Monday, March 31, 2014

Easter Giveaway!

Did you see Friday's post about my big exciting announcement!? Or maybe you saw my Instagram post last night? Or my tweet talking about my excitement for today? Well Monday is finally here and I'm so excited to share it with you! I'm hosting my first Giveaway for From Mississippi With Love readers!

This is something I've been wanting to do since I won my first giveaway last Fall, and then when I won another one in February I knew it was just a matter of finding the right prize/time. Receiving my prizes in the mail was so much fun and made me feel so special I knew I wanted to share that excitement with one of my readers. So today I give you my Easter Giveaway!

When I was little I loved getting an Easter basket each Spring. They were never filled with extravagant expensive gifts like under the Christmas tree, but I looked forward to it just the same. The Easter Bunny always did such a fabulous job of finding the perfect little happies to fill up my basket. One of my favorite gifts I've ever received was a jumprope with a stick of little eggs as the handles that was in my basket when I was about 7. Now I've decided to play Easter Bunny and give one of you a collection of little things I'd love to receive in my basket now.

1. Lilly Pulitzer Koozie - What girl wouldn't love to find something Lilly in her Easter basket!? This Sippin' and Trippin' print is perfect for spring; it's bright and fun with little hidden seahorses. Your Miller Lite Diet Coke will stay nice and cold while looking oh so stylish

2. Note Cards - I believe you can never have too many note cards. These cute little cards with adorable envelopes will be perfect for sending a Thank You to your grandmother or a Congratulations to your best friend for a big work promotion.

3. Travel Pouch - I'm always looking for little bags to use to keep everything organized in my larger purses. This turquoise and metallic gold bag is super versatile. I personally would use it to hold lipstick, mascara, powder, and a toothbrush/mints for touchups during the work day.

4. Elastic Hair Ties - If you're like me you've bought 55 million of these and now can only locate about two. With warm weather finally on its way you won't have to dig around as much for something to use to throw your hair up in a topknot.

5. Statement Earrings - If I'm being honest I almost kept these for myself. In this year's "IT" color these earrings will instantly upgrade any outfit.

6. EOS Egg - Because is it really an Easter basket without an egg? This strawberry sorbet lip balm will have your significant other begging you for kisses

7. Jelly Beans - Jelly Beans are my very favorite Easter candy so obviously I had to include some! Plus these won't be a melty mess when they arrive on your door step

The giveaway will close at midnight on April 8, so you have a little over a week to enter, but you should go ahead and do it now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS: Because of shipping costs this giveaway is only open to those with a US address. Sorry to any international readers!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Five

1. I have a BIG exciting announcement for Monday! I spent my off days this week working on this project that I'm so excited to share with y'all. Be sure to check back for Monday's post because you will not want to miss this! Here's a hint: it starts with a G and rhymes with castaway!!

2. Have you seen this Snickers Commercial? I personally really love it. Not only is it a creative take on Snickers' "you're not you when you're hungry" tag line but I think it really makes people stop and think. As someone who gets hit on all the time in my normal life ( I work in an environment where I'm constantly in contact with drunk men) I would love for someone to tell me my brain in beautiful instead of my lips.

3. I've been loving all the oversized clutches I've seen popping up this season. While I'd love to own one of the Gigi New York Uber Clutches I'm not ready to spend that much on a clutch, so this noname one I snagged from TJ Maxx for just $18 will have to do for now.

I really want to get a bright colored tassel to complete the look. Anyone have a suggestion for one that won't fall apart but also won't cost a day's worth of my pay check?

4. I fully accept that I have the taste of a 8 year old girl when it comes to movies, but I seriously don't think I'll ever outgrow Disney movies. This mashup of Disney songs is so wonderfully amazing I just want to listen to it on repeat for forever. Yes it's long, but if you love Disney movies as much as I do don't stop until you've listened to the whole thing.

5. Linking up with Whitney today because duh, it's #BackThatAzzUp Friday
New Shoes by Paolo Nutini on Grooveshark

Thursday, March 27, 2014

trendy things I never loved

I'm not going to sit here and pretend I haven't jumped on a fad or become weirdly obsessed with something. But as much as I try there are just some trendy things I can't make myself love. I'm usually super easy to peer pressure into liking whatever society says is cool, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Pretty Little Liars - Honestly the whole concept of this one freaks me out. I don't want to watch a show about a girl who may or may not be dead or may or may not being trying to get revenge on you. I think that's what it's about at least. Other popular television shows I could never get into include: The OC, The Office, and Girls

Hello Kitty - I've known girls who were literally obsessed with Hello Kitty and I just never understood. It's not a cartoon, a movie, or a book, so where did it come from? It's just a strange, random white cat and I don't get it.

Carmel Macchiatos - What even is a macchiato? I had a friend who LOVED getting these from the Starbucks in our campus library every time we'd go to study. I'd rather stick to my iced skinny vanilla latte, which yes I realize is a complicated popular drink too. The other Starbucks drink I don't love is the passion fruit teas, but that's because I'm allergic.

David Yurman - I'm probably 1 of maybe 5 girls who doesn't like these bracelets. Honestly I've just never seen the appeal. Yes it's nice to know you have a quality piece of jewelry that won't turn your wrist green when you wear it, but I just don't think these are that pretty.

Vine - From the start I knew this was one form of social media that just didn't have staying power. A whole app just for people to post 6 second videos? No thanks. When Instagram introduced the videos I was so thankful to see this little app start to decline in popularity.

Uggs - I'm slightly embarrassed to say there were about 2 weeks during my freshman year of college when I wanted a pair of these, thankfully I quickly came to my senses. As they say, ugg is short for ugly.

Paleo - In my mind cheese is it's own food group. And as Honest Toddler said, cavemen would have loved cinnamon rolls.

Twilight - Girls spend hundreds of dollars a year to make sure we aren't sickly pale, so why do they think a guy that's so pale he literally glows is hot? Oh you're team Jacob? Glad to know you're super into pedophiles with back hair.

Drunk In Love - I love Queen B, but I don't love this song. At all. I get that people love that it's her and Jay Z together, but I much prefer Crazy in Love

Trendy Things I do love:
Miley Cyrus, Scandal, Michael Kors watches, Mean Girls, top knots, Lilly Pulitzer, wearing leggings as pants, and The Great Gatsby.

Little Friday

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Letting it Be

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me. Shine until tomorrow. Let it be.

I might have mentioned it somewhere on here before that this is my very favorite song. Lately I've been feeling a little overwhelmed about how under whelmed I am about parts of my life. I feel like I'm just having failure after failure after failure. I'm really trying to heed the advice of this song and just let it be, but I'm not being as successful as I'd like.

Remember how my word for 2014 is breathe? Yeah, I'm having a little trouble with that. I have all these goals for myself that I'm honestly too afraid to share with anyone else for fear of not reaching them. Some are serious goals and some not so much. Some I'm making progress towards and with others I'm stuck in a rut. Some have time lines that make sense, others I base around silly things: I'm going to achieve xyz by the Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale - things that make zero sense!

I think part of my problem is I'm not living my life in a way I'd always imagined I would be at this point. And the scariest part is that the life I always imagined and thought I wanted now doesn't have the same luster it once did. Now I'm trying to figure out how I actually want to live my life. Where do I want to be? What do I want to be doing? Who do I want to become? For lack of a better phrase, I need to "find myself."

Anyone else experiencing this? Do I just need to take a step back and let the pieces fall where they might? Am I just a normal 22 year old or is my life as much in shambles as I think?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

7 places I would not like to live

I had so much fun writing my post about places I would like to live that I decided to make a list of places I wouldn't like to live. Again, I haven't been to most of these so they could be very lovely places to call home. I'm just very influenced by my own perceptions of what I think these places are like. Please don't hate me if your hometown is on this list!

Atlanta - I know tons of people who call Atlanta home and love it, but I've just never been a big fan. I am however a big fan of the world of coke museum and the Braves. Atlanta is just too urban without really being a big city in my mind. Plus I really don't like those dirty bird Falcons.

California - one word: Earthquakes. In my mind earthquakes are the single worst natural disaster; you get zero warning. With hurricanes, wild fires, and tornadoes you at least get a little warning, even if it's just knowing that conditions are favorable, but you don't get that with an earthquake. I could never live in California because I would live in constant fear that a giant building would crumble on me.

Chicago - I don't know why but to me Chicago just seems like it'd always be freezing, maybe it's the nickname "windy city." If there's one thing I learned from this winter it's that I can not live somewhere that frequently experiences temps in the single digits. So really I hate to say it but I think the entire mid west has to be crossed off my list.

Denver - I was born in New Orleans, a city that sits mostly below sea level, I would die in the Mile High City. When my family lived in Birmingham briefly we experienced altitude sickness just from those tiny mountains. Life in the Rockies is not for me.

Hawaii - While living on a tropical warm paradise island certainly would be nice the thought of how much it'd cost to go just about anywhere else is just too much. Want to come home for Christmas? Well that'd cost me just under $1000 (on the cheap days!) and close to 18 hours of travel time (seriously I just looked it up). Plus my mom gets super motion sick on flights so she'd never be able to come visit.

Seattle - I don't think I'm hipster enough to live in Seattle. I imagine everyone wears plaid, works for Microsoft, and walks around drinking black coffee. Plus I need my hair to not be in a constant state of frizz #curlyhairproblems

Runner Up: New York City - I know most 20somethings would give their right leg to move to New York, but I've just never seen the appeal. I would however move there for the right job; a secret dream job of mine has always been to work as a publicist for a children's division of a book publishing company.

Even though I wouldn't like to live in any of these destinations, I would really love to go visit each of them! So if you live in any of these and want a house guest let me know! Oh and I'd love to hear from anyone who calls any of these home about why you love living there.

Monday, March 24, 2014

the tonight show takes on foreign policy

Saturday I worked all day and then came home and fell asleep while watching tv. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, except taking a 2 hour nap at 8pm when you have to be at work the next morning isn't the greatest idea. Once my sister woke me up, I'd showered and gotten into bed I of course couldn't fall back asleep. When I need to stay awake I'm nothing but sleepy, but as soon as it's important I get a good night's rest I get full fledged insomnia.

Whenever I can't sleep I always think looking at my computer screen will help, yes I realize this is the opposite of what everyone says but I swear it helps me. What started as binge watching Beyonce videos some how brought me to a collection of the "Tonight Show" videos. I don't really do night time talk shows, honestly I hardly ever think they're funny, but after watching some of these I've decided Jimmy Fallon is really pretty funny. I think this one was my favorite that I watched.


And that's all I've got for you today

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Five

Two Friday Five posts in 2 weeks!? Hot dog I'm on a roll!

1. A giant plane is still missing! Like guys how in the world does this happen!? Almost 2 weeks and still no clear idea of where it went. I just can't believe that nobody has a satellite in that area that picked it up. We're not talking about some tiny little private plane, this was a massive jet. The latest news (as I write this on Thursday night) is that they might possibly have found some debris from flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia, but this area is known for collecting garbage so they really aren't even convinced it's related. Oh and this area is so remote that search planes can only hold enough fuel to search for about 2 hours before having to head back towards land.

2. WINTER IS OVER! Yes that sentence needed to be in all caps and if you disagree you probably live in Hawaii where it's always summer time. I'm so excited to wear pastels and floral prints and hopefully soon open toed shoes and sundresses. Thank goodness for the start of spring!

3. This list is literally the most perfect list I've ever seen. I can not even tell you how much I love it and how accurate it is. I've been seeing a lot of things like this pop up on the web lately and it just gives me such a good laugh because I so often fall into this little 20something female stereotype.

4. Want a good laugh? Go read this article. If you really need a good laugh read all the ones in the series. It's a comedy piece about an "entry-level try hard." I laugh every time I read one of these stories.

5. Obviously my number 5 is linking up with Whitney for BackthatAzzUP Recently I've been in a major Adele mood. Seriously how is her voice so perfect? I'm going to need her next album to come out ASAP

That's It, I Quit, I'm Movin' On (Live) by Adele on Grooveshark

Hope everyone enjoys this first weekend of spring!

PS: I'm also linking up here

Thursday, March 20, 2014

gifts from a secret admirer

Someone finds you wonderfully mysterious.

People are waiting for cues from you. Lead them well.

These were the two fortunes I received while eating Chinese food last week and I've taken them to mean that I have a secret admirer who wants to buy me gifts. I mean we all know that fortune cookies actually give you insight to your future, so what else could they mean.

I'm hoping if I do have a secret admirer (and just to be clear I totally do because a cookie told me so) he's really incredibly hot clever enough to find this little blog of mine. So dear secret admirer, today is your lucky day because I've picked out a few things that I would just love to have. I also wouldn't turn down wine, cash, or a tropical vacation.

PS: my shoe size is 7 and my middle name is Elizabeth. I wouldn't want you to get either of those wrong and I have to make a return.

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I can't wait for SUMMER - Link Up

Summer is my absolute favorite season. Yes it's hot, sometimes unbearably, but I always look forward to the first day I get into my car and burn my hand on the steering wheel. This summer is going to be different because it won't mean getting a break from school; it will still mean going to work 5 full days a week and trying to figure out how to dress business casual in 100 degree weather (seriously if anyone has any suggestions send them my way!)

I'm really excited to be linking up today to share why I can't wait for summer, but I quickly realized the list of things I love about this season are just too many to name. So instead I'm sharing my top 3 favorites:

1. Snowballs - If it isn't finely shaven ice it doesn't count so don't even try to hand it to me. When I was younger my favorite flavor was spearmint because it stained my mouth green, now I only eat pink, orange, or yellow ones because they don't stain.
2. Afternoons spent in the pool trying to get a tan - I am ridiculously pale which really isn't fair because my mom has a natural olive tone that with just a little sun makes her darker than Beyonce and my little sister can spend an hour in the sun and look like she speaks Spanish as her first language. I spend hours and hours in the sun sans sunscreen and I still have to search my body for tan lines.
3. My Birthday - I mean does this even need an explanation? Presents, cake, and an excuse to be the center of attention. What's not to love

Oh and of course the excuse to play my summer anthem on repeat!
Summer Girl by Leighton Meester on Grooveshark

 So why can't you wait for summer? Go link up and share!

Helene In Between

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

march madness

Happy March Madness! I'll be the first one to admit that I didn't follow college basketball at all this year, probably due to the fact that my Rebels didn't do so hot. We didn't even make the NIT (which is the tournament for those teams that don't make the real tournament), which makes me all the more glad I drove to watch them play in the tournament last year. But none of that was going to stop me from filling out my bracket this year.

I seriously love filling these things out. One year I was one buzzer beater away from a perfect bracket. My method is very simple, I just go with my gut. The only research I might do is finding out a team's mascot, colors, or location. But that's only when I don't know anything about either school. Sure I could make more informed picks by actually looking up the wins/loses of each team, but that would take part of the fun out of it if you ask me.

march madness bracket; southern blogger; sports blogger;

So this year I picked Florida to go all the way and win this thing. What was my pick based on you ask?
1. SEC loyalty!
2. After Florida State won in football they need a national title for bragging rights too
3. I remember hearing at one point this year that they were really good  

Who did you pick to win it all this year? If anyone else did a bracket post I'd love to read it!

PS: You should go enter this blogger bracket tournament. It only costs $5 to enter and the top 2 winners win cash, so you totally should go enter! I would except this is my zero spend week.

Monday, March 17, 2014

An Irish Blessing

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! I hope your day is filled with many green things and maybe even a leprechaun sighting.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Five

Are y'all so excited to see me here on a Friday? I think it's been a month since I wrote a Friday post, so I figured it was about time I got my act together and published something on the 6th day of the week.

1. First I just want to take the time to remind everyone that a plane disappeared last week and we still have zero idea where it is! A whole freaking plane with 239 people aboard just vanished without a trace. Why are more people not freaked out by this!? I'm not one for conspiracy theories but at this point the idea that it was abducted by aliens doesn't seem that much crazier than any other lead. I know one thing for sure, I sure am thankful I don't have a flight planned in the near future because I don't know if I'd want to get on it right now.

2. I've had a major shopping bug lately and I finally fed it this week. I do this super irresponsible thing where I slightly lose my mind and let myself buy whatever I want for a few days without feeling any guilt. I keep up with all the receipts and then usually end up returning half of what I bought, which is a win win because my bank account is happy again and I've fulfilled my need to shop. Two items I know I won't be returning: the best tshirt I've ever owned - seriously it is that fabulous I wish I'd bought it in every color. And these shoes! Originally $69 I got them for $11 from Belk. I also got a great pair for $24 that were originally $140, but those are sold out on Belk online.

3. If you have 2 minutes watch this video from the New York Times. It's part of a series called "What's in It" that takes foods and tells a little story about what's actually in it. This one is about the Cookie Dough Oreo (no Oreo will ever be as good as the Halloween Oreo!) but the Pumpkin Spice one is also an interesting watch. I found it via Carly of The College Prepster who always has great links.

4. I did my taxes this week and I officially feel like a real adult. My mom made me do them myself this year unlike in times past where I've started, gotten bored and started painting my nails instead leaving her to finish. It only took me an hour and a half, 5 dramatic snap chats, one Instagram post, and 8 times checking with my mom to make sure I was doing it right before I finished. If anyone knows of an attractive, single tax accountant who wants to do mine next year let me know! But the good news is I should be getting about $100 back this year so basically I'm rich!

5.  Have you heard about the new campaign to Ban Bossy? It comes a year after Sheryl Sandberg started telling us all to Lean In and has Beyonce has a spokesperson. You can read this article to get the gist of the movement and learn why we should all stop people when they try to tell you you're being bossy. Obviously there is no better choice for a song to end the week

Girls (Who Run The World) by Beyonce on Grooveshark

PS: I'm linking up here, here, and here today

Thursday, March 13, 2014

7 places I'd like to live

How many people live in the same place their whole life? I know I sure haven't. I've lived in 3 states- Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama - and even in Mississippi where I've spent most my life I've lived in 4 different towns. I love Mississippi and a part of me thinks I'll always consider it home, but I sure don't plan on living here for the rest of my life.

I'm craving a new adventure in life and I don't know a better adventure than moving to a new city. One of the last assignments I did in college was a massive group project in my business communications class where we had to pick two different cities and research them as if we were planning to move there. This project, while a major pain in my last semester of college, actually was super helpful in making me think about where I'd actually want to live after the Magnolia State.

So here are 7 places other than Mississippi that I'd like to live. I should mention that I haven't actually even been to most of these, my picks are based on google and my gut - two sources I 100% trust.

Austin - This city keeps popping up on lists of top places to live and it's easy to see why. Austin is one of the safest big cities, it's got tons of live music, and a relatively low cost of living. It's home to a lot of Fortune 500 companies, the University of Texas, and the state Capitol.

Charleston - I've just always imagined Charleston to be a picture perfect southern city full of polite beautiful people. Plus it's full of history and culture and on the coast so I'd still be able to get fresh seafood all the time. Even if I never move to Charleston I know I'll have to visit one day because it just looks so beautiful.

Dallas - The only part of Dallas I've ever visited is the airport but I know I'd just love living in this city. This is actually one of the cities I researched for my project so I feel like it's one of the most informed picks on this list. When I think of Dallas I think of big hair, margaritas, and some of my favorite bloggers/instagram accounts. I know I'd fit right in in the Big D!

Nashville - I've visited Nashville twice, both times for job interviews and I loved the city. It's a super easy drive to Oxford for weekend visits or back home for longer trips. Plus one of my best friends lives in Nashville so I would actually have someone to hang out with there. It's a big city but still very Southern plus who wouldn't want the chance to spot country music stars on a daily basis.

Raleigh - Raleigh is the capitol of North Carolina which automatically makes a great place in my book. Add to that it's place in the Research Triangle, so most people are educated a major plus for this single girl looking for a potential husband one day down the road, and it's spot near the top of the list of best places for business and this city is a major winner. Plus I just really like the idea of telling people I live in Raleigh, it's such a cute name for a town.

San Antonio - Can you tell I really think I'd love living in Texas? People often forget about San Antonio when they're talking about Texas, but this is actually a huge city that I feel like has a ton of pride. It's tourist attractions like the Alamo and River Walk combined with it's location in Texas Hill County make this a place I could see myself living. Plus it's named after St. Anthony and I just so happen to wear a St. Anthony medal bracelet daily. It's fate.

Washington DC - I've already documented my love for the district so of course it would need to be on this list. I would have moved there in a heart beat after graduation if it hadn't been so expensive. I don't think I'd want to live here forever, because I'd want to live in the city not a suburb and I don't envision raising a family in a 1 bedroom apartment, but it'd be such a great city to call home as a young professional.

So if you know of any PR/Communications firms hiring entry level positions in any of these cities let me know! If you're hiring in one of these cities you can go straight to my LinkedIn page to see why I'd be the best hire of your year. Thanks to living at home with minimal expenses I'm prepared to pay to relocate; I just need a job in a new city first because apartments have this funny thing against renting to unemployed 22 year olds.

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

mirror, mirror on the wall

Okay so the title maybe shouldn't have said on the wall, but "mirror, mirror in my hand" just doesn't have the same ring to it. Never the less I think we can all agree that these pocket compacts are the fairest of them all.
Pocket Compacts

Forever 21 really knocked it out of the park with these beauties. I just wish my nearest store wasn't nearly an hour away because as much as I adore these I can't justify spending more on shipping than a product costs. Every one of these mirrors costs less than $4; for some people that's less than a gallon of gas!

Which is your favorite? I'm torn between the lipstick and the Cats Meow.

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

the best beach towels

If you're on Spring Break this week, I probably hate you. Just kidding, Kinda.

But seriously, one of the worst parts of being an adult with a real job is no more spring break. So while all my friends still in school are enjoying their week off at the beach I'll be hustling at work trying to be a shining star of an employee. It's okay I'd rather work 40 hours a week than stretch out by the pool with a drink in my hand. And I'm loving all the snap chats of bikinis and sandy toes while I'm getting dressed in my business casual blazer and ballet flats. That is absolutely not true.

For those of you lucky enough to have a beach trip in your future, I've selflessly complied a collection of fabulous beach towels.
A few things to note:
That Forever21 towel is less than $11! Can you say steal
The New Yorker cover towel is from a collection of Conde Nast towels that are all adorable!
If someone bought me that elephant Hermes towel I would love them forever

That's all I have for today. PS: don't forget your SPF

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekend Update

This weekend was the most fun one I've had in forever. You may remember that I work every Saturday and Sunday which doesn't provide great material for a weekend update post. But this weekend I actually did something fun to share!

Saturday night I went to a fundraiser for my old high school. My dad's office bought a table and there was no way I was going to miss the chance to drink on my parents' tab see some of my old teachers. Even though I was tired from working all day I'm so so glad I went because I had the best time. The food was great, you may have seen my dessert plate on Instagram, as were the 4 cosmos I drank. But the true star of the evening was the band.

 The Molly Ringwalds are an 80s cover band and they're fabulous. I've heard of them before, but this was the first time I've ever gotten to experience them. And let me tell you, they did not disappoint. Luckily I have a father who loves to dance and a mother with a recently sprained ankle so I had a dance partner all night. I didn't feel even a little guilty about eating two helping of shrimp and grits because I burned those calories off on the dance floor jamming out to Jessie's Girl and Walk Like An Egyptian among others. Dressed up as iconic 80s musicians the Molly Ringwalds certainly put on a great show. They even make their own reenactments of the actual music videos that they show while singing.

If you ever get the chance to see The Molly Ringwalds perform don't pass it up! They've still got shows from Texas to Florida this Spring.

I was not compensated for this post in anyway. But if the Molly Ringwalds wanted to say thanks for my kind words by playing at my very distant wedding I wouldn't say no. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The tale of the Oyster

There once was an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had got into his shell.
It was only a grain,
But it gave him great pain. For oysters have feelings
Although they're so plain

Now, did he berate
The harsh workings of fate
That had brought him
To such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
And claim that the sea should
Have given him protection?

No- he said to himself
As he lay on a shell
Since I cannot remove it,
I shall try to improve it.
Now the years have rolled around,
As the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate
Destiny - stew.

And the small grain of sand
That had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.
Now the tale has a moral;
For isn't it grand
What an oyster can do
With a morsel of sand?

What couldn't we do
If we'd only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.
       - Author Unknown

This is a tale I can remember my mother telling me when I was younger that I've always loved. When I'm going through particularly trying times I try to be like the oyster and try to improve when I cannot remove. Wouldn't it be fabulous if we could all have such great positive attitudes like the oyster.

Most girls love wearing pearls because they're classic with understated elegance, but I really think my love of pearls comes from this story. When I wear my favorite strands I remember that something so beautiful started as just an irritation. Pearls are a great reminder that with the right attitude all things can and will improve.

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lenten promise

Today is Ash Wednesday which means the start of the Lenten Season. For Catholics (and maybe other religions I'm not really sure) this traditionally means giving up something in the next 40 days leading up to Easter. - Actually did you know that those 40 days don't count Sundays and actually end on Good Friday, not Easter? I just learned that last year. #TheMoreYouKnow

As I mentioned before last year I gave up all sweets, white grains, soft drinks, chips, and just about every other yummy snack that's not healthy; which was, well let's just say I went a little crazy each Sunday on cheat day. In high school one year I gave up using Facebook until my homework was 100% done for the day, which was actually probably my most successful Lent, it was a challenge but manageable. 

So what am I going to give up this year? Nothing. I'm not going to just completely ignore the season, but rather I'm going to do something instead. I'll never forget my 4th grade teacher telling our class that giving up candy was nice and all but that that wasn't really the point of Lent. Jesus didn't die for our sins so that we could pretend to be healthy for a month and a half each year. He died so that we could live. Remember Jesus wasn't an eye for an eye type of guy, so why would he want us to suffer and go with out (plus let's be honest going without Starbursts, Thin Mints, and Twitter even combined all together doesn't even come close to the suffering of being hung on a cross). All Jesus wants from us during Lent is to get closer to Him.

So this year for Lent I'm doing an online devotional. Each night before I go to sleep I'm going to do the reading and mediation. It's just a general devotional, not specifically geared towards women or anything like that. I'm really excited about this! I haven't done any type of Bible Study type thing since high school so I think this could really be what I'm needing in my spiritual life. If anyone else is interested in doing this devotional with me I'd love to do it with a partner in an online Bible Study type thing. Just shoot me an email!  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

laissez les bon temps rouler

For those of you not in the know, today is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. You've probably heard of this holiday and depending on where you live either think it's the best idea in the history of holidays or you completely utterly don't understand it. Luckily I live in a place that believes in celebrating this holiday and even enjoyed a full week off of school for it in elementary school. Lucky for me I'm off today so I plan on staying home where it's warm and dry and nobody is throwing things at my face or stomping on my feet and eating a slice or two four of king cake. Yes, I know that's a pretty tame way to celebrate the holiday most closely associated with binge drinking and public nudity. What can I say, I'm a rebel.

I had planned on giving you a fabulous post all about the history and customs of Mardi Gras (did you know it's actually from a religious holiday), but then I decided if you were actually really interested you've probably already read the Wikipedia page which is actually pretty accurate. So instead I'm just going to share this recipe to make your own king cake at home. It won't taste as good as a Haydel's Bakery one, but beggars can't be choosers.

southern blog; snow white mardi gras; girl dressed as snow white; mississippi blog

Plus as a little lagniappe I'm throwing in this picture of me riding in my preschool parade. I'm dressed as Snow White, obvi.

Glossy Blonde

Monday, March 3, 2014

February Goal Recap

Okay y'all today's post is hard to write. Nobody likes admitting that they failed a little bit, and that's what I did this month. After my super success with the January goals I was pumped to take that energy into February to continue completing my goals. But I fell short this month. In an effort to make sure it wasn't a "Full Failure February" I had "Frantic Finish February" which really isn't much better. I thought about not posting this and just skipping to my March goals without the February recap but then I realized how silly that would be. Not writing this post wouldn't magically change how I'd done with my goals. Here's how I did on my goals:

1. Try Red Wine - Completed! I tried a Pinot Noir from Decoy Winery (no, I did not go buy this bottle. Someone had given it to my dad as a gift a while back so it was sitting in the house) and it wasn't my favorite. I want to keep experimenting with this one and see if I can find a good go-to red wine I enjoy. I don't see myself giving up my white zinfandel anytime soon though.

2. Keep my room clean - Fail. But I actually don't feel that bad about this one. It's not that I didn't stick to this one because I didn't want to. When I was prioritizing tasks each day this one just didn't make it to the top of the list as often as I'd hoped. It's making a reappearance in March.

3. Write a letter - Half credit. I sent my friend a birthday card with a note written in it, but it wasn't long enough to be considered a letter.

4. Watch 2 movies - Completed! I watched Wedding Crashers and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Plus all of House of Cards Season 2. It was nice to have this time set aside to just relax and enjoy watching something.

5. 30 Day Squat challenge  - Major Failure. I did 4 days and stopped. After being at work on my feet for 8 hours the last thing I want to do when I get home (sometimes at 2:30 am) is 90 squats. I'm going to have to think of a better way to incorporate daily exercise, although most days when I leave work I feel like I've been to the gym.

So $25 gets added to my "me jar" for this month. Now onto my March Goals!

1. Keep my Room Clean

2. Update my "About Me" page - This has been on my to-do list for a while so I'm hoping that by moving it to my goal list I'll actually get around to doing it. Anyone have any suggestions for what they really like to see on these pages?

3. No spend week - For one week spend zero dollars. Not even on gas. I live with my parents so I don't have to worry about buying groceries or paying water bills so really this one should be easy. I've gotten in a bad habit though of stopping to pick up something to eat on my way home from work, especially when I get off late. Not only is this a cost that adds up, it's super not healthy.

4. Deposit change - I want to roll all my spare change and deposit it into my savings account. The last time I did this I ended up with a little over $100. I'd much rather this sitting in the bank than in the bottom of my purse.

5. No Lent slipups - This week starts Lent which means a challenge in itself so I think it's only fair to include it in my 5 monthly goals. I'm Catholic so won't be eating meat on Fridays which might prove difficult at work. We get a meal each shift which is great except you're limited to the one or two choices they've made that day. I may have to start bringing a PB&J to eat on Friday nights. I haven't decided the other thing that I'm going to give up/do extra for Lent this year. Last year I gave up all sweets and white breads/grains and the year before I gave up meat except for one meal a week. Sometimes I just do something instead though, like one year I prayed for Britney Spears. I'm still working out what I'm doing this year, any suggestions are appreciated!