Thursday, October 25, 2012

Be My Maid?

One day I saw the most amazing 'pin' featuring Bridesmaid Boxes.
When I clicked through to the blog, I fell in love with everything about her wedding.
Did I mention her name was Bethany, too?!
Although I was greatly tempted, I refrained from repining because I instantly decided that one day I would do the same for my bridesmaids and they couldn't see it coming.

And I did!

It was so fun!
All I did was buy wooden boxes from Hobby Lobby.
I painted them coral,
and then stenciled "Be my Maid?" in navy on the lid.

I filled the boxes with photos of my wedding style inspiration, paint samples and a little name tag for each maid.

I wanted to include more girls than my three maids,
so I created a support group and gave them all names like:
Maid of Encouragement
Maid of Laughter
Maid of Hospitality
Maid of Literature
Maid of Creativity
Maid of Good Tidings
Maid of Memories
Maid of Generosity

In my maid boxes, I also included four little note cards that I got from Target, and I designed them to each be a bit smaller. The cards included: "Your Dresses," "My Girls," "Your Role," and "Our Day." This was an idea from the original Maid boxes, but I personalized the cards for my girls and my big day.

It was so fun to make these boxes and share them with my friends. I also made little cards for my support girls and mailed them or hid them in other presents or goodies.

So now, I have my guy and I have my girls.

I'm ready to go!

Pin It

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Heart Doodling

So something I realized as I entered the "Big World," is that I love to doodle.

I guess I always knew this, but it has become very evident as I work in front of a computer every day. When I had to be creative, I started taking paper and using colorful sharpies all over the place. After using too much printer paper, I decided it was time to invest in a brainstorming book: one for the home and one for the office.

I'm in love with my brainstorming notebook.
I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.
There is something about 
putting pen to paper 
colored pens
that get my creative juices flowing.

For my work book, I purchased a hard back black journal from Barnes and Noble. I could literally spend ALL day in the journal section there. It is perfect.

For home, I got a sketch book from the kid's section at Target and covered it with scrap paper to say,
"Creative Minds are Rarely Tidy."

Very fitting if you know me.
I thrive on organized chaos.

How do you cope with our computer-filled society?

Pin It

Saturday, September 29, 2012

5 Foodie Blogs I'm Swooning Over

Working at a chocolate factory has me diving into a things food.
Recently, I've stumbled a few blogs that I'm obsessing over lately, and I wanted to share.

1. Food Curated
Food Curated is run by Liza de Guia (or @SkeeterNYC), and she makes incredible videos going behind the scenes of unique food processes. Her most recent video is about a Captain Lawrence Brewery's Katchkie Harvest Ale that uses real local pumpkins making it "farm-to-brew." Love that! 

2. Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker has such a great personality in her posts with fabulous recipes. And she has the most adorable kitty, Jules. She shares a sweet story in her about video of how her dad got her into baking pies at an early age with her sister.

3. The Social Eater
The Social Eater is a blog dedicated to exploring eating local, Fair Trade and Direct Trade food. So right up my alley!

4. Desserts for Breakfast
Desserts for Breakfast is a food recipe blog with absolutely breath-taking photos! Stephanie is also an editor for a new foodie magazine, Sated, that I swoon over. I really need a subscription for my upcoming birthday. 
**Hint. Hint.**

5. Food Woolf 
Last but not least is Food Woolf. Brooke delves into the behind the scenes life of food and restaurant business. I learned about her through an amazing post she wrote about Askinosie Chocolate. 

These blogs are making my days all the more delicious, and I'm so glad I stumbled upon them in the vast universe of the Internet. Check them out!

Pin It

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Wedding Notebook

Wedding planning came at the perfect time for me.
With an academic shaped void in my heart, I needed a project.
First thing, I did after Travis proposed was to buy a beautiful binder and meticulously organize it for the coming months of planning.

I know I'm a nerd...
but hey, I satisfied that need to buy school supplies!

I think this type of personal life organization can overflow to anyone in any stage of life, so I wanted to share some tips of how I organized my Wedding Notebook.

1. Pick a functional binder that isn't sore on the eyes.
This may seem a bit silly to note, but the more you enjoy your binder and organizational tools the more you are apt to use them. I bought binder from the Martha Stewart Collection at Staples.

2. Choose your accessories wisely.
I opted to buy one 8 tab packet with the following categories: Important, Budget, Ceremony, Reception, Guests, Flowers/Photos, Attire and Honeymoon. I mulled over how to wisely use these categories, but so far I am happy with these. Also, do NOT skimp on the fun plastic bags in the front of the binder. This is so helpful in holding small things. Martha Stewart has so many accessories so you can customize your binder to fit your needs!

3. Get a great calendar with plenty of room to write.
Like I mentioned, this Martha Stewart set had so many options. I got lots of filler paper and this great calendar with monthly to-do lists and lots of writing space. This is essential if you are planning a big event or putting together a long term project because it allows you to fill in all of the crazy details and deadlines.

4. Fill your notebook with pretty inspiration to encompass your vision.
I have ripped out magazine pages, taped photos of fun ideas and even printed out my Pinterest boards. This is the fun part, and you will definitely impress potential venders if you show them your vision in a concrete, visual way.

If you are looking for any wedding print outs, I got my ideas from this original blog post that I found on Pinterest. Just remember that organization and personalization is key when planning any event--especially a wedding.

Pin It

Sunday, July 29, 2012

He Put a Ring on It

Nine short days ago, my lovely beau of six years asked me the four most wonderful words in the universe:
"Will you marry me?"
I of course said, "Yes!"
But I want to rewind and tell you all my incredibly romantic proposal story.

About a month ago, I went to a ring sale over my lunch break.
I put a ring on that gave me chills.
The lady wrote it down for me, and Travis went back that day, but it was sold.
I was heartbroken, but vowed to not be a part of this process any longer.

Last weekend, Travis insisted we go visit family since he had work off.
I was a bit suspicious, but I did not want to get my hopes up.
On the way home, Travis told me to go ring shopping with a friend that weekend to send him a report because I needed help.
I thought, "I guess he really doesn't have a ring."

On Friday evening, he took me out on a date and told me to dress pretty.
We went to a nice Italian restaurant, and I hinted at my suspicions.
He joked, "Just wait til you get to the center of that bread!"
Again, I thought, "Okay, not tonight."

Afterwards, we were driving to my house to watch a movie, when he stopped at my favorite little white chapel behind my house.
There, waiting for us, was a perfectly laid out picnic with a dozen roses and his quilt made from his grandmother's clothes.

It was beautiful
but no proposal.

We sat and reminisced over the past six years and enjoyed the scenery.
I was on cloud nine.
We laid down to look at the sky, and out of no where, he said,
"Will you marry me?"

No box.
No knee.
Just his sweet smile and the beautiful ring that he had told me was gone!
I called him a liar, said, "Of course!," and immediately put my favorite ring on.

Then he began to mess with his phone,
and shortly afterward, fireworks began shooting off in the distance.

He had given my best friend, Suzie, "the signal,"
and she lit them.
(She is great at keeping secrets.)

The next night, he had a whole party planned with our family to celebrate.
It was fun and perfect and a little quirky.
Just like us.

I still cannot believe I am a bride-to-be,
but I could not be happier!

Travis is the most wonderful man I have ever known, and I cannot wait to have countless adventures with him as his wife. :)

Pin It

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The One That Got Away

My friends from high school and I have sort of started an odd tradition when I go home.

We make music videos.

Our latest project a couple of weeks ago was "The One that Got Away" by Katy Perry, right in time for her summer blockbuster.

The video involves five girls and five break-up stories.
Let's see if you can guess them all.

Hope you are having a lovely summer!

Pin It

Monday, June 11, 2012


Last weekend, I had the privilege of volunteering at HUNGERTHON again after two years. 

HUNGERTHON is Ozarks Food Harvest's largest annual fundraiser for their backpack program. 
It is a radio-thon with Alice 95.5, a local radio station, where they spend four days outside telling heartwarming stories on air to encourage people to donate to such a great cause.
All the money raised goes to help fund the backpack program for the Ozarks.

The backpack program is a program for kids who are relying on school to receive food each day, and do not always get a meal over the weekend.
Ozarks Food Harvest, our local food bank, creates the backpacks filled with good food that is easy for a child to prepare, and the backpacks are sent home every Friday with the at-risk students.

Two summers ago, I had my first internship with the PR department at Ozarks Food Harvest, and I learned so much about hunger in the Ozarks as well as valuable career skills I still use everyday.

It was so great to be able to come back and see all the people I worked with that summer.
In fact, we had an intern reunion between my former internship supervisor, Lindsey, her previous intern after me, Sara, and her current intern, Riana.

We snagged a photo to commemorate the occasion!

Sara, Lindsey, Riana and I smile for the camera!

Ozarks Food Harvest is such a great nonprofit.
They were and are huge players in the Joplin tornado relief.
If you are interested in being a part of Ozarks Food Harvest,
check out their website:

Do not forget to give back to your community,

Pin It

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Person in Charge of Getting the Word Out

I'm starting to settle into my new job at Askinosie Chocolate,
and I'm just smitten.
It is the perfect job for me.

However, I am constantly asked:
So what do you actually DO?
Do you get to eat chocolate all day?
Are there oompa loompas involved?

I am a public relations professional for an artisan bean-to-bar chocolate factory, where I do get to eat chocolate frequently and there are not oompa loompas.

I adore my actual title:
Person in Charge of Getting the Word Out.
I think that pretty much sums it up.

I'm a storyteller,
an event coordinator,
a social media peep,
a listening ear for customers,
a idea factory for journalists
and simply an advocate for the company.

A wise professor once described PR as three things:
writing &
I love all of those things.

My outfit for my first day of work!
Being the Person in Charge of Getting the Word Out,
you all will be hearing much more of Askinosie's story in posts to come,
but for now that is all.

Hopefully, you understand what I do a little better than before.

Indulge in yummy chocolate always,

Pin It

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

La Capilla del Hombre

This week, I have called Quito, Ecuador, twice for work, and we got our shipment of cocoa beans from Ecuador this morning.

All this has me reminiscing over being in that lovely Latin city this time last year.

Photo from Askinosie Instagram.
One of my favorite experiences of the entire trip, I have yet to share with my fellow traveling chums: 

Visiting la Capilla del Hombre.

Found on Flickr

La Capilla del Hombre, or the Cathedral of Man, is an art gallery dedicate to one of Ecuador's most famous artists: Oswaldo Guayasamin. The gallery was actually designed by Guayasamin, but he did not live to see out his final masterpiece's completion.

"I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a child with no feet."

Guayasamin had a very unique style born out of his friend's death in a political demonstration and his travels to indigenous people along the Amazon. 
He became obsessed with human suffering and injustice in the world. 
His work reflects that greatly.

The cathedral of man is showcases man's suffering and greatness in that suffering.

Like in religious depictions, there are three levels:
purgatory &

However, it is more about man than a higher being because Guayasamin was not a religious man.

Found on Flickr.

My favorite of his paintings is called "El mestizaje," or mixing of cultures and races. The blue and yellow hues represent the clashing of the Spanish people with the indigenous people of South America.

I love how he represents this concept.
I hung a copy of this painting up in my Askinosie office this week because I love it so much.

I enjoyed our group tour of La Capilla Del Hombre so much,
I made an independent trip back to the gallery and bought three paintings.

One is in my office.
One is hanging in my new apartment.
One still needs a home.

Does art about social injustice excite anyone else? 
Or just me? :)

Safe travels,

Pin It

Friday, June 1, 2012

What is a Cortado?

One of my favorite espresso drinks is one that you cannot find everywhere.
It is perfect for fall and spring
(those in between weather seasons)
because it is a warm drink served cooler than most.

It is a cortado.

Cortado means "cut" in Spanish.
So in essence, the drink is espresso "cut" with milk.

The drink is hard to come by,
but my favorite local shop, The Coffee Ethic, let me invade their space so I could write about one of my favorite drinks right now.

The drink is comes in a 4 oz. shot glass with two shots of espresso and steamed milk.
This makes it in between the size and strength of a macchiato and a cappuccino

The milk is steamed a little cooler than a macchiato
but with the consistency of milk in a latte.

This basically means that it is thinner or has less foam
but served at a low temp.

I LOVE cortados!

They are beautiful, Spanish and yummy,
and they are perfect for those days when you cannot decide between hot and iced coffee.

I highly recommend them.
(especially from The Coffee Ethic)


All photos were taken by me, and the drink was made by Mallory McWilliams, Barista at The Coffee Ethic.

Pin It

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Closing a Chapter

Today, I am officially closing a chapter in my life:


I graduated from Missouri State on Friday morning 
with a B.S. in Public Relations and Spanish.
All the work has finally paid off.

Although I never plan to stop learning,
after tomorrow,
my life will not be the same.
I will be a professional
not a student.

On Friday, I had a lovely time with my and the beau's families. 
It was great to have their love and support on a special day.
I would not be where I am at now without them.

I had the privilege of sitting next to two of my awesome PRSSA buddies, Doug and Chelly, who were of course live-tweeting the whole time.

I also had the privilege of having my new boss, Shawn Askinosie, give my commencement address after receiving his honorary doctorate in Public Affairs.
His words were both honest and inspiring.
He shared his post-grad struggles and how that shaped him as well as the lessons he has learned from farmers in poverty-stricken areas of the world.
I could not help being moved to tears thinking about the people I have encountered myself in Latin America over the years.

My thoughts wandered to their
and joy.

I feel so honored to begin making a difference in some of those people's lives starting tomorrow at Askinosie Chocolate.

One of my special guests was my Aunt Pam Parry, who drove nearly EIGHT hours to see me graduate. 
She is a public relations professor at Belmont University, 
and one of the reasons I decided to pursue PR and join PRSSA. 
She has been such a great support and resource throughout these four years.

After graduation, I got to watch the beau graduate as well.
It was just too perfect to share that day with him.
I am so proud of all he has accomplished in his college career.

After two graduation ceremonies, I took my family to the chocolate factory and gave my first tour. 
It was great to share this next part of my life with them, 
and I think everyone had a blast trying all the chocolate. :)

Tomorrow is my first day at Askinosie, and a million emotions are running through my mind, but I am mostly excited. 
Because I have no other point of reference, I am treating tomorrow as if it were the first day of school.

I went to Staples and bought supplies.
I picked out my outfit.
I have packed my little briefcase,
and now, I am just waiting for tomorrow to come.

The sermon at church this morning was about Elijah passing his job on to Elisha, which was so fitting.
It is time for me to close this chapter and fill some big professional shoes tomorrow.

Here's to NEW beginnings!

Pin It

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chocolate Girl

This Coffeegirl is about to become a Chocolate Girl, too!

If you keep up with my blog, you may have heard of this wonderful local chocolate factory in Springfield that I adore,

In fact, I counted earlier this week, and I have mentioned them in 7 blog posts.
I may be a bit obsessed.

Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch chocolate manufacturer located in Springfield, Mo., that sources all of their beans directly from the farmers. Shawn Askinosie, the founder, works directly with the farmers and source cocoa beans for his yummy chocolate. They also go above and beyond Direct Trade by investing the farming communities and the Springfield community. They have dug wells, set up food programs and taken high school students to Africa.

Well, this week, I was offered the opportunity of a lifetime.
Starting the Monday after graduation, 
I will be the new PR girl for Askinosie Chocolate.

Words cannot express my joy over this new adventure.
I cannot wait to learn more about the chocolate industry
and to make the world a little better by telling Askinosie's story.

This job combines everything that I love:
PR, Spanish, Speciality Food and making a GLOBAL impact.
It could not be more perfect for me.

Mallory and me celebrating with lunch on C-Street!

On a personal note, Shawn will be receiving an honorary doctorate from MSU as I graduate in TWO short weeks as well as giving my graduation commencement speech, which is really exciting for me.

I will also have the lovely opportunity to work with one of my lovely friends, Mallory Roth.
I'm about to enter the professional world, and I could not be more thrilled. 
I promise to share lots of fun chocolate tidbits as I learn them!


Pin It

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tomorrow Will Be Kinder

Right now at this moment,
I just need to blog.
I apologize because it is nothing grand or innovative,
but I must write down my thoughts.

Graduation is only three weeks away.
The largest event I have ever helped plan is in two days.
I am moving in one month.

All of these changes and pressures have nearly brought me to a breaking point this week,
and Murphy's Law is not helping.

a fly fell in my coffee;
my laptop was lost for a full hour;
and it was an eleven hour day.

I am not sharing all of this because I want to complain & have a negative post,
but because I just need it.

I need to see all of my tiny bumps in the road for what they really are:
tiny bumps not impossible-to-climb mountains.

I made sure to do something different.
I took off work,
pampered myself,
did dishes,
watched Glee,
and sat in my favorite coffee shop
just because.

Every day is a learning experience.
This week I am learning to deal with stress and the unknown.
I'm learning when to say no.

Tomorrow will be kinder.
I fully believe that.
I have to believe that.


Pin It

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Still Waggin' My Tail About Fido Coffee

Any adventure for me is not complete with visiting only one coffee shop.

(as you may have noticed)

The second cafe we checked out was called Fido.

Even though it uses the same roaster as Hot & Cold, Bongo Java, and is right next store, the atmosphere of the cafe was completely different.

I loved this shop.
It was super cute but rough around the edges giving it such an unique character.
The mascot of the the shop was this cute little blue dog,

While waiting in line at this popular Nashville location, the adorable signs explaining the coffee drinks caught my eye. 
The graphics breaking down the traditional Italian drinks made my heart smile and made me feel

On Saturday morning, we started the day off with breakfast and coffee at Fido. 
I had a yummy bagel sandwich paired with a delicious cappuccino.
It was a perfect way to start the day.

To hold true to my traveling tradition, I purchased a mug from Fido as my city souvenir!

And because I always need coffee to fuel my eight-hour road trips,
Katie and I got yummy lattes to-go!

I highly recommend checking out Fido if you ever find yourself in Nashville!


Pin It

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coffee + Ice Cream = The Perfect Match

The first coffee shop we tried in Nashville was Hot & Cold.

After a lovely lunch at Jackson's, we strolled over to a little shop called Hot & Cold to get an afternoon pick-me-up before going to the conference.

The space was so cute, and I was obsessed with the signage...
so creative.

While my cafe latte hit the spot, what got me even more excited about this place was realized they served Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream!

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is this wonderful ice cream company in Columbus, Ohio, that uses all real and natural ingredients--starting with milk from grass-fed cows. In Springfield, when I want to grant myself a luxury, I will buy her Askinosie chocolate flavor from Homegrown Foods.

It. Is. Heaven.

So I was extremely excited to see her product!

And I just love the concept of combining two delicious things in life:
coffee + ice cream.

(Hence, the name "Hot & Cold")

It goes without saying that we returned the next evening to enjoy some of Jeni's Ice Cream, and even though they did not have my Askinosie flavor I had one scoop of chocolate and one scoop of something else delicious.

One of the workers, oddly enough, had family in Springfield! I love how coffee (and ice cream) bring people together in fun, unique ways!

So if you ever find yourself in Nashville with a sweet tooth, I highly recommend Hot & Cold!


Pin It

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Weekend of Southern Hospitality

Last weekend, I had a miniature adventure to Nashville, Tn. crossing another item off my "Train Ride Across America" bucket list. I attended the PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) Regional Conference hosted by Belmont University. The theme of the weekend was "Southern Hospitality," and it was a weekend filled with "Southern Hospitality."

It was such a great trip because I got to see a new city, learn from professionals and visit it with my Aunt Pam, who is a PR professor at Belmont University. I met some of her students and colleagues while networking with fabulous PR people from all over the Midwest.

I drove to Nashville with one other girl in my Chapter, Katie Brady. We had a great road trip filled with ghetto rest stops, winding county roads and rickety old bridges. Eight-hour drives are the best way to get to know someone new.

There were over 100 students, who got to hear from top-notch professionals like Julie Davis of Cracker Barrell, Tressa Robbins of Burrelles-Luce, Gary McCormick of HGTV, Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment and Bonnaroo, Brandi Boatner of IBM, and more. I learned valuable information about public relations strategies and finding that first job.

Belmont did a great job hosting the event too. Everything had a Southern flare, even down to mason jars to hold our drinks at dinnertime.

Nashville was such a fun city to visit as well. Everyone was so nice, and I got to check out some fun little shops at the village. (more coffee reviews to come!) I always love experiences like this where I get to meet new people, reunite with old friends and learn more about my profession.

I am such a nerd.

Stay tuned for more reviews of all the little shops I visited!


Pin It