Speak easy, fellas, speak easy.

Do you know what I’m talking about when I say the word speakeasy? I thought everyone knew what that was, but that is not the case. I’ve had to explain it so many times this weekend. If you don’t know what it is, here’s a quick history lesson: During Prohibition, it was illegal to sell and/or consume alcohol. But thanks to the American spirit, people began bootlegging alcohol and they would sell it at makeshift clubs called speakeasies. The premise of the speakeasy was to be a secret place that only a few knew about, the menu of drinks was written on a chalkboard so it could be easily erased if busted, and you usually had to have a password to enter. With that being said, my hometown’s historic society threw a speakeasy party as a fundraiser and one of my very best friends wanted to go. So off we went!

(Maybe I can convince him to dress like this to go see The Great Gatsby in December!)

This was no ordinary party. It was a costume party, which just so happens to be my favorite kind of party. I’m beginning to think I love anything with a theme. Being that speakeasies were around in the Roaring 1920’s, I had to dress as a flapper. Let me take this moment to say how awesome my mom and Meme are. The minute I told them about this party, I could tell the gears were turning in their minds. It’s thanks to them that my costume was so put together. Meme somehow managed to find a one-shouldered, gold/champagne colored sequined dress at Macy’s for $11. My mom found a gold mesh clutch for $10 that had been $45 with a broken chain. She quickly repaired that and it was the perfect size for my lipstick, ID, and iPhone. Next came the shoes. How exactly do you find low-heeled, mary-jane, gold shoes? The answer to that is you don’t. So mom did what all dance moms do, she found an old pair of character shoes and spray painted those bad boys gold. If ten years of dance taught us anything, it’s if you don’t have shoes to match your costume, you paint them! Add a homemade ribbon headpiece and a hot pink feather, and you had Leah the flapper. Christopher was quite dapper as well in his suit, suspenders, and perfectly coiffed hair.

(This is my “Sure they had Kate Spade clad iPhones in the ’20s, Dad” look)

It was held in the basement of a building in the downtown area and you had to knock three times on the door to be let in. Upon entering, the bar was to the left and that was definitely the most popular spot in the joint. They were serving old-fashioned drinks like Mint Juleps, Between the Sheets, and Sidecars. We grabbed a drink and got to mingling with the crowd. My greatest fear was that we were going to be the youngest people there, but surprisingly enough, there were a few other youngsters. Thankfully Christopher is a social butterfly and knows everyone. We quickly took to the dance floor and learned the Charleston. Now I’m not really sure what happened to the band after that because they started playing Mustang Sally and from there the night turned into a blur of singing, dancing, and lots of laughing. It was a great night and from what I hear, we’re all going to Museum Meets Margaritaville in August. Something tells me we’ll all be looking for our lost shaker of salt by the end of that event…

Have a great week folks!

tweet. tweet.

Twitter and Facebook. They are the bane of my existence; the things I hate to love. If I had to weigh them against each other, I would side with Twitter hands down. Facebook is too much of a snoop for me. I mean I know that I look at people’s pictures without commenting, scan my friends’ walls to see who they’re talking to/dating, and accept friend requests from people I met once while they were drunk. If I do all of that, there’s no telling what other people do. It’s a little too invasive for me, but yet there I am logging in, updating my status, and posting pictures. You’re deemed “unsocial” if you’re not on Facebook. Then there’s Twitter. Now I love Twitter. I think I love it so much because I tend to ramble and it cuts me off. It forces me to find a way to say what I want to say in 140 characters or less (and you better believe I’m not going to shorten words or “typ lik dis” to make a tweet send). This has come in handy in tons of work emails where I catch myself going on and on about having a great day and asking about weekend plans. (I also tend to use the word “please” a lot in my work emails…I hope people don’t see me as a 12 year-old.)

I don’t know about you, but this whole Aurora shooting incident made me more aware of my online presence. The people of the Internet tracked down the victims online in a matter of hours. The news reports were soon posting profile pictures of the victims so we could put faces with names. I even read of instances where two other James Holmes in the Denver area were being harassed via Facebook. It was almost morbid, and come on, I’m a funeral director’s daughter so that says something. To add insult to injury, we got Twitter handles and people’s last tweets were being immortalized. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be remembered by my tweet to American Airlines complaining about being on hold or some arbitrary lyrics of the song I just happen to be dancing to on my commute home. (P.s. Don’t tweet and drive!).

I guess all of this goes to say bad things will always happen and now more than ever, the things we post online will always be with us.

Wishing you careful tweets and proper grammar in your Facebook posts!

the brave little toaster.

It all started with Pinterest. I completely blame that cruel, addicting, “You can DIY anything” website. It was Saturday morning. I woke up around 10:30 due to an extremely late night before (that’s another post in itself). After stumbling around my apartment looking for something to eat when I knew I didn’t have any breakfast foods, I had a brilliant idea. Cheese toast! Are your childhood memories filled with peeling off the brown edges of the melted Kraft singles while waiting for the toast to cool? Mine are. Mmmm…I kinda want some right now. I’m getting off topic…

Back to Pinterest. After deciding I wanted cheese toast, I remembered a pin on Pinterest where this woman had turned her toaster on its side and used it as a conventional oven to make cheese toast. So after a brief moment to mull it over, I decided I would take the easy way out and not dirty up a pan. I dug out my toaster from the back of the cabinet that it calls home, turned that baby on its side and plugged it in. At this point, I was pretty darn proud of myself. Before I knew it, I had two pieces of bread waiting to turn into cheesy goodness. In the toaster they went and I pushed the lever down. Now I’ll admit, I’m not the most focused person. I get distracted easily. With that being said, I turned my back to the toaster and started boiling water to make some tea. The next thing I knew I was smelling smoke. I rushed over to the toaster and there was my toast with the perfectly placed cheese being charred to bits. Immediately I hit the “Cancel” button, and let’s just say I didn’t think that through either. Out came the pieces of toast, flying across my kitchen, dropping blobs of gooey cheese EVERYWHERE. It was a nightmare. Cheese landed on my floor mat, on the cabinets, next to the fridge, and in the sink. The toast was literally smoking as if it had been on fire, and I was just standing there thinking, “How could this have gone wrong?”

Needless to say, I learned my lesson that washing one dirty pan is better than cleaning off greasy globs of cheese and almost burning down my apartment building. I would hate to have had to explain that one to my neighbors.

Wishing you safe cooking experiences this week!

the woman i want to be: meme.

I came across a quote by Diane Von Furstenberg the other day; “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to become.”

That is my life as a 22 year old in a nutshell. I have absolutely no clue what I want to be/do. It feels like I’ve been asked this so many times in the past month that I’ve doubted everything, so stumbling across that quote was great. It made sense to me that as long as I know the type of woman I wanted to be, everything else would fall into place. That sparked the thought process of “Who do I want to be?” That’s easy, I want to be me, but I feel like we’re all just mixtures of the people in our lives. We’re a little bit of our mothers, our fathers, our grandparents. We have the same mannerisms as our siblings. We use the same language as our friends. With that in mind, I thought of all the influential women in my life. This will be a series of posts that describe all the women I want to be.

 

I know every grandchild has a bias when it comes to the greatest grandparents in the world, but I feel like mine are(were) the best. One of my most influential role models has been my grandmother. Meme (don’t you dare call her anything else) is one of the classiest, kindest, most giving, and outgoing women I have ever met. I don’t have a memory of her where she hasn’t been thinking of others, baking/cooking for others, or doing something charitable. And in a lot of those cases, the person receiving the charity has been me. She has taught me the value of a dollar, the importance of being self-sufficient, and that friendships and family are the most important things in the world. She has demonstrated that hard work pays off and that you don’t get anywhere by just sitting on your butt. She taught me that it is perfectly okay to know exactly what you want and not to accept anything less. (Don’t attempt to help her put up her Christmas tree…I’ve learned this the hard way). She has always supported me in everything I’ve attempted. She attended every dance recital, soccer game, and awards ceremony I’ve ever been involved in. I could go on and on about how much this woman has done for me, but to put it simply, if I age half as gracefully and half as kind as this woman has, I will consider myself extremely blessed. She is truly an angel.

Photo by Story Photographers

 

Cheers!

don’t blink.

Are you familiar with that Kenny Chesney song “Don’t Blink”? If you’re in or around North Carolina, I’m sure you’ve heard it before. It’s premise is the all too often used phrased “time flies”. It turns out that phrase is used so much because it is true. Go figure, right?

As I’m sitting at my dining room table, looking across my apartment, I’m realizing that the past year has flown by. A year ago, I was picking out what shade of purple I wanted my walls to be. I was testing out couches and bedroom suites. I was planning this huge “big girl” life in my new apartment, in my new town. Turns out things don’t always go according to plan. But after a few setbacks, I found my own two feet again, and I finally feel settled into my little life in North Carolina. While I was planning for a life full of boyfriend outings, group gatherings, and home away from home meals, life had other plans for me and I ended up exactly with what I needed. I have a life full of determination, happiness, and independence. Sometimes I beat myself up and think “I’m not doing as well as I should be”, then I think about the reality of my life. I moved from a small town to a “big city”. I’m currently applying to grad school and I am successful at my job. I’m about as successful as a 22 year-old college graduate on her own is going to be.

So as I’m sitting here, drinking a mug of tea, feeling worn out from my 30 minute run and my agonizing study sessions, I can’t help but smile and cherish this moment. Before I know it, I’ll be on to my next great adventure.

Happy Thursday friends.

cphs.

Do you have guilty pleasures? I do…and one of those is pop music. If someone asks me what kind of music I’m into, I immediately spout off that I love The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, the Beatles, and just about all bands considered in the “Classic Rock” genre. But if my musical tastes were personified, she would definitely be rocking a bedazzled t-shirt/scrunchie number and carrying a Lisa Frank backpack. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce…yes please. They’re my go-to girls. Hence the following quote:

Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore. -Lady Gaga

Today is my one year work anniversary! It’s quite possibly the healthiest relationship I have ever been in. Work and I see each other almost every day, but we’re not clingy when we’re not together. Work challenges me and pushes me to step out of my comfort zone, but  it also provides me with a fantastic support system and good relationships with great people.

Over the past year, I’ve doubted whether moving back to North Carolina and working at my alma mater was a good decision. I’ve definitely had bumps in the road and days where I thought everything was falling apart. On the other hand, I’ve seen firsthand the amazing things that CPHS does. So while I don’t completely agree with Miss Gaga up there, I fully support being a woman and going after your dreams. Even if it takes a million little baby steps to realize what your dreams are.

Success Story.

 

This has been floating around on Pinterest for quite some time. I couldn’t find the source, but it was too accurate not to share. My favorites are #13, #17, #19, & #21!

zucchini pizza!

I always pin things on Pinterest that I absolutely love, but I rarely get around to doing them. Color coordinating outfit that I have all the pieces to? Yep…never wear it. Pretty neon and nude colored nails? Yep…never paint them. It’s like I spend so much time pinning things that inspire me that I forget to carry on with the inspiration. Not tonight though. I saw a recipe for grilled zucchini pizza and I thought “That sounds interesting!” So behold my take on zucchini pizza bites:

Who needs Bagel Bites when you have zucchini pizza bites?!

Just take a zucchini (apparently zucchini comes in balls, so if you want bigger “slices” use a ball), and slice it to your desired thickness. Pop them in the oven to broil for about 3 minutes on each side. They’ll be a little squishy when you pull them out. Add some pizza sauce, mozzarella and pepperonis. Put them back in the oven to melt the cheese and voila! Instant yummyness.