Friday, May 31, 2013

Five on Friday

Yay weekends, and yay for this fabulous link up, courtesy of Christina of Carolina Charm, Darci of The Good Life, April of A. Liz Adventures, and Natasha of Hello! Happiness5 on Friday Logo - Final(1)
Here are five things I've been loving lately:

1. Jif Whips: Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate. If you haven't tried Jif's new creation, walk, no, RUN to your nearest grocery store and pick up a little tub of this. It's no wonder the picture has this stuff floating in the clouds, because one bite of the whipped peanut butter and chocolate, and you're in heaven! I know I'm sounding dramatic, but y'all, it's that good. Seriously, it's like a Tagalong (or peanut butter patties, whatever your girl scouts called them) on a spoon. The best part? It's only 150 calories for two tablespoons- less than regular peanut butter or Nutella!

jif whips

2. Easy, at-home workouts: if you're anything like me and end up eating three or four tablespoons instead of just two (oopsies) of the Jif Whips, you'll probably appreciate these quick circuit workouts! They're as long or short as you make them; you can do whatever is on the list once, twice, five times... Whatever! I love these routines because they're easily adaptable, so I can make them as intense or relaxed as I want. While I'm at it, I add in some strength training- this is my favorite arms video! It's only ten minutes long, and let me tell ya, after I did that for the first time, I was sooore! Here are a few simple, no-frills circuits I stumbled upon on Pinterest:

Warning: sweating may occur...  
Warning: sweating may occur...

No equipment necessary!  
No equipment necessary!

3. Soldier Surprises: I'm not ashamed to say that I bawl like a baby whenever I watch YouTube videos of soldiers surprising their loved ones. I don't do it often, because I don't always enjoy being in a glass case of emotion (Anchorman, anyone?), but when I do.... I just can't help it. I feel so blessed to see my family on a regular basis. The longest I went without seeing or regularly talking to my dad was two months when he was in Germany for his job; I was seven years old. To imagine being that young, even younger, and not knowing when you'd see your mommy or daddy, if you'd ever see them... Gets me every time. Unexpected Homecomings... Watch if you dare.

4. Lilly on Rue-La-La: If anyone out there is a Lilly Pulitzer fanatic like I am, you probably already knew that the colorful, whimsical, and fun designs are on sale at Rue-La-La. However, if you didn't, know you do, and here's a link to see the goods if you don't have a Rue-La-La account. I couldn't resist some of the steals....

5. Relaxin': I only have ten days left until I start work, and I've been soakin' those days up! When I say soakin', I mean soakin' up the sun by the pool with a sno-ball in hand. Approximately three minutes from my house, there's a new shaved-ice/ snow-ball place, and I'm borderline obsessed (I don't use that term lightly!). Their "Tiger Blood" flavor (strawberry and coconut) is so refreshing on a hot afternoon!

Icy treat + neighborhood pool to myself + sunshine = perfect lazy day! 
Icy treat + neighborhood pool to myself + sunshine = perfect lazy day!

Song of the blog: "Physical" by Olivia Newton John, in honor of the 80's-themed 8k I'm running tonight!
Lyrics of the song: "Let's get physical, physical!"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Remember that "Blog Every Day" Challenge? So... About That.

Yeah, I know. I fell off the wagon. However, I'm not beating myself up about it, because I've had some fun times away from the MacBook!
Want to see the past week or two through my eyes? my sunglasses and a few more pictures will have to do!  
Want to see the past week or two through my eyes? my sunglasses and a few more pictures will have to do!

The day I didn't blog post was a busy one. I knew my challenge for the day was to take pictures of my day, and take pictures I did! I got one before my run, at the pool with my friends, and even one before I went and played trivia with them at night!

Feelin' hot, hot, hot! What a great, sizzlin' day for some country tunes, a beautiful pool, and of course, a well stocked pool bag!
Feelin' hot, hot, hot! What a great, sizzlin' day for some country tunes, a beautiful pool, and of course, a well stocked pool bag!

However, by the time I got back from trivia that night (which we didn't win... don't even let me get into that story about some stinkin' cheaters!), I was tired, and I wanted to go to bed so I could be ready for a visit to Wofford to see my friends one more time before they went home for the summer... Or graduated!

 I got to see my mini-me, Natalie (left), and my big sister, Julia (right), who is going to PA school now!

I also got to see my suite-mates/best friends/ sisters, and although I didn't get to spend much time with them, it was nice to see them all the same! Continuing on with my whirlwind week, I turned 21! Yay for birthdays, and more importantly, for the family and friends that make celebrating so special! I got to spend the whole day how I wanted to spend it, going on a walk at River Walk with my parents and eating yummy tea muffins! After that, I went and got my hair did [sic, yes, I'm putting the sic], which was much needed so that I could look sassy (or as one of my friends put it "saucy") for my birthday night.

My family and I before celebrating with a delicious birthday dinner!  
My family looking spiffy before a delicious birthday dinner!

Thankfully, my friend Ben had a birthday earlier that week, so we all celebrated in honor of him, too!

My fabulous friends: Kara (right), designed a fun "21" check list for me, and Rita (left) offered to let us spend the night in her nifty NoDa apartment!  
My fabulous friends: Kara (right), designed a fun "21" check list for me, and Rita (left) offered to let us spend the night in her nifty NoDa apartment!

Blurry but a blast: shameless selfies, great friends, and bowling at Park Lanes added up to a great birthday night!  
Blurry but a blast: shameless selfies, great friends, and bowling at Park Lanes added up to a great birthday night!

After my birthday, a few of my friends, including John, started work, and I started my two online classes. That doesn't mean I don't still have time for fun! This Memorial Weekend, John and I spent time with John's sweet older sister, Kathryn, and her friends! We all cooked out at Kathryn and her room mates' house and headed to Speed Street to listen to Survivor, AKA the 80s band that has a couple minor hits... and then Eye of the Tiger. Yeah. They obviously saved that for last, but it was worth it to people watch (oh my redneck.).

My first Speed Street experience!  
My first Speed Street experience!

I've also been attempting to help around the house, since we're having company for Corey's upcoming high school graduation! One of the things on my mom's to-do list? Get a wreath for the front door. My response? Go to Michaels, get less than $30 worth of supplies, make wreath for front door!

My mom and I made this pretty little number!  
My mom and I made this pretty little number![/caption]

I think the combo of country-chic burlap, delicate hydrangeas and blossoms, and a small whimsical black monogram says "Welcome to our home!", don't you?! Obviously, minus the whole "no blogging" thing, I've been making pretty good use of my spare time!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When the Dog Bites, When the Bee Stings...

When I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feeeeel so bad! Yes, I am quoting the "Sound of Music" and no, I do not feel ashamed of my intense love for all things musical theater.

My passion for theater did not make my list for today's challenge topic, which is "ten things that make you really happy". How easy is that?! For someone like me, it starts out super easy... And then gets super hard narrowing down the list. I decided to be technical about it, so no people or places. (Just know that my family and friends and Disney World would all totally make the list.)

I love my family (and John and Corey's girlfriend, Morgan!), but sorry guys! You're people, not things!
I love my family (and John, and Corey's girlfriend, Morgan!), but sorry guys! You're people, not things!

Without further ado, here are ten things, in no particular order, that make my heart sing:

1. That post-workout sweaty feeling of accomplishment. I've been trying to get that feeling in a lot since school has been out, because I might as well use my time wisely! My neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods are extremely hilly, which means my runs are challenging for me. Four miles running the flat dikes at Clemson with a gorgeous sunset? No problem (okay, sometimes a problem, I'm not a pro runner). Four miles up and down steep-ish slopes? Cue the almost-asthmatic breathing. Totally worth it! I have also been getting into some at home circuits to do, and I plan on posting them later!

Whew! I may be looking rough, but John and I were feeling pretty good after our first 10k!  
Whew! I may be looking rough, but John and I were feeling pretty good after our first 10k!

2. My friend Laura's new haircut. My freshman year at Wofford, my across-the-hall-neighbor Laura and I became good friends; she and I were in the same sorority and she was the most refreshing combination of funny, crazy, and smart. She also happened to be beautiful.... But until she chopped off 18 inches of her hair, she wasn't so sure about that. Yesterday she posted a picture after her courageous chop, and wow, does she pull off that short and sassy 'do like no one else could! She captioned the picture explaining how she finally accepted her beauty, and I could not stop gushing about it to John. Oops! I guess I just really admire that kind of gutsiness, and it makes me especially happy since it's my friend.

So proud of this gorgeous- inside and out- girl! 
So proud of this gorgeous- inside and out- girl!

3. My birfday coming up soon! Oooh, or birthdays in general! Okay, holidays in general! Like that feeling you get Christmas morning when you're filled up with joy! Yay!

My birthday almost a year ago!  
My birthday almost a year ago!

4. When that song you love comes on the radio unexpectedly. You know, when it's been a while? My dad mentioned that one when I told him the challenge topic today. Thats the best feeling. I love to turn up the volume and roll my windows down when I hear "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift while I'm in the car. That's the best!

Okay, so it wasn't exactly a surprise to hear Taylor's hits at her concert... But that made me pretty happy too!  
Okay, so it wasn't exactly a surprise to hear Taylor's hits at her concert... But that made me pretty happy too!

5. The feeling you get after an intense spring cleaning sesh. I adore the feeling I get when I've done, like, three loads of laundry, ironed, and reorganized my closet... Right after I've hand-washed every dish I own and cleaned my bathroom from tile to ceiling! Whew! Now that is satisfying! When I got home from school last week, my mom and I did some serious cleaning in my bedroom. I have two dormers (little closet/attics), a walk-in closet, and a bunch of old junk! Thankfully I'm not too much of a hoarder, and I said good-bye to a lot of clothes and items!

6. Snuggling in freshly laundered sheets! Mmm! 'Nuff said!

7. Warm- sunny- clear-sky kind of days, like today! It was a perfect day for John and me to go zip-lining! John is Mr. Groupon, and he found a deal for us to go to The Beanstalk Journey in Morganton, NC. I don't think I would like living out in the boonies of western North Carolina, but I loved visiting! We had a great time, and John was impressed with how fearless I seemed, probably because he's used to my usually fearful self!

Before our adventure in the beautiful outdoors!  
Before our adventure in the beautiful outdoors!

8. Hearing people's love stories- especially if those stories include proposals, because I am so cheesy. If those proposals include pictures? I'm done! I know, I'm a sucker. I promise I'm not overly sappy or romantic! Happy endings are just the best, in my opinion!

9. Mornings when you wake up early and spring out of bed with ease. It's fabulous getting your day started and make the most of it, which is easier to do when you have more time!

10. Free stuff! Everybody loves free stuff, and although my beloved fourth grade teacher taught us that there's no such thing as a free lunch, I would like to think otherwise! Sometimes free stuff is no good, but sometimes, you register your birthday with Vera Bradley and they give you a card in the mail during your birthday month. Not just any card, though: a card with $20 on it! Seriously, the birthday card is good for twenty dollars on your purchase of twenty dollars or more! I decided to use mine on this super nice beach towel! I only paid a fraction of the cost! Score!
Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 8.57.07 PM 
Can't wait to lounge on this bargain!

So here's to the little things; may y'all find the happiness in every day too!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dear Everyone, I'm Sorry.

Today's topic doesn't sound like much fun to me:  issue a public apology. This can be as funny or as serious or as creative as you want it to be. Hmm...
As I sat and scratched my head while trying to think of specific things I should really apologize for, I was at a loss... And then it hit me. That's exactly what I need to apologize for! My no good, hard-headed stubbornness. When I was younger, I thought I was always right (I think I get that from my daddy- thanks Dad!). I was a total know-it-all- the one thing I didn't know was how annoying it was! I say "when I was younger," but truth be told, I still like having the last word and "winning" debates. However, as I've gotten older, I've realized that it doesn't feel so great "winning," and normally, no matter who "wins," both people feel like they've lost.
"Wait, come here! Let me tell you how right I am!"

For example, there are certain things John and I can't talk about, because he has the same stubborn qualities that I have (except believe it or not, he might be even more tenacious!). As much as I like debating with people, when it's with people I care about and that care about me, it gets tricky. When you care about someone, you want them to see things your way, because you think that's the right way, the better way, to see things! You are doing it for their sake. Too bad other people have their own beliefs....Psh, what's that about?! ;)

"No, John, seriously...."

So, in summation, here it is, my public apology to the world: I'm sorry for all the times I've been the devil's advocate, frustrated you with my sassy opinionated self, or accidentally one-upped you (gosh, I'm so annoying sometimes, really!).

Yikes... Saying all of that makes me wonder why I still have friends! Thankfully, I do, and they're making my summer pretty fantastic so far! Today was another pool day (and Ben's birthday! Woohoo!) and it was glorious weather for that! Too bad I forgot to put on sunscreen... I'm lookin' a little lobster-y! Oops! It'll fade to a tan, right? Right?? That's what I'm tellin' myself!

Song of the blog: "Get Your Shine On" by Florida-Georgia Line (I'm not even a huge fan of this song, but it is so stuck in my head, I can't ignore it!)
Lyrics of the song: "Baby get your shine on, you and me rockin' all night long..."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Don't Blink

I'm going to start the post with the obligatory "Happy Mother's Day" mush, because 1. it's necessary, and 2. it leads into today's challenge topic. I realized today that Mother's Day at our house is a bit of a catch 22. See, my mom is the most selfless person I know (hence, she needs to be celebrated), which makes the whole day hard to do. She hates being the center of attention, she doesn't ever want anything (or so she says), and she doesn't like being pampered. Thankfully, I convinced her that pampering was necessary, since she has a nail salon gift card that expires tomorrow and we both have holidays (my 21st birthday is Saturday!) this week. Mani-pedis tomorrow it is!

My dad also surprised her with tickets to go see The Lion King this fall, and I created another ABC book! My mom is a creative person, and she loves taking pictures of the people she loves, so I knew she would appreciate my efforts! Although I didn't quite finish the book before I gave it to her, she still gushed about it, which is why she's the best mom in the world, end of story.

I love you, Mom!  
I love you, Mom!

Part of my mom's awesomeness can probably be attributed to my grandparents' awesomeness. My grandma and grandpa worked hard making a graduation slideshow for me when I graduated from high school, and now it's Corey's turn! Corey's show has over 1,000 pictures (literally, I had to ask, because yeah, that's ridiculous), and he's got to have some music going on in the background to accompany all those photos. Corey was struggling to come up with a lot of songs, so I helped out yesterday.

One of the songs I found while perusing my iTunes was "Don't Blink" by Kenny Chesney. This song reminds us how short life is, and when I read today's challenge topic, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. The question is: what do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life...)

I miss being young and as naive as I could possibly be. Every time I hear "Don't Blink", it gives me some sort of shiver or chill in the chorus. Here it is:

Don't blink, 'cause just like that, you're six years old, and you take a nap, 
And you, wake up and you're twenty-five, and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife.
Don't blink, you just might miss your babies grow up like I did, 
Turning into moms and dads, next thing you know, your better half
Of fifty years is there in bed, and you're praying God takes you instead.
Trust me man, a hundred years go faster than you think, so don't blink.

Wait... How did that happen?! 
Wait... How did that happen?!

The idea of blinking and going from six to twenty-five is terrifying to me right now, and I think it's because it resonates with where I am in life right now. Although there's no way I would trade places with an elementary-schooler right now ( I love where I am in life- also I hated taking naps), there moments that I miss the simplicity of the good ol' days. I didn't worry about who I needed to text or email back, what paper I needed to write, or what the heck I wanted to do with my future. You know how if a little kid is upset, they act like their world is crumbling around them, with the raw emotion painted on their face? I love that, because it means when they're happy, even about the littlest thing, they are happiest person in the world, bar none.

"Oh, everyone, you shouldn't have... Oh wait, yes you should have, it's my BIRTHDAY!" 
"Oh, everyone, you shouldn't have... Oh wait, yes you should have, it's my BIRTHDAY!"

That might be why I want to teach younger children. They're less... jaded. They aren't too worried about what other people think of who they are, and there is something so pure about an honest and unaffected child. I love possessing the ability to talk about current events, and I love having knowledge about more than just my backyard, but that doesn't mean that I never long for the obliviousness that was me back in the day. Every day was a new adventure; my mom had a new craft for us to make, my dad had a song to sing as he carried me up the stairs (from The Wizard of Oz, "Oh-ee-oh, yooo!)...

All smiles!
All smiles!

As much as I miss my incredible childhood, I am so glad I don't have to relive the awkward stage... Ew.

First day of middle school: let the awkwardness begin... 
First day of middle school: let the awkwardness begin...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Not to Brag, Or Anything, But....

Today's blogging challenge is to "Sell yourself in 10 words or less." Oh boy.  I have lots to say (always), so picking 10 little words without sounding like I'm my number one fan will be tough... How about I use pictures to help, since they're worth a thousand words? (We won't consider it cheating!)

Know any other college students this excited about their first day of school? (Okay, yeah, it was my freshman year...)

Sassy "tacky prom" dress? Check. Sassy pose? Check. Sassy personality? Pshhh, check.


Image Okay, you got me, this picture has nothing to do with empathy... But it does show that I can awkwardly try to comfort people after a loss with Krispy Kreme donuts?



Passionate about life in general

Image Laughing so hard, my face is bright red (or I'm just sunburnt at the beach)!

Thankfully, I don't spend much time trying to be cool, or anything other than the girl I am, because I'm pretty aware that I would fail miserably. Yay for being a nerdy Harry Potter fanatic!

As a long-winded person, that was pretty tough, but those six traits (and 10 words) can explain a lot about me, including my strengths and weaknesses.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Great Gatsby Lived up to its Name

Last night, Blair, Ben, John, and I continued the fun we had at the pool, and we went to the premiere showing of The Great Gatsby. I haven't read the book since my senior year of high school, but it's obviously a classic so we were curious to see if the highly anticipated movie would do F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel justice.

It did. I'm not really a "cinematography expert" or even a "movie buff", so I don't know the right terms for saying that the way it was filmed was breathtaking. I do know that watching the movie was not hard on the eyes, and the colors were vivid. You felt like you were whisked back into the roaring '20s. The film makers stayed true to the story and incorporated a lot of the actual dialogue from the book.

At least I did last night!

My one complaint? I thought the music was not fitting, and I wasn't surprised. As cool as Jay-Z is, and as much as I appreciate the actual music used (I mean, Beyonce singing Amy Winehouse? Yes please!), it didn't fit. When a group of dapper-looking men and floozy -flappers are having a party, I don't expect them to be grinding to Kanye West (which actually did occur for a brief moment). If you're an avid movie-goer, or like the book The Great Gatsby (which as a nerdy AP English student, I did, although its ending obviously frustrated me and left me a little unsettled, if you've read/seen it), the blaring music can and should be overlooked. Get your tickets soon (or don't, I'm sure it will be out for a while, and then you can get a seat without someone sitting right in front of you, and you can use that seat as a foot-rest...)!

Okay, so I still have to do my blog-a-day challenge topic: "Most embarrassing moment (s). Spill."

Ugh. When I was a wee young lass, I got embarrassed over, well, pretty much everything. I was so overly sensitive, my mom said that when Arthur (the aardvark, from the TV show) got embarrassed, I would leave the room. Yeah. So, I try to shove embarrassing memories to the back of my head.... However, I would say that my last trip to the ER was pretty embarrassing.

Let me preface this story by saying I used to be a good ice skater, in, like, middle school. Okay, John and I were ice skating on an outdoor rink over Christmas break, and it was a magical little set up- until I fell. I lost my balance, fell back, apparently hit my head, tried to break my fall with my wrists, and after attempting to stand up, passed out. Thankfully, John was able to break my second fall (while giving me a huge bruise with his death-grip-hand holding my arm up), but at this point, a lot of people had gathered. The ice rink was shut down for a while, as everyone watched and waited for an ambulance to pick me up. What a humiliating night... At least it wasn't our first date!

Sorry for the yucky picture quality, but John's Instagram shot is the only one we have before the embarrassment began that night....

Song of the blog: "Dead Giveaway" the autotuned interview with Charles Ramsey (the man who helped rescue Amanda Berry), that you can watch here.
Lyrics of the Song: "Deaaaad giveaway..."

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Today's blog challenge topic is: "a moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)"

Wow, I wish I would have read this topic this morning, before I went to my friend, Ben's, gorgeous pool with his girlfriend, Blair, and John... Then I could have taken a picture of the totally picturesque afternoon! It was such a beautiful, sunny day, and I love relaxin' by the pool! If I had to pick a single moment out of that time frame, I'd have to go with the moment Ben brought Blair and me slushies from a gas station down the road. I felt like I was in paradise, which may sound odd, but this gas station's slushie reputation is pretty esteemed. The local J & M's cherry lemon Sundrop slushie is almost like a town staple; this was only my second one, since the gas station is a little too far away from my house to justify driving for a slushie.
The sun was shining, I was relaxing in a lounge chair, and a gentleman was handing me an icy treat... It doesn't get much better than that! I wish every day of summer would include that kind of fun!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Way I See It...

When I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher had each student write an essay based on an NPR segment called "This I Believe". Now I'm going to be honest with ya: NPR doesn't sound super exciting to a fourteen year old girl whose favorite news sources include Seventeen magazine. (I'm not giving myself or my parents enough credit though; I watched the early morning news and The Today Show, too, so I wasn't that vapid...)

I digress. Back to "This I Believe". "This I Believe" is a collection of essays, written by different people, expressing (as the title hints), what they believe. These essays ranged from a successful doctor’s belief that all children should have free health care to Tony Hawk’s belief that you should do what you love. After reading just a couple essays, I was hooked.

In fact, these essays would go on to shape several of my core beliefs, and coming up with one of my own came organically. Want to know what my belief was? Well, perfect, because today's blogging topic is: "A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all." Drum roll, everyone, because here's my advice.....

I believe you should always buy the 64 pack of crayons.

And why wouldn't you trust this gal for advice?!
(Back in my Plato's Closet employee days... I loved trying on some of the gems people brought in...)

Everyone knows that the best thing about going back to school in elementary school is not meeting your new teacher, or seeing your friends again. It’s going shopping with your parents and picking out cool folders, pencil boxes, and of course, the art supplies.

Skipping down the aisle of markers, colored pencils, and water color paint sets, I would find the classics: crayons. My eyes darted past the 8 and 16 packs; those were boring. They only included the basics: just enough to draw a typical picture. The 24 pack was okay, (and probably what I’d end up with because my mom knew how often I broke crayons with my intensity), but my eyes focused on the motherload: the Crayola 64 pack.

Ohhh, yeah.

The 64 pack was cool, not only because of the crayon sharpener on the back (although that alone is just, wow), but because of all the possibilities it held.

Can you imagine if the preschool had 64 pack for me to use?! Now THOSE would have made some cool dinosaurs! (And yes, preschool. That's what I did at 7:30 AM on Wednesdays this semester... Early childhood education major problems- and solutions!)

I didn’t have to use just “pink” for my hair bow in pictures, I could use “tickle me pink”. The sun didn’t have to be just yellow or orange- it could be “macaroni and cheese”. 64 pack meant diversity. It meant no two of my pictures had to look the same because I had so many crayon colors to choose from.
It’s not that I don’t like ROY G BIV, it’s just that with a 64 pack, my world was a whole lot more colorful and interesting.

I try to still live the 64 pack lifestyle. I like mixing things up, and I love being around different kinds of people with different perspectives. It’s possible to live your life with just an 8 pack of people and places, and it could even be a nice life. But I’d like to challenge everyone to splurge on the 64 pack.

Corey and I have been doin' the whole "64-pack new experiences abroad while heinously matching" thing since 1997, when we visited Germany for a couple of months for my dad's job.

Meet new, exciting, different people and travel to new, exciting and different places. It’s never a bad thing to learn about new cultures, and you may even learn something about yourself. When you immerse yourself in new experiences, you can decide what you like, and what you don’t like. You can decide what you agree with, and what you disagree with. These experiences and opinions are the things that make us each unique. They shape who we are.

If you use the 64 pack method, you will not end up disappointed. Maybe sometimes you won’t end up with the prettiest picture, but more often than not, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. So when you have the choice, I believe you should always go for the 64 pack.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Greatest Fears (And Greatest Finds)

 If you read my post yesterday, then you know I'm doing Jenni's May blogging challenge, and the topic today is: "the thing(s) you're most afraid of".

Oh boy. Anyone who really knows me knows that I'm a pretty big scaredy-cat/ chicken. Roller coasters? Hate 'em. Rodents? Eww, eww, a million times eww. Kidnapping? Please don't go there. The idea of life without my family and loved ones? Unbearable.
One time in elementary school I nearly passed out in the hallway because at recess some girls told me about a girl that was buried alive. Another time at summer camp, I had the same fainting/ dizzy spell, because a group of kids told me about Stephen King's "It," a novel turned into a movie about a clown who murdered people from shower drains. (Sidenote: maybe that's why I refused to take showers instead of baths for a long time as a child...) I couldn't sleep through the night for weeks in middle school after my friends and I watched the movie "Saw" at a birthday party.
You catch my drift; I have a lot of fears, ranging from irrational to understandable. I'm able to dodge some of these terrors, simply by avoiding roller coasters and nixing scary movies. However, the worst are the ones that make me feel helpless, like they could happen to me. While I could go down the path of explaining the things I'm most afraid of, when I started to do that, I ended up with the feeling, "Yuck, why did I even write this blog post?!"
As easy as it is for me to slip into a negative (heck, almost paranoid) mindset, I don't want to worry about the scary possibilities. I'd rather spend time fantasizing about what I'd do if I won the $222 million dollar lottery in NC right now.... That makes walking around the mall a lot more fun (not like John and I actually did that today... pshh). Just a few of the things I'd "splurge" on:
I know I cannot be the only one who went a little weak in the knees at the sight of this scalloped dress... If I won the lottery, I would be the best dressed teacher, hands down. (And yes, I thought it over, I'd probably still teach, because I wouldn't want to get bored, and I would do all my world traveling in the summers.)
Ugh, I hate how much I adore this ridiculously expensive David Yurman bracelet... Thankfully, I found a pretty great knock-off at Swell Caroline that will have to do until I win the lottery ;)
This Lilly Pulitzer dress would be PERFECT for Clemson games! It helps that it's comfy and (dare I say it) flattering, even on this short gal!

So here's to staying positive, folks! If I'm going to get carried away, I'd rather it be daydreaming than nightmaring (does that make sense?)!

Song of the blog: "I Saw the Sign" by Ace of Base (I hope this gets stuck in someone else's head too)
Lyrics of the song: The chorus, duh. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Challenge Accepted!

Well folks, I'm home for the summer (YAY!), which means I have plenty of time to hang out with my family, which is something I love to do. This weekend my dad was in Austin, TX visiting one of his closest friends, and my brother was in Boone, NC, with his girlfriend's family, so you know what that means... Girl's weekend! My mom and I shopped 'til we dropped, ate our weight in fro-yo, and attempted to save a couple of baby birdies on a two hour walk... We had a lot of fun together, to say the least!

Sadly, my mom and dad have to go do this thing called "work" Monday through Friday, and my brother has school, which means my week days need some filler until I start nannying. The girls I'm watching don't get out until the first week of June, so I feel like I have a little too much time on my hands (the grass is always greener, right?).

Thankfully, while perusing Ryann, my Wofford friend's, blog yesterday, I saw a challenge I couldn't pass up: blog every day in May.

Ryann got this challenge from Jenni, at Story of My Life, and I think following Jenni's prompts every day will give me something to do that is a bit more productive than sleeping in until 10 (AKA missing most of the morning), watching TV shows I don't care about, and mindlessly browsing the internet. From now until the end of May, expect a daily blog post.

Today, the prompt is: "If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?"

Well, right now I don't have a job, so that makes this easy! Ultimately, I do smiles, I do love, I do laughs, I do bad jokes. I do nerdiness, I do enthusiasm, I do compassion, and most importantly, I do happiness. That's all. (And yes, you can "do" adjectives and nouns, in my world.)

Song of the blog: "American Beautiful" by The Henningsens (such a summer song!)
Lyrics of the song: "She cracks em up like the liberty bell. A whole lot of tender and a little bit tough... Oooh, she's a little unusual, oooh, she's American beautiful."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bring on the Finals (and Bring on Summer!)

I have an exam in a couple hours, and I probably need to start refreshing my mind soon. However, this exam (in Educational Psychology) only counts as much as the other four tests I had throughout the semester (16%), so I do not want to freak myself out by doing anything different than I normally would before a test!
See, I have a pretty different mindset about finals week than the majority of college students.  Unlike people who see this as a time to cram a textbook into their memory, I optimistically just see it as a time to prove that I wasn't just a body sitting mindlessly in the classroom all semester.
This may seem like a novel idea, or people may be like, "Easy for you to say, education major!" but to those people, I just say this: relax (and also, until you are in control of a classroom of kids and what they do all day, don't talk to me about easy). For those of you who are still skeptical, I wasn't always an education major. Before that, I tried a year of English, and the year before, a whole lot of psychology (the science with labs kind, not the artsy kind). No matter what I was studying, I never once panicked for finals.(I mean, sure, maybe I did a little freshman year when I got a concussion two days before my biggest final, but that's a totally different story...) Maybe I was pretty calm because I've never been too worried about tests, or maybe it's because I understood that finals week doesn't live up to the hype. It is basically just a week of tests, which you've done all semester, except this time, you don't even have to go to class! Your only responsibility (other than taking care of yourself and maybe working) is to study.
Finals week can be a piece of (cup)cake! Or at least bearable.

With that being said, I have a finals-week-specific pet-peeve: all-nighters. When people pull all-nighters thinking they're gonna get a sticker or a cookie or even a pat on the back for how many hours they spent cooped in the library looking frazzled. Want a study tip (I know you don't, I'm just giving unsolicited advice)? Do not pull all-nighters. I repeat: DO NOT pull all-nighters. No matter what. Seriously, it baffles me how many people stay in the library until 4 AM and then get 30 minutes of sleep before going to Starbucks for an expresso shot or five. You are not doing your brain any favors by forcing it to stay awake for over 24 hours. At all. And, sidenote: you're not fooling anyone. The reason you had to stay so late/early is because half of your time was spent on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or if you're not into that normal stuff, World of Warcraft (just kidding; if that's your thing, go for it). There, I said it. And I feel better already. I also feel better because by the time I finished writing this post... I finished my final final! Woohoo! Yay! Hey summer! Long time, no see!

Maybe now that it's summer I'll have more time to...
1. Make money so I can do fun things with my friends.
Hopefully the summer will include more good times like the Avett Brother's concert I went to a month ago with my lovely friends!

2. Spend quality time with my family. I loved seeing everyone at the March of Dimes walk on Saturday, and I'm excited to be at home this summer with my parents and brother (we'll see how long that lasts....hee hee, just kidding Mom and Dad!).

Tag, you're it! You would think after walking 3.5 miles two little (okay, big) boys would be tired, but this picture shows they (and their sister) are indeed energizer bunnies!

Song of the blog: "Schools Out" (I know, could I be any more cliche? In my defense, John suggested I use this) by Alice Cooper but performed by Alvin and the Chipmunks because I'm super weird and since I was sheltered when I was little I only knew the version on my Alvin cassette tape.... No shame (well maybe just a little).
Lyrics of the song: "Schoooool's out for summer! Schooooooool's out forever!"