Today is officially "National Pick Strawberries Day!" This past weekend, anticipating that I could celebrate on my blog, Jonathan and I headed to Gillis Hill Farm Produce in Fayetteville, N.C. to pick local strawberries that we turned into jam and an amazing strawberry cheese cake!
Keep reading for strawberry picking tips
STRAWBERRY PICKING TIPS
Strawberry season is in the summer. If you burn or get eaten alive by bugs, make sure you prep yourself with sunblock and bug spray.
THE BENEFITS OF LOCAL PRODUCE
Before I jump in to talking about the recipes, I wanted to tell you that shopping local has a ton of benefits and it is often much more affordable than people think. Here are my three main reasons why shopping local is the best option:
1: SUPPORTING THE LOCAL ECONOMY
2: SOME LOCAL FOODS CAN HELP WITH ALLERGIES
3: HELPING THE PLANET
STRAWBERRY JAM RECIPE
BEFORE THAT THOUGH: I'm bolding this because it is important. You're going to want to soak your glass jars and the lids in simmering hot water until you're ready to seal your jars. This allows them to expand and adjust to the heat of the jam!
On medium-high heat, bring your butter, fruit, and pectin to a rolling boil. After that, add in the sugar, stirring continuously. Bring it to a rolling boil again and boil the mixture for a minute before removing it from heat.
At this point, carefully add your jam to the glass jars and add the lid and screw lid. Make sure to seal this tightly. Turn your jars upside down for 10 minutes, then turn them rightside up. You should hear "pings" over the next 30-ish minutes. This means that your jam is sealed and ready to be gifted.
I'm giving jam to family members and coworkers!
Even with these changes, the cheesecake is fluffy, delicious, and made with local strawberries!
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN!
Today is "National Strawberry Picking Day," but you can celebrate any time this summer. Pack up the kids and take them out to your local strawberry patch. Support local farms!
If you're in Fayetteville, I really adored the Gillis Hill Farm Produce patch. They had the longest rows of strawberries I've ever seen! If you go see them, let them know you read about me.
Also, make sure to sample their Strawberry Cider. We brought home two bottles of it!
Everyone has those specific products that they won’t give up! Today, I wanted to share five of my holy grail products ranging from makeup to skincare.
I’m going to tell you the price that I found for the product and where else you could find it:
1: NEUTROGENA’S HYDRO BOOST CLEANSING GEL | $10
2: MORPHE 35M BOSS PALETTE | $24
3: BATH AND BODY WORKS STRESS RELIEF LOTION | $13.50
4: JOHN FRIEDA FRIZZ EASE TOUCH-UP CRÈME | $7.50
5: JEFFREE STAR’S VELOUR LIQUID LIPSTICK | $18
WHAT ARE YOUR HOLY GRAIL PRODUCTS?
Comment down below or share some of your holy grail beauty products with me on Instagram, Twitter, or on my Facebook page!
Coming up on a year ago, I decided that I had enough of the white walls surrounding me in my full-time job's office. So, I got to work decorating. A lot of what I did was DIY, so I wanted to share that as well as some decor and functional decor tips in today's blog post!
Without further ado, here we go!
DIY 1: DYED CURTAINS & CUSTOM PICTURE FRAMES
I used a gold glitter ribbon to gather the sides of the curtain, and I tacked them into the wall. I also added fairy light, which were great for a while, but they don't last very long. You have to be religious about turning them off.
DIY 2: WINDOW TASSELS
DIY 3: CORK BOARD PIN STATION
DIY 4: CUSTOM-PAINTED SUPPLY JARS
FUNCTIONAL DECOR 1: BUSINESS CARD/NAME PLATE
FUNCTIONAL DECOR 2: PINEAPPLE OIL DEFUSER
FUNCTIONAL DECOR 3: COFFEE/TEA STATION
Some of you have even consulted with doctors, paid for expensive hormone injections or surgeries, and cried over so many negative pregnancy tests that it makes you feel sick.
You long to have a bouncing baby of your own, but things aren’t that easy. Your friends around you are getting pregnant so easily, sometimes by accident. You wish for their uterus and their perfectly balanced hormones.
I know it isn’t fair. The world is filled with terrible mothers who abuse their children and treat them with far less than love. To those of you that I know, you have all the characteristics of an amazing mother. You’re caring, loving, supportive, self-sacrificing, wise, and playful. You’re funny, cool, kind, and level-headed.
To the friends who treat us like their own and exude the love of a mother to everyone they pass. You deserve to hold a child one day. Remember that, on Mother’s Day, far fewer mothers will get a visit from their children than you think. You are special and, one day, a child will be lucky to call you mom.
So, with my tax return and a little bit of extra money I had after paying bills in hand, we set off to put on a budget wedding. Here are the individual things we did to make the wedding more low-cost:
As previously mentioned, we chose to have our wedding in the church we were attending. It was free and we knew that it would accommodate just about the right number of people. There were some down sides to this, of course.
Because it was in a southern Baptist church, we didn’t share a first dance. That is something that I regret, but that is more because we didn’t have the cash to spring for a nicer venue for the reception. We had the reception in the church’s fellowship hall.
The good thing about this was that it was free and it was easy to reserve the space.
We used some of the leftover fabric from the hearts on our table. We bought some little, stained-glass vases from a craft store and filled them with fake flowers, butterflies, and pinwheels from the dollar store. I bought most of my décor from the dollar store!
I don’t have exact numbers, but I came out way under $100 for the yarn, and my mom made them for me for free!
I had a friend from work take photos at my wedding. She did it for me as a gift for my wedding. She didn’t have much equipment, and I had to edit these for myself. It was free and I got what I needed. But, I know that a lot of my family wish there were more.
I’m not going to complain because it was free and I’m glad I have something!
I also designed my own invite, because I’m a graphic designer. I also made a little activity book for the kids to keep them entertained during the more boring parts of our nuptials. I did blur some information and names, but you see the basic idea!
The food was also good because of the hand cooking J, but I wish it was less intense. I would recommend doing some sort of catering, but we just didn’t have the money for it!
This photo is my favorite. My brother had returned a ring to me that he gave me when I was younger. It made me cry!
MUCH THANKS TO:
Another month has blown by, which means its time for me to tell you some of the things I loved this last month. Let's get right into it:
COLOURPOP X DISNEY VILLAINS: HADES | $25
ULTA X AVENGERS SUPERCHARGED - $8
TARTE SUGAR RUSH ITEMS | ~$25
TIKTOK MAKEUP LAPSE VIDEOS | FREE
I uploaded one of my timelapses onto YouTube so you could see what I'm talking about. Tik Tok is kind of like Musicly and Vine put together. I like using it to make videos of my "transforming" into my makeup. I think that it gives me confidence, even if I'm still not the best at doing my makeup. I feel like I'm improving, and that's what matters to me!
THE INNER WORLD | $8
FRIENDSHIP COLLAR | ~$40
SO, THAT'S IT!
Those are all of the products that I've loved from April! I'm looking forward to a few other things in May:
What did you love this month? Let me know in the comments or Tweet it to me!
LEGAL: All photos in this post are my own.
So today, I wanted to share with you the good, bad, and ugly parts of being in a sorority. Keep in mind while reading this that I’m speaking from my own experience at a smaller university. Everyone will have their own experiences. Without further ado, let’s get into this!
I am absolutely thrilled that I joined a sorority for a number of reasons. However, there are unfortunately more bad and ugly things to consider before you choose Greek life on your campus.
The first really good thing about joining a sorority is, if you join the right one, you are surrounded by a number of like-minded individuals who often care about the same things as you do. I loved that about my sorority!
Next, I really appreciated that, at my school, academics and involvement were always highly praised in the Greek system. I was awarded the Greek with the highest GPA award two years in a row. Our Greek system also gave awards for social events and philanthropy.
I learned that leaders have a really stressful job. While in my sorority, I served as both Vice President/Rush Chair and President. These were both extraordinarily difficult positions to hold, but I did the best I could with the life knowledge I had.
THE BAD AND THE UGLY
I’m just going to combine these two because they both can apply to all the situations I’m going to name here.
And if issues with other organizations aren’t enough, you will likely have situations where there is some sort of disparity in your own organization that causes fighting and issues among your members. This could be because of attendance, academic status, leadership issues, and more. If you’re in any position of leadership during these things, it all falls on you. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying neutral in your opinion.
All-in-all, I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t gone Greek. Some closing thoughts are that hazing was never an issue for me. My college has a no-tolerance hazing policy, and I believe there are state laws that are sort of against it, too. If you’re worried about that, talk to the Greek life coordinator at your college about that.
As we all know, Spring has arrived. As a native of North Carolina, Spring arrived with a ton of pollen! It is so easy to track pollen and other dirt and dust into the house. It also doesn’t help that Jonathan works in landscaping, so I always feel like I’m trapped in a pile of dirt.
But, these 8 Spring cleaning hacks and tips will make things a lot easier this season:
1: BOOT DROP-OFF
So, now Jonathan knows to leave his boots in the kitchen or living room. This keeps dirt out of the bedroom easily. I am going to also invest in a mat where he can place his boots by the door. This will keep the dirt concentrated!
2: KEEP THAT KEYBOARD CLEAN
Another thing I do is I use those Lysol wipes on my Mac keyboard. I make sure to do this gently to be careful not to damage the keyboard. Do at your own risk!
3: ADD BORAX TO NEUTRALIZE SMELLS
Borax can be used to clean a number of other things like mattresses, outdoor furniture, carpets, and more!
4: USE AN OLD, THICK SOCK TO MOP
This is not only the economical choice, but it is also a great ecological choice!
5: KEEP YOUR SHOWER CLEAN
6: TURN CLEANING INTO A GAME FOR YOUR KIDS
7: CLEAN OFF STUCK-ON FOOD EASILY
Leave it for a few hours and you will find that the food be easier to remove, making the washing process easier!
8: KEEP MAKEUP BRUSHES CLEAN WITH A TRIVET
Add baby shampoo or whatever cleaner you want to use to the trivet and then swirl your makeup brush around it. Add water when needed and repeat this until your brushes are clean. Hang them on a coat hanger with some clips to dry and prevent molding.
I hope this few hacks will make Spring cleaning a lot easier, fun, and productive for you. Do you have any tips to keep homes clean this Spring? Drop them down below and lets help each other out!
As a member of a University staff, and as a graduate myself, I think that college is monumentally important. Not only is it important to help you earn a degree that can be used in a career, but it is also important to help you acclimate to living life on your own and to becoming a good citizen within a community.
But, there are undoubtedly things that I wish I had known before I enrolled! Since people are starting to get acceptance letters, I thought this would be a great post to make. If you want to learn more, keep reading:
1: YOU'LL PROBABLY HAVE A BREAKDOWN
According to the Association for University and College counseling Center directors, 95 percent of college counseling center directors say that psychological problems are a growing concern on their campus. This is why it is so important to never be too prideful or scared to seek out help. Most colleges either have a center for mental health services, or they have outside resources that can help you!
2: IT'S OK TO SAY NO
So, whenever I got in to college, I got really involved. I was in a number of clubs and organizations, including my sorority, and I was also really involved in my major. It took me until my senior year to realize that it is OK to say no. Remember that you are there to get your education. Not to plan social events, work on outside projects, etc.
3: COLLEGE FRIENDS WILL BE YOUR BFFS
I believe that this has to do with the fact that you are friends with these people during one of the most challenging moments of your life. On top of that, you finally understand when you graduate that you don’t have to talk to someone every single day to be their friend. All of my friends and myself have our own lives. But, we make a point to pick up where we left off when we see each other again!
4: PREPARE FOR DRAMA OF SOME SORT
She brought back guys and her cousin to our room most nights. When she came in, she would wake me up and be really noisy and turn the lights on.
Sometimes, your RA or RC won’t understand how bad the situation is. When this happened, my mom actually had to come down and confront my RC because she wasn’t doing anything about the situation. But, it all got handled and I didn’t have any more problems. After that, I moved in to my sorority house. Is it even a sorority house without drama? No.
5: YOUR PLANS MIGHT CHANGE, AND THAT’S OK
Your advisors and staff members around your college campus can help you decide what might be the best choice for you. You have time, and it isn’t a reason to panic.
6: MAKE A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT
This will help you make time for appointments, trips to the gym, homework and study time, time to call your family and update them on your day, and time with friends. This gives you a great work-home-friend-body-school balance!
I actually started writing a seventh tip only on work study, but I think that could be an entire post on its own. If you’re going to college, thinking about going back, or in your last years of study, I hope this can help you to improve your time in school!
HE EITHER SAID SOMETHING FUNNY OR WISE
HE LOVED ELVIS
HE WAS A PROUD VETERAN
HE WAS A CARING MAN
HE WAS A GIVING MAN
HE WAS A GODLY MAN
HE WAS A SUPPORTIVE MAN