MY THOUGHTS ON 2016

December 31, 2016

This time last year I was doing the very same thing I am right now. I have my hair up, my PJ’s on, and I am reflecting about this past year. This whirlwind of a year. Seriously, how did the year go by so quickly?

I keep thinking of the year 2015, and like always, I compare this year to years passed. The year 2015 had SEVERAL challenges. I have to say, next to 2013 (the year I got divorced), it was my hardest year yet. So much sorrow, so much loss, so much gone that once was. This year, I did lose 2 grandparents. This year, I did have my times of deep sorrow and sadness. When one year ends, you don’t forget the events that have happened. This year, I felt like I was reset. I thought to myself, “Okay, 2015 was bad. Let’s make 2016 better!” I was intentional in the beginning. I had some goal sheets to help me get organized. I purchased a planner that was sure to change my life for the better. I had three devotional books that I swore I would read daily. I promised myself I’d start going back to church regularly, eat healthier, lose weight, meet new people, maybe even fall in love. I had so many good intentions, but intentions they were. Eventually, the goal sheets became overwhelming, the planner became daunting, the devotional books were being read weekly, if I was lucky, and I had actually gained more weight this year.

So much intention, with little to show for it. Honestly, this year was amazing in that I turned the big 3-0 and celebrated it with people I love! I actually turned 30 and didn’t have a complete mental breakdown, although I did shed a few tears at dinner. I was given so much by so many people when I didn’t deserve it. I saw my niece and nephew grow this year. One started pre-K and the other started to walk, then run, then babble and talk. I became closer to my family in ways I didn’t think were possible. I saw my sister raise two of her children on her own while my brother-in-law was deployed. I saw people have babies, announce pregnancies, engagements, and get married. I saw some lose parents and grandparents and aunts and brothers. I have witnessed so much heartache and so, so much joy.

This year, I don’t want to fill out goal sheets, or planners, or swear I will do this or that daily. I don’t want to plan my life away, because really, when have my plans ever gone as well, planned? No, this year isn’t about being “intentional” because intentions don’t necessarily bring forth action. Intentions are the choices you hope to make. Intentions mean well, but rarely do they constitute results. For the year 2017, I want to live in action. I want to do, rather than talk. I want to have done something, rather than say that I will do it. I am not saying that goals, or planners are bad. I am the QUEEN of planners, but if all you do is plan, and don’t act, next year will look the same as this year.

I am asking God for guidance for this upcoming year. What will I do? Where will I go? What will this time next year look like when I act rather than intend to do something?

I hope this encourages you to do the same. I hope you ACT in 2017!

IT'S THE HOLIDAY SEASON

December 9, 2016

Being single during the holidays has it's advantages and disadvantages. Not having to wrack my brain to figure out what my boyfriend wants for Christmas, advantage. Not getting a gift from said boyfriend, disadvantage. Obviously, I am always the "giver" in the relationship. Ha!

To handle all of those moments that would typically bring me sadness can be difficult, but I have some remedies for the loneliness that may be experienced during the holidays.

If you are newly single, divorced, widowed, or have been single for years, all of these will apply!
1. Surround yourself with loved ones.
That isn't exclusive to just family members. If you have a particularly small family, which I do, then co-workers, friends, or members of you small group can be included in the holiday festivities. Have a friends Christmas gathering complete with holiday music, Christmas cocktails, treats, and a hot chocolate bar. Grab some of your small group members and go look at Christmas lights. Invite a few of your co-workers out for a drink or special dinner somewhere cozy. You don't have to be alone even if you feel like hiding away, or if being single is bringing you down. Get out there and take in all of what Christmas has to offer!

2. Remember the reason for the season.
I am a Christian, first and foremost, so the Christmas season for me is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. When I think about the humble way my Savior came to this earth, and the amazing story of his birth, I just can’t help but feel emotional. Even in the most impossible circumstances there can still be incredible joy! Even if you don’t believe, I think family, friends, and togetherness are very important as well.

3. Rest, relax, reflect. 
Christmas is near the end of the year and I always take some time to reflect on the year. This year so much has happened. I feel as though there were some wonderful times, and some times that were challenging. I feel as though every year I have come to accept my singleness and each year a new triumph gives me hope for the upcoming year.
4. Be grateful. 
I know that so much can change in a split second. I am so grateful for my health, my family, and the amazing friends I have come to appreciate more and more. I never want to take any part of my life for granted, even when I am single and in this season of waiting.

5. Light all of the candles. 
I know that candles for a lot of people represents romance, but don’t be afraid to set up your own special, cozy, holiday atmosphere. You can still enjoy scented candles, a glass of wine, and the twinkly lights all on your own. You can’t imagine how amazing it will make you feel!
6. When asked about your relationship status: Be patient, be kind, be as honest as you want to be. 
I know family members are curious. Now that you’ve been single for a few years, they may expect you to have someone, or they may bring up your ex not knowing that they’re your ex...I know, it can be frustrating. Just be patient. They usually mean well. Be kind even though you may feel sad or angry. And, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. You have the ability to set your own boundaries. If you don’t want to talk about it, politely say that, and remember do it with LOVE!

Other posts about Singleness on Melissa Faye Blog:

ANXIETY UPDATE

December 6, 2016

This is how I look when I am anxious.
I have written a few posts about my anxiety on the blog, and I feel as though it's time for a little update. If you have experienced feelings of anxiety or depression, trust me, you are not alone. I have been dealing with anxiety since I was a child. I remember feeling uneasy and fearful and not really understanding what it was. I couldn't quite pin-point it, but I felt as though something was wrong. Truth be known, I have now gotten to the root of the issue, so to be honest, something was wrong. That's a whole other post though...

Now that I have been seeing a counselor for nearly a year, and have been prescribed anti-anxiety medication, I feel as though my anxiety has become very manageable. I used to fight my anxiety with all I had, but I knew once I stopped fighting against it, and started to flow with it things would get easier. I was so angry. I was so frustrated that I couldn't go with the flow. It's similar to skidding in a car on an icy road. When you steer into the skid, then you can get out of the skid easier (and alive). It's the same way with anxiety. When you don't fight it, recognize it, and use your "tool kit", the anxiety or panic attack will surpass faster.

Tool Kit Includes:
1. Deep breathing exercises.
2. Focusing on the present things around me.
3. A hot, relaxing bath.
4. Talking about my feelings with family or friends.
5. Reading Scripture, worship music, prayer
6. Doing something active or something I enjoy.
7. Journaling.

All of these things can help ease and even eliminate my anxiety.

Last week, my anxiety hit pretty hard. I had a very full week (at a conference) and had to travel an hour and forty minutes one way and back each day. That made for hours in the car, in Atlanta traffic, with very little relaxation or downtime. I knew one thing - I was physically exhausted. When mental or physical exhaustion hits, my anxiety gets to be at an all-time high. I knew that I needed to focus on the tasks at hand, not get overwhelmed, and get through as best as I could until Friday. Luckily, I had plenty of downtime this weekend, so I am feeling much more at ease. To relax I typically hang around the apartment, take baths, do face masks, take naps, and watch Netflix or movies. I was also with my roommate all weekend and we got to eat out a couple of times and run errands. If I were completely alone all weekend, I would not have felt as recharged. I felt alone at the conference all week, so recharging during the weekend for me was having time to be social and connect.  If I feel as though I have had very little alone time during the week, I tend to hide away for a little while to recharge. It depends on my circumstances.

Managing anxiety is all about balance, and it can be pretty hard! I think for me, keeping a lighter schedule, having time to myself and with others, and doing things I enjoy helps manage it much better.

If you feel as though your anxiety is creeping in or increasing, take a moment to reflect on your schedule. Have you been working longer hours? Have you been rushed for time? Have you been more tired lately? Have you been by yourself too much or too little? All of these things can attribute to how you feel.

Feel free to share with me your tips for managing anxiety, or if you have any questions, let me know. You can also send me an email to melissafayeblog@gmail.com.

COFFEE TALK DECEMBER 5

December 5, 2016

The holidays are upon us and I can feel the anticipation in the air. I am feeling very much in the Christmas spirit, so it's been constant Christmas music & movies. This will pretty much be my diet until December 25 (and heck maybe a day or two after) 🎄.

I wanted to catch up with you guys and let you know what's been going on. Share with me any of the below!

Thankful For: Christmas time! The songs, the activities, the food, everything! I am so ready for Christmas break (hello, two weeks off). Also, I can't wait to use this wrapping paper again! 

Thinking About: Around this time I always think about the loved ones that are no longer with us. You just never know when it will be someone's last Christmas. I always think fondly of the memories of them, and I don't know, the love you have for them, missing them, it never goes away. I get a little sad, but I always remember the good times. It's bittersweet. 

Feeling: Christmasy (is that a word?), excited, and just a little burned out, if I am being honest here. Around the end of the year is also the end of the Fall semester, and the Fall is always way more hectic than Spring. I just really feel excited about getting an extended time off to actually decompress without counting down the hours for when I will return.

Listening To: Christmas music, duh! I think I should call this post, "Christmas Talk". I have all of the holiday and Christmas classics on my Spotify account. My favorite albums are always Classic Christmas, Pentatonix, Glee, and Michael Buble.

Eating: White fudge covered Oreos. They are only out for a limited time, so I try and take advantage. I have also been having WAY too many Starbucks holiday drinks.

Reading: I haven't been reading as much lately. I think I am in a book reading rut.

Loving: I am loving the Hallmark Channel right now. Basically, I get to watch non-stop romantic Christmas comedies. The cheesy music, the semi-good actors (and some good actors, too), the happy endings. Give me all of it. And cue the tears...I am also loving the YouTube channels of Zoella (and More Zoella). I am not sure if I am super late to the party (I probably am), but I love her videos. Her crew and dog look to be so much fun!

More Coffee Talk Posts on Melissa Faye Blog:

LINKS & LOVES

December 2, 2016

Woo! Thank the Lord it is finally FRIDAY!

Have you recovered from Thanksgiving yet? I haven’t! I have been on the road all week for a conference, so I am ready for this weekend to stay put and relax! I decided to decorate my little 3 ft. tree the other night, and I have to say, I love it! What do you think?

Here are my links & loves for this week:

ONE. You can now watch Netflix Offline!
Great! Now I can watch Netflix while I am driving...I mean working...I mean, never?

TWO. The trailer for The Shack is now available!
I read this book years ago and pretty much bawled the entire time I read it. It is a controversial book in that the depictions of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are not as we would assume they would be. However, for me, the depictions matched the characters of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit perfectly. I felt the characters (as they are in real life) through this book and it was life-changing!

THREE. I finally was able to purchase my first pair of Hunter Boots (RED) for $112.50 at Nordstrom.com on Black Friday. I am so excited to get them!


FOUR. I have always been a fan of Dolly Parton, but her generous offer to support families affected by the wildfires in Tennessee takes the cake! She is going to give families $1,000 a month

FIVE. Warby Parker has new eyeglasses and they are amazing! 
SIX. This precious video 😍.

Have a great weekend, xx!

HOW TO SURVIVE A CONFERENCE

I have been to many a conference in my career. I have had to go to several annually and they vary in distance all across the state. Conferences are beneficial in that they have cover important aspects of your job, and they condense a lot of good information into a relatively short amount of time. Conferences vary from 2 days to 5 days or more. Travel may involve driving to a nearby location, or it may require that you hop on a plane. Whatever the circumstance, here are some helpful tips in navigating your conference.

1. Travel as light as possible.
Dress may vary from conference to conference. Your conference may require business professional dress while others only require business casual or casual. If you have to pack your pantsuits, use a nifty Wallybag from J.C. Penney to make sure your dresses and suits stay wrinkle free. This is a sure fire way to make sure that you only have to check one bag. If you are driving to your conference destination, this can be a useful bag for making sure you don’t take up too much space, especially if you’re car-pooling. For toiletries, purchase travel size for easy packing and for making sure you following TSA guidelines. If you need to bring multiple pairs of shoes, invest in some shoe bags from Bed, Bath & Beyond to keep your shoes clean and to reduce the spreading of germs in your bag.

2. Be sure to bring a laptop or tablet for taking easy notes, or for downloading presentations. 
Some presenters will send the conference organization their PowerPoint slide presentations ahead of time, so you can easily follow along. I like to take notes on the presentation slides themselves, so I am always bringing my MacBook Air whenever I attend a conference. If you are like to take handwritten notes, be sure to pack a notepad and extra pens. Some conferences will provide these for you, but I like to bring my own just in case. If you are looking for some pretty notepads, get these from Target!

3. Bring a refillable bottle and snacks. 
If you do have a ways to travel, or if you tend to get low blood sugar (like me), keeping some snacks handy can help to reduce hunger and increase focus. Also, some conference venues have food courts, but the food can be astronomically expensive. A small bag of trail mix was nearly $5 at my last conference. Bring multiple snacks and refillable water bottle. Chances are a water fountain or water cooler will be nearby.

4. Wear layers.
It could be Summer or Winter, but I have found that most conference arenas or halls are ice cold. I always pack a light sweater, or blanket scarf for those cold rooms. You can also bring along a cardigan, or vest if you are looking for something to easily remove.

5. Network!
One of the positive aspects of going to conferences is the opportunity to network. Striking up a conversation at the coffee bar line could even lead to a future contact. Be sure to pack plenty of business cards, or something that can be used for people to get in touch with you. You never know when you may need help on a project, answer on an issue, or heck, even a future job opportunity!

6. Relax & Enjoy.
Unless your conference is incredibly fast-paced, there should be room left for leisure and relaxation. If you are in a new city, don’t feel guilty for setting aside a few hours to explore. Head to a popular restaurant (not a chain restaurant), a neighborhood pub, or even a museum in the area. If you are staying in a hotel, ask the front desk or concierge on dinner ideas or ideas for fun. I am sure there is something for you to do to unwind while you are away from the office for a few days.

Are there any tips that you would include as well? Tell me below! 

THANKSGIVING RECAP 2016

November 29, 2016


My Thanksgiving break was a week long! Hallelujah!

So, to summarize how my break was, I will break it down day by day below! Tell me what you did this break? Also, anybody have their tree up before Thanksgiving? I applaud you on your boldness.

Sunday: 
I drove to my dad’s house (with Starbucks) late afternoon and he stopped by Cookout on the way home for dinner. Delicious!

Monday: 
My dad got up early (around 6:00 a.m.) and left for my sister’s house in Tennessee. Its about a 4 hour trip, so we stopped for breakfast at a farm to table grocery store/restaurant and got some good coffee and breakfast. We then drove through north Georgia and made our way to her by early afternoon. I went with my sister to get my niece and nephew from school and they were so excited to see us! My niece had no idea we’d be in the car! We went to Lowe’s to get some paint, some lunch, and my dad worked away while my sister and I ran errands and got the kids some lunch. We all went to bed pretty early that night.

Tuesday: 
I woke up around 9:15 a.m. (sleeping in=amazingness!) and went to Dunkin' to get some coffee and donuts. I wanted to play with Buddy for a while and my niece was at school. My dad painted most of the day and we ran a few errands here and there. My sister and I went to Taco Bell for lunch and I played with my niece and nephew that afternoon and evening. We all went to bed a little later that night.

video

video
Wednesday: 
I got up around 8:00 a.m. and played with my niece and nephew before we had to get ready and go home. My Dad and I stopped at Dunkin' to get some donuts and coffee once again. We love that place! We got home at a pretty decent time. I spent most of the night resting.

Thursday (Thanksgiving!!!): 
My Dad woke up relatively later and got ready to head to my aunt’s for Thanksgiving lunch. We are not really Thanksgiving dinner people. We eat pretty early and then spend the day watching football or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade if we are early enough. After we ate my cousin and I headed to Peachtree City to ride around in the golf cart and take in the view of Peachtree City Lake. There are a lot of lakes and parks around, so we had plenty of a view. It was so cool to go along the golf cart trails. All in all there is 90 miles of golf cart trails in Peachtree City. They are tucked and hidden away, but they are a treat to drive through. You see things you normally wouldn’t in your car. We then went to get Starbucks and made the trip back to the car. Later my dad and aunt joined us for a walk around the lake. It felt good to get up and moving after eating all of that turkey! 🙈 Nearing the time of sunset we made our way to Gaddy’s to look at lights. I had never been before, but let’s just say, it’s not what I expected. I thought it was like a farm you drove through where they had lights and light sculptures around...Um, no. It was literally a group of decorated houses and some pretty neat light sculptures, but it was amateur. Either way, driving through 3 times was fun and hilarious! My Dad and I left after we made it back to my aunt’s and we stopped for Huddle House on the way home. We were starving!


video
Friday: 
Did a whole bunch of nothing and watched GILMORE GIRLS! What did you think? I think I cried 17 times. I thought it was awesome, but I wanted more. Also, I love when shows start streaming on Netflix or Hulu, because then the curse words start. It was weird to hear Lorelai say “sh*t”. At the same time, it made more sense for her to talk that way. I didn’t realize how clean vable networks are, but it’s real/off-putting to hear non-cursing characters curse. How could those “last four words” be it? Is this really closure, or is it a new storyline for the future? For the love of God, Palladinos! Bring it back!! For the record, my favorite season was Fall. #yearinthelife #gilmoregirls #lastfourwords
Saturday:
After we did nothing on Friday, we had to get out of the house Saturday. My Dad and I went to Ruby Tuesday’s to watch the first half of #GTvsUGA and was so sure that UGA had GT beat. We were WRONG! GT came back the last quarter and won by 1 point. We heard the rest of it on the radio. We went to lunch, Hobby Lobby, looked at some tiny houses, and a flea market. My Dad and I love flea markets and antiquing, so we had a pretty good day all around. We went to get some groceries and had hot dogs for dinner that night (ha!). It sounded like the only thing we hadn’t eaten all week.


Sunday I came home and did adulting things. I am ready to get back to work and so thankful for the time off. Now, it’s the countdown to Christmas!!

MAKE ROOM FOR SINGLENESS

November 28, 2016

In my life, I have had very few times where I was single. I always felt as though I needed to be in a relationship. I thought I was bad at being single and better when I was in a relationship. Looking back now, I know that thinking wasn’t right. You need to be just as good (if not better) on your own than when you are in a relationship. Otherwise, who is the other person getting? The holidays are always tougher on me now that I am single. When I was in a relationship, or married, I had that person to do those holiday things with like ice skating, looking at lights, making cookies, going to Christmas parties. Now, I do those things with friends or family, and trust me, that isn’t bad. But, deep down there is that longing and aching. I honestly haven’t felt that feeling in months, and I have to say, I am pretty proud of myself for that.

I used to think singleness had no place or room in my life. Me? Single? No way, sister. Not this century! But, I have come to realize that singleness absolutely has a place in my life and is welcomed to sit at my table. I think singleness has allowed me to become who I truly am. I have had to rely on myself during times of stress or trouble. Of course, I pray to the Lord and talk to friends or family if I am in over my head, but it feels good to rely on myself in situations that are hard. It feels good to rely on my own instincts and not feel as though I have to heed to someone else's advice simply because I am in a relationship with them. Trust me, I appreciate it when it’s there, but I have always been the type to trust their word over my own, and that isn’t the best thing all of the time.

I think that for those who have become newly single, or if you are like me, and are just now able to embrace it, you should be try and make more room for being single. Don’t take a week and jump on the relationship train when it stops at your station (good metaphor, eh?). Sometimes, it’s okay to let that train go on by, because guess what? There will always be another one. I used to feel hopeless that no one would come along, now I almost hope that they wouldn’t. I have now come to a place where I don’t actively look. It would take one heck of a guy for me to sacrifice my time, my energy, my single seat at the table. It would take a lot for me to actually flag that train down and allow it to stop (see what I did there?). For now, it keeps moving, and so do I. I have so many aspects in my life that seem to be uncertain. I don’t know where my career, family, or life will take me. I don’t when or where I will meet him, or if I ever will. To me, that’s okay.

Friends keep getting engaged, married, pregnant. Here I am embracing me. For what it’s worth, it’s great to have a little more room in my life. I am now focused on things that matter most. I am focused on the people who matter most.

For me, this new found freedom and solace in singledom has been what I have prayed for. I am beyond grateful that I am finally getting where I have always wanted to be.

More Posts about Singleness on Melissa Faye Blog:

LINKS & LOVES

November 18, 2016

Happy Friday, everyone! 👏

I am so glad it’s Friday because today marks the start of my week-long Thanksgiving break! Yay for the Holidays! Can you believe it’s begun? This is absolutely crazy. I cannot believe Christmas is like 5 weeks away.

Here are my links & loves from this week. Share yours with me below!

1. This prayer. I have really needed it this week.
2. This wreath. I am so excited for Christmas decorating!

3. Carly’s outfit from The College Prepster (details on her post). 

4. This trailer and this trailer. EEK!!!

5. Also, this blog post about the presidential election.

6. These prints for the bedroom.

I hope you have a great weekend!
xx, Melissa Faye

More Links & Loves Posts on Melissa Faye:

MAKE SPACE FOR A DREAM CLOSET

November 17, 2016

Every girl (or guy) has a dream closet. I have had one my whole life. Of course, I wasn’t able to create the dream closet due to clutter and disorganization. If you want create your own dream closet, there a few things that need to be done first. No dream closet comes easy, but it might if you read the rest of this post! 


For my dream closet, I would include the following things: 

1. A large chaise or couch for lounging
2. Large mirror (for those #OOTD selfies)
3. Jewelry and accessory storage, which I am seriously lacking in reality
4. Storage for shoes
5. A place to store luggage and bags
I would also love include a system that would allow all of my clothes and shoes to be accessible year-round. I know that may not be practical for everyone, but there are ways to minimize, so you can have the most space in your storage.  

Every quarter or so I like to empty my closet and rummage through the things I may need or not need anymore. I came across this company called MakeSpace and it seemed really cool! The graphic below can help you decide what to keep, store, donate/sell, or trash/recycle. 

MakeSpace is a company that's basically like having your own second closet. They’re a storage company that picks up and drops off your items whenever you want them. They have self storage locations throughout the US. 

What would you include in your dream closet? Tell me below!

Other posts about Organization on Melissa Faye Blog: 

A LIST YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY MAKE

November 15, 2016

Sometimes, when I am journalling, I will write a HAPPY LIST. 😄

The rules are pretty easy.

Write down 10 (or more) things that make you happy. These can be silly, simple, or small. It doesn't have to be an out of the park wish list (hello, a million dollars?!). It just needs to be things that literally make you smile or give you J O Y. It's best when it's things you've done or have experienced before.

Here is my HAPPY LIST!

1.  Christmas trees.
2. Anything from Starbucks.
3. A good hug.
4. A good cry.
5. Disney movies.
6. A fast moving line at the grocery store.
7. Smell of rain.
8. The crackle of a fire.
9. Pumpkin candles.
10. A good work-out.
11. A good page-turner.
12. Puppies or dogs in general.
13. The 1st bite of a really good dessert.
14. Hand-written cards.
15. Tumbleweed or tiny houses.

What's on your list? Share with me below!

Happy List Making, xx

TEN THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM WORKING AT A COLLEGE

November 11, 2016

There are some interesting parts of my job. I know, you are probably thinking, "Duh, I have always wanted to know more about your super interesting life!" Well, good. I am glad you are here friend. I really am.

Working at a University is much more than just working any old 9 to 5. Sometimes I encounter some really interesting students. Sometimes I get "Thank You" cards from students and wonder what the heck I did to deserve such a nice gesture.

If you aren't familiar with the University system, or how colleges operate in general. Stick around!

1. Sometimes students or parents just want to talk. Good thing I have a Counseling degree. Sometimes it really does come in handy more than you'd think. From illness to death to just the normal struggles of a college student, I hear it all. Sometimes I hear more than I bargained for. Gotta love the non-filtered college kid or parent!

2. If you eat at your desk, you are not at lunch or on "break". You are just eating at your desk. I will get the occasional break or lunch time walk-in, but most of the time, it's just a 1 minute conversation. For the quick question and answer, I have no problem. But, if a college student wants to get in depth about their account and I am elbows deep in a salad (or a cheeseburger), it may be best to come back once I have digested.

3. It's not really a 9 to 5. Working at a college can be some long hours both at nights or on weekends (or both). If you want the typical 9 to 5, go home, and leave work at work, you need to find another occupation!

4. People in the community love you. When we moved to the small town we now inhabit, people were thrilled. We are in a rural part of Georgia/Alabama, so it was kind of like sounding an alarm when we got here. I nearly had my cheeks pinched by some grandmas over this.

5. Graduation makes it worth it. Let's be real, not every student will be my favorite. For those I love, graduation is sad, but I am happy they've accomplished their goal. For those that aren't my favorite (or have given me a hard time), graduation makes it worth it. Even then I am proud for them!

6. You get some sweet discounts. I get the teacher/education discount at Apple, and I also have an 18% discount with Verizon. Sometimes being in education pays off.

7. I learned how dumb I was in college. I have to admit, a lot of my college experience for my undergrad was a blur. Now, looking back, I realize how I did a lot of things on my own, but I am a rarity. A lot of kids these days have no clue what they are doing. I just have to be patient and helpful!

8. Millennials are always on their phones. If there's not headphones in their ear, they're are usually buried in their phones. I have had to snap at a student to get them to actually make eye-contact.

9. You get asked what classes you're in. A lot. I always get asked if I go here, if I went here, or when I graduate. My 30 year old self thanks all of you.

10. (Along with #9), I regularly get asked if someone who knows that they're talking about can talk to them. Uh, I've worked here almost 7 years. I know what I am talking about.

I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into my work life.

#WERKFLOW 

CURRENTLY COVETING: SWEATERS

November 10, 2016

I am so excited that #sweaterweather is finally here. I have been dying for cooler temperatures here in Georgia, and they are finally here. I love a good sweater. I can pair them with jeans for a casual look, or I can add them with slacks or skinny black pants for work. Here are the current sweaters I am coveting.

Cozy and festive!

How comfy does this look?!

Hunter green is my jam right now!

Perfect for work or weekend!

Such a unique look!

Again, with the Hunter green!

Bright and casual.
All sweaters can be found on the Old Navy website. BONUS! They have 50% of all sweaters, plus another 30% off for online orders with Code WARM. Head there now! What are your favorites?!

This post is not sponsored by Old Navy.

A PERFECT HALLOWEEN NIGHT

October 30, 2016


I was not a big fan of Halloween growing up. I can count on maybe one hand how many times I went trick or treating. I usually spent the evening at home handing out candy to other kids, and I was okay with that. After a few years though, even that got a little old, so we’d be that family with their porch lights turned off.

I love Fall, so any excuse to celebrate that? I am in!

Here is my recipe for a perfect (adult) Halloween night!


1. ANYTHING Pumpkin!
Carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds, making pumpkin pies, drinking pumpkin coffee, just include ALL the pumpkin!


2. Bake Halloween cookies!
Include icing, sprinkles, candy - just go crazy!


3. Make a slow-cooker meal!
Any excuse to eat that hearty chili or soup, or maybe some barbecue pork.


4. Have friends over for a toasty bonfire!
Now, we have had the temps in the 80s, so I won’t be doing this one, but if you can stand the heat, do it!

via
5. Watch all of the Halloween movies!
I am not a big horror movie fan, but I will watch those that aren’t really scary. Let’s be honest, there are a lot that aren’t!

How will you spend your Halloween?

COFFEE TALK - OCTOBER 27

October 27, 2016


I haven’t done a Coffee Talk post in a while, so I thought I’d go ahead and share. LET’S DO THIS!

Thankful For: I am thankful for true friends, pumpkin spice coffee, and cooler weather. I know all of that sounds so cliche or insignificant, but all of these things are making my life right now. I also love the weekend, and lookie there, here it is!

Thinking About: All of the course work I have to do, but also how fast this term is going. I am really liking my classes and learning something new everyday. I am also thinking about the holidays and whether or not it’s too soon to Christmas shop.

Feeling: I have been feeling kinda down lately. I have talked about my struggle with anxiety and depression before. I think there are seasons where things are easier and things are more difficult. I won’t say things are easy or difficult, because there is always the undercurrent of struggle, but I do fight hard everyday. I fight hard to not sink when I feel like just giving up and I also fight hard to calm down and rest when I am overly anxious. I think it’s all within a healthy balance though. I understand how ironic that sounds, but I do think I manage and cope with these times better than I have in the past. It’s amazing how much counseling can really instill in me the tools I need to make healthier choices and cope in healthier ways.

Listening To: I have been listening to a lot of Jazz at work to help me focus, but I have also been keeping it country with the country playlists on Spotify. I have yet to listen to the new Christmas albums that have come out, but the time is soon approaching! I cannot wait! I always listen to my Bobby Bones Show in the morning, of course!

Eating: I have been eating better the last couple of weeks. I had been having some pain on my right side, and it was worrying me, so I headed to the doctor. I was convinced I had a problem with my gall bladder, but nothing has shown on the tests. I do think it could be my posture...I know that sounds silly, but I have horrible posture. I did have a kidney stone discovered however, so bring on the water!

Reading: I finished Girl on the Train and saw the movie, so I am ready for my next book! I am reading a lot for my classes, so leisure reading has been happening less. I would like another thriller though. Any recommendations??

Loving: I have been loving sleep lately. I know that sounds weird, but at night I have really been working to get a good night’s sleep, and it’s been going well. I do need to get to bed earlier though. I have also been loving the cooler temps in the morning and evening. My favorite thing now is to open my windows for a little while before bed. I find the open fresh air helps me sleep more soundly, plus it’s just the right temperature!

WEEKEND RECAP

October 24, 2016

This weekend was filled with fun and delicious food. My mom came down to see me Friday night, and I wanted to take her to 11th and Bay Southern Table. It’s a restaurant right next to the river and it has an awesome atmosphere. The meals are a little pricey, but we split our meal, so it ended up not being so bad. I don’t know if you heard or not, but Cole Swindell was in Phenix City, AL on Friday night. He was right across the river, so my mom and I walked down a took in the last little bit of his show. Didn’t even have to purchase tickets!

Before dinner we had quite a wait, so we went outside with our drinks and took in the cooler temps and amazing lounge area. Perfect for people watching and listening to the guy playing the tambourine and singing albeit painfully.



My mom and I love to take silly photos and I must have said something funny here...That’s so like me. 


After a late night, we slept in and went to brunch at First Watch. I haven’t tried it since it was the Egg and I, so I thought we’d give it a shot. My breakfast was below. It’s called the Tri-athelete. Its an egg-white omelet with mushrooms, onions, and peppers, served with fresh pico de gallo, fruit, and brioche toast with preserves. It was YUM!


Sunday is my day to relax, get household chores done, and work on some homework that is due. Before I got started I made me a hearty serving of french toast. I opened the windows, let the fresh air in, and enjoyed my breakfast. Of course, there was coffee (not pictured).


So, how was your weekend? Anything fun happen?