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!

photo 2photo 1photo 3


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



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. 😉




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!



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!

Sweet Disadvantages

If this reads like a college paper… It’s because it was my actual speech for Intro to Communication… But I think its information you’ll find helpful!

Enjoy… If that’s even possible on a Monday!


Would you purposely ingest a chemical you knew was used to preserve dead animals? 

Due to my love for Diet Dr. Pepper, I was reluctant to believe the crazy facts I am going to share with you. The more I studied artificial sweetener and their effects, the more I realized just how prevalent they are. We are ingesting them everyday from diet soda, yogurt, baked goods and most types of chewing gum. AND it turns out, that Stevia I thought was WAY better than Splenda and Sweet’N’Low… isn’t. Cue crying as I stare at black coffee wondering how to make it drinkable!!

I want to inform you about the history and creation of artificial sweeteners, and how they affect your body in relation to both weight gain and various illnesses.

I constantly debate their pros and cons for my life; the most current health and fitness information had always interested me. I have ironically used these sweeteners for years, done extensive research, and gained knowledge from reliable sources to share with you today.

 I want to start with a slightly frightening story about how “fake sugar” came to be. According to the web article “Artificial Sweeteners – More Dangerous than you ever imagined,” the most popular artificial sweetener on the market, aspartame, was discovered in 1965 completely by mistake!!

    1. Chemist, James Schlatter was attempting to develop a drug to treat ulcer disease when he spilled some of his mixture onto his finger. He licked his finger to clean it off and was amazed to find that the mixture was over 200x sweeter than sugar.

Unfortunately, many chemicals are involved in the making of this white powder; Methylene chloride is one of them; It has many uses, so we come into contact with it often. However, artificial sweeteners are the only form of it ingested. Here’s the crazy part: Prolonged skin contact with methylene chloride can cause chemical burns and dissolving of tissues in the skin. If that isn’t shocking enough, it is often used to strip paint and weld plastic together.

This is what we are coating our insides in.

Soon after the accidental invention, it became apparent that artificial sweetener could be the best thing, financially, that ever happened to the diet industry. All those involved in getting Artificial Sweeteners into our foods were more interested in money signs that human health.

One of the most appealing facts about artificial sweeteners is the fact that they are zero calorie and therefore seem like a perfect ally in the fight against extra pounds. Another plus for many people is the fact that artificial sweeteners can be used in both cooking and baking, making it seem like the most convenient change in diet to save lots of extra calories.

However, more current research argues that this is simply not true. Artificial sweeteners in our systems lead our body to believe we indulged in copious amounts of sugar…

        1. Within minutes, our blood sugar rises.

Then, our bodies start to release leptin and insulin, instructing the body to store fat. Simultaneously, serotonin levels are decreasing; this is the chemical that lets us know we are full.

Consistently ingesting artificial sweeteners creates the perfect environment for weight gain and a greater percentage of fat, despite your greatest weight loss efforts.

The internal consequences can be even worse than extra pounds. Just 10 grams of aspartame, or other similar sweeteners, can cause medical issues. These chemicals in your body often have laxative like effects, bloating and diarrhea. On top of that, you may experience headaches, migraines, mental confusion, dizziness, and seizures.

If you can believe it, there is more.

    1. The FDA strays from informing the general public that research claims worrisome effects, including cancer, due to artificial sweetener are running rampant.

Artificial sweeteners are now being referred to as one of the most dangerous and controversial food additives in human history.

  • It seems the accidental discovery was foretelling the not so sweet weight gain and chronic illness artificial sweeteners can lead to.

Now when you sit down at restaraunts, determine whether you are interested in cancer, migraines, or a few extra pounds before ordering that Diet CokeCoke products are so cerosive, they can be used for hard core cleaning. They say if you leave Coke in your toilet overnight, it will clean better than any other product on the market. Just last week, I used Diet Dr. Pepper to get all that caked on gunk out of my oven!!

Why I still think it’s okay to drink the same thing I clean my oven with… I’ll never know! But I’m working on it!

On a less scary/more exciting note, Spencer has been begging for months to make his blog debut… I figured what better day than today to introduce him! Happy 20th Birthday to this crazy guy. Thanks for always standing up for the blog when Mitchell argues that I slash to many words being a great friend. From Columbus trips in the Dud to hilarious nights playing cards in Destin, life wouldn’t be the same without ya! Keep getting sunburnt. 🙂  I hope your twenties are full of more fun (& trips back to Memphis to hang with us) than you can imagine!

Whitney, Spencer, Me, and Mitchell

Whitney, Spencer, Me, and Mitchell

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.


Pop on over to 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.

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!


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.


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.


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.


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!

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?

Leaping :: Month 2 of 2012

-My quiet times have started to change… I feel like if I do it immediately after waking up, I am still kind of groggy, so I have been mixing it up! One night went to the Chapel of Memories on campus. MSU students, if you haven’t been, go. alone. or with your closest of friends. its such a wonderful place to feel God.

Compliments of Alex Hammond via Instagram

-Only missed church 1 Sunday this month!! February 26, 2012. And I have no excuse even for that one… I was lazy. plain & simple.

-Okay, I have a confession. My drinking has been out of control. (Not that type of drinking, Mom!!) Buttt, I did reintroduce Diet Coke. Loads of stress and this girl was needing it!!! But hey, I made it over 50 days carbonation free!! …. debating going “Sweet Tea-less” soon, and eventually just water!! But that might make my attitude not so sweet!


-My running slacked, really bad, in Feb!!! Kicking it up a notch in March!
-But I did end up at 137.6!!! Thats more than 10 lbs down! 

-I’ve been making some really great test grades (99 on my government test!!) and only missed class twice. Must get a good GPA!!!
-Still haven’t read any non school books, but gathering a list for Spring Break/Summer. Surf, Sun, Sand, and a good book!!! Only 1 week!!

I have written blogs 14 in 2012, & this is #15!!! Only 85 to go to meet goal.. 8 1/2 per month!

-Loving my Coach 🙂 although I don’t carry it constantly! During the day, I usually just have my backpack!
-still using my Coach planner, but experienced extreme planner lust as I flipped through Lauren‘s Erin Condren…. :/

Already 2 months down in this brand new year. I can hardly believe it!! How can it be MARCH?!!

Hoping February showers can bring March flowers,

Month One of 2012!

As promised, here is the first of 12 monthly updates on my New Years Resolutions.. I hope this makes me stick to them!! I counted 12 resolutions which means as long as I tackle one a month I’ll be perfect by next New Years, right?! IF ONLY…!

I will have a Morning Quiet Time everyday. Only missed a couple so far!! Hallelujah. Over 50% of my mornings start in this way.. getting better- This has been sweet time with me and God… and I should really increase the time I spend with Him. I am selfish. Really enjoying “Jesus Calling,” “Streams in the Desert,” and “Made to Crave: 60 days of devotion.” As you can see, I like to switch it up.

I will attend church at least 45 Sundays in 2012. Although I was in Pickwick, TN on the 1st of January, the 8th I attended Grace with the fam and the 15th Covenant with Mitchell & his family! The 21st involved PineLake Starkville- which I adoreeee! (and recommend to all MSU students) – Truly speak the Word in a contemporary setting. & the 29th, Grace again- pretty successful so far.. what am I at, 5?

I will not drink sodas and have only 2 sweet drinks/week. So excited about this!! Makes me feel so much better. & 3 solid weeks means it is officially a  habit!! 🙂 I have had a few to many sweet teas- because, frankly, who can resist?? but not a drip (or should I say bubble??) of carbonation!

I’m sorry, I miss you too. I know its hard, but this may be best.

I will run 4x each week in training for 1/2 in April & continue after. Not quite there yet- starting hard core training February 5th (golly, is that 6 days away?!!!) But…. I have run a few times, worked out with Amy (Missfit Trainer), hit the Sanderson on multiple occasions, incorporated many 75 minute gloriously relaxing walks into my days, & lifted a lot with Mitchell! Better than lazy nothingness!
-Not a resolution, but a goal of mine is to exercise 6,300 minutes in 2012 (amounts to 20 min a day) and I am thankful I have managed to stay on track with that!

I plan on slimming down & toning up! I have lost almost 5 lbs.. excited to see more progress! All this thanks to a little friendly competition between M & I. Whoever changes their weight (M wanting to gain/Me wanting to lose) the most by March 9 aka. Spring Break.. wins!! Annnd winner gets to choose outfits for our photo shoot we received as a Christmas gift. (Thanks Val and John!!) Tune in March 9 to watch me win 🙂 If you’re lucky, and M agrees, we may even weigh in on a video update!!

I will complete 3 full semesters/atleast 42 hours (Spring, Summer, Fall) with at least a 3.2 GPA. Currently enrolled and doing better than last semester- yay!! Also, was accepted as an ambassador for Note Hall, a company that helps students excel in college, check it out!!

I will read 12 non school related/fun books by Jan 1, 2013. Does skimming count? … thinking I will catch up on this while by the pool this summer! I never stop long enough to read more than one sentence over, and over, and over. 

I will write 100 posts in 2012- That means no more week long breaks for me & lots of reading for you!!  6 posts down, this is #7 (and 8 is in the works!!). 

I plan to update you at the end of every month on my progress for NYResolutions! Check 😉

I will use only one purse for the entirety of 2012. STILL Loving my Camel Coach Chelsea Carry All 🙂 Although I am on the hunt for a new wallet!!

&&& use only my Coach planner/agenda. Going smoothly!! Organized as ever although starting to get kinda scribbly!! Must focus on cleanliness.


Mitchell & I are going to complete our jar slip assignments each week! Two down!! We had a Papa Johns/Movie Night for Mitchell the weekend before I headed back to Starkvegas. & say Joyful Noise (starring Queen Latifah & Dolly Parton) and raided Walgreens for candy pre-movie…! Don’t tell that we took 6 boxes in my purse 😛 

Really excited for a special date to Grisanti’s this Friday and Valentines Day in 15!! One of my favorite holidays.. If you care to hear the 2011 story, I’d say its a good one. Check back February 14!! Lets just say we were best friends, not dating, I received roses, he got one of his faves, and he won the competition 😉

Are you keeping up with your resolutions? I hope so!!