Friday, September 27, 2013

Five on Friday/Backthatazzup

1. being the change
So last week Cosmo published an article online where the author said that being hazed was "weirdly worth it." So obviously that is not okay! I was so enraged by the article that I emailed Cosmo to let them know just how wrong they were. I knew I couldn't just sit there so angry and not do anything, so I decided to be the change. I shared my letter on Facebook Monday in the hope that it would inspire a few more people to write their own to Cosmo. Well it got shared again, and again, and again, about 700 times according to wordpress. I was so touched by everyone's positive feedback not because they were praising me, but because it proved that I wasn't the only one who thinks hazing is disgusting. So if you read Cosmo's article and were equally horrified that they would advocate for hazing I hope you'll send them your own email.

2. GRE
This week I decided that I'm taking the GRE, hopefully before the end of October, so I went and invested in some study flipcards so I can start studying Monday. I've realized that I'll eventually want/need a masters so I should probably just go ahead and take it now. I'm still not 100% sure where that leaves me with my job search though. I'm still applying for full time PR jobs, but I've realized that maybe God's plan is for me to go back to grad school before getting a real job. Anyone have any study aid suggestions? I'm going to need a really good score to get into my first 2 choices of schools.

3. cookies
Y'all know how much I love a simple recipe, well this one is 2 ingredients! I'd seen these pumpkin cookies floating around Pinterest for a while, and I finally decided in the spirit of Fall I just had to try them. Just combine one box spice cake mix and one can pumpkin pie filling and bake at 350 for 12 minutes. You should be able to get 24 out of it. I added chocolate chips to half, but I think I liked the ones without them better. They turned out more cake like than cookies like, so I'm calling them pumpkin spice bites.

That's where a picture of these should be, but my iphoto doesn't always like to play nice, so if you want to see a picture you'll have to head over to my Instagram instead.

4. Oxford
As you're reading this I'm on the road to Oxford! I've seriously gotten sick of being home and desperately needed a change of scenery. So I decided to make a trip up to my favorite small town. It'll be really fun to get to go out and have friends to watch with when the Rebels take on Bama Saturday. I'm staying until Monday morning, so just as an FYI Monday's post (if there is one) will be later in the day once I've gotten back home.

5. one of my favorite road trip songs
I have no shame, Party in the USA is my road trip jam. If you say belting out some Miley while cruising up the interstate isn't fun, well then I simply don't know if we can be friends.

Party In the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus on Grooveshark

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Must See TV

I feel like I've been in a fog all week, as if you couldn't tell by yesterday's post which now that I read it again makes about zero sense. Being sick last week and basically doing nothing really made me want to push myself into overdrive this week to do two weeks worth of things.

But then I had a minor brush with fame on Monday (more details coming tomorrow) that I'm still in shock over. And now I feel like my attention is being yanked in 20 different ways which makes me not able to focus on anything.

So instead of trying to write something spectacular today I'm just going with the first topic that jumped in my head as I sat down to write this post: Fall television (this is probably because as I'm writing this I'm an hour away from the start of Nashville!).

You may remember my obsession with season 1 last spring, obviously I've been awaiting this return since I watched the last episode in May. I can't wait to see what catchy songs they develop, how fabulous Hayden Panettiere is going to look, and have major hair envy of Connie Britton.

Once Upon a Time
I wasn't crazy about last season so I'm curious to see what ABC does this year. Let's be honest though, anything about Snow White is something I'm going to watch every week.

Super Fun Night
I know the reviews for this say it's going to suck, but I'm super excited anyway. I just think Rebel Wilson is hilarious, and I think this is going to be a show that we can all relate with in some way.

So last season sucked, but hopefully the writers have figured out how to write without the original cast by now. I may just watch the first few episodes though to see how they decide to deal with Fin's death.

Another show I quickly became obsessed with when I watched the entire first season in one sitting. This was probably the show on television last year, so I sure hope this season doesn't dissapoint. One thing we know for sure, wether Olivia Pope is wearing the white hat or not, she always looks fabulous!

Mad Men
Okay so I know this isn't really Fall television because AMC puts it back on when ever they feel like it, or at least that's how it seems. But I'd be lying if I said I'm not already anxious to see how the series ends. I'm hoping for lots of Roger and Sally to be included in this season because they are my favorites.

College Football
Oops, how'd this end up on the list? I'd be lying if I said that Saturday isn't my most anticipated television day in the Fall. I'm so excited/nervous to watch my Rebels take on Alabama Saturday night. All I have to say is that we have been known to beat the National Champions before (see the Florida game in 2008. Ole Miss 31 National Champs 30)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My biggest mistake

Wednesday, September 25: Write about a time you screwed up - a mistake you made. 

Today's Blogtember post is a challenge to write about a mistake you've made. Wow, what a difficult thing to write. This is difficult not because I believe I have made no mistakes, but rather because I've made so many mistakes in my 22 years of life.

So after much self reflection I've decided to share this mistake with you: Not listening to my gut.

I think 95% of my mistakes can be attributed to this. I wish I could say that I've never bent to peer pressure, that I've never once changed my mind based on someone else's opinion, but that would be a lie. Countless times I've second guessed myself, thinking instead that someone else knew better than me. The worst part of this is that I often don't even realize when I do it.

The thing about not listening to your gut is that at that moment you give control of your life to someone else. You stop accepting responsibility, and instead push the burden of blame onto someone else. You move from the driver's seat to become a passenger in your own life.

This is my greatest mistake, my biggest regret. I wish I could end this post promising I'll never make this mistake again, but I know I would never follow through on that. So instead I leave you wish this promise: I will be more conscious of when I don't listen to my gut. I will actively acknowledge these mistakes, because I believe the only way to fix a problem is to recognize it exists.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Dream Husband

I was watching the Rachael Ray show last week and they did a segment on single gals looking for the right guy.

They first featured a girl who would bake a cake, cut a couple of pieces out, and then take it to a bar with girlfriends and offer it to random guys asking if they wanted a piece of their "leftover birthday cake". I thought this sounded like a fantastic idea, unfortunately the dating expert didn't think so. His advice was to instead ask a guy to do you a favor, like hold your jacket while you bring a round of drinks over to your friends. Now this is really a stupid idea, because A. who wears a jacket to a bar? and B. why didn't you just leave your jacket with your friends?

The next girl they gave a white board and 20 seconds to write down everything she wanted in a future partner. She included things like sense of family, funny, caring; you know all the typical things girls would include. They told her that her problem was that she was too easy to please, and willing to date anyone. This got me thinking about the things that my future husband absolutely must have, and I narrowed it down to three qualities

1. My Future Husband must be as smart, preferably smarter than me
I like big brains and I can not lie. He doesn't have to be a rocket scientist, but he's got to have book smarts and street smarts. I just don't do dummies. If I can't even be around dumb people long enough to become really good friends, how can I expect to spend the rest of my life with one. Plus I don't want to have dumb kids.

2. My Future Husband must be a lover of Mexican food
I seriously love Mexican food that much. I just couldn't be in a serious long term relationship with someone who complained every time we ate my favorite meal. One of my life motto's is "Know when to give up and have a Margarita or three." Given the choice of queso or love, I'd chose queso. And yes, I realize that probably is why I'm single.

3. My Future Husband must be a genuinely "good guy"
Nice and caring. Not scummy or sketchy. He must have integrity and ethics. The type of guy that would make your grandmother say he's "a nice boy."

I feel like if he has these 3 qualities and I love him I'll think he's funny and charming and handsome and every other thing you could want in a husband. But then again I'm only 22, and I've never been in love so what do I know.

What qualities are on your list for a future spouse? Or what qualities did your current spouse have that let you know they were the one?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Update

Happy Fall Y'all!

I was absolutely thrilled when I brought in the mail Friday afternoon and discovered I had received a package. It was my Be the Change cuff I'd ordered a couple of weeks ago from Threads by The Shine Project. 

I'm absolutely obsessed with my cuff and can't wait to order more pieces! The coolest part of The Shine Project is that all the jewelry is made by inner city students as a way for them to make money to help pay for college. So not only did I get this super adorable cuff with part of my all time favorite quote (be the change you wish to see in the world), but I helped someone else.

Sunday night for dinner we tried out a new recipe I found on Pinterest, crockpot Hawaiian chicken. You just put 2 pounds of chicken, 1 cup pineapple juice, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/3 cup soy sauce in a crockpot to cook for about 7 hours.

We paired it with some mashed sweet potato patties, and it was delicious! I'd highly recommend this to anyone looking for a fun, simple chicken recipe.

Later I celebrated the first day of fall (AKA the end of bikini season and the beginning of over sized sweaters and leggings season) by enjoying some ice cream while I watched the Emmys and got a jump start on the week's blogging.

Cool Mint and chocolate chips!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five on Friday/BackThatAzzUp

1. A Brand New Look!
You may have noticed a new look on the blog this week! I've decided I really want to be more serious about blogging, and part of that means making this space into something where I'm proud to attach my name.  I've been dying for a new header, but just couldn't justify paying so much money for one no matter how beautiful it was. So I taught myself how for free! It was really actually pretty simple, I just followed a few different tutorials I found on other blogs. I also created this nifty little button that you can grab and share on your blog.
From Mississippi With Love

PS: I'm super interested if anyone wants to do a free button swap; just head over to my brand new PR & Sponsor page for the details!

2. End of summer colds.  
As I mentioned I've been nursing an epic end of summer cold this week. Maybe I'm just crazy but whenever I'm sick I swear I can feel the germs hanging out in my body. Does anyone else ever feel this way? The worst part was that it blew out my tastes buds for a few days, so I was hungry but everything I tried to eat just tasted off. Oh and I went through an entire box of Puffs in less than 72 hours. Does blowing your nose count as exercise? I sure hope so, because I was in no condition to go to the gym this week.   

3. Target.
Wednesday I heard a rumor that my local Target had more Philip Lim bags out, so I decided to make a little trip over (in the rain) to check it out for myself. They didn't have have, and I couldn't find any employees to confirm that they had ever had any more out. I did however find one who had heard the same rumor I had and was bummed when there weren't any to be had. So I didn't get my PL bag, but I did get a new hair brush (my old one was in desperate need of a replacement), a sugar cookie, and a coke Icee, Oh and these darling earrings!

And yes, that price tag is correct! For $7.99 these were a steal that my bank account didn't mind 

4. Five Guys.
In honor of National Cheeseburger Day, I was reminded again this week how much I love Five Guys little cheeseburgers. I know everyone makes a big deal about the fries, but to me those are just okay. The real winner is the little cheeseburger. Just writing about one now makes me want to go grab one again for lunch today!

This post is not sponsored by Five Guys, but boy do I wish it was! So if anyone from Five Guys is reading this, I'd gladly do a full review if you sent me some gift cards!

5. #BackThatAzzUp
Okay so the lyrics to this kinda suck, but just try telling me this beat doesn't put you in a great mood!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What being a sister has taught me

On a recent job interview I was asked "what's something about you I wouldn't know from reading your resume?"

I thought this was such a great question. While my resume is certainly a great representation of my skills and abilities, it doesn't even begin to tell you about me as a person.

The answer I chose to give was that I have two sisters and a brother.

southern blogs; sister blogs; family blogs
I'm going to guess this was taken around 2000

Having 3 siblings has taught me to work as a team. Working as a team to convince mom and dad to push back bed time. Working as a team to convince mom to bake us cookies. Working as a team to convince dad to get us a puppy.

Having 3 siblings has taught me that everyone is good at different things. All my siblings are smart, talented, and creative. But we still each have our own strengths and weaknesses.

Having 3 siblings has taught me to be competitive. We are all competitive with each other, in everything we do. We each want to win more, whether it be earning more As on report cards, being elected to more leadership positions, winning a board game, or even picking out the best head of lettuce from the grocery store.

Having 3 siblings has taught me to be proud and excited in the achievements of others. I was excited when my older sister and brother were named National Merit Scholars. I was excited when my younger sister won a National essay contest. While I certainly wish these accomplishments for myself, I am so proud that people on "my team" won these. I use these accomplishments to push myself to do better.

I think to think that growing up with siblings has been the ultimate practice for working in an office one day while getting along with co-workers to create a positive, supportive working environment.

college graduation; university of mississippi; college bloggers; southern bloggers; sec bloggers
After my graduation in May
Past, Present, and (hopefully!) future Rebels

What has having siblings taught you? Did you gain any important skills by being an only child? 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This or That

So I know I already posted today, but this is my blog and I can do what I want, and today I want to post twice.

I was doing my morning blogs reading while sitting in bed watching the Today show when I came across Erin's post for today "This or That." Y'all this is essentially Would You Rather, only one of my most favorite games to play with friends. Seriously I could play this game All. Day. Long.

So I hope you'll play along with Erin, Whitney, and because I want to pretend I'm their 3rd best friend (and we're the 3 best friends that anyone could have) for the day me and head over to link up your answers!

Vacationing in Florida or New York: New York. I've never been before so my must see list would be simple; a Broadway play, the HighLine, and some window shopping.

iPhone or Droid: iphone. I was a long time hold out and have had mine for less than a year, but seriously I don't know how I lived without it now.

NSYNC or Backstreet Boys: NSYNC. I have always been team NSYNC (specifically team JT, curls and all), even when it wasn't the popular choice. BYE, BYE, BYE is pure musical magic!

Being forced to delete Facebook or Twitter: Facebook. I'm ( ) this close to just deleting mine anyway. Maybe it's a sign I'm getting old, but getting on Facebook just frustrates me now.

Fireball or Miller Lite: Miller Lite. Some people say it tastes like water, I say it tastes like baseball in the summer.

Full House or Family Matters: Full House. Who can resist an early Mary-Kate and Ashley

Dumbledore or Gandalf: Dumbledore. Because well duh, he's Dumbledore.

Dying Easter eggs or Carving Pumpkins: Carving Pumpkins. I carved one for the first time last Halloween, and I can't wait to try again this year.

NFL or NCAAF: NCAAF. There is nothing better than a Saturday in the Fall. Especially when it involves my beloved Ole Miss Rebels and the Grove.

A hangover forever or sobriety forever: sobriety forever. I've only ever been hungover once, and it was the absolute worst feeling in the world. I now religiously chug water before bed, no matter how drunk I am.

Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus: Hannah Montana. I'm not even going to lie and pretend like I'm not a huge Hannah fan.

Shark Week or Fashion Week: Fashion Week. Yes, believe it or not I'm choosing designer gowns over flesh eating monsters, real hard decision there.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Saved by the Bell: Saved by the Bell. In middle school I would wake up an hour earlier than I needed to just so I could watch Zack and Kelly.

Britney or Christina: Britney. I've always been a big Britney fan, so much so that one year for Lent I devoted all my prayers to her and her son.

Burrito or Burrito Bowl: Burrito. At first I thought this was a trick, but then I decided that yes I do need the extra carbs from the tortilla.

Reading blogs on your phone or reading on your computer: Computer. I love the ease of doing it on my phone when I'm out and about waiting for something (getting an oil change, picking my sister up from school, Starbucks line), but I love my morning reading by computer in bed ritual. Plus It's so much easier to comment by computer.

Angelina or Jennifer: Jennifer. This was a win by default, I'm not really a huge fan of either, but something about Angelina just really annoys me.

Doug Funny or Rugrats: Rugrats. Because Doug is just so darn annoying. And not funny. At all.

An open mouth chewer or heavy breather: open mouth chewer. An open mouth chewer can change their ways with practice, if you're a heavy breather you're stuck with that for life.

Making Betty Crocker Proud

I really love a good recipe, but you know what I love even more? A super simple recipe! Boy oh boy do I have a super simple one to share with y'all today.

Easy-Peasy Orange Dream Cake 
(yes, I did make up that name after drinking a margarita)   

Seriously this is all you use!
Well plus a can a frosting that I forgot to put in the photo

I've seen a few variations of this cake on Pinterest over the years, and finally decided to give it a try the other night (as in last week, when I wasn't sick). I figured even if it turned out awful I hadn't invested that much time/effort into it.

Take one box of yellow cake mix and dump it in a bowl. 

Add one can orange Soda

Mix together

Spray your cake pan with Bakers Joy. This is super important because it will stick if not

Pour the mixture into your pan and bang it on the counter to get out the air bubbles

Bake in the oven per the directions on the cake box. Mine took about 33 minutes

While it's baking, lick the bowl. Okay so this technically isn't part of the recipe but you should still do it. There are no raw eggs so you can do it without feeling guilty.

Notice how mine is sunk in the middle? Yeah, I forgot to bang the air bubbles out before baking. Oh yeah and because soda is a main ingredient there are evidently a ton of air bubbles. 

Take one can of frosting (I used Betty Crocker whipped cream cheese) and frost the cake taking extra care to add more in the places it sunk. 

Slice and enjoy!  

Another great thing about this cake is it can be changed up with a variety of cake mixes and soda flavors. Plus supposedly it works with diet soda if you want to cut the calories, but as is it only has 263 calories per piece (when the cake serves 12) which I find very reasonable!

Do you have any favorite super simple recipes you love?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Under the Weather

I'm still feeling a bit under the weather today. I hardly ever get sick, like only once maybe twice a year, so when I am sick I'm miserable. I've decided to fully embrace today as a sick day, because I've decided I will feel better tomorrow. I simply don't have time to be sick.

So how am I spending my sick day?

1. Hoping I can convince my mom to go pick me up some Newks Loaded Potato soup

2. Drinking lots of Powerade (the blue kind obviously) and Sonic Slushes

3. Watching some of my favorite sick day movies

Sweet Home Alabama

Is there anything better than watching Reese Witherspoon come home to her Southern roots and re-marry the love of her life; all while sporting the most adorable short haircut?

Valentine's Day

Yes, I know everyone else in the world thinks it's the worst movie ever. But I love it, probably because of it's bad acting and predictable plot.

The Devil Wears Prada

"I'm one stomach flu away from my ideal weight" I may feel like death, but at least I'm getting skinnier in the process!


An oldie but oh so goodie! Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant all set in beautiful European backdrops. If you've never seen this one you simply must!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend Update

My weekend started with the best find ever from Best Buy Friday afternoon.

*NSYNC's greatest hits for less than $5!

I then continued to have a great night staying home and watching Tangled with my younger sister. I think I'd rank it 4th of all Disney princess movies (after Snow White, Pocahontas, and Cinderella)

I needed a super chill Friday night because Saturday was to be devoted 100% to football! Incase you somehow don't follow NCAA football, Saturday was the most anticipated game of the season: Texas A&M vs. Alabama.

I can't even imagine how TAMU and Bama fans felt watching that game because I was sweating more than a sinner in church. I was having flashbacks to our Vandy game earlier this season, and I didn't even really care who won this game. I love Bama, but I also love Johnny Manzel, so I was happy with the outcome.

Then the Ole Miss game came on at 7. Except it didn't.

Since the game was being broadcast on the Longhorn network Ole Miss was able to make an arrangement where a few local Mississippi area stations would be able to cover it. Well 7pm came, and our designated station was playing Million Second Quiz.

To say I was mad would be an understatement. I don't want you to think I'm a psycho or anything but after the television station didn't answer their phone I was looking for the home phone number of the General Manager (he wasn't on twitter or facebook, but I did find his LinkedIn account).

I said a few unkind thing via twitter out of anger, such as this 

And this 

but then I felt bad and deleted them around half-time.

Oh and how did the game end you ask?


We are currently 3-0 for the first time in my entire life! We are currently ranked 21 in the AP poll! Hotty Toddy!!!

Sunday I woke up feeling under the weather. I didn't even want a donut after Church, that's how you know something's not right.

I spent the rest of the afternoon camped out in the family room watching movies and drinking a Sonic watermelon slush.

And I obviously watched Miss America Sunday night. Here is a collection of my general thoughts on the event

  • If I were Miss Mississippi my opening would be: "From the home state of Elvis, Oprah, and Kermit the Frog, I'm _________ your Miss Mississippi"
  • Yay Mississippi made the top 16!
  • When was the last time these women ate a cheeseburger?
  • If you're going to sing for your talent, go with America the Beautiful: it's simple and about America; can't lose
  • Why is there a piano on stage if nobody's talent is piano?
  • Everyone bombed their questions. 
  • These questions were not all even. At All!

I was so happy to see New York win; she was one of my tops from the start. I thought she was fantastic the whole way through, and seems like a great role model for American girls.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five on Friday/ #BackThatAzzUp

1. Other Bloggers
I've heard over and over again about how people love blogging because of the awesome blogging community. This week was the first time I really experienced that. I've been really touched by the people who've reached out to me this week either by leaving comments on posts or responding to comments I've left them. I know I'm not a "big blogger", so knowing that people took the time to reach out really means a lot. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

2. Project Runway 
Okay so I don't normally watch Project Runway, but I was intrigued to watch when I saw this week's theme was "Modern Southern Woman."Well after watching that episode I will never watch that show again. Their thoughts seriously made me question if they'd ever even stepped foot in the South. They had the completely misguided idea that women in the South enjoy wearing plaid picnic blankets. Seriously these looks were so bad I can't even bring myself to post a picture. I felt personally victimized by that episode and judging by the tweets I saw a ton of other Southerners felt the same way.

3. New York Fashion Week
Now these are some looks that I will gladly post pictures of!

While I didn't get to watch the collections be revealed live (maybe one day?) I certainly enjoyed following along on Instagram. I think they did a really great job this year of showcasing the best looks shown. There were so many beautiful pieces that I would kill to have in my closet.

4. Miley Cyrus 
Everyone and their cousin is making such a big deal about her being naked in this video, and I think they're being ridiculous. I'm more offended by her tacky too long white nails, licking a sledge hammer, clumpy mascara, and lack of bra in that trailer park clothing. I do however really like this song.

5. #Backthatazzup
I'm sure you've all heard the song Royals by Lorde on the radio. While I love that song, I think this one is even better. I can't wait for her CD to officially come out later this fall.

Bravado by Lorde on Grooveshark

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Counting my Blessings

I've been really down lately. It's a combination of still not having a job (despite sending out hundreds of resumes and specialized cover letters), having no friends at home, and watching all my friends move on with their lives either going back to school or accepting jobs. Never in a million years would I have guessed I'd be the last of my friends to find a job (it seems like the last member of the class of 2013 in general), much less be in September with no offers.

But yesterday I decided I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and perk up. Sure this isn't how I'd ideally like my life to be right now, but it could be a lot worse. I've got plenty to be thankful for and I need to instead focus on those things.

Let's pretend the grammatical error isn't in this

I am thankful to have loving parents who let me live at home for free, pay for my insurance, and my gas, and my gym membership. 

I am thankful to live in such a pretty town, even though it's a far cry from the big city that I'm dreaming of living in, it isn't entirely awful. 

I am thankful to have earned my college degree without going into debt and that I have no student loans to repay. 

I am thankful to have good hair and skin, straight teeth without ever needing braces, and a much prettier crying face than Kim Kardashian. 

I am thankful to have a closet full of clothes, even if they aren't brand new and trendy. 

I am thankful that I never have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from or if I'll have clean water to drink. 

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Summer Reading Recap

I read 8 books this summer which I think is pretty solid considering I'm full time looking for a real job. After the first two I decided that I was only going to read things I could find at the library. I'm now a huge fan of the library! Why pay $10 for a book that you can read for free?

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue: ***
Annie and Julia were best friends until Julia helps spread a rumor about Annie senior year of high school. The two haven't spoken to each other since Annie's mom's funeral 10 years ago. Now the two are reunited when Annie is hired to bake cupcakes for Julia's wedding shower. Julia, not able to fully cope with wedding planning, decides that opening a cupcakery with Annie is just what the two need not just to restore their friendship, but to set them on their paths to a happy life.

I was really very pleasantly surprised with this book. It has all the elements that a good story needs, enticing plot, relatable characters, suspense, and descriptions of yummy food. The worst part was knowing that I'd never taste these delicious cupcakes described.

The Very First Bit by Cynthia Langston: **
Lanie has 10 weeks to lose 20 pounds, have a better job, and make her boyfriend commit so that she can confidently attend her high school reunion. Add to the story her anxienty about whether her high school best friend, who ended their friendship without a word, will show up and if she'll finally be able to get the answers she's been searching for for years.

The writing wasn't the best, but I think we can all identify with the basic story. Plus the descriptions of some of her dieting fads are pretty hilarious.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain: **
This is a fiction, based on fact, story about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley. It follows them from their first meeting through their eventual divorce. The bulk of the story is based on their life in Paris where Hemingway spent his early writing career producing some of his most famous works.

It was interesting because I really didn't know much about Hemingway's life. It includes many famous names that are interesting to piece together. The story wasn't that exciting, it was really rather depressing because their life together was so tragic. I would probably recommend this one for the history lesson only.

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella: **
Lexi wakes up in the hospital and suddenly it's 3 years later than she can remember. She last remembers her life as less than stellar, but wakes up to the seemingly perfect one. She tries to navigate her new life hoping to include the best of her old, new, and future.

This reminded me of a happier, funnier version of The Vow. It was okay, but not great, and to be honest not that memorable.

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan: ****
April, Bree, Sally, and Celia are roommates at Smith College, with nothing in common other than the floor they share in their House. The novel follows them through the ups and downs of their friendship through college, jobs, marriage, and even a baby.

Easily the best thing I read this summer. It took me a while to get into the story, but once I did I couldn't put it down. After reading it I wanted to call up all my girlfriends to chat and plan a vacation together. The character develop is great, the story is great, and the writing is great. I look forward to more from this author.

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsellat: **
Within the span of just a few days Lottie tells an entire Lady's restroom at a nice restaurant that her boyfriend is about to propose, she dumps said boyfriend when he doesn't, reunites with her gap year boyfriend, marries this boyfriend whom she hasn't spoken to in years, and heads to Greece for her honeymoon. Fliss, Lottie's bitter divorced older sister realizes what a mistake Lottie is making and makes it her mission to ensure Lottie can get a quick annulment by sabotaging her honeymoon.

This is probably my least favorite of all Kinsella's books. The main characters had annoying very English names which were distracting. I just couldn't identify with any of the characters. It wasn't awful, but I wouldn't really recommend it either.

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella: ***
In the same afternoon Poppy loses her family heirloom engagement ring and her cell phone. She finds a phone laying in a trash bin and in a "Finders Keepers" mentality takes it as her own so she can have a number to leave should anyone find her ring. This would all be perfect except the phone belonged to Sam's ex assistant, who throws it away on her way out the door to pursue her modeling career. Sam agrees to let Poppy keep the phone until her ring is found so long as she forward all the incoming messages.
There are multiple side plots that keep the story interesting right until the very end. This is probably one of my favorite Kinsella books, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for an enjoyable chick-lit read.

Girls In White Dresses by Jennifer Close: ***
The title is a bit misleading, the girl who is the main main character isn't married by the end; from the title I was expecting a story about girls who are all in each other's weddings, but this is really more a story about single girls. It follows 4 girl friends who are recent graduates living in New York as they navigate the tricky post-grad dating, first job world.

This is written more like a collection of short stories that go together than a true novel. Because of this it was sometimes hard to follow, especially at the beginning or when two main characters had similar names. Half way through I really started to enjoy it though and wasn't ready for it to be over by the end.  I would recommend this to all 20 something girls trying to figure out life and love.

Here's my tentative Fall reading list - Side note when I re-synced my iphone to my icloud it deleted all my notes, including my to read list, anyone know a way to get it back?
  1. Austenland by Shannon Hale
  2. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
  3. LeanIn by Sheryl Sandberg
  4. 5th Avenue 5am by Sam Wasson
  5. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
  6. Last of the Southern Girls by Willie Morris
  7. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

What's on your Fall reading list? Any suggestions to add to mine?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My defining moment

Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

I think everyone has a defining moment in their lives. An instance so monumental that everything from that point forward in life is changed because of it.

The distinct moment when my life took a turn was August 29, 2005, when I was just 14. I am a Katrina kid. 

I could take this space to tell you all about how horrible it is to have your hometown be the victim of a natural disaster, but I'm not going to do that. Instead of sharing the sadness that came with this defining moment, and there was more sadness than you'd ever wish on your worst enemy, I want to share the good that happened in my life. 

I lost my house, my school, my church, and so much more; but I gained confidence in myself. 

Before Katrina I went to a small all girls Catholic school where I'd gone to school with the majority of my classmates since I was 4. After Katrina, I went to 3 different high schools; one huge public, one tiny private, and one smallish Catholic. I was involved in many different activities at each school. I made the Honor Roll at each school, eventually graduating with a 3.99 GPA. I found friends at each school. I was nominated for numerous leadership and academic summer programs. I was a member of a state championship winning dance team. I was one of 6 chosen for Hall of Fame my senior year. 

I'm not saying I wouldn't have achieved these same things had Katrina never happened, but because I achieved them outside of my comfort zone they meant so much more. Before I would have just thought "well I'm just smart and a leader compared to these 60 other girls in my class." I would have written off these accomplishments as not really being anything. But now I realize that I am smart, a leader, likable,    a survivor, not just compared to a small group, but compared to the world at large. Even though Katrina happened years ago, and most of the rest of the world has forgotten about it, this is the singular most important moment in my life. I'm not saying that it was necessarily a turn for the better, but I am at a point where I'm comfortable saying maybe it wasn't a turn for the quite as horrific as I once thought. 

High honors, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Exchange Club Youth of the month, and Hall of Fame
(I look like such a baby!)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Update

Happy Monday Lovelies! Hope you all had a fab weekend. Mine was pretty uneventful and nothing out of the ordinary.

Saturday I took a trip to Ulta with my sister to look for new makeup for her homecoming dance. While there I obviously had to pick a little something up for myself.  I decided I'm going to give red nails a try this fall so I picked up this polish. I usually reserve red nails for 4th of July and Valentine's Day only, but I've seen them popping up in a few magazines as one of the Fall trends.
This color is called Red Carpet Red, so glamorous! 

I also found this topcoat 4 pack that was too good of a deal to pass up. It has color enhancing, matte, holographic, and smokey topcoats. I can't wait to try them all out! Once I do I'll obviously give y'all a review, as well as post a pic to my new Instagram account.

I also made a trip over to Old Navy to try on one of these new fancy sweatshirts. I didn't end up buying one because I just can't figure out how to style it. This one is on sale online right now though so I might go ahead and order it anyway because I feel like I'm going to regret it if this doesn't make an appearance in my closet.

I spent pretty much the rest of the weekend watching Harry Potter weekend on ABCFamily. Even though I own all the movies I always watch when they come on tv. Something about them being on tv makes them even better.

Oh and how could I not mention the fact that my Rebels won on Saturday bringing our record to 2-0! And as a bonus we are now ranked in the top 25!! Even Siri is an Ole Miss fan now!

This week we head to Austin to play Texas in our biggest test so far.  It was so strange to not be in the Grove with all my friends for the first time in 4 years. I really thought I'd be okay with not going up for a game this year, but I'm already looking at ticket prices for an upcoming game.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five on Friday/ #BackThatAzzUp

1. This article from Levo League. 
It claims to have the inside scoop on what your Starbucks drink says about you. I read another one of these a while back that was way off, but this one is dead on! My go-to drink is a grande iced skinny vanilla latte, which they list here as a mixture of two types. The skinny vanilla latte part says I'm all about the classics while mixing in the flavor du jour (hello pumpkin spice latte and peplum tops), and the iced part says I'm great at staying calm and working through a crisis (basically 80% of my time serving as sorority president). So basically this article reaffirms why I want to work in crisis communications public relations.

2. The Blog Baton. 
Incase you missed it Mason, over at Mason, Like the Jar, started the most brilliant project this week! The Blog Baton is a fun way to get to know more bloggers via Instagram. A different blogger holds the baton (Instagram account) each Tuesday and posts throughout the day. I've already signed up and can't wait for my turn in December!

PS: This inspired me to finally create a Blog specific Instagram. So head over and follow me!

3. Good Will Hunting. 
Yes, as in the Academy Award winning movie from the 90s. For some reason this movie has really been bothering me lately. It was on my to-watch lists for ages before I finally watched it in May (in an attempt to avoid studying for finals), and I didn't love it. I gave it another chance this week when I saw it randomly on CMT, and I still just couldn't get into it. I know it's a "good" movie, but I'm just not a fan. Am I missing something?

4. Lunch dates with my sweet mom. 
One of my favorite things about being home (still) is that I have time to hang out with my mom. We usually go grab lunch together once a week just the two of us. This week we went to one of my very favorite places, our Yacht Club. I ordered a chicken salad sandwich, but was happily pleased when the waitress messed up and brought me this shrimp salad sandwich instead. Also those onion rings some of the best I've ever eaten.

5. Backing my Azz up to this song. 
I'm currently obsessed with this Gaga song! It's so perfect for a getting ready to go out playlist. I can 100% see myself jamming out to it on a Saturday night, too bad that'll be me sitting at home jamming out alone instead of somewhere on the Square celebrating an Ole Miss win.

Applause by Lady Gaga on Grooveshark