Monday, July 6, 2015

Fourth at Grand Lake














This weekend is one for the books! I planned on taking a lot of photos with my DSLR but somehow never got around to it...we were having too much fun! Anyway, these iPhone photos will have to do! Our 4th of July was filled with yummy food, new friends, family and lots and lots of time on the lake! It doesn't get better than that!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Favorites

Last night I spent four hours at the park, I went straight from work (at 5) and stayed until  9 o'clock. It reminded me of my childhood, when mom would say: "when the street lights come on, it's time to come home!" The street lights always came on too soon -and the same was true last night.  

One of my favorite things about living in a small town is the way you always seem to bump into people you know when you're out-and-about. Last night (at the park) I ran into my sister, she recently adopted a little puppy and they were out for a walk. We had so much fun playing in puddles, chasing the geese, meeting other dogs, and stopping for rest and water under the shade trees.




Summer nights at the park are my favorite.

Speaking of favorites, here are a few of my favorite things on the internet this week:

"How to get a job through social media" Earlier this week I mentioned developing your "personal brand," this is a prime example of how having a personal brand can pay off!
-Levo

This baby shower took my breath away. Such a unique idea and oh so beautiful.
-Rifle Paper Co.

"Your late-night emails are hurting your team" Very interesting!
-Harvard Business Review

The most adorable Instagram account -shares photos of couples with the story of how they met in the caption. If you're a hopeless romantic, you will love it!

I've been experiencing some major storage issues with my iPhone lately. These hacks for saving storage have come in handy!
-Cosmopolitan

An advertising agency had their execs slim down for a naked photo shoot. What a clever campaign, I love seeing brands that push boundaries.
-Business Insider

-This interior design blogger and I are kindred spirits. I love everything about her theory on beautiful-functional things for the home. I too have been slowly making the change from plastic to wooden spoons and spatulas, simply because they are more pretty. She mentions that she and her husband use their birthdays or holidays to treat each other to something special to enjoy in their home...my birthday is next month and I've asked for towels! #kindredspirits
-Inspired Room

Happy Friday and Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book Review: Leave Your Mark


I came across "Leave Your Mark" on twitter (recommended by theSkimm). The tagline "Land your dream job, kill it in your career, rock social media" jumped out at me from across the screen #lifegoals. 

 So I used my monthly Audible credit and was listening to Aliza Licht (herself) just hours later.

"Leave Your Mark" is one of those books I wish had been available 5 years ago when I was gearing up for my first internship, nervous and unsure of myself.

Aliza is such an inspiration, she graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Neurobiology and Physiology -on track to becoming a plastic surgeon. Upon realizing that being a surgeon wasn't her dream, she decided to pursue a career in the fashion industry. Today, Aliza is the Senior Vice President of Global Communications for Donna Karan International! -Work it girl! 

In her book, Aliza gives us a play-by-play of how she made it to the top. She is the smart, sassy & brutally honest mentor I never had. She covered so many topics, everything from "how to write a professional email," "netowrking" & "developing your personal brand" (something I'm slowly working on). 

Aside from the amazing career advice, Aliza gives us an insider glimpse into the world of fashion. Her stories were that of "The Devil Wears Prada." I've heard that you have to have thick skin to work in the fashion industry, but my gosh! Who knew it could be so ruthless! 

One night (while binge listening to her book) I decided to tweet Aliza. I about fell out of my chair when she tweeted me back!




Needless to say, she has a new fan-girl! 

I can't recommend this book enough. No matter what the industry, "Leave Your Mark" is relevant to anyone looking to achieve success. You will be empowered, inspired and much much wiser! 

After listening to the audio version, I decided to purchase the ebook as well. I wanted to go back and highlight my favorite moments from the book, which is now being used as my own little "career bible!"

It's been a month since I finished it and I'm still just as motivated & inspired. I've been practicing her "method" fo success and I can already see the effects it has had on my work (and relationships)!

I hope you'll give it a try. It is by far my favorite read of 2015! 



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In Review

Doing:

Since we last spoke, I  ran in an inflatable 5k. So fun but sooo muddy!


I planted my first herb garden.



Confession...it's not doing so well. The thyme is dead & the basil is droopy. However, the dill is thriving? I dream of bruschetta and thyme roasted tomatoes...please my green thumb friends- I need your help!

Wearing: 

A little more than a month ago I borrowed a coral colored off-the-shoulder dress from my mom. (pictured below...a car selfie was the best I could do. -I always forget to take pictures once I arrive to my destination!)


I never want to take it off! I think I wore it 3 times this week alone. It's officially my summer uniform. I don't want to live in a world where this isn't in my closet! Don't tell my mom but she's not getting it back!

Reading:

I wan't to cruise the world on this enchanting house boat, who's with me?
-Remodelista

This essay "in defense of being alone" was food for my soul. I savored every word. Also, I too "want to be a strong and powerful red wine"
-Huffington Post

If you've been reading my little blog for a while you probably know that I am a huge fan of Sheryl Sandberg, more on that here. The letter she wrote about grief and losing her husband brought me to tears.

Apparently there was a "Smash" tribute concert last night...I'm so bummed I missed it (please please, take this on the road!) anyway, this re-cap is the next best thing. I'm #teamKaren but Ivy killed it last night! Which team are you on?
-Buzzfeed

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May, Pit & Peak


This month has flown by...it's been filled with never ending rain, a few tornadoes, spring cleaning, traveling for work, art festivals, reading new books, discovering my love for zucchini (more on that in another post) and many, many dinners with friends and family. All in all, not too bad.

Here are a few pit & peaks of the month:

Pit:

-Living in a 100 year-old house is finally catching up with me. I have so many electrical problems happening, it's not even funny. Currently, 3 outlets & 1 light fixture (in my closet) are out. Picking out clothes in the dark is no bueno...also, I had a water leak in my bedroom wall. Apparently the wood around my window has rotted. The beautiful trees in my front yard have compromised my plumbing system (their roots are wreaking havoc on my drains). I hired a plumber "friend of a friend" to come out and fix the problem, only to be scammed out of $90...And to top it all off? I found a decomposing animal (it is so badly decomposed, I can't make out what it was...a squirrel? or skunk?) on the side of my house. Ahhhhhh!

Peak:

-Things are really great at work right now. I was recognized as an employee spotlight, received an award for a big project I spent two years working on and have been given several opportunities to shine. It's been a great month for my career!

Pit:

-The severe storms. I hate storms. I hate lightening. I hate tornadoes. I am a big scaredy-cat! I was caught in two tornadic storms (one while driving) this month. I wish I was one of those calm and collected people in a crisis, but this month taught me that when things get scary -I will run for the hills (or an underground shelter). I was a volunteer at a festival and the sirens went off. Instead of politely helping patrons to the shelter, I took off (running) in a panic and yelled at the top of my lungs "everybody! get underground!" It wasn't my finest moment...my co-workers are still laughing about it!

Peak:

-I became a Skimmbassador! By now most of you should know how much I love theSkimm (because I can't stop talking about it)...I get nothing for sharing theSkimm with you (well they might send me a reusable bag or some other promotional item... nothing life changing haha!). It's just something I believe in and am excited to share with my friends! Before Skimm, I was so misinformed on current events. I never really understood or cared about politics (or world news for that matter). I can't tell you how empowering it is to be "in the know." This may sound silly, but it's on the list of things that make me feel like a "grown up" -I was reading about the Patriot Act and thought to myself: "Hey look at me! I'm finally starting to understand this stuff!" Anyway, sign up here if this sounds like something you might enjoy :-)

Pit:

-I don't know when this one will stop "hurting" but every year, at the end of May, when all my teacher/college friends get off for summer break...I may or may not partake in a little pity party. I really really wish I still had a summer break. Being stuck inside on a beautiful day is the biggest bummer. Of course, it has rained every weekend so I haven't enjoyed nice weather since I-don't-know-when.

Peak:

-Summer is here! I may be stuck at work during the week but I have several fun weekends planned! It's time spent at the lake, weekend BBQ's, fresh watermelon, trips to the farmers market, home-grown tomatoes and a highly anticipated trip to the beach! Bring it on!

one last peak:

Here are a few of my favorite things on the internet this week:

-I love a good fixer-upper, this home makeover is unreal!!
 -Country Living

-This video is adorable...I wish I knew that guy in real life. He seems really cool! Also, I need someone to make one for me! "Love is all we need, share the love"
-Daily Liked

-"This guy sat in a cafe all day after being promised $300 and it turned into something amazing."
-Buzzfeed

-Mixed gender wedding parties. This is something I'd never considered & I love it. The people standing next to you should be those you love the most...who cares what gender they are!
 -Buzzfeed

-Momfirmations. The whole parenting thing really freaks me out...but then I read something so beautiful and hilarious, all at the same time. I think to myself  "man, I pray God gives me the gift of motherhood because I have to experience it...even if it is crazy and scary." 
-The Day Book Blog

-These graduation hats are awesome! (Also, it's good to see so many Harry Potter fans!)
-Buzzfeed

For kicks & giggles, here's my cap:


I can't believe that was 4 years ago! Oh my how time flies!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Year Without Cable

This morning I was reading theSkimm and of course, saw the article about Time Warner Cable's merger with Charter, a top US telecom company...blah blah blah. (Basically cable companies are scrambling to recover from cord cutters (like myself) who pledged their loyalties to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc).

Anyway, it reminded me that I've been meaning to tell you about my experience as a cord cutter, and hopefully persuade you into taking the scary leap into the land of no cable!



For the past year I've been living without cable (gasp! the horror!) and you know what? I don't miss it! 

Last summer I got really mad at my cable company for dropping several of my favorite channels from their lineup (of course their ridiculous prices continued to increase) and I decided it was time to part ways. Up until that point, I'd strongly considered cutting the cord but couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger.

There are few things I love more than snuggling up on the couch after a long day at work with my favorite shows...I wish I didn't love TV as much as I do, but I'm keeping it real: I can't live (alone) without it.

Image source

Also, I was worried about losing local news. Oklahoma weather (as most of you know) is extreme. One minute it's sunny, the next we're under a tornado warning (or flood warning). I knew that cutting cable would mean losing my local weather resource. 

So what has it been like without cable? 

Image source
Better than you could ever imagine.

The first thing I did was go out and buy an Apple TV. I originally tried a chromecast but decided I liked Apple TV better. It's nice having my iTunes account all in one place, not to mention you can use your iPhone as a remote with Apple TV. If you are interested in learning more about Apple TV click here. Like all Apple products, it's small & sleek. You can buy it at Walmart for $69 and it's easy to set up. 

(please note, you will need internet to use any of these services, I pay around $60 a month for internet)

I already had a Netflix account before cutting the cord...all I needed to do was subscribe to Hulu. Hulu is $8 a month and has all of my favorite shows available within 24 hours of their air time. Pretty cheap! 

In April I added HBO NOW to my subscriptions. They offer the first month free so I decided to give it a try. I just paid for the second month ($15) this week. This app offers the complete series of every HBO show! I've been watching Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and I finished The Jinx! -Love it! 

I ended up purchasing a HD antenna like this one from my local radio shack for access to local news/weather -the reception is really great! I watch the Today Show every morning as I'm getting ready for work. My only complaint: it's not very pretty and there are a lot of cords...however, it's a small price to pay for access to weather coverage in Oklahoma during the month of May! Can I get an amen?!

Are there any other cord cutters out there? Do you have any tips or resources that I haven't mentioned? If you are considering "cutting the cord" and have any questions, feel free to ask!

Oh! And to my fellow Game of Thrones fans...

SPOILERS!!!!!

*I really wanted Sansa to stab Ramsay with the wine opener! Ugh! Maybe next week...

***Update***I was asked about cost breakdown, here it is: I pay less now! I was paying $110 for basic cable (no HBO & no movie channels -not to mention the decline in channels being offered by the cable company do to "feuds" with the networks)...

Today, I pay around $91 a month! ($60 internet, $8 Netflix, $8 Hulu, $15 HBO) Also, Apple TV has several free apps like PBS (hello Downton Abbey fans!), world news and sports channels too!  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week in Review

A baby shower for one of my precious cousins. They are expecting a baby girl -she will be the first great-grandchild for my poppa.


I love the women in this photo so much. I forget how much fun we have when we're together, hopefully we will be reunited soon!

My favorite boutique asked me (me?) to model a few of their summer arrivals.


I follow several fashion bloggers and never really appreciated how much work goes into taking outfit photos...It's not as easy as it looks! I'm a little (a lot) self conscious in front of the camera. I worry about what my thighs look like, what my chin looks like, should I smile? Should I pretend to laugh? (so awkward), my legs are so chalky, I should have put on lotion. blah, blah, blah -why are we (women) so hard on ourselves? It's the endless cycle of self doubt. Does it ever go away?

With that being said, all of my insecurities vanished when I saw the photos. I love how they turned out. Follow @serendipity_ada on instagram or like them on facebook to see more pics from the shoot!

Other things: 

Last weekend was the weekend of birthdays. Friday night was spent "out" celebrating a friend's birthday (read: sangria swirls, chips & salsa, patio conversations). Perfect.


Saturday was spent "in" celebrating another friend's birthday. This one was planned by yours truly (read: up all night talking, watching classic chick flicks, gorging on so. much. junk food, drinking real Dr. Pepper). Perfect.

Reading:

How women undermine themselves with words -must read ladies! -Goop

The best way to keep flowers fresh, good to know! -Apartment Therapy

For my fellow Project Runway fans: How Tim Gunn spends his Saturday. Speaking about his evening cocktail: "I’ve been drinking Manhattans since Sept. 11, 2001. I thought, “Celebrate the city. Have a Manhattan. Never forget.” -The New York Times

theSkimm guide to Yemen. "You haven’t heard about Yemen since Chandler Bing moved there. But lately, a growing civil war has put the country at the center of a much larger power struggle in the Mideast." If you're interested in being more informed on whats going on in the world (and hate reading long articles/watching the news) then you'll love thSkimm. Sign up here. 

I just finished "Leave your mark" by Aliza Licht. Oh how I loved this book. I am working on a book review, hopefully it will be up this week!

I'm starting "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins. -this book and I keep bumping into each other. I'm hearing about it everywhere. If the hype is true, it's going to be a good one!

The week ahead: 

This week is going to be busy at work. I'm attending an awards reception in the city, getting ready for the Annual Artesian Arts Festival -if your local you neeeeeed to check it out. We've got over 70 artists confirmed and many many food vendors, nom nom. What else...I'm running a 5K in two weeks so hopefully the weather won't be too terribly bad and I will get to run at the park this week.

Have a good Monday!
-Britt