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!

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celebrating

I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon/evening! It somehow happened to include most of my favorites! Mitchell and I got into Collierville around 12:30, spent some time at his grandparent’s, then headed to Booyas with my mom! (My all time fave..!)

After Booyas, we had to hit up Target! I tend to have withdrawals while in Starkville with nothing but Walmart! .. It’s rare lately that my mom and I get to go without being in a hurry so this was so much fun!! Thanks Mom

Once we got home, Marley and I went for a quick run before getting ready & heading downtown.

Majestic Grill & Melting Pot were our destinations for the evening! I enjoyed every minute of it! It was so fun to think back on old memories and laugh- It’s crazy to think we’ve spent TWENTY of my birthdays together! So thankful for my parents, grandparents, bros, and M. It feels so clique to say “blessed”… almost even seems like it needs a hashtag before it- haha!- but truly, I am.

3rd birthday together- love it.

3rd birthday together- love it.

After lots of consideration of just about every item on the menu, I decided on Grilled Salmon with a Honey glaze, Sweet Carrots, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes- combined with a few handfuls of their famous parmesan fries we all shared- perfectly satisfying.photo 2

Me and the boys

Me and the boys

My Dad, My Mom, and I

My Dad, My Mom, and I

Nana, Me, and Poppa

Nana, Me, and Poppa

For dessert, we decided on two mixtures for the table. Bananas Foster (which included white chocolate and cinnamon and smelled phenomenal!) and Flaming Turtle (caramel and chocolate, too!- that actually came to the table flaming!). Our “dippers” included fresh strawberries, bananas, graham cracker covered marshmallows, brownies, cheesecake, and red velvet cake!! YUM. We washed it down with coffee. Just like I adore coffee in the morning, I love to have it after dinner.

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

Around here, we crack up at how long birthdays last.. it goes from one day to a weekend to a week to a month! So you probably will hear more about my entrance into the twenties before this is over..

More than ready to hit the hay now & wake up for more relaxin tomorrow.

I hope your weekend is awesome! The days pass slow, but the years go to fast.

checking in

Yesterday I asked Mitchell, “want to know what I ate today?” (Yes, I’m weird like that. It had been an out of the ordinary good day so I’ll tell anyone who will listen!) But his reply was, “oh yea, for What I Ate Wednesday?”-Love that blog reading dude.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take pictures & share WIAW with you this week 😦 This morning I woke up with every intention to do it a day late. I even took all the breakfast & lunch pics. Then Chick-fil-a became lunch instead and pictures of what i ate went out the window! Maybe I’ll do one day this weekend 🙂

So much fun planned for this weekend- thrilled for birthday festivities! For now, I’m packing and cleaning my room on top of studying for an exam tomorrow… productive, but not much fun.

Just wanted to check in with you & let you know what’s coming soon! Plans are in the works for completing the vlog, a fashion post with good pictures (chambray & leopard), and an attempt at whitening my toe nails! haha- stay tuned.

If you’re one of those people who just loves to find new blogs to read- try Nutritionella. She’s awesome!

See you soon!

 

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!

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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

A Different Kind of Morning

Not the peaceful, quiet morning I wrote about yesterday…

Today the leap out of bed came at 3:30. Yes, am. We were ready to get in the car! Destination… Destin, Florida.

The bags are packed. Assignments turned in. Worries left behind. We are ready for sun, sand, and lots of laughter!

Whitney, Spencer, Mitchell and I are on our way to the coast for 6 days!!! I have a few blog posts scheduled for you so keep an eye out for those. Then, come Thursday, I’ll update you on all the sunny fun!

PLUS Thursday I will have my Mary Kay stuff in hand & quickly become a business woman!!

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If you want to keep up with me between now and then, or schedule a FREE makeover for when I’m back, check out the above! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram..

Until next time…

March, September, and everything in between!

From That Thrift Shop Down The Road

thrift-shop-576x360As soon as I saw the Thrift Shop Challenge Young House Love was featuring I knew it was for me! I have become a thrift shopping maniac in the past year! I designed my room with tons and tons of thrift shop, consignment, and estate sale purchases! And as always, some Target sale items too 😉

But just in the past two weeks have I realized the amazing CLOTHES I can find to add to the collection! Today I set out for Dirt Cheap with my roommates & ended up with  some awesome stuff to share with you guys!

Just $20.00 as the challenge says bought me alll this!

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Left// Sonoma Sweater $2.40 (Originally Kohls $40.00)
Middle// Merona Half Zip Tunic $1.00 (Originally Target)
Bikini// Tommy Bahama $3.50 (Originally $95.00)
Right// Merona Wrap Sweater $1.00 (Originally Target)
Tan Curtains over closet// $5.00 (purchased preciously)

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Throw Pillow// $5.00 (Originally Target $24.99)
Notebook//$4.00 (Also Target)

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So now.. I may not be “wearing your grandpa’s clothes”… but I am wearing some new clothes for $6.90. I’d call that pretty thrifty!

The brown Merona sweater even had its debut at Corey Smith last night- I’ll have to share some of Mitchell’s pics of him! I EVEN GOT TO MEET HIM!!!

TGIF! Try your hand at getting thrifty this weekend with just $20.00 in your pocket!

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!

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!

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!!