Friday, May 27, 2016

Updates and Confessions

Heyyy...*waving awkwardly to the old acquaintances that I haven't seen in a while*

Where to start? An apology - I just check the page views and am still blown away by the viewers of this blog when I haven't even updated. So to you, I apologize for leaving you for a little bit. And I thank you for sticking around!

This post could get long, but if it does, I'll try to separate it into a few posts!

My day job has been a bit overwhelming the past few months. I've had some supervisors transfer out and a partial promotion which makes a lot more work but also has been majorly growing me and testing me. Discontentment at work can allow for discontentment to creep in to our/my life in other ways or we can choose to flip it around and allow it to teach us...for many weeks I chose to remain frustrated and discontent with things. Which leads to grumbling and complaining. (more on this in another post!)

Most of you know that last year I decided to start a wedding planning business - My Bridal Bestie. I spent months learning how to grow an online business, plan marketing strategies for social media, and learned all about starting a business. Most of what I learned I wanted to implement for my own business, but I've been able to use it to help the real estate agents I work with. I had always heard that if you wanted to start a blog or a business start with this - "what are others always asking you about?". Well, last year it was about weddings - now it's about social media for RE and other small businesses. At first I was hesitant because MBB seemed to be still in the start-up business, so how could I really be acting as a sort of expert?

Well, I don't know, but now I'm changing my game up. It was hard to start another business or hobby when the first one seemed to fail, but that's one thing I'm learning...sometimes we start and we stop, we change directions, or we restart on the same path. And y'all - That's okay. I am doing nothing that I thought I would be doing 4 years ago when I graduated college or 4 years before that when I graduated high school...and that's okay. For years, I wouldn't let myself believe that or rest in that. But I'm learning this..."I will hold myself to a standard of Grace not perfection" {Emily Ley}

I'll share a bit more about what I'm doing in my spare time (other than Braves games and working for BHLDN - a beautiful wedding dress store) when I am ready to announce this next venture.

But please remember, nothing we do has to be a lifelong job...His plan for us may not look like we hoped it would or assumed it would, but He will always be there to help guide us and teach us and give us a better attitude about the situation (another thing I'm learning!).

If any of this resonates with you, I'd love to hear about it! Comment below or email me directly alliedanae@southerngritsandgraces.com

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Derby Day 2016

One of my most favorite days is almost here! 

The 142nd Kentucky Derby will occur on Saturday, May 7th. I can't tell you the last time I missed watching this, but unfortunately this year, I won't be around a tv when it starts.

If you aren't familiar with the Derby, I want to give you a quick run down of what all the Derby entails & info I learned when I visited the track one summer. 

1. The Kentucky Derby is the most prestigious horse race, and is the first in a 3 race series dubbed 
"The Triple Crown". 

2. The other two are the Belmont and the Preakness

3. LAST YEAR!! - We had a Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah! I never thought I'd see one in my day. Okay, maybe one day. There had not been a Triple Crown Winner since 1978. 

4. Its always the first Saturday in May at the historic "Churchill Downs" or "Between the Spires".

5. It is a very fashionable event (see my picks below!)

6. Everyone sings "My Ole Kentucky Home" and drinks Mint Juleps. 

7. The winner gets a "Garland of Roses" for the horse. 

8. Horse riders are called jockeys. 

9. The purse or winnings for the Derby are actually not the highest in the world, but according to the tour we took, that doesn't really matter. If you win the largest purse at some other race, but never have a horse in the Derby....eh, congrats on winning lots of money...? 

10. Placing bets at the Derby is almost a rule, not just an option.

11. Coverage starts around 12p EST with all the back stories, which to me is just as fascinating as the 2 minute-ish race that happens later in the afternoon. Watching those horses run is beautiful. 

Now for a few dresses I recommend for your Derby party
A few from my favorite - LOFT, and some from a new love - Dress Up. 
(None of these are affiliate links)

1. Jardin Henley (LOFT)

2. Ladder Lace (LOFT)

3. Eyelet Stripe (LOFT)

4. Desert Island Dress (Dress Up) 

5. Modest Magnolia (Dress Up)

6. Magnolia Blossoms (Dress Up) 

7. Floral Romance (Dress Up)

8. Bow the Distance - Magenta (Dress Up)

9. Southern Summer (Dress Up)


I could go on and on with everything I know about the Derby, Churchill Downs, and the amazing history behind it all. But I recommend tuning in on Saturday and you'll get enough information from the experts.