Friday, June 29, 2012

Lessons, lately...

The past few weeks have been a learning experience. Last night I was in the car thinking about little lessons life has taught me lately. I started jotting them down (no, I wasn’t driving) and soon realized it might be fun to feature them on this little b-log from time to time. (No worries, they won't come to replace the guilt-frees, but this week they are.)

Lessons, lately…

If you're crying over a lost iPhone charger, it probably has nothing to do with a lost iPhone charger.

And sometimes you just have to cry. Long and hard. Cry until your pulsing head throbs and aches. Then you need to sleep. Sleep until you feel better. Crying doesn't fix anything, but it relieves some of the pressure. It releases it from wherever you've been holding it. You'll feel lighter, you'll feel free.

You can run, but everything else is running too.

An hour long conference call with your BFF is nothing like an hour long phone date. For some reason the other 4 people involved make things a lot more boring. But still make time for those phone dates too, and try not to worry about all the radiation your cell phone is probably giving you.

Have a favorite time of day, and enjoy it every day. Maybe it’s waking up at 3am and realizing you still have a few more hours. Maybe it’s the still quiet before the rest of the world wakes. For me, it’s the golden hour right before the sun sinks into the horizon. Everything takes on a rosy hue and the world seems a little softer, kinder. Even if I’m frantically rushing around at work, I look out the window and take a deep breath. Because deep down I know, in the midst of all the crazy, things are ok. The sun rises, the sun sets, the earth keeps spinning.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Have you tried Birchbox yet? After hearing rave reviews for months, reading the feature in Matchbook mag, and then a friend at work telling me "It's like Christmas every month!" I finally signed up. My first box came today and my friend was totally right.

We've talked before about packaging in the cosmetics industry,  but Birchbox takes it to another level. From the pretty pink paper to the friendly "Hi there" they use as a greeting... the entire experience felt like one of my best gal pals sent me a few of her favorite beauty products to try.
This month's theme is Jet Set, which didn't help my severe case of wanderlust, but it was loads of fun. The contents:
So far I have tried Stila's One Step Bronze and the lip/cheek stain by the Balm. I fell in love with the stain instantly. The bronzer is actually an illuminating serum. It's not something I would have picked up off the shelf, and it's probably more sparkly than I would usually go for, but I like it. That's the awesome thing about Birchbox... it gets you to try some things you probably wouldn't. As for the tan towels... I'm skeptical. I've rarely seen tan towels work out for people (streak city, chick.) And the peanut butter cookie Luna bar? Right up my alley (I mean if going to Subway for a peanut butter cookie, or three, isn't an option. Which it's not.)

And can we just talk about Wonderstruck? Taylor, Taylor... I just might be passing this one off to my little sister. :)

So tell me, have you tried Birchbox? 

p.s. Let me know if you want me to send you an invite!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Listening to...

I wasn't obsessed with John Mayer's newest album when I first listened to it (let's be real, it wasn't as sad/dark/emo as I expected it to be... it was just so... happy) but the more I listen, the more I like it. Other favorite tracks? Queen of California, Something Like Olivia, Age of Worry, Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey...

What do you think?

p.s. when we first talked about the single...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Treat Yo Self

I'm in the throes of my first deadline. It's Friday, and I have to have 16 pieces completed. I'm kind of freaking out... mainly because I've done all the posts I was excited about/thought I could manage pretty easily. Now I have only the most arduous tasks left. Note to self: Bad strategy. I'm trying to stay motivated by promising myself all kinds of things upon completion. Here are some things currently topping the list:

1. Massage. Full-body, deep-tissue, stranger-greasing-me-down-and-rubbing-all-up-on-me massage. I have fully rationalized this one with the fact that my neck is still out of whack, but I'd much rather spend $75 on a massage than a chiropractor.

2. Bubble bath. The idea of just sitting and soaking and not thinking or brainstorming is incredibly appealing at the moment.

3. iPad. Ok, I've wanted one ever since I hijacked my moms and took it to Hawaii with me. Practical? Not really. Fun? Absolutely. Also, after learning that the "mobile hotspot" feature will be included in my cell service package next month... completely rational. 
4. Wine. I'd be lying if I said I'm not having a glass right now. But sanity preservation is a top priority. And wine helps. I'm starting to understand why they drink so much on Mad Men. 
[things to note: 1. the glass is empty. 2. the coffee ring on my notebook. whatever it takes to get you though the day...]
5. Chocolate. I'm still trying to detox from sugar, abstaining from desserts during the week. Buuut I might be making an exception once all of this gets taken care of. And by exception I mean a giant slab of chocolate cheesecake. Or something like that. 

So tell me, how do you like to reward yourself?

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm a Blogger.

Good morning, loves. Well, I've been holding out on you and I guess it's about time I spill... I got a job! Not a career. Not a full-time, big girl, grown-up, wearing-pencil-skirts-to-the-office, 9-5 job, but a job, nonetheless. And it's in my field. Using my degree!  

This month I signed a contract to work as a blogger for a social media firm in Fort Lauderdale. Wait what? Yeah, I'm a blogger. Totally weird, huh? 
[my bio from the company website... Wait what?!]

I started this blog thinking it would improve my communication skills and make me a stronger writer. I hoped it would help cultivate a sense of self-discipline and a self-starter mentality. And it did. And, oddly enough, this little blog has opened doors I never imagined it could.

I didn't ever expect to "pursue a career in blogging," mainly because I felt like it was one of those novel ideas (ha, novel, gotta love a literary pun) that are too far beyond reach. Kind of like an 8 year old boy who wants to be a professional baseball player. Or every girl who saw How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days wants to work for a magazine. But, here I am, 22 years old and I'm going to get paid to do something I've been doing for fun for over 2 years. 
It's a dream. It's hard work. Sometimes it's frustrating, but the payoff is incredible (and I'm not talking money.) I tried to explain it to my mom recently and it's difficult to articulate, but there comes this point when I'm ready to pull my hair out. Things don't sound right, the piece isn't coming together. My eye starts twitching and I think, "I hate blogging, I hate writing, I hate words." And then something just clicks. Sometimes it's the perfect word. Sometimes it's the first sentence. Sometimes it's the realization that I need to scrap the whole thing and start over. Whatever it may be, things just come together all of the sudden. It's an epiphany. It's an adrenaline rush, kind of like falling in love or finding the perfect pair of heels in your size. It's the first bite of a warm cookie. It's the winning basket in overtime and the crowd goes wild. 

I'm a blogger. And I love it. 

It's funny though, and I'll be completely honest, I was not looking for jobs in social media. I was dead set, hell-bent on working in the nonprofit sector. But this opportunity presented itself and, oddly enough, about 25% of my work so far has dealt directly with nonprofits. God's funny like that. 
So, the nitty gritty: I'm still in Coastal Carolina. I'm still working at the restaurant. I work remotely from home or the office. I may relocate to Florida, just like I may end up in Timbuktu. It has been a lesson in juggling, sometimes I get it right and sometimes everything ends up on the floor. But I'm learning to manage. I know I'm doing things a little differently than most "young professionals" my age, and I'm ok with that. If I can give you any advice (if you're the type of person who takes advice from someone who clearly has a lot left to figure out) I'd say don't get locked into a certain idea of what your future should look like. Sometimes life surprises you in ways far more interesting than you could ever dream. Just be open to it. 

Thanks for reading, today & always, and for allowing me to share my craft with you. It truly means the world to me. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Guilt-free Friday!

Hey kids... it's Friday. Between the kink I've had in my neck for... wait for it... three weeks, the fact that I haven't had chocolate since last Sunday (dessert detox) and being stuck inside today while the weather is beyond glorious.... it's safe to say I'm a stage 4 Crankenstein. I'm trying to shake the feeling with lots of caffeine and a celebratory weekend to look forward to. Now if I can just make it through the rest of the day... :)

I hope you're having a happy, non-cranky day. Or if you are feeling irritable, I hope you can at least ease the pain with cookies. Have a fun weekend! Until next time...

Hey! It's ok... 

... to be a little embarrassed when you scramble for your iPhone only to realize it was someone else's phone ringing. And to continue checking nonexistent text messages, emails, and missed calls in an effort to preserve your reputation... "I can't help that I'm so popular..."

... if detoxing brings out the most toxic side of your personality.

... to kind of feel like Rocky as you mentally prepare for the VS Semi-Annual Sale... cue music...

Happy Birthday...

Today my sweet sister turns 16. I cannot believe it. She is just as smart and beautiful as she always has been, but each day I become increasingly more aware of how much I cherish and admire her. God is funny like that... He gives you a little sister and you think you're responsible for molding her and shaping her into the person she will someday become. You think you're supposed to set an example for her, to teach and guide her. But quite the opposite is true. She'll surprise you: showing grace in situations when you yourself would be anything but gracious, persevering when the cards are stacked against her, and comforting and caring for you when all this time you thought it was your responsibility to look after her. 
Happy Sweet Sixteen, princess! 
I love you more than words can say. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Peach Pancakes

When asked what my favorite season is, I can with most certainty respond "peach season." The ripe, delicious fruit is my absolute favorite. From June-August I top my cereal with them, I could eat my weight in my grandma's homemade peach ice cream, and they make a beautiful addition to savory dishes as well. 

In years past, I've topped my pancakes with sliced peaches, but this Sunday, thanks to a tip from Southern Living, my dad put the slices right in the pancakes. I thought peaches couldn't get any better, but it it turns out sauteing them in sizzling butter only accentuates the natural sweetness of the fruit and adds the perfect dose of caramelization.

Our version was certainly a more rustic take on Southern Living's recipe. We opted for buckwheat pancakes, and instead of using perfectly-placed peach slices, we kind of just chopped it up and went with it. I topped mine with butter and cinnamon sugar, naturally, but they were delicious plain or with syrup. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In Review...

Happy Tuesday... it's taking a little while to get back into the swing of things and I'm not quite sure why. Lots of exciting stuff going on here though, and I cannot wait to share the details. But first- a look back at the weekend. It was the perfect balance of work and play, going and doing, and just relaxing. The weather cooperated and most of my time was spent outdoors. Days started with hot coffee of the porch and ended with crisp, cool glasses of Chardonnay in the same location. I'm weeks behind on MadMen, but instead of turning the television on this weekend I devoured a new book from the library. Family, friends, loads of laughter... it's hard to beat it. 

In not so many words...
broke in my new running shoes at boot camp Friday morning
[I've decided to stop fighting the "Fitness Barbie" nickname and just embrace it] 
exciting conference call
poolside with my momma
busy night at work
beautiful afternoon on the boat
[and the insane boat hair that ensued. pardon the terribly unflattering self-portrait, but I couldn't resist sharing these legitimate dreads. My formula? Yesterday's curls+hairspray+honey butter (from work)+seaspray. Oddly enough, my little sister instagrammed a similar picture of herself... great minds think alike. Or we are both fans of public humiliation.]
family dinner out
Heat game with friends
beach date with a gal pal
went back to visit the cutest girl scouts... who raised over $100 for QH2O
un-wine-ding on the back porch
[3 generations: grams, momma, me. 3 varietals: Cabernet, Rose, Chardonnay]

How was your weekend?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

on my mind...

cloudy, rainy, puddly day
steal some covers share some skin//
opposites, diametrically opposed but
not so different as they seem.
unexpected although not entirely unlikely, 
and yet comfortable.
thoughts somersaulting through my mind
like a carousel, in and out of focus
foreground, background, and foreground again
everyone has an opinion,
everyone seems to think they know what is best for you.
and maybe they do. 
an outside perspective, untainted by clouded thoughts, foggy emotions,
a truly honest perception... but
maybe not.
I don't know what makes us tick
But maybe sometimes you just need room to roam. 
A little space to grow.
who says you can't go home..//

your turn. 

[image via]

Monday, June 4, 2012

stir it up, little darling

I love adding mix-ins to my yogurt. Correction: I hate eating yogurt without mix-ins. The texture is just so... bleh. My gag reflex starts going just thinking about it. I'm always a fan of anything seasonally inspired, and I firmly believe my latest creation just might be my greatest yet.

Pineapple Chobani+coconut flakes+toasted pecans. 
Ummm hello. 

It's perfectly sweet and satisfying and makes a great snack after a long day at the beach. [#toughlife] I made one of my friends at work taste it and she said she felt like she was eating a Blizzard. Now don't get me wrong, I know it's no salad, but if yogurt can taste like ice cream... sign this girl up. Moderately healthy and 100% delicious.

So tell me, what are your favorite summer snacks?

psst...remember my fall flavor combo? posted here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Guilt-free Friday!

Hi hii my darlings! How was your week? This one seemed to fly by at lightning speed (or tornado speed, if we take into account the one that ripped through our neighborhood Wednesday morning. Fortunately none were injured and aside from a big mess, damages were minimal.) 

So what are your plans for the weekend? My sweet grandparents are in town for the youngest one's 8th grade graduation. Again I ask, where does the time go? Looking forward to spending the next few days with family and relaxing a little. I hope your weekend is wonderful, wherever you are. Until Monday...

Hey! It's ok...

... to write off a mani/pedi as a medical expense. If not for the sake of your blistered toes, at least for your mental well-being. (I mean hey, it's cheaper than therapy and you end up with perfectly polished piggies.)

... to floss every night in hopes of adding 6.4 blissful years of funemployment to your life.

... to devour the handful of peanut M&Ms you find loose at the bottom of your purse. No questions asked. 


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