When The Boys Are Away, The Girls Will Play…

HI FRIENDS!

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Like my new glasses!? SC: autumn_benson13

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since Valentine’s! Life has been crazy in the Beson/Wollinger household the past month and a half! Jim has finally returned home after being away in Louisiana for some training with the Army. &Boy was that time a whirlwind between this insane semester, and all the traveling and girl time I had!

Let’s go back to the day before I left for home. I was KILLING myself to get through the week and get all my homework done, before I left for Massachusetts.

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I had class until 7:30 and then I was up until about midnight powering through essays and finishing my marketing module, eating all the Girl Scout cookies I acquired between my coworkers child, the Girl Scouts at the PX and my friend Anna’s purchase at the commissary.

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&I was also praying all the frickin snow would end!

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SC: autumn_benson13

I woke up bright and early and had some breakfast, packed up some lunch for the road and headed off!

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Once I finally got into town, my girl Caroline, was also traveling to MA from Drum to visit with family, met up with me for a fun night out! We were headed out to celebrate my best friend Alex’s 21st birthday and St. Patty’s Day! Carrie and I spent the afternoon grabbing bathing suits at Marshall’s to hang out in my brother’s hot tub (got the whole house to myself for the weekend!) &Gathering some pregame goods, including some ingredients to make “pot of gold jello shots” and of course a cake for Miss. Alex!

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photo from delsih.com was having too much fun to take a photo 😉

Cadence was all ready for St. Patty’s too!

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Carrie, Alex, my best friend Nicole and I did the girly thing and got all ready for the night together. Kyle would’ve loved it. A bunch of girls messing up his house with clothes everywhere and makeup and hair products. Good thing he doesn’t read my blogs 😉 LOL

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We finally headed into Boston +1 with Alex’s step Momma joining the party! Once we made it to West End Johnnie’s for drinks and dancing, I will shamelessly admit, that I paid off the bouncer so we didn’t have to stand in the freezing cold for an hour. We had the time of our lives dancing the night away, and drinking Goose and cran and just being 20 somethings…until about a ½ hour prior to last call some nasty dude with crusty lips in a trench coat (no joke) came up to me and started to try to dance with me. When I had informed him, I was all set and married, he whispered into my ear, “I don’t care.” I proceeded to shove him, and push us through the crowd to the other side of the bar. NOT OK.

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We all stumbled our way to the cabs, and headed to Bova’s!

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My sister in law had introduced me to this place on my 22nd birthday, and I will never not go there after a night out. Alex had requested we go all out, with the real 20 something clubbing Boston experience, though she was a bit cranky once we got there, her step momma and I headed in to face some hot pockets and cannolis. We grabbed an Uber XL back to the island, and I stuffed my face in the backseat, and chatted up our driver.

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boobs.

I was dead by the time we made it back to my brother’s house, but somehow my girls talked me into hot tub time at 2am. Nicole was passed out on the couch, and we were dumb enough to think 10 minutes was enough time to warm up the tub after turning up the temp, and ended up freezing our butts off in 30 degree weather…typical us.

The next morning was all about coffee. Dunks with Carrie, Starbs, and George’s Coffee

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I spent the next day just lounging around with my girls, Alex and Marissa. We grabbed some nachos and drinks at Jalapeños, and I picked up this AMAZING shirt for Jimmy’s Easter basket:

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For the rest of the night, we hung around in the hot tub (which we sufficiently managed to heat up) and played Never Have I Ever..;) watched some episodes of the final season of Girls and ate cake! There was no shortage of crap eaten on this trip..

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Sunday was family day! My Momma and I drove into New Bedford to see my Dad’s side of the family. Words don’t even describe how great it feels to be surrounded by your loved ones. Living so far from everyone hurts my heart. I miss dinners with Jim’s parents and sisters, and little brothers every Sunday, and spending Saturday nights hanging around with my brother. We typically only see a lot of my Dad’s side of the family once a year at our Annual Cookout. My cousin Elizabeth made so much good food, and I got to chat with my Aunts and Uncles and see my sweet Papa, and all my baby cousins!

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Momma and I headed back up to Fort Drum early Monday morning, but not after a quick visit for breakfast at the firehouse with Kyle!

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My Mom was coming up to spend the week with me, and then visit Montreal the following weekend! But that trip will be in my next blog post.

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I didn’t get too many photos, where I still had work and class all week, but we spent the week, having dinners with some of my girlfriends! We totally hit up Cracker Barrell more than once, once with Carrie and this cool dude:

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&Once with my sweet best friend Anna. &My Momma met my new girlfriend, Carissa, and her sweet girl Aria and we got dinner one of my favorite spots, Stefano’s in Carthage, NY.

 

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Sorry..def licked the canoli before I took this pic…

The rest of Jim’s time away was spent between work, school, Sundays with Anna doing church and lunch dates and Gilmore Girls and wine. &I had one girls night with Carrie, and a couple of other spouses at Drum, eating chips and brownies and doing face masks!

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Yes…yes we do have matching pjs.

I am so very happy my hubs is home, and hopefully here to stay for a while. &Congrats to the handsome dude too, for graduating Air Assault School while he was there! 🙂

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I have so many adventures planned for this summer to explore NNY. I mean, a list, literally a mile long. &I’m excited for my next post, recapping my Montreal trip with Momma B! I hope you all are having a wonderful week. &If nobody told you yet today, you are beautiful.

//xo

Happy Hump Day!

LETS BE FRIENDS!

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Home for Christmas

Happy Thirsty Thursday friends!!

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It’s currently Sunday. We’re just lounging around the house. We went to breakfast at Longways Diner this morning, and have no other plans really for today. Just gonna clean up around the house, maybe grab some groceries and just prepare for the week ahead. It’s 13 degrees outside here at Drum, and we got quite a few feet of snow dumped on us this week. So I’m just gonna hang out in my fuzzy socks and enjoy my Christmas decorations just a LITTLE while longer…;)

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So, this post is gonna be a recap of our trip home for the holidays! This may get long, but these are some of my favorite posts to look back on. Unfortunately even though Jim had been on block leave for a bit, I had to work up until the night before Christmas Eve. We headed to MA on the 23rd, right after I got out of the office.

SOMEHOW we managed to stop only ONE time on the way. Grabbed gas, went pee and grabbed some food for the road. I swear, I must’ve played the bladder cards right that day, because I drink a TON of water everyday, but we did it!

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Christmas Eve was so much fun. I started off the morning, heading to my hometown, while Jim stayed at his parents house. I’ve never been so excited to go over that bridge onto the island. I was so blessed to grow up in such a beautiful hometown, and though there is a lot of beauty in Northern NY, there is nothing like be surrounded by the ocean, and gorgeous views daily. It’s truly motivating and inspiring. The ocean brings me so much peace.

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I went to lunch at the absolutely breathtaking new hotel, The Beauport with my Mom, her boyfriend Farrell and his sister. I was in so much awe of the architecture, and the stunning Christmas decor and the views from our table I didn’t take a ton of photos! 😦

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After lunch, I headed back to the Wollinger house for dinner, and family time. Jim’s Aunt and Uncle came by and we had a Yankee Swap. I was pretty pumped about my gift. Dunkin’ addict over here 😉

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I bought this educational game for Andrew, my little brother-in-law a few years back, and he plays it with me every chance he gets when I am over. It’s been so fun seeing how much he got out of that gift, and how much his knowledge has grown over the years. He is a math wiz.

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Christmas used to be all about tradition for me. Since my Dad passed away Christmas has been veering further and further from the traditions I grew up with. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to love the change. I now have two incredible families to celebrate the holidays with. My two brother-in-laws are still at the Santa stage of their lives, so Christmas morning is always a blast with them.

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This picture is in my in-law’s living room. I used an app. Andrew totally believed me. Mikey, not so much. He sai he wasn’t falling for it 😉

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Cadence loves her Papa

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After Christmas we headed to my Momma’s house for round two. We are always so spoiled by the amount of gifts we receive between the Wollinger’s and the Benson’s. We are so blessed to have so many loved ones that care so much to go out of their way for us. Jim’s parents and Andrew soon followed and we all hung out at Momma B’s house, ate some good food and hung out. Christmas felt a little empty sans Grandpy and Uncle Jimmy, but I felt them there in spirit. ❤

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Don’t mind the jar of queso…I got hungry…

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My Mom is the cutest. Home decor GOALS.

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Wouldn’t be a holiday at the Benson household without an appearance from Alex!

We ended Christmas over at my big brothers house–but not before making a quick pit stop at the Lobstah Trap Tree. Like the most Gloucester Christmas thing evah.

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Kyle, Stephanie, Jim and I hung out in Kyle’s new hot tub for the rest of the night.  I am NOT a fan of winter, and didn’t think I’d be real into going into a hot tub in the freezing cold, but it’s actually amazing!!


December 26th is my little bother-in-law Mikey’s birthday!

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Mikey is one of the sweetest, silliest, kids in the world. He is so curious about the world, and some of the best conversations I’ve ever had with any human being have been with this kid. I can’t believe he is 10 years old.

We started off the morning curing out Christmas hang over at Cape Ann Coffee’s. YUM

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Seriously tho…Massachusetts just does breakfast better then NNY….

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&Went for a ride around the Backshore before visiting my brother at the firehouse.

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All my life I looked up to my brother as my hero. He entered Marine boot camp just before the attacks of 9/11/2001. I was too young to fully understand the impact of that tragic event on this country, but I knew Kyle was going to protect us. &Now I see him thriving in his role as a fire fighter. His passion to protect and serve is something I so respect. I am so proud of him. &Visiting him at work, brings me so much happiness.

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Cadence loves her Uncle Kyle

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That afternoon we headed up to celebrate Mikey turning 10. I loved listening to Mike and Andrew and their cousin Maggie chatting amongst themselves. A child’s perspective of the world is so pure and innocent. I don’t ever want them to grow up.

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After the birthday celebrations we didn’t have anything planned, and ended up meeting up with one of my best friends, Marissa at the mall. I was helping her pick out some interview clothes and then we went to dinner. I try to stay away from chains when I’m home because there are so many great food places on the North Shore, but we REALLY missed the 99s.

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Sorry not sorry for the silly Snap filters

The 27th was a REALLY warm day at home. We had some sibling time with Jim’s sisters. Went into downtown Newburyport, and had some delicious lunch at Agave, played Cards Against Humanity and waxed some body hair. #casual

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Since the girls had plans for the night, we headed back to Gloucester and took Cadence for her first real walk on the beach. Good Harbor never fails me. We went just around sunset, and it was stunning. When I’m by the ocean I can feel in every inch of my bones, the work of God. He has created such beauty. Photos can’t do it justice.

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“The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the hands of his work.” Pslam 19:1


The 28th was a LONG day. So much adventure. We started out the day at our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BREAKFAST SPOT EVER. (&If my brother Snapchats me from there one more time, Im gonna punch him.) Red’s in Salem.

Breakfast was spent with Nana Janice and Momma B. It was so nice to spend time with them. We went to the House of the Seven Gables, surprisingly its one of the places I’ve never been to in Salem. Neither had Nana Jan! She was born and raised in Salem, and her mother was a tour guide at the house, but she still had never taken a tour! When people find out I am from the North Shore area of MA, Salem is always a topic of conversation. It truly is an awesome area. If you’ve never been, go. &The House of Seven Gables is a quality “tourist attraction.” Not kitschy by any means.

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Once we got back to Gloucester, we wanted to soak up some more time in the nice weather. With all the snow and low temperatures here at Drum, Cadence hasn’t gotten many walks in, in the past few months. &We were heading to Boston that night, so we wanted to get her energy out. We took her for a walk at Ravenswood. I love walking trails. So peaceful. &Cadence was happy too!

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Jimbo and I went skating at Frog Pond for date night–back where he proposed over a year later!

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The rest of our time home, was spent hanging around with friends and family, and soaking up as much New England as we could.

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We even spent almost 2 1/2 hours chatting it up with one of the owners of Sully’s. &He was pretty frickin Boston. Definitely will never forgot that conversation, and I hope that won’t be the last time we speak with him! Sly is one of the coolest guys around!


There is nothing better than being home for the holidays. But I am so happy to be back in our home, at Fort Drum. I miss everyone and everything back home–but Im so happy to be back in my routine, and spending time with the hubs. I can’t wait to see with 2017 has to offer, and though I can’t believe Im saying this–Im PUMPED for the Spring semester to begin!

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Happy New Year everyone!

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What are some of your goals going into 2017?

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IM BACK IN MA!?!?!?

HI GUYSSSSSS

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&haha to the readers I got with that click bait 😉 I am actually REwriting this post. This was due to be posted on Tuesday. I was having technical difficulties, and decided today would be the day…and I ended up losing the whole post. I was attempting to upload it on my new domain, that I have been working on for so long now..but alas it was a fail. But I drank a cup of coffee in hopes it would give me the energy to put away my mountain of laundry, but it didn’t. It did motivate me to get this rewritten and put on Netflix in the background! SO–where have I been? Where am I? Whats new?

There’s been lots of rumors going around that I moved back home, and one creepy app in particular had some nasty individuals speaking about me being “back home, and broken up with the Army guy.” Not sure where all that craziness got started, but I did not move home, and “Army guy” and I are still happily together. Well, in heart, not distance. But we’ll get there.

I DID GO HOME FOR A QUICK MINUTE THOUGH! It was rough timing with Jim, but I drove home for the weekend a couple weeks back with the pup for my family’s 6th Annual BBQ Reunion, and my best friend Mariah’s bridal shower! I had a blast, and also came back to Fort Drum an exhausted mess. I swear Im only now getting back to normal, and getting Cadence and I back into a good routine.

The morning of the BBQ started off a bit rough. I got into MA around 1am, after working all day, and then hopping in the car with my pup.

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I headed to my brother’s house to help him out with some cooking and run errands–but the morning ended up being me stuck in tourist trap beach traffic, and then having to tend to my frantic Momma B who took Cadence to the carwash. My crazy rescue pup got a little nervous and went “cray cray” as Momma B would say, chewing on the dashboard of her brand new car, and biting at the water on the windshield. Traumatizing for Momma and Cade. But alas, after all the craziness, the show went on!

I didnt get a TON of photos (unlike me) but I was really just enjoying my time, and trying not to get to sad with all the “Where is Jimmy?” questions. Even some of the Wollinger fam, and even their super awesome neighbors, The Palen’s came by!

Cadence had a pretty overwhelming day and had to have a nice nap with baby Levi.

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Later on my adorable big brother had his coworkers that were on duty come by for some food and brought all the children at the BBQ out to see the fire truck!

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The night ended with lots of laughs with old friends, a couple rounds of beer pong, and this epic Momma who couldn’t let Levi who thought it was still party time, cramp her style!

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The next morning was the morning of my best friend Mariah’s bridal shower!!! I am her maid of honor, and I have to say, that with the crazy distance, and mess that was planning this, us bridesmaids did a pretty banging job with the partayyy.

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&Of course before Cadence and I headed home (with lots of technical difficulties..) I had to show this pup the ocean, and what she gets to look forward to every time we visit, and when we finally do get to bring her back to our home. She couldn’t stop sniffing the air. Neither could I. Miss that salt air..

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But back to reality, and Cadence and I are home in Fort Drum! Had a crazy past few weeks in the office, and finally got the house picked up and things back in order this weekend. Aside from that mountain of laundry… But things are a little different in the Benson/Wollinger household….because Jimbob is DEPLOYED. Yep the D word has finally become reality and it sucks. We’re being told this shouldn’t be a long one. But I won’t say too much more in the name of OPSEC. But I can tell you, that I miss that dude like crazy. Things have been all over the place lately, but I am settling in and getting into a routine, and crazy office life/preparing to finish my bachelors has been keeping me busy. But getting into bed, and having his side be empty is not easy. This house being so quiet…is strange.

I wasn’t sure how I would do with him leaving this time. After all, the first week after he left for OSUT I was a MESS. That was our first time being separated. But I was at home, with my friends and family, in familiar territory.

But honestly…this time around I’ve been more “okay.” If that is the right way to say it. It’s scarier because I know my man is now in a dangerous place. But..I’m holding it together. Not crying in my room and thinking the world is ending, and all that teenage angsty stuff. Because life goes on. Living on post has given me the opportunity to be surrounded by all of these Army families. Might not be my family…but it’s inspiring to see all of these families, with small children keep on going, when their husbands and wives are deployed. Because if my Dad taught me anything, it’s that life does go on. Whether you chose to be present or not. &This time, I chose to be okay. Because my life will continue to move. I will continue to hustle and build my own career, and take care of my baby Cade. &Hold the fort down until my handsome man is back by my side farting and stinking the place out, and making strange noises, and whistling the Hunger Games whistle when he’s hungry.

So here’s to all the military families KILLIN it with keeping it together when life hands you orders.

 

Until next time.

 

“Im gonna put my body first, and love me so hard till it hurts….gonna love myself and I don’t need anybody else.”–Hailee Steinfeld (This song is my jam)

//xo

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What I’ve Been Up To/Rambles

Hi guys.

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Things have been pretty mundane in the Benson/Wollinger household. But I haven’t blogged in a while, and I felt inspired to write. So, I apologize if this post becomes wordy, all over the place and maybe a semi recap/spill my guts session.

So, lets start with the recap…here’s what I’ve been up to:

Jim and I went back to my home town a couple of weekends ago for my Uncle Jim’s service. That service has a whole lot to do with things that have been running through my mind lately, but we’ll get there later. I didnt take too many photos while in my hometown, but we had a really good time spending the day with my brother and old friends out on the boat. Made some memories I certainly will never forget.

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Before we headed back on Sunday, we took Jim’s Dad out to breakfast for Father’s Day, at our favorite spot, Red’s in Salem, MA. His little brother Andrew, sisters Karla and Amber and brother in law Rob were there too, so obviously we had to do a photo shoot.

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THEN, my BFF Caroline who is the best person ever introduced us to the North Country’s version of a beach. Wasn’t half bad…still no comparison to the beaches back home….but the “lake beach” off Lake Ontario was pretty awesome. Any day is a good day when Caroline and the little dude are involved. ❤

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Jim’s sisters, and brother and law made a surprise visit too just for a night last weekend! We had SO MUCH FUN. We had a family dinner together, with our friend Sean as well–Jim and I were freaking out we were so excited…we’ve never had that many people at our table. Jimbo may or may not have been our “DJ” for the night while we had drinks and played Cards Against Humanity…. and this is actually the only picture I got of the entire trip….caption it in the comments:

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Sunday we went to Old Forge! For those of you who don’t know what/where that is–it’s a beautiful place in Upstate NY….basically what I imagined it would be like when I moved up here…but alas…you have to go about an hour and a half from post to see the true beauty of this place. We drove up jamming out to some classic rap songs until we lost service..and once we finally got there (Jimmy yells at me for not following the GPS….this kid took us like 20 min out of the way…don’t let him tell you any different..) we stopped for lunch at Walt’s Diner. We didn’t have too much planned, so we just walked around all the shops, and acted like the tourists we are.  I definitely got a cute little ice-cream shaped treat for my pup in honor of National Ice Cream Day! I actually didn’t have any ice-cream though! 😦

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The banker side of me got REAL excited when seeing the Life is Good store had an old vault…though they did fill it with Crocs…haha

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OH! That brings me to this! One last thing to catch you up on…..drum roll please….(for those of you that follow me on ANY social media, you already know)…BUT, let’s give an official blog fam welcome to CADENCE WOLLINGER!

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Don’t mind my pants covered in fur..we had JUST picked her up, so the cats in the humane society were all OVER ME. 

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We have been searching and searching for months for our forever pup, and we rescued this sweet girl from the Steven Swan Humane Society in Utica, NY. Her name was Candy (not quite sure if that was her name originally) and she was lovingly renamed Cadence. She has acclimated to the name very well…and as some of you know, back home we have a family dog named Lola..

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She’s on the left, that sweetie on the right was her pup Cadence….so it was a tribute to her, as well as a tribute to our love for the US military. ❤ Cadence is a boxer mix, and she was a boney wreck when we got her. She had kennel cough and her nipples were basically dragging on the floor. We think she may have been used as a breeding machine, and dumped at the shelter…but she is in her happy forever home now..and boy does she feel it!

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Ok…now that you’re caught up on some of the goings on around here…ramble time. I’ve had so much on my mind lately. So many things are coming up in my life that are pretty exciting/scary/just all the emotions. Some of those things include me going back to school at night to finish up my bachelors….that’s super exciting to me, but scary, because it’s going to be a lot with working full time, but ya gotta do what you gotta do as an adult–I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again! 🙂 My best friend Mariah has her wedding coming up, and I’m her Maid of Honor–so we’ve got lots of planning, and bridal showering, and things to get done before I fly to Savannah in December. THAT being said, there has been a lot going on personally that have been weighing on my mind. I won’t go into too much detail, but I can tell you that its making my heart hurt. I’ve seen some people I love recently just do things and say things…that just aren’t ok. It’s hard growing up and thinking that the world is one way, and believing in people so much, only to have your eyes opened to realize that people you thought you knew…aren’t who you thought they were. True, genuine, kind, loyal people, family members, aren’t very common. &The ones that are, need to be cherished. When I love you, as a family member, as a friend, as a significant other–I love with everything. I was raised that way. I love you with all my might, defend you till the end, but let you know when you are wrong, and expect you to do the same for me. Every big moment in your life, is a big moment in mine. Since my Grandpy and my Uncle’s passing…it’s been way too much. Because you see…Grandpy and Uncle Jim were two of those people that I loved so fiercely. &Seeing others agendas play out during a time of grieving is hard. But it’s a part of life, and another thing I’ve learned in this crazy journey as a 20 something. Life is short, spend time with those you love, celebrate the happiness, and smile through the darkness.

That’s all for now. &If you made it all this way…thank you for letting me ramble. I needed this writing session more than you could imagine. &I promise to get back to happy blogging. I’ve had enough moping around for a lifetime.

 

“You and your girlfriends need to stop calling each other ‘bi*ch,’ there is enough hate in this world, you young ladies don’t need to be talking like that.”-My Daddy

//xo

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RECENT FAVORITES

HELLO FRIENDS!

How are you all!? I apologize for the lack of post the last few weeks! I just started a new job, and it’s pretty intense with training, so by the time I got home and cooked dinner, and ate…I was pretty much ready to hit the sheets. Also, Jim’s parents and my little brother-in-law Andrew came to visit Memorial Day weekend!

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Had a perfect bun till the humidity got to it…. 😦

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This post though I want to go over some of my recent favorite items/products/things. I definitely haven’t done a favorites post in quite some time. I thought about doing a monthly favorites type of thing, but I don’t switch it up too much with products and things like that. I’m a bit of a creature of habit. BUT–before I dive in, I just want to take a quick moment to appreciate my hubs. You all know how obsessed we are with one another, but I think he just deserves a shoutout. I’m forever in awe of him. &I know that is why God placed us in each others lives. I am in just awe of his selflessness, his ability to make me laugh every single day, and his constant need to protect. Myself, his family and his country. I know some of you might be reading this and silently (or not so silently) yaking. But I just wanted to take a moment to shout out my favorite hunka burnin love.

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OKAY–lets get back to business, and talk about a few of my favorite things…

  1. AMLACTIN

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This stuff is AMAZING. I hyperlinked it, so if you want to buy it, it’s all yours! So…some of you may know what I’m talking about right now, and some of you may not. I have a “rash” that’s basically permanent on my upper arms, thats referred to as “chicken skin.” The scientific term for it is, keratosis pilaris. Basically red, bumps. &They get a little splotchy sometimes. They don’t itch or burn or anything..they’re just kind of there. They say this is a common thing, and that it can be hereditary, and I know my Mom has it, though not as severe as myself. It just makes me super self conscious about wearing anything short sleeved. BUT–a good friend of mine suggested this lotion. It says to apply it twice daily, and IT SERIOUSLY WORKED. It’s not gone completely, but it has dulled so much of the redness and smoothed it out. I’ve tried SO MANY products to do the job, and this is the one that’s worked for me. I’m so mad at myself that I didn’t take before and afters…but if any of you try it, please share your before and afters with me, if you’re comfortable!

2) My Paula Dean pan.

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When I moved into my first apartment, I totally snagged this pan from my Momma. She’s had it FOREVER and it’s seriously my best pan. It’s such a pretty blue, and aside from that–it just holds up and does the job. All of our other pots and pans are kind of just cheap crap we picked up at Walmart when we first moved out on our own. They do the job too, and we just make food for the two of us, but I seriously love having such a nice, good quality, heavy duty pan. I want to get more from her line. I couldn’t find a link for just the pan, but here is one to the whole set!

3) MY KEDS

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Yes, I’m aware of how gross they are. But I wear them ALL THE TIME. Keds are just such classics and you can wear them so many different ways. I love them with simple outfits like jeans/shorts and a plain tee, but they even look cute to dress down an outfit and make it more casual. I like to wear them with skater skirts and breezy tops too, for a comfortable shoe choice when we go walking around on date nights.

4) The 30 minute power clean

Now this idea I got from Amber Fillerup  If you haven’t checked out her blog before, you have to. She’s the queen of braids, such a sweet down to earth Momma/wifey, and not to mention, her blog is just so atheistically pleasing. &She’ll make you get the travel bug REAL quick. BUT–the 30 min power clean is just 30 quick minutes at night where before heading to bed (or to binge watch Quantico) you clean up some area of your house. Whether it be just mopping the kitchen floors, wood polishing your furniture, or picking up the cyclone you made while getting ready for work after your first six alarms wouldn’t get you out of bed…it’s a great way to keep things in order during the week when you just don’t have that motivation to “clean as you go.” &If you have a roommate or spouse or what have you to power clean with–it’s a fun way to be competitive with who can get more done in the 30 minutes! So set your timers, and GO MOMMA B CRAY CRAY on those dishes!

5) My dinner chart, which I referenced before in a post.

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I’ve really been trying to get us to eat in more. Better for the wallet, and we tend to cook healthy..and when eating out we view it as a treat, even if we’re eating dinner our six nights/week… So this chart just helps me keep track of what I need to get at the grocery store, and helps us plan some yummy meals that we WANT to stay home and cook! Found it at the Dollar Spot at Target!

6) THIS SONG 

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You know sometimes when you randomly hear a song in a tv show or movie, and you HAVE TO KNOW WHAT IT IS? Well I heard the song Pumpin Blood by NONONO when watching the adorable romance movie (duh) Endless Love. &I. Am. Obsessed. I listen to it when doing my 30 minute power cleans 😉 &It’s definitely one of my favorite songs to run to. It just pumps you up. For lack of better ANYTHING, “it’s lit.”

7) THESE HEADWRAPS

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photos courtesy of Google

I love these…but I’ve yet to actually venture out and purchase them, because head wraps and head bands NEVER stay on my head unless I pierce my skull with a billion bobby pins. But I need these in my life.

8) So…I will never get too old to fan girl. I just think that people who aren’t excitable, just must have the most boring lives. Like–at what age do we decide that jumping up and down and clapping, and scream laughing about things wasn’t acceptable? I mean, just look at this lady with her Chewbacca mask. HAS ANYTHING ever made you that happy!? But anyways, fan girling. Yes. Taylor Swift. It’s a thing. It’s my thing. She is my life, my idol, and my musical Godess since I was 13 years old. However, I haven’t escalated to the point where I made an Instagram fan page…and that’s because I worry that people might judge me at 22 for doing so…but that doesn’t mean I don’t follow copious amounts of them. My absolute fav is seeherwiththelightsout  If you’re a crazy Tay fan girl like me, CHECK HER OUT.

9) ASIDE from the Chewy loving lady, some of my other favorite viral videos I’m loving include this one of this adorable little girl wanting a boyfriend, and her Daddy insisting that she is “gonna work for God.” (Their accents just MAKE this vid) This one on how to store veggies. SO many necessary tips. I even started storing my asparagus properly! &This English bulldog vid. YAS.

10) My new drug store mascara obsession, is this one by Maybelline. I’m normally a Two Faced, Better Than Sex mascara kinda girl, but this one is awesome too. &A lot more affordable. It’s brush is flexible, which works for me, bc my lashes tend to grow downward, &it really helps to brush them out. &The black is REALLY carbon black. My lashes are also super light blonde, so I look like I have none with out any mascara. I went with my Wollinger fam to Alexandria Bay up here in NY over the long weekend, and knew I’d sweat my make up off in the heat, so I just threw on this mascara and was good to go! My lashes were nice and thick and dark, and it woke my eyes right up!

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11) &Last but not least….my copper mug. You all know of my sick obsession with mugs. Grabbed this baby at the Christmas Tree Shoppe. I’m OBSESSED with this. If I ever have a kitchen with an island, and one of those things up above to hang pots and pans with, I’m doing all copper. So beautiful, and minimalist.

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ALSO, here is a sneak peak of some of the things I’ve gotten for my new cubicle! (&A random face wash I picked up…couldn’t find my usual Yes To Tomatoes exfoliating scrub.) You know I have the most fab cube in the office. I’ll soon have the full Nate Berkus collection of all the gold office supplies.

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QOTD: What would you like next weeks blog to be about? My weekly office eats? Or cubicle decor? If I get an equal amount of votes on both, I’ll do both! Let me know in the comments down below, or on any of my social medias!

“The secret to happiness, is letting every situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be.”

//xo

 

~Rest in peace my sweet, and silly Uncle Jim…may our good Lord heal you of all you pain and suffering. I love you very much.~

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WHY I RELAY//RELAY FOR LIFE

 

HEY GUYS

I’m sorry for the lack of post last week! I had so much going on personally, I even wanted to get this post up sooner! &Momma B came up to visit! We’ve been having such a nice time. That’s been the best part about being at a base so close to home. It’s not super close, but close enough that it’s less than a half a days drive if any friends or family want to come and visit, or we want to go back home. So, yeah! I hope all the Mommas out there had a lovely Mother’s Day, and got at least a few minutes of pampering and special treatment! Because Lord knows how difficult and selfless the job of being a Mom is.

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I’m lookin scrub-a-licious in this photo….^^^ But we got jelly spa pedicures! 🙂

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PS–I didn’t buy that MK purse for my Momma^^ (wish I could afford that! It’s hers…It just looked nice in the photo with all the pink! 😉 But we did get her another nice little gift ❤ )

But, I promise, I’m going to keep posting at least once per week! I actually had a reader DM me on Insta asking why I didn’t post last week. (To say she made me feel awesome was an understatement!) Comment below if you’re an avid reader! I have my go-to blogs, that I have to check up on at least weekly, and I know how sad it can be when I don’t see any new posts, so it’s a pretty amazing feeling that someone enjoys my content that much! Also…stay tuned! Because I have a little giveaway coming real soon!!!

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SO! This post, is SO SO SO SOOOOO important to me. Although I hope that this post inspires all of my readers to participate in their local Relay for Life events, I’m REALLY hoping that this post reaches my readers from my home town. I’m going to tell you all a little story about why I Relay in a moment, but first, I want to let my local readers be aware of something.

RELAY FOR LIFE OF CAPE ANN IS IN TROUBLE. I know, SO MANY of you that would be an incredible asset to the leadership team for our local Relay. I wish I could be there, but as you know–I’m currently living in Upstate NY. SO RELAY NEEDS YOU. CAPE ANN NEEDS YOU. THE ABILITY TO KICK CANCERS A$$ NEEDS YOU. There is a possibility, that–despite the incredible efforts of the small, yet enthusiastic team of leaders, Cape Ann’s Relay has currently–it MIGHT NOT HAPPEN. If you, or someone you know has been affected by cancer, (because Lord knows, sadly at this point, all of us have at least known someone who has been affected) and would make a great addition to this team–PLEASE attend this event. You can click that hyperlink for more info; But it is tonight, at the First Baptist Church in Gloucester. That’s 38 Gloucester Ave, and it begins at 6:30pm. Even if you can’t attend, and want to volunteer, you may contact any of the leaders, or myself–and we can point you in the right direction. (All of the info will be at the bottom of this post.)

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WHY I RELAY:

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Growing up, I have dealt with a whole lot of loss. Uncles, my Nana, my Dad, and most recently, my Grandpy. But two of those deaths, were what opened my eyes to so many things–and they are the reason I Relay.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I thought I had the world at my feet. I was a good kid, got good grades, had a lot of friends, and an incredible family. Some of my favorite memories include Sunday morning brunch over at my Uncle Tommy’s, and rides around the Backshore with my Dad, and him. Uncle Tommy and my Dad were BEST FRIENDS. I mean, inseparable. These are two men, who grew up in foster care, were separated so much of the time, both went to Vietnam, and came back ALIVE..and remained so close through it all. When Uncle Tommy got sick, he didn’t broadcast it. He was so brave, and so selfless. One day after school..my Mom came to pick me up. Now, I knew something was off, because she never picked me up from school. That was my Dad’s thing. I got in the car, and she (as she was in such shock) just announced to me that Uncle Tommy had passed. I didn’t even know the severity of what was wrong, and I was in so much shock. This was the first time of my life, that I lost someone who was pretty much a part of my daily life. I’ll never forget coming home, and going to the stairs, to walk up to my room, only to be met with a closed door, and my Dad inside it, crying SO LOUDLY..I had only seen him (and I’m not exaggerating) shed tears one other time, and that was at his Mother’s funeral. Many of his brothers had passed before, but I was so young. My heart was broken. My family fell apart. My Dad had literally lost his other half. Nothing was ever the same. My Uncle Tommy was a man who dedicated his life to his family, his children and his community. He coached Gloucester peewee football for so many years. Not only did my family lose a key player, but so did our community.

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Then, two years and three days later..my Dad passed away from cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange. My Dad was absolutely, with out a doubt, my best friend in the entire world. We had a relationship unlike any other. He was my Father when I needed it…constantly on my case to get up for school, get to dance class on time, get off the computer and get my homework done. He was my chauffeur–driving me to and from school, work, dance etc, giving my friends and I rides to the mall, the beach and constantly to Dunks and around the Backshore, having to endure our music blasting. &He was my friend always. My Dad was always the chaperone anywhere we went, but he felt like just another piece of our friend group. One time I had invited a couple of my friends over, and I went up to my room, and realizing an HOUR went by that they didn’t make their way up the stairs, so I headed down, and there they were all congregated on the couch watching some movie that he had told them was “a classic.” (One of his favorite phrases.)

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Now, it’s 2016. I’ve moved to Upstate NY to live with my soldier, and so much has changed within my family dynamic. But I can promise you, not a day goes by that I don’t think of BOTH  of those men. My heart breaks knowing, Jimmy will never have the chance of meeting either one of them. My father won’t walk me down the aisle. This whole weekend that my Momma has been here, neither one of us could stop saying how much he would’ve enjoyed this trip. Visiting an Army post, hanging out with the family. But I know they have one another up in Heaven.

But that is why I Relay. So other nieces and daughters, and families don’t have to lose their loved ones too soon. So they don’t have to go through the absolute agony, of watching someone who was once SO STRONG, wilt away. So they won’t have sleepless nights in hospital chairs, weekly chemo sessions, praying to our great Lord that maybe, this will be the cure.

&That is why, all of my readers should Relay. Relay until there is a cure, and this horrible disease is abolished.

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CAPE ANN READERS–If you have an hour, or 40 hours to volunteer your time, it’s so important that we preserve the ability to have this event in our home. This event allows thousands of dollars to go towards research to find a cure. It goes towards services that allow those families financially struggling to make ends meet during costly treatments to make it through. If you want to know where your money goes, just do a quick Google search, or watch this video.

This money helps your family, your community, your loved ones fight the battle against cancer. Please consider volunteering even an hour to your local event.

//xo

“When someone has cancer, the whole family, and everyone who loves them, does too.”-Terri Clark

INFO FOR TONIGHTS RELAY EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/857394654371522/

WHO TO CONTACT FOR MORE INFO ON GETTING INVOLVED IN CAPE ANN’S RELAY:

Myself– autumnelizebeth@yahoo.com

OR–

Pastor Cindy– pastorcindya@gmail.com

 

 

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Who is ANTSO Emily?

Hey there guys!

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So…todays post is going to be a little bit different. Last week, I wrote…well, basically I laid my heart out to you guys about how I don’t have a “passion.” (Seriously, that wasn’t easy to talk about.) Well, I have passions, but, don’t know how to execute them into a career. It was freaking me out so much, that I began having severe anxiety attacks, and just feeling seriously down, and not myself. I’m working on that.

But today–I want to take a step back, and talk about someone who inspires me. Because, when you’re in a situation like mine, sometimes you need to look around for a little inspiration. &Sometimes, that inspiration comes from a friend. That friend is, Emily. Emily and I have known each other since grade school, but never officially really hung out. (I can promise you next time I make it back to my hometown, that will change. 😉 ) But Emily and I started getting close, when I opened up my Relay for Life team, to anyone who wanted to join. Emily–being the sweet, incredible woman she is, hopped right into it, helping me brain storm ideas for fundraising, and was right by my side the entire time. The two of us have been trying to come up with a way to collaborate together, and with our crazy schedules–and me moving 6 hours from home, it got a little difficult. But, I wanted to tell her story. Because, if you’re looking for a little inspiration, this girl is it.

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Meet Emily. She’s 20 years old, and currently the title holder of Massachusetts National Miss 2016 for ANTSO (America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization) Now I’ll explain to you the importance of that later. But for now, lets rewind, and take a look back at Em’s early life.

Emily had a bit of a rough start as a child. From young age of 7 years old, until she was 14–her father was unable to be around. Emily was living with her mother who was an abusive alcoholic, and in and out of DCF custody. “Bounced from Grandmother to Nana to my cousin Nikki, all of which helped raise me into who I am today. I really had to figure everything out on my own. How to be a good person, how to stay out of trouble, how to not fall into my mother’s footsteps.” 

Coming from a childhood with such trauma, you would expect to hear me next talk about how she maybe fell down the wrong path. But Emily, being the incredible girl she is, took only the good from the bad. On top of all of that, her Aunt Julie was killed six years ago. Julie always encouraged Em to go into modeling. (I mean, DUH, she’s beautiful!) &She did just that!

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“At the time I was a size 3, TINY and healthy. Every modeling agency I applied for bluntly told me I was too big and that if I was to lose weight I could try again… So I started eating VERY little… Salads, lean protein. And I was working out two hours almost everyday. My face was sunken in, my skin lost its natural glow and pink tone, I looked AWFUL… Sure enough the agencies wanted me… LIKE THAT mind you, I was 14 at the time.”

I mean, you all know the stories, beautiful, YOUNG women, driven to succeed in their passion, told by society, and the industry that they just aren’t good enough. Next comes an eating disorder, and all types of depression, all from the big man telling women how to look and feel.

But again, Miss Emily pushes through that negativity, and down right DISGUSTING, societal ignorance and changes her attitude. “They wanted a 14 year old girl to lost weight and look unhealthy before they would accept her into their agency… Well it just so happened that my mom ‘didn’t have the money’ to have me sign with an agency. All this time I had been thinking “what is wrong with me?” Instead of ‘what is wrong with THEM?'” 

Emily got herself back to a healthy weight, and two years later, at age 16, decided to get into the pageant world and entered the Miss Massachusetts Teen USA pageant. Emily was so excited to participate. They told her she was perfect and beautiful, and that she wouldn’t need to buy an over priced gown, or over spend on professional hair and make up. She was under the impression, that Teen USA had a mission to “empower women.”“All the system was doing was knocking young women down. You only made top 15 if you were extremely slender and had a flat stomach. Had an EXPENSIVE wardrobe, had professional looking hair and makeup, etc. They were all in it for the money.” After competing in Teen USA, Emily became very anti pageant. She truly believed that all pageants were rigged like that one.

In 2014, after all the pageant glitter had settled, Emily decided to do something HUGE.

[I decided that it was] “time to advocate for young girls and women and get it through their heads that there is NOTHING wrong with them but there is EVERYTHING wrong with the way society portrays “beautiful.” Beautiful is ALL of us. Thick, slender, curvy, athletic, tall, short, physically disabled, mentally disabled, black, white, Spanish, Asian, and everything and anything in between! Too many females have physically and mentally harmed themselves because of society’s strict standards of what ‘you need to look like.'”

So, that’s where Project Positive Role Models was born. “I founded Project Positive Role Models as a support group almost… a way for women to come together on social media and encourage each other’s body images instead of putting them down. I started photographing women of different shapes and sizes to show them just how beautiful they were. Sometimes when we look in the mirror all we see is “BLAHH” so I felt by showing them photos of themselves, it could break that negative thought process of how we see our bodies!”

WHEW! I mean…seriously Em? Why you gotta be so AMAZING?

NOW, lets talk Emily’s current title. Massachusetts National Miss 2016 for ANTSO. Some of mine and Emily’s Facebook friends reading this are probably like, “Oh yeah! I always wondered why her name said ANTSO.”

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“It wasn’t until last February that I learned about the ANTSO (America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization) pageant system. THIS system is TRULY empowering to all girls and women. You will find ladies of ALL shapes, sizes and ethnicities placing top 10 and further. This system really focussing on your INNER beauty along with outer beauty. They score you on your community service achievements, academics, goals, future plans, etc. THIS is when I became a pageant girl! Last April I was crowned the Massachusetts National Miss of ANTSO and got to compete Nationally in Nashville this past summer. This May, I have been given the opportunity to be re-crowned and compete for the National title one last time this upcoming summer!”

So, there ya have it! ANTSO Emily. My inspiration for today, and for life. I truly feel so blessed to have Emily in my life. Even if right now we’re only able to be social media buddies. She’s such a special lady, and now you know why.

Good luck this summer Em, although you don’t need it. YOU’RE GONNA KILL IT BABE.

~~~~~

 

“Too many women want to be models. Not enough want to be role models.”

//xo

ANTSO Emily’s Links:

Instagram- emilymacdougall95

 

Project Positive Role Models Links:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/projectpositiverolemodels/?pnref=lhc

Site- http://www.projectprm.com

 

EMILY’S STORY ABOUT YOURS TRULY 

 

For more information about America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization, please visit: www.nationalteen.com

 

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PS- So, I’m pretty stoked about this blog post, and I hope you liked it. I am having a tough time right now with everything going on personally..and it REALLY was amazing to get some inspiration from another woman, and one so near and dear to my heart. Emily–I am TRULY honored that you allowed me to tell your story. ❤