Friday, September 30, 2011

Quit Whining!

via pinterest

That title is for me. Sulking. Wallowing. Whining. That has been me the last few days, and it is time for it to stop. Seriously. I am starting to annoy myself.

So in honor of my new attitude [ may be in part to the fact I have the entire weekend off! ] I am making a list of the things I am grateful for.

1. My family. They drive me crazy, yes, and they are a bunch of weirdos, but they are my weirdos.
2. My job. Although I complain about it at times, I am quite lucky to have it. Not only does it pay the bills, it allows me to be creative. I'm in charge of the projects I take on. If they succeed, if they fail. And having responsibility at work is a nice thing.
3. My friends. Annye posted about it not too long ago, but I am finally at a stage in my life where I am surrounded by some freaking fabulous friends. It took me 24 years to find them. But I did, and, they rock.
4. My boy toy. Sweet. Thoughtful. Funny. Tells me I'm pretty and listens to me complain. He puts up with my 'woe is me' attitude more than anyone, and he is a trooper.
5. My age! Yes, I may have experienced a mid-20's crisis this week, but with all of the unknowns that make me FREAK out, they also make me smile. My life could go anywhere at this point. And with this amazing support system in my life, and a positive outlook, I think it's all going to turn out okay.
6. Baby D. Being an Aunt is the one job that always puts a smile on my face. And smacks me in the head, saying, 'Get it together you moron. Having a crazy Aunt is not cool.' That baby girl is my sunshine.
7. Smith & Emma! Yes, I'm doing some ass-kissing. I should. This blog is the first thing I neglect when I'm busy, but the first thing I run to when I'm having a crisis. But that's what you do to the things you love, right? This little place to blab about issues I'm facing, my opinions on things, and lessons I've learned that people  [other than Annye :) ] may actually read? That is pretty kick-ass.

What are you grateful for?

Enjoy your weekends. Do something you love!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

chin chin!


Pssst…. This little corner of the Internet is celebrating 5,000 views as of yesterday!

For something that was dreamt up on a work trip by two girls pretty much flying by the seat of our pants… we’re humbled by the support we’ve received from y’all.

We just wanted to say thanks for stopping by our little blog and reading our words. It means more than you know.

Champagne and streamers for everyone!


Smith & Emma

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ask nicely


When I was a kid I hated making phone calls. Yet, despite my known hatred for the activity my mother always insisted that if there was a call to be made--I would do it without her calling for me. If I wanted to arrange a play date--I had to call. If I wanted to find out if a store had something--I had to call. In fact, I distinctively remember her making me book a hotel room for one of my birthday parties-true story! {And if you know my mother, it’s really not that surprising.}

One summer when I was 13 and wanted a babysitting job, despite my begging and pleading, my mom forced me to call up the lady and ask for the job. I spent hours agonizing over it. My mom and I wrote out a script before I finally dialed the number. The lady picked up and in what I'm sure was the shakiest voice she had ever heard, I point blank stated that I was interested in the babysitting job, gave her my qualifications, and asked if I could please have it. Before we hung up, I had scored my first {paying} summer job.

I know now that my mom was insisting I do those things to teach me a lesson and hopefully one day get over my fear of the telephone. Despite her best efforts, my fear is still very much in tact {we can blame that on the convenience of text messaging} but I did learn a great lesson in all of those years—one that I’m still working on today…

If you want something, all you have to do is ask for it.

A few months ago I asked for a raise at my job. Thirteen-year-old Annye would have been put to shame with the nervousness I felt that day. Walking into my boss’ office I’m pretty sure my hands were visibly shaking. But, just like the day when I called about the summer babysitting job, I had practiced a script and thought of all the reasons I deserved more money. Not knowing whether or not I would have been offered one had I not asked, I’m so glad I did because I ended up getting what I wanted.

Life is too short to sit back and be passive about the things you want. Asking for things is one way you can control what happens to you. It’s way too easy to sit around and talk about something that you wish you had—the hard part is actually getting up the guts and asking for it. The worst thing that could happen is the word “no.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

don't be so hard on yourself


Today I read this--Sometimes It's Not You. And it was just what I needed. So of course I wanted to share it with y'all.

As a single lady for almost two years, I admit to feeling slightly desperate at times. It's hard not to wonder why I'm still single, while I see others dropping like flies and falling in love. Am I too opinionated? Do I swear too much? Am I not pretty enough? Should I loose five pounds?

I could seriously get lost in all of the things I think are wrong about me sometimes. It's hard not to let that eat you up, especially when there doesn't seem to be anything good coming--you know?

Luckily, I tend to be a glass half-full kind of gal, so usually it doesn't really bother me. But we all have our moments of weakness.

So, in case you're feeling like this, or have ever felt like this, I wanted to share this quote from the article with you... {Backstory: after being single for eight years, the author finally meets her Mr. Right and realizes there was nothing wrong with her all along.}
"Did we find love because we grew up, got real and worked through our issues? No. We just found the right guys. We found men who love us even though we're still cranky and neurotic, haven't got our careers together, and sometimes talk too loudly, drink too much and swear at the television news. We have gray hairs and unfashionable clothes and bad attitudes. They love us, anyway.

What's wrong with me? Plenty. But that was never the point."
Moral of the story: Don't be so hard on yourself. Someone is going to love each of your flaws someday, and if they don't.. well I believe Miss Marilyn Monroe said it best: "If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ahhh! I'm Panicking!

via Pinterest
Today I had my first panic attack. Weird! Heart racing, chest pressure, the can't breathe feeling. Needless to say, I didn't like it.

For the most part I tend to be an easy-going girl. I try to not sweat the small things, trust that things will work out and believe that worrying is a waste of time and energy.

But this week, I worried. I worried, a lot. I worried because the things going on in my life right now are all out of my control. I can't influence the outcome. I can't make any type of personal sacrifice to save the day. All I can do is hope. Pray. Wish. And I do not freaking like it one bit.

During my bad relationship, (I realize I talk about this a lot, but it was kind of my epiphany, so bare with me.) I was totally out of control. I let him control my emotions, influence my actions, change what I believed. Fast forward to the break up, a lot of alone time and tons of Elizabeth Gilbert. I realized that I was in control. Things didn't just happen to me. I wasn't a victim.

To say I'm in control doesn't mean I'm in control of everything that happens in my life. What I can control are two things: how I think and how I react. After realizing that, I have lived my life in complete control. Control over my thoughts, my emotions, my actions. Doing what I can to make things around me better. Living a life I'm proud of. Seeing the bright side of things.

Until today. Today I lost control. I thought the worst. I worried 'til it made me physically sick. I told my rosy outlook on life to take a hike. Today I needed someone to tell me everything was going to be fine. Today I needed to depend on someone else. I needed to hand them my worry and say 'Here, you deal with it.'

And today, someone did. Someone I love made me feel better. Today someone reminded me I can depend on the people around me. That I can stray. I can have dark days and think the world is crashing down around me. It's human. They are there to weather my worry with me, to give me a hug and then a swift kick in the ass to get back to being me.

I wholeheartedly believe we have to learn to depend on ourselves. To be in control. To know that we can do it all alone. But once we learn that, once we know we can do it, maybe that's when you get to let yourself need someone else once in a while. To know you can go it alone, but you don't have to. Because letting someone catch you when you start to fall is kind of nice.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

an apathetic generation


Today, the state of Georgia plans to execute a man for a crime he most likely did not commit. Have you heard of Troy Davis and his story? If not, you can read about it here and here. Basically it boils down to this... Troy Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer. After he was sentenced, developments have come to light that include reports of police misconduct, testimonies have been recanted and withdrawn, and so forth. The Georgia pardon and parole board has refused to grant Troy clemency despite the support of over 600,000 people included President Jimmy Carter and 51 members of congress.

I tell you this today not to get all political on you. That's not what Smith & Emma is here for. I wanted to talk about this today because sometimes it freaks me out how apathetic our generation is.

apathy: [adjective] Showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern.

When I first read about Troy's case a while ago, I admit to not really thinking more about it. However, when I read yesterday that he was denied clemency despite all of this evidence that he did not in fact murder the police officer, I physically felt ill about it. To think about all of the people who were fighting, and yet all of the people who had never heard of Troy's case--blows my mind. The state of Georgia is going to sentence a man to death for this... and yet still people are not reading about it or talking about it.

I hear about these things and I have to talk about it. I have to share it with people. That's just my nature. If you follow me on twitter or read my personal blog, that's not news to you. I don't expect others to get as riled us as I do. But I do think it's our duty as adult citizens of the world to stay informed, to read the news, to stay up to date about what is happening in our society.

For as long as I can remember, my dad has been sending me news articles from the New York Times. I think that's where my interest in the news comes from. He saw the importance of informing his children on what is going on in the world. Thanks to him, I think I'm a well-rounded individual. But does that mean I could tell you every little thing that is going on in the Middle East right now? Hell no. But I have a small sense of what is going on. And I always know where to find more information.

It is our duty to form an opinion on matters such as these and do something about it. To vote. To talk about it.

The mindset of "What can do?" or "My opinion doesn't matter" really bothers me. If everyone sat back and did nothing--well that would be a scary world. It is because of individuals just like you and me who make things happen, who make changes in the world.

Maybe it's not the Troy Davis' or the Casey Anthony's that get your riled up. But find something that does and support it. I promise you--your voice matters. Your vote counts. Don't let things slip by you just because you aren't informed about them. Start reading your local newspaper. Follow current events. Think about what you personally believe. Don't let others sway your opinions. Stand your ground.

Educate yourself. Form opinions. Be heard. And most importantly, don't be apathetic.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

you've got mail

This little beauty found itself to my doorstep yesterday and I'm so glad it did.

After hearing about Birchbox online, and then talking to a friend who had recently signed up, I decided to bite the bullet and become a member myself. And I am super excited about it! After signing up last month, I finally got my first box and I can't wait to try out my new stuff.

If you haven't heard of it, basically for $10 a month, you sign up and Birchbox sends you a box full of goodies to sample--beauty related products like makeup, perfume, tools, etc.

I love going to the drugstore and scoping out all the new things. It's fun to sample new products, but rarely let myself splurge and buy things on a whim. The luxury of Birchbox is that you get to sample new products without worry or waste. For $10 a month you get a package on your doorstep filled with new makeup or beauty products to try. If you love it, great! If you hate it, no worries.

Plus it's like receiving a new surprise every month since you don't know what you're gonna get! This month they did something a little different and mixed and matched their favorite products since it is their one year anniversary. But most months, you get products specifically picked out for your tastes and likes--which they find out from a questionnaire you fill out when you sign up.

I can't wait to test out all my new goodies. This month I got nail appliques, a mascara sample, mascara cards, a perfume sample, and a cute friendship bracelet. If I find something I love, I will definitely share it with y'all. And if you're interested in joining in on the fun, click here to become a member now!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

hair DOs

I am admittedly not much of a risk-taker when it comes to my locks. My hair typically stays on the longer side, unless I'm feeling restless and then I've been known to chop it off a time or two--each time hating it more than the last. I think I've learned my lesson to just keep it long and save myself the trouble. Instead, I've learned to play with the color a little bit! Adding highlights or low lights or sprucing up your whole head of hair is always fun--might as well try something new from time to time, because after all it's only hair. That goes for bangs and layers. Switching those up can completely change your whole look without touching much of the length.

At the end of June, I added blondish highlights to my hair, giving it a golden brown look that I loved for those sunny days. With summer ending and fall creeping in, I think it's time to go darker again. And since I've decided I want something, I want it now! Unfortunately, apparently so does every one of my hair dresser's clients, because I can't get into to see her for two more weeks. So until then, I'm left to daydream about potential cuts and colors that I most likely will never do. And you get to play along :). Here are just a few of the favorites I'm loving today...

middle part... switching up the part of your hair changes your look instantly. try moving it to the middle for a little while and see how you like the sleeker look.
ombre locks... two-toned hair has been on my radar for quite some time. it might be time to finally try it out. plus, you save on coloring costs--it looks great even when it's growing out.
stick straight... whip out your straightener for a sexy and polished look.
bang! bang!... bangs are for much more than hiding your five-head--these dramatic bangs make a statement.
a hint of red... i've longed to be a ginger most of my life. perhaps a reddish tint is in the cards for this fall.

Friday, September 9, 2011

the friend zone


Do you think it's possible to stay on good terms with your ex?
Do you think it's healthy to stay friends with your ex?
Is it okay that your significant other is friends with their ex?

Both deep questions I am pondering on this lovely Friday. Here's my take:

Personally, I think it's possible and healthy.

Of all of my exes (I am talking casual dating to serious boyfriends) I am friends with the ones that ended on good terms. I can proudly say I can not only carry on a conversation with all but maybe three of my exes, I would even consider them friends.

Here's my philosophy. Most guys I date, I date because I like them as human beings first and foremost. They are good people. We have things in common obviously. We once had a mutual affection for each other. I care about their well-being not just because we have a history, but because they are my people, just like any other platonic friendship I have. So why shouldn't that be translated to a friendship?

Perhaps it takes a while to get to a place where you can be friends. For example, one of my ex-boyfriends who I dated for almost two years.... {This could be awkward if he's reading this.} Needless to say I loved him at one time. Eventually we broke up and moved on. He started dating another girl. At that time there is no way I could have been friends with him. Yes, I was happy for him. But a part of me was still bitter about our relationship. Today, I am not the same person. I truly could be friends with any of his future girlfriends and wish him the best. The love I have for him now comes from a much different place then it did when we were dating. Both he and I have to accept that to be able to forge a healthy and peaceful friendship.

Being able to accept that your significant other is still friends with their exes is an extremely personal decision. I believe that if you trust your partner, are honest with each other, and know that their love for you cannot compare to the love they had to any of their past relationships, I say its possible. Letting jealousy and concern for past relationships come between your current relationship is the quickest way to ruin something--true for any circumstance I think. Am I crazy and delusional?

I think a good criteria for any boyfriend is this: Ask yourself if you could see yourself being friends with him should things not work out. If the answer is no, think about why it's no. Is it because you fundamentally don't like something about him? Are you too different to be friends? Chances are things may not work out in the long run for your relationship... Just saying.

And those are my deep thoughts for this Friday. Happy weekend loves!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dress to Impress...Yourself.

Recently a high school girl and her mom were in our store looking for a homecoming dress. The girl was deciding between two, and said 'Maybe I should let Andrew decide.' Andrew was her boyfriend. Her mom's response? 'Uh, no. You choose the one you want.' His opinion didn't count in this realm. I overheard and said, 'She's right. That's a good mama.'

Because she was right. Now don't get me wrong. There are times on a date with my man I will opt for a sexy black dress versus my floral jumpsuit. But that doesn't mean I still don't own the floral jumpsuit and wear it whenever I like. 

I conversed with a girl recently who opted out of a certain clothing item she loved because her boyfriend didn't like it. It made me a little mad. I wanted to shake her and tell her to wear whatever the hell she wanted. Beyond the feminist fire shooting out of my ears in that moment, it goes back to the ability to have a good relationship... you can't change who you are to make someone else happy. We're talking about clothes, I realize, but even changing that small thing about yourself isn't a good move.

I'm not saying you have to rock a turban and harem pants. Or not want your boyfriend to think you look hot. But the bottom line is, you do look hot. Be confident. Rock that jumpsuit and I bet he's going to become a fan. But if he doesn't and you love it? You better wear it!

I remember one night my man had planned a fancy dinner out. I went back and forth over what to buy to wear and ended up buying this gorgeous, flowy white maxi dress. I felt beautiful in it. It wasn't sexy, it wasn't tight or low cut. It was fashion-forward and pretty. When I opened the door he just stood there. We shared one of those sappy take my breath away moments. Then there was the 'Wow,' that made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. (Gosh this paragraph is cheesy. My apologies. Roll your eyes if needed.) 

So be you. Wear what you want. Chances are he's going to think you look most beautiful in sweats anyway. Plus he should love you for who you are. (Including your fabulous fashion sense.) And if he doesn't? Well, you know what to do with him.

Below are some of my favorite looks you should try!
Boyfriend jeans. Gotta love the name for the baggiest jean there is. 
Shoes with socks. Yes, yes, yes.
High-Waisted EVERYTHING.
Maxi's with boots.
Maxi's with sweaters. Or tees. Or cardies.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

just one message


Last night I had another great night with a lovely group of women I consider some of the best. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Some food. Some wine. Lots of girl talk. I've learned to appreciate nights like those more and more, simply because I always leave feeling lifted up, encouraged, inspired and mostly importantly like I am exactly where I am supposed to be in life.

Which is why, if I had one message for younger girls it would be this....

Start cultivating your group of girl friends.

Weed out the bad. Stick with the good.Find girls you trust. Girls you like most importantly. Girls who share the same morals and beliefs as you. Who have fun doing nothing. Girls you can be silly with and serious with. Who encourage you and build you up when you need it.

I don't mean a large group of girls you kind of like. I mean two or three solid girls who you love like sisters, who will stick with you through thick and thin and who can laugh at you just as much as you laugh at yourself. Who will listen to you cry when you need to cry, will call you out for you bullshit when you need to be put in your place, and who will cover your ass, no questions asked, should the moment arise.

Now, more than ever, you're going to need a solid group of friends. You're not going to get the job you want one day and you'll need someone to call to bring over a bottle of wine and commiserate with you. A boy is going to break your heart and someones going to need to be there to pick you up off the bathroom floor. You're going to make a fool of yourself on New Years Eve and you are going to need someone to laugh at you for it, and then go buy McDonalds for your raging hangover.

We've all dealt with bitchy girls. Or girls who we thought were our friends only to find out they weren't. I wish that as women we can learn to lift each other up much earlier in life. But the good news is that eventually one day, you can leave all the petty drama behind and find real adult women who care about you just as much as your actual family--and sometimes you might even end up liking them more than you like your actual family.

Navigating life is just plain hard sometimes, but somehow it becomes a little bit easier when you have people to lean on and trust. And who you can commiserate with about your stomach cramps and PMS. ;)

Your BFFL,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Dice

via Pinterest
I read an article in Glamour this weekend that I think is definitely worth talking about. My generation, sadly, isn't really taking birth control seriously enough. We have this 'If it happens, it happens' attitude.

Now, don't get me wrong. I get the if it happens I'll make it work thing. Because if it happened to me, I would make it work. That is just how I would deal. But when did "dealing" with pregnancy become standard?

Ladies, we don't have to "deal." We can choose. How awesome is that? We can pop a pill, use a ring, have an IUD, I don't know - use condoms, perhaps? And 99% of the time, we aren't going to get pregnant. I read a book not long ago based on an NPR series called, "This I believe." (Great book, PS.) Anywho, do you know why Margaret Sanger fought so hard for the legalization of birth control? She hoped for a world where babies were wanted. And in a world where babies are desired, and planned, we have parents who are ready to parent. We have happier people.

But you would be happy anyway, right? Well, yes, you probably would. And he would stay with you right? Probably. Hopefully. But why take that gamble? A majority of the longterm couples who get pregnant unplanned and unmarried break up. When you don't know you're pregnant til 6 weeks in or later, all those glasses of red wine and lack of prenatal care can impact the health of your child. I don't know about you, but all of these things are not something I'd like to take a chance on.

If I sound preachy, forgive me. That terrible relationship I was in? I was on birth control at times. But then I'd skip a month. Or a few pills. I gambled. Thinking about that now almost makes me sick to my stomach. But when I was in it, when I loved him, I didn't think of it like that. I just didn't think, honestly. And I am so much smarter than that. So are you. Maybe your relationship is fantastic. But on the small chance that the fantastic may run out and you may not really know each other yet...take a form of birth control. I know that I may marry a man some day. Plan a pregnancy. Have a beautiful family. And then it all may go to shit. Life has no guarantees. But, I want to be able to scream and jump up and down when I look at that positive pee test. I want to be able to buy an "I love my daddy" onesie, wrap it up, and give it to that man I love with a huge smile on my face...and then see him smile just as big. Because that is how it should be.

Something I was able to totally understand in the article was women feeling that if they "gambled" with birth control, then the choice of marriage and babies or career wasn't theirs. It was whatever was "meant to be." I get the pressure. If it doesn't happen now, maybe it will never happen? But I whole-heartedly believe you can have the marriage and the babies and the career. When you choose. When you plan. And who cares which comes first? I think my generation has this fear that after 30 we've given up the marriage/baby path. Like it magically disappears. Puhhhlease.

And maybe marriage and babies aren't going to be part of your life story. So what. There are other things in life that will make you happy and fulfilled. Stop trying to force it to happen. Don't trap yourself with a baby and a man you're not sure about because you're afraid of not having it. A "this is better than nothing" attitude is not the route to go when it comes to PEOPLE. They deserve more. And so do you.

And you know what else? If the marriage and the man don't happen, but you've focused on your career, you are successful financially, you have a home, you are stable and happy - you, by all means, could still have a baby. You could adopt. What a gift to give. And you made it happen because you, my dear, are a kick ass woman. What could be more fulfilling than that?

So, point is there are so many things in our lives we can't control. But there are some things we can. Or some things we can at least try to control. And luckily, thankfully for us, that is when we have a child. So use your right to use birth control. And take it a bit more seriously. Positive thinking is great--but not wishful thinking. In the wise words of Miss Gilbert - "Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be."

Friday, September 2, 2011

telling the future


Do y’all ever read your horoscopes? I wouldn’t say I read mine regularly, but from time to time I take a peek just out of curiosity. And since yesterday was the first of the month and I happened to stumble upon it through a few other bloggers, I did check it out. And let me tell you, September seems like it might be a doozie for this girl.

First of all, I am a Gemini. For those of you who know anything about astrological signs, this is basically a warning to stay the hell away ;). We are said to be cunning, inconsistent, and slightly bipolar. Also very spontaneous, lively, witty, and good at communicating. We’re the infamous twins, so we have a good side and a dark side. {insert my evil and cunning laugh here}

Anyway, I wanted to share the first part of my horoscope, provided by Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone—she provides super in depth monthly horoscopes that sometimes are a little toooo freaky.

"September is a study in contrasts. It is almost as if September were two different months, with the sunny phase coming in the first 23 days, and then as you get deeper in the second half, most noticeable after September 24, gale force winds will show up and keep blowing through the middle of October. The universe will be speaking especially loudly and clearly this month, so it won't be a challenge to try to figure out what it is trying to say."
What is the universe going to say??? Perhaps that I have millions of dollars headed my way. A girl can dream.

I won’t lie, my horoscope made me weary for the month ahead (and October, too). I told my mom about it last night and she basically rolled her eyes at me the whole time. Believe me, I try not to play too far into it, but you can’t blame me for being curious.

So what about you? Do you believe in horoscopes and all that crazy talk? Someday Jena will have to blog about her stories with astrology and her psychic—they are certainly interesting and compelling! You can check out your horoscope for the month here. Hopefully your outlook for September is a little bit more uplifting than my own.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Fashion LOVES!

I've been thinking about what to blog about for a week now. Feeling overwhelmed with a bunch of topics that stress me out too much to actually deal with, I've instead decided to share with you trends for fall I am most excited about. Ah, avoidance is bliss.

Whatever this is called where the dress is a bit longer in the back. I should probably know the fashion term for this, but I don't. However, we have gotten in tons of this at the boutique I work at. On dresses, on skirts. I love it. It's something new (I think?) and fun. Adds a little funk, don't you think?

PS- Recognize the gorgeous model above? It's Annye's baby sis!

Booties. I love booties. And I really love these booties. So much so that I already blew the money on these puppies I won't be able to wear in Arkansas for another few months. Comfy (I swear), and adorable with everything - they are a fall staple everyone must have. 

Layers. I love fall fashion the most for this very reason. I can wear the same thing 3 days in a row 3 different ways. A huge trend for fall this year is layering over those ever-so-popular summer maxis. Way to be frugal, fashion gods! Keep those maxis out and put cropped sweaters, long sweaters, vests, and cropped or oversized t-shirts over your favorite summer maxis. You'll be cozy, look cute and feel smart for being oh-so sustainable with your wardrobe.