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.)

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Turning 25

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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 😉 )

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My new favorite motto, hanging on the wall in the restaurant.
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What better way to start the day than a tray of raw oysters? Probably my favorite food. Next to icecream. Weirdo, I know…
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Favorite kind of view.
IMG_5697Yoga on a houseboat!
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Old bicycle hanging up in the book shop. Banana seat, high handle bars – dream bike right there!
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Santa on a shrimp boat! (My mom has better photos of this.)
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Bro repping  All Tide Up. (You can get one of those long-sleeve t’s here.)
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Me, bro, mom. My  mom’s got the one of E, dad and I on her camera, unfortunately!
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Loved this colorful collection of buoys.
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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.)

Seaside in Photos

You might remember back in October I posted about a little day-trip my friend Megan and I took (Saturday at Seaside.) Well, I hadn’t shared any photos from that day, so I figured now would be a good time!

Unfortunately I forgot my camera in my car that day, but here are a few instagrams and mobile photos:

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Yay for all our snack times being outdoors this day. View from Sonic 😉

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See how cute is this building?!

Nothing like eating a plate of raw oysters, on a breezy porch in North Florida.

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Genius idea for a condiment container!

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Tiramisu gelato, mmm!

See that gorgeous sunset? Perfect day.

Views like this always make the TV nerd in me think of the first season of The OC.

Slowly sinking…

The waves were a little rough…

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Meghan & Megan!

I see the moon and the moon sees me!

Simply beautiful…

One of my favorites…(when I took this some kid probably about 13 commented on my shirt choice for the day and a mom was trying to pose her family together to take photos on the ledge. A lot of amusing entertainment surrounded us, haha.)

Love the feel of this little independent music store…

The deck had a great view of the lights and what was left of the sunset sky…

I felt like Penny  Lane…

I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriously, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.

A Saturday at Seaside

Several weeks ago on a Saturday morning, after my race at Maclay I met up with my friend Megan in the Panera parking lot, and we hit the interstate, headed towards Destin. It was a day trip, mostly for a certain store she needed to hit up at the Commons, but asked if I wanted to accompany her and hello! why not?! It was a beautiful morning to be driving somewhere, cool air, bright sun. So, we got a little bite to eat at Sonic, which I hadn’t indulged in, in quite some time and what’s not to love about tots? Plus, it was a gorgeous morning to sit out at the umbrella table sipping on a diet Shirley Temple (Sprite Zero with some cherry add-in.) So we did some outlet shopping (found some fun stuff at Gap, Nike, and Columbia and now I don’t need to go shopping for a long while. I think it’s time for another spending hiatus – notice this is after I already picked up the new Taylor Swift CD, strategic planning for sure.) Next we made the short treck over from Destin to Seaside. My oh my, Seaside is this lovely little picture-esque place. I could just wander around and stay for a week, and that’d be fine with me. We pulled into the parking lot and there was the coolest building in front of us – it was an old house and the top half was Central Square Records and the bottom, SunDog Books.  Oh my gosh, immediately in love – I mean, that’s like my dream set-up. Plus, there was a little amphitheater in a grassy area where people laid out blankets and folding chairs and were watching this kind of folky band, it was pretty awesome. We wandered around the shops for a bit, and then we went to this restaurant called the Great Southern Cafe where we sat out on the back deck, sipped some beer, ate some raw oysters ($5! I’m not even kidding!) (and I had some smoked Gouda cheese grits.) It was pretty fabulous. Afterwards we popped into a sweet shop where the nice guy behind the counter let me taste several flavors of gelato. He was so nice! Then we took our treats down to the beach and watched the sunset. It was kind of cool for October, and the sky was just gorgeous. (You know how I love a pretty sunset.) We took photos and played catch with other people’s dogs. Then we wandered around some more, since it was dark you could see all the pretty lights turned on. We browsed some at the music and books before we headed back to Tallahassee. It was really just such a great, relaxing day spent with a sweet friend. I’d definitely like to make a weekend trip back to Seaside sometime in the future.

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!

Rainy Days and Mondays

I’m totally aware it’s now Thursday, (haha the irony of that is I almost typed “Wednesday,” which would just cancel out everything…) and my title is referring to Monday. Thankfully, it’s almost the weekend again but last weekend I ran away to the beach once again. Florida seemed to have a barrage of storms all over the state, so you got some rainy days wherever you were. My thoughts on this are that rainy days at the beach beat rainy days somewhere else so how could I complain? I needed a little escape from town again. There’s just times when I feel like I’m suffocating, and I need a little getaway. Really they were a relaxing few days though, spent reading (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Seriously…I’m Kidding,) watching The Tony Awards, some gymnastics, and a girl I went to college with anchoring the news. Ate some good food, went for a few walks on the beach…love that cold sand between my toes. Went for some morning runs that seriously spoiled me. It was so nice to just head out the door and go, no driving to the gym to hit a treadmill, and just miles and miles of flat paved land that didn’t kill my ankles. I met some friends of my family that they hadn’t seen in THIRTY years, that was some cool time. They were so kind and funny and had so many fascinating stories to share. We also wandered around a couple of the shops we never really check out, which had some cool beachy crafts and met an awesome photographer who shared some really touching stories that had me tearing up. Those interactions are always pretty cool. It really was a nice little break from things! Due to some unforeseen mysterious plague of sickness, I ended up coming back to town later than planned which has made this week go by even faster, which I can’t complain about either! Anyway, here are a few photos from the weekend I snapped on my phone:

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The Madewell Roadtrip Songs playlist I jammed out to on the ride over Friday night. If you haven’t checked it out, DO IT! There are some great bands featured on there I hadn’t listened to in a while.

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Few things beat a well made Mojito.

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Fried dill pickle chip I first thought looked like a heart, but after my friend Becka’s suggestion I can totally see a mockingjay. Thoughts?

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Black cloud, beachy mood swings.

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View from my Sunday morning run.

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The sunshine played peek-a-boo occasionally.

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Pina coladas are hard to beat, too 😉

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Great for afternoon happy hour snacks, and free wi-fi.

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Grammar police, but I like the sentiment.

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Purple drink…seriously.

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My mouth might be allll sweet teeth.

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Beach Getaway

Here are a few more fun photos from a beach weekend getaway over the Memorial Day holiday at my Nanny’s in Mexico Beach, Florida.

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Thursday afternoon, after work I met my brother and we began the treck over to Mexico Beach. (Note the yellow kayak in the middle joining us for the ride.) To my surprise E suggested we listen to the new John Mayer album. Sweet!

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Heading to the beach on Friday morning, woohoo! Credit to my mom for that awesome bun braid.

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Brother bear letting me snap a photo of both of us before we drug all our stuff down to the shore.

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Look at that gorgeous view!

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Of course the human hamster ball family was there in action.

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I drank my morning coffee out of my favorite Seaworld cup at my Nanny’s everyday, and these are my mom’s famous waffles mm-mmm!

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Homemade orange icecream! (Drizzled with chocolate syrup? Yes, please!)

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Beach view from the highway. Sunshine and palm trees.

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Three little kayaks sitting in a row.

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Breakfast – I like a colorful plate.

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Aforementioned food truck, Gourmet by the Bay.

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Even the clouds were gorgeous.

The next few photos are curtesy of my mom. This post is already pretty photo heavy, so bare with me. (There are about a katrillion I’m omitting, but it’s so hard to choose!) I’m sure Life, Leadership and Faith will post some more of the beautiful scenery shots at sunset, as well.

Probably one of my favorite family photos, ever.

If you know me at all, you know what a feat it was to capture this one.

But of course the little bro has plenty of mad skills. Show off. (JK!)

I feel like this photo is a good summary of our sibling ship. (Before or after he convinced me to kneel down on the ground, so he could prove he could jump over me?)

Me and my beautiful madre!

A few more fam shots, our last morning at the beach.

Seriously, this was just the best couple of days spending time together, getting to chill out and just take in nature, not be in a rush for anything. The best.