Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Celebrating a Life of Independence

Class and dignity in Red, White and Blue
Fitting with the upcoming holiday to celebrate our countries Declaration of Independence on July 4th is my celebration of an independent, iconic lady- my role model (next to my mother) Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. 

Jackie Kennedy is not only a style icon which I look up to and highly respect, but she is a revered woman who portrayed a life of courage and grace while being faced with heart break and lose around every corner. She did not grow up in the best of circumstances but stayed true to her strong spirit and reached the goals that she set her heart to. Marrying the true love of her life, John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, before his inauguration, she thought that she had found steadfast happiness. Not knowing that she would soon lose three children before they reached their first birthday and later lose the two true loves of her life (Jack and Bobby.) 

Jackie believed in tradition and grace. She was a strong willed woman who managed to smoothly run the Kennedy Camelot; chaos and all. Nothing short of a committed wife, through unfaithfulness and strife, and a unconditionally loving mother.

After gaining the title of first lady, (which she preferred not to be called, saying that "the one thing I do not want to be called is First Lady. It sounds like a saddle horse.") she instantly became a portrait of the perfect, American woman. She set the newest trends in fashion and interior design as her gorgeous looks and classy wardrobe were the envy of every American woman. She also daringly took on the task of redecorating the White House, claiming that "it looks like it's been furnished by discount stores." She restored a sense of peace and hope in the hearts of Americans in a time of war as she opened her home to the public eye and shared her love for antiques as well as JFK's love for history in her renovations of the White House.

Following the death of her beloved Jack, she was a courageous widow in the face of tragedy. She lived her life with her heart on her sleeve and shared her love with everyone around her. A quote that I hope to remember always is this, "I want to live my life, not record it."

I hope to live my life to the fullest and cherish every day. So many times we shrink our experiences down to pictures and journal entries when truly it is the memories of those events that will last forever in our hearts.

With the grace and heart of Jackie Kennedy

Girl Code

So many times, we hear guy's talk about their "Man Code" yet we ladies have an unwritten code of our own. It is a code of poise and manners that has been unknowingly passed down for generation. Unlike men, we do not need to reference our "code" every possible minute. Hence, you will never hear a girl shout out in the middle of a bar, "Don't forget the Girl Code!" But here are just a few of those not-so-secret "Girl Code" laws that we live by:
  1. Don't be a "one upper" or a "me too" kind of girl. If your friend is telling a story then please let her finish without you trying to relate every situation to your own life.
  2. If a girl friend is drunk, do not laugh at her, but instead make sure that she does not do anything she will regret the next morning. ie. drunk dial an ex, hook up with a rando, or share information that is secret.
  3. When your friend and her boyfriend are in an argument, you must always side with your friend.
  4. Be honest with your girlfriends but never let them leave the house looking awful... and be gentle when directing them to another outfit.
  5. A girl must wait until she has been hanging out with a new boy for at least 4 weeks before expecting her friends to be on a first name basis with him. (until such point, he will be referred to as "the boy")
  6. Never knowingly wear the same outfit as another female friend when attending the same event.
  7. A girl should never borrow a clothing item from a friend's closet without thorough permission from the closet owner. *unless you are related
  8. Never date a girl friend's ex or your own for the matter... you broke up with him the first time for a good reason.
  9. Boys are not worth shedding tears. Get your whimpering over with and move on.
  10. Don't judge another girl at first glance... you never know what may have happened to her today.
  11. You will however be judged by your company; so choose wisely.
  12. Girls are to be chased by boys... not vice versa, so please play a little hard to get.
  13. Stand up for a girl friend when she is not around to defend herself.
  14. Never out shine a girl friend (with your outfit or personality) on her special day, wedding, birthday, etc.
  15. "Girl's Night" means just that... only girls. Do not ask or try to bring your boyfriend.
These are just a few of the Girl Codes that I thought of today... but of course this list goes on and on. Do you have any to add to the list?
comment below and share your Girl Code

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Need Some Balls?

That's right... I hope you're reading this post purely because of the title. And you might as well see what this picture is about now that you're here. Well this week I decided to take a shot at a new craft that I saw on Pinterest
Sidebar: Pinterest is a fabulous website where you can "pin" pictures of things you love as you're surfing the net. Whether it be a gorgeous outfit, recipe, or even decorating idea. You can follow your friends and they can follow you as well. I have found so many great ideas for crafts, recipes, party decor, and outfits on Pinterest. Basically it is a picture version of twitter. Join here for free and see what you think.

I've always loved the decorative globes/balls that you can find in baskets at any home decor store, but I've never wanted to pay $6 for one ball of string or rope. So when I saw that I could make them myself for less than $1 each, I jumped right in. Also, I may have had an alternative motive considering I had just bought this stunning basket and needed something to fill it.

This craft is beyond simple and would be something great to do with kids this summer. Beware though... you will get messy while creating these masterpieces!

Balloons (I used water balloons because they are smaller)
Mod Podge or White Glue (if you use glue then make a mixture of 1/2 glue, 1/2 water)
Jute or Hemp (can be found at any craft store for less than $2)
Plastic Bowl
Clear Wrap
How To:
Blow up several balloons to the size that you would like your decorative balls to be. Pour the glue mixture or mod podge in the bowl. Cut off a significantly long string of jute. Soak the jute in the bowl of glue for about 2 minutes. Use your finger tips to squeeze any excess glue from the jute. Slowly wrap the jute around the balloon; alternating directions until most of the balloon is covered (leave small openings.) Place the wet balloons on the clear wrap and let them dry for several hours. Turn the balloons several times to make sure that all sides get dry. After the jute is completely dry, pop the balloon and put it out of the ball from one of the open spaces.
Tada! Simple and Fabulous.

I'm actually going to attempt to make a few larger globes in red, white and blue to hang for our 4th cookout. If they turn out then I will be sure to post them.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Morning Music Muse

At the top of my iPod play list for the summer is the Queen B herself, Adele.

It is an interesting paradigm to think that recent artist such as Lady Gaga have gone out of their way to change themselves (image and persona) to please their fans and make a "name" for themselves. Lady Gaga will be the first to admit that she had to succumb to the ridicule of the music industry and change herself to fit their mold of a pop icon. On the stark opposite sits Adele, a songwriter who has stood her ground and declared that she will not change anything about herself to please the record label or fans. She is proud of who she is and if you don't like that, then she's fine with you heading over to Lady Gaga's corner.

This British soul singer, has topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic in the past year. She has sold over 600,000 digital downloads and provided a sure challenge for Lady Gaga whom she beat out for the number one spot on the billboards. She has even risen to the tops of music charts in destinations that she has never stepped foot, i.e. Australia.

Has the craze of pop music been overcome by the moving lyrics of this soulful lady? Here's a little taste of what makes this unwavering artist such a success. My favorite of her songs, "Someone Like You."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Small Pay Check and All...

When you ask a young child what they want to be when they grow up, very rarely will they respond with "Well...whatever career will make me the most money."

The eyes of children do not see the price tag on their futures. They only look for the dream - being happy for the rest of their lives. They will either tell you that they want to follow in their parent's footsteps because they look up to their mother or father. Or they will rattle off a career choice that fits their current infatuation or imagination.

Boys who worship every step that a pro athlete takes will of course tell you that they want to join the NFL or Major League. And yet, the monstrosity of that goal is unknown to them. They might even expand those dreams and want to become an astronaut or heart surgeon. In their eyes, anything is possible.

A little girl wants to one day fulfill her dream of becoming a princess (the likelihood of that happening is slim and none...emphasis on the none) or even a ballerina...another career that is extremely hard to come by and pays very little.

But no parent is going to burst their child's dreams by telling them that their ideal job is unattainable or even unrealistic. We let these children go on believing that they can do anything and be anything as long as they set their hearts out to do it.
Who's to say we're wrong in doing so? Every job is attainable; some are just harder to come by and others are not quite as rewarding financially.

If you had been given a list when you were little of every job you could ever have along with it's pay, would you be in the career you are in today? And if you had chosen a different career would you be as happy as you are today?
When I was little I had dreams of becoming a model and those dreams soon shifted into ones of becoming a fashion designer. A dream that almost came true (acceptance to college...plans made) until I woke up one day realizing that my true gift and passion is to teach. Here I am today in a career that brings me true happiness with no regret...small pay check and all.

My hope for you is that whatever path you take or have taken, it will bring you true happiness...just as teaching has for me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

TGIF... Let the Weekend Begin

I surrendered to the power of summer break this morning by sleeping in until 11! I've been pretty good up until now about getting up at a decent time and starting my day with a bang. This morning, my late nights up had taken their toll on me. I turned over at 8am for an extra few hours of sleep... only to wake up at 11am in a crazed panic because the JPK sale on RueLaLa started at 11 this morning and items like this only last but a good 20 minutes.

Needless to say... my penny pinching guilt doesn't sleep in and decided to kick into full gear this morning. For once I passed on a great sale. But don't you worry... I'm not giving up that easy. Sunday, RueLaLa is hosting the Lilly Pulitzer Home sale and I will be first in line.

Haven't joined Ruelala?!? Here's your invite. Just click this link and go ahead and sign up to join. It is free to join and then you can check out the upcoming sales.
Jennifer Aniston is still looking brilliantly stunning on the cover of Marie Claire magazine this week. Proving that at 42, she is still looking hotter than an 20 year old. In the magazine she appears with her "boy's club" costars from her upcoming movie Horrible Bosses. Not only did the cover remind me that I need to get inspire to go to the gym, but I need a hair cut (picking up the phone now!)

Hitting the box office this weekend is a movie that I've been waiting for ever since I saw the previews weeks ago. Bad Teacher comes to theaters today and it is at the top of my must sees for the weekend. With a cast full of my favorites from Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake to Jason Segel (from How I Met Your Mother... my favorite show) how could I not go see it. Oh and it happens to be centered around my crazed career choice as a teacher. Bonus!
I finally got my paper wreaths up on etsy yesterday. If you're interested in buying one let me know. Especially if you're local so that you do not have to pay for shipping. The wreaths are being sold for $40 and can be personalized. You can choose the genre of the book that I use (some are made with hymnals and others are made with novels.) Also, you can choose an accent color to be added to the fringe... I am currently working on one with a teal fringe.
They are perfect gifts for a parent or grandparent... or even a decorative accent to add to your own gorgeous home. Definitely a conversation piece to fill an empty space on your wall. I've already made one to add to the entrance way of my new house (still waiting for that blog entry.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thirsty Thursday... Par for the Course

This Thursday's cocktail is in lieu of the multitudes of crisp khakis and excess of Tommy Bahama at last weekend's U.S. Open. Rory McIlroy shattered records and won in style while exuding a fresh image of youth and classy confidence. What can I say...step aside Tiger... Rory has stolen our hearts.

A drink of tradition and simplicity that is not only a staple in any southern household; and will no doubt be delightfully refreshing on this summer's night. Named after legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, this classic drink is half lemonade and sweet tea (or just tea if you're from the south... sugar and tea... the two should never stand alone.) You can take your night to another level by adding a tipsy twist to this classic drink and transform it into a John Daly with a little substitution of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka.

-With southern tradition and a little sweet tea... CHEERS!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

warning: addiction

Who would've thought that I would actually find something productive to fill my free time this summer. I neglected to look for a part time job before college students got out and surprise, surprise... all of the jobs that I would work at were taken. So I have now resorted to looking for random ways to make a little cash over the next few months until my schedule is back to normal.

Yesterday, I debuted the first of my summer crafts. Warning to those of you who suddenly have an urge to begin being savvy yourselves... it will take over your life. I have now made more trips to the craft store this week than to the mall or Target (a huge ordeal.) I have found too many DIY ideas and am at the point that my list is overflowing.

Last night and today I tried my hand at another gorgeous wreath. This one turned out so much better than I ever expected and I have to admit that I'm in love!

I found a great way to recycle old books that were lying around the house. And I actually avoided blistering my fingers with the glue gun this time. I'm becoming a PRO.

Here are a few pictures of my newest creations. (By the way... hopefully I will have these babies up on etsy tomorrow so if you're interested in buying one keep a look out. And I will also post a link to the etsy page as soon as it is up.)

The first wreath is made from pages of an old hymnal that I found at a thrift shop and take a look at the chapter titles from the gem of a book that I found on my parent's book shelf to make the second wreath.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No Pain ... No Gain

Happy First Day of Summer and Happy National Wear Your Lilly Day!

It's hard to believe that today is only the first day of summer. I feel like summer has been well under way for at least a week now with these extreme temperatures and gorgeous weather. If only this meant that my summer vacation could be extended until the last day of summer.

I also wish I could say that I was wearing my Lilly Pulitzer today but I have been at my parent's house since this weekend (going back and forth between the hospital and their house to see my pawpaw) and neglected to pack my Lilly. Instead I have adorned my new summer look... sadly it is not as classy as Lilly but just as comfortable and good for my messy days of crafting that I've started.

This week, in my boredom, I stumbled upon some DIY websites and gather a list of crafts that I want to complete for my new house (once again...more info to come.) After 9 trips to my local craft store (yes the clerk knows me by name now) and multiple blisters on my fingers from a hot glue gun, I've checked off my first craft from the list.
a wreath for my front door

I just might start getting good as this crafty stuff... if only I could stop getting hurt in the process. Maybe this could be my way of making a little money this summer.
Let me know if you're interested in a wreath and you could start my little business going.

With blistered fingers and a glue covered table.