Happy Memorial Day!

I always think of Memorial Day the official start of summer. The pool opens, temperatures are nice and toasty, and the lightening bugs come out to play. I never really thought about Memorial Day as an actual holiday with actual meaning until this year. Sounds silly, right? But it truly wasn’t until my brother joined the Coast Guard that I actually thought about Memorial Day as a day of thanks. I see so many ads for sales and pools and theme parks and other summer stuff that I tend to forget the real reason for today.

Here are a few quick tidbits about the holiday for those that are interested:

  • Originally called Decoration Day
  • Wasn’t a federal holiday until the 1970’s but started after the Civil War
  • Each year at 3 PM on Memorial Day a moment of remembrance occurs
  • Many people decorate the graves of fallen soldiers or pray over their loved ones in the military
  • The first “official” Memorial Day was held in Waterloo, New York when, in 1968, the city closed its shops and decorated graves with flags
  • We now use the date to remember all fallen soldiers, not just those that died during a specific battle or of natural causes after their service

And for those you of that are interested in hitting up some iconic Memorial Day sales, here’s a list:

  • Target sale on clothing and furniture
  • Kawaii Pen Shop site wide sale
  • Walmart (general sale off most things in store)
  • Old Navy 50% off clothing for the family
  • Wayfair 30-75% off site wide
  • Basically all the big businesses are having sales right now, so rather than spam you with the world’s longest list I’ll direct you -> here

See what I mean when I say I get distracted by all the shopping nonsense and forget the reason for the season? If I find the historical timeline for these sale shenanigans, or the economical reason for it, I’ll add an update in the comments:)

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This Summer’s Perfect Wrap Dress

Living in the American South can have its perks, but I wouldn’t consider summer one of them. It’s SO hot! Right now, in May, Georgia is experiencing temps well into the 80’s. On my graduation day it got up to 90 degrees! And I don’t know about you, but I prefer loose fitting clothing during this time of year.

Blooming Jelly, a company that sells on Amazon, invited me to try one of their dresses for summer. I’ve never owned a wrap dress before…I’m always worried that they’ll come untied! Yikes!

This dress has two sets of ties, one for the first wrap layer and another that ties in the back, so you never have to worried about losing your dress to the wind! Plus the bigger tie allows you to have a cute bow in the back.

The wrap also lets you control how much cleavage you show. I’m fairly conservative, so I tied the dress pretty tight at the waste. I found the v-neck cut very flattering.

I absolutely love the pattern of jungle leaves (I got mine in the green!). The ruffles give the dress more movement and add an element of fun. I was worried about the dress being too short, but the hem came to just above my knees. I’m on the shorter side (barely 5’4″), so that might be why the dress is a bit longer on me than in the images on Amazon.

 I wore this dress to Mother’s Day brunch at an upscale country club. I got compliments from many people, some older, more conservative women and other women about my age (22). I’m 5’4″ and 115 pounds and wearing a small. The dress runs a tad bit big, but since it’s a wrap dress you can tie it tighter or looser depending on your preference. The material is very soft and the dress is well sewn. Definitely worth the price!

Check out my Amazon review by clicking here!

This v-neck wrap dress is the one I’ll be reaching for all summer long, for barbecues to graduations to family events!

My Mother, the Feminist

When people ask me where I get my stubborn sense of independence from, I always smile and say “I get it from my mom.” Mothers tend to be complicated creatures, but they’ll love you like no one else. I’m lucky my mother has given me all the opportunities she wishes she’d had growing up.

When my mom went to school girls were not allowed to wear pants. Her mother needed the permission of her husband to have her tubes tied. Sexual education tended to be abstinence only or not at all. While women began to go to college more often, campuses were often dominated by the male sex. I believe that growing up in a culture where my mother learned to fight to be heard helped her raise a strong, fiercely independent daughter.

Throughout my life my mother has encouraged me to be the doctor, the lawyer, the scientist – rather for me to marry one of the above. I was always pushed towards success. I learned very quickly that brains, brawn, and beauty are not mutually exclusive features. There’s so much my mother has taught me throughout my life that one day doesn’t feel sufficient enough to show my love. And even though I don’t always remember to say “thank you” every day, I know I should.

Thank you, Mom, for teaching me to be the person I am and giving me the strength to go out on a limb to discover the person I want to grow up to be.

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Things I Wish I Could Go Back and Tell Freshman Year Me

The best four years of my life are coming to a close this Friday. I’m graduating from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Psychology, with an emphasis in neuroscience, and a minor in Art History. I’ll be heading off to Macon, Georgia in July to start law school at Mercer with a full ride. I should feel ecstatic about this next chapter of my life, but now that I’m here all I want to do is rewind.

My parents always told me that I would enjoy college. They told me I would find my people, people just like me that were cool with being uncool and didn’t mind if all I wanted to talk about was the news or science facts or cats. I didn’t believe them. Middle school and high school had been so awful that I didn’t believe that any form of school could be okay, much less actually enjoyed. I wish I had listened to them. I went into my freshman year cautious, guarded, and terribly shy. I wanted to make new friends because I was lonely, but I was so scared being bullied or hated that I really struggled with actually connecting with people. Four years later and I could become BFF’s with just about anyone. I re-learned that the world is full of good intentions, but not always good people, and that’s okay. Being kind and open will get you much further than being cautious.

I’ve never been good at math and science, or at least not as good at that as I am at writing. My parents always encouraged me to follow my passion, but I was dead set on having a career that would allow me to make enough money to support a family. I chose science as a freshman because I saw the potential for a safety net – I could go to school and do just okay and still end up making enough money to be considered successful. Three semesters into my science courses and I was calling my dad, in tears, on a monthly basis because I hated my classes so much. The one thing I learned from this? Do something you’re good at for a career, and save the stuff that makes you happy for your weekends. Science fills me with wonder and excitement, but taking science classes made me want to pull my hair out. I just flat out wasn’t good at them, so I didn’t enjoy them. It made science feel like a chore rather than an ambition. You might disagree with me here, but my advice is to never let the thing that brings you joy become your day job, because then it feels like a chore.

Walking into college, I decided that I wasn’t here to have fun, I was here to make a career for myself. I was so driven. I wanted to work in a lab and have internships with the CDC and go places. Only in my junior year did I actually stop myself and say “hold up, I have the rest of my life to work, but if I go out with friends or wake up early to watch the sunrise instead of applying for a second job I’m going to have so much more fun”. Junior year I changed my mindset, added a minor that made me happy, stopped freaking out about adulthood, got an internship in something that wasn’t science, decided on going to law school instead of getting my Ph. D. (still might happen one day, though), and started living. Wow. Not only did my quality of life improve, my grades did too.

Now that my undergrad life is coming to a close I’m beginning to realize how much I have truly loved this chapter in my life. I’m glad I embraced it, even though it took a few semesters. As I head off into law school I am reminded of how lucky I am that I have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

Go Dawgs!