Each year, I compile a list of New Year's "intentions": things that I intend to do or achieve, but without the rigidity of the dreaded "resolution". It's basically a resolution list for folks with commitment issues.
You can view my previous "intention" lists here and here. (Apparently, I had no goals to speak of in 2010. I suppose this is because I was busy getting engaged and whatnot!)
For 2013, here are a few things I intend to do, plan, begin, achieve, (insert verb here), etc.
1. I'd like to continue to broaden my circle of friends. This one was on my list last year and I feel like I definitely met that goal. You can never have too many shoes or too many friends. It's just not possible. With my new job I took in March 2012, I made a whole set of new friends. I've also become real life friends with several amazing women I've met through the blogosphere. I've rekindled friendships with girls I knew growing up and it's exciting to see how our lives have evolved! Friends, new and old, enrich our lives and make everything, well, better.
2. Continue to cultivate my writing career. I'd like to continue growing myself as a professional writer, both in my day job as a writer at a PR firm, and also as a freelancer. I've written for quite a few local magazines in the past year or so, but I hope to take things "national" this year. Wish me luck!
3. Drink less coffee. Kidding. Kidding. For the good of all mankind, I will continue drinking copious amounts of caffeine. Without it, I'm like a grizzly bear with an insane case of PMS. Trust me.
4. Host more dinner parties. Lately, I've rediscovered my love for throwing a good fete. I'm a strange bird, but I LOVE the time that goes into perfecting decorations, party favors, music, atmosphere, etc. And, I don't even mind the clean-up process. I get complete satisfaction out throwing together a crazy guest list and seeing all the different personalities interact with one another. Don't call me Martha just yet, though.
5. Learn to light our gas fireplace. Don't y'all dare laugh. This is serious business and I'm terrified of lighting the pilot. Okay.........you can laugh now.
6. Volunteer at our local animal shelter. Recently, my co-workers and I participated in a day of volunteering at various non-profits across NWA. Our team was designated for the Fayetteville Animal Services Shelter. That day, our company paid for the adoptions of EVERY animal in the shelter. It was so amazing to know that we saved the lives of over 30 pets that day. I have such a passion for our four-legged friends and hope to spend many more days at the animal shelter this year.
7. Really participate and enjoy NWA Fashion Week. Last year, I had a pretty major surgery that kept me out of commission for most of FW, save for the article that Citiscapes very graciously allowed me to write! I was able to catch only a couple shows, but this year...oh, it's on! I've already recruited a dear friend to tag along with me for the week. And to all the boutiques out there: I'm a very affordable runway model ; ) Call me, maybe? Ha!
Okay, this is the part where you tell me what you "intend" to do in 2013. Ready...set...go!
P.S.- Stay safe tonight, y'all. Live it up, but do it wisely and safely : ) That's my southern momma advice for the day.
Be blessed, lovelies-
Bet y'all thought I had left blogging, huh? Nope, I was just off celebrating the yuletide festivities with the family in central Arkansas. Better late(ish) than never, right ladies? Gaw. This was supposed to be up at 8:00 a.m. sharp this morning, but the bed felt so good that I slept right through my alarm.
I'm off work. So, I suppose that's alright. And really, I'm not sorry.
Anywhoodle, here are some confessions from our Christmas week:
1) Apparently, I'm a gadget dork at heart. I got an iPad for Christmas from my parents! Actually, they got one for me, Stephen and my brother Matthew. And let me tell you, I am addicted already. It's one of the best techy Christmas gifts I've ever received.
2) I really did feel like a kid at Christmas this year. My parents got a TON of snow on Christmas Day, which was just amazing. It had been 86 years since Arkansas had a white Christmas. There was something magical about it that just doesn't happen most years.
3) I wish I still believed in Santa : ( Am I the only one that misses that old man with the white beard? Don't get me wrong, we had a great Christmas. There's just a special component missing and I can't help but think it might be 'ol Saint Nick.
4) I was deflated to learn that Zero Dark Thirty doesn't come to Arkansas until Jan. 11. Apparently it opened in limited release on Dec. 19, but AR is never in the "limited release" territory.
5) I am just sick over this fiscal cliff mess. No matter what side of the political fence you're on, I think we can all agree that this is scary business.
What's on your mind today?
Be blessed, lovelies-
This weekend, the beau and I are visiting his folks in Fort Smith. We've eaten far too much, slept in a little too late and stayed up laughing way too late into the night. Yesterday, I went shopping with my mom-in-law and spent a little too much money on things that were a little too unnecessary. We've taken a few too many ridiculous photos with the iPhone and last night, enjoyed a treat from Sonic that had 530 too many calories.
I am too blessed.
Last night, as I laid in bed listening to the sounds of Stephen breathing heavily in a deep sleep (probably brought on by too much dessert and a bit too much Knob Creek), I thought to myself, "Can I please hit 'pause'?"
Life needs a 'pause' button. A 'pause' button for moments so perfect, so ideal that you want to cover them in bubble wrap and lock them away in a vault.
Recent events continue to remind me that time is ever-fleeting. We blink and things change.
This Christmas, find your 'pause' button. Whether that be in the form of a glass of 10 year-old cabernet, an extra slice of cheesecake or a frivolous purchase.
Dance like a fool. Get the giggles during church. Order pizza at midnight.
Soak in in friends. These are days meant for remembering.
Be blessed, lovelies-
|Photo by Keely Yount|
Hi, girls! I wanted to take today to share a very special guest post, which I had the opportunity to write for Dahlia Lynn. Dahlia Lynn is the blog written by the amazing Jessica, and it's also the name of the super-coveted jewelry line that she also designs.
Jessica is doing an incredible guest post series on her blog called "Love You", a segment in which bloggers tell what they love most about themselves. I think that as women, we have a much easier time giving out compliments to each other, but have a really hard time acknowledging our own attributes. I adore Jessica's brilliant concept for this series, centered around self-love and acceptance.
Check out my post for Dahlia Lynn and be sure to follow her spectacular blog and jewelry creations!
Be blessed, lovelies-
|All photos by photographer Keely Yount. Jacket, skirt and tank featured below were generously gifted by Savoir-Faire.|
I wanted to commemorate the 2012 Savoir-Faire segment with the SF Moment of all moments…sparkles (!!) As a prologue, I have to give lovely Tess all the glory on styling this ensemble. I asked for her keen style eye and she delivered, as she does each day in her much-coveted boutique.
I’m typically really subtle with sparkles and glitter (more of a leather, tweed or flannel/plaid gal), but when I saw this opulent sequined jacket and gave it a test run in the dressing room…well…I knew I’d leave the store with it.
The peplum skirt (which looks out-of-this-world good on sweet Ashley on the SF homepage) was a perfect companion for the jacket. I kidd you not, ladies – this skirt is unbelievably comfy. Think you couldn’t move in a teeny little peplum? Think again. Not sure of the fabric blend…we’ll just call it awesome. This skirt is made of awesome.
|Shoes from Forever 21|
|Bracelets via GroopDealz|
|Necklace via Target.com|
For Customers Outside of Northwest Arkansas
Use the hashtag #SFStylist on Instagram. Tess and her fabulous girls will reply back to you with recommendations based on what you need.
For Customers In NWA
Stop in the store and let any of the SF staff help get you fixed up. All the girls are equally stylish and have impeccable taste!
So what have we learned here today? Let's re-cap:
- If you need something sparkly for your NYE (and you know you do), Savoir-Faire has it.
- If you need something but have NO CLUE what to buy, let Savoir-Faire #SFStylist help you out.
- Savoir-Faire has a website (a super cute one, at that.) Ergo, there's no excuse not to shop.
P.S. A HUGE thank you to the oh-so-talented Keely Yount for working her magic behind the camera. Cannot wait to work with you again, miss!
Be blessed, lovelies-
*All photos posted here are property of Leslie Sisti, A Blonde Ambition blog and photographer Keely Yount and may not be re-used or re-published without express written consent. Photos and content are protected under a Creative Commons License, Copyright 2012.
Many of you that follow me on Instagram (@ablondeambition) know that I'm obsessed with OCJ Apparel denim. Recently, the amazing OCJ team sent me this beautiful pair of dark wash skinnies, which are perfect for boot-wearing weather!
|Amazing suede/glitter booties from Maude Boutique!|
I think what I love most about this particular style and wash, is that it hugs you in all the right places while giving you a nice, long leg line. And even better, they hold their shape like no other denim I've tried - pinky swear. I've worn and washed these several times already and they haven't faded or lost their shape at all.
Here is a link to the jeans I'm wearing in the "skinny" style. These are not the collegiate branded denim. Click here.
'Bama and Notre Dame fans better grab a pair of these for the BCS National Championship 1/7/13!
Because OCJ is incredibly generous, they are giving ALL OF YOU an exclusive discount code for 20% off your order today ONLY. Just use coupon code BLONDEAMBITION at checkout. Visit their website to order today!
Be blessed, lovelies-
I’ll be honest; blogging at a time like this, a time after such an unspeakable tragedy seems trivial. Over the weekend, we were all flooded with images from Friday's horrific event from every news outlet and social media channel. And we were all reminded yet again that none of us are promised tomorrow.
God be with the victims, their families, the first responders, the brave school staff and the entire city of Newtown. May they be granted comfort and some semblance of peace as they put together the pieces of their fractured lives.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (NIV)
Be blessed, lovelies-
Labels: Fall 2012
Today, I confess:
-That I have a serious addiction to sparkly objects. I am over the moon for this sparkly little jacket from Savoir-Faire. I had some outfit photos with Keely Yount, a talented local photog yesterday, so this was the perfect ensemble for the chilly weather and the sunset lighting.
-That I have an obsession with faux leather. I recently purchased this little leather number (seen below on the lovely Jena) from Maude and love it so much my heart hurts. It may be the best leather (or pleather) item I’ve bought to date.
-That I am a nerd. Stephen and I have started re-watching all seasons of The Office again. We’ve both been loyal fans forever, so since this is it’s last season, we thought it’d be fun to start from the beginning again. I will miss this show dearly when it goes off air.
-That we only put up one Christmas tree this year. Last year, I put up two trees, tons of decorations, etc. This time, I just wanted to be able to enjoy the season for what it is rather than spending every waking moment decorating. I chose wisely. This has been a fabulous holiday season thus far.
What have you been hankering to say this week? Vent, girls!
Be blessed, lovelies-
Life has been moving so rapidly this week, that I’ve hardly had a chance to just talk with y’all. I love dedicating a day each week where we can just chat about random things, which is exactly what we’re doing on this chilly morning.
- You may remember last year when I talked about our neighbors and their Christmas light display. This year, they’ve done it again and it’s bigger than ever. Although lovely, it is BRIGHT. And they enjoy keeping it on throughout the entire night. From sundown to sunrise, their lights are a’going. It's only annoying at 3 a.m. when we're trying to sleep, but other than that, we love them : ) It reminds me of this episode of Seinfeld.
Kenny Rogers Roasters, anyone?
- I’m on Day 6 of Stephen’s “12 Days of Christmas” and, so far, it’s been fun. Save for a couple glitches here and there, it’s been an easy project. It makes me giggle to see a grown man get excited for reading his clues and finding his day’s gift. I highly suggest it for anyone in your life, be it a spouse, significant other, friend or family member.
- I cannot believe that Honey Boo Boo wound up on Barbara Walters 10 Most Fascinating People list this year. That list will never be relevant again.
- I’m having photos with the fabulous Keely Yount today for a couple of upcoming outfit posts. Finally, you ladies won’t have to look at my terribly decorated doorstep or random Port-a-Pottys again. I know you’re absolutely deflated by that.
- Have y’all met Hazel’s Haven yet? I discovered them last week and fell in love. If you live in Fort Smith, you should check it out! I don’t, but I can still peruse their styles via Facebook. Get on it, fashion mavens.
What's going on in your world today? Anything random you'd like to shout out? Now's the time! Let's chat.
Be blessed, lovelies-
Hi, girls! I wanted to turn the blog over today to my adorable sis-in-law Sarah, a super mom, extraordinary wife, amazing friend and financial expert. Since I tend to be better at spending money than budgeting it (oops), I thought I'd let her take the lead on this one : )
She also does personal budget counseling through her side business, Dollars and Sense. You can contact her at email@example.com if you're interested!
Hello! When Leslie asked me if I’d consider doing a guest post for her today on tips for Christmas spending, I jumped at the chance! I’m a self-proclaimed numbers nerd, and if I can share my thoughts and help someone, even better. I think so many times people get overwhelmed by the "B" word. But let me tell you, budgets can be your friend. I hope you’ll find some tips here that you can put into practice to make your holiday spending a little less stressful.
Just a little background about me so you aren’t wondering what makes me qualified to offer this kind of advice: I have a bachelor’s degree in Accounting as well as an MBA. I currently work as the supervisor of general accounting at one of our local utility companies. I really enjoy working with numbers (obviously, or why would I subject myself to being an accountant, right?!).
Here are several ways to budget and plan for Christmas spending, as well as some other ideas to hopefully help you stretch your dollar as far as possible:
- Buy for people throughout the year as you see things they might like. – I’ll admit, this is a good theory. I don’t personally do this because when I do, inevitably, I’ll find something as Christmas gets closer that I know they would pink puffy heart LOVE, or something they might really, really want and I can’t get it because I got the gift like 5 months ago. If this works for you, then by all means do it. Just don’t forget where you hide it!
- Set up a Christmas savings account. – I think this is a far more practical approach. Many financial institutions offer savings accounts specifically for funding the holidays. If this interests you, begin with your bank to see what they offer. Most of these accounts will draw some interest (though likely not much), and there are restrictions on withdrawals to prevent you from using this money whenever you feel like it. If you need a little more control over your spending, this might be a really great option for you. Determine the amount of money you want to spend on Christmas gifts, and then make monthly/semi-monthly/weekly deposits. When Christmastime arrives, you withdraw the funds for spending. If you are not well disciplined at keeping a budget or saving money, I would HIGHLY recommend this method. If you want to do this, be thinking about it now for next year!
- Incorporate your Christmas expenses into your budget all year long. – If you don’t want to open a savings account, you can incorporate your Christmas expenses into your monthly budget for the entire year. The thing about this is, you CANNOT spend the money! You HAVE to be disciplined to do this method. This is the approach we currently use, but I believe we will be using the savings account next year. Here’s how we do this: To avoid spending what we budget and not having it when Christmas comes, whatever amount we budget, I record as a transaction in the checkbook as if we’ve spent it. Then as we spend, I adjust the balance. You’ll need to be diligent about tracking if you want this option to work for you.
- Set your spending amount ahead of time - Do this by person. Then, STICK TO IT!!! You can easily spend way more than you intended. I love giving people gifts that I think they will love. I’m sometimes guilty of spending more than I planned because I think it’s worth it to see someone’s face light up at the perfect gift. That being said, doing that can get pricey.
- Put money in your account for an angel – Obviously, this isn’t a must but something I feel strongly about. I know that we have SO much and I like to spread the Christmas spirit to those who may not otherwise have a Christmas. It breaks my heart to think of a child having nothing on Christmas.
- Find ways to make extra cash – This is a GREAT way to help with the holidays. If you have a direct selling business, can pick up side jobs, or anything. One thing I’ve done this year that has helped is use Ebates. Are y’all familiar with that? You sign up, go there before you start shopping, it creates a tracking ticket, you shop as normal, and then you get a percentage of purchase back in cash! I promise it’s easy as it sounds and LEGIT! I’m about to get a $60.00 deposit just from shopping online through Ebates. You can sign up by clicking here.
- Shop around for deals – Check out various places before making a pricey purchase. You may just find what you are looking for on sale. The gift we are getting my daughter was marked down on Thanksgiving morning by $80.00! I was so excited. Also, when my husband and I went to Dallas for the weekend, I found a purse and it was love at first sight. We went ahead and purchased as a Christmas present. It’s been sitting in my closet waiting for Christmas and shortly after we got home, I got an email that it’d been marked down. Way down. So this past weekend, I took it to another location with the intent to return and buy again. They were out so I asked the manager if I could get a price adjustment and they let me! Be mindful of ways like this that you can save some serious money.
These are just some of the things that we put into use that have really helped us. I hope that maybe one of these will help you determine a good plan for your holiday spending. If you have any tips that work for you, I’d love to hear them.
And I want to say a big thank you to Leslie for allowing me to share with you today! Wishing you all a happy and blessed Christmas!
Be blessed, lovelies-