There are several milestones an individual has to reach before they are considered a full fledged adult. Turning 16 means Diamond_ringgetting a license, 18 you can vote, and 21 means you can legally drink alcohol. Each milestone comes with a new responsibility. My 21st birthday was a few weeks ago and I truly feel like an actual adult now. I have all the rights of being one and the responsibility.

The best part of turning 21 for me? Diamonds. My dear, sweet boyfriend gave me a beautiful diamond ring! Besides being totally shocked and feeling very spoiled, I felt like a lady and a little girl at the same time. Not many gents can do that but he pulls it off!

4 Things I Did for My Birthday

Besides receiving the ring, here’s 4 others things I did for my 21st.

1. Went to Florida

My boyfriend lives in the Sunshine state so every few months I hop a plane and go down for a visit. Since the mid-atlantic region is still chilly by the beginning of spring I decided to spend my birthday with him, who also happens to have the same birthday as mine. 

2. Took Myself Shopping

I am a shopoholic. The movie Confessions of a Shopoholic was made with me in mind. Given that Florida is a touristy area they have more outlets than any other place I’ve been. Part of the birthday money I received from my parents funded my day of shopping, which by the way, was very successful. I spent about 8 hours trying on shoes, dresses, and things that I simply couldn’t afford. But it was my day, so I figured I’d try it on anyway. 

3. Tried My First Drink

A good friend of mine took me out to try my first mojito… which I ended up not exactly loving. I think alcohol is similar to coffee, you have to acquire a taste for it. Yikes that stuff was strong! When I was in my late teens, I figured my 21st would be like Jen’s on The Hills. All my friends and I would go out and lightly sip cocktails at a nice city lounge and chat. However, when most of your friends live all over the country and not in one place its hard to get everyone together. Additionally, I simply do not have a taste for alcohol. Something tells me that the ladies of The Hills had already acquired a love for drinks prior to their 21st birthdays. Our night out was still quite enjoyable though. 

4. Went to Busch Gardens

Busch_Gardens_FriendsNot sure what to do for our day, my man and I decided that we (and a few friends) should go to a theme park. We spent our time flipping upside down on roller coasters, feeling sick, and making memories. I finally understand what it means to get older, crazy rides are no longer your friend but a thing that makes your brain want to fall out. 

Each birthday I have I realize that I’m drifting farther and farther from adolescence and that’s truly scary. Childhood, for some, is the simplest time of their lives and saying good bye to it is a soft reminder that nothing lasts forever. But the older I get, the wiser I become. Age, in my opinion, is viewed entirely wrong. With increasing days comes increasing knowledge. Google doesn’t always have all the answers, but time does. 

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Spring Has Sprung!

Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, trees are getting their color back, and temperatures are rising. What’s not to love 12472_10201140074729879_1462377357_nabout spring? But just like with any new season, we have to update our wardrobes and do some ‘spring’ cleaning. Out with the old and in with the new? Not always the truth. Here are 7 items you need for your spring wardrobe that are reintroduced every year!

1. Pearl earrings

This is so obvious I won’t say anything other than its a classic that should be in every lady’s jewelry box

2. Light weight cardigan

14041_OR0406Cardigans work with pretty much everything. I wear them year round and they’ve never failed me. Buy one or two in fun, spring colors. I like to wear them with white or gray camis underneath paired with either a skirt for work or dark wash denim jeans for the weekend. They can also be tied around your shoulders for a classic, preppy look. The one in the photo is from J Crew Factory for $20. 

3. Audrey Sunnies

The sunglasses Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s have become a classic and will stay a classic. Find a pair in a tortoise shell frame or in a rich brown color (Ann Taylor Loft is where I bought mine). From the beach to running errands, these sunnies will make you an instant classic.

4. Eyelet sundress

Last year and this year I’ve seen many stores carrying this cute staple. Find one in black or white that compliments your figure. For example, I have more of an hourglass shape so I would buy one with a v-neck top and skirt seaming that hits just above the hip to flatter my narrowest point. 

5. Sunhat

Perfectly paired with your sundress, find a semi-floppy sunhat in a neutral color (or pink if you’re bold). I found mine at the boardwalk in Virginia Beach but I have since seen even cuter, cheaper ones at places like Ross and Marshall’s. It doesn’t have to be expensive to look nice! Last year, I  went to the Kentucky Derby and wore a fascinator style hat (very small, and was attached to a head band) that I only paid $25 for. Some ladies at the Derby paid in excess of $800 for their hats. 

6. White pants or capris

White simply goes with everything. It never goes out of style. Lately, I’ve seen Pinterest explode with white pants and shorts! Old Navy and Banana Republic have them in stock at most store for pretty reasonable prices. I’ll be hitting the BR outlet for even cheaper prices!  

7. Dotted something 

Buy something with medium sized dots on it. Preferably a top that can be paired with everything from shorts to skirts. Every spring little dots pop up in the stores and charm us like the year before. A white base with navy or pink dot patterns on it looks adorable! 

Bonus: A cute little thing to take with you around town: the new Vera Bradley tumblers!

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Have you ever wondered how celebrities always look good in their photos no matter what angle they’re taken at? Seriously, have we ever seen a bad picture of Angelina Jolie or Victoria Beckham? I haven’t. At least not recently. Besides the make up artists, fitness trainers, personal shoppers, and expensive designers, how do they always look so good? Not everyone is born looking that hot. But I think I know their secret!

Standing for the Perfect Shot

1001336_10201555753961600_563539267_nIn my sophomore year of college I met a girl who had been in pageants her whole life. She was a nice Texas girl with big blonde hair and a cute accent to match. I noticed in all of her photos she looked not only very thin, but also poised. I scrolled through a few of her pageant photos and analyzed everything she was doing in them to get that perfect shot. After a few minutes I finally figured it out. It was the way she stood. 

I achieved the same beautiful pose after a few tries and have been perfecting it ever since. Here’s how you do it!

1. Its in the Shoulders

Let your shoulders guide you backwards slightly so that your body follows the direction in which your shoulders are pushing. We’ve been told since we were kids that perfect posture includes pulling your shoulders back and not slouching. Understanding this is key! Once you get it,  you will be able to have your spine follow the shoulders, forming a slight arch in your back.

2. Balance Your Weight

Do not allow yourself to stand with your weight evenly distributed on both legs. Depending on the side you are standing on, you want to put one leg slightly out in front of the other, bent at the knee. Put roughly 70% of your weight on the other leg. You look thinner when your weight is put “behind you” so to speak.

3. Your Arm is Your Asset

The arm is naturally the thinnest limb on your body, so use it to your advantage! Place your hand lightly on your hip, just below your waist line. You do not want to put your hand on your waist as it will make your hips appear much larger.

4. The Angle

Your body (torso area especially) needs to be angled slightly away from the camera. If you’re posing with another person, 1010518_10201576651124016_378325775_nangle your body more towards them. By no means do you need to turn sideways though. Turn about a 45 degree angle towards the person you are with. It is just enough to catch you at one of your thinnest points.

This is literally the simplest thing you can do to make your photos turn out nicer. There’s nothing more annoying than looking at photos of a great night and having the slight pudge on your belly or hips be noticeable (I’ve been there). Good luck with this and practice it for perfection!

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My birthday was last week and as a special treat one of my best friends, Lindsey, took me to an awesome place called Wine and Design! We painted on canvas with an instructor showing us different types of brush strokes and techniques. Such a fun night out and a really nice memory!

The Event

We sipped delicious wine and nibbled cheese and fruit throughout the class. I never realized that those two simple things (wine and cheese) could make you feel so at ease! It was such a low stress, fun evening! Everyone was laughing and making a lovely mess with paint. We wore aprons luckily as I was a bit too dressed up for the event (better to be over dressed than under though). 

10168221_10203805160875367_4471077541878813706_nWe were given orange, red, yellow, and black to work with originally but I asked for a bit of white to mix with my red to make a nice pink. It turned out really well for the sunset I was painting. The little catbird was adorable to do because I added a whispy tail for him. 

I was talking to the instructor and apparently Wine and Design is a nationwide franchise! I had no idea things like this existed but apparently they do! I live in a real southern style community (and by southern I mean redneck) and cultural activities that involve the arts are not so easy to come by around here. 

This type of activity is just so fun for everyone! They do bachelorette parties, kids birthdays, date night themed sessions, fundraisers, and so much more. I jus10009325_10203835122506314_2869097134057135884_nt went to a regular session but while we were there another private event was going on in the studio next to ours and it sounded like they were getting a little tipsy! 

Anyway, it was a great time and a nice memory! Here are our finished paintings!



Morning Happiness!

I wake up some mornings with a really bad attitude and a gloomy expression on my face. Life is too short to have even one day like this. Here are 5 things I do to prevent the morning (and afternoon) blues.

1) Drink coffee or tea!

My morning starts out with coffee to give me that energy boost I need. I have a few different creamers I like to add for flavor (I can’t drink my coffee black). Also, I have a thing for coffee mugs! Wherever I go I’m always on the lookout for a cute mug to bring home to enjoy my drink in. They just make me smile. I’m trying to get on the tea drinking band wagon but haven’t found any I like yet. Suggestions please!

2) Listen to a happy song

I have a playlist I regularly update with songs that just make me smile to improve my mood.

Currently this is what’s on it:

“This is the LIfe” -Two Door Cinema Club

“The Sound of Sunshine” – Michael Franti and Spearhead

“Life is Good” – Ritalin

“City of Blinding Lights” – U2

“Best Day of My Life” – American Authors

3) Pick Some Flowers or Find Some Greenery

springI am a true believer that something green and living in your office, house etc. lifts the spirits and does wonders for your health. During the winter, when everything was dead outside I would go to my local market and just pick up a cheap bouquet of flowers (not more then $5) and put it in my bedroom. Waking up to it every morning started my day off right.

4) Count Your Blessings

Sometimes we forget how much we have in the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Keeping up with the Jones’ is next to impossible and yet we keep trying. Some of the happiest people I have ever met have lived very simple lives. Everyday I go through my blessings and the things I’m thankful for by using the alphabet as a guide. For example, ‘A’ is for Amir (that’s my boyfriend’s name), ‘B’ is for the beach (my favorite place to go). Do this until you get to the end of the alphabet.

5) Quick Massage

Grab your favorite scented lotion and give your feet, legs, and hands a fast massage. Not only will it moisturize your skin, but it will also release tension in the your muscles. When I wake up in the morning I have incredibly tense muscles. I am an avid dreamer and sometimes those dreams are so real my entire body participate so to speak. If you have sensitive skin, try using CeraVe as an alternative to other brands. My skin does not take kindly to products like Bath and Body Works and CeraVe is something my dermatologist recommended and it definitely works.

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Have a good Thursday 🙂



I found a fantastic artist that sketches pictures of girls in their everyday life. is her website. She’s amazing! I found this particular sketch on Pinterest which led me to figure out who the wonderful artist was (link below is to actual Pinterest pin).



inslee Inslee