The Second One

I typed an entire post with you this afternoon and it deleted just before I clicked “publish”! Ughh. At least practice makes perfect!!

Thursday marked the end of exams and the end of my sophomore year! I treated myself to a end of semester treat= a heavenly massage! It was the perfect way to relax after a week of tests and studying (and mexican with friends, packing, and way to many HGTV shows.) After my massage I left Starkville for the last time as a student at Mississippi State- whoa! But I am so excited for this summer and fall and everything those two will bring. Praying for a time of growth and preparation this summer. I know it will be a big change but I can’t wait.

As soon as I got back to Collierville, I had to do some rearranging, cleaning, and decorating. I think I’m addicted. My room for the summer is finally settled in and just homey enough. Still trying to convince my dad into adding some hardwood. The homemade goo from elementary school apparently wasn’t supposed to be left on carpet (whoops!) For now, I’m loving this set up. It won’t belong before I’m gathering everything again to move in August!

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The wall with the table and lamps really needs a pick me up so I’m planning to recreate this pretty soon!

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Today has been pretty laid back other than a bootcamp workout my mom & I did this morning. It kicked. our. booties. in the best kind of way! I know I’m going to be extremely sore tomorrow!! But it was nice to have an intense workout in so we could relax for the rest of the day, help Josh find a hat for the torrential down pour known as Beale Street music fest, finish getting everything unpacked and organized, and enjoy Las Delicias for dinner with some Sonic to follow! I’m becoming addicted to their mini Caramel Banana shakes… so good. but so bad. Did I already undo that early morning workout?!

I’m so excited for this tomorrow/weekend! I’ll be heading to Whitney’s first shower tomorrow night! I can’t believe she’ll be getting married in 4 months!

What are your weekend plans?

P.S. A new show is starting on HGTV and I think I’m meant to be the star of it. Renovation Raiders. While the homeowners are out to dinner, a room in their home is renovated!! — I once painted my bathroom while my parents were out to dinner… let me tell you, it looks just lovely. 😉

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DWYS: 2

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20130419-DSC_394220130419-DSC_3953 20130419-DSC_394820130419-DSC_395020130419-DSC_394720130419-DSC_3976Just for kicks, this little beauty had to join in on the fun!

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Shirt: Old Navy, Chambray

Leopard Belt: Kohls

Shorts: Ann Taylor LOFT (love em so much I also own the denim!)

Coral Earrings: Target

Don’t let a low budget keep you down!! Some Target, Kohls, and Old Navy finds put together with purpose can stand beside the J Crew ensembles any day!

“nothing else even comes close”

“I’m going to need a full set.”

“Acrylic, please!”

If this sounds like your trips to the nail salon, I know you natural nails are in need of some rescuing. I used acrylic nails for years even though I knew they tore my natural nails to pieces. When I would finally remove them, I knew I would have to baby them for months before they were actually strong nails again. The acrylic was gone, but I was left with soft brittle nails that would practically split in half when I attempted to open a ziploc.

I have, after years of searching, found the remedy! Thanks to my roommate on this one… She is the nail queen.

Formula 2 by nailitiques. Their company tagline is “nothing else even comes close” and that could not be more true. It does cost a pretty penny, but I’m telling you, it is a miracle in a bottle. Totally worth the splurge!

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They claim their formulas were created to treat different nail conditions. The salon-tested formulations offer special combinations of ingredients, including hydrolyzed keratin and protein in combination with gelatin and calcium to build a healthy nail foundation. The protein formulas bond the nail layers together building a strong nail foundation resistant to peeling, chipping and splitting.

Nails will see marked improvement when treated with Formula 2. This formula consists of a unique blend of protein and conditioners. The protein immediately acts to help bond nails that are splitting or peeling. Formula 2 helps strengthen the nail resulting in long, strong and healthy nails.

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One of my favorite products ever- and if that isn’t enough… It is one of InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys!

Pick some up at your local Walgreens or CVS! I’ve already talked my Mom out of the artificial habit- YOU should be next!

WIAW

This wednesday started like any other, (I’m ignoring the fact that there are only a few of these precious mornings with these girls left) at 929 with Rachel, Lesley, Lauren, and Magan.

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Zambia coffee for me with half & half and Splenda. (Did I mention my speech today was on artificial sweeteners? Oh, the irony.)

After our meeting, I had to finish up my speech. I spent every last available minute typing so breakfast was of the grab and go- drive and eat variety. A handful of dark chocolate almonds & a banana!

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I was so nervous for my speech I waited until it was over to have lunch! McAlisters & Local Culture~ decided a treat was in store!

Choose 2: Turkey Melt on Pita & a cup of Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

Choose 2: Turkey Melt on Pita & a cup of Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

This half white chocolate mousse/half orange sorbet concoction really hit the spot!

This half white chocolate mousse/half orange sorbet concoction really hit the spot!

Dr. Pepper ten between lunch & dinner for… well, just because I enjoy them. It is unusual for me not to have a snack between lunch and dinner, but I think today my late lunch and dessert with lunch helped!

Dinner was Salmon Mitchell made 🙂 with edamame and Annie’s shells & cheese. Easy, yet satisfying and delicious!

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Everything was successfully done oven-less.

The oven has been off limits around hear lately due to this situation. A few to many drippy sweet potatoes lead to some major smoke and need for cleaning!

The oven has been off limits around here lately due to this situation. A few to many drippy sweet potatoes lead to some major smoke, caked on gunk, and need for cleaning!

Somehow avoided the after dinner snacking, too! That is rare.

I am usually the one running around asking if anyone has anything sweet 😉

How was your day?

I know that full well

Lately, I feel easily overwhelmed with certain things. Sometimes, the blog feels that way.. so I just push it off for a rainy day. I was attempting to type my latest post when this whole blog thing started to feel incredibly incomplete.

You see, there’s more to the story than you know. With blogging, it is easy to only share the fun stuff. Unfortunately, this can make the author seem “perfect,” simply because I am more likely to post on good days than to share the not so pretty areas of my life on the world wide web. Today, I want to share something with you that will be hard to write down, to catch you all up. But I think it must be done in order for this to be genuine, to build a trust between us. I am a filthy sinner, with a past. I also think it might be less overwhelming for me if it’s on paper and not just swirling in my head. My memory is spotty, but I think it all started around 13.

I wouldn’t call it bullying, but a few comments in the lunchroom to the tune of “ever heard of the Subway diet?” have affected me more than I realized at the time. It was 6th grade, I was 5’2″ and remember wearing a size 6.. Now I know that is not big. AT ALL. But being bigger than most of the other girls was the worst part of all. The most important thing at that age was fitting in. I didn’t make the dance team my sixth grade year, which didn’t help.

By seventh grade, I had naturally grown up and slimmed out some. I got interested in working out, going to spin classes with one of my best friends and the “baby fat” that stayed way to long dropped off without to much effort.

I don’t know where it began, but I think around 9th grade, I became obsessed with my weight and exercise. Self comparison. Numbers. I honestly don’t even remember this time at all… I’ve just found notebooks covered in weights and calorie counts I didn’t even realize I had been keeping track of for so long. I knew, and still know, calorie amounts of almost everything. It’s like a terrible talent.

I remember eating until I was so overly full I couldn’t think of anything else, throwing up just to relieve some of the guilt. No one knew I struggled. I was never out of a normal weight range, so it was an internal battle… between what I knew deep down was right and I let other people, the media, and modern ideals tell me would make me happy. If I wasn’t 120, I wasn’t perfect.

Baby food diet, Drop10, Weight Watchers, Weigh down workshop, calorie counting, bite counting, all fruit, no carbs, all protein, all liquid, you name it, I’ve tried it. For a few hours at least. I am one of the lucky ones. I was able to avoid the worst. I was never determined enough to take any of these extreme ideas for more than a test drive I quickly got out of. I always drifted back to eating normally until the next great idea came along. My weight really never shifted more than a couple pounds.

This post is more for me than for you. It feels like a weight lifted off my chest to get this craziness out of my head. Maybe, sometime, I can help someone escape the harsh reality of how hard eating and body image can be for girls. It was never a topic that was spoken about in my middle and high school years… yet tons of girls around me were all suffering from the same thing.

I don’t have any explanation for you as to why I’m writing this, other than to give you my full history and to get it out of my head. I should be writing my speech on artificial sweeteners, but here I sit, words flowing from my fingers.
I know there is a reason I’m okay with pushing the publish button.

My God is healer. He has removed me so much from this time of my life that the memories, are just that. 

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 

your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 

Psalm 139:14

“Normal”

A sweet friend of mine shared this with me over a year ago, and I want to also share it with you.

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Have a fabulous day- see you soon!

sweet gratitude, III

Trying to slow down more and remember to smell the roses. Sometimes it can be hard to really live in the present, without looking forward with “I can’t wait”s… for me, being thankful for what is going on right now helps.

Loving lately:

warmer weather, eno time,

warmer weather, eno time,

pinterest ideas,

pinterest ideas,

oatmeal and coffee to start my days,

oatmeal and coffee to start my days,

verses God shows me just at the right time,

verses God shows me just at the right time,

fresh picked flowers, walks with friends,

fresh picked flowers, walks with friends,

of course sweet snuggles,

of course sweet snuggles,

and spring wishes!

and spring wishes!

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you..”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

From The Happiness Project: Gratitude is important to happiness. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives; they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising. Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you are grateful for what you have, you are not consumed with wanting something different or something more. That, in turn, makes it easier to live within your means and also to be generous to others.

What are you grateful for this week? Something amazing? Just getting through?

Following Fads

Today I am joining the thousands of ladies in blog world who do something called “What I Ate Wednesday” every week! I will simply let you know what I ate in words and pictures, usually the iPhone variety! This type of post is hog heaven for the nosy girl like me, but if it’s not your thing (or your name is Mitchell- I can see his eyes rolling now!) move on. Check out my next post instead.

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Pop on over to peasandcrayons.com to check out all of her WIAW posts! She has 115…

I’m promising you my best effort at being consistent with this…. (yes, I know, I owe you a gratitude post!) Be patient with me as I finish up these last few weeks of school & exams then this summer the blog will be back in focus, the eats will be better, and this girl a little less stressed. 😉

image.j1pegWednesday mornings start out at coffee shops with 5 girls and the Word. I enjoyed a caramel latte & called it the appetizer to breakfast. I never want to eat breakfast at 7 because by 11 I feel like I could eat my desk.
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About 9 am I was ready for stove cooked oats. They weren’t quite like my moms bu still a stick to your ribs morning meal. I topped them with part of a banana, cinnamon, stevia, and honey straight from my pot!

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While the oats cooked, I cut up a pink lady to have with lunch and dusted her with cinnamon. Yes, her. She is a lady.6

It went perfectly with my string cheese & Chick-fil-a grilled chicken sandwich… a star of a choice if you need healthy and fast food. It’s just 290 calories for lots of protein and fullness! Honey roasted bbq sauce is not good for you, just to die for.

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As we were finishing, we were offered extras from a milkshake they sold so Mitchell and I obliged and I had just a few sips.

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While I worked on setting up some Mary Kay appointments I enjoyed a bowl of honey nut cheerios & milk… a never fail combo in my mind. Not specifically Honey Nut Cheerios, just any cereal.

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Then there came a “I’m so hungry I’ll eat anything.. I ate it so quick this was the only part left for a picture” snack while I worked. Not the greatest choice, but this post is the real deal! No deleting packs of cinnamon teddy grahams!
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Dinner was the highlight today! It turned out awesome… definitely will become a recurring meal! Taco Chicken Bowls!! Found the recipe here.

Unpictured: the cinnabon roll and cookie I wholeheartedly earned with a 7 mile run licked the plate beneath

What graced your plate today?

Where Have You Been?

I’ve obviously been slacking on my blogging game lately! My mind has gone from being overwhelmed with school after 10 days of Spring Break to being overwhelmed with wanting to go home for Easter! Couldn’t be happier that I will be back in the 901 tomorrow.

Luckily, things around here have been pretty productive! The last two days this  week I managed to get my booty off the couch and onto the hamster wheel for the first two days of Couch to 5k! It feels way better to get my heart pumping (& get the fit bit saying 10,000) than to sit on the couch all afternoon, but that sure is hard to be reminded of while I’m on the couch!

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Also, been trying to keep this dude organized aka a full time job! He’s gone from just starting photography around November to booking engagement shoots, business projects (for the Wall Street Journal, what?!!), and multiple weddings! I’ve become the employed assistant since I tend to be more of the planner type.

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My Mary Kay business has taken off & I am having so much fun! Just in the past week I’ve had 5 orders placed. And I was able to place my first big order thanks to Mom & Nana! I decided to use my birthday money as a sort of investment to get all stocked with awesome MK products to sell (& use myself too!) Thrilled to open the box when it arrives Thursday & share with ya’ll!

Did you catch that? My birthday is in 26 days.. I’ll be twenty! What on earth? Twenty year olds have it all together… Or so I thought! I feel like that number is way older than I feel!

What happened to being 2 & Baby Bop cakes?

What happened to being 2 & Baby Bop cakes?

There is so much jam packed into these last 5 weeks of school! I can hardly get a steady hold on the fact that in 20 class days I will be saying goodbye to Starkville & hello to Memphis! I can hardly contain my excitement. With summer comes sunshine, swimming, a Virginia trip, a florida trip, & lots of relaxin!

Please take a second to pray for this sweet little dude, Knox. He’s just over 2 years old and we spent lots of last summer together hittin up Target and snugglin’ Marley.

If you follow me on instagram, you already saw that he is at LeBonheur after having a few seizures yesterday for unknown reasons.

Pray for comfort for his momma and peace and healing for his little body. Thank you!

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Expect a vlog tomorrow on my favorite products… Not just makeup, but dishwashing detergent, nail polish, & more!

See ya then. xoxo.

Finding the Fit Bit

Off and on for many years, I have heard about the “FitBit” & loved the idea of what it can accomplish. It is a smll gadget that throughout the day, tracks steps taken (like a pedometer), calories burned, and mileage~ right up this girls alley!

I always assumed it would be overly expensive so I never checked into it. But while we were in Destin last week, we got to talking about Spencer’s mom having one and I got excited to check into it.

The FitBit Zip tracks mileage, calories, and steps for $60 while the FitBit One tracks all of that + sleep for $100! I love the idea of both but decided to go with the Fit Bit Zip for price & I have used the iPhone app– Sleep Cycle to track sleep! It is super cool. You lay your phone in the bed with you and it keeps track of your movement in order to interpret which sleep zones you’re in, how many “REM cycles” etc. Check it out!

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I was so thrilled to start using the Fit Bit last Thursday! It has been better than I even expected. I wear it on my hip from when I wake up until I get in bed each night. It has made me so much more aware of how much I move and how many calories I’m burning.

It is really helping me to get more exercise throughout the day! Pretty often now I’m telling Mitchell, “let’s walk there to get my steps up!” It’s like a competition. The fitbit website gave me the goal of 10,000 steps a day & I love reaching it and even hope to bump that up as more movement becomes a habit in my life!

The last week has looked like this:

Thursday      8,047

Friday            9,822

Saturday       10,882

Sunday           5,641

Monday          8,033

Tuesday        12,425

& today, Wednesday

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for a total of 68,691 steps & 30.25 miles since starting!

One goal I have is to make my days more consistent!

Almost everyday, it has pushed me to take a walk with Marley or drag Mitchell out for a walk to and from campus. 🙂 So that’s something to celebrate! Anything is better than all that couch sitting I had grown accustomed to! Today, I went with Whitney and Max for a 2 mile walk in Sanderson! So fun.