Friday, January 31, 2014

Four Myths About Animal Adoption

Today's post is about something very close to my heart.

My Hewitt.
Tomorrow is the 6 year anniversary of my adopting Hewitt. You can learn more about the whole adoption story here. At least once a year I like to blog about the benefits of adopting a pet versus buying a pet from a breeder. There are, literally, thousands of homeless animals in the United States. Breeders continue to breed puppies (some of them in less-than-ideal conditions) even though so many of them still haven't found homes yet.* It's sad, really.
However, I think most people understand the concept of adopting an animal, so I won't waste this post on explaining it. I do want to use this post, however, to explain some of the myths of animal adoption. Now, I'm referring in the below to dogs...because I adopted a dog (and am allergic to cats) but it could apply to cats, horses, birds, pigs, rabbits, etc. There are so many animals waiting to be adopted!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Super Bowl - Who to Cheer For?

First off, y'all know it's like totally illegal to use the term "Super Bowl" if you're using it for advertising purposes. If you're just discussing it, it's okay, apparently. As long as you're using it a "reasonable" amount of times, the NFL won't get their panties in a wad.


There, that about covers it. Now, on to more important things. I need help, y'all. I don't know who to cheer for this year! My team isn't in the Super Bowl so, yeah. Below are the reason/justifications that I would use to cheer for each team...the only problem is...they kind of balance out. So - I need your help!

First of all, it's important to say that I do not hate either Denver or Seattle. If the Super Bowl were being played by a team I hate, my decision would be easy.

1. I stole this from Karly Kim - but any team that can make my 2nd least favorite coach Jim Harbaugh do this, gets MAJOR awesome points.

Point: Seattle

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day!

Today is a snow day here in Charlotte. Mind you, I'm still working from home, but I took a few minutes this morning to go out and enjoy the little bit of snow we did get. :)

Do you know what those are? Bunny tracks!! :)
Unfortunately this was very powdery so it wasn't good for snowballs. :) My only regrets were that we didn't get more snow (maybe just a couple of more inches) AND that I hadn't run out of hot chocolate. :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Checklist

[Today's Wedding Wednesday post is coming a day early since we may or may not have a winter storm in my area later today and tomorrow.]

It's no secret that I'm a lister.

As a matter-of-fact, I've recently come to terms with my listing obsession and the benefits associated with it. So is there really any doubt in your minds that I have a master wedding list? This is an overall master list of all things I need to do for my wedding/reception/honeymoon, etc. Now, I do have sub-lists for things like "purchase reception food". Obviously, this contains the actual items and quantities that I will purchase.

Anywho, I figured I would share my list today with y'all. The items crossed out are done. The items that are in colored text are in the process of being done/worked on. I still have A LOT left to do!!

So, there are some big things I've yet to do (cough...find a place to live and move there) but I'm working on it. And yes, one of my to-do items is to make a list. Bite me.
Overall, it's a bit refreshing to see how much I've accomplished since October 30. However, there are lots and lots of small details that aren't necessarily listed out on this list. Also, I still need to worry about paying for everything. Fun times. Thankfully, M is paying for the honeymoon and his parents have graciously purchased our plane tickets to Jamaica. (Wahoo!!) So, the major money-takers left are the photographer, cake, reception food and flowers.
We're getting closer. I will be sending out the invites this weekend!! I'm so excited!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Grammy Fashion Re-Cap

The Grammys were last night. And while some performances were...meh...cough...Taylor Swift...others were amazing...cough...Pink.
Below are my best and worst fashion pics. Now, there were a lot of dresses that were okay. I didn't really loathe them but I didn't love them. The ones I've picked below either passed with flying colors or went down like a plane on fire. Sigh...

Taylor Swift in Gucci
Even though her performance (and head bangs) were weirdly emotional and boring, she killed it with this dress.


Miranda Lambert in Pamella Roland
This is the best I think I've ever seen Miranda look. She was stunning!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

OOTD: Mr. Fancy Pants

I got this cardigan for Christmas from the future-in-laws. This cardi is from Talbots. So fancy! Most of my cardigans are from Target and Old Navy so one from Talbots is quite a fancy cardigan with regards to the rest of my wardrobe. I am obsessed with the color and the chevron-y basket weave texture on the front. It's different from anything else I have and I love it!

Cardigan: Talbots (exact)
Tank: Target (exact)
Jeans: Old Navy (exact)
Flats: Rue 21 (similar)
Necklace: New York & Company (similar)

I've already paired this with a black cami and black pants for work and with jeans for a casual look. The shape of this cardigan is perfect and I love the 3/4 sleeves. Honestly, I should probably buy more of these because I love this one so much.

So, whenever I stage these little photo ops, I usually end up with 1 or 2 passable/usable photos for every 10-12 I shoot. The below is an example of one that didn't make the cut. I thought it was funny and that y'all would enjoy a little "behind the scenes" look. Right as the picture was about to snap (self-timer) my necklace broke and I caught it while the camera snapped.

Sad face.

Luckily, I was able to fix it.

Happy face.

That's why I have two different necklaces on in the photos above. One was pre-necklace break and one was post-break.

Lucky for me I'm good with super glue. :)

Linking up!
The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top 5 Tuesday: Lately

I feel like I've been talking a lot about the wedding and not really updating anyone much on life-in general. So, I've deemed today's Top 5 Tuesday post "Lately" as these are the top 5 things that have been going on in my life recently.

1. I've been sick.
I'm not joking that I feel like I've been sick for about 3 years...when in reality I've had a few back-to-back sinus infections and colds that have only lasted about 2 months. However, I've NEVER been sick for this long. Normally I get like A sinus infection or A cold per year (sometimes 2x a year) but this year, it's been ridiculous. Can I blame the weather? I feel like I should blame my weekly allergy shots. My non-logical brain tells me that my body is so busy fighting off the allergens it is injected with weekly that it's leaving me susceptible to other germs/bugs that I normally wouldn't catch. I am probably just creating some sort of immunologic conspiracy theory though. #likely

2. M and I are on the search for housing.
We are looking for a place to live. This isn't your ordinary house search because we have fairly strict rules/needs/etc. in our hunt. It has to be in a very specific geographic area (about halfway between his work and my about a 30 min commute for both of us), needs to be a house or townhome (because I can't handle having loud people live above me...again) and it can't be exorbitantly expensive. (I might have just made up the word exorbitantly.) The area we're looking is a more expensive area of Charlotte to live in, so we've definitely got our work cut out for us. On the bright side, we do have a few options that fit the bill, so now we've just got to make some decisions. :)

3. Root canal.
Tomorrow, I'm having another root canal procedure. Oh JOY!

4. I'm going to do this wardrobe/spending challenge.
When it comes to clothes shopping, I've always gone for quantity over quality. I buy something because it's on clearance or cheap and then end up never wearing it because I can't put it together in an outfit OR it falls apart. I love Caitlin's idea of adding one item to your wardrobe each month. This way, you have to be very intentional about what you buy (to make sure it goes with the rest of your wardrobe) AND you can save some money (from buying all the random cheap stuff) to purchase an investment piece. Thoughts?

5. My dog loves my shoes.
Hewitt often lays on my shoes. At this particular time, he had his entire head in my shoe. What is wrong with him? Or is this normal?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Blog Search Keywords: Am I Really that Random?

Have you ever looked at the search keywords that people have used to find your blog?


Okay, I'll excuse you for a minute while you do. If you don't know how, follow the steps below:

This is only for Blogger blogs, by the way.
1. In your menu options (Posts, Pages, Comments, Layout, etc.) click "Stats".
2. Click "Traffic Sources"
3. Scroll to the bottom to see the search keywords.

Now, since your mind is probably blown with the ridiculousness that has brought readers to your blog, let me just share mine with y'all.

I would like to comment on these briefly...

"thestripedflamingo" and "the striped flamingo" - I assume this is people looking for my blog. A few months ago I had to change my blog's domain name (long story) so I assume people are looking for my blog? Perhaps I'm just being overly positive??

"buffalo cauliflower bites" - This is, by far, my most pinned thing from the blog. It's not surprising that it still shows up from time to time.

"curvy hips" - Um...thanks?

"pale blonde colored hair" - Truth. I love pale blonde hair and sort of also have pale blonde hair.

"striped flamingo" and "the striped flamingo blog" - See reason #1.

"dresses with boots outfits" - I have, on occasion, blogged about boots and wearing them with dresses. You can read those here.

"i speak fluent sarcasm" - I'll be honest that I loved this so much, when I discovered that someone found my blog by searching for that phrase, it pretty much is what made me write this post.

"mike the tiger" - This is probably from my witty commentary on mascots and their real-life cousins.

Have you ever looked at your blog's search keywords?

Friday, January 17, 2014

29 Things

Tomorrow is my 29th birthday.

29 is such a weird age. On the cusp of the big 3-0, yet still clinging to the 20s. Strange, right?

Anywho, in honor of my turning 29, I'm going to share 29 things you may or may not know about me. Get ready, y'all this is about to get weird!

1. I loathe lettuce. Mostly the iceberg kind.
2. I use voices when I talk to my dog.
3. I only drink skim milk. Anything else is gross.
4. I consider myself a macaroni and cheese connoisseur.
5. I've never traveled outside of the United States. (Been to Puerto Rico once...but technically still the U.S.)
6. I own more than 30 statement necklaces
7. I have a super-cute owl Scentsy burner but whenever I burn it, I sneeze.
8. I have a hard time taking sick days at work. So I will literally go to work feeling like poo because I never feel like I'm too sick to work. Weird, I know.
9. I love petting zoos.
10. Consequently, I'm trying to talk M into letting me have a farm of cute hooved animals when I grow up: goats, pigs, donkeys, mini-donkeys, mini-cows, mini-horses, sheep, etc.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Why I'm Getting Married in a Church

I'm getting married at my church.

In a world where outdoor or alternative wedding locations are the norm, I've chosen to get married at my church. Why?

Well, I'm glad you asked. :) There are a number of reasons we've decided to get married at my church. I'll expound on them briefly below. (But don't click away from this post because I need advice on church decor later in this post...okay??)

1. Sentiment
The church I attend is the one I've basically grown up in. I've been going there for 19 years and I worked there for 5. It's a huge part of my life and is a place of familiarity and happiness. The sentimental part of me loves the idea of getting married in the place that has helped to form me into who I am today.

2. Tradition
I can't ignore my personality type and not give a nod to tradition. It is more traditional to get married at a church and while it's not required in my faith, it's something that I feel is necessary. A holy place where a holy union takes place. I know that sounds weird...'s just how I feel. It's like I'm honoring those who have gone before and pledged their lives to one another in the church.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rainbow Chip > Funfetti. Always.

It's about to get random on TSF today. Just a forewarning.

My birthday is on Saturday and I will be making myself a delicious Rainbow Chip birthday cake. Have you ever had a Rainbow Chip cake? It's so good, it will make you want to slap your mama. But Rainbow Chip cake should never be confused with Funfetti. They are two completely different flavors.

Though the name "Funfetti" is indeed, a lot more fun to say, the difference in taste is huge.

Funfetti is basically sprinkles. So, a pack of sprinkles is included in your vanilla cake mix. Rainbow chips are delicious nuggets of smooth, sugary goodness. They melt in your mouth and are infinitely better than sprinkles alone. But I'm not biased or anything.

 So, if you ever get a request for a Funfetti cake, do yourself (and the person requesting the cake) a favor and use Rainbow Chip instead.

Post Publishing Note: Rainbow Chip is apparently now called Party Rainbow Chip. I guess Rainbow Chip wasn't fun enough on its own?
Post Publishing Note 2: Also, Rainbow Chip frosting has been discontinued!!!!!! Betty Crocker has decided to replace Rainbow Chip frosting with this disgusting imitation. This has caused quite an uproar (read customer reviews on BC website) and there are even petitions and Facebook pages to bring back Rainbow Chip frosting. This makes me overwhelmingly sad. How can you have a Rainbow Chip Party Rainbow Chip cake without the FROSTING?!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Golden Globe Fashion Re-Cap

The start of awards season has begun! Last night, one of the largest awards ceremonies, The Golden Globes took place and the stars were out in full force! There was a LOT of black and gold (perhaps a late tribute to my befallen Saints??) and lots of high-low hem...much to my chagrin. :)

Below are some of my fashion best and worst pics of the night.


Julianna Margulies

Julianna Margulies in Andrew Gn

I love everything about this dress. Julianna looked amazing and I loved her hair and makeup. The silhouette of this dress is stunning and simple and elegant. A+!

Margot Robbie, Golden Globes

Margot Robbie

This dress was much more stunning as a close-up and this picture doesn't do it justice. I love the clean lines and the green shoes are the icing on the cake!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Confessional Friday & GO PANTHERS!

Happy Friday! It's raining and cold here. That kind of weather is for the birds...and Seattle. So, I'm over the weather but I plan on cheering up with a delicious steaming mug of Peaches & Cream Oatmeal. Yum.

I'm linking up with Leslie for today's Confessional Friday post, so let's get to it!

//1. I confess that I feel incredibly guilty about buying anything for me at the moment and I suspect I'll feel like that until the wedding. I just think I shouldn't be buying XX since I could use that money for XX (wedding thing).

//2. I confess that I downloaded and proceeded to play for about 30 min straight Disney's Nemo's Reef game on my phone.

//3. I confess that in a fit of irritation and annoyance I deleted my My Little Pony game on my phone and thus had to search for a replacement game.

//4. I confess that I've started watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix and...I just...I have no words for it. It's awkward and weird and a little crass but hilarious! Like, I don't want to like it but the storyline is really funny and the main character is awesome!

//5. I confess that I'll be rooting for my hometown NFL team this weekend as they play their first playoff game in 8 years. I'm so excited for them! I guess this isn't really a confession...but I wanted to have an odd-numbered list. So...yeah.

Go Panthers!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Decisions and Reception Details

Happy Wednesday!

I'm really excited to start refining some of the details of my ceremony/reception. In case you're fairly new around here, I'm getting married in April and I'm trying to do my entire wedding/reception for as close to $2,000.00 as possible.

Say what?

Yes, I read that the average wedding costs something like $18,000.00 and I 1) don't have that kind of money to spend and 2) don't want to spend that much money on my wedding. So, I decided to try and do this for as close to $2k as possible so that I don't incur debt for my wedding.

So, with that, I've decided to take on a number of projects that are usually done by other (paid) people. The first one being that I've decided to make my own bouquet and the bouquets of my sisters (bridesmaids) as well. I really think I can do it and there are lots of tutorials and videos for making a pretty bouquet. I want it to look a little messy and I'm using lots of wildflowers, so I really think it will work.

Another decision I made is to be my own wedding planner. I've done this before and am confident in my abilities. It is a little more stressful in the long run, but saves a tremendous amount of money.


One of my favorite things to plan so far (which is also the largest stressor) is the reception. I'm doing a self-catered, dessert reception immediately following the ceremony. I will have cake (or a few cakes/cupcakes), a candy buffet and a milk and cookies station. Planning the look of the dessert reception has been easy. I'm going with 3 colors and using mostly stripes as a pattern. Below are two of the reception mood boards using actual details I plan on incorporating. The mason jars will be tied with the striped ribbon instead of the gingham in the picture.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Why I Could Never Winter in the Mid-North

Pre-post side note: I may have coined the term "mid-north". I've certainly never heard it before it popped into my head. But by "mid-north" I mean the northern part of the mid-west: Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin...North the other ones.

I could never live in the mid-north. Well, I could never live in the mid-north all year. Heck, I'd take those mild summer temps with virtually no humidity for sure! But, winter in the mid-north? No thank you. It's not that I dislike this geographical region of our country... it's just that I don't think I could survive a winter there. Below are completely reasonable and sound justifications for why April could never be a UP-er. (does anyone even get that reference??)

1. I would blend in.
I am white. No, my race is Caucasian, but my skin color is white. It's actually kind of a mother-of-pearl. So, if you give snow a couple of days to lose it's clean, white hue and develop more of a off-white color, you pretty much have my skin color. That, coupled with the fact that I have light hair basically gives me built in camouflage.

Click "Read More" to continue reading this post...

Monday, January 6, 2014

OOTD: Shiny & Sparkly

Top: Old Navy (can't find a link but I bought it in the store right before Christmas) | Jeans: Levis | 
Shoes: Old Navy | Necklace: New York and Company (similar, similar)

Since buying this top a day or so before Christmas I've worn it quite a few times. (Christmas Eve, church, etc.) I wouldn't normally have picked this top because of the shape, but once I put it on I really liked it. Plus, I'm a sucker for 3/4 sleeves on anything. The sequined polka dots add just enough sparkle to push this top from basic to fancy. :)

My statement necklace was purchased for $6 on clearance at NY&CO and I'm obsessed with how shiny it is! I love wearing it with my sparkly top. It's not too much (in my opinion) but just enough pretty...don't you think?

As a side note, I've really been wearing a lot of black lately...way more than usual. I used to not wear it very much at all, but now I like it. Maybe because I'm on the cusp of turning 29 or maybe because I love it's magical confidence-boosting powers. Or maybe all of the above...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Confessional Friday

Yay! I'm so happy it's Friday!

It's been exceedingly hard to get motivated this week and I know it's because I had a day off in the middle of the week. So, it was like I had two Mondays in one week! (And 2 Friday's, but I would never complain about that!!)

I'm also really happy that Mrs. Leslie brought back her Confessional Friday link-up. Why? Because confessions are the cheapest form of therapy around!

//1. I confess that I'm beyond excited to say that there are only 99 days left until my wedding! WHOO HOO! I'm giddy like a little school girl.

//2. I also confess that the idea of 99 days until my wedding does make my anxiety bubble up a bit. There is so much left to do!!

//3. I confess that I don't know how I'm going to work a whole week next week. For the last few, I've had time off, so the thought of working 5 days in a row?!?! Tragic...

//4. I confess that I used some Christmas gift cards to buy some things for my wedding reception and to buy a couple of gifts for people. But, to be fair, I bought Christmas stuff in the after Christmas sale and just gave it to them because I knew they'd like it and I told them I'd picked it up on clearance. It's not like a wrapped it up and tried to pass it off as a real gift. Is that bad??

//5. I confess that I have a wedding countdown app on my phone. Is that too much? Is it pathetic? I like having the countdown and you can add your photo and names and stuff. #iknowiamridiculous

//6. I confess that I typed "I foncess" every.single.time. I tried to type "I confess" in this blog post. Blame the early morning blogging...

//7. I confess that I'm going through Christmas sugary/sweet DTs and it ain't pretty. Yesterday, I contemplated eating some of the chocolate that's been on my coworkers desk for at least a year. What is WRONG with me??

Linking up here!

Do you have any foncessions confessions you need to get off your chest before the weekend?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Work It: My Work Attire "Formula"

First of all, sorry for the math reference. Math just makes my stomach hurt. But I really do have a standard formula for work attire and I couldn't really escape using that reference. :)

When I get up in the morning, I don't want to spend a lot of time worrying about what I'm going to wear to work. If I have a standard "formula" or "recipe" I stick to, it makes things a lot easier and a lot less stressful. I've found that I'm the most comfortable using the following work wear formula:

The Formula = Cardigan + Pencil skirt + Shoes (heels or flats) + Statement Necklace

This is what works for ME. (This may not work for everyone!) And this equation doesn't also mention the other things I wear like a camisole under the cardigan or tights in the winter. But you get the basic gist of it....

Now, this isn't to stay that I stick to it ALL the time, but it's definitely something I use most days. And even though this is my standard, I will sometimes swap out items within the formula. For example, maybe one day I wear dress pants instead of a pencil skirt or perhaps I go with a button down instead of a cardigan. But having that basic equation to plug items into really helps!

Do you have a work wear "formula"?