Monday, January 21, 2013

Music Monday: Merry Go 'Round by Kacey Musgraves

I'm bringing back Music Monday!  It's been a while since I've blogged about a song, but music is constantly 'speaking' to me, so it's time that I pick back up.

Today's featured song is "Merry Go 'Round" by Kacey Musgraves.  The first time I heard this song, I only caught the tail end of it, and I thought "Well, that's, um, interesting."  It was definitely not "love at first listen" for me. Then, I started hearing it more, and I really listened to the words.
If you ain't got two kids by 21,
You're probably gonna die alone
At least that's what tradition told you.
And it don't matter if you don't believe,
Come Sunday morning you best be there
In the front row, like you're s'posed to.
Those words definitely ring true to me.  I've definitely been feeling the societal pressures of kids and marriage for the past few years.  I've written about it here before, and I'm sure that it will come up again. But what I think this song really talks about is the struggle to break the cycle of "settling" that so many people, especially in small towns, get stuck in.
We get bored so we get married
And just like dust we settle in this town.
It tackles topics such as addiction and adultery that often plague families, but oftentimes aren't discussed, and how families in small town America are often more a like than different.
Same hurt in every heart.
Same trailer, different park.
Mamas hooked on Mary Kay
Brothers hooked on Mary Jane
And Daddy's hooked on Mary two doors down.
The instrumentation (don't you love these very technical music terms I'm using?  Music class might be paying off, after all) is wonderful...very reminiscent of "old school" country music with its banjos and acoustic feel. I love the tie in of nursery rhymes.  It paints the picture that this is the lifestyle that you are indoctrinated with from a young age.

This is becoming one of my favorite songs!  What are you listening to over and over this Monday?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Volunteering at the Food Bank

I first became involved with the Greenville, NC Branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina when I became a member of the Junior Women's Association.  My first volunteer experience there was during Kid's Day. Spending 2 hours of my Saturday morning with kids sorting through pallets of potatoes was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life.

My first Kid's Day was in 2011, right after Hurricane Irene hit North Carolina.  There were only a few kids there that day, but the ones that showed up to volunteer were so precious.  They were a group of children from a neighborhood that had set up a lemonade stand to raise money for the Food Bank.  They raised over $200!  Then, they came to volunteer to see first hand how their money would help local families.  Our activity for the day was bagging potatoes.  We basically had to dig through gigantic bags of potatoes, weed out the rotten ones, and bag them in smaller, family-sized portions.  This is not a task for the nervous stomach! However, these kids went right to work and actually enjoyed what they were doing.  They made comments like "This bag will feed a big family!"  They didn't complain the whole time and kept saying how happy they were to be helping out.  It was amazing to see a group of children that were so willing to do something to help other people.

When I got home that day, I looked at the Food Bank's website and saw that they have a Social Media Ambassador Program.  I knew that this was something that I could get behind. I love Social Media, so why not use it to spread the message of the Food Bank and to help out. I haven't been as active on my blog, but I do tweet a lot, and share things on Facebook about the Food Bank.  I'm sure there will be more blog posts about the Food Bank coming this year.

Last weekend, I volunteered for another Kid's Day.  This time, there a lot more kids there.  A lot of them were in high school, but there were some younger ones there too.  One family, drove from Emerald Isle, which is about 2 hours away for their son to volunteer.  Greenville is only one of 3 branches that has a Kid's Day opportunity.  This time, we were also sorting and bagging potatoes. I took pictures this time so that you can get a better understanding of the massive amount of potatoes I'm talking about. The potatoes have to be brought into the sorting room by a forklift.  They are donated by some of the Food Bank's many partners, such as farms and corporate partners.

We then work on sorting through the potatoes and bagging them to be distributed to the Food Bank's partner agencies, which then give them to needy families. The rotten potatoes are thrown in a waste bin, and the good ones are bagged in mesh bags. (Be glad that you can't smell this bin... it's not pleasant!)

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves 34 counties (that's about 1/3 of our state), and the Greenville Branch serves 10 counties.  The numbers of people that are suffering from hunger are alarming.  Current statistics state that 560,000 people in those 34 counties wonder where their next meal will come from, and 190,000 of those are children.  Last year, 45 million pounds of food was distributed to partner agencies by the Food Bank.  It is amazing how the Food Bank can stretch a dollar!  For every $1 donation, the Food Bank can provide $10 worth of food, or 5 meals.  

If you are local, please consider donating to, or volunteering at the Food Bank.  If you aren't local, find a Food Bank in your area and get involved.  No one should have to go hungry in this country.  I'm sure that there were 100 things that those kids could have been doing on a Saturday morning, but they chose to spend a couple of hours giving back.  We should learn from their example! 

I love being involved with the Food Bank! It is truly a rewarding experience.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Color Change

My hair was in serious need of some color.  My sister is a hair stylist so I can normally just get my hair done whenever. But lately, our schedules have been busy and whenever I had time to get it done, she was tied up. My hair had not been colored since July. I don't think I've ever been that long without at least a touch up.  In October, I did get a perm to give my hair some curls/waves, but even that is kind of gone now.  Not only did my hair desperately need some color.. a trim was definitely in order as well.  Well, Friday, the stars finally aligned, and I was able to get my hair done!

This is how I went into the salon... Notice that my hair is pulled up in a ponytail/bun... this is 90% of the time.

When I took it down, it looked awful! This is my "Can you believe I have 3 inch roots?!" face: 

The last time that we did my hair, I decided to go as close as possible to my natural color so that I wouldn't have to get it done all the time... no highlights to touch up or anything. But as you can tell from the picture above, we may have let it go without maintenance for a little too long.  This time though, I wanted a change... something different.  With a sister who does hair, I've had my hair done many many times and in lots of different colors. I used to be really particular about her doing my hair. Now, I just tell her something I'm thinking about and then tell her to pick whatever will look decent. 

I had been looking on Pinterest for ideas, but nothing really caught my eye.  I knew that I wanted red in there somehow, but I wasn't quite sure how.  My hair is naturally dark, so going lighter really wouldn't look that great on me.  Kimberly over at A Little of This recently colored her hair a lighter shade of red, and I commented that I had been thinking about adding red to my hair.  Her response was "do it!"  So, when my sister asked what color I wanted to do, I told her something with red but not like fire engine red.  She picked a color and I trusted her decision.  (I'm horrible at making those by the way.)

That's what the color mixed in the bowl. Definitely not red... but I've done this enough to know that mixed color never turns out the same color. 

Here we go!

Then, she had to go mix another tube of color because my hair is thick and long that it takes more than 1.  This picture was while she was mixing more. 

Finally, she got it all on, and I had to sit for 35 minutes looking like this: 

But it was worth the wait, because once it had processed, was washed, blow dried and flat ironed, this was the final result! 

It's kind of hard to tell in this picture, but it is a really pretty rich, dark red color.  I love it!  So what's a single girl with a brand new hair color supposed to do?  Grab some friends and go out for dinner, drinks and music.  My roommate and one of her friends had dinner and then we went to a local bar to listen to some acoustic music.  We had a great time! 

 I've already had lots of compliments about my hair.  I knew the girl singing last night and she saw me in the restroom during their break and said "have you changed your hair color?  It's beautiful!" What do you think of the new hair color?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Single Girl's Inbox

Sometimes persistence pays off... other times, it's just plain annoying.  These messages were sent 6 minutes apart.  Notice that this guy doesn't even have a picture on his profile, and says nothing of real interest in his messages.

I'm not shy... just not impressed.  Message(s) ignored. 


Friday, January 11, 2013

A Single Girl's Inbox

I've been single for a while now... and I've been a member of several online dating sites.  Sometimes, I get messages that just make me laugh.  Some of them are down right rude or disrespectful.  Most of them are littered with misspellings and horrible grammatical errors.  99% of them make me roll my eyes.  So what's a single girl to do?  Share these gems with her blog readers, of course!  This is the first post of what I'm sure will be many.  Of course, I will blur their pictures, and hide their usernames, with stuff that I make up...

This is the first message that you send to a girl who clearly states on her profile that she isn't looking for a hook up?  Message ignored. 


About to Pop Baby Shower Part 4: Decorations and Favors

This is Part 4 in a the About to Pop Baby Shower series.  I'm slowly working my way through this whole shower.  One more post after today and I will finally be done!

For the decorations, I decided to go very low key since the shower was in my sister's home.  I don't have a lot of good pics of the decor, but you can see them in the linked posts that follow. I basically just stuck to using the colors from the invitation to cover the food table and popcorn bar.  To do this, I ordered table cloths from Amazon Seller LinenTablecloth. I've used them before for other tablecloths and overlays and have been really impressed with their prices and with their quality. I purchased 70 inch square tablecloths in FuchsiaLavender, Tea Green, and Marigold. They worked great and I was able to cover a lot of the table with splashes of color.  I would definitely recommend Linen Tablecloth.  I'm definitely a person who believes that it is cheaper to purchase and keep table linens, rather than rent them, and I prefer the look of linen rather than plastic table coverings at any event. 

I also purchased a couple of packs of these Polka Dot Balloons, which I tied to the mailbox and scattered around the room.  Some of the young children loved playing with the balloons all over the floor. 

The favors, of course, carried through the "Pop" theme.  I created favor tags that matched the invitations and the menu cards that said "Thank You for Popping Over."  These were made to fold over the cellophane bags that I purchased. 

The bags that I used had green polka dots on them, and came with twist ties, but I didn't use those because once everything was in the bag, the fold over tag closed the bag nicely. 

Inside of the bag was a lollipop, Pop Rocks, and a Ring Pop.  All of the candy came from Amazon, and arrived with no problem. Can you believe that this shower was the first time that one of the guests had Pop Rocks?  Her reaction? "Interesting."

Here's the finished favor: 

The 5th and final part of this series coming soon!  Thanks for being patient with me as I get this series completed.  Don't forget to like My Ramblings on Facebook

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I was going to just write a list of goals that I have for this year.  But, if you've been following this blog for a little while, you know that I suck at sticking to goals.  Even if they are SMART goals.  I always have big aspirations to get them all done, but it never fails that I will get in a rut and then the goals never come to fruition. Although I realize that, I was all ready to sit and write out this list of plans for this year... until I checked my Google Reader and saw Holly's post for today.

She is choosing one word to focus on this year.  As soon as I read the post, I started thinking of a word that would sum up what I wanted to accomplish this year, and it popped in my head almost immediately.  Consistent... this year my focus is on being more consistent in various areas of my life.

Currently, there are some things that I am really consistent with doing... but they are things that don't really matter or things that just "waste" time.  So what are things that I want to be more consistent in doing?  Here's a list:

  • Working my Tupperware Business and actually holding parties
  • Going to Church
  • Saving money
  • Blogging
  • School Work
  • Losing Weight
    • Eating Better
    • Drinking More Water
I think that if I focus on being more consistent in these areas of my life, it will be a good year! I actually have a plan in place for how to be more consistent with these, so I may expand upon these in later posts. 

What would your "focus word" for 2013 be? 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 In Review

2012 was definitely a year, full of ups and downs.  It was a busy year full of events and changes. Today, I'm focusing on the positives.  Here is 2012 in Review (the good parts!).

Most of January was dedicated to working a lot and planning one of our biggest work events.  This year had a Wizard of Oz theme, and it was a lot of fun.  We all dressed up as characters from the movie, and I was Glinda The Good Witch.

The biggest thing that I did was direct a wedding.  Not only did I direct it, I did the invitations, all the flowers and decor and pretty much helped the bride with whatever she needed.  The bride was my cousin, and former roommate Kelly.  There were some very stressful moments, and she was on a very strict budget, but we pulled it off, and everything came together. You may remember the post that I made about Rose Balls.  I used a lot of these for Kelly's Wedding. I'm so happy for Chris and Kelly.  They are young, but I think they are good together.  They are expecting their first baby in March 2013!  Can't wait to meet him.

Credit for all 3 Photos: Memory Weaver Photography

March was a big month.  Over Spring Break, I took my trip to Hinnant Family Vineyards.  I loved taking the tour and tasting some yummy wines. 

My sister, my Mom and I threw my Daddy's a Surprise 50th Birthday Party. Then, we found out that my sister's 2nd child was going to be a girl.  Parker had a fun way of announcing the gender on Facebook. We blew up a bunch of pink balloons and took him outside at my parents' house to snap some pictures.  I was just going to get one of him holding the balloons, but he wasn't having that.  He wanted to play and 'ride' on the tractor, so I went with it.  I came up with some cute captions to go along with it.  In addition to these photos, there were ones of him in his swing. 

Next up in March, was the Junior Women's Association Masquerade Ball.  I'm a JWA Member, and every year we have a formal event.  I decided to take my sister as my 'date' (and DD).  We had a great time, and I felt so pretty.  
Photo Credit: Bella Living Magazine

In April, I hosted the "Sugar & Spice" baby shower for my cousin Megan.  I loved doing a girly baby shower!

I also coordinated the Easter Egg Hunt at my church.  We have a big event every year.  This was the 2nd year that I've planned it.  Along with Egg Hunt, we do games and activities for the kids.  The Easter Bunny poses for pictures and we have a hot dog lunch.  There were a ton of kids!  The "hunt' is more of "run and pick up the eggs" but the kids love it.

Another big event in April was JWA Touch A Truck.  This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year.  Basically, we bring in all kinds of trucks from Emergency Vehicles to 18 Wheelers and Farm Equipment that kids can sit in, climb on and learn about.  The money goes to support 5 local charities.  I was on the planning committee, and the event was a ton of fun.  Parker is obsessed with trucks, so this was right up his alley.  He even won a ride to go up in the Bucket Truck.  He loved it! My dad took a couple of his trucks out there, so we made this a family event as well. 

Compared to the first 4 months of the year, May was a slow month.  Probably the best part of the month was my birthday! I turned 27 on May 28.  I spent the day in Raleigh with my Mama shopping.  We had lunch at Macaroni Grill and shopped a lot.  I came home and had dinner with my parents and my sister's family.  It was a good day. 

2 big things in June... Parker Turned 2! and we welcomed Megan's baby Reagan.  Both happened in a few days of each other.  We got to celebrate Parker's Birthday and everyone got to meet Reagan at Parker's birthday party.  I designed some awesome invitations (if I do say so, myself).

Another quiet month.  I was taking a summer school class about Instructional Technology, and I absolutely loved it.  For a tiny second, I thought about going to get a Masters in it, but then I quickly snapped back into reality and realized that its taken me over 10 years to get my Bachelor's degree.  

I did host yet another baby shower in July.  My sister's "About to Pop" shower (which I'm still in the process of blogging about) was a ton of fun! 

August was a great month right from the beginning.  I had a new roommate move in on August 1, and things are working out very well.  We get along great, and its nice to have someone else in the house. 

Then, on August 4, Maggie Louise decided to make a grand appearance.  It was a few days before her due date, but she was ready to come, and she came fast! I absolutely love being an aunt, and having a niece is truly special.  She is so precious! 

Also in August, I had a very special visit from a friend of mine.  It was great to see each other and catch up for the weekend. 

September was filled with work. The beginning of a semester is always hectic, and football season started on September 1. I was also pretty busy with school.  I did take some time to remember Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. 

October was huge for me... in more ways than one.  From the very first week, I was busy! I held 3 Tupperware parties in the first 6 days of October.  I'd never done that before.  With those parties and the other ones I had scheduled, I had the biggest month in Tupperware sales that I've ever had! I was so excited.  It really got me on fire for my business, and it only gets better from there. 

Also, in October, I spent a lot of time working at the school that I'd been placed in for my practicum.  It was an inner city school in another county, so I was a little nervous, but I ended up really liking the experience. 

Probably the biggest change of the year also happened in October.  I resigned from my job.  It was a little bittersweet to leave a place where you have spent the last 4 years, but the time had come.  My plan was to leave at the end of the semester (because I am starting my internship in January), but I just felt that I needed the extra time.  I could (and probably will) do a whole post on leaving my job. 

I also made a quilt in October... post on that sure to come! 

Whew! Almost there! I continued to do well with the Tupperware business in November.  I did a couple of vendor events, and ordered a lot of people's Christmas gifts! 

My parents celebrated 30 years of marriage.

I hosted (another) baby shower.  This one was gender neutral since the parents to be weren't finding out the sex of the baby.  We went with a "bee" theme.  It turned out so cute.  (Again, post to come)

Maggie's Baby Dedication was on November 18.  The date is significant because that would have been my Grandma Nellie's birthday.  I sang in church for the dedication (for the first time in years) a song called "This Little One" by Karen Peck.  

December seemed like a blur.  Christmas snuck up on me some kinda bad this year.  I didn't wrap presents until Christmas Eve! I usually procrastinate, but not that bad.  

We took our annual family trip to Black Mountain.  We happened to be there the weekend of their Christmas Parade, and it was wonderful.  It was probably the best parade I've seen in person.  It was over an hour long and had a lot variety. We also happened to find an awesome light display in the area. 

I was asked to sing and play the flute in the Christmas play at church. I hadn't played the flute in at least 6 years, so I was a little rusty, but with a little practice, it came back to me. 

On December 23, my cousin Wayne and his wife Jessica (I hosted the "bee" baby shower for them) welcomed their baby and It's a Boy!  Easton was teeny tiny but so cute! 

Christmas was so much fun with Parker and Maggie this year.  Watching them open presents and get so excited make the Holiday that much more exciting. 
 I do love these babies!

So there you have it... my year in review.  As you can see, it was jam packed!  Overall, it was a good year.  I look forward to 2013! What was your favorite memory of 2012? 

Related Posts with Thumbnails