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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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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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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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I am born again, out of the lion’s den

29 Jun

I moved to Florida for many reasons, mostly financial, somewhat marital, but also to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I remember a conversation I had with my one of best friends after telling her the news and she told me (in so many words) “Not to go, but if I had to go she would understand” she wanted to know why and I very simply said “I am not happy.” And maybe that didn’t describe what was going on exactly in my mind, maybe those weren’t the best words to use but they were the only ones I knew how to use. It isn’t that my life in Augusta was horrible, on the contrary it was wonderful, it wasn’t that I didn’t love my job, because I did and I miss it daily, it wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy being near my family or that I didn’t have (and still do have) amazing friends, it was more so that I had grown complacent. I had a need within myself I wasn’t fulfilling and I felt deep in my heart that moving to Florida would somehow be a step in the right direction.

This week I was made very aware that my move to Florida was what God wanted me to do. I know in my heart that no matter the circumstances, no matter how hard and terrifying this experience has and will continue to be, that I needed to do this and this happened for a reason.

One of the many changes I have made since moving here has been adding running to my daily routine. I never thought I would enjoy running but I do. Actually I am in love with it. I don’t think anything I have ever done has given me such clarity, and that is something I definitely need right now. This morning about 10 minutes into my run I started crying – there are many reasons but I feel like internally I have learned so much about myself this past month and even in this past week, that I am overwhelmed with self actualization.

I think that I can sum up part of this with a quote I recently heard from HBO’s Girls which really resonated with me:

No one could ever hate me as much as I hate myself, okay? So any mean thing someone is going to think of to say about me, I’ve already said to me, about me, probably in the last half hour.”

Sounds pitiful doesn’t it. I spend so much time beating my self up. I’ve never felt pretty enough, funny enough, smart enough, THIN enough. I have always felt like a complete loser on the inside. It never mattered how many people told me I was beautiful, I was smart, they were proud of me… it never was enough for me to really believe it, because just as you can’t make someone love you, no one can make you love yourself.

Last night I was having a conversation (with the same friend mentioned above) and she said to me, “Do you know how funny you are? How amazing you are? How badly I wish I could be in the same state as you because you are so amazing? What I would give to have you near me again?” and this morning on my run that is what hit me, I don’t know. And I don’t know why loving myself has been so hard for me, especially because loving others has always come very naturally, but I do know that things are changing and that I now am beginning to realize my strengths.

Obviously this is a process but I think I can safely say this morning on my run I was born again and I know what needs to change within myself in order for me to live the life I was meant to live.

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Okay I am going to get all sappy on you – brace yourself.

21 Jun

When we were given our move day of June 1st I sort of cringed. 20 days before my 26th birthday. Woof.

I am pretty much used to spending my birthday laying on Edisto Beach in a drunken stupor, ordering copious amounts of pizza (getting it “delivered” to the beach), followed by birthday shots and dancing ON the bar at Coots. Classy I know. But that is how I roll and that is what I love, what can I say.

Honestly the thought of spending my birthday away from the typical debauchery I am used to made me want to throw myself off of the Sky Way Bridge. I had convinced myself that everyone would forget about me… stupid I know… but everyone has a pity party every now and then right?

Well you people sure know how to prove a girl wrong. I was floored by how loved I felt yesterday. It was one of my best birthdays and I really love all you bitches.

My amazing day was topped off my the most delicious four course dinner at Melting Pot (I don’t think I will eat for a week), a card that made me sob my eyes out, and a beautiful bromelaid ( I am so not a rose kinda girl fyi) compliments of my thoughtful husband. PLUS this weekend he is taking me to the zoo, which is really icing on the top of the cake because my Aunt Tiffany and her gorgeous amazing kids took me to Busch gardens with them Tuesday for my birthday so I am getting two animal experiences in one week… and I love animals.

So thanks for making me feel special and loved it means more than you could know!

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I miss the gypsies, I mean “Irish Travelers”

16 Jun

I mean I miss them something serious. If you know me IRL (in real life, get with it people) you know I am pretty psychotically obsessed with this sub culture. I mean what is there not to love? They have big hair, crazy ass customs, they speak their own language, AND they don’t generally talk to or associate with outsiders. I took this as a challenge.\

But it is no fun to stalk the gypsies on Facebook or even talk with them because I know they are 8 hours away. I mean what good is it to know that they are going looping tonight and Farrah got a mag new dress if I can’t drive down Augusta Hwy to see this all for myself. Farrah is my favorite “Irish Traveler” btw. They do NOT like to be called gypsies.

I think I am missing them so much that I have become delusional. Last night I went to my cousin’s dance recital and I thought I saw an irish traveler, sadly she is just a hottie with big hair. SO SAD for me.

I need to find a subculture down here to infiltrate and obsess over. I will be on the look out.. Let me know if you have any brilliant ideas. 

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Who am I? What am I doing here? And why do you hate me?

16 Jun

Moving here took a huge leap of faith on my part. I know it shocked husband completely when I agreed to make the move for his career. After all part of our marital agreement was that we would never ever leave Augusta, my hometown, and the second third love of my life (Natalie is the second love of my life). I had established a career, that I never saw my self leaving, I had made lifelong friends and my entire family lived right up the road… why would we leave?

But one thing I have learned during our almost two years of marriage is that once you say “I do” you are no longer the center of your own universe. You start thinking more about we than me and somehow this train of thought makes you happier in the long run.

When husband shyly brought up the idea of moving to Florida for a job opportunity I shocked myself at my ability to let go of preconceived notions of how my life would be in order to do what was best for our marriage. And so a few months later a formal job offer was made and I was letting my employer (who I love like a second mother, btw) know that I would be leaving.

During my last month or so in Augusta I was so excited about the move, excited about the opportunities that awaited us in sunny Florida.. what would our home be like? Where would I get a job? What sort of fun adventures would we go in in our new city? Of course I was devastated to leave my friends, family, and job behind but I felt like St. Petersburg was where I needed to be. I am a strong believer in signs and I had plenty that this move was meant to be.

Now two weeks into my move I am unemployed and my inbox is being filled with rejection letters. I feel like I was completely delusional to think that finding a job during the recession would be easy. Furthermore job searching reminds me of dating which I was HORRIBLE at. Every interview and communication I have with potential employers feels like a game of cat and mouse. You don’t want to act to desperate but to much confidence is a turn off as well. Employers tell you they will contact you within the week and then three weeks later you are waiting by your email wondering should I call them? Are they wanting me to be more aggressive? If I email them will I come off as desperate? It is a complete mind game.

Every day husband comes home from work and says “How was the job hunt today?” and I want to respond “It was horrible you need to put me on suicide watch because this shit is getting rough.” or sometimes I just say “Why does everyone HATE ME.” Husband is a total optimist though. He is always telling me “don’t take things personally you have no idea why they picked the candidate they did”. I know he is probably right but it is hard to NOT take rejection personally especially when so much of what I considered to be my identity related to my career in Augusta.

I try to take this whole job hunt thing one day at a time though. My in-laws are being very patient with me while I look for a job (God Bless them) and my husband is my biggest supporter. I hear everyday from my friends and family “The perfect job will come along.” “Someone will see what a gem you are and snatch you up” which is totally sweet and also what I need to hear (so keep it coming people).

So maybe today was rough, but hopefully tomorrow will be better. And hopefully tomorrow won’t bring another rejection email, especially one that says “they will pass on me” (YES this happened and YES I am bitter.) but if it does at least I have the best support system EVER and at least I live three miles from the beach. Things will fall into place eventually and until then I will just have to work hard to keep a positive attitude.

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