Friday, January 31, 2014

Getting to Know You!

Happy Friday, Everyone!!  Today I am linking up with Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition for her Confessional Friday linkup.  I've been reading Leslie's blog for a few years and enjoy reading all about her life with her precious fam.  She also offers amazing fashion styling and beauty tips!  It's a great read. :)  Today, she is hosting an introduction link up, so I thought I would join the fun!

About Me

I'm Carroll and I've lived in Texas my whole life!  I love traveling to other places, but always feel at home here. :)  I spend my days working as a counselor and I truly love what I do.  I'm definitely a people person, so this career is a great fit for me.  When I have free time, I love spending it with my hubby, reading, writing, trying new recipes (usually spotted on Pinterest -- also something I love looking at during my free time!), working on the occasional craft project and getting together with family and friends.


I married the man of my dreams in May (I wrote a little bit about it here) and so we are enjoying learning to be a family of two!

My parents are two of my biggest supporters and have taught me so much by the amazing love they have shown me.  I'm also blessed with a wonderful brother, sister-in-law and two adorable nephews (one was still on the way when this photo was taken. :)).  We love every chance we get to see them and I am so thankful for their great friendship.

Dreams and Goals

Some of my dreams and goals include writing books, devotionals, and faith-focused blog posts.  I've started a blog called "Hope and Holiness" where I write reflections on scripture and faith and would love for you to stop by.  I would also love to have a ministry spmeday where I speak at retreats.  

Other goals include traveling all over the world with G.  I love visiting new places and experiencing other cultures.  Maybe now that I have listed it as a goal, I can start a bucket list of all the places I want to see.  I also love visiting local communities and seeing all of their unique points of interest.  I love reading up on all the must see places and especially their favorite local restaurants. :)

A third goal G and I have is doing some updates to our house.  We have already had a few rooms painted and are looking forward to starting phase 1 of our updates on Monday!  It's been so fun finding ideas to make our space our own.  (I also find home decor and design fascinating and would love to take a continuing ed class on interior design sometime!)

Why do you blog?

I don't know if I ever shared why I started blogging, but it was several years ago and I was in line at a lunch buffet and almost as if in slow motion, my entire tray collapsed to the floor and I found myself with remnants of what had been on my tray on my skirt and all I could do was laugh!  I remember thinking, I want to write this down, so I'll remember what happened today!!  I had been reading several blogs before (including Leslie's!) and  thought a blog would be the perfect place to chronicle my day to day happenings, so I could look back and remember different things I had done and so The Chronicles of Carroll began.  It has been such a fun journey.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope you have a great weekend!! :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

About Face

About Face

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics blush / Bare Escentuals face makeup / Bare Escentuals foundation / Bobbi Brown Cosmetics cheek bronzer / Bare Escentuals makeup brush / Mary Kay face makeup

Today, I'm linking up with Jordan for her Glam Series and today's theme is all about the face, so I'm highlighting current products that I'm loving.  

1.  Mary Kay foundation primer
The kind that I have doesn't have spf, but I'm loving that they added this feature.  This primer is so soft and it prepares your face to be the perfect canvas for your makeup.  I love the way it helps my makeup go on so evenly and it seems to help it stay on throughout the day, too! 

2. bareMinerals READY Foundation
My skin is very fair and has a lot of reddish undertones.  When I look for foundation, I need to find something that is light enough to blend in with my skin tone (I wear Fairly Light) and also will even out my skintone.  I started using bareMinerals years ago and have yet to find another mineral foundation that works as well for me.  For a long time I used the loose powder version, but now that they have the product in a compact, I love it even more.  Another feature I love is that it comes packed with spf 20, which is so nice to have already included in my foundation.

3.  Bare Escentuals makeup brush
I use the precision makeup brush to apply this foundation and it works really well.  It's amazing to me how great the coverage is!

4.  bareMinerals Mineral Veil 
After applying the foundation, I add the Mineral Veil to set the look.  I love how it provides a soft finish to the look.  I use the transluscent shade.

5.  Bobbi Brown Sand Pink Blush
After the mineral veil I add blush.  My mom gave me this shade recently and I have really been enjoying it.  It adds just the right amount of color for my skin tone and seems to last well throughout the day.

6.  Bronzer
Sometimes I'll add a little bronzer to my  forehead, nose and chin for a little additional color.  Especially in the winter, I enjoy adding a little bronzer to punch up my look.

I love trying all different kinds of makeup, but these are my current faves.  What products are you currently enjoying?

Jordon @ Love Always Nancy J

Friday, January 24, 2014

Food, Fun, and Friends Friday!

This week has been such a blast, so I'm linking up with these fabulous bloggers (NatashaDarciApril, and Christina) once again to share in the fun!

Saturday morning we had a fantastic breakfast with some precious friends who were so sweet to make sure all of the menu items fit with our paleo plan!  I love mornings like this, sitting around the table with mugs of coffee and enjoying great conversation.  It was so fun!  
I also got to color with one of their cute kiddos for a bit .  Coloring is just the best stress reliever ever!
Tuesday, we got to celebrate the mama of this sweet family's birthday and oh what fun we had!!  


After breakfast on Saturday, we met this gal and her cute fam at the bear habitat.  She has been my bestie since first grade, so any chance to see her is always a special treat!  I loved our visit and can't wait to see her again soon!!  The weather was perfect and even the bears seemed to enjoy roaming about their home a bit after they woke up from a restful slumber. :)


I had been dying to make this recipe that Christina posted on her blog and Saturday night I got to put my culinary skills to the test!  It was so delicious, just as Christina described!!  I was so thrilled about cooking something new that I broke out the fine china! :)  Let's be honest, I love any excuse to use our fancy dishes. ;)  The best part is we had leftovers for days!!  There is nothing more comforting than knowing after a long day at work, dinner only needs to be heated up in the microwave!


Last night I made a stuffed acorn squash from Robin's website and it was fantastic!  I was able to try coconut oil for the first time, too.  Another paleo recipe winner!  Doing this 30 day challenge has certainly taken me out of my comfort zone and I feel like I have learned how to cook more different kinds of veggies than I ever would have imagined.  I've decided that slow roasting is one of my absolute favorite cooking methods and I hope this challenge will spur me on to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our meals.


I would love for you to join me in my other blogging venture, Hope and Holiness.  Here, I write about faith and reflections on Scripture.  Most recently, I posted a two part series (part 1, part 2) on fear and stillness.  My hope is that this spot on the interweb would be a refreshing place to gather and be encouraged.  

Thanks so much for stopping by to see my Friday 5!  I hope you enjoy a fun weekend ahead!! :)


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Winter Wedding

A Winter Wedding

Happy Wednesday!  I'm linking up with Jordan at Love Always, Nancy J and Meredith at Belle in Boots for Wedding Wednesday with my idea for an elegant winter wedding.  For as long as I can remember, I always dreamed of a winter wedding, but when I met the man of my dreams and we started thinking about our schedules and the best time for a wedding, May fit perfectly.  I absolutely loved our spring wedding, but it has been fun to think of what I might have chosen for a winter wedding. :)

For the bride:
I loved this long sleeved lace Temperley London wedding gown and thought I might change the belt shown with the crystal belt above.  I think I would pair a soft sheer cathedral length veil, so the beautiful lace on the dress would show through.  The Kate Spade elegant heels would add the perfect touch and be gorgeous as the pointed toe peeped out from under the hem as the bride walked down the aisle.  For jewelry, my affinity for Downton Abbey shines through with the tiara similar to the one I've seen Lady Mary wear. I think these vintage looking chandelier earrings would complete the ensemble.

For the bridesmaids:
I'm loving this classic combination of the Carolina Herrera skirt and taffeta blouse.  I would love if the taffeta blouse were in a deep pewtery gray to offer some contrast with the gorgeous black skirt.  Again, Kate Spade comes through with these perfect black heels and a pearl cluster necklace provides the finish for this look.

The bride's bouquet is a cluster of creamy white roses and the bridesmaids' bouquets of deep red roses add a pop against their black taffeta ensemble.  For the ceremony and reception, I would scatter mercury glass votives all around to provide a romantic glow.  Tall arrangements of white flowering branches would further contribute to the winter wonderland feel.  I think white rose arrangements would also be gorgeous.

Thanks for stopping by for my winter wedding ideas!  What would you like to see at a winter wedding?

NC Belle In Boots

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Two Years Ago

Two years ago today, I met this guy.

And boy, has my world never been the same.

So thankful for you, G.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Recipe Monday

This morning I ate something new and different for breakfast: blueberry muffins made with almond flour and they were so yummy and filling!  An added bonus was they were very easy to make. :)

I'm still doing the 30 day Paleo challenge and when I saw that the breakfast choices this morning included an option for paleo-friendly blueberry muffins, I couldn't find the recipe fast enough!

The ingredients are pretty simple: 
almond flour, blueberries, pure raw honey, eggs, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract.
Please click the link above for Robin's full recipe.



Then, for the rest of the day today, I couldn't wait to get home and eat leftovers from last night's dinner!!

This meal has to be one of my favorites.  It is so yummy and so easy, too!
Again, the indredients are simple:

I also put a little olive oil, salt and pepper on the spaghettii squash before I roasted it.  The most difficult part of this dish is cutting the spaghetti squash in half!  Thank goodness G was up for the challenge. :)

I couldn't believe how much squash was in just half of the spaghetti squash.  G and I split a half and shared the other half for dinner tonight.  And you can see from my plate that our portions were not stingy! ;)

While the spaghetti squash is cooking, I brown up the ground turkey in a little bit of olive oil, then add a jar of marinara and let it simmer for a little bit.  It is the perfect savory topping for your spaghetti squash.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you are having a great Monday!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Paleo 5

Happy Friday!!  I'm so glad to be linking up with some of my favorite bloggers (NatashaDarciApril, and Christina) for their "Five on Friday" linkup. :)  As I mentioned earlier, I have begun a Paleo 30 day challenge and wanted to share 5 things it has taught me.  You can find the link to the particular challenge I'm following here.

{1} Be Prepared 
(Seriously just had the Lion King song of the same title run through my head!  ha!)

With Paleo you eat lots of protein, veggies and fruits, so prepping those the night before has been so helpful for the next day.  For example, one of the breakfast options is two eggs, half an avocado and two pieces of bacon, so I thought how handy would it be to have all the eggs prepped for the week.  I decided boiled eggs would be the simplest, so I boiled the eggs we would need on Sunday evening and it has been so convenient to have them all ready to go in the fridge!  Also, chicken is on the menu in several different varieties: as the entree for dinner and also there is a delicious recipe for chicken salad for lunch.  I put a little chicken broth in the bottom of my crockpot one morning and added as many chicken breasts as would fit well and turned it on to cook all day.  When we got home, we had plenty of chicken for dinner and also to make the chicken salad!

{2} Sunflower Butter is Delish!

Before I started this program, I had never tried sunflower butter.  In reality, I didn't even know it existed! :)  I'm so glad I know now because it is so good!!  Of course, I love sunflower seeds, so it makes sense that I would love sunflower butter and this program offers apples with sunflower butter as a snack during the day, so I have definitely been enjoying that. :)

{3} Expect to Nap

I don't know if everyone experiences this, but I read on Robin's blog that it is normal to not have a lot of energy on her day 3 post and I found this to be the case.  Yesterday was my day 4 and I noticed a huge increase in energy, but day 2 and 3, I actually fell asleep on the couch and then woke up and went straight to bed!  Fortunately the energy lack didn't plague me all day, but in the evenings after watching a little TV, I was zonked. :)

{4} Morning Yoga is Amazing

I love yoga and this is one of the workout videos that Robin uses in the challenge.  It is so relaxing and on the days that Robin lists it, I've been doing the video in the evening.  I've found it to be very calming and soothing and a great way to unwind at the end of the day!

{5}  Change at Starbucks can be Good!

My typical go-to at Starbucks has been a skinny vanilla latte or a soy chai latte -- YUM!  However, Paleo restricts soy and dairy, so I was faced with a new dilemma on my recent Starbucks visit -- what do I order?  I read up a little bit on what is and isn't allowed on Paleo and there seems to be a little uncertainty about the role of caffeine, so I thought I would find out about the decaf tea options.  Enter my new favorite tea!

The Tazo Vanilla Rooibos tea is so delicious and has just a touch of sweet, so it is the perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon (or both!) pick me up!!

Then, this morning my sweet friend brought me a tin of my favorite tea!  What a sweet treat!!

Thanks for stopping by to read my Friday 5!  I hope you all have a great weekend!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Few Things

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a great weekend. :)  I just wanted to pop in today and share three random thoughts.


The mister and I are starting on a 30 day Paleo challenge today and I'm kind of nervous!!  I've never done one of these clean eating/workout plans before, but when I saw this pin on Pinterest, I felt like it was something I wanted to try.  This gal posts each day's menu and provides video links to workouts for each day.  It seems like a great way to tone up and eat well after all of the Christmas treats I have been indulging in lately!


And on the theme of goal-setting, I'm sharing my review of a darling little book a I read recently through my friends at Booksneeze.  If you would like to receive books in exchange for your honest review, follow the link and sign up.  It's a really neat program!  I was so happy to see one of my favorite authors -- Max Lucado -- on the list of available books to review.  When I was in high school, I think I checked out every book of his we had in our church library.  I would say his writing has had a definite imprint on my faith journey.  Here is my review of my most recent read:

The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado is a heartwarming read set in the Cotswolds of England. I have always enjoyed Max Lucado’s devotional and children’s books, but don’t recall having read any of his fiction.  If you are looking for the perfect book to read by a warm fire with a freshly brewed cup of tea, this is it.  The story takes you through generations of a family of chandlers.  Every 25 years an angel appears to the chandler and touches one of the candles he has recently made.  When that specific candle is given to someone in need in the church congregation and that person prays with the candle, the need expressed is provided for.  The angel’s visit always occurs close to Christmas, but this year a bumbled misstep threatens to extinguish the candle tradition.  This particular year coincides with a new parish minister’s arrival who is not so keen on the story the villagers share with him.  This story is one filled with redemption, grace, and the hope of a second chance.  Where past mistakes may influence our lives, but do not define our futures.  I think you will enjoy this story a great deal and find it especially meaningful if read around Christmas.
In exchange for my honest review, I received a copy of this book through Booksneeze.


The third thing for today is go see Saving Mr. Banks!  G and I saw it before Christmas and it is an amazing story.  I will never watch Mary Poppins the same way again.  I sobbed through the whole thing, so if you are prone to crying in movies, bring some Kleenex.

Ok, that's all for my random thoughts on Monday.  Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

Pop Fizz
Happy New Year!  I hope you all are looking forward to a fabulous 2014!  I'm linking up with Samantha and Khala again for their 3rd New Years Link-Up.  We are talking about our hopes, dreams and resolutions for the new year!
I guess my new year's goals are a little broad and open-ended, but I kind of like them that way.  


I've noticed that sometimes (well a lot of the time) I don't pause long enough to focus and truly listen to those around me.  My husband can attest to this!  With this listening comes a more intense focus to creating the quiet spaces needed to listen to God.  So often I rush through my prayers and only spend time talking with no pause for hearing what He has to say.  I hope to develop this discipline more this year.


I have shelves full of books purchased and received with great intentions, but their pages have yet to see the light of day.  I hope to take more time to read through these books this year.


I received this book by the Pioneer Woman for Christmas a year or two ago and plan to start with it!
Oh, and I just saw that several of Beth Moore's books are free on Kindle and Nook for a limited time, so be sure and check out that option if reading is on your "to do" list for the new year. :)


I've decided this goal is one I have each year, but too often I find my mind whirring with a millions things happening far away from where I am in the moment and I hope to improve focus on the present and to truly be a part of what is happening right then and there.  I'm hoping my listening goal will help this one, too. :)

May your 2014 be filled with hope and refreshment as we embrace the year ahead!