Friday Favorites: slacksplaining my absence

hate blog posts that begin with an apology for having been gone for so long, for not writing, for ignoring readers in favor of real life pursuits. so i’m not going to be that blogger. suffice to say there has been a lot going on in my world recently and now that the dust has settled a bit, i thought it would be fun to catch y’all up on 5 of my favorite things that have kept me so incredibly busy the past month or so. settle in. this one might be long. thanks for sticking around and happy Friday, everyone!

1. shopping
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y’all can have your shoes and jewelry. i’m a sucker for a handbag. and after i missed out on an amazing 75% off black Kate Spade tote at their holiday surprise sale because i was trying to be responsible and not splurge on myself (what was i thinking?), i vowed never to let an obsession of the moment get away again. i am utterly in love with this delicious creation. the Grand Street Colorblock Gabriel is the perfect size for normal pocketbook stuff like a wallet and make-up, plus roomy enough to tote around a small laptop and my notebook — making it the perfect size to stash everything needed for, say, a plane ride. originally $478, i snagged it for about $160 including tax after having the internal debate again for only about 3 hours this time. amazing bag. amazing deal. and no, you may not have one because, just like the bag i went gaga over at Christmas, this one is sold out!

2. sipping wine


so, that i have been sipping wine is clearly nothing new. but what’s different this time is that i got to do it a couple weekends ago with some of my best girlfriends during a fun-filled day of winery touring in Virginia to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of them. we hit Pippin Hill for lunch and bubbles, then a white and a red at Dave Matthews’ Blenheim. we followed up dinner in Charlottesville, accompanied by (probably too much) bourbon, with a good old-fashioned gab and grub session (over more cocktails, obvs) in our jammies in the living room of the adorable 1750s farmhouse (complete with cows, chickens, goats and maple syrup taps on the trees) that we had rented for the weekend. i cannot think of a more perfect address for a bachelorette weekend than Dick Woods Road. (i’ll just leave that right there.) so many laughs and so much love, beautiful views and delicious tastes . . . it was a fantastic weekend full of all my favorite stuff. can’t wait to go back up for the wedding next weekend!

3. sneaking around playing Tooth Fairy


OMG IT FINALLY HAPPENED!! after moping around for months because all her school friends were losing their teeth, Miss Girl finally had a little wiggle. then a big wiggle. then at 7:00 last Saturday morning (because you know it couldn’t happen at the crack of dawn on a school day when we’re up anyway), she raced into our room, jumped on the bed and announced that her tooth had finally come out. and she carried the evidence in her hand. well. i’d been thinking about it since that first wiggle and casually browsing Pinterest for cute ideas on how the Tooth Fairy would deliver her goods, but of course never actually downloaded any of the gazillion printables i’d looked at. bedtime Saturday night was go time for me and of course, at that point, i couldn’t find anything i thought was exactly right. so i whipped something up on Canva. and i think it turned out pretty cute, if i do say so myself! after my covert operation was done, Spy deftly slipped my handiwork under her pillow. the next morning, we were met with another exuberant early wake up. though, i think she was a little disappointed that her haul was only $1. but, as we like to say around our house: you git whatchya git and you don’t pitch a fit. 

4. snuggling by the fire
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this one’s a lame. i know. but y’all. do you know how many hours can be consumed just trying to get and stay warm? i am a summer girl, 1000%. and all this cold, dark weather lately has had me ready to curl up in pajamas and a blanket, binge eat and binge watch until things thaw out. so i’ve traded in my flip flops for fuzzy socks and have kind of done just that on a lot of recent nights and weekends, which is honestly just so unlike the usual me who is always busy doing something. my state of mind and my waistline can’t take much more of it. coooooome on, spring!

5. snagging a new job
I feel the start of something new!

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today is my last day in my current job. for a variety of reasons it’s probably not appropriate to go into here, i just wasn’t that into it anymore. seriously nothing terrible, but it’s like when you’ve been dating someone for a year or so and it just doesn’t really seem like it’s going anywhere. there’s still things you love about them, but you find yourself fantasizing about being in a different situation. then some hot young thing winks at you from across the room and you know it’s over. that hot young thing approached me and we flirted for several weeks before deciding to make things official. i start my new gig on Monday and i’ve got all kinds of mixed emotions about making the move. but overall, i feel like the change will be a good one that will have a positive effect on some other areas of life. more on this later, probably, but for now i’m looking forward to a new week and a new chapter!

 

5 on Friday: a(nother) Writing 101 mashup

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um. didn’t Writing 101 end like 6 weeks ago? you’re asking. i know, right? but here i am. still. did i ever tell y’all that i didn’t graduate college on time? yeah, somehow at the finish line, i still needed one more class and ended up hanging around Winter Park for the summer taking an Ann Tyler class to fulfill my very last couple credits and officially get my degree. so this feeling is super familiar.

that said, creative combinations seem to be my secret weapon here, so i’m doing it again! i didn’t have anything pulled together for Friday list of 5 when i remembered that Day 11 asked

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance?

since my last post was a week and a half ago, this really resonated today. what have i been doing? why haven’t i been writing? that second question is probably a bit more complicated than “life got busy,” which is what i like to tell myself. i’ve been questioning again what i’m doing here. i’ve also been exploring a book idea and much of my focus has been on whether that idea is viable, how to make this space more fun for me — and for you — and kind of generally doing a gut check about my writing and what i want to do with it. deep, y’all. and i’m not ready to write about it yet. ha. Continue reading

Friday favorites: procrastination edition

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so today’s Writing 101 challenge asked us to write a post about one of 5 Tweets. this one obviously spoke to me. it’s been a weird, long short week. and i definitely believe procrastination is essential to creativity. here are a few ways i have procrastinated this week. and i totally feel more creative for it! happy weekend, y’all 🙂

1. the perfect jeans
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yeah, i literally (okay, not literally) have 100 pairs of jeans in my closet (18?). but every fall, i’m like omg what jeans am i gonna wear?? it’s kind of dumb, but you have to have jeans for flats, jeans for heels, skinny jeans, not skinny jeans, dark wash, medium wash . . . it’s exhausting. my time-consuming, work-blowing-off quest this week has turned up these J.Crew Factory straight-leg jeans. if they fit i have found heaven. if not, i’ve got a Boden go-to that has rocked my world all summer in white.

2. do i need shoes to go with those?
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no, do i? yeeeeeeeessssss. really? lots of time spent thinking about whether to order the shoes, too. decided to confirm the denim first. and look in my closet to see what i actually have before buying more stuff. who is this responsible me? i don’t even recognize you, girl!
procrastination hours logged: 1?

3. margaritas. duh.
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a girls’ lunch at Bone Garden was way overdue. what? hours of procrastination that directly resulted in at least 1,000% increase in creativity. period.

4. Apple shit
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okay, so if you work in this weird space between advertising and technology that i do, you are pretty much a total asshole if you weren’t live-streaming the Apple shitshow announcements this week. who can get anything done with that on the  72-inchers? do i need a phone the size of my head, an iPad the size of my TV and a subscription that ensures i’m never a nanosecond behind? hells no. but i prolly will. and i also could totally get behind the Hermès wrap-around watch. but that’s just between us girls.

5. September 11 Rainbow
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this is the first September 11 that i haven’t thought about the weight of the day, that it hasn’t meant something to me. that i haven’t been afraid to get on a plane. that i haven’t spent a moment (until now)  reflecting on how that day changed the lives of everyone who lived through it — and weirdly, how little it means to most millennials, who were i guess, only like 18?. this morning, when i got in the car, MSNBC was on the Sirius. they were talking about a potential terrorist attack. i wondered what the fuck now? and then realized they were replaying tape from that Tuesday morning. i immediately switched to BPM. i can’t do it again. i just can’t. but i was really psyched yesterday to have seen this beautiful image and story. and spent several minutes blowing off whatever it was i should have been doing to stop, watch and reflect.

Friday favorites: Labor Day edition

soooo looking forward to the long weekend! who’s with me?? the beginning of September always gets me energized to get things organized and (re)start some good new habits. to that end, i have a huge to-do list to tackle over the next 3 days, but instead of feeling overwhelmed i’m excited! here are a few current favorites. hope y’all have some big plans and enjoy the extra day!

1. Clusterfest
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hands down, this is my very favorite weekend in Atlanta all year. every Labor Day weekend, geeks, jocks, gays, rednecks and booknerds descend upon the city and close-in burbs to celebrate in their own ways. this year, looks like we lost NASCAR and the rednecks, but DragonCon, Chick-fil-A Kick-off Game, Decatur Book Festival and even a couple other big local events will be in full swing. check out the full roster. it is literally the best people watching all year! i work downtown in the middle of DragonCon and have already gotten an eyeful of superheros, video game characters and other cosplay far outside my realm of familiarity. can’t wait to head down tomorrow to watch the parade, which always includes a unit or 2 of Stormtroopers walking down Peachtree. coolest. ever. then we’ll head over to Centinnial Olympic Park to catch the SEC crew. and out to Decatur. Miss Girl has already said she should get 5 books because she’s 5. not sure i can argue.

2. new office furniture
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dying for this. i am so tired of working at my kitchen counter. if you ever wonder why my posts are so disjointed and random, it’s because my family drives me insane. i’ve been threatening to contemplating turning our sitting room upstairs into an office just for me: a place to get away. i’ve been looking at girly desks and fantasizing. and then i stepped back a moment. i love being around my family. and the thought of sequestering myself felt a little weird. the fact also remains that nobody ever uses our real, dedicated office space downstairs. so i thought the first thing i should do is fix that up and see if i can work there. i have had my eye on this Ballard Original Office collection for probably years, but never wanted to spend the money. turns out it is 20% off this weekend. when i went into the local outlet at their headquarters right here on Atlanta’s Westside to see if i could pick up wood swatches (i want white, Spy doesn’t. we’ll probably compromise on the grey.), they had a couple of the pieces i wanted, discounted because of minor damage and 40% off this weekend! turns out there is one more outlet i can visit to search for additional pieces. so add one more thing to my list this weekend! hoping i can show y’all a before and after soon!

3. GapKids x ED

just. this. Miss Girl has turned into such a tomboy and i’m wholly supportive of it all. hello, i’m going to have a girl Luke Skywalker for Halloween! it’s like that. so, i was really psyched to see this Gap line this week that at least strives to be a little more gender neutral and positive in promoting different images for girls. plus, it features a couple of these really brilliant, overachieving like 8-year old entrepreneur/brands i keep seeing mentioned. crazy. great marketing. unfortunately, it’s all still probably made by 8-year old non-entrepreneurs in China. but i have to pick my battles.

4. shouting it out
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if you follow me on Instagram, you know that Lily ate a black pen this morning, then ran back and forth across the length of our upstairs with black ink on her paws. i tried to catch her and quarantine her in the bathroom, but on every attempt, her paws just got wetter with shower drippings, which made the ink prints darker when she ran back out on the carpet. long story short, after finally catching her and throwing her in the bathtub, i spent a good part of my morning spraying Shout on and steam cleaning all the spots. a bit more work to do in a few places, but i think the Shout totally made the difference in getting these black stains out of our light beige carpet.

5. Yeezy 4 prez
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and then, in the middle of an already-insane moment in American politics, this happened. i didn’t actually watch the VMAs on Sunday to see the inspiration for this go down (and know he said 2020). but you know what? what the hell. part of me says it’s already a circus, let’s let all the clowns in. part of me says the nation seems to really want a change in who leads us and how we’re led (maybe i’m denying that’s code for wanting to go back to an old white man. yeah, i said it.), so let’s be open to some really new kinds of candidates. you gotta admit, some Kardashians up in the White House would certainly add a little flair. and can you imagine the reality show?? E! must be salivating . . .

Friday favorites

yay! it’s a big Friday around here: Miss Girl makes her acting debut this afternoon in a video we’re shooting for a client (free talent is good talent on this budget). i can’t wait to see how she does pretending to make popcorn and watch a movie with her fake family. speaking of fake families, i was recently cast for another client and got photoshopped into some scenes with another fake family . . . i’m seeing a theme here. if there’s one more i think i’ll have to do a post! on the topic of my real family, though, Spy heads out for another European jaunt tomorrow, so Miss Girl and i will be holding down the fort for the next 2 weeks. i love my husband, but wow, do i love when he leaves for a little while. my house stays cleaner, there’s no pressure to cook (hello, wine and hummus dinners) and it always seems to be productive for writing. absence really does make the heart grow fonder. in the meantime, here are a few fun finds from this week. enjoy and have a great weekend!

all about that bass

so all about this. just really fantastic.

 

all about a closer look
rialtomirrorso while i was in Columbus last week for work, i got treated to an amazing magnifying mirror in my hotel room. it was terrifying. and addictive. nobody needs to see their face that close up/everybody needs to see their face that close up. whenever i have a hotel room with one of these, i vow to get one for my own home. this time i actually did. a Saturday morning whim became reality on Tuesday. thank you Amazon Prime. the good news is my skin looks way better up close than i expected. the bad news is i’m a woman of a certain age and goddamn if there isn’t more random hair growing in random places than anyone would ever deem acceptable. truth, y’all. ugh. thank you 8x for the good and the bad.

 

 

all about that style
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i was an avid StitchFix user back in 2013. they always pushed my limits a little and i tried to like it, but in the end, i never felt like there was an entire box that was really me. fast forward after taking at least a year’s hiatus. i updated some settings and my Pinterest board and tried again. look out for a full post on what i received, but at first glance, i’m thinking they totally upped their game! stay tuned . . .

all about those ads

gaaaaahhh. i know i’ve mentioned before how i’m a sucker for animals in ads and how the Clydesdales pretty much get me in tears no matter what they do. i’ve been sneak-peaking in hopes of not being a puddle on game day. verdict: i’ll still be a puddle when i see this one on game day.

all about PuppyBowl!
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Wednesday, Uber teamed up with animal shelters in 10 cities to bring puppies to the people. simple. order an Uber with the special puppy code and they bring you some puppies to try out for 15 minutes. the hope was obviously that the pups get adopted. the problem was that nobody accurately anticipated demand. at least in super-dog-friendly Atlanta. my agency (among many others hoping for great social cred) tried all day and were consistently met with a response noting that all the puppies were currently being snuggled and to try back later. hope the program was really that successful and that Atlanta Humane Society  (Lily’s previous home) found homes for a few snuggly puppies!

NaBloPoMo day 29: Small Business Saturday haul

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while i hate every single thing about yesterday’s shopping shenannigans with the white-hot intensity of 1,000 suns, my feelings about today’s shopping cause is equally as strong in the opposite direction. running a small business — especially retail — is hard. and i love to do anything i can to support those businesses owners whenever i can. getting family and friends unique gifts that can only be found in Atlanta is a total bonus, if you ask me. also, American Express offers $10 off $10+ up to $30 for purchases made at small businesses today, which also doesn’t hurt.

today, i visited 3 of my favorite shops and felt awesome about being able to support them — like the serious dumb ear-to-ear grin as i practically skipped down the sidewalk with my shopping bags in hand, humming Pharrell kind of awesome.

Mint Salon
truth be told, it was just time for color and cut and i had scheduled this one 5 weeks ago like i always do. i’ve been going to this Midtown salon on Piedmont Park for years and my stylist, Emily, completely rocks. she is super-talented and the atmosphere is completely laid back and fun. it’s like a mini-vacation when i get to go for a couple  hours and just chill sans husband and girl. today, i also picked up a bottle of Unite “Boing” Curling Cream, which is supposed to help my hair hold its curl. so far, it seems to be working like a charm.

Preserving Place
this Westside Provisions District boutique is a “unique ‘farm to store’ retail concept focusing on food preservation and preserving our Southern sense of place.” as you might imagine, the shelves are lined with delicious jams and preserves in flavors like Hot Peach & Ginger and Adult Pear (Grand Marnier makes it adult) that as yummy in recipes and on cheese plates as they are on plain toast. but they also carry a host of pickled things (like watermelon rinds), sauces and spreads. the staff couldn’t be any more lovely, the space is gorgeous and the products make fantastic small gifts or can be added to a gift basket with books and accessories they also sell. my purchases were all Christmas gifts, so i’m not saying what i bought!

Atlanta Olive Oil Company
i did a post on this Westside find a few weeks ago when i discovered it. check out that post for a longer description of this new shop offering something like 60 amazing flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. when i went back today, they were out of 2 of the things i wanted, but the owner promised to call me when more came in. i hadn’t even gotten home when i received a text from her letting me know she’d found one last hidden bottle. you would so never get service like that from a big chain retailer. love these ladies and hoping everyone getting a gift from there loves it as much as i do!

did you participate in Small Business Saturday? what are some of your favorite local shops?

NaBloPoMo day 15: Atlanta Olive Oil Company

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at the end of a lazy Saturday morning of sleeping in (at least for me — yay!), grabbing breakfast out and meandering around Westside Provisions for far too long for a day when i had a hefty to do list, we made one last unplanned stop on the way home. we’d seen the “Coming Soon” signage for Atlanta Olive Oil Company for months and it turned out that today, they were finally open.

i had no idea what to expect going in, but found a charming little shop with old world feel — cozy chairs scattered around and large, heavy tables where patrons chatted with the owner and staff over teensy silver tasting spoons. the left wall was lined with dozens of different kinds of flavored balsamic vinegar. the right was lined with as many kinds of flavored olive oil.

one of the owners and the knowledgeable staff walked us through some of the options and how to use and pair them. the Chocolate Truffle and Tropical Pineapple balsamics were amazing and would be great over ice cream or fruit for dessert. the Scallion and the Basil Lemongrass olive oils would be amazing for cooking. in the end, though, we went home with the Persian Lime oil and a Cucumber Melon vinegar. co-founder, Verna, assured us they were fantastic paired over salad. and that the oil on its own is great for cooking fish or vegetables. i think it would be delicious with shrimp, so that may have to go on the menu this week!

on top of the unique concept, great product and friendly atmosphere, i think their packaging is great. the tri-sided box that carries 2 bottles is just cool and i’m really excited to start giving some of these as hostess and housewarming gifts — way more memorable than just another bottle of wine. i so hope these ladies are a success! go check them out if you’re in Atlanta — they’ll also be doing formal tastings and hosting private events. and if you’re not local, their site does a great job of helping out with pairings and you can always order online.

and please, y’all. nobody even knows i’m writing this review, much less asked or paid for it. so my honest take is totally guaranteed.

Friday favorites

so happy to have Spy home for a few days and revert to at least some degree of normalcy here for a bit before he’s off traveling the world again. that is my very favorite thing this Friday! the plan is to lay low this weekend and do stuff around the house, including a little Halloween decorating. in the meantime, here are a few other things that brought a smile to my face this past week. enjoy and TGIF, y’all!

sweet little somethings
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i hate a trunk show party as much as the next girl. or maybe more. you always feel this obligation to buy stuff you definitely don’t need, no matter how cute it is. but i was totally pleasantly surprised last weekend to be introduced to Matilda Jane. lots of fun styles for both girls and moms! the clothes are so sweet and girly — all ruffles and patchwork with lots of cute colors, patterns and details. i picked up an adorbs outfit and fun lightweight jacket for Miss Girl and also couldn’t resist the grey jacket pictured above for myself. can’t wait ’til everything gets here next week!

family photo day
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it’s that time of year, again! despite Spy’s travel schedule, we managed to find an hour with my favorite photographer, Sarah Esther Witherington, to do some family shots that we can use for our Christmas card. (yes, i’m actually planning ahead this year!) if you’re in Atlanta and need family shots, head shots, wedding photography or even boudoir, ladies, Sarah is your girl. go check out her work. she’s super fun to work with and knows how to capture the moment, as well as make you look great. i just know today’s shots turned out awesome!

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fall florals

wow, am i shopping too much? i swear, it was on sale. loved wearing this beautiful olive floral print shirt from Loft this week with jeans and this chunky brass/smoky gem necklace. the unusual coloring is something you don’t see every day and the fabric and cut are totally feminine and flirty. if i had to dress up for work, i could also see it working well with navy slacks or a skirt. and now, i’m putting down the credit card. for real . . .

 

 

 

Blogtober 14: fall fashion

one word, people. pants. i still don’t have the pants thing figured out. this post-weight-loss shopping is totally not as fun as it sounds. but it is to be hoped that between my recent trip to the seamstress and an Old Navy order currently being processed, i will at least have that ridiculously basic problem solved by early next week . . . and can then move onto shoes.

the good thing is that fall really doesn’t start in Atlanta until, well, like right now. today was the first day that we woke up chilly and even by lunchtime, i was still wishing i’d grabbed a pashmina to throw over my . . . holycrap, now 8 year old! Banana Republic tan corduroy shirtdress — so soft and comfy, but perfectly pulled together with brown suede boots and some gold necklaces.

i guess that should tell you that i’m pretty classic when it comes to my style. i tend to buy a lot of basics that i can keep and wear for years and then just change up accessories or add a couple new trendier pieces from year to year. i also shop like a man and when i find something i like, i buy it in every color. not sure if that makes me unimaginative or lazy. anyhow, in a perfect world, with tons of time, money and a body that fits everything, these are some of the looks i’d love to be wearing right now (from Old Navy, Boden, C. Wonder, Ann Taylor and more). what are you wearing this fall?

 

The Daily Tay Blogtober14

Friday favorites

one work week of single-mommydom almost down! if that’s not a reason to celebrate Friday, i sure don’t know what is. somewhere between running double-duty on carpool and hostessing Barbie show marathons, i managed to come across a couple cool things that a preschooler would probably hate. enjoy and happy Friday, y’all!

being a card carrying Bitter Southerner

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for the past year, i’ve totally enjoyed all the well-told and well-photographed stories of the South and its “cool, smart, groudbreaking people” that have come out of The Bitter Southerner. so i was more than happy to open my wallet recently and show a little love during their inaugural membership drive to help them keep going. my membership gear arrived this week. i’m officially a card carrying Bitter Southerner now, y’all! additionally, there are a few beautiful photos, postcards and bumper stickers in the package. new stories about Southern music, art, culture and life come out each Tuesday. you you should go check ’em out — for the sake of the story, for the sake of the South.

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settling up, sans cash

totally loving this app! between pre-k, the silent killer, and my temporary status as single mommy, i have needed a lot of help to keep things running smoothly and keep from running around like a chicken with my head cut off. to that end, i’ve hired a nanny for just a couple afternoons a week and some extra hours during this epic Fall Break situation. so i can actually work like a normal person. anyway, until we decide that this is going to be a permanent thing and formalize payments, i asked her if i could PayPal her or something instead of always having to have cash on hand. i got the oh, you cute old lady look and a request to venmo her. come to find out a ton of people i know are using this app to pay each other for everything from rent to splitting dinner checks to . . . well, some of the posts are only detailed in emoji, so a lot is left to the imagination. anyway, i highly recommend checking it out if you need a quick, easy way to pay/get paid or transfer money between accounts with someone else.

 

 

Spring shoppingspring_onphone.001

hello, lover. this fun new way to stay on top of rends and get nearly instant gratification has the potential to be seriously dangerous. discover collections and shop favorite women’s, men’s, beauty and lifestyle brands like Theory, Billy Reid, Coach and Levi’s. then simply swipe to buy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rocking the vote

i try not to get too political on here, but got kinda pumped when i saw the latest Rock The Vote effort earlier this week. everybody thinks nobody cares about midterms, but there are so many crazy things happening in our country and in our world right now, that i feel like it’s more important than ever for everyone to have their voice heard and elect people who can get some of these problems solved. there’s an issue for everyone to care about. what will you turn out for?