Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Five

1. Thank you all so so much for all your awesome input last week. After giving it some thought I decided to not take my Dallas trip in June because it felt too rushed. Instead I'm going to go somewhere for my birthday in July. That gives me more time to plan it out and save some money so I can go for longer. So now I'm trying to decide where I want to go, any suggestions? I was originally planning Nashville to see Shania Twain, but now I'm thinking I might want to go somewhere I've never been. Should I just do Dallas still? Or should I go visit my friend in New York like I had wanted to do during April but couldn't pick a time to go? Or I'm playing with the idea of waiting an extra week and going to Vegas to see Britney's show when it reopens in August. Have I mentioned how indecisive I can be? If you could go anywhere in the continental US for 3-4 nights where would you go?

2. I'm getting so disillusioned with the job application process. Wednesday I found a posting for a job that sounded so perfect for me it wasn't even funny, so I excitedly spent the afternoon writing my cover letter and tailoring my resume. Thursday morning I woke up to find an email from the company saying they had posted the job by mistake. How does that even happen? Between that and the amount of typos/poor grammar I've seen in postings lately I'm seriously wondering how these people have jobs at great companies in great cities and I don't.

3. Tuesday night while baking cookie cake I burned (burnt?) the inside of my wrist. It doesn't hurt or anything but should I put something on it to prevent scaring? Right now it's just this small light brownish mark, but I don't want to end up with some terrible scar for forever.

4. Don't forget to enter my 2 year blogging anniversary giveaway! I realized yesterday that I only posted a picture of what I'm giving away on Instagram and I'm feeling lazy so you'll just have to go there to see it all for yourself. I realize these items are a little random so I thought I'd explain how I decided to give them all away together. Whenever I see something I love for a god price I buy an extra so I always have a quick gift ready when the need arises. So I went through my little basket of gift items and picked these because the colors are kinda the same as my blog colors. These are all items that I own and love so I know you will too!

5. I don't really have a number five other than to say I hope you have the very best weekend. I'll be working (like always) and spending way too much money before my no spend month starts on Monday.

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

live life like you're 9

The past couple of days my twin 9 year old cousins have been visiting. I would say these, plus their 13 year old brother, are my favorite cousins which is kinda weird because they're actually 2nd cousins and it's the biggest age gap (I have a cousin who's 4 month's older than me, has always lived less than 3 hours away even in college, yet she and I never talk). But I remember when they were born and even got to visit the twins in the hospital before they went home, so I feel very close to them. Because of the large age gap we always call the three of them collectively "the babies" even though now at 9 they aren't babies at all.

Having them here has been really great because it's meant an excuse to live like I was 9 again. We've baked cookie cakes the past two nights and spent the afternoon in the pool practicing our underwater handstands. I've honestly had the best time with them doing these little things that are really fun, but I'd never do on my own. Which got me thinking about how much simpler life is when you're 9. I remember when I was 9 my biggest causes of stress were learning long division and that my best friend was "dating" my crush. Oh what I'd give to be 9 again and not have any real concerns.

So as the summer is beginning I'm going to challenge myself to live like I'm 9 more often. Obviously I can't completely throw all concerns and stress to the wind because I do have to be an adult and go to work and pay bills. But I think it'll do me a world of good to do more fun silly things like actually getting in the pool on a "pool day" instead of just lounging on the side like normal. I realized the other day that 2015 is almost halfway over and I'm not doing a very good job of sticking to my goal, so I'm hoping this is the first step to improving upon that.

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Monday, May 25, 2015

2 years of blogging

Friday marked my two year anniversary of starting to blog "seriously." Before that I had blogged very irregularly, not fully understanding how much effort it required to run a successful blog. I foolishly thought, "I'm cute and funny so people who've never even met me will love to read what I have to say and I'll probably get a book deal in a couple of months." Okay, so maybe I wasn't that delusional, but I honestly had no idea how much really went into being a blogger. I think only in this last 6 months I'm really starting to appreciate how difficult it really is. I've realized growing an audience is only part of it.

It's only been a few months since I made my big blog transition with the rebrand. I know my postings have been a little sporadic since then and it may not seem it, but I could not be more glad I did it. Deciding to rebrand was scary, especially because I did the entire thing myself, but seeing the current result is so satisfying. Hopefully my real life (does anyone else refer to non blogging things as real life or is that just me?) calms down soon and I'll have the time to more fully devote to growing and improving this space. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive. 

So what have I learned in this second year of blogging? It's pretty simple really; being a "big blogger" doesn't happen overnight. But just because you run a "small" blog doesn't mean you aren't successful. If you find joy in even one aspect of writing your blog, wether it be connecting with other bloggers, free stuff, or just having a space to write out your thoughts, you are successful. In short, you determine your own success.

And what would an anniversary be without presents! These are all things that I love so much I decided to buy a second of to giveaway to one of you. I wish I could send each and every one of you presents because I seriously feel like some of you are closer than my real life friends, but I'm poor and can only send one of you something. So one lucky follower will win Kendra Scott Elle earrings, a Bando drink koozie, Kate Spade correspondence cards, and a pink mini tassel key ring!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Friday, May 22, 2015

a few questions for you

Okay so today's post is going to be a little short and maybe a little weird, but with most people probably only thinking about their long weekend coming up I figured nobody wanted to read a real post today. I've had a few things on my mind that I would really love your input on, I've asked some of these on twitter but I feel like sometimes it's so awkward to respond in 140 characters so I'd ask again here.

1. I'm in the market for a new laptop and don't know what to get. My 2008 Macbook is about on it's last leg as in the battery says "replace now" and sometimes to click pad (is that what you call it?) doesn't work right and will highlight everything. I really love my Mac but the thought of shelling out the cash to buy a new one is really difficult, seriously why are they so expensive? So I've been considering buying a different brand, specifically a laptop/tablet duo. I just know I want something with a built-in camera that I can use for blogging and applying for jobs (hopefully not for too much longer though). I'll use it every day and really don't want to buy another one for a few years. So do I just suck it up and buy another Mac because I know the quality is good, or do I go with something else? I guess when you factor in the cost per use a Mac really isn't that expensive.

2. I need a vacation, since I've started working a year and a half ago I haven't taken a vacation for me. Every PTO day has been used for some type of obligation (my friend's wedding and my brother's graduation). So I have a couple of options that I'm torn between. My first idea was to do a long weekend in Dallas, since that's where I've decided I wanted to live and am applying for jobs yet have never actually visited; I can get a very reasonably priced direct flight which is rare. I thought it'd be fun to ask my not technically my boyfriend guy if he wanted to meet me because it's our halfway point and he has good friends there so he knows all the fun things to do. But he starts his new job a couple weeks before and doesn't know if he can get off. So I could ask someone else, like a girl friend or my mom, to go with me or book the trip and hope he can make it at risk of ending up going alone. OR my second idea was to just wait until the end of July and go see Shania Twain in Nashville for my birthday. One of my sorority sisters is from there and I'm fairly sure she'd go with me/stay at her parents' for free. But the down side to that is I'd have to go two more months without a vacation, and honestly I really hope I'll have a new job by that point. PS: has anyone ever flown Spirit Airlines?

3. Speaking of having a new job, I'm on the job hunt and it epically sucks. Anybody have any tips for landing a job in a city where you aren't currently living? I know it's easier to find something when you're local but I can't relocate until I'm hired, mainly because no apartment is going to rent to an unemployed 23 year old. I've had a couple of phone interviews but when I mention I'd have to give my current employer proper notice it's like I'm crossed off the list. Is two weeks notice not a thing anymore?

4. My skin hates me right now. Okay so maybe it's not just right now, but it seriously hates me. I've always been really lucky and had good skin that didn't require anything other than washing and even that I could skip a couple times a week and be okay. But now I work in a smokey environment and my skin is not having it. I've never had so many breakouts in my life and as someone who still thinks the best zit cream is toothpaste I don't really know how to handle it. Anyone have any tips? It's not so bad that I'd need something prescribed but I'm sure there's something I could be using so I'm not so self conscious about it.

And that's all I've got today folks. Enjoy your long weekend, I'll be working so if you're headed to the beach or the lake don't forget the sunscreen and have a drink for me!

PS: Don't forget to enter for your chance to win $185 to Sephora!

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Woman Crush Wednesday : Hillary Clinton

I realize today's Woman Crush Wednesday choice is controversial, but hear me out before you go rushing to make a judgement. Regardless of your political ideology you have to admit that Hillary Clinton has helped to advance the role of women in politics. And as someone who has always been interested in how the government works I love that. I would love to meet her one day and say thank you for helping to make political office more realistic for women. I realize Hillary isn't the only woman to hold a high government position, but she's the first woman to seriously run for the top spot of one of the two major parties.

I'm not saying you need to vote for her, I was historian of my teenage republicans club in high school so you can guess how likely she is to have my vote, but you should respect her. No matter how her campaign turns out I hope that it inspires more females to become interested in politics. I hope she inspires more little girls to dream of becoming president without fear of being ridiculed for their dream

And just because I'm sure you're curious, because everyone always asks, no I am not named for her. I'm actually named for Sir. Edmund Hillary, the first to climb Mt. Everest.

PS: be sure to check out the first post of this series! 

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Monday, May 18, 2015

Makeup Splurges + A Giveaway

Splurges are a funny thing in that they're very personal. What one person might consider a splurge another might consider totally normal. I would find it extremely difficult to spend more than $70 on a bag, but I know plenty of people who wouldn't dream of carrying one less than $100. So while I labeled this post makeup splurges I fully recognize that to many of you these products may not be splurges and could actually cost less than what you'll normally pay for makeup.

Maybe it's because I've always preferred to go makeup less unless it's a special occasion (something I completely attribute to going to an all girls' middle school followed by the most unusual high school experience), or maybe it's because I was really lucky and God gave me good skin, or maybe it's because I'm just totally clueless about how to apply makeup really well; but I just can't bring myself to spend a lot of money on the stuff. I can distinctly remember the first time my mom took me to the store to buy makeup. My older sister had been asked to the homecoming dance and like any good little sister I annoyingly insisted on tagging along to buy her outfit. After walking around McRae's (anyone else remember theses?) we decided to go with Lancome because we thought those women had done the best job with their own makeup. That was the last time I owned a department store makeup product until my sophomore year of college when my sorority had a discount  night at a local makeup boutique and I felt pressured to buy something.

That's a very long way of saying I usually stick to drugstore brands. L'Oreal is Lancome just without the pricey label, so why should I pay more just for a fancy designer name. But while my general rule is the cheapest mascara is the only one I'll buy, I do have a few exceptions when I'll pay more for a certain higher quality brand. These makeup splurges are totally worth their price tag in my book.

1. NARS duo eyeshadow - specifically Key Largo - This was an item I purchased during my sorority's event and it's the only one I used completely. I'm normally not a fan of eye shadow pallets or duo sets because the colors never seem to match what I'd actually wear together, but this is an exception. I love that these colors are versatile so that I can wear them for a totally natural look for work, or use them as part of a more "makeupy" look for going out. And I can't even begin to describe how much this makes my eyes pop; if you have blue eyes you need this eyeshadow!

2. MAC lipstick - specifically Russian Red - If you're looking for a classic red lipstick this is it. It has a bluish undertone so your teeth will look more white, a concept I don't really understand but greatly appreciate as someone who doesn't want to pay an arm and a leg for professional teeth whitening. This is a great matte lipstick that doesn't smudge or need to be reapplied 15 times a night. This is a head turning lipstick that will make you feel like a total bombshell.

Now want to try out some higher end makeup than your normal drugstore brands? Today I'm teaming up with a few bloggers to bring you a giveaway to Sephora! You could seriously buy so much NARS eyeshadow with this! Don't forget to write in Salsa the blog as the site referring you!

giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are your favorite makeup splurges? Anything I should try out?

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Thursday, May 14, 2015

my life by the numbers Vol: 3

I last did one of these posts in December so I think it's time to do another. It's actually kinda funny because the last time I wrote one was the week after taking a weekend off from work too, when I realized that I knew my little 7 day work break was well deserved. As I mentioned before I think these are great ways to see how my life is changing as well a see a tiny snapshot of my life. If you write one of these let me know so I can check it out!

Make sure you're following on Instagram so you don't miss great shots like this! 

2: the number of books I've had checked out of the library for 6 weeks
6: the number of Kendra Scott pieces I own
17: the number of month's I've been working at my current job
89: the number of times I thought about how much I didn't want to go back to work last night
153 : the number of pennies I have waiting to be taken to the bank
394: the number of followers I have on Instagram
2469: the number of dollars I still need to reach my savings goal for 2015

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Draper James

I'm sure you've heard by now about Reese Witherspoon's new lifestyle brand, Draper James. Now I'm a huge Reese fan, from her perfect choppy haircut in Sweet Home Alabama to the portrayal of the ultimate smart, pretty, nice girl Elle Woods, the woman can do no wrong. The name Draper James is for Reese's grandparents, how cute! The inspiration for the collection is southern charm with lots of magnolias and pearls, something I obviously love. Everything in the current collection is beautiful, I only wish I had funds to purchase them!

Currently the brand is only available to shop online, but they have plans to open a physical store in Nashville later this year.

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Graduation Gifts

Sorry for being MIA, but as I mentioned last week I'm running on fumes lately. Yesterday was my first day off work in 7 days, so needless to say getting a blog post written fell to the bottom of my to-do list. But thankfully is today is my 2nd of 7 days off so I'm recovering. My brother graduates from Ole Miss this weekend so those 7 days aren't really going to be a vacation, more of a fun family obligation. So send good vibes my way as I'm stuck in the car with my family tonight and again Sunday morning on the way home.

So in the spirit of graduation I decided I'd share some gifts that I would have loved to receive for my graduation 2 years ago. Obviously any graduates first gift choice would be a full-time benefits paying job, but unless you're a hiring manager that's a difficult thing to have gif twrapped and ready to hand over after they cross the stage. These gifts however will make a good substitution for the graduate in your life.

coordinates cuff - These are increasingly becoming more popular, a fact I attribute to Angelina Jolie's tattoos. I loved my college town more than any other place on earth, but I don't want it tattooed on me forever, but I will happily wear a piece of jewelry. My mom actually just bought me one with the coordinates of The Grove, the area where we tailgate for football games, and I'm really excited for it. I love how unique these are, plus they're a great conversation piece because people will recognize it's a set of coordinates and ask.
classic heels - A classic pair of black heels are the epitome of professional, grownup, sophisticated accesories. Sure every girl probably has 15 pairs of heels, but a good timeless pair can always be added. Plus your foot size isn't going to change so even if they sit in a box for a year they'll still be put to use. To me this gift says "I know you're going to succeed in your career", and who doesn't want to hear that.
tote - Does anyone use a backpack after college? No, that's a serious question. A simple tote is great because you can throw everything you need for the day in without having to worry about a purse and a briefcase and a bag to hold your extra pair of happy hours shoes. This one is a simple enough that you can use it for the office or for traveling.
zippered agenda - I absolutely loved my Lilly agenda in college, could not have made it through without it, but after graduation I felt like I needed something a little more grownup. This one not only comes in a variety of colors and can be personalized, but it's really great quality and made in the USA! This is the exact one I have and I personally think the pop of color is ideal because it's easier to find in your tote of paper covered desk.
monogram necklace - This is a great simple piece that can be worn everyday. I like this block font because it's simple and not as showy as the ornate script monogram necklaces usually are. I have this one in the size small antique gold and wear it all the time. In a world of statement necklaces it's nice to have a classic piece you can wear to run errands on Saturday or to the office when you're not feeling very fashion forward on a Tuesday.
art print - One of my very favorite graduation gifts was a print of our mascot in front of my sorority house that was done by one of my sorority advisors. Evelyn Henson has a bunch, but if you look in local boutiques I'm sure you'll find one for any local schools. These prints are such a perfect way to have a little reminder of the town you called home for 4 or more years.

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png