Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Motivation!

Hey y'all,

After staying up late last night to catch the Oscars, this working girl is really tired (6am comes way to early on Monday mornings) but one song that I have been blaring every morning is "Good Morning" by Mandisa.

I don't know about you but the song is so catchy and just makes you want to start your moning on the right foot.

And if you missed Robin Robert's return to Good Morning America last week, Mandisa sang the song "Stronger":

And here is a bit of motivation for your Monday morning:
I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Are there any songs that motivate you in the mornings?

Peace and Blessings,

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sorority Chat Saturday: Big/Little Day Themes

Hey y’all,

So here is to another edition of Sorority Chat Saturday! Since I love Big/Little I figured we could stay on that topic for a while. Most chapters have specific guidelines for each day’s theme but today I thought I would imagine a few theme days if you are left on your own or I you need some inspiration.

I know that a lot of little’s gain canvases but think of outfitting your little’s dorm room and future room in the house. Think of painting a tv table for her nightstand, a stool, blankets, a market tote filled with picture frames, family tree, letters, monogram, a vase filled with fake flowers, candle holders, a bow holder, a chalkboard, memoboard, mirrors, a craft box for when she takes a little/crafts for her space in the house. Think of jewelry trays or paint a small plate for her nightstand jewelry or favorite perfumes.

Relaxation Day.
I don’t know about you but I have always loved a good sleepover. Think of including in your basket a pillow (monogrammed or with letters), a stuffed animal of your sorority’s animal, pajamas, slippers, sleep mask (dollar store/Michael's), nail polish or a gift certificate for a big/little main/pedi date before the next formal, fun chick flicks (WalMart $5 bins), tickets to a movie for a big/little date (Safe Haven anyone?), candles, lotions, fuzzy socks, popcorn, favorite soda, the options are endless.

School Days.
Your number one priority in college is of course classes so give your little lots of fun items to motivate her and keep that high fam GPA. Fun items include a customized clipboard, a fun corkboard/dry erase board, a stack of notebooks (you can find lots of fun personalized ones on etsy or pick up some Vera Bradley or Lilly Pulitzer ones), a cup full of fun pens/pencils/highlighters or even a monogrammed makeup bag turned pencil holder. You could even include a planner, post-its and the Lilly Greek and Academic Sticker Sets. Also think of things you would pack for a trip to the library…a monogrammed baseball cap, hair ties, a cute sweatshirt, a tumbler, snacks, etc. You could include an Llbean boat tote with letters or your monogram as the transport for this day.

Favorite Things/All About Her.
My sororities Big/Little pairing includes a long survey including fun questions  about favorite things and is a great way to learn about all the new members and potential bigs. However, if your sorority does not include those things Facebook is a great way to learn some of her favorite things. Create a basket that is all about her favorite things: baked goods, board games, flowers, gift cards to her favorite store or restaurant, favorite candy, drinks, tv shows, movies, canvases with her favorite quotes, and of course have everything wrapped in her favorite color and patterns, monogrammed items.

Letters/Family Traditions.
I know that Big/Little is the beginning of gaining lots of things with letters on them! It is such an exciting time as a new member and helps you begin to acclimate to your family and your sisters in a more one on one relationship. Think of nontraditional ways to give your little letters: bows, hats, plaques, pillowcases, and things that she will keep as an alum: memo boards, wooden letters for her apartment, small symbols and picture frames.

A Week of Outfits.
Fill a laundry basket full of t-shirts (letter shirts and family heirlooms), hats, bows, hairties, nike tempos, sweatshirts and pullovers, pajamas, shower shoes you paint-pen her name on, lots of fun colored socks (Target/Forever 21) and some jewels that connect to her (monogram) or your sorority (symbol/lavalier/etc) and a few monogrammed towels. If you know your little’s favorite stores find small items to give her like jewelry for the next formal.

School Spirit.
Think coozies, a cooler, school shirts, bows, canvases, and sports décor. I think most girls love their school and I can tell you I love my Alma Mater, I mean I work there now so anything that connects to Carolina and is Carolina Blue would be a welcome addition to my home. You could easily make some coasters, make a coozie via etsy or HayMarket Designs, buttons that read “Phi Beta Chi loves the Heels,” include pictures from gamedays, and paint cute glasses or tumblers.

Beach Day. Snow Day
If you have a spring Big/Little time think of a basket for her spring break: fun sunglasses, magazines, hats, painted cooler, lots of neon, tanks, flipflops, tumblers, sunscreen, lotion, body spray, beach towel, disposable cameras, re-usable bags like Lilly’s with a vinyl monogram or even a cooler bag,etc. If it is fall think scarves, hot chocolate/tea and a mug, fuzzy slippers, a mug, candles, pumpkin baked goods, hats and gloves, and anything you would need for a nice snowy day.

Small Gestures.
I think sometimes the small gestures matter. Think of painting a small cooler and delivering it filled with food to her one evening, have an a capella group deliver her flowers, send her a rose on Monday and ask if she will be your little, send a candy message, decorate her dorm room or her door, chalk the sidewalk she walks to class. The small things often make a big impact on a Little’s Big/Little Week experience.

I love to look at Pinterest, DollarStore Crafts, Facebook’s Big/Little Connection, and etsy for inspiration. I also think that clues are a fun way to connect to your little/throw her off of you/confuse her is she suspects that you are her Big. I am sure that each of y’all can think of even more ideas!

Remember that you control how much you spend on your little so search fun places like T.J. Maxx and Homegoods for fun décor and cute stationary, the dollar store, Target, search out sales at craft stores and you can begin to collect non-specific things throughout the year leading up to when you take her. Think of focusing on your school and sorority colors and symbols and you can quickly collect lots of small things before you even meet your little.

What was your big/little week like? Any themes I forgot?

ps. Shoutout to my grandlittle kBm who I know is reading this with lKe as well :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Trilogies: Book Club Friday

Hey y'all,

So this week I have been reading the final books of two really great trilogies. I finished off the Matched series with Reached and the UnEarthy Series with Boundless. I also just began the series Delirium.
After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.
My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this last instalment. While I loved the first book this was a great conclusion and really explained some of the lingering thoughts of the last two books. It was good, not amazing but I did not despise the ending which occurs with a lot of trilogies. I am content with this novel.
The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.
Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.
As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.
In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.
My thoughts:
I am upset at the ending of this novel. I got completely obsessed with these books this fall and the second one had me bawling through the entire thing so this one was a let down. I really wanted a different outcome after all this time. Also some things were never really resolved. What happened with Clara's dad and her brother? The epilogue I felt was kind of lacking. But that's just my opinion and what I would want out of the characters.
What are you reading?
Peace and Blessings,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Investing in Time

Hey y'all,

One thing that I always said once I got a "real job" I would invest in a nice watch. I think a watch is neccessary even if you have a clock on your computer or are glued to your phone. I really didn't get attached to wearing a watch until college and that began with working a sales position and never knowing the time as well as sometimes picking the seat in a classroom where the clock was completely behind me.So I have survived on the watches I bought at Target and a really nice Anne Klein bracelet watch that I love but keep forgetting to take to the store to have it's battery replaced. I have really been thinking of this as an investment piece for my closet. Something I would wear daily and therefore the splurge is justified since I want a nice quality piece. I think this will be my last splurge for a while after Easter since I am still saving for a car this summer!!!!







I have really been loving the idea of a two-tone watch since I have begun wearing both silver and gold. My Anne Klein watch is silver and mother of pearl so I still can't decided to go with just gold or a mixture? Do you have a nice watch? Color? Brand? Thoughts?

Peace and Blessings,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Alumni from the other side

Hey y'all,

This weekend was plenty eventful so I am sorry that I didn't post regularly. Between the snow falling most of Saturday and that night babysitting a precious set of twins and their brother. As well as Sunday filled with church, a Phi Beta Chi Alumni Event and the crazy revelations on Once Upon a Time & the "Christmas Special" of Downton I am still trying to settle into this week.
Me and my pseudo glittle and little.
Some of my favorite alums. I am so blessed to have know these girls for the past 5 years! EEK!
I absolutely loved hanging out with some of my favorite sorority sisters past and present. While my Big was not in attendance it was nice to hang out with my great-grandlittle and get to know her more as well as have her meet some of the most influential sisters that graduated with me. It can be hard to keep connected to individuals upon graduating from college but I am blessed to have PBX and an amazing group of alumni. It means that we can always stay connected with yearly get togethers to chat, remember the good times, and die of laughter over small things (all while consuming amazing food). Sisterhood truly lasts a lifetime and I can't wait for a few more years to pass and see all of the families stay connected to UNC and PBX! Sorry for the rambling!

Peace and Blessings,

ALSO: I thought those of you who are Downton fans would appreciate my Mom's text to me following the final episode last night. As I quote, "OMG." If you know my mom, this is hysterical.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Page Turning: Book Club Friday

Hey y'all,

I know it has been forever since I have posted a book club friday link up with Heather, so this one is going to be long but I have read over 10 books since the start of the year and according to Good Read's I am on track for my goal of 113! Thanks to the use of my new nook Simple Touch I have been reading a lot whenever I head over to the gym which has been really great. Since my last link up, I have read a lot of love storys, yay for February!

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
There are those who don’t get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.
Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.
For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.
Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved.
My Opinion:
Ok, so if you are not okay with reading about dark topics such as domestic violence and others, this is probably not the book for you. This is a love story that really focuses on the fact that outward appearances can hide a lot. I loved the story of Callie and Kayden and after I was done I had to scoure the internet and was relieved that there is going to be a sequel! YAY! I highly reccomend this novel.
Anna and the French Kiss
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
My Opinion:
This is such a cute sappy love story. I mean who wouldn't want to have spent part of high school in a Parisian boarding school with cute boys (especially one with a British accent)? This was a really quick ready and a great story! While frustrating at times, the story does end well and I think most of it was believable for a high school student's love life.
Save Haven
Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again, you must learn to trust again. 
When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.
But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.
My Opinion:
I am such a sucker for a Nicholas Sparks book. I did love the story and suprizingly I did not bawl throughout it like I tend to. I can't wait to see the movie sometime soon but I already know that they have changed the character's hair color and I am one of those nit-picky people that hates when the small details are not included. I mean, the hair color seems small but I think it mattered in the novel to establish the character's identities.
Are you the same way?
Heist Society
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.
Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
My Opinion:
I love the pull and tug between Kat and Hale which is why I am looking for the next book. This is a story about a girl whose's family is involved with art heists and when she wants to leave the business to attend a normal boarding school, there are struggles with lying about who she really is. A very nice teen series start. Not amazing but I plan on continuing in the series.

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.
Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.
Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…
In her third novel, Alice Clayton returns to dish her trademark mix of silly and steamy. Banter, barbs, and strutting pussycats, plus the sexiest apple pie ever made, are dunked in a hot tub and set against the gorgeous San Francisco skyline in this hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight..
My Opinion:
I completely hate the title of this book but it makes sense to the story line. I thought the book was very humorous and loved the mixed up crazy relationships between all of the friends and the thought of setting all of your friends up with the perfect fit that doesn't fit your list.
Definetly Not Mr. Darcy
Chloe Parker was born two centuries too late. A thirty-nine-year- old divorced mother, she runs her own antique letterpress business, is a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society, and gushes over everything Regency. But her business is failing, threatening her daughter's future. What's a lady to do?
Why, audition for a Jane Austen-inspired TV show set in England, of course.
What Chloe thinks is a documentary turns out to be a reality dating show set in 1812. Eight women are competing to snare Mr. Wrightman, the heir to a gorgeous estate, along with a $100,000 prize. So Chloe tosses her bonnet into the ring, hoping to transform from stressed-out Midwest mom to genteel American heiress and win the money. With no cell phones, indoor plumbing, or deodorant to be found, she must tighten her corset and flash some ankle to beat out women younger, more cutthroat, and less clumsy than herself. But the witty and dashing Mr. Wrightman proves to be a prize worth winning, even if it means the gloves are off..
My Opinion
I loved this story, I mean the idea of Jane Austen meets the Bachelor, perfect. I do think the story needed an epilouge but other than that I loved all of the drama between the contestants and the nitty-gritty of regency England live that is not really talked about in Austen's novels.
Kindred Spirits
When life gives you lemons, call your best girlfriends and whip up some lemon martinis. Such is the mantra for the Ladies' Society for the Conservation of Martinis, which was established after one fateful PTA meeting, when four young mothers-Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth, and Carol- discovered they had more in common than they ever thought possible. Meeting once a month, the women would share laughs and secrets and toast to their blossoming friendship with a clink of their sacred martini glasses. The Society was their salvation, their refuge, but when life-shattering circumstances force the group to dissolve, their friendship is never quite the same...until two years later, when a tragic event puts the Society back in session.
When Lynne passes away suddenly, she leaves behind one simple request: that her old friends sort through her belongings. Reluctantly, the women reunite to rummage through her closets. There's nothing remarkable; no kinky sex toys, no embarrassing diary. But buried deep within Lynne's lingerie drawer is an envelope addressed to the Society. And inside they find a letter that reveals a shocking secret and a final wish that will send the women on a life-changing journey...proving that nothing is more powerful than the will of a true girlfriend and a good, strong martini.
My Opinion:
I loved this tale of friends caring for one another and learning a lot of lessons after loosing a member of their society. It was a great heart-wrenching tail and I am glad I know I have friends that would be willing to do the same for me.

What have you been reading lately?
Peace and Blessings,