Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Five

1. Have you seen the Instagram account YouDidNotEatThat ? It's probably the best thing to happen to social media since the demise of Vine. It posts photos where the people obviously did not eat the food they're using as a photo prop.

2. Brunch is one of my favorite things in the world. The fact that I work every weekend and never get to partake in a good Sunday brunch is seriously bad for my lifestyle. I'd love to visit each of these 15 fabulous brunch locations.

3.  I know everyone and their cousin is talking about the release of the Lilly planners, but can we instead talk about this photo they pinned this week. I don't know what it is, but to me it just screams summer time and I love it. I think the caption said "Pink Lemonade" How cute!

4.  Speaking of Pinterest, what do you think of the new ask a question feature? I can't really decide how I feel about it. I feel like it has good potential, but I doubt it will ever reach it. The questions I see people asking "Where can I buy this?" "Did this taste good?" are usually the same ones I ask ourselves when I repin something. Nobody can answer these questions because nobody knows the answer. Also did anyone else have the feature that let you search directly in a category, like "pink bridesmaids dresses for an outdoor wedding"? What happened to that!? That was the single best feature of the entire site and it was only there for like a week. (PS: go follow me here!)

5. Somebody switched it to the oldies station at work the other day and this song came on and has been in my head since. "I'm a believer" was the theme for our campus ministry team my senior year of high school (our tshirts had the creed on the back), so this was really a throwback that I enjoyed
I'm a Believer by The Monkees on Grooveshark

Thursday, May 29, 2014

5 ways to feel more put together

The other day I was a hot mess. I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed or something because I just could not get it together. I was wearing the exact same outfit I'd worn the day before, except with a different color top, my hair desperately needed to be washed, and I was wearing two different socks (one Christmas and one Halloween) in my rainboots. I was PMSing and my face looked like a teenager before they learn the miracle that is a great exfoliator and toner. It was one of those days where I was just ready to give up and call it a day before noon.

Thankfully I rallied and told myself I wasn't going to waste the day wallowing in bed watching cheesy movies. I put Fancy on repeat, changed my nail polish, threw on my favorite bright pink lipstick, found my sunglasses and was ready to face my day. Armed with a couple of my confidence boosters I was all set to go tackle my errands. Maybe it's because this look makes me feel like Holly Golightly (in the chic quirky way, not the call girl who helps the Mafia way) but it never fails to help me feel more put together. Depending on how blah I feel, sometimes just one of these will do the trick other days I need them all.

beauty, health, fashion, ways to look put together

1. top bun - I have a lot of hair. Its a mixture between curly and wavy and thanks to Mississippi humidity almost always frizzy if I don't put something in it. A top bun helps me feel cool (literally) and is a more chic cousin of the very practical ponytail. It's so much easier for me to focus when I don't have my hair falling in my face.
2. monochromatic outfit - I was going to say all black at first, but really it doesn't matter what color. I would stick to a neutral, think navy, white, tan, gray, but if emerald is your power color than I say go for it. I love a good pattern and color blocking, but to me monochromatic outfits just say "I am strong, intelligent, and capable."
3. bright lipstick - I cannot even tell you how much this one little trick has changed my life. Seriously, it is a game changer. Repeat after me "I am beautiful and confident and I can rock a bright lipstick." I was terrified of them until about a year ago when I finally took the plunge and I haven't looked back since. My current favorite is Maybelline Shocking Coral; it goes on smooth plus it's drugstore cheap so its not a huge travesty if you don't end up loving it.
4. fresh polish - You do not need to pay a fortune to get your nails done every week, but you do need them to not be a chipped mess. Confession I've only ever gotten a manicure once in my life; it was an end of the school year present in 2008 from my dad. I went to a fancy spa and picked out this fun bright pink polish and then cried 4 days later when it started to chip. I paint my own nails every week, my polish could really last longer than that but I know I have every Tuesday night so that's when I do them.
5. pearls -  I've mentioned my love of pearls before, but I can't sing the praises of this accessory enough. There are some who think the rise of the "prepster" image has cheapened them, but these will always be a classic in my book. Throw them on with anything to feel instantly more refined, except your gym clothes because then you'll just look dumb.

Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) by Iggy Azalea on Grooveshark

What are your tricks to feeling more put together?

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

fun and affordable housewarming gifts

Your best friend just got married, your married cousin is moving into their first real house, your high school bestie just landed her dream job halfway across the country, your sorority little is moving into her first apartment. For whatever reason someone you adore is getting a new place and you won't be there to celebrate with a bottle of wine and batch of fresh baked funfetti cupcakes. How do you mark this exciting time in their lives? You certainly aren't going to sit in bed and be bitter because you live at home with your parents in your childhood bedroom. You send them a housewarming gift of course!

With graduation season wrapping up and wedding season beginning this is the time of year to start searching though the hostess section of your favorite stores gift guides. I personally think the best housewarming gifts are ones that are personalized or elude to entertaining. I also believe in giving slightly impractical gifts, not so impractical that when the box is opened everyone is thinking the wrong item must have been shipped, but in a "this is slightly overpriced and you'd never buy it for yourself, but it's beautiful and I want you to have it" way. What I'm saying is nobody wants to get a blender or a clothes drying rack as a gift. Here are some of my suggestions for fun and affordable housewarming gifts.

under $50 gifts, hostess gifts, new apartment gifts, alternative wedding gifts, wedding shower gifts
Address Stamp / Wall Art available in variety of citiesTrellis Candle 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Trending Tuesday : The Bachelorette

Do you watch reality shows? I don't really, except if you count the occasional Dance Moms or Say Yes to the Dress. But I decided to jump on the bandwagon for this season of the Bachelorette and give it a try. Andi seems cute and normal, but that doesn't mean she's going to lose all common sense before this thing is over. - Cue some dramatic line about willing to do anything to find true love.

Here are some of my thoughts on last night's episode. If you were sitting with me while I watched you would have heard me actually saying these things.

1. Whhhy are they torturing us with these sweet scenes with Eric? I'm seriously crying watching how cute they are together. I wonder how many times they had to film these scenes until she looked that cute trying to snowboard?

2. "If that's what farmers look like, I need to move to the country" - seriously what every woman in America is thinking right now. Andi looks fab in her 40s glamour look! This adorable old couple! Ahh seriously dying over how cute they are

3. I sure hope former pro baseball player sticks around longer because he is H.O.T. hot! But if you're a former pro baseball player, what are you doing now? Does this mean he's currently unemployed? Who did he play for and when and what position?

4. Thank goodness Craig is gone because he was super annoying, even before he got too drunk and jumped in the pool. I wanted to punch him in the face during the whole group date.

5. Speaking of the group date, that was super awkward. Like how do they come up with these ideas? Never in the history of normal dating has a girl ever taken her boyfriend and asked him to perform like a male stripper.

6. WTF!? Two episodes next week? And on Sunday how am I expected to devote that much time of my life into watching Andi galavant in exotic locations looking for love?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day friends! I live in an area with a large military population, both active and retired, so all American themed holidays are a big deal here. Saturday night I went with my mom to listen to our symphony's concert celebrating the holiday. It was a free outdoors concert by the harbor and ended with a fireworks display. The concert was fabulous; they played all patriotic songs. The best part was when they played the song of each branch of the Armed Forces and all the members stood up and were singing along. It does your heart good to see vets standing and singing their songs proudly as the whole crowd claps and waves along with flags. It's so easy for those of us without a loved one in the armed forces to forget about this giant sacrifice they're making each day for us. So I really love these holidays that serve as reminders of how lucky we are to live in a nation with so many brave men and women who put their lives on the line daily.

I know Memorial Day has turned in a big shopping holiday with tons of sales. Once upon a time I felt bad about this, but then I realized that sales are just one of the reasons why America is the greatest country in the world. Soldiers did not give their lives so that we could sit at home and wear paper sacks. I'm not going to list all the sales here because it seems half of blogland has already done that, so if you don't know of any sales going on just hop over to your bloglovin' reader and I'm sure you'll find half a dozen posts to fill you in. I do today want to share a few red, white, and blue items I'm currently loving. I plan to spend today in my bathing suit by the pool in my backyard, if I'm feeling the need to leave the house I might throw on my favorite jorts and my old sorority USA tank I wear every July 4th, Flag Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day. But if I had plans that required more clothing, like say a BBQ, I'd love to be rocking some of these items today.

wedges / shorts 

PS: the most exciting promotion going on this weekend is on Instagram. Take a photo of how you wear your Bauble Bar jewelry and use #baublebar AND #memorialday. Their top 10 favorites win $100 gift card but everyone else will win a $10 one! If you don't want that free money, you can just send it my way

The Rachael Way

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Five

1. Unless you're living under a rock I'm sure you saw this week held sales from Bauble Bar and Kate Spade. If you missed those, don't worry because memorial day weekend means plenty more stores will be getting in on the action. Nordstrom is having a huge sale and Lilly Pulitzer is giving away free gift with purchases this weekend. So unless you're like me and on a spending freeze for the rest of the month you should go check those out.

2. Remember that time I said I'm glad I don't live in California or Hawaii. Turns out my gut was pretty right because those two states own the list of worst freeways to drive in America. Not on the list, any places I would love to live. Google Maps did the survey so I'm pretty confident it's accurate, but I'm curious to hear from anyone who has driven on one of these roads. Are they as bad as they claim?

3. Did you know Sonic now has new slushies flavors? I don't know if I should be embarrassed or proud that I know this, but I knew I had to share it with yall. They still have all the old ones, but now they've added new ones like peach and pineapple. Plus all shakes are now half priced after 8pm for summer!

4. Have you seen this video of the most epic selfies ever. The guy visited 60 countries with his camera taking selfies and it's really really cool. If anyone knows the name of the song playing in the background I'd love to know it.

5. This song just sounds like summer to me which I love #sorryifyourenotsouthern
Southern Girl by Tim McGraw on Grooveshark

Linking up here and here

Thursday, May 22, 2014

1 year of blogging

Today marks one full year of blogging. I know I've said it before, but I seriously can't believe I've stuck with it that long. It's not that I usually give things up quickly, but more that when I first started I didn't really plan to keep it up this long. I thought I'd blog for a couple of months, find a real job and stop. I saw blogging as a way to fill my time and keep my mind off the fact that I had zero job prospects and was miserable about having to move home. I assumed at this point in my life I'd be living somewhere else doing something else and always busy with all the new friends I'd have made since graduating. Boy was I wrong. Blogging started as my personal form of therapy, but has really grown into something I can't picture my life without now. Through blogging I've realized something very important about myself; I love writing. I always knew I was good at writing (hello I do have a journalism degree), but I never realized I loved it until I started this blog. Thank you to each one of you reading this. Taking the plunge and joining this community was one of my best decisions of 2013.

Today I want to share a few things I've learned about blogging over this year.

tips for bloggers, starting your own blog, southern bloggers, mississippi blogs, first time blogging tips, blogging reflections

1. It's not the end of the world if you don't post everyday. Yes it's nice to keep to a schedule, but sometimes life happens and you don't get around to hitting publish on that post.

2. Prescheduling your posts is the biggest life saver in the world. Whether you write them a week in advance or just the night before, knowing your post is ready to go live in the morning so you don't have to wake up early to post it is the best feeling in the world.

3. Take some time before deciding on a blog name. Check and make sure there isn't a very similar sounding one out there already. Also check to see if the corresponding Twitter and Instagram handles are available; you think you won't need these but you'll change your mind.

4. Some bloggers are great; others not so much. Just like in high school there are cliques of bloggers, but just because they're a really popular blogger doesn't mean they're snotty about it. I've had some really great experiences with bloggers much bigger than me who were really cool and down to earth. Unfortunately this is not the case with all bloggers, big or small.

5. If it's in your heart, write it. When you start just writing things because you want to get a bunch of comments on it, that's when blogging stops being fun. If you always write for yourself you'll never burn out. For me, some of my favorite posts are the ones that I wrote with a heavy heart and didn't receive many comments. They may not have been popular with my readers, but they were with me.

6. If you see something another blogger is doing that you love, imitate them. That doesn't mean copy posts but if you love that your favorite blogger does an OOTD post every week then do that; if you hate reading posts about recipes than don't write any posts like that. The same goes for being a reader; nobody likes to get spammed with 50 "great post" comments in a row; don't be the blogger to leave them on someone else's post - they're just about impossible to respond to.

7. If there's something you want to learn how to do - create a button, redesign your header, make a signature- just google it. You don't need to spend $80 to have someone else do something for you. Luckily the blogger community is great about writing posts about how to blog, so chances are you'll find about 15 posts to answer your question.

8. This is going to be controversial, but you don't need a picture with every post. Yeah it's nice to have a picture with every post but honestly you'll just feel dumb slapping a photo of you in a field with flowers when you're talking about how much you love the Harry Potter movies. I know "a picture is worth 1000 words," but sometimes when you choose the right words they're all you need. But if you do use a photo please make it extra large so I don't have to strain my eyes to see it.

And what would any project be without goals

Goals for my 2nd year
Reach over 100 followers on Bloglovin, Twitter, and Instagram
Make a blogging BFF
Meet someone in real life that I connect with through blogging
Create some partnerships with other bloggers or companies
Host my own linkup

And finally I'd love to know what you'd like to see more of in this 2nd year! Leave me a comment and let me know what type of posts you think are my best or types you think I might be good at writing.

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I wanna marry Harry

Did anyone else watch this show on Fox last night? Incase you missed it here's a quick recap for you

12 American women come to England for a Bachelor type dating show. Once they get to the estate they're staying at they're led to believe that the man they're competing for is Prince Harry. Obviously he isn't the real Harry, but just a regular poor (as in he borrows a friend's bike to get to work because he can't afford a car) British guy named Matt. If you ask me he looks more like Prince William with dyed red hair.

The whole idea of the show is too ridiculous for me to not watch. Seriously how dumb do you have to be to think that Prince Harry is desperate enough to have to go on a dating show to find a girl. Plus while they were filming this I'm pretty sure he was dating Cressida. Now if you'd told me it was somebody like James Franco looking for a girl I might believe you. The thing that's really crazy is not all these girls seem like the typical dumb girl; one of them just earned her doctorate! One thing I do really like so far is that he doesn't come right out and say he's Harry; he just keeps dodging their questions. He doesn't even tell them his name, instead saying they can call him whatever they want (they decide on boyfriend and Prince Charming).

"American girls don't seem to have inside voices" - Not Prince Harry. He seemed a bit thrown off by how loud and "brazen" all the girls were, but not so thrown off that he ended up picking the wildest one to spend the night in the "Crown Suite" their version of the Fantasy Suite. It really was no surprise who he kicked off either, she was clearly the least attractive of the group and looked like she was in physical pain when with him.

Overall I'd say I'm excited about watching the rest of the season. A couple of the girls didn't seem 100% convinced it's Prince Harry, so I'm counting on one of them to realize what's going on before it's over. Since practically every other show has taken it's summer break this might be good for a few laughs while there really isn't much other choice.

I really want to know what the real Prince Harry thinks of all this. If anyone has a connection send his contact information my way so I can make him fall in love with me and live happily ever after ask him.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

trending tuesday : Statement Necklaces

I'm linking up again this week for #TrendingTuesday! Today I'm talking about statement necklaces.

It took me a long time before I finally decided to embrace this trend, but boy am I glad I finally did. I always thought I was too short to wear these fun accessories and worried that, like a bad print, they'd overpower me. I finally gave in a few months back when I found a great deal on one I loved at J.Crew. Now I wear a statement necklace almost every day. My trick for this trend is to keep the rest of my outfit simple; I literally want my necklace to be the statement. I know tons of girls layer them and look fabulous, but I haven't gotten to the point where I'm comfortable doing that yet, but hopefully soon!

Statement necklaces aren't only cute, but really practical. It's so much more realistic to go out and buy 5 necklaces than to buy 5 sundresses. You can mix and match these necklaces with the basics already in your closet to create so many different looks.

Here are a few current favorites I'd love to add to my collection.

statement necklaces

Bauble Bar is obviously a great place to start your collection of these. You can sign up for an account here and save on your first purchase! I also really love Urban Peace Boutique because they are super affordable; you can get the necklace I'm wearing today for about $7 right now. I recently discovered Nordstrom makes shopping for these online super easy with a tab especially for statement necklaces. Any other favorite stores I should check out?

Monday, May 19, 2014

monday motivation playlist

Last week Kendra Scott paired up with Ashley Brooke Designs to give away a pair of earrings and a mug each day. Thursday's contest asked "What foolproof jam motivates you instantly?" Kendra's social media team sadly didn't pick me, but it did give me the idea to share a list of my favorite songs that keep me motivated.

As I've mentioned before I love making playlists for all occasions. Some of my all time favorite playlists are the ones I made when I had a major project to work on like studying for finals, planning a sorority philanthropy event, or packing up my room to move home at the end of the school year. These events required songs guaranteed to pump me up and keep me motivated. Sometimes Mondays require this same amount of motivation. So listen to this playlist and know that when you leave work today you're just 4 days away from the weekend!

Motivation Monday by HG on Grooveshark

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Five

Y'all I'm super pumped about this weekend because it's a long one for me! I only had 1 day off last week, so this week I get a 3 day weekend, including a day of the actual weekend. I get off Saturday at 6:30 and don't have to be back to work until Wednesday at 5:30. So what am I going to be doing with my long weekend you ask? Here's 5 ways I plan to spend my time.

1. Celebrating my dad's birthday. He'll turn 53 on Monday so hopefully we'll get to go meet him for lunch that day and then celebrate with dinner maybe Sunday night.

2. Reading. I'm hoping to make a stop at the library today before I have to be in at work to pick up a couple of books. I was just realizing the other day that it's been forever since I read something other than a magazine. Reading in bed before falling asleep is one of my greatest pleasures.

3. Blogging. On Thursday I'll celebrate 1 full year of blogging! I'm not doing any huge giveaway or anything crazy like that, but I'd really like to mark the occasion with a week's worth of solid posts. As they say, a productive Sunday means a week full of content.

4. Watching tv. I'm almost caught up on all my shows recorded on the DVR; I just have 2 more episodes of Nashville. Plus Mad Men comes on Sunday night and I have a good feeling there will be a lot of action in this week's episode.

5. Make some progress on my May goals. With the month about halfway through this long weekend sounds like to perfect time to tackle a couple of these.

And it wouldn't be a Friday post without a song
Poker Face (Live at the Cherrytree House Piano & Voice version) by Lady Gaga on Grooveshark

Thursday, May 15, 2014

my first time at camp

This is a post about my first time. No, not THAT first time; this is a G rated blog. This is a post about my first time at camp. Well not normal camp where you live in a cabin and sit around a camp fire singing songs and making smores after a day of outside activities like archery and kayaking. This was leadership camp.

I'm back row 5th from the left

It was the summer of 2005; I had just finished 8th grade and was feeling great about life. Well other than the fact that I'd just gotten glasses a few month back #MiddleSchoolSocialSuicide. The whole reason I got contacts was because I was going away for the summer. I told the doctor that I wasn't going to wear my glasses so he could either let me get contacts or I'd walk around blind all summer.

My counselor that we all had the biggest crushes on. I wish I could remember his name so I could find him on Facebook

I was picked as one of 30 students from the state to attend this month long leadership camp held on the Ole Miss campus. We lived in two old dorms, one for boys one for girls. We spent our mornings taking a class about American democracy and our afternoons doing various activities; frisbee, walks to the Square, tours of the police station where we met the local drug dog, or free time which really meant working on our homework in the computer lab.

The dorm I lived in. It was so outdated that the next Fall they turned it into offices

On the weekends we'd take day trips to places like the water park or Memphis to eat BBQ. And then Sundays were spent with trips to Walmart and endless hours playing board games waiting for the kids who went home for the weekend to return.

Fall 2009 as college Freshmen. Still friends all those years later

My mom dropped me off on campus as a shy sheltered girl not knowing a single soul, but I left with friends I'm still in touch with today, confidence in myself, and a new appreciation for Maroon 5. I loved my experience so much that I was actually a counselor for the same camp in summer of 2010. This was just my first experience with camp, by the time I graduated high school I'd attended 4 more camps and served as a junior counselor twice for one. Oh yeah none of those involved archery either, just more leadership building.

Other firsts I experienced during this:
first time to play a game of Monopoly all the way through
first time to wear shower shoes
first time to do all my own laundry
first time to have my own cell phone
first time to fall in love with Oxford and Ole Miss

Venus Trapped in Mars

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I'm a poet and didn't even know it

Last night my younger sister was working on a project for her high school English class. Each student picked a different poet and then had to represent their work in different ways. My sister chose Shel Silverstein, probably one of the most beloved poets of our generation.

I just had too much fun reading through Falling Up and Where the Sidewalk Ends as she worked on her project. Reading these fun, silly poems instantly brought me back to my elementary school days when I can remember our school librarian reading these to use each week.

My freshman year of college I took a Theatre class and for our final we had to do a group "piece of theatre." We were divided into groups and than tasked with picking 2 poems to act out; my group picked Sick and WhatIf by Shel Silverstein. We wore pajamas and recited the poems on stage sitting in sleeping bags. It was by far the best final I ever had, and I still have most of both poems memorized. 

One of the options my sister had for her project was to write her own poem inspired by the poet. Being the good older sister that I am I tried to help out and wrote this one for her. I think you'll understand why she instead decided to just draw her own illustration for one of his poems. 

The Woodpecker 
tap tap tap
tap tap tap
the woodpecker sits in his tree
tap tap tap
tap tap tap
he started working first thing today 
tap tap tap
tap tap tap 
now the stars have come out to play
tap tap tap 
tap tap ta BANG!
the irritated man yells "yippee!"

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#TrendingTuesday : Monograms vs. Initials

One of my favorite bloggers, Zelle of A Southern Style cohosts this really fun linkup every Tuesday called Trending Tuesday. The rules are simple, you write a post about anything that's trending - fashion, movies, celebrities, news, etc - and then you link up your post. Link ups are one of my favorite parts about blogging because they're a great way to discover new blogs that are usually similar to your own. So I'm so excited to join this new fun linkup today!

Today I'm talking about monograms and initials. I remember my very first LL Bean backpack in elementary school has pink with my initials in silver. I thought I was so cool, until I walked into class and had the exact same one. Boy were we glad to have our initials on them to tell them all apart. My favorite school supply ever was a pink seersucker lunch box with my monogram on top. Clearly I've been a fan of this trend for a long time.

Monograms are so popular right now, and really seem to be the "it" addition to any and every item. They've always been trendy in the South and now the obsession seems to be spreading to the rest of the country. But lately I've seen people misusing the term and they have no idea. Since I don't foresee this trend going anywhere anytime soon I want to set you straight.

Monograms feature the last initial larger in the center with the first initial on the left and the middle initial on the right.

Initials are all the same size and go in order; first, middle, last.

Both are cute options to add a personal touch to items. I personally prefer my monogram to my initials because HEG is a little too close to "hag" or "hog" for my liking. But when the only option for personalization is initials, I suck it up and will be HEG instead of nothing.

Looking to add some monograms or initials to your life? This clutch personalized with your initials is so chic and trendy. This monogramed phone case would be a cute way to tell your iphone apart from all 8 million people with the same one. Stationary is one of the best items to personalize in my opinion; these, these, or these are all great picks. These monogram stickers are perfect for adding to your laptop, favorite travel cup, or car.

What do you think of this trend? Are monograms and initials here to stay or are they just a fad like gaucho pants?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Five

1.  This week I published my 200th post and later this month will mark my 1 year blogiversary. That is just seriously so crazy to me. I've never stuck to a hobby that none of my friends did too for this long. I've constantly so glad I decided to stick with this little project because it really does bring me so much joy. I had wanted to do something fun and special for my 200th post but I clearly missed that; hopefully I'll have something good planned for my blogiversary.

2. I'm about to make my summer reading book list and I'm looking for suggestions. I'd love to know what's on everyone else's list or something you just crossed off that you loved! I thought about using this summer to read classics I'd missed in school, but now I think I want the cheesy more modern books that are perfect for the beach.

3. Tomorrow is graduation at Ole Miss and I know it's crazy but I'm feeling a little emotional about the whole thing. All my friends graduating this year are posting all these sappy updates about it and I hate to admit it but I almost started crying reading them the other day. I can't believe it's been a year since I walked across that stage. This article is the most accurate thing I've ever read about graduating; it's almost a shame it's from TSM because I think everyone should read it.

4. Did you see my post yesterday? It's about making a last minute Mother's Day gift, but really it's a great tutorial for making your own print for any occasion. If you love prints from Etsy shops as much as I do you really should go take a look because they're surprisingly super easy and cheap to recreate

5. And because it's not really Friday until I've shared my #BackThatAzzUp song of the week

Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) by Iggy Azalea on Grooveshark

Linked up here and here today!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

last minute mother's day gift

You forgot it was already May. You didn't pay for express shipping. You ignored every gift guide you saw posted. You had student loans, a car payment, and rent to pay this month. For whatever reason Mother's Day is Sunday and you don't have a gift for the most important woman in your life. We've all been there and it sucks. But today I'm bringing you a last minute gift idea that your mom is sure to treasure. Plus it's super cheap!

homemade gifts; mothers day gifts; southern blogger; cheap gifts; personal gifts

Things you'll need:
1. computer with internet access
2. printer
3. favorite saying, quote, Bible verse, etc
4. pencil
5. ruler
6. scissors
7. picture frame

You're going to use PicMonkey which is a super easy, free online design/editing tool. Pick the Design option and the size you want; I decided to go with the 8x10 but if you wanted something smaller the 5x7 or 4x6 would work too.

It should automatically bring you to the screen asking what color you want your canvas to be; always pick transparent! This way you have the graph paper looking background to help you judge distance while you design. You can always go back and change the canvas color after you're done designing, but for this project I'd suggest you leave it transparent or else you'll kill a ton of your ink when you print.

Now you're ready to start designing your print! I would start with the words part because it'll take up the most run. Play around with the different font choices and colors until you find something you like. If you double click the color description (002e85) it will let you manually put it in so you can make sure everything is the same color.

I decided to be arty and do a shadowed effect on mine by doing the same words in a lighter color on top. You don't have to do this, just make it yours!

Next I added the lines. These are found in the "Overlays" (the butterfly icon) area under geometric. You just take the rectangle and adjust it until it's your desired width and length. If you want multiple identical overlays, just right click the first one you've created and select duplicate overlay to save time and energy. 

Once you have your print designed how you like it all you have to do is save it to your computer! Print it out using your normal color printer at home. I guess you could take it to Office Depot and get them to print it out on something glossy, but honestly it looks just as good on normal printer paper with normal ink. I compared it to a print I ordered online from an Etsy store printed on the higher quality thick, glossy paper and you really cannot tell a difference.

Okay now this is the most difficult part of the entire project. You're going to take the glass out of your frame and trace its outline onto your print. Use the back side just incase you don't cut perfectly on the lines. You can use a ruler to ensure you center it correctly.

Put it in a frame, wrap it up with a sweet card and you're done! I got this frame from TJ Maxx for about $7, so you'll see this gift is super affordable plus it's personal.

PS: Maybe your boyfriend didn't listen to you when you told him he needed to go shopping last month and he has nothing for his mother. Help the poor guy out and make him one of these so he doesn't have to show up empty handed to brunch. You'll earn bonus points with your potential mother-in-law and save him a lot of embarrassment.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

( Wedding ) Bells will be Ringing

Y'all I'm getting married! LOL JK That would require me finding someone who likes me more than 3 weeks dating someone. So I'm not getting married any time soon, but my cousin is and so is my sorority little sis. With these upcoming weddings combined with the amount of wedding/shower posts I've seen all over blogland/Instagram the subject of weddings has been on my mind a lot lately.

So while I may not be walking down the aisle anytime soon or ever at all #ForeverSingle that hasn't stopped me from obsessively perusing the wedding pins on Pinterest (PS: Follow me so I can follow you back!). Thanks to my favorite unproductive hobby I've already got my wedding day planned out

It will all start with a private proposal and a ring like this

This dress is perfect! I love the lace, the bow, and the church appropriate neck line

I want an antique broach bouquet like this one, except in my wedding colors of blush and turquoise.  

The bridesmaids will wear blush and the groomsmen in gray 

I want a cake like this one where each layer is a different pattern

How cute are these cookies for favors

Other things I know about my wedding:
it will be a summer wedding
it will be in a church
there will be an open bar
the food will be great
the first everyone dance song will be Shake your Booty by KC and the Sunshine Band
the Cupid Shuffle, Electric Slide, Cha Cha Slide, etc. will not be played
everyone will have a great time
we will live happily ever after

Now I just need to insert a groom. I hear Prince Harry is single again; if anyone has his number send it my way!