Archive for 2015

February 9, 2015

I'm Moving...

No I am not actually packing my bags and moving to a new city, although I wouldn't be opposed to that either. I am actually just moving my blog. I have housed it here at blogger for well over a year and decided to bite the bullet and move to WordPress. Please note I am not a coding genius nor do I have a clue about designing a blog but guess what I am going to learn as I go.
 
 
 
This will be my last post here on this platform. You can now find me and all previous posts at here. My newest post is already live on WordPress so make sure to check it out and leave me some feedback/comments.
 
 
Please bare with me as I learn how to redesign and work WordPress.


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January 26, 2015

Nike Necessities

I am alone or are there others who get motivated to workout just by having cute workout gear? I mean there are days I just don't want to spend the time to workout and then I look at my clothes and think I didn't buy these to sit in a drawer. 

I have a few favorite places to buy workout gear but one of my absolute tried and true stores in Nike and Nike Factory Outlet. Not only are they stylish, comfortable but they last a long time. I am not getting a dime for writing any of these words, they are my own, I just wanted to get that out there! :) 


The other thing I love about these two pieces is also the versatility I get from them. They are great work out pieces but you can go from gym to brunch with the a few sprays of dry shampoo, a hat and sunglasses. 


I will recommend going down in the leggings. I have a few pairs and after my first pair I learned they give and that is the last thing you want while working out. 


I keep my workout gear pretty simple with greys, blues, blacks and whites. However my shoe game I like to step up one or twelve notches.  I love fun colors and designs and I am hoping to scoop up this pair in a few weeks. This pair was a random purchase while at the mall a few months ago and they are SUPER comfortable. 


I have actually worn this top with leggings, boots and a scarf out to dinner and a movie so when I say these pieces have versatility I mean it. I love the off shoulder detail and when it gets a bit warmed a scarf won't be necessary. 


Just showing you that you can move around in this gear. 


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January 23, 2015

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies


So after a title like that I better deliver something pretty spectacular below huh? 

Well I personally think I have. I got this recipe from my friend Christine, mentioned on this blog more than once, a while back. She got the recipe from Annie's Eats blog. You can find the recipe here. It is my go to for parties, thank yous and when I need a little chocolate in my life. 


I will start by saying this recipe makes a lot of cookies. So when you make then have a plan to take them to a party or give to a few friends, otherwise you might as well sit down with a big glass of milk and enjoy. Every. Last. Crumb. 


The first time I made these the amount of brown sugar caught me a little off guard, but the final product didn't disappoint so make sure to follow through to the end and I promise you won't be disappointed. 


A crucial part of this entire recipe is the butter. If it is too hot your cookies will end up more mushy than chewy, but if it's too cool than your cookies will have too much crunch. I myself have done both of these so I can say from first hand experience the butter is important. My piece of advice. Start with melting the butter and then gather your ingredients and mix them together. Once you get to the butter it should be just the right temperature for your recipe. 


When you start mixing the wet and dry ingredients together you will notice the dough isn't overly greasy or sticky. This is one of my favorite parts. It is tacky and sticks to itself but you have to kind of press it together. 



The recipe calls for one and a half cups chocolate chips. Feel free to abide by that rule if you deem necessary. I personally am a chocolate fan so I put the whole 11.5oz bag into the mix. 


So this was the last cookie dough ball I made. I kind of got in the rhythm of making them and forgot to snap pictures (oops!). As you can see the dough doesn't really stick to the bowl much and I had to press those chocolate chips in. That may or may not have something to do with my overuse of chocolate but shhhh that can be our little secret. 


And yes since you asked I had already licked this spoon and I may or may not have eaten this cookie dough ball pre-baked. 



Ingredients:
2 cups + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I prefer sea salt) 
12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (or the whole bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 325* and adjust racks to upper lower middle slots. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Trust me, go the extra step and line your cookie sheets. 

- Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and then set to the side. 

- By hand (my method) or with an electric mixer combine butter and sugars together until they are combined thoroughly. Next beat in your egg, yolk and vanilla. Finally add your dry ingredients slowly and mix (on low with mixer) until combined. Now it's time to add the chocolate chips. 

- Start rolling palm sized dough into balls. Grab the dough ball and using your fingertips pull the dough apart into two equal halves. You will lay the dough balls on the lined cookie sheet with the jagged section up. Cooking time is approximately 14-16 minutes. You will rotate the cookie sheets halfway through the cooking time. The edges should be harden but not the centers, they will once out of the oven.

Side note: If you have more than one round of dough balls to cook, make sure to check your second round sooner as they don't take as long to bake as your first batch. 

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe? If so, let me know what it is. I am always up for trying new recipes. 


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January 21, 2015

Vloggng...Do or Don't

So until about 4 months ago, I didn't even know Vlogging was a thing. I know...I know I am so behind the times. Well after a few months I saw the benefits that vlogging can bring to a blog and just to a person's life in general. Imagine having snippets of your life in video form. It's pretty awesome in my opinion.
 
I am personally a fan of vlogging because I like the insight it gives me to the blogger/youtuber. Two of my absolute favorite vloggers to watch are Lily Pebbles and Viviana Does Makeup. They are both from the UK and they are both hilarious and serious beauty bloggers to follow.
 
So this leads to me the point of this post...would you watch someone's vlog? Do you currently? Honestly I think for me, it will be a personal decision but I am always interested in seeing what you guys have to say. So let me know your thoughts and any other good vloggers to follow.
 
video
 
 
Not that this is at all what my vlogs would look like but I took this video while at the beach with my sister and told her I would post it on here and I keep my word. Also just so you know I had to crop the video to send from my phone since I couldn't find my card...vlog fail! haha
 
 



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January 19, 2015

His + Her Game Day Wear

Football hasn't always been in my blood, in fact, growing up I was a HUGE basketball fan. It wasn't until I went to college that football became such a big part of my life. You see at the University of Georgia, football isn't just a sport it is a way of life. A weekend in Athens is an experience I believe everyone should have. Saturdays in Athens are not a joke. We arrive early. We arrive rowdy. And we arrive dressed to the nines. So it the last part that I am going to explain a bit further. 

The wonderful group over at Paul Fredrick asked me to put together his and her game day outfits that represent my favorite team. I happily accepted and got to work creating  two dressier game day looks for you guys. I know you are probably thinking. Did she say dress? Yes I did. You see some people think that game day attire is simply shorts or jeans and a jersey BUT in the south we view football as a religion and if you dress up for church then you best believe you dress up for the football game. 



This is such a classic look for guys. I recommend starting your outfit with a dress shirt. Paul Fredrick has a great selection but this red and white striped shirt was my favorite. Then you move to selecting your bowtie. Of course you can wear a tie but I personally prefer a gentleman in a bowtie. This black and white polka dot bowtie was the perfection addition to the striped shirt. Pants are a bit easier as you just need a good pair of black pants however I will say PLEASE get flat front ones. No one likes a pleat. This pair of flat front black pants is a great staple to have in any wardrobe. The finish touch will the be these black winged oxfords which add an extra dash of sophistication to the outfit.


Cold Weather Game Day Outfit

This is definitely an outfit I would gladly wear on game day. Sometimes red can be a hard color to pull off (on my skin it definitely is) so I opt for items that are black with red details. This black and red plaid dress is fashionable and functional, it's wool, so you will stay warm in the colder months or at the bowl game (God willing we go to one every year). Next I add this simple black turtleneck underneath the dress. Tights are must to keep your legs warm and these Spanx tights will be sure to hold you in, even after one or two or more beers. A dash of gold brings some add luxe to this outfit. This Kate Spade link necklace is such a good staple piece. These booties are extra comfortable, which you will need, after hours of standing on your feet. If you are from anywhere other than the south, you are probably thinking HEELS?? Is she crazy? Well I and some 30, 000 other girls are who decide fashion is a must on Saturdays. Thankfully these Cole Haan booties are extra forgiving on your feet. The last item is this classic black cross body bag from Tory Burch. Don't get me wrong I love a big bag, like most women, but carrying around my totes for 10+ hours is a no for me. This bag will fit everything you need for the day and night. 

Let me know what you guys wear or wore to your game days. Also let me know who your favorite football team is. No matter if it is NFL or NCAA, just do a shout out below. 


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January 16, 2015

Fall In Love With 36 Questions

So if you don't already know I have a serious blogger crush on Hallie over at  Corals + Cognacs. I read her blog religiously and let me tell you if you haven't read it before well you will love her afterward.

Funny I mention love because Hallie wrote a post on Wednesday about how you can fall in love with anyone after answering a simple 36 questions. If you check out her post, she answered some of the questions on the list in true Hallie humor fashion (told you, serious blogger crush) and then invited fellow bloggers and readers to do the same. 



The article is based on mutual vulnerability and how being completely open can create a level of intimacy. So instead of the already scheduled post, I decided to slip this one in today. Let's see if this works out...will we fall in love? ;) 

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? My great-grandmother Me-Me. She was my best friend for 9.5 years and I would like her to see me as an adult and give me advice...she always had the best advice. 

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?  It depends, work call, yes because it is usually a conversation I need to have down pat, but otherwise no or I would over think it and just get tongue tied. 

For what in your life do you feel most grateful? My relationships with my friends and family. They are biggest cheerleaders, my constant moral compass and the people who ground me when I need it. 

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? I wish I was less uptight. I always envy those who can go with the flow when things don't go as planned but I am currently not one of them. I am a planner and I want things to go as planned. 

If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? If I was going to get married and when. It is hard for me to say this but I fear that I won't ever find the person I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with. 

Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?  I want to go abroad and work with women and children to show that they too have a voice and right to be heard. I believe this world would be a better place if more women spoke up. 

How do you feel about your relationship with your mother? I am lucky to have a mom and a step-mom. I get told I am like both of them and that is the biggest compliment I could get. 

When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? The last time I cried in front of another person was on Jan 3 while watching The Hobbit. By myself was right now as I type this and watching Scorpion's Christmas episode. 

If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet? Gratitude. While I know the people in my life know how thankful I am for everything they do for me, I do not think I express it enough. 

Tell your partner something that you like about them already. I like that so far those who have commented have been kind. As a new blogger, I am terrified of that first comment that screams hatred so I like your kindness. 

Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why? My external hard drive. It has all of my pictures and files that I treasure. 


Would you like to be famous? In what way? Yes, I want to be famous in a way that inspires others to help those less fortunate. 

Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible. I was born on November 3. My great grandma, Me-Me, kept me after my mom had to go back to work. My parents divorced when I was five and I lived with my mom until I was 12. We moved around a lot and I grew up pretty quickly. I won't say that my parents didn't put me in the middle because they did, but I hope in hindsight they realize the tole it took on me as a child and person. My little sister was born when I was 9.5 years old. I didn't want her at first but grew to love her. I moved to Michigan when I was 12 and lived there for a month before coming to visit my dad for Christmas and he told me he filed for custody. I definitely went through a mom/daughter struggle in my later teens. I lived with my dad and Teresa until my sophomore year of college when I moved on campus at Young Harris College, one mile from my house. I joined a local sorority and met some of my best friends. I also played golf at YHC. After graduating from YHC, I moved to Athens and eventually graduated from UGA. I got a job in Charlotte and moved there knowing absolutely know one. I lived with a wonderful roommate who has become one of my best friends and introduced me to my current employers. After working for them for 1.5 years, they asked me to move to Mobile and handle our bank relationships. 

Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life. I was out with some friends and we were dancing. I started dropping low and then all of sudden I lost my balance and fell on my butt. There was probably a good 25 people who saw my fall...I wish I could say I was graceful but truth is I trip and fall  A LOT! 


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January 14, 2015

Purple Waves

 
This past weekend I went to Navarre, Florida to visit family. It is such a great place to visit and I am glad my grandma is moving there soon. It isn't overly populated, touristy is not a word I would use to describe it and you can bet that you won't find building after building along the beach. All of this is what makes Navarre a great place to visit.
 
 
Carigan (similar) | Shirt (similar) | Leggings | Boots (similar) | Necklace (similar) | Bracelet | Watch
 
 
My sister and I went down to check out the beach and of course take pictures. I am  not a beach person, at least not in summer, but Janaury at the beach now we are talking. It was chilly but not cold, there wasn't many people there and the gray day made the beach seem like it had a bleached filter over it. It was beautiful!!
 
 
I will say the one thing to never spend 25 minutes on is curling your hair. After being at the beach my hair looked a hot mess but thankfully they stayed for the pictures.
 
 
These boots have been a staple for a few years now and I am thinking I may have to invest in a new pair for next fall/winter but for now they remain one of my best sale finds.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



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January 12, 2015

No Spend January


Well guys, I did what I always tell myself I won’t do each Christmas; I spent way more money than I planned. I bought everyone exactly what I wanted to buy them BUT I didn’t stop there, I decided I needed some things as well. I can talk myself into almost anything, especially it comes in a pretty package….I am such a sucker. ;)
So what does this mean for January? Well it means that unless it is an actual necessity I can’t buy anything. This includes using gift cards to make a purchase. I need to learn to say no, so what better way to start off the year than by budgeting. The bigger picture reason for this is that I have a few friends getting married this year and with showers, gifts and traveling I need to save all the money I can.
My other big focus for saving money is my 28th birthday. I know, I know my birthday isn’t until November but guys I am a planner and I LOVE my birthday so…..I already picked out the place…NAPA VALLEY. I sometimes change my mind so don’t hold me to it but I will definitely be traveling somewhere.
So what that means I can spend money on is groceries, gas and any toiletries I run out of (which is highly unlikely).
Anyone else cutting back for the month of January? Any tips for keeping strong when you want to try a new product or see a good sale?
Picture 1 | 2


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January 9, 2015

Focus...


If you read my last post, then you know that living a healthier lifestyle is a top priority for me this year and the years to come. So for a Christmas present to myself I purchased Focus T25 from Beachbody. Before I go in to why I chose this program, let me tell you a little bit about how I got to this place. 


I have struggled with weight pretty much my whole life. After college, I moved in with someone who I met the day before and quickly learned she was quite health conscious. Good news for me is that her healthy habits started to rub off on me and so I started training for a half marathon. I was making smart meal choices, running and really sticking to my goals. In April about three months before my half marathon I got an awful pain in my right knee. Fun Fact: I tore my ACL once in middle school and then again in high school. After a week of my knee not getting better I went to the doctor and he told me what I was dreading...that I would need knee surgery in order to remove more of my meniscus that was trapped between the bones in my knee. After surgery he told me that running was no longer an option and my heart broke. 

Fast forward a few years and I haven't really committed to a healthy lifestyle since then. So what better time to start than the new year. Thanks to some guidance and group challenge put together by one of my favorite bloggers Marion I chose Focus T25 to help get me to a happy and healthy place. 

For me it was a no brainer, no equipment is required at least in the Alpha phase and since I travel every other week, I could always just pack these DVDs with me. Oh and of course the best party it is only TWENTY FIVE minutes. I mean seriously who says no to less than 30 minutes for a workout. 

You get the Alpha and Beta phase DVDs, a bonus stretch DVD, a nutrition guide, 5 Day Fast Track and a Quick Start Guide. You also get a resistance band which you don't use in the Alpha phase. 


So far I am loving the workouts and am amazed and how much can be packed into 25 minutes. As I continue with this workout I keep you updated on my thoughts and results. So here is to a new year and a healthier version of me. 



3 Comments »

January 7, 2015

New Year...New Goals

I have to confess something….I am one of THOSE people. As 2014 came to an end and 2015 started I reflected on the past year and all the ups and downs I have gone though and what I wanted to accomplish in 2015. So I thought well maybe you guys wanted to know what I want to accomplish in 2015.

1.   Live A Healthier Lifestyle
In past years I have always started the year off with I want to lose ___ pounds or I want to follow ____ eating regimen. This year I decided I just want to make healthier choices on a daily basis and not set a certain weight to reach or a certain food plan to follow. I did purchase Focus T25 from Beachbody, which will allow me to workout on work travels (which happen a lot) and doesn’t require equipment.


2.   Take More Photos
I am such a bad picture taker guys. Partly because I don’t want to tote around a camera and the other part because I tell myself it is better to live in the moment and really absorb it. The last statement is a good reason BUT I also want memories to keep and so 2015 will be the year of pictures!

3.   Explore Locally
I haven’t truly embraced local finds in Mobile so my goal for 2015 is to find fun local gems in Mobile and anywhere else I might live in 2015.


4.   Learn Needs vs Wants
Am I the only one here who constantly says I want this or I want that? Well I hope not but I also hope we can join together in 2015 and learn to realize we don’t NEED half of what we want and learn to love what we already have.

5.  Less Comparing
I am an avid blog reader and vlog watcher. Overtime I have realized the comparison issue it has brought about in me so this year I vow to compare myself less to the lives that I see on blogs and vlogs (because we all know that isn’t 100% their life). I will give a few more details on how I plan to do this at the end of the month (hint: it involves Lent).

6. Become A Morning Person
I am a night owl…END OF STORY! However the older I get the more I really want to be a morning person. I tend to stay up late and sleep until the last possible minute and that creates stress for me in the morning. So I plan to take the year to get that routine in gear.




7.  Blog More
I started this blog for fun and I quit due to some personal conflicts I was having but I vow this year to blog because I want to and it makes me happy. 

Do you set goals or make resolutions for the new year? If so, let me know 1 or 2 of yours.


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January 5, 2015

101 in 1001 Update

Well what better way to welcome myself back to this blog than to give you guys an update on my 101 things in 1001 days. I am excited to report I have marked  few more off my list and look forward to marking some more off over the next few months. 

Since moving to Mobile, New Orleans has been on the top of my list and for my birthday this year, I decided it was the perfect destination. I was lucky enough to spend my 27th year in the beautiful city of New Orleans and cross off an item on my 101 list. While in New Orleans we ate delicious food, of course we visited Cafe Beignet, and the highlight of my weekend was meeting Manny Montana live and in person. If you don't watch Graceland on USA then you need to. 


After my trip to New Orleans I had two days before I hopped on a plane to San Diego, insert crossing off item number 58, Packing in under 45 minutes. Between work and laundry I didn't have time before Tuesday to pack so about 45 minutes before I had to be at the airport I packed up my suitcase. It was a super proud moment. 



While visiting Christine in Missouri we decided to cross another item off my list and make macarons. It was a great weekend with an amazing friend. I will give you one piece of advice for Macarons...don't convert to US measurements. :) 

I have started on list of reading new books. So far I have two down, In Defense of Food and The Fault in Our Stars. 

I am 1/3 of the way to owning a nice set of luggage. I have been traveling a lot for both work and pleasure and so I decided it was time to invest in a good medium sized suitcase. My roommate was thankful too, since I had been using hers. I decided on a Samsonite, this one, in blue. I plan to purchase the carry-on next and then contemplating between the largest suitcase or the garment bag. 

Final list item checked off is due to my lovely friend Dusti, she sent me a beautiful gold address book that I just adore. I have already filled it with as many addresses as I could. It is such a thoughtful surprise. 






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