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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. 

bad haircut

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

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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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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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!

boil

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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Looking Up

14 Apr

 

Things to smile about:

 

  • My husband accepted a job offer in Greensboro, North Carolina. He starts the new job on the 22nd but I am going to stay in Augusta until we find a suitable place to live and accumulate some furniture since we sold most of ours after our move to Florida.
  • My best friend, Leigh, is getting married this week to her love Paul. I am so excited for the festivities and even more excited and honored that I am one of her Matrons of Honor!

 

leigh leigh st pats leigh wedding

  • One of my dear friends Molly gave me a facial/makeover this week and entered me into a contest to win $5,000 for my favorite charity. My favorite non-profit is the Greater Augusta Arts Council. You can click here to visit their website and learn more about what they do for the Augusta community. Voting begins on May 12th and as soon as I get the link I will let you know.

  • My lovely friend Amelia held her annual Master’s week low-county boil and I had a fabulous time hanging out with my friends. I feel so blessed to know such a great group of people. Her fun shindig inspired me to write a post later this week on how to cook a low-county boil so be on the look out for that.

boil friends

  • On Saturday I went kayaking down the Augusta Canal with two of my friends Natalie and Jefferson. We had such a good time and it was a gorgeous day. I highly recommend Savannah River Kayak Rental if you are looking for something fun to do in Augusta.

 

kayak

  • I received my April Birchbox, which always makes me smile. I will write Birchbox reveal post later on this week to talk about all of the products I received in my box this month.

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Nine Months

8 Apr

Hello my loves. I took an unintentional break from writing and an unintentional dip into the depths of depression. (Being a little melodramatic here I know but I AM a Gemini!) Anyway…

The last time I wrote I was living in the sunny state of Florida, enjoying the adventure of a new city with my husband, but trapped in a job I hated with a boss who seemed like the devil himself (maybe not the devil but definitely a huge sociopath) I was desperate to get out and I took the first opportunity to jump ship. And I am here to tell you that the grass is not always greener on the other side. I ended up being just as unhappy at my new job as I was at my old job for many of the same reasons. I still was enjoying the time with my husband and the adventure of a new city, but it was so hard to deal with the fact I left a job I loved, and a job where I was truly appreciated and valued for one  two where nothing I did was ever good enough.

Then in January my husband’s job situation changed and I became our sole source of income. I felt incredibly trapped and downright sad.  I prayed so hard these past few months for a change or at least a sign that we hadn’t made a mistake. After all I did leave a lot behind.

My husband started seeking out new job opportunities and I was thankful when he started looking outside of Florida. He was very supportive of what I was going through in my career, but this point after being beaten down for 9 long months I felt very confused about my career path and unsure of myself and my abilities as an event planner. My confidence was gone.

I tried to make the best of my situation. I would run during my lunch break, sometimes listening to music and sometimes listening to the stations of the cross or the rosary. I would ask God to give me strength, endurance and above all a sign of what my husband and I should do next.

All of the running paid off and I accomplished my goal of running my first 5k in early March. I was and still am incredibly proud of myself. I am a HUGE quitter when it comes to exercise. Generally my patterns is go to the gym for a few weeks and then convince myself it is more interesting to get Dairy Queen and visit my Gypsies.  Anyways I am STILL very proud of myself for running 3.2 miles.

Finally in March some things fell into place and Hollis left to work for his father in Raleigh, North Carolina. We talked over the options and this opportunity provided me the option of coming back to Augusta while he worked in Raleigh and looked for a more permanent solution to his job situation. I can’t tell you how thankful I am of his hard work. He works long hours right now six-days a week doing manual labor, and he is doing it for the future of our family. I am truly blessed!

We are unsure of where we will end up permanently, but in the mean time I am enjoying spending time with my family and visiting with my Augusta friends.  Augusta is also only a few hours away from Raleigh so I am able to leave the dogs with my parents occasionally to go up and spend quality time with Hollis.

Right now, I am working on my own small business plan for my online marketing and social media venture. I also plan to pick up where I left off blogging and make it more of a priority in my life.

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My Glass is Half Full

18 Jul

I have been totally slacking on my blogging and starting today I am going to make a better effort to make time to update.

I also have been struggling with how to talk about my new job. I want to be honest (this is MY blog right?) but I wouldn’t want any repercussions because I am careless with my words. Lets just say this isn’t my dream job – by any stretch of the imagination – but it does challenge me in ways I haven’t been challenged before. I am learning about finance and that is completely out of my comfort zone. Also I think this job has really tested my inner strength. I will say that my four years at the Arts Council must have toughened me up a bit, because I found myself in situations that four years ago would have reduced me to tears, and now I take it all in stride.

Earlier today while talking to a girl in my office who is getting ready for her wedding this weekend, I reflected on my own wedding weekend. I thought about the small hiccups and stresses that could have “ruined” my day, but instead I was determined not to let anything or anyone effect my mood and my ability to have the perfect wedding. I thought this is something I can apply to my everyday life. No one can make me unhappy or put me in a bad mood because I am in control of my own emotions. If I let someone “get” to me it is my own choice.

I am really trying to look at this job as a positive experience. I am becoming well rounded in my skills and I am learning to deal with different management styles. This job forces me to be hyper vigilant in my organization and attention to detail, which is a super positive attribute to have.

In addition, as I have mentioned before, I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason and that God wouldn’t put you in a situation you couldn’t handle. If this is God’s plan for me there must be a reason and I am determined to find out what it is. And so I am leaving this in his hands, putting a smile on my face, and facing each day at my new job with a positive attitude (that HOPEFULLY is contagious!)

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No Longer a “House Wife”

3 Jul

I got the call yesterday, the call I have been waiting for since the end of March when I found out we were moving… I have a job… and I start Monday. I am one big ball of emotion right now, happy, excited, but also terrified and anxious. I have been waiting for this for so long and now that I have it I am second guessing myself. Is this the right job for me? Are my co-workers nice? Will I be able to handle the pressure?

My new job will be significantly different than the job I had at the Greater Augusta Arts Council it will be less creative and more corporate, a large portion of my responsibility will be account management… but I will get to use my creativity in other ways with the social media portion of my job… and I keep reminding myself I wanted a job like this. Regardless this is a huge change for me… and I think it is only natural that I have some feelings of anxiousness.

I am a huge believer that all things happen for a reason so I have faith that this IS the right job for me and that something wonderful will come of it.

I am trying to enjoy my last week of being a “house wife” by gorging myself with reality TV (guilty guilty pleasure.. what am I saying.. I am SO not feeling guilty), taking advantage of our pool, and the fact that I have the pups to myself all day. Poor pups, they won’t know what hit them come Monday when I am gone for a whole 9 hours. Well I am off to enjoy the sunshine and freedom of not having to worry about finding a job 24/7…

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