Sunday, December 29, 2013

Final 2013 NYR Update {Part 2}

The continuation of yesterday's post about the struggles that presented themselves this year. And also how I managed to make them into better things. These weren't nearly as rough as the first 6 months.

July- Exploration
Just like June, this one frustrates me because I wasn't in LA like I planned. But instead of sitting around like a bump on a log in pity, I decided to write up my 101 in 1001 and set some new goals for the next 3.5 years. That's exploring, right? I also went to SEC Media Days and Nashville during that time. I think that counts as some solid exploration. In more ways than one.

August- Reading
I would say that is was best accomplished in June while I spent a large chunk of my time sitting at home or at the pool. But I have read almost 20 books this year, a few more than last year. And I'm looking forward to reading all of the books I've stocked up on lately.

September- Writing
This was something I didn't have much of a choice but to improve. Being in Newsource and having to focus on writing at least 2 days a week definitely made my writing more personable and simple for television. I also did a decent job of keeping up with the blog that month while my slow death from this semester started. So, win-win in September!

October- Skills
This is an interesting one for me to look at. I meant for this to be a month of me working on my editing, and shooting, and reporting skills. I think this month ended up being more of an eye-opening month than any other. Going into this year, my life goals were much different than they are today. I wanted to be a sports broadcaster, even if it killed me getting there. After spending this month traveling all over the place, and trying to keep my head above water-- I found new passions in life and my general state-of-mind changed. A lot. So I like to think I gained life skills more than anything during this time. And I'm extremely grateful for that.

November- Love
This one. Total fail. I didn't think this through very well. Things that happen in November: hell week, some finals, Thanksgiving break, football chaos. Yeah, not really conducive for "love." And, as usual, I'm quite content with that. If you spend your life looking for it, you'll probably never find it. I'm busy, I need someone just as busy, and that's hard to find in college. So, here's to next year!

December- Personal Time
I think I did an okay job with this one. This semester was, without a doubt, the toughest I've had so far. I had absolutely zero downtime and spent my time running around like a crazy person. After finals, I have fully enjoyed my time sitting at home (or in Athens) doing a whole lot of nothing… Other than working out, which I consider personal time, really. I've been able to reflect on this past year and look forward to what I want to accomplish in the future.

All in all, I'd say I'm quite content with where I'm at right now. Going in 2014, I'm in a very good place and I'm excited for a lot of the opportunities ahead of me. My spring internship, the possibility of summer internships, and graduation in December. It should be a great year!

What are your plans for 2014?

xoxo, jgp

Your Resolutions

I'm all about the idea of a new year and all the opportunities it can provide. Which is why I'm also a huge fan of New Years Resolutions. I'm such a goal-setter and list maker, it's the perfect way for me to assess the success/failure of a year of my life. Which sounds kind of weird now that I think about it.

But I'm looking towards 2014 and trying to think of the things I want to accomplish. While this is normally done by self-assessing where you think you need to improve, I want some thoughts on what you are wanting to achieve in 2014 to hopefully inspire me with some fresh ideas. 

Every year is the "I'm going to lose 15 pounds" year… Or the "I'm going to get a 4.0" year. But I need something different.

In 2014 I will be spending a summer in a new city (hopefully), graduating college, and hopefully getting my first real job. So it's a loaded year. But I'm interested to see what you're striving for. What you think will make you a better person in the new year. 

I'm going to share my 2014 resolutions on January 1st after I see what y'all want to achieve and I better assess where I need to improve.

So… What are you 2014 resolutions? How do you plan to achieve them?

xoxo, jgp

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Final 2013 NYR Update {Part 1}

After looking back at last year's New Years Resolution post, I'm kind of LOLing. Because I thought the way I did it was going to work. It was, in fact, an epic fail. 

I thought I'd done a good job of assessing my general life timeline and figuring out what would fit best for each month. Here's my breakdown of the struggle that was 2013 from January to June:

January- Organization
I think this post says it all about how the whole organization thing went. It was ugly. I finally got the desk situation fully in order before I left for Christmas break. Yeah… It's been a year.

February- Fitness
This actually worked out really well. It was perfect motivation for spring break and I can honestly say I'm in the best shape of my life right now. Maybe not "physically" but I've tried so many new things with my workouts and I'm pumped to make this one of my priorities next year as well. 

March- Friendships
I would like to think I did a decent job of this throughout the year. I still have a hard time keeping in contact with my friends that I don't see regularly. But I've definitely spent a lot more time with my friends this past semester than I have in the past 3. So I'm proud of that.

April- Studying
I look back on last spring semester and it's honestly a blur. I dropped a class halfway through. I was consumed by my major. Therefore studying wasn't really a priority. And it wasn't this semester either. I really think that's just been the nature of the beast for me. I'm not a studier. So maybe next year?

May- Style
LOLing at this one. I still don't know what I like to wear. I just buy things. And hope they match. I'm probably never going to figure this out. I just like everything that isn't ugly I guess? I quit.

June- Work
This one almost makes me angry to think about. I spent a good chunk of my spring semester stressing about internships. I ended up not getting one at all after interviewing with ESPN twice and not landing that one-- it kind of took the wind out of my sails. So the entire month of June I literally sat on my couch in Athens doing nothing but blogging. So… Yeah. But! I have made some serious progress when it comes to what I want to do with my life in the future because of my successes and failures this past year. So it's still progress. 

Part 2 of the 2013 struggle is coming tomorrow. Be on the look out!

xoxo, jgp

Monday, December 23, 2013

Uh Oh…

It's two days before Christmas and you realize you left someone off your list or feel like you need to grab a few last minute stocking stuffers. The mall is chaos, you're low on money, and you want something basic, simple, and useful. 
My last minute shopping guide:

Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks gift card
Who doesn't love coffee? If they don't love coffee, they have to love donuts. Because that's just unnatural not to. Pick up a gift card from your local store as an easy present you know will be used. 


This is where Etsy can be your best friend. I'm a huge fan of cute quotes, and several people on Etsy make instant downloads you can just print right from home and throw in a frame. Artwork. Boom.
Oh, and you buy and download the printables, so you can use them as gifts later (or for yourself.) I ordered a few from here to give as gifts and for my apartment. 

Bath & Body Works anything

This is a common go-to. 
Lotion. Body wash. Candles. Gift card. You really can't go wrong. I would prefer a gift card that way I can choose any scent I want and whatever I want. The best. 

Virtual gift card 

Want to completely avoid the chaos? Sit at home, click a few buttons, and send that special someone on your list a virtual gift card to their favorite store. A few of my favorites: kate spade, Nordstrom, Tuckernuck, Etsy, Target, Sephora, Lilly

Framed pictures
You can't go wrong with simple. Find a nice frame and get a picture of the two of you printed and you've got a perfect present. 


Well. That's pretty simple. Everyone loves some wine in their life. Pick up a bottle with a cute label and throw a wine tag on it for a cute, festive touch. 

Birchbox membership

For the beauty product lover in your life-- the gift that keeps on giving. You can gift a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription that gets sent right to their door. Doesn't get much easier than that. 

What is your go-to last minute present?

xoxo, jgp

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Surviving Christmas Break

So you've been away at school for over 4 months.
You are pumped to be done with finals and feeling on top of the world.
You return home for a month… What now?

This series of events never ceases to amaze me. And I've done it 4 times now. The Christmas break transition is the hardest (other than the first summer back.) You go off and live your life on your own time and schedule and friends and boom back in high school land. 

What do I do?
Why do I hate everyone here? 
Is it okay to drink around my parents?
Where did my room go?
Why does everyone keep asking if I'm dating someone?
Why can't they just leave me alone?
Why are they asking so many questions?
I'm an adult!

Those are real life college student struggles. 
And after four years of this, I think I may have found a few ways to maintain your sanity while home with the parents for a month. 

Always a solid go-to when trying to avoid anything… You know you've binged on a whole series to avoid studying for finals. Christmas break is the perfect (and appropriate) time to do this. It's also the perfect way to escape to your room for hours and claim to be busy without much questioning.
My suggestions: Gossip Girl (duh), Orange is the New Black (currently watching), Friday Night Lights, American Horror Story, Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill, and any Christmas movie

Be patient
This sounds almost preachy, but I promise you it helps. I wish I could figure out how to be patient at all, honestly. It's a work in progress. But when you are back home living with parents again, the inquisitions can be the most frustrating thing ever. So when you mother starts asking where you are going, with who, when you will be home, and why you are doing that… Take a deep breath and try to answer without blowing up in her face.

Target. That is my place. "Oh, mom. I've got to go run some errands. I'll be back later." Disappears to Target for 3 hours… Target, the mall, your favorite boutiques, anywhere. Just escape sometimes. With a friend, by yourself, whatever you prefer. Getting out of the house while the parentals are frustrating you may be the best way to avoid a freak-out.
Oh, and locking yourself in your room and online shopping is also completely acceptable behavior.

Working out
This is consistently my get-away. If you want to punch something, go to the gym and punch something. Or go run. Or something. It's a perfect way to get out of the house for an hour or so and improve your mood. It's also the perfect way to avoid gaining that holiday weight.

This one is pretty obvious. Hit the liquor store, grab some wine, and have a glass for 4. It's amazing how much more relaxed you'll be.

Act like an adult
If you want to be treated like an adult when you return home, you need to act like one. Don't just expect your parents and family to respect you differently just because you've been away at school for a few months.
Have respect for your parents and their house. Don't be rude to them. Help out around the house a little bit. Don't be a diva. And if you feel like you are being treated like a child, address that… Like an adult. No tantrums and stomping to your room.

Don't want to deal with the day? Sleep. This is the perfect time to catch up on all the sleep you've been lacking since heading off to school. If your parents have a problem with this… You may just be out of luck. A girl's gotta get that beauty rest. You don't want to head back to campus looking more sleep-deprived than you did when you left. Take some time and justtttt relax.

Picking up a book may make your parents think you're becoming more astute and educated. What a concept. So pick up a good read and maybe they will leave you be.

How do you deal with the Christmas break transition?

xoxo, jgp

Friday, December 20, 2013

Currently Reading: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

I'm just going to go ahead and lay this out there: I don't like The Office. Sorry 'bout it. I just don't think it's funny or entertaining. Hate me. I don't care. 

But I do love Mindy Kaling. I think she's so funny and in your face and just, well, human. I feel like we would would be great friends. So when Mindy wrote a book, I had to pick it up. It's also titled something I could totally relate to… 

I'm about half way through this one and I'm mildly impressed. I love reading autobiographies and biographies in general, but every time I read one that's written by a comedian, I'm never thrilled with it. I read Tina Fey's book earlier this year and wasn't blown away by it-- even though I love her.

Mindy does a really good job of describing the general struggle of a 20-something just out of college trying to find a job and living in a new city. And just her random thoughts on things like romantic comedies and relationships with roommates. 

I'm really hoping this one picks up a little bit and I start to like it a little bit more. It's entertaining and a quick, easy read, that's for certain-- but I'm just not sure I'm loving it right now. (I'm also entering the part about The Office, so that should be fun…)

Do you like comedy books? What is your favorite?

xoxo, jgp

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Munchies: Coco-Coffee Martini

Once again, this is a cop-out of sorts. But there will be a huge Monday Munchies post for skinny Christmas dinner recipes that me and Alex are whipping up for you!

Tonight, I present you the one thing I haven't done yet: a skinny cocktail. And this has all my favorite things: coconut and coffee. Yum.

It's seriously the simplest recipe too, only 3 ingredients:
1 1/2 oz UV Coconut
1/2 oz sugar free sweetener
2 oz fresh-brewed coffee

Shake with ice and pour in a glass. 

I can dig that. I'm all about the simplicity. I will certainly being giving this one a try soon.

Redbook has 10 more skinny winter cocktails on that can be found here

What's your favorite winter cocktail/drink?

xoxo, jgp

No. 58

Get a facial.

Thanks to a wonderful birthday gift from my best friend Callie, I got to indulge myself for an hour today and try something new at Pearls Spa and Boutique in Downtown Acworth!

I've had a few massages, but never ventured out into facial world and decided it was something I definitely needed to do. I've read/heard enough about how great facials are for healthy skin, so I figured after spending a year of my life on Accutane, it was time to embrace my (finally) clear skin and keep improving it!

Because I'm weird, I did a ton of research before I went in today to make sure nothing strange happens during a facial that I didn't know about. Luckily, I already knew about "extractions" and fully expected lots of them (read: blackheads)… This is apparently the part that shocks most people about facials. Probably because in the movies, you always see facials a lot like this:

While yes, that does happen, that's only a very small part of it… Which I learned all about today! Since I obviously couldn't take pictures during my facial, there's nothing visual here… Just a few tips/thoughts based on my first facial experience. 

- The massage portion is the best… Unless you don't like people touching your face, neck and arms. But in that case, you probably won't enjoy a facial anyways.
- They really do put stuff on your eyes. I never really determined what was on mine, but it was there. 
- The extractions (removing of blackheads, etc. from your skin) weren't as bad as I expected. I also think I may have thick skin from all of my acne experiences and such. It just feels like little pinches with some pressure around the area. 
- One of the reasons I think the extractions don't really hurt is because they steam your face beforehand, loosening up whatever is clogging the pores. It was hard to breathe during that whole steaming process, but I made it out alive. 
- At one point, there was something that felt like a dryer sheet on my face and she was using some sort of strange laser thing on it. I meant to ask afterwards what it was, but forgot. 
- She put something on my face and warned me it would tingle a little. And it did. I wanted to scratch my face so bad. That was honestly the only part that was uncomfortable. 

The best part? When the lady finished my facial and told me that I looked a lot like Jennifer Lawrence. Best. Compliment. Ever. She's the greatest.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience and if I see good results, I will probably try to do facials more regularly. So relaxing. 

Have you ever had a facial? What did you think?

xoxo, jgp

Friday, December 13, 2013

Tacky Christmas

It's that time of year again. Everyone is hosting tacky Christmas parties and other festive things. And for me this means going all out. I don't half-way do things. So when you say Christmas party… I think crazy. 

Which is what happened last Friday. 

And because this is just my luck, me and my roommate showed up to said "Christmas party" to find everyone else in normal attire. Yeah. That happened. 

But, in typical Caley fashion, I decided to own it. If you embrace the awkward, it's not really awkward, right? And because it wasn't like I did it half-way, I didn't really have a choice. 

I spent (basically) all day searching for a reindeer antler headband. Because Rudolph. Then I decided to throw some battery-powered Christmas lights on my outfit as well. Go big or go home, right?

Me and Allison killin' it at the party while everyone else looks normal… Hence the faces in the picture on the left. The struggle.

It actually worked out alright because when we went downtown, I took off the antlers and rocked the lights and everyone loved it. The number of comments I got… Hilarious. 

I've got another tacky Christmas party to go to when I get back home, so I think I'm gonna have to bust out the lights again. This time with a reindeer sweater. You can't go wrong if you just own it, right?

Also ran into one of my long-lost friends while downtown too. It was pouring down rain, and hot, and gross, but totally worth it to see my Murph!

How do you do tacky Christmas?

xoxo, jgp

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

101 in 1001 Update 2.0

It's been a little over two months since I updated y'all on my 101 in 1001 progress. And I'm sad to say that not much has really been fully accomplished. I have made some headway though.

No. 2
I visited another state: Florida. Nothing too special. But it makes 3/20 for the list of states to visit. 
It was during Georgia Florida weekend, so it was obviously a great time. 

Go Dawgs. That is all.

No. 6
I made a dent in my closet clean out as well. Quite obviously. Help me get rid of everything here. 

No. 16
I've eaten a couple new places. Nothing outstanding though. I've been really disappointed in my lack of branching out on this one. Maybe over break and when I get back to Athens I'll try some more fun stuff!

No. 28
If you follow me on social media or know me in person-- you already know this. But after several years of essentially have the same hair color-- minus the black hair (ugh) and the awkward ombre-- I decided to go dark! And for once, I actually love it. 

On a side note- this was one of the greatest days of my life. That's Kris Durham and Matt Stafford (they play for the Detroit Lions and are former UGA football players), and I died a little when I met them. But yes, brown hair. 

No. 78
I traveled all over the southeast during the month of October it felt like. And that included some tailgating in Knoxville and Nashville. 

Now I only have to cross one more city off the list. I'm thinking sometime next football season I'll travel somewhere new!

No. 101
Since I've only accomplished 5 of my goals, I only donated $25, but I am so proud of everything this organization and executive board has done this year! A quarter of a million dollars is no small feat. 


No. 1
I've booked my spring break trip and I'm headed to Cozumel on a cruise in March!! Yay for leaving the country for the first time! Now I've got to go get a passport… 

No. 58
I've scheduled my facial, gifted to me by my best friend Callie for my birthday, for next week. I'll definitely write a post about it afterwards. I'm so pumped. 

I'm pumped to keep reaching new goals and trying new things!

xoxo, jgp

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blogmopolitan Quiz!

Well, best friend did it. And decided I'd join. 

Because having time to waste is a wonderful thing. 

Do your own here!

Also- hope you like the revamped blog! It feels almost festive!

xoxo, jgp

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's Beginning to Smell A Lot Like Christmas

It wouldn't take much time being in my apartment to realize I have an obsession with candles. There's one on the coffee table, the kitchen counter top, the side table, my desk, my bedside table… Oh, and then there's the closets full of them.


Yes, there's 12 candles. In one closet. There are more. It's a problem.

But I do go through about one candle every couple of weeks at my desk, so I have to have a stash of them (with options), right?

I was originally only loyal to Yankee Candles. That's literally all I would buy. Then Bath and Body Works took over control. In my opinion, they have a much more powerful scent than Yankee's do when they burn.

So when I got my B&BW Cyber Monday purchases delivered today- I jumped up and down with excitement. On Friday, I wrote about my obsession with my Sweater Weather candle, but when it comes to fall and winter scents- B&BW wins. How they capture fall in a bunch of wax I'll never know- but I love them for it.

So I compiled a list of the best Bath and Body Works/White Barn fall and winter scents that you must have in your house to keep you feeling cozy.

Flannel / Sweater Weather / Mahogany Teakwood
Applewood Bonfire / Marshmallow Fireside

(I've gone through one large Mahogany Teakwood candle, ordered another one, room spray, wallflower refills, and car scents in it too… I think I might like that one?)

Based on what is listed online, Applewood Bonfire and Sweater Weather are no longer available. Sad, sad day. (But you can still probably find them in store!)

But the other ones are one sale for 2 for $22, so snag 'em while you can.

Side note- they've also started creating locations scents. How cool is that? I want my room to smell like The Keys! Let's make that happen.

What are your favorite cold weather candle scents?

xoxo, jgp

Monday Munchies: Cheddar Jalapeño Turkey Burgers

Things I always keep in my freezer:
Chicken breasts
Frozen meals
Ground Turkey

You never know when you may need any of the above, and sometimes you find a recipe you just gotta try but don't feel like going to the store.

This recipe was one of those moments. I has been thinking about doing some turkey burgers for a while, but never really knew how to do it. So I did some searching and this recipe had all of my favorite things: spice, cheese, and a little bit of guacamole. NOM.

The recipe I found here and here was for chicken burgers, but that wasn't in the freezer, so I changed it to make some delicious turkey burgers. 

What you need:
1 package of lean ground turkey
2 jalapeños
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of minced garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

As you can see, as usual, I took the easy way out for most stuff. Cilantro paste of some sort, pre-chopped onion, and garlic in a jar. Winning. 

Chop whatever you need to chop, and mix it all together, adding cheese last.

Then make your patties.

They look a little something like this before you cook 'em:

Then pop them on the grill, George Foreman for me, and let them cook for a few minutes on each side. I just guessed on time- I'm not into exact science when I cook. 

Yes, that is grease, Gross. But that's just a part of cooking- right?

I chose to eat mine on a tortilla with some guac. And it was delicious. (I also ate some of the leftovers just some quad and cheese dip-- because I'm fat, but it was awesome.)

Eat up!

What is your favorite turkey burger recipe?

xoxo, jgp

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five on Friday

This is happening super late in the day today because it's been a much busier day than I expected. Regardless, here are my five favorite things this week.

Self Confidence
This week was a stressful one. I had a huge interview on Tuesday that was stressing me out more than anything probably ever has. The whole day I was panicking and had this awful feeling in my stomach. But once I got into my interview, I pretty much rocked it. 
This made me realize that if I'd just had some self-confidence before the interview, I could have saved myself some serious stress. I'll remember this come Monday when I have another important interview!

Cosmo Magazine

Lauren Conrad. That is all.

Winter Woodchuck

Woodchuck is always such a refreshing drink in the summer, but I'm not normally a cider drinker aside from the few I drink in the summertime. And I missed the pumpkin ones… Boo. But I passed the winter flavor in Publix this week and picked up a pack. So. Good. 

B&BW Sweater Weather Candle

This is seriously the best candle ever. It just smells like winter and Christmas and all of the wonderful-ness. Go get one. Now. I think they still have a sale going on.

Story of my Life by One Direction

I have no shame in the fact that I love me some 1D. They are really attractive, and old enough to actually be dateable and they can sing. Count me in! And this song just makes me so happy. Go get it ASAP. 

What are your five favorites this week??

xoxo, jgp

Monday, December 2, 2013

Finals… BRB

Currently drowning in my Thanksgiving break laziness. 

Lots of fun things happened this weekend, but I'll have to wait to share on Thursday-- when I can come up for air again. 

See y'all then. 

xoxo, jgp