Linking up with Sarah from Venus Trapped In Mars for Fan Friday!

Venus Trapped in Mars

What's your favorite NBA team? Are you a Lebron lover or hater?

November 20, 2014

Sweet Potato Casserole

The first year we hosted Thanksgiving for our families I was in need of some recipes because if you want to show your family how mature and prepared you are there's one thing you don't do and it's make Stouffer's microwaved dishes.

We had a Thanksgiving lunch at work that year and a co-worker brought in sweet potato casserole. I had never tried sweet potatoes, and sure didn't want to...until I smelled this masterpiece. I had one piece...and another, and even think I brought some home.

Needless to say I now make the dish every year and it's my grandma's favorite thing. She asks me every year if I'm making it and every year I make sure to send all the leftovers home with her.





This recipe has many ingredients and takes some time, but it is SO worth it.

You will need:

  • large can of drained sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • bowl for mixing
  • casserole for baking


To start:

  1. Mash the potatoes
  2. Dissolve cornstarch in a little bit of the milk
  3. Mix together remaining ingredients in the bowl
  4. Pour into a casserole baking dish
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes


For the topping, you will need:

  • 1 cup of crushed cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 cup of coconut
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts


To prepare:

  1. Mix the topping ingredients together in a bowl and sprinkle over top of the the potatoes
  2. Bake 20 more minutes, or until the knife comes out clean


Yummy, right? I promise you...even if you don't like sweet potatoes, you will love this. I couldn't recommend a more perfect dish for your Thanksgiving meal this year. 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

November 19, 2014

Engagement Pictures // Wedding Wednesday

When Chuck and I chose our photographer, a good friend from college, we knew that our pictures were going to be great...but when we received some sneak peeks from our shoot I was blown away. I seriously have looked at them every day since trying to pick a favorite.

We took our pictures at a local park because we wanted the beauty of fall to be represented. We wanted leaves, autumn colors and nature. Living in Erie, Pa can be a risk with the weather because once October hits you never know what you're in for...it could be snowing on Halloween. We lucked out when we took our pictures the first week of November.

I get teary eyed emotional looking at every single one. Call me cheesy, but I am so in love with this man and cannot wait to be his wife. Thank you in advance for putting up with what is about to happen...picture overload.

Big hugs and love to:
Our photographer, Rob Frank of R. Frank Photography
Hair by Samanda Thompson of Panache Erie
Make-up by Amanda Paproski of Panache Erie













If this is what engagment pictures turn out like I can't even wait to see the ones from our wedding day. This getting married thing is SO much fun.

Linking up for Wedding Wednesday

Wedding Wednesday

Thanks for following along my journey and supporting my little space. XO! Happy Wednesday friends!


November 18, 2014

Buffalo Ranch Pretzels

Today you are in for a treat....a tasty one. I experimented with a new snack last week, and the results are oh SOOOOO good. Buffalo Ranch Pretzels...tangy, tasty and amazingly delicious! If I were to guess, I would say they are healthier than Christmas Oreo's...so there's that for a win.



The best part about this, besides the taste is that it is amazingly easy with very few ingredients.

You will need:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce ( I used Frank's Red Hot Buffalo)
  • 1/2 packet of ranch seasoning
  • 1 bag of pretzels (I used the thin stick type)
  • Baking dish ( I used a pyrex pan)




To make:

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2.  Melt the butter in a bowl
  3.  Mix in the ranch and bufalo sauce together with the butter in a bowl
  4.  Put pretzels in a pan...the deepest dish as you have will work best
  5. Pour seasoning over pretzels in the pan and mix well
  6.  Bake for 25 minutes and toss every 5 minutes


A simple snack everyone in the family can enjoy. Perfect for lunches, after school munchin, football sundays and more! Enjoy!

Linking up for Delicous Dish Tuesday

Eat Drink & Be Mary

November 17, 2014

Monday Funday// 100th Post!!

It's monday again...that means it's time for the infamous weekend recap. Basically, an excuse to not have any orginal post in mind because..well, it's Monday.

Want to know something awesome though...it's my 100th post!! WOO HOOO- celebrate good times, COME ON!
Bella And The City

Friday night I was a complete hyporicite to my post last week. In this post I asked why Christmas comes earlier each year. I have always LOVED Christmas... who doesn't? But, I also enjoy Thanksgiving and even more so the past few years since we host dinner for our families. Chuck's favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and we do not decorate until at least the day after turkey.

Well....this week we woke up to about a foot of snow in Erie. I was all Miss Grinch that morning as I was almost late to work, didn't have a snowbrush handy and used my coat as a snow brush, and sat in traffic for 45 minutes on my normal 7 minute commute home. Once I was home and settled in the house and watched the snow fall I looked around my living room and the sight of leaves was irritating me.

We all know what happened next....the fall decor came DOWN. This weekend I put up almost all of our Christmas decorations and am loving it. I know...total hypocrite, but the lights, the trees, the ornaments are all making me SO HAPPY. Chuck wasn't thrilled, but since he loves me, he let me do it. I call it a win.

Saturday night Chuck and I planned to go to Mad Mex which just opened this week, but learned there was over an hour wait for just the two of us and opted out of that one. I love margarita's, but not that much. We saw Dumb and Dumber To, but not until we played a few rounds of basketball in the arcade. Ever since our first date we play every time we are at the theatre, it's kind of our thing and we love competing against one another. Chuck dominated me three games in a row. That was NOT a win in m book.

I was pretty lazy all day Sunday. Work has me completely exhausted and I had some errands to run, but put them off. There's always another day. I took a nap and watched the Sex and the City movie...which never gets old. It was a good day.

Sadly, I have no pictures to document any of the above...but will have some exciting ones up this week since we got our ENGAGEMENT PICTURES back! I keep looking at them over and over...I love how they turned out and can't wait to share them.

Until then...how about a GIVEAWAY?

KS

Like I mentioned, it's snowing in Erie...and maybe Texas too! As we brace for the Bomb Cyclone (this year's Polar Vortex), some of my blogging buddies came together to cozy you up with a Kate Spade Cozy Giveaway. It includes the cutest Kate Spade earrings, some Kate Spade socks with some fab polka dots, and a $10 Starbucks gift card to warm you up as you cuddle up wherever you are. I am obsessed with Kate & all her goodies, and her accessories NEVER disappoint. I am already jealous of whoever wins this giveaway.

Good Luck to everyone who enters and THANK YOU for your constant support of my blog. XO!

IMG_9184
novemeber
Anne | Betsy | Bex
Liz | Trish | Linda
Faith | Nina | Emelia
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


November 13, 2014

WHY??!!

You ask it from the moment you can start talking...why? Why this, why that?
Well...I'm still asking it.

Just a few things I'm questioning lately....

Why do I always forget I put laundry in the washer until I am comfy and cozy in bed?
...thank goodness for an awesome fiance who does it for me during these times

Why does it so beautiful and warm at 4 pm, but at 8 pm it feels like winter is here?
...the only answer could be, Erie, Pa.

Why does Christmas come earlier each year? (Fact: It doesn't, but it does...you know what I'm saying)
...no clue on this one. I love it as much as the next holly jolly one, but let's not forget about Pilgrims, Pumpkin Pie & reasons to be thankful.

Speaking of Christmas. Why are grandparents so hard to buy for?
...I'm currently taking gift ideas.

Why isn't buying makeup online easier?
...I should be able to send you a selfie and you can determine what shade of foundation I need. Thanks MAC.

Why is good laundry detergent so expensive?
...Tide with Febreze, I'm talking to you.

Why is Black Friday no longer on Friday?
...Thanksgiving is NOT Black Friday. Have some respect people!

Why can't I wear leggings and comy cardi's with scarves every single day?
...Dreaming BIG on this one. If only I made the rules!

Why not enter an awesome giveaway that ends soon?!
a Rafflecopter giveaway




What are you currently asking WHY to?

November 12, 2014

Song of the Week Wednesday

When Helene shared her new Song of the Week Wednesday link-up last week I was immediately smiling. I LOVE music and checking out new songs from different genres.

This past weekend we had one of our family date nights that included dinner and a movie, which are some of our favorite Friday activities. Ethan had been wanting to see Big Hero 6 and Chuck and I were up for it.

All three of us absolutely loved the movie, which is rare for a younger tone. The last time this happened was when we saw The Lego Movie. The story line was great, things didn't move too slow, and the 3-D didn't make us sick...SCORE!

I have always enjoyed music from Fall Out Boy, so when Ethan began playing "Immortals' from Big Hero 6 on repeat the minute we left the movie theatre I didn't mind so much. He has still been jamming out to it from Spotify on his phone and informed me he will know all the words real soon. He's got big dreams....I like it.

This week's song, without any other stories from me....






Link up your song with Helene-
Helene in Between Song of the Week Wednesday


What's your latest favorite song? 


November 11, 2014

Festive Fall Drinks

I'll find any reason to celebrate, entertain, decorate, or make a new festive drink. Fall sounds like a good time to do a few of those. I love Pinnacle Vodka because there are so many interesting flavors and tasty drinks you can make.

What do you do when you don't want to feel like a lush experimenting and making drinks on a Monday night alone? 

You invite one of your bestie's over to participate in the fun.
Elisa and I had a great time and really enjoyed both drink recipes we made from the Pinnacle Whipped, Cinnamon Roll & Pecan Pie vodkas.





Pinnacle Vodka features a variety of recipes on their website for the different flavors of vodka.
We made the Pinnacle Pecan Fizz and the Cinnamon Roll Hot Chocolate.

Pinnacle Pecan Fizz
1 part Pinnacle Pecan Pie Vodka
1 Part Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
Ginger Ale

-Pour over ice
-Stir
-Enjoy!



Cinnamon Roll Hot Chocolate
1 part Pinnacle Cinnamon Roll Vodka
1 cup hot chocolate
chocolate syrup & marshmallows to garnish

-Drizzle chocolate syrup inside glass
-Add 1 part vodka
-Mix hot chocolate and stir
-Garnish with marshmallows & extra chocolate syrup




Both drinks were SO delicious and are perfect for a cozy fall night in with friends. Run to your nearest liquor store and spice up your drinks tonight!



Thanks Elisa for being an awesome friend and drinking experimenting with me on a Monday night!

What's your favorite fall drink?

November 10, 2014

Why Monday's Aren't So Bad...

Monday's get a bad rap. I get it...back to work back to the routine, but hey...Monday has feelings too.

Why Monday's aren't so bad...

1. It's a fresh start to the week. Were you having a bad one last week? Yea? Join the club, it happens. Now it's time to move on to the next one.

2. Dance parties in your car are perfectly acceptable. Because it's Monday! My favorite Monday JAM is Party In The USA...and the Britney song was on...and the Britney song was onnnnnn.

3. Britney Spears seems to tweet often on Monday's. I respond to, retweet, and favorite every single one. She hasn't answered me yet, but we are best friends on Twitter.

4. No one will judge you for eating a cupcake today. Definitely not me.

5. Venti sized coffee's are necessary. Who gets mad, sad, or upset drinking coffee?! Again...not me.

Speaking of coffee...one last reason Monday's aren't so bad. Giveaways!


I've teamed up with Kallie from But First, Coffee for a magnificient Monday giveaway. You can win a $15 Starbucks giftcard & Ban.do Thermal. They have the most fab mugs to compliment your Starbs addictions!!! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclaimer: This is an international giveaway.  You must be 18 years or older or have a parents permission.  This is not a sponsored giveaway, all items were purchased with our own money.

November 7, 2014

Fall Soup Sizzler// Bacon Cheddar Beer Soup With Chicken

Today I bring you a new recipe I tried over the weekend and loved. It was definitely more of a chowder consistency, but still hit the spot.




Bacon Cheddar Beer Soup With Chicken (adapted from The Slow Roasted Italian)

You will need:

6 slices thick cut bacon
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup beer, Belgian style wheat beer (Blue Moon)
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups half and half
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
chives
croutons




1.Warm an 8 quart pot over high heat.  Using clean scissors; cut bacon into pot.  Cook bacon until lightly crisp, stirring occasionally.

2.While the bacon cooks cut the chicken into bite size pieces. 

3. Remove bacon from pan and place on a plate. Add chicken into bacon grease to cook. Stir occasionally until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken onto plate with bacon.

4.Cut butter into 1 tablespoon pieces and add to pan drippings.  

5.Whisk in flour and spices.   Next add beer, broth and half & half.  Whisk to combine and bring to a bubble.  

6. Add cheese and whisk to combine, then stir until you have a smooth mixture.  Add Worcestershire sauce, chicken and bacon.  Stir to combine.

7. Allow to simmer until ready to serve, stirring occasionally. 

8. Garnish with chives and croutons

I transferred the soup to the crockpot once complete and kept on warm until ready to enjoy later in the day. 

Enjoy!

What's your favorite soup to make?




November 6, 2014

Sephora Sale Wish List

It's that time of the year where all of us women who spend way too much money at Sephora in a calendar year earn the status of VIB and another excuse to drop our hard earned paycheck in a matter of minutes. 

20% off at Sephora November 6-10th...WOO HOO! As if I needed a reason to hit up Sephora this weekend.

I have my eye on some gifts for the holidays, and obviously a few things for me.



1. Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel &  Bubble Bath Ornament in Snow Angel

image via


2. Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Melted Violet

image via

3. Dauphines of New York Headband

image via
4. Formula X Nail Polish Duo 
image via

Will you be hitting up Sephora this weekend?
What's on your wish list?