30.8.13

Little Life Updates + Friday Jams

Photo Credit

Today is the third day of classes, and I think I've already lost my mind. 16 hours are going to be hard. American Sign language 2, Government, Visual Communications, Composition two and college mathematics (again). 

But on the plus side, I've been an editing machine.

On paper.

I'm editing on paper like crazy. Before class, after class, during lunch, at night, while working out on the elliptical at the gym (yes, I've already started going back after not going at ALL this summer). I'm starting off slow (only 30 minutes a day), but I'm hoping by mid-September to be 60 minutes on the elliptical every day (when I left Huntsville in May, I was averaging 550-630 calories burned every day). 

I haven't worked on my photography website since before I moved. The past two weeks, I feel like everything I've been working on has been put on hold. Life was totally calm and collected, and everything was in place.

And I went to Seminar at the end of July, and I feel like I never quite caught up with the game the rest of the summer. And then I blinked and low and behold, it's the end of August and I'm living in Huntsville again. 

Life is totally crazy and I'm barely hanging on, but I'm still hanging on.

Here's some jams I've been listening to all week! Enjoy your weekend and STAY SAFE during your long weekend! 

28.8.13

Teachers Need Support Too

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Participant Media and the TEACH | TakePart movement, but the story is 100% my own. 

Teachers are such an important part of our life. For the first 20 some odd years of our life, we spend more time with teachers at school than with our parents. Without teachers, where would we be? 

Last year, as I dove into college, I took a class that was pretty much a survival guide for freshmen. My professor, Ms. Payne, was funny, smart and ridiculously too nice. She was young enough to get into the class with us and she seemed more like a friend than a teacher. An older sister or so. 

Teachers really change us, for the better, all the time, whether or not we realize it. But did you know that they predict that 65% of teachers will retire? 

It's important to make sure that we continue to support teachers and those who want to become teachers. In fact, for a while, I thought I was going to become a teacher. I did teach at church. 

Teachers give so much to us, shouldn't we give to them? They need support and love too, the same way they give it to us. One way that Participant Media is supporting teachers is by highlighting four public school teachers (I went to public school) who strive to be the best teachers than they can be. The Teach program will air on September 6th at 8PM Eastern Standard Time (7 PM Texas time!). To get an idea of these teachers, watch the trailer here. This trailer gave me massive goosebumps while I watched. To watch the video, click here.
Also want to know what's awesome? Classes start today.

27.8.13

I'll Stay Me

Photo Credit

This past Friday, I finally moved back into Huntsville. I came down Thursday night because my move-in time was from 8-10 and I was not waking up that early. But Friday was the first real day back.

I will totally admit. 

I was dreading that day for weeks. Months too. You see, when I left Huntsville back in May, I was in a real bad place emotionally and mentally. At the end of April, they put me on a non-official suicide watch for a few hours. I left Huntsville with a lot of hate and anger and hurt.

This summer was all about recovery and rebuilding. Becoming comfortable in my own skin. I'm not totally there yet, but I'm working on it. So far, Huntsville has been a lot better than I thought. 

I've realized, I'm not just one person. I'm one person to a lot of different people. If I'm with my girlfriends, I can be loud and sassy, around people I don't know, I can be shy and quiet. Or anything in between. 

I'm a lot of different people to a lot of different people.

But to the core, I'm still one girl. And while it's taken me a loooooong time to come to this point, I'm at a point where I'm okay with myself. Okay with the fact that I am who I am.

And I think I'll just stay me. 

21.8.13

Don't Wear White

shirt: jcpenny's // jeans: target // shoes: famous footwear 
So, I'll be the first to admit that I am a ginger. Red hair, fair skin, firey temper you do not want to find. All the works, I've got them. Well, a week and a half ago, Allie and I decided to do an early morning photoshoot.
I made the mistake of wearing white. 

See, when I adjust the exposure to give the background that softer touch, I wash myself out. I promise, I'm not that white! I'm really not! 

So, no more white for this ginger! 


20.8.13

I Met a President!

Okay, okay, I didn't really meet a president. But Sunday afternoon, my dad and I went to the George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU (I don't even remember what that stands for). It's only a few miles away from where I used to work! I didn't get too many pictures, but I figured I'd share a few.

There's a rose garden outside of the Oval Office and I had to snap a few pictures of this super pretty purple flower. My dad and I got pictures at the Oval Office, but the windows and the lighting behind the desk totally washed my dad's face out and I'm not much better. I'll have to go back on a cloudy day! 

Last year after Freshman Orientation, my dad and I stopped at Texas A&M to see Bush 41's library, so I love the fact that Bush 43 had these statues of his dad and himself. And these statues were freaking giants! I'm not a short girl (5'7") but they were at least 7 feet tall! 

Mid-hair flip. But hey! My shorter hair is, like, ten times easier to style and it looks good. At least until I wake up in the morning.

Last weekend, the manual setting on my camera finally clicked! I could tell you what every little setting could do, but it never all came together to make sense. But, now that it does, I took the time to snap the little fountain. Just wait until I go back to Sam and take pictures of that fountain! 

So, needless to say, I had fun at the library! 

How was everyone else's weekend? 

16.8.13

Five Things I Learned About Myself as an Intern

Photo Credit
Today is my last day at my three month internship. After hours and hours of coding, making thumbnails, running to the bank, over ten thousand miles on my car and two gas fill-ups a week, I thought it would be fun to look back at my time here at my internship. 


1. I Carry Way Too Much Stuff // I carry a loaded backpack, a purse, and sometimes I bring my camera bag, just for the hell of it. If there's free time, I will use it!

2. In My Car, I am Hunter Hayes' Duet Partner // I spend a lot of time in my car. It's 35 miles from my house, so that's 45 minutes in the car in the morning, and an hour, hour and a half during night rush hour. My summer music has been listening to Encore by Hunter Hayes. Every time my mom gets in the car with me, she rolls her eyes because even she is sick of listening to it, but for some reason, I just can't not listen to it. 

3. I Really Am a Tech Nerd // I work at a digital ad agency, and at the beginning of my internship, I read a lot of articles about where technology is going. I've always been an apple junkie, but I was still fascinated by other tech stuff too.

4. Rush Hour is Survival of the Craziest, and I Qualify as Crazy // If I had any doubts about being crazy before, I don't anymore. Rush hour is full of crazy people, people who drive the speed limit in the left lane (slow pokes), people who don't look when they switch lanes. If it's something stupid you can do in the car, people do it in rush hour. I can tell what people are going to do before it, it's like a sixth sense, and I've impressed a few friends in the car while doing it. 

5. I've Got Major Wanderlust // Before my internship, the only time I ever drove through downtown Dallas was going to Huntsville, and I stayed on the highways. Now, I know where everything is in downtown Dallas and other parts of Dallas because everyday, around 2 PM, I get this strong urge to just get out. 


15.8.13

Friday Jams (Thursday Style)


Okay, I know, I know, the title of this post is "Friday Jams" and it's only Thursday. But I have a special post tomorrow since tomorrow is the last day of my internship. So, it only made since to jam it all out on Thursday instead.





1. "Tell Me Where to Park" by Brett Eldredge // He's been on the radio a lot lately with his song "Don't Ya" so when his album came out last week, I gave it a quick listen. This is the opening track and OMG HOT. Seriously, I don't get any action whatsoever and I loved it. It's a very sexy song, and he's got this deep, husky singing voice and it just WORKS for him. 

2. "Whatcha Gonna Do" by Martina McBride // I'm not a fan of ballads, but I got her CD, Eleven, when it came out. The lyrics are beautiful and I can hear her pain (whether real or not) in the song. It just pulls at those heartstrings and since Martina McBride sings it, you know it'll sound amazing.

3. "Upper Hand" by LeAnn Rimes // Okay, so it just dawned on me that so far, two out of the three songs on this list are about seducing a man. Don't lead that to believe that I am seducing anyone, cause I promise you, I ain't. But, this song is a little empowerment song for girls about going after your man even when you've had him. Not that I would know anything about that, but the tempo is catch and I like LeAnn Rimes.

4. "Nothin' New Under the Moon" by LeAnn Rimes // LeAnn makes a second appearance! This song is almost as old as I am, but I love it. It's about new love and it's just a happy, giddy song. One of these days I'll know that feeling again, right?

5. "Better Than This (Encore)" by Hunter Hayes // Oh, Hunter, how I love you. This song has that whole "take a road that's less traveled" theme to it. Maybe it's talking about going down that road and the fact that I always hear this while driving to work, but I've dubbed it my ultimate road trip song. Not just literally, but figuratively too. 

6. "Hip to My Heart" by The Band Perry // This was TBP's first single and it came out in the summer. Super catchy lyrics and beat, you can't help but want to sing along. 

7. "Cups (Pitch Perfect's When I'm Gone) by Anna Kendrick // The first time I heard this song was in the car during Seminar. I love the beat and Anna Kendrick has a singing voice that just fits her! My dad caught me singing this the other night! 

8. "DONE." by The Band Perry // Whenever TBP performs this live, man, it's a show. Kimberly, the lead singer, is always dancing and jumping around and it's contagious! I want to get up and jump around and sing and act crazy! It's a hand's up in the air song, PERFECT for summer.

9. "Chainsaw" by The Band Perry // TBP's third appearance today, but this song is great. It runs in line with "Before He Cheats" and "Kerosene." Scorned lover goes and cuts down the tree where she and her man carved their names and "forever." The lyrics are witty and Kimberly Perry is showing she's not one to be messed with!

10. "I Can Love You Better" by the Dixie Chicks // This song is really old too, but I love it. There was a guy last summer that I knew that I felt like this song (and a lot of other Dixie Chicks songs) applied to the whole situation. Thankfully, I don't think he knows (though it wouldn't surprise me if he did). 

11. "Mostly Bad" by Maggie Rose // Maggie Rose has been around country music for a few years, but she just released her first album this past spring. She's got a strong, sultry voice and she knows how to use it. Now, I am the furthest thing from a bad girl, but I love her voice as she tells this man that she'll take him through hell before they get to Heaven. 

Those are my jams for this week, what are you listening to?! 

14.8.13

Not So Normal Love Story



This is a guest post I used to do as a sponsor way back in 2012 and 2011 so I thought it would be fun to update it and share it on my blog. 

One of my biggest passion in life is writing books. Out of all my passions that I chase after everyday, this has been the longest one. It's a part of me that just can't be replaced. 

You see, if you read books, you know how a well crafted character can really pull at your emotional strings, make you want them, make you cry for them, make you hate everyone in their lives for them. Readers thinks it’s frustrating when characters don’t do things the way the readers think they ought to.

Let me just say, readers have it easy. In order to be an author, you live with these characters in your head. Literally, I can't get them out of my head. My roommate's boyfriend has the same name as one of my characters and every time she mentions him, I think to myself how does she know about that character?! Oh, wait... 

And, like any good author, of course my book is going to feature a very good looking guy that my main character is going to fall for – it wouldn’t be a great adventure if she didn’t. More like, it wouldn't sell if it didn't.

That’s all nice and everything that she likes him, but no one ever told me what I was supposed to do when I fell for him. But, I guess, in hindsight, I should have known that it would happen. Authors, especially lady authors, tend to dump everything they could ever possibly want in a man into their main love interest.

I mean, I want to like the guy at the very least. If my own character can't make me like him and he's the love interest, we're in major trouble. 

After a while, readers will forget a character, find new ones to crush on, but as a writer, my characters will probably be stuck in my head until the day I die. My characters are as real to me as the person walking down the street.

I've never loved a real man, but I've loved several fictional ones. 

Yeah, I'll admit, it sucks, loving a man who really can't love you back, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. 

13.8.13

Every Little Step

Photo Credit

Yesterday, my roommate, Saige, and I were talking about how one of the things I want to do more than anything while in college is drive around and find every single prison in and around Huntsville. Which led me to tell her how I almost was a CJ (criminal justice) major. 

So, how does one go from CJ to PR+ Advertising? In high school, I took a CJ class junior year. It took up two class periods and I learned a LOT. I was still high off of my top pick on inkpop so I was super excited to take a class about criminal justice and forensics.

Well, halfway through the semester, I realized I had a lot more fun just writing about blood splatter  than I did analyzing the damn stuff (squeamish girl here!). And while the experience for the classes wasn't the best (ex-boyfriends/jerks tend to do that), the one thing I'll take away from those CJ classes is the fact that those classes put SHSU on my radar.

If I hadn't found SHSU, I don't even know where I'd be right now. Probably living at home, attending community college. 

Or, had I not met my friend Taylor at church, had we not been roommates for three years at DCYC, had she not been persistent in being my friend all those years, I would have never met Andrew, who in turn introduced me to my roommate.

Looking back now, it's crazy how for life to happen the way it does, everything has to happen just so, or it won't happen. 

Oh, another example, had I not been living with my roommate last year, I wouldn't have been exposed to Mary Kay. I wouldn't have met all these wonderfully strong women that I've met this summer. 

Maybe this is evidence that everything does happen for a reason. Whatever it is, as I look back on how everything worked perfectly to lead me to this place today, I know that it's all because every little step counts and I feel so blessed to be here. 


12.8.13

Grass, I Hate You

I did not edit this photo at all, so that's why it looks funky. 

Let me just start out by saying that I absolutely hate grass. Why? Well, I'm allergic. But sadly, I have fallen in love with a profession that requires me to climb and roll around in the grass. 

I did three photoshoots this weekend. One where I was actually in front of the camera a little bit of the time (Allie and I got back to taking photos). 

Three photoshoots and I've only edited about five photos, but I did spend most of Saturday working on my website. The website is pretty much done, I just need to add more photos to it before I push it live and let people see it. But, I figured I could give y'all a sneak peek of what it looks like, right? 


I'm hoping to have the website DONE done by the time I move back to Huntsville, which is um, NEXT FRIDAY.

I've been so busy, that fact hasn't sunk in yet. There's still so much I have to do before I move. Summer, where did you go?! 

Oh yeah, and my whole book plan is kind of taking a backseat, but I will edit today! I honestly do not know how I keep everything organized in my mind.

How was everyone's weekends? And how the heck do you get everything done? 

9.8.13

Friday Jams



Ask anyone I know, and they'll tell you, I love music. I sing all the time, whether at both of my churches (home + school) and always in the car. I've got a huge iTunes library.

But 90% of my library is country music and a lot of people don't know a lot about it. So, I figured I'd share with you some of my favorite songs this week (a few are pop music) and why I love them!

1. "It Goes Like This" - Thomas Rhett // At first, I wasn't a big fan of this song, it was okay, but Amy, my sister, started singing it and got me hooked. She would sing a few lines and then the rest of the day, I found it running through my head but I didn't know the words. Now, I love hearing this song on the radio.

2. "Southern Girl" - Tim McGraw // Tim McGraw has had some really awesome music lately and this song is no exception. It's got a summer feel to it while he sings about all the wonderful Southern Girls. 

3. "Aw Naw" - Chris Young // I've been a fan of Chris since his very first single "Drinking Me Lonely." He had this haunting, deep voice and the guy is a looker ;) He's got a new album out and this song is very high energy and doesn't sound like anything else on radio right now. 

4.  "Redneck Crazy" - Tyler Farr // AKA "the restraining order" song. This song is on the radio ALL THE TIME. To the point where you can't not hear it. 

5. "Cruise (Remis)" - Florida-Georiga Line (featuring Nelly) // Okay, this song was catchy when it first came out to radio. Then mainstream picked it up and it was plain annoying. But last week I found the remix on my phone (do NOT remember buying that) and now it's somewhat catchy again.

6. "Round Here" - Florida-Georgia Line // Once again, they've got a huge hit on their hands, but I like this one way better than their other two. Not sure why, but I do.

7. "Tie It Up" - Kelly Clarkson // I've been a fan of hers for years, so when I found out she was doing a country single, I was all excited. It's cute and I love the tempo of it. I'm hoping there's a whole album, or at least an EP, with it.

8. "I Hope It Rains" - Jana Kramer // This song is a little silly, but still gets the point across.

9. " I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift // Despite the fact that I'm not a huge Taylor Swift fan like I was as a middle schooler, I really like the beat of this song. And come on, who doesn't think of the screeching goats when hearing this song?

10. "Really Don't Care" - Demi Lovato (featuring Cheryl Lloyd) // Okay, I love Demi Lovato, I love her story. What a testament to being strong. So whenever she comes out with new music, I check it out. And this song? Well, I can think of at least one person who this applies to!

11. "Red" - Taylor Swift // It's been a while since Taylor released music specifically for country music, but now that she released it, it's all over the place. I love the imagery of the colors, I mean, come on, it's creative, right?

12. "Storm Warning" - Hunter Hayes // Y'all, I wrote a whole entire post on the song this summer. Hunter is pretty much my favorite singer right now. His deluxe album, Encore, came out earlier this summer and I bought it. That was mid-June. I think it's come out of my car CD player twice since then. This was his first song that really got me noticing him. It's cleverly worded and I love the grooves of this song.

These are just a few songs that I've been jamming out to lately (well, mostly mental jamming since I don't think my co-workers would like it if I started dancing). What have you been jamming out to?


8.8.13

IN MY BAG


Let me just start out with this: I carry a lot in my purse. I've lovingly dubbed it my black hole. And now, you will see why. 



Yes, I do carry four notebooks in my purse. Each one is for a specific reason. The gold stripes one is for the blog, ideas, to-do lists, directions I want to take the blog in. The blue polka dots is for writing. I carry ideas in there, scenes that I want to write. Pink is for anything Mary Kay related. Orange is for my photography.  


Maybe I'm weird for carrying deodorant in my purse, but y'all, the high yesterday was 105, I sweat all the time. I put this on at least three times a day! The lip balm is from The Gnarly Whale. I love this stuff! It's cherry flavored and I don't even like cherry! 


Why yes, that is two pairs of the same type of sunglasses. I bought one pair, then left them at my MK sales director's house and I didn't know when I would get to see her again, so the next morning, I went and bought the same exact pair. Sides, you never know when you need a second pair.


This wallet is three years old, at least. All the white in the flowers is now a muddy color. I switched it out earlier this summer when my little elephant card thing wasn't enough to stuff everything in but I wasn't carrying a purse. Business cards are a must. You never know when you'll find someone who needs your information! 

I also carry a pencil case (I hate digging for pens in the bottom of the black hole) and notecards. The note cards have a purpose, but I haven't gotten down to it yet, so they just sit there in the the shrink wrap. 

If my purse was bigger, I'd stuff way more into it, but it won't close as it is now!

What do you carry in your purse? 

6.8.13

FashioNOTsa

Photo Credit | Dress: Target // Necklace + Earrings: Charming Charlie

Ever notice how the term "lifestyle" blogger almost always goes hand in hand with the term "fashion" blogger? There's always style posts, or "Shop my closet" sales. Everyone wants to know where you get all your accessories from, where do you shop?! 

I am the farthest thing from a fashion blogger. That dress is probably the cutest thing I own, 75% of my closet is orange Sam Houston State t-shirts (I have 12! and that's only the orange ones. I have not orange SHSU shirts too). I own a few sundresses that I hardly wear, and maybe three blouses? And two are long sleeved so I'm not wearing them in the summer (heat index today is 107!). 

My daily wardrobe consists of t-shirts (usually SHSU ones) and blue jeans. And tennis shoes. I've worn cowboy boots twice this summer maybe? I may be Texan, but I'm a suburbs girl through and through.

I work for a company where we wear blue jeans and shorts everyday. Extremely laid back dress code. 

I always pick comfort over style but I see so many bloggers who've seemed to find both. I don't know where, but maybe someday I'll find that.

For now, I'm a fashionotsa, a girl who doesn't always reflect the current trends, because comfort never goes out of style. Maybe I will be someday, but for now, I'll take my orange t-shirts and tennis shoes any day. 

2.8.13

August Goals


JULY GOALS COMPLETED




Grow my blog (I've got some exciting business ventures!)
Sign up for my dang math class that I failed the first time around. 
Continue to build up my poor checking account again (college ain't cheap!)
SEMINAR!




JULY GOALS IN PROGRESS

Grow Ginger Snaps Photography Laura Elizabeth Creative
Be on target for my car by the end of July (yay Mary Kay!)
Earn my Red Jacket (Only need two one more team members!)
Actually win Camp NaNoWriMo this year. (Didn't finish)
Figure out what I can reuse from the dorm last year and what I need to replace (new bed sheets)


AUGUST GOALS


RED JACKET
MOVE (ONLY THREE WEEKS AWAY)
Order business cards for LEC
Pack! 
Buy new bedding and other things I know I need 
Begin editing The Assassin
Have a polished version of The Assassin
Research about self-publishing
Take that photography class I bought and still haven't used! 
get freakin' organized! 
Textbooks (ugh)
Facials when I get back to Huntsville
Unpack when I move
Leave my wonderful job at Boxcar -sad face-
Start going to the gym when I move back to Huntsville. 



August is going to be another big, BIG MONTH! Can't believe it's already August, where did my summer go!? (It went up and down i-35 everyday to work!) 

1.8.13

D A Y T H R E E | Mary Kay Seminar


Day Three! Day three was Saturday and the very last day of seminar. -sad face- We had one final general session, and we listened to the top three sales directors. Fun fact, the #2 is the sales director we do our meetings with every week. So, yeah, I personally know the #2 sales director in the Ruby Seminar. How cool is that?!


That's her! The lovely Brenda! Can't wait to see what she talks about tonight at our meeting! These pictures are from Friday night when she was named #2, but I didn't get any pictures from her speech cause I was too busy taking notes. 


During Seminar, my sales director, Shelley, gave us a packet full of questions we had to fill out, like talk to a red jacket and get advice, or talk to two sales directors. We also had to get pictures with two ladies from other units, so I killed two birds with one stone, and asked for advice and a picture from two wonderfully nice sales directors. For filling the packet out, I got some pretty awesome earrings (and if you know me, you know I love my dangly earrings!) 

All in all, seminar was unlike anything else I've ever attended, but in a good way. There was such confidence boosting everywhere you turned, and I totally needed that! Beyond that, there was lots of love, lots of partying, and lots of business talk. I left energized (but exhausted), excited for the future (but cranky cause we didn't have lunch), and full of pins and bling and lots of amazing memories. Even if you aren't a part of Mary Kay, I still think every woman needs to attend Seminar, or something along the lines. Nothing but amazing experiences and memories and I CAN NOT wait for Seminar 2014! Or Leadership 2014 in January (I WILL get to Leadership!)! 


Read past days: DAY ZERO | DAY ONE | DAY TWO



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