Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Recap

It's absolutely crazy to me that today is the last day of 2014. I know they always say that the older you get the faster life seems to pass by, but I had no idea it would begin accelerating this quickly. I feel like the only one, but honestly I'm glad to see this year go. 2014 just wasn't that good to me. It involved a lot of unhappiness, and just a general feeling of wanting something/someone/somewhere else. It's kinda hard to put my finger on what exactly my problem was this year, but something was just off. I hadn't felt this miserable in years and part of that may have been because I was coming off of the best years of my life.

If you've been following along all year you'll know I did pretty well with my monthly goals. I'll end the year with $385 in my me jar to spend on anything I want without feeling guilty or frivolous. This was  a great way of keeping myself accountable all year and really feeling like I was doing something with my life. I'll be doing the same thing in 2015. I still haven't really figured out what I want to buy, but I'm playing with the idea of buying stock. Anybody with any experience/advice in this department I'd love to hear what you have to say. Another option I'm considering is to put it into the bank to save and put towards the new laptop I'm sure I'm going to need to buy in 2015. I just can't imagine my 2008 macbook lasting a whole year and the apple price tag is going to be a hard one to swallow, but this extra almost $400 makes it more reasonable.

The same success can't be said for my year long resolutions. Of the 4 things I wanted to accomplish this year I actually didn't accomplish a single one. Can you say major failure? For 2015 I've decided to go in a different direction with these year long goals. Instead of specific things I'm going in a more general direction and only giving myself 3: add $5000 to my savings account, be healthier, be happier. How I accomplish these larger goals will probably differ from month to month allowing me the freedom to try different ways of making these work. My individual monthly goals will include at least one way to work on accomplishing one of these.

I had good success with my word of the year, breathe. It was directly responsible for my low levels of stress throughout the year. I think had it not been for this word I would have experienced even more unhappiness this year. When I first chose it last January I mentioned about how basic and non flashy of a word it was; and that's exactly what this past year has called for. 2014 really has been about just treading water and keeping my head above the surface so I can breathe. It might not have been pretty, but I made it to the end and sometimes that's what life is all about.

Wish me luck. I'm headed back to work tonight after 5 days off, as if having to work NYE night wasn't bad enough already. I did get lucky and get off before midnight so I'll miss the drunks trying to find a midnight kiss. And maybe if I'm really lucky I'll snag a bowl of the snow crab and brie mac&cheese we're serving at the invitation only dinner.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Managing your Finances : A Guest Post

I'm really excited to have a totally different type of post to share today; my first guest post! I've guest posted before for other bloggers, but this is the first time I'm having someone guest post here. Today Koryn of Pick Your Beau and I are swapping things up and sharing our favorite post from 2014 with each other's readers. I'm really excited to share this post with y'all today because I think it is so timely; managing my finances, sticking to a budget, and building my savings are all big goals I've set for myself in 2015. Be sure to go check out my favorite post and stick around because I know you'll love the things Koryn writes.


First things first, I am not a professional on this subject what so ever. Although I am a finance major, I still have a lot to learn to take this post with a  grain of salt. (It's just the budgeting system I have found works best for me right now.)


Being in college, it is a great day if I have over $400 in my bank account. If you're currently in college, or have since graduated you know what I'm talking about. I am very fortunate and very blessed that my parents cover my tuition and rent, as well as part of my living expenses. The rest however (like my groceries and personal spending aka shopping) are up to me to cover. And even though I have a job, I don't work 24/7 because I'm still a full time student.

To me managing my finances isn't just about knowing how to budget my money, but also saving money whenever I can.

This is what you will need -
  1. An agenda or planner // I don't mean a special financial one, just any one that you generally use for day to day. You can see some of my favorite picks for this fall here.
  2. Microsoft Office // Most colleges offer office to their students either for free or at a discounted price. Downloading it from your school really saves you quite a bit! For my Macbook Pro, the software currently cost $139.99 (yikes!
  3. A Credit Card // Sounds dangerous right? Actually, college is the PERFECT time to get a credit card. I cannot emphasize this enough! Those four (or five + if you plan on graduate school) years is the best time to build up your credit so that when you go to graduate and do all of those adult things (like buying your own car) your credit score will already be good to go and its easier to be approved for loans! I recommend a cash back card - for example the Discover It card which is made for students.
Starting with your planner, I organize mine by writing anything financial or work related in the calendar view and anything school related in the weekly view. This keeps my finances and school completely separate - and gives me a bigger view of what the month will look like money-wise for me. For example, I get paid bi-weekly from my job, and on the off weeks my dad gives me a little something to help. This way, I can see exactly where my money is coming from every friday and approximately how much it should be. It also helps me to remember that $25 from my checking automatically goes into my savings each month - this way I can make sure to take it out of my excel sheet. If the money is never there I never miss it!



(This is my new Jumbo Tusk In Sun Lilly Pulitzer agenda showing August, so there isn't much information just yet! I typically plan everything out on the first of the month.)

While school is in session, I use MS Office all the time! Whether I'm writing a paper or doing a group powerpoint, its always one of the most used programs on my computer. Excel especially is my favorite, because this is how I keep track of my assets and liabilities, as well as my net income. All accounting terms aside, this simply means I know exactly how much is in my checking account, my savings account, and anything I have charged to either my Discover card or any store cards. At the bottom of the page I have all the money I currently have minus how much I owe, which lets me know what my real "spending money" is.


Simple enough, right?

Now back to the credit card. Don't be daunted by the idea that "credit cards are bad for you". A credit card is simply a tool - something you can use to both build up and destroy your credit. It's all in how you use it. You have to spend smart - I only use my credit card for gas and groceries (or larger college expenses like textbooks). Gas and groceries, gas and groceries, gas and groceries. That gorgeous dress at my local boutique? If I really need it (which 9 out of 10 times I don't), I either pay cash or use my debit card. When you have to pay for something upfront it makes you think more about whatever you're buying. If I buy that dress now, I won't be able to go out to dinner with friends over the weekend.

No one ever realizes that if you pay off your credit balance before your statement arrives that the payment you just made does not contribute to your credit score. So always, always, always wait until you receive your statement before you pay off your card! The whole point of getting a card is to build your credit - something you're not doing if you pay it off same day. You might as well have just used your debit card if you're going to do that.

So now that you know how to plan out and budget your money, you have to start saving-
  1. Coupons // Although time consuming, coupons are basically like free money. There is a fabulous guide for beginners here. Also, shopping at a different store can save you some serious bucks. I had been shopping at the Harris Teeter in town ever since I went to college and was shocked when I walked into a Food Lion at how inexpensive everything was compared to HT's prices! (And don't forget, Dollar Tree carries a wide variety of supermarket brands and everything is only $1.)
  2. Drink More Water // Besides the fact that water is amazing for you (see recent post here), if you have a sink or faucet in your dorm room or apartment its FREE! Oh and when you go out to a restaurant? 99% of the time its free there too. Just make sure to invest in a reusable water bottle because disposable bottles can get expensive real quick.
  3. Utilize That Discount // So many places give student discounts (or military, AAA, etc) - always ask before purchasing anything! (Especially with techy items - I got $200 off my Macbook Pro just for being a student)
  4. Housing // This is more so location specific, but it has been my experience that living in a student apartment complex is actually cheaper than living in the dorms. Yes, I have three roommates and a tiny room - but its MY room with MY own bathroom and closet and a million times better than living in the dorms. And saving that nice little $1200? I'm definitely a fan.
  5. Have Fun Without Spending Money //  When you do a cookout run with friends or sit and catch up over Starbucks thats money out of your pocket. And while the $5 for a cup of coffee may seem insignificant at the time, think about how it adds up. One of my best friends and I would always get coffee twice a week, once before class and once before our group meeting. There are typically 16 weeks in a college semester. 16 weeks times $10 a week... thats an easy $160 I could have used to buy a new Longchamp or put aside for Spring Break. Try going on a hike together or having a Netflix and wine night instead - just as much fun and so much cheaper!
How to you manage your money while in school?! Let me know!

Always, kTm

*I am no financial expert nor is this a sponsored post - all views and images are my own.

Monday, December 29, 2014

My life by the numbers Vol:2

I first wrote one of these posts back in July and thought it would be a fun way to end the year by writing another one. I think I'll try to write one every few months to serve as a way to see how things have changed in my life. Another reason I'm writing this post today is because I'm a little lazy. I haven't fully recovered from my very fun weekend off from work and I just don't really have the brain energy to write a masterpiece of wit right now. It's a widely known fact that list posts are just about as easy as they come when writing a blog. I really want to be on the ball and get a few days worth of posts written later today and then spend Tuesday working on some none blog related items. So an easy/lazy blog post is what you get today!



4: the number of different lip colors I have in my purse
9: the number of empty boxes sitting in my room waiting to be taken to the trash
15: the number of times I watched Elf this holiday season
61: the number of pages I have left in Gone Girl
197: the number of dollars I need to reach my savings goal for the year
216: the number of followers I have on Twitter
311: the number of posts I've made on Instagram

Friday, December 26, 2014

14 favorite Instagram photos of 2014

2014 was the year of Instagram. I know it's been around for longer, but I really feel like it took off this year - Side note I'm predicting the same thing happens to SnapChat in 2015 as businesses wise up to how to use it for marketing. Bauble Bar is already majorly excelling and I think it's just a matter of time before others catch on. - From countless #ootd selfies to the seemingly endless loop giveaways Instagram became the social media of choice for many of us. Today I want to share my 14 favorite Instagram photos of 2014


The perfect start to the Memorial Day weekend


They said 23 candles were too many for a cupcake


Celebrating #NationalCoffeeDay with a little reward for being so productive this morning


And so the night begins #TeamBride 


Spending some quiet time with my bible this morning to remind myself that even though I will never truly wake up flawless I have a Lord that loves and wants me even with all my flaws 


My trust fund may only have pennies and dimes but my Kendra Scott earrings, first pumpkin iced coffee of the year, and a fresh mani have me feeling like a million bucks today 


The modern southern woman doesn't think twice about mixing leopard and her grandmother's pearls 


Shrimp and avocado salad with a frozen margarita made for a good hot summer night dinner 


A few of my favorite things: leopard, OPI I eat Mainely lobster, my bow ring, pearls, bright lipstick, and my sorority and alma mater 


George Strait pandora on, margarita poured, now to start chopping these peppers and onion for my homemade fajita dinner 


My new outlook on life


Got my frozen coke and a bag of peach rings ready to hit the road back home


Random Mondays in the best college town call for a little patio day drinking 


This donut was free and your next one can be too. Go learn how on the blog today


And a bonus! My most popular Instagram post of 2014
I <3 pretty things 

Make sure you're following along so you don't miss any of my 2015 adventures!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

3 Ingredient Peppermint Bark

One of my favorite Christmas treats is peppermint bark. Some people count down the days until Eggnog is found in the grocery stores, but I just can't get enough peppermint bark. The mixture of chocolate and cool peppermint just can't be beat. Usually I'm lazy and just buy the Ghirardelli squares by the bag, but this year I thought I'd try making my own. It was super easy to make, like 3 ingredients easy, and turned out pretty dang delicious if I do say so myself.



Place unwrapped candy canes in a large ziplock bag. I used 4 candy canes per pan, but you could do more if you like it really pepperminty. Using a hammer or rolling pin break up the candy canes into bite size pieces. It's really important to make sure that you really break them up or someone will break a tooth trying to bite into a too large piece.


Melt half a bag of dark chocolate chips (about 6 oz) on medium/low heat using a double boiler. For those new to baking that simply means you take a large but shallow pan and fill it with enough water to cover the bottom about half an inch high; you then take your smaller sauce pan and place it in the larger water filled pan. For some reason having this water barrier allows you to melt chocolate without it burning; I'm sure there's a scientific reason why this works, but I don't really know it. Pour the melted chocolate into a pan lined with wax paper. I used the smaller square throwaway type pans, but you could use anything you have at home. Just make sure the melted chocolate is even and not too thick.



Now you're going to melt half a bag of white chocolate chips using the same method. I find that it's easier to burn white chocolate so you'll really have to make sure to keep stirring and maybe even lower your heat a little. Once all the chocolate is melted stir in about a hand full of your broken candy cane pieces. Once blended together pour the white chocolate onto your dark chocolate. Again, it's important to make sure that you spread it evenly across so it's not too thick in places.



Pour the remainder of the candy cane pieces atop. Let cool (I gave mine about 2 hours) and then cover overnight so it can fully harden. The next morning place your chocolate in a large ziplock bag to break apart. I put mine on the edge of the counter and it broke really easily, but I've also seen people gently use a hammer for this part.



If you don't like the double chocolate you could use just white chocolate or just dark or even just milk; it's really up to you and what you like. This is a great alternative treat to bring to a cookie swap or to the office to share during the holidays.


What's your favorite holiday recipe?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Favorite Songs of 2014

It's no secret I love music. I've always been one of those people that just can't concentrate in total silence. Wether it be working on homework, cleaning my room, or going to sleep; 10 out of 10 times I'm doing it with music in the background. Today I'm really excited to share my favorite songs from 2014. I'm extra excited because it's a linkup meaning not only do I get to creep on everyone else's favorites but maybe I'll also discover or rediscover a new favorite

The Best Songs Of 2014

I think this playlist is fabulous because I made it it's a great combination of songs that should appeal to a wide variety of people. I've never been one of those people who only enjoys one type of music. If a song is good I'll listen to it, no matter what genre it falls under. Life is just more interesting with variety and this playlist reflects that.




Obviously missing from this playlist is Taylor Swift. I've already shared how much I love her newest CD, so just pretend like Shake it Off is wedged in there between Katy Perry and Calvin Harris.

Monday, December 15, 2014

9 things I learned from my first year working

A couple of days ago I officially celebrated my one year work anniversary! It was a very unglamorous celebration consisting of my baking some chocolate chip cookies to bring and share with the rest of the marketing department. I've had some highs and some lows over the past year, but overall I am thankful that I have a job that pays me. It's crazy to think that I've been there a year, in some ways it seems much longer but in others it seems like just yesterday I was announcing my big switch from professional stay at home daughter to working girl. Today I wanted to share 9 things I learned from my first year working.


  1. not having skip days, like in college, is hard
  2. but being dependable and having perfect attendance is worth it in the long run 
  3. dressing up every day can get expensive so invest in pieces you're able to mix and match
  4. make friends with people in different departments, at some point you'll need their help
  5. you might not like your job, but someone hates theirs more
  6. there are many jobs that are much worse than yours
  7. find the one thing you most enjoy about your position and remind yourself of it daily 
  8. not everyone will like you, and that's okay
  9. at the end of the day your supervisor's opinion of your work is the one that really matters

What's the most important thing you've learned since joining the working world? As a young professional I'd love to hear any advice.


PS: my supervisor is putting together my review today and I receive it Wednesday, all positive vibes and prayers sent my way appreciated

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Links

Happy Friday! Can you believe how close to Christmas we are!? I'm hoping to have all my Christmas shopping done by Monday and then spend the day wrapping and watching some of my favorite Christmas movies. One gift having a little trouble with though is for a friend moving to Colorado. I want to get him a winter beanie to wear skiing, but I know nothing about cold weather so don't know what brands are good. Anyone have a suggestion?

If you don't think this is the best part of this movie, you're wrong 


I feel like I read so many gems of articles this week; I guess with the end of the year coming up everyone is trying to get a few extra hits to finish strong. Here are my top 5

1. The most important fictional characters of 2014 - I personally found this more interesting than the article on the Ebola fighters. In many ways pop culture fictional people and places make a bigger impact than real life events.
2. The hardest places in America to live - This was an interesting read, that really reenforces how blessed I am this holiday. Also I was surprised to not see a Mississippi town listed in the #1 spot
3. Most important street address in 2014 - This is probably the most creative way I've seen a "top news stories of the year" article written. When I first saw the title I didn't think I'd be able to match any of the addresses with the stories, but I was surprised that I actually got them all.
4. Worst professor ever - I have two thoughts on this story 1.) I really hope this was just a PR stunt this professor pulled to help out his favorite takeout place. and 2.) Can you imagine being in this guy's class? I really hope someone gives him a dose of his own medicine and when he messes up a grade, they threaten to sue
5. 40 commonly misused words and how to use them correctly - Hi, I am a college graduate and I still sometimes don't have perfect grammar without having to think about it first. This is a great little cheat sheet to bookmark for future use


Read anything great this week you want to share?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas playlist

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the movies, the elegantly wrapped gifts under trees, and the lights. I love the sense of merriment and general goodwill expressed during the season, plus we're celebrating Jesus' birthday and I love birthdays! Also I obviously love the music. Confession: my favorite Christmas carol is Do you Hear what I Hear and I may or may not have forced my family to  wrap all the gifts last year listening to a playlist of nothing but different versions of it until they took DJing responsibilities away from me. In an effort to regain control of the music this year I've put together a playlist of my other favorites, which only includes two versions of DYHWIH (yes I did just abbreviate it).




One last note: The Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth is originally a version with David Bowie and Bing Crosby, but Spotify doesn't have it. It's actually really hard to find, as in I had to order it online before I could find a copy, but it's my favorite version of a Christmas song ever.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Warby Parker's Concentric Collection

Did you know today Warby Parker is launching their new collection, the Concentric Collection? Well now you do!

For those of us you not up-to-date on our your 7th grade vocabulary words I'll remind us you that concentric basically means a circular shape outlined with another circular shape. Okay, I know what you're thinking, why would anyone want circular glasses? But these aren't your normal Harry Potter round glasses, these have an almost boxy shape to them that gives off a modern yet classic vibe. A special technology allows for the subtle color difference around the lenses. The collection is made up of three new frames: Benchly, Everly, and Murphy.

oh look I suddenly grew my hair back out and got my brows done! LOL JK that's not me


In addition to the three new styles of frames, the Concentric Collection also introduces a new color. Whistler Gray, not to be confused with Wolf Gray like I keep wanting to call it, is a fun new neutral. I'll never understand how people can do a bright colored frame for everyday wear; in my opinion neutrals are simply the superior choice. I've seen black, brown, and tortoise, but I've never seen gray before now. These would be a great way to help lighten your face especially during the winter when everything is so dark and drab. These also would be a great thing to find waiting for me under the tree Christmas morning (hint hint).



The Concentric Collection is available starting today in stores and online. This new collection will turn being called Four Eyes into your newest favorite compliment. Have perfect 20/20 vision? They also make sunglasses!

this model is as much my boyfriend as any other male on this planet 


Now I want to be very transparent and say that I do not own a pair of glasses from Warby Parker, so if you buy these and hate them I'm sorry. I know a few people who've ordered them and are in L O VE with the pair they settled on, but I'm too big of a Nervous Nelly to order them. Plus my mom offered to go shopping with me/ pay for my last pair of glasses, so I quickly jumped on that offer before she could have the good sense to change her mind. But if you're brave/a person who doesn't get anxiety over silly things I think Warby Parker is a great thing! Most of their styles are just $95, this collection however is not, and include your prescription lenses. They let you select a few frames at a time to try on at home until you find the pair that gives you that desired secretly hot nerd look you want instead of feeling like tragic Harry Potter the early years. And probably my favorite feature is that when you buy a pair, they donate a pair to someone else. As someone who literally would die without my glasses I fully appreciate what a big deal this is for the person who's benefiting. It's actually pretty cool how they do it, and I suggest you watch the video explaining their process when you have time.

Monday, December 8, 2014

under $20 gift guide

Today's gift guide is probably the most important, yet under rated category that exists: under $20 gifts. These are great for stocking stuffers, Dirty Santa/White Elephant parties, office Secret Santas, or when you just plain have too many people on your buying list. These also make great emergency gifts. I hate nothing more than when someone gives me a gift and I don't have one to give in return; stock up on a few of these and if you don't gift them just keep them for yourself or save for them for unexpected events later in the year.

under $20 gifts, stocking stuffers, Secret Santa gifts, Office Christmas party, Gift Guide

What's really great about these gifts is that with a little enhancement you can make these into really great gifts. Add a 6 pack of fun craft beer to the Lilly koozie and I promise it'll be one of the biggest hits at your Dirty Santa party. Add a bottle of liquor or some bar ware (like these fun and inexpensive coasters) and the Tequila Mockingbird book is a great hostess gift for that cookie swap you're going to or for your boyfriend's parents that you're spending the holiday with. Fill the card wallet up with gift cards ($10 to Sonic, $15 to Target, $20 to Sephora, etc) and you've got a complete gift for your hard to buy for sister.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

December Goals

Okay so November wasn't the best month for me goals wise, and by that I mean I only completed one goal. And saying I totally completed it is being a little generous. I was thankful for the little things, but I wasn't so thankful for the big things. I didn't think I'd have to make it a goal to be thankful for the bigger things. So long story short, I'll only be adding $10 to my Me Jar this month bringing my total to $555.

This has nothing to do with my goals, but it's my favorite Christmas movie and this post needed a photo


For December goals I've decided to do something a little different. This month my goals are all the goals I didn't complete over the year. If you've been following along, you know this means there will be way more than 5 goals. Anything I didn't complete and get to add money into my Me Jar for is on the table, but I've decided to highlight a couple that I really want to put energy into from now until the end of the year. These are ones that I've chosen based on their ability to start my 2015 off right - side note how strange is it that we're already talking about 2015!? -

1. Keep a clean room all month / clean out my closet to donate
2. Read a book
3. Connect with other bloggers
4. Do a Secret Thing 10 times 



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

the best new Taylor Swift songs

Today I want to share something with y'all that I feel I'm an expert on: the best songs on Taylor Swift's new CD 1989. Now I'm no music critic, but I'm in TSwift's main demographic of fans and I have listened to the CD about a million times now so I feel qualified in making this claim. My love for TSwift is well documented here, but I'll admit I was really nervous about this CD. I didn't know how I felt about a 100% non country TSwift, but I think she pulled it off flawlessly. I don't love this one as much as Red, but I'd give it 3.75 stars out of 5, mainly because I feel like she totally embraces her true self in this one.





1. Blank Space - This is hands down the best song on the CD and maybe Taylor's best song ever. I love that she embraces and totally owns her crazy relationship side. I don't relate to this song in any way and it's still my favorite (my list of ex lovers is very short); I think that just proves what a great song it is.
2. Style - This is probably the song I relate to the most on the 1989. I think we've all had that relationship that ended but not fully, wether it's your first love or just someone along the way until you meet your forever someone, you seem to forget why you didn't work every time you're together.
3. New Romantics - I really think this will be the next single off this CD. It could easily become the anthem of 20somethings and I think she could make a good video for it. I find myself humming this one more than any other song.
4. Shake it Off - There's a reason this was the first single off the CD. It's catchy, fun, and has a good message. Plus the video with awkward dancing TSwift is beyond adorable.
5. Bad Blood - If TSwift puts out an album and doesn't include a breakup song, did she really put out an album? Luckily this song makes us not have to ponder that question. Think of this as an updated version of Picture to Burn


Songs okay to skip: "Out of the Woods" and "I know Places"


Monday, December 1, 2014

gift guide : items I own and love

Do you ever look at gift guides, see something that catches your eye, but don't get it because you don't know anyone who actually has it and likes it? This happens to me all the time. I love looking at gift guides from other bloggers, but 99% of the time the items they're listing aren't things they own, or when they are, they received them "care off".  Today I'm sharing 9 items that I own, use, and love that would make great gifts to give or receive.



mini state necklace - I am totally obsessed with Mississippi and I want everyone to know it. This tiny necklace is a great way to show my Magnolia State pride (except when people are dumb and think it's Alabama....) I have the tortoise, but it also comes in fun bright colors like hot pink and emerald
tassel earrings  - These are one of my favorite pair of statement earrings. The gold and crystal make them very versatile and they make me feel like something out of The Great Gatsby
reusable cup with straw - I use one of these every single day at work. Wether it's going to work, class, or just running errands in your car I promise this is one gift that will get a ton of use. This Lilly print is fun and bright and adding a monogram makes it extra special.
watch - Okay so I realize this is by far the most expensive item on this gift guide, but I promise it is 1000% worth the price. I've worn this watch every day since I got it for Christmas in 2011, making it price per wear a very inexpensive item. It's a timeless and elegant addition you won't regret.
Alex and Ani bracelet  - I mentioned my love for these when I shared my wish list, but I love it so much I had to share again. I have my zodiac sign and a St. Anthony bangle; with their wide variety I know you'll find one to fit any personality. The initial and birthstone ones are really popular and the sorority ones would make a great gift for a sorority sister.
arrow earrings - These have become my go-to everyday simple earrings. The shape is more exciting than your usual square or circle and the pop of color is just plain fun, but they also come in white and black if you want something a little more neutral
drusy necklace - I think this might be my favorite necklace of all time. It's perfect for layering with other pieces or to wear alone; it's sparkly but not overwhelming. I have it in multi but the gold one is beautiful too
glitter wine glass - If you're my friend on snapchat you know how much I love this. I bought this with a giftcard I won in a giveaway over summer and I can't even tell you how much use it's gotten. Add a monogram and a bottle of wine and this is a perfect gift for any girl friend
pajama pants - most comfy pajama pants ever! I don't like to sleep in pants because I have to sleep under so many blankets, but these are the best for relaxing on lazy mornings or for curling up on the couch at night. I currently own the pink/gray leopard print but I have a feeling I'll be purchasing a second pair before winter is over

What items do you own and love that would make great gifts?


PS: most of these items are on sale today for Cyber Monday! So go shop them now

Thursday, November 27, 2014

finding thankfulness

I have a confession, I'm having a kinda hard time feeling very thankful this Thanksgiving. The holiday season from Thanksgiving prep into Christmas is my favorite time of year, but lately I just haven't been feeling very happy. The last time I was this indifferent to the holidays was in 2005, a couple months after losing everything in Hurricane Katrina.

I think it's finally really hitting me that I'll be working every holiday this year and that means missing out on the family time that we traditionally associate with holidays. I'm about a week away from my 1 year work anniversary, by the end of this year I'll have worked Easter, July 4th, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day all twice. I mentioned that I won't be able to Black Friday shop with my sisters like we've done every year since 2005, and I'm also going to miss out on Christmas Eve Mass and our family tradition of eating Chinese that night. These things might seem small and silly to most, but to me they're some of my favorite activities all year. The whole reason I'm living at home still is because I genuinely really enjoy spending time with my family, but lately I haven't been doing very much of that because of our busy schedules.
You know that saying "can't see the trees for the forrest", that's something I'm falling into lately. I'm really trying to make an effort to remember today to remember the little things I have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that I have a family I want to spend the holidays with; it's so sad when I see people at work who have nobody to spend these special days with
I'm thankful that I have a warm bed and cozy PJs to look forward to when I come home after work, and I'm especially thankful that I don't have to worry about how I'm going to make my rent each month
I'm thankful that my today doesn't mean it has to be my tomorrow; I have the skills and ability to make my life into one I'm more excited about living