Finale!

5.27.2013

Can't believe this is the last and final Favorite Things Giveaway for the month of May! 
Wow how does time fly so fast?!

I want to say a big congrats to Karla from Forever Newlywedded for winning last week's giveaway. 

This is what Karla said would be a joy to her last week.
"Joy for me would be to be able to fly down to Oklahoma to help out as much as I could... or perhaps sinking my toes in the sand with a drink in my hand in the Cape. (only a few more weeks til I'm actually there... hallelujah!!)"

I hope you are all excited about this last week of giveaways! It's sure to be one of the best yet! 



Favorite Thing #1
Fifth & Mae! I don't know about you, but I love being on top of the newest trends when it comes to accessories. Some trends can be pricey to the pocket book...but Fifth & Mae is far from that! She has great items, at an even better price. Most, if not all items are under $10. 
Both of these sweet must-haves can be YOURS!

Olive Ring
Heart Bangle 

Favorite Thing #2
I am a caffiene fiend and I turn to coffee and sweet tea as my vice.
I'm sure many of you love Starbucks just as much as I do, so I'm throwing in $10 gift card for some of their coffee magic!


Favorite Thing #3
Y-O-U! 
I am so thankful for all of my sweet readers and I thank you for sticking with the Aslan's Adventure. To further express my gratitude I want to give YOU the debut spot of "in post sponsoring" that I will be starting in June. 
This is ad space for your blog's banner at the bottom of each of my posts that will run for the entire month of June. You will get great exposure this way. This is a new sponsoring option coming to the blog and you could be the first to debut your blog! It includes social media shout outs, as well as an option to guest post on the blog.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up here

Meet Tanner

5.25.2013

I'm a day late but I have been missing the blog world the past few days because of a crazy thing called work!
So here I am, sharing with Sarah and Stephanie my highs and lows of this week.



Happies
1. I survived week two of work orientation. Everything is coming back quickly and I'm thankful!
2. We scheduled a flight home in June to see family and friends! I. Can't. Wait.
3. This past Monday I shot my first maternity photo shoot...pictures to come soon!
4. TODAY is national wine day...will definitely be celebrating and you should too by entering to win all things wine from this gal!
5. I received such sweet comments, e-mails, and texts this week from lovely ladies after reading this weeks post
"She Laughs Without Fear of the Future"
6. Joe and I both have this upcoming Monday and I'm so excited!

Crappies
1. It's been hard having to not only get back in the groove of 12 hour shifts, but all of my training are three 12 hours shifts in a row...needless to say I feel like I was beat up this morning. 
2. This Memorial weekend the forecast is low 50's and raining. Ew.
3. Really missing home and wishing I could be there to help my parents move into their new house!
 I am really really missing my sweet pup, Tanner!
He would be the perfect snuggler in this cold weather right now! P.S. he is back in Texas with the family.


She Laughs Without Fear of the Future

5.23.2013

This topic has always been something I want to air our, but at times I think it's better to keep to myself. No one else needs to take any of my worries upon their shoulders, and I certainly do not want an ounce of pity. 
I write about this because I know so many of my loved ones deal with the same burdens in life. Maybe you're here randomly but you needed to hear this message...well I'm talking to YOU.
If this hits home and brings peace to one person, then I feel like it has served my purpose here in my little area of the "interwebs."

Deep breath...Anxiety. Anxiety has been in my life for far too long. It's part of who I am, but it in no way defines me.

It started back when I was young, around 3 or 4. Now tell me what in the world does a little person that young have to be anxious about?
Who knows. This anxiety manifested as tantrums and tummy aches. Every morning I was spoon fed a tablespoon of yogurt with a hidden zantac pill for my tummy's woes.

I have vivid memories from when I was young, as in too young to care, about what people thought of me. I would rationalize an idea or decision by if it made me look too young, awkward or silly.
In social circumstances I was always around the adults and never wanted to entertain childish playtime because I cared that I would be looked at as a child....whoa put on the brakes...I WAS a child.

Around age ten I began to have panic attacks. I remember my first attack I was at Sky Ranch camp. My second was in a restaurant on Valentines day, third at summer camp, and fourth on a family car trip.
The only way to describe these attacks is simply, they were an out of body experience. Each time, I felt like I was outside of my body, looking down at me. I was numb, tingly and short of breath each time. There was no talking myself out of them and they were debilitating.

High school brought hormones, fitting in, and stupid relationships. I was in a relationship that everyone knew was no good, but of course I just had to figure it out for myself. I was hurt many of times, and discovered I have a memory that suppressed a lot of the hurt.
For example, I do not remember a lot of the people I went to high school with.
My friend will ask me if I remember "so and so" and 9 times out of 10 it's a no.
I don't remember what my ex looks like or what his voice sounds like...pretty awesome right?
And yes we have no photo evidence of him as well.

Enter college.
I was terrified about leaving for college (only 20 minutes away) and having to meet new friends. I have had the same best friend since second grade and I frankly didn't feel like I needed anyone else. The down side was she would be going to school three hours away. Yikes!
These are when the stomach issues returned. I can only describe it as "acidy" my college roommates know exactly what I mean when I say this. I was the "old lady" who constantly carried around Zantac and a roll of Tums...it could be worse!

During the last two years of college and the months after graduation a lot of things in life changed.
Hey, remember? I'm the girl who HATES change.
I was fighting to stay with my head above nursing school.
I got a full time job.
I was working 12 hour night shifts.
I was engaged and my fiancé had moved to Indiana for the summer as an intern.
And my dad was diagnosed with cancer.
Phew...hang on for dear life is what it felt like.

Through the mess of it all I found myself losing touch with reality and focusing solely on the negatives in my life. I would always tell myself I just wish I could switch lives with someone who is happy for just one day.
Poor. Pitiful. Me.
The plain truth to it was that I was depressed. I never wanted to admit it, but I just couldn't find the energy to muster to hold back the daily tears. While working nights, and sleeping during the day I would often cry myself to sleep because other's couldn't possibly know what I was going through.  Yes, in hindsight I know so, so, SO many people had life a lot worse than I did.
But that's the nasty of depression. It brings you down, keeps you there, and makes you feel like you're the only one suffering through it.

I remember sitting in the Dr's office almost shaking because I was too nervous and worried what anyone would think of me to ask for help. When the Dr asked why I was in the office today, I told her that it was just a routine physical. Good thing she saw right through me, because after my "physical", she sat down next to me and asked, now what's really going on?

I immediately broke down in tears and told her about my anxieties and that I feared I was experiencing depression. I told her I was a strong person, that I was a new nurse and that I should be better than this. I didn't want to feel a stigma with asking for help, for not being able to control my feelings on my own.
The Dr. prescribed a tiny blue "happy pill" which I am happy to say that I am almost off of.

I cannot tell you what a balanced set of receptors in your brain will do for you! The bad days were easier and I wasn't crying so dang much. I was able to take life head on and say I can do this.
It in no way fixed my problems, just cleared my head enough to know that I was strong enough to conquer whatever was going on in my life.
I found strength in my faith and relied on Christian music to get me through my days.
This may sound silly...but take a challenge for me. For 30 days listen to nothing but a Christian radio station. The messages and the hope that you will receive is something I can't testify enough.
Just do it, then report back! Life changing, I promise.



Strengthening my faith is what has gotten me through my anxieties with our huge move across, what feels like is the world. I will tell you I was terrified about how I would do with the move. Although I have had a few breakdowns, I am so thankful for the positivity that God has given me to take on each day. It's like He has opened my eyes to slow down and see the little things in life that I was too busy to look at back home. It's been great and I'm so thankful to have an ever supportive husband who is always my rock and shoulder to cry on when my world gets a little heavy.




Now I know this was more like a chapter book today, and if you've made it this far, I commend you. 
It's ok to feel anxious, but more importantly is ok to seek help from others and the help that you need. It's ok to cry and it's ok to not be strong. 
God doesn't expect you to be strong, He expects you to have faith that he will carry you and your world when things get heavy. 
Praying for all of you today who experience anxiety. 
You're not alone and I hope this may bring peace to someone.


An afternoon at the park [Photography Session #1]

5.22.2013

Happy Wednesday friends! 
I have been asked by a few of you to share some of my photos from my sessions I have done recently. 
So far I have finished a family session, 1st birthday, and I'm currently in the process of editing a maternity session.

I have loved getting back into photography and it's been fun to "self teach" myself the different shots I'm looking for.
 I would love to take a class on lighting because I haven't quite mastered it the way I would like to.

Short post today, but I hope you enjoys these photos!

Background information: The two little boys were 3 years old and 18 months old. The 3 year old was incredibly shy and scared to talk to me. It took about 30 minutes into the session for him to warm up and let his dad put him down. 
I wasn't able to get the formal shots that some of the families want, but the mom said she was looking for candid pictures anyway...
bam candid it is!

I learned a lot, had a blast playing in the park, and will be even more prepared for my next young family session. 










Don't forget about week 4 of My favorite things! 
Head over here and enter to win! 


My name is Casey and I'm a hand lotion snob...

5.21.2013

Welcome to Week 4 of My Favorite Things!
 I can't believe next week will be our final giveaway.

I have really enjoyed this past month of sharing with my readers my favorite things. And more importantly, saying THANK YOU to all of you for reading and supporting our Auspicious Adventure!





Get excited because these are some products you WILL want to include in your daily beauty regimen. 

Being a nurse, I am always on the lookout for a great hand lotion.
Washing your hands constantly leaves them feeling dry, cracked and often peeling.
I am kind of a hand lotion snob though...it has to be thick and creamy, but not oily, and of course it must smell good!

Favorite item #1
Sarah heard my cries for help and came to the rescue with Perfectly Posh's 
"Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme". 
Now what could possibly go wrong with a name like that?
You're right...absolutely NOTHING!

It is an amazing lotion that I use multiple times a day, and it stays stashed in my work bag.
There is no greasy residue and the fragrance is great. 
The fragrance YOU (as the lucky winner) will receive is "Sassyooma"which is a great summer citrus scent.

Favorite item #2
Now many of you know I'm not much of a bath gal.
So when I get into a bath...I have to make it count. This is why I splurged on one of the Bombinators
It's a bath bomb that makes your water pink and sparkly? And smells heavenly! I'm in!
Call Me Candy definitely saved me after a hectic day last week!


Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter. 
Pssssst...a little hint. All you have to do it comment and viola! Easy Peasy!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was not given, or asked to promote these products. Theses were products purchased and selected by me to give to you. I received zero compensation for this post.

Happy Tuesday,

Stop it, you're making me blush!

5.19.2013

So this past week I have been nominated twice for the Liebster award, and I have to tell you, I'm blushing!
Thank you to Confessions of an Army Housewife and Chronicles of an Army Wife for their sweet nominations!



Here's how this sweet little award works.
This award is to be presented to blogs who have less than 200 followers. 
Awesome? Right? I thought so too! 
Such a great way to spread the word and love for us newer and smaller blogs. 

Here are the deets. After being acknowledged, you should...

-Acknowledge the blog that nominated you in a post.
-Tell 11 facts about yourself.
-Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created.
-List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you believe deserve some recognition.
-Post 11 questions for them to answer.
-Notify all the bloggers selected that they have been nominated.
-And finally, you can't nominate the blog who nominated you.

Got it? Here we go!

11 Facts About Me

1. I'm the only one in my family with blue eyes...I was told it was the milk man. Just kidding!
2. My first name is my Mom's maiden name.
3. I sleep walk at times.
4. I CONSTANTLY have a song stuck in my head...right now? Dawson's Creek Theme Song..wha??
5. I'm not "picky" And the only food I dislike are pork chops. And PB + chocolate together.
6. I wish I had an awesome accent
7. I'm not much of the TV watching type. I'm trying to convert for the hubs...he LOVES TV.
8. I always wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger, but seeing animals sick made me queasy...so I became a nurse instead.
9. I really don't like walking around barefoot. Too many things feel like a chalk board.
10. I have a younger sister who is much taller than I am and looks older than me.
11.  I would love to have a successful photography business.


11 Questions:

  1. What is your favorite thing to do in the gym? OR what is your favorite class to take?
    -Yoga...hands down! So relaxing
  2. If you could change your career to anything, what would it be?
    -Professional wedding photographer
  3. Its late, you need a midnight snack, what is your go to in your pantry/fridge right now?
    -Spoonful of crunchy peanut butter
  4. Copy and paste your favorite gif!
    -Oh Vicki...if you don't watch Real Housewives of Orange County, I'm sorry and you can just skip this hot mess express. This is true trash tv...but I'm guilty as charged for watching it. I'm just glad it's not my drama! So enjoy..the hot mess express herself, Vicki





  5. If you were to get a tattoo, what would it be?
    -Well I have two...but IF I got another one it would be my favorite bible verse.
  6. If your Facebook or Instagram was disabled for a week, how long could you endure it without going crazy.
    -Sadly I think I could live without FB but it would be hard without Instagram
  7. What is your favorite old Disney movie?
    -Beauty and the Beast hands down
  8. If you could own one animal, of any kind, what would you choose?
    -I just wish my dog could come live with us
  9. What is one thing of your husband/boyfriend's that you would get rid of?
    -Hmmm maybe a video game or two 
  10. If you could time travel to one major event in history, where would you go?
    - I've always been fascinated with the Holocaust, but I would not want to be a part of it.
  11. Do you know about Scentsy? If not, ask me about it! ;) But what is your favorite Scentsy product?!
    -Yes love my Scentsy! 




    The lovely ladies I would like to nominate are:

    These are the 11 questions I want these lovely ladies to answer

    1. If you had all of the money in the world for any hobby, what would it be?
    2. What is your fondest memory from your childhood?
    3. What did you want to be when you "grew up"
    4. What is your home town's best kept secret?
    5. If you could only blog about one topic for a year, what would it be?
    6. How has the blogging world enriched your life?
    7. Favorite throwback song?
    8. Favorite ice cream flavor?
    9. What is your ideal summer vacation spot?
    10. How long have you been blogging?
    11. What is something from your past that you wish you could bring back?




His Gace through fostering

5.16.2013

I am so excited to introduce to you one of my new blogger friends who is near and dear to my heart! 

Meagan blogs over at My Wandering Heart and 100% mirrors the grace of God. 
She is someone I look up to and I wanted to share with you her story, and how her family chooses foster care as their personal ministry. 




Good morning! My name is Meagan and I blog over at My Wandering Heart. This month, I found a spot on Casey’s sidebar and through that, we have sparked a friendship! I am so excited that Casey has asked me to guest blog for her.

A little background on me: I am a nursing student at the University of Memphis. In 2011, my parents started a journey in foster care and it has changed my life forever! I love to bring exposure to the cause of foster care & adoption. The rules/laws change from state to state but it’s all very similar. So many people have questions about the foster care process that I have decided to answer a few!

What is it?
 Foster care is a safe home provided when a child cannot live with his/her own family for one reason or another. Children enter the foster care system for a variety of reasons: neglect, abuse, the child is acting out/uncontrollable, a family crisis or lack of suitable guardian once parents are deceased. 
Foster families provide children with the things they need to live a healthy life: food, clothing, safety, school, love/affection and a safe home.  In some cases, children will return home with the parent but in other circumstances parental rights can be terminated and the child will need a permanent home or an adoptive family. Foster families may serve as a landing spot for children until that permanent home can be found. Before becoming a foster parent, an adult or couple must go through intense certification courses, home studies, background checks, etc. 

How does it work?
We have a DCS {Department of Child Services} case worker that will call us when they have a child in need of a home. Some kids are brand new to the system and some kids may be leaving their previous foster home for some reason. Then, my parents discuss the placement. How old is the child? gender? number of children? etc. Once a decision is made {usually within a matter of minutes} we tell DCS yes or no. If yes, the child is either brought to our home or in Baby M's case, picked up from the hospital. They then live with us as a member of our family. There will be a preliminary hearing within 48 to 72 hours after the child comes into state custody. Multiple court dates will follow if the placement is legitimized. We do not know how long we will have them, it could be days, weeks, months or years. 

Why don't you just adopt the kids?
Not all children that are in foster care are available for adoption. Many children still have parents or extended family that will eventually care for the child after the case has gone to court. Sometimes, there are multiple weeks or months between court dates and, thus, the process is drawn out and the children are not allowed to return home for extended periods of time. 

Why do you put yourself through that?
"I couldn't do that. It would be too hard to let them go."
Yes, it is hard to let go of someone you love. Trust me! But we had a long, hard conversation about what was best for our family. Is it better for us to live without hurt in our heart just so that we do not have to face the pain of saying goodbye to a child that has lived in our home? OR should we put our feelings to the side to love and care for those that are in need? Yes, our feelings are important but they should not hinder us from obeying the Lord's calling. After all, we have each other to lean on and to cry with, some of these children have absolutely no one in this world to love them or to care about them. With that being said, we have also had to learn what we can handle.
 My family has found that God tells us many things in the Bible about orphans. It is like a letter written to guide us through our life here on the earth. We want to spend our time here making a difference and God has given us the opportunity of foster care to do just that. 

"Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute."
 Psalm 82:3

Daily, we get to interact with children, extended families, DCS workers, Court employees and other foster families. We can show the love of God in every encounter we have with each of thee people. Not everyone is called to foster or adopt but we are all called to do somethingIf you know someone who fosters or adopts, love on them! One of the least helpful things we hear is "bless your heart." God is our rock. Take your pity and do something about the injustices of this world! I have never seen my parents or my faith grow like it has since 2011. If you take steps in faith, the Lord will bless you. 
"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Acts 20:35

To maintain the privacy of children in state custody, I will limit my posting of pictures until the child exits custody. 



If you have any personal questions or would like further explanation, email me @ meagan [dot] arthur92 [at] yahoo [dot] com and hop on over to my blog to see more of my story! 


We all need a crockpot to lean on

5.15.2013

Welcome back to my world of culinary creations! Today is my first day on the floor at my new job and since I will be working three 12 hours shifts back to back, I am entrusting my handy crock pot to do most of my wifey chores while I am gone!

This recipe comes from C+C Marriage Factory: Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin.
My hubby is a definite carnivore and I wanted to try something different than our chicken and ground turkey meals. 

This was definitely a hit and will be one that we will continue to serve in our Aslan abode.

Ingredients:
1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

Glaze
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions:
Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Servings: 6-8


Meat placed into Crockpot with rub

Ingredients for Glaze...BEST part!

Be patient with stirring your glaze. It will thicken over the heat...don't add more cornstarch (YIKES)

Highly recommend cooking for full 6-8 hours. Meat is extremely tender that way!


Used extra glaze to serve over rice
Yum! And how easy was that? Sure, it may seem as if I slaved over the stove all day...but I definitely did NOT!

From our home to yours,
post signature

We are family

5.14.2013

With this past weekend being Mother's Day and it being the first year in 24 years that I was not home with my momma, 
I was definitely a little homesick.
However, it was fun that I was celebrating two women in my life this year. 
Since I have "gained" a mother in-law since last mother's day I thought I would share with you my new beautiful family.



First off this is my beautiful "momma'. We are so much alike it can be frightening, but she is my mentor and best friend. We didn't have the greatest mother/teenage daughter relationship back when I was a "know-it-all" and I'm glad she didn't try to be my friend. I needed a swift kick in the pants and a grounding or two.

My dad always told me that at age 18 you will think you know everything. 
But you will actually spend the next 18 years figuring out what you definitely did not know. 
Can I get an amen?! 

Who would have known the awesome relationship I would come to develop with my parents after I stepped down off my high horse.

I also thought my parents were incredibly strict and I would NEVER be so strict with my kids. WRONG-O! I will raise my children exactly the same way, if not more strict! Sheesh...kids these days.

My poor 18 year old self is probably looking at me say, "who the heck are you?!"



This is the most amazing mother in-law anyone could ask for!

She is the most kind, gentle, loving and God fearing woman I have ever met. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing job she did raising my husband. She is a strong woman who raised three boys into extremely successful men.

She instilled the values and morals into my husband that I love the most. 
She taught him of God's grace and love. 
She taught him to be patient, kind and full of joy. 
She taught him to forgive and to love unconditionally. 

At times, I feel that I am not worthy of either of their love. And there are times I want to pinch myself and say did I really get to be married into such a wholesome family? Do I really deserve this?

The brothers!

So needless to say, I am so thankful for these two mothers in my life. 
I can run to both for words of wisdom, as well as advice.

Love you ladies so much!
And don't worry, the dad's will get all their glory too! 
Just didn't want to overload you with how amazing my family is.






Have you seen the new giveaway for this week? I HIGHLY suggest all readers head over here to check out what this week's gift is!

Let's Talk About Germs

5.13.2013

Alright friends, this is week 3 of My Favorite Things Giveaway!
Madi from "And So Did I" won last weeks.

I thought I might make a little easier for my reader this week. Yes, you see the Rafflecopter, but it will simply direct you to leaving a comment on this blog post. Nothing more is needed!

And non blog writing friends/family...this is also open to you! So just leave me a comment, and your e-mail address and you could receive a sweet little package in the mail with FREE things!

This week's giveaway is "let's talk about germs!" 
Being a nurse and all, I have a slight phobia of germs. As in I think of those germs that crawl around on that community ketchup bottle you just used...pick on that one for  a moment!
So I have some yummy hand sanitizer.