IF ONE MORE PERSON TELLS ME I LOOK STRESSED…..

These past two weeks have been quite difficult for me to get through. All my classes are getting progressively harder and my teachers are all scheduling tests on the same day as each other, and 5 of my best friends are graduating in December, and I’m worrying about my grades (like I always do), I have to start thinking about internships, I have to plan freshman events for the club I’m in, and I just can’t seem to get enough sleep. I’m about one more task away from pulling my hair out.

I was at lunch yesterday when one of my good friends walked by and told me I looked stressed. While normally I wouldn’t think twice about someone saying that to me, but I realized that I really was and still slightly am, stressed. I was letting my stress show to everyone. I had less patience, I wasn’t as talkative, and I didn’t want to hang out with anyone.

Stress is a funny thing. College induces stress. Stress can make you feel like your sick. Stress can make you feel tired. Stress can make you feel awful. I haven’t found a way to completely banish stress, but I have found a few ways to still enjoy life while being stressed.

  • Go outside. Seriously, take a walk, go for a run, visit your dog, whatever. Fresh air can make you feel so much better.
  • Read a book. Reading is a great way to get your mind off of stress because reading can transport you to another place, stress free.
  • Hang out with friends.
  • Get 8-10 hours of sleep
  • Eat healthy
  • Drink Enough Water
  • Maintain a schedule

My stress comes from school work and tests. I worry way too much grades. The one thing I’ve had the learn the hard way, is that your grades don’t define who you are. You are an amazing person whether you make a C or A.

I feel old.

Kids have a funny way of wanting to grow up. I mean little girls put on their Mama’s red lipstick and little boys try on Daddy’s ties. The 5 year old wants to be 10, the 10 year old wants to be 13, the 13 year old wants to 16, and the 16 year old wants to 18. I was that child. I always wanted to be older, I wanted to be more independent. I wanted to be more of my own person. Well folks, growing up isn’t that amazing. It’s like a thief in the night, I never saw it coming.

Since I’m now an adult, which there are some days I don’t feel like I’m qualified to be one, I realize that it’s really not that great. I mean now I don’t have near as much time to go make daisy necklaces in the back yard, and by the way, if you do that in a park without any small children you may receive some odd looks. My Mom doesn’t wake me up and bring me cereal before I go to school anymore. My Dad doesn’t walk in the door from work and give me piggy-back rides. My sister and I don’t clutter the whole living room floor with Barbie dolls, Barbie houses, and Barbie cars anymore. I don’t think driving an hour is an insanely long amount of time in a car anymore. Traffic reports and the nightly news mean something to me now. All of the sudden good friends are harder to find, and love, that’s a whole different story. 20 doesn’t seem ‘ancient’ anymore. Things are so different now, and I never really noticed the change until I sat down and really thought about it. Things change like the seasons do, you know time is passing by, but you don’t know how fast until you look back.

I told myself I’d never be one of those people who tell all the incoming ninth graders to, ‘enjoy these four years, they fly by and you’ll wish you could go back.’ Well, I am one of those people who tell the high schoolers that. Whenever they graduate, they’ll be one of those people who tell the next generation the same things. It’s like the circle of life, kind of..

Just because I’ve grown up some, though I still have a lot more growing up to do, that doesn’t mean I can’t still love the things I used to. I still love glitter and anything sparkly. I still love obnoxiously colored shoes. I like big coffee cups and eating cereal in bed watching Golden Girls. I like fluffy bedspreads. I love carving pumpkins and jumping in leaf piles. I love laying out by the pool with barbeque chips. I really like antiques and homemade jelly. I like shirts with pictures of animals on them. I like spraying whipped cream right out of the can into my mouth. I could list things forever.

My theory is that some grown-ups are unhappy because they’ve forgotten memories or lost sight of what they loved as a kid. I will never forget jumping on my bed with my sister all night Christmas Eve because we were too excited to sleep. Memories like that make me smile on my worst days as an adult. Those days when I have three back to back tests right before the final are the days when I jump on my bed and think about all the funny times I’ve had. The funny thing is, now, I just really want to be 13 again.

I mean honestly things were so much simpler when I was 8. Boys still had cooties. A skinned knee was the worst. Friends were forever. Math wasn’t hard. I didn’t have to know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Lunch and recess were the highlight of the day. My heart hadn’t been broken and I didn’t think that the world could be a mean place.

My point is that you can grow up gracefully. You can take parts from your childhood and infuse them with your present life. Although there will still be those days were you eat a whole spray can of whipped cream and dance around your house in your pajamas. Days like that are just good for your soul.

Mean. Girls.

Girls are mean. There is no other way to put it. When I say that, I’m not necessarily saying ALL girls are mean, but some girls are. Personally, I learned that the hard way, it was something that happened all summer long. Well, my first encounter with this mean girl was 4 years ago. She’s definitely a mean girl, you can spot her from across the room staring at you, and whispering to her friend, then laughing while staring directly at you. Key characteristic right there. That had NEVER happened to me, not in elementary school, middle school, ninth or tenth grade.. NEVER. I didn’t understand it at all. All through the time I was there that night, she never tried to include me or introduce herself, even after I introduced myself. I continued going to hang out with that group because the others in the group were so friendly and welcoming, but she never ever acted friendly towards me. The hurt feelings started there.

The fourth year I had known this mean girl, if you even want to call it that, I learned she wished that I had never come to that group and that I was obnoxious, rude, and completely unfriendly. I’m not going to lie, that hurt, very deeply. (The group was an organized club) She decided to yell those insults at me at a meeting we had a few weeks later, which made things much worse. It was extremely hard not yell back at her, but I’ve always been taught that when you yell, you’ve lost control of the situation. The only logical choice I could come up with, was to sit calmly and let her scream. I refused to let her drag me to her level. My best friend was doing all the yelling for me, until I asked her to stop. It sucks to be the adult in a situation, as much as I wanted to scream all the things I’ve heard about her, and seen her do, I couldn’t.

So many tears were shed after that night, so much anger was built up, and so much confusion about why she felt like that was running rampant in my mind. I couldn’t figure it out. Things ran as smooth as they could for the next two months, but it all went sour again. Understand, this mean girl has had a rougher life than I have, her home life isn’t great, but it’s not awful. She’s used that as a crutch her whole life getting pity from anyone who would give it. I was the only person that saw through that and expected her to move on with her life. The past can be so destructive, and you can stay trapped for so long. Another meeting was called because of the tension between us, and she screamed at me again, only this time, revealing she had spread vicious rumors about me, and talked behind my back. I honestly didn’t think that I could be torn down any lower than after the first meeting. I found out quickly that I could be torn down lower. I left the meeting and left the club because I realized I couldn’t stay.

The next week was awful, I was sick over the situation and hurt feelings. I can’t tell you how many people told me that she’s a troublemaker, she’s not worth the time to think anymore about it, none of it’s true, or you’re better off now, it still hurt so deeply. After about two weeks I came to the realization that she wasn’t going to apologize for anything, she simply wasn’t sorry. You’ll be able to move on so much faster if you forgive the apologies you never got. When you do that, you’re not weak, you’re showing that you’re strong enough to let it go and move on with your life. You’re strong enough to say I don’t want to stay in this position forever.

As bad as those three months were, and as hurtful as that mean girl was, I’m a better person now. Some people are just going to be mean to you for no reason at all. They just want to be mean to someone to make themselves feel better. I spent so many wondering why that girl didn’t like me. Was it what I wore? Was it what I said? What was it? It had to be something because people are mean for a reason, right? Wrong. People don’t have to have a reason to be mean. You can’t control what they do or what they say, but you can control what you do and what you say. Remember that feeling you felt, in my case, crying on my pillow at 2 a.m. because I couldn’t stop thinking about what the mean girl had said about me. I will always remember that feeling, nothing will ever make me forget that. But remember that feeling and promise yourself that you will NEVER make someone else feel like that. Promise yourself you will never make someone cry on their pillow at 2 a.m. just because you want to be mean, because you want to feel big and bad.

So all in all, some people are just mean, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Control yourself, control your actions, forgive, and move on.

“But someday I’ll be livin’ in a big ole’ city, and all you’re ever gonna be in mean. One day I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me, and all you’re ever gonna be in mean.” -Taylor Swift

College football is here again!

Football season is here again, hallelujah! I’ve been impatiently waiting to bust out my game day dresses once more! Football game attire varies, but if you’re from the south or go to a southern college, game days are days the you dress up and curl your hair. Tailgating from early afternoon will keep you entertained before the game, and there will be plenty of photo opportunities. Play corn hole with the fraternity boys and chat with your friends while you look effortlessly stylish in your school color coordinated sundresses.

Personally, I’m more of a casual dresser when it comes to game day. I’m constantly walking around and visiting with people, seeing family, and walking all around campus. I’ve put together one casual outfit, and four formal outfits. I do go formal for homecoming, I mean it is HOMECOMING. As for hair, think about the weather. If it’s humid, straight hair might not be your best choice. Always bring a rain jacket if there’s even a slight chance of rain. No one has fun if you’re soaked. If you’re confident wearing heels, go for it. If you’re not, DON’T DO IT. I’ve seen a few girls topple off their extremely cute heels because they couldn’t walk in them. There are plenty of cute shoes to wear instead of heels, Jack Rogers and wedges are great alternatives. Check with your school’s stadium security policy before you carry your purse in, sometimes they allow small bags, sometimes just clutches. Bring the basics. Lipstick, gum, aspirin, phone, I.D., and money. Keep it simple. I always carry a cross-body bag because it’s so much easier to keep up with. That’s it really, just don’t forget your shaker and sun glasses.

Whether you’re yelling Roll Tide, War Eagle, or Hail State, or sitting ‘Between the Hedges’ screaming ‘How ’bout them Georgia Bulldogs?’ have a fabulous day watching your favorite team charge up and down the field. As for me, How ’bout them Georgia Bulldogs? ;)

Game Day!
GAME DAY FORMAL

Happiness is..

Here’s my list:

Happiness is a brand new Lilly Pulitzer tote bag that I got on sale.

Happiness is my cat sleeping next to me on a cold winter night.

Happiness is making an A on a test that I’ve actually studied for.

Happiness is sweet tea, barbeque, and vinegar slaw on a hot summer day sitting on a tailgate.

Happiness is watching a dog playing fetch.

Happiness is watching movies with my Mama.

Happiness is trying a recipe for the first time and have it actually taste good.

Happiness is chocolate chip pancakes.

Happiness is catching up with friends who’ve been gone all summer.

Happiness is watching frogs jump in and out of the water.

Happiness is finding anything Lilly Pulitzer or Vineyard Vines on sale.

Happiness is loving yourself.

Happiness is loving other people.

Happiness is laughter.

Happiness is loving and trusting God.

Being happy seems to be a feeling that comes rarely in the world today. Frankly, that’s depressing. But, the good thing is, you have the choice to be happy. You can find things in your every day life that make you happy, it’s not that hard. Think of anything that gives you joy, that makes you smile. Take those things and run with them. You’ll find out that if you do start to realize those things, your days will be so much more fun. You’re life will be a happier place. Now go make your list.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

Travel is one thing you can buy that actually makes you richer. Traveling produces memories and no one can take those memories away from you. I’ve always been a traveler. My parents made sure the family took at least 3 trips a year. They also liked to drive instead of fly, so I got to see a lot of the country. Most kids didn’t get to experience that, and the older I get the more I realize that fact.

Traveling has a way of injecting culture in your life. It’s so much fun to go somewhere else in the world, or the country, and experience the diversity and differences in each different part. The first major trip I took (when I say major, I mean out of the south), I was blown away and slightly scared. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t immerse myself. I regret that I didn’t take the chances I had when I was in the city because I haven’t had the chance to go back since. I did learn from my mistakes, the next big trip I took was to Wyoming, and I tried everything. I stayed on a dude ranch for a week without internet, TV, or cell phone services. It was definitely a different and ‘out of my comfort zone’ experience, but I’m so glad I did it.

When you’re in college you have so many opportunities to travel to far away places. There are so many planned trips with certain departments in your college you can go on and receive college credit. Let me repeat, you can get COLLEGE CREDIT for going on them. Also the trips are usually not too expensive especially if a big group is going. They have the itinerary planned out and so planning on your part isn’t a big deal.

The average college student is between 18-24 and that is the PERFECT time for you to travel. You aren’t too tied down with a career or a family. Get some of your friends together and go on a weekend trip, traveling doesn’t mean go over the ocean. Travel means go experience another place. Be a tourist. Take pictures. Laugh until your stomach hurts, and make memories that you’ll never forget.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/quotes-about-travel

White Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes

I like cupcakes. Wait, let me rephrase that, I LOVE cupcakes. Cupcakes are perfect to make for your friends when they come over for a movie night, or they’re perfect to make with your friends. These white chocolate mocha cupcakes are what you make when you aren’t worried about calories, what you make when you’re celebrating a birthday, or when you make a C on a test(C’s do get degrees, folks. Barely.). Anyway, they’re fabulous.
Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes :

1 box devils food cake mix.

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder.

Make cupcakes according to directions on box and let cool.
White Chocolate Buttercream:

6 ounces white chocolate chips.

1/3 cup heavy cream. 1/2 cup butter (room temperature).

2-3 cups powdered sugar.

1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Melt the white chocolate and cream in a sauce pan until smooth and let cool. Mix in butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar with the white chocolate until fluffy. You may need to chill this frosting to let it set up a little before you frost the cupcakes.

Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top for an extra punch and enjoy these bad boys. They are wonderful. You’re welcome.

Back to school!

Summer is over. I have to admit, that was painful to type. I’m a fan of summer. I’m a fan of the carefree days full of nothing to do. I’m a fan of feeling like 24 hours in a day is too many. I’m also, however, a fan of college football. I’m a fan of crisp fall breezes that replace the humid sticky days. I’m a fan of sweater weather. I like pumpkins, I like caramel apples, I like red maple leaves. I like seeing friends that have been away all summer, and I like the weekly ‘just girlfriends’ lunch. I like running with my best friend downtown passing lines of oaks and maples pouring their leaves down on us. How about at the beginning of this new semester, we focus on the good things school brings instead of the tests, stress, homework, and sleepless nights. Raise your sweet tea and toast to a fabulous new school year ladies. Best of luck to y’all.