Monday, July 28, 2014

#MCM

In the world of social media, today is #mcm (otherwise known as "Man Crush Monday").  I try to avoid posting pictures of my #mcm in order to avoid being sappy and cliche, but today, I couldn't help myself.  And for some reason, I want to extend my overly mushy love on my blog.  But it's my blog, and I can do whatever I want.

You're my best friend, but you're more than that.  You're my best friend, partner in crime and court-appointed friend (inside joke!).  You make me laugh until I cry or almost pee my pants.  You laugh at me when I deserve it, you encourage me through all of my crazy endeavors and you're my number one fan through it all.  You support me in everything I do - trying to lose weight, signing up for a Tough Mudder, switching jobs and finding my passion.  You push me to be better, even when I don't appreciate it.  You cuddle with me even when you'd rather lay alone, you let me be the big spoon sometimes and you always tell me I look beautiful in the morning.  You're honest in a way that no one else is.  I don't always like to hear it, but just know that I appreciate it.  You're the cheese to my macaroni, the peanut butter to my jelly (in an uncrustable), the Crown to my coke.  You're the icing on my cupcake, the chocolate chips in my cookie and you make everything in life so much better.  You don't complete me - you complement me.  You make me better.  You're everything I'm not and everything I aspire to be.  Baby, you're my better half.  You're the love of my life, and I'd be so lost without you.  Thanks for a truly incredible two and a half years.

I love you, Alex.  You're my #mcm, today and forever.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

June 2014 Beauty Favorites

Let me start out by saying this: I'm not a makeup artist.  Or a beauty blogger.  But I do love beauty products, and I'm sure there are many of you out there who feel the same.  Lately, I've been trying out tons of new beauty products, and I figured it may be fun to add beauty favorites to my blog every month.  Some of these products were suggestions from beauty bloggers on YouTube, and others are products I heard a lot about and wanted to try.  Each month, I'll feature 5-7 products from the previous month that I loved, and I'll include pictures, links and all that fun stuff.  So here we go!

Urban Decay Naked Palette ($54 at Sephora)
I bought this palette a year ago, and it was my first real high-end beauty brand purchase. At the time, I had only been buying drugstore brand products, so this was a whole new world for me.  Over time, I developed a huge love for this product, and I used it like crazy last month.  Some of my favorites are virgin, sin, sidecar and toasted.  These eyeshadows are so pigmented and easy to blend, and they go on so smooth. If you're looking for a new palette to buy, I'd definitely recommend it!

Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara ($7.99 at Ulta)
Jaclyn Hill, my absolute favorite beauty blogger on YouTube, mentioned this product in a couple of her videos, and I trusted her opinion enough to try it out.  I've been using Maybelline Falsies mascara for YEARS, and I was super reluctant to try a new mascara.  I'm glad I did because this one is amazing!  It really adds volume a
nd length to my lashes.  It doesn't clump, and it's easy to add on more layers.  The wand makes it so easy to get every lash, including those stubborn bottom lashes.  Yeah, this stuff rocks.

Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer ($8.99 at Ulta)
Another recommendation from Jaclyn Hill!  I've been using the Maybelline fit me concealer for about a year, and I was so in love I thought I'd never try anything else.  I decided to pick this one up in a shade lighter than my skin tone so I could use it as a highlighter.  What a great decision!  The weird ball sponge at the top can be annoying at times since I don't always feel like enough product comes out.  But after a little bit of patience (and twisting), I always get it to work.  I don't really have under eye circles, so I can't say if it works well for that.  I do use it as an eye primer sometimes, and I will say that it works really well.  This is definitely a great drugstore concealer!

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray ($30 at Sephora for the 4oz. bottle)
Are you noticing a trend here?  I obviously love Maybelline and Urban Decay!  At first, I was hesitant to spend $30 on a makeup setting spray, but living in Florida, I figured it was a necessity.  Holy moly this product is incredible!  I mist it on my face after I've applied all of my makeup, and even in the Florida heat, my makeup lasts all day and doesn't move.  This has just become a staple in my makeup collection.

Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin ($12.99 at Ulta)
I have oily skin, and living in Florida doesn't make it any better.  I usually don't wear liquid foundation because of this since everything just seems to crease or melt off my skin.  I bought this foundation back in April, and I recently bought another bottle in a darker shade.  Paired with a primer and setting powder, this foundation doesn't budge on me!  I also use Urban Decay's makeup setting spray afterwards to give it some extra hold.  I usually apply it with a Real Techniques sponge (a dupe for the Beauty Blender) or a Sigma F80 brush.  I love that the coverage is buildable, so I can have as little or as much coverage as I'd like.

What products did you try last month that you absolutely loved?  I'm always looking for new products, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New job, new outlook

It's hard to believe that it's been two months since I started my new job at Impulse Creative (wait, did I ever mention this new job?!)

Hold on.  Let's back up a second  After I left my job at ITVantage/T3, I spent a week in Minnesota with my family.  When I got back, I started my new job at a marketing and branding agency in Southwest Florida called Impulse Creative.  I work as an inbound marketing consultant to create remarkable content (blogs, social media, emails, website content, etc) for a set of clients.  My job is pretty sweet...I'm not going to lie.

The best part of my job is that even on the worst days, I still love going into work.  The worst part is that I have to go home at night.  I love what I do, and I'm proud of the work that I produce for my clients.  It's not always perfect, and sometimes it doesn't always work the way I had hoped - but that's how you learn.

Three months ago, when people told me that their job didn't feel like work, I thought they were full of shit (excuse my language).  But now, I get it.  I have a job that doesn't feel like a job, and it certainly doesn't feel like work.  It feels like I'm learning while doing something that I love.  I'm so thankful I was given this opportunity, and I can't wait to see where this takes me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thanks For The Memories

Today marks my last day at T3 Communications/ITVantage.  I have mixed emotions about all of this.  If I could describe how I feel in one word, it would be “bittersweet.”

After graduating with my master’s degree, I spent months looking for a job, and eventually I was hired as the marketing coordinator for T3 and ITVantage.  The job came with a lot of difficulties and struggles, and at times I just wanted to quit.  There were days where I thought “I can’t take this anymore.”  But at the end of the day, it all made me a better marketing professional. 

I was forced to step outside of my comfort zone to learn all about telecommunications and IT (two fields I knew nothing about).  I was tasked with projects that most entry-level coordinators would never see, like writing content for an entire website.  But I did it all.  I pushed myself to learn new skills and to implement those skills on the job.  I wasn’t perfect, and I certainly made my fair share of mistakes, but I never gave up.

I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given at T3 and ITVantage, and I’m so thankful that my boss took a chance when he hired me.  I can only hope that I didn’t let them down, and that my work mattered.  I want nothing more than to see them succeed (and to be ranked #1 on Google).


I’m excited for this next chapter of my life, but it’s bittersweet leaving my first job behind.  Thanks for the memories, T3 and ITVantage.  You’ll be missed.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

TWLOHA Matters. My Story Matters. I Matter.


Today, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) turns eight.

I first learned about TWLOHA on Myspace.  I think the year was 2007.  I learned about TWLOHA at a time when I felt alone, lost, discouraged and hopeless.  My life was spiraling downward, and I didn’t see a way out. 

Enter TWLOHA.

From the moment I read the story that inspired the movement, I myself was moved.  TWLOHA gave me hope and inspired me to take my recovery seriously.  It wasn’t always easy, and there were times when I was moving backwards.  But I never gave up because I knew that recovery was possible.  I learned that people need people, and we need to share our stories.  The stories of hope and recovery were what got my through it all.  I don’t think I’d be here today without those stories.

Eight years after TWLOHA was founded, I still struggle.  I’m not 100% better, and I don’t think I’ll ever be.  But I’ve always known that.  I always knew that even when I was better, I would still struggle.  And that’s okay.  But now I know when to ask for help and when to lean on others.  I know now that I don’t have to go through it alone.

I’m so thankful for everything TWLOHA has done over the past eight years.  From concerts to blog posts to speaking engagements.  All of it has mattered.  Their story matters.  Their mission and vision matter.  And because all of that, I know I matter too.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from TWLOHA’s vision statement:
“The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.  The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know.  The vision is hope, and hope is real.  You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.”


To learn more about TWLOHA or how to get help, visit www.twloha.com

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Get me out. I'm stuck.


It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this way.  For anyone that’s read my blog, you know that I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety as well as struggled with self-injury (cutting) and suicidal thoughts.  Although all of that’s “behind me” (it’s never really behind you), lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m back in that place of pain, sadness and helplessness. 
Don’t get me wrong – I am NOT saying I’m depressed or that I want to hurt myself. But I’ve been thinking about it all a lot lately, and if I think about it long enough, I feel like I’m back in middle school and high school.  I feel like I’m back in the place where I was being bullied and tormented because I was different.  The place where I took an x-acto knife to my wrist and made small, shallow cuts from my wrist to my elbow.  The place where I just wanted to end my life because I didn’t see the point of living.
And then, the feelings fade.
I’m not really sure how to explain it.  And I don’t know why it’s happening.  Recently, I came to the realization that I’m not happy with my job.  I don’t know if it’s that I don’t like what I do or that I don’t like where I work.  But when I go to work, I’m miserable.  When I come home, I’m happy.  It’s almost like I live two different lives.
All of this has made me think about other times in my life when I’ve been unhappy, and the first thing that comes to mind are all of those things I listed above.  I think to myself, “how did I get over it back then?  At what point did I say ‘something needs to change,’ and at what point did I change it?”  THAT is when I go back to that place.  THAT is when I remember all of the pain I’ve been through.  But THAT is also when I remember that I can get through it, and I will figure this out.
I’m stuck in a rut, and right now I’m having a really hard time getting out.  Given my past, I know it’s going to take time.  But in the meantime, I need to find a way to cope.  Because I can’t go to work and be snippy and bitchy with my boss and coworkers.  It’s not fair to them.  And it certainly isn’t going to help my career.
I wish I could snap my fingers, figure out what I want and make it happen.  But I can’t. What I can do is figure out what’s making me unhappy and then fix it.  It won’t be easy, and it may involve me making some hard decisions.  But I owe it to myself to be happy.  I deserve it.  I know I do.

Friday, December 20, 2013

See you later, 23!


On Monday (December 16th), I turned 24.  That's right...24.

I can't believe it's been a year since I celebrated my 23rd birthday.  So much has happened this year that I don't think I'd be able to capture it all in a single blog post (good thing for all those other posts).  But, I'm going to try and list out some of my favorites:

1. Watching my sister get married and being her maid of honor.

2. Watching Alabama win the BCS National Championship.  

3. Snow day in Tuscaloosa!

4. Celebrating my one year anniversary with Alex by going on a cruise to the Bahamas.

5. Watching Dunk City come to life during the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

6. Being in the ultrasound room when my sister found out she was having a girl.

7. Going to my first craft brewery.  I've been a craft beer lover ever since!

8. Seeing Lee Brice, Chris Young and Brad Paisley in Tuscaloosa.

9. Graduating with my master's degree and being back with my boyfriend.

10. Marley Shai Johnson.  In September, my sister gave birth to her first child, Marley Shai (she also happens to be my first niece).  She has brought so much joy to my life in such a short period of time, and I miss being able to see her all the time.

11. Landing my first job.  It's been nearly a month since I started working with ITVantage, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity I was given.

12. Painting and re-organizing the condo and making it "ours."  It feels nice to come home from work every day and feel at home.

13. Experiencing seasons while living in Tuscaloosa.  You don't get that in Southwest Florida.


Twenty-three was a great year, but I can't wait to see what the next year of my life will hold.  If it's anything like the past, it will be filled with ups and downs...but I wouldn't want things any other way.