Because I Said So: April 2014
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Always in a Rush, Never on Time

My family can never seem to get anywhere in a decent amount of time.  Does anyone else feel the same way? I only ever notice this when I'm in a rush. Like what is it with being in a rush and never being able to get anywhere on time?!

Family vacations that take ten hours to drive to? More like ten hundred hours. Plan to leave for 5 am, don't leave until 9 am. There goes day one of vacation. Planning to get somewhere early (i.e. movies, church, baseball game), barely make it with time to spare. It's ok I still love them. (Hi family!)

 Ok, so on some of these I'm exaggerating, but not by much. Vacations are ALWAYS the worst. I've been on road trips with the family and road trips with the boyfriend and they are drastically different. Of course, two people getting their act together versus five people is obviously going to be way easier and go way smoother. For one, Josh barely stops to let me go to the bathroom/stretch my legs/eat, but with the family we stop ALL the time because someone didn't pee when we stopped the first time or wasn't hungry 30 mins ago. (TMI?) Anyways, you know how it goes. 

This past weekend, my family met me to go to a baseball game and my little sister tweeted this:




Basically. She's dramatic too, but let's not hold it against her (she get's it from me--oops).

I used to think this was just my family's problem, but I think it's probably most families. I mean, you try to get five people (four of them girls) out of the door at the same time. Good luck. It is virtually impossible (for my family at least)--much less families bigger than that.
In other news, I'm participating in my first ever give away! Enter to win some of MY favorite things, because I said so! Goodluck! 
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a Rafflecopter giveaway








Monday, April 28, 2014

Dreams





This weekend was made for dreaming. But isn't every weekend?

Have you ever had that feeling where you feel like everyone else around you has this super fabulous life and you are just stuck? Is it just me? No, I'm not traveling around Europe soaking up the sun in Greece, Spain, or France, getting ready to graduate college and excited about jumping into the real world (I'm in it and it's less than desirable), or being a fabulous dancer dancing for a sports team or back up for Beyonce (I suck at dancing). I'm just normal me with nothing exciting going on. Like when is my big break, what's my "thing"?

I hate these thoughts. Pity party for one, anyone?

Well after some thinking this weekend, I'm saying enough with the pity party.

We've all seen those quotes on Pinterest: If you don't like where you are change it, you aren't a tree. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. And so on and so forth. But for some reason, this weekend I really started to think about those quotes more in depth. I'm only 22 (about to be 23) yet I'm acting like a 40 year-old haggard over-worked, jaded woman. I have my whole life ahead of me and I can do anything I want to do. Start a business? Why not? Travel the world? Do it. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G!

Besides, most people's "fabulous lives" are really only what they want you to see anyways.

So, here's my advice (to myself and anyone that wants to take it) that has stemmed from this weekend:  if you've had a less than stellar couple of months, are feeling down on yourself, or just stuck, don't. Make a plan. An actionable, attainable plan. There's nothing stopping YOU from chasing your dreams and goals except YOU. So get out of your own way and do something amazing, because I said so!

Sorry if this post is mostly a pep talk for me--but I hope it helps you too! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Love in a Box Swap



My very first EVER blogger swap box was such a success and is definitely something I'll do again--who doesn't like getting presents in the mail? This month, I was paired with Anna from The Anna Belle Blog. I love reading her blog all about affordable fashion--and by affordable I mean AFFORDABLE. The limit on the box was $25.00 and I was quite frankly ah-mazed at how many things were in the box! 

Ok so now the fun stuff--I sat in my car and unwrapped everything before work the day I picked it up from the post office--


Here's what I got:

Post it Notes and cute notecards. I collect stationery so this was perfect!

Que Bella Cooling Glacial Gel Mask. 

Philosophy Creme Brûlée Bubble Bath and Soap. You had me at bubble bath. 

Pecksniff's Candle.  It's pink and smells like a mix of citrus and I don't know what, but it's smells scrumptious.

Crabtree&Evelyn Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy in Evelyn Rose and Rosewater. LOVE

E.L.F All Over Color Stick. Honestly, no idea how to use this. I'm beauty products challenged sometimes, but I'm sure I'll figure it out and all will be fine!

Classic Olive Natural Hand Cream.

Beauty Concepts Mud Mask. I love love love beauty masks!

NYC Nail Polish in Pink Promenade Creme.

Sephora by OPI Nail Polish in Sparkle Me Silver.

Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Hazard.


Seriously, I feel so spoiled right now. Thanks so much Anna! 

I'm taking a night for myself and relaxing with all of these spa like items. Excuse me while I go put on my mud mask and paint my nails and soak in my bubble bath!




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pick a Little, Talk a Little


...cheep cheep cheep talk a lot, pick a little more...



I have on my future goals/things to do to go picking with dad. Well I can cross that off, thanks to this past Saturday.

A lot of people don't know what "picking" actually is. Have you ever watched the show Picker Sisters or American Pickers? Ok, well basically the people on these shows drive around and go through people's old junk, find valuable pieces amidst the junk, buy it from the random person, and turn around and sell it. Cool right? Well, it's not for everyone, but it's like taking antiquing a step further. And it's something I LOVE. Although, I've never actually gone up to some random person's house and asked to go through their stuff because I a. don't have the money to offer and b. don't have a camera crew following me around.

Anyways... My whole family went to my great grandma's old abandoned and falling down house last Saturday and basically "picked" it. A bit of background: My Lulu died when I was 8 or 9 and the house has been there ever since--virtually untouched. Except of course by a tornado or two, the new-to- science strains of mold, and critters galore. Most of the valuable things in her house were packed up when she passed, but there were quite a few things left.





I know it looks like a complete and total wreck (which it was), but it was like stepping into a very dirty time capsule. There were clothes still in the closets, magazines and catalogs dating back to the 60s, old mail and children's drawings (my mom's and aunt's).

I wish I had a picture of all of my findings! I found a few metal milk crates, a nice wooden box (I have thing for boxes), a skeleton key, a JCP catalog from 1968 which I can't wait to show Josh, and lots more. We took off most of the doors--sounds crazy, but y'all these were NICE, STURDY, GOOD QUALITY that you can't find these days doors. Great for future DIY projects. My aunt and uncle loaded about 8-10 of them. In addition to that, my dad found a chemistry set--the manual was copyrighted in 1948, Stephanie found an old adorable light switch cover, and Carol is keeping all of the old doorknobs. We took down cabinets with crowbars and my dad fell through the rotting floor. Never a dull moment.

My dad brought his metal detector--yep we are THAT cool of a family, although I'm not sure Steph really knows how to use it. P.S. her earrings didn't set it off.



And we found some rusty old metal. Nothing valuable.


We all learned how to shoot a gun--it only took me three times to hit the target, hiked up and down the hills, and named a creek "Three Sisters Creek." It was a great and exhausting day and we all made it without any ticks, chigger, mosquito, or snake bites. Except Carol. Poor Carol.



Regardless, I can't wait for the next opportunity to go on a picking trip!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Bloopers

When thinking about writing this post, I debated on whether or not I'd want these pictures of me (and the fam) floating around the internet. I mean sometimes, we aren't the most photogenic. While everyone else is taking cute-sy Easter pics, my family can barely concentrate for five minutes to get a good shot.  Inevitably someone has their eyes closed, isn't looking at the right camera, or a myriad of other things.



So in lieu of the "normal Easter post", I give you my family at it's finest. AND who doesn't love a post that is almost entirely of pictures that speak for themselves?

This me being annoyed with Stephanie bossing me around? I mean I don't know WHAT I was doing.

But first, let me take a selfie. Except we aren't even looking at the camera. At.All.

Age order only works when the oldest sister (me) isn't the shortest sister. And when everyone is looking at the camera. Carol.

Chrissy, the dog, clearly is not into this whole Easter pictures thing.
Like HOW DO PEOPLE TAKE THESE KINDS OF PICS!? Triple chin and sensitive eyes.
Can't leave mom and dad out of this one. 

Clearly the men behind the camera, have no idea what they are doing. JUST PRESS THE BUTTON!
Note to self: "Family Pics" with your #puppychild almost never work.

I actually have way more dysfunctional pictures than I do good, quality Easter pictures. But, that's my family for you. It's also way more entertaining this way.

The dysfunction seems to follow me as I go to the Ryan crawfish boil for #EasterRoundTwo.



We thought we had a good one.

I don't know what it is, but the added pressure of taking those super cute Easter pictures ALWAYS ends up as a fail and I have to scramble to find one to post on Insta and/or Facebook and/or Twitter.

I hope everyone had a great Easter documented with only the best quality of photos and plenty of quality time with the family.



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Friday, April 18, 2014

Livin' the Dream?




With my first "big girl apartment" I thought things would be way Way WAY different than they are. There's my dream life and then there's my real life and the struggle to connect the two is ever present. We all have our dreams and goals for certain things in our lives and an expectation as to how it will turn out. But most of the time, it doesn't end up the way we expected (could be far better or far worse).

One of my "goals" is to complete Project: Decorate Apartment. Honestly, it will probably never be completely complete, but a girl can dream!

Let me back up for a hot second. Today is Friday and it's time for a new link up! Obviously, I love making lists so I had to join in the fun duh.

Moving on to the best part: the list!






1. Fresh flowers all the time. Y'all this is a super expensive habit! Yes, flowers are pretty and elegant and I want all of my rooms to have floral arrangements but, I have to accept the fact that I do live on a budget (most of the time). I mean I love putting together flower arrangements on someone else's dime and I try to have fresh flowers as much as possible--I just wish they didn't die so fast!

2. Pottery Barn everything. Right. Since I have that much money. Currently I'm operating on a beer budget and have only the highest of quality champagne taste. Problem. 

3. Visitors all the time. People will want to come visit all the time, I told myself. Sadly, no. Hello come visit me friends and family! I get lonely just talking to my puppy-child all the time. 

4. It would be fully decorated and look like a space out of the Everygirl the weekend after I moved in. The apartment tours they feature on the Everygirl are what I aspire my space to look like. Everyone on there looks like they have their ish together and well, I don't. They are grown up, I am still loving the Disney movies. I'm still decorating and probably will always be decorating little by little. Obviously, these things take time. Regardless, the Everygirl home tours are still my goal/dream and I love to have my space professionally photographed!

5. Natural light. I currently suffer from "I only have windows on one side of my apartment" syndrome. It's dreary and I hate it. Next place will have windows on multiple sides no matter the cost!



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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Braces Friendly Foods

I just got braces and am paying for it dearly. My mouth is going on day 6 of hurting, but it IS getting better. Here are my top ten favorite foods to get you through those first few days/weeks.


Disclaimer: If you don't like descriptions of food, you probably shouldn't read any further.

1. Macaroni and Cheese. The noodles are easy to mash against the roof of your mouth or swallow whole. Plus it's macaroni--let's be real people.


2. Soup. Tomato and Chicken Noodle are my favorites. I tried Potato soup, but I'd recommend going without the cheese and bacon because those hurt going down if you don't chew them. 


3. Yogurt/GoGurt. GoGurt is way more fun than regular yogurt, but it's really a preference.


4. Applesauce. A childhood classic. It's best when refrigerated.


5. Baby food. Yes, I really did try this and no, it's really not that gross. If your feeling really adventurous, try the fruit varieties. Stay with me on this one, I promise I'm not weird. Sometimes, a girls got to do what a girls got to do. 


6. Raviolis. Easy to mash against the roof of your mouth and if you're getting tired of the fruit flavored things, this is a good lunch option.


7. Ramen. Be careful with the long noodles. You will likely think you can mash/swallow more than you really can and may or may not almost choke. Also the noodles get all wrapped around the brackets and it isn't pretty. Don't eat in public.


8. Jello. Another staple. Easy to get down and a variety of flavors.


9. Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. And cue the angel chorus. My most favorite food. I had it for lunch today since I couldn't eat what was being served (poboys). When in doubt, eat mashed potatoes and gravy.


10. Milkshakes/Smoothies. For me, sucking through a straw with my front teeth has been a struggle (those are the most sore) so TIP: suck it through the side of your mouth. Way easier and no pain. I usually get smoothies in the morning for breakfast and milkshakes as a treat.


All of these are great foods to eat when your mouth is sore, but there are some foods you shouldn't eat (mostly because they are annoying).

P.S. I just got my braces off! Click here to read why it's literally the BEST THING EVER!

Shop some of my favorite braces necessities below!






Monday, April 14, 2014

Planning

Where would we be without goals/schedules/planning? Would we ever get anything done?
Without planning, a majority of the world would probably be in chaos. Think plane/train/bus schedules--at least!

I've always been a planner. Sunday nights I'll plan how my Monday is going to work out. I write things on my to do list just to cross them off. I'll plan my weekend, plan what workout schedule I'll stick to, plan meals, make goals for everyday, and check things off of my to do list. You get it. I like to plan. Also, I might be a Type A personality.

Exhibit A: My Erin Condren planner

Lists, planners, and schedules are all part of the things I love. I could plan things all day long. Give me a brand new planner with stickers and markers and I'm one happy girl. NOTE: planning all day will get you nowhere. You need to put your plan in action to see results.

Another NOTE: sometimes the best things happen when your plan goes wrong or when you don't have a plan at all.

But, me? I always like to have a plan just in case--I have to feel like I'm in control of something.

I recently described myself to a fellow blogger as classy, sometimes sassy, and goal-oriented.

I mean I have 101 goals for the next couple of years and a tab dedicated to it at the top of my blog page. That's how important goals are to me. Goals keep me on track and even if I don't achieve them in the time frame I had planned, the fact that I planned it in the first place makes them realistic and stuck in the back of my mind.

I know I wouldn't get anything done without some level of planning and when I don't plan and just bop through the day--I feel unproductive and gross. After 5pm I'm so exhausted, but if I have plan for after work, I'm less likely to binge eat and be a couch potato. Sounds weird, I know. Like how can planning really do THAT much? But, I like to be busy and planning/crossing things off of my to do list helps me to do just that.

Sundays, for me, are for being productive and getting things ready for the week (with movies on in the background of course). Having clean sheets and a clean apartment are just two things I like to get done before the week starts--one less thing to worry about. What's on your to do list this week?
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P.S. I totally planned this post!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ten Favorite Things: I Heart Blogging

This is one of my favorite link ups mainly because it makes you think and Brianna always comes up with the best topics :) (And sorry I'm a day late)



Why do I like to blog? WHY do I like to blog? Why DO I like to blog? Why do I LIKE to blog?
Ok now that I've said it in almost every possible way, here's what I like about blogging.


1. The community. Cliche, but true. People are so willing to support you and cheer you on to whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. It's fab.

2. The fact that it's my blog and I can say/write about whatever I want. (Hello: my blog name is Because I Said So) No filter here we come.

3. Reading about other people's journeys  Whether is being a mom, a college student, an avid cook, or a passionate DIYer--it's a whole different perspective and I can appreciate that and LOVE to read about them.

4. Writing. I like to write. And when I'm writing about myself, my life, and the things happening in it, that's when I'm the most at ease.

5.While blogging isn't just about the readers, I love getting comments on what I write. Like what?  People, besides my mom, read my blog. This is huge! Show the love people--comment away!

6. And on that note, I also love tracking the stats. I never liked stats in high school OR college. But now that it applies to something that I like and have complete control over--it's kind of my new favorite thing.

7. It's like a journal. I can look back and read what I was thinking/going through a year ago today. It's actually way cooler than any journal I've ever kept because you can add pictures and charts and make it pretty.

8. Sponsoring. I don't have sponsorships available on my blog yet (hopefully one day), but I genuinely like sponsoring other blogs. And since sponsoring will eventually be an option to me, the opportunities are basically endless.

9. Learning new things. Whether it's coding, or a DIY tip, or recipe from a fellow blogger. There's so much to learn from so many more way more experienced people than myself. Always be learning is not hard when you have a blog.

10. Making friends and new connections. Another cliche, but probably my favorite. There are some really great people out there and I've been able to connect with a handful of them. Next on the list: "blate"--where I get to meet these people in person (and no dad, they aren't axe murderers).



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Monday, April 7, 2014

A Gift



In a time like this, song lyrics come to mind. That and tears. I guess it's my brain's way of coping.

"Only the good die young"
"Life is short but sweet for certain"

....are playing over and over in my head. 

Today I said goodbye to one of my friends from high school. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do--harder than school, harder than saying goodbye to grandparents, harder than coping with my everyday anxiety. It was actually felt like all of that combined and trying to hold it together in public made it 100x worse. 

I've boiled it down to this reason why: he was my age. Twenty two. It could've happened to anyone that I know, any of my friends/loved ones, or me. My heart breaks for his family. I know he's in a better place, but I just wish he didn't have to go so soon. A lot of my high school memories include him and I will never forget the good times we had.

It scares me to think that it could've happened to anyone and that the human life is THAT frail. Here one day, gone the next. We've all heard that the present is a gift and life is way to short to be anything but happy. But really. 

Good intentions are nothing but that at the end of the day. I regret not spending more time with him and making the effort to stay better in touch. It shouldn't take a funeral to make me realize that everyday is a gift and we aren't guaranteed another one. Make your loved ones know that they are loved. Spend time with those who mean something to you. And most importantly live life.

R.I.P Eli. I miss you already. 

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I like Brussels Sprouts



This is not an April Fool's joke. This is not a drill. (I really do like them)

A typical day at my job is anything but typical. Everyone says that, but literally I can be running around making deliveries, at a photo shoot, attending swanky networking events, or answering phone calls or any combination of the above.
Take yesterday for instance. I spent ALL day at a photo shoot at an offsite venue. What were we shooting? Not an actual event, but FOOD! (so cool, but so hard to stay eating healthy believe me) Instead of demolishing the turtle cheesecake, I focused my energy on trying new things such as tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes.

The verdict is in:

Tomatoes, yea I still don't like them--which is weird since I love ketchup and marinara sauce.

Brussels Sprouts, I freaking love them. I know I said something about textures here, but it totally didn't faze me this go around. Maybe because they taste like French fries to me?

Sweet Potatoes really are sweet. Who would've thought?! I don't think I could eat a whole bowl, but the spoonful I had wasn't bad.

Making huge steps here people.

I soon as I tried a Brussels Sprout, I literally texted everyone I knew to spread the good news. 

Apparently it's weird that I like these veggies (of all veggies) since they aren't popular with many people. AT ALL.  And I'm told they don't really taste like fries. But in order to convince myself that they are yummy, I tell myself they taste like fries. Whatever works, just so you know. 

After the photo shoot (that took all day) the chefs sent me home with the left over Brussels sprouts because I just love them that much. So this just made eating healthy a whole lot easier. I now like three vegetables and the list is growing--so proud of myself. 

Back to the shoot. So fun and so exhausting. We had breakfast, lunch, dinner, and passed hors d'oeuvres all in an 8 hour period.

Meatballs anyone?

Also I think I should have been a florist. And while my "typical" workday is anything but typical. I wouldn't have it any other way--because I said so!



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