The Honest Truth

9 Jul

When I was younger I felt like I could only write when I was sad. My journals were filled with all of the horrible things I was feeling inside. This kind of darkness made everyone around me uncomfortable. I stuck out like a sore thumb. I felt everything so deeply. I wore my differences on my shoulder like a badge of courage.

As an adult I have trouble writing if I am not happy. I mostly attribute this to the fact that my voice has changed. Instead of feeling morose I make most everything into a joke. Laughter is my biggest ally.

This mostly works for me because I would say that I have very rare bouts of sadness. Even when things are tough, and right now I would certainly classify things as “tough”, I can find the silver lining.

But for some reason this “tough” period has left me paralyzed with the inability to write. I know I am writing right now, this very second my fingers are gliding over my keyboard forming words and sentences.. but it really isn’t the same as wanting to write… or even feeling like I NEED to write. I am just writing because it has been a while and I wonder if my readers wonder what is going on.

Unfortunately I am not up to telling my followers the nitty gritty of what is happening in my little life… at least not right now. I will tell you that I am in a period of transition. A transition I certainly didn’t ask for, but that my friends is life.

But don’t take this break from blogging as a sign that I have been defeated.. because that is far from the truth… I know now – without a doubt – that no one is capable of stealing my joy.. even if it takes a vacation every now and then.

Confessions of a Gemini

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Bad Hair & Adult Friendships

17 May

Last week my gorgeous cousin, Caroline, graduated from the University of Georgia and her recent accomplishment got me thinking about my own post-college experiences.

I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2008 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications and unlike my brilliant cousin Caroline – jobless. Finding a job had proved to be more difficult than I had hoped  (as I am sure most people who graduated in 2008 would agree)  because that is when the economy tanked. So I did what many 08′ grads did and moved back in with the parents. 

Finding a job was hard but finding friends as an adult was a different animal all together. Making new friends as an adult is hard work.

In college you make new friends everyday. You meet them in your classes, dorm, or extra curricular activities.. you are always experiencing new things so you are always meeting new people. After college you settle down in a sense. Get a job, go to the same places, get stuck in a routine, and you really have to make an effort to meet people.

My first “adult” friend was Natalie. She was also my first “boss” after college. We had a short run together (career wise) but I am certain we will always be friends. I still remember the day we solidified our friendship like it was yesterday…

I think what sealed the deal was when I showed her my driver’s license. My driver’s license in college had an unfortunate picture mostly because I had an unfortunate haircut. She laughed so hard she almost peed herself.

Unfortunately for you I am not in possession of this license because when I became a Georgia resident they took it away from me. However I do have some similar photos.

Exhibit A. -What I looked like when Natalie met me.. looking normal… Cute…and very professional at the Carolina Cup. 

Normal Me, Senior Year

Exhibit B- College Picture. Looking rough…Unsexy… And quite hilarious. Sidenote: I did this to myself so do not pity me. All I can say is people do crazy things when they get broken up with.  Also note the camo, if I  was capable of feeling shame, I would feel it now. 

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In July, I will be packing my bags to join my hubby in Greensboro, NC and I will again be looking for adult friends. Unfortunately for me I don’t have a stunning driver’s license picture to do all the work for me… but I think I can handle the challenge.

Confessions of a Gemini

Beauty Diaries

16 May

When I opened my mailbox the other day I got my favorite surprise… my Birchbox! I was pretty happy with this month’s selection… here is what I got:

1. Cargo Lip Gloss in Sunset Blvd.
I am always thrilled when I get makeup in my Birchbox especially when they send me a full size product. Cargo is a brand I am vaguely familiar with. Sunset Blvd is a pretty light peachy shade which compliments my fair skin. The lip gloss has a great texture and pleasant smell. The product is $14 in the Birchbox store which means that I got my money’s worth out of this box (Each box is $10)

Cargo Lip Gloss Sunset Blvd from my May 2013 Birchbox

2. Pilot Corporation of America Acroball Purewhite
I was a little confused and kind of annoyed to receive this in my Birchbox. It is a standard pen but with pink ink. Next time send me makeup. The pen sells in the Birchbox store for $6.24 (4-pack). I wrote on the card stock it came with and obviously it doesn’t write well on card stock!

2. Pilot Corporation of America Acroball Purewhite

3. Amika Obliphica Hair Treatment
I have been eyeing this sample for quite a while and I was thrilled to see it had finally made its way into my box. I have been looking for a product that could protect my hair while taming frizz and creating a sleek look, especially after straightening and Amika’s hair treatment is perfect! I have very oily hair and the serum didn’t make my hair look greasy or messy, instead it tamed my fly-aways and left a great scent behind. This is definitely on my must purchase list. The full size costs $34.00 and is 3.38 fl oz. They gave me a rather large sample (although not full size) that should last me a couple of weeks. Yay!

 

Amika Obliphica Hair Treatment Hair after using  Amika Obliphica Hair Treatment  in May 2013 Birchbox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Coola Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer
At first I was kind of annoyed that I had received sunscreen in my Birchbox.. but once I realized it was a moisturizer I was a lot more excited to try this sample. I like that it has a higher SPF than my foundation because I have fair skin and need a lot of protection from the sun. I was also very happy with the smell and the fact that it absorbed completely into my skin without any residue or excessive rubbing needed. The full size 1.7 fl oz bottle is $32 and they gave me a sample that should last me about a week or two.

Coola Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face May 2013 Birchbox

5. Isaac Mizrahi FABULOUS Eau de Parfum
This smells delicious & very citrusy, which I like. I have been getting a lot of perfume samples lately and I would much prefer makeup samples, so I updated my Birchbox preferences in hopes I will get more makeup next time.They gave me a standard perfume sample size and in the store they sell the .34 fl oz rollerball & 1.7fl oz perfume for $69.

Isaac Mizrahi FABULOUS Eau de Parfum May 2013 Birchbox

Overall I was very happy with my Birchbox this month. If you are interested in purchasing a monthly Birchbox for $10 a month click here: https://www.birchbox.com?raf=fc3p4

What did you receive in your Birchbox this month?

Confessions of a Gemini

Hypochondria & That Time I Thought I had Rabies

8 May

One thing you need to know about me is that I am a huge hypochondriac. I am not exaggerating here. If I have any ailment I jump to the worst possible scenario.

Headache… Brain Aneurism

Weird Freckle … Skin Cancer

Stomachache… Septic Shock Syndrome

Cat Scratch… Rabies

Yes rabies, one time I thought I had contracted rabies. It sounds ridiculous now, but at the time I was full fledged panicking that I had missed my 24 hour window to be treated and was going to die.

You see my college roommate went out of town and left me in charge of her cat, Piper, who she loved dearly as every pet parent should.  Piper was very sweet and had never acted aggressive towards me. We lived in a house with very large crawl space, and occasionally we would hear animals under there. I had convinced myself that there was a raccoon living under our house.

That weekend my boyfriend called me and told me that he had accidentally let the cat out of the house (Piper was definitely an indoor cat) and of course I freaked out. I thought that he had lost my roommates precious pet. We looked everywhere for this cat. I walked the neighborhood calling for her for hours… like a cat would actually come when being called… ha.

I had exhausted all hope and was in tears thinking of how I could tell my roommate I failed her and lost her cat, when I heard a little mew under the porch. I peaked my head in the crawl space and saw Piper’s eyes shining back at me. I was so happy. I tried to grab her and she ran further underneath the house.

I was certainly not crawling underneath the house, which was most definitely filled with spiders and possibly a rabid raccoon… so I placed a food bowl beside the crawl hole in hopes of luring her out with a meal.

When Piper came out to eat I snatched her up. She was obviously mad/scared, because she scratched the ever-living shit out of me.  I put her in the house and washed my cut.

Crisis averted… or so I thought.

I am horrible at lying to people so of course when I talked to my roommate on the phone that day I told her of the entire escapade… and she casually mentioned that Piper was late on her shots.  At first this didn’t faze me but after thinking about it for a few hours I wondered if Piper had encountered any wild animals in the 24 hours that she was missing.

The first thing I did which is quite possibly THE WORST thing any hypochondriac could do was go searching on the Internet for answers. I thought maybe you could only contract rabies through a bite. WRONG. After a few hours I felt like I was manifesting all the symptoms of rabies. Did I have a fever? I felt achy all over. I started to get a headache… and it had been 12 hours since my encounter with Piper.

The next day after getting no sleep because I had now fully convinced myself I had rabies I called my mom. I told her of my encounter and I asked her if she thought it was possible that I had contracted rabies… and she said, “I don’t know, maybe?” Of course this sent me into crazy mode.

My mom was a nurse before she had me, so obviously she is a medical genius. If she thought I had rabies surely I had rabies. AND it had been over 24 hours and so I had missed my opportunity for treatment.

Why go through with the excruciating pain of needles being shoved in my stomach if I was going to die anyways. So I did what any person who was on her deathbed would do…I laid on the couch and watched reality T.V. while simultaneously chatting with people on AIM. I am pretty sure I told a few people I thought I was going to die and that I loved them dearly.

The next morning I woke up (and was obviously) still alive. PRAISE THE LORD. I didn’t contract rabies. I wasn’t going to die!

I learned several things from this experience, which I still carry with me to this day.

  1. Don’t Google symptoms on WEB M.D. they will only make you feel like you are going to die.
  2. Don’t read magazines with articles on crazy rare diseases that you might contract. (Note: I later added to this do not watch television shows like House that will certainly make you feel like you have every rare disease in the book)
  3. Go to the doctor if you feel sick.
  4. Sometimes if you ask your mom a crazy ridiculous question she will give you a not so serious crazy ridiculous answer.

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Tattoos, Piercings, & Hello Kitty

3 May Confessions of a Gemini

WARNING: MOM THIS MIGHT EMBARRASS YOU.

Recently my BFF, Leigh, reminded me of a little memory that is somewhat hysterical and also prompted this blog post.

In college, I BRIEFLY, and I mean briefly thought about getting a tattoo of Hello Kitty on the top of my boob (my left one because that is the good one) so when I wear low cut shirts (which is basically everyday of my life) I could joke and say “Hello Titty” – now OBVIOUSLY I didn’t do this. That is ridiculous. I mean I couldn’t really skip through life with a tattoo of a fictional cat on my breast. I am SO glad I didn’t go through with it.

And sometimes I say things or say that I am going to do things just because it is funny or I am being overly dramatic (Gemini trait). This was probably one of those times, because I don’t have any tattoos inappropriate or otherwise.

But after laughing my ass off about this little memory with my bestie, I got to thinking about how many things I thought I wanted to do in my youth that I am so glad I didn’t go through with. There are tons of them. Some of them are more embarrassing and inappropriate than the hello titty tattoo so we won’t even go there.

But basically I am really glad I had sort of strict parents who put the fear of God in me, or else who knows where I would have ended up.

Girls

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Tiny Tweaks, Big Results: April 2013 Birchbox Reveal

30 Apr

Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription box. I love Birchbox because it is a great way to sample new products, but I also love it because they have a point system that is hard to beat. You receive 10 points for reviewing products in your monthly Birchbox, 50 points for referring new members, and for every $1.00 spent you earn 1 point. Each 100 reward points can be redeemed for $10 off of an order. I have been a member for 8 months and have always had a huge discount when I purchase items from the store!

If you are interested in purchasing a becoming a member (which I highly recommend) you can click here: https://www.birchbox.com?raf=fc3p4

For the month of April Birchbox teamed up with Women’s Health for the theme “tiny tweaks, big results.”

My April 2013 box included:

Birchbox

Weleda Body Lotion 

Weleda Body Lotion

They gave me three small packets of the lotion– Wild Rose, Sea Buckhorn, & Pomegranate. This lotion smells heavenly (especially the pomegranate) and left my skin silky smooth. I like that it wasn’t as thick as most lotions, but it still left my skin moisturized and smooth. The full size product is $16.50 and that is basically the reason why I will be passing on purchasing the full size product. 

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

This balm formula is supposed to keep “oil in check” and “up your makeup’s staying power”. They gave me a very small sample with no lid. I didn’t see much of a difference when using this product. I don’t have very oily skin (even in the dead heat of summer) so maybe that is why this product didn’t work for me. I also really hated the presentation of the sample. It had no lid and so it had to stay in the cardboard box which takes up a lot of space in my makeup bag. The full size product is $36.00. I am also not really interested in purchasing this product. 

StriVectin-SD Eye Concentrate

StriVectin-SD Eye Concentrate

StriVectin and I go way back. I was introduced to this amazing line of products when I worked at a flagship Bath and Body Works Store in college. It really does work wonders, eliminating the appearance of wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness! The sample I received was fairly small but will last a few weeks. The full size is $65, but it works so I think it is well worth the price tag! 

Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir 

Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir

This product is supposed to give you healthier younger looking hair in just one week. I have long very thick hair and felt that I didn’t see much of a difference with this product. I wonder if I needed more of the sample to see the results. The full size is $20.99 and I probably won’t purchase. 

Skin&Co Bagnodoccia Body Gel

Skin&Co Bagnodoccia Body Gel

This body gel is made specifically for sensitive skin and is made from olive oil. I wasn’t thrilled with the scent of this body wash, but I did like that it was gentle on my sensitive skin. The full size product is $17.50, and that is precisely why I won’t be purchasing this product.

As you can see I had a pretty sad little Birchbox this past month… the only redeeming quality was that we received a one year subscription to Women’s Health which was worth $9.99 which basically means this box paid for itself. I hope I get more makeup samples in my next Birchbox!

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10 Reasons Why I am Obsessed with the Irish Travelers of Murphy Village

26 Apr

Reasons why I have an unhealthy obsessions with the Irish Travelers of Murphy Village.

1. They have the BEST names, especially the newer baby gypsies: Spain, Onasis, Paris, Minka, and the list goes on and on.

2. They throw parties for literally EVERYTHING… gypsies don’t just throw down for baby showers, weddings, and birthdays they celebrate new cars, new houses, and everything in between!

3. Speaking of parties they get dressed to the NINES for just about any occasion. I am talking three gallons of hairspray, lipstick, and glitter everywhere.

4. They love to shake it. These ladies are dancing machines. Some may call it inappropriate for a four year old to dance to Hit me Baby One More time but I call it timeless.

5. They speak their own language (sort of) . How cool is that?  I want to be fluent in Irish Traveler language…. it’s my next big goal.

6. They are exclusive. You won’t see a gypsy talking to a non-gypsy unless they are serving them. These bitches don’t just befriend anyone and that is exactly why I NEED to make friends with them. Scratch that last goal. THIS IS MY NEW GOAL.

7. They have unique customs. Irish Travelers are all about being original… and so am I! We are a match made in heaven….

GRACE & THE GYPSYS 4EVER.

8. They might be obsessed with social media more than I am… I mean the toddlers have their own Facebook pages… obv they are manned by the moms unless they are super geniuses which is also a possibility.

9. Glitter, Bling, Diamonds, Sparkles… They can’t get enough and neither can I!

10. Have I mentioned the dance routines? I am talking full on red carpets, stages and lighting outside of their houses for these performances. They are so mag it is unreal.

Now you know why I am the traveler’s biggest fan! Stay tuned for more gypsy encounters and adventures!

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Winning!

25 Apr

I have been asked about a million times how I win giveaways and sweepstakes and so I wanted to appease the masses and let you know my secrets!

The secret is…. Geminis are incredibly lucky!!! Just kidding 🙂 (Though I do believe in the power of positive thinking to be a winner you have to believe that you ARE a winner!)

There is a little method to my madness….

  1. Where do I find giveaways? BLOGS 🙂 They have great odds and the most interesting prizes. Plus I am an avid reader and usually the contests I enter are from blogs already on my blogroll. I keep my blogs organized primarily through a site called Bloglovin. I visit that site daily to read all of the new blog posts written my all my favorite bloggers and I have them organized by type. Speaking of Bloglovin… You should totally follow me… just click on the link to the right of this page.
  2. I mostly enter giveaways with good odds. This does mean that I don’t usually win huge prizes like cash, cars or vacations. This doesn’t really bother me because I personally think spending 10-15 minutes entering a contest to get a $50 shopping spree is totally worth it! Sometimes if I really want to win something (like currently I am trying to win a Kitchen-aid mixer for my sister who is getting married in June) I will enter regardless of the odds, but generally I go for contests with less than 10,000 entries.
  3. I love giveaways that have multiple methods of entries because I know I can have a competitive edge! If a giveaway has 54 ways to enter you better believe I am going to spend the time to enter all 54 ways. This does mean my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest is blown up by people I don’t necessarily know in person, but that doesn’t really bother me because I have created lists on my FB and Twitter so I can see close friends statuses without having to look through my news feed.
  4. Most giveaways have an option to tweet daily about a giveaway. I do this. Daily. Now this takes a bit of dedication because you have to go back to the original site and re-enter, but like I said above I feel like that is worth it. Plus I am usually reading the blog anyway and so it is not that big of a hassle.
  1. When you do win a giveaway and receive a prize in the mail you should document it on social media and tag the blog and sponsor in the post. Blogs get prizes from sponsors who are wanting to spread the word about their products. I think it is just good karma to give a little shout out once you receive the prize.

 

If you have any specific questions about giveaways or sweepstakes ask in the comment section below 🙂

 

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Spring Crush Linky Party

18 Apr

This is my first blog link-up! Today I am linking up with Agape Love Designs for the Spring Crush Linky Party. I figured it would be a fun way for you to get to know what I am loving right now in life!

Real Life Crush – The Hubs. I crush on him daily and I think that is an important part of keeping the spark alive in marriage. I feel lucky that he still gives me butterflies.

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Girl Crush- Jennifer Lawrence. I love her. She is hysterical, honest, awkward, brilliant, and beautiful all at the same time. I sometimes find myself lurking youtube to watch her various interviews because literally everything she says makes me laugh.

Music Crush- Justin Timberlake. I have been listening to his new album on repeat. I can’t get enough of his whole album. He is also easy on the eyes & funny. I am obsessed.

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Blogger Crush- I love Raven over at Don’t Quote the Raven. She is hysterical and beautiful! I look forward to her posts each day! You should follow her if you haven’t already. Also read her post about the vacuum salesman. Hilarious.

Childhood Celebrity Crush- Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I have a 6th grade yearbook covered from front to back in: “Grace & J.T.T 4ever.” Classy I know. I could have been like President of his fan club. I still remember his favorite food (olives) and his favorite band (Hootie and the Blowfish) I wonder what that kid is up to these days.

Product Crush- Twistband. I got these in my Birchbox and ever since I have been obsessed. I use them all the time. Perfect for when I have been a slacker and haven’t washed my hair or have let my bangs grow out to a crazy length. Right now I am guilty on both accounts.

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Sports Crush- 2013 Master’s Tournament Champion Adam Scott. That is one sexy Aussie. Also I am from Augusta so I have to give a little shout out to the best golf tournament in the world!

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Shameful Shameless Crush- I have no shame. Sheldon Cooper I love you.

Hair Crush- Zooey Deschanel. I get my hair cut like her everytime. Love that bitch.

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Fictional Character Crush- Nancy Botwin. I will always love you. You might make morally questionable decisions but your heart is in the right place. You are also funny, beautiful, and always find a way to get what you want. I respect that.

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Low-Country Boil

17 Apr

The low country boil is an iconic recipe of my childhood. One bite conjures up memories of summers spent on the shores of Edisto Beach, South Carolina with family and friends.

Low country boil is a casual dish, spread out on an old wooden picnic table covered in newspaper. It is a Southern delicacy and is meant to be shared with large groups of people you love.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. It is my ultimate Southern comfort food!

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Low-Country Boil

4 lbs. Small red potatoes

5 quarts of water

1 (3-ounce) bag of Old Bay Crab Boil Seasoning

4 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

6 lemons, cut into halves

2 lbs. Kielbasa sausage, cut into 2 inch pieces

6 ears of corn, halved

4 lbs. Large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cocktail Sauce

Butter

Salt

Pepper

Add potatoes to a large pot, then add 5 quarts of water, lemons, crab boil bag, & Old Bay Seasoning. Cover pot and heat to a rolling boil. Add sausage and corn and, return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add Shrimp to pot (you must do this last, so that the shrimp won’t be soggy). Cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Drain. Serve on newspaper. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and serve with butter and cocktail sauce.

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