Friday, June 29, 2012

Progress Report on #48

I haven't talked about it in a while, so those of you who haven't been following me long may not know that I am in the midst of a 1001 in 101 Challenge (check out my list by clicking the button on the right-hand side of this blog). Basically, it's 1001 tasks to complete in 101 days! And #48 is "Save every $5 bill I come across and spend it on something special!" I got the idea from a link through Pinterest surprise surprise and thought it sounded pretty simple! So I added to the list and I am LOVING it!

hehe! I hope you like my Tennessee Plate =)

I started the $5 Savings Plan on the 1st of April, and three months later, I have only spent one $5 bill (because I had no cash in a place that didn't take cards *cough* bar cover *cough*) and have so far saved $115! Can you believe that?!

In the past, I've saved my $5 for easy go-to bar money. not that I'm constantly at the bars, but this is what legal-drinking-age college students do on the weekends! This may seem pretty reasonable for a college student/recent graduate, however, I ended up spending way more money than necessary this way! I liked the ease of $5 bills because it "made tipping a breeze." I'd get a drink that was a few bucks, throw a $5 bill on the bar, and head out to meet up with my group again. Are you catching on yet? Well for those of you who are not UTK college bar natives, I'll give you a simple math problem....

1 $3 Cocktail
Paid for with a $5 bill
Equals a roughly 68% tip

Now, I'm a pretty generous tipper, something my Grandpa Jerry taught me a long time ago, but 68% tip!?! That's just plain ridiculous. NOW, I save all of my $5 bills, and when I go out for drinks with friends, I start a tab, so that even if I only have one $3 cocktail, I am sure to only tip my regular 15-20%. Saving me at least 48% each time I grab drinks with friends! 

SO! If you're looking for an easy way to save, try the $5 Savings Plan! You'll find yourself hoping for $5 bills when you get change for a 20 because you'll
want to save money! I love it, and I'll keep you posted with the progress as the 1001 days continue on...911 days left to go, and I can't wait to see what they have in store =) 

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Feels Like Home to Me

I had the absolute pleasure of making a quick trip up to Knoxville and I couldn't have been happier! It is still crazy to think that I won't be returning there in August. Honestly, who decided graduating from college was a good idea..."Not I," said the bear. For those of you who don't know me, this out-of-context-and-slightly-altered quote from the old tale "The Little Red Hen" is my go-to for calling "Not it." I pulled up to the Yellow House and it truly felt like coming home. I just got the same pleasant smile on my face as I did back in the olden days...yep. olden.


I ran inside and immediately got busy catching up with Katie and Eve. You know...boys, lip gloss, unicorns, rainbows...the usual. This is a complete joke and a nod to the CCC Senior High of the Josh Floyd era...if any of you are reading: Hoon-Dogger Man! Then we headed out for a standard trip to Soccer Taco for mexican and margaritas! Katie and I cannot be together for any extended period of time without a solid margarita...it's kind of our thing. After a great meal and wonderful conversation, we all headed back to the Yellow House for some relaxation and Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64...no biggy.

Later that night, Jorden and Will came over to grill out and we all ended up watching the Miss Tennessee pageant which was riddled with many hilarious digs at the terrible 1980's production quality, as well as much discussion of the broadcasted "talents," evening dresses, and swimsuits. Congrats to Miss Chattanooga for taking home the title! After that, we all headed out for a night on the town, hitting our usual college joints, OCI and Tin Roof.

The band at Tin Roof was incredible! Such fun classic rock and 90s hits for all to enjoy, as well as one quality round of ROCKY TOP! Katie literally turned to Will and said, "I think I see a glisten of a tear in Mackenzie's eyes." And you know what....I cannot confirm or deny that statement....all I will say is that "Rocky Top will always be home sweet home to me."


The next morning, Katie, Eve, and I headed to Tomato Head for a delicious brunch before we met up with Christina and headed out to "River Rage!" Last summer while living in Knoxville and receiving daily LivingSocial and Groupon deals, which have since ceased to due the incredible annoyance add to my inbox we discovered the opportunity to tube down the Little River in Townsend - about 30 minutes outside of Knoxville. For those of you who don't know, the point of "River Raging" is to sit your happy patookus  aka butt, bottom, behind, booty, backside...whatever you prefer in an inner-tube and leisurely float down the river while enjoying the occasional "rapid" aka fast swirl in the water that continues the inertia of floating down the river. I have no idea if I used "inertia" correctly in that sentence, but it sounded good and you get the picture. We thought this sounded like a lovely summer activity, so a group of us tried it out. 


The first time we went, the water level was really low, so there was less relaxing and more physical exertion than we'd originally anticipated as we had to trudge through the majority of the "river" aka slip and fall on all the slippery rocks that protruded from the three-inch deep river in order to enjoy the occasional rapid. This time, however, the water level was perfect. It was just the right amount of rapids, accompanied by just the right amount of relaxation, and we all said that we "made a profit" because we got more than our money's worth of entertainment. To give you a tiny bit of insight into the abundance of laughs we experienced, I'll paint you a picture of our hour-and-a-half ride down the river.


While I feel it needless to say, I must tell you that the people watching alone was worth my $9 plus tax. If that weren't enough, our group was just plain funny! We sang Disney tunes, we quoted Bridesmaids, and we got an intense AB workout just by laughing. On top of all of this, in the midst of one slightly-mightier rapid, I was tossed from my tube after getting stuck on a rock...yet...I was still holding onto Christina's tube and was thus being dragged through the rockiest part of the water...tubeless. All the while, almost being floated over by one happy exceptionally "romantic" read: PDA happy couple. I finally caught myself...on a sharp rock...and was able to retrieve my tube while surrendering my dignity and continue down the river patookus first, which was apparently hilarious with only minor bruises and scrapes. We finally reached a flat and calm part of the river where I was able to re-situate myself to a chorus of giggles from my oh-so-supportive friends and we continued on. Not even two minutes down the river, we saw a rock protruding from the river that look almost identical to "Pride Rock" from the Lion King, so in the spirit of Disney, I began to sing very loudly and like off-key  


"NAAAAAAA SSIINNWWEEENNN
YAAABADABEEEE
CCHEEEA...UGH!"


Yes...that "UGH!" would be my patookus ramming straight into yet another rock. Of course, Katie found this absolutely hysterical and continued to quote this experience over and over all the way down the river. Like I said...we made a profit on this trip. The laughs, memories, and even scrapes and bruises were worth way more than $9 plus tax. 


After a long day on the river, we all took a lovely power nap and then headed to Copper Cellar for Burger Night before I had to head back home to Nashville. Luckily, it won't be too long before I make another trip up! I'll be back in Knoxville for the 4th of July, which I'm so excited about because I thought this might be my last time in K-town before I really really started my big girl job. But it was such a good trip and I'm so glad I was able to make it happen! Thanks to Katie and Eve for being such lovely hostesses, to Will and Jorden for dinner and a fun night out, to Christina for joining us on our River Rage adventure - I hope your test went well, and to everyone else I got to see out and about! So good to be back and see you all! =)


OH! By the way....Fun Fact: I have a minor read: all consuming obsession with finding the cheapest gas possible, and I had GREAT luck this weekend on the way to Knoxville, in Katie's car at the river, and on the way home! I thought I had gotten a steal when I paid $3.09 on the way to Knoxville, but on the way back from the river and on the way home from Knoxville, the real steals came in under $3/gallon!!


WHOOP! WHOOP! Love it! =) haha! Anywho...thanks for reading! Until next time...
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blog title courtesy of  Chantal Kreviazuk's song "Feels Like Home"
which you may have heard in the Kate Hudson film "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days"
....in the steamy shower scene....I don't know why I added that but whatever....

Let Go and Let God

So, as promised, I want to fill you all in on the last week of training...which ended almost a week ago now. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to actually blog about this, but I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off since I got home from Memphis! I still have so much to do and catch up on, but right now my priority is YOU and filling you in on all the details =)

Last time I wrote, we had just missed the Redbirds game due to rain and had enjoyed a lovely evening of relaxation at KDHQ. Tuesday was another fun night because we all attended our first Kappa Delta Alumnae Event! Karen, the lovely alumna who hosted our recruitment pool party, hosted an event for all the Memphis alumnae and the KDHQ staff THAT'S ME! THAT'S ME! at her lovely home - which sported such an adorable KD flag the night of the event!

forgive the poor quality of the picture on the right...I don't know what happened there...

It was such a strange feeling being at this event with all these women who I feel are legit adults...even those who are only a year older than me! I feel like I say this all the time, but honestly, WHEN DID I GROW UP!? Where are the 90's!? Is it okay that I still know every move to the NSYNC dance Ashton and I made up in 98?! You know what...scratch that last one...you didn't hear that...

ANYWAYS! We were all quite thrilled to be a part of Karen's event, especially since it made become such a treat to leave Headquarters and have some social time. But the best part was that I had yet another "celebrity" interaction with a member of the Tuohy family. That's right, folks. Collins Tuohy was at the event, talked with us for quite some time, was an absolute doll, and brought the most fabulous (and delicious) KD Cookies!

Collins is in the pink top between Hillary and I...aka the only girl without a name tag on...

Wednesday was another fun day because KJ McNamara, former Kappa Delta consultant, came in to do our Phired Up training! If you have never heard of Phired Up, click here. It's an incredible organization that focused on values-based recruiting; they do a lot of work with fraternities and sororities, and it was such an awesome day that made me so incredibly excited about getting out "in the field" and helping our chapters recruit even more amazing women with whom we can share our incredible sisterhood!! Thanks so much, KJ, for spending the day with us and sharing so much valuable information!


We also got our official Kappa Delta Leadership Development Consultant name tags and business cards this week! Everyone was so excited about how grown up and profession that made us!! 


Yes...we're overly excited. But, hey, we like our jobs. I just refuse to apologize for that! haha =) 


Thursday we did house tours and dinner with the Chi Omega consultants (which I unfortunately did not take any pictures of), and Friday was our photo shoot day, which you can check out here and here if you haven't already. Then we spent the entire weekend doing colony and extension training with our outstanding National Vice President, Betty Brown Mulkey! Monday was great because we had lunch with the PIKE (Pi Kappa Alpha) fraternity consultants...


...and then we had our goodbye dinner at our fabulous boss' house! She ordered Commissary BBQ which was absolutely finger-licking good and we all watched the Bachelorette together and SCREAMED at the TV when Ryan was trying to convince Emily to let him stay...can you say "manipulator!?" Sheesh...I just can't not watch. The drama is just so rich...

left: what was left after we demolished the BBQ nachos. Right: Shelby Mae and I all snuggled up for the Bachelorette

And sadly, Tuesday we finished up our final aspects of training, packed our bags, and left Headquarters until who knows when. As overwhelming as some of the training days were, and as much as I miss Franklin and my family, saying goodbye to these women was just no fun!



Before we all hit the road, the Sorority Staff put on the most beautiful initiation/induction ceremony for all of us where we were presented with our consultant rings and the daggers for our pins. The daggers are only for members of the National Leadership Team...and guess what...THAT'S ME!?! an absolute dream come true if you haven't already caught on to that...Below are pictures of my new dagger, me with my amazing boss - Leslie, my consultant ring - our crest is in the center and there is a pearl on each side of the onyx cushion i love it. i love it so much., and then the final one is me and Hillary sporting our rings...Kappa Delta like it...so they put a ring on it...yep. I went there. 


sorry the quality isn't the greatest!!

Most of us will be coming back to KDHQ around Labor Day, but we might not all be there for the same days just because of scheduling! It's just so sad that we all bonded so closely over the past couple weeks, but seeing each other over the next year will be a rarity. =( I have made some incredible friends that I know will last a lifetime, and I left Memphis feeling incredibly honored to be a part of such an impeccable group of young women. I love you all! 


Yep...we like cheese. String cheese. Personality cheese. We're all about it! =) I hope you enjoyed the training wrap-up! Until next time...


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blog title is a nod to my newest motto
you can control very few things in this life
so the key to happiness is to let go and let God.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

From East to West

Two days in Franklin, and I already miss Memphis and my amazing LDC sisters! I was uploading all of my pictures and videos today and wanted to share this special LDC moment with all of you!


I promise I will do some more posts about training soon! The past few days have been jam-packed with things to do and people to see!! Until next time...
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Photo Shoot Favorites!

As you saw from my last post, apparently part of my job is being a model. Good thing I'm so photogenic...jokes. Kristen Archer (the wonderful woman on staff who took these) is incredibly talented, so I wanted to share some of my favorites!

whittney. kelsey. sarah f. erin. kim. maddy. sarah b. bri. tori. rachel. me. shelby. georgia. hillary. 

i believe this started as a "look like you're having fun" picture...and ended up with me crying i was laughing so hard...no idea how that transition occurred. 

such a fun and wonderful group of ladies!

very pan am if i do say so myself. 

get it girls. 

 solo pic time...

this is where i would like to thank modern technology and KA for hiding the fact that i was sweating to death in these pictures

location number two: front street vintage auto

me and miss maddy june

love these girls so much =)

with our boss, leslie! =) and that was a wrap!

I have so much to catch all you readers up on, but right now, I'm more excited about catching up on my sleep! Until tomorrow...
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Sneak Peak: LDC Photo Shoot!

Introducing... 

The 2012-2013
Leadership Development Consultants
for Kappa Delta Sorority 

Left to Right: Georgia, Maddy, Me, Kelsey, Bri, Whittney, Erin, Kim, Sarah B., Rachel, Hillary, Tori, Shelby, and Sarah F.

pretty cool, huh?!

This one is my favorite!! P.S. to all you KDs out there, all t-shirts pictured are available from the Kappa Delta Boutique

these pictures are gorgeous...just ignore how dumb I look in 80% of them....it was really bright out...

We'll see you on the road! 

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all photos courtesy of Kristen Archer
Information Technology Manager
Kappa Delta Sorority National Headquarters

Monday, June 11, 2012

"You Eat an Elephant One Bite at a Time"


Okay! So we’re just beginning our second week of training, and I apologize that I haven’t been a more faithful blogger. The wireless internet here at Kappa Delta Headquarters (KDHQ) apparently just does not like having 14 LDCs trying to connect all day, everyday, so it has been difficult to sign in and post. Luckily, these women are so fabulous that internet in the evenings is hardly necessary – we’ve been entertaining ourselves in plenty of other ways…mostly just studying the back of our eyelids, aka passing out the minute we hit the bed. Also luckily, I have discovered that I can write everything I want in Word and just copy/paste, rather than trusting the internet to save my post and try again later which is absolutely impossible. Clearly, I’m so smart that months after starting this blog, I’m just now discovering this...not just a hat rack my friends….Anyway! I’ll do my best to get everyone up to speed…and actually remember what has happened across the whirlwind of this past week! But before I get into that…I forgot come fun details!

First, because I’m the baker that I am, I made little goodie bags for all the LDCs and our boss, Leslie! I made Bakerella’s “Cowgirl Cookies,” but I used just green M&Ms so that they were “Kaydee Lady Cookies” instead!


When we arrived at Headquarters, the staff had everything decorated with green and white streamers and balloons! Plus each girl had a sign with their name on it and messages from the KDHQ staff, and we have this cute sign down by the offices and training room to enjoy! (Megan is a consultant from last year who is on staff for the summer)


Also, my precious mother – Hi, Mom! – requested some pictures of the inside of KDHQ, because I’ve been raving about how gorgeous and wonderful it is, but haven’t exhibited much proof for the outside eye. While the house is stunning no matter who you are, it is even more spectacular to Kappa Deltas because every single little inch screams “KD,” from the nautilus wall paper in the office, to the green and white accents, to rose details, not a nook or cranny was overlooked! Below is our front entryway – check out the white rose chairs, white roses, and the artwork is by Georgia O’Keefe – a Kappa Delta alumna! And of course the grand staircase is nothing short of phenomenal, and is covered in green and white carpet =)


Another one of my favorite things in KDHQ is the map of all of our Kappa Delta chapters! There are flags pinned into the cities where KD chapters were chartered, so you can see where we’ve been across the country! 


Also in Headquarters, there is a museum of important moments in Kappa Delta history and a showcase of notable alumnae! Instead of explaining everything, there are a lot of pictures below…check ‘em out!

Top Row – Left to Right: Bonnie Dunbar, astronaut, wore her pin in space! The trunk of ritual supplies from the Alpha Chapter
 Bottom Row – Notable Kappa Deltas - Left to Right: Patricia Miller, co-creator of Vera Bradley; Gen. Claudia Kennedy, the first and only female Lieutenant General in the US Army; Patricia Barnes, Founder of Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls

Basically…we’re kind of a big deal ;-) It’s no coincidence that Kappa Delta’s tag line is “making great things happen.” Obviously, I knew that Kappa Delta makes great things happen, certainly in MY life, but being here at Headquarters and going through this intensive training makes it even more clear to me how many great things are happening all over the world because of Kappa Delta!

Keeping that in mind makes the long days of training, totally and completely worth it. There is a lot of important information to take in and remember, which can be pretty overwhelming at times, but I am so excited about the year ahead! Training has been lots of FUN too! The other day, we had a staff-wide “KD T-Shirt Day!” And we just so happened to think that throwing up some stunts would be a good time…


And while we don’t have traditional weekends because we have training to focus on, we did spend all day Saturday with Karen, an alumna who works very closely with Headquarters and with my collegiate chapter! She spent the day talking with us about Recruitment, and then we got to go to her beautiful home and hang out by the pool for a couple hours! It was just the break we all needed to start the second week off refreshed and rejuvenated! She and her hubby grilled out for us, and even had some virgin daiquiris and margaritas! So cute!!


Don’t I have the most gorgeous coworkers!? We just had the best time at the pool, you would have thought that we were never go to see sun again we were so excited to be there! We laid out, napped, and of course talked about Recruitment...kind of....

Today, we wrapped up business early with every intention of heading to a Memphis Redbirds Game to enjoy some minor league baseball and barbeque nachos! Unfortunately, right as we were taking our end-of-the-day quiz, a monsoon came through, and the game was cancelled. Wonderful Hillary, however, whipped up some homemade barbeque chicken nachos that were (I’m sure) just as delicious as the one’s at the ballpark! Then we all gathered around the TV with some fresh baked chocolate chip cake I’d made and watched the drama unfold in this week’s episode of The Bachelorette! And not gonna lie…I’m so glad Alejandro finally went home…I mean, I think I heard him speak three words since the season started….So far the group is divided between Team Jef, Team Sean, and Team Ari. May the best man win!!

For now, I’m off to bed! Goodnight yall! Until next time…

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blog title courtesy of my wonderful mother, who said this to me when I was overwhelmed today:
"As they say, 'You eat an elephant one bite at a time.' Don't get too overwhelmed by the big picture. Look at the manageable pieces."
Thanks, Mommy! Love and miss you lots!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Brush with Fame!

Today at LDC training, we were all talking about how much we L-O-V-E that Leigh Ann Tuohy (of "The Blindside") is a Kappa Delta Alumnae, and that it is one of the things that makes us so proud to be KDs. That being said, a few of us tweeted at her in hopes that she may choose to take a brief moment out of her busy and outstanding life to come see us! And guess what?!

SHE TWEETED BACK AT MEEEEEEEEE!!!!

 

OH YEAH! I was so thrilled! So, that's my happy "celebrity status" moment today! =) Don't you wish your alumni were as cool as our's!? 

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Don't You Wanna Be a KD Too?!

It's Day Two at Training
or it was when I wrote this post (last night)...the internet here is a little strange and hasn't let me post this till now...
and I still can't believe...

I am a Kappa Delta Leadership Development Consultant...yes, I realize that those avid readers out there Hey, Laura1 ;-) are probably sick of me saying that it's still surreal that I have this job, but it truly truly is. I can't get over how blessed I am to have this job and be in the presence of such OUTSTANDING women here at Headquarters - both my fellow LDCs and the full time staff!!




I am still learning so much about Kappa Delta! Even after four years in the chapter, and two years on Council, there is still so much I don't know about Kappa Delta. The woman in charge of Archives here at Headquarters, precious Shirley Gee, has immense amounts of knowledge about our history, and I swear I could listen to her talk all day long about artifacts and stories. I am a huge believer in "lifetime learning" and love love love to learn new things, so I have been just eating these past few days up!

And so far I am loving...

Getting to know my fellow LDCs - There are fourteen of us total, and we're from schools all over the country - Kentucky (2), Oklahoma (1), Florida (4), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Boston (1), Pennsylvania (1), Idaho (1), and me from Tennessee! Everyone is so unique and different with awesome ideas to share from their perspective chapters. Here are all the beautiful ladies:

Top Row (Left to Right) - Hillary, Shelby, Tori, Georgia, ME, Maddy, and Rachel
Middle Row (Left to Right) - Sarah B, Whittney, Bri, Erin, and Kelsey - My Twin!!
Bottom Row (Left to Right) - Sarah F and Kim

Getting my LDC Big Sister (and twin)!!! We knew coming in that we would be getting "bigs" from last year's then-CDC ("Chapter Development Consultant" - the title changed for my class and will continue to be "Leadership Development Consultant" because we are developing leaders that then develop the chapters) class, but we didn't know who or how. Yesterday, we did our reveal, which consisted of finding our twin based on the color of our puzzle pieces, then putting together a puzzle of our Big's face. Once our puzzle was solved, we obviously could see who our big was, and then got letters from them welcoming us into our position and some words of encouragement! Here's Shauna - my Big! - and Kelsey - my twin!!


Cooking for everyone! If you know me at all, you know that I very much enjoy cooking and baking in general, but especially for big groups...mostly because I hate having leftovers. unless it's Thanksgiving, in which case, I'll happily eat leftovers for days and last night was Kelsey's turn to make Parmesan Encrusted Baked Chicken with Sauteed Veggies and I volunteered to make twice-baked potatoes as well...because I love them and didn't have any other meal to add to the list to make them with. Haha! AND Kelsey and I made the Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries that everyone has tagged on Pinterest, and trust me when I saw that taste even better than they look! Here are some pictures...


And last, but certainly not least, Going to bed at a decent time...not gonna lie. Being asleep by 10 or 11 is "early" and a blessing when you're waking up at 6:30! Now I know why my precious mother goes to bed so early at home! I'm feeling ya now, Momma!

Speaking of bed...I'm headed that way! I'll post more as often as I can! Hope you all are having wonderful weeks as well!!


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