2.28.2012

{over the weekend}

Man, I miss having a normal schedule that allows for weekends off. Weekends have this magical air about them--so many possibilities for memories to be made and fun to be had. This past weekend was no exception. It sure made it hard to go back to work last night, but how could I be in a foul mood after such a perfect Spring weekend? It was glorious.

Here's a little recap in a few pictures and a few words.

We enjoyed lots of Ole Miss baseball. Lots and lots. A few beers, a Bloody Mary or two, lots of fellowship with friends over our favorite pastime. Baseball just makes me happy. I love Spring weather, I love feeling the sun on my cheeks, I love smelling the grills all lit up for hamburgers and hot dogs, I love cheering for my alma mater. I love everything about it. And I especially love enjoying with the people I love the most.

top left: Me and Faye. top right: the most glorious sight on Earth, Swayze Field
bottom left: the view from the Rebel Club seats. bottom right: me and my love in our happy place.

My 5K was Saturday morning...I didn't say much about it pre-race because, frankly, I wasn't ready for it. Having pink eye and being partially blind for 2 weeks prior to the race put a damper on my running schedule (I know...excuses, excuses) but I was determined to just do it and finish it. Although I finished with the pace of a quick turtle (36:11), I was proud of myself to make it across that finish line. It equals out to about the 12 minute mile I run on a treadmill. The worst part? My iPod Shuffle died after the first song...womp womp. It was awful. I'm not a good runner without my motivational music. But any who, we finished it.  I crossed the finish line with my sister, which was special to me. And now I have a time to beat next time. Can't wait to keep training! I must say, I'm proud of myself regardless of my snail pace :)

top left: me and Katie, pre-race. Scared to death! top right: our 5K buddies, Matthew and Lizzie!
bottom left: sweet thing was waiting on me at the finish line! bottom right: WE DID IT! Our post-race excited picture :)

It was a great weekend, the kind of weekend that you just want to pause, because you can't bear to let it end. I needed some recharging and refocusing, for sure. Work drains me and sometimes takes my focus off what really matters, so those precious few days are much needed. I love extra quality time with my sister, my boyfriend, and my best friends. That's one thing that makes my heart the happiest. 

top left: post race victory meal--my favorite Boure burger. top right: Library with my favorite, Rebecca.
bottom left: typical pic with the Roomie. bottom right: gorgeous sunset over Vaught-Hemingway. Thank you, Lord!

Well, girls, I'm headed to bed, with thoughts of this past weekend's wonderfulness floating around in my head. That should make for some pleasant dreams, huh?
I'm off tonight, so I'll be scrambling around town later this afternoon to finish up our final details for Lindsay's shower that is this weekend. I can't wait! I sure hope your Tuesdays are off to a wonderful start. 

Oh, and by the way...I'm 25 followers away from the big 5-0-0, and I've already decided what my milestone giveaway will be. I can promise you're going to want to take part in this one! Send some new readers my way so we can get to my goal :)

Happy Tuesday, chicks.

2.24.2012

{confessional friday}

You know who one of my favorite bloggers is? Little miss Blonde Ambition herself, the fabulous Leslie. She was one of my first blog loves and she's also one of my best blog bffs, because who wouldn't love her?! AND I love me some confessing, so her linkup today is right up Rachel alley. Head over to A Blonde Ambition and show her some confessional love! 


{one} It's Friday. And I don't think I've ever been so excited about two words. I'm not a normal person who gets to celebrate every weekend, so I'm extra excited about having this weekend off. I shall treat today like a holiday, and it shall be wonderful. 

                                                                                                                         Source: google.de via Silja on Pinterest


{two} I had a lovely little rendezvous with the elliptical this morning--it was nice to be back with him after a few weeks with only the treadmill. And I'll confess, I spent a little extra time with Mr. Elliptical just so I could enjoy some extra time with Mr Beer later this afternoon. Yes ma'am. 

{three} Today marks the first full weekend of baseball in Oxford and I've pretty much planned my entire weekend around it. I'm totally not ashamed to admit that, either. I may have already planned what I'm wearing to each game, too. Obsessed? Nope, just dedicated. Yes there is a difference. 

{four} I spent a good hour last night on Pinterest organizing my boards. Confession--I'm OCD. Can't say that I hated it, though. I like being virtually organized. Feels good. And right after I finished, I went on a pinning spree and loved every second of it. Get ready for next week's Pinteresting Wednesday, yeahhyuh!

{five} I want this dress. Real bad. Like it's already in my shopping cart and I just need to check out, but I just can't justify buying another coral/pink dress. I swear that's half of my closet...what can I say? I'm a pink kinda girl

                                                                                                                       Source: shopruche.com via Bailey on Pinterest


{six} I've been up since 4:45 and I'll confess- I've already enjoyed two cups of coffee, so I've pretty much typed this post in about 49 seconds. I wish I had the energy and desire to get up that early every day, because man, I could conquer the world. I totally want to be a morning person, but some days, that just doesn't happen. I'll be thankful for those cups of coffee in a few minutes when I venture to WalMart and the Post Office. Bless my soul. 


{seven} The Oscars are this weekend...I'm less than thrilled about the actual show, but you better believe I'll be tuning in with some champagne in my hand for the Red Carpet. That's all that really matters in my world. I can't wait to see some fabulous fashion! I'm making bets on who "Best Dressed" will be instead of who will win the actual awards...truth. 

{eight} I'm probably the last person in the entire universe, I'll confess that, but I ordered a NAKED Palette last night. I was going through my wallet, and lo and behold--I found a Sephora gift card that I got for Christmas that hadn't been used yet. I've been looking for an excuse to buy it, and hello--I think that was a sign straight from God. Thank ya, Lord! Now who wants to teach me how to use it? 






Cheers to the freaking weekend, my dears. 
Do y'all have any fun plans for the days ahead? Do tell, you know I love hearing about 
wonderful weekends! 




This will be my mantra for the next few days, and I promise to stick to it :)

                                                                         Source: southern-smith.tumblr.com via Rachel on Pinterest

2.21.2012

A Hana Flat Iron Review

Also known as "An Ode to the Fro."

The wonderful, fabulous folks at Misikko contacted me and asked me to review one of their lovely products, and of course, I said yes with enthusiasm! I love trying new products, especially when they involve beauty/makeup/hair products. I'm a sucker for some girly things! 

I was lucky and got to try out the amazing Hana Titanium Flat Iron, and let me just say, it was love at first style. My hair is super curly and frizzy...real hard to manage on most days. It's basically a fro. It's also pretty coarse and takes a lot to keep it under control, so I've always relied heavily on my flat irons. My flat iron and I are pretty much bffs.

I opened my box from Misikko and this was my view: 


Do you see how many fantastic goodies were included in this box? AND I lifted the layer of plastic and there was more underneath there--ELF eye shadow, eyeliner, and an eyelash curler. I mean, does it get much better than that? I feel like I was totally spoiled with this package! 

So, I gave it a try. I'll be honest, before this product, I was pretty loyal to my old flat iron. I usually stick to what I know works, but I'm glad I branched out...

My hair typically looks something like this after I blow dry it:
(I kid you not--tried to get a pick of my own, but a self-portrait just didn't even do it justice. And my fro didn't quite fit into the screen, either.)



I took my brand spankin' new flat iron with me to Orlando and gave it a try the night of the wedding, and I was seriously pleased with my results. I loved the no snag plates, because my hair always seemed to get caught in my old flat iron, which caused lots of breakage--bad! Another great plus is the multiple heat settings...I, of course, had to crank it all the way up. It was quick, it was effective, and it made my hair behave, which is no easy task! 

This is the after: 


Praise ye the Lord for straight, frizz-free hair! 

I'm telling you--I'm the perfect candidate to try out flat irons, and this one deserved an A+ in my book, which is saying a lot! Girls, go get you one! If you're interested in trying out a new flat iron, this one is for you. I will be using this product on a daily basis now.

Check out Misikko's huge range of products, from numerous different flat irons and some of the best hair dryers around, like the T3 Hair Dryer! Click here for more information! Another thing I love about Misikko is their hair care products, like their Shine Shield and Moroccan Oil, one of my absolute favorite products! 

Thank you, Misikko, for giving me this chance to use your awesome products!! 

2.20.2012

{monday's miscellany}

I may as well just rename my blog "Rachel's Random Ramblings" because that's basically all it is lately. I think I'd be quite content if all of my posts were just bulleted, but I think I may lost a few followers in the process...I can be a bit all over the place sometimes :) 

So here we go for this week. It's Monday, so I have an excuse to be a little miscellaneous!


Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one} 
I've been trying for the past few weeks to figure out a cute, simple way to display all of my Instagram pics, and I finally decided on a solution! You know how I feel about my DIY projects...




Quick and easy solution--just used an old frame my mom had lying around, added a few strands of twine to the back with a dab of hot glue, bought some clothespins, and hung my little beauties! I added buttons to the clothespins just to add a little bit of color and whimsy! I like how it turned out...simple and cute, just like I wanted! 


{two} 
There's not much I love more than a good, girly book to read. Sure, I love the ones that draw you in and hold you captive for days at a time, but lately, I've just wanted a quick, easy read...and while browsing the aisles of Target the other day, I found this gem...
Sophie Kinsella's new book:



Ole Sophie never fails me when I'm needing a hilarious read...I've been anticipating her next book for a while, so I'm glad I happened upon it the other day! I'm already 50 pages in and can't put it down...if you've never read any of her books, go get one now!

{three}
I think I've mentioned the shower that we're planning for one of our precious friends...it's coming up soon, and since the invites have been sent now, I wanted to show y'all a sneak peek of the fabulous design my bff, Rebecca, created for us! She's just starting out with designing invitations and stationery, but she's already proving herself to be a pro at it! I just love what we concocted for the kitchen shower...


What's up, Chevron and all of my fav colors? Can't wait for all of this to come together...I'm super thrilled to see the final product of the shower :)


{four}
Let's talk some TV for a moment or two...who's watching American Idol this year? I haven't been invested in any season since the Carrie era, but I'm trying to get into it this season, and I'm loving it so far! Who are your favorites?? And One Tree Hill...if you're a fan, we're now bffs, because that's one of my absolute favorites. Man, is this season killing me! This season is by far the most stressful/dramatic, at least in my opinion. Lucas is coming back next week and I can't waaaait for it. And let's get a little old school for a second...my go-to show these days is Gilmore Girls. I've always been a die-hard Lorelai/Rory follower, but I've been watching it constantly these days, as in right now. Can't get enough of it. Really.


{five}
One of my favorite times of year is finally here...baseball season. If you're new around here, I have a slight obsession with all things SEC sports, especially football and baseball. My family is a big baseball family--my brother is a ballin' baseball player, and he and my dad basically eat/breathe/sleep baseball...so I've grown up with it being a regular part of our life. And Ole Miss Baseball season just started this past weekend, with the first home game coming up tomoooorrow! My happy place in the Spring is sitting in left field at Swayze Field, wearing my red and blue, yelling too loud at the game, with a cold beer in my hand. Ahhh, sweet perfection. I am ecstatic that baseball is finally here!







{six}
One style that I'm dying to try for Spring is the colored jeans/cropped pants trend...I love everything about it. I'm craving bright colors and fun pops of detail, but I just don't think these thick thighs are going to pull off that look too well, much to my dismay. But you better believe I'm going to at least try it out, we'll see how that goes. I'll keep you updated on the thunder thigh debacle. What styles are you looking forward to this Spring??



                                                                                                           Source: laurenconrad.com via Christine on Pinterest


{seven}
My heart is happy when I open my devotional in a moment of desperation for the Lord to be near me and I see my most favoritest Bible verse sitting there for me to read...



What a promise...I love when His Peace just washes over me with the reminder of His Faithfulness. Thank you, Jesus.

Let's make this a good week, people. I'm off to snooze for a few hours before work tonight...3 more nights then I get a 4 day weekend! Yippee skippee, that's what I'm talkin' about!

Have I told you lately that I love y'all? I don't think so...so I just adore each of you. I get all giddy when I read your comments, and I'm so thankful for each of your friendships. Y'all are pretty much the best thing ever. 

Happy, happy Monday, girls!

2.16.2012

for His sake, and not mine

Have you ever had a moment where everything around you stops and your whole perspective on life changes? 

Pretty dramatic statement, huh? I've had one of those moments, actually. And recently, at that. It wasn't brought on by witnessing some earth shattering event; it wasn't a near death experience; it wasn't even a momentous occasion. 

My moment was brought on by mere words. A simple phrase with an incredibly complex meaning.

I had the joy and pleasure to go back to my wonderful church, Pinelake, a few weeks ago for worship. Our pastor's message, as usual, struck a chord deep in me, brought on a few tears, and made me miss having that fellowship and worship within Pinelake.

Chip, the Senior Pastor at Pinelake, was preaching a series of sermons called "Instructions for Life." That day happened to be one of my favorite passages, one of my favorite commissions that God tells us. Seek Him. Seek Him first and everything else will fall into place. Seek His name, His heart, His righteousness, and everything else will be added unto me. The basis of our faith, the reason we were created...to seek Him and glorify His name

I don't want to be the kind of Christian that seeks God when I need God. I don't want to live the kind of life that I'll only call on His name in my deepest despair and when I know that I have nowhere else to turn. I want Him to be my biggest passion, my deepest desire. Not just in the depths of my heartbreak, in my weakest moments, but in my greatest joys and triumphs. For that shows the true test of faith, in my opinion.  

The words that hit me so hard were next to come out of his mouth...
"There's a distinct difference in seeking God for MY sake and seeking God for HIS sake."

Wait, what? Explain.....

Do I seek God for my benefits and my benefits only? Do I seek Him for just the things He can provide to and for me? Do I simply seek Him for His wisdom, His blessings, His patience? Yeah, I do, sometimes. And I'm going about Christianity in all the wrong way. It's not about what I can get out of it, what He can do for me, how I can profit...

Well, then how and why should I be seeking God? Because He is worthy, because He deserves to be glorified in every moment, because His name is highest above the heavens and my praises should be to Him and only Him. 

It's like I have a insincere motive in my worship--that in the back of my mind, I know that if I worship Him and follow Him now, that when I really need to call on His name in sincere desperation, that He'll be there waiting for me. As if He owes me one or something...how incredibly childish and immature of me to think this way!



                                                                                                             Source: kjoy-joy.blogspot.com via Emily on Pinterest

I don't know how or why this shifted my whole perspective on my faith, but it did. I've been living my life in such a way to reap His benefits and just get by on the frail faith that I have, without truly realizing the real meaning of faith. It's for His sake, and not my own. It's not about what I can get from this, or how I can be lifted...it's all about Him. He is the Creator of the Universe, my Father, my Savior, and He deserves all of my glory and adoration simply because of who He is, not what He can do for me. 

I want to live my life in such a way that even if He didn't promise us many blessings, even if He didn't offer the world to us for trusting in His name, I would still desperately want to shout His names across the rooftops, simply because He is deserving, because He formed the world, He formed my heart. 

Chip makes a point that is so true and so evident in the church these days--he says that our biggest problem is that we want the blessings but not the Blesser. We want the benefits but not the actual relationship...when the benefits are the actual relationship, the Blesser, God! We're essentially missing the entire heart of our faith with this skewed thinking.


I've been on my knees quite a bit lately praying that He would change my heart into seeing my faith in this way...that He would give me the deepest desire to know Him and seek Him simply for His sake and not what I can get out of it. I am a selfish person by nature, so praying every morning that He take those worldly desires out of my heart and fill it up with His own desires is something that I must do. He is worthy of all of my praise...He is worthy of every breath, every word, every thought, every action that comes from me. I pray that He gives me that desire to worship Him with every bit of my being...I pray that He consumes me. I want to be consumed by His love, His presence, His grace every day that I'm lucky enough to have.



                                                                                                         Source: cokercola.blogspot.com via Emily on Pinterest

2.14.2012

{Valentine's Day: One Year Ago}


                                                                                                                     Source: etsy.com via Kaylle on Pinterest



Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. 
Ahhh, the Day of Love. 
Isn't it crazy how much can change in one year? 
It feels like almost yesterday...sitting in my room in Jackson, pouring my heart out over my computer, tears streaming down my face. 
Writing a letter to my future husband to share with all of you.

I must like being vulnerable, huh? 

As personal as that was and still is, it was what was on my heart, and I'm so glad that I wrote those feelings down. It's so special to me to go back and read those words a year later.

Click here to go back and read this love letter from me to him. (I promise it's worth the read!)


And here I am, a year later, and crazy in love with the most wonderful man. If you had asked me on this day a year ago if I'd be dating him, I would've laughed at you and rolled my eyes. He's not what I expected. He's not what I imagined. But he's everything that I needed and could've ever wanted.


I'm sitting here, with tears rolling down my face, reading the letter I wrote a year ago. I remember so desperately wanting to find him and be with him...little did I know that I already knew him and he was already a part of my life. Funny how things work out, isn't it? And as I read this, I realize that I may as well have substituted his name in every paragraph of this letter--it couldn't be more perfect for him. This letter IS him. It's like I wrote this to him without even realizing it at the time. 






Let me get sappy for a second or two, if I may...Andrew is the best part of my day, every day. If I'm not with him, my thoughts immediately go to him, missing him and wondering what he's doing at that moment. The way he holds my hand in the car makes my heart melt...the way he tells me he loves me out of nowhere makes me feel like the only girl in the world...the way he kisses my forehead makes me feel protected and cherished. Of course, we have our moments. He challenges me more than anyone else and drives me crazier than anyone else sometimes--but beyond those moments, I look at him and know that even though I can't stand him right then, I love him with everything that I am. And I know that I'll put up with the rare fights and arguments for the lifetime of happiness that he's already brought me. 


With Andrew, I laugh harder than I ever thought I could. I feel more protected than I ever knew possible. I know that he'll always take care of me and will always love me more than anyone else in the world, not only because he tells me so, but because he shows me so, too. I know that he'll be the best dad, one day, and I can't wait for that. My heart still skips a beat when I see his number pop up on my phone when he calls or texts me, and I still count down the hours to when he'll be home from work, just so I can see his face. 


I am so thankful that God has a plan for my life bigger than my own, because I never would've imagined us ending up together. But, without him, I'd be lost. I wouldn't be me. He's made me the happiest girl in the world, and I can't wait for the next 60 Valentine's Days with him. 

                                                                                                         Source: jbe200.tumblr.com via Meg on Pinterest


Whether you're attached or single, love on the ones around you. Love is all that matters when it comes down to it. Hug your friends, squeeze your family tight, and tell them how much they mean to you. Happy Valentine's Day to each of you...I love you all dearly!

2.13.2012

{A Disney Wedding with a Dash of Hogwarts}

Well, hey there, friends! I'm baaaack! Home, safe and sound from Orlando. 
We had such a great time--it was quite a quick trip, but we made the most of every moment and soaked in as much fun as possible!

Between the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and other festivities, we only had time to go to one or two parks, so we chose Islands of Adventure (which I'm totally okay with--we went to Disney last summer, so choosing to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was easy peasy!) Luckily, Andrew loves Harry Potter as much as I do, so we had a blast riding roller coasters and acting like little kids on our free day! 

Here's a little recap in pictures, through the iPhone, of course. 

Our day at Harry Potter World:
{stop reading here if you think Harry Potter is ridiculous...}

I squealed like a little kid with the first sight of Hogwarts...I spoke in a British accent for most of the day...I tried Butterbeer (delish, but oh, so sweet)...My wand chose me at Olivander's...We came home with chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott's, and Whizzing Whizbee's...I may be sporting a Gryffindor jersey as I type...and there may be a Snitch sitting on my dresser, too. I'm telling you, we lived it up. And I loved every second of it.
















The rehearsal dinner was at The Living Seas in Epcot...so fun and so unique! There's nothing quite like a Disney wedding. We had such a great time! Too bad I only got pictures of people...



The wedding was at the Wedding Pavilion on Disney's grounds...beautiful and perfect! If you looked down the middle aisle, you could see Cinderella's castle across the lake. GORGEOUS. I wish I had brought my camera in with me, but only got pictures afterwards.



The reception was in a grand ballroom at Disney's Boardwalk Resort...Disney knows how to do a wedding, I can tell you that. The food was divine, the dance floor was fantastic, and fun was had by all, without a doubt! We ended the night with a surprise from the bride and groom--a trip to Epcot to see the big firework show! It was such a great night.









We're home and somewhat rested now, missing Orlando and all of our friends already, though! Now I'm off to play with my wand and drink some coffee out of my Marauder's map mug, so I'll catch ya later! Hope your Monday is fantastic, girls! Love you all.

Stay tuned this week for a little Valentine's love, a fun and easy DIY, a must-read product review, and more! 

2.08.2012

{a little Valentine's Day Guest Post from the Life of Meg!}

Happy Hump Day, one and all! How are all of you lovely ladies this morning? Well, as you read this, I'm about to jet off to the Wonderful World of Disney, so I asked one of my favorite bloggers to step in and do a little blog posting for me while I'm being a jet setter :)

P.S. a little picture (or two) to make you jealous...

Oh, you know...the SuperBowl MVP at Disney World, with Mickey and Minnie sporting the Hotty Toddy colors!!!



But any who...

My sweet Meg, from Life of Meg, is one of the most wonderful, precious, and fabulous girls that I've ever "met!" Although we're only blog buddies, I know that one day we'll be IRL bf's...we are pretty much bff anyway! She's here to share some fun little Valentine's treats with all of you...get excited!

So without further ado:

I just want to thank the sweet Miss Rachel for inviting me to guest post! I found her blog a few years ago, and just instantly new we'd be blog BFFs (we still need to roadtrip, girl!).
Well, being in the spirit of the vast appoaching Valentine's Day, I wanted to share some fun ideas with all of you! Now, let me be the first to say that Valentine's Day is about sharing your love for others - whether significant other, friends or family!
Before meeting Adam 2.5 years ago, I still loved celebrating the holiday with friends! Any excuse to bake, craft, and entertain is good by me! Let me share some ideas to get your Love Day creativity flowing!

{ Bake }




Valentine's Day can't be complete without copius amounts of chocolate in my book! Here are a few recipes that will be gracing my work, girls night, and Valentine's date... yum!

Chocolate Chip Heart Cookie Pops



Chocolate Dipped Strawberries



Chocolate Truffles



{ Craft }




I love the personal touches of DIY projects for any holidays, birthdays, or occasions, so Valentine's Day shouldn't be any different. Adam and I love to give thoughtful, sweet gifts and share a nice evening together. Here are a few ways to show your family/friends/hunny some personalized love...

Love in a Bottle


Love Note


52 Reasons Why I Love You


Love Music - Mixed CD Printable!


{ Entertain }



Looking for cute ways to decorate for a lovey dovey girls night, or for a stay at home date? These are on my to do list! SO CUTE!

DIY Heart Garland


Valnetine's Day Party

______________________________


I hope you found some love inspiration that you can add to your to do list! I'm going to have lots to keep me busy with this week for sure! ;)
I hope you will come visit my humble blog - [Life of Meg] - and say hello! I always love meeting new blog friends and seeing your blogs too, so drop by for a visit, I'd be happy to have you!
xo,
Meg

------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks a billion, my marvelous Meg! You never fail to inspire me with your posts. LOVE all of these Valentine's Day goodies!

Happy day to all of you! Keep up with me on Twitter and Instagram while we're in Orlando!
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