everyday inspiration


“I hope this song starts a craze”

Lately, Husband and I have been reminiscing a lot about favorite bands, nostalgic bands (often one in the same) and concerts we’ve attended together.

It started a few months back when Husband created a “High School Jamz” playlist. It was such a throwback and we have had so much fun listening to it and singing to it – even as often as last night, belting out our favorite Brand New songs after our Valentine’s Day dinner at home.

Every time we go to a concert, I always think how fun it is and how we need to go to concerts more often. Who doesn’t love live music?? We are so lucky to have an amazing outdoor venue less than 2 miles from our house, and this year they’re bringing several of our favorite nostalgic artists.

We’ve purchased tickets to 3 concerts so far this year – Blink 182 in April and Third Eye Blind with Silversun Pickups in July, and the one we’re most excited about – Radiohead in Kansas City in April. This will be a huge concert to check off the bucket list.

While I’ve been excitedly planning for the upcoming concerts, I’ve also been reminiscing about our early concert days –


Our first concert together was Taking Back Sunday and Jimmy Eat World in Ft. Smith. My parents drove me, Husband (then boyfriend) and friend Nicole down. Sadly these were the pre-smartphone days so I have no photos to speak of, but the three of us still talk about how much fun we had.



[Dashboard Confessional and Brand New, Conway 2006]
With Dashboard lead singer Chris Carrabba + us outside of Brand New’s tour bus

P.S. it was FREEZING and we waited out back for hoursssssss to meet them #WorthIt


[Foo Fighters, University of Arkansas 2007]

This photo was actually taken while waiting outside for the tickets a few months before the show. Somehow I cannot find a single photo of the actual concert even though it was one of the best shows we’ve ever been to. We went with two of our favorite people and stood feet from Dave Grohl as he played for hours and hours and had so so much fun.


[Brand New, Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa 2007]

I don’t remember much about this concert … but glad I found this one picture of the guitarist hanging upside down, ha!

img_0092[Dear and the Headlights, Jimmy Eat World and Paramore, Springfield 2008]
With lead singer of Dear and the Headlights

img_0093[Vans Warped Tour: Blink 182, Weezer, Taking Back Sunday, Kansas City, 2009]

Of course, I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention our two stops to Red Rocks in Denver to see our new favorite band The National –


[Frightened Rabbit, Local Natives and The National, 2013]


[The National, 2016]

Excited to make more concert memories with Husband this summer and in the years to come!

xo xo

10 Favorite College Memories


For some reason I’ve been reminiscing about college lately. Maybe it’s because school is starting soon, or because I’ve now been out of college for 4 years now and it seems like it was so long ago.

A couple years ago I wrote about my 10 Favorite High School Memories after attending my sister-in-law’s high school graduation. It was fun to go back and look at the pictures and pull it together, so I decided to do the same for college. As they say, it was truly one of the best times in my life and I’ll never forget the all the wonderful people I met and the relationships I made.

1910522_1014562837343_331_n1. My first pep rally and Razorback game as a student. Go Hogs!

4245_1112555087088_4300446_n2. My first camping trip in probably 10 years and the boys tricked us into an unexpected river crossing to get to our campsite. Thank goodness for those headlamps.

1923467_1016424523884_859_n3. Standing outside in the freezing cold all night for Foo Fighters tickets. (Okay, I didn’t stay ALL night, but some other kind people did for me.) And of course, Dave Grohl was AWESOME.

4245_1112555367095_8058083_n4. Living life with this amazing group of girls in our community group for 3 years.

1927626_1069731376522_5275_n5. The Ice Storm of 2009. All I’ll say is, 10 people stayed in our little apartment for 1 week. There was a lot of Super Mario and a lot of cabin fever.

1935537_1122089125433_5819485_n6. Studying abroad was one of the best college decisions I ever made for so many reasons. My only regret is that I only did it once in my 4 years.

59981_1194184087872_811895_n7. These people. My time writing for the UA newspaper, The Traveler, was so much more than a job. We were a family and had so much fun together in the newsroom and out.

21855_1166364872299_8160263_n8. My 21st birthday – so much snow, so much dancing, so much drama, so much of a typical 21st birthday party. Thank you to my amazing bestie and roommate Kira for doing it all!!

164107_1253676575222_5604649_n9. Traveling to NOLA (for the first time) for the Sugar Bowl with these two. I’ll never forget husband’s late night binge on beignets after we lost the game.

62314_1225746556804_2715772_n10. And of course, the dearest memory of all, was the night we got engaged in Gulley Park. ❤

xo xo


Hog Fever

Yesterday was the start of a new season in the South – college football. Though I was born in Bama, I’d like to think I was born a Razorback fan and will die a Razorback fan. So, here’s a look back at some pictures over the past few years in preparation for the season.


{destined to be a Hog fan – age 3}

{college roomies and besties ready for some Razorback fun}

{freshman year, first pep rally}

{Freshman year on ESPN… where’s Mille?}

{Family tailgate at Pratt Place}

{D-Mac <3}

{Trav weekend trip to Little Rock!}

{highlight of Senior year – Sugar Bowl in NOLA}

{the girls on Bourbon St.}

{first post-grade tailgating}

{love tailgating with my husband }

My Weekend was:

Michael Jackson Dance Experience (video to come soon)

Date night, Carrabbas + laughing in the rain + opening surprise wedding gifts + Modern Family

Farmers Market, tulips + puppies + coffee + bonding

A Couples shower + learning more about the dear bride & groom

Presidents & Assholes — watch out world, there’s a new prez coming at ya for 2012

Excitement for a newly engaged beloved friend

Tanning, at the baseball game.. Did we win?

Blogging + Napping as a Sunday procrastination method


The best I’ve had in a long time


Note to Self

I reached a breaking point today.

I realized how much work I have ahead of me in the last month of school. I realized I’m almost done with school forever. No more summer breaks. No more month-long Christmas breaks. No more spring breaks. I’ll be in the real world with a real job. And then there’s just that, a job, which I don’t have. Terrifying.

I think I’m making myself physically sick.

So instead of more rambling about my stress that will only make me more stressed, I wanted to stop and focus on the wonderful things in my life right now, because somehow I keep forgetting about them. Even though I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged this exact same post before, I need reassurance and reminders over and over and over and this is my way to de-stress. And again as much as I want you to read this and get something out of it, this blog is really for me.


What I’m thankful for right now…

I have a roof over my head, food to eat and clean water to drink.

and if I didn’t have those things, I would have plenty of people to provide them for me.

I have people in my life who really care about me. I have someone I can call or text or drop by to see at any time — to complain to, to share good news with, to cry with, to laugh with, to simply be with.

As much as I forget it, not everyone has that.

I’m getting married in less than 70 days.

Though the rest of my future is uncertain, that’s the one thing I know I have, and goodness, that makes things so much easier.

I’m healthy.

Yes, I get headaches more often than I wish. And some days I feel nauseous or my stomach hurts or my feet hurt, but I don’t have to live with a disease that affects my life. I can do anything I want without even thinking about it.

I’m blessed financially.

I’m not living from one paycheck to another. I’m not worrying about how I’m going to feed myself. I’m not worrying about the bills getting paid on time.


The most important thing to remember about being blessed with all these things is how I use them.

Do I give back financially like I could? Do I complain too much about my aches and pains? Do I show how thankful I am to the people around me and tell them how much they mean to me? Do I groan at having to drink tap water when some people have no water?

Looking at everything I have and everyone I have in my life, my life seems almost perfect. Why complain about a silly old thesis when the death toll is rising in Japan and people can’t find their families or have nowhere to go with no food to eat?

Yes, we all know this already. But another reminder can never hurt.


“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” -Luke 12:48


A Word a Day Keeps the Teacher at Bay

It seems the past week or so my vocabulary has been expanding. I love learning new words, but only seem to remember them if I learn them some way other than mindless memory from a dictionary. I’ve tried several times to memorize Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day and it just doesn’t work out.

So, here are my new words to share with you, and hopefully you’ll remember them.


Trousseau (troo so): a woman’s possessions such as clothing, lingerie and linens that accompany her into marriage. The origin of Trousseau is taken from the French trousse, meaning a small bundle.

Threading: An ancient method of hair removal using cotton thread rolled over hairlines, plucking the hair at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing where a single hair is pulled out each time, threading can remove an entire row of hair, resulting in a straighter line. It is popular in Arabic culture, as well as Indian and Persian culture.

Bracketology: the process of predicting the field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, named as such because it is commonly used to fill in tournament brackets for the postseason. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is the inventor of the term “bracketology”, starting first as the owner and editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and ending up as the resident bracketologist on ESPN.

Onus: used to refer to something that is one’s duty or responsibility; a burden; an obligation

Biophilia: innate, instinctive love of nature.

An Unsuspecting Lesson From Benjamin Franklin

As I’m reading Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography (for class, not pleasure) I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve actually been enjoying it. At first I was merely skimming the book, highlighting phrases I knew I would need to write the essay, but then I caught myself slowing down and actually absorbing Franklin’s words. When I came upon this list, I knew I had to share and I knew I could learn a lot from this historical and intriguing man that made his way from a newspaper editor and printer to a Founding Father of the United States.





Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues


Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation


Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifiling conversation


Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have it’s time


Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve


Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing


Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.


Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly


Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty


Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve


Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation


Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable


Rarely use venery but for health and offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation


Imitate Jesus or Socrates


Franklin composed these virtues at age 20 (in 1746) after studying different religions and philosophers and being bogged down by all the ways he was supposed to live his life. He took all he had learned and combined them into what he thought was the proper way to live and cultivate his character. He focused on a virtue a week and tried his hardest to work on that virtue, letting all other virtues happen that week by “ordinary chance”, and wrote down every day his transgressions against his weekly virtue. Keeping all of these records in a pocketbook kept on him at all times, he hoped to see on paper how his life was improving. He claimed living this way, consciously by his virtues, he lived a happier and more successful life.

What I’ve Learned in College, Snow Days Edition

Snow days have quite possibly been some of the highlights of my college career, starting with Ice Storm ’09 which was the week of my birthday and resulted in about 10 people staying in our 2 bedroom apartment for 5 days. Best. Week. Ever.

Then there was Snow Storm ’10 which was, again, the week of my birthday, and this time there were again about 10 people under one roof, though we had upgraded to a 5 person house.

And now, #nwasnow11 with me tucked away inside a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 guys for 3 days. (That could very well be a blog post all on its own)

So here’s what I’ve learned in my three years of college snow days…

Day 1 of 5 of Ice Storm '09

1. Whatever the situation, and whoever you are with, make the most of it.

2. Snow days can turn a person inside out- crazy, if you will.

3. Though the Internet is infinite, there is not enough there to sustain you for days when you’re trapped inside a house.

4. Board games are one of the best inventions.

5. So is sleeping.

6. You cannot, I repeat, cannot eat healthy on snow days, no matter how hard you try.

7. I could never live with a household of guys.

Album Cover?

8. As much as I want to go outside and play in the snow, I will always complain that I’m cold.

9. Alone time is underrated.

10. Prepare for the worst, expect for the best.

11. You can do whatever you set your mind to. (Such as walking 2.2 miles in the snow just for pizza)

12. Don’t eat yellow snow.

13. Pack some snow in a bucket, put it in your freezer and save it for July. You will wish it was winter again.

14. I am not, and never will be, a video gamer.

Ice Storm '09- Mario to the death

15. A pot of pasta can go a long way.

16. Snow day/week inside jokes are the best.

17. Spend a snow day however you want to.



A Bad Day with Beethoven

Everyone has a “horrible, first day of school” story. Except for me. Until today. My last, first day of school.

Let’s preface the real story with the fact that I practically poured coffee all over myself on my way to school. Thankfully, it wasn’t hot and it was on my coat. However, I should have taken this as a sign.

9:30 a.m. class- Honors Music Colloquium: Beethoven’s Symphonic Theory

I also should have taken it as a sign when everyone in the 10 person class knew each other… because they were all grad students… studying music history, music theory, tuba, piano, etc.

As we went around the classroom saying our name, major and what we enjoyed about Beethoven, I knew I was screwed.

Person A: I’m a graduate student in Music History and have also played the piano my entire life. Thus, I know all about Beethoven’s history as well as the way all of his symphonies are composed and could tell you about each them down to each note. Oh look, I also have all 3 of these books about his symphonies that I just bought for fun and randomly brought to class.

Me: Uh.. I’m an undergraduate Journalism student and I have always been interested in music.

It was a real shining moment for me.

It only went downhill from there as the Austrian professor lectured in a foreign language. Background: I’ve grown up in choir, can/could read music, have played the clarinet, piano and guitar, making me think I was qualified enough. The class was practically in another language. About the only words I recognized were Beethoven, Bach and symphony. But even then, I couldn’t tell you what exactly characterizes a symphony and the origins of it (which he asked.)

As he was writing notes on the board and drawing symbols that were far from anything I’ve ever seen, I was hastily taking down every word. (At this point I was positive I had to drop the class, but would rather be safe than sorry) “Now, this is review for all of you, correct? Because the entire class will be building on these concepts,” he asked in his too cute accent that made me all the more upset. I look around and not a single other person is taking notes.


Okay, 5 minutes left in the class. He will surely let us go early, because I don’t know how much more of this I can take. HA what was I thinking?

“For the last few minutes, let’s listen to Sammartini. Follow along with the score I handed you then we will analytically discuss his work- what form it is in (which I had just comprehensively taken notes on, but definitely wouldn’t be able to decipher the score with), how you can tell and what the anomalies with his other works are (who the heck was this guy anyway?!).”

I have never, ever, ever been more excited to leave a class than the moment we were released.

Editor’s note: I have officially switched out of that class into The History of the Book in Early America.

Life of a College Kid

There are a few things I’ve realized that I’ve gotten pretty good at lately that most people characterize college kids by. If you knew me freshman year, almost all of these things were pretty much opposite about me. Oh how college will change you.

The art of writing papers in an hour before class My procrastination skills have finally won out over my annoying perfectionism.

Surviving on little to no food This isn’t even necessarily because I’m a poor college student- just a lazy one.

Being disorganized Typically extremely organized with a color-coded closet and the perfect school notebook, I am now the person rifling through papers for that one you just can’t find and stepping through piles of clothes and boots on the floor just to get to bed.

Getting ready in under 30 minutes Ask my parents or Kyle about this one and they will tell you this definitely wasn’t always so. Most days I can even get ready in 15 because I now know how to throw on clothes that may not match (and not care), wear minimal makeup and make my hair look fine without taking a shower.

Watching any movie, or t.v. show on the Internet without buying it Though I’m not one for illegally downloading things, I have learned all of the sketch websites that will allow you to watch pretty much anything you could want.

Caffeine Enough said.

Getting minimal sleep throughout the week, then sleeping until noon on the weekends College. What more can I say.

Mingling with different types of people Growing up in “Pleasantville” didn’t exactly provide much diversity, but Fayetteville (home to Bikes, Blues and BBQ, legalize marijuana protests and a plethora of international students) is a whole new ball game.

Procrastination I’ve learned so many more ways to procrastinate than I ever though possible. ..blogging, perhaps?

Fake cleaning This definitely isn’t something to be proud of (or maybe it is?), and is something I need to work on since I will be a wife in less than a year, but I could make our apartment look “super clean” in 30 minutes by not really doing any cleaning at all.


What is a hipster?

Hipster, via dictionary.com:

a) a person who is hip

b) a person, especially during the 1950s, characterized by a particularly strong sense of alienation from most established social activities and relationships

c) an enthusiast of modern jazz

Hipster, via urbandictionary.com:

a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. Although “hipsterism” is really a state of mind, it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs.

Hipster, via hipsterhandbook.com:

One who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool. (Note: it is no longer recommended that one use the term “cool”; a Hipster would instead say “deck.”) The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream. A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat.

Please leave a comment with your own definition of a hipster.


Q: How many hipsters does it take to change a light bulb?

A: It’s some obscure number.  You’ve probably never heard of it.


Goodbye Summer, my dear sweet friend

Ah, a breath of fresh air.

Summer is over and school has finally arrived. Thus comes with it routine (which I LOVE) and includes keeping my blog updated to the best of my ability and trying, once again…. drumroll please……


As you may or may not know, I tried to work my way through the grueling 90-day workout plan last year and lasted about.. 30ish days. It was Christmas break then and my birthday and all was lost. But I’m back on the bandwagon and this time I WILL MAKE IT! (because I have the support of my readers, right?! Anytime you want to send me inspirational quotes or pictures, go for it 🙂 )

At the end of June I created a summer bucket list. I am now here to evaluate my summer and see what I did and did not accomplish…

1. Start a blog *obviously, CHECK.

2. Read all the books on my summer reading list   *CHECK. best book of the summer/my life: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

3.Go to the drive-in movie theatre *sadly no, but I still have a few more months until it closes!

4. Do the Branson Canopy Zipline *this will be moved to my life bucket list

5. Make at least 10 recipes I’ve been saving for the last year  *okay, I’m giving myself a little credit here. I didn’t make 10, but I probably made around 5 and for a girl who eats out constantly, it was a success.

6. Chase down the ice cream truck with the neighborhood kids and buy something *So I didn’t exactly chase it down, but I did run outside when I heard the song and waited for it for about 10 minutes before I realized my dreams were lost on another neighborhood

7. Go canoeing {despite my dislike of the river} *Well, I didn’t do this either, but I do have plans for this for next weekend!!!!! So I can cross it off prematurely right?

8. Go to a water park *CHECK and I earn double points for this one, since it was a water park I’d never been to and I didn’t get sunburned

9. Sleep in and not feel guilty about it *CHECK and proud of myself.

10. Go to a rooftop party *this too will be transferred to my life bucket list. I think I need to live in a bigger city..

11. Take walks after dinner to the school playground and just swing *CHECK, one of the most memorable things about my summer

12. Take fashion risks  *I think I can cross this one off from just last week when I put pink in my hair, wore a leopard print shirt and had fake tattoos all over my body……..

13. Catch fireflies *Does it count if I have the firefly jar sitting outside ready for them?

14. Write a letter to an old friend  *CHECK, and how refreshing it was.

15. Find several DIY projects and DO THEM *This was attempted one day with the roomies and what we ended up with was three exhausted bodies, a galore of unending puzzles and a growing pile of toilet paper rolls for my yet-to-be-started project.

COMING UP NEXT TIME: School time reverie and a Senior Year Bucket List

Life Lessons from the Twin Cities

1. Urban cities may elicit culture shock to young, Arkansas-bred girls.

2. Sometimes it’s nice not to be a camera whore and instead take no pictures at all and just live in the moment.

3. Never try breaking in your new heels in a big city. It will end badly.

4. Staying up until 2 a.m. more than 4 nights in a row will cause exhaustion and dehydration.

5. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

6. Play ‘never have I ever’ to really get to know people.

7. Always act confident, even if you know nothing.

8. Take comprehensive notes, and go back and read them.

9. First impressions can be very misleading.

10. The best form of entertainment is public transportation.

11. Step up and be a decisive person. It will be appreciated.

12. Always carry a water bottle.

13. Don’t always rely on technology to get you somewhere. Use common sense.

14. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.