Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Photo Album #6

The photo album pick for this week is graduation themed! Shocker right?? Haha. Let me say now, sorry for the over abundance of graduation mention lately, I'm just so darn excited for Sunday! Before I get into how great it felt to finish my last exam yesterday and how surreal it was to walk out of the building as a student for one last time…oh wait…did I just? :p Anyways, let's get to the photos!


This is my mom, grandma, and I after my Kindergarten graduation in 1998. Although I do not have too many vivid memories, there are a couple that I certainly recall. First, when Kindergarten graduation comes to mind I think about my classmate and friend passing out. I wasn't sure what happened at the time, yet I remember him falling and my dad (who is a paramedic) rushing up to grab him. Also I remember that after the ceremony our class put on a graduation song for our families. I couldn't tell you what it was that we sang, but I can tell you that I remember exactly that moment, smiling and singing my heart out. Lastly, that cap! It is made from a styrofoam bowl and cardboard. I still have it to this day. Man, was that much more cost-efficient then the one I'll be wearing Sunday or what?! 


Now, fast forwarding my high school graduation. I graduated high school in June of 2010. This picture was taken in the school "commons" area. The common area is where we hung out before and after school as well where we had lunch. Pictured are three of my homeroom buddies and myself waiting for the ceremony to start. My school did homerooms by last names and we kept the same one for all four years so, it's easy to say that they all were a huge part of my high school days!:) 


The picture above is also from my high school graduation. It is of me after the ceremony. My school colors were orange and blue which meant an orange dress was a must under my blue gown. Also, you may notice a little extra glam in the picture! A close friend of the family brought me the cute little combo. I couldn't help but rock it right away. I only wore the glasses for the picture, but totally walked out with pride in my sash and tiara! Oh and the ring…can't forget the ring. It lit up!  

I can't wait to make more memories and seal another chapter of my life this weekend! <3

What are your favorite memories of different graduations throughout the years?
Any suggestions of special things I should make sure to do on Sunday?

❤ Nichole 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Just Laugh?

Everyday we are surrounded with tips and tricks for how we can become healthier. We're told to eat this, take that, do this, do that. But, what if there was something that we could do daily, and as much as we wanted, that cost no money at all? It sounds too good to be true right? Well, it's not. 

So, what is it that I'm proposing we do you ask? It's actually quite simple...just laugh!


Believe it or not there are many benefits to laughter. While reading a few articles, I came across this from helpguide.org that I think sums it all up very well; "laughter is a powerful remedy to stress, pain, and conflict." And, it is something that each one of us have the ability to include in our lives. 

Laughing.

• makes you and others feel good
• boosts relationships
• is a natural pain killer
• decreases stress
• soothe tension
• improves breathing
• lowers blood pressure 
• makes you look younger
• gives a good workout
to the diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, left and back muscles
• can help you relax and sleep
• improves alertness, creativity, memory
• produce general well-being

Ways to laugh.

• watch a comedy movie/TV show
• share/look up a good joke
• go to your bookstore's humor section
• go to a comedy club
• have a game night
• participate in fun activities
• look at old photos/videos
• surround yourself with funny people
• do something silly

"Laughter is an instant vacation." ~Milton Berle

Questions of the Day:
1) What different types of things make you laugh?
2) How integral is laughing in your life?
3) Did you know there were so many benefits to laughter?

❤ Nichole 

Monday, April 28, 2014

MIMM #11 {Celebrations}

Hi-ya everyone! Did you all have a marvelous weekend? Mine was large and in charge and today's post is a celebration of celebrations! Thanks to Katie and her awesome Monday link-up!

And let's let the good times roll!
Was my great friend Heather's birthday and I was able to spend the whole day with her. 


We first went to lunch at an amazing Mexican restaurant Heather suggested.


Then we were off to get pedicures for a little pampering. 


After, we headed back to Heather's waiting to meet my parents at the movies. She is originally from Florida and away from her parents so mine wanted to make sure she felt family on her special day.


We went to see The Other Woman, which was really funny and then had dinner at Olive Garden.
It was all uber fun! I loved making sure Heather had a wonderful day!

Saturday:
Was filled with studying and finishing my second to last exam. Billy and I went to the library at 10:30am. I had to snap a picture walking in as it would be my last time as an undergraduate. 


On Saturday's the library closes at 6pm so we still had work to do at home, but in our usual fashion we were there until the lights were turned off.


It was definitely was surreal to walk out one last time. 

Was a double celebration - my dadda's birthday as well as my sororities Founder's Day luncheon. 


The luncheon started at 1pm and lasted right up until about 3pm.  


It was so great to spend the afternoon with my sisters; current and alumni.


Although it was my last Founder's Day as a collegiate member, I am so excited to come back as an alum and see how the chapter has transformed. I know these ladies are going to do incredible things.

Once done, I was headed back home to spend the rest of the evening with my dad for his birthday! 

When I got there we decided to run out real quick to take some pictures in my cap and gown. 
With graduation a week away we wanted to be able to get my announcements in the mail asap.



Putting all of that on created huge anticipation for May 4th!! 

My dad opted to have a relaxing night in, which was a perfect ending to a great weekend.

Now I'm throwing it over to you! What was splendid about your last few days?

❤ Nichole 

Most Inspiring Blogger Award

I was very excited and humbled to be notified from Jenny over at Small Girl Big Dreams 1993 today that she had nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you so much girl! When I started blogging it was my hope, dream and ambition to inspire and help others - receiving this nomination warmed my heart. A massive thank you to everyone who supports my blog! <3

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Rules for the Inspiring Blogger Award:
1) Link the person who nominated you
2) List rules and display the award
3) Share 7 things/facts about yourself
4) Nominate 7 bloggers who inspire you
5) Let them know you have nominated them

My seven things/facts:
1) In one week I will be a college graduate
2) I just completed my rookie season for an NBA professional dance team
3) I am a founding member of Sigma Sigma Sigma - Theta Beta
4) My family is my everything 
5) I love to help others before I help myself
6) Finding the good in the bad is my daily goal
7) I have lived with a rare disease called Chiari Malformation

My nominations:
1) Heather @ Housewife Glamour
2) Kayla @ Microscope Beauty
3) Carly @ Carly Blogs Here
4) Antoinette @ Letter's to Antoinette
6) Sarah @ Sarah Smiles
7) Gemma @ Button's Blog

This was actually harder then it seems because all of the blogs that I follow and read daily inspire me. I wake up everyday excited to see what everyone has put their tender love and care towards to post! 

Thank you again Jenny for the nomination!! 

❤ Nichole 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

In My Free Time

Graduation is one week from today. I cannot believe it! I have one last final on Tuesday and then I am official done with my undergraduate classes. Talk about crazy! I haven't been able to keep my mind from wandering to the question of what am I going to do with all this free time over the next couple months. Relaxing is definitely the top of the list! I also have a list made of shows I either need to catch up on or have been wanting to start..Netflix here I come! As I was thinking further I also remembered all of the recipes I have pinned on Pinterest throughout the years, but have never made. Since I will be the one who has the majority of days and nights free while my parents are working and brother is studying I want to take it upon myself to prepare food and finally put those recipes to use!


I decided to go take a scroll through Pinterest and make a "bucket list" of sorts from the recipes I have pinned. When I was doing so, I instantly thought of the blog and how it could make for a really fun post to share with you all; hoping you will discover a few recipes you want to give a go, too!

Here are the are the ones that made the cut!
(recipes listed top to bottom are pictured left to right)

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner
Sweet Hawaiian Chicken
Cajun Chicken Alfredo
Lasagna Soup

Source

Snacks
Buffalo Chicken Dip
• JalapeƱo Popper Wontons
Fruit Salsa With Cinnamon Chips

Source

Dessert
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source

Now I am not going to lie, getting through this post was highly difficult as looking through all of it was making me sooo hungry! Although I am not a huge cook, I'm more the of the baking type, I cannot wait to try some of these out over time. As I do, I will be sure to post the process along with pictures! 


Lastly, today's post would not be complete with out giving a Happy Birthday shout out to my daddio!<3

"A dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall, 
but instead picks you up, brushes you off and let's you try again." 

My dad on his first birthday! We're not sure why he's such a grump gills in the photo! LOL

Questions of the Day:
1) Do you have a bucket list of recipes?
2) Which on these lists were most appealing?
3) What is your favorite recipe to make?

❤ Nichole 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Favorites #9: Week of 4/25/14

So, I am starting to wonder where time does goes!! Is anyone else having a hard time believing we are about to conclude the final full week of April?? Man oh man. Yet, with the end of April comes something to celebrate; Heather's birthday! You probably recognize the name as she is the lovely host of Friday Favorites and was on the Pistons Dance Team this season with me. But, most importantly she is one of my very best friends! Make sure to head on over and wish Heather a happy happy birthday!

Source
--New Blog Look
On Wednesday I revealed an all new and improved look and design of Upbeat Uplifts! I worked on it over a couple days before I felt it was right. I am extremely happy with the way it turned out. 
So here's what all changed:
• New header personalized to the site
• Fixed proportions of the blog and sidebar
• Larger photos >>yes, finally!<<
• Actually twitter feed 
• Image feeds of Instagram and Pinterest accounts
and last but not least
• A BLOG BUTTON!



--Chapstick Containers
I'll let you guys in on a little secret...well, I guess it's not really a secret. Anywho, I have an infatuation with lip balm. There are multiple on me at any given time; my purse, my jacket, my pocket, etc. I also have a tendency to lose them. I'm not sure how, but they just disappear. This is why I carry so many. Knowing this, for Easter my mom got me these really awesome containers. I believe she found them at Walgreens. Hopefully they will keep my lip balm from walking off!





--Graduation Packet
Tuesday I picked up my packet for graduation! When I was holding it in my hand all I could think was, "this is as real as it will get until the day of." When I opened the packet I saw an abundance of items including my tickets for graduation! There also was many handouts with information for things such as; the day of, ordering my diploma, and becoming an alumni. Excuse me for a moment, but all I can say is ekkkkkk! :) I am very excited. And hey, four years of tuition got us free parking!





--Birthday Girl Herself
As I mentioned today is the birthday of a near and dear friend of mine, Heather so of course she herself had to be a Friday favorite! I have known Heather for just a little less than a year. She was one of the first veterans on the dance team to take me under her wing and instantly we learned we had tons in common. She and I have become much more then just dance friends. I look up to her more then she will ever know or I could vocalize. Heather is like a big sister to me. And it's just a coincidence that we have been told that we look like we are siblings. She also is a huge blogging inspiration of mine and was integral in helping me get my site set up and running. I love you girl!






--Most Loved Of The Month
The TV show "Pretty Little Liars." I started it at the end of March, but was more than obsessed with it this month. I was able to catch up on all the seasons and now am anxiously awaiting June for it to start again. In case you are currently watching I won't give any spoilers...all I have to say is woah! If you have never watched it I highly recommend you to do so. Each episode ends in a way that makes you want to continue to watch more. It's a great mix of friendship, love and mystery. 


--Post This Week
F.E.A.R on Tuesday 4/22/14:



--Popular Post This Month
Thinking Out Loud #7: Confidence on Thursday 4/17/14:




Since it's the last Friday in April...
What have you been loving this week and this month?

❤ Nichole 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Photo Album #5

Last night I grabbed the hard drive from my mom and did some digging to find the picture's for today's Photo Album post! This series I started 5 weeks back after my friend Kayla talked to me about joining in with her. For me, it is all about looking to the past to help remember the good times over the bad!


This is of my dad and I, taken in Florida. I was about 7. My nightgown is Princess Belle themed.  


Ever since I can remember my family has had a tradition of going to Florida for Thanksgiving. They are some of my most favorite times. My parents and my grandma started this tradition the second year after my grandpa had passed away, which was when I was 4 months old. Over the years I learned from my family that my grandpa's favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. The first year after he passed they had Thanksgiving at home and it was very rough with him not there, so it was my grandma's idea for them to not sit around and be sad. Instead she knew he would want them to be happy and celebrate in his honor. They decided for that place to be by the happiest place on earth!


This picture is from the same trip. It is of my brother and I on the tram at the Orlando airport. We are leaving for home, still repping our Disney. We always try to take the late night flight leaving somewhere so we can get the most out of our last day wherever we may be!

I'll forever remember years of fun in Florida with my family. And as you can imagine, yes, we have many Disney pictures from throughout. I'm sure this won't be the only time you see them pop up! :)


P.S. Hope you all are liking the new blog design!

Questions of the Day:
1) What are some of your family traditions?
2) Where did they start/come from?
3) Are you a fan of things Disney?

❤ Nichole 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

F.E.A.R

We all have some sort of bucket list filled with a variety of different items. These are things we want, wish and hope to someday do. So, when push comes to shove what is keeping us from actually narrowing the list down? Yes, okay, maybe somethings aren't feasible at the time because of resources available, but I am almost certain that's not the case for it all. Whether we realize it or not, fear comes into play and holds us back. 


Ask yourself one question, what would you do if you were not afraid? The answer is probably most everything you physically could on your list right?

Now before we go further, fear is and takes on a different meaning for everyone. Which means this is all based on your definition. For me, fear is not what happens on Halloween. It is when I am nervous to take a risk. I am a conservative person and like to play by the rules. It's no secret that it is easier to stay with what you know then step out of your comfort zone. 

Source
I have gotten better at taking risks although I'm still not great. My rational will come out and try to eliminate me from doing so. The thinking that has helped me take more risks is knowing that everything that happens, happens for a reason. And I have always found it important to live in the moment. This leaves me two choices; sit at home or take a chance. 

If fear wasn't a factor, which it doesn't have to be, I would do everything and anything that I could! But, since it doesn't have to be a factor let's not allow it to be! How does that sound?? Together, let's take a chance! 

Source
"The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you're too scared to make a mistake." ~Unknown

Questions of the Day:
1) What does fear mean to you?
2) How do you overcome it?
3) What's on your  bucket list?
❤ Nichole 

Monday, April 21, 2014

MIMM #10 {Easter}

We're all honest around here right? So, to tell the truth this weekend was not so wonderfully ideal. Remember that cold that I thought I was kicking to the curb a little while ago? It came back 10-fold with a 103 degree fever as its sidekick.. Not exactly the way I planned to spend the holiday weekend. My family couldn't do all we usually do since I was not feeling well, but nonetheless we were family and that's what counts. Even in a not "perfect" scenario of the Easter weekend there were still great moments because it comes down to what you make of it. And here's to hoping for a better week! 


I was able to capture a little bit to share with you all. <3
Linking up with Katie for Marvelous Monday!

Started off going to get my nails done. I am really liking this shellac. 


Then I ran errands with my mom until it was time for my first meet-up.
My friend Kayla hosted and it went so well. Kuddos to her!
Since I was starting to not feel so well, soup was in order. 


There were 7 of us bloggers there!
I know we all left with ideas for inspiration.


And we planned topics for future meet-ups!


Of course we couldn't leave without taking a picture of the girls.


Was very rough, I didn't make it out of bed until around 3pm. 
I did wake up to my team award from the dance season in the mail.
So incredibly humbled to have received this.


I also was able to make it to Easter Vigil Mass. 
My family has a tradition of playing music at Christmas and Easter. 
This church is beautiful always, but especially at the holidays.


Slow starting for me and my family was so understanding.
They loved the Easter goodies I got them (bags behind).


I also had homework to work on, which thankfully did get accomplished.
And later my boyfriend stopped by to check on me and brought this.


We also managed a family photo.
Please excuse my pebbles bun.


It all took a lot out of me, yet it was totally worth it.
Even Coco was wore out! Who are we kidding, she's always sleeping!


No matter how I felt I was surrounded by the people I love so what could be better? Absolutely nothing. Some plans were rearranged and some traditions were skipped, yet this Easter was full of memories just like every other. 

And hey, I can only get better right? 
Right! :)

How was your holiday weekend?
Are there any Easter traditions you and your family have?
Was the bunny good to you?

❤ Nichole 
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