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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

a gift guide for me: my wish list

Happy Black Friday week! Okay that's a joke, kinda. Obviously Thanksgiving is the most important event this week, but Black Friday is also a big deal. Not only does it mean tons of fabulous sales, but the official start to the Christmas season. Even though I'm working and have to miss out on going to the mall and then early morning breakfast with my sisters this year, I'm still hoping to snag a few things on sale. Hopefully I'll be trimming the tree and doing my best Mariah Carey impression while a few of these things are making there way to my front door.

tank - I may have graduated a year and a half ago, but I just love this sorority tank; they always say a sorority isn't just for 4 years, but for life. Maybe it'd inspire me to get my butt to the gym, or you know look really cute as a coverup for the pool
House of Harlow necklace - I've really liked these necklaces since I first saw them about a month or so ago. I think I've finally decided that I like the tan in the large size
Kendra Scott ring - I have a ring that I've worn on my right hand every day since I got it from my parents for Christmas in 2010. Lately I've decided my left hand needs a little love and really enjoy switching it up with different fun rings
Kendra Scott earrings - I bought my first pair of Elle earrings during a Labor Day sale and I absolutely love them. I currently have them in slate, which is a great versatile color, but I haven't been able to get this pair out of my mind
Kendra Scott bracelet - I'm super into drusy lately, and clearly everything Kendra Scott, and I think this bracelet would be a fabulous addition to my wrist. I think this black color is so different and unexpected yet still elegant and timeless.
Fraternity Collection shirt  - I own one of these shirts and love how comfortable it is for running errands or just lounging around the house. I'd love to add another one to my closet, probably in pink
Kate Spade earrings - seriously how fun are these!? Sometimes sparkle can be overwhelming but because these are studs they are just right. I'd love to have these beauties on my ears for New Years Eve.
monogram necklace - I've been on the search for a monogram necklace for ages. After looking at just about every single one out there I've finally decided this one from Accessory Concierge is the best deal. Lucky me I won't be changing my initials any time soon so when you factor in how many times I'll wear it, it's a really really great deal.
eye shadow - I'm a big fan of drugstore makeup; God blessed me with good skin so I can wear the cheaper stuff with the same results of expensive makeup counter products. However, this eyeshadow is my one splurge. I first bought it at a girls night out event my sorority hosted at a local Oxford makeup boutique and I've loved it since. If you have blue eyes, I promise this shade (Key Largo) will always make your eyes pop.
Alex and Ani bracelet - I bought my first Alex and Ani last Christmas and never would have guested I'd love it so much. I now have 2 that I wear every day. I think this one would be a great addition that I could wear everyday to increase my positive energy.

What are you hoping to find on sale for Black Friday? If I'm shopping exclusively online this year should I wait for Cyber Monday, or do you think I'll find the best deals on Friday?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

9 reasons to not write a post today

Sometimes life happens and you don't get a post up, clearly that's what happened this week. I mentioned before that I had an extra long weekend and took advantage of my time off by making a trip up to Oxford to see some of my favorites. I had intended to come home Tuesday evening and write a post for Wednesday, but I ended up leaving Oxford later than I planned (because nobody says no to one last lunch date) and was entirely too exhausted by the time I got home. Since this blog isn't my job I decided it simply wasn't the end of the world if I chose sleep over writing a post. Whenever one of my favorite bloggers doesn't post I always wonder what they're doing that kept them from posting that day; I usually assume they're off doing something fabulous and fun. Does anyone else ever do that too? So the next time I don't get a post up during the week you can just pretend it's because I'm too busy with one of these reasons

  1. OPI called and wanted me to name a new line of nail polishes 
  2. I won the lottery
  3. Prince Harry finally showed up to whisk me off my feet 
  4. Exploring my travel bucket list
  5. Buying everything on my wish list 
  6. Moving to a new city 
  7. I bought a puppy who needs lots of puppy snuggles 
  8. Learning a new language 
  9. Becoming Instagram famous 

In reality I'm usually just not feeling inspired or I got caught up watching endless hours of HGTV or I simply forgot to hit publish. But I sure do wish I could blame my lack of a post on one of these things.

Monday, November 17, 2014

little things I'm thankful for this week

Remember how being thankful for the little things is one of my goals this month? Well I've actually been doing really great with it. When you really take the time to focus on the little things you see how blessed you are and feel silly for complaining about other things. I wanted to share a couple of things I'm thankful for this week.
  • Bama beat Mississippi State and Georgia beat Auburn, meaning Ole Miss's playoff dreams aren't dead yet
  • I have plenty of warm clothes to stay warm during this chilly weather
  • Taylor Swift chose Blank Space to be the next single from her new CD 
  • I was able to enjoy a long weekend with friends and got to see my brother
  • I get to take a little trip up to Oxford for the 3rd time this fall 
  • The fact that videos like this exist 

And one thing I'd be very thankful for: if everyone could say a quick prayer for my brother and his med school interview today

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Buy American

Know what I love? Helping other's reach their goals. Know what else I love? Buying things made in America. Today I'm talking about a great way to do both.

Cinco Powell makes high end luxury items meant to help you personalize your look. Two of their main products are tassels and monogramed tags to add to your bag. They come in a variety of colors to fit your tastes. Buying a new bag is expensive, but with the addition of one of these your old bag feels brand new and totally yours. I have the blush tassel and it's such a chic addition to my bags. I currently use it with a no name black clutch I bought for less than $20 at TJMaxx, but with the addition of this large leather tassel it really looks high end designer. I love it so much I ordered a second tassel in teal that I can't wait to use.

They've now made it their mission to be a 100% American made company. For me personally, I don't mind paying a little bit more knowing that my purchase helped ensure a pay check for an American worker. I remember how long it took me to find a job and how miserable I felt being out of work; I'd love for others to not have to feel that same way, especially at the holidays. To help cover the initial costs of going all American made Cinco Powell has started a KickStarter campaign.

They've got about a week and a half to go and still need about $2300 to make their dream happen. So go get a jump start on your Christmas shopping (yes, most of the products are available for delivery by Christmas!) and help these ladies out! Not only will you be helping a fabulous female run company achieve their goal, you'll be getting a great item at a great price. I'll be pledging $70 which is the price associated with the full sized tag. This is such a great deal; almost half off!

What American made companies do you love?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Things I'm telling myself today

No Veteran's Day sale will be as good as a Black Friday sale

You have incredible worth even when it feels like nobody else sees it

It will eventually get cold enough to wear your Patagonia fleece again

Nobody ever died from cramps

You only have to work 3 days this week, then you're off for 4

Try to Instagram something other than food this week

Friday, November 7, 2014


Eating..... frozen Reese's pumpkins. I managed to find a few left at the grocery store Sunday afternoon and quickly snatched them up. I know I'm supposed to be eating better this month, but the holiday Reese are just so much better than the regular ones I couldn't help myself. It's taking all my self control to not eat them all, although maybe I should do that because then I wouldn't be temped with them anymore.

Reading..... Gone Girl. Yes, finally. I really had zero interest in reading it until everyone and their cousin became obbessed. Now I've picked it up to see if all the talk about it was true.

Listening..... to 1989, but not on Spotify because TSwift is too petty. I seriously had my doubts but overall I really enjoy this new CD

Wearing..... my new glasses. I've worn the same basic style for 10 years and decided it was time for a change. Both my sisters told me they didn't like these frames, but I still liked them. I'm so glad I listened to my gut and bought these because I'm so in love with them

Wishing..... it was next week. A week from tomorrow will be the first Saturday I've had off from work since starting last December. To say I'm excited would be an extreme understatement

What have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

word vomit

I'm going to go ahead and apologize for the word vomit that is going to be this post. I have a lot of little thoughts that if I really tried I could probably make into a few different posts, but I'm just really not feeling that motivated right now so instead you're going to get this post of random small thoughts. You probably hate reading these, but they're some of my favorites to write because it's literally just putting my thoughts into words.

  • Did you hear about the Senator who compared one of the candidates running to replace him to Taylor Swift? At a campaign rally he said she didn't deserve votes just because she's as pretty as Taylor Swift. Umm I'm sorry, what? She got the last laugh though because she won that seat last night. Oh and just in case you were wondering, she's a republican; he was a democrat. So much for that whole republicans are waging a war on women thing. 
  • Speaking of female republicans, Mia Love, who you might remember from the last Republican National Convention, won last night. This win makes her the first african american female republican elected to the US House. Why does that matter? Because the more women winning elections, the more women will consider running for elected office, and that's a win no matter which party they are. I would never advocate voting for someone just because of their gender, but gender shouldn't be a reason not to elect someone. 
and quickly changing gears 
  • Seriously how petty was it of Taylor Swift to remove her music from Spotify? Like I understand you want to sell albums, but clearly you're already doing that. This is a perfect example of why nobody likes Taylor Swift the person.
  • I'm in my first wedding next month, and while I'm really excited I'm also kinda over it. I don't really know what's normal to expect from your bridesmaids, but I feel like this is a lot more than it should be. I'd love to hear some input from anyone who's been in a bridal party of what was expected of you in terms of showers, bachelorette party, day of, etc. Or if you've been a bride yourself, what did you expect from your bridesmaids? I feel like a terrible friend for even complaining but I'm worried its all building up to the point where it's going to put a lasting strain on our friendship. 
  • I've mentioned before that nobody in real life knows about my blog, but I'm seriously considering beginning to share it with others. I'm really stuck with how to do it though. Do I just one day post a link on facebook and confess to writing a blog for over a year? Do I start tweeting links from my personal twitter? Do I just start telling people as it organically comes up in conversation about how I'm spending my free time? Again, anyone who's been in this situation and has any advice to offer I'd appreciate it. 
  • I've been on a serious Old Navy shopping kick recently, as in I have 5 purchases in the past month on my bank statement. The pixie pants are the most perfect work pants for me so I've bought them in like 5 colors. They also make a fabulous black quilted vest that looks so much more expensive than it is. They're sold out online, but my store had some in stock and if you live near a store I highly suggest you run in and see if they have any because you will not regret it. 

Okay that's all I've got for you today. Thanks for humoring me and reading that. Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

fictional places I'd like to visit

The other day I got a code for a free RedBox rental and decided what better way to spend my night than with a free movie in bed. I had planned on renting Frozen, but when I got there I discovered it wasn't available so I had to make a second choice. After scrolling through the available options a couple of times I finally settled on Austenland. I had read the book a while back but hadn't made it to the theatre to see the movie so I figured I'd give it a chance. The basic story is that Keri Russell's character is a single 30ish woman obsessed with everything Jane Austen who goes to this resort in England where everyone pretends they're in a Jane Austen novel.

The movie was just okay but it got me to thinking about which fictional places I'd like to visit.

Harry Potter - Heck freaking yes! Yeah Voldemort and the Death Eaters are pretty scary, but no way would I turn down the chance to go to Hogwarts. I'd be a Hufflepuff which is totally the best house no matter what society tries to say.

The Little Mermaid - Ariel isn't my favorite princess, but I think we can all agree her world is the best. Mermaids always have great hair and they don't have to shave their legs.

The Great Gatsby - Who wouldn't want to be able to experience a Jay Gatsby party. Sipping champaign and doing some serious people watching sounds like my idea of a great time.

Gilmore Girls - I don't think I'd want to live in Stars Hollow (too small), but I'd love to go visit. It's like a more interesting version of Mayberry

What fictional places would you like to visit? And for the record Arendelle is not a place I'd include on my travel bucket list.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November Goals

Hey guys! Long time, no blog

Last week just kinda got away from me; before I knew it I was waking up on Friday morning. I decided to take a last minute trip up to Oxford for 25 hours (no, that is not a typo, I really spent 11 hours in a car to only stay 25 hours) on Monday and then felt like I was playing catch up all week on sleep and other little things. But I've got my head on straight today and wanted to share my November Goals before we got too deep into the month.

As a little refresher, last month my goal was to get stuff done as it came up. I was getting really bad about putting off little things until the point that I had 55 little things I needed to do. Having just one goal like that makes it kinda hard to evaluate my success, but I'm going to give myself 2.5 out of 5. I certainly wasn't perfect, and I know I could have done better. But I did knock out a few of the things I'd been putting off the longest so that was great. I'll be adding $25 bringing my total to $545.

So what are my goals this month?
1. remember to be happy and thankful about the little things. November is the month of thanks so obviously this had to included
2. eat smarter. I don't really want to "diet" because with Thanksgiving this month I know that just isn't possible for me. One thing I've found that works best for me is to let myself indulge in foods I want to kill the craving instead of letting it build up. If I want a cheeseburger and fries I need to just go ahead and eat it because if not I'll probably consume as many calories in "healthy" foods trying to kill the craving.
3. blog. I've seen tremendous growth in this little blog of mine over the past few months and I'm hoping to keep it up. This is really becoming a space I'm proud to call mine, and I'm thinking more and more lately about sharing it with people in my life.
4. figure out Christmas gifts. I'm in the awkward stage of life where I work full time, but don't make a ton of money; I'm an adult but not really. Do I buy my parents Christmas gifts? What about my siblings? What about coworkers? I want to make a list and budget for who/what I'm buying this holiday season.
5. do a secret something 10 times. I'm not ready to put it down in words and I've only told maybe 5 people that this is happening, but it's probably my most important goal for the month. As a hint it's something my blog focused on a lot at the beginning and something I had success with last November.