My Dad

God places certain people in our life to fill different needs.
I know this to be true because God placed an amazing man in my life, to fill that father figure role. Although we're not blood related, we're bonded by the strongest father-daughter relationship a girl could ever want.
My dad loves and supports me unconditionally (he's driven a UHaul cross-country for me TWICE). He's patient, understanding, and the best listener I know!
 
Today I want to wish this super awesome dad of mine a very Happy Birthday! Love you!
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Staying true to YOU.

I want to thank everyone so much for your support of The Charlotte Social! The response I've gotten from my fellow Charlotte bloggers has been beyond what I expected, and I'm so excited to start planning our first meet-up.
I've talked about this on the blog before, but the years since I graduated college have been such a growing, and learning experience. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that immediately after graduation, I moved to a city where I knew no one. I had plenty of support from family and friends, but being somewhere new, where you're essentially alone, forces you to grow.
These years, however painful (a bit dramatic?) they might have been, have allowed me to figure out who I am, what I love, and what makes me happy. Want to know a secret? If you use these things you learn about yourself to make decisions, I can pretty much guarantee you'll be happy. It sounds selfish, but when you're happy, you'll be in a better position to help others.

So, what have I learned?

Professionally: I pride myself in my career and my accomplishments, I want to know I'm making a difference. Fulfillment to me isn't about a dollar sign, but rather the feeling that I'm having an impact in my industry.
Professionally & Personally: I'm nice, sometimes too nice, but don't mistake my kindness for weakness because "Nobody puts baby in a corner!" (name that movie). Knowing this about myself is helping me approach situations differently, I need to be a little more of a badass.

Personally: I have no respect for people who are closed-minded, lack humility, or have big egos. I'm all about helping others, rooting for the underdog, and keeping an open mind. I want these same qualities in a significant other.
I'm sure you're asking what the point of all of this is?
These past couple of years I've learned, that as long as you're staying true to your core, to who you are, and what you truly love, you will be happy. Quit worrying so much about what your friends, family, or society, say you should or shouldn't be doing. You're the only one who has to live with your decisions, so make sure they're the best for you. At the end of the day you'll realize that people worry a lot less about what you're doing than you think.

What choices are you making in life that help you stay true to YOU?
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The Charlotte Social

One of my favorite things about blogging has been the connections that I've made. It's so easy to form a friendship with other bloggers, because you share so many similar interests. What's even better with connecting with other bloggers is getting to meet them in real life!
 
In an effort to help connect bloggers in my area, I've created The Charlotte Social...
My hope is to build a directory where bloggers can find each other, and plan meet-ups for us to connect in person! If you're in the Charlotte-area I'd love for you to check it out! I'm a so excited about this new project.
 
Also, I wanted to give a big huge THANK YOU and shout-out to Laura from Our Life in the Queen City for designing such an awesome blog!
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Valentine's Day Traditions

Let me first start out by saying that I'm not a big fan of Valentine's day, not because I'm single, but because I don't feel like relationships should only be celebrated one day out of the year? Wouldn't it be way more special if your other half surprised you out of the blue,  just to show you they care? That's the kind of relationship I want.
 
I am a fan however, of the most awesome Valentine's day tradition that my mom started way back when. Every morning since I can remember I've woken up on Valentine's day up to freshly made cinnamon rolls. I don't know how this tradition started, but I love it (and hope to do for my kids one day).
 
 I couldn't be home this year for Valentine's day, but my mama made sure to send me pictures so I didn't feel like I was missing out!
 My mom's little tradition has turned this holiday into one where I'm reminded of all the love that surrounds me.
So, if you're single today, just remember...
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Who Doesn't Love A Good Beauty Find?

I love beauty products. It's one of my favorite ways to waste invest my money. I love it even more when I find a great new product that I haven't tried before.
 
This product obsession of mine leads to frequent trips to Ulta. I love Ulta because they have a great rewards program, you earn points for every purchase you make, and can later redeem them in store. Simple.
 
I've been saving up my points, and decided to splurge a few weeks ago and use them to try out some new products. I wanted to share the best, and the worst of these with you!
 
On the favorites list is the Maybelline Color Whisper gel color. I bought two different shades, One Size Fits Pearl and Coral Ambition. I LOVE them. I'm a big fan of plain 'ole chapstick, but it's nice to have a little color, and this does the trick! It's not sticky like gloss, or dry like some lipsticks. I'll definitely be buying more shades!
 
Next on the favorites list is the boscia Luminizing Black Mask *note, it's not sold at Ulta.
I was going to post a picture but honestly the mask comes out the same color as the bottle, and it's not a pretty sight! My face felt SO GOOD afterwards though. It removed a lot of dead skin, and made my pores visibly smaller. I highly recommend it.

Now, on to my not-so-favorite product. I'm a big fan of the Cargo blu_ray mattifier primer. I've blogged about it before but it's the best at keeping my makeup in place for hours, and my oily face under control.
 
I decided that I'd give a new primer a try since I was using my rewards points and bought the LORAC POREfection mattifying face primer. You know the saying "if it aint broke, don't fix it"? Well I should have stuck with my trusty Cargo primer because I did not like the LORAC one at all. My face was really oily, and my makeup didn't even last until lunchtime! I wouldn't recommend it.
 
Have ya'll found any great beauty products lately that I should try? I'd love to hear about them!
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I'm still here...

My little brother came to visit me last weekend, and I took him to visit UT-Knoxville, and UNC-Charlotte. It was fun watching him get excited about this next chapter in his life, and I'm so happy to announce that he's going to The University of Tennessee in the fall!
I am one proud big sister, and super happy because it's not too far from me (which means I'll get to do plenty of tailgating once football season starts!)
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I haven't been blogging much lately, but I plan on stepping my blogging game up soon! I've been  busy adjusting to life at my new job.
 
I have been updating twitter and instagram though, and I'd love for you to follow all my shenanigans there...
 
you'll find bachelor updates...
...the pranks my co-workers like to play...
..and a few NASCAR tweets here and there...
While my instagram account is typically filled with pictures of this fluff ball...
and fashion and beauty finds...
So, in case this little ole blog gets neglected, now you know where to find me!
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