Links I {Love}

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  1. My sensitive skin definitely changes each season. I’m getting set to try Kimberly’s top products for problem-free skin this Fall!
  2. Real life: the fashion icon behind  Cheetah is the New Black majored in Chemistry in college…as if I was not already inspired enough! Read her full Abridged Biography here!
  3. Step Away from the Phone. NY Times once again nails it.
  4. Loving these 15 Minute DIY Party Ideas from Real Simple. Just the inspiration I need to plan a get together
  5. Thank you Meri for introducing me to this Tumblr. “What Mr. Darcy was thinking when…”
  6. I would be completely, 100%, over the moon happy if every man dressed like this (and this…wait and in Gucci too…oh good gracious SWOOOON).
  7. Wishing so hard I could pull off this turban. Find more like it in Meg’s Shop
  8.  Auto-Correct Fails (by the way, if you’re going out, make sure your whore face is covered up)

 

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A Cup of Joe

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It’s no secret that I am a coffee shop junkie. I mean, they probably should have just stuck a cot in Two Story for me last year since I was practically a resident. There is something about the smell, the people (and the people-watching), and the overall calm atmosphere of the oasis that is a coffee shop that makes me feel right at home.

Want to know a secret though? Half the time I am at these shops, I’m drinking tea, not coffee. I am one of the sad few that gets seriously affected by caffeine, and if I have it after about noon, I’ll be jittery and awake all night. However, if I make it to a shop in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll see me gulping down a large vanilla latte.

Today, as I hunkered down in a nearby coffee shop {this seems to be the start of most of my stories…}, I paused my cover-letter-writing to use the lou and read the contents below on a poster as they filled the walls.  GENIUS. Mostly, I was just so impressed with the continual play on coffee-related words, but then again I pretty much love any sort of saying involving coffee. See for yourself, and enjoy!

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All I need to know about life, I learned from drinking coffee.

We all have to do the daily grind.
If the spoon doesn’t dissolve, it ain’t coffee.
Better Latte than never.
A day without coffee is like night… you sleep through it.
I am productive! I am productive! I am productive!
Automatic drip defines most people’s personalities.
Stand your grounds.
Espresso yourself.
I love the caffeine, it’s the rich taste I could do without.
Decaf is if Sissies.
Take two cups and call me in the middle of the night.
Don’t stop till you are shaking.
Who needs sleep when you’ve got coffee?
There’s no rest for the caffeinated.
Impatience is a virtue.
Man cannot live by coffee alone – donuts are pretty essential too.
There is no such thing as a free refill.
It’s OK to be full of beans sometimes.
And remember as you grind your way through life, you are never alone when you’ve got Joe.

 

Happy Weekend!

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It wasn’t until I entered the “real world” (for a short time…explanation later) that I really began to value weekends. In school, weekends boasted  a balanced mix of work and play: an assignment was always due on Monday, a project was always looming in the background, and nights lasted until early mornings as I gathered with old and new friends. Weekends now serve their intended purpose: rest and separation from work and from stress. Therefore, God bless weekends.

In recent news, I finished up my fellowship on Friday! It was undoubtedly one of the best 9 weeks of my life – 9 weeks spent learning, engaging, working my butt off, and finally leaving with an even greater sense of what I want to pursue in terms of a career. That being said – now my full-time job has become to find a full-time job (ugh? yay? a little bit of both?). I’m more than excited for the future ahead, I am just antsy to get everything set in stone and finally have some stability.

Meanwhile, I have decided to plan a mini-vacation to congratulate myself for working all summer!  My original thought was a trip in Destin, but now I can’t seem to stop my brain from dreaming of NYC. I guess these are the times when following NYC-based bloggers is so troublesome since I can’t read their posts without wishing I could stand where they do. So what to do? Stay safe, head to Destin where I know the destination like the back of my hand, and simply relax by the ocean? Head to the always bustling NYC to see the sights, brunch like a Queen,  and shop til I drop? Well I’m torn! Oh decisions. I’ll figure it out eventually.

Enjoy your weekend. You’ll find my poolside … weather permitting.

xo

SL Idea{L} House

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Say Hello to my future home. Ok — kidding, but Southern Living’s 2013 Idea House is more like an ideaL house than just an idea. In the August issue of Southern Living you will find more details, inside looks, and beautiful photographs of this years Idea House located right outside of Nashville, TN. The SL team handpicked an all-star team to design, build, and decorate the ultimate Southern farmhouse on the grounds of Fontanel, former home of country legend Barbara Mandrell.

One perk of working for Time Inc is that I get the awesome opportunity to visit Nashville this weekend. As I’m sure I’ve said before, I never imagined myself working for a publishing company, but my experience so far has made me never want to leave! But let’s get back to this house. Glimpsing aspects of the planning process and hearing from the “Creative”  behind the Idea House segment of Southern Living literally makes my mouth drop. These men and women work incredibly hard to create not only a true Southern home, but also a home that inspires visitors and readers in their own homes and spaces. I cannot wait to finally tour this wonder of a house as well as work Biscuits & Jam on Sunday, the summer concert series in the courtyard of the Idea House. If you’re in Nashville this weekend, or at any time in the next 6 months, stop by this farm-house turned Southern Beauty for a tour!

And with that introduction :: Come On In and Be Inspired — >

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America the Beautiful {and Unique}

f1b8b6d8d9acfd2d947e2c971cb8bf34-1Happy Independence Day everybody! I hope you fill your day with burgers and beer and family and fireworks…at least that’s what mine will consist of. In the spirit of celebrating this nation, FORTUNE published its list of 100 great things about America. Only 100?

(Side Note: Why am I not surprised that I found this list on Molly’s tumblr?!)

Anyway, I must admit that this list is quite fantastic and absolutely genius. So American. {think Obama pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving, cracker jacks, Beyonce, and the Wisconsin Cheesehead} I paused  every so often to stifle my chuckles as to not to cause a scene in the middle of the coffee shop I  planted myself in this morning . To give you a little taste, I’ll single out a few that are all too true and/or are all too close to my heart. But you MUST read the list in its entirety at some point (here)

#1: Comebacks: Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Donald Trump, Kobe Bryant, Arrested Development…Ours is a nation of second chances

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#2: Wayfarer sunglasses: Immortalized by none other than James Dean, one of America’s coolest rebels

#27: The Amish: No TV’s. No Apple Products. No electricity. And yet they thrive. Fascinating.

#35: Chicken and Waffles: Is it breakfast? Is it dinner? Who cares. It’s one of the finest fits the South has given us.

#42: Long Island Ice Tea: What’s more American than every single kind of liquor thrown together?

#45: Little League: No agents, no egos, no steroids – the pastime at its purest

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#50: The New York Times Crossword: Can anyone actually finish these? {NO AND IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!}

#54: Oregon Trail: “you have died of dysentery”  — you’re lying if you never played this game as a child…just saying..

#65: FroYo: fueling American dieters’ self-delusions for over four decades {GUILTY}

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#79: Seventh-Inning stretch: Time to stand and sing “Take me out to the Ballgame”

#98: 40 Watt Club {WHAT UP, ATHENS} : no longer just lit by a 40 watt bulb, this Athens, GA, institution gave a start to R.E.M., the B-52s, and others

… and capping out the top 100 …

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#100: The St. Louis Arch: The Gateway to the West

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Oh how I love my country. Oh how I love everything about this holiday. America: Thank you for being everything that you are.

If you are looking for a good read this weekend, I absolutely LOVE this post by Megan of The Fresh Exchange. I actually teared up while reading it.

Here’s to a happy 4th of July and USA chants forever and always!

Lately + Links

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I feel myself falling into the “one post per week” phase, which I didn’t expect to succumb to but, you know, life just happens sometimes. Work is much, MUCH busier than I anticipated, but in a good way! When I’m there, I am completely immersed in information and presentations and research and magazine drama…and I love every single second of it. Other than work, I’m just bopping around Birmingham, eating, going to work, going to the gym, going to bed, repeat 5x per week. Aka nothing interesting.

BUT even though my life isn’t too thrilling at the moment, check out what else is new around the web and around my web of friends:

  • Do yourself a favor and click on over to Southern Living’s blog, The Daily South, and check out the 2013 Idea House that just opened to the public today in Nashville! It is absolutely stunning and I love that I got the chance to see the inner workings of this project and then see the final product. I’m obsessed!
  • I have serious wanderlust as I chat with and hear about Hannah’s adventures in Europe this summer. I must admit that I get a little jealous each time we Facebook chat and her location changes from somewhere in Scotland to the mountains of Switzerland. Follow along with my beautiful friend and her travel updates.  She is currently holding steady in Switzerland at the moment, working at L’Abri {Find out more about this wonderful mission and her experiences on her blog!}
  • I recently got a Tumblr…because, you know, I just needed yet another social media outlet.
  • This perfectly portrays every. single. friday. I LOLLED so hard. {LOLLED=lol’d=laughed out loud…wow}
  • An interesting read from the New York Times on how our generation is losing our interpersonal skills because we are too focused on screens instead of people.

Hope you all have a fantastic 4th of July this coming week! I say that now because, knowing me, I’ll forget to post about it later. Just covering my bases, y’all.

3 Hours of Highway

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The perfect opening to this post would go something like: “I just love surprises.” But if you ask any of my close friends, they would tell you straight-up that I am way too much of a control-freak to appreciate being surprised. {Case and point: my birthday this past year….so sorry about that}. So while, no, I absolutely hate being surpriseD, I love being the surpriseR. This past weekend was one of my best friend’s birthday, and, on a whim, I packed my multiple bags (for 2 days…I have a packing problem), headed to Athens, surprised sweet Daniela, sang “22” one too many times, and enjoyed a weekend catching up with friends, running my old routes around town, and frolicking around Athens.

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I vaguely remember the days when 10 hours  and 619 miles separated me from my best friends and my favorite town. I guess you could say I’m adjusting well to living just across the stateline as this weekend marks my second of 3 weekends in a row that I will have spent in Athens this summer {…don’t judge me. I have recent-college-grad syndrome.} It is just so freeing to know that all I have to do is hop in the car, hop on the interstate, and make it to Athens in a third of the time it used to take me. I’ll tell you one thing: my bank account loves this short distance since it no longer has to set aside a chunk of change for flights! I guess at some point I should probably just stay put and spend a weekend in Birmingham…

On that note, let’s talk about my past week. I started my fellowship at Time Inc, and y’all, it is just the bomb. The severe marketing nerd has officially come out, and I love every bit of work I have done this far. My boss assigned me two projects this week, and I was almost tempted to bring work with me to Athens just so that 1) it gave me an excuse to hit up Two Story Coffeehouse again but 2) I just really, really want to work on them! I guess that’s what the actual work hours are for? One of the many pleasures of working at a big company is the dress code. I have had way too much fun picking “business casual” outfits. Who knew that work outfits could be so wonderful? Colorful linen pants and fun Anthropologie skirts make up most of my daily wear. My dream has finally come true: I now have a reason to wear heels each day of the week.

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please excuse the shameless selfies.

And with that, I am off to spend the sunny, 80-degree day getting my tan on and enjoying Georgia for all its glory.

Glory Glory to ole Georgia,

xo

Sarah

Home is Where The Heart Is

…and if that is true, that my home is firmly set in the South. { I may or may not have listened to this song one too many times on my drive back down south. It explains the title of the post}

Yes, despite my attempts to stand firm against the draw of this region, I just cannot resist its charm, its comfort, or its ability to make me feel 100% welcome and appreciated.

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This past weekend, I moved into my new abode in Birmingham, and I must say, this may be my favorite residence yet! For throwing together pieces that I have accumulated throughout college + furniture that has sat unused in my parents’ house for a couple of years, I’d say my bedroom turned out pretty nicely!

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It will take some time to learn a whole new city. Athens was a little easier to understand given its size, but I take on the challenge of figuring out B-ham, at least by the end of the summer. For now at least, I have checked 2 of the most important places to find off my list.

1) I found Anthropologie

2) I found a coffee shop…no one worry. @Octane {guy, guys…at this place, you can get coffee/tea OR beer/cocktails. Like, most edgy/hipster place ever and I love it}

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Happy Tuesday from Birmingham!

xo

Sarah

Travel Guide: St. Louis {Part 2}

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Whoops…been away a bit too long. I cannot quite say that I have had nothing to write about. Rather, my mind has not stopped racing since I got back to St. Louis with a move to another new city for the summer coming up and missing the college town that I just left. But hey, what better way to ease the mind than to play tourist for a bit and enjoy the sights of St. Louis…again.

I can’t help myself – this city just never gets old and I always seem to find new places that I have never seen before. {Warning: these are probably my 5 favorite places in St. Louis, so prepare for lots of pictures}

1. Central West End

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— With its unbeatable charm, unique shops, assortment of restaurants and coffee shops, and prime spots for people-watching, few neighborhoods in St. Louis can compete with the charm of the Central West End. I can easily spend hours walking around the streets of CWE, both in the business district as well as strolling the neighborhoods that are filled with some of the oldest, most beautiful houses that I’ve ever seen. One stop I never miss:  10denza, a local shop boasting the downright coolest assortment of clothing, accessories, and gifts. The description says it all: “the convergence of pop culture, modern city style, music, and media.” 

2. Anheuser-Busch Brewery

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–I venture to say that this is one of the prides of St. Louis. If you get a chance, you MUST tour this brewery. It is absolutely incredible to see the work that goes into brewing beer, and, to make it even better, you get free beer if you are of age once the tour ends! I mean, come on. The only thing that would make it better would be if the famed Clydesdales were housed near the brewery, but I understand that would be a little difficult in the middle of downtown STL.

3. Cathedral Basilica

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–Construction on this landmark began in 1907, but the awe-inspiring assortment of tiled mosaics on the ceiling wasn’t completely finished until 1988. The Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis is believed to have the largest collection of tiled mosaics in the world.  This beauty is worth a quick stop to see and admire the stunning architecture and history comprised in its walls.

4. St. Louis Zoo

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–It’s free, it’s located in the middle of the beautiful Forest Park, it’s filled with animals from all over the world, and it brings back a type of childhood joy that is so worth battling the crowds and heat for. The best part: Meri and I got to see the newest addition to the Zoo:: a baby elephant! Who would have thought that a month old, 200 lb baby could bring such excitement and adoration.

4. Forest Park {take 2}

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–I forget how expansive and absolutely stunning Forest Park is, especially when it is illuminated in all of its glory on a perfectly sunny day. It is full of history, full of beauty, and also full of a diverse group of people including runners, golfers, families, tourists, and wanderers. This trip to my favorite park featured the History Museum and the Jewel Box, both of which I have honestly never been to before! Meri showed me the Jewel Box while I just sort of stumbled upon the History Museum yesterday while driving around the park (even though I have been meaning to tour it for like…10 years. Ooops my bad). I’m probably about to offend a lot of NY natives, but after having been to both famed parks::

Forest Park > Central Park

So many gems in this city that I am going to miss seeing so much this summer. The perk: they never get old, just like I never tire of touring my hometown.

xo