Friday, December 30, 2011

as the ball drops


My New Years Eves are {mostly} always a comedy of errors. At least if you're me. For your sake, I hope you have better luck (or maybe not--see below). Every time December 31st rolls around--I know I'm about to make poor decisions that will haunt me the next day. (Read: alcohol and it's after effects.)

One summer in college, I had a boss who told me she always made sure to start the year out with the worst hangover ever--if only because then the only way the year could go is up. It can only get better, right?

Well without knowing it, I must have taken her philosophy very seriously because most years that's how I end up. There was the year I slept until 9 p.m. the next day. Or the year my friends had to save me with greasy fast food. The year I lost my shoes and still to this day have no idea where they are. Oh, I have stories for days. But most are too hazy and a little too embarrassing for the internet.

But here's the thing: I sort of believe in the power of her philosophy. Every January 1st I've woken up feeling like sh*t has truly made for some fantastic years. Knock on wood.

So my hope for you is this: May your New Years Eve be the best time you've ever had. May your New Years Day be terrible. And may your 2012 be the best year yet.

I for one, will be donning a very sparkly outfit and dancing my face off with my best friends. New Years Eve is unofficially our holiday. We've been doing it up big since 2006 ;). And I wouldn't have it any other way.

What are your New Years Eve plans?? Do tell!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

poll of the week: resolutions

Two weeks ago, we asked about who y'all would never live with. Here's what you said:

This week we wanna hear about your resolutions for the new year. Do you make them? If you do... what are you resolving to do?? Feel free to choose any of the choices below, or enter your own!

See you tomorrow ladies!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

read this


Hello lovelies! Did everyone have a great Christmas? I hope so! Mine was perfect. But unfortunately getting up for work this morning was a harsh reality. How many days till the next long weekend?(Four!)

I did lots of reading over my break and since I got a swanky new Kindle for Christmas, I thought I would share a few of my favorite books I've read lately... and then hope that y'all have a couple to share with me too!

  • Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins
Let me just say that when I first heard people talking about these books I was hesitant because I thought they would be too much like Twilight... But, I am happy to say they are so, so much better than anything Twilight ever was. I read all three on our last vacation--couldn't put them down. Am now happily a fangirl who is counting down the days until the movie comes out. So yes, your friends were right--read the books. You can thank us later.

  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voscamp
I'm sure I've written about this book before one here.... It's all about being thankful for what you have, living in the present, etc. I loved it. It was exactly what I needed when I read it, and I think it would make a great book to read at the first of the year. It's not a novel by any means, but Ann is such a great writer--you'll want to take notes.
  • The Lucky One, Nicholas Sparks
Well, let me just say that I read this after watching the hot, steamy trailer that is now out featuring Zac Efron for the upcoming movie. This one reads like every other Nicholas Sparks book you've ever read. And I'm not saying I didn't like it... but maybe the formula is getting a bit overdone for my taste? Not my favorite Sparks book, but I didn't hate it. It's quick and easy read which is great for vacations. Will go see the movie, if only to see Zac Efron. Just sayin'.

  • Delirium, Lauren Oliver
This is another one of those YA dystopia novels (similar to The Hunger Games triology) that I read just this past weekend. About a girl who falls in love in a society where love is "cured." Just trust me and read it. One of the best books I've read in a while. And bonus! It's also part of a trilogy. The only bad thing about this book is that the sequel doesn't come out until February. Bummer!

Alright... now what have you read lately? I can read pretty much anything, as long as it comes with a good recommendation. Also, do you have a Goodreads account? I update mine religiously, and always check out what others are reading. My name is just Annye if you want to check out my bookshelves.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

tis the season

I cannot believe Christmas is just days away. Where has the year gone?! This time of year always makes me panic just a little bit... I feel like the days have passed me by without my consent. I just wish time would slow down a little.

Today, a carload of my family arrived in our driveway. They'll be here for a few days as we celebrate the holidays. My parent's house is currently bustling with activity and people (hence the late blog post) and the next few days are guaranteed to be a whirlwind. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

During the stressful holidays and the panic of the ending year, all that really matters is that I have a family that I love, friends I cherish, a warm house to come home to, a job that challenges me, and more blessings than I can count.
This year has certainly had its ups and downs, but seeing my family all together always puts things into perspective.

I hope your holidays are just as crazy as mine ;) and you take some time to bask in the craziness and enjoy your blessings. Life is never going to be at the pace we want or expect it to be. All we can do is brace ourselves for the ride.

Merry Christmas friends!
Ps... We'll be back next week with a new poll of the week and the results from last week's poll. So in the mean time, if you haven't voted yet.. go do it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Look Back: 2011

When New Year's approaches I always like to think about where I spent the past New Year's Eve and how things have changed since then. Last New Year's Eve I spent with my now boyfriend. At this point in life though, we weren't even dating. We had stayed friends, but parted romantic ways because life at this point was a bit complicated. We decided to spend New Years Eve together anyway, because, well, we still liked each other. 

We spent the evening watching movies, eating popcorn and drinking cheap champagne. At midnight, we clinked our glasses and he toasted the year to us. That toast has ignited a wonderful year together. The complications worked themselves out and he's become the person that makes me laugh, keeps me sane {I actually enjoy trips to Walmart when I'm with him--crazy, I know}, and constantly reminds me that when you find a good match, life seems just a little bit sweeter when shared with another. 

During this last year I also changed careers, decided to go to graduate school, coped with family issues, got closer to some friends and more distant with others, cooked a few meals from my Pinterest board {yay!}, went to New Orleans and South Carolina for the first time, and started a little blog with my dear, dear friend Annye, called Smith & Emma.

It's been a year of change, for sure, but positive change. I may not have reached the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with each and every change yet, but I can definitely see that gold glimmer. I feel that I finally began to take control of my life in 2011. I started discovering what I want out of life and began making it happen. I began realizing my ability & responsibility to make my life one that I am happy with and proud of. So here is to 2012. A year that will be filled with a sense of power and belief in my ability to do good, be happy and live a life, well, totally worth living.

So my wish for you, Smith & Emma landers, is that you feel that same sense of love for the life you live. And if you don't feel it, I hope that you seek it out. Think about what you want out of life and then go take it--remembering it won't always be easy. You'll make sacrifices along the way. Jut remember to remind yourself why you wanted it in the first place. 

Here is my blessing for all of our readers in 2012, shared with me by one of my dearest friends:

May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength in your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life.
--Apache Blessing

How was your year in 2011? What do you hope 2012 will bring? Or, better yet, what are you bringing to 2012?

Monday, December 19, 2011

christmas tunes

Since it's the week of Christmas, I thought I would kick things off by doing a fun post on what I've been listening to these past few weeks to get into the holiday spirit. Below is a playlist I made on Grooveshark, so if you're reading this in an RSS feed, you may need to click over to the blog to listen to it.

hohoho by Annye DeGrand on Grooveshark

Ahhh... doesn't it just put you in such a good mood?
Now you've gotta share your favorite Christmas songs with me. I'm sure I'm missing something....

Merry Christmas, y'all!


Friday, December 16, 2011

poll of the week: I would never live with...

So sorry we are late today, y'all! Yesterday came and went before we knew it. I think the holidays will do that to you. So without further ado... here are the results from last week's poll:

Very, very interesting! I thought for sure more of you would say you were dependent. But I'm glad I'm not the only one who is an independent woman ;)

And this week.... we want to know where you draw the line with living situations. Who wouldn't you ever live with?? SPILL!

Have a great weekend ladies!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

go, see, do: munich

The last part of my trip report has finally arrived.... Munich was our last stop on our little tour of Europe. We arrived on Thanksgiving Day and left early Sunday morning. Munich was the one place we went I could imagine living. It was a beautiful city that was full of life--right up my alley. I tend to like city atmospheres that aren't too overwhelming, which is exactly what Munich was. The people were super friendly which is always a plus!


Munich was really pretty in the winter and I imagine it would be lovely in the summer, too. I would love to go back sometime in the warm months, but I have to say I enjoyed it in the winter as well. Everyone was bundled up and the beer halls were super cozy ;)


If you're there in the winter, the Christmas market is a must. Stalls upon stalls of cute little Christmas items and delicious food and drink to boot.

And if you visit the Christmas market, you'll be in Munich's prime shopping district anyways, so you might as well hit a few stores while you're there ;). This girl from Arkansas was in H&M heaven and loved every minute of it. I swear there were four or five different H&M's on the same little street... and yes, I went into each.

On a more serious note... We took a day trip to visit Dachau and the concentration camp in the town. This was certainly the most somber part of our trip, but we thought it was important to see it firsthand. I'm glad we went, because it was truly an experience I won't soon forget. It's super easy to get there from Munich and I would highly suggest going if you ever get the opportunity.


The beer halls are a must of course. We visited one every night in Munich, but our favorite was probably Hofbrauhaus--where we ate "Thanksgiving dinner." We sat at a big empty table that soon filled up with a huge group of men who were super friendly. The band and all the people having a good time adds to the authentic experience. Order a Radler if you aren't so fond of beer and you can thank me later.

If you ever go to Munich, have to eat a bratwurst on my behalf. I was so excited about eating an authentic German bratwurst during out trip that I may have eaten my fair share for the next year. German food was amazing {truly} and I still dream about those wursts!

My sister and I are already plotting ways to convince our parents to take us back to Europe this summer. Or maybe I'll just have to move there one of these days....

PS... If you haven't already done so, make sure to vote in last week's poll! We'll be back tomorrow with the highly anticipated results ;) Vote here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

a new year, a new you...

Resolutions. I've never really been one to stick to resolutions. Let alone think of a list of things I need to change in my life being that me and my life are pretty much perfect.

I kid.

Here is what I know about resolutions ... They need to be concrete. It can't be "I want to be a better person." Okay, well it can. But, as part of that resolution you have to know how you are going to do it. And why it matters to you.

At least for me, anyway. Take something simple I've done over the last few months. I've given up pop and coffee. A Coke and a cup of joe were two of my favorite things in life. So why did I decide to ditch them? For one, I never, ever drank water. I would go days. I would wake up and have a cup of coffee. Come lunch time, I'd have a Coke. If I ate dinner, it would definitely be with a Coke. And this happened every day. When my boyfriend looked at me like I was the dumbest person on the planet, not to mention I felt tired almost every day from caffeine crashes and horrible sleep, I decided to give the whole water thing a go. Just a few days in and after months of tossing and turning and constantly waking up through the night, I was sleeping the whole night through. My wallet was a little thicker, too, and I generally feel better. The whole idea came about because yes, I want to be healthy, (Not to mention not look 50 at age 30) but it was grounded by 1) Drinking water is cheaper. 2) I get much better rest.

As far as what I'm going to change come January 1? I want to be financially stable. This girl needs to get a budget and stick to it. I want to be knowledgable about my finances. I want to know how much I can save and how much I can spend. The whole swiping in the dark thing is far from cute and right next to stupid. So how will I do it? Setting out a budget, first and foremost. And then I'm going to try cash envelopes. Once it's gone baby, it's gone. What's really going to keep me to this one? A joint savings account with my significant other to take a much-needed vacay and a graduate education I am really hoping I don't have to take out loans for.

What are your new years resolutions? And what are your tips for keeping them?

Monday, December 12, 2011

how to successfully live with your besties and come out the other side

This weekend was the end of an important era of my life—my best friend moved out of the apartment we shared (with our other BFF). We’ve lived together for over a year and due to her getting a job in another city, that fun chapter of our lives was closed yesterday afternoon. A new chapter with an exciting new job and the possibility of a new roommate has opened—I’m trying to only be a little bit depressed about it.

A lot of people are amazed that we lived together for so long and never once wanted to [seriously] kill each other. I’ve heard horror stories of never speaking to friends again after living with each other, so the fact that we not only came out the other side, but are closer than we were before is quite a feat I’d say. So today, in honor of our milestone, I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts on successfully living with your besties.

First, I think it’s important to know a few details of our background. Mary Beth, Meagan and I met in high school. When I went to school in Chicago for college, they stayed in Arkansas to attend the University of Arkansas together. Through four years of living apart, we remained close. When I moved back and got a job, we decided to take the plunge and live together. A dream come true for us! We quickly learned how to live with each other—who’s the cleanest (Meagan), who likes her private time (me) and who is the most easy going (Mary Beth).

Here’s what I would say to friends who want to live together… you have to be really open and communicative. You also have to know that your friendship will always, no matter what, come first. Not being friends isn’t an option for us. So we weren’t going to let stupid things like stealing each others clothes and cleanliness effect our relationship at the end of the day. We may get annoyed and mad at each other, but once we process those emotions, they’re gone. Out the window and won’t affect our friendship in the future. You can’t hold grudges for small things. And keeping in mind that in the end your friendship is the only thing that matters helps. It’s not who took out the trash the last time or the roommate who hasn’t done dishes in weeks.

You all need to be on the same page as far as cleanliness and rules of cleaning go. Meagan is our resident neat freak and I know she still to this day got annoyed that Mary Beth and I weren’t as concerned with cleaning as her. But here’s my take: Keep your personal spaces as dirty as you want them. But make an effort to help keep common spaces neat. You also can’t be of the mindset of, well I filled the dishwasher last so it’s not my turn. If it’s bugging you—do it. If you have time, do it. Everyone will pitch in when they can, and the house will be orderly. As long as everyone puts in an effort, it will all work out. And if it’s really bothering you, COMMUNICATE. No one can read your mind.

Which leads me to my last point… unless mind reading is a skill you have mastered, you have to understand how to communicate with your roommates. And be warned: confrontation and communication are two different things. If something is bothering you, there is something to be said about the way you approach the subject. Be calm, cool and just casually mention it. If you build it up to a bigger deal than it really should be, people will come at you guns blazing and that’s fun for no one.

I’ll always look back on the fond memories of living together—getting ready on weekends together, downing bottles of wine on random Wednesday nights, baking together and a few things that can’t be mentioned on the internet. Now, as Mary Beth and I start to think about living with someone else, it will be more important than ever to remember these important “rules” to living with friends. So to recap: communicate, be respectful, and remember that your friendship comes first. There will be times when you want to pull each other’s hair out—that’s natural. But in the end, as long as you can still stand to be around each other, that’s all that matters.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

poll of the week: independent vs. dependent

Results from last week's poll are in! And it looks like I'm not the only one who is late on the present shopping game...

Glad to see I'm not the only one procrastinating. And whoever out there is already done.... I am highly impressed and perhaps a little jealous. The rest of us can suffer together as we hit the crowded malls and stores in the upcoming weeks. Is it too late to shop online?

For this week's poll, I thought we would re-visit the topic of this post. I'd love to know how you would describe yourself on the scale of independence vs. dependence. There's certainly no shame in either... I think there are pros and cons on both sides of the spectrum. So be honest, and let us know where you're at.

And as always, don't forget to elaborate in the comments if you've got something to say! We always love hearing from you.

Do you have an idea for a future poll question? Let us know!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

cheer up, buttercup


This one's for anyone who needs a pick-me-up. It seems like the majority of people are just not as happy as we could be lately. School, work, relationships and just life are getting everyone down. Or maybe it's just the colder weather that affects our moods. Whatever it is, the good news is, sometimes you can also forget about the stuff that is bogging you down and chose to focus on the little inconsequential things that don't necessarily matter in the long run, but will lift your mood and your spirits, if only for a little while.

So... if you need something to raise you up right now, here's what I've got for you:
  • Listen to some music that you love. Whether it inspires you, makes you dance or just makes you forget about everything for a little while... it does the job.Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Beyonce--these fabulous ladies always do the trick for me.
  • Que up a few funny videos on YouTube. Oh come on, how can laughing babies and other people's embarrassing moments not make you giggle? This one is sure to turn your frown upside down.
  • Plan a night with your girlfriends. My lady friends and I did that just last night. I think it's safe to say we all left a little happier. I am convinced there is nothing a glass of wine and some girl talk cannot cure.
  • Do something for somebody else. Volunteer to babysit a friend's kid. Donate your old clothes to a homeless shelter. It will lift your spirits to do good, I promise.
  • Go buy yourself something small. A new book, a pair of shoes, maybe some perfume? You deserve to indulge every once in a while.
  • Call your grandma (or grandpa or favorite aunt). Seriously. Do it. They love to hear from you. Plus grandmas are always good at telling you how awesome you are. Who doesn't love to hear that?
  • Exercise. I will admit, this would not be on my list of things to do to make me happy. But I hear there are these things called endorphins that have the power to boost your mood. Not that I know anything about them from personal experience or anything.

Alright, now what do you do to put yourself in a better mood? I'd love to hear!

Monday, December 5, 2011

miss independent


Something you should know about me: I'm an independent to a fault.

I don't know if it's because I'm one of four kids and the middle child, so I was raised to be independent, of if I was just been destined to be this way, or what... but I am probably the most independent person I know.

Don't get me wrong... I love friends and I love my family and I love being around them. But when it comes to having to depend on someone for anything, it makes me feel really uncomfortable. I don't want to be taken care of, I don't want to feel like I ever need anything from anyone. Which, let's face it, is super ridiculous. I'll at least need someone to kill spiders for me for the rest of my life ;)

The worst part is, I really, really wish I wasn't so independent. I want to be able to rely on people, I want to be able to wish I had someone around to take care of me, I want to be able to let people in to take care of me. Most of the time, I just feel like it's easier to be by yourself then let people in. But sometimes, I envision being able to be more dependent. I know that's silly, but the grass is always greener, right?

The chances for me to become more dependent on people now are slim. I'm 23 years old. It's an engrained part of me by now. I can work on opening myself up to new people and I'm trying to get better at that. But I don't think I'll ever be able to fully open up to new people very easily. Or fully accept that there are other people than my mom and dad who can take care of me.

Basically, I just want to know.... are you independent or dependent and do you ever wish you were opposite? I know there are people who are really dependent and wish they weren't, but how do you work to make yourself change? Or vice versa?

Sibling love

I decided this past weekend that if I ever have a child, I will without a doubt have two. I have a few friends who have one little one--and swear, that is it. I get it. Children are expensive. They are a handful. Balancing work, a little one and a relationship I'm sure is one of life's biggest challenges. However, to all you parents with one toddler in tow, giving them a sibling is the greatest gift you can give. Here is why...

This past week my dad had open heart surgery. I made the 11-hour trek home, and my sister flew in from Denver. We arrived to face my parent's five crazy dogs, a frail and ill mother {she had just broken her hip and shoulder a few weeks prior and has a slew of other health issues}, and a worried but brave dad.

As we learned about how he'd be put on bypass, that he could wake up during surgery, and that the procedure all-in-all was a risky one, the reality of the situation settled in. As we waited during the almost 5-hour surgery, we kept each other occupied. She lent me her headphones, we texted each other across the waiting room about the weird people sitting near us, and both giggled at my mom snoring on the couch.

When we got the good news, we shared a smile and a giant sigh. She was also sure to make fun of me for mistaking a toilet for a stool in his room in ICU and taking a seat on it when I felt faint after seeing my dad for the first time. {Thanks, Sis!}

Back in Arkansas, and my sister back in Denver, we've shared daily texts and phone calls about our dad. As he's back in the hospital today due to another possible health issue, both filled with worry, and a bit of anger due to other family issues, we bitch up a storm, and then convince each other it'll be okay.

She has been my partner in crime since she was old enough to walk. As an adult, she's becoming my partner in life. She understands me in a way no one else can and I couldn't face life with as much confidence as I do without her.

To anyone with a sibling, cherish them. When the reality of your parents health or other issues begins to set it, you will need them. And you will be so grateful that you can face it together.

Friday, December 2, 2011

go, see, do: salzburg

Second stop on our trip was Salzburg! After a full day of train travel, we were greeted in Salzburg by the first sunny day we had in Europe. {It was foggy and overcast our whole time in Prague.} Unfortunately, it did not stick around. Salzburg ended up being pretty foggy during our time there. But would wouldn't let that ruin our trip. The city was all decked out for Christmas which we loved and it certainly got us in the holiday spirit. Out of all three, Salzburg wasn't out favorite stop. We still enjoyed the city, but I probably won't go back. Only because we've pretty much seen/done everything it has to offer and there wouldn't be much to go back for.

{mom, sister and i}

Again, we were there during the chilly fall. But given my options, I would say go during that time! The Christmas decor and holiday spirit really enveloped the city, which I seriously loved. The Christmas market was in full swing which was a treat. I'm sure it's beautiful in the spring/summer, but I really loved being there this time of year.


The aforementioned Christmas market. With stalls and stalls of ornaments, great food and hot drinks it is impossible to pass up this festive stop. It's so quintessentially "Europe."

Festung Hohensalzburg is a medieval castle that sits atop the city. One of the largest of its kind in Europe, there is a lot to see. Including a museum featuring old rooms and history information and a fun little marionette museum. Apparently the views of the city from up there are great, but since it was so foggy the day we went up, you literally could not see a thing.

What was once a home for Mozart and his family, has now been turned into a museum. What could have been another boring museum, was actually fairly interesting with demo stations and things like that.


Goldgasse is a must. Picture a cute little street lined with darling shops. The time of year was perfect because it was lit up and decorated to the nines for the holidays.

Augustiner Brau is a classic beer hall and a fun way to spend an evening. Walk in, pick up your beer mug, rinse it off, choose your type of beer and you're good to go! The brewery also has stalls of food at your disposal and lively patrons who make the atmosphere just right. Basically what I'm saying is that I never wanted to leave! ;)

Then, if you're like us... you can leave the beer hall and head straight for the ice rink. Which is exactly what we did. With our libations to warm us up, we went for a few laps on the city's public ice rink. With American tunes blasting from the speakers to dance to, we had quite the time.

As you can see, Salzburg was a lot of fun! I'm so glad we went. Next stop: Munich! I'll be back next week with those details. Y'all have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

poll of the week: what's your holiday shopping plan of attack?

In our poll from two weeks ago we asked for your opinions on long distance relationships. Here's what you said....

I was surprised by how many cynics voted ;). I'm of the school of thought that they can work. Long distance relationships take a lot of work and both parties have to be willing to really put in the work. We got some great comments on the post that I wanted to share:

Sarah said....
"my ex and I dated for three and a 1/2 years before we had to became long distance because of work reasons. we managed to last another 1 1/2 long distance before ending the time we thought a year or so long distance wouldnt be so bad with frequent visits and the end result being we'd be together in the same place...but with the loss of the every day time together, the few days together every other month or so and phone calls just weren't enough."

kBr said...
"My current boyfriend and I have been together for a year now and we have been long distance the whole time...we live about two and a half hours apart and met through friends last August....So far our only problem has been missing each other, which isn't fun but its not as bad as what some long distance couples deal with like jealousy, schedules that don't allow them to communicate much, etc.... So far its worth it though and our relationship is great!"

Leah said...
"My boyfriend and I are long distance during the summer- two so far, once I studied abroad once when we had jobs in different cities. I think it depends a lot on the people and the effort they put into the relationship! There's no doubt they are tougher than being in the same place but they can definitely work!"

Obviously each relationship is different, but I thought it was interesting to hear three examples of how they've worked and how they didn't. Thanks for sharing girls!

In this week's poll, we want to hear about when you buy your Christmas gifts. Are you like me and leave it till the last second? Or have you already checked everyone off your list? Do tell...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

go, see, do: prague

First stop on our mini tour through eastern Europe was Prague. (Spoiler alert: My favorite place we went.) I've always wanted to visit Prague, so getting the opportunity to tour the old city was amazing. If you ever get the chance to visit, here are my tips:


I would suggest going in a warmer month. Although the crowds were not bad in November, the cold weather was hard to stomach. You'll be walking around quite a bit so the warmer temps will be to your advantage. Plus, with everything in bloom I'm sure it would be 10 times as pretty as it already was.

Prague Castle is a must. The views at the top are stunning. There's a museum and some old buildings to walk through. But my favorite thing was the Golden Lane, a sweet little street lined with tiny shops.

Be sure and check out the Charles Bridge... It will be hard to miss! Cute stalls of shops line the bridge and be sure and stop for the buskers.

We took a day trip to Kutna Hora, a city about an hour and a half outside of Prague. One of our stops was the creepiest thing we did the whole trip: visted Sedlec Ossuary, a church filled with the skeletons of over 40,000 people. It was certainly unique! But we loved it and I'm glad we went.

Take the tram to the top of Petrin Hill to check out the beautiful views of the city and the little Eiffel Tower that sits on the top. We went at night and it was beautiful. One of our favorite meals the whole trip was at a cafe halfway up the hill.

Eat! The food in Prague was amazing. From the cute little Bohemian restaurants to the street vendors selling delicious Staroceske Trdlo (above)... I loved it all. I'm still dreaming about recreating some of it here at home.

Everything about Prague was exactly how I expected it to be... which I suppose is why I loved it so much. It was totally different from anything we have here in the States, which is part of the fun of traveling. My mom and I have already discussed at length when we're going back. Can't wait!

this is why you're single

To the boy obsessively texting my friend morning, noon and night—no one finds it charming that every time her phone chimes it’s you "checking in." I can’t think of one person I would want to text that frequently, and it surely isn’t the guy I randomly met in a bar just a few weeks ago.

“Good morning dear!”
“How is your day going?”
“What’s up?”
“Are you surviving Monday?”
“Is it the weekend yet?”

If these messages are each met with one-word responses, chances are…. She’s not interested.

Take a minute before you hit send. Has she ever started the conversation? Does she ask you questions about your day? Does she actually care about what you’re saying?

If the answer to any of the above are no then, she probably does not want to talk to you every minute of every day. Sorry, but it’s true.

Each time your name pops up on her phone, your grave in her cemetery where bad dates go to die is just getting deeper and deeper. Didn’t your mother ever tell you to play hard to get? Because mine certainly did!

Next time, don’t act so eager. You’re sweet. You treat her well. She has no reason not to like you. But give her a chance to realize that! All these text messages are only making her realize that you have way too much time on your hands and not enough friends to entertain you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

holiday bucket list


I'm baaaaccckkkk!! :) And it feels so good. Vacation was just what the doctor ordered. But it's always nice to return home, isn't it? Europe was amazeballs. I definitely have another few top favorite cities in the world and if y'all are interested I'll do a post about our trip later this week. Not typically what we talk about on S&E, but y'all might want a peek at the other side of the world? Let me know!

I missed out on all the Thanksgiving festivities--not a turkey or stuffing in sight. But I hope your holidays were great! Everyone is putting up Christmas lights and seem to be getting into the holiday spirit around here, and I for one could not be more excited. I love this time of year. Love, love, love.

In fact, I may have already started a list of everything I want to do in the next month or so before the year is up....

ice skating
s'mores in the fireplace
christmas present shopping
checking out the lights around town
hot chocolate on a regular basis
cookie baking party
fun christmas crafts
gingerbread house building
putting up the christmas tree
snow angels
paper garland making
lots of holiday cocktails
tacky christmas sweater party
holiday movie marathon

This time of year flies by and I am determined to squeeze every ounce of merriment out of it. Am I missing anything?? What's on your list of to-do's for maximum holiday enjoyment??

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Poll of the Week: What are you thankful for?

It's that time of year when we reflect on what we are most thankful for. I'll talk more about what I'm thankful for when the poll closes, but to get us started, one of the things I'm truly thankful for this year is my parents. They have both had health issues this year, and next week my dad will be having open-heart surgery. Prayers are appreciated! Although we live eleven hours away, my dad is my rock and if you ask my boyfriend by the way I talk about him, he is also my hero.

I hope all of you have a happy, happy Thanksgiving, surrounded by people you love. I can't wait to hear what you are most thankful for.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Good Giving

Gift's one of those things I've always prided myself at being good at. I always want to give that thing someone will truly enjoy. Good gift giving isn't about how much money you spend, it really is about the thought that is put into it. Think about those favorite gifts you were ever given and why they were your favorites.

When I was a freshman in high school my boyfriend saved all of his allowances for months and months on end to give me $500 spending money on a trip to NYC. When I was new at my first job, my friend Danielle gave me a gorgeous constellation necklace for Christmas that I had once mentioned I loved at a photo shoot for work. When I found out I got into graduate school this year, my boyfriend surprised me by hosting a get together for me and my two girlfriends to celebrate. The link tying these all together, while each "cost" something different entirely, they all were filled with thought and effort.

Here are a few of my favorite gift ideas:

Make magnets. You can transform your Instagram photos into magnets. How cool is that? This is a fun {and special} gift to give! 

Make a Blurb Book. Blurb is very easy to use and very affordable. The quality of these books are great, too. {You can make hardcover or soft!} You could make a photo book, or even write a book. Yes, write one. {For my nieces first birthday I made a book filled with my wishes for her.} 

Personalize a Mug. For any coffee or tea lover, write them a sweet message they can look at every morning. Certainly a nice way to start the day. {Great one for those parents who don't get to see you every day!}

Make a Donation. As always, this is a great way to spread a greater love this holiday season.  Download and print the card above if you choose to make a donation as a gift! 

I hope you enjoy this holiday season and have fun sharing your love with all those people in your life.