Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May in Review!

It's hard to believe that the month of May is almost over! So many changes have already taken place and so many new things have happened! Eliz over at Tiny Bits of Nonsense did a post like this and I loved it! I thought I would do one for you all too! 

Here is my month of May in review:

I attended my last Alpha Phi Formal Weekend

I finished my time as a collegiate member of Alpha Phi

I became somewhat of a blonde again!

I graduated from college!


I moved back home with my family!
Our house is still a mess from all my stuff!

I traveled to the beautiful Jacksonville, Florida!

I started my summer internship at Leigh Pearce Weddings

I worked my first wedding!
But I didn't take any pictures! Next time for sure!


This month has been a whirlwind of changes and I can't wait to see what the summer months bring!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fabulous Deals & Finds!

After being pretty much broke during the school year, it's a nice feeling to finally be able to buy things that I've been looking at for a while! Don't get me wrong, most of the money that I received from friends and family for graduation is going into either my regular savings account or my dog savings account, (yes, I've started an account strictly for Paisley) but after doing some budgeting with my Dad we kept out a little bit for me to shop with!

Here are my recent finds that I am so excited about!

1. Neon pink/orange skirt from Francesca's= $36
I wore this to my first wedding rehearsal, SO CUTE!

2. Plaid skirt from Forever21= $10 
I wanted one of these so bad last winter, but never found one that was just right. While in Jacksonville a few weeks ago, I spotted this one in Forever21 on the sale rack and I just knew I had to have it. Plaid is such a fun print in the wintertime!

 I also donated some clothes to a consignment shop and picked up a few new items of my own!

3. Express skinny jeans= $13.00
4. A sleeveless blouse from Gap= $10.00
5. A tank from Forever21= $7.00
6. Nautica Sailboat Cap with tags= $8.00
This accessory was actually in the men's department, but I thought it was so cute that it would work for me too! 

Sometimes once you're in the shopping mode, it's hard to slow down! My last purchase was one that I've been eyeing for a while. Last Thursday seemed like the perfect time to buy, and I decided to take the plunge! 

Meet the Lands' End Canvas Tote!
This is my first canvas tote from Lands' End, but I think it will work perfectly for my family beach trip, a little less than a month away. With a little help from my Mom, we decided on the size large, open-top bag in Tide Pool Aqua. (shown above)

I added a circle monogram and with the 30% sale they have going on right now, paid just over $35.00 including tax and shipping!

Find any good deals lately? I'd love to hear!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Get Inspired!

Today I had originally planned on posting about some recent purchases that I've made. A pair of jeans for $13 and a new tote back for $35. Scratch that, I'll save it for another day. Let's have a little change of scenery. Today has been a hard day. I don't know what and I don't know where it came from, but I'm almost thankful that it's here. I didn't wake up this morning upset, or in a bad mood, but I think it was something about talking to my Dad about money this morning that got me a little scared. 

I've written in the past about how scared I was to be done with college. Not to graduate, that's the exciting part! It's the moments after that, when you wake up and realize you don't ever have to go to school again or do anything remotely productive if you don't want to (well I do, because my parents would kill me if I didn't). Anyway, you get the picture. The end of one thing and the beginning of real life. My real, "I only get one shot at this life" and I'm scared. I have been. and I might be for a little while longer, but I'm working on it. 

My sweet boss Leigh at my internship told me about something last week that I needed to read, called "Making Things Happen." We were talking about paper companies, the perfect planner, and the like, when she mentioned this company called Emily Ley Paper. I jotted her name down and started seeing what Emily Ley was all about. I read her sweet blog about how she started her paper company and her life in general and was indeed intrigued. Leigh then told me about this part of her site called "Making Things Happen". She described it as a way to de-clutter your life. I don't know about you, but I could always use some de-cluttering! 
This morning when I got a little down and out, and in need of some inspiration, I thought of this "Making Things Happen" and decided to read into it a little more. Boy, am I glad I did. I read about how Lara Casey, the Editor in Chief of Southern Weddings Magazine received an email one day, years ago asking how to make things happen in your life. This email inspired a blog post, as many things do in our lives. It was then that she wrote "GET FIRED UP :: HOW TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, VOL 1"

Read it.
Its first instructions are to get some paper and turn on "great music". No more shedding tears today. I hopped on Pandora and typed in the beautiful tunes of Michael Bublé. Perfect. I then followed her instructions and I wrote. Though some questions were a little more difficult, I wrote down my fears, the people I rely on and how they each make me feel, the people I seek advice from, the things that make me feel whole, my excuses, my strengths and my dreams. No matter how silly it sounded, I wrote it down.
This got everything that I was upset about, everything that was holding me back, out and on paper. Breath a sigh of relief. I know that tomorrow I may still wake up and feel scared or anxious about where my life is going, if I'm doing the right thing or pursuing my dream the correct way, but at least I have it all written down. I can approach each thing, know what it takes to make me feel whole and eliminate the things in my life that are bringing me down. 

I encourage you to read this post. Do it with your whole heart. Be Inspired.
Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up:)


Friday, May 18, 2012

Ready-for-Work Clothes!

I know that most of your are saying TGIF this morning, as you prepare to enjoy the weekend, but I'm feeling excitement of a different kind! Today is the first day of my summer internship and I'm beyond excited! It's also the first event that I'll be attending, and I can't wait to soak up every minute of it! Everything starts at 4pm, so keep your fingers crossed!

In honor of my first day at work, I wanted to share with you some pictures of work clothes that I've been seeing on Pinterest and using as my inspiration!

I always find myself trying to imitate the pieces that someone has put together on Pinterest! Most of the time, it doesn't look as good as the original, but hey, a girl can try! There are some things that I would never think about putting together, until I see them complete with shoes and accessories. 

I'm loving these pleated skirts in different lengths! They're fun, flowy and easy to move in!
Aren't these bright pencil skirts cute? The brighten up the whole outfit and give it a pop of color!
My favorite new look is a women's blazer with a cute crop pant or pencil skirt! I haven't found my own yet, but it's definitely on my to-buy list! I'd love to find one with cute detail lining the inside, so I can turn the sleeves up at the cuff!

Where do you find your clothes for work? What's your fashion inspiration?


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Alpha Phi Formal & Senior Send-off!

This post is coming a little late, but two weekends ago I celebrated my last formal weekend with Alpha Phi, so I wanted to make sure and tell you about it! My sorority does its formal a little different than others. Our formal function is not dedicated to one night alone, but an entire weekend of time spent with your sisters and their dates. It's not a mandatory thing, but different groups from Alpha Phi get cabins together for the whole weekend. My friend Gwyn chose our cabin this year and it was absolutely beautiful! We had it from Thursday night until Sunday and there were about 25 people total.

Isn't it beautiful?!
The house was three stories, five bedrooms and had a beautiful porch that wrapped around the entire house! We were in heaven.

The living room featured a cathedral ceiling with a chandelier made of antlers. 
I made sure to enjoy the leather couch before the rest of the crowd arrived.
The kitchen was wonderful as well, complete with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Even inside the house, I felt like I was living in the wilderness. Tree bark was used as an accent on the walls, in the bathrooms and anywhere else it could be applied.
The actual formal was on Saturday night at the Archer's Inn on Beech Mountain, a good 30-minute ride from where we were staying. We made sure to take some prom-style pictures with all the girls and guys before heading to dinner.
The house had the prettiest fountain outside, that they called "Diamond Creek". I wanted to make sure that Jake & I got a picture in front of it!
My sweet friend Jill did my hair and makeup for the night! Thank so much, Jill for all of your help!
Here we are at the restaurant about to have dinner! The dress that I wore was a black, floor-length, mermaid-style from Cache. It belonged to my little Sharyn, who was sweet enough to let me borrow it for the occasion. She wore it to her prom in high school. 
Every year at formal, they give out all types of awards, Best Big/Little, Little Miss Sunshine, Most Genuine, just to name a few. At the end of the night, I went home with two awards, Favorite Senior and Miss Southern Belle. What an honor!
The next morning was Alpha Phi's Senior Send-off! This is a fun event to honor the seniors, where they can bring all the Alpha Phi items that they've accumulated over the years and pass them down to younger sisters. The seniors dress really funny and tell stories about the items they're giving away. This thing has been known to last more than 5 hours!

I was picked up that morning by my little Katy and her roommate Laura. My outfit was complete with a queen's crown, given to me by Katy (to symbolize my transition from the Princess Family to a queen after graduation). I also wore a shirt that two of my new members made for me when I was their pledge mom, and a white sequined tutu from lipsync a few years ago.
One of my favorite items that I sent off was a clear popcorn bowl. My little Katy was the lucky recipient! I'll save that story for another day;)
Though it's sometimes sad to give away the things that you've received over the years, it's a tradition that means something to all Alpha Phis at my school. It also reminds me of the memories I've made over the past three years that will be with me forever.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Craft Tutorial: Decorating Your Graduation Cap!

One of the best parts of graduating from college (aside from being done with exams forever), is seeing how everyone decorates their caps at the actual graduation ceremony! This is something that I've been looking forward to all year! I had so much fun deciding what to put on mine! 

Want to decorate your own cap? 
Here's how:

1. Get an idea! 
Head on over to Google and look at some graduation cap decorations that people have already done! This is the best way to learn the things that you like and don't like for your own cap.

I  fell in love with these two ideas that I found:

Completely bejeweled

&

Hello Kitty

I knew from these two that I wanted my cap to have jewels on it and some type of girly theme. After brainstorming a few different ideas, I decided that I wanted a bow!

A big pink bow made completely out of jewels!

2. Get your supplies!
There was no way I could draw this thing out free hand, so I hopped back on Google and searched for a bow outline that I really liked, something not too detailed, but not too simple. I didn't have my cap with me at the time, so after finding the general shape I wanted to use, I printed out a few different versions.
Later that day, I got my hat and matched up the size of bow that looked the best and most proportionate. I cut out the outline and placed it exactly where I planned on having my jewels.

3. Get your supplies!
I ran over to the Michael's Craft Store in town and purchased a 1lb bag of multicolored plastic jewels. If you've ever bedazzled before, you know that these little pieces can get expensive, especially if you prefer the ones that are already adhesive on the backside. I decided to spring for the ones that I would have to glue myself and got the whole bag for $14.99, a fraction of what I would have spent on the same amount of the other kind. 

*I also purchased some super glue to attach the gems and wooden letters to add my monogram, neither of which I ended up using. The glue didn't adhere to the cap, so instead I grabbed my hot glue gun and that worked perfectly. Also, the wooden letters were too big, so I used some glittery ones that I already had. You can save money by not purchasing either of these items until you know exactly what you want to do.

4. Lay it out!
I found that the best way to design your cap is to lay everything out, so you can see exactly what it's going to look like. I probably tried 50 different shapes and colors before I ever glued down the first gem!

This is the first version that I came up with! As you can see the bow is taking up so much of the hat that the letters are being pushed off. I decided that some things needed to be changed where this didn't happen.

I decided to condense my bow a and make it look a little cleaner. I also found some glittery letters that I used for another occasion and stuck them up top instead of the larger white ones.

Look how wonderful it turned out!

Jake & I worked for the next hour trying to figure out what else, if anything, that my cap needed. I wasn't fond of all the open black space. It wasn't until the following morning that it came to me! I wanted to put 2012 in jewels on the inside and outside of the bow! 

In order to incorporate more purple from the letters on top, I used purple beads to make the numbers and hot glued them to the hat.
Quick Tip: Don't forget to account for the button in the center that your tassel has to hang around. This will save you a lot of time and mess!

I am absolutely in love with my cap and am so glad I decided to be creative and decorate the top of it! If you have any questions, feel free to email me or check out YouTube! They have an abundance of tutorial videos on graduation cap decorating!
Congratulations Class of 2012! We did it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm a College Graduate!

This past Saturday morning, I woke up nervous, excited, and in disbelief ! My graduation day was finally here!  My roommate and I were both graduating at 9am, so everyone in the apartment was up around 6, showering, straightening their hair and getting everything ready to watch us walk across the stage!

We got to the Convocation Center around 7:45am, but since graduation didn't start until 9, we had plenty of time to snap some pictures!

Here I am in the whole get-up! I was jumping up and down from excitement!
Casey & Me! She is one of my closest friends in my major! 
I couldn't have made it to this point without her!
So proud of my graduation cap!
A picture that I snapped during the ceremony!
The whole ceremony lasted about two hours, and afterward, I was greeted by Jake and a ton of family that came up for the special occasion.
The whole family!
Directly following graduation, we walked down to Walker Hall (the Communication building) for a special reception for those in my department!
After a little break and some short naps, we returned to the Convocation Center around 4pm for Jake's graduation!
I'm so excited and proud of him!
After finally getting through traffic, our two families had dinner together at this nice restaurant in Blowing Rock, NC called Blowing Rock Grille. We were starving and it hit the spot!

I ordered the salmon dish with broccoli and it was delicious!
This is also where my parents gave Jake & I our graduation gifts! The bow was wrapped much nicer on mine, but I forgot about taking a picture until I'd already unwrapped it!
Jake received a Black's Law Dictionary, something that he will be using a lot very soon! I was completely caught off guard and received the most beautiful Pandora bracelet from my family, my Aunt/Uncle and my Grandma. It came with an arrangement of charms that all mean something special to me. I know it's something I will treasure my whole life!
The day was tiring, but so much fun and went off without a hitch!
Today, I'm off for a short trip to Jacksonville, Florida with two of my close friends! It was a little spur of the moment, but I figured I might as well get one more vacation in before I start my internship:)

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