Friday, April 20, 2012

15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy

As you all know I am home visiting my parents and their computer is a bit wonky if you know what a mean. They just bought a nice new Mac but Dad thinks my blog stuff ruins it and brings viruses (lame) so I have to use the old one- which sucks ass for picture uploading. So be prepared for few (really just one) pictures my friends!   We will be back to normal Monday!

Btw what happened to blogger? Wowza took me awhile to figure things out this morning!

I just finished reading The Happiness Project, which I highly recommend.

It has made me rethink alot things about my life and do things differently. Shortly after I finished it I came across this article and really related to/liked it. I am not trying to get too deep or preachy but this article was a great read and gave me several things to think about. So enjoy, it is worth reading or I would not post!

**If I am being totally honest I really related to numbers 6 and 8. I never knew I was a complainer til I married Matt and he has made me realize how much of a complainer I am. It is something I am really trying to change. Nobody wants to hang out with someone who is constantly complaining. And as for number 8 I think we all get wrapped up in trying to impress others. I know I do all the time. But the older I have gotten I realize that is not really important at all. I have learned to be true to myself- somedays are easier than others:)**

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

Article via

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ann Taylor Revamped

I have to admit I have not stepped foot in an Ann Taylor store probably since Junior High. I am in Charlotte this week visiting my rents and my mom wanted to stop in today to show me a dress she liked. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. I think they are trying to revamp their image. They now have Kate Hudson as their model who I really like. They had some great neon stuff in the store for way better prices than most boutiques around town. I used to think AT was just for older women but I was proven wrong.

Both my mom and got this blouse, it is on sale plus you get an additional 30% percent off. I love navy blouses because they go with everything.

ok and does anyone think this model really looks exactly like Courtney from The Bachelor (Ben's Season)?? Just saying. Tell me you don't agree....

This is not a clear picture but I promise this blouse fits super well and looks cute.

I also picked up this dress.

And excuse my horrific roots in this picture. My hair needs to be colored bad! I thought the dress was super cute and such a great color. I figured I could dress it up or even wear it to church. I knew I had made the right decision when I saw Eva Longoria wearing the same dress!

A few other things I really liked:
Neon Marquis Stretch Bracelet, Lace Shirt, Riley Patent Strappy Sandels

Ann Taylor is rocking it this season.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Summer Corn Cakes With Tomato Avocado Salsa

You might remember WayWay posting this recipe a few weeks ago. I think we both made it the same night! I originally saw it on Pinterest but then realized I own the cookbook it was from. It comes from Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen and if you don't own a Sara Foster Cookbook you should. I own all 4 of her books and they are my absolute favorite cookbooks. She opened a restaurant called Fosters Market in Chapel Hill that was my favorite place to eat while I was in college. It was always filled with the best salads, homemade breads, dips and sandwiches. I still dream about that place now that I no longer live in Chapel Hill but her first cookbooks are filled with all the recipes from there.

This is the perfect light and refreshing Summer dinner. I made them one night when Matt was working late because he all know he hates meatless meals. It was delicious and if you wanted to add meat I think it would be killer with grilled shrimp or some fresh crabmeat. The avocado relish really made the cakes. It was the perfect combo of flavors and paired wonderfully with the corn cakes. Two cakes plus some white wine equals the perfect summer dinner!

Summer Corn Cakes with Chopped Tomato and Avocado Salsa
Adapted from “Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen”
Makes about 12 large cakes; serves 6 to 8

3 ears corn, shucked
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (If you can only find cornmeal mix, skip the baking powder.)
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Canola oil, for frying
Chopped Tomato and Avocado Salsa (recipe follows)

1.Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a brown paper bag.

2.Cut the corn from the cobs into a large bowl, and scrape the stripped cobs with the back of the knife (or a spoon) to release the juices into the bowl.

3.Place 2 cups of the corn kernels into a food processor, and pulse several times, until the corn is slightly pureed but still chunky. Scrape into the bowl with the remaining corn kernels.

4.Add flour, cornmeal, onion, basil, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper to the corn. Stir to mix.

5.Add the eggs, buttermilk and butter, and stir just to combine. (Do not overmix.)

6.Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough canola oil to barely cover the bottom, and heat until sizzling hot.

7.One heaping tablespoon at a time, scoop the batter into the skillet. Cooking in batches of 4 to 5 to avoid overcrowding, fry the cakes 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown.

8.Drain on the lined baking sheet, and place in the oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining corn cakes. Serve warm topped with a heap of Chopped Tomato and Avocado Salsa.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Now that the weather has been warm here we have been spending alot of time outdoors and at the beach. I think a sun hat looks so chic. I picture this with my black strapless one piece. It is a steal from The Gap of all places!

This is my latest lunch obsession. I make a batch at the beginning of the week and then eat it all week long for lunch. I usually serve it with hummus, pita chips, and sauteed kale. All you have to do is add hot water to the mix and let it sit for 30 mins. I always add fresh lemon juice, olive oil, chopped tomato, onion, and fresh mint to mine. This salad is so good!

I just got this book and love it. It is filled with interviews with so many great people like DVF, Lauren Hutton and MK and Ashley. It is gorgeous coffee table book.

I heart these shorts. I only own plain jean shorts and I am looking to spice up my shorts wardrobe this summer. Would you believe I never owned a pair of shorts til after I had Sterling! I never thought I was a shorts type of girl. But now I love them. I think this Tibi pair is perfect because they would be cute for running errands with a white tee or dressed up with a blouse and heels!

I have really been into statement necklaces lately. I love this one and it is only $24! The white would go with everything!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Must Drink Cocktail + Our Weekend

I have to share with you the tastiest cocktail ever. One of my readers (Thanks Mandy) emailed me a recipe for an Elderflower Martini. I made them Friday night for my sister and I and we both loved them! It was such a fun new cocktail to try! Elderflower Liquor is so good. It is a little sweet and normally I don't like sweet drinks but the acidity of the lemon and grapefruit really helped to cut the sweetness down. We both happily went back for seconds.

ELDERFLOWER MARTINI (makes two cocktails)
4 shots Vodka
half a grapefruit squeezed
2 shots St Germain Elderflower Liquor
1 lemon juiced
Shake all in a martini shaker and enjoy.

If you aren't familiar, this what Elderflower Liquor looks like. It is a flavored liquor and so tasty. I think it would also be delish in champagne.

Here we are enjoying our martinis!

On Saturday night we had a sprinkle for my dear friend Caycee. She is due in 3 weeks and looks amazing! She is having a baby girl and couldn't be more excited! I wish I had taken more pictures but she got the cutest gifts.

My little man is obsessed with sunglasses. He wants to wear them all the time. He even accosted a little girl at the park trying to take her glasses.

If you need a new activity to try with your kids try shell painting. My friend Erin told me about this idea and Sterling loved it. We went to beach Saturday and collected shells and then sat outside and painted them. I always save old egg cartons to use to squirt the paint in, keeps the colors separated and works great. Sterling still keeps saying "paint shells." Kept him occupied for a little which was nice:)

Piperlime is having 20 percent off the whole site today, so go get your shop on!
I am thinking about getting this maxi dress. It is only $69, so with the additional 20 percent off it will be a real steal.
Ark and Co Colorblock Maxi Dress

I also really want this Michael Stars maxi dress. I love Michael Stars dresses. They fit so well and you can wash them (I hate dry cleaning it is so expensive). They have alot of stretch in them too, so you preggers girls could totally wear them now and later. This dress comes in turquoise and orange which color do ya'll like best?
Michael Stars Smocked Strapless Maxi

Can you tell I love a Maxi Dress? I live in them during the Summer! Happy Monday, hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Look For Less: Color Block Maxi Dress

I blogged about this super cute Splendid Dress last week. And while it is a pretty good price for a maxi dress I found an even better deal!

I honestly think I like this dress even better because it doesn't cut off right at the hips. It would look so cute with a belt or a statement necklace. Consider her mine.

And speaking of Forever 21 I picked up this cute dress in the store. I could not find it online yet but it is currently in the King Street store. It came with a belt but I ditched because it looked cheapo. It is a great mustard yellow color and I see myself wearing it all summer. It has such a loose easy fit!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thoughts For Friday

I am so excited because this weekend is the opening of the Calypso St Barth store in Charleston! I am sad because I had to miss the opening party last night. Having a kid plus a husband that works late= I never get to go to things!
I bought this cover-up/dress at the Chicago Calypso store years ago and I still love it.
Cool Change Pull On Mini

And these are two things I have my eye on in the new store:

Hanne Bloch One-Piece, Irene Ikat Skirt,

I think I want to buy a Popsicle maker for Sterling. My GF told me that she uses the leftover juice from her juicer to make pops for her son. She said he will even eat beet/veggie ones. This is genius to me since Sterling has a major aversion to most vegetables. I looked at the ZOKU one at Williams Sonoma but did not buy it. I would prefer one that would make more pops at once. But then again maybe I don't need to make that many all at once. Any recommendations? Anyone own the ZOKU?

I am hooked on this Citrus Kale salad I made for lunch the other day. Several of you asked what was in it so here is the recipe. The dressing is so good and the citrus in it helps cut the bitterness of the kale. I added fresh shreds of Parmesan to mine.

I am finally finishing up the Hunger Games books. I am on the third book, sad for it to end but this one has not been nearly as good as the first two. Next on my reading list is Fifty Shades of Gray. I keep hearing about this book and want to see what all the hype is about.

I also picked up Hoda's biography. I have kind of been obsessed with her ever since she was on Bethenny plus I love the third hour of the Today Show with her and Katie Lee. Hoda seems so sweet and down to earth, can't wait to read her story.

What are your thoughts on denim shirts? I really dig the look in picture (I think it might be Emily Maynard) but I can't get past the fact that I used to wear denim shirts in like 8th grade. Are they still cool?

I have my eye on this one by Joie. Thinking it would look cute with my colored jeans, white jeans, or black jeans.
Joie Pinot Denim Shirt

Sterling has been on Spring Break all week. I never realized how much I needed those 3 hours every Tuesday/Thursday morning. It has been a long week. and this quote is too true around here (applies to the husband too)!

Have a great weekend!