Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Instagram Challenge With Helene In Between!

I'm so excited to announce that I will be participating in Helene In Between's next Instagram challenge during the month of July! Some of you may remember that I did one in April with her using the hashtag "#30PhotosInBetween." This month, we're using the hashtag "#31PhotosInBetween."

Anyone can participate-- just jump on in! You don't have to be a blogger. It'll be a blast! The challenge in April really helped me connect with other bloggers & a lot of them, I enjoy reading their blogs on a regular basis! 

The challenge also helped me grow as a blogger. I learned about how to take better pictures & gain new followers through it. I had so much fun doing the April Challenge-- I hope some of you join in on the excitement with Helene In Between & me!

Make sure you're staying connected with me on Instagram. Follow me @sarcunningham :)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Feelin' Twenty-Two

It's my birthday today! I'm 22 years old now (going to be singing Taylor Swift's "22" song all day long). 

Here's 22 things that give me a reason to be thankful on my 22nd birthday!

1. My Savior, Jesus Christ, paying for my sins & loving me unconditionally.

2. My sweet husband who loves me as Christ loves the church & gave Himself up for it. 

3. My cute little new puppy, Murphy.

4. My awesome family-- especially my Mom who does so much for our family.

5. My great friends who always find a way to make me laugh.

6. Still being able to live in a free country.

7. For food, that I so easily take for granted.

8. For COFFEE! Because we know I'd be grumpy without it.

9. My cool job at the pool store-- because "we sell fun!"

10. My lovely car, Rose, who gets me around.

11. My Netflix account, because nothing else could pull me in like it does.

12. For candles, which make me happy.

13. For air conditioning in the hot summer.

14. For 7-11 icees, which also keep me cool in the summer. 

15. For Chickfila, because it's thebomb.com.

16. For a roof over my head.

17. For Pedicures.

18. For my 18th year-- the year I started dating my husband, Andrew.

19. For my church family, who has been there for me through all my ups & downs.

20. For ice cream, because let's be real, there's nothing much better.

21. For this past year & all the new adventures it brought me.

22. And finally, for my 22nd year & all the things it will bring me.

^^My birthday dinner date last night with my husband :)

I'm feelin' 22, yall.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Announcing the Newest Member of the Cunningham Family!

So, for those of you who don't know... Andrew & I added a new member to our family-- Murphy Cunningham! (That's why I've been a little off the blogger grid this week.) We are so in love with him. He's definitely full puppy though!

Here's some things I've learned about Murphy in the past 48 hours..

1. Going to the bathroom is optional. 

2. Going to the bathroom anywhere but where you're supposed to is also optional. 

3. Sleeping most of the day is a must. 

4. Running is more like hopping. 

5. Biting is better when you bite your owners (even though there's other options).

6. Accomplishing new tasks happen faster than one might think. 

7. Cuddle time is the best time. 

8. One's love for a puppy blossoms almost instantly. 

9. Murphy is the sweetest, cutest dog ever (sorry other pups).

We are so excited for Murphy to be a part of our family! We love him so much!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dear Girl Whose Dad Is In Heaven On Father's Day

Dear girl whose Dad is in Heaven on Father's Day,

It's that day one day out of the year that you dread. I'm sorry. I know you miss him. I know Father's Day isn't the easiest day for you. When you see other people celebrating with their fathers, it literally aches every bone in your body because you can't celebrate in person with your dad today. I know that today is one of the hardest days for you. I know that yes, the day he passed away is hard, & even his birthday is a hard day as well... But there's something always harder about Father's Day.

Sometimes you think to yourself & wonder, "Why do I even go outside of the house on this day?" Sometimes you also wonder why you even have to pretend to recognize the holiday at all. I know that it's easier to pretend that it's just another ordinary day. Yeah, you're thankful for your dad & everything he did for you while he was still on this earth, but it's just not the same since he's been gone.

I know that your dad was the first man you ever loved. I know that you still consider yourself a "daddy's girl." I know that not a day goes by where you don't think about him. I know that sometimes you think about him & miss him so terribly that it hits you like a truck.

So, to you, girl whose dad is in Heaven on Father's Day, remember this: Your dad loves you. Just because he's not here in earthly fashion on this day, there's still a reason to celebrate. He's in Heaven today, having the best Father's Day ever. You want to know why? Because he's celebrating Father's Day in Heaven with our Heavenly Father. He's no longer in pain. He's no longer suffering. He's worshipping God the Father, in His holy presence. Can you even begin to imagine what your dad is seeing & experiencing today? Just imagine the day when you get to celebrate not only Father's Day again with your dad, but think about celebrating with your Heavenly Father as well. What a glorious day that will be.

So get out of bed. There's a reason to celebrate. Today, thank God for your dad & what your Heavenly Father has done for you.


A girl whose Dad is in Heaven on Father's Day as well


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Thank a Teacher

This week, I helped at my church's Vacation Bible School as a lead teacher for 1st grade. I was pretty excited that I got asked to do this because I love kids. I love to be creative & decorate by using things I learned through school. I was also excited to share Jesus with these kids.

I haven't worked VBS in a really long time. And when I did, I helped in the nursery so I never did the "typical" rotation that the kids do such as going to their room & having Bible study, crafts, snack, recreation, missions, etc. I really didn't know what to expect from this week.

The one thing I for sure learned was this: Thank a teacher.

My mom was a teacher for over 30 years. I saw everything she went through & how exhausted she was. But for this single week, I walked a little in her shoes. I can't imagine everything she had to deal with on a DAILY basis. I only had to do this for a week & for just a few hours. My mom had to do it a full day & 9 months out of the year. The job for her also didn't stop when she left school... She had to grade papers when she got home the majority of the night. Watching her while growing up, I vowed that I'd never be a teacher. Being in charge of 25 1st graders this week was tough even with help. I can't even comprehend how my mom watched 20 something kids completely by herself.

My point of this post is not to complain-- it's to say how grateful I am for all the teachers I had while growing up. It's to say "you're amazing" to all of the teachers I know. Teachers do so much & put up with a lot. Not only do they have to teach children on a daily basis, but they also have to deal with their parents as well. Teachers do so much for so little.

So next time you see a teacher, thank them. You have no idea how much they do.

Thanks, to my favorite teacher.. My Mom. You're amazing.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

You Probably Don't Know... A Link Up With Helene in Between!

As you may remember from a previous post, today I'm doing a link up with Helene in Between! A link up is a group of bloggers joining together to talk about the same topic. I'm so excited that this is my first link up with one of my favorite bloggers! 

So, here's some things you probably don't know about me...

-I really don't like texting. I mean, it's fine when it's something short, but I'd much rather just call someone.

-I love McDonald's french fries. Like I'm obsessed. They're my guilty pleasure. Sometimes for dinner when Andrew is out of town, I eat their french fries & a 7-11 icee. I know, it's so bad for me. But whatevs.

-I'm a perfectionist. I don't like to do something until it's done right.

-I bite my cuticles. It's a really bad habit.

-I hate wearing jewelry. 

-I'm a little bit of a goody-two-shoes. I don't like to get in trouble.

-I'm very sarcastic. Sometimes I have to be careful to hold my tongue before I speak.

-My fingernails grow super fast, but my toenails grow at a normal rate.

-I told Andrew we were going to get married even before we were dating.

-I change what my favorite color is often. Currently, it's a toss up between pink & turquoise.

-I love to reminisce. It makes me happy.

-I think driving is the absolute worst thing ever. I don't like dealing with people. Especially after a long day & I just want to be home.

-When I was little, I thought I was a professional singer & then I got embarrassed when my parents recorded me singing secretly. So clearly I stopped.

-I'm obsessed with puppies & babies. Like, if there's a Youtube video of a baby playing with a puppy, I'm in love.

-I'm an "old soul." I could listen to Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, & Ella Fitzgerald all day, everyday.

-Christmas is undoubtedly my absolute most all time favorite time of the year & I wish it was culturally acceptable to celebrate it all year.

Helene in Between

Now what are some things that people don't know about you?! Join in on the fun & link up!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How to Graduate College in Four Years

I learned a lot by going to college. Not only did I learn about my degree (Family Life Education- Child Development), but I also learned about how to get out of college. Seriously, for some people, that place can be a black hole where you stay there forever. I understand that college isn't for everyone-- this post is probably not for you if you don't want to go to college. 

If you are anything like me, I had a goal to get out of college as soon as possible. I realized that college isn't cheap. You have to dish out that dough constantly when you're in college. Student I.D.? That'll be $15. Oh you need a background check because you're working with kids in your degree? That'll be $30. Tuition? That'll be $8212038298019849376. You want to breathe our air on campus? That'll be your soul. But seriously, college ain't cheap, folks.

I also realized that I didn't want to be in school forever. I was sick of school. I'm pretty sure from the first day I started kindergarten, I was over it. But apparently that didn't stop me. I had plans. I had dreams to get a degree. So my goal was to finish college in four years. From the moment I graduated high school, I promised myself I'd get out of school ASAP.

Even through many disappointments & scares that I wouldn't graduate on time, I learned a lot about how to graduate college in four years. Like I've said before, I could write a book on everything I've learned.

1. Take more than 12 hours.
If you're not taking at least 15 hours a semester, prepare to stay in college for longer than 4 years. Let me say that again in a different way, if you're only taking 12 hours.. YOU'LL NEVER GRADUATE "ON TIME."

2. Talk to your advisor EVERY semester.
Not once a year, every semester. You never know what might change or might not be offered during a semester.

3. Take summer classes.
Even if it's one class online, take a summer class. Summer classes are so much better than regular semester classes. You get done with them faster & they are usually a little bit easier because teachers are in summer-mode.

4. If you're going to community college first, get your associates degree before you transfer.
I know so many people (even myself) who said that they were going to just go get their basics done at a community college first & then transfer to a four-year college. DON'T DO IT! Either go straight to a university, or get your associates degree first. It's so much easier to transfer with an associates degree. When you look at a degree sheet for a bachelors degree, the top part usually has your general education requirements such as English, math, sciences, etc., & the bottom part then has all your major requirements. When you transfer with an associates degree, your receiving school will "cross off" the top part that they require for gen eds. You'll then just jump into your major classes. If you don't transfer with an associates degree, your receiving school will go over & analyze whether the classes you took at community college can transfer to their university. If you don't transfer with an associates degree, you may find yourself retaking some classes.

5. Enroll on time.
When I was at community college, they just opened up everyone's enrollment at the same time. It was usually not a big deal to get into classes there because they usually offered a quite a few. When you attend a university though, it's a whole different ball game. If you look at your credit hours & it says that your enrollment opens at 5 A.M., you better be on your computer ready to enroll, & refreshing the page every few seconds at 4:55. If you don't, many times classes will fill up & sometimes those classes are only offered during a specific semester & not all year.

6. Make a friend in your major.
I can't stress how vital this one is. I didn't see the point of it my first two years of college really. When I entered into my major though, I realized how important it is to have a friend who is going through the exact same thing as you are. You both can help each other with classes, projects, & enrollment while encouraging each other along the way.

7. Fight for yourself.
If you missed an assignment or you think your teacher gave you the wrong grade, don't let it just slide by... FIGHT for it. Even if you're wrong, it doesn't hurt to ask your professor. I was given the wrong final grade for one of my classes even though I knew I made an A. I emailed my professor & he told me he didn't receive my final paper. I quickly emailed it to him (because I had it saved on my computer), & told him I had turned it in & I was sorry he didn't receive it. He then went before the board & changed my grade. You never know until you ask-- & the worst you can hear is "no."

8. Get to know your professors.
Seriously, be a teachers pet. Teachers (especially those who are in charge of the department) can be your best dream or worst nightmare. Get on their good side. When you are on your teachers' good side & they know you, it's amazing what they will do to help you. I had an adjunct professor once who didn't show up on the day we were technically supposed to take our final. He had changed it apparently to a different day (which no one in the class could make it on the day he wanted the final to be on). I quickly emailed the head of the department & told her my concerns. Next thing I knew, the final was optional because she talked to my adjunct professor. Get to know your teachers!!

9. Be self-motivated.
During those times where you want to give up & drop out but realize you have a dream to finish college, you have to motivate yourself to keep pushing through. People can preach at you all day about finishing, but only you can determine that. Motivate yourself. If that means getting through a tough week & rewarding yourself with a gallon of ice cream or pedicure, do it. But maybe you shouldn't do the gallon of ice cream thing often unless you want to rename the "Freshman 15" the "College 100."

10. Be organized.
If you're attempting to go through college without a planner or agenda, you'll never survive. If you prefer to use your phone calendar, then use it. If you're like me & like to write things down on paper, buy a planner. It will be your lifesaver in college.

All of these are ways that I graduated college in four years. It wasn't easy. There were a few times I literally contemplated dropping out. But graduating is so worth it. Don't give up. Keep on truckin'. And don't get me wrong, even if you don't graduate right on time, it's okay. As long as you finish, it'll all be well worth it in the end. No one can take that degree away from you.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Big Announcement + A Link Up!

So for about a week now, I've been trying to contain my excitement because of this announcement I'm about to share with you all. For the record, no, I'm not pregnant. I just have some really big blogging news for you guys.

I am so excited to announce that I have been asked to be in MY FIRST EVER COLLABORATION with a business! I received an email a little over a week ago from a company known as "Giftbuzz" asking me to collaborate with them! Giftbuzz is a place where you can find ideal gifts to suit any personality & occasion. Giftbuzz explores every corner of the world, selecting gift ideas that are never boring-- they range from the traditional gifts to the most exceptional ones, from small everyday gifts to those that will undoubtedly leave a mark. You can explore gifts according to the gift-receiver's personality or to a certain moment. You can also choose Giftbuzz's classic categories instead for an even more specific search.

The way Giftbuzz works is you add items you would most love to receive to your "Wish List"-- Your friends can then see it & hopefully find inspiration for your gift! Or you can create personal lists to group your favorite products.

Giftbuzz is a newly started company based in Milan & is beginning to collaborate with contributors from all over the world. If you go to Giftbuzz's website, you will be able to find my name under "Our Supporters" at the top of the page. I am so excited to be collaborating with them to not only help grow their business, but grow my blog in the process! Also, another exciting thing is that they interviewed me & I'm featured in an article on their own blog which you can read here... Which you should definitely check out :).

Not only did I have that big announcement, but I will also be joining in on a link up with Helene in Between this Thursday, June 18th under the topic of "You Probably Don't Know...". I'm so excited to do my first link up with one of my favorite bloggers out there! 

Helene in Between

Now enough about me, anything exciting happening in your life lately??

Thursday, June 11, 2015

30 Things I Want To Do Before I'm 30

I was thinking the other day about "bucket lists" & how so many people make them but don't really do anything to achieve their goals. I think once you make a goal, you should try your hardest to achieve it. Sometimes we throw things on our list that are pretty outrageous &/or really hard for us to do. Not that we shouldn't put those things on our lists, but maybe we should do a better job at trying to reach those things we set. 

Since it's my birthday month, I have began thinking about the things I want to do during my 22nd year. And then I started thinking about a lot of things that I want to do before I turn 30. Although I'm still quite a few years away from the big 3-0, I thought that now would be a great time to make a list of all of the things I would like to do before I'm 30. I'd like to think that a lot of these on my list are fairly realistic, but some of them will definitely be harder to achieve than others.

(On a side note, anytime I say the word "thirty," I think of the movie 13 Going on 30 & say to myself "Thirty, Flirty, & Thriving"... just in case any of you all wanted to know the things that go on in my head.)

1. Go parasailing

2. Get a puppy

3. Grow my blog

4. Fly a kite (I've done this before but haven't done it since I was little)

5. Have a baby

6. See clear water at a beach

7. Take a cooking class

8. See a real Broadway performance in NYC

9. Swim with dolphins

10. Do a really cool DIY project like ones that they do on HGTV's show "Fixer Upper"

11. Take a camera class

12. Go to a super fancy restaurant in a really big city & get all dressed up

13. Be an extra in a movie

14. Learn to speak Spanish at least semi-fluently

15. Be a volunteer at an organization

16. Write a children's book

17. Be a guest writer on someone else's blog

18. Go to Disney World

19. Test drive my dream car

20. Take a pottery-making class

21. Watch a meteor shower

22. Learn how to write pretty calligraphy

23. Be a stay-at-home mom

24. Host a Thanksgiving meal

25. Go snorkeling

26. Acquire a taste for black coffee (no cream or sugar)

27. Learn to drive a stick shift

28. Travel to Europe... Preferably somewhere in Italy

29. Become a pro at backing up into a parking spots like my husband

30. Attend a floating lantern festival

Those are the 30 Things I Want to do Before I'm 30. What are some of the things you have on your list? Any that I should have added?

Monday, June 8, 2015

All About Those Stripes

Stripes. I have been so obsessed with them lately. I just can't get enough. They're trendy, cute, & fun. Stripes are perfect for summer.. Or fall, or winter, or spring. Basically, stripes are the best. Maybe when I wear stripes I feel like I stepped out of a Gap catalog. Or maybe when I wear them, I feel like I can look cute in a casual way. Nonetheless, this post is all about stripes... Because I'm all about those stripes (have I said the word 'stripes' enough yet?!).

Since it's June & summer is here, I thought I'd share some of my favorite summer time stripes that are out there in the world right now.

(P.S. Some of these are ones I already have & others are ones I love.)

Left: Gap Stripe Fluid Tunic

Right: Gap Slub Stripe Contrast-Sleeve Tee 

Left: Francesca's Maggie Stripe Backpack

Right: Francesca's Emily Stripe Crossbody

Are you loving stripes as much as I am?! If so, where do you love to buy striped clothing at?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Happy National Donut Day!

Happy Friday & (more importantly), Happy National Donut Day, everyone! Who knew "Donut Day" is a national holiday?! I absolutely love donuts. They're like God's gift to people who are eager to go on a sugar high.

If you don't like donuts, you must be ill. Donuts give love & happiness to any able person who is willing to eat them. As you may have already gathered, this post is all about donuts since it is Donut Day.

My favorite donut shop in Oklahoma is a little one that is seriously just labeled "Donuts." But I'm also a pretty big fan of "Daylight Donuts" & "Hurts Donuts" which are both based in Oklahoma as well. As far as national donut attention is concerned, Krispy Kreme & Dunkin' Donuts are good, but not my favorite. 

Now, when we're talking donut flavors... I am not a big fan of cake donuts. I also do not like any donuts with those nasty "jelly fillings" in them. Give me a glazed or glazed with chocolate icing donut, & I'd be a happy girl. I also enjoy strawberry icing on donuts. AND I do love sprinkles. When sprinkles are on a donut, it's like a celebration every time you take a bite. When in doubt, choose sprinkles. 

In reference to donut holes. They're pretty much the best. Why do they taste so much better than regular donuts? Does anyone actually know??? You can just pop a donut hole in your mouth & it's like "Hallelujah, I got my donut fix in for the minute!". Donut holes are basically the best. 

Clearly, I could go on forever about donuts & why I love them so much. But, what's your favorite kind of donut? Do you prefer donuts or donut holes??

And one last BIG "HAPPY NATIONAL DONUT DAY" to you all! Hope you're celebrating like I am! :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What I've Learned During My First Year of Marriage

After officially being married a year now, I feel like I've learned a lot. I've learned a lot about what I should do & what I shouldn't do. Basically, your first year of marriage is just one giant learning experience. Andrew & I agree that our first year of marriage has actually been pretty good. A lot of people told us that the first year of marriage is the hardest one. Of course, no marriage is the same. With everything I have learned though, I figured I could share some things with you all.

1. I've learned to live with messes you never knew you could live with (those dishes that have been sitting in the sink for over a week now, I can totally tolerate it now).

2. I've learned that you eat a lot more ice cream once you get married.

3. I've learned that saying "we should do this" means, "honey, you should do this for me."

4. I've learned that it's okay to get clean clothes out of the laundry hamper because you never folded them after you washed them.

5. I've learned that if you've never lived with a boy, marriage is a whole new world of different smells.

6. I've learned that it's okay to put things off for something more important (example: putting off cleaning to cuddle together & watch Netflix).

7. I've learned that when you registered for gifts before you got married, you didn't really know what you were thinking or what you were doing.

8. So because of that, I've learned that it's totally okay to buy new things to replace those things you're questioning with all of those gift cards you got.

9. I've learned that the whole "sock ran away in the dryer" thing is true.

10. I've learned that making kiddie food such as mac & cheese counts as cooking.

11. I've learned that it's also okay to make the same 7 meals & alternate them to make it seem like you didn't just have it the other day.

12. I've learned that putting your spouse before yourself is a must to have a healthy & successful marriage.

13. I've also learned that marriage is fun & you should laugh together often... Like all the time.

Those are just some things I've learned during my first year of marriage. What did you learn during your first year of marriage?

Monday, June 1, 2015

In Chicago, Part III

Happy June everyone! If you missed my 'In Chicago Part I' or 'Part II' posts, you should definitely check them out... BECAUSE this is my final Chicago post! Our last two days in Chicago were absolutely beautiful. It finally started to warm up & we were able to go to Lincoln Park one day, & to another beach on our last day. When we made our way over to Lincoln Park, we also made a detour by U.S. Cellular Field where the White Sox play, Chinatown, & then all the way up to Wrigley Field where the Cubs play. 


Since we kind of needed to go all over the place that day, we decided to get our car out & drive to all of those places. It was nice for a change to be in a car & not have to walk everywhere (although we did walk a lot in Lincoln Park). 

While at Lincoln Park, we also went to the Lincoln Park Zoo which is one of the only free zoos left in the United States. I mean, clearly the zoo is free & it's also one of the oldest zoos in the United States, so don't expect too much out of it. I definitely wasn't over impressed with it, but I had to keep in mind that for a free zoo, it was pretty good. It would definitely be a must if you brought kids to ChiTown for vacation. 

After the zoo, we walked around Lincoln Park & took some great pictures. Lincoln Park is similar to Millennium Park in the fact that it's so full of life. People were just hanging out, relaxing, & even playing music. It was a really cool experience. Lincoln Park also has a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. There was an adorable family taking pictures on one of the bridges we were on with the city in the background.. I'm sure their pictures will turn out amazing. 

^^I thought this picture was cool!

On our last day in Chicago, I was eager to go back to another beach. We made our way over to the larger beach & it was fantastic. Going to the beach was definitely my favorite part of Chicago. Lake Michigan is surprisingly super clear & a pretty blue. I feel like a picture doesn't even capture how beautiful it is. I was so in love with the beach being right in the city, that I was sad to go home to Oklahoma because we don't have that luxury here. Even though we have a ton of lakes, it's NOTHING like Lake Michigan & the fact that the city is right there is just really awesome.

^^I agree!

^^My sweet husband wrote this in the sand :)

Chicago, we absolutely loved you! Thank you for the beautiful & lovely memories!

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