Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A long journey and giveaway time!

Well, I was suppose to be guest posting on another blog today. I guess that is no longer happening. I understand that things happen in life, and some we can control, but some we cannot, but that sort of irks me. I spent a good amount of time working on that post and really didn't have much energy for it.

Yesterday was the first day I didn't have anything to do. Literally, nothing. I haven't experienced that in a few years. I went to the grocery store. That's it. Graduate school is officially over. In 4 days I will walk across the stage in my Hogwarts-like cap and gown and have my name read as earning a Master of Arts in School Counseling. If you had asked me when I graduated high school if I was going to get a Masters degree, I would have looked at you and said "huh?" I went to Florida State with the intention of becoming a high school English teacher. In high school, I earned my high school diploma as well as an International Baccalaureate diploma. The IB programme was a rigorous college prep program and when I earned that diploma, it helped me begin my freshman year of college with 30 credits. So, on day one of college, I was really starting out as a sophomore.

High school graduation - May 2006

By the end of freshman year, and then almost classified as a junior, I had no idea what I wanted to do. But, with almost 60 credits at that point, I was accepted into the College of Education. Funny enough, the only time I ever stepped foot in that building was to chat with my advisor about changing my major. I didn't officially make that change until right before my junior year began. Sophomore year is what I refer to as the "dark days." I was really depressed. I saw a counselor. I wanted to move home. I wanted to quit going to school. Thank goodness my Mom encouraged me to keep going. I registered for a lesser number of classes and kept with it. My GPA was terrible. Embarrassing, even. I never earned below a C- though. The summer before my 3rd year at FSU something finally clicked. I went into my junior year with my head held high. I switched my major to Family and Child Sciences. I started studying and caring about school. I worked my butt off. I credit this change a little to myself but a lot to my best friend J who was working her butt off in school. I realized if I worked hard, I could do well.

Me and J
In my junior and senior years of college, I only earned one C, in an 8 a.m. class of course. During my senior year, I made it on the Dean's list. I was really proud of myself. I became more involved in extracurricular activities and joined RENEW, a peer counseling group that worked closely with the University Counseling Center. I did one-on-one peer counseling and gave presentations to student groups. I put in over 100 hours of community service in my senior year alone. All while making (almost) straight A's. I earned a B that year in public speaking which was my least favorite class. I graduated with my best friend which was something I had not expected a couple of years before.

During my last semester I began applying to graduate programs. I really wanted to stay in Tallahassee, but unfortunately FSU had done away with their School Counseling program. I applied to their Mental Health Counseling program anyway, but was not accepted. So I looked at the university back in my hometown: FGCU. When I was a senior in high school, I wanted to move as far away as possible, while still remaining in Florida. After 4 years of being away from my family, I was ready to come back home. I applied for the School Counseling program, had a phone interview, and was accepted to begin in the Fall of 2010.

It's so hard to believe that the picture above was taken exactly 3 years ago. So much has changed in my life. I can't wait to see what the next 3 years bring.

Now, for the giveaway! This giveaway is brought to you by Natalie, blogger of At Home With the Hinkleys. I have loved working with her this month. She has a Meet and Greet post on her blog today. Be sure to go check it out! And now, enter away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's my dawg's birthday!

Not sure why but that song popped into my head this morning when I woke up. Now it's stuck there until I find a new one. Song suggestions are much appreciated.

Today marks a very special day! 23 years ago our family welcomed my little brother into the world, and he made our little family complete.

Happy birthday, B!

I can't believe how quickly you have grown up and matured into a handsome, young man. It seems like just yesterday I was changing your diapers, playing with you outside, learning how to play tennis with you, driving you to school each day, watching you graduate high school, going to football games with you, living with you in Tallahassee.... I'm so proud of you! I'm writing this post to you, even though I doubt you read my blog. Maybe Mom will show it to you. Either way, I want you to know you are loved. Despite how much we fight, argue, and get on each others' last nerve (yes, at 23 and 24 we still do that) I have always got your back and I know you have got mine. I am so happy that we have shared just about every one of our life experiences together. Even when you try to offer your ticket to my graduation to other people, I know you wouldn't miss it for the world. 

I love you, you little bird chaser.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

high five for friday (9) + raise up

It's Fridayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

1. I submitted my last graduate school assignment last night! ::doing a happy dance::

2. I decorated my cap for graduation with my good friend A. Weird coincidence: we both lost our dad's - they both passed away in July (the anniversaries of their deaths are 8 days apart) - they both had birthdays in the month of August. I swear, we were destined to be friends. 

3. Today is my last day of internship. I feel mixed emotions about this. I'm sad I won't be spending my time there everyday. I'm sad I won't be there to serve the students and help support teachers and staff. On the other hand, I'm excited to relax and hit up the beach during the work week.

4. It's my brother's 23rd birthday tomorrow! Happy birthday, B! You're growing up way too fast. Which means I'm getting older.

5. My fur child is on the mend after a scary episode Tuesday evening. The vet told us had we not taken him to the animal ER that he was concerned he would not have survived the night. Super scary. 

Enjoy this real old school jam

Raise Up by Petey Pablo on Grooveshark

Linking up!

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Guest post

Happy Thursday! 

I'm guest posting today over at More From Meg. Please go check out my post and I also recommend following her blog. Meghan is such a wonderful person. I really love having the opportunity to guest post on others' blogs, even though I get really nervous about it. I get major writer's block when I sit down to write the post.

I am sad that I have been sort of MIA from my blog in these past couple of weeks. Internship, school, social life, and family stuff have been keeping me busy and it's starting to take it's toll on me. Thankfully school is practically over. Today is technically my last day of class, but we do not have to meet in person. I have two assignments left to turn in. I picked up my cap and gown last night. The Masters gown comes with a hood that I haven't quite figured out how to properly wear. I look like a wizard. I tried it on to show my brother and he asked "where's your wand?" I'm graduating from Hogwarts. I decorated my cap with a friend - something I was not allowed to do for undergraduate graduation. I will share a picture tomorrow!

I leave you with some words of wisdom...from the counselor in me.
                                                           Source: glitz-and-glamourdarling.tumblr.com via Angela on Pinterest

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Giveaways in abundance + OHPW

I couldn't be involved in any more giveaways right now if I tried! I love it!
I am so happy to be meeting wonderful people in the blogging community.

If you are a follower and haven't introduced yourself yet, please do so, now! I want to get to know you lovely people who are reading my crazy thoughts.

Check these out:

$75 Target gift card - from A Night Owl Blog + sponsors. But seriously, don't enter it. I need some more Target obsession funding. I NEED thisthis, and this. Plus more, if I'm being honest.

Lipgloss and Crayons April sponsors giveaway - Carly is the coolest person! I won an ad space spot on her blog from her March sponsor giveaway and am so thrilled that I did. She is so easy to work with and communicates really well. If you have thought about sponsoring her, stop thinking, and do it. It is worth the price. She takes time to build a relationship with her sponsors, which I admire and adore. 

$15 iTunes giveaway - from me! Carly is hosting this on her blog and you have 14 hours left to enter. Get to it stat :) Who doesn't love music?! Or apps, movies, whatever iTunes has, it's all good.

                                                                       Source: heartofthesouth.tumblr.com via Angela on Pinterest


                                                                           Source: weheartit.com via Angela on Pinterest

Well said, girl.

                                                                          Source: Uploaded by user via Amanda on Pinterest

                                                                           Source: ratemyink.com via Angela on Pinterest

Looking for my next tattoo, clearly.

And, last but not least, this is 100% me. I choose wisely. Very wisely. 
                                                                                   Source: imgfave.com via Angela on Pinterest

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Giveaway time: $50 Amazon giftcard

I'm bringing you another giveaway today!

Jackie from Jackie Jade has teamed up with her sponsors and blog friends to bring this giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card. Check out these lovely bloggers and enter in the Rafflecopter below!

Good luck to everyone! All entries will be verified and the winner will be notified once their entry is verified.

Happy Monday everyone!

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Friday, April 19, 2013

high five for friday (8) and baby, don't stop

                                                                    Source: imaginationforbreakfast.com via Angela on Pinterest

I came across this on Pinterest the other day and loved it. I tend to be cautious in life and have been especially closed off the past few years. I have decided to stop doing that and just jump in with both feet - keeping in mind not to jump into shallow waters and get hurt. I just think you can't wait around forever or for what is 100% right, or you will be waiting a long time and might miss out on a great opportunity.

Enough personal philosophy for today. 

1. I drove out to my family's land this week. There is something about the country that brings a smile to my face and makes me feel good all over. We own a lot of land on a road that is named after my great-great grandfather. So, I'm famous. My last name is on a street sign. It's pretty cool. My grandma owns the cows but each of my cousins and I got one when we were born. I grew up on this land. I spent my summer's with my grandma and brother here running around the pasture. 

2. I went to a rock concert! (Somewhat) embarrassing confession: I have been to a handful of concerts in my life. Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and Kenny Chesney are the ones I remember. That might be it. Going to concerts is definitely on my bucket list. I had a blast at this one. I really want to go to a country concert next. Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan...and the list goes on.

3. Strawberry Margarita nail polish!

4. As bittersweet as it is, I have one week left at my internship; and my graduation countdown is 15 days!

5. Last night was my last night of class ever and our professors took us out for appetizers to celebrate after we met on campus. It is so exciting to be done! Class next Wednesday? No, I think I'll hit up ladies night!

Have a lovely weekend!

Now, groove to this old school slow jam....

Too Close by Next on Grooveshark

Link ups:

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Guest post: Meet Stephanie!

I'm giving away an iTunes gift card over at Lipgloss and Crayons. (Don't leave just yet to enter it, keep reading!) Last month, I won a giveaway Carly and friends were hosting and snagged some really awesome ad spaces, one being on her blog. Well, she totally rocks and I 100% recommend sponsoring her blog if you haven't done so already! Go check out the giveaway and her post about what she, as a teacher, wears to school. But first, check out the rest of today's post...

I am so excited to introduce you to a lovely lady I have met in the blogging world named Stephanie. I can't remember exactly how I stumbled onto her blog but I am so excited I did. I swapped blog buttons with her for the month and we got to talking and discovered we have a few things in common. We are both working in the education field as school counselors (I'm still not employed yet, but she is!), we both thought we would HATE middle school before we started working in it, and we both live in Florida. Enough from me: read about the reasons she loves being a school counselor, and be sure to stop by her blog too!

Hi everyone!  My name is Stephanie, I blog over at Never The Same Spice Twice...where I plan my meals each week (most weeks anyway), post recipes and tips I've picked up along the way, and talk about what life is like with the sweetest hubby AND a baby on the way!  But what a lot of people don't know about me is that I'm a school counselor (my day job)!  I'm excited that Angela has invited me to guest post over here, and thought I would talk a little bit about the 5 reasons I enjoy being a counselor!

1.  Every day is different!  I can't even tell you how many times I catch myself saying "Never had this situation before"!

2.  There is an extreme entertainment factor!  Yes, kids say the darndest things...and so do the parents!  You just have to laugh!

3.  You get to make a difference!  You may not see the results for a while, and sometimes you will wonder if "it's all even worth it".  And then suddenly, that "Ah-Ha" moment comes, and you realize why you love your job!

4.  You get to do a little bit of everything!  Ok, if you are thinking of going into the field you probably have heard "you don't get to do nearly as much counseling as you would like".  Unfortunately this is true, but you get to do a variety of other things so it never gets boring!

5.  You get to go all out with school spirit!!!  This is the beauty of working in education in general...see picture above!  You get to participate in decade days, crazy sock days, pirate days, character dress up day...the list goes ON!  

Don't get me wrong there are days when I feel completely overwhelmed!  Things move very quickly, and there is literally not enough time in the day to even scratch the surface!  But at the root of it all I'm still happy with my career decision, and I'm grateful to work with a wonderful team!  Since this is one of the craziest times of the year, coordinating state testing, 6th grade orientations, as well as the beginning stages of developing next years master schedule....it is nice to reflect on the reasons why I do love being a school counselor.  
If you have any questions, just ask!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

high five for friday (7) & gator boots

1. This photo tells so much about my happiness at the moment. 

First: I am just 2 hours away from my total number of hours needed at my internship this semester. That's right, just 2 more hours! Second: I need 48 total group hours and am just 5.5 away from that number. Third: I only needed 120 direct hours and I have 133. Pure joy over here right now! This internship has been a lot of hard work, and now on to my second "high five"....

2. I couldn't have survived my past two internships without my amazing supervisor. Long story made short: I had a terrible first internship experience at a high school in 2011. My supervisor was nasty and could have cared less if I learned anything. I ended up having to switch internship sites in the last month in order to reach my mere 100 hours of internship. My supervisor for my past 2 internships (R) is such a wonderful person with the biggest heart. She has advocated for me in a million different ways and done everything in her power to make sure I reach my designated number of hours and also learned a great deal about what school counselors really do. Yesterday, we had some quiet moments between the two of us and it was truly awesome. I'm so happy to have made a lifelong friend in this process.

3. I got to see my cousins, aunts, uncle, and Granny over the weekend. Sadly, it was to attend a funeral, but we had a nice dinner together after the service...during which I broke the news about my tattoo. Granny was not a fan, to say the least. 

4. Pardon my language in that picture, but I partied pretty hard Friday night. I had a blast, but hated myself the next day. For the past 3 years, I haven't done anything like that. It was nice to let loose and have some fun for the first time in years. 

5. Today is a jeans day! Seriously, it's about the little things in life... Looking forward to the weekend and a possible beach trip. Praying for no rain Saturday. 

What are your plans this weekend? Have a great one!

And, I leave you with some Big Tymers for #backthatazzupfriday

Linking up:

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday

Pinterest has done a great job of sucking up my time lately. I still love it though. 
Linking up with The Vintage Apple.

Tomorrow's outfit, possibly. Wish I had a bright yellow blazer, but my hot pink will have to do!
                                                                        Source: data.whicdn.com via Angela on Pinterest

I need this view ASAP!

                                                                             Source: wookmark.com via Angela on Pinterest

I love how the curtains frame the bed. Dramatic.
                                                                      Source: heavenlypins.com via Angela on Pinterest

Fireplace beside the tub = love <3
                                                                               Source: foodfiend.co.cc via Angela on Pinterest

True friendship, to me, is this:
                                                                              Source: Uploaded by user via Angela on Pinterest

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