Count Your Blessings

123PSA: There is a lot of negativity in this world.

Yep, it’s a sad but true reality and while sometimes – especially when you’re really tired and hungry and have a major headache from your long day at the office – it’s easy to get caught up in the not so goods. I know I’m not the only one who feels a little overwhelmed sometimes, what with the awful stuff happening that you see every time you turn on the news to rude comments others make that you can’t seem to stop analyzing. Some days are tough, but then you take a minute to realize all you’ve been blessed with and suddenly all the bad stuff seems a lot less daunting.

I grew up in church – preacher’s kids, represent! – and one of my favorite songs to sing was always “Count Your Blessings.” I also grew up watching many a Christmas movie and my favorite has always been and always will be White Christmas, where Bing Crosby sings “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)” to a sleepy Rosemary Clooney. At 28, I find myself singing one or a combination of both songs whenever I feel disheartened, anxious or just all around exhausted. I refocus on all the wonderful people and opportunities God has blessed me with and suddenly my breathing is back to normal and calm rushes over me. A smile usually follows.

No, counting blessings isn’t a cure all and yes, sometimes I have a hard time of “considering the source” and moving on, but remembering the abundance of blessings shifts your whole perspective. Has your boss been particularly heinous lately? Take a minute to show gratitude for a of all) having a job and b of all) the talent/ambition to go find a new boss that values you! Can’t seem to get past an argument with a good friend and worry that you’re losing each other? Take a minute to remember all the times you’ve been there for each other, times when you worked through the hard stuff and let go of the negative. A little love goes a long way! Disheartened by the current state of affairs in the is world? Turn off the news and surround yourself with those who keep it positive and focus on the good.

So if you’re worried and you can’t sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep

And you’ll fall asleep, counting your blessings…

XOXO,

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Six Things

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[ A little sweet treat with not one but three birthday cards, ranging from hilarious to "I need a tissue" to kick off the birthday weekend. ]

Birthdays are fun, especially when celebrated all week with your nearest and dearest! This past week was nothing short of epic,  filled to the brim with my favorite treats, friends who have become family and a baby shower to welcome in the newest addition!

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[ Gorgeous flowers that just keep blooming! ]

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[ Last birthday dinner as Katie Louise Powell thanks to this guy and I couldn't be happier. We tried The Flipside and loved it, especially the tator tots and throwback games at each table. ]

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[ Birthday dinner with friends and fiance and a Chopped judge at City House. Perfection. ]

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[ They get me. ]

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[ The glowing mom-to-be at her first baby shower. ]

Have a great last week of September!

XOXO,

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Girl Crush: Amy Poehler

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How can you not adore Amy Poehler? She does it all – writes, acts, produces, has awesome friends, makes us laugh until we cry and still manages to be a mom with a social life. Oh, and today’s her birthday! She’s basically my Miss America. That’s right, move over Miss New York. Because Amy Poehler isn’t just a powerhouse of laughs and fiery feminist sensibilities. She’s also the best friend/brilliant boss/supportive sister/bodacious babe you’ve always wished was number one on your speed dial.

In the spirit of celebrating everything Amy, I’ve put together a list of some of the things we love most about her.

She was a BOSS at SNL and oh yeah, became Tina Fey’s BFF

Amy made history by becoming the first woman to be promoted to full time cast member during her first season on the show – only the third person to ever receive this honor. During her third season she got promoted to co-anchor of “Weekend Update” with Tina and they became BFFs while making us all laugh on the regular.

She was the “cool mom” on Mean Girls

How could we forget? This was big screen gold, y’all, and I loved how she dove into her role chosen by non other than Tina Fey.

She launched Smart Girls 

Amy launched Smart Girls, a YouTube series and online community she created with two of her girl friends. Their goal? To create an online space to encourage girls to just be themselves and embrace all the wonderful/awkward/unique traits about them. Smart Girls now has almost a million followers and Amy runs it herself. I mean, she’s super woman.

She is Lesley Knope

Whether you’ve seen Parks & Recreation or not, you have to admit Amy’s Lesley Knope is ambitious and all things amazing. She refers often to herself becoming the first female president and has a picture of Condoleezza Rice in her office for inspiration. Nothing like a comedy where the leading role is played by a strong woman who is both hilarious and kind.

She’s releasing her first book – Yes, Please – October 28th

Tina will tackle a multitude of hot topics we can all get on board with – everything from friendship to parenting to love and dating. Go ahead and pre-order because you know it’s going to be Epic.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Amy! May your waffles be plentiful and the jokes free-flowing!

XOXO,

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Six Things

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[ Adding a little more blonde at my favorite, Dandelion Salon. ]

This past week was a good one. Busy, of course, but filled with wonderful things and people I love including a much-needed hair appointment, a hilariously bad pedicure from the fiance, early birthday celebrating with my sweet family complete with the most amazing cupcakes, and plenty of surprises!

photo 2 (3)[ I'm not sure how any polish made it to my toes because I was laughing so hard. ]

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[ There's no better way to kick off the birthday celebrations than with the most delicious cupcakes! I shared, of course. ]

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[ Beautiful BHLDN piece that just might be making an appearance in the wedding....Thanks, Mom! ]

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[ My sneaky fiance made sure I was treated to an Italian rendition of the Birthday Song, complete with homemade birthday hat. Really, you shouldn't have. ]

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[ Dad and Charlie. Love these two! ]

With this week comes fun celebrations for my actual birthday (!!!), wrapping up last minute plans for my best friend’s baby shower this weekend, and working on my wedding dress worthy arms at the gym with my personal trainer, aka my fiance. Have a great week, lovelies!

XOXO,

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Looking Forward To Fall

1“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you live in Nashville, or anywhere in the South I suppose, it still feels like June when you walk outside. Boo. HOWEVER, the weather man promises this weekend will really feel like Fall. We’re talking a high of 72 and a low of 58. !!! Bring on the longer sleeves and perfectly chilled air. With the autumn temperatures comes a whole realm of possibilities…

Here are a few things I’m looking forward to this season:

  • Pumpkin spice everything
  • Saturdays spent watching (SEC) football with the fiance
  • Black tights and boots
  • Cozying up with a blanket and a good movie
  • Chili and plenty of jalapeno cornbread
  • Long walks outside sans humidity
  • A trip to the pumpkin patch
  • Over-sized cardigans
  • Decorating for Halloween – bring on the ghouls and goblins!
  • Picking out the perfect mums which yes, I will undoubtedly kill
  • Watching the leaves change colors

What are you most looking forward to?

XOXO,

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Links I’m Loving

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1. My grandmother and I would watch Gone With The Wind over and over – thanks, Garden & Gun for taking us behind the scenes in honor of its 75th anniversary! (gardenandgun.com)

2. Did you know you can make your own fruit snacks using just four (all natural, I might add) ingredients? I can’t wait to grab the last of the summer strawberries and try this recipe. (anorganicwife.com)

3. Grab some headphones and tune into the NPR tiny desk concert featuring my favorite bluegrass boys. (npr.org)

4. For all of you PR ladies and gents, Keeping Positive in PR. (nycprgirls.com)

5. 36 Hours In Nashville. (thenewyorktimes.com)

6. 6 Things To Do Before Making a Big Decision. (relevant.com)

7. The Summer’s Best Onstage Instagrams From Musicians – Katy Perry’s is my favorite, shock. (vogue.com)

XOXO,

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The September Checklist

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It’s September! HOORAY HURRAH! It’s no secret this is my favorite month of the year, well, it’s in my top two only to be rivaled by Christmas’s December. So while I’m a little sad to see Summer fade, this means Fall is well on it’s way and with it comes back-to-school sales, the return of good TV and pumpkin everything. What other amazing things do we have to look forward to this month?

September 4: Beyonce’s Birthday

Yep, it’s Queen B’s birthday. Celebrate all day by embodying all things fierce. Oh, and this is the perfect excuse to keep her greatest hits on replay all day long.

September 4-11: New York Fashion Week

Grab your highest stilettos and prepare to see all the hottest looks for Spring 2015…while you look through Vogues September issue and plan your fall looks.

National Better Breakfast Month

Ditch the granola bar and puulease, put down the Pop-Tart. Wake up early enough to make yourself a well-balanced, lovely breakfast. Try one of these amazing recipes and thank me later.

September 8: National Grandparents’ Day

Give your precious grandma or grandpa a call and tell them how much you love them! Brownie points if you send a sweet card via snail mail – correspondance is everything!

September 18: My Birthday

Had to! I haven’t quite finished my lofty list of to-do’s before I turn 28 but hey, all the more to accomplish in the coming years! P.S. Gifts not required but I never turn down chocolate.

September 23: The First Day of Fall

This is the day I will allow myself to fully embrace all the pumpkin and cinnamon smells and flavors – pumpkin spice latte anyone? Fingers crossed it will no longer be 90 degrees in Nashville and I will be able to frolic comfortably in jeans.

September 25: Scandal Returns!

Shonda Rhimes is my girl and while this presidential fare tends to be cheesy and melodramatic, I cannot wait to see what Olivia Pope handles, and wears, next.

Happy September, all!

XOXO,

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Links I’m Loving

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1. Gear up for the return of college football by meeting the wives of SEC coaches. (saturdaydownsouth.com)

2. Transition into fall with boyfriend jeans and a bright lip. (sunshadesandsnowflakes.com)

3. Glean that bridal knowledge and learn from the 50 mistakes brides always make. (brides.com)

4. I’m on a spending freeze but maybe you aren’t and want to splurge on these beauty essentials. (glitterguide.com)

5. Start practicing all-day habits for a better night’s sleep. (self.com)

6. I dare you to read through the 8 Life-Changing Lessons We’ve Learned From Dogs and not tear up smile. (hellogiggles.com)

7. I hate that I love the new Taylor Swift song. (youtube.com)

XOXO,

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10 Ways To Soak Up These Last Days Of Summer

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August is coming to a close – can you believe it? – and while it doesn’t feel like it right now, Fall is almost here. (YAY!) So in an attempt to be present and appreciate the here and now, I’ve thought about some ways to enjoy these last days of summer before we bid the heat farewell. Who’s in?

  1. Grab a magazine and an extra large ice water and head to the pool for one last hurrah! SPF required.
  2. Wear your favorite sundress and strappy sandals to run errands or for date night!
  3. Grab some peaches and make this. (NOM) 
  4. Wear white from head to toe because hey! you still can.
  5. Get your HGTV on and DIY something, whether that’s giving your kitchen a fresh coat of paint or giving your doormat a facelift that all your guests will ooh and ahh over.
  6. Go to a late movie and don’t feel bad one bit for eating too many sour punch straws and popcorn.
  7. Take full advantage of your hammock and relax for a while underneath the stars.
  8. Have a porch? Grab some sweet tea and good friends and sit for a while.
  9. Work on your fitness outdoors. Tennis, running, or touch football anyone?
  10. Popsicles at the park. If you’re in Nashville, might I suggest here.

XOXO,

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The Weeknight Date Night

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You know those Mondays that feel about two weeks long and leave you exhausted/frustrated/emotionally done at the end of the day? Yep, I had one of those this week so you can imagine my excitement when the fiance suggested we go out for dinner and a movie last night. I love a good weeknight date night because not only does it make you feel like it’s Friday (!!!) but it gives you a chance to break up the work week with some fun time.

We went for some Chinese – his favorite – and then to see the new Oprah movie – my choice, naturally. We laughed all through dinner and then got plenty of candy for the movie. We were both pleasantly surprised by how sweet the movie was – I highly recommend it! – and fear not, Oprah does not make a cameo. It was the perfect way to spend a Tuesday night and I woke up this morning feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated for the rest of my work week.

Ladies and gentleman, might I suggest an impromptu date on a school night? Ladies, throw on a little lip color and some fun shoes. Gentlemen, let her pick the movie and you might find yourself enjoying it, too! The most important thing is spending time with the one you love. Take your mind off all the other stuff you’ve both got going on and focus on each other. Chinese and chick flick optional.

What’s your favorite weeknight date spot? Let’s hear ‘em.

XOXO,

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