Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition

I need help!

I want to redesign my blog, but I have no clue how I want it to look! My friend Emcain offered to redo it for me because she is a brilliant blog designer, but I can't think of anything for her to go off of.

I'm thinking Southern and preppy obviously, but don't know what colors, fonts, what my button should look like, etc.

Anyone have any ideas that you think would represent me well?

I'll take any advice!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hot Spiced Tea

I don't know about y'all, but I have been loving this cooler weather!

My friend and sorority sister, Taylor and I have been taking walks every night after work and it has been so wonderful just chatting away. I think these walks at night have really helped me sleep better too!

I usually would wake up 15 minutes before my alarm would go off, but lately its been a struggle to get out of bed. I guessing it's because of my new nightly routine, walk with Taylor, cup of tea and watch TV with mom, and then the basics of showering, brushing my teeth, and jumping into bed at a decent hour (yeah, I can't really make it past 10 now haha I'm getting old!)

I usually just pop in a normal decaffeinated tea bag into a cup of hot water at night, but with it being the arrival of fall, I think it's time for some Hot Spice tea.

Hot Spiced Tea


2 cups orange breakfast drink mix (We use Tang)
1 cup unsweetened instant tea
1/3 cup sweetened lemonade drink mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons in a cup of hot water and enjoy!

The mix makes a great gift as well for a hosting gift, sick friend, or just a random present. Just put it in a mason jar and put some fabric on the lid or decorate it however you please. 

I also found a similar recipe for Hot Spice punch here!  I am going to have to try this one at Thanksgiving!

Have a great Tuesday!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Why So Serious?

This weekend was UTC homecoming, so of course, me and EmCain had to go down and see our sorority sisters.

I am beyond thrilled to say that Sigma Kappa won best sorority two years in a row for homecoming and my little was on homecoming court! It was a great weekend to see everyone and to celebrate (besides the fact that we lost our football game, but I really wasn't there for that haha)!

I thought I'd share our Step Show that we got first place in because it is AMAZING!  They did a batman and joker theme and it just blew my mind. Step Show is seriously one of the biggest things at UTC. Every sorority puts so much hard work into things like this and it shows!

I am one proud alumna! and this week is Big/Little week so I'm also a very proud great great great grandbig haha :)

Have a happy Monday!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins

After doing my last post on fall, I had a major craving for pumpkin muffins.

About almost anything pumpkin flavored I love! I'm thinking about trying out some new pumpkin recipes I've spotted online and through Pinterest, but my go to pumpkin recipe would have to be these muffins.

A cup of coffee and a warm pumpkin muffin is just what you need on a crisp fall morning, and the recipe is super easy.

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

1- 15 oz. can of pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs

Mix these 5 ingredients and then add:

3 and 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Bake for 20-25 minutes in a greased muffin pan on 350 degrees.

Makes 24 muffins.

I'm sure a lot of you have a similar recipe and to be honest, you can't really go wrong with pumpkin muffins haha.

I hope these muffins put all of you in a fall mood! Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Almost Fall Y'all!

I don't know about y'all, but I am so ready for fall! It is my favorite season!

I am sick and tired of this Southern heat and humidity. Time for big sweaters, scarves, boots, and leggings in my eyes. But I always know fall is right around the corner when two of my favorite fall things are released.

Nothing brings a bigger smile to my face then to walk into Starbucks and to find out that their Pumpkin Spice Latte is back! This is fall in a cup and is by far my favorite drink at Starbucks. It's just one of the best things ever. 

I LOVE the way fall smells. There is something so home-y and cozy about it. You know what I'm talking about so don't read this like I'm crazy haha. I have been on a quest for a great fall smelling candle, and low and behold, it was right under my nose (no pun intended). The Mulled Cider candle from Wal-Mart is one of the best fall smelling candles I've been able to find, and for only $5 you can't really beat the cost, especially compared to Yankee Candle, Wood Wick, and Bath and Body Works.

I also think I'm going to try and tackle making a fall wreath like the ones I've seen on Pinterest, but we might have to see about that depending on time and if it's a wise way to spend my money (mmm probably not lol). 

What are some things you love about fall and know that it's near?

Have a great Tuesday!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Mid-College Crisis

So I finally have had time to pick out a winner for my blog give away and the winner is......drumroll please......

Makenzie from So Simply Chic blog! 

Congratulations Makenzie!!!

I hope you all are having a great start to your week! 

Mine's been kinda hectic with my work schedule, but I feel so unbelievably thankful and blessed to have a job. To those of you who are still looking, don't give up! I know how hard it is and discouraging it can be to go in for interviews and not get the job. Just remember, God has a plan for you! Greater than one you can think of for yourself. I would never have imagined that I would be doing what I'm doing in a million years, actually if you told me this is what I'd be doing when I was in high school or college I seriously would have laughed at you, but that just goes to show little ole me can't begin to comprehend God's plan for my life or anyone else's for that matter. 

Hang in there all you freshman in lifers!  

But this also goes for those of you who are in college and are freaking out about what you want to do with the rest of your life. My second year of college, I had what I like to call a mid-college crisis

I hated what I was majoring in and starting freaking out even more because I felt like everyone around me had their lives already completely planned out. I can't tell you how many hours I lost of sleep due to stress about something so silly, of course it didn't seem silly at the time. Reading back in my journal, I realize now what a dark time that was for me. Worry literally consumed me and fear fed right off of it. 

What astonishes me now is that my little sister is going through the exact same thing her second year of college! This is NOT what God wants from us. 

He wants us to completely and fully rely on Him through all circumstances. 

Matthew 6:34  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Matthew 11:28-30  "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Luke 12:25 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his  span of life?"

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

Do you realize how many hours of sleep I lost over nothing?! It kinda makes me mad to think about it now haha, but I am also very thankful for that time in my life. I honestly think that was when I had my great awakening and thirst for truth in God's word (maybe I'll go more into that part of my testimony another time haha). Another way God takes something completely awful and makes it work for His good. 

If any of you are experiencing the same thing, take it from me, someone who has survived a mid-college crisis, YOU'RE GOING TO BE OK. Deep breaths and say it to yourself. God has a plan bigger than you can ever imagine right now. Seriously, one day you're going to wake up one morning (like I've been the past few days) and think "wow, how did I end up here?" 

Are me and my sister the only ones who have experienced a mid-college crisis or have any of you as well?

I'm praying for all you freshman in lifers or anyone out there looking for a job, and to those of you going through a mid-college crisis. Just remember God's timing is perfect timing. We don't give Him enough credit. 


Financial Fitness

I know I have done a couple posts concerning money, but this is about some big time budget control.

Like most recent grads, I have student loans. For those of you who are fortunate enough to not have to deal with this kind of debt coming right out of college, I hope you realize what a tremendous blessing it is.

Well, get ready...I have a whopping $30,000 in student loans (promised to be honest and upfront with my life on here). The sad thing is, that this is actually pretty low for most college grads! I went to an in-state school and received several scholarships.

I've decided to put on my big girl pants and take control of this situation, and I know that there are several of you who are in the same boat as me, so I thought I'd share what I've been doing.

I realized that if I cut off a ton of spending and budget extremely well, I could have all of this paid off in two years (maybe less if I'm really good!). Debt is bad news bears and I don't want any part of it.

I've recently been reading Dave Ramsey's book 'The Total Money Makeover.' Talk about a wake up call about spending and saving money.

What's so funny is that its so simple, but it's all about changing your own behavior. Its a lot like wanting to lose weight. We all know how to do it: eat less, exercise more. Money works the same way: spend less, save more, its all abou putting this into practice and changing your behavior.

I would strongly advise this book to anyone, especially those of us who are entering the real world. I'm striving to get it right the first time and not the second or third time around.

There are budget sheets you can download from his website. Click here to view them! I downloaded the monthly and Quick Start Budget form .

I don't have this best track record for saving and spending money wisely so we'll see how this goes.....

Anybody else swamped in student loans???


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Faith, Family, and Freedom

So I decided to post pone the reveal of my giveaway until Saturday to give some of the opportunity to enter if you have not already.

I've been super busy with work (I'm blogging on my lunch break haha), but I wanted to catch y'all up on some things that have been going on with me.

Chuckers for Charity was last Saturday and was SO much fun. I feel like I'm beginning to understand the game of polo and it was so cool to watch. Pictures soon to come once I find the cord that connects my camera and laptop (story of my life).

As you all know, yesterday was September 11. My heart aches every time I think about the thousands of innocent people who died that day, but also the brave men and women who were deployed afterwards.

I know we all hear remember our troops, pray for them, what a tremendous sacrifice they are making, ect., but do you ever really think about it? To be honest I don't. My grandfather, both my uncles, and two of my cousins have served, but I have never lost anyone close to me who have served.

 I was listening to my local Christian radio station yesterday and they were allowing people to sign up and get a free ticket to see the Last Ounce of Courage before it premieres this Friday. I had nothing else exciting to do on a Tuesday night, so I treated my mom to dinner at Panera before both of us went to see the film.

I'll be real with y'all the movie at first comes off sort of cheesy, and like a bad lifetime movie, but at the end of the film you will want to stand up and applaud. It made me want to thank everyone who has served and their families. It was that powerful.

We take so much time complaining about what's wrong with our country that we often take our freedoms for granted, but more importantly we forget how important it is to fight for these freedoms.

The film is Christian based (It's the second largest Christian released film since the Passion of the Christ) and comes from the same company that created Fire Proof and Courageous, so keep in mind that it was probably a low costing film, so if you're looking for high tech special effects you need to see another movie. However, if you're looking for a heart warming movie that will make you proud to be an American and a Christian look no further. You'll cry. I guarantee it.

God Bless America


Thursday, September 6, 2012

My First Giveaway!

I know a lot of you are now back at school trying to get into the swing of things again or for some of you, just trying to get used to college all together. 

Besides the school work, one of the hardest things to get adjusted to in college is $$$. You're now on your own, and for most of us, we never learned how to budget. 

As a freshman, I was AWFUL with my money. Definitely overdrew my new checking account a few times (come on now, we've all been there... a $5 bagel becomes a $40 bagel due to an overdraft fee), buying your own groceries, going out with friends, learning how that refund check you get really isn't your money but part of your loan that you'll have to pay back one day (uhmm like I'm doing right now), 

So I'm here to tell you a few secrets I picked up while in college that can hopefully help you save some money:

1.) Figure out places that give student discounts. There are several great clothing stores (J. Crew!), movie theaters, even restaurants that give great student discounts. Some places also have certain days when things are offered cheaper! Just do some research, it'll pay off.

2.) Well this goes back to me over drafting my bank account haha... get overdraft protection. I know you think you'll keep up with it, but it's hard. Even if you're really good checking your account online, their may be a check floating around that might be cashed when you least expect it. Between my sorority and clubs I joined, there was a quite a bit of those that would throw me off.  (I once had a check for $60 get cashed 3 months after I wrote it!)

3.) "Do I really need this?" This is a question you should constantly ask yourself when shopping. Yeah, you can make excuses that you really need this new dress for such-an-such, but do you really? If you did join a sorority or any organization where there are some things you have to dress up for, borrow clothes! I can't tell you how many sorority sisters' dresses I borrowed for luncheons, formals, etc. Just make sure to return it in better condition than when you borrowed it. Paying a $5 dry cleaning fee is a whole lot cheaper than buying a new dress you'll only wear a few times. 

4.) It's ok to go out to eat, but only on occasions. This one can be tricky, but the truth is going out to eat all the time gets pricey and if you're one of those people who has to have Starbucks every morning, you'd be surprised at how much money you are literally throwing down the drain. I'd only buy that $5 cup of coffee if it's finals week and come on, you deserve to treat yourself!

but one of the biggest things that can burn a hole in your pocket is college books! Some of these books cost up to $200 dollars new and even used books can cost quite a large amount of money. The worst part is when you try and sell them back and they 1.) only give you about $20 dollars for that book you bought for $200 or 2.) they don't buy it back at all! 

5.) If you want to buy your books go ONLINE!  You can find gently used books super cheap on sites like amazon and ebay. When you finalize your class list, get the barcodes and title for your books and search away. BUT if you don't want to have to worry about selling them back, RENT you books! I started doing this my last few years of college and it saved me so much money! A great site to use is http://www.campusbookrentals.comThey have practically any book you could ever need for great prices!

If you're wondering if this really is the cheapest route and worth it, here's an example of a book I used for my favorite class in college :) I probably would have spent close to $80 dollars on this book...USED!!! But to rent it for a semester only costs $15! You can't beat that! Especially considering if you were unable to sell it back. 

Now, for the exciting part, Campus Books is willing to give one of my readers a $50 Coupon to use on their site! As you can see, $50 could probably rent you most, if not all of your books for one semester!

To win this Green Saving GIVEAWAY...

All you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment about a green saving tip you use on this post! 

Easy peasy. I'll draw out a winner Monday! 

Have a great Thursday!