Detox: But not the kind Amanda Bynes needs

Saturday, June 29, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport|| 2 Comments

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer is in full swing, 
and there is nothing worse than 
feeling like a full balloon after a backyard BBQ. 

But have no fear. 
Just add a cucumber and lemon to a gallon of 
water and drink up. 
You will deflate back to your normal size in no time. 

I had heard of drinking lemon and cucumber water 
as a natural detox for ages. And trust me, it works. 

{Unless you are a child-star-gone-wrong 
trying to get rid of vast quantities of drugs in your system,
then you might need a little something stronger
that only Passages Malibu can offer.}

For the rest of us who weren't Mouseketeers, 
grab your favorite Tervis tumblr and drink up.
You will be beach ready in no time.

PS I've also found that two cups
of coffee and a venti 
passion tea lemonade achieves the
same result. Your pick. 

They say don't talk to strangers on the internet

Friday, June 28, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| | 1 Comment

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 4: Publicly profess your love and devotion for some of your favorite bloggers.

My mornings are filled with several of my favorite things: coffee, Good Morning America and blog reading. My mornings could only be made better if I had enough time to indulge in brunch, because it's my favorite meal of all time. But that's another story completely.

These four lovely ladies are bookmarked on my computer and I always enjoy catching up on what they have to say. And if I love their blogs, then I know you will too.

1. Lauren of Aspiring Kennedy

Lauren was the director of my study abroad program, which means that while she was enjoying the Swiss bliss, I was also tumbling down the slopes with her. Aspiring Kennedy was the first blog that I started reading on a regular basis {Before that, I didn't really believe that bloggers lived other lives outside of their internet persona.} I always love reading about Lauren, Tyler and Viola's latest adventures and I know that my next European vacation will be filled with her suggestions. Especially about places to eat. The first lesson I learned when studying abroad was to follow Lauren at meal times, because she has a sixth sense about where the best food is.

2. Katie of Kate + Nate

Katie is the faculty adviser for student publications and one of the pr professors at Harding. So we see a lot of each other. Our shared love of doxies, pink, paper products, typography and television is an added bonus. She write about all of her wonderful purchases, which considering Searcy does not have a mall of any size is quite the accomplishment, vacations, recipes and her fur baby, Kevin (who is my second favorite doxie behind Dixie.)

3. Michelle of On the Adventure

Michelle, while I do not know her in real life, is one of those that I feel like I have known forever after reading her blog. She writes a lot about her advenures living in Texas. I know Texans are always talkinga about how perfect and superior their state is above all others, but I never believed them. However, Michelle has shown that there are lots of places to visit that aren't swarming with cowboys and oil tycoons. We are also soul sisters where music is concerned, so I always enjoy her playlists and listen to them for days on end.

Casey lives with her husband in Germany and it seems like they are alwaus traveling to one European country or another. I didn't make it to Germany when at HIP, so I live vicariously through her posts. I see expat blogs as being able to see the world without having to spend a dime. Casey is not afraid to go off the beaten path and find those hidden gems far away from the tourist traps. Also, she loves to go on cruises, too. I've decided that a cruise is the only way to visit the Mediterranean after reading about her trip.

Fear of failure

Thursday, June 27, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| | 1 Comment

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 3: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it

You can plan for every possible negative scenario 
until you last breath.

You can come up with every excuse not to start
living your dream (or writing your term paper.) 

But until you take that first step on faith
and continue on, you will never know what you are 
capable of accomplishing.

Do not let the fear of failure
keep you from accomplishing a goal. 
Some problems are only hard because we let ourselves
believe that they are impossible.

If you need a role model for perseverance and hard work,
look no farther than Nelson Mandela.

What I learned from copy editing and traveling abroad

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | Be the first to comment!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 2: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at.

I'd like to pride myself on knowing a little about a lot of things. Teenage television dramas, the quadratic formula, the French Revolution; I could tell you a small amount about all of them. However, if we're being honest, I could talk for days hours about teenage television dramas; my expertise is in The OC, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and The Hills.

So what am I going to educate you on, you may ask? Spelling and grammar. Before you stop reading, just let me explain. I see this as a public service because, if you're like me, nothing makes you stop reading more than incorrect capitalization and the dreaded Oxford comma. Oh, That doesn't bother you? Well I don't know if we can be friends then. Just kidding. But please, next time you type something, at least go through and correct all of the words spell check catches. The world and myself will thank you.

Here are a few reminders: 

1. Alot is not a word. 

2. "I" is always capitalized when referring to yourself. Always. Now if you are one of those writers who doesn't capitalize anything, then I will give you a slide on this one because at least you are consistent. But for the rest of you, i'm watching. 

3. Ellipses should not be used to represent a period. The president may pause every few words during his speeches hoping they will be filled with applause, but that does not mean you need to include ellipses every few words in your writing. I'll tell you right now, unless you are J.K. Rowling writing "Harry Potter Book Eight," no one is going to be cheering after every sentence.

And finally, I am going to put the ongoing "who vs. whom" debate to rest with a simple trick. 

4. Who vs. Whom. Until a few months ago, I vowed to ignore "whom" because I thought that surely it was soon to be removed from the English language. Since that has not happened, and most likely won't happen any time soon, I needed to learn the correct usage. As a child, I thought you only used "whom" when you wanted to sound fancy or extremely educated. (Surprisingly, I was wrong.) TIP: Turn the question into a statement. Who/whom does he love? He loves me. If you answer the question with "me" use whom. If you answer the question with "I", use who. Make sense? 

For those of you who have read this far, thank you. Especially those who are not communications majors. I will reward you dedication with a few tips on "How to not look and sound like an uncultured American when in Paris."

1. Speak softly (or not at all) and don't make eye contact with other passengers when on the metro. The French are seen as rude and unkind because they don't talk a lot in public. While they are by no means as friendly as the Italians, the French are not rude. They are just reserved. If you don't want to stand out as American (as if your Northface jacket or Kavu backpack didn't give you away), then pull out your white Apple earbuds and enjoy the view out of the window as you ride through town.

2. Stand on the right side of the escalator; walk on the left side. While this is supposed to be a universal rule of etiquette, most American ignore it when at home and abroad.

3. Always attempt to speak French at first. Your Southern twang or Boston accent will most likely give you away, but the French appreciate your effort. Who knows, your pronunciation may even get a smile or chuckle from the shopkeeper.

21 years in 250 words

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport|| 1 Comment

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 1: The story of your life in 250 words or less 

I was born in Valdosta, Ga., moved to England because of the Air Force, moved back to Valdosta and have been here ever since. I took my first lap around Europe as a three-year-old dressed in multi-colored windbreakers and fanny packs. I guess my love for travel started at an early age. A few facts about my childhood: I'm an only child, I hated chocolate until about a year ago, and I read through the entire Nancy Drew series (probably twice) and  Harry Potter at least seven times.

After growing up in a medium-sized town, I gave it all up to go to college in Searcy, Ark. If we are being honest, their long list of study abroad programs sold me on the school. I was set on studying in Florence, Italy for a semester, but after being waitlisted and then talking with the best International Programs director, Lauren Knight, I decided on a whim to study in Paris instead. Hard decision, right? 

Graduation is inching closer, and it seems like every new stage in my life centers around moving somewhere new, so we will see where the pursuit of full-time employment takes me. Need a  talented professional communicator/web content manager/social media guru? Give me a call.

A love for writing prompts

Monday, June 24, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| | 1 Comment

Monday, June 24, 2013

Have you gotten tired of me yet? Hope not, because it's about to get pretty busy around here.  A lot of people did a "blog every day in May" challenge, and because I love writing prompts, I decided that I would give it a shot...just a little later than others. So I call this the "Blog every day in June/July" series. You know, because I hate conforming  jump on the bandwagon too late. And it has a nice ring to it, right?

And if we're being honest here, writing is my thing more than photography. Sorry I'm not sorry you won't find hundreds of photos of my weekend plans on here. This just isn't that kind of website. I've always been of the opinion that I would rather live in the moment instead of standing afar and taking photos. Don't get me wrong, a lot of my friends are incredible photographers and I'm amazed by their talent. And if you ever need someone to write copy to go along with your photos, give me a call.

So back to the series...I'm pretty excited about this. I don't live an extremely exciting life, nor am I a DIY crafter, and I'm not getting married or have a child so I can't give you advice on planning a wedding or raising a child. However, if you enjoy reading funny stories (like this one) then you should plan on sticking around for the next 30 days.

It's Friday. You made it!

Friday, June 21, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | Be the first to comment!

Friday, June 21, 2013

We have made it to the end of another work week friends. 
Who am I kidding? I'm only work half days on Thursdays and Fridays
so what do I know about truly working for the weekend?

I'm headed to the beach Saturday with Danielle.
Day trips to the beach are a perk of being home. 
I could drive 2 hours to Memphis...or the coast. 
Is it really that hard of a decision? I think not.
It's mainly just a trade off between BBQ and seafood.

As you sit behind your desk thinking of all the better things you
could be doing, here are a few things to look at.
{Mainly to make YOU look productive. You're welcome.}

1. My favorite apartment tour: Danielle Moss from The Everygirl
2. This video of giraffes jumping into a pool. Isn't the animation spot on?
3. Jenny Highsmith's tips on meeting new people
4. Weekend in Paris photos {le sigh} 
{first heard on Milkbone commercial. No shame.}
6. History of Typefaces infographic
7. And in case any one cares...Kim K. named her baby North West
Maybe they can nickname her "Compass?"

Catlady: Queen of Hipsters

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport|| Be the first to comment!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

As you can see, Cat mainly came to my house to nap.

To read more of my columns and articles from Harding's The Bison newspaper, click here.
Cats are trending on social media. Instagram has a lot to do with this; search “#cats” or “#catlady” to fully understand. Along with knitting oversized sweaters, your cat-loving aunt is on her way to becoming queen of the hipsters. 

This week, film critics are gathered in Park City, Utah, to screen the best of this year’s independent films at the Sundance Film Festival. What you might not know is that simultaneously, there is a Cat Dance Film Festival online as well. Five aspiring filmmakers and cat lovers created short films starring their favorite furry animals. Some of the titles include “Catalogue” and “A Cat’s Guide to Caring for Humans.” Perhaps Harding’s Five minute film festival should add a feline category next year. 
No one can resist a marathon of the television show “Too Cute Kittens,” which follows the lives of a litter of kittens from birth until six weeks when they go on to other homes. I would love to have the job of writing the narration and story lines for all of the kittens. It is impossible to continue having a bad day after watching an episode, or two or three.
The 2009 documentary “Cat Ladies” brings the cuteness of cats back down to Earth. The movie takes viewers into the lives of Diane, Margot, Jenny and Sigi, whose self-worth is now found in their cats. The movie is hilarious until you stop to think that it is real. It is quite sad watching how far their lives have spiraled out of control. Decisions are not made based on what they want, but what they think their cats want. Over time they gave up on spending time with friends. Collecting cats becomes a pastime for some, even to the point of animal services being called in to rescue the cats. A low point in the film is when Sigi’s cats are taken away and she comes to realize that she is all alone in her house. 
Here are a few tips to make sure you do not turn into a cat lady. First, limit the number of cats you own. If you can’t remember all of their names, it’s time to stop rescuing more. Second, make sure your Instagram feed is not filled with pictures of your feline friends. People grow tired of parents posting photos of their newborns all the time, so you can be sure that they do not want a play-by-play of your cat’s life. And if you find yourself telling your cats about your day, it is time to call and talk to a real person.

{Recipe} Fruit Tart

Monday, June 17, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| , | Be the first to comment!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mom has been perfecting this recipe since I went back to school in January, and now it is one of my all time favorite summer desserts (behind jell-o poke cake...yum!)

Now, Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa, has a famous fruit tart recipe and you can't really argue with Ina. Yes, we're on first name terms. However, Ina probably does not know that frozen pie shells exist and she requires you to make your own crust. While I love Ina and her show, I like shortcuts in baking/cooking. Sidenote: I will not fly to Africa to pick my own vanilla beans to make vanilla extract. If I lived in the Hamptons, you better believe that I would not spend all of my time in the kitchen prepping. No ma'am, I would be celebrity watching and schmoozing with the rich and famous. 

Back to the tart... 

Since it is piled high with a plethora of fresh fruit, I think it can hardly be considered dessert. Am I right? Or am I right? 


2 Prepared frozen pie crusts (with ridges, but not deep dish)
2 packages cream cheese (8 oz), softened
1 cup shifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Orange Sauce:
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp. finely shredded orange peel
¼ tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tsp. cornstarch

Fresh fruit: sliced peaches, nectarines, strawberries, kiwi, bananas, grapes, apples, mandarin oranges, and/or raspberries.
1. Bake pie shells (empty) as instructed on package
2. Prepare filling: in medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy.
3. After pie shells have completely cooled, spread cream cheese mixture over both crusts. Decorate with fruit.
4. To prepare orange sauce: Combine sugar, orange and lemon peel, orange and lemon juice and cornstarch in small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is thick. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Cover and cool the sauce without stirring.
5. When glaze has cooled gently spoon over fruit topping. Chill until ready to serve (at least an hour).


These are a few of my favorite things: fonts

Thursday, June 13, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport|| 2 Comments

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I am a self proclaimed type snob, as you can see by this post. Like the rest of us, I cannot take you or any organization's flyer seriously if you use Comic Sans or Papyrus. I think those fonts are a waste of ink.

So here is  my gift to the world: my favorite free fonts. Which means there is no excuse for Comic Sans anymore. Don't even think about selecting it. Ever.

What is your favorite font? Is that a weird question to ask? Because I don't think so. I think it says A LOT about a person. 

Keeping up with the latest trends

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 1 Comment

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

So there's all this talk about the end of Google Friend Connect and Google Reader. 
While this may be just like the Mayans swore the world would end in 2012,
I'll cover my bases and find another avenue to follow my daily reads,

I mean, when Stamp in My Passport began in October
there were rumblings of GFC becoming antiquated,
but I never paid them any mind.

Have no fear, because you can still follow me on Bloglovin!
(and Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest
if your heart so desires, and I sure hope it does.)

I'm also participating in a Bloglovin link-up here


And on an unrelated note
Samantha and I have decided to move to Austin after graduation. 
And since this plan is now forever on the Internet,
that makes it as official as these plans can ever be. 

I've known that I wouldn't move back to Valdosta after graduation. 
There are only probably three (maybe four) entry level PR jobs in this town 
and I know or know of all of the people in those jobs...
and they aren't leaving within the next six months.

So relocation is in order.
This Georgia/Arkansas student may become a Texas girl after all.
And what better place than a city with 
"a mixture of cowboys and hipsters" (Sam's words)?
I've done some research, and it looks like Austin has an 
excellent  food/restaurant scene. 
And let's be honest, that's at the top of my "must have" list. 
(Case in point: The NYC Foodcation of 2013)

Anyways, more on this plan in December. 
I should probably make sure that I don't get a more severe case 
of senioritis and fail to walk across the stage with my diploma.

Almost Throwdown in Spinning Class

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport|| 2 Comments

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Imagine this scene...but with adults.
So I've started going to spinning class on Monday nights with a friend. She swore by it and said it was worth a try, so I said "why not?" That was three weeks ago and I'm still going strong. 

Their is a problem with supply and demand though. There are only 15 bikes and 5:30 on a Monday night is PRIME workout time at the YMCA. By Thursday and Friday you can find a parking spot no problem because people's willpower to make it to the gym has worn off by then.

So Hunter and I have to get there at about 5 and sit in the lobby and wait until 5:15 (on the dot) when they turn the notebook around for us to all sign in and get one of the coveted spinning bikes. It's a madhouse. You better pay attention to who got there before you because heaven forbid that you cut in line. Grown-ups revert back to their days on the playground lining up to play four square: "NO CUTSIES!" There are already 15 people there waiting before 5:15 rolls around, so if you thought you could get there at 5:30...forget about it.

Hence the almost throwdown that occurred last night.

Apparently a couple women signed in friends that were running late...there were mix ups with the number grabbing system...which led to an employee coming to the spinning room and doing a roll call to make sure that the cheaters did not get to experience the 35 minute insanity that is spinning class with Amelia (she's the best instructor.)

Thankfully the culprits came forward and slunk out the door because I think the next step was making us all pull out our IDs and make sure only the people who were over-zealous and stood in line for 15 minutes got to go to the class.

Moral of the story: Don't try and stand in the way of women (and men apparently?) who want to get their spin on on Monday nights. Mondays are hard enough as it is so you best not add to the stress.

The only acceptable throwdowns in my opinion 
involve Bobby Flay.

Maxi dress for the vertically challenged

Saturday, June 8, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 3 Comments

Saturday, June 8, 2013

So to start off, I promise that the selfies and mirror pictures are going to be stopping. 
I know society frowns on it when you're over the age of 15. 

However, I just thought this news was too good to wait 
for a proper photo to share. 

My 5'3 self finally found a maxi dress that was the perfect length
without wearing wedges or being altered! {For those of you who are graced with height, 
this is kind of a big deal. And no, I did not have to shop in the children's section to find it.}

So if you're living in Valdosta, I found this gem at Envy.
It just arrived this week and, as of Wednesday, there were still several left.

If like me, you are vertically challenged, you should jump on this opportunity.
Because these are a rare find. 

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

That one time I made dinner

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 2 Comments

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


If you know me, you know that my idea of cooking involves nuking something in the microwave or heating precooked foods in the oven. Originally I blamed this lack of desire to cook on not having a kitchen in my freshman and sophomore dorm room. And maybe that was the case. But last year, I got to have a full kitchen {oh, joy!}. 

But that didn't put an end to my lack of desire to cook. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE watching other people cook on tv. "Brunch with Bobby Flay" {or any show with Bobby Flay if we are being honest} is becoming an obsession. I still made a beeline for the frozen foods section in the grocery store.

That being said, you should know that when I share a recipe with you it truly means that it is full-proof. Anyone can make it and impress friends and families. 

Wednesday is my day off from my internship and so I graciously offered to cook dinner for my parents on Wednesdays. I had been seeing all of these recipes on Pinterest for stuffed bell peppers and I thought "I could make those." Well one thing led to another and some didn't have recipes attached to them or had ingredients I didn't really cared for. So I took a leap of faith and just made up my own recipe. No measuring cups, no real directions and a lot of impulse ingredients went into this. This is a true Jess Boyd original recipe. You're welcome world. It's pretty genius. 

Sausage and brown rice stuffed bell peppers
yields filling for three peppers

1 bag of brown rice {I used Uncle Ben's Boil in a Bag. Judge me all you want.}
2 links of Italian sausage
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves minced garlic
Handful of sliced mushrooms
3 basil leaves
1/2 cup - 1 cup liquid {I used tomato sauce, but Worcestershire would be good too}
3 peppers {I used green, but I think the flavor of red peppers is better}
Optional: cheese to melt on top

1.Prepare rice according to directions on the box. 
2.Preheat oven to 375. 
3.Cook Italian sausage. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until ?{tender? browned? You know what mushrooms and onions look like when they are cooked}
4. In a bowl, stir the rice, sausage mixture and liquid together. 
5.Fill the mixture into the hollowed-out peppers. 
6.Bake for 45 minutes. Enjoy. 

Mazel tov: Jewish festival in Little Rock

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| , , , , | Be the first to comment!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Very few interesting things happen in Arkansas, but when you see a sign saying "Jewish Festival Next Sunday" you just go, no questions asked. Because what else do you have to do on a Sunday afternoon?

My love of Falafel started when the wonderful Lauren took our HIP group to the Marais to experience falafel alley. We sampled two different falafel stands and, personally, I liked the roasted eggplant from one but the actual falafel from the other. 

So it was decided. Sam, Clay and I quickly left church and drove to Little Rock to enjoy the likes of falafel, hummus, matzo ball soup, latkes and apple streudal. 

Besides an array of food, there was also every kind of yamaka and menorah you could imagine. And a Jewish entertainer who sang "Moses don't go smashing your idols." True story.

What made me giggle the most was the abundance of not-so-kosher Arkansas Razorback artwork. I guess even Jews enjoy a little "woo pig souie" every now and then.

{Below: People partaking in kosher food sitting beneath a pig statue. The irony is not lost on me.}


Moral of this story: If you ever find yourself in LR in May, check to see if the Jewish festival is taking place and make a beeline to River Market. It's definitely not something to miss out on. And if you want to find the other touristy things to do in LR, the Heifer building and the Clinton Presidential Library are only a few blocks away. And the best fried catfish tacos are across the street at The Flying Pig. You know, just in case you ever find yourself as a tourist in LR. You're welcome.

{Summer Reading List} Girls in White Dresses

Monday, June 3, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 2 Comments

Monday, June 3, 2013

After spending six months trying to work my way through a comprehensive narrative of Paris' history, I decided that I needed to lighten up the reading material and take a pick off of Lauren Conrad's summer beach reads list. In all fairness to her list, Mindy Kaling's book and "The Paris Wife" were on there so I thought that all of the books were safe bets. I wasn't looking for a literary masterpiece, just something to keep me entertained while I try and ween myself off of binge tv watching. 

Even after reading mostly negative reviews of "Girls in White Dresses" on Amazon, I decided to download it anyways because I had heard people talking about it a lot. Let me save you the $9.99 and beg you not to buy it.

The plot centers around a group of college friends who are trying to cope with their love lives while watching all of their other friends get married and have kids. And after 5 people I know got married the other week, I thought, "Maybe I can relate to this." 

No. I vow never to be as whiny or as dependent on alcohol as these girls. I would say 80% of the book took place at one bar or another, even as several of them became new moms. {Which reminds me of the line from "Sweet Home Alabama" when Reese is all like "You brought a a bar." Hilarious.}

And then there was the schizophrenic writing style. I'm still not sure exactly who all of the main characters were because Jennifer Close kept jumping from one story line to another like the characters jumped from one desperate relationship to another. 

Anyways, you may be wondering why I took the time to make it to the end. Maybe it is some sort of innate need for closure, or maybe I was just desperate for some event to really bring all of the girls back together and unite all of their stories. But sadly, no. 

The positives about this book: you can read it in about two days. And if you need motivation to stay on the elliptical, but know everyone around will hate you for turning Bravo on, then this is the perfect gym read. It takes about zero concentration.

So the first Summer reading attempt was a bust. Up next on my list is "Z: A novel about Zelda Fitzgerald." I have high hopes for this one. If you are on the lookout for another book, you should definitely read "Tigers in Red Weather" by Liza Kaussmann. It was recommended on Elle. Actually, I'll put together my own summer reading list for you. But only of books that I've read and think are worthy of your time spent away from summer reruns. 

And apparently you can check out e-books from the Valdosta library now? This town and went all high tech while I've been gone. If this is true, I'm going to be one happy camper.