August in Pictures


Hi friends!


So much has been happening here in recent weeks (far too much to tell), and since a picture says 1,000 words, here's 17,000 words for ya. Enjoy!

My GORGEOUS lil' sis', Kati, with her best friend, Kylie,
on their first day of high school.


Rockin' the GSU tee from my dear friend, Lauren.
Miss her.


We went to the Antiques Roadshow this year.
We saw some interesting things.

Love him.

My dear friend Amanda's adorable (and stylish!)
daughter, Lily.

My husband works for the Falcons. We get season tickets.
Be jealous.

All my friends have beautiful children.
Lauren, Ray (in the background), and their
son, Hudson, are no different.

STEVEN!!!
(He's my fav.)

Thanks to Pinterest, I made myself
some awesome cupcake birthday cones.
Yes. That's a cupcake.

Chelsea and Briana helped me
celebrate my 26th birthday at work.
They are, in a word, awesome.

Hubby couldn't be with me on my birthday,
so he spoiled me with roses.

And then my co-workers spoiled me some more.

Birthday pizza with our church small group. They wouldn't
let me take pictures of them...

My sweet friend, Mary Beth, chillin' at the pool with me
on my birthday. I've already spent the
Chick-Fil-A gift card she got me. YUM!

My bestest friend, Jillian, drove all the way up from
St. Simon's Island to surprise me! Here we are,
toasting to my old age.

The Disney Dream. LOVE.

The veranda in our stateroom.
What a perfect way to end the summer!

I'm already getting antsy for fall...I promise to write more soon!

Until next time,

Wendi



Do Not Lick the Phones: A Review

Hi friends!

Today is my 26th birthday (and, as my mother so sweetly pointed out, I'm now in my "late-twenties"...thanks Mom), and I'll be sharing it with you and Britney Bronte, author of Do Not Lick the Phones.

Do Not Lick the Phones: My 100 Word Summary


Based on real-life experiences of the author, Britney Bronte (also a pseudonym) gets hired by a media house called DayStar TV, a corporation responsible for programs like psychic intervention and phone sex operation, where she struggles to reconcile her abilities with issues common to unconventional programming: low pay and terrible working conditions. What Britney discovers, after climbing the supernatural ladder to psychic success, is that life is always a bit odd, and sometimes the best experiences come from being proud of what makes you unique.

Do Not Lick the Phones: What I Think


Bronte's novel was interesting because it's pretty much the polar opposite of my profession: I work for a Christian media-buying/advertising company, writing scripts and content for a variety of programs (coincidentally, one of the networks our shows air on is called Daystar...yes, I'm noting the irony here...) and I enjoyed getting a back-stage glance into Britney's world because it's so incredibly different from what I experience on a day-to-day basis. I love that her novel pinpoints what I've learned repeatedly over the years, which is the truth that people are always flawed, no matter how they spend their days, and we will always struggle with our humanity.

I laughed a good deal as I took in the often ludicrous reality of Britney's profession, but I found it difficult to go beyond the surface. I can sum it up this way: too many characters, not enough development. This issue, combined with a further disconnect between time and place, made reading difficult. There simply wasn't enough substance for me to dive into, despite the interesting and unique subject matter. If Phones had been a television program, it would have been a thirty-minute sitcom, not a full-length feature.

If you'd like to support the recovery of those affected by the London riots, check out Britney's official site here. All the proceeds from your purchases will go towards this extremely worthy cause!

Until next time,

Wendi


Pinterest in Real Life


 Hi friends!

As you know, I've recently begun a love affair with Pinterest, and I am happy to say that it is paying off in more ways than one. I've made an eclectic little scarf from an old t-shirt (pics to come later), monogrammed mason jars (like I said, pics later), and, today, I pulled a style inspiration from one Pin I found on Just Dandy's board (click here to check out her adorable site!). I have to say I'm feeling extra pretty today...it's amazing what a little extra time and effort in front of the mirror will do for your entire outlook. Normally, I simply blow-dry, straighten my hair, and go but I love trying new things...even if they don't always turn out the way they do in magazine photos (do they EVER?). Today was an exception! I didn't style my hair like you see in the Pin below because I actually copied one of Just Dandy's styles, but it is an adorable updo nonetheless. Scroll down and check out my Real Life Pin!

My Pinspiration

As much of the outfit as I could capture
on my cell phone. Shirt-$7 from H&M;
Vest-Free from my mom; Jeans- $15 from Rue 21;
Beaded bracelet- Free from my MIL

I've had these strands of pearls (three different ones)
as gifts from being a bridesmaid and from a
friend in college...they look so cute with my
pink and teal oxford!


My updo! I simply made a part, pulled the crown
section up, and teased (using lots of hairspray to give it that
pouf). Then I pulled the front section to the side and secured it behind
my ear with a bobby pin. Voila!

I couldn't find my "blonde" colored hair ties or
bobby pins, so please forgive the
obvious hair essentials that stick out like
sore thumbs (as well as the blinding light
at my desk!).
Not a great picture (hello teeth!) but I wanted
you to know I went full-out with the sunglasses!
Whadya think? I love finding Pinspirations on my favorite new site! 

Oh, and I promise to keep everyone more fully updated on sending out queries for my novel. I haven't written much about it recently, but that's because there hasn't been much to share. Hopefully that will change very soon! 

Until next time,

Wendi

discoveries.

Hi friends!

After some much-needed rest over the weekend, I am feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world! Well...something like that, anyway.

I had a lovely dinner with Mom and Kati (the sis) on Friday night, but I couldn't fully relax because I knew I still had a greet/wrap to write for work that evening (for those of you not in the "know", a greet/wrap is basically an intro, call-to-action, and outro for television production...think of televangelists who talk to the audience in-studio,usually followed by a message, and finally a call-to-action to purchase supplemental materials, like sermons, books, dvds, etc...I write those, among many other things).

Anyway....

I did get a good night's sleep that night and thank God for it! I got up at 6 a.m. on Saturday and went to Jonesboro with my InsideOut co-leader, Teahna (and some lovely new friends, Linda and Emily), to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity. The heat index was 105 degrees, but there was a breeze and I worked hard inside in the shade that morning, driving over 200 nails into the frame of this house. Later in the afternoon, I helped put up siding on the exterior. I got a blister and everything....it was hardcore! But seriously, it was a rewarding experience, and I laughed a lot that day. I am grateful that our church helps put together events like this where we have the opportunity to serve someone other than ourselves. As I was pounding the hammer into a very stubborn stud, I said a little "thank-you" to God for letting me know what it means to serve, even if it was just for a day. I really want my life to transform into something that looks like service, with a gentle, humble spirit for the work of Christ. I see this in my friendships, and with the way I treat others, but I don't always see it in the way I spend my money or spend my time.

Let me explain...

I will be honest here and say I am a good friend. I have the confidence to know I have invested deeply and generously in the people I love. But I also fill my time with too many things, and this can be a detriment to my relationship with God and, ultimately, harmful for everything else in my life.

And, as I mentioned, I have too often been selfish with how I utilize my money. Hubby and I tithe consistently, and 10% of our income every month goes into new projects at the church or needs we see in our area. I feel that doing this is essential to our walk with Christ, both individually and as a couple. But it's not enough.

I have to think more about the little things in my life that reflect my selfish heart, and really change how I use what I have so it benefits our well-being and the world we live in...things like taking cooler showers and wasting less energy; using all the food in my pantry and getting creative with my meals instead of buying more food that will go to waste; learning to sew and mending/reconstructing items in my closet so they look new and last longer.

Made some meal plans and a grocery list
to make the best (and most healthy) use of our food.


Some of the ways I tried this out on my own over the weekend were by volunteering and taking my nieces out for birthday shopping.

All three of my nieces have birthdays in July and August, so this season gets very busy every year. I love those little girls with all my heart and soul, but expenses do add up around the end of the summer and holidays. In order to maximize my time with them and minimize financial strain, my cousin Brittany and I met up with them (and my little sister) in Douglasville to go shopping together. Instead of driving back and forth to different homes (Hubby and I are the only ones in my family who live in the city...everyone else lives either far north, up near the mountains, or far west of Atlanta...consequently, we do a good deal of driving), everyone met at the same place on this one particular day. Killing two birds with one stone, ya know...

We spent the entire afternoon looking for some new school outfits for the girls, and ended up shopping at Plato's Closet for the majority of the day. Now, if you've never heard of Plato's Closet, you are missing out! It's kind of like a consignment shop, only trendier (is that a word?). Women and men can bring their gently-used or new items to the store to sell (anything from popular books, accessories, and wallets will do, as well). The staff will sort through what you've brought, set aside anything they don't want (for any number of style or wear-and-tear issues), and then pay you for what they keep. It's usually not very much, but I brought in a huge canvas bag full of stuff last year around Christmas and, even though PC only kept half, I made about $25 bucks. It's a great store because all the items are clean, stylish, and- best of all- inexpensive. One woman's trash is another woman's treasure (wow, I'm just full of idioms today, aren't I?)!

My sister got a ton of cute skirts and shirts for $29; Brittany bought a GORGEOUS pink/cream tweed peacoat from Banana Republic for just $18; and I got my nieces a pink ruffled clutch, two shirts, one dress, one bracelet and one cardigan for the grand total of $19...all in all, a very happy outcome for all of us!

I've realized that there really is no reason to always shop for brand new clothes...sometimes buying used (and vintage, in particular) is the best way to go because you save money and you don't look like everyone else. When I was in college, there was only one or two really good stores for women (uh, college girls) in Statesboro. Rue 21 was the most popular, and I would often see the same shirt on campus two or three different times! It was funny, yes, but kind of annoying, especially if it was a shirt I was wearing!

My experience yesterday was rewarding in a number of ways: I was able to spend one-on-one time with all my favorite little girls (and Kati, of course, who is starting high school and not so little anymore!), talking to them about their summer and laughing a ton, in addition to the fact that I was able to save money while simultaneously providing for their birthday requests :). Thanks to their mothers, (my mother, sister, and sister-in-law), I minimized my unnecessary expenses, invested personal time with my family, and maximized our purchases! It was a pretty perfect day.

So this is how I really want to live my life...taking a little more time and effort discovering how I can best use what I have to benefit my family, my friends, my marriage, and my life. I want to use the blessings God has given me in ways that go farther than what my culture typically says they can.

I cleaned out my closet recently and, after selling what I could and donating the rest, I realized I had a bad habit (yes, another one!) of buying what I like rather than what I need. For example, I would see an adorable ruffly turquoise tank and buy it without thinking about the fact that I had nothing to wear it with...I'm sure this is common for many of us. I was missing staple pieces, like different color camis (to wear under all those shirts I like but can't wear because they're too sheer, too short, or something equally annoying), quality denim, and long-lasting, practical (but cute!) heels.

Yesterday, I found most of these items- plus more- at Plato's Closet (my husband bought me navy, nude, white, and black camis at H&M on Friday). For the grand total of just $30, I purchased one black pair of oxford heels, one brown pair of gorgeous gladiator sandals, one pair of dark-washed trouser jeans (perfect for work and the weekend!), one tunic-style black shirt, and one sheer floral top. All beautiful items, and not one of them was over eight dollars.

My "new" floral top...girly with just a touch of vintage. LOVE!
I have a new favorite site called Pinterest (I'm sure I'm behind the times on this) and it's great for ideas on how to re-design your favorite pieces of clothing and DIY almost anything. I love it! Tonight, I'll be making a scarf from an old concert T-shirt. Pics later!

Until next time,

Wendi