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3.31.2014

weekend update.



RECAPS

-- coffee date with small group ladies at my favorite chattanooga coffee shop. one scrumptious caramel latte coming right up!

-- we celebrated my grandparents' joint birthdays on friday night. good food, fun games, and ice cream cake. just my kind of night.

-- i took the longest of all naps yesterday. it had been quite a while since i enjoyed a sunday afternoon nap. my computer had an update it needed to complete and it ended up taking ALL afternoon, so i didn't feel like a nap was a waste of time ;)

-- i watched ender's game this weekend for the first time. i haven't read the books, but i was told the movie strays pretty far. so it's probably good i haven't read them because that sort of thing bothers me! :) that being said, i liked the movie!

-- that picture of my dog is her being very very sad that she is about to have all of her furs shaved down. she's so dramatic.

CURRENTLY READING
-- the book thief
-- harry potter and the order of the phoenix

OTHER FINDS
-- check out this artist's creations! i'm a fan of the aviator themes.
-- these photos are AHmazing!! birds eye views of major cities.
-- this is an eBook you don't want to miss! use the code: oakandoats for $2 off!

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
march sponsors
fitbit flex | review
adventures in disneyland
how i met my best friend

what was your favorite part about last week?

3.28.2014

how i met my best friend.

i receive emails from a lot of you sweet readers asking how i know beth from oak + oats. like "how long have you known her?", "did you meet through blogging?", "do you live in colorado, too?" let me tell you, i love those emails, because i love telling mine and beth's friendship story. i've gotten enough emails at this point that i figured i could just tell you all at once about how we met! i absolutely love hearing other people's life stories, how they met their significant others, and in this case, how they met their best friends. the short answer is "we met in high school and just so happen to be best friends who are now both bloggers!" but i'm guessing you want the whole story. :) so get ready, buckle up, and hold on tight as i take you back to the beginning. time travel, y'all. it's crazy.



it was the summer of 2005, and 16 year old meg was leaving tennessee and heading back to colorado to work as a CREW camper at eagle lake camp. i had worked at eagle lake the summer before and had met bruce, beth's now husband, but we were on separate work crews, so we didn't spend a whole lot of time together. to give you a little background on CREW and eagle lake camp >> eagle lake is a christian camp in pike national forest run by the navigators. the CREW program is a 5 week discipleship program for high school kids to come volunteer to work at camp. say what? kids pay to come to camp to work? i know, it's awesome. CREW takes care of all the behind the scenes work at camp. they cook, serve meals, clean bathrooms, help in the office, pick-up around camp, and work on other various projects. on top of that, CREW campers live in military-style tents for the 5 weeks they are at camp. groups of 4-5 are put in bible studies together, they study the word together and grow in their walks with the Lord throughout the summer. they are also poured into by incredible counselors with big hearts for the Lord. beth and i just so happened to be in the same tent AND the same Bible study for the summer. props to Jesus for orchestrating that one.

we were an inseparable duo that summer, and hung out a lot with bruce and our counselors. our counselor, carrie, wrote a fairytale about a few of us, and gave it to us as a gift at the end of the summer. i still have a copy and pull it out to read every now and then.

| beth is on the far right. i'm on the far left. chokers were IN, y'all. |that magical summer came to an end and we all went our separate ways. beth and i stayed in touch through email and snail mail (these were the days before facebook. we are THAT old.) when facebook did come around, we kept up that way. beth and i were both at college being busy and making new friends -- she was still in colorado and i was in tennessee. beth ended up transferring to John Brown University in arkansas, and we continued sending messages every now and again to catch up on life. she went back to camp as a counselor for rez camp and then again for CREW. each summer she would contact me and tell me i should come too, but there was always something that kept me away. school, jobs, mission trips... fast forward to christmas 2010. i had graduated from college in august, and beth had just graduated that december. we were catching up and she mentioned that she and bruce were both going back to camp to be CREW counselors again and said that i should come this time! actually, her exact message was:

dear megan: apply for CREW. why not? you have no commitments. it would be fun. and you can start something in August.... think about it. But how cool would it be to serve along side each other again?!?! love beth.
...
ps: really think about it!

i was done with college, and working part-time jobs, worried sick about my future, and figured that this was my last shot at working at camp, so i might as well apply. i applied, was accepted, packed my bags, and went to colorado for three of the hardest and yet, most rewarding months of my life.

beth and bruce and i had our days off together, which in my opinion, was the best. every tuesday night we'd head down the mountain, sleep in real beds, and try to get a good night's rest. i spent my wednesdays earning my title as a professional third wheel. beth and bruce and i would run errands, go see movies, lounge around, and most weeks they'd go have dates of their own, which i highly encouraged. #datersgonnadate

also, you know your best friend is dating "the one" for her when he voluntarily plays the beauty and the beast soundtrack during long car rides. am i right??


it was the best summer of my life. we laughed together. we cried together. we grew in our relationships with Jesus and each other. it was the most rewarding time and also most exhausted i've ever been. like all summers do, ours came to an end long before i wanted it to. it was time to pack my bags and head back home to tennessee. we hugged and cried and started praying that i would find a job in colorado.

three years down the road and that job has not come along yet, but the Lord has graciously provided the funds and circumstances to visit my colorado besties much more often than i ever thought. a year after the beginning of our summer at camp, beth got engaged. i was in a movie when she texted me (and i don't read texts while in movie theaters. manners, people. manners.) so it was a couple of hours before i got it! i was walking out of the theater, saw the text and a picture of the ring and started crying in the parking lot. haha! if there is one couple that i've ever been absolutely sure should get married, it was beth and bruce. to say i was excited would be an understatement. they only had a 3 month engagement, so plans had to come together quickly. i soon received some snail mail asking me to be maid of honor, and i cried...again. are you seeing a trend here? tears of joy, y'all. i was just so honored she would ask!


| all wedding photography belongs to the wonderful stellar propeller studio |


so i flew out to colorado once for a bridal shower, and it was so special to have one last opportunity to spend time together before she got married. i headed back out again a couple weeks later for the wedding of the year. it was beautiful, and God-honoring, and everybody cried that time. ;) it was the best day ever getting to stand beside my best friend as she married her man.



these days i head out to colorado a couple times a year to spend a long weekend with my favorites. we visit the zoo, spend time with family, watch multiple episodes of our favorite nerdy shows (AKA doctor who), sing along to our favorite disney songs, run around target trying on our favorite Avenger's apparel, wear matching clothes from GAP, and eat rudy's bbq at least once. we talk about our hearts and Jesus, we sit and blog together, and we dream up big dreams.  i always leave feeling refreshed and encouraged but homesick for that rocky mountain state.



i think we all still dream of the day the Lord will move me out there, but for now i'm grateful for the time i am given. i'm grateful for snail mail, facetime, and daily gmail chats. i'm grateful for a friend who is intentional, supportive, who prays for me, and is always encouraging me to focus on Jesus. i don't know what the future holds, but i do know that i have a best friend who will always always always be there for me.

what does your best friend mean to you?

3.27.2014

fitbit flex | review

I heard of Fitbit a couple of months ago via another blogger (I can't remember who!!) and had to check it out. I'd been thinking about investing in some sort of fitness tracker but I always get overwhelmed by  the multitude of options. Can I get an amen? Seriously, there are so many different brands, and each brand has a few versions of their trackers. How is a girl supposed to choose?

My friends will be the first to tell you that I take a long time to make decisions when it comes to spending larger amounts of money. Hence the fact that it took me two months between when I heard of Fitbit and actually purchasing the product. I like to know the facts, the pros and cons, and I always read a few reviews and comparisons between that product and other brands' products.



In this particular case, I found that the features of the Fitbit Flex were all that I personally needed. It seems to be just as well-made as the other options out there, but with a less expensive price tag! And I love me some less expensive price tags.

SO WHAT EXACTLY DOES THE FITBIT FLEX DO?

The Fitbit Flex tracks your steps, distance traveled, your active minutes, and your calories burned. I did read a comparison review that said Fitbit's data seems to be generous when it comes to steps/distance and calorie count. However, I walk/run in my neighborhood, and I know the route I have to go that makes a mile and the Fitbit registers that mile correctly.  So I'm not sure that particular review is correct in this case.  Also, the Fitbit counts all of your calories, not just your active ones. It counts the calories you burn while sleeping, sitting still, etc. Check here for more info about the accuracy of the Fitbit Flex and here for info on how Fitbit tracks calories.




Active minutes are earned while doing cardio workouts and higher-intensity activities like jogging or running. Activities that aren't primarily step based, like lifting weights, have a much lower impact on your active minute count.

People have asked me what the point is of wearing a tracker like this if I already know how much I workout everyday. One of the great things about a fitness tracker is that you can set goals for yourself. In a way, it's a little like having a personal trainer living on your arm via a colorful band. :) I like being able to see what I've done everyday, if I've reached my goals, or if I need to do a little extra to exceed that day. I think it helps you keep yourself accountable.

Your stats are very easy to track via an app on your phone (which is what I use) or through your account on Fitbit's website. the Flex's band has five little lights that help you track your progress at any given time throughout the day. You simply double tap the band for it to light up. You have reached your goals when all five lights are lit.



Additional features include logging the food you eat/your calorie intake and logging how much water you drink. This has been really helpful to me and one of my favorite parts of having this Fitbit. I've actually really enjoyed tracking my calories (p.s. i hadn't logged all of my calories in the picture above. I promise I eat more than 0 calories a day!) I've never worried about my calorie intake before, and I'm not tracking it now because I'm trying to loose a lot of weight.  I just want to be more aware of what i'm eating and putting into my body, and this feature helps me do that.

One final feature I wanted to note is the silent alarm. I have a really difficult time waking up in the morning and frequently don't hear my alarm the first time, So I set two or three each morning. excessive, I know. With the Fitbit, you can set a silent alarm so that your band vibrates to wake you up. Since using it, there hasn't been one morning where I've missed my alarm! It is the best! I mean, I'm still super annoyed that it's time to wake up, but I'm awake nonetheless. :)


Okay okay, but is it comfortable? I think so! I wear it all day, and I sleep with it on so that I can track my sleep and utilize the silent alarm. It doesn't pinch or irritate my skin and it's never fallen off. Fitbit also offers this band in several colors, so you can customize it to your liking. I couldn't say no to this colorful trio pack. I'm obsessed with the teal!

Long story short, I would definitely recommend the Fitbit Flex. I know there are other products out there, and it's really all about finding the one that has all the features that you need. If you are looking for something that has all the basics, is well made, and is reasonably priced, this is it.

Do you use any kind of fitness tracker? Tell me about it!

| note: this review is in no way sponsored by fitbit. i just like the product and wanted to share it with you! | 

3.26.2014

adventures in disneyland.

while i was out in california visiting my brother and sister-in-law, i was surprised with a day at disneyland! i had never been and had not been to disneyworld since i was four years old, so it had been quite a while since i had experienced the disney magic in person when i could actually appreciate it. ;) walking into disneyland was so magical. i know, it sounds crazy, but it's true! it's like stepping into a distant, happy land. there were so many colors, and glorious disney music was playing as we walked up to the gates. i may or may not have had to fight back tears of excitement.





sometimes the brother and his wife accidentally wear matching shorts and i make major fun of them.

as we walked in, all i could think about was Saving Mr. Banks when walt disney takes p.l. travers to disneyland for the first time. it was such a happy moment! we picked the perfect day to go, too. it was the first friday of march, so no spring breakers yet!  there were either no lines or just a short wait. i think the longest we waited was for 30 minutes on a couple of rides. because we were able to get through the lines so quickly, we had time to enjoy disneyland AND california adventure!


so let's talk about a few of my favorite rides! i'm really not a huge roller coaster person, not because i don't like them, they just give me a very unfortunate headache and i feel dizzy for days. the good news is, disney is for little kids and big kids too, so their rides aren't that crazy. just crazy fun ;)  i took some advil about halfway through the day to keep the headache at bay and i was fine!

the indiana jones ride was one of my faves in disneyland! it's so stressful and exciting all at the same time. i only screamed a couple times. whew.

i loved the buzz lightyear and toy story rides...mostly because they are like arcade games. you just sit in your seat and shoot at things! haha! plus, you get to wear super stylin' 3D glasses.



california adventure was so much fun! it's designed like how california would have looked when walt disney arrived. i loved the architecture and the whole feel of the place.





we stopped in california adventure and had a delicious lunch before heading off to catch some more rides! if you ever go to disneyland, you have to experience california screamin' if only for the very beginning. you know how most rollercoasters go very slowly at the start as you go up the steep incline? uh no. california screamin' shoots you out like a bullet from the get go. it was HILARIOUS watching people's faces go from happy as they sat there waiting to terrified when they are shot down the tracks.


i think it's safe to say that one of my top 3 favorite rides was soarin' over california. it's a simulator with an imax screen. you buckle up in your seat and are taken about 70 above the ground. the simulator takes you through different california landscapes and each one comes with an associated scent. like oranges for an orange grove or salt water for an ocean scene.  you feel like you're hand gliding over california and it was amazing. i almost cried it was so beautiful. i could've gone a couple more times at least!! it was our last ride of the day and the perfect end to a day at disney.

the best friend loves disney just as much as i do, and i told her that we are going to go together someday. i'd also really love to go back to disneyworld now that i'm old enough to remember and appreciate it! the new and improved harry potter world will be open this summer!! road trip, anyone? :)

so have you had a disney experience? what were your favorite parts??

3.25.2014

march sponsors.

we have officially entered into the spring season, and i couldn't be happier about it. however, tennessee hasn't really gotten the memo yet. we are still going from 70 degree days to 40 degree days. nevertheless, i am loving watching the world come back to life as the trees blossom and flowers bloom. i asked my sweet sponsors about their favorite parts of spring. see what they had to say!


samantha | elah tree
Favorite things about this spring; heading to Joplin to see my brother and heading to Nashville in May to see Tyler's dad! Can't wait! 
blog | facebook | twitter

allison | allison ramsing
My favorite part about spring is all the gorgeous flowers that are blooming and seeing sunshine more frequently! 
blog | facebook | instagram

robyn | our invincible summer
spring is so delightful! it's one of my favorite seasons - which may be due to the fact that i loathe winter and spring brings me sweet relief! my favorite things about spring are the amazing weather & the extra daylight! i love getting home from work and feeling like i have a day left! especially since the weather is so great - i am just beckoned outside! :) i love being outside as much as i can during spring because all of the colors are so vibrant and the earth has this feeling of new life!
blog | instagram | pinterest

amy | taking steps home
i love that spring is all about new growth. its a chance to see what areas you need to prune so that new growth can happen.
blog | instagram | pinterest

betsy | heavens to betsy
One of my favorite parts of spring are the smells!  There's just nothing like that warm sunshine that brings out the scent of flowers, and dirt (yes, dirt!).  We've had such a long, snowy, cold winter that I can't wait to wear a pair of shorts and some sandals and smell spring rain and flowers and fresh-cut grass!  I don't think I've ever ben more excited about spring!
blog | facebook | twitter

christina | sweet lavender bake shoppe
One of my favorite parts about Spring is the longer days. It's just a little sample of what's to come with summer, and I love summer. Fall and winter (although grand in their own ways) bring about shorter days and cold crisp nights. So when Spring comes, I'm more than happy to hang outside in dresses and skirts, and into the later part of the day. There's nothing like a gently warm Spring evening with the sun setting late into the day. 
Blog | Bloglovin' | Google+

lorraine | this pilgrim's progress
My favourite parts about Spring are the longer and brighter evenings and the dramatic play clouds and light in the temperate forest I live in. Spring is usually wet enough to see mist lift off the forests or having heavy clouds shroud the mountains. The "golden hour" seems to last for ours, and there's sometimes a very cool contrast of snow dusted trees and fresh green leaves.
blog | bloglovin' | instagram



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3.24.2014

weekend update.


RECAPS
-- i had both a Frozen movie night and a Catching Fire movie night this weekend. it's so fun having some of my favorite fictional people in my living room ;)

-- saturday morning video chats with my best friend. guys, she is so wise and gives really good advice.

-- my #etsyswap2014 gift came in on friday! i squealed a little when i opened it! can't wait to show y'all everything in the link up on april 3rd! :)

-- wedding work days. one of my sweet core group girls is getting married on mother's day, so some of us got together to work on some wedding prep projects like addressing invitations and creating paper flower bouquets. the countdown is on!

-- i went to see Divergent with two of my coworkers yesterday. i've read the books and had heard mixed reviews of the movie, but we all really liked it! sure, they changed some parts and left others out, but i still think they did a great job. even though i knew what was going to happen, i was still so tense the entire time!

OTHER FINDS
-- some great insight on young industries and where this blogging world is headed
-- the 14 best things to eat after a workout
-- finding the hair dryer that is best for you
-- i fell in love with and purchased this shirt
-- words of truth for you desktop

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
colors of california.
music & lyrics | the oh hello's
what is your sunnies style?

FAVORITE READS
the circle maker | elah tree
battlefield. | taking steps home
super easy rugelach cookes | sweet lavender bake shoppe

what'd you do this weekend?

3.21.2014

what is your sunnies style?


one | two | three | four

i am on the hunt for a new pair of sunnies! i want something that fits my face well and also has complete UV protection. it's funny to look back over the past few years and see how my sunnies style has changed. and y'all, it's changed drastically. in college, i wore HUGE bug eye sunglasses. not my best look. a couple of years ago, i bought my first pair of wayfarer frames (an inexpensive version, of course.) i absolutely love the way they fit and sit on my face, and i feel like they are very "me".

buuuuuuut i've been eyeing clubmaster frames for a few months and am dying to try a pair!! these are four of my faves that i've seen so far, but i'd prefer a much less expensive version. i still want something that provides good protection for my sensitive blue eyes, but i'd rather not pay over $100 for it. you with me? great. :)

so tell me, what is your sunnies style and where do you buy your frames?

3.20.2014

music & lyrics | the oh hello's



 because nothing lasts forever. some things aren't meant to be.
but you'll never find the answers until you set your old heart free.

i've heard a lot about the oh hello's for a while now but hadn't taken the time to check them out. a friend posted this tune last night and i fell in love with it. the lyrics are so beautiful and thought provoking and remind me of these wise words from my dear friend C.S. Lewis (okay, okay. i never knew old clive staples, but i sure wish i had. he did, afterall, write my favorite books of all time.)

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

amen and amen.

what melodies have you been listening to lately?

3.18.2014

colors of california.

i witnessed one of the prettiest sunsets while i was in california. we were driving back to san diego from orange county after a glorious day at disneyland. i absolutely love the way the palm trees turn into scraggly paintbrush silhouettes as the sun sets and night creeps in. the ocean was glistening as the sun sank lower and lower, and i watched until its tippiest tip had sunk below the horizon.

it was just another one of those everyday moments that i cherish.