Navigation - Pages

Monday, October 6, 2014

kendra gives back to neda

The best Mondays are the ones that end with sparkles. Especially if those sparkles are accompanied by cupcakes, champagne, and a great cause.

My friend Mandie (you've seen her here) has been working tirelessly the past few months to help coordinate a charity walk for the National Eating Disorders Association. NEDA is close to Mandie's heart, as it promotes positive body image and self-esteem, and discourages dieting behaviors, drive for thinness, and body dissatisfaction.

Tonight these ladies (Taylor, Mandie, Dani and Sara) hosted a Kendra Gives Back Party at Kendra Scott in Perkins Rowe to finish off their successful NEDA fundraising just before the walk on Saturday.

I won't be able to make the walk, but I'm always down for supporting body-positive promoters, especially if it means leaving with something fabulous.

As with all new jewelry pieces, my Daisy ring from the Color Bar is now my favorite piece of jewelry. The Color Bar allows you to choose a base ring, bracelet, earring or necklace setting, and choose the stones to color and fill the piece to your heart's desire.

It's customizable fabulousness.

I'm pretty sure the Rayne pendant will be my next gift to me!

Mandie, fabulous as always.

The Kaki Baguette earrings are astoundingly beautiful ... but a little above my price range ... by a few hundred.

Their charms have a much more affordable price point, with $25 chains, and $15 - $35 letters, numbers, symbols and (my favorite) stones - both sparkly and non.

Obviously, the Kendra Scott party is over. But, you can still donate to the NEDA walk here, or read Mandie's story to learn why she's so passionate about this cause.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

the shoes that got away

It first happened in the spring.

It was one of those long, dreary days, when nothing goes to plan and you just pray for it all to end. Then, they came to me.

They graced my computer screen like a gift hand-delivered by God himself. I was filled with euphoria, and an overall giddyness at the realization that they could make every bad day turn to gold. I vowed that they would be mine.

Life came, and my ever-present dream quickly faded into an almost-forgotten memory. Until this month. I came across them again and the undeniable love welled up inside of me again. This time. This time for sure.

But, they had moved on without me. Every single one of them found a new home with someone who acted on their instincts. Someone who could give them the love they deserve.

They're the shoes that got away.

I first saw these adorable smoking slippers in my Keep profile. But, honestly, at the time I wasn't prepared to drop $150 on another pair of shoes. (I know, I know. Blasphemy. But, every now and then, I have bursts of financial practicality.)

I saw them again recently, while flipping through an old issue of Southern Living. This time, I was in a burst of complete financial impracticality and, so, was completely prepared to drop the money.

Alas, they're out of stock. C Wonder still has a "Bee happy" sweater, but it's just not the same.

But, if you haven't recently had your heart broken by a pair of smoking slippers, C Wonder also has some cute heart, kitten and evil eye pairs.

Or, if you'd like loafers that are still adorable but more affordable, ASOS has a fantastically preppy red plaid pair (which also come in a perfect gray and a versatile black velvet).

Or, if you prefer to play a more subtle game with your footwear, you could try a good pair of slippers in faux crocodile or basic black.

(These are not slippers, but they're so adorable I couldn't resist including them. Glitter + D'Orsay = funzies)

But, please, for my sake, follow your heart. Don't let the shoes you love get away. You may never get them back.

Especially if they're last season.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

solemates fundraising party

In July, two gym friends and I signed up for a mini-triathlon in New Orleans. It seemed like a good way to push our perceived limits, change up the workout routine, and really see what we could do.

When another friend told me I could use the triathlon as a fundraiser, it seemed like a great way to help build a girl's confidence.

So I signed up for SoleMates, the individual scholarship fundraising arm of Girls on the Run.

Last week, I held a small party to really help me reach the major goal. One hour before people began arriving to sip wines, nibble cheeses and humor me while I played hostess, I looked at the fundraising page and saw.

We did it. They did it. You did it.

Because of the generosity of so many people, one Baton Rouge girl now has the opportunity for a Girls on the Run scholarship. She can learn healthy lifestyle habits, develop positive body image, and discover the importance of joy and kindness, all while training for a special 5k.

When I arrived home today, this treat was waiting on my doorstep. In this sweet surprise from Girls on the Run was a thank-you note, a race day kit (including transition bag, Body Glide, ponytail holders and buttons), and a beautiful essay written by a girl whose life was changed by this program.

I am beyond joyful, thankful and proud that my friends and acquaintances came together to change another girl's life. But, it is my personal goal to raise enough for two scholarships, so the opportunity to give is wide open! (But only until September 28, the day of my triathlon.)

Now onto the party.

I was a terrible blogger, as I took a few photos of the spread before too many people got there, but completely neglected my camera in favor of the wonderful company. So, we got to laugh, tell stories, make friends and play with a baby ... but you don't get to see any of it. Sorry. :(

I shopped at Whole Foods for all of the party fares, as I am completely ignorant about wines and cheeses. I chose five wines, both white and red, that I knew would be the most well-received (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc). Then, I pranced over to the cheese counter, where one of the cheese-istas (I obviously don't know what they're actually called, but that's my vote.) directed me to five delicious, eaily-paired cheeses.

He obviously knew exactly what he was talking about, because everyone was impressed by my selections. I may have even seemed knowledgeable until the Pinot Noir set in and spilled my secrets. C'est la vie.

(If you're curious, I got two kinds of white cheddar, parrano, fontina and mitica. But, both of the cheddars were the most popular.)

Do you have a favorite organization to support? Who and why?

Monday, August 4, 2014

bistro set mini makeover

Saturday was one I'd been dreading for months.

Finished with the Louisiana bar exam, and having just finished a beautiful beach vacation with me, Stephen packed up his car and headed west to Houston to begin the long and arduous process of becoming a Texas-barred attorney. (I imagine it was a tearful drive, because it would make me feel better.)

You'll have to bear with me through these few couple shots. But, he's adorable and I miss him so you can humor me.

Over the past three days, I've done what any recently "single" girl would do: retail therapy and projects.

The first project I tackled (mere hours after he drove away), which I'm sure will be the first of several now-that-I'm-geographically-single posts, was refinishing Stephen's old bistro set.

This poor IKEA find sat on his patio for two years, bearing the brunt of hurricanes and cosplay projects, which caused it to look like this:

Stephen no longer had the room for it, so I happily took it off his hands to create my own weekend morning happy place.

Obviously, saying I refinished it was an exaggeration, as all I actually did was sloppily paint it with an exterior paint. (Valspar Cincinnatian Hotel Abbey from Lowe's, if you're interested.)

Once I was about halfway finished, I realized that I could remove the wood from the frames to avoid painting the metal. But, at that point, it seemed like too much work (regretting it now, since I have to scrape off all of my mess).

It was ready to use Sunday morning, providing a perfect mini-oasis to begin my day. Complete with an adorable coffee press, mug and Harry Potter, of course.

Bistro Set     French Press     Coffee Mug (it's been discontinued)    Kindle     Pride & Prejudice Kindle Case (custom-made)     Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone (available for free through Kindle Unlimited)

So, tell me, what kind of project should I tackle next to stay distracted?

Friday, July 25, 2014

july stole my money

Let's be real. I have a problem.

I'm 25, swim in student loans and no one is financially dependent on me (seriously, not even a fish). I'm not the best at budgeting my monthly paycheck.

In my defense, I rarely pay full-price for anything. Not-so in my defense, I will straight up lose my stuff in a sale.

I'm supposed to be in saving mode at the moment, but each of these buys was so inexpensive, I couldn't pass them up. (Of course, all of the little buys add up to a big buy. But, I may not learn that lesson until my closet is bursting.) By about the middle of July, I realized that the interwebs stole my money.

Lucky you, I can share the sales. I apologize in advance for making you a victim, as well.

Boxy crop top - $16 - Forever 21
So, this wasn't on sale, but I'd been wanting a loose white crop top. And it was cheap. A few notes if you're thinking about it, though: the picture shows ivory being white. Totally not. It's definitely cream. And it's definitely shorter than it appears on the model, but still not in a 19-year-old-at-Coachella way.
Fitted lace crop top - $8 - Forever 21
Definitely short in a 19-year-old-at-Coachella way.
Really, I bought this beauty through Keaton Row, and I couldn't find a link for what I actually bought.
Emerald bangle  - $30 - Banana Republic
Black moto booties - $40 - JustFab
If you're not a member, you get a BOGO deal for signing up. Otherwise, these go on and off sale pretty frequently.
Black bondiband - $9 - Bondiband 
Not on sale, but I needed one for workouts.
Blush tote - $40 - JustFab
White ankle pants - $28 - Target
Also not on sale. And also didn't fit (my bad). 'Twas not a great steal for me.

These three prints are Buy 2 Get 1 free!
Baby Elephant print - $10 - Etsy
Hemingway quote print - $10 - Etsy
 French Lavender candle - $11.25 - Bath & Body Works
 Lilac Blossom candle - $11.25 - Bath & Body Works

If I'm being totally honest, there may have been one ... or two other purchases that happened. They weren't necessarily on sale, but I did have coupons, which made them each less than $5. And, I mean, everybody needs the Back to the Future trilogy on BluRay, right? And you can never have too many jammies, obvi.

Your turn. How are you treating yourself this paycheck? (Or, more importantly, are there any spectacular sales I should know about?)

Monday, July 14, 2014


Last week, I joined two other masochistic ladies from my gym in training for our first triathlon.

I am so tired.

Not to be misleading, I should clarify that it's technically a mini-triathlon. A sprint. Or, as their website suggests, a great triathlon for a beginner, or a good workout for, basically, anybody else.

Pseudo Caption: Because they're awesome, my sister and boyfriend did my first 5K with me. Literally, I got a migraine about a quarter-mile in and had to walk the rest of the way. That should give you an idea of how my athletic endeavors go.

Can we talk for a second about how much I don't like running? Or biking or swimming for exercise? Sure, I can back-squat 185 lb and dead-lift 225 lb, but I prefer to only run when there's a doughnut at the finish line (or complete strangers eagerly waiting to pelt me with dyed corn starch, ahem, Color Run).

But, this was an opportunity to show myself my capabilities while getting to hang out with some pretty awesome gym friends. I also kind of figured having a set-in-PayPal goal to achieve, a torture that I've already paid for, will better help me work toward a healthy lifestyle.

The absolute best part of this, though, is that I can use the triathlon to help young girls develop healthy lifestyle habits, too.

Girls on the Run
*stolen straight from their website*
Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. [They] teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

The beautiful people behind this program spend every day working to instill healthy habits in young girls, while helping to build their confidence. If you've ever been or known a young girl in that age group, you know that confidence can run in short supply.

A program this awesome isn't free; it costs each girl $165 to participate for one season. Enter SoleMates.

SoleMates is the individual fundraising component of Girls on the Run. It provides adults an opportunity to raise money for Girls on the Run while training for the athletic event of their choice. SoleMates set personal goals such as running in a marathon or 10k event to raise money for Girls on the Run in their community.

1,193 SoleMates participated in over 250 events, ran 14,898 miles in the United States, Canada, France and China, and raised over $650,000 for Girls on the Run councils.

Some chapters receive more than $5,000 in scholarship money through SoleMates. This is the first year that the South Louisiana chapter has implemented the program, so they're anxious to see what people will contribute to help their goals.

This is why my triathlon is relevant. As I spend the next two months training to swim 300 meters, bike 10 miles, then run 2 miles, I'm going to be using it as a platform to raise much needed scholarship money for GOTR, so that there is nothing stopping a young girl from realizing how awesome she is.

I know. It's not sexy. I don't have any fancy "give" or "share" buttons, and you're not funding a well in Africa. (Those charities are damn sexy to me.) But, I know firsthand how vital confidence and healthy habits are during those formative years.

I'm hoping to raise enough money to give two girls the opportunity to love themselves, and this is only possible through generous people, like you, helping in whatever way they can. That may mean donating $5 or the full $330 (which would be friggin' awesome, obviously), or, it may simply mean sharing this information with those in your social and email circles.

Whatever you can do, however you can help, know from the bottom of my heart that I, and those girls, are eternally grateful.

In case you missed the link cleverly hidden throughout the text, it's here :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

you're welcome banana bread

I have a confession: I cannot finish a bundle of bananas before they go bad.

My loss is everyone else's gain, though, as my sluggish attitude toward eating bananas usually results in a loaf of banana bread. (Just banana bread, because I never have nuts on hand to make Banana Nut Bread.)

Over all the bad bananas, I've developed quite a tasty recipe that quickly gets eaten up at every family gathering.

You'll need:
1 stick of butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 eggs
3 mashed. perfectly disgusting overripe bananas
1 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla (If you want it to taste even better, find some Mexican vanilla.)
1 tsp. cinnamon
And, if you want to make it nutty, 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat your oven to 325 F and go ahead and grease and flour a bundt or loaf pan so it's ready when you need it. Mix all the ingredients together really well, no fancy dry-ingredient-combining, let-it-sit-in-the-fridge-for-a-few-hours silliness that accompanies a lot of baked goodies.

Isn't mashing bananas the best? Seriously. I love it.

I have one mixing bowl and it was at Stephen's during this. No judging for using a pot, k?

Throw everything in your pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Mine is usually perfect at about 48.

Before you plop it upside down and present it all pretty, make sure it's totally loose around the edges with a butter knife to ensure you don't leave half of it in the pan. (How embarrassing! ... yes, it's happened to me ... several times.)

Slice a piece, slap on some butter and enjoy the deliciousness as it melts away in your mouth.

You're welcome.

Monday, July 7, 2014

why we need a new protestant reformation

Growing up in Small Town, North Louisiana, I was certain of everything. 

Every word my parents spoke was truth. Every word my church leaders spoke was truth. If a teacher or textbook contradicted what I learned at home or church, it was obviously false information forced on me by the evils of an ungodly society. 

I was raised Baptist, as were all of my friends. My neighbor never went to church, and I made it my mission to “save” her from age 5. There was a single Catholic girl in our entire grade. It wasn’t my mission to save her; bless her heart, she was already a lost cause. was a well-known truth that Catholics aren’t really Christian. My church leaders told me so. They pray to dead saints and to Mary. They rely on their deeds to get to Heaven. They believe “communion” literally turns into Jesus’ blood and flesh. Their priests do dirty things to altar boys.


Sure, the spiritual leaders in my life taught me to love my neighbor as myself, and that love could lead to salvation for any person. Except Catholics.

My freshman year of college at LSU, a Catholic boy asked me to dinner. It wasn’t a “date,” but we liked each other and I considered the possibility that I misunderstood his faith. I cried when I got back to my dorm room, realizing his crazy beliefs would take him first to seminary, then straight to hell.

Three years later, I gave it another go. Too giddy to say no when Stephen asked me out on my birthday, I agreed to go on a real live date with this Catechism-quoting, former altar boy. We discussed classes, relationships and aspirations.

Catholics: they’re just like us!

I fell hard and fast. I couldn’t stop it. I knew it would be detrimental, and I knew it could never last, but I also couldn’t help it. We were “Facebook Official” within a week, at which point my Bible study leader called to let me know that Stephen was probably sent from Satan to derail me from my spiritual path.

I didn’t talk to my new boyfriend for five days, trying to sort out everything going through my mind. I decided it was best to discuss our most basic beliefs to determine the next move.

We met over cheeseburgers and French fries, and he shared with me his beliefs, leading me to realize that everything I’d heard about Catholicism from Protestants was wrong. Catholics are Christians, too. In many ways, better “Christians” than some of those I grew up with.

Obviously, in any denomination, there will be the people who ruin it for everyone. The CEO Baptists (Christmas and Easter Only). The criminals “acting on God’s will.” The Catholics who use confession as an excuse to put Sodom and Gomorrah to shame during the week.

At its core, Catholicism is a stunning belief system. There is literally no part of mass that doesn’t stem from a deep, beautiful and spiritually rich place. The true Catholics exude love in most things they do.

Take, for example, Pope Francis. In his first year of service, he has managed to both enrage and inspire the entire Christian community with one outrageous virtue: love like Jesus. He has embraced the diseased, accepted the homosexual, and denied himself the inherited luxury and comfort of the Vatican.

In my three and a half years of knowing Stephen and growing to understand his beliefs, I’ve come to realize that perhaps the most prevalent evil in Protestant churches is ignorance. 

Protestants’ ignorance of Catholicism is what created the enemy. Most of us neither understand nor bother ourselves to explore their beliefs or the meanings behind them. We simply accept other Protestants’ words as truth.

Ignorance accompanied by stubbornness got us where we are today.

To the world, Protestants aren’t viewed as loving disciples of Christ, as we are called to be. Like it or not, we are viewed as hateful Bible-thumpers who believe in the ultimacy of our values so fiercely that we berate women entering abortion clinics, criminalize the poor for their poverty, and inadvertently push gay teens to suicide.

We save our virginity for marriage, and thumb our noses at the pregnant teen. We take profile pics with an impoverished child during our annual mission trip, and forget the homeless suffering in our own community. We thank our forefathers for our religious freedom, and insist that America is a Christian nation.

One of my favorite notions from Sunday School is that Christ doesn’t differentiate between sins. Sin is sin. My sin is no better or worse than my neighbor’s sin because Christ died for all. Unless you’re gay, loose or a bit too dirty for our tastes.

We’ve created our own polarized culture that reflects not only on our spirituality, but also on our politics, education, perception of others and others’ perceptions of us. We’ve been blessed, both from our creator and from our government, with free will. We’re allowed to believe truth in our own certainties; it’s called faith. But I now see too many Christians assuming that those who don’t share those truths or who, God forbid, question them, are the enemy.

As Arleen Spenceley said in Confessions of a Catholic Christian, “The root of why it’s hard to get along is not the existence of doctrinal differences. It’s our unwillingness to admit that it’s OK for them to exist.”

The original Protestant Reformation stemmed from theological and moral opposition with the Catholic Church. We now need a reformation of ourselves; a realization that we are not at war with other Christians, be they Catholic or Baptist. We’re not even at war with other people. We are at war with evil. 

Just like the proverbial frog being slowly boiled alive, we’ve become so distracted with the enemies we create that we haven’t noticed the true evil we’ve allowed to infiltrate our lives and even ourselves.

“Faith without works is dead.” Your faith, your decades of church-attending, devotional-reading, mission trip faith, is worthless if you don’t love your neighbor. Jesus reminded us that only sick people need a hospital. In the same way, that “sinner” you know needs more love than the pastor you just brought a chicken casserole.

The proof is in the red letters. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).

From Matthew 22:36-40 -
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

work to weekend wear: patriot

Today we had our annual office July 4th BBQ and dessert competition.

Naturally, 95% of attendees showed just how patriotic they are through their outfits, while chowing on brisket and fudge.


I'd been needing white pants and  was ecstatic when I found these white ankle pants at Target the other day. Unfortunately, what I thought fit well in the dressing room turned out to be a size too large. Found that one out when I caught myself hoisting up my waistband while climbing the stairs to my office.

le sigh. All the fashionistas wear baggy pants, right?

For a work-appropriate look, I paired the pants with my favorite royal blue blouse, red lips and red earrings. I toned it down with nude pumps.

This breezy, feminine blouse is so last season and, therefore, no longer available. But I found a couple of other options here, here and here.


For the transition to weekend, I simply swapped the top and shoes, and went for asymmetrically pinned-back hair.

Sup, baggy crotch?

I kind of surprised myself with this blouse. I think I've worn one other halter in my life, and that was a super sweet denim smocked crop top in fifth grade.

While navy and white stripes are pretty on-point right now, it's difficult to find something similar to this oldie. But, I tried: these are some really cute, weekend comfy-chic options (1, 2, 3 and 4)

Hooker heels from ShoeDazzle, obvi. Here are some less slutty options: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Sunglasses similar to what I'm wearing. Clearly the better option.

I'm headed to my parents' house this weekend for grilling, swimming and always-needed family time. How are you celebrating America's Independence?