Friday Favorites

Hello, hello! Happy Friday everyone! I know my posts have been sparse this week, but I wanted to drop in and share some videos and such for my Friday Favorites. Check this stuff out, enjoy, and have a faaabulous weekend!

If you missed Blake Shelton’s Healing in the Heartland telethon on Wednesday night, be sure to check out this video of he and Usher singing “Home” together. I love every version of this song, I think. From the classic by Chantal Kreviazuk in the Dawson’s Creek days, to the Buble version Phi Mu used in our icewaters day recruitment video, to Blake’s twangy version. The benefit concert was fundraising for United Way to support the rebuilding of Oklahoma following the devastating tornadoes from last week.



Also, Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” ripped my heart out. That girl is one of my favorite celebrities & musicians, in all senses of the titles. She wears her heart on her sleeve, whether that means super teary moments, or her fiesty I don’t care what you think attitude. She’s got one heck of an awesome personality, and I love seeing people that are true to themselves all the way succeed like she has. Also, hello – especially in relation to the tragedy in Oklahoma, this song is so appropriate and heartwarming.



I basically spontaneously decided to go hang out with my parents at the beach again this weekend. Who knows what the weather will be like, but we could cross our fingers for something like this?

My roommate showed me this crazzzy Tallahassee rap video. You gotta check  it out:



If you missed this photo this week, look at in all of its awesomeness. (Credit to Quinn Miller.)

The Today Show did a story on it, and apparently the couple is still on their honeymoon so they’re not aware that this photo has gone viral. If you know me and my love for dinosaurs then you wouldn’t be surprised that this is going on that mental to-do “just in case” list in the back of my head. AMAZZZZING. My friend said her fiance wants to do this, and I’m in total support of that choice.


Friday Favorites #3

I’m on a roll right? All that neglect, and now you’re probably wishing I’d shut up! Well, well I don’t think you’ll be sorry for checking this out because for Friday Favorites I’ve got a few goodies to share this week.

Stumble Upon sent me an e-mail out of nowhere this week (I don’t remember the last time I logged in!) and directed me to Everyone’s Mixtape. Talk about awesome! I haven’t made any of my own yet, but I’m loving the concept and Stumble definitely knows me well. This description just melts my heart because it means people still get it. This is exactly how I feel when I make those mixes I mail out.

“Everyone’s Mixtape is not about adding songs and hitting shuffle. It’s about the time you looked at a cassette’s length as a challenge. About the time you stayed up most of the night making sure all the tracks flowed from song to song. It’s about the time your heart skipped a beat when the boy from science class handed you your first mixtape.”

Getting to spend the weekend with this pretty lady for her birthday last week! (Photo from our visit to Savannah MLK JR. weekend.)

We had boiled crawfish and homemade icecream and played cards and everyone enjoyed each others company. It was one of the most relaxing weekends in a while, (especially after all the craziness lately!)

The fact that the sun FINALLY shined for a little bit on the beach.

A Pretty Little Liars spinoff show called Ravenswood was announced this week! (Umm hello, they KNOW they can bank off of the PLL audience. I’m ok with that. It’s like L&O that doesn’t give me nightmares. But makes me feel like I’m keeping my investigative skills sharpened.)

OK, I know I did a Wish List post yesterday, so I don’t want y’all to think I’m super materialistic, but it would be mean of me not to tell you guys how awesome these Under Armour shorts are. I own my fair share of Norts (Nike Shorts) from over the years, but I found these when I was on the hunt for St.Patty’s gear and my word they are my new favorites. I wish I could wear them to work. I even went back and got the redish/coral color (with a Sports Authority coupon so I didn’t feel so guilty.)

Turning 25


Yeah, I know I’m a little slow on this since my birthday was two weeks ago. I have plenty of photos from that day so I figured I should share. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never really been a fan of my birthday – it’s actually probably one of my least favorite days of the year. Mostly because I always build up unrealistic expectations in my head that can never be met. I tried to draw a screeching halt to that a few years ago, but it’s a lot of years of thinking one way to undo. Though I find if I just kind of try and pretend I don’t really care that helps. The expectations don’t have anything to do with gifts, mostly just that I’ve always wanted to spend the day with friends or to feel like I do during say…an Orlando weekend, or like that time we had a big girl time reunion at Eryn’s deb ball, or like the magic that always seems to surround wedding receptions when close friends are having a good time. (The last time I had a birthday party was when I turned 13, which was one of the most fun ever because we all got a long, no hurt feelings,a giant girl party riding in a limo to Ocala, dinner at Chilli’s and a sleepover at my house where we stayed up late, and did cheer leading stunts in the front yard and human pyramids in my room. Not lying I’d take an evening like that now, too. Sleepovers are my favorite. Nothing like waking up surrounded by your favorite people! (Unfortunately since it’s always in that little span of “holiday time” around Thanksgiving that never happens. Though I’ve found being away from family and friends on my birthday is an awful combination, so I’ll take what I can get. This year my birthday fell on Black Friday, so we were still in Mexico Beach at my grandma’s house. It was nice to spend the day with my parents, and my brother before he went back to Tallahassee to meet up with friends that were coming to stay with him for the weekend. I started the day off with a run, and I thought to myself that I hope I go for a run on every birthday for the rest of my life…My parents always try really hard on my birthday, (which I’m aware of) knowing my distaste for it and I’m thankful for that since I know it’s kind of an impossible task. I always feel like I’m holding my breath until the day is over. We went and wandered around Apalachicola, (you should check it out, it really is a charming spot with plenty to be entertained by…) thinking it’d be a quiet day since it was black Friday and all. Oh, we thought wrong. There were like a katrillion people there! There was a big turn out to see Santa ride in on a shrimp boat, and there was some kind of lighting of the festive lights going on. So unusual, seriously! But it was a gorgeous day to be walking around. We ate some good seafood (conch cakes, oysters, fried gator, and really awesome homemade potato chips) on the back deck over looking the water at Up The Creek Raw Bar. We walked around downtown looking at funky items, and old Southern books (this lady had a first edition of The Great Tide !) and wrapped up the day with a drink (a vanilla beer that was tall and dark!) and some delicious desserts (extremely unique icecream – Tupelo Honey and Lavender with baklava! And salted carmel with a chocolate mocha rum fudge cake!)  from the Tap Room at The Owl. My mom made a delicious coconut cake and I blew out the candles, even though I was determined not to make a wish this time. I really love that blur of light in lit candles, so I guess that’s one cool part of the years adding up – more light! We had leftover Thanksgiving ham sandwiches for dinner (which is my favorite part of traditional holiday meals anyway – the sandwiches from leftovers 😉 )


My new favorite motto, hanging on the wall in the restaurant.
What better way to start the day than a tray of raw oysters? Probably my favorite food. Next to icecream. Weirdo, I know…
Favorite kind of view.
IMG_5697Yoga on a houseboat!
Old bicycle hanging up in the book shop. Banana seat, high handle bars – dream bike right there!
Santa on a shrimp boat! (My mom has better photos of this.)
Bro repping  All Tide Up. (You can get one of those long-sleeve t’s here.)
Me, bro, mom. My  mom’s got the one of E, dad and I on her camera, unfortunately!
Loved this colorful collection of buoys.
IMG_5693So, that’s the story of how a day I wasn’t very much looking forward to turned out pretty awesome. (And to top it off when I got back I had some very sweet mail from some very sweet friends that literally had me tearing up as I read it at the kitchen table.)

Thanksgiving at the Beach

I hope everyone had a lovely time for the Thanksgiving holiday. As I mentioned before my family and I spent a few days in Mexico Beach (before we came back for that ugly football game on Saturday 😉 !) Thursday morning I went for a run, and ended it with one of my favorite views. After breakfast and before some cooking for the evening, the family headed back down to the beach for a walk, some shell searching, and of course plenty of chatter and laughter. It was just a gorgeous day, the sun was shining, the water was beautiful – a great way to spend some time together!

All I could think of was that line from Jack’s Mannequin, “Bruised”:

There’s so much sun where I’m from, I had to give it away, had to give you away…

Working on convincing them we need to participate in a Turkey Trot as a fam next year!

I just couldn’t get over how unbelievably clear the water was!


Giant chair at the welcome center

Wednesday Words

(This photo has nothing to do with the post, except that it’s from the last time I was at the beach – a windy, stormy, cloudy day. I think it’s fitting for a reflective post.)

Yesterday, I was filing some old jobs in the storage room and a thought came to mind that I immediately figured must have been from a dream the night before. (Though I should have recognized from its pleasant nature, that it was real life. None of my dreams have been very sweet lately.) It was just a glimpse of a memory, sitting next to someone on a front porch. Dusk settling into the evening, casting shadows on the street in front of us. Knees brushing, sitting side by side. A cold bottle of beer in my hand. Laughter, the deep kind, that slowed down as the words started to flow in hushed tones, as the conversation turned more serious. Not serious in a boring way, just serious in that way where after hours of talking you know you’re sharing things in a bit more thoughtful way. The words are still flowing, but both sides of the conversation are listening deeper. It’s the way we know we’re revealing a layer of ourselves. My heart swelled when I realized it wasn’t a dream, but rather a sweet moment that occurred a month or so ago which I’d tucked away somewhere in the back of my mind. It wasn’t infatuation that made me appreciate that moment, but I was happy to be reminded that these special connections are still occurring in my life no matter how few and far between. Times like that are my favorite. If every weekend was full of quality encounters like that, I would be extremely content.

Throwback Thursday Second Edition

When it’s been a handful of days since the sunshine has made an appearance the days just seem to kind of bleed into one another, but somehow someway Thursday has arrived again! Doesn’t it seem like I just did a “throwback Thursday” post? Yeah, I thought so too! Well, if you’re up for another round of a glimpse into the family album of awkward goofy moments – you’re in luck!

One of my absolute favorite photos of my parents! (Now you know where I get my wild hair from!)

Another all time fave. This is the day my brother Ethan came home from the hospital! He was five weeks old, and weighed five pounds. Mom says I “read” to him all afternoon.

Love this one of Ethan carving pumpkins at Halloween. (Who let me hold a knife, right? haha)

Perhaps that’s the finished project?

The Roller Barn was like everyone’s “spot” for birthday parties. Flat squares of pizza, those embroidered lanyards at the shop counter. The races! The chicken dance in the middle of the floor. By middle school there were “couple skates” you know the jazz with the lights turned down low and some weird slow R&B song playing? This is a classic shot with my crazy eyes, and basically summarizing my years at the Barn. Carpet skater for life. (Also note if I kept that shirt I could wear it today and no one would know the twenty year difference.)

Another classic childhood shot from Mexico Beach. On the left is my younger cousin Levi, me, then my brother Ethan, and on the right my dad. Note the clasped hands making a “one.” We were learning how “to be one with the waves,” which was our mantra for the week of body surfing.

This one’s all pixelated and weird (my dad actually has a more normal version of this one at my parent’s house,) but it gives you an idea of my signature style Bo Derek braids I had for a while courtesy of my mom’s awesome skills. I think I was in 8th grade in this pic, so about thirteen making Ethan nine or ten.

Christmas card photo circa middle school (6th grade?) featuring our Great Dane mix Nitro (named by E during his wrestling mania phase.)

Katie’s birthday (7th grade?) she’s the one holding the yellow balloon. Ohh man, this was a fun group!

If you’re still enjoying these photo flashbacks, tune in next week for another Throwback Thursday post!

Summer Solstice

Happy first official day of summer everyone! Living in Florida it kind of feels like summer starting around March sometimes, though I’ll admit we got what I considered a good few weeks of “real” spring this year. You know the kind with light breezes in the air and blooming flowers…though those flowers had gotten confused by the outrageously high temperatures back in January and started blooming crazy early.

Summer is made for days like this:

And taking naps in hammocks and drinking sweet tea while relaxing in rocking chairs, and running through freshly cut grass barefoot, catching fireflies in mason jars, sticky hands from melting ice-cream cones, staying up way too late laughing and sharing stories, adventures, road trips, singing at the top of your lungs at the concerts of your favorite bands, digging your toes into the muddy earth or cool grains of white sand, power outages from lightning storms, movie marathons, dozens of trips to the library, reading those stacks of books water-side (beach, pool, lake,) fireworks and festivals, making mixtapes and memories, exploring, swimming, thrifting and vinyl hunting, picnics at the park, long walks and runs through the neighborhood, driving with the windows rolled down, being spontaneous, creating things…

Even though I live in this weird “grown-up” world where summer doesn’t mean freedom from homework, I’m still captivated by the magic of the season. It always makes me feel like there’s endless possibility at my fingertips…

I leave you with one of my favorite literary quotes about summer in To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee:

“Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.”