Wednesday, March 31, 2010

All over the place...

This Random post is brought to you by Mr. Fancy Pants himself...

who just thinks it is hilarious to torment his big sister...

{who just happens to be the sweetest little girl in the world...who happens to need a major haircut...thank goodness her dad is coming to town this weekend...he's the only one she'll let near her with scissors}

He's tormenting his big sister with her newly discovered tennis ball from her cousins Coosa and Gracie {somehow it was in the linen sorry and thank you at the same time Kristen and John for the unexpected Easter gift!!}.


I popped into Books a Million after work. It happens to be right across the road from my office. I stare at it and a Publix that will hopefully be finished with construction sometime this year...Cannot wait to walk across the street to grab lunch!! Anyway, after about an hour of reading all my favorite magazines, I brought these guys home. And I sat on my porch with a glass of freshly brewed sweet tea and just soaked up EVERY bit of happiness. I'll probably pour through these again at least 5 or 6 times before April is over. I love these just that much!!
And look what all is coming my way!! All of this is mine ... all mine. And will be shown at all my trunk shows {which I'm booking now...let me know if you want to host one...lots of free jewelry to be had if you do!!}.

I've set up somewhat of an office. I'm sitting at my childhood desk working on getting this Stella and Dot Jazz up and running. And in true after work fashion, look what I've found...
I have trays EVERYWHERE in my house. Every shape, size and color. And I love to pull off my accessories the minute I walk in the door. So naturally, the necklace was first to go. Don't get me wrong, I loved it and got lots of compliments on it, but this girl had a day full of chasing money down and she's tired and ready to relax!!

Getting all the office supplies makes me feel like its the first day of school when EVERY single kid in my school all loaded into Office Depot after school to shop for supplies {Trinity grads how bout a shoutout on this one!}. I remember I would REALLY look forward to the office supplies section in the grocery store every time I went shopping with my mom. Still to this day, I get excited when we get big boxes from Staples at work.

I took this picture and then couldn't help but think of a quote from one of my all time favorite movies. "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms." Five dollars to whoever can name that movie {not really}!!

And finally, I'll leave you with a peak into what I've had for dinner EVERY night this week...
My boss introduced me to this. Actually, a picture similar to this is on the cover of this month's copy of The Food Network Magazine. I had it on my desk and she confirmed that this is, in fact, a dish to be tried ASAP. And it is. How did I live almost 26 years without EVER doing this?? Then again, I lived 24 years not knowing that coke machines don't take pennies...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Down the Aisle...


I've literally stumbled across a GOLD MINE!

And you may say, "this looks like NOTHING you would want or even like, Rachel." But I just can't stop staring at these beauties!! I found them thanks to a fabulous blog, A Pina Colada {and yes I know I didn't spell it correctly. I was a Spanish major in college. And yet, I never figured out how to type the special n...go figure}.

These can be found at Emerson Made.

Go ahead, drool away...

This picture reminds me of one of my craziest friends, Taylor. I mean down to the messy blonde side poneytail, preppy chic attire, sassy expression and skinny little legs. DANG I miss that crazy girl...

Can anyone find me a real life version of this {minus the duck and shorts/tie combo}. I mean really. My joke of a motto: single and ready to mingle. Really.
And can you just imagine holding this bouquet of handmade flowers?? Someone please find me Mr. Perfect so I can get married and carry this bouquet. Seriously...I will TOTALLY do that!! Just one of the perks of getting married later in get to go crazy because everyone else has done everything you always dreamed of.

On my lunch break...

I took a lunch break today.

I know.

Big deal!

Well, for me, this is HUGE!! Thankfully, our busiest time of year is O.V.E.R.!!! Translation: I can actually take an hour at noon and do something NOT work related. Its like Christmas all over again for me.

Anyway, where did I find myself driving to at 12pm sharp?

One clue. These have a new home:



**Please excuse the squished sofa cushions. That can all be attributed to the hoodlums who stay home alone aka Madison and Hudson. Thank goodness for bleachable cushion covers!

But aren't they just amazing? These are the ones I've been eyeing for a while now. And I'm head over heels.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Time for Some more lamps...

Another pit stop in TJ Maxx today led me to believe that its time to do some re-vamping around the place. I'm by no means close to where I want to be as far as end result goes, but I have a major plan!!

My parents are coming this weekend and hopefully bringing these 2 pieces of art I've had my eyes set on for years and was always told to forget it...they were staying in Greystone. But for some reason, my mom asked me if I would like to have them. Um YES PLEASE!!

In the mean time, here is the progress I've made...


Those fugly tall lamps are about to GO!! I've got my eye on a pair from TJ that are just TDF!! I've been dreaming of them for a while, trying to find a way to make them into this week's budget. And after seeing this all put together, I realize its TIME!!

And this is still not quite finished. Work in progress!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Raise Your Hand...

Raise your hand if you aren't motivated to go to work tomorrow.

Oh wow, that many of you??

Well, if it makes you feel better, I'm right there with you.

So to cheer all of us up, I've dug through the files and found some pictures that are sure to do the trick.

No Pictures, Just Words Today...

99% of the time, you can bet your money that you can pop into Flashing Lights and find a light hearted post. And the reason behind this is multi-fold.

One, this blog is simply my escape, as sad as that may sound. I stay on the phone all day fundraising. is far from easy to hear sob stories for a living. In fact, I've grown so accustomed to these stories that I've become jaded. It doesn't phase me anymore to hear someone tell me that their business is failing due to our economy and their yearly $1000 donation will be done away with until things pick up again. It takes a trip to MDA's clinic to yank me back into reality and show me how fortunate I am.

A father drove 3 hours to bring his son to see the neurologist and when I was talking with him, tears filled his eyes out of gratitude that his son, who has no health insurance, finally was able to see a doctor. That his annual checkups will cost him nothing. And in desperation, he looked at me and said, "How can I repay you??" I wanted to tell him that he just did, but the inner fundraiser in me came creeping out and shared how he can become more involved with our campaigns. For a while, I felt so guilty about doing this, but it is my JOB after all. The guilt came into play when I was so intensely reminded that above all else, Christ has called us to help others. That this life is not meant to be lived with an inward focus, but rather an outward one. That despite the countless hours spent slaving away in my office and on the road, I'm being PAID to do what Christ has called his children to those in need. If that isn't a blessing, I don't know what is.

Its not all roses helping others. Its HARD. VERY HARD! The most challenging thing I've ever done. Countless times, I've felt like giving up. Countless times, I've found myself filled with anger, tears, resentment, anything negative basically. But just as I was told in my second interview months and months ago..."this job is a love hate gets in your blood. You'll blink your eyes and you've been here for years and you're only more addicted than ever before." I remember hearing these words and thought to myself, "What are these crazy ladies {who were willing to meet me on a Saturday for an interview} talking about?? Its a job. Period." But its not just a job. Its my opportunity to do what I am called to do right now.

This morning, I opened my daily scripture email and here is what I felt was sent to me just to solidify these emotions I've been experiencing the past couple of days.

"Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me--a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 1:13, NLT

I couldn't help but almost laugh when I read this. Mostly because I know how hard headed I can be. Sometimes it takes one of those Flashing Lights moments where I basically have it written in front of me to get my attention. And this morning was one of those.

This journey I've been on for the past 8-9 months has been the most difficult yet ultimately rewarding time in my life. One of my sweet friends is just now getting started on this long road and my heart just aches for her. I know the feeling of loss she's going through. All the doubts and replaying of moments she wishes she could re-live or do over. All the fears about starting over. All the pain that randomly washes over uncontrollably from missing the one person you love the most. And every time I talk with her, I'm so quickly reminded that I too was in this same situation this past fall. And it takes me back to that time. But, by the grace of God, I'm able to easily snap out of it and step back to realize what all that pain did for me. It opened my eyes to so many things. I poured myself into a job that ultimately was the greatest therapy, believe it or not. And now, I'm on the other side of that hard journey and find myself happier than I've ever been my whole life. I keep telling her that this too will happen for her eventually, but bless her heart she isn't able to process this yet. Nobody should be able to at that point.

All this to say, it took losing the person I loved the most and a job that pushes me to my threshold to open my eyes to see what life is all about.

All those nights I sat with tear stained cheeks, I just kept begging God to somehow SHOW me WHY I had to go through that heartbreak. And all I could see and hear was, "Rest in Me and just TRUST Me." For months, I couldn't figure it out. But in time, I've learned why. My foundation had to be rebuilt in order to keep building my life. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Delight....

For those of you snickering at the title of this post: get your mind out of the gutter!!

I've just come in from an afternoon spent laying out at the pool, listening to Sara Bareilles {no clue how to spell her name}, sipping sweet tea from my Auburn Tervis tumbler {thank you John and Kristen...awesome Christmas gift!!}, reading The Food Network Magazine, and soaking up some much needed rays. Yes, living in Florida is just that awesome!! We're just now getting green on trees and I'm already in a swimsuit.

I came in and checked my google reader and look what I found on Cote De Texas...

Yall {that was said just for you Sassy...I'm working on incorporating it back into my vocabulary:) } , I just had to reach for a tissue to wipe the drool off the table from staring at these two pictures. I mean really...could a room be ANY more incredible?? Those sofas: TO DIE!! There's just something about a yellow/gray combo that makes me swoon {thank you Megan for saying this the other day in a message...I'm also incorporating this into my vocabulary!}.

Now off to the wine loft with a co-worker. Does it get any better than this? NOPE!

For the Almost Newlywed {Part 2}...

Girls, I promised to bring you some affordable outfit choices for Courtney's honeymoon. And while the blurry polyvore {why does it have to be so difficult to post a collage??} gave you somewhat of an idea of where I would go with this assignment, you ought to know that I was only getting started.

All of the following items {minus jewelry which have links to where you can purchase these} can be found on Translation: VERY affordable!! I've put together 3 dress looks because when you're vacationing in the islands, you will find yourself staying casual a lot of the time but with all the different excursions you may go on, there will be different "dress codes" so you want to bring a variety with you.

Lets start with the fun outfit that you could wear to go on a sunset cruise {if they have that there I HIGHLY recommend doing that!!}. Islands are breezy and at night, you'll be glad to have a sleeve on when that perfectly warm breeze hits your skin.

Can't you just imagine this insanely cute dress paired with some cute sandals and fabulous bangles and hoops???

And now for something somewhat more casual...
Another fun dress that I would bet money could be multi-functional. I would use this as a swimsuit cover up and then dress it up for a semi-casual dinner with the new hubby with these guys...
This necklace is made of dip-dyed silk-covered beads and can be worn long or doubled. Ahhh perfection!!

And then add these little bits of deliciousness...
And you are set for a fun night out. Remember, when you're vacationing in the islands, casual elegance is key. Don't even bother packing heels. You will NEVER wear them. I'ld opt for fun flat sandals like this that just leaves more room in your suitcase for clothes!!

And for a dressier look for that dinner that you will splurge big time on and just soak up the sappy romance, here is a perfect option!!
Pair this perfect dress with this perfect necklace...

And you're set!! Ok Ok, if you insist, you could pack a great pair of heels for this!!

Hope you enjoyed these...I'll be back soon with some swimsuits, sunglasses, bags, hats, more shoes, etc.

Friday, March 26, 2010

For the Almost Newlywed...

I got a fun request from a fellow blogger friend. To quote Megan, "my cousin is getting married in September and I was wondering if you could do a post about some "honeymoon essentials", but for good prices. Like a good bathing suit, good sundress for shopping, good dress for dinner, and maybe a cute piece of lingere, sunglasses, etc. She is too shy to leave a post to ask you to do it, so I said I would email you. If you dont have time, trust me, that is fine. We just thought it would be fun."

Well Megan and Courtney, if only you knew that this is the direction I would love for this blog to take. I love putting stuff like this together. And like I told Megan, I spent the whole afternoon at clinic sitting in the Neurologist's waiting room playing on the internet {mostly Polyvore}. Ladies, this is the first batch. And there will be plenty me!! Its turning warm and its time to turn some focus to warm weather attire. What better way to kick this off than with a Polyvore??

And you will see that all items are VERY reasonable. Anyone notice a trend with my picks? I was trying to put myself in Courtney's shoes. If I were to be getting married in September, I would have the HARDEST time picking out outfits for the honeymoon and all those parties leading up to it!! I reassured Megan that it would be okay though {even though I probably won't have the previously mentioned task for years and years to come...I'm pretty sure in my waiting room delirium I told her I would be too old to fly by the time my chance at a honeymoon came around}.

** And for you girls who are thinking that this would be announcement post for the Stella and Dot giveaway, read the rules. I can't just give this away for nothing. I need at least 25 comments, so until that happens, the contest shall be extended. Remember, there are LOTS of ways to increase your odds...just read the rules!! Several lovely ladies have really jumped on board so fingers crossed for all of you. I can promise you this...whoever wins will be EXTREMELY satisfied with this necklace. In person it is even more fabulous!

Stay tuned for Stella and Dot offerings. Remember, anyone wanting to go ahead and purchase, the site is up and running. Just click here. There will probably be some discounts in the near future {not to mention FABULOUS discounts and FREE jewelry for anyone who wants to host a trunk show}. I've got one in the works for the end of April for Montgomery, so if you're in the area and want to see all this goodness in person, email me your address and I'll put an invitation in the mail!!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Easy Hair Go To Style...

I've had such a fun time with the feedback all of you are giving me about this week's giveaway. I've got to place an order soon, so it has been super helpful to see what everyone likes so I can add it to my trunk show collection.

Anyway, one of the comments from Confessions of a Narsaholic {amazing blog name, by the way!!} got me to thinking. I haven't done a post recently that is related to anything beauty products. The other day, I was on one of my favorite blogs and she was discussing the products she uses on her hair. The feedback she received was amazing...several products out there I want to use, including dry shampoo {any thoughts on this??}.

So, tonight I thought I would list for you my favorite way to style my hair from start to finish.

The end result looks somewhat like this. My hair has grown quite a bit and it is lighter now, so hopefully I can get a picture soon because obviously this one is old. But the whole idea is the relaxed "natural" wavy look.

Ok lets get started!!

First and foremost, I believe in investing in nice hair products. I swear by this shampoo...
And this conditioner....

Together, you're looking at around $40 {I think} and I've found that with my routine, this will last at least 2 months if not more. The combination leaves my hair exactly the way I want...healthy, shiny and maneagable. Every time I go in for highlights {which is every 6 weeks to the dot...thank you Green Peridot Salon!!}, my stylist, Shirley, rants and raves about how she can't believe how healthy my hair is and that I don't have split ends. I give all credit to biolage and the next product!!

Aveda Damage Control is a god-send to us girls with unruly hair that has to be tamed with flat irons, or any heat tool in general. Just a few sprays on hair straight out of the towel and this stuff will act as the following: Detangler {which I always desperately need}, heat protectant, product setter {is that a word?? basically its like a primer for the products you put on next...they hold on better to your hair with this stuff} and hair "perfume"...smells amazing! I also recently discovered that you can spray this on your hair the next morning to revitalize your style from the day before...really works!!

Next, I let my hair dry naturally and wear it to work wet. No hairdryer at all for this style!!

The next day, my hair has the perfect texture to create some waves from this guy...

I use the Hot Tools 1.5" barrel curling iron on the highest heat setting. Back it up. Before using this, I spray my whole head with Aveda Damage Control. Let it dry for a second, then I curl 1/2" sections until its all done {there is a tutorial that's just perfect on Cupcakes and Cashmere...scroll down and you'll find her blog...}.

Flip head over and spray the underneath side {yes...underneath} with this...

Scrunch hair just a tad then flip and you're ready to go. The best part is, I will repeat this the next morning, but it only takes 5 minutes to revamp the waves.

In conclusion, this makes for the EASIEST hairstyle ever. I only have to wash it every 3 days {which every stylist will agree... this is best for your hair} and it only takes just a minute to do.

**sometimes I will spritz on some oil control on my roots that Biolage makes if I'm on day 3