LA Fun Times.

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So I went to LA over the holiday weekend and fun times were had by all. We stayed at this adorable little house that I’m sure is worth more than I’ll ever make in the heart of West Hollywood where coffee was had on the sunny (zero humidity) patio each morning. There was a healthy amount of shopping and eating at sweet little establishments with a side of one late night In-And-Out stop, of course. I also witnessed Katy Perry sing I Can’t Make You Love Me followed by her own Teenage Dream while wearing a pink, plastic skirt from five rows away. That was FUN. Always full of my fair share of observations, I noticed everyone is pretty, no one seems to have an actual job and everyone (but me) was juicing. So without further adieu, here are some pictures from my getaway, complete with cheesy captions because we all need a little cheese, yes?

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Back porch patio action, California style.

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#2 coffee shop in the USofA, according to the sign – excellent people watching.

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Thanks for the gluten/dairy/soy/sugar-free Easter treats, Babycakes!

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My girl Katy Perry, green hair and all, CMT Crossroads-ing it up with country queen, Kacey Musgraves, at Sony Pictures Studios. Yes, they Windex-ed KP’s skirt.

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Had to.

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Flowers, brunch and a whole lot of sunshine. I kept expecting to look over and see Mindy Kaling eating an overpriced croissant but no such luck.

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Late lunch at The Ivy because well, when in LA. Sadly, no celebrity sightings to speak of but excellent ambience – cozier than expected.

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Becoming a florist of some sort may or may not be in my 15 year plan.

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XOXO,

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Facing Fears Is Hard (Do It Anyway)

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For some people it’s flying or speaking in front of anyone other than close friends and family. For others it’s commitment, eating alone, rejection or forgiving the person that hurt you. We all have that one thing that brings out anxiety we can’t seem to shake, and it’s too often the case that facing the fear head-on is what makes us stronger. Good ole’ Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Always easier said than done but why not attempt to make this a reality on the daily? I wish I had all the answers, y’all but I don’t. What I do have is what we all have deep inside us and that’s INSIGHT.

Scared of public speaking? Make a conscious effort to put yourself in more settings where this is necessary. Work is a great place to start, and the more you speak up the more your boss will respect you. Word to the wise: Don’t picture everyone in their underwear because then you’ll just feel super awkward and To Catch A Predator-esque.

Scared of flying? We’ve all had the uneasy stomach and cold sweat pre-flight.  My father? Hated every bit of it since his first flight with me – age 14, with all of my friends, flying to Panama for a mission trip, he read his Bible intensely for the flight’s entirety. While he prefers to drive, he’s still flying because he likes to get places in 2 hours as opposed to 22 hours. Is he still scared before every flight? Absolutely. But he’s facing the fear and that makes him a champ.

Scared of meeting new people? No new friends! I get that but half the fun in life is meeting all kinds of people everywhere you go. When you walk into that church/party/bar mitzvah by yourself, RELAX. Smile. Introduce yourself or wait until someone comes to you because they will. Think about it this way – all of your friends now were once new people and now they’ve most likely seen you without pants.

Scared to let something go? A past significant other, a bad habit, a past significant other that was your bad habit, being angry with a parent, a job where you never feel valued. I could go on and on but we all have items we need to kick to the curb. Stop thinking and just release. Plus, letting go leaves room for more good to walk right on in!

All life is an experimentsomeone far smarter and more acomplished than this girl said that but may we all remember those five words. Facing the very things that scare you might cause you to feel all the feelings and yes, you might cry at some point along the way (here I am!). IT’S OKAY. You’ll feel a sense of calm in successfully facing your fear instead of running the other way and the next time a fear pops up you’ll be all the more prepared to dominate.

Oh, and if you’re scared to ask the girl out to dinner remember, it’s dinner – not a marriage proposal…and she’s going to say yes.

I love you all.

XOXO,

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She Bangs.

I’ve had bangs my whole life and by whole life I mean since age 3 when I finally grew more than a tiny curl awkwardly positioned in the middle of my head. I’ve “rocked”  every style:

The Dorothy Hamill (thanks, Mom)

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The DJ Tanner (classic)

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The Reba McEntire a la here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down (for talent shows, of course)

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The Lindsay Lohan circa 2001 when she released an “album” (yes, that happened)

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You can imagine I was a bit, um, hesitant to embrace bangs again in a real way but I was convinced and it happened and you know what? I love them. They’re easy to manage – somewhere in between Michelle Obama and Zooey –  and it’s like an instant statement piece that makes the eyes pop. Everyone is all like – You look completely different! Bangs! Look at you! I assume these are all compliments in the form of conversation starters and I don’t hate it. Who knows if this will last through Bonnaroo – it gets hot, y’all – but they’ll do for now. Feeling brave? Get bangs and thank me later. Just promise me you won’t attempt to cut them yourself. That never ends well, trust.

XOXO,

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Spring Awakening

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Last weekend I was with some girlfriends catching up and watching Kentucky beat Wisconsin (by one point) while eating “dinner” (waffle fries with cheese – no shame.) We talked about the usual topics of discussion: boys, work, where we’ve been traveling for work, how we all want to take a vacation ASAP from said work, church, food, and boys again. About the time we started to repeat all of the above one of the most happy-go-lucky girls I know  blurted out what we’ve all been thinking – “I feel like I’ve been in a winter depression.” We all agreed, YES, that’s what’s been going on. Everybody has been frozen and in full hibernation mode for the past too many months. Who wants to meet friends for a late dinner when it’s 14 windy degrees outside and The Good Wife is on Hulu? Why worry with looking put together when you have to pile on 3+ layers just to feel your legs to walk to and from the office?

Sure, a little dramatic, but we live in the South. Winter should last until early February and then we should spring into more respectable temperatures. I’ll be the first to admit the dreary weather we all complained about for months got me down, which I attribute to my last month’s silence. I needed some time to hibernate and pull it together. Maybe you did too? From time to time we all need a month or two to slow down and refocus on where we’re at and more importantly, where we want to go.

So I’m back, pale skin and all, more than ready to embrace this new season. Here’s to more sunshine, buttercups, eating on the patio (ALWAYS!) and the promise of carefree summer vacations.

XOXO,

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Obsessed: 3 (Very Nashville) Things

1. Karen in the new Louis Vuitton campaign – there are no words. I love that she goes from South Africa to London back to Nashville – no big deal! – and again, she makes me wish I was a tall ginger like whoa.

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2. City House. If you’re not in Nashville, get here and immediately book a reservation to treat yo self. Seriously, I somehow managed to live and dine here for years and hadn’t been until this past weekend. Everything was perfect, from the cozy ambience to our bearded waiter who was beyond lovely and yes, did laugh at (most) of my cheese-ball comments. (Hi Wilder!) Also, make sure you save room for dessert because you have to get two: butterscotch panna cotta and almond ricotta pound cake with lemon gelato. I suggest going with a group so you don’t have to roll out of there.

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3. White’s Mercantile. When she isn’t touring with Jason Isbell and generally just being amazing with her rockstar husband, Holly Williams is busy raising the bar of cool in 12th South with this chic general store, which has a little bit of everything including the Marvis toothpaste I like to splurge on. You will no doubt want to spend your entire paycheck on all the local goods but will appreciate the reasonable odd and ends you’ll find wrapped together in one sunny space.

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XOXO,

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Beyonce Is Now a College Course.

Beyonce-Jay-Z-PDA-Pictures-2014-Grammy-AwardsAfter reading this article from the Associated Press I immediately asked:

1. Why don’t I live anywhere close to New Jersey?

2. Why didn’t I think of that?

A big shout out to Rutgers’ Department of Women’s and Gender Studies for offering a course called “Politicizing Beyonce.” The class consists of watching videos, analyzing lyrics and then reading an occasional piece on black feminism. I mean, basically every class I took in undergrad. But for real…CAN YOU IMAGINE THE ASSIGNMENTS?

What do you think Beyonce was trying to say through her most recent Grammy performance with husband, Jay-Z?

Compare and contrast Beyonce’s earlier work (Bootylicuous, Crazy In Love) to her latest “Visual Album.”

Analyze the following lyric: ” I sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker.”

Who is Sasha Fierce?

How will you choose to be your own Beyonce in the coming year?

XOXO,

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My Other Other Boyfriend

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In case you missed it, Leo made a “surprise” appearance on SNL where his Wolf of Wall Street bff, Jonah Hill, was hosting. I laughed, I cried and I believe it’s safe to say we were all reminded of the many reasons why Leo is wanted by more than just Scorsese. 

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Girl Crush: Jessie Baylin

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To hear her is to love her and let me express that I love this woman, I really do. She headlined her first show in two years Friday night here in Nashville (with THE Watson Twins!) and I think it’s safe to say the sold out crowd collectively swooned. Her sound is fresh, very California meets Nashville, the perfect storm of Southern charm with a breezy sound. It should also be noted that her hair is perfection and her style effortless.

Personally, I thank Baylin for her third album that first came to my rescue during the break-up that was my emotional equivalent of the crash of 29. “Little Spark,” full of potent lyrics sang in a seductively distant echo, was just what the doctor ordered to mend my broken heart and serve as a reminder of many things. Watching her up close and personal almost two years later, memories flooded back as she crooned “the way he shifts his eyes, and won’t connect with your’s; that’s when you realize, he’ll never give you more.” It was perfect and couldn’t have come at a better time.

Buy her albums, all of em’, and thank me later. Do I ever steer you in the wrong direction?

XOXO,

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B’s Guide To Business Trip Packing

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I know, a super fun topic for us all, right? I understand business trips aren’t vacation nor is packing an enjoyable activity so that is why I’m helping you out. Saving you some time and brain power by showing you the way. Never been on a business trip? I’m sorry. Keeping working hard and I’m sure your boss will trust you with an Amex and representing the company soon enough. Been on too many to count? Congrats! You have enough frequent flier miles and hotel shampoos to supply all of Nashville. For the people somewhere in between, here are my essentials when it comes to jet setting for the job. In no particular order:

Carry-on: Ditch the bulky suitcase and vote unnecessary pieces off the island. Trust, you do not want to be the one waiting for your luggage at carousel 15.

Minimal products: Don’t be scared of the shampoo/conditioner/soap/hair dryer that the hotel provides. Only pack your favorites that are essential to being you, i.e. make-up and always perfume.

Professional pieces: This of course varies depending on what the trip pertains to and what sort of job you hold. Professional often ranges from a pencil skirt to flannel but it always means put together. Dress like you’re the boss even if you’re not the one giving the presentation.

Play clothes: There is nothing worse than having some free time and all you have is a shift dress and heels. Might I suggest dark jeans since those can be dressed up or paired with a t-shirt to run out for coffee in the morning.

Reading material: Preferably something not related to work that serves more of a purpose than just passing the travel time. I’m taking The Gifts of Imperfection on my next trip and can’t wait to start.

Sunglasses: Not only do these protect you from prematurely developing those pesky wrinkles but they are awesome when trying to sleep on the plane.

Drugs: Advil and melatonin. Never travel without them.

A notebook: To write down your thoughts and more importantly, to make note of all the awesomeness that’s happening while you’re away to share with the boss once you’re back.

Also, always talk to strangers – your trip will be all the more interesting. Happy trails!

XOXO,

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