Category: new ish

March Bucket List Completions

Got to a Hawks game

Even though I have already bought a car (mostly by myself), this is my first car purchase/nightmare that was done allllllll alone. I like to think of it as my dad’s birthday present this year, instead of a cupcake. You’re looking at my new baby, Blakely. Named after the city my dad is from. She’s a 2017 Honda Accord Sedan EX-L. Here she is in all her glory. Insert smiley face with heart eyes.

February Bucket List

Sun in my belly

January Bucket List Completions

Kale Me Crazy

New York in May

So, life happened. A lot. I went to NYC in May for a short trip. I adore friends that want to travel. It’s so nice to have friends that are interested in seeing the world and will follow through! Unfortunately it rained the day I was leaving and I wasn’t able to do too much. Then all flights were delayed. I finally got on a plane to go to Boston around 9PM and stayed overnight. Took another plane from Boston around 5AM to Charlotte, NC then to Atlanta. It was a long day with little sleep. Here are pics from my trip.

MAC Makeup Studio

Park Ave

 

Times Square

Rooftop bars in NYC on Cinco de Mayo..amazeballs.

loved this place and they had great music!

Jimmy in the cab

Rainy day in NYC

sooooo close!!

Central Park

Finally leaving NYC

Helloooo Boston

My sweet room I found on Hotel Tonight

SO EARLY

Peace out Boston

sunrise in Charlotte

November Bucket List Completions

Chomp n Stomp

Brezza Cucina

Dancing Goats Coffee Bar

Empire State South

Sia

Also AMAZING!!

Adele

Adele was AMAZING!!!

 

October Bucket List Completions

Taping of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon!!! HOLY SHITBALLS

Adele

Sia

Hello From the Outside

Holy fucking shit. I think I wrote about Adele’s “Hello” when it first came out.

July 8th I was checking my VM. My ENT’s office called and left me a VM. Apparently even if you block a number they can still leave you a VM. So I saw “Blocked Messages    1 >”. I have very few numbers blocked; I think only random people I’m too stupid to give a fake number to, and M. Upon seeing the number, I knew it was from M. He called June 18 at 9:17AM. The day before Father’s Day was the first thing that stuck out in my head, not sure why. There was nothing to the VM, just a tv in the background, and then breathing right before hanging up. Obvi it wasn’t a pocket dial, even though he would later claim it was. I don’t think so, bud. Its virtually impossible to do that nowadays.

I brought up returning his call to one of my GFs and she suggested I reach out and see what it was about. Natch, I did because, have you met met? The most curious person, almost, ever. He was shocked to say the least. We “caught up”. What you can catch someone up on in your life when you haven’t talked in over a year. I think he told me he would call me later to catch up.. Somehow I knew he’d call me back after his dinner. He did and we “caught up” more. He told me there were a few things he wanted to tell me. I knew exactly what that meant. I was very blunt the last time we talked/I texted him. I believe before we hung up he said he’d call later in the week. Obvi that didn’t happen.

I actually reconnected with a guy 2 days later. So random. Then the anniversary of my dad’s passing day came. He finally called one Sunday morning either at the end of that week or the following, at 1AMish. I was cleaning out my closet (hello irony) and texting with the boy and an old coworker. I decided to answer. I could tell by his voice something wasn’t quite right. He asked me to pick him up and my first thought was, oh fuck, he’s in jail.” Nope, just at a bar?! He said he needed a friend, and I’m a sucker, so I picked him up, and he knew I would because I’m such a great friend/person.

On the ride to my place (not many places are open at 1:45AM) I was asking WTF was happening, why he needed a friend, etc. And he bombs me with he was engaged and he/she/they called it off on Saturday. Insert my calm face on the outside, and my WHAT THE FUCKING SHIT ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME WHY THE FUCK AM I THE PICK ME UP CALL?! Yes those are not complete sentences because my brain was all over the place.

So we talked it out, what little he wanted to talk out. Which consisted of him mostly wanting to hear about me and what was going on in my life.

He did tell me a few things I needed to hear for “closure”. Like how he regretted several things, like never telling me he loved me, not being there for me for my dad’s death, etc. My favorite i think, was that I was the best sex he’d ever had. hahahahaha DUH. Because you actually fell for me. I pointedly asked him why he never told me he loved me. He looked me directly in the eyes and told me he was a coward. Okay, that takes some balls to say that. Or alcohol. Either way, I give him props for finally admitting it.

Like the good friend person I am, I steered the convo back to his issue. To help him, I asked if he thought this was “it”, it was over, for good. He said something about her taking her ring off and leaving it on the table (I think it was table?) was “like a line in the sand”. I asked if he was positive, and if he was sure he wasn’t being too hard on her, because there were plenty of times he did that to me – stubborn asshole because his feelings were hurt without communicating with her and talking things out. God, I’m such a good ex gf! Around 4AM he took his shirt and shorts off and asked if he could sleep over on my couch. Didn’t leave me much choice did ya? I said yes, gave him a pillow and blanket and offered to charge his phone bc I knew it was either dead or almost dead.

At 7:30AM I woke up to his phone vibrating the fuck out of my makeup table. Annoying. So I got up, peed, took him his phone and told him she had called several times. I think he peed and crawled in bed with me. We cuddled (hey, fuck off I’m human) and talked more about his situation. Definitely did not sleep together or make out, and he left.

We caught up later the following week and I told him I couldn’t be his friend. That was one of the things he mentioned in our convo at 3AM. I told him that he couldn’t look to me to be the first one he told about things, that’s what his fiance/wife/person is for. Not me. Whomever he decided to spend his life with needed to be that person, that I couldn’t do it. It wouldn’t be fair to me. He sounded really sad and said he figured and understood. Super awkward hanging up. Hows that convo supposed to go? “Hi, I can’t be your friend or in your life, have a nice life!” Oh and I mentioned that I was really excited with the possibility of where things were going with this new(ish) guy. Side note: that only lasted a month. Leave it to me to get tired of someone after a month. Ha. In the words of Rihanna, “Didn’t they tell you I was a savage?”

After hanging up with M, I felt like he was wavering on getting back together with his ex. Whether or not he did, I have no idea. I just think that based on the little I know, the things he told me and him turning to me, means he’s not as “in it” as he thought he was. I also told him I found it puzzling that he would want closure with me after proposing to someone. #justsayin

So tonight I had a phone call with the medium I have seen before. Not for any particular reason. She actually brought M up though. She said I finally let go of that situation. It was not good for me. She said specific things, but I can’t remember them now. I’d have to go back and listen to the recording.

We talked about my dad, because we always do at some point. She said, you like butterflies don’t you? I laughed and was like yes. She said he sends me signs and sent me one in butterfly form recently. I laughed because he did. She said butterflies normally aren’t that clumsy, it was a sign. (I was at a friends pool sitting on the edge with her. A butterfly literally flew into my face. I pulled away like, wtf and asked her if she saw it. She said yea, its a sign from your dad. I was like I KNOW!) I told the medium I feel like my dad sends me signs a lot, mostly through songs. She said he did.

After our call, I went to the store, ate dinner, watched tv and gathered the materials I need to write an essay for a paper. I decided to put on some music and decided I wanted to hear Adele. I played most of the songs from her 21 album and sang along. 25 started playing after that and Hello came on. I just listened to it instead of singing along for some reason. The further into the song I had a lightbulb moment. I literally said out loud, HOLY FUCKING SHIT THIS IS SOOOOOO US. Me and M. I originally thought that when I heard the song the firs time, but especially after hearing it after he and I talked in person. So crazy, this life.

You go listen to the song, reread what I said about our convo and tell me that shit doesn’t give you chills. #craycray

July Bucket List Completions

Holeman + Finch

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South City Kitchen

Gu’s Dumplings

Superica

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Krog Bar

BoccaLupo

May Bucket List Completions

NEW FREAKIN YORK!

Beyonce in concert!! Post on the coming soon..

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Rihanna in concert (again)! Pics and video coming..

Lure

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Le Macaron

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Pineapple chipotle chocolate, salted caramel, Belgian chocolate, Madagascar Black Vanilla, Raspberry, Lemon Cream (not pictured) and Lavander White Chocolate macarons.

Establishment

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world’s darkest bathroom – this was with flash

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 hilarious drink menu

January Bucket List Completions

Jan 1 and I had already knocked 1 thing off my list: Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium

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I have several new things going on so unfortunately this was the only thing I got to do. Booooo.

Wet

Should be studying, buuuuut I can’t get my newest obsession out of my head..

that voice! several of their songs are really good…

this is also an obsession.

Pics

Fun times with friends lately..

Oct 2015: exploring PCM bc posing with a giant clock is totally normal. (I’ve always been drawn to clocks for some strange reason. I thought it was a “me” thing until I realized my dad was too.) My face literally lit up when I saw this giant clock. #likefatherlikedaughter #imweird 🕐🕑🕒🕓🕔🕕🕖🕗🕘🕙🕚🕛🕜🕝🕞🕟🕠🕡🕢🕣🕤🕥🕦🕧

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Nov 2015: While holding a phone to change settings, #hello came on. Naturally, I thought of this. #imusthavecalled1000times

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Dec 2015: Bogart, Christmas Parties and NYE

bogie

cake

even subconsciously giving the cake a 👍🏻

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antlers

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February Bucket List Completions

Gypsy Kitchen

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bar area

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the bull. pretty badass

Le Bilboquet

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The Southern Gentleman

this is the “Scarlet Belle” – strawberry infused vodka, lemon and lime juice, mint, champagne

Shake Shack

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Quitting

Thursday was blissful. It was my first official day of not being employed by a company I’d worked at for almost 8 years. All of my close friends are probably more happy than me. They don’t have to hear me cry and complain and torture myself anymore. It was like Mel Gibson in Braveheart: “FREEEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOM!!!”

Sometimes it blows me away when God answers my prayers. He doesn’t always answer in the way I prefer and then sometimes He goes above and beyond. He really outdid himself with my new job. It started out with me not really wanting to go to the interview, and before the interview was over, I wanted it. Everything aligned so perfectly it was like He created it specifically for me. The company exceeded my expectations and I was teary-eyed. What a showoff. 😉

In the middle of my search, LinkedIn kept sending random emails along with people that wanted to connect to me. The two below were interesting reads.

Christmas Gifts for Her

How awesome are gift sets? The items below would make for a great gift for any female.

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JC gift perfume

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Laura Mercier

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NARS

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High Roller

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Winner Takes All

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Best Bite

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Hot and Cold Therapy Massager Not a gift set, but why not?

November Bucket List Completions

Acupuncture

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Southern Art & Bourbon Bar

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Black Widow

uhhhhbsessed with this song..

Fifty Shades Trailer

The day has finally arrived! The trailer for the first Fifty Shades movie has been released.

 

July 4th Weekend

Once again not many pics were taken this weekend. We were too busy having fun. This was taken right before we went out July 5th..

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The night of July 3rd after dinner we headed to Ash’s house. I painted Daisy’s nails red for the parade.

 

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July 4th fireworks

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Ash’s golf cart all decked out for the parade

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Cold Tangerines

The following was taken from Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. I loved this book SO much!!

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Everything is interim. Everything is a path or preparation for the next thing, and we never know what the next thing is. Life is like that, of course, twisty and surprising. But life with God is like that exponentially. We can dig in, make plans, write in stone, pretend we’re not listening, but the voice of God has a way of being heard. It seeps in like smoke or vapor even when we’ve barred the door against any last-minute changes, and it moves us to different countries and different emotional territories and different ways of living. It keeps us moving and dancing and watching, and never lets us drop down into a life set on cruise control or a life ruled by remote control. Life with God is a daring dream, full of flashes and last-minute exits and generally all the things we’ve said we’ll never do. And with the surprises comes great hope.

—–

It’s rebellious, in a way, to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life. Its much easier and much more common to be miserable. But I choose to do what I can do to create hope, to celebrate life, and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love. We could just live our normal, day-to-day lives, saving all the good living up for someday, but I think today, just plain today, is worth it. I think its our job, each of us, to live each day like it’s a special occasion, because we’ve been given a gift. We get to live in this beautiful world. When I live purposefully and well, when I dance instead of sitting it out, when I let myself laugh hard, when I wear my favorite shoes on a regular Tuesday, that regular Tuesday is better.

Right now, around our house, all the leaves are falling, and there’s no reason that they have to turn electric bright red before they fall, but they do, and I want to live like that.  I want to say, “What can I do today that brings more beauty, more energy, more hope?” Because it seems like that’s what God is saying to us, over and over. “What can I do today to remind you again how good this life is? You think the color of the sky is good now, wait till sunset. You think oranges are good, try a tangerine.” He’s a crazy delightful mad scientist and keeps coming back from the lab with great, unbelievable new things, and it’s a gift. It’s a gift to be a part of it.

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift, who will use it up and wring it out and drag it around like a favorite sweater.

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That’s what I want. To arrive. I want to get to wherever im going and stay there. That’s why I was such a ferocious planner of my life. But im learning just to keep moving, keep walking, keep taking teeny tiny steps. And it’s in those teeny tiny steps and moments that become, actually, who I am. We won’t arrive. But we can become. And that’s the most hopeful thing I can think of.

Thank God I was wrong about everything I had planned. Thank God we weren’t on my schedule, because even though I dragged my heels and checked my planner every five seconds while I watched my life change in his hands, I really like the place we’ve ended up, and the things ive seen along the way.

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The idea that my smart, successful friend Lori has seen the cabinet beneath my sink and has risked her feet on our dishwasher door positively floors me. I’m quite certian she doesn’t have cabinets like that. But then again, maybe she does. Maybe we all do, somewhere. Maybe its not your cabinets or your basement or your butt. But I think it’s something, and I think you probably spend a lot of time covering it up and thinking about it in the middle of the night. And I think when you let someone into your life far enough to get a glimpse of it, at first you think you’re going to pass out, and that that person is going to ruin your reputation as a good person by blabbering about your butt or your cabinets to everyone you know. But a second after that, I think you’re going to realize that that person is your friend. Like really and truly, from Jesus, your friend.

——-

There are things that happen to us, and when they happen, they give us two options. Either way, we will never be the same, and we shouldn’t. These things can either strip us down to the bone and allow us to become strong and honest, or they can be the reasons we used to behave poorly and indefinitely, the justification for all manner of broken relationships and broken ideals. It could be the thing that allows everything else to turn, that allows the lock of our lives to finally spring open and our pent-up selves to blossom like preening flowers. Or it can be the reason we use to justify our anger and the sharp tones in our voices for the rest of our lives.

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The thing that keeps me going with the anger and the rotten feelings is that I think I’m right. Really. When I think about what happened, I think she did a bad thing to a not entirely bad person named me. And I want her to have to apologize. Loudly. Publicly. And give me a present, too. I want her to feel how bad I felt, how small and scared. I want her to tell me she was wrong, and promise never to do anything like that again, in writing, with a notary public present.

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We preserve the myth even though we no longer believe it. We insist that everything is okay. But we’re kidding ourselves. Can you look into the eyes of the people around you and really believe everything is okay? We want to believe that things roll off our backs, that we are tough and world-wise, and that we’re all holding it together pretty well. But you know which door you lock behind you when you’re crying so hard you can’t see. You know what word or image rips off that scab. Everything is not okay.

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Being with Julie and Doug today made me think about the idea that everything is okay. The idea is nothing but cruel in its untruth. Okayness is a thin scab that rips off every once in a while and exposes a river of blood and infection, an inroad to the whole body. We live in a reasonable peace, accomplishing things and doing what we’re told and expecting that if we behave, we will be rewarded; that for living quietly and industriously, for donating to Easter Seals and letting people merge in front of us on the highway, we will be given good things, good lives. And then something happens to us; we get that phone call or that feeling or that doctor’s report, and everything changes.

The sky might as well be red, the solid ground replaces with seawater, because it is a different world. It’s like a chemical change, charges reversing from positive to negative. And in the midst of this change, you look around and realize that everyone else seems to be doing fine, that you must be the only one who notices this change.

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I respect people who pray, and who appear to be living that wiggly, whatever-God-wants kind of life, but it’s sort of how I respect people who don’t believe in conventional medicine – it’s indie and cool, but when I’m feeling a little under the weather, I want every machine and tube and drug in the world.

The problem is that the worldview I’ve chosen has melted like butter. I had a plan, and the plan is gone. I did it right, in my own made-up-system, and it all came out wrong. All my logic and contingencies and smoke alarms and insurance didn’t see this coming, and now my life has changed. I’m off the plan. And I loved the plan. I believed in the plan, secretly, way more devoutly than I believed in the mysterious work of God.

So now, out of desperation, I’m back to prayer. I’m back to prayer, sheepishly, because I couldn’t make my life work without it. I pray out of sheer lack of options.

This is my most basic, most frequent, starting place prayer: Dear God, I need help. I can’t make it anymore. Can you please give me a little something for the pain?

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That’s how family gets made. Not by ceremonies or certificates, and not by parties and celebrations. Family gets made when you decide to hold hands and sit shoulder to shoulder when it seems like the sky is falling. Family gets made when the world becomes strange and disorienting, and the only face you recognized is his. Family gets made when the future obscures itself like a solar eclipse, and in the intervening darkness, you decide that no matter what happens in the night, you’ll face it as one.

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At our house church that week, we just stared at each other, exhausted, spent, cried-out, sliced open. One of the women broke the silence by saying, “To be honest, when we pray as a group, I don’t pray. If God’s going to heal someone because of prayers, there are enough people praying. I don’t know if I believe one more voice matters.”

I didn’t know what to say to her, but what I do know is this: prayer helps me. When I pray, something freaked-out and dazed inside me finds a place to lay down and rest. When I pray, I don’t feel so alone in the universe. I feel like there is a web, a finely-spun net, holding it all together, keeping it spinning. I feel powerless, and prayer reminds me that I may be powerless, but there is power, and the one who holds that power is good. Prayer reminds me that the universe is not powerless against the evil and loss that seems to be swallowing up this season in our community.

I imagine a huge choir, hundreds of voices, and they’re singing something unquestionable, remarkably beautiful, and if you look at each person, you can see their intensity, their attention to detail and precision, their extreme focus on sounds and phrases. And you can see their love for music and their passion to sing. You could never pick out an individual voice, out of those several hundred, but that’s not the point. They are not singing to he heard individually. They are singing for the act itself, for the love of music and tone and melody. That’s one of the reasons I pray, for the act itself.

I pray because I need to. Because I need to remind myself that there is something up there and that it is good. I pray to be heard, certainly, but practically speaking, what the act of prayer does in my life is profound in its own right. The act and posture of prayer connects me back to something I lose so often, something that gets snipped like a string. Prayer ties up the string one more time. Prayer says, I know you’re up there, I believe you. I can make it. I know you are good. To pray is to say that there is more that I can see, and more than I can do. There is more going on than meets the eye.

Prayer heals all the muscles that I’ve been clenching for a long time, while I’m holding it together, gritting my teeth, waiting for impact. Prayer, like yoga, like singing, brings soft from hard, pliant from brittle, possible from impossible, warm from cold, breath from breathless. And no matter what gets you there, it is better to be there than not.

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What I know now is that his kindness burns through even the deepest betrayals and invites life from death every chance we let him. There are things that explode into our lives and we call them curses, and then one day, a year later or ten years later, we realize that they are actually something else. They are the very most precious kinds of blessings.

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My friend goes to a spiritual director, and I was asking her about it, and she said, basically, Sister Carmen asks her to talk about her life, and she points out the presence and action and grace of God when my friend didn’t even notice it was there. So it was there all along, and the trick is learning to see it.

Each one of our lives is shot through, threaded in and out with God’s provision, his grace, his protection, but on the average day, we notice it about as much as we really notice gravity or the hold in the ozone. So what I’m trying to do is learn to see the way Sister Carmen sees. Because one you start seeing the faithfulness and the hope, you see it everywhere. And little by little, here and there, you realize that all of life is woven with bits and stories of God’s goodness.

What gives me hope is the belief that God will be faithful, because he has been faithful before, to me and the people around me. I need the reminders. I need to be told that he was faithful then, and then, and then. Just because I have forgotten how to see doesn’t mean it isn’t there. His goodness is there. His promises have been kept. All I need to do is see.

So when I’m on the edge, peering over into the unknown, trembling and terrified to move forward, devastatingly afraid to take that next step, I practice believing that full life is beyond the fear. I know that God’s voice has lead me to this exact place, and I grab a few pennies. They are sacred reminders that God is God, that he is leading my life, and that he is saying to me, as he has been saying to his people throughout history, I will never leave you, and I’ve left reminders all around if you have the eyes to see them.

Spring/Summer Shoes

 

 

 

 

A week or so ago I ran to the mall to buy all the things pick up one item at Sephora. Across from Sephora is Macy’s. I thought I’d run upstairs to check to see if they had any wedges I might like. Mistake numero uno. Not only did I find wedges, I tried on multiple shoes that I feel in love with. Somehow I showed restraint and didn’t end up buying 4 pairs of shoes.

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Campsonne Pump

These may not seem like anything but special, but they are, especially on. I fell in love. As I was reluctantly putting the shoe back, I saw a young couple looking at the other shoe. I told them that it was a hot, sex shoe. The man was like, oh man, now she’s definitely going to want them! haha!

I also tried on this gorgeousness. I mean, it matches the purse I bought for my 30th birthday.. This is what I like to refer to as the Oh, I am getting some tonight shoe.

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Mackenzie Platform Sandals

Grammys

I’m a little late on my Grammy post. I’ve been working my ass off at work. Thank God there was a snow day yesterday and I was able to catch up on some of my DVR…

If you watched the Grammys you say Bey and Jay open the show.

So many people are bashing her because it was 8PM and she should be a role model. Uh, do you not remember Brit, Madonna and Christina kissing a few years ago, or Miley accepting an award talking about smoking pot, or her performance with Robin Thicke? Bey looked hot! Reminded me of the time I performed a lap dance for a bf. Only Bey doesn’t get nervous in front of a crowd. The song is called Drunk In Love and she performed it with her husband. Haters gone hate.

Another amazing performance was Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons. Wow.

Even if you don’t like the music, you have to appreciate the show they put on. They brought it.

Another performer that brought it, Pink. Home girl has one impressive body. I can’t even imagine how much strength she has to be able to do that.

I can’t forget to mention Maclemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert and Madonna featuring Queen Latifah. Wow. Talk about going down in history. I saw an interview that Ryan Lewis gave saying that his sister was one of the couples that got married. How awesome. Also, did you catch Keith Urban with tears? Love!

V Day

Or what I like to refer to as my day. 😀 If you’re in a normal relationship, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re going to get laid on Valentine’s Day. In order to do that, you should probably better show up with gifts. Here are some sure-fire ways to ensure you get some. These should all be a no brainer, but sometimes men are stupid. Just being honest.

Lingerie

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The Mesh & Lace Corset is a good idea. I browsed VS and I was a little disappointed in their selection. You could always settle for a lacy bra and panty.

Chocolate

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Godiva is always a good way to go. You can’t go wrong with a Godiva truffle or chocolate covered strawberry.

Jewelry

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Kendra Scott is a great place for jewelry. They have a ton of items to choose from and you can also customize pieces like I did in this picture. If that doesn’t work for you, you can’t go wrong with diamonds.

Flowers

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I love this arrangement. It has everything.. pops of color, roses and my personal favorite, those lilies.

This is also pretty. I am a big fan of the square vases with the leaves wrapped around. This is when it comes in handy to know her favorite flowers. Of course you can’t ever go wrong with roses. Bonus points for sending her flowers to the office.

As a general rule, the more items you show up with, the higher your chances are of getting the good stuff. And I don’t just mean sex. The. Good. Stuff. Just don’t wait around last minute. The best items are always picked over if you do!

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If you can’t afford anything, make her a card. Yes, make. As long as its sweet and thoughtful, you’re golden.

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