Thursday, June 30, 2011

down the rabbit hole

"If I had a world all my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be it would. You see?"


While anxiously awaiting Kelsey Jo's "American themed Beach Birthday Bash" I got to thinking of my own birthday. Selfish, I know, but what I came up with is the fact that growing up doesn't mean you don't get to have fun on your birthday. ERGO, I have begun planning my fabulous 22 (yikes) birthday.

Seeing as how my birthday is nestled right smack dab in the middle of November it's a wee bit tricky. Right before Thanksgiving and right around the time everyone wants to jump off a bridge from the ever-increasing amount of school work right before exams. Since I figure everyone's gonna be going crazy anyway..might as well give them an outlet in which to do so.

This above logic lead me to the only rational conclusion:

this is what I would want it to be like (if I had ceaseless funds)

[you get the idea]

[invitations a lil' somethin like this]

[or this, disregard that this is a "save the date"]


I might need to brush up on my knowledge of the Mad Hatter's unbirthday tea party, but I think everyone is familiar enough to run with it. If not, I can spell it out:

-costumes: seriously so much fun to be had, possibilities are endless

and much more

-everything is opposite; makin' sense?

BONUS: it comes with an OPI line of its own.. seriously?? I can't help myself.

This is probably just a silly dream I'm having about my birthday that's over 5 months away, but maybe it isn't...

That's the Spirit!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

helplessly, hopelessly

brutally honest.

or honest to a fault. Call it what you want, I tend to just plain ole tell the truth (or rather, my honest opinion of the truth). My mother frequently refers to it as "painfully honest," my dad just stares at me, eyes wide, and chuckles in admiration of the statements I make, and my sister generally resolves to physically hitting me because she can't think of a way to respond [mind you this was when we were younger-not like, yesterday]. Regardless, you get the picture. I'm kind of a tell it as I see it kind of gal. While some find this brash, abrassive or downright rude, I view it as helpful. If people don't want the truth why do they ask?

Another notoriously dry and sarcastic lady who may understand my frustration is Kelly Cutrone (some of you may know of her from The Hills and The City- she's the fashion PR behind People's Revolution). Surprisingly, my mom heard of her books and suggested I pick one up; so, I did. Much to my delight, Kelly is as brutally honest as they come, and spares no detail when describing her rise to the top of the PR world. I find it incredibly insightful and inspiring. *disclaimer: she's brutal people. don't pick up this book if you're wary of profanity and/or the descriptions of a loose lifestyle. She outlines what it takes to follow your dreams, no matter how out of reach they may seem.

Here are a few passages that stuck out to me:

"Move toward what feels right-toward the things we know, for reasons we can't explain, that we're meant to do, the things that make us feel alive."

"I hope that you too will have a journey instead of just a life. Actually, I hope you have an expedition."

"There are people related to you physially, and then there are people we're related to spiritually, emotionally, and socially. The road to your dreams is sometimes dark, and it's sometimes magical, but The Wizard of Oz had one thing right: it's ultimately about the journey and the characters who accompany you on it, not about the destination."

"You never know who will end up being your family or where you'll find them. All that matters is that you do find them. After all, your tribe members, whether people gifted to you by the universe or people you seek out and pay, will not only add something unique and essential to your journey but make it much more colorful and fun."

so if you're brave enough for a little honesty, want info on professional dos and don'ts, or just wanna know how someone can go from blue collar to blue-blood I recommend this book.

in closing, a quote from one of my favorite movies:

"Like I always said, 'If ya can't think of anything nice to say, come sit by me'."
-Clairee Belcher, Steel Magnolias

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

i love my sister who....

has an american-themed birthday bash

This coming weekend is July 4th. I've always gone to Arkansas to celebrate with an "Adams Family reunion" in good ole Caddo Valley, but this year I'm breaking tradition and heading to the Alabama coast with my friends to celebrate Kelsey Jo turning 21.

While most day dream about fireworks and grilling out (I am too but it's not the point) I have obsessed with finding DIY ways to make her bday more than memorable.

First: I'm craving fruit pizza; so I'm gonna make it patriotic and slap a few candles on it

it's a win/win.

Next, who doesn't want a theme-appropriate refreshment?

These patriotic pops are made with cranberry juice, lemonade and blue powerade.

just pour into Dixie cups (appropriate, right? dixie..get it?) one layer at a time and let sit for about an hour each before adding the next layer. Don't forget to add the wooden sticks after the first layer! and Voila!

Finally, what's a 21st without a little "officially-legal" refreshment?

These frozen concoctions are courtesy of pinterest.

1- Tequila-based cocktail which gets its pretty colors from cranberry juice, watermelon schnapps and blue cracao.

2- Strawberry sucker strawberry schnapps, vodka and club soda make a fizzy afternoon drink. Add blueberries and/or strawberries for fun.

3- Watermelon Cooler: 4 cups sliced watermelon, 1/2 cup lemonade, & blackberries for garnish.

puree watermelon and lemonade then stir in vodka or tequila and serve over ice.

4- Patriotic Margarita: Blue HPNOTIQ Liqueor topped with red layer of strawberry puree, dark rum, coconut milk, pinapple juice and crushed ice.

5- Red, White and Blue Martini: HPNOTIQ and grenadine give this citris-vodka based drink some flair. garnish with a coconut for the "white."

*basically get yourself some HPNOTIQ or blue curacao, some strawberry/watermelon schnapps or grenadine and some lemonade or coconut to make any drink patriotic.


Monday, June 27, 2011

isn't it ironic? dont'cha think?

Yes, the title is from an Alanis Morissette song (the majority of my titles are songs if you're paying attention), but I have a point. Remember how I said Crazy Love was rocking my world? Well, now it's shakin' up my core.

"The irony is that while God doesn't need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don't really want him most of the time." Francis Chan


*disclaimer: the enclosed video to "Ironic" is freakn weird, but I'm oddly fond of the actual song and lyrics

Thursday, June 23, 2011

bible and a bus ticket home

I loved this picture because she can't see where she's going next; scary or exciting?

Crazy Love is rocking my world right now, and I'm not even one of those people who is often inspired by books. seriously, ask anyone who's ever been to the beach with me- i always start a book with the best of intentions and end up wanting to toss it in the ocean upon completion. Not this one, my friends, not this one.

I could write a novel on each paragraph, but I don't have all day, nor do you my faithful followers; so, I'll keep it short and sweet- kinda... not really.

"The point of your life is to point to Him. In about 50 years (give it a couple of decades), no one will remember you. Everyone you know will be dead. Certainly no one will care what job you had, what car you drove, what school you attended, or what clothes you wore. This can be terrifying or reassuring, or maybe a mix of both. The truth is some people waste their lives. All that matters is the reality of who we are before God" -Francis Chan, Crazy Love

This sounds harsh, I know. I was like geez, that's morbid Francis, but the truth is he's right, sort of. I mean, honestly, people still know who Pocahontas is. Ok, bad example; seeing as I'm not gonna get a Disney movie made after me, but you get my point. There are people that will be remembered for generations to come; who says I(or you) can't be one of 'em? SOo00oo0, I'm making it a point to prove Francis wrong. Anyone with me??

People may not remember everything about me, and I sincerely hope they don't. But, my goal is to make a mark on this earth, and the people in it, SO huge that people will remember it and think of God. (big dream, I know, but as I've said before--everyone always encourages little girls to dream big, I'm finally being obedient.) SOO I'm asking any and every one who reads this to think of their own journey; does what you're doing point to God? It doesn't have to be anything crazy, but it can be.. :)

Whether you're:

-raising a family (who isn't)

-working a 9 to 5 job in a cubical (me, currently)

-saving lives in a hospital (Emily Luanne, Kathleen, Courtney, Mama & MJ etc.)

-teaching the youth of today for a better tomorrow (Kelsey Jo, and my cousin Amanda)

-broadcasting the evening news (August/ all my fellow JMCers)

-selling retail (summer jobs)

-called to a life overseas

-a traveling salesman/woman (my daddy, & Suz)

-or even a curator at an art museum (miss tara white)

I challenge you to make your life point to God in every tiny little thing that you do.

This is what I want for my adventure:

(note: this isn't my Bible, but I love it when Bibles look tattered and worn, means they're doing their job)

my road map

because no matter how good it is now, my memory will fail me at some point and I want to make sure the most import things get passed on

(wish this picture was bigger)

This little beaut is the product of pure genius: a fully digital camera with all of the benefits and looks of an antique. Christmas wish list? I think YES.

Finally, I wanted to share where the title of this post came from, a Collin Raye song. My daddy and I tend to like the same music, and I may or may not have stolen this CD from him at some point, but when I read these passages, this song came to mind.

"I found a note my mamma left me,

With a Bible and a bus ticket home.

It said: 'One will get you where you're goin'

When you haven't got a prayer,

And one will bring ya back son,

If your dreams ain't waitin' there.

You're out on your own now.

We won't be there to fall back on,

But you know you're never farther

Than a Bible and a bus ticket home'."

so, pack what you want and leave the rest because, folks, it's about time our lives started pointing to God.. no matter where the journey takes us.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

i'm workin' on it

ahaha (admit it, ya chuckled)

Like this ad, I will choose to stay on the sunny side of stress.

Just last night I quoted Phil. 4:4 on this blog; today, while reading Crazy Love it popped up again. coincidence? I think not.

I'm also not gonna try to say it better than Francis Chan, because, he literally wrote the book:

"Rejoice! You'll notice that it doesn't end with, 'unless you're doing something extremely important.' No, it's a command for all of us that follows, 'Do not be anxious about anything'."

"In other words, [when I'm consumed with my problems] that I have the "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities. Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives. Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control. BASICALLY, these two behaviors [worry and stress, for those of you that missed it] communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional."

OK, OK... see what I mean about God guiding even the most stubborn of individuals down His desired path? Twice in less than 12 hours God has put Phil. 4:4-7 smack dab in front of me. Think He wants me to let it go? Alright, Alright. Even I get it. I've GOT to let go and let God.

Just so we're clear: This is me, letting down my walls one inch at a time (slow and steady wins the race, right?), picking up my Bible and following God.

I'm instantly reminded of the song lyrics, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Weellllll, no offense to the author, but in my experience it's been a little different. God never promises to illuminate the entire path. Oh contraire mon amie. He only promises to show you which step to take next. Which, more often than not, is when the step you're currently on is seconds away from collapsing from underneath you, but somehow you always manage to jump just in the nick of time. Funny, huh? how things work out.. nah, I like the fact that none of my life is coincidental. Even if I haven't got the faintest idea of what the heck I'm doing, God does. I've just gotta stop being so dadgum stubborn. As my fratty sistas of the 99th pledge class of Alpha Dee say, "I'm workin' on it.."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

a thankful heart is a happy heart

I know I copied the title from a Veggie Tales song, but it was the first thing that came to mind on the subject. Tonight I decided to read my Jesus Calling the night before so that it might settle me and essentially better equip me for the day. I was expecting something about giving up troubles etc., but what I got what a huge smack in the face.

"Thank me for the very things that are troubling you." (BAM)

If you've been keeping up with my journey lately, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and kind words- they mean soo much, then you know I've been struggling to find a balance between my will AND God's will.

At the moment Jesus' words of "not my will, but yours be done." are flashing in my head like a neon sign.

The verse to go with Jesus Calling tonight is Philippians 4:4-6 (I extended it to verse 7):

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

of course, I read it, "In everything, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God...?" This recent development has baffled me lately, but not enough to sit down and actually figure it out. UNTIL today. I was talking with one of my bosses about how God can change even the most hardened of hearts (cool stuff for office meeting chatter if I do say so myself) and she explained it perfectly. She said she heard a lady say one time that when she was confronted with going to Sudan (insert any hardship/unwanted place) for missions she completely shut down. I'm talking Fort Knox; not no one, no how is gettn' in. She didn't open her Bible, didn't speak of missions, even avoided discussions of God with her husband for fear that God would change her desires. (DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER LADIES AND GENTS! STEP RIGHT UP FOR THE GAL WHO AVOIDED GOD) Too bad, I'm leaving out a crucial aspect of God... He doesn't need me to tell him when I'm ready.. He knows.

another thing.. He is all powerful. and he WILL close every door until you take the one He has for you. (even if you're stubborn like me) He knew that I wouldn't pick hardly anything on my own; so, He gave me no choice. Don't believe me? Just look; I ain't lyin':

-Samford (he "dropped money from the sky")

-minor in cultural studies (because it fit my schedule)

-internship at WMU (no one else hired me)

-attending Blume (He paid the way)

So, instead of my first/natural reaction when the door I want is slammed in my face, I will choose to be thankful that God knows me better than I know myself. You'd think I'd start to listen, wouldn't you?

"It is impossible to thank Me and curse Me at the same time. Thankfulness awakens you to my presence, which overshadows all your problems." -Jesus Calling

I, along with Madame Blueberry, am choosing a thankful, happy heart.. it's an easy way to start..

Thursday, June 16, 2011

divin' in

it's official. we're taking the plunge.

July 12-16, Katelyn and I will board our flight to Orlando's Coronado Springs Resort for Blume 2011. As some of you may know, I'm the Blume Marketing intern for the summer and KG is another intern for National WMU. When we interviewed, we were told that we wouldn't be needed as interns for the actual event. However, God had different plans. Now, KG and I will be Y.E.S. facilitators for groups of girls at Epcot and general Blume staff for the rest of the week.

I'm not gonna lie; I'm scared. The biggest reservations I have are that I don't want to be used by God in this way. I don't want to want to do missions or become a missionary. This is where I KNOW I sound hypocritical. I love the LORD, and want to follow the path He has for me, but I want to follow my path too. I have plans. I have things I wana do, people I wana work for, and the career I want. I do want to travel. But my idea of traveling is to be a traveling journalist (i.e. be a food critic and eat my way through Europe and check out cool hotels) NOT be the next bride of Kolkata (formerly spelled Calcutta), if ya catch my drift.

The turning point was when my mama said,

"Anna, I wish you would go[to Blume]. If you open yourself up to God, and serve Him, He will bless you."

(I mean, really?! I get it..)

I've made myself perfectly clear that I don't want the desire to essentially work in this field; I want to write fluff for Southern Weddings Magazine or fluff for InStyle, not write curriculum for Sunday School. The other interns get a big kick out of this. They're just waiting for the moment when I walk into our room at Blume and say, "okay..I'm moving to [fill in the blank] to do [such n such] because I feel like God is leading me there." They, having been to Blume and experienced all its' awesomeness, are elated about the possibilities for my spiritual and emotional growth. And me? I'm bracing for a hard landing.

However, I'm taking the leap. Jumping into the deep end with the assurance that God's timing is better than my own. I have no idea what kind of emotions, experiences and growing await me in Orlando, but I'm going to go find out (even if my heels are dragging the whole way).

"Growth means change, and change involves risks. Stepping from the known to the unknown"

-anonymous (fitting, right?)

*prayers appreciated as I take a flying leap out of my comfort zone

in a nutshell

my plan for the summer. and for my life.

I've always been told to dream BIG.

but no one mentions how to make your dreams a reality.

this summer, I'm attempting to:

-define my dreams

-gather information

-develop a game plan

and essentially chomp at the bit til D-Day...

May 18, 2012

get ready world- here I come.

and I refuse to settle for less than my dreams

in all of their wonderous entirety

Thursday, June 9, 2011

play while you work

Part of my job as "Marketing Intern for Blume" is to update the social media outlets; today I got my turn to shine.

have a little faith and you'll see

"Because wanting to make a living as a freelance cartoonist, clothing designer, or computer programmer isn't silly. It's dreamable, doable, and damn good fun."

-My So-Called Freelance Life

While on my quest to better myself/make myself more marketable/figure out a life plan, I've stumbled upon some pretty fabulous finds; oh, and a book or two. Most recently I've found this little gem.

The forward states,"For anyone who's ever hit the snooze button five times in a row on Monday morning." JACKPOT. Someone finally understands me. (if you think im exagerating just contact Meredith Landers, my roommate of 3 years)

I've only read 3 chapters and have already made a "business plan to go" and laughed so hard I cried. I feel like Michelle and I would get along well. Her no-nonsense, honest approach to life hit me square between the eyes. Because when your idea of a good job resembles that of Rebeca Bloomwood (channel Confessions of a Shopaholic) you know you're gonna need to do some research about the reality of journalism. Thus, my quest for how to write/market/freelance and essentially get some cash money flow while still feeding my passion for "fluff" entertainment has begun. I've already read What Color is Your Parachute and skimmed through Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You're Worth, and as you can see, I'm on to freelancing. I'm choosing to use this desire of mine to build up as much knowledge about my desired field as possible, and besides, a lil research never killed anyone, did it? I'm hoping that this knowledge will build a bridge over my fence of insecurities to my totally fabulous future. I'm determined to find my dream job, and yes, naysayers, it does exsist.

Because, "What's so juvenile about actually liking what you do for a living? What's wrong with designing your own career if you can't stomach the one you've got or can't figure out what kind of job you want in the first place? Isn't that a better bet than hanging on to a 9-to-5 that makes you feel like you're crawling over broken glass sixty hours a week?" -Michelle Goodman

Why, YES Michelle, it is...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

free fallin'

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer.

Always remember, you have within you

the strength, the patience and the passion

to reach for the stars to change the world."

Harriet Tubman

Today my assignment was to skim my summer reading book, an extremely helpful job-hunting book updated frequently, titles "What Color is Your Parachute?". As I began to fill out the puzzles, tests and diagrams I discovered, to my horror, that I don't really know myself very well at all.

This may seem stupid considering I would have bet my life on the fact that, other than God and maybe my mama, I would definitely know myself best; wouldn't we all?

However, I now have a complete "flower" diagram of traits, personality characteristics, values, working conditions and more to guide my search for my dream job, and ultimately my dream life that seem almost foreign to me.

I feel like a more appropriate title might have been "Where do you want to land?" or "Stop fooling yourself, you know nothing about what you actually want," But no one asked this skeptic..

Now I feel like I've filled out my manual but have no idea how to read it. As I stare at the diagram of patterns of my own life I'm almost more confused than ever.

I now know what I'm good at, where I would want to live, what range of salary fits my line of expertise and which "people environment" I'm best in..all on paper that is. Why is it that on paper everything sounds fabulous? It's like a trick our minds play on us; "This is what you want, Anna, it says so right there!" But what happens once im there (wherever there is)?

"You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."

-Yogi Berra

The truth is you can't know. I can't know. And this book can't know either. Only God can know where my life will lead and when and where it will intersect with my dream job and dream life. And the truth is, me sitting here worrying about my future won't make it any less complicated. This is one of the many, many times where I'm just gonna hafta take my knowledge, experience and dreams... and leap...

..Here goes nothin..

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

things are sweeter in Tennessee

I miss home.

Just one of those days.

I love Birmingham, my friends and living on my own,

but every now and then it's nice to go home.

As I've said too many times to count,

I have no special affinity toward Memphis;

except that it's home.

I do, however, believe that Tennessee is flipping awesome.

My childhood memories are scattered all the way from Memphis all the way to Johnson City,

and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Here's what I'm missing most today,

in no particular order:

(besides family and my comfy bed)

Only some of the best BBQ anywhere.
"So good y'ull slap yo mama"

I rest my case.

Pairing roller coasters and bluegrass with funnel cakes and kettle corn.

Yes, please.

Indoor skiing, ice skating and the Great Smoky Mtns.

"The Best Way to See the Smokies"

4) Opryland Hotel (specifically at Christmas)

I LOVE the decorations at Christmas.

I could walk around in the lobby for hours.

AND I can still remember getting Dippn' Dots at Opryland Theme Park before it closed.

Save up.

Make the trek to Nashvegas.

and while your're there..see the Rockettes

($55 courtesy of

(I know I'm copying the state necklace trend, AND I know TN is awkwardly shaped..

BUT I love it all the same)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

...there's no better time to start...

"To live would be an awfully big adventure."

-Peter Pan

"My unfulfilled ambition is to write a novel in three parts about my adventures."
Aunt Millicent: "What adventures??"
"I've yet to have them, but they will be perfectly thrilling..."
-Wendy, Peter Pan

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Obsessed, adj: to consume or preoccupy thoughts

OK-I consider this blog some sort of therapy for my strange, yet addictive behavior of stream of conscious thoughts.. but this may take the cake. Here is a very small glimpse into what preoccupies my mind at any given time:

1) Cooking/Baking in my new apartment

This has never been my stong suit but I'm attempting to change my ways. My first step is following cooking blogs in hopes of inspiration.

Look no farther than this recipe:

Frozen Hot Chocolate: (courtesy of

-6 half-ounce pieces of white chocolate

-2 Tbs half and half

-1 package store bought hot chocolate mix

-1 tablespoon sugar

-1 and 1/2 cups milk

-3 cups ice

-whipped cream and chocolate shavings optional

Place white chocolate and half and half into microwave safe bowl, heat for 1 minute stopping to stir halfway through. Continue to heat until melted and smooth. Add cocoa and sugar and continue to stir until thoroughly blended. Remove from heat and begin to add 1/2 cup of milk and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a blender place remaining cup of milk, the room temperature chocolate mixture and ice. Blend on high until it's the consistency of a frozen daquiri. Pour in a cup and top with whipped cream. ENJOY!

2) I currently LOVE super skinny rings. No matter if they are gold, silver or bronze. I'm currently on the hunt for affordable yet chic ones so keep your eyes peeled.

3) TEXAS nail polish line by OPI

specifically "Big Hair, Big Nails"

4) Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are my celebrity couple crush

They're fierce, attractive & just about as country-fried as a couple can get.

Now playing: "Love Song" Miranda Lambert

{my dream life. yes, please.}

{check out Blake on The Voice and Miranda's VH1: Behind The Music July 13th}

told you... no other word but OBSESSED


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