Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oh Say, Can You See

It's shocking the number of American citizens that do not know the lyrics to the National Anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner".

I've sung the National Anthem numerous times for sporting events and, quite frankly, that's where I really memorized the lyrics. But either way, I know them. And if you're a citizen of this great country, you should too...well at least the first and main verse:

Oh say, can you see, by the dawn's early light
What so proudly, we hail, at the twilight's last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there

Oh say, does that star-spangled banner, yet wave
For the land of the free and the home of the brave?

And for kicks and giggles :) here are some of my all-time favorite National Anthem performances/renditions.

//Jennifer Hudson, Super Bowl XLIII
//Whitney Houston, Super Bowl XXV
///Gaither Vocal Band (some of the tightest harmonies I've ever heard)

I'm proud to live in this great country. I love America and what she stands for. I love having the freedom to worship as I wish, believe as I wish and live as I wish. (for the most part) And I love singing the National Anthem. Happy Independence Day, y'all.

Some other helpful Independence Day links:
USA Flag Etiquette - THIS IS WHY I LOATHE THE FLAG ON CLOTHING AND OTHER CRAP LIKE PAPER PLATES AND NAPKINS. If you want to be patriotic display the actual flag or the colors of red, white and blue. Not flag emblazoned stuff. End rant.
History of the American Flag
Fireworks Safety & What Consumers Need to Know

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fool-Proof Summer Navy Combinations to Try

Navy is my absolute favorite neutral to wear. (heck, I even included it in my wedding!) It's classic, timeless, seasonless and not quite as harsh as black. Black is difficult for me to rock some of the time because I am so pale. It makes me look a bit goth. And black is more difficult to pull off in the summer. Enter navy! It's the perfect summer (and fall, and spring and winter) neutral.

There are a few colors that basically always go with navy blue. These are what I call the fool-proof colors to wear with navy and these are perfect for summer.

summer navy combinations

summer navy combinations by aprilanne147 featuring shirts & tops

Navy + Pink, Navy + Yellow, Navy + Coral, Navy + Mint/Aqua, Navy + Emerald Green

Would you wear any of these colors together?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Over the Vacay: Things I've Learned About Myself

This year, M's parents invited us to stay with them at a beach for the week. We went down Sunday and came back later on Friday (so almost a week!). Though I go on vacations (even if just for a few days) every year, I've begun to realize that there is a pattern of behavior that emerges every vacation I go on, no matter where I go or how long I stay.

1. I have a hard time "doing nothing".
I can't just relax. M is the King of Relaxation, ha. But I just can't. I feel guilty for sitting around doing nothing and feel like I should do more "beachy" things rather than just sit around and read. So if I read, I feel guilty for not going outside. If I go down to the beach or pool (or go shopping, etc.) I feel guilty for not reading more. It's cyclical and sick.

2. I have a hard time not having a plan.
I'm a planner. Even if it's just plans for the day, I like to talk over my plans with M for the day and it drives him crazy! He's one of those go-with-the-flow type people and for me to try and plan the day in chunks overwhelms him. For example, I said one morning, "I think we should go to the store this am, then have lunch, then come back and go to the beach when the sun isn't as strong. Then I'll come back in and start making dinner and we can do a movie or something later." He can't handle it. And I'm beginning to think that my vacation planning is actually causing me harm because when my plans don't go accordingly, I get anxious.

So, all that to are hard. They are fun...but quite challenging to my OCD, Type A personality.

With that, I did a few things that are out of the norm for me this past week and ENJOYED them. First, I played miniature golf. I've literally not played in about 20 years. And guess what??? I smoked them with 2 hole-in-ones! Now, I came in second place overall because my father-in-law is the slow and steady tortoise. He would pretty much get straight 2s the whole time. Me? I'd get a hole-in-one and then 6 on the next one. It's always a production. :)

The other thing I did that isn't my norm is watched a ton of movies. I even went to the theater and saw a movie! (Inside Out - not that good though) I watched Minority Report, Get Smart, The Tourist and the first Harry Potter movie. (that was a re-watch)

Other than that my vacay consisted ocean side reading, playing in the sand with my niece and nephew, wave jumping, sleeping late, eating horribly unhealthy food and shopping my heart out. (hello outlet mall!!) Here are a few fun photos (sorry for the insta duplicates) of the week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ways that I Betray my Southern Heritage

Disclaimer: This is NOT a political post, nor is it intended to remark upon the tragic events that occurred in one of my favorite cities. The deaths of those people were horrible and taken by a heartless, soul-less racist. This post is also not going to discuss any other issues that people have attempted to bring up in light of the Charleston shooting. It's lighthearted and fun...hopefully. :)

My family has literally lived in the South since the 1700s. We've actually lived almost exclusively in the Carolinas since then, with very little family members moving away from what I call the center of gravity in eastern South Carolina. Anywho, I'm about as authentically Southern as they come. But I betray my heritage on many occasions and I will elaborate below.

1. I hate tea.
Sweet or unsweet. Iced or hot. I hate it. I think it stems from a tragic apple-juice mistaken identity incident when I was a child. I loathe tea and never EVER drink it.

2. I despise NASCAR.
And everything about it. That culture, the loudness, the tons of thank you.

3. I prefer Dunkin Donuts over Krispy Kreme.
Fellow Southerners, please do not kill me. I prefer a DD chocolate frosted donut above any other. KK puts a little too much glaze on their doughnuts for my taste. While nothing beats a "Hot n' Now" I still prefer the deliciousness of the Dunkin.

4, I do not like Cheerwine. 
It's just gross. Way too sweet. M loves it. I do not.

5. I do not eat pecan pie. 
I don't love nuts in general. But the concept of a pecan pie is just disgusting to me: pie crust, goo and nuts. No thank you.

6. I'm not a fan of flags on clothing. 
Unless it is the emblem of an entire flag (like on the Old Navy tshirts) I'm not a fan. The American flag should be a flag...not a pair of shorts or a towel or a bikini or anything else. I find it disrespectful and tacky.

I'm at the beach this entire week attempting to not get sunburned. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

You Probably Don't Know...

Today, I'm linking up with Helene from Helene in Between for this interesting take on a personal blog post. I would consider myself a pretty quirky human...and maybe...just maybe, this blog post will help you to understand just how much.

Much to learn you have, readers. Quirky April is.

You Probably Don't Know...

//I'm afraid of being squished to death by a strong hug. Like my neck or spine would just snap. My husband knows this and doesn't squeeze me in hugs.

//I abhor having my face or hair touched. Especially my face. Also my feet. Actually, I'm not a big fan of being touched in general.

//In another life I made a living by singing. Now, I just do it on the side.

//I have a scar on my forehead/eyebrow area from chicken pox as a kid.

//I've had dark brown hair, blonde hair and red hair in my lifetime, but I'm a legitimate natural blonde.

//I had my very first alcoholic drink on my 21st birthday. I'm a rule follower.

//I have more than 60 cousins.

//My favorite flowers are ranunculus, daffodils and poppies.

//I don't really watch a lot of movies, whereas my husband is an extreme movie buff.

//I don 't eat Chinese food.

//I'm obsessed with naming things. Lots of inanimate objects are named in my life like my car (Patty....Patricia when she's acting up), my computer (Dellina), my booty (Judy), stuffed animals, etc. I also enjoy naming animals. I've had fish named Puppy, Squash and Leon. If I ever have a farm, every animal will be named.

//I'm allergic to dogs (and cats, and horses, and feathers...and life) but I  have a dog anyway. He doesn't shed at all so that helps to tame my allergies for the most part.

Linking up below! Join in on the fun!

Helene in Between

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

5 Ideas for a Beautiful and Cozy Bed

1. Layering
Think of your bed like a cupcake. You need the wrapper/liner, cake part, frosting and something beautiful or delicious on top. Combine a duvet, comforter, throw blanket or quilt (or all of the above) and layer for a full and plush look.

2. Stick to a color palette
Keeping your bed/bedding to a color palette will help to unify the look. Maybe it's all one color or it's a few colors, but repeating the colors will be help to make it all look "put together".

3. Consider going unkempt
I absolutely love how Ikea styles their beds/bedding. Why? Because they are slightly unkempt looking. They look like you want to dive in, rather than make you afraid to sit on it.

4. Add throw pillows
Throw pillows allow you to incorporate smaller pops of color and texture without fully committing to it.

5. Experiment with prints and textures
I think mixing prints and textures is really what makes your bed look beautiful (in my opinion). If everything is matchy-matchy it looks a little too bed-in-a-bag. Incorporating a striped pillow or a chunky cable knit throw makes everything look collected and ecclectic.

Incorporate one or more of these ideas and you will be on your way to a beautiful and cozy looking bed!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

American Accents & Dialects (And Why I'm a Nerd)

For as long as I can remember, I've been obsessed infatuated slightly in love with accents. They are fascinating and interesting! I pride myself on being able to place someone's geographical region of origination after I hear them talk for a while. I'm a phonology nerd...okay?

Accents fascinate me because they are so varied. Even in America, we have a number of recognized dialects (accents) in America  but there are definitely even more that aren't documented.

Some of you may be wondering why in the world I'm blogging about this...because it is a weird topic to write about...unless you are obsessed with it like I am. There have been three distinct phonological instances recently that got me thinking about this kind of stuff that I want to share with you. Ready?

1. I met a new neighbor over the weekend and after greeting her and introducing myself I told her we'd just moved from the next street over (in the same neighborhood). She asked me where I was originally from and then quickly said, "Obviously not from the South...we're from Wisconsin and Ohio too."


I was both saddened and slightly happy with this. You see, my people are always stereotyped as being dumb, idiotic, slow, etc. if they have a strong Southern accent. There are lots of us that are indeed smart, sassy and Southern. But the Southern accent, unfortunately, usually comes with negative connotations. With that, I've made an effort to not sound like the world's biggest redneck when I speak...especially when I speak publicly or in a professional setting. But I was saddened because I don't want to "lose" so much of my accent that people don't know where I'm from. Now, sometimes when I'm angry or on the phone (apparently) I have a very strong accent, but still it makes me a little sad that someone couldn't instantly place me as being a native Carolinian once I started talking.

2. Along the same lines, I've recently come across two people who have CHANGED their accents. They were born/grew up in one place and now live someone else and have adopted that accent. I can understand this to some degree because I have a tendency to assume the speech patterns and colloquialisms of those around me at times. But it is so intriguing to me that the accent you've had for 20, 30 or 40 years can change once you leave that area.

3. Finally, over the last few weeks I've been binge-watching Mob Wives on Hulu Plus and I'm in the seasons where they introduce some girls from Philadelphia. WHO KNEW THERE WAS SUCH A THING AS A PHILADELPHIA ACCENT?!?! I didn't! I knew there was a Boston accent and a NY accent and a Maine/upper NE accent... but Philly? So interesting! Now I will be able to pick it out when I hear it from now on. Thanks Mob Wives! :)

Do you have an accent? Do you wish you did?

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