Friday, February 20, 2015

Airports Are Hard

This week has been nothing short of insane. And not in the usual insane ways. 

It's been wacky weather.
A cancelled trip.
A wine tasting.
A rescheduled trip.
And some more wacky weather.

Long story short, I'm supposed to be in Ohio right now. But I'm not. Because weather.

But. I'm leaving Sunday for Ohio. Lord willing we don't get hit with some other strange weather. I'm counting nothing out at this point. Monsoons and hurricanes are next I'm sure. 

Things got pretty ugly for me Wednesday at 4:30 when my trip got cancelled, and I turned into a mild psychopath. So my apologies to the two lovely humans who spent Wednesday night with me and made me sane again. 

And I'll admit it, I was trying to act all chill and cool about the whole trip to begin with. But I was totally freaking out. This is only the second time I've ever flown. And my first time doing it alone. So I was semi-terrified I was going to get lost in an airport or do something stupid. 

Then when it got postponed, I basically lost it. No holds barred. I think I've gotten myself together a bit now, and I'm excited about my trip now. I'm just still a little intimidated by the whole concept of roaming around airports by myself.

So wish me luck. Or something. 

I'll check back in tomorrow with something more important. But I just needed to share with the world my apparent fear of airports. 

Someone help me.


xoxo, jgp

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Weekend Update: 101 in 1001 Style

This was supposed to be posted last night. Then a storm came and knocked out my power. So here we are. Another Tuesday Weekend Update. Because I can.
This weekend was insanely awesome and strange and cool and everything I needed it to be. Obviously Saturday was the big ole Valentine's Day, which consisted of me and Meags baking cookies, going to see 50 Shades of Grey (review coming soon), stuffing our faces at our favorite restaurant then going out for about 10 seconds. 

And it was awesome. 

Then I woke up Sunday morning and getting out of bed just wasn't happening. But I eventually forced myself to leave the house and get a bagel. Then things got a little wild. One of my friends texted me asking if I wanted to go to Tullulah Falls. And I said "HECK YES! SPONTANEOUS ROAD TRIP!"

So. Alex and I hopped in the car and took off to Tullulah Falls. Neither of us had been, so it was an awesome to get to experience something new with someone. I feel like that rarely happens anymore. And I absolutely loved every second of it. We hiked up giant flights of stairs and saw some amazing waterfalls and some of the most amazing scenery I've ever witnessed.

Then we were all like: "You know what would be fun? Let's go to the point where North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia all meet and take a picture in three places at once!" So once again, we hopped in the car and took off up the Blue Ridge Mountain roads. Then we decided that it would take too long and be too dark. So we settled for being in two places at once and standing on the line between NC and Georgia.

Then we had to turn around. And in the process, we discovered the most amazing little mountain city on earth. And the cutest little pub. And OMG everything was just perfect. By the end of the day, I ended up tackling a ton of things on my 101 in 1001 list. 

So it seemed the appropriate time for a quick update in that area.
Here's where we're at:

No. 2: Visit at least 20 states
I added North Carolina to the list this weekend. And later this week I'm traveling to Ohio! So I'll be at six states! Making moves here.

No. 3: Get my first career job
Well I'm technically "interning" but I'm getting paid. So it's a job as far as I'm concerned. And it's in a job in my career field. So it counts. Boom.

No. 16: Try 50 new restaurants
I've knocked a ton off of this list lately. I'm at 38 right now. So close!

No. 51: Graduate college
Nailed it.

No. 56: Be in two places at once and photograph it
This was Sunday's adventure. And it was so worth the trip.

No. 71: Do a wine tasting
This is happening tomorrow! At The Pine. My favorite place in Athens, ever.

No. 80: Get into grad school
Knocked this one off the list last Friday! I'm still waiting to finish interviews with my other two schools. Then it will be decision time I guess! Eep!

No. 87: See 20 movies in a theater
I'm at nine now after seeing 50 Shades. Almost halfway.

No. 95: Go on a spontaneous day trip
Once again. Sunday's fun. I loved every second of it.

No. 100: Find the perfect dress for college graduation
Lilly. Obviously.

This was a longgggg post. So God bless y'all that stuck with me.

Happy Tuesday! Stay safe out there!

xoxo, jgp

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Kindest Words

Instead of the usual lovey-dovey rose-tinted Valentine's Day post, I'm sharing the love in a different way today. 

As has been very clear here, I'm extremely single. And I actually love it. And being single on V-Day doesn't really bother me at all. It's a great time to remind the people around you that you love them. In my family, we say "I love you" every time we leave the house, end a phone call, or just because. It's something that I've found most people don't do, which is sad.

Maybe it's weird that we love each other so much and make it known. But I'd rather die knowing that the people I care about know that I do. Call me crazy.

Valentine's Day shouldn't be reserved for those with a significant other in their life. So today, I encourage you (single or not) to let the people you love know it.

During my three years serving on the UGA HEROs exec board in college, we would do this often, and it was always a great pick-me-up. A lot of times this would happen after a long week where HERO things were stressful. Or just because. We'd write our name on a piece of paper and pass it around the room for people to write something about you. It could range from a short paragraph to one single word. But it was always uplifting, hilarious, and heartfelt.

I'll never forget one of these in particular, though. One of the girls on the exec board had been going through a rough time, and decided to give us a pep talk during our meeting. She had taken the time to write a little blurb about every one of us (there was 30 of us, by the way). And we're talking very heart-felt and thought out messages here. Not something she threw together. And I don't think I've ever felt so complimented in my life.

I have this pinned up on my wall now to remind me every day that no matter how bad I'm feeling about myself, or what kind of mood I'm in, that someone, somewhere thinks great things about me. I can honestly say this was easily the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me.  

Sometimes all it takes is some kind words to make someone's day. Remember that today. 
Let your friends and family know how much you love them.
Share the love. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

xoxo, jgp

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Closet Clean-Out Solution

I'm all about cleaning out my closet every few months. There's so much stuff in there that I never wear, but find myself holding onto for one reason or another. In comes ThredUp, the solution to my "holy crap my closet keeps exploding" problem.

This post has been in the works for quite some time now. It only took three months for me to finally sit down and write about ThredUp. And you'll thank me for this one, I promise. 

If you've been here a while, you know that I have a shopping problem. Which also means I have a ridiculous amount of clothes. And not enough closet space. And I don't wear them all. 

So I have been on a mission to to a complete closet clear-out. And ThredUp has been there to save my life. A lot of these clothes either haven't been worn, are in really great shape, or still have some value to them. 

So donating them seems like I'm throwing money away. But selling them myself has proved difficult. And Plato's Closet never gives you the money you deserve for your stuff.

In comes ThredUp. The simplest way to get money back for your clothes.
Or to shop their site and fill your closet back up again!

Step 1. Head to ThredUp website.
Step 2. Order a bag. (For free!)
Step 3. Get your bag in the mail.
Step 4. Fill the bag with clothes.
(That's the best picture I could get of my stuffs.)

Step 5. Drop the bag off a FedEx, UPS, or the post office.

Step 6. ThredUp processes your bag, and gives you money.

Badabing, badaboom. 

All of your clothing dilemmas solved. 

They have been an absolute life saver for me while I've been deep-cleaning my closets. And through this whole process, I've learned a few lessons. Next week I'll have a post with some tips and tricks on the best way to handle the process!

If you want to sign up, use this link and we both benefit! A closet clean-out never hurt ya, I promise!

Have you ever used ThredUp? How was your experience?

xoxo, jgp

Monday, February 9, 2015

Home Sweet Home


That's me. With a big sigh of relief. I finally, finally feel like I've maybe gotten my life back in order enough to function like a normal human again. 

This weekend I went home and had some time to regroup, see some long-lost friends, and spend time with family. Just what the doctor ordered. And now I'm back in Athens feeling like I've got the plan, the time, and the motivation I need to get things back in order again. 

Funny how a day off and some down time at home can bring me back down to earth again. I also think a break from the chaos and temptations of Athens helped a lot as well. 

But you'll be seeing a lot more of me around here. About freakin' time. 

Mainly because I'm back on top of things. And partially because I've got a lot to talk about right now. My life is in pure limbo and things are really taking off quickly. So I've got some exciting things coming up!

I'm done babbling now. So here's what happened this weekend.

Friday I passed out on the couch at 10:30PM. Nailed it.

OH! OH! But I can't forget! On Friday I got to open the lovely letter tube that held my two beautiful UGA diplomas. Can't wait to get those suckers in their frames and show them off!

Saturday I celebrated a long-lost best friend's 23rd birthday in Buckhead. It was the first time I'd ever been out in Atlanta, so it was quite the experience.

It was so great getting to meet all of Murph's Atlanta friends and see some people I haven't seen in a while. I'm all about meeting a bunch of strangers and doing crazy things with them.

Sunday consisted of brunch and dinner. As every Sunday should, as far as I'm concerned. I have zero photo evidence of either of these. So I apologize. But brunch with tasty and getting to hang out with my dad at dinner was great. And much needed. 

I took today off of work for a dentist appointment, but ended up getting my entire life in order in the process. It's been a great day. And I think we need more three-day weekends in our lives. I pretty much conquered the world. 

Clearly it's been an amazing weekend of madness and productivity. And I'm a happy camper. And I'm pumped for my ridiculous plans for Valentine's Day this weekend. 


Life is good, y'all. 

xoxo, jgp

Friday, February 6, 2015

Gotta Get My Fitness On

My goodness, y'all. The real world is harder than I thought. Mainly because I prioritize my workouts over just about everything else in my life. 

Get asked to dinner on a Thursday? Eh. That interferes with my workout schedule.
Grad school deadlines approaching? I'll handle all of those at lunch tomorrow and workout tonight. 
Need to wash clothes? They can wait another 5 days until this weekend, they'll fit better if I workout.

These are legitimate situations. 
And these are legitimate decisions. 

I think I'm turning into a crazy person. But we already knew that, didn't we?

The past couple of weeks I've been motivated a little bit differently too. After using Jawbone UP bands for almost three years, my most recent one bit the dust. I decided it was time to try something new. And after much ado, just ask Alex, I finally decided on a FitBit Charge HR.

And it seems to have replaced both my UP band and my Polar watch. Both of which I wore religiously.

The FitBit is a little bit larger than what I wanted, but I'm happy for now. The UP3 that Jawbone just released is more esthetically pleasing, but also wasn't available for another 10 weeks. And I'm working on my fitness now. Not later. So thanks to Amazon and FitBit, I got my shiny new gadget in two days. I also really like that it also acts as my watch most days.

It's got some really snazzy features, that would take me forever to talk about. So here's a nice summary:

I highly suggest this sucker if you, like me, use a heart rate monitor regularly. As far as I can tell, the monitoring device on this thing is pretty accurate as well, so I still get a pretty good idea of my calorie burn during workouts. But without having to deal with two devices. I can dig it. 

I haven't used the food tracker in this one yet, but plan on it eventually. I'm being a little more flexible with my diet for right now as I settle into the real world. So once I've given that a try, I'll report back on how everything works when done 100% properly.

Do you use a fitness tracker? Which one? Why?

xoxo, jgp

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Two Truths and a Lie

Truth: I haven't thought about blogging in two weeks. 

I started this year planning on taking the blogging world by storm. And then I started my job. And then I blogged a whopping five times the entire month of January. So, yeah. I suck. And I'm just going to stop saying I'm coming back. Because every time I do, I fall off the planet again. So you may see me again tomorrow. Or you may not see me again for two weeks again. I'm trying over here. I really am.

Truth: I'm finally done with grad school applications. 

One of the hundreds of reasons I've been MIA so much lately has been me attempting to get my future in order. Grad school applications have been staring me in the face since September. But me being me means that I push them off until the very last minute. So that resulted in pure panic. And a lot of stress on me. But all of that is done now. So my evenings after work are free to blog away again!

Lie: I've got this whole work-life balance thing all figured out.

I never realized how difficult this really is. I struggled with my school-life balance all through college. But adding the commute in the mix has made it difficult. And the fact that from 7AM until around 8PM every day, I have about one hour of time to myself to get things done. Yes, the gym in involved in that time. But that's just as important as working as far as I'm concerned. And living in my college town has also made this hard. Because I find myself being drawn into doing stupid things like going out on a Monday. Not so much fun when the alarm starts going off at 6am.

Clearly I'm a work in progress over here. But I think I may actually be on my way. But by the time I'm back on top of things, I'm sure everything will change. Because that's life.

So I'm living. And I'm learning. And I'm loving life. I just haven't shown it around here much. But I will. At some point. I promise.

Happy February, y'all!

xoxo, jgp

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hello Out There!

I did it again. I fell off the planet. So here I am again. Writing a post with some sad, pathetic apology post. And I had promised myself this wasn't happening anymore. 

But here I am, crawling back to you and asking for forgiveness... Again. 

Please love me still. I'm sorry. 

My transition to the "real world" has been much more overwhelming than I expected. Nothing brings to light much you've really got going on until you don't have time for it. I was busy my whole college career. Really busy. But it's all a little different now. 

Leaving my house at 7am and returning at 8pm every single day leaves very little time for anything in my life other than work and fitness (which to me is a non-negotiable.) So blogging, cleaning, groceries, and everything else that keeps my life afloat have all been in the balance lately. 

But this weekend I've finally had some time to sit down and get those things in order. Last weekend somehow managed to be chaotic and crazy, so I had to forge out some time for myself again. Something I haven't had to do since my junior year of college. 

But I'm back. And I'm pumped. And full of some really great ideas. And I'm ready to share some awesome stuff with y'all. 

I hope each and every one of you has had a wonderful week. And that this weekend treats you well. 

I'll be back tomorrow with something that's actually got some substance. 

Thanks for loving me. 

xoxo, jgp

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Weekend of Dream Men

This weekend has been beautiful. If only because the men I've found myself looking at have been beautiful. And no, none of them have been in real life. Sad day. 

But on my big ole TV in my living room I've been able to catch a few glances of some of the most beautiful men on Earth. As far as I'm concerned at least. 

On Satuday, you got a nice look at the man, the myth, the legend: Luke Kuechly. 

If you aren't into football, you may be now. He's got that sexy cute look that's darn near impossible to accomplish. And he's pretty stinkin' good at football. Dayum.

Today the Packers played. They were my first football love. And now their QB is one of my others. Aaron Rodgers.

And he's also good at football. His team actually won. Luke's did not. What a loser he must be. Literally. 

And last, but certainly not least... The one, the only: Ben Affleck. 

He may be the real reason I'm obsessed with award shows. But you'll never know. Regardless. The Golden Globes happened tonight, so he was there. And on this list, as far as talent goes, he wins. Hands down. Actor, writer, director, producer, and King of Sexy. 

I do believe my type may be clear here. Tall. Dark. Handsome. Talented. 

It's been a grand weekend. Now, let's get some of these good looking men in my real life. 

So. You a football fan yet, or no?

xoxo, jgp

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Bachelor is Back!

Oh, it's one of my favorite times of the year. Another season of The Bachelor is upon us, and ABC has a humdinger for us this season. This beautiful specimen: Chris Soules.


Hubba, hubba. Amiright?

If you don't normally watch The Bachelor, or you just weren't planning on watching this season. You really should change your mind. Why, you ask? Luckily I've got a nice little list of reasons why this season is going to be better than ever. 

ONE | The photo above. 
Farmer Chris is one sexy dude. In standard Bachelor fashion, he will end up shirtless for at least 50% of the season. I can't look away. Guilty.

TWO | The crazy girls. 
Per usual, this season has it's fair share of psycho girls. It also has some drunks. And some strange little birds. If you haven't watched last night's episode yet, I really suggest at least doing that to get a kick out of these chicks. 

THREE | The date locations. 
Working on a travel bucket list? Don't worry, The Bachelor will add about 20 more locations to it by the end of the season. If you need ideas for honeymoon locations, this show has you covered.

FOUR | Chris Harrison. 
Oh, man. I've got quite the crush on this older fella. He's semi-recently divorced and I'm pretty upset he didn't get to be The Bachelor this season. But we do still get to keep him around. He's just so smooth, and attractive, and funny. Dayum. 

FIVE | Chris Soules.
Oh wait. I've already covered this one. But he's one dashing young man. He drives a tractor and rides motorcycles and farms and is the sweetest man alive. How did I miss out on being on this season? I mean. How can you say no to a man holding a dressed up chihuahua. 

I like to think I've convinced you to watch this season. If not. Hopefully you'll stop judging people who are. Because you can't blame a girl for wanting some eye candy every Monday night.

Are you excited about this season of The Bachelor?

xoxo, jgp

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Just So You Know

I realized just the other day that I've been hinting at and talking vaguely about all of the things I've got going on right now. But never actually explained anything. Because I'm a terrible person, and I love leaving people hanging. 

So today seemed like a grand ole' day to fill you in on the life that lies ahead for me. 

I'm officially done with undergrad! Exciting things.

I'm still returning to Athens, though.

Because I'm working for the American Junior Golf Association in a small city right outside of Athens starting this week.

I'll be working there until mid-March, when I'll continue working for AJGA, but traveling.

I'll be setting up tournaments in some region of the United States that is TBD.

I'll be done there in May, and I'll be taking the summer off.

Then I'll be taking off to grad school somewhere also TBD, which I won't know about until April (most likely.)

Then I'll be in whatever city I end up in for the next two years studying Sports Administration.

So there's my life plan. Just thought I needed to clarify what the heck I'm actually doing with my life over here. I hope that clears some things up, because the only question I feel like I've gotten since graduation day is "what's next?" That's my answer people! I have a plan. So I'm already better off than most. Praise.

xoxo, jgp

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Oh, The Resolutions

I used to be quite the resolution list maker. I'd start each year with ridiculously long lists of things I needed to accomplish in 365 days. These past couple of years, though, I've learned that spreading my goals that thin is just not going to work for me. 

Last year I set 10 resolutions. I'm going down to 5 this year. Keeping things simple. Or trying at least. I also think the biggest key to actually keeping up with these things is to have tangible ways to accomplish them. Real milestones. Defined actions. So you'll get all the deets here.

ONE // Improve JGP
This has been a work in progress since around October, but I'm excited about spending more time around here. It will always be a work in progress, but there are some very concrete ways to make this place a little more fun for you AND me. 
-- Dedicate at least an hour a day to JGP
-- Schedule blog content better
-- Interact with readers and other bloggers more

TWO // Improve Overall Fitness Level
Because what's a New Year's resolution list without some sort of weight loss/fitness related item? Fitness is something that's pretty much always been a thing for me. But after a year of CrossFit-ish life, I'm aiming to really push myself harder and further in the new year.
-- Run another half marathon
-- Find better cardio/lifting balance
-- Do a better job of tracking goals

THREE // Communicate Better
This one is kind of odd. When it comes to communication, I'm actually the queen. Got an issue that needs to be talked about? I'll be the first to bring it up. Have feelings that need to be discussed? I'll make it nice and awkward for you, no worries. But when it comes to keeping up with the people that aren't constantly in my life, I suck at maintaining contact. This even includes my immediate family, which is sad. So this year I'm going to work on maintaining better relationships from afar.
-- Send 5 hand-written cards a month
-- Call all family members at least once a week
-- Call at least one distant friend a week

FOUR // Manage Money More Effectively
It's fairly obvious that I have a serious shopping problem. I can always find a need for something. But I have to get that in order if I ever plan on being able to invest in really anything. So now that I've finally got some income coming in, I'm working on saving. As well as cutting back.
-- Save $500 each month
-- For every "want" purchased, sell/donate something
-- Cut online shopping purchases in half

FIVE // Manage Stress Better
We're all stressed out. We're all busy. And most of the time we do it to ourselves. And then turn right around and complain about it. Being busy has become a badge of honor. But why? Stress isn't something we should brag about. Everyone feels it. And everyone handles it in different ways. I've learned that I tend to struggle with mine.
-- Learn when to say "no"
-- Don't take out stress on other people
-- Create more down time for myself

Here's to 2015 being the best yet!

What are your resolutions this year?

xoxo, jgp