Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dreamsicle Cupcakes

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Working on that bikini bod for summer but still need to satisfy that sweet tooth craving? Well now you can have your cake and eat it too...literally. My refreshing slim-down creamsicle cupcakes will pair perfectly with Sunkist TEN to wash it down. 3 cheers for a happy body, healthy body as we edge into swimsuit season!

And now for the star of the show, a sure crowd pleaser for any summertime party:

Round up a few simple ingredients:
1 can Sunkist Ten Calorie (or 12 fl oz)
1 box white cake mix
Zest and juice of one orange
Fat free cool whip

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 spot muffin pan.

2. Mix Sunkist, cake mix, and juice and zest from half of orange in a large bowl.

3. Divide mixture evenly into cupcake liners.

3. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

4. Cool to room temperature and "ice" with cool whip topping mixed with juice and zest from other half of orange. Add sprinkles if desired.

5. Serve with shooters of Sunkist Ten.

Let's face it, diet foods and drinks are rarely as good as the real thing. Not the case with TEN Calorie sodas available in the flavors we already know and love: A&W TEN, 7up TEN, Canada Dry TEN, and my personal favorite: Sunkist TEN. 
You get the full flavor you desire, while only sacrificing ten tiny "empty" calories. Which is next to nothing in the grand scheme of your day, right? 

Convinced yet? It's your lucky day: Receive $.50 off your purchase of two 2-liters or two 4-pack cans of A&W, Canada Dry, 7up or Sunkist TEN at participating Wal-Mart, available while supplies last until 4/17. 

twitter // facebook

Sacrifice great taste no longer! Enjoy!
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How to Flirt Smart: Tips to Charm and Chat Up the Opposite Sex

Need to up your game? A few smart tweaks to your pick-up strategy will have you chatting 'em up like a pro. When you’re too smart for an e-book, try SmartBook and don’t just work hard—work smart.

Because girls love puppies. Case in point: Me on vacation.

SmartBook is the first and ONLY adaptive reading experience, designed to revolutionize the way students read and learn. It continuously adapts to a study experience by highlighting content based on what a student knows and doesn’t know. Geesh, why could this gem not have been invented before I was a second semester senior?!
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

A shot to the heart.

I like to pretend that I am immune from human emotion. I rarely, if ever cry. An ETSJ isn't supposed to be feely after all. Truth is, I am sensitive when it comes to certain subjects. Blogging, for example.

I applied for a user test of my blog to get an outsiders perspective; a "Peek" into Whispering Sweet Nothings. My review felt like a personal attack. I did not expect such harsh criticism. It cut deep because this little blog is is like a baby I've been raising for three years.

This test is not for the faint of heart. I did receive valuable feedback on aspects I never would have considered, such as the readability of the fonts to keep in mind for my next bloggy face lift. I realize that constructive criticism is crucial for growth and improvement, but as a perfectionist, it is tough to feel as if I am not living up to other's standards.

Am I wrong for thinking he was a tad over-critical? Numerous times he says "I don't know what this means" "I don't get the point" Dude, click the link and find out! Blogging is interactive for a reason.

I began to second guess myself. It felt like three years of hard work and commitment down the drain. Why am I a blogger? Should I continue on?

Most of us claim "I blog for me" in a mission to maintain authenticity and avoid "selling out." Yet the honest truth of the matter is, we all craft our blog to resonate with the audience of readers we wish to reach. I wanted to use this test to gain honest insight into what others truly think of my corner of the interwebs. 

Clearly this guy was not within my target audience and did not even know what a blog was, so was hardly qualified to judge me. Moral of the story: I will never again have a random male judge my blog. Some peoples opinions just don't matter.

I need to learn to...
I realize I am easily offended. I take what others say and do way too personally. There comes a point in life when you have to realize, not everyone is out to get you.

Don't take it personally...
...when you don't get that job promotion and it's offered to your male counterpart. Keep working your butt off and prove your worth.

Don't take it personally..
...when your boyfriend blows up at you for seemingly no reason after a stressful day at work. Kiss him and keep calm.

Don't take it personally...
...when you don't get into that sorority you rushed. Realize you were only wanted for superficial reasons.

Don't take it personally...
...when you don't get that "A" you worked your butt off for in a highly subjective Anthropology course, which were totally out of your element in.

Don't take it personally...
...when less people show up for the party you spent months planning. Your real friends will be there.

 Don't take it personally...
...when you don't get asked out on that second date. It wasn't meant to be.

 Don't take it personally...
...when you lose a follower on twitter. It's their loss.

When people are rude, chances are it is something within them that has nothing to do with you. Some people exhibit meanness as a defense mechanism, a way to appear strong and confident, when in fact, they are tiny and scared deep down. Each person's opinion is based solely on their own life and reality. You never know what battle they may be fighting. 

Don't waste your energy trying to rationalize people's motives behind their actions.These are wasted hours spent worrying what others think of you. Hours that can be spent elsewhere in life. Chances are it can't be done. Learn to accept the people you cannot change in life. Write it off as their own insecurities and learn to let it go.
Haters gonna hate. Potatoes gonna potate.
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Totally Awesome Hop + April Giveaway!

Pardon me, this is a bit of a mash-up post, but one you're sure to love! You get to not only meet my lovely sponsors, but also join in a totally awesome blog hop and win lots of goodies! But first let's take a second to  ooh and ah over the American Blogger trailer. I will let my geek shine through by admitting this is the most stoked I've ever been for a movie release. I feel like I know all the stars just from stalking their blogs over the past three years!
Totally Awesome Blog Hop

This is the new BI-monthly version of the Totally Awesome Blog Hop brought to you by ChantillySongs and a cast of wonderful revolving co-hosts (this month Dani and Shane!) Our goal is community building between like-minded folks. This is a place for of people to meet, make friends, and expand their following. We want our audiences to get to know each other! We'll now be posting twice monthly.  Welcome!
TABH banner 2
Before you add your link and participate, please do these super simple things-

#1 Follow your host AND co-hosts on one of their platforms
ChantillySongs {Follow: + + + + +}
Love Me, Dani Marie {Follow: + + +}
Whispering Sweet Nothings {Follow: + + +}

#2 Link back to this post or grab a button!

#3 Visit other sites, follow, and comment- This whole community thing only works if everyone participates.  Get out there and discover some new favorites!

Optional- Post about it on twitter, facebook, and other social media sites.

Blog hop
Blissful Blonde
I started my blog to document my life as a way to remember things, but found that I enjoy writing about anything and everything! There's no real category that it falls into it. I just like to think of it as a place where anyone can talk about anything, be themselves and make friends! That's what blogging is all about anyways, right?

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

I would definitely swim with sharks if I knew I could not fail aka DIE! I grew up going to the beach and swimming in the ocean, but a couple of years ago, I developed this ridiculous fear of sharks out of no where. I can barely go in the ocean now without 3+ people accompanying me. The more the better (so they get eaten first). Sharks are beautiful, fascinating creatures, but I can't get over my fear! If I could swim with the (without a cage) and not fail, I would do it in a heart beat.  bloglovin // instagram // twitter

I'm a 21 year old southern girl blogging about how I want to live our my life in Edinburgh. I love wine, music festivals, and being in college (even though I complain about it a lot). My blog is my sanctuary, my place to be me and love the weird things that I love, Harry Potter included. 

facebook // twitter // bloglovin

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
I would be traveling to every country, meeting new people and singing for thousands most every night. I would help those in need with the money that I gained and then do it all over again. Also. I would publish a few books.

Hudson & Emily
Husband and wife. Christians. Summer lovers. Adventure seekers. Bloggers about everything from memories to marriage to motivation.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
We would LOVE to take some time off work and travel the country -- if we just had enough money for that!

It's Emma Elise
My blog was the product of a late-night at the library and my tendency to procrastinate. I never expected it to turn into something more! I lovingly refer to my blog as a "random crap" blog, because I cover topics like fashion, beauty, lifestyle, college, and more!

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
I would try to fix things with my ex.

facebook // twitter // pinterest

Everyday Thoughts

Everyday Thoughts is a lifestyle blog written by a twenty-something wife and mother, living just outside Atlanta. I'm not a fashion blogger but I like fashion. I'm not a chef but I like to cook. I'm no longer an athlete but I think it's important to live a healthy lifestyle. I love to meet new people and try new things. I want to travel, everywhere and I believe a glass of wine is good for the soul. 

bloglovin // facebook // twitter

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Wow, tough question. I would start my own ad agency while balancing a family life with two little ones.

That College Girl's Guide
My blog started as a way for me to fill the void after a rough breakup. I would see date ideas and such, and wanted to keep them all in one place. So, TCGG was born. I soon started getting a lot of reader questions, which is when I realized that people were actually reading my blog! At that point, I decided to get more serious and make this blog the best it could be.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Go up to any male that I found attractive. Then, I would eventually find the right guy. (Right?!)

facebook // twitter // pinterest

Endlessly Beloved
On my blog, you will find a crazy mix of love, college, and talking about wanting to diet and the next day how much I love In N Out Burger. I'm in a long distance relationship so that inspires a lot of my writing. Basically, my blog is where I share the ramblings of my everyday life plus some sarcasm and awkwardness.

instagram // bloglovin // twitter
What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
If I knew I could not fail, I would try to open my own store. I love crafting, designing, and anything cute and rustic, and it has been a dream of mine to someday open a little shop. I have the whole vision- just a small boutique with lots of handmade items and cute decorations, but of course it would be a lot of work!

A lifestyle blog focused on post-grad life and the changes that come with finally entering the "real world" which any 20-something can relate. I hope that by documenting my experience I will be able to reach out to others facing similar struggles and help them find their way.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
I always thought that attempting to write my own book would be a complete waste of time because I would not be successful, but recently my thoughts on that have changed. I am now determined to write a book and have it published within the next year or two. I will not fail, because it is something I am truly passionate about and determined to see myself succeed. I think anything is possible if you really put your mind to it. 

A Labour of Life
I write about everything I hold near and dear. I am addicted to Clothes and Shoes and will always showcase what I am wearing but I will always include stories abut food, wine, travel, my cat.. whatever takes my fancy that day.I am an avid "Volunteer" and participate in many music festivals.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
I would open a Bar with a recording studio attached, and it would be the family business.

bloglovin // instagram // pinterest

My Daily Sweet
I created my blog to share products I love, tips to stay healthy, and new trends in fashion and beauty. I love featuring and collaborating with other bloggers, so you're sure to get a good mix of content on my blog. Plus, each one of my posts finishes off with a sweet story to help brighten your day.

bloglovin // twitter // facebook

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Definitely pursue either writing (blogging) or dancing at a professional level. These are huge passions of mine but I've been focusing on more certain paths in life to make sure that I'll be able to provide for myself and my family.

After Eleven
A mommy lifestyle blog that comes alive, "after eleven" o'clock. Created as a journal in hopes of one day passing it down to my kiddos so they can see what life was like for them growing up, the silly WIW outfits that their mom wore, the love their mom and dad shared, and just simple things that were going on in life...all while meeting blogging friends from around the world! 

twitter // bloglovin // instagram

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Drink a gallon of milk in an hour. (chocolate milk, since white milk is disgust-o).

Wanna be featured next week? Use code: PIMPME for 20% off!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Portrait of an ESTJ

Extroverted Sensing Thinking Judging

"The Guardian"

Normally I am not a big believer in zodiac signs and the like. I feel that they attempt to use catch-all generalizations, claiming to describe a person based on how the stars aligned. Sure, as a Taurus I'm supposed to be a stubborn bull-head, determined to never back down from a situation (which is very true).

Same goes with most personality tests. The Meyers Briggs is an exception: I've taken it a few times in the past 5 years, and never fail to be dubbed an ESTJ. And let me just say, the description fits me to a T! If you don't know your "type" yet, head over and take this interactive personality test!

EST J  Decoded
  1. ESTJ's deal with things rationally and logically  
Hi my name is Shane, and I over-analyze everything. This is a big flaw of mine which is beneficial in my Business Analytics major but can put a strain on my relationships, as I tend to value reason over feelings. I never take anything at face value without dissecting each little piece of the puzzle. As stressful as this seems, it's a necessary evil in my always-reeling mind.

  1. ESTJ's live in a world of facts and concrete needs
I value facts over opinions and ideas. I hold a clear set of standards and beliefs and am not easily swayed.  I make certain everything is running smoothly and systematically in group settings, valuing competence and efficiency, in myself and others, rewarded with quick results for my efforts. 

  1. The ETSJ is outspoken, a person of principles, which are readily expressed
I am extremely straightforward and honest, perhaps to a fault. I do not sugar coat anything and am not afraid to stand up for that which I believe is right, even to others dismay. Since I put a lot of weight in my own beliefs, it is important for me to remember to value other people's input and opinions. 

Lately, I have been catching myself tending to be too ridged and overly detail-oriented. My one communication struggle is talking about my emotions. Aren't females supposed to rock at that?!

  1. ESTJs are take-charge and dedicated people.  
I have such a clear vision of the way that things "should" be, and thus naturally step into leadership roles. I am pro at developing plans for action, and being able to envision the steps which need to be taken to reach a specific goal.  I gain a certain satisfaction from crossing things off of a To-Do list, yet can feel overwhelmed when the responsibilities seem never ending. 

  1. ESTJ's can be very demanding and critical
      I have been called bossy my fair share of times. True, I can be overly harsh and aggressive if it's something I'm passionate about. Because I place such a strong value on my principles, I get very upset when "justice" isn't served. Anyone who knows me in real life would be able to tell you that I often get worked up about    things solely "on principle."

I often find myself neglecting my "Feeling" side (notice I don't have the "F" in my type) which can lead to problems with fulfilling other's needs for intimacy, and unknowingly hurting people's feelings by applying logic and reason to situations which demand more emotional sensitivity. It is also in my perfectionist nature to be extremely critical of myself which leads to never feeling fully satisfied.

6. Under stress, an ESTJ often feels isolated from others

At times I feel misunderstood and undervalued, that my efforts are taken for granted. Although normally the ESTJ is very verbal and doesn't have any problem expressing themselves, when under stress they have a hard time putting their feelings into words and communicating them to others. As much as I love people, sometimes I do feel as if I would be better off on my own as it would make my life a hell of a lot easier. After a big party, I feel like I need alone time to rejuvenate so I don't explode.

Relaxing feels like hard work to me, as irrational as that sounds. Thus, relaxing is my focus in April of my Happiness Project. I can't stand the feeling of wasting time and must constantly be busy. I can hardly sit through a 2 hour movie and do not mind not having cable because I would much rather be doing something interactive such as blogging or playing board games. Don't even get me started on waiting forever in a doctor's office or traffic. Even trying to fall asleep can take effort for me.

7. The ESTJ puts forth a lot of effort in everything they do. Seen as conscientious, practical, realistic, and dependable

 It's no secret, I am a huge Type A, perfectionist. Work ethic is important to me and I frown upon  laziness. I want to kick myself in the butt every time I spend all day in bed on Sunday's  nursing a hangover. In my opinion, power, position and prestige should be worked for and earned. I am very thorough and precise in all that I do, and will ensure a project will reach completion in a timely manner.

8.  ESTJs thrive on order and continuity

I am forever on a quest for clarity and security. Change is not my friend. I would rather things stay the way they always have been.Normally I hate straying from my schedule and plan everything (including my upcoming college birthday party) months in advance.

I am also quite the rule follower. I hold a strong sense of what is "normal" and my (often dry) sense of humor typically revolves around something or someone being off center or behaving abnormally

9. The need for belonging is woven into the fiber of SJs. 

Family is of utmost importance to me and thus attendance at weddings, funerals and family reunions is necessary. Tradition such as holidays, birthdays are always coveted and celebrated. Perhaps why they call me Father Christmas? I love giving gifts regardless of the occasion. Because of this need, I am loyal to no end to whoever I am with.

 10. ESTJ's rely on quality service.

I rely on receiving good service, as I see it as a responsibility of the job you are paid for. I advise you to never take me on a date, because chances are the food will get sent back if it is not up to my satisfaction. One of the many quirks of Shane you kinda gotta get used to.

Relationship Woes
Now my boyfriend, on the other hand, is an ENFP. He's the polar opposite of me, other than the extroverted nature which we share. Thank goodness for my extremely spontaneous other half who convinced me on a whim that a trip to Nicaragua would be a fantastic idea. 

ENFP's are seen as "Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of possibilities. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency."

Notice the stark difference there? Perhaps that's why we work so well together. He encourages me to step outside of my comfort zone and be more adventurous. He also encourages a glass half full mentality which offsets my realistic viewpoints. Where I don't have the touchy feely emotions, he does.

Although in my nature to be trustworthy and committed in a relationship, I need to work on being more sensitive to others emotions to be available to offer the love and support they so desire. Ironically enough, ESTJs tend to have a very strong need to feel appreciated, though in more rational than emotional way (i.e. prefer hearing their partner say they appreciate their advice and support than express this indirectly through affection, increased attention). 

I need to work on my stubbornness and desire to always be right and "prove myself." I am realizing how arrogant and condescending this behavior can come off, which is exactly the opposite way I would ever want to treat those I care about. Here's to a new, less sassy Shane!

Now I'm curious, which personality type are you all? This will be interesting!
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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wanderlust: Nicaragua Edition

Warning: Extremely picture heavy. If you make it to the bottom, you get a cookie.

Remember that time when I spent the week living in a tree house in the rain forest? This non-conventional Spring Break was the best decision I've made in college thus far. Props to my wanderlust of a boyfriend for convincing me that Nicaragua was a far better choice than boring ol' Florida. 
Didn't hate the view, that's for sure.
 REAL coconut water. Far better than the grocery store version. Perfect refreshment for the 95 degree days. Watched them pick it from the palm, machete the top off, and stick a straw in it.
Our favorite chillin' spot at a bar in Gigante Bay, the neighboring town. Vodka & Redbulls for $1.50? Yes please!

 Catch of the day, compliments of Chef Prather.
 Beach bummin' hard.
 We had a personal pool with our hut. Sadly didn't get much use because the water was ice cold.
The secluded, private beach was a major plus.
Oh, hey cute boyfriend. In true David Hasselhoff style.
Howler monkeys: our daily 5 am alarm clock. They sounded like huge apes with their low, loud bellows.
Yes, you are seeing exactly what you think you are. #Ballz
I'm a giraffe, it's fine.
The school's playground in the neighbrring town. Note all the kids playing at the beach. It was a Saturday. What a life.
All the monkeys insisted on hanging in one tree.

We took an hour long boat trip over to a neighboring island, San Juan del Sur. Took the scenic route.
He made for pretty great company.
Catholic church.
Around town.

Chocolate making time! Obviously my favorite part of the entire trip.
The roasted cacao beans smelled so delicious. We bought a couple bags to make more chocolate back in the states!
This gal is wild about her chocolate.
She gave us chocolate hand massages. E & I should have opted for the full body version ;)

Me loving on all the wildlife, per usual.
I was sad to let this baby sea turtle loose.

E finally got the homemade Nicaraguan meal he'd been talking about all trip. So good for just $3!
 It was all fun and games before I got Traveler's Sickness for 24 hours after eating ceviche. Raw fish in a foreign country? Good call, Shane!
Posing with a squirrel carcass, it's casual.
By far the best sunset I've ever experienced. We got to watch it go down as we dined each night. Pure perfection.
I would highly recommend Aqua Wellness Resort to every single one of you!
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