Friday, May 30, 2014

Bring Reading Rainbow to the Web!

Today, I bring you a special announcement about a beloved childhood show of mine. Reading Rainbow, which aired from 1983 to 2006, wants to continue the battle against childhood illiteracy and take their programs to the web...and eventually into each classroom, free of charge. Read more about it here.

Take a look...

This show meant so much to me growing up and it was a huge proponent in developing my love for reading. If childhood illiteracy is something you want to battle or even if you just want to support this amazing, wholesome, information and educational show, you can pledge your support.

This fund has already gained a lot of attention, raising over $1 million in a day, but there are 32 days left and lots more to raise! Because every dollar that is raised just means more children will get access to the these amazing programs FOR FREE!

I believe that every child has a right, and a need, to be literate. We have a responsibility to prepare our children… and right now, the numbers show that we, as a society, are failing in that responsibility.
And here’s the problem:

Right now, 1 out of every 4 children in America will grow up illiterate.

And: numerous studies reveal that children who can't read at grade level by the 4th grade are 400% more likely to drop out of high school.
And: as of 2011, America was the only free-market country where the current generation was less well educated than the previous
These problems won't solve themselves. Real change will require us all to work together. We cannot afford to lose generations of children to illiteracy. And if we work together, we don't have to.

-Host LeVar Burton

Read more about this fund and pledge here. This is one of those "worth it" causes, for sure.

But you don't have to take my word for it. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Wedding Party

M and I are blessed to have LOTS of close friends so in an effort to avoid having a million people in our wedding party, we kept it to two each. It was easy with me because I just had both of my sisters. M had his brother and his best friend as his groomsmen.

Rarely do my sisters and I get photos of the three of us so I was excited to have a few good ones. :) M and his groomsmen are typical guys and didn't really care much for having their photos taken. Oh well. :D


Linking up!
Wedding Wednesday
NC Belle in Boots

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

[Long] Weekend Recap

This weekend was a packed one, y'all!

I got my hair cut! I did the obligatory post-wedding chop. I LOVE IT! I've had longer hair for a few years running now, so it's taking some getting used to but is so cool and fresh for the summer!

M and I went to a wedding this weekend  and it was our first one attending as a married couple. It was weird to introduce people to "my husband". And it was a wedding of a childhood friend of mine that M had met a few times so he didn't really know a whole lot of people there...he was a good sport though. Most of the people he knew were my was fun. HA!

My fam at the wedding. Parents in the top right and my sister in the lower left.
My friend who got married, married a beautiful lady with great taste. Her wedding was sort of a vintage/classy theme with rustic elements and her colors were blush, peach, aqua/turquoise, and gold. Look how gorgeous the table decorations were! I seriously wanted to take everything home. (but I didn't...)

We ended the weekend with a barbecue (not a cookout...see Friday's post!) at M's parents' house. M proceeded to get onto the hammock multiple times and this was the result. (I'm not posting the video in an effort to spare my husband's dignity...and to keep y'all from having to listen to my horribly annoying guffaws of laughter.) Sadly these photos were taken over the course of 3 attempts. The 4th and final attempt was successful! And...he saved the drink. It was in a Tervis, so...yeah.

Bless. Just bless.

Not pictured:
- Gluten-Free pizza night (more on this later)
- Neighborhood pool issues > spending a pool morning at a friend's pool
- A trip to Lowe's for flowers, potting soil, tiki torches and tiki torch fuel for our back patio (pics to come later)

What did y'all do this weekend?

Monday, May 26, 2014

We Say Thanks

Traditionally, Memorial Day is the day we appreciate those who gave their lives for the sake of this country and for freedom. The difference between Veteran's Day and Memorial Day being one honors all who served and the other honors those that lost their lives while serving.

We may not really have the appropriate words to express our gratitude to the almost 850,000 people who have lost their lives fighting for this country's freedom. So, we simply say thanks.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Lesson in Southern: Cookout VS. Barbecue

Hello friends. Happy Friday!

Today, a quick public service announcement as we begin the unofficial first weekend in the summer. Today, I'd like to quickly go over the difference between a cookout and a barbecue.

Now, I should preface this by saying my explanations are only true for the South. I know they are defined and named differently in other parts of the country.

A cookout is when you cook outside. The food usually consists of hamburgers and hot dogs. Occasionallly, people will throw in some chicken or vegetables in there...but a hamburgers and hot dogs outdoor meal cooked on a grill is called a cookout. It is also the name of a delicious restaurant that only those of us in the Carolinas are privy to. If you've never had a Cookout barbecue sandwich or a Cookout should just plan a trip to one. :)

A barbecue usually means one of two things in the South: it's the name of the actual meat (pulled pork most commonly) OR it's what you do when you cook said pulled pork (or sometimes beef brisket or barbecued chicken) on an outdoor grill or smoker. So, it's both a verb and a noun. Barbecues in the South are usually bigger deals than cookouts because they require more than just a grill. People go all out for these things with crazy huge smokers and stuff. Also, barbecues are big fundraisers down here for churches and other organizations. If you ever hear the term "pig-pickin" it's basically a barbecue where they roast/smoke the entire pig (head and body and all) and then people "pick" out the meat from the pig carcass. Kind of disgusting if you ask me. But I digress...

So, cookout is more what you do in your own backyard with burgers. A barbecue usually implies something a lot bigger and is mostly pork. Make sense? If you're still confused, I've created a little diagram/guide to help you figure out which one you're doing. :D

What do you call an outdoor meal cooked on a grill? Or do you just say "grilling out"? This is a relatively new term I've heard recently.

Either way, I hope you have a chance to indulge in some delicious grilled food this weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Beauty/Makeup Essentials

Lemmebehonest with y'all.

I'm not one of those people who "hardly ever wears makeup" or "only wears makeup on special occasions". I wear it almost every day. The days I don't wear it are rare. Even on the weekends for grocery store trips, I'll wear a little.

Why? Because I look like a dead albino corpse without it.  Don't even make me bust out a picture because it will break The Internets.

Anywho, I wear makeup daily. Over the last 15 or so years that I've been wearing makeup, I've settled on a few essentials that I wear on the reg. Below are some of my beauty/makeup essentials.

Clockwise from top left:

Bare Minerals Original Foundation in Fairly Light
Loyal patron for 5+ years
I love this stuff. It's really great for my skin and it's not too drying for me. (and I have REALLY dry skin) I wonder if I'm actually wearing the correct color for my skin though. HAHA. Oh well, why break a 5 year habit??

St. Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Lotion
Loyal patron for 2 years
I love the light, fresh scent of this. (It almost smells like you're not wearing anything.) It's very moisturizing for my skin and isn't too greasy. Best part? It's inexpensive!!

Ulta Automatic Eyeliner
Loyal patron for 1 year
I discovered this when my local Ulta was having a sale on their brand of products. I really like it and it stays on for a long time! Chocolate is my favorite color but I also switch it out with the black on occasion.

NYC High Definition Mascara
Loyal patron for 2 years
This is the cheapest mascara out there (well, almost) and it is my hands-down, absolute favorite. It works so well. The only downside is that it dries out kind of quickly (maybe after about 2 months of daily use) but because the price is so great, I have no qualms about replacing it. I love this stuff so much I've blogged about it before here too! I love my Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes, but this one might pull slightly ahead simply because how dark and thick it makes my lashes look after just two coats.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer
Loyal patron for 5+ years
I wear this every day on my face...even on the rare days I don't wear makeup. :) It's lightweight and absorbs fast. PLUS, it has SPF 15 in it which is perfect for my alabaster skin. They also make it in SPF 50 for those of you who are extra sun-cautious.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

All About Pineapples!

When M and I were on our honeymoon, we ate fresh pineapple every day. It grows on the island we honeymooned on and it was SO AMAZING! Pineapple was also served on almost every fruity drink we had.

I love pineapple and it seems to be popping up everywhere lately. I've seen it in fashion, in recipes and even as jewelry! Pineapples have long been a symbol of hospitality and are often associated with the South. I think I may just need to incorporate a little more pineapple into my life*. It's so fresh and summery and...FUN!

How about some pineapple stud earrings?

What about this adorable pineapple cami dress?

I'm in love with this pink pineapple clutch!

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Recipe, good alternative for bacon wrapped sausages!

Grilled Teriyaki Burgers with Pineapple | Recipe Girl....I'll go with turkey

This is one of my favorite holiday/special dinner side dishes! It sounds weird...but don't knock it 'til you've tried it. It's delish!
Pineapple Casserole ~ Pineapple, cheddar cheese, brown sugar, Ritz cracker crumbs and real butter, can't get any better!
Do you like pineapple? Share a recipe if you've got one! I'm obsessed!
*And by "incorporate more" I mean in addition to the 700lb cement pineapple that lives on our front porch/sidewalk area. It was there when we moved in and apparently is to stay there indefinitely. We tried to be covert and move it one night (because we suspected that our next door neighbors put it there for the person who previously lived there...because their yard is full of such adornments) and it weighs approximately 700lbs since neither M nor I could budge it one inch. I guess it's a good thing I like pineapples, huh?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fresh Color Combos + Inspiration

I've developed quite the reputation for wearing color amongst my friends, family and coworkers. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas and inspirations for wearing color. Because, I can only preach about coral and navy so much. :)

Here are a few nature-inspired color combinations I'm obsessed with lately...

flora brights
Shades of blue + orange  + teal
flora brights

Blue + yellow + green

color escape

Shades of blue + teal + pop of purple
To incorporate these into an outfit, don't feel like you have to use ALL of the colors in the palette. Stick with 3 (maybe 4 for advanced color lovers) and use the most neutral of the colors as the most dominant. So, if we're using the palette directly above, you maybe choose to use one of the gray colors as your primary color or maybe the dark blue. Then incorporate the teal/turquoise and maybe the purple. Something like either of the below might work:
The first outfit, which is sort of a work look, uses gray and dark teal as a base. Lighter teal and magenta or pinkish/purple accessories help to pull it off.
The second look, more of a casual one, pairs a gray tee with dark blue/teal jeans. The pop of pinkish/purple comes from the head scarf, sunnies and the jade necklace.
I didn't incorporate EVERY SINGLE color in the palette, but allowed it to guide me in my color choices. For example, the dark teals or grays I used in the outfits aren't the exact same color as in the inspiration palette, but it's close enough. It's an INSPIRATION, not a copy-cat.
Have you ever been inspired to wear a unique color combination before?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Disney-Inspired iPhone 5 Wallpapers

I'm pretty sure that after working on these, I will be spending most of my weekend watching Disney movies. I decided to do a couple of iPhone 5 wallpapers inspired by Disney movie quotes. Can you guess which quote belongs to which movie?

Meh, I'm more proud of some of these than others, obvi. Right click on each picture and open in a new tab or window, then save! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Happy Thursday, friends! Even though it's rainy and gross where I live, it's payday and Friday Eve, so I'm sharing some of my fave things as of late.

Friends...these flowers are made out of PAPER!! I wish my little tissue-paper pom poms could look this amazing!
A stowaway corgi. I wonder if Hewitt would stay in a backpack like this?
This. I'm dying. Parent peoples: stop saying your blurry sonogrammy things look like actual humans. You don't get the privilege of claiming parental resemblance until the child is born. The end.
No, I seriously cannot stop laughing at this gif. I am crying at my desk because I'm laughing so hard.
This is the coolest test tube chandelier EVER! 
Oh nothing much here...just a pug in a bag.
A layout of The Office. Oh, how I miss this show. :(