High Five For Friday - Weddings Galore!

Happy Friday everyone! Did you have a good week? I hope so!  I wasn't feeling my best this week, but I managed to hang in there.  Work was quiet, so I was able to get a lot done. I went to the doctor to find out that I definitely had a virus. He suggested I pick up some Zinc lozenges. I did and I feel like a whole new woman!  There were some pretty great things going on this week, even when I was feeling icky.  Here's a peak...

Saturday evening I was lucky enough to see my mentor, M, get married to her soulmate! It was a beautiful wedding and we all had a great time. I balled like a baby when M read her vows. It was so wonderful!

Saturday night I ended up at another wedding! Earlier that day my friend, V, asked if I'd like to attend her impromptu wedding! Of course!!!!  V and her (now) husband are in a show right now and they were planning on getting hitched at their cast party that night around 11pm.  It was beautifully done! The lighting, the flowers, the spread was all fantastic at a moments notice!

On Sunday I went to see The BFG - Big Friendly Giant. My 'Star-Daughter' was in it and she was absolutely fabulous. She had a super cute scene where we were seeing her dream and she got to sing/dance to Taylor Swift's Shake It Off. MK totally rocked it!

Monday night was the Carrie Underwood concert and it was fantastic! I plan on doing a full post next week (I took so many pictures), but here is a little collage for you :) The Swon Brothers and Easton Corbin opened for her. It was a great show!

My friend, C, and I have started going to Elevation Church. We are loving it! C found out about a study group that some single women are doing along with the book Becoming Myself, Embracing God's Dream of You, by Stasi Eldredge.  C and I have decided to read the book together and work on the 8-session workbook that accompanies it. We are easing ourselves into involvement with Elevation and thought this was a good way to start.  We are really looking forward to starting the journey together!  I've already read the first chapter and am LOVING it! It's perfect for where I am at in my life.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! xoxoxo

I'm linking up with Bright on a Budget, Della Devoted, and Cup of Tea for High Five For Friday.


Binge-Worthy Fall TV

This is my favorite season...the season of Fall Television Premiers! Some of my favorite shows are back and there are some great new ones just getting started.  I've been able to watch the first week's worth of premiers and I am loving what I'm seeing.  Here's a recap of the new shows I'm loving and my returning favorites.


This Is Us
If you were a fan of Parenthood, then you are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE this show!  Me and my girlfriends totally freaked out about it.  It is about a group of people that are all born on the same day and how they are connected. It stars Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, and Justin Hartley.
NBC - Tuesday 10pm

Minnie Driver stars as the mother of a special-needs son.  The family is great at dealing with the challenges life throws at them as well as the ones they create.  Driver is really fantastic!
ABC - Wednesday 8:30pm

Designated Survivor
Kiefer is baaaaaaaaack! For all you 24 fans out there, you're going to love this! Kiefer Sutherland plays a White House Cabinet member who becomes the President of the United States when everyone else has been catastrophically killed!  Sutherland slips into this role with such ease!
ABC - Wednesday 9pm

The Exorcist
Okay, you're really only going to like this one if you like scary movies. I happen to love scary movies, so this is right up my alley. The show is based on the 1971 novel about a priest who performs exorcisms on demonic spirits.  The first episode has me hooked!
FOX - Friday


Grey's Anatomy
The season 13 premier picks up right where the finale left off.  Alex has beaten the crap out of DeLuca...Meredith and Riggs are playing coy...and Kepner and Avery have named their baby! It was a great start to the season. Let's hope they can keep up the memento.
ABC - Thursday 8pm

Law & Order: SVU
In it's 18th Season they keep you on your toes just as much as ever!
NBC - Wednesday 9pm

Secrets and Lies
Juliette Lewis is not a cop I would want to cross paths with.  She is one tough cookie and if she thinks you committed the crime, she will stop at nothing!  This season we are dealing with a murdered woman and of course, her husband is the first suspect. We find out she was pregnant and was keeping secrets (shocker)! Michael Ealy stars as the grieving husband. I'm totally on his side and everyone else us super suspicious!
ABC - Sunday 9pm

Some other new shows I watched are The Good Place (just okay) and Notorious (somewhat like Scandal).  I am really interested in Kevin Can Wait and Man With A Plan.  There are some shows that will be premiering mid-season that look really interesting - Time After Time and Making History. Some more returning favorites are How To Get Away With Murder (this show drives me crazy, but I can't not watch), Vampire Diaries comes back October 7th and Jane the Virgin comes back October 17th.

What shows are you watching this fall?

Exercise Your Mind

Each day I receive emails entitled - Today's Gift. They contain different motivational and sometimes inspirational messages.  I really liked the one I got this morning and wanted to share it with you. 

After a long day of working or doing errands, we may want to sit and not do a thing. But although our bodies may be physically tired, our minds may be just the opposite.

If we're plagued by tired, cranky thoughts after a day's activity, we might discover our minds are too hooked into our feelings. We can separate the mind from the body and learn to chase away stinking thinking. We might treat our tired bodies to a bath while we treat our minds to a good book. While we're soaking our feet or resting in an easy chair, we can put on some music. Or we can put aside the hectic pace of the day and throw our creative energies into preparing a new recipe.

There are countless ways to wake up our minds even if our bodies are tired. Instead of collapsing in front of the television or eating junk food, we can change our focus. We can tune out the signals of the day and turn on our minds.

Did you exercise your mind today?

For daily inspiration to come to your inbox, go HERE and sign up!

Two Book Reviews For You

Book Review Time!

I just finished two fantastic books and I want to tell you all about them!

The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin
Goodreads Synopsis:
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don't just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.

I didn't read the inside jacket before starting this book, so I had no idea what it was about. It's the first book that Reese Witherspoon's book club read and me and some girlfriends wanted to read it. All three of us loved it! It is such a sweet story.  I was actually able to relate to Suzy's journey with her friend. As you grow up sometimes you grow apart and you never really know why. Suzy's passion to discover what could have possibly happened is inspirational.  If only everyone had a heart the size of Suzy's!

I give this book 5 BIG STARS and recommend it to everyone - young and old!

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
Goodreads Synopsis:
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

This. Book. Is. Fantastic!  I could not put it down once I started.  It's 323 pages and I was reading about 50 pages a night. There were nights where I had to talk myself into going to bed.  Hawkins writes from the perspective of three different women.  It starts off with Rachael's (the girl on the train) point of view in the morning and the evening as she rides the train. It continues that way for the entire book - 'morning' and 'evening.'  We eventually meet Megan who takes back about a year and then Anna.  Seeing the story from each point of view is really critical and very intriguing. It molds everything together.

I give this book 5 BIG STARS and recommend it to everyone! The movie version (starring Emily Blunt) opens in theaters on October 7th so read it fast!

What Have You Been Reading?

High Five For Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Did you have a good week? I hope so!  Here's a peek at what I was up to -

{1}Sunday night the Prime Time Emmy Awards aired.  Tatiana Maslany was nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role on Orphan Black playing up to 10 characters on the show.  You all know how I feel about Orphan Black, I mean I named my cats after two of the characters that Tatiana plays!  Well, ladies and gentlemen...
SHE WON!!!!!!!!

{2} I found this darling kitty cat tea cup in a local shop in downtown Roanoke called Tink's. It's so freaking cute!  The saucer has a little mouse on it.  You can also use loose leaf tea with it.

{3} I toured some meeting planners around Roanoke this week and one of our stops was the science museum in Center in the Square.  There is a butterfly habitat inside and it is really cool!  There are some beautiful butterflies and it's so amazing to be in there with them flying around.

{4} My coworker got me this cute little post-it note holder.

{5} I finished The Girl On The Train this week. Once I got into it I could not stop reading!  I pulled a couple titles out of my jar yesterday and this is what is up next - Winnie the Pooh on Management and See Me, by Nicholas Sparks. I'm heading to Charlotte, NC for his book tour in October.  Sparks's new book, Two by Two, comes out October 4th and I want to be sure to finish See Me by then.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! xoxoxo

I'm linking up with Bright on a Budget, Della Devoted, and Cup of Tea for High Five For Friday.


Star Stories

Starcropolis was an amazing event that took place over Labor Day Weekend.  It was a celebration of The Roanoke Star atop Mill Mountain in Roanoke, VA. Hollins University, Mill Mountain Theater, area community theaters, local high school theater groups, and so many more came together to put on this magnificent event.  Some of the things to see that night on the mountain were Star Trail Story Tellers, Stilt Walkers, an Aerial Silk Performer, slam poetry performers, Shakespearean performances, and then the Big Top Show!

Starcropolis had been in the works for nearly 2 years.  The idea was born from Ernie Zulia's and Katherine Fralin Waker's crazy imagination.  Hollins University is celebrating 175 years this year, so it was more than perfect to display our lovely Star along with it.  Writers from all over sent in their scripts and stories in hopes that they would be performed one way or the other.

There were nine Story Tellers (myself being one of them) and each story teller performed a monologue that was inspired by someone's memory of the Roanoke Star. The 'Big Top' show called Star Stories, was a 90 minute production of several different Star inspired put together to form one show.  All of the stories took place at the star in one way or the other.

I was fortunate enough to be apart of this amazing event.  My Story Teller monologue was inspired by Lew Singer's memory of the Roanoke Star when he and his wife were in the process of adopting their son. The Singers were there and I got to meet them. It was such an honor!

There were so any people involved in the making of Starcropolis.  Here are some more pictures from all of the fun we had!

The beautiful ladies on stilts.

Star Trail at sunset...

Our stage under the big tent on Mill Mountain.

The crowd before the show! Everyone really enjoyed themselves...all 500 of them!

I was also in two scenes in Star Stories.  The first one was called Hellos and Goodbyes. It was about a man named Morton who was having some troubles and thought that if he was able to take out the Star that things would get better.  The park ranger calms him down and helps him to see reason.  Then Amanda (that's me) comes along with some troubles of her own.

The second scene was called Next Year at the Star. It's about a mother (me) and her daughter, Debra, and they have taken in a little orphan girl for Christmas week. Let me just say that this scene takes place in the 1950's.  Mother and daughter take Midge, the orphan, up to the Roanoke Star for the first time ever!  I must say that working with these two little girls was such a wonderful experience.  They are super talented and super sweet.  

These amazing people were so great to work with! I look forward to much more theater with them all! The real star of the show however....

...Ernie Zulia! Ernie is an incredible person to work with. He's so imaginative and passionate and really care about everyone and everything!

H54F - Girl Power!

I am in such a good mood today! Maybe because it's Friday or maybe because I'm wearing red pants. I don't know, but I love it! I love feeling happy and feeling good! How are you feeling today? Did you have a good week?  Here's a peek at my week. 

This past weekend I was in Myrtle Beach with some of my favorite people! It was a girls weekend with a bit of Bachelorette fun thrown in. M is getting married next weekend, so I bought us all sashes and bracelets to wear out on Saturday night. We spent Saturday at the beach, enjoyed a yummy Japanese steak house Saturday night and walked around Broadway at the Beach after dinner.  These three ladies have been a huge part of my life and I love them so much! #girlfriendsforever

On Sunday we headed home from the beach. M has a massive vehicle that has a DVD player and screens in the head rests for those in the back rows.  G and I had a fun time watching Adventures In Babysitting. We felt like we were definitely the kids in the car with M & L up front!

It's super official now (because I gave them a lot of money today)...I'M MOVING! I'm not leaving Roanoke. I'm just switching up apartments. I'm moving from the suburbs to the city...Downtown baby! I'm going to become one of those urban chicks! I'm super excited.  It's a brand new building and I will be able to see the Roanoke Star from my living room window.

My girlfriends and I are big fans of Reese Witherspoon and she has her own bookclub! RW's book club was started on Instagram and book photos are posted constantly.  In the account discription it lets you know what the book club is currently reading.  The first book they read was The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.  I'll have a book review up about it soon. It was wonderful!

I have a huge girl crush on Candace Cameron Bure right now! It's not just because I love her on Full House and Fuller House.  I follow her on Instagram (@CandaceCBure) and she's a super dork and I love that about her.  Her most recent post was a quick video thanking her fans for helping her hit 2 millions followers while doing a cartwheel at the gym. She's super fit and healthy, a true Christian, and an inspiration!  At then end of the month I'll be attending Extraordinary Women here in Roanoke. Candace is one of the featured speakers and I can't wait to hear what she has to say!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! xoxoxo

I'm linking up with Bright on a Budget, Della Devoted, and Cup of Tea for High Five For Friday.


A High Five For Friday

*Happy Friday*

I JUST BOUGHT TICKETS TO DIERKS BENTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited! He's coming to Roanoke in October for his #somewhereonabeach tour.  He's so hot! Our seats are a little nosebleed, but I don't care! I've heard mixed reviews about his shows.  There's really not a bad seat in our civic center anyways!

I introduced my dad to SnapChat this week.  He's still learning to use it, but we had fun with some of the filters. I tend to play with the filters when I'm bored too...doesn't everyone? The funnies thing about these photos with my dad - in the picture on the right my dad doesn't look all that different! Haha!

My babies have gotten so big! It feels like it was just yesterday that I brought them home. They will be 1 year old on September 18th.  They are full grown cats! I don't think they'll get much bigger than they are now. Look at the difference! The picture on the left, from November, was when I met them for the first time while they were being fostered. They were so tiny! The picture on the right is from Monday. My sweet babies!!!!!

I am currently hooked on the television show Madame Secretary.  The first two seasons are on Netflix and I'm about half way through season 1. I absolutely love Tea Leoni - she is amazing!  Another show that I ended up LOVING is The Newsroom on HBO.  My brother introduced me to that one.  I just finished it up on AmazonPrime. I'm so sad there isn't more. Jeff Daniels was fantastic - the whole cast was fantastic!

I had lunch with an old friend on Friday. We went to Jack Brown's and got burgers. He's in the Peace Corps and was visiting in Roanoke for a week.  He heads to Rowanda next week. I can't begin to imagine all that he does when he's overseas. It is absolutely inspiring.

I'm heading to the beach today with some girlfriends. It couldn't be better timing! I woke up in a super grumpy mood today. I'm ready to get out of town after the busy couples of weeks I have had. Some down time with the ocean sounds pretty good right about now.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! xoxoxo

I'm linking up with Bright on a Budget, Della Devoted, and Cup of Tea for High Five For Friday.