cheerful & happy

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.

-Martha Washington

Something to remember on rainy days such as this one.


London Calling: Summer 2012 Olympics

Let me preface the preface below: This is an extremely long post where I ramble about the Olympics and London. If you’re into that sort of thing, keep reading. If you want to see some pictures from my trip to London last year, scroll down. If you just want to know the point I’m making, it is: The Summer Olympics are this Summer. They’re being held in London. I love London. I love the USA. Go Red, White, & Blue!


Let me preface this post with a text message I sent to my sister: Is it weird that I’m super pumped for the Olympics? Like I want to throw a party.

You should be super impressed by my use of the word “like” in text form. I’m sure literary critics and English teachers everywhere are rolling their eyes at me. Anyway, the Summer Olympics are a mere 59 days away! I don’t remember the last time I was this excited for the Olympics. It probably was 1996, and I was less excited and more terrified of Izzy, the blue mascot guy that no one really knew what he was supposed to be. [Quick little Wikipedia research:  “the computer animated character with the ability to morph into different forms was a departure from the Olympic tradition in that it did not represent a nationally-significant animal or human figure.” Okay, so we still don’t know what he was supposed to be. Got it.]

Anyway, the Olympic Games! I think whoever decided to have them every four years is a genius. With shrinking attention spans and our fad-embracing culture, the Games need a little intrigue. We like to latch on to things we don’t really know too well. For example, the Internet Censorship petition, the KONY 2012 movement, and more close to home the Amendment One issue in North Carolina. We like to cling to these things that ignite passion inside of us and promote/demote them until we get bored and move on to the next crazy idea. I think the Ancient Greeks knew us a little too well and now we have the Olympics. Something that ignites our passion for (at least) one of two things at our core: sports and our country! We like to learn all about sports and countries we didn’t know existed, all while wearing our red, white, & blue and yelling things like ‘Merica!  And since the games are only two weeks every four years, we love it. Or at least most people do.

I have to admit, I am excited for this year’s Summer Games solely because they’re being held in London. That’s the reason I want to throw that party I mentioned in my text to Abby. I have this uncontrollable desire to construct a Big Ben and put it in my living room while friends and family watch Archery, Badminton, Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics, Rowing, Synchronized Swimming, etc. (Yes, I totally knew all of those were Olympic sports…I didn’t look up the schedule of events…)

I want to have fish and chips and wear fancy hats like the Brits do. I want to fly the Union Jack from my balcony and spell words that have “z”s in them with “s”s. Basically, I want to be British all while cheering on the United States. Can I do that? Is that allowed? I mean that’s what the Kate Middleton of the USA would do, right?

My love for London can be summarized easily:

1. It’s one of the few foreign places you can go and still get by with speaking English.

2. They have royalty.

3. My trip there was my first plane ride ever.

4. They have buildings that are still being used that are older than the Declaration of Independence!

5. Downton Abbey.

6. London was the first place I realized men in their 20-somethings are extremely attractive in a suit and tie.

Maybe my reasons for loving London are a little shallow. Maybe not. Maybe I’m super pumped about the Olympics because I went to the site where they were building the arenas and hotels to accommodate everyone who will flock to the UK in July. Maybe not. Either way, I think this year we will have a lot to talk about as people all over the world come together to support their individual countries and realize there is more to life than their little corner of the world.

So who wants an invite to the party?


I remember riding to school when I was in middle school listening to Q99 with my mom and hearing this song. I was captivated by it then and I’m still quite taken with it. I felt it was appropriate to share mainly because graduation season is upon us, summer is right around the corner, and the trailer to The Great Gatsby (directed by Baz Luhrmann) was just released.

It’s an adaptation of a column, written by Mary Schmich, published in the Chicago Tribune in 1997. Baz Luhrmann released it as a music single entitled “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)”. I’ve posted the original music video and lyrics below. Happy Thursday, friends!

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering
experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one
might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will
look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than
it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…


I’ve always been a lunch packer…or rather a lunch taker being that the majority of my packed lunches were packed by my mom. Every day in elementary and middle school, she would pack my lunch and send it off with me to school. Being that I was a terribly picky eater, it would usually consist of a peanut butter sandwich (no jelly), applesauce, fruit snacks, etc. I loved opening my lunchbox when she packed it. It was like opening a Christmas present. I really had no guarantee of what was inside. Even when I worked as a teller during summer/winter breaks, she would pack me a lunch. (I think this has to do with my Meme telling us repeatedly “Do you know how much money I saved by carrying my lunch with me to work every day and not eating out?”). She would send me notes wishing me a happy lunch or some funny, quirky joke. Even at 20, I loved that my mom packed my lunches.

Now…I’m sitting at my desk eating the lunch I packed for myself last night. It’s not nearly as exciting. Yes, I’m pumped about the watermelon and grapes I thought to throw in there. I’m even pretty excited about my impulse-buy pretzel sticks. But it just isn’t the same. I knew what was going to be in my lunchbox when I opened it. The mystery is gone…and I’m left eating my salad while thinking “Man, I wish I would have packed the left over pasta.”

And it never fails…I always forget to pack a napkin.


Happy Tuesday friends!

weekends and weekbeginnings

Happy Monday friends! I hope your weekends treated you well. This weekend was a whirlwind in my little corner of the world. My sister is finally graduating with her Pharm.D. and I could not be more excited for her. We had a little Cinco de Mayo party for her on…you guessed it Cinco de Mayo!

Saturday morning started out with a quick trip to the Community Market, where I’ve been told I was on such a mission that I missed everything. Apparently they were giving out tomato plants and they had the cutest cupcakes you’ve  ever seen. I also missed the tent of strawberries they had (when that was the only reason I was going to the market to begin with!). Ahh…I guess that’s what I get for “being on a mission” as Abby called it. I’ll have to go to the Farmer’s Market in Raleigh this weekend to make up for it.

On to the party, it was cute. Complete with a “South of the Mortar” banner, mini pinatas, and fake moustaches. It was a small gathering, but fun nonetheless! I’m so thankful to have such good people in my life. Now the fun part comes in…graduation! It’s a mere four days away. I hope it goes well!

Off to go make custom painted ceramics with my dear friend, Chelsea. Until next time!

80 Things.

Happy May! I feel like May owes it to us to be full of happy, smiley things at the very least. Today would have been my Papa’s 80th birthday. In honor of him, here is a list of 80 things that make me happy because Lord knows that man made me one of the happiest girls on the planet. Feel free to read them, laugh at them, share them, or try them out to see if they make you happy. Cheers!

80 things that make me happy:

1. Friends (the tv show)
2. Gerber Daisies
3. Hydrangeas
4. Music
5. Christmas
6. Chocolate cake
8. Wreaths
9. Holding hands
10. Laughing
11. Tiffany & Co.
12. Best friends
13. Inside jokes
14. Alabama Crimson tide
15. NC State football games
16. Nail polish
17. Baking
18. TOMS
19. Tuesdays with Morrie
20. Oranges
21. Margaritas
22. Birthdays
23. Meme
24. Shopping with my mom
25. Cinnamon bears
26. Ticonderoga pencils
27. Writing
28. Roo cups
29. Watches
30. London
31. Sending mail
32. To Kill a Mockingbird
33. Gone with the Wind
34. Abby
35. Sleeping with the windows open
36. The faces my dad makes when I take pictures of us
37. Twirling
38. Dressing up
39. Nicknames
40. Strawberry Baskets (Especially the ceramic ones from Anthropologie)
41.  10 Things I Hate About You
42. Love
43. Starbucks
44. Kate Spade
45. Chex Mix
46. Puppies
47.  Guys with beards
48. Instagram
49. Decorating for various holidays
50.  Driving with the windows down
51.  Wicked (the musical, not the book)
52. Bubble baths
53. Tuesdays
54.  The Brown Bean
55. Having freshly cut flowers on my nightstand
56. Ceramic animals/piggy banks
57. Owls
58. Getting to leave work early
59. Dancing
60. DIY Projects
61. Beauty & the Beast
62. This video
63. Curly Girl Design
64.  Camels
65. North Carolina
66.  Snow days
67. Thunderstorms
68. Giving compliments to people
69. Lavender skinny jeans
70. Wearing a t-shirt and leggings
71. My prescription Wayfarer’s
72. Home cooked meals
73. Laughing until you cry
74. Buying presents
75. My “Keep Calm & Carry On” calendar
76. Anthropologie
77. Matchbook Magazine
78. High heels
79. Coach (k.mulls, that’s for you)
80. Smiling