July 31, 2013

Thanking a blog sponsor

If you've been blogging for a while and have a strong following, you've probably had at least one sponsor.
I've been blessed to have many amazing sponsors and partners during my year of blogging, but a couple of sponsors have been super incredible.

Marley Lilly is one of those sponsors. Their staff has been very kind and generous, and have sent me several surprise products. Instead of the typical thank you email or tweet, I decided to send them something sweeter.

I baked and decorated cookies to send off

I used their website for inspiration for decorating the cookies

A cookie with their logo

A thank you card is always a nice touch

And I did a few cookies with bows

Great sponsors deserve a great thank you! Maintaining great relationships is a key in successful blogging.

How do you thank your sponsors?

July 30, 2013

Dorm room decor ideas {part 1}

I've gotten a few requests for dorm room decorating ideas. Pinterest definitely has lots of inspiration, but I created this little dorm room layout with decor from Target

I'll post ideas from other stores soon!

Conversations with a 2 year old

A friend at work told me about this series of videos on YouTube and I just had to share. Conversations with my 2 year old is a set of videos featuring a father re-inacting the conversations he has with his 2 year old daughter, but they are re-inacted with another full grown man.

It's as funny and cute as it sounds, enjoy!

And here's another funny episode!

What's your favorite YouTube series?

July 29, 2013

IKEA College Checklist

IKEA, one of my favorite places in ATL, has released their 2013 College Checklist! I always found this helpful when I was heading back to school. 

Eating in ATL {Busy Bee Cafe}

Last week, my dad took me to lunch on my break from work! It was so great seeing him and we went to The Busy Bee Cafe, a delicious restaurant that I had never been to before!

The restaurant has been an Atlanta tradition since 1947, and it's located downtown near several tourist attractions. Since Busy Bee is a southern foods restaurant, I had to order one of my favorite southern dishes, and sweet tea!

My dad's plate

My plate: tilapia w/ yellow rice, collard greens, 
broccoli cheese casserole 

They have special meals on certain days and their desserts looked incredible...I was too full to try one. I'll definitely be visiting again and trying another dish on their menu!

Other places I eat in ATL:

July 28, 2013

Be in competition with yourself

Is there a phrase you have to repeat to yourself on a daily basis? Well, that's one of mine.

This applies to blogging/business, school, work, everything.

I find myself feeling most frustrated when I'm trying to accomplish a goal, and comparing my progress to the progress or achievements of another person. And I don't think I'm the only person who struggles with this.

Our generation has been raised to be ambitious - to strive for the American dream (plus more). It's in our DNA to work to be the very best. And it's exhausting. We are surrounded by numbers, ratings, rankings, followers, comments, and other statistics often used to tell us how successful we are.

I find myself feeling most frustrated when I feel as if I've accomplished something great, and then see that someone else has accomplished something greater. Not jealous, just defeated.

But I shouldn't feel that way. You shouldn't feel that way.

Of course a little competition with others is healthy, but it shouldn't be what we live by or live for. Very little gratification comes with working diligently to get more "followers" than another person or a higher grade than another person.

The feelings that come from accomplishments like those are short-lived whispers that quickly fade. 

Instead, be in competition with yourself.

I find myself feeling the happiest when I'm trying to accomplish a goal and I compare my current situation with my past situation. When I live by my daily reminder, I feel accomplished and proud of the work that I've done and the work that I'm doing. And, I remember that my ultimate goal is to create something that lasts, and something that's bigger than me.

Yes, there are people who have blogs with more viewers than mine and authors who've sold more books than I have. And I'm okay with that. Because this time last year, a successful blog and book were just dreams...and now they are a reality.

So the next time you find yourself tempted to self-judge or compare your situation to that of another person's, don't. Alter your thoughts and ponder how many great things you've done this year compared to last year or the year before. 

Count how many ways you've grown instead of how many people know your name.
These are the statistics we should use to measure ourselves and our worth.

Another reason to not compare yourself to someone else?
You're special. I'm special. 

No one else in the world can do a better job at being you than you.

July 27, 2013

J. Crew back to school/work {giveaway}

I can't believe school starts back soon. I'm pretty excited that I won't be returning since I graduated :), but I will still be working! I know lots of my viewers are headed back to school or starting a new job/internship soon so I thought this was a great time for a giveaway.

I told you how obsessed I am with J. Crew's "New Arrivals," so I've picked J. Crew for the giveaway source. I'm giving out TWO e-gift cards, one for two different winners.

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and tell your friends! 
Thanks for keeping up with RCSOATL! <3

Winners will be announced and contacted on Monday, Aug. 5

July 26, 2013

Nautical Casual Friday

Sometimes we have themed Casual Fridays at work, and today is Nautical Casual.

I decided to wear a red and white striped top with blue colored jeans and gold shoes. It gets chilly in our office so I added my favorite white blazer with gold buttons.

And, I'm wearing my Marley Lilly anchor bracelet, perfect for today's theme!

Happy Friday!

July 25, 2013

Eating clean for rookies {part 4}

I thought it was time for a clean eating/fitness update, so here goes! I'm still motivated and still eating clean for either one or two meals every day and have lost 3 more pounds since my last post

I'm also still drinking lots of water. I'm currently looking for a good work out challenge to start for the month of August...let me know if you have any ideas!

I love hearing feedback from viewers, friends, and family about their attempts at clean eating. It's a fun and healthy challenge. Even my mom has sent me texts with photos of her clean salads :)

I'm happy to share my journey as I try to eliminate processed foods to eat better and feel better. 

Feel free to leave a comment with your clean eating experiences!

Check out some of the meals I've had recently:

Salmon cooked in olive oil + spinach, flowers, onions in lemon juice

Baked cauliflower + cabbage with herbs 

Bananas + ice + squeezed lime

Lettuce + spinach + strawberries + corn + carrots + cucumbers 
(add oil, blended avocados, lemon/lime juice for dressing) 

Carrots + green apple + strawberries: I made different meals/snacks for a week from these. Food prep is easiest if you do it one day a week and store the food how you'll want to eat it. 

I always clean my fruit and veggies then cut them up into bite size pieces.

If you want to add flavor or don't like cold  foods -- put the fruits/veggies in the 
skillet with water or lemon juice for a minute then eat them! Don't let them cook for too long or they will lose all of their nutrients!

See more:

July 24, 2013

Obsessed with these {J. Crew scalloped flats}

OK, so I haven't fallen for the scalloped trend...until now! I love love these new arrival J. Crew Scallop Ballet Flats. Flats can be so boring because they always have the same shape, but how genius to change the design like this. 

And...they come in black! Totally worth using your 15% student discount for!

July 23, 2013

Sweet Auburn Curb Market

I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I just went to Sweet Auburn Curb Market for the first time (from my memory) this summer! It. Is. Amazing.

I hope that my parents took me there when I was younger, but I don't remember visiting such a spectacular place. I've always thought that it would be so cool if Atlanta had some market environment with fresh foods, local restaurants, and other local vendors. 

And that's exactly what Sweet Auburn Curb Market is! Even better...it's indoors. I'm especially grateful for that this summer, since it's literally rained every single day.

I went for the first time to meet up with my friend Kristen for lunch and she gave me the rundown of the market:

It's a great place for grocery/produce shopping or for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! (They're open M-Saturday, 8-6). I also noticed that both locals (on break from work) and tourists were hanging out at the market.

I had lunch at Arepa Mia, omg was it good and not expensive at all!

For all of you clean eaters, they also have a few places that make juices from yummy raw fruits and veggies!

Now that I've experienced SACM, I feel more like an ATLien. I'm loving exploring more of downtown, thanks to my job's location! And the parking situation is pretty good too!

Is there a cool market in your city?

July 22, 2013

Five atypical rings

I used to wear rings all of the time. Not really sure what happened, but I think I stopped liking the rings I was wearing and I made the switch from silver to gold jewelry.

But now I'm ready to add some glitz to my hands! I've found five rings that are fun, unique, and pretty!

Which one is your favorite?!

And my favorite...

July 21, 2013

Happy birthday, Shelby {dessert first always}

It's July 21 aka my best friend Shelby's birthday!! Shelby is 22!! Are we still observing T-Swift's song? Anyway, I wanted to give Shelby a special birthday shout out because she deserves it and I had to miss some of her birthday festivities. 

Do you have a friend whose energy can change an entire room, in the best way possible? Or who can make a new friend in just about any situation? Or who helps you think through the smallest or biggest life crisis?

That's Shelby.

Oh, and did I mention she can bake. Treat yourself to her blog, Dessert First Always, and see some of the goodies she's made! My favorites are below:

Being silly back in high school :)
I met Shelby in middle school and we've been friends ever since
It's rare to have a friend who is a neighbor, who goes to the same middle school, high school, then college as you! I'm beyond grateful that I've had Shelby in so many chapters of my life because she's played such a major role in all of them.

Everyone who meets you is lucky, and those of us who can call you a best friend are beyond blessed.

Happy birthday, Shelby!


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