Friday, May 31, 2013

Joyous Start to June.

Happy Friday y'all!
I didn't have to work today (woo hoo!) but I did have school. Sitting through three hours of which ventricle the heart pumps blood out of at different stages was enough to put me to sleep- until I got an email from Rachael
. She gave me the Liebster Award for new bloggers. I did a little squeal in class. The guy beside me just thought the human heart we were poking on grossed me out. Nice try, lab partner.
Anyways, thank you SO much to Rachael! Y'all be sure to go tell her hey! She is so cute and is newly engaged and has the cutest posts all the time!!
Here's how the Liebster Award works:Acknowledge the blog that nominated you.
Tell 11 facts about yourself
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created
List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that deserve some recognition
Post 11 questions for them to answer
Notify them that they've been nominated
You can't nominate the blog that nominated you
11 Facts about Katelyn
1. My favorite color is pink.
2. I work as a clinical assistant at Children's Hospital and as a secretary for a vet-all while in nursing school.
3. I want to live in rural Georgia or coastal North Carolina when I graduate.
4. I will not eat the ends of foods-hot dogs, bananas, snack cakes, etc.
5. I really want to kill an alligator. I'm going in September on an excursion and I refuse to come back empty handed.
6. I'm completely and madly in love with a huge fan of Luke Bryan. ;)
7. I love cowgirl boots. Frye's are my favorite brand!
8. I brush my teeth in the shower.
9. I have SAPS (sneezing arm pain syndrome). It's a scientifically proven disorder. When I sneeze, it feels like every bone in my arms will break. So, I have to stand there and hold them.
10. If social media was a major/job, I'd be a millionaire.
11. I'm obsessed with my niece, Ava Claire. I really may not even have kids thanks to her.
11 Questions From Lobster Lovefest
Who is your favorite band or musician?
Oh, I assume I answered this one already. But, in case you missed it.
This stud. Right here.
Be still, my heart.
If I came to vist, where would we go?
Well, we'd start off by grabbing some breakfast at Panara Bread. YUM. Then, we'd probably go antique shopping, strawberry picking, and doing a little boutique shopping. Then, we'd grab some lunch at Brierfield Cafe and head to my house to make some homemade ice cream. We could do a little swimming in the pool or fishing in the lake and then catch lightning bugs and talk about hot doctors and southernisms.
What is your favorite book/magazine?
I LOVE Real Simple, People, and Southern Living. (Magazine)
Bible (Book)
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
Verona, Italy
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Mean people or people who smack their food
Who inspires you and why? Celebrity, political figure,blogger, friend, family member?
-Jesus, of course, because he is Jesus.
-My parents, because they are such hardworkers and have taught me everything I know about life and love.
-My sisters, because they are my best friend and teach me to love the good parts of myself and work on the parts I don't like.
Do you have any strange habits or quirks?
I don't eat the ends of foods (see above). I don't walking barefooted because my arch on my foot is so high. I won't drink after anyone.
What is your all time favorite nail polish color?
pale pink or clear :)
Who is hotter...Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds? This is serious!
Gosling. Duh.
Do you have a signature drink, if so what is it?
Sweet tea for this girl!
Who is your favorite blogger?
Cherish at Southern Soulmates
and of course, Lobster Lovefest!!
I nominate the following ladies for the Liebster Award:
I'm still looking around for blog favorites, so I don't have 11. And, if you have more than 200 followes, play anyways. It's fun! :)
My 11 Questions:
1. What's your dream job?
2. If you could be given any gift, what would it be and why?
3. How much does it cost to fill up your car?
4. What would you name yourself if you could name yourself?
5.What is the next planned event that you are looking forward to?
6. What is your ultimate dream vacation?
7. Who do you think is hotter-Luke Bryan or Tim McGraw? ;)
8. What are you afraid of?
9. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be and why?
10. Do you like your handwriting?
11. Were you named after anyone? If so, who?
Have fun ladies!!!
I'm also THRILLED to announce that I was chosen as the June Blogger of the Month over at Alabama Women Bloggers!!! How fun? If you are an Alabama blogger, I strongly encourage you joining up with us! It's so fun!!
Happy Friday, y'all!! I have some REALLY fun posts planned for the month of June.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

summer playlist.

It's no secret that I love country music. I just love how certain lyrics from songs seem like I wrote them or play out memories in my life EAXCTLY.
There are so many to even try to name but some are:
"it's homemade peach ice cream on sunburnt lips, that's what country is"
"some hearts get lucky sometimes, even hearts like mine"
"you make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise down a back road"
Anyways, summer is the time of year that I go on the most vacations. I'm obsessed with the summer months and love getting away to even warmer temperatures than Alabama's.
And, while you are sitting in a beach chair somewhere along 30A or driving to get ice cream in Myrtle Beach or waiting in line to eat at Paula Deen's place in Georgia, you need a good playlist.

Cue, Katelyn's Summer List. Enjoy!
1. Crash My Party (Luke Bryan)

2. Drunk on You (Luke Bryan)

3. Goodbye Town (Lady A)

4. Dayum, Baby (Florida Georgia Line)

5. Cruise (Florida Georgia Line)

6. Chillin' It (Cole Swindell)

7. Anywhere With You (Jake Owen)

8. American Beautiful (The Henningsens)
9. American Honey (Lady A)
10. Done (The Band Perry)
11. I Want Crazy (Hunter Hayes)
12. Highway Don't Care (Tim McGraw)
13. Wagon Wheel (Darius Rucker)
14. Muckalee Creek Water (Luke Bryan)
15. Hot Mess (Tyler Farr)
16. Country Girl (Shake it for Me) (Luke Bryan)
17. Texas Was You (Jason Aldean)
18. Country Boy's World (Jason Aldean)
19. Whiskey (Jana Kramer)
20. One of the Boys (Jana Kramer)
21. Don't Ya (Brett Eldredge)
22. Redneck Crazy (Tyler Farr)
23. American Girl (Carrie Underwood)
24. Rock You Sweet (Dustin Lynch)
25. All Over the Road (Easton Corbin)
What's on your summer playlist?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

be a lady.

Have you ever been "the mean girl?" Or "the rude girl?"
I really hope for the sake of others that you haven't been. Sure, everyone at one time or another can be unintentionally rude/hateful/mean but I really hope that no one would go OUT of their way to be mean to someone just because they don't like them. Not liking someone is NOT a good reason to be mean to them. I'm a Christian and I believe what the Bible says. And, I hope that is who is reading this blog-Christians.
I never intended to blog for "blogger friends." I HAVE made some amazing friends through blogging and been invited to some incredible organizations and societies but that isn't WHY I blog. I wanted to start blogging to encourage other girls to have a FUN and GODLY life. I'm crafy and like cooking, so all that combined is what makes the heart of Southern Samplings beat. :)
However, after started to blog and connect with some other bloggers, I feel like I'm in high school again. If the point of blogging for you is to belittle others or talk about "other blogs" behind their backs, I do not want a part of that. I'm honestly tired of reading some blogs and they outright NAME the people they are talking about. Be an adult and go to that person-email them (or something) and private-and communicate. Or unfollow them, unfriend them, unlike them, etc. You don't want to be a mean girl.

This applies to all aspects of life. I've also received my share of hateful facebook and twitter messages. Yes, I'm a virgin and I value that. No, I'm not a supermodel or size 0, and I'm okay with that. My value is not found in who wants to sponsor me or who wants to be my friend or who wants to date me. My value is defined by Christ. And it's my TRUE prayer that is where you find your value as well!
If my blog has ever done anything but point people to Christ, I would sincerely like to apologize. If my actions, words or intentions have ever seemed to do anything else, I DO apologize. I want people to be able to approach me with things that they don't like about me or things they feel I need to work on. This is my summer resolution, I suppose.
To be more like Christ. I want him to be the only thing that people associate with me. Well, maybe that and mason jars. :)

Anyways, I've found several verses and/or quotes from Pinterest that I thought I would share with other girls! Don't be the mean girl! Respect yourself and others enough to be kind and real. All these images are from Pinterest. I do not own any of them!
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Happy Tuesday friends! :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

"sweet home alabama"

You know what my favorite movie of all time is? That's right.
Sweet Home Alabama.
I mean, really? How could Melanie leave Jake? He's like, southern perfection.
Anyways, I'll discuss that with Melanie later. The movie, although it wasn't even shot entirely in Alabama, paints the P E R F E C T picture of Alabama scenery. Alabama people-not so much.
So, I decided to do a round of true/false about peeps from Alabama. Here goes:
1. The further south you go, the thicker the accent.
I mean, in general, y'all. I love using ten cent words as much as the next gal, but bless your heart if you think I'm stupid because I say honey and fixin' to.
2. The first question that must be decided when moving to Alabama is what college football team to go for.
Absolutely no explanation needed. I will always be more interested in if you are a Tide fan or Tiger fan before I'll ever care what your name is, where you live or what you drive. Roll Tide.
Four for you AJ McCarron. You go, AJ McCarron.
3. People of Walmart only features people from Alabama.
You'd be shocked how many of those entries are from super classy states like New York or even California. I know every state has some unfashionable ladies but as a whole, I think Alabama has a GREAT sense of fashion. Giuliana Rancic agrees. She said so. And her opinion is really the only one that counts.
4. Alabama cannot produce any quality entertainment industry contributors.
Channing Tatum.
Born and raised in Alabama. That's all I have to say about that.
5. People from Alabama are racists.
I mean, there ARE racist people in every state but to label Alabama as the most racist state is absurd. Do you think any college football team could win a national championship if they were RACIST? No. Would their be any teamwork? No. So, thanks Alabama and Auburn, you've disproved the racist theory in the whole state. Woo hoo.
6. If you live in Alabama, you like Grits and Sweet Tea.
Just because I really want it to be. So, if you live in Alabama and don't like these two things, I'll just assume you're just traveling through.
7. People from Alabama have manners.
I would have to praise my fellow Alabamaians for this one. I've been around this country and another one, and by far, Alabama folks are the nicest. Southerners in general, but definitely my home state! We went to Colorado one time and I'll never forget telling someone that we were from Alabama and they called us "hicks." Rude. I just smiled and said "yes mam." Ha. It doesn't matter how old you are or who you are, in general, you're gonna get a yes mam or yes sir in Alabama.
8. People in Alabama don't wear shoes.
Unless it's a Sunday morning at church, a luncheon at granny's or a birthday party at momma's, we wear shoes. I mean, Old Navy flip flops count, right?
9. Our state bird is NASCAR.
Most of the time, that is. Not that having cars fly around a track at 200 mph+ is a bad thing. And they are pretty, too.
10. People in Alabama are uneducated.
While Alabama does NOT have the best graduation rate from 4 year degree colleges, that doesn't mean that people are dumb. Yes, it's super important that people know how to add and subtract and prescribe medicine and defend in court. However, people who didn't go to college BUT know how to take apart and put back together my car, people who know how to grow everything I eat and people who can sew me a cute dress matter just as much. So, there's that.

Friday, May 24, 2013

strawberry jam

It's Friday!! It's the weekend!
We made it!!
I started school back today. Boo for summer classes. Yay for one semester closer to graduating. I've been wanting to make homemade strawberry jelly since we went to the strawberry fields last week! Today, I tackled it and it was SO fun and easy!!
What you need:
Strawberries - preferably fresh, but frozen (without syrup) works, too. A batch requires 5 to 6 cups of crushed berries, so you'll need about 10 cups of raw whole strawberries.
Pectin (it's a natural product, made from apples and available at grocery stores (season - spring through late summer) and local "big box" stores. It usually goes for about $2.00 to $2.50 per box.
Sugar - About 4 cups of dry, granulated (table) sugar.
2 large pots
Mason Jars (w/ lids and rings)
tongs (to get hot jars out of the boiling water with)
Jar funnel (to make pouring the jam easier)
The most important "supply," the strawberries, were being washed! :)
Wash your jars, lids and rings in the dishwater on "pots and pans" setting to get the hottest water and clean the jars.
Hull the strawberries.
Crush the strawberries.
Measure out the sugar and Pectin. You need 4 cups of sugar for a batch of 6 jars. Put the 4 cups of sugar to the side and mix one pack of Pectin with 1/4 cup sugar.
Mix the berries and pectin/sugar mixture in a large pot and bring to a full boil.
Once the berries and pectin/sugar mixture has been brought to a full boil, add the four cups of sugar and boil for 1 minute.
Skim the foam off the top! It's completely normal and a good sign. Then, take a spoon that has been in ice water for a minute or two and get some of the jelly on the spoon. Let it sit until it reaches room temperature and see if it is as thick as you would like. If it is, AWESOME! If not, add another 1/4 to 1/2 packet of Pectin and bring to a boil for another minute. This should do the trick!
Fill your mason jars with the jam and then tightly screw the lid on.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and put your mason jars filled with your jelly inside for 5-10 minutes until you hear the seal "pop."
I made 6 jars of strawberry jam with this recipe! Happy Jamming!!

First item I can check off that bucket list!! :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

sweet summertime.

Hey y'all!! We've made it to Thursday!! Can you believe it? I'm so excited for this weekend to be able to relax a little. I calculated it up, and I've worked 90 hours in the past 12 days!!

That's both nice and exhausting. : )
If you don't have a Pinterest, bless your soul! I mean this in the most positive and negative way possible. Positive because it saves you TONS of hours from pinning. And negative for the same reason! I've already found, made, baked and planned a lot of different fun ideas from Pinterest. It's this girls best friend!
Which, led me to a bucket list for children for summer. I decided to modify the concept to Katelyn's Summer Bucket List.
1. Pick fresh strawberries.
2. Make strawberry jelly.
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This, of course, will be a post soon! :)
3. Make homemade peach ice cream.
4. Make lots of homemade ice cream at various occasions. ; )
5. Climb a lighthouse.
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6. Go deep sea fishing.
7. Go to a drive-in movie.
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8. Go on a picnic.
9. Make home made popsicles.
10. Get a fake tatoo.
11. See this guy in concert.
12. Eat at the Caliza.
13. Go camping.
14. Make my own rose water toner as a face cleaner.
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15. Have a sleepover on the backporch.
16. Go to Six Flags.
17. Watch fireworks on the 4th of July.
18. Go Alligator hunting.
This isn't too far fetched. My great uncle knows people.
19. Meet someone famous.
20. Swim under a waterfall.
21. Eat at Paula Deen's restaurant.
22. Eat grits in as many southern states as possible.

What's something on your summer bucket list? ; )
Happy summer!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

mason jar tumblers.

Happy Wednesday!
I hope y'all had a great day! On my way to work this morning, I heard about a water drive that Fox 6 and 102.5 The Bull were putting on for the victims of Oklahoma. I decided on my lunch break that I would head over to Tarjayyy (aka Target) and purchase a few cases! I went over to drop the cases of water off and was interviewed by Fox 6! :) Holla! Ha, I was on the news, too.
An 18 wheeler was parked outside of Macy's and it was almost full at lunch time. I saw on the news tonight that it was COMPLETELY full! YAY!! It was just water, but, at the same time, it was just water. And people NEED water right now. We take so much for granted every day! Be thankful!!
Yesterday, I found a new blog favorite. Check her out right here!
Anyhoo. I was inspired to make her mason jar tumblers because, well, what's more perfect than mason jars? That's right. Nothing.
Ha! So, for this project, you only need a few things:
mason jars
cupcake liners
sand paper
straws (I purchased mine from a monogram store in Vestavia!)
that's it. super easy.

Drill a hole in the top of the lid:
Make sure you empty out the metal in the bottom of the jar and then sand it down so it isn't sharp.
Then, add the cupcake liner. I just stuck the straw straight through the liner. It's super easy to poke through.
Add some pink peach lemonade or some ice cold water and sip away!! :)


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

fried green maters.

Happy Tuesday, Friends!!
I'm so saddened by all the devestation in Oklahoma this week. I can't even imagine the heartbreak and destruction. I went to Tuscaloosa for several volunteer clean up days after the horrific 2011 tornadoes so I feel like I have an extra special sensitive heart toward tornado victims. Even though I live in Alabama, far away, I've already found several donation sites in Alabama that are taking clothes, pots and pans, etc. to the victims. I am dropping off a bag of old clothes tomorrow. Just google ways to help! There are always plenty of opportunities. Of course, the biggest way to help is pray for those affected. :) The entire state is in my prayers!
Last Thursday, I took my niece and younger sister to pick strawberries in Clanton, Alabama. On the way home, we stopped by a fresh market for a quick lunch. They also had the PRETTIEST green tomatoes (if that is a real thing, pretty tomatoes?) :) I bought 4 of them and decided to "try" to make my own fried green tomatoes. I searched through a Paula Deen cook book and found a recipe. If it's Paula's recipe, it has to turn out good, right?
Well, they were SO easy to make and they were tasty.
This is what you need to get started:
4 large green tomatoes

**Also, I have a question for you bloggers. I'm not sure when someone responds to me on a comment on their blog without going back to the post and checking. Several people have mentioned that you can get notifications through email. I've followed the steps on several tutorials and I still don't receive notifications. I go to but I have to sign in through Google. Does everyone do it this way? Any suggestions?**
Thanks, y'all! Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

That's what I love about Sundays.

I really love Sundays. It's always been one of my favorite days of the week. I love going to church and getting refreshed and hearing a sermon to direct me for the upcoming week. Church is such a blessing to me. I love having fellowship with people with the same beliefs as me. It's encouraging and refreshing. I teach Sunday School and Discipleship Training on Sundays for the little girls and for the youth group. We are talking about family and the book of James. Tonight, in our James study, we were talking about opposing the proud.
There are so many proud people in this world.
And, when we are proud, we can't have beneficial relationships with anyone. Friends, family, significant others, no one. It's hard to put others ahead of yourself if your pride is in the way. Jesus was humble and a servant. That's what I want to be! A better servant of my time, actions, character, every part of me. It's hard to admit when we are wrong, but it's worth it. I'm a work in progress but I thank God everyday that he doesn't give up on us. :)
After church this morning, we had a picnic at the local park. It was so much fun. And, it was super hot. Ha. I loved every second of it, though. Here are a few pictures:
My momma and Ava Claire
So much good food!

A few of the sweet girls caught a few tadpoles. :)
Then, we had a relaxing afternoon at home and headed back for church tonight. Ava Claire decided to join us for the worship service and we voted for her to do a little preaching and singing.
She is so cute! And sweet! And I'm so thankful that my sister and brother in law are such godly parents and are raising Ava to love Jesus. It's a blessing to know that she already knows so much about Jesus.
I hope y'all had a wonderful Sunday as well.
Today, something really cool happened!! I am a new member of Alabama Women Bloggers!!

Alabama Women Bloggers
Thank you, Alabama Women Bloggers, for this honor! I can't wait to meet some more blogging ladies from Alabama!