17 July 2014

DEFYING THE FUNK

Back in 2011, a few unfortunate events triggered my life to plummet into a downward spiral. Instead of picking myself up and moving right along, I kept on spiraling until I landed in the funk of all funks. I was listless and devoid of emotion. Nothing made me happy… or sad… or excited… or angry. It almost felt as if the very thing that made me human—my soul—had been destroyed. I walked through the motions of everyday life with no real purpose. The few emotions I did manage to feel over the past few years were those of bitterness, resentment, or jealousy. I resented anyone who experienced joy and happiness when I no longer could.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve always been a complainer. Lately, I’ve taken it to a completely different level. I’ve been downright wallowing in self-pity.

“I hate my job. I’m so stressed out. I’ll be stuck in this dead-end job forever. I’ll be earning pocket change for the rest of my life while my college degree goes to waste. Why did I even bother? I wasted four years and piled up thousands of dollars in student loan debt for absolutely nothing. I’ll never be able to take another vacation (and I needed one like yesterday) because this stressful job weakens my immune system and I get sick every other month. So, I’m forced to use my leave time as soon as I earn it. It doesn't matter anyway. Even if I never got sick again and had 80 hours of leave saved, I wouldn’t be able to take a vacation because I’m so broke and can't afford it. I’m such a failure. I have no friends. I can't do anything right.”

Yada, yada, yada… and the list goes on and on.

Then one day, out of nowhere, something crazy and kind of amazing happened. I got really sick of hearing my own damn thoughts. I said to myself, " JUST SHUT UP ALREADY AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT THEN!" And, now... I plan to do just that. 

But before I start making a plan or major changes in my life, I need to reprogram the negative thoughts I’ve spent years sowing in my brain. I also need to give my self-esteem some much-needed TLC. Otherwise, I’m bound to fail. I’m not sure when (or why) my self-esteem took such a detrimental hit, but it's clear to me that it needs a lot of love.

I’ve read quite a few personal growth and development books over the last few months. The only reason I'm able to write this post, and make a conscious effort to change my circumstances, is because I read those books. I need to retrain my brain to believe that I’m worthy of happiness, deserve to have everything I want out of life, and I’m more than capable of creating it myself. The books I’ve read include “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz, “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, and “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. I’m also still reading “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson and “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. The knowledge I’ve gained from immersing myself in these books has been life changing, really.

I know that "defying the funk" won’t be easy. As they say, nothing worth having in life ever IS. I constantly worry about a million different things. What if I make the wrong decision? What exactly do I want to pour my heart and soul into for the rest of my days? I’ve never been certain of that one thing I want out of life, and I’ve envied those who seem to have known their life’s dream since birth. My problem is that I prefer to just go with the flow and I want too much. But, with that said... I’m determined to make my own path and create a life that encompasses a little bit of everything I want.

Who says I can’t have it all?

11 May 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Happy Mother's Day to all you Blog Mom's out there...
I hope your day is FABULOUS!



This is my favorite picture of my mama. It was taken back when my dad was in the Navy and stationed in San Diego.

:)


10 May 2014

101 Songs That Make Me :)





We all have those songs that bring back crazy good memories from our past.
Well... here's mine:

1. Girls by Beastie Boys
2. Stand By Me by Ben E. King
3. Steal My Kisses by Ben Harper
4. Check Up On It by Beyonce 
5. Still Not A Player by Big Pun featuring Joe
6. Still Fly by Big Tymers
7. People Are Crazy by Billy Currington
8. Good Directions by Billy Currington
9. Whoa! by Black Rob
10. Spaceship by Kanye West
11. Notorious Thugs by Notorious B.I.G. featuring Bone Thugs 'N Harmony
12. Mud On The Tires by Brad Paisley
13. Oh Boy by Cam'ron
14. Please Mr. Postman by The Marvelettes
15. He's So Fine by The Chiffons
16. Then He Kissed Me by The Crystals
17. Baby Love by The Supremes
18. Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes
19. All I Do Is Win by DJ Khaled featuring T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, & Rick Ross
20. Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool
21. Xxplosive by Dr. Dre
22. The Motto by Drake 
23. Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters
23. You Be Killin' Em by Fabolous
24. Ain't Worried About Nothin' by French Montana
25. You Can Do It by Ice Cube
26. I Love It by Icona Pop
27. Love You Down by INOJ
28. Shout by The Isley Brothers
29. Cowboy Lady by Jason Aldean
30. '03 Bonnie & Clyde by Jay-Z and Beyonce
31. On To the Next One by Jay-Z
32. Big Pimpin' by Jay-Z
33. Bait A Hook by Justin Moore
34. Small Town USA by Justin Moore
35. Summer Love by Justin Timberlake
36. Back That Ass Up by Juvenile
37. Ni**as in Paris (T.I. Remix) by Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring T.I.
38. Please Come to Boston (Cover) by Kenny Chesney 
39. Get Low by Lil Jon & The Eastside Boys
40. No Problems by Lil Scrappy
41. No Worries by Lil Wayne
42. Ice Cream Paint Job by Lil Wayne
43. We Steady Mobbin' by Lil Wayne
44. Stagger Lee by Lloyd Price
45. #Beautiful (Remix) by Mariah Carey featuring Rocky A$AP
46. Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch
47. Real Love (Remix) by Mary J. Blige
48. Tell Me What You Want by Mase
49. Make 'Em Say Uhh by Master P
50. Da Rockwilder by Method Man & Redman
51. How Can We Be Lovers by Michael Bolton
52. The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
53. My Dick by Mickey Avalon & The Dyslexic Speedreaders
54. Sure Thing by Miguel 
55. Hot Boyz by Missy Elliot
56. Don't Take It Personal by Monica
57. Take It To Trial by Mr. Bigg
58. To Be With You by Mr. Big
59. Danger by Mystical
60. Aww Naww by Nappy Roots
61. If I Ruled the World by Nas
62. Batter Up by Nelly
63. Juicy by Notorious B.I.G. 
64. Wonderwall by Oasis
65. Got Your Money by ODB
66. Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine
67. (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
68. That's How Strong My Love Is by Otis Redding
69. I'm A King by P$C
70. Oh Girl by Paul Wall
71. Rush Rush by Paula Abdul
72. Vivrant Thing by Q-Tip
73. Bump 'n Grind by R Kelly
74. I Can't Sleep Baby (If I) by R Kelly
75. Feelin' On Your Booty (Remix) by R Kelly
76. Fiesta (Remix) by R Kelly featuring Jay-Z
77. Down Low by R Kelly
78. It Takes Two by Rob Base
79. Shoop by Salt 'n Peppa
80. Some Girls Do by Sawyer Brown
81. Nothing Compares to You by Sinead O'Connor
82. Your Winter by Sister Hazel
83. Wiseman by Slightly Stoopid
84. The Joker by Steve Miller Band
85. Little Black Backpack by Stroke 9
86. What You Know by T.I.
87. Whatever You Like by T.I.
88. All Too Well by Taylor Swift
89. Creep by TLC
90. Wild Thing by Tone Loc
91. Paint Me A Birmingham by Tracey Lawrence
92. Bring It Back by Travis Porter
93. Say Aah by Trey Songs
94. She's In Love With the Boy by Trisha Yearwood
95. Dixieland Delight by Alabama
96. Wicked Games by The Weeknd
97. I Wanna Be Bad by Willa Ford
98. I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston
99. Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band
100. Jolene by Zac Brown Band
101. Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band

04 May 2014

Five Month Recap


I can't believe I haven't blogged at least once in 2014. This is a recap of the few things I've been up to over the last several months.


November

Ashley and I took a five day vacation to Orlando, FL. We spent 4 days at Disney World (we visited the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and the Magic Kingdom) and one day at Sea World (this trip took place before I saw the documentary Blackfish because I definitely wouldn't spend a dime of my money there now). My favorite parts of the trip: all of the beautiful Christmas decorations and the Electrical Parade at the Magic Kingdom, creating a personalized Mrs. Potato Head at Downtown Disney, devouring the delicious Holiday Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich, seeing the animals and riding Expedition Everest at the Animal Kingdom, strolling around the World Showcase at Epcot, and the Pets Ahoy! Show at Sea World (the most adorable and IMPRESSIVE show ever; the trainers even trained squirrels to do tricks!)

Dole Whip



Main Street Electrical Parade

Epcot

Gorillas are my favorite!

World Showcase at Epcot

Christmas Decorations at The Magic Kingdom

Me and Ashley at the One Ocean show at Sea World

Minnie Mouse ears

Building Mrs. Potato Head


Apart from the vacation, November was uneventful...
but I did enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving lunch with my parents, my brother, sister-in-law, nephews, and nieces at California Dreaming.

I can't get over how much my youngest nephew has grown.
Luke's not a baby anymore.


December

I had a really great Christmas; Ashley surprised me with an iPad mini! At work... I got crafty. I painted a pretty ornament for our Christmas tree and decorated a beautiful 'Ugly Christmas Tree' sweater sweatshirt... & WON the contest for best shirt!

I’m sad to report that my roommate moved out and back home to Connecticut in December.

A beautiful Christmas tree ornament that Ashley's mom gave me.

I purchased a plain 'ole Fraser Fir wreath
and tied some burlap and a ribbon on it in a bow.


January

Clemson won the BCS bowl game against Ohio State! :)

I had to work a week of mandatory overtime—HOW FUN (not!)

Ashley and I spent a weekend in Raleigh. We cheered on those Duke Blue Devils when they played NC State. It was my first time at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and the fans really are as CRAZY as they look on TV. We had a blast! An added bonus: George H.W. Bush was at the game! It was wild seeing all those secret service agents in real life.  

Cameron Indoor Stadium


Myrtle Beach was hit with a rough ICE STORM (which is unheard of), and I feel for those of you who live somewhere that has them every year. I now understand the dangers of 'black ice'. 

My iced-in Honda that kept me from work for two days.


February

I painted a picture one evening at a Wine and Design class with one of my coworker girlfriends. We painted a funky looking giraffe. I'd been wanting to go for forever... and while it was fun and interesting, it was way too fast-paced... I felt rushed from the moment it started.



In other news, my dad turned 70. And I thank God every day because he's as healthy as a horse.

March

I started to consider going back to school to obtain a paralegal certificate. For those who have a bachelor’s degree (and I do), it only takes one year to complete the entire program. AND... they offer the classes in the evening. I started to consider it when I found myself immersed in the investigation surrounding the disappearance of Heather Elvis. It sparked an interest in me that I never knew existed! I still haven’t made a decision about it yet, but I’m leaning more towards yes than no.

And, my friend Tara asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding in July!


April

I started a new training class at work. I hate listening to myself answer calls from customers during the feedback sessions (which is a large part of the class requirement), but I won’t hate the $1,500 bonus I'll receive when the class ends in July!

Ashley moved in with me the first weekend in April. I'd been living alone since Carlie moved back to Connecticut in December. 

I've decided to schedule a consult with an orthodontist and I'm sure he'll suggest braces. Depending on the price tag and the finance options available, if I decide to go through with it... I won't be happy about it because it will be my third time going through the whole ordeal. (I had braces for a little over a year when I was in the fifth grade and again when I was 19.) But they've shifted a lot over the last few years and I'm self-conscious about them... so I know I'll be happy with the results when it's over. I just need to be 100% sure that I can force myself to wear the retainer forever this time.

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

That pretty much sums up my life over the past few months. ;P

26 December 2013

Missing Girl in Myrtle Beach: Help Find Heather

I'm sharing information about a missing female from the Myrtle Beach area. I don't personally know Heather, but whatever happened to her could have easily happened to me or someone I love. My heart breaks for her friends and family, and I hope and pray she is soon found safe and sound!

If you have seen or heard ANYTHING that might help authorities locate this young girl, PLEASE contact the Horry County Police Department at 843-915-TIPS.

Missing Female: Heather Elvis, 20 years old
Last Seen: Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Reported Missing: Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Details About Her Disappearance 

Heather Elvis was last seen at 541 White River Drive around 2:30 am on Wednesday, December 18th. Earlier that evening, she had been on a date with a guy she recently reconnected with from high school. The date told law enforcement he dropped her off at her apartment around 2:30 am, and that her car was in the parking lot when he left. 

(The date has fully cooperated with the police, passed a polygraph, and has been cleared by law enforcement as a person of interest or suspect.)

Heather called her roommate, who was out of town visiting her family for the holidays, to tell her about the date and about the great time she had. It was reported the call made to her roommate occurred around 3 am and is the last known communication made to/from Heather. 

On December 19th, police found Heather's car--a 2001 dark green Dodge Intrepid--abandoned at Peachtree Landing in Socastee. When the responding officer ran the car's license plate, he contacted her father because the car was registered in his name. After several hours of unsuccessful attempts to reach Heather by phone, a missing persons report was filed.  

Several agencies have aided in a K9 search via foot, boat, and helicopter. The searches have focused on the land and water surrounding the area, as well as other remote areas in Horry County.

According to law enforcement, Heather's car didn't appear to be damaged and there was no indication she went in or near the water.

Concern grew among her family and friends when she didn't show up for her scheduled shift at The Tilted Kilt on Friday, December 20th. The Tilted Kilt is a sports bar and restaurant located at Broadway at the Beach.




Heather is 5'1" and approximately 118 pounds. She has dark brown hair and brown eyes. $30K is now being offered for any information that leads to Heather's whereabouts. 

https://www.facebook.com/findheatherelvis

09 September 2013

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake


Hey, yaaaa'lllll.

I'm here to share a Pinterest recipe that is FABULOUSLY delicious!


It's an easy-peasy ice cream cake made with ice cream sandwiches, and the best part about it is that it only takes 5 minutes to make!




See the pinned recipe on Favorite Family Recipes' blog here.

What You Need:

24 Ice Cream Sandwiches 

1 Jar of Fudge
1 Jar of Caramel
Cool Whip 
Unsalted Peanuts, optional

Instructions:


1. Place ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of a 9x13 dish. You might need to cut some of the sandwiches into smaller pieces to fit the dish. 

2. Drizzle warm fudge and caramel over the ice cream sandwiches. I spread the fudge out evenly with a spoon.
3. Top the ice cream sandwiches, fudge, and caramel with Cool Whip.
4. Repeat the first three steps.
5. Serve with additional fudge, caramel, and peanuts (or any other toppings you choose).

I left the caramel out of my recipe because I forgot to pick it up at the store. I also chose not to use peanuts because I couldn't find any that weren't salted. Oh well, it was still delicious! 

10 June 2013

SELF-PRESERVATION

I experienced something very frightening that sent my fight-or-flight response into overdrive this weekend.

Ashley and I went to see the movie Now You See Me on Friday. The movie was nearly over when strobe lights began flashing in the theater aisles. Seconds later, a recording came over the loudspeaker that repeated, "ALERT! An unexpected emergency has occurred in the building. PLEASE REMAIN CALM, locate the nearest exit, and evacuate the building as quickly as possible." 

I jumped up out of my seat and was out the nearest door in five seconds flat! I had already locked myself in the car before Ashley even made it out the building. In all seriousness, I was TERRIFIED. I had never before felt the kind of adrenaline I experienced in those few moments. I could have easily ran 10 miles and I'm no runner.

As it turned out, there wasn't an emergency. Ashley walked over to the box office to get a ticket voucher and asked employees what happened. Apparently, the alarm was the result of a teenager pulling the fire alarm. 

I would not have been as terrified if the alarm sounded like an actual fire alarm. This alarm only stated there was "an unexpected emergency" and asked us to remain calm. The only thing I could picture in my mind was that lunatic shooter in Colorado. That's such a shame. Oh well, at least I know my fight-or-flight response is where it should be if a real emergency should ever occur. We just won't talk about the fact that it involves knocking over women and children, George Constanza style, in order to preserve my self. 

19 March 2013

Heartbreak In My Local Community


My local community suffered a horrible tragedy this weekend when a condominium complex caught fire and burned 26 buildings completely to the ground. Unfortunately, the weather conditions on Saturday were perfect for the fire to flourish. It was warm with low humidity and very windy, which made it very difficult to contain the fire once it started. Not only did many residents lose their home and everything in it, some also lost their beloved pets. The good news is that no fatalities or injuries have been reported, and all residents have been accounted for. That's nothing short of a miracle considering how many homes were lost. Life can absolutely change in an instant.



I was so happy to see our community come together during this time of need. So many have rushed to the aid of those who have lost their homes and belongings. The response has come in the form of monetary donations, clothes, food, shelter, and discounts offered by local businesses. It has been overwhelming!  Please continue to keep those who are beginning to rebuild their lives in your thoughts & prayers. It is sure to be a long and heartbreaking process. 



19 February 2013

Playing Catch Up


Here is everything you've missed over the last few weeks.

A little over two weeks ago, I decided to make it my mission to have "six-pack" abs by May. I did some research and found that it's an incredibly difficult thing to do. There are many people who do everything right and never achieve them because of their genetic makeup.

I have to be honest, hearing that was extremely disheartening. I wondered if I should waste my time. Did I really want to change the way I eat? Did I want to force myself to work really hard, knowing that even if I did everything right, I still might not end up with those highly coveted "six-pack" abs? I wasn't sure.

I stumbled across a book on iBooks entitled The Power of Habit. I highly recommend it. I was amazed to learn that nearly everything I do on a daily basis is based on habits that I've formed over the years. I was also amazed how easily those habits can be turned into healthy habits. It's definitely worth the read.

This book influenced my decision to give it a shot, and I’m so proud of myself for sticking with it so far. I'm doing crunches, push-ups, and planks on a daily basis. I have increased the number of exercises I do every day and will be adding cardio to my routine soon. In only 18 days, I’m already doing 60 crunches, 15 push ups, and a 50-second plank every day!

In other news…

My Valentine’s Day was lovely. Ashley gave me a gorgeous arrangement of Stargazer Lilies, a gift card to Ulta, and a gift card to Massage Envy! I’m super excited, and also a bit frightened, to get a massage because I've never had one before. Any tips for a first-timer like myself?

 photo IMG_28221_zps24bb0b6b.jpg

01 February 2013

Vanity Organization


I've been making some headway with my organization goals. I still have a long way to go, but I've been working on one small area at a time.

The most recent completed project was my vanity.


Ashley surprised me when he showed up at my house with it one day. I desperately needed a vanity, and he knew I'd been eyeing one at World Market. He definitely gets the award for Most Thoughtful Boyfriend ever


I organized my hair accessories in this jewelry organizer.
I found it at Target a few years ago.
It sits on top of a rolling storage bin to the left of my vanity.



The mirror closes to hide my jewelry stash.


Above Vanity:
Jewelry Organizer



Are you impressed?
I AM!