Thursday, February 27, 2014


So, this just happened. Yep, I contributed to this campaign. As a proud alum I thought it was only right. Oh, and just so there's no confusion, it's SAMford, not STANford. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

101 Things in 1001 Days Update

For those that don't know what the heck I'm talking about, read this link first and this one second. Now that you know why I made my list and what it is, I want to fill you in on my progress. 

I honestly hadn't thought about it specifically in a while (I originally wrote it in May of 2013), but I obviously want the things on this list done badly enough that I accomplished some of them without even remembering they were on the list. Not too shabby, eh? 

101 things in 1001 days

Deadline: February 2, 2016
(if my math is correct)
  1. inspire someone else to make a list
  2. organize my nail polish collection
  3. expand my closet (as in the physical dimensions)
  4. find my signature scent (Fancy by Jessica Simpson. I just can't get enough)
  5. wear heels (at least 3x in one week)
  6. find (I want one of I just have to save up) Buy the perfect cocktail ring/ signature ring a la The Family Stone ring
  7. go back to New Orleans
  8. learn 10 new recipes  
  9. find my ideal skincare regimen (Nerium. Enough said)
  10. read these classics(1/7 complete- I just read The Great Gatsby)
  11. go to a journalism conference of some kind
  12. gain 15 new blog followers (9/15 gained)
  13. make a connection to someone in the corporate beauty world
  14. read a Faulkner and Hemingway novel
  15. dip my toes in the Atlantic for the second time in my life (Memorial Day 2013, SC)
  16. pay off my student loans/be debt free
  17. learn more about my family history
  18. travel to 3 new cities (1/3 down- Pawley's Island, SC)
  19. go to a Music Festival
  20. meet/get a photo with a Grizzlies player (QPon, 5/16/13)
  21. take a photography class with Mary Jane/attend a Design Love Fest photoshop class
  22. shadow a photographer
  23. scrapbook my college memories
  24. mail 25 snail mail letters (7/25 complete)
  25. become more involved with the Memphis ADPi alum assoc.
  26. start donating/giving back to Samford
  27. spend an entire day with my mom and sister doing whatever they want
  28. go fishing with my dad
  29. talk at an event/speaking engagement (journalism class at Hutchison)
  30. visit Sean in Denver (He moved back to bham shortly after this list was created)
  31. go back to the Smokey Mtns with my besties
  32. help connect at least one JMC student to a job interview
  33. work for one of my dream jobs
  34. work out at least twice a week for 3 months (got my gym membership at ATC in October and have made it 3 months and counting)
  35. throw a surprise party
  36. host a dinner party
  37. find a worthy costume to top my “Katy Perry”
  38. help my mom organize and clean the house
  39. subscribe to the magazines I buy anyway
  40. figure out exactly what I'm allergic to  (dust, ceclor, and septra--May 2013)
  41. take a girls trip to NYC at Christmas time with mom, MJ, Em and Ash
  42. have a sleepover with my sister (May 22-24, 2013 b/c her air conditioning was out)
  43. have a sleepover with Ashleigh at college
  44. be at every home game for Memphis Tigers Basketball
  45. read the Bible cover to cover
  46. actually study the bible/participate in Bible studies
  47. find an organization to contribute to/serve/support/participate in
  48. run a 5k (Race for the Cure with JT, October 2013)
  49. see the rockettes
  50. face my fear of heights (climbed to the roof of a building overlooking Crawfish Fest in Cooper Young, and subsequently had a panic attack and started bawling- May 2013)
  51. find a new hair style
  52. invest in a LV or Chanel bag
  53. travel out of the country
  54. guest blog for a popular site
  55. perfect the art of iced coffee
  56. tour a brewery (Wiseacre Brewery for an interview with MBQ and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery when in STL, August 2013)
  57. wine taste at a vineyard
  58. drink an O'Carr's milkshake and eat a baby bite in Birmingham
  59. share my testimony
  60. find out 10 fun facts I didn't know about my Papaw
  61. throw a shower/party/brunch (Emily's baby Shower, Feb. 8th)
  62. buy ice cream from an ice cream truck
  63. run on a trail with a puppy (Did this just this past Saturday with Lills and JT, but it's become a regular thing when weather and schedules permit)
  64. try one new workout outside of my comfort zone
  65. try yoga
  66. organize my movie collection
  67. watch at least half of the bond movies (1 down)
  68. get a monogrammed piece from S. Meredith
  69. have an inslee illustration of myself for the blog
  70. paint a room
  71. purchase either duck boots or hunter rain boots (JT bought me moss green hunters for my 24th bday)
  72. have a library in my house
  73. figure out who A is in PLL
  74. go on a mission trip
  75. use my press pass to get into an event
  76. start tithing consistently (began in mid-January 2014 and counting. It's been 6 weeks so far)
  77. learn to shoot a gun
  78. learn to drive a stick shift car (before JT sold his beauty, he taught me to drive it in the Bellevue parking lot, fall 2013)
  79. go to Dollywood
  80. go to a concert (Justin Timberlake for my bday, November 18th, 2013).
  81. find the perfect recording device for interviews
  82. find an idiot proof self-tanner
  83. complete a DIY project from Pinterest (I made a T door hanger for JT's door and spray painted and hung my monogram from the craft fair)
  84. have a friend take pictures for my blog
  85. get better at Spanish/use it
  86. run at Shelby farms (see #64)
  87. freelance for 2 new places
  88. travel to Texas
  89. dye my hair red
  90. find a reason to wear my cowboy boots
  91. watch Gone With the Wind
  92. bake bread
  93. take the train somewhere
  94. find a a tea (ex. Herbal, chai, breakfast, chamomile) I desire to drink Arizona Diet Green Tea
  95. check out books at the library/use my library card
  96. take a spin class
  97. wear a jumper/jumpsuit 
    100. plant a garden (6/2/13 at JT's house)
    101. put $10 in my savings account for each item I complete.
So far, thats 24 complete out of 101, and at last count (on June 3, 2013) I only had 7. Be sure to let me know if you make a list, so I can cross that one off. It's pretty fun, and rewarding to see goals getting checked off. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Present Makes Perfect

{This "inspirational thought catalog" was given to me as a parting gift from 
ServiceMaster by a very sweet lady who loves office supplies as much as I do. 
It will always be on my desk, no matter where my desk is.}

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm burning the candle at both ends. Between my full-time job as Assistant Editor for MBQ and a Contributing Editor for MM, I've taken on freelance opportunities for the WMU, still doing social media here and there (not a full campaign but something) for Cordova Vision Center, and most recently, sharing Nerium as a side business (a very lucrative one at that! shameless plug that I just got promoted to a Director after only 40 days!). 

All of this still falls under the category of work, too. Then there's my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my social life, and of course, my relationship and walk with the Lord which I've actively been trying to strengthen through reading I Am A Church Member and consistently tithing for the first time in my life. OH, and being a Tone It Up gal, I've newly started making nearly all my own meals (for 5 small meals a day.. hello food-prep time) and working out more consistently. 

By the end of day, and especially the week, I tend to be an exhausted mess. I'm not a perfectionist by any means, but I do have a certain sense of "if I'm going to do it, I'm not going to do it halfway." This leads to the original sentiment of burning the candle at both ends. I've always been ambitious and anyone who knows me, knows that the best way to get me to succeed is to tell me I can't do something. Then my inner diva puffs up and says yells "watch me!"(very much a la Lorrie Morgan).

This morning I was chatting with JT about future opportunities and goals he has, and specific ones I have for my future. Then we always start talking about our future and dreams, hopes, and wants (anything is fair game from ideal houses and neighborhoods to jobs to church life and "extras" such as boats, cars, etc). This morning in particular, we both said wait a second. It's great that we're both so very motivated both individually and together, but we need to take a time out and start recognizing how great our current stage of life is.

This sounds cliche, but we both have very charmed lives and often take them for granted. I get the opportunity to live at home with my parents, something I cherish. I made my mom breakfast this morning before her big meeting because I wanted to, and was able to. Things like that are a rarity and won't always be possible in every stage of my life. I have a fabulous relationship with my sister that has grown tremendously (unfortunately due to JT working 24-hour Sunday shifts) and I tend to spend the whole day Sunday with her. I carpool with my dad to work out in the morning, and I even have a business with my mom now too (shout out Nerium)

JT has the opportunity to work for Stryker, and pick up shifts at Jason's Deli making bank in tips and working overtime hours, possibly shadow career mentors, and network. He also bowls with friends weekly, comes to some of my Nerium meetings and helps me, makes time for date nights, visits with Granny and Dee before his morning work outs due to his schedule and is the godfather to a precious baby boy. 

Most of these things wouldn't be possible if we had gotten what we originally wanted. If I made more money, I might not live at home and spend the time growing these relationships. If JT worked normal hours, he wouldn't have time to network or make extra money on the side just because he can. 

We made the decision to keep each other accountable to enjoying the present and not always wishing it away for the next stage of life. Because both of us will tell you, the here and now is pretty darn great. Exhaustion and all. (Ironically, Emily Maynard wrote about the same topic today too. God works in mysterious ways, I tell you.)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy Doppelgänger Friday

Okay so I cannot be the only one watching the Olympics and wondering when the girl from The Notebook (Rachel McAdams) learned to skate? I swear I kept thinking it was a modern day remake of Ice Castles (which sadly already happened to lackluster reviews) or The Cutting Edge.

I get that there are oodles of celebrity doppelgängers but c'mon people, these girls look IDENTICAL. Can I get an amen?
Left: U.S. Olympic Figure Skater, Ashley Wagner // Right: Rachel McAdams

Happy Friday!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy (flashback) Friday/Valentine's Day!

Today has already brought on so many happy emotions and it's not even noon. I'm a huge fan of holidays in general, but this one is exceptionally lovely. 
{Meemaw and me in my favorite spot}

For starters, I went to the gym with my dad and used my early Valentine's present from JT again, and yep, I still love it. So the endorphins weren't a bad way to get things going. I got the sweetest card from my mama along with some valentines happys, and watched my dad sneak to the garage and get mama's present out of his toolbox (how stinking cute?!)

While I was getting ready, I thought about my sister, and how very different this Valentine's is from last year. Then, she had just gone through her second miscarriage and was feeling particularly blue, as anyone would imagine. I purchased this happy (she's the one with the ring and pale nail polish, I'm the one with the lipstick-stained mug and dark nails--it really couldn't be more fitting for us) for her as a reminder that we'd always have each other and that I was (and am) so thankful for our bond as sisters. This year, she's mere weeks away from giving birth to her first bebe. God is good, and I can't help but smile when I think of how far we've all come since last year.
{at Mary Jane's wedding in what she called her "wedding dress" 
since she wore it to all her kid's weddings}

Next came the group text from my mama to my aunt, cousin, emily and me saying how this day is always kind of bittersweet because it's filled with so much love, but is a vivid reminder of my wonderful Meemaw who would've been 88-years-old tomorrow. It's beyond crazy that she's been gone over a decade. In some ways it's easier, but in other ways the void is still very apparent. We've chosen to dwell on the positive: her life, her love, and her powerful legacy of strong women in our family. Today, I'm wearing two rings that were passed down to me; subtle things like that always make me feel closer to her. 
{Left: JT's tiger ring, and my Meemaw's band-Ashleigh has the other :) // Right: Purple was her favorite color as amethyst was her birthstone, and she collected tons of amethyst jewelry.}

To top it off, JT sweetly agreed to go visit my Papaw with me tonight for Valentine's. I've got a good one, and today I'm especially thankful for his kindness and strong family values. 

So however you spend your day, I hope it's filled with crazy, stupid amounts of love. God is great, God is good, and God is full of love for you and me. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Perfectly Pink

What's red and pink and fabulous all over? The contents of my lipstick bag. 

Truth, I have a serious problem when it comes to lipstick. I have a weird hatred of bare lips, so as a result, whether it's a gloss, a stain, or simply chapstick, there is always, always, always something on them. 

Since it's Valentine's Day Eve, (yes, really) my favorites have centered around the bright pinks and the fire-engine reds, but I have to say my most favorite everyday choice is currently Dior Addict Lip Glow

It feels like chapstick (since, hi hello I'm all about comfort) so it isn't sticky but it's always the perfect shade of pink. This is because it literally changes colors based on your pH or body temperature or something like that. I don't bother myself with the science, all I know is, it works wonders no matter the occasion: gym, work, date night, or plain ole sitting at home.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Subscription Prescription

Like clockwork, the postman delivers a glossy, perfect-bound happy to my door, and just like that, everything (the cold weather, exhaustion when it's only Tuesday etc) is okay again. 

I have a deep appreciation for the written word and an ever fonder affection of magazines. I cannot help myself. Specifically, this obsession has found its muse in InStyle. It's by far my favorite magazine, and I think it will always be (sorry, Vogue, I know this is a mortal sin). Last night, I found the March issue, featuring cover girl Nicole Kidman, and couldn't help but smile. At a whopping 616 pages without front of back covers, I'd say print is definitely not dead (if you care to learn more about my feelings on this, look at the last page of the December 2013 Memphis magazine). Lucky for me.

I haven't nearly had time yet to read through the whole thing but just from skimming I've found a few favorites ranging from the visually beautiful to the practical and helpful.  

The perfect medicine for a blah day.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Petite Bebe

The title speaks for itself (in French) and has it's origins (in my mind) from The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, in which they refer to loved ones as such. In this case, however, it really is about a sweet precious little one who I cannot wait to meet, but will for the sake of his health.

{Me, Em, and Mom on Saturday}

This weekend made it feel really real, as if Em's growing bebe bump (in all its precious goodness) didn't. On Friday night, her fabulous work friends from Le Bonheur threw her a shower, and on Saturday a few of her friends (myself included) threw her another one. Needless to say we're all feeling pretty loved, Ben, Emily, and Bebe T, especially. 
{The hostesses: me, Shannon, Courtney, Em, Kelley, Danielle, and Lauren}

Along with my hostessing duties (thankfully I had five awesome ladies to share it with), I got to go home with Em and mom after the showers to help unload the "loot" and attempt to organize the mass quantities of petite items to their designated cubby. I will say, I'm not a cleaner, and this type of organizing was the most fun ever. I found myself asking for more things to help with (Em, you better take advantage of this)
{Me, Em, and Ash}

{refueling between shower and unloading/organizing loot = giant coke zero}

Here's a look at some of the progress in said nursery. As some of you know, Emily and Ben did find out they're having a boy, but are keeping the name a secret from everyone (family included) until the little nugget is born. 
{in progress closet}

They do, however, already have a name and have been surprisingly great at keeping it a secret while still monogramming everything they can (he'll have a block wooden monogram above his bed, his "coming home from the hospital outfit" is already sporting his moniker, as well as other items like his church bag and Easter outfit). Funny thing is, we don't get to see the monogram until he's born either. No hints. No nothing. Emily will show us the items and cover up the letters with her hand or various other means. It's quite cute. 
{in progress nursery}

Whatever his name is, I cannot wait to meet him. If he comes on his due date, we have T-minus 56 days. And many more experiences like the photo below as a new auntie.
A few gifts got shoved in my purse to make room for larger ones in the car Saturday, and while reaching for my keys after church Sunday, I found this little surprise waiting for me. He's not even born yet, and this is happening. And I love it.

Friday, February 7, 2014


It's no secret (I mean like a secret) that I'm quite a fan of Katy Perry. I could take a moment to list the reasoning or the examples of previous posts about her, but let's be real here, it'd take way more than a minute. From my tiger ring and halloween costume to my coffee table book and "Part of Me" movie DVD, I'd say the obsession is here to stay.

Once JT told me he bought us tickets to her show this fall as a birthday present, I knew it was time to burn this cd (literally, and figuratively) into my brain. Since Monday, I've been listening to the Prism Deluxe Edition on repeat, and I must say, it's pretty darn awesome. The transition from Teenage Dream to Adult Reality is a slippery slope, but as someone who has gone through the highs and lows of post-grad adulthood, the lyrics pretty much hit the nail on the head.

A few of my favorites and what they triggered in my mind, for those curious are below. For those that aren't curious or hate KP... stop

Of course "Roar" is a fabulous workout jam and all-around girl power ballad. No need to elaborate. But it's the other songs that left me with very distinct associations every time I heard them. 

"Unconditionally" first made me thing of the obvious, a strong, meaningful relationship. Duh. But the more the album repeated, the more in depth I went with every line. I took it from a very sweet and romantic feeling about a boyfriend, to encompass the way I view a marriage relationship. Then, a step farther to the love of a parent and their child, since my sister is preggo and bebe's have been in the forefront of my mind by planning showers. Then, this morning I almost started crying listening to the song with the mindset of the heavenly father and his beloved followers. If I've said it once I've said it a hundred times, my God works in mysterious ways and uses every aspect of my life to draw me close to him, secular songs included.

The next song that left a lasting imprint was "It Takes Two." Title alone, you think, yes perfect follow up to "Unconditionally." But in the words of the Grinch, wrong-o. This one is about a break-up, and take it for whatever you will in terms of KP's split from Russell Brand. It's sad, empowering, and 100% relatable, at least for me. The things that really got me were "It takes two, two sides to every story. Not just you, I can't keep ignoring. I admit half of it, I'm not that innocent."

On a more upbeat note, "International Smile" and "This is How We Do" are anthems I need my TNBs for. Riding down Lakeshore, windows down, Sonic limeades in hand, belting every word. Takes me back to college in a flash, and makes me miss my girls more than the normal amount (which is already a LOT). "This one goes out to all the ladies at breakfast in last night's dress. This goes out to all you kids that still have their cars at the club valet and it's Tuesday. Shout out to all you kids buying drink service with your rent money." 

Last, but certainly not least, "Dark Horse" is that song I'm embarrassed by, because I sing so loudly and so expressively in the car that I pray no one pulls up next to me. Channeling her Grammy performance seen here, I also work in elements from Zeta's "Double Double Toil and Trouble" Step Sing show and the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus. (what? like you don't too. c'mon)

So, if you haven't purchased it yet, I highly recommend rocking out to every phase of life with this 16-song keepsake. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

So, tell me about yourself...

Checking up on all my blogger gals who hit up the start of NYC Fashion Week, I found this post from Design Darling, and thought it might be a fun thing to try. 

Favorite characteristic about yourself: (Physically) my curly hair (both a blessing and a curse, but by far, the first thing people notice about me) but the characteristic is my quick wit (some say sarcasm).
Favorite color combination: black with pops of bright color, lately pink.
Favorite flower: buttercups, hydrangeas, peonies 
You never leave the house without: iPhone, jewelry and lipstick (even if I'm in sweats)
You're secretly addicted to: nail polish and reality television

Now copy and paste the below questionnaire and share your 
responses in the comments! I'll be reading :)

Favorite characteristic about yourself:
Favorite color combination:
Favorite flower:
You never leave the house without:
You're secretly addicted to:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Little Things

Happiness is truly a choice, and even on this freezing, rainy, miserable day, there are some bright spots. A few of the things that have kept me smiling today are:

-Bright pink lipstick (specifically this shade which I'm wearing)
-This article from Levo League featuring Your Coffee Break
-That the sassy sisters of Georgetown Cupcake are the "Guest Bartenders" at BaubleBar
-That I get to wear my moss green hunter wellies (not to be confused with the fabulous pink ones Sophie and Katherine rock).
-That there's a tiger game tonight

I'm sensing my obsession with the color pink growing. So even though my editor just said "It's literally flash flooding outside," and there are icicles hanging off our steps, I'm smiling.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Polar Monday

No, the title isn't for the arctic, icy weather we seem to have in Memphis today, although it could be. It's actually for the very first day I got to break out my Polar FT4 heart rate monitor and watch (maybe the best alternative to candy as an early Valentine's gift from JT) for my workouts. And I must say, it's fabulous, fun, and pink. I am in love. And I also felt totally official in the gym with it on, so that doesn't hurt. 
{not bad considering I've been out of the gym for nearly 2 weeks}

Something about new workout gear, extras (i.e. water bottles, hand weights), or a new routine that make things so much more fun. Variety is the spice of life, and Lord knows I continually need motivation to keep my butt in the gym. As I was still riding my endorphin-high from this morning, I stumbled upon this article

I'm very familiar with Tracy and her Method since I'm a big Gwyneth Paltrow fan (in the way someone can be obsessed when they've never actually tried it), and I'm well aware she swears by it. And I don't know if you've seen GP lately, but I think if she swore by drinking mud, I'd consider it, too.

All that to say, I think that once my bank account gets fuller (thanks to Nerium and extra freelancing I have lined up) I might just take the plunge and incorporate one of these DVDs into my routine. 

Because summer bodies are made in the winter, and homegirl has not one, but two bridesmaids dresses to rock in a few months. 

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