500 Days of Summer

Who here has seen 500 days of Summer?

If you haven’t– please go to redbox and pick it up. Or.. if you have HBO, it’s playing this month. I just watched it. Again.

There is something about this movie that inspires me. Maybe it’s the costumes? Maybe it’s the fact that it has an awesome soundtrack? : ) (Music can make or break a movie for me) Maybe it also makes me want to go on crazy fun adventures with my boyfriend and dream? Or, maybe it’s the way that it captivates me and brings out so many different emotions? Whatever it is, it’s great.

It truly is one of those movies that I could watch over and over and not get bored.

I will try not to spoil the movie, but I just love the dance sequence about 40 minutes in. It reminds me of the dance sequence in Enchanted. (another cute movie you should redbox) I think I love it so much because when you are truly happy and at the top of the world you do just feel like dancing. I usually also feel like I should bust out in song as if I were the star of some musical. ha.

In high school I liked to pretend I was famous

In high school I liked to pretend I was famous

See if you can find me

Did anyone else go through a phase in their childhood where they imagined that they were famous? (To be honest, I still do like to imagine that I will one day be famous… just for fun.) I hope this says something about my character, but I always imagined myself returning to my hometown and donating money to the school system, thanking them for loving and encouraging me throughout the “early” years. Now, I like to imagine myself also donating money to Strong Rock Camp, recycling programs, animal shelters, and well, maybe The Alabama Crimson Tide– I could snag some fancy gameday seats.   ; ) I also like to imagine myself giving motivational speeches to high school students about following the dream… whatever that looks like. Okay…. moving on..

Did anyone catch Oprah today? Mark Zuckerberg donated 1 million to Newark, NJ schools– It was encouraging to see someone who’s really made it big give something so generous.(click here to see the video) ah. Since I’ve got movies and facebook on the brain I’m really looking forward to seeing The Social Network. I find Mark Zuckerberg to be so interesting. Although he made a joke saying that the movie “glammed” up his life, I’m still eager to see what everyone will be talking about.

Alright, I think that’s enough for tonight. As I was driving back home to Ohio this week from my unexpected extended vacation to Alabama I had one hundred thoughts about what to blog about. As you can see I can never keep to one topic and I wasn’t anticipating a spur of inspiration from this movie. Maybe I’ll get to my thoughts next week.

Currently listening to: Five for Fighting, “Chances”

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Published in: on September 25, 2010 at 1:24 am  Comments (2)  

Snaps’ Beauty Tips

The fashion police

While working as the head female counselor at Strong Rock Camp this past summer, I found myself in charge of a cabin full of early teenage girls. It was quite unfortunate that both of the counselors assigned to that cabin had fallen ill, but for me it was an opportunity that I never expected to receive.

I had been observing other female cabins and fell in love with the idea of making your cabin unique from the start. It was the first night and I wanted the girls to talk in a large circle rather than small conversations at their bunks where someone might feel excluded. (It is very important to unify cabins as early as possible)

So, what do I come up with… Beauty Tips by Snaps. (Snaps, has been my camp name for four summers now- : ) if you did not know.)

Yes! Look at that style right there-- I'd definitely take beauty tips from her.

If you know me this subject is actually kind of hilarious. I chose this topic because earlier I had witnessed a few girls reapplying eye liner, and at the time was watching girls dry and straighten their hair before bed. (They would soon learn that this was unnecessary- HIGHLY unnecessary.) I never had the patience growing up to learn these things. I think I was in the 6th grade before I forced myself to learn how to make a ponytail. I’m the one to blame here–I just never wanted to learn.

Okay– so I’m trying to learn how to make my posts more concise. Onto the list!

Snaps’ Beauty Tips- I gave one each night– kind of like a reward for taking quick showers and cooperating. ; )

  1. Don’t wear make-up every day. If you randomly wear make-up every so often, or on special occasions, people notice and think you look beautiful. It’s like a special treat. ( I owe this tip to my friend Ruth Garrett. She told me this tip a few years ago and I’ve clung to it– so true.) I don’t know how well the teenage girls responded to this one ; )
  2. Vaseline is a magical make-up remover. I suggest using it at night to remove that last bit of water resistant eye-liner. As you sleep it will also remove that last bit of mascara you didn’t notice still clinging to your eye lashes. Also, it’s a wonderful source of moisture for your lips. I like to put it on when my lips are really chapped– which is daily. (If anyone knows how to cure chapped lips let me know.)
  3. Q-tip’s are our friends! The perfect smudge/smoothing out agent. I love using them to blend eye make up or clean up the few mistakes I make while applying eye liner. I also hold the cotton end and use the stick to remove any clumps in my mascara.
  4. More Q-tips! Wet the ends of q-tips and place them in a plastic ziplock, then place them in your freezer over night. (Warning: your parents, or roommates may think you have gone completely nuts) Then, take them out in the morning and gently roll them around your eyes. It’s a great way to wake up– very calming and smooth. (I also can not take credit for this one– Junior year Bible Study with the Navigators, I believe Louise let us in on this one.)

And this concluded the tips I had for them. I was glad that their counselors returned energized and in better health– I also would have to do some serious research to offer any more tips. hehe.

I’m a sucker for advertising– I could quite possibly argue that this is one of the main reasons I decided to major in it. I’m really a sucker for products that I enjoy using that don’t break the bank (see previous post: clearance). Although this could be a whole other post entirely, I wanted to share a few “beauty” products that I use and absolutely love since we’re on the subject…

  1. Well I already mentioned Vaseline and Q-tips.. which are two brands btw. The product name would be Petroleum jelly and cotton swabs. Just like Kleenex, Zipper, and Chapstick the world calls these products by their brand names. (fun advertising lesson of the day) Anyway.. I love these products.
  2. Nutrogena has a new face scrub out in a pink grapefruit scent– love this! It has little beads that burst when you scrub your face leaving your skin feeling fresh and awake.
  3. Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste. Okay, I use Alpine Breeze which is a funny name for toothpaste to me. I will warn you.. it doesn’t leave the freshest taste in your mouth, therefore you may need to follow up with a swig of mouthwash but I’ve been using it for 6 months now and I know it’s DRASTICALLY improved my sensitive teeth issue.
  4. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint shampoo and conditioner. This is where I splurge.. I’m currently not washing my hair with this because I can’t afford it at the moment, but you better believe it’s on my Birthday list! This shampoo when scrubbed into your scalp makes you feel relaxed- I SWEAR! It smells WONDERFUL and keeps your hair healthy. I purchased the large bottles about 2 years ago and they lasted about a year. You only have to use a dime size drop! I can’t say enough good things about this product.
  5. Mitchum Smart Solid Deodorant. This is actually a hard product to find- The don’t sell it at Walmart! (shock!) But, it’s so worth it. About three years ago, one of my closest friends (who will remain nameless- this may be embarrassing) and I were talking about how we just sweat and could never find a deodorant that worked all day long. Then, she let me in on her secret. This was a clinical protection deodorant that was out long before the ones we see on the shelf now– and it still costs a normal reasonable price. (Have you looked at the price of deodorant lately? It’s creeping up into the 8-9 dollar range for one of these new formulas)And that’s all I’ve got for beauty at the moment.. Please feel free to comment some of your favorite products. I’m always up for trying new things.

Note: None of the above are paid advertisements. They are products that I have found and fallen in love with.

Another Note: I apologize if this post was too personal.. As I’m about to post this– that thought crossed my mind, “Jackie are you getting a little too personal on your blog?” If I am.. I already said I apologize, but I don’t believe I am.

And Another: I also just thought if these companies would like to compensate me a small profit if their sales increase in the next few weeks because of this blog, I wouldn’t mind.

Currently listening to: Joshua Radin, ” You’ve got growing up to do”

ahh! I can’t wait for his new CD to hit the itunes store! : )

Published in: on September 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm  Comments (3)  

Clearance

I am a bargain shopper.

When I walk into any store, especially clothing stores that advertise 50-70% off I can’t help but navigate immediately to the clearance rack. (Anybody with me here?) I am also an outlet shopper. (Can I get an Amen?) Which makes it very difficult to go into stores such as, Banana Republic, or J. Crew, or even Ann Taylor when I know I could maybe snag a better deal elsewhere. (Hallelujah!)

It’s like an addiction- I see the HUGE (usually red- b/c I learned in advertising that red draws attention the quickest, then yellow…go figure- McDonalds did something right) sign inviting me to come explore the wonderful deals going on inside. 6/10 times I sadly give into the temptation and purchase the clearanced item even if it will have to wait 3 seasons in my closet to see the light of day.

Let’s not even begin to discuss some of my other favorite places to shop– T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross. Why must these stores lure me in with wonderful deals. I am such a sucker. (My day is totally made when I grab a clearance deal at one of these locations)

So I come to this question. Is clearance shopping worth it?

I say yes.

Although I feel that because of this opinion I have a curse. I simply have THE HARDEST time purchasing anything full price. This is a great thing right now, seeing that I have no income, and am living on my life savings. I shouldn’t be spending money on unnecessary materialistic items anyway. So again, I say yes– totally worth it.

With fall approaching, I look in my closet (figuratively, of course. All my fall apparel seems to still be lost somewhere in my storage unit) and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a new pair of jeans.

duh dun…. duh dun… duh dun.. duh dun.. duh dunduh dun duh dunnnnn! (insert jaws theme music here)

‘Jeans shopping’. Quite possibly one of the only items I absolutely hate shopping for. Why is that you ask? Well let me just tell you…

When it comes to jeans I wear about 6 different sizes depending on the brand. I am in between a short and regular length in jeans which translates into too long and I’m constantly stepping on the ends or too short and I look like I’m ready for the flood. I also have a bit of the problem in the rear.  (I apologize if this is too personal) But it’s just awful because they look too baggy to begin with and naturally as you wear jeans, they stretch out. Then, I spend half of the day grabbing the belt loops and pulling them up. If you know me and we’ve hung out ever– you’ve seen me do it- I guarantee it.

I once found the perfect pair of jeans. AND, guess what– I found them on the clearance rack at Gap. Why? I had no idea at the time. It was last fall… jeans season. The zipper worked fine, no rips or holes, and no visible stains. They were a size smaller than I was used to seeing… and weren’t tight. I wasn’t even looking for jeans… I considered them a gift and bought them.

A year later the jig is up. They are a discontinued style by The Gap. That is why they were on the clearance rack… in September.

So here we are September 2010 and I have the curse of the clearance rack and am in need for a good pair of jeans. Any suggestions? Please leave feedback below in the comment box. I would love to drop a few hundred on a pair of designer jeans that are tailored to fit in the waist and length but that is not going to happen… nor am I sure I really want it to happen now that I am thinking about it.

I will tell you one thing though– I’m keeping my eyes peeled on the clearance rack. I can only hope that another dream pair of jeans will fall into my hands because I spent a few extra minutes flipping through the racks.

Currently listening to: Florence + The Machines “Dog Days Are Over”

**My friend Ashley and I have very different tastes in music but she introduced me to this band a few weeks ago and I purchased the entire album after falling in love with a few of the songs. If I were famous enough to have a “must-have” list, This CD would make it. ; ) Happy listening!

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 11:49 pm  Comments (3)  

Goodbye Summer, Hello Football! Alabama Football.

Growing up, Labor day always marked the end of Summer. My family would pile into the car and head up to the lake to visit with extended family, grill out, and try to catch the last few rays of the season. After that lovely three day weekend, you were back in school, you wore jackets to Friday night football games, and the leaves started to turn brilliant shades of red and yellow mid September.

In Alabama– Labor day reminds me of Groundhogs day. If the weather is really hot, like close to the 90’s hot, I expect another full month of Summer. You can still go to the pool, wear cute sun dresses, and well of course, Chacos! (<– click to see what I’m talking about– a must-have on my list!) . (In Alabama I wear my chacos well into October, maybe even November.)

When asked why I chose Alabama for college I joke around and explain that it was simply temperature related. Now I know it was that and much more.

If you asked me growing up I wasn’t particularly fond of the Fall season. I looked forward to apple cider, and the beauty in the changing of the leaves, but I hated that the weather cooled quickly and with cooling weather came the most dreaded season of them all- Winter.

This year I started to think about fall and everything I enjoy about it. (I do believe I may have had a change of heart) I definitely LOVE the fall in Alabama versus Ohio. Labor day not only brings another estimated month of summer temperature, but it brings football. College football that is. What I mean is, ALABAMA FOOTBALL! Going to Alabama for College when I did conditioned me well. I saw a young team go from losing half of their games to going undefeated and winning a National Championship.

Football is all that’s on everyone’s mind. It’s great to have a winning team, but it’s magical to watch the game unfold for all colleges across the country. I’ve gotten to the point where I like to get on the ESPN website Sunday afternoon and look for the projected rankings for the following week. (Even though the official rank’s aren’t posted until Monday afternoon.)

If you ask me what I’m doing on a Fall Saturday, (and I’m spending time with my beloved boyfriend) 9 times out of 10, my response will be watching football. Now, if it’s a team in the SEC, or I have some connection to, I’m probably interested. If it’s an unrelated team, I may have the game on, but I’m probably doing something else. I had a humorous conversation this week with Michael about compromising the Saturday’s T.V. schedule. I just don’t understand why we watch games that we have no direct ties to. I tried to bargain with him and make him a deal that I would happily watch games that we had ties to.

Lesson learned: DO NOT MESS WITH MEN AND FOOTBALL.

ANYWAY… going back to football I care about.

I can say with complete confidence that I will truly miss Alabama Football Season this fall.

I will fondly remember Alabama Saturday’s (yes, I have re-named a day of the week) like this: Waking up early. Turning on College Gameday. Finishing last minute preparations on tailgate food. Meeting up with friends to carpool. Trying to find a parking spot under $20.00, or hiking approx. 1-2 miles to the quad. Trying to locate the exact tailgate party. Watching little kids throw the football pretending to be their favorite player. Smelling some of the best tailgate food and wishing I knew THAT tent. Taking photos. Trying to locate the “clean” bathroom. Applying face tatoos. (that KILL to get off the following evening) Eating before you enter the stadium so you won’t be tempted to purchase overpriced food. Always picking the gate with the longest line. Making cell phone calls that are so hard to hear to just locate your seat with friends. Hugs. Taking more photos. Getting a sunburn before the game starts. Taking photos again. Coming to the conclusion that you must-have-that-stadium-dog… and a coke (collectors cup). Singing Sweet Home Alabama, ROLL TIDE ROLL. Watching the entrance video accompanied with sound effects. Booing the opposing team (even though that’s unsportsmanlike). Yelling RTR through the kick-off. Shaking my shaker so hard my arm hurts. Standing up. Singing the fight song for every touchdown. Taking more photos. Casual conversations. Watching the game. Asking a lot of questions. This process repeats through the game. Then finally, singing RAMMER JAMMER once we’ve won!

Note: This is merely one person’s experience and does not reflect the Integrity of the Alabama Football Program in any way, what-so-ever.

It sounds like a lot of work– and it was. But I really did love it. Every minute of it. I will most definitely survive watching the game on a HD TV, and laying on the couch. Below is a tribute to my College Football Experience.

Currently listening to: Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama”

Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 9:32 pm  Comments (4)  

pretending to be a college student

Yes– I’m pretending to be a college student, backpack and all, just for a day or so.

When Michael told me he could fly up to see me for the ‘Burch Family “Cubs” Weekend’ I was so excited! I looked into it and found that I had a few friends who would give me their football ticket for the first game and I decided that I would drive both of us back to Alabama in order to help cut the cost. It was going to be perfect! I would travel to Tuscaloosa and visit with friends while Michael was in class. I’d look for jobs while he was working on homework, and we’d get to hang out for a week… I’ll let you know how all of this works out.

Currently, I’m sitting in Panera Bread, and have had a fantastic day. It’s been a blessing that I’ve got to catch up with as many people as I have. Now, this seems to be one of those boring posts where I describe the play by play of my day which really isn’t significant, and in a way (I’ll warn you– it’s long and) it is. But, what I really want to talk about is the interesting realizations I had within each conversation. My friends are so supportive and I love how they are all different and unique.

Ashley

Upon arriving to the rainy University of Alabama campus, Ashley and I had arranged to meet for coffee in the student union, or Ferguson center Starbucks. (Ashley and I were roommates my junior and senior year of college. We had a one-of-a-kind, unique friendship that I love, cherish, and miss very much) I was very happy that she was willing to meet me so early. (I remember sleeping late, or until the exact minute I had to wake up in order to make it to class on time.) Anyway, as soon as we  started talking, it was non-stop. It had been three months since I moved out and we had A LOT to catch up on. The whole conversation was back and fourth regular conversation. How was your summer? What are you doing now? How’s grad school? How’s the job search?  While mine was what it was. She told her stories with great eloquence. She was excited, and happy, and just had this beautiful glow about her. (despite the yucky rain/weather) I loved hearing her talk about this wonderful direction her life was headed in.

I was truly happy for her and felt  great joy from her happiness.

I remembered the days last spring where we’d vaguely talk about the scary future and how we weren’t looking forward to the fall or unknown. Now that it is here I see all of her hard work, prayers, and dedication paying off. It’s beautiful! (that sounds so cheesy- but it is) Talking to Ashley, seeing persistence and dedication pay off, I too desire this happiness. I want to have this glow and confidence that I am loving what life is giving me every moment. It was encouraging to see that hard work does pay off… now if I could just learn how to work hard. ; )

Summer

As coffee ended, lunch naturally came next. As I walked to meet Summer at the library I couldn’t help but smile. Like I talked about in an earlier post, I had encountered a positive interaction and was ready to continue the chain effect. I called Summer to see where she was and she warned me that she was sick and to not get too close. I still wanted to have lunch even if that meant catching a cold. (I may regret that later…)

Summer and I were both advertising majors, but met through our mutual friend, Kelly, freshman year. While we may not hang out once a week, we have the kind of friendship that naturally picks up each time we do hang out. Something I admire about Summer is her ability to laugh, crack jokes, and to be honest. Despite the terrible cold, the medication cocktail, and the weather, Summer was able to make me smile and laugh. We caught up on life and talked about the scary future like it was nothing.

Summer helps me realize that not having a job, having bills, student loans, lack of insurance, and money IS point blank: A SCARY PROBLEM.

I love that she asks me how I’m dealing with these things. She reminds me that the world is out there and will bite me soon. I’m working on a blog dedicated to her actually about this very subject. Now, while this may come across negative, it’s actually quite the opposite. No one likes to ask the blunt question (or hear it), but it’s a reality that I will soon face. It’s motivating to work hard to see results. She reminds me to never expect anything. I love it, I love her, and I’m thankful for this reminder. I hope one day I can give her the answer to this scary problem. If anything, I hope I offer a calm approach opposed to sheer panic.

Kayla

While I was eating lunch, my friend Kayla walked in– just the person I was looking for! It was perfect. Summer was on her way to class, as was Kayla’s lunch date and we simply had free time to discuss the wonderful world of unemployment.  She picked me up outside of Reese Phifer (the building I spent hours of class in– see I really was pretending to be a college student) and she brought me to Panera. (where I was trying to get to by 2:30 btw– FATE)

Now, I explained to Kayla as I do other unemployed graduates, I hated to see her  at this struggling point, but it is NICE to know I’m not the only one out here looking for jobs on a regular basis.

Kayla explained, “The worst job is not having a job at all”

This put everything into perspective. We discussed this and talked about how we succeeded– we have a degree! We also discussed getting to the point where you need to look for a part-time job. When is that? A couple of weeks? Months? Eventually our life savings are going to run out. It’s a bummer that we’ve saved for how ever long and now are slowly watching the money dwindle due to the fact we’re unemployed.

So we vowed to keep the eye peeled for one another.

Emily

After Kayla had to run I started this week’s blog and  then took a break to have coffee with my friend Emily. Emily and I were reminiscing about our very first coffee date– about a year ago at Panera, actually. A year ago I was attending the Vineyard Church and was standing in line for Communion. She simply asked me if I would pray with her afterwards. Who would have thought that this simple act would lead to a wonderful friendship? : ) We began meeting every so often for coffee and LOTS of conversation. We had a great deal in common and I just loved our time together. Emily challenges me in ways I’ve never been challenged before. She asks me hard questions that really make me stop and think.

If you’ve ever had a long conversation with me you may have noticed that it can become very a-d-d. I start talking about one thing that leads to another and then I tell a story and begin a new topic. I never know myself where these conversations are going to go. Emily puts up with this quite well.

You can’t expect people to know exactly what you mean unless you straight up tell them.

This may seem like a simple principal and it is. Emily said, ‘”If I tell you that I’m hungry, I really mean, ‘I’m hungry, let’s go eat right now.’ I can’t expect you to know that I want to go eat right now unless I specifically tell you that.” Communication is two-way. People perceive things and interpret things their own way.

This is going to challenge me in lots of ways. First off, I’m not going to get upset with anyone anymore unless I am 100% sure I made myself clear. I have a tendency of beating around the bush when it comes to expressing what I really want. This is a silly example, but I may want to do something like see a movie, but I’ll say ” The movie Inception looks really interesting.” Instead of saying, ” Let’s go see the movie Inception. I really would like to go see it.”

Emily and I had to cut our coffee short but we talked about many more meaningful things. She is wonderful at helping me see the other side of things. I sometimes am hard on myself or unwilling to look at things from the other perspective– or I just can’t see it. While I only knew Emily for one year in college I wish we would have met earlier.

√ Visiting with friends while Michael is in class

_ Looking for jobs while Michael does homework

√ Hanging out : )

Currently listening to: Oceanship “Hotblack”

Published in: on September 1, 2010 at 11:57 am  Comments (1)