Just Sandy

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Speak Up September

HAPPY SEPTEMBER! And Labor Day weekend!

September is my favorite month for a few reasons, 1. it starts to feel like fall my favorite season 2. My birthday month 3. my anniversary month 4. My daughters birthday!

So yeah September is full! Since my daughter starts school in September it is even more full now! So of course I almost forgot to do this today! I actually started blogging and then when I went on YouTube I saw Emily's Speak Up video and thought oh yeah!

We appropriately talk about work, since ya know, labor day!

Something I forgot to mention in my video is that I am in a Country singing competition called Country Showdown (click here to see my page and hear me sing) and I won this past month at the local level. September 19th I compete at the State level and I am really excited about that but as we are discussing in our topic, it takes work. It takes time and effort into picking songs, practicing songs, critiquing yourself, fixing small things to get the song as perfect as can be. And lets be honest it takes work to not have anxiety about the whole thing. So keep up with me and send your prayers that I win because it's a good chunk of change to win State and $100,000 if I get to Nationals and win... plus this is kind of my dream career.

Without further ado here is my contribution to Speak up Link up this month:

Click here to get linked up!
Mr. Thomas and Me

Friday, August 7, 2015

Speak Up - Restoring Creativity

Here is my vlog for this months topic!

It was a hard one for me because I just couldn't think of much but I got enough footage thanks to watching Amber's vlog ideas!

Also make sure you are watching my VEDA (vlog everyday in August) on my youtube channel! I log doing VEDA and we have various topics through out the month, so tag along with me!

Here is a link to Speak Up link up as well
Mr. Thomas and Me

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Speak Up: Independence

SO I am a bit late but if you watch you'll hear why!

Mr. Thomas and Me
Hopefully next month we have this figured out and I can get pregnant! Come back next month!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Speak Up: Picnic

Well, Hello!

It's time to Speak Up!

This months Speak Up topic was picnic. Perfect topic for the weather we had here in my town today. Today caught me off guard as it seems to every first Friday of the month even though I remember prior to the day I need to film. Some things I didn't mention in my video are the my husband and I are very excited to be getting more involved in our church in our new town. We have been here 9 month! We still love it and are seeing God move and grow within us. My daughter graduated preschool this week and very unexpectedly I bawled my eyes out. BUT without further a-due here is my video on this months topic.

***Disclaimer... my hair sucks, but I am getting it done tomorrow!

Click below to see more of my speak up friends and it's never too late to join us!
Mr. Thomas and Me

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A foodie post: Sriracha Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies

Happy Tuesday which feels just like a Monday because yesterday was Memorial Day! Memorial Day is such an amazing day that we get to honor and remember all the soldiers who lost their lives serving for our freedom in America. Most Americans celebrate by getting together, wearing Red, White and Blue and having food! I took part in the BBQ-ing tradition and made some fantastic skewers that quite a few people have now asked for the recipe. I thought I should blog about it, then pin it to share this amazing recipe with anyone who wants some good, healthy, amazingly flavorful, spicy food!

Now I am one of those people, sometimes referred to as a "granola" person that eats practically all organic and non-GMO foods. I actually have an inactive blog I started when I had more time to devote to helping people with tips and tricks to being more health, but since I hardly ever use it I am going to share it on my "lifestyle" blog.

Here we go!

The above is prepped skewer... I don't have a picture of them after they are grilled but yes, they still looked (and tasted) delicious!

Here is what to buy to make as many as are in the above picture:

  • 1 pound or approximately 4-5 organic fed and cage free chicken thighs
  • 1 large bag of organic sweet peppers (you will have left overs which are great on salads or as a snack)
  • 2-3 organic medium to large zucchini's
  • 2 organic medium yellow crook neck squash (or as I like to call them yellow zucchini)
  • 1 medium to large organic red onion
  • Fresh garlic 
  • 1 bottle of Organic Sriracha Sauce (can't find it in the store? get it here but I find it cheaper at the store) this one tastes absolutely hands down better than all the others
  • Approx. 16 oz raw local honey
  • Metal or wood skewers (if you use wood soak them for several hours so they don't burn when grilling)

  • Mix 1/2 cup Sriracha sauce, 1/2 cup honey and 3 cloves mince garlic in a small bowl
  • Cut chicken into cubes at desired size (keep in mind that you want them to cook inside before the veggies burn)
  • In a separate bowl combine approx. 3/4 of the sauce mixture with the cubed chicken and let it marinate for 30 minutes or over night in the fridge.
  • While chicken is marinating slice all veggies into skewer size slices (use picture for reference) (I cut the tops off of the sweet peppers and that took most if not all of the seeds out)
  • Layer in whatever order you would like *Note* the thickest part of the yellow squash I folded over slightly so the skewer went through twice some broke but still layered fine
  • After skewer is built use a marinating brush or just drizzle over the entire skewer with the 1/4 that is left of the sauce. Any left over marinade from the chicken should be poured on too.
  • Grill um up!
This is very simple and fun to make especially for a party but it got me thinking as I was taste testing with a few left over cuts of each item... this would be awesome over brown rice or quinoa! So the next night I did the same thing except I pan cooked the chicken in 3/4 of the sauce (after marinating) and covered it so the sauce would stay with the chicken, I cooked the cut veggies in another pan with the 1/4 left over sauce and combine them to put over rice and you know what? IT WAS AMAZING! And I added mushrooms! You can always make some more sauce just use a 1 to 1 ratio of Sriracha and honey and vary the garlic accordingly.

Happy Eating!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Speak Up - Growth

SOOOO this day kind of snuck up on me! Anyone else think this year is going by crazy fast? I mean MAY already? And I know I totally should have realized it because every year I am one of those Facebook people that posts the Justin Timberlake picture with the caption "It's gonna be May"... I mean hello!

Anyway I am glad I remembered because I have some exciting things growing in my life and I really love to share and hear other people share. So without further ado check out my vlog below and then don't forget to check out all the linked up vlogs on Mr. Thomas and Me  that hosts with Annie and put this shin-dig together!

Mr. Thomas and Me

Friday, April 3, 2015

Speak Up- Celebrate

Happy April, Happy Easter and here is my Vlog for this months topic (with VEDApril Day 3 squeezed in)

And Don't forget to click on this picture to see more people Speaking up! And join us if you want to Speak up!
Mr. Thomas and Me

Friday, March 6, 2015

Speak Up Link Up - Truth

Hello everyone that is visiting me!

This month I talk about some truths in my life. Ya know life is crazy,  insanely crazy and if you knew what was going to happen... well I guess that would be pretty boring. I was excited to share this video with you! I love this Speak Up link up that was formed and encourage you to jump on in for next months topic Celebration! You can take that in any direction you choose, but just SPEAK UP!

Thanks for joining me and subscribe to keep updated with my posts, I love having you! Be sure to share your truths in the comments or just comment and say hi!

I'd like to add one more truth that didn't make it in my video... I have been blonde (naturally) all my life, until last week when I got my hair done I found out my hair has become light brown... not blonde... that just seems weird after being blonde since birth...

Make sure you click here to see the other topics & videos and to join in!
Mr. Thomas and Me

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Speak Up Link Up February-- Hearts

Hello friends!

This month for Speak Up we are talking about Hearts. Below is my vlog for my take on the topic this month.

Make sure you link up or at lease check out the other people linking up by clicking on Speak Up below. It's a lovely group of ladies that are speaking up and leaving a mark on this world.

Mr. Thomas and Me

Friday, January 30, 2015

When I make it

Life is a mess, and life is beautiful, and life sucks and life is amazing. Life is such a ride, a road with unexpected twists and turns, hills and valleys. I sit here typing this as today marks day 4 my daughter has had a fever and my husband and I have had to miss 2 days of work each, in the midst of financial hardship already. Oh and we don't have medical insurance yet... one more day of this and I am taking her in regardless of what I won't be able to pay.

I was having a conversation the other night with a small group of friends that get together and have bible study every week about life and hope. In fact, in all areas of my life things keep leading me to keeping having hope and pushing on because things will in fact get better. How insane is it that last Sundays sermon was about having hope? It was like the entire sermon was directed at my family, especially me. What I have come to decide is that hope sounds like an amazing thing but sometimes it truly sucks, and I believe that was said on Sunday. In my mind I shouted "AMEN!" because that is EXACTLY how I feel.

One of the things touched on in bible study this week was how we always look to the future and set an age or finished accomplishment as a marker for "when we have made it". When you are young you think when I grown up and move out I will be successful, or I will have "made it". Then one day that thing happens and you are left with almost a sense of loss that that thing you have been striving or longing for is done, over and gone and you aren't where you thought you would be.  

I am 26 and yeah, yeah, yeah, some of you will think I am old, some of you will think I am young but I certainly thought my life would look different than it does. A broke mother of 1 child that will most-likely stay an only child given my genetic make-up, still working on my degree with a husband that is as well. Being a full-time working mother feeling torn between having to be responsible for income and still being a mother when my child is sick and needs me home. I pictured myself with 2 kids at this point, for sure a dog, a nice but not extravagant 3 bedroom house with a yard being a stay at home mom, maybe working from home part time and certainly I had a great savings account. At least 3-6 months income in the bank. Reality is I have almost none of what I pictured.

So where does that leave me? Stressed out and dying to not be in my current situation? Yes, but more than that. I have this hope (honestly annoying hope) that things will get better and that my life isn't made by money. things or even what I though my life "should" be by now. It's about what I get out of these crappy times, and what I do moving forward. Do I give up? I certainly could, but won't. I will cry many tears, yell and scream at God (which has happened more than normal lately) asking why, and what the heck, and do you really think this is necessary and so on and so forth. The other day after a VERY hard day at work with some girls who don't really care for my presence I literally for the first time EVER just screamed because I had no more words for stress and emotions I felt. I screamed loud and hard in the car by myself and yes some if not most of it was directed at God. I prefer to be an honest person, honest with myself, everyone I know and God... I think he's a big boy and can handle my emotions. 

Anyway, back to this hope... I have it and I will push on beyond this bump in the road because my hope is not in the world, but in the Lord. All this will pass away and 10 years from now I may look back at this time and say "Wow, that wasn't as bad as it seemed" or "Yeah, that was awful and I am so glad it is over". After all this I will know that I grew, and that it didn't last forever. Nothing last forever but God and His kingdom. As annoying as that sounds, even to myself right now because I feel anything but perky and joyful, I know it to be truth and the truth is what I cling to, because that is when I will have finally made it.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away"- Matthew 24:35

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful"- Hebrews 10:23

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

He is for me

This weekend at church during worship, I had an epiphany. Jesus is for me. I have been a Christian for a long time now; I asked Jesus in to my heart at a very young age and was baptized in the fourth grade. I have had my ups and downs in my walk of faith and sometimes things just hit you, even if you have heard them a million times. I can't even remember the song that was playing but one thing stood out. Jesus is for me. In my world it really seems like the world is out to be against me. At work you hear a whisper of your name between co-workers as you pass, someone cuts you off in traffic, you forget something important, you fail something, someone gives you a dirty look and many judge you. All these things can be so exhausting and as much as I'd like to say it doesn't bother me... it totally does. I have tried so many times to just brush those things off, but don't we all want to be liked? Don't we all want to part of the laughter going on instead of thinking that you are the reason people are laughing or whispering? 

When we are children and even teenagers we think that these childish actions will go away when we grow up, but they don't they only change into more deeply crushing moments sometimes. As an adult it can be harder to make friends and harder to get into a crowd because they are already established. I put myself out there a lot, and many times I get rejected. It hurts and thanks to Jesus I keep on trying. I am not saying it's impossible but it is very difficult but, Jesus is for me.

"The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?" Pslam 118:6 (ESV). 

This verse isn't saying things people do won't hurt, or cause a few tears from time to time but it does put so many things into perspective. We do not need the approval of people, nor the fear of what they may put us through. We do not need to fear at all. I question myself all the time. Am I smart enough? Am I strong enough? Am I a good wife, and a good mother. Am this or that and really the list goes on. But I am, I am all of those things and I don't need anyone else to approve of me. Jesus is for me. He is rooting for me and encouraging me, and most times carrying me through this life. He is that life line I don't reach out to often enough. 

I have learned that my biggest down fall with Him is trust. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NIV). But here again I fail, and that's ok. Jesus is for me and He always will be. He's got my back. Now the question moving forward after realizing this is-- Jesus is for me, but am I for Him? I am going to keep reminding myself Jesus is for me and as long and I keep coming back to Him and using him as my reassurance, I am certain I will grow in many ways. I am for Jesus, but even more Jesus is for me and I am so thankful He is.

Lyrics from Chris Tomlin- Jesus Loves me
I was lost
I was in chains
The world had a hold of me

My heart was a stone
I was covered in shame
When He came for me

I couldn't run, couldn't run from His presence
I couldn't run, couldn't run from His arms

Jesus, He loves me, He loves me, He is for me
Jesus, how can it be, He loves me, He is for me

And it was a fire
Deep in my soul
I'll never be the same

I stepped out of the dark
And into the light
When He called my name

I couldn't run, couldn't run from His presence
I couldn't run, couldn't run from His arms

He holds the stars and He holds my heart
With healing hands that bear the scars
The rugged cross where He died for me
My only hope, my everything

Monday, January 12, 2015

More direction

     So here we go again, 2015 is here and this year I intend to blog more because I enjoy it and the blogging community. Things in life sometimes get in the way of what I enjoy and sometimes that is for good reason. I have homework, a daughter to take care of, a marriage to nurture exercise to do and responsibilities to maintain. I have had this blog coming up on four years now and I think it's time to take it in another direction... well to take it in an actually direction would be more accurate.

     Over the last four years I have grown in so many areas and just changed with time and I think for the better. No I haven't hit perfection and frankly I never will, but it's time to reflect some of that in this blog. Who knows maybe one day I will break away from Googles formatting and get my own domain which will only happen if I progress in blogging.

     So in the last four or five years I have become an avid book lover. I never knew how much fun reading could be! Being forced to read things that were uninteresting to me in school gave me the opinion that reading was boring. I couldn't have been more wrong. Two years ago I found reading so enjoyable that while working at a job doing monotonous tasks I was introduced to audible. Audible basically took over the next year of my life forty plus hours a week and made commuting over an hour to and from work much more enjoyable. I stumbled upon Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series and couldn't be stopped. Since then I searched for a book club, tried to start one then moved out of state before it could really go anywhere. Fortunately I was invited to an online book club that I could get new titles from and interact with other book lovers. To be honest I skipped a few books because there are a few books (anything involving vampire relations... or vampires in general) I don't care for. I am also an extrovert so in my new little town I made friends with another book lover by chance and FINALLY got invited into a book club.

     The first book I was introduced to in that club was The Red Tent, and then Unbroken and let me just stop there because that book was AMAZING! And you should read it... the movie can never live up to the book. See the movie if you want but it really had very little to it when you know what the books real meat and points are. Aaaannnndddd back on track to my point... I want to discuss books, music, religion and yes still things about just me and what is going one BUT I want more defined posts and direction other than just ramblings all the time. I joined Speak Up  this year so that will be apart of this years blogging once a month, but I want to guest blog and have guest bloggers who love to blog about the same things. If you have topics for this type of blogging please send them my way. I'd love your suggestions, comments and support for my newer direction with this blog!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Speak Up Link Up: Wild and Free

I just found out about Speak Up today and I got really excited to link up and participate. The subject and the videos I have watched really touched me and provoked thoughts for the past year and the upcoming year.

January's theme: Wild and Free.
Here are my thoughts:

To link up go here:
Mr. Thomas and Me
Also check out the links at the bottom of my video to see some others speaking up this year!

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