Monday, June 8, 2009

The Wedding

One of my best friends got married this past weekend. I have know her since i was 4 years old. We were the only two from out high school to go to Auburn and really she is just very dear to me. She got married on St Simons Island (island number 2). It was the most beautiful wedding that I have ever been too. And I really am not just saying that because I love her very much, and I have been to some wonderful weddings. there were a few minor things that i would change - but not many. So I will give you a few pics:

First the church was the most beautiful church I have ever seen:
And then where our flowers....

And of course the bride.....

(her veil was monogrammed.... yes we are southern)

And let me tell you... her family knows how to get down. The Band of Oz was great! And since the wedding was at 5 there was plenty of time to dance dance dance!

There was a beer and bit Thursday night - instead of a sip and see so they didn't have to lug the gifts to the beach which was fine with me.

Friday we had a brides maids luncheon and the rehearsal. Now the rehearsal - the guys had golfed all day and had a few beers. Most where respectful but there was one that was not. I think that may be the biggest understatement of the world. He was so wasted at the rehearsal that he could barely stand up and he started mocking the minister. Thats right mocking the minister. The groom told him that if he acted like that tomorrow that he would be observing the wedding and will not be participating. That night at dinner his wife lead into him - she is very straight laced and it was like the old Joe came out. It was bad. thankfully he straightened up for the actually wedding but we all had a few doubts.

anyway i need to get a good night sleep so i can tackel the stack of work i came back too. more updates tomorrow.


Sorry for being MIA - but I took a week of vacation... if you didn't know your google reader does not count after 1000 unread feeds. It simply says "1000+" so it is going to be a while for me to get through them all. But one of these days when I get caught up on all of my work I will get to them.

So what did i do for a week.... i went island hopping... not at glamorous as it sounds but it was WONDERFUL. First I was at Isle of Palms - i was just there but this time I took a few pics. First where i had my morning coffee while everyone else was still sleeping (internal alarms blow).
And then this is the bedroom that i stayed in, i like to call it the Auburn room (WDE). But i must say these are two colors that I would not normally put together but just lovely!

The second island is to come.... and a wedding and a late night beach story.... yeah I know how

Cliché but it was a fantastic time!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Empty Nest

Sunday night my youngest brother graduated from High School. It was the first time our whole family has been together for an event since Christmas so we were able to get some cute family photos. But it is just so weird that my baby brother is going to be living on his own! Not to mention that he is going to be the 7 hours from home and he leaves to start summer school in less then a month at Ole Miss. I am more in fear of how Mother Mary will be handling this because I cannot handle spur of the moment to trips from her. Hopefully she will visit Middle brother at Auburn and not head down to Florida.

Anyway she now proudly has an Auburn and Ole Miss sticker on her car.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

beating a dead horse

Do y'all ever feel like your life is going in a circle? I can honestly say that the past 9 months I have been living in Limbo. I feel like I tell my friends the same story over and over again - which I am tired of my own story! Work - work out - sleep - repeat. (sometimes I skip the workout - oops)

What has been the most frustrating is that I have been ready to move - SO READY - last summer I went to visit a friend living in Manhattan and ever since i have been dying to mover there. I want to live in that environment, the city that never sleeps.

In the consulting world it is typical to change projects multiple times a year - I have been on the same project for TWO YEARS and I am so over living in Tallahassee. I am ready to be closer to family and friends .... life. So when I was talking to HR I was in the process of rolling off the project that I am currently on to a project in Portland, OR but that all came to a screaching halt. I have been used and abused on this project. So Monday i finally stood up for myself. I asked to be put on travel. Well not all the way but some of it. I aske for half my rent to be paid and to be reimbursed miles. Which that ends up being about $1200 more dollars a month and I got it approved. I am having a dance party in my office!!! So I was extended untill the end of september (read: 13 monthes later then expected) and it seems like there is going to be more opportinites if i just hold on tight....

lovely lamps

Today I was browsing my reader (while I was supposed to be working) when I stumbled upon a profile of Christopher Spitzmiller at All the Best. Living in an apartment has me addicted to lamps. The over head lighting leaves a lot to be desired and I have been in search for some new lamps. Not that i can afford even the cheapest lamp from Christopher Spitzmiller i can still day dream. These red ones are great that Ronda has are so stinking cute!!!
or this silver in a similar shape in a room at Todd Alexander Romano:

Or even these pink ones....

Friday, May 15, 2009

Plywood.... who knew!?!

A while back Jennifer blogged about a lovely plywood wall. I must say that I hasn't totally floored by the idea until recently. Who knew that such an inexpensive material could be turned into something so chic!

I cannot remember for the life of me where I snagged this picture form but I think it is fabulous. The plywood is applied in squares with the grain altering. AND there are finishing details such as a floor board - and crown molding would be a must for it to look like a finished project and not just a DIY gone wrong. I was thinking maybe one wall of a study or mudroom.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Craft update.

A while back I talked about mimicking a paining that I found online. Well since I have a new camera I can now show you what I have done... YAY.

So this is what I painted:

I haven't decided what to do with them yet... or if i even like them but there they are.

I also was inspired by an Athens local artiest: Cecil Allie. I have been searching to find some of her art work online - but I have failed. She is known for her 'chicks' and flowers. It is folk art. my feeling on art is that it has to speak to you... that's it. It does not have cost a lot of money or be technically sophisticated.
Since I am trying to be especially frugal - I tried my hand at a C.Allie inspired artwork. It is a watercolor - and most of cecil's are acrylic and on scrap wood. But I tried.

My other find... yard sale find that is a 8x10 - I wasn't there early but people didn't know what they were missing and the owner didn't know what she had. So I snatched it up.... it was a single red guinea, but not just any guinea is was a Cornbread. Loud and Proud right on the front it displayed the name Cornbread.

I got this guinea for $5.00. SHOCK and AWWW.... I didnt negoticae the cost. Similar paintes are for same for around $200.00. Needless to say I was thrilled.

Cutting edge

.... Well kind of.

I don't know about you but I tend to be a few steps behind when it comes to the latest technology. I don't have a blackberry (I am getting one when i need and upgrade), I got an ipod 2 years ago - which was about 2 years after everyone else and i have had the same camera for 5 years - i used it for one. I haven't uploaded photos in years. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME! I got a new camera - and it is a touch screen. oohhahhh.

so here I am on the edge - new camera with a touch screen. I am going to test it out pronto!!

2 YEARS!?!?

My lovely co-worker (whom also went to my alma mater) proceeded to inform me that we graduated from college exactly 2 years and 1 day ago today. I couldn't help but feel a bit old. It is weird to me that college is becoming somewhat of a distant memory. I can no longer tell people in the workplace that I "recently graduated from college" because 2 years is not exactly recent.

I remember the day that I graduated college. I had my first job lined up and thought I was making a lot of money. I had all these plans. I had a boyfriend whom I thought I was going to marry. Boy how time can change things! I am now single and independent. I bitch at the taxes that get taken out of every paycheck. Paying rent each month is like the biggest kick in the balls.

If there is one thing about college that I could get back, it would be my impulsiveness. In college I would take risks without calculation. It seems that in these 2 years I have somehow lost that ability to take risks. For example, I would love to drop everything and move abroad for a year. If you asked me to do this when I was 21, I didn't/wouldn't have thought twice about it. In fact, I did study abroad and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Now the thought of moving abroad is too expensive, too risky, etc. etc.

So now it raises the it possible to take 'calculated risks' or is it all or nothing?

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I work in an office with a lot of pregnant women. I can say that in my walk downstairs to cafeteria for breakfast this morning, I passed 3 pregnant ladies. It really pains me to have something against a pregnant person because I really want to be happy for them. However, it is not okay for pregnant ladies to wear empire waisted dresses that are not made for maternity!!! I realize that everything out in the stores not is a bit more "flowy" than it used to be. And I also realize that we are in a recession and people really do not want to buy too much.
I wish I had my phone so I could take a picture of this fashion feux-pa that was taking place but let me just try to help you visualize what I saw. She had on a dress like this, and it was almost like she was trying to squeeze a basketball underneath her dress. What she did not realize, was that her dress was not only pulling in the front, but also in the back. You literally could see her panty line and all the glory from the back!

I just want to say that there are several low cost options that would have been more suited than trying to fit a circle inside a square. Target and Old Navy make adorable and affordable maternity clothes. How cute is this!?

Old Navy: $24.50!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Literally Smells

This past weekend I went to Prattville, AL to see my friends new life, home, job, friends for one of her wedding events.

All I have to say is.... I.COULDN'T.DO.IT!

First - not to be a snot - but the only people I talked to the entire weekend who had graduated from college were teachers. No one else.

Second - it smells. all the time. There is a paper mill in Prattville therefore the entire town stinks. My friends new house has a pool out bad were we enjoyed most of our Saturday and i could parly handle sitting out there.

Finally - every one is married with a baby on the way. As i have blogged earlier i am NOT ready for babies. The town is for people who want to live a 'simple' life. We went 'out' saturday to a bunker... cement walls..... yeah... enough said.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is her Sign?

I need to write a full post about last weekend but I honestly have not had time. But I will say it was a blast. I couldn't get enough! Isle of Palms was a wonderful break and I stayed as last as I could and didn't get home until about midnight and had to work the next day. The weather was fantastic and I was even about to get in a workout Friday and Saturday morning.

This is what makes boys cluesless....

As I posted earlier we are going play the game where you ask the guy questions and see how many the bride to be gets right. Well one of the questions was 'What is her sign?' - Bo was confused - and the responce was 'Stop'.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brutally Honest

The one thing about me that all of my friends will say is that I will tell them the truth. Brutally Honest. I will not just say that what you are wearing is ugly or that I don't like your boyfriend but if you ask - expect my honest opinion. One of my coworkers can in to the office with a true butt cut. she had short hair and her bangs are growing out so she is trying to figure out how to handle the 'I need a hair cut' stage. She asked if I liked it - my response was 'I like it the other way much better'. If you don't want to know my opinion don't ask because I am not going to say what you want to hear. I am going to say what I think.

I started to make a list of things that I will never say are 'OK'

First - I think these should be banished for anyone over the age of 8. The Mini Backpack. They are not flattering and if it isn't that heavy/big then carry a normal purse.It makes you look like a 'Fat Guy in a little coat'

My second is the shoes with the straps around the ankle. Unless you are super skinny (PS you suck) and want to make your legs look bigger then shoes with straps around the ankle are OUT!


I tend to vote for a long and slender over short and fat. Maybe I am odd but I just hate them - can't help it. As my arty friends would say 'they don't speak to me' so I will pass and would tell you to as well.

And the past two days - I have seen Both of these way way way too many times. The strapped shoe is more common but the mini backpack - people please!

Music to my Ears

The weather in the ATL has been absolutely beautiful these past few days. I would even venture to say that it is getting hot here in what some call "Hotlanta" (read: most Atlantans make fun of people who say this, but I thought it was fitting). Since the weather is getting warm, one of my most favorite things to do is ride in the car, with the windows down, sun roof open and listen to my favorite summer jams.

I like to think that everyone has one jam that they listen to when their windows are down. A "summer" song or album. My summer album is Garth Brooks' Double Live album. I think I love this album for warm weather driving because it reminds me so much of my college days. I can remember blasting "Calling Baton Rouge" and "Two Pina Coladas" during many spring breaks in college. "Friends in Low Places" is a song that nearly everyone would belt out during parties.

It is funny how when I am in the car I can put on my music and day dream or remember things from the past. It must be because I am always battling Atlanta traffic and have the time on my hands! I always say that every summer there is one hit song that it is stuck in everyone's head. Last summer it was the "I Kissed a Girl Song". Though, I'm not one to kiss girls, I did think that song was catchy. I wonder what the hit song of the summer will be this year....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

People are starting to think I am crazy.

Truth be told: I am not really crazy. But over the past year I have been over emotional. I don't know why I have suddenly been so emotional. Today - I hit my low. I was at the gym spending some quality time on the elliptical and the end of a tennis tournament was on the TV. I have not been watching the tournament, I have no idea who the lady is who won. What I know is that she started cry, gave her parents hugs and the commentary was about how that this was her first major win and having a player show their emotion for all their hard work was very refreshing. So I started too. Crying that is.... at the gym.... YEAH what the hell is wrong with me?!? And I have to tell you this is the second time this week!!! First time was Tuesday, while watching the biggest loser (which was not a good one to workout to - makeover week). But the brown team, father and Son, got to see their wife/mom and son/brother after the had the makeover. The brother that is not on the show is large and he was upset because he felt left out, in his words 'now he is the big one.' He was upset. And he and his brother had a touching moment and I started to cry. CRAZY. I used my sweat towel to wipe my face so that hopefully the people working out around me wouldn't look at me like I am crazy. This is something that has come over me this past year and the only reason that I can point to that caused my overly emotional self.

Almost a year ago a very dear family friend suffered a AVM rupture. She is 27, married, at the time had 6 month old son (he is now 1 and a half) , actress/model, God loving, generous kind woman. Not to get into too many details it is basically like she has a stroke. And after a 16 hour surgery, she miraculous survived. If you would like to read about her story visit this site. It may give you a little different perspective on life.
But anyway her mom started a blog as well.... this is when Southern Belle 1 changes into crazy person at work. That's right - at work. When this first started I was in a cube where there was no privacy and I would have to choke back the tears. Now when she writes a blog I just shut my office door and pretend that I am on the phone. You know like any other will behaved employee. I will say this though it helps me have a more realistic perspective on the day.

Anyway..... I think people are starting to think I am a crazy crier!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's her party

I am counting it down.. in less then 2 week I will be enjoying a lovely weekend at Isle of Palms, SC for one of my best friends from high school's bachelorette party. Not only is it going to be a much needed break for work... because i do that too much... but it will also be a fantastic time catching up with great friends.

Being to domestic goddess that I am, I have been trying to plan the most economical and beautiful spreads for the weekend. I love party planning! Chicken Taco Salads and White Sangria for the first night and who knows what else.

My real problem is trying to come up with creative games to play on the night when we have the lingerie shower. Some of the game as SOOO LAME and while the bride loves games I still want them to be fun for everyone else as well. I think the games where you make the gowns out of tissue paper are will .... awful.

One game that we are going to do is ask the groom a set of questions before hand and then as the bride at the shower. For each that she misses she takes a shot.
Now keep in mind that one of the bridesmaids is the grooms younger sister. So we are trying to avoid the extreamly ackward moment. So the questions about.... What is the most public place that you ever had sex? What is his favorite position? ... will be removed.

But now I am drawing a blank. I need some more game ideas. Bride LOVES this shit and I got nada.

Do any of yall have shower games that were unique - easy to play - all around good fun?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Band of gold

I don't know if it is just my southern conservative upbringing but it really hurts my heart when married adults do not wear wedding bands. There are at least 3 men in my office that never wear a wedding band. I must say, if I was any of their wives I would be pissed. Again, maybe this is me just being southern conservative but i think it is a sign of disrespect to the women (or man) you have said you are going to spend the rest of your life with. Especially when you spend most of your time traveling for work - ie. staying in hotels, hanging out at bars, and not mentioning your wife. Am I just being over sensitive? I don't think so and it really bothers me. I know it shouldn't it is none of my business and it doesn't even affect my work - I can not help it. Get over it SB1!!
On the other hand, I was told in a bar by a guy recently that he is hesitant to talk to ladies that have a ring on their left hand at all. AT ALL!! I have a pearl ring I wear everyday on my left hand.... I love it.... something like this....

But I would not confuse this ring with an engagement ring. His response was that you never know these days.... well if you don't want to talk to be cause you are afraid that I am engaged or married then you aren't worth my time. enter cold hearted bitch mode*

I digress

My new jewelry obsession: Tiffany keys

I am in Love!

I might give myself a birthday present of the Crown key in stirling silver. But we will see....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Porches, Gifts, and Lamps, Oh My!

This past weekend I headed to my home town to attend a wedding shower for one of my oldest friends. It was lovely. The host’s home was very contemporary, which is not really my personal style but I can appreciate the design. But the Porch…. What a porch! I which I had taken more pictures – but here is the flavor….

This is just the covered area - it was seamlessly picture perfect. Needless to say I would be on the porch all the time! There was room for a ‘dance floor’ and two small bar set up and the gifts were placed in a wheel barrow (or around). The host, Sonia owns Sonia Says and used to be an interior designer. Well … it shows. Her eye for creativity was exemplified all over.

Next to the wheel borrow sat the gift that my family and another gave the Bride and Groom. And I must say ‘I want one!’ ….. Very badly. We found this one at a yard sale for a steal!
It was this lamp: But with a shade that looks like this (much better then the white above!)
It is a carerra marble table lamp - The first shape with the black shade.

Is it bad that the only reason that I would want to get married right now is for the gifts? Since, this is not a good enough reason to get married I'll just wait.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What I'm Wearing Today....

"You can never be to fat for your shoes"

I once heard these words of wisdom and I believe that they do in fact describe perfectly my infatuation with shoes. I could be completely discontent with my weight, but somehow, putting on a fabulous pair of high heel shoes instantly makes me feel sexy and confident.
I bought these fabulous shoes this weekend during a sale at Macy's. After seeing these wonderful Nine West heels in various ads, I stalked the internet until they went on sale. Luckily, I had been saving several gift cards from Christmas and was able to buy them without feeling guilty. I mean, after all, we are in a recession, and every purchase has to be thought out and planned. Ha.
Today, on this dreadfully dreary day in Atlanta, I am wearing my fabulous shoes, and I can say that I feel equally as fabulous. Even, though my hair is in a ponytail due to the bed head gods not giving me a break, it doesn't even matter because I've got jazz in my step.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A place to call my own

One of my categories that I have been saving for is my own home. I HATE PAYING RENT!!! My problem isn’t just that I want a $350k home for $150k but even more is that I don’t know what town I want to call home. Oh the life of a single consultant. I want something comfortable some like this...Except without the stroller..... I am so not ready for babies.... I am too selfish right now to take care of another life. I love being able to pass babies off to the appropriate mother when they make a fuss.

And getting back to how I got hooked on blogs.... Personal Finance blogs. I have been saving for some 'home' somewhere at some future date. My goal is to have a 10% down payment in 3 years. While I wish I was ready to buy a place now (buyers market people) I'm not. For so many reasons. I keep thinking maybe I should buy and investment property - beach house anyone?? - but that is just not realistic.

Anyway I found these shelves.

I was thinking how I could make them on my own and just started day dreaming about a house. If I had a house I would make these shelves but there is no point when I have no idea how long I am going to be living in this apartment.

I mean what do you think? They couldn't be that hard to make right? I recently read in southern living about an interior designer who hold the same 'college' mentality that I have. She sees and idea and thinks to herself how she can make it on her own or find something similar cheaper. I love this concept. While I have dreams of having Waterford decanter to sit around - there are some beautiful antiques on Ebay.
This is just not something that needs to be a reality for me right now but a girl can dream.

I feel like I am rambling - and it is late so I am going to call it a night. happy decorating!

Friday, March 20, 2009

ANDDD I'm Back...

So it has been a while since I have posted. I can honestly say that my lack of postings has been due to sheer laziness. My mind has been running a mile a minute no doubt, but I just haven't been able to get those thoughts down...or haven't wanted to I should say. So here it goes...

-The recession is pissing me off. I am so tired of this gloom and doom attitude. I recently interviewed for a promotion within my company. Because the economy is basically in the toilet, there were 10 people interviewing for 1 position. I got the call this week saying I did not get the job but was in the "Top 3". So disappointing. I am annoyed because I know that if we weren't in a recession, I probably would have gotten the job. The manager told me to job shadow because there are probably going to look to hire in Q4. Q FREAKING 4. Awesome. I just hate knowing that I was on the cusp of getting this job. Everything happens for a reason and unlike many I actually have a job so I know I shouldn't complain. Ok enough about that.

-Now onto a juicy work topic. I have a co-worker who is having an affair with a married man. She is seeking my advice and telling me how miserable she is. I cannot seem to listen to her problems without judging her. Ladies, I don't care what anyone says....he will never leave his wife and you never want to be the other woman. Infidelity and adultery are sins in my book and I just cannot listen to her story anymore. To me, what she is doing is wrong and it is making my work environment tense because I simply cannot look at her the same. How do I be a good friend/confidant when I do not agree with ones decisions? A difficult struggle I am having here.

-I have spring fever. Bad.

-I really want to loose 10 pounds before wedding season begins. Anyone from the South can relate to why a single girl wants to look good at someone else's wedding. You never know who you could meet....

That's all I have right now....I am planning on getting better at posting.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting with the program

My junior and senior year of high school I decided to do weigh watcher. It was great, since then I have been on and off the program but I must get back on. I am officially the biggest I have even been and all I can say is that it is embarrassing. I hate seeing pictures of myself and I don't think I look like my self.... AT ALL. Now at 23 (almost 24) I am going to get back into the swing of things and find myself again. The key for me is writing down everything... everything. Ramit over at has a book coming out and the other day I was ready pieces of chapter 1. Why Ramit was trying to make a point about saving money where is comparing saving to gaining/loosing weight. (I ordered his book I think it is going to be great for people my age)
I digress....

The point is that saving money is like weight control - it doesn't happen over night but when we diligently work and overtime we will achieve our desired results. I really liked this analogy - to the point. He also states that writing down a budget is just as important as writing down what you eat and I couldn't agree more.

the finance major that I am likes black and white.

So I started to look around online to try to find some others going through the weight watchers journey to find some motivation. I found Mrs. Classic. She talks about her journey thought ups and downs of weight gain and loss - finding motivation and weight loss tips. A few days ago she posted about planning out her points so that she doesn't look aimlessly in the frig and end up making a bad choice. Keep up the good work Mrs. Classic!!

I bought a journal and I am going to write down that enters my mouth so that I can calculate the points.

I am also going to work on planning my meals ahead of time so that I don't crash and burn at night when I make it home after hours and hours of work.

How depressing……

I think that this pictures says is best…


Not that I am going to be using this money at time soon but it is just depressing that I have earned more on my savings account then I have on my 401(k)

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Extra Paycheck

Now I normally don't consider paycheck as 'extra money' but recently my company changed accounting practices and now I receive 26 paychecks a year rather then 24. At first I noticed that my bank account balance was less then normal but I have adjusted. In April I have a three paycheck month - yippee!!!

Now here should I put the extra money? Emergency Fund? Travel Fund? House Fund? Moving Fund? Gift Fund?

any advice?

I think that I am going to put about $500 in my gift fund then I will have that much to spending on all the weddings/showers I have this summer. I am in one wedding and already know of two others that I need a gift for. The two that I am not in may just get a gift instead of being graced with my presence because they are about 5 hours away and lets face it - I doubt I will be able to make it.


But then I get to day dreaming about homes and decorations.... but that's another post.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hotel Living....

For the past month I have been living in hotels. Sometimes i am fortunate enough to stay at the same place for a few days - but the weeks that really get to me are those weeks with a different hotel every night. Plus driving between towns.... exhausting!!

Tonight I am in Orlando - enjoying a glass of Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio - my favorite - but lets face it, I am way to cheap... no.... frugal to spend $25 for a bottle of wine when I can get a giant bottle of Bella Sera for $13. But when I travel by myself I tend to splurge a little becuase actually I don't know why - because I deserve it!

I have been working 80-100 hour weeks - hence the lack of posts - and I am so ready for this project to wrap up.... well am i? I feel like SO MANY people I know are loosing there jobs these days that i need to just be thankful that i have a job.

Even bloggers like Laura have felt the impact of the recession. Congratulation Laura on your new job!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


it has been a while.....

and it will be a little while longer....

this will be the fourth weekend in a row that I have to work... that's right fourth.

But with the current state of the economy I am thankful I have a job. I really do love my job there are just times when the 90 hour weeks start to drive you MAD.

I spoke with HR this week as well - I was supposed to roll off my current project in august.... yes august. And to my shock I received a new roll off date of March 2 - LOOONNNGGGG story short. Part of the response - 'we would like to extend you in FL. Ideally, that would be the best scenario since there are fewer openings across the board right now. Given your flexibility though, it does make it a lot easier.'

So maybe I will be here in the south when it gets warm enough to sit out in the sun in February.

PS. the art project that I worked on turned out - ummmm - OK. They kind of look child-like but I think with a good black mat behind them they could turn out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Finding my Passion

Last week I happened to catch the Oprah Winfrey episode with the Olsen Twins. The episode was very interesting because I rarely take anything away from watching Oprah. I get a bit annoyed by her attitude that she is God and is inspiring the world. However, she made a statement that somewhat stimulated my mind. Not necessary inspired my mind, but stimulated.

She was discussing the start-up of the Olsen Twins' fashion line and how they got started. They stated that they simply just loved fashion and it made them want to join the industry. Oprah then said that "One should focus on their passion and turn it into a profession" That statement really got me thinking about what my passions really were.

Lately I am starting to wonder where I need to go in my professional career. Can your passions be confused for your loves/likes? For example, I love shoes and fashion. Does that mean that I need to try and find a career in the fashion industry? When I entered college, my love of travel inspired me to major in International Business and focus on Spanish. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, I lost sight of actually using my major and skills in order to just simply find a job.

And now, I am sitting in a cubicle and have not used my Spanish for anything other than evesdropping on the hispanics in grocery store line. (Sometimes I like what they are saying, and other times I don't) I am not passionate about what I am doing and am confused about where to go from here. I am also starting to wonder if it is worth it in this struggling economy to take a step back and evaluate/find my passions?

Reflection starts now. Passion, is it the same as liking/enjoying something? How do I translate my passion into a career? Someone should really write a book on this.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Retirement is a long way away...

The first genre of blogs that I became obsessed with were blogs about Personal Finance. I was so interested to see how people save and spend their money. Since I am part of a generation that will most likely not receive a dime of Social Security, I am very conscious of the importance of "starting early" and saving for retirement.

I decided that I should set a few financial goals for myself for 2009. Here are some of my goals:
-Save 6 months worth of an emergency fund. *This meaning that if I lost my job, I would have 6 months of expenses saved up, separate from my savings. Currently, I have about 3 months saved.
-Start at $500 gift fund. I have several weddings to attend this year and will most likely need a cushion to buy all their gifts. In case you didn't know, bridal registries can be outrageous!
-Take the GMAT. Now I know this is not an actual monetary item. However, going to Grad School is proven to increase your worth to employers, thus increasing your salary and net worth. And since the company that I currently work for offers tuition reimbursement, I think it would be worth it to think about Grad School at some point.
-Reduce the amount of money spent on groceries and eating out. Lately my grocery bills have been outrageous. I think it is because I have a problem of going to the grocery store hungry and then I leave the store with a cart full of ice cream sandwiches and Doritos. That's a story for a different day.

On a lighter note, I stumbled across this article for anyone that banks with Bank of America. If you were charged an overdraft fee between '00 and '07, you may be eligible to receive $78 from a recent settlement. Fortunately, I fall into this category. I attended college during a portion of that time frame. And just about every college student overdraws at some point in their college career because they all need to feed their need for pitchers of beer. Read the article here.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Whew! I have to say, for a short week, it has felt like it has dragged on forever! Since this week was a more newsworthy week I decided to title this post “Headlines” and comment on some of the news tidbits I enjoyed reading this week.

-Fortune Magazine released its list of the “Top 100 Companies to Work For.” Nine of the companies on the list are Georgia based companies. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “working here is just peachy” (like the pun). I guess maybe there is hope that the South will rise again? Ha.

-I cannot do a headlines post without commenting on the inauguration. I give the Obama girls the “best dressed” award because they were wearing Crew Cuts, and I am a BIG J.Crew aficionado. All in all, I have to say that I was impressed with the inauguration. Though politically, my views do not completely align with President Obama, I support him as our nation’s leader and am hopeful for the future. There I said it. We can keep track of our President’s work on the “First 100 Days” site on

-The Oscar Nominations were announced yesterday. I realized that I need to get my butt in line and see some of these movies that everyone has been talking about. The 2 movies at the top of my list are The Reader and Revolutionary Road. I love Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet. Slumdog Millionaire looks funny as well. Maybe I just need to spend a day alone at the movies. I have never been to the movies alone before. It would be a big step.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I heart money

You can call me shallow but I do, I heart money. This time of year tends to be the time when you are paying off credit cards with Christmas presents (hopefully you have one with rewards – and you pay it off every month) – bills still stink. Yesterday I was lucky enough to get a reminder of how much money I have earned – will kind of. I would for a public company and in addition to our 401k, we also have the opportunity to buy company stock. Up to 2% of your salary will be met by the company. So naturally I buy 2% and instantly get 100% return on my money – pretty sweet right. I mean who is going to miss 2% - not me. So yesterday in the misted of all the bills and thank you notes, I received a statement reminding me of how quickly that money adds up. Granted – just like everyone else – our stock is down so this year I lost about $600 but there is still more there then I put in and next year I just expect it to grow.

But I many be able to be talked into splurging on a trip. I mean those are good for your mental well being.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Time to be a grown up

I recently received a promotion – well kind of – it is more a new title and responsibilities without more money. I have been looking at it as a resume building opportunity. So now that I have taken over responsibilities I have learned that my old lead pretty much sucked. She wanted to be in charge to say later down the line that she helped out – or that thinks would have fallen apart with out her – but it reality she was only doing what mattered in the moment and all the other things she would brush under the rug until the last second. Well now I am head cleaning up her mess… LUCKY ME!

Lessons learned

1) Ask for help if you need it – better to do it right the first time (or even at all)

2) Leave things completed – or at least with a solid start.

Venting Over.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Warming up my ‘Home’

I think that feeling comfortable in your home is one of the events that must happen before you can call where you live your Home. From one workaholic to another it is very important to me to come home and have a place where I feel relaxed. I want a place where I can continue to work as needed but having my own person time it very important for my emotional well being. Whether it is curing up on the couch to watch The City (I am so jealous I want to live there!!!) or enjoying a glass of wine while catching up with friends or rolling out the yoga mat to do some ‘yoga’ it is important to feel like it is your own. The best way that I know to accomplish this is to put art work up. Now reality check – I am 23 – money to spend on artwork it not a luxury that I have; therefore I find what I like that is simple and I make my own.
So I found this on another blog the other day (I can remember which) and I decided that I would try to make it.
Looks easy enough right… I will let you know how the project turns out. My living room is Brown/Blue/Green so I thought that the yellow would be a nice pop but I may try to make a few different colors and see which I like best.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter Blues

This morning I busted out the heaviest sweater I own, because it’s actually getting cooler here in Atlanta. January is always a down month for me. The holidays and college football season are both over, leaving me with nothing exciting to do/watch. In the midst of my January Blues, I decided to Google things that make me hopeful for Spring.....

Don’t Tulips just make you happy….most certainly not filler flowers like Carnations!

I desperately want to find a fabulous maxi dress for Spring/Summer….possibly this one from Nordstrom.

I will vacation in one of these someday...

My January Blues also result in what I call "Make-Believe Travel Planning." I frequently visit Farecast and plan imaginary trips to places I want to go. Recently, I planned virtual trips to San Antonio, Seattle, and Costa Rica. One of these days I will get to all my Make-Believe places of interest.
On the bright side, at least I'm not living in a place like Minnesota, where the wind chill is -25. I would most certainly go into Winter Depression if I lived there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hello, my name is Southern Belle and I am an addict.

Part of my daily routine I stop at the gas station across the street from my office to get a great cup of coffee. Yes there is a Starbucks right next door – but I am being frugal. And spending $5 a day is a lot for coffee. But I do love coffee. I enjoy the ritual and the caffeine. Why don’t I just get a cup from my office you ask? The answer is simple – the coffee at work sucks. People don’t know how to make coffee. Two scoops of coffer per cup of water = my gag reflex is intact. I even asked our office manager to order the coffee that comes in packets so they don’t have to measure. That failed.

Being my frugal self I tried giving up my morning coffee. I mean even thought it is less the $2 those dollars add up quickly. So I made my cup at my apartment before I left for the office but I am too rushed to enjoy it. After three days, I started getting awful headaches which cannot be relieved by any amount of medicine. Does anyone else get blinding headaches when they don’t have enough caffeine? So I am trying to do something health for my body as well and I have been really good giving up my daily diet coke – coffee is my vice. I am trapped into drinking it every day because otherwise I am not worth diddily at work. I want to go back to bed and sleep off this headache.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's Wedding Season

As I am sure that most of you know, the months of April through August are commonly known as "Wedding Season" here in The South. Mostly because no one in their right mind wants to get married during the fall, otherwise known as college football season. The thought of getting married on a Saturday in the fall while your team could be playing their biggest opponent is just unfathomable. Unfortunately, since I am 24, I have several friends that are starting to get married. Bitches. Just kidding. I really am happy for them. It is just not the kind of thing that I want for myself.

I am in a wedding of a childhood friend in May, and this week I got the most inappropriate/tacky email I have ever received. This week, the future sister-in-law of the bride (whom I will call X) sends an email to the ENTIRE bridal party to enlighten them on a brilliant idea. This brilliant idea is to do a Biggest-Loser Wedding Edition. Yes, that's right, I said it.

Now I am sure that some of you working girls out there are familiar with the biggest loser office edition. It is becoming quite popular in the corporate world. In a short description, it basically is a pool and whomever loses the most weight gets the pot of cash. The rules are that you must weigh in with a witness and weigh in every week.

In an office setting, I feel that the biggest loser is a little more acceptable because you are not competing with people that are your best friends. In a wedding setting, I feel that it is completely inappropriate.

Weddings can be a little caddy because most of the time the bridesmaids know each other. There are always some bridesmaids that want to go out of their way and there are some that just want to show up in the heinous dress that is picked out for them and call it a day. In this situation, I looked like the bridesmaid that wanted to show up in the heinous dress because I chose not to participate in the biggest loser. I don't like the idea of everyone competing to get skinny for someone else's cause. I should be getting skinny so I can fit into that fabulous pair of jeans that you hope to wear again, not for a wedding.

I also feel like it Bride X's way of trying to get her bridesmaids to get skinny before her wedding. Tacky, tacky. I kinda picture this little contest to be like the episode of The Office when they participated in the biggest loser. Bride X is definitely going to be Kelly Kapoor because lets face it, she can't imagine anyone looking skinnier than her on her wedding day.

I am going to continue my workouts because lets face it, bathing suit season is coming up and I really do not want to sport the one piece with a skirt. But, if I had a trainer and could lose weight like Jessica Alba, then I would be eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts up until the hour before her wedding, ...just to prove the point that you choose your bridesmaids on the person they are on the inside, not what they look like on the outside.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thou shall not burn bridges.

Thank goodness I was raised in the south* where we tend to have an obsession with thank you notes to the point where it is essential to our pure breed make up. Even though I may be very late sending the sentiment it is still sent – which is the most important part. Right?

So tell me – in the business world is it normal to give a gift to your coworkers when they leave? Well I have been. I don’t know if it is ‘normal’ or acceptable but I did. As I mentioned before – I am a consultant – and I have learned a lot in the past year and a half. The one of the most important bits it to not get attached to anyone because people are going to change projects and I will be left to deal with it. One of the main attractions to this job from college was that I would be moving and traveling and figuring out where I fit best. With that being said, I didn't take into consideration that the people I would be working with would also be traveling and moving. My parents aren't in the ‘business world’ my mom is a mom and dad is a doctor, therefore, they have very little insight into what is customary business behavior (if there even really is such a thing).

Why am I somewhat compulsive about gift giving and thank you note writing? I want to build a good work relationship with the people who can write me recommendations and who I could possibly work with later. I also don’t was to come across as unprofessional or naive. But for now I am going to keep on going – writing some bull on a note to those that have more experience and connections then I do.

And then there is this one team lead, she to is a GRITS and while I took over her responsibilities when she left (post on that to come- let me tell you there will be some bitching) she can make people think she is the best at what she does – without actually do anything. It has been almost a month and I finally got around to mailing her gift – just a small piece of pottery from a southern artist that I have been collecting for a while. You have a year after a wedding to send the gift – how long do you have to a thank-you-for-all-you-contributed-to-the-project gift? I took a month.

*For those of you who don’t know…GRITS = Girls Raised In The South

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Belle of the Blog

Hey Y’all!

I will begin my first ever blog post by introducing myself. I am Belle2. I am a twenty-something gal from Atlanta that enjoys southern cooking, having a nice glass of wine (or six), socializing with friends, and being outdoors…all while trying to figure out what my next and hopefully fulfilling career move will be.

My work life is one that MOST people would love to have. Please notice how I emphasize “most.” I work from home a couple of days a week for a major beverage company in the supply chain industry. I am still in my first job out of college because like Belle1, I wouldn’t settle on graduating without some sort of post-collegiate plan. Whereas in this economy I should be thanking my stars that I actually HAVE a job, I can’t help but feel a little discontent. I think it is just typical of people my age or at least I’m telling myself that. J

Belle1 and I started this blog as part of our year of change. I just had a birthday in December and decided that 2009 was going to be the year of ME. It is time for me to take on the typical role of a millennial and be a little selfish this year. My New Year’s resolution is to discover new things in both my city of residence and in my life. (AKA trying to get my life together. JK. Sorta.) I am being a bit vague when I say city of residence because along with figuring out my life, I really want to move to NYC. Most probably think I am crazy for wanting to move to that concrete island in the North, but I want to move there basically so I can say I have experienced it. Other than studying abroad in college, I have never really lived anywhere outside of the south. I think it would teach me a few things, like how to drink unsweet tea. I am going to spend this next year trying to figure it all out and invite comments and suggestions (hopefully constructive).

Can I also mention that I never in a million years thought that I would start a blog?! I discovered blogging while I was bored at work and have been hooked ever since.

WOW... we are starting a Blog

Hi…. I am southern belle one.

Ok, introductions aside and on to the ‘get-to-know-you’ portion. I am a twenty something, Dave Ramsey following, self proclaimed do it your-selfer, make-up loving, slightly design-obsessed southerner that is trying to loss the ‘consulting 20’ (and avoid the next 20) while keeping my sanity by taking life one step at a time. I can honestly say that I truly under-estimated how much I was going to miss my care free college days. Working allows me to be independent to a fault – which I love. While Mom and Dad will always be there for me if I fall flat on my face, I have leaned enough on them in the past 20 some odd years. This brings us to the job – the treasure that allows me self -sufficiency.

The job. I was determined to have a job lined up by the time I graduated. The last thing that I wanted to do was graduate college and move home. While I love my parents very much, for my own sanity I could never move home. Believe me it is oh so tempting when you add up all the money that I could have saved, but no reason to dwell on the past. I digress. While interviewing, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. So I went to the career fair and walked up to as many of the tables and landed as many interviews that I could fit into my schedule and prayed. I was offered the perfect job for someone who doesn’t really know what they want to do. Consultants. I don’t even know what to say about us. Sometimes you can move from project to project in a matter of months and other times you settle into a project for a longer period of time. I have been working for the same project since I started. It has been nice to adjust to the working world in one place but I am getting restless. Since June I have been waiting on the edge of my seat to be told where I am going next. I am dying to move to NYC. After a recent breakup after 4 years I realized that today is the day. If I don’t get the ball rolling now to pursue my dream of living in The City then it will never come true. I have told HR that this is the only place that I would relocate. So now I wait and wait until I am about to leave the current project.

Now let’s move on to what is more interesting. Why a blog? Do I really have time for this? Shouldn’t I just talk to my friends and families about my issues? Well let’s face it – sometimes it is just easier to tell a stranger about your problems. Plus you can solicit advice and receive and honest unbiased opinions. This is also a great place to come and not be judged.

Chat Soon,

Belle One