Friday, April 13, 2012

confessions confessions

We're linking up with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition for another round of confessional Friday. Here are our deepest and darkest (at least for this week....)....

Annye's confessions:
  1. It's supposed to rain here all weekend. Part of me wishes it wouldn't, because I want to be able to enjoy the outdoors some. But most of me hopes it does just so I could justify staying in bed and sleeping all weekend.
  2. The Easter Bunny visited me on Sunday {yes I'm almost 24 and the Easter Bunny still visits me} and I was really good about not touching the sweet stuff. Until Wednesday night, when I literally could stop thinking about the amount of chocolate that was sitting in my kitchen. The next thing I knew I was eating Kit Kats and jelly beans like they were going out of style. Not my proudest moment.
  3. All I can think about lately is summer time float trips. Have y'all ever been on a float trip? The kind where you go to the nastiest river you can find, and canoe all day--drinking beer and getting sunburnt? Basically, summer perfection around these parts. Cannotwait.
  4. I went to bed last night without showering after my workout. Thinking about it now just makes my skin crawl. But to justify: I showered this morning and plan on washing my sheets this afternoon. I was just too tired. Gross, I know.
  5. I have really been trying to watch what I eat {minus that whole Easter candy incident}, but I cannot stay away from Pinterest. And we all know that's where diets go to die. All I can do lately is look at delicious food and just dream about cooking it. It's like the worst kind of punishment.
Jena's Confessions:
  1. My boyfriend is amazing. I'm writing it as a confession because I hate being that girl who constantly talks about their hunny pie. (Though, I realize this post will probably still be annoying). But ya'll, this guy. He deserves to be bragged about from time to time. This morning post migraine and cry, he brought us giant cokes & biscuits and gravy from McDonald's--my favorite comfort meal. I don't know about you, but it really is the little things that make a relationship. And he's always doing them--he makes me feel constantly cared about. I could eat biscuits and gravy with this guy until I'm old and grey. And fat. Because let's be honest that's where I'm headed if I keep eating like this. Check out #2.
  2. I also just at two bags of M&Ms in one sitting. Good thing swimsuit season isn't coming up or anything. 
  3. I bought a $40 necklace yesterday. Yes I feel guilty. But, yes it's very cute.
  4. Last night I spent a lovely evening at Walton Art's Center with my boyfriend and his family to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. If you're like me and no nothing about music, I learned I will probably never see musicians as talented as them again in my lifetime. How cool is that? But anyway, mid concert I decided I wanted to save the memory. No flash photography allowed, but cellphones--A okay. So I kept it inside my purse while I navigated to the camera, and popped it out once the lens was ready. Snap. Went to take one more and the woman next to me said, "Excuse me, can you put that thing away?" I explained I just wanted a quick picture. She said, "I don't care, it's distracting."  Cue me imaginary punching her to the beat of the music we were hearing. Disturbing right? Maybe. I was able to let it go fairly quickly and laugh at myself for getting worked up. You should try it. 
  5. My most exciting weekend plans? The Gentry Zoo. It's a drive through Safari that has to be breaking some kind of safety laws. But I don't care. Tigers! Monkey's! Hippos!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

30 things to know by the time you're 30 - the smith & emma version

Glamour mag recently polled various famous people to ask them -- "What do you need to know by the time you're 30?"

 So Annye and I thought we would put our two sense in on the matter. What do famous people know anyway? They've only achieved fame. Totally overrated. It will also be fun to look back at this once we are 30 (not that far away, girlfriends) and see if we would add or change anything.

Jena's 15 things to know by the time you are 30:
1. How to write a proper thank you note. (We've covered this before.)
2. How to do your taxes. (My father still does mine. Next year, next year.)
3. How to save money for retirement. (Who knew there were so many choices for this?)
4. How to strike up a conversation in an awkward situation. Cue work party, networking event, meeting your boyfriend's parents. Have some go-to questions to ask.
5. How to ask for a raise. (I'm proud to say this one, folks, I know!) (PSS- You ask when you DESERVE it!)
6. Why you're special. And no, this reason can't be generic--"I'm such a hard worker!" That people, makes you sound like everyone else. What makes you, you? Channel Dr. Seuss.."Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." (Great for interviews, cover letters, applications, scoring that date with the cute guy...)
8. How to iron. Apparently this is an impairment in my gene pool. When I've attempted to iron my boyfriend's shirts, I add wrinkles. When I was home visiting last time, I heard my dad request to iron his own shirts. (Honestly, I'll probably just buy a steamer when I hit 30.)
9. How to cook one great dish.
10. How to host a dinner party. (I hate this sort of thing. So much pressure!)
11. How to confront someone. (Sidebar here -- Are you tired of these yet? -- Confrontation is NOT screaming, name-calling, talking about what someone did to you. Confrontation is actually a very healthy, very necessary personal skill to keep relationships real and without resentment. When you have a problem with someone...get some balls, go to them, and talk about it. Recognize what YOU did wrong in the matter, and give them time to respond to you and know that it's not about what you want, but how you can both walk away happy.) (Oh, and, I don't know this because I'm good at it, it's a skill you have to learn as a counselor. Thanks, grad school!)
12. How to sew a button. Google it people.
13. How to plan a trip.
14. How to make a budget. We'll put 'how to stick to a budget' in our 40s.
15. How to take someone on a date. Call me crazy, but, I do think women should do their part in the dating game. If the guy asks you out first, he should have a date planned -- start to finish. With some thought. But once you're dating, girls, take the guy out! Show him a good time. Give him a break from the pressure. Once you do it, you'll see that it really isn't the easiest thing in the world to do.

Annye's 15:
  1. How to tie a tie. (That's hot, right?)
  2. The difference between quality and quantity. In all things.
  3. Know that you love your job--life is too short to still be working in a job you hate when you're 30, or even right now.
  4. Who your true friends are. And how to make time for them amidst all the chaos of life.
  5. What you want. Like, really, really want. (Working on this one every day.)
  6. Good music. Bands, artists, singers or songwriters you wouldn't be embarrassed to tell your children about one day.
  7. Good authors, too.
  8. How to be alone.
  9. How to forgive. And forget.
  10. How change a tire. Put out a kitchen fire. Where your electrical box is located. Who to call when your house is flooding. Or other practical matters, should they ever arise.
  11. What to order at the classiest bar in town and the nearest hole in the wall (not the same drink, I hope).
  12. How to navigate the grocery store. (I still call my mom most times I'm there to ask what aisle things are in.)
  13. How to leave the past behind. Let things go.
  14. How to fold a fitted sheet. Even if it kills you.
  15. Who you are.
What'd we forget? What are yours? We want to know!

Monday, April 9, 2012

making a run for it


Okay dear readers... today I come to you for advice and guidance. Any runners out there? I need your help!

I've been desperately trying to get "into" running since the beginning of the year. I conned my family into agreeing to run a 5k with me in June... meaning I had to buck up and actually start running myself. Personally, I've never ever enjoyed running. I used to dread the mile days in Gym Class and I've always been perplexed by those who claim to really enjoy it. Don't even get me started on my father... who religiously runs for at least an hour daily (ugh).

So yeah... since probably February I've been forcing myself to run at least three times a week (save for most of April.... slacked pretty hardcore). And I still loathe it. Dread doing it every time. Don't get excited for running as some claim to do. And it's pretty tortuous until it's over.

But not because it's hard. For the most part, it's been fairly easy--or at least not harder than I expected. I enjoy the challenge--somewhat. But I just don't enjoy the actual act of running. It's boring and I find myself counting down the minutes until I can quit.

Because I've heard so many people talk about how much they love and enjoy running and look forward to their workouts each day, I can only assume this is not normal. I really do wish I could enjoy it--working out would be that much easier. So... have any advice for me? Is this really normal and I just need to suck it up for a while longer?

Feel free to comment below or you could email me at Smithandemma at gmail dot com. I'd love to pick your brain!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

may peace be with you

A little Saturday night inspiration. Feeling...peaceful. Thought I'd share some of the quotes that often bring me peace! Happy Easter if you're celebrating tomorrow!

Source: via Jena on Pinterest

Source: via Jena on Pinterest

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Poll Time! Are you a morning person?

I am not a morning person. I have my days when I wake up early or perhaps even before my alarm, but I cannot, or rather, will not get out of bed.

I don't know what it is? I think about all of the things I need to do. How helpful it would be to hit a coffee shop before work or school and get some things knocked out.

But I just lay there, moaning. Maybe one day I'll function like a real adult. 

Your answers will either motivate me or comfort me in my laziness. Can't wait to hear what you have to say!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Visiting my BFF in Little Rock last weekend.

Holy moly y'all! It has been a whirlwind month. As I mentioned yesterday, a lot has been going on in my life! All good things of course, but between a new job and being out of town more than normal, I just can't quite get the hang of my new routine.

All of March, I felt like my life was literally in upheaval. I feel like I have quite literally no time to do anything.
My house is a mess.
My car needs to be washed.
My DVR is filled to the brim.
I haven't been grocery shopping since February.
I feel like I haven't seen my friends in weeks.
Clearly, blogging has gone by the wayside {as I write this, I'm running late for a meeting with friends!}.
My poor pen pal {looking at you Miss Pinky} has been waiting to hear from me for weeks!

And on top of all that, I can't remember the last time I've read completely through my Twitter feed, my Google Reader is bursting at the seems and my Kindle has been untouched for weeks. Silly things probably--but those are activities I enjoy doing and really, really miss.

Just all around craziness. But. This isn't me complaining. I feel so thankful for all that I have going on. I'm excited for new beginnings. Just feeling slightly overwhelmed. It's just a phase and I'm hoping everything will settle down by the end of next week and my life can go back to being normal and boring--just the way I like it. In the meantime...any tips for being on top of things? I've always prided myself on time management but I'm starting to wonder if my skills are lacking....

Monday, April 2, 2012

MIA, no more

Okay... we admit... we've been totally MIA here at Smith & Emma. We've totally been slacking and it shows. But, it's a new week and we're getting back on the blogging bandwagon starting now! Before we get fully back into dishing on Smith & Emma, we thought we'd give a little update on what we've been up to the past few weeks.

Annye: I have enjoyed some awesome changes in my life over the past few weeks! The biggest news is that I got a new job and after just a week, I'm in love--it's a great fit and I'm thrilled to be part of my new team. I just got back from visiting old college pals in Chicago which of course was a blast--I got to see everyone and visit my favorite places in the city. I'm still trying to motivate myself to get into running, and mostly failing, but I've committed to a 5K in June and I'm not going to back out. March was spent cheering on the Jayhawks in the NCAA basketball tournament and I can't wait to watch them in the National Championship tonight. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Jena: Not many new exciting things over here--just juggling work, school and attempting to have a life. I did manage to make it home to Rockford, IL over my Spring Break for a few days. I got to venture into Chicago (My hometown is about 2 hours away!) and see my best friend. I am quite proud of her. She is living in the big city working as a nurse, has a cute apartment in Lakeview, real (and nice!) furniture, and a bunch of Apple products I am jealous of. It's been almost a year since our last visit. (That won't happen again!) Back then she was working in our hometown, saving money and paying off student loans. And gal pal is debt free ya'll. I admire her in this way so much because not. She's one of the hardest workers I know and it felt great to see her achieve her goal of living in Chicago. What else...I got to spend some much needed time with my sister, dad, mom and beloved Buddy and Belle (my dogs who live with my parents, yeah...I'm not so good at commitments over about a year right now).

Here's a little photo re-cap. Also, if you don't follow me on Instagram yet, check me out! {@jlenea}

Chrissy, me, and Emily. They both work and play in Chicago! I miss them all of the time!

Emily's neighborhood.

The long trek home. And this is actually quite a ways in!

My mutts. Buddy & Belle.

My sister, Jade, and I.

Home sweet home. Where I grew up!

But, as Annye said, it's time to get our blogging life back in gear. What have you all been up to? We want to know!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

poll of the week: let's be vain for a second

Happy Thursday, friends! The sun is shining in NWA and tomorrow is Friday, so I've decided that today is going to be a GREAT day! Plus, I'm seeing the much anticipated Hunger Games tonight and I am besides myself with excitement. Nerd, party of one.

Here are our results from last week's poll asking how you de-stress....

Most of you said you eat a good meal and have a drink or two, and I would have to agree with you! I'm not someone who needs to talk everything out {sort of wish I was at times}, so a bottle of wine and some good food always does the trick for me!

This week, inspired by a deep conversation I had with my mama a few days ago, I want to ask you a dating question...

If you had to pick a guy based solely on looks, not taking into account his personality or any other quality other than "curb appeal", would you date someone who is more attractive than you?

I have a theory, but first I wanna hear what y'all think! And I do want to mention that I don't condone dating solely on looks--it truly is all about the total package. But suspend your disbelief for a second and be honest!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

win your wardrobe...seriously!

Since I love you all dearly, I am going to let you in on a little secret! If you like Maude on Facebook, and post on our wall, you have the chance to win a free item of your choice every month for the rest of the YEAR!

Don't live around here? No worries. You can order from our Facebook page or our Website!

If you would share it with your friends too, I would be oh so grateful! We are trying to increase our 'likes' in order to win some free advertising on Facebook. Plus, it helps me look like I am good at my job. :)

Happy Wednesday ladies! This girl is off to her hometown this afternoon!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

bye bye bullies

This video popped up on my news feed today, a trailer for a documentary on something that needs attention: bullying.

Bullying is something very important to me. So much so that I have considered starting my own anti-bullying efforts (in which I will need your help!) Stay tuned for that. But for now, let's pay attention to a crucial film that is getting the ball rolling.

Bully will be in select theaters March 30. If you are lucky enough to have it playing near you, go see it. You can also check out their site here. 

Bullying. It's this thing that's always existed, right? We've grown up watching it on movies (The Christmas Story anyone?) and TV shows...we even grew up hearing about or seeing kids get bullied. It's just part of growing up, right?

Well, no. If you've ever been bullied, you feel quite strongly the other way. You also feel embarrassed. Confused. And then like maybe you deserve it?

My own experience with bullying took place in seventh grade. I was a new girl in school to a private, Lutheran elementary. These kids had grown up together. They were used to wearing uniforms (in elementary) and they didn't wear make up.

I had cute clothes, I'd already gone through puberty (so I had boobs, too) and my mom let me wear makeup.  Put those three things together at the age of 12 and boys will give you their undivided attention. And then, so will girls.

All was well in seventh grade until a girl in the grade above me decided she liked my boyfriend, too. Cue a flood of emails and IMs that said things like "You are so f***ing ugly!" "You should kill yourself!" "You are such a slut!" "You should strangle yourself with your horse hair!"
I kept it to myself for a while because it was embarrassing.  Plus, I started to believe it. (I ended up cutting my long hair myself in my bathroom at home.) Eventually I told my parents. Who were obviously furious. They contacted my principal (the bullying had spread to school, too--girls taking my things in the locker room, some eighth grade boy standing up in drama class to tell everyone I stuffed my bra, while I sat there in class). The principal said she had no proof of it happening in school, and well, the emails, though obvious proof, weren't actually happening at school so her hands were tied.
Eventually, it stopped. I show huge thanks to my best friend Emily, the other new girl in school, who stuck by my side the whole time. My parents, who I learned I could tell almost anything to. My brother, who threatened to kick a lot of ass when boys chimed in on the fun. And, my seventh grade boyfriend, Ryan, who didn't care what anyone said about me.

My bullying experience destroyed my confidence, for a while. As much as you want to appear "tough" when you go through it, and say you don't do. It also caused me to lose ties with who I was for awhile when I became a popular eighth grade girl. I myself became a bully for awhile. I didn't send any hate e-mails, but I made fun of people. In front of them. Behind their backs.
Looking back, it was out of insecurity. If I had to guess, it's the same reason that eighth grade girl started to bully me. I'm not a mean person, and most of the time, either are the bullies. How does that saying go? "Hurt people hurt people."

Not that it's an excuse. Because its not. But bullying needs to stop. It has to. How many more kids can we lose to it?

While I do think part of the answer lies in harsher (much harsher) punishments for bullying in our schools, I think the other part to think about is how we are raising our children. What kind of examples are we setting?

Food for thought. Next time you want to make fun of your co-worker or that girl who dates your ex-boyfriend, don't. Maybe it's time to look inside as to what makes you want to lash out at someone else. If we can learn to examine what causes it within ourselves, maybe we can teach our children to do the same. Remember that image when you point your finger at someone, you're pointing three back at you?
You may not be walking the halls of a high school, but we all know we just stop calling it is as adults. The change starts with us. Teaching by example. Teaching kids, our peers, our parents, that kindness, that compassion, is everything.

"Basically we are all the same human beings with the same potential to be a good human being or a bad human being ... The important thing is to realize the positive side and try to increase that; realize the negative side and try to reduce. That's the way."
-- Dalai Lama

What are your bullying stories?

Monday, March 19, 2012

good christian bitches

Hello and happy Monday dear readers! I hope your week is off to a great start. Mine certainly is already better than the last. Although we're not quite done with our deadline at work, things are looking up and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so that's not bad.

Today I have a funny story to share that reminded me of the new ABC show, GCB. Have you seen it? I've watch the first two episodes and let me just tell you, as a resident of the South, a lot of it hits home. And this story is just one example of that....

I'd like to preface this story by saying, I'm not the best driver out there. However, I will admit, I'm one of those people who thinks they could give lessons to everyone else on the road. It seems like Arkansas is home to the WORST drivers in the nation. After all, we're not required to take driver's ed here. I kid you not. And most of the time, our lack of education shows.

Yesterday, I was on my way to church with my sister. We were driving in separate cars because she had to stop to get gas. On our way, we were stopped at a light and I was in the right lane and she was in the left lane, both of us behind one other care. When the light turned green, we all started to go, except the Tahoe I was behind was going at least 20 under the speed limit. Not one to tolerate slowness, especially when I'm already running late to hear the Good Word, I merge into the left lane behind my sister.

The car in front of my sister gets into the median to turn left, so my sister speeds up to pass the Tahoe and get into the right lane (our turn was coming up and we both ultimately needed to be in the right lane). Then, wouldn't you know it....the damn Tahoe starts to speed up! She knew we needed to get over and she wasn't going to let us in.

This is my biggest pet peeve. When people drive like they own the road. First, the lady was going 20 mph under the speed limit and then, magically she finds her gas pedal and decides she's not going to let anyone pass her. With the turn approaching quickly, I had no choice but to slam on my brakes and get back behind her. And she proceeds to slow down again. UGH!

Finally we both make the same right turn and I am able to pass her on the next street thanks to my stellar accelerating skills. With a sharp look and the shake of my fist, I'm on my merry way. But it seems God had other plans.

After all that, she and I (the driver of the Tahoe, that is) had the same destination: Sunday night mass. What a coincidence! Let's just say the parking lot outside of church has never been quite so awkward. But I made sure to glare at her through my sunnies and even said a prayer or two for her terrible on-the-road etiquette.

Bless her heart.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Poll results: Who do you look up to?

The results are in ladies and Smith & Emma landers tend to look up to...their parents! Next was friends. And {sigh of relief} no one voted for celebrities. We also had a vote for siblings—we totally forgot about those! Definitely a great group to look up to. You share the same gene pool after all!

This week, Annye and I have both been swamped with deadlines. The magazine Annye works at is hitting the printer today and I am battling midterm papers. 

In one my classes our professor hung a sign that said "De-stresser: Bang Head Here." It had an outline of a head and said "repeat as necessary." Honestly, I thought about using it. That said, we want to know how you de-stress! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

almost-wordless wednesday

Please forgive our absence here on Smith & Emma. We've been swept up in a storm of deadlines, responsibilites and real life! Meaning little to no time for frivolous things like blogging, sleeping or gossiping with friends. (Don't you hate when that happens??) We'll be back soon to dish on the unexciting details of our lives! In the meantime... here are a few images that are hitting a note with us and, we hope, you too! xoxo

{via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}

Friday, March 9, 2012

TGIF ladies!

how cute are we as babies?

Happy Friday y'all. We are once again linking up with Leslie from A Blonde Ambition to share our deepest, darkest confessions. Enjoy!

Annye's confessions:
  1. Yesterday's happy hour festivities lasted much longer than expected and way too late into the night for this girl. I didn't hate it and had a blast, but I'm paying for my decisions today!
  2. It's Fashion Week in Northwest Arkansas! If you're local, you probably already know this. I've been missing out on all the fun events... but am looking forward to checking them out tonight and tomorrow. Can't wait to see some hot runway looks from our great local boutique's--especially Maude! Check out their cute video if you get a chance, right here. {You might spot a familiar face!}
  3. It's been a big week for me... I did something I never thought I would ever do. I quit my job!! Can ya believe it? Talk about surreal moments of adulthood. I'm really sad to be leaving the great girls I work with now, but am so looking forward to what's next. Big things are happening y'all!
  4. I'm wearing my mom's jeans right now. Ha! Not sure if I should be more worried that yes, they are totally cute and not very mom-like at all, or the fact that they are a little tight on me... meaning, my mom is skinnier than me and may even have better fashion sense than I do. Touche, mom, touche.
  5. Because of the recent developments in my work-life and just being really content in my social-life, I've been pretty euphoric lately. I've been having lots of pinch-me, isthisreallymylife moments? I feel really, really fortunate. It just goes to show that our happiness is the most important thing in life and without that, what do you have? Not everything is perfect all the time, but right now this feels pretty great and I think I'll bask in it a little while longer :)
Jena's Confessions:
  1. I got a really good grade on what is called a "taping" in my major and I totally geeked out about it. We film ourselves practicing counseling techniques as "counselors" with our peers who pretend to be "clients." For one, I can't completely shake that pride I got as an undergrad when I got an 'A.'   But more importantly, feeling like you are beginning to master skills that you will use for the rest of your life is a little invigorating. Plus it helps reinforce my decision to jump from one career to another. That little voice in my head telling my doubt "I told you so!"
  2. I've been a bit of a downer lately. Not that anything in my life is going particularly bad, it's all pretty steady at this point. I just adventure. A little spice. Nothing major, ya know? Maybe just something to look forward to. Cue thoughts of a weekend getaway, a vacation, a trip home, studying abroad and streaking. Yes, I considered it. Free and exciting if you ask me. 
  3. I've also been a bit on edge lately. Lacking patience with people and thinking a majority of them are idiots. I'm not sure what has gotten into me. The weather, maybe? I'd like to blame it on that. Or maybe everyone needs to just get a little smarter. Kidding!
  4. I was a total nerd yesterday, working on our new timeline page for Maude. A little reminder how much I do enjoy graphic design--when I don't have to do it every single day! 
  5. I'm looking forward to some much needed girl time with Annye this evening at Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week. I'm still excited to see the clothes, honor my friend who co-founded the whole shebang, and wear something a little obnoxious. But mainly, I want to have one-too-many with my Smith & Emma partner in crime. 
Have a lovely weekend ladies!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

make him famous

Getting a little deep on y'all today. After my riveting post yesterday about my lip balm, it's safe to say S&E is nothing but fair and balanced.

Smith & Emma is all about the 21st century girl. A girl who is working hard to find her place in the world. A girl who may not know exactly what she wants out of life, but knows it will be great. A girl who cares about the world around her and wants to do her part to make a difference. Chances are, if you read this blog you fit under each of those categories. And today, this post is about the last--making a difference and doing our part.

I had a great day yesterday. One of those days where you just soar all the way through because everything is going exactly as planned and things seem to be perfect. After having sushi with my family, I headed home with a bottle of wine to chill on the couch and catch up on the internet. As I was perusing my favorite sites and checking up on my twitter feed, I kept seeing a link to the same Invisible Children video. It was 30 minutes long and I was about to go to bed so I wasn't going to watch it. But after seeing what seemed like the 50th post on the video, I couldn't stop myself out of curiosity. And I'm glad I did.

I was met with the harsh reality that although my day had been perfect by my standards, most days of my life would be perfect by others' standards and sometimes I loose sight of that. Talk about two extremes. Going from one high to an absolute low. But more than reminding me how good I have it....this video struck me with the harsh reality that we aren't doing enough to make sure that these children have the chance at any life at all. Joseph Kony must be stopped and we can all help by making him famous. Getting the word out about this criminal and the injustice he is causing in Africa.

So let's start today by watching this video and sharing it with everyone we can. Post it on Twitter and Facebook. Write a blog post about it. Send it to your family and friends. The more people who know about Joseph Kony, the better. It may not seem like much... just watching the video and telling people about it, but something is better than nothing. And if you can spare a few dollars, donate it to the cause right here... buy a bracelet, buy some posters, anything will help.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

silky smooth

Meet my new best friend. This little tube of lip balm has saved my sanity and my lips in a mere three days. I am not kidding.

So picture this.... On Sunday I was at my local Walmart, picking up some necessities. My lips were sooo chapped and peeling and just all around not cute. In my moment of desperation, I headed straight to the cosmetics department, not really expecting to find anything that would help. Well, out of the corner of my eye I spotted this little guy and thought for $8 I might as well give it a shot... probably cheaper than anything at Sephora, right?

Exactly right, my friend. In just three short days I can already tell a noticeable improvement and I think it's safe to say Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm has a new fan. Now, of course I've still got to show some love to my Nivea Kiss of Moisture... my old standby and one I'll never give up on. But this guy will definitely be in rotation! Especially as allergy season picks up and my lips continue to dry out.

Do you have any other tried and true solutions for terribly cracked lips?

kiss kiss with my new silky smooth lips!

No, Neutrogena is not paying me for this post. However, if someone out there has a hook up and would like to hook this lady up, I wouldn't say no!

Monday, March 5, 2012

yes, this is a whole post about what a terrible texter i am...


This is a public apology and response to anyone I've ever offended by my terrible texting manners....

I get shamed regularly by friends, family members and anybody in between about my terrible response times and inability to hold "my side" of the conversation when we're talking via texts. If you have ever text messaged me, it's pretty likely that I've been unintentionally rude to you at some point--leaving questions unanswered, keeping you waiting for hours, dropping off the face of the planet just when the conversation gets good, etc. It's terrible, I know. You've all told me plenty of times.

Just so we're clear: texting is no doubt my preferred method of communication besides in person chit chat. Phone conversations are usually awkward--especially if you've called "just to chat" (hate that). And email and other forms are mostly outdated for our day-to-day personal conversations--plus I probably wouldn't be any better at that. Texting is a relatively easy, foolproof way to stay in touch in an informal way.

Because of the nature of this informal path of communication, I was clearly unaware of such rigid rules (except for those emoticon related ones, of course). Therefore, when you send me a message and I'm in the middle of what I'm doing, please cut me some slack if I don't drop everything right then and there to respond. And I do apologize if my memory fades and you go for hours without an answer to your very important question like, What are you doing for dinner? How r u? Did you see that Snooki is preggers?

I suppose I just assume that because texting is the most informal of its conversational counterparts, if something is really serious, you would pick up the phone and call me (I make exceptions for purpose-driven phone calls). If you've texted me, I should be able to assume that it's not an emergency. Nobody's life is on the line waiting for my little thumbs to type out a response... I hope.

I promise that my guilty conscience tries to do its part and force me to be better about texting you. It does, I promise. But, sometimes my short attention span and memory get the best of me. I have the memory of a goldfish and what I suspect to be a mild case of indifference. I'm sorry. I'm not ignoring you. It isn't cause for alarm. Let's still be friends.


Friday, March 2, 2012

give a little love

via pinterest
I've blabbed on here about what I'm learning in graduate school before, and well, it's time for another lesson folks. One you may be well aware of, but one that is new to me.

My professor the other night explained that though we will be counselors, we still have to understand how to think psychologically. (Psychologists and counselors are not the same, p.s.)

He then presented in a nut shell how psychologists see the world...and it totally clicked with me.

People are born striving to have the perfect care giver. Because this can't ever happen, as no one is perfect, one of two things happen to people (for the most part.)

We are either a part of the presence of bad or the absence of good. The presence of bad means we experience abuse, neglect, etc. as children. The absence of good means we don't receive enough love, attention or affection as children.

The presence of good people go throughout life expecting to be treated the way they were as children, i.e. "This is how everyone operates. This is what I should expect and this is what I deserve." The absence of good people go throughout life searching for the thing that will give them what they needed as children, i.e. a new car, the perfect boyfriend, what have you...i.e. "This thing/person will make me happy."

I don't know why but this makes so much sense to me. And it also makes me morecompassion for people as a whole. We are all just these wounded little beings trying make sense of our lives. We all come from a need for perfect love. And we all share in the struggle that we will never get it.

The real-world application of all this mumbo jumbo? Be nice to people. The annoying guy. Your bitchy friend. The rude customer. We all just want to be loved...awh.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

poll of the week: who do you look up to?

Last week we asked you if you were giving up anything for Lent. Here are the results....

Jena doesn't do Lent, but I {Annye} give something up almost every year. I think it's interesting to see if I can go 40 days without something... it certainly makes you realize what you absolutely cannot live with out and what you can! In the past I've given up things like meat, ice cream, etc. This year it was Diet Coke. For about two years, DC has been my drink of choice. I wasn't sure I would be able to make it through my day without my afternoon can. But to be honest, it hasn't been as hard as I expected. Instead of Diet Coke, now I'm drinking lots and lots of carbonated water, which is just as tasty and probably better for me :)

This week we want to know who you look up to. Do you have a mentor or someone you really respect that you go to for advice? Share below!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

preventative measures


Psst... I'm coming atcha with a little secret hangover cure today! Perhaps it's not super secret, but it is new to me and I thought I would share.

After our recent Valentine's party, my friend imparted on me some of her wisdom as a new nurse (yay smart friends!)... after you drink and right before you go to bed, take a multivitamin and you'll feel good as new in the morning.

I'm happy to report that after a few weekends of testing the theory, she is totally right! Hangover free with just the pop of a multivitamin? Sign me up!

I've only used a generic multivitamin I already had in my bathroom cabinet, but I'm sure any kind would work. Do you have any other tried and true hangover cures or preventative measures?? Please share!

And please drink responsibly!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Confessional Friday!

Annye's confessions:
  1. I'm getting my hair done today and it's probably shameful how excited I am. My mane is a mess ladies. Hopefully phase 1 of becoming a wannabe ginger will be complete by approx. 5 p.m. this afternoon. We shall see!!
  2. I was one of the nerds who bought tickets to the midnight showing of Hunger Games a month in advance on Wednesday. I cannot wait for this movie. If you haven't read the books, please do so ASAP.
  3. I got my dramz with United worked out!! Whoo hoo! They ended up calling me the very next day and giving me exactly what I wanted :) Persistence pays off y'all! So I'm headed back to Chicago in the very near future to see some of my favorite people and I cannot contain the excitement!!
  4. Does anyone else go on spending binges or is that just me? It seems like I can go weeks and be a good little spender/saver. And then I have weeks like this week where I feel like I'm just throwing money out left and right. But hey, that new spring wardrobe isn't gonna buy itself riiiight? And at least today is pay day!
  5. I feel like I think this a lot to myself but don't vocalize it as much as I should.... I have the best friends and family ever. I seriously sit back at least five times a day and just bask in the thankfulness for those I've been blessed to have in my life. And that includes you dear readers! I am so thankful I have this little corner of the internet to share with Jena. Thanks for reading and coming back daily! xoxox

Jena's Confessions:
  1. I'm with Annye on the spending spree. Valentine's Day, my dad's birthday, my boyfriend's birthday, friend's birthday', a few things for me of course! I'll save next month...
  2. Friends, tonight will be my last night as a bartender, for now. This occupation I loved when I was 21/22 is something I don't love so much at 24. Sounds odd, but pouring loads of alcohol down people's throats and watching them become incoherent feels a little bit wrong. (This is a college bar, mind you.) It's also a lifestyle I'm just plain too old for. Maybe I'll take up knitting instead.
  3. For breakfast this morning I had a large coke and a hash brown from McDonald's. This is still one of my favorite combos of all time. Gross, I know. 
  4. My favorite moment of the week was singing happy birthday to my boyfriend at the bowling alley, and watching him and his son blow out the candles together. This sort of thing is what life is all about.
  5. I bought a yoga mat ($25) and a pass for 10 sessions ($40) and have yet to gone to yoga. Sigh. This week, this week I will go. 
We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

poll of the week: are you giving anything up?

Last week we asked about bedtimes and here's what you said...

Most of you go to bed between 11 and midnight... Which is exactly when Jena and I {Annye} go to bed. Some nights Jena bar tends and doesn't get to bed till 3 {crazy, right?} while I try to consistently go to bed as close to 11 as possible.

When I lay down I usually check my email/Twitter/Scramble with Friends one last time and that keeps me up later than it should. I'd be curious to know when you all wake up too... I try to wake up at 6:30, but usually stay in bed till 7:30. Quite a difference! I'm lucky that I can shower at night and it really only takes me 30 minutes to do my makeup and curl my hair in the morning. I've found that my sleep is far more important than my primping most days so I've got my routine down to the least amount of time possible.

This week we want to know if you gave anything up for Lent....Whether for religious reasons or not, we're curious if y'all are sacrificing something you love until Easter.

If you gave something up for Lent, tell us what in the comments!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

the best revenge


It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of Taylor Swift. For starters, her music isn’t exactly my taste to begin with. But what really bugs me about T.Swift? Her ability to put down and shame others through her music. Sure her lyrics are catchy, but something about the way she talks about other people really rubs me the wrong way {and typically it's no secret as to whom she's talking about. case in point: dear john}.

I know a lot of artists use past experiences for inspiration for their songs--totally understandable. But as I was telling my friend just yesterday, there's a way to do it in a classy manner {Adele, anyone?}, and then there's.... Taylor's way. After listening to her music, who would want to date the chick? You just know that if things go wrong or end badly you’re going to have a gaggle of teenage girls hating you too and singing along on Top 40 radio.

I think when you end a relationship sourly, especially if you’re on the receiving end of the hurt, it’s easy to lash out and point fingers. You want the person to hurt just as much as they’ve hurt you—so if you’re in a position as Taylor as is, why not write a song about him and let people know about his shortcomings?

But as "they" say... the best revenge is living well. Nothing speaks louder than moving on and not letting your past hold you back. Words cut deep, sure, but I promise he’ll regret his decision and the hurt he caused if you a) find a boy 10 times cuter {a girl can dream} or b) move on and not look back for even a second.

So next time you have the urge to get even, whether it's blasting him on Facebook or slashing his tires {don’t pretend you haven’t entertained those ideas} think about how much better it will feel to make him squirm… make him THINK that you are much better off without him and I promise that will hurt worse than any song or poorly written Facebook diatribe.

PS... It should be noted that I'm sure Taylor is an incredibly nice girl who deserves someone great.

PPS... Adele and Taylor Swift are the same age. Does this blow your mind as much as it blows mine??

um...that was embarrassing.

Annye and I were a little stumped today as to what to write about. She was hoping to think of something funny to share, which prompted me to write about my most embarrassing moment, ever. A moment I am not sure will ever be topped in my lifetime, or at least I hope to God not.

My first happened when I was in third grade at Rockford Christian Elementary. On this day at school I was getting hot lunch because they were serving my favorite thing...taco salad. Why I loved this taco salad so much? After the chips, the meat, the lettuce...they put hot melted cheese on top. Yum. So, on this day, I went through the taco salad line per usual, put on my toppings, and headed for that lunch lady to scoop a ladle of luscious cheese on my tray.

She did. What happened next is history... at least in my story.

I stepped on a wet spot on the gym floor, and woosh. My feet went out from under me and I landed smack on my back. My taco salad? The tray flipped, too, and landed right on my chest.

Cue tears. Cue a lunchroom full of third, fourth and fifth graders laughing, cue a lunch lady coming to my rescue as she stood me up and ushered me to the bathroom.

Though it happened 16 years ago, my boyfriend jokes this is why I'm afraid to be in front of people. Why I've never sang karaoke or want to crawl under a table if he acts anything but normal. Perhaps. Or perhaps it's just a good reminder that even when you fall flat on your ass, it can still get a little worse. Life may throw some taco meat and cheese on there, and then laugh at you. But even then, you can clean yourself up and face the world, because something worse will happen to Susie or Johnny.

What is your most embarrassing story?

Friday, February 17, 2012

processing through it


If you follow me on twitter or are my IRL friend, you've probably seen/heard me complaining about a certain situation with United Airlines. After a very infuriating two hour phone conversation last night, I was left with nothing resolved and a whole bunch of pent up anger. And if I'm being honest, I'm still feeling a bit of that rage today.

The conversation didn't start off angry. In fact, I'd say for the better part of those two hours, I was able to keep my cool. I understand that the people I was talking to are not the ones responsible for the ridiculous regulations and rules imposed by the company. However, when the representatives I was speaking to started to belittle me and place the blame on me for the situation {which couldn't be further from the truth} that's when I lost my cool.

Have you seen the video of Kristen Bell and the sloth on Ellen? She talks about how if she's anywhere outside of the 3-7 range on an emotional scale, she's crying. That's basically what happens to me. I got angry last night, and because I knew it was so far out of my control, all I could do was cry. Only a few tears, no sobbing, but it did feel good to just let release it.

This whole ordeal has got me thinking about how we process our emotions. Some people do kickboxing or work out in other ways. Others, like me... cry. But I'm also a big writer.... hence the million twitter updates/blog poss/emails that took place last night. It's somewhat therapeutic for me to write it all out... partly because I feel like I can get my point across much better in writing, and partly because I just need to get it out there regardless of whether anyone reads it or not. And a glass of wine and trashy TV seems to do the trick, too. :)

How do you deal with your anger or other emotions? I'm learning that I need to be able to let go of these things before they become bigger issues, and this is just what works for me. I'd love to hear how you "process" everything.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

poll of the week: when do you go to bed?

It's baaaack! After a brief hiatus last week, we're back at this week with a new gripping question that I know you've all been on the edge of your seats.

But FIRST! We want to say thanks for weighing in on what you want to see more of here on S&E. We always love hearing what y'all think and we're happy to oblige. Most of you said you want to hear more personal stories of our dating and relationship experiences. Well... I think we've got you covered there! It's safe to say between the two of us we've got a couple of stories to share.

Now... back to this week's question. We want to know about your bedtime! Scandalous and unexpected, right? ;) As I (Annye) was up way to late last night, I sat there wondering if I was the only one who felt pressured to be in bed by a certain time. So out of curiosity, we want to see how many of you lovely ladies give yourself a set bedtime (and if so, what time?) or if you're one who just sleeps when you're tired. Spill!

Now, those of you who have a bedtime... How many of you actually go to bed on time?? Hmm...?

Come back next week for the results!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

party time, excellent

Are we all recovering from our Valentine's Day hangovers? Oh.. just me? Ha! I enjoyed my margs + wine last night and I am feeling a little sluggish today, I won't lie. To wrap up our Valentine's Day coverage here on Smith & Emma, I wanted to share a few photos of our Fondue Party from Saturday night.

The evening was a lot of fun... we ate our fondue, which if you've never done is a total blast. We did meat and oil, which is different from the cheese fondue you may be thinking of. You basically cook bite-sized pieces of meat in the oil and dip it in different sauces. It's hands on, everyone eats as much as they want, and it's always a fun experience especially for guests who've never done it before.

There was lots of pink! We asked that guests to dress up a bit, and most everyone came very festive. You can see in the photos below that I rocked a hair bow.... basically one of my favorite things ever. And Jena wore a very sexy red lacy dress. Ow ow! Can you spot us below??

After lots of photos in front of our streamer backdrop, a few of us passed out on the couch (wink, wink) and a few of us continued our shenanigans well into the night.... pizza may or may not have been ordered. We ended the evening with a very intense late night discussion on my bed (not intense at all actually but totally hilarious).

All in all a very fun evening full of laughs and lots of wine (I'm talking 6+ bottles, don't judge). I am glad I got to celebrate with these beauties. What did you do for the big day?? If you're with someone, I hope they spoiled you! And if you're single like me... I hope you found some ways to spoil yourself!