Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Candace's 2013

I could sum up 2013 in two words: challenging and adventure. This is the year I have FINALLY become whole again and think I have figured out what it is I want to do with my life (or I at least have a better idea). It's the year that I finally felt as if I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing what I was meant to do. So here you go, big events from 2013:

Early in 2013 I began the process of getting a job at OU...the one I ended up getting and have now.  (The one that consumes so much of my time - though I must say, I'm getting much better at managing work and personal...even if it did take me nine months.) In April, I left Sysco and began as OU's social media marketing manager. It has been both a challenge and an adventure. Most days I love it. There have been a few days I'd love for my phone to disappear. And one or two days when I'd love to disappear, but I do feel it's where I'm supposed to be.  Along with this new job, has come so many opportunities, events and all-around excitement. I watched football on the field, hung out with Jep and Jessica Robertson for a day and Barry Switzer in his living room, hosted an Instameet on campus and my favorite thing of all - spoke at conferences, events and schools about social media, online identity and digital citizenship.

In May, I turned 28. The very same day, Oklahoma had some of the worst storms in Oklahoma history. Luckily, my brother and Lauren had come down to celebrate with birthday dinner. We wound up in the student union with my friend Laura and several hundred of our "closest friends." It was so nice of everyone to get together for me like that. ;) It wasn't ideal, but at the end of that batch of storms, my home was still standing and that's so much more than other people had at that time. Not to mention, I had some pretty great company.

In August, my sister, Cortney, and I took a trip to Washington D.C. We both love DC.  We ate good food, met interesting people, almost got hit by a car, rode the entire Metro 500 times (or so it seems) and enjoyed a lot of sister time and people watching. (I LOVE the metro and would love to live somewhere I didn't need a car.)

Speaking of cars, I began the process of car shopping in the summer. Car shopping proved to be the worst. The. Worst. I'm writing a post about my experience. Stay tuned. It's a good one - full of awkward Candace moments. In the end it all worked out and I happily drive my new 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T V8 Hemi. (Btw, the ticket I got was NOT in my car - it was in a CNG-powered truck and I thought I truly deserved an award for getting it to go as fast as the hi-po said I was going.) Jovie even has a special car seat and loves it.

Speaking of Jovie, she turned two this year (on September 1) and we celebrated two years together (on 11-11)! She is such a happy part of my everyday life. If you know me at all, you know what she means to me.  And if you don't know me so well, just have a look at my Instagram feed (@candacepants). ;)

My DIY Chair Revamp was featured on Brit+Co in August but I saw it just the other day. It was a very nice surprise.

And lastly, this year also began my roller derby adventure! Roller derby is the hardest, funnest thing I've ever done.  I was looking for something to whip me into shape (check!), give me something extracurricular and fun to do - like something I do for me and no one else and simply because I want to do it (check!) and a way to meet new people and make new friends (check!). Also, having played competitive sports in high school and semi-playing intramurals in college, I missed being a part of a team and having something competitive in my life.  This has been the best thing that could have happened to me. It's proved to be a great outlet and stress reliever. The girls are beautiful, strong athletes and great people. It can be very lonely going home alone day after day. So getting to go to practice and hang out with other girls who share a common interest has been a big part of me becoming whole again - a big part of what keeps me happy. We've been training hard and will test and have try-outs in January. 

So for 2014, I have an ambitious and exciting to-do list ready and waiting! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Letters to Santa

Several weeks ago my mom came across some of our old letters to Santa. She did what any responsible librarian would do and laminated them and we (my brother, sister and I) read them aloud last night for Christmas Eve.  I thought I'd also share on here. I believe I was in ninth grade, Cortney was in eighth and that would make Bubba in third. Bubba was still a "believer" in Santa and Cortney and I were helping keep up the act.

Dear Santa,
May I please have a remote control race car? If you don't have a 'mote control race car, then a 'mote control pickup will do.

Dear Santa,
How's it goin'? How are the reindeer?! Well for Christmas this year I really want a karyoke (circled with "sp?" written by it) machine. (I'm tired of using hairbrushes to sing with.) If I do get a karyoake machine, I want it to be able to play karyoake cd's.
If I don't get that then I want Adidas wind suit pants and an Adidas sweat shirt. (If I don't get the shirt, I'm not going to kill-over.) Oh, but I do want the pants that button up the side of the leg.
In my stocking I would like the Backstreet Boys "Millennium" cd.
P.S. Tell the elves I said "Hi!"
P.S.S. I really don't care either one of the things I asked for would be fine! OK?!

Dear Santa,
A portable cd player with a three second anti-skip. And I would also like a portable cd player case. It has two compartments. One is for the portable cd player and the other is for cds.  I would also really like Celine Dion's new cd. A Decade of Song. It's the number one seller at Wal-Mart in the electronics department. I have been very, very, very, very good this year. I was never in major trouble. I never even got a spanking with the big brown belt. (If I had, believe me, I would have remembered.) I worked real hard the first semester and I wound up with all A's. I have also never had drugs or alcohol, so that should count for something!

Ha! Not only do these letters show that my sister and I had terrible taste in music, but they also nicely illustrate each of our distinct personalities - Bubba, short and to the point. After all, this is the man who has to get off the phone because his "ear is getting hot." Cortney, friendly, outgoing, conversational - but while she won't kill over a sweat shirt, she might over pants. LOL! And me, to-the-point, specific and well-researched, with facts to justify the purchase.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Target Gift Card Giveaway Winner

is.......Liz Lewis from Liz Makes! (Liz, I just sent you an email.)

Thank you to those who participated. I enjoyed reading your choices!

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This or That: Christmas Edition (and Target Giftcard Giveaway!)

UPDATE (12.23.2013): This giveaway is now closed. (However, feel free to answer below if you would like!) The giveaway winner information can be found HERE.

Hi friends! Let's have some fun and get to know each other a little better!

The rules are simple and there are only three:
1. Go down the list and choose which you prefer for each of the "or's."
2. Tell why.
3. No answering with "both" or "neither." This is Candaceland and you. Must. Choose. :)

Keep scrolling for giveaway details!

So I'll tell you mine as an example (and so you get to know me better) and then I'll end with the giveaway details! Yay!

Home Alone - I think this is mostly generational. I was at that right age when this movie was popular. Also I always found that kid in Christmas Story annoying (though I like the grown up version) and I dated a guy whose mom LOVED this movie and she annoyed me so........
Hot Cocoa - Or as I like to call it "Ho Cho" and I drink my body weight in it each year. Though I do have a great recipe for egg nog I'm anxious to try, ho cho will always be my comfort drink.
Clear - I like the simplicity. When I had my old house I put 800 clear lights on a six foot tree. I think they could see it from space but it was beautiful.
Gingerbread - My friend Bethanye and I just made a village this past weekend. It was hilarious and entertaining. Time well spent.
Grinch - this year anyway. I'm just so stressed and busy and overwhelmed. Looking forward to my two week break (hello, working at a university!).
Fake - always a fake. They last year after year and don't aggravate my allergies...though this is my third year of no tree or decorations. That's what happens when you live in a studio apartment.
TRUFFLES - helloooooooo, it's chocolate!
Hahahahahaha - Clark - as much as I love the zingers Cousin Eddie says, I choose Clark exclusively based on the expression on his face in that pic.
White Christmas - Because of the TWO "Sisters" numbers. (but I truly love both these movies.)

Now for the Giveaway! Up for grabs is a $25 Target Giftcard!
Ways to enter (Note: Be sure to enter separate comments for each entry!!!!!)
  • Leave a comment with your selections from above. (One comment for all - not a comment for each on this one.)
  • Follow this blog (if you aren't already) and leave a comment saying you did.
  • Share this on Facebook and leave a comment saying you did.
  • Share on Twitter and leave a comment saying you did.
  • Pin to Pinterest and leave a comment saying you did, with the link to your board.
So, if you do each of these, you would have five total comments below.  The winner will be drawn at random at 5:00 pm Central Time on Monday, December 23, 2013. Winner will be announced on the blog and emailed. Please make sure the account you comment with has an up-to-date email address associated with it, OR leave your email address in your comment so I can reach you if you win! Gift card will be mailed to the winner, unless you're local and then I'll deliver it. (Anyone can play; only US residents can win.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Favorite Things

1. Vaseline Lip Therapy | Cocoa Butter
I love the winter time but my skin gets so dry. My lips are the worst. So I bring you this lip balm. It keeps my lips in much better shape than others I've tried and Burt's Bees has become a little to strong for my taste.  (read: it kind of stings. I think that's where they got the name.) Initially, I almost passed this one up because I don't like to put on lip balm with my finger but I'm glad I gave it a try. I mostly use this one before bed and over lip stick before work.  There's another kind with a nice rose tint. It's texture is a little thinner than this one though. There's also an "original" that I completely avoid and will not try because it reminds me of mentholatum. And I have been traumatized with mentholatum my entire life. (A blog post for another time.) So there you have it, the secret to my beautifully supple yet perpetually unkissed lips.

2. Evernote
Chances are if I talk to you on a regular basis, I have sung the praises of Evernote.  And in return, chances are you have given me a blank stare as thanks. If I don't talk to you on a regular basis, you are in for a real treat! Evernote is a free app you can load on your phone/laptop/other devices, etc. You use a login and then no matter what device you are using, all your notes sync with each other.  So, for example, if I'm in a meeting and have only my phone, I take notes on my Evernote app and then when I get back to my computer or home laptop, BAM! There are my notes, haunting waiting for me!  You can also tag notes to search later. So if I'm meeting with College of Business, they get a Business tag.  That way it's easy to go back and see all the notes you've taken from College of Business meetings and what's been discussed.  I also use this for my grocery list because if I think of something, I add it wherever I am and then it's on my phone with I get to the store. SO HANDY. One last thing: you can email notes to people. So if you're taking minutes or need to send notes to everyone who attended a particular meeting, it's built in.  You can send it so that they can edit or you can send it locked so they can only view.  Oh, the power!

3. Tights
What girl doesn't love tights and boots?! This is basically my uniform 85% of the time in the winter. (Hello, fleece-lined tights!) Most of mine come from Banana Republic, J.Crew and Zulily. (The ones in the photo above are from Zulily. I have them all.)  Also, let's all remember and observe the cardinal rule of tights: Thou shall not wear tights as pants.

I would live in this shirt if it was socially acceptable to wear the same thing every single day. Wait, is it?! This shirt is soft and comfortable and easy - from washer to dryer to wearer. The title describes it as "western" but I don't really think it looks western.  I wear it with black jeans, boots and a scarf or sweater OR an orange skirt, tights, boots.  The jury is still out on if shirts like this are acceptable to be worn with denim jeans. My brother says that is what you call a Texas Tuxedo. Your call. I'm not going to live your life. Just telling you what I know.

Technically, SNL did this video for Halloween…but I cannot stop watching it. So a little background - I love Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom) movies more than any other movies out there. The styling, the humor, the dryness, the filmography - I. Love. It.  It may not be for everyone and I'm ok with that. It only means I will get a good seat for opening day of The Grand Budapest Hotel.  So, this video is a spoof of Wes Anderson-style films.  It is hilarious and I have watched it at least 500 times. If you're not a fan of Wes Anderson, you may not get/enjoy it.  But if you are, get ready to laugh! What am I saying?! If you're a fan, you've probably already seen it! "You had me at Wes Anderson." Yep.

I don't have the thickest or longest eye lashes around and I never never NEVER use one of those torture devices known as an eye lash curler. Why would anyone want to crimp the hair coming out of their eye?! I don't like. So when my future sister-in-law, Lauren, told me about this mascara I thought I'd give it a try. I get it at Ulta, but Sephora has it too. It only comes in one color. Generally I'm a black-brown kind of girl but jet black is the only color available in this mascara and it's fine. Not to sound like one of those stupid, over-the-top mascara commercials, but it really does provide dramatic length and volume AND (my favorite part is) is doesn't smudge or run, yet still comes off easily when I wash my face before bed. It's a win!


Artwork: stag, banner and borders: We Lived Happily Ever After; Sketch Me Pretty: 12 Stunning Free Rustic Graphics
"December 2013" Font: GrutchShaded
"Favorite Things" Font: SoLonely

(These are my thoughts and opinions. I did not receive any type of compensation for these statements; these items are simply things I like, enjoy and/or find useful.)