Getting Back to Happy: My Dream Bedroom

Earlier this month I decided to do a little spring cleaning when I stumbled across an old copy of Elle Decor. This wasn’t just any copy of the magazine it was the Fashion Issue.  It had an inside look at Ralph Lauren’s fabulous Manhattan apartment. Costing about $5 a copy obviously I couldn’t just throw it away, so I opened the magazine and staring directly at me was this quote:

 If you’re happy with your life, your space will reflect that.

Designer Rafael de Cárdenas

That got me thinking, “does my space reflect a person with a happy life?” As I was pondering the answer to my question, I glanced at a horrific site. There it was, my awful chipped monstrosity of a dresser with mis-matched and missing knobs.

 

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I had to turn away the site was disturbing my spirit.

But things didnt get better, on the other side of my room were those God awful teal tween satin curtains that I’ve had since I used to be a Spice Girls superfan.

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Then just off to the right was the awful multi-toned borderline tacky nightstand I’ve had since birth.

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My lovely antique Jenny Lind bed was dressed with this blasé quilt and above the bed was my lame attempted at adding art to my rather bare walls.

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This room was not a reflection of someone with a happy life. It was a collection of a bunch mis-matched randomness with no clear objective.

Hmmm sound familiar… Maybe my room was a reflection of my current situation but not anymore.You know how they say you should dress for the job you want to have, well I decided to decorate to the room I dream to live in.

Being that I don’t have the money to create my dream bedroom, I set out on an incredible d.i.y journey to create a fabulous space that was shabby chic yet still contemporary.

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Nothing Can Brighten A Dreary Day Like A Slice of Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Don’t you have that one dish you love that just makes all the B.S of life worth it? Maybe it’s your Grandma’s mac and cheese or an over-iced vending machine cinnamon roll, whatever it is, when you take a bite a smile instantly finds itself plastered on your face. For me nothing can brighten a dreary day like a slice of my Chocolate Hazelnut Cake!!

I came up with this “recipe” during my sophomore year in college. I was doing a microwave cooking program for my dorm and needed a way to spice up the rather boring and dry cake I made. Trust me when I say this cake was a hit on my floor. Its the perfect combination of every college girl’s favorite things. Chocolate and Cake. Also I mean who really needs an excuse to use a whole jar of Nutella.

Now  this cake is obviously very semi homemade. Just like Sandra Lee, I don’t have time or patience for baking from scratch. One day I will be that borderline pretentious domesticated woman. Until then me and Duncan Hines are besties.

Honestly I think box cake mix gets a bad rep for no reason. Its almost fool proof. It always taste good if you follow the directions, you can’t say the thing for cakes from scratch.  Plus it makes this super yummy cake and puts a smile on my face. What more could a girl ask for?

So I want to know what is your “go-to pick me up, makes me want to scream with joy” dish?

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How to Avoid Losing High School Friends in Your 20’s

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As we enter our twenties we are bombarded with tons of propaganda about how we are going to lose all of our high school friends. We are told that those relationships will fail because we will grow apart or something about us changes. While some of that can be true, the real reason those relationships don’t last is because we don’t put in the necessary effort.

Every relationship takes work, friendships are no different. I can honestly say that I am guilty of not putting forth the necessary effort.Throughout my life the friends that I’ve had can be categorized by certain chapters. Rarely having any of those friends played a major role in a multiple chapters. My friends from elementary at this point are simply a faint memory, but most of my friends from high school merely exist on the yearbook pages of my mind.

Its not because I think they are not important or that I don’t cherish those memories. We didn’t “grow apart”; despite whatever has changed in our life the core of who we are has remained the same. Its because after we went our separate ways no one ever made the effort to continue the friendship. As the years go by and more time passes it seems like the window of opportunity to reach out closes. Eventually those friendships become something of the past.

Lately, as I have been aiming to get back to happy, I have spent some time reflecting on some of my most cherished moments. None of those times would have happened without the presence of friends. This got me thinking, I should really reach out to an old friend. So I did just that.

It had been years since we had really spoken to each other. Sure, we are Facebook friends and occasionally we will like each other’s status, but it had been at least 7-8 years since we really talked. In that time a lot has changed. We have both matured and our personalities have evolved, but the core of who we are remains the same. Its fascinating how quickly we were able to fall back into the rhythm of genuine friendly conversation. It felt so good to around someone so familiar.

So you want to know how to avoid losing your friends from high school?

The answer is simple, just make an effort to keep in contact with them. No matter where life will take you never allow the doors on your friendships to completely close. But if you are like me and you let 8 years has past, I encourage you to reach out. You will be surprised how rewarding it feels to reconnect with old friends.

Finding New Music Makes Me Happy

I have really enjoyed reading about what makes all of you happy on Facebook. Its so great to see the diversity of the answers. Some people are happy when they hear a certain song or when they are around friends and family. There are no two answers that are exactly the same.

I find that what makes me happy, isn’t a certain object or person but a distinctive moment. Its that moment when you discover something new and immediately fall in love. Specifically, when I find a new artist or song that I love. I’ll never forget the moment I discovered the group Sam and Ruby my freshman year in college. I had signed up to work the Tin Pan Alley Music Festival specifically at The Basement, a small venue in Nashville. A week before the show I decided to Google some of the artist that would be performing. First on the list was Sam and Ruby. I found there Myspace page (myspace was still popular back then) and heard the song The Here and the Now for the first time.

I was instantly obsessed. I just remember feeling so much joy and eager to hear more of their music. That same day I bought their EP and played it non-stop. Seriously y’all, I was totally geeking out over them. I’m sure my roommate Jillian was sick of hearing me play and talk about Sam and Ruby.

The joy I feel when I discover new music is a feeling I never want to lose. Witnessing the talent and creativity that artist put into their work truly inspires me.

Here are just a few of my current new musical obsessions

Jordan Rakei

Alex Isley

Ari Lennox

Who are some of the new artist that you are currently listening to? Comment below!

P.S. Don’t forget the Getting Back to Happy giveaway!! You have until May 6th at 6pm to enter.

Getting Back to Happy Month/ Giveaway

As many of you may know recently I had an emotional breakdown earlier this week. During that time happiness was the last thing on my mind, but today is a new day. Actually its a new month! So I decided to make the month of May all about getting back to happy.

During this month I will be celebrating all the things and people who make me happy. Join me in this journey of springtime bliss!

To kick things off I decided to do my very first GIVEAWAYYYY (in my Oprah voice)!!!!!!!!

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This month I will be giving away some of my favorite things each week. Yes, that correct, a month full of giveaways, how exciting!!!

The first item I am giving away is an Ellen Tracy Blue Baroque Journal with pen. Anyone who knows me knows I love a good journal to jot down new ideas or to make a new to-do list. I got this exact same journal just a few weeks ago and I love it! It has a great hard back cover with a handy attached pen. I love not having to dig around my handbag looking for a writing utensil.

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If you would like to win the Ellen Tracy Journal all you have to do is follow the simple instructions below.

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1. Like The Floundering on Facebook

2. Leave a comment on our Facebook page about 1 thing that makes you happy.

 The winner will be chosen at random & announced on Sunday, May 6th

Why Being a Teacher is NOT the Answer to My Employment Woes

Unsolicited career advice is something that every unemployed individual encounters. Very seldom is the advice anything profound or even useful. Countless times I have been asked, “have you thought about teaching” or “why don’t you substitute teach”. Literally, I want to scream every single time I hear someone ask me that question, but instead I hold back the urge to roll my eyes to no return and simply say, “I’m not sure teaching is the right path for me”. However, even with that statement said people still try to encourage me to teach.

I may be in need of a job but trust and believe teaching is not the answer. I have made a short list of the 5 reasons being a teacher is NOT the answer to my employment woes.

1. I Don’t Want To
Its really that simple. I don’t want to teach.

2. Kids are Evil
Ok, maybe evil is a bit harsh, but you have to admit there are some seriously wicked kids out there. Have you seen the behavior of kids these days? The bullying and violence in schools is out of control. It takes a pretty strong person to handle the Denis the Menaces and the Bébé’s Kids of this new millennium . Seriously though, grade school was not a joyous event for me. I hated it and I’m sure it hated me. Why would I ever willing to go back to that torture?

3. Teaching is a God Given Skill that I Don’t Possess
I may not want to be a teacher but I really hope we never underestimate their importance. Teaching is an important skill set many of us don’t possess. There is a special craft to this profession. Just because you are smart doesn’t mean you will be a great teacher. I have had some teachers that were experts in their designated subject but had NO earthly idea how to convey that knowledge to a group of students. A great teacher is someone who can relate to young minds, is patient, can inspire, and most of all love their job. I honestly don’t believe I have the patience to be that nurturing teacher.

4. I’m Not Emotionally Equipped
A teacher’s job doesn’t only entail helping kids learn how to count or read. They are key influential figures in a child’s life. Teacher’s are supposed to be someone a kid can trust and talk to about any problems they may have. Also they have to have the ability to recognize if a kid is in need of help or counselling. Out of the teacher’s I have talked to most of them have encountered some very sad situations; from seeing students that come from abusive homes,ones that can’t afford to eat lunch, and those who have undiagnosed learning disabilities. I don’t know how teachers don’t go home and cry every night, especially when they know sometimes there is very little they can do to help a child. I know I am not emotionally equipped to handle those kinds of situations.

5. I Don’t Want To
Yes, this was also the #1 reason but this point needs to be emphasized. Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I’d be a fool not to follow his advice. Teachers have a very important role in society, a role that I shouldn’t be trusted to fill.

Confessions of a Dial- Up User

Yes, in true late bloomer fashion, its 2014 and I am still using dial up internet. I’m talking the ridiculously slow 45 kbps type of dial up. The one that makes that awful nail screeching connection sound. And to top it off, I don’t live in BFE where dial up is my only option, it’s purely my choice.

You are probably wondering why would I choose to live in the dark ages, well there are 4 specific reasons.

1. I’m Too Cheap to Upgrade
It would probably make life easier to upgrade to a faster service, but that would also mean I have to spend more money. Until high speed internet becomes competitive with my current monthly $10.99 internet bill, I just don’t see myself doling out more dough. I mean there is free wifi almost every where I go, so what’s the point.

2. I Have Commitment Issues
Almost every high speed ISP requires some sort of contract, especially if you want an affordable rate. I feel like right now my life is to unpredictable to be tied down by an internet contract. I have heard horror stories of people that relocated and had tons of trouble trying to transfer or cancel service. Let’s not even talk about the number of fees that comes with a change in service. Sometimes you are better off just continuing to pay for a service you’re no longer using.

3. I Use The Internet on My Phone 95% of the Time
This is the real reason I still have dial-up internet. I use my phone for everything. Most of my browsing happens on my phone. Pretty much all of my social media activity happens on my phone. All of my Youtube and Netflix watching happens on my phone. Plus my phone is 5.6 pounds lighter than my laptop. Not to mention wayyyy more portable. There is no reason to pay for high speed internet at home when I’m already paying for unlimited data on my phone. Whenever I need to do something on my laptop at home that requires high speed internet I just turn on my phone’s trusty hotspot. For everything else dial-up works just fine.

4. Dial-Up is Dependable
Yes, dial-up is slow but it’s also dependable. I remember my senior year in college there was a nasty storm with tornado warnings that knocked the cable & internet service on campus the entire night and I had a major strategic management assignment due to blackboard by midnight. While some other students risked their lives to travel down the street to Panera for internet, my lack of a vehicle and a M.I.A roommate saved me from a desperate act of stupidity. This was a time before cell phone hotspots were a thing. I was pretty much S.O.L until I remembered all I needed was a telephone line to have the world wide web would at my fingertips. I unhooked the telephone cord from the phone we never used and plugged it into my computer. Within minutes I was able to upload my assignment to blackboard.

The Liebster Award

The Floundering was nominated for an award!!! I know crazy right. I am so honored that Jackie at Indecisively Blogging (she’s a fellow awkward girl, you must check her out), nominated me for the Liebster Award.

I had no idea what a Liebster Award was but I’m pretty excited about it. After some Googling, (I Google everything, well more like Yahoo everything) I found out that this is a cool way for you all to get know me plus check out some of my new favorite blogs.

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Sounds like fun, right?! Well lets get to it. Below are the rules I had to follow:

Liebster Award Rules

-11 facts about yourself
-Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you
-Nominate 11 new bloggers and set 11 questions for them to answer.

11 Facts about Me

  1. My favorite fruit is green grapes, the more sour the better
  2. I’m a Texan but I rarely say y’all
  3. I wanted to be an Opera Singer when I grew up, then I changed my mind
  4. I wanted to be Alanis Morrisette when I grew up, yep true story
  5. I wanted to marry Tevin Campbell
  6. Later I demoted Tevin to bff and replaced him with AJ McLean
  7. I’m obsessed with the show History Detectives on PBS
  8. I watch Antique Roadshow every Monday night
  9. I watch This Old House every Saturday morning
  10. I love PBS (obviously)
  11. When I was 3 I ask my mom to change my name to Amy cause it only had 3 letters.

Jackie’s Questions

1. What is your most embarrassing moment?

I feel like I have had so many embarrassing moments in my life but the one I haven’t been able to live down occurred the day I got my sorority bid. Like any other freshman I decided to take a nap after my last class of the day. When suddenly I was awaken by the noise of loud singing. I ignored it at first but as the sound got closer I had to see what was up. Wrapped in my comforter , groggily I peaked outside my door only to see 40+ girls singing and clapping. At first I was shocked and confused then I realized I looked a hot mess in front of a pose of perky sorority girls. In efforts to quickly regroup, I tried to slightly close the door a tad just so I could drop the blanket and wipe any gunk out of my eyes (gross I know). My intention was to play it off like I was reaching for a pen with out closing the door all the way. But see this was the problem, I live in a 100 year old dorm and when the windows in the room were open it created this weird suction effect. Not only did the door close in their face it slammed so incredibly hard the walls shook a little. If I was pale enough to turn bright red I would have been the same color as Elmo. When I opened the door the look on their face was priceless. I’m surprised they didn’t snatch their bid back and walk away.

2. If you had to have the same thing for dinner every night for the rest of your life, what would you want that dinner to be?

Crunchy Tacos

3. If you could invite one celebrity over for dinner, who would that be? Why?

Pink; Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with Pink. We would laugh and have a great conversation. We would talk about empowering women, baby Willow and her tattoos, then she would perform a kick butt aerial routine. 

4. What is your favorite movie?

Love and Basketball

5. What are your top 3 guilty pleasures?

Ok don’t tell anyone but they are, the movie Glitter, Ke$ha, and Wasabi Mayo

6. What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

See You Again- Miley Cyrus

7. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Ahhh this is the hardest question ever I have 2 Cuz I Can by Pink and No Reason at All by Jonathan Reid Gealt sung by Katie Thompson

8. If you had the chance to be a contestant on a game show, which game show would you pick?
Press Your Luck- No Wammys No Wammys!

9. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookie’s and Cream!

10. What is your favorite book?
32 Candles- Its a crazy story about a late bloomers revenge against her hometown bullies but things don’t quite turn out as planned.

11. What websites do you visit most frequently?

Pinterest– I’m obsessed

ASOS– Love their Clothes

Apartment Therapy– One day I will be a professional DIY’er

 Blogs I Nominate 

It’s been hard to find blogs that I read that haven’t been nominated for a Liebster Award already. So my 11 is more like 6. Gosh I’m such a rebel!

  1. Ears Like a Hawke
  2. Julielle Sears
  3. Honeysuckle and Lace
  4. Maybe I’m Amazed 
  5. Sweatpants and a Tiara
  6.  A Geek Tragedy

Questions for the Nominated Blogs

  1. What’s your favorite PBS show?
  2. If you could go any where in the world, where would you go and why?
  3. Crunchy Tacos or Soft Tacos?
  4. How did you come up with the title of your blog?
  5. Would you rather be weird or normal? Why?
  6. What’s the last show your binged watched?
  7. Backstreet Boys or N’Sync?
  8. What the last concert you went to?
  9. Big City or Small town?
  10. What clubs/organizations were you in during college?
  11. What’s your favorite magazine?

Getting Over My Fear of Taking Risk

I have never been a big risk taker. For the last 26 years, I have always been the one to play it safe. It was my mindset that I was better safe than sorry. When it came time to apply for colleges, I only applied to the ones I thought I would have a good chance of getting into. When people ask, “whats the craziest thing you have ever done”, I always draw a blank. I haven’t done anything crazy. Now I am realizing, that behavior hasn’t gotten me very far in life. There have been tons of missed opportunities because I was too scared to take even a simple risk like asking a question.

Last month when I turned 26, I made a promise to myself that I would take a few risk every once in a while. Nothing too crazy or that would result in death, but risk that would be beneficial to my well being and make me happy. I am happy to say that I have stayed true to my promise. Unexpectedly just a few days after my birthday I quit my job. It was of bit of a rash decision. When I went into work that day I had no intention of quitting, but within a few hours that toxic work environment reared its ugly head again. Although I’ve wanted to quit before, I constantly told myself that I was lucky to have a job and I shouldn’t quit. However, that day it dawned on me that somethings just aren’t worth it if you go to sleep every night dreading the thought of waking up. Every moment I stayed in that place I was missing out on the opportunity to find something better.

I may not be in the position that I thought I would’ve been in at my age, but I’m at peace, and that’s all I can ask for. Now when I go to sleep, I’m thankful to wake up feeling hopeful. Taking risk isn’t as scary as I once thought. The burden of status quo weighs a lot heavier on your conscience than the result of taking a risk.

Top 3 Reasons I’m Proud to be a Late Bloomer

Yesterday, as I was browsing the internet I happened to runs across this article from The Daily Illini. The article focused on recognizing and embracing your flaws. Although I read it rather quickly and skimmed some of the 600+ word essay, I couldn’t help but continuously re-read this one paragraph,

“Flaws are interesting — they make people seem more exotic, more unique. But admitting your flaws shows confidence and even a degree of maturity — and it may take some critiquing to get there.”

She’s right, flaws ARE interesting, with out them we would be Stepford Wives a.k.a boring and the same. The first step to any issue is to acknowledge that it exist, then to embrace it. But the third step, society has only recently started talking about it, is flaunting it. That’s right, flaunting the one thing that many would be embarrassed to discuss.

I am ridden with flaws most can be seen with the naked eye but the one that has troubled me for a while is being a late bloomer. No one can tell someone is a late bloomer just by looking at them. I started this blog as a way to acknowledge and embrace being a late bloomer but today I am ready to flaunt it. Here are the top 3 reasons I am proud to be a late bloomer:

1. I Have Yet to Reach My Full Potential

Every good story has a climax or peak, so do our lives. There are a large number of people in this world who hit their peak in high school or college. Life from there on out is just a downhill battle. Just like every teen movie in the 90’s its the late bloomers that are successful by the time the credits are rolling. I’m proud to be one of those people, my life is just beginning. Plus if I remember correctly its the hare that wins the race, right?
2. I Really Can’t Get Any More Awkward Than I Already Am

On top of being a late bloomer, awkwardness just seeps from my pores. I have a feeling this is a problem a lot of late bloomers probably struggle with. Should I be ashamed of my inability to thrive in social interactions? Maybe. But I realized today, I am so unfortunately awkward that it really can’t get any worse and for that I am proud. I have fully embraced being awkward. At this point its fairly comical. Just like hitting rock bottom, things can only go up from here on out.
3. I’m Not Jaded by Life

So many of my friends and acquaintance have this jaded outlook on life. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I am sure they have learned valuable lessons from the situations they have encountered. However, I’m seeing that because I am experiencing so many things for the first time my outlook is exceedingly more open-minded. Now that could also mean I am being a bit naive but I choose to be more optimistic.