The Dotted Poppy on ETSY

I adore ETSY! Their vintage stuff is unmatchable.. and the handmade items- even better! I have ordered everything from towel wraps to monogrammed iphone stickers on this site!

My latest find is a sweet shop called THE DOTTED POPPY. It is all handmade & affordable jewelry! You’ve got to check it out for yourself HERE!

She happens to be The Small Things Blog author’s mom!! Hardly ever do I follow a link from a popular blog like that and find something cheap that I happen to love!!

I was so excited when I saw her London earrings & thought I would love them even more with simply silver. I sent one message and within hours she had messaged back saying she could absolutely do that- what a pleasant seller to do business with!

Only two days after placing my custom order I received these beautiful earrings I just cannot wait to wear!

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Tonight we have plans for the Corey Smith concert at Ricks! I’m so thrilled- I’ve listened to his music since about 7th grade. But even more exciting is that Mitchell has a press pass to photograph him! Have a taste of this Georgia boy’s tunes…

Come tomorrow morning, I am headed home to Collierville for the weekend for the 3rd annual Mr. Collierville (a guys pageant/competition Mitchell and I started a couple years ago!) and family time! I simply can’t wait. Check back here for some fun posts on Las Delicias guacamole, our first try at Kale Chips, and some thrift store finds!

Happy Thursday! & Go check out the Dotted Poppy!

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Back to Basics: Skincare

I used to be the girl who used all of this when it came to my skincare routine…

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In my head, “I was trying everything. Nothing worked….” Maybe because I also believed more scrubbing/exfoliation would lead to better skin.

Boy was I wrong! Finally, I thought, better try what I never had before… less effort. less extras. less scrubbing! (GASP!)

Let’s simplify…

These borings have changed my skin- for the better! Yes, I even use off brand!

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Makes me wonder in what other areas I need to relax & get back to basics…

One product I know I have shared with you before is Ponds Cold Cream. It is amazing for makeup removal! Soft on the eyes & has an amazing smell! It is the 3rd product to round out my daily skin regimen and I don’t see that ever changing!

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What keeps your skin in tip top shape?!

DWYS: one

If I have one message for those tight on money/struggling with a budget…

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Bloggers — feel free to join in & link back here!!

The last thing you want to do when you are stressed out with money (or anything!) is show it all over your body. That little extra effort into your clothing can turn your whole day or even outlook around. (I know, I know… practice what you preach ;) A fresh outfit and 10 extra minutes on your hair or makeup can add that extra little confidence in your life.

We don’t all have hundreds of dollars to throw into an outfit we may only wear once… but we can usually find a few dollars every now and then. I put this outfit together on the cheap! It works for me. It shows a little bit about me and lets me express myself. I threw it on yesterday, spruced up my makeup, and felt way better all in just 7ish minutes. yes- I mean it!

I can’t wait to wear this easy ensemble for a dinner out during spring break in 10 days– but whos counting?!

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20130225-DSC_8548Dress: Rue 21, purchased at Dirt Cheap in Starkville, $10.00

Belt: Gap, purchased on sale, $5.54

3/4 length sleeve Jacket: Old Navy, a few years old (I think about $15)

Earrings: Frock in Starkville, $8.00

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BIG THANKS to JML photography for saving ya’ll from terrible iPhone in the mirror style photos!!

Check him out at his blog!20130225-DSC_8519I hope I can inspire your budgetting ladies- just occasionally, throw the ratty yoga pants in the corner & get dressed for yourself!! Then, later, put em back on. 😉  Nobody puts baby in the corner.

Keep an eye out for whats coming next… an all thrifted post!thrift-shop-576x360

Are You Happy?

Have you ever met that lovely new invention called one click check out on Amazon.com? Its terribly amazing. As well as amazing terrible for my checking account.

While I was on campus today, I found a green slip in my PO box meaning I had received a package! yay! I assumed it was a book I ordered on Amazon. Moments later I had the following between my hands:

via google mages

Yes, it is a book. It is indeed from Amazon. But remember that one click checkout thing? I had no recollection of ordering… (although I do remember considering it). I probably couldn’t have even jogged my memory with an interrogation from my mom sounding somewhat like, “What did you spend $4.63 on?”

I was incredibly excited though! And I think Buddha was right (on one thing) in saying, When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

I feel like I am just in a learning stage in my life. I am learning a lot about myself. I learn constantly in Mrs. Knight’s Intro to Communication class; even learned I may want to minor in Communication. I’m learning more about God, how incredible He is, and all that that encompasses. I’m learning to cook more. I’m learning to love vegetables. And as soon as I started reading the cover of this book, I knew I was going to learn  a lot more.

Just a few small excerpts/phrases from what I read today as soon as I cracked the spine. [The Happiness Project by: Gretchen Rubin] Take a second with each of these to just let them sink in:

  • –“there is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” -Robert Louis Stevenson
  • –I find greater value in what specific individuals tell me worked for them than in any other kind of argument- and that’s true even when we seem to have nothing in common.
  • –I was in danger of wasting my life.
  • –I had everything I could possibly want- yet I was failing to appreciate it. Bogged down in petty complaints and passing crises, weary of struggling with my own nature, I too often failed to comprehend the splendor of what I had.
  • –people teach what they need to learn
  • –the opposite of happiness, is unhappiness, not depression
  • –what you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while (this was all to convicting!!)

Can you relate to this? To not being as happy as you should be or want to be? For some maybe not happy at all?

Especially as she says,”One of my worst qualities is my insatiable need for credit; I always want the gold star, the recognition,” Gretchen Rubin encompasses so perfectly my search for thank yous after giving gifts, my love of the oohs and ahhhs when I redecorate.

In all of this, I am simply saying that “I am happy- but I’m not as happy as I should be. I have such a good life, I want to appreciate it more- and live up to it better. It is hard to explain. I complain to much, I get annoyed more than I should.” I haven’t been living to my full potential or being happy in my day to day, seemingly pointless routine. Through reading this I hope to find that something extra… enjoyment in the little things. But, of course, I will never reach that without keeping my focus wholeheartedly on the Giver of true happiness.

HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO LIVE PURE LIVES, WHO FOLLOW THE LORD’S TEACHINGS. HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO KEEP HIS RULES, WHO OBEY HIM WITH THEIR WHOLE HEARTS.

psalm 119:1-2

For a little happy in your day check this out….

What an incredible thing.. that not only is He constant, but He promises to never forsake us. Forsake meaning to give up. He will never give up on us, no matter what. He is only good. Oh to bask in that realization.

COMING NEXT IS A FASHION POST!

My Daily Makeup Routine, Feb 2012

The only difference from the video is that I have been using Clinique High Impact Waterproof in Black!

Keep an eye out~ I will be selling Mary Kay soon and you may find you want to add or replace part of your routine!

Jumpin’ on the HIIT train!

After class today, despite the TERRIBLE weather… (45 degrees felt like 20!) I felt a strange urge to hit the gym!

Once in a lifetime 😉 so I went with it telling myself I only had to stay 20 minutes! When I got there I had my body fat measured out of curiosity then I jumped on the elliptical to start some HIIT!

High Intensity Interval Training is the next hottest fitness trend behind Cross Fit. If you’ve been anywhere near Pinterest lately, you know that everyone’s been all over this trend!

HIIT definition from wikipedia: an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 7–20 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning

I created my own (combining elliptical and treadmill) for a hot and SUPER sweaty twenty minutes!

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Try it for yourself~ It leaves you feeling so alive!! I got my heart rate up to 188- goes to show how out of shape in shape I am. ha ha! This 20 minute workout burned a total of 201 calories for just 1.7 miles!

Now that my appetite is ready to roar, I’ve got tilapia in the oven!!

Never Been Excited About Broccoli

Never Been Excited About Broccoli

Just about every time I eat broccoli, I eat it steamed then get to hear my whole family (or roommates) fuss about how terrible the house smells. That strange smell is what made broccoli an occasional thing growing up. Raw, … Continue reading

Pizza is the Way to My Heart… and I Don’t Hate It

All this week when discussing what we wanted for dinner I kept saying, “What about pizza?” Then the next night, “Griffis? Homemade pizza? Frozen pizza?”

Mitchell’s replies were, “That doesn’t sound good.” “Who eats HOMEMADE pizza?” anddd the lovely, “You can have whatever you want, I’ll eat something else”

to which I replied, “don’t be a brat.”

On to today… my instructions from M were to be ready at 5:15 for a date… obviously, my hot shot of a valentine shows up at 4:35. I was clothed in a large tshirt, yoga pants, no makeup- you get the picture! Luckily he had a 2nd bouquet of flowers and lots of grocery bags in hand! (AM I LUCKY OR WHAT!)

I dig into the bags before he can even get in the door as soon as he says go: Starburst jellybeans, Diet Dr. Pepper, Trolli Octopus, Milk Duds, Twizzler bites, mozzarella cheese, flour, yeast, He says the plan of the evening is HOMEMADE PIZZA! That Stinker.

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After forcing him to give me 15 minutes to actually get fixed up and look cute, we started mixin’.

Flour, yeast, olive oil, salt, & sugar created our very own dough. We added an extra 1/2 tsp of sugar since we’re sweet like that 😉

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I call this "ghetto rigged" some people call it "college budget" but it worked perfectly

I call this “ghetto rigged” saran wrap… some people call it “college budget” but it worked perfectly

It took our fresh dough an hour to rise in the oven on warm so we took the extra time for a little reminiscin’ and candlelight. I made a slideshow of lots of our special/funny pics!

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Once our dough was ready we got to kneading/throwing/learning to the sound of Summer Hits of the 90s pandora station. If you haven’t found it yet- you’re most definitely missing out.

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We topped our pizzas with:  Yes, we made two.

1) red sauce we customized with basil and garlic, mozarella and feta cheese, pesto, and pepperoni

2)honey barbeque, a drizzle of ranch, grilled chicken, diced yellow bell pepper, sauteed onions, pineapple, and lots of mozzarella

topping assortment!

topping assortment!

These bowls are amazing! Cute, functional, and fit more than they appear to- a Big Lots find!

These bowls are amazing! Cute, functional, and fit more than they appear to- a Big Lots find!

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The two of these were absolutely fabulous! Pizza #1 was awesome. Italian. Garlic-y. Delish.

BUT Pizza #2… so knock your socks off we discussed opening our own cafe. The pizza will be called “BBR,” Barbecue Ranch. Just wait for it!

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Mitchell found the dough recipe here. For two first timers, it was quite easy to follow and succeed! It has been the greatest Valentines day. Laid back, fun, and romantic. We’re headed to crack up at Identity Theft!

That stinker has definitely kept me one happy girl today.. We still have a whole pizza left after filling two tummies quite full! Woah. Enough for lunch on the road as we head home tomorrow 🙂

Totally Thrown Together Lettuce Wraps

Tonight by the time I was out of chapter at Phi Mu it was almost 8:00 & I was hungry!!

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The plan was lettuce wraps and I planned to bake them… but 8 o’clock and a grumbling tummy left no time for 350 and a glass pan… hellooo skillet with some olive oil! I sliced 1 huge chicken breast and threw it in as soon as I walked in the door! (The breasts had been thawing since about 4:00 pm)

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I threw about 1 tsp of minced garlic in the pan with both butter and olive oil then topped the chicken with Tony Chacere’s seasoning, salt, & pepper. Everything happened in a rush fueled by intense hunger but the sources say- SUCCESS!

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***pictures all thanks to the newly purchased Nikon— check out jmlphotos.wordpress.com to see Mitchell’s work! Although tonight’s pics I was actually behind the lens!! Rare.***

While the chicken cooked, I pulled lettuce leaves off a head of romaine and topped with pico de gallo Mitchell made earlier in the week, a bit of sour cream, and shredded cheese.

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I whipped up 2 eggs scrambled with a generous amount of cilantro for added protein & yum factor…

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Fresh out of skillets came chicken and sautéed onions to finish off our entrée!

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We paired them with fresh grapes (with that perfect, crunchy pop I love) & a frozen-to-steamed mix of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots in cheese sauce. Not the greatest option but it ended up delicious and just quick enough to slide into home before the  “hangry-ness” hit.


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-You’re welcome for that little link those of you who haven’t discovered Urbandictionary.com until now! I’m assuming my mom is going to have a hay day with that and my 16 year old brother!


20130211-DSC_6931 20130211-DSC_6927I hope to make the true food photography, as opposed to iPhone pics, a more frequent occurence around here!

What’s a Saturday without a project?

If you follow me on instagram (emgracesh), you saw that our family photos we took on Christmas Eve came in!

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I am so excited! We ordered a lot for my parents house & I can just picture them on the wall (maybe in a “gallery wall” type idea)! The one thing I’m not looking forward to is the cost of frames… they really add up quick!

Luckily as we browsed Dirt Cheap yesterday just for fun, M found a 16×20 Target brand frame for way cheap! I knew we had to have it!

Today, I headed out to run one errand and once I completed that I knew I needed some more entertainment 🙂 I quickly set out on a mission for more frames & a couple supplies so I can have some of our pictures ready to hang by Friday when my mom gets them! Luckily I found some great deals!

The 16×20 frame yesterday came out to 10.92, sold for $39.99 at Target.- $29.07 saved

The 11×14 I got today at Palmer home was $3.25, usually $29.99.- saved about $26.74

The 8×10 was $1.50, from $12.99- saved me about $11.49

& the spray paint I paid just $4.92 for and 1 can was more than enough for all three frames!

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in progress

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I’d call that a success, for just $20.92 and under 50 minutes including drying time~ now I just hope my mom loves them!!!